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Best!

Brett

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Was I over reacting to a Christian Nation?

Was I?

This guy needs a swift kick to the head as do all who vote for him. If this guys gets elected, Mexico here we come! Either that or I'll have to get a nice high wall and a bunch of guns to keep the E.V.I.L. (Evangelical)Christians wackos out. Why are we becoming so fricken stupid?

Brett

23 comments:

steve said...

Oh Brett we Christians are a crafty lot. You build a wall we'll just tunnel under it. If we bring enough treats for the dogs we can still storm your compound.

Brett said...

Your welcome to try. I'll need something to feed my dogs. I wonder if Christians taste like chicken. I'm not picky when it comes to meat;)

Anonymous said...

Hey Brett! I came across your Blog! I'm a big fan from the back when you worked at Image and I thought it was great to see you here! Couldn't help but see the religion rant and I wanted to say that I hate Religion too! But just wanted to caution you to not assume that all the evangelical's actually know what's in the Bible.

Religion is man's attempt to please an angry God but Jesus came down to earth, payed for all of man's sins (not just christians) and made it so we don't have to appease God. Real Christianity is God coming to man....religion is Man going to God. God loves all of us and He's not angry at anyone, Christians and non-Christians. That's why it's called the Gospel, the Good News. Those evangelicals might tell you that he hates everyone that's not a christian but they are wrong. He love us all and all we have to do is accept that and believe it! He doesn't expect us to do anything but just believe. And the best part is that through faith in what Jesus did you get to have a relationship with Him. He came so that we could have eternal life and eternal life is knowing God on a personal intimate level (John 17:3).

Sorry for the rant, but it always hurts me to see how other Christians can ruin people's perceptions of Jesus. If you wanna chat more check out my deviant art website at: www.dolphinboy2000.deviantart.com

And again I love your work! Oh and remember, God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it!

Blake

Brett said...

Blake,

We'll have to agree to disagree on just about everything you said:)

I'm currently having LOTS of difficulty getting on DA so I'm basically going to just leave it.

Glad you like the art.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Just had to check Brett cause you threw me for a loop...do you mean that you think God is angry at everyone? Or do you just mean that you disagree because you're an athiest?

Either way, I just wanted to make sure that you knew that all that mumbo jumbo that comes from evangelicals telling you that God's angry with you is wrong. The truth is that God is angry at noone (II Cor 5:17). I think that's the big thing they get wrong and it totally turns people away from God, since He loves everyone, not just Christians.

Anyways, you're free to believe anything you want and while I would love for you to know more about the real God of the Bible cause He's awesome, fun and not religious at all...(not the crazy one that most preachers tell us about :) I respect your choice either way. I just know that most people get wrong info given to them about Jesus and it turns most people off. It did for me for quite a long time!

Anyways, chat with ya later and as always love your art! Oh and of course God loves ya too!

Blake

Blake

Brett said...

Blake,

Mostly because I'm an Atheist:)I don't believe in the existance of God, or whichever deity you want to name. Man created mythology/religion as a way of explaining what they didn't understand. We understand a lot more now so some of us don't need the God facade any longer. I can't prove/disprove a higher beings existence, but through reason and research have come to believe that no god exists.

Your welcome to believe whatever you want it's (still) a free country:)

I agree that the religious right doesn't really know their own religion since they are all told how to interperate it by their preist/minister or whatnot. I have read some of the bible myself (I just can't get through it, not enough comedy for me) and I was raised catholic, I went to cadacizm/bible study and hated every minute of it. I just could never buy what they were selling. I just ask too many questions;) It's my motto, Question everything.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

I totally hear where you're coming from Brett, in fact I was raised in a totally secular home with no mention of God. It wasn't until at about the age of 12 that my mother decided for a short time to convert to Catholicism and I totally know what you're talking about. Although I don't know how you made it through cadacism because I couldn't stand mass let alone that. All the up and down and rituals made no sense to me (and still don't :) So I know what you're talking about completely!

Like I said before all that stuff is man's attempt to try and reach God and that's religion! That's what every religion tries to do...go and do rituals to appease an angry God. Like I said before I don't like religion one bit, what I do like is having a relaitonship with God that isn't based on going to or not going to church. I'm talking about something personal.

See that's why I couldn't do mass and all that, and if I'm guessing right (though you can tell me if I'm wrong) that's probably why you couldn't either. All that stuff in cadacism and mass, etc...it's all useless rituals. Things men do to please God but I'm talking about God coming down as a man and making it possible so that we don't have to please God anymore! He's not angry! He loves everyone on this earth! When you know He's not angry then you can move into a relationship with Him without fear of judgement. That's the problem with mass and all that...they're trying to get you to do things so God won't be angry with you! That's the good news though cause He isn't! He's not mad at anyone on earth, though you'll never hear them tell you that!

See I'm just guessing but that's could be one of the reasons why you could never get through the Bible. whether you knew it or not some of those priests doctrines got in your head and all you could see was an angry God. I know that that happened to me but once I learned that He wasn't angry at me or anyone else it changed my whole perception! I could read the Bible for myself and it became exciting! What awesome news to know that God loves me and everyone else and isn't angry at us!

Anyhow I too like you studied and searched though I came to find that it's actually very reasonable to believe in God. We could always chat about it more if you'd like. I imagine that you would cause you strike me as someone who wants to know the truth and that's a trait I like in people!

Anyways I'm enjoying this very much and it's a pleasure to be talking with an artist that I respect so much. Take care and I'll chat with ya later! And remember God loves you and there's nothing you can do about it!

Blake

Brett said...

But your presupposing the existence of a higher being. When there is no evidence. Religion is mans attempt to explain were he/she came from. They didn't have fossil evidence or DNA testing, so they did what they could, they made it up.

To be honest, this is the first time I've heard this version of Christianity. I just wish others would take the view, not that I agree that it's inline with what I've read in the bible, but it is a much more plesant version:) Spread the word man!

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Hey Brett! Sorry for the long wait in replying , haven't been able to get to the computer! So in response...

I'm not sure if I made myself clear in the past response but I'm not actually presupposing the existence of a higher being. Like I said, I was raised in a secular home and I really didn't believe that there was a god. It wasn't until I studied the question, checked out the various faiths that I came to the conclusion that Christianity was more reasonable than not believing.

However if I am presupposing the existence of a higher being you are just as much presupposing the non-existence of a higher being so I'm not sure if that part of the argument against it stands up. It just would mean that you and I would be making equal suppositions :)

At the same time, fossil evidence and DNA do not throw away the existence of God. I believe in fossils and DNA as much as anyone, I just see those as evidence for a creator. Besides not being able to see something (ie. God) does not mean that something isn't there. For instance, radio waves are invisible to our eyes yet there is no doubt that they are there, they're just unseen. It wasn't until we learned about them that we were able to see their tangible (or audible) results. Yet 150 years ago people would say such things didn't exist because there was no evidence. So certainly just because we can't see something doesn't take away from it's existence.

I have to say thanks though for telling me to spread the Word! It made my day! It is a pleasant version even if you don't believe it isn't it!? That's why it's called the Good News! That's the problem with what most people hear and see today as "Christianity". All they hear is doom and gloom and negativism...and that's not Good News! :)

Just wanna make myself clear though...this pleasant version is in the Bible! In fact, it's the message of the Bible, we've just had religion telling us otherwise. I believe totally 100% in the Bible so I don't want you to think otherwise. I just believe in preaching it the way they did in the Bible...preaching Good News. The nearly too good to be true news that Jesus died for everyone's sin, that God's not mad at anyone in the world, that God loves everyone and that if we believe in Jesus we can have a personal, intimate relationship with God where we won't ever have to be worry about being judged or rejected. Man, that really is good news!

So if you're curious I'd be more than happy to show you bible verses so that you can see that this is the true message of Jesus. Don't believe all the crazies that you hear on TV, Radio, Internet, etc or that you meet. God's had some bad representatives over the years but hey they just never heard the Good News of Jesus and His Love! So I'll definatley be spreading the word and hopefully us Christians won't have such a bad rap for being mean and judgemental! So yeah, if I gave you some verses I think you could see that it's actually all in the Bible!

As alway I'm having fun chatting with you Brett and keep up the awesome drawings, they're great! And remember, God loves ya and there's nothing you can do about it!

Blake :)

Brett said...

Blake,

If you go looking for god your presupposing one exists, aren't you?

Here's the problem with presupposing god exists. You have no evidence, but there is evidence that the god in the bible doesn't exist. In fact all you must do is prove the bible wrong on a few points which makes it invalid and therefore falsifiable (if the bible is the absolute true word of God.) So the logical conclusion is that god does not exist. You can believe if you want to but you have no testable and repeatable proof. If you did then we wouldn't be having this conversation. Beliefs are not the same thing as facts. Now I can't prove a higher being didn't start the universe but I can falsify the Christian version of god. We know the earth is old and that it wasn't created (with life on in in it's present form) in 6 days. We know that humans are not made from mud or whatever. We know that males have the same number of ribs as females. We know that Noah's flood never happend. We know that animals have gone extinct. All these are facts that refute the bible. Therefor the god as the Christians know him/it does not exist. It's simple reason and logic. My presuppositions are based on facts (and yes, there are a few historical facts in the bible but there are historical facts in Spiderman, it doesn't make it real.)

Spread the word I'd rather have to deal with a bunch or happy fun Christians than the holier than thou ones we currently have running around.

No need to quote the bible to me. I've heard it all before and it didn't move me or stick. I don't feel the need to believe in a higher being.

Best,

Brett

steve said...

Genesis is an account of creation in lyrical form-it is more like a poem or a song than a science manual. Could God have done it in 6 days? Sure, are you free to believe the wording is more lyrical and believe the planet is millions of years old? Sure! You can't treat poetical writing meant to glorify God and highlight his mysterious nature as a dry analytical record of time. The Bible contains many different types of writing styles. You are free to disbelieve it, but you owe it to yourself to use the same rules which are applied to non-Biblical ancient writings. The Bible is easily as accurate as any other ancient narrative when the same scholarly tests are applied.



Let's see:
* Mud Definition:
Liquid or semi-liquid mixture of water and some combination of soil, silt, and clay.
Chemical composition:
Mud = H2O + Soil + (and/or Silt) + (and/or Clay) [equation 1]

* Soil
Definition: A naturally occurring, unconsolidated or loose material on the surface of the earth, capable of supporting life. In simple terms, soil has three components: solid, liquid, and gas. The solid phase is a mixture of mineral and organic matter. Soil particles pack loosely, forming a soil structure filled with voids. The solid phase occupies about half of the soil volume. The remaining void space contains water (liquid) and air (gas).

What is Silt?: Silt is soil or rock derived granular material of a specific grain size.

Since we have already soil in the equation 1 lets replace slit by rock derived granular material of a specific grain size.

Then, if we agree that the solid part of soil have rock derived granular material of a specific grain size. We can redefine equation 1 as:
Mud = H2O + Soil + (and/or clay) [equation 2]

What is clay? Basically is a type of soil, composed primarily of fine-grained minerals, which show plasticity through a variable range of water content, and which can be hardened when dried or fired.

Then : Mud = H2O + Soil

Chemical composition of soil?
* Water (H2O
* Organic mater: compounds with lots of Carbon (C), Oxygen (O), Hydrogen (H)
* basic cations (calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium)
* minerals (from rocks / silt, remember?) like iron (Fe), Nickel, and many more.

Now: What is the chemical composition of the human body?
* More than any other compounds: Water
* Some salts & minerals like: Nitrogen, Calcium, Iron, others

Are all elements present in human body present in the mud or wet soil?
Definitely.

Can God use mud as raw material to manufacture an human body? Yes.

Can God manufacture an female human body out of an rib (flesh and bone)? Sure, making the male body out of mud was just a little difficult, developing a body out of a human rib is a piece of cake (for God that is).
2 hours ago
Source(s):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Composition...
Articles on wikipedia on soil, mud, clay, silt.

Actually people decompose quite easily into the soil because of the similar organic compounds. It is atheists who have the tough time. They need to explain abiogenesis and get life to come from an accidental non-directed naturally occuring mistake which has never been observed, repeated, or accurately theorized.

The theory of evolution leads back to the spontaneous biogenesis theory, also known as chemical evolution, or spontaneous generation. Spontaneous generation is the hypothetical process by which living organisms develop from nonliving matter. However, this concept was disproved by Louis Pasteur, who proved through his famous experiments that all life comes from life, never from non-life.

Also Christians do not believe women have one less rib.


Remember atheism is a form of faith too. There is no theory to account for existance-it is presupposed. So you can either believe everything leads back to the creative processes of an intelligent mind who has the ability to act and control matter or you believe in an eternal universe with no beginning and the ability to spontaneoulsy overcome the steady state model for our universe, and also for non-living matter to break all known laws of science and self order itself into life. I don't have enough faith to trust an illogical atheistic model for the universe that contradicts science.

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Well I think that Steve there gave you plenty of information to think on :) I was just going to tell you that there are plenty of books out there that are written by respected professors of major universities that help to show that the Bible and science go hand and hand and are complementary to one another. I know that you're a grown adult so you can certainly look into those books if you are interested.

Although I have to admit I'm glad he brought up the point that christians don't believe that men have one less rib than women. The Bible simply states that Eve was created from Adam's rib. That is just simply a misunderstanding that you have from not reading the Bible. Assumptions like that can be dangerous, which brings me to the heart of what I was actually going to write you.

When I originally wrote you on your blog I was doing it more than anything to just clear up some misconceptions you had about Christianity. I mainly wanted you to understand that what most people are saying out there is not the Gospel that Jesus and his disciples preached. Gospel in the greek means "good news" and most of what we hear today by "christianity" is not good news.

Now I won't deny that I would love for you to come to Christ and get to know God on a personal level. After all I can't help it, He's so awesome and because He brought so much joy and peace to my life I can't help it! I love telling people that God isn't an angry God, that He loves you no matter what and that He cares for you and wants to have a relationship with you where you can get to know Him personally, and that you don't have to ever worry and have feelings of shame or feelings of condemnation because of what Jesus did. Most importantly that you can have peace with God (Romans 5:1)!

Anyhow, I also understand that everyone has choice so they're not always going to believe. I can still respect you for that and I don't think that hinders friendships and things like that.

However, the only thing that I would encourage you is to read the Bible, mainly so that at the very least you could have a true understanding of what's written in it.

By your own admission previously you said that you never read the Bible all the way through, yet in your last response to me you told me that you all heard this before and it never stuck. Now I'm not trying to be rude :) simply stating a fact, but you obviously didn't understand the Bible. You're believing the same mumbo jumbo that comes from most preachers today that says that God's angry at you.

See that's my point, you missed the most pivotal message of the Bible, that God isn't angry at you! Jesus himself said in the Bible "I did not come to condemn but to save". He died for you and all of us and payed for all of humanities sin. He's not judging anyone and we can have eternal peace with Him if we accept Jesus. But you missed that and instead have been believing what the majority of people tell you instead of finding out what the Bible says itself; I know that you don't want to be brainwashed by all of those people, that's why I encourage you to find out what the Bible means for yourself.

Now I know you're an intelligent person so I'm simply saying read the Bible. Start with the new testament. You don't have to believe it, but at least read it so that you can tell the rest of the christians out there "Hey I know your book better than you and God isn't angry at you"! Think about it, I know that you would probably get some satisfaction in being able to tell a christian that you know more about the truth of the Bible than they do.

Not to mention that the Bible is the most printed and read book of history. It would be good to read it simply just to understand how it shaped societies. It's not that you have to believe it but simply from an academic and historical point of view it would be important to understand the book that has impacted so many cultures and people.

It's like watching Star Wars and walking away from it saying, Luke Skywalker was the villain. If somebody did that they totally missed the point of the movie. Luke wasn't the villain. In the same way you've totally misunderstood the Bible, though I can't fault you since you haven't read it :)

So anyways, you could read a chapter a day, only 5 minutes and then at least you would know the truth of the Bible and could tell others "Hey the Bible isn't bad, it's just religious whack jobs that don't understand it.

Finally, I hope you don't take any offense to this, I'm just trying to make a reasonable point to you. Like I said, I still respect you if you don't wanna believe in Jesus. Honestely, if you're not gonna believe this Good News than it's quite likely that you won't believe in God. After all, all the other religions of the world focus on an angry God that needs to be appeased. That's what you'll find in Islam, Hinduissm, etc. Believe me I know, I tried em out! That's what make true biblical christianity, the Gospel that Jesus and His followers preached so different!

True biblical Christianity says, God loved the world so much that He sent His Son to die for it. He loves every person so much and puts so much worth and value on them that God said "you people are worth the price, the sacrifice to have a relationship with". True Christianity says that God is not imputing the worlds trespasses (sins) to them anymore because of what Jesus did (II Corinthians 5:17), that His anger has been appeased because of Jesus and that through faith in Jesus we can have peace with God (Romans 5:1)! The bible says that we are righteous (have right standing) with God through faith in Jesus (Romans 3)! That's what every religion wants yet only Jesus can do it.

If other religions heard that God wasn't angry and that all they had to do was believe we wouldn't have people flying planes into buildings. ..those are things that religious people do, not people that have a relationship with God.

So like I said if you won't believe that Good News I'm not gonna try and force you! I respect you and I just like talking to ya cause you're one of my favorite artists and way back in the day you got me started drawing! Though I still encourage you to read the Bible just so you understand the true message of it and can tell others of God's love, even if you don't personally believe it.

After all, if you keep thinking that the Bible has an evil, judgmental god in it, than you're just perpetuating the myth and are part of the problem, no the solution :)
Although I'm gonna be praying for ya that you'll have interest to do this :)

Well take care Brett and we'll chat soon!

Blake

Brett said...

Boy you guys have WAY to much time on your hands.

I did notice that you only refuted the rib, which is only refuted by some Christians the majority of Christians BELIEVE that men have one less rib. Ask any biology teacher this and you'll be surprised.

Most scientist believe the bible is a guide not fact. The Jews also believe this which is why they don't have the problems the Chrisitans have. The bible is a guide book, not a fact book. There is no science in it. Period.

Your version of Christinality is not everyones version. I don't really care about your version since it doesn't really effect me. The Super right wing version (which Steve is a member of weather he wants to admit it or not, I've know him for years I know what he basically believes.) Is what I have the problem with. Forcing a veiw I do not share on me just pisses me off and I will rebel against it.

look I never read the bible all the way through but I went to bible study for about 7 years. I didn't like. It doesn't do it for me the bible is a great big bore which is why I can't finish it. your deluding yourself if you think me reading it will 'turn' me. To me it's so far fetched it's not even good fiction, but it doesn't mean I haven't read up on it and know the basics. As to understanding it. Well it's a work of fiction open to interpretation. The fact that you can't see that is irksome, but I can't force you to change your mind. I blog about this stuff not for the converted but for the rest of us who don't believe. If I make a few people think twice then fine. Plus it allows me to blow off some steam;)

Appearently, your defination of judgemental is completely different than mine. The fact that I get judged weather I'm going to heaven or hell means something different to you. the fact that I'm carrying original sin, something I had no control over, sounds pretty judgemental to me. You tell me I don't understand the bible but I'm beginning to think your not reading the same book I tried to. If your god was so lovey dovey he wouldn't send people to hell, or wipe them off the face of the earth with a flood. Nice guy.

Look I question everything. I USED to believe in God but after reading and learning and observing I've come to believe that he doesn't exist. I have a BIG problem with a 'Higher' being forcing his will on others and demanding they worship him or they will be punished. Nothing you can say will change my mind. NOTHING. Now if you could offer up some proof of evidence for your case then I'd be more willing to listen but you can't (and the Bible itself is NOT evidence, it's a book written by man.)

I' not going to keep arguing the same points. If you have not evidence this conversation is done.

Brett

Anonymous said...

Well Brett I think the only thing that I can really say is I'm shocked! I thought that I've been very polite and I didn't think that I was saying anything that would infuriate you so much! I thought we were just having a nice friendly conversation together. Especially it was fun for me because I was speaking with someone that I admired.

Regardless of your feelings towards Steve or me I was just trying to clear up some misunderstandings you had and still have. God doesn't judge anyone. God says that his judgement comes through Jesus and Jesus said that he judges no one, it we who judge ourselves unworthy by not accepting the sacrifice of Jesus. Jesus actually said that and I'd show you the verse but I don't think that you would care.

As far as your understanding of sin, God did not put us under sin, Adam and Eve did and it was passed to us. God had nothing to do with it. The good news is that He fixed the problem by sending Jesus to pay for our sins. No one goes to hell for sinning, all sin was payed for. People go to hell for not excepting the sacrifice that Jesus made.

As to your idea that God demands worship, He does not. He actually requires nothing of you. That's the good! I don't have to worship Him. God would love me just the same because of what Jesus did. It's what God did for me that makes me decide to worship him. Out of love I do it. The Good news is just believe in Him. I don't owe him anything. His salvation is a free gift, not something I have to pay Him back for.

God doesn't send people to hell, they go by not accepting the wonderful message that he payed for everything. It's free will whether they decide.

As far as your understanding of the Bible and the Flood that God caused, again you do not have an understanding of what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Though you're not the only one because most Christians don't understand. God did cause the flood but that was before sin had been payed for. Under the Old Covenant sin had to be punished. The world was sinful so it was punished. However, even in the old Testament the majority of the time God was merciful. Now though in the new Testament sin has been totally payed for so God is not punishing anyone. God doesn't send Tsunamis, earthquakes, or anything like that. He doesn't kill people or "take them" away and God doesn't punish sin anymore because the price for sin was payed by Jesus! Once again, you've missed the meaning of the New Testament and what Jesus accomplished. That's why you still believe what you were "brainwashed" into back in bible study.

If you don't wanna chat any more then I will respect your wishes, I just wish you could respect me. It's become quite obvious that you have a prejudice towards Christians, even when I'm not condemning you or judging you. I wish I could change your point of view but how can I be expected to reason with someone who has such a great hatred for me.

Prejudice is blind to reason. I wish this wasn't the case with you but its obvious that you really would only be pleasant with me if I wasn't a Christian. It's alright though because people only operate out of the knowledge that they have at the time. There's a great disliking of Christians in this world so your response is not unfamiliar to me. I would just understand it more if I was being condemning and judgmental like the evangelicals.

If you wanna chat more great, lets just do it without the hatred for me ok? Remember I don't hold anything against you so try not to let your prejudice of Christians be held against me. And remember God loves you no matter what! :)

Blake

Brett said...

Ok, First I'm not prejudice to just just Christians I believe all religion is inherently evil because it seeks to control you. You keep trying to preach to me YOUR version of Christianity not the one that I see everyday oppressing people and making them act stupid. You must keep in mind, this is how YOU interpret the bible, not how I interpret it. What makes your version more correct than mine other than your opinion?

Basically your trying to preach to me to open up and become Christian. That's how this is coming across to me. Not going to happen. I'm a perfectly pleasant person when not being preached at. Steve and I argue about religion, ID and creationism all the time, but we laugh at stories and art and movie too. But you won't open up and listen to the reason I'm trying to give you. Your faith has blinded you to critical thinking, and nothing I say is going to change that. If you want to have a pleasant conversation talk to me about something else. We have a difference of opinion end of story. If you want to chat about more happy things then go for it. I feel just as strongly that your wasting you time believing, as you do that I'm wasting my time not believing. I don't need a higher being in my life. You do, as does Steve. It's a free country you can believe as you wish.

Steve and I argue this stuff all the time on the phone. We're polar opposites on these issues. Sometimes it fun sometimes it's not. But I'm not going to be told I'm wrong about something that isn't real and be happy with it. I have testable proven facts and you have a book that was written over 2000 years ago in an age of ignorance. I believe in science and things I can see/test/prove. I can not see/test/prove the existence of God. So why bother wasting my time with it.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Glad to hear you're not upset with me. Sometimes the way you wrote things it just came off like you were totally upset and hateful. Glad to hear it's not that way.

Sorry if I was coming off like I was preaching to you but we were having a debate and because it's theological in nature I have to explain it with theological ideas. Like I said I don't think that you're actually going to change because of me, I just wanted to clarify what's in the Bible since I know you've had a lot of religious upbringing and that can warp a person to understanding what's in the Bible.

I still think that you've missed the point that I was trying to get across. The people that wrote the Bible didn't write it as an interpretive piece of literature. They wrote it with the belief in their mind that it was truth. So to them it wasn't up to interpretation. They meant what they said. That's why I believe you can read the Bible and you either understand it correctly or you don't. Regardless of whether a person believes it's true or not, the writers wrote it with the intent that there was a way of understanding it. That's neither here nor there since I know you aren't going to read it and don't care.

Here is one question that I have to you from your response and perhaps you could explain yourself to me better. You said that you think all religion is inherently evil. Now my question is not about religion but about the phrase "inherently evil".

Since you are an atheist I would like to know how you reconcile the idea of good and evil. How can we know if something is truly good or evil or right or wrong? I don't see how we can decide that something is always evil or always good, always right or always wrong. That would imply that there is a power outside of us that has determined what is right or wrong, good or evil. If you could elaborate I would be very interested to hear your response.

On a side note, I haven't brought this up because I know you wouldn't believe but I actually don't believe in God. Belief is something that can't be proven and I have proof that He's real (though I doubt you would believe me). I've actually been healed of a chronic condition of a pinched sciatic nerve as well as damaged knees from karate. I used to not be able to do karate because of the pain I had from all the years of doing Karate and the pinched nerve. Two years ago I was prayed for and miraculously healed never to have pain again. I was also there when my friend who had been in a car accident 20 years earlier and could not physically move her neck from left to right was instantly healed. For over a year and a half she has been healed and can move her neck a normal 180 degrees. These are just a few of the miracles that Jesus has done in my life and the life of my friends. I have many more though I doubt you'd want to hear or believe. I hesitated to tell you because you'll probably say I'm a lunatic :) I have had other people that thought like you and after they were healed they changed their mind. You probably just need a miracle to see that God is loving, good, and real :)

Regardless though, I'd love to have your response to the "inherently evil" question. Talk to ya later Brett! And remember God loves ya!

Blake

steve said...

I want to give Brett and Jess a lot of credit for the amount of time and effort they have put into researching religious matters. We don’t see eye to eye but at least they hear me out and that is more than most people I run into. They are also probably more knowledgeable than me on a plethora of subjects. They don’t allow me to have a flabby faith; I’m constantly having to research and find facts to contradict their arguments and reinforce my own beliefs.

I also think Brett does understand the implications of Christianity. If God is real, and the creator of all then he is definitely deserving of our worship and service. The good news is if you read the Bible you see how God chooses to initiate that relationship. God created the sacred marriage union as a living picture of His relationship to the church. He calls himself the groom and Christians his bride. True some people think of marriage as a ball and chain type of service, and I think this is where Brett doesn’t understand what the true nature of our relationship to God is like. Anyone who has been in love or had a high school crush knows that devotion to another is compelling and to an extent controls you. You don’t hate or view the object of your affection as being evil for having this effect on you. We recognize beauty and are drawn to it. When that love is shared by both parties you actually feel more alive and more free for experiencing a relationship with another; to others you may appear whipped or lessoned, but they are on the outside looking in, judging based on their own feelings of self-satisfaction. That is partly what love is about, choosing to not be satisfied with just yourself but extending your idea of wholeness to encompass your relation to others. Serving God is like the joy you two find in being married multiplied by a thousand.

I’ve lived periods of my life in opposition to God because I didn’t like what His plans for my life were. I know what it is like to fear Him forcing His will on you. I’ve even thought Him a bully, or a cruel task master, but in time I have seen his “cruelty” being more merciful than my own plans. My own plans are infinitely crueler because they ignore all others and focus solely on what I want or don't see the big picture. A man all wrapped up in himself makes a very tiny package. I also have a pretty limited view of reality; I only see life one page at a time. God has read the whole book so by faith I choose to accept his leading even when it doesn’t make sense to me.

Another picture of the freedom God gives is to think of a pro athlete. They are devoted to a special diet and a rigorous trainging regiment. The payoff is they are in tip top shape and they are free to live life at the top of their potential. Their devotion to their physical health opens up all sort of oppurtunities that would not be available if they did not willingly folow their trainer's plans. Now contrast them with a lazy athlete who quits the training regiment because he wants to be free to live, eat and exercise at his own pace. He becomes a couch potato and lives life at a much lower level of personal success. Which person of the two is truly free? The one who willingly accepts rules to make himself reach his full potential or the one who frees himself from the confines of those who seek to better him?

Brett said...

Blake,

Perhaps I should have said organized religion, since a small group usually won't do that much large scale evil. BUT what I mean is any thing, organization, group that seeks to control, demand worship, punish you/ tourcher you, is evil. This is in my mind, evil, bad, not good. This is once again my opinion. Others see it differently. I'm beginning to think that some people NEED to have some sort of religion/spirituality it's either ingrained in there personality or brainwashed into them as children. The real world is pretty grey, so it's hard to sometimes see these really evil people, but if you look you can find them.

I look at it this way, not everyone can lead, some have to follow. You see this in the animal kingdom all the time. So perhaps it's genetic. Some need to be lead and are happy with that. Who knows.

I know you think your interpretation is correct but so do the other Christian groups. It all depends on who is doing the interpreting. and since we can't ask the original authors we just have to guess maybe they are guessing wrong or maybe you are. Who knows. The point is there is a base concensus of what it means and the old testement God was NOT a nice guy. to quote Lewis Black, he was a 'Prick.'

I'm happy you are doing better, but I don't buy the prayer healing. Sorry, it's never been proven, you were most likely under some sort of doctors care that either eventually worked or spurred you own body to heal. The body is an amazing thing and spotainious healing does happen. Look at it this way, why are you so special that God healed you when he let all those people die in the 2005 Sunami? Or on the planes the terrorists used on 9/11? If he's picking and choosing like that he doesn't sound very just to me. But That's my view, not yours and hey, whatever gets you through the day.

Best,

Brett

Brett said...

Steve,

This sort of bothered me:

"Anyone who has been in love or had a high school crush knows that devotion to another is compelling and to an extent controls you. You don’t hate or view the object of your affection as being evil for having this effect on you. We recognize beauty and are drawn to it."

We all know that some relationships are not healthy and when one tries to control the other, bad things happen. Remember half of married couples divorce and way more than that split before they are married. BUT half do succeed so whatever floats your boat.

Also I wish you'd not look to the discovery institute or other Christian sites for your science arguments and actually look at real peer-reviewed independent studies. All of that religious science stuff has been repeatedly refuted. But I just can't seem to get you to do that. Oh, well.

And Steve does keep me on my toes when it comes to the religion stuff. My own science background is limited to mostly paleontological stuff. Dinosaurs and prehistoric stuff. So I've been having to read more stuff on genomes and molecular biology. IF I have a religious question I always ask Steve about it first to get his view. He's rekindled my love of sciece:)

(Steve: my phone is not working right now, they are supposedly switching the number to the new phone but it's been 3 days. If you have the New cell number use that one. I'll try to get Jess's new phone number today.)

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Brett,

Thanks for the reply. However, you never answered my question on how something can be inherently evil?
If something is inherently evil then it means that there is something out there that has made absolute judgments on what is right or wrong. That something would be out of your control, yet I don't see how that can be when you don't believe in god. If you could answer this that would be great.

Also, as far as the healing goes you didn't answer how my friend was healed. She was in a car accident that left the vertebrae of her neck deteriorating to the point of being unable to move her neck. She hadn't been able to move her neck 180 degrees for well over 15 years? Not sure how you explain that? Like I said to I could list many more miraculous healings in my life and others so it seems awfully coincidental that so many people's bodies just naturally heal of things that can not be healed naturally. That right there would be a good reason to believe in Christ, even if He wasn't real. At least you could make the body spontaneously heal, something atheists haven't achieved yet :)

In regards to the idea that "why am I special and why did God let those people die in the Tsunamis,etc.". This thought is a basic misunderstanding of what's written in the Bible.

First off, I'm not special. Anyone can receive healing because Jesus paid for healing (This is substantiated in Matt 8:16-17, 1 Peter 2:24, Isaiah chapt. 54, Psalms 103:3 and many more instances). Healing is part of salvation. The word translated saved in the greek is also translated healed, to be made whole, etc. It's all part of the same deal. Salvation is a free gift that can be accessed by anyone without having to do anything to earn it. It's a free gift.

Second, you're coming from the idea that God controls everything and that nothing happens outside of His will, the idea of the Sovereignty of God. This is a common teaching in Christianity and I'm not surprised that you have picked it up from your background with Catholicism. However, the Bible is clear that God "gave dominion of the earth over to man" (Genesis). When He did that He gave up His rights to controlling everything on this earth. Now that's not to say that He can't take back control at anytime but that won't happen until the Second Coming of Christ. Until that time, mankind is a steward of the earth and God has no control over every detail that happens.

The dictionary defines Sovereign as highest in rank, order, power. I believe God is all those things but it is modern Christianity that has come up with the idea that God controls everything. The Bible is clear that God does not control everything. It says that God does not wish that anyone perish but that all would come to repentance. Do all come to repentance? Of course not so God doesn't control that.

Jesus also made it very clear that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy but I've come to give life, and life more abundantly. It's really a simple equation that I wish Christians would understand. If it's good it's from God, if it's not good, it's from living in a bad, fallen world or perhaps the devil. So again, this is just some doctrine that you've picked up from the Christians. It's not in the Bible and if you read it you too would be able to see it. You just cant' go by other's peoples ideas about the book. You need to read it for yourself otherwise your just saying things that are not in there. Besides you could tell the Christian's and poke a little fun at them because if they believed in that idea of God (which is not substantiated by scripture) then He would not be a good god.

Well I look forward to your answer on the whole evil question. Chat with ya later Brett :)

Blake

Brett said...

Your religion, controls, demands you worship or you will be punished (hell) It's inherent and the basis of your religion. Most if not all religions are the same worship or you will be punished. Therefor they are inherently evil.

As toy why your fried healed. perhaps she moved her head right an the vertebre popped back into place. The Skeleton remodels itself every 10 years or so that might have had something to do with it. I don't really know the specifics of your friends case so I can't really comment on it. But try this on for size.

http://whydoesgodhateamputees.com/god5.htm

the fact that you are punished for not agreeing with your god sounds evil to me. You can disagree all you want but if it was someone else's god I wonder if you'd change your tune.

Best,

Brett

Anonymous said...

Well Brett,

You've got a point about the amputees. It's one thing that I haven't seen yet, although I believe that I will. I haven't seen everything in the Bible but I've seen many miracles. I had a friend who had his back fused together because he broke his vertebra. He couldn't bend more than 30 degrees. He was healed and touched the floor and has been healed ever since. I've seen other amazing things but not the amputee. I've seen enough to prove that He's a loving God.

Sometimes we don't see everything that we want, but I think it could have something to do with us. Jesus' own disciples had the authority to cast out a devil in the Bible and yet they didn't because of unbelief. If it happened to them it can happen to us. Unbelief can hinder us from seeing God's best for us. One thing I do know is that I will see legs regenerate one day. I've prayed for many people and Jesus has healed them and when I come across an amputee that will believe in God and want healing I believe I'll see it someday. I'll let you know when it happens :)

As far as the hell question. I agree there's a hell but like I wrote before that's something that came from what we humans did. God offers a free pass out of there so that we don't have to go there. The basis of my religion is not Hell as you put it. The basis is getting to have an intimate relationship with the Creator of the Universe, the most loving being there ever was, who is love Himself. That's the basis, not hell. Once again you haven't read the Bible so you have all these ideas that your religious upbringing gave you. The churches may preach that it's all about getting out of Hell but it's not. Eternal life is knowing God (John 17:3) not getting out of Hell. That's the basis of my relationship with God, knowing Him.

On another note you still haven't answered the question on how you can believe something is inherently evil. Let me know! And remember God loves you!

Blake

Brett said...

Inherently Evil:

When someone or something thing tries to dominate/control/punish you for things you have not done or had no control of. Original sin is a big one for me. I have no control over what happened thousands of years ago, so why am I being blamed/punished for it? When I'm told to worship or go to Hell, that's forcing control on me. You have to remember this is MY idea not something that's in the dictionary.

If you can't understand that I can't make it clearer.

Best,

Brett