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Need Some Encouragement Folks


ChristianGuy1000
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Hi Folks,

 

As you know this is about my 6th or 7th week since my walk away from Christianity

I met with a good friend who talked to me for a good 3 - 4 hours tonight debating Christianity,  I have to say he left me really confused about where I am.

 

He is a Christian and his father is a Minister of a Church so any argument I raised he was able to shoot it down.

 

Here is how it went:

 

1)    Do babies and children go to hell?
No because children are not old enough to understand and make their own decisions to be accountable.
 

2)    Is the New Testament reliable?
Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.
 

3)    If God is Omnipotent and Omnipresent he created hell, so therefore how can hell be separation from God if he is everywhere?
Hell is separation from God as God chooses not to be in hell with others.
 

4)    Why did God create hell for eternal torment and torture?
God never mentioned hell as eternal torment and torture – Well not really, many people think dying and having nothing when they die is Torture much like the same way being without God will be torture.  God does not tell us a lot about hell.
 

5)    Jesus took the punishment for all our sins – So based upon that to pay our debt should he not be in hell for eternity considering he died a sinner?
No Jesus did not die a sinner at all Jesus was sinless but took the burden of other peoples sin creating a paradox that he could not stay in hell because he himself was a sinner however he could get there because of the sins.
 

6)    As we know the Bible has been edited and re-written many times, do you think God would punish people for not believing when those same people want to believe but cannot because they cannot trust the Bible?
Yes because they should trust the bible irrespective – It’s God’s word and is never wrong.
 

7)    Why would God punish us for eternity in hell for a Finite sin?
It’s not that he wants to punish us, It’s because it’s basically the final straw – God did all he could during our earthly lives after which we will be removed from his presence.
 

8)    Did God create evil?
No God created rules in which he deemed were against what his will was, People going against Gods will are evil.
 

9)    Why did God Punish Job?
Because Job was to act as an example for future generations.
 

10) Why when I started breaking away from God and asked for him to Guide me one last chance did he ignore me?
It’s because for years you have been walking further and further away and you don’t know which way to turn this is of your own making.
 

11) If an Ancient Tribe has not heard about God where do they go?
They will go to heaven because they have now knowledge.
 

12) So what you’re saying is that Christianity should not be preached as people who are ignorant can go to heaven yet those who hear Gods word and reject it will go to heaven?
Yes this is correct, it is because in their heart and mind and soul they will seek God.
 

13) Would it not have been better not to have been born?
No because God gave us free will we then decided to go against it!
 

14) I don’t like or trust the Apostle Paul, He contradicted a lot of what Jesus and the OT said, Prove it (I got stuck here).

15) When God says ‘I AM’ he is meaning ‘Mind your own business’?
No God is saying that is name is the unspeakable name that the taught to Moses.
 

16) Do you believe in the Book of Revelation?
I don’t know.
 

17) Do you believe it is in some way scriptural and literal?
I don’t know.
 

18) If someone decides not to believe in God throughout this life – Although God said he would cast people into the lake of fire for eternity, Do you think at the end he will save everyone?
No because God cannot show his Justice to these people if he saves them anyway?
 

19) What if people in heaven pray to God to forgive them or to take pity, Surely Jesus said anything they ask for he will give them?
Yes but this does not show Gods love if he allows them forgiveness as he has to be a fair and Just God.
 

20) What is heaven like?
We worship and praise God forever!

 

Listen folks this has knocked me for six and is making me unsure of my belief.  I know that all this still gives no actual evidence for the existence of God but is more Apologetics.

 

Can someone refute these?

 

Can someone also tell me why it feels so hard to stop believing in the face of everyone blindly believing it feels like what I am doing is a lie?

 

Cheers.

 

 

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Yeah,  Like his arguements to me are stronger than the stuff I have read upto this point so it felt like he beat me and it feels like he has use enough apologetics to get me confused about my faith now.

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I don't understand the bit about the age of accountability or salvation because of ignorance. If everyone is born sinful, then he or she is sinful regardless of age or knowledge. So why can God save some sinful people but not others?

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Hi Folks,

 

As you know this is about my 6th or 7th week since my walk away from Christianity

I met with a good friend who talked to me for a good 3 - 4 hours tonight debating Christianity,  I have to say he left me really confused about where I am.

 

He is a Christian and his father is a Minister of a Church so any argument I raised he was able to shoot it down.

Here are some brief responses to these subjective apologetics.

I can go into more detail of you desire but this should provide a start.

I had to break this into two parts.

 

1)    Do babies and children go to hell?

No because children are not old enough to understand and make their own decisions to be accountable.

Pure wishful thinking on display here.

There is no specific age of accountability defined in the Bible.

The New Testament states that no person can come to the Father except through Jesus.

It also states that God does not show favoritism.

Jesus said nothing about babies and children getting special exemptions.

 

2)    Is the New Testament reliable?

Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.

Pure dishonesty.

There is nothing in the Old Testament that says a king messiah would come once, be killed, and require another visit thousands of years later to do what he didn't do the first time.

Jesus doesn't even qualify to be a king messiah.

He lacks the pedigree and never sat on the throne of David.

Nor does the Old Testament ever say that the law would be replaced by faith in a human sin sacrifice, which in itself is illegal according to the law of God.

 

5)    Jesus took the punishment for all our sins – So based upon that to pay our debt should he not be in hell for eternity considering he died a sinner?

No Jesus did not die a sinner at all Jesus was sinless but took the burden of other peoples sin creating a paradox that he could not stay in hell because he himself was a sinner however he could get there because of the sins.

Jesus was not sinless, he undermined parts of the law and lied to a high priest who questioned his teaching activity.

Jesus cannot be a sin sacrifice for anyone.

Such a sacrifice is illegal according to the law of God.

 

6)    As we know the Bible has been edited and re-written many times, do you think God would punish people for not believing when those same people want to believe but cannot because they cannot trust the Bible?

Yes because they should trust the bible irrespective – It’s God’s word and is never wrong.

If it was God's word it wouldn't contradict itself and give false prophecy.

Jesus has never returned as promised, nor can believers perform miracles that Jesus promised.

 

7)    Why would God punish us for eternity in hell for a Finite sin?

It’s not that he wants to punish us, It’s because it’s basically the final straw – God did all he could during our earthly lives after which we will be removed from his presence.

If God did all he could, then he's fast asleep.

He's left it up to clerics to convince people with moldy texts and weak apologetics.

 

8)    Did God create evil?

No God created rules in which he deemed were against what his will was, People going against Gods will are evil.

God creates evil Isa 45:7.

The word "ra" also includes ethical evil.

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CG... this is something you will have to research for yourself. I am in a similar boat as you. It took you years to develop the christian beliefs you had, it will also take a significant amount of time for you to be able to develop the ability to refute the people who bring up challenges like this. Its perfectly ok to admit that you dont know the answer to a specific question. I think we as humans think we have to know everything all the time. Many of the questions he answered he showed that he did not fully research the bible any more than you have researched the opposing truth. Hell isnt a real place. Do the research. There are many christian scholars who believe that Job was not a real person. The same can be said about Jesus. There is no evidence from an eyewitness point that he ever actually existed. It took a hundred years for someone to actually mention him who was not a christian. The bible is gods word because it says it is. That is circular reasoning. The Christian believes the bible is gods word because the bible says its gods word. There is so much information out there that creates significant doubt regarding christianity and its claims. Read through some of the forum posts. I found the thread that barnacleben recently started to have good information. See this link for a good start:

http://www.ex-christian.net/topic/57716-what-do-i-believe/?p=878391

Dont be discouraged if you dont have all the answers. Just like it was when you first became a christian, you know you didnt have all the answers, so it is true now that you have begun to develop a new belief. 

Good luck and happy studying!

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Part 2
 

9) Why did God Punish Job?
Because Job was to act as an example for future generations.

So God punishes a righteous man in order to set an example?
That contradicts this:

Prov 12:21(RSV)
No ill befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.

 

10) Why when I started breaking away from God and asked for him to Guide me one last chance did he ignore me?
It’s because for years you have been walking further and further away and you don’t know which way to turn this is of your own making.

Blame the victim mentality.
 

11) If an Ancient Tribe has not heard about God where do they go?
They will go to heaven because they have now knowledge.

More wishful thinking.
It conflicts with Rom 1:20, which states that God has given a general revelation and no people have an excuse.
God also shows favoritism if he gives heathens a free pass.
 

12) So what you’re saying is that Christianity should not be preached as people who are ignorant can go to heaven yet those who hear Gods word and reject it will go to heaven?
Yes this is correct, it is because in their heart and mind and soul they will seek God.

Then preachers and missionaries are putting people at risk.
They should leave everyone alone to work out their own salvation.
 

13) Would it not have been better not to have been born?
No because God gave us free will we then decided to go against it!

There is nothing that says God gave humans "free will".
At best he gives some people conditional choices.
Free means without charge and God always has punishments in store for those that don't make the correct choices.
God manipulates some humans to behave in certain ways. (Deut 2:30)
God also predestines some people (Eph 1:4-5,11) which voids free will.
 

14) I don’t like or trust the Apostle Paul, He contradicted a lot of what Jesus and the OT said, Prove it (I got stuck here).

Paul contradicted the Old Testament by saying that Christ was the end of the law in Rom 10:4.
The Old Testament states that a king messiah would lead the people into great obedience to the law.
There is nothing in the Old Testament that says a new covenant would be based on faith in a human sacrifice rather than obedience to the law.
There is nothing in the Old Testament that says circumcision was optional.
Jesus claimed that every law was binding until heaven and earth passed away (Matt 5:17-20).
Paul also denied the food law found in Lev 11.
 

18) If someone decides not to believe in God throughout this life – Although God said he would cast people into the lake of fire for eternity, Do you think at the end he will save everyone?
No because God cannot show his Justice to these people if he saves them anyway?

But he makes special exemptions for heathen tribes that practice sin???
 

19) What if people in heaven pray to God to forgive them or to take pity, Surely Jesus said anything they ask for he will give them?
Yes but this does not show Gods love if he allows them forgiveness as he has to be a fair and Just God.

How was it fair and just to kill children and animals in the flood?
 

20) What is heaven like?
We worship and praise God forever!

Sounds like that would get pretty boring after a short time.
Does God allow boredom or is that a sin?
 

Listen folks this has knocked me for six and is making me unsure of my belief. I know that all this still gives no actual evidence for the existence of God but is more Apologetics.

Can someone refute these?

Can someone also tell me why it feels so hard to stop believing in the face of everyone blindly believing it feels like what I am doing is a lie?[/size]

Acquired beliefs like Christianity are mental baggage given to you by others, and it's difficult to swim against the tide of comformity.
If you examine their apologetics I think you'll find that they rest on a foundation of nothing more than traditions created by men and repeated over and over until they are assumed to be "facts".
Never mistake an echo for an answer.

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I would try to identify your own personal reasons for feeling uncomfortable as a Christian. You shouldn't be trying to stump him with difficult theological questions; you should be trying to resolve your own personal issues. Maybe you'll be able to resolve your issues and make Christianity work for yourself.

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Let me give my answers to some of those...

 

1) Where in the Bible does it support or even mention this age of accountability stuff? This is just something Christians made up to make themselves feel better. 

 

2) "The OT points to the NT." Well then, is the OT reliable?

 

3) God sounds like a real dick. 

 

4) See #3.

 

Centauri answered more of these (probably better than I did) as I was typing this up, so I'll stop there.

 

I would encourage you to not beat yourself up over this. Give yourself time to come up with your own answers, and don't worry about debating Christians if you don't want to. I'm a former Christian myself, and it took me over a decade to get where I am today (a happy atheist). You don't even have to have atheism or any other system of beliefs (or lack thereof) as a "goal"... I never planned to be an atheist, I just kinda drifted this way, and I may change my mind and decide to believe (or not believe) something else. Just keep seeking the truth, and don't worry about what other folks think. Go with what YOU believe, or what sounds right to YOU. 

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Hi Folks,

 

As you know this is about my 6th or 7th week since my walk away from Christianity

I met with a good friend who talked to me for a good 3 - 4 hours tonight debating Christianity,  I have to say he left me really confused about where I am.

 

He is a Christian and his father is a Minister of a Church so any argument I raised he was able to shoot it down.

 

Here is how it went:

 

1)    Do babies and children go to hell?

No because children are not old enough to understand and make their own decisions to be accountable.

 

2)    Is the New Testament reliable?

Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.

 

3)    If God is Omnipotent and Omnipresent he created hell, so therefore how can hell be separation from God if he is everywhere?

Hell is separation from God as God chooses not to be in hell with others.

 

4)    Why did God create hell for eternal torment and torture?

God never mentioned hell as eternal torment and torture – Well not really, many people think dying and having nothing when they die is Torture much like the same way being without God will be torture.  God does not tell us a lot about hell.

 

5)    Jesus took the punishment for all our sins – So based upon that to pay our debt should he not be in hell for eternity considering he died a sinner?

No Jesus did not die a sinner at all Jesus was sinless but took the burden of other peoples sin creating a paradox that he could not stay in hell because he himself was a sinner however he could get there because of the sins.

 

6)    As we know the Bible has been edited and re-written many times, do you think God would punish people for not believing when those same people want to believe but cannot because they cannot trust the Bible?

Yes because they should trust the bible irrespective – It’s God’s word and is never wrong.

 

7)    Why would God punish us for eternity in hell for a Finite sin?

It’s not that he wants to punish us, It’s because it’s basically the final straw – God did all he could during our earthly lives after which we will be removed from his presence.

 

8)    Did God create evil?

No God created rules in which he deemed were against what his will was, People going against Gods will are evil.

 

9)    Why did God Punish Job?

Because Job was to act as an example for future generations.

 

10) Why when I started breaking away from God and asked for him to Guide me one last chance did he ignore me?

It’s because for years you have been walking further and further away and you don’t know which way to turn this is of your own making.

 

11) If an Ancient Tribe has not heard about God where do they go?

They will go to heaven because they have now knowledge.

 

12) So what you’re saying is that Christianity should not be preached as people who are ignorant can go to heaven yet those who hear Gods word and reject it will go to heaven?

Yes this is correct, it is because in their heart and mind and soul they will seek God.

 

13) Would it not have been better not to have been born?

No because God gave us free will we then decided to go against it!

 

14) I don’t like or trust the Apostle Paul, He contradicted a lot of what Jesus and the OT said, Prove it (I got stuck here).

15) When God says ‘I AM’ he is meaning ‘Mind your own business’?

No God is saying that is name is the unspeakable name that the taught to Moses.

 

16) Do you believe in the Book of Revelation?

I don’t know.

 

17) Do you believe it is in some way scriptural and literal?

I don’t know.

 

18) If someone decides not to believe in God throughout this life – Although God said he would cast people into the lake of fire for eternity, Do you think at the end he will save everyone?

No because God cannot show his Justice to these people if he saves them anyway?

 

19) What if people in heaven pray to God to forgive them or to take pity, Surely Jesus said anything they ask for he will give them?

Yes but this does not show Gods love if he allows them forgiveness as he has to be a fair and Just God.

 

20) What is heaven like?

We worship and praise God forever!

 

Listen folks this has knocked me for six and is making me unsure of my belief.  I know that all this still gives no actual evidence for the existence of God but is more Apologetics.

 

Can someone refute these?

 

Can someone also tell me why it feels so hard to stop believing in the face of everyone blindly believing it feels like what I am doing is a lie?

 

Cheers.

 

Why does this son of a preacher's words bother you? 

 

He has no authority. He just babbles the same crap his dad babbles.

His dad the preacher has no authority. Preachers are professional con artists who are exempt from the law only because God can not be disproven.

The bible has no authority. Run over it with your car. Burn it. Nothing will happen.

Jesus is a made up character. Tell Jesus that you shall be in charge of him. Nothing will happen. Just like always.

 

You are your own authority. Exercise your own authority over yourself in spiritual matters.  Don't debate with these douches. Only when you personally are visited by God in the flesh and other people with you see him and can agree on what he says and does during this visitation might you consider him to be real. This has never nor will ever occur.

 

Your friend like all Christian believers are making stuff up and god is nothing but their imaginations. Have some fun with your friend. Tell him you got a word from God that he should be extra careful next Thursday.

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1)    Do babies and children go to hell?

No because children are not old enough to understand and make their own decisions to be accountable.

 

So God should kill every child who is going to grow up to be a non-believer or follow the wrong religion.  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.    ezhappydead.gif

 

 

 

2)    Is the New Testament reliable?

Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.

 

Lies.  The Old Testament says that you are to kill anybody who tries to make you worship a God that is not known in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament calls for genocide against Christians for their attempts to lead people away from the true God.  I can look it up if you need verses.  The claims of "points directly to Jesus" are vague passages that were twisted out of context.  They certainly do not mention any "God the Son" or "God the Holy Spirit".

 

 

 

 

3)    If God is Omnipotent and Omnipresent he created hell, so therefore how can hell be separation from God if he is everywhere?

Hell is separation from God as God chooses not to be in hell with others.

 

It' magic.  God is a magic man so God can do whatever God wants.  Why doesn't this magic man simply get over Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit?  He hangs on to that grudge for thousands of years is going to torture billions of people over it.  Not a nice guy - but he has magic.

 

 

4)    Why did God create hell for eternal torment and torture?

God never mentioned hell as eternal torment and torture – Well not really, many people think dying and having nothing when they die is Torture much like the same way being without God will be torture.  God does not tell us a lot about hell.

 

That is because there was no concept of hell in the Jewish religion prior to Alexander bringing Greek culture through conquest.  Egyptian religion had an afterlife but the Jews didn't care for that.  The Jewish God killed people who pissed him off.  Boom and they were dead and gone forever.

 

 

 

 

5)    Jesus took the punishment for all our sins – So based upon that to pay our debt should he not be in hell for eternity considering he died a sinner?

No Jesus did not die a sinner at all Jesus was sinless but took the burden of other peoples sin creating a paradox that he could not stay in hell because he himself was a sinner however he could get there because of the sins.

 

Wow he sure knows the rules for a place that does not exist.  This is stupid.  Remember that God has magic powers and can do anything?  If God can do anything then all this atonement, suffering and sacrifice is simply contrived theatrics.

 

 

6)    As we know the Bible has been edited and re-written many times, do you think God would punish people for not believing when those same people want to believe but cannot because they cannot trust the Bible?

Yes because they should trust the bible irrespective – It’s God’s word and is never wrong.

 

There are thousands of versions and the hand copied ones are all unique.  No two are alike.  Besides the Bible is dead wrong about many things.  This is a known fact.  You can't have seven billion people descend from just one man and one woman.  The Christian was lying.

 

 

 

7)    Why would God punish us for eternity in hell for a Finite sin?

It’s not that he wants to punish us, It’s because it’s basically the final straw – God did all he could during our earthly lives after which we will be removed from his presence.

 

God can't be all powerful if God does something God doesn't want to do.  Again the Christian is lying.

 

 

8)    Did God create evil?

No God created rules in which he deemed were against what his will was, People going against Gods will are evil.

 

And God created those people knowing that they were designed to go against God's will.  The whole thing is contrived theatrics.

 

 

 

9)    Why did God Punish Job?

Because Job was to act as an example for future generations.

 

Don't be noticed by God when God wants to brag to Lucifer.  That is the example.  If the Book of Job was suppose to be an example to future generations then it is silly for God to ask questions of Job that modern science has solved. 

 

 

10) Why when I started breaking away from God and asked for him to Guide me one last chance did he ignore me?

It’s because for years you have been walking further and further away and you don’t know which way to turn this is of your own making.

 

It's because there is no God.  Isn't it silly how Christians have to make excuses for why God acts like God doesn't exist.  Uhh . . . don't test God.   God is being mysterious.  If the Holy Spirit opened your spiritual eyes then you would understand.  Real people don't act like they are imaginary.  If God was real then there would be no need for these excuses.

 

 

11) If an Ancient Tribe has not heard about God where do they go?

They will go to heaven because they have now knowledge.

 

So missionary work is evil.  This is one of the thousands of basic contradictions in Christian theology.  And it isn't a minor thing either.  The Bible calls Christians to witness and convert.  But that puts God on the spot for sending people to hell one way or the other.

 

 

12) So what you’re saying is that Christianity should not be preached as people who are ignorant can go to heaven yet those who hear Gods word and reject it will go to heaven?

Yes this is correct, it is because in their heart and mind and soul they will seek God.

 

Further evidence that this Christian was making up his own private interpretation.  It's what all Christians do.  They all pick and choose what parts of the Bible are seen as literal and which are dismissed as a metaphor.

 

 

 

13) Would it not have been better not to have been born?

No because God gave us free will we then decided to go against it!

 

Christian hell theology definitely makes it better to not be born then go to hell.  The New Testament even states this.  It would be better than he had not been born.  

 

 

 

14) I don’t like or trust the Apostle Paul, He contradicted a lot of what Jesus and the OT said, Prove it (I got stuck here).

 

 

 

Actually Paul didn't contradict what Jesus said because Paul invented Jesus.  It was later authors who took the Jesus character in other directions who had Jesus say other things.

 

 

15) When God says ‘I AM’ he is meaning ‘Mind your own business’?

No God is saying that is name is the unspeakable name that the taught to Moses.

 

Sorry, I have no idea what that phrase from the burning bush story was supose to mean to it's audience.

 

 

 

16) Do you believe in the Book of Revelation?

I don’t know.

 

It was a poem.  Some guy was spending the last years of his life in prison.  He had watched his whole community - all his friends and family - suffer genocide and enslavement during the Roman war.  In short he went crazy.

 

 

17) Do you believe it is in some way scriptural and literal?

I don’t know.

 

18) If someone decides not to believe in God throughout this life – Although God said he would cast people into the lake of fire for eternity, Do you think at the end he will save everyone?

No because God cannot show his Justice to these people if he saves them anyway?

 

Again it's all contrived theatrics.  Justice and mercy are two opposites.  Christians combine them in a way that doesn't make sense and act like God is a magic man.

 

 

 

19) What if people in heaven pray to God to forgive them or to take pity, Surely Jesus said anything they ask for he will give them?

Yes but this does not show Gods love if he allows them forgiveness as he has to be a fair and Just God.

 

 

Doesn't it sound like weak excuses?

 

20) What is heaven like?

We worship and praise God forever!

 

Oh yeah, that will be a lot of fun.  Even the crackpot fundamentalist Christians can't stand church for more than a few hours.

 

 

 

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2)    Is the New Testament reliable?

Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.

 

 

Hello ChristianGuy, Centauri and others have given some very good answers.  I'll just say a few things about #2.  Your friend's argument only works on a number of assumptions.  One of them is that the NT's information about Jesus is accurate.  But that's the very point in question.  The NT would also appear to be "pointed to" by the OT if the writers of the NT wrote it so as to appear to fulfill prophecy, etc.

 

In fact, that's the simple explanation for much that is in the NT.  Here's an example.

 

 In Mark 11:1-7, Jesus tells two disciples to go to a village opposite them and untie a "colt" (polos in Greek), etc. You know the story.  verse 7:  "and they bring the colt to Jesus, and they throw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it."  

 

In Luke 19:29-35 pretty much the same thing. Both gospels have Jesus say that no one has ever sat on the colt.

 

In John 12:14-15 it just says that Jesus found a little donkey (onarion) and sat on it, "just as it is written, 'Do not fear, daughter of Sion: behold, your king comes, seated on the foal (colt) of an ass."  It goes on to say that the disciples did not know this at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these had been written about him and that they had done this for him.  Also interesting is that John presents the crowds shouting "hosanna" before Jesus gets on the foal, unlike the other three gospels.

 

In Matthew, significant things are added, 21:1-7.  v. 2 has Jesus say "you will find a (female) donkey tied up and the foal with her... " etc.  There remain two donkeys throughout.  V. 4 says, "this happened so that the thing spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, 'Say to the daughter of Sion, behold, your king comes to you humble and seated on an ass and on a colt, the son of a beast of burden.'"  v. 7 says the disciples brought the mother donkey and the foal "and they placed their cloaks on them and he sat on top of them."  Some of the manuscripts correct "on top of them" to "on top of him," i.e. the foal.  

 

What's happened here?  The obvious explanation is that the writer of Matthew is fitting the story to the OT verse he is quoting, i.e. Zechariah 9:9.  There it talks about "riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."  But "Matthew" does not know, or ignores, the parallelism typical of Hebrew poetry.  In the psalms and prophets you often find the same thing said twice.  That's a typical feature of style.  "Matthew" takes it literally and invents a mother donkey, so that there will be two donkeys, as he thinks Zechariah foretold.  It's absurd to think that the disciples put their cloaks on both donkeys.  It's even worse to have Jesus sitting on TWO donkeys!  A biblical inerrantist might try to save Matthew by saying that "he sat on top of them" means on top of the clothes, but that he only sat on the foal.  But then, why does it say they put the clothes on "them"?  Since "on them" appears twice in quick succession, it looks as though Jesus sits on the cloaks the disciples put down, i.e. on each donkey.  And in fact, that's needed to fulfill Zechariah on Matthew's literalistic understanding:  the "king" has to sit "on an ass" AND "on the foal of an ass."

 

An inerrantist may also say, well, the other gospel writers just don't bother to mention the mother ass, which was there all along.  This doubling occurs a lot in Matthew, though.  It's more plausible to say that one writer tends to double things than it is to say that the other three keep dropping one of two items.  I guess an inerrantist could say that Jesus first sat on one donkey, and later, on the second donkey.  This is a purely ad hoc assumption not hinted at by the text.

 

So the "fulfillment" of the OT in the NT is manufactured.  It's also manufactured on a flawed understanding of the OT - both stylistically, of which I gave this example, and doctrinally, of which Centauri gave many examples.

 

I'll point out that the inerrantist cannot explain away the different quotations put in the mouth of Jesus in the donkey scenes in the various gospels.  Jesus is quoted as saying different things in each account.  So not all accounts can quote the very words of Jesus.  It won't do to try to explain this away as different Greek translations of jesus' Aramaic.  "You will find a (female) donkey tied up and a foal with her" does not equal "you will find a foal tied up on which no one of men has ever sat."  The inerrantist cannot explain away the different quotations of the OT, either, without having to admit that one of them at least is not the correct text of the prophet.

 

Sophisticated Christians will reply that the genre of gospel writing doesn't call for exact replication of the historical events and words but for an overall presentation that contains lots of theological commentary built into the narrative, as we find in diff. ways in each gospel.  That's fine for Catholics and such people who get doctrine from the Church as filtered by tradition.  It won't really work for fundamentalist protestants, for once you admit that parts of the Bible don't accurately represent what was said or done, then you don't have an inerrant Bible, and their system can't claim to base itself totally on God's word.  If the bible can't be accurate about historical stuff, which in principle can be tested by anyone, the fundamentalist cannot give a convincing reason why we should think it's accurate about theological stuff, which cannot be tested.

 

-------------------

 

Edited to add:  I've since read some articles that make two interesting points about the donkey passage.  First, Jewish law says a king should not sit bareback because the animal's back may be unclean (you don't know whose butt was on it last, I guess!).  So the cloaks get around this because Jesus (presented by the writers as "king") will sit directly on the cloaks.  Second, young donkeys were often sold together with their mothers, the journey to Jerusalem is rocky and downhill so a second donkey would be useful to have along, etc. etc.  

 

The first point doesn't solve the problem, why do the disciples put cloaks on two donkeys in Matthew?  It doesn't solve the problem, what did Jesus tell his disciples to do - bring one donkey or two?  The second point is interesting cultural info but just leaves the inerrantist with the usual "if there were two, then there was one" defense, which is implausible and just dumb.

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Maybe you'll be able to resolve your issues and make Christianity work for yourself. 

 

Hmmm. Perhaps it would be better to make logic, critical thinking and rationality work for you.

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What's happened here?  The obvious explanation is that the writer of Matthew is fitting the story to the OT verse he is quoting, i.e. Zechariah 9:9.  There it talks about "riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."  But "Matthew" does not know, or ignores, the parallelism typical of Hebrew poetry.  In the psalms and prophets you often find the same thing said twice.  That's a typical feature of style.  "Matthew" takes it literally and invents a mother donkey, so that there will be two donkeys, as he thinks Zechariah foretold.  It's absurd to think that the disciples put their clothes on both donkeys.  It's even worse to have Jesus sitting on TWO donkeys!  A biblical inerrantist might try to save Matthew by saying that "he sat on top of them" means on top of the clothes, but that he only sat on the foal.  But then, why does it say they put the clothes on "them"?  Since "on them" appears twice in quick succession, it looks as though Jesus sits on both.  And in fact, that's needed to fulfill Zechariah on Matthew's literalistic understanding:  the "king" has to sit "on an ass" AND "on the foal of an ass."

 

 

 

 

Jesus had very long legs; much longer legs than the average man.  That's how he could sit on a colt and it's mother at the same time.

 

Excellent analysis.  The same thing can be done with the very last words of Jesus before he dies.  Each gospel states that Jesus says last words and then dies but only Mark and Matthew are in agreement and what they say does not sound like the words of somebody who was God and had planed for all of it to happen.  Luke and John make Jesus say more profound things but in so doing they contradict each other so at least two gospels must be wrong.

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I know that all this still gives no actual evidence for the existence of God but is more Apologetics.

 

It's not even apologetics. It's just regurgitating doctrinal opinions that were taught.

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All Christians, if they wear the name Christian, believe the bible is true, at least in some definition of the word “true”, but it isn’t. Christian’s have essentially literalized myth and then they use this literal interpretation of scripture as a test for orthodoxy. You really, really, really, really have to believe the bible reflects real people and actual historical events to wear the name Christian.

 

Until YOU become completely convinced, without any doubt, that the bible is nothing more than a collection of myths, legends, and folklore you will continue to have doubt.

 

When you engage any Christian in what is essentially a apologetic debate on the meaning of specific scripture or doctrine you have unintentionally validated the bible’s validity. You have essentially joined their team and now you’re debating the meaning of words instead of the validity of those words.

 

The quickest and easiest way to avoid or end a discussion about the meaning of scripture is to affirm from the start that you do not believe the bible is literally, historically, or factually true; and until you receive convincing historically certified proof that the events and people depicted in scripture were real people and the events can be historically verified there is nothing to debate.

 

Tell them the evidence you are familiar with conclusively proves the bible is simply a collection of myths, legends, and folklore created by ancient cultures in an attempt to explain how we came to be and where the powerful forces of nature come from. I assure you the discussion will come to a screeching halt.  

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Looks like the entire "argument" was played out on his stage - one built of untenable assumptions with no independent evidence. To really take an opposing argument to the trash, show that what it's based on is nonsense.

 

I'll mark in purple how I'd reply to your friend. Okay, let's dance this fandango:

 

1)    Do babies and children go to hell?
No because children are not old enough to understand and make their own decisions to be accountable.
That's assuming there is a hell. See Point 1 - untenable assumptions with no evidence. You already accept that there's no evidence for this, and, in fact, that all available evidence points in a different direction entirely. Use this knowledge.

 

2)    Is the New Testament reliable?
Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.
Funny how Jews don't seem to think so... Again - built on very culturally-bound assumptions.

 

3)    If God is Omnipotent and Omnipresent he created hell, so therefore how can hell be separation from God if he is everywhere?
Hell is separation from God as God chooses not to be in hell with others.
See answer to question 1. Prove there's a hell - again, "hell" just doesn't show up like that in the original, untranslated sources. I have proof that "hell" is a distorted import from the Norse. What's his?

 

4)    Why did God create hell for eternal torment and torture?
God never mentioned hell as eternal torment and torture – Well not really, many people think dying and having nothing when they die is Torture much like the same way being without God will be torture.  God does not tell us a lot about hell.
There is no Hell. See answers to 1 and 3.

 

5)    Jesus took the punishment for all our sins – So based upon that to pay our debt should he not be in hell for eternity considering he died a sinner?
No Jesus did not die a sinner at all Jesus was sinless but took the burden of other peoples sin creating a paradox that he could not stay in hell because he himself was a sinner however he could get there because of the sins.
Boy howdy, this is where Christianity's human-sacrificey core shows through. You don't need to debate what Jesus did or didn't at all - this works on the assumption that your friend is right somehow about Jesus. You have evidence he's a myth - whether invented whole-cloth from the myths already present, or a mythology pasted onto a historical cult leader. There's plenty of predecessors to Jesus, in the myth cycles current at the time the New Testament was being formulated. A God who lives as a man, is betrayed and killed, and rises from the dead, eventually presiding over a paradise in the world of the dead. Jesus? No. Osiris. Egyptian, and pre-dates Christianity by a solid couple millennia (at least). Would the Jews of Jerusalem and environs have known of this, and have it in their cultural background? According to Exodus, yes. Well, with a little extra Google-fu, there's a Wikipedia category for them. Oh, hey, it looks like Jesus is on the list. So, is Jesus unique? Heck no. Without precedent? HA!

 

6)    As we know the Bible has been edited and re-written many times, do you think God would punish people for not believing when those same people want to believe but cannot because they cannot trust the Bible?
Yes because they should trust the bible irrespective – It’s God’s word and is never wrong.
Your friend's reply is just about the stupidest thing I've heard in an argument. He probably sucked at debate club. This guy's an idiot. Seriously? He just got called out on having the shakiest evidence imaginable, and what does he do? He insists that the evidence is still, somehow, magically, right. I'd go with this: as we both know, the Bible has been edited and re-written many times. It has a long, well documented history of modification by humanity. Therefore, without any independent evidence, I can safely conclude that it is the work of humanity, like every other holy book you don't believe in, and not the word of God at all. Since the Bible is the only evidence that you'll accept that God exists, and it can be shown to be put together in an absolute hack-job of compilation, distortion, and outright fiction, THERE IS NO GOD. Not the kind you're thinking, anyway. So, who cares what this imaginary thing would do, punishing people or not. That's like asking: why would Santa put coal in your stocking?

 

7)    Why would God punish us for eternity in hell for a Finite sin?
It’s not that he wants to punish us, It’s because it’s basically the final straw – God did all he could during our earthly lives after which we will be removed from his presence.

Holy crap, we've been over this. Neither of these things, God or Hell, are a thing. If we're going to debate the actions of imaginary things, I'd rather talk about Star Wars. Nobody blows themselves or others up over Star Wars.
 

8)    Did God create evil?
No God created rules in which he deemed were against what his will was, People going against Gods will are evil.

Did Pandora open the Jar? See all previous stuff about debating the non-actions of imaginary things.

Seriously, though: it just utterly fails to checksum, a omniscient omnipotent, and JUST being. Everything bad that happened, was, by definition, a set-up. (Foresaw and caused, therefore not just - Or God's not omniscient.) God's also pretty incompetent (If omniscient and just, then not omnipotent).
 

9)    Why did God Punish Job?
Because Job was to act as an example for future generations.
Why did Princess Celestia take Twilight Sparkle under her wing?

 

10) Why when I started breaking away from God and asked for him to Guide me one last chance did he ignore me?
It’s because for years you have been walking further and further away and you don’t know which way to turn this is of your own making.
...And this shows that your friend is an asshole. I'm sorry. What a cruel-hearted dipshit. I'd have wanted to punch him, and told him that it was his own damn fault. See if he likes that. "It's because for this whole conversation, he's been drifting further and further down into drivelling idiocy, and doesn't know how much his own blind faith is hurting people." Disgusting.

 

11) If an Ancient Tribe has not heard about God where do they go?
They will go to heaven because they have now knowledge.
So... why bother being Christian? He doesn't believe in John Frum, so I guess he won't get any cargo. HIlariously, you can make a great case that cargo cults are the only religions that demonstrably work, somehow. Planes fly over my house all the time. Based on that evidence, maybe I should make a decoy Cessna 208 Caravan on the roof... I don't think it's big enough for a C-130 Hercules. Hmm... I'm going to need a lot of plywood...

 

12) So what you’re saying is that Christianity should not be preached as people who are ignorant can go to heaven yet those who hear Gods word and reject it will go to heaven?
Yes this is correct, it is because in their heart and mind and soul they will seek God.
Ooh! I can use one of those tall trees out back - put in a decoy-control-tower-treehouse! Sweet!

 

13) Would it not have been better not to have been born?
No because God gave us free will we then decided to go against it!
Lessee... debating the actions of an imaginary thing again. I've got a better answer - we just happened, for no reason. The universe really doesn't have a purpose. Who's arrogant, now, puny human? If you want to believe that everything exists just for you, you go right ahead. I'll treat my life like the wondrous, precious, accident that it is. We are as less than dust in the void, and the only meaning there is, we make. Now THAT is inspirational.

 

14) I don’t like or trust the Apostle Paul, He contradicted a lot of what Jesus and the OT said, Prove it (I got stuck here).

15) When God says ‘I AM’ he is meaning ‘Mind your own business’?
No God is saying that is name is the unspeakable name that the taught to Moses.
Yeah *snicker* Paul's a real douchenozzle. Who cares about this imaginary thing God and what he says? All the people who would kill me for Him. Right.

 

16) Do you believe in the Book of Revelation?
I don’t know.

Believe in the Book of Revelation? Do I believe in other books too? Yes, I can touch them, read them. It passes the stick-prod test. It is a thing. Do I think the words in it are True? No.
 

17) Do you believe it is in some way scriptural and literal?
I don’t know.

Wow, he basically doesn't have any reason to believe what he believes. You could eat him alive: So, if you reject one part of the Bible, why not all of it?
 

18) If someone decides not to believe in God throughout this life – Although God said he would cast people into the lake of fire for eternity, Do you think at the end he will save everyone?
No because God cannot show his Justice to these people if he saves them anyway?
Back to planning my cargo-cult airport, then, if we're going to debate this "God" character. I would really like one of those snazzy wooden fake radios complete with a head-set for my treehouse controller tower. Got to make it look good, or the planes won't be fooled. I think they're like geese, right? If you put up decoys and it looks safe to drop, they will, right?

 

19) What if people in heaven pray to God to forgive them or to take pity, Surely Jesus said anything they ask for he will give them?
Yes but this does not show Gods love if he allows them forgiveness as he has to be a fair and Just God.
LOL WUT??

 

20) What is heaven like?
We worship and praise God forever!

Wow, that sounds like Hell, actually. This is exactly the reason I don't like the idea of living "forever" - these people seem to have no clear conception of just how LONG a literal eternity is: the entire history of the universe could pass by again, and you wouldn't even have BEGUN to pass an "eternity" that's the whole point. No matter how big the number is that you name, it's not even a drop in the ocean of infinity.

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sorry, CG,,,, i think the problem is not how the pastor's kid friend answered your questions,,,, iits almost a standard modal answer for your questions,,,,,

 

it is the way you phrase the questions,,,, and i wonder why you asked such questions,,,,,,,

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I would suggest you not get into a verbal debate with him. Verbal debate takes a lot of practice and you're new to the information that discredits religion as a whole, Christianity specifically. Your friend has the advantage.

 

I would instead move your debate to email where you would have time to research your answers and yes, use Bible contradictions as much as possible to counter his position.

 

Regardless, unless you just like debating and learning more how to discredit religion I would find a better use of my time than debating with a fundy. I mean just look at his answers, It takes a special kind of impervious willful ignorance to say those things and believe it.

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2)    Is the New Testament reliable?

Yes because the Old Testament points directly to Jesus and the New Testament.

 

 

Hello ChristianGuy, Centauri and others have given some very good answers.  I'll just say a few things about #2.  Your friend's argument only works on a number of assumptions.  One of them is that the NT's information about Jesus is accurate.  But that's the very point in question.  The NT would also appear to be "pointed to" by the OT if the writers of the NT wrote it so as to appear to fulfill prophecy, etc.

 

In fact, that's the simple explanation for much that is in the NT.  Here's an example.

 

 In Mark 11:1-7, Jesus tells two disciples to go to a village opposite them and untie a "colt" (polos in Greek), etc. You know the story.  verse 7:  "and they bring the colt to Jesus, and they throw their clothes on it, and he sat on it."  

 

In Luke 19:29-35 pretty much the same thing. Both gospels have Jesus say that no one has ever sat on the colt.

 

In John 12:14-15 it just says that Jesus found a little donkey (onarion) and sat on it, "just as it is written, 'Do not fear, daughter of Sion: behold, your king comes, seated on the foal (colt) of an ass."  It goes on to say that the disciples did not know this at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these had been written about him and that they had done this for him.  Also interesting is that John presents the crowds shouting "hosanna" before Jesus gets on the foal, unlike the other three gospels.

 

In Matthew, significant things are added, 21:1-7.  v. 2 has Jesus say "you will find a (female) donkey tied up and the foal with her... " etc.  There remain two donkeys throughout.  V. 4 says, "this happened so that the thing spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled, 'Say to the daughter of Sion, behold, your king comes to you humble and seated on an ass and on a colt, the son of a beast of burden.'"  v. 7 says the disciples brought the mother donkey and the foal "and they placed their clothes on them and he sat on top of them."  Some of the manuscripts correct "on top of them" to "on top of him," i.e. the foal.  

 

What's happened here?  The obvious explanation is that the writer of Matthew is fitting the story to the OT verse he is quoting, i.e. Zechariah 9:9.  There it talks about "riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey."  But "Matthew" does not know, or ignores, the parallelism typical of Hebrew poetry.  In the psalms and prophets you often find the same thing said twice.  That's a typical feature of style.  "Matthew" takes it literally and invents a mother donkey, so that there will be two donkeys, as he thinks Zechariah foretold.  It's absurd to think that the disciples put their clothes on both donkeys.  It's even worse to have Jesus sitting on TWO donkeys!  A biblical inerrantist might try to save Matthew by saying that "he sat on top of them" means on top of the clothes, but that he only sat on the foal.  But then, why does it say they put the clothes on "them"?  Since "on them" appears twice in quick succession, it looks as though Jesus sits on both.  And in fact, that's needed to fulfill Zechariah on Matthew's literalistic understanding:  the "king" has to sit "on an ass" AND "on the foal of an ass."

 

An inerrantist may also say, well, the other gospel writers just don't bother to mention the mother ass, which was there all along.  This doubling occurs a lot in Matthew, though, especially in his version of the resurrection story Easter morning (two angels instead of one, etc).  It's more plausible to say that one writer tends to double things than it is to say that the other three keep dropping one of two items.

 

So the "fulfillment" of the OT in the NT is manufactured.  It's also manufactured on a flawed understanding of the OT - both stylistically, of which I gave this example, and doctrinally, of which Centauri gave many examples.

 

I'll point out that the inerrantist cannot explain away the different quotations put in the mouth of Jesus in the donkey scenes in the various gospels.  Jesus is quoted as saying different things in each account.  So not all accounts can quote the very words of Jesus.  It won't do to try to explain this away as different Greek translations of jesus' Aramaic.  "You will find a (female) donkey tied up and a foal with her" does not equal "you will find a foal tied up on which no one of men has ever sat."  The inerrantist cannot explain away the different quotations of the OT, either, without having to admit that one of them at least is not the correct text of the prophet.

 

Sophisticated Christians will reply that the genre of gospel writing doesn't call for exact replication of the historical events and words but for an overall presentation that contains lots of theological commentary built into the narrative, as we find in diff. ways in each gospel.  That's fine for Catholics and such people who get doctrine from the Church as filtered by tradition.  It won't really work for fundamentalist protestants, for once you admit that parts of the Bible don't accurately represent what was said or done, then you don't have an inerrant Bible, and their system can't claim to base itself totally on God's word.  If the bible can't be accurate about historical stuff, which in principle can be tested by anyone, the fundamentalist cannot give a convincing reason why we should think it's accurate about theological stuff, which cannot be tested.

 

 

Gandalf wrote in a letter to Frodo:

 

"All that is gold does not glitter

Not all those who wander are lost

The tree that is old does not wither

Deep roots are not touched by the frost

From the ashes a fire shall be woken

A light from the shadows shall spring

Reforged will be blade that was broken

Crownless again shall be king."

 

The blade was reforged and Aragorn became King.  I saw it on the TV.

 

Accordingly, Gandalf was a prophet and Aragorn actually lived. 

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When you engage any Christian in what is essentially a apologetic debate on the meaning of specific scripture or doctrine you have unintentionally validated the bible’s validity. You have essentially joined their team and now you’re debating the meaning of words instead of the validity of those words.

 

The quickest and easiest way to avoid or end a discussion about the meaning of scripture is to affirm from the start that you do not believe the bible is literally, historically, or factually true; and until you receive convincing historically certified proof that the events and people depicted in scripture were real people and the events can be historically verified there is nothing to debate.

 

Tell them the evidence you are familiar with conclusively proves the bible is simply a collection of myths, legends, and folklore created by ancient cultures in an attempt to explain how we came to be and where the powerful forces of nature come from. I assure you the discussion will come to a screeching halt.  

 

Right. Since Christianity is BS why argue points in the bible? It's like having a serious argument about whether or not Frodo Baggins was a good choice as ring bearer. Why debate fictional topics? Every argument a Christian makes is bible based. If you deny the veracity of the bible from the start then their game is over.

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If it were true That babies do not go to hell according to the biblical doctrine, then at some early age a child should be killed by its parents to avoid any possibility of the child going to hell. bill

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Honestly, you'd be best just seeking out facts and information regarding the Bible and general Christian beliefs.  Focusing on trying to "prove it wrong" is not going to get anyone very far if they're already kind of in the beliefs because ultimately you will always get the same answer, "We don't really know but we have to trust in God because He does know."   A lot of answers you were given are just justifications to make the belief all a little more comfortable for the human mind that already suspects something is "up" with these beliefs. 

 

Watching the darkmatter2525 videos, the atheist experience videos, and non stamp collectors videos just to name a few might help you better decide on the beliefs.  The Mythicist Position video is good, too (all youtube videos). Bart Erhman's books are good, too. Misquoting Jesus led me to stop taking the Bible so literally (and even as a Christian I was thankful for that since it was pretty bitter towards women, I used to think a lot less of myself simply based on gender- reading his book was quite a relief and made me realize how unrealistic it was to expect all the translations to remain true to the original thousands of years later).

 

I have never been too great at debates or tried and, from my own experience with Christianity, I know the Christian would take the debate very personally.  Remember, your good friend is concerned about your soul and he believes there is a lot hanging in the balance.  Get all the information you can and then make your own decision.  A good Christian friend isn't going to give you answers to encourage or confirm doubt. They will give you the answers that are supposed to satisfy you and stop you from further questioning. Their mindset and perception of the world is very different. It's very hard to explain unless you've experienced both mindsets.  One of my best friends is an atheist and has pretty much been most of her life but can't really relate to my ex-Christian experience. Similarly, most Christians would view your current mindset as "being attacked" or "weak" so just be on guard.  

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I always figured that even though all people in heaven do is worship God, they're still happy because he drugs them or tinkers with their minds. Then I felt guilt-stricken for imagining that praising our lord for eternity could be anything but deliriously fun. It's ridiculous, what Xianity makes people feel guilty about doing.

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On what grounds does your friend have to say that you were not sincere in your spiritual journey? He is making baseless accusations, he has no more idea of what experience is going on in your head than I do.

 

If God is petty that he needs people to praise him for all eternity than he is a meglomaniac. What kind of entity would need constant reinforcement of his power? To have people worshiping him, forever. Just think of the implication of the word forever, it is a very, very, very, very, very, very,...,very long time. Minutes turn into hours, hours turn into days, days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months turn into years, years turn into decades, decades turn into centuries. Time marches on and on, and the worship never ends. What is the mindset of any entity that requires this and wants this? This is horrifying. We get a choice of worshiping a meglomaniac for all eternity or getting tortured for all eternity.

 

I'd prefer to stop existing.

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