Earthquakes and Angry Gods

“This is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you…”

There’s a funny thing about geology…now keep in mind this has nothing to do with evolution…we understand precisely what causes earthquakes. Although we cannot yet predict them, we know where they will happen and why they happen. A few weeks ago, we discussed the crackpot idea that earthquakes are not natural events, but directly controlled by a supernatural god to punish the wicked or organize the universe in ways poor, stupid man just cannot understand. We talked about the outraged response to Tamtampamela’s ridiculous parody which rejoiced in the awesome demonstration of God’s power. We talked about the insulting and idiotic notion that the place of the earthquake in Japan had more to do with the secularness of that country than it did with fault lines and moving plates.

During this discussion, I was repeatedly reassured that this god-fearing perspective was one of isolated crackpots with not reasonable grasp on reality, that most contemporary Christians certainly don’t think of earth dynamics in such primitive and immature terms.

Well…apparently this insane minority includes about a third of the US population.



But of course, there are others who say that it wasn’t an angry god who causes earthquakes, but men. We ruined God’s creation with our sinful ways and created a world of absolute horror. Here’s an uplifting rendition of this state of affairs, complete with gnashing and grinding of teeth and Pascal’s wager.



How’s that for a contradiction:  how can ‘heaven’ possibly be the place you spend with that fuckstick?

Yep…and you just spent 2 minutes and 33 seconds there.

jk

37 Comments to “Earthquakes and Angry Gods”

  1. Kelly 8 April 2011 at 12:39 am #

    In “Heaven” no one will be calling each other “f-sticks”:-)

  2. LeeS 8 April 2011 at 6:28 am #

    I understand the comment, but what I would like to have seen is that people who associate natural travesties with a people’s behavior really need to keep it to themselves.

    That Fox piece, pro conservative mind you, reports on a pretty disturbing mind set for way to many people. I think that is what Jon was trying to point it. This is not a fringe, which is why he used “f-sticks”. (the plural is key here)

    You see, the minute someone thinks that an earthquake, tsunami, hurricane, tornado, etc. is the result of a God’s (loving in this case) response to a people’s behavior, they probably deserve the ‘f-stick’ label. It is really no different than saying that someone’s kid has cancer because of some action in his families past. What would you say about that person? There really is no difference.

  3. Jon K 8 April 2011 at 6:44 am #

    ‘F-stcks’??? Who are you kidding, man? I think Kelly can say that, but you haven’t earned the right.

  4. Kelly 8 April 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    John Ch.9: “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” This world is fallen and earthquakes are part of it, I personally don’t equate them with “an angry God”.

    I agree that Fox News doesn’t need to be taking surveys to suggest Japan was deserving of the devastation, mainly because Christ bore in His Body the punishment for the sins of all mankind, once and for all, at the cross.

    Jon, your problem is not really with Driscoll, but with the words of Christ on the reality of Hell.

    I certainly haven’t earned God’s Grace, but I have received it and allowed it to re-direct and change my life.

  5. Jon K 8 April 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    My problem is with neither Driscoll nor Jesus, but the cruel idea that is illegitimately being advertised as truth. That Driscoll fully embraces the Christian idea that imperfection deserves eternal sufferring in a horrible place and ignorantly expresses it as captured in the above video makes him a complete fuckstick. Anyone who watches that video and thinks “wow, he’s right; good example of God’s tough love” is a sorry excuse for a human being.

    I really don’t know how the John 9 clip relates to the mass deaths of Japan’s catastrophe.
    Rabi: “Who sinned – the ten thousand dead Japanese or Japanese society.”
    Jesus: “Neither – they are floating corpses so we can all appreciate the work of God…”
    Doesn’t work at all. Even with the blindness thing, it’s more of a “at least you are alive” gimmick than something insightful – every sane person would prefer to experience life with the faculty of sight.

    This is more of the same crap all Christians peddle – Be like us or burn in hell. I really don’t have any inclination to be respectful of such a putrid view on life. It’s shocking to me so many think such a worldview deserves respect.

  6. Kelly 8 April 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Jon, Jesus warned about Hell, so you have to claim that He is a liar and a “sorry excuse for a human being”, yet history tells He was the most self-less person to ever walk this earth. No one comes close to matching the Man’s character.

    I get it that being under God’s wrath, you don’t have any respect for Him, but accepting what He has done for you would change that completely. Jesus talked a ton about eternal life and if floating corpses were all that life came to, then there is no hope in that, that’s the atheists “pointless” point of view, not God’s.

    Lee brought up the child with cancer, so I brought out that verse. There is an outpouring of love and support being sent to the people of Japan, and it is largely the work of God’s people who are reaching out to the hurting. His work is being done in Japan and the lost are being found. It’s His plan, not ours.

  7. Jon K 8 April 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    The most probable scenario is that Jesus’ words have been been twisted by writings constructed many years after his death and do not capture what he said at all. Had he been sensible, like the Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle who wrote things down themselves we might have a bit more accurate representation of his thoughts and words.

    You seem to have trouble distinguishing between two types of fear.
    1. Fear of a powerful and often cruel dictator that exists in the real world and has demonstrated the capacity to crush those who get in his way
    2. Fear of a monster who lives in the back of the cave who I’ve never seen, shows no real signs of existing, but there’s a book about him that says he’s there.
    You seem to project that I see myself as ignoring the first kind of fear. But I’m simply arguing that there’s no ground for Fear #2. I simply do not see myself as under a god’s wrath – but I simply find this wrath which is perversely labeled ‘loving and just’ to be twisted. If you suppose that Jesus (aka God) had a perspective just like Driscoll, then yes, I would say he is a sorry excuse for a human being. But only those who cannot think for themselves and are burdened with a fundamentalist perspective of scripture pigeonhole Jesus into such a corrupt character.

    The verse certainly doesn’t work for a kid with cancer. Probably worse than earthquake victims, so I still don’t get it. It is humanitarian work that is helping Japan, not religious work. That many of the people are religious has not a thing to do with it.

  8. Kelly 8 April 2011 at 9:07 pm #

    You really should check out “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” and see if you should still be be speculating on the validity of the Bible and the words of Christ.

    John 3:36 says “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

    Oh, I can think for myself:-) It’s just that I understand that Jesus is Lord and you do not, yet.

    “That many of the people are religious has not a thing to do with it” is like saying all those that are there praying for and comforting the victims in the Name of God are not moved and motivated by Him at all. That’s a rather mis-informed statement. God’s love is the MOST powerful motivator on the face of the earth and He is why the “religious” are in Japan.

    You should go see the movie “Soul Surfer” this weekend and maybe those verses in John Ch.9 will make more sense to you.

  9. Kelly 8 April 2011 at 9:23 pm #

    This is a very helpful article on how we come to believe what we believe. I think you’ll be able to appreciate and value the insight.

    http://www.rzim.org/justthinkingfv/tabid/602/articleid/10746/cbmoduleid/881/default.aspx

  10. Jon K 8 April 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    In looking over McDowell’s blog, I can immediately see from his presentation of evolution that his has no comprehension for what constitutes evidence. The repeated claim of this brand of apologist (who grossly misrepresents the claims of evolution) that there is not adequate evidence for evolution, yet an empty tomb is a veritable certainty which proves things like zombie corpses ascending into heaven (the ascension of the body into heaven is the most problematic and absurd aspect of a resurrection that could more productively be understood as symbolic.)

    The continuous bombardment of verses from a book that is full of verses both good and horrendously evil is not evidence of anything.

    Of course, I wasn’t speaking of people’s motivation. But the secular world (including the Japanese themselves who had a commendable lack of looting and pillaging such as was regularly captured on news footage following Katrina here in our grand old Christian nation. Of course I neither blame Christianity for the horrible behavior of looters nor give credit to the admirable aid to a belief in a particular (or any) creed. It is merely examples of inhumane behavior vs. humane behavior. A suggestion that some powerful being would cause or even allow such tragedies of horrible scales as an opportunity for us to shine is as twisted as the idea that God was just pissed off. I’m not sure what light you think you are casting on such things – they just happen. Good people are the ones who help (regardless of the notion that they might have lied once or thought sexually about a woman) and bad people are the ones who use these things to their own selfish advantage. If your religion equates these two types of people in the grand scheme of things as equally deserving of damnation because of an ancient act of disobedience and the ensuing state of imperfection, then your religion is demented. It makes me laugh to think your worldview sees anything sensible in the claim that a Buddhist humanitarian working his fingers to the bone to help his fellow men is morally equivalent to a Christian bible-thumper making off with a big screen Sony following Katrina – but since the t.v. thief buys into Christianity, he will party in heaven while the humanitarian burns. It is so incredibly messed up that someone cannot clearly see the problem with such a system.

    And don’t get me started on God’s love again. Not love – contradiction. You have repeatedly failed to demonstrate how this ‘love’ is not a contradiction as I’ve pointed out about a thousand times.

  11. Kelly 9 April 2011 at 4:29 am #

    Looking at his blog and discerning his take on evolution is not the same as examining his book (which is a two volume set)containing all the historical evidence concerning Christ and the Bible. I realize that Dawkins preaches there is but ONE way to know things, yet he is sadly awry. If it were not for the Resurrection of Christ, the Church would never have been born. Dawkins would rather not bother with the historical evidence concerning Christ and the Bible because to do so “would be like investigating the “Tooth Fairy”, such a waste of time, he says. He’s only showing his idiocy and single minded devotion to Darwin and his so called “God killing” theory.

    Sir Julian Huxley said “The reason we jumped at the Origin of Species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.” Hmmmmm???

    Mr. Richard Dawkins has no evidence that macro evolution has ever taken place, no one has ever witnessed the transition from one species to another, yet he makes the leap and preaches it with passion, because it fits him and his readers well. He gets paid to reassure sinners that there is not God with whom they will ever have to give an account. So NOT what Jesus says.

    I know this is all over the place, but I’m almost convinced that something horrible happened to you and/or your family members to turn you so adamantly away from God. Using the word “putrid” to describe the Gospel of Christ is pretty unbelievable.

    Why do you find it so hard to believe that a loving Father can step in and pay his son or daughters sin debt with his own resources? It happens all the time in this country and you act like this is some kind of contradiction when God does it for mankind.

    Lastly, here’s a quote from D.L.Moody,founder of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago that might help you see that God’s love is not a contradiction, bear with me: “Grace isn’t a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal. It’s a way to live.” The law tells me how crooked I am. Grace comes along and straightens me out.” It is God’s desire to forgive us our sins and straighten us out, and for all of us, that’s a life long process:-)

  12. Jon K 9 April 2011 at 1:58 pm #

    “Looking at his blog and discerning his take on evolution is not the same as examining his book (which is a two volume set)containing all the historical evidence concerning Christ and the Bible”
    I repeat – if he rejects evolution on the claim there is no evidence and at the same time believes the evidence for the bodily resurrection of Jesus and bodily ascent into heaven is irrefutable, then he does not understand anything about evidence. (His perspective seems the same as William Lane Craig, which is flawed to the core.) Tell me why I should read two volumes which compounds a flawed premise?

    “I realize that Dawkins preaches there is but ONE way to know things, yet he is sadly awry. If it were not for the Resurrection of Christ, the Church would never have been born.”
    This is part of the flawed argument that can be used to justify the existence of any religion. If Belief X was not true then Believers in X would not exist. The logical flaw in this is not even worth expounding upon.

    Not sure why you threw in the Julian Huxley quote. I will say more about it later. To summarize, in the world of science, when famous scientists say silly things (in this case, purportedly on the Merv Griffin show) science is not bound to make those utterings fit into their system of understanding. This is unlike the apologists who spend their existence fitting baby stomping tantrums into the portfolio of a just and loving god.

    “Mr. Richard Dawkins has no evidence that macro evolution has ever taken place, no one has ever witnessed the transition from one species to another, yet he makes the leap and preaches it with passion, because it fits him and his readers well.
    Complete nonsense. There is detailed and comprehensive evidence for macroevolution. And, actually, yes we have observed speciation – though not at the scale you probably need, like a crocodile to a duck. Though that’s not a legitmate one at all, the scale you are looking for takes many millions of years so of course we have not directly observed it. We haven’t directly observed an awful lot of things we know to be true – good thing we’re clever enough to get beyond that. The constant need to see an event that doesn’t exist (a monkey changing into a man in an observable timeframe) betrays a complete lack of understanding about what the theory of evolution says. The evidence for evolution puts the evidence for a zombie Christ to shame.

    “He gets paid to reassure sinners that there is not God with whom they will ever have to give an account. So NOT what Jesus says.”
    That would be an unfortunate can of worms to open – who gets paid the most in the task of reassuring sinners. I will make that a topic of a future blog post.

    “I’m almost convinced that something horrible happened to you and/or your family members to turn you so adamantly away from God”
    We learned to use our minds…as it turns out, not so horrible.

    “Using the word “putrid” to describe the Gospel of Christ is pretty unbelievable.”
    Another regular tactic of yours to avoid talking about the issue under discussion is make it look like my argument is a personal attack on Jesus. I have pretty clearly discussed what I find putrid is the idea we have been discussion about there being no distinction between good people and bad people (the idea that we are all deserving of infinte torment for finite errors) which is captured in Driscoll’s PUTRID sermon. If YOU are saying that his words accurately reflect the gospel of Christ then I would have no problem calling that putrid, because that’s what it is. Now if you are saying the gospels don’t say anything like Driscoll captures, then we’d have something to talk about. But putrid is putrid.

    “Why do you find it so hard to believe that a loving Father can step in and pay his son or daughters sin debt with his own resources? It happens all the time in this country and you act like this is some kind of contradiction when God does it for mankind.”
    What happens all the time in this country? We kill our kids to pay for crimes? We buy into the aburdity that a single mistake deserves eternal incarceration, misery and suffering? Human beings don’t follow this contradictory system of justice at all, thankfully. We don’t hold that a crime must be balanced by punishment, but hey it doesn’t matter who is punished. You have to explain more about this strange position – I’m not sure how a loving father sacrifices his own child in scapegoat format or how a loving father let’s a child suffer eternally for moderate human mistakes. We’ve talked about all this before – if you don’t want to address the issues, fine, but stop coming back to the same claims over and over.

    The quote is ok. But as we’ve discussed before, if when you say ‘law’ you are talking about old testament law….well, let’s not get back into that…

  13. Kelly 9 April 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    “I repeat – if he rejects evolution on the claim there is no evidence…”

    He doesn’t say “no evidence”, I read some of his blog and he goes into greater detail on the insufficiency of “the evidence” used to promote it.

    Jon, are you aware that Jesus made eleven different appearances after His resurrection? They are recorded in the New Testament.(yeah I know you don’t care, but here they are)

    To Mary Magdalene at the sepulchre alone. This is recorded at length only by John (20:11-18), and alluded to by Mark (16:9-11).

    To certain women, “the other Mary,” Salome, Joanna, and others, as they returned from the sepulchre. Matthew (28:1-10) alone gives an account of this. (Compare Mark 16:1-8, and Luke 24:1-11.)

    To Simon Peter alone on the day of the resurrection. (See Luke 24:34; 1 Cor. 15:5.)

    To the two disciples on the way to Emmaus on the day of the resurrection, recorded fully only by Luke (24:13-35. Compare Mark 16:12,13).

    To the ten disciples (Thomas being absent) and others “with them,” at Jerusalem on the evening of the resurrection day. One of the evangelists gives an account of this appearance, John (20:19-24).

    To the disciples again (Thomas being present) at Jerusalem (Mark 16:14-18; Luke 24:33-40; John 20:26-28. See also 1 Cor. 15:5).

    To the disciples when fishing at the Sea of Galilee. Of this appearance also John (21:1-23) alone gives an account.

    To the eleven, and above 500 brethren at once, at an appointed place in Galilee (1 Cor. 15:6; compare Matt. 28:16-20).

    To James, but under what circumstances we are not informed (1 Cor. 15:7).

    To the apostles immediately before the ascension. They accompanied him from Jerusalem to Mount Olivet, and there they saw him ascend “till a cloud received him out of their sight” (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:50-52; Acts 1:4-10).

    It is worthy of note that it is distinctly related that on most of these occasions our Lord afforded his disciples the amplest opportunity of testing the fact of his resurrection. He conversed with them face to face. They touched him (Matt. 28:9; Luke 24:39; John 20:27), and he ate bread with them (Luke 24:42,43; John 21:12,13).

    In addition to the above, mention might be made of Christ’s manifestation of himself to Paul at Damascus, who speaks of it as an appearance of the risen Savior (Acts 9:3-9, 17; 1 Cor. 15:8; 9:1).

    It is implied in the words of Luke (Acts 1:3) that there may have been other appearances of which we have no record

    Why do you think 10 of the disciples would go to their deaths defending a lie? They saw the Risen Christ and were BOLD witnesses unto terrible deaths. Do you know how they died?

    1. John died of extreme old age in Ephesus.

    2. Judas Iscariot, after betraying his Lord, hanged himself.

    3. Peter was crucified, head downward, during the persecution of Nero.

    4. Andrew died on a cross at Patrae, in Achaia, a Grecian Colony.

    5. James, was thrown from a pinnacle of the Temple, and then beaten to death with a club.

    6. Bartholomew was flayed alive in Albanapolis, Armenia.

    7. James, the elder son of Zebedee, was beheaded at Jerusalem.

    8. Thomas, the doubter, was run through the body with a lance at Coromandel, in the east Indies.

    9. Philip was hanged against a pillar at Heropolis (Abyssinia).

    10. Thaddeus was shot to death with arrows.

    11. Simon died on a cross in Persia (now Iran.)

    The Gospel has spread to the ends of the earth because Christ rose.

    The Gospel is simply this “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Sound putrid to you?

    “What happens all the time in this country? We kill our kids to pay for crimes?”

    What a mind game you play to win. My point is that many a loving father has bailed a son or daughter out of jail, and you don’t scream contradiction of love.

    “We buy into the aburdity that a single mistake deserves eternal incarceration, misery and suffering? Human beings don’t follow this contradictory system of justice at all, thankfully. We don’t hold that a crime must be balanced by punishment, but hey it doesn’t matter who is punished. You have to explain more about this strange position – I’m not sure how a loving father sacrifices his own child in scapegoat format or how a loving father let’s a child suffer eternally for moderate human mistakes. We’ve talked about all this before – if you don’t want to address the issues, fine, but stop coming back to the same claims over and over.”

    John Ch.1:1 and v 14 explain that God became man, in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus said if you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father. The trinity is certainly not easy to explain, yet the concept is throughout Scripture.

    When I say law, I’m referring to the one that is written on your heart. Romans Ch.2:12-16 contains what I’m referring to and why Christopher Hitchens can claim he has some morals;-)

    Now have a headache, just focusing on who Jesus is would be so much simpler!

  14. Jon K 10 April 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    “…he goes into greater detail on the insufficiency of “the evidence” used to promote it.”
    As I stated, he demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about what constitutes evidence.

    “Jon, are you aware that Jesus made eleven different appearances after His resurrection? They are recorded in the New Testament.(yeah I know you don’t care, but here they are)”
    The actual book making the fantastic claim cannot itself be evidence of that fantastic claim – you do understand that, right?

    “Why do you think 10 of the disciples would go to their deaths defending a lie?”
    You are kidding right? I’m not sure why you so insist on setting up false dichotomies. CS Lewis did this regularly. The reason they would go do their deaths is the same that millions have gone to their death over false beliefs. Ask the same question about suicide bombers and 9/11 hijackers and you will perhaps see how nonsensical your question is.

    “The Gospel has spread to the ends of the earth because Christ rose.”
    It has spread for the same reason all religions spread.

    “The Gospel is simply this “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” Sound putrid to you?”
    You are doing it again. You know very well what I am arguing but you insist on completely changing contexts. What I find putrid is the very long backstory that constitutes the entire basis of your religion which makes such an event necessary. This includes:
    1. I find the notion that because we are imperfect, we are all evil and deserving of eternal suffering, putrid.
    2. I find the notion that becasue we are imperfect, there is no way to distinguish Hitler from his victims in the eyes of a god, putrid.
    3. I find the notion that an innocent sacrificed for the guilty balances the scales of justice, putrid.
    4. I find the notion that a god capable of ANYTHING cannot simply forgive in the way a human parent would forgive his/her own child, absurd.
    5. I find the notion that a god who would have one suffer infinitely for finite errors, putrid.
    6. I find the notion that such a god (with his horrible history of violence and terror) is labeled a “god of love,” putrid.

    The way you phrase your outraged disbelief with “sound putrid to you?” is ridiculous. As an analogy, take Mafia Don guilty for ordering the death of hundreds. One day, he is with his son in the street and attacked by a rival. To protect his son, he jumps in front of the bullet and dies. Let’s say we are talking and you say, that man was putrid – responsible for so many deaths,” and I say, “What? You think it’s putrid to give your life for your child?” This is similar to what is going on here.

    So no, I don’t think honorable sacrifice of oneself, such as soliders do every day, is putrid. You know very well that’s not my argument.

    “When I say law, I’m referring to the one that is written on your heart. Romans Ch.2:12-16 contains what I’m referring to ”
    The one written on my heart certainly doesn’t say things like homosexuality is a sin or imperfection deserves damnation, so what exactly do you mean? Anyone who feels such laws on their heart has a cold heart indeed. As for the Romans verse – it is borderline nonsensical: “12 All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law. 13 For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”

    Seems to say that if you don’t recognize the law (for example, an primitive person or non-religious person) you are screwed, if you accept the law, you are screwed because you’re not perfect. So you need the get-out-of-jail-free JC card. But you also have to follow the law. But even with the card you are imperfect…Kind of like the old “just do your best” we give to our kids. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to mesh up with Romans 3:28. (“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.”) But I’m sure there’s a clever apologetic dance around that contradiction.

  15. Kelly 10 April 2011 at 1:15 pm #

    “The actual book making the fantastic claim cannot itself be evidence of that fantastic claim – you do understand that, right?”

    Again, history is not on your radar in the least, it’s all about evolution for you. I see the evidence for the resurrection of Christ every week when I meet with 1500 or who worship the risen Christ today. Multiply that by every existing Church whose members have been made spiritually alive in Christ. We are proof of His resurrection by the power of His Holy Spirit.

    Richard Dawkins’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” book doesn’t show case any research that is at odds with the theory of evolution. Yet you except his Fantastic claims, as he explodes from the minute details of micro-evolution within a set species to macro-evolution of phenomenal scale! You do realize that you take it all from a book and have to convince yourself that all though DNA sure looks like it has been designed, it goes against ALL intuition as Dawkins states it, but this way, we end up with no Creator, isn’t that Fantastic;-)! Those of you who want to continue in sin feel free to do so because “it just doesn’t matter”! Can you hear the animal house chant, oh yeah that’s all we really are, great life. I’m glad I left that lie behind 21 years ago.

    The entire book of Romans would be best for understanding those verses better. Notice I said some morality for Hitchens, your heart is darkened according to Romans 2:18-32. To embrace sin of all sorts the way you do, you are in rebellion against the One who made you, suppressing the truth, and that is what’s cold.

    The verses I shared with Lee are the power behind a person’s justification with God, He takes it from there, when a person recognizes Who He is and accepts His offer. You insist that you are “righteous” apart from God, yet if simply compare yourself to the Person of Christ, you fall WAY short.

  16. Jon K 10 April 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    “Again, history is not on your radar in the least, it’s all about evolution for you”
    As Sarah Palin would say – WTF? I’m talking about evidence.

    “I see the evidence for the resurrection of Christ every week when I meet with 1500 or who worship the risen Christ today. Multiply that by every existing Church whose members have been made spiritually alive in Christ. We are proof of His resurrection by the power of His Holy Spirit.”
    Wow – sounds like what I heard from a Muslim once..well replace Jesus with Muhammad and get rid of the resurrection thing. The logic’s the same, though.

    “Richard Dawkins’s “The Greatest Show on Earth” book doesn’t show case any research that is at odds with the theory of evolution.”
    Very good. I’m so proud of you. That would be documented in the endless multitudes of research papers, technical books, journals, etc. Dawkins is merely reviewing the findings of these rigourous research for a popular audience.

    “Yet you except his Fantastic claims, as he explodes from the minute details of micro-evolution within a set species to macro-evolution of phenomenal scale! You do realize that you take it all from a book and have to convince yourself that all though DNA sure looks like it has been designed, it goes against ALL intuition as Dawkins states it, but this way, we end up with no Creator, isn’t that Fantastic…”
    Doh!!! You blew it! You clearly need to beef up your understanding of how science works.

    “Those of you who want to continue in sin feel free to do so because “it just doesn’t matter”! Can you hear the animal house chant, oh yeah that’s all we really are, great life. I’m glad I left that lie behind 21 years ago.”
    Really? You’re going to result to snarky accusations? That’s really productive. Did you not listen to a thing I’ve said??? It seems not. Well, I’d write more about this, but hey, I gotta run to the strip club and masterbate on the women there.

    “To embrace sin of all sorts the way you do, you are in rebellion against the One who made you, suppressing the truth, and that is what’s cold.”
    Luckily, I’ve already addressed this in today’s post!

    “You insist that you are “righteous” apart from God”
    When did I insist that? By stating that we can differentiate good people from bad people? I’m really not sure how you thought any of these pulpit-pounding, reason-free statements help anything. I try my best to clearly lay out what I am objecting to in your system, and insteat of talking about them nicely you consistently engage in this condemnational mode of judgment. I tell you what I find putrid in very explicit terms and you ignore what I say and go back to the same nonsense about “being in rebellion with the one who made me.” (For the record, I’m not in rebellion against my parents…who made me.) To me, it seems as if you are in rebellion against reality and reason.

    Well. As I’ve said, I’m sure there’s someone outside who needs raping – ah…this is why I reject the Lord. Jeese….

  17. LeeS 10 April 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    I think again, as Jon has pointed out, the very easy and straight forward things are not even addressed. I copied just two of these from earlier, to keep it focused.

    I cannot see how anyone could embrace these things, and I think each of them is very accurate with respect to Christianity.

    “1. I find the notion that because we are imperfect, we are all evil and deserving of eternal suffering, putrid.”
    Yeah exactly how can that be? I know you will come along with a fallen world, and original sin, etc, but it is beyond me how anyone could not see how flawed the logic of this is. I can’t understand how the belief in Jesus dying for ones sins is somehow better for humanity than actually treating each other with dignity and respect. And don’t tell me that only people who believe Jesus died for their sins are the only people capable of making the planet a better place to live, because that simply is not true. I am very interested in your response to this.

    “2. I find the notion that becasue we are imperfect, there is no way to distinguish Hitler from his victims in the eyes of a god, putrid.”
    Again a great point. How can a great humanitarian, who just so happens to be non Christian (I am thinking that Bill Gates might fall in that category) deserve the same punishment as Hitler? This is of course assuming that he gets what we are assuming, after all, he was a Christian albeit not one of the better ones, but from above, you don’t really have to be a good Christian to be saved, you just have to be one. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that actions alone mean nothing (in the Christian faith). This is not true of Islam, where actions have some weight on how you spend eternity. I am very interested in your response to this.

  18. Kelly 11 April 2011 at 12:10 am #

    I apologize for the conversational style rambling, but I do feel like I was trying to address at least a couple of the questions Jon was asking. Time is the issue! I hope you both read the Scripture verses because those are extremely relevant.

    So these two, Lee.
    “1. I find the notion that because we are imperfect, we are all evil and deserving of eternal suffering, putrid.”
    Yeah exactly how can that be? I know you will come along with a fallen world, and original sin, etc, but it is beyond me how anyone could not see how flawed the logic of this is. I can’t understand how the belief in Jesus dying for ones sins is somehow better for humanity than actually treating each other with dignity and respect. And don’t tell me that only people who believe Jesus died for their sins are the only people capable of making the planet a better place to live, because that simply is not true. I am very interested in your response to this.”

    First, the Bible doesn’t say we’re all evil, but that “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.” Romans 3:23. You’re also setting up this dichotomy that it’s somehow this way or that way when you say: “I can’t understand how the belief in Jesus dying for ones sins is somehow better for humanity than actually treating each other with dignity and respect.” THERE IS NO EITHER OR, IT’S BOTH:-)!!! Through Jesus Christ, God calls each and every sinner into a relationship with Him FIRST,(that’s justification before God) and it’s not some “lip service” prayer it’s an ALL-IN committment, it’s either Jesus Christ is God and Lord of your life, or you think you are your own boss. God is God and He is worthy of your entire self. He knows what you won’t give up to know Him. It’s worth it to lay it down, whatever it is. I was saved on the day that I deemed knowing Him more worthy of what He told me to “wait” on. “Kelly don’t have sex before your married.” Jesus became the Lord of my life that day, best decision I’ve ever made!

    So all that to say, when Jesus is Lord of someone’s life a lot changes and continues to change each and every day. He tells us we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, care for widows and orphans, the Bible is full of the good works that He wants His followers to participate in. Please don’t act like He doesn’t value what you value. Christ died in vain if you can be “good enough” on your own. The fact is that apart from Christ there is no way for you to be justified before God. You can be good to people, but that doesn’t change your standing before God. The only way you can earn favor with Him is to receive Jesus Christ, (foolish to you, important to Him)plain and simple. To reject Christ is to reject God’s love for you. He’ll let you have it that way, if that’s what you want. So there’s NO dichotomy, it’s faith first and good works to follow which God enables you to do. 2 Corinthians Ch.9:8 (one of my favorite verses!)

    Little side note to Jon, your parents didn’t make you, they just made love to each other. Your mom did not knit you together in her womb, God did that, through HIs awesome design called your DNA.

    I gotta go for now.

  19. LeeS 11 April 2011 at 9:50 am #

    Kelly, so are you saying there is something special that God does as part of conception of a human (some kind of intervention) as compared to say other mammals? Or are you just attributing DNA to him, and then it is the same for all after that?

  20. Jon K 11 April 2011 at 10:53 am #

    “So there’s NO dichotomy, it’s faith first and good works to follow which God enables you to do. 2 Corinthians Ch.9:8 (one of my favorite verses!)”
    You cannot escape the core of the problem. The reason you claim this faith is needed in the first place is because there is no difference between good and bad. There is only ‘perfect’ (like Jesus, who actually had to be God to be perfect) and everyone else who deserves eternal suffering. (We don’t deserve to simply die, mind you, we deserve to suffer for eternity, you know…gnashing of teeth, etc.) So the reason Christian theology needs this faith piece is because from a divine perspective Hitler’s victims are just as abhorrant as Hitler. This is the dichotomy I am talking about. You are either perfect and deserving God’s company or not and deserving of eternal torment. It doesn’t make sense. We can certainly distinguish some Christians as less good than some non-Christians in terms of moral behavior – no one could claim that every Christian is morally better than every non-Christian, that would be demonstrably untrue. But it seems this god you recognize is incapable of distinguishing the imperfect – they ALL DESERVE THE SAME FATE.

    Of course, I’m not suggesting that Christianity believes that faith is a license to sin and still be saved. Of course Christians expect behavior in accordance with the moral guidelines they embrace – otherwise why would Jesus have even bothered to teach moral lessons? The assumption that no one can be good without being perfect is the problematic one, and incidentally, this is what is rejected by most moderate Christians who typically believe if you live a good life (not perfect, but good) you go to heaven.

    Generally, it seems this god is capable of carte blanche forgiveness, and has no problem with a repenting mass murderer, but completely lacks the capacity to understand that a lifelong humanitarian Buddhist (for example) might have better ‘heart’ than a repented fiend. It seems to be an odd blindspot for an omniscient being.

  21. Kelly 11 April 2011 at 7:49 pm #

    Here’s some insight on how this works Jon. “Paul explains that on the cross, a transaction occurred. He says:

    “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.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

    This transaction that occurred consisted of sinless Jesus taking all our sin in His body on the cross, and then giving to sinful man all His perfect righteousness. (to those who receive Him)When God looks at a Christian, he no longer sees the offensive contamination of sin, but sees all the perfect righteousness of Christ given to him.”

    So because no one is without sin, all need Jesus Christ. There is no blind spot with God, He sees all and He wants all to be made right with Him through Jesus Christ. This is His way of making sinners right with Him.

    Here’s some other verses on what it means to be in Christ. http://www.concernedchristians.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=68&Itemid=14

  22. Kelly 11 April 2011 at 8:37 pm #

    To Lee:

    John 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

  23. Jon K 11 April 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    I think I see the claim, but I’m not sure how there is no blind spot. For example, given there about a billion Hindus in the world, there is certainly a distribution of them all along the moral scale. Some of them live quite admirable lives and some of them are detestable cheats (just like in our society.) Christian theology poses a gate whereupon, outside of it, God is blind to how these people live their lives. Since they are not Christian, they do not get the gift. Regardless of how they lived, they suffer the same agony of damnation. That doesn’t make sense to me at all–positing a transaction (if you are one of ‘us’ and believe as we do you get the thumbs up as long as you maintain some kind of moral threshold) doesn’t make it pallatable to me since God is blind to this moral threshold one must maintain with regard to an individual outside the ‘club.’ The entire complexity of such a primitive scheme of sacrifice seems totally farcical. (And the only place this code is documented is in ancient texts – intuitively, the scheme is unnacceptable. One’s belief or acceptance of a claim irrespective of his actions to me is corrupt – it seems to me to be as extreme a form of prejudice imaginable. (To be condemned merely for the way you think about something, independent of anything else.)

  24. Kelly 12 April 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Jon, you are responsible for your own decision about receiving His gift. I suppose you could try and stand before God someday and say I didn’t receive Christ because a billion Hindus didn’t either.

    What you are not realizing is that God is at work in the world and He can visit any individual on the face of the planet and present them with the choice to follow Him. That is how He reached out to me. I didn’t have a Bible in my hands and very little knowledge of it at that time.

    He also chooses to use those who have received Him to get His Word out: Matt. 28:19 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” There are Christians all over the globe sharing the message of Christ. Thanks to technology, some of the poorest people on earth have access to satellite T.V. We saw that first hand when we lived in Iran Jaya, Indonesia for a year and a half.

    Lastly, God’s invitation is open to ALL, so there is no “extreme prejudice”.

  25. Jon K 12 April 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    “Jon, you are responsible for your own decision about receiving His gift.”
    That is certainly correct, and I am less worried about that eventuality than you are worried about having to justify yourself to Allah, Ganesh, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

    “I suppose you could try and stand before God someday and say I didn’t receive Christ because a billion Hindus didn’t either.”
    You are completely missing the point and surely have no appreciation for my perspective if you think that’s even relevant. My point is simply that with respect to individuals outside Christianity (there are billions, you know) they all suffer infinitely the same regardless of how well they lived (because they were not perfect.) In that case, God is blind to their moral values – he doesn’t care if they lived well or not. This argument is not about me at all – you continue to assume that I’m simply trying to blaze a path for immoral behavior – but as I’ve already said, it’s as ridiculous as accusing you of rejecting Islam to justify eating bacon. It cannot be taken seriously.

    “What you are not realizing is that God is at work in the world and He can visit any individual on the face of the planet and present them with the choice to follow Him That is how He reached out to me. I didn’t have a Bible in my hands and very little knowledge of it at that time. He also chooses to use those who have received Him to get His Word out”
    Now that would be a good example of ‘self-righteous.’

    “Lastly, God’s invitation is open to ALL, so there is no “extreme prejudice”.
    That’s a strange comment to follow the some-are-chosen-others-have-to-stumble-along-guessing description (by watching televangelists? Really?????) you just provided.

  26. Kelly 12 April 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I understand your thought process, but it won’t fly with God, so I’m just letting you know.

  27. Jon K 12 April 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    If you understood my thought process, that would have never in a million years written “it won’t fly with God, so I’m just letting you know.”

  28. Kelly 12 April 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    I don’t have to agree with your thought process to understand it:-).

  29. Jon K 12 April 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    You would have known such silly statements to be pointless, unconvincing, and detrimental to the efficacy of your stated intentions.

  30. Kelly 12 April 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Okay: “That is certainly correct, and I am less worried about that eventuality than you are worried about having to justify yourself to Allah, Ganesh, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster.”

    This isn’t a silly statement?! We are talking about the claims of Christ.

    I get the point of your second paragraph and no amount of human effort can achieve what Christ came to achieve for mankind on the cross.

    Lastly I’m not sure you have to stumble along since you were able to finally understand how the perfection of Christ is accredited to believers. You may not agree with it, but at least it seemed to make sense to you.

    I get that you continue to reject the plan and purposes of Jesus Christ in your life. That’s why your “sphere” remains black:-(

  31. Jon K 12 April 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    “This isn’t a silly statement?! We are talking about the claims of Christ.”
    Yes, of course it’s a silly statement. But you seem to think my mental argumentation is some kind of preparation for the day I fear I’ll have to face the Christian God in some kind of attempt to cover my ass – so my point is I’m no more worried about having to reason my way out of Christian hell than you are worried about being reincarnated into a slug on the next go-around.

    “Lastly I’m not sure you have to stumble along since you were able to finally understand how the perfection of Christ is accredited to believers. You may not agree with it, but at least it seemed to make sense to you.”
    It certainly doesn’t make sense to me with regards to being a good or just system. But if you mean – do I comprehend the theological claim? – yes, I think I do, but I certainly don’t see beauty in it as you apparently do.

  32. LeeS 12 April 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    From Kelly: “What you are not realizing is that God is at work in the world and He can visit any individual on the face of the planet and present them with the choice to follow Him. That is how He reached out to me. I didn’t have a Bible in my hands and very little knowledge of it at that time.”

    I think what you are not realizing is that for myself, and I think I can speak for Jon, we have not been privileged to have a personal visit from the almighty. Given that, you really can’t think that mere conversation and posts can come close to having the same effect. I would like to think if I had my contact moment, I would realize that I had something that cannot be shared. I would wonder why God has chosen not to give whom ever I am talking to the same gift he gave me. After all, I did not need much faith because as you said, you were contacted personally.

    On another note, I just watched the Sam Harris, William Lane Craig debate, held at Notre Dame recently based on whether we can declare an absolute morality based on rational, objective criteria.

    Sam pointed out some great things and rather than me try to recite out of context, I urge you to watch. It is long, roughly 2 hours. There are 9 parts of 15 minutes not counting the last one.

    If you pay attention to the kinds of things that Sam says, it should give you an understanding of how Jon and I think. There is really nothing that Sam says that is hard to understand. Now Craig on the other hand, seems to relish in using complex language and logic to describe the simplest of things.

  33. Kelly 12 April 2011 at 11:10 pm #

    Fair enough to both of you. I’ll respect the fact that neither of you have experienced a God “contact” moment. I’ll simply continue to pray that you do:-)

  34. LeeS 13 April 2011 at 6:46 am #

    OK, I think we may have made some progress. Now keeping that exact same mind set, surely you can appreciate the position we have with the weird stuff that is contained in the bible.

    I mean like Sam points out in the video, the Abraham story where he almost kills his son is despicable when you consider the point of reference that we come from.

    All the stuff that Jon points out should make more sense to you giving the understanding from that perspective.

    One thing I like about Sam is that he says, it is pretty easy for God (Christian or otherwise) to make him a believer, but yet he just refuses to do so at Sam’s expense.

    What we see in the world around us is not something that one could attribute to an all loving God. One can look at any natural disaster as ample evidence of this.

    We call them natural disasters for a reason, because it is a natural thing, and therefore is not under the control of some supernatural being, much like the sun’s radiation of light and the separation of night and day here on earth. There was a time in our history, where both of these were completely thought to be the providence of a super natural god, but it would be foolish to argue that today, for this, and literally everything else we have a good understanding of.

    The same goes for the creation of a human. From the perspective that Jon and I have, there is no difference, biologically between the conception of a human, as compared to really any mammal. It is 100% a natural thing. If it were as you think, some kind of supernatural intervention at conception, there would not be starving children being born in the poorest of nations today.

    I know you hate it, but the world view that Jon and I have, lines up with what we see in the world around us. There really is no getting around it.

    In closing, I wish I had that contact moment, I really do. I can not think of how it could make me ignore factual understanding of the world around me. How I could defend the terrible things which exist in the bible, (or whatever ancient text that is associated to the God that decides to contact me, as it could be Ala). It would definitely be an interesting experience for sure.

    And to think that I will burn in hell forever, simply because the all loving God does not see it fit to make me a believer, as he has done for you, surely seems a little twisted, because you are well aware He completely understands my mind, and therefore cannot expect me to have a belief in something where there just is not the evidence to do so.

    Just to make sure you do not respond as I would expect you would, quotes from the bible are meaningless. There is nothing outside of the bible, that provides the kind of evidence which exists in the various fields of science. This is just one of the other big problems with religions in general. Stuff is just kind of made up, or sure appears to look that way.

  35. Kelly 13 April 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    Lee,

    What I find most unhelpful to you is a consistent diet of diatribe against the things of God. Take Jon’s recent post on Noah. His is a surface reading of the text VOID of so much more that is taking place. Here’s what I mean, it is thought by many scholars that what Ham did was so shameful that Noah did not provide the details, and Noah is making a prophecy that his descendants will be just as perverse, therefore the curse is also a prophecy of what is to become of the nation of Caanan.

    I realize that you and Jon both give a thumbs up to homosexual activity, yet imagine yourselves for a minute being sexually abducted by a male or males in your own home (for we don’t know how many were involved in dishonoring Noah this way in the privacy of his own home). Do you think you might be a little pissed?

    Anyway, all this to say is that the Bible is a book full of both human actions and God’s actions. I don’t get caught up on Abraham, because Abraham knew the character of God to be Good and he knew in his heart if he were to have to sacrifice Issac than God would raise him from the dead. So Abraham took those steps to obey God and what did God do?! He STOPPED him and said HE would provide the sacrifice, HIS SON, once and for all mankind.

    All this to say, if you keep reading bitter and abusive material about God, the harder it will be for you develop a heart for Him, a heart that would put your faith in Him and accept what He’s done through Jesus on your behalf.

    I quite literally need to bar myself from Jon’s website, because if I let myself read it, then I’m constrained to reply to every single fallacy. If you want to know God give up the fallacy against Him and seek the truth concerning Him. I think you’ll get your “God” moment when you learn the truth about Him.

    Love,
    Kelly

    By prophetic revelation, Noah foresaw that the moral flaws evidenced by Ham would be most fully manifested in Canaan and in his offspring. Knowing this, the curse of God falls upon the Canaanites because of the sinfulness Noah foresaw.104 The emphasis thus falls upon the fact that the Canaanites would be cursed because of their sin, not due to Ham’s. I think this explains why Canaan is cursed and not Ham, or the rest of his sons.

    “The words of Noah, then, contain a prophecy. Canaan will most reflect the moral flaws of his father, Ham. And the Canaanites will manifest these same tendencies in their society. Because of the sinfulness of the Canaanites foreseen by Noah, the curse of God is expressed. The character of these three individuals and their destiny will be corporately reflected in the nations which emerge from them.”

  36. Jon K 13 April 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    “I realize that you and Jon both give a thumbs up to homosexual activity”
    I don’t know what Lee’s been telling you, but I’ve always rejected his advances with “No means no!”

  37. Kelly 14 April 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    “And to think that I will burn in hell forever, simply because the all loving God does not see it fit to make me a believer, as he has done for you, surely seems a little twisted, because you are well aware He completely understands my mind, and therefore cannot expect me to have a belief in something where there just is not the evidence to do so.”

    This is only an audio, but worth listening. Lee, you cannot blame God for not “making” you a believer for faith is required of you and you have a choice as to where you place it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg2VXB-V8c0


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