The Gloves Are Off!

So far, I have been working on a post-series about the visionary origins of Christianity. I hope to have the last of the posts on the subject up by this weekend. One of the posts I am hoping to write is a detailed rebuttal to Christian apologist Jason Engwer. He has written a post attempting to critique what I have written. However, since I first encountered his post this past weekend, I have had a change in perspective. It was triggered by Jason's post. Part of it was the title. The title sounded very confrontational in tone. I thought that perhaps the title was more confrontational than Engwer had intended but as I skimmed through his post ( I won't attempt to really stomach it until I rebut it in a point-by-point fashion), I noticed that the confrontational tone of his title was no accident. I get the impression that he fully meant it to be as every bit confrontational as the main body of his critique is.

That's when it hit me- Christianity is a confrontational faith/religion. If people find it offensive, that's the way it's suppose to be. This is the reason why many Christian apologists, be it Jonathan Sarfati from Answers in Genesis, James P Holding/Robert Turkel of Tekton Apologetics, Jason Engwer of "Steve'N'Pals"...erm..."Triablouge" are confrontational in their tone. To be polite, friendly, and kind to the opposition is weak and looked down on as "whimpy". This is because Christianity is offensive. It's designed to be this way. Christianity is supposed to be offensive and confrontational to the world and is supposed to offend the world and its "sin". Christian apologists like Sarfati, Holding, and Engwer are confrontational and offensive for a good reason- their faith requires them to be. They won't be nice about it. Contrarily- their approach is a in-your-face, offensive approach that demands an answer from you and condemns you when you fail to give the answer that apologists want-which is conversion. Jason doens't care if I don't like Christianity- he's only interested in seeing me convert-which I cheerfully promise him will never happen. If he doesn't like it, I am not sure of how to tell him politely that I don't give a damn and that he can go to hell for all I care.

Christianity is offensive and confrontational and its intentionally suppose to be this way. If I recall correctly, I believe that my dad once delivered a sermon which he said something to the effect of "If the gospel doesn't make you feel uncomfortable, then you don't really belong in Church". He's right! That's because the gospel is confrontational and should make people feel uncomfortable. One's "comfort zone" is born out of compromise with the world. In my dad's opinion, if you are not running into the devil, it's because you're running in the same direction as him! It's the take-no-hostages, in-your-face, confrontational style of Christians like Engwer that is truly Christian.

Coming to this realization has made me aware of some really disturbing truths. First of all, I cannot be diplomatic with Christianity. How can you be diplomatic with something that's designed to offend and confront you, and, if you allow it to, bully you into confessing it's true and converting you? I learned this the hard way. There's no diplomacy. It's destroy or be destroyed. Secondly, this realization has made me painfully aware of an inconsistency that I have been evading for some time now that I can evade no longer because I am tired of being a whimp about it. Christians live by a double-standard. Christians think it's wonderful for a Christian to convert an atheist to being a Christian but think it's horrible for an atheist to convert a Christian to being an atheist. If Christians are allowed to convert non-Christians, then shouldn't non-Christians be allowed to convert Christians?

Third, many many Christians seem to think that they can be as rude, self-righteous, as spiteful as they want to disbelievers such as atheists, yet atheists have to go out of their way to be as polite, friendly, and kind to Christians, to the point of almost tip-toeing around egg-shells or else Christians scream "Persecution!" Atheists have to be as sweet as pie to Christians but many Christians think they can treat atheists as dirt poor as they like. Fourth, many Christians have no qualms whatsoever about imposing their beliefs on others through personal evangelism, filling the airwaves and television channels with their creeds, yet seem utterly indignant when atheists might do the same. Many Christians have no care in the world that what they say may offend or insult others.

Why is this the case? I fear that it all boils down to what I call an "argument over veracity". If you ask a Christian why Christians can evangelize but atheists shouldn't, many Christians will respond, "That's because our beliefs are true!" If you ask them why they can be as mean to atheists as they like, many will respond "Well atheists are God-haters and so they're going to Hell anyways, so what does it matter? I am still right and they're still wrong so it doesn't matter how I treat them. At least I am right and that's all that matters!" The reason for this, many Christians argue, is because what they believe is true and us damn atheists are just going to have to learn to accept it and get saved!

I say "No!" I refuse to treat Christians with respect while they walk all over me! I refuse to stand by and watch them try and convert while I am suppose to shut up and do nothing. I refuse to let them offend me and just take whatever abuse they dish out while I am nothing but kind to them! I believe that I was a big fool in trying a peaceful and diplomatic approach! If Christians like Engwer can be confrontational, then so can I! If truth and facts are to prevail, then I need to be confrontational! If Jason is looking for a fight, I am pleased to give him one! If he wants to be confrontational...perfect! I plan to give the poor sod a run for his money! If he wants to fight bare-handed, my gloves are coming off then, too!

It's my belief that Christianity is best debunked in a confrontational style! We cannot be nice guys to such a nasty and offensive belief-system. No. To fight it, we have to be informed, and we have to be confident! We have to go on the offense! To this end, I have decided to go evangelical with my atheism and I have decided to actively convert people to skeptical freethought! The buck doesn't stop here though. I plan to actively fight folks like Sarfati, Holding, and Engwer to the very end. I just thank Jason Engwer for opening my eyes up and seeing him for what he really is! I thank Jason; I hope he's itching for a war because he has one if he wants one! I have decided to become a militant skeptic and an evangelical atheist- and I credit this decision to Jason Engwer!

The gloves are off! The war has began!

Matthew

42 comments:

Gene Cook, Jr. said...

so you wanna fight for a non-belief?

Brilliant.

Matthew said...

No, I want to fight against your repugnant beliefs in Jesus' resurrection, biblical inerrancy, and all of that nonsense. I am both fighting for secular humanism, and against your deathly repugnant religion, Gene.

Take your self-righteous condenscension and blow it out your nose!

Matthew

Morne said...

Good for you! And thank you for putting to words that has been bothering me abouth the christian religion for a long time. Now it is easier to see/understand…

About the "persecution" mentality or whatever it is called, you are 100% correct in saying the christians like and want to be persecuted! "Being persecuted" makes them feel that what they believe in is "true", it justifies their faith. It gives them a false sense of being part of the spiritual fight of "good" vs. "evil". I used to imagine angels and demons fighting around us… ohhh I had such an imaginary mind ;-)

Do you know the real reason why Christians were persecuted by the Roman Empire?

Conventional histories presented a picture of early Christians as peaceable souls, unjustly persecuted. This picture could only have arisen because historical writing was monopolized by the church for many centuries, and there was no compunction about changing the falsified records. Pagan Rome did not persecute religious minorities! "It never disputed the existence or reality of other deities, and the addition of a new member to the Pantheon was a matter of indifference ... [All] deities of all peoples were regarded as but manifestations of the one supreme deity." Dionysus, Venus, and Priapus were honoured co-residents of the temple of Isis in Pompeii. Italian and Greek deities were together in the temple of Mithra at Ostia. All deities were willing to co-exist except the Christian one. The Christian church alone "has always held the toleration of others to be the persecution of it self." As early as 382 CE the church officially declared that any opposition to its own creed in favour of others must be punished by the death penalty.

Contrary to the conventional mythology, Christians were not prosecuted under Roman law for being Christians but for committing evil crimes. They caused riots, "often tumultuously interrupted the public worship, and continually railed against the national religion." They seem to have been guilty of vandalism and arson. Christians set the Great Fire in 64 CE who were, "anxiously waiting for the world to end by fire and who did at times start fires in order to prompt God." Crying that the world would end at any moment, Christian fanatics sometimes developed the notion that starting the fires of the final holocaust would redound to their credit in heaven. At least one saint was canonized for no particular reason other than having been an arsonist: St. Theodore, whose sole claim to fame was burning down the temple of the Mother of the Gods.

Many Christians will disagree with you that they are not “controversial” or hardcore in their attitude towards people of other or no faiths. They might be right, but they forget that it is their faith and not them that is controversial. The more a Christian live according to and immerge themselves in the Christian religion, the more controversial they will become (unknowing to most of them) because the bible and their dogma insists on it.

If it was not for people like Matthew and all the other like him that speaks out against organized religions (that insists on converting others to their “truth”) then we would still be stoning people in the street, woman would not have any rights and we would still be a few hundred years behind in where we are today in all areas of life.

The reason the Christian faith is so confronting, controversial and even aggressive is that it is a “Mind Virus” that is fighting for its survival, continuation and expansion in other “hosts”.

To get back to the point, I like to give my support to Mathew and others in the fight against this religion that if it is given the chance will consume everyone around it. I agree and understand when Mathew says that we can not play “nice”. It is frustrating but the Christian religion and others like it, will not allow it. For these religions there is NO COMPROMISE, so why should we, or how can we compromise in what we believe? If we do we can just as well accept this religion into our live (again) and live a life of Blind Faith and get it over and done with.

Just to be CLEAR, I do not mean a physical fight or war but a “spiritual” one.

Brad said...

Coming from a guy who has been intellectually bludgeoned every time he opens his mouth this is quite laughable. We're all pretty scared now!

John W. Loftus said...

Matthew. Sorry it has to be this way, but Christians make it so.

Brad, Matthew has no more been bludgeoed every time he opens his mouth than I have.

Emanuel Goldstein said...

There is no compromise from atheists...when they are in power.

The record is clear; when practitioners of atheistically based philosophies have political control they attempt to exterminate believers without compromise.

The believer has to either reject God completely or pay the consequences.

Atheists killed a 100 MILLION people in the 20th century alone...no amount of equivocating can change that.

Daniel said...

I sincerely hope you aren't counting Hitler as an atheist. The anti-semitism that gave rise to the Holocaust can be unequivocally laid at the feet of medieval Christianity.

See here for support of that fact.

Stalin's delusions (and those of every communist regime) were no better than a religion in themselves -- the absolution of freedom and property for some summa bonum, one which existed only as an ideal, and was enforced upon subjects involuntarily. Hell, Stalin learned his best tricks from Christendom, in how to kill off the voice of dissent.

Madmen are madmen, whether God-believers or not.

eddie said...

Atheists killed a 100 MILLION people in the 20th century alone...no amount of equivocating can change that.
Uhm, please DO tell us which of these monsters proclaimed:
I am going to kill these people in the NAME of atheism?

Sadly though, all your wars have been fought IN THE NAME of your god or his will.

Bahnsen Burner said...

Orwell's ghost writes: "Atheists killed a 100 MILLION people in the 20th century alone...no amount of equivocating can change that."

Christians are always telling me that atheists "borrow" their morality from the Christian worldview. It's clear that the atheists charged here are the individuals they have in mind.

Regards,
Dawson

Sandalstraps said...

Atheists killed a 100 MILLION people in the 20th century alone...no amount of equivocating can change that.

Hmmm...

I'm not sure that this assertion is even true, but I'll leave that aside for the moment. A relavant question is this:

Assuming it is in fact the case that atheists a 100 MILLION people in the 20th century, which is by no means a given, is their atheism in any way related to their killing, or is it merely an incedental attribute?

That is, assuming the genocidal maniacs in question (I assume the author of this comment is refering to prevalance of genocide in the 20th century) are in fact atheists, are they acting out of their atheism when they kill? Is their atheism a necessary condition for their murder?

It would, I think, take a great deal of arguing to demonstrate that.

Many of the debates here fail to identify relevant information, and often misidentify incidental attributes as being somehow relevant. As such Christianity is often (and sometimes rightly, when the arguments are well constructed or point to some obvious truth) blamed for the sins of Christians whose Christianity is often incidental to their evil. Similarly, the actions of members of other religions, ideologies, and non-religions are used to discredit whatever it is thatthey are said to be affiliated with.

This is, of course, the worst sort of ad hominem attack, unless, of course, the person making the attack builds some sort of argument to demonstrate how the ideological affiliations of someone whose acts are morally abhorant has in some serious way influenced their morally abhorant actions. If such an argument is made, and made convincingly, then you have a serious indictmenmt of at least the form of the ideology/religion/world-view, etc. which has given rise to such actions.

The comment in question, however, attempts no such argument, and is as such absolute nonsense, which does nothing whatsoever to further a serious discussion.

As for the earlier comments by Mourne, which claim that the "real" reason Christians were persecuted by Rome is because they committed heinous crimes, such a novel statement could use some supporting evidence, rather than an authoritative assertion. I know that the comments section of a blog is not the best place to provide fully supported historical assertions, so I will assume that the commenter has some supporting evidence which has not been offered here because of space and time constraints. However, I can say that Mourne's comments by no means represent the consensus of historians on the issue.

Of course, neither does the traditional Christian line, which presents an uninterrupted and systematic string of persecution of Christians at the hands of an "evil" Rome. The truth (to the extent that there is such a thing) may be best represented by the observations of Hans Kung in his mammoth Christianity: Essence, History, and Future (the English translation of Christentum: Wessen und Geschichte), in which he argues that the persecution of Christians tended to be local and sporadic, rather than sustained and systematic.

Mourne's comments would have us believe that Christians in the Roman Empire acted as a group, committing atrocities and as such deserved persecution at the hands of the civil authorities. While it is written with an air of authority to it, and in the language of scholarship, without some serious support it is in for little if any better than Mr. Goldstein's assertion about atheists and genocide.

Jeremy said...

I used to worship in a Christian church with a guy who would attack and demean anyone that disagreed with his understanding of Christianity. He berated me even though I was a Christian.

Some people inherently feel threatened when their beliefs are questioned. This happens regardless of their political or religious beliefs.

It is unfortunate that you were attacked Matthew, but it has more than likely happened to all of us that have questioned our beliefs and the beliefs of others. I hope that you don’t take your anger of these ignorant people and treat all people that disagree with you with that rage and sense of “war”.

I may disagree with you, but thus far, based on your previous posts I don’t see any reason to attack your credibility, integrity, or honesty and I hope you’ll treat me the same way. In that you will read my words for what they are and determine if I am being unreasonable and irrational.

As I started writing publicly I too have been attacked (more on the political front than the religious one). One good thing I’ve learned from the experience is thick skin. I don’t really hold any animosity towards the people that hate me for what I say. If someone is unwilling to logically and reasonably talk about the issues then I pity them and move on.

Good luck and I hope you don’t let these whackos get under your skin too much. In some respects these types of people aren’t worth our time.

Please don’t take this as advice I just wanted to let you know about some of my experiences and the fact that those of us that are really searching for the truth are often impeded by the old guard.

Bullfrog said...

How is atheism NOT a religion?

Obviously, by your belief that Christians are NOT free thinkers or skeptics, you are of the lot that thinks intellectual suicide is a pre-requisite to being a Bible believing Christian.

I have yet to meet the person that can make a case for Atheism, against the Bible.

Mark Plus said...

Regarding the facts about atheists, consider that 200 years ago, during Thomas Jefferson's presidency, the world's population numbered about 800 million and almost everyone professed some religion or another. You couldn't find enough atheists for a good poker game back then. Today we have over 6 billion people, and about 800 million of them profess no religion at all (which makes them effectively atheistic).

In other words, by the demographic standards of the early 19th Century, we have a planet full of atheists, or at least nonbelievers. For some reason christians don't want to deal with the explosive growth in the numbers of people who thrive without believing in a god. Secular humanists who argue that they represent the wave of the future have considerable empirical evidence in their support.

Emanuel Goldstein said...

Hitler despised Christianity as a Jewish invention.

At times he gave lip serive to it, but according to Speer in Inside the Third Reich he despised it.

Bormann and Rauschnigg reported the same thing.

In other words, Hitler was a liar, like many politicians.

BUT I AM NOT COUNTING HITLER IN THE TOTAL OF 100 MILLION KILLED BY ATHEISTS IN THE 20TH CENTURY ALONE!

Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were indisputably adherents to the atheistic philosphy of dialectial materialism.

They struck out at believers BECAUSE OF THEIR ATHEISM...they rightly saw the believers as a threat to their power.

Their work alone accounts for AT LEAST 100 Million dead, not counting those tortured, such as my grandparents.

(The Black Book of Communism, Harvard University Press)

Your equivocations can't hide this huge open sore on world history.

DagoodS said...

Ahh…Blog wars. Like mud wrestling. The only “winners” are those that stay out of the ring, eating popcorn, and enjoy the show. Having said that, I foolishly lift the rope and enter—hoping to stay clean, rationally understanding how muddy I am about to come.

Good on ya, Matthew. You have decided that your form of communication is to be confrontational. Sometimes the shock value of talking to atheists can cause a person to pause and re-think their position.

But I was left a bit confused. You seem to first be disparaging the confrontational nature of (some) Christians, and then immediate state that you will assume the same methodology. If you don’t like it, why employ it?

Look, if you enjoy a good fight, like to rouse people up, thrill in an “in-your-face” style—GREAT! Past experience has shown me that many jurors like to see a down-and-dirty fight between two lawyers. Some of us like the person that sticks up and is not afraid to speak their mind, regardless of the consequences. If that is what you desire and strive to be—immerse yourself in it.

But on the other hand, why be surprised if those that oppose you also engage in such tactics?

We discuss with Christians. To you or I, talking about whether the rock rolled from the tomb to the North or the South can be an interesting intellectual exercise. To a Christian talking to another Christian—likewise. But when Christians and non-believers engage, the stakes are raised. To a Christian, this is about eternity. This is more important than life on earth, or the planet, or even other humans. “God” transcends all of that to a Christian.

Imagine you called my wife a pig. To literally billions of others, this is would be merely a statement, of little note, and not even that interesting. But to me, it is a terrible insult, upon which I would focus my attention and response. To a Christian, many of the things we say are the equivalent of stating their spouses are pigs. Is it any surprise that merely discussing which way a rock rolled is reviewed with heavy scrutiny, and responded to with more than just a casual reaction?

It's my belief that Christianity is best debunked in a confrontational style!

I heartily disagree. There is no “best” way. Christianity can be debunked by demonstration, by argument, by proof, by confrontation, by encouragement and by a vastly differing number of methods.

The blog purpose above states, “With the diversity of our combined strengths…” (emphasis added.)

Beliefs in theism are made up distinct varieties of people. Just like chess clubs, governments, and afternoon get-togethers. Some people relate on an emotional scale, some intellectual, some on proofs, some on study, and some on quiet contemplation. Much of the strength of this blog is that it is NOT one contributor, but various individuals with different styles, tastes, and knowledge. I enjoy it because I learn from you, too.

We cannot be nice guys to such a nasty and offensive belief-system.

I heartily agree. Upon exiting Christianity, I see the pervasive, subtle way in which it causes huge divides, and overwhelming harm within people. It has always been, and always will be deeply rooted in a sense of fear and prejudice.

However, I try to keep in mind that the system is made of people. And because it is made up of humans, we end up with the whole gamut from mean to nice to loving to hating to quiet to loud and so on. Skeptics, too, are made up from a similar gamut, and confrontational Christians could match up nicely with confrontational skeptics.

But there are also Christians that are decent folk, very intelligent, and are trying to believe the right way. And I find it impossible within me, when talking with those people, to differentiate between being “nasty” to their belief system, and being “nice” to them. So I, personally, err on the side of nice.

Good luck with the confrontational Matthew. I know many Christians will enjoy it, and I will look forward to munching popcorn on the side. Please, just don’t be disappointed if they respond in kind.

Mark Plus said...

Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were indisputably adherents to the atheistic philosphy of dialectial materialism.

Perhaps, but they persecuted believers in religions you don't respect any way, unless you profess Russian Orthodox Christianity, Confucianism or Buddhism.

brad said...

John,

I've read your posts. Stick to the day job.

Morne said...

Sandalstrap said: "While it is written with an air of authority to it, and in the language of scholarship, without some serious support it is in for little if any better than Mr. Goldstein's assertion about atheists and genocide."

Well, here is one source: A DISCOURSE ON THE WORSHIP OF PRIAPUS - RICHARD PAYNE KNIGHT [1786]

John W. Loftus said...

Brad, you can say anything you want to, but until you've actually interacted with what I've written, it means nothing.

Emanuel said...

Atheists are liars.

They know God exists.

They will simply go to any lengths to deny it.

Shining and Burning Light said...

DagoodS has made some perceptive comments (notice I said some). Our tendency is to treat other people in kind. The debate between atheism and Christianity is a confrontation. Let there be no doubt about that. There is spiritual warfare involved. When we consider the example of the Lord Jesus Christ we see that He treated people differently according to their position. For example, He sternly rebuked the religious hypocrites who proclaimed one thing with their mouth and lived differently from what they said. These religious leaders, by virtue of their position as teachers of the people in the things of God, merited the harsh rebuke. To the rich young ruler He patiently answered the questioning seeker. To the blind man who had faith, He healed him. To the thief on the cross, He saved him. We are commanded to love our enemies, and we long to do that in a manner pleasing to the Lord. Many of you have some familiarity with the Scriptures (not understanding, but familiarity), how ought we respond? Always with sweetness? I'm not defending a brash unkindness here, but do you see what I mean? You can try to convert Christians to atheism, but the fact is no true Christian can be taken from the fold. I'm not afraid of your new resolve, but don't be offended when Christians seek to defend the King. I have no animosity toward you guys, in fact I'm very saddened about where you are right now, and I mean that very sincerely. One who has been ignorant of God has his own culpability, but one who has seen something of the truth and rejected it is in an awful place. I know you think that is a bunch of bunk, but I say it anyway. Well, I chimed in, if my comments make it on your site, you can begin berating me now. Thanks for listening...

Matthew said...

Shining,

I don't mind you chiming in and adding your two cents in. Naturally, I disagree with you and because you chose a humble and peaceful tone for your response- I have no intention whatsoever of berating you. I just wish more Christians would be like you. What I have a problem with is folks like Brad. Brad is typical of the arrogant, cocky, and self-righeous, Church-sewer rats who try to infect the population with their self-righteous filth and pseudo-intellectual apologetics.

I was actually consider challenging Brad to a debate but he may well just be a complete waste of sperm. But, Shining, your comments did make it through and I appreciate your humble tone.

Matthew

John W. Loftus said...

Matthew, I am confrontational in the sense that I seek to argue with believers. I can argue forcefully at times. I am also an evangelical atheist in that I think believers would be better off rejecting Christianity too.

But offensive? Hmmm. I know some Christians have been offensive with us here at DC. Other Christians have even noted their tone and said it doesn't reflect well on the Christian faith.

I don't consider myself offensive, although I have gotten a bit upset at times. But whenever I return a tit for a tat, it's because they first threw it at me. Although, sometimes it takes a better man to take some of what they throw at you, just not all of it.

I prefer to let my arguments do the talking, and I try to remain cool calm and collected whenever possible, sometimes even throwing back humor in the face of their attacks.

There is a middle ground where I won't take that much from them, but at the same time realizing that such things, coming from them, reveal their ignorance and their evangelical faith for what it is.

Emanuel Goldstein said...

Leon Trotsky was an "evangelical atheist" riding around Russia in his armoured train at the head of the Red Army and going out of his way to kill priests and believers who would not submit to the ATHEIST STATE...the first officially atheist state in history.

He famously remarked, "Atheism gave me the courage to do the hard deeds, the necessary deeds".

And the hard deeds were not just taking out the garbage and doing the laundry.

I suppose that, even for him, burning a church full of believers was a "hard deed".

Your evasions will not erase from the memory of mankind the moral cesspool created by atheists in the 20th century.

Matthew said...

Brad seems to have arrogantly strutted in here and said that I have been intellectually-bludgeoned every time I open my mouth! That's interesting- by whom? By Jason Engwer? How have I been intellectually-defeated...wait...no...blundgeoned? Where? By whom?

I was a bit amused by Brad's sneering arrogance and considered challenging him to a debate. I doubt it's worth it because I believe I recognize his species- right up there with Robert Turkel; intellectually arrogant and cannot ever admit defeat even when he ass has been roasted and handed to him on a platter. Brad is little more than an arrogant, Church-sewer rat who intends to infect our population with his self-righteous filth and crappy apologetics. The truly laughible part is Brad's arrogant opinion of his own intelligence- so many Christian apologist-wanna-bes have this.

If Brad wants to defend or argue for his nonsensical beliefs- I will be here to oppose him!

Matthew

Anonymous said...

Matthew, you have been whipped at every turn.

You have been turned into his intellectual bitch.

Shining and Burning Light said...

Matthew,

Thank you for your kind response. Remember that not all professing Christians are necessarily Christians. I'm not suggesting that anyone who has commented here as a Christian is not really one. I'm just saying that there are those who profess to be Christians who do not produce the fruits thereof. Christ said that you shall know them by their fruits. Now there are varying levels of sanctification among believers, the reality is that some are more mature than others. Every Christian seeks to grow in grace, though. We still have remaining sin that we struggle against, but we don't have reigning sin that rules over us. If some people are just trying to set you off--that is wrong. The comment just before me is a good example of this, right? Anyway, I'm sure a lot of what has shaped your view of Christianity is your experience with professing Christians. Now I'm sorry that your experience hasn't been very good, but don't let that determine your view of its claims (I know you have other reasons as well). I have been blessed to be in a church with a gracious group of sinners saved by grace who love the Lord and who bare the fruits of the Holy Spirit (i.e. love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal.5:22-23). They are not hypocrites. We have a 3 faithful Pastors who are dear men. I know them personally. So, Christianity is not all that it's portrayed to be through the experiences of you guys at DC. I'm sorry, but it's just not true.

Anyway, it's not all about debates, argumentation, and intellectual fights. God save me from a crazy and lost life, believe me. I am so thankful to know God through His Son, Jesus Christ. It's not Christianity that harms people, it's sin that harms people. That's my additional 2 cents....thanks

Shining and Burning Light said...

Uh, that should have been "saved" up there in my third to last sentence...

Mark Plus said...

emanuel goldstein wrote,

Leon Trotsky was an "evangelical atheist" riding around Russia in his armoured train at the head of the Red Army and going out of his way to kill priests and believers who would not submit to the ATHEIST STATE...the first officially atheist state in history.

Trotsky according to you went around killing believers in a form of christianity you probably consider wrong-headed, heterodox or even "satanic," unless you also belong to the Russian Orthodox Church. What makes him any different from the christians who went around murdering other christians who had different interpretations of the gospel? What makes him any different from the Western European christians who slaughtered orthodox christians during the Crusades? What makes him any different from the Protestants and Catholics who slaughtered each other during the Reformation and its aftermath? At least Trotsky didn't pretend that he had god's authority behind him for killing heretics.

Shining and Burning Light said...

All right, it wasn't my intention to hog up the comments here, but....

I think Emanual's point was that since Trotsky was an atheist he dehumanized various groups (since he didn't believe that man was created in the image of God)and murdered them to achieve his political ends. This obviously is not the case with every atheist, but it is a fruit of an atheistic belief system. How does it make him any different than the others you mentioned? Well, he had a different motive, but essentially it doesn't make him much different. I think we have to go back to your definition of "Christian". The Crusades were not a Christian movement biblically speaking. There is no command of God in the Scriptures for the Crusaders to do what they did (although I doubt you will complain about the results of what they did since you live in a free society instead of under Sharia law, which then would have made its' way over here, right?). Christians don't murder people. Murder is personal vengeance against another person that results in the taking of his or her life. Even in the case of the Protestant Reformers, misguided though they were on this issue, they carried out a judicial punishment when the case presented itself--they did not exercise personal vengeance . There were other factors involved as well, political, military, and otherwise. The mind set was different back then about how we should deal with heretics, etc. I'm not excusing them, but I am recognizing the fact. All that being said, murder is against the clear commandment of God "Thou shall not murder..", but murder under an atheistic system doesn't go beyond "you just shouldn't hurt other people", and in fact it can be justified when your morals are relative...

Matthew said...

An anonymous coward says "Matthew, you have been whipped at every turn.

You have been turned into his intellectual bitch."

And what do we have here? Another anonymous poster who is far too cowardly to make his or her presence known. You wouldn't be Brad's little bitch, by chance, would you? Why don't you grow a pair or stitch some on and come out into the open?

Matthew

Admin said...

Now if you don't believe in the Existence of God, what's your believe concerning the purpose of life?

The purpose of creation is a topic that puzzles every human being at some point in his or her lifetime. Everybody at some time or another asks themselves the question “Why do I exist?” or “For what purpose am I here on earth?”

Islam will give you the answer!

Now you might be thinking, "why Islam?" The question "why?" demands a rational answer. However, many people think that it is not possible to give rational answers to ideological commitments (by ideology, we mean a system of thought). They believe that a commitment to any theistic ideology is an irrational act. One cannot deny the fact that many people do commit themselves illogically to various ideologies and continue to hold onto them only because they find themselves to be raised up in particular communities. They accept such ideologies in just the same way as they would accept a traditional form of dress handed down to them through the generations. For example, a person might be deeply committed to a nationalistic ideology simply because it may be the best way to win the support of the masses and thereby gain personal political power.

Let us analyze two commonly found views regarding ideological commitments:

* The first states that a commitment to any ideology which involves some type of deity must necessarily be irrational.

The premise of those who say this is that the fundamental claims of all such ideologies are beyond the comprehension of the human mind. Those who have accepted such a premise have concluded that all types of such 'belief' must be based on irrational and imaginary thoughts rather than on reality.

* The opposite view is held by people who seek to justify their 'belief' in certain irrational ideas by claiming that reason is limited.

In fact, the followers of this ideology state that people should commit themselves to such ideas by simply having 'faith' (such as Christianity). The conclusion of these people is that ultimate reality must be irrational in essence and therefore incomprehensible to the human mind. They go on to say that their ideology must be accepted or 'believed' without reason, in order to attain some type of 'salvation'.

This kind of argument is very difficult to accept because as human beings, we may ask: What do we have other than the usage of our minds for acquiring knowledge? If we are told to 'believe' in something that is irrational (i.e. beyond all reason), such as a type of being which is both mortal and immortal, we cannot possibly digest such an idea. Therefore it does not seem unnatural for us to demand that our way of thinking and living be based solely upon those concepts which can be verified as being true.

Going back to the first view regarding ideological commitments, we see that this view contends that we cannot and should not believe in that which we cannot comprehend. The emphasis lies on the word comprehend, and so it must be defined. It is true that one cannot have an adequate mental picture of some mathematical and scientific facts. For example, one cannot have an adequate mental or visual picture of the curvature of space, or one of the mathematical concepts of infinity. Nor can we really have an adequate mental picture of the way in which certain animals experience things, such as the way in which bats 'see' by using ultrasonic waves. However, we know these concepts to be true because of solid evidence and not because of some non-rational ideas. Therefore we can say that we do indeed comprehend them.

Now what about the concept of a singular, all-knowing entity which has created the universe. It is impossible to have any mental or visual picture of such an entity, for evidence tells us that this entity must be unlike anything in the universe because this entity must be independent of space and time. The evidence for the existence of this single intelligence lies in the design of nature itself, which we can freely examine; hence, such an ideology is rational. If one realizes this - through confirmation - then one can proceed to answer the question: Why Islam?

One of the main problems with an atheistic ideology is that it cannot explain intelligence in the processes of the universe. Another problem is that it tends to deprive life of meaning. Furthermore, we know that human beings are naturally inclined to be honest; however, in atheism there is a denial of an ultimate originator and of anything beyond death, which creates a contradiction and leads to an inconsistency in behaviour – on the one hand a person would be inclined to be honest, and on the other to be dishonest 'to make the most of this world'. [If everyone insisted on 'making the most of this world', society as we know it would not exist. As a case in point, let us suppose that all those who wanted to 'make the most of this world' resorted to thievery. If this happened, no one would be producing the goods (growing food for instance) that the rest of us could steal. Hence it seems that 'making the most of this world' as system of action is doomed to failure. Could it then be a viable system of belief?]

Broadly speaking, with regard to theistic ideologies we have the revealed, the distorted and the man-made. One can easily say that a way of life communicated to humankind by the creator of this universe is preferred to man-made ideologies. If one wants to follow the advice of that which has made the universe and all that it contains - regarding what is beneficial or harmful - then it is better to refer to pristine communication from this originator, than to that communication which has been fabricated or distorted by man.

Those ideologies claiming to be based on revelations can be subjected to a number of tests, the first and most important of which is that of consistency. We must look for two types of consistency: internal and external. Internal consistency means that a statement made in a book must not contradict another statement in the same book. External consistency means that a statement made in a book must not contradict facts as we know, be they psychological, physical, chemical, historical, geographical, biological and so on. Applying these tests, consider the most important truth that all the supposedly revealed ideologies proclaim, that is, the existence and perfect attributes of God. God for all ideologies, that claim to be revealed, is supposed to be all knowing, all merciful, everlasting etc. However, some books imply that God's knowledge is limited and imperfect by saying that, for example, God was deceived by a human. In contrast, the Quran provides the perfect concept of an all-knowing, singular originator of this universe.

This leads us to the next test - that of authenticity. The question that should be asked is whether the scriptures that we have today are indeed a communication from the originator to humankind. A study of the history of Islam would show that the present Quran is exactly the same as that which was communicated about one thousand four hundred years ago. During its revelation it was committed to memory by a large number of people and also written down.

Yet another test is that of comprehensiveness. A truly comprehensive ideology, revealed to humankind by the designer of the universe, would describe the most beneficial system in all spheres of life including the political, economical, social, medical and environmental spheres.

Lastly, we might look at the test of universality. Clearly, an ideology which is historically or graphically bound is not as good as that which applicable to all human beings, irrespective of the time and place of their origin.

In conclusion, if one uses the criteria of universality, comprehensiveness, authenticity and above all, consistency, one would find the Quran unique and worthy of investigation. It is interesting to note that the Quran itself stresses the above-mentioned approach. For example, in verse 82 of chapter 4, it is said, "Will they not ponder about the Quran? If it had been from other than God, then they would have surely found in it many inconsistencies."

If you would like to learn about Islam, please visit our blog--> http://thejourney2islam-team.blogspot.com/

John W. Loftus said...

And if you want to know even more about Islam go here.

Inquisitor said...

Emanuel is a liar.

He knows that unicorns exist.

He will simply go to any lengths to deny it.

Mark Plus said...

shining and burning light wrote:

All that being said, murder is against the clear commandment of God "Thou shall not murder..", but murder under an atheistic system doesn't go beyond "you just shouldn't hurt other people", and in fact it can be justified when your morals are relative...

Even then we see mixed signals from atheistic societies. The Cuban government, still ostensibly communist, in some respects values human life more than an American government run by christians. For one thing, Cuba experiences relatively few hurricane deaths because its government moves the population out of harm's way, unlike what we saw last year in New Orleans. And for another, Cuba has invested a lot of its meager resources into healthcare for poor people, including a biotech and pharmaceutical industry devoted to finding treatments for tropical diseases neglected by Western medicine because the victims don't have any money. If you'll recall, Castro offered to send physicians to help Katrina victims, but Bush turned him down.

Regarding the increasingly atheistic developed democratic countries other than the U.S., they also display a higher regard for human life than we see here. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and even Canada might allow abortion and euthanasia, but at the same time they offer universal health insurance, restrict firearms ownership, punish drunk driving severely, regulate environmental destruction and show a disinclination to get into gratuitous wars. They have also abolished the death penalty, despite the fact that they now have at least pluralities of atheists and nonbelievers who could vote to authorize the murder of anyone they want. Their "droogs" also tend to behave themselves better than their counterparts here; the Muslim youths who rioted in France a few months back killed only a handful of people, whereas similar disturbances in the U.S., like L.A.'s Rodney King riot, can rack up scores of murder victims.

The atheistic societies of the future will probably look back on the murder sprees of ill-considered social-engineering experiments in the 20th Century with regret. The current evidence suggests that they have abandoned such behavior in favor of using their resources to protect human life instead.

Shining and Burning Light said...

Hi Mark,

Whoever said this country is run by Christians? It's not. Castro may have done some nice things, but look at his record overall. He may help the poor but shoot your grandmother for trying to leave the country. Tyrannical dictators usually have to show some redeeming qualities, otherwise the general population will eventually turn against them. Atheistic societies may be doing some morally and socially good things now, but that can change over time and will...

Mark Plus said...

Whoever said this country is run by Christians?

Republicans control all three branches of the federal government as of 2006, and they talk about god, Jesus and faith all the time.

Castro may have done some nice things, but look at his record overall. He may help the poor but shoot your grandmother for trying to leave the country.

Apparently you have trouble understanding the concept of "both/and." Communists governments have killed a lot of people, but they also benefitted a great many others, for example, through offering better opportunities and social mobility to people who would have spent their lives plowing the mud otherwise. Considering that populations grew in most Communist countries, on the whole they must have done something right.

Atheistic societies may be doing some morally and socially good things now, but that can change over time and will...

And christians can resume killing homosexuals, "witches," disobedient children and adherents to other sects and religions again, just like in the old days. Some Calvinists seriously advocate returning to this state of affairs as a long-term political goal. Christians fixate on Communist massacres from a few decades ago because christian massacres from a few centuries back have passed beyond living memory and no longer have the power to embarrass them.

Shining and Burning Light said...

Hi Mark,

Someone could talk all day long about God, Jesus, and faith, and still not be a Christian. See the Pope, for example. A Christian is defined by the Bible, you are not one by virtue of the fact that you say you are one.

You think Communist governments have offered people better opportunities and social mobility? I know I only minored in History in college, but I don't recall that trait as a defining characteristic of Communism, nor do I see such fruit produced by that system in the world. I guess we'll just have to disagree about that one.

You think the Communist governments must have done something right because their populations grew? As far as I can tell, most populations are growing. Is that a valid way to detemine if a political or philosophical system is right or wrong?

Finally, Christians don't kill homosexuals, witches, disobedient children, etc. If someone murders another person they are a)not a Christian or b) a Christian that is sinning against God and needs to repent. As far as "Christian massacres", again--those people may have called themselves Christians but were not following Christ in doing what they did. They departed from Christianity to massacre anyone, they were not following any commandment of God in Scripture. Even if you consider those "massacres", do you really mean to even compare them with the untold millions killed by Communist regimes such as Stalin's? It saddens me that anyone calling themselves Christian would do the things that were done back then, but they departed from God in doing them. In an atheistic system like Communism, they were just doing what their morally bankrupt system allowed. I think that is patently clear. Well, I hadn't meant to post on this long. So, I'm out...thanks Mark

lovelygirl said...

i think the best way to go about things on either side is to be open minded and reason out things for yourself. however, i have found many times christians are far too involved in pointing the finger at others "wrongs" or lifestyles instead of just focusing on their own opinions or beliefs. i have been that christian. on the other hand, if i was on either side, i'd want to fight too.

i think we are all smart people in this world who should go on our journey of life thinking the way we want to and no one should tell us otherwise!

Anonymous said...

Matthew,and all the other athiests on this blog, on behalf of Christians I want to apologize that you have been so greatly offended that you turned against your faith in God. God is love and as Christians we should be love. Love overcomes all and I pray that one day love will break through for all of you as well as Truth. It does matter how Christians treat others. The Bible says that we should love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves. I am sorry you haven't met any mature Christians who would show you God's love. My prayer is that God will show you His love through the people you meet. Whether any of you get saved or not is your own choice. It is your choice whether or not to spend eternity away from God. It is my choice to spend it with Him and to love all He sends my way. May His love and peace prevail and I hope you choose life. If someone is blind and needs to find their way, what do we do? We show them the way. Satan is a master deciever. If you want the truth and life, seek it and you will find it. Like I said, it is your choice.

Insanezenmistress said...

I hope it is not too late a date for reply but my eyes where opened to a relazation i had been thinking of. How, to an outsider their very god is the devil.

In olden days, all the gods where happy to live togeher, shareing temples, even stories, all a part of the Supreme Being.

Christians can't have that, neither can their god, neither can the muslams and their god. Christians are to be confrontational or at least be a good myrter, And their god is the same way. With his son-self being a myarter for himself.

As i mused over Matthew's statments ...

IF i may wax exestential... But isn't God just like Satan? The one who stood out and said "I shall asend to the Most High?" The one who wasn't content being one of the many beautiful gods, yet not as glorious as the Supreeme Being.

Naturally, Lucifer's followers would likely want to be the identity of a faithfull and true believer.
The "World" wants it's liberation, their satan wants subjegation. If you want an Athoritative source for my thinking, watch history happen.

Places in the world that are untuched by Satan have rich histories, and developed natural sciences. Have medicinal secrets we would kill for today.

of course, not all people are like this, as confrontational as they are allowed to be. I wasn't, but then nine times out of ten the god i tried to sell might have been the "false one", since if i fell away i was not actaully saved, so hey i been right all along.

Yes Mathew continue the work against Satan himself! But dont kill me if i love jesus sometimes, after all he did not ask to be born, but Satan said he had to, Paul needed an christ to be the antichrist of....

IZM

alexmooseworks said...

Such a shame that you have bumped into so many people that have ignored the basic teaching in 1 Peter 3 v 15+16 - "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."

I pray you will meet more people that act in grace and love and don't just try to bash and crash you into submission.

Better to love someone towards God than to intellectually bash them.