Brian: The christians actually stole everything from prechristian sources....renamed them...from stories in the bible to jesus's story itself....horus was born on dec 25, baptized at 30 by anup the baptizer, who was beheaded, had 12 disciples, healed the sick and blind, was crucified buried for 3 days and resurrected....not to mention the 50 or so others that share identical stories....history is fun!!!
Me: Brian, if you're talking about gods like Osiris, a corn god, that's very different from Jesus Christ--an attested historical figure for whom we can pinpoint a date and a location in history. The story of Osiris is very plainly about the death and resurrection of crops. The festival of Osiris was celebrated on November 13th--the same day the grain planted in the ground. If you read the Osiris story along with any of the other “corn god” stories, you see the explicit parallels between the events and characters of the story and the events surrounding the sowing and harvest. In the “corn god” myths, they're not trying to hide the fact that it is about vegetative life alone, not claiming death as a sacrifice for mankind or resurrection as a symbol of salvation.
With Horus, I’d like to know where you got your information. As far as I can tell, any of the claims of him being a carbon copy of Jesus can be discounted for lack of authentic documentation. The theory originated with Gerald Massey, an English poet who lived in the 1800’s. He wrote about similarities between Horus and Jesus, using his primary source as the Egyptian “Book of the Dead,” and who knows who wrote that. It certainly isn’t as accredited of a source as the Bible. You should note that many of the claims Massey made cannot be corroborated with the actual Horus stories from the primary source, but even if they were true, this book came out only a few hundred years ago. Who’s copying who?
There is a reason Christianity has lasted for over 2,000 years, while myths and stories have faded away. Nobody believes Horus or Osiris or Mithras was the son of God anymore, if they ever actually did.
As a Christian I am often accused of being close minded or blindly believing by faith what would negate science, and this could not be farther from the truth. I just have found factual evidence and philosophical standing to back up my beliefs, and I would urge you to do the same--with an open heart and mind. There is an element of faith we have to have either way.
Brian: Ugh...I tried to respond to this on my cell and somone called and deleted everything...ill answer you in detail tomorrow. I promise :-) before I go ill leave you with a quote....
"The belief in the Bible as the sole source of faith is unhistorical, illogical, fatal to the virtue of faith, and destructive of unity." -The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume XIII, "Protestantism", Section III A -Sola Scriptura ("Bible Alone"), Nihil Obstat, February 1, 1912 by Remy Lafort, D.D., Censor, Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York. (online source: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12495a.htm ) the bible is bullshit and. The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it(a very petty human emotion and hardly something a perfect being would feel); a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody-not even the mighty Democritus who concluded that all matter was made from atoms-had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs).
Me: Wait, what? I thought we were talking about Jesus. :-) I think you have to acknowledge that you did not respond at all to what I said previously, but changed the subject entirely.
To respond to what you’ve said, the Bible is an authenticated and accredited resource that withstands the test of time for over 2000 years. It has been quoted, scrutinized, and used for citation by scholars, writers, and researchers alike. It has also been supported with archaeological findings and hard proof, and if you are interested in researching any of that, I have several links for you to check out: www.facingthechallenge.org/arch2.php, www.apologetics.org/ThehistoricityoftheNewTestament/tabid/68/Default.aspx
All that being said, though, the Bible is not my sole basis for faith in Christ. My faith also comes with logical, philosophical reasoning, and the hard evidence I noted in the earlier links. Perhaps more convincing, though, is this: My personal life experience with Christianity—the dramatic changes in my life and the lives of others—cannot be refuted by anyone. I have seen amazing, awe-striking, breath taking things come from faith in Christ. No one says “Atheism saved my life” or “Atheism freed me from hate, hurt, addiction,” etc, but people do say that about Jesus.
I find it ironic that you call the Bible “bullshit,” but use it to talk about your view of God. (You have no other citation to support the way you describe Him.) In terms of all the adjectives you use, I would like to point out that there are many instances in the Old Testament in which God showed His favor, blessing, and grace. In terms of the times when He showed His wrath, I ask you this: Would a parent be a good one if he didn’t punish his children for doing wrong? Doesn’t just anger and discipline come out of love rather than malevolence?
With what you said about religion being an ancient attempt to meet our human demand for knowledge, comfort, and reassurance, I agree. But it makes you wonder, why would we be wired so deeply to want something more? Why would mankind be seeking something to explain, guide, and comfort, for centuries, if there wasn’t anything there?
Much respect. If you want to continue this conversation anytime, please do. You can also message me personally if that floats your boat.
Brian: youre right....got off track. Jesus...im contending that the jesus story is unoriginal and stolen...Horus was one example....so lets step back from horus...lets look at the others...Now the birth of Jesus Christ was in this wise. When his mother, Mary, was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." Yes, and the Greek demigod Perseus was born when the god Jupiter visited the virgin Danaë as a shower of gold and got her with child. The god Buddha was born through an opening in his mother's flank. Catlicus the serpent-skirted caught a little ball of feathers from the sky and hid it in her bosom, and the Aztec god Huitzilopochtli was thus conceived. The virgin Nana took a pomegranate from the tree watered by the blood of the slain Agdestris, and laid it in her bosom, and gave birth to the god Attis. The virgin daughter of a Mongol king awoke one night and found herself bathed in a great light, which caused her to give birth to Genghis Khan. Krishna was born of the virgin Devaka. Horus was born of the virgin Isis. Mercury was born of the virgin Maia. Romulus was born of the virgin Rhea Sylvia. For some reason, many religions force themselves to think of the birth canal as a one-way street, and even the Koran treats the Virgin Mary with reverence.... (i can give more examples if you need them)
not to mention that the multiple authors — none of whom published anything until many years after the Crucifixion — cannot agree on anything of importance. Matthew and Luke cannot concur on the Virgin Birth or the genealogy of Jesus. They flatly contradict each other on the "Flight into Egypt," Matthew saying that Joseph was "warned in a dream" to make an immediate escape and Luke saying that all three stayed in Bethlehem until Mary's "purification according to the laws of Moses," which would make it forty days, and then went back to Nazareth via Jerusalem. (Incidentally, if the dash to Egypt to conceal a child from Herod's infanticide campaign has any truth to it, then Hollywood and many, many Christian inconographers have been deceiving us. It would have been very difficult to take a blond, blue-eyed baby to the Nile delta without attracting rather than avoiding attention.)
The Gospel according to Luke states that the miraculous birth occurred in a year when the Emperor Caesar Augustus ordered a census for the purposes of taxation, and that this happened at a time when Herod reigned in Judaea and Quirinius was governer of Syria. That is the closest to a triangulation of historical dating that any writer even attempts. But Herod died four years "BC" and during his rulership the governor of Syria was not Quirinius. There is no mention of any Augustan census by any Roman historian, but the Jewish chronicler Josephus mentions one that did occur — without the onerous requirement for people to return to their places of birth, and six years after the birth of Jesus is supposed to have taken place...
[Religious belief] is a totalitarian belief. It is the wish to be a slave. It is the desire that there be an unalterable, unchallengeable, tyrannical authority who can convict you of thought crime while you are asleep, who can subject you - who must, indeed, subject you - to total surveillance around the clock every waking and sleeping minute of your life - I say, of your life - before you're born and, even worse and where the real fun begins, after you're dead. A celestial North Korea. Who wants this to be true? Who but a slave desires such a ghastly fate? north korea has a dead man as its president, Kim Jong-Il is only head of the party and head of the army. He's not head of the state. That office belongs to his deceased father, Kim Il-Sung. It's a necrocracy, a thanatocracy. It's one short of a trinity I might add. The son is the reincarnation of the father. It is the most revolting and utter and absolute and heartless tyranny the human species has ever evolved. But at least you can fucking die and leave North Korea!
Violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism and tribalism and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children: organized religion ought to have a great deal on its conscience.
how about this one? The museums of medieval Europe, from Holland to Tuscany, are crammed with instruments and devices upon which the holy men labored devoutly, in order to see how long they could keep someone alive while being roasted. It is not needful to go into further details, but there were also religious books of instruction in this art, and guides for the detection of heresy by pain. how loving religion is no?
Many religions now come before us with ingratiating smirks and outspread hands, like an unctuous merchant in a bazaar. They offer consolation and solidarity and uplift, competing as they do in a marketplace. But we have a right to remember how barbarically they behaved when they were strong and were making an offer that people could not refuse. The Bible may, indeed does, contain a warrant for trafficking in humans, for ethnic cleansing, for slavery, for bride-price, and for indiscriminate massacre, but we are not bound by any of it because it was put together by crude, uncultured human mammals.
I have met some highly intelligent believers, but history has no record to say that [s]he knew or understood the mind of god. Yet this is precisely the qualification which the godly must claim--so modestly and so humbly--to possess. It is time to withdraw our "respect" from such fantastic claims, all of them aimed at the exertion of power over other humans in the real and material world.....
as for Atheism. Our belief is not a belief. Our principles are not a faith. We do not rely soley upon science and reason, because these are necessary rather than sufficient factors, but we distrust anything that contradicts science or outrages reason. We may differ on many things, but what we respect is free inquiry, openmindedness, and the pursuit of ideas for their own sake. The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more....
A modern believer can say and even believe that his faith is quite compatible with science and medicine, but the awkward fact will always be that both things have a tendency to break religion's monopoly, and have often been fiercely resisted for that reason. What happens to the faith healer and the shaman when any poor citizen can see the full effect of drugs and surgeries, administered without ceremonies or mystifications? Roughly the same thing as happens to the rainmaker when the climatologist turns up, or to the diviner from the heavens when schoolteachers get hold of elementary telescopes.....
Scientific critics of religion such as Daniel Dennett have been generous enough to point out that apparently useless healing rituals may even have helped people get better, in that we know how important morale can be in aiding the body to fight injury and infection.
People are frightened of death, and the central lie of all religion is that there’s a cure for this and an exception we’ve made in your own case: an eternal life offered if you make the right propitiations and the right abjections. Well, I’m sorry. I think that it's the height of immorality to lie to people like that. That’s why [religion] survives.
Me: Ok, about the virgin births, I don’t think you can lump mythological characters and actual historical figures into the same category. There is a difference—mythological characters have no specified date/location in history and no documentary proof that they ever even really existed. Many of the ones you mentioned are obviously mythical legend, not even being fully human. For the historical figures that do have a specific date and location in history, I question whether or not miraculous circumstances regarding their births could be validated.
Jesus’ virgin birth could be questioned in the same way, but here’s what gives the gospel story credibility: 4 separate authors give their own or chronicle other eye witness accounts of the same events. True, some give details that others neglect, but absence of certain details within the accounts is not contradiction, it simply means one author found something of more significance than the other. (Is this what you mean when you say Matthew and Luke could not concur on the genealogy of Jesus? It could be that one mentions more descendants in the bloodline than the other. Also, I don’t know how you got that they did not agree on the virgin birth--this just isn’t true.) Plus, there might be small discrepancies in their testimonies, but that is to be expected. On trial, witnesses of the same event will naturally have differences in recounting it due to personal circumstances/viewpoint. I believe small differences actually lend more validity to the gospel story because if they were all exactly the same it would be cause for suspicion.
Me: There are many large religions and even some Christian cults which stand upon the claims of one single individual who says he received special revelations or visions allegedly from God. However, the accounts of Buddha, Muhammad, or Joseph Campbell (to name a few) have no witnesses, no evidence, no verification whatsoever. Buddhism, Islam, and Mormonism originate solely on the claims of one man. The difference with the Bible, Old Testament and New Testament alike, is that it has been historically proven with archaeological findings and other evidence (see links I noted in the previous comment) and corroborated by numerous authors. “SIMPLY PUT, THE BIBLE IS THE MOST influential book ever written. Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it is the best-selling book of the year every year.” (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1601845-2,00.html#ixzz1KesAUQp1) You must acknowledge it as a credible source, even without belief in it.
When you say “the Bible was written many years after the Crucifixion,” I would like to respectfully disagree. As far as when the New Testament was written, plenty of evidence suggests it was written and circulating before the close of the first century, in other words, less than 100 years after Christ’s death. (http://carm.org/wasnt-new-testament-written-hundreds-years-after-christ) This article talks about the origin of the gospels, and states a case for why: http://carm.org/apologetics/evidence-and-answers/when-were-gospels-written-and-whom Lastly, here is an article which uses geographical regions in projecting a timeline for the apostle Paul’s letters, and also corroborates the same 100 year time span: http://www.bombaxo.com/paulchron.html With all due respect, I really hope you will check those out and at least keep an open mind. I would be willing to check out any sources you cite or would like to refer to me to back any of the arguments you made. I believe we must be responsible for our beliefs, willing to back them with either research or solid reasoning. I am not sure where you got your information about Caesar Augustus, but if Jesus’ birth is within a six years of when it was supposed to have taken place, I personally think that strengthens my case more than yours. Regardless, I would be willing to research any discrepancy if you gave me documentation for your argument.
In response to what you said about religion (or in my specific case, Christianity) being a totalitarian belief similar to slavery, I wonder why so many people would voluntarily adhere to it, then? Lol. It is not so much a fear of death as it is promise of life, and people would not willingly subscribe to spiritual beliefs for over 2,000 years if those beliefs “enslaved” them. From my own experiences with Christianity, I have seen quite the opposite, for myself and others. I’ve seen fulfillment, joy, peace, and freedom.
Perhaps the freedom comes from the focus on grace, making Christianity different from any other world religion. Basically, there are only two types of religion in the world. One type, to which every other religion on earth besides Christianity belongs, teaches a concept of heaven and God, and the only way to attain this conceptual heaven is by making your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds by the end of your life. Or, to put it another way, heaven is attained by man’s greatness.
Christianity on the other hand, teaches that heaven cannot be attained by man’s greatness because all of us are wicked. (This would attest to what you wrote about the atrocious and bizarre practices of medieval Europe—it speaks to our wickedness. With Christian history as with any human history, I would not argue that there have been brutalities and wrongs done—Christians are wicked and broken like anyone else.) But for Christians, heaven may be attained because God became man and paid the penalty for our wickedness, to provide a way where we don’t have to pay it. In other words, Heaven is attained because of God’s greatness. (http://www.christiantruthanditsdefense.org/religions)
With what you said about “religion’s monopoly,” I think one can believe that science/medicine were created by and can be used by God to heal people, not negating one or the other. I personally believe God can use and work through doctors, medicine, technology, and any science.
In response to what you said in your beliefs on atheism, I respect you. I think openmindedness and respect is key in religious disagreements. I do hope that you will take the time to read any links I posted and keep an open mind, as I have done with you.
Stephanie: i have been quiet this whole time but now i have something to say... do you really believe that you're wicked krissy? cuz i don't- i don't think any of us are wicked christian or not. it seems like the perfect token- an exuse to act bad the way you're saying it... in other words, this guy is punished for everyone's everything! where is the incentive to be a true/honest/good person at all? i think that we all have things to learn through grow through and not all of it will happen in this single lifetime/life form, so you better attain greatness through man kind, our earthly things, and one another....
Stephanie: and one more thought.... have you ever noticed how everyday drama can be exagerated in 2 weeks! let alone 100 yrs..... not trying to gang up on ya girl i love you- just a thought i had while reading yalls stuff
Brian: Lack of Historical Evidence for Jesus
Jesus and Krishna
JESUS’ MYTH GREW AND GREW
Serious but Fascinating Biblical Research
Who Wrote the Bible and Why it Matters
Religion: the ultimate tyranny
im in a hurry ill post more later. hope youre having a good day :)
Steph: something else i found truely interesting were the gnostic gospels
Me: Hey, Steph! :-) I didn't take it as you trying to gang up on me at all, girl, no worries. You raise good points and I would like to respond to them, just when I have a little more time. I have no problem with debating as long as people are respectful, and I am glad this seems to be the environment. No ad hominem. :-) Brian, thanks for sending me those links...I have looked at a couple of them but not all, but I will check them all out before I respond....maybe tomorrow I will respond to both of you. Hope you had a good day, too. Later!!
Bill : http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/photos/lazarus-species-13-extinct-animals-found-alive/rediscovere
Bill: No one has mentioned the fact that the old testament more than likely came from the Sumerian texts predating all of it with a large percentage of similarities. Which would also explain the jealousy aspect. This is all theory and conjecture... being stated as fact. When in most scientific communities they can't even agree. Also what about Akhenaten which stated there was only one God. Thus delivering the idea. I don't buy into to much of what either side says. More discoveries are being made every day. We still do not even know how the pyramids were built but yet there they stand and at the same time we can say definitively that Jesus was a myth. I believe everyone spends way to much time on proving that the bible was historically incorrect rather than taking from it what the message is as in most religions. Details and twisting of the bible word for word has done nothing more than push one own belief systems on others. When most of us have never even seen the original Scripts. To me its like a 1970's encyclopedia. How many items have changed since then. But yet it was written then as scientific fact. Oh wait we were wrong again. Lets just change this no one will notice. So scientifically speaking lets write a book 100-300 years after Christ died and expect it to be 100 percent accurate. So if a lot of it is inaccurate then lets dismiss the entire book. Its NOT A HISTORY BOOK OR AN ENCYCLOPEDIA. The wizard of Oz is a book with a message 2000 years from now I wonder what they will say? This is all irrelevant anyway the anunaki are coming back next year to enslave us all then this will all be a mute point.
Bill: oh yeah not to mention Quetzacotal. He is coming back as well. OMG Its an invasion!
Bill: oh yeah Deviled eggs are awesome!
Me: Steph—to answer one of your points, (I will get to the other one later.) I don’t just think I am wicked, I KNOW I am wicked. I know I am self centered, prone to envy, easy to anger, impatient, all kinds of bad stuff. I believe all human beings are on the same page--even though some of us may have more sin in our lives than others, none of us are without it. If we had to earn our way into heaven, we would all fall short, because to get there you would have to live a completely sinless life.
In Christianity, Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind’s sin is not a reason to be as sinful as possible, far from it. Acknowledging that He paid the full price on the cross is an incentive for obedience. Our trying to live right is done out of love for Him and appreciation of the gift of eternal life. It inspires this devotion, and that’s what causes us to try to be like Him, to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, but we know we fall short. That’s why we are dependent on His righteousness and grace. We rely on that righteousness rather than our own. That’s the gospel in a nutshell. It is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever known.
Me: Brian, to respond to you: Reponse to Lack of Historical Evidence for Jesus
To quote your author: “Mark was written before Matthew and Luke (c. 100 C.E.) but after the destruction... of the Temple in 70 C.E., which it mentions. Most Christians believe it was written in c. 75 C.E.”
Homedude is straight up wrong. Mark does not mention the destruction of the Temple, and you can read it yourself for verification. None of the gospels mention the destruction of the Jewish temple in 70 A.D., and this is very significant because it was a prophecy of Jesus that would have been recorded. "As for these things which you are looking at, the days will come in which there will not be left one stone upon another which will not be torn down," (Luke 21:6, see also Matt. 24:2; Mark 13:2). In 70 A.D., when Romans sacked Jerusalem and burned the Temple, the gold in the Temple melted down between the stone walls and the Romans took the walls apart, stone by stone, to get the melted gold. Such an obvious fulfillment of Jesus' prophecy would have been recorded by the gospel writers if they had been written after 70 A.D.—it presents a strong case for them being written and circulated before this time. With the Crucifixion happening in 33 A.D., this means the gospels were written less than 40 years after Jesus’ death.
(To speak to your point, Steph, I think it would be a lot easier for hearsay or verbal story to be exaggerated or altered over time, but not written, religious documents considered sacred. These would be meticulously transcribed.)
Again, to quote your author: “The canonical gospels are not the only gospels. For example, there are also gospels of Mary, Peter, Thomas and Philip. These four gospels are recognized as being pseudepigraphic by both Christian and non-Christian scholars. They provide no legitimate historical information since they were based on rumors and belief. The existence of these obviously pseudepigraphic gospels makes it quite reasonable to suspect that the canonical gospels might also be pseudepigraphic.”
Because of the early church’s staunch position on authenticity, several gospels got rejected for inclusion in the Bible, as this author contends. I think it would be reasonable to assume that if they were going to exclude some, any gospels were carefully dissected and investigated for plagiary. Only the authenticated ones, in which they could be certain of authorship, would be included.
As far as whether or not Jesus’ disciples were actual people as opposed to myth, I think it takes more faith to assume that all of them, as well as all their accounts, are myths or fabrications. It just seems unreasonable to try to excuse each and every account and the existence of each and every person as fiction rather than believe that all the evidence is cumulative and substantial. Respected historians recognized by both Christian and non-Christian scholars (Josephus, Eusebius, Papias) speak of Jesus and His disciples as real people, and the early church authenticated their gospel authorship.
Furthermore, if it were all a farce, why would these early believers, disciples and others, risk their lives and die for it? Early Christians were persecuted, flogged, jailed, and MARTYRED for speaking the gospel. “Eleven of the 12 apostles, and many of the other early disciples, died for their adherence to this story.” http://www.allaboutfollowingjesus.org/christian-persecution.htm These people were willing to take their beliefs in Jesus to the grave!! If it were all just a deception or fabrication, do you really think this would be the case?
Response to Jesus and Krishna/ Whomever Else Ya Got
I am willing to acknowledge that Christ’s story has similarities to other alleged gods as well as other myths/stories. However, the differences between His story and the others are ones that I have mentioned already. Christ was an actual person with a specific date and location in history, and we widely acknowledge his reality, having walked the earth. That makes Him different than any fable unable to be verified with an origin/documentation. Also, any real historical figures that claim miraculous circumstances regarding their births have no other evidence to support their stories except for their own accounts. (Not very convincing.)The Jesus story is different, simply for the fact that many eye witnesses can corroborate, and circumstantial as well as hard evidence all point to the same truth.
The fact that there are so many myths/stories with similarities speaks to our human desire for it to happen. We are wired so deeply to want a man conceived by a miracle, able to perform miracles, and for him to be the savior of the world. We’ve been cooking it up for centuries, dreaming about it, telling stories of it, wishing for it, and waiting for it before the time of Jesus. One of C.S. Lewis’ arguments for Christ was this: What if Jesus made the myth a reality? What if Jesus embodied it and it came true? We know He was a real person. We know real people testified on his behalf. We know the Bible is a respected and credible source. The case for Christ is strong.
Response to Jesus Myth Grew and Grew
To quote the author: “There is not one piece of evidence, outside Christianity's own story, that this individual referred to as Jesus ever existed, certainly not as Son of God…”
This is not true. Many credible secular scholars take as fact that Jesus walked the earth, verified with many authors of the New Testament as well as non-Christian sources. Josephus, Tacitus, and Pliny the Younger, Eusebius, Papias, and the Talmud all wrote of Christ, and some written accounts even acknowledge His claims as the Son of God and the historical Crucifixion. This is widely acknowledged as credible documentation.
To imagine that the whole religion of Christianity is a farce, that these respected historians did not document reality, that there never was a Jesus, that the millions of Christians over centuries of time have been brainwashed by lies, that the whole Christian religion is a conspiracy, that none of the authors of the New Testament existed, that if they did they all lied about their identities, and that they risked their lives for mere deception, is at best improbable and at worst ludicrous. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: it would take more faith to believe all that than it would to believe it happened. As I said in my very first comment, you have to have some element of faith either way, but the case for Christ is strong, and I don’t think you can discount the possibility of it being true.
The other articles you’ve referenced repeat much of the same thing, and I would be repeating myself to dispute them. The article “Religion: The Ultimate Tyranny” I already disputed in an earlier comment by mentioning that Christians have been voluntary pursuing their religion for centuries, and it being about freedom rather than slavery.
I have had an awesome time debating with you, Brian. Thanks for challenging me and making me responsible for my beliefs. Two books that you could look at to see the other side, if you wanted to: The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel and Evidence that Demands a Verdict Volume 1 and 2 by Josh McDowell. Amazing stuff.
Me: Good grief, Bill. I haven't even read yours!! Haha.
Steph: at the risk of sounding too much like a high school counselor... truely... how does it make you feel to know that you and all that you are (soul, acomplishments, good deed, etc) would never be good enough? i know you said it's fulfilling, but elaborate a bit more for me tho i'm sincerly curious. because i feel like i am eternally trying to live up to being a good person but it seems like christians feel almost guilted into it rather than just wanting to do because its the right thing...
Me: It doesn’t make me feel like I am an especially bad person or wallow in guilt or anything to know I am sinful--Christian theology says every human being is on the same level. Every one of us sins, and no one doesn‘t. It’s not like it’s on a grade scale, it’s pass or fail, and we all fail...we have all sinned. Even our attempts at being good are tainted with selfish motives.
But knowing that I don’t rely on my own righteousness is a relief!! It is freedom in Christ, not slavery or guilt, that motivates me. Knowing that I am not justified by what I do creates such a thankfulness in me...I am justified through my faith in what Christ did. His work on the cross makes it possible for me to have salvation through faith in Him, not my own deeds. It is freeing. So, it is not wallowing in guilt that inspires me to love/serve others, become more like Christ, have integrity as a human being, it is out of love for Him saving my life. I WANT to do what's right because He sincerely pulled my life out of a pit.
The way I saw it, what did I have to lose by seeking out Christ for 40 days? I read a book called “Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren, and allowed my mind to be completely open to the Christian doctrine. He proved Himself to me so undoubtedly that I have never turned back.
Me: In fact, to wallow in guilt isn't really accepting that Christ died for whatever sin you feel guilty for...it is not Christian theology at all. The Bible says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Me: To respond to you, Bill, have you ever heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls? (I’m sure you probably have.) Discovered in Israel in the late 40’s/early 50’s, they contained every book of the Old Testament except for Esther, and show no variation from the times in which they were written (proven by carbon dating to be roughly 200 B.C.-70 A.D.) to the present date. This is overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Old Testament. “The Hebrew scribes who copied the Jewish Scriptures dedicated their lives to preserving the accuracy... These scribes went to phenomenal lengths to insure manuscript reliability. They were highly trained and meticulously observed, counting every letter, word and paragraph against master scrolls. A single error would require the immediate destruction of the entire text.” http://www.allabouttruth.org/origin-of-the-bible.htm
Here are some other sources which show proof of the reliability and authenticity of the Bible, saying it way better than I could: