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 7 years ago '06        #161
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 persuazion said:
So your family was actually on the right path and you chose out of nowhere to believe in one of the many stories on how the universe was created and take it as fact?
I didn't choose out of anywhere. I went to church, was interested at what was being said, and did my own research.



 persuazion said:
You should have went with Scientology.....at least their story is more entertaining.
Scientology was made up by a guy in the 1950s who, just a few years before, had said he wanted to create something that would make him millions. Clearly false.



 persuazion said:
The Bible is not a history book and should not be thought of as so
Yes, I agree the Bible is not a history book, a psychology text, or a scientific journal. The Bible is the description God gave us about who He is, and His desires and plans for humanity. But it is a historical text, and should be analysed as such. I don't understand why you're coming out with all this 'biblical' nonsense. Just because you've chosen not to believe doesn't mean you can spew rubbish.

Here's what I wrote on page 2:


A large part of the Bible deals with eyewitness accounts - first-hand information passed on with meticulous care. Even today, the Jewish people repeat their traditional teaching and stories in the same form as they did centuries ago. Besides, all the New Testament books were written down within 40 years after Jesus died. Just think how hard it would be to describe the years after the Second World War as a time of 'plentiful petrol, no rationing, hardly any bomb damage in London and plenty of money for everyone.' There are thousands of people still alive today who would say you were lying. They were there! So, when the New Testament books were first circulating, there would have been uproar if the facts were inaccurate or simply made up.

When the first manuscripts were copied, they weren't done in some cavalier, haphazard fashion. The Jewish copyists took their work seriously. The discovery of even the smallest error could lead to the whole manuscript being destroyed and work beginning all over again. There are thousands of these copies available to study, and they give us a remarkably accurate picture of the original documents. This is what makes the Bible unique. There are simply no other writings from this period with anything like the support the Bible has.
Everyone believes that Julius Caesar came to Britain in 55 BC, but we only have nine or ten manuscripts to support this, and the earliest was written 900 years AFTER the event (and you talk about the New Testament being written a few decades after Jesus' death?) In contrast, we have over 2000 manuscripts of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - the first four books of the New Testament), some of which were written only 200 years after the events. As time goes by, earlier manuscripts come to light which confirm the accuracy of later copies. All in all, the manuscript evidence is impressive:


[code]The wealth of manuscripts, and above all the narrow interval of time between the writing and the earliest extant copies, make it by far the best attested text of any ancient writing in the world.[/code]
- From Can we Trust the New Testament? by John Robinson.


So what we have in the Bible is a very well documented, carefully compiled piece of literature; an authentic record of events, preserved over the centuries with unequalled accuracy. It cannot be dismissed lightly.
-

And here's what I wrote on page 3:


So many people, like yourself, don't believe the Bible to be a reliable document of history. But the fact is, the Bible is a very trustworthy historical document. If you look at this chart that compares the biblical documents with other ancient documents, you can see for yourself that the Bible is in a class of its own regarding the number of ancient copies and their reliability.


[pic - click to view]



The bible describes places, people, and events in various degrees of detail. It is essentially an historical account of the people of God throughout thousands of years. If you open to almost any page in the Bible you will find a name of a place and/or a person. Much of this can be verified from archaeology. Though archaeology cannot prove that the Bible is the inspired word of God, it has the ability to prove whether or not some events and locations described therein are true or false. So far, however, there isn't a single archaeological discovery that disproves the Bible in any way.

Nevertheless, many people used to think that the Bible had numerous historical errors in it such as Luke's account of Lysanias being the tetrarch of Abiline in about 27 AD (Luke 3:1). For years scholars used this "factual error" to prove Luke was wrong because it was common knowledge that Lysanias was not a tetrarch, but the ruler of Chalcis about 50 years earlier than what Luke described. But, an archaeological inscription was found that said Lysanias was the tetrarch in Abila near Damascus at the time that Luke said. It turns out that there had been two people name Lysanias and Luke had accurately recorded the facts.

Also, the walls of Jericho have been found, destroyed just as the Bible says. Many critics doubted that Nazareth ever existed, yet archaeologists have found a first-century synagogue inscription at Caesarea that has verified its existence. Finds have verified the existence of Herod the Great and his son Herod Antipas, the remains of the Apostle Peter's house have been found at Capernaum, Bones with nail scars through the wrists and feet have been uncovered as well demonstrating the actuality of crucifixion, and the High Priest Caiaphas' bones have been discovered in an ossuary (a box used to store bones).

There are many archaeological verifications of biblical events and places. Is the Bible trustworthy? Most definitely. Remember, no archaeological discovery has ever contradicted the Bible, therefore since it has been verified over and over again throughout the centuries, we can continue to trust it as an accurate historical document.
-



 persuazion said:
.if anything its just a book put there to try and control society in its primitive years
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” While the Bible was completed approximately 1900 years ago, its accuracy and relevance for today remain unchanged. The Bible is the sole objective source of all the revelation God has given us about Himself and His plan for humanity.

The Bible contains a great deal of information about the natural world that has been confirmed by scientific observations and research. Some of these passages include Leviticus 17:11; Ecclesiastes 1:6-7; Job 36:27-29; Psalm 102:25-27 and Colossians 1:16-17. As the Bible’s story of God’s redemptive plan for humanity unfolds, many different characters are vividly described. In those descriptions, the Bible provides a great deal of information about human behavior and tendencies. Our own day-to-day experience shows us that this information is more accurate and descriptive of the human condition than any psychology textbook. Many historical facts recorded in the Bible have been confirmed by extra-biblical sources. Historical research often shows a great deal of agreement between biblical accounts and extra-biblical accounts of the same events.

The Bible contains a great deal of accurate and relevant information. The Bible’s most important message - redemption - is universally and perpetually applicable to humanity. God’s Word will never be outdated, superseded, or improved upon. Cultures change, laws change, generations come and go, but the Word of God is as relevant today as it was when it was first written. Not all of Scripture necessarily applies explicitly to us today (Old Testament laws, for example), but all Scriptures contain truth that we can, and should, apply to our lives today.



 persuazion said:
"Because it works"? Look at Sweden who has a large Atheist population....are they running around raping and murdering people at alarming rates?No.....because you are already installed with some sort of right and wrong values. and you dont need an invisible man in the sky to tell you its wrong to r*pe and k!ll. If you do need that then you need some sort of counseling and not religion.
I didn't deny that atheists can act in moral and ethical ways. Of course they can. All humans still retain the image of God upon them, even after the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. The image of God was effaced at the fall, but it was not erased, and so man still understands right and wrong no matter how many try to say otherwise. Even atheists react to this inherent knowledge of right and wrong, some even to the extent of living exemplary lives.

The difference between the atheist and the Christian in this sense is that the atheist may act ethically for certain reasons (e.g., not wanting to go to jail, it disrupts social order, it makes them look good to others, etc.), but he has no ultimate reason for acting ethically because there is no ultimate moral authority that exists over each sphere of his life. Without this ultimate authority, each atheist defines morality on his own terms, although his morality is influenced by the remnants of morality from the image of God within, along with the strictures and constraints of the culture and society in which the atheist exists.

The Christian, on the other hand, acts morally out of the knowledge of the moral law given by God in His Word and a love for the Law-giver Himself. In addition, that knowledge is continually increased and personalized by the indwelling Spirit of God, whose task it is to bring the Christian “into all truth” (John 16:13). From within believers, He directs, guides, comforts, and influences us, as well as producing in us the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). To the atheist who is without the Spirit, God’s truth is “foolishness,” because it is “spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14), and the only fruit of righteousness is self-righteousness, not the righteousness of Christ.

When confronted with a situation that demands both the Christian and the atheist to make moral choices, a situation in which societal constraints are removed, the reaction of each will be vastly different. If a society deems it morally acceptable to k!ll unborn babies, for instance, the atheist sees no reason to oppose the practice. His own “moral law” even tells him it’s the compassionate thing to do in cases where the child is the result of r*pe or incest. The Christian, however, knows abortion is wrong because his moral choices are built upon the moral Law-giver who has declared all human life to be sacred because it is created in the image of God. The Law-giver has proclaimed, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) and, for the Christian, there’s the end of it.

An atheist can act ethically, but he has no ultimate reason to do so and no ultimate authority to look to in order to ensure his line is indeed straight and unbendable.



 persuazion said:
if we really went by the stuff in the bible parents would be stoning their kids out in the street right now.
Old Testament Leviticus law. Go read a book. Do some research. Learn something. I cannot be bothered going over it again, and again, and again in this thread. Click 'Search this Thread' at the top, and search for my username. Look at my posts. Then maybe you'll come out with something less stupid that "Well if we did everything biblically, parents would be stoning their kids!" No offence, but you're stupid. It's not me who's been brainwashed with fiction, it's you.



 persuazion said:
You dont need a book written by 40 people that has changed countless times throughout history.....
You're really pulling out the stops today, aren't you?
Some people, like yourself, think that the Bible was written in one language, translated to another language, then translated into yet another and so on until it was finally translated into the English. The complaint is that since it was rewritten so many times in different languages throughout history, it must have become corrupted. The 'telephone' analogy is often used as an illustration. It goes like this:

One person tells another person a sentence who then tells another person, who tells yet another, and so on and so on until the last person hears a sentence that has little or nothing to do with the original one. The only problem with this analogy is that it doesn't fit the Bible at all.

The fact is that the Bible has not been rewritten. Take the New Testament, for example. The disciples of Jesus wrote the New Testament in Greek and though we do not have the original documents, we do have around 6,000 copies of the Greek manuscripts that were made very close to the time of the originals. These various manuscripts, or copies, agree with each other to almost 100 percent accuracy. Statistically, the New Testament is 99.5% textually pure. That means that there is only 1/2 of 1% of of all the copies that do not agree with each other perfectly. But, if you take that 1/2 of 1% and examine it, you find that the majority of the 'problems' are nothing more than spelling errors and very minor word alterations. For example, instead of saying Jesus, a variation might be "Jesus Christ." So the actual amount of textual variation of any concern is extremely low. Therefore, we can say that we have a remarkably accurate compilation of the original documents.

So when we translate the Bible, we do not translate from a translation of a translation of a translation. We translate from the original language into our language. It is a one-step process and not a series of steps that can lead to corruption. It is one translation step from the original to the English or to whatever language in which a person needs to read. So we translate into Spanish from the same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. Likewise we translate into the German from those same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts as well. This is how it is done for each and every language into which we translate the Bible. We do not translate from the original languages to the English, to the Spanish, and then to the German. It is from the original languages to the English, or into the Spanish, or into the German. Therefore, the translations are very accurate and trustworthy in regards to what the Bible originally said.
 7 years ago '10        #162
GBREEZE 260 heat pts260
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 CuZzA said:
Nobody knows. Not even Jesus knows. The Bible explicitly states in Matthew 24:36 that only God the Father knows ("But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.")




Did you not read what I wrote? It's not what day or date we celebrate, it's our focus. We don't 'celebrate' Christmas, because if we did, we'd be celebrating the turn of shorter days - but we celebrate the birth of Christ instead. We don't 'celebrate' Easter either, because if we did, we'd be celebrating the coming of longer days at the turn of the Spring equinox - but we choose to celebrate the death and ultimate resurrection of Christ instead. And we certainly don't 'celebrate' Halloween, because if we did, we'd be involved with, or support, the occult, witchcraft, demonism, or anything else that uplifts the occult. In doing so contradicts the word of God.

But that's the thing you clearly don't understand - you don't even 'celebrate' Christmas, Easter or Halloween. You give and receive gifts, and spend time with your family on the 25th December, you/your kids dress up in costumes and and give/receive sweets/candy on 31st October, and you give/receive chocolate eggs sometime in March/April. Practically nobody 'celebrates' these holidays as they were first celebrated.

So don't come at me with, "You shouldn't celebrate these holidays!", because we don't, and technically, neither does anybody else.
Did you read what i wrote? you celebrate of all of these holidays the exact or around the same time as the pagans LMAO! You can't be serious. Don't celebrate them at all, or move the dates if you must celebrate! The devil has corrupted all of ur holidays and most Christians have no idea lol. And Christians do celebrate Halloween, just be cause you call it a Harvest Festival doesn't mean ur not celebrating it. Make up ur mind about your religion, u still celebrate s**t the same day the pagans do! You are celebrating paganism, point blank period. Yall christians try too turn $hit around and make it ur holiday. Just because you dont wear "scary" costumes on Halloween doesn't make it a Christian holiday...... Your words were "You give and receive gifts" thats not christian at all LOL. Why would you say that? It's supposed to be about the birth of Christ not gifts!!!Santa is dervived from Santa......Santa mocks god as he knows whos naughty and know whos nice, basically saying he's omnipotent. Easter eggs and bunnies are all about the fertility goddess. The heathen started these holidays, which you Christians learned them from, and tried to twist it into your own. Your very own book says this, not me, it's not like Im making this up LOL.Make up your mind, you can't be Christian and celebrate these holidays, Your Book states learn not the way of the heathen..........


Last edited by GBREEZE; 11-09-2010 at 09:47 AM..
 7 years ago '06        #163
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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This is one of the dumbest posts I've ever read.

 GBREEZE said:
Your words were "You give and receive gifts" thats not christian at all LOL.
How is giving gifts and Christmas not Christian at all? Many people (Christians and non-Christians) take the idea of gift giving at Christmas back to the scripture in Matthew 2:10-11 which talks about the Magi (wise men) giving gifts to Jesus at his home: "When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

The Bible gives a wonderful story about the gift God gave us - Jesus Christ - and we can use it as an opportunity to present the Gospel and to show love. Giving and receiving gifts can be part of fulfilling what Paul says about giving in 2 Corinthians 8:7-8, "But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others." Paul was talking to the churches who were giving him gifts (financial) so that he could keep on in the ministry. Christians can apply this same lesson to our own lives by giving to others, not just at Christmas, but year round.

Can gift giving become the focus of Christmas instead of thanking the Lord for the gift of His Son (John 3:16)? Unfortunately, yes it can. Does giving gifts have to take away from the true meaning of Christmas? No, it does not. If we focus on the wonderful gift of salvation the Lord has given us (Isaiah 9:6), giving to others is a natural expression of that gratitude. The key is our focus. Is your focus on the gift, or on the ultimate gift-giver, our gracious Heavenly Father? "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights..." (James 1:17)

Santa is dervived from Santa


Shall I a.ssume you meant 'Satan'?



Anyway, although Santa is a mythical figure, his creation is based in part on a great Christian man named Saint Nicholas of Myra, who lived in the 4th century. Nicholas was born to Christian parents who left him an inheritance when they died, which he distributed to the poor. He became a priest at a young age and was well-known for his compassion and generosity. He had a reputation for giving gifts anonymously, and he would throw bags of money into people's homes (and sometimes down their chimneys) under the cover of night to avoid being spotted.

I believe Nicholas passed away on December 6 sometime around the 340s or 350s AD, and the day of his death became an annual feast in which children would put out food for Nicholas and straw for his donkey. It was said that the saint would come down from heaven during the night and replace the offerings with toys and treats—but only for the good boys and girls. There are many different versions of the legend of Saint Nicholas, but all are the inspiration for the jolly, red-suited gift-giver that we now know as Santa Claus.

Many Christian parents are torn as to whether or not they should play the "Santa game" with their children. On one hand, he makes Christmas fun and magical, leaving wonderful holiday memories for years to come. On the other hand, the focus of Christmas should be on Jesus Christ and how much He has already given us. So, is the story of Santa Claus an innocent addition to Christmas festivities, or is he a subject that should be avoided?

Parents need to use their own judgement in deciding whether or not to include Santa during the holidays, but here are some things to consider: Children who believe that the gifts they receive Christmas morning are from a magical man with unending resources are less likely to appreciate what they have been given, and the sacrifices their parents make in providing them. Greed and materialism can overshadow the holiday season, which is meant to be about giving, loving, and worshipping God. Children whose parents are on a tight budget may feel that they have been overlooked by Santa, or even worse, deemed one of the "bad" boys or girls.

An even more troubling aspect of telling our children that Santa comes down the chimney each year to leave their gifts is that it is, obviously, a lie. We live in a society that believes that lying for the "right" reason is acceptable. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, it is not a problem. This is contrary to what the Bible tells us. "For the Scriptures say, 'If you want to live a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies'" (1 Peter 3:10, NLT). Of course, telling our children that Santa is real is not a malicious deception, but it is, nevertheless, a lie.

Although it is probably not typical, some children honestly feel deceived and betrayed by their parents when they find out that Santa is not real. Children trust their parents to tell them the truth, and it is our responsibility not to break this trust. If we do, they will not believe more important things we tell them, such as the truth about Christ, whom they also cannot physically see.

This doesn’t mean we must leave Santa completely out of Christmas. Children can still play the "Santa game" even if they know it is all pretend. They can make lists, sit on his lap at the mall, and leave out cookies and milk on Christmas Eve. This will not rob them of their joy of the season, and gives parents the opportunity to tell their children about the godly qualities of the real Saint Nicholas, who dedicated his life to serving others and made himself into a living example of Jesus Christ.

......Santa mocks god as he knows whos naughty and know whos nice, basically saying he's omnipotent. Easter eggs and bunnies are all about the fertility goddess. The heathen started these holidays, which you Christians learned them from, and tried to twist it into your own. Your very own book says this, not me, it's not like Im making this up LOL.Make up your mind, you can't be Christian and celebrate these holidays, Your Book states learn not the way of the heathen..........





It's as if you didn't even read my last post.

Santa 'mocking' God is a vicious exaggeration on a usually-fun and sweet fairytale for kids around Christmas. Just because he 'knows who is naughty or nice' doesn't make him omnipotent.
Similar to Christmas and gift-giving, there is nothing unbiblical about giving and receiving chocolate eggs, as long as the focus for the Christian is that they're celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ (hence why Easter falls on a Sunday), and not the turn of longer days.
 7 years ago '04        #164
#RAPTORSWON 228 heat pts228
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I got a gooold chaaaain.... im on coooocaaaaine.... im like yooooo maaaang!
 7 years ago '05        #165
meercy|m 
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didnt kno they knew wat lord jesus looked like...
 7 years ago '04        #166
ShaneDawg 2 heat pts
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 CuZzA said:
@ "it's how we survive as a species."

Fornication (pre-marital s3x, remember) is wrong - biblically, but obviously not by society's standards. But then again, I know as a fact you't can turn around and tell me that society is doing a great job right now, in terms of teenage mothers, single mothers, divorce rate, contracted STIs and abortion figures

However, I can look at the Bible and confidently say that if we were to live biblically, there would be no teenage mothers (unless the two teenagers were married), there would be no single mothers (unless the father tragically died), there would be no divorce, STIs I admittedly can't have an opinion on because I don't really know much about it (I guess I've got to step up my knowledge game there ), and there would be no abortion. There wouldn't even be abortion due to r*pe because r*pe would come under the umbrella of s3xual intercourse outside the constraints of marriage.
thanks for the reply. like i said, fornication is not wrong
 7 years ago '06        #167
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 Tsukuyomi said:
Cuzza, you have no more proof for God's existence than I do for his non-existence, but the difference here is I'm not exactly making a definitive statement. You are. You say God exists, I say prove it. You cannot turn it around and tell me, an atheist, to prove he doesn't exist when you haven't even proved that he does.
So what if you've chosen not to make a definitive statement? That's entirely up to you. I've chosen to answer from a Christian perspective that God does exist. And I completely agree that the existence of God cannot be proved, but in a way that's not surprising. Absolute conclusive proof about anything is very difficult to find. I am sure that my parents love me. I am sure of this because they say so, they do loving things and never give me a reason to doubt them. I don't, however, have any concrete proof that they love me. It is possible that they are just suburb actors and are patiently waiting for the best opportunity to smother me in my sleep!

In regards to the post which I genuinely accidentally missed in a previous thread, what I'm about to say is not so much proof, but more a series of indications that God exists, pointers in His direction. Imagine a thief has broken into and burgled your home, but has been clumsy enough to have left his gloves off. When you arrive home, things may appear to be in disarray, but a closer examination reveals fingerprints and clues to the thief's identity. All over our world, God has left fingerprints - divine clues to His existence and identity.

The first one was the one I've posted both in this thread, and the 'Confused atheist' thread - the exploding supermarket'. The first clue in the search to discover whether God exists is found in the remarkable order and design in the universe. Things seem to fit together in an amazing way. If the earth were smaller or larger than it is, it would be unable to sustain an atmosphere we could breathe. If it were a jot nearer the sun, we would fry; a whisker further away and we would freeze. If the earth spun more slowly , if it were tilted at a different angle, if the moon were nearer, if the ozone layer that surrounds the earth was too thin - any of these things would spell disaster for our planet. Yet - despite our best efforts to destroy the balance of nature by our selfish energy-depleting and environmentally-unfriendly lifestyles - each one of them stays in harmony with the others to enable life on earth to continue.
What about human life itself? Plant produce oxygen which we need; we produce carbon dioxide which the plants need. Now there's a clever arrangement. Every cell in the human body has the same number of chromosomes - apart from those which join together to form a new human being; these have exactly half that number so, when they join with a similar cell from someone else, they have the right number again. From this single cell, fingers, legs, hair, skin and blood are formed, not to mention all the intricate workings of the brain, heart and other organs.
Back to the 'exploding supermarket' example, our lives and our universe seem to have a unique designer label - God. What else accounts for such precise handiwork? Chance? Fate? Surely not. This is as hard to believe as an explosion in a supermarket accidentally producing a Christmas roast turkey dinner.

Isaac Newton once built a model of the solar system to help him in his studies. One day, a friend (a fellow scientist and atheist) came to see him and asked who had made the model. 'Nobody!', Newton replied. When his friend accused him of being ridiculous, Newton asked why, if he could accept that a model needed a maker, did he have such a problem when confronted with the real universe? We all take for granted that the many objects we see around us have designers or builders. However, we also seem quite happy to believe that the most amazing of these - the world and life itself - just happened. This does seem incredibly inconsistent. Isn't it more reasonable to a.ssume that all this order and design in our universe happened because there is a great designer?

The second clue is found in ourselves and our desires and needs. We all have basic drives and instincts which need to be fulfilled. We get hungry, thirsty and cold from time to time, and when we do, we try to meet those needs: a burger for hunger, a Pepsi for thirst, and thermal underwear on a cold morning! All these basic desires have a corresponding fulfilment. Just imagine how awful life would be if there was no way for these inner needs to be met: if we had to spend our entire life feeling cold; if we felt desperately tired but there was no such thing as sleep. It begins to sound like hell itself! All these deep, inner needs have their corresponding fulfilment beyond ourselves: food for hunger, drink for thirst, and so on.
What meets the basic need of human beings to worship? It's hard to find a race of people who don't have this desire in some form or other. Search as we may among even the most remote people groups, we keep coming across belief in some kind of God or gods, some force greater than ourselves and worthy of our worship. And what about the 'civilised' world? Do we think we know better than those less well educated than us and consequently don't feel the need to worship or acknowledge anything greater than ourselves? The evidence suggests otherwise. In Japan - one of the most technologically advanced societies in the world - the Aum Supreme Truth cult, responsible for the nerve gas attack on the Tokyo Underground in 1995, had thousands of members. All kinds of mystical beliefs thrive in places like California, with celebrities like Shirley MacLaine leading the way. Rock star Tina Turner has admitted to being a 'Bhuddist Baptist', and actor Richard Gere to being a Bhuddist. It's not unusual for all kinds of people in the public eye to talk of their faith, either in mainstream religions or in individual tailor-made belief systems. So much for sophisticated people not having a need to worship something....

This need is found in every continent and in every country, among millions of ordinary, educated people - acknowledged by all the world's major religions and new religious movements. And this is true despite opposition to religion: Communists ban it, atheists reject it, dictators abuse it, intellectuals scoff at it and governments suppress it. Yet here we are in the twenty-first century, and religious life of all kinds continues to flourish on our planet. There is a basic human desire for worship of some kind or other.
Now, if each of the needs I mentioned earlier - hunger, thirst etc. - has a corresponding fulfilment, doesn't it seem reasonable that the need to worship would also have one? In other words, is there a God who meets the need to worship? If there is no God, this need is the only one of all our needs to which there is no solution.

Let's think about our own lives, and the lives of those we know. It's very common to experience, from time to time, at least a fleeting feeling that there must be more to life that what appears on the surface: a half-curse, half-prayer shouted at God in a crisis; the thought of being reunited with someone you've lost. All these are indications that deep within us we cry out for something greater than ourselves. Blaise Pascal said that inside every person is a God-shaped vacuum. A sort of hole in the middle of ourselves. We have, he said, a need that only God can meet. All the indications are that he was right.

The fact that we know right from wrong points to the existence of God. Most human beings have a remarkable amount in common in this area. We agree that k!lling someone is wrong. We have no hesitation in condemning dishonesty, greed and selfishness, along with r*pe and mugging. We mat even do some of these things ourselves, but we know that moral and ethical boundaries exist and certainly expect others to abide by them. Even our daily conversation betrays our belief in values or standards to which we ought to conform:

- 'I ought to visit my elderly mother.'
- 'How could they do that do a child?'
- 'It's disgusting what young people get up to these days.'

But where do these values come from? If the atheist is right, why should we care what we do? If there is no God, then we have no supreme power to whom we are accountable and anything goes. Yet it's almost impossible to imagine the kind of society in which betraying your friends, s3xually a.ssaulting your children or mugging pensioners is accepted as perfectly reasonable.
So, where do these standards come from? Some people have argued that each society each decides what is right for itself. However, a close look at the histories of some of the world's greatest societies shows remarkable unanimity between them. The ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Chinese cultures have major areas of agreement with our own. Far from each culture setting their own unique standards, they all appear to have conformed to an objective standard beyond themselves.

For centuries, people have tried to come up with alternatives to God as the source of all moral boundaries, but none of these suggestions comes close to explaining why we know right from wrong in the first place. What is incredible is that some in our society write God off completely - yet still maintain their value system. If we are all here by accident, subject to the vagaries of chance throughout our lives, only to die with no hope of a future, who cares about standards and values? If we are just advanced animals, let's behave like animals. Yet no society actually lives like this.
Our values must have come from somewhere. It's at least reasonable to believe that they come from a moral, wise mind. Christians call this mind God.

Penultimately, what is the purpose of life? Why are we here? What does it all mean? If there is no God, the human race just happened, evolving by chance from the primeval slime. We are a random collection of atoms flung together over millions of years, finally emerging as the human race. A huge accident. Numbers spat out at random by a giant, inter-galactic ball machine in a cosmic version of the National Lottery - the whole of our lives, our very existence adding up to one big fluke.
Serious atheists down the centuries have expressed this meaninglessness which, they have to agree, is the logical conclusion of their atheism. Hear the utter hopelessness in the worlds of eighteenth-century philosopher, Baron de Montesquieu:

We should weep for men at their birth, not their death.


Why? Because life is meaningless and we should pity those who have to go through it. Feel the futility and uselessness that permeates this observation by American writer Mark Twain near the end of his life:

Men are born, they labour and swear and struggle, they squabble and scold and f!ght; those who they love are taken from them, and the joy of life is turned to aching grief. The release comes at last and they vanish from a world where they were of no consequence - a world which will lament them a day and forget them forever.


And twentieth-century philosopher Albert Camus:

What is intolerable is to see one's life drained of meaning. To be told that there is no reason for existing. A man can't live without some reason for living.


And Jean-Paul Sartre:

This world is not the product of intelligence. It meets our gaze as would a crumpled piece of paper. What is man but a little puddle of water whose freedom is death?


In 1889, philosopher Friedrich Neitzsche suffered a permanent nervous breakdown and spent the last ten years of his life in a lunatic asylum - partly, according to his biographer, the result of trying to live with the logic of his position as an atheist.
All these men saw that the end result of their atheism was that life became absurd and meaningless. However, thousands of atheists don't want to face this fact because it is too painful, and thousands of others live in ignorance of their true position. It's as if a fish denied the existence of water while continuing to swim in it and to feed on other growing life there. Many atheists want to reject God, but put on hold on to what belief in God provides - meaning and purpose. They may live their entire lives without being aware of the depressing consequences of atheism. If they were aware of it, the sense of desolation would be overwhelming.

Human life cries out for fulfilment. Belief in God offers us a possible explanation for our existence, security from knowing that our future has a destiny, and therefore a reason for living. Atheism is a broken, empty philosophy in comparison.
 7 years ago '06        #168
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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Finally, me and my girlfriend have disagreements, for example, something has been left on the living-room floor - a mug of half-drunk tea, a newspaper or a set of keys. There now follows a dramatic dialogue:


She speaks first:
- Who put that there?
- Don't look at me!
- I am looking at you.
- I didn't put it there!
- Who else could have?
- Perhaps you did!
- Don't be ridiculous!
The point that our minor domestic tiff illustrates is that despite the disagreement, there is one thing on which we are absolutely united - somebody left it there. It didn't appear by magic. If she and I didn't agree on this simple fact, we would have no basis on which to argue. The principle we are operating on is this: everything is caused by something. Paper comes from a tree, which came from a seed, which came from another tree, etc. I came into being through my parents, and they, would you believe, came into being through their parents. Nothing in our lives just 'happened' or started without something making it happen.

We are forced to ask what it was that started the whole thing off in the very beginning. You might say it was chance or fate, but this doesn't really help us. Chance or luck is not the cause of anything, just a description of events for which we can't find an adequate cause or reason. For example, if a 200-1 horse with a limp and one eye wins a race, we describe that as lucky or a fluke. But this 'chance' element didn't cause the horse to win. It merely describes the fact that we can't explain how it won. So to say that the universe started by chance is just like saying that it started but we don't know how.

This brings us to the other alternative - God started it. This is a reasonable possibility and stands up well to the other options. 'This world is here because someone put it here' is a statement to be taken very seriously.

Also, thousands and thousands of people claim to have met Him - God, that is. They say He has changed their lives. Without giving it more than a few seconds thought, I can think of doctors, bricklayers, lawyers, housewives, secretaries, teachers and caretakers who could all talk about meeting God. There are retired people, children and every age in between. People from Asia, Africa and America. Black people and white people. And these are just some of those known to me personally. It's very difficult to write them all of as cranks, unintelligent or gullible. What is it that has changed their lives? A belief that there really is a God who can be encountered and who changes lives?

Atheism and agnosticism are no longer the great 'bogeyman' to belief in God they once were. Today, the humanist, materialistic worldview, in which both atheism and agnosticism have their roots, is seen to have flaws and not be quite the engine to progress that we once thought. The sense of futility this worldview has generated has led to many question its effects. In spite of our science-based, technological culture, we still have a deep longing for mystical, spiritual and emotional experiences. This means that people are no longer so rejecting of the spiritual as they once were, and more open to the possibility of God's existence.

Unfortunately, the failure of humanistic materialism has also raised doubt that any worldview can claim to know the absolute truth or give an all-embracing explanation about life, the universe and everything. The reasoning goes like this: what I am experiencing may not be the same as your experience, so it wouldn't be right or proper for me to make any judgements about your situation or to impose my solutions. This attitude permeates right through to religious belief - the general feeling is that no religion has 'cornered the market' on truth or is relevant for everyone, everywhere.

So, although it is more likely in today's world that in previous generations that a person will believe in God, - it may not necessarily be God as understood by Christians. Recent years have seen a rise in 'irrational' belief systems - New Age philosophy, paganism and interest in the occult, for example - and a 'mix and match' approach to religion abounds which mirrors our consumerist culture. As it becomes more difficult for churches to a.ssume that everyone shares the Christian worldview, or even know what that worldview is, one of the main means of proving God's existence will be by individual Christians revealing his presence in their lives.

In terms of the Bible itself, it does say that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).
That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. The Bible states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset - all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.

In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as 'a being than which no greater can be conceived.' It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very definition of God.

A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, like I said earlier, if the Earth were significantly closer or farther away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243 (that is a 1 followed by 243 zeros). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.

A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” cause is God.

A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?

Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead. Romans 1:25 declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen.” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

People like yourself claim to reject God’s existence because it is 'not scientific' or 'because there is no proof.' The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (Romans 3:23, 6:23). If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution - it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively, like yourself, to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.

As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love and we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.
 7 years ago '06        #169
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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I'll be the first to admit that I don't know everything, but I know that God is all powerful, all knowing, and all loving. He has shown this in my life. Unfortunately, it's not possible for me to literally share my experiences with you so you can be a part of the same experience. But like I said, I don't know all the answers. I am not a theologian. All I know is that God is Good, and Jesus is God. He claims to be the truth and I trust in him.
 7 years ago '08        #170
GrownmanJ 21 heat pts21
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Ay Cuzzo, major props for the information in this thread. You are doing a great job. Keep believing...:cool-smiley-009:
 11-09-2010, 06:04 PM         #171
-BigC- 
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So god created everything, but didn't know how to do it in a way where life could form within a reasonable time?
 7 years ago '06        #172
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 -BigC- said:
So god created everything, but didn't know how to do it in a way where life could form within a reasonable time?
Huh? Sorry, I didn't understand the question.
 11-09-2010, 06:18 PM         #173
-BigC- 
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Your saying god created everything because "chance" is not a reason behind the universe beginning right? So my question is if god created everything why would he do it the way he did? Does he have a fast forward button?
 7 years ago '10        #174
Kingofnewark 
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God is a supreme being so we don't know the reason for everything he does.
 7 years ago '06        #175
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 -BigC- said:
Your saying god created everything because "chance" is not a reason behind the universe beginning right? So my question is if god created everything why would he do it the way he did? Does he have a fast forward button?
I still don't understand the question completely I have an idea where you're coming from - let me guess.

Are you asking, "Why couldn't God have created life over millions of years, as opposed to thousands of years?"
 7 years ago '06        #176
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 Kingofnewark said:
God is a supreme being so we don't know the reason for everything he does.
Pretty much.
 11-09-2010, 06:40 PM         #177
-BigC- 
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See but thats just like your fallback logic to any argument. s**t wasn't created, it always was its just constantly evolving. Matter is neither created nor destroyed...

Physics>God
 7 years ago '06        #178
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 -BigC- said:
See but thats just like your fallback logic to any argument
It's not 'fallback logic' if it's the real, genuine answer Trying to understand the mind of God is like trying to hold the sun in your hands. You simply just can’t.



 -BigC- said:
. s**t wasn't created, it always was its just constantly evolving. Matter is neither created nor destroyed...
Unless it was created by God.



 -BigC- said:
Physics>God
God created physics


Last edited by CuZzA; 11-09-2010 at 06:50 PM..
 11-09-2010, 06:51 PM         #179
-BigC- 
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But god cannot create something if there wasn't already something there. If god created physics, and physics says matter cannot be created nor destroyed...
 7 years ago '06        #180
CuZzA 17 heat pts17
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 -BigC- said:
But god cannot create something if there wasn't already something there. If god created physics, and physics says matter cannot be created nor destroyed...


Oh come on bro, you've just limited God And you've just compared the wisdom of God to the wisdom of simple men...
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