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OccamsRazor

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A bit later than promised, but here we go

Okay, for this topic we are going to split our infinitives and boldly go into uncharted territory (well, I am at least).

Having been in discussion with my consultant Christian (my wife) I have a statement for us to consider:

Clear physical evidence of a 6000-year-old earth would serve to undermine the need to hold faith in Christianity.

On the face of it, this seems a bit of an inherent contradiction, as our young earth Creationist friends efforts are aimed at proving the 6000-year-old earth for the very reason of reinforcing faith as a whole.

However, if there was un-refutable evidence of the 6000 year old earth, as expoused by young earth Creationists, it would lessen the need to believe and hold faith. Why? Well when the blatant is staring you in the face, it does not require any more than an examination to accept as a "truth".

Christianity is a religion that presents a choice to the potential believer- to have faith in God and hold belief in such God. A fundemental component of this concept is the fact that God and his works is not demonstrated in clear terms; irrefutable evidences do not exist.

So if the physical evidence for a 6000 year old earth was clear and easily observed, the need for a Christian to believe in God and hold faith is lessened as a result. If the proof were so compelling as the Creationists would have us believe, the individual is presented with no choice- the bibical description is the only possible explaination of what we see, then an element of free will is eliminated from the Christian, ie there is no choice open as to what to accept with regard to the age of the earth.

The opposite is true of an observer who accepts an old earth scientific view of the world and holds a Christian belief. They have to reconcile many tricky questions and to hold their scientific views, and Christian belief/faith.

(Edited by OccamsRazor 5/31/2004 at 10:15 PM).


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Posts: 92 | Posted: 10:13 PM on May 31, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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Errr.  I don't think I buy it.  Faith isn't, in and of itself, a prerequisite for being a Christian.  The only reason it happens to be necessary now is that God doesn't seem to be making personal appearences any more.  People make a big deal about faith because, without concrete evidence available, it's required if you want to believe in God, a literal Genesis, whatever your exact religious belief is.  However, most branches of Christianity require something more than just faith that God exists; like good acts, or following the sacraments, or belief that Jesus died for your salvation.  So even if God's existance were proven, one would still have to keep true to one's religious beliefs in order to be a "good" Christian.  

Also, a quick comment about free choice.  I think we've seen here that no evidence is so compelling that there won't be some who refuse to accept it.  And even if you know that God exists, you still have free will about what you do with that knowledge.  Personally, if God did make an appearence, he'd have alot to answer for before I would aknowledge him as a benevolent diety worthy of worship.
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 11:01 PM on May 31, 2004 | IP
TQ

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There's also the flip side of the coin as well (well, maybe not flip side, but it's on that coin somewhere!).  What effect does the insistence of the creationists on a literal interpretation of the bible have on a person's faith when they learn that what they were taught as "the truth" is wrong?  One of the main reasons I am not very fond of organized religions is because of the attempts to convert me when I was younger (my parents mistakenly sent me to a bible camp one summer when I was a kid).  Sorry, but anyone that lies that much is not someone I want to be my spiritual counselor, especially when he tells me to accept what he's saying or go to hell.  There's also the example of "Lodger", who's I've posted here about.  He discovered the inconsistencies and lies that he was being fed as a JW, and after looking into it himself, he went from being a devout JW to an atheist in the span of two weeks.  His wife has divorced him, his friends and family avoid him, etc.  All because he rebelled against what was being fed to him as the truth.

In short, how much damage to the christian faith does the creationist movement do?


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- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 03:10 AM on June 1, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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OR:  Okay, for this topic we are going to split our infinitives and boldly go into uncharted territory (well, I am at least).


Technically, it's a theological discussion which is probably why so few are willing to tred there.  

Now - to 'The Statement'.  

Clear physical evidence of a 6000-year-old earth would serve to undermine the need to hold faith in Christianity.


This statement comes from a misconception of what a christian has faith for.  This misconception is due, in part, to the 'overuse' of the phrase 'we have to have faith' by preachers or priests (I will try to cover all the 'christian denominations' with this) when they didn't have an answer for a question that was asked of them.  Faith is seen as this 'catch all' for the unknown.  However, this is not the intention or primary purpose of faith.  

Faith is primarily beliving what Christ did on the cross (dying for our sins) made atonement for us.  We must believe this by faith, as we cannot see the spiritual realm and the resulting implications Christ's death and resurrection had.  

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:  
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  
11 Wherefore remember, that ye [being] in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands;  
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:  

Basically, this says that we are saved (from hell and eternal death - which is separation from God) by faith.  How?  It is because of the covenant or promise God has now made with us - that if we will accept the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, we will be absolved of the sin of Adam and avoid hell which is the eternal punishment for that sin.  Because every person is a decendent of Adam, every person is heirs of the death that Adam's sin brought into this world.  Notice the verses that talk about circumcision and Israel.  Circumcision was part of God's covenant with Israel - part of a promise that through them salvation would come to the whole earth.  If the Israelites would fulfill their part, God would fulfill his part.  Jesus was the fulfillment of that covenant or promise (which is the 1st covenant - or 'old testament').  Jesus came so to save us all from hell.  The ONLY way to be saved is to accept the salvation offered by the 'new covenant' or new promise (new testament).  This says that if you have faith in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross to redeem you from the curse that Adam brought upon the world, you will be saved from Hell.

So then, it is clear that our faith is not in 'christianity' neither is it in the 'unknown' things that God somehow didn't tell us.  Faith is in Jesus and his redemptive work.  That's it - that's all one must do to be saved.  

Jhn 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Act 16:30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  
31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  
32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.  

So it is not that one must believe in YEC to be saved or go to heaven.  All you have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and what he did for you/us.  However, evolution and humanism have always served to undermine the word of God.  It has been used throughout history to decieve men into choosing death and hell instead of choosing life and salvation in christ.  It is this deception that YEC work against.  

Let me show you - if we all evolved from the goo-tothezoo-tomeandyou, then we have a host of ancestors and the human race couldn't be traced back to one single man (Adam).  If that were the case, then all people would not be under the curse that befel the earth through adam's sin (which is death) by being genetically decended from Adam (the reason for the need of a 'virgin birth').  If that were true, then many people would not need to be 'saved' by believing in Jesus.  They would be earning their salvation by just needing to 'be good people'.  As long as they didn't commit a damning sin, they would be ok and go to heaven.  However the Bible says that ALL men are decended from adam and that ALL mankind is under that curse of death.  As evidence, I don't know of any people who live forever and don't die (the Bible says Death is a result of Sin).

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification.  
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  


These verses paint a very clear picture of the roles of Adam and Jesus - how by adam sin and death entered the world, and how Jesus came to rectify that so that we were not all condemned to hell.  

Evolution is a humanistic attempt to aleviate mankind of the responsibility of Adam's sin.  If we are not under adam, then we are not under the curse of death and we will not go to hell.  Evolution attempts to paint the picture that we are not under adam... that we came to be by another means, and therefore a few conditions exist - 1.  we are not going to hell because we are not under Adam and 2. we can decide right and wrong for ourselves because we are not 'owned' or created by God.  

The truely destructive deception of humanism and evolution is in getting people to make the wrong choice - to choose NOT to accept the gift of salvation that Jesus purchased for us on the cross.  Satan used that in the Garden of Eden, and it continues today.  

Humanism (through evolution) undermines and contradicts God's word.  

Let me show you something - I have mentioned this before, but it demonstrates very clearly what's happening in the world today.  In the Garden of Eden, God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from a certain tree.  Satan came to Eve and said "Has God really said that you shouldn't eat the fruit from that tree?".  The first step is to pose a question - question God's word.  Then Satan said "Surely God didn't say that you would die if you eat that fruit".  He we see the lie - a direct contradiction to the fact of God's word.  Then we see humanism's roots born when Satan says "God knows that when you eat that fruit you will be as gods yourself - and you will have the ability to know the difference between good and evil".  Now notice that this was not a lie - as soon as Adam ate the fruit the Bible says his eyes were open and he knew the difference between good and evil.  

Many Christians don't need to be convinced as to whether evolution or YEC is true to be be saved or be a Christian.  However, there are many people who are decived into making the wrong choice - the choice that leads them to death and eternity in hell - because of humanism and evolution.  It is our command to preach the good news of Jesus (that he redeemed us from the curse by Adam's sin) to every person.  How can people know this good news or even begin to understand the implication if they don't know Genesis - if they don't know they need to be saved from an eternity in hell, what reason do they have to choose Jesus' gift of salvation.  What reason do they have to believe?

Evolution is taught as fact in all of our Public schools.  Academia is indoctrinating people with a deception and the cost is their eternal lives.  


OR:  as our young earth Creationist friends efforts are aimed at proving the 6000-year-old earth for the very reason of reinforcing faith as a whole.


I won't argue with this.  Many people reject the gift of salvation and foolishly choose hell as their eternity because of the deception and undermining of God's word preached in evolution.  However, as I said - our faith is that God will fulfill His promise - not that God exists.  

Luke 19:40 talks about some of the religous leaders of Jesus day coming up and asking him to tell his disciples to stop preaching.  But Jesus answered, "I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!".  Jesus connects the physical world around him to be the crying out the same message as he was preaching.  Jesus was a YEC.  In fact he quotes scriptures from Genesis and talks about how God 'created' things and people.  

OR:  However, if there was un-refutable evidence of the 6000 year old earth, as expoused by young earth Creationists, it would lessen the need to believe and hold faith. Why? Well when the blatant is staring you in the face, it does not require any more than an examination to accept as a "truth".


This is not necessarily true.  Many evolutionists would continue to believe evolution in the face of glaring and obvious evidence because the only alternative is that the Bible is true - and the basis of many evolutionists ideas is that it disagrees with the Bible.  

To put it quite simply, if the people who crucified Jesus did so in spite of the enormous documentation of the miracles he performed, if these people had all this proof and yet didn't believe he was who he said he was, we can see that evidence is not always a prerequisite to belief.  In fact, Jesus did such things as healing people of leopresy with a touch... making the lame walk... making the blind see.  People saw this, and yet they didn't believe in him.  He, himself, was resurrected from the dead and yet many who saw him didn't believe it was the same man.  

So if the Son of God doing amazing miracles right in front of someone isn't enough to convince someone to believe, then how is evidence of a 6000 year old earth going to carry that weight?  

YEC doesn't remove the choices, it adds the only correct one to the list of available choices.  It removes the burden many people feel when they are taught the lie that evolution is a fact.  The public education system only gives them one choice and they are forcefed the deception.

OR:  A fundemental component of this concept is the fact that God and his works is not demonstrated in clear terms; irrefutable evidences do not exist.

I would completely disagree with this.  We are often told to pay attention to the world around us, as they are for proving the word of God, not to mention the REASON we are here, which is to be stewards over this world for God.  How can we have dominion over and subdue a world we know nothing about?


Kronus:  Faith isn't, in and of itself, a prerequisite for being a Christian.

In fact, Faith in Jesus Christ is the ONLY prerequisite for getting into heaven.  The Bible makes that very clear in verses I already quoted.  However, the Bible also makes the case that what one truely believes in their heart comes out in what they say and do.  

Mat 12:34 O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Luk 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

Jam 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?  

While works are not needed to get to heaven, they are demonstrative of 'what you truely believe in your heart'.  

For example, if a person sees a car coming at them and they say "I only need to take one step for the car to miss me" and then the person takes 3 steps - did they really believe that they were safe with only 1 step?  How would be know what the person was really thinking?  We would know by the person's actions.  

Kronus:  Also, a quick comment about free choice.  I think we've seen here that no evidence is so compelling that there won't be some who refuse to accept it.  And even if you know that God exists, you still have free will about what you do with that knowledge.  Personally, if God did make an appearence, he'd have alot to answer for before I would aknowledge him as a benevolent diety worthy of worship.

I completely agree with this, Kronus.  

TQ:  What effect does the insistence of the creationists on a literal interpretation of the bible have on a person's faith when they learn that what they were taught as "the truth" is wrong?

It is true, the Bible gives us the 'big picture' often times while not spelling out the details.  Those details not writtin in scripture are left to whom to fill in?  They are left to fallible man.  Admittedly, no many fully understands the scope and nature of God.  How then, can we fill in details of a universe far less complex than God - how can we speak for the creator when we don't even know the full scope of the creation?  You have to realize TQ, that men make mistakes.  Anything not specifically written in the Bible is available for scrutiny and debate.  Often, even between YEC, there are arguments and debates (as there is between any evolutionists).  

You can choose to be upset with the camp counselor (or whomever) that presumably lied to you, but all you are doing is shifting the blame for your disbelief in the Bible as whole onto that person.  It is more probable that you had poor spiritual leadership and were unwilling to study the scriptures for yourself to find the answers to the questions you were asking.  

TQ:  Sorry, but anyone that lies that much is not someone I want to be my spiritual counselor, especially when he tells me to accept what he's saying or go to hell.

Would you rather someone didn't tell you the truth and wrapped the lies in a warm fuzzy blanket so it gives you that good feeling like you are a good person?  In fact that is what humanism does - it questions and ultimately contradicts God's word, all the while telling you that you can take God's place and decide truth for yourself.  

TQ, you going to hell or not has nothing to do with whether you believe in hell or not.  It has everything to do with accepting salvation from Jesus by believing in His Sacrafice for you.  Your eternal destiny hangs on your own choice... no one can make that choice for you.  TQ, I wouldn't presume to pretend to know or not know if you are going to hell.  That is a matter strictly between you and God.  I can merely tell you what the Bible says is God's criteria.  Specifically, that the only criteria for heaven is Faith in Jesus Christ and his Sacrifice for you... and for me... and for everyone.  



 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 5:37 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
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Oh, where to start!

Pick one gup and we'll go




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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 5:59 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Were you sexually abused by your camp counsellor?
 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 6:15 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
TQ

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Sorry, no.  Now what are you going to think about tonight?


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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 6:42 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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Quote from Gup20 at 5:37 PM on June 1, 2004 :

Kronus:  Faith isn't, in and of itself, a prerequisite for being a Christian.

In fact, Faith in Jesus Christ is the ONLY prerequisite for getting into heaven.  


At least, according to your branch of Christianity.  Not trying to say that anyone is right or wrong, just pointing out that there is alot of disagreement on this point.  


Kronus:  Also, a quick comment about free choice.  I think we've seen here that no evidence is so compelling that there won't be some who refuse to accept it.  And even if you know that God exists, you still have free will about what you do with that knowledge.  Personally, if God did make an appearence, he'd have alot to answer for before I would aknowledge him as a benevolent diety worthy of worship.

I completely agree with this, Kronus.  



Really?  The whole thing?  Even the part about God having alot to answer for?  I find that really, really surprising given, well, everything you've ever posted.  Please expand on this...
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 7:41 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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*cough* be nice now

I see my wicket was indeed a little sticky on this one

Plenty of interesting points so far, thanks for the responses.

Anyhow, I'll get my teeth into it tommorrow as I have an appointment with Mr. Sandman to attend now


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Broaden your perspective: http://www.talkorigins.org/
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 8:07 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Kronus:  At least, according to your branch of Christianity.  Not trying to say that anyone is right or wrong, just pointing out that there is alot of disagreement on this point.

You won't get an argument from me.  Personally, I think it's pretty clear, but some don't.  

Kronus:  Really?  The whole thing?  Even the part about God having alot to answer for?  I find that really, really surprising given, well, everything you've ever posted.  Please expand on this...

If God appeared and you asked him those questions, I am sure you would get a soundly convincing answer.  You would be worshiping in no time.  Regardless of my clever quips, that is your personal sentiment and I am unqualified to know if it's true - you said it was, so I agreed - you personally feel that way.


 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 11:44 PM on June 1, 2004 | IP
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Well, since God isn't around, let me ask you the question.

How do justify having a very specific requirment for getting into heaven, and not making it abundently clear what that requirement is?  And please No Bible quotes!  I don't consider have one correct holy book out of a dozen currently circulating around the world "abundantly clear."

Basically, if your theology is correct, than God is damning people without cause, which makes him evil in my book.
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 2:40 PM on June 2, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Since God created heaven, and the Bible is the only book claiming to have been authored by God....

And please No Bible quotes!

Not hardly likely.  You can't ask a theological question and tell me I am bound to give a non-theological answer.  

The Bible actually talks about that.  Proverbs 26:4-5 says "Do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you also be like him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes."

In other words, don't get baited into answering a question like this outside Biblical famework... and when you are asked a foolish question respond in kind with a foolish answer.
 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 6:52 PM on June 3, 2004 | IP
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The Bible is not the only book claiming to be "authored" by God.  The Koran, the Bhagava Gita, the Tao Te Ching, pretty much every holy book out there either claims to come from God, or be directly inspired by God.

Let me try giving a direct example of what I'm asking.  We've got some Hindu farmer in the middle of India.  He's been Hindu his whole life, everyone in his villiage is Hindu.  By general standards, he's a good man.  According to your theology, he's going to Hell when he dies, because he doesn't believe in Jesus and a literal Genesis.  I maintain that that is manifestly unfair.  He has about as much chance of ditching his religion and becoming Christian as you, Gup, have of suddently deciding that Hindu is the way to go.  Even if he does decide to stop being Hindu, what possible reason would he have to become Christian?  Out of all the possible choices, why choose that one?  If he chooses wrong, he burns in Hell forever, and yet God does nothing to make it clear what the right choice is.  That's evil.

I thought you'ld figure out what I was saying with "no bible quotes", let me spell it out more clearly.  You quote the Bible from the standpoint of someone who has already excepted everything it says as true.  The discussion here is about non-Christians, though.  We're talking about people who haven't already been saved, and perhaps haven't even read the Bible before.  They have no more reason to believe the Bible than any other book.  So simply saying "Well, the Bible says FOO, therefore my point is proven" isn't going to cut it here.  For every quote you come up with, our hypothetical Hindu could say, "sure, but this other book says BAR, how do I know which is correct?"
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 09:35 AM on June 4, 2004 | IP
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FOO

BAR

FOOBAR

FUBAR

Or am I reading to much into your capitalisation’s there Kronus?

(Edited by OccamsRazor 6/4/2004 at 10:24 AM).


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Posts: 92 | Posted: 10:24 AM on June 4, 2004 | IP
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Just a little.  
I'm a computer geek, and we often use FOO and BAR as generic variables.  I haven't checked the derivation of the terms; their origin may well come from FUBAR for all I know.
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 11:04 AM on June 4, 2004 | IP
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So Gup seems unwilling to touch this one.  What does everyone else think?  Is my question "foolish", or does my analysis of Gup's theology make sense?
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 1:46 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
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Makes sense to me.  I've asked the same question myself on other boards, and the silence was deafening


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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 2:21 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
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Quote from Kronus at 1:46 PM on June 9, 2004 :
So Gup seems unwilling to touch this one.  What does everyone else think?  Is my question "foolish", or does my analysis of Gup's theology make sense?


I think your point about non-Christians and being saved is very relevant.

If you are going to insist that your viewpoint is correct and everyone else's is wrong just on the premise it's your view, well that opens up a can of worms doesn't it?

Or alternatively, it is a direct consequence of an inability to accept that other faith's can be correct, and that you have the monopoly on  the one "true God".


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Broaden your perspective: http://www.talkorigins.org/
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 2:29 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
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So Gup seems unwilling to touch this one.


Well it's a theological question and you asked me not to give a theological answer.  I am prepared to answer the question, but I am unwilling to restrict myself to the framework you suggested.  

Kronus:  According to your theology, he's going to Hell when he dies, because he doesn't believe in Jesus and a literal Genesis.

Actually, this is incorrect.  There is no need to believe in a literal Genesis to go to heaven.  The only pre-requisite is that one believes in Jesus.  Yes, that 'good man' will go to hell if he does not believe in Jesus.  Why?  How could a loving God send an innnocent man to hell?  Well, no one is innocent, in that all have sinned.    

Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Rom 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:  

All means all.  Whereas by one man (adam) sin entered the world... and death which is the result of sin... so by one man (jesus) life is available.


Rom 5:15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification.  
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)  

Kronus:  I maintain that that is manifestly unfair.

It is 100% and entirely JUST however.  If all have sinned, then all deserve death, which is the result of sin.  However, while we were still sinners, Christ had compassion on us and offered a way of redemption... that whosoever should believe in him should be saved.  

Rom 5:6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.  
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  
11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

Kronus:  Out of all the possible choices, why choose that one?  If he chooses wrong, he burns in Hell forever, and yet God does nothing to make it clear what the right choice is.  That's evil.

NOTHING?  God sent his one and only son to be so brutally tortured and die at the hands of those he came to save!  Why?  So that we could be reconciled to God and not have to spend eternity in hell.  Look at the Christian faith throughout history.  When has a religion been so persecuted?  Christianity should have been destroyed many times over... at the hight of it's power the roman empire - who dominated the entire known world at one point - tried to wipe christianity from the face of the earth.  

The fact that it has prevailed and triumphed through such adversity demonstrates that it has supernatural help.  Moreover, there are many, MANY examples of hindus, buddhists, or any other religion coming to become Christians.  Why?  Because it is the only religion that worships the one true God, but also because the Bible is true... and also because once you begin to become a real christian you finally have real power to change yourself.  

It is like the difference between day and night.  You have to realize that all other religions are authored by Satan.  They are inherantly evil.  Even when practicing these religions people still feel a sense that something is missing... something isn't quite right.  I have personally seen people come to know Christ after having been a hindu... or after having been a Moslim.  The change and transformation in these individuals is amazing.  I have seen people healed over and over again (I am talking about hundreds here) with my own eyes from everything from drug and alchohol addiction to watching a guy with severe arthritis and swollen knees have hands laid on him and watch his kness practically deflate from inflamation and swelling right in front of me.  There are often (several per year) reports in my church (I go to a large church with about 7 thousand people) of someone who had cancer getting healed to the point where the doctors couldn't even find a trace of the cancer anymore.  The doctors always say the same thing.... that it must be some kind of a miracle and they always scratch their heads and re-run their tests 4 or 5 times.

The principle of the school I went to as a youngster had an inoperable brain tumor.  He lived and functioned normally for 25 years after the doctor told him and his family he had only a few months to live.  

One of the main downfalls of the christian faith are those who turn it into a religion.  Religion is like dry bones.  It is lifeless and gathers dust.  Christianity was never meant to be dry religious repitition.  It is truely the only religion in the world where you have a personal relationship with the God who created the universe.  In fact, abcent this relationship, I don't see any reason to be a christian over any other religion because there is no power ... no authority... no life in religous repitition for it's own sake.  It's only in realizing that Christianity is real and that God is real and treating them as such that you become connected to something that is greater than you or me.  This is what Christianity has that nothing else has - we have a real and living God.  We have THE real and living God.  

2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away

This verse describes christians who see their christianity as a religious duty rather than a real relationship with a real God.  This is the type of 'chrisitanity' that pushes people away from God.  This is the type of christianity that TQ experienced.  The difference between them is that the dry christians focus on the do's and don'ts of the Bible.  Those who experience real christianity experience a real living, breathing, dynamic relationship with the creator of heaven and earth.  They interact routinely with the spiritual realm.  It is the farthest thing from dry religion and duty... it is a lifesyle and a friendship that knows no boundry.

You quote the Bible from the standpoint of someone who has already excepted everything it says as true.  The discussion here is about non-Christians, though.  We're talking about people who haven't already been saved, and perhaps haven't even read the Bible before.  They have no more reason to believe the Bible than any other book.  So simply saying "Well, the Bible says FOO, therefore my point is proven" isn't going to cut it here.  For every quote you come up with, our hypothetical Hindu could say, "sure, but this other book says BAR, how do I know which is correct?"


The Bible talks about this:

Jhn 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, [then] are ye my disciples indeed;  
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  
33 They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?  
34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.  

Truth is truth... it's real, it's finite, it's absolute.  Once you know the truth, it sets you free.  This freedom is what cannot be duplicated by any other religion or ideology.  This is very true, and I have  seen it in my own life.  

To make this relevant to our discussion... I have seen several evolution scientists who used to argue fiercely against creationism.  Now that they have started believing in Jesus, their lives have dramatically changed.  The more real christianity they experience, the more they see that the Bible is true.  Once these people get a taste of truth, it sets them free.  They begin to realize they have been in bondage to sin... and to a worldly ideology that excludes the truth.  To put it quite simply - once you eperience real truth, there is no comparison, there is no going back, there is no alternative.


 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 4:02 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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When has a religion been more persecuted that Christianity?  That's easy: the Jews.  They've been around much longer than the Christians, and they have always been persecuted, scapegoated, and in some instances the target of genocide.  By your argument they are so clearly God's chosen people that it's no contest, which would of course make your religion the one authored by Satan.

That bit of ludicrous logic aside, you continue to fail to answer my question.  Sure, there's been lots in your life to convince you that you've made the right choice, but the vast majority of the world hasn't had those experiences.  And without them, you offer no reason why someone would chose Christianity.  And so they go to Hell.  

You did remind me of another matter though: original sin.  Not only is everyone damned, but they're damned because of something they didn't do, which happened 6000 years ago, and which they don't even belived happened.  And again; no evidence, no way for people to know they're damned.  They're just going to hell for something they didn't even do.  That just knocks the evil quotient on your diety up a couple of notches.


 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 4:33 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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eh - ?

Jews and Christians worship the same God Kronus.  
 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 7:45 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Are you telling me you have never committed a sin, Kronus?  Cause if you have, guess what - you deserve to go to hell.  All the justice in the universe demands it.


 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 7:48 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
OccamsRazor

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Quote from Gup20 at 7:45 PM on June 9, 2004 :
eh - ?

Jews and Christians worship the same God Kronus.  


Well, that only makes the contradiction even more glaring.

Shall we make an estimate of the number of followers of Judasim who have perished at the hands of Christians in pogroms, purges, sacks, mass suicides and holocausts over the years?




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Broaden your perspective: http://www.talkorigins.org/
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 8:42 PM on June 9, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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Try to keep yout theology straight, Gup.  You haven't been saying that I'm going to hell because I commited a sin, you said I'm going to hell because Adam and Eve sinned, and the only way to erase that sin is for me to accept Jesus.  You've said that over and over, if you're changing your mind now please say so plainly.

And once again, you're avoiding the question.  How is someone who hasn't been brought up in your tradition supposed to know that your tradition is correct?  You've make only cursory attempts to answer that, and you've done nothing to address my assertion that, failing an answer to that question, we must assume your God is evil.  Could it be that you're avoiding the questions because you can't answer them?


 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 10:24 AM on June 10, 2004 | IP
Gup20

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Try to keep yout theology straight, Gup.  You haven't been saying that I'm going to hell because I commited a sin, you said I'm going to hell because Adam and Eve sinned, and the only way to erase that sin is for me to accept Jesus.  You've said that over and over, if you're changing your mind now please say so plainly.

True... but you are making noise like you are some innocent.  No one is innocent.  We are all born under death, with a sin nature.  There is no such thing as innocent.  
 


Posts: 233 | Posted: 10:46 AM on June 12, 2004 | IP
Kronus

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Again you avoid the question.  Your God damns people for all eternity for something they didn't do, and does nothing to make it clear how to avoid this fate.  Every response you've given to this has been off on a tangent.  Either address this issue or admit that you have no answer.  Based on everything you've ever said, it's impossible to escape the conclusion that your God is evil.  Tell us what you've left out, or do you acknowledge that your God is evil and you worship him anyway?
 


Posts: 92 | Posted: 9:58 PM on June 12, 2004 | IP
TQ

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Let's put it a bit more simply for Gup:
1a) Any who don't worship god are damned.  This would mean a sizeable percentage of the historic population of the world is damned because until relatively recently, there were large populations of the world that had never heard of Jesus Christ (Think African bushmen, australian aboriginals, native americans, etc.)  Is it "just" to damn billions of people for not worshipping you when they have never heard of you?

b) How is it "just" that you are damned if you do not believe in god, yet he makes no attempt to make it clear that christianity is the correct religion, or even which branch of christianity is correct?

2) Every person on earth is a sinner because of the actions of two people (Adam and Eve).  This is the ultimate in grudge holding.  How is this "just"?

Well gup, we're waiting



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"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it) but 'That's funny...'"
- Isaac Asimov
 


Posts: 234 | Posted: 8:40 PM on June 13, 2004 | IP
Genetique

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TQ- whilst I think you've got your theology straight, please don't encourage the  missionaries to 'save' people who haven't heard of God.

Anyway, shouldn't this be a discussion about evolution?

I wanted to ask Gup if he/she has heard of the C-value enigma (or C-value paradox).  This is the observation that genome size is not proportional to organismal complexity.  It means that one cannot  make the assumption that simple organisms have less DNA (less information) than complex ones.


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<br>Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now and the way to be happy is to make others so. <br>Robert Ingersoll
 


Posts: 2 | Posted: 1:38 PM on June 17, 2004 | IP
    
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