Ok guys, here are my two main posts from Jenn's discussion, please repost at minimum your latest reply to me when you join...Thanks!
Congratulations to you and your husband!
I am new to this thread and I admit that I did not read all of the comments up to this point, but if it is not too late, I would like to encourage you in you rrelationship with Rachel.
First, a little bit about me: I grew up in the south and the traditional church and rejected Christianity around the age of 12. I spent the next ~ 10 years pursuing Atheism in the sense of being a LaVeyan Satanist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satanism#LaVeyan_Satanism (as are many Athiests whether they know it or not) until I was almost 22. I was completely anti-christ and anti-religion. I sold drugs and threw parties...among other things. After wandering through spiritual darkness for many years I had come to realize that I was in a place Jesus called Hell. I made some spiritual decisions and decided that I was rejecting Christianity even though I knew so much about it having grown up in it, but there was something I felt like I was missing. Something I did not understand and to me, the highest form of ignorance is rejecting that which I do not understand. I decided to submit myself to the teachings of Jesus Christ and that is what I did. I came to realize that what He teaches is so far from what the church as a whole teaches. Over the last 8 years since I gave my life to the mystery of the Christ within us and found my place as a Son of the Most High God, who is simply Life and Love. Now, I am a registered nurse and will be a doctor in less than two years :) In the last 8 years of studying scripture, seeking wisdom, and serving and loving people through the anointing (literally: the Christ) in me, I have come to learn many things. A few of those things, I would like to share because I think they might help.
1) The teachings of the church and many of the dogmatic doctrinal ideas of most Christians are not what Jesus taught. They are fueled by the demonic spirit called Religion and they keep our Father's children from truly entering into a relationship with Him. Jesus taught us simply 1) to love God (God = Love, Love= God, God = Life, Life = God, etc) and 2) to love others as we love ourself. He commands us to heal people, to feed people and to simply serve others in selfless love. He DOES NOT command us to build his church or to convince others to become Christians. He does tell us to spead the word of the Kingdom of heaven which He says twice in scripture is a spiritual place here among us right now. This means to let people know that they are truly all children of the Most High God, children of Life and children of Love. We are commanded to tell them that they can, in fact, have a personal relationship with the force of Life that permeates the entire universe. I say this all to point out that your friend Rachel is probably sick of religion as are many people. This is key to understand. Jesus tried to minister to the "Christians" of His day...they were called the Pharisees. He soon came to turn the focus His ministry on the "Atheists" of the day...the Gentiles. My point is that Jesus didn't push religion...he didn't even like religion...He pushed Love and Freedom and Service and Healing etc, etc...
2) I have been in ministry (service) for the last 8 years and I can tell you that it was a while before I came to realize that, although I know many awesome christian brothers and sisters that really do love me, I have many people in my life that are atheists, wiccans, hindus, etc that have loved me regardless of my life path and have always been there for me. These are my true family. I share this to point out that it is your love for Rachel and your acceptance of her no matter what and this attitude is what is going to win her and keep her as your close friend in this situation. You well know that the manifestation of the Spirit of God in and through you will reveal itself as love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, kindness, goodness, self-control in your relationship with her. This is what we are called to sister...not religious ideas and dogmas. To point, would any of those (love, joy, peace, etc) push Rachel away if you expressed them to her? No. Would religious ideas about Jesus? Yes. The religion would, but the true Spirit of Christ will not push away or destroy relationships...even more evidence that religion is not what Jesus is about for He would never push any away from Himself. With that said, my friends know that I love our Father and have found my path via the teachings of Christ and I do have opportunities to talk about those teachings on rare occasions, but only when they bring it up. The church tells us that we have to beat people up with evangelism, but I am here to tell you to NOT feel guilty for not pushing Jesus (the religious Jesus) on her. I have come to understand that for me to say I have to "convince" someone to become a Christian, is to say that I do not have any confidence in the power of the Holy Spirit to do His job. It is the presence of the a pure Spirit of Love in one's life that brings them to repentance, not clever arguments and convincing. Loving her is more powerful than any sort of convincing that your words could ever do...this is the presence of the Spirit within you operating in her life. (I do understand that you will miss the fellowship with her and that is expected, but do not give up hope and control yourself when the urge comes to discuss Jesus-stuff with her. I actually, have learned many ways to talk about spiritual things with those that despise Jesus including words that are non-offensive etc. It is nice to be able to have an entire conversation about Jesus and important spiritual things without saying "Jesus" or other trigger words. If you are interested and think it might be useful to you, I would be happy to share some of that with you :)
3) I want to briefly address the Hell issue. I don't know about heaven or hell after this life and I am sure you have your own ideas. However, I want to encourage you to not concern yourself with whether or not Rachel will go to hell when she dies, but rather be concerned that she may find it here on Earth before then. Continue to be a source of grace and mercy and unrelenting love to her and your light in her life will be a constant beacon if she should begin to find herself traversing into the deeper layers of the underworld. I have seen the depths of hell...maybe even as deep as Tartaros and I can say that the only way I found my way into the kingdom, into complete freedom, was because I had faithful people in my life daily praying for me and loving me regardless. Pray constantly and faithfully.
4) I did see at the beginning of this thread where you said that you had many Christians telling you that to continuing a relationship with her would mean being "unevenly yoked". I bet you have also heard the one about "what fellowship can light have with darkness?" or something to that effect. Let me tell you now that those people, while having good intentions, are wrong, IMO. The pharisees only hung out with other pharisees and religious christians hang out with other christians. Jesus tried to hang out with the "religious christians" of His day and soon got sick of it. So, He decided to hang out with the godless and the druggies and the crazies and the rejects, etc, etc. He loved those that were free from religion and offered love and acceptance to those among them who could find it no where else. By pursuing her, you are following the example of Christ more than most Christians are and will begin to see Him in places and understand His love in ways that most Christians will never know. So, you keep it up and don't listen to that demonic religious spirit that will try to convince you through others (many of whom you trust and probably have the deepest respect for) to leave her alone. (As an aside, I would love to hear of any other arguments "christians" may try to throw at you in an attempt to get you to abandon her...)
Well, I could ramble on and on as I am rather long-winded, but that addresses most of the main points that I wanted to touch on. Forgive me for the deepness in some areas and some of the spiritual ambiguity in others. I was hesitant about posting such an openly christian response in this forum...thought about sending it privately instead, but I guess the response shall be interesting if nothing else. I am looking forward to hearing how things go and will pray that you and Rachel may both continue to find freedom from religion while at the same time, growing and strengthening your relationship with the Father of all of creation, whose Son is Jesus Christ and whose children are Rachel and Jenn (among others as well ;)
I am not sure how it is you can suppose to know me well enough to attack me so based on a single post of mine. I will briefly address your concerns, however, if you would like to continue this discussion, maybe you could start a new thread so as to not clog up thread with unrelated conversation.
1) "you're religious, wrong and turning the so called bible upside down, you're sure that gentiles were atheists!" - Ummm...yes, I am sure. The word "Gentile" is derived from the latin word "gens" originally meaning "clan or family". It is translated in the English Bible from the Hebrew texts as "Gentile, heathen, nation or people" from the Hebrew word "goy" and from the Greek texts of the New Testament usually as "Gentile, heathen, nation or people" from the Greek word "ethnos". The usage of the word "Gentile" in the greek and hebrew texts refers to people who are non-Jews and typically carries the connotation of a broad sense of the all of the people of the time who did not believe in the God of the Jews (i.e. - non-Jews). There are specific scriptures that carry the particular connotation of a person who is god-less (ie - an Atheist: from "-theist) meaning one who believes in a god and the prefix "A-" negating the following suffix) and likens these "atheist" as Gentiles. It's ok if you didn't know this. One really has to study this stuff for oneself to really pick up on these sorts of things.
2) "Atheism is not satanism" You are correct in that Atheis is not satanism. I never said it was. I understand how someone reading quickly through my post might have misinterpretted this idea. What I said was that many Atheist cleanly fit the criteria for LeVeyan Satanism. Have you read the Satanic Bible written by Anton LaVey? There are many shades of Satanism and there are many Atheists who do not fit anywhere within the a-theistic ideas conveyed by LeVey, but there are many who do...I was one of them. www.religioustolerance.org explains LaVeyan Satanism as a "small religious group that is unrelated to any other faith, and whose members feel free to satisfy their urges responsibly, exhibit kindness to their friends, and attack their enemies." Read the Satanic Bible...you can find a free copy here: www.thesatanicbiblefree.com "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet."
3) "and I was called antichrist but I didn't have anything to do with the devil" I am sorry you were called anti-christ. One can be against (anti-) Christ and not be Satanic or have anything to do with the devil. I believe you. There are many names for spirits that are against Christ...one is Satan, which literally defined, means "the false accuser" Have you ever been accused falsely? If so, then you experienced a Satanic spirit operating through whoever was falsely accusing you. I have encountered him on more than one occasion...even recently I might add :)
4) "and you must have a ton of latent guilt from religion because you're so called wild demonic trip is having fun maybe too much which is constrained by religion and you went to what you know as repenting." I see how you might assume these things, though I can assure you that I am completely free from all guilt. I have been forgiven for everyone I have hurt and every offense I have ever committed. In fact, I have found a place where I live under a pouring rain of perpetual or constant forgiveness. In staying in this place, it allows me to immediately forgive others when they offend or hurt me :) Proof = The fact that I forgive you because your response to my attempt to encourage Jenn was a little hurtful but it is ok, I still love you and would do anything for you and I don't even know you :)
5) "Prove to me you know squat about you're old atheistic ways and state great points that turned you into an atheist." If you would like further proof, please start a new thread and we can discuss it as much as you like. It might be good to give the others who will assuredly attack me a ready avenue to do so without clogging Jenn's thread. Looking forward to talking with you more :)
Thank you for your input.
1) To clarify, I said, “I have spent many years studying the vast amounts of texts, in and out of the canonized Bible…” so, yes, those books included in the canon. I began my studies there of course and branched out to the other texts that the Bible itself quotes and references as authoritative, and then onward to others.
2) “You must be aware that the bible should be the final authority on all of your 'learning' as it says here http://bible.cc/revelation/22-18.htm - I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book'” I am aware that this is the accepted view of most modern-day Christians. I can tell that you are versed in the scripture and I can safely assume that this would include the history of the canon and the acriptures therein. Remember, the above verse is in the book of Revelation and when that text was written there was no canon. That book existed as a stand-alone account as did the others. It seems a far stretch to assume that the author was intending that one scripture to include all the other texts that are now included in the Bible and not intended to mean adding stuff to King James' version. What about the inconsistencies in the gospels and the additions (and subtractions) included in those over the many years of copying and translating? What about those authors? If you are going to apply this scripture to me then it should be applied ot them as well. The bottom line here is that this is a perfect example of quoting a scripture out of context and you are not the first I have witnessed doing it. I know you do not agree with me on this and I am not here to convince you or anyone of my views, so let us agree to disagree and move on.
3) "since you claim to know how to properly research, all we can ask is that your writings reflect your beliefs. if you are trying to convert us to your flavor of christianity, you need to show us our errors in thinking by providing why you believe what you believe, that is in the bible. the people here will not believe much of what you say without proof of how you came to such conclusion." I applaud you for your apologetic stance, and you have been formally trained in it I would imagine. I would recognize this spirit anywhere. As far as my beliefs, I try to let truth and fact guide my thoughts and actions...not beliefs. Beliefs, IMO, are ideas that are fed to us by others that we accept as our own ideas, and facts...nay, truth is given to us directly from observation or revelation from the Father. I am on a continual mission to identify beliefs within my paradigm and reject them for facts and truths. It is mainly "belief" that lead christians to conduct themselves in a manner that really do keep people from a life of submission to love and being vessels of Life themselves. Jesus confronted the Pharisees on this very concept in Matthew 23:13 "But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in." NAS (Also, Luke 11:28) And to make yet another point: "Yeshúa says: The clergyº and the theologiansº have received the keys of recognition, but they have hidden them. They did not enter, nor did they permit those to enter who wished to. Yet you— become astute as serpents and pure as
doves." Gospel of Thomas <= It is, IMO, not wise to limit ones studies to the canon as there is good stuff, in this instance, the same stuff, in other texts.
4) "IF you do not base your christianity on the bible, you must be aware that you are not a christian in the truest sense of that word." This is your belief, but the truth of the matter is that I found my Father through the scripture and have come to know Him in every aspect of my life. I am just thankful that my place within the kingdom is not based on what you or any theological "authority" thinks. I am not a disciple of Paul, nor of James, nor of any man even those today. My authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to my by my Father and whether man recognizes it or not makes no difference to me. Who has given you your authority to confront me on such matters?
5) "you can not believe jesus is the son of god, lived as a man, died, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of the god," You are right. I cannot and do not "believe" that. It has been revealed to me by my Father and I have seen it for myself. So, for me it is not a belief, but rather a fact. How about you?
6) "you must follow what his book says, not what some 'other' writers have decided christianity should be." Render unto Caesar what is Caesars and to God that which is God's...and no, I am not talking about money here. While the Bible does belong to my Father, so does every other thin in this universe. Unfortunately, the religious people of today have taken it over, distorted the truths in it, and use it continually for their own gain and agendas. In my mind, these "other writers" you refer to are the ones leading our seminaries and standing on the pulpits professing their ideas that lead my brothers and sisters into the bondage of religion in the name of Christianity and Jesus. They are not all bad, but the vast majority of them are. So, unfortunately, I fear that you have fallen into the very trap you are warning me against. Can you show me one scripture, in context of course, that says I have to base my Christianity solely on the canonized Bible and the Bible alone? I sincerely hope you can...I have not been able to find one.
7) "Paul exhorts young timothy here to study the word of god that he had access to at the time, which was pretty much only the old testament as much of the new testament was written after paul's death." You are correct in that Paul does this. You are also correct in that the old testament was what paul and timothy had access to. Remember, there were other texts that were considered authoritative in Paul's time that are not even in the Bible, though I will say that the Jewish texts of the Tanakh were def the main ones. The point that Paul was making was to seek to know the Father in the best way that he could, which was through the Old testament at the time. Thankfully, my Father is not limited to a book. Also remember that the Bible is not a simply a rule book, but a revelation of a Ruler and the ruler, being "in and through all things" can be and is revealed in and throughout all of creation and not just in a book.
8) "there are not many 'weak' atheists here, so if you plan on holding a debate, you should actually read what the bible says about your pantheistic 'god in us' theory..." I am not interested in debating and to be honest, it usually turns out that the only ones I end up debating with are the ones who consider themselves to be christians. If they know my Father then they know me and I know them. It is funny to me, I can sit in a room with 10 christians, and read scripture and talk about the love and life of Jesus and our Father and they will spend the next 3 hours trying to argue with me. When it is over, most will go home upset or angry and even some questioning my "christianity". I can sit in a room with 10 of my Atheist friends or friends of other faiths and have the exact same conversation with them and when it is over, I will have some come to me and tell me that I am the most real christian they have ever met. I am not looking to debate and I am not looking to convert people to my perspective. Rather, I am seeking truth and am glad to finally find a forum of people that are in general, open minded enough to seek out truth with me and not be satisfied on religious ideas and beliefs. Finally, as far as this "god in us" theory you mention...the first scripture that comes to mind is the scripture that speaks to the "mystery of Christ in us". I am sure I can find others if you like? Please share with me some of the ones that speak against this idea if you wish. I would really like to read them :)
Forgive me if I am presuming too much here, Chris but from what I gather with your responses you seem to be attempting to be what I think can only be best described as a "fence sitter". You appear to want to be atheist but at the same time, you want to be a christian, so long as it suits you.
I think the reason most of us are finding this a little difficult to come to terms with is because a lot of atheists approach life from a skeptical, scientific and rational point of view. From my point of view, you seem to adopt a lot of faith based claims in your rhetoric and that is perhaps what is causing a certain level of offense.
As you were simply sharing your point of view with Jenn in the previous discussion, I don't think it can be said you were trying to proselytize or "convert" anyone. However, at the same time, if you are going to bring claims not based on evidence, but on your own personal experiences, I think it would be fair to expect a certain degree of opposition and debate.
Just my 2 cents. :)
I would have to say that I think the reason I come across as a "fence-sitter" is because many of my "christian" views are not shared by traditional modern christians and while I have found that my views of "god" or lack of "god" are really more similar to most Atheists, I am not a full fledged atheist. I am just learning about humanism, but it is my guess that there is much within humanism that I can identify with, as well as many other systems of belief or non-belief for that matter. And as a side note, the most mature and what i call "non-religious" christians that I know share the same beliefs as me so...i dunno, not trying to fit into any box in particular, which i realize does tend to make it difficult for people to get a grasp on me.
I do realize that it takes a bit of exploration for people to really understand where I am coming from and while I love to share my perspective, I am here to learn the perspectives of others as well. You see, I am a skeptic too. I am a scientist...a biologist and a chemist and soon to be doctor and I am formally trained to operate from a place that is evidence based. I believe in rational thought and I love logic and reasoning. I agree that some of my conversation seems to be faith based, but I can assure you that I have come to where I am at not by mere speculation or wild acceptance of the beliefs of others. I do not take that sort of stuff lightly when applying it to my life.
I wish I could provide evidence in every discussion for every claim that I make but it would be super time consuming to link all that to every sentence. I am sure you would agree. I figure, if someone cares enough about me or even about what I have said to really want to see the evidence, then they will engage in productive conversation with me and begin to build a thoughtful relationship with me.
I agree with you when you speak of expecting opposition and debate. I really probably should have made my post to Jenn a private message, but to be honest, amongst all the crap I have been assaulted with since then, I will say that there have been a couple people who really do seem cool to talk to. Judging by your response, I hope that you may be one of them. But, even if gain one friend from all of this then it will have all been worth it :)
If you want to talk more, I would love to hear where you are at in your journey and if there was anything in particular that I could share evidence for I would be more than happy to do so :)
there is so much in here, i will try to get to the main points in what you have said.
1) when you find 'truth' of christianity outside of recognized canon, you should be very careful to call yourself a christian in any form. yes, i am well aware of who the bible was compiled and that many other writings do exist, yet they failed the test, whatever that may be, to be considered canon. if you think that you know more than the nearly 2000 years of christian history, then, more power to you my friend, but what you believe is not to be considered christian in origin.
3) "As far as my beliefs, I try to let truth and fact guide my thoughts and actions...not beliefs. Beliefs, IMO, are ideas that are fed to us by others that we accept as our own ideas, and facts...nay, truth is given to us directly from observation or revelation from the Father."
OK, where do i start on this one... Joseph Smith founded the mormon church on "inspired revelation from god" and a handy-dandy pair of glasses with which he translated the only true revelation of god given to man. he based his belief not on any fact, but on his 'revelation'. there are many reasons that scripture must be used to base belief on. as for calling anything in the bible fact, i hope you know that most of what is there is not found anywhere as being fact. so if you are using revelation as fact, well, then you open yourself up to many different 'voices' that you hear... in most countries, people who hear voices are put away in rooms and medicated as a danger to themselves and to others.
2) "Remember, the above verse is in the book of Revelation and when that text was written there was no canon"
um, ALL scripture was written when there was no canon, so what is the point you are making? does that in some way validate the writings you claim to be inspired as well? I did not quote any KJV texts as i figured you would take a stab at that compilation as well.
3) "What about the inconsistencies in the gospels and the additions (and subtractions) included in those over the many years of copying and translating? What about those authors? If you are going to apply this scripture to me then it should be applied ot them as well."
ok, let's just toss out the whole book as man-written myth! you and i can agree on that one!
""Yeshúa says: The clergyº and the theologiansº have received the keys of recognition, but they have hidden them. They did not enter, nor did they permit those to enter who wished to. Yet you— become astute as serpents and pure as
doves." Gospel of Thomas <= It is, IMO, not wise to limit ones studies to the canon as there is good stuff, in this instance, the same stuff, in other texts."
ok, there are not many theologians that accept the gospel of thomas as anything more than a compilation of things attributed to him speaking. islam makes the same claims about the koran as being utterances of mohammed. it was written well after jesus was claimed to have lived and was not included as canon as it contains no records of any historical facts about jesus or his life.. "No major Christian group accepts this gospel as canonical or authoritative" this is a very telling critique of this 'gospel'. it is not recognized and if you take it as truth, then you are 'adding' to the scriptural record and thus, are not follower of the jesus of the bible. i don't disagree with you when you say that the bible is a poorly written book, and that is a very good reason to really search for truth. find the historical records of jesus and if he lived or not. paul did not mention knowing jesus yet his writings are full of hate. if that is enough truth for you, then i think you may want to revisit the new testament.
4) "I am just thankful that my place within the kingdom is not based on what you or any theological "authority" thinks. I am not a disciple of Paul, nor of James, nor of any man even those today. My authority in heaven and on Earth has been given to my by my Father and whether man recognizes it or not makes no difference to me. Who has given you your authority to confront me on such matters?"
Chris, people that believe they are above authority whether it be biblical or physical are in a position of tenuous pride. many people over the centuries have claimed special revelation of god or a special relationship with jesus that gave them a license to ignore the book that christians believe to be the word of god. many people have believed people like jimmy jones and other cult leaders that have special revelation which puts them in a position to manipulate the lives of others. i am not saying you are doing this, but i am warning you that revelation is not what christianity is to be based on. the bible presents the case for jesus as the son of god who came to earth to present salvation based on faith in him and offers freedom from the sin mankind was supposedly born with and an eternal life in heaven for the faithful. ALL revelation of god or jesus must be weighed against the biblical record to be judged as accurate or not. that is not my authority, but the authority of scripture. when you place yourself above the biblical record or above the men and women who believe and follow what is written there, you take yourself to very difficult place to be as a follower of jesus or god or whoever it is you actually follow. when i was a christian - Proverbs 27:17 states - "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." - i was always open to correction about what i believed and what i taught. that is humility before others and ultimately god. when you place your fact above what is revealed in scripture, scripture is the final authority on what christianity is or isn't. Proverbs 18:12 - "Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor."
5) ""you can not believe jesus is the son of god, lived as a man, died, was resurrected, and now sits at the right hand of the god," You are right. I cannot and do not "believe" that. It has been revealed to me by my Father and I have seen it for myself. So, for me it is not a belief, but rather a fact. How about you?"
my beliefs are not the ones being questioned or discussed as i simply don't believe that jesus even existed nor do i believe that any god exists. thus i am an atheist, not a satanist as you have tried to paint us with such a broad brush.. how about you?
6) "Can you show me one scripture, in context of course, that says I have to base my Christianity solely on the canonized Bible and the Bible alone? I sincerely hope you can...I have not been able to find one."
that is an easy one, you should actually read the bible before you dismiss it...
2 timothy 2:15 - Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
'the word of truth' makes a very clear contextual reference to the bible as revelation of jesus as the way, the truth and the life.
7) "Thankfully, my Father is not limited to a book. Also remember that the Bible is not a simply a rule book, but a revelation of a Ruler and the ruler, being "in and through all things" can be and is revealed in and throughout all of creation and not just in a book."
that, is one of the scariest things i have ever read from anyone!! what makes you so special that god speaks directly to you? i am sorry if i don't jump up and worship at your feet Chris, but that is not how god has chosen to reveal himself or his plan for the people that call him god... you might really want to study the bible for a while and see if you actually believe as fact before you try to express those thoughts to others. don't you find it odd that most christians don't agree with you? how arrogant to assume they are all wrong and you have 'the truth' about god and jesus.
8) can you show me where you find the 'mystery of christ in us' so i can find the context of what it is you are saying? christians are said to be 'in christ' not the other way around, except in as much as god is in all things. god in us is not a christian belief, you mention that god is in us, so, it is up to you to explain your facts, not me.
IMO, one huge problem with the typical christian world and especially their approach to "non-believers" is their inaccurate use of scripture. Far too often, christians unwittingly quote scripture out of context to support their doctrines...commonly, false doctrines from my studies.
I am not sure what you had hoped to achieve by this comment (is this what they call trolling?) but the scripture you quoted with the subsequent statement "Jesus Rocks" leads one to think that Jesus was saying to bring his enemies so that they might be slain in front of him. This is not at all what that text is saying.
In all fairness to you, the Luke parable does read in a funny way so that even at first glance it does seem like that is what it is saying, but if you look closer, Jesus was quoting the nobleman in the parable and not saying it as his own words. The same principle he is conveying with this parable is the same that is conveyed in the parables with the parallel statements found in Luke 20:16 and Matthew 22:7. I am not really trying to get into a conversation about Jesus and christianity, but I wanted to point this out that Jesus is telling a story to convey a higher principle and is in no way literally saying that he is interested in seeing anyone injured or killed. Contrary to popular opinion, I do not personally think Jesus was such a bad guy and as I would defend against slander directed towards any respectable person in my life, I will defend Jesus' character against anyone who is trying to give him a bad name...christians and non-christians alike :)
It is easy for me to infer from this statement that you are accusing me of trolling. Maybe I am wrong in my inference, but I think you are not correct in your understanding of what exactly was transpiring on Jenn's thread.
I guess you missed my response to Jacob earlier:
"Unfortunately, what you initially witnessed, was my response to a person who has a paradigm that is founded on spiritual and religious ideas. So, naturally, you interpreted what I was saying through a filter that my conversation was not designed for in order to be properly understood. I am going to use different language and different approaches when talking to a Math major vs an English major. I am sure you can understand."
I know we get a lot of christians on this site that so try to come here and preach to them so I can understand how you would read that into my post. However, even though my post to Jenn was a public one, I was not talking to anybody but her. Call it preaching or whatever that you will, but the fact is that she is a christian and didn't mind my post at all. If you took offense to my conversation with Jenn then I would have to encourage you to just not read any of my posts to her in the future.
I am still planning to respond to your initial response on page 1 of this thread, it is just going to take a little time to respond properly to your many points :) and if I preach at you when I do, then feel free to call me a troll =P
Ok, I'll give you that he was referring to a nobleman but a lot can be interpreted as to why he told the parable in the first place and what message he was trying to convey. Let's agree then to stick to bashing god because he is clearly a destructive being, and since jesus is the son of god, well like father like son. And I can give you countless examples of god's cruelty and violence.
This is why I try to stay out of scripture arguments. Having said that, no matter what interpretations of the bible verses or definitions of what you call god or jesus you come here with, it just doesn't matter. You are speaking to the wrong crowd. You are trying to defend your "beliefs" and honestly we should care less. This site support atheists and those who are considering alternatives to the divisive and destructive religions of the world. We are free thinkers. I'm sorry your experience with atheism did not turn out as you had hoped it would but this is not the place spend a lot of time trying to show us you are now on the right or righteous path.