The Atheism of Christians

36

March 14, 2013 by theguywiththeeye

Or talk about it at Audience Comments for this post.

anyone challenge chosenrebel’s post? Will he defend it?

ChosenRebel's Blog

Tuesday is for Discussion

unbeliefWe say we believe in a supernatural God, a God who spoke worlds into existence, a God who set the stars in their courses, a God who parted seas and rivers, a God who freed a people from slavery, a God who raises the dead and who is coming again to judge the living and the dead … but I wonder.

Sometimes when I examine the prayers we / I pray, when I scrutinize the anxiety that plagues our hearts and the fears that hound our souls, … I wonder if we aren’t all closet-anti-super-naturalists.  For example: Can God change the heart of your husband, son, daughter, obnoxious neighbor? Some of us have family members or friends or neighbors, who, from a human perspective, head a list of “least likely to ever convert to Christ.”

They have hardened hearts, or hardened lifestyles, or associations with so…

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36 thoughts on “The Atheism of Christians

  1. john zande says:

    If homosexuality is a “lifestyle,” a choice, then perhaps this man would like to tell us about when he decided to be heterosexual?

  2. hmmm seems I’ve been volunteered. So, I need to respond to this lovely bit of nonsense: http://chosenrebel.me/2013/03/12/the-atheism-of-christians/ ???

    Sure, it’ll be easy. My favorite charity is The Snow Leopard Trust: http://www.snowleopard.org/

    Do I have a time limit? Or a date/time I have to have my rebuttal in by?

    • ok, Club, we are set to go. Whenever you are ready. We have faith in you 🙂

      Let me know if you have questions.

      Please make sure that you are getting comment notifications for this blog, so you can keep up. Good luck!

    • I know this post isn’t all that audacious. Since this is a new concept, we just need to get started with something — and the author is engaged. So, do your best to make something of it … if you need to digress from the post, that’s fine.

      Thanks for your help.

  3. chosenrebel says:

    My charity of choice would be THE INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION. (International Justice Mission is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression.) Their web address is: http://www.ijm.org/

    The first push back on this post came from a young atheist who questioned my “lumping” of religions with other issues like alcohol addiction, homosexuality and drug addictions.

    The follow-up questions that he had were:

    “What do you say of the faith in god that gets a person eaten by a shark or killed in battle?
    Why is it that all stories of faith in god are success stories?”

    My response was:

    I need more of a context. For example, if I were on a boat with you and you fell overboard I would, because of my faith in Christ, risk my life to save you and I might lose my life. That would be a good and wise act from my worldview. Why? Because my life is secure in Christ who promises that any who believe in him and lose their life “will live, even if they die” (John 11:25). Saving you and giving you more time to repent and believe in Christ yourself would be a good thing. Now, if you are talking about some fool who jumps into shark infested waters and naively says, “God will protect me, I have no fear” then we are not talking about faith but stupidity.

    As for your second question, I know lots of stories about God that don’t turn out as “success stories.” But then again, our time references and definitions of “success’ may be different than God’s.

    • Marty,

      Thank you for participating. Let me start by reminding you that the goal of this site is to bring dissimilar minds together in the hope of finding some common ground; HOWEVER, I encourage you to be passionate about your ideas. We need these discussions to be entertaining to readers, so don’t pull any punches.

      From this point on, I will only be approving comments from you and clubschadenfreude in this thread. All other comments will be redirected to the “comments & suggestions” page.

      Let’s see where we can take this.

      CCL

    • Please make sure you are getting comment notifications, so you can keep up. Good luck and have fun!

  4. Reblogged this on Christop Clochard L and commented:

    We may have our first debate. It may be a little rough, but please check it out. Your feedback and suggestions are welcomed.

  5. hello everyone. This is velkyn, host at Club Schadenfreude, my blog. I’m the challenger here. I’ve had a lot of experience in dismantling theist claims there and on various forums over the years. I am a former Christian (Presbyterian variety), very familiar with the Bible and have done a lot of research on various religions. I also have a degree in geology. The Snow Leopard Trust is my favorite charity. I am quite aggressive in my style, and I definitely do not pull punches. Here we go!

    The blog post chosen for this challenge is a variant on the excuses that Christians give when prayers fail. It also is a typical post by a Christian who is sure that their version of Christianity is the only correct one and who has many misapprehensions about atheism.
    When Christians try to define who the real Christians (aka TrueChristianstm) are, they find one big problem: Christians don’t agree what Christians believe. Each Christian is sure that their sect and personal belief represents what their god “really” meant in its bible or in its supposed communications with humanity. They are sure that all TrueChristians should agree with them and are sure that anyone who disagrees is at best mistaken in part and must be brought to their way or they simply believe the person is willfully misinterpreting this god and is damned to hell. The problem for them is that none of them have any better claim to the title TrueChristian than the next.

    In the original post, the self-described Christian, “chosenrebel”, seems to be sure that TrueChristians (aka him and everyone who agrees with him) believe in the following things: that the bible is literal when it makes claims about the universe; that homosexuality is a sin; that other religions are wrong e.g. Islam, Mormonism (atheism is not a religion and is a lack of belief in god/gods); that his god “delights” in rescuing the “broken, despised, prodigal” etc people; and that Moses, et all are evidence of that since they supposedly were murderers. He also claims that his god “delights in changing what we think is unchangeable”. If I have any of this incorrect, I ask “chosenrebel” to explain what and how. Also if he is a she, I apologize for the mistake.

    The crux of his post is that anyone who doesn’t believe without reservation and who doubts or requires evidence is really an anti-supernaturalist or an atheist. He tries to claim that anyone who doesn’t have a prayer answered is at fault, that that they doubt that this god can do anything so this god evidently refuses like a stubborn child or is unable to perform with any doubt in the room, very much like any con artist.

    I’d like to look at the various claims individually.

    First, not all Christians believe what CR does. We have plenty of Christians who accept evolutionary theory, the big bang theory, etc. They simply push God back into being the starting mechanism of those events which led to the earth and humans. We also have Christians who agree that the exodus certainly seems to only be a legend, perhaps a useful legend but not a real description of events. We have plenty of Christians who don’t agree if hell exist or how long people will spend there or how their god will return and judge the dead (premillenialists, etc). Just from the various failed prophesies of when this god is supposedly coming back show how confused and conflicted Christianity is.

    The usual response from a Christian to my paragraph above is that these Christians who disagree with him are not true Christians at all. This response is the no true Scotsman fallacy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

    CR is unsure about the prayers that he prays and other Christians pray. It comes down to yet one more Christian claiming “you’re doing it wrong” to excuse his god but being unable to come up with the magical formula that will work. What prayer will actually work since none have so far? We have Christians desperate for answers to prayers and who will claim that parlor tricks and coincidence are just those answers. Praise the Lord, I found the parking space I prayed for! Praise the Lord, the Steelers won! Praise the Lord, he made wind blow in north Africa and now we all feel like God was right there: http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=796005 ! (pity he couldn’t have been here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/12/texas-teens-crash/1981835/ or saving soldiers from being killed, or preventing houses being destroyed by one superstorm or another rather than screwing around with a film crew).

    I’ve personally had hundreds, if not thousands at this point, Christians claiming that they are praying for me to accept their god. Now, considering I was a Christian at one point (cue the no true Scotsman fallacy again here), prayed myself to the Christian god for help to not lose it, and still ended up an atheist, one has to wonder about prayer again. If one postulates a god, then we have only a few possiblities: it likes me as I am, I’m already damned (Romans 9 aka predestination), it doesn’t like the prayers that have been offered by Christians, or it doesn’t exist. None of them seem terribly palatable to a Christian who is sure that their god wants everyone to believe in their version of that religion.

    Our Christian makes the claim that anyone who doesn’t act like them have hardened their hearts, have made the wrong choices and are “trapped”. He claims that those who don’t agree with him are narcissists, that they are too prideful, too self-absorbed to agree with this version of Christianity. Many of these claims are the usual ones that Christians make of atheists. Many Christians need to believe that anyone who finds them wrong has to be injured or flawed in someway, that they could never come to the conclusion that the religion is wrong and the god does not exist by considering facts. Making up such claims about atheists is lying since the claims are untrue and are based on willful ignorance.

    CR also appears to assume that people choose homosexuality like they choose a religion. Hmmm, that would make heterosexuality a choice too. I would ask CR to tell me when he chose to be heterosexual.

    The claim that homosexuality is simply a choice seems to be untrue given current research: http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/13/new-insight-into-the-epigenetic-roots-of-homosexuality/ , but even if it were a choice, there is nothing, except the baseless opinions of some people who practice one version of one religion that says it is a “sin”, something that a god doesn’t like and will punish you for doing.

    CR also claims that his god is in the business of saving people. Well, that is what some Christians say. Others say that there is no special picking out of the broken, despised, abandoned, and those who are saved are saved for no particular purpose but this god’s whim (saved by “grace”). By the claims of saved by grace, Moses was not in need of redemption from being a murderer, he was already chosen. So was Paul, and David, and everyone else in the bible… assuming that they were real of course.

    CR says that his god “changing what we think is unchangeable.” and claims that prayer will get this god to do things. Now, we’re into the nitty gritty. We need evidence that this god does anything, much less changing people. I would ask our Christian to show me that this god exists at all and then to show me how this god answers prayers. I want evidence that prayer works at all.

    With the three questions CR asks
    • What are you praying for that only God can do?
    • What are you believing God for that shows you are not a practical atheist?
    • What are you NOT praying for because you DON’T BELIEVE God will act?

    I see that excuses are already built into them for the times that prayer fails. But, if we pray like CR says, prayer *should* work. One has to pray to this god for something it can do. It being omnipotent and omniscient, that should be just about anything (perhaps barring the paradox nonsense of can god create a rock so heavy he can’t lift it). If you believe, God should answer quickly and positively, since per the bible, a mountain immediately moves and a father would not give his son a snake if asked for a fish. I know a lot of people who really believe and even I really believed at one point. I prayed for things I knew it was impossible for anyone but omniscient/omnipotent God to achieve. That’s the god I believed in.

    Let’s take one example to fill out these three questions. For the first, we need to pray for something that only God can do. Healing disease or injury always seems a good one and very popular in the bible. Now most Christians certainly seem to believe that their god heals, so we need one of those to do the prayer. And we need someone who believes that anything is possible. So, we should have no problem in getting an amputee his limb back. The VA hospitals will be thrilled.

    That’s change to believe in, but of course it won’t happen, no matter how much CR claims his god delighting in changing the unchangeable. The excuses will fly fast and furious. Whoever did the prayer didn’t do it “right”, though we will never be told what the “right” way is. The amputee will be accused of not believing enough or believing in the right thing. We will be told that an amputation isn’t an injury (you’d be surprised the number of times I’ve seen that claimed). We will be told that this god suddenly only does “spiritual” healing. We will be told that this god has a mysterious plan that required traumatic harm to come to someone and that the end justifies the means. That last I find most repugnant; I would never require that someone be harmed for my benefit. Frankly, a god that is as described in the bible shouldn’t need to hurt anyone at all for any reason.

    The failure of the claims of Christianity and all religions, and the excuses offered, are what makes me an atheist. And there is no reason to believe that some god will change that.

  6. chosenrebel says:

    velkyn,

    Welcome to the forum. I suppose we should have laid down a few ground rules about length of response. : )

    Anyway, your initial missive misses on a number of fronts chiefly because of all the assumptions you make. I will try to take each paragraph in order but not all at once. Hope that is okay with you.

    You said:
    “The blog post chosen for this challenge is a variant on the excuses that Christians give when prayers fail. It also is a typical post by a Christian who is sure that their version of Christianity is the only correct one and who has many misapprehensions about atheism.”

    First, for the readers, I neither proposed this for the challenge nor did I write it for any other audience than my fellow Christians of all types and denominations.
    Second, I don’t believe that “my version” of Christianity is the only correct one though i do believe that I have a good grasp of what all Christians have always believed. Unlike you and your attempt to “poison the well” and argue from power and prestige (see velkyn’s opening paragraph on his pedigree) and the dripping disdain of your second sentence here, I prefer to discuss opposing perspectives with respect, biblical texts and logic.
    Third, I am positive that you are right and that I have many “misapprehensions about atheism.” Hoping to learn some things from you.

    You said:
    “When Christians try to define who the real Christians (aka TrueChristianstm) are, they find one big problem: Christians don’t agree what Christians believe. Each Christian is sure that their sect and personal belief represents what their god “really” meant in its bible or in its supposed communications with humanity. They are sure that all TrueChristians should agree with them and are sure that anyone who disagrees is at best mistaken in part and must be brought to their way or they simply believe the person is willfully misinterpreting this god and is damned to hell. The problem for them is that none of them have any better claim to the title TrueChristian than the next.”

    Actually, there is surprising agreement between various Christian bodies on the major points of the faith. There is one God, triune in nature, he is holy, we aren’t, Jesus is God in the flesh, he came to give his life as an atoning sacrifice for sin, those who repent of sin and believe will forgiven their sin and welcomed into his family, they should live passionate, sacrificial lives of service to their fellow man and praise to their God who is coming again to judge the living and the dead. Almost every church in my town would subscribe to all of these. They would have minor disagreements on relatively minor issues like modes of baptism, or frequency and meaning of the Lord’s Supper etc. So your assumption about what I believe and how i believe it are completely off target.

    I’ll come back latter and pick up the thread. Right now I have to get on my bike and book to home before the rain comes. Oh and by the way, I’m a guy.

    • Oh, no, what kind of bike, Marty? A Crotch Rocket? A Harley? A Schwinn?

      Initially I thought your comment about “length of response” was rude, but you might have a point. Perhaps we could set a rule on length, but I will need to think how to do it.

    • chosenrebel says:

      velkyn,

      Sorry for the delay. I had a recording to do. Let’s pick up where I left off with your next paragraph:

      in your next paragraph you attempted to throw me under the bus as a narrow-minded sectarian Christian who is only interested in people who agree with him. This is another attempt to buttress weak arguments with ad-hominem attacks on the person. I think most readers will see through the posturing but just in case I thought I would help people think through what I actually say and not what you think or want people to think I say.

      YOU SAID:
      “In the original post, the self-described Christian, “chosenrebel”, seems to be sure that TrueChristians (aka him and everyone who agrees with him) believe in the following things: that the bible is literal when it makes claims about the universe; that homosexuality is a sin; that other religions are wrong e.g. Islam, Mormonism (atheism is not a religion and is a lack of belief in god/gods); that his god “delights” in rescuing the “broken, despised, prodigal” etc people; and that Moses, et all are evidence of that since they supposedly were murderers. He also claims that his god “delights in changing what we think is unchangeable”. If I have any of this incorrect, I ask “chosenrebel” to explain what and how.”

      Essentially yes, though I would nuance some of these things: There is wide diversity on what the Bible actually claims about origins, homosexual expression is sin not homosexual temptation or tendency, there might be some truth in Islam and Mormonism and other religions but they get the big stuff wrong (we can go into that later), and yes, my God delights to rescue people from themselves and others.

      YOU SAID
      “The crux of his post is that anyone who doesn’t believe without reservation and who doubts or requires evidence is really an anti-supernaturalist or an atheist. He tries to claim that anyone who doesn’t have a prayer answered is at fault, that that they doubt that this god can do anything so this god evidently refuses like a stubborn child or is unable to perform with any doubt in the room, very much like any con artist”.

      Now you have gone off the rails. That is NOT the crux of the post. I would encourage you to read a bit more carefully and tone down your anger a bit. Anger gets in the way of good thinking and usually assumes things not in evidence from a base of preconceived assumptions. I think that is what has happened here. I’ve done it myself at times much to my embarrassment.

      First, blog titles on the internet are a competition. Most bloggers title their posts in some provocative way to attract an audience. They aren’t misleading so much as they are unexplained. The explanation as to their meaning comes in the post.

      Second, in my post I neither state nor imply that Christians with doubts or more accurately, who act in ways inconsistent with what they believe, are atheist. I simply say that sometimes, we (Christians) are inconsistent. I say nothing about not having a prayer answered. Nothing. I never talk about having prayers answered. Go back and read it again. I’m not talking about the answer side of prayer; I’m focused on the asking side.

      Third, I am always fascinated about how quickly people thing that things devolve to “either/or” situations. Take your “either god evidently refuses like a stubborn child OR is unable to perform … very much like a con-artist” scenario. I just don’t thing it is so logically tight as you imply and pejoratively label (stubborn child … con-artist language).

      Is it possible that a finite capacity creature, a finite amount of gray matter (that would be you and me) doesn’t fully comprehend what we are asking for and that an omniscient being knows that some requests should not be answered?

      Is it possible that some prayers are wrongly motivated and will be set aside by God for that reason?

      Is it possible that some prayers will be answered in ways that we didn’t conceive but that an omniscient God does?

      Your either/or scenario isn’t argument or logic, it posturing with logical clothing. Nothing more. All for now.

    • chosenrebel says:

      velkyn,

      YOU SAID:
      “First, not all Christians believe what CR does. We have plenty of Christians who accept evolutionary theory, the big bang theory, etc. They simply push God back into being the starting mechanism of those events which led to the earth and humans. We also have Christians who agree that the exodus certainly seems to only be a legend, perhaps a useful legend but not a real description of events. We have plenty of Christians who don’t agree if hell exist or how long people will spend there or how their god will return and judge the dead (premillenialists, etc). Just from the various failed prophesies of when this god is supposedly coming back show how confused and conflicted Christianity is.”

      Couple of clarifying comments:
      One, You are right, not all Christians believe what I believe. So what? When we arrive at heaven and the presence of God, we will all have the aberrant parts of our theology corrected AND we will bow down in praise to our God for saving us and making us his own through no merit of our own and purely on the basis of his mercy and grace.

      Two, most Christians, of all stripes believe that Jesus is coming again to judge the living and the dead. It is in our Bible’s (2 Timothy 4:1-2) and in our Creeds (see the Apostle’s Creed for one). This is much more than a premillenial doctrine. (Do our readers know or even care about the whole Pre, Post, and amillenial issues?)

      Third, I’m not sure what you mean when you talk about failed prophecies about the return of Christ. To my knowledge, none have failed. Some Christians have speculated, disobediently and foolishly and tried to predict dates for his coming but that goes directly against the Scripture they say they believe. We are not to speculate as to date; we are to live as if our Lord my return at any moment.

      Fourth, the third point above is not a “True Scotsman” dodge. It is simply a statement that some Christians have acted foolishly.

      YOU SAID
      “CR is unsure about the prayers that he prays and other Christians pray. It comes down to yet one more Christian claiming “you’re doing it wrong” to excuse his god but being unable to come up with the magical formula that will work. What prayer will actually work since none have so far? We have Christians desperate for answers to prayers and who will claim that parlor tricks and coincidence are just those answers. Praise the Lord, I found the parking space I prayed for! Praise the Lord, the Steelers won! Praise the Lord, he made wind blow in north Africa and now we all feel like God was right there:

      http://tv.msn.com/tv/article.aspx?news=796005 ! (pity he couldn’t have been here: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/03/12/texas-teens-crash/1981835/ or saving soldiers from being killed, or preventing houses being destroyed by one superstorm or another rather than screwing around with a film crew).”

      Thanks for the links. I agree with you, some Christians are unthinking, foolish, and trivializing in what they praise and don’t praise God for, not to mention insensitive and silly at times. And the links to the tragedy of the five teenagers killed and the shattered lives of soldiers and other devastation by super-storms and the like are head-scratchers for all believers in a God. Our vantage point is not omniscient.

      But reference to God’s omniscience is not a parlor trick. It is part of the faith received from our Jewish ancestors. Job asked the same questions in his book by the same name. In the end he did not get an answer from God. He got a response to his “why does this happen” question but not an answer.

      God’s answer was that his ways are not ours. The pottery doesn’t tell the Potter what to do. His ways are higher and for people of faith, though difficult sometime, we accept that answer. Atheist don’t, we do. Both of us believe the evidence around us points us in a particular direction. I look at the things I don’t understand and hope for answers and work to find answers where I can. You look at the things you can’t understand—the supposed goodness of God and the existence of evil and tragedy—and assume that it is impossible to reconcile them.

      One clarifying note: I have plenty of real substantive answers to prayer and my wife has volumes of them, having kept notebooks for years on prayers she has prayed, large and small, significant and insignificant. At the same time, I don’t get all of my prayers answered and this doesn’t surprise me. I’m a father, I don’t answer all of my children’s requests. A Christian is humble enough to recognize that his God knows better than him/her and that God is not his puppet on a string.

  7. chosenrebel says:

    YOU SAID:
    “I’ve personally had hundreds, if not thousands at this point, Christians claiming that they are praying for me to accept their god. … If one postulates a god, then we have only a few possiblities: it likes me as I am, I’m already damned (Romans 9 aka predestination), it doesn’t like the prayers that have been offered by Christians, or it doesn’t exist. None of them seem terribly palatable to a Christian who is sure that their god wants everyone to believe in their version of that religion.”

    Delighted to hear that so many are praying for you. Don’t give up on their prayers. Your life isn’t over yet. Perhaps God will yet be merciful and give you the grace that leads to the opening of your eyes (Acts 16:14). ; ) Maybe you could ask some of them to pray for me. I will take all the prayer I can get.

    Friendship aside: Again with the either/or’s. Really, there are other possibilities. Like:

    1. God isn’t finished.
    2. God might be using things like this forum to make you think again.
    3. God is testing the love and faith of those who pray for you. Will they continue to love you and care for you despite the fact that there seems to be no response.
    4. God may be doing a thousand and one things while we only see one–the one that we are most interested in at the moment.

    George Muller, a man of legendary commitment to prayer, and who saw extraordinary answers to prayer, nevertheless prayed all his life for four men, friends of his to come to faith. None did during his lifetime. All four did in the three years after his death. Were his prayers worthless? You will say yes but Christians look to such documented stories as further evidence for their faith. But what if none had trusted in Christ as the bearer of their sins? What would that prove? Nothing, except that God did not answer his prayers,

    Enough for today.

  8. just so Marty doesn’t blow a gasket, I’ll post tomorrow Poor thing, he has to respond to each point. Oh darn, that’s what happens when agreeing to defend a post. It’s also quite funny that he complains about posts being “too long”. but has no problem if it’s his own.

    • I might need to set some ground rules, moving forward. Work in progress. Thanks for your patience & participation … and, your suggestions are always welcome. Sunofmysoul, Holly, suggested the great idea of having audience comment rooms for each post — found in the sidebar. No chatter for this post yet.

    • chosenrebel says:

      Marty isn’t in danger of blowing a gasket. Your initial response wasn’t too long, it was just a little too long for the forum. I thin if the initial post was shorter, both of us could have more immediate back and forth, which might be more entertaining and easier to follow for the readers.

  9. chosenrebel says:

    velkyn,
    Aside: Though I never used any form of the argument. You might want to read the following post on “The no true Scotsman” fallacy. Bottom line: There are times when the form is present but the fallacy is not.

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2011/11/10/in-defense-of-the-true-true-scotsmen/

  10. chosenrebel says:

    Velkyn,

    YOU SAID: (in paragraph 12 of your original post)
    “Our Christian makes the claim that anyone who doesn’t act like them have hardened their hearts, have made the wrong choices and are “trapped”. He claims that those who don’t agree with him are narcissists, that they are too prideful, too self-absorbed to agree with this version of Christianity. ….”

    Me: I don’t mind defending my post but let’s stay on the post—on what I actually said and not what you think I said or want me to have said. Honestly, read the post and be honest. That’s how conversations work.

    First of all, I didn’t say all of the groupings of people mentioned were narcissistic. The words “or perhaps” in my post signal this to the reader. I am introducing a new category there. Are you saying that narcissistic people don’t exist? All my post says is that the word applies to some people. By the way, I have met some narcissistic Christians as well. The point of my post was to talk about things that might challenge a Christian’s fervor. It’s easy (and perhaps silly) to pray for a parking space. It is hard to pray for an end to poverty and injustice. Nevertheless, praying for (and working toward) the latter is wise and good. It’s easy to pray that the person reading his Bible will have understanding. It’s harder to pray for someone who believes the Bible is a bunch of fairy tails. That’s ALL I was saying.

    YOU SAID: (in paragraph 13)
    “CR also appears to assume that people choose homosexuality like they choose a religion. Hmmm, that would make heterosexuality a choice too. I would ask CR to tell me when he chose to be heterosexual.”

    ME: I didn’t choose to be heterosexual. It is who I am. We are born with female or male body parts and that is what we are ontologically—what we are in our being. Some people struggle with same sex attraction. It isn’t sin to be tempted to express sex outside of our ontology. It is sin to express it not to be tempted by it. some of my friends genuinely struggle with not only same sex attraction, but attraction to women or men (heterosexually) who are not their spouses. The attraction, from a biblical standpoint is not sin, The expression of sex outside of marriage and outside of ontology is sin. But all sin can be forgiven. All sinners (I’m a big sinner) can be forgiven. That is the good news of the gospel. We can be forgiven our sin and empowerd to live beyond our urges.

    YOU SAID: (in paragraph 14)
    “The claim that homosexuality is simply a choice seems to be untrue given current research: http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/13/new-insight-into-the-epigenetic-roots-of-homosexuality/ , but even if it were a choice, there is nothing, except the baseless opinions of some people who practice one version of one religion that says it is a “sin”, something that a god doesn’t like and will punish you for doing.”

    ME:
    Thanks for the link to the epigenetic research. Fascinating article, but to paraphrase one of my favorite movies (Princess Bride) “I don’t think that article proves what you think it proves.” Here are some of the tip offs: “appears”, “suggests [not proves] it is hereditary, at least in part” [the last four words make it clear that it is not proved], “may have an answer”, “failed to find a gay gene” “think”. These are not the language of proof but of theory and in the cultural setting of our time, it is not hard to get funding for any kind of research that might [MIGHT] support homosexuality as a norm. Look, homosexuality is a complicated business and in a cultural where we are being pickled in an onslaught of propaganda for and by homosexual activities and sympathizers we are not going to solve it here. For my part, I will continue to respect and love people who identify themselves as homosexuals and I will call them to belief in a better approach and expression of their sexual urges. That is going to send some people up a wall. I’m sorry. But I will stand with the Scripture and love the people who throw hate at me anyway.

    Enough for now.

  11. 1. You have claimed “I don’t believe that “my version” of Christianity is the only correct one”. I’ve seen this disingenuous statement before from Christians. It proves a problem since if you don’t think that your version is the right one, why are you believing in it? If you don’t think it’s the only right one to save your soul, why do you think anyone else should be taught about it and why do you think *I* should believe in it. We are left with either thinking you have intentionally lied when saying you don’t think your religion is the only right one or you don’t actually believe what your religion which means there is no reason for me to believe it. Your original blog post is certainly apropos here. So is hearing a cock’s crow.

    2. If you don’t have the right answer, who does? The Catholics? Islam? Wicca? Have you looked at these religions since you admit yours may not be the right one?
    Do you have the right to tell someone about a religion you don’t believe in? Mother Teresa spread her religions nonsense but did not believe it herself. Is that a good or bad act?

    3. You have claimed that there are only “minor” disagreements between Christian sects. I know this is not to be the case: uproar over Mormons posthumously baptizing people, constant attempts to missinoary to people who are already Christians, religious wars, inquisitions, auto da fe, etc. No god doing anything to stop this.

    5. It’s also great to see you ignore your bible and say that “homosexual tendency or temptation” isn’t a sin. I seem to recall JC saying that even thinking about something sinful is a sin (see Matthew 18, Matthew 5) So are you right and JC wrong? It’s also hilarious that you now say that Islam and Mormonism might have “some truth”. Yes, and what truths are those, Marty? What do they get wrong and how do you know?

    The rest of this is just the same old excuses for prayers not being fulfilled. All theists use the same claims as George Muller. We prayed for hours and the weather changed. Well, golly, that happens without prayer all of the time. It’s called confirmation bias, Marty. For all of the prayers claimed to have come true, we never hear of the thousands that didn’t. Dowsers make the same claims too. They just never mention the thousands of times they didn’t find water.

    You also claim that you as a human father don’t answer all your children’s requests. Yep, I believe that. You didn’t also claim this: “Ask anything of me and you shall receive it.” (Matthew 7, 18, 21, Luke 11, John 14) There are no caveats offered; none at all. Per your claim, these parts of the bible are wrong. Nothing in the bible supports the modern Christian “wait, no, other thing” excuses.

    You offer yet more excuses. God isn’t finished? Hmmm, this makes no sense if god is omniscient. That means it knows the outcome already. God might be using the forum to make me think again? That would mean God is rather stupid to use the same failed method over. God is testing people and using me to test them? Oooops, there goes free will again, darn! And again, just why does an omniscience being have to test anything? God may be doing more things that we can see? Well, maybe, but what does that matter to me who is finite and not omniscient?

    Oh and I did pray for an end to poverty and injustice. I prayed for hostages to be freed unharmed. It’s not hard to pray for those things at all.

    At this point I am retiring from the discussion. I find discussion of complex issues not worth discussing in a limited format. If you would like to discuss these issues further, you are welcome at my blog.

    • I am all for whatever is best for the both of you.

      If this is a discussion you are going to continue, you are welcome to continue it here without limitations. If you move it to clubschadenfreude, we will include a link to it here in the “lively discussion links” page.

      Either way, thank you participating and giving this a go, here. Both of your charities have gotten clicks. I wish we could figure out if anyone donated 😦

      http://www.snowleopard.org/
      http://www.ijm.org/

      • chosenrebel says:

        Thanks for the opportunity. I like the concept. Being the guinea pig for the first attempt was an honor. At this point I will probably finish up with one more response and let it be. You asked for feedback:

        1. Try to pick short posts to start your debates. It will limit the focus; allow both respondents to stay tightly focused and keep your audience more engaged. Maybe under 500 words.
        2. Require the first response to be shorter than the initial post.
        3. Require the second response to be equal to that.
        4. Let your audience have their own “twitter” feed debate in a sidebar based on what they are hearing in the larger debate.

        Might help. I will tell a few philosopher friends about the site.

        • Thanks for your participation and your suggestions. Be careful what you post. We will be watching!!! 🙂

        • not bad recommendations, however, requiring the first post to be shorter than the original could tend to give the advantage to the original post and limit the response to a very many false claims if the post is about more than one very tight subject. I would suggest that if long posts are scaring people away, one could recommend that the first response address only one claim from the original post.

        • chosenrebel says:

          I like that idea. Good thought. I don’t know that the length is scaring people away but shorter blast will be easier for readers to follow.

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