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Another Letter


Greydon Square
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(i'm sending you a message because the "comments" are limited to 500 characters.)

 

wow! that is some deep stuff. you are obviously very intelligent and talented and i loved hearing what you had to say. your posts are probably some of the most thought-provoking and intellectual i've seen on youtube. thank you so much for expressing yourself publicly and giving your viewers food for thought.

 

as for my own views, i believe in Christ Jesus as the savior of the world, because without a doubt, this world is messed up, no matter what religion, ethnicity, crew, gang you are, we've all done wrong, whether we claim it or not. i was extremely ex-christian at one time due to some of the foul things i've seen done and said in the name of God or Allah, so i hear what you're saying. my falling away from my faith also had to do with my dissatisfaction with the church and my inability to find "truth". that's obviously an over-simplification of my reasons, but i don't want to get into everything in this first message.

 

you encouraged your viewers to question everything and even to "question why you're questioning" and that's what i did and what i still do to this day. however, i felt myself in an endless state of confusion, distress, and dissatisfaction. i am not saying that the act of questioning in itself is wrong, and i even whole-heartedly agree with you about that aspect. however, i have found that it wasn't until i stopped wrestling with God that i finally found rest in my soul. that may sound like brainless submission or a way of copping out, and there's no way that with my words alone that i could convince you or anyone otherwise, but i've seen the before and after, and i know in my own heart and mind that trusting in God and knowing why i do is the best thing that i could ever do. the results in my life have been incredible and i never look back.

 

i see atheists who look at the negative aspects of the christian body and are turned away by its grotesqueness and i don't blame them one bit. i don't feel there is any justification for any of the hatred that has been carried out in the name of religion and in-fact, i feel that this is even more intolerable that when done outside the name of religion. i guess my ultimate point would be that in your quest for knowledge and truth, don't look to people, but to God himself. being an atheist, i suppose that seems like it would be oxymoronic, but hey, if you believe God doesn't exist, what's the hurt in trying? the bible says "seek and you will find". don't give up on God yet. there is enough evidence if you look in the right places. i think one primary reason that so many atheists exist is that they don't see the whole picture. i have seen and experienced things that have absolutely convinced me that God truly exists and that i need him in my life, and this is even after i had denounced God and sought out my own truth.

 

i suppose i could go on forever, just as you could in regards to your own views, but i thought i'd just drop you a line and possibly get some dialogue going. if you'd like, i can send you some links or resources that have personally helped me in my journey for truth. thanks so much for taking the time to read this.

 

peace,

 

jon

 

Graydon, I took liberty of quoting the post, some of our users including myself had to look half a dozen times to see *who* the author of this post was. With your otherwise dis-inclination towards churcianty, it took several reads to finally figure out what was meant.

 

kL

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I don't know. This person doesn't strike me as the kind that might be beyond the reach of reason.

 

The main thing that gives me pause about him or her is comparing what they said here...

you encouraged your viewers to question everything and even to "question why you're questioning" and that's what i did and what i still do to this day. however, i felt myself in an endless state of confusion, distress, and dissatisfaction. i am not saying that the act of questioning in itself is wrong, and i even whole-heartedly agree with you about that aspect. however, i have found that it wasn't until i stopped wrestling with God that i finally found rest in my soul.

... with what s/he says here...

don't give up on God yet. there is enough evidence if you look in the right places.

 

So it seems to me that they found God when they stopped wrestling with God. :scratch:

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So it seems to me that they found God when they stopped wrestling with God. :scratch:

 

Didn't Einstein say that a conclusion is the place in an argument where you got tired of thinking? (paraphrased)

 

I know it is real easy to merely say that he found what he **wanted** to find. If you want to believe that magnets can cure the common cold, you will eventually convince yourself and probably others too.

 

The argument that lay in the personal experience is next to worthless and yet seems to be counted most by mankind.

 

Mongo

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i think one primary reason that so many atheists exist is that they don't see the whole picture.

 

The whole picture? And Christians do? bwahahahaha!

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"as for my own views, i believe in Christ Jesus as the savior of the world".

 

That's when he lost me. But I did persist, read the whole thing, and I discovered exactly what I expected.

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"as for my own views, i believe in Christ Jesus as the savior of the world".

 

That's when he lost me. But I did persist, read the whole thing, and I discovered exactly what I expected.

i dont understand how someone can become so chemically dependent on an imaginary friend... I wanna know what makes his jesus christ different from all other saviors of man?

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i guess my ultimate point would be that in your quest for knowledge and truth, don't look to people, but to God himself.
Of course what he fails to realize is that there isn't anybody to look to but people, when it comes to details about Xianity in particular. Every source, testimony, anecdote, argument, gospel, holy writing, or what have you comes from people, from human sources - the Bible too. And how the hell does anybody know if they've really tapped into god or not?

 

I say it's just people tapping into their own psyches, worshipping their own egos, consciously or not.

 

there is enough evidence if you look in the right places.

 

Or there's enough "evidence" if you simply decide to start looking at things as being evidence of god, regardless of whether they actually are or not.

 

i dont understand how someone can become so chemically dependent on an imaginary friend... I wanna know what makes his jesus christ different from all other saviors of man?

 

I dunno. I don't get it either, the dependency, although I'd guess it's probably a lot like any other artificial dependency - drugs, gambling, whatever. What really is the difference between an alcoholic and a Jesus freak, other than their drug of choice? I'd be willing to bet their internal motivations are very similar.

 

As to what makes Jesus different: just the details. Nothing substantial.

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My problem with his letter is that he never even tries to tell exactly WHAT he experienced and WHY this was convincing. I HATE the answers that go along this line: Oh! you just KNOW. You can FEEL it! There's just nothing else like it! It's not something you can describe. Either you have it or you don't. And on and on and on but very carefully never actually saying anything.

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My problem with his letter is that he never even tries to tell exactly WHAT he experienced and WHY this was convincing. I HATE the answers that go along this line: Oh! you just KNOW. You can FEEL it! There's just nothing else like it! It's not something you can describe. Either you have it or you don't. And on and on and on but very carefully never actually saying anything.

 

 

That is the logic that I once used as a Christian. I remember one of my friends in highschool, who was an athiest(that I was trying to convert), asked me how could I know if there was a god. I blatantly said, "Oh god is a feeling you have inside." I cringe to this day whilst recollecting that conversation. A christian can never just tell you because it is all based on emotions and feelings, not logic and rationality. Emotions and feelings are great, but I can sit beside a babbling brook and have the same feelings that I did while "experience god."

 

It is so ridiculous how the majority of Americans are so delusional. Oh well...

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My problem with his letter is that he never even tries to tell exactly WHAT he experienced and WHY this was convincing. I HATE the answers that go along this line: Oh! you just KNOW. You can FEEL it! There's just nothing else like it! It's not something you can describe. Either you have it or you don't. And on and on and on but very carefully never actually saying anything.

 

Yeah, I hate "logic" like that too. I used to say things like that also. I think the reason he never says exactly what he experienced is because deep down, he knows it can be disproven.

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That is the logic that I once used as a Christian. I remember one of my friends in highschool, who was an athiest(that I was trying to convert), asked me how could I know if there was a god. I blatantly said, "Oh god is a feeling you have inside." I cringe to this day whilst recollecting that conversation. A christian can never just tell you because it is all based on emotions and feelings, not logic and rationality. Emotions and feelings are great, but I can sit beside a babbling brook and have the same feelings that I did while "experience god."

 

I can write a story and have similar feelings. I can outside on a nice day and have similar feelings, too. It's called an emotional high, and you can get that from doing anything you really like. Doesn't prove there's a god.

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Maybe this is a good place to insert a thought I've been having since yesterday. I had a talk with someone from church and one of the things she brought up was what if there really is a hell,and I'm wrong and then compared the existence of hell to the existence of our local supermarket. She said that just because people don't believe that this supermarket (insert name) exists and a thousand people a week go there, doesn't change the fact that it's there. I'm thinking, this is crazy, she's comparing hell to our supermarket. I replied that just saying it's there doesn't make it so either. I admit that wasn't a very strong argument, but she was basically throwing all these pat answers at me and I'm tired of that stuff. I have shared some of the Bible contradictions with my dad, who's a Baptist pastor, but he hasn't gotten back to me about them. I'm just glad that he doesn't give me some inane answer and try to explain it away like most people I know. I pointed out one error to this woman on the phone (where one of the gospel writers quotes Jeremiah as saying something that is possibly found in Zechariah) that I think is so obvious, it's a no brainer, and she just restated that there are no errors in the Bible.

 

sparkyone

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Maybe this is a good place to insert a thought I've been having since yesterday. I had a talk with someone from church and one of the things she brought up was what if there really is a hell,and I'm wrong and then compared the existence of hell to the existence of our local supermarket. She said that just because people don't believe that this supermarket (insert name) exists and a thousand people a week go there, doesn't change the fact that it's there. I'm thinking, this is crazy, she's comparing hell to our supermarket. I replied that just saying it's there doesn't make it so either. I admit that wasn't a very strong argument, but she was basically throwing all these pat answers at me and I'm tired of that stuff.

 

Your argument is perfectly legitimate and no one can come up with a stonger one. You are not denying hell's existence; you are simply stating that her saying it exists does not make it so. Can't get more accurate than that. Dolts like her will never "get" it but so what. Find someone to talk to whose insights are more compatible with your own, if this is possible.

 

I think the goal of life is to be at peace with oneself and with God if God exists. That seems to be the goal of the Bible and the sages of whatever religion or no religion since time immemorial. It logically follows (in my mind) that anyone who is at peace with the self is going to heaven if there is an afterlife. And whoever is not at peace with the self will be loved in heaven until they get peace. Either way, nobody's going to hell.

 

I have shared some of the Bible contradictions with my dad, who's a Baptist pastor, but he hasn't gotten back to me about them. I'm just glad that he doesn't give me some inane answer and try to explain it away like most people I know. I pointed out one error to this woman on the phone (where one of the gospel writers quotes Jeremiah as saying something that is possibly found in Zechariah) that I think is so obvious, it's a no brainer, and she just restated that there are no errors in the Bible.

 

sparkyone

 

Brain dead people cannot be expected to comprehend no-brainers. The problem is not you or your intelligence. Yes, it is. If you are like me, your intelligence is what gets you into trouble with people like her. They will attack you before they will look at their beliefs. Like a bull ramming his head on a boulder, you will crush your own brain before you will make a dent in the "boulder" of blind belief.

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Maybe this is a good place to insert a thought I've been having since yesterday. I had a talk with someone from church and one of the things she brought up was what if there really is a hell,and I'm wrong and then compared the existence of hell to the existence of our local supermarket. She said that just because people don't believe that this supermarket (insert name) exists and a thousand people a week go there, doesn't change the fact that it's there. I'm thinking, this is crazy, she's comparing hell to our supermarket. I replied that just saying it's there doesn't make it so either. I admit that wasn't a very strong argument, but she was basically throwing all these pat answers at me and I'm tired of that stuff.

 

There's a huge difference between a supermarket, which is not a fantastic claim and one can prove its existence, as opposed to a fantastic claim of a place where people will be tortured for all of eternity because they chose the wrong religion (or didn't choose one at all), and/or they were Christian but they just weren't perfect enough, depending on how fundy her hell belief is. That, and even if there was someone who did not believe in the existence of a supermarket, they would not be tortured forever and ever and ever and ever in the afterlife for it. They might spend way too much money eating out or gain lots of weight from eating at fast food places, but they won't be tortured for eternity.

 

Not to mention, can she even find one person in the U.S. (or wherever you're from) who seriously does not believe in a supermarket? I doubt it. Why? Because there is proof that supermarkets exist. You can go to one, buy food, and take it home. You can't go to hell, pick up a piece of brimstone, and take that home. Nobody has ever proven that hell exists. That is a really big difference.

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Maybe this is a good place to insert a thought I've been having since yesterday. I had a talk with someone from church and one of the things she brought up was what if there really is a hell,and I'm wrong and then compared the existence of hell to the existence of our local supermarket. She said that just because people don't believe that this supermarket (insert name) exists and a thousand people a week go there, doesn't change the fact that it's there. I'm thinking, this is crazy, she's comparing hell to our supermarket. I replied that just saying it's there doesn't make it so either. I admit that wasn't a very strong argument, but she was basically throwing all these pat answers at me and I'm tired of that stuff.

 

There's a huge difference between a supermarket, which is not a fantastic claim and one can prove its existence, as opposed to a fantastic claim of a place where people will be tortured for all of eternity because they chose the wrong religion (or didn't choose one at all), and/or they were Christian but they just weren't perfect enough, depending on how fundy her hell belief is. That, and even if there was someone who did not believe in the existence of a supermarket, they would not be tortured forever and ever and ever and ever in the afterlife for it. They might spend way too much money eating out or gain lots of weight from eating at fast food places, but they won't be tortured for eternity.

 

Not to mention, can she even find one person in the U.S. (or wherever you're from) who seriously does not believe in a supermarket? I doubt it. Why? Because there is proof that supermarkets exist. You can go to one, buy food, and take it home. You can't go to hell, pick up a piece of brimstone, and take that home. Nobody has ever proven that hell exists. That is a really big difference.

That was well put. Another comparison I've heard at church is saying that just because you don't believe that wall is there doesn't change the fact it is. Just try to walk through it. I can't see how anyone can even accept that as a logical argument. There's no comparison. Something else I've heard is about how some people who don't profess to be Christians are very frightened when they are close to death (from someone who worked in a nursing home) and say that someone's coming to get them and so on, and comparing that to those who are saved and are very peaceful when they die. I think that a strong belief in hell might be enough to scare someone into hallucinating when they are close to dying. How can we really know? Maybe a strong enough belief in heaven or hell and one's repentance and trust in Christ or lack of it can cause one to face death differently. I have heard that near-death experiences don't all involve peace and light, but that some feel they've gone to hell and back. Any thoughts on this?

 

Sparkyone

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