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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 02-17-17, 11:37 AM   #126
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by Vibiana View Post
Agreed. If the only reason you don't kill the guy who cut in front of you in line at Walmart is that Jeebus wouldn't like it, you need more help than religion can give you.
Seriously. On the other hand, I'm really glad they decided to go to church instead of commit mass murder for the hell of it.
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Old 02-17-17, 11:46 AM   #127
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Seriously. On the other hand, I'm really glad they decided to go to church instead of commit mass murder for the hell of it.
I think it has more to do with the laws. If next week there was no separation of church/state and the US became a theocracy it would not surprise me if certain groups such as abortionists, homosexuals and Muslims would be executed.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:01 PM   #128
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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This is why overtly religious people scare the shit out of me. It seems their only reason for not going out and doing what the fuck they want is that they're hoping for a reward further down the line. Selfish and scary.
But isn't that a strawman? Or at best, a misunderstanding of actual Christian beliefs?
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Old 02-17-17, 12:03 PM   #129
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

My question is: If imperfect man can't achieve perfection, can he even attain a perfect understanding of the absolute morality?
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Old 02-17-17, 12:23 PM   #130
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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My question is: If imperfect man can't achieve perfection, can he even attain a perfect understanding of the absolute morality?
Funny how the game is so rigged. A being who tells us that it is perfect says that it created us and that we are all fundamentally imperfect because we are not the creator, and also tainted from birth because of one event at the beginning of time, and therefore we cannot question the creator and the creator's laws. And even if we do question it, we are conveniently unable to fully comprehend the answers. And yet Jehovah is all powerful, so if it wanted us to understand the answers, we could. The only conclusion I can come to is that if this being exists, it is purposefully keeping humans in the dark, which makes its motives suspect.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:27 PM   #131
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Funny how the game is so rigged. A being who tells us that it is perfect says that it created us and that we are all fundamentally imperfect because we are not the creator, and also tainted from birth because of one event at the beginning of time, and therefore we cannot question the creator and the creator's laws. And even if we do question it, we are conveniently unable to fully comprehend the answers. And yet Jehovah is all powerful, so if it wanted us to understand the answers, we could. The only conclusion I can come to is that if this being exists, it is purposefully keeping humans in the dark, which makes its motives suspect.
My Wisconsin synod Lutheran school taught us not that dinosaur and man coexisted, but that dinosaurs never existed and their bones were put into the earth by god in order to test our faith. That is a frightening god. On topic, this is the sort of teaching that I don't want anywhere near any public school.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:29 PM   #132
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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But isn't that a strawman? Or at best, a misunderstanding of actual Christian beliefs?
Since I've been told by Christians that I can't be trusted not to murder because I don't believe in God, no, I'd say it's absolutely accurate.
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Old 02-17-17, 12:56 PM   #133
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by Pharoh View Post
But isn't that a strawman? Or at best, a misunderstanding of actual Christian beliefs?
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Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara View Post
Since I've been told by Christians that I can't be trusted not to murder because I don't believe in God, no, I'd say it's absolutely accurate.
Yes, of course it absolutely is a straw man.

Sean's post illustrates the fallacy: If someone either belonging to a group or professing to be a member says something, that view is held up as representative of the entire group.

It would work the same for any group affiliation. If a Democrat says something, does he/she speak for all Democrats? If a(n) [insert nationality, racial group, gender, occupation, etc.] says something, does that mean that all [members of that group] agree? Or even that the views expressed can be found in any "official" documented tenets of that group?

Returning to the idea of Christians, it has never been any secret that Christians who can make a credible claim to that distinction due to belief in the main tenets of the faith and demonstration of that with one's life can hold very different views about major doctrines. I can absolutely believe that a brother or sister in Christ is a fellow believer while also believing that some of their views are not supported biblically.

There have been those here professing to be Christians who have maintained that one does not have to "believe in God" or believe that Christ was divine in order to be a Christian. Using the "one says it, it must be a universal belief" rule, that would mean that all Christians would agree with that false gospel.

And I think everyone can see how absurd that would be, and how absurd it would be to paint any other group with such a broad brush simply because one or a few or a particular sect say or do something. That's the way it works in every other area here, from sports to politics.

And, curiously, I would submit that most of the same who would wield that broad brush to attack Christianity would be among the first to object to that tactic were it used toward their (or other) groups...including, say "Muslims" if someone tried to depict all Muslims as terrorists.

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
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Old 02-17-17, 01:25 PM   #134
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Old 02-17-17, 01:35 PM   #135
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Here are my questions:
3. Since it wasn't intended as an insult, could you please explain your thought process behind the selection of the "childish things" quote in the post in which you were admonishing GreenMonkey for talking about you rather than answering your new list of questions about morality?
4. Same question regarding this quote in response to Obey the D talking about being a good person: "The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good. Psalm 14:1"
Sure, Vegan. Since you want an honest conversation, I'll do my best to address your concerns & give you a chance to respond. I'll break up your questions into two responses for brevity, beginning with the last two since you've mentioned it twice.

Here are the thought processes behind verse selections.

1. Sometimes a specific reference is tied directly into the discussion. Note the previous response to you & another poster in which I cited a specific reference and highlighted it to make it clear that it was directly applicable (also so it couldn't be missed...again). Sometimes it's indirectly connected but deliberately chosen because it adds flavor.

2. Sometimes I just go to a book & chapter randomly and then post what strikes me as being particularly wise. Proverbs is a favorite because of its many couplets that can stand alone & do not need long contextual placement for understanding; likewise, the psalms are handy. And I used to simply work my way down a particular book in Proverbs before moving on to the next one, regardless of the discussion.
However, I do like to have a balance between O.T. and N.T. as well as a balance between the positives and the negatives. That, to me, not only reflects biblical theology, it is representative of Scripture itself. Focusing only on gloom & doom or only on sunshine & flowers does not present a true picture.

3. And sometimes a particular verse comes to mind, and if I don't remember the actual location, I Google the verse. It may subconsciously be triggered by the discussion or not. At times, it may be deliberately connected to the discussion, as mentioned in point #1.

But you are absolutely wrong if you think that they are selected to "insult" others. I will be the first to admit that I have deliberately chosen quotes in the past to refute errors or to point out admonishments that apply to those attacking God, but I stopped doing that some time ago for several reasons. First, although the Bible is given to all men, it is written primarily for believers. Second, I explicitly wanted to avoid the appearance of insults that you thought you perceived; as previously mentioned, I immediately changed quotes on a few occasions specifically for that reason. The verses still applied just as much as ever, but I wanted to avoid getting entangled in arguments just for the sake of arguing.

The "When I was a child" quote was directed toward me, not others. It was an continuation of the discussion about logic and reason being used to open my eyes to a better understanding of theology. And the other quote is simply a reminder of how God views those who reject Him...in opposition to the false gospel that God "accepts everyone just as they are." I could quote passages about still waters and ascending doves after answering every angry attack upon Christianity (or individual posters) just for appearance's sake, but I think you know that wouldn't satisfy critics one whit. It's the existence of scripture itself that seems offensive, not the specific sentiments...at least, that's the impression I get. But, obeying the command of Jesus to try to stay at peace will all men if possible, I'll make a concerted effort to only include quotes about God's wrath when addressing fellow believers (and hope they won't think I'm insulting them. )

You also may take note of the numerous perfectly benign quotes included in responses to hostile posts. That should demonstrate that the quotes are reflective of my preference unrelated to the tone of the discussion or the other poster.

And I will add this so there is no misunderstanding. I absolutely, 100% stand behind what I said in an earlier post (ironically, to you, I believe) addressing those whose primary focus in these threads is to insult rather than to add to any mutual understanding. Whether anyone else agrees or not, I absolutely do consider it to be completely childish to constantly rely upon insults in lieu of arguments. And that wasn't aimed at Green Monkey. Those whose "responses," to use the term loosely, consist of the same insults repeated over & over are simply ignored. They don't appear to want conversation; it appears that they simply want to drag others down to the level of mud-slinging, profanity, and rudeness. And, frankly, it seems to gall them when others won't take the bait and keep the conversation above all that.

One can speculate about why they do this, but that's pointless. It's enough to recognize it for what it is, and it doesn't matter whether the source is insecurity, fear, hatred, or just the old schoolyard bully syndrome. There are places all over the internet for that tendency to be indulged, but most of us here are above that.

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Old 02-17-17, 01:44 PM   #136
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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And that reason is people can be fucking assholes.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:52 PM   #137
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Meanwhile, back to Green Monkey's discussion about prisoners who say they are Christian and his assertion that "we have statistics about this."

Really? Based upon what? I distinctly remember the studies cited which admitted that they were relying upon little more than the self-reporting of prisoners. No followup or investigation to check out the validity of the claims.

(Why, I'll wager that some of those prisoners probably maintained their innocence, too...despite all the evidence and testimony which contradicted their claims. But, hey...they said they were innocent!)

The "statistics" were based upon prisoners checking a box on a form or responding verbally to a single question. It's like the medical forms I filled out prior to my medical procedure; questions about race, religion, etc. were simply circled on the form. No one came out to investigate the claims.

We went through this before thoroughly. No one in other areas of life simply accepts claims made without verifying them. You can ask any number of people who have never attended any worship service or followed any main tenets of their professed religion for decades to identify their religion...and they will usually respond with the religion of their youth, their family, or whatever is the prevailing religion of the culture. And prisoners have extra incentive to claim a religion, as certain privileges may be afforded (or at least, religious belief may look good on the parole board resume).
This comes down to the "True Christian" (TM) standard again. I've tried to get you to declare more specifically who counts and who doesn't but you always wiggle out of it. I can't even get an honest accounting of how big your particular sect of True Christians (TM) are.

I could pull the same bullshit about demanding you prove the atheists are what they say they are, but I don't do that, because it doesn't make any sense at all. I'm not the arbiter of what a True Atheist is.

And we're back to the bible quotes on every post again? Requiring constant trimming of the bullshit off of the post (ignoring the passive-aggressive insulting bible verses). Maybe I should start putting some anti-Christian bullshit at the end of every one of my posts just to piss you off, so you either have to quote it or manually remove it.
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Old 02-17-17, 01:55 PM   #138
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Funny how the game is so rigged. A being who tells us that it is perfect says that it created us and that we are all fundamentally imperfect because we are not the creator, and also tainted from birth because of one event at the beginning of time, and therefore we cannot question the creator and the creator's laws. And even if we do question it, we are conveniently unable to fully comprehend the answers. And yet Jehovah is all powerful, so if it wanted us to understand the answers, we could. The only conclusion I can come to is that if this being exists, it is purposefully keeping humans in the dark, which makes its motives suspect.
I feel the same way about the whole purpose of life is to worship and glorify him bullshit.

If an all-powerful being requires my worship and adulation, there's something seriously wrong there.
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Old 02-17-17, 02:07 PM   #139
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I feel the same way about the whole purpose of life is to worship and glorify him bullshit.

If an all-powerful being requires my worship and adulation, there's something seriously wrong there.
The glorification thing conjures up images of Mongo from Blazing Saddles as God: don't piss him off!
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Old 02-17-17, 02:16 PM   #140
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I feel the same way about the whole purpose of life is to worship and glorify him bullshit.

If an all-powerful being requires my worship and adulation, there's something seriously wrong there.
A narcissistic sadist would be a good description.
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Old 02-17-17, 02:19 PM   #141
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

[QUOTE=GoVegan;13014285]
Here are my questions:

1. Given the shift that happened even from the old testament to the new testament, why do you think the bible would be a good standard of morality for all to use? Which religion's interpretation of the commands of the bible would we use? What if god changes his mind again about what rules we must follow, or what is moral?
2. Would you still devote your life to glorifying god and enjoying him forever if there were no heavenly reward? What if the bible described heaven as a place of fire and brimstone?

Now for #1 & #2.

1. The Bible is absolutely not only the best but the only perfect standard for morality. God did not "change His mind." His moral law is just as much in effect today as it was in the days of Moses. The Ten Commandments were not abrogated by Christ, they were fulfilled (kept perfectly) by Christ for His elect.
The civil law given to Israel applied to them specifically. Along with separating God's chosen people from pagan nations through strict rules of behavior in the days before the Redeemer came, it also included rules (such as those regarding divorce) designed to restrain the worst impulses even for practices God hated, as described in the New Testament. Aside from setting Israel apart as a holy people unto Himself, God's Law is intended to demonstrate that no one could keep the law perfectly...except Christ. The Law drives broken, contrite, and convicted sinners who realize their inability to please God through their own works to Christ. Christ pointed this out to those who tried to convict Him for breaking religious laws, showing that even those ostensibly keeping "the letter of the law" outwardly constantly broke the law in spirit within their own hearts.
God's standards have not changed. Before Christ, obedience was all God's people had, and it was accounted to them as faith. Now that the fulfillment of the law has been achieved and the ultimate sacrifice has been given, the specific ceremonial laws and civil laws given to Israel are no longer necessary, and the N.T. leaves the establishment of civil laws to establish adherence to the moral laws to the civil magistrate.

2. That is a complex question, and the answer may seem paradoxical. But it is biblical.

First, all creatures glorify God. Creation itself is a testament to God's glory, even in the diminished, imperfect world which now includes decay, sickness, death, illnesses, and all sorts of ills resulting from The Fall. And all humans glorify God, either serving to demonstrate His justice or His mercy. And all will one day acknowledge that God is sovereign.

So that you won't think this is a dodge, I'll say that my life would glorify God even if I were an unbeliever...because His holy judgment of my sins would be used to demonstrate His justice. So, yes, I would do what you say, although unwittingly, just as all unbelievers do.

But your question is an oxymoron. How could one "enjoy God forever" if one could not be united with God? That's like asking if you would still enjoy sports if sports did not exist.

You see, biblical theology requires looking at things biblically. The Bible clearly teaches that God's people will respond to Him and believe His Word...which includes the promise of being with Him for eternity. And those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope to escape God's just punishment for their sins will believe that.

If you're saying, "Would you still worship God if there were no Heaven," I'll say "Yes" even though even saying that makes me pause for fear of giving the wrong impression...as though there is any possibility that Heaven does not exist. Because God says it does. Let me put it this way: "Whatever God ordains is right." If God had NOT ordained Heaven (which He has) that would be right. But as for the rest, you might as well say, "Well, if Satan were an angel of light, doing wonderful things for people and helping them rather than trying to destroy their souls forever, would you still oppose him?" It just becomes a parlor game.

It would be like asking people to speculate on this question: If you spouse cheated on you by having dozens of sexual affairs with others, would you still love and trust your spouse as much as always? Only it would be worse since it's possible that your spouse could do that. Maybe you would love & trust him/her just as much; maybe not. But the difference is that absolute faith in your spouse would say that your spouse would never do that, even while acknowledging that your spouse is not perfect. Now imagine how much more far-fetched it is to ask a believer to speculate about a perfectly holy God who does not behave in perfectly holy ways. It just isn't possible, unless one's faith is conditional.

Some want a "yes" or "no" answer, but maybe this analogy will work. If I ask someone, "What if you could be like the Superman and fly around the world, go backward in time, live outside the Earth's atmosphere, have X-ray vision, etc,. etc.?" If the person said, "That's an interesting question, but it's just a parlor game since it can never happen, so I honestly can't speculate on something that's impossible," I would accept that they aren't interested in that particular parlor game and are focused on reality.

That's an honest attempt to provide you with a thorough answer rather than just dismissing the question as being "silly" or foolish. I hope that it demonstrates that after conversion, although one may experience the occasional doubt, the reality of who God is (His character and His ordinances) becomes every clearer. It's a totally different mindset from someone who either "knows" that God doesn't exist or "isn't sure" that God exists. To them, the speculative exercise makes sense. To a believer, it's an oxymoron.

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33
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Old 02-17-17, 02:23 PM   #142
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I feel the same way about the whole purpose of life is to worship and glorify him bullshit.

If an all-powerful being requires my worship and adulation, there's something seriously wrong there.
But that's only one perspective.

Others have the perspective that the Creator with the characteristics of God (omniscience, omnipotence, infinite, perfect, completely holy, etc.) would deserve the worship from His creation.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Rev. 4:11
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Old 02-17-17, 02:42 PM   #143
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Sure, Vegan. Since you want an honest conversation, I'll do my best to address your concerns & give you a chance to respond. I'll break up your questions into two responses for brevity, beginning with the last two since you've mentioned it twice.

Here are the thought processes behind verse selections.

1. Sometimes a specific reference is tied directly into the discussion. Note the previous response to you & another poster in which I cited a specific reference and highlighted it to make it clear that it was directly applicable (also so it couldn't be missed...again). Sometimes it's indirectly connected but deliberately chosen because it adds flavor.

2. Sometimes I just go to a book & chapter randomly and then post what strikes me as being particularly wise. Proverbs is a favorite because of its many couplets that can stand alone & do not need long contextual placement for understanding; likewise, the psalms are handy. And I used to simply work my way down a particular book in Proverbs before moving on to the next one, regardless of the discussion.
However, I do like to have a balance between O.T. and N.T. as well as a balance between the positives and the negatives. That, to me, not only reflects biblical theology, it is representative of Scripture itself. Focusing only on gloom & doom or only on sunshine & flowers does not present a true picture.

3. And sometimes a particular verse comes to mind, and if I don't remember the actual location, I Google the verse. It may subconsciously be triggered by the discussion or not. At times, it may be deliberately connected to the discussion, as mentioned in point #1.

But you are absolutely wrong if you think that they are selected to "insult" others. I will be the first to admit that I have deliberately chosen quotes in the past to refute errors or to point out admonishments that apply to those attacking God, but I stopped doing that some time ago for several reasons. First, although the Bible is given to all men, it is written primarily for believers. Second, I explicitly wanted to avoid the appearance of insults that you thought you perceived; as previously mentioned, I immediately changed quotes on a few occasions specifically for that reason. The verses still applied just as much as ever, but I wanted to avoid getting entangled in arguments just for the sake of arguing.

The "When I was a child" quote was directed toward me, not others. It was an continuation of the discussion about logic and reason being used to open my eyes to a better understanding of theology. And the other quote is simply a reminder of how God views those who reject Him...in opposition to the false gospel that God "accepts everyone just as they are." I could quote passages about still waters and ascending doves after answering every angry attack upon Christianity (or individual posters) just for appearance's sake, but I think you know that wouldn't satisfy critics one whit. It's the existence of scripture itself that seems offensive, not the specific sentiments...at least, that's the impression I get. But, obeying the command of Jesus to try to stay at peace will all men if possible, I'll make a concerted effort to only include quotes about God's wrath when addressing fellow believers (and hope they won't think I'm insulting them. )

You also may take note of the numerous perfectly benign quotes included in responses to hostile posts. That should demonstrate that the quotes are reflective of my preference unrelated to the tone of the discussion or the other poster.

And I will add this so there is no misunderstanding. I absolutely, 100% stand behind what I said in an earlier post (ironically, to you, I believe) addressing those whose primary focus in these threads is to insult rather than to add to any mutual understanding. Whether anyone else agrees or not, I absolutely do consider it to be completely childish to constantly rely upon insults in lieu of arguments. And that wasn't aimed at Green Monkey. Those whose "responses," to use the term loosely, consist of the same insults repeated over & over are simply ignored. They don't appear to want conversation; it appears that they simply want to drag others down to the level of mud-slinging, profanity, and rudeness. And, frankly, it seems to gall them when others won't take the bait and keep the conversation above all that.

One can speculate about why they do this, but that's pointless. It's enough to recognize it for what it is, and it doesn't matter whether the source is insecurity, fear, hatred, or just the old schoolyard bully syndrome. There are places all over the internet for that tendency to be indulged, but most of us here are above that.

18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Romans 12:18
I guess that's part of the problem with including quotes. If they're unrelated to what you're talking about, then it seems utterly pointless, and if it does, it can certainly seem like insults. I'll take your word that it's unintentional, but I would be offended if I were Obey the D and I'd posted "I'm a good person" and got the response he did. The bible says he's a fool, he's corrupt, does abominable things and can do no good. Posting something like that comes across as rude with a side of superiority. I certainly don't thrive on insults, but those two jumped out at me. I was surprised when you said that wasn't intentional.

At least Pope Francis believes that heathens can do good works (and depending on your interpretation, that they can go to heaven).
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Old 02-17-17, 02:48 PM   #144
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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But that's only one perspective.

Others have the perspective that the Creator with the characteristics of God (omniscience, omnipotence, infinite, perfect, completely holy, etc.) would deserve the worship from His creation.

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” Rev. 4:11
In that case, he might deserve it, but it's odd to demand it.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" always struck me as odd as well, at least the believe part. It feels...insecure. "I just need you to believe that I exist and you're in the club. Now I'm going to hide for a few millenia." It's an unusual criterion.
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Old 02-17-17, 02:49 PM   #145
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey View Post
This comes down to the "True Christian" (TM) standard again. I've tried to get you to declare more specifically who counts and who doesn't but you always wiggle out of it. I can't even get an honest accounting of how big your particular sect of True Christians (TM) are.

I could pull the same bullshit about demanding you prove the atheists are what they say they are, but I don't do that, because it doesn't make any sense at all. I'm not the arbiter of what a True Atheist is.

And we're back to the bible quotes on every post again? Requiring constant trimming of the bullshit off of the post (ignoring the passive-aggressive insulting bible verses). Maybe I should start putting some anti-Christian bullshit at the end of every one of my posts just to piss you off, so you either have to quote it or manually remove it.
You have been given honest answers to every question you asked...and given from a biblical perspective. The general answer that should suffice is that everyone who confesses that they have offended almighty God and can never satisfy His just demands for punishment for their sins through their own works but only by trusting in Jesus Christ's death on the cross for their salvation...and who then repent of their sins and strive to follow Him as their new Lord and Master...are true believers. In other words, those who accept, believe, and obey the true gospel as proclaimed in God's Word.

That's as specific an answer as it gets. Only God knows "how many" truly believe what they say they believe. I have posted statistics on estimates of sizes of different denominations, and I have yet to see anyone find any survey that purports to be able to read the consciences of humans to test whether they actually believe what they profess.

Atheists don't need an "arbiter" for their qualifications. There's only one simply rule that has to be met. Beyond that, atheists can believe anything they wish.

The Bible is the arbiter of God's standards. And only God knows who actually believes and strives to obey those standards. Pretty simple, is it not?

I may not be tech-savvy, but I am absolutely puzzled by the "trimming of posts" comment. Are the words that terrible and threatening in some way? If they're just annoying, well, I think that most here could point to a lot of words they feel are a waste of space, but it's pretty easy to avoid reading them. Even the direct, obvious, intentional personal insults are just annoying in the general sense of decorum. Evidently asking for all members to be treated respectfully is now regarded as "complaining," although I will continue to point out if anyone insults you, Green Monkey, even if you do not want the help. You're a fellow forum member, and despite our different views, you should be afforded the same respect as anyone else.

But if you feel that it would serve a purpose to write blasphemous comments, then you absolutely should do what you think is right according to your own morality and as long as the mods approve. I hate to disappoint you if that morality means thinking that it will make me angry, you'll find that you're going to be sadly disappointed in the results. You're going to be a decade or so late to that game, and while I would discourage such comments for the sake of those posting them, it has zero effect on the target. If fact, it only serves to illustrate and support biblical views and general impressions.

As for "removing" Bible quotes...I'm not tech-savvy, but I can show you how to highlight and delete in about one second so that the offending words disappear. Again, not really sure that this should be a major problem for anyone.

12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
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Old 02-17-17, 03:05 PM   #146
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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I guess that's part of the problem with including quotes. If they're unrelated to what you're talking about, then it seems utterly pointless, and if it does, it can certainly seem like insults. I'll take your word that it's unintentional, but I would be offended if I were Obey the D and I'd posted "I'm a good person" and got the response he did. The bible says he's a fool, he's corrupt, does abominable things and can do no good. Posting something like that comes across as rude with a side of superiority. I certainly don't thrive on insults, but those two jumped out at me. I was surprised when you said that wasn't intentional.

At least Pope Francis believes that heathens can do good works (and depending on your interpretation, that they can go to heaven).
Well, the Bible says that all who say that there is no God are fools, so it can't be user-specific. It applies equally to me if I say that.

Then again, the Bible says that all men know that God exists even if they have convinced themselves that they don't believe it.

And someone pointed out recently that it would be oxymoronic to proclaim that the Bible is the only source of absolute truth while in the same breath saying, "Of course, that doesn't make it superior to any other beliefs."

Now, note that this doesn't say that believers of other religions or even nonbelievers don't have any truth. That is covered under the concept of "common grace." It simply says that the Bible proclaims itself to be inherently superior because it is the Word of the one true and living God.

It doesn't mean that has to be thrown in the face of nonbelievers with every post in response to the constant barrage of attacks upon the morality, credibility, and intelligence represented in the Bible and by its believers. In fact, it's not necessary because, contrary to a curious charge, believers are very secure in their beliefs precisely because of their faith in the absolute validity of scripture.

The words of Francis certainly do "tickle the ears of men." However, as stated before, the Bible is the arbiter of truth, not men. (Remember that Francis also said that he would punch someone who insulted his mother. )

The subject of "good works" is another good topic...maybe best explored in the Christian Idea thread. The short version is that a work that has good effects may not be a good work in the sight of God. If I rob a person and donate the money to the poor, the money may have a good effect, but is it a "good work" if I had to commit a sin to get the money? Likewise, if I drop a few bucks in the United Way bucket at work, making sure that everyone notices, is that a "good work?" The money goes to a good cause, but my intent was not to help others but to gain praise.

That make sense?

At any rate, the idea that people can be saved without Christ is refuted by the words of Christ Himself. I'd go to the source.

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
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Old 02-17-17, 03:12 PM   #147
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread



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Old 02-17-17, 03:28 PM   #148
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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In that case, he might deserve it, but it's odd to demand it.

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved" always struck me as odd as well, at least the believe part. It feels...insecure. "I just need you to believe that I exist and you're in the club. Now I'm going to hide for a few millenia." It's an unusual criterion.
Well, that's the way I would look at it, too, if I were just analyzing it like a proposal for an IRA.

That's why the doctrine of election and systematic, reformed theology is the only view of theology (and life) that makes sense to me. If God simply wanted to create a perfect, sinless world and leave it that way, He obviously could. Obviously, either that was not the plan or He is not God (with the characteristics described).

That is why there are so many O.T. and N.T. verses describing the gulf between God's thoughts and ours...which only makes sense logically. The thoughts of a toddler are not our thoughts...and a toddler has a lot more in common with our abilities than we do to God's. Try to create something out of nothing lately? (Although, ironically, that's what most people evidently believe happened way back at the start of everything...except those who have faith that some other explanation exists. -wink)

Anyway, the Bible teaches that upon conversion, people see things differently (although in this life it will always be, at best, like seeing through a clouded mirror). That sounds like a convenient cop-out to some, but then again, most of us have had that 'aha!' lightbulb experience when the seemingly-inexplicable suddenly became apparent.

[I also wanted to address one of your other points so you wouldn't think I missed it. When you say that answers are followed with more questions, that's not a "gotcha" attempt. It's part of a dialogue. When an answer is general or isn't addressing the ultimate point, I ask a followup. Again, look at it as a back-and-forth exchange, not an interrogation.

Try this: If I simply wanted to rag on atheists or Hindus or Patriots fans, I'd just adopt a common practice around here and say, "Atheists think that...blah, blah, blah" and insert whatever straw man I wanted to puncture. Instead, I ask questions. Again, if someone says that the point of life is to enjoy this life, that seems as limited as saying "Because God." I think it's fair for both atheists and theists to ask questions of each other to try to delve deeper instead of posting presumptions.

A good example is the "Christians only act out of fear." Or "Christians only want to earn a reward in Heaven."

Well, maybe that fits the beliefs of some Christians. If so, I think those Christians should turn to the Bible, which says that those who are in Christ have nothing to fear and that whether we are here or in Heaven, we will serve God wherever He chooses for as long as He chooses. Those are well-established principles, and it is sad to see the distortions being thrown out as though they are fact. Either people are sadly misinformed or are willfully denying the truth.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. 22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! 23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; 24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Philippians 1:20-24
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Old 02-17-17, 03:39 PM   #149
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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This is why overtly religious people scare the shit out of me. It seems their only reason for not going out and doing what the fuck they want is that they're hoping for a reward further down the line. Selfish and scary.
Please explain.

A person whose purpose is to serve God both here and in the hereafter has a mission for eternity. Along with that mission comes a set of absolute standards to be followed. The person's behavior is not predicated upon rewards...it's predicated upon conforming his/her flawed standards to God's holy standards.

The focus is on pleasing God...and doing this by worshiping God and serving fellow creatures (not by giving everyone person exactly what they want regardless of how destructive it may be, like the doctor who tells his patient who loves to smoke that there's nothing harmful about the activity).

On the other hand, a person without absolute standards can do anything he or she wants and be consistent. Most Christians aren't murderers; neither are most atheists.

Why atheists or theists would charge that either would be as bad as possible if only laws and rules didn't exist is beyond me. I don't hear Christians saying that about atheists, but I certainly hear a lot from the latter about Christians. Maybe the other takes place in other places, but I doubt that it's very common.

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Gen. 1:27
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Old 02-17-17, 03:44 PM   #150
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Re: The 2017 role of religion in the US, the trump administration, and DVDTalk thread

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Now for #1 & #2.

1. The Bible is absolutely not only the best but the only perfect standard for morality. God did not "change His mind." His moral law is just as much in effect today as it was in the days of Moses. The Ten Commandments were not abrogated by Christ, they were fulfilled (kept perfectly) by Christ for His elect.
The civil law given to Israel applied to them specifically. Along with separating God's chosen people from pagan nations through strict rules of behavior in the days before the Redeemer came, it also included rules (such as those regarding divorce) designed to restrain the worst impulses even for practices God hated, as described in the New Testament. Aside from setting Israel apart as a holy people unto Himself, God's Law is intended to demonstrate that no one could keep the law perfectly...except Christ. The Law drives broken, contrite, and convicted sinners who realize their inability to please God through their own works to Christ. Christ pointed this out to those who tried to convict Him for breaking religious laws, showing that even those ostensibly keeping "the letter of the law" outwardly constantly broke the law in spirit within their own hearts.
God's standards have not changed. Before Christ, obedience was all God's people had, and it was accounted to them as faith. Now that the fulfillment of the law has been achieved and the ultimate sacrifice has been given, the specific ceremonial laws and civil laws given to Israel are no longer necessary, and the N.T. leaves the establishment of civil laws to establish adherence to the moral laws to the civil magistrate.

2. That is a complex question, and the answer may seem paradoxical. But it is biblical.

First, all creatures glorify God. Creation itself is a testament to God's glory, even in the diminished, imperfect world which now includes decay, sickness, death, illnesses, and all sorts of ills resulting from The Fall. And all humans glorify God, either serving to demonstrate His justice or His mercy. And all will one day acknowledge that God is sovereign.

So that you won't think this is a dodge, I'll say that my life would glorify God even if I were an unbeliever...because His holy judgment of my sins would be used to demonstrate His justice. So, yes, I would do what you say, although unwittingly, just as all unbelievers do.

But your question is an oxymoron. How could one "enjoy God forever" if one could not be united with God? That's like asking if you would still enjoy sports if sports did not exist.

You see, biblical theology requires looking at things biblically. The Bible clearly teaches that God's people will respond to Him and believe His Word...which includes the promise of being with Him for eternity. And those who put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as their only hope to escape God's just punishment for their sins will believe that.

If you're saying, "Would you still worship God if there were no Heaven," I'll say "Yes" even though even saying that makes me pause for fear of giving the wrong impression...as though there is any possibility that Heaven does not exist. Because God says it does. Let me put it this way: "Whatever God ordains is right." If God had NOT ordained Heaven (which He has) that would be right. But as for the rest, you might as well say, "Well, if Satan were an angel of light, doing wonderful things for people and helping them rather than trying to destroy their souls forever, would you still oppose him?" It just becomes a parlor game.

It would be like asking people to speculate on this question: If you spouse cheated on you by having dozens of sexual affairs with others, would you still love and trust your spouse as much as always? Only it would be worse since it's possible that your spouse could do that. Maybe you would love & trust him/her just as much; maybe not. But the difference is that absolute faith in your spouse would say that your spouse would never do that, even while acknowledging that your spouse is not perfect. Now imagine how much more far-fetched it is to ask a believer to speculate about a perfectly holy God who does not behave in perfectly holy ways. It just isn't possible, unless one's faith is conditional.

Some want a "yes" or "no" answer, but maybe this analogy will work. If I ask someone, "What if you could be like the Superman and fly around the world, go backward in time, live outside the Earth's atmosphere, have X-ray vision, etc,. etc.?" If the person said, "That's an interesting question, but it's just a parlor game since it can never happen, so I honestly can't speculate on something that's impossible," I would accept that they aren't interested in that particular parlor game and are focused on reality.

That's an honest attempt to provide you with a thorough answer rather than just dismissing the question as being "silly" or foolish. I hope that it demonstrates that after conversion, although one may experience the occasional doubt, the reality of who God is (His character and His ordinances) becomes every clearer. It's a totally different mindset from someone who either "knows" that God doesn't exist or "isn't sure" that God exists. To them, the speculative exercise makes sense. To a believer, it's an oxymoron.

Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Romans 8:33
Thanks for that. Yes, #2 was an odd question. I was just curious. I guess my actual question was intended to be: what if the god you get to enjoy for eternity truly is an angry and vengeful god: one to be feared? But you answered what was given, so never mind.

I was just curious how much of it is about the reward. I can't speak for all atheists, but for me it's obviously more about the journey than the destination. I find meaning in relationships, friendships, the impact I have on other people. Love, openness, sharing. I truly believe that this life is all that anyone gets, so I try to make sure my actions won't make anyone's time here worse. I won't even eat animals because I don't want any creature to die or suffer for my benefit. I get that my life would seem selfish to a Christian since I'm just living for myself, but it doesn't feel that way to me. Conversely, living a good life with the expectation of a reward in heaven seems selfish.

I assume the current moral code of the bible would be the ten commandments? The ones pertaining to man are a decent set of rules, but I wouldn't want the first 3-4 getting anywhere near a courtroom or public school.
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