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Showing content with the highest reputation on 02/23/2017 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    We're back to more quote mining the OT again with this example. And of course it's out of context (as all NT quote mines tend to be) because it has to do with Paul trying to make an argument that these OT verses justify non-Jews, namely gentile christians carrying on as the chosen people of god. In this mix we find statements about the Jews being hardened by god which makes free will sound questionable. The quote mines are interesting. If you go back to Hosea 2 it's one of the those old writings that seem addressed to the polytheism change over. Yahweh is pissed off about Israelite's giving offering to Baal, which is a pissing contest between two of the former "Son's of El." Yahweh is given Israel as his lot and people. They believed that there were 70 nations and these nations each had a god. Yahweh was one of many other gods below El Elyon the most high god. We covered this in detail elsewhere on the forum. And this is an example of how to utilize that back ground knowledge when facing NT writers trying to quote mine the OT way out of context. Paul was quite ignorant of the origins of his people. The dumb ass pulls these quotes from places that are bleeding with traces of the old polytheistic Israel going through an evolution from many gods to just one. I don't get the feeling that he even understood that in his day and age. He just skimmed through scripture looking for whatever suited his fancy. And this style of bible study has lasted right through to today. I was educated for the first 12 years in private school with bible class required every year. By high school I started picking up on this style of copying and pasting little bits jumping all over the place from the old and new testaments and calling these hack jobs a "bible study." It's more using the bible the way that a criminal in a crime movie is often portrayed as cutting individual letters out of various media and pasting the individual letters together forming an untraceable note for the police. Each individual letter came out of some context completely diverse to the other letters used to make the note. That's basically what constitutes a "bible study." One sentence over in Hosea. And then jumping back to a few sentences in Isaiah. Then perhaps finding a few more sentences in Revelation or John and pasting them all together to claim that something the pastor created is "The Bible," simply because the various and diverse sentences from completely differing contexts happen to exist in the bible. And when you go look at all of the verses used to create one of these bible studies, you find that they're completely out of context with one another. And these guys are simply mimicking and copying what Paul and others set forward in the NT with their quote mining styles.I made an example elsewhere of how foolish this was of Paul and the NT writers. Some one can come along and cherry pick verses the exact same way and come up with something new age like we are all gods. And they can quote mine the bible exactly the same way Paul was doing. And then they could present it to christian and Jewish audiences. And those audiences would likely reject it, as Paul was rejected by the Jews. But some other people who don't know any better could be fooled into thinking that this new age idea is "The Bible" simply because a few diverse and out of context verses from Psalm 82 and John 10:30 and perhaps Luke 22:10 were pasted together and presented as true enlightenment. I could say that god hardened the hearts of both the Jews and the christians and saved this message for future generations of new age people who are now the chosen people, because both the Jews and christians lost favor with god. And he hardened both the Jews and christians using them only as tools for a certain amount of time. I can look to Revelation and find something about Jesus speaking of a "new name" that will come. An entirely new age version of Judaism and christianity combined, set to the theme of the new age of Aquarius where Jesus will be known by a "new name" and the 12 apostles or 12 tribes of Israel / 12 constellations of the zodiac (see Philo and Josephus about the 12 tribes as the 12 months and signs of the zodiac) are to follow Jesus, as the Sun into the house of Aquarius for the next Aeon, or 2150 years. See, it is written in scripture: Luke 22:10New International Version (NIV) 10 He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, See, it's cryptic. It wasn't meant for people back then to completely understand. It was really meant for new age people some 2,000 years after it was written. Who are the new chosen of god for the next world age of some 2150 years until the zodiacal age changes again. See according to prophecy we'll find life there in Aquarius, during the age of Aquarius! For it is written! I have to thank BAA for the perfect timing of that new astronomical discovery for use in my new age example of how christianity started back then. lol But seriously, I keep bringing up these very foolish examples because this is quite literally what Paul and the NT writers were doing. As foolish as this seems to christians is precisely how foolish Pauls message must have appeared to the Jews. So he needed to take it to another audience. Just like I would have to take my quote mines to a non-christian audience who were too ignorant to know any better. I'd have to find non-christians or people with a limited familiarity of christianity. And I'd have to demonize the christians to this new and ignorant audience for rejecting my quote mined message the exact same way that Paul demonized the Jews for rejecting his out of context quote mining of their own scriptures. This is all bloody obvious when you present some one with a modern example of what the early christians were doing back then. It's all the exact same quote mining out of the original context type of nonsense. But if my quote mining religion ever by chance found favor with political interests, lets say a NWO government or something to that effect, and they decided to use it as a political tool and impose it on the world as the new and superior religion, guess what? That's exactly what Rome did with christianity. It was horse shit all along from the outset. But political interests decided to use the horse shit to their advantage and that's the only reason that this horse shit found it's way around the globe and eventually into each and every one of OUR MINDS! Any horse shit nonsense can go from obscure and fringe to mainstream just like that regardless of it's merit. And then be imposed on children for generations and generations before people finally start catching on and breaking free of it. It's like the Matrix and those of who understand this can then start pulling others out of the Matrix...
  2. 3 points
    http://www.trappist.one/#lepithec Explains it better than I ever could. Thanks, BAA.
  3. 2 points
    Look and weep anyone who thinks you need super advanced tech to move massive weights. This retired man moves massive weights - imagine what an army of ancients could do. No we don't need the ancient aliens theory to explain the various ancient structures around the world.
  4. 2 points
    That provides quite the perspective on this chapter. Paul invented predestination to explain why the Jews didn't believe in Jesus and used the example of Pharaoh's heart being hardened to "prove" his point.
  5. 2 points
    IMO, happiness is easiest to find when you align your life with reality. Rather than waiting for a deity to save your butt, you face problems head-on and learn to save yourself. Works much better, and you don't end up in a state of cognitive dissonance as you try to reconcile hope with despair.
  6. 2 points
    I was a "Christian" from birth, having been born to a pastor. I became "saved" and became devout in college, reading my bible regularly, studying it, memorizing it, praying, meeting with other believers, the whole nine yards. I deconverted in my mid-forties, so all-in-all I was a solid believer for 25ish years. In all that time I dealt with the death by cancer of my father (who, being a pastor, had hundreds of people praying for him, yet did not get cured), saw seemingly solid Christian marriages of friends fail due to infidelity, suffered infertility which never responded to my and all my friends' prayers, have lived with depression since I was a teenager, and watched from the sidelines as fellow believers went throug trial after trial with no response to prayers by the so-called loving father in heaven. Doubt was always present in the back of my mind though I tried desperately at times to rationalize it away. In all those 25 years, I never once felt that peace that passes all understanding. I just kept trying and trying to find it. Once I finally let go of belief, lo and behold, that peace fell over me like a soft gentle rain. I knew then that cancer and death are just things that exist in this world and because of that, we need to make the most of every moment we have here. I knew then that people are imperfect and make mistakes, and marriages require a lot of human effort to last, though even then they may not. I knew then that the human body is imperfect and sometimes doesn't work like it's supposed to through no one's fault. I knew then that bad things happen to EVERYONE at some point in their lives, and all we can do is just love and be loved and make the best of what we have.
  7. 2 points
    Some of us adopted a philosophy of life that doesn't expect things to be rosy all the time. Believers have all kinds of promises from the Bible that they claim, but then when god fails utterly to keep those promises, they are taught to make excuses like "He has a better plan for you" (Though he won't tell you what it is), "He must have wanted another angel at his throne" (instead of curing the child's sickness), etc. The promises are useless, as are the condemnations because that god is no more real than Spiderman. I don't look to a magical answer to life issues, I make plans and do my best to execute them. I spent 30 years as a whole-hearted believer, full of faith, believing God for all the promises and making excuses when he was completely silent, so that I wouldn't lose my imaginary relationship with him. Eventually I realized that the god of the Bible was like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, except not only was he naked, he didn't exist at all. We were all pretending he was there listening to us, passionately in love with us, dearly compassionate and protective of us, singing songs of devotion and wonder - all to someone who wasn't any more real than the gods of Greece and Rome. But it seems more real when others around us believe, just like all cults. I have been out now for more than 9 years and far more happy and calm than when I was a believer who was always fighting an invisible spiritual war.
  8. 1 point
    This is probably the most infamous and hard to defend chapter in the Bible. I always wondered why "free will Christianity" attacks Calvinists as being Biblically ignorant despite this chapter. How does this chapter even make sense from a free will perspective. According to this chapter, God hardens the hearts of whoever he wants. If god hardens hearts, how does this honor free will? Some Christians say that god only hardens people's hearts to make choices that they would have made on their own anyway. If they would have hardened their hearts without god's intervention, why did he harden their hearts? Also, the jars of clay speech claims that god can create jars of clay just to throw them into garbage, therefore god creates people just to send them to hell. How can you interpret the 9th chapter of Romans as being pro-free will? I remember when I read my Bible and asked god to guide me with his hand to where I need to read and I read this chapter. I was so disgusted that it ruined my faith.
  9. 1 point
    I want to know how he tilts the stones to begin with to get the rock under it, and also why the small rock isn't crushed by the weight and the friction. But this sort of thing is wonderful to know. I feel like so much knowledge has been lost, sometimes due to not being written, sometimes the writings were purged or destroyed by accident. I'd like to know more about the "here's how to do it" and less about the guys kids and such.
  10. 1 point
    But Josh, but ... you mean Romans 9 is just about "Israel" and it isn't Paul's declaration of Calvinism? Sob. Great analysis above! I like you "new age Bible guy" picture. My father did EXACTLY that kind of new age Bible quote mining directly from the Bible. His fundy sister, bless her heart, never bought it.
  11. 1 point
    Even while I was a card-carrying Christian I found the New Testament's invoking of isolated fragments of OT 'prophecy' to be very flimsy and suspect. I mean, that's the best they could come up with?
  12. 1 point
    That was one heck of an education! Thanks for Posting BAA! Now that is a great way of educating the public. Far more interesting than News articles and science papers! Incidentally my Christian friend has publically stated that they will never find life outside of earth.... gonna be interesting if they find life.... and if they figure out abiogenesis! (It will breed a new ground of apologetics!)
  13. 1 point
    Caution, SB! Not everything on the internet should be taken at face value. It's important to critically evaluate the site where the article in question is found. For instance, at the bottom of the page we can see this. Editor's Recommendations 'Time Machines': Photos of the World's Physics Labs 10 Ghost Stories That Will Haunt You for Life Spooky Sites: 7 of the Most Haunted Places in the United States Why is the editor of a website 'dedicated to science' recommending links about ghosts and the supernatural?
  14. 1 point
  15. 1 point
    My Dad was also a pastor and he died of a very rare form of cancer in Novembrer 2016. Guess that was how God chose to reward his "servant". A "prophet" even told my mother that my dad would be healed in eight days. A few weeks later he was dead.
  16. 1 point
    I'm not very stable right now. I had very hard times as a believer too. As a believer, I thought depression and anxiety are God pruning harmful things out of my life and it hurts because my selfish flesh doesn't know what is good for it. As an atheist, I know I have ptsd and dissociation and it comes from real trauma - the horror of actually blaming someone, people, instead of my own stupid flesh that doesn't know God's plans! - and my bouts of anxiety come from within and they mean I feel bad right now, they do not mean god is pruning me or anything. The reality is that I may take years to recover. But the reality also is that this is not "meant to be", not a part of a big plan, not spiritual. Shit happened to me because people made decisions that ended up taking my personal safety away as a child. That's it. There's nothing more to it. I can't hand over my problems to angels anymore, or sit back, put myself aside and wait for "the plan" to unfold. In other words I can't avoid myself. It is a horror. But I also have already learned more about loving and accepting myself, by myself, more than I ever did as a believer. We are not filthy sinful worms who need someone to die for us to be allowed in front of someone. We are deserving of love right here and now, most of all from ourselves.
  17. 1 point
    The same way a person who has lost everything is physically and mentally stable as a christian. There is a perception, and it is spread by christianity, that somehow "believing in the christian god" will make problems in life somehow easier. This is utterly false. Christians who have physical and mental stability do the exact same things a nonchristian does that makes a stable person: they seek therapy, learn new skills, meditate, go on walks, take medication and so forth. The primary difference between a christian and an atheist - the christian praises god for their healing, an atheist praises the people who were actually involved in the healing.
  18. 1 point
    Do you mean to ask why someone who has suffered would turn to secularism and science instead of the promise of an invisible, all-powerful benefactor and a joyful afterlife that Christianity offers? Because the promise is false. We can see this from biblical inconsistencies - for example, the Bible's god claims to be loving and all-wise, but treats people horribly (just open the Old Testament) and comes up with insane solutions to problems that he should easily have prevented (for instance, see the "fall of Adam" and God's salvation plan that took several thousand years to complete and didn't even save everyone). We're not interested in a manipulative, needy, arrogant, murderous god, no matter what he claims he has to give us. If a salesman showed up at your house with an incredible offer - say, a five-year vacation to wherever you want, all expenses paid, and all you had to do to get it was let him into your house, would you take him up on it? Let's say you really want the vacation, but this guy gives you a weird feeling. He seems very sleazy and shifty to you. Would you believe that he will deliver on his promise just because what he's offering sounds great, no matter how untrustworthy he likely is? Of course not. Regardless of the payoff it promises, no immoral religion that offers next to zero evidence for its claims should be trusted. We all suffer. Most people have experienced a great deal of pain at some point in his or her life, yet so many of them choose not to be Christians. Suffering isn't a valid reason to believe in lies, no matter how enticing those lies are. Especially ones that seek to gain people's unreserved loyalty, affecting every aspect of their lives - taking their time, money, leading them into traps by teaching them a type of thinking that ultimately will harm them, such as the idea that God will tell Christians what decisions to make and they must always obey, no matter how obviously misguided those choices are. Atheists criticize Christianity because they see its flaws. They understand that it is untrue and controlling and don't want anyone to stay trapped in it. This is very different from the idea of "loving the sinner but hating the sin," which tells people not to commit arbitrary "sins" because God doesn't like it. The first advises people not to believe in something; the second puts demands on them. Whatever it is you're going through, I'm sorry that you're hurting. Try to take it one day at a time (but plan for the future if that is relevant, of course), remember that you are able to do what you have to do to recover. No invisible man in the sky with a terrible track record of keeping his promises can be counted on to help you through it. Get therapy if it helps. Depend on yourself. You will be OK.

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