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Author Topic:   Oh my God, I'm an Atheist !!
Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 68 of 183 (410131)
07-13-2007 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Percy
07-11-2007 11:20 AM


I do not doubt that one day I will die. When that day finally comes, since I had no doubt it would one day come, its actual arrival provides me no more evidence for the existence of God than I had before.
I thought you were a theist, albeit, a deist. How exactly have you come to your conclusions to begin with?
Another possibility is that you think atheists deep inside understand there really is a God, but they deny God because they want an excuse to free themselves from moral behavior. On their deathbed they'll realize their error and beg forgiveness.
The prospect of imminent death has been known to change one's whole perspective on life. Looking back in hindsight it tends to become clear that a life was either wasted in reckless self-indulgence, or it was used to produce a lot of fruit. (That extends to every one)
I share some of the sentiments you have for Riverrat concerning this. And this why: It seems to be perpetually on their mind... So much so that they would be willing to invest so much time to that which doesn't even exist.
Atheism is the only negative position used in a proactive way. That's very telling to me.
I consider all these possibilities unlikely. Death is not something atheists don't think about until it actually happens, atheists are not immoral, and the record of atheist deathbed conversions is very poor.
I think he is asking every one on a personal level; not a generalization.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Percy, posted 07-11-2007 11:20 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 73 by Percy, posted 07-13-2007 11:43 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 74 of 183 (410143)
07-13-2007 12:14 PM
Reply to: Message 73 by Percy
07-13-2007 11:43 AM


True spiritual beliefs are not something you conclude after a period of deep rational thought. They aren't something you find by visiting enough churches or talking to enough people or reading enough books. True spiritual beliefs are borne within. Or at least so it is with me.
Borne within? I'm afraid that is much to ambiguous for me. Can you explain it a bit more?
Why is it that Christians think everyone else is as obsessed with God as they are?
Because they talk it about it constantly! Your question strikes me as you being either comical, dishonest, or obtuse.
Look at who opens which threads concerning theological discussion. Look who responds to most threads on theological discussion. When you see a Christian making a thread or even a passing comment, immediately he or she is responded to with the pile-on technique.
So what is it you're really trying to say?
I'm saying that you are painting a picture where atheists in general are sort of aloof and fleeting when it comes to theological discussion. That may be the case for the lazy atheist, but here at EvC, we have atheists who seek after a controversy.
You are painting a picture where atheists have the title of tolerance, all the while being intolerant.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 73 by Percy, posted 07-13-2007 11:43 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by Percy, posted 07-13-2007 12:31 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
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 Message 87 by kuresu, posted 07-14-2007 12:22 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 79 of 183 (410153)
07-13-2007 1:11 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by Taz
07-12-2007 11:25 AM


Re: Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
Between phat's war on other people's sex lives, nem_jug's continual comparason of gay people and animal, and your "hate the sin, love the sinner" BS, I haven't seen anything that would convince me that believing in god would make me a better person.
Maybe because you think that freedom entails anarchy-- hence, no rules, no social mores, etc.
I'm really sorry, everytime I see one of you talk about god, I just can't get past all the BS that I see you guys do and say about other people who have never done you any harm.
Your reasoning goes on thus: I haven't been raped. Since no one has hurt me, rape must be extrapolated and manipulated in to terms that grant its freedom from prohibition.
Your greatest problem, as I see it, is that you believe freedom entails the unmitigated possibility to do every thing you want to do without reaping a single consequence from those actions. But, Taz, what is a contradiction?
A contradiction is that where two mutually exclusive absolutes are posited at the same time. Where I see God's sovereignty and man's responsibility are not two mutually exclusive absolutes.
We are not absolutely free, rather, we are free within confines-- interestingly, the very confine that dictates the very freedom to begin with. God has given me the privilege of the will. In the assignment of that will, He has that over-arching sovereignty, without violating that freewill in the process, but setting it up so that the entailments of those freedoms are inescapable.
But since you are so fond of freedoms, why do you attempt to restrict my freedom? I don't have to ascribe to your philosophies any more than you have to ascribe to mine. You bash my beliefs, calling them intolerant, yet you've single-handedly committed the fatal flaw of contradicting yourself because you are intolerant of mine.
Are you so obtuse that you can't see that about yourself? You give with one hand, and by that giving, you call yourself the great philanthropist who lives and let live-- never judging others. Yet, with the other hand you take away, and with all the scorn you can muster, you've judged those you claim are judging.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 44 by Taz, posted 07-12-2007 11:25 AM Taz has not replied

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 81 of 183 (410157)
07-13-2007 1:38 PM
Reply to: Message 75 by Percy
07-13-2007 12:31 PM


There's nothing to explain. I don't know where my spiritual beliefs came from. They've always been a part of me. There was no seeking or soul searching.
Then can you define what your spirituality entails? I'm fascinated by Deists because I've yet to have one of them explain to me how or why they believe as they do. Is it so inexplicable that you could not rationalize it?
I hope I said something along the lines of them not giving God much thought.
And I'm refuting that notion given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Your website provides ample proof that many atheists have a deeply vested interest in God.
Intolerant I may be, but at least I don't call it God's way. I don't call upon a higher power to excuse my behavior.
Oh, but you do excuse your behavior.
All answers and all questions come from a paradigm. The very reason you raise the question is that there is a paradigmatic way in which you are seeking to answer it. When you take that question, it will inexorably borrow from a Judeo-Christian worldview in order to justify itself.
Why?
Because any person who seeks to answer the questions in a totally secular way has no moral framework from which to even raise the question, let alone, answer it. The best you can do is say that you don't see a moral framework. But that only begs the question:
How do you know what a moral framework ought to look like, that you would actually scorn me for excusing my behavior and calling it the will of God? Are you not making assumptions that I will understand it as being a bad thing to do on my part?
The way I see it, first Christians intrude their religious beliefs into secular matters, then when others object, they call them intolerant. Typical Christian behavior.
The way I see it, Christians merely express their beliefs, just like everyone else does, but secular thought has made it so that it is not only taboo to speak about spiritual or moral matters in a public setting, but that they can manipulate the very Amendment used to protect their freedom and make into the thing that now condemns them and strips them of that freedom.
And then if somebody does not see life in the exact same fashion as they do, they get branded as intolerant. But, then, this is the face of the New Tolerance movement... Its intolerant!

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 75 by Percy, posted 07-13-2007 12:31 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 85 of 183 (410231)
07-13-2007 9:30 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
07-11-2007 10:33 AM


Getting back on track
Will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something?
You know, the one that doesn't exist?
Its hard to tell because every one is different. When somebody asks me if I think that a recently departed person is in heaven or hell, I give them no good response.
I do so because I have no way of knowing their eternal disposition. Do I have clues based on their life that give me a general indication? Sure. But we know from Scripture that the penitent man on the cross next to Jesus was saved right before his death, though he lived a life of criminality. We also know from Scripture that "that not every one who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the Kingdom."
That tells me that perhaps lots of people we think are going to be saved end up damned, but the people we think are damned might be saved.
Is Jeffrey Dahmer in heaven or hell? I don't know. And I find it some what of a frightening prospect to even speculate.
When RobinRohan died I worried about his eternal state because he had made it clear in life that he rejected the notion of God. Did something happen to him right before he died that God honored? I don't know. As much as I'd like to know in order to satisfy my curiosity, perhaps its just not my place to know. Whatever happens to someone right before their death is between them and God.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 104 by riVeRraT, posted 07-15-2007 6:28 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 93 of 183 (410322)
07-14-2007 11:00 AM
Reply to: Message 87 by kuresu
07-14-2007 12:22 AM


Keeping focused on the OP
The atheist constantly talking about the idea of god is a rare breed.
A strange thing that so many rare breeds could have arbitrarily come under one roof.
I can't really go into any further because its OT. The thread was closed yesterday and recently reopened. I'd like to keep it open for the duration.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by kuresu, posted 07-14-2007 12:22 AM kuresu has replied

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 119 of 183 (410506)
07-15-2007 1:09 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by riVeRraT
07-15-2007 6:28 AM


Re: Getting back on track
Did I ever mention, how much it bothers me that anyone could go to hell?
Its supposed to bother you. That's kind of the point.
Why God would do that?
He didn't. They did. Asking why He allows it is as arbitrary as asking why He allows anything, I suppose.
"I willingly believe that the damned are, in one sense, successful, rebels to the end; that the doors of hell are locked on the inside.
All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened. And yourself, in a dark hour, may will [a grumbling] mood, embrace it. Ye can repent and come out of it again. But there may come a day when you can do that no longer. Then there will be no you left to criticize the mood."
-C.S. Lewis
"In a sense, the concept of hell gives meaning to our lives. It tells us that the moral choices we make day by day have eternal significance, that our behavior has consequences lasting to eternity, that God Himself takes our choices seriously.
The doctrine of hell is not just some dusty theological holdover from the Middle Ages. It has significant social consequences. Without a conviction of ultimate justice, people's sense of moral obligation dissolves, and social bonds are broke.
Of course, these considerations are not the most important reason to believe in hell. Jesus repeatedly issued warnings that if we turn away from God in this life, we will be alienated from God eternally.
And yet, although "the wages of sin is death," Paul also says that "the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23). While breath remains, it is never too late to turn to God in repentance, and when we ask for forgiveness, God eagerly grants it."
-Chuck Colson
quote:
Whatever happens to someone right before their death is between them and God.
I have come close to death a few times, and had some time to think about it (before I was a Christian) and like with the case of NosyNed, and loved ones, I sure hope I get to see them again.
Did something happen with NosyNed?
How strange is it that the majority of us want to live forever, yet our pyhsical beings won't?
Yes, such a strange desire given the secular alternative... Nothing. If there is no afterlife, and our thought process is dissolved, what fear is there of the grave? Yet, man does not want to be swallowed up death? Why is that? What is this sense of eternity that we all know, even if we are incapable of comprehensibly understanding its totality?
I wonder if people would still commit suicide if they knew they could live forever, for certain. Probably.
I suspect that people that commit suicide long for the nothing because the everything is too overwhelming to bear. If they knew for certain, I seriously doubt they would take their own lives.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by riVeRraT, posted 07-15-2007 6:28 AM riVeRraT has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 120 by iceage, posted 07-15-2007 1:27 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 121 of 183 (410513)
07-15-2007 1:51 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by iceage
07-15-2007 1:27 PM


Re: Getting back on track
As a selling feature of a meme you are right - it is effect and captures people's imagination. The biggest clue that Hell is a selling feature is that the concept morphed into its present state over ages. Hell is an evolved concept and has survival value. Even latter religion's recognized the value of the feature and borrowed the concept because it is an effective selling tool.
You seem to have considerable knowledge on the topic. Would you be so kind to give the rest of us a lecture on the historicity of hell?
quote:
:All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.
The ole self-choice requires the existence of eternal damnation theory. The logic does not follow.
Freewill does not need hell in order to justify its existence. Hell, however, must need freewill in order to justify its existence.
NJ quotes like this seriously harm CS Lewis credibility and yours for valuing sufficiently to quote it.
That's in the eye of the beholder my friend.
Let look around for some data points. Take the Japanese and even parts of Europe. The power of the fear of hell is largely nonexistent
Buddhism has seven circles of hell, one progressively worse than the other, dependent on the moral crime one commits.
however for some reason the social, moral and societal bonds are stronger and more healthy oriented than in cultures were the fear of hell reigns supreme in peoples minds.
Social bonds in Japan are stronger and more healthy? By what measurement have you come to your deduction? Just like how you seem to not like the Lewis quote, both seem to be a matter of you expressing your opinion as if it were tangible evidence.
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
Take comments concerning this warning to the Moderation Thread.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by iceage, posted 07-15-2007 1:27 PM iceage has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 124 by iceage, posted 07-15-2007 2:57 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 122 of 183 (410517)
07-15-2007 2:30 PM


The Christian and the conundrum (For Riverrat, but all may respond)
These are excerpts taken from an actual dialogue between two professed Christians.
Questioner: If the end product of the universe is that men suffer eternal separation from God, and if this is the result of the freewill choice, and God purposed this freewill, is not God culpable for the outcome of that choice?
Responder: Do you believe the God of the Bible exists?
Questioner: Yes, I do.
Responder: And do you believe He is sovereign?
Questioner: Yes
Responder: And do you believe He created us for a purpose and a design?
Questioner: I do.
Responder: Do you believe He will do that which is right?
Questioner: Absolutely.
Responder: Then why are we plaguing ourselves with a question on the numbers when we can be absolutely sure that what He has said, He will honor? Will not the judge of all the earth do right?
Now, let me reverse it by going back to an earlier comment. First off, it is not the torment of many that assures the felicity of the few. There is no causation of intent, only a result. There is not many going into lostness so that a few can obtain felicity. There's no causal connection there.
If God in His essence is love, then the absence of God must be the presence of hate and the complete absence of love. Those who have chosen this world, through the sacredness of their will, to reject His love, can confirm in eternal existance to live without His love.
'Hell,' Jean-Paul Sarte said, 'is other people-- the other people who have confirmed themselves in rejection of God.' If it was reversed, it would be like this:
God would have to overrule the freedom of the many in order to transport them in to a heaven they have solemnly rejected. Hell is the confirmation of the sacredness of the freewill.
Do these questions trouble us? Of course. But do I believe in the sovereignty of an infinite God who can make this picture complete without my finite way of comprehensibly understanding it? Absolutely. There is coherence.
If God didn't exist, then think of the problem-- No heaven, no hell. How do you differentiate between an Adolf Hitler and a Mother Theresa? The question more confounding is how we could arrive at such an understanding without a God. Where do we go from there? Some stale, trite explanation about genes? Does not the mind reach for something far more praiseworthy an answer?
OFF TOPIC - Please Do Not Respond to this message by continuing in this vein.
Take comments concerning this warning to the Moderation Thread.
AdminPD
Edited by AdminPD, : Warning

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

Replies to this message:
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 139 of 183 (410649)
07-16-2007 1:47 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by riVeRraT
07-16-2007 11:30 AM


Re: Some Observations
No, I believe atheists, and agnostics know God in their hearts, but can be deceived by the world into thinking He doesn't exist.
Wow... Well said. I agree. I don't think atheists know in their mind that God exists, but are troubled by what they know in their heart, so that there is this constant tension.
My whole existence on EVC, has been one of sharing what I believe, and know, while testing my own faith, and also clearing up all the dogmatic BS that us Christians experience. You see, I really don't want to be dogmatic, or ever be mistaken for a "fundie." I just want to be a normal person, that believes in Jesus.
It seems that unless you drop every principle that you know to be true or any charateristic which a reasonable and prudent person would recognize as being Christian, you will inevitably be called a fundie. No Christian wants to be referred to as legalistic or a fundie, whether they are or not. And its no fun to be grouped in with people on two extremes-- Fred Phelps or Rev. Sharpton. That's why its important that you not get grouped in with them, but follow what Jesus said.
Afterall, Christians aren't the qualifiers of what being a Christian means. Christ is the qualifier. A strange thing that so many people forget that. That's why they bring up irrelevant things like the Crusades, (as if you had anything to do with it, or condone it). I mean, what would Jesus have thought about it is the ONLY answer.
Nothing in the bible would indicate that believing in God, is going to make your physical life any better.
You're absolutely right about that. In fact, it says:
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." -1st Peter 4:12-16
Does that make me some kind of perfect person?
Do I instantly become some kind of role model for all to follow?
Hell no!
It is also unfair for others to put that pressure on me, and only shows just how much they could use a little biblical philosophy, and learn to forgive others. Also to abandon faith in GOD, based on what people to, is the most piss poor excuse that ever was. But I did it too, so who am I to judge?
Even Paul himself noted how poor he was at trying to be like Jesus. He notes the struggles between flesh and spirit.
Well said.
All I know is what I felt from God, was so much love, and things that I can't even put into words, that I feel the desire to share it with others. In the spirit, and in the flesh (by helping others). No one has convinced me of anything to stop doing that, to date.
And there is nothing more special, more personal, more awe-inspiring than that.
Is a forum the best place to do it? I don't know. But when my email was not hidden, I received many emails thanking me for my faith. Maybe people were to scared to actually post. I've even had a few thank you posts in here as well.
I think a lot of Christians are afraid to post because of the backlash they've recieved in past instances. There is a fine line from being emboldened by Christ to preach the gospel to the lost and sounding like an arrogant, legalistic jackass.
Great post! Thank you for sharing.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by riVeRraT, posted 07-16-2007 11:30 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by kuresu, posted 07-16-2007 2:16 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
 Message 141 by Jazzns, posted 07-16-2007 2:56 PM Hyroglyphx has replied
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Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 142 of 183 (410675)
07-16-2007 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by kuresu
07-16-2007 2:16 PM


Re: Some Observations
Um, what tension? It troubles me not one iota that there is no god.
Just like it may not consciously bother someone with a repressed, traumatic experience. Perhaps you are unaware of it. I know I was.
Little presumptuous for you to speak for all atheists, eh? You can speak for your past, but try not to speak for me.
Presumptuous in the same way that psychologists unravel people's minds whether they ask them to or not. Besides, I'm not speaking definitively. You may be an exception. But there seems to be some continuity between former atheists and converts. I was just drawing a parallel.
If it does not include you, then let it roll off your back.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by kuresu, posted 07-16-2007 2:16 PM kuresu has not replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 143 of 183 (410679)
07-16-2007 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 141 by Jazzns
07-16-2007 2:56 PM


Re: Some Observations
From my perspective, you cannot sit there and talk to me about the loving compassion of Jesus and in a seperate instance explain how homosexuality and beastiality are moral equivalents.
Why not? Jesus loves everyone, including Jeffrey Dahmer.
Love, it appears, is equivalent to letting me do whatever the hell I want.
Secondly, if homosexuality is a moral equivalent to beastiality, then so is lying, fornication, etc. I don't have tiers of sin, and as far as I can tell, the Bible doesn't other. If its bad, its bad.
As much as you and RR seem to TRY to seperate out the salvation message from your political views, you FAIL to do that almost at every single turn.
I'll just have to get you to teach me, sage.
When I was growing up, I was taught that being a Christian meant you had a HUGE responsibility. You were in the lime light if you liked it or not. No matter how much you try to proclaim that you are still an imperfect human, to many, anything you do is a reflection on more than yourself. It is a reflection on the moral framework in which you chose to construct yourself.
It is a huge responsibility. And you are in the lime light so long as your beliefs are known. By fanning the flames of discord, you not only endanger your own reputation, but what is effectively worse, God's.
Of couse, they meant it to apply to situations where you might be tempted to be "worldly" like casual drinking with non-christian friends.
I was casually drinking with non-Christian friends this
Saturday.
Some of the best conversations I have had with friends about Jesus were over a beer.
Amen.
You do realize, though, its not the beer. Its that someone is listening to you with expectations or judgement.
One time was even at a strip club at a friend's bachelor party. I take that message to reflect more against being a hypocrite, being uppity, pretending that I know more than others, being hard nosed, being unwilling to learn. Basically all the things I see creationist and "conservative" posters do here all the time.
I have no doubt, whatsoever, that such things take place. But perhaps you unintentionally lump all Christians into that pot. I'm just as irritated by the hucksters on TBN as you. Actaully, scratch that. I'm more irritated by it. But just because someone holds to a conviction doesn't make them uppity. It means they hold to a conviction.
SO when it comes time for the non-religious folks on this board to look at the glossy back of their eyelids as they shut for the last time, try to think about what their perception of Christ is like. For all you know, their only exposure might have been YOUR attitudes on this very forum.
What exactly is my attitude? As far as I can tell, there seems to be nothing to distinguish it by any other professed Christian. Except, perhaps, Jar. (We won't go there). This is what I perceive:
The more timid, the more unsure they are, the more they are willing to compromise their core beliefs, the closer they are to your beliefs, the more they are in rightstanding with you.
We are a reflection of what is inside of us. "By their fruits" is an extrodinarily wise phrase that even non-christians can value.
Amen to that.
Actually, the Bible claims that as a believer you should have super-powers.
quote:
mark 16:18 writes:
they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.
Paul gathered a pile of brushwood and, as he put it on the fire, a viper, driven out by the heat, fastened itself on his hand. When the islanders saw the snake hanging from his hand, they said to each other, "This man must be a murderer; for though he escaped from the sea, Justice has not allowed him to live." But Paul shook the snake off into the fire and suffered no ill effects. The people expected him to swell up or suddenly fall dead, but after waiting a long time and seeing nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and said he was a god." -Acts 28:3-26
Pretty sure Paul wasn't a superhero.

"The problem of Christianity is not that it has been tried and found wanting, but that it is difficult and left untried" -G.K. Chesterton

This message is a reply to:
 Message 141 by Jazzns, posted 07-16-2007 2:56 PM Jazzns has replied

Replies to this message:
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