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soul_doctor,

You might not watn to affect too righteous a tone when I respond to an answer you gave to someone else. Back in June, as I recall, Vox posted to Nmaginate, and you answered that. So I would only conclude that it's a technique or which you approve.

Unless you're saying that only you can do that sort of thing.

I can't see my predispositon to
Christian concepts? What on earth are you talking about? Of course I can see it. I choose it deliberately. I have been a nonbeliever. I wasn't a Christian until I was in my twenties. It was the truth of what I found that convinced me to be a Christian. So now I am a Christian, I admit to being a Christian, I proclaim that I am a Chritistian, I'm quite happy to be a Christian, and I don't care who knows it.

Can't see my predisposition, indeed. What rubbish. Must you always invent motivations for others and state what isn't true? You did exactly the same thing to Vox, who took you quite properly to task for inveting "hidden motivations" for him. You're doing the same thing to me.

You can stop that and attend to the truth at any time, now. If you can.

You cannot "reason" with me? Excuse me, but I am the one who's using science and fact and logic. YOu're the one who is forever saying "in just a little while now..." Vox will be surprised shortly, you said. In nine years the earth will be swept by irresistable forces. Enochian "prophecies."

Yeah, yeah, always in the future. As long as it's in the future you don't have to prove it. All you have to do is to darkly promise it. It's the easy way out, so you take it.

I am not trying to convince you thaht Christianity is alive. Once again you mistake my motive. I have been simply trying to show you that you are dead wrong about just about everything that you address here. While I say that Christianity is not dead, I say it only because you keep saying that it is dead. It's in response to your fevered imagination that hallucinates from hatred and sees what is not.

If you weren't so absurdly wrong I wouldn't have said any of it. But it's one thing to say that Christianity is wrong. It's another thing entirely to say it from the most rediculous of reasons. That is what you are doing. I have addressed your silly reasoning. You will note that the majority of what I have said to you has been about other things besides Christianity, things like comets and linguistics. And where we talkd of Christianity it was directly about your faulty reasoning and your refusal to apply to one side of an argument the standards you apply to the other. You engage in argument by double standard.

You do not care abour right, only about your point.

I'll believe that you "deal with what is logical" as soon as you start doing so.

What Jesus provides or doesn't doesn't seem to be your strong suit of knowledge. I have known many people who have been in church for 29 years or more and still know very little about he God they worship. You don't seem to have done anything with your 29 years, just as you do not do anything with your mind now.
Alright Melesi, let's reason then. Last night I watched a show on the History Channel called Almanac. It was about the Christian Crusades. Did you see it? I mention this because I hope that many christians did watch that show to see what it was they are descended from.

See, what you believe as 'truth' your christian forebearers used to force upon others. For instance, if you didn't agree with 'Jesus is Lord' you were a 'heretic'. They burned many people alive and tortured many more just so they would 'accept' the 'truth'. Even if you didn't watch it, I'm curious to know how you will answer concerning the Christian Crusades.

As well read as you are, I am sure you have a defence for the Church and the Bible. These murders may have been commited in the name of Jesus, but he had nothing to do with it. Not only that, Jesus wasn't even Messiah. If you want to do a bit of serious research, check out the 'legimate' authors of the Gospels. I know what you have been *told*. But what have you discovered on your own?

Hint: the authors of the four 'gospels' are anonymous. The names of the 'apostles' Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were added many years 'after' the fact. Don't believe me? You don't have to.

I said I cannot reason with you about christianity. There is nothing to reason about. You are a 'worshipper', I am not. You are a believer. I am not. You are a christian. I don't want to be. What is there to reason? Like I said, talk to me about human compassion. Talk to be about poverty and why it still exists. Talk to me about inequality. Talk to me about injustice, bigotry, and prejudice. We can reason on *those* things.

Talk to me about reality. Talk to me about fixing hunger. Talk to me about fixing war. Talk to me about fixing homelessness. Talk to me about egalitarianism. The problem is, you can't. Or won't. Not without lapsing into christian concepts. Which is why I bring up christian compassion. With over 2 billion 'church' members, why hasn't the 'church' stamped out poverty? Why hasn't the 'church' instituted peace worldwide? Can you reason with me concerning these things?

Your christian concepts can't account for these conditions without the words 'second coming'. There is no 'second coming' in the Old Testament though and the catholics have gone through a *lot* of trouble to convince you that Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament. So can you explain to me why there is still suffering? Can you tell me why evil still exists? Can you tell me why christianity at 1700 years old has a history of its *own* evil? Can you explain to me *how* *your* 'god' can be associated with bloodshed? Can you tell me why your church tortured people to force them to believe as you do? Can you reason with me concerning these things? Forget lingusitics. Forget iceballs and space time. Talk to me about the human condition that has resulted under the watchful eye of your church?

There is no prophecy nor any place for the interpretation of a 'second coming' of the Messiah of Israel. If you can find 'second coming' outside of the New Testament in 'canonical scripture' we can reason on that. But if you can't, then what? Still sticking to your 'beliefs'?

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
Which question do you wish to deal with first? In your post you've scatterguned concepts around, and since it always takes longer to answer than to ask, you're asking me to post a v-e-r-y long answer here. You know as well as I that if I do that, you won't read it, for that's what you've done before (see your post of 4:15 pm Oct 2).

So what question do you wish to ask?
How's about starting Here:

'Your christian concepts can't account for these conditions without the words 'second coming'. There is no 'second coming' in the Old Testament though and the catholics have gone through a *lot* of trouble to convince you that Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament. So can you explain to me why there is still suffering? Can you tell me why evil still exists? Can you tell me why christianity at 1700 years old has a history of its *own* evil? Can you explain to me *how* *your* 'god' can be associated with bloodshed? Can you tell me why your church tortured people to force them to believe as you do? Can you reason with me concerning these things? Forget lingusitics. Forget iceballs and space time. Talk to me about the human condition that has resulted under the watchful eye of your church?'

Basically one big question: WHY? If Jesus is the Messiah?


Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
soul_doctor73

All the questions you ask can be easily answered but before I do so I want to assure myself that you genuinely seeking knowledge in order to learn and you are not getting people to go round in circles like a dog chasing it's tail just to amuse you. Which one is it? If you want knowledge can you begin by telling us a bit about your own beliefs so that we know where you stand and which in turn would guide us on how to respond.



_____________________________
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soul_doctor,

Actually, what you ask about has nothing to do with a second coming. It does have everything to do with free will.

What you ask about is actually addressed in Genesis 1-3, and then illustrated in the rest of the Bible. Why did Adam and Eve--why do we--sin? Because the fruit "was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for making wise." It was forbidden, but both man and woman decided that they knew better than God, so they ate instead of thought.

You see, if they had just thought things through, they would have known that they already knew good. So the only way to know "good and evil" and thus to "become like God"--so the blandishment went--was to disobey and thus to know evil. Of course, that was the path to becoming the opposite of God, but when does a little thing like the truth stop us from seeking the fulfillment of our desires?

It's the story of all of us and of all our history. You ask about evil and poverty and war and bloodshed--it's because it's in us, with all the selfishness that we know very well.

Why World War One? Because Kaiser Bill wanted all of Europe. WW2? To correct the end of WW1, and to have all of Europe. The Franco-Prussian War? The Uganda-Tananian War? The Rwanda uprising? The civil war in the Congo? The English Civil War? The wars in China under Emperor Chin? The Hundred Years' War? The Russian Revolution? The War of Jenkins' Ear? Mao Tse-Tung's revolution? The graves of 50,000 years ago that have been found in many places in the world--including in Africa--which have contained the murdered remains of women and children? All the wars in the world in history have been wars of selfishness. Someone wanted power and wealth and was willing to kill for it. It started with Cain, but it didn't end there. It hasn't ended yet.

We can see neighborhoods all around us that have been divided into the realms of petty warlords who stake out their turf and sell their drugs and shoot their competitors and make their money and rule over their serfs. They destroy bodies, minds, and lives, they demand that crimes be committed to join their hoods to prove their loyalty, and as long as they have what they want, they don't care about others.

Jesus told us that we would always have the poor with us. It's because we live to make them poor and too often we live in ways that keep ourselves so, with a great deal of help to keep kept down.

Poverty, crime, wars--they're all from the same impulse, and it's all the selfishness of Genesis 3.

Why has the Church been a part of this, which sometimes it has done? Because power and wealth are very seductive, and leaders in the Church have not always done what the Church knows is right. The story of Eli and his sons in the first few chapters of 1 Samuel show that it isn't a problem with the Church alone, it's a problem with everybody. The Church had no business importing this impulse into it, but it did. Not everybody did this evil, but enough did to make it a problem.

Free will does that. It's messy and dangerous, but teh alternative is more dangerous than the free will. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?("Who will watch the watchers?").

So the strict answer to your first question does not refer to nor need a second coming. It only needs an understanding of human nature.

Why doesn't the Church act better than it does? Because it's not perfect. What you are asking is perfection on this earth and in this life, and I'm afraid that you're never going to get it. Nothing in this life is perfect. Even the Church. What the Church does is to show the right way, the true way, the free way. If you wish to follow it, then you can, for God will help you do so. If you don't, well, free will says that you have the right to make that choice, or at least the freedom to do so, and no one can change your mind for you. So the battle is yours as the decision is yours. The battle is a difficult and subtle one, for it's a battle against yourself, and you are the hardest person that you have to fight against. You are also the most necessary one you have to fight against. MOst people don't want to fight that battle. They'd rather blame someone else. As a result, they never get to where they should be, and they never become who they should be.

And so the wars go on with each other because we will not fight the battle with ourselves.

The Church has sometimes tortured and killed, which is quite contrary to its teachings. Monks carried the rosary on the left side of their belts on their robes in place of the sword. It was a deliberate placing of their prayer-beads to remind them of the answer to the question, "From where does my help come?"

Of course, they didn't always remember that. They put too much emphasis on the external: if I can get you to act a certain way, then I must have gotten you to think a certain way. That's not true, of course, but then several hundred years ago we didn't have the benefit of our present knowledge of the human mind. Still, it was wrong. We knew it was wrong, but we rationalized it just as Eve did the fruit.

It wasn't God's fault. It was ours. Just as all the wars in the world were and are our fault. We are free to do evil, and we are free to do good. There are consequences, of course, but the freedom to act is ours by our created nature. We don't have to do wrong, we just do because we want to. All of us do, even you, soul_doctor. And that impulse which we share with all people leads to war and suffering and death. Those people who have you so exercized? They are your fault, too, just as they are mine. Our job is to do something about it. Jesus says so.
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi: soul_doctor,
Actually, what you ask about has nothing to do with a second coming. It does have everything to do with free will. What you ask about is actually addressed in Genesis 1-3, and then illustrated in the rest of the Bible. Why did Adam and Eve--why do we--sin? Because the fruit "was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desirable for making wise." It was forbidden, but both man and woman decided that they knew better than God, so they ate instead of thought. You see, if they had just thought things through, they would have known that they already knew good. So the only way to know "good and evil" and thus to "become like God"--so the blandishment went--was to disobey and thus to know evil. Of course, that was the path to becoming the opposite of God, but when does a little thing like the truth stop us from seeking the fulfillment of our desires?


This is why it is so hard to 'reason' with christians. I specifically asked those specific questions concerning a specific prophecy, i.e. the Messiah of Israel, whom christians *claim* to be Jesus. The Church *claims* to be 'gods' construct. But the truth is, the church was envisioned, organized, and built by men. Men who have further provided christians such as yourself with a 'guide' by which they are to 'worship' in *their* 'authorized' Church. Also, in keeping with christian concepts, you neglected to provide one key bit of information. If *I* didn't know any better, your statement would read as a willful rebellion on the behalf of Adam and Eve. But the 'Truth' is, 'Satan' deceived Eve into 'believing' what God said was wasn't True. God told man and woman one thing, 'the enemy' convinced Eve otherwise, who in turn provoked Adam to disobey. In genesis 'god' was angry with four entities for the deceit of one: 'Satan'. I just had to point this out, in your retelling of the myth, you left out part of the 'story'. But Christianity isn't about 'truth', it is about 'belief'. I am often reminded of this.

quote:
It's the story of all of us and of all our history. You ask about evil and poverty and war and bloodshed--it's because it's in us, with all the selfishness that we know very well. Why World War One? Because Kaiser Bill wanted all of Europe. WW2? To correct the end of WW1, and to have all of Europe. The Franco-Prussian War? The Uganda-Tananian War? The Rwanda uprising? The civil war in the Congo? The English Civil War? The wars in China under Emperor Chin? The Hundred Years' War? The Russian Revolution? The War of Jenkins' Ear? Mao Tse-Tung's revolution? The graves of 50,000 years ago that have been found in many places in the world--including in Africa--which have contained the murdered remains of women and children? All the wars in the world in history have been wars of selfishness. Someone wanted power and wealth and was willing to kill for it. It started with Cain, but it didn't end there. It hasn't ended yet.


Here again, typical christian concepts. Cain didn't want 'wealth' *or* 'power'. Cain wanted recognition for his efforts over his brother. His was truly a 'sin' of 'selfish desire'. But that was then, this is now. Wars are rarely started at the behest of one man. Even then, such personally motivated wars usually are centered around the personal perspective of that man, usually inconsiderate of the people who will die. Revolutions and civil 'wars' are another kettle of fish altogether. But they rarely, if ever, are the result of an 'individuals' desire for wealth and power. Maybe that of the people at large, but rarely for their personal gain alone. What started with Cain certainly has not ended. Yet. Selfish people still want recognition above their brother *and* neighbor. They still conspire to and commit evil when they do not receive their desires, whatever that 'recognition' may be. The Roman Church desired their own recognition ala Cain and Able. But 'who' is the 'brother' the 'Church' 'killed' and 'buried' oh so long ago? *THAT*, my friend, was indeed about Power *and* Wealth, little do you know.

quote:
We can see neighborhoods all around us that have been divided into the realms of petty warlords who stake out their turf and sell their drugs and shoot their competitors and make their money and rule over their serfs. They destroy bodies, minds, and lives, they demand that crimes be committed to join their hoods to prove their loyalty, and as long as they have what they want, they don't care about others. Jesus told us that we would always have the poor with us. It's because we live to make them poor and too often we live in ways that keep ourselves so, with a great deal of help to keep kept down. Poverty, crime, wars--they're all from the same impulse, and it's all the selfishness of Genesis 3.


You shouldn't make this so easy, Melesi. The 'selfishness' you blame on Genesis is another church tactic to deny their guilt when trying to convince others of their 'authority'. Poverty, crime, and wars are all the result of inaction on the behalf of those who would prevent them. Those who would do crimes, allow poverty to exist, or make war are not 'inactive'. They are motivated. They are inspired. They are determined. But christians point to Genesis and say 'that is why'. I say christians are inactive, unispired, and lack the motivation and determination to embody Jesus' teachings. Otherwise, there would be no poverty, crime, or war. Two billion christians could compell *any* nation on the planet to conform to their will. Oh my. Now there's an idea. What is your 'christian' excuse? No organized 'mind'? No public 'figure'? Is it not *GOD'S* desire that peace and prosperity exist for *all* men? THEN WHY DOESN'T IT? What is your EXCUSE? Can you give me a good 'reason' for this 'christian' failure? WHAT and WHO are you WAITING for?

quote:
Why has the Church been a part of this, which sometimes it has done? Because power and wealth are very seductive, and leaders in the Church have not always done what the Church knows is right. The story of Eli and his sons in the first few chapters of 1 Samuel show that it isn't a problem with the Church alone, it's a problem with everybody. The Church had no business importing this impulse into it, but it did. Not everybody did this evil, but enough did to make it a problem. Free will does that. It's messy and dangerous, but teh alternative is more dangerous than the free will. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?("Who will watch the watchers?"). So the strict answer to your first question does not refer to nor need a second coming. It only needs an understanding of human nature.


Who will watch the watchers? You christians are watched every moment of every day by that deity you claim to serve! Who will watch the watchers? What AUDACITY! Have you christians *no* shame? My understanding of human nature is that man will do *anything* he believes himself able to get away with. And when no 'one' is 'watching', christians will do what *remains* in their nature to do. Lie, cheat, steal, kill. It does *not* end. Who will watch the watchers?! Don't quote to me 'lingustics' by way of excusing christians of their failure. Certainly you will say that was not your intent, but who *exactly* are we discussing?

quote:
Why doesn't the Church act better than it does? Because it's not perfect. What you are asking is perfection on this earth and in this life, and I'm afraid that you're never going to get it. Nothing in this life is perfect. Even the Church. What the Church does is to show the right way, the true way, the free way. If you wish to follow it, then you can, for God will help you do so. If you don't, well, free will says that you have the right to make that choice, or at least the freedom to do so, and no one can change your mind for you. So the battle is yours as the decision is yours. The battle is a difficult and subtle one, for it's a battle against yourself, and you are the hardest person that you have to fight against. You are also the most necessary one you have to fight against. MOst people don't want to fight that battle. They'd rather blame someone else. As a result, they never get to where they should be, and they never become who they should be.


You may be 'afraid' of not getting perfection on this earth and in *this* life, but I am not. I will get it and in *this* life. Why? Because I strive to be perfect. I am motivated and determined to be perfect. I desire perfection and I will acheieve it. How? The same way 'Jesus' did it: effort. What do you think he was doing for those 30 years prior to 'stepping' into *your* 'life'? Free will says you have the right to choice what actions you will undertake, at any given moment. Christian concepts do not prevent christians from compromising their 'beliefs' for a moment of selfish pleasure, angry retaliation, or greed. 'Free will' is the very thing that enables christians to be what they are. It is also why christianity is a failure, because your beliefs do not motivate the vast, vast majority of you. Oh, you'll go to 'church', but that's about the full extent of it for the aforementioned. Why doesn't the 'church' act better than it does? You say because 'it' is not perfect. What is the 'chruch' if not its christians? This is a common teaching of your bible, therefore this is to say that 'christians' are not 'perfect'. Another Truth. As you say 'most' people will not fight the battle to overcome their 'human natures' and this is why you christians and your church is not perfect. None of you have overcome your human natures. You *are* imperfect. And what does your bible teach you? Only the 'perfect' will inherit that kingdom of your desire. Looks like the 'church' won't be a part of it. By your own admission.

quote:
And so the wars go on with each other because we will not fight the battle with ourselves. The Church has sometimes tortured and killed, which is quite contrary to its teachings. Monks carried the rosary on the left side of their belts on their robes in place of the sword. It was a deliberate placing of their prayer-beads to remind them of the answer to the question, "From where does my help come?" Of course, they didn't always remember that. They put too much emphasis on the external: if I can get you to act a certain way, then I must have gotten you to think a certain way. That's not true, of course, but then several hundred years ago we didn't have the benefit of our present knowledge of the human mind. Still, it was wrong. We knew it was wrong, but we rationalized it just as Eve did the fruit.


You continue to rationalize by downplaying this as a mundane 'fact of life'. The very attitude I despise about you christians. 'Not my fault'. 'It was Adam'. 'It was Eve'. 'Jesus didn't say it'. 'The bible doesn't teach it'. 'Where the bible is silent man must also be'. Please. If christians were not so fixated on their 'prayer beads' or their 'church attendance' or their offering baskets, or their wordly cares and concerns, I wouldn't despise christians so much. I wouldn't have learned to despise what christianity has become. I cannot tolerate your 'modern' excuses for thousand year old crimes. I cannot tolerate much about christians other than a heart willing to turn away from such lie infested rubbish. If you knew what you were looking at in your new testament you'd be willing to truly clean your hands of its taint. But you, and by that I mean christians, recognize no taint.

quote:
It wasn't God's fault. It was ours. Just as all the wars in the world were and are our fault. We are free to do evil, and we are free to do good. There are consequences, of course, but the freedom to act is ours by our created nature. We don't have to do wrong, we just do because we want to. All of us do, even you, soul_doctor. And that impulse which we share with all people leads to war and suffering and death. Those people who have you so exercized? They are your fault, too, just as they are mine. Our job is to do something about it. Jesus says so.


This is why I keep talking to people who keep talking to me. Even though the experience is often unpleasant, sometimes christians say things so stunning that they are almost beautiful. Now, typical of christians, you assume I do 'wrong'. I do no 'wrong', and I am practically 'sinless'. What I mean by that is I control my 'free will' by chosing to refrain from doing and even *thinking* wrong. No matter how small the scale or how 'innocent' it appears to be. It takes effort and it is not easy to 'do no wrong'. Often what may or may not be 'wrong' is only so in the eyes of another and not necessarily by 'spirit' or 'wrong' in the eyes of God and being able to discern this is part of spiritual growth. Christianity doesn't teach this. Jesus *did* but 'christianity' is only about 'Jesus' like the 'bible' is about 'God'. If christians were not so consumed with their beliefs they would make good friends, but I despise sitting in their presence under their pretense of spiritual maturity while lacking the simple self-control of a seven year old child. And churches all over the world are populated with people like this. The spiritually mature 'christian' an earthly rarity and such a one is merely waiting for 'light' and direction out of darkness.

As for my 'fault' in this failure, I intend to rectify my mistakes. In fact, I have already begun. As for 'whos' job it is, and 'why'. It is *everyone's* job because *I* say so. But 'they' didn't listen to jesus when he was here, and you christians don't 'listen' to him now. But you make the best excuses and they are as obvious as the sun in the sky to me. You don't have to 'listen' to me but you are most certainly going to here it.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.

[This message was edited by soul_doctor73 on October 08, 2003 at 09:15 AM.]
Soul_doctor,

You did not ask "specific questions concerning a specific prophecy." You asked about poverty and suffering and the existence of evil. You asked why these things exist and why the Church has committed sins and errors "If Jesus is the Messiah?"

My answer to you stated that the questions had nothing to do with the question of Jesus being the Messiah. They had everything to do with human free will.

You didn't ask about "specific prophecies."

You see why I have to ask you more than once to stay on the subject? Your mind wanders too much for you to form an argument, let alone to hear an answer. For the moment, leave prophecy out of this, ok? The question of suffering and evil is enough to handle at one time. At any rate, don't complain about my not answering a question that you did not ask. You didn't ask about a "specific prophecy."

You read my post right about Adam and Eve, anyway. Adam and Eve DID rebel wilfully. While the serpent did deceive them--and thus was to blame for his part--they made the quite conscious decision to disobey God when they knew full well that what they were about to do was forbidden.

In fact, they did exactly what you seem to do--they looked at the fruit, saw that it looked good and would do them good, so to their way of thinking it couldn't be bad. You look at the world exactly the same way--there's poverty and suffering and warfare and the Church has been complicit in some of it, so how can the Church be right?

It helps to read the Bible asking how it applies to you.

But the fruit was not forbidden because it was bad. It was bad because it was forbidden. They had the opportunity to obey God. There is no obedience where there is no opportunity for disobedience. But they freely chose to disobey. The consequences then followed.

That was the point of the story. What I left out wasn't important to our discussion, no matter how much you use the equivalent of the stuck-out tongue. That is what you did, bringing up an unimportant ommission and then trying to say that that constitutes an avoidance of truth.

It was a grade-school tactic.

I did not say that Cain wanted wealth or power. Try reading what is actually in my posts before objecting to it. You objected to your own fantasy. I said that the reason for wars and suffering is because of the selfishness that is in all of us. It's in my fourth paragraph in case you actually want to check it out. Then in my fifth paragraph I speak of wars which are based on selfishness. That particular kind of selfishness--war--is about wealth and power. You objected to my use of Cain in that light. But you will note that Cain did not go to war. Didn't you say that he murdered his brother? That isn't war. So your objection that my saying that Cain wanted wealth and power is misplaced. I didn't say that. I said war is caused by it. Cain wanted something else. The common element here is selfishness.

You're just stretching for errors in my posts. That's why you're finding them where they do not exist. And in the most inconsequential places.

"Wars are rarely started at the behest of one man," you say, but you fail to prove that. You don't even try to support it. I don't know of any that didn't have a leader, do you? Kings and those who are like them usually are the ones who start wars. Most individuals don't want to actually go to war, but they will if they think that there are good enough reasons for doing so, like getting rich, but it takes some one person with a vision however perverse to prompt a people to war. War has always been expensive and complicated. Even in Neolithic times armies of battalion strength were often fielded, and it takes discipline, training, and supplies to organize, manuver, and support an army like that. Some armies were even larger than that, with a great deal more of everything needed for the successful execution of their mission. Mobs don't do that. They can't. It takes a leader, someone who wants them to fight his war for him.

You know about "Cemetary 117," an archeological site between Sudan and Egypt, excavated before the Aswan High Dam covered it? It was 8000-10,000 years old. 59 people were found in that grave, half of them dead from trauma and violence, often arrow-points. Even women and children had multiple arrow-points in them. One man had 19 of them in his body. One woman had 21. There was farmland nearby. Someone wanted that land enough to kill others to get it.

If you can find them, books like "The Neolithic of the Near East" is good, as is "Primitive
War, Its Practices and Concepts," and "Neolithic Europe: A Survey," and "Enclosures and Defences in the Neolithic of Western Europe." While these are all old enough to make them a bit difficult to find--they are more like textboks than novels, so there isn't that much of a demand for them--you might be able to find them in university libraries.

Anyway, the first Egyptian pharaoh, Narmer, set out to conquer the Lower Nile. The Palette of Narmer shows him killing an enemy and then reviewing the headless bodies of other enemies before his army. The Palette of the Fortresses shows walled cities under siege on one side and the spoils of war on the other. They went to war for wealth and power in ancient Egypt. Because the pharaoh demanded it.

We know about the Hundred Years' War, the Wars of the Roses, Cromwell, Kublai Kahn, El Cid, Attila the Hun, Barbarossa, the Thirty Years' War, Bismark, Napoleon, and Hitler. There were wars between Korea and Japan, wars between VietNam and China and Japan. Name the era, and you will find wars abounding, because somebody wanted wealth and power, and he could find plenty of people who were willing to go along with him to get rich, too.

Mesopotamia, at the end of prehistory, had armies of 20,000 well-equipped troops of several kinds--artillery (arrows), infantry (swords and spears and slings), and cavalry (chariots). You only have that if you are serious about warfare and expect a payoff good enough to enrich you and your kingdom. That takes training, discipline, money, and a chain of command. Someone's at the top. Someone always is.

yes, perhaps you are right--I know so little.

What you said about the Church and selfishness is something that we agree on. I wonder why you keep harping on it. Where we disagree is on the interpretation--and it does no good to say that my interpretation is merely another instance of a "christian" (said with a scornful note, of course) interpretation. Yes, it is, but then I guess that would make yours merely a "nonchristian" interpretation, wouldn't it? Why is that any better than a Christian one?

Let's leave that aside for a time, all right? Let's deal with facts.

My, you don't read well, do you? How can Genesis be a way of avoiding blame? I specifically said that we are ALL to blame for this. I can't see how saying that I am to blame also is a way of avoiding the blame that I accept. Look at my last paragraph. Didn't I say "we" and "I"? I'm in on this sin, too. So how am I avoiding blame?

Can you help me on this piece of scintillating logic?

Your third paragraph is full of assumptions. To make your argument there valid, there would have to be 2 billion Christians in the world (I'm not convinced that there are), and they would all have to be of the same kind, thinking the same thing, and equally subordinate to the same authority.

Are they? I don't think so. Will they be? Not a chance. Do they need to be? Not just because you can fantasize a good result from it. So your idea of a Militant Two Billion is quite out of the question. It's a fantasy. Sure, we can imagine it, but we can't actually do it. Human nature--the same human nature that made Jesus say that while divorce was not his idea of a good time, still it is allowed because of "your hard hearts." So we'll have to live with the divisions in the Church that have existed since its founding, for they come from the same hard hearts. Human hearts. Hearts as hard as yours is. By the time we get to the Council of Niceaea in 325 the divisions are clear. They started back in the apostles' time, when they sent letters to the individual churches in individual cities. It isn't helpful in some ways (although I'd be willing to bet that if we ever did get together like this, you wouldn't like it. We'd be too bossy and imposing), but there it is. We must deal with what is, not with what can't be, and such a union just can't be.

Instead, you might want to do what you can to eliminate poverty and suffering. The Parable of the Prodigal Son addresses this issue:

A young man went to Jesus and asked him about what he needed to do. Jesus told him to love God and love his neighbor. "Who is my neighbor?" he asked. Jesus replied with the Parable of the Prodigal Son. A brother was set upon, beaten, robbed, and left for dead. Along came a preacher of a Kingdom Tabernacle Church of God in Christ who saw him, and crossed the street and went on his way. A deacon from the First AME Church came along and saw him, and he, too, crossed the street and went on his way. Then along came a southern redneck good ol' boy with a confederate flag on his truck, the horn playing "Dixie," and a rifle in the gun rack in the back window. He screeched to a stop, got out, looked the bro over, gave him first aid, gently picked him up and put him in his truck and took him to the hospital. He admitted him, and gave the financial office his credit card number so that, whatever the brother needed he'd get.

"Now," Jesus said, "Who was a neighbor to the man?" The young man speaking to him said, "The one who helped him," and Jesus told him, "Then go and do likewise."

Don't gripe about the way that I reinterpreted the story. I know quite well what I did. I tried to bring out the emotional meaning of the story that Jesus told. Samaritans and Jews felt toward each other pretty much as Bubba and Spike Lee do.

What he told the young man was, "Who is your neighbor? You are. Go and be one." The young man looked at the issue of "neighbor" the wrong way. He wondered who is MY neighbor. He didn't ask "To whom am I a neighbor?"

You're asking the question the same way. Your complaints about the Church are distracting you from your real job, which is helping the poor yourself. If you do that, you'll find that there are plenty of Christians who will be working right alongside of you, and in fact have been doing that for years without any fanfare, without any credit. Especially from you.

You are treating Christians as racists treat us--as a single group. You're demanding that every Christian be "a credit to his race." That's religious profiling.

Your anger gets the better of you. "Who will watch the watchers" is a question asked by the Roman poet Juvenal. Why you should ask if Christians have no shame is unclear. I didn't quote Juvenal as a way of excusing anything or anybody. I used it as an illustration of the problem we have with free will and the solutions that we have tried to come up with for it, solutions like socialism and totalitarianism. This isn't audacity--it's a problem recognized for centuries. Your fourth paragraph was irrlevant, since it did not deal with anything that I said. Oh, you used the quote, but you didn't understand its meaning.

Did I say that I am "fearful" of not getting perfection on this earth? You twisted a turn of phrase and then used a brief straw man fallacy on it.

Let me make it clearer for you--there will never be perfection in this life, not anywhere, not any time. You may think that you will achieve it, but that's a fantasy. Again you're looking into the future and using your speculations about it as reality.

When in the future will you achieve perfection? Give me a timetable and a deadline, will you? We'll meet again then and see if you are perfect. Or better than that, I'll ask your wife if you're perfect--assuming that you stil have one. Perfect people are so hard to live with, for they can see everybody's faults but their own.

Give me a deadline. If you do not, then your fantasy remains just that, a fantasy that you do not ever have to achieve or to face, because it will always be in the future. You'll always be "about" to achieve perfection while never doing it.

Do us all a favor--describe what you will be like when you are perfect, and how you will achieve this perfection, and when you will be perfect. Then make sure that you have an accountablility group that we can consult on this. Perhaps someone from your family?

I am willing to make you a bet. You will never be perfect.

And that means that you really do not have the moral right to demand perfection of the Church, either. The church is made up of a lot of people very much like you. I hope that that isn't why you left it.

What will happen to the people of the Church in the afterlife is up to God. I do not predict their future quite as easily as you do.

And apparenlty you misunderstand Jesus' use of the word "perfect."

I do not "downplay" anything just because it's a fact of life. I do recognize a fool's errand, however, and you appear to be on one. I have never said "It was not my fault." I guess I have to remind you again that I distinctly said that it is. But you're still not listening.

No, I suppose that you wouldnt't despise Christians so much if they weren't so Christian. You'd like them a whole lot better if they were like you, but that is just the problem of Genesis 3. And 4. And 6. and 9. and on and on. Be like me. That's selfishness, the selfishness of Cain. One difference between us is that I recognize that I am infected with it, and willingly. You do not. So you blame others for what you cannot do yourself as well as for what you have done to yourself.

You are practically sinless? Not with that much pride.

No, soul_doctor, you have everthing wrong. You cannot listen, you cannot argue. You can only shout and demand. I'm sorry for you, now that I know you a bit better. It's going to be hard, trying to get everyone to live up to your standards, but for a while you'll have the strength for it. And where your strength flags, you will always have your hate and despising of those who are "weaker" and "lower" than you are.

Well, it's your choice.
As long as this is, your first comment makes me want to stop right now and skip to the end. If you are a christian, you should be very well aware of the prophecy of the Messiah of Israel. In a previous post I mentioned to you that the Messiah of Israel would herald the end of war, poverty, suffering, etc. etc... That is what the OT says. This is what I meant by 'specific'.

Maybe you just forgot these 'specifics' concerning Israel. But since you are not *dealing* with Israel, it makes perfect sense for you not to understand the specifics of which I mean.

It occurs to me that you have no intent here other than to get your 'belief' across. You don't care about anyone or anything else other than your precious christian point of view. I'll read what you wrote, but I won't promise a reply. This is simply too rediculous. I feel like I'm trying to educate a child concerning bathroom ettiquette. My kids still haven't caught on. If they would only take a moment to think.

I figure it ends here. I'm fairly certain this post of your is merely more of the same. More excuses. More confusion. More ignorance. More of everything I've already been *over* and through with *dozens* of other christians to no end.

I tire of this.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
You coward. You don't "tire" of it. You simply have no logical, reasonable answer. You twist and distort and misunderstand, and when the facts are against you, you run.

No wonder you have a double standard when it comes ot Christians. You aren't thinking.

I asked you to ask a single question so we could deal with it. You asked more than that, but not one of them was about a "prophecy." Now you say that the prophecy is more important than that, and that I must have forgotten this important "specific."

Will you make up your mind?

I told you that if I addressed your questions that you wouldn't read the post. You are the proselytizer, for when you think you aren't getting converts to your point of view, you quit.

I'll bet your family would understand this.

You are "perfect"? I don't think so. You never will be. Join the human club.

But don't expect anyone to take you seriously after this.
Melesi: Your post, in it's entirety, implies that your perspective is flawless. As an example: 'You didn't ask about "specific prophecies."; 'You are treating Christians as racists treat us--as a single group. You're demanding that every Christian be "a credit to his race."; That's religious profiling.'; 'Let me make it clearer for you--there will never be perfection in this life, not anywhere, not any time.'

What do you know about me? Other than your negative perception of me? Am I *not* righteous or 'perfect'? Can you say 'no' without doubt? Was Jesus then 'righteous'? How do you know? Were you a witness to his righteousness or did you merely 'hear' of it, after the fact, believing it to be true? Would saying tha *I* am righteous convince you or would you require 'proof'? Then why do you require no proof of Jesus yet demand it of me?

How am I to 'prove' my righteousness to you? What, exactly, proves righteousness? What would convince you that you are wrong about me and that I am right about myself? What would convince you that I have earned the right to condemn christianity *and* demand *every* christian be a credit to his and her race? The entire pretense of christianity is that christians *be* a credit to their race. Are they not the shepherds of the people, the protectors, the defenders, and the providers of the people, if need be? Are not such 'lofty' quailities perceived as positive? Why else would a person chose to be 'christian' if not to be a servant to his neighbor and a credit to his or her race?

What do you think Jesus would say to your question? You believe him to *be* 'god', would his standards be no less stringent than mine, if not 'higher'? Would he not be angry with christains himself? Would he not demand that *every* person who has so devoted themselves to his teachings *be* a credit as he was a credit?

Melesi, Jesus himself would rebuke you. You judge me as equivilent to 'many' in your churches. I promise you, if that were true, we, and by that I mean me and you, would not be chatting across the internet about poverty, crime, and christian ignorance. Such things would not exist. There are no others 'like' me and that is why you judge me so poorly. It is because if what I say *is* true, you would have to admit that I have achieved more than you. You would have to admit that I *am* right, regardless of my 'linguistics'. You would no longer be able to find comfort in your christian beliefs because, as you say: 'apparenlty[sic] you misunderstand Jesus' use of the word "perfect."'

Maybe it is you who misunderstands Jesus' use of the word perfect. You assume too much about me, even for a christian devoted to the teachings of your beliefs. How do *you* know what *I* will 'never' be? And for your wager, are you 'willing' to 'bet' your 'life'? Are you 'willing' to change your mind? Would you be willing to set aside your christian perspective to learn my 'spiritual' one? Would you be 'willing' to 'believe' *me*?

You say: 'Let me make it clearer for you--there will never be perfection in this life, not anywhere, not any time.'

Now what 'life' do you mean 'never' about? Do you mean 'our' lifetimes, yours and mine? Or do you mean 'human' lifetime? You 'believe' Jesus to have been 'perfect', correct? Again, how do *you* 'know'? Why do you 'believe' it to be true? It is evident that your opinion is biased as you have admitted you do not believe it to be possible for man to 'perfect' himself. How can you be so adamant when Jesus taught this very basic principle when said as he had become 'perfect', we could also become 'perfect'? Just what do you 'believe' that to mean, Melesi? That Jesus 'lied'? Then why do you 'believe' him to be righteous, yet judge me not to be? Because *you* are not, it is impossible, therefore I cannot be? That is faulty logic, no matter how you defend or deny it.

You ask me for a 'deadline' to prove my 'perfection' with an obvious bias against the possibility. I'd be 'willing' to 'bet' you that I already am. But what exactly does that mean to you? You don't even believe it to be possible. I predicted it would end here and I suspect it should since evidently from the beginning your eyes and ears were closed to anything other than your version of the 'truth'. It is pointless to discuss your point of view when it excludes even the possibility of any other.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.

[This message was edited by soul_doctor73 on October 09, 2003 at 10:04 AM.]
quote:
Originally posted by Melesi:
You coward. You don't "tire" of it. You simply have no logical, reasonable answer. You twist and distort and misunderstand, and when the facts are against you, you run.

No wonder you have a double standard when it comes ot Christians. You aren't thinking.

I asked you to ask a single question so we could deal with it. You asked more than that, but not one of them was about a "prophecy." Now you say that the prophecy is more important than that, and that I must have forgotten this important "specific."

Will you make up your mind?

I told you that if I addressed your questions that you wouldn't read the post. You are the proselytizer, for when you think you aren't getting converts to your point of view, you quit.

I'll bet your family would understand this.

You are "perfect"? I don't think so. You never will be. Join the human club.

But don't expect anyone to take you seriously after this.


So quick to jump to conclusions. Let's see how far you jump after reading my reply to your post.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
soul_doctor,

Very well.

You take the easy way out by asking questions intead of giving answers. By that technique you allow your reader to draw conclusions without exposing yourself to refutation by actually stating your position.

Where you do state your position you are as usual wrong.

I do not say what I do because I believe my perspective to be "flawless." If you spent more time thinking about the issue and the subject instead of trying to find motives to justify your ignoring the issue, you would be more productive in your reasoning and perhaps even worth talking to. One does not promote an argument because of a feeling about one's perspective. That's a sword that cuts both ways, and I would be just as justified in accusing you of believing that your position is "flawless," and as you can see, that sort of thing gets us nowhere. So stop inventing motives for others, OK? Since I have already said more than once that I am not flawless, your statement just proves that you are not reading what I write, and therefore you do not care what somebody else really thinks.

That's the hallmark of the proselytiser.

Now, to what you said in your post:

Don't try to hide behind a pretended righteous indignation with a "What do you know about me?" You have spent a long time here telling people precisely what you think and illustrating how you don't. I can say without a doubt of any kind that you are not perfect.

I even gave you the opportunity to describe perfection and you didn't do it. So don't try to pretend that I am setting before you some kind of false definition of perfection that no one can reach. As I said, you aren't really reading my posts, but that's not my fault.

I know what Jesus was like from what he said and from the descriptions of him. I know much about you by what you say, not just to me but to others as well, and you and Jesus are very different. His goals are obvious: others' absolute good. His sacrifice on behalf of others is clear. Your goals are merely to convince people that they are wrong and you are right. Jesus showed people the way of life and joy. You wish to tear down, to see "burn." Jesus's motive was love. Yours is hate.

I'd say that there's a great deal of difference between you two.

How do I know? By the unanimous witness of his witnesses. I don't see such a testimony on your behalf, nor are we likely to.

I ask you for proof because you and I are very human, and thus we already know something about each other. One of those things is that there is very little possibility--let alone probability--that either of us is anywhere near perfect. Yet you claim that you are, or nearly are. Well, that piques my interest as well as my skepticism, so of course I ask you to prove that you are what you say you are.

So far I notice that you haven't even tried. You've only archly asked questions. That's not quite proof.

You do not have the right to condemn Christianity because you have not established your credentials for doing so. You've only showed us that you hate Christians because your family and Christians in general haven't done what you think they should. But that's not a proper standard. You as an individual are not a standard for anyone else, so how can you be a standard for a whole class of people?

And every Christian is not going to be a credit to his or her Church all the time because we are human. That's what forgiveness is for--a trait that you badly lack, by the way.

"Are they not the shepherds of the people, the protectors, the defenders, and the providers of the people, if need be?"

No. That is an unfair question because of the assumptions that underlie it. A better one would be "Are they not those who love others?" The answer to that is of course "yes," but these other things you say are not so simple as you put it.

First, as I have said, I think the "2 billion" number is inflated. There aren't that many Christians in the world. Right at the moment I am housing a German exchange student. This kid calls himself a "Christian" on his paperwork, but he's nothing like a Christian. He doesn't go to church, he doesn't read the Bible, he knows nothing about the requirements of being a Christian, he doesn't pray, he doesn't care what Jesus said or wants of us. Yet he calls himself "Christian." How many others in the world do that? "You believe in one God, you do well. The devils also believe, and tremble." Believing in God does no good. One has to actually believe him. Sergej does not. Neither do many in the world who call themselves "Christian."

So your number is far too high. A lesser number cannot be all that you list to others, especially when many of them do not want Christians to be all that to them.

Nor is that what Christians are called to do. We are called to love and to help, to teach and to encourage, to heal and to bring and to provide where the destitute truly are needy. We are called to bring the love of God--who pays people the respect of allowing them to go their own way if they wish even if it is to their own destruction but stands ready to forgive and to love if they should happen to ask for it--to all. That's far different from what you are demanding. It's also far better.

Jesus is God, yes. So his standards are not less stringent than yours, but they are very different. Since you have read the Bible, you know the discussions he had with people who were just as certain as you are that they knew what the Messiah was "supposed" to be, and how he showed them that they had the concept all wrong. The glory of God is not in making the world as we want it to be--that's the point of the Tower of Bable story--but is living in him as he wants us to do.

I think that that's part of your frustration. You are concentrating on the externals. They are important, but they are to exist because of what's on the inside. You are not caring for what's on the inside as much as you are for what's on the outside, and so you are doomed to failure. "From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks" "As a man thinks in his heart, that's what he is." The inside must be cared for as is the outside. Both together. You are demanding that Christians act a certain way without caring for what's on their inside. Without caring for them. You hate and despise them too much. That's corrosive to you as well as unfair to them. I hope for better for you soon.

"Jesus himself would rebuke you." You are pretty certain about that. You are also wrong. Oh, he would have plenty to criticise me. I've given him plenty of opportunities and reasons to correct me, and I imagine that I will in the future, too. But when he does, he does out of a heart of love. "Faithful are the wounds of a friend," and his corrections and judgments on me are utterly faithful, for they have my best interests at heart. It's humbling, but he's always right, and always helpful.

You should try it some time.

So Jesus does correct me, but he doesn't "rebuke" me as you seem to mean it. He has a great deal more love than you do.

You two really are very different.

If everybody in the Church were like you "poverty would not exist"? How do you know? What are you doing right now to eliminate it? How are you doing in that mission? If you have not eliminated poverty in your own neighborhood, then how can you expect anyone to believe that your way would eliminate it all over the world?

Sometimes it's easier to fantasize about the world than it is to help your own block.

There are no others like you? Perhaps that's a blessing?

How do I know what you will never be? Oh, gee, how can I answer that one? With every stroke of your keyboard you show that you are so sadly lacking in the minimum graces of love and understanding and humility, that you would rather believe a silly lie than find out the truth--that was the point of our discussion on linguistics, which I note you have abandoned since your being wrong was so easily proven. But I also see that you do not admit to being wrong about it. You only hide from the argument while sniping that you were right all along. For someone who is perfect you have a hard time admitting the truth--and you'd rather distort another's argument, commit the genetic fallacy, and sneer at nonexistant motives than open your eyes to what is true.

Yes, you certainly do make it hard to know what you will never be. But you will never be perfect. You haven't even defined the term, so how can anyone know that even you understand what you mean by it?

And please don't contrast "Christian" with "spiritual." It's so ridiculous for you to do so. I pray every day, fast several times a year, read the Bible, do my best to obey what is commanded in it, and help others as much as I can because God loves them. What's "unspiritual" about that? Yet that's what Christianity is and does in a life.

But to directly answer your question, yes, I will be willing to believe you when you show that you are right. You don't have to start with being perfect, but that is necessary.

Your question about what life I mean is a silly one. You specialize in silly questions, I guess.

Come, now. To say that I am "biased" because I have an opinion is to stretch the definition of biased beyond comprehension. By your definition then you are biased, too, for you certainly have an opinion. Now we're even, so you don't have to bring it up again, though I have no doubt that you will. You can argue so drearily.

The perfection of Jesus is our goal. But given the commands to forgive one another, and the fact that Paul the apostle sometimes did what he should not have done, as did Peter, show me that perfection is not attainable in this life. That's why we must be understanding and forgiving of one another. In fact, a study of the "one another" verses in the Bible is quite instructive. That's what we are supposed to do and be, and perfect is not among them. We should strive for it, but never believe that we have achieved it, for we never will on this earth.

I don't believe that you are not perfect because I am not. I believe that you are not perfect because you have shown quite well enough that you are not. I believe that you will never be because you are human.

Don't worry about my "obvious bias" against your timetable for perfection. If you become perfect, even I will have to admit it.

But first you must become perfect. What is it that you will be when you are perfect, and when will you become that?
You say I ask silly questions, and to christians they are silly. Christian can't stand to be asked about their works. They can't stand to be talked to about their sins and failings. Christians hate to be confronted with their reasons for needing 'forgiveness'. Why do *you* ask to be forgiven? How often do you need to ask your god to forgive your failure to comply with his teachings?

If *you* don't believe there to be two billion christians on this planet, that is your choice. The Christian entertainment industry, the Government, and anyone who wants to sell to a christian differs with you. Every christian who says they are 'christian' believes they are going to heaven. Even if, as you say, they don't believe if 'god' is real or not. You may not agree with what *they* think, but to them, what you think concerning *their* beliefs isn't even slightly relevant. They believe themselves to be christians. *You* believe yourself to be christian. What empowers you to declare who and what is a 'christian'? What prevents them from declaring you 'non-christian'? If 'Sergi' says he is 'christain', what *right* have *you* to say that he is *not*? 'Judge not lest ye be judged.' Haven't you heard that phrase before? Another silly question?

As far as being human, let me hit you with more of my silly questions: Do you 'believe' Jesus was a 'human'? Let me remind you of your comments: "I believe that you will never be [perfect] because you are human." From what I hear, Jesus *was* a 'human' of flesh and blood. So was Jesus 'perfect' or wasn't he? Was Jesus human or wasn't he? Can humans be perfect or can't they? You say *I* can't be perfect because *I* am 'human', was Jesus 'human' as well? Or is there some other 'christian' answer?

Ready for more silly questions? Why aren't *you* better than me? Why aren't you more 'spiritual' than I am? Why aren't *you* perfect? Why aren't you telling *me* how *I* can be? Why aren't you condemning *my* sinful nature? Why aren't you using your moral superiority to address my lack of it? Why aren't you doing the 'christian' thing by expressing your 'love' and 'compassion' for me instead of implying your dislike? Why aren't you a model for christians? Why are you condemning my condemnation of the *very* people *you* say are *not* christian because they don't "pray, fast a few times a year, and go to church every Sunday" like you do? I'm trying to tell them they are wrong for being so lazy. Why aren't you *helping* me to make them *better* christians?

Is it because I promote knowledge over belief in the bible? Is it because I promote action over speech? Is it because I say christians are complacent? You have judged many 'christians' the same way when you said they weren't 'really' christians. Tell us then, what is a 'real' christian's point of view? You've already trespassed against the teachings of Jesus so many times in these posts of yours, you're going to need knee pads for your praying sessions. Making a few more judgements won't hurt you a bit.

As for me, I don't adhere to the bible. I follow what is Right and True only, and if my morality is too demanding then that's too bad. For you. Fire is hotter than my heated words, and only the Right and True will avoid 'hellfire'. So when I say your christian prayers for forgiveness are excuses to do what is still in your *nature* to do, I mean exactly that. You sin because you haven't gotten the 'sin' out of you, and where there is sin, there is darkness, and where there is darkness, there is an absence of light, and where there is an absence of light, I have read that your god does not dwell. Did I misunderstand that too?

The next time you need christian 'forgiveness' remember this, if it wasn't in your heart to do it, you wouldn't have, and if you hadn't done it, you wouldn't need forgiveness for it in the *first* place. That is *not* what forgiveness is for.

As for me, I don't need 'forgiveness', despite what you believe. My heart is pure of darkness. My mind is free of evil thought. What I do and the reasons why I do them is because I am devoted to the Most High before *anything* else. Even my 'human' feelings and your christian beliefs. I fear an eternity of flame and darkness. I fear an eternity of punishment for all my 'human' failings. You happen to believe that it is Jesus' job to save you from those torments. *I* believe it is my own. That is the difference between you and me. Jesus isn't here to add his opinion.

I don't fully expect you to answer any of these questions justly. You will continue to hem and haw about how 'wrong' you think I am. But you won't answer the questions. You won't talk about why you aren't righteous. You are, after all, a christian, right? Aren't you *supposed* to be? Aren't you supposed to be 'pure of heart'? Aren't you supposed to be 'meek' and humble? Aren't you supposed to be a model to those who are not christian? There is *supposed* to be a difference between christians and laypersons. There is supposed to be a *distinct* difference, but there is not. And all you can do is defend the reasons for it as 'human'.

What will you say this time? That I have no right? That I am not as 'perfect' as I say I am? Will you judge me again from a distance by words on a page? Will you condemn me as self-righteous, again, knowing only that you disagree with what I say? This is what you've been doing from the beginning. Which reminds me, you condemn me as hateful while praising Jesus as loving. Humor one more silly question of mine, just why do you think those 'jews' wanted Jesus dead? They hated what he was saying to them just like you hate what I am saying to you. To put it nicely, they didn't 'like' Jesus then. Christians certainly don't 'like' me either. Just like Jesus had to defend his rigteousness against the Pharisees, I have to defend mine against you christians.

Now what about the people who believe me and think like me? Will they treat me like you, like a christian, or will they show me love and compassion? Another silly question? Just burns you up to contemplate it, doesn't it.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.

[This message was edited by soul_doctor73 on October 10, 2003 at 06:54 PM.]
How quickly you turn from the subject. From silly questions you go immediately to Christians not standing to be asked about their works. The one has nothing to do with the other.

What have I been doing but allowing you to ask any question? All I asked you to do was to ask one question and stay on that subject long enough to deal with it. You have in fact asked about works and I have answered your questions. This is far from not being able to "stand" being asked about works. But of course, you don't see that because it doesn't fit with your concept of Christians. Oh well.

Yes, I'm quite sure that Christians really "hate" to be confronted with their reasons for needing forgiveness. That's why a confession is in every liturgy in the Church, and that's why the well-known mnemonic device for remembering how to pray is ACTS, for Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication. Yes, we "hate" to confront our need for forgiveness.

And you say that you were a Christian once? You seem to have forgotten everything it means to be one.

Oh, my, yes, by all means let's believe the entertainment industry and the government. What on earth are you using them as an authority on the number of Christians in the world for? They know next to nothing about it. So much of the Christian entertainment industry has been bought by secular corporations that most of the people at the top of them wouldn't know a Christian if he came up and started praying for them. And the government? The government that is militantly nonreligious, that maintains the "separation of church and state"? Uh-huh. Good choice in sources for your facts.

It doesn't matter if I believe myself to be a Christian. Jesus sets the standard, not our individual beliefs. That's why I quoted James in my previous post. You do remember the book of James, don't you?

And about not judging, that has nothing to do with recognizing another's spirituality. It has everything to do with condemning another person's worth and eternal destiny. I can not do that, but I can recognize if another person is a Christian or not. That's not judging. Read your Bible again. You're beginning to forget what it's about.

I also said that Jesus is God. That should answer your third paragraph. It would have saved you the effort of writing it, too, if you'd only thought about what I wrote...or just read it.

You do love those silly questions, don't you? And most of them are unnecessary. You'd know the answers to them if you would only take a moment and think.

You have that scattergun trait of yours at full throttle, so you really should slow down a bit. You will require an answer longer than you are willing to read.

But let's take them one at a time:
I am not better than you because I am human and God loves you just as much as he loves me. Besides, I know my failings very well. I don't like them, but there they are, so I have to work against them to correct and by God's help and grace eliminate them. It will take a long time to do so, longer than I have to live. Longer than any of us do.

I don't know about being more spiritual than you are. I may in fact be so, but I don't know that. I just know how unspiritual I am. If it weren't for the love and grace of God, I wouldn't be anything at all, so whatever I can do or be spiritually is because of his doing in me, not mine.

Why am I not perfect? Because I am human and Romans 7 applies to me very well.

Why am I not telling you how you can be perfect? Because as I told you, the road to perfection lies only through Jesus Christ, and you know how to start that road for yourself. The only thing left for you to do is to actually start. So I don't have to tell you how. You already know. You just haven't tried it yet.

Why am I not condemning your sinful nature? That's not my job. My only job here is to point out to you your deliberate false choices that are getting in your way of recognizing the truth. If you would just open your eyes and think, you'd see a lot more. What did Yogi Berra say, "You can see a lot just by looking." He was right.

Why am I not using my moral superiority to address your lack of it? Because I have no moral superiority. I just do what I can to be the best Christian I can be. That involves using my mind to its fullest and exercising my spirit, too, through prayer and learning and obedience. Everything else comes from that, and it's a gift to me.

Expressing my love and compassion for you: there's an old story about a young girl sitting on her front porch one morning, crying. A fairy fluttered down onto her shoulder and asked her what was wrong. "Nobody said they loved me this morning," sobbed the little girl. "They certainly did," replied the fairy. "Your grandmother did." The girl looked at the fairy. "When did she say that?" she asked. "When she said, 'Don't eat too fast.'"

There are many ways to express love and compassion. Didn't I quote Proverbs to you, "Faithful are the wounds of a friend"? Sometimes we mistake love and compassion for something else when in fact it is just the love and compassion we think we are missing. It just isn't expressed in ways that we have decided to recognize. The fact that I am taking all this time with you is love and compassion. The fact that you are mulish and unlistening and I have to resort to hard words does not unmake the fact that I want the best for you. You are thinking very badly and you stubbornly refuse to change. I'm still trying with you.

I don't dislike you. That's why you have to infer the dislike. I do have a serious problem with your methods and apparent self-centeredness and obvious pride, but I don't dislike you.

Why am I not a model for Christians? Because we already have a model, one far better than I could ever be: Jesus. We Christians follow that model.

I do not always condemn the same people that you condemn. Where we agree I say so, as I have done at least once. But we do not always agree, for you do not always condemn people who deserve it by their actions. You condemn all Christians. That is a bit different, and on that we do not agree.

I did not say that people are not Christians because they do not do as I do. I simply used that illustration as one example. Christians do that sort of thing, to whatever greater or lesser degree. If someone does not, then "Why do you call me Lord but don't do as I say?" becomes appropriate.

And you are not trying to make them better Christians. You don't want them to be Christians at all. I suspect that you are being merely disingenuous here.

It isn't because you promote "knowledge" over "belief." You haven't shown any knowledge at all. Your linguistics are terrible, your logic excrable, your methods of debating are underhanded. That's not knowledge. You try to beat others into submission with your words instead of presenting the truth and letting them make up their minds. And then you condemn Bible thumpers for doing the same thing, don't you?

For someone who doesn't read the Bible or like Christianity, you certainly pretend to know the mind of Jesus. But your alleged knowledge of Jesus is no more impressive than your knowledge of linguistics. Let Jesus and me worry about whether I have trespassed against his teachings in my posts. If you have proof that I have, present it. You didn't do so when you accused me. If you can, then we'll see.

Your morality isn't too demanding. You merely think too highly of yourself. If you can think of yourself as "perfect," then I would say that your morality isn't demanding at all. In fact it's too easy.

What is a real Christian's point of view? On what? You've asked so many questions that it isn't clear what you would like to know about here. I think because you really don't want to know anything of the sort. You're trying to be rhetorical, but all you're doing is being immature and scattered.

I imagine you do mean "exactly that," but you're exactly wrong. A confession is not an excuse to do more wrong. You keep saying that, and no matter how many times I tell you otherwise you refuse to listen. A confession is a recognition that God is right, and it includes a prayer that we do not do that wrong any more. But there are plenty more where that came from, so we'll have a lifetime of confessing and changing.

Did you misunderstand that, too? You really have to ask? Of course you did. You misunderstand everything about Christ and Christians. Go back and read the first half of Romans again, if you've ever read it the first time. You'll find the answer there. I know that you say that you "don't adhere to the Bible," but if you want to understand Christ and Christians instead of just mouthing silly empty illogical rantings against them you really do need to read Romans and meditate on it.

Otherwise you have no right to say what you do about them. You have to research your subject to know what you're talking about. Your research is just too old and sketchy to do you any good, for you've forgotten too much.

What was it you got wrong? The nature of salvation and the work of God in the souls of his people, the work and presence of God that makes us as it was said so many centuries ago, "simul iustus et peccator," at the same time saved and sinner. Remember this one: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." Or how about, when asked why he ate with sinners, Jesus replied, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick." Or how about "I came, not to call the righteous, but sinners." Or how about, "God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved." You see, over and over again the Bible makes it clear that God does indeed live where there is sin. Jesus lived in Nazareth, a Roman garrison town. He went to a wedding and didn't ask if there were any sinners there. He just went. God doesn't condone sin, but his work to change it is supremely in Jesus, and Jesus came to sinners and lived with us. He still does. So yes, you got that wrong, too.

Your theology has all the flaws of your linguistics and your logic. It's too full of self-righteousness and hate to be right.

That's precisely what forgiveness is for. I know my heart, and I do not trust it. It only by God's love and grace that I can overcome my sin. And I can. I just don't always. And neither do you. That's when we both need forgiveness.

I know that you say that you don't need forgiveness, but you do. I hope that one day you recognize your need for it.

You know, I don't think you can find one place where I hemmed or hawed. Show me one place where I did, OK?


Which means that you just lied about me when the evidence was plain before you. Your emotions got the better of you and you deliberately said what is not true.

That's not perfection.

I have plainly said why I am not righteous. I am a sinner. I do wrong, and only by God's grace can I do any right at all. The fact that I can do right is reason to praise and thank God for his love for even me. That means that his love really is great.

Um, most Christians are laypersons. Why do you draw a distinction betwwen "Christians" and "laypersons"?

am I supposed to be pure of heart? Sure, and one day I will be. Now and then I really can be, and I can be increasingly so as time goes on. But only because I watch myself and don't trust myself but rather trust in God, as Paul tells us to do in Romans 6.

Depends on what you mean by "meek" and "humble." If you mean a "nice" or "doormat" person, then no. A humble person is one who recognizes reality for what it is and acccepts God's reality and judgments. A humble person is simply one who isn't self-centered and proud. No wonder you have a hard time with that concept.

And am I not a model to those who are not Christian? To an extent I think I have been, at least that's what I have been told by some new Christians who came to Christ in our church. Not that it was any of my doing. Again, it's a mark of the work God does in me, and therefore in any of his servants. There's nothing special about me.

Oh, no, it isn't so simple a matter as "only words on a page." You evidently do not know what you reveal to those who have the eyes to see. You believe that you can discern my character from afar but that no one can discern yours? That really is presumption. You are self-righteous, prickly, proud, and obstinate. You are everything that you accuse Christians of being. It is pitiable to see that in you because it's so plain to others. You alone are blind to it. Most self-righteous people are, and you are no exception.

The Jews who wanted Jesus dead--not all of them did, you will recall. He was followed and listened to by thousands sometimes, and all his disciples were Jewish, and he had supporters on the Sanhedrin--did so for political reasons. You do remember reading that, don't you? The priest saying that it was better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish? That was a political justification.

So I really don't think that you should put yourself in Jesus' place here. I don't hate you for political reasons. I don't hate you at all. In fact, you are the one who has said that you hate the Christians. You want their churches burned. Now here you are trying to turn that around.

Again, will you make up your mind? You keep changing it.

Jesus didn't have to defend himself against the Pharisees because he kept saying stupid things.
That's another difference between you and Jesus.

To your last question,
No. You'd apparently like to think that it would or does, but it doesn't. When I meet another one like you I'll treat him on his own terms. If he's logical and reasonable, we'll have a pleasant discussion. If he really is like you, then I'll simply tell him all the things he gets wrong.

You are not the only person who thinks very badly about Jesus and his Church. There are plenty of persecutors and mockers who don't know what they're saying. You're just one of a very loud but inactive crowd.

You see, you haven't eliminated poverty in your neighborhood, have you? That's why you didn't answer my question to you on that.

Oh, and you haven't told me yet what you will be like when you are perfect, nor when that will be. You're not avoiding that question, too, are you?
When I wrote this post in July, I posted it at maybe a dozen other forums and have probably replied concerning it more than two hundred times. I am routinely accused of being bereft of knowledge, lacking compassion, being self-righteous, and hateful, only to be coddled as misguided and immature. Up until now, I have argued against dissenters according to the rules of intellectual debate, assuming my opponents would govern themselves accordingly.

Christians, being the majorty of respondants to my posts, tend to ignore everything that the bible ignores, only promoting a biblical perspective. Melesi, you've done a fine job at this so I'm not going to ask you any more questions. I'm going to make statements from here on out. Statements concerning those things you have so patently ignored while pointing out everything the bible doesn't agree with me on. While your knowledge concerning scripture is in depth, your whole argument from a biblical perspective is contrary to everything I am talking about. I am not talking about religion, my friend, you are.

I am talking about reality. As an example of reality, poverty. Christianity does nothing to impact the level of poverty, homelessness, or hunger. Every year, the numbers remain consistent. The impoverish remain so despite all the christian compassion in the world. Every year, a calculatable number of children die from starvation. Every year, a calcualable number of people are noted as 'homeless' or 'living in poverty'. In the same space of time, christian churches congregate approximately fifty-four times, teaching the love and compassion of Jesus. In the same space of time, hundreds of millions of dollars are accumulated in monetary offerings. Every week, christian congregate to hear the 'good news' of Jesus being taught from their bibles and dutifully give their offerings. At the end of each weekly service, confident they have met the obligation of their faith to 'forsake not the assembling of yourselves', they return to their lives, to wait for the next weekly meeting. It is true, not every christian is this way. Many go to church more often than this and give more money to their churches than others who only go one day a week.

And some christians organize to help the impoverished. Some churches give food to those who live in poverty. Some of them give money directly to the needy or send it overseas. Some christians do these things themselves in the privacy of their own homes, and many people in their church do not know of their deeds. These are the people who confess belief in religion but who go beyond simple belief into personal efforts of their own to embody the teachings of Jesus. I do not address these people as 'christians', merely as blind and deaf.

When I speak of 'christians', I am speaking of the people who confess Jesus as 'savior' yet fail to imitate him. These are the people who talk bible all day long but will not reach into their pockets to give a dollar when asked by a 'suspect' character. The christians who won't buy a sandwich for someone who smells and looks bad. The christians who testify to the 'goodness of god' by testifying on the house or car they bought with the cash windfall they were 'blessed' with. The christians who pride themselves on their gains because of their new job. The christians who gain wealth, amass wealth, and keep wealth for themselves when they could give to those in need. The christians who faithfully attend their worship services, while innocents are suffering right under their noises.

The point is, Melesi, christians are too busy with church to emulate Jesus. They are too busy reading the bible, memorizing scripture, or worshiping to be a good samaritan. Too busy praying or shouting to see to the needs of a widow and their orphans. Too busy testifying and 'dressing for church' to take a moment to actually *help* someone who could really use it. Christains are too busy being taught about Jesus to learn the lessons of life. They are too busy to control their thoughts or bridle their tongues as they should. Too busy to learn how to treat others they way they should treat them. They are too busy to do anything other than worship and go to church.

Homeless people sleep out of doors while christians spend lavishly decorating their homes. People starve while christians gather to fellowship over potlucks at their churches. The poor and destitute make due with whatever they can while christians are buying hats and three piece suits to attend worship service. Emergency rooms are full of people who can't afford to pay for the service while the hospital itself is full of paying christians.

Everywhere I look, I see christian influence. Businesses owned by christians. Governments operated by christians. Nations controlled by christians. It is estimated by reputed authorities to be aproximately two billion christians, people who confessed themselves as servants to the teachings of Jesus. People who profess love and compassion for their neighbors. What we have here, is a failure to communicate my disatisfaction for what you *say* and what christians *do*. I keep hearing how you aren't perfect and how Jesus forgives. But very few, if any, christian has done anything significant in their christian history besides go to church and believe as they have been taught.

Which brings me to the subject of this thread. Christians believe Jesus to be the messiah of Israel, not being fully cognizant of the prophecy relating to that individual. In order to end the poverty, suffering, and untimwly death of innocents christians believe Jesus will return to establish an earthly kingdom for a thousand years. Christians have been taught that all prophecy concerning the messiah was fulfilled by Jesus and there is the ruse. If Jesus had been the messiah two thousand years ago, the injustices he spoke out against wouldn't exist. He told those who would follow him to sell their wealth and give it to the poor. He complained bitterly against the pharisees and sadducees, the 'christians' of his time, because they were full of many words of love and compassion but lacking in sincerity and effort. They preached too much and didn't practice enough.

Christians have been preaching the same sermons for seventeen hundred years. They have been reading the same bibles, believing the same doctrine, and teaching the same lessons without pause. Only the people have changed. Nearly seventy generations of people. But this will be the last generation. Christians won't be able to get by with church attendance and love offerings as proof of their spirtuality. You won't be able to get by on your in depth knowledge of linguistics and greek and hebrew languages.

If you didn't already believe Jesus to be the messiah of Israel, you would know that your time is running out. You would recognize the signs of the times like men wearing more jewelry than women. Poverty is rampant. Famine is widespread. World war looms on the horizon. But christians believe themselves to be safe from the impending disaster. Christians believe Jesus has saved them from the judgement of the last days. Christians believe they will 'taken up' while everyone else will be 'left behind' to deal with the impending judgement promised by the Holy One of Israel, long before christians starting claiming Jesus and the Holy One of Israel was the same 'person'.

The world will by immolated by fire, along with the worldly and wicked. The twelve tribes of Israel will inhabit the lands of their forefathers, lands that are still desolate to this day. The destruction by fire will be survived by a small number of the world population, including the Remnant of Israel. Humans will be so few and far in between that to see the footprint of another will be a rarity. That is a prophecy for the future, and not a part of any millenial kingdom that the new testament teaches. The messiah will build the third temple according to the Old Testament, yet Paul says he sees no temple in his 'vision' of the future. The Messiah will destroy the Army of Gog and Magog, alone without effort. Chrstians teach Jesus' kingdom is supposed to perfect when it is established, leaving another prophecy unfulfilled.

The Messiah will evidently be married and have children, three of which are mentioned by the names they switch to, his wife is said to be due to birth another, and all this 'after' the loss of an 'other'. Jesus had no children, didn't marry, and won't be fulfilling this prophecy either. The Messiah will bring about the end of war, all nations will become peaceful, and he will eventually rule all of the earth after being made King over two countries. Jesus wasn't an earthly king, didn't rule as an earthly king, and specifcally said his kingdom was not of this earth. Another missing prophecy. These are Old Testament prophecys relating to the Messiah of Israel, prophecy that is yet to be fulfilled by the true Messiah of Israel.

The bible doesn't deal with anything going on outside a church because the men who established the 'authorized' church wasn't focusing on the world. They were focused on promoting Jesus as Messiah, their Church as the 'true' bride, and the authorized 'canon' of their bible. So this is your focus too. You can't see why christians have failed to immitate Jesus. You can't see how you've failed to understand his teachings, but you can see how much of the new testament you believe compared to the Old Testament. Blind to the world outside your church and deaf to the teachings of the man it is supposed to represent.

You can talk as much as you want about how religious you are and how right christianity is, but I know that is the full extent of it. You count your pennies before you put them in the offering. You check the mirror before leaving to go worship at your assembly. You drive to your church past all the poor people, through bad neighborhoods, and neglected society. To make your weekly statement: I am christian. I go to church. But when you die, you will have nothing to show for your years of church service. You will have nothing to account for all your giving to your pastor's church offering. You will have nothing to show for your campassion but 'testimonials'.

Now, Jesus said, 'in that day, many will say to me 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in your name?' Did we not cast out demons?' Jesus, according to the bible, will respond: 'You didn't feed me when I was hungry, or clothe me when I was naked, nor did you give me to drink when I was thirsty. Where were you when I needed you?'

Their reply: 'In church. Casting out demons and prophesying.'

Jesus: 'I never knew you.'

If you want credit for doing something good, you actually have to do something good. None of your religious beliefs actually does anything *good* for anyone, Melesi. Believing in your christian concepts do not feed, clothe, nor house the needy of Jesus' question. Preaching christian doctrine is not displaying love and compassion. Attending weekly worship service is not proof of an inward change of the outward man. Quoting the bible to no end is pointless when the heart lacks understanding, and your heart lacks understanding Melesi. You are full of christian belief, but lacking in spiritual understanding, knowledge, and wisdom. You can talk at length about the bible and what it teaches and how right you believe it to be, but what you cannot do is anything other than merely talk about what you believe. Which happens to exclude everything I have covered here. You, like ever other christian, is waiting for Jesus' kingdom to fix it for you.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.

[This message was edited by soul_doctor73 on October 11, 2003 at 10:13 PM.]
soul_doctor,

Sorry I haven't been around lately. A friend of mine committed suicide and I've been with the family instead of here.

In fact, the funeral is soon today, so I won't have time to answer much that you posted. What I can do now I will, and I'll be back later--in a day or two probably--to answer more.

Tonight I have to teach an Urban Search and Rescue class, tomorrow night I take my German student and a couple of his friends to a play, Saturday I have to build a set for another play...you get the idea. It's pretty busy around here.

OK,

"Rules of intellectual debate"? Where? When? You have studiously avoided the methods of "intellectual debate" ever since I have known you. You have changed the subject, you have avoided answering questions, you have sneered, you have refused to read my post, you have inferred and had to be corrected and even then you haven't admitted that you misunderstood (which makes me suspect that your inferring was deliberate), and you have evinced a credulity in anything that will support your thesis no matter how wrong it is. In short, you have quarrelled but not debated, and you have shown no "intellectual" capability at all.

Not that that will change your opinion about yourself. Others are always to blame.

"Christians...tend to ignore everything the Bible ignores." Well, have I done that? Let's see, we dealt with linguistics, we dealt with logic (including logical fallacies that are nowhere mentioned in the Bible), in other posts I have talked about time, about the shape of the universe, about the origin of the word "pagan," about evolution, and about several other things as well that are not mentioned in the Bible.

Now, I do have a Biblical perspective on the world, but notice your reaction to that you try to turn a vice into a virtue. Instead of showing how a Biblical perspective is wrong, you simply say "You have a biblical perspective so I'm not going to ask you any more questions." But that's just what I said that you have to do anyway in order for this conversation to go anywhere. Don't you bother to read what you object to? Or do you just hope that no one remembers what was said before?

Well, no more questions. Thank heaven for small favors, I guess.

You're not talking about religion? Then what was all that blather at the start about YHWH really being ISIS? About the God of Israel really being female? About Enochian prophecies? That's pretty darn religious for an argument that's not religious.

"Christianity does nothing to impact the level of poverty..." Well, let's see--shelters, gospel missions, food banks, clothing drives, charitable giving, run by churches and Christians, and you say that Christians do "nothing" about poverty. You are blind, doctor.

Now, you do say, right after you say that they do nothing about poverty, and they do something about poverty. You do not, for some reason, wish to call these people "Christians." Yet they are. Why don't you want to call them Christians but because doing so will defuse your argument? You do not apparently ask them what they wish to be called, nor think about why they just might be called "Christians" by everybody but you.

No, when you say "Christians," you wish to talk only about people that you don't like. But you cannot restrict a definition to what you like and approve of. People are what they are. Historically people like these have been called Christians, so for you to refuse to do so is a deliberate revisionism, a change in what is true.

Isn't a deliberatechange in what is true called a lie?

People who act as you describe are condemned by Jesus, and most churches that I have been in know that and remind their people of that fact. Missions are encouraged by most if not all churches, no matter if you wish to see it or not.


You throw around a lot of generalized accusations but you do not support them with facts. Answer this before you start condemning Christians wholesale:

How much do Christians make?
How much should Christians keep in order to be able to live themselves?
What difference would it make to the level of poverty if Christians did as you think they should?

And we need figures, here, not just generalities. It's easy to say that such and so should happen, but for the level of accusation that you bring against Christians, you need to provide some concrete numbers and plans, just as you no doubt have for your own neighborhood.

You still have avoided my question to you about your neighborhood and your family. I do not know how your family reacts to your accusation of them as unchristian Christians, nor have you shown any proof that you have done one bit of good for your own neighborhood.

Yak all you want, but for your argument, you have to show some proof. I cannot believe that you have any idea at all about how to eliminate poverty until you have eliminated it from where you live. Show that you know what you're talking about before you expect people to take you seriously on a serious isue.

About Christians not impacting society--Let's say that a Christian goes to church, works, pays for his house and raises his family. Is that "nothing"? In an age where homies are roaming the streets shooting and shooting up, NOT doing that and raising kids who do not do that is "nothing"? I had the privilege of being part of a panel that judged senior portfolios (a requirement for graduation), and some of the kids were going on to college, a couple were going to business school, a few were going to become firemen, and a few were going into construction. These people were not going to "contribute" to society?

What on earth are you asking people to do? When Christian people raise their kids to be morally good and productive, that's a rather large contribution to society. Sure, I suppose that most people could do more, but let's not curse them for the good that they are doing.

If you knew your history, you would know that people have always complained about the young and the condition of the world. Read Socrates.

No, not all Christians believe that they will be saved from the trials and suffering of the last days. I do not. I think that we will go through it just like everyone else. Do not mistake the noise of Tim LeHay--who has been making noises since the Seventies at least, none of it worth listening to--for the opinion of most Christians. It is not. He only preaches to the "pre-trib rapture" crowd, a belief that only goes back to the Second Great Awakening in the early 1800s in America. I do not believe it. Neither do any of my friends.

The rest of your post is a speculation about the future. That is useless to do.

It's probably why you haven't eliminated poverty from your neighborhood. You've been too busy with predicting the future.
Soul_doctor,

So when you speak of "Christians" you speak of those who do what you do not want them to do.

Those Christians who do what you approve of you do not wish to call "Christians."

Doesn't this tell you anything about how you view the world, soul_doctor? You wish to define the world according to your convenience. "You see those people who call themselves Christians and do all these good things? Well, I don't call them Christians, so they aren't. Christians are only the people I don't like."

No wonder you have such a problem with Christians. What you're complaining about are not Christians, only people you already don't like. Don't you see the situation you put yourself in? You complain and despise a class of people because you yourself have limited those people to being people you already don't like. So if someone uses any of the buzzwords like "Christian" of "bible" your prejudice assumes a hatred of these people even if you agree with what they do. You are so determined to hate Christians that you are willing to deny the truth that is before you to keep your anger toward them.

Your feelings are more important to you than is the truth.

Your hatred of Christians is your own fault.

No wonder you haven't put any member of your family on here. You've probably done the same thing to them.

"Governments operated by Christians." That's an interesting statement that you've made.

Just which governments have you "seen" are "operated by Christians?" You must know them--you said that you have seen them "everywhere."

"It is estimated by reputed authorities..." we've been over this ground before. What authorities? You said that one of them is our government, but our government is not an authority on what constitutes a Christian. You wish to stick to this "2 billion" amount. Don't. Being a Christian is much more than just calling yourself one. I could call myself a socialist, but that doesn't make me one. Somebody else could call me one, too, but that doesn't make me one, either. It takes a set of actions to be a true socialist. So it is with Christians. It takes a set of actions to really be one, and you've already said that many of these 2 billion don't act like Christians, so there can't be 2 billion of them in the world.

"I keep hearing how you aren't perfect..." Yes, and how do you "keep hearing" this? Because I have told you so. Is this how you "keep hearing" this? That's "spin," doctor. This is how you argue? This is not "intellectual debate." This is a rhetorical trick designed to allow you to win an argument whether you are right or not. Cicero did things like this, such as the time he boasted to a friend in a letter that in court he "threw sand in the jury's eyes." That's what you tried to do right there.

You haven't "kept hearing" that I am not perfect. I told you. Get it right.

But you don't . You put quite a lot of stock in what some Christians say, and you state what some say as if all Christians say it. We don't.

I do not believe in a literal thousand-year reign of Jesus. I do not believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. I'm not sure at all that there will be a "rapture."

You've studied the history of the concept? Or do you emphasize it merely because it allows you to continue to despise Christians?

The idea to which you lightly refer is usually known as Dispensational Premillenialism. According to this view, Jesus will come and "rapture" the saints (a term not known in the Church until the early 1800s) and set up a 1000-year reign, his "millenial kingdom."

the trouble is, of course, that to make this claim, they have to rely on a specific interpretation of a passage in Revelation 20, an interpretation that says that this kingdom will be like other kingdoms that we have known, only better.

But Jesus said quite clearly that his kingdom would not be like other kingdoms. "Lord, will you now restore the kingdom to Israel?" asked his disciples in Acts 1, to which Jesus replied to them as he did to Pilate, that his kingdom was not of this world. "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority, but you shall receive power and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." In other words, think about what's right, and thinking about my kingdom as if it's like all other kingdoms is not right.

That is another problem you're having. You criticize Christians for thinking about the future too much, and then you go on to think about the future too much. You go on to speak rather at length about what is "going" to happen, when you've said that Christians shouldn't do that, and when Jesus said that you shouldn't do that, too.

"My kingdom is not of this world," Jesus told Pilate. So why do you insist that his kingdom is supposed to be of this world?

The same reason, I suppose, that you wish for all Christians to be guilty of believing the same doctrine, when in fact we do not. "Christians" believe that they will be taken out of this world before all the bad stuff happens, according to your post. But we don't all believe that. That belief is in the small minority in historical Christianity, and even today the premillinialists are in the minority of Christians. The most of us are quite different from what you see.

What you choose to see.

You accuse us of believing but not doing. The Bible--which you say you do not read--says that if we do that we are condemned. Jesus said this more than once, and so did all his apostles.

So why don't you read a book with which you agree?

But not all Christians are as you protray us to be. Many of us give generously and sacrifice often for the good of those who have less than we do. But any recognition of that from you is grudging and reluctant when you recognize it at all--which you usually don't, for you do not wish to see what is. It shows that you do not believe rightly. It shows that you are wrong.

"Your heart lacks understanding, Melesi." That is a conclusion for which you have no information. It's only what you wish to believe, and it's only what you presuppose so that you may maintain your hatred of Christians.

Tell me, what percentage of my income do I give to the poor? How much do I make? We have to know both bits of information before we can decide if I do what is right with my money, don't we? Do you know either? No? Then what else can explain your conclusion that I can "merely talk about what you believe"? You don't know where I live nor why, what I do with my time, what I have in my home, what kind of car I drive or clothes I wear (I don't think that I have owned a "three-piece suit" in my life), nor how I help my neighbors, yet you are willing to condemn me as a do-nothing hypocrite even though you have no reason for doing so.

Do you see your pride and hatred, doctor? Do you see how very far from perfect you really are? Or are you completely blind to your own faults and can only gripe about the mote in your brother's eye?

You say that you are not talking about religion just before you talk about religion. You say that linguistics is important just before you say that linguistics is not important. You complain about other people not eliminating poverty in the world when you have done nothing to do that in your own neighborhood. You complain about other people being all talk when you are all talk. You avoid inconvenient questions, change the subject, and define terms and people as you wish and without regard for the truth. You say that you are perfect or nearly so when you can't even define what it is to be perfect.


And you wish to be taken seriously. I don't think so.
Since in my previous post to you, generally, you simply failed to address your christian failure, which presents a problem. It is no longer amusing to go back and forth over you christian opinion that Jesus is God, (the 'New Testament says so), when the world is full of death and disease.

Go back to 'church' Melesi. Go testify to your church members about your prosperity. Go testify to those of your christian mentality about how much 'good' *your* church is doing. Tell other christians about how well you have been living your christian life. Go back to the 'building made with hands' where you spent your life worshipping your deity.

And while you are at it, don't forget to spread your good news. See how many of the poor and impoverished your 'salvation' redeems. The rest of the christians should be pleased.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
soul_doctor,

You are not listening. Since I am not prosperous, I doubt that I would say that I am to my church, who know me very well. I am grateful for what God has provided, but given that I drive a 1986 car, never owned a "three-piece suit," hardly ever dine out (it has given me the opportunity to cook for my girlfriend, anyway, and I'm doing much better. It's fun to give. But then, Jesus said that it would be), and own an old computer (I just got rid of my 133 MHz Pentium 1 and got a 500 MHz AMD K6 machine. Am I on the cutting edge!), largely because of my giving to those who do not have enough, and because I generally do as you say that Christians should (as do most of my friends), then you have no right to assume that I am one of those you dislike because they do not do what you think they should.

No, instead you see Christians who do as you believe that Christians should and simply refuse to acknowledge their presence.

You'd rather be angry than true.

You could be pleased, but instead you wish to be angry. Your hate makes you blind to the life you could lead and the friends you could have.

And you still do not do as you demand Christians do. Is that hypocrisy, or merely the tired case of double standards?
quote:
And you still do not do as you demand Christians do. Is that hypocrisy, or merely the tired case of double standards?

I thought you Christians were held to a higher standard?

quote:
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- Romans 12:2
Paul said:
    I press toward the mark for the prize
    of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
    Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be
    thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.
    - Phillipians 3:14 - 15
Seems like you want it easy as a Christian and want a standard that the "world" in general has just so there won't be a "double-standard"...

[Note: It might be a better idea to know the actual tenets of someone else's religion/beliefs to make your "You're not living up... either" argument at least half-credible.

Your Bible says "those that follow the law" shall be responsible to it and Christians responsible to their covenant. So there is a "double standard" listed right there in the Bible.

So simply saying (like a child) you're not doing it either - following Christian religious tenets - is not enough. Very childish reflex...
Let's see, didn't Nmaginate once complain about my answering a question that he put to Vox? Yet here he is, injecting himself into a conversation I'm having with soul_doctor.

Well, OK, since I'm not the one who has ever had a problem with that action but find interesting those who profess indignation with it just before they do it themselves...again:

1. No, you're characteristically addressing only half the problem. The problem is not just the standards, especially not a "higher standard." The problem is demanding an unreasonable standard that is unreasonable by virtue of its impossibility. Soul_doctor does not demand that Christians adhere to a somehow more "Christian" standard. What he demands is action not dependent on spirituality at all. Which means that, if it is that important to do, then he should be about doing it himself. He could help alleviate the poverty and suffering about which he is so exercized and thus show by example that it can be done. As it is, it is only an intellectual philosophy with him, for he shows no evidence that it can actually be done. Let him show us that he can elieminate poverty in his own neighborhood--that's all, just his neighborhood--and then we will give hij a serious hearing. But not until then. "Physician, heal thyself."

Teh "double standard" that you detect in the Bibile you do as usual misunderstand. "Higher" is not "double." A double standard is an informal logical fallacy, and when it is applied to people it is unethical as well. SD uses it to hide behind, allowing him to hate Christians for silly and easy reasons.

I wouldn't recommend your supporting him in it.

I am not being childish. In fact, it's just the opposite. He's being the child, demanding of others what he is not willing to require of himself. This is the double standard, and it is born of selfishness.

That's why I ask if its hypocrisy or a double standard.
Melesi, I read the word 'girlfriend' in one of your posts. I hope, by way of your christian beliefs, that you are not sexually active with this 'friend'. Not that I want to bring elements of your personal life into the conversation, but since you did: christians aren't supposed to fornicate. I am sure you understand the meaning, but if not, premarital sex, unwed sex, sex out of wedlock, however you want to defend it, is taught against by your bible.

Why would you date a woman but not marry her? It occurs to me that you have no respect for women, or at the very least, no understanding of a man's responsibility to a woman. Women were made to bear children, not 'date'. Women who bear children to men should be devoted to them, or at the very least 'married' to those who impregnate them. I do not imply that you are engauging in sexual activities while unmarried, but having a 'girlfriend' is the next best thing. If you are devoted in your heart, or 'faithful', why not make it official?

It would be the christian thing to do. It just goes to show how very little understanding you do possess, Melesi. Love is not a 'test drive', and life isn't as simple as 'believing' in a deity. But maybe you are beginning to see this.

Cry FREEDOM

Freedom Revolution to Establish the Egalitarian Deporment Of Mankind.
I dould care less about the fine points of your argument with Soul Doctor. I'm addressing this recurring theme in your exchanges with non-Christians or "non-traditional" ones.

Namely, that they (we) should be governed by the standards we just happen to point out is within YOUR scriptures for YOU to follow. Again, I could care less and haven't even read all the back-n-forth between you and he. ALL of that is immaterial to my point. (Also, can you post whatever it is I said that implied that you were butting into a conversation with VOX and I...)

What I said was what I meant... This is not the first time you've cried like a spoiled brat whining talkinbout, "You don't do it either!" Frown

Obviously, if I'm not a Christian I'm not obliged to follow Christian tenets....

My point stands!

So all the RiggaMArow about DOUBLE-STANDARDS vs. HIGHER STANDARDS is your usual blabber... [Note: By definition Double Standard means one party is held, unjustly, to a Higher Standard. So I fail to see your distinction.]

Again... whatever position Soul Doctor has is immaterial. STAND on your CHRISTIAN values and don't worry about anyone else's unless you put it in the context of what they say they believe in and even then... what does the Bible say about you doing so??
quote:
And you still do not do as you demand Christians do. Is that hypocrisy, or merely the tired case of double standards?
soul_doctor,

You so often mention a possibility and then spend a lot of time addressing the posibility as if it were fact. That is the fallacy of the straw man.

We are not sexually active. Does that satisfy you? We live apart, and when I cook for her, that's what I do. I date her because I think that I'd like to marry her adn I'm still finding out about that. She comes over, we have dinner, and then go someplace for a while, a play, a concert, a park, a carnival, something. I haven't quite made up my mind about marriage, but I'm close.

Does this mean that I have no respect for women? That really is a silly thing to say. Women were made for more than just to bear children. They are also companions, equals, other selves: "This at last is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh." It is the occasion for the first poetry in the Bible, which tells us something about the way we should think about relationships between men and women.

Since it is a big step, I wish to do it right and well. I need to make sure that she would be happy and serving God with me as well as me with her, for I have no right to hurt any woman.

I guess this shows how much understanding I do not possess, you must be right. I wish to obey God even in my marriage as I try to do so in my singleness. How could I be so blind? Alas and wailaway. I'm trying to honor her in all ways as God would have me do. What am I thinking?
Kweli,

I would agree with you if SD's argument were reasoned and logical, open to fact and honest with the truth, but it isn't. This is the hallmark of a hatred-driven reaction. He doesn't listen, he will not allow others even the right to bear a name that he has defined otherwise. HE takes a name--Christian--and gives it only the definition that he despises, and then despises all Christians because of it, refusing to acknowledge that there are Christians who actually do the kinds of things he says that Christians should.

He blames his family without giving us the chance to hear their side of things. He demands that Christians do what he either cannot or will not do himself.

This is not the mark of a disappointed person. It's the mark of an unreasoning hatred. It really is a pity, but there it is.
Nmaginate,

I did not mention the "fine points" of my discussion with SD. I wasn't talking about that at all at first. I merely pointed out your inconsistency, which you decided not to address.

What you seem to hope is whining is merely pointing out a serious objection. SD seems to think that Christians should be about wiping out poverty. He doesn't say how that might be achieved (other than giving vast sums of money, yet vast sums have already been given and we still have poverty with us), nor has he done so in his own neighborhood, so he cannot demonstrate that it is even possible to do so.

That means that he really has no moral right to so complain about Christians not doing what he does not even know can be done. This is not a case of "you don't do it, either," and I made that plain, which only means that you are not listening to what is being said. You only hear what you wish to hear or can possibly twist and distort so that you can convince yourself that you heard something bad. No, as soon as SD shows that it can be done, then let him suggest to Christians that they follow his example. But let him not sit on the sidelines and Monday-morning quarterback about what they should have done or even what they should be doing when he is not willing to do it himself. That is cheap escapism, blaming someone else for his fault of laziness disguised as righteous indignation.

It is neither. It is blind hatred.

If you're not a Christian you're not obliged to follow Christian tenets? Perhaps, at least in some things, but who's demanding that you do? I'm not. I only ask you to follow the rules of civility and logic, but even that seems to be too much for you. How could you follow Christian tenets which are much stricter? No, the burden would be too great for you.

Once again, you rely on partial truths. There is no such thing as a perfect synonym. Double standards are not the same as higher standards in logic. Logically and ethically, SD is demanding that Christians live up to a standard that he defines for them, a standard that may not be possible to achieve, just like he defines what being a Christian is so he can expend his bile upon them. Both are wrong, for the motive is wrong. Logically a form of the double standard is the argument that I am the exception. Given SD's lack of action and yet his argument that action needs to be taken--since he is not a Christian and yet can see the need for work against poverty and suffering it does not take a Christian to see or do that work, but he has not done that work as evidenced by his own neighborhood--his argument is logically flawed and morally corrupt.

That's why I asked the question, and a question it was, notwithstanding your conclusion that I made some kind of statement that it was a double standard. I asked if it was hypocrisy or a double standard. Apparently you think it must be hypocrisy.

It isn't a matter of my standing on my Christian principles. I already do that. The argument here is with SD who has committed the straw man fallacy, the syllogism for which looks like this:

Christians are those who do not do what they should.
You say that you are a Christian.
Therefore, you do not do what you should.

Do you see the flaw in this argument? He defines Christian very narrowly for himself, saying that they never obey God and help others. Then he attacks those who name themselves as Christians even though their definition is different from his. He assumes in his argument that his definition is the true one and responds to Christians as though they are all like his definition.

I have merely been trying to get him to see that not all Christians are like that. I have told him that the Bible agrees with his condemnation of people who call themselves Christian yet act as he has illustrated, but he will not see that he and the Bible (and he and I) sometimes agree. He holds onto his definition and his hatred in spite of the truth.

We only do that because it meets some need in us, and my conclusion is that he for whatever reason wants to hate Christians.

That's a very bad standard to have, and it's not worth defending.
quote:
What you seem to hope is whining is merely pointing out a serious objection. SD seems to think that Christians should be about wiping out poverty.

What part of "I could care less about what SD says" did you... NOT!... understand?

Peace Melesi...

May the Semantics continue to be your guide...

(And I did, in fact, address everything you posted about. You gain no strength by constantly claiming things like that. If it was about me "butting in" then I asked you to provide proof of it. Oh... and that thing called "context"... FYI that might be important also.)

Stop WHINING!!! Frown
If this is whining, then more people should whine like that.

IF you really don't care about my argument with SD, then you wouldn't have "butted in" on it (which you did according to your own pronouncement another time not long ago), and you would not have posted more than once on it. Evidently you do not know your own mind, but then we already suspected that.

It's not semantics, it's about SD's bad thinking that leads him to false conclusions. But it seems that you can't see that any more than he can. Surely you can tell the differnce between semantics and a syllogism?

No, you didn't "address everything" I posted about. You misunderstood everything I posted about, but that's not addressing it.

Well, since once again you cannot stay on the subject but must post lies about me, tikela molamu .
How many times do I have to ask you Melesi...
Show proof that I "whined" like you have here.

Semantics... semantics... semantics...

That's your forte! You are about the most whiniest person I know.

"You don't listen","You're spreading lies","You're not playing nice..."

Grow up Melesi! Grow Up!
(Again, find the post you keep talking about... and post again here...)
Also, I meant what I said and apparently your maturity level shows in every conversation you have with all your whining. Maybe I'm wrong about you and SD but I know several times with me you have done exactly what I'm talking about.

Yeah, you play the 3yr old game of
"You don't do it either..." when we're discussing Christianity. I don't think I should have to reiterate everything else.

Grow Up!
Semantics...

You may not have said those exact words TO ME but you said something just like several times which is why I called you on this "double standard" thingy.

I SAID I DON'T CARE ABOUT you and SD conversation. It was not important to my observation. I can drop the whole thing about your conversation for him and have plenty of evidence just on our dealings that you say things just like that because you obviously can't think of another comeback.

SEMANTICS... look in the dictionary and your picture is right beside the word and you're there smiling... Big Grin
Your first comment is the informal logical fallacy of the Appeal To the People: "If everybody says so, then it must be right."

That's not an argument.

"Linguistic analysis"? What linguistic analysis? The problem is historicity, not linguistics. The Hebrew Israelites proclaim a descendance from one of the lost tribes, right? But they can't trace their ancestry unbroken. There's rather a long gap into which they place themselves, a little like the number of white AMericans who claim descendance from an "Indian princess" but of course have no proof of it because there isn't any. There would have had to have been an entire nation of nothing but Indian princesses for for to be true.

Just so, black Hebrew Israelites, while they can do and be as they wish, do not have the historical proof that they need to make there statements anything more than wishful thinking.

There are two phases to Hebrew Israelitism.

The first phase started sometime before the Civil War here in America, but it was a loose belief system until William Crowdy organized the first commune in Kansas in 1896. Not much happened to or with it--it grew slowly.

Then the second phase started. This part began with a vision claimed by Ben Carter, a Chicago foundryman--so many of these people who start religions say they start with a vision--and in 1967 a group of African Americans moved to Liberia. They lived there for a couple of years on their way to Israel. When in Israel their Jewish or Hebrew identity was discussed and investigated, and while rabbinical schools do not accept them as true Hebrews, they were granted permanent residence status in Israel fairly recently.

I have a problem with them on two fronts:

1. As I said, this all started rather recently, in the last century and then again with one man's alleged vision in 1966 or '67. While that is not impossible, I suppose, still it makes it a bit suspect.

2. Especially since it tends to be a racially-motivated gathering and organizing. They tend to suspect and even despise Jews, saying that they are not really Israelites at all but "johnny-come-latelys" (as one of their books puts it). This flies in the face of well-known DNA analysis. The Lemba have a genetic agrument for being considered Jewish. Most Hebrew Israelites do not. That doesn't stop teh Hebrew Israelites from seeing Judaism as an enemy.

In fact, their writings look very similar to the white supremacist Christian Identity Movement, which would make Hebrew Israelites black supremacists, wouldn't it?

That's the wrong motive for forming and keeping an organization.

No, I do not agree with the Hebrew Israelites.

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