I ❤ Lee Strobel.
I’m not kidding.
I’ve read a couple of his books, including one on my book shelf titled, “The Case for Christ”. I sincerely recommend it for anyone who’s struggling with their faith. Strobel is a dynamic Christian apologetic, a self described former atheist who searched out the “facts” of Jesus’ life/death/resurrection by interviewing various people. He came to the lawyerly decision that the case for Christ is so convincing that disbelief is completely asinine.
I am asinine. I was not convinced.
Why not? Because it didn’t work. Even if Jesus existed, he would hardly be impressive enough to devote my life to. I mean really. Remove the threat of hellfire, and there really isn’t much of a reason to carry on a one-sided effort to have a relationship with someone, real or invisible. I used to talk to Jesus all day as a believer. It becomes rather empty and uneventful after a while.
Call Me Zorro!
Once when I was 8, I found a broken piece of a fishing pole probably about a yard in length. I carried it everywhere. I loved the whipping sound it made as a swung it through the air. It was soooo cool.
One time, my brother Jon, his friends Brad and Tallguywithglasses (forgot his name) were confronted in the woods by some bully neighbor kids who wanted to destroy a fort we had built. Actually Tallguywithglasses built it from stolen lumber pilfered from construction sites around the ‘hood. The damn thing was four stories tall and we hid porn we found in it.
These douchebags were going to cut down the trees supporting our fort and we ran and got our weapons of choice to chase them off aborigine-style. I think Jon had a shovel. Brad had a hoe and Tallguywithglasses had an AK-47. Of course my weapon was the fishing rod.
And I was fully prepared to use it!
Why are you telling this story, Jeremy?!?
I’m Glad you asked. After the incident and those awful bullying pussies ran off in horror — most likely because of my fierce swinging about of my fishing rod and not the AK-47 — I left my brother and pals to hangout by myself.
In a Edgar Allen Poe bout of depression, I became aware that I was alone with my violent fishing rod of death, and Jesus would not approve. Christian guilt overwhelmed me. It was pathetic. I was going against god’s will. “Surely god will punish me now that I have threatened to use a weapon of violence against someone,” I thought.
In my head, Jesus was talking to me. His words were clear. He said (I’m not kidding), “If you throw the fishing rod in the lake, I will forgive you and I will give you the gift of Superman-like flight.”
I said, “Really, Jesus? You want me to throw my fishing rod of death in the lake, and you are sure to give me the gift of superman-like flight?”
“Yes, my son.” I heard him say it. Crystal clear. It wasn’t a bad cell phone connection. This was Jesus’ crisp perfect voice.
I walked to the lake gleefully prancing like a giddy nun teaching the Von Trapp Children a new song. It was a 10-minute walk dance from my house. With certain determination and a broken fishing rod in my hand, I stood at the edge of the water. I screamed, “I love you Jesus!” while whipping it toward the center of the lake. It made a doppler effect “swish swish swish” as it spun away and splashed down.
I turned toward land mustered all my strength, and I jumped with one fist high in the air.
Nothing but gravity.
DAMN YOU ISAAC NEWTON!!!
I landed back on the ground. I ran 10 feet, gathered speed and tried it again with momentum. I tried over and over to take off. Flight was mine! Surely I wasn’t mistaken that the voice in my head was Jesus’ very own. I mean he spoke to all the people in the bible. Surely, I was NOT mistaken.
An eight year old never cried as much as I did that day. I remember laying down in a patch of green moss, face down, weeping like a duped fool.
Cognitive Dissonance can only last so long
Let me be very clear, I’m not saying this story proves or disproves the existence of Jesus. It’s just a story to describe that this kind of thing happens to believers all the time. It either sits well or it doesn’t. It is one instance in a long line of instances that caused severe doubts in my childish head.
It shows the level at which children are convinced and are continuously let down that, at least for me, Jesus really doesn’t talk to me and that Jesus really isn’t magic.
To repeat, I did not free myself of belief because Jesus didn’t give me the power of superman-like flight.
What the hell or heaven does this have to do with Lee Strobel?
Glad you asked. I saw a Lee Strobel video on my new BFF’s Christian blog http://www.zdenny.com. He’s not really my new BFF, but he keeps pestering me with notes that say, “Be my BFF, check yes, no or maybe.” I keep checking “maybe”, but the notes keep coming.
This is the video:
If you’re a believer, this video works right? Right. I’m not going to tear it up or attack Strobel. There’s no reason. I just want to point out one minor point.
Strobel starts the video by repeating a legend that may or may not have happened for St. Ignatius. No one knows for sure. He says that St. Ignatius is supposedly the child that sat on Jesus’ knee in the famous story where he calls the children foreword. I know, I know, it’s a rhetoric device to engage the listener.
In minute 1:18, Strobel is talking about the martyrdom of Ignatius and he asks, “If you were Ignatius, wouldn’t you want to be sure that the bedrock of what you believed to be true, before you allowed yourself to be put to death…”
It’s a good point. Solid point. I give it to him. If I was sure of Jesus’ existence and that I was surely going to go to heaven when I died, I’d DEFINITELY believe in Jesus and DEFINITELY be put to death to accelerate the chances of living in heaven that is described the legendary stories outside of the bible (See Milton’s Paradise Lost and Dante’s Inferno for the ideas we have of heaven and hell, not the bible).
No doubt I would have died for Jesus. It’d have been my honor to get there faster.
During my days of faith, most of my belief in Jesus was predicated on the sheer fact that if I died today, I would go to heaven. That feeling too left once I saw how most the Christians I ever met aren’t willing to die for Jesus. In fact it’s kind of discouraged in middle class and higher Christians. “Let the poor Christians die for Jesus. Send them all to Iraq. But the rich ones … they get educations and good jobs and raise families.”
But I turn the question on Strobel, “Wouldn’t it better legitimize your position better if you abstain from admittedly furthering a legend right before telling people that the next part is NOT legend?”
We skeptics view all of Jesus’ life and stories as legendary so to add that to the equation, just makes more disbelief in the ideas you’re purporting as truth.
Disappointment with human’s gods.
I have a shelf of Christian apologetics that I can recommend if anyone is interested, please let me know. My dad took a couple books back with him one of the last times he was here. One was from Philip Yancey. I think it was “Disappointment with God.” I can’t remember now. I’ve slept since then and it’s been over a year. But regardless, they are all helpful resources if you’re looking for answers or pro-belief perspectives. Josh McDowell is another good one and so is CS Lewis. Then there are some modern, youthful perspectives from Rob Bell and Shane Claiborne. I can also give a slew of books that contributed to disbelief.
But when it was all said and done, none of the books I’ve read have done anything to contribute to belief or nonbelief. I mean, as a Christian, I was already atheist toward all other religions like Sam Harris points out in “The End of Faith”. Atheism toward Christianity is the next natural step. My non-belief came from internal conflict and doubt. It came from the simple measure of realistic thought.
Reading a whole helluva lot of books, websites and watching/listening to debates gave Legs to Doubt.
I can’t emphasize enough that I didn’t really walk away from faith. It’s hard to walk away from something I had no choice about. My parents chose to tell me about it. Once I considered the choice, the choice was easy. It was getting the cajones necessary to say that hell doesn’t exist, that magic doesn’t exist, and Christianity is just one more faith to be an atheist toward.
It is paramount that — if you’re an active, outspoken atheist, Christian, Muslim or Jew– you must read all the angles. Who knows, you could go all Anne Rice or Lee Strobel or Muhammed Ali or Madonna and start advocating faith in whatever squeezes your cheeks. It’s not like it’s impossible. You never know when the holy spirit will whisper the truth in your ear and you will change your ways. In the very least, it may offer you the ability to fly like superman.
I mean zdenny has read about evolution and knows it’s false, because he read Shermer and Dawkins and understood them, right? There’s no way that he would quote mine Intelligent Design sites and repeat it, right? Noooo, he’s too smart for that.
To you, my wannabe BFF, namaste.
27 thoughts on “Lee Strobel Only Says What He Knows to be True”
Maybe the voice you heard was another child playing a prank on you.
Have you ever read the book of John in one sitting with the assumption during that reading that the story might be accurate and true?
You read what I wrote. I was alone. Are you insinuating I am unable to distinguish between an aural voice and the voice in my head?
Does Jesus talk to you? What does he say?
I have read the bible cover to cover assuming it is true. Have you ever read the bible and assumed it’s false?
You obviously didn’t read what I wrote. I didn’t harm the idea of Christianity. I encouraged Christianity AND encouraged atheists to read Christian books. Most atheists I know have read the bible. Most Christians I know have never read a book that disputes the bible. Please read one of those books. I implore you.
You would do well to make a better effort at making yourself not appear ignorant. It’s not becoming.
That said, welcome to Le Café Witteveen. Please pull up a chair and stay awhile.
Your monster avatar is neat.
Ermm whats this “book of john”…. a directory full of pictures of toilets ???
Hey, great post! I enjoyed it immensely! All arguments for anything are based on probability so I am not surprised that there was no absolute proof that put your over the top. In fact, there is not an absolute proof for anything.
The fact is that one has to know the love of God and this love alone gives absolute certainty. We all live by faith. For instance, a scientist has to have faith that their mind and senses accurately reflect reality. In order to know the love of God, you also have to have faith in Jesus Christ.
The evidence for Christianity is overwhelming; however, based on your own testimony, the only thing that kept you in it as long as you did was the fear of hell. Well, it is not the fear of hell that won me over; rather, it was the love of God that filled my life.
Which leads me back to my original point, you still need the love of God in your life. It will transform you from the inside out. The wrath of God is nothing more than living eternity without the reality of love in your life.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post.
As for your comment re: my discussion of hellfire, I wouldn’t assume that you’ve read through my blog, but one of my catchphrases is: Even if I fingered the wounds of Christ, I would not have reason to believe in him or god. That’s to say, it’s not just hellfire that was the breaking point, but it was a large part of the process.
I understand that you think there is overwhelming evidence based on eyewitness accounts and Yosef Ben Matityahu (Flavius Josephus) and all that is the typical go-to material for Christian witness.
I have read these things, too. I’ve read them quite diligently. All you have is my word that I’ve done so and I understand it has little clout with a stranger.
You’re right. There is no definitive evidence for the argument for or against god. I don’t think any atheist disagrees with that.
There really is no need for us to debate god, as there is nothing you can say nor do to change my mind that disbelief is better than non-belief.
Like I said, even if god is real, I haven’t the slightest reason to think he’s as great as you think he is. It’s like a TV show or a song. You may think it’s the best song in the world, but I’ll still go on thinking I don’t like it.
That is overly simplified metaphor. I realize.
Your definition of love clashes with mine, because for all the love you try to explain into Yeshua and god, I find none.
I don’t pity you or doubt that the love you feel from god is real. I’m sure you’re a happy person and well adjusted to your station in life. My entire family are believers. And we have had this discussion in full and in great excess.
And to spoil the well, I’m a light hearted person, rich with great friends and family. I love to joke, to occasionally cry and to be human. I’m well adjusted and often my plan of attack is simply to state the details as I see them.
The wrath of god for eternity talk and evidence for Jesus that you say you have is not going to work for me, because even if you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that god existed and you brought him to my house to let me finger his wounds, I would still require a lot of explanation.
I think this is what I supposedly attacked you for. Because the Christian argument is that god is love and absence of that love equals hell. From the atheist perspective, using it as a discussion device only prevents discussion, it does not encourage it. It’s a christian trump card and it’s used to stymie conversation. When you follow it with the words “god bless”, it’s as if you’re trying to paint pretty colors over what we see as hateful. If you view that as “attacking” you, so be it.
We don’t have an equivalent atheist trump card. That’s why you’ve had so many people cuss you out, I would imagine. Because you frustrate the bejesus out of people by repeating it.
So mosey on and we’ll agree to disagree. There’s no reason to trifle over details or belabor the conversation. You can ask me all day why this or that. You could bring me a book with a great explanation, it simply won’t work.
I don’t believe that Jesus is Love or that God exists. I do not want God’s love in my life, because I do not want a dysfunctional, abusive relationship with a woman, why would I want an abusive relationship with a being I can’t see?
You do however. And that’s fine. You are in god’s graces, because you believe. I find it odd that you aren’t more or less sticking to the non-hell talk if god truly is as great as you think he is.
We will not agree.
Love is love without condition or it ceases to be love.
Thanks for stopping by. Please stay as long as you like. I’ll likely never respond in this length to you again.
re: “I am unable to distinguish between an aural voice and the voice in my head? ”
The reason I asked the question is because you were remembering the experience as a eight year old boy who somehow believed that God was talking to him.
re: ” Does Jesus talk to you? What does he say? ”
Mt 18:2 He called a little child and had him stand among them.
Mt 18:3 And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Mt 18:4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Jn 19:35 The man who saw it (Apostle John) has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.
Jn 20:29 Then Jesus told him (Thomas), “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
re: “Have you ever read the bible and assumed it’s false? ”
No. That is the opposite of faith.
re: “Please read one of those books. I implore you.”
I’ve already found God or rather He has found me. But I’m still trying to master those sixty-six books that He made available. For the Christian the Spirit combined with the understanding of God’s Word brings joy and peace. Jesus promised “living water” and that is what I have experienced in my life.
Jn 7:37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.
Jn 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.”
Jn 7:39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified
You see one clear message is much simpler and more demanding than six billion personal messages from an unverified source. In your case the little voice in your head must have come either from the devil or your own fanciful imagination.
The God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob will still hold the whole world accountable to his Word and the words of His one and only Son Jesus Christ.
And you too, youngearth, have achieved incredibly hight points for making atheism even more attractive than it was before you posted.
I thank you gratefully for doing this.
You stated, “There is no definitive evidence for the argument for or against god. I don’t think any atheist disagrees with that.”
Actually, I stated, that everything we know is based on faith because all knowledge is based on faith. You have to have faith that your senses are informing you about reality in science. It is the same faith in Christ that introduces you to the love of God.
Most of the atheists are located in the NE of the country and guess which part of the country gives the least to charity. It is the NE of the US.
Atheism seeks to live within the bubble of selfishness; however, a Christian who knows the love of God sacrifices self interest because of the reality of love that they know and realize.
This is why Christians have become missionaries all over the world starting hospitals, feeding the poor, and putting clothes on the backs of the less fortunate.
In all my experience of serving, I have never met an atheist in a homeless shelter, in a nursing home visiting stranger who need an ear or visiting the sick. The only people that do this are those who know the love of God.
I am not saying there might be a few atheists who try to do this; however, it is an irrational act and really a sign of weakness meaning the person is dealing with some guilt or something which obviously is irrrational sense even guilt implies an absolute standard.
My prayers are with you…
Your response is awesome.
Thank you for validating my views!
I am a stronger atheist because of you and your words.
Please don’t tell anyone about me.
Ditto…the exchange has made me an even stronger Christian.
A friend of mine named Jason just posted on his site that altruism is selfishness (a logical contradiction).
He then proceeded to argue that altruism is hard-wired. If it was, then why are most people so selfish? The only people I see out working on a volunteer basis with those who need help in our world are people that have been influenced by Christianity is some way.
In addition, doesn’t hard-wired mean design. These two words are equivalent!
The reality is that Christianity is based on empirically confirmed evidence. You stated that even if you saw Jesus hands yourself, you would not believe because He is not worth it.
I would encourage you to start visiting nursing homes and the prisons like I have. Atheism offers nothing to humanity and you will slowly learn this.
The fact is that if you got in an accident tomorrow and were paralyzed from the neck down, you most likely would have a change of heart. You would notice that the only people coming to see you are those people of faith. I suspect none of your atheists buddies would show up past the first week. Why? Because your not worth their time. You add nothing to their bubble of experience at that point.
Wow, I wasn’t sure you could do it, but you have successfully done more to validate my views in this response than your last response.
I’d stick around and chat, but I’m off to volunteer.
Question: why do the religiously-afflicted (prime examples above) think that quoting bible verses is going to win their arguement ?
We atheists know and have evidence that the book is a collection of bronze age fairy tales that’s been mistranslated, misinterpreted, edited, amended and falsified to meet the early catholic churches philosophy ergo you quoting something we know to be a load of bull is not going to help you win a debate/arguement/discussion as your statements backed up by bible verses are just bullshit covered over with bullshit.
I thank you 🙂
May Freys Huge Member bless you both
P said, “We atheists know and have evidence that the book is a collection of bronze age fairy tales that’s been mistranslated, misinterpreted, edited, amended and falsified to meet the early catholic churches”
Well prove it then… Over 75% of NT scholars believe that the disciples saw a resurrected Christ. Perhaps you know more than the experts so I would love to hear it.
In regards to volunteering, I have never met an atheist in any ministry outlet I have been involved in. They may exist; however, it is not really a part of their worldview.
For example, Cafe grew up in a Christian family so he may see the value of helping people; however, helping others only provides a good feeling to you in an atheistic worldview. There are lots of others ways to get good feelings.
Christians on the other hand don’t relie on the good feeling; rather, they are compelled to reach and out love the world even when it is very hard. I have friends in some of the darkest places in the world helping people being motivated by the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.
I’m a born-again Christian and I’d like to comment. To preface, I’d first disqualify your suggestion that the Lee Strobel video ‘works’ for me. I’m glad that Ignatius was close enough in relationship with God to keep his faith, like those whose testimonies are of being tortured and or murdered for Christ. But the Bible also has a record of persecution against God’s children, beginning not in Egypt, but right outside the Garden of Eden, when Cain slew Able. So no, it’s no big reason for me.
The big reason for me to believe in God is that I know he exists. When I came to God, I did so on three premises. 1.) If Christ really did redeem me (or purchase me) when he died on that cross, then he deserved to have me. 2.) If Christ really was going to judge me when I died, I would be up the creek without a paddle if I didn’t get right with Him, and 3.) If God Almighty wanted to be my friend, I’d be a fool not to accept. Hanging like a caboose on the end of those three premises was the belief that if God was real, he’d reveal Himself to me. I figured it was worth a full-fledged effort. I also decided that if God wasn’t real, I’d go back to what I was doing. Which was practicing sorcery.
You might wonder what steps led me into the arcane arena of sorcery. Believe it or not, I had a Christian up-bringing. I was brought to Presbyterian, Protestant and Lutheran churches and later as a teenager going to her Catholic Church with my girl friend we uh, fornicated. (Some would say, “You call that a Christian up-bringing?”) And I’d have to agree with them. Mine was not at all the way to raise a child in the admonition and teaching of the Lord. But because my parents weren’t living for God, their backslidden life style had a multiplying effect on my life. The result of which is that I lived in sin to the end that I calloused my heart and seared my conscious.
Enter the party scene. Boy did I learn how to get hammered! Drugs were cool! Back then, I could boast about how F_cked-up I could get. But a freaked out paranoia set in and a dissonance with reality occurred. (Probably, I just did too many drugs, LOL.) When I came through that storm, I had found my cool. I could roll a joint while driving with a cop tailing me. I could talk my way out of a confrontation with police at 3AM in the morning higher than a kite on L.S.D. But I wasn’t satisfied. Gradually I began to think I was missing something. The bedrock of that sense motivated me to want to make sure some part of “me” continued on after my body expired. So I started searching. I delved into psychology, eastern religions, “positive thinking” and the martial arts, but nothing really hit the mark. Then one night when I was sitting around smoking pot with one of my roommates girl friend, she told me I was a sorcerer. Exhaling pot smoke I said, “the Bible says all sorcerers are going to the lake of fire.” She shook her head and reaffirmed her convictions. Then she recommended I read Carlos Castaneda’s books on the Toltec Path of Knowledge. (They weren’t called that when they first came out but by book 5, that’s what they self explain.) Eventually I read the books. Coincidentally, immediately after reading the forth book in his series that began with “The Teachings of Don Juan, A Yaqui way of knowledge,” the fifth book came out. Which sealed the deal for me. When I finished that book I thought, ‘If this is true, it’s the best thing that could ever happen!’ Inexplicitly I prayed one cautionary prayer first: “Lord, please don’t forsake me, but I’ve got to find out if this is true or not.” And with that, I dove in head first.
Truthfully, more than half of the events Carlos experienced and wrote about in those books I also experienced. The most potent of which was the totally illegal compressing of my luminosity which only happen at death. Death? I can imagine you thought—but that’s right—the teachers and benefactors on that path taught that their apprentices had to find a ‘helper’ on the other side who would ‘kill them.’ But it was understood the apprentices would survive. They had to cross the entirety of the sorcerer’s world to find a helper, because those helpers where beyond even that world. It wasn’t the fleshly body which was killed, but something quite different.
I’d rather not get very deep into all that right now, except for one thing. They taught that as beings, all humans are luminous beings. What’s a luminous being? It is a creature of light. Lightning bright, fantastically dazzling beyond your imagination or comprehension, and totally off the scale in terms of perceptual ability. Think, a trillion times more aware than you or I are right now. And I perceived myself as a luminous being and perceived with that luminosity. And one thing was put in my heart while I trespassed in that place where my body was light that perceived. It was, “Pick one thing to remember to bring back with you to the normal world,” so I did what was suggested to me, and I thought of the normal work-a-day world, and compared it to that place where my body was light that perceived. And compared to that place, in this place, we are all stone-cold-asleep. Which brings me to the point I want to make.
The most bullet-proof logical reason for God to send an eternal soul into eternal perdition is best explained from my understanding as an ex-sorcerer. It is because a soul performs an unforgivable transgression against the Lord. But what could you possibly do against a Holy God so filled with Love that He’d send His only Son to take the rap and offer Himself in their place? The answer is, walk hand in hand with the destroyer until death. For sin is the Devil’s elixir, and the world, his storefront. And the unforgivable sin of walking hand in hand with the destroyer is a fait accompli once that is sealed. That’s the deal between God and the Devil.
So. The luminous being. Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 13:43: “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Angels whose countenance radiated like lightning the Bible has in multiple, and men also experienced a dormant part of themselves awakening to perceive things beyond the capability of mere flesh. That is the luminous body which will come, if you let God save it! But how does He save it? With Himself. Which is why He must Live in your heart. Of all the things available to us in this life, only Christ has the power of Eternal Life.
Let me ask you this: What does the Bible really mean when it says the natural mind understands not the things of the Spirit? Why does it say as long as we use our natural senses, there is a veil before our eyes, but when we turn to the Lord, there is Liberty? Why does it say we must have His Spirit in us to be saved, but if we do, we have eternal life?
The answer is, that is the condition under which He may then give His life to you, and He has Life in Infinite supply. This demonstrates the Love and Mercy of Almighty God—that He made a way open to us so we wouldn’t have to perish. And since the world lays in the lap of the wicked one, everything in the world will perish. Everything will be brought through the fire—some to everlasting perfection, others to only be destroyed. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? Whosoever will defile the temple of God, God will destroy. If the temple then, which is incomprehensibly valuable, seeing God paid the Ultimate Price to save it, will be destroyed, how much more will the world, which holds the blood of all the atrocities the Devil has inspired people to commit against other people, be destroyed? I will tell you—it will burn also. Which is simply stated when Jesus said, all things will be salted with fire. It is the way of the universe. But we don’t have to worry about the world . . . or should I say, New World Order?
Can you not see the parallel between the Biblical prophesies of the mark of the beast, the bio-implants which have already been developed and a hell-bent banking cartel which wants nothing less than the total control of the whole world? Even you can remember, the love of money is the root of all evil. And these ultra-rich multi-generational bankers have been making money off of everything from wars to famines to everything else in between. But the point is, you say you have studied the Bible, but I think you have failed to see what it is talking about.
The bullet-proof logic available to me due to my past is that to destroy a creature of incalculable value merits the eternal wrath of God. It is a creature that I have experienced. And it is utterly unearthly. It is why God loves us so much—because that’s potentially what we may become, if we let Him finish the work He began, which He began by breathing the breath of life into all of us. All that is needed now is for you to take the Word of Life into your heart, which is Jesus Christ, crucified, risen and glorified, so that He may give His Life to you—and He has Life in Infinite supply—which is Life Eternal. Necessarily, you must become One with God to have Eternal Life. This is the prerequisite, unconditional terms and they are this way because it is the only way God can do His work in you. Any other way is you trying to do it your way, and that, my friend, is always inspired by the Devil. Only one thing you have to remember about the Devil: he always puts himself first.
And with great Hope and expectation that you will find the Hidden Treasure of the universe which is the Lord Jesus Christ who also is the Great I Am, the Resurrection and the Life,
Kevin Hofsas, Author
7 Visitations from God,
12 Revelations from Heaven.
I have volunteered in the past,…but not in any church run organisation (horrible atmosphere)… I’ve helped homeless people on the streets on manchester and drop in centre’s run by secular organisations…. so your statement is false.
OK show me evidential proof (other than that of the bible) of jebus’s existence…. you can’t there isn’t any. NONE of the roman records of the time mention him in later life…and the supposed census when he was born…well there wasn’t one.
and please stop preaching..it makes me vomit
Oh dear why do Born Again blog posts always make my head explode…. I can only deduce that someone needs seriously psychiatric help for seeing things that aren’t there and hearing weird voices..
The only cure for delusional religiousitis is the maximum dose of atheistamine.
Superb quote I heard today and very fitting on here !!!
Atheistamine. Very funny.
petursey wrote: “Oh dear why do Born Again blog posts always make my head explode…. I can only deduce that someone needs seriously psychiatric help for seeing things that aren’t there and hearing weird voices..”
Curiously I originally responded to cafewitteveen’s childhold voice experience that he described for us …
petursey wrote: “Question: why do the religiously-afflicted (prime examples above) think that quoting bible verses is going to win their argument ?”
You casually dismiss first century eye witness Apostolic gospel accounts about Jesus (Matthew, Mark, John) and the biographical account by Dr. Luke. Based upon what … the words of critics who wrote something centuries later but who were never there? These four gospels accounts are all first century testimony of those who saw and heard Jesus speak. It is my opinion that Gospel of Jesus combined with the Holy Spirit produces a changed heart to those whom God in heaven calls. That is why I asked Witteveen whether he had read the gospel of John in one sitting because it is in the quietness of ones heart during such times that one might encounter and be transformed by the Spirit of the living God. The Truth, the Word of God, has been translated into different languages from the original Greek and Hebrew text but it has not been edited as you suppose. The four gospels are all complimentary viewpoints of the same event.
youngearth wins. He got you, man. I hate to to be the bearer of bad news. See, he provided evidence. The four gospels are accurate representations of the same event.
There are no contradictions within them. There were no alterations to the original translations (except Mark 16: 9-20 which weren’t included in the earliest known manuscripts of translation — Don’t tell youngearth. This would go against his faith (which he can see written plain as day at the bible gateway in all the translations: http://bit.ly/3NUriE ).
I took bible classes at the conservative Christian Montreat College in North Carolina (montreat.edu) that taught that the gospels contradicted each other.
Youngearth, if you’ve never taken a synaptic bible class, sign yourself up. It will help you not look a certain way when trying to get leverage in public.
Here’s the primary book you’d buy for the class:
Take a loot at how accurate your precious accounts are. You’ll find you’re painfully mistaken. But these things require exploring doubt, but not really doubting. Just exploring it.
Cheers, youngearth, you’re going to do great.
That’s an expensive book. It seems like you were doing well at one time in a Christ centered institution of higher education. Did that book destroy your faith?
re: “I used to talk to Jesus all day as a believer. It becomes rather empty and uneventful after a while.”
Did you ever in your life give your faith testimony before believers, get water immersion baptism, regularly celebrate communion, have fellowship with other believers, and sing to the Lord in worship?
Did you ever in your life experience the powerful and convicting presence of the Holy Spirit during a worhsip service?
I grew up in the Presbyterian church but got water baptized in obedience to scripture at about 22 years old. As a very shy person I remember giving my testimony in front of about 500 believers but that was 25 years ago. Water baptism is one anchor to my faith somewhat like the wedding band around my finger. If ever I had thoughts of flirting with adultery I would just look at my wedding band or feel it and remember the vow I took. I’ve literally gone years without feeling a single touch from the Holy Spirit and at other times frequently overwhelmed in the presence of God. The Christian life involves taking steps of faith in dependence on God the Father. Jesus did it throughout his ministry and requires his followers to do it as well.
It is hard for me to comprehend that you just walked away from Jesus during a drought period of your life and one day decided to became His enemy unless perhaps you never knew Him to begin with.
Faithfulness to the Lord is the mark of every Christian. Nearly every first century Apostle was martyred because they held steadfast in the conviction that what they heard and saw in Jesus was true until the end of their life.
I went to 12 years of relatively strict Wesleyan parochial education at a top North Carolina elementary through high school (google Wesleyan Christian Academy) and received a four year Bachelor of Arts degree at Montreat College (home to Billy Graham). I publicly gave many testimonies, brought several to the lord, and fanatically attempted to retain faith through doubt the entire time. I was a leader at both high school and college as a musician and speaker. As a senior in high school, I was one of the most outspoken and entertaining Christian leaders around (toot horn). I led small groups and accountability groups with great zeal.
My faith was not destroyed. My faith was strong, my doubts were always stronger. I understand (present tense) full well why faith is attractive, good and inviting. I was always in touch with lingering doubts from an early age, and had I had the strength then as now, I would have grew out of faith at 5, the same year I grew out of belief in Santa. Certainly by 11 or 12. I stuck by it, b/c it was expected by my culture.
I was good at being a Christian and delivering testimonies. I remember receiving notes and thankful words saying never had people cried/laughed/reveled as much as when I stood in church.
When I realized that faith was cultural and environmental, I put it aside, because it’s not realistic to think that I would be a “christian” if it weren’t for the parents and environment I was raised within.
You can say, then I was never a true christian. You may have a point, b/c this is a common response among indolent Christians who don’t want to think this kind of thing is possible.
I thought I was a pretty outstanding and upstanding Christian. My parents did everything right. Sent me to Christian schools, they had me in church on Sundays and throughout the week and bible studies at home, at the dinner table. When my family was financially down and out, my tuition was paid for by anonymous donations, and these things were “miraculous and amazing.” Christianity is what defines my youth.
I can chapter and verse most of my friends under the table (yay me). I can spout all 66 books from Genesis to Revelations in less than 60 seconds (impressive right? yawn). At get togethers, I’m often asked to clarify a religious dispute even now (age 34).
I never did the public baptism, b/c I grew out before it was available, but I’m quite sure it wouldn’t have changed my mind.
There’s *a lot* I’m leaving out. One was that my mom wouldn’t let us take communion until we expressed a sincere cognitive knowledge of why it was important and what it meant. One large part of the process was that I was aiming to go to seminary after college. The books I read in preparation did much to help me grow from faith.
Fact is, I LOVED Christianity with as much as I could possibly give to it. Through education and self awareness, Christianity is somewhat easy to grow out of, not destroy.
What does this mean to you?
You asked. I want to be clear.
For a long time, my goal was to reconcile all that I had learned about Christianity with all that I learned about non-Christianity. This was out of fear of disappointing my family.
There came a time when I needed to be myself whether my family and friends accepted me or not. I took a gamble. I won. My family and friends have been the most supportive. So far, the most friction I’ve received has been from strangers with a need to read random atheists’ blogs and add their $0.02 without taking the time to learn the whole story.
It is not my goal to convert you or anyone. It’s not my goal to be your enemy.
It’s my goal to talk about non-belief as a person who believed with immense and dedicated fervor. It’s my goal to explore belief from this side of the coin.
I can’t help but think you haven’t read enough of my blog yet to understand that I’m not your enemy. I may say some pathetic and antagonistic things about Christianity, but I’ve also made a great effort to bridge the gap.
I mean, this post alone, I’m insisting that atheists read Christian apologetics. You’re welcome! For goodness sakes.
You came here to read my “personal” thoughts. Criticizing me for that which you are ignorant of because you haven’t done the research, is what you’re opposed to. I think deep down, you’re fascinated by atheism, because of a deep-seated jealousy.
I thank you for the thoughtful and honest response. Actually you added a tagline for Christianity which drew me into your blog. I also started reading the Bible when I was 11. This impacted the decisions that I made from an early age; no alcohol, pot, dirty language, sex etc. Small acts of obedience to the gospel led to a growing faith and a stronger faith over the years I would say.
So then you thoroughly understand the Bible that if any one loves this world the love of the Father is not in Him; you also understand that Saul lost his kingship because of his pride and it was given over to David instead; that Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of soup and could not gain it back even though he sought it later again with many tears.
But you have this in your favor that you did not do immersion baptism and apparently did not partake communion as a reminder of the blood and body of Christ shed on behalf of those Christ followers who partake. Your mom did well.
The Apostle Paul said it’s a spiritual war and apparently you were lacking the full armor of God (Ep 5) and the devil attacked you and claimed you as his own. An apostate is one who has tasted of the heavenly realm but falls away and then tramples underfoot the blood of Christ for which there is no possibility of redemption. I hope that you are not such a man.
Jesus is the author and perfecter of every Christian’s faith. May the peace and love of the Father bring you back to Himself for there is no middle ground.
Oh yawn. Apparently I wrote too much and confused you.
Yes, I took communion from the age of 11 or 12 through my mid 20s. It’s that my mom made sure not to let me take it until I understood it.
Have you not read anything I wrote? I was an active Christian from the earliest age to around 22. You should learn to read.
I’m quite sure I attempted to don that metaphorical “armor” too from Ephesians.
As for baptism, I only got a baby christening.
For a 47 year old, you have an exceptionally limited perception of the world.
This will certainly be the last time I respond to you in any detail. You’ve proven incapable of reading comprehension.
By the way, the earth is over 4.5 billion years old. The young-earth “theory” is completely garbage. Go READ a book.