Editor's note: Johnnie Moore is an author, pastor, professor and a vice president of Liberty University. He sits on the board of World Help, and is the author of Honestly: Really Living What We Say We Believe. You can keep track of him on Facebook and Twitter.
By Johnnie Moore, Special to CNN
We’re a congregation of thousands of college students. Why would we do church on Facebook? Because it’s where we are already.
For us at Liberty University, this epiphany came when we were faced with the colossal challenge this week of being a homeless congregation.
Each Wednesday, thousands of us from Liberty and our local community gather in the 10,000-seat basketball arena on our campus, or in the sanctuary of Lynchburg’s Thomas Road Baptist Church, but this week they’re both unavailable.
So my team and I - all twenty-somethings - huddled together to find a solution.
Our fix? Let’s do church on Facebook.
Let’s make a sanctuary out of the social network that weaves its way in and out of our daily lives already. Let’s invite our peers to stay in their dorms and apartments, gather with their friends around a computer, and celebrate with us as one congregation in hundreds of different places.
After all, since the Apostle Paul, Christians have made it their goal to go where the people are. In the 21st century, they’re on Facebook. Over 800 million of them.
This is especially the case for college students and recent grads. We are the first “digitally native generation.” We grew up with a bottle in our mouth and a keyboard in our lap.
Our little brothers and sisters barely even know what a keyboard is anymore (they just touch the screen).
We learned the alphabet through old-school computer programs, we’ve grown up thinking of Google as our own personal Library of Congress and we’ve met new friends around the world via the click of a mouse (though what’s a mouse anymore?).
We have connected with people through the web for almost our entire lives.
And, boy, are we connected. We all have our friends and their friends and their friends. We’re liking things and sharing things and loving on people and hating on people, we’re protesting what we don’t like and preaching about what we do, and generally living out a large part of our lives in the world Mark Zuckerberg created.
What is Facebook, after all? It’s a community. What is church, after all? It’s a community. For us, doing church on Facebook isn’t innovative. It’s intuitive.
Church and Facebook are places where we share in life together, learn about one another, encourage each other, laugh together and live our lives in some kind of ramshackle harmony with one another.
Facebook can be a place where we encounter God and others. It can be a place where we teach and provide counsel, facilitate conversations, share experiences, and worship.
Like Paul told the Corinthians, we can do it all for the glory of God.
And doing church on Facebook can also make doing church feel new again. The multigenerational and multiethnic church can be gathered together in one place.
We can do church in your living room lived out with those you’re closest to, and when life moves us in different directions, Facebook makes it harder for us to be pulled a part.
Of course, this is an experiment, as once was the light bulb and the airplane, the internet and the iPhone.
We’re inviting Liberty’s 70,000 residential and online students to log onto Liberty’s Facebook page, watch live with a close group of friends, worship with us, engage in the conversation, and then enjoy some time discussing it together.
We don’t have a church this week, so why not?
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Johnnie Moore.
You can definitely see your skills in the paintings you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.
Yes I have actually; I used to live with one. But that's not the point. The point is that YOU don't get to dictate what is art and what isn't. Oh, you're a commissioned graffiti artist? So you get paid to safely do what your do, whereas some people just do it because they want to express themselves, make a statement and be visible, even though it probably costs them money not to mention puts them in danger? Yeah clearly you're the superior artist. Get over yourself. Just the amount of personality and intellect displayed by your post (or lack of both) makes me think your "art" must be extremely dull.
May God Bless all the atheists.
Thanks for nothing.
How many of us are unwittingly destined to hear Christ tell us, "I never knew you; depart from Me." Maybe more than you realize.
My new book, The Four Pillars of the Kingdom, is set to be released in a week. It is, not only a response to some of the metaphysical arguments of the so-called "New Atheists," but also a call to believers to take their faith serious in a very real way. You can find a few excerpts from the work and the cover art on my website:
Please read and let me know what you think!
Take your bookspam and shove it.
"Please read and let me know what you think!"
place rant here
If Atheists care nothing about God or Christians, why are they all so obsessed in posting on Christian forums? Something obviously brought you here. Obviously you are searching for something. If not, then there is no need for you to be in these discussions.
i am an atheist and i have these discussions to deepen my understanding of the belief and how those who believe are affected by there beliefs... is that ok with you?
These forums would be boring if we all agreed with each other.
Actually this does not say it is a Christian forum though. It just calls it belief blog, meaning any belief is welcome.
Julie, it's because you believing imbeciles vote and your idiocy impacts our laws. We have to work hard to keep your nonsense in check.
Got that, stupid?
Not sure where it says christian blog on here...care to point that out for us Julie?
We come here to hopefully get some information out there to help open the minds of those who are too close minded to step see outside of the book of fiction they rely so heavily upon. We come here because it is good for us to know what people are thinking also. We are not close minded enough to not research and explore.
Because making fun of you religiots is more fun than punching babies.
Sorry, but I can make an argument without calling you guys "stupid" or "religiots." I didn't say anything about Atheists being stupid. I have differing opinions on religion, obviously. But name-calling is just immature. I'm completely fine with Atheists being involved in these discussions, but there is a way to do it maturely. I'm not gonna go join a discussion about Atheism and be like "you guys are a bunch of idiots!" Why? Because you have your beliefs and I'm not gonna shove Jesus down your throat. Everyone has a right to what they believe. If you come here to learn about different religions to be more open-minded, great! But don't voice your opinion if you're going to be rude.
Julie, when you go on believing a silly book of obvious fictions and self-contradictions, it isn't merely ad hominem to call you stupid. It's accurate.
Get used to it, stupid. If you can't take the heat, sure, be a wimp and get out of the kitchen.
Dr. Zeuss, I'd like to see you try to back up your claims. Can you name and defend even a single contradiction?
"Dr. Zeuss, I'd like to see you try to back up your claims. Can you name and defend even a single contradiction?"
Let's just name a few shall we......God good to all, or just a few?
God good to all, or just a few?
PSA 145:9 The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
JER 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
Bible where God orders the destruction of infants, personally kills David's infant child, etc.]
War or Peace?
EXO 15:3 The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
ROM 15:33 Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.
Who is the father of Joseph?
MAT 1:16 And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
LUK 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli.
Who was at the Empty Tomb? Is it:
MAT 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
MAR 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
JOH 20:1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
Is Jesus equal to or lesser than?
JOH 10:30 I and my Father are one.
JOH 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
Which first–beasts or man?
GEN 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
GEN 2:18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
How many stalls and horsemen?
1KI 4:26 And Solomon had forty thousand stalls of horses for his chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen.
2CH 9:25 And Solomon had four thousand stalls for horses and chariots, and twelve thousand horsemen; whom he bestowed in the chariot cities, and with the king at Jerusalem.
Is it folly to be wise or not?
PRO 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
ECC 1:18 For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.
1CO 1:19: "For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent."
Human vs. ghostly impregnation
ACT 2:30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;
MAT 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
The sins of the father
ISA 14:21 Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.
DEU 24:16 The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.
Rabbits do not chew their cud
LEV 11:6 And the hare, because he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof; he is unclean unto you.
"Gerah," the term which appears in the MT means (chewed) cud, and also perhaps grain, or berry (also a 20th of a sheckel, but I think that we can agree that that is irrelevant here). It does *not* mean dung, and there is a perfectly adequate Hebrew word for that, which could have been used. Furthermore, the phrase translated "chew the cud" in the KJV is more exactly "bring up the cud." Rabbits do not bring up anything; they let it go all the way through, then eat it again. The description given in Leviticus is inaccurate, and that's that. Rabbits do eat their own dung; they do not bring anything up and chew on it.
Snails do not melt
PSA 58:8 As a snail which melteth, let every one of them pass away: like the untimely birth of a woman, that they may not see the sun.
Fowl from waters or ground?
GEN 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
GEN 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
GEN 2:19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
GEN 30:39 And the flocks conceived before the rods, and brought forth cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted.
The shape of the earth
ISA 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
MAT 4:8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
Astronomical bodies are spherical, and you cannot see the entire exterior surface from anyplace. The kingdoms of Egypt, China, Greece, Crete, sections of Asia Minor, India, Maya (in Mexico), Carthage (North Africa), Rome (Italy), Korea, and other settlements from these kingdoms of the world were widely distributed.
Snakes, while built low, do not eat dirt
GEN 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
JOB 26:7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
JOB 38:4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
Heaven supported too
JOB 26:11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.
The hydrological cycle
ECC 1:7 All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.
JOB 38:22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
Storehouses are not part of the cycle
Order of creation
Here is the order in the first (Genesis 1), the Priestly tradition:
Day 1: Sky, Earth, light
Day 2: Water, both in ocean basins and above the sky(!)
Day 3: Plants
Day 4: Sun, Moon, stars (as calendrical and navigational aids)
Day 5: Sea monsters (whales), fish, birds, land animals, creepy-crawlies (reptiles, insects, etc.)
Day 6: Humans (apparently both sexes at the same time)
Day 7: Nothing (the Gods took the first day off anyone ever did)
Note that there are "days," "evenings," and "mornings" before the Sun was created. Here, the Deity is referred to as "Elohim," which is a plural, thus the literal translation, "the Gods." In this tale, the Gods seem satisfied with what they have done, saying after each step that "it was good."
The second one (Genesis 2), the Yahwist tradition, goes:
Earth and heavens (misty)
Adam, the first man (on a desolate Earth)
Eve, the first woman (from Adam's rib)
How orderly were things created?
#1: Step-by-step. The only discrepancy is that there is no Sun or Moon or stars on the first three "days."
#2: God fixes things up as he goes. The first man is lonely, and is not satisfied with animals. God finally creates a woman for him. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)
How satisfied with creation was he?
#1: God says "it was good" after each of his labors, and rests on the seventh day, evidently very satisfied.
#2: God has to fix up his creation as he goes, and he would certainly not be very satisfied with the disobedience of that primordial couple. (funny thing that an omniscient god would forget things)
NUM 12:3: "Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the fact of the earth."
NUM 31:14, 17, 18: "And Moses was wroth...And Moses said unto them, "Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman, ... But all the women children ... keep alive for yourselves."
PSA 92:12: "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree."
ISA 57:1: "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart."
ACT 1:18: "Now this man (Judas) purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out."
MAT 27:5-7: "And he (Judas) cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests...bought with them the potter's field."
Jesus' first sermon plain or mount?
MAT 5:1,2: "And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying...."
LUK 6:17,20: "And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people...came to hear him.. And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples and said..."
Jesus' last words
MAT 27:46,50: "And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, "Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?" that is to say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" ...Jesus, when he cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost."
LUK 23:46: "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, "Father, unto thy hands I commend my spirit:" and having said thus, he gave up the ghost."
JOH 19:30: "When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, "It is finished:" and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
Years of famine
II SAMUEL 24:13: So God came to David, and told him, and said unto him, shall SEVEN YEARS OF FAMINE come unto thee in thy land? or will thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue. thee?
I CHRONICLES 21:11: SO God came to David, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Choose thee. Either THREE YEARS OF FAMINE or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee;
Moved David to anger?
II SAMUEL 24: And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.
I CHRONICLES 21: And SATAN stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
The GENEALOGY OF JESUS?
In two places in the New Testament the genealogy of Jesus son of Mary is mentioned. MAT 1:6-16 and LUK 3:23-31. Each gives the ancestors of Joseph the CLAIMED husband of Mary and Step father of Jesus. The first one starts from Abraham(verse 2) all the way down to Jesus. The second one from Jesus all the way back to Adam. The only common name to these two lists between David and Jesus is JOSEPH, How can this be true? and also How can Jesus have a genealogy when all Muslims and most Christians believe that Jesus had/has no father.
God be seen?
EXO 24:9,10; AMO 9:1; GEN 26:2; and JOH 14:9
God CAN be seen:
"And I will take away my hand, and thou shalt see my backparts." (EXO 33:23)
"And the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend." (EXO 33:11)
"For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." (GEN 32:30)
God CANNOT be seen:
"No man hath seen God at any time." (JOH 1:18)
"And he said, Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me and live." (EXO 33:20)
"Whom no man hath seen nor can see." (1TIM 6:16)
CRUEL, UNMERCIFUL, DESTRUCTIVE, and FEROCIOUS or KIND, MERCIFUL, and GOOD:
"I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy." (JER 13:14) "Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling."
"The Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy." (JAS 5:11)
"For his mercy endureth forever." (1CH 16:34)
"The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works." (PSA 145:9)
"God is love." (1JO 4:16)
"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham." (GEN 22:1)
"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man." (JAS 1:13)
Judas died how?
"And he cast down the pieces of silver into the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself." (MAT 27:5)
"And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all of his bowels gushed out." (ACT 1:18)
Ascend to heaven
"And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven." (2KI 2:11)
"No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from heaven, ... the Son of Man." (JOH 3:13)
What was Jesus' prediction regarding Peter's denial?
Before the cock crow – MAT 26:34
Before the cock crow twice – MAR 14:30
How many times did the cock crow?
MAR 14:72 And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
MAT 26:74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crow.
MAT 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
LUK 22:60 And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.
LUK 22:61 And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
JOH 13:38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, still thou hast denied me thrice.
JOH 18:27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crow.
How many beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount
MAT 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
MAT 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
MAT 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
MAT 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
MAT 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
MAT 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
MAT 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
MAT 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
MAT 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
LUK 6:20 And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.
LUK 6:21 Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
LUK 6:22 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
LUK 6:23 Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.
Does every man sin?
1KI 8:46 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them to the enemy, so that they carry them away captives unto the land of the enemy, far or near;
2CH 6:36 If they sin against thee, (for there is no man which sinneth not,) and thou be angry with them, and deliver them over before their enemies, and they carry them away captives unto a land far off or near;
PRO 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
ECC 7:20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
JO1 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
JO1 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
JO1 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
JO1 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
Who bought potter's field
ACT 1:18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
ACT 1:19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
MAT 27:6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
MAT 27:7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
MAT 27:8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
Who prophesied the potter's field?
MAT 27:9-10 (mentions Jeremy but no such verse in Jeremiah) is in Zechariah 11:12-13
Who bears guilt?
GAL 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
GAL 6:5 For every man shall bear his own burden.
Do you answer a fool?
PRO 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
PRO 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
How many children did Michal, the daughter of Saul, have?
2SA 6:23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
2SA 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
How old was Jehoiachin when he began to reign?
2KI 24:8 Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother's name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem.
2CH 36:9 Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD.
1 Corinthians 7 (whole book. See 1,2,27,39,40)
Did those with Saul/Paul at his conversion hear a voice?
ACT 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
ACT 22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.
Where was Jesus three days after his baptism?
MAR 1:12 And immediately the spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
JOH 1:35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
How many apostles were in office between the resurrection and ascension?
1 Corinthians 15:5 (12)
MAT 27:3-5 (minus one from 12)
ACT 1:9-26 (Mathias not elected until after resurrection)
MAT 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
1 Cor 2:15 "The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:" (NIV)
1 Cor 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
Matt 5:16 "In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." (NIV)
Matt 6:3-4 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (NIV)
For or against?
MAT 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
(default is against)
MAR 9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
(default is for)
LUK 9:50 And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.
(default is for)
Impressive list, well researched.
I bestow upon thee the power of copy and paste.
@Let'sSee - The list you posted is too long to address on a web forum. Your first one alone (the problem of evil) has had volumes and volumes of material written on and in response to it. If you want to simply choose one of those to discuss here, that would be doable. I should add that each of these beg a hermeneutical question which must be addressed before a contradictory accusation is possible.
"I should add that each of these beg a hermeneutical question which must be addressed before a contradictory accusation is possible."
Basically we have to twist it around so it falls into OUR interpretation and not yours. LOL!
@HAHAHA - Textual meaning isn't subjective to the reader. The original authors indended to convey certain meaning to the original audience. It is this which we (present-day readers) need to discover in order to arrive at a correct interpretation. Here's an example: an often mis-read line from Shakespeare's Hamlet: "get thee to a nunnery". We often think Hamlet is telling Ophelia to join a convent, however, if you research how Shakespeare's original audience would have understood the line, you discover that "nunnery" was slang for a brothel. Point being that in critical study of the Bible, we need to discover the originally indended meaning, rather than "reading into the text".
"The original authors indended to convey certain meaning to the original audience. It is this which we (present-day readers) need to discover in order to arrive at a correct interpretation."
It's been 2000 years and christians still can't get it. LMAO! That's why there are 1000's of different denominations. LOL!
J, "The original authors indended to convey certain meaning to the original audience. It is this which we (present-day readers) need to discover in order to arrive at a correct interpretation."
I thought that you all say that these writings were inspired by an omniscient "God". One would think, that with him being omniscient and all, he could have/would have made a book for which there could be NO misunderstanding, mistranslation, mistranscribing nor misinterpretation - ever.
He did. But over time, man has intepreted the text differently. For example, "The dog ran fast." might be rewritten as "Fast ran the dog." Subtle changes in text certainly affect the intepretation of it. The original Bible talked in "Thee"s and "shalt"s, and most likely was written in ancient text. Look at it any way you want, but a book as old as the Bible has to be revised to be understandable to modern men. I wish they would do the same for Shakespeare.
"Subtle changes in text certainly affect the intepretation of it. "
Especially when those changes are done by bias and prejudice people. LMAO!
I'm sorry, but it seems to me that you posted an absolute statement with no basis of proof or explanation on which it can stand. I'd advise you spend your time revising your thoughts instead of typing the first thing that comes to your mind. And you are the one being prejudice here, forming opinions based on nothing but sense of humor, which I imagine is reflected in your creative name. Also, I think you meant "prejudiced" instead of "prejudice". Yet another reason to revise your statements. :)
"I'm sorry, but it seems to me that you posted an absolute statement with no basis of proof or explanation on which it can stand. I'd advise you spend your time revising your thoughts instead of typing the first thing that comes to your mind. And you are the one being prejudice here, forming opinions based on nothing but sense of humor, which I imagine is reflected in your creative name. Also, I think you meant "prejudiced" instead of "prejudice". Yet another reason to revise your statements"
I advise you to actually get off your dead butt and do some research before claiming your opinion as facts. ;-)...how's that log in your eye doing by the way? LMAO!
It is very unfortunate that any article relating to the current experience of faith, immediately degenerates into a religious/anti-religious argument rather than a discussion of the trends, realities, experiences covered in the presenting article. There are real issues about the experience and practice of faith in a modern (or post-modern) context that get lost in the immediate mud fest over whether G(g)od exists and whether those that believe are fools, idiots, purveyors of evil, etc.... But that is the nature of (un)civil discourse today - look at the state of today's political so called dialog.
Maybe people do not understand that, while religion has been disproven before, it is still a significant and standing sociological factor in our society; the word of the bible still drives people in various ways.
This won't last long anyway.
With comments like LMFAO on Facebook, the 'religious' page will be seen as a joke.
Of which it is.
Yes I tell the truth always, I'm sorry to the people who can't accept that.
A solid statement backed up with no reference to or of any evidence to support it.
Come back when you have some.
Actually, Atheism requires much more faith than religion.
Really? What exactly is your definition of faith?
Which requires more faith: To believe that all the order and design in the universe is the product of undirected chance or to believe in a supernatural designer? I like the analogy of the poker game: A dealer at a poker game deals himself hands of aces a few times in a row. The other players accuse him of cheating and he responds that it was pure chance. Anyone would think he's crazy and kick him off of the table. Now how is it that we can say something like the universe, life, our planet, etc can be a product of undirected chance? You can't rule it out logically, but it requires faith in very, very low probability.
J, I suggest that you look up the Anthropic Principle. It explains why there need be no probability involved.
So, if I understand the principle correctly: an infinite number of universes exist and we just so happen to exist in the one where ALL the conditions are right for life to exist. Again, I'm back to the poker game. Given the vast infinity of parameters which are in life's favor in this universe, it seems extremely far-fetched to believe that it was a product of undirected chance.
"So, if I understand the principle correctly: an infinite number of universes exist and we just so happen to exist in the one where ALL the conditions are right for life to exist."
If I can't explain it – it's a god. Time to come out of the dark-ages.
"If I can't explain it - it's a god."
Behind this statement is a clear materialistic presupposition. You've already disregarded any other reality. Time to start thinking outside your box.
"Behind this statement is a clear materialistic presupposition. You've already disregarded any other reality. Time to start thinking outside your box."
No moron you're the one who is stuck in the box you already are stating it's a god. Been there done that, know it's not real, it's all in your head. Again if you can't explain it- it's a god.
Come on. You can do better than ad hominem attacks and statements like "its all in your head". Give me premises and I'll talk to you.
"Give me premises and I'll talk to you."
Knock knock...anyone home? LMAO! Been there done that, it's all in your head, there is no god.
J, way to misunderstand some pretty elementary stuff. You must be quite stupid.
Ben, you haven't made a single argument yet. How about explaining yourself so we can have a fruitful discussion rather than throw insults?
@J Trying to get these guys to come up with a structured argument on their belief without having them stone-wall you to a theorem of science they find on the Internet is impossible. And when they do talk about their belief, it is basically revolved around the supposed lack of intelliegence of believers of an obvious Creator.
Here is a reason based explanation- the mistake is in calling it as random "undirected" chance. It's not undirected, there are certain immutable physical laws that govern the behavior of all matter and energy in the universe, and while we don't understand all of them, we have a decent grip on most of them, or at the very least we understand the effects of those we can't directly observe.
An example- the science experiment where you grow crystals in a cup. You add a combinations of substances (some to provide crystalline structure, others to provide color) in to a container of water, and allow the interaction to produce crystals. In solution, you can treat the substances as being isolated down to smallest dissolvable molecule. To a single molecule, even an 8 oz cup is a indescribably large space, so running into the other molecules needed to form crystals is based on "chance". But it happens. Given enough time for the parts to eventually run into and enact with one another, the crystals will form (this time varies based on temperature and concentration). The growth of those crystals is also random, but not undirected. There are certain ways that the molecules can bond, and the lattices can form. You can know the type of crystal that will result, without knowing the exact shape.
This can be considered analogous to the formation of celestial bodies and life in the universe. Given enough matter, energy, and time, eventually formations and interactions are bound to occur. And while you may not know exactly what will come of it, fusion is fusion, fission is fission, gravity interacts with objects in a set way, and certain elements are "required" to form life, which has observable similarities (doesn't mean there aren't forms of life with a different cellular structure that we know absolutely nothing about yet). Doesn't need a creator or a designer, just time and the required components, and both of those were clearly available.
This does not disprove the existence of gods mind you, a god, or similarly powerful being, could have gotten bored one day and decided to create a ball of matter of all sorts, and then hit it really really hard to see what happens. I can't disprove that, but there is no need to believe that any deity took any interest in our universe after that point.
@BRC Good to see someone who has an explanation for their belief. I see the way of thinking in your experiment, but there is a question I always have when someone brings up a similiar random-but-directed concept for the beginning of the universe: What started the cycle? How did the means of the cycle come into being? (ex. molecules, 8oz cup in the experiment)
Unfortuantely I don't have an answer for where it all started yet. Some people would ask a religious leader. I say ask a theoretical physicist, and give them the time to figure it out.
@BRC - My question is why do you presuppose that material reality is all there is? In otherwords, what prompts you to go to the physicist and not the philosopher for these answers? Why not go to them all and weigh their answers collectively?
@J: Unfortunately, we would all do well to remember that the internet is an equal opportunity forum, not only allowing people of all view points to participate, but also people who have no intention of serious participation. Anonymity + Soap box = lots of stupid content. I don't think that atheists who immediately resort to ad hominem do any favors for their argument that their belief system is more rational. But then again, these people don't strike me as trying to defend a view point. It seems pretty obvious to me that they only want to abuse other people.
So, my point is, one can't really claim some sort of moral victory over atheism because some people on the internet forum were the first to resort to name calling. Just like one can't claim a victory over religion if the opposite were to happen.
As to your original claim: "Actually, Atheism requires much more faith than religion."
This statement is false because atheism, i.e. "Not having a belief in a god or gods," is the default position, the null hypothesis. Theism is a position which posits specifc assertions, i.e.: "There is a god or gods," "The nature of god(s) is X," etc. Therefore, by definition, atheism requires no faith because it posits nothing. Not believing in something does not require faith. Are you telling me you reject Oris or Odin or Zeus or Gaia or Allah or Cthulu or Sasquatch on the basis of faith? Or do you reject them because they do not meet your burden of proof? Your non-belief in sasquatch is a default position, you require zero effort to arrive at non-belief in sasquatch.
Christians mistakenly assume that Christianity is a default position, since most Americans are raised Christian. This ignores the fact that it is Christianity, not Atheism, that makes claims. The burden of proof is on Christianity. Deciding that Christianity does not meet your burden of proof is not a faith issue.
"Which requires more faith: To believe that all the order and design in the universe is the product of undirected chance or to believe in a supernatural designer? I like the analogy of the poker game: A dealer at a poker game deals himself hands of aces a few times in a row. The other players accuse him of cheating and he responds that it was pure chance. Anyone would think he's crazy and kick him off of the table. Now how is it that we can say something like the universe, life, our planet, etc can be a product of undirected chance? You can't rule it out logically, but it requires faith in very, very low probability."
First of all, Atheism is not a belief that the universe came about because of chance events. Atheism is a lack of belief in god or gods. A belief that the world came about through purely natural explanations might be called "Naturalism," but so far as I know people who believe such things are not quick to add an -ism to the end of their beliefs.
Second of all, the belief in a supernatural creator does in fact require more faith. And the more specific your beliefs are about the creator, the more faith you need. i.e., it takes less faith to believe the universe was created by some supernatural god spark that no longer exists or opporates in the universe. Conversely, it takes more faith to believe that the universe was created by a loving anthropomorphic god with all the attributes asssigned to him by christianity.
The analogy of the poker game fails for a number of reasons. First, it is an argument from incredulity: it is not a rational argument, rather you're appealing to an emotion-a stronger argument would seek to logically prove the claim. Second, this argument fails if the audience fails to find the example incredulous. You site an example that might strike many people as incredulous, but if I say, "No, I believe that could happen," then you are now empty handed. Your argument has failed. The third and final reason it fails is because the Universe is not a card game. The universe also does not behave by totally random processes. Chemistry, Physics, Biology all have directions. Things move along a gradient, natural selection favors advantageous mutations, reactions move to equilibrium.
"My question is why do you presuppose that material reality is all there is? In otherwords, what prompts you to go to the physicist and not the philosopher for these answers? Why not go to them all and weigh their answers collectively?"
Because that's all tha we can prove or measure. That's what you don't need faith to believe in, because it can be demonstrated. Personally, I'm committed to believe things are true to the extent I have good evidence and reason to believe them.
In the case of God I have neither good reason, nor evidence.
J, I hope that was more useful! Sorry that the internet is full of idiots :D
Putting the final kibosh on religion to include Facebook Christianity in less than 300 words: Priceless!!!
• There was probably no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.
• There was probably no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.
• There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.
• There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.
• There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.
• Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.
• Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.
A quick Google, Bing or Yahoo search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves religions.
"The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.
Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother's womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. "
origin: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F20E1EFE35540C7A8CDDAA0894DA404482 NY Times review and important enough to reiterate.
New Torah For Modern Minds --–
“Abraham, the Jewish patriarch, probably never existed. Nor did Moses. The entire Exodus story as recounted in the Bible probably never occurred. The same is true of the tumbling of the walls of Jericho. And David, far from being the fearless king who built Jerusalem into a mighty capital, was more likely a provincial leader whose reputation was later magnified to provide a rallying point for a fledgling nation.
Such startling propositions – the product of findings by archaeologists digging in Israel and its environs over the last 25 years – have gained wide acceptance among non-Orthodox rabbis. But there has been no attempt to disseminate these ideas or to discuss them with the laity – until now.
The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, which represents the 1.5 million Conservative Jews in the United States, has just issued a new Torah and commentary, the first for Conservatives in more than 60 years. Called "Etz Hayim" ("Tree of Life" in Hebrew), it offers an interpretation that incorporates the latest findings from archaeology, philology, anthropology and the study of ancient cultures. To the editors who worked on the book, it represents one of the boldest efforts ever to introduce into the religious mainstream a view of the Bible as a human rather than divine doc-ument.
The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel – not one shard of pottery."
I wonder how many times theists need to hear or read about "Jesus is alive" each day before they feel secure and that their world is right?
Just speculating here. I know every article that crops up that is 'pro' religion makes you -the theist- proud to be what you are, but how many times do you NEED to hear it to validate your belief? To make you secure each and every day?
I'm guessing more than ONE time each and every day. Please reply with some honesty.
@Answer: I personally don’t have to hear anyone say that “Jesus is alive” to feel secure. I know it to be true without having anyone validating my belief. I have faith that Jesus died for me, was buried, and rose from the grave and is alive. I am not here to make you believe what I believe, however, I am willing to have a good wholesome discussion about what I believe and what you believe. I cannot force you to believe what I believe, but I can encourage you and pray for you. On the other side, you cannot force me to believe what you believe either. So, what do you say?
Apparently Mr. Answer doesn't have an answer to your comment, ironically.
@VR Answer didn't answer a post that was made 24 hours after his. Big deal. The thread is pretty much dead.
I guess the old fashioned collection plate has been replaced with a Paypal account.
Well many churches do offer the option of paying by credit card or automatic debit now.
The electronic methods leave an auditable trail. So now, the churches can be more easily taxed.
So get on it, IRS. We need the money to vanquish our deficit.
Can't believe the amount of morons here like alien orifice, dude grow up isn't that your mommy i hear.
Hello, if you were to try to draw a conclusion from that, you would be committing the Ad Hominem fallacy.
I am an information technologist and a Christian and the idea of a facebook church leaves me cold. For some, facebook may be the only the are able to be in community with other believers but it is not normative and not a full expression/experience only a shade of the experience of worshiping in a "present" community.
Yes, technology is wonderful and can do wonders to break down the limitations caused by time and distance, but it is not the real thing. Anymore than a facebook dinner for two, or a facebook romance, or a facebook marriage could approach the fullest sense of the real thing. I wonder how a face book meal tastes and smells and feels like? Is a facebook steak tender or tough, well done or bloddy rare? On facebook does it really matter.
What is it like to sing in your facebook congregation? What is it like to hug the person behind you who has had a tough month or hasn't been on facebook for a while. What is it like to pass the communion elements to the person beside you. What is it like to pick-up and hold the child who runs up to you and pulls on your pants/skirt for attention? What is it like to smile and nod acknowlegement to the elderly couple who have taken great pains (perhaps litterly) to make their way down the isle and enter the pew beside you. How does one extend on hand of welcome or an open hymnal to the stranger/visitor who arrives whith the service is in progress.
Why use facebook at all, why not just take a candle (or a fake equivalant) off to a room, and sitdown, and let the Holy Spirit bind you and others so "gathered" at the same time together. It would seem to me that the Holy Spririt might be a better mediator/medium than facebook....
You didn't read the article did you Don....
I am an intelligence technologist so that is how I know.
I did read the article. The point that I was trying to make with the statement that eventhough I am an information technologisits and work with technology every day (and one might expect to be a rabid evangalist for technology) I know its limitations and do not automaticlly advocate its use in all situations. As a Christian I know something about Christian community and worship and thus have concerns putting technology in a position to moderate/mediate that experience.
(Somewhat akin to the early protestant claim that it was unnecessary and detrimental to have/require priests to moderate the relationship/experience between people and God.)
I was only stateing that for me as both an information technologist and a Christian focusing on facebook as the locus of Christian fellowship and worship leaves me cold. For the non-Christian, try to imagine playing your favorite sport (or participating in your favorite sporting event) on facebook. To put it another way, the next time you have a gettogether - either a party, a family celebration, Thanksgiving even, instead of "getting together" just do it on facebook.
The writer mentions the need to go where people are. This is both true and a bedevling dilemma.
DonFC, "information technologist"?? don't you mean "configuration manager"?
All religions are cults. One must be indoctrinated into the cult (brainwashed) into believing that which is contrary to all common sense.
The students at Liberty, and reliigous people around the world, have been abused (mentally) because they have been taken advantage of by virtue of removal of their faculties. If their parents raised them to think a certain way, before they were old enough to make decisions for themselves and think critically about the world around them, then I blame the parents. If they were a seeker and a snake oil salesman pitched them the GOD potion, I blame that person.
Now that they have been indoctrinated they will be enlisted as a soldier to push the agenda, often political and always for prophet. Evangelicals / Missionaries are the worst sort of people. Intent on trying to convert others to believe the way they do. Christianity and all religions are a lie.
I'm getting the impression that, in order to feel better about denying religion as a whole, you intentionally misunderstand it to further justify your position. You're making the whole issue WAY too simple, assuming that every religious person is a gullible fool. Sorry, but there are religious people way more intelligent and sensible than both you and I. You ignore the countless atheists and agnostics who grew up in atheistic/agnostic homes and eventually, in their search for truth, found that a religion held the truth. The fact is, and I know you'll hate this, but I can accuse atheism of the same thing. If atheism is false, then it is brainwashing people to believe something that is untrue, and obviously holds eternal consequences.
I would suggest trying to open your mind and listen to what religions have to say before coming to your conclusion of what truth is. You can't possibly claim to know the truth if you only ever let yourself give one side a chance at convincing you. If anything, that puts you in a position of ignorance if you do that.
"countless"? My guess is not that many, and the net flux is out of religion, not into it.
% of total population in US that is Christian has been in steep decline over the past decade.
John, in general, atheists seem to know the claims of religions better than the adherents do. Several recent CNN articles discuss this. So, your suggestion to the effect that atheists should listen to what religions have to say is a bit incongruous, don't you think?
Ben, please read my post again. I wasn't addressing atheists as a whole, I was talking about one person.
John, I suggest that you read both my posts again. They still apply, and AO clearly knows a lot about your religion. Likely much more than you do.
It's the same old same old, John. There's hardly anyone in America that doesn't know about your religion. We get bombarded with endless cr@p about it from earliest childhood. Claiming that anyone needs to take a closer look at it is nonsense, to be polite.
The real loss is time not spent learning basic sciences, which will in time be putting our country at a compet-itive disadvantage.
And I'm inclined to say that I not only know more about my religion then him but probably more about atheism than him. But neither claims could ever be proven unless we sat in a room for hours and were individually drilled.
And you seem to think Christianity and science are exclusive. Not only are they not, but Christianity had a hand in the origin of science. There are many Christian scientists who have made revolutionary contributions; its a common myth that any contributing scientists of old were nonbelievers. And atheism is hardly a requirement for scientific understanding.
And, finally, I would hardly say that the info commonly spread about Christianity is sufficient to understand it. It certainly wasn't for me, and took me 19 years of studying all the different claims of origin to realize its truth.
Wow, John, you actually spent 19 years on that? What an incredible waste of time.
Pursuing the truth is a waste of time? I hope that perspective is not shared by all atheists.
John, re your statement that Christianity had a hand in the origin of science.
Really? reference please. I call fresh steaming output of back end of bu-ll on your statement.
Science is way older than Christianity. Even science by Archimedes pre-dated your whole religion by 200 or so years.
John, yes, science and religion are mutually exclusive. Science can be revised as new understanding is gained. Religion is based on dogma that is unchangeable, that is supposed to be believed, or not.
Science and religion will increasingly clash, as science progresses and old supersti-tions of religions are exposed for what they are, complete bunk.
Terry, I was referring specifically to modern science, where (arguably) the most significant revelations have been made. And a quick google search revealed this well-written essay that I would suggest looking at.
And Ben; science and religion are compatible, if the religion is true. Why? Because both strive to reveal what is true; science may gain a false understanding through flawed experiments and interpretations of results, and humans may falsely interpret scripture, but they are not mutually exclusive if the religion is true (and, for that matter, the method pursued in science is valid). Also, religion, in my belief Christianity, is responsible for revealing certain other truths (although some do argue that there are scientific teachings in the bible, though this is controversial among Christians), and science reveals more material truths about the world we live in. They would only be exclusive if the religion was wrong, and that's the presupposition you are making.
The only way they may temporarily clash is if, for example, something discovered through science is actually a misinterpretation, and that misinterpretation clashes with religion. Eventually that misinterpretation (like you said, science is constantly being revised; humans aren't perfect) will hopefully be discovered, and the correct interpretation revealed.
Really? How old are you?
Sir, I really question your step. Because, facebook has become a huge addiction for many. It's mostly used for gossiping and stalking. Your step might only make people's addiction with facebook worse. Any thoughts on this?
I'll reply after I check my Facebook account.
Your replies are well written and poses some hard questions. As for the atheisism-is-a-belief argument, I don't suppose you classify 'proof' for your argument as the 'lack of proof' for the opposing belief. And although you define my main paragraph to be summarized as Pascal's Wager, and how the atheist's wager is much more robust, you don't have a definite answer to explain your opinion of what happens after we die. If you could kindly explain, it would be appreciated.
I can't speak for ohnugget001, but I will give you my opinion for what it is worth. When you die, you are dead.
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