Context Rules: The Inextricable Sexism of the Bible Confirmed

I received this interesting challenge to my article The Inextricable Sexism of the Bible. I will respond line by line:

I missed your point in your article. You make the assertion and give support for why the Bible is sexist against women. What was your point? Was there a point? If not, it is okay. If you were just trying to enlighten people who maybe previously had no idea, then that is fine, but I may challenge it.

I stated my point in the first sentence. Here it is again: “The Bible is an ancient book written by primitive men with primitive morals, chief amongst them being a thoroughly sexist view of women.” The implication, of course, being that the Bible is not the “Word of God” in any meaningful sense of the word. It is the product of primitive men with primitive morals and should be understood as such. It should never be used as a “moral guide” or interpreted as the “Word of God.”

How do you define sexism or being sexist (and in your context against/ towards women)? If you compare standards found in Bible times compared to today’s standards of how we are told to treat women, anyone could make the argument that the Bible is sexist toward women. But if you compare the Bible’s standard toward women against the cultural background of the time that the Bible was written in, do you get the same results?

Sexism is discrimination based on sex. I don’t see how it would be relevant if the “standards” in the Bible happened to be better than other primitive societies of that time and local. It’s still primitive and therefore not the “inspired Word” of any God.  Riane Eisler in The Chalice and the Blade argues that egalitarian societies once flourished until they were destroyed by the tribes of warrior barbarians not dissimilar to the description of the Hebrews in the Bible. In any case, there is no sign of any divine guidance in the Bible. The modern social progress for the liberation of blacks, women, and gays is driven primarily by the evolution of secular morality, and typically opposed by Christians. Remember, the fight for abolition was fought against the ruling Christians.

You say early on that there is an order of hierarchy in the Bible. Male: God, Male: Christ, Male: man, and woman: is the subject. I would first challenge the notion that God is male. While the male pronoun like He is often used to refer to God, that does not make God male. The male pronoun is the main, default pronoun to use if no gender is known or is not important to context. Only more recently with feminine movements and people being over sensitive have people been more careful to say his or her (for instance) when writing. God is also called our heavenly father. This is more a comparison of God’s role in our lives in relation to us. It is not to assign God gender. This is arguable I am sure. Moving on…

While I agree that Scripture may not define God as “male” per se, he is definitely modeled on the concept of masculinity. He is a warrior, a king, a priest, a husband. He is called “Father” by Jesus throughout the NT. There are only a few tangential references that could be construed as feminine, and they are notable for their rarity. Far and away, the “God” of the Bible is masculine through and through.

As for the use of male pronouns – if God wanted to present himself as female, what was stopping him? The closest we see is the feminine “Wisdom” of the OT, but that is best identified with the literally male “son” of the NT, so that doesn’t work. And even the Spirit, which is a feminine noun in both Hebrew and Greek, is referred to with the masculine noun parakletos (comforter) and pronoun ho (he) (John 15:26).

As for God’s role, that is decidedly masculine, as many commentators have elaborated. The church is “feminine” (passive) and God is masculine (active)

You also quote Ephesians 5 where it says that women are to submit to their husbands. I may add that you lack balance in quoting from the Bible. You missed the verse Ephesians 5:21 “submitting yourselves to one another in the fear of God”

I didn’t miss that verse at all. It is referring to Christian men submitting to other Christian men. This is made explicit in context. It is not teaching that Christian women should submit to Christian men other than their husbands and certainly not that any Christian men should submit to any Christian women. That would be quite absurd. Here is what is says. It begins with a general admonition to Christian men to submit themselves to one another, and then immediately clarifies that the women should not submit themselves to other men, but to their own husbands only. I highlight the admonition to men in italics:

Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;  20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;  21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; (Ephesians 5:19-25)

Note the strong distinction. “Wives” are spoken to directly, as distinct from the general discourse that preceded. Would it make any sense to admonish everyone to submit themselves to each other, and then immediately follow that with an admonition to the wives to specifically submit themselves to their own husbands? And then to repeat that the man is the head and the woman the subject? Is there anything in that passage that would have been read by a first century Jew as teaching that men should submit themselves to their wives? Is there any other verse in the entire Bible that would support such an interpretation?

You quote the Bible and select passages like the Bible is teaching that man can use women like doormats or as objects. Correct me if I am wrong to infer this from you. I do not think one can read Ephesians chapter 5 and can properly infer that from the context of Ephesians 5.

I did not draw that specific conclusion from Ephesians 5. It is implied most strongly in this passage from the OT in which Yahweh tells soldiers that they can take a captured woman, have sex with her, and dispose her like a filthy rag if he finds no “delight” in her:

And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shalt let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not make merchandise of her, because thou hast humbled her. (Deuteronomy 21:14)

In the OT, the term “humbled” (anah) in this context means he “screwed” her.

In Luke’s gospel account, he tells more stories of Jesus taking His time to help women and children showing Jesus’ human, compassionate nature and how Jesus cared for what society called “the least of these.” At the very least, Jesus spent time trying to teach His disciples what is true greatness. He said being a servant is what makes you great. So, think about that as you may. Women, who were often treated as the least, these are the ones who Jesus said would be the greatest. Again, think about it some more.

I agree that the third Gospel has that character. I wrote a lot about it. I even wrote a section of my Bible Wheel book called Luke: The Gospel of Women. So I know what you are talking about. And that is a very good thing. But it does not undo the sexism found throughout the rest of the Bible. On the contrary, it shows how inconsistent the book really is.

When the men dragged the woman sinner (prostitute) to Jesus to condemn her, Jesus didn’t get in on the bandwagon and slap the “good ol’ boys on the back.” No, He saw the sin in the hearts of the men, and He saw the heart of the woman who was “caught in sin.” He said who is without sin, cast the first stone. One by one, the accusers walked away. Jesus forgave the woman and told her to sin no more.

And where was the man? The text says that they were “caught in the very act.” Why didn’t Jesus point out their hypocrisy in condemning the woman but not the man? In any case, I don’t see how his kindness to this sinner was any different than any other, or now it contradicts anything in my article. To reflect your question to me, what is your point?

The Pericope de Adultera in John 8 is a very strange passage. It is not found in the earliest manuscripts and it is found misplaced in later manuscripts, such as at various places near the end of Luke.

I think you have stumbled on an interesting topic in the Bible that many fundamentals do not bring up for the sake of becoming uncomfortable. How do men who revere the Bible teach such passages that do not look at women as favorably as men? Is the Bible wrong? Is today’s society wrong? Is everybody wrong? Are we all nut jobs seeking to make our position look better than everybody else’ position?

I don’t think we are all nutjobs. If we are open to correction and reality and other points of view, who knows what we will learn. My main point is that taking the Bible as the “Word of God” is obviously wrong.

I would be careful about quoting passages from 1 Corinthians and Timothy that assert certain women protocol and behaviors. 1 Corinthians was written to a church in a context that had multiple problems. Back then, women who didn’t wear head coverings were considered to be not properly dressed. It would be like women showing up in church dressed like a hooker. Cultural times do not let us catch these things as easily. Civil laws change over time. Think about how that passage might have been written if to today’s church. Moving on… And when it says that women should not have authority over the man and should not speak out, we have to look at the problem of the original context. Church services were getting out of hand. There was no order. The famous line of “let the women keep silence in the church” comes from a context that did not seek out to degrade women. It is in the context of keeping an orderly service. It would be no different than for me to say that this meeting is only so long, we will only have so much time for questions and comments, so I would ask that only the leaders ask questions. This is not to degrade against everyone who is not a leader. It is just a needed solution to the chaos that was erupting in the church services back then. Back then, the leaders of the home were the “men.” The context is not implying that the women do not matter as much or are not important. The context is just establishing a rule of conduct.

Yes, context is exceedingly important. So let’s look once again at the context, as explained in my original article. The creation myth blames the woman for all the sin in the world and says God himself placed two curses upon her: 1) the pain of childbirth and 2) male domination:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16)

This verse cannot be explained away because its plain meaning is confirmed and applied in the New Testament where it is used as a justification for why women are not allowed to teach or have authority over men in Christian churches:

Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. 12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15 Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty. (1 Tim 2:11-15)

Women are not allowed to teach because 1) males have primacy because Adam was created first and 2) women are not reliable teachers because they are easily deceived, like Eve. And it completes the picture of the creation myth when it says “woman will be saved through childbearing” (which is the only value they had according to some church fathers, see below). That women must be silent and in submission to men is confirmed and explained as being “in the law” in 1 Corinthians:

Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. (1 Corinthians 14:34)

As far as I  know, you did not deal with any of this contextual information that makes Paul’s intent quite clear, or so it seems to me.

I hope this is making sense. It is important to quote within context.

Indeed. Context is Queen.

 

This entry was posted in Biblical Issues, Losing My Religion. Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

270 Comments

  1. primitive futurist
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 2:46 am | Permalink

    Big deal. Equality is so over-rated. Bible has it right, moderns have it wrong. Get over it.

  2. Posted May 8, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Big deal. Equality is so over-rated. Bible has it right, moderns have it wrong. Get over it.

    Actually, it is a very big deal. Equality is the foundation of justice and morality. The Bible is wrong on this point. We moderns are beginning getting it right, after thousands of years of error. As Dr. Martin Luther King said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

  3. bibelverse
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    If the LORD was unjust, He would be a sinner in need of salvation!

    The truth is that God who reveals Himself as God, in the Bible, is love. He can’t be unjust, for He is sinless from eternity to eternity.

    The LORD is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness.His speech and deeds are just, even when He takes revenge!

    Truly, He is holy in all his works, for Our LORD is holy. Behold how how gracious He is in all His acts. Behold the perfect atoning sacrifice of the sinless Son of God. Put your wholehearted trust in Him and you will be blessed to understand that the LORD truly is just!

  4. bibelverse
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxSiSdYeUIIyYy1BY2V2T3BLV28
    Deceived man is prone to make a goddess of women. Inspect the teachings of Roman Catholicism and say “No” to what they teach! Refuse to feed yourselves on their false worship and reliance on Mary.

  5. primitive futurist
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “As Dr. Martin Luther King said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    Dr King would be the first to reject your anti-biblical so-called justice.

    “As we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we remember how important the Bible was to him, and how deeply his vision of racial justice is rooted in the Judeo-Christian heritage. It was the Bible that led him to choose the more excellent way of love and nonviolent protest over hatred, despair and violence.

    Dr. King often pointed out that it was Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount that inspired the “dignified social action” of the civil rights movement. His notion of “creative suffering” – borne by civil rights activists who endured persecution and police brutality – came from his Christian faith in the redemptive suffering of Jesus.

    Dr. King dreamed of a day when America lives up to its creed, when all people sit together at one table, and when freedom and justice reign. His famous “I have a dream” speech reaches its highest point with echoes of the prophet Isaiah: “I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low … and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.”

    In words of the prophet Micah, he hoped that one day all persons elected to public office will “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with [their] God.” His hope for an end to war was rooted in Isaiah’s vision that people will “beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” Biblical promises of “peace on earth and goodwill toward all” were Dr. King’s antidote to despair.

    To critics who accused him of being an extremist, Dr. King said that he stood in a long line of extremists, including the prophet Amos, Jesus, the apostle Paul, the Protestant reformer Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. For Dr. King, the question was what kind of extremists we will be – extremists for hate or for love, for injustice or for justice, for evil or for goodness.

    Dr. King’s commitment to the Bible as his primary source book was nourished in his childhood when Bible stories told around the dinner table held the King children in awe. Those stories sustained him until the end of his life.

    In what was to be his last speech, Dr. King drew from the biblical story of Moses: “Like anybody, I would like to live a long life … But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain, and I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight that we as a people will get to the promised land.”

    http://www.ncccusa.org/newbtu/lullking.html

  6. Posted May 8, 2015 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Equality is the foundation of justice and morality.

    Dr King would be the first to reject your anti-biblical so-called justice.

    So you say that Dr. King would reject equality as the foundation of justice and morality? Seriously?

    It appears your devotion to the Bible has blinded you to the nature of justice and morality. If equality is “anti-biblical” then the Bible is fundamentally immoral.

  7. primitive futurist
    Posted May 8, 2015 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    Blah blah blah. White middle class first-world dilettante posturing. Go down to Mexico and have this discussion with the cocaine cartels who will machine gun a family without thinking twice. There’s your atheism. There’s your evolution. Survival of the fittest is the only law in the jungle. Shit happens as Richard Dawkins says. Get over it. The gazelle doesn’t whine and whinge about equality when the lion takes it down. Eat or be eaten. Might is right. The rest, if you are an atheist, is just posturing. There is no equality. DNA doesn’t care. Throw out the bible, and all you have left is Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law. Everything else is just trendy fashionable this-year’s-model. Women’s rights, gay rights, children’s rights. What about the rights of the tuberculosis bacteria? When are you going to stand up for its equality? The only morality outside the Bible is self-justifying attempts to placate the conscience, but if evolution is all there is, your conscience is nothing but illusion. Get over it, head down to Mexico, and start making a killing. What have you got to lose? Your eternal soul? Ha Ha. Not if it doesn’t exist.

  8. MichaelFree
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Richard,

    Another great article that I can’t see any fault in. Great job.

    You said:

    “Actually, it is a very big deal. Equality is the foundation of justice and morality. The Bible is wrong on this point. We moderns are beginning getting it right, after thousands of years of error. As Dr. Martin Luther King said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

    Equality amongst human beings, regardless of our gender, religious preference, atheism, ethnicity, nationality, or sexuality, are indeed the foundation of justice and morality. Each of these groups are to be treated the same way, that is what equality is.

    Everyone has different abilities, therefore a specific woman may be a great police officer, but a specific man may not be a great police officer. This is what equality means, equality in opportunity,

    Equality in how we treat one another according to the Golden Rule: not lying to one another, not stealing from one another, not physically violating one another or each others’ property, and being rehabilitative in justice instead of being vengeful (an eye for an eye makes the world go blind). It doesn’t matter your specific abilities or lack of specific abilities to be treated the same way as everyone else (True Golden Rule).

    Primitive Futurist,

    You said;

    “Big deal. Equality is so over-rated. Bible has it right, moderns have it wrong. Get over it”.

    And then you have the nerve to say:

    “Dr. King dreamed of a day when America lives up to its creed, when all people sit together at one table, and when freedom and justice reign”.

    And:

    “Biblical promises of “peace on earth and goodwill toward all” were Dr. King’s antidote to despair”.

    I know you’re a true bible believer because your statements contradict each other, and are both good and evil.

    You said:

    “Dr. King’s commitment to the Bible as his primary source book was nourished in his childhood when Bible stories told around the dinner table held the King children in awe. Those stories sustained him until the end of his life”.

    If that’s the case I bet the King children only heard the good stories and all the bad stories were passed over.

    You said:

    “Blah blah blah. White middle class first-world dilettante posturing. Go down to Mexico and have this discussion with the cocaine cartels who will machine gun a family without thinking twice. There’s your atheism”.

    What does Richard’s race have to do with anything? Your by “faith” and not by “works” concept of salvation, your “get-out-of-jail-free-card” is equivalent to the atheist who does not believe in a supernatural judgment in the afterlife. Try again and try not to disparage atheists who abide by the Golden Rule because that is what makes for peace within all families. Your religion does not own the Golden Rule.

    You said;

    “The gazelle doesn’t whine and whinge about equality when the lion takes it down”.

    If you were as perfect as the animals you would not see transgression in the animal kingdom, for there is none. Animals are perfect. Humans have a choice.

    You said:

    “Do What Thou Wilt Shall be the Whole of the Law”.

    That is the whole of your law, which is only believe in Jesus, a lawless law which cares not about works. It is why a so-called “Christian” Nazi can repent for killing thousands of Jews 5 minutes before they die, and your religion proclaims they go to Heaven, while your religion proclaims that all the thousands of innocent Jews the Nazi killed go to hell. Your religion is lawless and does not adhere to the True Golden Rule.

    You said:

    “What about the rights of the tuberculosis bacteria? When are you going to stand up for its equality?”

    When is your prayer going to defeat tuberculosis? Modern medicine has tuberculolis beat, it usually involves taking antibiotics for 6-12 months.

    bibelverse,

    You said:

    “The LORD is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness.His speech and deeds are just, even when He takes revenge!”

    The exclamation point makes you look excited and gleeful about revenge. There is absolutely nothing righteous, kind, or just about revenge. Nothing whatsoever. An eye for eye is immoral. “Have mercy and not a sacrifice”.

  9. Posted May 9, 2015 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Congratulations primitive futurist!

    Your comment was sufficiently rich in error to warrant an entire post in response. I invite you to continue the conversation in the new thread you inspired:

    Is Equality Anti-Biblical?

  10. Posted May 9, 2015 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Another great article that I can’t see any fault in. Great job.

    Thanks for the good word Michael. I really appreciate your contributions.

    You sure got your comment out fast! Lightning Fingers I’ll be calling ya!

    Primitive Futurist,

    You said;

    “Big deal. Equality is so over-rated. Bible has it right, moderns have it wrong. Get over it”.

    And then you have the nerve to say:

    “Dr. King dreamed of a day when America lives up to its creed, when all people sit together at one table, and when freedom and justice reign”.

    And:

    “Biblical promises of “peace on earth and goodwill toward all” were Dr. King’s antidote to despair”.

    I know you’re a true bible believer because your statements contradict each other, and are both good and evil.

    Excellent points Michael. I’d comment more, but I gotta get out of my chair. I’ve spent the last few hours answering posts here and on my forum. I need to get on my bicycle. It’s a beautiful day, and I’m heading out for a 33 mile ride. Be back in about 4 hours.

  11. Posted May 9, 2015 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    That is the whole of your law, which is only believe in Jesus, a lawless law which cares not about works. It is why a so-called “Christian” Nazi can repent for killing thousands of Jews 5 minutes before they die, and your religion proclaims they go to Heaven, while your religion proclaims that all the thousands of innocent Jews the Nazi killed go to hell. Your religion is lawless and does not adhere to the True Golden Rule.

    That is an extremely significant point. It shows that the Gospel is radically immoral. It turns morality on its head. Those who spend their lives loving others and doing good go to hell for not holding to the correct religious dogma, whereas the worst moral monsters go to heaven if they sincerely repent of their many crimes. This is particularly ironic, because Christian apologists, such as Hank Hanegraaff (Bible Answer Man), says that there MUST be a hell since otherwise Hitler would never be punished for his crimes. How they fail to see and understand that Hitler could likewise avoid punishment by becoming a Christian is beyond me. Their doctrines are fundamentally irrational. I’ve seen William Lane Craig put forth this doctrine too in the Q & A with Shelly Kagan. It was hilarious, because Kagan pointed out the incongruity and Craig agreed before he realised the implications … then he quickly switched the topic, like a masterful deceiver.

  12. MichaelFree
    Posted May 9, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I said:

    “If you were as perfect as the animals you would not see transgression in the animal kingdom, for there is none. Animals are perfect. Humans have a choice”.

    I should’ve said:

    “If you had discernment you would not see transgression in the animal kingdom, for there is none. Animals are perfect. Humans have a choice”.

  13. MichaelFree
    Posted May 10, 2015 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    Atheists have to live in families or work in communities and to do that they must get along with other people. It is our species’ orientation to seek peace amongst other people to get along and to be productive. It’s our nature. Therefore no religion owns the Golden Rule. It is what it is. It is the method to achieve peace in the world and it’s a path of truth. True. Peaceful. Righteousness. We have what belongs to us in this world and we are not supposed to take what is not ours.

  14. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Hey there, Richard, Michael Free, and all or any who responded already,

    It was said above:
    “That is the whole of your law, which is only believe in Jesus, a lawless law which cares not about works. It is why a so-called “Christian” Nazi can repent for killing thousands of Jews 5 minutes before they die, and your religion proclaims they go to Heaven, while your religion proclaims that all the thousands of innocent Jews the Nazi killed go to hell. Your religion is lawless and does not adhere to the True Golden Rule.”

    And Richard replied in agreement confirming the flawed theology of the gospel.

    I think there are many overlooked assumptions here. These assumptions are no doubt based on an assumed and desired conclusion, and not on a full understanding of the purpose and exposition of not only the gospel but the teaching of the New Testament proper.
    First, the “lawless law” is an obvious assumption. While I will admit that the gospel by grace is the primary truth of the Christian faith, no one can read any book in the NT and get that “free grace” and a license to sin is what the gospel is all about. Read Galatians, chapter 5, Romans 6. Read any Pauline literature near the second half of all his books is application of the doctrine he wrote about in the first half of the book.
    Second, as to the claim that a wicked, murdering Nazi could just “in theory” live a life of crime and then at the last minute ask God for forgiveness and go to heaven. So based on this, the gospel is not fair.
    One problem with this, if the so hypothetical person was just trying to escape hell and was saying that he wanted forgiveness from God, do you not think that the God of the Bible would know that? Again, I cannot argue the Bible from a non-believers assumptions but only from the assumptions that which the Bible implies and teaches. The Bible teaches that God is all knowing and diligently seeks out the heart of mankind. This describes a “God” that would in fact know that this hypothetical Nazi was in fact genuine in his confession or not.

    Another way this could go, what if the Nazi was genuinely sorry and penitent of his wrong doings, and he asked for God to forgive him? Well, Jesus forgave one of the two criminals next to Him on the cross. So, biblically, a true confession is possible. So in man’s thinking, a man who lived a life of crime, how is that fair, right? How is it fair that a criminal can have a last minute shot at redemption? So here is the problem you create now. So let us assume that this man can NEVER achieve forgiveness and redemption for the crimes he has committed. Where is the hope here? You have actually given him his own license to keep sinning, committing crimes because he is doomed already. Also, who is the one who is worthy to judge if a person should be forgiven or not? Is it okay to forgive him and give him a second chance, a third, 57 chances, 987?

    But in man’s thinking, he can only compare one’s morality with another man’s. So a non believer will judge the Bible for not being fair. A good moral person who never knew that Christ died for him and never knew that he needed God’s forgiveness will go to Hell, and a criminal who repents to God will be saved and go to Heaven.

    In a way, the whole issue against the Bible’s gospel is that we are better judges than God is. Based on God’s rules in the Bible, less justice in the world will be achieved, according to some people’s opinions here in this conversation.

    But maybe the purpose of Heaven and Hell are not to weed out the morally upright from the criminals. If this was the purpose of Heaven and Hell as described in the Bible, then one here might have a strong case to say the Bible contradicts itself. In other words, with its own rules it follows, it will not achieve its own desired results. But the Bible does not teach that the Heaven is for people who are morally upright, and Hell is for people who are criminal. (The Bible does at times describes the nature of the type of people that will be found at each place, Heaven and Hell)

    So, now what is really under attack is God’s purpose and as a result His required stipulations for entrance to Heaven. Are these stipulations fair? Is it fair that a just, Holy, loving God would make the requirement into Heaven a matter of knowing that His Son died for his or her sins and that they need forgiveness?

    People that are driven by how good they are and how knowledgeable they are have trouble with this point. People that think that they are morally descent people and who know “religious” people or people who claim to be Christian but who do not act that “christian,” also struggle with this.

    First, I will say that a faith creed cannot be judged by followers who follow it improperly.
    Second, you can’t judge the Bible to match your assumptions about yourself and what YOU think or assume YOU deserve. Some will never understand how a morally upright person would go to Hell and how a criminal could end up going to Heaven. It doesn’t sound fair to many. But I can only defend the Bible based on the Bible claims about our state of morality not against man’s assumptions.
    So the Bible teaches that ALL are sinners and have fallen short of God’s glory. (rom 3:23) All are sinners. There Bible teaches that there is no respect of persons here. On that point, it is consistent.
    The penalty of all sin, any sin is death. (rom 6:23)
    But God provided a way when man was still a sinner, Christ died for his sins. (rom 5:12) I may also add here that man not woman is blamed for man’s sinful nature, state.

    Why would the rules for Heaven be based on this and not who is the most moral? Wouldn’t be more fair that the more moral people get to go to Heaven and the the most immoral do not? Or would it not be like a loving God to not allow anyone to go to Hell?

    The Bible teaches that all of mankind has revealed revelation of God through nature, God’s creation. So in other words, man is without excuse to not know that there is a God and to seek Him out. Certainly in America, if no one takes the time to seek Him, it is on him, not God. In other countries that have no Bible, God has promised in His Word to reveal Himself to those who seek Him. There are examples of people in the Bible where this happened. Of course, this is absurd based on the assumption that God does not answer prayer. But anyone who prays to God to test Him if He answers prayer can expect God not to answer. God is not required to satisfy the judging accusation of man. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble is what the Bible teaches. Read the book of James, chapter 1 and 4 in particular.

    But God has always been about preparing people for His kingdom. It is not about finding the most moral or making yourself worthy before God. It is about who is humble enough to let God mold you into the changed person He wants you to be. God can do a lot with a willing and humble vessel. He cannot do anything with a person who wants to do it himself. The Bible calls God the potter, and we are the clay. The clay that wants to mold itself cannot be molded by the potter. The clay that is hard and stubborn and refuses to be teachable and pliable can also not be used by the potter.

    Also consider this, many people who study eschatology, the study of last times, miss that there is a 1,000 year reign before the end Heaven and Hell. So the person who accepts God’s forgiveness available through Christ after living a life of crime will go through his continued transformation process in God’s future kingdom.
    also, there is a future judgment for Christians as well based on their works. This is a very valid point that the gospel is not just about living however you want. Read 1 Corinthians 3. A Christian’s role in the 1,000 year reign kingdom and rewards are based on his works here on earth. So the criminal who made a last minute true profession is not making it to heaven with full rewards. By the Bible, he will first start off as the least in the 1,000 year kingdom before Heaven even appears.

    I am sure I have left plenty to encourage discussion.

    I would also be interested in hearing your cosmology, Richard. Probably be a separate post all together. :)

    James

  15. MichaelFree
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    James,

    When I read the Gospels I came to the conclusion that the Jesus character did not deserve to be crucified because he did nothing to warrant it. He did nothing wrong. The repentant robber on the cross next to Jesus merely professed Jesus’ innocence and was told by Jesus that he would be in paradise when he passed. And Jesus prayed for everyone else. Now remember, this professing of his innocence is not biblical, because according to the Hebrew scriptures the punishment for breaking the Sabbath and calling yourself the Son of God are crimes punishable by death. It’s a sad book.

    Regarding your assertion that one’s choice of religion is what “God” uses to send someone to eternal torture or to paradise, remember that other religions proclaim the same thing, so don’t be upset if your religion is not the chosen religion, for it was your own judgment that condemned yourself. When the “thing” shows up, if it doesn’t choose your religion, if I were you I’d fall back on your good words and good deeds as the true factor for determining your guilt or innocence, not belief in the correct bogeyman.

    So I’m staying out of that sort of judgment by not judging that way. I like people. All people. There’s enough shame to go around here on Earth in regard to people’s words and deeds; it would be sad if “God” were just as bad and just as unjust.

    Take care.

  16. Gnade
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Michael,Jesus was the Son of God. He revealed the truth about Himself.

  17. Gnade
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Michael, Jesus was the Lord of the Sabbath. It was wicked man that claimed He broke the Sabbath. They were deceived.

  18. Gnade
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    The LORD desires His Word, the Bible, to be preached.
    Preaching isn’t absurd, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

    Michael, when Jesus taught that when we see
    Him we see the Father He was telling the truth

  19. MichaelFree
    Posted May 13, 2015 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Gnade,

    Thanks, I should rephrase that sentence.

    I said:

    “Now remember, this professing of his innocence is not biblical, because according to the Hebrew scriptures the punishment for breaking the Sabbath and calling yourself the Son of God are crimes punishable by death”.

    It should read:

    “Now remember, this professing of his innocence may not be biblical, because according to the Hebrew scriptures the punishment for breaking the Sabbath (apparently some interpret healing people as work) and calling yourself the Son of God (apparently some interpret him saying that he and God were one meant that Jesus, being a man, made himself God, which is offensive to some people) are crimes punishable by death”.

    I don’t have a problem with the rest of my comment so I’ll leave it as is.

  20. Posted May 14, 2015 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I am sure I have left plenty to encourage discussion.

    I would also be interested in hearing your cosmology, Richard. Probably be a separate post all together. :)

    James

    Hey there James,

    Yes, you have left plenty to encourage discussion! Thank you. I’m very interested in discussing the issues you have raised. Unfortunately, I’m in the middle of my work week, and I have had family visiting for the last couple days so I haven’t had time to respond. I should find time this weekend.

    Richard

  21. James
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Hello Michael free,

    First, I noticed you said the character Jesus. You should know that Jesus is a historical figure. People that debate His life and claims must do it on a historical basis not just theological. Every historian agrees that the person Jesus lived, He was babtized by John, and that He was crucified by Pilate. Historians disagree about the rest. So you cannot just say that Jesus was a fictional character.
    Second, Jesus said that Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath. The context of Jesus’ crucifixion was that Judiasm was in power which is spoken of in the Bible as heresy. It is Judiasm that makes the man made laws about what you cannot do on the Sabbath. There are Old Testament laws for sure about the Sabbath, but these are case laws which by definition are allowed to be edited. No Christian Bible scholar considers the laws of the Sabbath to be moral, unchangeable laws.

  22. Gnade
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Michael, your criticism of Jesus is totally unjust.

    He professed His innocence, because He was innocent.

    As Lord of the Sabbath, He honored the Sabbath.

    He, not His unjust accusers, understood how to hallow the LORD at all times!

    When He healed people on the Sabbath He glorified God.

    Truly the LORD provides His gift of time to use wisely.

    Truly the sinless Son of God was the wisest and most loving man who has ever lived on earth.

    Whoever trusts the good Shepherd wholeheartedly will find themself truly blessed now and forever.

  23. MichaelFree
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    James,

    Admittedly I’m a layperson with much of this religious stuff.

    I did not say that Jesus the person was a fictional character. I said “When I read the Gospels I came to the conclusion that the Jesus character (in the Gospels)”. There’s a huge distinction between an actual person and an account of that person, so please do not misunderstand what I wrote.

    I’m aware of the historical accounts of Jesus and John the Baptist. I’m also aware that human accounts of history can be adulterated just as human written religious books can be adulterated. No one seems to know if the Gospels are a true account of what actually may have occurred. I’ve also heard from supposedly reputable sources, who know more than me about the subject, that the Gospels have been adulterated with Pagan beliefs such as the virgin birth etc.

    You said:

    “No Christian Bible scholar considers the laws of the Sabbath to be moral, unchangeable laws”.

    This is from the Ten Commandments which supposedly came from Gods mouth:

    Exodus 20: 1 “And God spake all these words, saying” 8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: IN IT THOU SHALT NOT DO ANY WORK, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it”.

    You said:

    “It is Judiasm that makes the man made laws about what you cannot do on the Sabbath”.

    Apparently God said to not work on the Sabbath. It said it came out of God’s mouth.

    Also, I was reminded of this when I looked at the Ten Commandments:

    Exodus 20: 4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them”.

    I get a good chuckle out of that seeing as so many Christians display and even pray to a cross with an image of Jesus on it. I’ve seen pictures of Catholics gathered around statues and praying to it etc.

    What do you have to say about this:

    “Regarding your assertion that one’s choice of religion is what “God” uses to send someone to eternal torture or to paradise, remember that other religions proclaim the same thing, so don’t be upset if your religion is not the chosen religion, for it was your own judgment that condemned yourself. When the “thing” shows up, if it doesn’t choose your religion, if I were you I’d fall back on your good words and good deeds as the true factor for determining your guilt or innocence, not belief in the correct bogeyman”.

  24. MichaelFree
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Gnade,

    You said:

    “Michael, your criticism of Jesus is totally unjust”.

    Really Gnade, is that really how you heard my comment, as a criticism of Jesus, and not as a criticism of killing an innocent person? This is what I said: “When I read the Gospels I came to the conclusion that the Jesus character did not deserve to be crucified because he did nothing to warrant it. He did nothing wrong”.

    You said;

    “When He healed people on the Sabbath He glorified God”. I believe the same way, to me, the most holy thing that anyone can do for another person is to help them when they are in need. If this is not glorifying “God” I don’t know what is. And it seems I’ve always been someone who likes helping other people who are in need, but in all truth, it was Jesus in the Gospels that showed me that this mindset of helping people who are in need is truly the Spirit of the Most High, and I love it. I can now see unmet need in the world that I didn’t see before and that I wasn’t looking for.

    And I do have plenty of criticism of the Jesus character in the Gospels so don’t get me wrong. I’m ashamed of the Gospels because of what they have spawned.

    Jesus said that people have demons and the demons even spoke to Jesus. He called mental illness a demon-being that inhabits human beings. Tell that to my friend who is schizophrenic. It’s such a sick teaching. I heard more than one story of grown-ups killing their children trying to exercise “demons” from them and this comes from the Gospels; it’s so disgusting it makes me want to puke. Jesus threatened people with a torturous hell which is another sick teaching that I’m sure has made many people kill themselves in real life. Death and more death. He alluded to his person being the way to God as a contrast to the truth being the way to God. This leads many people to be lawless and never try to be a full-time truth-teller or a full-time good-deed-doer. It’s disgusting. This business about his person makes you condemn all non-Christians in your mind to eternal torture no matter how good they were in life or how much they followed the truth in life; and for this you condemn goodness and call it good. You remember the Parable of the Good Samaritan and how Jesus told the Jews the parable in order for the Jews to understand that they should not condemn non-Jews, the Samaritans? You get it Gnade? Don’t condemn non-Christians or anyone for that matter! I could go on and on. What did Jesus say about the wheat and the tares, he said WORKS. What about the WORKS of non-Christians Gnade? That’s what he said. Who’s the father of lies Gnade? When a lie comes out of a Christian’s mouth there is no grace, there is no get-out-of-jail-free-card, they don’t get to skip down the street proclaiming faith in Jesus while they lie. When the truth comes out of a non-Christian’s mouth there is grace, and there is the get-out-of jail-free-card, and they can feel free to skip down the street knowing that they have faith in the truth. This is the truth that is being hijacked in the Gospels. Whoever adulterated what may have been an actual righteous man’s words I am ashamed of.

    Having said all that the Jesus character in the Gospels can believe whatever he wants, he can say all kinds of fanciful beliefs about demons and hell and this kind of stuff, but they are not lies in this world, they are beliefs. What other people do with Jesus characters words is not Jesus characters fault. There is a huge distinction between what are actually lies and what are actually beliefs. Lies are a false representation of the facts that are needed to be adhered to in order to carry out functionality in the world. Otherwise with lies we have dysfunction and nothing truly gets done properly in the way that they were intended and worked towards. Beliefs can be fanciful and just about whatever anyone wants to say.

  25. MichaelFree
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Gnade,

    You don’t follow this properly:

    “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

    If you did you would know that you are supposed to view everyone in the world as a Christian, even the non-Christians, and you are supposed put yourself with them in the judgment as such. If you don’t put yourself with them then you will never know what this means, because the second great commandment is like unto the first: “love God with all you heart, with all your mind, and with all your soul”.

  26. MichaelFree
    Posted May 14, 2015 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Gnade,

    The Jewish Messiah is supposed to usher in an era of global peace:

    Isaiah 2:4 They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation will not lift sword against nation and they will no longer study warfare.

    Isaiah 11:6-9 The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper’s nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

    But this is what the Jesus character said:

    Jesus said: Matthew 10 : 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a SWORD. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

    About that sword:

    Jesus said: Luke 19 : 27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and SLAY them before me.

    And that leads to Romans 13 and I believe Paul said:

    1Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the SWORD for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.

    Tell this Romans 13 bs to the Jews who were slaughtered by Hitler or to the Chinese mothers who have government vans pull up out front of their houses in order to rip babies from their wombs.

    I believe I remember some time ago you had something to say about Hitler and the Jews, care to repeat it Gnade? I believe it had something to do with the sad plight of Jews in WWII being divine in some way, instead of just a bunch of Nazi pig savages killing innocent Jews in their quest for world domination, not unlike your religion that relegates Jews to hell; the Nazis also burned them in ovens. Oh the day will come and I cannot wait, and we shall find out the “things” nature. And all the crazy Jews who supposedly think the gentiles will be there slaves in the World To Come, they will have their comeuppance also, and in this is my faith.

  27. James
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Hello Michaelfree,

    Thank you for your response. I am sorry that I inferred incorrectly that “character Jesus” meant that Jesus was a fictional character. I should have asked what you meant first before assuming my inference was correct.

    About the issue of the Sabbath. God did say, keep the Sabbath, do no work. What is His reason? He says in six days He worked and on the 7th day He rested. So one can look at this very literally and say that the 7th day of the week must be the day of the Sabbath and absolutely no one must work or else. Many Jews in Jesus’ day were like this. Today, the Jews are hypocritical of their own law and try to pretend they are not working. I talked to one who visited Israel. He said it was rather funny. The merchants would put up covers on the “Sabbath” to make it look like they were not open even though they were open. Very strange in deed. I am not defending Judaism though. I am defending the Bible though. For clarification, Judaism is taught as heresy in the NT. The original faith of the OT Jews differed some. Jesus Himself said that Sabbath was made for the man not man for the Sabbath. This tells me that following the OT law to the strict letter is not the point. The principle of the Sabbath is to have a day of rest just as God had a day of rest. If one takes his rest day on Wednesday instead of Saturday, the principle of the law is still being upheld. If one still takes a day to dedicate time to honor and worship God, the principle is still held. Jesus condemned the Jewish Pharisees for being hypocritical. They would not help anyone on the Sabbath because of the “law.” They missed the point of the law entirely. They used the law to condemn others and as an excuse to be lazy and not helpful.

    So yes, thank you for the reminder of the 10 commandments. I did not forget about them. I made a quick response and could have made a more thorough response that included some expected rebuttals.

    And concerning making graven images, you are following back behind what I had already said. A faith, creed, religion (whatever you may wish to call it), cannot be judged by its imperfect followers. If Catholics make images of little “jesus’ ” and put them on crosses, that is between them and God. That does not make their religion false, it makes them disobedient followers of their religion. I am also not Catholic, they have many different beliefs that are not even supported in the Bible.

    You asked for a response to this:
    “Regarding your assertion that one’s choice of religion is what “God” uses to send someone to eternal torture or to paradise, remember that other religions proclaim the same thing, so don’t be upset if your religion is not the chosen religion, for it was your own judgment that condemned yourself. When the “thing” shows up, if it doesn’t choose your religion, if I were you I’d fall back on your good words and good deeds as the true factor for determining your guilt or innocence, not belief in the correct bogeyman”.

    You basis for rejecting the Bible and Christian faith to be wrong is that other religions say this or that. Am I to assume that you are implying that your logic makes the Bible automatically wrong or probably wrong? Eventually you have to choose to believe something without concrete, bullet proof evidence. Scientists do it all the time by the way with their theories. But I put the Bible in a different category than the other religions that are either spin offs of the Bible God or have their own god(s). The Bible is a historical book and should be refuted historically not just theologically. You say that the content of the gospels is unsure or questionable by some, many. So what? You are choosing to not believe something by faith while I am choosing to believe something by faith. IT is still faith. If you are reject the gospel narratives for their historical content, try using logic and history to refute them instead of asserting that they are probably not true because some doubt them. Yes, and Germans reject the history of the holocaust. Does that mean we should assume it did not happen. Egyptian history does not agree with the Biblical account of the Exodus. Well, one can say the Bible must be wrong, but how can one say that without knowing for sure if the Egyptian source is right or wrong? You are still subject to faith and using your head in the end. It also makes sense that Egyptian history would modify a part of their history that brings dishonor to them. The same goes with Germany.

    Much of the details written in the gospels and the OT narratives show the extent they took in accuracy and being honest. Why would the gospel writers trying to fabricate a convincing story include that Jesus’ half brother did not believe in Him? There is more evidence that the writers were more committed to scribbling down what was said than what they wanted it to say.

    Also works like The Book of Mormon have changed over the years with the times. The Bible has not done that.

    So please understand that my choice to believe in the Bible is not just an arbitrary choice out of a hat of what religion I like or grew up with. I believe there are qualitative differences with the Bible versus any other faith creed, religion. If you want to discuss the validity of these so called qualitative differences, then that would be a good discussion.

    When you say, the “thing” shows up and it would be better to follow good works. I hope you know what good works are good and important, otherwise, you may be in trouble following your own advice to me. And if you did not mean it and were just being sarcastic and did not mean it, (meaning you are just implying that all religions are just phony), it does not help you or me. Does it?

    James

  28. MichaelFree
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    James,

    Say that an atheist commits and adheres to not lying, not stealing, not physically violating other people in any way, helping people who are in need, to be forgiving, to be rehabilitative in justice and not vengeful, and to do this for all people, and they adhere to it in life, and have no righteous accusers here on Earth because of it, who is your God to do violence to them in the afterlife, them who committed to non-violence here on Earth? This is your ethical dilemma, not mine.

    You said:

    “Am I to assume that you are implying that your logic makes the Bible automatically wrong or probably wrong?”

    I have no idea as to the accuracy of the bible. But I do know that much of the behavior that has been attributed to God in the bible is immoral behavior. I know this, I don’t have to believe it. For example slavery and rape. Also, your religious interpretation of the Gospels are just another interpretation in a sea of interpretations of the same text. You can believe what you want though.

    As far as the Sabbath, I personally don’t care about religion, so any day can be used any which way the person wants it to be used, so they can work or not work, it doesn’t matter. As far as statues (graven images) are concerned, personally I find it offensive to pray to a statue, but as far as other people go I don’t care about their statues, one way or the other. If someone wants to pray to a statue, by all means, go for it.

    You said:

    “If you are reject the gospel narratives for their historical content, try using logic and history to refute them instead of asserting that they are probably not true because some doubt them”.

    I’m looking into the astrological (astrology) origins of the Gospel narrative right now. I believe that the early church probably infused the message of historical Jesus with Pagan astrological nonsense in order to attract people to the church. Here is a link to a video about it, which I am trying to learn the truthfulness of, as to whether to believe it or not. It is less than ten minutes long: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BUj7J5POCk

    You said:

    “Yes, and Germans reject the history of the holocaust”.

    Lots of Jews were murdered in Germany simply for being Jews, this is not disputable. As to the extent of the murders and the purpose of the murders that is for historians to figure out, I just have to know that they were murdered simply for being Jewish, which means that innocent people were killed because of their religion.

    You said:

    “I hope you know what good works are good and important, otherwise, you may be in trouble following your own advice to me”.

    I have no problem telling you what I try to do perfectly daily: don’t lie, don’t steal, don’t physically violate other people in any way, help people who are in need, be forgiving, be rehabilitative in justice and not vengeful, and to do this for all people. I commit myself every morning to these things. I try to recognize what is mine in the world and to not take what is not mine. The Golden Rule. And I practice it daily as best as I can. And I don’t have to ask you if you want to be treated this way because I already know that you want to be treated this way.

  29. MichaelFree
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    James,

    And by the way when I said “when the “thing” shows up”, I said that because I’m not an atheist. I “believe” that there is a supernatural intelligence that has revealed itself. As to it’s composition, whether it’s a supreme being, or supreme beings, or just humans that have passed already, I do not know, but it is definitely supernatural and knows the future before it happens. As to it’s nature, whether good or evil, I do not know, but what I have seen I interpret as it probably having a good nature, and as a teacher.

    I don’t want to elaborate on my beliefs, so we’ll just leave it that. My beliefs aren’t up for discussion because there is no violence in my beliefs. I don’t care about religion, I care about peace and justice, about the truth. I also believe in Heaven, for all people, and that it is good to go there having already awakened and having already cleansed.

    THE TRUTH is not a deity but if I had affix a name to deity it would be THE TRUTH, not unlike Yahweh in the Garden when he came looking for Adam and Eve after they had stolen from him, and not unlike Jesus after his resurrection when he came to the shore looking for the disciples, after Peter had lied to him. Adam and Eve and Peter in their nakedness all got dressed in the presence of THE TRUTH.

  30. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Hello Michael,

    You said,
    “Say that an atheist commits and adheres to not lying, not stealing, not physically violating other people in any way, helping people who are in need, to be forgiving, to be rehabilitative in justice and not vengeful, and to do this for all people, and they adhere to it in life, and have no righteous accusers here on Earth because of it, who is your God to do violence to them in the afterlife, them who committed to non-violence here on Earth? This is your ethical dilemma, not mine.”

    You make it a dilemma because you start with your own assumption: that descent people do not deserve Hell. Yes, with your assumption, the Bible is in error and is totally out of line with your assumption of justice.
    The Bible however, starts with the teaching that we are all sinners deserving death. Because this sounds unfair and harsh, many people are immediately turned off by it. Well, interestingly enough, we are all dying. So we all die anyway. But let us examine what we know about the reality of life to see if the Bible’s claims are valid or off base. We are all inherently selfish and self seeking. You have to teach a child to be kind and share. You do not have to teach a child how to be jealous, how to be selfish, how to lie. They figure it out on their own. Some might say the environment caused that. This is circular. What caused the environment to get bad. The bad people? Many people get offended (which is the wrong word which means cause one to stumble), many people get “insulted” when someone tells them that they are naturally sinful, bad. This is not to say that they are a bad, wicked person. Many people learn good behavior and achieve a fair level of morality and character. But they still have to learn it is the point. We come out with a leaning toward being selfish. Ask my 5 month old son. He shows already that he wants it his way or he raises his voice.
    But with your assumption, there will be over 100 billion people able to judge if they are good enough or not. You believe that there is a point to be good because your conscience tells you there is a point. You just maybe haven’t figured out what that point is yet. Be good for goodness sake? Santa Clause would agree. I kid of course. If someone has only done one felony, is that okay? If someone has done 5? How about one speeding ticket? How about 3 speeding tickets? How about drinking and driving? How about taking office supplies from work without asking? You survey 100 people, more people might say it is wrong but how many probably do it anyway. Are we qualified to judge ourselves?

    I respect people’s beliefs, but I have to point out that I fear that you have little foundation for being good and why it matters at all and how good is necessary. You might as well just make sure your good deeds out number your bad ones. Or maybe make sure your good deeds triple your bad ones just to be safe. Is it very subjective, isn’t?

    I am not condemning you for your beliefs. I think it is good you believe something. Keep asking questions. Research different ideas out there for yourself. Someone says the Bible is right, and someone says it is not. Do the research yourself and come to your own conclusion. The answer you gave back to me about the Sabbath worries me. It tells me that you just thought you had me beat, and you did not really want to hear an answer. Getting into it is how you make a good informed decision. You don’t want to be guilty of making an emotional response, do you? Do you just want to see religion fail? Religious people fail all the time which is different. I would hope that you would make a sound choice for yourself on whatever you choose to believe.

    About New Testament writers using different things of that day just to make their beliefs believable.
    Well, is there any credibility to that? Were there other religions of that day telling people just to believe and that your faith will produce good works? No, there wasn’t it to the best of my knowledge. That does not make NT Christianity true; however, it just makes it extremely unlikely that people just made it up from what was popular at that time. Paul was a Jew living in a Roman, Jewish world. His beliefs match neither of the sort. As said before, NT faith goes against how mankind thinks. That should be a red flag worth seeking out for yourself. Most other religions that I can think of require you to be good to get anything back. Christianity expects you to be good but says that your faith produces these good works in you. Interestingly enough, the Romans called Christians atheists because they only believed in one God while most pagans believed in many gods. So there is another point that differs Christianity from what was popular that day.

    But please, do not take my word for it. Do the research and see what you find. If you would be interested in hearing more, I would be glad to share more about why I think the Bible is true. But if you are convinced the Bible is not true and do not want to hear anymore, (I know you said that already, but just confirming), then we probably are running out of things to discuss.

    James

  31. MichaelFree
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    James,

    You said:

    “You make it a dilemma because you start with your own assumption: that descent people do not deserve Hell. Yes, with your assumption, the Bible is in error and is totally out of line with your assumption of justice”.

    Your assumption is that your interpretation of the Bible is the correct interpretation. Hillel the Elder, a contemporary of Jesus, said: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn”. Jesus said: “All things whatsoever that people should do to you do to them likewise, this is the law and the prophets”. Jesus also said: “The law and the prophets were until John the Baptist and since then the Kingdom of God is preached”, which I interpret as the True Golden Rule, which is the meaning of the Golden Rule, and there is a meaning, and it transcends from person to person.

    You might want to start all of your professions about the Bible with “decent and good people who are not Christians deserve to be tortured for eternity”, that way everyone who listens to you will know your nature right from the start. So don’t start with caressing them with Jesus’ good words, but just cut right to the chase, and include Romans 13 that says that governments of the world and the swords that they wield are ordained by God. When they ask if Hitler is included say of course, we take the Bible literally.

    You said:

    “We are all inherently selfish and self seeking. You have to teach a child to be kind and share. You do not have to teach a child how to be jealous, how to be selfish, how to lie. They figure it out on their own”.

    You also don’t have to teach a child to play, to have a good time, or to smile. I don’t know if you know this or not but the direction of morality first goes inward and then it goes outward, therefore children prefer not being abused rather being abused, just as adults prefer not being abused rather than being abused. The lesson on Earth is to treat other people the way that you want to be treated, which obviously includes not judging people as deserving of torture merely because of their chosen beliefs, or the beliefs that they were indoctrinated or born into. The “creator” designed us to want to be treated well in the world.

    You said:

    “many people get “insulted” when someone tells them that they are naturally sinful, bad”.

    Actually I view people as naturally good, because that is how they want to be treated by other people, and good is also how most people like their days to be amongst other people. Most people naturally don’t enjoy violence because it is abhorent.

    You said:

    “Be good for goodness sake?”

    Yeah, I agree with that statement minus the question mark. Don’t you prefer goodness over evil? Don’t you think most people prefer goodness over evil? What do you think is humanly preferable, a smile, or a frown, a joyous face, or one filled with tears; and this includes not only our own faces but also all the other faces that we see in life; which is humanly preferable?

    You said:

    “Santa Clause would agree”.

    You kid, but I don’t. To me Santa Clause is Satan Clause, a stipulation to lie to your children about the existence of Santa Clause, and you know who the father of lies is, Satan. Don’t lie to your children ever. It’s just more Pagan religious bs that pollutes the name of Jesus.

    You said:

    “Are we qualified to judge ourselves?”

    As long as you use the truth to do it you better believe it. How else are you going to change? What if you are a rapist or a slaveholder, is it better to judge yourself by truth or by what the bible says about rape and slavery? Richard can pull up some quotes from slavetraders in the past whose conscience told them that slavery was immoral but to alleviate their conscience they pointed to Bible quotes to justify slavery.

    You said:

    “I respect people’s beliefs, but I have to point out that I fear that you have little foundation for being good and why it matters at all and how good is necessary”.

    Only dogmatic religious nonsense would convince anyone of that statement. The foundation for being good is what we are born with, how the “creator” made us, good is how the vast majority of us want to be treated in this world. The key to life is treating other people the way that you want to be treated. It’s the main lesson of life along with finding joy and happiness.

    You said:

    “Do you just want to see religion fail?”

    No. I just want to see all the violence erased from your doctrine, and I suspect that’s coming.

  32. Posted May 15, 2015 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    The Bible however, starts with the teaching that we are all sinners deserving death. Because this sounds unfair and harsh, many people are immediately turned off by it. Well, interestingly enough, we are all dying. So we all die anyway. But let us examine what we know about the reality of life to see if the Bible’s claims are valid or off base. We are all inherently selfish and self seeking. You have to teach a child to be kind and share. You do not have to teach a child how to be jealous, how to be selfish, how to lie. They figure it out on their own. Some might say the environment caused that. This is circular. What caused the environment to get bad. The bad people? Many people get offended (which is the wrong word which means cause one to stumble), many people get “insulted” when someone tells them that they are naturally sinful, bad. This is not to say that they are a bad, wicked person. Many people learn good behavior and achieve a fair level of morality and character. But they still have to learn it is the point. We come out with a leaning toward being selfish. Ask my 5 month old son. He shows already that he wants it his way or he raises his voice.

    Hey there James,

    I am very glad that you are sharing what your religion has taught you. Let me offer an alternate point of view. As far as I can tell, you are identifying “selfishness” as the root of evil and immorality. I think you have it exactly backwards. Self-love is the root of all that is good. It is the root of all morality. There can be no “good” if there is no existence. Any being that does not love and care for itself would soon die, and certainly would have no basis to love others and care for their wellbeing. Does God love himself? Does a mother hate herself while loving her child?

    What is the essence of existence? Integrity. Let that sink in. It is no “mere coincidence” that integrity has both an ontological and a moral meaning. Morality is fundamentally ontological. If a self does not love itself it will have no existence, and certainly could not love another. And neither could it love another if it had no love for its own self. This is the root of all morality. I love myself, and when I recognize another as a “self” like unto my own self, I love that person too. I explain these ideas in a series of articles. Here are a couple that lay out the basic idea:

    The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality

    On Integrity as the Highest Value

  33. Posted May 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    You make it a dilemma because you start with your own assumption: that descent people do not deserve Hell. Yes, with your assumption, the Bible is in error and is totally out of line with your assumption of justice.
    The Bible however, starts with the teaching that we are all sinners deserving death. Because this sounds unfair and harsh, many people are immediately turned off by it.

    Hey there James,

    I would not say that it merely “sounds unfair and harsh.” The problem is that it is fundamentally irrational, unjust, and immoral to condemn all people as deserving of hell for the mere crime of existing.

    The idea that newborn babies “deserve” everlasting torment in hell strikes me as utterly insane. I think this is a point we should focus on, since it is the essence of Christianity.

    Great chatting!

    Richard

  34. Posted May 15, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    The Bible is a historical book and should be refuted historically not just theologically.

    Hey there James,

    Hasn’t that been done, in spades? I mean, the Bible begins with erroneous statements about creation, Adam and Eve, the flood, etc. Why should anyone believe any of it?

    Richard

  35. Posted May 15, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    You also don’t have to teach a child to play, to have a good time, or to smile. I don’t know if you know this or not but the direction of morality first goes inward and then it goes outward, therefore children prefer not being abused rather being abused, just as adults prefer not being abused rather than being abused. The lesson on Earth is to treat other people the way that you want to be treated, which obviously includes not judging people as deserving of torture merely because of their chosen beliefs, or the beliefs that they were indoctrinated or born into. The “creator” designed us to want to be treated well in the world.

    Very well stated Michael. Morality is intrinsic to what it means to be “human.” It is based on our evolved empathy. It is the Golden Rule. We teach our children by asking them “how would you feel if I did that to you?” Religion destroys the foundation of morality by denying our humanity. It says nothing is really right or wrong unless some imaginary gawd said so. And so it denies morality. Nothing could be more ironic.

  36. MichaelFree
    Posted May 15, 2015 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “Religion destroys the foundation of morality by denying our humanity. It says nothing is really right or wrong unless some imaginary gawd said so. And so it denies morality. Nothing could be more ironic”.

    I feel sadness when I hear their doctrine of morality not existing in the world. It’s a sad reality distorting doctrine. I mean come on, what do human beings prefer, not only for themselves but also to be around, smiling and joyous faces, or frowns and streams of tears, wellness, or pain? It’s just too much.

  37. Gnade
    Posted May 16, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The true God must offer correction in order
    to offer those who have rebelled against Him the chance to repent.

    Man of himself can’t return to God. Without His teaching us we would distance ourself further and further from Him.

    We need a teacher who is prepared to correct us. In the God who reveals Himself in the holy Bible we have a holy, loving and trustworthy teacher of truth.

    False thinking needs to be pointed out. When this is done wisely it’s an act of love. The Lord’s correction when rightly received offers man hope.

  38. MichaelFree
    Posted May 16, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Gnade,

    I’ll tell you the teaching that I have learned is to keep one step ahead of myself and one step ahead of potential eventualities in the world in order to correct myself before I speak or before I do something that affects other people in the world. In other words, works, true and peaceful works.

    Take care.

  39. Gnade
    Posted May 16, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Michael, if man is to behave honorably he must give the glory
    for any good things he says or does to the Author of life.
    If he doesn’t do this, he reveals himself as an unthankful person.

  40. MichaelFree
    Posted May 16, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Gnade,

    I’m thankful for life. I’m thankful for looking for the meaning to the Golden Rule before I ever read the Gospels. I’ve looked for a righteous path for myself for a long time. I haven’t been perfect in many things but it seems I’ve always been appalled at physical violence.

    The Gospels have a problem. They have been used to kill people. People have killed their children while trying to exorcise “demons” from them. People have killed themselves because of the Gospel doctrine of a place called “hell”. People who proclaim faith in Jesus have murdered and have no problem with it. There is too much blood on that document for anyone to save it. I don’t trust the Gospels one bit. I don’t trust whoever wrote them. I don’t trust the whole Gospel message. There is some good lessons to learn from it, but along with that comes lots of pain, if one is paying attention, and if one cares about the well-being of each and every person in the world.

  41. MichaelFree
    Posted May 17, 2015 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    Gnade,

    The bogeyman (deity aka demon) was vanquished in my family before I was born. I was raised an atheist. I had no concept of any of this kind of religious stuff and thought nothing about it until just the last several years. Demons and a place called hell didn’t exist.

    Your religion is literally demonic because it professes a belief in and a fear of demons.

    Your religion is literally hellish because it professes a belief in and a fear of hell.

    Atheism doesn’t do that. The Golden Rule and the Spirit of goodness is the Most High to the truly righteous atheist who enjoys life and who enjoys goodness and who seeks out a righteous path. That’s the truth. There is nothing evil in it. It’s a lot more pure than not assuming your actual space and dominion in life and instead bowing down to a demon out of fear while being sweet-talked to by the demon. That’s what your God is: Lucifer, good and evil, not just goodness. I did not read the Gospels to find evil, I read them to find good, I read them to find a righteous path for myself in life, and I did, but I also found a doctrine of demons and hell and unrighteous hate and fear and it is not good. This is the truth and any “God” that professes to be “the truth” has to accept it and has to know that it is the best that I can do.

    That’s the pain your book has caused.

    I recently got back into doing this after a twenty year hiatus. It gives me pure joy to participate in this. I’m thankful to the Creator of the Universe for my life and my joy and for letting me vanquish demons and hell and unrighteous hate and fear to the best of my ability. Illuminating wisdom, good thoughts, good words, and good deeds.

    Wikipedia gold, without a doubt:

    “Street skateboarding is a style of skateboarding that focuses on tricks and transitions in public places. Street skateboarders skate in urban streets, plazas or industrial areas, making use of park benches and picnic tables, guard rails and handrails, planter boxes, bins, stairs, retaining walls and other street furniture not purpose-built for skateboarding.[1] Competition street skateboarding is conducted in purpose-built skateparks designed to replicate real-world urban environments featuring purpose built benches, stairs and rails alongside traditional skatepark elements like vert ramps and funboxes”.

    Life is good. Good is my God. It’s not a person. It’s a Spirit. And there ain’t no demons or hell or unrighteous hate or fear in goodness.

  42. MichaelFree
    Posted May 17, 2015 at 12:48 am | Permalink

    Gnade,

    And I do still remember my righteous interpretation of the Gospels where Jesus isn’t a demon and where the words “demon” and “hell” brought on a smile because demons are our own bad choices and our own unresolved guilt and hell is a condition that we’re not supposed to bring to Heaven with us when we pass.

  43. bibelverse
    Posted May 17, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Michael, I understand what you teach, but it is incorrect in virtually every point you make.

    For example, it’s an error to regard a single attribute like goodess as your God, because God is not only Spirit, as you correctly teach, but a personal teacher.

    He has personhood that man can experience. This personhood of God can be discovered best initially in Jesus, who was a real historical person. Before Jesus came to earth He was eternal God. Truly as He witnesses He and the Father are one!

    Lucifer is now Satan, for he has been renamed!
    Many secret societies worship Satan who they refer to as Lucifer. Satan claims to be a bearer of light, but he is a liar and the father of lies. Satan, a rebellious angel, is not the LORD of the holy Bible, for the LORD is sinless.

    Hell is a place somewhere below the surface of the earth, whereas heaven is a place where the LORD has His throne.

    Josef Sefton

  44. James
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Hello Richard and Michael,

    Hope you had a good weekend. My weekend was quite busy. I am looking forward to replying and commenting more thoroughly when I have adequate time. But at the same time, it would help me, Richard, if you would bullet point your cosmology. It is a big question to be sure. I will comparmentalize it for you to give an idea of what I am looking for.
    Worldview, origin of earth and cosmos, origin of life, morality (which you may have answered elsewhere)
    Origin of intelligence and natural laws in the universe, origin of reproduction

    I would like to point out now that Richard and Michael seem to have different world views, which is okay. The one point you guys agree on is your view on the Bible. It reminds me of the verse in the Bible. Herod and Pilate did not get along before Jesus’ crucifixion. It says in the Bible that Herod and Pilate became friends afterward.
    Here is my point. Richard and Michael, you disagree probably about much regarding big picture questions. But yet, because you agree on the Bible, you find yourselves in agreement. If the Bible is just a man made up book, why would such a book align two diggerent people such as yourselves? No one is joining up on other pagan and/or ancient texts. This is just an observation. And my observations would be most confirmed by hearing your cosmology Richard.

    Also, my worldview says that if people are rejecting the Bible, they are in spiritual error and will ultimately make wrong and illogical assumptions, fallicies, and conclusions. Many times, I find that people who doubt the Bible and or call themselves atheists and who boast about their superior logic and reason, they all at some point break their own principles they attack those who believe and accept the Bible.

    Looking forward to more,
    James

  45. bibelverse
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Truly the LORD reveals Himself in the holy Bible.

    In order to learn what the truth is it is vital to allow the LORD to inform us what He thinks.

    Ezekiel 33:11 King James Version (KJV)

    Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

    The wicked are the ungodly. The Lord GOD is truly desirous to help the ungodly, but they must be willingly to listen to what He says!

  46. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Hey Richard,

    I said:
    The Bible is a historical book and should be refuted historically not just theologically.

    Then you replied:
    Hasn’t that been done, in spades? I mean, the Bible begins with erroneous statements about creation, Adam and Eve, the flood, etc. Why should anyone believe any of it?

    I would be curious to know what “evidence” you have that the creation account in Genesis is wrong, a myth, made up man made story etc.
    If your main conclusion is that the Genesis creation account is in error because it disagrees with science theory, then do you have proof that “scientific theory” is correct? This is one reason why knowing your cosmology would be helpful.

    All you did was propose a question. Just proposing a question does not refute anything by the way.

    James

  47. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Hey Richard,

    You said:
    The idea that newborn babies “deserve” everlasting torment in hell strikes me as utterly insane. I think this is a point we should focus on, since it is the essence of Christianity.

    Many Christians believe in the doctrine of the “age of accountability” which basically teaches that children who have not yet reached the age to understand the gospel message and make a decision to choose Christ are safe. The verse that this doctrine is based off of is 2 Samuel 12:23, “But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

    David had a belief that he would go to his dead son one day. Of course, you would regard this as nothing but a superstition of primitive man. But I cannot argue the Bible from your presuppositions. David was called a man after God’s own heart, not because he was perfect or always a good man, he committed many sins including conspiracy to murder and adultery. But he sought God’s forgiveness and was willing to admit his sin. God can work with that. As I have said before, God cannot work with a moral person who does not want to admit that he has imperfections worth punishment. I too believe in the justice of God, and that He is better qualified in making decisions than I am. The Bible does not say specifically, but it does say that every knee will bow and confess that Jesus Christi is Lord. Does this mean there will be a second chance for those who never had a chance to hear the gospel? Does this mean that people who rejected the gospel during this life will be made to bow before God and may or may not get a second chance? I do not know for sure. It is interesting to think about though.

    So while this does not fully satisfy your distorted view of God’s justice, it does retort this judgement you made against God.

  48. MichaelFree
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    James,

    Please don’t compare me to Herod of Pilate, both of whom were murderers.

    Murder is objectively immoral.

    You said:

    “Many Christians believe in the doctrine of the “age of accountability” which basically teaches that children who have not yet reached the age to understand the gospel message and make a decision to choose Christ are safe”.

    Just so we understand each other, your religion would have children who have reached an appropriate age to understand just one of many Gospel interpretations, ought to choose “Jesus” over their parents, and in their mind send their parents to hell, all for Jesus’ love, and to save their own self out of fear of the demon.

    I don’t know if you ever test your doctrines in the real world to gauge their morality, but I think it would be a good idea, and something that should be done before contemplating the origins of the Universe.

    You know full well that human beings generally prefer happiness over sadness, wellness over pain, good times over bad times, and that things like rape, murder, and slavery are all objectively immoral, yet you deny this inherent truth while professing a literal belief in two first humans that lived in a garden and were tempted by a talking snake.

    Good luck with that.

    Take care.

  49. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Hello,

    Richard said,
    Morality is intrinsic to what it means to be “human.” It is based on our evolved empathy. It is the Golden Rule. We teach our children by asking them “how would you feel if I did that to you?” Religion destroys the foundation of morality by denying our humanity. It says nothing is really right or wrong unless some imaginary gawd said so. And so it denies morality. Nothing could be more ironic.

    For one thing, Christianity does not teach that something can only be right or wrong unless some deity said it. Actually Paul said that “For when the nations, who do not have the Law, do by nature the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and the thoughts between one another accusing or even excusing one another” Romans 2:14-15 Paul was teaching that all men are without excuse to know that there is a right and wrong and that even people who had not received God’s law, the Torah, still had a concept of right and wrong. Societies still come up with governing rules and laws based on intrinsic morality that is written on our consciences.

    So we agree that morality is intrinsic. But there is a difference here to note. My worldview and faith includes a source for this intrinsic morality. Your worldview sounds like all it has a realization that morality is objective and intrinsic. Your other posting about love and morality only has some circular gobbledygook. It only recognizes that morality and our need to love and self love is intrinsic.

    Just saying that:
    “Morality is intrinsic to what it means to be “human.”

    Does not really prove or provide a natural explanation for this reality. All you have done is recognized that morality is intrinsic. You did not successfully provide a basis or explanation.

    You said,
    Morality is intrinsic… It is based on our evolved empathy.

    Can you elaborate on this? Are you implying somehow humans developed a sense of morality and empathy from animals? How did this happen? What evidence is there of this happening if this is what you meant? This does not explain where morality comes from. This only pushes the question back farther. Where did morality come from within the animal kingdom?
    Or are you implying that morality has always just existed with humans and over time morality has evolved as humans continue to evolve? Either way, this does not provide a source of morality and why it is intrinsic to begin with. It also does not match reality. You can better convince me that human intrinsic morality is evolving when our schools are growing and our prisons are shrinking. Rather, the opposite is true. Your worldview is disconnected with morality.

    Richard said:
    Let me offer an alternate point of view. As far as I can tell, you are identifying “selfishness” as the root of evil and immorality. I think you have it exactly backwards. Self-love is the root of all that is good. It is the root of all morality. There can be no “good” if there is no existence. Any being that does not love and care for itself would soon die, and certainly would have no basis to love others and care for their wellbeing. Does God love himself? Does a mother hate herself while loving her child?

    Nothing you said above refuted what I said about selfishness being the root of evil and immorality. Selfishness is still intrinsic within each and every one of us. It goes against modern psychology which teaches that man is basically good. Modern ideas are wrong sometimes. But everything I said about kids learning how to lie on their own and seek what they selfishly want still stands to be corrected. Making the observation that people intrinsically love themselves does not really help your case at all. One, it does provide an explanation of why we love ourselves. Also, your worldview makes it sound like that to exist means you love yourself and if you do not love yourself, you cannot exist. I know lots of people that struggle with self acceptance and self esteem. They exist. Have you ever had a daughter or been around teenage girls? I might say that one cannot live a healthy, vibrant love filled life if they do not love themselves. Then you jump to define that loving yourself translates to taking care of yourself. This is only one action or result of loving yourself.
    If self love is such an intrinsic part of being human, then why do so many humans get it wrong? My worldview provides an explanation and yours does not. My worldview says that love and morality is intrinsic and comes from its creator. We were created that way. My worldview also says that we have a fallen sinful nature. So the objective intrinsic sense of right and wrong and love and also the struggle of the human race to live out what is known to them is all explained. Your worldview strongly suggests that our intrinsic sense of morality and love should be instinctive and function automatically with us like it does in the animal kingdom (evolution). But yet, somehow we managed to have a freewill that lives beyond instinctive choices.

    Richard said:
    What is the essence of existence? Integrity. Let that sink in. It is no “mere coincidence” that integrity has both an ontological and a moral meaning. Morality is fundamentally ontological. If a self does not love itself it will have no existence, and certainly could not love another. And neither could it love another if it had no love for its own self. This is the root of all morality. I love myself, and when I recognize another as a “self” like unto my own self, I love that person too.

    I agree that integrity is an important quality. But this is not an explanation to where integrity came from. If society created integrity, then we can change it. We agree that a quality like integrity transcends culture. Everything else you said here is either circular nonsense or just plain nonsense. You said, “I love myself, and when I recognize as a self like unto my own self, I love that person too.” Does this mean if a person is not like you, your worldview says that you do not have to love that person? Sounds like the root of your morality has some explaining to do and holes in its roots.

    Richard and Michael agree to this:
    You also don’t have to teach a child to play, to have a good time, or to smile. I don’t know if you know this or not but the direction of morality first goes inward and then it goes outward, therefore children prefer not being abused rather being abused, just as adults prefer not being abused rather than being abused. The lesson on Earth is to treat other people the way that you want to be treated, which obviously includes not judging people as deserving of torture merely because of their chosen beliefs, or the beliefs that they were indoctrinated or born into. The “creator” designed us to want to be treated well in the world.

    This does not refute anything I said about selfishness being intrinsic within all of us. The facts that we like to play, have fun, be treated fairly, and nicely are all good observations. But the motives and level of purity with those motives behind our seeking these good things varies from person to person. My nieces (who love me deary, love to play with me, love to run to me when they see me), have a very self centered sense of love. It is age appropriate for how old they are, but however, it is still self seeking and at the root “me centered.” The word is selfish. If food comes along, they drop me. If I do not play or “do it again,” like how they want me to, they will move on. When kids play with each other, they do seek playing on their own along with smiling and laughing, but they still fight, disagree, want to be the boss, etc. So your observations mean very little for this discussion and do make a rebuttal at all.

    James

  50. Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree that integrity is an important quality. But this is not an explanation to where integrity came from. If society created integrity, then we can change it.

    Hey there James,

    Your comment indicates you have no concept of the ontological meaning of “integrity.” It does not “come from” someplace other than the thing itself and it is not something that can be changed. It is the state of being whole, complete, undamaged. It is what we mean when we say “A is A.” For example, a square with a missing side is not a square because it’s integrity has been damaged.

    We agree that a quality like integrity transcends culture. Everything else you said here is either circular nonsense or just plain nonsense. You said, “I love myself, and when I recognize as a self like unto my own self, I love that person too.” Does this mean if a person is not like you, your worldview says that you do not have to love that person? Sounds like the root of your morality has some explaining to do and holes in its roots.

    Its curious you don’t recognize such a simple fact. When people don’t recognized others as a self like unto their own self, they can easily dehumanize them and treat them as animals that can be slaughtered or things that can be destroyed. Morality is based fundamentally on the Golden Rule which itself is founded upon putting yourself in the place of the other. You can’t do that if you cannot identify with the other as a self like unto your own self.

    The essence of love is unity. Even the Bible recognizes this simple truth when it speaks of being united in love.

    Love begins with a love for self. First my own self, and then myself extended to those I love. And ultimately, when the eyes are open to see all are equal, it becomes a universal love. That is the only possible root of morality. As far as I can tell, you have not written a word contradicting that point.

    Richard

  51. Posted May 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Many Christians believe in the doctrine of the “age of accountability” which basically teaches that children who have not yet reached the age to understand the gospel message and make a decision to choose Christ are safe.

    If that’s true, then we should conceive and kill as many babies as possible. That way, every one of them will go to heaven, whereas if we let them live many would grow to be unrepentant sinners and suffer eternally in hell. Therefore, abortionists will get people into heaven that God would have condemned to hell had they been allowed to live. Your doctrine is absurd, ludicrous, and grotesque. No true God could invent such a wicked immoral system of “salvation.”

  52. Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    David had a belief that he would go to his dead son one day.

    No he didn’t! He had a belief that he would go to sheol (the grave) just like his son. All David was saying was that his son would not come back to life, but that he would go to the grave like his son. There is no evidence that David had any belief in an afterlife. Hans Kung argued that none of the patriarchs believed in an afterlife. And his case was strong because there are very few hints of an afterlife in a few of the very late books such as Daniel, but even those can be debated. And the Sadducees denied an afterlife.

    People who try to invent a doctrine of “age of accountability” from that one obscured verse prove nothing but how desperate they are to avoid an obviously abominable doctrine. The problem, of course, is that it doesn’t really help at all. Or what are we supposed to think? A child who commits his first sin is justly condemned to eternal torment, whereas if he had died a minute earlier he would have deserved eternal life in heaven? It’s madness I tell. All madness!

  53. bibelverse
    Posted May 18, 2015 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    Richard, David had an assurance that he would be blessed with the gift of eternal life. (See Psalm 23:5-6)

    As David was looking forward to dwelling in God’s presence (His House) forever, it’s very clear that he believed in eternal life.

    Richard, everyone who loves God wholeheartedly believes in eternal life, for that is what the LORD promises. (See Psalm 1)

    Josef Sefton

  54. Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Richard, David had an assurance that he would be blessed with the gift of eternal life. (See Psalm 23:5-6)

    As David was looking forward to dwelling in God’s presence (His House) forever, it’s very clear that he believed in eternal life.

    Sorry, but that’s simply not true. There is no indication that the word “forever” in that context refers to anything other than David’s natural life. Look at what it says!

    Psalm 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

    This is common knowledge to people who study the Bible. The Christian concept of salvation and “eternal life” is almost, if not entirely, missing from the Old Testament.

  55. James
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    Hello there Richard,

    You said
    Your comment indicates you have no concept of the ontological meaning of “integrity.” It does not “come from” someplace other than the thing itself and it is not something that can be changed. It is the state of being whole, complete, undamaged. It is what we mean when we say “A is A.” For example, a square with a missing side is not a square because it’s integrity has been damaged.

    So is your whole premise something is A because it is A and no further explanation is required or necessary? I get that if something happens to A that it is no longer A and that A has lost its integrity. But I do not see how this is even a worldview.

    You said,
    Love begins with a love for self. First my own self, and then myself extended to those I love. And ultimately, when the eyes are open to see all are equal, it becomes a universal love. That is the only possible root of morality. As far as I can tell, you have not written a word contradicting that point.

    Love is the fulfillment of the law, even the Bible teaches that. Jesus summarized OT law as loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. I get that. So obviously natural man struggles with achieving this type of living, loving self and others. So does your worldview have a solution for man and an explanation for why mankind struggles to love?
    I am not if describing love and morality in an ontological sense like an absolute object “square.” Morality is can only be objective if there is an objective plum line. If there is no objective plum line, then morality also exists as it is perceived. It becomes subjective. So if two different people with two different ideas of what is right and wrong are having a discussion, what happens? One could be wrong, both could be wrong, but both cannot be right if morality is objective.
    All you have done is said that love is the root of morality. okay, now what? Put some meat on it. All you have is an abstract concept. Without concrete, tangible markers, applications, concrete values, your statement is subject to interpretation and application of the observer.

    You said regarding the age of accountability in the Bible,
    If that’s true, then we should conceive and kill as many babies as possible. That way, every one of them will go to heaven, whereas if we let them live many would grow to be unrepentant sinners and suffer eternally in hell. Therefore, abortionists will get people into heaven that God would have condemned to hell had they been allowed to live. Your doctrine is absurd, ludicrous, and grotesque. No true God could invent such a wicked immoral system of “salvation.”

    First off, your emotional, far left over reaction response is noted. But let me return the favor. According to your worldview (which I have to assume still to some extant), the entire human race would be doing itself a favor for killing ourselves now. If this world of working for the man, living with pain, suffering, disease is all there is, everything is vanity.

    You see, the very problems you hurl and ask the Bible to deal with are the same problems in your own worldview. Life only has meaning if it was created for a purpose. An ontological purpose does not create meaning. It only recognizes its obvious existence.

    James

  56. Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    So is your whole premise something is A because it is A and no further explanation is required or necessary? I get that if something happens to A that it is no longer A and that A has lost its integrity. But I do not see how this is even a worldview.

    Hey there James,

    I don’t understand your continued confusion. I never said anything about “no further explanation is required or necessary.” My whole point is that the word INTEGRITY has both an ontological and a moral meaning, and this is no “mere coincidence.” It is based on the fundamentally ontological nature of morality:

    Integrity:
    1) The state of being whole, undivided, perfect in composition; unity, wholeness, completeness.
    2) The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.

    Integrity of being is health and wholeness, life and goodness. Nurturing yourself is maintaining your ontological integrity. It is self-love. It is the root of all that is good, true, and moral. Even the Bible makes note of this fact:

    Ephesians 5:28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it …

    I explain the connection between integrity, ontology, and morality in my article On Integrity as the Highest Value.

  57. Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Love is the fulfillment of the law, even the Bible teaches that. Jesus summarized OT law as loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself. I get that. So obviously natural man struggles with achieving this type of living, loving self and others. So does your worldview have a solution for man and an explanation for why mankind struggles to love?

    When I was a Christian, I was never happy with the idea that “love is the fulfillment of the law” because the law was full of crap that had nothing to do with love. Sure, it’s a great soundbite, but it makes no sense when viewed in light of the “law” presented in the OT, like “kill anyone who picks up sticks on the Sabbath.” There’s a huge disconnect here.

    The reason for the “struggle” is obvious. We are born ignorant, weak, fearful. We struggle and compete to survive. As our knowledge, health, and self-love grow, so we learn to see all sentient beings as fundamentally identical to our own selves. And so our worldview expands to include all sentient beings and we become truly moral. From this worldview, nothing is more natural than love. See my article The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality.

  58. Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I am not if describing love and morality in an ontological sense like an absolute object “square.” Morality is can only be objective if there is an objective plum line. If there is no objective plum line, then morality also exists as it is perceived. It becomes subjective. So if two different people with two different ideas of what is right and wrong are having a discussion, what happens? One could be wrong, both could be wrong, but both cannot be right if morality is objective.

    Morality is objective by definition. I explain this in detail in my article Morality is Objective, Like a Pair of Scales: Another Fatal Flaw in Dr. Craig’s Moral Argument for God.

    If people differ, the use the standards of fairness, reason, logic, justice, etc. to settle the dispute.

  59. Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    You said regarding the age of accountability in the Bible,

    If that’s true, then we should conceive and kill as many babies as possible. That way, every one of them will go to heaven, whereas if we let them live many would grow to be unrepentant sinners and suffer eternally in hell. Therefore, abortionists will get people into heaven that God would have condemned to hell had they been allowed to live. Your doctrine is absurd, ludicrous, and grotesque. No true God could invent such a wicked immoral system of “salvation.”

    First off, your emotional, far left over reaction response is noted. But let me return the favor. According to your worldview (which I have to assume still to some extant), the entire human race would be doing itself a favor for killing ourselves now. If this world of working for the man, living with pain, suffering, disease is all there is, everything is vanity.

    The doctrine of hell is perverse. There was nothing “far left” in my reaction and it is right to be emotional when perversity is presented as morality, especially when that perversity has led to great suffering and death over the span of millennia.

    Your assertion that my “worldview” is meaningless is false. The fact that I don’t know if there is any “ultimate” meaning to life does not mean there is none, and it does not mean I should kill myself. Your assertion that your demon-gawd is the only thing that could give meaning to life is the true absurdity. What is the meaning for the billions of souls he created for his eternal barbecue of human flesh?

  60. Posted May 19, 2015 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    You see, the very problems you hurl and ask the Bible to deal with are the same problems in your own worldview. Life only has meaning if it was created for a purpose. An ontological purpose does not create meaning. It only recognizes its obvious existence.

    What is the purpose of God? Was he created by some other God for a purpose? If not, what is the meaning of his existence? Ultimately, meaning can only come from something that is an end in itself, not created for any other purpose than being. If we see our life in this world as an end in itself, it has just as much meaning as any other life that is an end in itself.

  61. Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink
    Morality is intrinsic… It is based on our evolved empathy.

    Can you elaborate on this? Are you implying somehow humans developed a sense of morality and empathy from animals? How did this happen? What evidence is there of this happening if this is what you meant? This does not explain where morality comes from. This only pushes the question back farther. Where did morality come from within the animal kingdom?

    Humans ARE animals! Moral behavior is seen in many species other than human. Watch this video: Franz de Waal: Moral Behavior in Animals

    How did it happen? It’s natural. A species that failed to love itself and seek its own welfare would quickly be eliminated by natural selection.

    It does not push the question further back. It reveals the foundation of morality as self-love that evolved through natural selection. When self-love is coupled with our innate empathy and rationality, we come to understand the philosophical principles of morality such as the Golden Rule, which is a symmetry principle not unlike those which give rise to natural laws. I explained all this in my article: The Logic of Love: A Natural Theory of Morality.

  62. MichaelFree
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If one applies human morality to animal behavior then the inevitable consequence is that many animals’ behavior will be viewed as immoral, which is a big lie. Animals do their job. It’s human beings that have a choice. Our nature is to have a choice, to differentiate. While it is interesting to see animals acting in helpful ways towards other animals this by no means denigrates the nature of a specific animal that is a predator by nature, a killer.

    Human beings seek comfort in what can be a harsh environment filled with deadly animals and human beings that will many times do whatever it takes to have comfort for themselves and for their family, their tribe, at the expense of others. It’s a pleasure to overcome this nature and to find our higher selves that sees the Earth as perfect, the animals as perfect, and all human beings as worthy of true equality and comfort, and to work towards this grand goal, in oneness.

    If seeking comfort for ourselves is self-love, then I can understand this love stuff, but no one will be able to convince me that the guy in Iran that has lived in a dump for fifty or sixty years and hasn’t bathed in just as long, who smokes animal dung in a pipe, somehow doesn’t love himself because he doesn’t take care of his health, that his welfare or taking care of his health is somehow not up-to-spec, because I tell you now he is comfortable and doesn’t bother anybody. He minds his own business. He does his job.

  63. Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    If one applies human morality to animal behavior then the inevitable consequence is that many animals’ behavior will be viewed as immoral, which is a big lie.

    Absolutely correct. Human morality is based on the fact that we have the mental faculties required for moral agency, namely self-awareness, rationality, and language. Other animals don’t have these faculties and so they are not moral agents. Though the are moral subjects, because they are sentient and able to suffer.

  64. Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    If seeking comfort for ourselves is self-love, then I can understand this love stuff,

    There is a lot more to being human than mere comfort and so love, both of self and others, is much more than merely seeking comfort.

    but no one will be able to convince me that the guy in Iran that has lived in a dump for fifty or sixty years and hasn’t bathed in just as long, who smokes animal dung in a pipe, somehow doesn’t love himself because he doesn’t take care of his health, that his welfare or taking care of his health is somehow not up-to-spec, because I tell you now he is comfortable and doesn’t bother anybody. He minds his own business. He does his job.

    Why would you use that example if you did not think it was “not up to spec” and unloving? Would you wish that condition on anyone? Do you really think he is living up to his potential as a human? Can you see no difference between a vibrant life and a degraded life? How much good can he do in that condition, for himself or others?

  65. James
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    So where did the human faculties come from that enable us to understand morality?

    James

  66. Posted May 19, 2015 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    So where did the human faculties come from that enable us to understand morality?

    The faculties required to understand morality are simply language, rationality, and self-awareness. Those faculties are all products of the brain which itself is the product of evolution.

  67. MichaelFree
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said, regarding animals:

    “Though the are moral subjects, because they are sentient and able to suffer”.

    That’s exactly correct, but if one takes their place on Earth we realize that it is also appropriate to kill and eat animals for our nourishment. And for some people it is not appropriate, which is fine. Animals are moral subjects: wild animals we shouldn’t cage and gawk at, our animal companions we shouldn’t hit and abuse, and the animals that we hunt or raise to eat, they should be hunted, raised, and slaughtered with dignity.

    You said, regarding the guy in Iran:

    “Why would you use that example if you did not think it was “not up to spec” and unloving?”

    Actually it is much of society that would have me think that his choice of living arrangements is not up to spec and that somehow he doesn’t love himself. I’m pointing out their fallacy. I used that example to bring out false judgment.

    “Would you wish that condition on anyone?”

    I would, for him personally, that his choice of living arrangements be honored, and he be honored.

    “Do you really think he is living up to his potential as a human?”

    Yes. Are you going to be a human potential judge? I’m not. What a headache that would be. We’re all different in many ways and yet the same in regard to key points of moral judgment.

    “Can you see no difference between a vibrant life and a degraded life?”

    It is you Richard who doesn’t see his life as vibrant and instead see it as degraded! Outside that dump is a society with all the comforts of modern life and yet he chooses to live in a dump, and it’s incredibly interesting.

    “How much good can he do in that condition, for himself or others?”

    It is you that thinks he is not doing any good! I know more than a few hermits in life, who mind their own business, and who truly wouldn’t want any help from other people in life, and yet they treat other people with dignity by not butting in to their business and by not committing crimes against them. The guy at the dump is not a criminal Richard. He’s a human being. There is nothing wrong with him.

    Your judgments are no different than Gnade criticizing psychedelic drugs or rock and roll. It’s a recipe for seeing conflict where there is actually peace.

  68. Posted May 19, 2015 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    “Do you really think he is living up to his potential as a human?”

    Yes. Are you going to be a human potential judge? I’m not. What a headache that would be. We’re all different in many ways and yet the same in regard to key points of moral judgment.

    Your answer is inconsistent because you made a judgment when you answered “yes.”

    It is true we are different, but that doesn’t mean that all differences are good. For example, it is not kind to let a mentally ill person harm themselves.

    “Can you see no difference between a vibrant life and a degraded life?”

    It is you Richard who doesn’t see his life as vibrant and instead see it as degraded! Outside that dump is a society with all the comforts of modern life and yet he chooses to live in a dump, and it’s incredibly interesting.

    Not true. I made no judgment. I merely asked questions. He may be living in the dump because it makes him happy, or he may be there because he was abused and is crying out for help. I made no judgment of the reasons. But it does seem clear you painted that picture to evoke judgments so you could judge me for the crime of judging.

    Your judgments are no different than Gnade criticizing psychedelic drugs or rock and roll. It’s a recipe for seeing conflict where there is actually peace.

    Now you’re just being rude.

  69. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    Wow, house keeping. Comments and sub conversations will probably run wild here, and often. We will both probably miss each other’s questions at times and have difficulty climbing up the comment ladder to find missed ones. So I apologize if I have missed some of your questions and have not commented on things that you would like to hear responses on as well. How do you indent people’s comments that you are responding to in your replies? I tried hitting tab and it just takes me to the top of the web page. I noticed it does make it easier to see what is the comment and what is the reply though.

    You asked:
    What is the meaning for the billions of souls he created for his eternal barbecue of human flesh?

    This is a good question, sort of. It is not the way I would have asked it. But I am copying it here to keep it in the loop. I will answer it later.

    You said:
    Human morality is based on the fact that we have the mental faculties required for moral agency, namely self-awareness, rationality, and language. Other animals don’t have these faculties and so they are not moral agents. Though they are moral subjects, because they are sentient and able to suffer.

    The faculties required to understand morality are simply language, rationality, and self-awareness. Those faculties are all products of the brain which itself is the product of evolution.

    I have trouble believing that someone as smart as yourself can accept the theory of evolution. While there is natural selection and speciation, an animal’s existing self love does not make it evolve. No matter how much an ape loves itself, it will not over time evolve into a human. Actually, the Bible’s creation account represents the evidence we see in reality much better than the theory of evolution. Animals reproduce after their own kind, family species. I also will not fall for the bait and switch trap. I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time. But we have no evidence of such changes happening across different animal classes. We do see speciation in animal families, like cats, canines, apes, bears, individual bird species etc. But that is all we have ever seen. You can make dead fossils tell you what you want them too, but we do not have the fossil record that we would expect to find if the theory of evolution were true. The physical evidence that we do have struggles to allow the time necessary for evolution as well.

    I am good at opening up a can of worms, arn’t I?

    James

  70. Posted May 19, 2015 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I have trouble believing that someone as smart as yourself can accept the theory of evolution.

    Hey there James,

    I’m stunned that anyone familiar with the evidence could doubt the fact of evolution. I’m guessing you’ve never studied it. Have you ever read a book written by an evolutionary scientist explaining the evidence? What do you think of the DNA evidence that demonstrates common descent? What about the fossil record? What about the phylogenetic tree of life?

    While there is natural selection and speciation, an animal’s existing self love does not make it evolve. No matter how much an ape loves itself, it will not over time evolve into a human.

    Your comment makes no sense to me. I didn’t say that self-love causes evolution. What I said was that a lack of self-love would cause a species to quickly go extinct. The instinct to survive is the most primal of all.

    Actually, the Bible’s creation account represents the evidence we see in reality much better than the theory of evolution.

    I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to be rude, but your comment is ludicrous beyond description. The Biblical account is false in almost every specific. The earth is not young, the sun was not made four days after the earth, plants did not precede fish, etc., etc. etc. And besides that, Genesis 2 is entirely contrary to Genesis 1. No serious, informed thinker could say what you have said. It’s no less absurd than asserting the earth is flat and is under a dome (also taught in the Bible).

    Animals reproduce after their own kind, family species. I also will not fall for the bait and switch trap. I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time. But we have no evidence of such changes happening across different animal classes. We do see speciation in animal families, like cats, canines, apes, bears, individual bird species etc. But that is all we have ever seen. You can make dead fossils tell you what you want them too, but we do not have the fossil record that we would expect to find if the theory of evolution were true. The physical evidence that we do have struggles to allow the time necessary for evolution as well.

    Your comments are a mass of confusion. On the one hand, you are using the word “kind” to mean Species (an interbreeding group) whereas on the other hand you are using it to designate a Family, like Dogs, (Canine, family Canidae) which includes about 34 different species of foxes, wolves, jackals, and other members of the dog family. Do you not understand that humans are primates, classed as a species of Great Apes? Does that mean you have no problem with us evolving from previous species of Great Ape?

    This kind of ignorant confusion is the primary characteristic of corrupt creationist propaganda.

    All the best,

    Richard

  71. bibelverse
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    What does the word forever mean? Forever means forever!

    Richard, David was aware that his earthly life was temporal, but he understood that the LORD is from eternity to eternity, so when a true believer dies, as David did, their soul returns to Their Maker.

    Christ’s victory on the cross won a victory over death, so that all true believers who lived prior to His atoning sacrifice and resurrection are also blessed with the gift of eternal life.

    True believers are not disadvantaged because they lived prior to the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, for irrespective of when a man is born, if God blessed him with new life and he lived faithfully before Him he will inherit eternal life.

    David did sin grieviously at times, but he was a man after God’s heart. Truly he will dwell in the house of the LORD forever!

  72. Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    What does the word forever mean? Forever means forever!

    Not true. The Bible was not written in English. The Hebrew word is olam and it does not mean “forever” in the sense of “eternal.” This is common knowledge to serious students of the Bible. Here is a good explanation from Messianic Jew Dr. Fruchtenbaum (link)

    The simple, basic truth is that Classical Hebrew, the Hebrew of the Old Testament Scriptures, has no term that carries the concept of “eternity.” There are phrases that carry this concept, such as “without end,” but there is not a single word that carries the concept of eternity as there is in English.

    To focus on the meaning of the term for ever, here are some things to be kept in mind.

    First, the Hebrew word is olam. The word itself simply means “long duration,” “antiquity,” “futurity,” “until the end of a period of time.” That period of time is determined by the context. Sometimes it is the length of a man’s life, sometimes it is an age, and sometimes it is a dispensation.

    The second thing to keep in mind is that there are two Hebrew forms of olam. The first form is le-olam, which means “unto an age.” And the second form is ad-olam, which means “until an age.” However, neither of these forms carry the English meaning of “forever.” Although it has been translated that way in English, the Hebrew does not carry the concept of eternity as the English word “forever” does.

    The third thing to keep in mind is that the word olam, le-olam, or ad-olam, sometimes means only up “to the end of a man’s life.” For example, it is used of someone’s lifetime (Ex. 14:13), of a slave’s life (Ex. 21:6; Lev. 25:46; Deut. 15:17), of Samuel’s life (I Sam. 1:22; 2:35), of the lifetimes of David and Jonathan (I Sam. 20:23), and of David’s lifetime (I Sam. 27:12; 28:2; I Chr. 28:4). While the English reads for ever, obviously from the context it does not mean “forever” in the sense of eternity, but only up to the end of the person’s life.

  73. Posted May 19, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Richard, David was aware that his earthly life was temporal, but he understood that the LORD is from eternity to eternity, so when a true believer dies, as David did, their soul returns to Their Maker.

    There was no concept of “eternity” in the Old Testament. This is a common error. Believers typically read their modern ideas into the ancient text.

    There is no evidence that David believed that he would go to a place called “heaven” where he would live forever. He never wrote a word about any “resurrection.” If you disagree, please provide a quote attributed to him in the Bible that would suggest otherwise.

  74. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    Richard, you fail to understand the situation. It is the LORD who decides whom He saves! If you want to be blessed by Him with insight by Him you must begin by desiring to believe that He exists. He is the decision maker, not you or the people you quote.

    The first principle to understand is that he is a sovereign LORD. David was a true believer, so he has been blessed with eternal life, for that is what the LORD promises to all true believers.

    Just a little thought can show what you teach is false, for if David just died, the God of the Bible would not have been true to His covenant that He made through His sinless Beloved Son.

    Richard, virtually everything you teach is flawed, because you lack trust in Jesus’ perfect atoning sacrifice.
    Richard, desire to put an end to your foolish obsession with loving yourself and welcome the LORD to teach you what true love is!

  75. MichaelFree
    Posted May 19, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    I apologize if I seemed rude to you.

    There is no crime in judging righteously. This whole business of quantifying and describing objective morality is all about judgment, but righteous judgment. I painted that picture of the guy in Iran because it is story that is ripe for unrighteous societal judgments upon the individual, and in this case, an individual who by all appearances (in the story I read) is of sound mind who appears to adhere to the Golden Rule.

    That’s all I was trying to say.

    You said:

    “Integrity of being is health and wholeness, life and goodness. Nurturing yourself is maintaining your ontological integrity. It is self-love. It is the root of all that is good, true, and moral”.

    Health, wholeness, nurturing yourself, and self-love are all subjective things, and have no business in a discussion about objective morality existing in the world. What I mean by this is people have differing views on what health is, on what wholeness is, what nurturing yourself means, and what self-love or love for others is. True objective morality doesn’t allow for widely differing views. Take for instance the act of murder. Murder is objectively immoral. Period. There is no differing views on this, as long as one values each and every individual.

  76. MichaelFree
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    Reine Gnade, Gnade, bibelverse, Josef Sefton, what is up with your name changes? It can be confusing.

    The stuff you write is kind of mesmerizing sometimes, like a book, but it’s not fooling me. One can see how someone falls for that load of crap though. When applied to the real world and set next to actual morality the transgression of your religious beliefs are laid bare. One should not condemn the innocent (innocent non-Christians, and all criminals, whom deserve rehabilitation, not punishment) or say that good is evil and evil is good. My God does not do things that I am not allowed to do, like murder, or torture. It’s as plain as that.

  77. MichaelFree
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 3:56 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    What are you going to do if God shows up and proclaims his eternal innocence and that doctrines of demons and torture and murder, rape and slavery have no business in the presence of God or having been attributed to him?

    That’s a God I could believe in. For now the truth is king.

  78. James
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Hello there Richard,

    You said,
    I’m stunned that anyone familiar with the evidence could doubt the fact of evolution. I’m guessing you’ve never studied it. Have you ever read a book written by an evolutionary scientist explaining the evidence? What do you think of the DNA evidence that demonstrates common descent? What about the fossil record? What about the phylogenetic tree of life?
    –I’m sorry. I really don’t mean to be rude, but your comment is ludicrous beyond description. The Biblical account is false in almost every specific. The earth is not young, the sun was not made four days after the earth, plants did not precede fish, etc., etc. etc. And besides that, Genesis 2 is entirely contrary to Genesis 1. No serious, informed thinker could say what you have said. It’s no less absurd than asserting the earth is flat and is under a dome (also taught in the Bible).
    –Your comments are a mass of confusion. On the one hand, you are using the word “kind” to mean Species (an interbreeding group) whereas on the other hand you are using it to designate a Family, like Dogs, (Canine, family Canidae) which includes about 34 different species of foxes, wolves, jackals, and other members of the dog family. Do you not understand that humans are primates, classed as a species of Great Apes? Does that mean you have no problem with us evolving from previous species of Great Ape?

    Nothing you said above is a reference to actual evidence. Everything you said above is a reference to interpretation of scientific dogma. Another word for dogma is teaching, doctrine. Just because some scientists classify humans as primates does not make humans related to primates. Classifications are human assigned. Please site actual evidence.

    So yes, I do understand some scientists who accept evolution classify apes and humans in the same family, But that is all you proposed. It would be like me proposing the doctrine or interpretation that the God of the Bible is a God of love. I am only stating doctrine, an interpretation. I would need to provide evidence.
    The same goes here. Do not site scientific dogma, terminology alone. Site actual evidence.

  79. Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I apologize if I seemed rude to you.

    No worries.

    Health, wholeness, nurturing yourself, and self-love are all subjective things, and have no business in a discussion about objective morality existing in the world.

    Not true. I can objectively determine health and wholeness. For example, a shotgun to the head is generally damaging to those qualities.

    The foundation of morality is fairness, justice, rationality. These are objective by definition. I explain this in detail in my article Morality is Objective, Like a Pair of Scales.

    What I mean by this is people have differing views on what health is, on what wholeness is, what nurturing yourself means, and what self-love or love for others is. True objective morality doesn’t allow for widely differing views. Take for instance the act of murder. Murder is objectively immoral. Period. There is no differing views on this, as long as one values each and every individual.

    The fact that view may differ does not say anything about the objective reality but rather the complexity of the phenomenon. Morality is founded in simple fairness which is very easy to determine if all other things are equal. But rarely in the this world are all things equal, so it may be difficult to determine what is fair and just in complex situations. That does not mean that fairness is not an objective concept! On the contrary, fairness is one of the synonyms for objective.

    You say that murder is always wrong? What defines murder? Is it murder to kill someone who murdered someone else? Is self-defense murder? The issue is not nearly as simple as you suggest.

    Great chatting!

    Richard

  80. Posted May 20, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Richard, you fail to understand the situation. It is the LORD who decides whom He saves! If you want to be blessed by Him with insight by Him you must begin by desiring to believe that He exists. He is the decision maker, not you or the people you quote.

    Your doctrine is a confused mess. I cannot “begin to desire to believe” if Yahweh didn’t choose me! That would be really stupid. Why would I desire to believe in him if he predestined me for eternal flames?

    The first principle to understand is that he is a sovereign LORD. David was a true believer, so he has been blessed with eternal life, for that is what the LORD promises to all true believers.

    I’m sorry, but merely repeating your empty assertion is really stupid. I showed that David never said anything about any “eternal life” in heaven after his death. You ignored the truth and made up your own doctrine.

    Just a little thought can show what you teach is false, for if David just died, the God of the Bible would not have been true to His covenant that He made through His sinless Beloved Son.

    Sorry, but there are other possibilities, such as the Bible is false. Duh.

    Richard, virtually everything you teach is flawed, because you lack trust in Jesus’ perfect atoning sacrifice.

    Another empty assertion. If there were any flaws in what I wrote, you could point them out. But you don’t do that. All you do is repeat your mindless dogmas as if they were facts without presenting any evidence of any kind.

  81. Posted May 20, 2015 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Nothing you said above is a reference to actual evidence.

    Say what? You don’t even know about DNA???

    The DNA evidence for common descent is of the same kind that is accepted in courts of law to determine paternity. It is solid evidence.

  82. Gnade
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Michael, unless you believe in the King, you can’t live honorably before Him.
    The King is alive and so too are demons. Lord Jesus is the King of righteousness. Do you love Him, Michael?
    Are you truly desirous to trust and obey Him?

  83. James
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You said,
    <>

    So what? Are you trying to tell me that evidence used in court has a monopoly on truth? Are you trying to say that evidence presented in a court has never been found later to be wrong or lacking new data or information?

    You are making the same error that you accuse others of making. You are assuming your own answer and not ruling out other possibilities. DNA is the data. Deoxyribonucleic acid is something that any informed person knows about and hears about in school. DNA holds information, the instructions. I am not an expert on DNA for sure. But nobody knows where DNA came from. The odds of so many base lining up is rare enough as it is. Even if enough base pairs were to form that would be found in a simple one celled organisms, this does not explain where the information came from. This also does not explain where life came from.
    We could throw out numbers on the odds of random dots, bumps (braille) on a page appearing in order to form a 8.5 x 11 sheet of a coherent message. But the only way those dots mean anything is if an someone assigns meaning and value to them. That takes intelligence. Information and language requires intelligence to have meaning.
    This makes me wonder what someone who believes that no intelligence is necessary for biological life bases where DNA comes from. If intelligence requires DNA to form, but the information and instructions in DNA require intelligence, is there a problem here?

    Perhaps before you try to use DNA as evidence for evolution. You should ask yourself where did DNA come from in the first place. Many people say that DNA is evidence for common designer. I will not do as you did and assume that though. I have no proof.

    James

  84. Gnade
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxSiSdYeUIIyMlFIYjZ6YkZod3c

    I made this picture to remind all explorers for truth that Jeremiah 29:13 offers you great encouragement.

  85. Posted May 20, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    So what? Are you trying to tell me that evidence used in court has a monopoly on truth? Are you trying to say that evidence presented in a court has never been found later to be wrong or lacking new data or information?

    No. I said nothing about the evidence being infallible. That’s the fundamental error common to those who believe religious dogmas. It is the opposite of science which questions everything and modifies conclusions based on new evidence.

    You are making the same error that you accuse others of making. You are assuming your own answer and not ruling out other possibilities.

    Your assertion is absurd. I am not ruling out other possibilities. I am speaking of evidence that has been established by science. You reject science because you are committed to ludicrous religious dogmas that directly contradict reality.

    Perhaps before you try to use DNA as evidence for evolution. You should ask yourself where did DNA come from in the first place. Many people say that DNA is evidence for common designer. I will not do as you did and assume that though. I have no proof.

    I’m sorry to speak bluntly, but your comment indicates that you are ignorant of the most basic elements of the science you reject. The similarity in the DNA has nothing to do with “common design.” It is more like a smudge on a copy machine. That’s why you can use it to determine paternity. You have been deceived by corrupt creationists.

  86. James
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You made a typical rebuttal. You did not refute anything I said. All you did was attack my supposed motivation for disbelieving evolution. My faith. On the contrary, I reject evolution because it is bad science period. My faith has nothing to do with the flaws of evolution. Maybe you have been deceived by secular atheist scientists who just retort all those creationists are stuck in their beliefs and that is why they cannot accept the truth of evolution. So far, you still have given nothing to actually refute.

    The next thing you attack is me personally. This is another common rebuttal of scientists. So I will wait for your explanation of why i am wrong instead of your assertion that i am wrong.

    James

  87. Posted May 20, 2015 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    You did not refute anything I said.

    You did not actually write anything worth refuting. You merely rejected evidence and made random irrelevant comments about things like the origin of DNA. So I showed what you did and why it was wrong.

    I reject evolution because it is bad science period.

    Your assertion is ludicrous and indicates a total ignorance of the science and the evidence. You can reject theories of how evolution happened, but it is impossible to reject the fact of evolution without denying demonstrable facts. Are you a Young Earth Creationist?

    Maybe you have been deceived by secular atheist scientists who just retort all those creationists are stuck in their beliefs and that is why they cannot accept the truth of evolution.

    Don’t be absurd. The creationists have been proven wrong. You would know this if you had any knowledge of the science you ignorantly reject. You don’t even understand how DNA works or why it can be used reliably to establish paternity and common descent. And that’s just one part of the massive body of evidence that proves creationism not merely false, but radically and deliberately deceptive.

    So far, you still have given nothing to actually refute.

    Again, you assertion is absurd. I have given you DNA evidence and you have proven that you have no clue of why it is such powerful evidence for common descent. You suggested that the commonality in the DNA could be due to “common design.” That indicates total ignorance of how it is used to determine paternity.

    So I will wait for your explanation of why i am wrong instead of your assertion that i am wrong.

    I already explained why you are wrong. You simply ignored what I wrote.

  88. Posted May 20, 2015 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    James,

    Your comments are a mass of confusion. First you said “I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time” and then you said “I reject evolution because it is bad science period.”

    Now you falsely assert that I have not refuted your claims. But that’s not true. I refuted them and you simply ignored what I wrote. Here again are your assertions and my refutation:

    I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time. But we have no evidence of such changes happening across different animal classes. We do see speciation in animal families, like cats, canines, apes, bears, individual bird species etc. But that is all we have ever seen. You can make dead fossils tell you what you want them too, but we do not have the fossil record that we would expect to find if the theory of evolution were true.

    Your comments are a mass of confusion. On the one hand, you are using the word “kind” to mean Species (an interbreeding group) whereas on the other hand you are using it to designate a Family, like Dogs, (Canine, family Canidae) which includes about 34 different species of foxes, wolves, jackals, and other members of the dog family. Do you not understand that humans are primates, classed as a species of Great Apes? Does that mean you have no problem with us evolving from previous species of Great Ape?

    You “refuted” my explanation by merely asserting that the classification of humans with the Great Apes was merely what “some scientists who accept evolution” do, as if it were not justified in the same way as the rest of all the animal taxonomy. You did not give any evidence that science was wrong on this point. You rejected evidence merely because it contradicts the ludicrous dogmas of your religious cult.

  89. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 20, 2015 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You said:
    You “refuted” my explanation by merely asserting that the classification of humans with the Great Apes was merely what “some scientists who accept evolution” do, as if it were not justified in the same way as the rest of all the animal taxonomy. You did not give any evidence that science was wrong on this point. You rejected evidence merely because it contradicts the ludicrous dogmas of your religious cult.

    I was not attempting to refute anything. I was just not accepting your “evidence,” and I pointed out that what you answered is not evidence. It is interpretation. There is a difference. I am putting the task on you to explain why the evidence proves evolution is true. I gave no reason for my rejection of evolution. I merely pointed out that you gave no actual evidence.

    Where did DNA come from?

    If evolution were true, how much time would it take from beginning to get to where it is now? Many believe the earth to be 4.3 b years old. How did we come up with that date and how many dating methods verify that date?

    You mentioned the geologic column. Can you tell me where on the globe we can find all the geologic columns stacked as evolution scientists say they are? IF you search for it on line, you will find charts, pictographs, and nice artists rendering of the geologic column. It exists on paper and in your mind.
    How many columns were there on the Lucy find? How many where dinosaurs have been found? How many columns where the lobed fish was found? (which is apparently believed to be a found link even though other fish like the coelacanth have been found unchanged over time, embarrassing) Scientists also suggested a while back that the coelacanth was a link to tetrapods. But since then coelacanth has been found alive and it is still a fish. But if there were no columns at these sites, the columns mean nothing to those fossil finds.

  90. James
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    Apparently I have to say something you disagree with in order to get a reply from you. Did you know according to the current nebula theory which is how scientists believe our star and solar system formed has problems with most of the planets and many moons in our solar system? If our solar system is 4.3 billion years old as prostelized by scientists, then why are there so many conflicting evidences within our solar system of a 4.3 billion year system?
    Commets do not last that long and are still among us. This is a known puzzle for long age astrologists. They admit that much. But they have a rescue device in place, a story with no evidence. Maybe there is a cloud that is generating these commets. They have no evidence for this. But this passes for science.
    How about our moon and earth? Our moon is drifting from earth measurably 1.5in a year. This is something all scientists agree on. It is measurable data, actual science. No one infomed disputes it. But yet if our moon and earth are old enough to hold our believed evolved life, the moon would have touching our earth in 1.5 million years ago. Our moon has been noted to be necessary for life and balance here on earth.
    According to nebula theory, all the large gas giant plannets should not exist. Scientists do not know why Jupiter spins so fast being so big. They also do not know why Jupiter has small moons that are geologically active. As small and as far away from the sun, they should be like our moon, non active. Scientists do not know how Saturn’s rings could be so old but yet show signs of being so young. Its moons also give scientists puzzling questions that cannot be resolved with the nebula theory.
    Uranus spins differently than the other plannets. Nebula theory says that would not happen. You kow what the rescue device is here? Maybe a large object hit Uranus making it spin differently. Ahah, now it is plausible. Not really. There is no evidence for such an event. Also Uranus has a very steady and consistent revolution and orbit. This is story telling on the scientists part. I could go on.
    Also, scientists have no idea where stars came from. Any current theory for star formation requires there to be stars already. Why are scientists allowed to play story telling with no evidence and certainly not proof and call it science?

    James

  91. James
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    If you don’t want to believe the Bible, that is your right. Right now, i make no arguments for it. I am convinced only you can convince yourself of anything. But do not disbelieve in the Bible with your head in the sands. Be a skepitcal deist if nothing less. The evidence for design is quite baffling. This does not make the Bible true. I admit that. But the bible being wrong does not make science theory correct either.

    No one looks at a painting and thinks there are two valid options here. It maybe was painted or it came about by natural causes. We may discover an unknown painting one day. We might not know who painted it, when, why, or where. But no rational person would say that it maybe came about by natural causes. Anyone can say natural causes. I know of no natural causes that could cause a room full of paint cans to produce a painting. What would an earthquake do? Make a picasso at best. Lol. A big mess!
    There might even be a description found with this unknown painting. We could even know that description with this painting is wrong. But that does not mean we could rationally say now that it came about by natural causes.
    Our universe is more complicated than any painting. Our mere existence with its molecular complexity should tell you that much. I do not see how any rational person can look at our world and say it came about by natural causes. Natural selection can only select from what exists. That is why it is called natural selection and not natural creation. Natural selction makes sense in a top to bottom way. But it does not work bottom to top. From two wolves, in theory and in time, we could breed a poodle like breed. Do you think we could take a poodle and breed a wolf like breed? No, because the wolf contained DNA still to make poodle like features. But the poodle while different, has lost information. I do not know how you do not see this.

    James

  92. bibelverse
    Posted May 21, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    What Richard needs to relearn to do is to study the Bible, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Do you understand this, Richard?

    Richard, will you accept the challenge to search the Bible? Or will you cycle away from the pure words of Christ with the words “been there, done that”?

  93. Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Apparently I have to say something you disagree with in order to get a reply from you.

    Not true. It just hat i’ve been unusually busy the last couple days, and since you ignored the facts presented, I wasn’t really interested in repeating them for the third time.

    Your comments are a mass of confusion. First you said “I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time” and then you said “I reject evolution because it is bad science period.” I explained your errors and you ignored what I wrote. If you want to have a rational discussion, please explain what you meant when you said “species evolve” while denying that evolution explains the origin of species.

    We just had a thunderstorm that knocked out power to our house, so I don’t know how much more I will be able to post tonight. But the weekend is coming so I should be able to catch up then.

    All the best,

    Richard

  94. Posted May 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    Your comments are a mass of confusion. First you said “I do believe in evolution, as defined solely as change over time. Things and species do change over time” and then you said “I reject evolution because it is bad science period.”

    Your assertion is utterly ignorant and absurd. The DNA evidence I presented is not merely “interpretation.” It is evidence that is accepted in capital cases in courts of law by hard headed, clear thinking, intelligent men and woman. In contrast, the pseudo-science of “Intelligent Design” has been explicitly rejected as fake science in the 130 page decision by Judge Jones in the Dover case where creationists had their day in court and failed utterly.

    Creationism is total crap. It has been utterly refuted on a thousand points. The stuff you are posting about a young earth and the impossibility of stars forming naturally is total crap. You are utterly ignorant of the science and you know it. The only reason you are repeating those falsehoods is because they support what you want to believe. That’s the definition of cognitive bias and the root of most delusions that we see in all the religions. And so we see how dogmatic religion tends to corrupt the minds and morals of believers by breeding in them a contempt for the truth. Nothing could be more ironic … or pathetic, given that the primary claim of Christianity is to worship the “truth” in the person of Jesus Christ.

    Sorry to speak so plainly, but there is no excuse for your repetition of lies and deceptions that have been refuted for decades. We live in an age where information is freely available to all would desire it. This means that anyone who persists in demonstrable error must be doing so wilfully.

  95. Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Richard, will you accept the challenge to search the Bible? Or will you cycle away from the pure words of Christ with the words “been there, done that”?

    But I have been there and done that. What do you want me to do, lie?

    If you think you have something to show me in the Bible that I have not already seen and understood, then please do so.

  96. Posted May 21, 2015 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    But do not disbelieve in the Bible with your head in the sands. Be a skepitcal deist if nothing less. The evidence for design is quite baffling. This does not make the Bible true. I admit that. But the bible being wrong does not make science theory correct either.

    I am open to deism if it is necessary to explain the appearance of design. But I’ve seen nothing to make me think it is. On the contrary, I have seen that almost every believer on the planet totally DELUDES themselves with the “appearance of design” in random coincidences that they interpret as “fulfilled prayer.” Thus I have very good reason to be skeptical of it all. The world is filled to overflowing with deluded Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Protestants, JWs, Sceintologists. And what do they all have in common? They there there is some obvious “evidence” that proves their delusion is true. They are deluded by cognitive biases like selection bias (cherry picking), confirmation bias, etc.

  97. Reine Gnade
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Richard, do you recognise that in the most crucial matter you have been deluded? If you are not searching for the Creator, you have been deluded? If you don’t recognise that Jesus was the Son of God you have been deluded!

    Richard, open up the Bible and desire to learn from the Teacher of teachers. Welcome Him to teach you! Put a stop to your rebellion and you will have the opportunity to be blessed by the true Lord with a love for Him.

  98. Posted May 22, 2015 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Richard, do you recognise that in the most crucial matter you have been deluded? If you are not searching for the Creator, you have been deluded? If you don’t recognise that Jesus was the Son of God you have been deluded!

    Mindlessly repeating the word “deluded” is just plain nuts Reine. Why would the Creator want to play hide and seek with his creatures in matters of life and death? That too is nuts, as is your assertion that anyone who doesn’t “recognize Jesus is the Son of God” has been deluded. I can’t find an ounce of rationality in your comments.

  99. Posted May 22, 2015 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    No one looks at a painting and thinks there are two valid options here. It maybe was painted or it came about by natural causes. We may discover an unknown painting one day. We might not know who painted it, when, why, or where. But no rational person would say that it maybe came about by natural causes. Anyone can say natural causes. I know of no natural causes that could cause a room full of paint cans to produce a painting. What would an earthquake do? Make a picasso at best. Lol. A big mess!

    That’s an entirely false analogy. A painting is typically a representation of something else that exists in the world. Such things are made by intelligent agents, not natural laws. But the universe itself obeys natural laws and there is no reason to think it is not the product of natural laws. There is not one observable fact about the universe that requires an intelligent agent to explain. Every process we can measure follows natural law. Your analogy fails completely.

    Our universe is more complicated than any painting. Our mere existence with its molecular complexity should tell you that much. I do not see how any rational person can look at our world and say it came about by natural causes.

    Complexity does not imply design. Natural law naturally produces the complexity of chemistry. There is not one process occurring in the human body that requires a supernatural designer to explain. All the processes of digestion, respiration, reproduction follow natural law. The only claim that could possibly be relevant concerns questions of origin. Where did DNA come from? No one knows. You cannot use human ignorance to prove the existence of an otherwise undetectable God. You are just pushing the old “God of the Gaps” argument because there is no place for God in the realm of knowledge. Ignorance is the last refuge of your antique superstition.

  100. Posted May 22, 2015 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Natural selection can only select from what exists. That is why it is called natural selection and not natural creation. Natural selction makes sense in a top to bottom way. But it does not work bottom to top. From two wolves, in theory and in time, we could breed a poodle like breed. Do you think we could take a poodle and breed a wolf like breed? No, because the wolf contained DNA still to make poodle like features. But the poodle while different, has lost information. I do not know how you do not see this.

    It is true that you could lose information by selective breeding. This is obvious from Mendel’s experiments with peas. You start with a population with a mix of alleles. You breed them and select only those that have one allele. The result will lack the information in the other allele. This is basic genetics. But it does not support your assertion about direction of natural selection. It is true that you could form a breed like a poodle rather quickly by selecting offspring with certain traits, and you could not simply reverse the process, but that says nothing about evolution. And why not? Because there is no intelligent agent in evolution that would seek to eliminate specific alleles. Natural selection works on variations that lead to better adaption. There are not “good mutations” vs. “bad mutations.” The same mutation can be adventitious in one environment and detrimental in another. Case in point: short legs help the species of anole lizards that live in trees, whereas those that live on ground do better with long legs. Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rdZOwyDbyL0

    How is it possible you could think to challenge a science that you don’t understand? Do you challenge Calculus? Do you challenge Maxwell’s theory of Electromagnetism? Do you challenge Einstein’s General Relativity? How then can you think you are qualified to challenge evolution when it is obvious you don’t know the first thing about it? That is the gross arrogance created by religion.

  101. bibelverse
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Richard, you have studied the Bible, but do you believe the witness of Jesus of Nazareth? Once upon a time you wrote glowingly about Him, but recently your enthusiasm for lifting up His name has waned dramatically.
    Do you believe He was a man who lived in human flesh? Do you believe He was sinless. Do you believe He died on a cross to offer you the gift of eternal life?
    Richard, your audience deserves to know what you believe about the most important person who has ever lived.

  102. bibelverse
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    Richard, can you study what happened to Jesus on the cross and still teach that the LORD is playing hide and seek with His creation? How much more evidence of the LORD interceding in human history do you want? Have you also forgotten that the LORD revealed Himself to numerous people in the Bible?

    Richard, if you are very determined to find the LORD, He will increase your level of interest in Him. You need to study Jeremiah 29:13 and pray to the LORD for His help to believe this verse.

  103. Posted May 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Richard, you have studied the Bible, but do you believe the witness of Jesus of Nazareth? Once upon a time you wrote glowingly about Him, but recently your enthusiasm for lifting up His name has waned dramatically.

    No, I do not trust the stories made about about the character “Jesus of Nazareth” in the Bible. It is literally impossible to believe they are true because they contradict each other on so many levels. I recognized this problem even when I was a believer busily writing “glowingly about Him.” Case in point: Does anyone know what Jesus actually said? Nope. The records conflict. In one record Jesus said one thing while in another record of the same event he reportedly said something different. They can’t all be true and there’s no way to know if any of them are true. And worse, it’s quite obvious that many of the records were made up long after the purported events. I wrote about this problem way back in 2010 when I was still a believer in a thread on my forum called What did Jesus really say?

  104. Posted May 22, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Do you believe He was a man who lived in human flesh? Do you believe He was sinless. Do you believe He died on a cross to offer you the gift of eternal life?

    I have no way to know if there was an historical person called “Jesus of Nazareth.” But the existence of the historical person is totally irrelevant, because the historical person (if he existed) was nothing like the mythical “Jesus of Nazareth” described in the Bible who could walk on water, do miracles, and all that.

    As for “sinless” – of course not. Why would anyone believe that?

    How is it possible you could be so blind Reine? You speak just like a fundamentalist Muslim. You give no evidence for your faith. You merely say that people should believe whatever is written in the Bible. Why would you want people to believe things without evidence? That’s what all the cults do. Is your religion any different than a cult? If so, how?

  105. Posted May 22, 2015 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Richard, if you are very determined to find the LORD, He will increase your level of interest in Him. You need to study Jeremiah 29:13 and pray to the LORD for His help to believe this verse.

    Your doctrine is logically incoherent. First you say that it is God alone who chooses whom he will save, then you say that I must make the choice.

  106. bibelverse
    Posted May 22, 2015 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    The Bible teaching is coherent, because God gave it. Salvation is His gift and His alone. God Himself must draw man to Christ. God has a teaching voice that sinful and saved man can respond to.

    For example, Richard, you can desire to trust Jeremiah 29:13! Put a smile on your face, Richard, and start afresh trusting what the Bible teaches and invite Rose to join you!

  107. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You seem to think that I contradicted myself when I said I believe in evolution which is change over time, but then I say I do not believe in the theory of evolution. This is not a contradiction, and I will explain how this can be. Things change over time. Species change over time. This is observable and proven. I accept that species change over time. I accept natural selection works and selects adaptations better for the species and for the species environment. This is why long haired dogs live in the cold and why short haired dogs live where it is warm. Natural selection is at work. It makes sense.
    But this does not automatically mean that all species evolved from a single ancestor. And while a bear can go through changes and change from one type of bear to another type of bear, this does not automatically assume that an ape can change to a human or a reptile to a bird.

    Let us look at data.

    We have observed changes in species within our life time. We have observed speciation within our life time. The only speciation we have observed is within a family: examples of birds, canines, bears, apes ext. We have never observed a change from species family to a different family and or classification like reptile to bird. So data and the scientific method is on my side so far in this debate. Clarification and reminder: my side is that changes do happen over time, but not enough changes and the type of changes necessary to produce all the species on earth from one common ancestor. This has not been proven true. It is only proposed as plausible by science. I am not even sure how the theory of evolution overcomes the second law of thermodynamics. While time seems to increase the odds of greater changes, that does not mean greater changes will happen. And greater time means greater entropy.

    Scientists will try to make an argument that all evolution is the same. All changes are the same. Well, if all change is the same, why is it we so many changes within a family but no changes from one family to another. Scientists experimented with the fruit fly. They tried to make it change. But any changes only resulted in a different, mutated fruit fly. Scientists say bacteria has evolved. And yes it has. Some Bacteria has evolved to be resistant to antibacterial products. This is a scary reality. But any changes to bacteria we have seen is still results in bacteria.
    Name one observed evolution from one class type to another.
    Many scientists do not want to admit that there may be a limitation to what mutations can cause. And many creation scientists would love to make everyone think that mutations can only result in downward or horizontal changes. But what does the evidence tell us? All we have seen are changes that result in minor changes in a species. Some mutations which may be a copying mistake have been demonstrated to be beneficial. But talking about ape to human evolution, it has not been demonstrated that there are mutations that an ape could go through that would successfully cause an ape over time to be a human.

    So while you think I contradicted myself and “refuted” myself. I say what I choose to accept is based on the evidence that we have observed. What you and other scientists accept is more based on faith and what the evidence does not prove.

  108. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    The fact that apes and humans have a 4% difference in the genetic similarity. This was found out after the chimpanzee genome was mapped in 2005 and published in Nature. But what does 4% mean?

    1.23% of the differences are single base pair substitutions, which is 35 million differences. But there are also 40-45 million bases in humans that are missing from chimps and about the same number present in chimps that are missing in humans. These extra DNA nucleotides are called insertions or deletions because they are thought to have been added or to be lost from the original sequence. This would put the total number of DNA differences at about 125 million. However, since the insertions can be more than one nucleotide long, there are 40 million total separate mutation events that would separate the two species in the evolutionary view.

    So how conceivable and plausible is it that apes evolved into humans? Evolution scientists speculate that ape to human evolution happened in about 300,000 generations. So for 40 million mutation changes to occur in 300k generations, there would have to be an average of 133 mutations per generation locked into the genome every generation. How many mutations that actually would result in changes that would evolve an ape to a human do you think would happen in a single generation? Evolution scientists cannot say on one hand that not enough time has passed for us to see these differences in apes today. But on the other hand say, that many changes per generation had to have occurred to make the evolution from ape to human. What natural selection mutation could result in higher language and intelligence?

    A study by Roy Britten was done. Look up “divergence Between Samples of chimpanzee and Human DNA Sequence is 5% Counting Indels” Proc. Nat. Science 99 no. 21 (2002): 13633-35. This is not a creation writing either. I am sure you knew about it since you know so much about it and I know in your words “nothing” about it.

    James

  109. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Also, once scientists first estimated, guessed that we humans evolved from chimps. Now they believe that chimps are only a cousin dead end. They assert now that we did not evolve from chimps but from apes. So both chimps and humans evolved from apes is what they now proclaim. Maybe 10-20 years from now scientists will propose a new guess. If the experts are not sure, then what right do you have to assert that evolutionary theory is a fact?
    Btw, if evolution theory is such a fact, then surely we know what apes evolved from right? The best you can say about the theory of evolution is that it is a theory with unanswered questions still. But the theory of evolution is not a fact. I would not even say that it is a theory with only some small gaps. A small gap is we have no missing link for bat evolution. A small gap is not where did sex come from or language development, or intelligence.
    BTW, secular scientists recognize these are unanswered questions. Richard Dawkins is an atheist biologist. He admits that no one is quite sure of the origin of sex, where the origin of life came from, and the origin of consciousness. These are not gaps to the theory of evolution but vital necessary components. To me, design makes a whole lot more sense. This doesn’t automatically mean the God of the Bible designed it all, But design still nonetheless.

    James

  110. MichaelFree
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    More “Christian” incoherent BS:

    Here the two thieves that were crucified with Jesus both disparage Jesus:

    Matthew 27: 38Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. 39And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, 40And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. 41Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, 42He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. 43He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. 44The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

    And here only one of the thieves (malefactors) disparages Jesus:

    Luke 23: 39And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

    How about this gem? This is 1 John 4:20 and 1 John 3:15:

    “If a man say, I love God, and HATETH his brother, he is a LIAR: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?”

    “Whosoever HATETH his brother is a MURDERER: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him”.

    But Jesus said:

    Luke 14: 26 If any man come to me, and HATE not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    This makes Jesus out to be a promoter of LYING and MURDERING.

    Many people think that the character Jesus and Christianity are good things. The same thing that Jesus said to the Jews I feel about “Christianity”:

    “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a MURDERER from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a LIE, he speaketh of his own: for he is a LIAR, and the father of it”.

    “Christianity” would have me condemn my father, my mother, my brothers, and my nephew, because they are not “Christians”. “Christianity” tries to beckon me with promises of eternal life, and to them I raise my middle finger because unlike Abraham I don’t need an angel to tell me to not kill my family. I choose all of humanity, helping people who are in need, speaking the truth, and non-violence, as the first principles over your lying and murderous religion that has two horns like a lamb but speaks like a dragon.

    While I can’t call the character Jesus in the Gospels a liar about things of function in the world, this is only because I can’t judge “beliefs” as being lies, however outlandish they are. This is directly comparable to a friend of mine who has a mental illness who will swear that five hundred people were killed on the cross next to Jesus. I don’t judge my friend as being a liar, but rather that he holds some weird beliefs, even though I can point to the Gospel story and show him that only two people were crucified with Jesus, not five hundred.

  111. MichaelFree
    Posted May 23, 2015 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    But I will judge “Christianity” as a liar because they say that “Christianity” is holy and it is not. Human beings come first. Non-violence comes first. You can’t preach a message of violence in the afterlife towards non-Christians, or anyone for that matter, and still proclaim to be a non-violent religion, because as we have seen, this mindset carries over into life and many people have been murdered for not being a “Christian”. “Christianity” has the blood of innocents on its hands because that book is evil and it’s filled with contradictions.

    The “Jews” got the “I’m a special person” curse, so do the “Christians”, and so do the “Muslims”. What is wrong with that book? It says that good is evil and evil is good.

  112. bibelverse
    Posted May 24, 2015 at 4:22 am | Permalink

    A tremendous miracle took place in life of one of the dying men who was being crucified beside Jesus.

    A great transformation occured in his heart, soul and mind. Not long ago he reviled Jesus, now He esteemed Him as Lord!

    Here was a man who now believed in paradise! His heart’s longing was to be with Jesus in paradise. How blessed man is when he believes in the sinless Son of God!

  113. Posted May 24, 2015 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I accept that species change over time. I accept natural selection works and selects adaptations better for the species and for the species environment. This is why long haired dogs live in the cold and why short haired dogs live where it is warm. Natural selection is at work. It makes sense.

    That’s a good starting point.

    But this does not automatically mean that all species evolved from a single ancestor. And while a bear can go through changes and change from one type of bear to another type of bear, this does not automatically assume that an ape can change to a human or a reptile to a bird.

    Of course it does not “automatically” prove common descent. That fact is established by looking at all the data, most significantly the DNA, the phylogenetic tree, and the fossil record.

    Your examples indicate a profound misunderstanding of evolution. First, humans are apes so that transformation would be allowed by your limited theory of evolution. Second, it seems pretty silly to suggest that an ape could evolve into a reptile because there is probably no genetic pathway from the latter to the former.

    Let us look at data.

    Excellent idea!

    We have observed changes in species within our life time. We have observed speciation within our life time. The only speciation we have observed is within a family: examples of birds, canines, bears, apes ext. We have never observed a change from species family to a different family and or classification like reptile to bird. So data and the scientific method is on my side so far in this debate.

    We are making good progress. Thank you. Finding points of agreement is the foundation of any fruitful discourse. So let’s see if I understand your view. You agree that evolution explains the origin of species and genera within families. Let’s review what this means. Here is the taxonomy of the domestic dog Canis Lupus:

    Kingdom: Animalia
    Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
    Order: Carnivora
    Family: Canidae
    Genus: Canis
    Species: Canis lupus

    So are you going on record as agreeing that evolution explains the origin of the Genera and the Species? But not the Families? I don’t understand why you would make that arbitrary cutoff point. You say it’s because changes on that level are never observed in real time, but that’s absurd because such changes occur too slowly. It would be like denying plate tectonics because they move too slowly to be observed in real time.

    The only motivation I can see for your arbitrary cutoff at Families is that you want to make the evidence fit the Bible story. How would this work? Do you presume that one representative member of each Family was taken on Noah’s ark, and then evolved super-super-super fast into all the Generas and Species we see today?

    Clarification and reminder: my side is that changes do happen over time, but not enough changes and the type of changes necessary to produce all the species on earth from one common ancestor. This has not been proven true. It is only proposed as plausible by science. I am not even sure how the theory of evolution overcomes the second law of thermodynamics. While time seems to increase the odds of greater changes, that does not mean greater changes will happen. And greater time means greater entropy.

    There is truly nothing more absurd than the creationist appeal to the Second Law as if it contradicted evolution. The truth is precisely the opposite. The Second Law DRIVES evolution! Evolution is as certain as the Second Law. Evolution is the random exploration of genetic phase space. It is as inevitable as a rock rolling down a hill. Here is a MUST WATCH video if you want to understand how evolution works. The good stuff starts @32 minutes in. He made a graphic that shows how the “evolution machine” runs 24/7/365 while exploring the “evolutionary phase space.”

    Scientists will try to make an argument that all evolution is the same. All changes are the same. Well, if all change is the same, why is it we so many changes within a family but no changes from one family to another.

    Because changes on that level take millions of years.

    Many scientists do not want to admit that there may be a limitation to what mutations can cause.

    Not true. Scientists are perfectly clear about the limitations of mutations. There must be a continuous genetic pathway from one organism to another that can be traversed by single mutations. If there is no pathway, then species A could not evolve into species B. That’s why your suggestion that apes should be able to evolve into reptiles is so absurd. There is a clear pathway from reptile to apes, but not vice-versa.

    And many creation scientists would love to make everyone think that mutations can only result in downward or horizontal changes.

    That doesn’t even make sense. Evolution has no “direction.” There are no “good” vs. “bad” mutations (except fatal ones, of course). The value of the mutation depends upon the particular selective pressure in the environment. A mutation that is beneficial in one environment is harmful in another. E.g. the tree dwelling species of the anole lizard evolved short legs because they are better for clinging to thin branches whereas the ground dwelling species evolved long legs so it could run faster.

    But what does the evidence tell us? All we have seen are changes that result in minor changes in a species. Some mutations which may be a copying mistake have been demonstrated to be beneficial. But talking about ape to human evolution, it has not been demonstrated that there are mutations that an ape could go through that would successfully cause an ape over time to be a human.

    So your entire “skepticism” here is based on your assumption that there is no continuous genetic pathway from ape to human. I see no justification of such a presumption, and it directly contradicts all the DNA evidence which shows our common ancestry.

    And again, the concept of “beneficial mutation” makes no sense. The same mutation may be beneficial in one environment and harmful in another.

    What you and other scientists accept is more based on faith and what the evidence does not prove.

    There are few things more absurd than when creationists liken science to their blind belief in utterly unfounded superstitions written by ignorant primitive men.

  114. Posted May 24, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Btw, if evolution theory is such a fact, then surely we know what apes evolved from right? The best you can say about the theory of evolution is that it is a theory with unanswered questions still. But the theory of evolution is not a fact.

    Your comment reveals a profound failure to understand the relation between facts and scientific theories. A scientific theory is a set of axioms and principles that are designed to explain a body of facts. If there were no facts, there would be nothing to explain. If there are facts that contradict what the theory predicts, then the theory is wrong and must be modified.

    The Theory of Electromagnetism explains electromagnetic facts.
    The Theory of Gravity explains gravitational facts.
    The Theory of Evolution explains evolutionary facts.

    Evolution is a fact explained by the Theory of Evolution. The theory itself has evolved and new facts are often discovered. This is the nature of science. It is continuously getting better, asymptotically approaching truth. Ironically, many creationists reject science as untrustworthy because it is always changing as if those changes were not improvements.

  115. Posted May 24, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    A small gap is not where did sex come from or language development, or intelligence. BTW, secular scientists recognize these are unanswered questions. Richard Dawkins is an atheist biologist. He admits that no one is quite sure of the origin of sex, where the origin of life came from, and the origin of consciousness. These are not gaps to the theory of evolution but vital necessary components. To me, design makes a whole lot more sense. This doesn’t automatically mean the God of the Bible designed it all, But design still nonetheless.

    Of course scientists admit that we don’t have all the answers. We only discovered DNA about 60 years ago! What do you expect, that we move from total ignorance to omniscience in less than a hundred years? Your demands strike me as completely unreasonable.

    Creationists have been forced to retreat to the ZONE OF IGNORANCE as the only place for their God. There is not one observable fact that requires a god to explain. You are committed to the “God of the Gaps” argument. You look to our knowledge, find gaps, and declare “design makes a whole lot more sense.” That strikes me as utterly absurd. It is out of keeping with every observable fact. Nature follows natural law. The “God/Designer” is an old superstition that says fully formed animals were magically created out of dirt by a deity. It’s utterly absurd and contrary to all evidence. Look at the fossil record. There are no rabbits in the pre-cambrian. Why is that?

  116. Posted May 24, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    A study by Roy Britten was done. Look up “divergence Between Samples of chimpanzee and Human DNA Sequence is 5% Counting Indels” Proc. Nat. Science 99 no. 21 (2002): 13633-35. This is not a creation writing either. I am sure you knew about it since you know so much about it and I know in your words “nothing” about it.

    Hey there James,

    I don’t understand why you posted that study. It confirms the scientific consensus that homo sapiens are primates that evolved like all other primates:

    The gaps should be useful markers for distinguishing the evolutionary relationship among closely related species, because once a deletion occurs, it would be very unlikely that the missing region sequence would be reconstructed de novo, unless it was repeat that could be copied. If a set of these indels were collected, they could be tested for their presence in gorilla by PCR and ultimately resolve the human–chimp–gorilla trichotomy in an unarguable way. However, it now seems almost certain that chimp or bonobo is our nearest relative (12, 13).

    Did you even read the article? I get the impression you are trolling through the internet looking for bits and pieces you can take out of context to support your entirely unscientific presuppositions based on the Bible.

  117. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    Richard and James,

    While both of you can debate the origin of our species, none of you can deny that human beings were made to live on planet Earth. We were created, however that came about, to live on planet Earth just as much as the apes were created to live on planet Earth. To me that is a very cool and honorable thing. It is such a gift. Earth is our home.

  118. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Scientifically speaking, regarding objective morality, objective morality exists only because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment will say that a particular deed is immoral. Therefore that particular deed is considered “objectively immoral” because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment says that it’s immoral. I propose that punching a stranger in the face for no reason whatsoever is objectively immoral. “Stranger” means that the one who is punching does not know anything about the person that they are punching.

    Punching is minor when considering the major objectively immoral deeds that people do to one another.

  119. Gnade
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
    Jesus teaches us that Our heavenly Father is holy.
    If anyone desires to honor the LORD in word and deed, they can be encouraged, for the LORD is holy and a teacher of holiness.

  120. Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    We were created, however that came about,

    You don’t find the evidence for evolution compelling?

  121. Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Scientifically speaking, regarding objective morality, objective morality exists only because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment will say that a particular deed is immoral. Therefore that particular deed is considered “objectively immoral” because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment says that it’s immoral

    You appear to be using the term “objective” to mean “subjective.” By definition, something is SUBJECTIVE it “exists only because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment will say” so. Things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them.

  122. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “You appear to be using the term “objective” to mean “subjective.” By definition, something is SUBJECTIVE it “exists only because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment will say” so. Things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them.

    I’m glad you pointed out my error, so I will rephrase my statement, and then explain my rephrased statement:

    “Scientifically speaking, regarding objective morality, objective morality exists only because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment will say that a particular deed is immoral IF DONE TO THEM. Therefore that particular deed is considered “objectively immoral” because the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment says that it’s immoral IF DONE TO THEM. I propose that GETTING PUNCHED by a stranger in the face for no reason whatsoever is objectively immoral. “Stranger” means that the one who is punching does not know anything about the person that they are punching”.

    Explanation:

    “Moral deeds between human beings” (morality) only exists in the world when there is “MORE THAN ONE” human being in the world.

    Therefore “morality between human beings” does not exist in the world when there is “ONLY ONE” human being in the world.

    “Morality between human beings” is decided by the “vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment” who will say that a particular deed is immoral “IF DONE TO THEM” by other people.

    “Subjective” morality/immorality is a decision that a particular “individual” human being makes about the “nature” (good = moral/bad = immoral) of their particular deeds that they do in the world that affect “other people”.

    “Objective” morality/immorality is a decision that “the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment” makes about the “nature” (good = moral/bad = immoral) of particular deeds that are “DONE TO THEM” by “other people” in the world. Therefore “GETTING PUNCHED by a stranger in the face for no reason whatsoever” is an objectively immoral deed; and with this knowledge I can safely walk down the street in probably any country in the world and be rest assured that “punching strangers in the face” is not going to be a welcome act by those strangers.

    Or, put another way, why would anyone say “do unto other people as you would have done unto” (Golden Rule) is a system of morality between human beings at all, if they say this in the same breath regarding “objective morality”, which they propose is a real thing: “things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them”; seeing as “as you would have done unto you” is a “belief”, and a person forming this “belief” (“as you would have done unto you”) by definition requires that “more than one human being” exists in the world.

    Trying to prove that objective morality exists in the world without looking at the situation this way is a fool’s errand. Why would anyone try to link the “Golden Rule” to a debate where their proposition is that “objective morality” is a real thing, with them saying: “things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them”, seeing as the Golden Rule is a belief.

  123. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You said
    Second, it seems pretty silly to suggest that an ape could evolve into a reptile because there is probably no genetic pathway from the latter to the former.

    I read this comment from you and was wondering where you got from me that I would suggest that an ape would or could evolve into a reptile. If anything, I am saying the evidence for such evolution is not there. So I scrolled up to see what I wrote and what you copied and pasted from me.

    Here was my statement which you copied and pasted:
    But this does not automatically mean that all species evolved from a single ancestor. And while a bear can go through changes and change from one type of bear to another type of bear, this does not automatically assume that an ape can change to a human or a reptile to a bird.

    Notice the last sentence please. I said ape change to a human OR reptile to a bird. And in the context that one CANNOT assume that these TWO evolutions are possible.

    So from that, you got that you got and said, “it seems pretty silly to suggest that an ape could evolve into a reptile because there is probably no genetic pathway from the latter to the former.”

    Did you even read that sentence or understand it? You can say all you want that people cherry pick and choose to say, reply, or report what they want. But you did EXACTLY the same thing here. Not only did you twist and totally miss what I said as explained above, your comments cherry picked on things that you wanted to comment on. You ignored other important points.

    You said nothing about this:
    The fact that apes and humans have a 4% difference in the genetic similarity. This was found out after the chimpanzee genome was mapped in 2005 and published in Nature. But what does 4% mean?

    1.23% of the differences are single base pair substitutions, which is 35 million differences. But there are also 40-45 million bases in humans that are missing from chimps and about the same number present in chimps that are missing in humans. These extra DNA nucleotides are called insertions or deletions because they are thought to have been added or to be lost from the original sequence. This would put the total number of DNA differences at about 125 million. However, since the insertions can be more than one nucleotide long, there are 40 million total separate mutation events that would separate the two species in the evolutionary view.

    So how conceivable and plausible is it that apes evolved into humans? Evolution scientists speculate that ape to human evolution happened in about 300,000 generations. So for 40 million mutation changes to occur in 300k generations, there would have to be an average of 133 mutations per generation locked into the genome every generation. How many mutations that actually would result in changes that would evolve an ape to a human do you think would happen in a single generation? Evolution scientists cannot say on one hand that not enough time has passed for us to see these differences in apes today. But on the other hand say, that many changes per generation had to have occurred to make the evolution from ape to human. What natural selection mutation could result in higher language and intelligence?

    Instead, you quoted part of the article that SEEMS to boost YOUR position. Okay, what was the point? Proving things are similar does not PROVE common descent. You ended the quote with this:
    —-However, it now seems almost certain that chimp or bonobo is our nearest relative—-
    This conclusion has already been disregarded as I said in my next post. Scientist NOW say that we did not evolve from chimps.

    So how can the details give such great EVIDENCE “support” for our evolution, if later less than 10 years later, scientists can change their minds? Sounds like they have been guessing and proselytizing their beliefs before the data we have is solid evidence is concrete.

    James

  124. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    Regarding an apple that exists in the world: it’s existence is an objective fact. The fact of its existence does not require that even a single human being be alive to observe the apple’s existence. One human being being alive in the world can confirm its existence through direct and truthful observation. Morality between human beings in the world does not exist if there are no human beings alive in the world, and does not exist if there is only one human being alive in the world; it takes more than one human being being alive in the world for morality between human beings to exist. Therefore what is “objective” for an apple’s existence is different than what is “objective” for “morality between human beings” existence.

  125. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    And, by all measure, the Golden Rule, when applied correctly, and understood properly in all its complexity, the True Golden Rule if you will, is an objectively moral system of morality when one understands that what is objective for an apple’s existence is different than what is objective for “morality between human beings” existence.

  126. Posted May 25, 2015 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Did you even read that sentence or understand it? You can say all you want that people cherry pick and choose to say, reply, or report what they want. But you did EXACTLY the same thing here. Not only did you twist and totally miss what I said as explained above, your comments cherry picked on things that you wanted to comment on. You ignored other important points.

    I understood exactly what you said and exposed the error. It is simply absurd for you to say that “this does not automatically assume that an ape can change to a human or a reptile to a bird” if those are not valid possibilities to begin with. That’s like saying “Evolution is wrong because we have never found a crockaduck.” This exposes your fundamental ignorance of the most basic element of evolution. You have repeated this same error more than once, as when you said this:

    We have never observed a change from species family to a different family and or classification like reptile to bird. So data and the scientific method is on my side so far in this debate.

    It is utterly absurd to suggest that we should see BRANCHES of the evolutionary tree crossing over into different BRANCHES. That’s not how it works. Different species have common ancestors that BRANCHED a long time ago. To say that we should see a change to a different family on a different branch is ridiculous.

    Your charge of cherry picking is absurd. You have ignored and/or dodged most of the points I have raised.

  127. Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Instead, you quoted part of the article that SEEMS to boost YOUR position. Okay, what was the point? Proving things are similar does not PROVE common descent. You ended the quote with this:
    —-However, it now seems almost certain that chimp or bonobo is our nearest relative—-
    This conclusion has already been disregarded as I said in my next post. Scientist NOW say that we did not evolve from chimps.

    Your comment reveals your gross ignorance of the most basic elements of evolution. Scientists do NOT say that we evolved from chimps. They say that chimps and humans have a common ancestor that was neither a chimp or a human. Now look at what I quoted from the paper you cited. My quote was accurately. Your comments were not. You have repeatedly asserted absurdities about what evolutionary science teaches. You simply don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

  128. Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    So how conceivable and plausible is it that apes evolved into humans?

    As I’ve explained three times now, HUMANS ARE APES.

    So how conceivable and plausible is it that apes evolved into humans? Evolution scientists speculate that ape to human evolution happened in about 300,000 generations. So for 40 million mutation changes to occur in 300k generations, there would have to be an average of 133 mutations per generation locked into the genome every generation. How many mutations that actually would result in changes that would evolve an ape to a human do you think would happen in a single generation? Evolution scientists cannot say on one hand that not enough time has passed for us to see these differences in apes today. But on the other hand say, that many changes per generation had to have occurred to make the evolution from ape to human. What natural selection mutation could result in higher language and intelligence?

    That humans are a species of ape that evolved from previous species of ape is not merely plausible, but now sufficiently certain to be considered a scientific fact. If you disagree, please present me with a peer reviewed scientific paper that supports your case. Your number crunching is meaningless because you have demonstrated quite conclusively that you don’t even understand the most basic elements of evolutionary science. You don’t understand how DNA demonstrates common descent! You suggested the common patterns could be explained by common design. You didn’t realize that the kind of patterns we are talking about are random markers that determine paternity and have been thoroughly tested on subjects with KNOWN relations so we can confirm the theory. I have explained this to you many times, and you totally ignore it and refuse to admit the truth which means you are willfully persisting in known error. Do you not understand what that implies? You appear to prefer your religion over truth.

  129. Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    What natural selection mutation could result in higher language and intelligence?

    Are you saying that you can’t see the difference in intelligence between a worm, snake, mouse, cat, dog, pig, horse, dolphin, chimp, orangutan, and human? Brain size makes a huge difference in intelligence. Are you saying that evolution cannot account for any of those changes? Are you now denying all evolution relating to increased brain size? So you think that God magically created every species?

    I’ve asked before, and don’t recall seeing an answer. Are you a Young Earth Creationist?

  130. Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like they have been guessing and proselytizing their beliefs before the data we have is solid evidence is concrete.

    That’s how it sounds to the religiously brainwashed who are utterly ignorant of the science.

  131. Posted May 25, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    “Objective” morality/immorality is a decision that “the vast overwhelming majority of people alive at any moment” makes about the “nature” (good = moral/bad = immoral) of particular deeds that are “DONE TO THEM” by “other people” in the world. Therefore “GETTING PUNCHED by a stranger in the face for no reason whatsoever” is an objectively immoral deed; and with this knowledge I can safely walk down the street in probably any country in the world and be rest assured that “punching strangers in the face” is not going to be a welcome act by those strangers.

    I still cannot understand your use of the word “objective.” Something that “is a decision” is not “objective.”

    Why are you using that word? What do you think it means?

    Or, put another way, why would anyone say “do unto other people as you would have done unto” (Golden Rule) is a system of morality between human beings at all, if they say this in the same breath regarding “objective morality”, which they propose is a real thing: “things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them”; seeing as “as you would have done unto you” is a “belief”, and a person forming this “belief” (“as you would have done unto you”) by definition requires that “more than one human being” exists in the world.

    Trying to prove that objective morality exists in the world without looking at the situation this way is a fool’s errand. Why would anyone try to link the “Golden Rule” to a debate where their proposition is that “objective morality” is a real thing, with them saying: “things that are objectively real continue to exist whether or not you believe in them”, seeing as the Golden Rule is a belief.

    I honestly cannot make any sense out of your use of the word “objective.” Sorry.

  132. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “I still cannot understand your use of the word “objective.” Something that “is a decision” is not “objective.”

    Morality between human beings in the world is a decision that each of us makes every day, and therefore you are admitting that objective morality does not exist in the world, according to your understanding.

  133. Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    Morality between human beings in the world is a decision that each of us makes every day, and therefore you are admitting that objective morality does not exist in the world, according to your understanding.

    I am admitting no such thing. I am trying to figure out what you think the word “objective” means. Why do you keep using it? What do you think it means?

    When I speak of “objective morality” I am talking about moral decisions that are based on objective universal principles, like the Golden Rule. This is in contrast to “morality” that is based on arbitrary rules that are peculiar to specific ethnic groups, like “Anyone who doesn’t dance on Tuesday’s is an immoral pig.” Rules like that are not objective.

  134. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    It takes more than one human being existing in the world for morality between human beings to exist in the world, unlike the existence of an apple in the world, which does not require a single human being to exist in the world who is observing the apple’s existence in the world, for the apple’s existence in the world to exist and be a real thing, objectively. Therefore saying that the use of the word “objective” in regard to “morality between human beings” in the world means the exact same thing as the use of the word “objective” in regard to the “existence of an apple in the world” is fallacy, a fool’s errand.

    When the overwhelming vast majority of people in the world feel the same way about getting punched in the face by a stranger, that it is an immoral act, then the act itself is objectively immoral, bringing what was belief (the Golden Rule) into the realm of truth (True Golden Rule), no longer belief, but a force; having faith in the truth. It is why it is safe to assume that anywhere you travel in the world that it is an immoral act to punch strangers in the face.

  135. Posted May 25, 2015 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    When the overwhelming vast majority of people in the world feel the same way about getting punched in the face by a stranger, that it is an immoral act, then the act itself is objectively immoral, bringing what was belief (the Golden Rule) into the realm of truth (True Golden Rule), no longer belief, but a force; having faith in the truth. It is why it is safe to assume that anywhere you travel in the world that it is an immoral act to punch strangers in the face.

    That’s your mistake. The word “objective” refers to things that exist independently of how people feel. Here’s the first definition that Google presents:

    OBJECTIVE: (of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

  136. Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    When the overwhelming vast majority of people in the world feel the same way about getting punched in the face by a stranger, that it is an immoral act, then the act itself is objectively immoral, bringing what was belief (the Golden Rule) into the realm of truth (True Golden Rule), no longer belief, but a force; having faith in the truth. It is why it is safe to assume that anywhere you travel in the world that it is an immoral act to punch strangers in the face.

    Truth is not a democracy. It is possible that the “overwhelming vast majority” hold to a false opinion. E.g. they could all believe that the earth is flat, or the sun rotates around the earth, or that Yahweh is God. The mere fact that they all hold the same false opinion does not make that false opinion true.

  137. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “When I speak of “objective morality” I am talking about moral decisions that are based on objective universal principles, like the Golden Rule. This is in contrast to “morality” that is based on arbitrary rules that are peculiar to specific ethnic groups, like “Anyone who doesn’t dance on Tuesday’s is an immoral pig.” Rules like that are not objective”.

    That’s why the Golden Rule is not the True Golden Rule: “do unto others as you would have done unto you” is not the True Golden Rule at all. For instance someone who thinks that other people should judge them as an immoral pig for not dancing on Tuesday’s, if they adhere to the Golden Rule, will judge other people who don’t dance on Tuesday’s as immoral pigs, no matter who they are, worldwide. They are doing to other people as they would have done unto them.

    Getting punched in the face by a stranger can be safely assumed to be an immoral act in whichever country you visit, but “anyone who doesn’t dance on Tuesday’s is an immoral pig” cannot be safe to assume to be an immoral act in whichever country you visit. Getting punched in the face by a stranger is judged by the overwhelming vast majority of human beings worldwide as immoral whereas only a certain culture would judge not dancing on Tuesdays as immoral.

    That’s why the True Golden Rule is foundational across cultures and is not subjective, like having a problem with people that don’t dance on certain days, which would be a subjective judgment.

  138. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “That’s your mistake. The word “objective” refers to things that exist independently of how people feel”

    Morality does not exist outside of how people feel Richard. Morality requires people to feel.

    Your mistake is trying to connect the meaning of the word “objective” to the meaning of the word “morality”. “Objective” means existing in the world, outside of how people feel, whereas “morality” between human beings is a “decision” that human being “feel” is moral in regard to people’s deeds toward one another.

  139. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “Truth is not a democracy. It is possible that the “overwhelming vast majority” hold to a false opinion. E.g. they could all believe that the earth is flat, or the sun rotates around the earth, or that Yahweh is God. The mere fact that they all hold the same false opinion does not make that false opinion true”.

    Saying, and believing, that the Earth is flat, the sun rotates around the Earth, or that Yahweh is God, has nothing at all whatsoever to do with human morality towards one another in the world. Nothing. At. All. So I don’t know why you are speaking about things unrelated to morality in a discussion that is about morality.

  140. Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Saying, and believing, that the Earth is flat, the sun rotates around the Earth, or that Yahweh is God, has nothing at all whatsoever to do with human morality towards one another in the world. Nothing. At. All. So I don’t know why you are speaking about things unrelated to morality in a discussion that is about morality.

    I was trying to help you understand the meaning of the word “objective.” That word has nothing to do with morality per se.

  141. Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    Morality does not exist outside of how people feel Richard. Morality requires people to feel.

    Then why do you say it is objective?

  142. Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Your mistake is trying to connect the meaning of the word “objective” to the meaning of the word “morality”. “Objective” means existing in the world, outside of how people feel, whereas “morality” between human beings is a “decision” that human being “feel” is moral in regard to people’s deeds toward one another.

    Then what did you mean when you spoke of “objective morality”?

  143. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    I said:

    “Morality does not exist outside of how people feel Richard. Morality requires people to feel.

    Then why do you say it is objective?

    Because I know that the vast overwhelming majority of people in the world find certain foundational words and deeds to be immoral words and deeds if done to them by other people in the world, and they believe this way irrespective of their gender, religion, atheism, ethnicity, nationality, or sexuality. It’s safe to assume that people want to be spoken to and acted towards in certain foundational ways. This “safe to assume” is something that is based on truth, not belief, therefore “foundationally moral words and deeds” exist in the world, making them objective, but they still require more than one person existing in the world for them to exist in the world also.

  144. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    Put it this way, the day that the vast overwhelming majority of people in the world believe that getting punched in the face by a stranger is a moral deed, is the day that some other dimension, like the Twilight Zone, has invaded and taken over Earth, and changed the very foundational nature of the creation.

  145. Posted May 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Because I know that the vast overwhelming majority of people in the world find certain foundational words and deeds to be immoral words and deeds if done to them by other people in the world, and they believe this way irrespective of their gender, religion, atheism, ethnicity, nationality, or sexuality. It’s safe to assume that people want to be spoken to and acted towards in certain foundational ways. This “safe to assume” is something that is based on truth, not belief, therefore “foundationally moral words and deeds” exist in the world, making them objective, but they still require more than one person existing in the world for them to exist in the world also.

    OK – maybe we’ve been saying the same thing with different words. Communication is very difficult. Sometimes I’m surprised folks understand each other at all!

  146. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “OK – maybe we’ve been saying the same thing with different words. Communication is very difficult. Sometimes I’m surprised folks understand each other at all!”

    I agree on all points.

  147. Posted May 25, 2015 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    Put it this way, the day that the vast overwhelming majority of people in the world believe that getting punched in the face by a stranger is a moral deed, is the day that some other dimension, like the Twilight Zone, has invaded and taken over Earth, and changed the very foundational nature of the creation.

    Now you are making sense to me. You are grounding morality in the objective nature of reality. That’s been my point all along.

  148. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You said:
    That humans are a species of ape that evolved from previous species of ape is not merely plausible, but now sufficiently certain to be considered a scientific fact. If you disagree, please present me with a peer reviewed scientific paper that supports your case. Your number crunching is meaningless because you have demonstrated quite conclusively that you don’t even understand the most basic elements of evolutionary science. You don’t understand how DNA demonstrates common descent! You suggested the common patterns could be explained by common design. You didn’t realize that the kind of patterns we are talking about are random markers that determine paternity and have been thoroughly tested on subjects with KNOWN relations so we can confirm the theory. I have explained this to you many times, and you totally ignore it and refuse to admit the truth which means you are willfully persisting in known error. Do you not understand what that implies? You appear to prefer your religion over truth.——

    First, instead of just saying number crunching means nothing. Why don’t you demonstrate what is wrong with the numbers. Instead of telling me or explaining what is wrong with the numbers. You assert that the numbers do not mean anything. You have studies in mathematics and say that the numbers do not matter. You make no sense.

    Second, a peer reviewed journal means a great deal to people within the scientific main stream community that accept the same bias and premises of the main stream scientific community. If I said something about the Bible has been tested to be true based on a theological panel. I could say that multiple theologians have tested an interpretation of the Bible to be true. That would mean nothing to you because the theological opinion of the panel means nothing to you. (which is fair enough)
    But regarding scientific peer reviewed articles and journals, scientists love to challenge people who do not hold to main stream science theory to cite from a peer reviewed journal that supports “their” opinion or belief. Well, the scientific peer reviewed community would not let something like that pass through. Not because the evidence is not there, but because it does fall under the bias that is desired in the peer reviewed community.
    Let me give you an example of the hypocrisy of the peer reviewed scientific community. Do you accept the notion of a multi universe? You can find scientific articles, journals, and accepted books on the subject. According to scientists like Stephen Hawking, the multi-universe concept is the answer to deal with a fine tuned universe. Even secular, atheist scientists admit that it seems like “physics” have been monkeyed with. They just cannot suggest it was a deity of some sorts because that would be absurd to the scientific community. After all, the Bible is filled with superstitious ideas of primitive man that could not possibly be true (according to many) and there is no evidence for it. Why believe the supernatural any way? Well, what is interesting is the hypocrisy here which I will point out instead of just asserting. Scientists will say that we should not accept things without evidence and that we should not accept the supernatural. What does supernatural mean? That which is beyond nature and what cannot be perceived. So scientists like Stephen Hawking say that a multi-universe is the answer to where our universe came from. Many say that there are an infinite number of universes out there. And even though they admit that the uniqueness of our universe and our earth with life is hard to explain through natural causes, they say in an unlimited number of universes that even the most unlikely circumstances are possible. This is the latest answer to solve the fine tuning question. But the solution of the premise of a multi universe requires one to accept a theory that cannot be verified or proven. These same people even know that there is no way to perceive these other universes. They are supernatural, they exist outside, beyond our own universe. There is hypocrisy here. Articles that pass through peer reviews can be published about multi-universes. But there is no evidence to support multiple universes. It is the just the latest answer to make sense of the natural laws and fine tuned universe. They say that in an infinite number of universes, even the most unlikely events are possible. But if that is the case, then a deity could exists too under their parameters of the most unlikely circumstances being possible.
    So, asking me to find a peer reviewed article is unfair request. Of course, I will not find one that supports a non main stream position. Its like asking me to find a baptist who does not believe in believers baptism. If he didn’t believe in believers baptism, he wouldn’t be a baptist. All it really means is that a bunch of peers reviewed the premise and data and examined it to make sure it, but if the premise is not liked from the beginning, it is dismissed immediately without fully reviewing the data. You disbelieve me. But yet you did the same thing. Instead of reviewing the numbers and by the data itself dismiss it, all you did was disregard the my starting premise.

    You ask me if I am a young earth creationist. You are just trying to add fuel to your profiling attack on my presuppositions and will attack me if my premise does not match yours. But I will answer the question. So while I know there is no hard evidence to suggest that the earth, universe is only 6,000 years old, I also know there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests our earth and our solar system is younger than the evolutionary time scale requires. So I am strict on the earth being 6,000 years old but I also know there is very little to verify that the earth is 4.3 billion years old as well. I would be more open to the 100,000 to 1 million year range since there is more data to support this age range.

    James

  149. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    I also know that my use of the word “creation” might rub some people the wrong way, but I like it, as I find it very descriptive of the world around me. My understanding of evolution is very limited, but as I understand it, it is the most probable answer as to where we came from, and I have no problem acknowledging that I’m an animal. I like animals. But just to be straight, I personally don’t rule out even far fetched scenarios in regard to our origins. I know that last sentence can give a scientist a headache, but hey, science gives me a headache sometimes also.

  150. Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    First, instead of just saying number crunching means nothing. Why don’t you demonstrate what is wrong with the numbers. Instead of telling me or explaining what is wrong with the numbers. You assert that the numbers do not mean anything. You have studies in mathematics and say that the numbers do not matter. You make no sense.

    I do not assert that “numbers do not mean anything.” I said YOUR numbers don’t mean anything. You are cherry picking random numbers from scientific papers that directly contradict your central assertion. Not one of the scientists you cite would agree with your conclusions. Therefore, YOUR numbers mean nothing. You have no understanding of the most basic elements of evolutionary theory.

    But regarding scientific peer reviewed articles and journals, scientists love to challenge people who do not hold to main stream science theory to cite from a peer reviewed journal that supports “their” opinion or belief. Well, the scientific peer reviewed community would not let something like that pass through. Not because the evidence is not there, but because it does fall under the bias that is desired in the peer reviewed community.

    It’s true that people who reject the vast body of peer reviewed scientific results will be looked upon as cranks. Is that what you are complaining about? That creationists are recognized as cranks?

    These same people even know that there is no way to perceive these other universes. They are supernatural, they exist outside, beyond our own universe. There is hypocrisy here.

    There is no hypocrisy. The multiverse is assumed to be natural and subject to natural law. Your God hypothesis is supernatural by definition. It presupposes a magic man in the sky who creates by saying “abracadabra”. Get real.

    Articles that pass through peer reviews can be published about multi-universes. But there is no evidence to support multiple universes.

    They are extensions of established theories, and do not involve belief in ancient superstitions about some magic man in the sky.

    But there is no evidence to support multiple universes. It is the just the latest answer to make sense of the natural laws and fine tuned universe.

    That’s right. Multiverses are speculative. But at least they are patterned on existing natural theories. Your God concept is nothing but mere assertion with no precedent of any kind. It is nothing but superstition like Thor, Allah, or Yahweh. Why would anyone think that such a superstition was relevant?

    They say that in an infinite number of universes, even the most unlikely events are possible. But if that is the case, then a deity could exists too under their parameters of the most unlikely circumstances being possible.

    Yes, a “deity” could exist. It is possible that the universe was created by rainbow farts from an invisible Pink Unicorn. Do you really expect anyone to take that suggestion seriously?

    So, asking me to find a peer reviewed article is unfair request. Of course, I will not find one that supports a non main stream position. Its like asking me to find a baptist who does not believe in believers baptism. If he didn’t believe in believers baptism, he wouldn’t be a baptist. All it really means is that a bunch of peers reviewed the premise and data and examined it to make sure it, but if the premise is not liked from the beginning, it is dismissed immediately without fully reviewing the data.

    If creationist science had any validity, they could get it published in peer reviewed journals. If that failed, the could SCREAM BLOODY MURDER and post their “scientific findings” online and everyone would see that they are right. But that doesn’t happen. And why not. Because the creationist “science” is total crap. It is utter bullshit. It is ludicrous. If you disagree, then all you need to do is post some serious “creation science” that has not been refuted a dozen times.

    You ask me if I am a young earth creationist. You are just trying to add fuel to your profiling attack on my presuppositions and will attack me if my premise does not match yours. But I will answer the question. So while I know there is no hard evidence to suggest that the earth, universe is only 6,000 years old, I also know there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests our earth and our solar system is younger than the evolutionary time scale requires. So I am strict on the earth being 6,000 years old but I also know there is very little to verify that the earth is 4.3 billion years old as well. I would be more open to the 100,000 to 1 million year range since there is more data to support this age range.

    Thank you for answering that question. That’s all I needed to know. You reject the entire body of all science. The primary error of creationists is that they don’t understand the concept of consilience – the unity of knowledge. You cannot deny geology without denying astrophysics without denying chemistry without denying mathematics without denying biology without denying evolution without denying plate tectonics, etc., etc., etc. Reality is an integrated whole, and so anyone who denies one aspect of reality to protect their belief in ancient superstitions ultimately denies all reality. They descend into rank delusion. That is the inevitable fate of any young earth creationist, as you have proven in spades.

  151. Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I also know that my use of the word “creation” might rub some people the wrong way, but I like it, as I find it very descriptive of the world around me. My understanding of evolution is very limited, but as I understand it, it is the most probable answer as to where we came from, and I have no problem acknowledging that I’m an animal. I like animals. But just to be straight, I personally don’t rule out even far fetched scenarios in regard to our origins. I know that last sentence can give a scientist a headache, but hey, science gives me a headache sometimes also.

    I personally don’t like “creation” because it implies a “creator.”

    I don’t “rule out” far fetched scenarios, such as “cosmic mind” or some mystical origin. But I completely reject sectarian religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam because they attribute moral abominations to God.

  152. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “I personally don’t like “creation” because it implies a “creator.” ”

    I can see how you feel that way. I haven’t really thought about the subject very much. If I did, and if I was offended by the term after all, I would most likely change it from “creation” to the “world around me”.

    You said:

    “But I completely reject sectarian religions like Judaism, Christianity, and Islam because they attribute moral abominations to God”

    That’s exactly how I feel. I think it takes a strong person–who was indoctrinated into religion, or who holds to religious beliefs out of fear–to pry themselves free from that religion that attributes moral abominations to God.

  153. MichaelFree
    Posted May 25, 2015 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    You said:

    “Yes, a “deity” could exist. It is possible that the universe was created by rainbow farts from an invisible Pink Unicorn. Do you really expect anyone to take that suggestion seriously?”

    That’s awesome. I just wanted to point that out :) Also, agnosticism is truth whereas pure atheism is merely an assertion of truth. Agnosticism holds up to truth but pure atheism does not.

  154. James
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    You seem to insert things that are not valid. First, I did not say that I am a strict super young earth creationist. Saying that I was open to 100,000 – 1 million years is not a young earth creationist. Young earth creationists stick to 6-10,000 years.
    But I have asked before, and I will ask again, how do scientists confirm that our earth including our solar system is 4.3 billion years old? You seem confident that it is that old. So surely you have done the research on it. Instead of just saying things are absurd, why don’t you add some falsifiable value to your statements.
    Also, I need to point out your error and stretch in reality. Scientists who accept a younger than 4.3 billion year old earth are not in denial of unity of knowledge. It is the unity of knowledge that confirms a younger date. This is the irony of your position and attack. There are more dating methods that confirm a 100k to 1 million year range for the earth, our solar system, other planets in our solar system, commets, and our moon.
    You said we cannot believe in geology while denying astrophysics, biology, evolution, and mathematics. There are many scientists who believe in a creator who have no problems with the current application and understand of any and all of these fields of science and math. One can do great biology, astrophysicd, geology, and study about evolution without attaching a question of origin. Most good science today does not depend on the question of origin. Only when science tries to answer and insert an answer of origin does science come up short of being true science.

    You should try to use more explanations and do more teaching and answer questions rather than make a bunch of emotional (you had some stupid and bad language above, which is a product of unguided emotion, passion) non logical statements and comparisons that do not help your position and do nothing to put mine down. Comparing my beliefs to a rainbow and unicorn does nothing helpful. Because I have a spine, it does not insult me. It only demonstrates your contant insistence and use of redicule to belittle other opinions. You could try using facts and logic and specifics. Not just saying, science evidence has spoken.

    James

  155. Posted May 26, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    You should try to use more explanations and do more teaching and answer questions rather than make a bunch of emotional (you had some stupid and bad language above, which is a product of unguided emotion, passion) non logical statements and comparisons that do not help your position and do nothing to put mine down.

    I’ve done that many times, but you simply ignore what I write. Case in point: You have repeatedly suggested that if evolution were true we should expect to see branches of the phylogenetic tree merging into other branches. That’s the creationist crockaduck fallacy. Likewise, you have repeatedly exhibited gross ignorance of how DNA is used to determine common descent. Why should I try to teach you things that are common knowledge to anyone familiar with the topic? If you had any interest in truth you would have discovered it yourself long ago. You are ignorantly rejecting well established science merely because it contradicts your religious dogmas.

  156. Posted May 26, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Saying that I was open to 100,000 – 1 million years is not a young earth creationist.

    Great. You are only off by a factor of one to ten thousand. For your date range to be possible, you would have to reject both General Relativity and Quantum Physics.

  157. Posted May 26, 2015 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Scientists who accept a younger than 4.3 billion year old earth are not in denial of unity of knowledge.

    They most certainly are in denial of the unity of knowledge. For your date range to be possible, you would have to reject both General Relativity and Quantum Physics.

    Please cite three peer reviewed papers that suggest the earth is on the order of a 100,000 – 1,000,000 years old. Of if you can’t do that (because of the vast atheistic scientific conspiracy) please cite the evidence used by the “scientists” who advocate the younger earth.

  158. James
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Explain to me Richard how general relativity and quantum physics are limited to the earth being 4.3 billions years old? If anything, distant star light strongly suggests that the universe is over 14 billion years old. But it does not tell us how old our earth and solar system are. Even a dating of 14 billion for the universe is geocentric. Following this method, one is assuming our earth is near the center of universe. I would dare say that distant star light only would demonstrate the minimum age of our universe, not the actual age. Secular scientists are divided on this question of our earth’s position relative to the rest of the universe.

    You have not said one falsifiable statement regarding evolution. Pity, there is not to glean from here.
    The closest you came to making a falsifiable statement is that we have no Cambrian rabbits. I have heard this one alot. Must be all quoting from a leading pioneer who made the statement popular. But sadly this is not falsifiable. If one geology column was believed to be x years old, maybe cambrean, if a rabbit was found, what is keeping them from redating that layer or just saying we were wrong before. Any Cambrian
    Layer is a layer that has no rabbit in it. And any layer with a rabbit in it is not restricted to mammal. It is that simple. So it is not falsiable. No scientist is committed to previous assertions enough to be falsified.

    James

  159. Posted May 26, 2015 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Following this method, one is assuming our earth is near the center of universe.

    Again, you are displaying your gross ignorance of elementary physics. There is no center to the universe in General Relativity.

  160. Posted May 26, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    You have not said one falsifiable statement regarding evolution.

    Not true. I have repeatedly asserted that DNA gives compelling evidence for common descent. That is a falsifiable assertion. You have yet to write anything that indicates you even understand the evidence, let alone that you could refute it. Your rejection of evolution is based on blind devotion to religious dogma and complete ignorance of the science.

  161. Posted May 26, 2015 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    Explain to me Richard how general relativity and quantum physics are limited to the earth being 4.3 billions years old? If anything, distant star light strongly suggests that the universe is over 14 billion years old. But it does not tell us how old our earth and solar system are.

    I was talking about both the age of the universe and the earth. The 14.3 billion years is based on General Relativity whereas the age of the earth is based primarily on Quantum Physics (radiometric dating). But there are many other facts and fields of science that confirm the dates.

    I asked for your EVIDENCE and you have ignored my request. That’s very revealing.

  162. Posted May 26, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    But sadly this is not falsifiable. If one geology column was believed to be x years old, maybe cambrean, if a rabbit was found, what is keeping them from redating that layer or just saying we were wrong before. Any Cambrian Layer is a layer that has no rabbit in it. And any layer with a rabbit in it is not restricted to mammal. It is that simple. So it is not falsiable. No scientist is committed to previous assertions enough to be falsified.

    Not true. It would be trivial to falsify if you could find rabbits fossilized with trilobites, for example. But you can’t do that. The fossil record proves the fact of evolution and you simply reject truth in favor of your religious dogmas, same as any deluded cult member like the JWs, Scientologists, Mormons and Muslims.

  163. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Michael, God’s Word to agnostics and atheists is: trust in the LORD and lean not on your own understanding.

    They, and all sinners, need to be aware that lack of understanding “hurts” man.

    If they are willing the LORD will teach them the truth that they are unsaved. The LORD is love and longs to be able to draw them to to Christ. He can teach that His Son is Savior.

    The question is: are they desirous to learn from the Teacher of teachers? Are they desirous to wholeheartedly trust and obey Him? Are they willing to follow Him?

  164. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    Hello Richard,

    For your reading pleasure,

    International Human Genome Sequencing Consortium. 2004.
    Finishing the euchromatic sequence of the human genome.
    Nature
    431:931–945

    That should be a link to a PDF, if it doesn’t work by either copy and paste into your web browser, let me know.
    It will make some assertions that you will, no doubt, not accept. But look up in Nature (which is a secular scientific journal) and will see that the selection process for reporting homology is selective.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v431/n7011/full/nature03001.html

    Here is an example from the above from Nature:
    ———
    We searched for clusters of nearby homologous genes, indicative of local gene duplication. The divergence between such genes was assessed at sites likely to be selectively neutral, by measuring the estimated substitution rate per synonymous site (KS). We looked for nearby human gene pairs differing from one another by KS < 0.30, implying that each differs from the common ancestral source gene by an average KS < 0.15. This threshold corresponds roughly to duplications arising after divergence from the rodent lineage, either by recent gene duplication or perhaps recent gene conversion of older duplications (see Methods in Supplementary Information). A total of 1,183 genes exhibit such divergence from a neighbouring gene (see Methods in Supplementary Information). These genes often fall within larger clusters of paralogous genes including genes with greater divergence and reflecting older duplications. These clusters contain ~3,300 genes, and those having at least five genes involved in recent duplication events are shown in Table 4. Analysis of phylogenetic trees containing the related human and mouse genes confirms that the genes are more closely related within each species than between the two species in nearly all cases (97%), as would be expected for genes arising by duplication after the divergence of the human and rodent lineages.——

    So the 97%, does not mean as much now. You can go to the page to see the table it refers to.

    Also, consider this. You seem to think there is no reason to consider design for anything we can observe in our universe. Or nothing in our universe requires a design explanation. Stephen Hawking even recognizes things appear to have been designed (even though he rejects this of course)
    "Our universe and its laws appear to have a design that both is tailor-made to support us and, if we are to exist, leaves little room for alteration. That is not easily explained. It raises the natural question of why it is that way." —Stephen Hawking, The Grand Design, Random House Digital Inc Sept 7th, 2010 pp 159-162.

  165. James Mckenzie
    Posted May 26, 2015 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Tomkins, J.P., Genome-Wide DNA Alignment Similarity (Identity) for 40,000 Chimpanzee DNA Sequences Queried against the Human Genome is 86–89%, Answers Res. J. 4:233–241

    forgot this link too

  166. MichaelFree
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    With an understanding that:

    God = good
    Devil = evil

    In one of my comments above I linked together an unrighteous sequence of the Gospels, about lying and murdering (evil). I am obliged to also say a righteous sequence in the Gospels, about speaking the truth and life (good):

    The Jesus character in the Gospels said the “True Golden Rule”:

    He said: “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Golden Rule). He said: “all things whatsoever that people should do to you, do to them likewise, this is the law and the prophets” (Golden Rule). He said: “the law and the prophets (Golden Rule) were until John the Baptist, and since then the Kingdom of God is preached”. Therefore the Golden Rule is not the True Golden Rule (Kingdom of God). What is the Kingdom of God (True Golden Rule)? He said: “love one another”.

    “Love one another” is the answer to “love thy neighbor as thyself”; even for people who feel like they hate themself (no love for self), they are not obliged to “hate thy neighbor as thyself” because of their self-hate, but rather they are obliged to “love one another”.

    Matthew 18:19 is one of my favorite righteous quotes from the Gospels: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” = “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth” = “Kingdom of God”.

    “Do unto others as you would have done unto you” (Golden Rule): when each and every individual is respected, recognizing that the Golden Rule belongs to each and every individual, then each and every individual owns: “as you would have done unto you”, making the True Golden Rule = “do unto others only what they would agree to”, bringing us to Matthew 18:19 again: “Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven”.

    When one uses wisdom to discern who (children, adults, elderly people, impaired people, etc) has the right to agree or not agree to deeds done to them in life, then one has found righteousness, a straight and narrow path = you are judging righteously, not only other people, but also your own words and deeds in life.

    Someone may think that not dancing on Tuesdays is an immoral act, and doesn’t mind being judged that way themselves, but they are in for an awakening when they realize that their unrighteous judgment against everyone in the world who does not dance on Tuesdays is not a human principle, but rather a cultural principle. Righteousness is not a cultural principle but rather a human principle. We are all human beings. There exists foundationally moral words and deeds that connect each and every human being, and what are potentially beings from other worlds, and what is potentially a righteous moral supernatural entity.

    Judaism is a cultural principle, not a human principle. Christianity is a cultural principle, not a human principle. Islam is a cultural principle, not a human principle. Much of Judaism thinks that non-Jews are meant to be slaves to Jews. Much of Christianity thinks that non-Christians are meant to burn in hell when they die. Much of Islam thinks that non-Muslims can be murdered and that they go to hell when they die. And they are all in a prison where they don’t understand human principles but rather think that their cultural principles will somehow rule one day. And they all say that their cultural principles that look down upon other human beings are “the truth”, but cultural principles have nothing to do with “the truth”, only human and sentient being principles have anything to do with “the truth”. The truth sets one free. “God” is a humanist.

  167. MichaelFree
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The lying and murdering sequence has become what most of Christianity is today: they lie about the truth (because the truth is not a cultural principle, but rather it’s a human principle) and in their doctrine is a continuous and eternal process of murder of non-Christians in an imaginary place called hell. If their lying and murderous doctrine didn’t carry over into the real world I would chalk up their lying and murderous ideology as just another belief, in other words, not lying and not murderous, but because the lying and murderous ideology does carry over into the real world, I will call it what it is: promotion of lying and murdering. Why won’t I judge the character Jesus in the Gospels as a promoter of lying and murdering? Because there are more than one interpretations of the Gospels. Just because some phony church with a billion plus adherents believes something to be true, does not make it true. A billion plus people can say that an apple is not an apple, but the one person who says yeah, actually, an apple is an apple, is using objective truth, not belief, and they are correct, one vs a billion plus. Morality is different than an apple. We are born with an intense need to be treated morally by other people. And in this, God is good. This is not a fallen world, but rather the Kings of the Earth, including the Christianity religion King, the Judaism religion King, and the Islam religion King, must be raised from their seats. Notice I said nothing about whether or not Jesus the person is a King, for I do not know; I said “Christianity, Judaism, and Islam”.

    Have you ever looked at a strawberry (insert your favorite whole food here) and thought, wow, this is candy on a vine, I know I’m meant to live on Earth and that it is a gift, not a curse. life is good.

    The truth and life sequence is the true church.

  168. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 27, 2015 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    The King of kings taught that hell isn’t an imaginary place.

    Everyone should be interested in exploring to find out the identity of Jesus!

    It’s totally unsatisfactory to sit on the fence, like Michael does.

    Time and time again he writes that he doesn’t know whether Jesus is King.

    If Jesus wasn’t King of the Jews, He couldn’t be Their Savior.

    If Jesus wasn’t the true righteous King, His dying on the cross would help nobody!

    Jesus was God and the King of the Kingdom of God!

    Explorers for truth, are you welcoming the risen Jesus to be your King? Do bow down before Him and worship the Lord in spirit and truth?

    Is He preeminent in your life? Are you trusting in His perfect, atoning sacrifice on the cross?

  169. MIchaelFree
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Are the Gospels trustworthy?
    No.

    Is the Jesus character trustworthy?
    No.

    What is trustworthy?
    That one would say “love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “love one another”, and mean it.

    Why is that trustworthy?
    Because it is good.

    What is untrustworthy?
    That one would say “love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “love one another”, and not mean it.

    Why is that untrustworthy?
    Because it is not good.

    Who are my neighbors?
    Everyone in the whole world.

    If I became a “Christian”, could I still “love thy neighbor as myself”?
    No.

    Why?
    Because “Christians” think that they are separate from other human beings, and not one with them, so they don’t “love thy neighbor as thyself”.

    Is the fence better than the gutter?
    Yes.

    Do I “love thy neighbor as thyself”?
    Yes.

    Do I “love the Spirit of goodness with all my heart, with all my mind, and with all my soul”?
    Yes.

  170. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Michael, why do persist in calling what God calls trustworthy, untrustworthy?
    Don’t you want to love Your LORD?

  171. MichaelFree
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    My LORD is GOODNESS. I love my LORD. My LORD is THE TRUTH. My LORD is LOVE. My LORD is PEACE. My LORD is COMPASSION. My LORD is not found in a book. My LORD is found in my HEART. Your book is a man-made temple, an idol that speaks abominations against my LORD, and that speaks abominations against my fellow human beings, and that attempts to usurp THE TRUTH, and that attempts to usurp the human being, whom also speaks, whom wants to be treated morally by other PEOPLE and by the LORD.

  172. Reine Gnade
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Michael, if the the truth is your Lord, then why don’t you recognise Him? Why don’t you praise Him wholeheartedly in your writing? Has the true Lord, Jesus Christ ever disappointed you? He iis the Lord, not your understanding of the truth! Michael, invite the Lord to teach you and don’t lean on your own understanding, for it falls short of glorifying Him!

  173. MichaelFree
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    The Truth is not a person.

    If I have an apple in my hand and I say “I have an apple in my hand”, my words are TRUE WORDS and they’re spoken in the Spirit of Truth. .

    If someone else owns an apple, and I want that apple, and I ask that person for that apple rather than stealing that apple, it is a TRUE DEED, and it’s done in the Spirit of Truth. If someone looks for a righteous path on their own accord then what they find they own, for it is their birthright, and no one can steal it from them.

    If I want to wrestle with a friend of mine, and I ask my friend to wrestle rather than forcing my friend to wrestle against his will, it is a TRUE DEED, and it’s done in the Spirit of Truth.

    If I see someone who is in need and I ask to help them to the best of my ability, and I do this when I can, and at least according to what help I would appreciate if I were in the same need, it is a TRUE DEED, and it’s done in the Spirit of Truth.

    When I have to restrain a liar, a thief, or someone who physically violates other people, and I don’t use vengeance, but rather call out their lie with the truth, physically prevent them from stealing, or physically prevent them from doing further physical harm to someone, and I stop there, at the point of restraint, and go no further into the realm of transgression–so no eye for an eye, no revenge–but rather use compassion, fairness, justice, and rehabilitation, it is a TRUE DEED, and it is done in the Spirit of Truth.

    So I ask you what you asked me, why don’t you recognize the TRUTH as LORD, and why do you instead call the LORD dirty rags? Or, why do you say that Jesus is your righteousness when your righteousness is within you?

    You said:

    “Has the true Lord, Jesus Christ ever disappointed you?”

    Yes. The character Jesus in the Gospels has disappointed me greatly, because I can see why you interpret the Gospels the way that you do, and I’m ashamed of it, because the Righteous Jesus I first found in my lonely reading of the Gospels is not the same unrighteous Jesus that you found in “Christianity”.

    So I say the same thing to you:

    Reine Gnade, Gnade, bibelverse, Josef Sefton, or whatever name you choose to use, invite the TRUE LORD to teach you and don’t lean on “Christianity’s” understanding, for it falls short of glorifying THE ONE TRUE GOD. Jesus said the true bread. I don’t know why you didn’t hear Him. Instead you go in circles, never seeing goodness in all who do good, and instead judge them on stupid things, and say stupid things, like good deeds are dirty rags, and Jesus is your righteousness; that’s what an evil prick would want you to think: do what thou wilt but praise the evil prick. And your evil prick Jesus would have me put a knife to my dead atheist dad’s throat, all to save my own ass from being tortured by your evil prick Jesus.

    I remember my dad every year on the day that he died. Every year. I don’t believe I’ve ever missed one, ever since I was twelve. You’re evil prick Jesus can’t take that from me. I love my dad and I miss him dearly.

  174. MichaelFree
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t want to muck up this thread with ping pong with you Gnade. I’ve said all I want to say to you.

  175. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 28, 2015 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    The LORD reveals to His creation that he needs a teacher. If man desires to prosper he should listen to the Son of God, for He can bless us with everything we need to honor the LORD!

    Michael, I encourage you to ask the LORD to help you believe John 14:6!

    That single verse shows that the foundation of what you teach is false.

    Jesus is a person and He is the truth. He is also the righteous way, so when we trust and obey Him and follow Him, He leads us in the paths of righteousness.

    David’s witness in Psalm 23 testifies to this sound teaching. Truly there is no unrighteousness in the good Shepherd who is the bread of life.

    Michael, desire wholeheartedly to put your trust in Him, for He is the Teacher of teachers.

  176. MichaelFree
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I guess I do have another thing to say to you after all:

    You said:

    “The LORD reveals to His creation that he needs a teacher”.

    I don’t deny that right at the right moment in my life, at the moment I was looking for the answer to the Golden Rule, and had came up with “do unto others only what they would agree to”, that at that moment I picked up the Gospels, and Jesus said the same thing, and showed me what it meant, and also taught me much more, all because it was what I was looking for (seek and ye shall find). Jesus is my teacher, the Teacher of Righteousness. And then “Christianity” showed me another way to look at what he taught, and I’m disgusted with it, and I feel like a fool, and I feel like Jesus is a Luciferian trickster. Now life itself, not a book, teaches me wisdom, tact, and discernment, as I follow the path laid before me, a path that can never change, because it’s built into who we are as a people.

    You said:

    “Michael, I encourage you to ask the LORD to help you believe John 14:6! That single verse shows that the foundation of what you teach is false”.

    John 14: 6 Jesus saith unto him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”.

    It is you that does not believe that the foundation of what I teach is TRUTH. At the very foundation of your words and your deeds you have a choice to make, either choose TRUTH or the lie. Who did Jesus say the father of lies was? What makes you think that when a TRUTH teller speaks the TRUTH that it is filthy rags? It is because you bow to a deity and not to the TRUTH. That deity can steal, assault people, rape people, murder people, torture people, and enslave people, and does all this throughout the bible, and says that it is holy, which is a lie, and you still bow to it. You bow to a transgressor who does deeds that I, as a follower of THE TRUTH am not allowed to do. So who is your deity? Satan?

    In John 14:6 Jesus is saying that he is TRUE words and that he is TRUE deeds; that he is the Spirit that each of these is done in. TRUE words and TRUE deeds are the WAY, and when we function this way the world is filled with LIFE, LOVE, TRUTH, GOODNESS, PEACE, HAPPINESS, and JOY. We are MADE to want to be treated MORALLY and to want to ENJOY LIFE and to have FUN. But you turn it upside down and say that good people who are moral who are not “Christians” go to hell when they die, and your words are pure transgression and not the true bread.

    Psalm 23

    1{A Psalm of David.} The LORD (TRUTH) is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    2He (THE TRUTH) maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he (THE TRUTH) leadeth me beside the still waters.

    3He (THE TRUTH) restoreth my soul: he (THE TRUTH) leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s (THE TRUTH) sake.

    4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (lies, thefts, murders), I will fear no evil: for thou (THE TRUTH) art with me; thy rod (TRUTH AND AGREEMENT) and thy staff they comfort me.

    5Thou (THE TRUTH) preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies (liars, thieves, murderers): thou (THE TRUTH) anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

    6Surely goodness (GOODNESS) and mercy (COMPASSION) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD (THE TRUTH) for ever.

    TRULY

  177. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    I can see what you are doing, Michael, and it is totally wrong!

    You want the wisdom of God, without desiring to acknowledge that the eternal Son has lived as a human being.

    You believe that by depersonalising God you have discovered true wisdom. What you have done is allowed Satan to deceive you, for God forbids man to tamper with the holy Bible.

    The fact that Jesus was both God and man shows that you have been deceived. Jesus never taught as you teach. He taught His students to pray to the LORD who reveals Himself in the holy bible.

    Michael, you claim that Jesus is your teacher, but then refuse to do what He commands you to do. Jesus and the Father are one. When someone truly loves Jesus, they also love the LORD who reveals Himself in both the Old and New Testament.

  178. MichaelFree
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Gnade,

    If the supernatural intelligence I have witnessed many times wants me to know its true nature, good or evil, it will show me one day. It is a person in that it is intelligent. Until then Righteousness is King. The same name I thought was good, Jesus, I’m not so sure of anymore. Your religion, along with Judaism and Islam, are an abomination of desolation standing where it ought not and I’m very serious about this. I would love to praise the supernatural intelligence, not to ask it for favors of any sort, no wealth, no health, nothing, I just want to praise it for being good and for showing me a good life. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are not good. If they were good they would look upon everyone in the world as Jews, Christians, and Muslims, even people who are not Jews, Christians, and Muslims. This is what love thy neighbor as thyself means. The day that shall come shall come: Jeremiah 31:34 “And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”.

    Here’s true wisdom for you: is it better to be a Christian liar in life or an atheist truth teller in life? If you say Christian liar your religion is a fraud, and I will know who the father of your religion is. And before you say that a liar is not a true Christian, I will tell you the same thing, a liar is not a true Christian. So what is an atheist who does not lie? The answer is: a follower of the Messiah, one who walks with God. Is Jesus the Messiah? We’ll find out. I know I’m not the Messiah, that is for sure, just as I know that I am not God. I am a human being, nothing more, nothing less. I have not been perfect in my life but I have chosen goodness.

  179. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Was Jesus the Messiah? That question can be answered with one word: Yes.

    Christ means the annointed One. He came from the Creator and He is the Creator, for nobody other than the Creator has the authority to save His sinful creation.

  180. MichaelFree
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    Reveal yourself Gnade:

    Is it better to be a Christian liar in life or an atheist truth teller in life?

  181. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Can a Christian lie? Yes. Can a Christian lie as a lifestyle? No.

    Can an atheist lie? Yes. Can an atheist lie as a lifestyle? Yes.

  182. MichaelFree
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    My older brother is an atheist. He has been non-violent his whole life.

    Your religion says that your God is going to do violence to my non-violent brother when he passes. Is your religion holy? Can a Christian lie? Yes. Can a Christian lie as a lifestyle? Yes.

  183. MichaelFree
    Posted May 29, 2015 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    Can a Christian who lies as a lifestyle still attend church and still be counted as part of the flock? Yes.

  184. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 30, 2015 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Belonging to a church or being considered part of the flock doesn’t guarantee that someone is born again from above or a true Christian.

    Attention! Many people who consider themselves Christians are Satanists!

    If someone is a Satanist then they are Satanist! Someone can be a Satanist, profess to be a Christian, teach and preach in a church or be a president or PM.

    The goal of secret societies, where Satan is worshipped, has long been to overcome what many consider Christianity by infilterating these so called places of worship. Have they been successful?
    Look at Roman Catholicism and Pentacolicism for the answer.

  185. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 30, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Pentecostalism

  186. Posted May 30, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Belonging to a church or being considered part of the flock doesn’t guarantee that someone is born again from above or a true Christian.

    Attention! Many people who consider themselves Christians are Satanists!

    Please explain explain exactly what would “guarantee” that someone is a “true Christian.” Was I a “true Christian” when I wrote the Bible Wheel book and proclaimed total faith in God, Jesus, and the Bible?

  187. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 30, 2015 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Richard, I do know that you are a man with a considerable intellect. A decade ago I personally used to profit from your studies and found your linking Bible verses together, as you did in your Bible wheel, a wise approach to Bible study. I found your work to be praiseworthy and I believe your efforts were honorable.

    What the Bible calls being born again is something only the LORD can do.Truly repentance is His gift to man. Every human being, no matter which country they live in, has the opportunity to repent.

  188. Posted May 30, 2015 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Please explain explain exactly what would “guarantee” that someone is a “true Christian.” Was I a “true Christian” when I wrote the Bible Wheel book and proclaimed total faith in God, Jesus, and the Bible?

    What the Bible calls being born again is something only the LORD can do.Truly repentance is His gift to man. Every human being, no matter which country they live in, has the opportunity to repent.

    You didn’t answer my question.

  189. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 30, 2015 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    What’s all this talk about guarantees. Sinners need, above all else, to become aware that they are sinners in need of salvation!

    The LORD has provided the holy Bible to introduce us to truth of our sinful condition.

    Any actor can say they believe in the LORD, but the LORD sees what motivates us and desires us to welcome Him to teach us His will!

    Richard, the invitation is there for you to hunger and thirst for an intimate relationship with the LORD.
    Will you lay aside your misguided grievances and say a resounding “Yes” to the most exciting and rewarding adventure of all?

  190. Posted May 31, 2015 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    What’s all this talk about guarantees. Sinners need, above all else, to become aware that they are sinners in need of salvation!

    What’s all this talk about guarantees? Have you forgotten your own words? You had said that “Belonging to a church or being considered part of the flock doesn’t guarantee that someone is born again from above or a true Christian.” So I asked you what would “guarantee” that someone is a true Christian. If you can’t answer that, then you don’t know if you are true Christian and your faith could be in vain.

  191. Posted May 31, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Richard, the invitation is there for you to hunger and thirst for an intimate relationship with the LORD.
    Will you lay aside your misguided grievances and say a resounding “Yes” to the most exciting and rewarding adventure of all?

    You have not shown that any of my reasons for rejecting your religion are misguided.

  192. Josef Sefton
    Posted May 31, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

    Isaiah 40:8

    Richard, do you desire these words to be written on the tablet of your heart? If you trusted this verse the LORD would delight to teach you that virtually everything you teach about Him is flawed.

    Richard, stop living in a dream world that you”ve concocted and resolve to be a diligent student of the holy Bible. Say “Yes” to trusting and obeying the LORD who reveals Himself in the Holy Bible.

  193. Posted June 1, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

    Isaiah 40:8

    Richard, do you desire these words to be written on the tablet of your heart? If you trusted this verse the LORD would delight to teach you that virtually everything you teach about Him is flawed.

    No, I don NOT desire that those perverse words be written on my heart. The Bible glorifies murder. It delights in eternal torment of anyone who dares to hold a different opinion.

    Why do you keep repeating the same absurdities like a mindless robot? I have explained my reasons for rejecting the horrible immorality taught by the Bible. If you think I am wrong, you need to address the reasons I have given. Merely repeating your dogmas only confirms that your religion tends to corrupt the minds and morals of believers. I’ve explained this a million times to you. Why do you continue to ignore what I write?

  194. MichaelFree
    Posted June 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    The Gospels are a simple story really: the character Jesus did not harm anyone with his hands, he used his hands to heal people, and then people used their hands to kill Jesus.

    End of story.

    The first principle of true righteousness on Earth is to not lay our hands on other people without their consent. Falling down stairs and related scenarios excepted, obviously. The Spirit is what I’m talking about. It’s why Jesus is always depicted as innocent–because he was, not by religious standards, but by human standards. He harmed no one. How do you kill a guy in public that harmed no one? It was because of religion. The religious people did not like him because of how many people listened to him. They also pointed to the bible where it said to not work on the Sabbath. You see how religion corrupted the minds and morals of those who killed Jesus?

    Christianity does this same thing to people’s souls, in their minds at least. The atheist harms no one. How do the Christians kill a guy in public that harmed no one? It was because of religion. The religious people did not like him because of how many people listened to him. You see how religion corrupted the minds and morals of those who killed the atheist’s soul (in their minds!)?

  195. Random Person
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    “The atheist harms no one.”

    Stupidest. Comment. Ever.

  196. MichaelFree
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Point being, atheism by itself, harms no one. Christianity has no problem proclaiming violence (hell) towards the non-violent (atheist) because Christianity is a fraud.

    Take care.

  197. MichaelFree
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    I was raised to be a good person by a good atheist family. My family killed Satan and destroyed hell, so I was raised with righteousness, the truth. I just saw a beautiful Muslim woman and her daughter walking. They were harming no one, and just like that, with the smile on her face, the Christian God was slain, and the Muslim one, and the Jewish one, because he is wicked. The One True God has no deceit in his mouth and does no violence.

    Illuminating wisdom.

  198. MichaelFree
    Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    I assume it was her daughter. It could of been anyone. Smiles are good.

  199. Posted June 2, 2015 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Point being, atheism by itself, harms no one. Christianity has no problem proclaiming violence (hell) towards the non-violent (atheist) because Christianity is a fraud.

    That’s what I thought you meant. I’m glad you clarified. It would be rather silly to say that no “atheist” ever hurt anyone.

  200. Random Person
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Stalin, atheist, had 70 million Christians killed. Mao Zedong, atheist, killed 20 million. Pol Pot, atheist, killed 1.5 million.

    Atheists harm no one?

    “Rather silly” indeed.

  201. Posted June 3, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Stalin, atheist, had 70 million Christians killed. Mao Zedong, atheist, killed 20 million. Pol Pot, atheist, killed 1.5 million.

    Atheists harm no one?

    “Rather silly” indeed.

    Stalin rejected Allah no less than Yahweh. Was that the cause of his crimes? I don’t think so. And besides, both those Middle Eastern deities were violent war gods who taught their followers to kill those who did not submit to their rule. The Bible quotes Yahweh as declaring “I am a man of war” and delighting in the slaughter of his enemies. So I really don’t see your point. Especially since Hitler led an army of Christians to commit genocide against the Jews. And the Pope led an army of Christians in the crusades. The problem is barbaric ideology and malformed humanity which is found in the religious as often as the atheistic. I see no no reason to think that the barbaric acts of dictators were motivated by atheism.

  202. MichaelFree
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Well said Richard.

  203. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    What happened to Jesus isn’t just a story like in a book by Charles Dickens. Everything that happened to Jesus was historical. He truly was a real man when He lived on earth! He was both sinless and God with us.

    The Creator said of Him: this is Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, and when we wholeheartedly love Him Our heavenly Father will be pleased with us.

    The Gospel doesn’t end with the physical death of the righteous King, for He is risen from the dead.
    Will you trust in the Word of God? Will you trust in the way and the truth and the life? Will you trust in God’s unique gift to humanity? Will you hunger and thirst to glorify His holy name?

  204. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Any rejection of the true God, the God if the holy Bible, makes us more vulnerable to believe the lies of Satan.

    Where does barbarism come from? It comes from Satan who goes around like a devouring lion!

    He has rejected God, so whenever he deceives man they become more prone to speak and behave in a barbaric manner. Yes, there is a very strong link between atheism and hatred of man.

  205. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Any rejection of the true God, the God of the holy Bible, makes us more vulnerable to believe the lies of Satan.

  206. Posted June 3, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Where does barbarism come from? It comes from Satan who goes around like a devouring lion!

    The Bible attributes horrible barbarism to Yahweh. Have you never read the “good” book?

    1 Samuel 15:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him in the way, when he came up from Egypt. 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

    Killing babies! If that’s not barbaric, what is?

  207. Random Person
    Posted June 3, 2015 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    this one is a perfect example of how you don’t understand the context of these things. if you knew what Amalek really was, who they were, what they were up to…..you would have them killed to. well perhaps not, as you are atheist with those special powers of abhorring violence….but the point is there is a true justice in God’s instructions to wipe out Amalek. you can see into this, if you wanted to, by looking at the exchange between Samuel and Saul…..Saul was told to decapitate the king of Amalek, but he let himself be sweet talked out of it. Samuel went ballistic, and went ahead and finished the job himself, as was supposed to happen. barbaric? if you don’t understand what was really happening, and you are really committed to finding YWHW barbaric (fingers in ears, lalalallalala). but understand this: the King of the Amalekites named himself Apopi, after the Egyptian satan, the serpent. each year the pharaoh would symbolically reenact in ritual the killing of Apopi, or Apap, by symbolically cutting off his head. this demonstrated his power over evil. this is why Saul was told to cut off the head of the king of the Amalekites: it was a cosmic power ritual with huge overtones of reverberation through divine history. but you know nothing of this, and are only interested in pushing the whole YWHW was a Bad God angle. all your examples are like this. there is simply more to the story than meets the eye. but if you want it to be about killing babies, go right ahead. meanwhile, plenty of that happening in Hampstead, so perhaps some indignation needs to be directed there as well.

    you know, i actually kind of agree with this though “The problem is barbaric ideology and malformed humanity which is found in the religious as often as the atheistic.” That’s cool. the problem arises then when you want to extrapolate asymmetrically from there, so whilst both religioius and atheists suffer the issues you describe in that sentence, you then want to absolve the atheists of getting their atheism involved in the killing, but you want the christianity to be part of it. so then we get this ridiculous meme of “all wars are caused by religion”, and its corollary, “atheism doesn’t kill anyone”. which MichaelFree kind of garbled when he tried to present it as “no atheist ever harmed anyone”.

    Stalin a complete bastard, and killed 70 million, and doesn’t need anyone defending it, or blaming it on his moustache or whatever. Solzhenitsyn was there, he saw it, he knew. and this is what he said:

    “Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”
    Since then I have spent well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” ”

    there are no christians versus atheists. that’s an illusion. we are all sinners, we are all on a journey, we are all suffering in deep existential pain from separation from Godhead. we are just all coping with it in a different way. peace out.

  208. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Random Person, Christians are no longer separated from God!

  209. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 4:14 am | Permalink

    Richard, if you don’t study history very carefully, how can you you discover how evil man has behaved? There have been many times during our history when we have behaved deranged and out of control. The barbarism that goes on is worldwide. If you and Rose and Michael made any effort to study human history you would be horrified.
    The Bible is correct. Truly the heart of man is deceitful. Hatred is at boiling point worldwide and Michael teaches that rebellious man is good!

    How easily sinful men and women are deceived. Yet, for those who hunger and thirst for Christ, there is still hope. So study His words and life and welcome the LORD to you.

  210. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 4:18 am | Permalink

    Welcome the LORD to teach you!

  211. MichaelFree
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Random Person,

    The very act of murdering a baby is evil in the extreme, and then you have the nerve to excuse the baby killings with some wild story about “a cosmic power ritual with huge overtones of reverberation through divine history”. That’s your excuse for grown men murdering babies! That book has stolen common sense and common decency from you and has packaged up the theft in some BS story about a “cosmic power ritual”. Imagine a grown man taking a sword and murdering little babies, it is the epitome of real evil in the world and then you excuse it with fictional nonsense about a “cosmic power ritual”, while the only power ritual that is really going on is that book convincing otherwise good people to bow to a demon.

    I clarified what I said: “Point being, atheism by itself, harms no one. Christianity has no problem proclaiming violence (hell) towards the non-violent (atheist) because Christianity is a fraud”.

    How is it that your God intends to commit violence in the form of eternal torture towards non-Christians in the afterlife, many of whom are completely non-violent here on Earth? It is because yours is a ridiculous proposition that paints a picture of a demon-God who is not only a baby killer but is also a torturer of innocents. So yeah, bow all you want to that demon, but I will not, I’d rather bow to a baby, or to a non-violent atheist.

  212. MichaelFree
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Random Person,

    You quoted Solzhenitsyn:

    “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this (murdering) has happened.”

    A baby’s body is a manifestation of Christ, a non-violent person’s body is a manifestation of Christ, so who has forgotten God when they proclaim that non-violent in life atheists deserve violence done to them in the afterlife? Who forgot God when they killed non-violent Jesus? The act of violence toward the non-violent is a violation of all principles of truth and goodness, and yet Christianity continues to proclaim its abominable doctrine of hell for non-believers, because Christianity is a fraud and does not care about life or innocence, but only cares about pleasing its demon.

    The Truth is not a person.

  213. MichaelFree
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Random Person,

    Or to put it another way: Abraham should have bowed to Isaac and told the demon that was tempting him to get out of his life and to leave him alone.

    Christianity has its knife to the necks of women, non-Christians, atheists, and homosexuals, many of whom are non-violent good and peaceful people, and the Christians call it holy, because they are liars. The truth is not a person, but you have been led to believe that, so the actual truth has been stolen from you, and you acquiesced. And it all leads to murder. Lies, thefts, murders; I know who the father of your religion is.

    You can debate all day about what belief system produces the most evil in the world, Christianity vs atheism, and no one will win. At least atheism doesn’t run around proclaiming that Christians are to be tortured (violence), but rather runs around saying that Christians are full of crap. So “torture” vs “the torturer is full of crap”. That is Christianity vs atheism in a nutshell.

  214. MichaelFree
    Posted June 4, 2015 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Random Person,

    Bible morality:

    Deuteronomy 22:28-29

    “If a man is caught in the act of raping a young woman who is not engaged, he must pay fifty pieces of silver to her father. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he will never be allowed to divorce her”.

    Good atheist’s morality:

    If you rape a woman you are a criminal and you will face justice. No amount of money can pay for your crime but rather you will pay for your crime.

    That book is not moral. That book is not about humanity. It is immoral. It is about bowing to immorality to save yourself from that immorality. In other words, it’s a curse, it’s witchcraft. It’s why otherwise good mothers and fathers have been known to kill their children trying to “exorcise” imagined demons from them. Don’t you think that Jesus the person in Heaven feels bad that his “words” have been used to kill children? Where did those parents who killed their children get the wild idea that human beings can be inhabited by demon-beings that take control of them? Oh yeah, Jesus, they got it from him. Jesus is probably facepalming himself in Heaven. When the mother or father who killed their child eventually dies and goes to Heaven, who gets the blame for the death of the child, them or Jesus? If I told someone a bunch of stories about demons and then they killed their child trying to “exorcise” a demon from them, I would feel guilty, but hey, I’m only human. I guess that if you’re not a human being you don’t have to feel guilty about these things.

  215. MichaelFree
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Random Person.

    We as human beings are made to want to be treated morally by other people. Morally means good. The vast overwhelming majority of people on Earth want to be treated good by other people. We are made as good creatures. Earth is the proving ground. The test is whether or not we will choose to do bad things to other people in order to achieve something for ourselves. Bad things are lies, thefts, murders, other physical assaults, being vengeful in justice rather than being rehabilitative, and never helping anyone who is in need. I choose good things and to see goodness in all who do goodness. Goodness is the Spirit of my God and no book and no religion can take this away from me.

  216. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Michael, goodness is an attribute of the Author of holy bible. He can teach you that Lord Jesus is good. He isn’t a fraud as you write, but totally trustworthy. Welcome Him to teach you that He is good.

    Michael, your error is that you keep on desiring to make a God of God’s attributes. Your approach is false, for the true God has many attributes!

  217. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Michael, demons are real and they can take residence in human beings. Satan has many fallen angels who follow him.

    Man can sell his soul to Satan. This isn’t something I am making up, but the truth.

    Study the life of Judas of Iscari,ot as recorded in the holy bible, and you will have the opportunity to discover the truth.

  218. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Correction: Judas Iscariot

  219. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    Michael, if you were sensitive to the voice of God, you would recognise that you are sinner.

    Instead you prefer to teach that the Teacher of teachers is immoral.
    Nobody can draw close to God with such a judgmental approach.
    Michael, you err when you criticise Your sinless Creator.

  220. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 5, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    “He who has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him” (John 14:21).

    What a promise! Loving Lord Jesus is committed to disclosing Himself to those who love Him.

    Richard, Rose and Michael are invited to pay attention to John 14:21! Truly anyone who keeps His commandments loves
    Him.

    Warning! Richard’s current teaching that the God who reveals Himself in the holy Bible doesn’t exist is a false teaching.

  221. James
    Posted June 8, 2015 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    It is apparent that Richard is not interested in truly intellectual open discussion. Richard is more about allowing people to say what they believe about religion and particularly the Bible, and then Richard will tell you why you are wrong for your beliefs. When Richard is asked about what he accepts, he dodges the question or ignores or avoids discussion with mostly empty assertions. Perhaps Richard needs to do some research and debunk himself on his acceptance of evolution theory and the natural big bang model. He reveals that he is ignorant that there is no reason to consider intelligent design. He is ignorant or tries to minimize or ignore how even atheist scientists like Stephen Hawking recognize the appearance of design is hard to explain in our universe.
    Richard had asked for me to post aricles. I did. He gave no response. But watch, all Richard will say is that i do not know enough about what I posted. This would not be a response, but a cowardly copout, just another empty assertion. There is nothing we know about DNA that proves evolution of common descent and disproves designer. If anything, the existance of dna strongly suggests a designer. But Richard’s anger against God has clouded his judgment and his intellectual reasoning. He makes fun of Christians who accept a global flood earth but listens to people’s opinions who suggest a global flood happened on mars which has no water on it.
    He makes fun of Christians who accept the creation account in Genesis because it does not match physics. But guess what. Modern physics theory does not match physics. Atheistist atheism requires one to accept that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing somehow exploded for no reason, creating the most abundant elements in our universe, and then a bunch of elements rearranged itself for no reason into self replicating bits which would one day turn into life. Evolutionists are the story tellers who self refute their own science. Sad sad sad

    James

  222. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 9, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Richard, Rose and Michael and all sincere searchers for truth, if you want to believe in Jesus Christ and if you seek Truth, God the Holy Spirit will speak to you and confirm to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    “But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find Him, if thou seek Him with all thy heart and with all thy soul.”

    Do you want to know the living God who reveals Himself in the holy Bible? He is there to be found if you seek Him with all your heart.

  223. MichaelFree
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    You said:

    “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God”.

    Jesus may be the Christ, the Son of the living God.

    Is Christianity very Christlike when they say that everyone who is not a Christian goes to hell when they die? I don’t think so. It doesn’t sound like a savior to me but rather it sounds like the doctrines of a cult of personality built around a “demon” that won’t punish you with torture if you worship him. How tempting is that to a modern-day Jew? If the Jew accepts Christianity then every Jew they have ever known, all their ancestors, their whole family, all their friends, and every Jew that they will ever see, they are now to imagine that they are all either in hell or going to hell, and to accept that reality, and to bow to it, in order to avoid hell themself. How tempting is it to a Jew to bow to Jesus in this way? It is one thing to profess Jesus’ innocence, that he didn’t deserve to be killed for anything that he said or did, but it is quite another to ask someone to bow down to Jews being tortured in hell. Many sects of Christianity have made a mockery of Righteousness in this way. It’s not the True Bread like Jesus said, or in other words, a liar is always a liar, a thief is always a thief, and a murderer is always a murderer, don’t call these things something that they are not as God is a God of Truth.

  224. MichaelFree
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    I know that the main lesson of the Gospels is to not harm anyone that is being peaceful. Jesus was surely peaceful and he was surely a good person. He taught people to be good to one another and to love one another. In this he taught that God is a God of peace, a God of love, and a God of truth.

  225. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Michael, your last commentary is very good. If you truly believe that Jesus is good, your next challenge is to desire to trust Him when He teaches about subjects that you find hard to hear.

    Jesus taught about hell because God also takes revenge. If God never took revenge He would never have took the lives the Egyptian soldiers who sought to murder the Israelites.

    God is loving and self controlled, but at some point when human behavior is too wicked He can decide to intervene, for He teaches that vengeance is His.

  226. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    God’s teaching on hell are very challenging, so I leave that in God’s hands.

    My approach as a believer is to remind peope that the most important person of all for them to study and learn about is the good Shepherd. My approach is teach people that there is a Teacher of teachers: His name is Lord Jesus Christ.

    I don’t get involved in emotional dialogues about hell because what I want to see is people studying the words of Christ and deciding to take His teachings seriously! Enjoy your Bible studies!

  227. MichaelFree
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    When one realizes that God is not a murderer and that God is not a torturer then all righteous interpretations must fit God’s nature.

    I don’t have to believe that Jesus the character in the Gospels is a good person, because it is clear that he harmed no one, therefore I know that he is good.

    You say that my last commentary is good but then you break it when you say that God harms peaceful on Earth non-Christians in the afterlife.

    Your teaching about the saved and the unsaved and about heaven and hell is not acceptable.

  228. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 11, 2015 at 11:04 pm | Permalink

    Psalm 23
    Michael, I am a student of the Bible. It is God who teaches about heaven and hell. If you find His teachings in these matters you ought unacceptible you still should endeavor to honor Him in all other matters, for He can teach you the truth in any matter pertaining to life.

  229. MichaelFree
    Posted June 13, 2015 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    I try my best to treat each individual this way:

    Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven (in other words, BE PEACEFUL). Agreement (PEACE) between human beings and what we do together minding our own business is of God. It is the Spirit of God. It is why we are FREE people.

    and:

    John 4: 13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water (a well he was at) shall thirst again: 14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. 16 (so he gives it to her) Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. 17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well (TRUTH) said, I have no husband (SPEAK THE TRUTH AND DO NOT LIE IS THE SPIRIT OF GOD).

    So, be peaceful (agreement) in your deeds, and be truthful in your words. It’s the way of God.

    If I deny anyone in the world who does these things, and maybe even does them better than I have in my lifetime, if I deny them, and God, and say that their good words and their good deeds were not done in the Spirit of God then I blaspheme the Spirit of God. That’s why it is not righteous to judge people according to their religion or according to their lack of religion.

    God to me is goodness always and therefore I can’t accept that God transgresses, but only that I have transgressed, as have most people, and that I should strive to walk with God (to me, God is Goodness, the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of Peace) and to not transgress anymore and to see the “Kingdom” in all people who are truthful and peaceful and who are helping each other out, or at least minding their own business.

    When an atheist says that there is no God they are speaking the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God. I’m not joking. If the atheist continues to adhere to the truth, in word (true) and deed (peaceful), then they “walk” with God, and I respect and honor them. If I see this then I see God. God is The Truth.

  230. MichaelFree
    Posted June 13, 2015 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    When an atheist says that there is no God (God deity that shows itself) they are speaking in the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God. I’m not joking. If the atheist continues to adhere to the truth, in word (true) and in deed (peaceful), then they “walk” with God (Spirit), and I respect and honor them. If I see this then I see God (Spirit: Goodness, Righteousness, Love, Truth, Peace).

  231. MichaelFree
    Posted June 13, 2015 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    Psalm 23 with annotations:

    1The Lord (Love, Truth, Peace) is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

    2He makes me lie down in green pastures,

    he leads me beside quiet waters,

    3he refreshes my soul.

    He guides me along the right paths

    for his name’s (THE TRUTH) sake.

    4Even though I walk

    through the darkest valley (liars, thieves, murderers),

    I will fear no evil (neither human evil, to the best of my ability, nor divine evil, because it is non-existent),

    for you (THE TRUTH) are with me;

    your rod (TRUTH) and your staff (AGREEMENT: PEACE),

    they comfort me.

    5You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies (liars, thieves, murderers).

    You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

    6Surely your GOODNESS and LOVE will follow me

    all the days of my LIFE,

    and I will dwell in the house of the Lord (LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, GOODNESS, A BIG SMILE)

    forever.

  232. Reine Gnade
    Posted June 14, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Notice the word forever, Michael. That word should remind you that love is a gift to man from the Lord who is from eternity to eternity. He speaks and man is cured of diseases that he can’t cure himself! Everything about the Lord is phenomenal beyond words!

    He can reverse blindness! He can cure leprosy! He can cast out a rebellious attitude from man. He can bless man with faith, hope and love!
    Something that you still don’t understand, Michael, is that without faith in God it is impossible to please Him. Atheists don’t have a living faith in the sinless Son of God, so they displease Him, although He continues to show them kindness.

  233. Reine Gnade
    Posted June 14, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    When an atheist says there is no God he is speaking a lie! That false teaching comes from Satan, the Father of lies. Every atheist is in rebellion against the God who reveals Himself in the Holy Bible. Atheists are children of disobedience. God calls rebellious man to repentance.

  234. MichaelFree
    Posted June 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Reine Gnade (Josef Sefton),

    I said:

    “(God deity that shows itself)”.

    This means that an atheist speaks the truth when they say that God deity does not show itself in the world, therefore they can rightfully point out that God deity is not a real thing.

    Then you say:

    “When an atheist says there is no God he is speaking a lie!”:

    And that’s the difference between truth and belief. You don’t understand what either of them are. My God (higher power) is The Truth, not belief, therefore when a being doesn’t show itself as a being then pointing out this fact is The Truth. I believe I’ve seen a supernatural presence, but it doesn’t make it true to someone who has not seen it. They may say “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and they speak The Truth.

    Then you say:

    “That false teaching comes from Satan, the Father of lies”.

    There you go again, invoking another belief and pretending that it’s true: a belief in a deity being called Satan that is powerful in the world in a bad way. Meanwhile The Truth says that human beings’ bad choices and our unresolved ill will or guilt towards other people in the world are really the “bad being”. Your invocation of a supernatural being is comical, and the blood of everyone who has ever lived testifies to this, as it is not the way the world works. I remember when I was a child and my neighbor friend told me that he saw a “devil” in his room and it scared him. They were Jehovah’s witnesses. They must of scared the crap out of their kid and that stuff doesn’t even exist.

    You say:

    “Every atheist is in rebellion against the God who reveals Himself in the Holy Bible. Atheists are children of disobedience. God calls rebellious man to repentance”.

    My family has atheists in it. I was basically raised an atheist. We never bothered to care about your religious nonsense and I won’t now either. Your dehumanization scheme has failed the truth test. Many atheists are kind and peaceful people, therefore your statement “Atheists are children of disobedience” is nonsense and untrue, a big lie.

    Your whole testimony is based on belief, and lies, and then you call your God “The Truth”. Meanwhile The Actual Truth calls it as it goes down, a lie is a lie, a theft is a theft, and a murder is a murder. In Numbers 31 God commanded grown men to murder women and babies. In Christianity God commands people to look upon other human beings as less-than fully human and as destined for eternal torture in fire. Meanwhile The Truth calls a murder a murder and doesn’t bow down to a murderer in order to avoid being murdered by that murderer. The murderer can f off.

  235. MichaelFree
    Posted June 15, 2015 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    Reine Gnade,

    You don’t follow this like you are supposed to, because your neighbors are not only Christians:

    Matthew 22: 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    You also don’t follow this like you are supposed to:

    Matthew 12: 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

    Why do you speak against the Holy Ghost? Because you say that God tortures people who were being peaceful on Earth. Their peaceful words and their peaceful deeds were done in the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost. Torture is not allowed by the Holy Ghost. Yours is a cult of personality not a Church of God. You can tell who a member of the Church of God is because they are being peaceful, they don’t steal, and they don’t lie to you. Christianity is a murderous doctrine covered up with good words by Jesus. I don’t think the real Jesus would appreciate it very much to be honest with you.

  236. Reine Gnade
    Posted June 15, 2015 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    Michael. You need to focus on what you are doing and stop guessing about what you think I am doing. God’s decision to punish unrepentant man doesn’t make Him a murderer. When Lucifer rebelled, God treated him justly as He did the other rebellious angels.
    They stubbornly persisted in their rebellion and as a result became Satan and the fallen angels or demons.
    Michael, your false teaching that the Bible has a murderous doctrine is from the devil. Once again you have fallen for his lies!
    Michael, God testifies that what He teaches is trustworthy! It’s time for you to acknowledge the true God who does rebuke, correct, discipline and chastise!

  237. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Explorers for truth, have you ever read Mathew 4:1-11?

    Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

    5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

    8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

    10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

  238. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    How can anyone teach that the devil doesn’t
    exist when Jesus spoke with him and resisted his temptations?

  239. MichaelFree
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    No amount of good words from Jesus will ever wash off the stench of thefts, physical assault, rape, murder, torture, and enslavement that have been attributed to God in the bible.

    No amount of good words from Jesus will ever wash off the stench of thefts, physical assault, rape, murder, torture, and enslavement that have been committed in the real world, and called holy, by followers of the bible God.

    No amount of good words from Jesus will ever wash off the stench of the hate and fear doctrines of demons and hell that Christians love to profess as love and truth.

    The bible is not a good book. The bible is a curse. The bible wants you to believe in fairy tales instead of finding the truth. The bible and Jesus prefer allegiance to unknowable deity rather than allegiance to knowable goodness.

    The end.

  240. MichaelFree
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Or, said another way:

    Again, the devil (Christianity, the bible) taketh him (righteousness seeker) up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world (and heaven), and the glory of them; And saith unto him (righteousness seeker), All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me (the devil, Christianity, the bible).

    Then saith Righteousness Seeker unto him (the devil, Christianity, the bible), Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God (Goodness), and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil (Christianity, the bible) leaveth him, and, behold, angels (good people who Christianity said to think of as not good) came and ministered unto him (Righteousness Seeker).

    True story.

    The end.

  241. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 16, 2015 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Michael, scrolls couldn’t take Jesus, a real historical person, from the wilderness to Jerusalem. The Bible doesn’t dispute that Jesus is the Son of God, as Satan does.
    How can you teach error after error?

  242. MichaelFree
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    When I read the Gospels I relate them to reality, therefore most likely the virgin birth story is Pagan and astrological storytelling. The story of Jesus confronting the devil is a parable. The only thing concrete was what he said about good words and good deeds and being a good person to other people. I wouldn’t speak against people who speak good words and who do good deeds to one another.

    People who hear Jesus’ story shouldn’t have their dignity stolen from them by being told stories about demons and hell and whatever else Christianity has conjured up to scare people. It’s just not righteous. Jesus kicks all their asses without fear in the Gospels and so should everyone else. The Gospel story itself is not even fearful, one roots for Jesus, one weeps for Jesus, and then Christianity turns the whole thing into a damn poltergeist horror movie to instill fear. I mean for God’s sake show some dignity.

    If someone tells you that something invisible and thus unreal is real and you get fearful of it then that fear itself becomes that thing that is invisible, but now it’s very real. It’s called a curse. Fear-based religion is not agreement-based religion. Agreement is of God.

    Matthew 18:19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven (in other words, BE PEACEFUL). Agreement (PEACE) between human beings and what we do together minding our own business is of God. It is the Spirit of God. It is why we are FREE PEOPLE.

  243. MichaelFree
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    I remember when I visited my niece at a Children’s hospital that there was a boy there who had been burned so bad that I believe his ears burned off and maybe his nose. I saw him and what looked like his family in the cafeteria. I felt so bad. Life is so precious. Do you think his religion means a damn thing to me? I’d stand with that kid and his family in front of God. My God is merciful.

  244. MichaelFree
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    Josef Sefton,

    Revenge is synonymous with lying, stealing, and murdering, while using restraint is synonymous with speaking the truth, not stealing, and not murdering.

    Restraint is merciful.

  245. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Michael, I think you should open the Bible and study it. God is sinless. You sin and I sin. God doesn’t sin when He takes revenge.

  246. Josef Sefton
    Posted June 18, 2015 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Michael, you want everything in the Bible to be a parable, so that you can avoid staring history in the face. Satan participates in God’s gift called time. He is a created being. He is a fallen angel. He is the enemy of your soul and he tempted Jesus, a real historical person, in the wilderness. This was a real historical event. Michael, stop writing lies and study the Bible.

  247. James
    Posted July 9, 2015 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if you are still there Richard. I also wonder what is your foundation for performing science. Based on a worldview of our universe coming from a big bang and from consequently unguided natural causes, what is your basis for assuming science works at all? You observe the laws of science, yes. But your understanding of the big bang does not allow you the right to assume there to be laws and order in our universe. You say there is no reason to think a designer is required. You assume or accept that nothing in our universe requires a designer for its explanation. But yet, laws of nature and logic cannot be created mere matter and energy themselves.
    Christians get accussed all the time by atheists and intellectuals alike that we ignore evidence and rely on old superstitious and outdated religious myths. I would say that Christians rely on faith, yes. We do not have concrete, absolute dogmatic proof that the Bible is the true inspired Word of God and that God of the Bible is real. Point taken by the critics. But there is a double standard here. There is no evidence of the big bang being possible either. There are natural phenomia like the wave energy that is labeled to be attributed to the big bang, but this is not proof of the big bang at all. Certainly, when the scientific laws that we all recognize and adhere to opperate and use science to perform studies and make discoveries disagrees with the fundamental premise of the big bang. Calling the big bang science and creation religion is absurd. First off, the big bang is psuedo science. It conflicts with the very laws of science that matter can be neither created or destroyed. People have been trying to look for a natural scientific explanation for our universe’s origin and it just does not work. The laws of science only work for opperating our universe. It does not work in creating it. Why not one may ask? We use different methods for opperating a car then to make one. The best race car driver in the world probably is not a car designer and or mechanic. We read and write and manuals to use Windows opperating systems. But that is not the same thing as developing an opperating system. It is common sense that the same laws and rules that work for a system in place cannot create the system in the first place.
    In a world that would be created by natural chance, we would not expect order and logic and consistency. It does not follow that one could rely on science consistently to perform observation and experimentation under a viewpoint that our world is natural, chance. Whether you accept it or not, you are borrowing from the Christian viewpoint when you use science for study. You assume that e always equals mc2. In a natural world, there is no basis for this. The best you can offer from a natural argument or explanation is circular logic. Of course there are laws of nature, nature would not exist without the laws of nature. This is not an explanation. It is circular logic that assumes it desired answer.

    At least Christians admit they do not have a scienfic answer for our origin. This does not change how we do science though. Much of good science and research and discovery done today is not affected by our philisophical understanding of our origin. It is also a atheistist lie that the acceptance of creation and God will discourage scientific curiosity and discovery. Good Christian scientists from all periods of history never settled for an answer of “that just how God did it.” This is called a noble lie fallacy. This fallacy is committed because one denies truth or facts in order to avoid seemingly negative results, whether real or immaginary in this case. Isaac Newton believed in creation and God. But he was still motivated to find out how gravity works and not just remarking that is how God did it.

    I hope you do digging for yourself and see that there is plenty of reasons to think that there is a God and that this universe of ours was designed. I hope you also see that there are plenty of reasons to doubt the big bang and evolution for being acceptable and realistic explanations for our origins.

    James

  248. josef.sefton.1
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning, James! Your teaching that Christians don’t have proof that the God of the Bible is real is false. Everyone who is born again knows that the God who reveals Himself in the Bible is real. He is living with them. Do you require more proof than that? The LORD testifies in the Bible that He is the only true God. His word is proof enough for me!

    There is also proof that the Bible is inspired by God because God teaches that it is. See 2 Timothy 3:16

  249. James
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your thoughtful and concerned comment Josef. But your comment at the end is mere circular logic. When speaking to skeptics of the Bible, you have to avoid using such comments and reasoning. While I too believe in the Word of God and that there is a way for a Christian to know for sure that the Bible is the true Word of God and that God is real, just saying that that means very little to a skeptic of the Bible. You have to eventually use sources outside the Bible to make a case for the Bible if you are going to convince a crictic to listen to you. Faith to believe is a gift from God. The faith to believe has appeared to all men. But sometimes the road to faith is tripped up by the snares of this world, its false teaching, and faulty reasoning. What I did in my comment above was demonstrate what happens when one accept the big bang. You will eventually commit an illogical fallacy and contradict yourself and scientific law.

    While I get what you are saying and believe what you said, sometimes a critic needs to hear more than “the Bible is the Word of God because it says it is.” For someone to accept the Bible who has been taught the false teachings of this world, you have to first point out their errors and inconsistencies. Then, you might get someone more open to hear you out about the Bible.

    I hope you understand.

  250. josef.sefton.1
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    James, the first thing to remember is that your first responsibility is to honor God’s name. Writing lies as you did doesn’t do that. Your whole approach is unbiblical. Richard and Rose already have a background in studying the Bible, but after many years tossed out what they had previously promoted. That is their first error. All subsequent errors stem from that error.

    James, what is man’s greatest need? Sinners need to be saved! Sinners need to know that there is a Teacher of teachers. Sinners like Richard, Rose and Michael need to know that they can experience true love in Christ. Do they need to be confronted about their beliefs or their attitude to the risen lord?
    James, who can save Richard, Rose and Michael? The answer is the sinless Son of God!

    James, focus on introducing them to Him and stop wasting your time babbling about nonsense!

  251. josef.sefton.1
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    James, I wrote the truth and you wrote shocking lies and then you have the arrogance to inform me that I should reason differently. James, what you wrote is satanic! You need to repent and stop pretending that you understand the bible.

    James, your understanding is flawed. You don’t even understand what Richard, Rose and Michael need. Remember James, God’s word teaches: My people perishes because of a lack of understanding.

  252. MichaelFree
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    In the last two years or so I have spoken probably thousands of words and have done probably thousands of deeds. Of those words and those deeds probably less than ten things have been “sinful”. These “sinful” things I’ve acknowledged and I’ve learned from them. These “sins” were mistakes and were not deliberate. I’m not a sinner. I’m a follower of righteousness.

    You know who’s a sinner? The God of the bible is a sinner. He enslaves, tortures, murders, and rapes. Have I enslaved, tortured, murdered, or raped anytime in my whole life? No. Would I bow to an enslaver, torturer, murderer, or rapist? No.

    The jig is up. The bible is evil. The Jews hate and fear non-Jews, the Christians hate and fear non-Christians, and the Muslims hate and fear non-Muslims, and they all get it from the bible. None of your religions are religions of love or truth. You all hate and fear each other and are all followers of the same bible God. The irony and hypocrisy is extraordinary.

    No serious follower of righteousness would ever think it was righteous for Abraham to put a knife to his son’s throat with the intention to kill him in order to show his allegiance to deity; a test where Abraham’s allegiance to deity (evil) defeats his allegiance to righteousness (good). He failed big time just as many Jews, Christians, and Muslims fail big time.

  253. MichaelFree
    Posted July 10, 2015 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    The true follower of the good way, the follower of righteousness, does not believe, but rather knows, that the bible god is evil, that Judaism is evil, that Christianity is evil, and that Islam is evil.

    But most Jews, Christians, and Muslims are good (Spirit) people and most of them pray to “goodness”. Goodness is a Spirit that one is operating (word and deed) in. It is truly most high.

    This fact weighs heavy on my heart: evil religions but good people participating in them. I love goodness. I love good people.

    What many Jews, Christians, and Muslims say about myself, my family, and about billions of human beings in the world is repugnant, knowingly repugnant. You all have gone your own way, just like the servant of the Lord spoke about in Isaiah. You all don’t bow to the truth. When the supernatural entity shows up, which I KNOW exists, we’ll see its nature, for it will be judged by righteousness, by the truth, and not by religion or by any book. It will be judged by righteousness and in this I know that the truth is most high. If the power in the Universe is not righteous it does not deserve its throne. The Jews make a mockery of the truth when they speak down to gentiles and call us slaves and animals. The Christians make a mockery of the truth when they speak down to non-Christians and call us unsaved and deserving of eternal torture. The Muslims make a mockery of the truth when they speak down to non-Muslims and say that we are deserving of eternal torture. You all say that bad things are going to happen to me or to my family, that we’ll be slaves or we’ll be tortured, but I’ve never done anything to anyone to deserve this kind of treatment in life. You all make a mockery of righteousness because you take God over righteousness. You ascribe unrighteousness to God deity, libeling prospective God deity in the process, who probably never did a thing to deserve it. You don’t fear being a liar, a thief, or a murderer (all types of physical assaults). I fear that place so I avoid it. This is written within me.

    Slavery and torture. That’s the bible. You’re defined by your transgression towards the non-believer, towards the “stranger”. Slavery and torture. What did the stranger do to you? Nothing! And in this you’re guilty. These things are sins. Your God that you’ve imagined is guilty of sin.

    We’re supposed to make life enjoyable and to be good to one another.

  254. josef.sefton.1
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Michael, you are running away from the truth. You are a sinner. You fail to understand that your heart is rebellious. Michael, you have only filthy rags to show to God and you have the arrogance to announce to the world that you are not a sinner.

    Michael, the very God you say is evil, loves you. He is the only person who can rescue you, for every man needs to be saved. A saved person doesn’t teach as you teach. Your teachings are mostly satanic.

  255. MichaelFree
    Posted July 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Josef,

    Your God doesn’t love me! You might be able to fool stupid people with that nonsense but your God doesn’t deserve my love.

    Your brainwashed ramblings can’t wash off the stink of the transgression that you have attributed to God.

  256. Posted July 12, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Hey there James,

    Sorry for the slow response. I had to travel 2000 miles to Ohio for a full week to handle a family emergency. I am happy to report that everything worked out well.

    I have answered your comment in a new post called Conversation with James about God, the Big Bang, and the Foundation of Science.

  257. Posted July 12, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Faith to believe is a gift from God. The faith to believe has appeared to all men.

    Hey there James,

    I don’t understand your comment. What does it mean to say that the “faith to believe” has “appeared to all men”? I presume that is different than God giving the faith to believe to all men, since then all men would believe, right? So what is your point? If no one can believe unless God gives them faith, then how can it be their fault if they don’t believe? It sounds like you are a Calvinist. Is that correct?

    Great chatting,

    Richard

  258. josef.sefton.1
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Michael, who is deserving of your love? Who is deserving of your trust and obedience? Who gave you the gift of life? Was it your self effort or were you given the gift of life as a present?

    Michael, the God who reveals Himself in the holy Bible blessed you with the gift of life. Are you thankful to the sinless Son of God? Are you making a wholehearted effort to trust and obey the good Shepherd? If you were, your witness would be that God is love and that He loves you. Truly He is deserving of being trusted and obeyed.

  259. MichaelFree
    Posted July 12, 2015 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    My witness is that God is love and truth. I love the truth. I trust the truth. I am thankful for the truth. The truth forbids me to whore around with slavery and torture. The truth is good always.

  260. James
    Posted July 26, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Richard,

    I was quoting scripture. If you do not understand it, it is because you do not understand scripture. Your anger against God has veiled your understanding. You cannot get past thinking that the God of the bible is some invented monster that sends people to hell. The bible does not teach God sends people to hell. The bible teaches that man is without excuse. Man has rejected God and does not seek Him even though it is self evident that He exists. To answer your question, I am not a Calvinist. The fact that you would ask that means that you are unsure or confused or misinformed.

    James

  261. Posted August 10, 2015 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

    Hi Richard,

    Firstly I’d like to thank you for sharing this fantastic website and all of your thoughts with us – I have found your findings to be fascinating.

    I am currently on my own journey pursuing truth. Having previously been atheist I was converted to theism after a series of premonitory dreams that completely rocked my reductive materialist worldview. Make of that what you will!

    One of the things that atheists cannot seem to explain, is the strange phenomena of near death experiences. In this instance, the confirmation bias that the reductive materialist uses to dismiss mystical experiences as wishful thinking can also be applied to his dismissal of of the now overwhelming body if evidence that consciousness does indeed, exist outside the body and beyond physical death. There are innumerable cases of individuals who have had profound experiences with no brain activity whatsoever. The answer usually given for this now that the oxygen depletion theory has been debunked is that ‘science cannot fully explain this phenomena, but will.’ This is called wishful thinking. The other thing that is striking about these experiences is that they have consistent features.

    Here is a brilliant website which has collated many of the experiences together:
    http://www.near-death.com

    We stop learning when we think we have found the answer. Many of these near death experiencers were told by the ‘being of light’ that the Bible contains profound spiritual truth – including people who had not come from a Christian background, but they were told it must be read ‘spiritually’. I believe this is the key to understanding the bible – you yourself say you were interested in Jungian archetypes. Please consider the notion that traditional Christian theology is based on a flawed understanding of the mystical symbolism of the Bible.

    I am currently building my site which opens up the symbolism of the bible – so forgive me, I’ll have to just paste some here for the time being.

    This ancient mystical book which was written to liberate man from the miseries of his human condition, has instead been used to suppress, shame, and assault him. The book which contains the famous pronouncement that; ‘He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone’ (John 8:7), has ironically become the stone hurled at fed-up and beleaguered sinners everywhere. And it’s no wonder that puts people off – it’s a bloody heavy book.

    It’s strange, isn’t it? That the same book which advises us that we are not to judge other people, is used precisely as the very means by some people to do just that. That the same book which repeatedly calls for us to love one another is used by certain groups to spread hatred. Why is it that some people open the book and see love, where others see hate? Why is it that some people read its words and hear poetry and wisdom and truth, where others hear nothing but contradiction, barbarism, and outright lies.

    The answer, as always, can be found in perspective – or interpretation, to put it another way. That’s one of the strange and wonderful things about this book – it is not like other books. It is a mirror which reveals what is in your own heart.

    There are two big problems: literalism, and translation. This post focuses on literalism. If the bible is a book of spiritual truth then we must read it spiritually, which means looking beyond the superficial story and searching for the implied meaning. One of the main tenets of the bible is that humanity is to ‘overcome’ the world. But what does this mean? It means the goal of man is to awaken to the illusory nature of the material world, and through development of his spirituality overcome it. It means he is to discover that both the truth and the value of life lie in the things he cannot see – love, compassion, joy, and truth. He is to ‘put away childish things’ – the silly trinkets and toys of the material world that we drool over – and grow up. We are advised to cast off the heavy shackles of the world and its burdens and demands, and through spirituality become light and free.

    This is the key message of the bible – that there is a great and awe-inspiring creative force in the universe called ‘God’ who most men are too blinded by self and materialism to see. It teaches that those who are to catch a glimpse of this thing called God may only do so by looking beyond the physical and material to a greater reality. If God is transcendent, then we must transcend or go beyond the obvious to catch a glimpse of him.

    When a writer or a filmmaker gets to work on a story, they usually have a message in mind that they would like to impart on their audience. The set, props, costumes, actors, and script are all things the directors use to communicate a deeper message. People don’t always understand what the films they love are really about, but this does not mean there is no deeper meaning. George Romero’s famous zombie-flick Dawn of the Dead is seen by many to be a just that – a horror film about zombies. But the film, which features a mass of ‘undead’ trying to eat the brains of a few living people hiding in a shopping mall, is actually a scathing critique on consumerism. The action is merely a conduit for the deeper meaning. And so it is with life, and so it is with the bible. If we wish to see God, we must stop focusing on the drama and the set and the costumes, and instead think about what the underlying meaning is.

    Every night when we go to sleep, we dream dreams. Most people cannot make sense of their dreams, because they speak to us in a strange and mysterious language of symbols that the rational mind can hardly comprehend. Throughout the bible stories, God speaks through dreams. In Genesis, the profane and worldy Pharaoh cannot understand his dreams, but Joseph who is one of God’s ‘chosen people’ (spiritually awake) is able to understand what the dream means, because he understands that the language of symbols is the language God uses.

    “Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it. “In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction.
    Job 33:14-15

    But the dream, which we do not understand, also symbolises our life. When we do not realise the truth – that the physical world is an illusion, and that spirit (God/love) is reality – we remain spiritually asleep, or ‘dead’ (which actually means separate).

    For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers). And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”
    Isaiah 29:10-13

    When we are ‘asleep’ in the carnal world, we are absorbed by its drama, but cannot make sense of it. We ask ourselves, ‘Where is God?’, and we do not understand why things happen to us. But when you understand the language of symbols you realise that God communicates with us all the time.

    And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
    Genesis 46:2

    So we must learn the language of dreams – this is God’s language, for ‘the kingdom of God is within you’ (Luke 17:21).

    The thing is, literal interpretations of the scriptures just don’t make sense. The bible tells us that God commanded all manner of horrific atrocities – including the mass murder of men, women, and babies (which I will discuss this in more detail in another post) but it also tells us that ‘God IS love’. How can this be? The answer is that these stories are symbolic – they deal with human psychology, not history. So reading these ancient mystical writings as literal events is not only erroneous, but morally problematic as well – because literal interpretations of the bible have resulted in countless wars, human suffering, bloodshed, and tragic loss of life.

    Lets take a look at a few of the things Jesus said about himself:

    I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger.
    John 6:35

    I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture
    John 10:9

    I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
    John 15:1

    Now, obviously, not many people would argue that Jesus was actually a loaf of bread, or a door, or a vine – he was speaking symbolically, and this is the key to understanding the bible. The scriptures are concerned with the world of the spirit, not the physical world, so we must view the scriptures through spiritual eyes and not physical ones if we are to truly understand them.

    but we speak God’s wisdom in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God predestined before the ages to our glory.
    1 Corinthians 2:7

    God’s wisdom is a mystery – this means it is a puzzle, and there are hidden ‘keys’ to help us solve it. The bible is a book of allegory – profound spiritual truths, hidden in stories. Jesus himself spoke in parables:

    When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’’
    Mark 4:11-13

    Let’s reflect on this for a second. Those who are ‘outside’ means those who are asleep spiritually – they only attempt to find meaning in the external, physical ‘world’ and do not go ‘within’ themselves to find truth. To these people, the scriptures will seem like nonsense, full of contradictions – and without this deeper spiritual context and understanding, they are. These are people who ‘see’ images but don’t perceive their symbolic (true) meaning; they ‘hear’ words, without understanding what they really mean. Those who are ‘outside’ themselves will not find the kingdom of god, because…

    The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ for behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
    Luke 17:20-21

    It cannot be any more plain than that. The ‘Kingdom of God’ is not coming in any way that can be observed. It is not a political takeover, but rather something we experience within ourselves both individually and collectively. We find the kingdom of God by learning how to sacrifice our carnal nature – which is ego. We will exchange fear for love, bondage for freedom, materialism for wisdom, self-centreness for self-sacrifice, and self-serving for serving others.

    I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
    Romans 12:1-2

    You see, this is the big message of the bible that Jesus was trying to teach us, and it’s so simple – that the path to God is unconditional love and self-sacrifice. God does indeed require a sacrifice, but it is not a slaughtered calf. It is sacrificing the ‘flesh’, the’beast’ within us – the lower, ego-ruled self or ‘carnal man’ – by being willing to give up your ‘life’ for others:

    Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.
    John 15:13

    God (love) did not punish Jesus (who was ‘one’ with love) for our sins (mistakes), Jesus ‘died for our sins’ (mistakes) to show us the truth – the way to life (love). He overcame the flesh by nailing it to the cross. For the rest of us, being crucified is not necessary: enlightenment comes when we ‘overcome’ the carnal world by realising that we are all connected, that we need to love and take care of each other, and that the physical body is not who we really are. It’s really that simple.

    Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
    1 John 4:8

    For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
    Romans 8:6

    Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
    Matthew 22:34-40

    You will notice that no-where in the above quote does it say exactly what name you must call God, or how exactly you must conceive of God, what cultural tradition you must have, and what expression this must take. It says only to love God (be spiritual), and to love others, and to love yourself. Love is the answer – it really is that simple. Or difficult. As we will come to see, loving fully is one of the hardest things in the world, and it’s what we’re here to learn and do. So I will end this post with probably the best description of how to love I have ever come across, and it comes from the Bible:

    The Way of Love

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
    1 Corinthians 13:1-8

  262. Posted August 11, 2015 at 4:29 am | Permalink

    The notion that Jesus died because God punished him in place of our misdeeds seems rooted in misunderstanding to me – I think Jesus showed us ‘the way’ to end the cycle of reincarnation by becoming overcoming our lower, carnal, ‘beastly’ nature. The scary old testament deity ‘THE LORD (the law?)’ sounds an awful lot like the Eastern principle of Karmic law. There are so many bible passages which support Karmic law:

    Galatians 6:7
    Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

    2 Corinthians 5:10
    For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

    Ezekiel 18:20
    The soul who sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffer for the iniquity of the son. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.

    John 5:29
    And come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

    Titus 3:5
    He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

    Romans 12:19 ESV / 5 helpful votes Helpful Not Helpful
    Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

    Satan, which I believe represents the ego, is the ‘MAN of sin’, his number – 666 – is the number of a MAN. He was a LIAR from the BEGINNING and there is NO TRUTH IN HIM. If something has no truth, then it cannot exist. It is a lie. Satan, the devil, the beast, is depicted as being a (scape)goat. The left-hand path of black magic uses an upside-down pentagram with a goats head inside – this is because this is an inversion of the upright pentagram of divine man. It turns man into beast. Also, goats are symbolic of not only pan-like ‘horny’ sexuality and carnality – they never seem to stop eating, they roam around alone, and they are not herd animals like sheep – but they were also traditionally offered as sacrifices to God for human ‘sins’. It think it is spiritual immaturity which attributes human flaws to a supernatural villain. If Christ is in you, the devil is in you also, but it takes a level of maturity to take full responsibility for yourself. I think we understand these things when we are ready to. I believe Satan is symbolic of the carnal nature that we are here to overcome. Jesus himself was ‘tempted’ by satan – he defeats him by nailing his carnal ‘flesh’ to the cross, by practicing perfect love and self-sacrifice. I believe this is why he referred to himself ‘The Way’. I believe hell exists (plenty of NDEs to support this) but it is a temporary psychological condition we experience after death if we have lived particularly self-centred lives – it is a place where we will reap what we have sown, but we always get drawn back to God. Hell is described as ‘eternal’ because as Near Death Experiencer’s will attest, the afterlife realms are non-temporal – there is no sense of time in any linear fashion, but rather an eternal ‘now’. If hell is a place of eternal fire, then it is the purifying fire of God:

    for our God is a consuming fire.
    Hebrews 12:29

    Forever punishment for a lifetime’s worth of mistakes is illogical and undermines the notion of a God of love, so it just cannot be true. If it is God’s will that all are saved, then all are saved already. The Gospel is a message of hope, of love, of redemption. There is always redemption once we have paid off our karmic debt whether on earth or in this holding place called hell. We may get thrown in the purifying fire between incarnations, but we will all find our way home in the end as we learn and grow.

    It is clear in the Bible that Adam and Eve, who represent mankind, bit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil by CHOICE – the serpent that spoke to eve was actually a voice inside her own head, if you read the original Hebrew text this is clear. This meaning has been lost in translation. I can think of one serpent-like part of our own mind – the part concerned most with survival, and the part which makes us feel afraid: the reptilian brain! Many Christians reject science and the theory of evolution because they don’t believe the two can co-exist, but I believe the theory of evolution is totally consistent with spirituality – I believe man himself is evolving, from carnal Adam to divine Christ.

    1 Corinthians 15:22
    For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

    Our goal on earth is to learn to be like Christ. Christ commanded us to love EVERYONE as ourselves. I don’t think this can be reconciled with the thought that God can’t do the same. If we are God’s children, and God loves us, then everything that happens must come from a place of love. And here freedom enters the picture – when you love someone, you do not try to control them. When you are a wise and loving parent, you allow your child to make mistakes because mistakes are what help them learn. Children are naturally self-correcting, and so are we. We are on a long journey back home to our father, as we come to this school called earth for many terms to learn good from evil (love and non-love), and to build God’s kingdom.

    The wages of ‘sin’ (Hebrew meaning: to miss(take) the mark) is ‘death’ (Hebrew meaning: separation), but the gift of God is ‘eternal’ (non temporal) ‘life’ (Hebrew meaning: unity in plurality)

    Self and separateness is evil (illusion/false), whereas unity and selflessness is good (reality/the truth). If God hides his face from us, there is a good reason for it. Firstly, we have to ‘fall asleep’, or ‘die’ (spiritually separate) in order for this experience to be immersive enough for us to learn experientially (the greatest form of knowledge) rather than just theoretically. It doesn’t matter what you believe, it matters what you ARE. Life is hard because it is supposed to be hard – because like gold mined from deep in the ground we are put into the fire to be bent, shaped, and made into something beautiful. When we lift heavy weights, it hurts – but the pain results in bigger muscles, greater strength, and more endurance. But we must first endure some pain to achieve this improved strength. And so it is with the spiritual. Secondly, I believe that our own carnal nature and attitude often prevents us from seeing or communing with God, because these lower aspects lead to separation (death/sleep).

    Please, please, please don’t give up your amazing contributions to understanding this mystical text based on flawed theology from other people. There is no life in doctrine. Jesus kept trying to tell us not to blindly follow ‘law’, but to look within. Be wary of the carnal mind, the intellect – it is ego, it is the murderer. Christ was crucified at Golgotha – the place of the skull. It is our MIND, our ego which murdered our true, spiritual self and replaced it with the false self. This is why there are always two sons in the bible stories, and one is always killed. Ego kills our spiritual self by separating it from God and making us serve it. Our ego enslaves us.

    The Bible clearly preaches universal salvation:

    6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (Luke 3:6)

    10 And all the ends of the earth shall see The salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:10)

    John 12:47, Jesus stated:

    47 And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world…

    John 12:32, Jesus stated:

    32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.

    The secret of the Bible is that it teaches the spiritual evolution of man – it is the alchemical process of the transformation of base metals into gold. The great building work of the bible – the temple, or house of God – is the spiritual work undertaken by all of mankind. The temple is us! We are each a stone in building this temple of peace on earth. More to follow…

  263. Posted August 11, 2015 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    Lastly, I believe the story about the Jews liberation from Egypt is especially relevant to us today.

    Here is my theory:

    The original story we are given in the Old Testament describes many instances in which God’s ‘chosen people’ were sold into slavery in Egypt. I am of the opinion that Egypt symbolizes the carnal, godless ‘world’. It is a place of strange dualities – material wealth and spiritual poverty, a place of refuge and somewhere to escape from, and a place full of tempting trinkets, seductions, and false glitter. Egypt is a place where slaves build pyramids.

    But how is this relevant now? Well, what exactly is a pyramid? It is a hierarchical system – a corporation, a government, a system of power. It is a top-down structure which is an inversion of gods law that the greatest is the servant of the rest – a subversion of our divine right to freedom and equality.

    A pyramid is topped with a Capstone – an image we see on the dollar-bill, interestingly, but Christ himself is described as a cornerstone:

    Psalms 118:22 – The stone [which] the builders refused is become the head [stone] of the corner.
    Isaiah 28:16 – Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

    Mark 12:10 – And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

    As I said, it is SLAVES who build pyramids. It is also a symbol revered by Freemasons – those shadowy groups of men who meet in secret to stack the deck in their favour, these ‘master builders’ who revere the old mystery schools. Look around you, and you will see we are in Egypt still – the one at the top of the pyramid – Pharaoh – proclaims ‘I am god!’. We have these ‘gods’ still – they are kings, CEOs, presidents, politicians and celebrities. They embody success. But these systems, in their very structure, must exploit the many to benefit the few. How many times to we hear the term ‘wage slave’? This is not God’s plan for us. He does not desire that people work jobs they hate just to survive – this is slavery.
    * Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. – Colossians 3:23 ESV
    * Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest. How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, … Proverbs 6:6-11
    * And the Lord will bring you back in ships to Egypt, a journey that I promised that you should never make again; and there you shall offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but there will be no buyer.” Deuteronomy 28:68

    We are warned that the lazy servant buries his talents. How many of us throughout the world are doing that now, in order to ‘survive’ this beast system? We are in Egypt, and only god can set us free: whether through divine Revelation, as with Joseph, or through literal plagues and pestilences, as with the story of Moses. We are all the Israelites on our passage through Egypt – we have all had to do it. Jesus had to escape to Egypt, but he was not tempted to stay by the luxury and promise of an easy life – instead, he continued on his divine path to the promised land. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it is one we are all called to make.

    This is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14

    Many remain asleep. The world continues to operate a corrupt system of exploitation. We are in a deep trance – hypnotized by the glittering trinkets and false idols of wealth, success, glamour, and fame. We have so much, but these things do not make us happy – they only offer pleasure, which is fleeting. And this things which we covet so desperately on moment, and discard a moment later, are forged in the blood of exploitation and suffering. The ‘American dream’ has turned into a nightmare. Imagine a person in a very deep sleep at the wheel of a car – gentle attempts to wake them don’t work – you have to shake them to get their attention, if that doesn’t work you have to grab the steering wheel. Is this shaking what’s coming?

    Money is repeatedly mentioned as the source of all evil in the bible. The only time we ever see Jesus angry is when he finds money-lenders and people selling ‘beasts’ in the temple (human body). To devote your life to material things and the pursuit of money is depicted as the ultimate act of spiritual prostitution – it’s not a co-incidence that in Egypt Abraham’s wife Sarah is abducted into the Pharaoh’s harem. In this strange land, Abraham denies his relationship with her and is rewarded with wealth, mostly consisting of ‘beasts’ and slaves. The thing about beasts is you have to feed them. When we get a more expensive lifestyle, we do in sense become enslaved to it – these things need maintenance, and they cost money. That money has to keep coming in. How many of us have sacrificed our relationships to spend more time at work? This is what the world does to us – estranges us from our loved ones as we move up the pyramid. When we are too busy with work to care for our own homes and families, we get ‘help’ to do those things for us. All the while, the real beauty of life eludes us. We are as slaves in a strange land, building pyramids, worshiping strange gods…

    Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have corroded, and their corrosion will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure in the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, are crying out against you, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. James 5:1-4

    But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. 1 Timothy 6:9-10

    You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:23-24

    For thus says the Lord: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” Isaiah 52:3

    And I said to them, Cast away the detestable things your eyes feast on, every one of you, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the Lord your God. Ezekiel 20:7

    the beast that rises from the bottomless pit[a] will make war on them and conquer them and kill them, 8 and their dead bodies will lie in the street of the great city that symbolically[b] is called Sodom and Egypt, where their Lord was crucified. – Revelation 11:8

  264. Posted August 11, 2015 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Apologies for the long post, there is so much I have found in the Bible that I am desperate to share with people, but it is years of research and can’t easily be boiled down to a few sentences when you are talking to people who already have their own deep-set notions of what the scriptures mean. I’ve cherry-picked (ha!) some of the main bits that I hope will inspire a renewed perspective, but if not that’s fine too. At the end of the day I really don’t think it matters what we believe in terms of religion – what matters is how much love we have. When the Bible says you have to ‘believe in Christ’ to see God, think about what Christ described himself as – the way, the truth, and the life. LOVE! If you feel unconditional love, there is God. We do have to give ourselves up to love unconditionally though, don’t we?

    I think your site and work is amazing, and it is so kind of you to give up your time to share it with us all – I found your site while researching for my own and I can honestly say it’s one of the best on the net. Thanks so much for not taking it down, and thanks for sharing your amazing findings with us all.

    Suzi xxx

  265. Posted August 11, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I think you would be interested in Bill Donahue’s lectures on this subject.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR9A5_58GUI

  266. Jesus is risen
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Explorers for truth, the Author of life protected Jesus of Nazareth during His entire earthly life from death. Many people were desirous to kill the Pure One because Satan, a fallen angel, indwelled them.

    Think back to Herod. Why did he desire to kill all those children of a specific age, in a specific locality?

    The answer is he was enslaved to Satan and demon possessed. Truly he had been deceived by Satan. His murderous intent toward the baby born in Bethlehem came from Satan.

    It was Our heavenly who allowed Lord Jesus, Our righteous King to die on a cross, for He is sovereign over life.
    Jesus did suffer the punishment that I, as a sinner, deserved. Glory be to the Author of life forevermore.

  267. Josef Sefton
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    It was Our heavenly Father who allowed Lord Jesus, Our righteous King to die on a cross, for He is sovereign life.
    Jesus did suffer the punishment over that I, as a sinner, deserved. Glory be to the Author of life forevermore.

  268. Jesus is risen
    Posted August 12, 2015 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

    Suzi writes, I think your site and work is amazing, and it is so kind of you to give up your time to share it with us all – I found your site while researching for my own and I can honestly say it’s one of the best on the net. Thanks so much for not taking it down, and thanks for sharing your amazing findings with us all.

    Suzi, Richard is a very talented man, but most of his conclusions about the Author of life are false!
    Suzi, you also, in my opinion, don’t teach correctly about Satan, nor do you, in my opinion, understand what happened on the cross!
    I do agree with most of your commentaries, but in these vital matters you are teaching nonsense!

  269. Posted August 13, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    This calls for wisdom. Let the person who has insight calculate the number of the BEAST, for it is the number of a MAN. That number is 666.
    Revelation 13:18

    The Carbon atom is the sixth in the periodic table. It has 6 Protons, 6 Neutrons & 6 Electrons. We are carbon-based life forms.

    Have you ever heard of a ‘hex’? It is a word which we associate with a curse. However, the word Hex is derived from ‘here’ or ‘having six’. A Hexagon is a 6-sided shape which is used by many of the major monotheistic (and polytheistic) religions, as well as Black magicians and those that follow the left-hand path.

    Now look at the structure for carbon:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon

    Carbon/graphite/coal starts out black and soft, and with enough time and pressure becomes a diamond – a beautiful transparent stone and one of the hardest and most valuable substances in the world. Look at the way structure of the diamond compared to graphite – it is strong because it is UNIFIED!

    Conincidence? I think not. This is just my opinion/intuition. Im not here to tell you what to believe – Im just sharing information. The traditional doctrine of hell makes no sense because the Gospel requires us to love unconditionally. How much more then, does God love unconditionally. Everything that happens here – even the awful things – are for our ultimate good. We are his great work and he is perfecting us – for many, this is a trial by fire. We all have our cross to bear.

    My interpretation of the bible is that it is a book which details the spiritual alchemy of man from Adam (beast) to Christ (man). To create God’s house (the place where God lives – within us all) we must all become like Christ, by defeating our lower carnal nature and practising unconditional love. This is why having children is a good idea for those who are able to – because children teach us that love doesn’t always mean giving someone exactly what they want all the time. Sometimes, it means giving them a bit of tough love, as the hardships and discipline inevitably produce a decent, strong human being. Giving people what they want all the time spoils them and makes them selfish. We have to fight our lower, beastly nature every day. It is like a selfish, frightened child having a tantrum. The best way to be rid of the devil is not to be like him.

    Likewise, because God loves us he gave us free will – if you love something, you have to let it go and be free. Control is not love. I believe the story of the Garden of Eden in Genesis is about how we CHOSE to experience the world in order to learn the knowledge of good and evil through experience. This makes more sense to me than the idea of a God who created a supernatural, omnipotent evil which has the ability to deceive us to hell forever, which obviously, isn’t really fair or loving at all, is it? I also don’t think for one second that God would ever hurt Jesus just to forgive us – I find this notion ridiculous. God sent Jesus to show us the way back home, the truth about reality, and the goodness of life. Jesus willingly died BECAUSE of our sins, to show us that self-sacrafice and suffering do have a purpose. God promised us he would ‘wipe away every tear’. How can any of us say we are loving people if the thought of our fellow man burning in unspeakable eternal torture doesn’t make us suffer. Heaven could surely not be heaven for a loving person if they knew that other humans were suffering in such a way forever with no hope of redemption?

    and “YHWH [He exists]” of “Elohiym [Powers]” directed upon the human saying, from all of the trees of the garden an eating you will eat, and from the tree of the discernment of function and dysfunction you will not eat from him given that in the day you eat from him a dying you will die, and “YHWH [He exists]” of “Elohiym [Powers]” said, it is not functional for the human existing by himself, I will make for him a helper such as his opposite,
    ‘So, how does the prohibition not to eat from the tree [of knowledge of good and evil] contribute to our self understanding of the human condition? It is representative of the realm between faith and the visible, between flesh and spirit. The prohibition is a warning that humanity can trespass too far into the realm of knowledge and produce evil. We human beings reach for more than we should, we do not restrain ourselves. Perhaps this is most apparent in the production of nuclear weapons. Like Cain we must learn to choose the good, to reject the violence that makes some perpetrators and others victims. The compromise of life for scientific gain is evil.’
    Job is a voice for humanity, he has had the best of life, he has experienced great affluence and yet been responsible to his fellow human beings. In a whirlwind of war and catastrophe he experiences loss of family, servants and wealth. In a few more lines his health is stricken with severe calamity and his wife betrays him with an invitation to curse (bless) God and die. Life becomes a tortuous experience and Job laments the day of his birth like a victim of torture who refuses to die. So begin the dialogues where we leave the mythical world of a heavenly scene and join the world of the living where suffering is inescapable.
    The dialogues of the book of Job are an honest man’s relentless complaint and insights into the human condition. His tenacity to hold onto God is exemplary; he does so by blaming God for his plight. Job is a story that places blame for the human condition on God. Adam did as much when he told God he ate the fruit because of the woman whom God gave him. A statement which I take to be funny, only if Adam existed alone could he be free from the reality of the human condition and live without anxiety. Yet it was not good for him to be alone in the eyes of God. Without the woman, without gender, procreation, and death there could be no history, no salvation, no humanity.
    Adam hides from God, he is afraid and ashamed. Job requests God to relieve him of the fear and dread endemic to God’s presence and declares he will not hide his self but appear boldly and wear any accusation against him as winners scarf across his chest. The book of Job is written prior to the revelation of God in Christ and has some limitations on an accurate portrayal of God. Still, God watches Job, is happy about Job’s goodness (integrity) and must not let Job escape suffering. The book of Job as a portrayal of the human condition, voices innocence from every aspect of human experience. There are good people in the world; we are not all totally depraved. Depravity is not biologically inherited.
    The sins of the fathers are the repercussions of their lives, their teaching, their socio-cultural constructs that we accept without questioning. We experience the world they ‘created’, we can stop and wait for the God who clothes Adam and Eve, the God who meets Job and does not explain himself, the God who has now revealed (and exposed) his self in his son Jesus Christ and we can form a different reality. Jesus called it the kingdom of God, John called it eternal life, Luke called it the way, Paul called it being in Christ, the writer of Hebrews called it res
    It is human to be born, to die, to suffer, to experience betrayal, anxiety, loss, catastrophe, and be able to choose to do good in the midst of all our struggles. Jesus experienced the human condition and was a righteous sufferer, an innocent victim, and Jesus is our model. The human condition is not paradise we are east of Eden. Eden is now a dream, a hope, not a return to innocence, but reconciliation with God as God reconciles God’s self to humanity over the course of history.
    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/intertextual-theology-from-genesis-job-human-condition-mike-garner

    ‘Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined–and everyone undergoes discipline–then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. Even though he sought the blessing with tears, he could not change what he had done. You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned to death.” The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, “I am trembling with fear.” But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. If they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken–that is, created things–so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
    Hebrews 12

    The Gospel is a message of hope, not condemnation. That’s why it’s called the good news.

    33 Jesus also used this illustration: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in THREE measures of flour, it permeated EVERY PART of the dough’ (emphasis mine)
    Matthew 13:33

    Please note all the threes. :)

    Unicornis est Deus, nobis petra Christus, nobis lapis angularis Jesus, nobis hominum homo Christus

    “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the assemblies: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it (Revelations 2:17).

  270. Josef Sefton
    Posted August 16, 2015 at 4:45 am | Permalink

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>