How did the church make a comeback

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You need to accept what's written about Jesus in that book, in order to qualify for Heaven from above.
Although I don't know any devote Christians, I don't think this is a commonly held position. The idea I got from Sunday school was that the main focus of Christianity wasn't the book itself or any kind of specific code of conduct, but a general rule of morality that could be accurately summed up as "don't be a prick".
I doubt there's many (not crazy) people today who think the book wasn't obviously written by fallible men.

But then again, it has been many years and there's a lot of Christians, so don't quote me on that.

This is kind of my position. If you admit the source is suspect, then how can you believe any of it? What makes you think the parts about Jesus and God are any more true than the other parts you don't believe in?
Well, there are philosophical reasons for the belief or disbelief in god which are completely unrelated to the bible.
Even if Jesus never existed, it's not impossible for his character to have been based on one or more personalities of the time. We do know that the story is not entirely fictional. The Roman empire was occupying Judea at the time, crucifixion is a real form of execution, and there were a number of self-styled prophets preaching in the streets. The story might be a legend about several people rather than an outright fabrication.
I said I felt it was fine to believe in them, didn't say they had to logically back up their belief. After all until we are about nine years old or so we believe in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Witches, and such without question. I only used God and Jesus as a reference as we are talking about the Church. Different religions call them by different names.

Alright, we can remove the Bible from the discussion, but then you still have the historical transcripts that talk about crucifying a man claiming to be God's son and allegedly healing the blind. Several things from the Bible have historical accounts outside of that (parting the sea for example, walking on water). You remove the church and you still get a mythical story of a man claiming to be the son of a great being that made man, healed the sick, and then dying for his claims.

You need to accept what's written about Jesus in that book, in order to qualify for Heaven from above.
When did that become a qualifier? I've been to church throughout my life and the only thing I've ever been told at any of them was to accept God into my heart and do His Will (treating your fellow man like an equal, turn the other cheek, etc). The Bible, to me, is just an embellished history book for the religion rather than a rule book or guide book fro how to get to Heaven. This is why I can say I ignore most of it.

So God is so powerful, he impreganated a virgin with himself, to sacrifice himself to himself, to save us from a state of being that he arbitrarily condemned us to in the first place? Yeah, seems totally legit. If he's so powerful, couldn't he just like...snap his fingers and forgive our sins?

Good question that even the 'facts' of the Bible throw to the wind. He was powerful enough to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, impregnate a virgin, but sent his son to deliver his message.

Scientists could come out tomorrow and say "We have indisputable proof God doesn't exist and we are alone in the universe!" And religion will ignore saying they are wrong and space nuts will say they are narrow minded. This is a discussion that will never have an end and carry on for centuries after we are long gone. We created religion because of self interest. Even now people are claiming our past civilizations were helped by extraterrestrials through out history. People are going to believe in what makes them feel comfortable and the rest will question their sanity and the validity of their beliefs because they don't agree with them.
This is the whole thing really: "There has never been a skerrick of proof that God or any other religious character exists" .
closed account (1yR4jE8b)
@helios
John 14:6

6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."

In Christianity, if you don't accept Jesus you're going to hell. It's literally the only criteria, good deeds have nothing to do with it.

Ephisians 2: 8-9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.


@BHXSpecter

then you still have the historical transcripts that talk about crucifying a man claiming to be God's son and allegedly healing the blind. Several things from the Bible have historical accounts outside of that (parting the sea for example, walking on water). You remove the church and you still get a mythical story of a man claiming to be the son of a great being that made man, healed the sick, and then dying for his claims.


Actually no, we don't. Parting the red sea never happened and there's no historical evidence that the Jews were even ever slaves in Egypt, the Egyptians took meticulous records about everything, including the bad things, and there's no record about Jewish slaves. It's highly doubtful that Moses was ever a real person.

Any extra-biblical sources referring to Jesus appeared nearly 4 *decades* after his supposed death, through word of mouth transcripts by people that never actually met the guy. There are also no extra-biblical historical references to Jesus that mention any miracles at all; they only appear in the Bible. One of the earliest non-biblical sources we have is Josephus, in year 93. 60 freaking years, by someone who never met the guy.

We know that Mark's gospel came first, and it's dated to at *least* 70 AD, because it mentions the destruction of the Jewish temple. That's a long time after Jesus supposedly died in 33 A.D Hell, we don't even know who the actual authors of the original gospels were.

http://youtu.be/BvzGA_xFlC8

At best, there was a charismatic Jewish rabbie that lived in 1st century Palestine name Yeshua. Hardly a sound critera for worshipping him as a deity.

When did that become a qualifier?


See John and Ephisians references above. Accepting Jesus is *the only* criteria for getting into Heaven according to the Bible.

the only thing I've ever been told at any of them was to accept God into my heart and do His Will (treating your fellow man like an equal, turn the other cheek, etc).


You do know there have been thousands of religions with thousands of different gods that all want different things throughout history. Christianity isn't the only religion. Which God are you talking about? The one described in the Bible that you so conveniently ignore? The one in the Q'uran? The ones in the Vedas? Why aren't you a muslim? Did you know in the Q'uran it says if you don't accept Allah as the only true God and that Mohammad is his prophet you will burn for eternity? Better learn the secret Mormon handshakes, just in case, or you'll never get into heaven.

How do you know what God wants without going to the bible? You learned it in church or someone else told you and you're just going to take their word for it just like that? Guess where they got that info...THE BIBLE. How can you be so sure that they know the correct interpretation of what God wants. Did they speak directly to god? I want whatever their smoking (or they need a straight-jacket).

I said I felt it was fine to believe in them, didn't say they had to logically back up their belief.


Why should anyone believe *anything* without a reason to back it up? That's not fine, that makes them a gullible fool.

After all until we are about nine years old or so we believe in Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Witches, and such without question.


So that makes it perfectly ok for grown adults to believe a sky-wizard created the universe out of nothing with magic, and I can't marry my boyfriend because said wizard says so, seems legit.

Scientists could come out tomorrow and say "We have indisputable proof God doesn't exist and we are alone in the universe!"


No, they wouldn't. You can't prove a god doesn't exist because, because you can't prove non-existence. But just because you can't prove it doesn't exist, doesn't mean it does exist by default. The theists are tasked with the burdern of proof, so until they back up their claims with some actual evidence, I call BS. Scientists would never claim that we're alone in the Universe either. Because that would mean we have scoured every millimetre of the universe and never found a single other bacteria ANYWHERE. Do you even understand how the scientific method works?

Don't make ridiculous strawman arguments, you look bad and you should feel bad.

Even now people are claiming our past civilizations were helped by extraterrestrials through out history.


And it's very easy to demonstrate that these people are actually incorrect, have mistinterpreted facts, or deliberately lying to support their delusions. You probably dismiss those people as crazy. I do the same for religious belief.

I contend that we are both atheists. You are an atheist for all religions but one, I just go one that one god further. If you take the logic that you apply to your disbelief to other religions, and apply it to your own, you'll understand why I don't believe in your religion either.
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So many people taking it far more seriously than it was ever meant to be. It's just a useful tool, chaps; when it stops working we change it.
Its odd that despite the evidence people still go on believing, modern militant atheists are so aggressive but they never take into account that people choose to believe despite evidence that suggests they know better.

this might be a good time to let you in devonrevengeism, devonrevengism is the only way, let the light of devonrevenge shine through you and your wallet, pay £1000 to join or burn in a dark and internetless pit for all eternity

i need more ideas for devonrevengism, if you think of something i will canonise you, you can be my second in command for the new great religion to bless c++ forums around the world
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@darkestrfright
What if I accept Jesus as an ancient philosopher, but not as a magician? Do I still get to go to heaven?
closed account (iw0XoG1T)
I have always been amazed at how many atheist are biblical-literalist. Liberal Christianity which is over 300 years old has always rejected the idea that the books that make up the bible are historically correct.

If you reject Christianity because the "bible" is inaccurate it is your prerogative, but to assume that others would make this same leap is silly. I am a religious person and I travel and associate with other Christians regularly. In my social circles almost everyone has advanced degrees, are financially secure, and are Christian. And in my limit circle I know of no one who believes that the bible is a trusted historical document.

You can quote the bible all day long and point out historical inconsistencies--it will not make a difference to an educated Christian--they are already aware of these facts and have made their decision.

The arguments that matter to educated Christians are harder like:

1.) The problem of evil.
2.) The problem of injustice.
3.) And why the righteous are sometimes punished.

These are the serious problems that sometimes shake our faith.
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Though I do see your point about some things the church has said turned out to be false, but its not like that only happens to religion. And I would like to apologize for being kind of rude to you I just got angered by such a closed mind attitude where your beliefs are correct and everyone else's are false.


Yes this is not unique to religion as you point out, but what is unique is that the church claims to be guided and inspired by the divine entity which makes its claims absolute.
This differs to the field of science. When a new scientific theory is presented it is left open to be either proved or disproved.
Even "proved" theories are left open to adaptation if new data disproves certain components of a proved theory.
Had the scientific community claimed that what they say is inspired by a divine source that cannot be proven wrong then science wouldn't be where it is today and your point could be taken as valid.
However, we know that the scientific community makes no such claims which actually makes your point invalid.

Please don't get angered when we point out holes in the story you believe in - we are not flat out just claiming that your beliefs are wrong.
Why not just look at the hole we are referring to and see it for what it is.
This is merely an excercise of applying logic to a situation.
If religion can't stand up to the scrutiny of logic then it should cause a reasonable person to re-evaluate his beliefs in it.
Holding onto it is like holding onto a version of a story that is completely riddled with false "facts".

Disch has presented an excellent summation of my point - if you understand it you will concur that it follows the same principal applied in a court of law where a witness who is caught out misrepresenting the facts get discredited.
A witness who presents the facts with absolute accuracy gains credibility. The church has lost a lot of credibility over the past and is conitnueing to lose more.
Even if Jesus never existed, it's not impossible for his character to have been based on one or more personalities of the time


And this leads me back to my initial point - they have been found out to be inacurate in many circumstances - so why then be dogmatic about religion and hang onto every word that falls off the preachers lips.

This really looks more and more like a bunch of people believing strongly in a false version of a story. Such people look really stupid in the face of other people who actually know the real facts.

About gay marriage, I have yet to find a Christian or church that says its ok. Sure, they allow it because it's wrong to impose your belief on everyone else


There are currently a number of churches do now allow gay mariages to occurr in their institution.

It is understandable to say that they cannot force their will on other people by not allowing it, but this is not the case - the priest has performed the mariage ceremony for these gay folks in the church.

This is clearly a violation of their principals.

Even if in a 100 years time all the churches conclude that gay marriages are accpetable in the eyes of god and have by then managed to print new versions of the bibe that removes/alters the current bibles views on this topic then it still leads me back to my original point:

Why are people then still so sentimental and hung up on believing these religions.

It almost reminds me of the movie "The man who invented lying" - don't seem like the religious people are ever going to see the lie for what it is. Seems like the church will always then be able to come back with something ridicollous to justify their mistakes and these folks will swallow it hook, line and sinker.
So, when society believes crazy-belief-X, their religion endorses crazy-belief-X. When society stops believing crazy-belief-X, their religion stops endorsing it.



So why not then call it what it is "A set of values" and stop pretending as if it is the word from a divine source that is absolute.

Why not let people know that they are playing a "Simon says ..." game. Will that cause less people to then submit to the game?
Hey! I...I would like to see a real god, a real fairy... How to do so? :)
And curious, why does the world have too many religions? (ºº)
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Why not let people know that they are playing a "Simon says ..." game. Will that cause less people to then submit to the game?
You mean like the popular, commonly formalised set of rules of a society generally known as "law"? Some people choose not to play that game, some do.
chwsks wrote:
I have always been amazed at how many atheist are biblical-literalist. Liberal Christianity which is over 300 years old has always rejected the idea that the books that make up the bible are historically correct.
My biggest problem with ‘The Bible’ is that the books are written by man, edited by man, translated by man and the one chosen to for the Biblical canon are chosen by man. The contradictory nature of different parts is by the by.

Anyway I would doubt any atheist would take The Bible literally as it kind of has a lot to do with God

If you reject Christianity because the "bible" is inaccurate it is your prerogative, but to assume that others would make this same leap is silly. I am a religious person and I travel and associate with other Christians regularly. In my social circles almost everyone has advanced degrees, are financially secure, and are Christian. And in my limit circle I know of no one who believes that the bible is a trusted historical document.
But there are Christians that do believe that their version of The Bible is the literal truth, which is scary to say the least.

You can quote the bible all day long and point out historical inconsistencies--it will not make a difference to an educated Christian--they are already aware of these facts and have made their decision.
So you, a mere mortal, has decided what God actually wants you to know and believe? Or is it just vanity lets you say ‘this bit is correct and that bit can be interpreted like that and that…we will just ignore’.

As a Liberal Christian, you follow Christ’s teachings via your interpretation of an anthology that documents the thinking of the human authors’ feelings and beliefs about God in a time that is vastly removed from today?

The arguments that matter to educated Christians are harder like:

1.) The problem of evil.
2.) The problem of injustice.
3.) And why the righteous are sometimes punished.

These are the serious problems that sometimes shake our faith.

I’m sure that your three points are just as relevant to everyone and can be discussed without the need for religion.
You mean like the popular, commonly formalised set of rules of a society generally known as "law"? Some people choose not to play that game, some do


And once again - the law does not claim to be from a divine source as the churches set of beliefs.

So when the law is proven to be wrong about something, I can accept that, but cannot accept when the church the same occurs with the church.

We don't believe in the law as if it were the word of god - this is different when one considers the bible - people believe that the bible is the word of god!

i've actually heard christians say that one must arm yourself with the word of god as your sword - too bad this sword keeps cutting the one who arms himself with it :)
@zepher,
Your arguments have been said already. I'd like to hear your thoughts on what chwsks posted instead. He seems to have made a point and I wish it didn't get ignored.
link: http://cplusplus.com/forum/lounge/86672/6/#msg468948
To paraphrase yourself, you do have a simplistic view of how things work - you believe that religion equals myths as a child naturally would.
And once again - the law does not claim to be from a divine source as the churches set of beliefs.


Well that's hardly the fault of "religion"; it's people missing the point of what religion is and taking it seriously.
@Grey Wolf
Anyway I would doubt any atheist would take The Bible literally as it kind of has a lot to do with God
This thread contains many arguments of the form "bible is wrong, so there can't be a god". In fact, that's kind of the point of the whole thread. This is what is called "taking the bible literally".

But there are Christians that do believe that their version of The Bible is the literal truth, which is scary to say the least.
Are there many? I can't tell. Could there be any statistics on the subject?

As a Liberal Christian, you follow Christ’s teachings via your interpretation of an anthology that documents the thinking of the human authors’ feelings and beliefs about God in a time that is vastly removed from today?
I'd suggest thinking of the bible as a book of things worth contemplating. Torah aside, I'm not sure it imposes some literal truths. Though I'm sure I'll be shown to be wrong in a moment...
Moschops wrote:
it's people missing the point of what religion is and taking it seriously.
Are you suggesting that Religion should not be taken seriously?
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