Anti-abortion activist found guilty of murder

January 31st, 2010 at 1:26 pm by David Farrar

It is no surprise that it took a Kansas jury just 37 minutes to find Scott Roeder guilty of the of George Tiller. Dr Tiller was a provider of legal services, and Roeder is a religious fanatic who thought it was okay to kill him because he disapproved of what Dr Tiller did.

Troy Newman, president of Wichita-based Operation Rescue, which organised protests against Tiller’s clinic, said “pro-life was not on trial. An insane man doing an insane thing was on trial”.

All religions have their fanatics. The good thing with Christianity is the religious leaders always condemn people who murder people in the name of God. In Islam, you often get shall we say a mixed message at best.

Roeder could be considered for parole after 25 years. But prosecutor Nola Foulston said she would seek to ensure that he serve at least 50 years before being eligible for parole. Sentencing was set for March 9.

I don’t think he can ever be let out, as someone convinced they have a right to kill people is always going to be dangerous.

Roeder, the sole defence witness, testified on Thursday that he considered elaborate schemes to stop the doctor, including chopping off his hands, crashing a car into him or sneaking into his home to kill him.

But in the end, Roeder told jurors, the easiest way was to walk into Tiller’s church, put a gun to the doctor’s forehead and pull the trigger.

Tiller was wearing body armour, due to the threats against him – that in itself is a sad reality.

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153 Responses to “Anti-abortion activist found guilty of murder”

  1. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “The good thing with Christianity is the religious leaders always condemn people who murder people in the name of God.”

    INTERESTING NAMES: Tomas de Torquemada

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    As the doctrine (“its my body”) implanted in so many female minds by the Progressive activists of the sixties and seventies subsides, attitudes to abortion are changing. Young Americans find abortion more morally reprehensible than baby boomers.

    http://www.lifenews.com/nat5914.html

    In a recent anti-abortion protest march in Washington, the huge crowd was dominated in numbers by young women.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2010/01/impressive_media_malpractice_a.html

    You won’t read this kind of information in the NZ media. It is dominated by Progressives determined to promote their own liberal viewpoint on abortion at the expense of reporting what is happening in the real world.

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  3. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    Other news reports on this case mentioned that Tiller was one of very few abortionists in the US that performed late term abortions.

    [DPF: And his provision of them was found legal in a court case. If you don’t like the law then change the law via constitutional amendment, but don’t elect yourself God’s executioner]

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  4. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    Some of the comments here and here are pretty bloody awful.

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  5. Ross Nixon (559 comments) says:

    I agree entirely with the comment “a killer killed a killer”.
    His frustration with immoral laws could never justify taking the law into his own hands however.

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  6. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Tiller was a murderer of babies fullstop, that’s what late term abortion is DPF.

    You didn’t mention that the trial judge refused Roeder the opportunity to detail what late term abortion actually is or show any video or graphics about it, leading to his sincere motivation.
    But then why let a few germane facts get in the way of an opinion and you moan about the Labour party’s subterfuges and hypocrisy?

    Late term abortion peculiarly allows the practitioner to deliver the head of the baby and pause whilst they insert a speculum or scissors into the brain and kill it, before delivering the rest of the body.
    Unlike ordinary abortions which chop up the baby by suction or curette in situ killing the baby piecemeal.
    That’s not to mention the burning, salt or saline poisoning methods whereby an agent is injected into the baby or amiotic sac to kill it before physical removal.

    Sorry to rain on your parade DPF (not) but what Tiller espouced and did was murder and is indefensible.
    http://www.abortiontv.com/Methods/themanyways.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abortion

    [DPF: Luckily you do not get to unilaterally decide what is murder. Civilised people live in a nation of laws]

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” His frustration with immoral laws could never justify ”

    Really? Never?

    You perhaps need to rethink that claim.

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  8. andrei (2,668 comments) says:

    [DPF: Luckily you do not get to unilaterally decide what is murder. Civilised people live in a nation of laws]

    Absolutely correct DPF – there is one final arbiter and we will all stand in judgement before him one day.

    But in no way can the wholesale slaughter of innocents be called civilized, regardless of legal status, any more than can the shooting of a man in a church on the Feast of Pentecost – both are violations of God’s Commandments.

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  9. peterwn (3,298 comments) says:

    MikeNZ
    “You didn’t mention that the trial judge refused Roeder the opportunity to detail what late term abortion actually is or show any video or graphics about it, leading to his sincere motivation.”

    That is quite irrelevelant. Two wrongs do not make a right. The only purpose such an opportunity would have given would to try and induce the jury to give a perverse verdict. “Sincere motivation’ is not a defence for any crime.

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  10. tristanb (1,127 comments) says:

    Andrei, Kris K, and especially Redbaiter. You are all going to burn in hell for eternity. You are evil, hateful people. Jesus would have detested you.

    Feels great to get that out – I can see why you fundies are so judgemental! :-)

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  11. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    I find it appropriate to repost this extract from the animal cruelty thread:

    A lot of religious concerns have nothing to do with suffering or its alleviation, despite a genuine intent to be. Christians press concerns that inflict unnecessary and appalling suffering on humanity. A quote from Sam Harris’ book Letter to a Christian Nation: “The Church expends more ‘moral’ energy opposing abortion than fighting genocide. Or they’re more concerned about preventing condom usage in Africa rather than preventing the millions of deaths from AIDS there every year”.

    Stem-cell research is one of the most promising developments in the last century of medicine, for the simple reason that embryonic stem cells can become any tissue in the human body. This research is essential for our understanding of cancer, along with the a wide variety of developmental disorders.

    Given these facts, it is incredulous to think that anyone would be against this scientific development. So why are the Churches so opposed to it?

    Because such research entails the destruction of three-day-old human embryos. This is the Church’s great moral concern.

    So here are the facts:

    A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The human embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe that they can suffer in their destruction in any way at all. It is worth remembering, in this context, that when a person’s brain has died, we currently deem it acceptable to harvest his organs (provided he has donated them for this purpose) and bury him in the ground. If it is acceptable to treat a person who’s brain has died as something less than a human being, it should be acceptable to treat a blastocyst as such. If you are concerned about suffering in this universe, killing a fly should present you with greater moral difficulties than killing a human blastocyst.

    Perhaps you think the crucial difference between a fly and a human blastocyst is to be found in the latter’s potential to become a fully developed human being. But almost every cell in your body is a potential human being. Everytime you scratch your nose, you have committed a Holocaust of potential human beings. The argument from a cell’s potential gets you absolutely nowhere.

    We should throw immense resources into stem-cell research, and we should do so immediately. But because of what Christians like yourself believe about souls, we are not doing this. The truth here is obvious, that anyone who feels that the interests of a blastocyst just might supercede the interests of a child with a spinal cord injury has had his moral sense blinded by religious metaphysics.

    A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) Does the pregnant woman, or her family, suffer if she does not have an abortion? Very possibly so; and, in any case, given that the embryo lacks a nervous system, shouldn’t the mother’s well-developed nervous system have the choice?

    This is not to deny that a consequentialist might have grounds to oppose abortion. ‘Slippery slope’ arguments can be framed by consequentialists (though I wouldn’t in this case). Maybe embryos don’t suffer, but a culture that tolerates the taking of human life risks going too far: where will it all end? In infanticide? The moment of birth provides a natural Rubicon for defining rules, and one could argue that it is hard to find another one earlier in embryonic development. Slippery slope arguments could therefore lead us to give the moment of birth more significance than utilitarianism, narrowly interpreted, would prefer.

    Strong opponents of abortion are almost all deeply religious. The sincere supporters of abortion, whether personally religious or not, are likely to follow a non-religious, consequentialist moral philosophy, perhaps invoking Jeremy Bentham’s question, ‘Can they suffer?’ Paul Hill and Michael Bray saw no moral difference between killing an embryo and killing a doctor except that the embryo was, to them, a blamelessly innocent ‘baby’. The consequentialist sees all the difference in the world. An early embryo has the sentience, as well as the semblance, of a tadpole. A doctor is a grown-up conscious being with hopes, loves, aspirations, fears, a massive store of humane knowledge, the capacity for deep emotion, very probably a devastated widow and orphaned children, perhaps elderly parents who dote on him.

    Paul Hill caused real, deep, lasting suffering, to beings with nervous systems capable of suffering. His doctor victim did no such thing. Early embryos that have no nervous system most certainly do not suffer. And if late-aborted embryos with nervous systems suffer – though all suffering is deplorable – it is not because they are human that they suffer. There is no general reason to suppose that human embryos at any age suffer more than cow or sheep embryos at the same developmental stage. And there is every reason to suppose that all embryos, whether human or not, suffer far less than adult cows or sheep in a slaughterhouse, especially a ritual slaughterhouse where, for religious reasons, they must be fully conscious when their throats are ceremonially cut.

    Suffering is hard to measure, and the details might be disputed. But that doesn’t affect my main point, which concerns the difference between secular consequentialist and religiously absolute moral philosophies. One school of thought cares about whether embryos can suffer. The other cares about whether they are human. Religious moralists can be heard debating questions like, ‘When does the developing embryo become a person – a human being?’ Secular moralists are more likely to ask, ‘Never mind whether it is human, (what does that even mean for a little cluster of cells?); at what age does any developing embryo, of any species, become capable of suffering?’

    Richard Dawkins

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  12. David in Chch (523 comments) says:

    And to follow up on Camryn’s post, many if not most of those women went on to have healthy babies later. Those women and their families credit Tillman with saving their lives.

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  13. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Andrei 2:50 pm,

    [DPF: Luckily you do not get to unilaterally decide what is murder. Civilised people live in a nation of laws]

    Absolutely correct DPF – there is one final arbiter and we will all stand in judgement before him one day.

    But in no way can the wholesale slaughter of innocents be called civilized, regardless of legal status, any more than can the shooting of a man in a church on the Feast of Pentecost – both are violations of God’s Commandments.

    Indeed, Andrei.

    The trouble is, DPF, so called ‘civilised society’ is becoming increasingly less civilised, and as a result our laws likewise reflect this reduction of moral base. Abortion used to be illegal at one time, as you well know – so while our laws may have changed in this regard, I know fullwell that God’s views on this matter have not.

    And as Andei stated above; we will ALL give an account when we stand before the ultimate law Maker on judgement day.

    PS Two wrongs don’t make a right; and what Roeder did was indeed murder, and he was rightly convicted for his crime.
    Having said that though, our laws also have provision for the individual to protect the lives of the innocent – so perhaps it depends on how you look through the lense.

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  14. big bruv (14,132 comments) says:

    I do not buy into all the religious bullshit, however, I was not one who shed a tear at the death of Dr Tiller.

    Partial birth and late term abortions are wrong, end of story.

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  15. David in Chch (523 comments) says:

    Check the stories more deeply. Those women would have died, and those fetuses would not have survived as “babies”. That’s the problem with black-and-white rules – life is in colour and shades of grey.

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  16. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” I do not buy into all the religious bullshit, ”

    What religious bullshit? What is right is right. Religion is not a factor in deciding whether for no good reason, innocent children should be killed in the womb or not. Obsessive lamer. Get over your fixation.

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  17. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Peterwn 2:51 pm

    MikeNZ
    “You didn’t mention that the trial judge refused Roeder the opportunity to detail what late term abortion actually is or show any video or graphics about it, leading to his sincere motivation.”

    That is quite irrelevelant. Two wrongs do not make a right. The only purpose such an opportunity would have given would to try and induce the jury to give a perverse verdict. “Sincere motivation’ is not a defence for any crime.

    No, it’s entirely relevant!
    If someone entered your house, had already killed one of your kids, and was threatening the rest of your family’s lives, and you ‘took him out’, and were then subsequently charged with his murder, would the fact the he had killed one of your kids be relevant to the case? – I think the answer to that is a big fat YES.

    Many Christians, and people of moral integrity, view abortion in this way – especially late term abortion.

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  18. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Tristanb 3:03 pm,

    Andrei, Kris K, and especially Redbaiter. You are all going to …

    Nice guy, Tristan.
    And I hadn’t even commented on this topic when you made your comment.
    And I’m pretty sure, according to the Manual, and the testimony of the individuals concerned, that we’re safe – you, though, I’m not too sure of.
    Something you perhaps should dedicate some time and effort to.

    PS You should probably have included Kowtow, Ross, and Mike in your little list – just for the sake of completeness.

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  19. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Then Kris, these people are neither christian or posses moral integrity.

    Your case is a non sequitur. No one’s house was entered, no no one’s family was being threatened, no one’s kid had been killed. You are trying to make out a case of self defence for what was, quite clearly, a cold blooded murder.

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  20. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    The thing that pisses me off about any abortion thread is that the women having the abortions seem to be largely irrelevant to the discussion.
    Do the pro-lifers really think it’s all about the fetus and that the women are merely vessels whose sole purpose is to produce produce babies?.

    Meanwhile, I’m Totally Psyched About This Abortion!

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  21. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    LeftRightOut 4:22 pm,

    Question:
    Do you regard abortion as murder, or just the removal of non living genetic material; much like one would remove a tumour or a cyst?

    (And remember we’re talking ‘late term’ abortion here)

    Your answer to this question will no doubt reveal your own “moral integrity”.

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  22. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    cha, please refrain from framing the debate in their terms. They are most definatley NOT pro life. they are, if anything, anti life. They are not only anti-abortion, they are also anti just about anything science does to improve life. Stem cell research. Immunisation. Amnio. anti abortion usually = anti life

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  23. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    pro-life anti-abortion..

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  24. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Kris, I waver around on my views on abortion, but basically I do not believe it is murder. An early term foetus is not alive in any sense of the word and as I understand it, the late term abortions performed by Tiller were essential to preserve the life of the mother. I would vote for the life of the living over the unborn any day.

    I am sorry, I don’t have a question for you to reveal your “moral integrity” as you have already done that by defending Roeder.

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  25. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    Thanks cha, appreciated.

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  26. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    “Absolutely correct DPF – there is one final arbiter and we will all stand in judgement before him one day.”

    This is interesting. When I say with certainty that we in fact will all end up as worm food, as per logic and evidence, I get howled down as arrogant. The above statement is as arrogant as it gets. Just because you live your life in fear of a day that will never come, don’t tell us how to live our lives.

    Many have pointed out that he carried out late term abortions to save the life of the mother yet the “pro-life” (anti-humanity) posters keep conveniently ignoring that.

    Kris K, your analogy proves the opposite of what you want to prove. This doctor was making a very hard decision to save the life of the mother at the expense of the unborn child. Your analogy misses your intended mark by a long way, but it is a lot closer to justifying what the doctor stood for – sacrificing one life to save another.

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  27. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    Elsewhere, Christ Kills Two, Injures Seven In Abortion-Clinic Attack.

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  28. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    Holy shit Kris K, after reading your posts in this thread and your well-argued analogies about the kidnapper killing my kids I have come to recognise the error of my ways and just how sinful I am as a human being! What must I do to be saved? I do not wish to go to Hell, where the fire does not burn out and the worm will never die. What can I do to be just as perfect and moral like you? There’s no other place I’d rather spend eternity with than with people like you in Heaven. Thanks to your testimony I am completely convinced that God is real and a loving God who will judge me in my final days.

    OK so I went away for a while and thought about it.

    A lot of people have been contacting me about what I’ve been up to. Why haven’t I been posting much lately? The truth is that I have been readng… The Bible, and I’m convinced that it’s the Good Book.

    God talks and from now on he’ll be talking through me.

    So how did this happen? How did I find the Lord?

    Well I was watching the pre-season baseball on TV. The Red Sox have spent a lot of money on that new Japanese guy and I wanted to know if he had the right stuff.

    There is this sign that some people always stick up: “John 3:16″. The sign has always bugged me, even annoyed me, but it struck me that I’ve never actually looked it up to see what it says. Not having a Bible at that time (I feel so foolish now!) so I looked it up on the internet (praise be to God for the internet!)

    And there is was:

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

    Hmmmm I thought it would be in your face, but it wasn’t. It was just a reminder about how much God loves you, and what he has done for you and the deal that he has dealt you.

    Okay. I just shrugged it off. But I can’t say that verse didn’t spook me.

    That night I was having dinner at the Flying Burrito Brothers. I had just had my main and was waiting for the dessert when I went to visit the loo. By this time I had forgotten the verse thing.

    There in the toilet, is a picture of the Saviour on the Cross. I looked at the pain on his face and realised that that pain was for ME! I immediately felt a burning sensation, was light headed and heard Jesus-talking softly in my ear. At the time I thought it was the tacos, but after talking with others I now realise that it was the Holy Spirit entering my mortal body and blessing me.

    Since then I have been in a state of grace. Since then I have been baptised in the Spirit.

    So from this day forward I am committing myself to promoting Jesus. I want all of the blogosphere to be saved in the Spirit.

    The Spirit is at work, showing us what Christ has done, and how that makes a difference in what’s going on around us. The Spirit’s witness to Christ doesn’t function like a hypertext link. One doesn’t click one’s mouse on the Spirit’s doings and get taken to the front page of Jesus’ Cybersalvation Web Site. First of all, your mouse-clicking takes more initiative than you can take in restoring your relationship with God (or, in church-talk, it’s God’s grace in Christ’s work on the cross that saves you, not anything you do). Second, the Spirit leads us into Christ’s presence and Christ’s character, two things that don’t pop up on a screen and say ‘I’m here’. Then, the Spirit works to get our own Web Site to take on the character that others would recognize as Christ’s, for instance, by removing the annoying banner ads for the causes and ideas we’re stuck on, or the irritating pop-up windows with our excuses, or the sneaky spy cookies that gather the information we might want to use against others. The Spirit is trying to push this Body of the Scared past their fears into full contact with the rest of reality, especially with other people who are not aware of Christ, or who hear the Name and yawn.

    Not only is the Holy Spirit God, the Spirit is a full person of the Trinity. What is meant by that? (Forgive me for talking strange here, but this is about the Holy Spirit, the One that can least be described by words.) The Spirit can be addressed as ‘you’ by other ‘I’s (such as you and me), and can respond as an ‘I’. The Spirit is an ‘I’, able to take action and cause action. The Spirit is able to be a ‘we’ with other ‘I’s.

    I’m not all up with the ways of Jesus, but here’s a good start:

    If you asked ten people what was necessary to go to heaven, you might get ten different answers. Is there a definite answer? And can we know it? In your own personal opinion, what do you understand it takes for a person to go to heaven? I’d like to share with you how the Bible answers this question. In fact, there is a single word that can be used as our answer and that word is F-A-I-T-H.

    F is for Forgiveness. No one can have eternal life or enter into heaven without God’s forgiveness. The Bible says, “In Him (meaning Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins”.

    A is for Available. The forgiveness every human being needs is available for all. John 3:16 states, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. According to that verse, this forgiveness is available to all, but it’s not automatic. Matthew 7:21 records Jesus saying, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven”. Why won’t everyone go to heaven, you ask? Because…

    I is for Impossible. It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven. God is love. Remember John 3:16? “God so loved the world”. But God is also just. James 2:13 states, “for judgement is without mercy”. God does love everyone but He is also just. Every human being is a sinner. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and for that reason it is impossible for people to go to heaven. So, how can a sinful person enter into heaven, where God allows no sin? That brings us to the next letter…

    T is for Turn. If you were driving down the road and someone asked you to turn, what would he or she be asking you to do? They’d be asking you to change directions, right? In the Bible, to turn means to repent. We must all turn from something – sin and self. Jesus warned his listeners in Luke 13:3, “unless you repent (turn) you will all likewise perish”. But we not only turn from something (sin and self) we must also turn to Someone, Jesus Christ. We must trust Christ only! I Corinthians 15:3 says, “Christ died for our sins” and Romans 10:9 tells us that “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus you will be saved”. In other words, you can go to heaven. And that’s what the “H” in F-A-I-T-H means.

    H is for Heaven. Heaven is eternal life. When the Bible speaks of eternal life, it means life here. Jesus spoke about that in John 10:10 by saying, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. Eternal life also means hereafter.

    In John 14:3 Jesus promised, “if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”. “H” also means, “How”. How can a person have God’s forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as personal Saviour and Lord?

    By using the word, F-A-I-T-H the Bible has answered the question of what it takes for a person to go to heaven. We can also use that word to understand how a person can have God’s forgiveness, heaven and eternal life. F-A-I-T-H can also mean, Forsaking All I Trust Him”. By forsaking any other way to heaven and placing your faith in Jesus, you can have forgiveness and eternal life.

    Understanding what has been shared, would you like to receive this forgiveness by trusting in Christ as your personal Savior and Lord? Simply pray this prayer,

    “Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner. I genuinely repent of my sins and ask for your forgiveness. Lord Jesus, I believe that you died on the cross for my sins. I receive you as my Lord and Savior and make a commitment of my life to you. Thank you for hearing my prayer. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for giving me eternal life.”

    Since you have asked Jesus to forgive you, you have become a Christian and have eternal life. You are now God’s child. You are also a member of God’s family. Your feelings may change. God’s Word never changes. By faith, believe what God has said. In I John 5:12 the Bible says, “He who has the Son has life. These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God”. God wants you to believe Him. He wrote the Bible to assure you of His love and forgiveness.

    Your new spiritual life needs care just like your physical life. Just as a new baby in a family, you may need help in beginning your Christian life. Use the form below to tell us about your decision to trust Christ and we will provide you with a free study guide designed to give you the nourishment and direction you need as a new Christian.

    Oh, thank you Kris K. It was all thanks to your gracious preaching here on these comments thread on Kiwiblog that got me here. I appreciated it so much and it made my awareness of the Lord Jesus Christ all that much better. If it wasn’t for you reminding us of the moral danger that was so prevalent in society today that I would not have been able to come to Christ. I hope your reward in Heaven will be great!

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  29. nickb (3,696 comments) says:

    In what states in the US are late term abortions legal?
    And how late term are we talking here?

    What is the maximum term for an abortion to be performed in NZ? Anyone know?

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  30. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Usual story, the “pro lifers” aren’t interested in “life” per se, they’re interested in having control over who gets to live.

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  31. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    I love you Anna

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  32. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Anna, what was it at the Flying Burrito Brothers that you had for the main?

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  33. Angus (536 comments) says:

    “Usual story, the “pro lifers” aren’t interested in “life” per se, they’re interested in having control over who gets to live.”

    Pro-lifers (I assume) would want every unborn child given the chance to be born. Pro-choicers (assuming, again) want the option of keeping or terminating the pregnancy based on any real or perceived adverse medical, social and economic circumstances affecting the mother.

    . . . In other words I don’t follow your logic. Sorry.

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  34. kowtow (8,733 comments) says:

    The abortionists actions were stricly legal but were they in every case moral? Most societies see themselves as justified in their own eyes.

    In N Ireland the IRA claimed their killing was “political” and wanted special status,in the eyes of many they were “patriots’,not murderers. They’re all out of gaol now, some probably lawmakers even.How times change.

    As pointed out above abortion was once a heinous crime now it’s a medical procedure and fetuses were once babies.Now a clump of cells.

    In the west we face declining populations with immigration used to keep our societies going (which ironically may cause the end of them anyway)

    Our human rights ,and here I include so called womens rights and the drive for “equality” are part of the decline of the west,so enjoy your rights while you can,it cant last, cos if one thing ain’t sustainable, it’s the road that we’re on right now.

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  35. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Ahh, another favourite tactic of God botherers – inciting fear where none exists

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  36. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    And thanks to cha’s link: Another pearl for all you swine. :)

    http://www.theonion.com/content/video/new_law_requires_women_to_name

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  37. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Anna Sewell’s post above demonstrates what happens to vegetarians who deprive themselves of the creatine, iron, and protein that are required for adequate brain function…

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  38. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “An early term foetus is not alive in any sense of the word”

    LeftRightOut, what about a late-term foetus, which is what this doctor specialised in?

    Also, at what point during gestation does a person’s soul enter their body? Try not to pretend we don’t have one or that you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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  39. Angus (536 comments) says:

    “Anna Sewell’s post above demonstrates what happens to vegetarians . . .”

    Anna’s post was not bad. Plagiarized, but not bad all the same.

    http://www.fishthe.net/heaven.htm
    http://www.spirithome.com/spirwork.html

    I’ve noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born.”
    – Ronald Reagan

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  40. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    reid, I am in favour of late term abortion if it saves the mother’s life.

    As to the soul, I assume you are talking here in religious terms, so show me one and I’ll enter the discussion.

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  41. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Must be a full moon all the God squad are turning up.

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  42. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “As to the soul, I assume you are talking here in religious terms…”

    Not at all in anyway, LeftRightOut. Ever seen a dead body? There’s no-one home, is there. That’s what I mean, it’s that essence of whatever makes a person a person and not just a piece of meat. All living creatures have an essence that makes them an individual. It’s not a religious thing, it’s just the way that it is.

    So do you need any more info or are you ready to answer that question?

    Re: being in favour of late term abortion to save the mother’s life, I interpret from the story that this doctor performed them on demand and not just for that reason. Who knows, maybe I’m wrong.

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  43. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    That would be a brain, reid. When it stops living, there is no-one home.

    Not done much biology have you

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  44. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    We are so fcked up as a nation and so many of you on this list are too, we kill 300 classes of new entrant kids a year in NZ.
    Kids in the main that if the mother ate properly and lived her life as usual she would birth to and they would go on 5yrs from then to start school.

    Most of those abortions are lifestyle killings, very very and possibly very very few of them are because the mother/woman is going to or is at risk of dying through the birth of her baby.
    Giving birth is a natural event, abortion is not, in fact abortion has a 40% risk element more than giving birth has to the mother.
    How much of our future is killed each week, all of those kids have potential, they could be a Ngata Apirana, Kate Sheperd, Ernest Rutherford, Edmund Hilary or even a Helen Clark.

    Lets be honest here. A lifestyle abortion is selfish and wicked and in reality shames the woman, her whanau/family and destroys any mana she or they might have had, it is murder even if not illegal. That is why every woman suffers postpartum depression in some way or another after an abortion.

    Next time you drive down the street and see young kids going or coming home from school think in your minds eye of what 300 classes (25) of those kids looks like.
    That is our legacy you are talking about here, our future.

    Everyone of them has the right to life.
    If you could ask them what they’d want you to do what do you think they would say?
    Have you ever watched a sonorgram of a baby in the womb trying to avoid the cutter or suction head?
    Didn’t think so.

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  45. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    reid, there’s “no one home” in a dead body, because it is just that, a dead body. That essence, as you call it, is brain function. We can keep the piece of meat alive with many medical interventions, but once the brain ceases to function, there is no life “essence”, but that does not equate to a soul.

    Perhapos you need to be clearer in your definition of a soul, where it comes from and whence it goes on death.

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  46. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Anyone read the report that most women who abort in NZ do so for psychological reasons.
    Therefore the majority of women who abort in NZ are sick psychologically.
    Personally I think they are spiritually sick and that’s why they have to plead psychological.
    Every woman I have ever spoken to about the abortions or their close friend/family abortions has suffered depression.
    That’s not because they have a 40% higher risk of cancer either, in most case they didn’t know that would be the case.

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  47. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “That would be a brain, reid. When it stops living, there is no-one home.”

    So what about emotion Zapper & LRO? Where does that come from? How about your Ego, Super-Ego, your Id – where do they come from? How come some people with really high IQs are so unsuccessful in life? What about happiness, pride, satisfaction, love? Where do they come from? How come some people can have exactly the same experience yet they have deeply differing emotional experiences? Why are siblings temperamentally different the moment they emerge from the womb, even if they have exactly the same IQ and substantially similar life-experiences (cf twins, triplets, etc)? As you well know, none of us are walking automatons and none of us are the same. Why is that, if it’s all just a thinking thing?

    As a matter of fact, I find it mind-boggling I even need to explain the concept it’s so natural and obvious. Can you please both stop being disingenuous and answer the original question?

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  48. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    All of those things are still the brain reid.

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  49. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “once the brain ceases to function, there is no life “essence”, but that does not equate to a soul.”

    Ever seen a completely brain-dead person on life-support? Neither have I, but I bet eleventy gajillion dollars they are still immediately recognisable as a living person with their soul completely intact.

    Also, what about art appreciation? Where does that come from? What makes good art universally recognisable, regardless of topic or medium? Why are people prepared to pay millions for a bunch of oil a dead guy painted last century?

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  50. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Full moon and Mars is prominent. Brings the nuts out

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  51. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    “As a matter of fact, I find it mind-boggling I even need to explain the concept it’s so natural and obvious. Can you please both stop being disingenuous and answer the original question?”

    Asked and answered.

    I know exactly how you feel – the difference is I’m justified in feeling it.

    MikeNZ, thanks for your opinion. I have read it and disregarded it for the tripe that it is.

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  52. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “with their soul completely intact.”

    Remind me again what does this “soul” look like and where is it situated?

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  53. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    My, you are a confused reid. You keep describing a brain and asking how it is possible for people to have different brains.

    Why do people look different? Answer that and maybe you’ll understand a bit better why people have different brains without having to put a silly religious moniker on it

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  54. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    a-soul johnboy a-soul

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  55. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “So what about emotion Zapper & LRO? ——–etc”

    “The human brain controls the central nervous system by way of the cranial nerves and spinal cord, the peripheral nervous system and regulates virtually all human activity. The brain is made up of over 100 billion nerve cells with each brain cell connected to around 10,000 other cells, which equals around 1000 trillion connections in your brain.”

    “Are humans born with all their brain cells?

    Babies are born with around a 100 billion brain cells, but only a small number of neurons are actually connected. By three years of age a childs brain has formed about 1,000 trillion connections, about twice as many as adults have. At around 11 years, the brain begins to prune unused connections. Connections that are used repeatedly in the early years become permanent; those that are not are eliminated. Hence the saying, “use it or lose it.”

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  56. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “Asked and answered.”

    Zapper, can you please point me to the post where you told us when the soul enters the body during gestation?

    “Full moon and Mars is prominent. Brings the nuts out”

    Sooooooo. Stating that all living creatures have an individual essence that controls behaviour and is affected by experience, is news to mikeysmokes. I see.

    “Remind me again what does this “soul” look like and where is it situated?”

    Don’t know, Johnboy but that’s not relevant to the question I asked. Why don’t you look in the mirror and gaze into your own eyes. What do you see? Just a bunch of cells? Nothing there at all? Hello?

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  57. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Maybe your “soul” reid is in the way those 1000 trillion connections are made.

    Would explain why some of us are skeptics and some of us are God-botherers perhaps. Just a few different connections and ZAP you become a soldier of God.

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  58. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    MikeNZ if you love foetuses that much, you must be extremely pissed off with your loving god for killing over 50% of all conceptions that ever happen, within the first month of pregnancy…

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  59. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    What about art appreciation? Where does that come from? What makes good art universally recognisable, regardless of topic or medium? Why are people prepared to pay millions for a bunch of oil a dead guy painted last century?

    I would say it is due to the exact same reason people are deluded and superstitious enough to believe in a higher being. 40,000 people die of starvation everyday and to appreciate art has nothing to do with the value of one’s soul – but rather the blatant disregard for the suffering of those who could have used those millions.

    Christian.

    What does it mean to be a Christian?

    When I first walked into Church in 2002, I was amazed by the friendliness the people there showed me. They were very nice and helpful, spending the whole service taking me along each step, keeping me company, etc.

    Now I realise though it was all a sham. It’s very easy to ‘appear’ Christian on the outside, especially when all you’re doing is making a new person feel welcome at Church. But I have found that when it comes to friendship, Christians are often the worst examples there are.

    The Bible says be slow to anger, quick to forgive. I have found the opposite to be true. In my experience if you do one small thing to make another Christian unhappy, they will be the first to turn their backs on you. Instead of defending you in front of other people, they will be the ones leading the charge against you.

    A Christian doesn’t stick it through the hard times with their friends. They will, however, make sure that if you’re a liability to their reputations instantly remove you from their lives. How they are perceived by others is very important to them.

    Favouritism is another thing that Christians are good at. Treating some people with more rights and leniency than they would give others. It’s pretty much a requirement of being a Christian, and anyone who spends time hanging around in Christian circles will notice it very quickly.

    A Christian will not endeavour to think the best of you. No, they look for the worst, and will not hesitate to use non-Christian excuses to justify their actions towards you. In a way it’s like having the best of both worlds, being a Christian for the praise yet living in a society where to turn the other cheek and serve selflessly is not expected and therefore not necessary in order to gain others’ respect.

    So what does it mean to be a Christian?

    To appear clean and moral on the outside, and to continue with that facade, so long as God isn’t real.

    When I left College my maths teacher signed my yearbook with the quote: “Is there life after a cup of tea?”

    What the heck. We’d known each other for five years and those were the words that he decided to leave me with. I was disappointed that he didn’t write something cool like: “I think it’s great that you’re going to university and intend to come back here to teach someday.” Not that I did end up doing that!

    Anyhow, these days I often get into discussions about Christianity with people. Mostly Pentecostal Christians. And they always find it hard to comprehend that I actually went from being a non-Christian to ‘finding Christ’, and then going back to being a non-Christian again.

    And they’ll ask questions like: “What’s the point of living then if you don’t believe in anything?”

    Well, what’s the point of living anyway? Becoming a Christian didn’t make my life anymore worth living than it did before I was one. If anything, it made me worry heaps about what happened to non-believers if they died never having ‘accepted Christ’.

    So is there life after Christianity? Well, yes there is. I don’t particularly enjoy mine very much but that has nothing to do with the fact that I’m not a Christian anymore. Rather, it has to do with circumstances and whether or not things are going the way I want them to be. Sure, if I was a Christian I could say to myself: “Even though things aren’t going my way, God wants me to make the best of it.” But I don’t really have to be a Christian to think positively like that either. I can just try to make the best of things anyway.

    The end.

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  60. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    “Most of those abortions are lifestyle killings, very very and possibly very very few of them are because the mother/woman is going to or is at risk of dying through the birth of her baby.”

    Exactly, a sick manifestation of a shallow self servant society.

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  61. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    And for all the Christians in this thread who keep saying we’re not addressing the issue of the soul… When will any of you address the points made in this post which I made above?

    A lot of religious concerns have nothing to do with suffering or its alleviation, despite a genuine intent to be. Christians press concerns that inflict unnecessary and appalling suffering on humanity. A quote from Sam Harris’ book Letter to a Christian Nation: “The Church expends more ‘moral’ energy opposing abortion than fighting genocide. Or they’re more concerned about preventing condom usage in Africa rather than preventing the millions of deaths from AIDS there every year”.

    Stem-cell research is one of the most promising developments in the last century of medicine, for the simple reason that embryonic stem cells can become any tissue in the human body. This research is essential for our understanding of cancer, along with the a wide variety of developmental disorders.

    Given these facts, it is incredulous to think that anyone would be against this scientific development. So why are the Churches so opposed to it?

    Because such research entails the destruction of three-day-old human embryos. This is the Church’s great moral concern.

    So here are the facts:

    A three-day-old human embryo is a collection of 150 cells called a blastocyst. There are, for the sake of comparison, more than 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly. The human embryos that are destroyed in stem-cell research do not have brains, or even neurons. Consequently, there is no reason to believe that they can suffer in their destruction in any way at all. It is worth remembering, in this context, that when a person’s brain has died, we currently deem it acceptable to harvest his organs (provided he has donated them for this purpose) and bury him in the ground. If it is acceptable to treat a person who’s brain has died as something less than a human being, it should be acceptable to treat a blastocyst as such. If you are concerned about suffering in this universe, killing a fly should present you with greater moral difficulties than killing a human blastocyst.

    Perhaps you think the crucial difference between a fly and a human blastocyst is to be found in the latter’s potential to become a fully developed human being. But almost every cell in your body is a potential human being. Everytime you scratch your nose, you have committed a Holocaust of potential human beings. The argument from a cell’s potential gets you absolutely nowhere.

    We should throw immense resources into stem-cell research, and we should do so immediately. But because of what Christians like yourself believe about souls, we are not doing this. The truth here is obvious, that anyone who feels that the interests of a blastocyst just might supercede the interests of a child with a spinal cord injury has had his moral sense blinded by religious metaphysics.

    A consequentialist or utilitarian is likely to approach the abortion question in a very different way, by trying to weigh up suffering. Does the embryo suffer? (Presumably not if it is aborted before it has a nervous system; and even if it is old enough to have a nervous system it surely suffers less than, say, an adult cow in a slaughterhouse.) Does the pregnant woman, or her family, suffer if she does not have an abortion? Very possibly so; and, in any case, given that the embryo lacks a nervous system, shouldn’t the mother’s well-developed nervous system have the choice?

    This is not to deny that a consequentialist might have grounds to oppose abortion. ‘Slippery slope’ arguments can be framed by consequentialists (though I wouldn’t in this case). Maybe embryos don’t suffer, but a culture that tolerates the taking of human life risks going too far: where will it all end? In infanticide? The moment of birth provides a natural Rubicon for defining rules, and one could argue that it is hard to find another one earlier in embryonic development. Slippery slope arguments could therefore lead us to give the moment of birth more significance than utilitarianism, narrowly interpreted, would prefer.

    Strong opponents of abortion are almost all deeply religious. The sincere supporters of abortion, whether personally religious or not, are likely to follow a non-religious, consequentialist moral philosophy, perhaps invoking Jeremy Bentham’s question, ‘Can they suffer?’ Paul Hill and Michael Bray saw no moral difference between killing an embryo and killing a doctor except that the embryo was, to them, a blamelessly innocent ‘baby’. The consequentialist sees all the difference in the world. An early embryo has the sentience, as well as the semblance, of a tadpole. A doctor is a grown-up conscious being with hopes, loves, aspirations, fears, a massive store of humane knowledge, the capacity for deep emotion, very probably a devastated widow and orphaned children, perhaps elderly parents who dote on him.

    Paul Hill caused real, deep, lasting suffering, to beings with nervous systems capable of suffering. His doctor victim did no such thing. Early embryos that have no nervous system most certainly do not suffer. And if late-aborted embryos with nervous systems suffer – though all suffering is deplorable – it is not because they are human that they suffer. There is no general reason to suppose that human embryos at any age suffer more than cow or sheep embryos at the same developmental stage. And there is every reason to suppose that all embryos, whether human or not, suffer far less than adult cows or sheep in a slaughterhouse, especially a ritual slaughterhouse where, for religious reasons, they must be fully conscious when their throats are ceremonially cut.

    Suffering is hard to measure, and the details might be disputed. But that doesn’t affect my main point, which concerns the difference between secular consequentialist and religiously absolute moral philosophies. One school of thought cares about whether embryos can suffer. The other cares about whether they are human. Religious moralists can be heard debating questions like, ‘When does the developing embryo become a person – a human being?’ Secular moralists are more likely to ask, ‘Never mind whether it is human, (what does that even mean for a little cluster of cells?); at what age does any developing embryo, of any species, become capable of suffering?’

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  62. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    All three of you guys are consistently refusing to answer the simple question: when does the soul enter the body. Why?

    Whether or not it lives in the brain, the heart, the lungs or any other body part is quite irrelevant. I’ll try again and re-word the question.

    At what point does a person become a person and not just a bunch of cells supported by the mother?

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  63. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    “MikeNZ if you love foetuses that much, you must be extremely pissed off with your loving god for killing over 50% of all conceptions that ever happen, within the first month of pregnancy…”

    The Christian world view more than adequately explains why this is so, perhaps you could find an argument that is not based on pig ignorance.

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  64. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Feel free to beleive in the Easter bunny, the toothfairy and your lovely soul but dont expect the rest of us to reid

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  65. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    “Zapper, can you please point me to the post where you told us when the soul enters the body during gestation?”

    Sigh. Everything you point towards the soul as being behind, occurs in the brain. The soul is a construct of the religious who don’t understand how the brain functions.

    This has been explained to you numerous times in numerous ways, which is an example of how one brain can operate slower than others.

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  66. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Firstly reid I don’t accept your word ‘soul’ so I will refer to it as consciousness and here is a definition I like.

    Consciousness:

    A constellation of attributes of mind such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, and the ability to perceive a relationship between oneself and one’s environment.

    So when that occurs I would say that your “soul” as you define is present in the body.

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  67. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Bottom line is Roeder was rightly found guilty of murder, plain and simple

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  68. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    soreid, you have no answer for the question of what the soul is, where it comes from and whence it goes, so you know what to rephrase in terms of personhood. Are you asking “At what point during gestation does a person become a person?” If not, then you are now asking a totally different question, thus conceding that there is no soul.

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  69. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “MikeNZ if you love foetuses that much, you must be extremely pissed off with your loving god for killing over 50% of all conceptions that ever happen, within the first month of pregnancy…”

    And why do you think G-d is responsible for that and all the other evil that happens in the world, Put it away? There are two things many non-Christians fail to grasp. Firstly, this isn’t G-d’s world, it’s Satan’s. Secondly, G-d gave us free will, to do good, or to do evil. He did that because having free will allows those who care about doing good in this world to build spiritual muscle. Doing the right thing is usually somewhat harder than doing the wrong thing, it’s the same as having a regular gym routine. Unfortunately, many people who do that for their physical body fail to realise exactly the same principles apply also to their spiritual health. But that’s Satan’s work, whose translated name of Satan the Devil actually means in English the Slanderer and Deceiver. And he’s very good at what he does.

    Just think about it for a second. What sort of life would we have if we could never be angry, never do the wrong thing, never have a lusty thought, never have personal challenges to overcome, because we were forced by the Universe always to be nice? Fuck that.

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  70. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Why have you renamed God as G-d reid? Have you recreated him in your image perhaps?

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  71. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Thanks reid. I now understand your fantasy better.

    Unfortunately, it is all still fantasy

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  72. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    And why do you think G-d is responsible for that and all the other evil that happens in the world, Put it away? There are two things many non-Christians fail to grasp. Firstly, this isn’t G-d’s world, it’s Satan’s. Secondly, G-d gave us free will, to do good, or to do evil. He did that because having free will allows those who care about doing good in this world to build spiritual muscle. Doing the right thing is usually somewhat harder than doing the wrong thing, it’s the same as having a regular gym routine. Unfortunately, many people who do that for their physical body fail to realise exactly the same principles apply also to their spiritual health. But that’s Satan’s work, whose translated name of Satan the Devil actually means in English the Slanderer and Deceiver. And he’s very good at what he does.

    Just think about it for a second. What sort of life would we have if we could never be angry, never do the wrong thing, never have a lusty thought, never have personal challenges to overcome, because we were forced by the Universe always to be nice? Fuck that.

    Firstly, Reid, you say it’s not God’s world, but Satan’s. Tell me this – who created Satan?

    Secondly, you talk about free will as if there is such a thing.

    The general argument is that God allowed evil to enter the world as part of the risk He took in giving humanity free will. i.e. He loved mankind so much that He wanted to give us the chance to grow and mature and choose Him and the good life for ourselves, rather than being set on auto-pilot. All of which I’m sure you’re all familiar with. A nice idea – the end goal being that God gets a family of children who have developed hearts and wisdom like His, and turned away from evil.

    My question is, if God wanted us to develop maturity and discernment, doesn’t it seem slightly backward that the tree they were forbidden to touch was said to offer that very thing – the knowledge of good and evil? God says ‘if you eat from it you will surely die’. Which is true of course – when they figure out they can try things their own way they pretty much immediately start stuffing things up and killing each other and things. The serpent says of it “You will not surely die, for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” And perhaps that’s true too – there’s no certainty they’ll die; there’s a slim chance they’ll get it right themselves and not ruin everything. In any case the serpent is just trying to incite them to rebellion – don’t listen to everything Mr Big says; don’t submit to being His slave. Do what you want.

    Some possible solutions to the puzzle:

    1) My argument is wrong: God didn’t want us to develop maturity etc.; He wanted us to get everything right, and for the world to stay perfect, and therefore when He said He didn’t want them to eat the fruit, He meant it.

    >>Question: so why put it there? To give them the choice? But if they’re better off without the choice, isn’t that kinda stupid?

    2) God knew all along that they’d take the fruit, and put it there intentionally, so that they’d take it and learn some important lessons – painful though it would be for all concerned – which would ultimately be to their/humanity’s betterment.

    >>Question: so why does He forbid them to touch it?

    >>Question: is it even plausible to say we’re somehow better off in a post-fall world? Is that kind of sick and sadistic? Or is that like saying it’s sadistic of a parent to take the training wheels off their kid’s bike, knowing they’ll fall off the first time, but will eventually acquire a new skill?

    3) Perhaps it wasn’t so much that He was forbidding them, but just that He had to warn them, in all fairness, that it would be a path of suffering, even though it would ultimately be the best.

    >>But in that case, why not just say ‘kids, you have the following two options – you decide’? Instead, He says ‘you must not take option 2′.

    4) Perhaps in their auto-pilot state they’re not able to make decisions like that anyway, so He has to trick them, and maybe overstate the case a little just to make it more interesting.

    >>So, uh, we’re currently in the state of having disobeyed, strayed onto the road, been hit by a bus, and are now very slowly recovering, and very slowly figuring out how to conduct ourselves better in future – possibly mixed with a good deal of angst directed towards our dad who should have protected us better.

    Should he then intercede every time we’re going to make a decision he doesn’t agree with? Your answer: Fuck that.

    My answer? Very yes. Bear in mind that you are of the 10% of people in the world who are lucky enough to live in the West. We can afford to have the luxury to say: “It’s not God’s will that not everything is perfect”, and be satisfied with that answer.

    And so often we ask why does God allow this? And Christians will say it’s our own fault for sinning: “Should He then intercede every time we’re going to make a decision He doesn’t agree with?” Do you think He should have intervened to have prevented this from happening? It’s easy to say well that’s a cost of free will. But you’re not the one suffering from the cost.

    When we’re talking about minor decisions with massive massive repercussions, that will affect things done in His name, I think we’re able to say that God could have done better. Maybe He should have. Consider this: if He had taken more control, and through less misinterpretations, more people may have been saved from an eternity of torment. What’s that worth? There’s this nonchalent attitude towards death and condemnation to Hell that arises from this attitude towards the Bible. God should be doing everything He can to save people but he sits back and allows people to lose salvation (narrow is the gate etc) over people making the wrong choices. Free will and shifting blame to the Satan He created is a poor excuse for God to allow such things to happen.

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  73. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    At what point does a person become a person and not just a bunch of cells supported by the mother?

    Shall we take the definition from your Holy Book then Reid?

    According to God, a soul is contained inside one’s sperm. Onan spilled his seed in the dirt. By doing so prevented a child from being born, so God struck him down for not cumming inside the woman.

    So tell me, have you ever masturbated before, you murderer?

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  74. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    This issue does not need to be framed as a religious issue, most people opposed to abortion in NZ are probably not religious at all.
    Abortion is not logical and neither is killing doctors whom you happen to disagree with, nutters are everywhere and clearly this guy was not representative of the Christian faith.
    What needs to happen is a concerted effort to dramatically lower the abortion rate and then take it from there.
    I don’t think many people would see abortion as a positive trait of civilised society, it certainly appears to affect women for years afterwards so why has there been no attempt to address this fact?
    Ideology is a bitch to those caught up in it I guess.

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  75. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    “Just think about it for a second. What sort of life would we have if we could never be angry, never do the wrong thing, never have a lusty thought, never have personal challenges to overcome, because we were forced by the Universe always to be nice?”

    Isn’t that what heaven is supposed to be like? Fuck that.

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  76. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “Why have you renamed God as G-d reid?”

    JB, out of respect for Him I decided some time ago to personally adopt the convention of observant Jews who use it to avoid the possibility of taking His name in vain.

    I commit so many other sins I thought I’d better start putting some runs on the other side of the board…

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  77. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    You are right, Shunda. I believe the best way to lower the abortion rate is far better education on sex and contraception, but the religious consistently oppose this. Preaching abstinence has failed, even M of the M&M blog has a pregnat, single, 17 year old.

    Better parenting and better education, as well as contraception freely available will do more to lower the abortion rate than all the sermons of all the bod gotherers.

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  78. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    “Isn’t that what heaven is supposed to be like?”

    Yes, it is LRO, with one important difference. Our human desires that lead us to want to sin, aren’t present. Praise the Lord, if you’ve got any brains at all.

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  79. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Geez Anna Sewell all this talk about masturbating cumming inside the woman is a bit coarse I might change over to the Whaleman goose channel

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  80. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    so reid, in heaven we will no longer be human? At what point will our humanity leave us, and will it hurt?

    What is the point of heaven if we are automotons?

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  81. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    True Sb these threads are always hijacked by the God botherers. Perhaps we should be looking at the connection between the low educational standards in NZ and the rate of abortion here, would probably explain why it is so prevalent.
    Most sensible people make some preparation to either avoid pregnancy or at least create an acceptable environment for children to be reared in before getting it on.
    In NZ the terminally stupid seem to dominate the child production statistics.

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  82. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    See it’s always the same with the fundies in these debates, they act like they care about the foetuses, because every embryo has a soul from the moment of conception and deserves life etc etc, BUT….. if you bring up the fact that MORE THAN HALF of all the conceptions that ever happen get spontaneously aborted, it’s just waved off as not important ( Shunda 6:14, Reid 6:23) . Let me just repeat so it can sink in: 50% of all unborn babies are knocked off by their loving god, and this is not important.
    Not for one second do they think maybe god is being a tiny bit mean by letting all those embryos die.

    The other bizarre hypocrisy the fundies always come up with in these arguments is pretending they give a shit about women and their mental health. Here is what your bible thinks about women:

    1 Timothy 2:11-15 (N.I.V) 11A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. 12I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. 15But wome will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

    Ephesians 5:22-24 (N.I.V) 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    Sit down, shut up, do anything your husband says, and have babies. Well that just sounds fantastic for women’s mental health doesn’t it ? Good think xtians around to protect their ‘mana’, as MikeNZ calls it (5:39)

    The real motivation for all of this fundie anxiety is not concern for the foetuses or for the mother, it’s about control. A woman is not allowed to decide if she’s going to have the baby or not. Really she’s not allowed to decide anything about anything, but the baby issue particularly rankles the fundies because a woman’s whole purpose is to have babies when and where the husband decides. That is what the loons are really thinking.

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  83. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    If murder is the deliberate and unlawful killing of another human being, then legal abortion is not murder. I find it interesting that Kansas was the stomping ground of another person with a definition of life that conflicted with the law, and who committed murder in furtherance of his views- John Brown, the anti-slavery activist.

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  84. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Perhaps you try self-flagellation reid if you sin and you could start spelling God properly again.
    I have heard it is recommended by the late second highest authority on Godly matters.

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  85. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    soreid, you have no answer for the question of what the soul is, where it comes from and whence it goes, so you know what to rephrase in terms of personhood. Are you asking “At what point during gestation does a person become a person?” If not, then you are now asking a totally different question, thus conceding that there is no soul.

    This is fun.

    LRO: correct, I don’t know what the soul is, where it comes from and whence it goes. I have my suspicions about these questions but I don’t have scientifically verifiable evidence that’s lab-replicable. Let me know if you’ve ever come across anyone who does. The fact that science is not yet sufficiently advanced to answer these questions doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Everyone has a soul and everyone knows they have a soul and verifying that is as simple as looking in the mirror. And from observing all the animals that share our planet and their individuality which is on clear display, it would also appear that what’s intuitively true for us as humans is also true of other animals. Ask any pet owner. Who knows if plants also have souls?

    I’m not asking a different question, I’m phrasing it differently so that none of you three can squirm out of answering it on the grounds you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s a simple question I asked, which none of you have answered.

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  86. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    Don’t get me wrong guys, I have my own religious convictions, but I think this issue needs to be dealt with in a more intelligent way than constantly turning it into a preaching session.
    More education is definitely needed, including in my opinion helping teenagers understand what abortion is and what it involves. Communicate the fact that it is not just another form of birth control, that it often leads to serious mental trauma for many years to come and is not a minor procedure.
    Combating promiscuity would be a big step in the right direction, certainly people need to take greater responsibility for their sexual behaviour as the epidemic STD rates would also suggest.

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  87. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Disclosure- I have never had an abortion, nor have I ever been pregnant, let alone from rape, nor have I ever learned that the child that I was carrying was going to be mentally disabled or suffer from a physical disability. I have, however, killed people who were socially inconvenient [i.e. enemy combatants and armed criminals, in different incidents]. Why is OK for a soldier to kill, but not a surgeon?

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  88. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    See it’s always the same with the fundies in these debates, they act like they care about the foetuses, because every embryo has a soul from the moment of conception and deserves life etc etc…

    If you read my posts, Put it away, you’ll see that nowhere have I given any position on abortion. I just started off asking a simple question that still hasn’t been answered…

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  89. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Reid can you tell me when the thetan enters the body ? Don’t pretend we don’t have one or that you don’t know what I’m talking about…

    Of course your question wont be answered if you insist on using a religious term for something that is a combination of physiological processes. Put your question in honest terms and you may get an answer.

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  90. Repton (769 comments) says:

    when does the soul enter the body. Why?

    Whether or not it lives in the brain, the heart, the lungs or any other body part is quite irrelevant.

    In Taoism, I believe, you have two: one that lives in the liver, and one that lives in the lungs.

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  91. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Anna, I’d suggest Christ’s teaching was very similar to that of Buddha, with a spirit of selflessness at the core of behaviour, which accommodated the idea that the kingdom was found within oneself, but this was rather screwed by the intervention of Paul with his deification of Christ and the use of his Name as a magic word, and his ‘blood sacrifice’, to gain salvation – Paul’s ideas are rather self centred and probably somewhat opposed to Christ’s intentions, but Paul’s unfortunately gained the upper hand.

    Christ’s teaching would seem relatively independent of the ‘Old Testament’ where most of your misgivings appear to originate.

    Like your issue regarding masturbation.
    Onan’s problem was not allowing his brother’s line inheritance over his own child – his sin was his selfishness, not the fact that he spilt his seed upon the ground or whatever – one of the greatest examples, by courtesy of the Catholic Church particularly, of Biblical misinterpretation which has mucked up the lives of uncountable millions.

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  92. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Sorry Put it away, I don’t follow or care about Star Trek – is that where a thetan comes from? Don’t know, don’t care.

    Are you seriously saying you don’t know what a soul is?

    You’d possibly be the only person alive who doesn’t. Unless you’re simply being disingenuous because you don’t know how to answer my simple question.

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  93. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    Put it away said:

    ” Ephesians 5:22-24 (N.I.V) 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    Sit down, shut up, do anything your husband says, and have babies. Well that just sounds fantastic for women’s mental health doesn’t it ?”

    Oh the outrage!! sounds so terribly one sided doesn’t it, UNTIL YOU READ IT IN CONTEXT!
    The next bit says:

    “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her”

    And then a bit further on:

    “So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself ; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes an cherishes it just as Christ also does the church”

    So yes, the bible talks about wives submitting to husbands, it also talks about husbands being prepared to die for their wives, told to cherish them, and being united with them to the degree of being considered one entity.
    Perhaps most women would have no problem submitting to such a man?

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  94. Puzzled in Ekatahuna (346 comments) says:

    Reid why does anyone kid himself by writing ‘G_d’, thinking that us reading it don’t know it really says GOD, or that God doesn’t know you mean GOD? It just looks incredibly precious. Your ‘Yes’ should be ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ should be ‘No’ and say ‘God’ when you mean it.

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  95. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    reid, your question is unanswered as it is a non question. As there is no soul, it cannot enter the body during gestation, and if it did, then it would indeed be magical. You said yourself “I don’t know what the soul is, where it comes from and whence it goes.” and yet you expect others to answer your question.

    Perhaps you could help with my continuing education by telling me when YOU think the sould enters the body during gestation.

    There have been a number of scientific and unscientific efforts to detect the soul, none have found any evidence of it,

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  96. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Haha here comes the moon Reid oooowwwwww oooowwwwww oooooooowwwwwwwww
    Whats wrong with star trek by the way? Its just another religion like yours isnt it?

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  97. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Anna Sewell 6:39 pm,

    Firstly, Reid, you say it’s not God’s world, but Satan’s. Tell me this – who created Satan?

    [Ah, just got back from church – an excellent, uplifting service; but challenging as well. I always feel good after a time of fellowship with the children of God]

    Back to reality, sadly.

    I guess if we’re going to blame God for Satan, we have to blame Him for you, too, Anna.
    Blaming God for Satan’s actions is the same as blaming God for your actions.
    What a stupid argument!

    That’s the trouble with freewill – both you and Satan have/had the ability to reject God.
    The lucky thing for you, Anna, is that Christ became a man so that you might have the opportunity to receive salvation through Christ’s death – Satan doesn’t have this same benefit; his fate is sealed.

    But judging from your attitude and hardness of heart towards God, it seems as though your fate is likely sealed, too.

    Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
    Heb 6:5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    While I believe that these verses actually teach that once TRULY saved a person cannot loose their salvation, they also highlight that those who have tasted of God, but then subsequently reject Him, are in a dire state.

    You seem to fall into this category, Anna. You have tasted of God, perhaps, but now your bitterness and hatred of Him knows no bounds. I truly feel sorry for you, as it appears unlikely that no matter what many of the mature Christians here may share with you you will refuse the Holy Spirit speaking though them.

    The Bible only leaves us one option:

    Mar 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

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  98. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Reid, since you continue to be disingenuous, a Thetan is a Scientology term for the trillion-year-old alien lifeform that is alleged to inhabit the bodies of humans and is the essence of being and consciousness. Since you insist on using the unproven and religiously loaded term “soul” to describe the physiological brain functions that produce the individual conscousness and awareness of a human, I’ve decided to insist on an unproven, religiously loaded term too. And I insist you answer my question, with my chosen wording. “When does the thetan enter the body ?” Why are you not prepared to answer this simple question Reid ?

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  99. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    “Whats wrong with star trek by the way? Its just another religion like yours isnt it?”

    Yeah but the uniforms ain’t as flash mikey though they do a much better style in transferable souls called a Katra.

    “In the fictional Star Trek universe, katra is the immortal, living spirit of a Vulcan. When a Vulcan is close to death, he or she will typically transfer their katra into the mind of an associate or close friend, who is then expected to convey the katra to the homeworld.”

    Perhaps reid should convert to being a trekkie and he could call the boss Captain K–K.

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  100. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Kris K: “The Bible only leaves us one option: Mar 6:11 … shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.”
    Isn’t this a little impromptu and dismissive? – what about holding out as Matt 18:12 How think ye? if a man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

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  101. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Yvette 7:57 pm,

    The trouble is, Yvette, I think Anna has already been brought back to the fold previously; but now she stamps her feet in defiance against the shepherd desiring to lead more of the straying sheep even further astray.

    I’m more concerned for the other straying sheep – the ones who might yet come to the Shepherd in repentance – the ones who have never been to the fold.

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  102. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Kris K your ruining Kiwiblog for me dude, its like I fell asleep on the couch with the tv on waking up to the televangelist idiots in the morning

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  103. Yvette (2,845 comments) says:

    Kris, I don’t see that many other stray sheep around here at the moment

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  104. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    mikeysmokes 8:17 pm,

    Kris K your ruining Kiwiblog for me dude, its like I fell asleep on the couch with the tv on waking up to the televangelist idiots in the morning

    I fear that when you wake up to the ultimate reality, it will be too late for you to do anything about it except weep and nash your teeth – the day when you stand before the Lord at the judgement.

    But while you have breath there is still hope – but ultimately it’s your choice.

    I’ll leave you with your TV and your remote – most of those tele-evangalists I’d steer clear of if I was you, most of them will take you down the garden path, too.

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  105. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Kris k your waffle is the same as the televangelists, listen to yourself man

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  106. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    The problem with Christianity in NZ is that it has largely imitated the same structures of the Labour party, it has become a socialist organisation in reality, but this would be furiously denied.
    The brand of Christianity I was from would often claim to be in opposition to much of the labour social policy but remarkably was actually implementing almost exactly the same methods of control over people.
    There is a credibility crisis among church leaders in this country, why should anyone care what such obviously weak organisations think?

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  107. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    Reid why does anyone kid himself by writing ‘G_d’, thinking that us reading it don’t know it really says GOD, or that God doesn’t know you mean GOD? It just looks incredibly precious. Your ‘Yes’ should be ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ should be ‘No’ and say ‘God’ when you mean it.

    Puzzled, I write it that way simply because I feel I should and it’s offered in the same way you do when you offer respect to those you love and respect. I don’t care whether you or anyone else considers it “precious” in the same way anyone doesn’t when they’re doing the same thing for their loved ones.

    Since you insist on using the unproven and religiously loaded term “soul” to describe the physiological brain functions that produce the individual conscousness and awareness of a human, I’ve decided to insist on an unproven, religiously loaded term too.

    Are you a neurologist then, Put it away? It’s just that a neurologist goes to my Church and he’s never talked about the soul inhabiting the brain. I’ll ask him next week.

    Haha here comes the moon Reid oooowwwwww oooowwwwww oooooooowwwwwwwww
    Whats wrong with star trek by the way? Its just another religion like yours isnt it?

    D’ya think the Star Trek series will be a best-seller in 4010, mikey? The FACT the Bible has lasted 2000 years ever give you pause for thought?

    Perhaps you could help with my continuing education by telling me when YOU think the soul enters the body during gestation.

    I don’t know, LRO. I was hoping one of you three did know however, because if you don’t and you approve of abortion, then aren’t you all taking a risk that you are ipso facto in favour of regulated killings of human beings? I mean, that’s simple logic, isn’t it? Look I have to apologise to all three of you, I didn’t notice Johnboy’s post where he said the soul aka conciousness is:

    “A constellation of attributes of mind such as subjectivity, self-awareness, sentience, and the ability to perceive a relationship between oneself and one’s environment.”

    That’s not bad, but which of us remembers our first breath? No-one? But isn’t it true that at that time we were all of the above? I repeat my simple question and await your answer.

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  108. reid (16,632 comments) says:

    The problem with Christianity in NZ is that it has largely imitated the same structures of the Labour party, it has become a socialist organisation in reality, but this would be furiously denied.

    I quite agree Shunda. I go to an Anglican Church at the mo and I’m appalled with some of their attitudes. But who cares what any Church says? Christianity lives in your heart. Nowhere else.

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  109. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Star trek could well be around in 4010 Reid, as long as theirs suckers to perpetuate the myth, how longs the dracula story being going and how long will it last? you guys dont have a monopoly on long running fables, how about your cousins who eat couscous and falafel. I beleive theyve been behaving like stoneage pricks for a while as well.
    Allah al u akhbar my friend

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  110. LeftRightOut (622 comments) says:

    reid, you claim the bible is somehow special because it has lasted 2000 years. Big deal.

    How much older is the torah? The upanishads? If age and longevity is the criteria, forgo your bible and adopt these texts as your guide to life.

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  111. Put it away (2,880 comments) says:

    Still avoiding my simple question eh Reid ? “When does the thetan enter the body ?”. Don’t pretend you don’t know what a thetan is. It creates consciousness, and consciousness obviously exists, therefore thetans obviously exist. Simple. NO POSSIBLE LOGIC FLAW IN THERE, EH REID ?

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  112. Grendel (1,003 comments) says:

    Reid, which god?

    you keep prattling on about your magic man in the sky, but which one? and how do you know you are right?

    is it the christian god (and if so, which one)
    the muslim one?
    The jewish one?
    the scientoligists one?
    Zeus?
    Odin?

    thats the problem with you fundies, you assume that becuase of an old bad book that you take some parts of literally and other parts as allegory, you know whats going on?

    there is no god (of any kind, i just believe in one less god than you lot do) and when you rot in the ground.

    and for those with a sense of humour (not the fundies).

    http://i.imgur.com/d2GPJ.jpg

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  113. mavxp (491 comments) says:

    I’m with mikeysmokes –

    Kris K you have the whiff of the try hard/ pharasee/ pompous/ self righteous about you. Please self examine!

    The Onion piece is spot on – the irony in that mock news item is that Jesus never killed anyone, and instead allowed himself to be killed, in stark contrast to some of his so called adherents who think violence is acceptable in his name. I’m sure the zealots who wanted Jesus to lead a revolt against the Romans wanted to kill in Gods name too, but it wasnt what JC was about. The night Jesus was betrayed a disciple swung his sword at one of the soldiers that came to arrest him, and cut off his ear. Jesus told him to stop, and picked up the ear and replaced it on the guys head. Whether you believe the story or not, the character of Jesus was not towards violence.

    As Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    Sadly this is true for many.

    The killing of this doctor was morally wrong IMHO, and something the Jesus of the New Testament would not have been a part of.

    __________
    Wilberforce didn’t end slavery by killing slave owners and setting them free illegally in an act of frustration. Instead he campaigned for 26 years to have the law changed. TWENTY SIX YEARS.
    __________

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  114. Rufus (676 comments) says:

    I feel sorry for Anna.

    Anna, you’ve obviously had a bad experience with Christians.

    You’ve discovered that Christians are still human – not perfect, and make mistakes. Christians hurt people.

    I feel bad about that.

    However, can you not see that some of us here love you? Your posts drip with venom. You attack and attack without mercy, without a gracious word.

    Which is a shame, because you’re behaving in exactly the same way you accuse those fundy Pentecostals of behaving.

    The only reason Kris et al spend time in here is because they love their fellow men and want the best for them.

    Now you can argue that they’re wrong, but they have the right motives.

    What are your motives?

    Your behaviour is not nice. Your style and words are very abrasive, offensive even.

    Peace,

    Rufus

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  115. mikeysmokes (172 comments) says:

    Jesus does this happen every sunday or what? And their the Xtians who are as adamant and persistant as crackheads, almost like industrial strength xtians. Honestly I’ll be fucked if I can comprehend it

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  116. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    “As Mahatma Gandhi said “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”
    Sadly this is true for many.”

    Yes it is, sadly the good news of the gospel is often lost by over religious self righteous Christians. I think most people can tolerate Christian folk that have respect for unbelievers, it is the insecure in your face types that are causing so much division.
    I find it offensive when people say such derogatory things about people of faith, but I completely understand why they do it.
    There are some very positive aspects of the Christian religion though, for me personally it has served me very well as a means of personal progression, unfortunately the more I actually applied the teachings of Christ the more I fell out with other Christians!!

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  117. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    “The only reason Kris et al spend time in here is because they love their fellow men and want the best for them. ”

    Really Rufus?
    To be honest I think there are some pretty mixed motives, I certainly don’t feel the love of Christ when I read:

    “I fear that when you wake up to the ultimate reality, it will be too late for you to do anything about it except weep and nash your teeth – the day when you stand before the Lord at the judgement.”

    Just seems a trifle arrogant to me, as do his tantrums when he disagrees with DPF.

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  118. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Kris K:

    “[Ah, just got back from church – an excellent, uplifting service; but challenging as well. I always feel good after a time of fellowship with the children of God]

    Back to reality, sadly.”

    Ha, so you inadvertently admit church is all about fantasy.

    Finally.

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  119. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    What I want to know is why Bill O’Reilly has not been charged as an accessory. Or whatever they call it over there, like incitement.

    I guess it’s different rules for the rich and powerful.

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  120. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What I want to know is why Bill O’Reilly has not been charged as an accessory. ”

    …and, after being so keen to make such desperate and cowardly politically motivated smears, you wonder why you are regarded with such opprobrium.

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  121. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    RB I watched live Bill virtually order Tiller’s execution.

    “Tiller, Tiller, child killer” said Bill, often.

    And you are a fine one to talk about smear as a political tactic.

    So GGF.

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  122. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” RB I watched live Bill virtually order Tiller’s execution.”

    Another cowardly lie. You people are such conscienceless haters of anybody who confronts your obsessional delusional rhetoric, and this is all that motivates your disgusting attempts to implicate O’Reilly here.

    O’Reilly is an outspoken opponent of your progressive bullshit, and because of this you seek any means by which you can silence him or attack and denigrate his reputation, including attempting to link him to this murder. You are despicable cowardly dishonest Stalinist scum.

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  123. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    O’Reilly had a series of programs focusing on Tiller, charging him with “operating a death mill” and alleging that he was “executing babies” .

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  124. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda [January 31st, 2010 at 10:50 pm]

    “The only reason Kris et al spend time in here is because they love their fellow men and want the best for them.”

    Really Rufus?
    To be honest I think there are some pretty mixed motives, I certainly don’t feel the love of Christ when I read:

    “I fear that when you wake up to the ultimate reality, it will be too late for you to do anything about it except weep and nash your teeth – the day when you stand before the Lord at the judgement.”

    Just seems a trifle arrogant to me, as do his tantrums when he disagrees with DPF.

    It just shows how little you know about me and my motives, Shunda.
    You do realise Christ preached more about hell than He did heaven? Was Christ not showing ‘Christian’ love because He did this? Or was He concerned that an unregenerate man would end up there if he remained in his sin?

    And, of course, your quoting of me above was only a paraphrase of Christ’s own words:

    Luk 13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
    Luk 13:28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.

    How ‘unloving’, how ‘unChristlike’ – whoops.
    I think your issue is ultimately with Christ, not me Shunda – or does your ‘Bible’ not have these verses?

    And if I perchance disagree with DPF on any given subject I’m ‘having a tantrum’ ? – oh well, I’ve learnt in life that no matter how hard I try I usually fail to please most of the people most of the time – well, perhaps that’s an overstatement; certainly some of the people some of the time, anyway. I guess you fall into this category – I won’t lose any sleep over it.

    Your 10:42 pm comment:

    There are some very positive aspects of the Christian religion though, for me personally it has served me very well as a means of personal progression, unfortunately the more I actually applied the teachings of Christ the more I fell out with other Christians!!

    Perhaps you were mixing with the wrong ‘Christians’, were in the wrong ‘church’, or failed to realise that most Christians aren’t in fact perfect (me included). If I didn’t acknowledge the imperfection of most Christians then perhaps I would be another ‘Anna’. But I have long since realsied that I must keep my eyes on my Saviour, and not focus on the many failings of those around me (and I go to what I consider a solid, Bible based church).

    From your comment immediately above I sense that perhaps you have had a similar, but perhaps less drastic, experience as has Anna. My advice (for what it’s worth): focus on Christ and not the failings of those Christians around you, and find a good solid church – there are many that are little more than social clubs where the gospel is never heard; along with any mention of sin, hell, or personal accountability.

    I’ll leave it with you, Shunda. And like with any others here; you can either accept or reject my words (or Christ’s words for that matter); we are after all, all of us, individuals that have our destiny in our own hands.
    Good luck with your journey.

    [Rufus: Thanks for your encouragement, at least someone (hopefully a few) here pretty much gets me – appreciate your contributions on this blog – don’t let them grind you down. As you and I both know; it’s the Holy Spirit that does the real work – we just try and share the message as best we can. But it can be a battle to resist not responding from the flesh – I continually pray that the Lord leads me in this way, and that I not respond out of anger, frustration, or pride (of course even Christ got righteously angry at times – sometimes I do this). Peace be to you, brother. We’ll meet one day; if not in this world then certainly in the next; and what a day that will be!!]

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  125. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Put it away (542) Says:
    January 31st, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    Reid can you tell me when the thetan enters the body ? Don’t pretend we don’t have one or that you don’t know what I’m talking about…

    You are talking about spirit beings.
    read your bible, Jesus drove them out of a person, the are called unclean spirits or demons.
    They are not the person.

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  126. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    Anna
    I read you posts with interest but you are behaving like a hypocrite as you don’t really want an answer.
    the answers you seek from humans will never satisfy you as you’re beef is with God.
    You know this, and it’s not because of fun dy pentecostals either that’s your subterfuge.
    Until you deal with your disappointment and betrayal with God you will have no peace.

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  127. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” O’Reilly had a series of programs focusing on Tiller,”

    Do you think this is news you smug simpering little fuckwit??? Of course O’Reily was critical of Tiller, as he has every damn right to be. The allegation that he “ordered Tiller’s execution ” though is nothing but a cowardly lie motivated by the far left’s intense hatred for anybody who publically exposes them for the cowards fools and liars they always are.

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  128. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    Kris K and MikeNZ, you certainly know how to let a point go flying over your head…I certainly don’t have an issue with God and I doubt Anna does either. The issue is with people like you and your lies and annoying nonsensical preaching. It’s hard to have an issue with someone who exists only in the minds of the deluded.

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  129. Shunda barunda (2,985 comments) says:

    Kris K you obviously see yourself as pretty holy, in my experience with Christians, people that talk like you are usually trouble.
    Quite frankly if you can’t see the crisis NZ Christianity is in at the moment I think you must be pretty blind, and please name these good churches you speak of, and some good leaders, I would love to be proven wrong.

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  130. cha (4,078 comments) says:

    The allegation that he “ordered Tiller’s execution ” though is nothing but a cowardly lie motivated by the far left’s intense hatred for anybody who publically exposes them for the cowards fools and liars they always are

    Accepted that he neither advocated or encouraged any violent or illegal actions against Tiller but from early 2005 O’Reilly repeatedly portrayed the doctor as a murderer on the loose, allowed to do whatever he wanted by corrupt authorities.

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  131. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Shunda barunda 9:16 am,

    Kris K you obviously see yourself as pretty holy, in my experience with Christians, people that talk like you are usually trouble.

    Not at all – I continually struggle with holiness, and God’s command for ‘us to be Holy for He is holy’ [1 Pet 1:16].
    How about you?
    And I feel sorry for your bad experiences with Christians; but have you ever looked at yourself?
    You’re right in that talk is cheap, but I do try and ensure that my life measures up to the claims and statements I make here and elsewhere. Do you?

    And the ‘Christians’ I have trouble with are the limp wristed, luke warm, liberal ones who deny the veracity of God’s word. The ones to whom Christ will say “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

    Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

    Do you know Him, Shunda, I mean really KNOW Him?
    The above verses speaks of those that think they are Christians, but are not. Modernday churches are filled with such people.

    Quite frankly if you can’t see the crisis NZ Christianity is in at the moment I think you must be pretty blind, and please name these good churches you speak of, and some good leaders, I would love to be proven wrong.

    Oh, don’t worry, I see the crisis: Some churches have “lost their first love”, but many more are “lukewarm” and deny much of God’s word, and those that attend live accordingly. Have you considered, Shunda, that perhaps it is you who is blind?
    And regarding finding a good church; I suggest you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you – they’re out there, but they are few and far between – but if that’s what you truly want, then you will indeed find one.
    Good Luck.

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  132. edhunter (552 comments) says:

    what is it with all the emotional hand wringing bs. surely as a voice for right wing thinking we should be calling, nay insisting on more abortions. Why should some bludger on the DPB be allowed to become a baby factory so as not to have to do a honest days work, we’ve already got 3rd generation bludgers & soon there’ll be a 4th.
    And while calling for mandatory abortions may seem extreme, why cant we enforce mandatory contraception? Once on a benefit you’re effectively entered into a contract with the govt to aid you until you can look after yourself & if you cant already look after what you’ve got why should I have to pay so you can have more.
    And don’t even get me started on the catholic churhes arcahic views on contraception it’s almost enough to make a grown man go and flagellate himself

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  133. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    You are fucking classic Kris K. The best example of Brian Tamaki I have seen on this blog.

    I might as well post my testimony for those who keep questioning my doubts as being my own insecurities rather than being a result of maturity.

    When I was younger my mother taught me a very important value, which was that it doesn’t matter to God what religion I am – what matters is whether or not I’m a good person.

    Little did I know what a radical, unacceptable doctrine this is to the millions of people in mainstream, Pentecostal Churches today who call themselves Christians.

    For these Christians, Christianity is about declaring one’s acceptance of Jesus as their Lord and Savior (in much the same way as a soldier who swears allegiance to his King). In return, God will grant you eternal life. I’m sure you’ve all attended services where the pastor preaches that to suggest Christianity is ultimately about being good is not only misguided – it is, quite literally, a moral relativist trap set by the Devil to lure people into Hell. “It’s not OK to just be a good person, you need to have a relationship with Jesus otherwise you cannot be forgiven for your sins”. They rely on John 14:6.

    I spoke to a youth pastor at a Baptist Church once regarding a sermon she had given about how it was our duty as Christians to go forth and spread the good news of the Gospel. Over the years I see that this is the ideology that drives much of Western evangelism today. I told her that my uncle had recently died of cancer, and questioned whether she truly believed that to not know God means that: “we will be separated from Him for all eternity” (i.e. where the fire does not burn out and the worm never dies). My uncle grew up in an Asian nation where the dominant religion was Buddhism, so never really had a ‘fair’ chance to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior during his lifetime. He worked as a bus driver and raised and looked after three beautiful children. Although I never saw him much, the too few times when I did were some of the happiest moments of my life. He was always smiling when he saw me, and he always did nice and selfless things for me – like for example when I was still young and ate meat he would give me his portion so I could have more even though it meant he didn’t get any. I asked her: “Do you think that God might let him into Heaven because it wasn’t his fault that he didn’t know Him”? In fact, I would say that it was my fault for not preaching to him after I became a Christian in New Zealand.

    She basically replied and said that unfortunately, what she said was the truth, and if he wasn’t a Christian then yes he is in Hell. She then went on to say: “maybe this is God’s way of telling you that you have to really start taking God seriously and go and preach to as many people as you can before they all die and go to Hell too”.

    And this is an e-mail I received from a youth leader here in Auckland recently:

    “I’m sorry that you lost your uncle. I may very well lose my dad this year, then I will have some understanding of the emotions involved. As of yet I have not lost a close family member.

    No-one, not you or anyone else, knows what transpired between your uncle and God during his life and before his death. However, if he didn’t believe that Jesus was the Son of God, then yes, I would understand that he is eternally separated from God.

    I write this with sadness, as a harsh fact, wishing it wasn’t so. I would like to defy gravity and fly, more than this I would like to be able to ignore the doctrine of Hell, but I cannot.

    You seem to be well versed, so you are no doubt familiar with the story told in Luke 16 about Lazarus – at the end of the story the rich man is told that God has given us the Law of Moses and of the Prophets, and if people won’t be convinced that there is a God by them, then even if someone came back from the dead they wouldn’t believe it. It says in Romans 1 that God reveals Himself to us through nature. As we are more and more able to see the smaller things in our world, and understand its makeup, we are astounded by His perfection. Some people see this and divine, others do not. The same could be said with our increasing understanding for the size and makeup of the vast universe.

    Have you heard the quote: ‘The most incomprehensible thing about our universe is that it is comprehensible’. My point is this, that I can’t convince you of anything. You will make up your own mind and yes, I believe that God created us with the ability to make up our own minds.

    Your uncle’s death, although tragic, could be seen as an incentive to go out and preach to those who are still unsaved, as the good news is that Jesus Christ came to do what no religion can do, provide us a way to be right with God and in a relationship with Him. All we have to do is simply believe that He is the Son of God and the only way to the Father”.

    Ha.

    So, what is Christianity then? Is this truly the kind of God that you would want to believe in? And if not, but because it’s true, is such a truth really worthy of our awe and praise, at the expense of everything our emotions tell us to feel (which we must suppress as our own lack of understanding towards His great mysteries)?

    As I grew older and matured, I found that thinking back to the values my mother used to teach me, they started to make more and more sense. Christianity will never be as black and white as simply giving your life to Jesus Christ and accepting that He died for our sins. I found that the more fundamentalist the Christians were that I met, the more unChristian and prejudicial their worldviews and values were. And I guess in a way I understand why these Christians don’t empathise (saying: “I’m sorry for your loss… But isn’t God amazing”) – it’s because they will probably never have to experience the death of a non-Christian whom they love very much – the majority of their family and friends will be from Church, and thus they are unable to see how insensitive and how incredibly unjust it is to lose someone like that. But to any non-Christian – to suggest that someone close to you was in Hell is something they would never accept as God knowing best and the fact that we think that it is unfair is beyond our own understanding – such a Creator would just be seen as plainly sadistic and cruel. When you lose someone forever, it’s a huge thing and you can’t brush it off by saying: “but this is a reason to preach all the more”, or: “God’s plans are even better and He’ll replace the one you’ve lost like He did for Job, despite the fact that the one you’ve lost is now suffering in torment for all eternity”.

    When I remember my uncle these days, I have memories of all the goodness that was in him, and I see the values of Jesus in him, so much more than I do in a lot of Christians today. And I realise that being a Christian is about accepting that you’re a sinner, so are not perfect. But if that’s the case – why do Christians put forward the argument that the solution is a perfect one? That all are sinners – but the ones who receive God’s forgiveness by acknowledging Him will be saved, but those who don’t won’t. To say that everyone has had an equal opportunity during this lifetime to turn to God is in my opinion prideful and ignorant of the circumstances that cause people to turn away.

    And then I read books like What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey, and Stealing Jesus by Bruce Bawer, and Grand Theft Jesus by Robert McElvaine. And I realise that all the faith that new Christians (through their Alpha courses) are subscribing to today. It’s not a real faith – it is a genuine faith – but more reflective of the genuine faith that the Pharisees had in believing that they had it right with God and that anyone who didn’t believe in God the way they believed in God was wrong. I have absolutely no doubt that these people are people with good intentions and want to have good hearts, much like some of the Christians I know now, but when it comes down to it they have no problem in saying that they believe in a God that would send people to Hell, rather than admitting that such a God is not one that should be worshiped and respected.

    In 2006 one of my friends told me that she was reading a book by John Shelby Spong about liberal values, and in it he discusses universal salvation. Before Jesus died he cried out: “Father, forgive [my persecutors], for they know not what they do”. And then when little children were coming to Him, He said to His disciples: “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to [ignorant] children such as these”. In a way these verses could be interpreted to show that it’s not important if you don’t know anything about Jesus, or if you reject Him because you weren’t blessed with the right upbringing to have that sort of understanding. At the time I recall saying to her that liberal Christianity is just Christians who want to try and water down the Bible to appease the non-Christians. But the more I looked into it, the more I found myself seeing that these people actually knew the Bible much better than all the fundamentalist Christians I knew. I read books like Christianity Without God by Lloyd Geering, and all these other books such as What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality, and you know, I’ve forgotten the names of those authors but it really made me see that what gets preached in fundamentalist Churches today – in terms of the theology – it’s not the kind of faith I want to have in my life. But because so many people have so much invested in it, especially those in leadership positions, they’re too close-minded to give liberal Christianity a chance. They’ll only read books that strengthen their beliefs, but discard anything that’s considered ‘unBiblical’ (much like myself in 2006).

    I found this list and thought it gave a pretty good summary of the differences between fundamentalism and liberalism:

    A fundamentalist Christian sees Jesus’ death on the cross as a transaction by means of which Jesus paid for the sins of believers and won them eternal life. A liberal Christian sees it as a natural culmination of Jesus’ ministry of love and selflessness.

    A fundamentalist Christian believes that Jesus’ chief purpose was to carry out that act of atonement. A liberal Christian believes that Jesus’ chief purpose was to teach that God loves all people as parents love their children and that all humankind is one.

    A fundamentalist Christian understands eternal life to mean a Heavenly reward after death for the ‘true believers’. A liberal Christian more often understands it to denote a unity with God that exists outside the dimension of time and that can also be experienced in this life.

    A fundamentalist Christian holds that God will accepted only ‘the saved’ and that they alone will enter into the glory of the Lord. A liberal Christian holds that God loves all human beings and that all are His children and there is no exclusivity whether here and now or in the thereafter.

    A fundamentalist Christian sees Satan as a real creature, a tempter and deceiver from whom those who are part of Jesus’ ‘faith warriors’ are defended by their faith but by whom atheists, members of other religions, and ‘fake’ Christians are deceived, and whose instruments they can become. A liberal Christian sees Satan as a metaphor for the potential for evil that exists in every person, Christian or otherwise, that must be recognised and resisted.

    A fundamentalist Christian believes that individuals should be wary of trusting their own minds and their emotions, for these can be manipulated by Satan, and that questions and doubts are to be resisted as the work of atheistic moral relativists. A liberal Christian believes that the mind is a gift of God and that God wants us to think for ourselves, to follow our consciences and to ask questions.

    A fundamentalist Christian sees the ‘Truth’ as something established in the Bible and known for sure by those who have accepted and are guided by ‘the Holy Spirit’. A liberal Christian sees the truth as something known wholly only by God toward which the belief statements of religions can only attempt to point the way.

    A fundamentalist Christian reads the Bible literally and considers it the ultimate source of ‘Truth’. A liberal Christian insists that the Bible must be read critically, intelligently and with an understanding of its historical and cultural contexts.

    Of course these are only generalisations, and many people’s beliefs cross-over between fundamentalism and liberalism. However, I have found that the deeper you get into having a ‘relationship with Christ’, the more fundamentalist you become, and the more out of touch you are with the values of God that He places in those who don’t believe in Him. And this, sadly, is how many pastors and youth leaders of Churches today, as well as their congregations, follow in Christ’s footsteps.

    If you asked me seven years ago what it means to have a personal relationship with God I probably would have been able to give you an answer. If you walk into a Church today and talk to any pastor, leader or member of the congregation, given that they are charismatic enough, I’m sure they would be more than prepared to give you an answer as well.

    And how were we able to answer so enthusiastically? Because we thought that we had found something that no-one else had. And the pride swells up in our hearts because we don’t realise that everybody else has already been there and done that. I could never understand back then why some of my Christian friends who were Christians before me stopped being Christians. But weren’t you touched by that service? Didn’t you feel like God was saying something to you? There I was, a 17 year old who had barely been a Christian for a single year, trying to tell someone who had been a Christian ever since they were 7 and had been attending Church since then what it meant to have a personal relationship with God.

    An elderly man spends all his days praying, reading the Bible and Christian books and listening to sermons on tape. The old man can hardly walk or hear and takes pills to relieve the pain in his arthritic hip. Since the death of his wife years ago he has lived alone in a state of near-paranoia – anxious about heating bills and lights left on. When I look at him I don’t see a joyful saint in communioin with God. I see a tired, lonely old man just sitting around waiting to go to Heaven. But he’s the nicest man you’ll ever meet. And in much the same way, an old friend of mine used to visit her grandmother in Christchurch. She spent her days listening to audio books because she couldn’t read anymore. She didn’t believe in God and my friend would never let me go visit her because she knew at that time that I would have just gone to preach. And I would have gone with genuine intentions because I truly believed that if only she knew Jesus Christ her dying days would be fulfilling.

    To explain a life of spiritual ecstasy to a fully grown adult who wets their bed and has Alzheimers is like a rich man who has just closed another million dollar deal dancing out of the office building he works in and singing life is good and joyfully shouting God bless you to the homeless man on the concrete pavement.

    A song that says a lot about Christianity to me is What Do I Know by Sara Groves. The lyrics go: “I have a friend who just turned 88 and she just shared with me that she’s afraid of dying. I sit here years from her experience and try to bring her comfort. I try to bring her comfort but what do I know? She grew up singing about the Glory Land and she would testify of how Jesus changed her life. It was easy to have faith when she was 34 but now her friends are dying and death is at her door. She lost her husband after 60 years and as he slipped away she still had things to say. Death can be so inconvenient because you try to live and love but it comes and interrupts”.

    The other day I told someone that I would not want to be involved with serving in a Church again. I told him that there had been too many bad things that have happened in my life and that I didn’t want to go back to having to deal with that sort of stuff anymore. And he said to me: “Wow, it really sounds like you need some of God’s love, peace and joy in your life”! I didn’t know how to tell him that it was the expectation of those very things that ultimately led me to not believe in God anymore.

    I know that for some of you me writing this seems absurd. You probably think that I don’t know what it’s like to have a personal relationship with God or that I’ve fallen away and that I just need to come back to God again. I know this because years ago a friend of mine said these same words to me and I told her she had to just close her eyes at night before she went to bed and ask Jesus back into her heart. I told her: “It has to be real and you can’t just do it because I said so”. I told her that knowing God and being able to walk with Him everyday was the best thing that could ever happen to her. Funny how we never really seem to know as much as we think we do.

    So every Monday morning before work starts I go down to a juice bar to buy myself a smoothie. The guy who runs the juice bar is called Nick and I found out through my workmate that he was a Church-goer. So I got talking to him and asked him about his background.

    He said he doesn’t really go to Church anymore and he asked me why I asked – is it because I go to Church? Well, I don’t really, at least not regularly. I used to. And we left it at that, because in a way, we both know what it’s like. When you’re at this age you don’t go: “Oh, that breaks God’s heart! Did you have a relationship with Christ? Because if you didn’t you should go back to Church again maybe you just didn’t go to the right one? You should so come to mine and do this Alpha course that we run. It teaches you all about what it means to really know Him”! It’s really pointless sometimes trying to explain to evangelical/Pentecostal Christians that you were once where they were and that you actually grew out of the faith, because they can’t fathom how anyone could possibly lose that Jesus is my best friend buzz that they feel every Sunday when the worship team gets up on stage to sing the latest Hillsong anthem, or when one of their prayers gets answered like how they prayed that their flu would go away and then it ‘magically’ did.

    What made me give up on believing in Christianity? There wasn’t really a single defining moment. It happened over many years. In 2005 I had moved to Windy and my mate Mel realised I was going to Church so asked me what it was I believed. I told her that my faith wasn’t really there anymore because I couldn’t see innocence in Christians anymore and she said she knows what it means, to lose your innocence, because she gave up her virginity to a guy who told her she should try new things and wasn’t intending to stop. It made me realised that, despite everything the Church claims, the Big Guy in the Sky just doesn’t satisfy.

    I came across these essays from people I used to think were just ‘watering down’ Christianity and when I read them today I realise, wow, they actually knew a whole lot more than I did:

    When I first began theological studies from a conservative Protestant background, I quickly found a universally accepted truth was that salvation was “by faith alone”, it was “by grace” and that it was our duty to “rest” on “Christ’s finished work”. It was considered important to realize that we could “add nothing” to “Christ’s atoning work”. It was important that we didn’t try to “save ourselves” by “human effort”. It was extremely important not to add the least bit of “works” to salvation, otherwise you’d be like those (heretical) Roman Catholics and teach (evil) “Works Based Salvation”.

    Paul’s writings about “by grace through faith not works” were considered “irrefutable proof” of this view. Anyone who said anything different was being “unbiblical” and “straying” from the Bible’s teachings. Salvation by “human effort” was how “human religions” worked, and all humans who are “in the flesh” inherently by their psychology wanted to try to save themselves, whereas the fact that Christianity relied on God alone for salvation separated it from other religions and caused it to be “nonsense” and “foolishness” to the “natural man”. I found that in some quarters there was even worry that our very belief in and acceptance of Christ’s finished work for us might be considered something we do, as a work based on human effort that saves us. Thus, some thought that we ought to think of even our faith in Christ’s finished atoning work as something given graciously to us by God.

    However, now that I’ve learned a bit more than I once knew about both Pauline theology and the Church Fathers, it is with amusement that I look back on such ideas and claims.

    Advances in biblical scholarship in the last thirty years have well and truly refuted the “irrefutable evidence” of Paul’s grace, faith and works language… ironically it turned out that grace didn’t mean grace, faith didn’t mean faith, and works didn’t mean works. The New Perspective on Paul has thus cast Paul’s writings in quite a different light to the ideas above. Far from being the apostle who rejects the value of human effort, it in fact turns out that not once in any of his writings does Paul reject or deny the value or saving value of human effort to avail before God, and in fact he regularly affirms it.

    Studying the early Church Fathers has been no less interesting. I find it reasonable to assume (contrary to some Protestants) that Christianity didn’t suddenly disappear out of the world the moment that the New Testament was completed, and that post-NT Christian writings accurately depict the major doctrines of early Christianity. There’s a quote by Clement of Alexandria (~200AD) that succinctly summarizes what appears to have been universal early Christian doctrine: “God desires us to be saved by our own efforts.” (Stromata 6.12.96) As is attested in the numerous writings we have from the second century church, Christianity worldwide was a religion of “works based salvation”.

    It was with great amusement then, and also a little frustration and sadness that I recently read this article which made all the claims I had originally been taught as a conservative protestant about how the true gospel is about us trying to cease from human effort and rely on God’s salvation. In the article he writes “We do not need a better set of how to’s, or a better teacher, or a better therapist.” which brought to my mind all the early Christian writings which boasted about Christianity providing precisely these three things. It is really quite amazing, when I reflect on it, that Christianity has come in such a full circle that this writer, in the belief that he is proclaiming the true Christian gospel can be attacking the very essence of original Christianity.

    So I have issues. I have issues with issues. I am an issue. Social injustice pisses me off. Injustice pisses me off. Superficiality pisses me off the most. And that’s what I see so much of in Church gatherings.

    I’ve been thinking a lot about cynicism and Christianity and the dovetail of losing one’s faith and gaining critical thinking skills. I’ve watched people lose their faith, gain newfound faith, become stronger or weaker in their faith, hop from one side of the fence to the other in indecision, and develop an alternative strain of faith.

    I’ve watched the way people have dealt with these situations – both their own situations and the they way they’ve dealt with other people in similar circumstances. I’ve seen people quietly trickle away from the Church world, people storm out in a flame of anger, and people hanging around making venomous, bitter barbs at the appropriate moments.

    One of the things that all these scenarios have in common is that the people involved developed a certain level of cynicism and became critical about the Church. It’s a fairly natural stage: you were heavily involved in a sub-culture, and to move out of it you need to distance yourself and view it in a different light. Cynicism also seems to be a natural stage of the journey from fundamentalist to liberal to whatever comes next.

    But after a while, people tone the cynicism down and move on. Mostly they figure the Christian phase was a few years of their life, or their childhood, but it’s over. Or if they stay within the Church, they figure out a way to do so with the minimum level of cognitive dissonance possible.

    I’ve noticed a correlation between the level of cynicism post-Christianity (or being more vocal about it) and the depth of sincerity that people had when they were still Christians. The more you believed it, the more heavily involved you were, the heavier the toll. It’s harder to leave, harder to reconcile your life and choose a new way of thinking without coming across shreds of the older way that tear you up.

    And I’ve noticed that I’m still as cynical as I was 5 years ago when things first started falling apart. I haven’t been able to state without qualm: “Yeah, I’m not a Christian”, or: “Yeah I am”, because I still don’t know where I stand.

    I actually found that couchsurfing filled the ‘Church-shaped hole in my heart’. Gave me back that feeling of contributing to something I could believe in (small though it might seem – but small is good for me these days), and having a network of like-minded and inspiring people all over the world. It really felt like being part of a family again. I think I kind of thought the Church was unique in that regard. I’m quite pleased to find that it’s not. I found Church a bit easier after that – maybe because I wasn’t asking/expecting so much of it, so could just let it be what it is.

    I guess the point is that there are other things out there. ‘Green’ groups and crafty things and booky things can work. I’ve found my niche in fighting for the rights of animals, because to me that’s one of the few causes in life where a difference that you make really does mean a whole lot to those who are suffering from it. I often have Christians come up to me and ask me, isn’t God more concerned about the poor people in this world? And the thing is – so many people from the animal rights movement came from a human rights background or are still actively involved in human rights groups like Amnesty International or Tear Fund or Make Poverty History. Those who like to attend Bible study groups and talk about God loving the world are the most perfect examples I’ve found of: “Often more is said than done”.

    Speaking from the experience of someone who’s spent the last decade studying Christianity and trying to learn everything about it as much as possible… Don’t waste your time. Be in it for the friendships and the support – not to learn or understand about God. Sometimes I wish I never knew all the things I do now, because ignorance is bliss, but I got on this track of questioning and doubting because there was a catalyst event that caused me to question my faith. If that never happened I could easily see myself as deluded as every other Christian I meet in Church today. And they’re great people, but to put it bluntly, extremely ignorant about their faith.

    How could there be three days and three nights before the sun was created on the fourth day? Where did Cain’s wife come from? How could Cain build a city at a time when there existed only three people? And where did his son Enoch get his wife from?

    Don’t even ask about Heaven because there is no such place in the Bible. There are, however, ‘Heavens’ mentioned. Today Pentecostal Christians see Heaven as some place you go to when you die. In the 16th Century the phrase ‘Heavens’ referred to the feelings of awe and wonder of God’s great mysteries, such as the sea leading to the edge of the Earth.

    The conclusion I have come to is that we simply do not know. Don’t try to take the Bible for its word, because faith ultimately then becomes believing in things you know aren’t true. In Alice in Wonderful Alice says to the Queen: “I couldn’t possibly believe that”! And she replies: “Perhaps you haven’t had enough practice. Why, I have believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast”. And this is the attitude a lot of Church leaders expect you to have. If you lose the buzz of enjoying the worship music because you’ve heard the same: “Shout to the Lord” songs a hundred times and don’t get all charismatic anymore, you don’t have to work harder to get into the worship. You’ve just simply gotten tired of that song.

    Christians are people who want to have good hearts, but the more you focus on all the spiritual things, the less the focus is on good works. And good works is something I see so lacking in Christianity today because they put all their energies into evangelising. I used to have a cello player in my band who told me – if you want to be a famous musician, why don’t you just focus on talking about animal rights and the environment? Because that was something we were both passionate about, but she wasn’t a Christian. And I think I must have spent about quarter of an hour trying to tell her why it was so important that turning your heart to God had to be the main message in our songs. I probably would have punched myself in the face if I could go back and meet myself back then.

    There’s an endless supply of Christians who will have a million answers and think it’s cool to get all spiritual and talk about how God’s love is something that’s invisible and so amazing and theorise about how Heaven is somewhere where you can eat as much as you like and not get fat (speculation – they’re incredible at speculating with no Biblical authority but preach a feel-good romanticism message) but being a Christian should ultimately be about being a good person, not “having a relationship with God and accepting you’re a sinner and need to believe that He rose on the third day”. Just focus on being good, don’t ask questions about trying to understand God, and stay happy.

    That’s what’s lacking in a lot of Christians today, especially new, young Christians, because they come to Christ thinking God’s forgiven them and it’s all fun and entertainment, can’t blame them as this is the message that Churches put forward today, and then they have this absolutely warped sense of social justice ‘cos they’re taught that it’s not about good works but funny how giving money to the Church is a good work that is always necessary at every Sunday service.

    Church leaders are more than happy to talk about Heaven and salvation, walk into any Church and ask how to have a relationship with Christ so you can go to Heaven and I have absolutely no doubt it will be complete and utter speculation. And the key word is speculation. And it’ll be feel-good speculation, with a bit of “only God knows we just have to trust Him” thrown in there. And that’s all it is.

    If you don’t know the answer to a question, such as if God made you then who made God, chances are neither do your pastors. And chances are, everything they know is just stuff they’ve made up in their own minds to try to answer that question. A big struggle I had with my faith was trying to strip down and destroy everything I ever learnt in Church, because I realised I had all these views that were formed completely based on what I heard other people say, not out of reason, logic and knowledge. A poem that I think reflects a lot of Church thinking today goes like this:

    God is on the throne
    The fact is known
    The manner of it is unknown
    Faith in it is necessary
    Enquiry about it is heresy

    Belief in the power of language was the foundation on which rested the efficacy of blessings and curses as practiced in the OT. The nearly blind Isaac, having been tricked into blessing the wrong son, could not reverse what he had done – such was the power of the words he had uttered.

    According to the story of the Tower of Babel, all humans spoke the same language Adam and Eve spoke until as an act of Divine punishment God drove them to confusion and they found themselves speaking many languages. The story implies that God had created these languages also, and then miraculously forced human tongues to speak them. This is similar to the idea of speaking in tongues as in Acts and charismatic Pentecostal Churches today.

    Of course anybody who has studied anthropology or has a very basic understanding of it would be able to tell you that if you truly believe languages and culture was formed in this way then well you might as well believe Creationism over evolution.

    Superman told Wonder Woman in Justice League Unlimited that he could easily cure world poverty but decided not to because then humans wouldn’t be responsible for themselves and rely on him as their saviour. And this is an argument you often hear from Christians who try to justify God not doing anything about all the suffering – “otherwise we wouldn’t have free will”! Heck, I’m sure the 30,000 children who die each night from starvation in their dying moments would much rather be robots than have free will and be suffering while the pastors that preach that sort of theology sleep in their comfy beds and prepare tomorrow’s sermon on the exact same message without stopping to think for a moment: “isn’t Jesus a dick rather than awesome for saying the poor will always be with you so this perfume was well spent on Me”.

    As you are sitting here reading this message, 1.4 billion individuals around the world are living in extreme poverty, that is less than $1.25 a day.

    There’s a place in the ocean called the North Pacific Gyre. Basically it’s where all the world’s water currents eventually flow to – and thus also where all the garbage, old ships and plastic eventually flows to. This has created a massive rubbish dump off India where thousands of poor people, the kind you see in the movie Slumdog Millionnaire, go each day to try and scrap together bits of metal to sell on to the recycling centres to make a pittance in order to survive. Many of them get injured and cut and die from having no medical attention, and even more just simply die from the unhygienic conditions. But that’s what they do, because they can’t do anything else. The dump is the size of Texas, US’ largest state. Look it up on Wikipedia. It really makes us realise how much more we need to be doing to save the world.

    If what Christians believe is real then millions of people are dying everyday in order to become a part of the eternal torment. I look at the way Christians live their lives and what they’re doing with their lives and so much effort is put into entertainment and having fun. Sure young people are brought to Christ through loud music and so all the resources are put into having a flash Church and ‘awesome’ events involving ‘inspiring’ guest speakers, and then every Sunday the big celebration is so and so got engaged or it’s someone’s birthday, I mean, if this is what satisfies a Christian conscience that all these other people are dying everyday then I don’t know how they sleep at night.

    One of the most retarding things about Bible-believing Christians (and I use the term ‘retard’ in its literal sense, not as a derogatory term) is that it tends to divorce morality from the reality of human and animal suffering. By saying because God said so, or the Bible says so, it allows fundamentalists to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are not, and on the flipside that their beliefs are justifiable when they are not. The Bible, an oudated book, allows people to be deluded into thinking that their concerns are moral when they are highly immoral – so when Pentecostal Christians are pressing concerns today (such as over abortion, or stem cell research or condom use in Africa) they will rely on the Bible as opposed to sociological evidence that has developed from research, science and the maturity of human understanding.

    Let me put it in another way – a lot of religious concerns have nothing to do with suffering or its alleviation, despite a genuine intent to be. Christians press concerns that inflict unnecessary and appalling suffering on humanity. A quote from Sam Harris’ book Letter to a Christian Nation: “The Church expends more ‘moral’ energy opposing abortion than fighting genocide. Or they’re more concerned about preventing condom usage in Africa rather than preventing the millions of deaths from AIDS there every year”.

    Sadly, I was one of these Pentecostal Christians in my younger years. I was invited over to my friend’s house for lunch once, and I was telling them about how great James Dobson’s Focus on the Family morning programmes were because they addressed the social issues of today. And her mum said to me: “I used to listen to Focus on the Family back in the 80s, and I stopped because I couldn’t agree with it anymore”. And I was perplexed, because I couldn’t understand how anyone who listened to the strong, Biblically rational arguments that got put forward by this Christian radio station could possibly disagree with what was being said – abortion is murdering an innocent life! Homosexuality results in promiscuity! Man was I ignorant back then.

    I woke up to Focus on the Family as my radio alarm this morning actually and they were talking about depression and how it relates to God and the programme was just so bad I had to turn it off. There was a Christian psychiatrist on air and he was pretty much saying ‘worldly’ psychiatry had to go hand in hand with ‘spiritual’ healing. If anyone’s ever been in a psychiatric hospital before, you’d see just how spiritually deluded the people in there are and how they’re utterly convinced that they believe in God and that what they’re doing is about God and that the world just doesn’t understand.

    So here you see that Christian moral reasoning is in fact, a barrier to humanist morality. Of course, a similar argument is made for abortion – that it involves the murder of souls. “Life begins at conception”, doesn’t it?

    The Church’s position on abortion takes no more notice of the details of biology. It has been estimated that 50% of all human conceptions end in spontaneous abortion, usually without a woman even realising that she was pregnant. In fact, 20% of all recognised pregnancies end in miscarriage. There is an obvious truth here that cries out for acknowledgement: if God exists, He is the most prolific abortionist of all.

    And of course there’s more examples of how Christianity morality is completely devoid of compassion towards suffering, like eating meat because God said it was OK, which I don’t really need to go into.

    I have been a part of enough Pentecostal Churches and attended enough of their services, conferernces, lobby groups, think tanks and political parties to know that mainstream Christianity is becoming very, very Pharisaical. Not to mention that besides all the rich pastors of these mega-Churches, the position of the majority of Church congregations are 100% in agreement with the views I have indicated above. Just go to any Bible study group/pastor of any Church with membership over 100 and ask them what their views are on abortion, homosexuality, evolution, stem-cell research, Israel v Palestine, etc.

    I am certain a lot of Christians are a lot more genuine and compassionate about what they believe than I am towards what I believe. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say most Christians genuinely care about people than I do. But if the basis for their views is retarded, then all that moral energy is expended and wasted on fighting for what ultimately holds society backwards.

    One reason I stopped calling myself a Christian was simply because other people stopped considering me a Christian. In 2006 I still considered myself a Christian because I was a follower of Jesus, but a Christian group I was involved with removed me from a leadership position because they felt like the values I reflected were not Christian values – for reasons similar to the above – not believing that abortion and homosexuality were evil, not believing that you had to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior to go to Heaven. “How can you be a Christian if you don’t hold to the central theme of salvation”? And it didn’t matter whether ‘God’ thought I was a Christian or not. So if the term is going to be monopolised by Pentecostals here on Earth to mean something then I couldn’t be associated with it.

    Consider this – in the Middle Ages nobody could read the scriptures except for Latin priests – does this mean that everyone who considered themselves a Christian, yet didn’t understand what it meant to be in a “relationship with God” (but that the extent of their understanding was what they were taught by the hierarchy – that you had to put money into the offering tombs to go through Limbo and into Heaven) didn’t believe in the ‘Christian God’? That term is misleading, because modern, Pentecostals have hijacked the term ‘Christian’ and added their own requirements as to what constitutes a Christian.

    Chances are, and I was guilty of this myself in my younger years, your view that salvation is a central theme to Christianity is something you heard in Church, because so many pastors in services today (after the explosion of Billy Graham/Ray Comfort Pentecostalism) emphasise that Jesus died for our sins and rose again on the third day etc… But from an objective reading of the Bible, from start to finish (and note that liberalism also challenges the selection of books for canonical inclusion as well), you would not be able to come to the conclusion that the sermons leading up to the altar calls you hear today are reflective of the Christianity that Jesus taught.

    Look at all the people Jesus interacted with when He was on Earth. Most of them knew nothing about God, about what it meant to be a ‘follower of God’, anything they did after meeting Him is entirely speculative (the adulteress who He didn’t condemn) and the people in His parables who went to Heaven or were accepted by God, e.g. the Good Samaritan, the poor man Lazarus – none of them were indicated to have any concept of having a relationship with Him or accepting Him as their Lord and Saviour and thus ‘saved’ besides their good works.

    Ask yourself questions like – how come the words Free Will never appear in the Bible? Yet it is supposedly such an incredibly central theme to why we must accept Jesus Christ. Or how about the concept of ‘relationship with God’? Or the Trinity? A lot of what we believe about the Trinity today is very vague if you look at what the Bible actually says about it. Christians say things like: “The Holy Spirit told me to do this”, or, “the Holy Spirit led me to go to university to study medicine”. Yet there is very little scriptural authority for what the Holy Spirit actually does.

    You really have to study theology and its history to see how much Christianity has changed, and how modern Christianity has become so Pentecostalised to the point that when people from the outside look at Church today – a venue for loud music and entertainment and tongue speaking and “falling over”, a group of people who want their right to smack their kids and have intelligent design taught in school and the Ten Commandments posted in the Courts, are against abortion, homosexuality and only 40 years ago were in favour of the segregation of black and white people Churches, and how you must repent or you will go to Hell because God cannot accept your sin unless you acknowledge Him and no-one has any excuse – you can see that there is something definitely wrong with how Jesus’ values have been reflected over the centuries.

    And here to the purpose of this post – to say to Christians, today we consider testimonies to mean stories about how God is awesome, and we shape God into what we want to believe God is like. To further explain: What is your definition of a testimony? A story about something that God has done for you?

    That whole idea, I think, smacks of the individualism that plagues Western evangelism today (the whole: “I AM important to Jesus” – way of thinking). Or to phrase it another way, I don’t think that everybody is equally important to God, and I don’t think we are all supposed to have a ‘personal relationship’ with Him. We don’t need Jesus’ salvation, help and/or rescue in the sense that other people do – if you are rich, comfortable and well-integrated into society (i.e. the average middle-to-upper-class Church-goer), Jesus probably would not have had much time for you. His time here on Earth was spent on the poor, disabled, outcasts and the ill, and I suspect if He were here today, He’d give far more attention to them and be hanging out with them than walking beside people like us. Which is why I think so many worship songs today are misleading – they make it seem like God pays full attention to us and our cares and so we end up singing about how great God has been to us rather than focus our energy to how we can carry out His legacy of ending injustices and poverty.

    However, I know many here will disagree with me because at Church you’re taught that everybody needs God no matter who they are and we’ve linked the problems we’ve faced in our own lives to the prayers we’ve prayed and so we are convinced that God has played a large part in how things have turned out. This is what I used to believe as well – until I realised that I wasn’t going to save all of my non-Christian friends and that it is likely that most of them are never ever going to receive Christ into their lives and thus be ‘saved’. You know, perhaps I could give a testimony about how God helped me get a cool job that I liked, and how He’s looked after me and done lots for me in my life. But then my co-worker on the other hand might not attribute his success to God at all and yet be a more hardworking employee than I am and values respecting our boss far more than I do. So basically I’m happy because God has given me a job with a high pay and that satisfies me selfishly whereas he is happy because he gets to contribute meaningfully to society. And I’m sure if Jesus were here today, He would say to me: “You have called me Lord – yet this man is truly more worthy of being called My son”.

    Matthew 25:34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

    I was at a Church service two Sundays ago where a pastor shared about how his mother received Christ during the last days of her life before she eventually succumbed to cancer and died. On the flipside my uncle who also died of cancer never had a chance to even hear about Christ, let alone receive Him into his life. Christianity is never quite so black and white, and I think the things I posted about above, about people with multiple sclerosis and how we must try to make an effort to not forget about them – to me that’s what Jesus’ life, teachings and ultimately what His testimony was all about – wanting us to remember the broken in society and do something for those who need our help because they can’t help themselves. I consider raising awareness about social issues a testimony to the Lord, but of course, I am amongst the worst of those who never seem to quite do enough about it compared to all the doctors, nurses and carers who dedicate their lives to being there for them.

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  134. Rufus (676 comments) says:

    Wow. Longest blog post I’ve ever, ever read, on any blog…

    When I read your posts, I see someone who’s confused. You don’t really know what it is you’re searching for.

    Are you truly happy Anna?

    Peace,
    Rufus

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  135. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    Then you have missed the point of the entire post – which was to say I was very confused when I was a Christian, particularly over the fact that people I knew died without knowing God, but as a result of seeing Christianity for the sham religion it is I now have clarity, understanding and peace. However, I don’t expect you to be able to see that in your delusion and no doubt you’ll convince yourself that I’m the one who needs to ‘find God’ again.

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  136. Rufus (676 comments) says:

    Anna,

    So after a few years associating with Christianity, Churches and trying to find God, you believe you’re in a position to make that kind of judgement?

    (And you think someone like Kris is arrogant?!)

    Anna, I am sorry you’ve had a rough time with Christians and Churches. There’s nothing I can do or say that will undo that.

    Christians have a lot to answer for. That’s why it’s comforting to me to know that Jesus died for me, once and for all, and that nothing I do can change that.

    I try to live a good life like Him, loving and helping others I come into contact with. At all times I trust in God to fix the mistakes I invariably make along the way, and rely on His mercy and grace to see me through this life.

    I also don’t think there’s anything I can do or say that will convince you that perhaps you got some of it wrong, and that perhaps you never really understood God or Jesus, His Story, and the point of life today.

    I truly hope you find what it is you’re looking for.

    Peace,
    Rufus

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  137. Dazzaman (1,144 comments) says:

    They both deserved what they got! Oh yes!

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  138. edhunter (552 comments) says:

    wow indeed, surprised to find I actually read it to the end, & and to find it makes a whole lot of sense to me.
    Thank you Anna, alas it is most likely to fall on deaf ears & the likes of Kris K will still think there’s time to change the road your on.

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  139. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    And then finally, to go right back to the beginning of this debate – how ironic that none of the Christians in this thread actually ever addressed the points I made on abortion at the beginning. Rather, you steer the conversation towards souls and predestination etc.

    P.S. LOL, I love it how he says ‘Christ got righteously angry – sometimes I do this’.

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  140. Matt Long (90 comments) says:

    Anna, I appreciate your honesty. I think your experience is common to many people who find that Pentecostal style Churches are often extremely simplistic and shallow in their approach to life’s challenges.

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  141. Rufus (676 comments) says:

    Hi Anna

    “One thing I am absolutely convinced of, Rufus, is that you did not actually read my post.”

    Interesting claim. How can you know this “absolutely” when you’re not here?

    Re: me not reading your loooong post – I did. I spent quite some time this morning reading it and trying to understand what you’re saying.

    Honest. But hey, believe what you want to believe.

    I’m anything but a happy clappy Christian – in fact I share many of your concerns and distaste for “modern Christianity”.

    However, I do believe that within the mess that has become modern Christianity, there are good people who do their best to live godly lives.

    Re: me not addressing things like hell or abortion

    Maybe I don’t see the point. You’ve got your views. I have mine. Who is right? I think I am and you think you are – and we can argue various points until we’re blue in the face. We’ll probably get angry and write things we might regret later. No benefit to anyone.

    Anna, when I read your posts, I see a lot of broad generalisations based on your own, limited experiences with Christianity, churches and Christians.

    Your style is very aggressive, and you display exactly the type of behaviour you complain about.

    I respectfully request you play by the rules you wish to impose on others – ie. be nice.

    Anyway, why do you feel the need to post all this stuff on here? Why the diatribes?

    So what if Kris is a fundy Pentecostal (and I don’t think he is at all, but that’s moot)?

    So what if some here are atheists, agnostics, buddhists, muslims, libertarians, or an old European conservative like myself?

    Why not let Kris be Kris, Mike be Mike, and me be me? You be you and we’ll all live our own lives. You worry about your beliefs and behaviour and I’ll do the same for me.

    We’ll let God be God and enjoy this wonderful piece of His world that we call home.

    Peace
    Rufus

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  142. Anna Sewell (32 comments) says:

    Well, I’ve been hearing quite a lot of bitching and whining in the press lately about aggressive, intolerant, atheism; as if that’s, somehow, a bad thing. It seems religion can dish it out okay but it can’t take it: like a street thug who calls the police when his victims fight back. Aggressive atheism is really defensive atheism, because right now nothing is more aggressive than political religion. Being an atheist or secularist today is no longer a matter of opting out; but of actively fending off. So I’d say any abuse religion gets, it’s got coming ten times over. And, besides, I don’t think it’s possible to be too aggressive in defending freedom of speech, which is, of course, absolutely sacred, as we all know. Much, much, more sacred than any god or prophet or scripture could or will ever be, from now until the end of time – or eternity – whichever lasts longer. People sometimes tell me, “You know, you’re just as intolerant as the people you criticize.” Really? I hope so . . . because somebody has to be. There are some things I’m very intolerant of and there’s no point in trying to deny that. Let’s see now . . . there’s misogyny and sexism – I’m extremely intolerant of them ( I hope that doesn’t offend) – racism, antisemitism . . . no . . . no tolerance of them, I’m afraid. Sorry about that. Homophobia, perhaps? Not a shred of tolerance to be found. Gosh, I do have some issues, don’t I? How about cruelty to animals? Again, absolutely no tolerance whatsoever.
    But brace yourselves, because that’s not the half of it. Not only am I openly and brazenly intolerant of all those things . . . but if religion is used as an excuse for any of them, I’m afraid I become aggressively hostile and, what’s more, I don’t apologize for that because I have no need to apologize for it. And neither do you.

    I’m always being told that I should respect people’s feelings. Well, okay. But what about my feelings? What about the feeling of utter revulsion I get whenever I think about the God of the desert and the horrible thoughts and deeds he inspires. This God is my Satan. When I hear his name, I smell sulfur: when I hear his words, I smell death. I can see that his filthy religion has polluted the world I have to live in far more thoroughly than any fossil fuel could ever dream of. And I can see that everything about this God has been purposely designed to poison our experience of life on Earth – not to enhance it. To keep us fearful. To suppress knowledge. To curtail freedom and creativity. And to celebrate death. It’s nothing less than the dumbing down of the human race. And demanding respect for it is, frankly, an insult that deserves to be repaid with considerable interest.

    Religion deserves no respect at all because:

    A.) It offers no respect at all.
    B.) It offers no evidence at all.

    Evidence is actually unwelcome, as it removes the need for faith: and that would be such a waste of all that phony virtue. Faith is one of the 3 phony virtues; the others being piety and righteousness. Not so much a trinity, as 3 ugly sisters. Unlike the witches in Macbeth who see the world in a caldron, these 3 have done their best to turn the place into one (praise the Lord) and they’re still going strong. Among the many gifts from these delightful muses we have, well, the Middle East conflict for a start – and that’s the gift that just seems to keep on giving – not to mention the cancer at the heart of it: Jerusalem. That jewel in the desert; that celestial piss-hole in the sand, from which the spiritual black death of the Middle Eastern desert has oozed and spread throughout this world like a vile oil slick; coating and contaminating everything it touches with a thick slime of pious ignorance . . . only we don’t call it ignorance, we call it faith.

    What a horrible little word that is: faith. Exuding, as it does, its fake aura of purity and virtue while fronting some of the ugliest ideas this planet has ever seen. Closing people’s hearts when it should be opening them; making them proud of things they should be ashamed of; and ashamed of things they should be proud of.

    When we look at the violent barbarism of the Islamic world, we can see that no righteous act is too depraved for a mind that claims the full license allowed by faith. If you take this God completely at his word, you can be just like him: a vicious heartless monster . . . and feel good about it.

    Even in the civilized world, nothing is too dishonorable to be sanitized by faith. It was faith, remember, that deprived gay people in California of their basic civil rights on the same day that America elected a black president. It was faith that persuaded Christian black people to send the gays to the back of the bus.

    And all this would be ugly enough on its own but, because of the free pass that we consistently give to this fake virtue of faith, religion is now completely out of control. It’s already got its hands around the throat of the United Nations and it’s pushing for a world-wide blasphemy law to protect people from hearing words that might crowbar their tiny minds out of the stone age.

    The very concept of blasphemy is a perfect illustration of the cowardly immaturity of the religious mind and the emptiness of religion itself. If religion contained any truth, it could be ridiculed, insulted, even defiled, without being diminished in any way. Its truth would shine through: undimmed, unblemished, shaming those who abused it into silence. But that’s not how things are. Religion is prickly. It’s intolerant. It’s ultra-defensive precisely because it’s brittle and fragile. It’s about as substantial as a meringue. It’s all froth and no substance. It’s had thousands of years to make its case and all it’s produced is sophistry, violence and a raft of morals that would shame a rattlesnake. And no amount of windbaggery and flim-flam from clergy can any longer disguise the simple bald fact that there is nothing there.

    The only true thing about religion is that it’s false. Its claim to higher knowledge is laughable: it doesn’t even have any lower knowledge. Not one of its ludicrous claims about reality would have a hope in hell of standing up in a court of law . . . and it’s time we stop treating them as if they do. That’s all we’re saying and that’s all we’re asking.

    And anyone who thinks that’s too aggressive knows what they can do with themselves. And if they don’t, I’ll be more than happy to tell them. Peace: crazy idea; crazy times.

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  143. Rufus (676 comments) says:

    Anna,

    3:04

    what’s Pat Condell got to do with it?

    He’s responsible for himself. I’m responsible for me. You’re responsible for you. Attack Pat if you want, he’s got nothing to do with me.

    3:07

    Wow. You’re one pissed-off lady.

    So, let me get this right – anyone who does not share your beliefs is wrong?

    Re: all religion being false – does that include your religion?

    How do you know this absolutely?

    Re: faith – since you don’t absolutelyknow everything, at some point, you’ll have to resort to faith too.

    Anna, this is a waste of time, yours, mine, and everyone else’s.

    I wish you all the best with your life, and hope you find what you’re looking for.

    You’ll probably scoff at this, but I’ll pray for you.

    “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you”.
    2 Thessalonians 3:16,

    Rufus

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  144. Zapper (1,027 comments) says:

    True to form Rufus. It wouldn’t be one of your posts without being self-righteous, judgemental and condescending.

    Who needs common sense when you have faith!

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  145. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Anna Sewell [January 31st, 2010 at 10:38 pm],

    Rufus – I’m just here ‘cos I’m bored, …

    Really? After having read SOME (I pretty much turn off after about 500 words if no point has been made) of your comments, Anna, I have come to the conclusion that you are here, rather, to spread your poison and bitterness, ultimately toward God, not so much the so called Christians you continually refer to as hypocrits.

    Zapper [February 1st, 2010 at 9:11 am]

    Kris K and MikeNZ, you certainly know how to let a point go flying over your head…I certainly don’t have an issue with God and I doubt Anna does either.

    Maybe you should pour over what both you and Anna have previously written, and then try addressing again the issue of whether or not you and Anna have an issue with God.
    I think it seems pretty apparent to all and sundry where you both stand in this regard.

    Anna Sewell [February 1st, 2010 at 12:11 pm]

    When I was younger my mother taught me a very important value, which was that it doesn’t matter to God what religion I am – what matters is whether or not I’m a good person.

    Shades of the blind leading the blind, and them both ending up in the ditch (or is that hell?). [Matthew 15:14]
    I think to God (well the God of the Bible, anyway) it makes a GREAT DEAL of difference as to what ‘religion’ one follows:

    Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
    Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

    Joh 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    And regarding GOOD people going to heaven:

    Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous [good], no, not one:

    Without Christ; we are, ALL of us, still in our sin and destined for hell.

    Rufus [February 1st, 2010 at 2:42 pm],

    So what if Kris is a fundy Pentecostal (and I don’t think he is at all, but that’s moot)?

    So what if some here are atheists, agnostics, buddhists, muslims, libertarians, or an old European conservative like myself?

    Once again your estimation of my Christian walk is pretty much spot on, Rufus (funny how some can see the truth).
    I am not, never have been, and most certainly never will be a “fundy Pentecostal”. And like someone pointed out earlier; there are many disillussioned individuals that have had bad experiences with churches/Christians in general, but Pentecostal churches in particular – much like it appears Anna has. Once again, when you boil it all down, Pentecostalism is a religion of WORKS (eg one must speak in tongues, etc, etc), and NOT a belief solely on the completed works of Christ on the cross.

    Like you I am a conservative (I worship at a Bible Baptist church), and the fundamentals for my belief is God’s perfect and innerrant word; the KJV Bible – nothing more, nothing less. [Rev 22: 18 & 19]

    Keep up the good fight, Brother.

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  146. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Zapper [February 2nd, 2010 at 12:02 am],

    True to form Rufus. It wouldn’t be one of your posts without being self-righteous, judgemental and condescending.

    Who needs common sense when you have faith!

    You guys really don’t get it, do you? (And will likely never get it)
    You continue to shake your fist at God, reject His word, and persecute His prophets – but ultimately, and sadly for you, God will have the last laugh:

    Psa 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
    Psa 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
    Psa 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.

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  147. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    kiwigirl 5:57 am,

    It is interesting that Redbaiter noted: “In a recent anti-abortion protest march in Washington, the huge crowd was dominated in numbers by young women”.

    I (unfortunately) got caught up in this crowd trying to walk back to my office in DC after lunch…and its fair to say that what I mostly saw was middle-aged men and small children. Who of course – have absolutely no right to say what i can do with my body. Or any other woman’s body.

    Whether or not “middle-aged men and small children” have any “right to say what i can do with my body” (and I believe they have every right to comment on whether or not you can murder your unborn child), the Creator of both you and your/His unborn child certainly has every right to make comment – and of course He has in His word; the Bible – He calls it murder; as He also states that life begins at conception.

    All women/doctors that murder unborn and innocent creations of God will have to give an account for this when they stand before Him at the judgement.
    I seriously urge you to reconsider your stance in this regard – God IS watching.

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