Thursday, June 5, 2008

Indiana Jones and the midlife quest

I recently caught the new Indiana Jones movie. It was on the whole what I expected: mindless fun with enjoyable characters. One line of dialogue, though, broke through the escapism, perhaps because it hit uncomfortably close to home for someone of my age.

The university dean tells a graying Indy, "We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away."

That's how it seems sometimes as age begins to claim our agility, our memory, our energy and, most painfully, our family and friends. The sense of loss can be overwhelming.

I think often of how difficult it must be for my parents, both in their 80s, who have buried their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and many of their close friends. Much that has anchored their lives is slipping away.

So part of the spiritual journey of middle-age and older involves letting go -- not only letting go gracefully of the things and people we lose, but letting go of fear of further loss. It starts with gratitude for what remains in our lives, and matures into gratitude even for the empty spaces that once were filled.

Most of all, it requires trust that even if all is taken from us, life endures and God is good. Then we can live richly, whatever our circumstances.

Later in the film, Professor Oxley says, "How much of human life is lost in waiting?"
Or in fear? Or in clinging?

It's impossible to accept the gifts of one season or one age if you are desperately trying to reclaim the one that has passed.


How has aging affected your spirituality? Comments welcome.


244 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   1 – 200 of 244   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

What a great blog. I too remember that quote from the movie and it immediately made me think of my parents who have both recently passed away. I am the same poster in one of your previous blogs who desperately still grieves my parents. Though I am successful in my job and in my life and have a wonderful family, I deeply miss my parents, my older sister who passed away 25 years ago this August, and my grandmother. Living life without my parents will never be the same and I will never be as happy as I was when they were alive. I do not like these changes as I grow older, and unfortunately I suspect the older I get, the more people will die that I care about. I don't look forward to that, or getting old, and I'm only 42. I dread it already. Is there nothing to look forward to about getting old other than retirement, which by the time I hit 62 the retirement age will be at least 70 anyway?

Anonymous said...

I think it is important to life your life while you can. I made that decision years ago and am a much happier person because of it. I just woke up one day and realized that I was always looking for something in the horizon that was going to make my life better and I was in danger of wishing my life away. I decided to live in the moment.

This philosophy helped me make the decision to take a job that was less high profile but also required no work related travel and came with a steady schedule. Who wants to be a power broker and not enjoy life while they are young enough to live it. Maybe I don’t have the corner office now but I have a good life and I enjoy what I do both at work and at home in my free time.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re making other plans.” John Lennon.

Pete said...

I don't have the optimism I had when I was in my early twenties. I saw life different when there was so much of it ahead of me. I feel more of an urgency to think and live in the most profound way I can. Throughout the day I ask myself, "Is this how I want to live this moment of existence?" Mostly for me, now, it's the thinking more than doing.

Thank you, Jane, for this blog.

LBE said...

Great post, Jane!

I've been thinking about aging a lot lately. At 43, I've reached an age where the chickens are coming home to roost. In many cases that's a good thing, but not so much in others. My kids are now almost grown. They're great people, but I always wonder if I've done enough to prepare them and I have such an awareness of the importance of every single day. I don't want to waste a single conversation. I want every word, every moment that we spend together to be purposeful.

I've also reached an age where I've been impacted by the death of loved ones. Every time that happens, I notice that my heart gets just a little less tethered to this world and my longing for Christ and my heavenly home is intensified. I am more convinced than ever that this is not the world we were made for.

I highly recommend the book "Lost in the Middle" by Paul Tripp.

Gamecock said...

Jane, you really came out of the blue and hit hard with this one. I am going to pray about this and write in detail later. For now, let me say that I was not prepared for my father's death. I used to call him "God on Earth" to me, and his death showed that I needed to let God be God on Earth to me.

more later

Laura said...

My spiritual journey of middle age has allowed me to let go of the oppressive religious teachings under which I was raised. For that I have a lot of gratitude, and not only am I a better person because of it, but I'm much happier as well.

Now I am true to myself, and when something doesn't make sense to me, I don't feel the need to accept it on someone else's say so.

So, how has aging affected my spirituality? It has given me back myself, and the knowledge that I'm good. As long as I strive to live up to my true self, I consider my life a success.

baalam's ass said...

I have started to forgive God's imperfections.

Danbo59 said...

baalam's ass said, "I have started to forgive God's imperfections."

Before you go looking to forgive the splinter in God's eye (as if there was one), try chiseling out a piece of the log from you own.

Your pseudonym is more apt than you know.

baalam's ass said...

Imperfections? Really? And I try so hard to be perfect ass!

Anonymous said...

Jane, I believe it was brought up short about aging the day my father died at 77. He had several heart attacks and I had the privilege of being with him when he passed from earth to Heaven.

When I was dressing for the visitation at the funeral home, I realized that in my hurry to pack for the trip to be with him, I had forgot my dress shoes. My mother said, "Put your father's dress shoes on. You and he wore the same size." As I was tieing the laces, it hit me that I now had to walk in his shoes.

I just retired at the end of last year and I am enjoying a different lifestyle. Yes, I have to be more careful going up ladders and I get tired more quickly, etc. However, I have found that keeping a good sense of humor keeps me content and happy. My wife is still busy with her own business and I help her more now. I also have several volunteer things I do that are rewarding.

Thanks for this post, Jane. Hopefully many will make plans for retirement so that they will not regret having more leisure time.

Gamecock said...

Jane

My response to this blog that really cut to my heart is boiled down to my difficulty in "letting go" of my family members and close friends that passed away at the same time I was going thru a divorce that also took away the step-children I raised as my own after my natural child died in child birth.

I was too much for me for a time, and I must admit I am not over it all yet, but God is doing a work in me, teaching me humility and that God must be my refuge.

I used to refer to my Dad as "God on Earth" to me, and I was not ready when he died at age 65 after a bout with ling cancer for two years. My Mother died when I was 17. My grandmother that was second Mom died not too long before Dad and my pastor of my whole life who was also one of my best friends also died soon after Dad, as did one of best friends from childhood. I was devastated.

I ask for prayer.

Anonymous said...

Gamecock, it was your God's plan anyway. You should be joyful and happy about dead parents, children and other people in your life. Unless you really don't know there is heaven or think that they went to hell. You should be thankful for what God did to you. I am sure it was good and loving gesture.

Gamecock said...

Anon

Thanks for awakening me from my pity party. I am sure God is using you to transform me into a creature capable of an eternity with God as his son, and as I have said often, that you some to Sacred Space is proof God is after you as well.

Iztok said...

Anonymous, that was not nice.

Laura said...

Anonymous, re: "You should be joyful and happy..." that was unnecessarily harsh.

Iztok said...

Laura while I agree it was bad use he was making a good point. If people know that there is heaven and that their loved ones will go there then they should not be sad, they should be happy for their loved ones. Unless they have doubt in one or the other or both that is. (Or they are selfish.)

For me I know there is no life after death so my loss of loved ones is permanent.

Gamecock said...

Yes, I should be happy, and I am, for most of those that have passed whom I think are now with the Lord (we have no soul meter). But I was not happy being left almost virtually bereft of family that had defined my life. I was too dependant on my dad as "God on Earth" when God demands that he be God on Earth. I am learning that.

Moreover, much of my despair would have been alleviated had I not gone thru an ugly divorce as Dad was dying.

Anon and Iztok, should I be happy about the loss of people from my life that are still alive?

Didn't think so. You two are so self-absorbed in your anti-theism religion and evangelism, that you exalt what you deem "good points" even to the point of insulting a person that is lonely and requesting prayer for himself to deal with it.

I think you need my prayers more than I need yours.

Iztok said...

Gamecock, while I really sympathize with your loss and honestly am truly sorry for it as I know that they are dead and tat is it. Neither one of us will ever see those who are dead, the loss is permanent. So my sympathy and sadness for loss (either my own or those around me) totally corresponds with what I know about life - that death is permanent. For you your sadness and loss do not correspond with what you claim to know about life - that death is just pretend and that people here suffer and life after death is going to be even better.

Yes it strikes you personally because you can't consolidate what you claim with what you feel. It tears you from inside. Each moment you feel sad or upset because someone you loved died it is moment you don't believe what you are saying (that there is heaven and loving God).

It is nothing personal really. It goes across the board for each and every one that claims that there is a better life after this one. If one truly believes such thing one should be joyful and happy at the funeral not sad and crying. People should be having funeral parties and having fun on the other hand when baby is born to this worlds suffering one should be sad.

On the other hand, those of us who don't believe in such things, we are joyful when a baby is born and has an opportunity to live and sad when a person dies. We are consistent with what we claim and how we behave.

Gamecock said...

Iztok, are you purposefully ignoring the issue of loneliness I have and the STILL ALIVE people I lost as well?

Have you ever been lonely, or do you eschew company?

Whether my loved ones are in heaven or hell, they are not here with me now. And I loved them all and miss them all NOW.

You can try and twist this into some psychobabble about conflicting views re the afterlife if you must to get thru the day.

I am talking about THIS life, and the emptiness I have in it.

Iztok, be a better and more honest debater, would you?

Gamecock said...

I agree Iztok is consistent. Consistently obtuse.

Love ya pal

Iztok said...

Gamecock, sure I am lonely sometimes. I don't have invisible means of support like you claim to have.

My claim: death is permanent so loss is permanent thus I am sad when I lose someone.

Your claim: death is just beginning of better life, yet you feel sorrow.

My claim: I don't have invisible, all present, loving God thus I am lonely sometimes when no one is around.

Your claim: You have invisible, all present, loving God that talks to you. And at the same time you are lonely?

Your feelings do not match to what you claim.

Gamecock said...

Incoherent non sequitur #212 from a 'tok

Iztok said...

And how is that 'cock?

Are not those your claims? That you have invisible, all present, loving god that talks to you? Yet you are lonely?

Your claims and feelings don't match and I can feel your pain through your postings. Trust me, get away with pretend and embrace real life and things will make more sense and you will be liberated from the chains of your faith and you will be happier for it.

Gamecock said...

I miss my dead relatives and friends that all died within such a close proximity in time at the same time I divorced and no longer lived with the children I reared for seven years.

God is still present as are other friends and relatives, but I miss the ones that are gone that I was closer to than the survivors.

No contradiction here.

Now, your claim to be a human being coupled with your callous "take" on my losses is a contradiction in my mind.

Are you a sociopath?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't going to comment on this thread since aging hasn't affected my "spirituality" (having none to begin with).

I just want to point out that I'm not the one who delivered the anonymous low-blow.

(I know, all us anonymous atheists look alike...)

And not that I wasn't thinking along the same lines, mind you, but...

I have always thought that religion served as a self-defense mechanism against a lot of what life dishes out.

But I don't fault religion for that since I can see where it would serve a useful purpose for some.

If religion serves as consolation for others, then so be it, as long as they don't expect me to respond the same way.

Sometimes life is tough, we all deal with it the best we can.

Marty said...

Jane, I notice that you haven’t posted a new topic in almost two weeks. I hope this is because you are enjoying a well-deserved vacation, and not because of the Observer’s recent announcement that it will be reducing staff by 10 per cent.

We need your consistently fine editing. Your knack for posing intriguing spiritual questions is greatly appreciated.

And whatever would those starving atheists do without your and my faith to feed on??????

Iztok said...

Marty: "And whatever would those starving atheists do without your and my faith to feed on??????"

I guess it keeps us from eating babies (as some Christians believe of atheists - along with other nonsense like that atheism is a religion).

Marty said...

Look, there's one feeding now!

baalam's ass said...

Why are you telling them about the baby-eating rites? They'll only find a way to use it against us!

Anonymous said...

At least grow your own babies or buy local. The imports can only further ruin our economy.

Marty said...

This blog sure has a lot of PAP: Parasitic Atheists “Preying”.

Anonymous said...

Atheist Parasites?

If you want to see who the real parasites are, just mention churches paying property taxes and watch the leeches show their fangs.

marty said...

Anon, don’t come crying to we religious folk about your not getting the tax benefits of a 501(c)(3) organization or exemption from property taxes. Go crying to your fellow atheists. See the posting above on June 18 at 1:42 p.m. that states that it is nonsense that Christians believe atheism is a religion.

Here we are, charitably trying to help you gain tax exempt status for your religion, but you atheists turn down the opportunity because you don't want to admit that atheism is a religion. As Forest Gump’s Mama said, “Stupid is what stupid does”!

Gamecock said...

Marty

That was brilliant! Thanks for making my day.

baalam's ass said...

Actually, we did try to start an atheist regilion one time, but we got into a big fight over what not to call it.

Iztok said...

Marty, tell us what is your definition of religion and tell us what is your definition of atheism. This way I can explain to you where you are wrong.

Marty said...

PAP* said: “Marty, tell us what is your definition of religion and tell us what is your definition of atheism. This way I can explain to you where you are wrong.”

Thanks, PAP*, I admire your overconfidence, but I’ve reviewed your postings on the various topics in this blog for the past year. I have yet to see where you’ve succeeded In explaining to anyone where you are right and they are wrong, so I don’t think you’re going to explain anything correctly to me, either.

I mean, as regards the atheists like you who try to opine in this type of blog, it’s like going to a Corvette Rally and having some Corvair owner attempt to tell you how a supercharger works. You just don’t fortify my beliefs.

Tell me if I’m wrong, folks, but the picture in get in my mind is that there’s a bunch of atheistic turkey vultures perched in this blog on a dead limb, watching eagerly for someone of faith to express their views, so they can hop down (or up) and attempt to pick apart the meat of those sincere observations. Then the lions of this blog finally come along and scare them off.

I don’t get it. Why have these parasites attached themselves to the faithful? Just what do they expect to accomplish within this blog, and why? Do they walk into synagogues and churches on Friday and Sunday and interrupt services so they can opine with a counter-message? Why do they try to discourage the hopeful?

You tell me. Are they here in this blog proselytizing, trying to convince the faithful of the validity of their arguments? Are they hoping to gain converts?

* PAP:Parasitic Atheists “Preying” on the faithful

baalam's ass said...

We already have your schools and Christmas. This blog is pretty much all that's left.

Anonymous said...

I'm here because I saw the blog listed in that left-wing, liberal publication, Charlotte Observer.

What exactly is "this type" of blog in your mind, a Christians-only circle jerk?

You already have plenty of those.

Anonymous said...

You obviously do not know as much about 501(c)(3) regulations as you pretend to.

It's not just for religions...

Did you not know that or were you just spouting typical religious half-truths?

Gamecock said...

You ought to have more respect for Jane than to use the term "circle je*k" on this blog. You are a vile and vulgar man and if you ever used that term in my presence and the presence of women and I would smash where you je*k no matter the shape of the area.

Iztok said...

Marty:

1st: This is Observer forum.

2nd: No need for name calling.

3rd: You never answered question what is your definition of religion and atheism. I take it that you don't have one and you just run your mouth.

Anonymous said...

Gee, lamecock, that's at least the second time you've had to bring up physical violence in response to one of my posts.

It must really annoy you to not be able to track me down and put the "Fear of the Lord" in me in person.

Isn't that the way it's typically done, through physical punishment, beatings as a child, perhaps a lynching or two, some vandalism,
a fatwa maybe, or a good old-fashioned cross burning?

Too bad that this is the typical response from so many religious people when they are "offended".

Well, I've had my fair share of threats from religious nutcases over the years (and even had a Bible thrown at me in a church!)and I'm still ticking.

So, gimme that old time religion...

Anonymous said...

I'd like a better explanation of how he's been trying to get tax exemption for the "religion" of atheism, when section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code he refers to doesn't require that the organization be a religion.

Was that a lie, ignorance, or a combination of the two.

I guess anything, no matter how poorly researched on even the most basic facts, is fine as long as it gets an "amen" from the crowd.

The whole problem with this kind of consensus reality is that it really is "stupid is as stupid does" at its worst.

Gamecock said...

My bad anon. Please forgive.

Beth Dankin said...

Is Jane still involved in this blog? Is she still with the Observer? I tried Googling “Jane Pope Charlotte Observer”, and all I got back is a screen with ads but no info on Jane. I tried Googling some of the other editorial staff such as Fannie Flono and Jack Betts and got info on them. Anyone know what gives?

I hope she resumes it. But whether she or someone else does, I wish they’d require that anyone wishing to post a comment first register using their real name, address and phone as is done for folks who write letters or send email to the Observer Forum. That way the Observer can contact them to verify their authenticity before they start posting to this blog. Their address and phone would remain confidential. Don’t see why the criteria for an Internet blog should be any different than for a printed newspaper version.

That won’t prohibit anyone from joining in the discussions. But maybe it would reduce the number of annoyingly vulgar and irrelevant responses.

Marty said...

Anon said: “I'd like a better explanation of how he's been trying to get tax exemption for the "religion" of atheism, when section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code he refers to doesn't require that the organization be a religion.”

Anonymous, you’ll need to take a refresher course on reading comprehension or you’ll never get a good score on your SAT. I’m not trying to get a tax exemption for anyone. You completely missed my point, which had nothing to do with the IRS Code or common law. (By the way, do you always interpret everything you read literally? Research this: “Metaphor”.)

Go back and read slowly. It’s okay to move your lips and follow the words on the screen with your index finger.

Elizabeth said...

This is an Observer Forum where, as Jane clearly states in her bio that appears with each topic, “people of differing beliefs can peacefully discuss their experience of the SACRED.”

The operative word is “sacred”. Here’s the definition of sacred from Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary:

1 a: dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of a deity b: devoted exclusively to one service or use 2 a: worthy of religious veneration : HOLY b: entitled to reverence and respect 3: of or relating to religion : not secular or profane.

I agree with Iztok that this is an Observer Forum, but I think Marty is correct to note that it is a forum obviously dedicated to the purpose of discussing the sacred. WHY DO YOU THINK JANE NAMED IT “SACRED SPACE”?

All many of us can conclude is that despite their protestations, atheists must have a belief or experience with the sacred, i.e. worship or veneration as defined above. (And you can bet that one of them will try to rewrite Merriam-Webster within the next few posts to this blog). Why else would they hope to gain credulity or authenticity by trying to dominate a blog dedicated to discussion of faith? Why do they flock to this religious blog to sell their ideas unless they’ve “got religion”?

As Marty metaphorically pointed out, when one comes to this blog and reads its purpose, one doesn’t expect to post their sincere sharing of faith and then have someone who doesn’t have that religious fervor attempt to tell you that you’re wrong.

If you don’t have any sacred beliefs to comment on, you’re in the wrong blog and perhaps you have confused SCARED with SACRED. If you’re scared, read and learn about how others feel about God. But there is nothing more idiotic than to try to dissect the spiritual with the rational. It’s a fool’s errand.

If your real reason for being here is that you somehow think “Sacred Space” is a conspiracy to marry church and state, and that by disrupting it you somehow think you’re saving the nation, you need to find a blog on paranoia.

Gamecock said...

Marty

Thanks for instruction Anon and Iztok so patiently. They have major gaps in knowlegde.

Anonymous said...

So calling something a "metaphor" is how you cover your butt when you reference something you know nothing about.

"Oh, I didn't mean that 'literally'" is just an excuse for being caught saying something lame and not being able to back it up.

But just for kicks, it would be fun to watch you explain your sophisticated use of metaphors.

Better yet...

I'll trade your explanation of your use of "501(c)(3)" as a
"metaphor" for my explanation of use of "circlejerk" for what you and lamecock (with his "amen" chorus) seem to prefer.

I can even even get you a nice official "urban slang" definition
which fits precisely.

Does that sound fair enough?

Anonymous said...

The blog topics have also covered areas of interest to atheists, such as the ones on the "neural buddhists", "faith based hatred" and "sin taxes".

This particular topic doesn't, but I've noticed that most blogs (or few others) rarely stick to topic.

And I stayed away until it was relevant to me.

But if you think it's foolish to try to dissect the spiritual with the rational, what did you think of "This is your brain on God" and "Does science make faith obsolete" as blog topics?

Were non-believers supposed to sit quietly on the sideline and listen to the "amen" chorus?

Or go away because the word "Sacred" appears in the title?

Sorry, not gonna happen.

Besides, when Jane noted the threatening hate mail she got it wasn't from atheists, now was it?

Anonymous said...

Oh, and sMarty, any time you want to compare "verbal" standardized test scores, I'm up for it.

But let's wait until you grow up a little and compare graduate school test scores.

No point pulling them out and comparing them until you're past adolescence.

Iztok said...

Elizabeth, you forgot one thing from your definition: "highly valued and important"

Since most atheists/non religious value knowledge and logic ... I know you don't but there is no better way to gain information then through knowledge and reason.

Marty: Sure we don't read everything literally. That is also one of the points of the whole thing about holy books. You can pick and choose which one to read and how. It has no point and backing in reality. Your experiences are just like story of the magic rock that turned water into soup provided you added other ingredients for the soup. Forgetting one would actually have soup without rock as well.

Gamecock: You are the one claiming knowledge of something that is ultimately unknowable. What you point out is mostly either God of the gaps or Pascal's wager things. Good old and long explained things.

We've seen on this blog many times "what if it exists and you are wrong". Sure thing I might be wrong but there is no evidence I am nor is there any reasonable evidence you are right. Just like Jack who traded family cow for "magic beans". Sure he was right but there was no evidence that those were real magic beans. He just happened to be lucky. This is what you count for. You (faithful) count that you are lucky that god exists and you've actually bet on the right deity as well. You might end up being Jack, but if you do, it wasn't because of reason but because you were lucky.

Elizabeth: "All many of us can conclude is that despite their protestations, atheists must have a belief or experience with the sacred, i.e. worship or veneration as defined above."

Where do you get this logic? It has nothing to do with any reality we experience.

Atheists don't "believe there is no god" but we "don't believe there is god". Perhaps small difference in word order but important distinction. You again pick and choose definitions. As sacred we hold knowledge and reason. Yes I am aware you might not be familiar with those concepts but you might want to explore them.

Iztok said...

"But let's wait until you grow up a little and compare graduate school test scores."

Would be interesting to know how many top scientists in the world are actually religious. From the evidence I've seen so far the more educated person is less likely one is to be religious.

Marty said...

Gamecock,

Thanks. It was a pleasure instructing the PAP* and putting them in their place.

Any bets on when, if ever, Anon will figure out the point I made? Or whether he’ll just pitch another hissy fit?

Maybe we should organize a game: First one to scan the atheist blogs and articles online and find the one from which Iztok drew his comments wins. Neither one of these guys has an original thought.

What age are they, anyway? I guessed 17 or 18. But a friend who reads this blog regularly told me they are much older. Surely he jests.

Beth,

I agree. If the Observer continues this blog, it will need to regulate it to make sure it is actually used for the purpose stated. Maybe more people will participate if there is relief from the constant harassment of some annoying, godless turkey vultures trying to justify their disbelief.


* Parasitic Atheists Preying

Gamecock said...

Marty

Thanks friend, but what I would like to see Iztok, Anon (are their 2 of them here) et al deal with the logic in chapters 8-9 of Coulter's Godless book (not to mention D'Douza's What's so great about Christianity and CS Lewis' Mere Christianity.

The irony is that it is Chrstians that are the one's employing reason most often in conjunction with faith.

I am not in favor of a strict rule against the input from declared non-beleivers. I see Sacred Space as a witnessing opportunity.

more later

Elizabeth said...

Iztok, Now I understand why you, an atheist, spend so much time in this faith and values blog, hanging onto each and every remark. You’re scared!

The proof of that is in what I first thought was a big pile of double-negative deceptive horse hooey, your comment (perhaps taken from an atheist website?) that “Atheists don't "believe there is no god" but we "don't believe there is god". Then I saw the brilliance in that ploy. You’re a good old-fashioned god-fearing fence straddler, aren’t you? Bless your heart!

Fence straddlers try to claim rational neutrality. Yet they’re poised on a fence above the arena floor while the real cowboys wrangle. And they’re scared. What they are really doing is trying to figure out which way to jump out of mortal danger, and when. They don’t seem to understand that neither the stock marker nor the god market can be timed.

So, you come here looking for faith in all the right places. If that weren’t true, you wouldn’t be here. Welcome! We’ll have you off that fence and out there on the floor hog-tying atheists in no time.

Iztok said...

Marty: You didn't bring any reason or evidence "to put us into our place". All you bring is name calling. It was done before and even worse. People like you - dogmatics - burn others (that think for themselves and have their own opinions) at the stake, put them into gulags, burn them in crematoriums, make them fear for their life. Lucky for freethinkers that we don't have to fear you anymore, at least for now. (BTW: We just had anniversary of people like you sentencing Galileo for being right. It took idiots centuries to issue lame apology to him.)

"Neither one of these guys has an original thought" says someone who haven't had anything original since forever (including holy book that was compilation of other ideas). Science proven religion wrong on many accounts yet we fail to see any reverse.

'cock: I don't plan to spend $ for Coultier's spewing but if you care to write down the logic in mathematical terms I'll be happy to answer. D'Douza's? Show me a single good argument of his? Same goes for C.S. Lewis.

Elizabeth: "You’re a good old-fashioned god-fearing fence straddler, aren’t you?"

How would you think so?

1. There is no god to be feared.

2. If there was, here it is: "I deny the existence of the holy spirit!" There, it doesn't get more blasphemous than this, does it? Your so called God did instant punishments for people doing less (turning into pillars of salt and other weird things). Now let's see if he can manage similar or he is just weak. I guess if I post another post we'll know the answer to that.

You have a weak attempt of Pascal's wager here. Nothing new.

Gamecock said...

Iztok, two words:

public library

Iztok said...

Gamecock: I guess you are unable to write Coultier's logic in mathematical terms? I get it then. It all makes sense now. You can't even mathematically formulate her "logic" and want someone else to do the work for you.

Gamecock said...

Iz', you have a major ignorance problem. You can't afform the fee necessary for me to give up practicing law to tutor you.

Iztok said...

'cock: "Iz', you have a major ignorance problem. You can't afform the fee necessary for me to give up practicing law to tutor you."

I guess you meant "afford".

No need for tutor. Since you are not able to logically state your claims at the first place yet you claim ignorance on my end. Sad.

Since you claim you are a "practicing lawyer" I take it you know the term hearsay, right? Gospels are hearsay yet you seem to trust them? Certainly not what a good lawyer would do.

Iztok said...

Oh... look, I've managed to post. I guess the "god fearing" thing didn't work Elizabeth. Better luck next time.

Gamecock said...

Coulter has already laid out, with footnotes to scholarly scientific peer reviewed articles, what you would have me re-create.

BTW

There are over thirty exceptions to the rule against hearsay evidence being introduced at a trial.

Moreover, if all witnesses to your birth are dead, the only way to prove the date of same would be through hearsay evidence.

get it?

But the main evidence of God is the voice of God you hear everyday in your own head.

That voice you seek to drown out through your manic protestations in spaces sacred.

Bob said...

Watch out, Gamecock. The voice in my head just keeps saying "Go Tar Heels!"

Gamecock said...

Bob

I hear a rooster crowing! But this GC is awfully disappointed today after pulling hard for the team closest to Spartanburg against Fresno State in the CWS. Now I'll have to pull for the Athens version of bulldogs given their proximity to my hometown.

But I love Charlotte and NC. Reasons why?

First, Andrew Jackson's Aunt lived in the Tar Heel state, across the border from where Old Hickory was born in the waxhaws of the Palmetto State.

Jackson, who stated: "One man with courage makes a majority", jibes well with soldiers so brave that they stood their ground against the Brits as if they had tar on their heels and a Queen City dubbed a Hornet's Nest due to their disdain and contempt for the Union Jack flag flying occupiers.

And for our anti-theist friends. Proof of Hell:

Jackson said the only thing standing between Columbia, SC and Hell was a

screen door!

Iztok said...

"But the main evidence of God is the voice of God you hear everyday in your own head."

Sure it is. Some people hear aliens talking to them as well. I guess we can all consider that evidence all the time. It is called hallucination. People hearing such voices all the time are mentally ill.

Iztok said...

"Coulter has already laid out, with footnotes to scholarly scientific peer reviewed articles, what you would have me re-create."

I did quick research and come up with interesting thing.

http://mediamatters.org/items/200608070002

"In response, Media Matters decided to investigate each of the endnotes in Godless. We found a plethora of problems.

Among other things, Coulter:

* misrepresented and distorted the statements of her sources;
* omitted information in those sources that refuted the claims in her book;
* misrepresented news coverage to allege bias;
* relied upon outdated and unreliable sources;
* and invented "facts.""


Great "reliable" source Coulter is!

Bob said...

Oh, please. Being a Gamecock is proof enough.

Gamecock said...

Reading media matters does not pass for "research." Read the chapters in Coulter's book, use your own mind and apply logic in comparing the claims of Darwinists and their opponents.

Marty said...

Iztok,

So I’m a name-caller, but you name-call me a dogmatic, and that makes you not a name-caller? Yep, you sure know how to use puerile logic and reasoning. And just where in my previous comments did I spew any dogma? Nowhere did I threaten to burn you at the stake, imprison you, etc., etc. etc. Frankly, I admire Galileo. And if you think I support welding church to state, you definitely don’t know me or many others of faith. Your paranoia is rather apparent.

Seems to me that you rely quite heavily on stereotyping, which leads to the false assumptions you make. You try to lump all believers into the same bucket. So what’s your scientific rationale for classifying me as a fundamentalist Bible thumper? Methinks you read a lot – but between the lines.

I also admire Linneaus. You need to study him. He, too, would label you a PAP* after seeing what goes on in this blog. Like other supporters of the scientific community, I welcome new research and exploration. Yes, a lot of Biblical myths have been disproved. That’s good. They were just myths. Attempts to explain. But the underlying message is still valid for others and me. So there’s ice (and water) on Mars! Great! I think we should continually update the Bible, just as God has caused his universe to continually evolve. But water on Mars still doesn’t invalidate God’s underlying message in the Old and New Testaments.

And that brings me back to the sole purpose of my posts under this current topic (although we’ve again gone off topic): Pointing out the ludicrousness of atheists attempting to shake the faith of the faithful in a faith and spiritual values blog. How come you still haven’t told us why you do so?

I think Gamecock has a good point: Your being here gives those of faith another welcome challenge to witness about their faith and experience.


* Parasitic Atheists Preying

Elizabeth said...

Iztok said: “1. There is no god to be feared.”

So why are you here in this blog of god-fearing people?

Iztok said: “2. If there was, here it is: ‘I deny the existence of the holy spirit!’”

Oh, Oh! I notice that you wrote “IF THERE WAS [a god to be feared]”. Caught you, Iztok! You’re a Doubting Thomas, not an atheist. If you really didn’t believe, you wouldn’t be predicating your statements that way. Next you'll be saying "There could be"!

By the way, if your borrowed statement “Atheists don't "believe there is no god" but we "don't believe there is god" isn’t fence-straddling, I’d like to know what is.

Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, who in the heck are you to tell someone who has that they haven’t?

Iztok said : “You have a weak attempt of Pascal's wager here.”

How “original”! Did his wager cover all the bases, as you are trying to do? (Ha!)

I think your presence here, Iztok, indicates a thirst for faith. Otherwise why are you here? We welcome you regardless of your “reasons”.

Gamecock said...

Athiests like Iztok want God, but only on his terms

Paul says that all know that God exists. CS Lewis explains why.

We also know that God makes moral claims on us and allow us to let him be Lord and thus inherit his gift or that we can be our own Lord and inherit what we can acheive.

Atheists want cake, and to eat it too.

So, to drown out the still small voice of God, they lash out at those of us that are the public manifestation of the hearing of said voice.

God is still after iztoks. When Iztok stops lashing out it will mean one of two things:

He has been saved
or
God has given him up to be his own God.

Thank God Iztok is our menace!

Jesus loves you this I know, because the Bible tells me so, Iztok!

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "Reading media matters does not pass for "research.""

Nor does reading Coulter's book as it is obvious she is falsifying evidence.

Could you explain where Media Matters was wrong on her book? I guess you can't hence blatant dismissal.

Marty: "God has caused his universe to continually evolve"

Where is the evidence of causality by God here? Just mere existence of something doesn't lead to being caused and even if it would it would be a stretch to go from there to being caused by God. We all know flu causes sore throat. From this to saying "I have sore throat thus it must have been caused by flu" is a stretch as we all know that other things cause sore throat as well.

In math terms:

If we know that:

1. A => B
2. B

We can't deduct anything about A. (B therefore A is not valid).

Elizabeth: Sure "if there was" is a correct one. I have no evidence (neither do you) that god or gods exist but I can't prove universal negative (which you are trying to make me do). You are an atheist when it comes to Zeus, Jupiter and hundreds of other gods, yet you do not have any evidence they don't exist neither you can prove they don't exist. Aside of hearsay "evidence" you have no more evidence for God as you have for Zeus, yet you believe in one and not the other. I am just more consistent and I believe in one less god then you.

"Yes, a lot of Biblical myths have been disproved. That’s good. They were just myths. Attempts to explain. But the underlying message is still valid for others and me"

Sure thing. I am not saying that certain stories have no value. Jack and the Beanstalk, Dumbo, Stone Soup, and other stories all have something good in it as well. In fact Stone Soup is an interesting one for you (so is Dumbo) in particular.

"Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, who in the heck are you to tell someone who has that they haven’t?"

This is exactly why you should read Stone Soup. Basically people experience good soup because they've put vegetables in the pot not because of magic stone in it.

"Did his wager cover all the bases, as you are trying to do?"

Pascal's wager is wrong since it offers false dichotomy.

Sorry to say and I understand it is hard for you to hear but your "emperor has no clothes". You try to pretend clothes exist but one day the realization will come.

Iztok said...

"We also know that God makes moral claims on us and allow us to let him be Lord and thus inherit his gift or that we can be our own Lord and inherit what we can acheive."

Sounds like North Korea with Great Leader and Dear Leader.

Elizabeth said...

Iztok, you little sweetie, I can see by the mistakes that you make in your replies that not only are you human, but you are drawing closer to God. It is He who has causes you to flub up your “logic”. He does that so you’ll be able to eventually discern the errors of your way. Hallelujah! Another lost sheep is heading back to the fold!

You struggle vainly trying to explain the unexplainable in words and symbols. Your thoughts are full of hate and despise for those who have found what you refuse to see.You feel there is a rational answer for everything yet fail to convince others of that.

Lord, I ask you to fill Iztok with the knowledge of your will through spiritual wisdom and understanding. I pray this in order that Iztok may have a life worthy of you and please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of you, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that Iztok may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to you, Father.

William Shafer said...

Marty said:

"Thanks, PAP*, I admire your overconfidence, but I’ve reviewed your postings on the various topics in this blog for the past year. I have yet to see where you’ve succeeded In explaining to anyone where you are right and they are wrong, so I don’t think you’re going to explain anything correctly to me, either.

I mean, as regards the atheists like you who try to opine in this type of blog, it’s like going to a Corvette Rally and having some Corvair owner attempt to tell you how a supercharger works. You just don’t fortify my beliefs.

Tell me if I’m wrong, folks, but the picture in get in my mind is that there’s a bunch of atheistic turkey vultures perched in this blog on a dead limb, watching eagerly for someone of faith to express their views, so they can hop down (or up) and attempt to pick apart the meat of those sincere observations. Then the lions of this blog finally come along and scare them off.

I don’t get it. Why have these parasites attached themselves to the faithful? Just what do they expect to accomplish within this blog, and why? Do they walk into synagogues and churches on Friday and Sunday and interrupt services so they can opine with a counter-message? Why do they try to discourage the hopeful?

You tell me. Are they here in this blog proselytizing, trying to convince the faithful of the validity of their arguments? Are they hoping to gain converts?

* PAP:Parasitic Atheists “Preying” on the faithful"

BEST RESPONSE I'VE SEEN ON THIS BLOG. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, MARTY.
GOD BLESS.

William Shafer said...

Elizabeth said:

Iztok said: “1. There is no god to be feared.”

So why are you here in this blog of god-fearing people?

Iztok said: “2. If there was, here it is: ‘I deny the existence of the holy spirit!’”

Oh, Oh! I notice that you wrote “IF THERE WAS [a god to be feared]”. Caught you, Iztok! You’re a Doubting Thomas, not an atheist. If you really didn’t believe, you wouldn’t be predicating your statements that way. Next you'll be saying "There could be"!

By the way, if your borrowed statement “Atheists don't "believe there is no god" but we "don't believe there is god" isn’t fence-straddling, I’d like to know what is.

Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, who in the heck are you to tell someone who has that they haven’t?

Iztok said : “You have a weak attempt of Pascal's wager here.”

How “original”! Did his wager cover all the bases, as you are trying to do? (Ha!)

I think your presence here, Iztok, indicates a thirst for faith. Otherwise why are you here? We welcome you regardless of your “reasons”.

THIS IS GREAT, TOO. THANK YOU LIZ!

Anonymous said...

If it is permissible, as Marty says, to regard some parts of the Bible as fiction without harming the underlying message of the faith, why isn't it permissible to treat all Bible stories as fiction? Why isn't it permissible, for instance, to regard the Lord God in the Eden story as a character, with (think the unthinkable) faults? I don't want to shock or fuss. Just asking.

Gamecock said...

Ditto Liz

amen for Iz

Gamecock said...

Anon, it is permissible to totally reject God and his word.

free will

Iztok said...

William Shafer: Is there any value added to your comment? You don't even explain why any of the comments from Marty or Elizabeth are so great. Mostly they are plain wrong in their assessments.

Elizabeth: Sure I am human and proud of it. I am responsible for all of my deeds, good or bad, not Satan, not God or not anyone else. You might choose to thank others for what you do but please you have no right to attribute any of my deeds to anyone else.

Elizabeth, you do know that intercessory prayers don't work and actually have reverse effect? We actually do have a scientific study about that. http://www.beliefnet.com/story/188/story_18848_1.html

"A major study of Christian intercessory prayer for cardiac patients has found no significant effect on reducing complications but patients who knew they were receiving the prayer had a slightly higher rate of complications."

Gamecock said...

Does anyone on Sacred Space

NOT

consider human life to be sacred?

Iztok said...

I think we all do. We might just differ on definition of when human life begins.

Gamecock said...

Science defines the beginning of life as when the sperm and egg fertilize and attaches to the uterine wall. The separate DNA is establised then.

I accept the science.

Does anyone here not accept the science?

Od course, the definition of a "person" under the US Constitution is a term of art outside science.

But since I consider human life sacred, of course, I would not favor allowing the killing of said life to be legal unless it were done in self defense.

Iztok said...

"Does anyone here not accept the science?"

Most of people here.

"But since I consider human life sacred, of course, I would not favor allowing the killing of said life to be legal unless it were done in self defense."

I guess you are condemning capital punishment as well as any acts of killing by God or instructed by God since neither is really done in self defense?

Or are you finding all sorts of excuses in the above as well?

For me if life can exist outside of womb on its own (I'll allow exception of artificial feeding and breathing) than it should be considered having protection. Otherwise we can go into all sorts of mess considering many spontaneous abortions etc. But feel free to claim life starts at conception and anyone responsible for terminating this is a killer/murderer.

Gamecock said...

Convicted murderers are not innocent life, and I certainly do consider capital punishment to be society's defense of itself.

Viability outside the womb as a standard makes Iztok against the legalization of partial birth abortion.

Progress

arbitrary, but progress

Mrs. William Shafer said...

Marty Said:

Marty said:

"Thanks, PAP*, I admire your overconfidence, but I’ve reviewed your postings on the various topics in this blog for the past year. I have yet to see where you’ve succeeded In explaining to anyone where you are right and they are wrong, so I don’t think you’re going to explain anything correctly to me, either.

I mean, as regards the atheists like you who try to opine in this type of blog, it’s like going to a Corvette Rally and having some Corvair owner attempt to tell you how a supercharger works. You just don’t fortify my beliefs.

Tell me if I’m wrong, folks, but the picture in get in my mind is that there’s a bunch of atheistic turkey vultures perched in this blog on a dead limb, watching eagerly for someone of faith to express their views, so they can hop down (or up) and attempt to pick apart the meat of those sincere observations. Then the lions of this blog finally come along and scare them off.

I don’t get it. Why have these parasites attached themselves to the faithful? Just what do they expect to accomplish within this blog, and why? Do they walk into synagogues and churches on Friday and Sunday and interrupt services so they can opine with a counter-message? Why do they try to discourage the hopeful?

You tell me. Are they here in this blog proselytizing, trying to convince the faithful of the validity of their arguments? Are they hoping to gain converts?

* PAP:Parasitic Atheists “Preying” on the faithful"

BEST RESPONSE I'VE SEEN ON THIS BLOG. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, MARTY.
GOD BLESS.

Mrs. William Shafer said...

Elizabeth said:

Iztok said: “1. There is no god to be feared.”

So why are you here in this blog of god-fearing people?

Iztok said: “2. If there was, here it is: ‘I deny the existence of the holy spirit!’”

Oh, Oh! I notice that you wrote “IF THERE WAS [a god to be feared]”. Caught you, Iztok! You’re a Doubting Thomas, not an atheist. If you really didn’t believe, you wouldn’t be predicating your statements that way. Next you'll be saying "There could be"!

By the way, if your borrowed statement “Atheists don't "believe there is no god" but we "don't believe there is god" isn’t fence-straddling, I’d like to know what is.

Have you ever experienced the Holy Spirit? If you haven’t, who in the heck are you to tell someone who has that they haven’t?

Iztok said : “You have a weak attempt of Pascal's wager here.”

How “original”! Did his wager cover all the bases, as you are trying to do? (Ha!)

I think your presence here, Iztok, indicates a thirst for faith. Otherwise why are you here? We welcome you regardless of your “reasons”.

THIS IS GREAT, TOO. THANK YOU LIZ!

Elizabeth said...

Iztok,

Don't worry. You'll never discourage me. I'll keep praying for you, darling! We all appreciate your "unbelieveable" efforts to educate we believers. You've done more to strengthen my faith than anyone else here.

It's sad when one considers just how much time you must spend in this blog trying to convert us to atheism. You seem to be here day and night, week by week. Don't you have a job? A family? Responsibilities?

I think there is a mental disease in which the afflicted feel they have all the answers and are obssessed with trying to answer each and every comment in a false attempt to prove themselves.

We'll pray you get professional help!

Iztok said...

Elizabeth, I think you get it all backward. I am not the one hearing voices in my head and have imaginary invisible friends. I have no invisible means of support like you guys claim to have.

I am not trying to convert you to atheism, you will end up one at the end when yo die and there is nothing there. Just too bad you wasted your time by then.

Plus I am not the one who thinks that has all the answers it is believers who think that have the answers to unanswerable.

Your ploy to turn things around is really interesting. I guess it is called projection of yourself.

Too bad none of you can provide any evidence of your claims. People hearing voices in their heads are the ones who should seek professional help.

As for me? Yes I do have a family and I am in final steps to adopt a 17 year old who has been tossed from one family to another and been abandoned by all Christian families she stayed at (she only stayed at Christian families). Until someone like me came along and actually did something for her not just talk and pray. Actions of one do more then prayers of thousands.

Anonymous said...

OK, sMarty, so you're still trying to hide, behind your claims of superior verbal intelligence, eh?

Big talk coming from someone who couldn't spell "Forrest" Gump or even get his "stupid" quote right.

And like lamecock, you have to attack the person not the claim.

What'sa matter those SAT scores not good enough? Never made it far enough to take a Grad school entrance exam?

You bring up this stupidity, I'm just looking for you to back up a claim or two.

Remember "Jesus Died For Your Sins" was just a metaphor.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not here to "win" converts to atheism.

What a joke. The best atheists are those who figure it out for themselves.

And with the kind of people out there who "profess" Christianity in the ways that they do, they don't need our help.

Anonymous said...

Gee, elizabeth, doesn't your holy book have something to say about people who pray in public?

Or was that just a metaphor?

Anonymous said...

Gamecock, if the D'Sewer articles you've referenced and posted links to are typical, there is no reason to analyze an entire book of his crap.

Maybe a teaser like a 500 word article in which he doesn't say something totally stupid and unfounded would be a better start than what you've found so brilliant before.

Also, in case you haven't noticed, our courts have moved beyond the verbal tradition a bit and you can now use a birth certificate to prove your date of birth.

And it's still valid even if all the people who signed and witnessed it are dead.

Or were you just using that example as a metaphor?

In which case, facts need not apply as I am learning from my Christian "tutors" (like so much else of what they say...).

Iztok said...

"And it's still valid even if all the people who signed and witnessed it are dead."

Well in his case the earliest notion was notion was recording of a hearsay not the actual event. So author heard something from someone who might have seen it and wrote it down. Person who wrote it down wasn't even born at the time event supposedly took place.

Iztok said...

"Well in his case the earliest notion was notion was recording of a hearsay not the actual event."

Should be: Well in his case the earliest notion was recording of a hearsay not the actual event.

Gamecock said...

Exactly Anon! that is one of the more than 30 exceptions to the rule against hearsay.

Get my point now? Or was it Iztok that couldn't imagine that hearsay evidence could be deemed reliable when scoffing at claims of resurrection by dead Apostles?

Iztok said...

Gamecock: So which exception would account for something written by someone who was born after the events (and written as they were present??)

Gamecock said...

Iztok

Exceptions nos 23, 25, 26-27could apply to portions of the Old and New Testaments if proof of the claims were required in court by an Atheist star chamber.

There is no way to prove the negative you have faith in, so you should stay in the US where you have freedom to speak, worship or not, etc without fear of persecution. Of course, your ears may hear things you don't like, so you should adopt that ole sticks and stones will break my bones (see atheistic NAZIS and COMMUNISTS and the death cult portion of Islam) but words (see Christians circa 21st Century AD) will never hurt me.

btw Iztok, are we subjecting Darwinism to the say courtroom hearsay standards of evidence?

Any witnesses to that single cell god you worship?

Iztok said...

"Exceptions nos 23, 25, 26-27could apply to portions of the Old and New Testaments"

Hmm...

Exception 23: Judgment as to personal, family or general history, or boundaries.

Exception 25: Past Recollection Recorded

Exception 26: Prior identification

Exception 27: Social Science Surveys

Are these you are talking about?

As far as Nazism is concerned. Records and pictures show their reverence to Christianity. Hitler's Mein Kampf is full of references of acting based on his Christian upbringing and in the name of his God. German soldiers were "supported" by Catholic priests. Vatican was even celebrating Hitler's birthday. How much more proof do you need?

Communists? Sure Stalin had good deal of his dogmatic training done in seminary. You are just proving how bad dogma is.

On the other hand atheists don't subscribe to dogma, we depend on reason.

But words? For Christians? Sure thing, blowing cars was a "modern" invention by Christians in Ireland. Bombings and killings in front of family clinics providing abortion?

Darwinism? Sure we can observe evolution through natural selection nowadays. If we wouldn't many people wouldn't need to get flu vaccine every year would they? Or are you saying that we can't observe evolution first hand? We've observed new species, we've observed changes within species, we've observed evolutionary changes within human species as well. What else do you need?

Danbo59 said...

Marty wrote, "Maybe we should organize a game: First one to scan the atheist blogs and articles online and find the one from which Iztok drew his comments wins. Neither one of these guys has an original thought."

Already been done. Iztok was caught at it a few weeks back with his

See the topic at http://janepope.blogspot.com/2008/04/healing-with-divine-therapist.html and the post entered at 1:41 PM on Apruil 14, 2008.

Danbo59 said...

Been away for a week, but it's nice to see another voice of reason; i.e., Elizabeth, enter the discussion.

You are spot-on, Elizabeth, in your analysis of Iztok and his cohorts. Their very presence here on this board tells us all we need to know -- they're angry at the very God whose existence they pretend to deny.

Elizabeth said...

Anonymous, there is good news on the front page of today’s Charlotte Observer: A new poll shows more than 90% of Americans believe in God. And more and more are praying!

Iztok said: “As for me? Yes I do have a family and I am in final steps to adopt a 17 year old who has been tossed from one family to another.”

Iztok also said: “Too bad none of you can provide any evidence of your [religious]claims. People hearing voices in their heads are the ones who should seek professional help.”

Yeah, like we are supposed to believe the claims of an atheist. So where’s your proof of this wandering teenager you profess to save? And why do you spend so much time in this blog? Don’t tell me you’re trying to set a good example for that mysterious 17-year-old, because you’re not. Get help!!!!

I’m praying for you and the kid.

Smarty said...

Anonymous said: “What'sa matter those SAT scores not good enough?”

Folks, the above quote should be proof enough that we’re dealing with a verbally challenged person who needs to work on their grammar skills.

But thanks, Anon, for telling it like it is. I’ve decided to go by “Smarty” in this blog to acknowledge your gracious recognition of my superior intellect.

Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. Shafer for your encouragement. As for the “value” Iztok claims you aren’t adding, isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black? (Anon: that’s an idiom. No, I’m not calling you an idiot, just trying to explain something to you.)

By the way Anon and Iztok, how come you continue to evade the question many here have asked: “What are atheists doing in a faith and spiritual values blog?” I don’t really believe you’re out to win converts. For one thing haven’t seen you score any points here that would persuade anyone, anyway. My guess is that you’re like the naughty little boys throwing rocks at other children of God at the Sunday School Picnic, jealous because they have found the love of God and you haven’t, and too stubborn to join in the adulation. (Anon: part of that is a simile).

Danbo59 said...

Here's an interesting read. Go to the following page --

http://firstchurchofatheism.com/

Take a look at this website. "Atheism," yet they call themselves a "Church."

Go to the BECOME ORDAINED page and take a look at the requirements for ordination. All you need to be able to do is fill out a form and 24 hours later -- poof; you're ordained.

They even have a "store."

My goodness, they even list as a "minister" one of our very own bloggers.

"Angels and ministers of grace defend us!" Hamlet, Act I Scene IV.

Gamecock said...

The correct spelling, Anon is

Whatsamtta U

Bullwinkle aka Mr. Know-it-All matriculated at that college in Frostbite Falls, MN.

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock said, "Bullwinkle aka Mr. Know-it-All matriculated at that college in Frostbite Falls, MN."

And remember, this was before the incident involving the famous Kerwood Derby.

Gamecock said...

correction:

Wossamotta U

Gamecock said...

Yes, the smartest man in the world doesn't need to "know it all!"

Iztok said...

"So where’s your proof of this wandering teenager you profess to save?"

What proof do you require? Would newly issued birth certificate that will be given to us upon finalization of adoption next month suffice?

Then let me know where you want to meet to examine it.

Zeke said...

Unonimess,

I is pullin fer yew over Smarty. He use big word. Make me think. That hurt my lil pointy head.

How he no we toss rock at sunday skool kids?

Yer half-bother/half-cousin

Zeke

Elizabeth said...

Okay, I’ll bring my baptismal certificate and Bible. Do you have one for your invisible kid? If you can believe in an invisible kid, you should have no problem believing in a real God.

But how will you ever be able to tear yourself away from attempting to tell everyone in this blog how smart you are? You are here all the time!

Let’s see: Kid supposedly bounced from Christian homes. Ends up in atheist’s house. Atheist too busy responding to this blog to raise kid any better than the Christians did. Great story line!

Iztok said...

Elizabeth, my daughter is not invisible. If you wish I can also bring her just name the place and time (just give me enough time and provided it is not during my business trips or other family obligations - not necessary in that order). While at it, perhaps you could bring your Jesus and we can all test which one is real and which one is not.

Christians abandoned her. During stays at their home she stole, drink, did drugs, being neglected, and (sexually) abused. When she came to our home she tested several years behind her grade (being in 10th tested mid 4th in both reading and math). Now she is provided with things she was missing before, like parental support, education, safety, and love. Things her previous Christian parents (biological, foster, and adoptive) were just talking about.

She is finally feeling safe enough so slowly her horror stories from the past are coming out.

Sure you know nothing about such things. Most of people like you are only concerned for life until one is born, hence we have close to eleven thousand (11,000) kids in foster care in NC alone. Only 4% of those age of 10 or older will ever find a loving permanent home in this "Christian" state.

Elizabeth said...

Whew! I think I’ve finally got everything arranged. I hope you won’t mind if we get together at my church. (After all this is a faith and spiritual values blog, not an atheist blog). Be at Fielder Road Baptist Church, 1323 West Pioneer Parkway, Arlington, Texas this Sunday. We have both an early traditional service and a contemporary 11 a.m. service. You may feel more comfortable at the latter. Please wear one of those stick-on nametags with “IZTOK – ATHEIST” in bold letters so I can recognize you. I’ll be the heavy-set gal wearing a large gold cross waiting for you at the main door to the sanctuary.

Pastor Smith is also excited about meeting y’all! Be prepared for some awesome testimony!!

Iztok said...

Elizabeth:

1. I have a CLT-PHL trip on Sunday which prevents me from attending.

2. We'll need to pick another weekend. Let me know who to contact so they can book flight and hotel for me and my daughter. Considering this is outside of CLT area and this is Charlotte Observer blog it is reasonable that any travel outside of this area be sponsored by you.

Looking forward to our meeting.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Considering this is outside of CLT area and this is Charlotte Observer blog it is reasonable that any travel outside of this area be sponsored by you."

You could smell that one coming a mile away.

Iztok said...

Danbo,

I made reasonable effort and considering this is Charlotte Observer blog one would think person is in this area. I would have made an hour or so drive on my own dime, but to expect someone to spend close to $2000 is unreasonable. Not to mention that I have a Monday morning meeting in PHL and my flight leaves just past 2pm Sunday so no way I would be back from DFW area on time.

Feel free to sponsor it yourself if you wish. I just don't have that kind of resources to spend.

Gamecock said...

Iztok, bring me up to speed on this matter. Do you need to find a church that will baptize you? I am here in the Queen City and I am a member of a church. I am also available for legal services!

Iztok said...

Gamecock, Elizabeth needs some sort of evidence that my soon to be adopted daughter exists so I offered meeting (assuming she was in CLT area). She came up with DFW area meeting which is about $2000 trip for two on such a short notice.

I don't need baptism. I am ordained (as Danbo mentioned) in order to be able to perform certain ceremonies (like marriage) that are normally only reserved to clergy (as well as I can park using parking spaces reserved for clergy).

As far as legal advice is concerned. I am ok there too. We do have a lawyer dealing with adoption already.

Gamecock said...

Well, if you need a witness to affirm a life in being, my fee is only $25 plus mileage @ $0.99/mile, and you will be happy to know that I have what you might consider a broad interpretation of life. See Shiavo!

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "I don't need baptism. I am ordained (as Danbo mentioned) in order to be able to perform certain ceremonies (like marriage) that are normally only reserved to clergy (as well as I can park using parking spaces reserved for clergy)."

LOL. What a joke. Bugs Bunny is more qualified as an ordained minister than anything coming off the Church of Atheism.

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock wrote, " See Shiavo."

Did you mean Terri Schiavo?

Gamecock said...

Yes (Spelling is the hobgoblin of puny minds!)

smile

(actually proper names do matter)

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock wrote, "Yes (Spelling is the hobgoblin of puny minds!) smile (actually proper names do matter)."

Understood, but my question was sincere and not related to spelling. I was not sure if the word "Shiavo" might be a reference to some author or such, so I meant no offense. I knew it resembled the name Schiavo -- that's why I had asked. :)

Anonymous said...

Iztok, don't waste your time trying to meet any of them.

Seriously.

Gamecock said...

Dare not love your neighbor as yourself? Wouldn't want to find out Christians are people too? Think everyone else also prefers to never change pajamas? Or that after two sentences spoken in public the men in white will come with the jackets?

I understand that blogging geeks can be anti-social, but that was creepy.

Elizabeth said...

I’m disappointed, Izzie, but I understand. You don’t mind if I call you Izzie, do you? You can call me Lizzie. (Tee Hee).

I suggested to one of the pastors that we use the church’s Lottie Moon offering later this year for your transportation. I figure if those Chinese can afford to host the Olympics, they can pay for their own missions. But that didn’t go over.

Yet don’t despair. You have inspired me to start writing a play based on what it would be like for an atheist to raise children, real or otherwise. I hope to sell it and fly you out here post haste. Here’s a sample of:

LIFE WITH (AN ATHEIST) FATHER

ACT I

[Scene I: Iztok’s study. He is sitting at his computer, tapping busily away at the keyboard. Enters his alleged daughter, a smiling child.]

Daughter: “Daddy, aren’t you ever going to work? All you do is sit here day by day messing with that computer.”

Iztok: “Dang it all! I told you not to interrupt me while I’m busy educating those pesky Christians. They and their obstinate beliefs. I even tried using mathematical symbols I copied off an atheist website, and it still didn’t phase them. Crap! Smarty just sent in another. I’ll never catch up. And now Gamecock and Danbo59 are on my case as well.”

Daughter: “Daddy, how did we humans get here?”

Iztok: “For Christsake, girl! I mean...for non-Christsake. I’ve told you a million times. We’re evolved from our ancestors.”

Daughter: “Well, then how did our ancestors get here?”

Iztok: “They evolved from their ancestors.”

Daughter: “Oh Daddy. You are so full of it.” (Giggles). Tell me, just what is the purpose of our life?”

Iztok: “Moving genes down the line.”

Daughter: “And where do we go when we die? “

Iztok: (Sighs impatiently). “We decompose and feed other living organisms.”

Daughter: “What happens when those living organisms die?”

Iztok: (Still typing away at the keyboard). “They decompose and feed other living organisms.”

[Sound of a door slamming shut and a voice yelling, “I’m out of this loony bin!”]

Daughter: “Wow Pop. You are amazing. You’re the only person I know who has all the answers, although they seem somewhat...lacking...and discouraging.”

Iztok: “What! Don’t get sassy with me, young lady. Have you been reading that Sacred Space blog again and getting ideas? And what was that door slamming?”

Daughter: “That was the 17-year-old you said you rescued from the evil Christians. He’s been hoping you’d play tennis with him, but you’ve been glued to your computer for weeks. He told me that at least he some human interaction with the Christians, and he's heading back to them. Oh, and by the way, you’ll have to get your own supper tonight.”

Iztok: "Why? Where do you think you’re going?"

Daughter: “I’m going over to my boyfriend’s and move some genes down the line. Thanks for the sound advice, Dad!” [Sound of door slamming shut].

Iztok said...

Elizabeth, yes I do mind about how you call me.

Secondly, your little play is so out of touch with reality how my interaction with my family is. It also is out of touch what atheists do and would teach our kids. Granted it is more complicated then "God did it" but so is our universe and life. It is easy when answer to everything is "God did it". For rest of us truth is more important then convenience.

Ellen said...

When my sister died, atheist friends gave me support and encouragement. I will always be grateful. These wonderful friends are my experience of the sacred.

Gamecock said...

But does God believe in Atheists?

The Washington Post reports on a shocking finding from a new Pew Research Center poll: "Twenty-one percent of those who describe themselves as atheists expressed a belief in God or a universal spirit."

How can you be an atheist and believe in God? Gregory Smith, a Pew research fellow, speculates that "some people may identify with the term atheist or agnostic without fully understanding the definition." But maybe the culprit here is the ambiguity of the term believe.

The finding reminded us of a 1980s song, "Dear God," by a band called XTC. It's a petulant protest of suffering in the world:

Dear God,
Hope you got the letter
And I pray you can make it better down here
I don't mean a big reduction in the price of beer
But all the people that you made in your image,
See them starving on their feet
'Cause they don't get enough to eat
From God
I can't believe in you
The lyrics also complain of sectarian "fighting in the street," "disease," "wars," the drowning of "babes" and "those lost at sea and never found." The narrator repeatedly asserts his unbelief in God--but the entire song is in the second person. If he doesn't believe in God, who's he talking to?

The obvious answer is that the XTC atheists' attitude toward God is like the Arabs' attitude toward Israel. They don't deny that God exists, but they blame him for all their problems, and they refuse to recognize his right to exist.

Elizabeth said...

Izzie, how can my play be out of touch with what atheists do and teach? Those comments in it about where we came from, our purpose for being here, and where we go after we die came directly from comments you made under one of Jane’s previous topics. You wrote them, not me. They are your teachings.

Iztok said...

Elizabeth:

Here are few things:

1. Any postings online do not interfere with family life. Family has priority over everything that includes most of my work (there are exceptions as part of my taking care of my family is having ability to do my job since I am a single income).

2. IT is not about using "math symbols" and more about using math logic. I understand this might be strange to you but logic is basis for our learning. I've seen several logical fallacies committed by "faithful". Some were really obvious. Not that anyone is perfect but some are really "standard" deceiving tools being told (like false dichotomies).

3. "How did we get here." Is simple. I would go down the line from parents, to grandparents to start initial chain. Then I would explain how changes are introduced and how differences are obvious when one observes human selection in dogs. I would also use simple logic how more complex things are built from less complex. I would use a drawing of a mouse trap and explain possible steps how so complex trap with spring, board, hammer etc. could evolve from simple stick and box. This gives kids idea on how things go from less complex to more complex.

3. Where do we go after we die is even more simple. A simple demonstration with decomposing slab of meat does the trick.

4. Purpose: Simple explanation on importance of children in our lives does the trick here. One doesn't have to use big words or invoke magic.

Unfortunately at this point my priority is nursing her back to physical and mental health due to damage inflicted on her by previous (Christian) parents. Right now she still thinks she will go to Hell regardless of what she does in the future just because she was fed with lies from "true Christians" that such place exists and she was so bad that she is going there no matter what. It is hard to help kids that are mentally abused with threats of hell.

Iztok said...

"But does God believe in Atheists"

God is an atheists itself (if exists).

Interesting enough that that poll is just full of it. It considers Christians even if they don't believe in personal God. Some weird things with that poll.

75% say that other religions lead to salvation as well???

The report… reveals a broad trend toward tolerance and an ability among many Americans to hold beliefs that might contradict the doctrines of their professed faiths.

More confusion: Indeed, one-in-five people who identify themselves as atheist (21%) and a majority of those who identify themselves as agnostic (55%) express a belief in God or a universal spirit.

Just doesn't make sense. It looks like people are adopting religious mumbo jumbo and redefining words to mean something else then what they supposed to.

Danbo59 said...

I found Elizabeth's draft play of an atheist father and his daughter quite poignant.

Atheists teach a doctrine of despair -- pure and simple.

Gamecock said...

Agreed 'tok, that many atheists don't make sense. They see a computer and deduct that it was created by a designer. They see a single cell and its DNA, all exponentially more complicated than the most sophisticated computers man has designed, and conclude that said cell/dna evolved.

mind blowing

D.J. Williams said...

Wow, it's really sad to see how far downhill the discussions have gone here. As one who has been here since Jane's first post, the level of civility, compassion, and intelligence in the discussions anymore is quite sad. Please - to all on both sides - let's try to show a bit more humility and compassion for each other. To my fellow Christians - if I were an athiest, I sure wouldn't find most of these comments from professed Christians very attractive. Disagreeing with ideas and beliefs is one thing, but trying to argue that Iztok is making his daughter up is pretty disgraceful.

Soli Deo Gloria

Iztok said...

Danbo: "Atheists teach a doctrine of despair"

Care to elaborate that? Obviously teaching the beauty of this life and encourage our kids to make the best out of it because this is what we get is despair? What you say is that it is ok to sell family cow for some beans that might or might not be magic believing (but not having any proof or reason behind it)and hope that you are lucky that they truly are magic beans.

What people like you teach is doctrine of servility. If you really want to see and experience how this is like you should experience North Korea. (Granted they are one short of trinity but they do have Great and Dear Leader.

'cock: Computer is created from simpler things. We can explain how it evolved from less sophisticated instances. We try what is logical, explain more complex things with less complex. What you do is try to explain complex with more complex then fail to explain more complex and say "it is not for us to understand" (or something similar to that extent). We simply don't need magic feather to fly.

Gamecock said...

'tok

I could imagine that your incoherent sentences evolved absent design, but not computers or the universe.

See the dog poop in the yard. It came from a dog. Get it?

Gamecock said...

I agree DJW that the level of discourse is low. Not sure it is any lower that usual. That said, there is a lot of good discourse as well. The low discourse is most often due to the attacks against Christians, but I would agree that Christians should hold ourselves to a Christlike attitude which sometimes requires overturning moneychanger tables!

But in general, DJW, I agree with you and admire you as I do Jane, who is a spiritual giant in my eyes.

DJW, we need you!

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "The low discourse is most often due to the attacks against Christians"

I don't think so. If any it might be geared towards the Christianity, not Christians. Big difference. It is similar to homosexuals vs. homosexuality or sinner vs. sin. We love Christians after all just Christianity doesn't make sense.

But when it comes to attacks it is you who blame the victims of your God.

Danbo59 said...

Izzie, you are one angry person. Someday you will come to grips with your anger at the God whom you know exists. I'd love to know exactly what it was that you think God did to you to make you so angry at Him.

You are as transparent as crystal. Why not be honest and fess up?

Iztok said...

Danbo: for the gazzilion times. No I don't know God exists. He provides no such evidence. I am not angry and esp. I am not angry on something that is not there. I know you would like to blame victims as you often do but you are simply wrong. I don't hear voices in my head as some people here do (perhaps professional help is in order for those who hear voices in their heads).

But let's for a moment assume God does exist (just for the sake of argument). He then created humans as imperfect beings yet he demands perfection and if they are not, they are sinners. What a great concept to have. Just like setting your kids for failure and then telling them "told you so". (Which is actually practice in many Christian families.)

Gamecock said...

Iztok
If there is a God, then he gets to be God, and his process for obtaining eternal life is like air, dirt and water. It is. You don't get to be God, except to the extent that you can reject the gift and inherit the desserts you can create for yourself.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok ranted, "He then created humans as imperfect beings yet he demands perfection and if they are not, they are sinners. What a great concept to have."

Yes, indeed it is a great concept when you insert one little item you neglected in your tirade -- that He loves us regardless of whether we are perfect or sinners!

Jesus asked us to "be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect." When we're not perfect, all we need do is be truly sorry and start the quest for perfection all over again. So, to use a tool you are so fond of (recalling my days of BASIC programming)...

10 Be perfect
20 You are loved
30 If not perfect goto 50
40 Goto 10
50 Be sorry
60 Try harder
70 Goto 10

Iztok said...

Gamecock: "If there is a God, then he gets to be God"

So in essence he can do whatever he wants. No rules no promises. So what you claim is just wishful thinking about heaven. You hope that you played by the right rules of the right god and hope for the best. If you are lucky (just like Jack with his magic beans in the popular story) you might get there.

Makes perfect sense.

Danbo:

Your concept is bit off, you should write like this:

10 Be sorry
20 Try harder
30 Go to 10

We know that "Be perfect" can't be achieved so no need to put it there. "You are loved" is nothing you can do about as it is part of another program, not yours. There is no "If not perfect" as we know one is not perfect.

So having said that it is clear that this "You are loved" is just a part to distract people so they don't complain about "Be sorry" and "Try harder" parts. A carrot promised by clergy, a perfect product to sell due to the fact that no one can come back when product is not delivered and people spent tons of money on it.

Danbo59 said...

Oh, Izzie, how is it possible that you can be wrong 100% of the time? See?! You can be perfect; perfectly wrong every time.

You must be a real joy at home. Given the despair you peddle on this board (you never did answer the question of why you - an atheist - are so engrossed with this blog) you must be quite the ray of sunshine to your wife and [hypothetical] children (both natural-born and adoptive).

I'd think if anyone were forced to listen to your outlook on life that they'd slit their own wrists.

Iztok said...

Danbo: This is Charlotte Observer blog (I do subscribe to Charlotte Observer.)

My outlook on life is just fine, I just don't share your misguided view on afterlife. I don't promise my kid something I have no way of delivering or making sure it is true. I don't do false promises.

If I am wrong, please show me evidence of it.

I assume you are in Charlotte. I can meet and bring my "hypothetical" daughter with me. I take you will bring your hypothetical Jesus with you so we can then see with our own eyes who can deliver and who can't.

If you can't bring your Jesus God with you then we might as well assume he is not real and it is only in your head.

Elizabeth said...

D.J.,

Or could it be that some people who participate in this blog just don’t have a clue when someone might be pulling their leg to make a point?

Like Gamecock, I admire you, but not only for your carefully reasoned postings, but for your moderate tone. The youth of Louisville don’t know how fortunate they are to have a caring mentor like you.

Since it’s been three weeks since Jane posted a new topic, do you or anyone else have any idea whether that’s usual or unusual for this time of year? Is she going to continue as moderator, or just let the current topic ride out there forever and perpetuate the current free-for-all? If the Observer needs a new moderator, I wish you’d consider it.

Maybe Gamecock is right when he says that allowing atheist participation is a great opportunity for “witnessing”. But I don’t think what Jane had in mind when she started this blog is this constant atheist-Christian-atheist-Christian give and take. I further doubt she wanted atheist domination of the discussions, which is certainly what has happened. If she did, she would have clearly stated so. If this blog’s level of discourse is low, it might just be because a few anti-Sacred folks have made it happen.

I’m moving on. My wife says I’m spending too much time goofing off here. It’s been fun. By the way, I won my own contest to see where on the Web Iztok pulls his atheistic argumentative constructions, such as Occam’s Razor and Pascal’s Wager:

Go to http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/logic.html. Study it well!

Yours in Christ,

“Elizabeth”

(AKA: “Marty”, “Smarty”, “Zeke”, “Beth Dankin”, “William Shafer”, “Mrs. William Shafer”, et altera.)

Iztok said...

Elizabeth: "By the way, I won my own contest to see where on the Web Iztok pulls his atheistic argumentative constructions, such as Occam’s Razor and Pascal’s Wager:"

Thanks for good source. I didn't know page was there. Haven't been to infidels.org page in ages. Good to know.

Elizabeth said...

The ending of the URL was cut off in my posting just above. Iztok's cheat sheet can be found at:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/mathew/arguments.html

It would be a hoot to see folks counter him with his own "sword".

Elizabeth said...

Oops. It still isn't coming across. Anyhow, the ending is "html".

Searching the Internet for "Atheism Common Documents" should also get you there. You guys and gals need to read it, because it will give you great insight into how Iztok will respond.

Gee, if Iztok really is as great a guy as he claims atheists are, maybe he can give us the URL!

Danbo59 said...

If this board is going to get a new moderator [and I doubt Jane would just pick up and leave] I would hope we don't get someone who espouses a belief in 75% of the world's population being damned to hell just because they haven't been taught the Gospel.

The God I worship isn't that cruel. Jesus came for all mankind -- not just for those who've had the opportunity to believe in Him.

D.J. Williams said...

Thanks for the caricature, Dan.

Soli Deo Gloria

Gamecock said...

Paul's teachings say otherwise Danbo (see Hebrews esp) but he also speaks of the narrow way.

And you surely wouldn't want anyone to water down the truth would you?

I think 100% are damned to hell by our own choices, lest we accept the gift.

And anyone that is sentient hears the gift as per Hebrews and on this blog is instructed in the Gospel. Doesn't the Bible teach that narrow is The Way?

Bob said...

Paul did not write Hebrews.

Gamecock said...

Bob, the oldest (and most obtuse?) man in earth?

Anonymous said...

I'm not that old.

Bob said...

I meant to say "Bob said," but I hit the wrong box. Dang computers. Maybe I am that old.

Iztok said...

Elizabeth: "Gee, if Iztok really is as great a guy as he claims atheists are, maybe he can give us the URL!"

URL you posted worked for me. Just wasn't any of those who I frequent.

Good source of debate: http://friendlyatheist.com/
http://richarddawkins.net/

Those I read daily.

Good article with links to scientific research about observed evolution: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/evolution/dn14094-bacteria-make-major-evolutionary-shift-in-the-lab.html

Also another link to read and think about: http://www.newscientist.com/channel/life/dn13620-evolution-24-myths-and-misconceptions.html

Esp. the last one might be something you - Elizabeth - could learn from. Would answer many questions and misconceptions you have (and others on this blog) about evolution.

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

As you can see now, Christians are very comfortable creating and believing lies.

Even if they met you and your family, they would lie about it to try to discredit you.

I hope you realize this now.

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

I was a very early contributor of some material to the infidels.org site.

A lot of it was hashed out thru Usenet newsgroups before the "Web" even existed.

They even have my name and an extremely old e-mail address from the 1990's.

Some of what I wrote has even been translated into Spanish by someone
with that old e-mail address still attached.

It was that long ago. What a hoot.

But I usually post anonymously now for what I consider obvious reasons.

Take care.

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock wrote, "And you surely wouldn't want anyone to water down the truth would you?"

Suggest you read

http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0403sbs.asp

and

http://www.kofc.org/publications/cis/catechism/getsection.cfm?partnum=1&SecNum=2&ChapNum=3&articlenum=9&ParSecNum=3&subSecNum=3&headernum=4&ParNum=839&ParType=7

Danbo59 said...

What caricature?

Iztok said...

"http://www.catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0403sbs.asp"

interesting.

If I read it correctly main message is that they don't really know. Their belief is that if one believes in Jesus and the Church their chances of salvation are increased but if one doesn't they claim one might be saved anyway.

Basically salvation is by means and believing in Jesus/Church is one of those means that count towards salvation. God will take means into account when deciding his grace. So heavy sinner that believes in Jesus/Church (like Hitler) stands more chance to get salvation then heavy sinner that rejected Jesus/Church (like Stalin). However light sinner and believer is almost certain to get salvation and light sinner and non-believer is perhaps on the same footing as heavy sinner and believer.

Then again Revelation 7:4 says only 144000 Jews will go to heaven.

Gamecock said...

Thanks Dan and bo, the Bible is a good one too!

smile

Iztok said...

"As you can see now, Christians are very comfortable creating and believing lies."

And atheists are arrogant in our thinking that entire billion galaxy universe was not created for us. Shame on us.

Danbo59 said...

Gamnecock wrote, "Thanks Dan and bo, the Bible is a good one too smile."

Agreed, yet remember -- Jesus left 'the keys' to the Kingdom of Heaven in the hands of Peter. He did not leave 'the keys' in the form of a text; the majority of which wasn't even written at the time. Hence the Magisterium in cooperation with both Sacred Tradition and sacred Literature (Bible).

Danbo59 said...

Gamnecock wrote, "Thanks Dan and bo, the Bible is a good one too smile."

Agreed, yet remember -- Jesus left 'the keys' to the Kingdom of Heaven in the hands of Peter. He did not leave 'the keys' in the form of a text; the majority of which wasn't even written at the time. Hence the Magisterium in cooperation with both Sacred Tradition and sacred Literature (Bible).

Anonymous said...

D. J. Williams said: “Disagreeing with ideas and beliefs is one thing, but trying to argue that Iztok is making his daughter up is pretty disgraceful.”

D.J., is your God as real to you as Iztok’s daughter is to him?

If He is, and semantics aside, then hasn’t Iztok "disgracefully" argued time after time in this blog that you and others are making up your God? Seems like you’d prefer to see a double standard here.

There may be a time to turn the other cheek. This isn’t it. This is the time to toss the atheists out of the temple.

Iztok said...

Anonymous: "D.J., is your God as real to you as Iztok’s daughter is to him?"

I can see, touch, and talk to my daughter and everyone else (regardless of their belief) can do the same provided it is in the same location. Every pastor, Rabi, Imam, or anyone else would agree on the reality of existence of my daughter. She is not invisible.

So where is the double standard here?

Gamecock said...

good point Danbo

amen

Danbo59 said...

Iztok said, "I can see, touch, and talk to my daughter and everyone else (regardless of their belief) can do the same provided it is in the same location."

I can see, touch and talk to God and Jesus and so can everyone else (regardless of their belief). All I need do is turn to the person sitting next to me.

Indiana Jones asked Belloq (in RotLA), "You wanna talk to God?" I'd answer, "He's as close to you as the nearest living person."

If you'd only open your eyes, ears, mind and heart at the same time!

Gamecock said...

Gamecock hates to interrupt this program, but

I CAN'T FIND JANE!!

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock,

Just to explain myself a bit further I offer the following.

I, too, rely heavily on the Bible as the Word of God that it is. As a devout Roman Catholic, I accept the authority of "The Church" (by that I mean The Roman Catholic Church) as presented by examination of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium.

I am well aware of the very blatant passages in the Bible which clearly state that if you don't have Jesus, you don't have a chance. This, in seeming contrast to what "The Church" teaches is, to me just another mystery of Salvation.

I can point to statements such as that Jesus came (and died) "for all mankind," that He came "for sinners" -- and could not 'sinners' be considered to be those who do not, can not or refuse to believe in Him?

When I weigh these two seeming inconsistencies together I then have to say to myself, "Which do I believe is the greater picture of God?" To that I answer, "the one that shows greater compassion."

I do not pretend to agree or espouse the childish conclusions of Iztok with regards to how "salvation-worthy" Hitler was when compared to Stalin. All I can say is that only God and those who have gone before us know for certain the eternal fates of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Judas Iscariot, etc. I have no idea what was in their hearts in their final moments.

Gamecock said...

Danbo, I understand and mostly agree and while I don't accept HRCC teachings as equivalent to Scripture, I do not consider same primary doctrine, and while the confession of the church is very important, nothing is more important than the sovereignty of God and his promise to save those that call on the name of Jesus.

We are on the same page.

Danbo59 said...

I forgot to add...

I do not believe that everyone is saved. But I do believe that it is much more likely that one needs to choose not to be saved. I believe it is possible that those who do not know Christ (even do not know God) yet live charitable, loving and virtuous lives for the sake of those virtues alone have the possibility of being saved. Why? because of the passage in the Bible from Mt 19:25-26 -- "When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and said, "Who then can be saved?" Jesus looked at them and said, "For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.""

Salvation is a gift from God. None of us are worthy of it. I don't presume to tell God (or others) to whom He can and cannot dispense it.

God bless!

Iztok said...

Danbo: "I can see, touch and talk to God and Jesus and so can everyone else (regardless of their belief)."

That is simply not true. Many of us, in fact majority of population of this earth would disagree with you. We don't see, touch or talk to God and Jesus. He is simply not there for majority of this planet. Can you bring him to the center of Charlotte and get him to perform some true miracles so we know it is true Jesus/God and we can all observe? Like see an amputee grow his limb back in front of our eyes?

When I turn around I see people, I don't see Jesus/God. They don't pretend to be one either.

Iztok said...

Danbo: "All I can say is that only God and those who have gone before us know for certain the eternal fates of Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Judas Iscariot, etc."

So let's assume both Hitler and you end up in heaven. What would you think about it? Honestly. Would you go all buddy buddy with him? Or you would judge him?

Gamecock said...

Danbo, that "choose not to be saved" is very interesting. I am going to think and pray about that with some friends and get back to you.

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock said, " I don't accept HRCC teachings as equivalent to Scripture,...We are on the same page."

It's a fine point, but since I consider the RC Church's teachings to be the result of a combination of Magisterium, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture I might agree that RCC teaching is not always equivalent to Sacred Scripture.

For me to say that the RCC's teaching is always equivalent to Sacred Scripture, it'd be like saying I believe that it is always true that

(A+B+C)/3 = A.

That's only going to happen rarely, when

B+C = 2A

I do not believe that RCC teaching contradicts Sacred Scripture, but the word equivalent is a very special word.

Sounds like we may be on the same "line" as opposed to just the same "page."

Peace.

Gamecock said...

Yes, now that you put this in math form,

same line!

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Can you bring him to the center of Charlotte and get him to perform some true miracles so we know it is true Jesus/God and we can all observe? Like see an amputee grow his limb back in front of our eyes?"

Hypocrite! If you will not believe even after someone rises from the dead (Jesus), there is no miacle that will convince you.

Amputee growing back a limb; gimme a break!

Blessed are those who have not seen, yet believe.

God/Christ lives in me, Iztok! Sorry to disappoint you.

Iztok said...

Requirement would also be that A, B, and C are of the same type.

If A, B, and C are all apples or parts of the apples then yes. However if A are apples, B are oranges, and C are pears, then no matter what (A+B+C)/3 will not equal A.

What should be written is:

(x*A+y*A+z*A)/3 = x*A

When 2*x=y+z.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "So let's assume both Hitler and you end up in heaven. What would you think about it? Honestly. Would you go all buddy buddy with him? Or you would judge him?"

You forget (or ignore) Scripture. The parable of the vineyard workers gives us the answer. Those who worked a full day received a full-day's wages. When those who worked only an hour received a full-day's wages as well, some of the workers who worked a full day complained. The vineyard owner replied, "Were you not treated fairly; were you not paid what was agreed upon? So why are you dismayed with my generousity towards others?"

As to the Hitler question, you also forget that in the next life, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, wailing or pain, (for) the old order has passed away." -- Rev 21:4. There will be no "judgment" in heaven, there will be no hate or need to hate. Heaven is not a continuation of this world, Iztok.

Danbo59 said...

Gamecock wrote, "Danbo, that "choose not to be saved" is very interesting."

Agreed. I give a wide latitude to that term. When I say, "choose not to be saved" I include those who -- even without the knowledge of God and Christ -- live a life opposite of that which I termed, "charitable, loving and virtuous." That's what I mean by the word "choose." We all have that choice, whether we believe in (or know of) God or not.

"To those who have had much given them, much is expected from them." I think God expects more from those who know Him and His Son than from those who have not had the opportunity.

God bless!

Anonymous said...

Is your name Iztok, or D.J.Iztok? Was that message addressed to you?

Who asked you to stick your nose into everyone else's business?

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

If your daughter isn't invisible, how about scanning in her birth certificate so we can all see it?

Of course, then again, even if you do, how will we know it wasn't forged or borrowed?

Or if you think that having someone else attest to her existence will be proof, how do we know they are on the up-and-up?

Oh, we could meet. But that doesn't mean the person you claim to be your daughter is your daughter, and anyway how will I know that she isn't just some holographic image?

And we could meet and I can reach out to touch my God for you, and feel his presence and power, and demonstrate to you the love He has shown me. But you'll say that he's invisible and therefore He can't be valid.

Appears we are in the same boat. It all comes down to trust and faith.

Danbo59 said...

I e-mailed Jane and got an auto-reply that she is out of the office until June 30. Hopefully, she's enjoying a well-deserved vacation and is having a blast!

Danbo59 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Iztok said...

Danbo, so if I read this correctly if both you and Hitler end up in heaven you will be all buddy buddy with him (as with everyone else).

Good to know.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Danbo, so if I read this correctly if both you and Hitler end up in heaven you will be all buddy buddy with him (as with everyone else)."

Correct.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok wrote, "Danbo, so if I read this correctly if both you and Hitler end up in heaven you will be all buddy buddy with him (as with everyone else)."

Same would apply if you end you there -- buddy-buddy.

Iztok said...

"Hypocrite! If you will not believe even after someone rises from the dead (Jesus), there is no miacle that will convince you."

Danbo, there is NO reliable evidence. Even gospels are written by people who didn't even exist at the time of the event. You are just finding excuses to justify your belief of something w/o evidence.

"God/Christ lives in me"

This is personal experience. It is not any evidence.

Danbo59 said...

Iztok points out, "Even gospels are written by people who didn't even exist at the time of the event."

I think John and Matthew would disagree with you, for starters.

Iztok said...

Anonymous: Here is what I can do:

1. Bring the court adoption papers.
2. Bring Photo ID (passport and NC ID)
3. Bring daughter.

You will be able to verify documents and talk and shake hand with my daughter at our meeting in Charlotte, NC.

I think this would be acceptable proof of her existence. All I am asking you bring the same for your Jesus/God and we'll all verify who can deliver and who can just talk the talk.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. So now Iztok's trying to qualify "evidence", as though personal experience isn't evidence? Oh, the ever-changing rules of the atheist game.

What was that book and movie? Three Faces of Eve? So Eve was a fake because she was going through some sort of personal multiple-personality experience? So there's no evidence she had an illness because others haven't experienced what she personally did? Try telling that to her shrink.

Just because you can't feel it doesn't mean I'm not experiencing a relationship with God. I've got your evidence - Right Here!!

Danbo59 said...

"Come along, dear," he said as he opened the car door.

"Where are we going, daddy?" she wondered aloud as he slammed the car door shut.

Her adoptive father opened his door and slid into the driver's seat. As he adjusted the mirror he responded, "Daddy's just taking you somewhere to prove to someone that you exist."

"You're a bit too tightly wrapped, aren't you daddy?" she quipped as she exited the car.

Anonymous said...

Iztok,

There's no point in it. I refuse to believe you have a daughter. Oh sure, you could bring with you all the documentation and personage you want. How do I know you and the Atheist Union just didn't cook up some human-looking robot? There's no way you're going to convince me. I will not be fooled.

Conversely, I could bring my God with me. I experience Him. I know He's there to guide me. I feel His presence. And I could bring a whole lot of others with me to verify his presence as well. I could bring the Word of God.

But alas, What would be the point? You're an atheist. You've already told us that our spiritual experience of God doesn't qualify him as real under your rules. So, if human faith and actions don't prove the existence of God, then how do you expect me to believe your "logic" supports your atheistic views?

Danbo59 said...

I wouldn't put it past Iztok to concoct a daughter (or stepdaughter) if it'd help him appear to prove a point that he, himself, doesn't believe.

«Oldest ‹Older   1 – 200 of 244   Newer› Newest»