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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.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 131: Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:15 pm
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Peace to you!

Hope no one minds if I jump in, even though I am going back a bit! No one has to backtrack with me if you just want to keep going forward.


From Chapter 3,

Quote:
In the seventh chapter of Matthew, [Jesus] spoke words which I had not heard recited in any church that I had ever attended even up until today. The words burned in my memory and still remain there to this day. Starting at the twenty-first verse, [Jesus] had said that not everyone who calls him their Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven. That alone starkly contrasted anything I had ever heard regarding God and heaven. He continued to say that only those that do the will of God will enter. At this point, I became much more interested in learning what God actually wanted. He continued again and said that many will come to him and proclaim that they called him Lord, that they did miracles in his name, and even cast out demons, but that Jesus would respond that he never knew them because they continued on in sin.


The verses in question:


Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness!’



Please note the words, "I never knew you."

This means that these people were never Christian. They might be calling Him "Lord", and they might also believe that they are Christian; they might even have done things in His name. But Christians (anointed ones) are known by Christ. He is the One who anointed them (with holy spirit) to begin with. He is in them and they are in Him.

So if at some point He had known them, how can this verse be referring to them?



You also said:

Quote:
Jesus is recorded in John 14:23-24 as saying that we know who truly loves him based upon whether or not they follow his teaching. But how are we supposed to know if someone is following the teaching to believe? If someone claims to love Jesus, are we at all capable of determining whether or not he really does love him by reading his mind? By which means can we determine if he truly believes and is not merely faking it? It makes no logical sense to believe that the will of God is to merely believe in Jesus and to use that as a means of filtering out false teachers who claim to follow Jesus but do not.



John 14:23-24 is not about determining who might be a false teacher (we have ONE Teacher: the Christ). My Lord is simply speaking the truth... that if we love Him, then we will obey His commands. By that truth, we can examine ourselves, making sure that it is Him we truly love (and so Him we are truly obeying).

This verse (along with the preceding verse) also tells us what will happen if we do love Him (and so keep His commandments; keep His word):


Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, "But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"

“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."





Peace to you,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 132: Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:58 pm
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Peace again to you!

From Chapter 6



Quote:
Another event had us washing everybody’s feet as a gesture of the servitude that Jesus wanted from us. I did not personally care for this servitude, however, as we obviously did not need our feet washed in our culture. I found it disgusting and it certainly had no benefit in and of itself. Still, one of my roommates asked to wash my feet and I allowed him despite feeling quite uncomfortable about the entire process.


A quick comment about this one (and there is no judgment from me; just an expounding upon the truth; I also did not understand at first that this is something that we who are in Christ should do):

I think the reason that some people insist this is no longer applicable is not because it truly is no longer applicable (how would they know that?), but because they do not want to do this (for whatever reason).


But Christ did it:

You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you.


It is not about people needing their feet washed for physical cleanliness. It is about love for Christ, and so doing as He said we should do for one another.

As He said:

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me."



Even the least commandment.

He who is faithful in what is least, is faithful in what is much. (Luke 16:10)


Peace again to you and to your households,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 133: Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:09 pm
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Peace again to you!


Also from chapter 6, just a comment on the imagery:

Quote:
Some people tried to cheer me up every so often, but this proved about as useful as telling a drowning person to enjoy the sunshine while he or she struggled to stay afloat.



This was an excellent description. I had it marked, so as not to forget to comment on it. I loved it. (I am sorry for you pain of course, truly, but the description was great; I could feel it).

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 134: Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:50 am
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Hey tam, glad to see you jumping back in.

tam wrote:
So if at some point He had known them, how can this verse be referring to them?

I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make here. I don't think you're disagreeing with anything I've said so perhaps you are mistaking something I said or else I'm mistaking what you are saying? The point was merely that those who do God's will are his people, not simply those who claim his name (which is all church ever seems to teach).

tam wrote:
John 14:23-24 is not about determining who might be a false teacher (we have ONE Teacher: the Christ).

There are two separate ideas here. Jesus tells us that we will "follow his teaching" if we truly know him. The question, then, is that of what the teaching is. A lot of people believe the teaching is "belief" in Jesus. So how can you obey that? The second idea is in a different verse, Matthew 7:15-20, which talks about knowing people "by their fruit" (i.e. if they produce what God had commanded). If God commanded "belief" then the fruit is invisible and we have no way to judge anything. If the fruit is behavior, however, we can absolutely see that and thus judge if someone is really belonging to God or not.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 135: Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:47 pm
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Peace to you!

Quote:
[quote="ElCodeMonkey"]
Hey tam, glad to see you jumping back in.

tam wrote:
So if at some point He had known them, how can this verse be referring to them?

I'm really not sure what point you are trying to make here. I don't think you're disagreeing with anything I've said so perhaps you are mistaking something I said or else I'm mistaking what you are saying? The point was merely that those who do God's will are his people, not simply those who claim his name (which is all church ever seems to teach).



Yes, that is correct. I think we are in agreement on this. I was just stressing the point because in the same chapter you had also written this:

Quote:
Nobody seemed to know that Jesus wanted us to be good and do rightly even though he spoke about it extensively. He said that few people would find the way and that many would not. He expressed that Christians would be denied heaven for their evil behavior. It only made sense, then, that many Christians were wrong since many would be denied and only few would gain entrance.



So I was just making sure it was understood that "I never knew you" could not be referring to Christians. (to those who call themselves Christians but who are not, sure...)


Quote:
tam wrote:
John 14:23-24 is not about determining who might be a false teacher (we have ONE Teacher: the Christ).

There are two separate ideas here. Jesus tells us that we will "follow his teaching" if we truly know him.


Yes. (I assume you meant to write "if we truly love Him").


Quote:
The question, then, is that of what the teaching is. A lot of people believe the teaching is "belief" in Jesus. So how can you obey that?



I think you understand correctly that it is more than mere belief (more than simply calling someone "Lord"). In fact, how can you believe in someone and yet not do what they say?


"Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but not do what I say?" Luke 6:47


I think verse 21 (in John 14) clarifies:

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.


Even the least things (as in the example above about washing feet).


Quote:
The second idea is in a different verse, Matthew 7:15-20, which talks about knowing people "by their fruit" (i.e. if they produce what God had commanded). If God commanded "belief" then the fruit is invisible and we have no way to judge anything. If the fruit is behavior, however, we can absolutely see that and thus judge if someone is really belonging to God or not.



It is not my understanding that the fruit is belief (or even behavior, per se, although different fruit will compel different behaviors).

But that fruit is:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.


Fruits of the Spirit. Christ is the good tree bearing good fruit. And if we are in Him then we are in that tree, and we should be receiving the fruits of the Spirit that He produces.



**

On the other hand for example, some religions produce bad fruit, such as judgment, fear, anger, hatred, cruelty, an absence of natural love or compassion, etc. This will be reflected in those who belong to them as well.


Bad tree... bad fruit.

Good tree (Christ)... good fruit.




Peace again to you,
your servant and a slave of Christ,
tammy

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 136: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:52 am
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Ch. 9 - Faith of a child

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One thing I do appreciate about the book is the candor. On the forum, people are rarely completely open about themselves. In the book, it's almost like complete transparency.

"I looked forward to this seminar with great anticipation hoping for my own miraculous healing of a condition of pilonidal cysts. This is not a particular condition one wishes to share with others, however, as it has to do with a trail of cysts lining one’s butt crack."

I had mentioned that one drawback in the book was the sarcasm. Here's an example:

"God continued to fill my cup every day and I knew that I had made the right choice to quit college. God encouraged me every step of the way, I had a great fast-food job, I was comfortable in my one-bedroom leaky apartment with a 25-square-foot kitchen, and I had everything I needed including very well-used dishes, reject filthy couches, and my first roll of toilet paper."

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 137: Sun Jan 13, 2019 12:54 pm
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Re: Ch. 9 - Faith of a child

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otseng wrote:
One thing I do appreciate about the book is the candor. On the forum, people are rarely completely open about themselves. In the book, it's almost like complete transparency.

I'm glad that comes across. I had hoped that complete transparency would help people believe me more when I say how much I tried and to comprehend the openness I have even with examining my own life. No itchy ears as best as I could manage.

otseng wrote:
I had mentioned that one drawback in the book was the sarcasm. Here's an example:

"God continued to fill my cup every day and I knew that I had made the right choice to quit college. God encouraged me every step of the way, I had a great fast-food job, I was comfortable in my one-bedroom leaky apartment with a 25-square-foot kitchen, and I had everything I needed including very well-used dishes, reject filthy couches, and my first roll of toilet paper."

I'm kind of surprised that this would be an example for you. I was more juxtaposing my belief that God was filling my cup with the interesting nature of the fact that it wasn't particularly amazing things. I truly felt my cup was filled despite it, but it's easy to see from the outside that it's more a perspective than anything else.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 138: Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:52 pm
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Re: Ch. 9 - Faith of a child

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ElCodeMonkey wrote:



otseng wrote:
I had mentioned that one drawback in the book was the sarcasm. Here's an example:

"God continued to fill my cup every day and I knew that I had made the right choice to quit college. God encouraged me every step of the way, I had a great fast-food job, I was comfortable in my one-bedroom leaky apartment with a 25-square-foot kitchen, and I had everything I needed including very well-used dishes, reject filthy couches, and my first roll of toilet paper."

I'm kind of surprised that this would be an example for you. I was more juxtaposing my belief that God was filling my cup with the interesting nature of the fact that it wasn't particularly amazing things. I truly felt my cup was filled despite it, but it's easy to see from the outside that it's more a perspective than anything else.


That's how I read it. Not as sarcasm, but more of an attitude of humble gratitude and acceptance mixed with a little bit of aceticism (sp?) Also, isn't there a line from Job (or some other book) "shall we accept only the good from the LORD and not the evil"? Or words to that effect.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you seemed content with humble circumstances because you had God in your life (even at that stage) and were convinced of his guidance and Providence.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 139: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:10 am
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Re: Ch. 9 - Faith of a child

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ElCodeMonkey wrote:

otseng wrote:
I had mentioned that one drawback in the book was the sarcasm. Here's an example:

"God continued to fill my cup every day and I knew that I had made the right choice to quit college. God encouraged me every step of the way, I had a great fast-food job, I was comfortable in my one-bedroom leaky apartment with a 25-square-foot kitchen, and I had everything I needed including very well-used dishes, reject filthy couches, and my first roll of toilet paper."

I'm kind of surprised that this would be an example for you. I was more juxtaposing my belief that God was filling my cup with the interesting nature of the fact that it wasn't particularly amazing things. I truly felt my cup was filled despite it, but it's easy to see from the outside that it's more a perspective than anything else.

Hmm, I then interpreted it incorrectly. One of the benefits of being able to debate a book directly with the author. Wrong interpretations can be clarified. Angel

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 140: Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:40 am
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Ch. 10 - A twisted path

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Chapter 10:

"The Christian mindset is so different from an atheist’s that it is extremely hard for them to understand each other."

I would agree with this. Unless one has been both, it's hard to see from the other's perspective.

"atheists often tend to be far more moral than Christians."

I would not agree with this. Pedophilia is mentioned as one evidence to support this. Yes, it is a problem, particularly in the RCC, but as we see in the MeToo movement, sexual sins are committed by men across the board, regardless of religious affiliation.

I would not fault pedophilia with Christianity itself. But, the RCC has set themselves up for this eventual outcome. If priests cannot marry and there are many children serving in the church, it should be no surprise pedophilia will eventually occur. For me, the solution should be the Catholic church should allow priests to marry. That should significantly reduce the cases of pedophilia.

As for whether Christians or non-Christians behaves better, my position is they behave similarly as a whole. Yes, there are some Christians that are very ethical. As well, there are some non-Christians that also very ethical. But, in general, beliefs matter little. Christians know they shouldn't divorce, but the divorce rate is the same as non-Christians. Now, if Christians acted on what they believe, there's then a chance Christians would be more ethical than non-Christians.

"Having faith in the Bible and a strong belief in a devil truly makes for a scarier world than recognizing the non-existence of supernatural phenomena. I no longer worry about demons, devils, and magic so I rest far easier now at night."

It can also go the other way. I can rest easier at night knowing that I'm on God's side, who has more power than demonic forces. And if I do see a spiritual apparition in the middle of the night, rather than being scared, it would boost my belief in the supernatural world since I would experience it firsthand.

Though atheists might not believe in the supernatural world, that does not mean the supernatural world does not exist. So, a demon can still materialize under an atheist's bed in the middle of the night, regardless whether he believes in God or not.

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