Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

March 7, 2020

Atheistic Religious Jihad in New York

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen 

When I have time and my circumstances allow, I want to respond to some material about why Americans do not want an atheist as President. Briefly, atheists lie. A lot. They not only do it overtly, but through blatant misrepresentation.

The anti-Christian FFRF is defending their religion, and especially the dogma of Darwinism, by attacking a timorous school district in New York.

Perhaps this is to cover up the fact that while they profess to profess reason and tolerance, they are dreadful at utilizing either. This link is one of many possible sources. There you will notice little or no discernable logic, including a prairie schooner-full of straw man arguments, ad hominem attacks, baseless assertions, hasty generalizations, and ridicule. Why do they act like ridicule will make atheism and Darwinism less false? That makes sense on their world, old son.

Dan Barker is from the Freedom from Religion Foundation and acts like he's Canis Major. He claims to be a former Christian but demonstrates little knowledge of actual theology and history. While he likes to sell his books, he gets on the prod when Godless is cited at a scholarly debate (see this video link at the 24 minute mark). He spreads falsehoods about the origin of Christianity which have been refuted by accurate sources, and not those that utilize citation of citation of citation without source material. A gifted storyteller, but his bigotry and misrepresentations can be clearly seen in the video linked above as well as in this article. I lack reasons to respect him.

I have concluded long ago that ninety-nine percent of atheists give the rest a bad name, and that activist anti-Christian groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation are weasels who hate God and persecute Christians. Ironically and despite the protestations of bigoted or misinformed atheists, it is a fact that atheism is a religion. They work to have their religion (often in the disguise of Secular Humanism) to be the religion of the land. Why do you think so many atheists are politically on the far left? If I knew what a "bottom dollar" was and had one, I'd bet that they would not support Question Evolution Day — especially the parts about freedom of speech and thought.

A cornerstone of atheism is the mythology of evolution, and they fiercely protect their dogma. This article was inspired by an article on an Intelligent Design website. As a biblical creationist, I am appreciative of how the ID movement shows scientific reasons to reject fish-to-fool evolution. Creationists use arguments showing intelligent design and irreducible, specified complexity. However, the movement itself is too limited and does not proclaim the Creator as revealed in the Bible. Even so, it reveals the blatant dishonesty of the FFRF and their blatant bullying. And they wonder why people don't trust atheists?
The bullies and censors at the Freedom from Religion Foundation have scored a point, and they are crowing about it. A biology teacher at Holland Patent High School, in Upstate New York, informed students that “evolution only goes so far.” This produced a threatening outcry from the atheist group — blasphemy against Darwin! —  that acknowledging that there is “controversy about evolution is fraught with legal peril.” The school district replied with a letter that seemed to buckle to and accept this bizarre objection.
I encourage you to read the rest of this article. You can do that by following the link to "Blasphemy Against Darwin in New York State! Atheist Group Intimidates School District". Seeing as the events are in New York, it is not all that surprising the timorous school district did not seek assistance from the American Center for Law and Justice, who have been successful in fighting back

October 16, 2018

Zoroaster and Monotheism

As a kid, I liked watching Zoroaster, as portrayed by Guy Williams. He wore a mask, fought for justice in Spanish California, and slash a Z with his sword —

"No, Cowboy Bob! You're thinking of Zorro!"

Oh, right. I was wondering why he started a religion over yonder, in Persia and India.

Now it's time to stop playing with words and get serious. The history of Zoroaster (Zarathustra, and other names) is controversial, and is generally considered to have lived long before Jesus. Some two-bit tinhorns say that Christianity stole concepts from Zoroastrianism and Mithraism, but examinations of source documents show that such is not the case.

Zoroaster began a religion that has some similarities with Christianity.
Public domain image attributed to Clavis Artis,
an alchemy manuscript, via Wikimedia Commons
Zoroastrianism is considered monotheistic, but that is not entirely accurate because. They have a God, but also have an immortal counterpart for evil. Christianity does not have Satan as God's equal, but as a created being who turned evil and is defeated at the end. Their god, Ahura Mazda, was a creator, but there are very distinct differences between that creation account and the true creation found in Genesis.

Stories of the Genesis Flood that are spread all over the world and many still have elements of the true account, and people most likely carried some form of the narrative with them after the dispersal at Babel. Not only are people born with a knowledge that God exists, but I suspicion that some semblance of accounts of the one true God were dispersed as well. That may explain some similarities between religions. Also, it is likely that later versions of Mithraism and Zoroastrianism borrowed from Christianity.

Y'all might be wondering why I'm posting something about this obscure Eastern religion. One reason is to challenge the foolish claim that Christianity stole from Zoroastrianism. Another one is because the religion may seem obscure in the West, but is has very many adherents in India, Iran, and other places. Also, there are mixtures of cultural religions and Zoroastrianism, and even some modifications of Islam. Don't be surprised if those folks moving in next door have some shades of this religion. They need Jesus too.
The early history of Zoroastrianism is much in dispute. The religion was founded by Zoroaster, but it is not certain when he lived, where he lived or how much of later Zoroastrianism came from him. Tradition puts him in western Iran in the sixth century BC, a little earlier than the Buddha in India, but it is now thought that he lived in northeastern Iran, in the area on the borders of modern Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. An alternate theory dates him much earlier, somewhere from 1700 to 1500 BC, and places him in the plains of central Asia, perhaps before the first groups of Aryans moved south from the plains into Iran and India.
. . .
This religion obviously has aspects similar to Christianity and may have been influenced by events from Genesis forward as they were passed down from generation to generation.
. . .
Regardless, Zoroastrianism is considered one of the world’s oldest monotheistic religions — the doctrine or belief that there is only one God. However, while Zoroastrians say they believe there is one supreme God whom they call Ahura Mazda, they also recognize another immortal deity, known as Angra Mainyu, who represents the epitome of evil. So using the traditional definition of monotheism, many religious scholars would say it is more accurate to describe this religion as polytheistic. 
As Christians, it is important to understand that when God created us in His image, He wrote monotheism into our “spiritual DNA.” In helping us to understand this reality, the Apostle Paul explains in the first two chapters of the book of Romans that the existence of only one true God is evident to everyone in one of two ways.
To read the rest (it's a bit long, but very interesting), click on "World Religions and Cults: Zoroastrianism".

September 19, 2017

Benjamin Franklin and Religion

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Here in the United States, and to some extent in other parts of the world, there has been considerable debate about the religion of the Founding Fathers. While the majority of them could be considered fundamentalist or evangelical Christians by today's standards, a few were Deists. Secularists who attempt to rewrite history somehow try to make it seem that the appearance of these Deists negated the fact that America was clearly founded on Christian principles

There are different stripes of Christians, Buddhists, Mohammedans, atheists, and other religions. Indeed, even within certain sects and denominations, you will find variations. This includes Deists. I've encountered deists who want to join in with misotheists in slapping leather with Christians, and others who are more moderate. Like other groups, there is no "one size fits all" for Deists.

Ben Franklin was a Deist but supported Christian values
Benjamin Franklin / Joseph Wright, 1782
Benjamin Franklin was unarguably one of the most important American founders, and was a complex individual. He was also a Deist. This Deist was good friends with one of the most important Christian leaders of their time, George Whitefield. Franklin was friendly toward Christianity, and made remarks that were friendly to it and to the Bible, yet he apparently never surrendered his life to Jesus Christ. A somewhat famous but dishonest picture of atheism "good enough for these idiots" pictures Franklin and several other people, but only one was an avowed atheist. (Atheists are not necessarily idiots, but they are fools, Psalm 14:1, Proverbs 1:7.) I seriously doubt that Ben would be fond of today's dishonest atheists who are unskilled at rational thought

Dr. Albert Mohler has an intellectually-oriented show with a name that I think is quite good: Thinking in Public. In this episode, he interviews Professor Thomas Kidd about his book,  Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father. There are people who may be put off by the intellectual approach, but I reckon that if I understood it, most folks can.

Before I give you the link, I have to take you on a side trail. (I tend to do that frequently, don't I?) It's about intellectualism. In days of yore, there was an intellectual class in Europe that was into philosophy, the arts, and leaned to the political left (including Marxism). Another trait of the intellectuals then (and now) is fondness for theological liberalism, which disdains the authority and perspicuity of the Bible. This did harm to Christianity (as it does today), and was an influence in the Christian Fundamentalist movement. For more about this, you may want to take a gander at my article, "Christian Fundamentalism and Anti-Intellectualism".

Being intelligent and seriously examining not only Scripture, but other aspects surrounding it, is definitely not unchristian. In fact, reacting against intellectual pursuits has, I believe, been detrimental to Christianity. God gave us our minds, and expects us to use them. That is why we have some brilliant theologians and Bible-believing scientists. Especially creationists. We cannot effectively refute atheism and evolutionism, nor can we defend the biblical aspects of our values, with slogans and captioned pictures alone.

Okay, I'm done with that side trail. I hope you'll spend the hour to listen to "Benjamin Franklin’s American Religion: A Conversation with Historian Thomas Kidd", which is free to download or hear online. If you prefer to read, the transcript is also available at the link. Although this phrase may be cutesy, I think it's true: they put the cookies on the bottom shelf. I like cookies.

September 6, 2015

Kim Davis, Homosexual "Marriage", and Religious Freedom

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Since the US Supreme Court legalized homosexual "marriage" (no one can actually redefine marriage because God is the one who defined it), religious persecution has been on the rise, as was predicted by Franklin Graham and others; say that homosexuality is a sin and not something to be celebrated, risk getting in trouble. The court has been wrong in the past (abortion, the Dred Scott decision, and others), and is wrong now. Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, refused to issue marriage licenses that would violate her religious convictions. She went to jail, which was a violation of both the United States Constitution and the Kentucky Constitution. Indeed, the tinhorn activist judge who sent her to jail also required reeducation of students who opposed homosexuality.

Naturally, the Gaystapo, unintelligent atheists, and other leftists are thrilled with all this, not caring about the implications that state and federal laws are being violated. No, it's more important to advance the gay agenda and hog tie "religious" folks. These are the kind of people who would kick a fresh cow patty on a hot day.

One of the hate remarks is summarized in the picture above, that Kim Davis is on her fourth marriage, so she has no right to complain or stand up for her convictions. Sanctity of marriage? She's a hypocrite since she's had so many herself, so why complain about homosexuals wanting marriage? Narf! Nice superficial straw man there, Poindexter. The fact is, she made her religious commitment after her divorces and fourth marriage. Take a look at "Top 10 liberal lies about Kentucky clerk Kim Davis".

Follow me as we ride along this here side trail now.

Many Christians are uniting to support this "sister in Christ". But is she, really? She's a member of the Rock Solid Apostolic Church, which holds to a heretical modalist view like the United Pentecostal Church, which denies the true nature of God as revealed in Scripture. Her church's site is down (no surprise), but in the archived "About Us" section, it says in part,
We believe, as explicitly stated in the scriptures, that there is only one God (Deut 6:4). He is the Father of all creation (Malachi 2:10). He was manifested as the Son for our redemption (Isaiah 9:6, Matt. 1:21-23) and is dwelling in the lives of the believers as the Holy Ghost (Colossians 1:27). We preach the Bible as our roadmap to heaven. The plan of salvation that the apostles preached is the same plan that we preach (hence the name “Apostolic”), which is repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5, 22:16, Col. 3:17, Eph. 4:5).  
Although they list several Bible verses, they are twisted and taken out of context. This church is listed in the Apostolic Churches directory, which has several major flaws in its beliefs section.

As I said, Rock Solid believes modalism, but also insist that water baptism is necessary for salvation, which is false. The Apostolic Churches also believe in the unbiblical doctrine that you must speak in tongues to prove you're saved. Both of these are adding works to faith-based salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9). In addition, the "apostolic" churches are unbiblical, divisive, and cultic. To learn more, I suggest checking out Holly Pivec's "Spirit of Error" and these two interviews with her. Also the articles, "What is the New Apostolic Reformation?" and "The Apostles Who Don't Do Anything".

This brings me to something that will irritate some folks. That is, Kim Davis is deeply religious, but if she's accepting the false teachings of this group, then the Jesus she believes in and her religious convictions are not based on a proper understanding of the Bible. She would then need to repent and believe in the real Jesus of the Bible, and accept the biblical understanding of the nature of God.

Now let's rejoin the main trail we were riding and reach our destination.

Do I support Kim Davis because she's a sister in Christ? No, because I do not believe that she is. Should I join with others in supporting her for upholding her religious convictions? You betcha! Listen up, cow-patty-on-a-hot-day-kickers as well as decent people. Myopic atheists and leftists should be supporting her as well because of the blatant governmental violations of free speech, religion — and thought. Just because someone doesn't agree with the views of someone else doesn't mean they can't uphold the bigger principles at stake.

Update: She has been released from jail. Let's find out what happens.

This popular version of a quote by Martin Niemöller applies here:
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me — and there was no one left to speak for me.
Do you savvy?

November 9, 2014

Atheism, Secularism and Lack of Logic

by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

One of the main problems that atheists have is prejudicial conjecture. That is, they get all het up, thinking they know about something and spouting off their uninformed opinions while also trying to influence the views of others. When it comes to the Bible, many atheists not only resort to prejudicial conjecture, but many other logical fallacies including the straw man. Sorry, Cupcake, but we don't have to defend something we don't hold to or didn't say. This includes quote-mined material from the Bible. 

Made at Atom Smasher
Numerous fallacies can be rounded up in regards to creation science. They will misrepresent creationists, call us liars (their "proof" is essentially based on "because I said so repeatedly", but actually makes them the liars because of no real evidence), appeal to motive, poisoning the well, unfounded accusations, loaded terminology and a whole lot more. With just a little learning about informal logical fallacies, it's easy to spot atheopaths using numerous errors in what passes for reasoning on their world.

This is "Fair Use" for educational purposes. Also, I see that someone didn't cotton to Haywire's rants.
Another trick is redefining words to suit their purposes. The established definition of atheism is someone who believes there is no God or gods. Since that fails logic and philosophy tests, they have conveniently redefined it into someone who "lacks belief", but they are still making a belief statement. (Fine, I lack belief in a universe without God.) Since atheism is such a negative religion, it has been also redefined as secularism or even secular humanism, but both terms still come down to meaning "atheism". "Secularism" is not "neutral"; secularists keep working on removal of all vestiges of Christianity in public life. That is an establishment of an atheist religion, not "neutrality"!

One of the most popular efforts of quote mining by atheists in America is the so-called "Constitutional separation of church and state". Many people believe the lie that this is in the US Constitution. I remember some of a conversation about 30 years ago, I said to a guy, "The Constitution says that the church shall be separate from the state, and the school from the church". The other guy said, "Yes!" Then I informed him that I was almost-quoting from the USSR Constitution (it's in the 1936 and 1977 USSR Constitutions). He didn't like that trick, but it showed how he had accepted a belief without truth. The fact is, despite the manipulations and trickery of secularists, there is no such thing as the separation of church and state in the US Constitution! But atheist-sympathizing judicial activist judges in this country act like it's there.

Let's get back on the original trail again.

Atheists and other anti-creationists give uninformed opinions when they attack Christians and biblical creationists. Some think they've found problems with the Bible, therefore there is no God, but their objections have been answered long, long ago and answers are posted online. Very few have the intellectual integrity to honestly investigate from the sources about what we believe and teach. They get their information from other atheopaths and anti-creationists who misrepresent us, or just base their opinions on watching or reading secular humanist-based science fiction. How about going to the source instead of fallaciously paying attention to poorly-thought second-hand opinions? There really is a Creator, and he makes the rules. We are all going to be answerable to him one day. For some of us, it will be a joy. For others, it will be Hell (Phil. 2.9-11, Rev. 20.15). By denying God, you're making your choice with your pretended "secular" neutrality.

Wild Bill Finlay is an American Conservative commentator and a Christian. He has some good observations in this short video.

March 28, 2014

No True Atheist Doubts Atheism!

No True Scotsman, No True Atheist, Evil Raccoon, Atheist, Atheism, Stormbringer's Thunder, The Question Evolution Project

Atheism is in trouble. It is on the decline globally 1, 2, they are the least-liked, least trusted group 3 (but their status may have improved slightly since the surveys were taken), and they humiliate themselves and even other atheists with their antics 4. Some will whine, "We're persecuted!" Seldom true. "You hate me because I'm an atheist!" Also seldom true, but you identify with anti-Christian bigots 5, and that doesn't help you.

Atheist self-perception compared to others, Kirk Hastings
Courtesy of Kirk Hastings, used with permission

In addition, the idea of a universe that caused itself is philosophically and scientifically untenable 6, and they hate that fact.

One thing that militant atheopaths cannot tolerate is a defector, whether it is someone who leaves their religion 7, or dares to question materialism since most rely on that. Materialistic evolution is also a tenet of fundamentalist atheism 8. I've noticed that they seem to attack former atheists with amazing vitriol, almost as much as they give to biblical creationists — and there are creationists who were atheists at one time 9.

Militant atheopaths seem to get along with theistic evolutionists, and I think that is because TEs are closer to atheism than others who call themselves Christian (and I agree with some others who suspect that many TEs are actually just Deists). Next, they tolerate old-earth creationists (OECs) to some extent. But they detest young-earth creationists (YECs, also called biblical creationists), probably because we stand on the authority of the Bible and are not swayed by the ever-changing speculations of science philosophies.

Thomas Nagel dared to think beyond atheist orthodoxy and said that they had some wrong views about materialism. Instead of acting like the brilliant intellectuals that they pretend to be, they went into ridicule mode against one of their own.
Philosopher Thomas Nagel, who made a serious challenge to materialism in his book Mind and Cosmos, is still the focus of heated debate.
At a gathering of philosophers and scientists that included Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, a workshop on naturalism turned into an all-out attack on Nagel, a Professor of Law and Philosophy at New York University.
Nagel’s claim that materialists’ conception of nature is wrong was too much for the workshop participants, according to Andrew Ferguson, a senior editor at The Weekly Standard.
In an article titled ‘The Heretic’, Ferguson discussed what happened in the workshop and also considered why Nagel’s book so angered his critics.
Follow the link to finish reading "Thomas Nagel—The atheist who dared to question materialism". There is a music "video" below for Christians. We have defected from Satan's stronghold. He and his minions are very angry indeed. The lyrics are here.

March 19, 2014

Dan Barker's Fundamentally Flawed Rationale

Dan Barker of the Freedom from Religion Foundation seems like a heckuva nice guy. Unlike so many of the obstreperous atheists on the Web, he is intelligent, respectful and polite. But I am only basing this on a couple of interviews on Christian radio shows that I heard. Still, he does not have a reputation for being nasty.

The first one I heard was with Matt Slick of CARM. An attempt to schedule a debate had fallen through, so Dan was a guest in the studio with Matt. There was no specific agenda or topic. To listen to that, click here, but do not click on the "listen now" button. Instead, use the link "Carm_Podcast_2-7" to get the MP3. Also, Matt had a show where he discussed a debate he had with Barker a few years earlier, that show is here.

When hearing this show, I had feelings similar to those that Matt expressed, how so much was touched upon and a week of one-hour shows could stem from it. Barker had numerous instances of bad reasoning, word games, philosophical excuses and bad theology, so several visits would have been quite interesting.

After this, Dan Barker was on "Stand Up for the Truth" prior to a debate with Dr. Jerry Bergman of the Genesis Foundation. This was more formal, and they discussed not only his justifications for atheism, but how the Freedom from Religion Foundation conducts itself. You can listen/download here. Barker was caught in some glaring inconsistencies. Mike LeMay pointed out some of those in an article. One thing that I don't think anyone caught was how he claimed to be for everyone's religious freedom, but when Obamacare violates religious freedom, there's not a peep from FFRF. Double standard much? But the SUFT team does not let Christians off the hook because bad theology and lack of commitment (and understanding) on the part of Christian teachers that helps give us people like Dar Barker.

Somewhat related is the next interview on "Stand Up for the Truth", where Dr. Bergman is interviewed about the religion of secular humanism, Barker and other related topics. You can listen/download the Dr. Bergman discussion here.

September 11, 2012

Atheists Attack 9/11 Cross

September 11, 2001 propelled vitriolic militant atheism into high gear. Anti-God books became best sellers and the so-called "new" atheism became profitable. People who already hated God pretended that he was not there (even though they know he exists, Romans 1.20-22) and used it as an excuse to attack "religion".

In addition, this kind of atheism lead to the destruction of the faith of others who were not grounded in the Word, not knowing what or why they believed — an indictment on lethargic Christians who were not doing their jobs in proclaiming and presenting Christ (2 Peter 3.18, 1 Peter 3.15, 2 Cor. 10.5, Jude 1.3). Angry atheopaths seem unconcerned that they are the least-trusted group. Even though this version of atheism is on the slide (and accelerating), their protesting and interfering in the free expression of religion for other people continue to become a stench.

Case in point: Misotheists are protesting the "Ground Zero Cross". Brilliant self-serving public relations move, innit? There is a petition to resist their efforts.

These atheists want to eradicate "religion" (and some express a desire to kill Christians outright). This sentiment is from people who call themselves "tolerant", but is the opposite of the truth. In fact, it smacks of totalitarianism.

They claim to be bastions of "reason", yet show horrendous lack of logic — such as when they paint "religious" people with the same broad brush. The actions of Mohammedan extremists on September 11, 2001 who were working for political ends under religious trappings are not a good enough reason to condemn all "believers". There were "religious" people helping to alleviate suffering in the wake of the terrorist attacks, but atheists seem to conveniently forget that fact.

The following article has an excellent perspective on religion, atheism and September 11:
As much as we talk about the political and military effects of 9/11, there is another change that has taken place.  If you look at the new atheism and the harsh attacks on religion, most of it has taken place in the years following 9/11.  Sure atheism has been around for a long time, but atheism took on a new form after 9/11.  Not only have atheists become more active, people are more open to their message.  When atheists say that religion creates violence, it is no longer about ancient history and distant memories of inquisitions and crusades.  We all watched as a group of religious people killed thousands of people in the name of God.  Religious violence has a ring of truth that it has not had, at least for people in North America, for a long time.
You can read the rest of "9/11 and the Loss of Faith in Religion" in context, here. As for attacking the 9/11 cross — grow up already.

July 29, 2012

Evolution is Fiction — Here's Proof

Found image circulating on Facebook

This picture has been circulating for a little while, and I had to show it anyway. Here you go, proof that evolution is fiction: Barnes and Noble said so!

There are many reasons to dismiss the "proof" claim, including employee error, staged picture, prank, someone just shoved it there or whatever. And yet, when it comes to finding excuses to disbelieve in creation science and in the existence of God, people use "proof" that is even less reliable than this picture!

Anyway, it's misclassified. Darwin's writings belong in the religion section.

February 12, 2012

A Creed for Charles Darwin's Birthday

We believe in Darwin, the father all-sovereign, explainer of all things visible and invisible, and in one Thomas Henry Huxley, the bulldog of Darwin, begotten from the substance of Darwin.

We believe in his son, Julian Huxley, of one substance with his Father.

We believe in Ernst Mayr, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins who proceed from the spirit of Darwin and Huxley and through whom all things were understood, things on heaven and things on earth:

Who, for our enlightenment, were made flesh and became men, who suffered grievously at the hands of petty academics, were denied tenure and publication at State schools, but rose to preeminence at superior universities and ascended into endowed chairs and chancellorships without end.

By their convictions and firmly held beliefs may we and all our works be judged.

For we are the chimps of his lab and the apes of his zoo. Amen.

November 6, 2011

The Religion of Atheism

In many practical aspects, atheism is a religion.

"How can you say that, Cowboy Bob? Atheism is a lack of belief in gods".

Yeah, sure. That's the cop-out redefinition, not the real definition. Except not all atheists got the memo, and some are confused.

As I was saying, in many practical aspects, atheism is a religion. It is a philosophy of life and conduct, and has many of the trappings of organized religion. Although atheists will tell you that they believe in "reason", they actually have a religion that is based on faith. A lot of it. I can't go there, Girlfriend.
Can't help it, I like this picture. Very appropriate.

Yes, atheism is a kind of religious cult. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, thinks like a duck... Capice?
Not only is this obnoxious and arrogant, atheism is not the fastest growing religion in the world.
OK, my observations are now concluded. It's time for even better stuff:
Atheism is the belief that there is no god. According to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
“Atheism is the position that affirms the non-existence of God. It proposes positive belief rather than mere suspension of disbelief.”
Buddhism is atheistic in the sense of denying that there is any overarching deity such as the Creator-God of the Bible. Atheism in the western sense excludes Buddhism, and adherents claim that it is not a religion. One Atheist said:
“Calling Atheism a religion is like calling bald a hair colour”
However, atheists make such claims so Atheism can avoid legal imperatives placed on religions in many countries, and can avoid some of the ideological hang-ups people have about “religion”. It also creates a false dichotomy between science (which they claim must be naturalistic and secular) and religion.
Atheism will be defined in the contemporary western sense: not just the lack of belief in a god, but the assertion about the non-existence of any gods, spirits, or divine or supernatural beings. Atheists in this sense are metaphysical naturalists, and as will be shown, they DO follow a religion.
You can read the rest of "Atheism: A Religion" here.

September 11, 2011

Religious Pluralism — Rubbish!

On a weekend when the world remembers the 9/11 that made that date infamous, many questions remain unanswered.
My concern is that there are answers that remain unquestioned.

Coexist. This sounds so terribly profound and noble. Even the graphic is inspiring. In one word we have Rodney King’s plea from a decade earlier – “Can’t we all just get along?” Well, I suppose that depends what you mean.
  • Can we accept one another as humans with inherent value? – I would hope so.
  • Can we tolerate viewpoints and lifestyles different from our own? – We should.
  • Can we live out our own beliefs without injuring or belittling others in the name of our beliefs? – Most of us do, except for the occasional misguided zealot.
  • Can we accept that we are all climbing the same mountain, even though we may be choosing separate paths? – No. This is where we must part company.
The term for this sentiment is religious pluralism. It means ‘acceptance of all religious paths as equally valid, promoting coexistence.’
So – does this hold up? Is there more than one way to God / heaven / enlightenment? I say absolutely not. Sometimes things that sound like good ideas simply don’t work. Religious pluralism is nonsensical.

Let’s start here in case you are new. I am a Christian. I believe in Jesus Christ, that he was and is God, that he came to earth as a human, that he died and rose again, and that only through him can we achieve right standing before God. I am aware of the charges that this sounds intolerant and arrogant. I get it, but I don’t think it holds up. First off, no Christian has warrant to be intolerant or arrogant. We are just beggars telling other beggars where to find bread.

Guilt by Association

Christianity seems to be frightening more people these days. The most recent flurry of alarm has been over "dominionism," as represented in a New Yorker article by Ryan Lizza. It has been more than thoroughly debunked, but still it seems to represent something more than politics. People are afraid of Christianity.
In fact for multiple reasons, many people are saying Christianity is bad, evil, harmful. This post is the first in a series examining reasons for Christianity's bad reputation. In memory of 9/11, I begin with "Guilt by Association." It goes like this. Islam is a religion. Some Muslims attacked us on 9/11 in the name of their God and their religion. Therefore religion is bad. Christianity is a religion. Therefore Christianity is bad.
The logic is laughable. Compare this, which is in near-identical form: Rodents are four-legged animals. Mice are rodents and can make a mess in your attic. Therefore rodents are bad. Dogs are four-legged animals. Therefore dogs are bad. 
The reasoning fails miserably at every step, and it would be hilarious if not for two things. First, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins have sold millions of books trying to make a case for it. To some extent I can understand their response. The 9/11 attacks were more than deadly, more than terrifying. They ruined the world in other ways besides. You may recall that the 1990s were supposed to be "the end of history." The Cold War was over and "'peace' seem[ed] to be breaking out all over the world" (Francis Fukuyama). What could there be to fight over now?
But just when we thought things were getting better, we were attacked right on our own soil. What a huge, terrible, and terrifying letdown that was—and what was to blame? Religion! What does that mean? Religion is dangerous! How shall we solve that? Eliminate religion!
Read the rest of "Christianity and 9/11: Guilt by Association?" here.

February 26, 2011

Parts of the Problem

Edited for clarity 7-20-2011
Buona sera. Does it bother you when someone points out problems but does not offer any solutions? Then prepare to be annoyed because I have no great answers. If, however, you want to compare notes and possibly say, "Yeah! I see that, too!", then you're in the right place.

After pondering information from several sources, making mental notes and simply making observations, I am seeing some of the reasons why unbelievers have problems with Christians, and Christianity. Some of it is the fault of the unbeliever, and the believers are not helping matters.

First, problems on the part of the unbelievers.

Preconceptions. We all have them, don't deny it. If you use a word, it has certain connotations for some people. For instance, if you hear or read the word "church", what image pops into your head? If you have experiences, you may remember smells, sounds, images — and emotions. I think the best way to deal with preconceptions is to admit that they exist, and try to get past the inner images.

Expectations from others. Another kind of preconception. Perhaps you want to intellectualize a discussion about God, but then use loaded terminology that provokes a reaction, or you caught someone on a bad day. "Some Christian that is!", you grumble. You have bad days and bad reactions, and so do we. At any rate, we cannot guess and live up to your preconceptions of what a Christian is supposed to be. Especially if that image is not entirely human.

Your anger. Sometimes people have rejected belief in God because of personal disappointment and pain. Somebody died despite your prayers. You see bad things in the world, and they overwhelm the good things in your mind. Perhaps you demand that God is to be a kind of Santa Claus but he did not grant your wishes.

Pride. That's right, I said it! I have met many unbelievers who, it appears, would rather die than to admit that a Christian is right and that they are wrong. More than that, the pride of coming to Christ goes against everything inside you because you have to admit so many things: You have sinned against a holy and righteous God who will judge us all, you really do not have what it takes to save yourself, salvation is only through Jesus Christ and receiving his loving offer of forgiveness... Yes, that stuff grates on you, doesn't it? Worse, Christians (the real ones, anyway) admit that we cannot save ourselves, and we had to swallow that pride and come to the cross.

One problem common to all of those points is that of word definitions; you don't know what that word really means. OK, now that you're angry at me, I'll back off and go on about what you came here for: Stuff Christians do that makes us hurt our own cause. Yeah, that gets your attention, doesn't it, Damien?

Organizations. Yes, there are many denominations out there. Some are formed out of silly disagreements in ecclesiology. Others are out of disagreements over doctrine. Still others are simply formed because people simply wanted their own beliefs and language when they moved to a new country. 

While you may have some legitimate complaints, there are some things to keep in mind. First, we are people, too. Nobody in their right mind is claiming that becoming a Christian makes you perfect in every thought, word or deed. You have problems too, remember? Second, other groups have divisions. People talk about other religions as if they were all unified, but that is ridiculous. Just ask the Sunnis and Shi'ahs for starters. Or maybe look at the differences in Tibetan, Theravada and Mahayana Buddhists. For that matter, do humanists and atheists all agree? Not bloody likely.

Goofy doctrines. There are people claiming to be Christians, or even The One True Church, who have some very odd beliefs. Christians are supposed to use the Bible as the final rulebook, not the writings or lectures of their self-proclaimed prophet. And those words are usually quite different from what the rest of orthodox Christianity teaches. When an atheist says, "I was having a discussion with a Mormon", my first thought is essentially a Peter Griffin-esque, "Aw, crap!" because Mormon doctrines are kooky.

I also have problems with some of the "Charismatic" groups. "Speaking in tongues" can be a scary thing to experience. It certainly creeped me out the first time I was around it. Today, I believe that they are in error. Further, the Pentecostals and Charismatics are the ones most likely to say, "God said to me...", and the rest will simply accept it without checking with their Bibles. Experience and emotion are too often the sources for their "doctrines". Frinstance, Joel Osteen and Benny Hinn are not representatives of my view of Biblical Christianity!

False Christians. People make the mistake of thinking that, since the United States is "a Christian nation", if they are not actively part of another non-Christian religion, they must be Christians. Also, the word is taken to be "moral" or "nice guy". So, they claim to be Christians, but they really have no idea what that word really means. They are in for a rude surprise when they meet Jesus face to face.

Religious people. People who have gone to church, often their whole lives, and think that going to church, practicing rituals and sacraments &c. makes them Christians. Also, things done by religions in the name of Christ are just that: Religions in the name of Christ. But they are not accurate reflections of the teachings of the Bible. Look to the source, not just the followers. "Religious" people are also in for a rude surprise when they meet Jesus face to face.

Over-enthusiastic Christians. They are full of the joy of salvation, they feel good, their burden of sin is lifted. So, although they are not "grounded in the Word" and good Bible teachings, they become cheerleaders for Jesus. Sometimes they'll say things that they cannot back up. They know the Bible is true, but they do not want to admit that they cannot answer the difficulty that you just posed. But that is no reason to reject everything that they have to say.

Spiritual people. For lack of a better term. They get all religious on you, get emotional, send you those awful (and usually pseudo-Catholic) e-mails. All I can say is that they have good intentions, but some of them get on my nerves, too.

Christians judging other Christians. I have written about this elsewhere, that some people grow in the faith in different ways and speeds than others. So, some who have learned about a subject get proud and look down on those who have not shared their epiphany, or have their level of knowledge. They are often guilty of pride, and need to repent of their superior attitudes. And unbelievers, you can sit back and watch. Why not?

Superstitious religious. Can't stand it. "God will get you for that", or whatever. Turning Christ into an unbelievable superstition. The Bible doesn't teach that, neither should they.

The truth. Yep, the truth of the gospel is offensive by itself (Rom. 9.33 NASB). Who wants to hear that he has sinned (Rom 3.23)? Or that you are judged and under the death penalty, but Jesus paid your debt on the cross (Rom. 6.23)? Who wants to hear that they need to turn from their sins (2 Peter 3.9) and accept the risen (1 Cor. 15.3) Jesus as their Lord (John 1.12)? Who wants to hear that they are the property of Satan (John 8.43-45), who blinds their eyes to the saving truth (2 Cor. 4.4)? That hurts the pride. And pride will drag you into Hell, quite frankly. No, the truth is offensive enough without people being people, having emotions, viewpoints, upbringing, traditions, personalities and getting in the way of the gospel.

So, to some extent, no wonder people scoff. But humanity is diverse. Just like those who share some of your viewpoints, capice?

November 18, 2010

Another "I Told You So!"

"Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality... Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today."
— Michael Ruse, anti-Creationist philosopher


November 5, 2010

Putting Your Faith in Politics

Buona sera. Yesterday, I told you that I had one or two more political articles in me. Looks like this is the last one for a while.

I'm going to try to cover two points here, so try to keep up, OK?

I've taken some heat from people for saying that Christians need to be involved in the political process. (For that matter, in American, anyone can be involved in the political process. I just happen to be a Bible-believing Christian.) The foundations of America are based on Christian principles. To those people who say that Christians should be more occupied with leading lost souls to Christ and ignoring the political process, I say, rubbish! Were our founders apostates, or misguided, or foolish because they put their Christian principles into action to form and govern this nation? It was their work that gave you the freedoms that you have right now to practice your religion, and now you want to stay out of it? Christians are called to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth( Matthew 5.13-16). We are to be witnesses and influences in our daily jobs, and I cannot see any reason to stay out of the political process. In fact, it is very important to be involved so we can keep our freedoms.

It has been rightly said (sorry, I cannot cite my source) that if we do not become involved in our government, someone else will make our decisions for us. Richard Wurmbrand's book Tortured for Christ tells about his personal experiences being tortured in atheist-governed Romania simply because he is a Christian. What would have happened in Romania and other atheist-led countries if true Christians had been involved in the political process? Things would probably have been very different. In America, many of our freedoms are being threatened. We had better make sure that we keep them!

Now, the other bit. A few months ago, I wrote an article about our efforts to fill the void in our lives with all sorts of other things, but we still yearn for Christ. One of the things I mentioned is that American liberalism has all sorts of trappings for a religion in and of itself. It is an idol that leftists bow down and worship; they have replaced the true God.

Now that America seems on the road to recovery, and Constitutional, Conservative values are being brought forth again, I have another caution for you: Politics will not save you. I don't care if you're Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal or whatever, your eternal destiny is not decided in the voting booth. Sure, we can "save" the country through proper values and legislation, but we cannot make politics (or Conservatism) into a religion! The US Constitution is an exceptional document, but it cannot replace the Bible. 

Christians have to be about the business of presenting the true Gospel, leading people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, to repentance of sin, to faith in Christ alone for personal salvation. And all of those saved, Spirit-filled, Bible-believing Christians can be practicing Constitutional principles to keep America strong, capice?

That's right, I'm making more work for you believers. Present the Gospel and be involved in the political process. Have an impact on people in your daily lives, in your school, in your family, in your workplace, in the voting booth, in your elected office and everywhere else. Let Jesus be the Lord of your own life and help bring the nation back to God (2 Chronicles 7.14).

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