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applebiter

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If there were just one honest religious person to answer the following question honestly, it would be a breath of fresh air. Just one.

Why do you believe in the Bible?


(Edited by applebiter 6/23/2006 at 02:52 AM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 02:49 AM on June 23, 2006 | IP
birchie1983

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Want honest?

I could give you a myriad of reasons, but since you wanted honest:

Faith. Pure and simple.

If you want more than that ask for it. You asked a question. You got one. Unless you want me to elaborate, I won't for there are other things.
 


Posts: 23 | Posted: 04:19 AM on June 23, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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That's not an answer. Faith is just a word, often used by the religious to explain themselves the same way a 14-year-old girl uses the word "whatever". It's a non-answer.

Faith in what?
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 08:46 AM on June 23, 2006 | IP
birchie1983

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You asked a Christian question. Take it or leave it, I gave an honest Christian answer to that. What exactly your purpose here?

Answer to your question:

Faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Secular people such as yourself keep asing the same questions, we give the same answers. You are looking for a scular answer to a non secular question. You're not going to get one unless you ask other more detailed questions.
 


Posts: 23 | Posted: 10:15 PM on June 23, 2006 | IP
Bubble

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Faith is defined by dictionary.com in a Christian context as "The theological virtue defined as secure belief in God and a trusting acceptance of God's will." Therefore, I think it is a perfectly acceptable answer to that question. We can not prove without doubt that the Bible is the Truth, and that's exactly what faith is...
Obviously, belief is usually based on many other reasons than just faith. I think my belief in the Bible is not irrational but is based on "intellectual honesty". I have questioned things and have been honest with my intellect and with scientific theories yet still have faith the Bible is the Word of God. Before believing this, I felt short-sighted to many of life's mysteries-they did not seem to make any logical sense. However, since having faith in the Bible, I feel like a have a new pair of glasses with which many of these little mysteries now make logical sense.
I don't expect anyone to understand this, and there's no real point in continuing this argument. Like Birchie said, its a Christian question which will get a Christian answer, which will be rebutted by secular people, which will be rebutted by Christians, and so on and so forth...


-------
"A great many open minds should be closed for repairs"
- Toledo Blade
 


Posts: 16 | Posted: 10:32 PM on June 23, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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The question is simple. Why do you believe that the Bible is "divinely inspired"? Why do you believe anything written in it? I ask the question and I know that you will not face the question because the answer is too painful for you to face directly.

The truth is that you were taught that it is a holy book written by holy men when you were a child. You learned it from those whom you trusted to teach you how to live in the world. You took the belief and you internalized it before you were old enough to understand that you could question it. You accepted it during a time in life before you understood that your parents weren't absolute authorities on every subject. And now, even in spite of reason and sanity itself, you cling to the belief you were given as a child because to even question that belief threatens you in a way even a bullet could not.

I have my answer. You may as well have said it simply: "I believe because I want to believe. I need to believe. I must believe." There is no reason here, only the mindless addiction of a junkie. You can ply all the word games you want, but I'm wearing Wittgenstein's coat.

There is one more compelling reason to believe. It's the sheer social comfort of it. Even though you know on some level that it's all make-believe, you can look around you and know that there are many more of you willing to play make believe with you, and this must be empowering. There are impressive buildings, millenia of tradition, the warmth of the herd, and exotic dead languages and fruity costumes that all create a patina of legitimacy.

Bottom line: go ahead and believe what you want. Beliefs are neat. The guys over there in the Middle East do the same thing. From where I sit, you are all stark, raving mad.

PS- For Bubble

Your nihilism is embarrassing. I was reared in a religious household nestled in a Bible Belt community. Until I was a grown man I still had ideas that the Bible was a "magical" book, and that me and 143,999 other people were all going to be raised to heaven one day. I have "faith" that even someone raised in such an environment can still be liberated from those delusions. You say your answer is a Christian answer, but that is a cop-out. I was a Christian, and I know what your answer is. It's a psychological barrier erected to protect you from reality. Again, I accept your freedom as an adult to live inside your, well, bubble. Just don't ask for my tax dollars to pay for teachers to share delusions with my children.

(Edited by applebiter 6/24/2006 at 12:37 AM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 12:05 AM on June 24, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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applebiter,


Though your question almost sounded sincere, your later comments betray your true motives. It wasn't that you were honestly looking for a true answer to your question (although you stated as much) your motive was to find a Christian to answer, and then bash them with a barage of jumbled up conspiracy theories and angry venting (no doubt due to your Jehovah Witness upbringing).

To put your illogical beliefs to rest (no pun intended), people don't necessarily believe in the Bible because they "grew up" believing it. Though I'm sure that's true for some, it's not the rule. You would have to show some convincing evidence, otherwise your statement is just unfounded opinion.

In any event to answer your question (and show your belief incorrect) I believe in the Bible not because I grew up with it (I never saw the inside of a Bible for most of my life), but I believe because first and foremost I came to believe that God existed, and not only that, but that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. Since I believed both on faith, because God revealed it to me, then it became natural to believe in His word (the Bible) since He wrote it (inspired is a more accurate term).

After coming to belief in God and Jesus, and subsequently believing God's word to be true, I then studied to see if I could then support my belief (in God's word) with positive evidence. There are a lot of good reasons to believe in the Bible apart from faith in God and in the Bible. The two reasons that come to mind off the top of my head are:

1. Jesus' resurrection
2. Biblical prophecy

It matters not whether you believe in either one, what matters is that I answered your question, and that there is reasonably compelling evidence to support the Bible's authenticity.

I'd suggest you get over your anger over your apparently dissapointing childhood and subsequent falling out with "religion." It has turned you into a fanatical atheist, which is just as a bad as a crazy cult follower, which apparently your family sides with (JW's). Atheism is neither logical, nor healthy. If you really have no purpose and will cease to exist when you die, then your life is completely pointless as well as all these questions  and conspiracy theories you cite. Your arguments are therefore senseless and you might as well give up doing anything with your life since nothing matters anyway. You are nothing and you will die nothing. If you truly believe that that is all that life has to offer, then you have my deepest sympathy.

best wishes,


zerocool_12790


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 05:56 AM on June 24, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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Wow. You're so far off the mark it isn't funny.

I was baptised Methodist, and was exposed to both Southern Baptist and Pentecostal churches when I was a child. Not Jehova's Witnesses.

If you chose willingly to belief in supernaturalism and  Biblical accounts of history that don't jibe with the scientific evidence, that's your business. My point is that for the vast majority of religious people, their faith comes from a special form of peer pressure that comes from being born into a family that already believes. That's a fact.

There are two questions, here, and the distinction between them is very tricky. If you ask someone why they hunt deer, for example, they might give you a litany about keeping the deer populations down, tradition, etc.. What they won't tell you is that they hunt deer because they enjoy the kill. And the kill is the real reason why they do it. Sure, it may be a fact that hunting keeps deer populations down, but that's just incidental. It's a story they tell people whom they suspect would not understand the truth, or perhaps it a story for those who cannot face the truth about their own motivations.

Let's talk about your reasons.

In your case, you mention Biblical prophecy and Jesus' resurrection. The issue of the resurrection is a difficult from a scholarly point of view. It is likely, based on evidence obtained from Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea Scrolls, that the resurrection was a "spiritual" transformation that occurred during someone's life - not a literal, physical resurrection of a corpse. Have you ever seen a corpse walk and talk, or fly up into the air to... um, I don't know where your beliefs go at that point. No, you haven't. According the one apocryphal book, the Gospel of Philip, Jesus himself said that the belief in a literal, physical resurrection was the faith of fools.

Here's what happened. The early church fathers knew that if everyone could undergo a spiritual resurrection and become "like Christ", then they would require no mediation between themselves and God, and therefore the church would hold no authority. Jesus, himself, said, "Call no man father but the lord thy god." That's in your bible. Anyway, but what if the resurrection were literal? Well! Then the only one who could do it would be Jesus himself, and the only ones with spiritual authority would be the apostles who witnessed it, and therefore the spiritual authority of the church would remain in the hands of the church fathers and their chosen successors.

As for the issue of prophecy, well, why not ask a rabbi who thoroughly understands Hebrew and the prophecies you speak of? Because he will tell you that your translations and applications are in error.

But all of this is like arguing over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The fact is, there are exactly zero reasons to believe that any of the supernatural or transcendental beliefs you hold about the mythical figure of Jesus or any other personalia from the Bible are true. Zero. You have chosen to believe in it because you a) have not learned how to employ your critical faculties to discriminate between what is plausible and what is not, or b) your need to escape from the perceived threat of a purely materialistic universe is so great that you willingly shut down your own critical thinking - abdicating your responsibility to be sovereign in your own mind because the burden of owning your own perceptions and mistakes is too much to bear.

I do know scripture. I also know that all of the important points of the story of Jesus were coopted by the early church from a faith that predates CHristianity by around 1400 years - the cult of Mithras. Mithras was the only begotten son of God, born to a virgin, who healed the sick and cast out devils, who was crucified to redeem mankind from its sins. His believers were baptised in bulls' blood on Vatican Hill in Rome. The Church's position is that the devil went back in time, 1400 years before Christ, and invented a similar religion to christianity as a form of mockery. Let's see your critical thinking skills in action. How do YOU explain the similarity of those stories? Hmm?

(Edited by applebiter 6/24/2006 at 1:14 PM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 12:56 PM on June 24, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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Well duh.  Most of those exact same stories you just mentioned were PROPHESIED in the old testament.  From books that were written thousands of years (in most cases) before the birth of Christ (else, how could he be the fulfillment of prophecy?).  Anyone with access to the Hebrew scriptures would've come up with the exact same details.  Besides, accordint to Wikipedia...

Mithras
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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This article is about the Hellenistic and Roman god Mithras. For other divinities with related names, see the general article Mitra.


Mithras and the Bull: fresco from the mithraeum at Marino, Italy, (3rd century)Mithras was the central savior god of Mithraism, a syncretic Hellenistic mystery religion of male initiates that developed in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE and was practiced in the Roman Empire from the 1st century BCE to the 5th century CE. Parthian coins and documents bear a double date with a 64 year interval that represents Mithras' ascension to heaven, traditionally given as the equivalent of 208 BCE, 64 years after his birth. The Romanized Greek Plutarch says that in 67 BCE a large band of pirates in Cilicia—on the southeast coast of Anatolia— were practicing "secret rites" of Mithras.

The name Mithras is the Greek masculine form of Mithra, the Persian god who was the mediator between Ahura Mazda and the earth, the guarantor of human contracts, although in Mithraism much was added to the original elements of Mitra. However, some of the attributes of Roman Mithras may have been taken from other Eastern cults: for example, the Mithraist emphasis on astrology strongly suggests syncretism with star-oriented Mesopotamian or Anatolian religions. At least some of this synthesis of beliefs may have already been underway by the time the cult was adopted in the West. When Mithraism was introduced by Roman legions at Dura-Europos after 168 CE, the savior god assumed his familiar Hellenistic iconic formula (illustration above right) [1].

The mythology surrounding Mithras is not easily reassembled from the enigmatic and complicated iconography. Indeed the dedicatory inscription on a 2nd-3rd century tauroctony discovered in a Mithraeum at Ostia in the 1790s refers to the "incomprehensible deity": INDEPREHENSIVILIS DEI [2]. Apparently the cult did not depend on the interpretation of divinely-inspired revealed texts, and the textual references are those of Christians, who mention Mithras to deplore him, and neo-Platonists who interpreted Mithraic symbols within their own world-schemes.

We see here that this Mithras religion you spoke of was basically started around 1 BC.  Although it doesn't really matter, since according to the scriptures you claim to know so well, you would know that Christians believe that all people split off from the family of Noah and would carry the exact same stories that were handed down (although, as usual with stories, the farther they got from the original).  It is absolutely NO surprise to Christians that stories of an "only begotten son", "virgin birth", "worldwide flood", casting out demons (or devils), etc. would be found in nearly all cultures of the world.  If they weren't, then it would be hard to believe in the biblical history.

I'm also surprised that you think it's hard to believe that a deity that created "everything that is created" would be able to be resurrected and ascend into the air.  If the details of his life were those of an ordinary man then we would assume he was a charlatan that fooled the local yocals.  I really don't follow your line of thinking in this whole thing.

"Hi, I'm a god.  Don't have any powers.  Can't do anything special.  When I die I'll stay dead.  Stuck here on this planet I made.  Can't get off.  My mom and dad had me the old fashioned way...."

"Oh, my!  You are a god"

Yeah, that makes sense.


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 5:20 PM on June 24, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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Okay, you copied and pasted some good info from Wikipedia. Good - at least you know where to find information about the world other than in your Bible.

The questions still remain:

Why do you believe the Bible?

I happen to suspect that we are part of a greater, distributed intelligence that one could call "god." This is my personal intuition, based on my experiences and my studies. So, I am not an atheist. My problem is not in a personal belief in a god or gods- my problem is this: why do you believe in Biblical explanations of anything from creation to supernatural powers if the book was just written by men?

I anticipate your answer will be, "Because it was inspired by God."

And I would ask how you know this is true, to which your answer would be any one or combination of the following answers:

a) "Because the authors said so." (Circular logic. The Bible was written by men inspired by God, we know this because the Bible contains only truth. Not a logically defensible answer.)

b) "Because of faith." (Circular logic. I believe in the Bible because I have faith, and I have faith because of what it says in the Bible. Not a logically defensible answer.)

c) "Because my life experiences bear out the truths of the Bible." (If one chooses to believe, then they will only notice what appears to be evidence to support their beliefs. This is a known piece of human psychology. Not a logically defensible answer.)

d) "Because many other people, past and present, also believe it." (Numbers alone have no bearing on whether the authors were divinely inspired. Not a logically defensible answer.)

The point is that the choice to believe in the divine nature of the Bible, whether you want to admit it or not, is a demonstrably irrational one. You can say it is a "Christian" answer, and perhaps it is. But it is also clearly irrational and completely indefensible in the court of pure reason.

I also rebel against the constraints of reason. My sexual urges are not rational, and neither are my aesthetic values. Nor should they be. The irrational is here to stay, and it has a place in human life. I just happen to think that it should not rule human life.
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 6:57 PM on June 24, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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Why do you believe historical books on people like Alexander the Great?  There are many books that are considered "factual" that were written by one author (no need for books to agree with each other), often times centuries after the person died (instead of during the lifetimes of eye witnesses who would discount the tales if they were untrue).  Based on your reasoning, you don't believe in ANY historical book, since you did not witness it yourself and no number of people who have witnessed it can override the fact that you, yourself, don't believe it.  I believe in the Bible because, time after time, it has been proven to be historically accurate.  It was written DURING the lifetimes of the people who lived it, who would've argued against it if it were untrue.  The Jews themselves have the greatest reason to denounce the NT and the miracles of Jesus, and yet you can't find any writers during his lifetime who said that he did not do the things that the NT says he did.  It is historically accurate.  It is prophetically accurate.  It just doesn't jive with how you wish to live your life, therefore it must not be true.


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 7:19 PM on June 24, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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It just doesn't jive with how you wish to live your life, therefore it must not be true.

Almost, but not quite true. The actual short-hand for my take is, "I don't care what your bible says. "

I decide which ideas I consider worthy, and I am responsible for establishing a sound criteria by which to consider them. Given this responsibility, I cannot understand the moral and intellectual weakness associated with making one's self a willing slave without so much as a fight.
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 10:43 PM on June 24, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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By all means, don't be a slave to the truth.  Make it up as you go along.  


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 01:40 AM on June 25, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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EMyers,

That was pretty funny. I couldn't continue before I gave you credit for your above post. Moving on...


applebiter,


Interesting to note is how everything people say to you falls on deaf ears. You ask for reasons why people believe in the Bible and I gave 2:

1. Jesus' resurrection
2. Biblical prophecy

A few posts later and you give your list of why you "think" people believe in the Bible and labeled it a-b. Yet not one of the reasons you listed were any of the reasons I listed. But it's clear now that you just like to see your own writing posted instead of actually debating intelligently with people. But I digress. Your counter-arguments to my reasons were nothing short of paltry evasion tactics.

You countered the resurrection by redirecting the topic to Nag Hammadi and the Dead Sea scrolls. And gave a brief overview of what they said about the word "resurrection." I have no idea what your actual point was but using these texts do not counter the resurrection of Jesus Christ. First of all the texts from Nag Hammadi post-date the Gospels so whatever they say about resurrection is irrelevant. And the Dead Sea Scrolls contained not only the Old Testament (minus Esther) but also commentaries from the viewpoint of just one minority sect within Judaism. Hardly the public opinion of the day. Regardless even if both of these references actually supported your argument (which they don't) it wouldn't matter, because the best evidence of what the resurrection of Jesus really means would come from the only source that spoke about it and came from people existing form that generation. That would be the New Testament. And the New Testament, no matter how you view it, says quite emphatically that the resurrection of Jesus was an actual physical resurrection. So your argument turns out to be quite empty. And as to your conspiracy theory regarding the Church and the resurrection, unless you actually produce some evidence backing up this ludicrous claim, retract it and admit your error.

"As for the issue of prophecy, well, why not ask a rabbi who thoroughly understands Hebrew and the prophecies you speak of? Because he will tell you that your translations and applications are in error."

This is sheer ridiculousness. What exactly would a Jewish rabbi who differed from my point of view of Hebrew Scriptures make? Do you not understand that the first believers in Jesus, the Christians for about the first 10 years after Jesus' resurrection were all Jewish and some of them rabbis?! And that throughout the centuries there have been many famous conversions of rabbis to belief in Jesus because they studied the Hebrew prophecies and came to the conclusion that Jesus was indeed the Messiah! Saying that the rabbis of today don't believe in Jesus makes no sense since as soon as they would come to believe in Jesus they are considered Christian and no longer Jewish. In any event you have offered absolutely zero substantial evidence to disprove my original 2 reasons for belief in the Bible. But that's ok since you aren't here to actually debate, but to spout out conspiracy theories while venting your anger about how "religion" has somehow "hindered or harmed" you. I recommend going to a support group if that's all you're here to do.

best wishes,


zerocool_12790


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 07:16 AM on June 25, 2006 | IP
Bubble

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In response to applebiter’s p.s.:

Firstly, I’d like to point out that just because a person is taught something when they are a child and therefore they do not question it, does not in itself make what they believe to be false. However, it is extremely risky if their belief is based solely on traditions and “comfort zones”. Humans invariably tend to grasp hold of familiar beliefs and tradition – it is human nature. I believe this is the danger of religion. Please don’t make assumptions, applebiter, I am all too familiar with this “peer pressure” you mentioned. I had to disappoint an entire Catholic family to break tradition and follow what I know the Truth to be. I see people I love blindly following the word of equally blind religious scholars. I myself grew up never questioning what was taught by these priests who had studied the Bible and catechism for years and years (if you know anything about Catholicism today, you’d know there’s no social obligation to actually believe in the Bible to be Catholic). Do not make the mistake of confusing God and religion, many people raised in a religion do, and when their ‘bubble of traditional security’ is burst by adulthood they are left feeling bitter towards God. Religion teaches faith without question i.e. it has always been that way…priests have studied for year, what would I know?…all those people couldn’t be wrong…On the other hand, the Bible teaches to question everything. I personally will not believe anything I hear (which I am not saying is always a good thing), whether I hear it from a fanatical atheist, religious scholar, a man of science…UNLESS it is aligned with the Word of God, and thus makes logical sense to me. My belief is NOT based on the irrational clinging to traditions and securities, I’ve looked at the origins of my beliefs – I’m an accountant, and am therefore surrounded by logic everyday. I know the value of logic and science, however, I also believe in the value of faith in God and His Word.



-------
"A great many open minds should be closed for repairs"
- Toledo Blade
 


Posts: 16 | Posted: 11:43 AM on June 25, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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Zerocool-

The reason I didn't address your points is because they are not points.

You may think that Jesus fulfilled biblical prophecy. I don't believe in prophecy. Prophecy is a supernatural belief, and I see no evidence for the supernatural.

That's an informal logical fallacy - begging the question.

Again, you guys just keep ignoring logic and reason. That's fine if you're preaching to the choir, but it doesn't stand up within the bounds of reason. You have to believe, a priori, for your arguments to be either sound or cogent. I do not, because you have not met the basic requirement of proving the supernatural exists. Since such a claim is an extraordinary one, the burden is on you to provide proof.

Bubble-

You said you will not entertain ideas unless they are "aligned with the word of god". Which is just to say that you don't care what the facts are, you have decided, from an emotional place, to believe that the Bible is the word of god. If there are facts that disprove this, then you can't hear them. That's fine for a religious zealot to willingly relinquish critical thinking. Lookit- you're already negotiating with whay you call the word of god. No one who lives today can practice living exactly the way the bible tells you to live. You would have to believe in keeping slaves and in genocide. You would have to believe that drugs are good, because Jesus himself turned perfectly good water to wine. You would have to believe in putting people to death for all manner of transgressions. You would have to prefer the safety of a cleric over your own daughter. Etc, etc, ad infinitum. You are already changing the manings to meet your preferences, or finding another gifted apologist whose job is to do that for you so that you can negotiate with the word of god with a clean conscience.

My wife is an accountant, too. Moorehead scholar, genius level IQ, and associate director of contracts and proposal development for a major CRO. She agrees with me.

EMyers-

So, you think the scientific method is "making things up as they go"? That is a gross mischaracterization, and a gross misunderstanding of science and reason. An example of making things up as they go would be a pope going off to think about a subject, and then coming back with a new piece of dogma, claiming that it was "revealed" to him. He just went off and thought about it! No method, no rigorous peer review! He just made it up!

Have you no shame? If your beliefs are true, then why try to deceive or mischaracterize the other side?

(Edited by applebiter 6/25/2006 at 1:34 PM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 11:55 AM on June 25, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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Actually, your post said...

I decide which ideas I consider worthy, and I am responsible for establishing a sound criteria by which to consider them. Given this responsibility, I cannot understand the moral and intellectual weakness associated with making one's self a willing slave without so much as a fight.


so how I'm to understand you were using the "scientific method" was beyond me.  Based on your assertion that you "decide which ideas" you consider worthy and you "establish.... a sound criteria", I fail to see how I mischaracterized you.

Secondly, what in the world does the pope have to do with Christianity.  There is no reference to a pope in the Bible.  In fact, it is specified that Christ is the head of the church, not some guy in a big pointy hat.  Don't confuse the apostasy of catholicism with church spoken of in the bible.  They are not the same.


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 4:56 PM on June 25, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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I decide which ideas I consider worthy, and I am responsible for establishing a sound criteria by which to consider them.

Again, you want to waste time and energy playing word games? Yes, I meant what I said. After a lifetime of carefully weighing the options, I had to decide on my own to accept the method and ethos of science as the best way. I realized that what I needed was a system for understanding nature and human nature, so that I might better adapt and prosper. As for the questions that science does not answer - who am I, what is god, why am I here - these are questions that I, as a free man, am eager to answer in my own words.
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 8:47 PM on June 25, 2006 | IP
Bubble

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You've really misunderstood what I was saying. I never said I wouldn't entertain any ideas or that I would ignore any facts. What I was saying is that I will not base my beliefs solely on what another human tells me is the truth unless it makes sense to me. As we've seen, ALL humans are biased and can very easily bend truths to make them fit what they want to believe. I have experienced this type of manipulation of facts first hand in a false religion, and no longer will I accept what anyone tells me just on face value. Of course I will consider scientific facts, I never said I wouldn't. If something can be scientifically proven without doubt to be true then there is logically no argument. It's the things that can not be explained that require further questioning. You have your way to deal with this and I have mine...
As for your furthur comments into slavery and genocide...and drugs??? I'm not sure where you were going with that. There's nothing wrong with a glass of wine. As for the Old Testament references, if you knew the Bible you'd know the NT covenant replaces the Law of the OT. I'm not a Biblical scholar, however, I do know what happens when people cut and paste the Bible without considering the whole, just in order to prove a point...


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"A great many open minds should be closed for repairs"
- Toledo Blade
 


Posts: 16 | Posted: 9:54 PM on June 25, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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What I was saying is that I will not base my beliefs solely on what another human tells me is the truth unless it makes sense to me.

Bubble, I couldn't agree with you more.

I get very frustrated when people dismiss science and the body of knowledge it has been building over the centuries. It's only easy to do that if you are completely unfamiliar with the subject.

One scientist I know of illustrates the ethic of science with an anecdote from his days as a student at Oxford. There was a certain instructor there. He was an old fellow who had developed a certain favorite theory some fifteen years earlier and had been ever since a staunch advocate of his own opinion. It so happened one day that an American scientist came as a guest, and who, in the course of his lecture, utterly laid waste to that very theory held in such high esteem by his host. At the end of it, the old man strode down from the top of the room and pumped the hand of the American vigorously and spoke.  "I want to thank you, sir, for I have labored under a false belief for these many years." The students cheered from the gallery in admiration of this display of adherence to honor, humility, dignity, and respect for the law of reason.

I believe in God. Every inch of the universe is holy. I don't have to imagine a new fundamental property of matter to believe it. It's holy and alive and it's right here right now. We am. I are. I am that I am. All that stuff is true. I can't prove it, but I know it and you know it because we're born knowing it.

It is my opinion that the Bible was written by men who knew it, just like we all know it. The problem is, they got it into their heads that their ideas were God's ideas. People still do that today without ever stopping to marvel at how coincidental it is that god just happens to think the same way they do. And, when you have strong powers of persuasion, it is too hard to resist the temptation to explain to others how god has revealed certain secrets to you. Did you know that royalty and the priesthood  in antiquity has its roots in certain people convincing others that they understand the language of god, and hence, god's wants/needs. To be a king or a priest meant that you could read the signs and omens in nature - that you could read god's will from your immediate surroundings. If you had a high intelligence, and a strong facility with language and extemporaneous speech, you could convince others that you had some access to knowledge that most others didn't share. It's why the noble classes in every ancient culture from the Hebrews to the Mayans were careful to breed intelligence with intelligence, and keep power within the family.

And the vast majority of our ancestors were uneducated, uncultured, and unable to verbally compete for title of "interpreter of god's will".

What is more plausible to you? That a handful of men had a kind of pipeline to god that gave them the ability to understand what god wants or needs? Or that a handful of men were gifted enough to convince others that this was the case?

(Edited by applebiter 6/26/2006 at 11:18 AM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 11:14 PM on June 25, 2006 | IP
Bubble

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I see the point you are making, so i'll leave it at that after one final comment...
I like that anecdote and I think it was very relevant in light of what I was trying to say previously. Personally, I do not believe faith in the Word of God to be the cause of the irrational ignorance you were referring to. In fact, I don't know any true Christians who aren't interested in science, because to them it shows how amazing God really is, and they have no fear that their beliefs will be disproven.
As i've said before, the danger lies in a human basing their faith solely on the word of another human i.e. through religion. If a person is actually in a relationship with God I do not believe they would be irrational and ignorant at all...

Cheers


-------
"A great many open minds should be closed for repairs"
- Toledo Blade
 


Posts: 16 | Posted: 12:33 AM on June 26, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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I'm sorry, Bubble, but it is irrational. It is not irrational to suspect that there is a god, but the belief that the bible, or any other human text, is the "word of god" is completely, utterly, and demonstrably irrational. The decision to believe is a purely emotional one. After the decision has been made to believe, then people begin to employ their intellect to attempt to justify the belief. But the belief itself is not justifiable by way of reason, and it is therefore irrational.
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 4:30 PM on June 26, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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applebiter,


fyi: "I was reared in a religious household nestled in a Bible Belt community. Until I was a grown man I still had ideas that the Bible was a "magical" book, and that me and 143,999 other people were all going to be raised to heaven one day."

The idea of the 144,000 is strictly a dintinctive Jehovah's Witness doctrine. Either your parents decided to be an amalgamated mixture of varying cults and denominations, or they are closet Jehovah's witnesses...

You aks for our reasons why we believe the Bible is the Word of God. I gave you 2 logical reasons:

1. Jesus' resurrection
2. Biblical prophecy

The first time you argued against my two reasons you failed to give any compelling reason why they weren't acceptable evidences.

The next time you gave your arguments you employed two cowardly tactics. One was to label them "non-points" with absolutely zero reason as to why they weren't.
But here you show your hyprocrisy because after failing to show why the two points were unacceptable you then claim that they were never points at all. But if they were never even to be considered points then you should never have tried to counter them. The fact that you did is very telling that you did consider them valid points, regardless of how much you didn't agree with them.

Your next line of attack against point two of Biblical prophecy was your oh so very clever line of reasoning of; "I don't believe in prophecy." Really? That's your entire defense? You don't believe it so it must not be a good argument? Brilliant! I should use that against the evolutionists...

You are like a person who doesn't believe gravity exists and asks for proof that it does. When someone drops a ball and lets it fall to the ground as proof you say, "that's not proof. Like I said I don't believe in gravity so any proof you show me will be wrong."

Since you don't believe in the Bible, any "proof" can't exist since you already believe it's wrong. Spoken like a true scientist...

The most amazingly baffling part of your posts and subsequent "argument" is that you claim 2 things:

"...I see no evidence for the supernatural."

"I believe in God. Every inch of the universe is holy. I don't have to imagine a new fundamental property of matter to believe it. It's holy and alive and it's right here right now. We am. I are. I am that I am. All that stuff is true. I can't prove it, but I know it and you know it because we're born knowing it."

You have the nerve to ask us why we believe in the Bible, questioning our very faith in God, yet you then turn around and say that you believe in "a god." Where's YOUR proof? Nothing, other than  the baseless claim that we're "born knowing it." So your hyprocrisy is revealed once more in that you expect us to display evidence for our beliefs, while all the while none is required from you! Not only is that illogical, it is also unfair.

Tell me, where's the scientific logical proof for this "god" you claim exists? How do you know it's "holy?" What makes it "holy?" How powerful is it? How do you know? Where do you get your information about this "god" from?

And the most bizarre statement you make is that the supernatural doesn't exist! If that's true what would you call this "god" you believe in that we're all "born knowing"?

You ask for proof for the Bible being God's word. I gave you two proofs. Did you astutely counter them and show why they are wrong? No.
All you've done as your entire argument against the Bible is childishly claim, "those aren't points. I don't believe you. I don't believe in the Bible. I don't believe in your evidence because I don't believe it's true."

Humorously you deride Christians for having the "a priori" assumption that God exists and the Bible true. Yet you turn right around and reveal that you have the "a priori" assumption that the Bible isn't true and go from there. The sword cuts both ways! You are what the Bible calls a "double-minded" person. And a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways!

It's clear that you didn't ask your question because you were sincerely looking for an answer. You aren't here to have an actual intelligent debate but rather to babble on about your own beliefs while arraying your hyprocrisy. If you were an honest seeker than there is some benefit to debating. But there is no point in debating an imposter.

best wishes,



zerocool_12790


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---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 03:54 AM on June 27, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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The idea of the 144,000 is strictly a dintinctive Jehovah's Witness doctrine. Either your parents decided to be an amalgamated mixture of varying cults and denominations, or they are closet Jehovah's witnesses...

Ok. I didn't know that. I don't think it's particularly relevant to the conversation, but ok.

You aks for our reasons why we believe the Bible is the Word of God. I gave you 2 logical reasons:

1. Jesus' resurrection
2. Biblical prophecy


Ok, I'll try to get to it:

Is Jesus' resurrection a reason you have faith, or do you have faith that Jesus was resurrected?  Does it mean that if I ask you why you have faith you answer "Because Jesus was raised from the dead", and if I ask you why you believe Jesus was raised from the dead you will say "Because I have faith"? I don't understand, especially in light of the fact that this is hopelessly circular.

Biblical prophecy. The question was "Why do you believe the bible is the word of god?" Are you saying you believe the bible is the word of god beause it contains prophecy? Is this another bit of circular thinking? If I ask you why you believe that biblical prophecy is anything other than hooey, is your answer going to be "Because it's in the Bible"?

You are like a person who doesn't believe gravity exists and asks for proof that it does. When someone drops a ball and lets it fall to the ground as proof you say, "that's not proof. Like I said I don't believe in gravity so any proof you show me will be wrong."


Hey, if you can show me some convincing evidence that prophecy is real, then I'll recant publicly. Until then, you're just pissing in the wind. Besides, to compare the belief in prophecy to the belief in evolution is comically absurd. There plenty of evidence to support evolution. Open up a damn textbook, or a good bit of science writing - anything besides just the bible!

The rest of the post is probably a fair bone to pick with me. Remember, I never said I know what god wants/needs/thinks. I just said that I personally suspect there is a god - though my conception is probably dissimilar to your own. If you had been paying attention, you would have noticed that I said I don't think it is irrational to suspect there is a god. There is plenty of natural science that would support the existence of a coherent intelligence distributed among us as a species. One that we, as individuals, could sense but not grasp.

To say everything is holy is to say that we can choose to look at the world we live in as imbued with holiness - this is simply a matter of preference and perception. There is nothing inconsistent about that.

To suggest the existence of the supernatural is to postulate the existence of a hitherto unknown property of matter. I'm saying that a new property of matter doesn't have to exist in order for you to see the world as holy.

You're stuck believing that order and goodness comes from an external source alone. I'll bet you think that without the bible, or SOME form of externalized moral code, that everyone would be a godless, murderous, homosexual rapist-thief.

Evidence suggests that our species developed altruism and cooperation and that such adaptations helped us to survive. Tell me... how does a non-Christian, secular nation like Japan enjoy such fewer crimes against morality than any Western, so-called "Christian" nation? Hmmn? Take your time.
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 9:41 PM on June 27, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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applebiter,

Before I answer the important questions let me just wrap up a few of the stragglers.

"Evidence suggests that our species developed altruism and cooperation and that such adaptations helped us to survive. Tell me... how does a non-Christian, secular nation like Japan enjoy such fewer crimes against morality than any Western, so-called "Christian" nation? Hmmn? Take your time."

Evidence? Please enlighten us on these scientific studies that unequivocally reveal that our species 'evolved' selflessness. Take your time...

And although I have not researched Japan's law and order aspects your comparison is untenable. Simply because you're comparing apples and oranges. First of all the majority of the people in Japan would consider themselves buddhists or shintoists. So they are definitely not without religion (secular as you claim). Just that alone would make your comparisons moot. But aside from that we have 2 completely different cultures. There could be any number of reasons why Japan has fewer crime. Could be that they are less merciful on criminals then we are in the states, which would deter people from comitting more crimes. Killing someone for stealing bread would drastically reduce bread thefts.  Besides, you cannot just lump up America as one big happy Christian nation, because we're not. We're largely a secular nation like your buddies over in Japan. You're better off finding a country that is specifically dominated by repentant evangelical Christians, then you can tally the statistics and compare. But until then your comparison is flawed...


"To say everything is holy is to say that we can choose to look at the world we live in as imbued with holiness - this is simply a matter of preference and perception. There is nothing inconsistent about that."

What do you mean by 'holy'? What does something being 'holy' mean? Describe 'holy' and how the world and/or your god is 'holy'. If you define 'holy' with a synonym explain how something attains that description. Can I look at something and say, "now that's holy" or do I have to study it first before I can determine if something is 'holy'? Can you become 'holy' and can you become 'un-holy'? Be more specific then we can discuss...


"To suggest the existence of the supernatural is to postulate the existence of a hitherto unknown property of matter."

Who says? You've got it all wrong. My God is not some unknown property of matter. In fact in His word He says that He isn't matter at all, He is entirely separate and unique from His creation, that would include everything in this universe, matter and energy. God isn't energy or matter, He is separate and distinct. The Bible refers to God's substance as "spirit."


"You're stuck believing that order and goodness comes from an external source alone. I'll bet you think that without the bible, or SOME form of externalized moral code, that everyone would be a godless, murderous, homosexual rapist-thief."

For the love of my God you really need to get a better understanding of Christians. Please stop basing all of your knowledge of what Christians are and know off of what you were and your childhood experiences. Because the fact of the matter is that you were not a Christian therefore you have no real concept of how true Christians beleive and what they believe. Yes I'm sure you heard a lot of sermons and read some devotionals (maybe). By a miracle you might have even glanced inside a Bible. But by all respects that doesn't make you a Christian and you never were. That's because in the Bible once a person becomes a Christian Jesus protects them from apostasy. If you believing your a Christian decide to reject Jesus (which you obvsiously have) that means you were never His, you were not a Christian. So whatever twisted beliefs you have of being a Christian and what Christians are, they are flawed. Especially if you believed the Jehovah's Witness doctrine of the 144,000!

Aside from that you wouldn't even know what "good" was unless there was a standard by which to measure it. If you decide on leaving it up to your perception than "good" is merely a subjective word that changes with the times and seasons. History bears the fact that "good" is definitely an absolute. And if so, then this standard must've come from somewhere. Maybe monkeys invented it...

Anyway Christians do not believe that you need the Bible in order to know right from wrong (like you claim). I am not "stuck" believing that I need an external source to be a moral person. There have been many Godless nations who have retained a moral code. That's because each person is endowed with the ability to know right from wrong from birth. This is otherwise known as your conscience. So no, you are incorrect. I don't believe you need an external source for morality because God gave us all an internal guidance system to understand morals.


"There is plenty of natural science that would support the existence of a coherent intelligence distributed among us as a species."

Please enlighten us with this natural science that supports the existence of God, because there are many atheists that would disagree...

Aside from that it's amazing how you can sit there fully satisfied with your "personal" "feelings" of "suspecting" that a god exists, yet when I claim the same for my God, you scoff. Interesting...

Let me just say that you couldn't win a debate in a 2nd grade class with the logic and evidence you've used to support your god that's "distributed among us as a species." By the way, what in the world does that mean? It's almost like you go out of your way to be as vague and unintelligible as possible so that no one would want to counter your statements since it would take to long to force your statements to make sense in the first place.


Anyway, now on to what's important:

"Is Jesus' resurrection a reason you have faith, or do you have faith that Jesus was resurrected?  Does it mean that if I ask you why you have faith you answer "Because Jesus was raised from the dead", and if I ask you why you believe Jesus was raised from the dead you will say "Because I have faith"? I don't understand, especially in light of the fact that this is hopelessly circular."

I realize you're addicted to the notion that everything is circular but it's just not true. No Christian uses the logic that Jesus was resurrected because they simply have faith in it. If a Christian does they simply don't understand the importance of the resurrection itself. I don't believe that Jesus was resurrected "because I have faith" alone. Obviously faith is part of it. The reason I believe in the resurrection is because the historical reality of it is so strong that I could not in good conscience reject it. If you never understood what that meant when you were a "christian" than it's no suprise you believe it was all fairy tales.

"Are you saying you believe the bible is the word of god beause it contains prophecy?"

Yes that's part of it.

"If I ask you why you believe that biblical prophecy is anything other than hooey, is your answer going to be "Because it's in the Bible"?"

My goodness do you only derive your idea of Christian beliefs from that of 8 year olds? The reason why I believe in Biblical prophecy is because history confirms it.

If I ask you why you believe that the American Revolution is anything other than hooey, is your answer going to be "Because it's in a textbook"?

"Hey, if you can show me some convincing evidence that prophecy is real, then I'll recant publicly."

Alright I'll take you up on that offer. Before I begin a brief summary as to why Biblical prophecy is real let me just go over  a few things. First of all nothing can be proven 100% in anything. Everyone has faith that whatever they believe about reality is true. It's unavoidable. So obviously there's nothing I can show that can prove something 100%. Secondly before I begin I really have to ask that you first and foremost accept the possibility that what I'm about to say might be true. Showing evidence to a person that has an "a priori" notion that it's "a bunch of hooey" is pointless. Even if God smacked you in the face, if you believed He wasn't real, you'd think of a natural explanation of what happened. So I have to ask that you in good faith, accept that the evidence I show might actually be true.


Evidence that Biblical prophecy is valid:

In the Old Testament there were dozens upon dozens of prophecies concerning the Messiah.

1.   Born of a virgin.
2.   Born from the descendants of Abraham.
3.   Born through the line  of Isaac.
4.   Born through the line of Jacob.
5.   Born from the tribe of Judah.
6.   Born from the family line of Jesse.
7.   Born from the descendants of the house of
     David.
8.   Born at Bethlehem.
9.   He pre-existed.
10. He shall be a prophet like Moses.
11. Ministry to begin in Galilee.
12. Ministry of miracles.
13. To be a light to the gentiles (non-jews).
14. He was to be resurrected.
15. He was to be wounded and bruised.
16. He was to be smitten and spit upon.
17. He was to die for the world's sins.
18. His hands and feet to be pierced.
19. He was to be rejected by His own people.
20. He was to be hated without a cause.
21. He was to appear after 490 years after the first rebuidling of the second temple.

The list can go on but this is sufficient for now. Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies exactly. The odds of any one person fulfilling all of these (let alone dozens more from the Old Testament) is astronomical! Now all of these prophecies were written hundreds of years before Jesus. The purpose of these prophecies was to show us that whoever fulfilled them all would be the Messiah. Jesus fulfilled them therefore He must be the Messiah. The New Testament records that Jesus fulfilled them all. Now the purpose of this is to show that it is at least reasonable to believe that Jesus is the Messiah and fulfilled all of the prophecies. Of course it's not 100% proof, but it's at least reasonable enough for a person to believe it.

The burden of proof is on you now to disprove Jesus' fulfillment of these prophecies. If you can't, then one is compelled to believe it as truth.

best wishes,



zerocool_12790


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---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 02:43 AM on July 1, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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I concur with most of your statements except "That's because in the Bible once a person becomes a Christian Jesus protects them from apostasy. " I can't seem to find any reference to this belief in any of the versions I own or have access to (ASV, NIV, KJ, NKJ, etc.).  I can find however multiple references to a Christian being able to "fall".  Even Paul (who I doubt you will claim was not a Christian) knew that he had not attained salvation (as long as we still live, we can fall from grace).  "Once saved, always saved" is a fairy tale told by people who no longer wish to have to live a Christian life.

Regards


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 12:53 PM on July 1, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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Evidence? Please enlighten us on these scientific studies that unequivocally reveal that our species 'evolved' selflessness.

Here is a collection of articles and abstracts that I read and considered worthy to share with you on this subject:

Psychological aspects of adaptations for kin directed altruistic helping behaviors

An Integration of Proximate and Ultimate Influences for Altruistic Helping Intentions

Study on Altruism

From Helping to Hand Grenades: Setting the Bar for Altruism

Varieties of altruism - and the common ground between them.

I do not consider any of the theories presented in the works above to be the Absolute Truth, but rather strong, falsifiable theories that are in agreement with evidence we have gathered about the ascent of our species through genetic research, the study of the fossil record.

My central thesis is built upon the fact that religious beliefs regarding the origins of the universe and the human species are demonstrably irrational, particularly when they are contrary to the best available science. Furthermore, the belief that any religious text is the "word of God" is also demonstrably irrational because such a claim is arbitrary, unfalsifiable, and otherwise unsupportable within the bounds of reason.

Right away it is necessary to clarify my position. My claim is not that a belief in God is necessarily irrational. I do not make the claim that theism, or the belief in a god or gods, is irrational. Also, I do not claim that religious ideas are irrational because of their content. It is my position that religious belief is irrational because of the manner in which religious ideas are acquired, and the methodology used to validate them.

In addition, it is also important to consider that I am not claiming that religious ideas are irrational simply because I don't agree with them. As an example, if you and I are both given the same starting information, we could both build completely rational arguments that draw completely different conclusions. We are fortunate that this happens frequently in science.

Opponents will say that, at best, scientific notions about cosmology and fundamentals are just another theory- neither more nor less valid than religious beliefs from an objective point of view. This is a bogus claim and here's why: Science is not a belief system. Science is a methodology and an implied ethic. Science never claims to have the last word on nature, and this is the beauty of it. As new hypotheses are tested and new information is learned, old theories must change to fit the growing body of knowledge, no matter how fond we have become of them or how completely we have internalized them in some deep and early recess in our mind.

The pro-religion argument is a teleological one. That means that the evaluation of any argument is made against the criterion of whether it is in agreement with a belief that they already hold. For example, there are some Christians who believe that the Bible is roughly 6000 years old because this is how much time is accounted for when calculating the generations back to Adam and Eve, and according to scripture, the entire universe itself had only just come into existence scant days before they were created.

By contrast, the generally accepted age of the Earth in science is about 4.55 billion years, plus or minus 1%. In the last couple of years, some researchers conducting a new study of a fossil site found in Herto, Ethiopia in 1967 published their findings in the journal Nature. Having dated mineral crystals in volcanic ash layers above and below layers of river sediments that contained the bones of homo sapiens (modern humans), they concluded that the bones were around 195,000 years old. Civilization may be as old as 8000 years or more in the case of Mahabharata, a sunken city off the coast of India.

In any effort to conform to the standards of  reason and the rigors of logic, the religionist argument must either attack the validity of the science being practiced, or the credibility of the scientist who practices to draw conclusions from the available data that contradict the scriptures. There is an agglomeration of such refutations known collectively as the Anthropic Principle. Tellingly, the term for this agglomeration does not include the word "theory", as it posits no theory at all. At its core, the Anthropic Principle simply argues that it is so unlikely that so many cosmic variables could be accidentally fine-tuned as to make it possible for life to exist, that there can't possibly be a scientific explanation. Because science does not yet have all the answers regarding how it is that the universe came into being, the religionist claims that this lack of a final answer is a failure of science and its methods. But the fact is, there will always be a boundary of human knowledge, even as we push it back every day with research and education. The religionist always places himself on the edge of this boundary and shouts, "See! We don't know what lies over there, so it can't be known. That is God's domain!" Perhaps Copernicus said it best in the preface of one of his volumes, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium:

     Perhaps there will be babblers who, although completely ignorant of mathematics, nevertheless take it upon themselves to pass judgment on mathematical questions and, badly distorting some passages of Scripture to their purpose, will dare find fault with my undertaking and censure it. I disregard them even to the extent as despising their criticism as unfounded.


The burden of proof is on you now to disprove Jesus' fulfillment of these prophecies. If you can't, then one is compelled to believe it as truth.

By the same token, I can say that I am Satan, himself, dressed up in the flesh of a human in order to deceive the world, starting with this here message board! The burden is on you to prove that I am not. If you cannot prove that I am not, then you must accept my claim as the truth!

You see? This is one of many places where your reasoning is clearly flawed. Another one is this idea that you cling to that the men who wrote the New Testament weren't familiar with Jewish literature. Not many men could read and write in those days, and if you could you were probably trained using religious literature in the first place. These men were familiar with the old Jewish fairy tales when they wrote that Jesus fulfilled them! To imagine otherwise is pure sophistry and self-deception. And this doesn't even get to real heart of the matter, which is the question of divine inspiration. Whether we are talking about your favorite books from the OT or the NT, what makes you think any of them were divinely inspired by God? The authors said so?

Your imagined terra firma is another false belief you hold that the Bible actually reflects history. You should start a new thread altogether if you want to debate this one. It is certainly not the most accurate record of history we possess.

(Edited by applebiter 7/1/2006 at 7:18 PM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 5:44 PM on July 1, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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I understand where you are going with this, and if I were ignorant I would tend to agree with you, however you are ignoring that the New Testament did not happen in a vacuum.  First and foremost, the 490 year prophecy severely handicapped anyone who wished to "make up" the Messiah.  They would have had to have (that sounded awkward) found someone who fulfilled all the other prophecies (all that could be "falsified") at that exact moment in history.  No small feat.  Then they would have to convince this person to be crucified (I'm sure you'll bring up how weird some of the things religious zealots are willing to do, but follow along with me) AND convince the ruling Jews to ask Rome to crucify him (in accordance with the prophecy) AND convince Rome to do so WITHOUT there being a good reason (in other words, Christ couldn't do anything bad or no one would believe).  Since it is common knowledge (historical references outside the New Testament itself) that Jesus did live and was crucified AND that the New Testament was written during the lifetimes of people who lived through all of this, then we must admit that things happened the way that the myriad authors of the gospels and the epistles said they did.  Neither the Jews nor the Romans had anything to gain (and much to lose) by not bringing forth witnesses and writing their own history to refute what was being taught.  

Now, of course, we are only speaking here of Messianic prophecies and haven't even begun to talk about the prophecies regarding Babylon, Tyre, etc. but I think you are levelheaded enough to see the truth of this for yourself.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 10:15 AM on July 2, 2006 | IP
applebiter

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Levelheadedness notwithstanding, I don't have to agree at all.

Lookit- you want to subvert point of the argument and I understand this. You are better prepared to defend points of theology than organized religion itself.

I suppose I could drag up scholarly refutations to the claims made by the NT that Jesus fulfilled Hebrew prophecy. I did a little research on the subject just to see if there is enough material from which to launch that kind of argument, and there certainly is.

But all that is really beyond the scope of my original claim. I'm going to start a new thread.

(Edited by applebiter 7/2/2006 at 12:15 PM).
 


Posts: 19 | Posted: 11:26 AM on July 2, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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But all that is really beyond the scope of my original claim. I'm going to start a new thread.



Not at all, the very thread itself asks why do we believe.  Since we (2000 years later) did not personally witness the accounts of the bible then we can not put any more faith into than we do in any history book.  Therefore we must find corroborating evidence.  Other historical texts and prophecy are, quite frankly, the greatest evidence that there is.  Why do you believe in the history of Alexander the Great?  The "authoritative" work on him was done a couple centuries after his death when NO ONE who lived to observe any of it was still alive.  I have no more "faith" in my God than you do that a man named Alexander the Great once ruled a nation.  


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 2:21 PM on July 2, 2006 | IP
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Emyers,

Although I do not want to get off topic, I am compelled however to defend my beliefs as I know them from the Bible even if it‘s from another brother who is questioning them. I wish to merely summarize my beliefs. If you’d like to continue further please post a question in the religion forum only because I don’t want this thread to get off topic. Anyway…

I do not share in your assessment that "Once saved, always saved" is a fairy tale told by people who no longer wish to have to live a Christian life. On the contrary Scripture expounds upon the doctrine of the eternal security of believers. I will cite these verses with explanations but first I’d like to clear something up…

“I can find however multiple references to a Christian being able to "fall".  Even Paul (who I doubt you will claim was not a Christian) knew that he had not attained salvation (as long as we still live, we can fall from grace).”

It’s hard to defend my beliefs when you haven’t cited where these verses are that claim the opposite of what I’m saying. Although I know you probably didn’t cite them because you felt it was unnecessary, at this point it would be helpful if I knew where you’re getting your doctrine from. I can however venture a guess about your verses and debate from there. If I cite the wrong verses I hope you won’t hold it against me. I have very little to work with here. For the remainder of this post I will be using the NKJV. Basically all major protestant versions say the same thing so it isn’t a problem if we’re using 2 different versions.

That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Philippians 3:10-12

I believe you were referring to this verse when you claimed that Paul said he didn’t attain salvation yet. Do you take this verse to mean that Paul was not sure that he was saved, so he needed to strain every muscle to insure his participation in salvation? That of course is impossible since Paul always taught that salvation was by grace and not human works. In addition Paul clearly expressed the definite confidence that he was saved and would participate in the resurrection (2 Corinthians 5:1-8).  It’s obvious that Paul was not unsure of his salvation since right after verse 11 he says that “Christ Jesus took hold of me.” If you’re problem in verse 11 is, “if, by any means” than I compel you to see Acts 27:12; Romans 1:10; and Romans 11:14 where the same phrase is applied. The expression, “if, by any means” does not necessarily express doubt (as the verses I direct you show), but strong desire or expectation that does not count the cost.

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4

I believe this was one of the verses you were referring to that dealt with a Christian “falling.” There are a couple other verses that are similar to this one but the gist is the same. So we’ll stick with this one. You might get the idea from this verse that one can be saved, then fall into sin, then fall from grace and be forever lost.
   I reject this interpretation for two compelling reasons: First, the verse does not describe saved persons who fall into sin. In fact, there is no mention of falling into sin. Rather, the verse is speaking of those who are living moral, respectable, upright lives and hope to be saved thereby. So this verse is really saying the opposite of what you think. You might claim that a person must keep the law and refrain from sinning in order to remain saved. However, this Scripture insists that all who seek to be justified by works of law or self-effort have “fallen from grace.”

   Secondly, a Christian falling from grace contradicts the over-all consistent testimony of the New Testament:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believed in Him should not PERISH but have everlasting life. John 3:16
This shows that Jesus protects all Christians from “perishing.”

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24
This shows the Christian's assurance.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9
This shows the Christian's assurance of salvation.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5
This shows how God’s power protects Christians and their salvation.

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. John 17:12
This verse equates to: “Those that you gave Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition is lost, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”
Just as Jesus protected the apostles on earth from being lost, so also He protects all Christians now from being lost.

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 also 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
All Christians are sealed as a guarantee of their salvation.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. Jude 24
God’s is able to keep us.

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:27-29
All Christians are guaranteed never to perish, and that each Christian will always be kept, guarded, and protected because we will always be in Jesus’ and the Father’s hands.

…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ… Philippians 1:6
God ensures the completion of each Christian’s salvation.

I could go on, but according to these Scriptures, it appears that every true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is eternally saved, no sheep of Christ will ever perish, and salvation is dependant entirely upon the finished work of Jesus Christ.

It is unfortunate if you believe that accepting the doctrine of eternal security would turn you into a lax nominal Christian. But eternal security to me is the ultimate comfort from God and reveals just how much He loves me. Because of that, I am compelled to live a holy life for Him out of gratitude.

In the end the idea of eternal security and apostasy are still very hard doctrines to grasp. But what is clear is that the Bible as a whole teaches that God can and does save and keeps all that are His. If anyone therefore “falls” away, then they were never truly saved only having the “appearance” of being Christian.

best wishes,



zero cool_12790


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---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 02:29 AM on July 4, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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applebiter,


Out of all of the counter-points I gave you, out of all the questions I asked you answered the least important one. And you didn't even do that right! All of your links brought me to pages that were not found. Which kinda' goes along with the rest of your argument that consists of no evidence.

Even if you showed me studies of animals showing selfless behavior that would still not prove anything one way or the other. It would only show that the animals are acting according to the way they were made, which God designed in the first place.

This next quote is one of my personal favorite because it shows exactly who I'm dealing with here. Let's have a look at someone who isn't "blinded by religion" and uses superior higher reasoning:

"I do not consider any of the theories presented in the works above to be the Absolute Truth, but rather strong, falsifiable theories that are in agreement with evidence we have gathered about the ascent of our species through genetic research, the study of the fossil record."

Unbelievable as it sounds, you're actually claiming that the fossil record lends support to the theory that altruism evolved. "No more questions your honor."

"My central thesis is built upon the fact that religious beliefs regarding the origins of the universe and the human species are demonstrably irrational, particularly when they are contrary to the best available science."

As usual another baseless claim with absolutely no evidence...

"Furthermore, the belief that any religious text is the "word of God" is also demonstrably irrational because such a claim is arbitrary, unfalsifiable, and otherwise unsupportable within the bounds of reason."

As usual another baseless claim with absolutely no evidence...

"...you hold that the Bible actually reflects history. You should start a new thread altogether if you want to debate this one. It is certainly not the most accurate record of history we possess."

Here come the conspiracy theories with, no doubt, zero evidence.

"It is my position that religious belief is irrational because of the manner in which religious ideas are acquired, and the methodology used to validate them."

How's that? Oh, and don't forget to cite no evidence...

"For example, there are some Christians who believe that the Bible is roughly 6000 years old...

I hope you meant "earth" instead of "bible."

"By contrast, the generally accepted age of the Earth in science is about 4.55 billion years, plus or minus 1%. In the last couple of years, some researchers conducting a new study of a fossil site found in Herto, Ethiopia in 1967 published their findings in the journal Nature. Having dated mineral crystals in volcanic ash layers above and below layers of river sediments that contained the bones of homo sapiens (modern humans), they concluded that the bones were around 195,000 years old. Civilization may be as old as 8000 years or more in the case of Mahabharata, a sunken city off the coast of India."

Better be careful about how strongly you agree with science lest you forget your own words,

"As new hypotheses are tested and new information is learned, old theories must change to fit the growing body of knowledge, no matter how fond we have become of them or how completely we have internalized them in some deep and early recess in our mind."


In any event you finally actually try to counter-point my points unfortunately you were less than successful giving nothing but an analogy that doesn't apply:

"By the same token, I can say that I am Satan, himself, dressed up in the flesh of a human in order to deceive the world, starting with this here message board! The burden is on you to prove that I am not. If you cannot prove that I am not, then you must accept my claim as the truth!"

Here is why your analogy doesn't apply. You asked why I believe in the Bible. I gave 2 reasons: 1. Jesus' resurrection 2. Biblical prophecy. I then listed the evidence as to why I believe in both. It is up to you now to falsify my evidence. Your childish analogy would only work if you claimed that you were satan fulfilling Biblical prophecy. I don't need to disprove that you're satan because you have given me no reason to believe that you are. In contrast I have given you compelling reasons to believe in Biblical prophecy.

After all is said and done you actuallly ask the original question from this thread that you created seemingly forgetting that this was the actual point of it the whole time:

"Whether we are talking about your favorite books from the OT or the NT, what makes you think any of them were divinely inspired by God?"

For the last time I believe it because:
1. Jesus' resurrection.
2. Biblical prophecy.

I have given you evidence to specifically 2 (even though it helps support 1). It is now your turn to falsify that evidence otherwise accept it.

Perhaps you do not understand what goes on during a debate. Essentially one person makes their point. Then the opponent makes a counter-point. Then the first person defends his position and makes a counter-point. And so on and so forth.

I have made my point that I believe in the Bible because of: 1. Jesus' resurrection and 2. Biblical prophecy. I have given the evidence as to why Biblical prophecy is true and accurate. You have given me no counter-points. In fact you haven't given much. I count so far that you've given no less than 3 conspiracy theories, several opinions, and no evidence to support anything you've said. You're either mentally deficient, or ignorant. Since I always give people the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume you're mentally deficient.

Here's all I want from your end OK? Since I was so kind to answer your initial question and give evidence to support it I expect the same from you. Now you're entire last post to me answered virtually nothing from my post so I'm going to have to specifically tell you what I'd like answered.


Questions applebiter is to answer

1. What do you mean by 'holy'? What does something being 'holy' mean? Describe 'holy' and how the world and/or your god is 'holy'. If you define 'holy' with a synonym explain how something attains that description. Can I look at something and say, "now that's holy" or do I have to study it first before I can determine if something is 'holy'? Can you become 'holy' and can you become 'un-holy'? Be more specific then we can discuss...

2. Please enlighten us with this natural science that supports the existence of God, because there are many atheists that would disagree...

3. What does it mean that god is distributed among us as a species? Does it mean that if we didn't exist your god wouldn't? Where is your scientific evidence that your god is distributed among us as a species?

4. If I ask you why you believe that the American Revolution is anything other than hooey, is your answer going to be "Because it's in a textbook"?

5. And finally, falsify my evidence confirming Biblical prophecy by giving me evidence to the contrary. Not your opinion. Not speculation. Not more conspiracy theories. I want actual physical evidence that contradicts my evidence supporting Biblical prophecy.

So before you go off on any more tangents, for the sake of this debate thread, answer questions 1-5 then we can move on. Until then you're making this thread little more than a waste of everyone's time.

best wishes,



zerocool_12790


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 03:22 AM on July 4, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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While I can certainly point out more verses, feel free to read Hebrews 6:4-6 for starters.  Also feel free to read the book of James regarding some of your other comments.  If you are still confused, let me know and I'll bring up more information.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 10:39 AM on July 4, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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P.S. There is a difference between being snatched out of someone's hand and jumping out of your own free will.


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 8:06 PM on July 4, 2006 | IP
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EMyers,


While I can certainly point out more verses, feel free to read Luke 22:31-32 (about God's power to preserve our faith) and Mark 13:21-22 (showing how it's not possible for the 'elect' to be decieved) for starters. Also feel free to read the rest of the New Testament regarding the topic of eternal security, as well as read my last post. If you are still confused, let me know and I'll bring up more information.

best wishes,


zerocool_12790


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 03:36 AM on July 6, 2006 | IP
zerocool_12790

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P.S. Whether someone else decieves you or you decieve yourself, you would still be escaping God's hand, which once you're a bona fide Christian God said is impossible.


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 03:39 AM on July 6, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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I see you didn't have a good answer to what Hebrews teaches.

Luk 22:31   Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat:
Luk 22:32   but I made supplication for thee, that thy faith fail not; and do thou, when once thou hast turned again, establish thy brethren.

Ok, Jesus prayed for Simon and told Simon to strengthen (establish) his brothers.   I'm not sure why you are applying this to yourself, but ok.

Mar 13:21   And then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ; or, Lo, there; believe [it] not:
Mar 13:22   for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show signs and wonders, that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect.

Again, I'm not sure where you are going with this other than to say that there are people out there who WILL lead astray Christians if the Christian allows himself to be led astray.  Are you arguing for or against me?  I can't tell.


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"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 07:47 AM on July 6, 2006 | IP
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EMyers,

"I see you didn't have a good answer to what Hebrews teaches."

Hardly. I just decided to employ your tactic of not responding to anything the other person said. I wanted to see if you would actually give the courteousy to respond to what I wrote, because you thus far barely had the decency to respond or use any energy whatsoever to this topic. But since you've shown some effort here goes.

Hebrews 6:4-6
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

They had once been enlightened

These people had heard the gospel of the grace of God. They were not in darkness concerning the way of salvation. judas iscariot had been enlightened but he rejected the light.

They tasted the heavenly gift

The Lord Jesus is the heavenly gift. These people had tasted of Him but had never received Him by a definite act of faith. It is possible to taste without eating or drinking. When men offered wine mixed with gall to Jesus on the cross, He tasted it but He would not drink it (Matthew 27:34). It is not enough to taste of Christ; unless we eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, that is, unless we truly receive Him as Lord and Savior, we have no life in us (John 6:53).

They had become partakers of the Holy Spirit

Are these people saved? Not necessarily because remember the Holy Spirit carries on a perconversion ministry in people's lives. He sanctifies unbelievers (1 Corinthians 7:14), putting them in a position of external privilege. He convicts unbelievers of sin, of righeousness, and of judgment (John 16:8). He leads men to repentance and points them to Christ as their only hope. Men may thus partake of the Holy Spirit's benefits without being indwelt by Him.

They had tasted the good word of God

As they heard the gospel preached these people were moved and drawn to it. They are likened to the seed that fell on rocky ground; they heard the word and immediately received it with joy, but they had no root in themselves. They endured for a while, but when tribulation or persecution arose on account of the word, they promptly fell away (Mathew 13:20-21).

They had tasted the powers of the age to come

Powers here refers to miracles. The age to come refers to the Millenium Age. The miracles which accompanied the preaching of the gospel in the early days of the church (Hebrews 2:4) were a foretaste of signs and wonders which will be perfomred in Christ's kingdom. These people had witnessed these miracles in the first century and might have even participated in them. Take for instance the miracles of the loaves and fishes. After Jesus had fed the five thousand, the people followed Him to the other side of the sea.  Jesus realized that though they had tasted a miracle, they did not really believe in Him. He said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled" (John 6:26).

If they fall away

After enjoying the privileges just enumerated, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance. They have committed the sin of apostasy.

Who are these people Paul (or whomever is the author) is referring to? The answer is given in verses 4 and 5. It is never clearly stated that these people had been born again. Neither is any mention made of such essentials as saving faith, redemption by His blood, or eternal life.

If Hebrews 6:4-6 really wanted to say that true Christians can apostasize then one would expect that it would be a little less obscure in referring to Christians using phrases like "tasted the heavenly gift" and "tasted the good word." It certainly would have included some phrases commonly used to refer to Christians. But it does not.

As to the verses I cited:

Luke 22:31-32

You seem to only get halfway there and then abruptly stop. Jesus didn't just pray for Peter with just some simple common prayer. What He prayed for is important. Jesus prayed that Peter's faith would not fail. If the Father did not have the actual ability to protect Christians from rejecting Christ, then Jesus would never have prayed such a prayer. It would be considered deception on His part to pray for something that couldn't possibly happen. But Jesus does pray that the Father keep Peter from losing his faith, and the Father answered that prayer. This shows that God can keep us from apostasy.

Mark 13:21-22

Somehow you interpreted these verses to be the opposite of what they say. Far from saying that Christians will be led astray, Jesus is stating that it is impossible for a true Christian to be led astray. Notice the words, "that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect." "If possible" necessarily means that it is NOT possible. How you came to the oppostie conclusion is beyond me. In any event since it is impossible according to this Scripture for the elect (Christians) to be decieved than that means that we are protected from denying Christ (which would only happen if we were decieved into thinking Christ was false).

Apostates are people who hear the gopsel, make a profession of being Christians, become identified with a Christian chruch, and then abandon their profession of faith, decisively repudiate Christ, desert the Christian fellowship, and take their place with enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostasy should not be confused with a backsliding Christian or the average unbeliever who hears the gopsel but does nothing about it. Apostasy is a sin which can be committed only be unbelievers that professed a superficial belief in Christ as the verses I've shown reveal.

You have not cited anything of much value to support your position. I have defended my position and founded it in Scripture: (John 3:16, 1 Peter 1:3-5, John 17:12, Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, John 10:27-29, Philippians 1:6, Luke 22:31-32, Mark 13:21-22, etc).

You have shown nothing to undermine my beliefs nor have you even considered any of the Scripture I've cited from my original post supporting the doctrine of eternal security.

On a personal note I have no desire to continue debating another Christian, especially on matters of non-essential doctrines. That's not why I came to this forum. I clearly stated in the beginning that I did not want to debate this in length and we are clearly far removed from the point of this original thread. I have made my case and have shown that Scripture reveals that each Christian has the hope of eternal security. If you wish to continue believing in your doctrine then so be it. As the Bible states, "let each one be fully convinced in his own mind." You neither need to be assured of your salvation or believe in it's eternal security in order to be saved. With that said I wish you all the best and will undoubtedly meet up with you in another thread, hopefully debating on the same side.

Your brother in Christ.
best wishes,



zerocool_12790


-------
---There is a common belief rapidly spreading, which states that scientists are unquestionably ethical and objective. This is a gross myth that must be stopped before scientists claim it’s true.
 


Posts: 37 | Posted: 03:27 AM on July 7, 2006 | IP
EMyers

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Oh please.  This is the absolute worst line of reasoning I have ever heard... and I quote...
Notice the words, "that they may lead astray, if possible, the elect." "If possible" necessarily means that it is NOT possible.  If I tell you that I'll be over at your house for dinner at 5 PM tonight IF POSSIBLE do you really, really think I'm telling you that it is IMPOSSIBLE for me to be there?  Is this really where you are coming from?  And just what makes you think that this whole line of reasoning is NON-ESSENTIAL doctrine?  Do you just get to decide what part of God's word is essential and what isn't?  Really?  Seriously?

You wish to not debate?  Fine, but please read your bible, for your sake.  Read scriptures like:

I Corinthians 15:2
I Corinthians 6:9-10
I John 2:3-6
Ezekiel 18:24
Ezekiel 33:13
Romans 8:13
Galatians 5:19-21
James 1:14-16
James 5:19,20
Luke 8:13
Revelations 3:2
Revelations 21:8
Galatians 5:2-4
Matthew 10:22
Revelations 2:10,11
Hebrews 3:14
I Corinthians 9:27
II Peter 2:20-22

If you read these scriptures honestly you will understand the truth.  If you reject them and lower yourself to changing the meanings of words, then I'm sure you can make of them anything you wish, God rest your soul.  If you find yourself reading them verbatim and start saying "that's not what it means" then it is probably you, and not God, who is unclear.


-------
"Thou believest that God is one; thou does well: the demons also believe, and shudder." James 2:19 - Belief is never enough.
 


Posts: 1287 | Posted: 09:31 AM on July 7, 2006 | IP
    
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