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Author Topic:   Who Made God?
dwise1
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Posts: 3633
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


(1)
Message 736 of 750 (860109)
08-05-2019 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 734 by Thugpreacha
08-05-2019 10:21 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
This is but your opinion and does nothing but reinforces your brand of ... secular humanist/Jewish/Episcopalian philosophy based on your own minds conclusions as to how God *must* be.

And you don't do the same thing to reinforce your brand of theology based on your own minds conclusions as to how God *must* be?

...but sadly you do harm by not teaching that we humans can only succeed by being in Christ.

And sadly you do harm by teaching that we humans can only succeed by being in Christ.

Here is one case: the DivorceCare program. It's a Baptist program that's widely used (the US Army required it for all couples going through marital problems, and might still require it) that apparently had been put together by Christian counselors. Overall, it's well meaning, but, like all Christian-counseling-based singles and marital programs/presentations, ends up doing more potential harm than good with used outside the intended audience (Christians, especially of the conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist variety).

In a late-80's speech, ex-fundamentalist preacher Dan Barker, now "America's Leading Atheist", described fundamentalism as "when your theology becomes your psychology." Normals especially notice that when observing fundamentalists in the wild. Therefore it would make sense that these Christians would need their own specially trained Christian counselors, since normal counselors would not give them the theological motivations and justifications that their altered psychologies require. By the same token, Christian counselors would not be suitable for normals, especially the non-Christians, the non-religious, the agnostics, and the atheists.

For example, I was associated with Saddleback Church's 50+ singles ministry's dance classes both to help balance out the classes and as part of my own therapy through social dance -- BTW, that is a Baptist church and dancing is rather problematic for Baptists, which led to some interesting internal politics. They also participated in near-by Mariner's Church's singles activities which included a series of singles lectures presented by two Christian counselors. Most of what they presented was fairly standard counselor talk (eg, setting boundaries, being selective in whom you associate with), but then they would invariably swerve sharply left into the weeds with criteria and motivations that appeal to the Christians in the audience but were either meaningless or objectionable to non-Christians (eg, only associate with those who will bring you closer to God, do this because that's what Jesus wants you to do). They were starting to make some good points, but then they completely lost part of their audience.

I was needing to look into some kind of divorce program, but the only suitable one I found was on the same night as the dance classes at Saddleback, so I'd have to drop those for a couple/few months. When I informed my friend, who was the organizer for the dance classes, she urged me to attend the DivorceCare classes instead and recommended it very highly -- obviously, it never occurred to her that it might not be appropriate for an atheist (yes, she knew all along that I'm an atheist).

I knew that there would be some religious content, so I took that in stride. There were some kernels of good ideas and insight offered, even though I had to dig through mountains of religious chaff to separate those kernels from the chaff. Having previously been a Jesus Freak fellow traveler three decades prior (also as an atheist), I had eyes to see and ears to hear and I knew their position. And there was the therapeutic part of discussing what we were going through.

But towards the end, one particular theme kept being presented and emphasized over and over again: "You can never recover from divorce on your own. Only Jesus can help you recover. Without Jesus, you will never recover."
So then what must have been intended as offering hope for the Christians in the program ended up just being yet another of their dishonest proselytizing ploys: "Convert now or else you will be miserable for the rest of your life." Find a vulnerable population and exploit their situation in order to gain converts. A friend who used to be a homeless veteran encountered that with Christian charities helping the homeless, some especially veterans, who would exploit that situation to proselytize and would even deny serving those who wouldn't cooperate (such as my friend). All I can say to them (and this was basically my attitude towards DivorceCare at that point) is "Fark you, you farking iceholes!"

What DivorceCare was teaching is basically what you just said and which I quoted above in the qs-box. Just think of how a non-Christian could react to that ultimatum. In a weakened condition like that and faced with an unacceptable choice (ie, converting) or else see no end to the current pain, that could possibly push some over the brink. That's like the creationist "public school edition" materials where are nothing more than proselytizing tools which first present disinformation and then require the students to choose right then and there between the "unnamed Creator" and "atheist evolution"; faced with accepting creationism which is plainly false and ridiculous, many students have chosen atheism, a choice that was unnecessarily forced onto them by the zealots (some of those new atheists have been elementary-grade students).

Are you being to see some of the harm that your position can cause?

Now, what about our fighting men and women? For decades, there has been a growing scandal in which fundamentalists have been infiltrating our military's chaplain corps. We've mainly been hearing about it in the Air Force, but a few years ago I learned that the US Army chaplain corps had chosen to require all members going through marital problems to go through the DivorceCare program. All members regardless of religion. Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Mormon, Catholic, or atheist were all required to go through an explicitly Baptist program. Remember back on my own personal experience and then just think of the harm that US Army directive has caused. I don't know whether that's still required; I certainly hope not.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 734 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-05-2019 10:21 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 739 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-12-2019 10:03 AM dwise1 has responded

    
Dredge
Member
Posts: 1278
From: Australia
Joined: 09-06-2016
Member Rating: 1.1


Message 737 of 750 (860797)
08-12-2019 3:25 AM
Reply to: Message 711 by Theodoric
08-01-2019 11:48 PM


Theodoric writes:

You are an offensive idiot.

This comment is offensive and idiotic. An idiot is someone who cannot speak or read or write. I don't qualify as a idiot.
I'm more likely a moron, a cretin or subnormal.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 711 by Theodoric, posted 08-01-2019 11:48 PM Theodoric has not yet responded

    
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12676
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 738 of 750 (860806)
08-12-2019 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 735 by jar
08-05-2019 10:59 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
You act as if logic, reason, and (secular) reality are the only paths through which to teach the bible. Answer my statement:

Most of the "clubs" in Christianity believe (though cannot prove) that Jesus exists outside the books.
True or false? Because this is what really separates your club from others.(or at least you)

As long as you teach that humans create their own God, you are doing a disservice, in my opinion. Yes, you are teaching people to be responsible and think for themselves. Any motivational speaker can do that.

Looking at the Big Picture, God first chose the Jewish people exclusively. Later, He added the Gentiles, which thanks to Paul became Protestants. Perhaps still later He will choose the Atheists as well. In which case your brand of Christian logic may make sense, assuming that humans can become responsible and productive without even acknowledging God or Jesus existence. It strikes a nerve in me, however. A bad vibe. Essentially you are preaching a whole new Gospel, where the snake tells the truth, God lies (and is but a literary character in a book) and that *we* are responsible. How is this not the Gospel of secular humanism??


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 735 by jar, posted 08-05-2019 10:59 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 741 by jar, posted 08-12-2019 10:59 AM Thugpreacha has responded
 Message 742 by ringo, posted 08-12-2019 12:04 PM Thugpreacha has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12676
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 739 of 750 (860808)
08-12-2019 10:03 AM
Reply to: Message 736 by dwise1
08-05-2019 2:45 PM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
dwise1,replying to me writes:

And sadly you do harm by teaching that we humans can only succeed by being in Christ.

Stop for just one moment. What is so harmful with embracing just that? Forget about church and religion. All that I (or any Baptist Divorce Group, perhaps) is doing is telling someone that a relationship with God(in the incarnation of Jesus) is the starting point for all other relationships to succeed in their life. Granted I could hear the ghost of Stile whispering that "this works for some people,but not for me".So I'm attempting to also consider you guys viewpoint. Freedom from religion and all that. lets make sure our kids grow up to be secular humanist critical thinkers! Perhaps we need to consider the possibility that God exists and wants a relationship with us. Explain why this statement alone causes you to cringe? Is it the whole freedom from religion thing that Barker preaches? Because to be honest, I don't agree with his conclusions and I feel as offended by his anti christianity as many of you feel about Christianity.

Here is one case: the DivorceCare program. It's a Baptist program that's widely used (the US Army required it for all couples going through marital problems, and might still require it) that apparently had been put together by Christian counselors. Overall, it's well meaning, but, like all Christian-counseling-based singles and marital programs/presentations, ends up doing more potential harm than good with used outside the intended audience (Christians, especially of the conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist variety).
OK I get it. All you people want is to keep religious beliefs out of mandatory public policy. Perhaps this is a necessary process.

In a late-80's speech, ex-fundamentalist preacher Dan Barker, now "America's Leading Atheist", described fundamentalism as "when your theology becomes your psychology."
I've studied both Theology and Psychology, so I think I get it. Our beliefs run very strong among us. We honestly believe that this world needs a spiritual infusion. Perhaps our zeal will actually cause Armageddon as a self fulfilling prophecy. So I'm open to understanding your counter views.
Therefore it would make sense that these Christians would need their own specially trained Christian counselors, since normal counselors would not give them the theological motivations and justifications that their altered psychologies require. By the same token, Christian counselors would not be suitable for normals, especially the non-Christians, the non-religious, the agnostics, and the atheists.
And that, essentially sums it all up.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 736 by dwise1, posted 08-05-2019 2:45 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 740 by Stile, posted 08-12-2019 10:23 AM Thugpreacha has responded
 Message 750 by dwise1, posted 08-16-2019 2:52 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3763
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 740 of 750 (860809)
08-12-2019 10:23 AM
Reply to: Message 739 by Thugpreacha
08-12-2019 10:03 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Thugpreacha writes:

dwise1 writes:

And sadly you do harm by teaching that we humans can only succeed by being in Christ.


Stop for just one moment. What is so harmful with embracing just that?

Because that's how wars are started.

People are different.
Different solutions work for different people.
Forcing all people into one solution is, basically, what's caused pretty much all wars in human history.

Just because the conclusion for you is peace - doesn't mean others can't also reach that same conclusion in another way.

The idea that you should be asking "What's so harmful with embracing that?" is:
Let's allow all humans to reach the conclusion of peace anyway they desire - as long as they're not hurting anyone else.

But to take the next step and say "well, I like this method - therefore you ALL SHOULD BE USING this method!"
-is the path to war.

All that I (or any Baptist Divorce Group, perhaps) is doing is telling someone that a relationship with God(in the incarnation of Jesus) is the starting point for all other relationships to succeed in their life.

And that's a lie.
People can have very successful relationships in their life (even more successful than yours) without God at all.
Therefore - to state that God is "the starting point" is a lie.

Feel free to say you think it's the start - or that, for Thugpreacha - having God as the start is the most fantastic and amazing thing ever.
Then let others decide for themselves.

That's the difference. Forcing others to follow you, or allowing them to follow you.
Pick one.
One leads to war...

Granted I could hear the ghost of Stile whispering that "this works for some people,but not for me"

Heh heh... Imma ghost!

Freedom from religion and all that. lets make sure our kids grow up to be secular humanist critical thinkers!

Why not let our kids grow up however they like?
...as long as they're not hurting anyone.

Do you have such little faith in the method that works so well for you that you have to lie and force it upon others instead of letting them freely choose it for themselves?

Perhaps we need to consider the possibility that God exists and wants a relationship with us. Explain why this statement alone causes you to cringe?

Excellent idea!
Considering possibilities doesn't make me cringe.
But stating falsehoods in order to promote personally-desired-methods, does.

Can we not "consider the possibility" without saying incorrect things like "God is the starting point for all successful relationships?"

Perhaps our zeal will actually cause Armageddon as a self fulfilling prophecy.

Depends on how much your "zeal" causes you to force others into things instead of allowing them to see the possibilities freely.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 739 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-12-2019 10:03 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 746 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:44 AM Stile has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31162
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


(1)
Message 741 of 750 (860814)
08-12-2019 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 738 by Thugpreacha
08-12-2019 9:52 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat, I am not preaching anything, rather I am reporting what is actually written. It seems it is not me or what I post that gets your panties in a bind but rather what is actually written in the Bible.

If anyone honestly reads Genesis 2 & 3 then they would admit that in the story the serpent tells the truth, the God lies and in fact the God character in the story even admits that the serpent told the truth and that Adam & Eve, far from falling, became more like God.

It is Jesus that says we are responsible as well as Paul and many other characters in the Bible.

And you REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY need to learn some history of Christianity.

Paul had absolutely NOTHING top do with Protestantism.


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 738 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-12-2019 9:52 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 743 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:37 AM jar has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17138
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 742 of 750 (860827)
08-12-2019 12:04 PM
Reply to: Message 738 by Thugpreacha
08-12-2019 9:52 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat writes:

Answer my statement:

quote:
Most of the "clubs" in Christianity believe (though cannot prove) that Jesus exists outside the books.
True or false?

That may be true, especially if you have a sliding scale, like Faith, that counts people as Christians when it's convenient but not when it isn't.

If it is true, it's because "most" of those clubs reject what's in the Bible like you do. They prefer their own made-up versions.


"Come all of you cowboys and don't ever run
As long as there's bullets in both of your guns"
-- Woody Guthrie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 738 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-12-2019 9:52 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 744 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:41 AM ringo has responded

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12676
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 743 of 750 (860992)
08-15-2019 10:37 AM
Reply to: Message 741 by jar
08-12-2019 10:59 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat, I am not preaching anything, rather I am reporting what is actually written. It seems it is not me or what I post that gets your panties in a bind but rather what is actually written in the Bible.
If anyone honestly reads Genesis 2 & 3 then they would admit that in the story the serpent tells the truth, the God lies and in fact the God character in the story even admits that the serpent told the truth and that Adam & Eve, far from falling, became more like God.
I simply cannot believe that a majority of Christian apologetics lies. More likely, you have no preconceived notions of how God should be and how the snake should be. Thus you let the text tell a different tale than the majority of apologetics tells.

It is Jesus that says we are responsible as well as Paul and many other characters in the Bible.
I've never doubted that we are responsible. That in and of itself gives us no reason to throw away the position that God has or should have in our lives. Your position places humanity in charge of its own destiny. It was never intended to be that way.

And you REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY need to learn some history of Christianity.

Paul had absolutely NOTHING top do with Protestantism.

Of course I knew that. And you know that I did. You just always seem to relish taking an opportunity to correct something I carelessly say as if i am stupid or ignorant. Which is a bad trait. Learn to humble yourself.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 741 by jar, posted 08-12-2019 10:59 AM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 745 by jar, posted 08-15-2019 10:41 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12676
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 744 of 750 (860993)
08-15-2019 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 742 by ringo
08-12-2019 12:04 PM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
If it is true, it's because "most" of those clubs reject what's in the Bible like you do. They prefer their own made-up versions.
You are in the same club as jar, essentially. What possible motive would *you* have for teaching that God and Jesus are simply characters in a book rather than a living Spirit which seeks Communion with humanity? You seem to think humanity can do good enough simply doing what the characters suggest and that its ok to be secular humanist atheists. And there is one basic reason why its not ok. Because none are righteous. We need Communion as well as responsible effort.

Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 742 by ringo, posted 08-12-2019 12:04 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 747 by ringo, posted 08-15-2019 11:47 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded
 Message 749 by Tangle, posted 08-15-2019 6:01 PM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31162
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 745 of 750 (860994)
08-15-2019 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 743 by Thugpreacha
08-15-2019 10:37 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat writes:

I simply cannot believe that a majority of Christian apologetics lies. More likely, you have no preconceived notions of how God should be and how the snake should be. Thus you let the text tell a different tale than the majority of apologetics tells.

No Phat, I simply point to what is actually written.

Phat writes:

I've never doubted that we are responsible. That in and of itself gives us no reason to throw away the position that God has or should have in our lives. Your position places humanity in charge of its own destiny. It was never intended to be that way.

Again, that is just word salad and unsupported assertions.

Phat writes:

Of course I knew that. And you know that I did. You just always seem to relish taking an opportunity to correct something I carelessly say as if i am stupid or ********. Which is a bad trait. Learn to humble yourself.

Then would it be a good idea to think before you post? Phat I can only respond to what you actually post. I'm not an apologist who will say that what you actually write is not what you actually wrote.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin


My Sister's Website: Rose Hill Studios     My Website: My Website

This message is a reply to:
 Message 743 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:37 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
Thugpreacha
Member
Posts: 12676
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.0


Message 746 of 750 (860995)
08-15-2019 10:44 AM
Reply to: Message 740 by Stile
08-12-2019 10:23 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
stile writes:

People are different.
Different solutions work for different people.
Forcing all people into one solution is, basically, what's caused pretty much all wars in human history.

So what would you do if you someday found out that your solutions were wrong?

Isnt it a bit ironic that most of Christian online defenders of the faith are not skilled or Christlike and end up doing more harm than good for the cause?


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. ~RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." ~Mark Twain "
~"If that's not sufficient for you go soak your head."~Faith

You can "get answers" by watching the ducks. That doesn't mean the answers are coming from them.~Ringo

Subjectivism may very well undermine Christianity.
In the same way that "allowing people to choose what they want to be when they grow up" undermines communism.
~Stile


This message is a reply to:
 Message 740 by Stile, posted 08-12-2019 10:23 AM Stile has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 748 by Stile, posted 08-15-2019 2:43 PM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 17138
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 747 of 750 (860997)
08-15-2019 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 744 by Thugpreacha
08-15-2019 10:41 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat writes:

What possible motive would *you* have for teaching that God and Jesus are simply characters in a book rather than a living Spirit which seeks Communion with humanity?


An interest in the truth.

All of the evidence points to God and Jesus being characters in the book. No evidence points to any "living spirit" who seeks "communion".

And if you're willing to throw out that evidence, why don't you throw out the evidence for a round earth? Or the evidence that men walked on the moon? Or the evidence for evolution?

Phat writes:

You seem to think humanity can do good enough simply doing what the characters suggest and that its ok to be secular humanist atheists.


As I've told you many times before, it isn't about doing "good enough" by ourselves. It's that we're all we've got. There is no reason to think that your "communion" with Jesus is doing more for you than you could do for yourself. If anything, it detracts from what you could be doing constructively.

Phat writes:

And there is one basic reason why its not ok. Because none are righteous. We need Communion as well as responsible effort.


What has righteousness got to do with it? Clearly your "communion" is not making you more righteous.

"Come all of you cowboys and don't ever run
As long as there's bullets in both of your guns"
-- Woody Guthrie

This message is a reply to:
 Message 744 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:41 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
Stile
Member
Posts: 3763
From: Ontario, Canada
Joined: 12-02-2004
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 748 of 750 (861016)
08-15-2019 2:43 PM
Reply to: Message 746 by Thugpreacha
08-15-2019 10:44 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Thugpreacha writes:

So what would you do if you someday found out that your solutions were wrong?

I would re-evaluate and change.
I actually do it a lot.
I'm wrong a lot...

Isn't it a bit ironic that most of Christian online defenders of the faith are not skilled or Christlike and end up doing more harm than good for the cause?

"Most" might be pushing it.
Let's say "most of the really loud ones."


This message is a reply to:
 Message 746 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:44 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

    
Tangle
Member
Posts: 6998
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 749 of 750 (861022)
08-15-2019 6:01 PM
Reply to: Message 744 by Thugpreacha
08-15-2019 10:41 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
Phat writes:

You seem to think humanity can do good enough simply doing what the characters suggest and that its ok to be secular humanist atheists.

Well it would be a start wouldn't it? I mean, a really, really good start.

And there is one basic reason why its not ok. Because none are righteous.

What does that mean Phat?

We need Communion as well as responsible effort.

What does that mean Phat?


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 744 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-15-2019 10:41 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 3633
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 750 of 750 (861033)
08-16-2019 2:52 AM
Reply to: Message 739 by Thugpreacha
08-12-2019 10:03 AM


Re: Be careful what you teach.
DWise1 writes:

And sadly you do harm by teaching that we humans can only succeed by being in Christ.


Stop for just one moment. What is so harmful with embracing just that? Forget about church and religion. All that I (or any Baptist Divorce Group, perhaps) is doing is telling someone that a relationship with God(in the incarnation of Jesus) is the starting point for all other relationships to succeed in their life. etc, etc, etc

{sigh} You completely missed what I was saying.

You can believe whatever you want for yourself and you may want to convince others of it. But when you are in a position of power in which your words and actions will have a far greater impact, both positive and negative, on those under you, it is not permissible for you to abuse your power by forcing your beliefs on others.

Being a veteran of 35 years of military service (6yr USAF, 29yr USNR) and the associated training (especially as a member of the Top Three, the top three enlisted ranks which represent senior enlisted leadership), this seems like it should be common knowledge and common sense so it's difficult to understand why you don't understand it yourself. Every single level of leadership training that I've gone through has repeatedly stressed how we must by all means possible avoid abusing our position of power over our subordinates. Haven't you ever had to go through similar HR-directed training, including sexual harassment? Resorting to using your position of power to pressure a subordinate to your personal will is strengst verboten ("most strictly forbidden")!

That abuse of power includes forcing your own personal religious beliefs on your subordinates or on the people you are offering to help. When somebody approaches you for help, they are in a weaker position (since they are seeking help) while you are in a much stronger position (since you are able to provide that help), so the same opportunity for abuse of power exists for you.

Far too many Christian charity groups abuse that power. A friend of mine is a fellow USAF veteran and a life-long atheist who went through a period of homelessness. He encountered Christian charity groups out there trying to help homeless veterans (on the surface, a very worthy cause), but part of their programs was to abuse that opportunity to proselytize to the recipients of their "benevolence", in some cases (as I gather from talking with him) to the point of refusing service to those who refused to be proselytized to. He started volunteer working for one homeless veterans charity to build up a new resume and to work himself out of homelessness, but they eventually forced him to leave because he was an atheist.

So you see (I can only hope), there is a difference between having a particular religious belief and sharing it with peers, and being in a position of power in which you feel that you can impose your beliefs on others.

Here's a different scenario. Someone has a substance abuse problem, so they come to your recovery program for help. He's desperate for help and you are offering it. Your recovery program preaches and depends almost entirely on dependence on Jesus to help you recover (basically, the fundamental message of DivorceCare). But this guy is not a Christian. So, from your position of power, your message to that guy is that he must convert in order to recover from substance abuse. Even though that is what you yourself might personally and truly believe, isn't imposing that belief on this person an abuse of your power?

Let's impose a further minor restriction to this scenario in that your program is the only one available. So you are forcing this guy to convert to Christianity or else he has no possible chance of ever recovering from substance abuse. Why wouldn't he convert? Maybe he's a believer of a different religion such as Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, etc, such that conversion to such an infidel or trefe religion with a long history of your religion's atrocities against his religion would make conversion to Christianity beyond unthinkable. Maybe he's an atheist, in which case the long track record, especially in the recent decades, of "true Christianity" in the USA being the enemy of America, being the supporter of The Beast (AKA "'Tiny' Trump"), being the enemy of most Americans and of all American ideals, etc, has so irreparably damaged Christianity in the minds of Americans as to make the prospect of converting to that evil religion unthinkable.

Faced with such a dilemma between a serious problem (ie, substance abuse) and committing an act that is so unthinkable and even evil as converting to Christianity, I can see some just giving up and succumbing to their addiction in the belief that there is no hope for them.

None of your mamby-pamby "Perhaps we need to consider the possibility that God exists and wants a relationship with us". You, in your position of power, demanded that they make an unthinkable choice or else perish. That is what's happening and that is what I was talking about.

DWise1 writes:

Here is one case: the DivorceCare program. It's a Baptist program that's widely used (the US Army required it for all couples going through marital problems, and might still require it) that apparently had been put together by Christian counselors. Overall, it's well meaning, but, like all Christian-counseling-based singles and marital programs/presentations, ends up doing more potential harm than good with used outside the intended audience (Christians, especially of the conservative/evangelical/fundamentalist variety).OK I get it. All you people want is to keep religious beliefs out of mandatory public policy. Perhaps this is a necessary process.


OK I get it. All you people want is to keep religious beliefs out of mandatory public policy. Perhaps this is a necessary process.

No! You still don't understand!

These are military members we are talking about. Orders are orders. Regardless of their own religious beliefs, they are being ordered to participate in a very sectarian religious program. Remember the discussion of abuse of power over subordinates offered above? Is the choice of that particular divorce program really for the benefit of all military members regardless of individual religious beliefs? Or is it for one particular Christian sect, having infiltrated the US military chaplain corps, to abuse their power in order to impose their own sectarian religious beliefs on all military members regardless of those members' own religious beliefs.

So let us look more closely at your response:

OK I get it. All you people want is to keep religious beliefs out of mandatory public policy. Perhaps this is a necessary process.

On the radio I heard of a popular surgical procedure for your group (on both the religious and the political side) in which your sternum is replaced with a piece of clear plexiglass so that when your head is up your ass you can still see where you are going. There's an actual technical name for that procedure.

Now take a moment and think of what you are saying. If it would help you in this Gedankenexperiment, instead of it being your own particular sectarian religion dictating that "mandatory public policy", it were instead a religion antithetical to yours doing it, like Islam or the Mormon Church or the Roman Catholic Church (that last would most definitely touch off an entire series of rants from Faith).

A few decades ago, I wrote a couple Letters to the Editor to our local newspaper which you can read here:


I really cannot understand why everybody doesn't understand this extremely simple fact: when a government chooses any religion to promote, then it is promoting that religion over all others.

In the case of posting the Ten Commandments, that is anything but "non-sectarian". There are at least three different versions: Jewish, Catholic, Protestant. When you as a government agent choose which one to display, then through you the government has chosen one religion over all the others. Don't you see that that is so? Don't you see that that would be an extremely clear violation of the First Amendment: the government would be enacting a law (policy) promoting one religion and prohibiting all others (AKA "inhibiting the free exercise")?

 
So then, you want "religious beliefs" included in "mandatory public policy"?

Whose "religious beliefs" do you want? Obviously your own beliefs, but what if somebody else's beliefs are being promoted, ones which conflict directly with your own. Yet you are required to be happy with that. Is that still what you want? Please explain why and why not (hopefully, you might learn something in the process).

Or would you rather not allow any one group to be given that much power for the protection of all? In that case, welcome to our camp!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 739 by Thugpreacha, posted 08-12-2019 10:03 AM Thugpreacha has not yet responded

    
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