Questions for Atheists

The place for general discussion about the Flying Spaghetti Monster and most things related to Him.

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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Spector567 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:43 am

Incase it is the term "troll" your refering to as calling Christians names.

defn from wikipedia: An Internet troll, or simply troll in Internet slang, is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.[2]

If your purpose here is to have an honest discussion than your not a troll and most people here would love to here from you.
Barackzero was a troll and as you can see from my post above not a very nice person. RM was a troll/spammer because he popped in and posted a premade thread on everyforum he could find. Elija was a troll because he existed for the soul purpose of disrupting normal on topic discussion.

swickstrum: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=11144&start=0 was not a troll since he provide some honest and interesting discussion. He was grossly outnumbered but he kept at it and I commend him for that. He spent more than 5mins on his posts unlike barackzero.

Are we hypersensitive to them. Yes. The hate mail is a good reason why. The random spam poster who comes online just long enough to tell us what he thinks of us and how much of a better person they is are than us. Even though he was being a judgmental a$$ since he had no clue on anything about FSM. (wikipedia has a good article). Incidents like these make us cautious.

Will there be a few that will just outright laugh and ignore others... of course, they exist in every forum.

As for people making fun of christians... you laugh or you cry. We choose to laugh. Not at the christian part but at the little packets of and baggage that they carrie with it.

Best of luck.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby MaltaPastafarian on Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:01 am

Spector567 wrote:Barackzero was a troll


I think his username is a clear give-away.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Tigger_the_Wing on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:24 am

Moe Sunkist wrote:I am all for being your troll. But of course we dont call Christians names in here, do we, gents... i mean mateys?
As i am tired and cannot read all of this info in one day and absorb it, i would greatly like to inform you that should there be a specific series of questions that you wish to ask a devout follower of Christ, i am open for the intelligent conversation you so thirst for.

But specifically to Tigger the Wing, if he/she is still here, how can you be a Christian who has tolerance for others. Not trying to sound boorish here, but to throw around Bible verses(and she IS a Christian so she shouldnt mind) remember that verse, in John 14:6 Jesus says "I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me." Not very tolerant and open-minded sounding to me.

I love you and I pray in Jesus's perfect name
Your Humble Servant Moe


Of course I'm still here - Granny can't be got rid of that easily! :evilgrin:

I would like to turn your question around - how can one have no tolerance for others but call oneself a Christian? Also not being boorish, but Jesus said in His early ministry that he came exclusively to save the people of Israel, even comparing giving help to a Canaanite woman to wasting children's food on dogs BUT He relented and healed her daughter when the woman answered him back cleverly (Matthew 15:21-28) - He then went on to be much nicer to people of other tribes. If you want to be set an example, follow His and be generous to all.

It is not up to any human to claim that they know how God reaches another human being - or, worse, how God SHOULD reach them! How dare any human claim to know the mind of God? :shocked:

If you are going to quote the Bible honestly, it is best not to take a single verse out of context.

John 14:1-14;

1 Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I am coming again, and I will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be. 4 And where I go you know, and the way you know. 5 Thomas said to him, "Lord, we do not know where thou art going, and how can we know the way?" 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through me. 7 If you had known me, you would also have known my Father. And henceforth you do know him, and you have seen him."

8 Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father and it is enough for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long a time with you, and you have not known me? Philip, he who sees me sees also the Father. How canst thou say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 Dost thou not believe, that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I speak not on my own authority. But the Father dwelling in me, it is he who does the works. 11 Do you believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? 12 Otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do, because I am going to the Father 13 And whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, in order that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

From my gigantic 1961 Catholic Bible which I keep by the bed.

Please remember that the Church only retained those scriptures that reinforced the way she was already teaching the Faith - dissenting or confusing documents were largely purged. Indeed, until recently the Church did not like laypeople to own a bible in case they discovered the contradictions; most of the breakaway sects over the earlier centuries were led by clergymen! Eventually, the Church relented; I suppose the heirarchy realised that given the easy access to heretical bibles it would be safer to allow the laity to own a copy authorised by them!

Now I am tired of typing, but I will happily continue this discussion. I must say, however, that I find it somewhat amusing to hear Evangelical Fundamentalists decrying the Catholic Church in their sermons whilst following a book written by Catholics… :grumpy:
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby ET, the Extra Terrestrial on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:53 am

Hey, Tig, I have a gigantic bible from about 1870 or so. If I have time later today I'll look up that passage and we can see how much it evolved (HA!) over the intervening century.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
("Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.")
-- Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805)
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
-- Philip K Dick

OK, now let's look at four dimensions on the blackboard.
-- Dr. Joy

English isn't much of a language for swearing. When I studied Ancient Greek I was delighted to discover a single word - Rhaphanidosthai - which translates roughly as "Be thou thrust up the fundament with a radish for adultery."
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby TwistedSister on Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:27 pm

ET, the Extra Terrestrial wrote:Hey, Tig, I have a gigantic bible from about 1870 or so. If I have time later today I'll look up that passage and we can see how much it evolved (HA!) over the intervening century.

ET there you go showing your age again!
:haha: (just kidding!!)
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby PKMKII on Fri Apr 03, 2009 12:48 pm

Nice post Tigger, quote mining is a dangerous tool to play with. For example, if I just present this line from the passage you quoted:

Tigger_the_Wing wrote:Otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Amen, amen I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do, because I am going to the Father


It makes it sound as if belief is purely a by-product of works, not the other way around :haha:
"How is it that hardly any major religion has looked at science and concluded, 'This is better than we thought! The Universe is much bigger than our prophets said, grander, more subtle, more elegant. God must be even greater than we dreamed'? Instead they say, 'No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way.'" - Carl Sagan

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection." - Henri Poincaré
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby ET, the Extra Terrestrial on Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:27 pm

Well, here it is. I should have had a better edit indicator to show when something was taken out, but overall it's pretty similar. I thought the punctuation change in verse 9 was interesting, and the change around the end of verse 11 and beginning of verse 12, but I don't think anything is really significant.

My bible is from 1872, published in Philadelphia by Harding.

John 14:1-14;

1 Let not your heart be troubled[ : Ye] believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father's house are many mansions [:] If [it were] not [so], I would have told you[.] I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I [will come] again and [receive] you [un]to myself; that where I am, [there ye] may be [also]. 4 And [whither] I go [ye] know, and the way [ye] know. 5 Thomas [saith un]to him, Lord, we do not know [whither] thou [goest;] and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus [saith un]to him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life [:] no [man] come[th un]to the Father[,] but [by] me. 7 If [ye] had known me, [ye should] have known my Father [also : ] and [from] henceforth [ye] know him, and have seen him.

8 Philip [saith un]to him, Lord, [shew] us the Father[,] and it [sufficeth] us. 9 Jesus [saith un]to him, Have I been so long time with you, and [yet hast thou] not known me[,] Philip[?] he [that hath seen] me[, hath seen] the Father; and how [sayest] thou [then, [Shew] us the Father'? 10 [Believest] thou not that I am in the Father[,] and the Father in me? the words that I speak [un]to you[,] I speak not [of myself :] but the Father[, that dwelleth] in me, he [doeth] the works. 11 [Believe me] that I am in the Father, and the Father in me [: or else believe me for the very works' sake.] 12 [Verily, verily] I say [un]to you, He [that] believe[th on] me, the works that I do [shall] he [do] also; and greater [works] than these shall he do[;] because I [go unto my] Father[.] 13 And whatever [ye shall] ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If [ye shall] ask any[ ]thing in my name, I will do it.
"Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens."
("Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.")
-- Friedrich Schiller (1759–1805)
Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.
-- Philip K Dick

OK, now let's look at four dimensions on the blackboard.
-- Dr. Joy

English isn't much of a language for swearing. When I studied Ancient Greek I was delighted to discover a single word - Rhaphanidosthai - which translates roughly as "Be thou thrust up the fundament with a radish for adultery."
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Moe Sunkist on Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:46 pm

First I apologizes on the troll comment, for i didnt know exactly what it meant in that it had an Internet slang definition. I am not so terrible pompous as to never admit i didnt know something or that i am never wrong. In fact, i will confess the opposite: I know very little, too little to even be engaging in such debate, and as a result I might be wrong about such things that i speak. What i do say is a matter of my own heart, and, after saying such, i shall continue.

I do have a problem primarily in the wording of your first statement:
how can one have no tolerance for others but call oneself a Christian?

I dont like Christians on the whole. "Christians" are people who have religion. They go to church, they sing praises, pay their tithes, and all that jazz. In that light, yes, i am a Christian. But. i cannot stand those Christians who call themselves after the name of my Savior and not have a relationship with Jesus. It is hypocracy in the highest to me. So i do not even have tolerance for all christians.

And dont get me wrong, i will not be tolerant of anyone other than those with a relationship with Christ, but i respect them and love them with all of my heart. Even, especially, those who haev such a hatred of Jesus and God.

I also agree with you in that I do not know how God shall reach anyone. In fact, if you believe that the FSM sent his son down to die for man, that the son of the FSM hung on a cross to forgive all of mankinds sins, then hey, I will indeed see you in Heaven. You have just heard the story and changed the appearance and name of Jesus. It is the concept of God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, or the FSM loving you so very much that he would sacrifice himself to let us be with him, then you have grasped the concept of the Truth.

I do not see your point in the bigger bible verse. Not saying anything against you but im not good in picking up sublties, and in my opinion, the longer it is, the better evidence. So could you be a little more clear on what you are saying? (Not trying to be spiteful in any way shape or form)

To Catholicism... they place the Pope as the way to heaven, not Christ. The Pope is above no man, and he is no closer to God than I am. In my opinion of course.

I am also tired of typing at this point and am glad for conversation. I will try to be respectful to agruements presented. And I find it amusing about the debates from Baptists, Methodist, CoC, DoC, Pentacostals, and all the other "denominations." Whatever happened to the idea of being ONE body of Christ, as in ONE church.

Your Humble Servant Moe
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Spector567 on Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:21 pm

/bow Moe Sunkist I can tell your NOT the type of christian that we dislike.

As for the quoting of entire verses as opposed to the line. A single sentence in the bible is often 3 or more verses. Quoting a single verse is the equivalent to quoting less than half a sentence. The interpretation of the verse is often considerably different than the sentence when it's taken as it was actually written. So in reality if you quote a single verse or even a single sentence from the bible you are mis-quoting the bible and taking lines un-knowingly out of context.

Most people are not logically aware of this. Also as we learned in English class the arrangement of punction can also change the meaning of a sentence.

The writers of the bible Did not write it with verses or with punctuation. It was later added along with some other minor alterations to the modern bible to make it more readable and easier to find information. Sadly today many people take these alterations and verses as facts to be divided up as they please. To prove or disprove what they please based on what is in reality random lines picked and chosen at random. With enough effort you can make those lines say almost anything, even hate literature. This as we know is never what was intended by Jesus.

In short the bible is the bible not a collection of lines.

My personal opinion has always been that the bible should be read from cover to cover or at least chapter to chapter and never divided by line. Afterall you wouldn't read any other book that way.

The above reasons are also why using the bible as absolute proof of what god want's is hubris (a fatal flaw). With the varing authors, reproductions, punctuation, different ephises on certain verses and the readers being 2000+ years removed from it's writer (not author to be safe) original audience. It is impossible to get an "honest" "non-mis-quoted" "absolute" spelling out of what god wants. Afterall if it was spelled out easily there would only be one christian church not the over 200 that there are today.

We can all one day hope to know the mind of god till than we will just have to try our best.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Moe Sunkist on Fri Apr 03, 2009 6:46 pm

I do agree that you cannot take quotes out of context. I also agree that having only source is not a well received concept. However, I disagree that the Bible is the only source of God's proof. I can look at the intricate pattern found in the seeds of a sunflower. But i do not think that the beautiful pattern is do to a better survival rate. How is this explained then? God. What about lightning? A random flow of electrons caused by friction between clouds that seeks for the quickest route to depolarization? I dont think that happens naturally without the orders of God.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby PantyGnawer on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:15 pm

Moe Sunkist wrote: I can look at the intricate pattern found in the seeds of a sunflower. But i do not think that the beautiful pattern is do to a better survival rate. How is this explained then? God.


I'm not here to challenge your belief in god but I will tell you what science says.

These spiral patterns you see in sunflower and pine cones grow like that for a reason. It has to do with Fibonacci numbers and the Golden ratio/spiral.



Why is it that the number of petals in a flower is often one of the following numbers: 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34 or 55? For example, the lily has three petals, buttercups have five of them, the chicory has 21 of them, the daisy has often 34 or 55 petals, etc. Furthermore, when one observes the heads of sunflowers, one notices two series of curves, one winding in one sense and one in another; the number of spirals not being the same in each sense. Why is the number of spirals in general either 21 and 34, either 34 and 55, either 55 and 89, or 89 and 144? The same for pinecones : why do they have either 8 spirals from one side and 13 from the other, or either 5 spirals from one side and 8 from the other? Finally, why is the number of diagonals of a pineapple also 8 in one direction and 13 in the other?

Are these numbers the product of chance? No! They all belong to the Fibonacci sequence: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc. (where each number is obtained from the sum of the two preceding). A more abstract way of putting it is that the Fibonacci numbers fn are given by the formula f1 = 1, f2 = 2, f3 = 3, f4 = 5 and generally f n+2 = fn+1 + fn . For a long time, it had been noticed that these numbers were important in nature, but only relatively recently that one understands why. It is a question of efficiency during the growth process of plants (see below).


Plant species implant scales (pine cone), seeds (sunflower)... on a spiral by creating an object every 137,5...°. These objects are then laid-out in arcs of spirals oriented in the two directions; the numbers of arcs (in the two directions) are two consecutive numbers of the Fibonacci's sequence.
The golden angle above corresponds to the division of the circle into two arcs with lengths proportional to 1 and φ: a/1 = b/φ = (a+b)/(1+φ) = 2π/φ² rad or 360°/φ².


The same happens in many seed and flower heads in nature. The reason seems to be that this arrangement forms an optimal packing of the seeds so that, no matter how large the seed head, they are uniformly packed at any stage, all the seeds being the same size, no crowding in the centre and not too sparse at the edges.
The spirals are patterns that the eye sees, "curvier" spirals appearing near the centre, flatter spirals (and more of them) appearing the farther out we go.

So the number of spirals we see, in either direction, is different for larger flower heads than for small. On a large flower head, we see more spirals further out than we do near the centre. The numbers of spirals in each direction are (almost always) neighbouring Fibonacci numbers!
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Ubi Dubium on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:38 pm

Moe Sunkist wrote:..And dont get me wrong, i will not be tolerant of anyone other than those with a relationship with Christ, but i respect them and love them with all of my heart. Even, especially, those who haev such a hatred of Jesus and God...

How can you "respect and love them" but not tolerate them? I find that contadictory.

..I am also tired of typing at this point and am glad for conversation. I will try to be respectful to agruements presented. And I find it amusing about the debates from Baptists, Methodist, CoC, DoC, Pentacostals, and all the other "denominations." Whatever happened to the idea of being ONE body of Christ, as in ONE church.

Many of us non-theists also find it amusing. Sometimes, it's among the reasons that we are non-theists.

As long as you are here to talk, and not make converts, I'm happy to talk. This is our church, even if it's online. I promise not to come to your church and proclaim to your congregation that they must be Touched by His Noodly Appendage or be condemned to a Hell of Stale Beer for eternity.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Ubi Dubium on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:51 pm

Moe Sunkist wrote:...However, I disagree that the Bible is the only source of God's proof. I can look at the intricate pattern found in the seeds of a sunflower. But i do not think that the beautiful pattern is do to a better survival rate. How is this explained then? God. What about lightning? A random flow of electrons caused by friction between clouds that seeks for the quickest route to depolarization? I dont think that happens naturally without the orders of God.


This is called the "god of the gaps" argument. I once had a campus minister who cautioned students about basing your faith on this idea. He warned that if your god is what fills in the gaps in your knowledge, then when you learn something new and fill some of those gaps, your god gets smaller. Long ago, various people attributed lighting to Zeus or Thor, the change of the seasons to Persephone, or the movement of the sun to a celestial dung beetle. Now that we understand how those things actually work we have no need for divine explanations, and those gods have fallen by the wayside. "I don't understand how something happens, therefore it must be god" is not a solid basis for faith, unless you decide that you will never learn anything new.
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Qwertyuiopasd on Fri Apr 03, 2009 8:57 pm

Nothing wrong with saying "god made all the natural laws" though. I mean, you can have an Atheist and a Christian with the same understanding of what science tells us about physics, biology, ect, where the only real difference is the Christian* thinks "this is what God wanted, and made" and the Atheist thinks "This is just how it is."

Which if you think about it, is kind of the same statement.

*Just my example Christian. I'm sure there are those who believe God did some things, and other things evolved on their own. Of course, that implies there are rules God didn't make. I'd be curious to know how many Christians believed there are physical laws above God, or did God make those up as well. i.e. did god make everything, or is he of the universe and made the planet (or of the whatever the universe is occupying and he create the universe). Woo tangent!
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Re: Questions for Atheists

Postby Tigger_the_Wing on Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:05 pm

Just as the various 'Christian' break-away groups have people who quote verses from the bible out out of context in order to influence their followers, so the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has the "Quote out of context" thread!

Reading this makes one realise how anything that anyone types, however innocent and devoid of alternate meanings when first posted, can be made to mean anything the quoter wishes once taken out of context. :evilgrin:

Moe Sunkist wrote:First I apologizes on the troll comment, for i didnt know exactly what it meant in that it had an Internet slang definition. I am not so terrible pompous as to never admit i didnt know something or that i am never wrong. In fact, i will confess the opposite: I know very little, too little to even be engaging in such debate, and as a result I might be wrong about such things that i speak. What i do say is a matter of my own heart, and, after saying such, i shall continue.

I do have a problem primarily in the wording of your first statement:
how can one have no tolerance for others but call oneself a Christian?

I dont like Christians on the whole. "Christians" are people who have religion. They go to church, they sing praises, pay their tithes, and all that jazz. In that light, yes, i am a Christian. But. i cannot stand those Christians who call themselves after the name of my Savior and not have a relationship with Jesus. It is hypocracy in the highest to me. So i do not even have tolerance for all christians.


Either you have a different definition of 'tolerance' than the rest of us, or by your own admission you are a bigot; which is an attitude I do not tolerate. Who are you to decide you know what is in the heart of another? How can you set yourself up as judge and jury on whether another human has any relationship with either Jesus or anyone else that God in His infinite wisdom has used to guide that person to Him? If you think of yourself as some kind of superior Christian then you are probably being misled by spirits other than Jesus. :paranoid:

Moe Sunkist wrote:And dont get me wrong, i will not be tolerant of anyone other than those with a relationship with Christ, but i respect them and love them with all of my heart. Even, especially, those who haev such a hatred of Jesus and God.


Love without tolerance? Do you understand the concept of either? :?

Moe Sunkist wrote:I also agree with you in that I do not know how God shall reach anyone. In fact, if you believe that the FSM sent his son down to die for man, that the son of the FSM hung on a cross to forgive all of mankinds sins, then hey, I will indeed see you in Heaven. You have just heard the story and changed the appearance and name of Jesus. It is the concept of God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah, or the FSM loving you so very much that he would sacrifice himself to let us be with him, then you have grasped the concept of the Truth.


No, I do not have to believe in any version of your particular tale to be 'saved'. Nor does anyone else. If you believe you alone have the 'Truth' then you are lacking a vital aspect of the holy; humility. It is not given to anyone in the flesh to know the 'Truth'. We can but have small glimpses of some aspects of it. Only God knows the Truth; not any human being.

Moe Sunkist wrote:I do not see your point in the bigger bible verse. Not saying anything against you but im not good in picking up sublties, and in my opinion, the longer it is, the better evidence. So could you be a little more clear on what you are saying? (Not trying to be spiteful in any way shape or form)


I was pointing out that your single verse might not mean quite what you thought it meant when seen in the context in which it was written. That is why I typed out several of the preceding and following verses; to put it back in context. Even then, the meaning isn't exact as it is only the English version and not the original.

Moe Sunkist wrote:To Catholicism... they place the Pope as the way to heaven, not Christ. The Pope is above no man, and he is no closer to God than I am. In my opinion of course.


And which (Protestant?) propagandist told you that?! :grumpy: The facts* of the matter are that Jesus, having left this Earth to return to the Father, left His followers in the charge of Simon whom he re-named "The Rock" (Peter) to signify his nature as the foundation stone of His Holy Church and His Earthly representative. Every successor to Peter was voted in by the senior members of the Church and named the Father (Papa, Pope) in honour of his position as Father of Christ's followers. Do you believe that Jesus made a mistake when He set up His Church in such a way? Do you think that it was His Will that it should actually have been led by an English king who wanted total control of the hearts and minds of his subjects and to be able to divorce his wife? Or by American televangelists who wanted fame, fortune and power?

I'm not saying that the Church on Earth is perfect; it cannot be, simply because it is the Church on Earth. And in many places foolish people worship other humans instead of God thinking that they are worshipping God.

That still doesn't mean that you are correct in your assumptions about the Catholic Church about which you seem to know very little. I suggest you look at the heirarchy of the organisation of which you are a member and see if it meets with your total approval.

*In the context of the Christian Church

Moe Sunkist wrote:I am also tired of typing at this point and am glad for conversation. I will try to be respectful to agruements presented. And I find it amusing about the debates from Baptists, Methodist, CoC, DoC, Pentacostals, and all the other "denominations." Whatever happened to the idea of being ONE body of Christ, as in ONE church.

Your Humble Servant Moe


Look at the numbers.

The One, Holy, Catholic (i.e. Universal) Apostolic Church a.k.a. the Roman Catholic Church has almost as many members as all other variants combined (R.C.1,131,000,000; all others combined 1,141,000,000). No other movement comes close (all Orthodoxies 341,000,000; all traditional Protestants including Anglicans 776,000,000; everyone else combined 24,000,000)

That is why I believe that the Roman Catholic Church must be the One Body of Christ; I, personally, like to regard all the others as limbs - related to the body, but further from the heart! :wink:
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Tigger_the_Wing
She Who Gets It
 
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