Evidence for Yahweh is ……?

It is a favorite of blogging Christians to ask the non-believer/atheists exactly what evidence would convince them of Yahweh’s existence.

I have read a number of atheists reply with a variety of different examples, but to my mind all fall short to some degree.

Personally, I have no idea what would convince me of the existence of the character Yahweh and I usually respond that as a claimed omnipotent, omni-everything else deity he (Yahweh is described as male after all)  would know exactly what would convince me and, I presume, every other non-believer and  followers of other religions.

This reply is inevitably considered a ”cop-out” by those Christians I have dialogued with on the topic of evidence.

However, what really sends them into a tailspin is when  asked to disclose details of what it was that convinced them of Yahweh’s existence.

Almost inevitably the aggression (plus sarcasm and condescension)  is ramped-up a notch but no details have ever been forthcoming.

It would appear that, there is no evidence that convinced them either, rather the heart of their beliefs are emotional issues and /or simple cultural ties.

If any Christian reading this is prepared to reveal details of what convinced them of Yahweh’s existence I will be more than interested to read your example/s.

Ark.

 


449 thoughts on “Evidence for Yahweh is ……?

  1. I’ve had quite a few discussions with Christians about why they believe. When pressed to answer these question, they often say that they feel it in their heart, or that they trust the word of God or that God has acted in their lives in ways that can’t be explained.
    If pressed further, they are usually unwilling to provide additional information. One typical such discussion I have reproduced, with permission, on my blog if you’re interested: https://www.beris.nl/tag/the-debate-that-wasnt-a-debate/

    You see several of those answer given, spread out over 5 long posts (which I admit are due for a bit of editing).

    The lady in question says things like “I do not have blind faith. There is a difference between going into something blindly without any sort of evidence/proof and that with faith.” (There isn’t)

    “You can tell that God works in an individual’s life based on the fruits of the heart they produce. In other words, a change in heart. A few examples of these fruits an individual produces If God is genuinely in their life is; love, genuine kindness…,” (in other words, being a decent human being).

    The whole discussion was quite long and to me also quite terrifying. How can someone be so sure, so convinced, based on virtually nothing? It’s a mystery to me.

    Liked by 3 people

        1. As per the debate Ken—God is not the author of confusion. There is the amass of contradicting scripture, doctrine and outcomes—and there is faith that handwaves any evidence to the contrary of own self. There is a hardwiring if the neurons through belief and repetition. Fact then is arguing reason vs physiology.

          Liked by 2 people

      1. Link works for me, Ark (2114 hrs your time) — it may have been fixed by now (my time 0815 Saturday) or … maybe God luvs me and can’t stand you? (Naaaah … He is all Love, He is infinite luv — even towards an antagonistic atheistic swine like you).

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Aaaah … there, told ya! God works in mysterious ways, and still you try to understand Him? Foolish mortal … don’t try to understand Him, just love and adore Him!

        Now go light a candle for Him (God luvs candles) and try not to knock it over lest thee trigger another of the bush-fires He planned thirteen plus billion years ago.

        Liked by 5 people

  2. I do like ‘fruits of the heart” which comes uncomfortably close, for me, to “Fruit of the Loom’ brand underwear.

    I will believe in God, or the deity, or Yahweh. or Om, if necessary, when I have incontrovertible proof sitting in front of me. All else is hearsay. And ‘proof’ is not a vague hand-waving “I feel him in my heart”, which can also be a sign you should see the doctor, soon.

    It does seem the God is Santa for grownups, only I like Santa’s presents better. God never brought me a train.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. The problem though, Judy, is that, with your ”demand” you fall into their ”trap”: What would be the ”incontrovertible proof sitting in front of you (me). Please describe this for us.”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll believe in God when you can show him to me, physically. I also insist on ID, passport, and proof of citizenship. I’;ll pass on the fingerprints. I always imagined God as having a Johnny Cash kinda voice, too.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Johnny Cash? Ye gods … Kathy Kirby a la ‘Secret Love’ I could relate to — sweetness, light, real power and she was foxy with it too (for the time, at the time).

          Liked by 1 person

  3. The appeal to faith is the issue, I believe. {sic} When we believe and put faith ahead of fact (or lack of) it truly messes with your mind. The facts we are looking for from believers is in the hormones and timing. It is then perpetuated the same way each week. Dashed of dopamine (or some guilt) on Sunday and that effect lasts a few days. The decline in day 4,5,6, then the anticipation and dispense of more hormones day 7. Plus they’re paying, so obviously you want the best seat and get all you can out of it. Even the most hairsplitting sermons are filled with meaning when your the one buying it.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I’ve watched as you’ve posed this simple question many, many, many times, and many, many, many times it appears that this is the first time in the apologist’s life that they’ve actually ever thought about it… and what they find (but remain silent about) is not terribly encouraging.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. I was passing a church, some years ago, that was noted for its very strange board signs outside, which I suspect were suggested and implemented by kids in the congregation. But the one that intrigued me was, “what’s in God’s wallet?” with the subtext, ‘is it a photo of you?”

    Liked by 5 people

  6. It is not evidence that underlies religious belief, it is the desire to belong. It is made clear to children that “their people” believe such things. What child wants to reject their own people and thus be rejected by their own people? Look at the hijinks we all went through in high school to determine who we belonged with in our peers. We already knew we belonged in our family, in our church, in our community, but in high school we were going through puberty and were surrounded by a huge pool of peers. (Oh the stuff we wanted and tried to acquire … socially.)

    So, asking theists for evidence rankles them because this wasn’t an evidence based process, it was rather learning the signs and language to show the members of your family/church/community that you belonged with them … and in numbers there is safety (physical and emotional).

    Liked by 8 people

  7. Hey ARK !! Long time my friend !! Ark, you will never understand what absolute belief in God is all about…until God draws you in… (John 6:44)… This is not an emotional experience… It is a supernatural experience, when God regenerates your heart, and you become a redeemed, “born again” Christian… Your mindset changes form “it’s all about me, and how I can get ahead in this world”…To “Thank you Lord, for gracing me with salvation…and a promised room in your mansion, when I breath my last”…

    You will absolutely KNOW, when you are brought into God’s kingdom…because the Holy Spirit given to you by God, will tell your spirit…that just then, you are a child of God…

    Romans 8:16… The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (ESV)

    I don’t expect you to understand…because Satan the god of this world has blinded your eyes to the truth…

    I continue to pray for you and about 25 other atheists everyday, that I have met over the years here on FB, and WordPress…

    Now go ahead and blast me ARK… Or re-write what I have posted… Or delete it before it goes on your comments… All I can do is share the truth with you..with absolute love and concern for your eternal destiny…

    Blessings in Christ, bruce

    BTW… God still uses the gospel (good news) message of the cross to save sinners…

    Here is the link, my friend… https://godsmanforever.com/2016/12/19/the-gospel-of-our-lord-jesus-christ-12182016-written-by-bruce-r-mills/

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    1. Hi Bruce

      I suspect I am on your list of 25.

      The witness of the Holy Spirit indeed! The thing how is it possible to determine if ‘the witness’ is from an external source or just one’s inner voice. Having spent many years in church circles I known many folk who were convinced that they heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, this would lead then pronounce ‘words of knowledge’ and make prophecies.

      For a while I was persuaded, but the thing is I have a very good memory and I found that invariably these words of knowledge and prophecies did not come to pass. This led me to conclude they were only hearing an internal voice that was not in any from a divine source.

      shortly after I started to doubt a person came up to me saying they had a word from the Spirit about me, the gist of it was about my fruitful ministry ahead. It was clear that person had no spiritual insight into what was going on with me, it was just their own thoughts even though they thought is was from the Holy Spirit.

      Anyway Bruce I bare you no ill will. But can no longer believe that there is a divine source that has any interest in humanity, if there is any sort of ‘God’ that ‘God’ seems quite indifferent to the fate of humanity either on an individual or collective basis.

      Liked by 6 people

        1. Proof! Poof! Right there prayer doesn’t work. I remember somebody last year commanding the demons out of Ark and praying he would come to Jesus. One prayer is all it takes to know it’s bullshit.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Yes, in the lords time he answered the prayer, but not in the way you expected or can comprehend, rendering the answer right up there with the prayer—useless.
            I did find all the unanswered prayers though. Its in the Hamilton path problem of physics. They’re Waiting

            Liked by 1 person

      1. Peter:

        Oooooh, you silly wee person … that (I’m told) is how you ‘hear’ God, a wee small voice from within. Not as a great booming Earth-shattering all-dancing all-singing Celestial Choiry sort of thunder.

        Or it could be gas after one of Satan’s McDoodle burgers (yeuch!).

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    2. Bruce, I was “drawn in” (e.g. you will never understand what absolute belief in God is all about…until God draws you in). And I had that experience of “understanding.”

      But the hard cold truth is … it’s all emotion. It’s not common sense. It’s not knowledge. It’s not understanding. It’s strictly based in how one “feeeeels.” Like Jim said, it’s all about the dopamine.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. There is the Ark I knew, and still love !!! 🙂 Ark, I cannot convert anyone… It is all God’s doing, and God’s perfect timing… No, as of yet my wife still remains among the unbelievers…

        Until she draws her last breath, there is still time… As there is for each and every one of you !!

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          1. ARK, I have been through this a number of times, and you ask the same question… Until God draws you in (John 6:44), you will never understand… But I have hope that someone in your or Nan’s group is graced with salvation, and shares this truth with all of you… Have a blessed day Ark !!

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        1. GSFM:

          Apologies if this comes through as a wee bit insensitive and intrusive … she has my sympathies.

          I had to work closely with a ‘charismatic’ Christian once. It was actually a lot fun, he was a clever guy with a wicked rapier-like English wit. But—

          —he didn’t lay it on 24/7.

          In close proximity we never got too heated, it was give-and-take (and “Aw shucks!” sometime) on both sides. I hope you are considerate and don’t get too … quotey? All the time. Too many religiosi do …

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    3. Bruce — nice that you’d drop by.

      I’m just popping over to your link as soon as my coffee is finished. If it calls for comment I’ll do so, honestly and with due respect; will you likewise promise not to censor me?

      Liked by 1 person

          1. This was what Dave took issue with.
            The Holy Bible had 1500 years to “save” humanity and all Christians did was rob, steal, kill and exclude throughout the non-Christian world and much of their own throughout the Dark and Middle Ages … all the while congratulating each other on their righteousness and unique position in the eyes of the Creator. The U.S. added “under God” to our pledge and then we killed Vietnamese in Vietnam for 20 years and we Killed Afghanis in Afghanistan and Iraqis in Iraq for more than ten years, believing without a bit of doubt yet massive evidence to the contrary that this foreign killing would somehow “make the world safe for democracy.”
            I know you feel unified, but there is a vast gulf of misunderstanding and a history of abuses between Christians and the rest of the world — and between Christians of slightly differing faiths. While you and your fellow Christians are unified in you steadfast, unflinching beliefs, the rest of the world is, in my strong and steadfast opinion, just as good, just as worthy, and just as capable of meriting God’s grace.
            It isn’t your beliefs about yourselves that I take issue with, though I disagree, it’s your disdainful views about everyone else.

            So, like hell you replied.
            Have another go.

            Liked by 2 people

    4. too many ellipses doth an uncertain writer make…

      it also makes you look hesitant and unsure of yourself both as a writer and a thinker. Try periods, commas, colons, semi colons. Much more interesting.

      Oh damn those ellipses are puttng me to… sleep…

      Liked by 1 person

    5. “Your mindset changes form “it’s all about me, and how I can get ahead in this world”…To “Thank you Lord, for gracing me with salvation…and a promised room in your mansion, when I breath my last”…”

      The strength of your blind faith in an afterlife goes well beyond the thoughts of a logical and rational thinking person. A mansion huh, how pathetic, your mindset form is changed through indoctrination.

      “You will absolutely KNOW, when you are brought into God’s kingdom”

      So true, maybe you have something, neuroscientists understand that god worshiping activates the same feel good chemicals in the brain as does drugs, music and sex, and being much cheaper than the conventional methods.

      “I don’t expect you to understand…because Satan the god of this world has blinded your eyes to the truth…”

      It is a common occurrence for theists to mention Satan and use the word “truth.” Satan who is supposed to be less powerful than God, but God allows him to roam Earth and pick off theists as well, not to mention Christian priests, pastors, ministers and nuns etc, where Satan had them so much under his control he had them destroying children’s lives for centuries. This is the reality and the truth pal, your God has no balls.

      “All I can do is share the truth with you..with absolute love and concern for your eternal destiny…”

      Atheists do not want you to share your “truth” do you not understand you are considered by most of the developed world to be in the same mental category as the flat Earth society members. Eternal life, this is a clever trick because you can never know.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. To invert a hackneyed phrase:

        “The greatest trick the Church ever pulled was to convince the credulous that Satan exists.”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. And what’s so amazing to me, Chris, is there are even atheists who believe he exists! In their ‘arguments” with Christians, they will reference him as though he were real. Blows my mind.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Perhaps you can appreciate why I preface the likes of Jesus and Paul etc with the term ”the character ….”, just in case there is any doubt where I stand on their historical veracity.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I appreciate it, Ark, but I don’t think the people that read it actually realize what you’re doing. They’re too engrossed with the fact you’re criticizing one of their heroes!

            Like

  8. Convinced of God’s existence?

    Because God tells the truth. His word is consistent with Himself- He CANNOT lie.

    Genesis 1.1 is just as credible, reliable, and truthful as Pilate stating ‘I find in him no fault,’ or Saul sitting at the feet of Reb Gamaliel.

    The accounting is most reliable about the origin of life and man’s place in history. And in this same word, all imposters are revealed. The conclusions are inevitable and certain.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ark, ColorfulSprinkles has NEVER answered that question the last 4-5 years we’ve corresponded with him—if you can call previous discussions with him 2-way corresponding! 😆 The hot-air-bag just goes off on a empty, misdirected preaching bull-horn that has been heard a billion times with no affect whatsoever. A waste of time really. Answering directly has NEVER been ColorfulRainbowSprinkle’s agenda. 😉

        Like

      2. Israel’s perpetuity for starters. God’s oath to them and nations desire to rid them from existence. A man may as well get into a boxing ring fighting clouds.

        Then there is the history. Then there is the only reliable account of creation.

        Then there is always the fountains of the great deep ( which btw modern man has discovered springs UNDER the waters- a fact impossible to prove THEN – but oh does technology support the written account)

        Then there is always the waters above- which clouds do testify that water is indeed broken up from above- hello Noah)

        His word is good- as opposed to the shifty opinions of others- Need I go on?

        Liked by 1 person

          1. No ark- I became a believer because God’s word is correct in every way.

            Israel’s existence is a by product of God’s oath. If the first of Genesis isn’t enough- I suppose everything else will fall on deaf ears.

            I’m thankful for hearing. For ears so unlike the baboon.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Israel exists because of US tax dollars and weapons because western christian ignorance. Pitiful. They won a few insignificant battles over nobodies and spent most of their existence occupied. So much for prophecy.

            Liked by 4 people

    1. CS:

      “And in this same word, all imposters are revealed. The conclusions are inevitable and certain.”

      Wow~! I like it … and wish …

      Like

    2. “Because God tells the truth” blah blah blah.

      I thought @ColonStump was banned?

      Colon knows as much about his god as I do: absolutely nothing (He just won’t admit he knows nothing). He can quote the Book, but big deal — I could probably quote parts of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide”, or “The Go-between” near-verbatim, or any number of other books I read as a kid.

      And those books have the virtue that no-one is silly enough to claim they’re the Word of God.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Good points, top to bottom.
    I could start now and I say I believe in god/gods/spirits and all that. If I say it, you have no choice but to believe me.
    An hour later I can say, oh wait, I no longer believe because I forgot it was Friday. So, what?
    I could spend the day changing my mind and saying so. What changes? Do hereafters keep changing my after death travel arrangements? Does any god/spirit pop in and out of existence as I change my story?
    It’s not so much that I disbelieve (talking a god here, not a religion) as it is that I’m convinced I’m unconvinced.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. BILL:

      “Do hereafters keep changing my after death travel arrangements?” … let us not forget that God knows everything qua avery thing and always has. So then, how can anything change?

      Can’t be done … if you were doomed to the flames for all eternity at any time then you were and have always been doomed to the flames for all eternity.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Can’t hurt to try … remember the old saying— “While there’s life, there’s hope” ?

          As for repenting, never a good idea. Just don’t be naughty in the first place; and never forget that Big G was watching you, actually right there with you, all the time every time. Pervert.

          Fun for you, vicarious thrills for the God guy so all is well.
          Repentance is for limited minds …

          Liked by 2 people

    1. RON:

      it can. And is. Whatever you believe, it is entirely in accordance within God’s Great Plan. So if as an atheist bloody swine you are doomed to the pit of everlasting hellfire (join the club, we’ve got T-shirts) then you always were doomed to the pit of everlasting hellfire and there’s nothing neither you nor God can do about it.

      From birth if so doomed … hard luck, Sport. And praying’ ain’t gonna help ya!

      Like

          1. Colorstorm is up to his old tricks and behaving like a Nob. He left this comment for you. You want to answer it?

            Sorry jim. Israel exists because God is not a liar.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I’ll just quote an old letter I found, years ago at an abandoned homestead.
            We all came here with a trust in god. I and my colleagues convinced my wife of the lords providence—by faith we would thrive. This book you are holding is the last thing on earth I would impart to a decent man. Its only task now is holding this note in hopes it can at least do that until somebody finds it, should I fail to return. While many of the words are poetic and wishful, the promise of healing and signs that follow them that believe with the lords bounties are false premises only an untested fool would believe. You all survive down below because of people. Nothing more”
            Israel has survived on the charity of others. They’ve hated everyone in there path and fought with the most modern weapons for millennia, yet their god couldn’t defeat anyone with iron fitted chariots “The LORD was with the men of Judah. They took possession of the hill country, but they were unable to drive the people from the plains, because they had chariots fitted with iron. Judges 1:19. None of the prophecies have been fulfilled, but, just as a mere mention of a Jesus by Tacitus or Josephus is reason enough to prove the resurrection to these mindsets, so is the existence of Israel. If it wasn’t for a few kind, yet ignorant people, Israel would be second lowest in tourism to Burma

            Liked by 4 people

    2. RON:

      Don’t forget that your Supremo actually made us to be doubters and (eek!) damned atheists. (He couldn’t have otherwise, now, could He?)
      So you too, Bub, are serving Big G’s holy purposes. As is the Ark, and JZ, Moi, CS, and everyone else.

      So in a nitshell Big G is also the Biggest Damned Failure of us all. He cannot ever be surprised—

      “Here, Big G — merry Xmas!”
      “Just chuck it in that infinite pile over there, plea—”
      “Aren’t you even gonna unwrap it?”
      “No. An ambidextrous corkscrew, thank you, just what I never needed—”
      “Wow! Er, are you still not gonna unwrap it? The Missus and I spent ages doing those pretty bows and curls in them ribbons—”
      “You really don’t get the point, do you?”

      I state again that God’s omniscience renders all (R) ALL churches, religions, preachers and holy biscuits quite redundant. As in entirely obsolete, as in surplus.

      And still the beat goes on; as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be until day and night shall come to an end (if I may be permitted to mix in a few bits snaffled from assorted prayers).

      Like

  10. You’ve summed the Xian apologist’s (lack of) sound, sufficient evidence and subsequent reaction rather well Ark. Therefore, I find the fact that for their position/posture of defense not only to be originally weak, perhaps ridiculously empty, worse with every passing month, every passing year. Why? Because their pool, library, database, inventory of significant evidence and rational reasoning is NOT growing over time. In fact, with those passing ticks of the clock it actually grows smaller, or shrinking as more disproof, more extensive critical analysis reveals its forgery and fraud. Period. If it isn’t collapsed by now, the end is very near.

    Hah! But I’m quiet sure they’ll call it the foretold “End of Times,” or the fulfilling of prophetic Armageddon that ironically THEY themselves push for anyway; a self-fulfilled prophecy. Lol A PSA, public service announcement they’ve been screaming over 2-millenia anyway. Duh. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s the flaw, Prof: Critical analysis cannot beat or override faith. Not True Faith.

      We may have to write off a few (millions of) adult folks as lost to superstition — but if we can do exactly what the religious do, and get to the young whilst able, and teach ’em to THINK for themselves then Reason may stand a chance. (Hell, I was a devout little snot until I realised the Law Of Contradiction for myself) (at a very early age).

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are absolutely right Argus. Having years work experience in the Psych/A&D field, both inpatient, outpatient clinics and hospitals, it truly dives deep into psychology and neurology. In fact, MANY of the emotionally-based reasons zealous religious people give can easily be found in the DSM-5 or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition. 🙂

        Of course, many are mild cases that do not disrupt their social-work lives, but nonetheless, they are there! It is just the question of to what degree, what severity.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. BINGO!!! All three family members of my own immediate family—ex-wife, daughter, and now son—are all employed in their respective Churches that are spin-offs of Joel Osteen’s Prosperity Gospel/Theology. Yikes! 😬

            And understand Argus, I am so, SO very disappointed to admit that about my own children. 😢

            Liked by 1 person

        1. Let’s never forget that although means and methods change, earlier generations were as intelligent and capable as we are; just lacking the means that they themselves developed for us ‘laters’ to inherit.

          They were every bit as capable of convincing fiction as us, and just as capable as delivering it. I’d venture that many actually had developed their minds to a greater degree than most moderns—with no iPads and such they had to store stuff in their own heads. Look at old, older, and ancient creations and constructions — I’d cheerfully venture that WE couldn’t replicate the Great Pyramid, or (even better) the Serapeum (especially not with THEIR tools!). Could we replicate the Temple of Jupiter at Baalbeck, even if we put our minds to it? No.

          Maybe they had God on their side … failing that, they were clever and capable. So what went wrong? Were the clocks reset by asteroidal impact, as Graham Hancock suggests?
          My own regret is that I don’t have enough years left to see the outcomes.
          But one thing you can be absolutely assured of (iron-clad guarantee) that The Establishment, be it scientific or religious, will fight tooth and claw to resist any form of change. And who wouldn’t? Gravy trains are at stake and folks get tetchy when their monopoly incomes are threatened.

          You want Truth?

          You’ll have to find it. For yourself.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there is no god. WE are all god, everyone of us, as individuals. We don’t need an imaginary friend to dictate (and poorly, btw) how we should live. A for-real god wouldn’t bother, he’d make us into little automotons and string puppets. A world fulla stepford people. And where would be the fun in that?

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Then can we tie you up, bind you to the St. Andrew’s Cross Argus!? I’m SO HAPPY to do it for you! Trust me! You have nothing to worry about! 😈❌⚔️⛓️🔒🏴󠁭󠁨󠁬󠁿

        Come here, lemme show you how this electrical ZAPPER works and feels.

        Like

  12. As a forever atheist, but observing the religious and the crazy things they believe and say, I believe it’s mostly about the need to feel special and chosen. So they become arrogant and self righteous to feel that emotion of specialness. And they group together to reinforce this and don’t blend in with regular society. Simple really.

    Then this in turn bleeds into all the other ills of society… racism, misogyny, hatred of gays and women’s rights, feelings of entitlement and superiority and then this enters into religious wars, nationalism, destruction of artifacts/writings and mass killings.

    It’s an old story repeating over and over again… it begins with the arrogance and then mass hypnosis and group think take over and out goes critical thinking, empathy for all of humanity and a desire to learn about the world and all that encompasses. It’s like the working brain simply shuts down.

    I see it every time one of your religious cases followers comments.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. As a former believer, I would say that my faith was founded on a combination of groupthink (as a part of a community of believers) and a recognition that so much in life and on earth cannot be explained by science. It took me a long time to realize that the answer to those unanswered questions is not therefore “God.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Peer pressure and whoever got to you first (before you could reason for yourself) had a lot to do with it.

      Praying people, whether Christian/Jewish or Islamic with their heads on the mat and their arses sticking up are limited as to what they might see. The upright Atheist with his eyes on the stars is nearer to their God/s than they will ever be …

      Liked by 5 people

        1. The “whoever got to you first” component is very relevant in my case. I was in a foreign land, in a remote location and looking for a friendship/support group. They made me feel very welcome but I did not realize for a long time
          that the welcome came at a price.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. EXCELLENT point Snowbird! You are SO right. And that covert psychological manipulation CAN be magnified by the whole “total depravity” or The Fall of humanity from grace, pure righteousness and morality, and perpetual knowledge of right and wrong, which in turn becomes the Red Herring for the “need” of “Salvation.”

            In reality, the whole Con is to DISempower individuals from self-sufficiency, self-exploration and profound learning, and healthy self-esteem/confidence. Furthermore, disassociating from the aforementioned existential conditions takes away or at least nurtures LESS accountability and ownership of one’s words spoken and actions because you (falsely) need a Proxy or a Lamb of Sacrifice (Jesus) to be EMPOWERED to make a difference in this life. NO! NO, NO, NO!!! Everything all of us ever need is adequately within us with familial and friendly support, TEAM support! 😉

            Great addition Snowbird. ❤

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Sadly, it seems that familial and friendly support is hard to find for many of us. Many of us no longer live near extended family and/or long-term friends. We travel for work, friends move away, people die. Churches provide much that is missing. Atheists do not offer anything similar.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. True. Hopefully that changes in time soon as more and more deconvert’s numbers grow AND find the public courage to reach out, speak out, and seek out like-minded like-experienced deconverts! Personally, I think one cosmic FACT that would help is if ALL 7.7 billion humans considered themselves simply Earthlings. Nothing more, nothing less. No borders. No ethnicity other than Earth! That’s a HUGE start don’t you think? 😉

            Liked by 2 people

          4. I think there are more of us than we realize. They just are afraid, yet, to speak up. I belong to a local atheist group in a red state in a somewhat rural area, so there you go.😊

            Liked by 2 people

          5. Anchoring bias is powerful. It’s not really who you knew but where your grew. Just feel lucky you weren’t exposed to something worse than the faith trap in your time of need. I can’t think of anything worse, but you know what I mean.

            Liked by 2 people

  14. I became convinced of Yahweh’s existence when I came home one day from grocery shopping and realized I’d forgotten to buy milk. “God,” I said, “if you’re real, when I open my fridge, milk will be there in it!” So, I opened my fridge and, by Jeebus, the milk was there! Proof of God’s existence if EVER there was one! So, THERE, you non-believing bastards! Put THAT in your non-believing pipes ‘n smoke it! Atheist bastards! I can’t standz ya’ll!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Response to “Evidence for Yahweh”

    I don’t expect much from you for sharing this, but, here goes.

    While it is true, I was taught to believe in God growing up (cultural Christianity), at the age of 26 I reached a point of crisis when I came across the scripture in John 3 about “you must be born again.”

    I had no clue what that meant. It happened on a Sunday. Monday morning came, and I was depressed. I cried out to God in my mind (silent prayer) “God, why am I so depressed? If I go to church on Sunday, shouldn’t I feel good on a Monday? And what does it mean to be born again?”

    Within five minutes of that prayer, at my first job (I was a route salesman for Pepsi Cola) I found, on the floor, in two different locations, two different bible tracts (I had no idea what Bible tracts were). One said in big letters “ARE YOU BORN AGAIN?”.
    The second said, “WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE BORN AGAIN?”.

    I stuck them both in my shirt pocket, finished my work there, got in my truck, and read them each, praying the prayer out loud that was printed at the end of each one.

    I believed what I read was the truth.

    The depression left.

    When I looked up, it was like I was seeing color for their first time.

    That was on May 8, 1978.

    On that day, I began to meet the God I had been taught to believe in, I began to gain an understanding of the Bible that had previously seemed dry and boring, and the words written there began to change me. I would find excitement with each new bite. My perceptions of the world around me began to change.

    I felt an indescribable love from and for my Creator.

    Forty One years have passed.

    The love remains.

    I am still being changed.

    My first prayer was filled with faith…Believing God.

    He has proved Himself to me so many times.

    He loves you as well.

    His choices for you are so much better than the choices you make for yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. No. No passing shot. When a guy asked Jesus how to see the kingdom of God (evidence), Jesus told him that he can’t unless he is born from above. That made no sense to me until it happened to me. It will never make sense to you until you desire it more than your own way. Sorry. I didn’t make the rules.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The object of the post was to encourage any Christians who read my blog to offer the reason they became Christian in the hope that we might find some evidence for the god they believe in.
            Nothing I have read so far has even hinted at evidence. While this is not completely unexpected it is somewhat disappointing that once again the evidence points almost exclusively to emotional reasons, which often include some form of emotional trauma.

            What is there to refute? You are quoting from a book of historical fiction.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Yep! And VERY active. Sang in the choir, played piano for song service, served as church secretary, taught Sunday School, attended all services … PLUS “fellowship meetings” at sister churches. IOW, I’ve been there, done that … full-blown.

            And I haven’t regretted leaving it all in the dust for one single day. Life is good.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Are you asking because you want a “gotcha” answer or do you really want to know what “born again” means in religious terminology?

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Here’s an article that might enlighten you as to religious feelings and a sense of epiphanies. It’s all in the brain’s neurology and corresponding areas. It has nothing to do with what’s “outside” or the supernatural. It’s an inner conversation some have and is not based on any reality.

      https://h2g2.com/edited_entry/A933635

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, first of all, I find the human brain an amazing facet of creation. It’s interesting that the writer of the article could use Moses and the the apostle Paul to confirm his findings, and attribute their standing among the Hebrews and the Christians to a severe mental illness. I wonder where he found their medical records.
        Anyway, the fact that a brain can be stimulated to counterfeit a purpose for which it is created shouldn’t be surprising. Artificial flavors do the same thing by tricking the brain into believing we are tasting something different.
        But, the fact that a counterfeit to “spiritual feelings or visions” can be made does not prove that there is not a real encounter with the one who made the brain in the first place.
        “But, we have the mind of Christ.”

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The fact that Moses is a narrative construct and there is a strong likelihood that the character Saul/Paul is also makes it even more interesting.

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          1. Of course you aren’t.
            The power of indoctrination and christian bias is strong and difficult to overcome..

            Once read a quote from a well known geologist (his name escapes me ) who also happened to be a YEC, and he stated that even if all the evidence showed that Noah’s Flood never happened and the earth was not 10,000 years old he would still remain a YEC.

            That is the perfect example of just how debilitating religion is.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Excuse me? The flood narrative in the bible is myth, although there is some evidence of a localised flood.
            You aren’t seriously suggesting that the tale in the bible is historical fact, I hope?

            And what do you mean ”all over the place”.
            Of course the age of the earth is known.
            Please don’t tell me you subscribe to YEC?

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          3. I believe I am suggesting that the flood in the Bible is a historical fact. Also, I lean toward YEC, but realize their are ways that the earth could have a longer history than the point of creation in Genesis.
            But, I forgot to say something I meant to say about the YEC scientist. It sounded to me like he had indeed been “born again” in the biblical sense, and that the love of God poured through him much like it did with me, and a trust of this invisible but very real God grew exponentially from that point.
            But, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

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          4. Well I did ask what was the reason that caused (you) Christians to convert in the hope of someone having the integrity to provide objective evidence of their claims.
            You are yet another who fails to deliver.
            Give Ken Ham my regards if you see him and hug one of his dinosaurs for me too.

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          5. What could be more objective than an observable life changing moment that completely changed my way of thinking, seeing, and loving? Sure, it is based on my experience, but I could point you to hundreds of people that I know that would verify this very claim in their own lives.
            If overcoming circumstances in one’s life that is crippling his ability to cope is not what you need for evidence, well, then, I may not be able to help.
            But those of us who were found by God, and pulled out of the muck that was our lives before have no difficulty seeing “the evidence”.
            42 years is a pretty long time to get better because of Who I believe in, if He is not real.

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          6. Because it is not based upon objective evidence.
            What you describe is emotional. although you choose not to reveal details.
            Christian conversions abound with such stories.
            Bruce, for example, has admitted to a porn addiction. His conversion was in response to a habit that was apparently ”crippling” him as well.
            And yet, there are numerous examples of people in similar circumstances who sorted out their debilitating emotional issue, be it depression, drug abuse or some other negative lifestyle problem using perfectly ordinary godless methods.

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          7. And thus you see the miracle of the brain. God doesn’t force humans to turn to him in order to find a measure of healing, but the true wonder of the born again experience with God as a friend never arrives. Nor the myriad of benefits that you won’t, or can’t see.
            I feel like the YEC scientist in that, what you consider proof doesn’t always hold water with me when I look through the ” new eyes” I received 42 years ago.
            I guess you’ll just have to have faith. (Smiling. Peaceful. No animosity.)

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          8. According to our friend Bruce, humans have no choice apparently and are ”picked” by the Holy Spirit.
            So you see, you cannot even agree on the method of conversion.
            However, I am interested in what it was that caused you to seek out a religious answer to your problem, if you are willing to share, of course.

            I never ask for proof, which is usually reserved for mathematics.

            We are talking objective evidence, and so far you have offered nothing.

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          9. Well, Bruce is correct. How can a dead man come to life unless he life giver breathes life into him?
            In answer to your question,
            I had been taught to pray to the God of Christianity, but I had not really seriously cried out to Him. Ever.
            For some reason, that particular weekend, something stirred in my heart when I read the words, “you must be born again.”
            When I prayed those words, I believe that was the Holy Spirit giving me that prayer.
            I found those answers five minutes after praying.
            I still had the choice to believe or not when I read the things.
            I believed. Faith.
            Everything changed.
            Still crazy after all these years.
            I still struggle with life and its problems.
            But peace and solutions come quicker because of my trust in the Invisible One.
            You may be being called by the Holy Spirit because of the words I write to you, because He lives in me.
            You get to choose.
            So far,
            To quote a line from Indiana Jones,
            “You have chosen poorly.”
            Seriously, though, you have no idea what your are missing.
            You will never find the evidence you need until you desire His Life that you have been told about by those who are carriers of His Life.

            Liked by 1 person

          10. You come from a background steeped in Christianity and your emotional issues – you still haven’t revealed what they were – were the catalyst to become ”born again”.

            So, no evidence.

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          11. I went from no desire to worship or serve God to an undeniable desire to do so.
            The catalyst was that I had been told the Bible is true.
            I didn’t care.
            When I tried to fulfill a role as a teacher of the Bible, I was deeply disturbed that something that I couldn’t understand struck.me as important.
            When I asked, I received.
            Evidence.

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          12. I was drawn to God. Specific issue? I guess feeling that being a good Christian by going to church should make me feel good and it didn’t.

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          13. I’ve mentioned Bruce had a porn addiction and his guilt apparently drove him to become fanatically religious
            So it seems with you there was prior indoctrination.
            But caused the specific emotional issue?
            Drugs, alcohol, depression or something similar.

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          14. Realizing that everything I tried to do to make myself happy wasn’t working. I had some guilt too for not living up to my sense that I was a good person, that basically I wanted whatever would make me happy.
            You don’t have to have an incurable disease to want to be made whole.
            Sometimes it takes that, though.

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          15. I don’t think I was trying to make myself happy, I just thought that I should be happy. Good wife, child I loved, good family, job I loved and was good at ( top salesman 3 years straight), people always telling me I was good.
            Somehow, that day, I didn’t think I was all that good.

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          16. I do hope you realize, Randy, that your last comment about being happy and being “good” opens up a whole new can of worms …

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          17. “And thus you see the miracle of the brain.”

            An evolved brain, a brain that controls everything you do and everything you believe. This is where all gods and spirits and in fact where the supernatural world exists.

            You wanted a religious experience and your brain created this overwhelming emotional state for you, nothing more and nothing less. And before you start inserting your Christian God of the gaps claiming he is responsible for designing our brains like that, just think of how stupid that sounds.

            Liked by 2 people

          18. I can’t get past how stupid it sounds that the brain evolved without any input from an intelligent source. Maybe the Bible is true when it says “the god of this world has blinded the eyes of unbelievers.”

            Liked by 1 person

          19. You say an intelligent source, right? This intelligent resource according to you has to have been your particular Christian God, right? Do you know how absurd that sounds to most of the world who are not Christians?

            Atheist logic and rational thoughts say there is no intelligent god as depicted by any religions because the killing and wars, the hate and discrimination etc have never stopped, the 20,000 children that die every day from disease and hunger still keeps ramping upwards and crime is increasing.

            The brain evolved and this is known due to the endocasts of early and modern brain cases. Early Homo Sapiens faced new environmental challenges as the climate changed and they evolved with larger bodies and larger more complex brains.

            Of course if you are a science denier I cannot help you understand reality.

            Liked by 2 people

          20. “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. Tho search a matter out is the glory of kings.” Science is searching understanding of the hidden things. The brain by design can store knowledge, add to knowledge, ask questions like “What if…?” and come up with solutions to problems. “The image of God.”
            The fact that there are countless religions doesn’t prove that one isn’t true.
            It just proves that thought processes in the brain can find truth and falsehood. It can believe truth or it can believe a lie.
            When man has a choice to turn to God or remain as his own God, you have rightly discerned the explanation for the hate, discrimination, wars, murders, crime….

            Liked by 1 person


          21. you have rightly discerned the explanation for the hate, discrimination, wars, murders, crime….

            The very same things Christians have been guilty of for millennia.
            Some of the worst crimes of humanity can be laid at the feet of Christians.
            Are we to read from this that there are, in fact, no true Christians?
            I challenge you to produce evidence of a single individual that you know or are aware of that follows the character Jesus of Nazareth.

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          22. Without fault?
            No one.
            With forgiveness for failure, a chance for new starts, and a love for the God that made this flawed sinful individual available to see, hear, and taste the life he has for those that will receive it, thousands.

            Liked by 1 person

          23. Wait a minute. Now you are making me smile. You think that being a follower of the Perfect One makes me a perfect one?
            I am not a robot. God doesn’t want robots. You don’t understand love if you think everything hinges on my performance. Everything hinges on the love of God that transforms a dead man (to the whispers of God) to a man who can now see. In evolutionary terms, he takes a completely human and selfish individual, and with little tiny lessons throughout the years of his life, little tiny changes day by day he helps him to become more and more like the Perfect One. I have not arrived, but I am closer today than I was yesterday.
            And I can feel His pleasure.
            I know, I know, feelings aren’t evidence.
            The question is, would You like to feel His pleasure?

            Liked by 1 person

          24. You misunderstand. You and every other so- called christian simply failed to do as the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth commanded to ensure that you are a follower.

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          25. Yes, not many if any Christians do not value their possessions and in fact have possessed more than one wife and a flash car in which they have immense pride in and drive past the destitute and homeless every day. How many have tattoos and wear clothing of mixed fabrics, how many eat the wrong foods and have massive bank accounts and they all discriminate against non Christians and LGBT people. I could go on, you either take the Bible literally or not at all. Of course the stoning of criminals, the death sentence for common sexual occurrences and the beating of slaves and children will have to be reconsidered due to the fact that no Christians would be alive today.

            If you believe so strongly in a bronze age God, should you not live as a bronze age follower, donate everything you have to the poor, I am sure your God would be delighted.

            Liked by 2 people

          26. Thank you, Steve.
            Ironic that the non-believers always seem to understand perfectly, yet the True Blue Believer always comes across as thick as two planks.

            Liked by 3 people

          27. Are you seriously telling me you are unaware of all the things/requirements Jesus laid out to being one of his followers, or do you believe it was more a smorgasbord/pick ‘n mix affair?

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          28. Good point. Jesus made it even harder when he shortened ’em to two; love God and love your neighbor as yourself.
            Now I know the loving God part is a bit difficult for you, but how about that love your neighbor part?
            If I believed the commandment, wouldn’t part of loving my neighbor be introducing him or her to the God that I am also commanded to love so that he or she could get in that line, too?

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          29. Two commands from the whole Bible, that means the rest of the Bible is redundant.

            Ok Randy, does this mean you have to love the poor, destitute damaged and diseased but also of course preach to them about the Christian God of love. You may or may not decide to give them a crust or a coin but love is the key and most important for making everything just fine and dandy, Randy, (couldn’t resist sorry) and a marching into heaven you will go?

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          30. That’s okay. Rhymes are fine. Two commands sum up pretty well, don’t you think?
            C.S. Lewis used to say that you can’t judge a Christian by all his actions but by how he has improved from his former life.
            When you say love is the key, what classifies as love in your mind?
            I guess you are feeding the poor, selling your stuff because it’s the right thing to do.
            Do you say God doesn’t exist because of faulty followers?
            Have you ever met a believer who was closer than you express by your stereotypes?
            Just curious.

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          31. Love is not exclusive to Christianity and love means little for the people who need real help. Twenty thousand children die every day from hunger and disease, how does the love of God or your christian love help them?

            Love is second to none for stability, it is a powerful emotion all animals have evolved with for our ultimate survival. It will disrupt life, cause conflicts and hurt people emotionally and psychologically just as much as creating our well being, making us feel good, nurturing our young and totally transforming our minds.

            I do not sell my stuff because I do not have a make believe God telling me it is the right thing to do with a promise of heaven, but you do, you do not do the right thing or live according to your God’s doctrine. I absolutely believe all Christians are living a lie. You can poke any quote in the Bible to try and make it justify your life styles but it is all just one big hoax.

            I have met no Christian who has donned a robe and sandals, lived in a small hut and rode a donkey to help eliminate the world’s problems. If all Christians donated even half their assets and wealth it would keep many millions of kids alive, not to mention the reduction of environmental pollution and global warming.

            On average U.S. families have a net worth of $176,100, compared to just $128,400 in the second-wealthiest country Switzerland on the map and 3 times of Australians . The most Christian country on the planet is also the richest, so why are they hoarding so much when they could be helping out the worlds poor? Donald your Christian leader seems to think you all need more, so disrupts the world.

            Liked by 1 person

          32. Well said.
            Based on evidence, leading by example does not seem to fall within the parameters of the average Christian.
            Even everyone’s favorite nun,Mother T, screwed up on that front.

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          33. I agree Ark, the Catholic sadist can line up alongside the thousands of child molesting priests and murderous nuns with full Christian honours.

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          34. @Randy
            Once again you are obfuscating. And the fact you now resort to trying to be ‘smart’ by writing colloquially – ’em – tells me you being disingenuous,

            You’re a fraud, Randy, and you are aware it.

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          35. No. I’m not a fraud. Not anywhere close to perfect or sin free, either.
            But, I do know the love of God, and, every time I come up short, I have an advocate before the Father, because I belong to Him.

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          36. The point is that you will not be able to see the evidence of a God who is Spirit, even though the works of His hand surrounds you.
            To come to Him, you must believe He exists, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
            There is no one who can prove to you what you say you need, because you do not want Him to be.

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          37. To come to Him, you must believe He exists,

            And where exactly is this stated and how do you discern the veracity of the statement?

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          38. Hebrews 11:6
            Before He changed my life, this wouldn’t have meant a thing to me.
            After, the words ring true.

            There is something to the third chapter of John.
            Reading it made me question myself.
            The answer to my question changed my life.

            But it began because I believed in the existence of God.
            Everything I have come to learn about Him has been because I have sought Him.
            And I am not alone in this.

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          39. When I was in college, a guy came to my room one evening, and he asked me some questions about my relationship with God. He asked if I was on the throne of my life, or if God was on the throne of my life.
            I mocked him, telling him that just because these words were on the little tract he was showing me didn’t make them true.
            He smiled, and, as he left, I thought, “I am fine just as I am.”
            The things he said to me stayed with me for seven years.
            The day Jesus became real to me and saved me from myself, I remembered that conversation in college.
            He had told me the truth.
            You can hate Christians.
            You can hate me.
            You can hate God.
            You can deny God exists.
            But, if you ever turn to Him, you will realize that I have told you the truth.
            I have no animosity toward you.
            Or your friends.
            I have found the truth.
            My life is full because of it.
            I share it because the love of my Savior compels me.

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          40. Once again … how do you discern the veracity of the statement.
            Please don’t equivocate any more.

            The day Jesus became real to me and saved me from myself,

            I do not understand what this means.
            Please explain.

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          41. I had read a scripture that said “you must be born again.” I don’t know why this bothered me, but when I felt depressed the next day, I used the little belief in God that I had and prayed the question, “What does it mean to be born again?”
            When I found the two Bible tracts, I read them.
            I can’t remember every thing they said, but they used scripture to tell me the same thing that that guy in college told me; that I was on the throne of my life.
            I prayed for forgiveness for my sins. I had spent my life doing my own thing and I told God (Jesus) that I wanted to belong to Him, to let Him be on the throne of my life.
            The change happened in an instant.
            The fact that it stayed with me is what I mean, ” Jesus became real to me.”
            He answers my questions, he gives me words to tell you, he gives me an affection for those who haven’t discovered his love that never ends.

            Liked by 1 person

          42. 1. You still have not told me how you discerned the veracity of the statement.

            2 ”The day Jesus became real to me and saved me from myself,”
            I asked you to explain this.
            What do you mean saved me from myself

            Can you please reply/ answer the questions in a direct, straightforward manner and not engage in what are ostensibly, ”feelings.”

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          43. He placed his spirit in me. (Holy Spirit) I, for the first time in my life became aware of the presence of God. I cannot be any more direct than that. All of my understanding of Jesus and what he did for me has grown in me from that point.
            I can’t give you this “sight” because “unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
            I was trying to rule my life, and I was failing miserably.
            He came into my life and in little incremental changes began to change my way of perceiving.

            Liked by 1 person

          44. Aah … by the sound of it, you were a nominal christian (at one point) had some rather difficult emotional/trauma issue and because of your cultural exposure to Christianity were led to belief.

            And for all this you have no evidence whatsoever, merely feelings.

            This is the explanation in one form of another that I have heard, read, or watched from every christian deconvert I have ever encountered.
            Perhaps you would be interested in this short video?

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          45. I have known some “nominal Christians” who eventually turned away. If Christianity is going from death to life (spiritual), I’m not sure I was a Christian when I was “nominal”. Not saying this about everyone, but, for me, and a lot of my friends, the LIFE had a beginning point.

            Liked by 1 person

          46. @ Randy

            ”I can’t get past how stupid it sounds that the brain evolved without any input from an intelligent source”

            This is because you don’t understand evolution.

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        2. Yes Randy !! We have the mind of Christ…1 Corinthians 2:16… My brother, I spent quite some time with Ark, Arch (no longer with us…), Nan, Peter, and many others that I still pray for every day now for years… None of them were ever “born again” contrary to their stories… And none of them will EVER believe a word we tell them, until they are drawn in by God…John 6:44…and the Holy Spirit changes their will to understand they are sinners in need of a Savior…

          Blessings in Christ, bruce

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          1. Thank you, Bruce. I always hope that one of us will be the one that causes the light to shine in such a way as to open up the blind eyes.
            I’m not easily offended, and I find the give and take to be a path to deeper thought, and to love with His love even more.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You just keep telling yourself these things, Bruce. And those of us who have been there, done that will trust our own minds, hearts, and souls since WE are the ones that experience what happens in our lives. Not you.

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          3. I have never said I was ”born again”. In fact, I was never more than a Cultural Christian at best.
            BTW. Still waiting to read your response to Dave over at your blog.

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          4. Bruce,

            If all Christians have the mind of Christ, and “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” — why are there so many Christian denominations due to disagreements over the correct interpretation of the scriptures?

            Liked by 2 people

          5. @God’s scam for suckers:

            Since we don’t accept the mythology about being “sinners”, and the Holy Spirit [sic] doesn’t exist outside the minds of believers, it’s no wonder we remain at loggerheads with you guys.

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    2. Randy,

      Interestingly enough, 1978 was the same year that Cat Stevens abandoned a successful music career to become a devout Muslim after reading the Quran. In other words, at least two people concluded that the particular text they were reading was divinely inspired. Yet logic dictates that both of these texts cannot be correct simultaneously.

      Could you please explain by what metric you decided the Bible was the real deal and the Quran was not?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “Bruce,

        If all Christians have the mind of Christ, and “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace” — why are there so many Christian denominations due to disagreements over the correct interpretation of the scriptures?”

        There are many churches that call themselves Christian churches…but many teach works based salvation, like the Catholic church… (Sorry Nan… I know were a Catholic)

        Many teach man made religion like the Mormon church…

        The interpretation of scriptures, called illumination…happens when the truly “born again” Christian is saved by grace alone, through faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ…

        And there are things in the Bible that God allows us to understand…and things that will remain a mystery to us until we are face to face with our Lord…

        Don’t know if I answered your question…but there is little dispute between the evangelical, Bible preaching and teaching churches…

        Look at the Methodist church, splitting over who is going to marry a gay couple, and who is not…

        If it ain’t in the Bible…it is not something I would embrace

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        1. Got the wrong person, Bruce. I was a full-blown “born-again-praise-Jesus-holy-roller” — Judy was the Catholic.

          Perhaps you need to pray before you respond on Ark’s blog so your god can make sure you have your facts straight.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Bruce,

          I guess my point is this:

          When employees/students disagree on the instructions given for a job/homework assignment they take it up with the boss/teacher and it is gets resolved immediately. So why would Christians continue to have disagreements over the interpretation of the scriptures when they have a direct pipeline to God?

          And if the teachings of the Catholic Church are/were in error, why would/did God permit it to continue dispensing those falsehoods for nearly twelve centuries prior to the protestant reformation?

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      2. Ron, I cannot speak for Cat Stevens, but you would agree that it is possible to believe a lie, right?
        I didn’t read the Bible to the point that I believed it and turned to God.
        It had been in my life all my life. It was always just a story pretty much with nice ideas.
        But the day that I mentioned in 1978, after “the change” the words of the Bible became alive, began to speak directly to me, almost as if my brain had been designed for this book, and the key to reading it was now there.
        After 42 years, the words gain deeper meaning every time I read it.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Randy,

          Sure, it’s possible to believe a lie. But the question is how do you discern which text (if any) is telling the truth.

          You state that the words of the Bible “became alive, began to speak directly to me.”

          Yet Cat Stevens gave similar reasons for deciding to follow the Quran.

          And I receive inspiration from neither.

          So personal feelings aside, the question remains: by what empirical method do you establish the validity of two or more competing truth claims?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So personal feelings aside …

            This is the core reason why a person cannot get a straight answer from any Christian. They CAN’T put “personal feelings aside” because that is the basic element of Christianity.

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          2. Pretty nit-picky if you ask me, Bruce. Even so, taking your “argument” as fact that there’s a difference, I’ll reword my statement … They CAN’T put “personal feelings aside” OR emotions because that is they the basic element(s) of Christianity.

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          3. Bruce,

            In your post you wrote:

            Remember that “feelings” are something we believe to be true; not necessarily true–but we believe they are true.

            Shouldn’t the same principle apply concerning religious beliefs?

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          4. How do you determine truth? Do you have to see it for yourself, or do you find that there are certain people who you trust to reveal it to you?

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          5. How do I determine the truth of a proposition?

            Well, I’m an empiricist; so I would have to witness it for myself, or have someone successfully demonstrate it to my satisfaction via the scientific method.

            What tests could we conduct to prove or falsify the the supernatural claims made within the Bible and Quran?

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          6. So you can’t know things like the age of the earth, the heat of the sun, the amount of water in a thundercloud, the cause of the wind?

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          7. All those questions can and have been addressed by scientific inquiry.

            In layman’s terms:

            – the age of the Earth can be determined via radiometric decay.

            – the heat of the sun can be estimated via calculations based on observed electromagnetic radiation, mass and luminosity (among other things).

            – the water content of clouds can be roughly estimated via calculations based on measurements taken with meteorological instruments.

            -wind is the result of differences in air pressure resulting from temperature differences over large land masses and oceans.

            For detailed explanations, you would have to consult your local science department.

            Again, science utilizes physical observation, measurement and testing to find answers. How do you test for metaphysical propositions like the presence of gods or demons?

            Liked by 2 people

          8. So, by the scientific method, you would have to have a level of trust for the one using the scientific method? You would have to believe that they told the truth of their findings, had no bias, used the proper controls, etc.

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          9. The beauty of the scientific method is that it relies on empiricism, not trust. Data can be analyzed, tests and calculations can be repeated, faulty premises can be investigated, etc.

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          10. So how would one check or verify supernatural findings? Supernatural means they can’t necessarily be repeated unless the one who performed the supernatural act decided to repeat it.

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          11. Precisely. So all we have to go on is the personal testimony of the religious adherent, which could be entirely sincere, entirely delusional, or entirely fabricated.

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          12. You are correct. I can’t determine Cat Stevens’ experience. All I can do is examine mine. In regard to the supernatural, if there is a supernatural being performing the act, to verify it, I would have to have some sort of relationship with the supernatural one.
            As far as I can tell, that is the only way.
            Unless you believe the one that tells you about these things.

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          13. How does one determine the difference /veracity between your claim and that of someone who says Buddha spoke to them and changed their life?

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          14. He didn’t “rise” from the dead. Rather, he “sat up” from the dead; realized he was crawling with maggots, then, after shaking off said maggots, hopped on a bus to Duluth, Iowa and opened up a donut shop called “Fat Guy’s Donuts.” Great pastries, BTW.

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          15. In a manner of speaking. When I was born again, I came to understand that the living Holy Spirit was now with me. He revealed the scriptures in an understandable way, he opened my eyes and ears to the spiritual side I had been dead to.
            I keep telling you, you will never understand this….until.

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          16. I understand perfectly.
            Practically every other person who has responded to you was a former evangelical/born again/saved christian.And they know how it is all self delusion.

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          17. Odd how each and almost every one said they were full on board evangelical to the hilt Christians. Some were even pastors or missionaries.
            Yet, here you are, parading your sanctimonious washed in the blood, Jesus come inside me, filled with the holy spirit, I just love to be persecuted born-again Christianity with all the hubris of a bloke claiming to have the biggest dick at a eunuch festival.
            Nobody really gives a shit what you believe, Randy.
            Trust me, it’s a case of Been There Done That.
            Big yawn.

            Liked by 1 person

          18. I don’t think that is right. I’m every bit as flawed as anybody.
            But the love of God compels me.
            I just think those that turned away missed out on the love of God.
            Don’t mean to bore you, but it has been nice connecting.

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          19. The problem is that, repeated calls for you to provide evidence for your claims continue to fall on deaf ears – or maybe you are simply willfully ignorant due to the level of indoctrination you have succumbed to?

            Of course, this is easily remedied and to this end I am interested to read whether you can demonstrate with evidence that just one of the former Christians you have dialogued with on this post alone did not go through a similar experience as you and was not a proper born-again Christian.

            And simply stating that they walked away is not evidence.

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          20. I understand that as a practicing self appointed Christian, who would claim that you are not a real Christian, surely not other Christians, right?

            For starters Protestants and Catholics did not recognise each other as real Christians for years by killing each other and they still don’t like each other, and neither of these two aggressive types of Christians would likely recognise the sect of Jewish Christians who follow Jewish law as real Christians. So please tell me who are real Christians? These same pompous Christians Claim those that break free and see the atheist light were never real Christians, but only after they leave of course. All of these claims are simply self righteous personal judgments used to degrade people.

            your good book says you shall not judge, and I would expect so called self appointed Christians judging other self appointed so called Christians as not real Christians and those who had done 20 years in Christianity before leaving is an even worse sin in the eyes of your God.

            Liked by 3 people

          21. Jesus spoke about those who hear the word, receive it with Joy, then fall away. One reason was no root established. The other was that they get choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
            We all have these struggles with being distracted from what is ultimately important.
            Me, too.
            I wonder at what turning away point; doubt, lack of love for the kingdom of God, desire for riches, desire for the life I choose for myself, or the decision that there is no God, which of these takes away the final ability to grow fruit?
            You are correct in assuming that many (all?) Christians struggle with “finding the will of God” for themselves.
            But, possibly, that, too is part of the plan, to grow, persevere, grow, persevere, and to not turn away for one final time.
            God doesn’t seem to force himself on anyone, even those who come out of a sincere heart.
            He tells us to keep on knocking, keep on asking, keep on seeking.
            For me, the journey of growth is where the joy comes.

            Liked by 1 person

          22. God doesn’t seem to force himself on anyone, even those who come out of a sincere heart.

            Of course this is simply disingenuous nonsense, as Christianity has been ”forced” on millions upon millions of people across the globe.
            Even you are a product of a culture that has, over the centuries, been inculcated with Christianity.

            Most major religions, via their missionaries and in conjunction with military conquest have forcibly imposed themselves at one time or another,
            Think of any conquered and/or colonized nation and in almost all cases, look what became of the indigenous population.
            Jews did it, Christians did it and Muslims did it, even against different sects within their own faith.

            Your diatribe is vacuous and without substance, a ”feel good” trip solely based on emotional trauma and insecurity.

            And don’t think for one second that your utter failure t provide a single scrap of evidence for your claims has gone unnoticed.
            Your behaviour here has become somewhat pathetic.

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          23. Ironic you ”complain” that Nan doesn’t want to talk to you anymore yet when asked for evidence you do the theological shuffle and STILL refuse to offer any evidence.

            Do you wonder why people ridicule your rather silly position, or do you revel in playing the persecuted victim – because Jesus will consider you a better person?

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          24. No. I told you the evidence is not scientific. It is spiritual. Sorry if I haven’t made that clear. I can’t “save” anybody. All I can do is share what I have been given. You seem angry. It was never my intention to anger you. I just tried to answer your question.
            The evidence I have is how my life was changed. I know others. It will never make any difference to you unless you experience this life change.
            Some turn away. Jesus said they would. These are the only answers I can offer.

            Liked by 1 person

          25. There is no such thing as spiritual evidence.
            Therefore, you have no evidence for your claims.
            Period.

            Some turn away. Jesus said they would.

            And exactly how do you know that the character Jesus of Nazareth said this?
            What evidence do you have?
            Me angry? Hilarious!

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          26. Ah , so you think this is about point scoring do you?

            Firstly, if you were truly content with your ”New Life” you wouldn’t need to spend any time at all crowing about it on social media as it would be obvious to all and sundry who knew you.
            This is all about your ego, about constantly reaffirming to quell constant doubt, and to bolster this rubbish you feel compelled to spread the word like some theological STD.

            If memory serves, the character Jesus of Nazareth had a few things to say about getting all puffed up and self-righteous. He even stated that you should pray in solitude and not make a noise about pretty much anything.
            Yet here you are, flapping your gums like some sanctimonious arse-hat.
            Second. If you had any evidence whatsoever for your claims it would be a straightforward matter of presenting it, not blathering on in religio-speak, which makes you sound like a bloody idiot.

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          27. Response to Ark
            You invited Christian believers to make a case.
            I was dubious.
            I told you at the beginning that it required a spiritual aspect to see the evidence.
            You couldn’t see the evidence.
            I am led to conclude from my point of view that you don’t have the needed spiritual aspect.
            Almost all of my believing friends can point to a moment of change, where there was a supernatural peace, a desire to read and understand the Book, a sense of newfound purpose, a sense of a new vision, a sense of a relationship with and love for “the invisible God”.
            Every one of them began with a step of faith:
            Believing God and trusting Him.

            There are explanations from Jesus and the writers of some of the other epistles that seem to indicate that there could be “counterfeit believers” who would eventually fall away.
            I have seen these as well.
            Am I to call God a liar because he allows each one of us the freedom to choose his way or my way and some choose my way?

            Then, there is always the possibility that your voice is that of the deceiver, and you are not looking for true evidence, but to destroy or try to jerk away that peace that so many have found.

            I wonder, what is your motivation?
            You accuse me of doubt and trying to bolster my own struggling faith.
            If I believe that I have found the only way to truly live a life worth living, with ultimate joy and pleasure at the end of the race, as opposed to horrible destruction to those who choose not to receive this free gift, how cruel and selfish would it be for me to keep it for myself?

            I know about the prayer closet.

            The man, Jesus, after he was raised to life from the grave, (I believe this with all my heart) said, ” Wait for the Holy Spirit and go into all the world with the gospel. ”

            Doesn’t sound like keeping it to myself is the right way to go.

            But, in the end, this blog is “your house”. I won’t stay longer than I am welcome.

            Your call.

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          28. You couldn’t see the evidence.

            This is a blatant falsehood as you have yet to present any evidence to demonstrate the veracity of your claim.
            Once you do then perhaps we might be able to have a more fruitful conversation.
            Your call ….

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          29. You know, my little brother pointed something out to me that I hadn’t thought about. The daily insignificant events of our life, our thoughts and actions, when dedicated to our God, provide the mortar of our lives.
            He even works in us through the little tiny things to form us into the character we were created to have.
            Still growing.

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          30. Your theological apologist babble might make you feel good in a ”I love playing the part of Persecuted Christian as it makes me feel more Christ like”, but to those who have been there, done that it is nothing but a big yawn and all you are doing is making yourself look very stupid.
            As Seth Andrews pointed out – ”Christianity made me sound like an idiot.”

            So, once again, Randy present evidence for your claims.

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          31. ”The foolishness of the cross.”
            Perfect example of playing the victim.

            So, are you going to have a modicum of integrity and present evidence or are you simply going to espouse more re-.born drivel?

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          32. I thought you would like my agreeing with your quote.
            Just out of curiosity, what evidence would convince you to accept the gift that Jesus offered you, (and the rest of the world)?

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          33. Aaah … now we’re talking!
            What is this gift that you claim the biblical character Jesus is offering.
            Please be very specific.

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          34. Sin is a theological concept which I do not acknowlege and it has no relevance in my life whatsoever, and if you have evidence of a creator then please, I implore you, present it for the gods’ sake..
            That will answer your question.

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          35. If you have no issue with sin or guilt, then I am afraid this conversation is useless. Sorry it took me so long to realize.
            For you to be able to see the evidence, well, I’ve said it all before.
            If you have no need for forgiveness, then you stand in the place of God.
            But, there are others who have this need.
            Why would you try and convince them that there is no cure?

            Liked by 1 person

          36. So what you are acknowledging, is that, you are unable to provide any evidence at all.
            Why didn’t you say so from the onset?

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          37. The eyes, the ears, the tongue, the blood, the taking in of food, the removal of waste, the senses, the ability to think, reason, create, imagine, gravity, sunshine, rain, seasons, love, sickness, healing, hummingbirds, butterflies, cake decorating, life at the bottom of the ocean, seashells on top of mountains, thousands year old writings that change lives, fellowship of believers, people who live on opposite sides of the world trying to share with you the love of a creator that they have found.
            Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

            Liked by 1 person

          38. How about, genocide, slavery, internecine wars, misogyny, forgery, child rape, forced conversions, all of which there is mountains of evidence for, yet for your claims there is Sweet Fanny Adams.
            So, are you going to continue being a disingenuous, ignorant Dickhead or are you prepared to show even a modicum of integrity?

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          39. The list you just offered is evidence of a free will to follow or turn away from God. But you don’t accept the “theological idea of sin” so what would be your explanation for these horrible human conditions?
            I guess mankind cannot become good.

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          40. You disingenuous prick. Irrespective of anything else, the laws regarding slavery were codified on the orders of your god, Jesus/Yahweh.

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          41. I’m not angry.
            Character descriptions leveled at certain interlocutors don’t identify me as angry.
            Your god laid down rules for slavery. It’s in the bible.
            What about the times Yahweh ordered genocide?
            Are you suggesting people should have disobeyed those rules?

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          42. I started writing a series of explanations, then deleted them all.

            If you had a cogent answer for each of your “questions” would you then want to accept the new life he is offering you?

            My little brother told me the other day that he realized that God’s love is as strong toward you as it is toward us.

            He probably allows you more leeway than he allows us.

            Man, I wish you could know the love (agape) that is already there for you.

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          43. Is there a particular reason why you refuse point blank to provide evidence and continue to behave like a pompous arrogant arse, or is this your way of showing smug condescension?

            Provide the evidence and we can talk.

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          44. You see me as pompous?
            Jesus was brought before Herod, who wanted to see a miracle.
            Do you think he would have bowed his knee if Jesus had complied?
            I don’t know your heart, but I get the feeling that no “evidence” would be sufficient, even if, as Ron said, he appeared right in front of you in your dining room.
            He has said “I stand at the door and knock. Open up and I will come in and eat with you.”

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          45. I am not sure whether you are being dense and obtuse on purpose,,you don’t actually read my replies or you are being disingenuous?
            Let me reiterate.
            What evidence do you have to verify the veracity of the statement regarding the encounter between Herod and the character Jesus of Nazareth?

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          46. I read every one. You made no response to the list of “evidence”.
            Nor do you respond to the questions about would you accept him if…?
            Arguing accomplishes nothing.
            It’s fun to have an answer, but no answer will change your mind.
            If you feel yourself desiring to know him, let me know.

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          47. Again your list does not contain evidence for your god or for any of your claims.
            This is why it is a fool’s errand to respond to your questions until you can demonstrate the veracity of your claims.
            Now that you have admitted there is no evidence only faith, this makes this comment somewhat moot, wouldn’t you say?

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          48. In a court of law, witnesses are usually the only evidence provided. You either believe the witnesses or you don’t. But the truth is, they have seen something that the jury did not see.

            I have seen something that you haven’t seen.
            I am not alone in this.
            The scriptures that I believe have proven themselves true.
            I know they are old.
            There is wisdom there.

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          49. In a court of law, witnesses are usually the only evidence provided.

            Not necessarily true. Besides, you haven’t even got any witnesses, neither any witness testimony. Furthermore, of the prisoners released from prison because of DNA evidence, around 70% were convicted by the testimony of witnesses.

            The scriptures that I believe have proven themselves true.

            Really? What you believe is not worth jack shit unless you can provide evidence.
            And you’ve already told us that you have no evidence only faith.

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          50. We are going in circles. If one found ruins of an ancient civilization that no one knew anything about, you would assume that there was intelligent life their. Evidence.
            If you find a penny in the desert, you assume it was brought there (or made there by intelligence).
            Evidence of intelligence stems from observing intelligent things. Or intelligent creations.
            Why is it so hard to accept biological “intelligence” as evidence?

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          51. We are going in circles. If one found ruins of an ancient civilization that no one knew anything about, you would assume that there was intelligent life their. Evidence.

            You are going in circles because you continually fail to provide evidence for your claims.
            Re your example. Every ancient ruin people first encountered they knew nothing about the civilization that built them.
            With patience and skill most of these ruins have revealed the secrets of their origins including the builders.

            What has this got to do with providing evidence for the claims you keep making regarding your belief in Yahweh/Jesus?

            Once again …. provide evidence and we can discuss it.
            Until you provide evidence all you are doing is making claims.
            You attribute your changed life to Yahweh.
            So demonstrate this with evidence of Yahweh.

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          52. Randy, if you happened to come across some crop circles, would you assume they were put there by (using your definition) “intelligence?”

            Liked by 1 person

          53. Randy, you sure are persistent !! I was too a few years ago… But you are going around in circles… God has to unblind them, and change their will…or the messahe of the cross will remain foolishness to them !!

            Pray for them all Randy !!

            Have a blessed day !!

            bruce

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          54. “seashells on top of mountains”

            Your justification for God and Noah’s Ark? As usual why not shove some anti-science rubbish out when you can. I am not going to bother giving you a science lesson on this but these kind of claims reinforce the fact you live your life based on lies and delusion.

            Liked by 1 person

          55. “Aaah … now we’re talking!
            What is this gift that you claim the biblical character Jesus is offering.
            Please be very specific.”

            Well Ark, that is an easy one !! Ephesians 2:8-9… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (ESV)

            Our gift is is God’s grace, through saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…

            Have a nice day Ark !! 🙂

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          56. Ephesians is not considered to be Pauline by numerous scholars – a forgery in other words..
            So how do you ascertain the text is genuine and why would Yahweh inspire a forged text?

            And how does any of it count as evidence?

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          57. Randy,

            In response to your question (“what evidence convince you”), here are three ways you can provide evidence for your claims:

            1) The entire Christian worldview rests upon the premise that Jesus was physically resurrected from the dead (“and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” 1 Cor. 15:12-14).

            Given that Jesus (purportedly) revealed himself in the flesh to his disciples (including his most skeptical disciple, Thomas), can you ask him to do likewise by having him appear at my house for dinner tonight? Given that he’s omniscient, I’ll assume he already knows the correct time and place.

            2) In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus states that one of the signs of those who believe in him will be their ability to lay their hands on the sick and heal them.

            Can you demonstrate this power for us by healing all the terminally ill patients at your local hospital? (Don’t worry about verification, as such a miraculous feat will surely be picked up by every news outlet in the country, if not the world.)

            3) According to the gospels, Jesus promised his followers that whatever they ask for in his name, they shall receive. (Mt. 21:22, Mk 11:24, John 14:13, 15:7, 15:16; 16:23-24) and that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things”. (John 14:12)

            Can you — or any other self-professed believer — deliver upon these promises?

            Liked by 2 people

          58. A couple of things. Herod brought Jesus in front of himself to hopefully see him perform a miracle. I doubt that he would have converted had Jesus complied.
            What did Jesus say to Thomas when he appeared before him? “Because you have seen me you now believe. Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.”

            About the greater things that believers will do, maybe you don’t understand what is really important. Which is greater, a healed body or a changed life?

            Would you, Ron, want a changed life?

            He still does this.

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          59. Herod brought Jesus in front of himself to hopefully see him perform a miracle.

            What evidence do you have for this statement?
            Also, what evidence do you have to verify the quote you supplied from the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth?

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          60. So, faith, no evidence.
            At last.
            That wasn’t so difficult to admit, now was it?
            If you had acknowledged this right from the off we could have saved an awful lot of cyber ink.

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          61. Only with faith are you able to ignore the fact there is no evidence
            It is called indoctrination, something every deconvert realised once they had acknowledged they had been indoctrinated.

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          62. I wrote this three years ago.

            SIGNS ALONG THE WAY

            What if God were leaving you messages and signs every day to show you His love and to reveal His ways to you?

            What if you were distracted and missed them?

            What if you weren’t really trying to get to know God, so thoughts of Him were so foreign that the messages didn’t seem like messages at all?

            What if He wrote you a note, and someone stole it right before it was placed in your hands?

            Would that mean that God wasn’t speaking?

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          63. Randy,

            Luke 23:8 reports that:

            “When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort.

            That doesn’t sound like someone who would have remained skeptical if Jesus had complied. How did you reach that conclusion?

            And given that the gospels record Jesus showing himself to all eleven remaining disciples, the question remains: if he was willing to alleviate their doubts of his most ardent followers back then, why would he be reticent to alleviate the doubts of the enlightened skeptics now?

            You asked what evidence would be convincing and I gave you three examples. To reiterate, Jesus promised his followers that “whatever they ask for in my name, you shall receive” and that “whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things.”

            So the question Christians should be asking themselves is this: why can’t I — a follower of Jesus — fulfill the promise made by Jesus?

            As for wanting a changed life: my life improved dramatically after I abandoned Christianity, so I’m already there. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          64. Ron, I think you speak for many (most?) of us with your last statement. Too bad Christians can’t accept this and instead think we’re just blowing air out of … well, you know where.

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          65. I find it mildly amusing when someone online boldly assumes to know my life better than I do. The JWs who occasionally knock on my door at least extend me the courtesy of asking whether or not I feel there might be something missing in my life before they launch into their sermon. But not the internet apologists — bless their hearts — they know everything about everything.

            Liked by 2 people

          66. BULLSHIT, Randy! You don’t know this … you’re simply parroting what you hear from the pulpit. Further, you are NOT (your) “God” so you can’t see into the hearts and minds of others.

            Stick to your own experiences and obey the book you claim to live by …”Judge not that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

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          67. Your reasoning is so flawed it’s amazing that you could convince anyone to “become a Christian.” Think about what you wrote. If a person at one time believed there was a “spirit,” then of course they could be convinced that “spirit” was calling them and could change their life. HOWEVER, once they determine (for whatever reason) that “spirit” doesn’t exist, they have no reason to continue.

            Really Randy … you need far better “arguments” in your efforts to prove your case.

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          68. So you are prepared to tell me that because your born again experience didn’t bring you to God, that there is no truth to it? It’s just a delusion. It seems my reasoning is not the only one that’s flawed.
            You are discounting a truly changed life.
            Unless you kniw me better than I know myself.
            But that would make you God, wouldn’t it?

            Liked by 1 person

          69. Did I say anywhere that my born again experience didn’t “bring me to God”? Methinks you are putting your own spin on what I said. Don’t try to over-think this, Randy.

            And no, I’m not discounting your “changed life.” I too had a “changed life” … until I realized that what was being offered had no substance. Of course you can’t see this because you’re blinded by emotion and “experiences.” And trust me, Randy, when I say … that’s what Christianity is all about.

            There’s really nothing more that needs to be said. You’re going to continue defending your “blessed” life and I’m going to continue living a life that’s free of superstitions and irrational beliefs.

            Liked by 2 people

          70. Nan, this morning in a small group of men we came across Jesus teaching about the sower sowing seed.

            Jesus spoke about those who hear the word, receive it with Joy, then fall away. One reason was no root established. The other was that they get choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
            We all have these struggles with being distracted from what is ultimately important.
            Me, too.
            I wonder at what turning away point; doubt, lack of love for the kingdom of God, desire for riches, desire for the life I choose for myself, or the decision that there is no God, which of these takes away the final ability to grow fruit?
            You are correct in assuming that many (all?) Christians struggle with “finding the will of God” for themselves.
            But, possibly, that, too is part of the plan, to grow, persevere, grow, persevere, and to not turn away for one final time.
            God doesn’t seem to force himself on anyone, even those who come out of a sincere heart.
            He tells us to keep on knocking, keep on asking, keep on seeking.
            For me, the journey of growth is where the joy comes.
            Maybe you were too quick to say that there is no God.
            Maybe some distraction was placed in your path.
            I don’t know.
            But, maybe, it is something to consider.
            God’s love is there whether we accept it or not.
            But we have to seek it to see it.
            I won’t bother you anymore, if that is your desire.

            Liked by 1 person

          71. But, maybe, it is something to consider … No, it isn’t “something to consider.” I did that LONG ago and came to the conclusion that works for me.

            Yes, please. Don’t address any more of your comments to me. I’ve expressed where I’m coming from and you have done the same … repeatedly. I don’t need to anymore of your attempts at recruitment.

            Liked by 1 person

          72. Alright. But how does one have a personal relationship with a non-physical entity? In other words, if your primary form of communication with this entity is via thoughts and feelings, how do you distinguish between your own thoughts and feelings and those of the supernatural being?

            Liked by 1 person

  16. I became Christian as a pup when if you didn’t peer pressure from all six dimensions was — aaaah, persuasive (if you wished to retain your teef).

    Fortunately my parents weren’t in the persuader bucket themselves, Dad was an embittered ‘lapsed’ Catlick and Mum kept her beliefs to herself.

    But my teachers and peers were (mostly) right into it. It was an interesting childhood and in all fields I often gave as good as I got; even my teachers were a bit impressed. They quickly learned to leave me alone and out of it, I was often sent to the back of the room (usually a mild punishment) where I could draw cartoons to my heart’s content whilst the rest of ’em were being ingodrinated. Win/win all ’round.

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  17. Saving faith is evidence, Ark,
    and it can be tested very easily by each individual believer. Consider the primary test questions:-
    • Affections: ‘Do I have an otherwise inexplicable love for my fellow believers that I did not have before my conversion?’
    • Will: ‘In my battles with besetting sin, am I aware of help that was not available to me before?’ (You want it personal; my awareness of this phenomenon went up a level when I pictured the change as an immediate transfer from being prisoner of war to being in the front line.)
    • Intellect: ‘Does my faith seek understanding?’

    2. All other considerations aside, if Christ is not raised from the dead, then Christianity is worthless. So it is a wonder that opponents of Christianity stick by outdated arguments against there having been a resurrection. Not that the old arguments were ever convincing for believers but their refutations have nevertheless been faith affirming.
    • Firstly it was demonstrated that the resurrection-eyewitness testimonies stand up against every attempt to query the reliability of the reports.
    • Secondly it was realised that any resolution at all of harmonisation problems will do to nullify them as an issue.
    • Thirdly it has been realised that authorship of individual parts of the gospels is not to be denied because of the mooted possibility that someone else stitched the parts together.

    3. The resolution of doubts is routine maintenence but I received great help a long time ago from the realisation that doubt and unbelief are quite different things. (It is a passing observation that the doubts of a Believer tend to focus on things that are of major importance whereas the Unbeliever seems to become captive to the most trivial of stumbling blocks.) The resolution of doubts rather obviously confirms belief and each confirmation makes the eventual resolution of expected subsequent doubts seem the more likely. Here are three confirmations that have proved very important to me:-
    • The ordinary means of Grace — e.g. Bible reading — replace the extraordinary, — e.g. miracles — very quickly in God’s dealings with people.
    • Why when miracles, etc. are recorded in Scripture, do they tend to happen for a limited period, only? Doubtless there are more reasons but two that spring to mind are i) That many who believe in ‘signs and wonders’ are so captivated by the wonder that they ignore the significance. ii) That Unbelievers — contrary to what they themselves might say — are not persuaded by miracles to do anything other than double down on their unbelief. [c.f. Jezebel’s reaction to Elijah’s Mt. Carmel victory.]
    • I’ve had a problem with all sorts of Evidentialism ever since a university aquaintance told me that he believed in the Resurrection because of the Turin Shroud! But it dawned on me eventually that real evidences are there in abundance and that those currently demanding evidence ad nauseam — because this challenge to submit evidence is a fairly new fad — would not be able to see it even when their most outrageous demands were met.

    4. As well as dealing with doubt — which directly challenges faith — the Christian has to battle depression because spiritual depression undermines hope. (The difference between faith and hope being that the Faith is ‘Jesus died for sinners such as I am.’ and our Hope is that ‘Jesus will return specifically for me.’) Here’s where prayer comes in and also the answer to prayer which is foundational to the conviction of God’s reality and reward. Here are three faith afirming things I’ve learned about prayer:-
    • Prayer gives me access to God as my Father and so all manner of familial/domestic privileges and duties are suitable matters for prayer.
    • Prayer is the right channel for confession of sin to God whose faithfulness is expressed in forgiveness of sin and cleansing.
    • No matter how bad I feel there are Psalms written for me to use by someone who felt worse. God has given us a prayer book/song book for us to use both individually and in gatherings so we should both use it and emulate it by writing hymns and spiritual songs as well.
    (N.b. I’m most certainly not discounting the help medecines can offer bodily depression but counsellors need to use discretion about whether or not to urge a visit to a doctor.)

    5. If spiritual depression is overcome by prayer then distraction is overcome by evangelism. It so happens that the definitive list of events [c.f. Exodus 6] whereby God made known the meaning of his Name YHWH more or less maps on to those events for which wannabe counter-apologists are most keen to deny any factual foundation at all. Funny that. A close study of the Exodus, etc. confirms my belief that YHWH is God:-
    • because of the Trinitarian form of the Ex. 6 list.
    • because the overwhelming majority of the timewasting distractions are to be discounted merely by reading what the text actually says.
    • because the scholars whose work is leveraged to obtain a no-evidence conclusion have never themselves been so certain and, besides, they have frequently overlooked evidences due to their fixation on a mooted late composition date.
    Time and again it has been obvious that one objection after another is raised as a timewasting exercise but just because the wild goose chase is engaged with in order to evangelise, the wild goose turns out to lay a golden egg.

    6. Since Unbelief now seems to be fixated on leveraging the rather obvious acknowledgement that we have no direct evidence for the existence of the Patriarchs, it fails to test the questions i) of how Moses was able to pass on the Patriarchal Narratives in spite of the enslavement of the Israelites in Egypt. and ii) of how Abraham was sure that it was God’s voice telling him first of all to sacrifice Isaac then to spare him. Happily, although we are dependent on the lack of discernment among evidence-deniers for pseudo-sceptical objections that are hard to take seriously, we can and do tackle the more serious questions off our own bat,
    • It seems to be overlooked too easily that the existence of Genesis and of the Abrahamic nations [Jews and Arabs] is compelling evidence against the argument that Abraham never existed.
    • During the same time that the enslaved Israelites in Egypt were most likely to lose a grasp on their family history, Moses was first of all raised in Pharaoh’s daughter’s household and then a refugee married into another branch of Abraham’s family.
    • The big danger in discerning how sound an idea is, arises when we always get our ideas in the same (slightly mysterious) way. This dependence on ‘inspired intuition’ has among many other things led a Nobel Laureate to imagine that he was receiving messages from outer space. Genesis records that God spoke to Abraham in many different ways and that argues against Abraham being delusional.

    7. With such a weight of confirmation bearing down on us, it ought to be no problem that Christians believe in the Creation just because the Bible tells us so. Nevertheless, as soon as Scientism has lost its steady-state universe argument; and realises that the self-creating and multiverse alternatives are nowhere near as commonsensical; Creationists are being accused of dishonesty for restating what we’ve always believed. That as a debating technique works as long as the creationist in the room huffs and puffs and switches tack to defend his own truthfulness. Obviously unbelievers just ignore the ‘use sparingly’ caveat and the sell-by date, which I reckon is past. It is bound to be confirmatory when Science comes out for what the Bible actually teaches against our misunderstandings of the rudiments:-
    • Opponents of Creationism used to argue for a steady state universe but now we know with very little room for doubt that there must have been a beginning.
    • Many Believers used to reckon that God would not have created chaos for which reason many Bibles have been printed with a gap between Gen. 1:1 and Gen. 1:2. However the figures now available support the clear meaning of the text and so we ought to see the tohu-va-bohu of Gen. 1:2 as part of God’s normal way of doing things by stages so that the significance of the stages might be better understood.
    • Personally as a reader of Azimov I used to think that one day we would be able to predict the weather with absolute precision so I had to console myself that the last chapters of Job, for example, were only poetry. But in our brave new world of fractals and strange attractors it is utterly clear that the Bible is right and I was totally wrong.

    Yours,
    John/.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 2. All other considerations aside, if Christ is not raised from the dead, then Christianity is worthless.

      As you have no evidence for the nonsense of the resurrection of the character , Jesus of Nazareth, then all one can say is: You hit the nail on the head , JK.
      I don’t need to read the rest of your sermon.

      Oh, and ”is not raised.” Really?
      Your grammar Is atrocious.

      Like

          1. Ark, interesting question no one seems to consider:
            How would the raising of Jesus from the dead demonstrate that he was the Messiah, much less God in flesh?

            Liked by 1 person

          2. The GENTILES believed their gods could rise from the dead and return to life. Paul was supposed to convert the gentiles so wouldn’t it help his cause to use something they could relate to?

            Like

    2. John, “Saving faith” itself isnt “saving” unless you can demonstrate the truth of the danger you’re being saved from. Do you have “evidence” of such places as heaven or hell? Do you have evidence that the resurrection of Jesus actually took place in history?
      Faith… any kind of faith… is not evidence of anything other than the will to believe regardless of evidence.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. If you are looking for the evidence of saving faith in other people then the Biblical test is quite unambiguous: ‘By their fruits you shall know them.’ Self examination requires a test that militates against self delusion: since Christian discipleship requires frequent gatherings with other believers there is plenty of opportunity to test the love that we share which is frequently enough inexplicable save that the associated love for God is real also.
        There is overwhelming evidence for the fallen state of Mankind so being rescued from the Fall is salvation from something that is very visible. However we come closest to the reality of heaven and hell when we read or hear the accounts of the Crucifixion of Jesus and it is hard to be delusional about self or sin at the foot of the Cross.
        The kind of faith you describe — ‘Faith… any kind of faith… is not evidence of anything other than the will to believe regardless of evidence.’ — is generally qualified as ‘blind faith.’ It is easy enough to say that there is no evidence for the things Christians believe but when a demonstration is asked for from the nay-sayers what we find time and again is a Faith that seeks understanding confronted by blind Unbelief.
        Yours,
        John/.

        Like

        1. Time and again when you visit here, you have a massive brain fart and forget that almost every one you interact with was once an evangelical born again fundamentalist just like you, and several were idiotic Arse hat Young Earth Creationists …. just like you.
          So the point you seem to wish to obscure behind all this polemic waffling bullsquirt, is the fact that you are simply making it up as you go along.

          Like

    3. Well said John !! Me, you, and Randy are wasting our time trying to explain God’s grace, and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit… Until one is truly “born again” by seed planted in the 4th soil…any belief that one is “born again” in the 2nd or 3rd soil, like all of the non-believers on this post that say they were “born again”, is just not the case…

      God has to give them ears to hear, and then drawn them in (John 6:44), where their heart is regenerated, and they are graced with salvation and filled with the Holy Spirit…

      Keep praying, like I do every day…that God will un-blind them to the truth we have found in new life with Christ…

      Blessings to all above !!

      bruce

      Like

      1. Me, you, and Randy are wasting our time trying to explain God’s grace, and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit

        All I asked fr is evidence.
        If you can’t provide ant then why not simply fuck off?

        Like

        1. What do you do Ark ?? Sit at the computer all day reading this absolutely boring post ?? We as true believers are called by God to share the gospel (good news) message of the cross… We plant seeds that God has to water, and that is all we can do…

          Such sweet language Ark !! But you know what ?? I still love even you !! That my friend is because the Holy Spirit gives me that ability !! Supernatural strength !! That in itself should be proof of my true conversion by God !!

          Have a blessed day Ark !!

          Like

          1. You don’t plant seeds, you poison everything.
            Thank the gods your wife or kids were never fooled by your fatuous, puerile garbage.
            If you had any integrity you would provide the evidence you claim you have, but not once have you even made an attempt..
            You are a former porn addict and a
            pathetic fraud.
            I wouldn’t piss on you if your shoes were on fire.

            Like

          2. What? you need supernatural strength from the Holly Spirit to declare love to Ark that you only said to act like a real Christian.

            Let me ask you, have you followed scripture to the letter? Have you fed the homeless people at your modest house, do you not wear clothing of mixed fabric, have you been divorced, are you an adulterer, do you have tattoos and have you have always eaten Gods approved foods, etc,etc?

            You cannot just do the loving parts to simply impress people, because you end up being a dork.

            Like

      2. all of the non-believers on this post that say they were “born again”, is just not the case

        Bruce, when you and Randy and John (and others who profess Jeeezus) start performing verifiable miracles and healings (… whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these… John 14:12), then you will have the “authority” to determine who was or was not born again.

        Until then, get off your religious high horse and stop making the judgments you’ve been instructed NOT to make.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nan, I am not on a high horse… But the Bible is clear over and over that once saved always saved… These aren’t my words… They are God’s words…

          Have a blessed day Nan !!

          Like

          1. Interpretation, Bruce. Interpretation. There are scores of Christians who don’t agree with you. But that’s the nature of the beast. Christianity is nothing more than a huge mix of ideas and thoughts and opinions and interpretations of the BIBLE — all “religiously” used to support each Christian’s personal beliefs.

            In truth, you are no more correct about what scripture says — and means — than the Jehovah Witness or the Mormon or the Seventh-Day Adventist or Catholic or …

            Liked by 2 people

  18. That was great apologetics, John! Now I understand what eternity really feels like. I haven’t been so stoned into catatonia since…oh, wading through the Book of Psalms.

    I looked up the definition of “prolix” in the Oxford, and there was a picture of you.💩

    Liked by 1 person

  19. “Isn’t it Sir Paul these days?”

    Jesus to Paul on his way to Damascus, converting him from persecutor to apostle:

    “Wha’ don’t we do it in the road?
    Wha’ don’t we do it in the road?
    Wha’ don’t we do it in the ro-ah-oad?
    Et cetera, et cetera
    No-one will be watching us
    Whaaaa don’t we do it in the ro-ah-oad?”

    Then they Came Together, so to speak.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bruce

      Re: Jeremiah 31:15

      “This is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”

      is immediately followed by:

      16 This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded, “declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy. 17 So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.”

      How does that mesh with fulfilled prophecy? Does that mean the children slaughtered by Herod returned from the dead? And from which enemy land did they return from?

      RE: Hosea 11:1

      “When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.”

      is immediately followed by:

      “2 But the more they were called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed to the Baals and they burned incense to images.”

      So if the child referred to as “Israel” in Hosea 11:1 is a prophecy about Jesus, wouldn’t one also have to accept that Jesus turned away from God and offered sacrifices to idols?

      RE: Odds and probabilities

      Imagine tossing a tray of 1000 numbered coins into the air and recording the results (heads or tails) of each marked coin on a sheet of paper.

      Congratulations! The odds of you getting that exact result were 1 in 2^1000, which is equivalent to

      1 in 1.10715086e+301 or

      1 in 10 715 086 071 862 673 209 484 250 490 600 018 105 614 048 117 055 336 074 437 503 883 703 510 511 249 361 224 931 983 788 156 958 581 275 946 729 175 531 468 251 871 452 856 923 140 435 984 577 574 698 574 803 934 567 774 824 230 985 421 074 605 062 371 141 877 954 182 153 046 474 983 581 941 267 398 767 559 165 543 946 077 062 914 571 196 477 686 542 167 660 429 831 652 624 386 837 205 668 069 376 (for the pedantic)

      . . . but you beat those astronomical odds on the very first toss. Should we conclude God’s hand was involved?

      Liked by 2 people

  20. From Randy:

    “he takes a completely human and selfish individual, and with little tiny lessons throughout the years of his life, little tiny changes day by day he helps him to become more and more like the Perfect One.”

    It’s called “Progressive Sanctification”, and continues for a lifetime after salvation…where we are being conformed into the image of Christ…

    Romans 8:29-30… For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. (ESV)

    I don’t expect anyone but Randy to understand this…

    Like

    1. Hey there,

      What if these “little tiny lessons” aren’t lessons, though? What if it’s just stuff that happens, and a person grows and responds better to them through learning? Do you think it’s possible for a person to grow as a human being without resorting to religious teachings or principles?

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Randy wrote “The gradual change over long periods of time is implausible because of the necessity of interworking systems that require all parts to function at once.”

    This is rubbish, all life evolves through natural selection. Those organisms that adapt to survive from the limited resources will live longer producing more offspring that will increase in frequency over generations. Humans have evolved, have you ever wondered why some races of people on average are a lot shorter than others and why these different physical and genetic characteristics came about? These involve complex genetic and environmental situations, lifestyle, food types, tools and knowledge.

    “We have undergone change since our species first evolved. Some changes were universal whereas others were more regional in effect. The changes apparent in worldwide populations include a decrease in both overall body size and brain size as well as a reduction in jaw and tooth proportions. Regional populations have also evolved different physical and genetic characteristics in response to varying climates and lifestyles.”

    https://australianmuseum.net.au/learn/science/human-evolution/how-have-we-changed-since-our-species-first-appeared/

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Godsmanforever: “And none of them will EVER believe a word we tell them, until they are drawn in by God…John 6:44…and the Holy Spirit changes their will to understand they are sinners in need of a Savior…”

    Zoe: God’s job.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Randy Epps 28 Jan 2020 at 05:31:

    “I don’t know, Ark. Maybe they believed in Jesus, then stopped. But, I don’t believe they had the LIFE.”

    Zoe: This discussion never goes away. It can’t. I was Randy once. Had the LIFE too, though he doubts it.

    Like

      1. Suggestions? LOL!

        If I put that I once believed like Randy he’ll just say, ‘Oh. No you didn’t Zoe. Nope. Nada. You never believed like me. If you had believed like me you would never have changed your mind about what you once believed.’

        Now it’s true. I don’t know Randy. There was a time I believed like him though. I would have said, Once A Christian Always a Christian. That tends to make the Calvinists itch a bit.

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Randy has gone from never born-again, to maybe but missed out on the life, to “I just think those that turned away missed out on the love of God.”

            Zoe: See what I mean. 🙂 It will just keep going and going and going . . .

            Even if you to try to narrow it down further to perhaps a definition &/or explanation of “life” and “love” it won’t be enough. So maybe they were born-again but missed out on the life, to maybe they had life but not enough or something was missing and then you get to go down the path of what was missing. Maybe they were born-again but missed out on the love. Dig into what that means. 🙂

            I laid prostrate on the floor and soaked the carpet with tears.

            How many tears?

            Oh about 50 litres.

            Fifty? That’s not enough.

            I laid prostrate on the floor and soaked the carpet with tears.

            How many tears?

            350 litres.

            Hmm? That is enough. Were you on all fours or flat out on your belly?

            All fours.

            Okay. Try your belly.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. Randy Epps 29 Jan 2020 at 20:02

            “Nan, this morning in a small group of men we came across Jesus teaching about the sower sowing seed.

            Jesus spoke about those who hear the word, receive it with Joy, then fall away. One reason was no root established. The other was that they get choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.
            We all have these struggles with being distracted from what is ultimately important.
            Me, too.
            I wonder at what turning away point; doubt, lack of love for the kingdom of God, desire for riches, desire for the life I choose for myself, or the decision that there is no God, which of these takes away the final ability to grow fruit?
            You are correct in assuming that many (all?) Christians struggle with “finding the will of God” for themselves.
            But, possibly, that, too is part of the plan, to grow, persevere, grow, persevere, and to not turn away for one final time.
            God doesn’t seem to force himself on anyone, even those who come out of a sincere heart.
            He tells us to keep on knocking, keep on asking, keep on seeking.
            For me, the journey of growth is where the joy comes.
            Maybe you were too quick to say that there is no God.
            Maybe some distraction was placed in your path.
            I don’t know.
            But, maybe, it is something to consider.
            God’s love is there whether we accept it or not.
            But we have to seek it to see it.
            I won’t bother you anymore, if that is your desire.”

            Zoe: And the beat goes on. And the beat goes on.

            Okay Ark. I’m done. I think.

            Like

          3. Randy: “Then, there is always the possibility that your voice is that of the deceiver, and you are not looking for true evidence, but to destroy or try to jerk away that peace that so many have found.”

            Zoe: Then of course Randy, one could turn this back onto you and say the same thing.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Impossible, Zoe.
            Randy is a true believer. We can all see that.
            Unfortunately for us, Randy simply refuses point blank to reveal the evidence to verify his claims.
            He has yet to even define Spiritual Evidence.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. Ark, Spiritual evidence in plain english…cannot be described in words… So STOP trying to have us prove we are truly “born again” believers… The evidence is inside of us, with a changed life !! You will NEVER understand, until (I am praying) God changes your will…unblinds your eyes…draws you in…and regenerates your heart…

            You WILL understand only then…because the Holy Spirit will confirm with your spirit…that you ARE a redeemed child of God…

            Romans 8:16… The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (ESV)

            Have a great day Ark !! Blessings in Christ, bruce

            Like

          6. So spiritual evidence is feelings.
            Oh , I get it now.
            Thank you for clearing this up.
            In conclusion: You have absolutely no evidence for your claims and thus you are simply making it up as you go along, due primarily to guilt and cultural indoctrination.
            At least we have cleared that up.
            In other words, you are a fraud.

            Like

          7. I have to admire the power of the brainwashing they have succumbed to. These lot in particular are able to perform better gymnastics that Olga Korbut.

            Liked by 1 person

  24. Ark, to Randy and others likes him, “evidence” is their “changed lives.” As has been demonstrated again and again, they’re simply unable to present/provide anything else. For them, it’s summed up with the phrase — “unless you were there, you’ll never believe it.”

    Thing is, many of us were “there” … and what we found was unbelievable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Last word

    Nan and Ron have both reminded me of my original intent for entering this conversation.
    It has become an argument of circles, retracing the same paths over and over again.
    So I would like to end my comments on this subject with a clarification.

    Nan and Ron and I were in similar places in our religious life. ( Assuming I have understood their comments correctly.)
    All had embraced the teachings, accepted the promise of heaven, even enjoying a club like atmosphere of sharing a belief system with those who believed similarly.
    Nan and Ron began to question the veracity of the teachings, found no answer to satisfy the depth of their questions, and left the religious environment to find their own way.
    They both seem satisfied with their choices after many years.

    Conversely, I found myself in a place of wondering why I was struggling with unhappiness and dissatisfaction in my own life. It seemed to me that my religious upbringing wasn’t doing anything for me, but, I wasn’t questioning my beliefs as much as I was troubled by a scripture I had come across that had emblazoned itself on my brain.
    “You Must Be Born Again!”
    The words would not go away.
    When I cried out to the God that I believed existed, but that I had never gotten to know, miraculously (I say miraculously because of the process involved in those two small pieces of paper being in the path that I would soon cross) I received an answer. Almost immediately.
    The answer really changed my life. That day. That moment.
    Is it possible, I ask you, that God intervenes in our lives in seemingly insignificant ways, just waiting for the time when we want to find him, and, then, drawing us to himself?
    It could be a piece of paper on the floor, a random act of kindness from one his children, or his words spoken from one of his children directly to you.
    Maybe Nan and Ron found what they were seeking…a life in which they could decide what is best for them.
    I hadn’t done too well with that track.
    Maybe, because of my own frailty, I found what I was seeking, a ruler who loved me, knew me, made me. I found a purpose I had never known, a joy that came even in times of sorrow and loss.

    I know you guys ask for evidence.
    You’re right that I can’t satisfy your questions.
    I could never come back to your way.
    I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Until next time.
    It’s been a joy.
    Randy Epps

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Is that what you gleaned from my last post?
        On that day in1978, I experienced the presence and intervention of the invisible God.
        That day I made peace with Him.
        On that day I received peace from Him.
        He gave me His Spirit and my desires and approach to life changed.
        He began the process of revealing himself to me, tiny little bits at a time.

        How could I deny him?

        I’m just sorry that Nan and Ron turned away instead of recognizing His presence in their lives.

        Can I be wrong? On so many issues, yes.
        On the presence of God, never.

        Let God be true and every man a liar.

        In His grip,
        And still learning,
        Randy

        Liked by 1 person

        1. On the presence of God, never.

          You have acknowledged that it was faith, not evidence, that caused your born again experience. Therefore, on what evidential grounds are you adamant that your experience was anything more than a result of emotional issues which you have already admitted you were having problems with.
          As all the former Christians who deconverted (at least here and others I have read) have stated their beliefs were based on unfounded/unevidenced premises, often due to similar emotional issues ( including cultural and childhood indoctrination), how can you be adamant that your experience was unique from every other former Christian, especially in light of the fact such experiences can be induced under laboratory conditions?

          Like

          1. You didn’t answer the question, a common feature of the fundamentalist born-again sects.
            Let me try again and see if you can show a little integrity.
            …. how can you be adamant that your experience was unique from every other former Christian, especially in light of the fact such experiences can be induced under laboratory conditions?

            Like

          2. Ark, I don’t think anything I have to say will satisfy you.
            I have a lot of my friends who agree with the premise that you must be born again.
            Most of them seem to have the understanding and relationship with the living God that I have.
            I have countless friends, all Christians who don’t seem to understand me.
            I have non Christian friends who respect me for the person they see in everyday life.
            The difference between you and I seems to be that I accept a spiritual realm of life that is only evidenced on a spiritual plane (though “plane” seems to not fit the depth of the spiritual experience.
            I used to not be aware of this realm at all, until that day.
            It doesn’t seem that someone who never experienced something could adamantly tell someone that there is no such thing.
            But, since you decide the evidence you require, I cannot meet your criteria, and I certainly cannot assume what happened to your friends who had it then decided it wasn’t real.
            All I can tell you, the experiences described by believers before me, that line up with the teaching in the Book, also have been experienced on some level by me.
            Not that I am already there, but I am moving toward Him, instead of away from Him.
            A lot of improving still left, though.
            Sorry if I haven’t answered your questions well.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. Yet again you have failed to answer the question, demonstrating your complete lack of integrity in this regard.

            Please stay away from children.

            Like

          4. Ark, I don’t think anything I have to say will satisfy you. I have a lot of my friends who agree with the premise that you must be born again. Most of them seem to have the understanding and relationship with the living God that I have. I have countless friends, all Christians who don’t […]

            I do admire Randy’s determination to penetrate your brain Ark… But only God can do this !! Have a great day !! 🙂

            Like

          5. You could at least state you have no evidence and all you believe is based solely on faith, brought on by emotional issues.

            Like

          6. “Ark, I don’t think anything I have to say will satisfy you”
            Randy, I am amazed at how long you struggle to help these people !! I too, spent countless hours years ago… You are right !! Nothing you say will satisfy them… Only God is capable of unblinding them to the truth that indeed, the Holy Spirit, when He indwells you and I…changes our lives forever… Just pray for them…

            Blessings in Christ, bruce

            Like

          7. @ Godsawfulpornmanforever.
            As you can see, Bruce, your ”help” is neither asked for or wanted, so let me give you a friendly piece of spiritual advice … Fuck Off!

            Like

          8. It is an open thread. I’ll respond whenever I see fit.
            I reiterate, as you cannot provide evidence what the hell are you still doing here?
            Is this all to stroke your fragile ego?
            Why don’t you go and preach to your wife and tell her how much of a sinner she is?

            Like

          9. Bruce … you wrote that you spent “countless hours years ago…” in your attempts to save Ark and all his heathen friends. And yet no one has rushed to your god and shouted “Hallelujah! I’m saved!” Could it be that no one is interested? Or perhaps, as many have indicated, they’ve “been there, done that” and found it all a big waste of time.

            Do you think maybe … perhaps … possibly … those “countless hours” might have been better spent by doing as your god instructed and providing for those in need; e.g., donating time at the food bank, helping out at the local shelter, assisting in sorting donations for the homeless …

            A little twist on an old saying … actions speak louder than prayers.

            Liked by 1 person

        2. The grip you mention is correct, Your brain has you in this over emotional pleasurable grip and you feel God is so real you can practically touch him, and that is great for you, your overwhelming need for God is like an addict needs his drug. In fact they are so much alike the chemicals and neurons in the human brain are known to activate the same part of the brain that creates emotive pleasure when drugs, music and sex are involved.

          You are therefore really worshiping your own brain, this will not enable an eternal life in heaven I am sorry to say.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Wow! I must have some brain to keep this going for forty one and a half years.
            Addicted to God. I think I like that. Thanks sklyjd! (What does that stand for?)

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Yes Randy, you do have some brain, we all do, but we all did not decide to have such a strong desire to embrace an ideology based solely on faith to have it literally control our lives and consequently allow our brains to emotionally manipulate our minds into what becomes a joyful experience but ultimately becomes a constricted state of mind for determining what is reality.

            SKLYJD are the initials of my daughter and deceased wife plus initials of a martial art I practiced for many years.

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          3. That’s great Randy, now that you understand why you are unable to rationalise your arguments or recognise what is factual and why you feel so gifted and rewarded to worship God, is it not time to start disassembling the fiction from the facts and the faith from the reality?

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          4. Why would I turn from my source of delight and joy? If you think this is some sort of mental illness, then let me tell you, this is the best mental illness EVER!

            Liked by 1 person

          5. @ Randy
            While many, may empathize there is no real problem that you are are suffering from the ”best mental illness EVER!”.
            Our only serious objection . and please believe me on this point – is that you wish to corrupt others, and especially children. with this supernatural garbage,
            That your doctrine requires you to infect susceptible minds with the ridiculous notion they are sinners and require salvation via a bloody human sacrifice is borderline insanity.
            Worse, your doctrine requires you to preach the vile notion of Hell, which demonstrates to all normal people that your ”best mental illness EVER” is merely mental.
            It’s obvious that you are steering clear of the video clip I posted for you on The Cage.

            But realise the longer you avoid such topics and continually sidestep the matter of evidence then you simply come come across as a schlenter.
            And while you may consider you are a martyr to the cause, reveling on the persecution promised by the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth, to all those who have been there done that you are nothing but an ignorant, disingenuous Arse Hat.

            Like

          6. Relax, Ark, smile.
            I’m not mentally ill. (Although, to be fair, that is exactly what a mentally ill person would say.)
            And, why would I feel persecuted.
            You give me a soapbox to share all my convictions.
            This is a great life!

            Like

          7. Indoctrination is truly a form of mental manipulation and manifests as an illness dependent on how extreme it becomes. The Waffen SS Nazi battalions were a good example of how extreme indoctrination or brain washing in an ideology and a strict doctrine can become to pollute the minds of what were thousands of normal rational people.

            Of course I do not mean you are about to become a violent soldier, I am simply making a point knowing that theists at your level of ideological acceptance will always reject that indoctrination plays any part in influencing their beliefs, just as any SS soldier would reject that Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party had indoctrinated him. It may be a great life for you but not so much for some of your young indoctrinated victims, just as many young SS soldiers eventually discovered.

            Liked by 1 person

          8. @ Randy

            I’m not mentally ill. (Although, to be fair, that is exactly what a mentally ill person would say.)

            Well …. you said it.

            Like

    1. Randy Epps: “I hope you find what you are looking for.”

      Zoe: Randy, in your dialogue here did Nan &/or Ron indicate that they were looking for something? Someone?

      The implication at the end of your comment indicates they are “without” and your hope is that they find something, someone. Maybe they have.

      Maybe because of our own strength we were able to love ourselves, to know ourselves and find a purpose we had never known. A joy unlike anything we had ever known as well.

      It is difficult to understand for sure.

      You are at peace.

      So are we.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Possibly.

          Just meeting him at his word.

          From my own experience as a Christian, I could be in “not a place of peace” so-to-speak however the promise of His presence is technically, peace. So though not practically at peace, technically yes.

          Like

          1. I use to grow potatoes. A lot! Loved them. We’ve downsized greatly due to increasing infirmity but the odd day I am so temped to throw another tater in the soil. Maybe this year. We’ve grown garlic for years. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          2. We have sandy soil. Good growing soil with lots of composting soil thrown in over the years. I have never done anything special in growing garlic. Not a thing, no sprays. Never read how to grow it. Just took dad’s garlic bulb, broke them up, planted just under the soil and inch or so with the tip pointing up and wait. Dad grew them in clay soil and they actually grew bigger and fuller than mine.

            I have grown it from the seeds of the flower after it has bloomed. It grows like grass. When it gets to looking about 5 inches (2.5 cm = 1 inch) then they are easy to separate and plant individually. Here I am able to leave them in all winter and they continue growing and dividing as spring and summer continue. I grow them in all the gardens amongst the various plants as well. I find it keeps the bunnies from eating the lily leaves.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. One thing, though, Zoe. If I really believe the things I say are true, how would you feel about me if I purposely withheld them from a certain group of people?
        I am told by my Lord, to share this message of Life with the world.
        Ark invited believers to give evidence.
        I accepted his invitation.

        For me to fold my hands and quietly sit on the message of a free gift of eternal life seems a bit selfish, cruel, and uncaring.

        If you think I am an idiot, feel sorry for me.

        But, the things I share I share out of love and concern.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If you really believe the things you say are true Randy, I am not your judge. If the things you say are true Randy, you have only one judge. If God did say you are to accept Ark’s invitation than you are commanded to obey your Lord.

          As a Christian I was often reminded that the burden of always answering an invitation may in fact be beyond my pay grade and that the words in the Bible you believe are not about the “whole” world. Jesus Himself suffered from exhaustion finding times away from the crowd and He was God, according to your real beliefs.

          I don’t think you are an idiot. Nor do I feel sorry for you. I think we all carry burdens and messages of hope. It’s the human experience.

          My mother carries a burden and a belief, spreading hope and she too cannot sit on her hands quietly. She despairs that her children do not believe as she believes. She believes she is to evangelize her faith in aliens who are already here and yet to come. She carries a heavy load. She is to be obedient and inform her children and anyone who will hear for the hope that is within her and yet to come. Her mission is so strong that daily there is no rest for her and she cannot examine the past, nor the present. She obeys her masters and looks to the future.

          Is she an idiot? Do you feel sorry for her?

          The things she shares are out of love and concern.

          Like you, she is saved.

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Ark invited believers to give evidence.

          The problem is simple.
          You haven’t given any evidence and cannot demonstrate the veracity of a single claim you make. Furthermore, because of what you say happens to non-believers who do not adhere to your god’s commands, the indoctrination of kids, and the outright hate speech as excreted by people such as Billy Graham’s son you should be obliged to Put up or Shut the Fark up.

          Like

        3. To Randy — and any other believer —

          If you are truly living a Christ-like life (and ALL that entails), you wouldn’t need to say a word about your faith because it would show in your actions.

          This is the point that so many Christians are simply unable to understand. Words are meaningless. Your LIFE is your witness.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. If he … or any Christian … wants to “live as Christ,” there are several instructions to follow. Of course, it’s far more convenient to pick and choose.

            What (too many) Christians seem to get hung up on is that “command” to bring others into the fold. There’s SO MUCH MORE to being a true believer, but hey … some of those things just don’t fit their lifestyle.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Except for fear of eternal flames Nan.

            I don’t believe words are meaningless. To a believer words save. One is compelled to speak even beyond their non-verbal witness when hell is real.

            There is a tension filled with anxiety. For many the reality is gut-wrenching. Not speaking for Randy. Speaking as one who remembers. ❤

            Like

  26. Ok, Ark, here is what I think about this whole business about evidence.

    I definitely feel that the “fine tuning argument” in the absence of objective and conclusive proof of a multi verse is by far the strongest sign post toward the existence of a creator. While not foolproof, it is certainly very powerful to me. In a sense, it would take far more faith for me to become a non theist.

    But, here is the first place we are sure to run into trouble together. This cannot prove the existence of a specific person called, “Yahweh.” It is simply one of the many names that the ancient Hebrews used to refer to their experience of God.

    And, as I’ve shared, my view relating to the OT is more nuanced and mixed.

    I base my Christian faith more in the experience of the incarnation, how God is revealed in the person of Christ. And, for that we need to get into proofs which point toward the reality of the resurrection…Unfortunately, as I’ve found on Gary’s blog, the “evidence” that is quite convincing to me concerning the apostolic witness is not to others. The conversation could go back and forth forever, especially if the person’s thinking is wholly culturally conditioned by naturalism. Of course, then any reference to the miraculous seems delusional and just crazy. I don’t know how to work through this with someone, Ark. But, I’m actually able to understand their thinking.

    But, here is my final observation. I think for many people the deciding issue is not really objective evidence at all.

    Either as I have mentioned, there are so influenced by naturalism, it is impossible for them to be anything close to objective. Or, they have such a terrible, monsterous view of God, that, my Lord, who would want to know Him anyway. I would be running the other direction myself.

    Then an even more complex issue presents itself with people who are “deconverts” whose faith was primarily fear-based, maybe mixed with some OCD which led to scrupulosity, hurtful experiences in the church, God knows what else…Why would someone even want God if their faith just led them to pain, or lose of freedom, Ark?

    In reality, they are looking for good reasons not to believe, and attempting to work to reinforce skepticism.

    It is a tangled knot to unwind. Here is my bottom line as a Christian believer. I want the thing which is going to lead people to the greatest joy, the deepest peace, the most meaning for their lives, not to just win an argument.

    So, for some folks, if right now this is atheism, so be it. Well, I should qualify this, as long as the person is working to address the deeper issues and not simply blaming religion.

    On the other side, for many a healthy and balanced faith can be quite healing and freeing in their lives.

    We can trust the love and mercy of God. And, hey, I’m open, if I’m wrong about any of this. I understand that I’m not completely unbiased, either. No one is, Ark.

    Well, I’m out of town for several days, cross-country skiing, although the weather looks far from promising. I’m hopeful. Will check in from time to time and listen to the comments.

    Like

    1. I can’t be bothered to even read past your pathetic assertion re fine tuning.
      You’re an ignoramus.
      But I’ll throw you a bone. Read or watch Sean Carroll and stay away from Dickheads such as William Lane Craig, or John Lennox

      But feel free to stay as I am sure there are a few who will relish engaging your fundamentalist drivel.

      Like

    2. Here I go again.

      Becky: “Either as I have mentioned, there are so influenced by naturalism, it is impossible for them to be anything close to objective.”

      Zoe: Either as I have mentioned, they are so influenced by theism, it is impossible for them to be anything close to objective.

      Becky: “Or, they have such a terrible, monsterous view of God, that, my Lord, who would want to know Him anyway. I would be running the other direction myself.”

      Zoe: Now where would anyone get a “monsterous view of God?”

      Becky: “Then an even more complex issue presents itself with people who are “deconverts” whose faith was primarily fear-based, maybe mixed with some OCD which led to scrupulosity, hurtful experiences in the church, God knows what else…Why would someone even want God if their faith just led them to pain, or lose of freedom, Ark?”

      Zoe: You are always bringing up OCD with a sprinkle of scrupulosity and there’s those “experiences” again.

      Becky: “In reality, they are looking for good reasons not to believe, and attempting to work to reinforce skepticism.”

      Zoe: In reality, you are looking for good reasons to believe, attempting to work to reinforce your theism.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. Nan, you have hit the nail right on the head, as you often do. Our life is our witness. Doesn’t the Scripture say that without love we are nothing more than “noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.” The focus should be on reflecting the love of Christ rather than “being right” or simply winning an argument.

    But, let’s face it. We are all human, and can fall short of this, for sure.

    Like

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