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What are your objections to Christianity?

 
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 12:19 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
The god of the Bible isn't good enough to be God. My parents raised me to be a better being than bible-god, so what's the point in having a god you can't even look up to.


Interesting thoughts. How do you define good? And what makes you say that the God of the Bible isn't good?

Thanks!
 Quoting: brandon1234

Everyone has their own moral compass, their own ideals of what is good and bad. If you even have to ask, then we are on completely different pages about what is right and wrong and even if I explained it, you would merely say, so what's wrong with God doing that, or that? Which is the main reason there is still so much evil in the world, because the God that people believe in to pattern themselves after, is so flawed.
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 01:24 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
All Christian Bible Thumpers on this forum are SHILLS employed to create division and tension between Christian followers and those who follow their own way. True Christians teach by LIVING their an example but do not force feed antiquated and ridiculous doctrine to the intelligent masses here on GLP.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 778614


Sorry if I come across as a "Bible Thumper". I was just curious to get some interaction between people of different beliefs. I had no intention of forcing anything down anyone's throat, but I figure there can be no harm in friendly discussion, right?

Let me know if I have acted otherwise and I'll apologize. :)
-Brandon
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 01:25 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
I have nothing against Christians as long as they keep their ideas to themselves. Hell I used to be one, until I studied and educated myself out of it.

For the true seekers, the fallacies of Christianity become quite obvious, but it's a great religion for those who don't really wanna think for themself and just want some pre-packaged version of what somebody else decided was right for you.
 Quoting: SuperManny


Interesting! I'd love to hear what things made you change your beliefs - that is, the fallacies that you saw in the religion. Maybe I can help you out with them. :)
-Brandon
Phydeau

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09/26/2009 01:28 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Well, many valid arguments were stated here in this thread.

I spent my life bouncing from religion to religion trying to find somewhere that felt right.

Then one day, a question came to me that finally pushed me over the dividing line between theism and atheism:

If I had been born in the middle east, I'd be Muslim. If I were born in India, I'd be Hindu. If I were born in the orient, I'd be Buddist. This made me ask myself, "What does the geographical location of my birth have to do with my belief system? (Other than tradition and indoctrination, that is)"

I know that many will balk at this statement because they're so deeply conditioned to believe that their beliefs were a personal choice. But when you consider that most religions (especially the Abrahamic religions: The monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are virtually interchangeable it forces you to realize, you are a "Christian" (at least in most cases, of course not all cases) either because your parents were and indoctrinated you with these beliefs while you were in your formative years or the peer pressure of "most" being Christian around you made you feel isolated and you adopted their beliefs to fit in and belong to the group. (Again, there are exceptions ... like all things.)

With all that said, if you're wanting something that's not dealing with such abstracts: My biggest objection has less to do with Christianity than the double standards I'm forced to deal with on a near daily basis.

For example:
1) Any time I sneeze, someone casts a blessing from their God at me. (Possibly more traditional or a cliche than an actual blessing.)
2) At least 1 out of 10 times I go to the store or similar, someone tells me to have a blessed day.
3) More than half the times I go out to enjoy a rock concert, someone is in the parking lot handing me a "Have you met Jesus?" flier or placing one under my windshield wiper.

Each of these things are really no big deal to me (well, maybe the constant need to try to convert me to their cult is an issue for me, but I'm willing to live and let live.) but at work or when in a place other than my own home if I so much as say the word "Atheist" someone must always interrupt me stating in a near panic, "No! We do not discuss religion!" When that same person was just going on and on about how wonderful their church is or how God blessed them here or there or constantly praising Jesus for some random item.

It's primarily this double standard that irritates me.

In closing, I don't think that most Christians realize that the reason most "new atheists" try to debate the existence of God so fiercely is not that they're trying to take away someone's faith, but it's more like a revenge they're compelled to act upon due to a lifetime of being subjected to a constant barrage of, "Have you found Jesus?", "Have you been saved?", "You should come to my church!" and my personal favorite, "You're going to be subjected to eternal torture because my God loves you!"

I make it a personal policy to not debate the existence of God with believers simply because it's like arguing with a 4 year old about why their favorite cartoon is make believe.

It's simply pointless.
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" — John M. Keynes
"The way to see by [blind] faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
The Self Defining Hebrew System: [link to www.thechronicleproject.org]
Real men keep Torah.
Knighted into the Army of Yahuwah on 10-9-10.

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadesh shimkha. Tavo malkhutekha ye'aseh r'tzonekha ba'aretz ka'asher na'asah vashamayimTen-lanu haiyom lechem chukeinu. u'selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka'asher solechim anachnu la'asher ashmu lanu. Ve'al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatsileinu min-hara. Ki lekha ha-mamlakha vehagevurah veha-tiferet l'olemei olamim. Amen.
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 01:30 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Everyone has their own moral compass, their own ideals of what is good and bad. If you even have to ask, then we are on completely different pages about what is right and wrong and even if I explained it, you would merely say, so what's wrong with God doing that, or that? Which is the main reason there is still so much evil in the world, because the God that people believe in to pattern themselves after, is so flawed.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 646448


I have to ask, because if you want to define some sort of moral law then you have to concede that there is a moral lawgiver. However, it appears that you're saying that morals are completely relative. Where does this moral compass come from? Does this mean that if my moral compass tells me I can kill infants then that is alright? It seems like this is a very dangerous belief to hold if there are no moral absolutes, but let me know.

You ask how there is so much evil in the world. How do you define evil? If you just said that everyone defines that independently, then how can you say anything is wrong with the world? Because people's beliefs don't fit into yours? In order for you to say definitively that there is evil in the world, there has to be an external being who defines what good and evil is.

If you are an atheist, then things are the way that nature intends them. Death and decay are the means to improvement (evolution). Only if you believe in a supreme being who is perfect and holy and who inteded things to be a certain way - only then can you say that anything is truly wrong with the world.

Let me know what you think. :)
-Brandon
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 01:36 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Well, many valid arguments were stated here in this thread.

I spent my life bouncing from religion to religion trying to find somewhere that felt right.

Then one day, a question came to me that finally pushed me over the dividing line between theism and atheism:

If I had been born in the middle east, I'd be Muslim. If I were born in India, I'd be Hindu. If I were born in the orient, I'd be Buddist. This made me ask myself, "What does the geographical location of my birth have to do with my belief system? (Other than tradition and indoctrination, that is)"

I know that many will balk at this statement because they're so deeply conditioned to believe that their beliefs were a personal choice. But when you consider that most religions (especially the Abrahamic religions: The monotheistic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) are virtually interchangeable it forces you to realize, you are a "Christian" (at least in most cases, of course not all cases) either because your parents were and indoctrinated you with these beliefs while you were in your formative years or the peer pressure of "most" being Christian around you made you feel isolated and you adopted their beliefs to fit in and belong to the group. (Again, there are exceptions ... like all things.)

With all that said, if you're wanting something that's not dealing with such abstracts: My biggest objection has less to do with Christianity than the double standards I'm forced to deal with on a near daily basis.

For example:
1) Any time I sneeze, someone casts a blessing from their God at me. (Possibly more traditional or a cliche than an actual blessing.)
2) At least 1 out of 10 times I go to the store or similar, someone tells me to have a blessed day.
3) More than half the times I go out to enjoy a rock concert, someone is in the parking lot handing me a "Have you met Jesus?" flier or placing one under my windshield wiper.

Each of these things are really no big deal to me (well, maybe the constant need to try to convert me to their cult is an issue for me, but I'm willing to live and let live.) but at work or when in a place other than my own home if I so much as say the word "Atheist" someone must always interrupt me stating in a near panic, "No! We do not discuss religion!" When that same person was just going on and on about how wonderful their church is or how God blessed them here or there or constantly praising Jesus for some random item.

It's primarily this double standard that irritates me.

In closing, I don't think that most Christians realize that the reason most "new atheists" try to debate the existence of God so fiercely is not that they're trying to take away someone's faith, but it's more like a revenge they're compelled to act upon due to a lifetime of being subjected to a constant barrage of, "Have you found Jesus?", "Have you been saved?", "You should come to my church!" and my personal favorite, "You're going to be subjected to eternal torture because my God loves you!"

I make it a personal policy to not debate the existence of God with believers simply because it's like arguing with a 4 year old about why their favorite cartoon is make believe.

It's simply pointless.
 Quoting: Phydeau


I respect your viewpoints and I'm deeply sorry for people who have treated you in an un-Christian manner under the guise of being a Christian. This contradicts what is clearly taught in Scripture.

You do make a good point about where we are raised - most people accept the faith of their parents. However, if we both agree that truth can be found, then we can determine whether or not a religion is based upon historical fact or is merely the construction of a group of people to try to control another group.

So do you think we can engage in some discussion about the facts? I know tha tyou don't like to debate Christians because we are often morons (and that is true). :) However, I promise I'll do my best to discuss with you just the philosophical and historical sides, etc, rather than the emotional side.

Let me know if you want to engage in some discussion. :)
-Brandon
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 01:55 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
I am not saying they are all like this...


But when a Christian does something good, they are doing it only because they think Jesus WANTS them to do it.

Okay, fine.

But as a person sensitive to energy, I have had Christian people be so freakin' nice to me because they really feel that is what Jesus wants. But on an energetic level they are sending daggers at me and looking down on me with an undeserved sense of self-righteousness. It just isn't honest.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 79958


Exactly!!!!!! Loving isn't something you do because somebody told you to, or because you want to please somebody, (Jesus). If love doesn't come from the heart, then there is no love!!!
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 02:04 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
that they believe they are the only ones who are right.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/26/2009 02:06 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Exactly!!!!!! Loving isn't something you do because somebody told you to, or because you want to please somebody, (Jesus). If love doesn't come from the heart, then there is no love!!!
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 780227


Good point. The Bible couldn't agree with you more - love must come from the heart. However, the question is how does one's heart change in order to bring forth love? And how does one define love?

God is the creator of everything, therefore He defines love. All love, in order to be true love must be focused back at the creator in some way. Our love for our brothers must be ultimately an expression of God's love which dwells in our hearts.

I John is a good place to go if you want to understand this from a Christian perspective. I John 3:16 tells us "this is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." That is the definition of love from the Bible.

I'm curious how you would define love. :)
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 02:08 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
that they believe they are the only ones who are right.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 780182


Would you trust them if they didn't believe that they were right? Especially if the question we're dealing with is who is the true God of the universe.

Does this bother you because you think that everyone is right? Or does it bother you because it's just offensive?

Let me know your thoughts. :)
-Brandon
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 02:34 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
I have nothing against Christians as long as they keep their ideas to themselves. Hell I used to be one, until I studied and educated myself out of it.

For the true seekers, the fallacies of Christianity become quite obvious, but it's a great religion for those who don't really wanna think for themself and just want some pre-packaged version of what somebody else decided was right for you.
 Quoting: SuperManny


So true! Here's a man who converted from Christian to Islam. From one false belief system to another. But I would encourage ALL who claim to be "Christian", to honestly ponder the reasons Dr. Dirks left Christianity. Same reason I don't follow any established cult. (religion) Would like your response about what Dr. Dirks says.



[link to www.youtube.com]
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 03:10 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Exactly!!!!!! Loving isn't something you do because somebody told you to, or because you want to please somebody, (Jesus). If love doesn't come from the heart, then there is no love!!!


Good point. The Bible couldn't agree with you more - love must come from the heart. However, the question is how does one's heart change in order to bring forth love? And how does one define love?

God is the creator of everything, therefore He defines love. All love, in order to be true love must be focused back at the creator in some way. Our love for our brothers must be ultimately an expression of God's love which dwells in our hearts.

I John is a good place to go if you want to understand this from a Christian perspective. I John 3:16 tells us "this is how we know what love is, Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers." That is the definition of love from the Bible.

I'm curious how you would define love. :)
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 778072


Love: unconditional surrender of your gift of free will back to the Creator so that His will can be accomplished in your life for the benefit of all creation.
Anonymous Coward
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
I respect your viewpoints and I'm deeply sorry for people who have treated you in an un-Christian manner under the guise of being a Christian. This contradicts what is clearly taught in Scripture.
 Quoting: brandon1234


I equally respect your views, even if I can no longer force myself to agree with them. A simple case of "We must agree to disagree."

I was a Catholic that attended a Baptist school growing up. I got past the mistreatment I was subjected to decades ago. But thank you for your empathy.

You've behaved in a very refined, socially acceptable manner throughout this entire thread. Hence, no need to ever apologize for the behavior of others, at least not to me. If I make any judgments it'll be my judging you for yourself, not the prejudice created by people you don't even know.

You do make a good point about where we are raised - most people accept the faith of their parents.
 Quoting: brandon1234


Yes, this is honestly the crux of the vast majority of people's beliefs. It's what they were raised to believe.

In my opinion, people that convert to a religion that differs from what they were raised to be is the first sign of someone beginning to question what they've been told because they know something isn't right. Something doesn't fit. So, they start looking for other Gods that feel right. At least, this is how it happened for me.

I suspect that the vast majority of "Christians" are really atheists in their heart. I believe this is why many become so hostile when discussing this topic with other atheists. The atheist's very presence is almost a mocking of their hollow beliefs that they can't face within themselves. But, again, this is just my own "layman's psych 101".

However, if we both agree that truth can be found, then we can determine whether or not a religion is based upon historical fact or is merely the construction of a group of people to try to control another group.
 Quoting: brandon1234


Well, now you're wanting to discuss things of a much, much deeper nature. My take on this? You are God. God is within. You are truth. Truth is within. Some people are only able to tap into this "inner God" by taking the path of a religion. If this truly turns someone into a better person than they were prior, then I see no reason to stop them. Just as, since my abandoning of my lifelong and failed struggle to "hear the voice of God" I finally found peace and people who found their peace thru another path should respect that I found it on a path they didn't.

As for the repeated statement of many atheists, "Religion is a construct to control the masses." I'm not sold on this statement. Sure, there's a ton of evidence that it's been used for that purpose but that is not evidence that this is why it was created in the first place. (However, the fact that those that used it for control are also the ones that decided what would be allowed in the canon and what wouldn't ... that makes the bible a little difficult to accept on an "as-is" basis.) So, just like the handgun might be used to rob people, that doesn't mean the handgun was created as a "robbery tool".

So do you think we can engage in some discussion about the facts? I know tha tyou don't like to debate Christians because we are often morons (and that is true). :) However, I promise I'll do my best to discuss with you just the philosophical and historical sides, etc, rather than the emotional side.

Let me know if you want to engage in some discussion. :)
 Quoting: brandon1234


I can discuss this all day long with no concerns on my end. I stated previously that I don't debate the existence of God. To be honest, not just because it's pointless, but I'm an agnostic atheist, not a gnostic atheist. Hence, I don't KNOW there is no God. I simply don't believe in one because one has not revealed itself to me nor has evidence been presented that allows me to believe in one. However, being humble enough to admit that I don't KNOW one way or the other leaves me open to the possibility that one day a higher power will show itself to me.

/me shrugs

We'll see.
Phydeau

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09/26/2009 03:45 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Just gotta love that the login times out when making a long-ish post.
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" — John M. Keynes
"The way to see by [blind] faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
The Self Defining Hebrew System: [link to www.thechronicleproject.org]
Real men keep Torah.
Knighted into the Army of Yahuwah on 10-9-10.

Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadesh shimkha. Tavo malkhutekha ye'aseh r'tzonekha ba'aretz ka'asher na'asah vashamayimTen-lanu haiyom lechem chukeinu. u'selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka'asher solechim anachnu la'asher ashmu lanu. Ve'al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatsileinu min-hara. Ki lekha ha-mamlakha vehagevurah veha-tiferet l'olemei olamim. Amen.
brandon1234 (OP)

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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
So true! Here's a man who converted from Christian to Islam. From one false belief system to another. But I would encourage ALL who claim to be "Christian", to honestly ponder the reasons Dr. Dirks left Christianity. Same reason I don't follow any established cult. (religion) Would like your response about what Dr. Dirks says.



[link to www.youtube.com]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 780227


I would love to respond to any objections. I watched the video and I found it very interesting.

Dr. Dirks presents three basic objections that I saw:
1. By studying the earliest texts of the Bible one can see massive corruptions that bring into question even the most basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
2. Modern Christianity has followed the path of the apostle Paul, who corrupted Christianity from what the original twelve apostles intended.
3. Christians can't even explain the doctrine of the trinity.

1. This is a common argument that is made against he reliability of Scripture. I would be curious to know what texts he is referring to. The Bible has more texts than any ancient document and is incredibly well-supported. The methods used by the scribes to copy the texts result in such a small number of errors that it is quite extraordinary.

Dr. Dirks also did not address the most important archaeological find of the last hundred years, if not ever - the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this massive collection of scrolls dating back to the first century B.C. archaeologists found some of the oldest biblical texts ever, including portions of every book of the Old Testament except one. Before the discovery of these scrolls, the oldest extant manuscripts dated from about 1000 A.D. Experts had been calling the biblical text into question because of the lack of ancient manuscripts. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls shattered their arguments against the reliability of the Old Testament by showing that there were virutally no errors between the texts, even though there was a spread of 1,000 years between them.

As for the New Testament, we have manuscripts that date to the time of the original authors. No book has ever been so well-supported archaeologically and historically as the Bible. Ever.

2. This is a common argument from Muslims who want to claim that Jesus was just a prophet. There are many things that Dr. Dirks is overlooking when he makes this comment. First, he is overlooking the fact that the rest of the books in the New Testament, most of which were written by one of the twelve apostles, confirm the writings of Paul. The historical book of Acts speaks of the encounters between Paul and the Jerusalem counsel and shows that they listened to Paul in many areas. II Peter 3:15 shows that Peter himself supported the writings of Paul as Scripture.

Also, he ignores the words of Jesus himself, as recorded by the apostles and their counterparts. Jesus obviously claimed that he was the Son of God and therefore more than human.

Also, he ignores the Old Testament scriptures (extant texts which date before the time of Christ) which prophesy his coming in many ways. For example, being born of a virgin (Isaiah 9), being crucified for the sins of his people (Isaiah 53), being pierced (Zecharaih 12:10), among many, many others.

3. As far as Christians not being able to fully explain the doctrine of the trinity, one must admit that this is a difficulty. The Bible clearly shows that God is three persons, although he is one. This can be explained to a degree, but I don't think it will ever be fully nailed down. However, it is understandable that there will be some things about the God of the universe which we can't fully explain, such as his omnipotence or his omnipresence. :)

Good arguments. Let me know what you think about my responses.
-Brandon
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 04:15 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
Thanks a lot for your courtesy and openness. It's great to discuss these things with someone who is so respectful. :)

I suspect that the vast majority of "Christians" are really atheists in their heart. I believe this is why many become so hostile when discussing this topic with other atheists. The atheist's very presence is almost a mocking of their hollow beliefs that they can't face within themselves. But, again, this is just my own "layman's psych 101".

This is a very insightful observation, and you might be surprised to hear that as a Christian I agree with you on this point that many Christians are truly atheists at heart. In fact, I believe that the Bible agrees with you
- just read Matthew 7:12-23. Christ is very clear that there will be many people who thought they were following Christ who simply missed it.

What a Christian should focus on is not just what he believes in his heart, but what beliefs actually drive his entire life. This is referred to as a "functional theology". I can say spiritual things all day, but until my actions are changed, my beliefs really haven't taken root in my heart. Many Christians are scared of facing the scalpel of the Word of God (Hebrews 4:12) and looking into depth about what they actually believe and what its implications are to their everyday life.

Well, now you're wanting to discuss things of a much, much deeper nature. My take on this? You are God. God is within. You are truth. Truth is within. Some people are only able to tap into this "inner God" by taking the path of a religion. If this truly turns someone into a better person than they were prior, then I see no reason to stop them. Just as, since my abandoning of my lifelong and failed struggle to "hear the voice of God" I finally found peace and people who found their peace thru another path should respect that I found it on a path they didn't.

"Truth is within" is an interesting statement. Does this mean that you don't believe that truth is something that is grounded in a physical reality? For example, could I say that there is a computer in front of me and you could say there isn't a computer in front of me and we could both be stating truth in our own way? Or is there a way to verify this truth.

I believe in the verifiable truth of the Scriptures. The Bible is something that can be tested historically and archaeologicaly and will stand every test. (Sadly, most Christians don't know how to answer them however).

As far as the statement you made as to whether or not something turns someone into a better person - this is interesting. How do you determine if someone is a better person? Is there some external standard that you can put on someone or is this totally subjective?

As for the repeated statement of many atheists, "Religion is a construct to control the masses." I'm not sold on this statement. Sure, there's a ton of evidence that it's been used for that purpose but that is not evidence that this is why it was created in the first place. (However, the fact that those that used it for control are also the ones that decided what would be allowed in the canon and what wouldn't ... that makes the bible a little difficult to accept on an "as-is" basis.) So, just like the handgun might be used to rob people, that doesn't mean the handgun was created as a "robbery tool".

I'm glad that you're not completely sold on the idea of religion as being a mechanism used to control people. For certain, it has been used for that evil end by many in the past, which is a disgrace.

AS far as the formation of the canon, there were very specific requirements for individuals to be included into the New Testament, and most of the definitive works in the New Testament were written by one of the 12 apostles or by Paul, both of whom are very consistent, reliable people.

Certainly many other "gospels" have been presented in recent history that "should be included" into the canon. However, these texts are on a whole unreliable, poorly-supported, and contrary to the rest of Scripture and to history.

I can discuss this all day long with no concerns on my end. I stated previously that I don't debate the existence of God. To be honest, not just because it's pointless, but I'm an agnostic atheist, not a gnostic atheist. Hence, I don't KNOW there is no God. I simply don't believe in one because one has not revealed itself to me nor has evidence been presented that allows me to believe in one. However, being humble enough to admit that I don't KNOW one way or the other leaves me open to the possibility that one day a higher power will show itself to me.

I'm so thankful for your honesty. I hope you will think through this and understand the truth not in an emotional way (as many Christians and non-Christians alike approach these topics) but in a way that honestly examines the things that are presented to see what is true. That's what I'm striving for too. :)
-Brandon
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
So true! Here's a man who converted from Christian to Islam. From one false belief system to another. But I would encourage ALL who claim to be "Christian", to honestly ponder the reasons Dr. Dirks left Christianity. Same reason I don't follow any established cult. (religion) Would like your response about what Dr. Dirks says.



[link to www.youtube.com]


I would love to respond to any objections. I watched the video and I found it very interesting.

Dr. Dirks presents three basic objections that I saw:
1. By studying the earliest texts of the Bible one can see massive corruptions that bring into question even the most basic doctrines of the Christian faith.
2. Modern Christianity has followed the path of the apostle Paul, who corrupted Christianity from what the original twelve apostles intended.
3. Christians can't even explain the doctrine of the trinity.

1. This is a common argument that is made against he reliability of Scripture. I would be curious to know what texts he is referring to. The Bible has more texts than any ancient document and is incredibly well-supported. The methods used by the scribes to copy the texts result in such a small number of errors that it is quite extraordinary.

Dr. Dirks also did not address the most important archaeological find of the last hundred years, if not ever - the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this massive collection of scrolls dating back to the first century B.C. archaeologists found some of the oldest biblical texts ever, including portions of every book of the Old Testament except one. Before the discovery of these scrolls, the oldest extant manuscripts dated from about 1000 A.D. Experts had been calling the biblical text into question because of the lack of ancient manuscripts. However, the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls shattered their arguments against the reliability of the Old Testament by showing that there were virutally no errors between the texts, even though there was a spread of 1,000 years between them.

As for the New Testament, we have manuscripts that date to the time of the original authors. No book has ever been so well-supported archaeologically and historically as the Bible. Ever.

2. This is a common argument from Muslims who want to claim that Jesus was just a prophet. There are many things that Dr. Dirks is overlooking when he makes this comment. First, he is overlooking the fact that the rest of the books in the New Testament, most of which were written by one of the twelve apostles, confirm the writings of Paul. The historical book of Acts speaks of the encounters between Paul and the Jerusalem counsel and shows that they listened to Paul in many areas. II Peter 3:15 shows that Peter himself supported the writings of Paul as Scripture.

Also, he ignores the words of Jesus himself, as recorded by the apostles and their counterparts. Jesus obviously claimed that he was the Son of God and therefore more than human.

Also, he ignores the Old Testament scriptures (extant texts which date before the time of Christ) which prophesy his coming in many ways. For example, being born of a virgin (Isaiah 9), being crucified for the sins of his people (Isaiah 53), being pierced (Zecharaih 12:10), among many, many others.

3. As far as Christians not being able to fully explain the doctrine of the trinity, one must admit that this is a difficulty. The Bible clearly shows that God is three persons, although he is one. This can be explained to a degree, but I don't think it will ever be fully nailed down. However, it is understandable that there will be some things about the God of the universe which we can't fully explain, such as his omnipotence or his omnipresence. :)

Good arguments. Let me know what you think about my responses.
 Quoting: brandon1234


Thank you for taking the time to check out the video. Have to go to my sons game in a few-so I'll just say one thing in reference to the new testament. My research has shown me that the new testament has been severly compromised/changed since the formation of the work at Niccea. Add that Constantine is known to have strong armed the Pauline view of Christianity into play- which left out many of the texts which would have validated that Jesus never said he was the Son of God-or the fact that reincarnation is a reality. This is what my research has shown that the original apostles believed-but you can't control your flock if they realize they have chances ad-nausium. Peace to you brother!

hf
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 04:35 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?

Thank you for taking the time to check out the video. Have to go to my sons game in a few-so I'll just say one thing in reference to the new testament. My research has shown me that the new testament has been severly compromised/changed since the formation of the work at Niccea. Add that Constantine is known to have strong armed the Pauline view of Christianity into play- which left out many of the texts which would have validated that Jesus never said he was the Son of God-or the fact that reincarnation is a reality. This is what my research has shown that the original apostles believed-but you can't control your flock if they realize they have chances ad-nausium. Peace to you brother!


It's good to see that you have done some research on the topic. I'd like to know what your sources are for these views. Many books will simply state facts such as these with little examination of the original texts. What is important is a careful study of the originals to see what changes have been made over a certain course of time.

There have been very few errors that have crept into the texts over time, but through the massive amount of texts that we have we can identify those errors. None of these errors have been in texts which are crucial to the Christian faith.

I would also like to hear your response to the Dead Sea Scrolls if you have the time. This is pretty convincing evidence that the criticism which have been leveled against the reliability of biblical texts in the past were totally shattered.

Thanks! :)
-Brandon
Phydeau

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09/26/2009 05:22 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
It's great to discuss these things with someone who is so respectful. :)
 Quoting: brandon1234


The sentiment is quite mutual, bro.

I'm at work and have a party to attend tonight but WILL get back to this thread either tonight or tomorrow afternoon.

Please stand by.

Now, to the onlookers: See? Christians and Atheists CAN discuss their views like civilized adults.

Maybe if people would discuss things in a civilized manner more often, we'd all discover we're not so different afterall (like I've been trying to tell everyone for years).

Anyhoo, Brandon, I'll be back. :)
"When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" — John M. Keynes
"The way to see by [blind] faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Benjamin Franklin
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Avinu shebashamayim, yitkadesh shimkha. Tavo malkhutekha ye'aseh r'tzonekha ba'aretz ka'asher na'asah vashamayimTen-lanu haiyom lechem chukeinu. u'selach-lanu et-ashmateinu ka'asher solechim anachnu la'asher ashmu lanu. Ve'al-tevieinu lidei massah, ki im-hatsileinu min-hara. Ki lekha ha-mamlakha vehagevurah veha-tiferet l'olemei olamim. Amen.
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 05:33 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
If you don't believe in the God of the Bible, I'm curious to know your reasons for that.

Let me know your thoughts. :)

-Brandon
 Quoting: brandon1234

No one has explained to me why it is important.
Opener of the Way

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09/26/2009 10:21 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
I have to ask, because if you want to define some sort of moral law then you have to concede that there is a moral lawgiver. However, it appears that you're saying that morals are completely relative. Where does this moral compass come from? Does this mean that if my moral compass tells me I can kill infants then that is alright? It seems like this is a very dangerous belief to hold if there are no moral absolutes, but let me know.

You can kill infants but would you? Is this not part free will? And if someone was to kill an infant whose to say that it wasn't suppose to happen?

My viewpoint is that if it happens it happened for a reason and by the very nature of it occurring that reason is always good. Often an event may appear to be bad but in regards to the larger scheme of things, the bigger picture, it was meant to be. One should regard morals as a guideline to follow but keep in mind there is an exception to every rule and one cannot always fully know the circumstances surrounding an event.

You ask how there is so much evil in the world. How do you define evil? If you just said that everyone defines that independently, then how can you say anything is wrong with the world? Because people's beliefs don't fit into yours? In order for you to say definitively that there is evil in the world, there has to be an external being who defines what good and evil is.

I define evil as ignorance and we are all ignorant to one degree or another or we would be like God... perfect. Without ignorance there would be nothing to learn. No interplay within this reality matrix. Bo "Game" to be played.

If you are an atheist, then things are the way that nature intends them. Death and decay are the means to improvement (evolution). Only if you believe in a supreme being who is perfect and holy and who inteded things to be a certain way - only then can you say that anything is truly wrong with the world.

Is not God synonymous with nature? and are we not part of nature? A hand of God?(perhaps only a finger?) If we are part of God's expression how can our actions go against his will? How do we know that we are not to "interfere"? How do we know that those who try and prevent this interference are not suppose to?
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GDW
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09/26/2009 10:56 PM
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Christians believe that the world was created in six days, and that we are only 4000 years old.

That's not accurate. Thousands of Christians don't believe what you posted. It's not fair to paint people with such a broad brush like that.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 719226


Sorry about that...I'll re-phrase...

Christians 'are expected to' believe that the world was in six...
GDW
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09/26/2009 11:13 PM
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Pleasure talking to you too. :)

I live without it...it's possible...but you've got to have some real balls to do it...to accept that you are entirely on your own...everything I do and obtain is my doing and my responsibility is very liberating.

It takes balls to face the truth, the truth of how lost you are and the truth of how God has the right to judge you because of how you've fallen short. The amazing thing is that through Jesus Christ we actually have answers to the way the world is.

If you don't accept that there may be some holes in the book that you subscribe to, specifically relating to creation of you, me and the earth...I can't really continue this line of conversation with you. If you believe the world is 4000 years old...I say good luck to you.

I should say a few more things about the modern view of the age of the earth. There is a natural assumption behind these views which cannot be supported and it's called "uniformitarianism". Why do you believe that everything has always been going the same way? Can you support or prove that? If you could prove that, then the evidence might support your belief, but the problem is that your assumption is groundless. Therefore you can't even interpret what you see in nature.

With respect to the rest, evidence concerning other historical figures around the same time of your Jesus is very well documented...the evidence surrounding Jesus Christ is very poor to say the least. Without the New Testament...The Jesus Story wouldn't even be a footnote on history.

I'd like to hear what historical figure from that time has more texts and more differing sources that support his existence. But you won't find any. :) Like I said, he is supported by contemporary non-Christian writers. And you can't deny the historical reliability of the New Testament. It is heavily supported and nothing in it has been denied. Can you give me something in it that is false? If you can't, we should assume that it is the truth because everything verifiable in it is true. Simple logic. :)

My opinions on Paul are subjective...and always will be. I just don't like the guy...and everything that i've read about Paul, confirms what the Christian Church stands for in my eyes.


Yeah, Paul was an amazing figure and he's someone who's hard to deal with if you don't believe in Christianity. How did this radical change of life come about?? That's something that only seems answerable through a supernatural change.

Thanks for your honesty. :)
 Quoting: brandon1234


It takes balls to face the truth, the truth of how lost you are and the truth of how God has the right to judge you because of how you've fallen short. The amazing thing is that through Jesus Christ we actually have answers to the way the world is.

I've looked for the truth, i've found different bits and pieces...not much beyond, the sun comes up in the morning, the, the sun goes down at night etc. I don't feel lost and I certainly don't feel judged, and I therefore don't need your Jesus Christ. I believe the world is fine...at least my world is anyway.

I should say a few more things about the modern view of the age of the earth. There is a natural assumption behind these views which cannot be supported and it's called "uniformitarianism". Why do you believe that everything has always been going the same way? Can you support or prove that? If you could prove that, then the evidence might support your belief, but the problem is that your assumption is groundless. Therefore you can't even interpret what you see in nature.


I have no idea what you're talking about here...but I can tell you that I interpret things in nature all the time, which great confidence and excitement.

I'd like to hear what historical figure from that time has more texts and more differing sources that support his existence. But you won't find any. :) Like I said, he is supported by contemporary non-Christian writers. And you can't deny the historical reliability of the New Testament. It is heavily supported and nothing in it has been denied. Can you give me something in it that is false? If you can't, we should assume that it is the truth because everything verifiable in it is true. Simple logic.


The Caesars and Herod are good examples. Also Cleopatra and Mark Antony. Some of the scientific diggers are even excited about finding Cleo and Antony's tomb shortly...that would be really interesting...I'm afraid I can't say the same for Jesus Christ's tomb. The only non-Testament evidence that supports your Jesus Christ that I know of is the Jew Falvius Josephus. Who are the others?

I would never assume that something is truth just because it is written, by you, the Jew or the NT.

Yeah, Paul was an amazing figure and he's someone who's hard to deal with if you don't believe in Christianity. How did this radical change of life come about?? That's something that only seems answerable through a supernatural change.

I see the supernatural all the time...in fairy tales, Hollywood and Theocracy...but no where else.
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 11:15 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
You can kill infants but would you? Is this not part free will? And if someone was to kill an infant whose to say that it wasn't suppose to happen?

You are seriously telling me right now that there is nothing definitively wrong with killing infants? But this is naturally where you end up if you start your worldview without an omnipotent, good God who defines what is good and evil. It's very sad...

My viewpoint is that if it happens it happened for a reason and by the very nature of it occurring that reason is always good. Often an event may appear to be bad but in regards to the larger scheme of things, the bigger picture, it was meant to be. One should regard morals as a guideline to follow but keep in mind there is an exception to every rule and one cannot always fully know the circumstances surrounding an event.

It happened for a reason? Who's reason is that? Are you now inferring that a conscious being is determiining what happens on earth? Where did you get this belief from?

However, your view that things that appear bad can actually be working for good is a Christian belief (see Romans 8:28). Only if a good God is working through every event and redeeming it can things that are bad be turned into good. But you haven't explained how you got to this point. I want to see how you get to this point.

The way I get there is by seeing that from the beginning of his creation, God created it good. However, man fell and chose sin over God - man wanted to be like God. However, from the moment that man fell, God gave a promise that one would come who would redeem everything and make it right again (Genesis 3:15). However, a good God must also be a just God - therefore, God had to do a work to fulfill the just requirement and also extend grace. He did this by sending his Son to take the sinner's place (see Romans 3:26). Therefore, if God has redeemed not only the sinners, but also the entire world, everything bad thing is actually going to be redeemed for his purposes.

That's how I get to that point. :)

I define evil as ignorance and we are all ignorant to one degree or another or we would be like God... perfect. Without ignorance there would be nothing to learn. No interplay within this reality matrix. Bo "Game" to be played.

Where do you get that definition from? Are you the originator of everything you believe? If so, that doesn't sound like the most reliable system - sorry. :)

Is ignorance the entire essence of evil? Does murder play some role in this evil? What about child molesters or rapists?

The definition of evil for the Christians come from who God is in himself. God is holy and perfect and therefore every way that he wants us to live comes from his character. That's why he commands not to murder, not to steal, not do anything unloving, because God is love (I John 4:16).

Is not God synonymous with nature? and are we not part of nature? A hand of God?(perhaps only a finger?) If we are part of God's expression how can our actions go against his will? How do we know that we are not to "interfere"? How do we know that those who try and prevent this interference are not suppose to?

God is not synonymous with nature - God created nature. We cannot ultimately go against God's plan because he is working everything together for good (Romans 8:28). However, God desires that we honor him through what we do. This is what he created us for. We know that we're not supposed to "interfere" because God has told us so in the Bible. God is able to work through the worst of mankind (e.g. the crucifixion), but he still has a right to require obedience from people and those who rebel against that are still liable for judgment.

So basically, what I'm saying is that God is the answer for everything because he provides an answer for those things that truly are wrong with the world today.
-Brandon
Anonymous Coward
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09/26/2009 11:17 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
If you don't believe in the God of the Bible, I'm curious to know your reasons for that.

Let me know your thoughts. :)

-Brandon
 Quoting: brandon1234


ALL the supernatural stuff is obvious bullshit, and once that is gone the rest is just a lot of confused philosophy.
blakeyland (OP)

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09/26/2009 11:21 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
If you don't believe in the God of the Bible, I'm curious to know your reasons for that.

Let me know your thoughts. :)

-Brandon

No one has explained to me why it is important.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 774852


It is of the utmost importance! Belief in God determines your life after death as well as the path of your life right now. By believing in Jesus Christ, it gives you an assurance and a hope for what will happen to you after you die, as well as what your life's goals are in every aspect. It changes your entire view of life from just trying to get by in the few years you have on this earth to living your life with the hope that Christ gives you.
-samuel
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 11:22 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
If you don't believe in the God of the Bible, I'm curious to know your reasons for that.

Let me know your thoughts. :)

-Brandon

No one has explained to me why it is important.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 774852


It's not just important, it's everything. We're talking about the key to everything in life. Jesus says in John 6 that he is the "bread of life." What he is saying is that if anyone wants to have true life he has to be transformed and filled with the essence of who Jesus is.

Knowing God is really everything in life. God created us to have a relationship with him and in that relationship is every joy and pleasure. To be alive physically and not to have relationship with God is like Michael Phelps sewing instead of swimming, it's like Kobe spending his life giving manicures instead of playing basketball. That would be ridiculous and a waste. True fulfillment comes in doing what one was made for - and God made us to be in a relationship with him. Of course, these metaphors are weak because not being in a relationship with God is also a living death.

If what the Bible says is true, it effects you immensely, because it says that everything beautiful and good are found through the forgiveness that comes through the sacrifice that his Son made. Jesus Christ came to pay the price that was required of each man - the penalty for sin: death. Now by coming to him, one can not only experience forgiveness for sins and deliverance from hell, but can experience the fullness of joy in him.

This is very, very important. I hope you can experience it. :)
-Brandon
brandon1234 (OP)

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09/26/2009 11:25 PM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
ALL the supernatural stuff is obvious bullshit, and once that is gone the rest is just a lot of confused philosophy.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 780521


Interesting comment. For me it is obvious that there has to be something supernatural going on because all of the natural laws state that something cannot come from nothing. Therefore the start of the universe had to be beyond nature - i.e. supernatural. That seems obvious to me. :)

The complexity of nature seems to make it obvious that some intelligent being had to create it. Intelligent beings are ones that can communicate - like the massive amounts of information that are contained in DNA. This is obviously not something that came from a massive line of mistakes - this came from some incredibly complex and intelligent being.

The list of reasons go on and on, but I don't like to talk - I'd love to hear more of your thoughts as to why the supernatural is bull. :)
-Brandon
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
God is not synonymous with nature - God created nature.
 Quoting: brandon1234

You mean like trees, rivers and rocks?

I was referring natural order.
"Humanity's suffering is pushing it to it's birth."
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"All knowledge is vain except where there be work, and all work is empty except where there be love."

-Eugnostos


Perfection is an illusion and we shall always walk in it's shadow.
[link to www.godlikeproductions.com]

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Anonymous Coward
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09/27/2009 12:09 AM
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Re: What are your objections to Christianity?
brandon - God bless you for your love of the Lord and your gentle spirit.

It is enormously refreshing - this girl sees way too many "standing for the faith" who ought to fall down and repent of their glorying in themselves instead of Jesus Christ.

How quickly we forget this admonition: James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.

You are a blessing.

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