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otseng
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:45 pm  Christians are Revolting - Sean Lauren Reply with quote

This thread will debate the book Christians are Revolting: An Infidel's Progress, by Sean Lauren.

We will go through the book one chapter at a time and discuss the contents of each chapter. I anticipate we'll spend several days on each chapter and then move on to the next one. Please avoid jumping ahead, but you're free to discuss previous chapters (for those that join late). We'll end the debate with each person giving a general overview of the book. The thread will then be closed.

If you'd like to participate, sign up here.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 91: Fri Nov 30, 2018 1:31 pm
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Re: Ch. 5 - Embracing the prosperity doctrine

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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

otseng wrote:
Faith was preached all the time and emphasis was placed on healings, blessings, prosperity, etc. Since I was a new Christian, I didn't really know anything else. It all sounded reasonable since they based their beliefs on the Bible. If people saw miracles in the Bible, shouldn't we expect to see them now? Other Christians that didn't believe as we did just seemed to be lukewarm Christians.

Things we grow up with always tend to seem reasonable. In the book I'm reading right now, "The Righteous Mind", it speaks of a tribe of people who grow up thinking it is perfectly fine and moral to behead random other people that don't belong to their group. The whole tribe feels this way because that's just how they grew up. Indoctrination is a terrible thing. It's even crazier that so many sects of Christianity with vastly differing understandings can come from the same book. It's always very easy to say that those who don't believe the same just aren't trying hard enough. They don't have enough faith. They're not truly seeking. They've got itching ears, etc. Funny how every group believes the same about every other group. As do I with my position. If people don't agree with what I see, then clearly they're just not trying, right? If everyone feels the same, how do we know we're not equally mistaken? What good is a book that is so utterly unclear and divisive? Is it right to "know" that we're trying our best and therefore every other sect is clearly blind and wrong?


(I bolded for emphasis.) We can either read it with the eyes of orthodoxy and be Trintarians, or we can read it as you and I have done, (I believe more objectively) and come up with perhaps more accurate but "heretical" conclusions.

What good is the Bible if it is so devisive? Well, we can take from it whatever (Spiritual) inspiration we will, follow it and hopefully become better people. Even you (now an atheist), find inspiration from Jesus for your political views. And argue quite effectively that he would have supported many of your political positions.

And some of the lessons I think both you and I have gleaned, is that God cares more about one's heart, and moral behavior, than getting our theology "right".

That He doesn't need blood, and never desired blood sacrifice of any kind.

That Jesus is not God, but rather a man devoted to his God.

Those conclusions, those positions are Biblical as well, as the appendix of your book demonstrates.

And regarding miracles, why they don't seem to happen now as dramatically as they seem to have done in the Bible, did they ever really happen that way, "once upon a time"? Or were the more dramatic ones, literary inventions? But even some skeptical, historical-Jesus scholars believe that Jesus was a healer of some kind. That much, they believe, is credible if possibly exaggerated.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 92: Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:41 pm
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

otseng wrote:
Nobody, including Christians, can do enough good works to justify salvation.

Why not? How many good works would someone have to do for you to save them from catastrophe?

The problem is one sin is all that's required to disqualify someone from heaven. Unlike other religions, good works does not compensate for any sin committed. Now, do I think that's fair? No, it's not fair. But what I would like to believe does not override what the Bible has to say.

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What good is a book that is so utterly unclear and divisive? Is it right to "know" that we're trying our best and therefore every other sect is clearly blind and wrong?

I wouldn't say it's "utterly unclear and divisive". But, I do think we all need to be critical of our beliefs and try to put them to the test. It's one of the reasons I started this forum. And due to this forum, my own beliefs have changed. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to have their belief challenged.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 93: Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:44 pm
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otseng wrote:
The problem is one sin is all that's required to disqualify someone from heaven. Unlike other religions, good works does not compensate for any sin committed.

Is that actually a biblical statement? I know it's a common Christian belief, but I'm not recalling anything saying that in particular. There's "we've all fallen short of the glory of God" but it doesn't say "one sin will do it." Even still, if that was God's... decree? Requirement? How does killing something or belief somehow make it more okay than actual improvement?

otseng wrote:
Now, do I think that's fair? No, it's not fair. But what I would like to believe does not override what the Bible has to say.

I'm surprised to hear you say it's not fair. You either must think you're mistaken or you are just fine with God judging unfairly?

otseng wrote:
I wouldn't say it's "utterly unclear and divisive"

There are certainly some things that a vast majority of people have decided to agree upon, but overall there are as many beliefs about the intent of the book as there are verses in the book. Surely that seems pretty unclear and divisive, no?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 94: Sun Dec 02, 2018 1:42 pm
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otseng wrote:

And due to this forum, my own beliefs have changed. Unfortunately, most people are not willing to have their belief challenged.


How have your beliefs changed, since starting the forum?

Also, where does the Bible say that "one sin" disqualifies one from Heaven? And do you mean one unrepented sin? Or one sin in general?

I seen British Evangelicals on TV interviewing, (more like badgering) people on the street, asking such questions, "have you ever told a lie?, Even one lie? If so, you cannot get into Heaven. Unless, or course, you accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior."

A person can be forgiven and believe in the mercy of the Father, even without believing that Jesus died to "pay for" our sins. And isn't that in effect, what Jesus actually taught? ("God, be merciful to me, a sinner" the parable of the Pharisee and the publican) The Synoptic Jesus taught repentance, not blood. I think Sean's references support this point of view. (correct me if I'm wrong on that, Sean)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 95: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:16 pm
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

otseng wrote:
The problem is one sin is all that's required to disqualify someone from heaven. Unlike other religions, good works does not compensate for any sin committed.

Is that actually a biblical statement? I know it's a common Christian belief, but I'm not recalling anything saying that in particular.

True. It doesn't say that explicitly, but it's a reasonable conclusion.

Isa 59:2
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Mat 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

1Jo 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

2Co 5:21
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

I'm not of the belief that everyone is born with the guilt of sin. I believe to make someone sinful, a sinful act has to be committed. All it took was one sin for Adam and Eve to be separated from God. So, one sin disqualifies someone to have a relationship with God.

If it's not one sin that makes someone sinful, then what would be the criteria to classify someone as sinful?

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I'm surprised to hear you say it's not fair. You either must think you're mistaken or you are just fine with God judging unfairly?

False dilemma. Many things in life are not fair, so I don't have to be mistaken to think things are unfair. I believe God will judge fairly. We might not believe so, but we need to have faith that God knows what he's doing. As an analogy, posters can think the moderating team does not judge fairly. But, they have no insight to the inner workings of the moderating team. In actuality, we are about as fair as possible, in my humble opinion.

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There are certainly some things that a vast majority of people have decided to agree upon, but overall there are as many beliefs about the intent of the book as there are verses in the book. Surely that seems pretty unclear and divisive, no?

The Constitution of the US also has multiple beliefs about its intent. It has resulted in many opposing interpretations and divisions. So, is the Constitution "utterly unclear and divisive"?

Elijah John wrote:

How have your beliefs changed, since starting the forum?


One thing is I no longer claim God is omnipotent. Yes, on the surface, it sounds heretical. But, I believe my position is actually more Biblical.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 96: Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:05 pm
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otseng wrote:

One thing is I no longer claim God is omnipotent. Yes, on the surface, it sounds heretical. But, I believe my position is actually more Biblical.


That sounds like something that Rabbi Harold Kushner taught in his book "When Bad Things Happen to Good People".

He compares the faculty of free will to the laws of physics and biology God uses to govern the Universe. The Creator dos not violate either free will or His laws. For the good of all, and for the bigger picture, God does not (usually?) intervene, per se. Except by grieving with us, in solidarity. And by giving us Spiritual encouragement, hope and wisdom.

Is that similar to your present outlook? And do you cite any Bible passages in particular to support your view?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 97: Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:20 pm
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otseng wrote:
Mat 5:48
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

The word "perfect" here is misleading. It's better translated as "complete" or "mature" or "grown up". As seen below, Paul spoke wisdom among those that were "perfect" (i.e. matured or brought to a proper understanding of life and God).



otseng wrote:
1Jo 1:8-10
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

Indeed, we all have sin, and as this states, we need only to confess and be forgiven. Says nothing about particular belief systems.

otseng wrote:
All it took was one sin for Adam and Eve to be separated from God. So, one sin disqualifies someone to have a relationship with God.

They were kicked out of Eden, but they still communed with God and had a relationship with him. But, fair enough, it only took the one sin to reap "death".

otseng wrote:
If it's not one sin that makes someone sinful, then what would be the criteria to classify someone as sinful?

Well, I dunno, if I study a computer one day in my life I'm not suddenly a Computer Scientist. By programming once I am no "programmer" by identity. So sinning one time doesn't necessarily make me a sinner by identity even if I am one who sinned. I see "sinner" as an identity of sorts. It is one who lacks true repentance and continues on sinning without a care. God knows our hearts, so he knows if we're truly repentant or just saying "sorry" with a scowl. So even though I often miss the mark, it is not my practice. It is not my identity. I care. I am not one who practices sin, I am one who accidentally sins. It's not practice if it's not intentional.

otseng wrote:
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I'm surprised to hear you say it's not fair. You either must think you're mistaken or you are just fine with God judging unfairly?

False dilemma. I believe God will judge fairly.

I'm confused because you say here that God will judge fairly but the thing you said was unfair was how God was judging. That's why I said you must believe you are mistaken that he is judging unfairly or that you are fine with him judging unfairly.

otseng wrote:
The Constitution of the US also has multiple beliefs about its intent. It has resulted in many opposing interpretations and divisions. So, is the Constitution "utterly unclear and divisive"?
I'm not sure I can agree. There are a few things which are not particularly clear, but I'm not sure you'll find as many interpretations as people. Even if you did, that's really quite beside the point. The Constitution wasn't written "by God" as is claimed about the Bible. God should have a much better communicative ability for such important things as eternal life and damnation unless confusion is all part of the shtick.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 98: Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:22 pm
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Elijah John wrote:
The Creator dos not violate either free will or His laws.

This sounds a lot like mucking with physics:

Joshua 10:13
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 99: Tue Dec 04, 2018 11:16 pm
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Elijah John wrote:

Is that similar to your present outlook? And do you cite any Bible passages in particular to support your view?

Rather than claiming God is omnipotent, I prefer to use the Biblical terms Lord of lords, Almighty God, Mighty One, etc. There are just too many problems with the term omnipotent. The Biblical God is not really described as being able to do anything. For example, God cannot lie.

Hebrews 6:18
that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie

I also believe God could not defy logic. So, that would resolve any omnipotence conundrums such as, "Can God create a rock so big he cannot lift it?"

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 100: Wed Dec 05, 2018 12:09 am
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ElCodeMonkey wrote:
So sinning one time doesn't necessarily make me a sinner by identity even if I am one who sinned. I see "sinner" as an identity of sorts. It is one who lacks true repentance and continues on sinning without a care. God knows our hearts, so he knows if we're truly repentant or just saying "sorry" with a scowl. So even though I often miss the mark, it is not my practice. It is not my identity. I care. I am not one who practices sin, I am one who accidentally sins. It's not practice if it's not intentional.

If that's the case, then I don't think there's any objective way to determine if someone is a sinner. Perhaps there's not even an objective way for God to determine.

Quote:
I'm confused because you say here that God will judge fairly but the thing you said was unfair was how God was judging.

I don't have much of a problem thinking that something might be unfair from my perspective, but still believing an authority will try to judge fairly. Many people have accused the moderators of being unfair. I can't totally convince posters that the mod team is trying to be fair. But, they would have to have faith in us that we are trying to be fair.

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God should have a much better communicative ability for such important things as eternal life and damnation unless confusion is all part of the shtick.

Well, God never said the road is wide that leads to life and many are those that will find it. So, it's not necessarily a requirement for God to make things clear and easy to have eternal life.

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