Sunday, March 18, 2012

Response to A Fundamentalist Christian

I could be deleting a lot of what you post, "A Fundamentalist Christian", because you are repeating yourself and what you post is not relevant to the discussion. But I will respond anyway.

You have misunderstood the point. The point being that you are supposed to realize that when a person believes in something - how ever stupid, wrong, mislead, unwise, what ever YOU personally think the belief is - the person believes the same way you do, with the same sincerity, purity, strength, hope, love and everything else you put in your belief.
To an Atheist you are just as wrong as all non-Christians are to you.
To a non-Christian your beliefs are just as wrong, false, "demonic", bad, evil, self-serving and anything else you call every non-Christian's beliefs.
You don't need to agree with other people's beliefs, but you really need to understand that there is no difference in the act of believing.
So - when ever you find it necessary to start bashing another person because he/she doesn't believe in the same things you do, remember that there are a lot of people who don't believe in the same things you do, and if you don't like when people are bashing your God, faith, dogma and beliefs, don't bash another person's God, faith, dogma and beliefs, how ever [fill the blank with an appropriate adjective] they seem to you.
Get it?

That you believe to be right and everyone else to be wrong is not an excuse.
That you think you are "simply pointing out the truth" and having all the good intentions, is not an excuse.

"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise."

And don't try to excuse your bad behavior by saying "you'd like people to tell you that you are worshiping a false god and that you'll go to hell if you don't change your wicked ways".
That's not what you are doing.

You are telling a person that the God he/she believes in doesn't really exist and that following the teachings of his/her parents, teachers, spiritual leaders, living by his/her Holy Scripture, is going to take him/her to hell... Nothing different from what Atheists are doing to Christians, and what is called "Christian bashing" by most of the Christians who are subjected to this, that causes a lot of tears and hurt feelings (if not outrage) to many people, and considered "persecution" by many Christians.

"you have it wrong when it comes to how we feel"
Might be that YOU personally don't feel that way, but many Christians say they feel "insulted and dehumanized". You can speak for all Christians just as little as anyone else.
Nevertheless, that's not the point with this point either. The point here being that to many Christians, pointing out an ape and saying "we share the ancestors" is an offensive and "dehumanizing" idea, while pointing at the ground and saying "that's the stuff we are made of" is not. Being a human animal is "dehumanizing", being a bag of dirt is not.

"The theories of evolution stem from a denial that there is a Creator who has the power to speak and create something from nothing."

No, they don't.

You believe God took some dirt, formed the human being of it as a clay doll and then blew his breath in him to make him a living being. You believe it took him a work day to do this.
Nevertheless, that's not what the Bible says.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness... ...So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."

It doesn't say one word about HOW God formed man of the dust.

"God have mercy on your soul - you will have to answer to him, not to us."

So leave it to God to deal with us, ok? I have no problems with answering to God.

Oh, you are polytheists. Ask a monotheist, and he'll agree with me, ask a polytheist, and he'll agree with me too. It's only you who are delusional about this.
If your God can be separated into three distinctly different entities, you have three gods.

What you say about #7 is what the Muslims say when Christians use Quran quotes to explain how violent and horrible religion Islam is. If the Christians disregard that, the Atheists can disregard what ever the Christians say when trying to explain and excuse the Christian God's atrocities.
BTW, the Pharaoh wasn't disobeying God. "And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh..."


"What makes you think that the Holy Spirit would need a physical encounter with Mary anything like men need for procreation?"

And what makes you think it did NOT happen? Is there anything in the Bible to prove it did NOT happen the way the Greek Gods have always created their offspring?

Again, you don't understand the statement properly.

You think all the non-Christian myths of the world are "false" (again, use which ever adjective you prefer, as you have a habit of nitpicking >:->) but the Christian myth, which is in all practicality just the same, is "true" - based on that it's the myth of YOUR religion.

Why would God need a man-god to be killed when God is omnipotent and could just as easily forgive our petty sins, being that we indeed are God's children and do stupid things of stupid reasons - like all children - and our lives are just dust in the wind, here today, gone tomorrow... we are like mosquitos.
Now, what makes you think anything a mosquito does would be reason enough for you to sacrifice your only son just to save the souls of all mosquitos in the world?
And WHAT are these mosquitos - or humans - supposed to be saved from? GOD'S JUDGMENT!
I mean... you kill your son so that you wouldn't need to kill a mosquito... don't you think it's a tad overreacting? Considering that the mosquitos just don't give a dime. They'll just keep doing what they have always done. Yeah, sure, SOME of them realize you killed your own son so that you wouldn't need to kill the mosquitos, but most of them too just keep doing what mosquitos have always done.

Oh, well... I'm sure it makes all the sense to you. Not that it would mean enough to you so that you would actually do what your God told you to do...

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
- Galatians 5: 22-23

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things."
- Philippians 4:8

Do you really think yapping with non-Christians is expressing any of this? Really? Because it's not. But - keep fooling yourself. God have mercy on your soul - you will have to answer to God... and as a Christian you should know better. Indeed... God have mercy on your soul.

Again, not answering the statement. Sure, this list is not written in the best English and it has a lot to pick on, if one wants to. Why would you? It's not especially loving and forgiving, is it :-D

This statement is not about creation but the age of the Earth. To you these two questions might be the same, but they really are not.

As far as I know there really isn't any scientific evidence to support the theory of creation. I know to you hearsay, subjective interpretations of what is happening, personal myths and conclusions based on these things are "evidence", but they really aren't.

"Proving anything historic is impossible because we weren't there at the time" is one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard. :-D

No-one said anything about looking for holes in science, even though you do that by questioning the scientific methods and facts simply because they don't fit YOUR UNDERSTANDING of what YOU consider being "God's Word" and intentionally misunderstanding words, like "theory".

So this one is a true statement. You do believe what is said you believe in #4. The point is that you really don't see the contradiction in a "loving" God who created a system where people unable not to sin will go to hell for sinning, unless they jump through hoops that were totally unnecessary to begin with, as NOTHING WE CAN DO could possibly be considered as unforgivable sin for a tolerant God...

I believe in God who IS loving and tolerant. I believe in God who is capable of loving me more than I could ever love anyone, my husband and children and family, friends and pets included. I believe in God who is loving me more than my dog does. And the mere idea of the love of my dog and the love of my husband makes me cry of gratefulness, the idea of God's love strucks me speechless by awe... My God wants to keep me with Her because my God loves me.
My God is more tolerant than the most loving and tolerant mother. Of course children will have to learn "the hard way", touch the stove to know it's hot and hurts, so that they won't touch it again. But where your God forces his children to sit on the stove unless they apologize for touching it, my God cools the ouch down with ice and puts aloe vera and honey on it, and kisses it to make it feel better, and does this time and time again, because I'm too stupid to realize that hot things are hot and it hurts to touch them.

"rival sects" are all the Christian denominations - even those that don't call themselves Christian - some Christian people consider "heretic". Most fundamentalist Christians in USA don't acknowledge Catholics as Christians, Mormons as Christians, this denomination or that as Christian - and I find it difficult to believe that you are really that clueless that you are not aware of this fact, so I assume that you are just pretending to be clueless so that you can avoid talking about the issue and in stead talk about irrelevant things.

You know very well this is "copied and pasted from some other source".

The God of Islam is the same as the God of Christianity is the same as the God of Judaism. These three religions and their derivates are called Abrahamic. Anyone who says anything different is lying, in spite of anything that might seem as evidence of the opposite.

Your description of your reason to believe in God the way you do IS THE EXACT SAME REASON EVERY PERSON ON THIS PLANET HAS, TO BELIEVE IN GOD(S) THE WAY THEY DO. You should read your Lewis better. Perhaps you could really get on with "preaching the Gospel and serving and worshiping God" because hatred and despise is not part of that.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment:
and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council:
but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire."

Besides, the point with #3 is that you don't give a crap about verifyiable facts if they contradict your personal, subjective interpretation.

means that you will interprete the world and what happens in it according to your beliefs in spite of all the evidence of the opposite. For example, you believe prayers "work", and the reason to why they don't really work is that "God won't give us what we want, but what we need" or some other such cliché.
Your explanation to why prayer doesn't "work" is that "we are not here to get our prayers answered..."

"I don't know where your statement came from, but it sounds like a bunch of impatient, whining, selfish, lazy "Christians," to me. It is not the Word of God."
No-one has claimed it is... but on the other hand. Prove it's not. Prove this person is not God. I bet you can't. And it doesn't matter at all.
"It's not the Word of God" is your typical bunch of "impatient, whining, selfish, lazy Christian" answer to everything you don't know how to deal with, to me.

These statements are not written by a Muslim - as we all know - but an Atheist. They are not questions, they are statements. They are called "signs of a fundamentalist Christian". So we have to look at the statements from that point of view. In science there are success rates expected for an empirical experiment to be considered successful, and these are much higher than 0.01%... In fact, astrology is more empirically successful scientific theory than prayer :-D

So - you don't give a crap about verifyiable facts or scientific method if these contradict your personal, subjective interpretation and understanding.

Again, YOU might know the Bible "very well", but don't talk about "we". 9/10 people defining themselves as Christians haven't even read the Bible. Their "knowledge" of the Bible is mostly hearsay. Their interpretation of the text they believe to be God's Word is also given to them by someone else, as they are not supposed to "question" God's Word.
Most of this is created by people who have no understanding of Judaism; the times and habits of when the Bible was written; who wrote it; why it was written; why some parts were disgarded and why others were included; how much of the text has been lost or twisted in translation etc. etc. (with other words; "Christianity, the Bible, Theology and Church history")
(No, you don't need to be a theologian and church historian, but then don't pretend you have the knowledge by opposing people who do.)

Most of these Christians also hang on the traditional understanding of the words and passages in stead of the most probable and logical, even when the traditional understanding is very confusing, misleading and contradictory. (With "traditional" I mean the one person received from "the elders"; their parents, pastors and other authorities within the spiritual community one is a member of.)

There's nothing wrong or bad in this, it's basic and common human psychology. What's wrong is that one refuses to acknowledge the truth in this and vehemently denies one's personal understanding of things to be just that - one's personal and highly subjective understanding and interpretation.
Even if the Bible were God's Word, a man's understanding of it is not. Your priest's (or what ever name you use of the person; reverend, pastor, preacher...) interpretation is not God's Word.

The truth is that when these Christians start thumping people on heads with the Bible, they do it with less knowledge and understanding of what REALLY is in that book than the people they thump...

You are much more hateful and angry than any of the Muslims I've met and spoken with. You speak about "compassion for a lost and dying world", but show none. You say you love Jesus and God's Word, but you don't live by it. You SAY you do, but you don't actually DO.
Save yourself. Repent and change your wicked ways. Turn the hatred to love, and love, truly love your enemies, like you love yourself, your loved ones, your family, your children, your friends and neighbors. Show the world the truth with your living and your actions, not with your words, because your words are full of lies and deceit.

"But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil."

"That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue you at the law, and take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. And whoever shall compel you to go a mile, go with him two. Give to him that asks you, and from him that would borrow of you turn not you away."

"Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which spitefully use you, and persecute you; That you may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brothers only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so?"

"Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation."


Representative said...

Thanks for inviting me to read your blog. :) I haven't read a whole lot yet, but I'm enjoying it.

This is a very interesting and well thought out post. You know much, but understand little as far as what a real Christian thinks or believes, or why. I can see why you wouldn't understand! I realize that deeper understanding isn't something a non-Christian would be exposed to. I've seen people who claim to be Christians get it wrong. :) You may possibly have a better grip on it than some of them have. Evidently you have a better understanding of some of the controversial issues than they have, or they'd be better prepared.

Christians generally present themselves exactly the way you have described them. They are the ones who either are immature and have no sense of propriety or decorum and even less understanding, or they are the ones presented to you through a media that tends to portray them in an unfavorable light; these are often the same people.

Myself, on the other hand, and many other Christians that I know, comport ourselves differently and can express our faith without all the theatrics and false piety. I would LOVE to address the issues you brought up with you sometime. You may not see eye to eye with me after I have, but at least you'd see that #1.) like any and all people groups, Christians are not all alike, #2.) we are not ignorant people because of what we believe or because we believe it, and #3.) we can explain, intelligently, what surface readers and those who have only heard what the Bible says, not having read it themselves, think it says.

A big part of the problem in how Christians are perceived is that even the leadership, often times, doesn't know enough before they are elevated to a leadership position. Being immature, they say things that they learn later is either not true or are only partially true, and even though they may correct themselves, they have already taught these things to others who continue to spread the poor or wrong information. Some never grow up as a Christian, but are weak, and they fail. They have good intentions and begin well, but before they can get a good foothold and strengthen themselves, the authority and power that comes with leadership corrupts them, just as with many other once decent men or women.

The ones you hear most and become the familiar stereotypes, those that tend to make themselves known, are often the least prepared. The rest of us don't particularly want to be associated with them except to try to help them as a parent would, to teach and train a child. They can be just as hostile and unbending toward us as they are people outside Christendom. In fact, the biggest source of attack for 'real' Christians, for lack of a better way of stating it, is the weak, immature, 'religious' Christians. My husband has a phrase that is unfortunately true: Christians are the only army who lines their firing squad up in a circle. This bodes ill for us as a whole, because according to the Bible, our prime directive is to be known by our love one toward another. It's a huge failure and a strong indictment against us.

I believe you would be the first to defend an individual, so remember that Christianity is made up of many individuals. Do not assume that we are all immature, ignorant, hateful, weak or whatever the label of the day may be. It's no different than assuming all Muslims are terrorists or that all homosexuals spread AIDS. It is only more popular and more acceptable.

Ketutar said...

Hello, Rhenda :-)
Thank you for your kind words, and thank you for coming by.

I know not all Christians are alike, and therefore I try to define whom I'm talking about. Sometimes I succeed better than other times, but the failure to convey that I do understand the majority of Christians - just like the majority of any other part of humanity - are what I'd call "good people" - is purely lack of skills in expressing myself.

This post is a response to a person who calls himself "fundamentalist Christian". I don't think all Christians are fundamentalists, not even that all fundamentalist Christians are like this person. What I say in this post is not addressed to all Christians or people who define themselves as Christians, only to people who agree with the "Fundamentalist Christian" I link to.

I am also aware of the fact that usually the people who are most visible are not the best representatives of the group they belong to. They are just the most visible.

I know I cannot understand the Christian beliefs from a Christian point of view - I am not Christian... I suppose I'd be, if I did.
I don't think it's somehow stupid to believe the way Christians do, just because I don't understand that way of believing. As I said "when a person believes in something - how ever stupid, wrong, mislead, unwise, what ever YOU personally think the belief is - the person believes the same way you do, with the same sincerity, purity, strength, hope, love and everything else you put in your belief." I believe in God, and I'd like to think you believe in God the same way I do, even though you use different words to describe God and what God expects of you.
I don't think the "Fundamentalist Christian" whom I'm addressing is stupid either. I just believe he is stuck to a certain pattern of thinking.

I am fully convinced of that we have a very different views on certain things, but as I said, disagreement is not necessarily a bad thing. One learns from different views. So I'd be very glad if you did address issues I have brought up, in this post and others. I do hope it would help me to reach more understanding and make it easier to keep my peace and hold my tongue :-D