Kathy Part 5

After breaking 1000 comments on the previous thread, I felt it was a good time to start another.

As a reminder, here are some of the most recent outstanding questions for Kathy:

From Laurie:

You said you answered my questions, and wish more questions were asked. Here are some questions that were not addressed.

Matt 23:8 read first

Philemon 1:10
1 Corinthians 4:14-17
1 Corinthians 12:27
2 Timothy 1:11
1 Timothy 2:7
Ephesians 4:11,12

Why is it that messiah says not to be called rabbi or father, but Paul it’s not obedient to this command?

Matt 10:7,8

1 Timothy 5:17,18
1 Corinthians 9:11,12

Messiah says here that he had given freely, go and freely give. Again, Paul is disobedient.

Matt 18:15

Galatians 2:11-14

Messiah said that if you have a problem with your brother, you should deal with it privately. Here Paul lashes out at Peter “before them all”.

Matt 9:10-12

2 Thessalonians 3:6,7

Yahusha said in the passage above that he came to call the sinner to repentance, not the righteous. Why would Paul want to separate from those that actually need him?

From William:

the “evidences” you listed arent real evidences. And since you refuse to look at things that are counter to your current beliefs, how can you honestly speak to me about evidences?

here’s all I’ve seen you provide:

1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

In addition to these, I’d like to ask something of both Kathy and Laurie (Matt or Hayden or portal001 (Ryan) can chime in as well):

The Bible defines God as being all-loving, all-merciful, fair, just, etc. It can also be read as promising an eternity in Hell for those who don’t serve him correctly. As a believer, how do you square those two statements?

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954 thoughts on “Kathy Part 5”

  1. Arch’s self projection list” – you know, I saw the same routine on PeeWee Herman’s “Peewee’s Playhouse,” only it went like, “I know you are, but what am I?” Then there’s the playground defense, “I’m rubber and you’re glue –!” Have you NO originality, Kathy? I guess that’s what happens when you’re not raised to think for yourself.

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  2. Eternal torment is not a concept that can be found in the Tanakh. According to Yahusha, there is no new law, no new commandment, but the same law that was from the beginning.

    This is a great subject and there is a lot to say. I am on the road right now, but will post on this subject tomorrow!

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  3. Hey Arch.. did you see the definition of “evidence” that I posted? Here, let me just post my whole comment again..

    Arch’s self projection list:

    Words that Kathy (Arch) Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate
    11. Logical
    12. Context
    13. Circular Reasoning

    ev·i·dence (v-dns)
    n.
    1. A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.

    Arch.. it’s not me.. it’s you.

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  4. Nate,

    If you were objective, wouldn’t you ALSO post the questions that I posed to Laurie that still haven’t been answered? Especially since I asked those before she asked hers?

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  5. Interestingly, a short time ago, someone – likely Nan or Laurie – suggested a website, Paul’s Contradictions of Jesus

    On it, the author notes:

    Three times Jesus in the Book of Revelation condemns eating meat sacrificed to idols, even saying this is the doctrine of a false prophet. (Rev. 2:6, 14 (Ephesus); Rev. 2:14-15 (Pergamum); Revelation 2:20 (Thyatira).)

    This absolute prescription also was set forth in James’ ruling at the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:20. Then it is repeated when it was put in a letter. (Acts 15:29.) Finally, James reiterates this for a third and final time in Acts chapter 21. James tells Paul that many claim Paul is teaching lawless doctrine. So James reminds Paul what was the ruling at the Jerusalem Council. He tells Paul that previously “we wrote giving judgment that they [i.e., the Gentiles] should keep themselves from things sacrificed to idols….” (Acts 21:25.)

    However, the Acts Seminar, held at the Weststar Institute over a period of ten years, concluded that Acts was written in the early decades of the second century, and the Jerusalem Council was reputedly held in 48 CE – neither James nor Paul could possibly have still been alive – how can we trust hearsay information 60 – 70 years old?

    I also found it interesting that circumcised Jews would not sit at the same table with uncircumised converts that Paul had recruited – what a difference a foreskin makes! How in the hell did this phony-baloney religion ever get off the ground? What kind of god makes people cut off body parts?

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  6. Sorry Kathy, didn’t mean to overlook anything. I thought your questions to Laurie had been answered. Feel free to repost anything you don’t think has been addressed.

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  7. Thanks Laurie. I agree that the OT doesn’t talk about eternal torment, but Jesus talks about it a lot in the gospels. I’ll be interested to hear your other thoughts on it.

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  8. Oh, Kathy, Kathy, Kathy —
    The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place” – if this is your idea of evidence, no wonder you arrive at conclusions that you do. A broken window is only evidence that a lateral force was applied to the glass that was greater then the tensile strength of the glass. As usual, your definition implies agency, where, without additional evidence, there is none, as in, “The Universe exists, therefore goddidit!” You may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, that’s genetics, but at least try not to be the dimmest.

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  9. FYI:
    At the turn of the millennium, two forces comprised Judaism, the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The Sadducees were Kathy’s beloved conservatives of the time; they were of the wealthy class, represented their own in their dealings with Rome, and were in the majority as members of the religious organization, the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees were more like Liberal Democrats of today – though fewer in number, they usually had the support of the common people, and often, though greater in number by far, the Sadducees had to compromise with the Pharisees because of their popular support.

    The Sadducees believed only in the written word – all of the hearsay information that went into the New Testament, wouldn’t have made it with the Sadducees. They were extremely self-sufficient to the point of denying God’s involvement in everyday life as well as the existence of a spiritual world, i.e., angels and demons. Further, they denied any afterlife, holding that the soul perished at death, and therefore denying any penalty or reward after the earthly life. As a unit, they ceased to exist in 70 CE, with the Roman destruction of the Temple.

    Nearly exact opposites, the Pharisees believed that God controlled all things, yet decisions made by individuals also contributed to the course of a person’s life. They also believed in the existence of angels and demons, as well as in the resurrection of the dead and an afterlife, with appropriate reward and punishment on an individual basis. On the down-side (to some) they tended to treat traditions as having equal authority as Scripture.

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  10. Arch,

    ” if this is your idea of evidence, no wonder you arrive at conclusions that you do. A broken window is only evidence that a lateral force was applied to the glass that was greater then the tensile strength of the glass. ”

    So, you’re arguing that a broken window could not be evidence that a burglary had taken place?

    You’re disagreeing with a leading dictionary website?

    And did you read the 2nd sentence of the definition?

    Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.

    This is a concept no atheist seems to grasp.. the idea of weighing evidence. None of you
    would be qualified to serve on a jury.

    Sorry Arch, no amount of denial or personal attacks is going to change the definition of
    evidence. And same for the compelling evidence for the Truth of the Bible… yours and everyone else’s denial won’t change it or make it go away.

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  11. The Bible defines God as being all-loving, all-merciful, fair, just, etc. It can also be read as promising an eternity in Hell for those who don’t serve him correctly. As a believer, how do you square those two statements?

    I could easily give the ‘church’ answer to this question, it wouldn’t be anything you haven’t heard before and found lacking.

    I’m struggling a bit right now personally in my belief so my gut answers are going to be tempered by that.

    As a parent, a squad leader in the Army and in general adult, I understand rules, rewards and punishments. I can be in a position of authority, but merciful and yet still have standards I have to enforce. To the point, I just had to assist with paperwork kicking one of my squad members out of the Army for good. This soldier had been given many many chances by myself and others in higher positions for his transgressions, however he had finally crossed a line to where there was nothing I or anyone else could do for him.

    I think this is a fair example, this soldier had been shown mercy time after time, yet still ended up getting kicked out of the service.

    Symbolically I would suggest God could be the same way. Offer us Mercy time after time, but at the end of the day have hard lines that cannot be crossed.

    Thanks for offering me the chance to chime in and share my views, I look forward to continuing the conversation.

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  12. Nate,

    “Sorry Kathy, didn’t mean to overlook anything. I thought your questions to Laurie had been answered. Feel free to repost anything you don’t think has been addressed.”

    Nope, she keeps avoiding my direct questions.

    She hasn’t answered why Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough to pay for our sins. She hasn’t explained why Jesus had to suffer and die. Why couldn’t animal sacrifices suffice?
    She hasn’t answered any of my questions.. she’s only given me information about Jewish practices…and that’s not answering my questions. She says that Jesus’ sacrifice was symbolism for the sacrificial lamb. This makes no sense. Surely God could have come up with a better way to symbolize His message without His Son having to suffer??

    She’s not answering these sincere questions.

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  13. Here’s your entire statement:
    A thing or things helpful in forming a conclusion or judgment: The broken window was evidence that a burglary had taken place. Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.

    So, you’re arguing that a broken window could not be evidence that a burglary had taken place?” – I’m arguing that without additional evidence (remember that word?) the list of things that could have broken a window would be so long that Nat would have to initiate “Kathy VI” just to list them all – differences in air pressure between inside and out, a baseball, a rock, a bird, I could go on and on, but only one of the myriad would be that it was evidence of a burglary, and to speculate otherwise would be to assign agency where there is none, just as you have with the creation of the universe and the origin of life.

    Speaking of unanswered questions, you still haven’t answered mine – ANY of them for that matter, but that’s no surprise – but specifically, the one I asked about why you stay – you’re not convincing anyone, you’re making enemies, you’re actually embarrassing other Christians and you can’t even defend yourself in a debate – you’ve taken to ignoring questions you know you don’t have the wherewithall to answer. What are you gaining by staying and wasting your time? Is it because you don’t have a real life?

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  14. Why couldn’t animal sacrifices suffice?” – because animals aren’t as yummy at communion – remember, it’s white wine with sea food and red wine with human —

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  15. ” I’m arguing that without additional evidence (remember that word?) the list of things that could have broken a window would be so long that Nat would have to initiate “Kathy VI” just to list them all ..”

    And this is what is known as “obfuscation.”

    What we are arguing is the DEFINITION of evidence. And you’ve just acknowledged
    what you’ve denied for months now.. the broken window IS evidence.. and when you combine that with missing items etc.. it becomes evidence of a ROBBERY.

    How is this different than what I’ve been arguing all this time?? It’s not.

    I’ve presented a LIST of evidence that supportes the Truth of the Bible, YET, this whole time you’ve tried to deny any evidence ever existed.. period. You were wrong Arch.. along with William and Nate and others.

    I’m the only one who is taking the NEXT LOGICAL step.. which is “WEIGHING” the evidence, just as the dictionary described. And while I’m doing this, you all continue to deny any evidence even exists.

    Atheist fear and desperation is truly sad to witness.

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  16. I’m going through Nathan’s series on prophecy and slowly studying/working my thoughts out on them but for some reason am drawn back to check on this series. Too bad it seems I’m the only one actually answering the direct questions he asked.

    Kathy, your thoughts on the issue of God’s mercy/forgiveness and eternal damnation?

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  17. and when you combine that with missing items etc..” – there was no mention of missing items – by itself, a broken window is evidence only that the window is no longer intact.

    I’ve presented a LIST of evidence that supportes the Truth of the Bible, YET, this whole time you’ve tried to deny any evidence ever existed

    By your own definition, “Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.” – suffice to say, I’ve examined what you jokingly (I hope) refer to as “evidence,” and find it wanting, irrelevant and inapplicable.

    Atheist fear and desperation is truly sad to witness.” – I can’t even imagine having anything to fear from a fairy tale.

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  18. Hey Matt,

    Thanks for weighing in on my question.

    As a parent, a squad leader in the Army and in general adult, I understand rules, rewards and punishments. I can be in a position of authority, but merciful and yet still have standards I have to enforce. To the point, I just had to assist with paperwork kicking one of my squad members out of the Army for good. This soldier had been given many many chances by myself and others in higher positions for his transgressions, however he had finally crossed a line to where there was nothing I or anyone else could do for him.

    I think this is a fair example, this soldier had been shown mercy time after time, yet still ended up getting kicked out of the service.

    Symbolically I would suggest God could be the same way. Offer us Mercy time after time, but at the end of the day have hard lines that cannot be crossed.

    I think this is a good example. Let’s push it just a bit, though.

    Let’s say you’re the head decision maker on this soldier’s fate, and you get to pick his punishment. You’re known as a fair and reasonable individual. Do you see yourself ever deciding that the firing squad is the appropriate punishment for him?

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  19. Your broken window Kathy, is evidence only that the widow is broken, just as your martyrs are evidence only for how deeply they believed what they chose to die for, NOT that it was true, only that they believed it was.

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  20. Nate wrote:

    I think this is a good example. Let’s push it just a bit, though.

    Let’s say you’re the head decision maker on this soldier’s fate, and you get to pick his punishment. You’re known as a fair and reasonable individual. Do you see yourself ever deciding that the firing squad is the appropriate punishment for him?

    Sure, I’ll roll with this.

    Say that said soldier was guilty of treason, fratricide or something like that yes I could. Personally I’m a fan of rules and consequences. I also view harsher punishment in laws as a detriment to certain crime.

    Now this act of applying harsh punishment doesn’t negate merciful actions that have happened in the past or prevent me from future merciful actions.

    Again I think of God in much the same way.

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  21. Cool, so let’s take it just a little further.

    Let’s say this person was actually your son. And yes, he killed someone. Obviously, you’d probably think he deserved consequences for that. Should the consequences be something along the lines of being tortured to death? Kept alive, but only so he could experience as much agony as possible?

    Being fair, merciful, and righteous, do you see yourself implementing these kinds of consequences?

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  22. Ahhhh, would I crucify my son. No. But i’m not God, and the, again ‘church’ answer to that you know. That God loves us enough to do that to his son to give us a way of salvation. Which begs the question, well then just how much does he love HIS son

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  23. I’m not necessarily talking about Jesus. If God created everyone and loves us all enough to send his only son, I can only assume his love for us is much like a father’s. In fact, it’s often portrayed that way in the Bible.

    Crucifixion is one thing — at least it’s temporary. Hell is something quite different. It says that the penalty for a finite lifetime of sins (most of which are not heinous) is an infinite existence of horrible torture.

    As appalling as it sounds, that’s actually far worse than anything Hitler could have done, yet it’s something that will be inflicted by a being who’s described as perfectly loving, infinitely gracious, and completely good.

    If those descriptions are accurate, could such a being send anyone to Hell? Especially for something as innocuous as simply not believing he exists?

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  24. The problem of hell is a tough one, no doubt. Especially for the folks that have never heard of Christ and salvation, what to do with them? Doesn’t seem ‘fair’.

    Fair, is often a subjective thing, what is fair to one might not be to another. Words like just, often get thrown around when discussing why God must send folks to hell. Not sure if that is better or not.

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  25. Even for those who have heard of Christ, it still isn’t fair.

    Now that I’ve been on the non-belief side of the aisle, I see that people who don’t believe aren’t doing it out of rebellion. They simply aren’t convinced. I believe in the Christian god as much as I believe in werewolves. That doesn’t make me a bad person — it just means I’m not convinced. And considering there’s no tangible evidence for God’s existence, is it really “just” to torture people endlessly for a simple and honest mistake? You’d think effort would count for something

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  26. I agree with you on the motives for most folk’s non belief. I haven’t got to your writings on hell yet, IIRC there are a few bookmarked on here somewhere. I know its now been years since you deconverted but its taken me a while to get comfortable enough to really go through your writings and study over them.

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  27. “Too bad it seems I’m the only one actually answering the direct questions he asked.”

    I have answered Kathy’s question plenty of times, and anyone else who has cared to ask. I can not force someone to see it my way, or make them agree, but when asked my thoughts, I have answered.

    “Nope, she keeps avoiding my direct questions.

    She hasn’t answered why Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough to pay for our sins.”

    I didn’t say Yahusha’s sacrifice wasn’t good enough. Please read my posts again.

    “She hasn’t answered any of my questions.. she’s only given me information about Jewish practices…and that’s not answering my questions. She says that Jesus’ sacrifice was symbolism for the sacrificial lamb. This makes no sense.”

    I did not say Yahusha’s sacrifice was symbolism for the lamb, I said the lamb was symbolic of Yahusha.

    I believe I posted things to discuss first, but you won’t answer anything I’ve said until you get an answer that you like. Everyone in your entire Christian church believes that messiah was the lamb of God. Go argue with them about it, cause I am done. You are avoiding the questions at hand.

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  28. Nate,

    ” I believe in the Christian god as much as I believe in werewolves. That doesn’t make me a bad person — it just means I’m not convinced. And considering there’s no tangible evidence for God’s existence, is it really “just” to torture people endlessly for a simple and honest mistake? You’d think effort would count for something…”

    Nate, how do you know that WE are not tangible evidence? We are. Existence IS tangible evidence.. there is no better explanation.

    You say you’ve made an effort.. but the question is.. how OBJECTIVE were you when you
    made that effort? I’d be less cynical about your personal views / beliefs if I didn’t know about your lack of objectivity. But I have no doubt that this is an issue with you. You still haven’t acknowledged that Christianity has the most compelling evidence to support it’s claimed Truth.
    And you haven’t stated which religion does have more compelling evidence if it’s not Christianity. That you failed this proves your lack of honest objectivity.

    You are right.. people aren’t “bad” for questioning God’s existence.. it’s a right God has given us
    when He gave us free will. But this isn’t what you are doing.. you say you aren’t “convinced”, yet you are ACTIVELY trying to lead people away from God. You have no proof or even a reasonable argument for the God of the Bible not being real. You have no better answers/ explanations if it isn’t God who is our Creator. You can’t even come up with a simple supposition of how existence came to be. That really SHOULD tell the unbeliever SOMETHING. It really should cause people to think really hard about God’s existence since the “argument” against Him is always based on science.. yet, that VERY science argues AGAINST the logic of our existence. Existence and science are not compatible! Yet, we are here.

    So, while you can’t see how God could punish you for making an “effort”.. God might see it the way I just explained it.. you are failing to apply honesty and objectivity to your search for the truth.. you are being dishonest.. to yourself and to God. And, oh look.. dishonesty just happens to be a sin… and oh look again… see how destructive, TO US, those sins are that God commands us not to do?

    You put yourself in the position your are in Nate.. because you refuse to be honest. It’s not God’s fault.. our very existence is the most compelling evidence of all. Yet, you make it even worse..by trying to blame God because He hasn’t given you the “empirical” evidence that YOU have demanded.. as if it’s you who gets to set the terms of your salvation.
    It’s an insane way of thinking.

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  29. Kathy, I agree with what Laurie has said. She did answer your question about the point of Jesus’ sacrifice — like you, she believes it was to atone for sins. But she does not believe the Mosaic law was repealed afterward.

    If you want to understand more about that, you should consider researching the passages she listed and thinking through their implications. They’ll likely make you think of further questions, and you can pose them to her one or two at a time. That’s the next logical step if you want to continue your conversation with her.

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  30. Kathy, if I don’t believe God is real, then I’m not really “leading people away from him.”

    Existence is just existence. I could say that existence is evidence of Zeus, but what does that prove? Making up an answer gets no one closer to whether or not the answer has any real value. Ultimately, no one knows what came before or caused the Big Bang, so it doesn’t count as evidence for anything other than our existence.

    It’s just like the broken window example. If we spotted a broken window and you said, “look, there must have been a robbery!” And I said “huh, I wonder what broke that window?” You aren’t suddenly right just because I didn’t offer a guess. We could just as easily see someone stick their head out the window with a baseball in their hand and call out “Billy, look what you did!”

    But this is a merry-go-round we’ve ridden a number of times now. Even if I conceded your point on existence as evidence for God, you still have to show which god it is. So why don’t you just get to that point, so we can actually discuss something specific?

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  31. Whoa, now we are at Kathy 5.

    But something piqued my interest when I see that the discussion has now moved to the authenticity/authority of Paul as a divine speaker.

    Just wanna ask about 1 Cor 7:25. Paul clearly says that he is talking about his own opinions and not God’s instructions. My questions hence would be do we treat all the other Pauline epistles as “God inspired” or do you guys think that there are other passages in which Paul doing the same – e.g. expressing his own opinions/desires rather just that he is not explicitly saying that it is divinely inspired?

    Case in point the Book of Philemon – wouldn’t this be a prime suspect of Paul expressing his own personal opinions on things rather than being inspired by God to write to Philemon? Considering that this is a personal letter to Philemon I don’t think he would have needed to write “Dear Philemon, it is Paul writing to you personally, not God”. If this is indeed true, what does it tell us about the selection criteria of the early church about which books to be part of the Canon? Are there any other parts of Paul letters that are not divinely inspired but are erroneously put into the Canon due to over eager Pauline followers?

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  32. omg my grammar…

    Apologies the above sentence should have meant: e.g. expressing his own opinions/desires just that he is not explicitly saying that it is not divinely inspired?

    Hope I am making myself clearer and not making it worse haha.

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  33. “…our very existence is the most compelling evidence of all” – as I’ve stated multiple times, Kathy – if our existence is proof of a creator-god, then his/her/its existence is evidence that he/she/it had a creator.

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  34. Incidentally, this christian friend of mine once used this point to argue and told me if I truly understood what 1 Cor 7:25 means I would have a whole new understanding to the meaning of “divinely inspired” and about inerrancy/ unfalsifiability *sp of the bible.

    Unfortunately he did not teach me the true meaning despite 12 hours conversation as he say that I must believe first then I would see. And since I do not believe there is no need for him to show me this truth.

    What do you guys think? Would love to hear your comments and also would be nice to see how Kathy reconcile with this issue.

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  35. Laurie,

    “I didn’t say Yahusha’s sacrifice wasn’t good enough. Please read my posts again.”

    The practices you adhere to DO imply that Jesus’ sacrifice isn’t enough. I’m waiting for you to explain how I could be wrong but you refuse to. The “answers” you give don’t answer my questions.. but it’s certainly convenient to claim that you “have” answered and that the problem is all on me.

    Why are sacrifices still necessary after Jesus’ sacrifice? You and Nate claim it’s symbolic. So, that means God wants animals killed for symbolic reasons? No more blood needs to be shed. I can understand having feasts for symbolic reasons.. but not sacrifices.

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  36. Hi Nate,

    If we were to be even more critical, we can throw the same suspicion at all the letters such as Titus and Timothy. It gets even more interesting as 2 Timothy 3:16 Paul says that “All scripture is God-breathed”.

    But it is highly unlikely that when Paul wrote 2 Timothy he regarded 2 Timothy as scripture. To him is simply a letter and shouldn’t have attained “scripture” status unlike today. Hence isn’t it wrong to use this verse and claim that all of Paul’s writing is divinely inspired?

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  37. Kathy, even in the OT, the sacrifices were symbolic. So what’s the difference?

    You seem to struggle with seeing the difference between questions that aren’t answered and questions that aren’t answered the way you want them to be. Laurie doesn’t believe that her position diminishes the importance of Jesus’ sacrifice. If you do, then you need to demonstrate that better — use actual passages — don’t just make the statement without support.

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  38. Before I do though, here are some thoughts I have to add to the discussion. Feeling kind of lucid at the moment.

    May we all get as close to understanding reality as we can, as it stands, as it is.

    And if we have faith, then to understand What and.or Who we have faith in.

    And what I mean by this also includes what the scriptures actually say. Rather than what we want them (or don’t want them) to say. This requires me to read, and not just take what other people say.

    For the closer we are to understanding reality as it is, the more effective we can be in practising what benefits ourselves and others. To also consider what is written as it is, the less misinformed we will be.

    None of us are perfect, we are all prone to error. All of us can be vulnerable to emotional misdirection and misinformation. Having a more accurate understanding of reality changes peoples lives. Well, it has changed mine at least.

    Although many on here have different beliefs, and drawn different conclusions, I admire anyone who strives to admit error, to be honest with themselves and to seek accuracy. I want to be more like that in my life. As a person who has faith, I think this is a decent thing to strive for, whether someone has faith or not.

    Discussions like these encourage me to learn more. Even if I disagree with what someone else has asserted, they have prompted me to think. Since discussions and threads develop and flow in many different ways, who knows where this one will go?

    Now I better do some washing 🙂

    Hope everyone has a productive day/night.

    Nate, I’ll give you some thoughts on those questions soon.

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  39. @Nate

    Oh yeah that I know, but I’m just wondering within the Christian perspective how do they reconcile it?

    I mean if we want to be pedantic we can also throw in Hebrews – a book that early church used to think was written by Paul and hence placed alongside other books in NT. But given that even the mainstream churches (I came from Pentacostal and then moved to a Methodist church) teach that the author of Hebrews is unknown, doesn’t the criteria that all NT books have to be written by an apostle false?

    However, I don’t think we should branch off and discuss that. What I am more interested in is scripture talking about scripture. Even if we assume that all scripture is true and written by their supposed authors (even God for that matter), how do Christians resolve this conflict? Or do they simply chuck it under “mystery of God” and then go to bed soundly?

    If the latter is true than perhaps we would know their level of intellectual honesty.

    Not sure if Unkele reads this haha, would love to hear from him or anaivethinker.

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  40. Nate,

    “Kathy, if I don’t believe God is real, then I’m not really “leading people away from him.”

    This is more of your extremely flawed reasoning Nate.. what you believe has NO bearing on what the truth is. But that is exactly what your statement insists. You very well could be leading people away from God and their place in Heaven. You have no proof otherwise, and not even any compelling evidence. You ignored all of this in my comment. I hope you address this.

    “Existence is just existence. I could say that existence is evidence of Zeus, but what does that prove? Making up an answer gets no one closer to whether or not the answer has any real value.”

    Sure, and in a jury trial, the accused could say the same thing.. it could have been a man who calls himself Zeus just as well as me who killed that person.

    You can’t seem to embrace the reality of the world of evidence.. and that’s because you aren’t applying objectivity.. because you don’t want to.

    “It’s just like the broken window example. If we spotted a broken window and you said, “look, there must have been a robbery!” And I said “huh, I wonder what broke that window?” You aren’t suddenly right just because I didn’t offer a guess.”

    And that’s not what I’m claiming.. I’m not saying I’m right because you don’t have a better idea.. I’m saying what I believe is the most likely answer based on all the evidence including the lack of alternate theories.

    “But this is a merry-go-round we’ve ridden a number of times now. Even if I conceded your point on existence as evidence for God, you still have to show which god it is.”

    Um.. I did? I’m claiming it’s Christianity based on the compelling evidence.. that you’ve failed to answer with a religion that you believe has more compelling evidence.. or an acknowledgement that Christianity IS the faith with the most compelling evidence..???

    So, if you did concede that existence is compelling evidence for a Creator, I’ve explained repeatedly what the next step would be.. looking for the religion that has the most compelling evidence… hence my question that you STILL refuse to answer.. if it’s not Christianity that has the most evidence, compelling or not to support it’s claimed truth then what religion is it??? Your failure to answer, YET AGAIN, is just MORE proof of your lack of objectivity Nate.

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  41. Kathy, you never post the evidence! The quote from William at the very beginning of this post is the same quote I had at the beginning of the last one, and it comes from a comment he made in the 3rd “Kathy” post. You’ve never addressed it or provided anything else as “evidence.”

    Let’s use your courtroom example. If you were running the defense and kept talking about all your great evidence but never actually presented it, what verdict would you get?

    Pick one of your amazing pieces of evidence, and let’s talk about it!

    Like

  42. You very well could be leading people away from God and their place in Heaven. You have no proof otherwise, and not even any compelling evidence.” – I’d like to see your proof that he is.

    Like

  43. What have I been talking about in all of these “Kathy” posts if it’s not the evidence??
    I HAVE given you the evidence… many times.

    Christian martyrdom.. that’s a LONG list of “broken windows”..

    Fulfilled prophecies

    Biblical accuracy in regards to historical people, places and
    events.

    Bible consistency with many different authors over 1500
    years.

    No proof of “lying” in the Bible.

    Just because you disagree/ argue these things that doesn’t mean it’s not valid,
    compelling evidence. As I’ve stated before, the mathematical odds
    make all of these examples extremely compelling. And you have NO argument
    against that.. math is based on logic.

    Like

  44. And also Nate.. if you can debate the evidence of Christianity.. then there is no excuse for you to not give an answer to my question.. if Christianity is not the religion with the most evidence, then which one is it??

    Like

  45. You very well could be leading people away from God and their place in Heaven.

    If Nate is leading people astray why doesn’t almighty God intervene to prevent that from happening?

    Like

  46. As I’ve stated before, the mathematical odds make all of these examples extremely compelling.

    What exactly are these mathematical odds and how did you derive them?

    Like

  47. @The “BIRD”
    ” The original was written in July 2014 by Dr. Armand D’Angour, associate professor of classics at the University of Oxford.
    Now ya know –”
    No I don’t. I need to know why he says this. But I did leave the question with Kuba to cut down on your reading time. Well, also because the less you talk to her the less chance there is that you’ll tick her off. So in a way I’m looking out for you. 🙂
    —————————–
    @Nan, I do what i can baby. Although I was really hoping the rest of these heathens would give you some business.
    ——————————–
    @Powell
    “What do you guys think? Would love to hear your comments and also would be nice to see how Kathy reconcile with this issue.”
    From a logic stand point your friend makes no sense. He’s trying to convince you but you must believe before you can be convinced?
    Also, “(I came from Pentecostal and then moved to a Methodist church)” How the heck did you do that?! Those two aint close!
    ———————————–
    @portal
    “Feeling kind of lucid at the moment. ” Wait. Is lucidity something you have a problem with?

    Like

  48. The bottom line is simply that every Christian, and especially a fundamentalist such as Kathy, bases their worldview upon presupposition: namely, because of indoctrination they posit a god, ‘God’ first and foremost and then simply manipulate every piece of what they consider evidence to fit.

    If discrepancies arise they simply put this down to human error.
    If issues are raised concerning biblical contradictions or anomalies they claim is made that the original text was inherent.
    If a scholar demonstrates the fallacious nature of a particular text – the Virgin Birth, for example – then the scholar is usually biased to some degree.
    Archaeology often fares worse.
    In fact, If anything ventured by anyone who is not only not a Christian but also not part of a particular ‘brand’ of Christianity then any counter-claim will be summarily dismissed out of hand

    In the thousands of comments on these threads not a single inch of headway has been made.
    Not one.
    Sadly, there is ample evidence that a Christian such as Kathy would, in all likelihood, have the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth crucified once again as he would undoubtedly not ‘fit’ the mental image of the saviour she has been brainwashed to believe in.

    Personally, I would like to see the parameters of a mammoth discussion such as this redefined.
    Narrow down the questions to maybe, one per post. Stay on topic, . Remove all ambiguity in the phrasing of the question. Keep it concise and simple, and try to ensure that Kathy answers it honestly as she can.

    Even the OJ Simpson trial was shorter than this!

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  49. It really should cause people to think really hard about God’s existence since the “argument” against Him is always based on science.. yet, that VERY science argues AGAINST the logic of our existence.

    Kathy,

    You’ve made this statement several times now. Do you have a source for that? Do you have evidence of this claim?

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  50. “I HAVE given you the evidence… many times.

    1.)Christian martyrdom.. that’s a LONG list of “broken windows”..
    Proves NOTHING Many people have died for causes
    2.)Fulfilled prophecies
    Nostradamus and Edgar Caycie have been as ,if not more accurate
    3.)Biblical accuracy in regards to historical people, places and
    events.
    Many ancient writings contain historical people, places and events
    4.)Bible consistency with many different authors over 1500
    years.
    If anything would cast doubt over its consistency
    5.)No proof of “lying” in the Bible.”
    Lots of proof of inconsistencies

    Kathy, show us peer reviewed articles written by scholars which confirms ALL 5 Claims above as EVIDENCE of your Christian God. This shouldn’t be hard for you to do. If you can’t, then this post should be over and let’s all move on.

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  51. Kathy, you aren’t laying out evidence, you’re just making sweeping generalizations.

    So let’s look at something specific.

    Biblical accuracy in regards to historical people, places and
    events.

    In Daniel chapter 5, the writer says that Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar are father and son 7 times. Yet we know from sources of their time that Belshazzar was actually the son of King Nabonidus, who wasn’t related to Nebuchadnezzar in any way.

    Daniel also says that Babylon fell to Darius the Mede, and he later passed the kingdom to Cyrus the Persian. But we know that Cyrus was already ruling Persia when they came against Babylon, and it was he who took the kingdom. Furthermore, the writer of Daniel says Darius the Mede was the son of Ahaseurus. But we have no record of Darius the Mede. And while this normally wouldn’t mean much, we actually have a number of contemporary documents and sources from that time, and from these we’ve come to know a number of different officials in Cyrus’s court. None are named Darius. To make this worse, there really was a King Darius, but he was Persian, he lived after Cyrus, and instead of being the son of someone named Ahaseurus, his own son had that name.

    There are other historical inaccuracies as well, and taken all together, they show that the Book of Daniel was not written by someone of the same name who lived in Nebuchadnezzar’s court. Instead, it was someone living about 400 years later who had a misunderstanding of a few historical details. Just as most Americans today couldn’t put all 44 Presidents in order, the author of Daniel didn’t have a perfect understanding of the last 400 years of history.

    Some of the same mistakes he makes were also made by the Book of Baruch, which was also written during the second century BCE. As further evidence of Daniel’s illegitimacy, he’s not mentioned by any sources (even those listing out books of the Bible) until the middle of the 2nd century BCE. And the oldest manuscript evidence we have for it comes from around 100 BCE (and it contains additional material you won’t find in Bibles today).

    You can start your research here if you’d like to find out more about why your earlier statement is inaccurate, or at best incomplete.

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  52. Ark, I think your comment was spot-on. This part especially resonated with me:

    Sadly, there is ample evidence that a Christian such as Kathy would, in all likelihood, have the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth crucified once again as he would undoubtedly not ‘fit’ the mental image of the saviour she has been brainwashed to believe in.

    Like

  53. Ark, I think your comment was spot-on. This part especially resonated with me:

    Sadly, there is ample evidence that a Christian such as Kathy would, in all likelihood, have the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth crucified once again as he would undoubtedly not ‘fit’ the mental image of the saviour she has been brainwashed to believe in.

    This was a point the Pastor of my previous church made frequently – that if Jesus were to live now many “Christians” would not recognize him.

    Some of those would likely be the more politicized Christians, I think.

    Like

  54. I think so too. They have much more in common with the Bible’s portrayal of the Pharisees — fighting against anything that doesn’t hold to the party line.

    Like

  55. Kathy,

    You said,

    “So, you’re arguing that a broken window could not be evidence that a burglary had taken place?
    You’re disagreeing with a leading dictionary website?
    And did you read the 2nd sentence of the definition?
    Scientists weigh the evidence for and against a hypothesis.
    This is a concept no atheist seems to grasp.. the idea of weighing evidence. None of you
    would be qualified to serve on a jury.”

    This is one of your problems. Like the example above, you’re implying that a broken window is evidence of a burglary. Arch was right, it was only evidence of a broken window.

    To properly weigh the evidence, you have to look at all the evidence there is, not jump to a conclusion with a piece of the evidence. With a broken window, why do you leap to burglary? Why not a baseball? Was there an earthquake or tornado? Was there a fight between spouses and one of the threw a pot or a pan?

    Simply seeing a broken window doesn’t answer how it was broken, neither does existence answer how or why – and certainly doesn’t mean “bible god did it” by default.

    And as far as your compelling evidence for the bible, the last two threads have listed a 5 point summation of your evidences to date – yet you continually ignore to acknowledge them or add to them…

    Like

  56. “what you believe has NO bearing on what the truth is.” – Kathy

    Precisely! This, incidentally, is also why a martyr’s death is only evidence for their devotion and not in the validity or truthfulness of their cause.

    I feel like we’ve made progress.

    Like

  57. “Sure, and in a jury trial, the accused could say the same thing.. it could have been a man who calls himself Zeus just as well as me who killed that person.
    You can’t seem to embrace the reality of the world of evidence.. and that’s because you aren’t applying objectivity.. because you don’t want to.” – Kathy

    Again, other than the listed 5 at the beginning of the past two threads, what evidence is there?

    “And that’s not what I’m claiming.. I’m not saying I’m right because you don’t have a better idea.. I’m saying what I believe is the most likely answer based on all the evidence including the lack of alternate theories.” – Kathy

    What evidence? Please, please share.

    “So, if you did concede that existence is compelling evidence for a Creator, I’ve explained repeatedly what the next step would be.. looking for the religion that has the most compelling evidence… hence my question that you STILL refuse to answer.. if it’s not Christianity that has the most evidence, compelling or not to support it’s claimed truth then what religion is it??? Your failure to answer, YET AGAIN, is just MORE proof of your lack of objectivity Nate.” – Kathy

    Why don’t you just show how it has more compelling evidence? To us, no religion appears “more true” than another – as they all seem false. It’s like asking which blade of grass most resembles a wedding cake – they don’t, none of them do…

    And this question is coming from a person who has spotty knowledge of her own religious text (you), so I highly doubt that you know anything of any real substance from other religions to even make an honest or educated comparison.

    And let me also add, again, that at one point you said that you were not asking which had the most credentials in being true in their claims of divine origin. In what other way did you mean “true” if not in their claims of being divine? Or did you just misspeak?

    Like

  58. Ruth and Nate,

    If your both implying that Kathy is a Pharisee, then I think that’s rough. Like I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes feel Kathy gets ganged up on.

    A while back Nate you wrote (and I’m paraphrasing) that Kathy was “doing damage” to Christianity,

    for a believer, that’s quite a strong thing to say,

    Especially considering that Kathy would consider faith to be the most important aspect in her life. To suggest she is a Pharisee or destructive to her faith is no small accusation to make. That’s just how I read the comment

    I don’t think Kathy is behaving like a Pharisee, I personally think she feels the evidence supports her beliefs, and that her faith is very real to her even if others disagree with her position.

    She should be taken at her word, unless she specifies otherwise. She comes across to me as someone who has a real conviction and strong views on American values,

    but as I understand it, many Pharisees refused to acknowledge that Jesus was who He said He was, and instead relied on the Law.

    Kathy does not hold this position, as far as I can see from her comments.

    Like

  59. “Just because you disagree/ argue these things that doesn’t mean it’s not valid,
    compelling evidence. As I’ve stated before, the mathematical odds
    make all of these examples extremely compelling. And you have NO argument
    against that.. math is based on logic.” – kathy

    Lol, yes, math is logic based… care to show the mathematical odds that are in favor of the bible’s claims… like, what are the odds that a virgin will have a baby or that a dead man will come back to life?

    or show how our existence must mean that we had a creator, but that the existence of a creator doesn’t need a creator?

    surely, someone of your logical and mathematical prowess could easily demonstrate this in support of your claims.

    since i value my life, i wont hold my breath.

    Like

  60. @Kathy,

    William is right, if you are going to claim that the mathematics proves that the odds are low, you have to show the math for that. People can make mathematical probability claims about absolutely anything, but just saying it doesn’t prove a thing. The math showing the probability to be low must be shown to prove it.

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  61. “As a parent, a squad leader in the Army and in general adult, I understand rules, rewards and punishments. I can be in a position of authority, but merciful and yet still have standards I have to enforce. To the point, I just had to assist with paperwork kicking one of my squad members out of the Army for good. This soldier had been given many many chances by myself and others in higher positions for his transgressions, however he had finally crossed a line to where there was nothing I or anyone else could do for him.” – matt

    I was going to ask this,

    I hear you and I agree. Do you think it would be just to torture that soldier forever? Do you think it would be just to not only kick him out of the army but to also keep him from ever working anywhere again?

    But I see nate had already asked something similar.

    If god wrote his word and wanted to tell us that he was loving, just and merciful – why do you think he’d do that? is it because we know what those terms mean, or is it because he likes defining himself in a way that is mysterious to us and beyond our understanding?

    If it is so that we can get comfort and security out of that description, then I say those words were used because we know what they mean. So when we see god portrayed in a way that is contrary to those definitions, why should we say, “well maybe we don’t really know what those mean? God is just, and this action does seem just, so perhaps I don’t know what ‘just’ means?”

    Maybe instead of us not knowing, it’s a case of that action not really being done by a just god.

    Like

  62. Maybe instead of us not knowing, it’s a case of that action not really being done by a just god.

    That’s right, and somehow it’s ok if we make judgments like this when it comes to the doctrines of Islam, but once we make it with Christianity – oh yes now we are just sinners who want to avoid what is obviously true. And yes, it is obvious, but please do ignore all those things that just don’t seem quite right (says the Christian).

    Like

  63. Ryan,

    If your both implying that Kathy is a Pharisee, then I think that’s rough. Like I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes feel Kathy gets ganged up on.

    My comment about those highly politicized is in relation to the law – American law. Many of these hyper-politicized “Christians” view American law and their involvement with it as sacred. Almost as sacred as the Bible. They feel so strongly about anti-abortion/anti-gay laws and social programs that if Jesus were to walk the Earth today and tell them, “whoever is without sin cast the first stone” they’d likely not recognize that it were Jesus and want to stone him. They claim to follow Jesus but their political ideals and aspirations tell a different story.

    Like

  64. Ruth,

    thanks for the context 🙂 I’d still say though that people with that sort of mindset might instead think they are pushing for these laws or fighting other laws because they believe the Bible teaches against or in support of specific laws.

    it does puzzle me that people would lobby against gun reforms based on stating that its their god given right for self protection, yet Jesus taught to turn the other cheek and love your enemy. So yeah, I think I see some of where you are coming from 🙂

    Like

  65. I hear what you’re saying Ryan, but I still disagree. I realize that Kathy doesn’t hold the same doctrines as the Pharisees, but in the Bible they’re portrayed as having a very specific idea of what God wanted, and nothing Jesus could do to the contrary would ever change their minds. That’s the similarity I’m pointing to. I agree that Kathy truly believes what she’s saying, but instead of her beliefs coming from evidence, they come from her upbringing and environment. She then takes the evidence and works it in wherever she can to bolster the beliefs she already holds.

    I’m sure it sounds harsh to analyze her this way, but I don’t mean for it to. I think she’s given plenty of examples of operating this way. While the rest of us point out specifics, she only speaks generally. Instead of addressing those specific points, she latches onto side issues. When we answer one of her questions and it’s not the answer she wants, she continues to claim that we never answered it.

    Like

  66. Although, there is a distinction between protecting your family and yourself, and not responding “eye for an eye” I think you could still love your enemy and be pro guns. Personally I’m not a fan of guns. seriously thank God the Australian Government made those reforms after the Port Arthur massacre!! I also believe there should be a clear separation between church and state. Perhaps that makes me liberal 😉

    Like

  67. Ryan,

    The political environment her is quite polarized. I long for a more moderate climate. I neither consider myself conservative nor liberal. My point was simply that people do get so caught up in what the believe is right or wrong that they forget compassion. I did not mean to imply that anyone who has an opinion – even a strong opinion – fit that description.

    Like

  68. Nate,

    I do find Kathy’s “please give a religion with better evidence” question something that pops up quite often.

    Kathy,

    I would be interested to read more about the evidence. Personally many of my beliefs are faith based, in that I believe them not necessarily because I have all the answers to my questions. I honestly can’t say that I can prove God exists. I’d love to learn more though, you may have an insight I have not considered.

    Like

  69. Ruth,

    Although, I am a fan of video games like splinter cell, rainbow six, and Cod, all which feature extensive use of violence and guns, so I guess some people might conclude that I contradict myself there 🙂 Never would really want to own a gun, I think they cause more harm than anything. I’ll stick to defending against head crabs as Gordon Freeman anyday

    Like

  70. Ryan,

    I’ll defend the Second Amendment right of the people to bear arms. Heck, I’ve got a gun. I got it when I got divorced for the purpose of self-protection. And target practice is fun. I enjoy it. BUT I do not believe that just anyone does have the right to have a gun just because they want one. While the Second Amendment does say that the government shall not impede the rights of the people to bear arms it is for a specific purpose – for the people to have a well-trained militia. I don’t know anyone who has a gun who belongs to a militia. People jump up and down here about their right to own a gun, but how many of them really believe they could take on our government with it? Are they going to spring for some tanks and fighter jets, too?

    I’ve been properly trained on the safety and operation of said gun. Many who have guns don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re doing. I believe (contrary to popular gun-advocate groups) that one should be required to demonstrate that they are both mentally competent and that they are skilled in using a gun prior to obtaining any kind of carrying permit.

    Like

  71. Ruth, Wow, that’s intense

    some friends and I went to a firing range in the city before we took our trip to the states in 2012-2013 (had new years over there). Some of my friends wanted to go shooting in Texas, but it never happened, instead we bought walkie talkies, hired two SUVs and drove through Texas. did no shooting, and I’m thankful for that, since our “practice” in Adelaide unnerved me. Got an appreciation to how powerful guns can be though.

    A friend from school used to go shooting when he was younger with his family. I think that’s actually more rare in Australia. I didn’t hear a lot of it anyway. Farmers own guns, farmers and a few gun enthusiasts, that and bikies…

    we don’t really have any militias at least not any I’m aware of. I’m sure they exist somewhere. I think one difference might be that Australians are too apathetic to care whether their government is going to go all “big brother” on them 🙂 seriously though, really different culture I think. That’s what I briefly experienced, as I’ve written before, each state in the U.s that we went through seemed like a different country in itself, some states seem worlds apart in their culture.

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  72. One should be required to demonstrate that they are both mentally competent and that they are skilled in using a gun prior to obtaining any kind of carrying permit.

    I agree with that 🙂

    Like

  73. • Christian martyrdom.. that’s a LONG list of “broken windows”..
    As we have repeatedly told you, Kathy, martyrdom is only evidence of the degree of conviction, not the validity of the belief, no “broken windows” – fail.

    • Fulfilled prophecies
    Prophecies either not fulfilled at all, only partially fulfilled, some were good guesses based on prevailing conditions, while others were too vague to tell exactly what they referred to – fail.

    • Biblical accuracy in regards to historical people, places and events.
    Here’s an example of your “Bible accuracy”:

    According to the book of Joshua in the Bible, Hazor was destroyed and its king Jabin (or Iabin) was killed in an attack by a male Hebrew war leader named Joshua. According to the next book, the book of Judges, the attack on Hazor, and Jabin, was several generations later and was led by a female Hebrew leader named Deborah.

    Still more would be the fact that reputable biblical archaeologists confirm that there is no evidence that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob/Israel, Joseph, Moses, or Joshua were ever historical figures – don’t ask for proof, I’ve already given it to you half a dozen times, I can’t make you read it.

    Yet more would be the fact that the Gospels were not written by those whose names they carry, and certainly not by anyone who ever met Yeshua – again, I’ve already given you evidence you’ve refused to read.

    The Tower of Babel fable is based on a Mesopotamian Ziggurat, and was entirely concocted. The flood story, along with Noah and his fearless crew aboard the Minnow, was plagiarized from the Sumerian “Epic of Gilgamesh,” written 200 years earlier.

    Yeah, just loaded with “accuracy,” isn’t it?

    • Bible consistency with many different authors over 1500 years.
    First of all, the Bible is NOT consistent overall, and what little consistency there may be, comes from one author reading a previous story, and taking it from there, just as we see today from authors of comic books and TV shows.

    • No proof of “lying” in the Bible.
    You gotta figure that a priest, ignorant of all fields of science, sitting at a table in captivity in Babylon, in the 500’s BCE, telling us that the entire universe was created only 3500 years earlier, in just six days, HAS to know he’s lying, he just knows that no one of the time is knowledgeable enough to catch him.

    The mathematical odds are that the Bible is a crock of crap.

    Like

  74. Nate,

    “In Daniel chapter 5, the writer says that Nebuchadnezzar and Belshazzar are father and son 7 times. Yet we know from sources of their time that Belshazzar was actually the son of King Nabonidus, who wasn’t related to Nebuchadnezzar in any way.”

    The Hebrew can mean grandfather or even ancestor. It was common to refer to an ancestor as father, which is clear from a number of other texts. Nebuchadnezzar was Belshazzar’s grandfather, which is in line with Jeremiah 27. The queen in Daniel was Nitocris who was Neb’s daughter and wife to Nabonidus. Belshazzar was only second in command, ruling in his father’s absence, which is why he called Daniel third.

    Archeology actually backs up the scriptures quite well. There is always new discoveries being made, that shed light on the biblical text. Things that were believed to be mere fiction, are being proved historically accurate. So for a believer, time is on their side. It’s only a matter of time before the next big discovery.

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  75. if Christianity is not the religion with the most evidence, then which one is it??” – You just can’t accept “None of the above,” can you, Kathy? You’ve had your answer, MANY times, and now you’re just beating a dead horse. Good luck with that.

    Like

  76. I did leave the question with Kuba to cut down on your reading time.” – Great! Now she’ll REALLY be ticked off at me for leading you to her!

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  77. Ruth, I can agree that people should be thoroughly trained to own firearms. they are dangerous tools after all.

    But maybe the 2nd amendment is worded to where the US citizens will have a right to form well organized militias and to have a right to own firearms – and not that a well organized militia has the right to arms…

    I do think the american constitution’s 2nd amendment does have something to do with being another check and balance for government power (as in the revolutionary war), however, i also think no citizen has any business with rocket launchers or fully automatic weapons (already have laws against).

    I do not think that every citizen should own one, nor do i think more guns are the answer, and i fully believe that guns are very dangerous and even more so in the hands of untrained morons who think they’re expert pistol-eers like we grew up watching in action movies and westerns.

    but the thing is, the constitution could be amended per the constitution. What if the 2nd amendment were legally amended to abolish the 2nd amendment? Would many 2nd amendment advocates continue their support of their prized legal document if their favorite part was changed, even legally?

    I know that this is way off topic, but thought i’d chime in.

    sorry.

    back to kathy…

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  78. Ark, RE: “they claim is made that the original text was inherent.” – I believe that’s “inerrant,” you author, you – I assume your publisher employs an editor, or in your case, a staff of editors –?

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  79. that VERY science argues AGAINST the logic of our existence.” – I’m betting, Ruth, that she read it on Answers In Genesis.

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  80. The difference between us, Nate, is that I’ll read that link on Daniel, but Kathy never will, a perfect example of objectivity vs bias.

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  81. but the thing is, the constitution could be amended per the constitution. What if the 2nd amendment were legally amended to abolish the 2nd amendment? Would many 2nd amendment advocates continue their support of their prized legal document if their favorite part was changed, even legally?

    I don’t know, William. I think probably not, but then again, I think it would be very difficult to get the 2nd amendment amended. Not the 2nd amendment, per se, but this has been part of the discussion here; that the Constitution can be and is amended frequently at the will of the people – as it should be.

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  82. “what you believe has NO bearing on what the truth is.” – Kathy

    Precisely! This, incidentally, is also why a martyr’s death is only evidence for their devotion and not in the validity or truthfulness of their cause.

    Nice catch, William!

    Like

  83. The Hebrew can mean grandfather or even ancestor. It was common to refer to an ancestor as father, which is clear from a number of other texts. Nebuchadnezzar was Belshazzar’s grandfather, which is in line with Jeremiah 27. The queen in Daniel was Nitocris who was Neb’s daughter and wife to Nabonidus. Belshazzar was only second in command, ruling in his father’s absence, which is why he called Daniel third.

    Hi Laurie.

    It’s true that the Hebrew word there can mean ancestor, but the context usually indicates when it’s being used that way. Like referring to Jesus as a son of David — it obviously doesn’t mean his actual father.

    More importantly, I’ve seen this claim before that Belshazzar’s mother was the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, thus creating a familial relationship, but I’ve only ever seen it given as supposition. As far as I know, there is no historical source that backs this up. Herodotus mentions Nitocris (not to be confused with the Nitocris of Egypt, whom he also mentions), but does not suggest that she’s related to Nebuchadnezzar. And I don’t think any records from the time of Belshazzar mention her at all. Do you have a source that shows something different?

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  84. So, if you did concede that existence is compelling evidence for a Creator, I’ve explained repeatedly what the next step would be.. looking for the religion that has the most compelling evidence…"
    No, the next step would be searching for the Creator of the god you claim exists, which by virtue of that existence – by your own "compelling evidence," must have one, then his/her/it's Creator, ad infinitum —

    Like

  85. Ruth,

    I know this is off subject, but because i think this text is so often misunderstood, I thought I would give you my thoughts on it.

    “My comment about those highly politicized is in relation to the law – American law. Many of these hyper-politicized “Christians” view American law and their involvement with it as sacred. Almost as sacred as the Bible. They feel so strongly about anti-abortion/anti-gay laws and social programs that if Jesus were to walk the Earth today and tell them, “whoever is without sin cast the first stone” they’d likely not recognize that it were Jesus and want to stone him. They claim to follow Jesus but their political ideals and aspirations tell a different story.”

    At the time this took place, the Pharisees were trying to trick Yahusha into breaking the law. This was actually really clever! According to the law, you have to have both the man and woman who committed the sin, two witnesses, and the witnesses have to throw the first stone. In this case they are breaking the law them selves, and bringing false witness against this woman without due process puts them under judgement of the law. That is why they left when he said “whoever is without sin”. It is believed that when he was writing in the sand, it was Deuteronomy 19 that he wrote. Basically telling them they would be judged with the same judgement, if they were bringing false witness.

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  86. I understand it, many Pharisees refused to acknowledge that Jesus was who He said He was, and instead relied on the Law." – actually, Portal, it was the Sadducees who relied on strict compliance with the written law, whereas the Pharisees allowed for the validity of oral tradition, as well. And Kathy is (IMO) damaging Christians, in that a Christian has only to observe her rantings for a few hundred comments, and want to disavow having any relationship with such a person. Her faith, which you appear to tout so highly, appears to me to be based solely on what she's been told – Kathy does not seem to be one who thinks for herself.

    Still, it must feel good to play Sir Galahad – I had fantasies like that once myself.

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  87. Hi Nate,

    Its been a while since I dug into this subject, and I can’t post anything right now, cause I’m heading out, but I will tonight!

    I also haven’t forgotten the subject of eternal torment, which I would really like to discuss!

    This is a great place to start, maybe Kathy will chime in while I’m gone, and we can actually work together for once! Hopefully, cause the circles we were going in before were just a huge waste of time.

    Have a good day guys!

    Like

  88. At the time this took place, the Pharisees were trying to trick Yahusha into breaking the law. This was actually really clever! According to the law, you have to have both the man and woman who committed the sin, two witnesses, and the witnesses have to throw the first stone. In this case they are breaking the law them selves, and bringing false witness against this woman without due process puts them under judgement of the law. That is why they left when he said “whoever is without sin”. It is believed that when he was writing in the sand, it was Deuteronomy 19 that he wrote. Basically telling them they would be judged with the same judgement, if they were bringing false witness.

    I have heard this interpretation before but is there any reason other than the fact that they were bringing false witness against the woman that it is believed that he was writing Deuteronomy 19 in the sand?

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  89. Laurie,

    I know this is off subject, but because i think this text is so often misunderstood, I thought I would give you my thoughts on it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on it.

    Do you find it ironic that most Christians, though, interpret that text to mean “he who lives in a glass house shouldn’t throw rocks” yet use [portions] of the law to crucify certain people? They believe that they are no longer under law and yet use the law to pummel people with figurative rocks.

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  90. It is believed that when he was writing in the sand, it was Deuteronomy 19 that he wrote.” – I’ve heard that too, Laurie, but with a 3% literacy rate in the country at the time, I seriously doubt that as the son of a craftsman, a carpenter, Yeshua, if he ever existed, could read or write.

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  91. So other than the problem of eternal torement, is there a consensous on what we are debating/discussing now?

    I’ve tried to keep up with Kathy and her replies but find them circular at best.

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  92. Matt, it’s really just the same ole thing.

    Kathy first graced us during a discussion on Tyre I believe. While there, she seemed unaware of many of the criticisms for the bible, which included several evidences against the bible.

    nate started these “letters to kathy” threads initially to share those issues with her and see how or if shewould or could responded to them.

    In all of these threads, and over a period of time, she’s listed these 5 as evidence,

    1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

    2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

    3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

    4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

    5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

    We’ve asked other questions surrounding these as well as on other things she’s said, and we usually get the run around… and this is basically where we still are – just repeatedly asking her questions either to make points or to get clarification from her.

    We’ll answer what she asks, usually multiple times…

    I think we’re supposed to still be waiting for the factual and compelling evidence for the bible that she claims to have.

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  93. yeah, I’m hoping she looks into the issues with Daniel that I pointed out. But feel free to jump back into our discussion about Hell if you want. Anything’s up for grabs 🙂

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  94. Ron,

    ““You very well could be leading people away from God and their place in Heaven. ”

    If Nate is leading people astray why doesn’t almighty God intervene to prevent that from happening?”

    He’s given us the Bible and His commands to follow. Nate is working AGAINST God.

    The question about intervening implies that God should intervene to prevent every bad thing
    from happening.. and that’s a whole other topic on the concept of free will.

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  95. Ron,
    “As I’ve stated before, the mathematical odds make all of these examples extremely compelling. ”

    What exactly are these mathematical odds and how did you derive them?”

    Odds are based on weighing the chances.. what is the chance that a person will allow
    their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.

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  96. “Odds are based on weighing the chances.. what is the chance that a person will allow
    their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.” – kathy

    this is stupid and is not a good example of “weighing evidences.” In fact, you even agree with me which is why you you do not believe any other martyrs are compelling…

    why do you keep holding on to this?

    It would be much better if you simply said, “I may not know of ‘great’ reasons, but since I choose to walk by faith and not by sight, i still believe, even though I may not be able to explain…”

    I could maybe even respect that.

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  97. Ark,

    “In fact, If anything ventured by anyone who is not only not a Christian but also not part of a particular ‘brand’ of Christianity then any counter-claim will be summarily dismissed out of hand”

    It’s all there for you and others to debate Ark. If I “dismiss” something, WITH an argument, the ONLY way I dismiss anything.. that’s when YOU or someone else ARGUES my points.. it’s not me who dismisses without argument, that would be all of you.. OR, like Nate, you just ignore my argument all together.

    “The bottom line is simply that every Christian, and especially a fundamentalist such as Kathy, bases their worldview upon presupposition: namely, because of indoctrination they posit a god, ‘God’ first and foremost and then simply manipulate every piece of what they consider evidence to fit.”

    Sorry, but this is just ignorant.. just a few comments up, I list the EVIDENCE.. the REASONS I believe.. and no where on that list is “indoctrination”.. aka the opinion of others. It’s hilarious when liberals make their claims about me that are so blatantly false.

    And you are guilty of the very same thing as you accuse me of.. you make a supposition that we aren’t created beings.. and you proceed to manipulate any evidence that argues against that belief.

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  98. Ruth,

    “Kathy, show us peer reviewed articles written by scholars which confirms ALL 5 Claims above as EVIDENCE of your Christian God. This shouldn’t be hard for you to do. If you can’t, then this post should be over and let’s all move on.”

    The scholars don’t disagree on the existence of this evidence Ruth.. and if it’s not evidence for God, what is it evidence for??

    Again, please refer to the definition of evidence.

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  99. Kathy your wrote:

    Odds are based on weighing the chances.. what is the chance that a person will allow
    their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.

    That is possibly the most assine statement I’ve read. Odds are not “based on weighing the chanes” Odds tell you what the chances are of something happening given know facts.

    Going on the suppostion that the Christian faith is correct, odds are that MILLIONS OF PEOPLE who don’t claim to be christian have been taken for that ‘lie’

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  100. Ruth,

    “It really should cause people to think really hard about God’s existence since the “argument” against Him is always based on science.. yet, that VERY science argues AGAINST the logic of our existence.

    Kathy,

    You’ve made this statement several times now. Do you have a source for that? Do you have evidence of this claim?”

    My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against. But it’s clear that you cannot, so instead you ask for “evidence”.

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  101. kc,

    “Kathy, show us peer reviewed articles written by scholars which confirms ALL 5 Claims above as EVIDENCE of your Christian God. This shouldn’t be hard for you to do. If you can’t, then this post should be over and let’s all move on.”

    It’s not evidence for Zeus.. this part should be pretty clear. Asking for “studies” is a stalling tactic. Why can’t you just argue what I’ve put forth??

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  102. Kathy,

    Nobody here thinks your previous arguments are worth discussing. That has already been established. I’m not trying to be rude, I know you feel these argument hold a lot of weight, but even the Christians here don’t seem to agree. Let’s discuss archeological evidence for and against the book of Daniel. There is plenty of that!

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  103. “My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against. But it’s clear that you cannot, so instead you ask for “evidence”.” – kathy

    kathy, it’s a stupid assertion based on nothing more than your claim, which you even say that yourself.

    Science doesn’t back up your claim, and science doesn’t argue against the logic of our existence.

    There is nothing to talk about here. Science makes no statement or claim regarding the logic of existance and if you’re just going to “claim” any old thing that you think may support your world view, then why have a discussion?

    you’re clearly not interested in an honest dialogue and have admitted to just making things up (eg, “My evidence is my claim..”)

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  104. My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against.

    Okay…science does not argue against our very existence.

    My evidence is my claim. Do I need anything else? I guess not.

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  105. Ruth,

    “Kathy, show us peer reviewed articles written by scholars which confirms ALL 5 Claims above as EVIDENCE of your Christian God. This shouldn’t be hard for you to do. If you can’t, then this post should be over and let’s all move on.”

    The scholars don’t disagree on the existence of this evidence Ruth.. and if it’s not evidence for God, what is it evidence for??

    Again, please refer to the definition of evidence.

    Well, I didn’t make this statement. KC did. But there are, in fact, scholars who disagree on the existence of this evidence. That is why we’re having this conversation.

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  106. My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against.

    Going back to this particular statement: this is why this back and forth with you, in particular, is pointless. You really do think that all you have to do is claim something and it’s evidence.

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  107. My evidence is “look, it’s not there.”

    If kathy says that science makes a claim that our very existence is illogical, then she should show it.

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  108. “The scholars don’t disagree on the existence of this evidence Ruth.. and if it’s not evidence for God, what is it evidence for??” – kathy

    it’s like your window, kathy, it’s evidence of existence. If you think there’s evdnece that supports a specific cause, then provide it.

    Muslims say it was allah. You say it was the bible god, others say it was something else…. anyone can say anything, but do you have evidence of the burglary other than a broken window?

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  109. Nate,

    “Kathy, you aren’t laying out evidence, you’re just making sweeping generalizations.

    So let’s look at something specific.

    Biblical accuracy in regards to historical people, places and
    events.”

    Nate, the martyrs are not a “sweeping generalization”. You are trying to “generalize” my
    specific examples of evidence.

    And here’s the problem with your examples in arguing against the fact that the
    Bible is accurate in regards to historical people places and events.
    AGAIN, Nate, it’s about the numbers.. the odds. You ignore this critical factor of
    this debate.. just as you ignore the critical factor of evidence in general.

    By comparison.. your examples are fringe.. they are insignificant when you consider
    how much the Bible got right. And you fail to consider that if the Bible got most of it
    right, then there’s a VERY GOOD argument to be made that you are not applying objectivity to
    those few things you claim are contradictory. You already know I don’t trust your judgment. I KNOW you have a bias and that you don’t apply objectivity if it contradicts your chosen beliefs.

    The father/ son argument has an explanation that I know Mike has given you several times.. there are explanations for all of these.. I could take the time to analyze as much as you, these specific examples, but all I have to compel me to do so is your claims.. and again, I know that you lack objectivity. So, I feel it would be a huge waste of time. If I believed you were honest and objective in finding the truth, I’d definitely have a good reason to invest the time.

    The one example we did debate, Tyre, also supports my claims.. along with your refusal to answer my question about Christianity having the most evidence.

    With Tyre, you hold onto one word that you insert INTO the prophesy (“all”).. as your sole argument. And as I’ve explained over and over, 99% of the prophecy has been fulfilled against the odds, this is not in contention.. in your LACK of objectivity, you IGNORE all of that and instead focus on that one thing. You COULD be wrong Nate.. and since most of the prophecy is not in contention.. the odds are that you ARE wrong.. that it is you who lacks objectivity.

    I have no reason to believe that the rest of your examples wouldn’t be the same. There are possible explanations but you reject them. And, the numbers / odds are AGAINST you.. since most of the Bible is NOT in contention in regards to historical details.. it’s amazing how accurate the Bible is due to the numbers/ odds.. when you read page after page of names and other details, if it was all a lie, it would be very hard to get all that right. Those thousands of details in themselves IS EVIDENCE for the truth of the Bible.. that was the reason for being so detailed. But again, you IGNORE this.. and instead focus on the fringe, few things that you can hold onto with desperation.

    The odds are against you Nate, when arguing the truth of the Bible. The Bible beats the odds over and over.

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  110. So once again, Kathy avoids talking specifics…

    I’m sure that’s very convincing to anyone watching from the sidelines, Kathy. And as for Tyre, you might want to check out the series I’m doing on it right now:
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/an-examination-of-ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-part-1/
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/an-examination-of-ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-part-2/
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/an-examination-of-ezekiels-prophecy-of-tyre-part-3/

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  111. William,

    “kathy, it’s a stupid assertion based on nothing more than your claim, which you even say that yourself.

    Science doesn’t back up your claim, and science doesn’t argue against the logic of our existence.

    There is nothing to talk about here. Science makes no statement or claim regarding the logic of existance and if you’re just going to “claim” any old thing that you think may support your world view, then why have a discussion?

    you’re clearly not interested in an honest dialogue and have admitted to just making things up (eg, “My evidence is my claim..”)”

    William,

    My claim is evidence because there is no argument against it.

    You say that science doesn’t argue against the logic of our existence..
    um, you should elaborate on that.. you are doing exactly what you are simultaneously
    accusing me of.

    Sorry, but science is about cause and effect.. which means that 1st cause is impossible.

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  112. what is the chance that a person will allow their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.” – Upon exactly what mathematical formulae are you basing your computation?

    Like

  113. “what is the chance that a person will allow their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.”

    Okay, Kathy, this hit at something we’ve argued here before. I’m not saying that martyrs for other religions makes those religions true, but the argument you presented here is just as valid an argument for other religions. It doesn’t matter what the premise of the religion is, the martyrs believe that religion to be true. So by default when you say those are false religions/lies, your are acknowledging that people will be perfectly willing to die for a lie – unless you are also acknowledging that those other religions have a lot of compelling evidence.

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  114. The scholars don’t disagree on the existence of this evidence Ruth.. – What scholars, Kathy? And be specific —

    …and if it’s not evidence for God, what is it evidence for??” – since we haven’t seen any, who the hell knows?

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  115. My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against.
    Oh Boy! Another “keeper”! I jus KNOW I’ll get a chance to use THIS again —

    My evidence is my claim..” – I gotta remember that!

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  116. Kathy,

    you said,

    “My claim is evidence because there is no argument against it.”

    no, there is no supporting evidence for your claim.

    and you said,

    “You say that science doesn’t argue against the logic of our existence..
    um, you should elaborate on that.. you are doing exactly what you are simultaneously
    accusing me of.”

    not at all. Imagine me holding up all the scientific literature and pointing to it saying, “see, there it isnt.”

    now, on the other hand, you’re saying that science does say something, namely that it claims our existence is illogical. now you should point to somthing and say, “see, there it is.”

    and you said this,

    :”Sorry, but science is about cause and effect.. which means that 1st cause is impossible.”

    I think you’re trying to limit science… it’s also about discovery… besides is this you now stating that science disproves religion or saying that nothing had a first cause? what exactly are you trying to say?

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  117. I need someone to come and install this central boiler for me. I’m supposed to be educating myself on the system, so I can install it, but I keep ending up here. And what’s the point? Really… why am I here!!!

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  118. @ kathy,

    maybe we should back up for a moment.

    maybe you’re feeling compelled to argue – with anything and everything you can think of. maybe it’s because this feels like a competition, maybe it’s pride or maybe you feel like there are answers to all this but you’re afraid to say “I dont know” so you just say stuff…

    “I dont know” is not a position of weakness, but a position of honesty. not knowing, but acting as if you do, and making things up and spouting claims from hip is not a position of strength, but is a position of weakness.

    It’s okay to say, “I dont know. i think you’re all wrong, but admittedly, i dont know and am not educated enough to state why you’re wrong right now. At present, it’s my faith that makes me think you’re wrong, but I’ll study up on this and get back with you all.”

    this is not an insult. I am actually sharing something real with you.

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  119. I’m still homeschooling my girls, and my 7 year old reads at a fourth grade level. There is nothing wrong with homeschooling.

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  120. Ruth,

    ” I’m not saying that martyrs for other religions makes those religions true, but the argument you presented here is just as valid an argument for other religions. It doesn’t matter what the premise of the religion is, the martyrs believe that religion to be true. So by default when you say those are false religions/lies, your are acknowledging that people will be perfectly willing to die for a lie – unless you are also acknowledging that those other religions have a lot of compelling evidence.”

    “It doesn’t matter what the premise of the religion is, the martyrs believe that religion to be true.”

    Ruth, it does matter.. the specifics are key. According to your argument,
    a person who was killed because they wouldn’t denounce santa claus’ existence caries the
    same testimonial evidence as someone who won’t denounce Jesus.

    Anyone who applies objectivity will make a reasonable assumption.. that the person who martyred themselves for santa claus was not in their right mind. Because we all KNOW due to the evidence, that santa claus does not exist, he does not deliver toys to all the children of the world on the 25th of Dec.

    And this is what you don’t want to acknowledge Ruth. When you combine all the evidence along with the martyrdom, it’s much more compelling than someone who gave their life for a belief that has much less evidence by comparison… like Islam or Mormonism etc.

    Again, look at a jury.. whose testimony are they more likely to believe.. someone who is a Christian or someone who claims that santa clause is real and still delivering gifts in a sleigh?

    I’ve already explained this several times.. I’m not doing it any more.. all I’m doing in nearly every comment now is repeating myself.

    I just have to leave you all to your, sorry, but.. deliberate ignorance.

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  121. So you don’t want to discuss Daniel? I just don’t understand you, but I’ll be glad to put an end to this pointless discussion.

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  122. Kathy,

    And you are guilty of the very same thing as you accuse me of.. you make a supposition that we aren’t created beings.. and you proceed to manipulate any evidence that argues against that belief.

    I explained to you long ago (in part 1 or 2 I think) how making such a presupposition is precisely what I did not do when I finally asked the question of whether the bible tells Truth, just months ago. I presupposed neither the existence nor the nonexistence of any deities…

    Don’t forget: it’s usually Christians who argue in favor of prepositional apologetics, and presupposing the existence of a deity–sometimes even your own particular deity–and then they (and you) strawman those who disbelieve by asserting that we did the opposite.

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  123. Really… why am I here!!!” – a question Humankind has been asking itself for millennia —

    Have you possibly recently received a blow to the head? That could explain it.

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  124. According to your argument, a person who was killed because they wouldn’t denounce santa claus’ existence caries the same testimonial evidence as someone who won’t denounce Jesus.” – that’s right – none. All it says, is how deeply they believe their delusion is true.

    Again, look at a jury.. whose testimony are they more likely to believe.. someone who is a Christian or someone who claims that santa clause is real and still delivering gifts in a sleigh?” In a Buddhist society, 50-50.

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  125. According to your argument,
    a person who was killed because they wouldn’t denounce santa claus’ existence caries the
    same testimonial evidence as someone who won’t denounce Jesus.

    Santa Clause is a really bad example, Kathy. I said religions. The penalty for denouncing other religions carries the same(and sometimes more) of a penalty than denying Jesus. The fact that people died for a lie is what I was getting at.

    You specifically said:

    “what is the chance that a person will allow their life to be taken for a lie or a belief that has little compelling evidence? Very low.”

    The chances are actually quite high that a person will allow their life to be taken for a lie and, according to you, a belief that has little compelling evidence. That was my point. Not the truth of the religion. This is a point you don’t seem to be able to grasp. That people are willing to die in the name of religion regardless of it’s truth. All they need to do is believe it’s true.

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  126. I just have to leave you all to your, sorry, but.. deliberate ignorance.” – Does that mean we won’t have Chatty Kathy to kick around anymore? It’s a miracle!

    Seriously, you’re not a bad person – go out, get some REAL knowledge, then drop back by (when you can’t stay so long) —

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  127. @haydendlinder

    Haha I was converted and baptized in a Pentecostal charismatic independent church when I was in the military. Got into depression and all that which made me ultra susceptible to “feel good” things. As I continue to serve in the church (was a worship director at some point) and gained more knowledge in the bible, I realized that a lot of the things that my church was doing was going against the bible (or more specifically what Paul said). Hence this led me to move to a much more conservative group -e.g. methodist church where I also served as a lay leader for a group of young adults.

    Anyway, cut the long story short – i was “born again” as a charismatic, read more on the bible and realized i am a fundie, and then after continuing more i became atheist. Haha, I must say this is a different journey than most – generally what I hear is fundie -> liberal christians -> atheist/agnostic

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  128. Powell – I don’t know you, so I don’t know if you’re familiar with Victoria Neuronotes – her blogsite has some fascinating things to say about what you say you experienced, and you might like to look into it.

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  129. Hi Arch,

    Yeah I’ve read some of her stuff. Isn’t it amazing what the brain can do?

    On my journey to be an atheist, one thing that I couldn’t got out of my head was the praying in tongues and the slain by the spirit. I myself have never been slained (pushed down yes), but a lot of my friends all swore by it, and I have seen people getting into fits and became fully immobilized during the “release of the Holy Spirit”. We must acknowledge that this is very powerful testimony for God for those involved and those who are looking on.

    However, once I got wind of this:

    http://www.youtube.com.sg/watch?v=bxb0PCBV0vk

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdrzBL2dHMI

    All the “touches” by the holy spirit became painfully obvious and I became a full fledged atheist.

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  130. I couldn’t got out of my head was the praying in tongues and the slain by the spirit” According to Paul, “tongues” is the language of the angels.

    I was a little confused though, by your links to “Fake Aikido Master vs MMA ” and “The Human Stun Gun’ Investigation’.

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  131. I just have to leave you all to your, sorry, but.. deliberate ignorance.” – Quick, Nate – lock the door before she changes her mind and comes back!

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  132. @Laurie: I know your questions were not directed at me, but I could not resist. 🙂

    ***Why is it that messiah says not to be called rabbi or father, but Paul does is not obedient to this command?***
    Taking the whole passage into account, Jesus was not prohibiting the use of those titles of honor. He was teaching that we ought to give to God the highest honor. To paraphrase that passage I would say: don’t go off seeking honor for oneself for its own sake like the rabbis have done, rather humble yourself and give honor to others. Give the highest honor to God, because no one on earth deserves the honor that is owed to God. There’s much more going on, but this is a quick way of seeing it.

    ***Messiah says here that he had given freely, go and freely give. Again, Paul is disobedient.***
    Jesus was sending out his disciples on a short term mission with very specific instructions. However, Paul was setting up permanent churches which reasonably might require a full time working pastor. They had very different goals in mind, and as such had different means of achieving their goals. This is not to say that pastors all need to be paid. Paul was not paid. There are plenty of pastors who work other jobs out there. It just that if you are laboring full time for the church, and not on a short term mission sent by Jesus himself, you might need some money to live on.

    ***Messiah said that if you have a problem with your brother, you should deal with it privately. Here Paul lashes out at Peter ‘before them all.’***
    Peter’s hypocrisy was different from the situation Jesus was addressing. Jesus spoke about someone sinning against another, but Peter was sinning against the entire church and Paul saw this as putting the gospel at stake given Peter’s status in the church, so this was a very grave matter. Also, Peter’s hypocrisy was public which raises the stakes. To Paul the circumstances justified a public rebuke. There is probably more going on that we are unaware of, but the point is that Paul’s rebuke is not a model. It’s just an story that is rather incomplete seeing how Paul only wrote a few sentences on the subject.

    ***Yahusha said in the passage above that he came to call the sinner to repentance, not the righteous. Why would Paul want to separate from those that actually need him?***
    A close reading of the entire passage gives a better understanding. Paul was not saying to completely withdraw from these people, because he later says to “warn them as believers.” (2 Thes 3:15). It seems there was a faction of Thessalonian Christians who had given up their professional work possibly to take advantage of the church’s generosity. Paul commands them to not fall into that trap. He then says to warn these freeloaders. Also, in Galatians Paul has additional policy about when church members sin. He says to restore them in a spirit of gentleness (chapter 6 verse 1). That’s pretty Christ-like if you ask me! Paul’s command to warn and restore are perfectly in line with Jesus’ interaction with the “sinners”.

    Like

  133. I could not resist. 🙂” – Sure you can, Brandon – I have every faith in you, just try harder! Give it all you’ve got!

    See what happens, Nate, when you don’t lock the door fast enough?

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  134. @Arch

    Ah, apologies.

    What I meant to say was that there are people who genuinely believe their bodies have special powers. This influence is not only restricted to the person under delusion, but to those who believe in him/her as well.

    Case in point, the “masters” in the youtube videos have students, and they are seemingly affected by the “power” of these masters. These are earnest and sincere people, who really believed in the power so much so that their bodies started to fake it without them knowing.
    It is very telling that unbelievers are not affected by such problems.

    This leads me to believe that getting slain by the holy spirit, speaking in tongues are the same category.

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  135. “I just have to leave you all to your, sorry, but.. deliberate ignorance.” – kathy

    well, i’d just like to add that this is for the best if you’re going to continually get off topic, ignore questions and points, just so that you can wallow in tangential issues.

    There are much better ways for us all to spend our time.

    Not one of your questions went unanswered and many times your questions were answered multiple times by several people, while you routinely and consistently avoided our questions.

    you say “deliberate ignorance?” Well, why are you deliberately being ignorant? what does that accomplish?

    Like

  136. The Bible defines God as being all-loving, all-merciful, fair, just, etc. It can also be read as promising an eternity in Hell for those who don’t serve him correctly. As a believer, how do you square those two statements?

    When Jesus died on the Cross, it was not just a physical death.

    As He hung there and died, He took the transgressions of the whole human race upon Himself.

    God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God

    (2 Corinthians 5:21).

    So my understanding is that it was not just a physical burden of crucifixion (for many people had been crucified) but a very real, final spiritual offering to take the punishment of every… single…transgression that every single person has or will commit.

    If they accept this offering by God, This frees people up to become new creations in God, free from the lineage of transgression, and free to live a new life of love and compassion, according to the teachings Jesus also outlined during His time on earth.

    Furthermore, God also gives His Spirit (Comforter and Counsellor) to those who believe and accept His grace.

    This is the Good News, as I understand it.

    Sin is understood to be transgression of Gods Law. Since we all have transgressed Gods Law in some ways, God became a man to show us by example, and to sacrifice His very self to make a Way for us to be free. This is Gods Grace, in that Jesus died for the very people that were attacking, belittling and trying to kill Him.

    In His obedience He died, so we might have life. Hence why Jesus stated that He is the Way and the Truth and the Life, No one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). This is because there was/is only one way in which God became a man to take on the punishment of all that accept the offering of Himself to take on their punishment. The Word became flesh only once through one person. Only He can take it.

    And His Resurrection was the manifestation that. He, Jesus the Christ, God overcame death. He died for each one of us, He suffered for our transgressions. He was obedient until the very end of His ministry on earth.

    Philippians 2:6-11:

    Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

    But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

    And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

    And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Hence why Paul stated that

    if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

    (1 Corinthians 15:17).

    So Gods Love involves His willingness and invitation to give us another way. A way to be with God if we choose so. Jesus expressed that it is finished (John 19:30).

    I think this is worth a read in regards to this:

    http://carm.org/questions/about-jesus/why-did-jesus-cry-out-my-god-my-god-why-have-you-forsaken-me

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  137. And I know the link I gave is a apologetics site,

    I’m not a great fan of apologetics. but I linked it because that specific article makes some decent points, which I think if specific content includes points worth considering, then it doesn’t matter which website those points happen to come from 🙂

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  138. Not one of your questions went unanswered and many times your questions were answered multiple times by several people, while you routinely and consistently avoided our questions.</em"

    That's Kathy's debating technique, William – Ali called it, "Rope-a-Dope" – float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.

    “I just have to leave you all to your, sorry, but.. deliberate ignorance.” – kathy Sweet kid though she may be, Kathy can brighten a room just by leaving it. SO nice not to wake up at the crack of nine, to a hundred comment emails!

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  139. So how do you mesh this understanding of Jesus’ sacrifice with the idea of an eternal punishment?

    Hell seems to be prepared to the devil and his angels, not specifically for humanity. You have done previous posts on Sheol and Hades. Whether or not a torment is for eternity, is a question I don’t personally have an answer for.

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  140. The reason I was emphasising The Atonement in regards to your question on Hell was because from my perspective, a father that is prepared to come down to his child’s level of comprehension and take his punishment for his child’s transgression by paying the cost himself, is a father that loves his child. If that specific cost requires him to lay down his life for his child to avoid that child making such a payment himself, then that fathers love is expressed in his willingness to do this, and still give his child the option to do what he wanted with this.

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  141. Hell seems to be prepared to the devil and his angels, not specifically for humanity. You have done previous posts on Sheol and Hades. Whether or not a torment is for eternity, is a question I don’t personally have an answer for.

    I* Just read what I posted… didn’t mean that to sound short before btw Nate

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  142. a father that is prepared to come down to his child’s level of comprehension and take his punishment for his child’s transgression by paying the cost himself, is a father that loves his child. If that specific cost requires him to lay down his life for his child to avoid that child making such a payment himself, then that fathers love is expressed in his willingness to do this, and still give his child the option to do what he wanted with this.

    A father that is prepared to come down to his child’s level of comprehension and take his punishment for his child’s transgression by paying the cost himself, for disobeying rules that he, himself, had a choice to make or not make, yet chose to make, is a fool.

    “I told you that if you ate the candy that I set down in the center of the table, directly in front of you, that I would kill you – you ate the candy anyway, but rather than kill you, I will kill myself.” – I’m just not seeing the logic.

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  143. I didn’t take offense to anything, Ryan, but thanks.

    So would you call yourself a Universalist? And what do you make of Jesus’s warnings about Gehenna?

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  144. Just read what I posted

    wow :I sorry Nate, not including the letter I before, changed the tone completely,

    seriously didn’t mean to convey that, sorry if it came off as dismissive, wasn’t trying to be.

    It is seriously easy to be potentially misunderstood by mis-wording or/and accidentally leaving out vowels. My apologies 🙂

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  145. I told you that if you ate the candy that I set down in the center of the table, directly in front of you, that I would kill you – you ate the candy anyway, but rather than kill you, I will kill myself.

    That actually made laugh out loud 🙂

    As obscure as that scenario is, I don’t think its the same thing. rather than “don’t touch the candy” a better illustration might be don’t murder, steal, molest, abuse your neighbour, yourself ect.

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  146. So would you call yourself a Universalist? And what do you make of Jesus’s warnings about Gehenna?

    Nate, I don’t know….I just don’t want anyone to be in eternal torment, I don’t like the idea.

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  147. Arch,

    I’ll give it a read. found it interesting that it links to Valerie’s blog, I’ve read a few of her articles, seems like a nice lady, writes really well, even if we disagree on some major points.

    Like

  148. rather than “don’t touch the candy” a better illustration might be</em" – don't eat the fruit?

    Like

  149. I just don’t want anyone to be in eternal torment, I don’t like the idea.” – if Kathy were here, this would be the part where she would throw in caveats like, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!”

    Portal, you seem like a genuinely nice person. And no, that’s not sarcasm.

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  150. Arch,

    ““I told you that if you ate the candy that I set down in the center of the table, directly in front of you, that I would kill you – you ate the candy anyway, but rather than kill you, I will kill myself.” – I’m just not seeing the logic.”

    As if anyone would expect you to??

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  151. I just found out about a new book that I’m very excited to read.. it’s called “Jesus on Trial: A lawyer affirms the truth of the Gospel”.. by David Limbaugh

    what a coincidence.. with me alluding to trials and juries. Here’s a book recommendation from me for a change. Watch the video to get an idea of all the different aspects (including science) he covers in the book..

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/09/david-limbaugh-discusses-latest-book-jesus-on-trial-on-hannity-video/

    Like

  152. I’ll put it on my Amazon list, Kathy. It sounds similar to a number of other apologetic books I’ve read as well.

    To balance things out, do you have any intention of reading anything from the opposite point of view?

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  153. Yeah, we’ll do that Kathy – just as soon as you’ve read and watched everything we’ve recommended to you. Do let us know when you’ve done that —

    Like

  154. Kathy, just had to check-in and add a quick note —

    It’s gonna’ take a whole lot more than Limbaugh’s book to convince me. ESPECIALLY when (based on his interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez), he claims that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human.

    Are you aware this is a doctrine that was put into place 325 years after Jesus? Because some thought Jesus was man and others maintained he was God, the council at Nicaea A.D. 325 — headed by a pagan political emperor, namely, Constantine, decided on a God-man to please both sides. This doctrine, though unfounded in Scripture, is generally believed by Protestants and Catholics to this day.

    As a lawyer, one would think he would have based his “conversion” on the “evidence.”

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  155. Oh yeah … need to add another excerpt from the interview where Limbaugh says:

    … we are instructed to offer the reasons for our faith — with gentleness and respect.

    Did you read that, Kathy?

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  156. …two high-school friends, both unbelievers, challenged me out of the blue to defend my beliefs one night at dinner
    Interesting, and curious as to why, when he claims to have been a skeptic, to non-believing friends would challenge him to defend his beliefs. Fellow atheists, have I ever challenged any of you to defend your beliefs? Why would I?

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  157. This doctrine, though unfounded in Scripture…
    Not only is it unfounded in scripture, scripture says Yeshua himself expressly refutes it when he says, “Why do you call me good? None is good except the father in heaven.”

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  158. Arch, have you read this article? http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/30/did-jesus-exist-growing-number-of-scholars-dont-think-so/#comment-1577153945

    I just started reading it, but so far have found it quite fascinating. Altho’ it would be an excellent source of general information for Kathy, sad to say I know her God will never allow her fingers to even hover over the link.

    Especially liked this paragraph (you know why):

    Jesus appears to be an effect, not a cause, of Christianity. Paul and the rest of the first generation of Christians searched the Septuagint translation of Hebrew scriptures to create a Mystery Faith for the Jews, complete with pagan rituals like a Lord’s Supper, Gnostic terms in his letters, and a personal savior god to rival those in their neighbors’ longstanding Egyptian, Persian, Hellenistic and Roman traditions.

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  159. Nan,

    “It’s gonna’ take a whole lot more than Limbaugh’s book to convince me. ESPECIALLY when (based on his interview with Kathryn Jean Lopez), he claims that Jesus is both fully divine and fully human.

    Are you aware this is a doctrine that was put into place 325 years after Jesus?
    As a lawyer, one would think he would have based his “conversion” on the “evidence.”

    Nan, this IS supported by scripture.. that it was put in place years later doesn’t matter.
    Jesus had to be fully human or His example of how to be obedient and without sin wouldn’t have carried the same weight. He’s been through the same trials (and much more) that we go through.

    “Because some thought Jesus was man and others maintained he was God, the council at Nicaea A.D. 325 — headed by a pagan political emperor, namely, Constantine, decided on a God-man to please both sides. ”

    Are the bold letters of “pagan political emperor” supposed to be the supportive evidence that he decided on both God and man in order “to please both sides”? That’s very weak evidence Nan.. these are the common popular assumptions made by atheists but there’s no evidence that just because he was pagan that he didn’t want to get it right. There were over 300 bishops in the council.. why so many if the objective wasn’t to get it right??

    Nan
    September 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Oh yeah … need to add another excerpt from the interview where Limbaugh says:

    … we are instructed to offer the reasons for our faith — with gentleness and respect.

    Did you read that, Kathy?

    Nan, that’s my goal believe it or not.. but you all make it really hard sometimes.

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  160. Nate,

    “I’ll put it on my Amazon list, Kathy. It sounds similar to a number of other apologetic books I’ve read as well.

    To balance things out, do you have any intention of reading anything from the opposite point of view?”

    That is only fair.. but again, I would just like a little assurance that it’s objective. One of those books, neither you or anyone else could give a basic idea/ description of how to get something from nothing.. it was pointless to read something when those who had read it couldn’t even give an overview.. and the other, I had asked for examples of what makes that book “the one” but I didn’t get any except for one from Nan I think, and it proved me right.. the bias was evident. I don’t think you gave any examples.. just how to get it for free.

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  161. The point of the bolded “pagan political emperor” is to show that he really didn’t care one way or the other so he came up with a compromise to appease both sides.

    Re: your comment — ” … this IS supported by scripture..” Please provide the chapter(s) and verse(s), Kathy.

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  162. Constantine’s wanted to make a universal religion for the sole purpose of ruling the world. Join together paganism and Christianity to unite them and rule peacefully over them all. That is why you worship on Sunday, and Saint Peter’s basilica has a statute of Jupiter in it. They moved all the pagan idols into churches and labeled them names like Mary and Peter. They changed the worship to Sunday because there was a large population of Sun worshippers.

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  163. This doesn’t mean your religion is wrong Kathy, but you should study the history behind it, because there are problems. The truth is always true, so if you are right there is no reason not to test all things. By the way, what Ryan believes, is very close to what I believe. I’m not your enemy, but neither is anyone else here.

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  164. I can’t keep looking at my phone, because I had a migraine yesterday and it’s not completely gone, but I’ll check back tomorrow. Let me know if I miss anything!

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  165. Limbaugh makes this statement in the video: “It’s so obvious … the glory for the creation and the idea that this just happened spontaneously, I think defies common sense.”

    To me, the idea of a “GOD” defies common sense. Think about it. You can’t see him/her/it/they. You can’t hear him/her/it/they. You can’t touch him/her/it/they. You can’t smell him/her/it/they. The ONLY thing that makes any god (Christian or otherwise) real for anyone is simply a belief that it is so.

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  166. No promises on how long. If my head begins to hurt again (from banging it against the wall), I’ll go back into hiding. 😉

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  167. I took that quiz over at xchristian or whatever website. Was disappointed that by the third question I had figured out that every answer is wrong. It is an excise pointing out discrepancies in scripture.

    Also read the article about Jesus being a manifestation of Christianity and not the other way around. I wasn’t too impressed with it either.

    FWIW

    MATT

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  168. Yes, Nan – I read and bookmarked it – thought about offering it to Kathy, but decided not to waste my time.

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  169. I also found it interesting, Nan, that Paul doesn’t mention the water-into-wine, walking -on-water, feeding 5000, or even the virgin birth. The gospels weren’t written until well after Paul’s time, yet Paul knew Peter and several of the other actual disciples, but somehow the miracle stories didn’t emerge until the gospels were written, well after Paul’s time. The implication is that Paul, Peter, and the other disciples who were acquainted with Paul, seemed to know nothing about the miracles of the gospels. I view that as a pretty strong indictment against the gospel’s miracles.

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  170. That is only fair.. but again, I would just like a little assurance that it’s objective.

    So are you saying that the Limbaugh book is “objective” and “unbiased”?

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  171. Re: your comment — ” … this IS supported by scripture..” Please provide the chapter(s) and verse(s), Kathy.

    Keep asking until she does, Nan – it’s time she started answering our questions or got off the board and quit wasting our time.

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  172. Anaivethinker

    The point of Yahusha’s statement was that they are all “brethren”. Nobody should be called father, rabbi, shepard. There was never supposed to be a church hierarchy. Messiah did not come to establish a new church. Paul set up the Christian church, and demanded wages. He also said the elders are worthy of double honor, which was a reference to money. This was against the teaching of Messiah.

    I don’t know how familiar you are with tithe, but the tithe you pay in church is not found in any scripture except Paul’s. By two our three witnesses shall a matter be confirmed, even according to Paul. The tithe was for the Levites. They received the tithe because they had no inheritance in the land, and we’re responsible for the Israelites spiritual welfare. Their job was to work in the temple. This was their pay.

    Since there is no temple today, we do not pay a tithe. This doesn’t mean we are exempt from feeding the poor or caring for the widow.

    Paul taught a different gospel. Not the gospel messiah taught.

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  173. Kathy, I get the feeling that when you say “objective” you mean “Christian”. Maybe I’m wrong, but you do give of that impression.

    Any time someone has suggested a book for me to read, I read it. It’s only after that that I’m able to determine if it was objective or not. Presumably, those who suggested the book thought it was objective, but that doesn’t mean I would come to the same conclusion.

    When I suggested you read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, it’s because I think he’s being objective. In fact, you should too, since the only source he uses is the bible. You may not agree with him at the end, but it would be hard to say he’s not objective.

    Another book that would be excellent for you to read, either before or after Limbaugh’s, is Bart Ehrman’s Jesus, Interrupted. Ehrman is a highly respected New Testament scholar, and nothing in his book is considered controversial by scholars, though most lay people are unfamiliar with the information it covers. He’s definitely objective.

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  174. The truth is always true, so if you are right there is no reason not to test all things.

    I think she believes, Laurie, that “testing” gives her god the impression that she lacks faith.

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  175. Incidentally, no one in the NT taught about tithes, even Paul. He talked about giving, but not about tithes in particular. Most Christians don’t realize that.

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  176. Be fair arch. Paul didn’t know the messiah, because they never met, and Peter and James were both against Paul.

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  177. Why did you say you were sorry arch?
    Because I got hit in the head?

    Better not apologize or I might think you actually have a soul!😉

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  178. Paul did start what we call tithe today. He said that he deserved wages for their spiritual benefit. Maybe he didn’t give it that title, but he did start it.

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  179. When I suggested you read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, it’s because I think he’s being objective. In fact, you should too, since the only source he uses is the bible.

    Hey Nate, your comment made me think of something.

    the devil only used Scripture as well to try and tempt Jesus. Paine using Scripture doesn’t necessarily validate the position he had…

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  180. Ryan, how do you know the devil used scripture? This is another one of those times when no one was around to hear the “conversation.”

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  181. Nan,

    After Yahusha’s resurrection, it says that he revealed the scriptures to them starting from the beginning.

    When he walked with the apostles there were many times that he would say something, and the apostles were clueless. Sometimes he gave them hints and sometimes not. It seems likely to me that when he was with them after his resurrection, he was explaining all the things that occurred, and why. Did he tell them what the adversary said to him in the wilderness? If you believe the scriptures, then yes. Either way it is speculation on your part to say no, and likewise for me if I choose to say yes.

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  182. Paul didn’t know the messiah, because they never met, and Peter and James were both against Paul.

    Beside the point, Laurie – and we both know I’m nothing, if not fair – the point being that the gospels were written from 72- 100+ CE, yet Paul, Pete and Jimmy mentioned nothing of the virgin birth or any of the miracles. Their being less than bosom buds should have nothing to do with that, it simply means the stories hadn’t been fabricated yet, and clearly weren’t even in oral circulation at the time.

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  183. Why did you say you were sorry arch? Because I got hit in the head?

    Better not apologize or I might think you actually have a soul!

    Laurie! What did I ever do to you, you should insult me like that? First, “jackassery” (which, admittedly, I kinda like), then a SOUL?

    No, while I am sorry you were hit in the head, my apology was for leaving you alone with anaivethinker. But you’re a grown woman, and a very intelligent one at that, so I suspect you’ll do just fine – all I’m saying, is watch for manipulation techniques —

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  184. Why don’t you like apologetics?

    Hi Kathy,

    when I said I wasn’t a fan of apologetics, I mean that in a general sense. I have read quite a few apologetics over the years. And I still don’t have an aversion to them.

    Its just that the apologetics outlined on certain websites seem to be more formatted towards bolstering a position, while in some cases dismantling other positions that disagree with them. Some of these come across as very mechanical to me. I don’t personally find them as interesting or fluid as an open discussion. But that’s more about the nature of specific approaches to apologetics, and not an attack on apologetics as a whole.

    Lets start with a definition of what apologetics is:

    Reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine

    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/apologetics

    I think there is a place for defending convictions. I’m not against that, I think its important. I can understand why apologetics are necessary (1 Peter 3:15).

    However, I also find that in a general sense, anyone who (1) builds up an argument for a premise by (2) selecting specific information and presenting it as a case…. can do so whether they are Christian, Muslim, Deists or Atheists.

    For example, some Muslim apologetics might use a form of the Cosmological argument or the argument from Irreducible complexity to build a case that Allah exists. But Christians would disagree when that Muslim apologist began to use that case to defend his premise that Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger…

    Defending a conviction or premise is what apologetics involves. In this sense there are agnostic and atheist apologists, although they may not self identity to be spreading apologetics. Another point I consider though is that just because someone can build a case well does not mean their founding belief is correct. Some of the most articulate speakers in the world have convinced people to engage in causes that were based on little more than personal ambition. And conversely, even if a point is poorly made, the conviction or premise behind the point can still be true. For this reason I don’t jump onto an atheist bandwagon just because I have read arguments by atheists.

    In other words, my belief in God is not based solely on how well specific individuals can build a case. Because reasoning is a human tool, like logic once learned well, it can be geared towards many different foundational positions. Otherwise, what would happen if someone presented a poorly formulated case for their faith? what if then those unsound points they made were challenged and dismantled by another apologist? Even if that particular apologist was well known and had a Dr. in front of his or her name would not be reason for me to turn away from my faith base on their poorly made points. No mere human is perfect 🙂

    If I based my faith on solely reading the cases made by other people, and such a thing happened, then my faith would be on just the skill (or lack of) of particular apologists rather than God.

    So instead I think its important to read what’s being said or written, rather than how its being presented. Whether its presented poorly or grandly, people who are defending their positions have already made up their mind during that time they are building a case.

    For example, I would be surprised to see on a Bahá’í apologetics website, the acknowledgement that despite what Bahá’u’lláh had written or taught, many different faiths cannot be harmonised due to their distinct differences in core doctrines.

    Hope that make sense. Have a nice day Kathy 🙂

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  185. So if a Christian makes a good point, no matter how they presented it, it seems reasonable for me to identify it to be a good point.

    If an atheist expresses a good point, no matter how they presented it, it seems reasonable for me to identify it to be a good point.

    If a Muslim expresses a good point, no matter how they presented it, it seems reasonable for me to identify it to be a good point.

    Hope that makes sense

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  186. and by “good” point I mean a accurate point in reference to something. I can do this, and still disagree with other points they may have expressed, or even their overall premise they are trying to build.

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  187. A naive thinker,
    After reading your comment again, I missed a couple points.

    In Galatians 2 where Paul supposedly rebukes Peter, this is his excuse for why Barnabas separated from him. It is not however, the excuse given in the book of acts. Notice right before this he calls Peter, James, and John false brethren who seemed to be pillars. The first chapter of the book also contains one of his 6 lies. He says he didn’t go to Jerusalem until three years after his conversion, and that those in Judea only knew him by name.

    Here is desperate in this book to show that he is not the false apostle, they are. Then he curses anyone that teaches another gospel other than his, or another Jesus.

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  188. After Yahusha’s resurrection, it says that he revealed the scriptures to them starting from the beginning
    No speculation required, it the explanation requires magic.

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  189. Laurie: “That’s not really what I said Nan, but point taken.
    Did you see that, Kathy? This is how an intelligent lady debates. You don’t see Laurie screaming “Liberal liars!” and you and I both know that she is exponentially more knowledgeable about the Bible than you will ever be. Take a lesson!

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  190. Hebrews 11:1

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

    Arch,

    In all its forms, whether illusion or not, you can see magic as it is practised, that is one of many distinct differences I think.

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  191. Thanks Arch, I’ll be careful! (Rolling eyes)” – you think you’re rolling your eyes now, just wait til his smarminess starts. He and I have gone more than a few rounds.

    And careful includes not standing under falling tile —

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  192. I also wasn’t intentionally putting atheist in lower case there to be disrespectful 🙂

    I don’t capitalize it either, Portal.

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  193. One more point Arch,

    To me Magic involves tricks,

    Peter Walking on water through faith in God was no trick, since he was not trying to manipulate the waters itself to stay afloat, instead he was trusting rather than conjuring.

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  194. Resurrection requires magic. Walking on water, even in the Dead Sea, requires magic. Virgin births involve magic. Water into wine requires magic. Ain’t no magic.

    Like

  195. In all its forms, whether illusion or not, you can see magic as it is practised, that is one of many distinct differences I think.

    I do not understand what you mean by that sentence. Differences between what and what?

    Like

  196. In all its forms, whether illusion or not, you can see magic as it is practised, that is one of many distinct differences I think.

    Sorry, I don’t think I was clear in that sentence, I’ll try again

    so for example, a man pulls a rabbit from a hat because he has worked to manipulate and set it there. There is little trust involved, at least a trust that pertains to a faith.

    Faith in God is not the same as pulling a rabbit from a hat. They are different, calling them the same thing does not make them so.

    Neither is a belief in fairies, unicorns or any other construct people might use to downplay a persons faith in God.

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  197. To me Magic involves tricks,
    Then that’s where we differ – to me, magic involves breaking physical laws. Brain cells die beyond recovery after six minutes – three days and they’re oatmeal, etc.

    Like

  198. Resurrection to me requires faith.
    Resurrection requires magic – belief in resurrection requires faith.

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  199. Nan,

    “The point of the bolded “pagan political emperor” is to show that he really didn’t care one way or the other so he came up with a compromise to appease both sides. ”

    How does “pagan political emperor” argue that he didn’t care one way or the other?? This shows how badly you lack of objectivity Nan. You make extremely naïve and biased assumptions. Again, you didn’t answer my question… why would he have so many Bishops involved if he wasn’t after the truth?

    “Re: your comment — ” … this IS supported by scripture..” Please provide the chapter(s) and verse(s), Kathy.”

    See Portal’s comment @ 9:39 am yesterday.

    Like

  200. Nan,

    “To me, the idea of a “GOD” defies common sense. Think about it. You can’t see him/her/it/they. You can’t hear him/her/it/they. You can’t touch him/her/it/they. You can’t smell him/her/it/they. The ONLY thing that makes any god (Christian or otherwise) real for anyone is simply a belief that it is so.”

    Same with “love”… And do you ever think that maybe God doesn’t WANT you to have tangible evidence of Him? Seriously Nan… YOU think about it. You are looking from such a narrow perspective.

    Like

  201. Arch,

    ““That is only fair.. but again, I would just like a little assurance that it’s objective.”

    So are you saying that the Limbaugh book is “objective” and “unbiased”?”

    What reason do I have to believe that he’s not being objective? I could find out that he’s
    not fully objective 100% of the time, but even then, I’m pretty sure his measure won’t even compare to that of atheists. This is just based on my experience. I’ll gladly take the chance with David Limbaugh over an atheist… the odds are much much better.

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  202. Nate,

    “Any time someone has suggested a book for me to read, I read it.
    It’s only after that that I’m able to determine if it was objective or not. Presumably, those who suggested the book thought it was objective, but that doesn’t mean I would come to the same conclusion.
    When I suggested you read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, it’s because I think he’s being objective. In fact, you should too, since the only source he uses is the bible. You may not agree with him at the end, but it would be hard to say he’s not objective.”

    Nate, I honestly dont’ want to waste the time to read a book that I feel is biased, as it is, I’ll probably attempt to read the book just to resolve the issue and because you were so willing to read my recommendation.

    But, you say you believe Paine is objective because he uses the Bible as his source.. and THAT makes me question your judgment.. because there is such disagreement about what the Bible is stating.. about the correct context. So, if he is using the Bible, my question would be if he’s applying HIS “context” or THE context.. just as I question your interpretations.

    As for the book suggestion about how we can get something from nothing.. that no one has been able to give even a hint about how exactly that works… those who’ve actually read the book.. that one I definitely won’t waste my time with.

    If you can give me links to excerpts to his book and also Ehrman’s .. I’ll read those.

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  203. Portal,
    Thanks for your answer.. certainly apologetics come with bias.. but if you have your “bias, lack of objectivity, radar” on, then you can discern which information or opinions are objective. But I do see what you mean.. thanks again.. and I really liked your comments from yesterday, I referred Nan back to them today.. You can’t help but hope something will click with these guys.. 🙂

    Like

  204. Kathy,

    That is only fair.. but again, I would just like a little assurance that it’s objective.

    Don’t you think you’d be more likely to discern truth if you treated sources from all sides of an issue with skepticism, to counter-act potential biases?

    Like

  205. @Kathy,

    you said,

    “That is only fair.. but again, I would just like a little assurance that it’s objective. One of those books, neither you or anyone else could give a basic idea/ description of how to get something from nothing.. it was pointless to read something when those who had read it couldn’t even give an overview.. and the other, I had asked for examples of what makes that book “the one” but I didn’t get any except for one from Nan I think, and it proved me right.. the bias was evident. I don’t think you gave any examples.. just how to get it for free.” – kathy

    I think the age of reason is mostly objective, although i also think some of his issues were maybe a stretch – but I find much of apologetics to be a stretch – as well as the majority of what you say… but he does make solid points. If you remain unconvinced by Paine, then that’s okay – it was not a waste for you.

    By reading it you would have come to better understanding of some of the issues and you’ll be better able to address those points if anyone ever brings them up around you.

    After listing to much of Limbaugh, i dont think he’s objective and I find him incredible biased, but I will also put his book on my list. I may not care for the man, but that doesnt mean that he doesnt make good points in his book, and how could I say he doesnt if i dont read it?

    But is this book you suggested “the one?” By placing such restrictions and qualifications on a book before you read it actually screams biased and dishonest. You’re judging a book based upon a review – a review that has said the book was good… It looks like you’re trying to fond reasons to not read it.

    Then dont if you dont want to, but without reading it, you cant speak intelligently or honestly on its contents. It’s a short read – just read it if you want to know its value.

    and something from nothing? I think we’ve covered this, but i’ll do it again and request that you address or acknowledge each of these;

    first, i dont know and i dont know that something came from nothing.

    second, if our very existence means we had a creator, then why doesnt god’s existence mean he had a creator?

    and third, if an exception can be made for god, in that he doesnt need a creator, then isnt that really saying that “existence” doesnt necessarily imply a creator?

    fourth, If god was the creator and was not created, did he create jesus and the spirit or were they always around too? If they were also always there and were not created, then how is god the father superior and how does he know things jesus does not? can you answer these?

    and finally, if god was the creator and if you could prove that he didnt have a creator, you’d still have to show how your god is that creator and the bible is his book…

    you havent done this yet, you havent shown any of that, so then how can you criticize anyone else for not explaining how “something came from nothing?”

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  206. “I honestly dont’ want to waste the time to read a book that I feel is biased” – kathy

    no one does, but to make such a judgement (say a book is biased) before you’ve read the thing may mean that you’re biased.

    and you’re right about context. It’s important to get the context right. And when criticizing someone for taking something out of context, it’s best to show them they’re wrong by providing the correct context.

    whouldnt you agree?

    Like

  207. “You make extremely naïve and biased assumptions” – kathy

    yeah, it’s best not to do that…. or criticizes others for doing what you’re guilty of…

    Like

  208. the devil only used Scripture as well to try and tempt Jesus. Paine using Scripture doesn’t necessarily validate the position he had…

    I have some questions about this. Anyone jump in here with an answer, it’s not necessarily just for Ryan.

    Jesus was the god-man, right? He, according to the scriptures themselves, was intimately familiar with scripture. In fact, he was the incarnation of scripture – the word made flesh. If in his earthly ministry he was aware that he was the I AM, how could the devil tempt Jesus with scripture? Could Jesus, in his perfection, while possibly subject to temptation, really be fooled by promises he knew couldn’t be delivered? Those “gifts” that Satan supposedly promised Jesus weren’t even Satan’s to give. Wouldn’t Jesus have been all too aware of that? Making temptation impossible?

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  209. @Portal,

    you said,

    “Faith in God is not the same as pulling a rabbit from a hat. They are different, calling them the same thing does not make them so.

    Neither is a belief in fairies, unicorns or any other construct people might use to downplay a persons faith in God.”

    I can get why you said that, but why is it the case that they’re not the same?

    is it because you see god as real and the others as false or pretend?

    Now, is your faith in the god the same as your faith in your father or mother? Or as in other loved ones, etc?

    Which relationship is more tangible?

    Could someone have just as much a relationship with Anne Frank and one could with Jesus?

    And some people believe in magic and fictitious creatures, how is their faith in those things less that someone else’s faith in a god or gods?

    Like

  210. Ruth, I agree, i always thought that those “temptations” were pretty easy… Plus, jesus knew what was up. His “faith” couldnt be the same as ours, since he had first hand knowledge of god and heaven and hell, etc… He knew…

    but, a believer believes the bible… it says he was tempted, then by god (uhh, the devil) he was tempted.

    Of course if people present this question because of nate’s comment regarding Thomas Paine’s objectivity, then maybe they’ll be more satisfied to know that thomas paine tries to refute the bible with the bible. IN Volume 2 of his age of reason, he uses lots of scripture – certainly that would be a more objective approach than simply saying , “but nuh-uh.”

    and again, no one can comment honestly on the age of reason until they’ve read it.

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  211. ..and again, no one can comment honestly on the age of reason until they’ve read it.

    Oh, no, I totally agree. And it’s a free download. So even if you didn’t read the whole thing, it doesn’t cost anything to download it and read a bit of it to see whether it’s worth one’s time or not.

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  212. Yesterday morning was SO Kathy-Free – what a difference a day makes – 24 little hours —

    See Portal’s comment @ 9:39 am yesterday.
    See what she did there Nan? Instead of employing a little courtesy, and answering your question, she wants to make you go back and search out Portal’s comment, if you want the answer.

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  213. And do you ever think that maybe God doesn’t WANT you to have tangible evidence of Him?
    And yet you say he expects love and obedience – one definition of insanity, is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result next time. He should have learned his strategy doesn’t work, when he decided to drown everybody in his fictitious flood, but noooooooo —

    Do you even listen to yourself, Kathy?

    Like

  214. I’ll gladly take the chance with David Limbaugh over an atheist… the odds are much much better.
    You’ve already demonstrated your lack of math skills, with your 50/50 comments – don’t embarrass yourself further.

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  215. my question would be if he’s applying HIS ‘context’ or THE context..
    Ah, so now Kathy posses THE context!

    Words that Kathy Doesn’t Understand

    1. Objectivity
    2. Proof
    3. Fact
    4. Evidence
    5. Compelling
    6. Debate
    7. Truth
    8. Hearsay
    9. Analogy
    10. Obfuscate
    11. Logical
    12. Context
    13. Circular Reasoning
    14. Bias

    And so the list grows like Pinocchio’s nose —

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  216. Ron, I’ll have to ponder that. I believe devil did evolve in the NT from the OT, but his role in the garden of eden makes me think that perhaps he was more than just god’s agent, but maybe even adversary… however, is there any OT passage that says the serpent was the devil?

    I guess Gen 3 could be merely a fable to explain why snakes don’t have legs and explain why snakes and people have always been at odds – which is what i believe now anyways…

    And I guess most ofmy understanding of satan was from the NT… much like heaven and hell.

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  217. Ron,

    In Hebrew, “Satan” means accuser or adversary. Judaism views Satan as an agent of God—i.e. Satan works for God.

    http://www.whatjewsbelieve.org/explanation7.html

    This video explains how Satan was transformed into Christianity’s current conception of the devil.

    I get that, but still, how would anything that was offered be tempting to someone who already knew their place in eternity? As creator/owner/co-owner of it all from the beginning how would anything that was offered be tempting?

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  218. Kathy,

    I also think you should read “The Age of Reason”, but not because I hope you’ll change your mind, because I think every believer should be able to make a defense for what they believe. You don’t have to have all the answers. People who believe in evolution don’t have all the answers, but they have enough to feel confident that time will prove them right. Elias Boudinot wrote a book called “The Age of Revelation” to counter Paine, and it is also worth a read. I’m sure you won’t agree 100% with either one, but it will certainly help you to make a defense for what you believe.

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  219. Karhy, I asked YOU to provide chapter (s) and verse (s). I did not ask anything of Portal so whatever he posts does not answer my request.

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  220. AMEN, Laurie! No matter what a person believes, whether in politics, religion, or whatever, they should be able to provide a solid defense for their beliefs. This includes being able to provide facts and evidence obtained from researching a wide variety of resources.

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  221. William, so-called “satan” does not exist and never has. Laurie talked about the OT ha-satan awhile back and I also discuss it at length in my book. This “being” was an invention of the apocalyptic writers and was later absorbed into Christianity.

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  222. @William

    Genesis 3:1 doesn’t mention Satan. It only states that the serpent was the craftiest animal (“chay” – living thing, animal) God had made.

    @Ruth

    I can’t answer your question, because even scholars can’t agree on an interpretation of the text. I just wanted to clarify that the Satan of the gospels is not the same entity as the Satan of the OT.

    @Laurie

    Evolution is not a belief. It is an undeniable fact of life.

    Evolution: The change in genetic composition of a population over successive generations, which may be caused by natural selection, inbreeding, hybridization, or mutation. (Source)

    Or as Evolution 101 explains it:

    “Biological evolution, simply put, is descent with modification. This definition encompasses small-scale evolution (changes in gene frequency in a population from one generation to the next) and large-scale evolution (the descent of different species from a common ancestor over many generations).”

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  223. As creator/owner/co-owner of it all from the beginning how would anything that was offered be tempting
    Still more evidence that the Trinity is a bogus concept.

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  224. Kathy,

    I also think you should read “The Age of Reason”
    But Laurie, she’s not finished with “Dick and Jane” —

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  225. and i guess satan in Job is presented as a son of god, and someone who works under the authority of god… it was god afterall, according to Job, who authorized satan to interact with inflict Job…

    the devil and satan is just a subject i never thought too much about.

    the devil is in the details It seems

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  226. so-called “satan” does not exist and never has
    Think of any book, movie, or TV show – it has a protagonist, and an antagonist – anything without those two elements, is a documentary.

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  227. Kathy, you really make things difficult at times because you simply refuse to see or consider ANYTHING outside of your biased viewpoint. Just about every person that has contributed to this blog posting has had experience with Christianity and can speak with authority about the various doctrines. Why? Because they not only studied them, but many LIVED them as well! As a result, while they may no longer be believers, they have the knowledge and background to look at both sides of the issues. You, on the other hand, REFUSE to consider anything outside of what you have been taught since becoming a Christian. This has been pointed out to you a number of times, yet you continue to call these individuals “unobjective,” “biased,” “unwilling to consider evidence“, etc., etc., etc.
    ___________________________________

    Example: Did you even read Laurie’s post about Constantine? “Constantine wanted to make a universal religion for the sole purpose of ruling the world. Join together paganism and Christianity to unite them and rule peacefully over them all.” Laurie is simply pointing out verified history. So, to answer your question, it was HIS doing, not the 300 bishops.

    Now let me ask you a question: do you even know WHY the Council of Nicea was held? Are you aware that this council, who met 365 years after Jesus was around, made arbitrary decisions about Christianity that were never addressed in scripture?

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  228. William, you made an interesting point with this statement:

    if an exception can be made for god, in that he doesnt need a creator, then isnt that really saying that “existence” doesnt necessarily imply a creator?

    We can go one step further and turn this into a simple argument:

    1. It is possible for something to exist which does not have a creator.
    2. The universe exists.
    3. It is possible that the universe does not have a creator.

    If a theist tries to argue against (1) they will inadvertently be arguing against their own position. I don’t think anyone disagrees with (2). Therefore, (3).

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  229. Ron, I know I don’t need to tell you this, but Christians don’t deny microevolution. They deny macro evolution, because the scriptures say that an animal produces after its own kind. This means that while you can get a tea cup poodle, and a Great Dane within the same species, you can’t get an elephant from a whale. The theory of evolution is not a fact at this point in history, and neither is the bible.

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  230. One more thing. You wrote “You are looking from such a narrow perspective.” I think nearly everyone involved in these discussions would say the same about you.

    Kathy, like others, I think you are probably a very nice person (even though you often say things that defy this), and I’m not trying to be mean or nasty. But when you throw out some of the statements you do, it’s very difficult not to respond in kind.

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  231. Laurie, even evolution agrees that every animal “produces after its own kind.” It’s only when you compare animals that are many, many generations removed from one another that you might be able to determine a difference in species. In other words, micro-evolution and macro-evolution are the same thing.

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  232. Thanks Nan! But in case you haven’t noticed, Kathy has been ignoring me. She has not responded to anything I have said.

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  233. the devil is in the details It seems” ~William

    Indeed!

    “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” 1 Chronicles 21:1

    “Again the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go and take a census of Israel and Judah.'” 2 Samuel 24:1

    “I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil; I, the Lord, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7

    The scriptures also inform us that God sends out evil spirits. (Judges 9:23; 1 Sam. 16:14;1 Sam. 18:10; 1 Sam. 19:9)

    Which perfectly explains the problem of evil: if God is responsible for creating everything that exists (as most Christians like to maintain), then God is ultimately responsible for creating evil.

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  234. “,em>Now let me ask you a question: do you even know WHY the Council of Nicea was held?”
    While you’re at it, Nan – ask her if she has any idea how close the concept of the Trinity came from being voted down – it would have been interesting to see where Christianity would have gone from THERE.

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  235. It’s not the same thing Nate. You believe we came from monkeys, and I believe we were created as humans. I believe monkeys were always monkeys, and are still monkeys.

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  236. Laurie,

    Even the bible supports large-scale evolution evolution, because according to the Genesis account, the bird “kind” had already evolved into ravens and doves by the time Noah’s ark settled on solid ground. 😀

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  237. @Laurie: we have so many points of divergence that it would be difficult to do all of them justice in a forum like this. But, overall I take it you are anti-Paul. Do you mind if I ask you what are your religious views? What is the most troubling aspect of Paul in your opinion? What list of items, if they were changed, would you be willing to say “Yes, Paul was a legitimate apostle of Jesus”? Out of these, which one is the best evidenced, that even a squirmy postmodern could not escape its persuasiveness? If you want to do this, I will give my best evidenced argument that we should accept Paul. 🙂

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  238. 1. It is possible for something to exist which does not have a creator.
    2. The universe exists.
    3. It is possible that the universe does not have a creator.

    I LIKE it, Dave – Kathy, your serve —

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  239. There was a point in my life where I could have held an intelligent conversation on this subject, but that was years ago. I have not kept up on recent studies, and don’t really enjoy the topic like I once did. So this is not something I’ll try to debate with you. If I ever get bored with my bible, this will be at the top of my list again.

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  240. you can’t get an elephant from a whale
    No, Laurie, you can’t – but you CAN get a whale from an elephant-like creature that spent so much of its time in the water, where it was easier to manipulate its bulk, that its feet eventually evolved into flippers, and it’s nostrils evolved to move to the top of its head.

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  241. A naive thinker,

    Do you have another name that I can call you for short? Its okay to say no.

    I follow Judaism, but I do believe Yahusha was The anointed one.

    Prophecy is what makes me certain. Paul’s misuse of scripture is also very high on the list. Unfortunately if you don’t study the “old testament” (which is a horrible title, by the way) or Tanakh, and try to understand it from a hebrew perspective, than this would be a very difficult subject to debate.

    I believe there is plenty of evidence against him, with nothing more than the second witness (new testament).

    The issue of meat sacrificed to idols is huge.

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  242. I believe monkeys were always monkeys, and are still monkeys.
    Oh come on, Laurie – even with that crack on the head, you’re more intelligent than that! NObody, except Fundies, believes that we think we came from monkeys. We are apes, cousins of the gorilla, orangutan, chimpanzee and the bonobo, with chimps and bonobos being much closer cousins than any of the other three.

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  243. because he with the power makes the rules, arch.

    The god of the bible is a “do as i say, not as i do,” kind of god.

    He is said to be jealous, but also says that jealousy is a sin.

    He kills people’s babies as punishment to the parents, but he wouldn’t approve if you did that.

    he wants constant attention, adoration, praise and recognition, but commands that all men be humble, quiet and hardworking.

    the list goes on, but ultimately, since god has the power, he makes the rules – not because he’s righteous, but because he’s powerful. So powerful that he can call himself righteous without actually having to be righteous – and if you disagree? he’ll kill you for ever in fire.

    … at least, that’s the rumor.

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  244. Thanks mensa! You’re always there when I need you! Only NOT!
    Just callin’ it like i see it, Sweetness – Smoochies –!

    Re “naivethinker” – his name is Brandon, or as I like to call him, Sir Smarmsalot.

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  245. On the topic of evolution…

    It took me a lot longer to understand evolution than it did for me to understand the arguments against the Bible. After deconverting from Christianity I did not automatically switch to accept evolution, but instead clung to deism with special creation. When you’ve spent your entire life believing we were specially created a few thousand years ago and have never taken a serious look at evolution.. well, it’s difficult to think differently.

    I think the first step was coming to grips with how long the earth and the universe have been here. There is a lot of evidence for an old earth from different fields such as the geological layers, radiometric dating, ice core dating, distant starlight and others. However, these are not simple things to fully understand and it takes a lot of work. I now have a pretty good idea of how radiometric dating works and how astronomers measure the distance to stars and galaxies.

    Once an old age for the earth is established it now makes evolution possible from a time consideration. I then read books about evolution and tried to understand DNA mutations and how new information could arise. The idea of natural selection is really very simple to understand (survival of the fittest) and this has been explained pretty well in books, on youtube and other places. What makes evolution a plausible theory is the evidence from DNA comparisons, vestigial organs, the fossil record (simple to complex) and the geographic distribution of species. All of these topics require careful reading to understand.

    I can now say that I accept evolution as a valid theory that is backed up by evidence. I can no longer dismiss it as I once did simply because I did not understand it. All that said, I still have questions and doubts about evolution. I think we all make the mistake of overstating our case and pretending something should be “obvious”. Evolution is not obvious and requires a lot of research.

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  246. And you arch? Or do you prefer being called a cranky old bird?

    cranky old intermediary species…

    Thank you, William – but to both of you – what, cranky??!!

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  247. @Laurie: I go by Brandon on here, Arch is correct. 🙂 That’s great that you have adopted Judaism and still think Yahusha was the Messiah, I can appreciate your position. Can you explain your issue with meat sacrificed to idols? Also, what is Paul’s single worst misuse of the Tanakh?

    One of the main reasons I’m a Christian is because of Paul’s witness. I reconverted from basically being atheist, so Paul is important to me. On an objective level though, I think it’s difficult to separate Yahusha from Paul. Paul claims to have seen him after the resurrection and was sent by him specifically to preach the gospel. He claims to be an apostle of Christ which in the Greek means one who was sent. The author of Luke-Acts, who was very pro-Temple, also records Paul’s conversion and being sent. So, this author is a carefully-thought Jew who accepted Paul. In addition to the author of Acts accepting Paul, if you accept that Peter wrote the epistles attributed to him, Peter who walked alongside Yahusha also accepted Paul. All of this makes it difficult to accept Yahusha without cutting off a huge about of the “New Testament” including Luke-Acts and the epistles of Peter.

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  248. Brandon, you and I have never “met,” but I have to say you are soooo wrong about Paul. I don’t believe entirely the same as Laurie, but we do see eye-to-eye on his position in the NT. I could go point-by-point of what you have written (as I’m sure she could as well) and show you most of it is “church teachings,” i.e., traditional beliefs.In actuality, Paul was nothing like what Christians believe about him.

    You said it yourself — All of this makes it difficult to accept Yahusha without cutting off a huge *amount* of the “New Testament” …

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  249. Come on arch! What’s your real name? – What’s the Lone Ranger’s name, Lone? “What’s in a name?”

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  250. The author of Luke-Acts, who was very pro-Temple, also records Paul’s conversion and being sent. So, this author is a carefully-thought Jew who accepted Paul.
    Apparently, Brandon, you’re unfamiliar with the the conclusions of the Acts Seminar – do your homework. Stay in school. Don’t do drugs.

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  251. @Nan: what parts of Paul have I gotten wrong? Hit me with your best argument against Paul.

    @Laurie: I have no denomination. When I reconverted I started from scratch and was willing to flush every single doctrine if I found no good reason to accept it. So, my view diverges at some point from pretty much all mainstream denominations and church leaders.

    @Arch: Ha. 🙂

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  252. Brandon, you and I have never ‘met,'</em" – just look up sycophant, Nan, and you’ll know all you need to know.

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  253. William,

    “By reading it you would have come to better understanding of some of the issues and you’ll be better able to address those points if anyone ever brings them up around you.”

    I already understand the issues William. I’ve given points on “the issues”.. right here.. and no one has been able to argue my points successfully. Anything I don’t know I look up.. and then I respond. There’s nothing else I “need” to do, I’ve already successfully argued my points.

    “After listing to much of Limbaugh, i dont think he’s objective and I find him incredible biased, but I will also put his book on my list. I may not care for the man, but that doesnt mean that he doesnt make good points in his book, and how could I say he doesnt if i dont read it?”

    Bring up the specific reasons you believe he’s biased.. I’d like to know what you base that belief on.. I HAVE given my reasons for why I believe objectivity is lacking in the books recommended to me. Did you or anyone notice that I’ve gotten no argument to my point about Nate’s claim that his book recommendation is objective.. “because Paine bases his arguments ‘on’ the Bible”? I’m almost positive that that’s a “selling” point that Paine himself put in his book, on the back cover I’m guessing, and that Nate is just repeating it.. but again, HERE’S the problem.. there is disagreement IN the Bible.. over context and meaning. So, that right there makes Paine’s and Nate’s claim absurd and supports my belief that reading Paine’s book would be a waste of time. He and Nate can’t even be objective about the claim of objectivity!

    Like you, I agree.. there *might* be a few good points in his book.. and that’s why I’ve ASKED for examples.. which I still haven’t gotten.. and now I can add that I’ve gotten no argument to my valid point that the clam of using the Bible as the “proof” of objectivity is a giant fail.

    I don’t know what else I can do.. I’ve asked for excerpts, examples, links.. but all I get is accusations while giving me nothing to back up your claims about the book. It’s ridiculous. Anyone applying OBJECTIVITY could easily understand my reasoning here. No one wants to waste time being indoctrinated.

    Like

  254. Kathy,

    I’m not sure what points you proved. Are we talking about things from the first Kathy thread, because I didn’t read that one, and maybe I should. Did you address something recently that you feel has not been discussed?

    Like

  255. Anything I don’t know I look up..(from apologetic websites that confirm my beliefs) and then I respond.

    No one wants to waste time being indoctrinated.” – and yet, you spent your youth doing exactly that.

    Like

  256. Brandon, first off, Paul never met/knew Jesus. Secondly, he did not see Jesus after his resurrection — he heard a disembodied voice that told him … what?

    He was not an apostle. In fact, he separated himself from those who (supposedly) were the companions of Jesus (see Galatians) and preached a “gospel” based on the Mystery religions in order to win over the gentiles. Paul’s teachings were not Yeshua’ s teachings. As John Shelby Spong said, “Paul’s words are not the Words of God. They are the words of Paul — a vast difference.”

    There’s so much more but that will have to suffice.

    Like

  257. Come on arch, you never believed anything I said anyways, your just trying to get a rise out of me! My real name is Laurie, for what it’s worth. What’s in a name, 6 letters and 4 vowels in mine! 😉

    Like

  258. Come on arch, you never believed anything I said anyways” – Are you KIDDING? I hang on your every word! You are the voice of theist reason, assuming that’s not an oxymoron. And now I have a choice as to which lie to believe – SAY it isn’t so!

    you(‘)r(e) just trying to get a rise out of me!” – Moi? Now would I do that to you?

    Like

  259. Hi Ruth and William, apologies for the delay in responding 🙂

    Ruth,

    how could the devil tempt Jesus with scripture?

    Could Jesus, in his perfection, while possibly subject to temptation, really be fooled by promises he knew couldn’t be delivered?

    Those “gifts” that Satan supposedly promised Jesus weren’t even Satan’s to give. Wouldn’t Jesus have been all too aware of that? Making temptation impossible?

    My understanding is that not long after Jesus was Baptised:

    Matthew 3:16-

    And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

    After He was then tempted in a number of ways.

    “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matt. 4:1, cf. also Luke 4:1).

    I found parts of this overview helpful.

    https://bible.org/seriespage/baptism-and-temptation-messiah

    I’ve added my own thoughts to it though, and cut its length.

    The First Temptation

    (1) The proposition. Satan’s first line of attack concerns the hunger which Jesus experienced due to His 40-day fast:

    “And the tempter came and said to Him, ‘If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’ But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’” (Matt. 4:3-4).

    (2) The premise. Satan’s suggestion was based on several erroneous premises or presuppositions.

    First, a God Who is good would not deprive one of His creatures. Doing without food cannot be the will of God.

    (3) If Jesus had done what the devil had asked, then He could never have spoken on the subject of discipleship and self-denial (as He so often did cf. Matthew 10:31-39; Luke 9:23, 57-62) unless He Himself had experienced it.

    The Second Temptation

    (1) The Proposition. Having failed in the first recorded effort, Satan moved to an alternate approach:

    Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he stood Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You; and in their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shalt not tempt the Lord your God’” (Matt. 4:5-7).

    This was a very subtle challenge for Jerusalem was the sacred city, and the temple was the center of Israel’s religious life. Furthermore, the Old Testament prophecies anticipated Messiah’s public presentation at the temple (Mal. 3:1). Besides this, there was a rabbinic tradition that Messiah would reveal Himself from the roof of the temple. As a rule, the Jews expected Messiah to be introduced in some kind of blaze of glory, and a spectacular leap and miraculous deliverance would precisely fill the bill.

    (2) The Premise. Satan’s presupposition in this challenge was that God’s faithfulness is best demonstrated by the spectacular. In addition, there is the implicit assumption that one’s trustworthiness should be put to the test. If God was the Father of our Lord Jesus, let Him prove it, and in such an unusual way that no one could miss it.

    The 91st Psalm which Satan quoted from speaks of the quiet confidence which the child of God possesses. But divine protection does not encourage presumption. Christ’s reply again from the book of Deuteronomy is that, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Deut. 6:16).

    The Third Temptation

    (1) The Lord has so frustrated Satan that all masks and facades have been torn away. It is here we see Satan at his worst. The proposal was simple and straight-forward:

    Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the Kingdoms of the world, and their glory; and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if you fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only” (Matt. 4:8-10).

    (2) The Premise. In offering our Lord the kingdom of the world, Satan proposes to exchange that which was his most valued possession for that which he most diligently aspired, the worship of God Himself. The proposal: Give up your kingdom for mine, the future for the present, with only the bow of the knee. Satan had desired to be ‘like the most high’ (Isaiah 14:12-14), to exercise the prerogatives and privileges of God. To receive homage from Messiah would be worth any price.

    Points:

    (1) The temptation is not evil in and of itself. Jesus was ‘Spirit led’ to be tempted. What Satan meant as a temptation, God used to reveal The character of God.

    (2) The temptation of Christ proved Him qualified for His work on the cross. Only a sinless, spotless ‘Lamb of God’ could take upon Himself the sin of the world. Christ’s sinlessness stood out when tempted by the master deceiver.

    (3) The temptation prepared Him to be a merciful High Priest.

    “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

    Christ’s temptation ‘in every point as we are’ enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest (cf. also Hebrews 2:17-18). While His temptation proved Him sinless, it made Jesus sensitive to our weaknesses. Understanding is gained through experience. This was a severe experience.

    Hebrews 4:15-

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    William,

    I can get why you said that, but why is it the case that they’re not the same?

    is it because you see god as real and the others as false or pretend?

    Yes, otherwise I wouldn’t be a monotheist 🙂

    Now, is your faith in the god the same as your faith in your father or mother? Or as in other loved ones, etc?

    I don’t think so, because my friends, family and neighbours interact with me in different ways to how I have experienced God interacting in my life.

    Which relationship is more tangible?

    To me they are different interactions.

    Could someone have just as much a relationship with Anne Frank and one could with Jesus?

    I don’t think so, I haven’t at least had the same interactions with Anne Frank

    And some people believe in magic and fictitious creatures, how is their faith in those things less that someone else’s faith in a god or gods?

    I don’t really know if faith can be measured, people have faith in all sorts of things. I’m also not sure if there are different kinds of faith, or that the same faith is directed at different things. I don’t know, Its less to me because I don’t think belief in big foot or unicorns is reasonable.

    Thanks guys 🙂

    Like

  260. Laurie,

    Thanks for mentioning The Age of Revelation. I’ve been listening to Paine’s Age of Reason, but was unaware of the rebuttal.

    I read an excerpt of “Age of Revelation” (elsewhere online), and TBH, it seemed like a lot of prattle to me.

    I think it would be difficult to convince me that there is any truth to Christian claims without demonstrating Bible prophecies as being specific, clear, and fulfilled. I think Paine has some pretty solid arguments against them in Reason. Does Boudinot address these prophecies and Paine’s points somewhere in Revelation? If so, I’d like to jump straight to that place. (The table of contents in the link I gave above is not topically informative.)

    Like

  261. Laurie,

    “Kathy,

    I’m not sure what points you proved. Are we talking about things from the first Kathy thread, because I didn’t read that one, and maybe I should. Did you address something recently that you feel has not been discussed?”

    Laurie, just bring up the points that you feel prove me wrong.. and we can debate them.

    Like

  262. Brandon,

    Messiah warned frequently during his ministry, that false prophets would come after him. He warned of Pharisees, ravenous wolves, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and herodians. Paul was a Pharisee. The ravenous wolf is a reference to genesis 49 and the Benjamite wolf prophecy (which scholars agree was about Paul). A wolf in sheep’s clothing is someone that appears to be serving YHWH, but is not. Paul called the herodians kinsman.

    Messiah warned that if anyone claimed to see him in the desert (Damascus) or wilderness (Damascus) not to follow them. Paul claimed exactly that. He saw a blinding light, which is a reference to Lucifer. And his eyes were covered in scales ( like a serpent).

    He also said there were only twelve apostles, and warned in revelations 2 about false apostles in Ephesus. These apostles were teaching to eat meat sacrificed to idols, they were liars , and he likened them to balaam. Have you read the story of balaam? It is a parallel to Paul’s conversion story. Paul also lied several times in the New Testament writings.

    YHWH said in Deuteronomy 13:1-5 that he would send a false prophet to test his people and see if they would keep his commandment.

    Read the word of Yahusha, and then read the words of Paul. Messiah didn’t abolish the law, if he did, he would be a false prophet according to Torah. Paul tried to do away with the law. Deuteronomy 4 also says if you add to, or take away from the Torah, you are a false prophet. Paul did both of these things, when he said circumcision was no longer relevant, and a woman had to cover her head. Further more, he said a man with long hair shames God. This is not correct.

    He misquoted Torah at least 50% of the time. They are all bad, but Romans 3:10-18 and Ephesians 4:8 are the ones that i remember right now. Oh, and Romans 9 where he makes people believe that YHWH hated Esau before he was born, and that Abraham was righteous by faith (Genesis 15). Also that Sarah was given a son because she had faith. That one is a blatant lie. She laughed in disbelief when she heard, and then she lied about it. YHWH told Isaac his father was righteous because he kept his commandments in genesis 26.

    Sorry for rambling, hopefully some of that made sense.

    Like

  263. Just a side note as well regarding this:

    (1) The temptation is not evil in and of itself. Jesus was ‘Spirit led’ to be tempted. What Satan meant as a temptation, God used to reveal The character of God.

    when I included Jesus was ‘Spirit led’ I intended that to highlight *Spirit led* not for it to be in quotation marks. Just to clear up any risk of confusion 🙂

    Like

  264. Kathy,
    Laurie, just bring up the points that you feel prove me wrong.. and we can debate them.

    Prove you wrong about about what?

    Like

  265. William, cont..

    “and something from nothing? I think we’ve covered this, but i’ll do it again and request that you address or acknowledge each of these;”

    William, I shall fulfill your request..

    “first, i dont know and i dont know that something came from nothing.”

    I don’t know what you are trying to say here.. and I don’t know.

    “second, if our very existence means we had a creator, then why doesnt god’s existence mean he had a creator?”

    Good question.. when you have a reasonable/ logical answer please share it.

    “and third, if an exception can be made for god, in that he doesnt need a creator, then isnt that really saying that “existence” doesnt necessarily imply a creator?”

    Yes, it is saying that no Creator is a possibility also. My point is that reason and evidence don’t favor this possibility.

    “fourth, If god was the creator and was not created, did he create jesus and the spirit or were they always around too? If they were also always there and were not created, then how is god the father superior and how does he know things jesus does not? can you answer these?”

    I don’t have the specific answers to these questions.. I believe Jesus does know all that the Father knows and that the Trinity always existed.

    “and finally, if god was the creator and if you could prove that he didnt have a creator, you’d still have to show how your god is that creator and the bible is his book…”

    I don’t have to show it William… the compelling evidence is already out there.. for anyone to read and accept.. OR give a more reasonable explanation, which, I’ll just point out yet again, no one has.

    “you havent done this yet, you havent shown any of that, so then how can you criticize anyone else for not explaining how “something came from nothing?”

    Yes, I have. I’ve pointed out the compelling evidence many times now.

    Like

  266. Hmm… I’m sure that isn’t going to make sense to you Brandon. I’m sorry, I’m so tired, and am becoming incoherent. Scratch that, and I’ll try to answer all your questions tomorrow!

    Like

  267. Yes, I have. I’ve pointed out the compelling evidence many times now.” – no, you haven’t Kathy, and you haven’t expressed your explanation for this, either:

    1. It is possible for something to exist which does not have a creator.
    2. The universe exists.
    3. It is possible that the universe does not have a creator.”

    Like

  268. Arch,

    What are you talking about? My 50/50 odds acknowledge the possibility. Although those are the odds for an atheist.. for those who process evidence objectively, believers, the odds go way up for the possibility of a Creator.

    Like

  269. …for those who process evidence objectively, believers…” – Oh, Kathy, ANOTHER oxymoron? “Objective believers?” REALLY?

    Like

  270. …or whatever you REAL name is!” – Well, we sure don’t know whether yours is Laurie or not! I can’t believe I was about to hack off half a pound of foreskin, just on your say-so, you presented your case so well —

    Like

  271. I think that if everyone on the board were to be completely candid with you Kathy, they would admit that they are tired of playing your cat and mouse games.

    You answer only the questions you want to answer, and those with bias and total lack of objectivity, both qualities you claim to prize so highly, and ignore the ones you haven’t answers for.

    You ask questions that many of us answer, which you later swear we haven’t. I’m almost running out of words to describe you and your unprofessional “debating” attempts.

    We have grown-up theists here now, who know how to intelligently discuss, as well as debate. If I thought it would do any good, I’d almost suggest you leave for a bit, get a brain transplant, then come back and see us. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time – and ours.

    Like

  272. Laurie

    September 10, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    “It’s not the same thing Nate. You believe we came from monkeys, and I believe we were created as humans. I believe monkeys were always monkeys, and are still monkeys.”

    We agree on this Laurie! The idea that we evolved from pond scum is truly comical. Yet atheists choose to believe that over a Creator. David Limbaugh was right when he said that it
    takes more faith to believe in existence as an accident than to believe in a Creator.

    Like

  273. Laurie,

    “Kathy,

    I also think you should read “The Age of Reason”, but not because I hope you’ll change your mind, because I think every believer should be able to make a defense for what they believe. You don’t have to have all the answers. People who believe in evolution don’t have all the answers, but they have enough to feel confident that time will prove them right. Elias Boudinot wrote a book called “The Age of Revelation” to counter Paine, and it is also worth a read. I’m sure you won’t agree 100% with either one, but it will certainly help you to make a defense for what you believe.”

    Laurie, I do have a defense for what I believe.. I’ve given it on every one of these posts.
    I’ve been begging them to put forth some of his arguments/ reasoning.. no one has so far.
    I believe this way is even better than me reading the book myself.. they can select what they feel are the best points of the book and present them to me.. I don’t see any need to read the book if others have and can present the points to me here.

    Like

  274. Nate,

    “When I suggested you read Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, it’s because I think he’s being objective. In fact, you should too, since the only source he uses is the bible. You may not agree with him at the end, but it would be hard to say he’s not objective.”

    Nate, I am really hoping you can address this.. because as I read it, I don’t see how you can assume objectivity because his source is the Bible. This makes no sense to me.. you frequently source the Bible and I know you are not applying objectivity in most if not all of those instances. I would really like to resolve this point.. especially since it will vindicate my claim that Paine’s book is most likely not objective and therefore an indoctrination tool and / or a money making tool… and therefore, a waste of time.

    Like

  275. @Nan:
    Paul states directly that Jesus appeared to him just as he appeared to the other apostles (1 Cor 15:8) and that Christ sent him to proclaim the gospel (1 Cor 1:17). Paul also constantly refers to himself as apostle which means messenger who is sent, for example, “Paul an apostle – sent neither by human commission nor from human authorities, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father” (Gal 1:1). That is what Paul claimed, so you are saying that you believe Paul was lying. That’s fine and dandy, but what is your reason for believing that Paul is lying? An assertion of preaching “mystery” religion or an offhand quote from a liberal theologian is not a crystal clear argument. I’m looking for a crystal clear argument, not an assertion.

    @Laurie:
    So, I can see the Law issue is pretty big for you. Do you follow the Law? Do you stone gay men? Are women ceremonially unclean while on their menstrual periods? Do you celebrate Yom Kippur at the Temple and send a scapegoat into the desert? Do you give the Lord any burnt offerings at the Temple? I’m guessing that you do none of these. Why not then? Do you not belong to YHWH? And, what did the Messiah do here on Earth? What does the Messiah fulfilling the Law mean?

    This paragraph is reserved for your arguments that I consider weak. To start, the ‘Benjamin wolf prophecy’ (Gen 49:27) is far too vague to have any persuasiveness. Next, the passage in Matthew 24 is way out of context to be referring to Paul. It starts with someone claiming “Look! Here is the Messiah!” Then, Jesus warns, “So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matt 24:26-27). The passage is referring to people claiming the Messiah has returned on Earth. There have been plenty of false messiahs over the ages, but Paul never claimed to be the messiah, so this passage does not refer to Paul. Lastly, my favorite: Balaam. Peter tells us that Balaam was a false prophet (2 Pet 2:15) then in the same epistle commends Paul as “our beloved brother Paul [who] wrote to you according to the wisdom given him” (2 Pet 3:15-16). The point here is that Peter condemns Balaam and acknowledges Paul. This means either Peter is lying or Balaam has no relation to Paul. Is Peter lying? I think not.

    Lastly, you say Paul misquotes scripture, but I need you to be more specific. Spell it out for me like exactly what he got wrong in terms of words/meanings and why it’s a big deal. For example, if something is slightly edited, why should that be a big deal? Was that not the standard practice in the first century, for example? I need a crystal clear argument for this, not something vague or something that reflects modern chauvinism about ancient quoting practices.
    -Brandon

    Like

  276. Kathy promises: “Whatever I haven’t answered.,. I’ll answer right now.. ask away..”

    OK…

    On Sep. 8, 2014 at 12:50 am, you wrote:

    As I’ve stated before, the mathematical odds make all of these examples extremely compelling. And you have NO argument against that.. math is based on logic.

    1. On Sep. 8 (1:08 am), I asked you to quantify those odds and show your calculations. William (8:56 am) and Howie (9:00 am) asked you to do likewise.

    For clarity, the probability of:

    – flipping heads or tails in a fair coin toss is 50% (1/2)
    – rolling any number from one to six on a fair die is roughly 17% (1/6)
    – getting a Royal Flush in 5-card poker is 0.000154% (1/649,739)
    – winning the Powerball grand prize is 0.0000005707% (1/175,223,510)

    What is the numerical probability in favor of your argument, Kathy? And how did you derive it?

    2. On Sep. 7 at 11:34 pm you wrote:

    …yet, that VERY science argues AGAINST the logic of our existence. Existence and science are not compatible! Yet, we are here.

    On Sep. 8 (7:47 am), Ruth asked:

    Do you have a source for that? Do you have evidence of this claim?

    To which you replied (Sep. 8, 2:35 pm):

    My evidence is my claim.. that you are FREE to argue against. But it’s clear that you cannot, so instead you ask for “evidence”.

    Claims alone (i.e. claims unsupported by evidence) do NOT constitute evidence, Kathy. This is basic logic 101. Furthermore, the onus of providing evidence rests with the person making the claim, and not the other way around.

    So I’ll repeat Ruth’s requests: Do you have a source for that? Do you have evidence to support your claim besides your bald assertions?

    And if not, then kindly stop making claims you can’t substantiate.

    Like

  277. Sore loser? To you?? That has to be the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.

    Whatever I haven’t answered.,. I’ll answer right now.. ask away..” – I have no questions for you, mindless answers are irrelevant – I can go to any apologetic website and get the same kind of pap, except better organized and more intelligible.

    Like

  278. David Limbaugh was right when he said that it takes more faith to believe in existence as an accident than to believe in a Creator.
    What a stupid statement. The same could be said of a rainbow before Humankind invented the prism. Humans are the animals that find answers.

    BTW, is he any relation to Rush?

    Like

  279. I don’t see any need to read the book if others have and can present the points to me here.” – I agree, in your case it would be a waste of time.

    Like

  280. This makes no sense to me..” – very little does. “Money-making tool”? You don’t even know who Thomas Paine was, do you? I said it in the very first thread, and nothing has since changed my mind – doorknob.

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  281. Kathy, you’re operating under some misconceptions about Thomas Paine and The Age of Reason, which really shows how little you looked into it.

    Paine didn’t publish his book “just to make money” — it’s doubtful that it helped him financially at all. Paine is not some random guy living today, he was one of our founding fathers. He wrote the pamphlet “Common Sense,” which helped inspire the Revolution. When he published The Age of Reason, he did some of it at his own expense. He and those who helped him publish it were prosecuted on more than one occasion, and spent some time in prison as well.

    Actually, it’s said that he wrote the first part because he was upset that many in the French Revolution were turning toward atheism. Paine was a deist — he very much believed in a benevolent Creator, and he argues for such in his book. However, he sees that the god described in the Bible (especially the OT) is anything but benevolent.

    For a fundamentalist Christian like you, the points he makes in his book (especially the 2nd and 3rd parts) would probably be a surprise.

    You’re right that my statement about Paine being objective because he uses the Bible isn’t exactly right. That’s certainly not the only criteria to use in determining objectivity. What I was trying to say is that Paine does not just use “what if” arguments or refer to sources that you might find questionable. He uses the Bible and compares it with other parts of the Bible. So his source material is something that you believe is beyond reproach. You probably won’t find his arguments persuasive, which will probably earn him the label “unobjective” from you — but you won’t be able to discount his evidence, since it all comes from the Bible.

    But look, at this point, do what you want. I don’t expect you to read it, and even if you did, I don’t expect that you would actually consider it. So I won’t waste my time quoting passages of it to you, or providing you with links to it (again!). If you’re interested in reading it, it’s just a simple Google or Amazon search away.

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  282. @ kathy,

    quit being an idiot.

    you said,

    “I don’t know what else I can do.”

    you could read the book, you ignorant wretch.

    and no one’s been able to argue your points successfully? What? are you that stupid or that dishonest?

    It the real world, it’s been you who continually says some of the dumbest stuff i’ve ever read, and it’s you who hasnt successfully argued your points or refuted those of others – and that’s IF you even bother to address them… The majority of points you ignore – even after two of these threads began with them in the heading.

    If you’re gonna lie, at least be smarter about it. If you missed them out of stupidity, then aIl I can say is that I hope your caretakers know you’re spending so much time on the internet.

    And based on an earlier comment of yours, are you saying that you don’t think Rush Limbaugh is biased at all? I mean, if you really think he isnt and if you really insisnt on diving into another tangential and irrelevant issue like this, then I can provdie quotes of his to illustrate. Our time would be better spend if you stuck to addressing the points instead of getting lost in analogies. But since you obviously failed to recognize the basic point, let me spell it out for you the clearest way i know how:

    You said you didnt want to read the age of reason because it may be biased and nonobjective. You recommended a book for everyone here to read, written by Rush. My point was that I though Rush was biased and nonobjective, yet I am not refusing to read his book. The point was that even if I find the man biased, his book still may not be complete rubbish, and that I couldnt know for sure until I read it – the point to you is that even if you think some of the points from the age of reason you’ve heard are biased and unobjective, you still cant judge the whole book or speak intelligently or honestly on it if you dont read it. It’s free. It’s short and it has bible in it.

    evidently you’re really into making excuses and being lazy. You’re free to be what you like, you’re just not convincing anyone. And if you’re not even really trying, why stick around and make so much noise?

    but you did finally address something of what I requested…. sort of. I’ll address that next.

    Like

  283. I reference to the Paul discussion, I think Brandon has made some good points — I’ve been wondering about a couple of those as well.

    His last paragraph in particular is something I’ve been thinking about. If one criticizes Paul for misusing OT passages, how could he/she possibly accept Matthew?

    Like

  284. Gonewilliam – why don’t you tell her how you really feel? 🙂 BTW, it’s Rush’s younger brother.

    Like

  285. @ Kathy,
    “I shall fulfill your request..” kathy
    ME: “first, i dont know and i dont know that something came from nothing.”

    Kathy: I don’t know what you are trying to say here.. and I don’t know.

    Me: you said that you wanted someone to provide a scenario or an explanation as to how the universe was created from nothing. That’s what I was saying “I don’t know” to, and I don’t know that it had to come from nothing.

    Me: “second, if our very existence means we had a creator, then why doesnt god’s existence mean he had a creator?”

    Kathy: Good question.. when you have a reasonable/ logical answer please share it.

    Me: oh, so you don’t have an explanation either – you just like criticizing others for not knowing and then try to act like that’s some score for your argument…

    Me: “and third, if an exception can be made for god, in that he doesnt need a creator, then isnt that really saying that “existence” doesnt necessarily imply a creator?”

    Kathy: Yes, it is saying that no Creator is a possibility also. My point is that reason and evidence don’t favor this possibility.

    Me: what reason and what evidence? Martyrs? And old book and a “said so?” Come on.

    Me: “fourth, If god was the creator and was not created, did he create jesus and the spirit or were they always around too? If they were also always there and were not created, then how is god the father superior and how does he know things jesus does not? can you answer these?”

    Kathy: I don’t have the specific answers to these questions.. I believe Jesus does know all that the Father knows and that the Trinity always existed.

    Me: you do err not knowing the scriptures. Matt 24:36, jesus says that god knows something that he does not. But you “just believe” and you “know all you need to know.” So objective. I guess, to be fair, if you don’t study, then you’re not a liar, just ignorant – eother way though, you’re still wrong.

    ME: “and finally, if god was the creator and if you could prove that he didnt have a creator, you’d still have to show how your god is that creator and the bible is his book…”
    Kathy: I don’t have to show it William… the compelling evidence is already out there.. for anyone to read and accept.. OR give a more reasonable explanation, which, I’ll just point out yet again, no one has.
    Me: What compelling evidence? It’s out there, but you cant point to it? and you’re saying that a book of contradictions, failed or vague prophecies and larger than life events (that have no external corroboration) contains the most reasonable explanation? So 6 to 7 thousand years ago god created the world when all the physical evidence points otherwise? What are you talking about? You clearly don’t read much. You admit to not reading anything that doesn’t support your view of the bible, so how would you even begin to know what the most reasonable explanation is?

    ME: “you havent done this yet, you havent shown any of that, so then how can you criticize anyone else for not explaining how “something came from nothing?”

    Kathy: Yes, I have. I’ve pointed out the compelling evidence many times now.

    ME: oh yeah, that’s right, these 5 things:

    1) martyrs, even though every religion and many non-religions have them.

    2) our very existence – which no one knows how that started, but even if you must land on god(s), you must go back to that book of claims to get to jesus.

    3) there were miracles, but as it turns out, those dont happen today, and end up being more claims by the same men who claim they speak for god.

    4) the fulfilled prophecies we’ve discussed weren’t really prophecies at all, or had to be viewed so figuratively that it’s difficult to show anything precise about them other than location (maybe) in order to claim they’re actually fulfilled.

    5) 40 authors taking 1500 years to write the bible. But there’s nothing miraculous about men writing books, editing books, and being inspired to write a book or letter after reading an older book.

    But these are neither compelling nor are they good evidences for the bible’s truthfulness or accuracy.

    Since I have asked a billion times if you had more than this, and since you have not given anything else, I can now rest easy knowing that I have not missed any real evidence from you.

    Good lord, my nose is bleeding from trying to decipher the ramblings of a moron.

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  286. Ryan,

    I think Ruth’s main point was this: should it have been possible for Satan to even tempt Jesus by referring to scripture? Wouldn’t Jesus have perfectly understood those passages, and therefore, not found Satan’s arguments the least bit compelling?

    I could be mistaken about that, but it’s the impression I got from her comment, and I don’t think you covered it in your response.

    Like

  287. @Ryan

    One more thing:

    (2) The premise. Satan’s suggestion was based on several erroneous premises or presuppositions.

    First, a God Who is good would not deprive one of His creatures. Doing without food cannot be the will of God.

    Yet there have always been people who experience starvation…

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  288. Yet there have always been people who experience starvation…

    That’s true. Good point.

    I think Ruth’s main point was this: should it have been possible for Satan to even tempt Jesus by referring to scripture? Wouldn’t Jesus have perfectly understood those passages, and therefore, not found Satan’s arguments the least bit compelling?

    I could be mistaken about that, but it’s the impression I got from her comment, and I don’t think you covered it in your response.

    I think these questions were covered through the last points,

    If you disagree though feel free to let me know again:

    Points Redux 🙂

    – The temptation of Christ proved Him qualified for His work on the cross. Only a sinless, spotless ‘Lamb of God’ could take upon Himself the sin of the world. Christ’s sinlessness stood out when tempted by the master deceiver.

    – The temptation prepared Him to be a merciful High Priest.

    “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin” (Heb. 4:15).

    Christ’s temptation ‘in every point as we are’ enables Him to be a sympathetic High Priest (cf. also Hebrews 2:17-18). While His temptation proved Him sinless, it made Jesus sensitive to our weaknesses. Understanding is gained through experience. This was a severe experience.

    Hebrews 4:15-

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

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  289. (2) The premise. Satan’s suggestion was based on several erroneous premises or presuppositions.

    First, a God Who is good would not deprive one of His creatures. Doing without food cannot be the will of God.

    Although the erroneous premise was that a God Who is good would not deprive one of His creatures…

    Yet this doesn’t make a Creator not good. For a major example, Jesus was deprived for the sake of humanity.

    Like

  290. I agree that it explains why Christ needed to be tempted, but the real question is whether he really was.

    For instance, someone could tell me that I should take a guitar and play an E chord by holding down all the strings on the 5th fret. But since I know how to play guitar, I would know that’s wrong.

    If Jesus was God and he was the Word, how could he have been tricked by his own book?

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  291. I think Ruth’s main point was this: should it have been possible for Satan to even tempt Jesus by referring to scripture? Wouldn’t Jesus have perfectly understood those passages, and therefore, not found Satan’s arguments the least bit compelling?

    This was precisely my point. 🙂

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  292. So is your point, Ryan, that Jesus wasn’t really tempted like we are tempted – in the sense that he was actually tempted to do any of those things – but that he needed to suffer the things that we suffer that cause us to be tempted?

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  293. I’m not even sure that last question is coherent. Does anyone understand what I’m trying to ask?

    It might just be that I’m so tired I need to leave it and come back to it later.

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  294. For a major example, Jesus was deprived for the sake of humanity.” – about some things, there just aren’t even words for a response. I have no quarrel with you Portal, go, my son, and sin no more —

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  295. Portal,

    maybe you’re right. maybe I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and after reading kathy’s comments, i let myself fall into a tirade…

    I regret not proof reading earlier… and I guess that;s about it.

    Over the last few months, kathy has not tried to learn or to reason or to empathize or to understand or to study,she has only tried to argue for the sake of arguing. She doesn’t seem to care or able to recognize a good point from a turd under her foot.

    I have no doubt she is a decent person who loves her family and no doubt does many selfless deeds for them. That is as commendable as much as it is conjecture. But, it addition to that possibility, she continues to show herself ignorant and a lazy student (if she can be called a student)… while calling others ignorant.

    And I am not suggestting tHat she should learn from me, but I think we should all continue and try to learn. If you think you have all you need to know, well then you’re not looking to learn anything are you.

    It’s like I’m watching Derek Zoolander pretend to be a female christian fundamentalist, and it makes me feel like Mugatu, in that I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

    am i way off base here? have I missed her better points?

    I do not think she should go to hell. I do not think she should be punished. I do not think she should be allowed to use scissors. i do not think she should criticize any for being ignorant or unobjective – as that would make her a hypocrite.

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  296. So is your point, Ryan, that Jesus wasn’t really tempted like we are tempted

    well, personally speaking, if I ran into magic man that wooshed me up! onto the top of a mountain to view the whole city, and then said its mine if I bowed down and worshipped him.

    personally, I would think something was up. I would not bow, because hey, what’s the catch?

    I may not know as much Bible as Jesus, but I think the temptation is still temptation whether or not you recognise the magic man as the devil, or whether or not you rebuke him with specific scripture, or tell him to just get stuffed. Its still temptation….those are some of my thoughts anyway

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  297. (2) The premise. Satan’s suggestion was based on several erroneous premises or presuppositions.

    First, a God Who is good would not deprive one of His creatures. Doing without food cannot be the will of God.

    Are you suggesting that it’s a false premise that a God who is good would not deprive one of his creatures? Or are you saying that a God who is good actually would not deprive one of his creatures?

    Clearly by what can be seen that there is a God who has been deemed to be good yet people are deprived of basic needs – up to and including food – regularly.

    Like

  298. well, personally speaking, if I ran into magic man that wooshed me up! onto the top of a mountain to view the whole city, and then said its mine if I bowed down and worshipped him.

    personally, I would think something was up. I would not bow, because hey, what’s the catch?

    Right, but that’s not exactly what I meant. Like you, if a magic man whoosed me to anywhere I’d likely not bow the knee. That may be because I’d be dead from the heart attack caused by said wooshing, but I digress…

    What I meant was Jesus clearly knew the outcome. He supposedly knew why he had been sent to earth and what would be happening after that (i.e. resurrection, ascension, Father’s right hand, etc.) He also perfectly – not imperfectly – knew God’s word.

    Yet, when we are “tempted” today it isn’t by any [apparent] magical means. It’s ordinary, everyday stuff. We see through a glass darkly. We don’t have all the answers. We don’t even have a clear picture.

    So his temptation was not the same as ours.

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  299. I do not think she should go to hell. I do not think she should be punished. I do not think she should be allowed to use scissors. i do not think she should criticize any for being ignorant or unobjective

    quote of the night/day where you are! That made me laugh out loud.

    not to worry, I’m not allowed to use scissors either, not without my helmet anyway…

    Big, Big fan of that movie btw

    What is This….. a centre for Ants!

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  300. Clearly by what can be seen that there is a God who has been deemed to be good yet people are deprived of basic needs – up to and including food – regularly.

    Ruth,

    what I was trying to convey through that was that just because deprivation exists (and sucks) does not mean all deprivation is bad. and the example I gave was that Christian understanding is that Jesus was deprived for the sake of humanity.

    In other words, God deprived Himself for the sake of His creation.

    Hope I’m making more sense Ruth, sorry if my response was confusing. Its pretty late where I’m sitting, also I’m a bit riled up, just got off playing Cod with a friend on Steam. We more or less got smooshed! but getting better. I digress. I’m going to grab a coffee.

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  301. what I was trying to convey through that was that just because deprivation exists (and sucks) does not mean all deprivation is bad. and the example I gave was that Christian understanding is that Jesus was deprived for the sake of humanity.

    Certainly self-denial can be noble. But how does that relate to temptation to sin, especially in the case of God/Jesus for whom it would be impossible to sin?

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  302. Ryan,

    I think what I’m trying to say is that the devil doesn’t whoosh us off anywhere and announce that he’s the devil and then try to tempt us blatantly.

    Our temptations are much more subtle than that. Moreover what turns out to be temptation in the eyes of some is nothing more than a life choice between a myriad of options and what seems to be the best one at the time.

    For the record, before anyone calls for the padded wagon and the straight jacket, I don’t believe in the devil anymore than I do a god.

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  303. @Ruth,

    well done, I only dream of that day. well nightmares actually

    my family and our Irish gardener Rapheal was wiped out in a freak confetti clipping accident…

    blue and red poke a dots everywhere…ever since that day I’ve had a phobia of anything with any sharp edges…

    butter knives… staples….David Howell Evans…sharpners, the list goes on.

    This is actually where I currently reside.

    https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=UdXaYiWpnpUxiM&tbnid=hzPMYtn0urYpEM:&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fspearbook.blogspot.com%2F2012_01_01_archive.html&ei=27oRVKKWG8ne8AW90oHwDQ&psig=AFQjCNERNN7fIXqlbWywakMeKpuwkfmTfg&ust=1410534449525331

    so now I’ve finally dropped my mask 🙂

    so next time you use those safety scissors, remember its all fun and games until the room is encapsulated in a ball of little, tiny weeny confetti. That and broken dreams…

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  304. ok, that link def did not work 🙂

    picture instead a middle aged man sitting in a bubble, with a laptop, with a fixed expression of discontent firmly on his face, mixed with slight apprehension…..That was the picture you missed out on, well if it existed. it was a guy in a little bubble with a laptop anyway 🙂

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  305. if I ran into magic man that wooshed me up! onto the top of a mountain to view the whole city” – Portal, please provide evidence that “magic men” exist —

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  306. Ryan,

    I did figure that out, about the scissors. I’m way smarter than I let on. 😉

    I was wondering about that link. I didn’t know if you were attempting to direct me to your blog or what.

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  307. Portal, please provide evidence that “magic men” exist –

    Arch, I’ve never met or talked to a magic man,

    but if I did I could tell you I have some evidence. But I don’t.

    Like

  308. Going to stop filling up this blog with videos for a while hey,

    I’m sure it may be a bit annoying for some people. Yolo.

    But seriously I’ll stop :I

    until told otherwise

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  309. Ok.

    So his temptation was not the same as ours.

    In the sense that we have not been directly and personally tempted by the devil, I agree

    But Jesus was. And He was tempted for our sakes. Jesus can empathise with our suffering, since He took all of it, all transgressions. Spiritually and physically on the cross.

    To quote a song (and paraphrase it): It was our sins that held Him there, until it was accomplished….You or I may never face such temptations (which I’m more than happy about) but Jesus having an understanding of who He was still didn’t mean He couldn’t be tempted I don’t think. For example, Jesus had the option of not drinking the cup He was given for our sakes.

    But finally He instead said: yet not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)

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  310. Arch, I’ve never met or talked to a magic man,

    but if I did I could tell you I have some evidence. But I don’t.

    come to think of it Arch,

    even if I did, I still wouldn’t be able to provide you with evidence…. :/

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  311. Good morning! I got a good laugh from all your comments!

    I think Yahusha’s temptation was like anyone else’s but worse. He was a man. The holy spirit was upon him, but according to scripture we are able to have that gift as well. He knew the outcome, but if you read the scriptures, than you can know the outcome too. He also knew he was going to suffer in an unimaginable way. It was his choice. He asked the father to pass the cup from him, if possible. If you really think about it, knowing something is going to happen is way worse that just having it happen. If I knew this tile was going to fall off the ceiling, I would have moved. I can’t imagine standing there waiting in anticipation. Taking the deal would have seemed pretty tempting to me.

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  312. I think Yahusha’s temptation was like anyone else’s but worse. He was a man.

    Laurie, didn’t I see you say somewhere that Jesus is not God? That makes a difference in how one might perceive this. I just don’t see how God could be tempted to sin against himself – even in human form.

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  313. But Laurie, he knew it in a way that no one else can. Even for someone whose faith approaches certainty, they still don’t really know. Even if they think they know that an afterlife awaits them, are they sure that they’ll be found worthy? And how does it work? Do you immediately go stand before God to be judged, or do you spend some time in a holding tank?

    And for someone like you, who holds to the OT understanding of the afterlife (if I understand you correctly), what do you think Sheol is?

    Jesus would have known all of that. And as for his temptation, how could it really be that? Satan is trying to tell him that scriptures give him the authority to do _____, but how could that have been convincing to Jesus? It would have been like trying to tell Darwin evolution is false while pointing to the Galapagos finches…

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  314. making it difficult for me to attack you!

    haha 🙂 nobody can attack a boy in a bubble. people have tried believe me. once got rolled out the door, down the street. I’m invincible! Although it took about 4 hours to get a lift back, embarrassing story.

    Insert video here >

    Anyway, who would of thought those nuns would have known how to use a forklift?

    Anyway as the saying goes…

    On the other hand, you have different fingers.

    But I digress 🙂

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  315. “Jesus would have known all of that. And as for his temptation, how could it really be that? Satan is trying to tell him that scriptures give him the authority to do _____, but how could that have been convincing to Jesus? It would have been like trying to tell Darwin evolution is false while pointing to the Galapagos finches…” nate

    …or like telling someone that they will get $1,000,000 if they kill themselves…

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  316. if I did I could tell you I have some evidence. But I don’t.” – Whew, I was beginning to worry about you. I was afraid you’d gone all Kathy on us.

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  317. Does the Bible outline anywhere that Jesus had complete understanding of the circumstances during the time of these temptations?

    I know you asked Nate this but, according to scriptures, didn’t Jesus know that he was going to die and be raised again on the third day? And by know I mean, if he was with God before becoming a human didn’t he get to help plan this whole thing? And didn’t he agree to the conditions before taking the assignment?

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  318. @ Ryan,

    And didn’t Jesus say that he was going to prepare a place for others and he’d be back to get them? So it seems he did have a more clear understanding than any other human. If that’s the case, it just seems a bit of a stretch to believe that offers of earthly kingdoms could have been remotely tempting.

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  319. Ruth,

    But was He aware of all of this completely while He was on earth? Or did He hear what the Father specifically told Him He needed to hear at that time.

    after all, He was born as a baby. He learned to walk, talk, He visited to Temple and listened, He was Baptised, He asked God to take the cup from Him in the Garden.

    Was this a gradual understanding over time until He was glorified and overcoming death? Jesus is not to be confused with Neo from the Matrix. didn’t necessarily see digits running down everything.

    He was/is both Man and God. In regard to What God revealed to Him, and at what time. I don’t know.

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  320. Ryan,

    I’m not sure if it says he had complete understanding. However, he was teaching at the temple when he was 12, right? And Satan tempted him right at the beginning of his ministry — most Christians think he was teaching that he was literally the Son of God at that time, so I think it’s a fair assumption that he would have understood these passages were being misused.

    Honestly, the average person is going to be “tempted” far more frequently and far earlier than when they’re around 30 years old. I don’t know why these “temptations” were even necessary — they sound quite a bit like mythology. Like the Trials of Hercules, etc.

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  321. Dear fellow skeptics:

    I was recently involved in a long discussion/debate on a conservative Christian website regarding the lack of evidence for the Exodus of the Hebrews from Egypt. It was amazing how these Christians would make rationalization after rationalization to explain why there is zero archaeological evidence for this event. The conversation eventually turned into a general discussion of Religion vs. Reason.

    Has anyone found one particular fact or argument that has been successful in flipping the switch in the minds of these people that finally makes them say, “Hmm. Yea. Something is not quite right with this story.”.

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  322. Ryan,

    I understand the Gospels aren’t necessarily written in chronological order, but Jesus did say to his disciples before the Garden of Gethsemane that he was going to prepare a place for them and he did say that the temple would be torn down and rebuilt in three days (supposedly an allusion to his death and resurrection). It appears he had some understanding of what was happening. The anticipation of [since he had experienced the earthly pain that we’re subjected to] of the cross may have been daunting, but it wasn’t a surprise.

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  323. Hi Gary,

    I think it’s different things for different people.

    When I was a Christian, no evidence for the Exodus wouldn’t have been a huge deal to me. However, contrary evidence of something the Bible claims would have been very big indeed. That’s why the issues in the Book of Daniel really kicked off my own study.

    This page has links to all the articles that were so compelling to me (I got permission to repost them here):
    https://findingtruth.wordpress.com/2012/03/14/skeptical-bible-study-daniel-links-to-each-article/

    Like

  324. But finally He instead said: yet not my will, but yours be done. (Luke 22:42)” – And of course, “Luke” was sitting on a nearby rock, taking notes —

    Like

  325. No I don’t believe Yahusha was God (at this point). In the Tanakh he is always shown as a servant. A king and a priest offering sacrifices to the father, and eventually sitting at his right hand. But I have not worked out all the kinks just yet.

    Sheol is the ground, the grave. When you die, your body returns the dust of the ground where it came from, and YHWH’s breath returns to him. Even king David is in the grave and had not ascended to the father.

    Wish I could hand around, specially since I have tons to say to Brandon, but my herd of dairy goats and two young children are being impatient! I’ll be back tonight!

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  326. Has anyone found one particular fact or argument that has been successful in flipping the switch in the minds of these people that finally makes them say, “Hmm. Yea. Something is not quite right with this story.”.

    Gary,

    I think it’s helpful to remember the reasons you started to question. I’m not entirely sure that in it’s infancy belief nor disbelief is completely rational (don’t burn me at the stake, people!). In my experience there has to be some catalyst for [most] people to begin questioning what they believe whether they be atheists or believers. In the end those who have chosen to believe think their position is the most reasonable while those who who have chosen not to believe think their position is the most reasonable. That is, until they don’t.

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  327. Laurie,

    Are you saying that you don’t believe that Jesus has been resurrected? Or that he has been resurrected and it was at that point that he was made God?

    Like

  328. so I think it’s a fair assumption that he would have understood these passages were being misused.

    Hi Nate,

    Yes, I agree 🙂 and as a consequence Jesus was not deceived.

    He had the understanding to avoid temptation. There’s a difference between being deceived and being tempted right? Although, You can be both deceived and tempted at the same time in a mix of invited premises (Adam and Eve).

    Here’s an illustration

    If I had no understanding whatsoever of hay fever that triggers asthma, and a magic man told me to put my face in a cat,

    Then I would be deceived.

    Yet say if I had a ventolin puffer with me, yet I had no understanding of how to use my ventolin puffer. I’d still be deceived, since no one even told me. (not like Adam and Eve, God did tell them).

    Yet say I was told how to correctly use my puffer. Yet I still took the magic man’s advice and stuck my face in the cat because He said that if I did he would give me a castle.

    The I would not only be tempted, but would have also taken the bait.

    Furthermore, if the magic man told me that the only way to correctly use my puffer was to stick it in my ear, then in that case I would also be deceived, and tempted. Since although I knew the correct way to use it, I believed the magic man over my doctor.

    If the magic man promised me that if I stuck my puffer in my ear then I would be able to shoot rainbows out of my fingers, and this happened to something that appealed to me or something that he was offering to give me, then I would then be both deceived and tempted. Whether I knew hoe to use the puffer well enough or not. It would be the magic man’s word against the doctors.

    Jesus was tempted. but the devil did not succeed in deceiving Him.

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  329. Portal, RE: “nobody can attack a boy in a bubble” – George Costanza did it. You’ve got some funny material.

    Like

  330. Or in other words, even if the devil could not deceive Him, Jesus was still tempted.

    Like even if the doctor had prior told me how to use my puffer correctly to avoid hay fever, and I instead took the advice of the magic man to stick in my ear, because he promised me a castle, then I would have fallen into temptation, even when I had the understanding not to and how to respond correctly.

    It was the magic man’s word against the doctors. And Even if I couldn’t have really been deceived, since the doctor had already informed me how to use my puffer beforehand, I was still confronted with the (knowingly false) lies of the magic man, yet I still had a choice. But in that moment of being confronted with the magic man, the temptation is still a real threat. Its still a choice.

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  331. No, I do believe in a resurrection. The feast of first fruits is the resurrection. After messiah (first fruit) is harvested from the earth, It is a promise that the rest of the earth will be harvested.

    I know this is probably really redundant and annoying to some, but look at the symbolic meaning of the feasts. There are two harvests. The first is barley and then the wheat. There are two seasons spring and fall, representing two comings. First as the suffering servant (Joseph) and then as the reigning king (David). The first offering is without leaven (barley, messiah) . The leaven represents sin, messiah was without sin. The second offering is baked into loaves at the wheat harvest, this harvest was not sinless. I don’t think this is something that can really be explained here and now, but I will try to find you a link tonight.

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  332. Nate, just one more note

    Jesus understood He was God, and His rightful place was to be Lord

    the devil offered an alternate (but false) way of doing this.

    The Second Temptation

    (1) The Proposition. Having failed in the first recorded effort, Satan moved to an alternate approach:

    Then the devil took Him into the holy city; and he stood Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God throw Yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give His angels charge concerning You; and in their hands they will bear You up, lest You strike Your foot against a stone.’” Jesus said to him, “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shalt not tempt the Lord your God’” (Matt. 4:5-7).

    – This was a very subtle challenge for Jerusalem was the sacred city,

    – The temple was the centre of Israel’s religious life. Furthermore, the Old Testament prophecies anticipated Messiah’s public presentation at the temple (Mal. 3:1).

    – Besides this, there was a rabbinic tradition that Messiah would reveal Himself from the roof of the temple.

    – As a rule, the Jews expected Messiah to be introduced in some kind of blaze of glory, and a spectacular leap and miraculous deliverance would precisely fill the bill.

    The Premise.

    Satan’s presupposition in this challenge was that God’s faithfulness is best demonstrated by the spectacular.

    In addition, there is the implicit assumption that one’s trustworthiness should be put to the test. If God was the Father of our Lord Jesus, let Him prove it, and in such an unusual way that no one could miss it.

    The 91st Psalm which Satan quoted from speaks of the quiet confidence which the child of God possesses. But divine protection does not encourage presumption.

    Christ’s reply again from the book of Deuteronomy is that, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” (Deut. 6:16).

    still temptation, but because Jesus had the understanding, He was not deceived.

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  333. And Even if I couldn’t have really been deceived, since the doctor had already informed me how to use my puffer beforehand, I was still confronted with the (knowingly false) lies of the magic man, yet I still had a choice. But in that moment of being confronted with the magic man, the temptation is still a real threat. Its still a choice.

    Perhaps you do still have a choice. I don’t think anyone was implying that there isn’t a choice. But when confronted with obviously false promises or instructions it doesn’t seem like much of one. I’m not sure what the purpose of attempting to tempt someone who cannot be deceived is. And if one cannot be deceived it’s quite a bit different than someone who can be deceived. If one cannot be deceived then it’s not much of a temptation or a threat, is it?

    In using your analogy, that would be like me showing you that I have $100,000 and promising to give it to you if you stick your puffer thingy in your ear, but you having seen that the doctor has unlimited wealth and power and that he has shared that wealth and power with you in the past and will share that wealth and power you in the future in unlimited amounts. That $100.000 isn’t very appealing. At least it wouldn’t be to me.

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  334. I hate to be cranky, but its almost as if no body sees what has occurred. Paul came in and said ” hey your saved by grace! Do as thou wilt (Aleister Crowley).” And all of a sudden nothing else matters in the whole book. Why even read it?

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  335. I hate to be cranky, but its almost as if no body sees what has occurred. Paul came in and said ” hey your saved by grace! Do as thou wilt (Aleister Crowley).” And all of a sudden nothing else matters in the whole book. Why even read it?

    I had/have every intention of going back and re-familiarizing myself on the feasts. I’m taking your point perfectly well and can see where you’re deriving your viewpoint on Paul.

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  336. Ruth,

    people do it all the time, its in advertising. Sure the promises aren’t whole cities. But most people are educated enough to know that investing in that pyramid scheme will not make them rich, but in that moment of confrontation, especially if you are deprived (lack of food, water fasting, lack of resources) its still a temptation, even with understanding that its false. We may fall in such circumstances. Jesus didn’t. He was physically and Spiritually confronted, and He knew better. We also know better in different ways. But people still buy into pyramid schemes, and lose everything. am I making sense 🙂

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  337. But most people are educated enough to know that investing in that pyramid scheme will not make them rich, but in that moment of confrontation, especially if you are deprived (lack of food, water fasting, lack of resources) its still a temptation, even with understanding that its false. We may fall in such circumstances. Jesus didn’t. He was physically and Spiritually confronted, and He knew better.

    First of all, pyramid schemes suck. I’ve never done one. Second of all, I can see the temptation of someone who has no food or water now, nor any idea that they ever will again. They don’t know where their next meal is coming from and they’ve got no knowledge that they will be provided with any such thing by anyone ever – not even the promise of such. That analogy kind of falls apart under that scenario. Because Jesus knew perfectly well what God the Father had promised him and whatever the devil promised him paled in comparison. Further, this just goes to what I said earlier about our temptations being everyday, ordinary stuff – there’s no magic man standing in front of you.

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  338. Sorry, one more question Ruth,

    so where in the Bible does it say that Jesus knew *exactly* what was going to happen to Him? in every last detail, and how it was going to unfold?

    Hope you have a really nice hey 🙂

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  339. No, I didn’t say that people who fall for these schemes aren’t tempted. Though I’m not certain that they know it’s a false alternative. But if they are starving and have no promise of any other alternative then it’s a live choice. Do something or starve. Jesus – even in your analogy – knew better.

    Were I starving and had no other options then a pyramid scheme might be tempting. Jesus knew he had other options.

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  340. so where in the Bible does it say that Jesus knew *exactly* what was going to happen to Him? in every last detail, and how it was going to unfold?

    Hmmm…I feel like I’ve frustrated you with my questions a bit. I don’t believe that it does. But I do believe it gives enough detail that Jesus knew what his purpose was. Would it be necessary for him to know *exactly* how everything would unfold for him to not be tempted? Do you not think that when he said that the temple would be destroyed and raised again in three days that he knew it would be brutal?

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  341. Hmmm…I feel like I’ve frustrated you with my questions a bit.

    don’t think that Ruth,

    I’m not frustrated, kind of sleepy though

    Do you not think that when he said that the temple would be destroyed and raised again in three days that he knew it would be brutal?

    Good point, but the how
    is not pointed out, at least to those Jesus is talking to, We have the gift of hindsight now, since we know what happens next. But exactly what God revealed to Jesus as a man and when He revealed specific insight, is really speculation as soon as we step outside the accounts in Scripture. Unless God has told someone otherwise… I have been given no such information.

    All the best, catch ya on the flipside 🙂

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  342. “On the other hand, it is written, ‘You shalt not tempt the Lord your God’” (Matt. 4:5-7).

    The passages in Matthew 4:7 and Luke 4:12 have Jesus misquoting the Old Testament.

    “Do not put the Lord your God to the test as you did at Massah.” (Deuteronomy 6:16) refers back to the story found in Exodus 17:1-7 where the Israelites didn’t put complete trust in the Lord—which is precisely the opposite of what Jesus is being asked to do here.

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  343. I realize this is completely irrelevant to most of you, but it makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall.” – Don’t you think your poor baby head’s been through enough already?

    Actually, over here on the opposite side of the coin – I feel basically the same (head-banging) way – they are arguing about religious minutia, when bottom line, it’s ALL about magic, and there ain’t no magic! Nothing to argue about, case closed!

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  344. Oh, come on Portal – “Pyramid Schemes”? You’re trying to make a comparison with that? People who invest in pyramid schemes are desperate, or at the least, greedy (believing they can get in and out before the pyramid collapses) – if your Jesus was really your god, he already had the entire universe, and anything else he needed with the snap of his finger, what could possibly tempt him – there IS no comparison.

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  345. Hey at least there’s actual dialogue and a few conversations going on now, and not just paying each other out 🙂 Woooooh!!!” – True, Portal, but Kathy’s not here yet from her breakfast shift at McDonalds, then things will go back to goofy again.

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  346. I am soo tired Arch, if I squint your at you little logo, it almost looks like a squiggly cracked little tetris block. If I had 10 of them I’d have a row….there so is a comparison I think, I just need to sleep though otherwise ccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccccsaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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  347. seriously though, there is SOO a comparison, I didn’t just write out all those symbols and organised them into comprehension-able words just so you can shut it all down with

    there IS no comparison.

    goodnight my tetrisblock… 🙂

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  348. they are arguing about religious minutia, when bottom line, it’s ALL about magic, and there ain’t no magic! Nothing to argue about, case closed!

    Whachou talkin’ ’bout, Willis? Who’s arguing? We’re discussing now.

    About the magic: I agree. And this just highlights some of the smaller differences between believers and unbelievers. The temptation seems perfectly logical to Ryan but seems completely illogical to me.

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  349. I am soo tired Arch,” – I had a good friend in Sydney, Portal, until we lost her to cancer last April, point is, I have an app that tells me what time it is there, and you are long overdue for some Z’s – get some sleep.

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  350. People who invest in pyramid schemes are desperate, or at the least, greedy (believing they can get in and out before the pyramid collapses) – if your Jesus was really your god, he already had the entire universe, and anything else he needed with the snap of his finger, what could possibly tempt him – there IS no comparison.

    The way I see it it’s more likely that those who invest in pyramid schemes are the greedy ones – not necessarily desperate. One must have something to invest, after all. So to that degree I see what Ryan is getting at. It was a get rich quick, instant gratification thing – so to speak – that Jesus was tempted with. But if you know that these things pale in comparison to your father’s “great riches” which you have had and will again have unlimited access to you wouldn’t care about getting rich quick. You already are rich – even if your assets are frozen for a time.

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  351. Arch,

    ““David Limbaugh was right when he said that it takes more faith to believe in existence as an accident than to believe in a Creator.”
    What a stupid statement. The same could be said of a rainbow before Humankind invented the prism. Humans are the animals that find answers.”

    Wrong again.. certainly there were lots of ideas about how the rainbow exists, even if the truth wasn’t known.. again, WHAT theory do you have of how to get something from nothing?? You don’t have one.

    Not the same thing.. please apply your critical thinking skills.

    “BTW, is he any relation to Rush?” yep.. and no doubt whatsoever that’ll be used as an excuse.

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  352. Arch,

    ““This makes no sense to me..” – very little does. “Money-making tool”? You don’t even know who Thomas Paine was, do you? I said it in the very first thread, and nothing has since changed my mind – doorknob.”

    Witnessing someone having to resort to insults is always sad Arch. You give yourself away, you do know that.. right?

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  353. kathy you dont have an answer either as to how your god came from nothing, so what’s your point?

    You dont have anything of substance that even dictates that something had to come from nothing.

    And again, if you say god had no beginning, then you’re saying that some things dont need a beginning.

    so your “answer” is “god” and mine is the “universe.” If you want to pretend that “god” settles it, then lets’ see who can point to their “answer” first.

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  354. I like Penn & Teller!

    if your Jesus was really your god, he already had the entire universe, and anything else he needed with the snap of his finger, what could possibly tempt him

    This is what I’ve been trying to say. I’ve just been using a lot more words to do it.

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  355. WHAT theory do you have of how to get something from nothing?? You don’t have one. ” – Don’t need one as long as you don’t believe your god needed a creator.

    1. It is possible for something to exist which does not have a creator.
    2. The universe exists.
    3. It is possible that the universe does not have a creator.”

    BTW, Kathy – you’re a political conservative – how do you feel about government entitlements?

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  356. Witnessing someone having to resort to insults is always sad Arch. You give yourself away, you do know that.. right?
    If I see a yellow banana and call it a green tree, I’ve possibly insulted both the banana and the tree, but if I call it a yellow banana, I’ve insulted no one.

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  357. Nate,

    “Kathy, you’re operating under some misconceptions about Thomas Paine and The Age of Reason, which really shows how little you looked into it.”

    You’re right, I didn’t look into it at all.. and I gave my reasons why. I had stated that he was probably another person taking advantage of the huge market due to the liberal/ atheist agenda. His name didnt’ register with me as a Founding Father.. especially when you never corrected me about money making motives. Your comment describing who he was and those circumstances would have made a difference if you’d mentioned it in the beginning. Why didn’t you?? I view the book much differently now that I know those specifics.

    “You’re right that my statement about Paine being objective because he uses the Bible isn’t exactly right. That’s certainly not the only criteria to use in determining objectivity. What I was trying to say is that Paine does not just use “what if” arguments or refer to sources that you might find questionable. He uses the Bible and compares it with other parts of the Bible. So his source material is something that you believe is beyond reproach. ”

    Using the Bible is not criteria at all in determining objectivity.. even when comparing different passages to each other. Bias most certainly can still be present. But I wouldn’t have even asked for an example of objectivity if you’d have given me the background upfront.

    Your problem with objectivity is still evidence Nate. You’ve proven that yet again. I feel comfortable now giving Paine’s book a try.. but my confidence in your objectivity is still very low.. you still dont’ get it.

    I’d STILL like an answer to my question about which religion has the most evidence to support it’s claimed truth if it’s not Christianity.

    And in regards to the book, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask for specific examples or pages of the book… something, without me having to read the entire book, that can give me an idea of Paine’s reasoning that is so convincing.

    That you refuse to do both of these things only bolsters my belief that you lack objectivity Nate.

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  358. This is what I’ve been trying to say. I’ve just been using a lot more words to do it.” – a famous writer, whose name escapes me, once wrote a letter to a friend. He closed it with an apology – Sorry this letter is so long, it would have been shorter, but I was in a hurry. It takes more time to be concise, you were in a hurry – yeah, let’s say that —

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  359. Ruth,

    “I like Penn & Teller!

    if your Jesus was really your god, he already had the entire universe, and anything else he needed with the snap of his finger, what could possibly tempt him

    This is what I’ve been trying to say. I’ve just been using a lot more words to do it.”

    It just so happens that I’ve crossed paths with Penn on Twitter.
    He CAVED.. he was afraid to debate me.. he got offensive before we could
    even get started.. he’s a smart guy.. smart enough to know not to debate a Christian.

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  360. @Kathy,

    Re: Thomas Paine:

    Your comment describing who he was and those circumstances would have made a difference if you’d mentioned it in the beginning. Why didn’t you??

    Kathy, you are only digging yourself deeper into a hole commenting about this. Nate very obviously saw no need to describe to you who Thomas Paine was since this is considered generally common knowledge among those educated in the United States.

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  361. It just so happens that I’ve crossed paths with Penn on Twitter.
    He CAVED.. he was afraid to debate me.. he got offensive before we could
    even get started.. he’s a smart guy.. smart enough to know not to debate a Christian.

    OMG! I really haven’t been terribly derogatory toward you, Kathy. He might have been afraid of you but it had nothing to do with your prowess as a debater nor your Christianity. None of us here have been afraid to debate you. He probably just realized that your “style” of debating really isn’t debate at all. It’s assertions with no evidence which does not a debate make.

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  362. William,

    “Me: “second, if our very existence means we had a creator, then why doesnt god’s existence mean he had a creator?”

    Kathy: Good question.. when you have a reasonable/ logical answer please share it.

    Me: oh, so you don’t have an explanation either – you just like criticizing others for not knowing and then try to act like that’s some score for your argument…”

    I’ve never claimed to have a logical explanation William. What I claim.. again.. is that reason and logic heavily FAVOR a Creator. That’s my claim.. based on the evidence, that we .. WEIGH.. a concept that liberals/ atheists refuse to, or just aren’t able to, grasp.

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  363. His name didnt’ register with me as a Founding Father.. especially when you never corrected me about money making motives. Your comment describing who he was and those circumstances would have made a difference if you’d mentioned it in the beginning. Why didn’t you??

    Because he assumed that any American with half a brain would know who Thomas Paine was. What year did you drop out of school, Kathy?

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  364. Yes Arch, his name does register now.. which still leaves me mystified that no one thought to point this out earlier.. you should have deduced by my comments that I hadn’t realized.

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