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What Did I Get Myself Into?!


DucorpsToo
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I had mentioned this to someone else, but to summarize ..here goes:

 

I belong to another messageboard which is non-religious in nature but with a specific forum for subject matter which is not relevent to the theme of the messageboard. Anyways, this particular board does have a resident fundie "literalist" (unfortunately) who, at times, will try to proselytize in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on certain threads where it isn't warranted(Actually it really isn't warranted at all on that whole messageboard). I guess you could say she is somewhat like "Amy Marie" mentioned in The Lion's Den but somewhat more irritating (in my opinion).

 

Anyways, I was reading a particular thread in which a few posts down she "starts up". Although I'm not one to debate...there was something there that, stupid me, I just had to jump in and give my two cents :HaHa: In a nutshell, I had given a somewhat lengthy post which pretty much raised the same questions as the great post given by Mr. Grinch in the thread entitled "IS IT FINISHED YET" in the Lion's Den and had picked apart most of her claims in one of her posts. She eventually posted a reply addressed to me and another person . The reply was again filled with the usual stuff about the only way is thru Jesus or the Bible stands the test of time, that it is the Word of God , and that science and philosophy have not proven it wrong ("even though they may try")..blah..blah. Depsite all of her drivel, she never really answered my specific questions. Instead she told me to "keep on searching" and that a good start would be the following site...which is quite apologetic in nature:

 

http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/answers.html

 

Are you guys familiar with the above link? I think that I might have bitten off a little more than I can chew as my debating skill really aren't up to snuff :ugh:

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I only read a bit of the site but it's nothing but the usual specious apologetics crap.

 

Like the thing that says humans couldn't have invented god because he's good and we're crap (and had a table). I guess since we're so crappy we couldn't have thought up an idealized version of ourselves. God's so great he created a crappy version of himself. Sounds much better put that way. :)

 

And on and on each of their "reasoned" arguments go. Don't the best lies have some truth mixed in? I'm sure that's what my xian teachers always warned me about the devil. :grin:

 

Anyhow, back on point...what exactly was yours?

 

mwc

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Since a lot of you are more "well seasoned" members here and have obviously engaged in a lot more debate with such individuals mentioned in my first post, part of me is just saying "let it go" and another part of me is saying "wait a minute...I'm not letting this one go, !". It's just that this individual has always managed to sneak in some sort of self-righteous religious crap in many of her posts and I just wanted to have the pleasure of "poking holes" in her arguments.

 

My only point is that 1) I usually don't go around reading apologetic sites and 2) I'm somewhat unconfident in my debating skills hence 3) would it even be worth "getting her goat" just for the sheer pleasure of it? (I'm soooo tempted to give her one final rebuttal :HaHa: )

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Since a lot of you are more "well seasoned" members here and have obviously engaged in a lot more debate with such individuals mentioned in my first post, part of me is just saying "let it go" and another part of me is saying "wait a minute...I'm not letting this one go, !". It's just that this individual has always managed to sneak in some sort of self-righteous religious crap in many of her posts and I just wanted to have the pleasure of "poking holes" in her arguments.

 

My only point is that 1) I usually don't go around reading apologetic sites and 2) I'm somewhat unconfident in my debating skills hence 3) would it even be worth "getting her goat" just for the sheer pleasure of it? (I'm soooo tempted to give her one final rebuttal :HaHa: )

 

I skimmed through the titles and it apparently only had to do with theological issues like the Problem of Evil and all that bullshittery.

 

Then it had a bunch of apologetic nonsense that I dont usually get into. After listening to Dr. Bob Price I realise that there is a shitload more that's going on with the creation of the Bible and concerning Jesus than I or anyone who isn't a scholar of his calibre knows.

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2) I'm somewhat unconfident in my debating skills hence

It's a lot easier than you think. You can debate purely on scripture. Theyll quote scripture, but more than likely:

 

1- It's taken out of context. read the entire chaper, or if able to, the book in which the verse they quoted comes from. If it's a prophecy, look back at the original verse in which the supposed prophecy is being paraphrased from. It'll be easy to see that they misused the verses.

 

2- Theyll say a verse, but 99% of the time, you can find another verse in the bible that contradicts it.

 

A good site that helps with this is The Skeptic's Annotated Bible.

 

If you need more help, come back and ask us, or check out the references in this thread: http://www.ex-christian.net/index.php?showtopic=7771

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Other piece of advice I can add to the above: don't be affraid to earn your stripes. While a site like that can be picked apart, sounds like it is your furball and you may win, you may lose. All of us started arguing at some point (and some of us never stopped), and every now and then you find yourself inserting your foot into your mouth. It happens, just can't let it get to you. Consider a failure in that like a failure anywhere else and learn from it (hopefully more than what shoe leather tastes like).

 

Chances are the other person is not any better versed than you. Read, listen, get information and then use it.

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A word of warning. Don't just cut and paste your answers like most xians do! Learn your shit! Read and learn! (Which means tons of bookmarks and little notes if you have a bad memory like I do...and then little notes about what the bookmarks and little notes are about. ;) ) If you don't want to do this then don't bother and just go to SAB and try to hit this person with a few contradictions and if that fails just move on.

 

You'll find, like RHEMtron said that if you actually look up the verses you can use them in their true context to beat them at their own game (not that they'll ever concede of course so don't expect to ever "win"). And BlueGiant is right as well. You'll just have to "do it." It sounds like this person you speak of is only capable of cutting and pasting from websites. You just need to do better than that which means looking stuff up in context (which is what a lot of these debates end up being about anyway it seems...xians can't honestly read their own book...shit...read any of the recent threads starring amy_marie :twitch: ).

 

mwc

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DucorpsToo,

 

While I respect the intent of those advising you to use the BileBull to help your part of the discussion, that is like fighting a raging forest fire with a bucket of gasoline.

 

You cannot count coup and gain points in this kind of discussion by playing on their ball field, their rules, their stipulations and arguments.

 

I'd suggest an approach to where they need to prove even the basest of *fact*, however slim to your satisfaction.

 

Keep them on the defence after their opening arguments. Let them bring the fight to you, rather than you ahving to go out and hunt down answers that counter their arguments.

 

You'll end up chasing your tail trying to keep up with all the flak, bullshit, blindsides and closed end runs that the religious will use to make their end of discussions work.

 

Stick with "Prove It, you'll build your debating abilities tailored to the individual sectarian, learn how to handle self by limiting the information flow as it is germane to the discussion you eventually define...

 

Scepticism works.. ;)

 

kevinL

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Both Rhem and nivek give good advice, here.

 

Using the Babble™ to point out the bullshit in their own arguments always serves to effectively counter attack. True, some of them may not believe you even after you show them the truth printed in their own "holy" books, but there's no telling how many people will really read that thread and find what you wrote to be noteworthy. And even the ones who stamp their feet the most could end up leaving that slavecult. You never know who you'll influence, and you'll only help strengthen your own resolve and educate yourself moreover in Babblical™ fallacy.

 

But do be warned that it is truly an uphill battle. Trying to convince a horde of zombies that eating brains is wrong really won't sink in, since they have an excruciating need for the very book and cult you are dismantling. They will endure your attacks and most likely keep on keeping on, groaning for brains as if they didn't hear a word you said. That can be extremely frustrating and it can really wear you out, if you let it get to you too much. Use not just the Babble™ but skepticism as well - like nivek says, keep asking them to "Prove It" when they make their usual round of naked assertions or try to uphold discredited myth as fact. Keep making them run to gather evidence, or to more likely stamp their feet and wave the Babble™ around - it can only serve to make them look stupid, even if they ban you in the end.

 

Skeptic's Annotated Babble™ is a great site. But don't forget these:

 

Old Testaments proofs against Jeezus™

 

Agnostic Review of Xianity

 

Babble™ Errancy

 

Pagan Origins of the Christ™ Myth

 

A Study of Satan™ and a Human Tragedy

 

Jeezus™ Never Existed

 

Lots of food for thought on these websites, and it'll help educate you as well as (maybe) your opponents.

 

Good luck!

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One important aspect for a debate to effective and not waste time is to define your terms. People have different definitions of nearly everything, especially when it comes to religious talk.

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Another tack that you may want to try is to go with the whole: "What does this mean to you?" approach. Not the party line, but how they actually feel about it. Dialogue is interesting, as neither of you are going to convince one another of your respective positions.

 

Just a suggestion.

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Thanks folks for all of your pointers. :thanks: I started looking at the “Skeptics Annotated Bible”. Interesting site indeed! By the way, I actually did type up a rebuttal last night but currently have decided to place it into my “torpedo bay” for now. The particular thread on the messageboard which I had mentioned had “bounced back” to more of an intellectual discussion of the original topic thus far at the time of this writing. Hence , at my discretion, I didn’t think that it would be worth “firing”. (I’ll fire it if she decides to start posting some of her more irritating chunder-spew on the thread again) The positive was that writing these rebuttals was a great exercise for sharpening my debating skills as well as writing technique.

 

For what its worth, here was my initial sarcastic remark when poster “M” started her drivel by posting scripture to support that JC is the only way; damnation..etc( in response to another poster’s scholarly approach to analyzing scripture):

 

DucorpsToo writes:

^^^^Wonderful!! It so then can be inferred that a person who is truly compassionnate and cares about his fellow man yet does not accept the one crucial tenet of Christianity (i.e. accepting Jesus as savior, etc) is therefore "doomed"... So essentially such an individual is being condemned for eternety for a mere thought crime.

 

Thanks for the enlightenment

 

 

M then almost immediately replies:

“LOL!

 

No, it takes more than that. It will be the total culmination of daily sins during an entire lifetime that will get ALL of mankind an EARNED one way ticket to hell. Every mouth will be silent and the whole world guilty before a Holy and Righteous God.

 

Even Mother Theresa had to ask forgiveness from her sins from Jesus. NO ONE gets a free pass. Each 'white lie', unlovely thought, temper, envy, theft, lustful thought, evil or selfish behavior, etc. No human will able to stand before God and declare themselves righteous by having kept the law (i.e. being good). All have sinned and fallen short and the wages of sin is death. God sent Jesus to earth to save us from ourselves.

 

The truth of the gospel will offend most 'logical', 'fair', 'religious' and 'nice people'. The Word is a rock of offense and a stumbling stone to those that don't believe. No one gets 'extra credit' against God's Law written in our conscience. No one, even those who have not heard the name of Jesus will be exmep for not following the Commandments of God written on our conscience. Humans know what is 'right and what is 'wrong' no matter what the culture.

......

...... etc.

I will also agree with you that it doesn't seem fair, using human logic, but when I look into my own life, I see sin, failure, and evil too. I cannot say I am a truly rightous or nice person, even though most people who know me, will declare me as such. I live a morally conspicuous life, but I still have to deal with anger, envy, temper, desires, etc. Over time and obedience to the Holy Spirt, God changes us and has changed me, and He brings forth fruit of the Spirit which makes us 'better people' and more like Jesus. So, I am not the same person I was say, 5, 10, 15 years ago. God has PROOF, grants us gifts and character, wheras religon is a never ending drudgery. So, no, I cannot say that I deserve heaven afor 'being good' and have not done enough sins not to warrant Hell. It only takes ONE SIN to EARN Hell, that's why Jesus saves.”

 

The next post was from another member who was discussing something earlier mentioned by another poster in the thread and was unrelated. However the next post from M was written, presumably to address (and proselytize) me:

 

M writes:

 

God's Biblical Plan of Salvation - Conviction of sin(s) and Repentance

 

I am a sinner.

Sin is anything contrary to the nature of God. Every person is born a sinner, and every person commits sin. God is holy and hates sin. Because He is just, He must punish sin. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God.

God's Word says: ... all have sinned ... (Romans 3:23); For the wages of sin is death … (Romans 6:23a).

 

I am incapable of saving myself.

Because I am born in sin, no action of mine can accomplish anything toward my salvation. I cannot get to heaven by being good, attending church, praying or anything else. I am helpless and unable to make myself worthy of heaven.

God says: Not by [good works] which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us … (Titus 3:5a).

 

Only God can save me because only God is sinless.

God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to be my Savior by paying the penalty of death for my sin in my place.

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:

 

My salvation was accomplished on the cross.

Jesus paid for all my sin by dying, shedding His blood and rising from the grave. His blood paid my penalty. His resurrection defeated death. He is now in heaven, interceding for me before God.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God … (1 Peter 3:18a).

 

I can only be saved by trusting that what Jesus Christ did on the cross is sufficient to save me.

Believing is trusting what God did for me. I can add nothing to my salvation. When I believe that His death was a complete payment for me, He gives me eternal life.

… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved … (Acts 16:31)

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)

 

After you repent, which is a gift from God, you start to read and obey the Bible. You get baptized in water and get the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Supernatural) and find a fellowship of believers (Church, Bible Study, Home Church, etc) to grow in God.

 

The Holy Spirit, God Himself will lead you and send people into your life to help you. He (not a denomination or a religion) will convict you of what to do, wear, act. Only God can impart righteous and take aways compulsions. Religious rules are worthless and most are done out of either ignorance, fear or pride of others. Seek to please God not man.

 

I was so irritated at this point that I decided to post my first rebuttal to a fundie :HaHa: . Surprisingly I didn’t have to grovel around searching for other scripture to challenge hers; as what she had already written gave me enough ammo to point out a couple of inconsistencies and I could also use a more philosophical approach to point out the nature of the deity that she was dealing with:

 

DucorpsToo Writes (lavender text):

^^^^Okaaay, I think I might be getting a little of what your're saying now. However, I’m still a little confused Let’s see………:

Quote #1

Quote from M:

I am a sinner.

Sin is anything contrary to the nature of God. Every person is born a sinner, and every person commits sin. God is holy and hates sin. Because He is just, He must punish sin. The punishment for sin is eternal separation from God.

God's Word says: ... all have sinned ... (Romans 3:23); For the wages of sin is death … (Romans 6:23a)”

 

So we can safely assume then, that everyone on the planet is a sinner. Fair enough .

 

Quote from M:

I am incapable of saving myself.

Because I am born in sin, no action of mine can accomplish anything toward my salvation. I cannot get to heaven by being good, attending church, praying or anything else. I am helpless and unable to make myself worthy of heaven.

God says: Not by [good works] which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us … (Titus 3:5a).

 

Only God can save me because only God is sinless.

God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to be my Savior by paying the penalty of death for my sin in my place.

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5: )

 

My salvation was accomplished on the cross.

Jesus paid for all my sin by dying, shedding His blood and rising from the grave. His blood paid my penalty. His resurrection defeated death. He is now in heaven, interceding for me before God.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God … (1 Peter 3:18a).

 

 

Alright, so what this seems to say is that God, out of the goodness of his heart (mercy), gave a wonderful gift which was Jesus being the ultimate sacrifice to pay for the sins of the whole human race. Hence, Jesus’ life is the payment of the penalty. OK.

 

Quote from M:

Believing is trusting what God did for me. I can add nothing to my salvation. When I believe that His death was a complete payment for me, He gives me eternal life.

… Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved … (Acts 16:31)

 

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36)”

 

Now therein lies the rub (highlighted in red)! See , from the verses that you’ve already cited it sure does appear that the penalty is PAID IN FULL TO BEGIN WITH. (I believe it is stated somewhere that Jesus stated “It is finished” while dying on the cross and, as you have cited “I cannot add to my salvation”.) Which, of course brings my next question…why must an “unbeliever” like myself(very agnostic) or my husband (Muslim) continually believe this one key premise within Christianity in order to have a comfortable afterlife..when the debt has supposedly been PAID IN FULL ALREADY?!

 

This again brings me back to the point I was making in my.very.first post within this particular thread: We have two persons, A and B. Both have lived full lives and are generally kind and, compassionate , yet neither were “perfect” (see your quote #1). Person A has done things in his life which he hasn’t been proud of. When he recognizes that what he had done was wrong , his conscious weighs heavily upon him. He then apologizes to the people he might have hurt for that particular act, then moves on with his life making a sincere effort that he never commits those particular acts again. Person B, is similar in that he too, is of the same general character as A, yet has also done some things that he has not been proud of either, some of which might have been more heinous than that of A and may have sent him to prison. Nevertheless, like A, he apologizes to the people he might have hurt for that particular act (or did his time in jail) then moves on with his life making a sincere effort to never commits those particular acts (or similar ones) again (even if , through unforeseen circumstances, he’s never able to meet the people he’s wronged). The only difference here is that person B has always accepted the most crucial tenet of Christianity which I mentioned in my first post and which you have mentioned numerous times here in this thread.

 

And my same conclusion follows…Using your citations one concludes that Person B gets a wonderful afterlife, since he merely believed this tenet where as person A is SOL and burns in “hellfire” (a concept, by the way, which might have its roots within the Zoroastrian religion). Hence person A who is like B in many ways, but simply not accepting that tenet, is being eternally punished for what amounts to be a thought crime.

 

Hmmm…. I thought the debt was already paid in full. It seems rather odd to be “saved” then have to keep worshipping something for fear of taking back that “complete payment”. I wouldn’t be too happy if someone gave me a gift, supposedly from the mercy and the goodnes of his heart yet told me “If you don’t worship me I’ll take your gift back.” That is where the whole salvation package as you have described just isn't digesting too well.

 

Quote from M:

“Man's philosophy, logic and humanistic reasoning stems from PRIDE - Satan's downfall. Jesus said many things and he talked about Hell more than any other subject.”

 

Shall I assume here that by critically thinking, questioning and possibly rejecting key tenets within Christianity is “of Satan?” I've seen that similar sort of mindset with some of the more conservative Muslims concerning Islam.

 

Anyhow, that's when she directed me to the apolgetic site while giving me the reply that I essentiall y... "must not only believe but also obey (live a life of obedience to God's Word). It is more than just believe x, y, z and do x, y, z to make it to Heaven. Religion is do believe x, y, z and do x,y, z and then BANG, you made it. Really knowing God is more than that. It is like having a close friendship...blah,blah"...well, you guys get the picture. As I said before, I've kept my second rebuttal (lengthier than my first :HaHa: ) in "mothballs" as of now. Again, thanks for bearing with me folks :thanks: .

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