1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Greetings Guest!!

    In order to combat SPAM on the forums, all users are required to have a minimum of 2 posts before they can submit links in any post or thread.

    Dismiss Notice

Think About It

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Pacem, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    I figure since this is the off-topic forums, and is not game-related, it's OK to post this here... mods, if it is not, let me know now, and I will not.

    Think About It
    The following was written by Ben Stein and recited by him on CBS Sunday Morning Commentary.

    "My confession:

    I am a Jew, and every single one of my ancestors was Jewish. And it does not bother me even a little bit when people call those beautiful lit up, bejeweled trees, Christmas trees. I don't feel threatened. I don't feel discriminated against. That's what they are, Christmas trees.

    It doesn't bother me a bit when people say, 'Merry Christmas' to me. I don't think they are slighting me or getting ready to put me in a ghetto. In fact, I kind of like it. It shows that we are all brothers and sisters celebrating this happy time of year. It doesn't bother me at all that there is a manger scene on display at a key intersection near my beach house in Malibu. If people want a creche, it's just as fine with me as is the Menorah a few hundred yards away.

    I don't like getting pushed around for being a Jew, and I don't think Christians like getting pushed around for being Christians. I think people who believe in God are sick and tired of getting pushed around, period. I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country. I can't find it in the Constitution and I don't like it being shoved down my throat.

    Or maybe I can put it another way: where did the idea come from that we should worship celebrities and we aren't allowed to worship God as we understand Him? I guess that's a sign that I'm getting old, too. But there are a lot of us who are wondering where these celebrities came from and where the America we knew went to.

    In light of the many jokes we send to one another for a laugh, this is a little different: This is not intended to be ajoke; it's not funny, it's intended to get you thinking.

    Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her 'How could God let something like this happen?' (regarding Hurricane Katrina).. Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, 'I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?'

    In light of recent events.... terrorists attack, school shootings, etc. I think it started when Madeleine Murray O'Hare (she was murdered, her body found a few years ago) complained she didn't want prayer in our schools, and we said OK. Then someone said you better not read the Bible in school. The Bible says thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not steal; and love your neighbor as yourself. And we said OK.

    Then Dr. Benjamin Spock said we shouldn't spank our children when they misbehave, because their little personalities would be warped and we might damage their self-esteem (Dr. Spock's son committed suicide). We said an expert should know what he's talking about. And we said okay.

    Now we're asking ourselves why our children have no conscience, why they don't know right from wrong, and why it doesn't bother them to kill strangers, their classmates, and themselves.

    Probably, if we think about it long and hard enough, we can figure it out. I think it has a great deal to do with 'WE REAP WHAT WE SOW.'

    Funny how simple it is for people to trash God and then wonder why the world's going to hell. Funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says. Funny how you can send 'jokes' through e-mail and they spread like wildfire, but when you start sending messages regarding the Lord, people think twice about sharing. Funny how lewd, crude, vulgar and obscene articles pass freely through cyberspace, but public discussion of God is suppressed in the school and workplace."

    Are you laughing yet?

    Funny how when you forward this message, you will not send it to many on your address list because you're not sure what they believe, or what they think of you for sending it.

    Funny how we can be more worried about what other people think of us than what God thinks of us.

    Pass it on if you think it has merit.

    If not, then just disregard it... no one will know you did. But, if you discard this thought process, don't sit back and complain about what bad shape the world is in.
     
  2. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    tl;dr;dfc
     
  3. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    Check Snopes.com and the TRUE commentary as posted here ... linky.

    Fifth paragraph and lots following it - starting with "In light of ..." is not part of his original spiel and was added by someone else in 2006.
     
  4. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Thank you very much for the info. :) Much appreciated.
    Still makes ya think though.
     
  5. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    Ok, lets do that. There are two distinct concepts here.

    1. A rant against over-zealous secularism in support of diversity of religion by Ben Stein.

    2. The assertion that abandoning religious for secular values our society has entered into a degenerative state of decline. This was not written by Ben Stein.

    I would guess that the last part was written by a Christian of some sort. What do you think? Does the last part express mainstream Christian values?
     
  6. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    The first half was, the second half was not, as stated by the second reply.
    And, yes, a departing from God has gotten us to where we are today, the absence of moral values and the unawareness of consequences for our actions lets people do many horrific things. Think about it.
     
  7. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Most of the "horrific" things done are done in the name of this "God" of yours.

    How many atheists have started a war in the name of being godless? How many Buddhists have started a war?

    When's the last time an agnostic killed someone for believing in "the wrong god" or "praying the wrong way"?
     
  8. Saris

    Saris Guest

    well I got a giggle out of Dr. Spocks son offing himself.

    You cant say all of the moral problems of the world today are because we are goddless.

    Proof?

    OR do I take it like the bible with faith

    Hell blame who you want, but dont blame me.

    How bout overpopulation, ecconomy, corrupt politions, food shortages, improper spending, and MMO addictions:D
     
  9. Alezi

    Alezi Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    1
    My God is better than your god.
    [​IMG]

    This post made me remember a joke Jimmy Carr once told: "When I was a kid I had an imaginary friend, and I used to think that he went everywhere with me, and that I could talk to him and he could hear me and that he could grant me wishes and stuff. And then I grew up and I stopped going to church."
     
  10. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Does Hitler ring a bell? How about the Chinese, who martyre Christians as a matter of course? Many other people of power, some staunch atheists, have gone after Christians with a vengance, just because of their belief. I can get you quite an extensive list.
     
  11. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    I will not defend neither the inquisision nor the crusades, they were terribly wrong and it definately were not God's will. Nor was it His will in the Salem witch trials with people executing others just because of their beliefs. If you study the Bible closely, you will find that is not the way that Jesus preached and taught.

    While it is true that these were horrible things, they were done by people that had the wrong idea of God. Something I say in reply quite often to things like this is that even though people do things in the name of God (killing, etc.) does not mean that it is His will that they do it.

    Are most of the horrific things done really done by christians? No. Not true Christians. Many put on the name of Christianity and then do terrible things in His name (some being truely deluded) thinking it is actually His will when it is not. The Bible will tell you this, too.

    Is the Christian God responsible for most of these atrocities? Let us take a moment to examine, and then you can decide for yourselves:
    Atheistic, evolutionistic and secular belief systems are responsible for more evil and death than all the religious battles of the 20th century combined. An outrageous claim? Let's see.
    4000 are killed in abortions every day in America.
    Cambodia's Pol Pot killed 2 million
    Hitler killed 6 million Jews
    Karl Marx had multiplied millions killed world-wide
    Stalin: 20-30 million
    China's Mao Tse-tung killed 65 million
    One example that stands out in particular is the Hitler didtatorship. Hitler was a staunch evolutionist that believed in survival of the fittest. The Jews along with other peoples were viewed by both him and those following him to be a species of sub-human. He then proceeded to exterminate them, in his view wiping out a lesser species to make way for the perfect species of the German people. The strongest shall survive. According to naturalistic evolution, this is perfectly acceptable behavior and is required for the survival of the species.

    Hitler, to all Christians, was a horrible monster that did and ordered unspeakable things to be done to millions of innocent people. For someone to think that Hitler was doing right, or think he wasn't a madman is to be considered insane. Yet if no God truely exists nor ever did exist, they were neither innocent nor guilty. Hitler simply did what is recorded in our DNA through evolution to do what needed to be done, and did nothing wrong whatsoever.
    In fact, without God, or the belief in ANY god, right and wrong are nothing but the fantacies of every individual person. Sure, each of us has a concept of what is right, but it is only personal opinion.
    ****, murder, abortion, taking advantage of another for your own gain... it is all there in our DNA, according to this view. It is a very bleak scenario. **** is required to purpetuate the species and help it to survive. We see it in nature all the time. So there is no reason to exclude ourselves from that rule as well, without the true God of the Bible to teach us how to treat our neighbor, etc.
    I can go even further in stating that all that we think and do are nothing more than the random processes of chemical reactions in what we call the brain to trigger responses from the animated matter that is our bodies, triggered by actions of other animated matter outside of our own.

    What I have just described is very disturbing. Yet to hold to the totally naturalistic view, it is absolutely required that one also believes in the affore-mentioned scenario as well, or the view has no validity.
    I implore you, think carefully before making such a decision as this, research and study for yourself what I have related to you previously, and the concequences of the stand you now have. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide where you stand.
     
  12. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    I love the spaghetti monster pic, makes me hungry! :p
    And also, btw... about the Buddists (forgive spelling), ever hear of how some of them viciously attack Christians killing them, and burn places of worship?
     
  13. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    So if the Christian God does not exist its okay to do evil things to people?
     
  14. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    No king! No king! La la la la la la!
     
  15. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Essentially, that is right, since there will be no consequences when you die (if there is no God), it'll be just *POOF* you're gone into oblivion.
    Plus, there would be no such thing as evil (without God), since all would be programmed into our makeup through evolution, and we ourselves would only be animated matter and nothing more.
     
  16. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    So seeing as how Christianity is ~1980 years old... How about people from 1981 years ago? What happened to them? Straight to hell because they weren't Christian?


    Or could it be that just like every other religion, Christianity is a lump of bollocks for the weak minded who can't find their own way in life and have to rely on "someting bigger" to make their miserable existence worth living with the hope that something better is waiting for them when they finally pass on?


    Yeah I bet it's that one.
     
  17. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Christianity is much older than that. True, followers of the faith were not called Christian until after Jesus' death. They were first called "Christian" in Antioch as a form of sarcasm (Christian meant "little Jesuses") but the name stuck and it is still in use today.

    Now, your first comment, the answer is no. People believed in God long before Jesus arrived on the scene. People attoned for their sins through animal sacrifices (bulls, doves, goats, etc.) that were offered up to God. Only after Jesus was the sacrificial system of attoning for one's sins abolished, since Jesus was the final sacrifice to pay for all sin. There is a reason it is said that "He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world." (1 John 2:2)

    For your second comment, have you overlooked the fact that in all of history, the Bible has not been proven wrong even once? And in fact, that everything that has come up against Christianity and the Bible ultimately proven woefully inadequate?
    Here is a link for you that might help. I pray you read it over carefully, then make a decision for yourself.
    http://groups.icq.com/groups/index.php?act=view_topic&group_id=176&topic_id=194226&forum_page=2

    Plus, consider further the consequences of the naturalistic view, which I stated already. Do you really want/like that view?
     
  18. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    Hahahaha....

    No really, get out.
     
  19. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    So tell me about the dinosaurs.
     
  20. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    All about the dinosaurs and much more are contained within that link I provided you. :)
     
  21. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    I don't click links. Make your argument, don't have someone else make it for you.
     
  22. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Very good point... but that someone else is me, I made that post in the ICQ forums, with info I collected (it took many weeks to put it all together).
    In that post, I am DJ Matthew.
     
  23. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    So you spew your crazy all over?

    Interesting.
     
  24. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Yup, pretty much :)
    Check it out. I haven't seen a logical reproach yet to it.
     
  25. Aran

    Aran INFRACTION INFRACTION INFRACTION!
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend -A-

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2000
    Messages:
    14,717
    Likes Received:
    1,021
    I don't honestly care.

    You've got your crazy ideas, and as long as you don't try and force them via governmental decree as law (OOPS too late.) you're welcome to them.
     
  26. Beer_Cayse

    Beer_Cayse Guest

    A lot of nasty things are done by those who follow Islam as well, Aran. I don't think there is one major religion that is totally innocent of waging hostilities without involving religion to some extent. I'd have to look at Buddhism some tho I think.

    IMO, we are mortal thus we are prone to be more fallible that any Supreme Diety. Kindly note I did NOT state the SD is infallible! After all some would have us believe that the SD created Man in their image, which must have some flaws - based on the behaviors of Humanity in general. <shrug>

    I dunno ... those are just some thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for quite a few years. Mebbe right, mebbe not ...
     
  27. Alezi

    Alezi Lore Keeper
    Stratics Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2007
    Messages:
    754
    Likes Received:
    1
    Exactly. Islam - "are done/are being done". Christianity - "have been done". Note the tense.

    I honestly think religions are the cancer of mankind.
     
  28. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    So Good and Evil are to be understood as what is pleasing or displeasing to God? Is there any other criteria that we need or is this adequate?
     
  29. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Some would indeed say that, and especially about Christianity, that the world would be better off without it. Let's look into that a little:

    19th century atheistic philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said in his book "The Antichrist" (1888):
    Are Nietzsche and his disciple, Hitler, right, when they say "Christianity has been one great curse to mankind"?
    Jesus said,
    And the world has never been the same ever since.
    So much of the greatness of the west... in ideas, in reforms, science, music, the arts... all come back from the influence of Jesus Christ. Perhaps one of the greatest impacts of Jesus that rise above all others is the creation of a giving, caring culture.
    Jesus Christ has been the most powerful influence in the history of the world. The surest proof of the reality and the majesty of Christ today, are the people that are closest to Him, beautiful human lives, like that of Mother Theresa (forgive spelling), among many others.(1)

    Thus, the impact of Christianity begins with those lives changed by the transforming power of the gospel. Drug addicts are throwing down drugs in the name of Jesus.
    Alcoholics are cracking bottles and never drinking again in the name of Jesus. Husbands and wives are coming back together and children are coming home in the name of Jesus.(2)
    In Dr. E.V. Hill's church in Watts, Los Angeles, he says that if he has 70 choir members there on Sunday, 30 of them have had experience of having been delivered form alcohol, from dope, from every kind of sin you can name.

    Another example of Christ's influence is in any public library. Scan all the thousands of volumes that are there. Every one of them has at least an indirect reference to Jesus.
    How is this so?
    Jesus' coming to earth divided time into B.C. - Before Christ, and A.D. - Anno Donimi, which means, "In the Year of Our Lord" (not After Death).
    One of the important contributions of Christianity is that it spread the ideas of the Jews into all the world.
    "The notion of history in a line rather than in a cycle, or a simple notion like the weekend, which comes from the notion of a "Sabbath," or the notion of "covenant," which has given rise to the American idea of "Constitution." There are many, many of these things that are primarily the gifts of the Jews that were mediated (taken over) and distributed to the world by the explosive growth of the church."(1)
    "It is almost impossible to imagine to imagine the depravity of a world that had never been exposed to Christianity. The easiest way to answer the question of whether life on planet earth is better because Jesus walked Jerusalem or not is very simple, and that is, just watch the way people vote with their feet. Watch where the net flow of immigration is in the world today. Is it from Christian countries to non-Christian countries or the other way around?"(3)
    Furthermore, Christianity has given the world many great expressions of art. The most depicted event of all time is the crucifixion of Jesus. Christianity has given art some of its most noble themes, and has also created great works of art in stone, as in the great cathedrals, such as Notre Dame in Paris, or the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.
    And then, of course, music has been greatly impacted by the Christian faith. Even some atheists will acknowledge this.
    "Supposing there had been no Jesus... our musical tradition would be infinately weaker. Church music and hymn singing, even to those who are not harty Christians one of the wonderous expressions of the human soul."(4)
    But perhaps Christ's greatest contribution to human life is his victory over death, by his resurrection. Jesus said:
    Critics of Christianity ask, "What about the Crusades, or the Inquisition?"
    "There is no excuse for any of that. They are awful. But, they are a violation of the teaching of Jesus. they are NOT a demonstration of the teaching of Jesus."(1)
    "Where ever Jesus's teachings were incorporated more directly, this never happened. It's a case of the abborations that caused these terrible developments. When you add the credit side of the ledger against the negative exceptions, you find a vast preponderance, to show that if Christ had never been born, we would have a much greater negative side of the ledger than we have today."(5)
    "Today in America, we need to not focus so much on the horrors of the Crusades, hundreds of years ago, but on the horrors of secular humanism within our society today."(3)
    "A lady asked me, she said, 'Well, you fellows are preaching, and it ain't working.' And I said to her, 'You know, you can litterally go down the street and smell body oder. The soap companies are FAILING to get their message over.' She said, 'No, no! There's nothing wrong with the soap, you got to use it!'
    "Well, there it is... nothing wrong with Jesus Christ... you got to accept him."(2)
    Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived, has changed virtually EVERY aspect of human life. Charity, the arts, literature, music, government, education, health care, and many, many more.
    20th century agnostic H.L. Mencken once quipped:
    Has Christianity been anti-scientific? Many would agree.
    Absolutly not. The fact of the matter is, Christianity gave birth to modern science. In fact, modern science is a GIFT from Jesus Christ.
    It would be impossible to overestimate the full impact of science of modern life. However, what most people don't realize is that science is essentially a Christian invention, with initial input from the ancient Greeks.
    "It's certainly true, by and large, and in the English speaking world, the founders of science would have expressed fairly strong religious views. They felt this is a world made by a Creator who has impressed the Creator's will on the world, from outside."(6)
    Critics frequently point to the Roman Catholic Church's mistreatment of the astronomer Galileo in the 17th century as evidence that Christianity is anti-science.
    Galileo verified that the sun was the center of the solar system, a view which was at odds with that of the church. Not only is this something that the church has appologized for, but critics often overlook the fact that Galileo himself was a devout Christian, and agreed that the Bible set the standard for truth. In a letter, Galileo wrote:
    In other words, what Galileo proved false was not what the Bible says about the universe, but a misinterpretation of what the Bible says. A misinterpretation based on a geocentric, or earth centered understanding of the universe. In reality, Galileo was yet another scientific genious who believed in the Bible.
    Almost all of the scientists were Christians. The idea that people were, by their science, finding out the glories of God's creation is one of long, long standing.
    Since the rise of darwinism in the mid 19th century, it has often been perceived that faith and science are at odds with one-another. But even today, there are thousands of reputable scientists who are believers in Jesus Christ. And in the early days of modern science, virtually no one saw a conflict between faith and science.
    "Just about every major branch of science that has been created was origionated by people who believed in the Bible."(7)
    Indeed, some of the most prominent scientists who ever lived were strong believers in God and His Son, Jesus Christ.
    Here is a list of such men, along with the branch of science they created:
    Louis Pasteur - Bacteriology
    Johannes Kepler - Celestial Mechanics
    Lord Kelvin - Energetics
    Blaise Pascal - Hyrostatics
    Charles Babbage - Computer Science
    Lord Joseph Lister - Antiseptic Surgery
    Robert Boyle - Chemistry
    James Simpson - Anesthesiology
    Matthew Fontaine Maury - Oceanography
    Samuel Morse - Telegraphy
    Sir Isaac Newton - Calculus and Dyamics

    Sir Issac Newton, perhaps the greatest scientist who has ever lived, said:
    "Sir Isaac Newton wrote far more on faith, theology and religion than he did on gravitation, and there is a reason for that. Once we're given a clue... "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth.." that tells me, that one way that I can get to know God better is to study heaven and earth. And that's why, until relatively recently, all the great scientists were also great Christians."(3)
    Sir Isaac Newton also stated:
    Modern science could and did grow in only one area, the Christian faith.
    While the ancient Greeks began to investigate the natural world, they didn't fully develope science, because to them it was essentially an accademic exercise, or mental gymnastics.
    Science could not have begun in any other widespread belief system other than Christianity. Hinduism and Buddism for example teach that the physical world is an illusion, it's not even real. Islam teaches a type of Fatalism and determinism that makes any attempt to change the natural world essentially meaningless. And so science, with all of its manifold benifits, is another gift from Christ to our world.
    In a front page story of the Washington Post once declared that the evangelical followers of such teachers as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson:
    Is Christianity opposed to education?
    There is a strong link between the Christian faith and education. Education in all levels. Jesus commissioned his followers to make disciples:
    And so, Christianity has put great stress on education, virtually from the beginning, in order to spread the message of Jesus. Christians have brought literacy to hundreds of millions of people, of all sorts of languages, by cartifying those languages in the first place.
    There are hundreds of languages that were first set to writing by Christian missionaries in order to translate the Bible into their own tongue. The writing that the former Soviet Union used was actually first created by two Christian missionaries, called the cyrillic alphabet, named after one of the missionaries.
    Christianity also played a pivital role in saving Western civilization from extinction, after barbarians ussered in the Dark Ages by conquering the Roman Empire.
    "It was no accident that the Christian church single-handedly kept human culture alive in the early medieval world... when society had totally 'gone south' as it were when we have a decay in civilization after the barbarian invasion of Rome. If it hadn't been for the Christian church, through its monks patiently recopying manuscripts, staffing monestary libraries... we might have lost classical culture entirely."(5)
    Christianity, after the Reformation, stressed reading the Bible for one's self, which meant that people had to be able to read in the first place. For the first 200 years in American education, the Bible, in one way or another, was the chief textbook.
    Furthermore, it was none other than Christianity that first expanded education to include women in many non-christian cultures that saw women as inferior or uneducatable.
    Christianity has impacted education on higher levels as well. Around 1200 AD, the church created a new phenomina in the world... the university.
    "The church positively encouraged the creation of schools and the financing of them"(8)
    Virtually every one of the first 123 colleges founded in the United States were established by Christians, for Christian purposes. This includes many of our most respected schools: Harvard, Yale, Prinston, Dartmoth and others. The most common motto in all the American universities is "The Truth Shall Set You Free", but people forget that it was Jesus that origionally said this.
    Rev. John Harvard founded Harvard University
    The Puritan Elihu Yale - Yale University
    Presbiterians - Prinston

    (1)-Dr. Os Guinness
    (2)-Dr. E.V. Hill, pastor of an inner-city church in Watts.
    (3)-Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin
    (4)-Robin Lane Fox, Oxford Professor
    (5)-Dr. Paul Maier, author and professor of ancient history at Western Michigan University
    (6)-Dr. John Brooke, professor of science and religion at Oxford University
    (7)-Jerry Newcombe, co-author with Dr. D. James Kennedy of the books "What if Jesus Had Never Been Born" and "What if the Bible Had Never Been Written"
    (8)-Alexandar Murray, retired Oxford professor of history

    More to follow in the next post.
     
  30. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    This is the man who inspired the bloody French Revolution.
    What about the founding of America only 14 years after Rousseau wrote those words? America, the free-est nation that ever was created in this world.
    America was founded by those that sought religious freedom, to worship God according to the dictates of one's own conscience. This eventually gave rise to every other liberty we enjoy. The followers of Jesus remembered his words:
    "Christianity provided the foundation and principles, the character in the heart of the people that had produced America's goodness and greatness. It was Christians that were involved in every aspect of the beginning and developement of America."(1)
    There is overwhelming historical evidence that proves that our nation was founded on Christ and His Word. The pilgrims were heavily influenced by the teachings of John Calvin, one of the main leaders of the Protestant Reformation. When the first group of pilgrims finally arrived in the New World, they wrote the Mayflower Compact, also known as "America's Birth Certificate." It affirms their Godly motivation for coming here in the first place:
    "And so, under their biblical-type covenant, the pilgrims experienced religious, political and economic freedom. Then in 1636, they used that covenant as the foundation by which they framed a complete detailed Constitution. This lead to the framing of almost 100 other biblically based covenants, compacts and constitutions by the year 1776. And it laid the groundwork for a uniquely free, and Christian, America."(2)
    Thus, the whole idea of constitutional government as we have experienced it in America came from an emphasis on political covenants which can be traced back directly to a Calvinist interpretation of the Bible. And thus was conceived the American experiment of representative government, of liberty under law, and of one nation--under God.
    In the mid 1700's after many colonies were founded and settled in America, revival swept the land in what is known today as the "Great Awakening". This revival laid the foundation for the birth of the nation, because it became the first time these seperate colonies began to bond together and eventually unite in the war for independance.
    During the war, prayer was critical for the virgianing nation. Gearge Washington, the leader of the war effort, was well known for his prayer life. God answered the colonist's prayers. After their victory, Washington addressed the governors of all the states in a letter:
    In other words, Washington, the founder of our country, said that without a humble imitation of Christ, we shall never be a happy nation.
    Furthermore, the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution were created by our Founding Fathers, more than 95% of whom were practicing Trinitarian Christians.
    These documents reflect a political phylosophy taken from the Bible. Throughout all these documents, God is at the center, and the government built around Him, in all three branches. 34% of all the political quotes in these documents came from the Bible.
    From the settling to the founding of America, the Christian faith played a vital role. If Jesus had never been born, there never would have been a United States of America.


    (1)-Stephen McDowell of the Providence Foundation
    (2)-Dr. Charles Hull Wolfe
     
  31. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Margaret Sanger, who began planned parenthood, once said:
    Is christianity truely a source of tyranny?
    Before Jesus Christ was born, the world was a very dangerous place to live. Unwanted babies were routinely thrown away. Human beings were killed for sport. 100's if not 1000's of babies were exposed every morning on the trash dumps, the majority of them girls.
    The Christians ultimately ended infanticide and the gladitorial events as well. After all, they (Christians) tried to follow in the footsteps of their master, who was the first to proclaim to them "the golden rule":
    Furthermore, Jesus Christ increased the value of human life by elevating the value of women. Mistreatment of women was commonplace in the ancient world. One of the worst examples of this took place in the nation of India, where women were subject to the horrific practice of "widow burning." When a husband died (10-12 yr old girls married to 50 yr old men), the widow would be asked to die with him, on the funeral pyre. This practice went on for thousands of years until mainly through the result of Christian missionaries, made it illegal in the 1830's. Indian women even today, owe their lives to Christian missionaries and the abolishment of the practice.
    Though many are loathed to admit it, it was Christianity that has affirmed the inherant value and dignity of women world-wide. It is the radical feminist idea that women have been the victims of Christianity... nothing is further from the truth.
    "The Bible has been the most effective force in history for lifting women to higher levels of respect, dignity and freedom, and our Christianity has made us victors... not victims... by ANY means."(1)
    Furthermore, in many parts of the world, Christianity ended poligamy, a practice inherantly unfair to women.
    By around 1900, it was Christianity that put an end to canibalism, a practice found in various parts of the world. There is the story of a U.S. serviceman during WWII who was out at a remote Pacific island. He saw this islander who was carrying a big Bible. He said to the native, "Where I come from, we don't believe in that book anymore." The islander grinned and said to him, "It's a good thing for you that WE do, otherwise, you would be in here by now." And the islander patted his stomach.

    (1)-Dr Janice Shaw Crouse
     
  32. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    One of the blights on world history is the practice of slavery.
    Critics point out that some Christians owned slaves and condoned the peculiar institution. But the counter-charge is that slavery was ended by the active interferance of Christians.
    "It was the Christian church more than any other agency that was responsible for the emancipation fo the slaves. It was William Wilberforce in the 1830's in the British empire, a dedicated Christian who on the basis of his Christianity worked so desperately to get slaves free through the British parliament."(1)
    He gathered around him a group of like-minded men who fought the slave trade. They also fought to free all the slaves in the british empire. Even non believing scholars acknowledge the link between Christianity and the abolishion of slavery.
    "I think for the real impact of Christianity on slavery you have to look back to the 18th & 19th centuries to England, later to America, the impact particularly of evangelical teachings which is enormously important."(2)
    The "Underground Railroad" was run by Quakers and other devout Christians, helping the slaves to escape torment. Even 2/3 of the abolishionist's society were ministers of the Word of Jesus Christ. If Jesus had never been born... none of this would have happened, in the way it did.

    (1)-Dr Paul Maier
    (2)-Ribin Lane Fox, Oxford professor, and self-proclaimed atheist
     
  33. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    These are nice essays but they don't exactly answer my question regarding your views.

    You implied in your assertion that we are moral only because we fear divine punishment after death. Furthermore you asserted that without God, ethics do not exist, or rather it exists as sort of a compelling robotic nhilistic worship of DNA and evolution.

    So I'm asking you what makes an action good or evil? Is it solely based upon whether its pleasing or displeasing to God? Where does God get his criteria or is this something not to be questioned?
     
  34. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Even now, in those areas where Christianity is largely absent, so to is respect for human life. One only need look at the record of godless regimes in the past century to see this.
    Lenin and Stalin... China under Mao... Cuba under Castro... Cambodia under Pol Pot (the records of the masses they killed are gone over earlier in this thread)...
    The 20th century atheistic, totalitarian regimes have proven to be the greatest killers of all time. Over 135 million people were killed by them. Human life gets its true value when human beings recognize that which was revealed in the beginning, that we were created in the image of God.
    Is this objection to Christianity well founded... or indeed, founded at all? Let's take a look.
    Jesus had a special place in his heart for the poor, and down-and-out. He told his disciples a parable, that of the good samaritan, and today we talk about those that do good as "good samaritans."
    Jesus said:
    The very notion of caring for those that are less fortunate comes from Jesus himself.
    It was the love of Jesus Christ that motivated the late Mother Theresa to care decade after decade for the poor of India. Another example, in all the depressed areas of America, there is a Christian outreach to feed the homeless (soup kitchens, etc).
    In a soup kitchen type of ministry in Los Angeles, they have fed 1,800,000 meals every day of the week except Sunday.
    Let's take a look at some of the great charitable organizations in America today that have strong Christian roots.
    The Salvation Army - a Christian denomination with more than 100 branches in the world.
    What would the Salvation Army be without a savior?
    "Without Christ, there would be no dynamo behind the Salvation Army to push it forward and to breathe it into existance. It depends upon a living Christ to exist."(1)
    It was created by William Boothe in 19th century England where abject poverty was prevelant. He was a fiery preacher of the Gospel who had a special concern to take care of the poor. One year, the Salvation Army helped over 10 million families. It's impact because of the love of Christ cannot be denied.
    The International Red Cross - founded by a Swiss evangelical, Henry Dunant
    Dunant wrote of his work which eventually became the Red Cross:
    The symbol of the Red Cross comes from the reverse of the Swiss flag, which is a truncated cross, as in the cross of Jesus Christ.
    Habitat for Humanity - founded by Millard and Lina Fuller as a housing ministry
    The Habitat for Humanity's slogan is "Every House a Sermon of God's Love"
    Today, the orgainization uses donations, volunteer workers no interest loans to make owning a home a reality for thousands of people, who otherwise could not afford a house.

    (1)-Gen. John Gowans, International director of the Salvation Army
     
  35. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    The answer is obvious in these essays. By now it is apparent that with God, and with Jesus and the example He set in motion, all the good we see being done by these charitable organizations, the value put on human life after Jesus by His followers, leading them to do many incredible things that have resounding, far-reaching impact on our world and the way we live today, can only be possible with a loving God that cares for us and teaches us how to do good. God is the ultimate example of this. Without God, or the absence of the belief in God as you can see for yourself in these essays, will at least 99% of the time lead to disaster and human suffering on a grand scale.
     
  36. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    No, you are spamming instead of answering my simple question.

    Ok, here is another, try not to write a book.

    Where is slavery forbidden by Christianity? I don't think it is.
     
  37. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Spamming, huh?
    If you bothered to read the post after your response, you would have the answer.
    And, slavery truely is forbidden in the Bible, because, again, look at what Jesus said with He told His disciples about the "Golden Rule". If that applies to all people, and if that Golden Rule were really followed by all, then slavery would not have existed... and indeed was a major part of the abolition of it.
     
  38. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    No, you just say some Christians in the 19th century were against slavery. I can also find examples of Christians that supported it.

    There is nothing in the bible that prohibits slavery.

    Look at the context of the 'golden rule'

    It means if you are a slave, you should be submissive. It doesn't forbid owning others. On the other hand, contrary to the actions and beliefs of most Christians, Jesus here clearly forbids violence even in self-defense.
     
  39. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    On the other hand, did Jesus actually say that slavery was OK? I see no reference for that in this text. Good use of scripture btw.
    Jesus was there to preach peace, and to follow God's will always. Jesus by no means was there to cause an uprising, abolish slavery or anything of the sort. He was there to preach the way, the truth and the life (which was Jesus). Although He commanded slaves to be obedient, he did not condone the practice in and of itself.
    Plus, slaves that did very well and caused no trouble were given more and more freedoms, until they could come and go as they liked, as long as they did their jobs and did them well. Consider the story of Joseph, how he was sold into slavery by his brothers. After many years, Joseph won so much favor with his master that he had many of the freedoms we have today, until his master's wife set him up and he was thrown into prison. Then, after a long while in prison, he won the favor of the head there and oversaw the whole prison. Then after he won the favor of Pharoah after interpreting his dreams, he eventually ran the entire land of Egypt, second in authority only to the Pharoah.
     
  40. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Plus, the other side of the Golden Rule also applies to the masters of said slaves. If the masters treated their slaves the way the masters would want to be treated, that would in effect help to abolish slavery, if that Rule were truely followed.
    One more thing I wish to point out... out of this Rule, with slave and master both treating each other equally, as equals... it was common practice for the slaves to be set free after a time, and not return into servitude. In fact, some people willingly went into slavery as a means of sustaining themselves if they could not do so on their own. An agreement was reached, and time was spent in service for a time.
     
  41. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    Jesus never said a lot of things. He also said a lot of things the Christians tend to ignore. Like sharing wealth and not engaging in violence.

    Point is, where is the ethical system that we are to obey so that God does not punish us? Is it literally following just Jesus' words, or are we to obey the Old Testament as well, and what about the rest of the New Testament, like that of Paul and such?

    You seemed to use reason in your exegesis of the Golden Rule. Are we to use Reason in our moral decisions or should we try to confirm as literally as possible to the commands of the Scriptures even when they contradict our reason or conscience?
     
  42. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    A very good question. When God issued a command for His people, He didn't beat around the bush and make people wonder what He really meant. He told them point blank what should and should not be, for example, the 10 Commandments. I will not list each one here, but they are the basic blueprint to guide everything we both say and do. The only time they would contradict our reason or conscience is when we try to go our own way, and something happens that usually is not very good.
    Consider carefully the moral rules that God puts forth. Stated earlier, without the value of life that God teaches, babies were considered nothing more than things to be tossed out with the daily trash. Included are others that totally denied Him and followed their own reasoning, resulting in many deaths. So I would say, yes. Follow God's commands and moral guidelines. They are truely flawless and are meant for nothing but our benifit to lead the fullest of lives possible in His grace.
     
  43. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    Okay I was wonder about the Old Testament. How do you tell the crazy laws from the good ones? For example, Leviticus 19-24:

    You don't make your girlfriend do that, do you?
     
  44. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Nah.
    Since Christ came and was the attoning sacrifice for our sins, we are made clean through the blood of Christ, a one-time act of faith, of coming to Him.
    Are the laws you mentioned still in effect, in God's eyes?
    No, not really. They were intended for their time. God has adjusted things to suit the situations at that time. Will He adjust things again? No. How do we know? Because scripture is complete, and God will not change anything anymore.
    The reason it was changed is because of Jesus, which was God's plan all along.
    So, if they are not intended for us today, why are those laws still recorded in the Bible?
    To show us how God took care of us from the beginning, and laid down laws such as those for our benifit. Do the old laws and the new order in Christ contradict? No. The old ways were before Christ, when people still had to attone for their sins through ritual sacrifices and cleaning. With Christ, we are made clean in Him.
     
  45. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    But how are you supposed to tell which Old Testament laws are still valid? For example, you just brought up the '10 Commandments' which were revealed by God to Moses, a Jewish prophet.
     
  46. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Good example. :)
    We know the 10 commandments are still valid today because Jesus carried on their teachings in His ministry. A good example is the young rich man and Jesus (Matthew 19:16-19)
    And here's another, where an expert in the law tested Jesus with a question:
    The first commandment is obviously still valid throughout the entire Bible, for throughout, it talks of only one way to God, through Jesus, and that there is only one God that we should passionately worship (and rightfully so since He deserves every bit of it).
     
  47. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    So in other words, NONE of the Old Testament laws are not valid anymore except where specifically mentioned by Jesus?

    This:
    "Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,' and 'love your neighbor as yourself."

    are commandments because Jesus said to follow them, NOT because they are part of Jewish Law or the Old Testament?
     
  48. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    Well, that would obviously make sense in some areas. Like for example God's specific and detailed instructions on the exact ways He wanted us to perform the animal sacrifices, what to do with the carcass etc... those would not apply in the New Testament since the sacrificial system was abolished with the final sacrifice of Jesus (the Lamb of God).
    There are others as well, that I cannot think of off the top of my head. Bring up some examples and we can discuss them.
     
  49. Nestorius

    Nestorius Guest

    What we were discussing is Christian values versus secular. I wanted to know where you get your morality, but you don't really seem to be very clear. Yet you want to assert that secularists and atheists have no values whatsoever.

    You seem to like history. What's your opinion on the Greek Philosophers? Certainly Plato and Aristotle had fully developed ethical systems, not to mention the very popular Stoic movements in the Roman Empire. Whether you follow these teachings or not, there were many theories and ideas absorbed into traditional Christianity, especially the secondary writings and commentaries.

    When in fact did it become considered that basis of Christian belief comes from the Bible and the Bible only? I can't think of a time before the Protestant Reformation that this became the case.
     
  50. Pacem

    Pacem Guest

    I get my morality from God Himself.
    God gave us all the blueprint to go by, for treating others, for being honest and loving in all that we do.
    Now, God's morality vs. secular values, the evidence is quite clear. In the absence of God, people are left to their own ideas of what right and wrong are. Now, this is not to say that scholars of such acclaim as Aristotle, Socrates and the like didn't have a clue, some of them were definately on the right track, deriving many of their views form common sense logic in the areas listed above in this post, as well as other areas.
    But, though humans by themselves can figure out many things for themselves (God didn't create dummies), God leads us on the right track in the affirmation of our knowing of what right and wrong truely are.
    But how do we really know right and wrong? What truely is either?
    In the naturalistic approach, right and wrong really do not exist, and all are programmed for survival. Stated in a previous post, **** would be necessary for the survival of a species. Is it wrong? Of course it is.... if there is a God. If there is not, then it is simply natural process, and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I tend to cling to the former. :)