Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Did I Say That?

Salvage has accused me of using the No True Scotsman defence when describing people who do evil in the name of Jesus. That’s not so. All I said was, “Show me someone who calls himself a Christian, and who is doing harm to others and I’ll show you Chapter and Verse how s/he is not following the One s/he claims to be following. I have no better example than myself.

Once again, as I have done so many times in the past, I’m off the rails. While my words may be the same as always, my motives in what I post have turned back to pure confrontation. Jab - Jab - swing. Here’s what’s scary about that.

Paul, later one of Christianity’s greatest missionaries began his encounters with Christians by torturing and killing them. We don’t know how many he is responsible for killing but we do know that he was good at it. There’s nothing quite like an enthusiastic torturer. And there's nothing quite like religious zeal to ignite enthusiasm. And then, as Paul was on his way to bring back to Jerusalem yet another group of traitors to his faith, he was met by Jesus who said to him,

“Paul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Persecuting? Paul thought he was doing God a favour! It was no different for those who carried out the Inquisitions and Crusades. It's no different with me. All of us, at one time or another lose our focus. All of us forget that it is sin, and not the sinner who is our enemy.

And God said to Paul, “Stop persecuting Me.” To be fair, Paul didn't know who Jesus was. He had no idea that "God was in Jesus, reconciling the world to Himself." In his mind, Paul was defending the truth of God, defending against blasphemy no less, and God said to Paul that He - God - was on the side of those that Paul was trying to silence.

I fear that I’ve been doing the same thing. We are living in the age of Grace. To be sure, the time of Judgement is coming. But now is the time of salvation. Now is the time of God’s favour to all sinners everywhere. My attitude toward atheists, my enthusiasm to prove them wrong has once again slipped into the nasty. I’m mimicking Paul in his pre conversion days and I want to say that I’m wrong and I’m sorry.

God’s attitude toward sinners, all sinners, atheists included is one of mercy, grace, patience, gentleness and longing for a healed and forgiven relationship.

God is recorded as saying, "I take no delight in the death of the wicked. I long for you to turn from your sin and be healed." It is also recorded in John 3:17 -

“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

Until the day of Jesus’ return, God is on the side of atheists. And here I am, fighting against the very One I claim to represent. I’m taunting and mocking those God loves. Ah, me, I can be such a screw-up. Again, I’m sorry. I was wrong.

Hopefully the tone of my posts will reflect a change that you can notice. Or not. After all, any criticism regardless of motive and tone, stings. Hopefully a change in motive on this end will translate into less harsh tone to the posts that you receive.

16 comments:

salvage said...

I take no delight in the death of the wicked.

No, that's probably true, he seems to enjoy the death of everyone. At least in the old days he did, him and Moses.

But that's off topic, the point is this:

Religion is so ambiguous, so open to interpretation, so unreal that it can be molded into whatever the user likes. It is the ultimate omni-tool for justification of any crazy thing.

As such you cannot say all Christians are this or that (other than they believe in gods) anymore than you can say all atheists are this or that (other than they believe there are no such things as gods).

Your "quote" posts are just that, by pointing out some of the crazy things atheists say you're trying to smear all atheists and in rebuttal I posted quotes from theists saying crazy things.

In response you haughtily declare that they're not really Christian but they are, they believe in your god they just think he is saying different stuff.

That is the heart of the "No True Scotsman" argument. No matter how many examples we produce you will declare them not to be Christians defining Christian as whatever you decide it is.

Hitler was a Christian and he did bad things but this doesn't mean Christians are intrinsically bad.

If you are going to quote atheists howa bout you focus on what the quote says and work from that to attack that specific idea.

In the case of Margaret Sanger see if you can get any atheist to disagree that her eugenic ideas were retarded.

Makarios said...

Salvage, if you found out that a couple in town was sacrifcing their children as live burnt offerings, do you think anything should b done about it? Or should you, as a good citizen just tolerate them; live and let live?

salvage said...

Um obviously I think something would need to be done about it...

If there is a point to this I fail to see it, can you enlighten?

Makarios said...

You seem to think God was doing something wrong when He dealt with those societies as He did. Think about it! How evil would a society have to be for burning children alive to be normal and acceptable?

These societies were destroyed because:

They were evil to the core. Two distinguishig features were, as stated the common use of child sacrifice in the form of live burnt offerings. As well, the subjugation of women by the thousands to work as temple prostitutes. It was usually the children that resulted from these liasons that were used for burnt offerings. I can hardly believe that you would support that type of violence and wickedness just to oppose a God you say you don't believe in.

As a side note, God gave all of them almost a hundred years to change, "Until their wickedness reached a level where total annihilation was warranted.

As well, the people of those nations were always given a warning and the option to give up their evil ways and leave the area. Only those who wanted to stay and fight were caught up in the battle. The fact that some people would stay exposing their children to war when they had the option of leaving shows their lack of caring for their offspring

Finally, the Jews were the nation through which God was planning to bring salvation to the world. These nations were intent on wiping out the Jews.

Regardless of whether you approve or not, fighting against your Creator is a stupid idea.

salvage said...

Oh wait, oh wait I think I get it! So I'm like the children who are going to get burnt up and you're like the good citizen who is trying to prevent it by... um... well I'm not really sure what you're doing to save me.

In the old days that was one of the motivating ideas behind the inquisitions. The argument went something like this:

"God will throw unbelievers into Hell so we as decent human beings need to save them and get them to convert to our religion (which just coincidentally happens to be the one that our god likes) so they get to go to Heaven!" says one priest.

"But some of them won't convert no matter how nicely we ask them and explain it's totally for their own good." said the other.

"Oh I know, let's torture them until they do convert"

"Whoa there, that's crazy, we just can't go torturing people, what would Jesus think!?!"

"No, no, you don't get it, see god is going to torture them in Hell anyway and there's no way we're as good as a torture as god!"

"No, that would be blasphemous." the priest had to agree.

"So we inflict a small bit of torture to save them from a much worse torture!" the priest exclaimed.

"Jesus would be all thumbs-up to that plan!" the priest had to agree again.

"Speaking of thumbs, check out was this thing does to 'em! That's have many a Jew signing Ava Maria before the sun is down!" said the priest with a gleam in his eye.

So if that's what you meant than the metaphor isn't quite right. It should read:

salvage, if you found out that there wasn't a crazy man in town demanding that everyone love and worship him or he'll torture them in his basement forever and ever, do you think anything should be done about it? Or should you, as a good citizen just tolerate him; live and let live?

To which I would say:

I think that I would let the nonexistent crazy man do whatever he likes, a courtesy I extend to all unreal things. So unless the nonexistent crazy man demonstrates that he is real he has my supreme indifference.

salvage said...

>You seem to think God was doing something wrong when He dealt with those societies as He did.

Ooooh you were being literal, silly me, been a long day.

Right, well in that case why did your god make those societies?

See it always loops back to the whole omnipotent, omniscient flaw of your god. No matter what good reason he had to do a bad thing that bad thing will always be, ultimately, his fault. The chain of custody is clear.

Secondly the Aztecs had crazy sacrifice rituals too, babies and all so why didn't your god go all Sodom and Gomorrah on them at the same time? Ditto with the Carthaginians, they did stuff so heinous that it'd make Rob Zombie loose his lunch. Rome had to put their asses down under the flag of Jupiter and Mars and Apollo. The Spartans used to toss their unwanted babies off a cliff and they took all of Greece. Seems that your god didn't mind their infanticide.

And let's talk about how much pain and suffering your god allows that isn't quite so brutal but just as evil.

I love it when theists try and present their god as some sort of Captain Kirk with a Prime Directive that he bends when the mood strikes.

It's like Exodus, why did your god rain misery down on the Egyptians? Why not just teleport the Jews off to the Promised Land? Why all the malarky with plagues and parting bodies of water, and water from a stone, and blah blah blah. He's a god, he can do whatever he wants whenever he wants and yet he only does it in bizarrely selective ways and only a long time ago, never today.

Makarios said...

The only thing I was trying to do was appeal to your sense of right and wrong. Burning one's children to death is, in my mind abhorrent. I thought, in error that you would by extension understand God’s reaction to whole nations that were that evil. I had for a moment forgotten about the selective morality of atheists. My mistake.

As to your last query, regarding Pharaoh and Egypt, check out Romans 9:16-18.

salvage said...

>I thought, in error that you would by extension understand God’s reaction to whole nations that were that evil.

But the point you keep ignoring is that your god made those nations and that he doesn't as a rule burn evil nations to the ground.

Why did he rescue the Israelite from slavery but not the other people enslaved in and out of Egypt?

Slavery is only bad if you do it to Jews?

God like Jews best back then?

Explain!

Makarios said...

I did explain, in my second reply. The Jews are the nation through which God was planning to bring salvation to the world. These nations were intent on wiping out the Jews. As far as I know the Aztecs were doing other things in another part of the world.

Oh, and God does not make us evil, either individually or as a nation. That a choice that we make on our own.

salvage said...

>I did explain, in my second reply. The Jews are the nation through which God was planning to bring salvation to the world.

How does that make any sense at all? Why would a god "plan"? A god wants something to happen it happens, omnipotent beings do not need cause and effect.

>These nations were intent on wiping out the Jews.

No they were not.The various Empires between Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome spent a few centuries kicking each other and that narrow strip of desert that we call Israel was the path they took. Naturally they'd warm up their war machines on whatever towns and cities were in the way.

This is one of the silliest things that theists believe, that it's all some sort of giant cosmic chess game with humans and our politics as pieces.

As for the Aztecs, so your god only punishes evil in geographic regions that he has a future interest in producing a complicated plan to undo his perfect plan that isn't working out like he wants it to.

And he's all-powerful.

What's not to believe!?!

>Oh, and God does not make us evil, either individually or as a nation. That a choice that we make on our own.

If he made us and he made evil it seems that the blame can only be laid at his doorstop.

Makarios said...

A god wants something to happen it happens, omnipotent beings do not need cause and effect."

You know, for someone who pretends to not believe in God, you seem to fancy yourself quite an expert on the subject.
-----------------
The various Empires between Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome. . .

Ah, honey, we aren’t talking about those nations. You need to do a bit more studying before you enter into this discussion.
-------------------

If he made us and he made evil it seems that the blame can only be laid at his doorstop.”

Ya, my four year old tries to blame others for the wrong things she does too.

Flute said...

"Ya, my four year old tries to blame others for the wrong things she does too."

*cough* which one of you believes in predistination?

salvage said...

>You know, for someone who pretends to not believe in God, you seem to fancy yourself quite an expert on the subject.

So your god isn't all-powerful?

>Ah, honey, we aren’t talking about those nations. You need to do a bit more studying before you enter into this discussion.

Sweetie we are. That is the historical context and real reason why Israel was invaded and re-invaded time and time again and why the Jews were sent into exile and or slavery. I know, I know it's all part of your sky god's crazy plan and it only looks like the cause and effect of war in ancient times.

>Ya, my four year old tries to blame others for the wrong things she does too.

Does she blame a magic man in the sky? Because that would be rather childish.

Makarios said...

Oh, of course. You’re referring to the time when God told the Israelites to smite the Greeks and Romans at Mount Horeb and to not spare one Greek or Roman baby. My mistake.

salvage said...

To be fair everyone did that back then, you killed your enemy and enslaved his women and children. SOP. SO while your god was telling Moses to do that sort of thing the Greek and Roman gods were telling their dude to do likewise.

See, that's why it's bad to listen to gods.

Dan +†+ said...

Makarios,

You are one of the few that make me feel "lukewarm".

Simply inspiring. Have a blessed weekend.