Saturday, January 19, 2008

My response to Ray's "An Important Question For Christians"

Ray Comfort wrote:

How many of you think that our faith stands or falls on the Scriptures--if the Bible is proven to be false, then Christianity falls? Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks. By the way. I thank God for the kind and polite replies many of you have given in the face of the condescending mockery that has been leveled at you in the blogs.


I think that whether or not the scriptures are true or not is irrelevent. Christianity is a mindset, a philosophy, a way of living, that depends on the practitioners/believers practicing it more than anything.

Even if we found smoking gun evidence that the gospels were fakes, people would still believe the Bible, and believers would continue to try to live up to the high standards that they aspire to, because your faith transcends the need to prove things.

You may think that it would be great if everyone thought exactly like you do -- if there was only one denomination of Christianity, and every Christian agreed totally on how every scripture is to be interpreted. I say such an ideal is not a good thing. For one thing, there would never be anything to discuss if everyone agreed all the time. People have to have diverse opinions on things, because by having diversity of opinion, we actually discuss things, and by discussing things, you actually are performing the role of a church. When I was a Christian, I went to Bible studies made up of people from about 6 different denominations, many of whom were former Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Catholics, various fundamentalist sects, and the thing that was great was these different backgrounds created an atmosphere that made our readings memorable.

If everyone agreed on everything, church would just be one guy talking to everyone else, and everyone just nodding in agreement -- it would be boring and pointless.

But back to whether Christianity hinges on the Bible being true -- Again, I say no, because the principles taught by the Bible are actually older than the Bible, and a bit more universal. "Be kind to one another... Honor your parents... be hospitable to strangers... help one another... virginity/purity... be truthful..." these are values that most religions have, including the Roman Pagan religions. They are some pretty universal human values. Whether you believe the gospels are true or not does not alter what most people already believe is a good set of principles.

I don't know if this view trivializes anything in your opinion, but I don't think it should. I've heard some people speak of having no hope outside of their faith -- that if the Bible were not true, they would have no reason to live. I think that's a terrible way of thinking, because it's like putting all of your eggs in one basket. I think it's wise to have backup plans in case of a "philosophical disaster" (like losing faith or hope). It may be wise to start thinking "why is it important to believe this... that... the other thing," and then try to search for rational justifications. If there is a good reason to believe "thou shall not murder" outside of the Christian context, then you have lost nothing. You have gained reason. You have justified your beliefs in spite of things.

9 comments:

David W. Irish said...

Ray Comfort wrote:
David W. Irish said...
I think that whether or not the scriptures are true or not is irrelevant. Christianity is a mindset, a philosophy, a way of living, that depends on the practitioners/believers practicing it more than anything . . . When I was a Christian…”

David, it’s important to speak truthfully about our experiences, by using the correct terminology. Rather than saying “When I was a Christian,” you should say “When I professed to be a Christian,” or, to be biblically sound, “When I was a false convert.” Your spurious experience isn’t surprising, because you believe that being a Christian is “a mindset, a philosophy, a way of living.” That’s not the definition of a Christian. I had those things in my surfing days. Rather, a Christian is someone who knows the Lord (see John 17:3).

A false convert doesn’t know Him (see 1 John 2:3-4, 1 John 4:6-8). He fakes it, but time exposes his hypocrisy. Judas is a good example of a false convert. He faked it for 3 ½ years. He was so trusted, he looked after the finances, but the Bible says that he was a thief (see John 12:6). When Jesus said that one of the disciples would betray Him, they said, “Is it I, Lord?” They suspected themselves, rather than the trusted treasurer. When Judas went out to betray Jesus, some of the disciples thought that he went to give money to the poor. He fooled everyone but God. The Scriptures tell us that Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray Him (see John 6:70).

Judas had no idea who Jesus was, even though he ate and drank with Him (as does the false convert, in taking communion). Judas didn’t see Him as the ultimate treasure in an earthen vessel--God manifest in the flesh. When a woman broke an alabaster box of precious ointment as an act of worship, Judas complained that the money should have instead been given to the poor. Jesus wasn’t worth it. He was only worth about 30 pieces of silver.

David, if you respond to me by saying that you were a genuine Christian, then you are admitting that you knew the Lord, that Jesus rose from the dead, and Christianity is therefore true. If you didn’t know the Lord, then you were a false convert. You were either one or the other.

If I had been though your experience, I would be as upset as you. Remember that Judas ended up hanging himself. So, be careful when you dine with atheists, because the sweet dishes they serve up contain undetected poison that will find its way into your very heart. They will feed you tasty Bible verses out of contact, misquotes, and half-truths. The devil will give you enough rope to hang yourself. I would hate that to happen to you.

Thanks for reading this.

David W. Irish said...

Ray Comfort wrote:

"David, it’s important to speak truthfully about our experiences"

Yes, Ray. As we all know all atheists are just liars, and we lie all the time about everything. :)

Ray Comfort wrote:
"by using the correct terminology. Rather than saying “When I was a Christian,” you should say “When I professed to be a Christian,” or, to be biblically sound, “When I was a false convert.” Your spurious experience isn’t surprising, because you believe that being a Christian is “a mindset, a philosophy, a way of living.” That’s not the definition of a Christian. I had those things in my surfing days. Rather, a Christian is someone who knows the Lord (see John 17:3)."

If I was using the wrong terminology, then the issue clearly was not that I wasn't truthful, but that I was mistaken. When you say that a person is not being truthful, you are calling them a liar. You clearly called me a liar, Ray. If I "used incorrect terminology", then I was MISTAKEN, not a liar.

By the way -- every particular sect of Christians, from Catholics to Methodists to Wesleyans to Lutherans, to Quakers and Amish, all proclaim that their particular sect is the only "Real Christians (tm)". It's problem that has been going on for about 2000 years now.

Ray Comfort wrote:
"David, if you respond to me by saying that you were a genuine Christian, then you are admitting that you knew the Lord, that Jesus rose from the dead, and Christianity is therefore true. If you didn’t know the Lord, then you were a false convert. You were either one or the other. "

I "knew" all of that, and proclaimed it. But I found out after a long education that I was mistaken. You think it's impossible for someone to really believe something, then change, but in reality it happens all the time. Atheists become Christians and Christians become atheists (and some go back and forth several times)all of the time.

Ray Comfort wrote:
"If I had been though your experience, I would be as upset as you."

Ray, you must be imagining things. I don't recall once mentioning that I was upset about anything. How did you come to that conclusion? You must be confusing me with other people you talked to. My conversion from Christian to atheist was slow and painless. Sure -- I met plenty of hypocrites, on both sides of the fence. But it was not a process that involved a lot of grief or guilt. It was sort of a slow learning process that ended in liberation.

Ray comfort wrote:
"Remember that Judas ended up hanging himself. So, be careful when you dine with atheists, because the sweet dishes they serve up contain undetected poison that will find its way into your very heart. They will feed you tasty Bible verses out of contact, misquotes, and half-truths. The devil will give you enough rope to hang yourself. I would hate that to happen to you. Thanks for reading this."

Oh, really? Well, I guess that's because me and all the other atheists out there are all really just pawns of the devil, and we are all liars who can never tell the truth about anything, and we're all just trying to poison all of your minds, before we feast on your flesh and drink your blood in our secret satanic cannibal rituals! :)

Really Ray, Do you really think you will ever make any headway, with you always calling me and other atheists liars, right to our faces, and pretending to know everything that we think? If I was always calling you a liar, or questioned your sanity or education, you'd be complaining left and right.

Jason said...

David, I recently found your blog through Ray's Science and the Bible post, and I gotta say, I love you. I am still a Christian, and you speak my heart. If it wouldn't send me straight to hell, I'd kiss you.

David W. Irish said...

Well, Thank you Jason,

I'm glad you enjoy my posting. I am at war -- I fight against ignorance. Too many people think that just professing their belief is enough to always be right about biblical matters. So few Christians actually take time to read their own bibles -- Even Ray, apparently.

Many of these people, who never read their own bibles, assert all sorts of nonsense about the Bible that simply READING THE BOOK will prove wrong.

Many people don't bother reading about science, and then they start posting nonsense about science that simply is not true. People like Ray have a problem -- they talk as thought they are right about everything -- reality, biblical matters, politics, history, science, etc. We have lots of people in America who are like that. These people go on the air, or write books and magazine articles, that are just complete nonsense, and when they are shown to be wrong, or that they edited quotes of footnotes, they just go on repeating the same nonsense, rather than admit they were wrong.

Someone needs to teach people that it's okay to be wrong now and that, and that you're actually stronger for admitting it and modifying what you tell people when you find out that you've been mistaken.

Maybe we can get Ray to admit that he's wrong about something. Maybe we can actually get him to read his Bible before he does a cut-and-paste post from Answers In Genesis.

Anyway, thanks for responding.

CapnOAwesome said...

Your the ignorant one, Psycho Dave. You are not fighting against it.

David W. Irish said...

Capnasswhole wrote:
"Your the ignorant one, Psycho Dave. You are not fighting against."

Try to be specific.

CapnOAwesome said...

How can I be when you're so full of it. You think interracial relationships are racist!

David W. Irish said...

Capnasshole, you wrote in your very own blog:

(referring to the Civil Rights act of 1964)

"I say we do away with it and start fresh. Let Blacks and Gays get their rights naturally, not hand it to them. Let them prove themselves!"

You are promoting a racist ideology by suggesting that black people pass some kind of test to "prove" that they are worthy of voting, when all that white trash like yourself has to do is turn 18.

Seriously dude, you just keep setting yourself up! I mean, I feel like I'm poking fun at the mentally handicapped when I respond to your posts. You really are making a total fuckwit out of yourself!

David W. Irish said...

No matter who came up with the argument, the fact remains that no external support has been offered to show that there is a direct link between the civil rights act of 1964 and an increase in black poverty, or a decrease in rick blacks.

No proof was offered. I asked for it several times, but Capnasshole thinks that repeating himself is the same as proving something.

If things were trully better for black people before the civil rights act, and then it was suddenly bad for them after the passing of the civil rights act of 1964, you will need to show me where the data is that leads to that conclusion, otherwise, you're no better than a creationist claiming that "all mutations are harmful or fatal".

You made the claim, you have to back it up with something more than just your opinion. Arguments are not won by simply repeating your opinion.