Destiny City

January 6th, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

NZ Herald reports:

has reportedly obtained resource consent to build its own “town” in South Auckland.

Bishop Brian Tamaki told his Rotorua congregation a contract had been signed and the church will take control of a three hectare block of land on Druces Road, Wiri, in December, One News reported.

“We had to get resource consent, meaning that the council would let us build our schools, our auditorium – basically building a town,” he said. “We got it.”

In the One News footage the self-proclaimed bishop outlined his plans for the town, which will include schools, a university and a massive auditorium.

The Destiny leader is now appealing for donations from his followers to help fund the town.

“Much of your seed is going to go toward the foundations of an offering toward our promised land, and that beginning is not going to come without a fruitful start financially,” Mr Tamaki said.

Destiny have every right to buy land and build what they want on it.  Of course any activities within that area are still subject to the laws of New Zealand.

I do feel a bit sorry for the followers who will all pour money in to help the Bishop buy the land, and then probably get charged massive rents to live there.

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160 Responses to “Destiny City”

  1. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Jonesville!

    Don’t drink the Kool Aid!

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  2. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Its called natural selection wat.

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  3. Mark Thomson (85 comments) says:

    “I do feel a bit sorry for the followers who will all pour money in to help the Bishop buy the land, and then probably get charged massive rents to live there.”

    By the time they’ve built schools, an auditorium and reportedly a university on 7.5 acres, I don’t see there’s going to be a lot of room for people to be living there and I haven’t seen any reports that that’s what they’re planning. I suspect you’re reading too much into Tamaki’s use of the word ‘town’, and perhaps thinking of the 2008 plan he had for 20 acres.

    That aside, I’m in favor of people having the freedom to do what they want to. I don’t have to agree with their beliefs to be glad they have the same freedom I do to make their own choices about how they spend their money.

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  4. DavidC (179 comments) says:

    3 Ha would only take 40 houses if all used for houses.
    Schools and places of public assembly need massive amounts of car parking so I suspect will take up the entire site without and housing other than maybe caretaker/security .
    I assume the application for resource consent was not publicly notified (otherwise we would have heard about it already) and thus the application it within bounds of whatever district plan covers the area.
    Anyone know what the area is zoned? What height restrictions apply?

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  5. hmmokrightitis (1,571 comments) says:

    My big brother and I were sat outside a cafe in RotoVegas a while back, enjoying coffee and breakfast pre hitting the MTB trails. We watched with bemused grins on our faces as the believers poured into the good Bishops building for their Sunday morning cleansing and wallet emptying.

    Best money making scheme in like ever. And, tax free. The man has nuts the size of footballs, fleeces the crowd of no hopers and makes a mint. Whats not to like? You have to love the business model. Ethics, smethicks, pass the plate. :)

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  6. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    What height restrictions apply?

    None, sky’s the limit.

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How everything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.

    And she’s buying the stairway to heaven.

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  7. DavidC (179 comments) says:

    PG.
    Me thinks 10 meters is it.
    Brief squiz at the Manakau district plan.
    1 car-park for every 5 people accomodated at max capacity.
    Assume auditorium of 500 = 100 car-parks – 1 Ha of car-parking alone.
    Schools sites must be 35% green grass and trees.

    IMHO a big church and a kindy/primary school will be about it.

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  8. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    Surely 3 hectares would only be barely enough to accomodate the Bishop’s palace

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  9. Grizz (540 comments) says:

    This is not a new thing or something unique to Destiny’s church. In New Zealand there is the Mormon community of Temple View and Cooperites of the West Coast to name a few. So longer as there is no crime committed here, who are we to disapprove.

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  10. adze (2,003 comments) says:

    We’re Knights of the Round Table.
    We dance whene’er we’re able.
    We do routines and chorus scenes
    With footwork impeccable.
    We dine well here in Camelot.
    We eat ham and jam and spam a lot.
    We’re Knights of the Round Table.
    Our shows are formidable,
    But many times we’re given rhymes
    That are quite unsingable.
    We’re opera mad in Camelot.
    We sing from the diaphragm a lot.

    In war we’re tough and able,
    Quite indefatigable.
    Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable.
    It’s a busy life in Camelot.

    I have to push the pram a lot.

    “No, on second thought let’s not go there… It is a silly place.”

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  11. Spoon (101 comments) says:

    Don’t be silly @milkenmild. He’s not going to live with the commoners.

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  12. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    That seems like a silly criticism. There’s nothing wrong with a church building facilities, including schools. Hardly an uncommon occurrence over the last two thousand years.

    As long as Tamaki refrains from the false prophecies he has previously uttered, and putting himself above God, as he has been dangerously close to doing, I have no problems with whatever Destiny does, although I personally can’t understand why any Christian would attend, given the proven poor character of its Bishop.

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  13. B A W (98 comments) says:

    3 hectares is to small for any city unless they are building apartment blocks 100 stories high.

    Building church buildings is quite common, churches have been doing this for years.

    Near Hamilton is Temple View where the Mormons live. They are law abiding people just like the Destiny crowd. They also support tithing like Destiny. And unlike the most regular churches their preachers do not get paid (a low payroll is always good for buissness).

    NB I am not a Mormon or Destiny member.

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  14. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    As long as Tamaki refrains from the false prophecies he has previously uttered, and putting himself above God…

    Wait, you mean above all but one gods, right? He can put himself above Zeus, Ra, and Acan all he likes. Just so long as he doesnt elevate himself above the one god you happen to believe in, he is alright in your books.

    Of course, if God doesnt exist, then he is no better than those Nigerian scammers and email spammers.

    PS. That inappropriate trade-marking, slight-of-hand you monotheists pulled off, misappropriating the term “God”, was marketing genius.

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  15. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    It’s a bit like Amway, isn’t it. Same sort of brainwashing.

    Get successful people to organise all the rest and reward accordingly.

    Do the same sort of rev-up meetings all the time, I’ve only been to one myself – guy I knew took me – and it was like this: Very expensively dressed regional leader and his wife stand up and talk about their expensive possessions and lifestyle which they got through being obsessed with things-Amway 24/7/365 and how one of their mentors really took them under his wing and helped and taught them how to become super successful just like he was so long as they dedicated their entire lives every second of the day and really really tried super-hard, then success would come.

    And it works. The whole room all went to McDonalds afterwards and shared tactics and stories – builds rapport, all of that ritual stuff.

    Personally I never went back for money doesn’t motivate me but that’s how it works. A whole army of footsoldiers all in their own ways trying to become just like their successful mentors.

    I wonder why the hell Tamaki thinks that Destiny needs a university? What’s he planning to teach there I wonder. I also wonder if it will be in the style of what I imagine a North Korean University might look like, with massive Dear Leader paintings and statues all around along with a reading room covering fascinating aspects of Dear Leader’s life and thoughts.

    My final prediction is that before he retires to his private island somewhere which he’ll buy sometime when convenient for him, Tamaki will become jealous of that stupid Chrystal Cathedral thing and suggest to his followers that they’ll need to pay for something even more spectacular and expensive since this apparently, is G-d’s will.

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  16. hmmokrightitis (1,571 comments) says:

    Ah Blair, youve fallen for the massive joke as well. Dont confuse this with mainstream religion, milking the masses since quite a long time ago. Destiny is a business, simple as that.

    Oh, I see your confusion…

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  17. grumpyoldhori (2,416 comments) says:

    Jeez talk about dumb horis, I’m sure the destiny mob have a test, what is the square root of one, if you get it right they do not want you.
    Might be a trouble making old hori )-:

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  18. Dick (80 comments) says:

    That aside, I’m in favor of people having the freedom to do what they want to. I don’t have to agree with their beliefs to be glad they have the same freedom I do to make their own choices about how they spend their money.

    A pity the children of the congregation members don’t get that choice.

    What a joke it is to see people like BlairM and reid come in here and act like no true Scotsman. All belief in Christianity is ridiculous and stupid regardless of which sect of Christianity you belong in. Read The God Delusion.

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  19. mikenmild (11,246 comments) says:

    reid

    I hadn’t thought about what they might teach at their ‘university’. Theology, Creation ‘Science’ and Marketing?

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  20. hmmokrightitis (1,571 comments) says:

    Awww, Dick, thats not fair!! My ex wife had a deeply religious friend, swore blind she prayed so hard her brothers arm grew back after he lost it in an accident. Funny, no matter how often I asked, she never let me meet this guy…

    BTW, great read, wonder if Blair has read it :)

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  21. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    All belief in Christianity is ridiculous and stupid regardless of which sect of Christianity you belong in. Read The God Delusion.

    Is Dawkins your hero on this Dick?

    I suggest if you want to be objective about this vital life decision you should also read the Bible to get the alternative perspective and not just once, lots of times. It’s a big book with lots of messages in it, you see.

    But you probably won’t do that, not even once.

    Of course religion isn’t about a book it’s about a life which you only get if you make a leap of faith this is why to a religious person Dawkins makes no sense for you cannot address religion with science not because science “disproves it” but because like oil and water, scientific arguments don’t apply in the theological realm not because it doesn’t exist but because science hasn’t yet understood the universe and everything in it. Any scientist will tell you. And until that happens what’s the point of saying the current state of science doesn’t explain something therefore it cannot exist? If that’s the case then what, in scientific terms, are you, as a human? What are you? Are you just a bunch of chemicals and electrical signals? It’s that question which faith addresses and this is not a scientific question it’s an existential one.

    It amuses me many people these days refuse even to recognise this is an important question. Our very existence, is not important, they say, when they dismiss the religious question as caverlierly as they do, with little to no investigation as to what its about beyond peering in from the outside and having fantasies that they know from such superficial observations precisely and exactly how “religious” people think about this very important existential question. That’s a very stupid attitude, I have to say.

    As far as not criticising Christian brethren, I don’t think I was criticising Tamaki’s faith. I can see how you might disagree and think I was, but I personally don’t think I did. I was making what I think is a valid metaphorical comparison because I think Tamaki’s approach to this is very like Amways: too much commercialism and not enough religion. For example, given the publicity Tamaki has had over the years he has had possibly more than any other Christian minister, given the many media interviews and articles, how many times over the years have those publicity opportunities focused on the Christian message whereas how many have focused on talking about whatever it was Tamaki or Destiny were up to? Even if Tamaki had used the opportunity to mention G-d or Jesus just a few times, that would be OK and I know he’s done a few interviews where that has happened but not often, most of them are about him and his creation. Which is odd, and that’s why Destiny and Tamaki looked and ran like Amway and I stand by that, it does.

    I don’t see why that is a negative comment on Tamaki’s faith although of course its a negative comment on his ministry but his faith and his ministry are not the same thing and while no Christian criticises another’s faith it’s perfectly legitimate to criticise one’s ministry. Many of Paul’s letters to the Churches for example contained those and there are many more biblical examples. It’s part of the purity of the flock, you see. Therefore I see my comment more as a plea and if you like, an admonition, in case he reads this or someone tells him, to change his ways and talk more about YHWH and St Michael and the HS and less about himself anf his ministry, even if that’s not what the journo whose interviewing him wants to talk about.

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  22. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    It’s a big book with lots of messages in it, you see.

    And the great thing is, you can pick and choose which ones you want to follow, and just decide “thats what God really meant!”

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  23. Dick (80 comments) says:

    I suggest if you want to be objective about this vital life decision you should also read the Bible to get the alternative perspective and not just once, lots of times. It’s a big book with lots of messages in it, you see.

    But you probably won’t do that, not even once.

    How presumptuous. I have read it, several times cover to cover. During my Christian teens I read a chapter a day for three years, along with going to Church every Sunday and ‘lifegroup’ once a week, not to mention the many nights I spent around at friend’s places discussing issues of theology etc. Thank God, for lack of a better expression off the top of my head, I am no longer a Christian. Check out http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism and read a few links per day and you’ll be an atheist in no time.

    http://i.imgur.com/IYhl6.jpg

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  24. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    I’m not sure why I am getting attacked here, as this post is about Destiny Church.

    My faith has been a great source of comfort to me, and I have found that faith in God and his Son Jesus is the only thing that has given me true peace of mind. Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in God and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    For any doubters and atheists out there I would suggest you don’t knock what you haven’t tried. Try praying a bit and putting your faith in God for a little while, and see if He doesn’t come through for you.

    As for Destiny, I think Tamaki is a blowhard and a buffoon, but God often works through imperfect vessels. If God uses Destiny to change lives and make people into good citizens then I am not going to split hairs on what they do or how much they pay their Bishop.

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  25. adc (582 comments) says:

    stop calling the guy a bishop. He isn’t one.

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  26. Dick (80 comments) says:

    For any doubters and atheists out there I would suggest you don’t knock what you haven’t tried. Try praying a bit and putting your faith in God for a little while, and see if He doesn’t come through for you.

    As I said, been there, done that. For you, I would recommend visiting http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism, it gets updated with new links everyday. Go there for a while and I am pretty sure your faith in God won’t last very long.

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  27. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    adc – a Bishop is the overseer of a group of churches, which is what Brian Tamaki is. It may have been a bit grandiose for Tamaki to call himself a Bishop, but he has no less right to do so than Catholic, Anglican or Orthodox bishops do.

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  28. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in God and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in Mayor McCheese and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in Brian Tamaki and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in Richie McCaw and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in Papa Smurf and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in that Urkel kid and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

    Richard Dawkins can write all the books he likes, but he hasn’t tried putting his faith in Kung Fu Panda and I have, so he is little qualified to criticize.

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  29. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    Reid, you are right science dosn’t know/prove everything, however nothing the bible says or you say proves the existance of God. Nothing

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  30. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    Dick – I see a lot of very angry articles on that website, but nothing which would trump my own experience of a relationship with God.

    I sympathise with your frustrations with church life, because my own experiences were less than fulfilling. I can understand how it would make anybody cynical. Because of that, I stopped attending church myself for about ten years. I don’t know what your own experiences were, so I’ll refrain from speculating, but I do know from my personal experience that God exists and is seeking you out. Faith is as simple as asking for help in a mess, and if nobody else will help you, you lose nothing for asking.

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  31. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    But you haven’t actually done any of that stuff Kimble, so your logic does not follow.

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  32. Pete George (23,331 comments) says:

    Thanks Blair, didn’t really know what ‘bishop’ stood for.

    bish·op
     noun
    1. a person who supervises a number of local churches or a diocese, being in the Greek, Roman Catholic, Anglican, and other churches a member of the highest order of the ministry.
    2. a spiritual supervisor, overseer, or the like.

    So Tamaki being a bishop for Destiny doesn’t seem out of place.

    Religious arguments seem more pointless than political arguments, but at least we don’t have religious election campaigns every three years. Imagine what the media would do with them.

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  33. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    But you haven’t actually done any of that stuff Kimble, so your logic does not follow.

    The logic does follow. Anyone could claim exactly what you have in their belief of anything. Evidence that proves everything, is no evidence of anything.

    Other than your own feelings, you cannot provide any reason for anyone else to believe in your god.

    but nothing which would trump my own experience of a relationship with God.

    What COULD trump your experience?

    I suspect it would only be proof of the origins of existence and the solving of ever mystery in the universe.

    Thats the beauty of the God of the Gaps.

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  34. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    How presumptuous.

    Dick if you understood Christianity – really – you would not have accused me of criticising Tamaki’s religion for you would have already known the distinction I spelled out above.

    Personally as a young adult I turned away from it too in that I was never against it I was just keener on lifestyle then. That state remained till my mid-thirties although in my mid-twenties I picked up the Bible and read a chapter every day for many years. That experience as an adult put layers upon layers of meaning beneath the superficial stories I had learned as a child but if I hadn’t done that as an adult I would never have seen that.

    My pursuit of those layers continues.

    To me it’s a question of the truth, simple as that. Precisely as it predicts the ways of the world turn people away as Satan the Slanderer and Deceiver works his evil ways in politics and commerce and the media, corrupting innocence and teaching people worthless values, the whole thing plays out today precisely as described. The loose morality of women with young ladies being told by feminists they have to act like sluts and fuck having children and a husband, that’s just modern slavery. The commercial world being dominated by pursuit of money, society being designed accordingly where two incomes are required not to get ahead but simply to maintain, Hollyweird producing its usual seductive mindless pap, nothing uplifting, everything negative.

    As you know Dick, all this in the Bible, every bit of it and more. The more people step away from faith, the more ubiquitous all of the above and more becomes. You look at the world and everywhere you see you see growing pools of people more or less obsessed with one or more of lust, avarice, gluttony, pride, envy, sloth or wrath. Society wasn’t like this when my parents were born in the 1920′s/30′s. It wasn’t like this in WWII either, it started to change for the worse in the sixties and hasn’t stopped since. Now it’s unrecognisable.

    The decline of religious practice is but one of the phenomena but its the only phenomena which could reverse these trends, which are happening throughout all societies but especially Western societies.

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  35. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    As you know Dick, all this in the Bible, every bit of it and more.

    So you believe everything in the Bible?

    Exodus 21:1-4 “If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing. If he came in by himself, he shall go out by himself: if he were married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master have given him a wife, and she have born him sons or daughters; the wife and her children shall be her master’s, and he shall go out by himself.”

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  36. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Each one to his own is my motto.
    I’m an atheist, but if religion makes some people happy and able to cope with life, so be it….unless is pushed down my throat.

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  37. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    The logic does follow. Anyone could claim exactly what you have in their belief of anything.

    But they don’t Kimble. Nobody makes serious claims about Mayor McCheese. Your argument would only hold if you could find some other figure in whom people put their faith and made similar claims. But there is no comparative figure. The only one I can think of is Krisha, and there are distinct differences even there.

    What COULD trump your experience?

    Nothing. You would have to prove somehow that I was deluded about my experiences. It’s also entirely possible that the times I prayed and God came through for me were extraordinary coincidences, but I do not believe so.

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  38. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    however nothing the bible says or you say proves the existance of God. Nothing

    Yes I know Blair this is why I said above it is a leap of faith. You have to trust. It’s not faith without trust. The closest concept I know of which explains it secularly is Kierkegaard’s concept of subjective truth but that’s not a total explanation and even that touches on the religious aspect as I recall.

    If you could see it and touch it and measure it and predict it, it wouldn’t be faith, it would be just commonsense. Why of course G-d exists Timmy, see, He’s over there, right now. Let’s go and say hello.

    But this isn’t life on Earth at the mo Blair, for life on Earth at this time isn’t run by G-d, it’s run by Satan. This is Satan in control of the world at the mo Blair, that’s why its full of temptation and evil (just do it – it doesn’t matter).

    But the purpose of faith and indeed of evil Blair is to build spiritual muscle. Life is a series of choices, the easy way or the harder and possibly more beneficial way and people’s lives are made up of those all the time. If it was easy to do the right thing all the time then everyone would do it and there’d be no laziness, unemployment or poverty ever everywhere. But it’s not. This is part of the spiritual discipline of faith. That’s one of the reasons it’s there because if there were no evil (which is in essence simply bad choices by the evildoer) there wouldn’t be any opportunity not to do it and where would the fun in life go then?

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  39. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    So you believe everything in the Bible?

    Yes I do Kimble but explaining the subtle layers of meaning behind it is beyond my patience level re: completely explaining to you why I do.

    Suffice to say Kimble that when I explain there are “layers of meaning” within the Bible this is precisely what I mean so having someone pick out a random phrase really means nothing unless you tell us what particular layer of meaning you’re intending to convey.

    Not that I will care, even if you do attempt that. For any response I make I know is simply casting pearls before swine and I just can’t be bothered right now, but thanks anyway.

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  40. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    But they don’t Kimble. Nobody makes serious claims about Mayor McCheese.

    But what if they did? Would you listen to them? If not, why should we listen to you?

    Do you really think your argument is advanced just because I cannot find anyone who actually has faith in Mayor McCheese?

    What COULD trump your experience?

    Nothing.

    Exactly.

    You would have to prove somehow that I was deluded about my experiences.

    You believe something for which you have no evidence other than your own belief.

    You believe because you believe.

    It’s also entirely possible that the times I prayed and God came through for me were extraordinary coincidences…

    Which probably werent that extraordinary. And besides, how do you know your god did it, and not Mayor McCheese?

    How many children died of aids at the same time your god helped you find your car keys?

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  41. Owen McShane (1,226 comments) says:

    I am a Christian atheist.

    Not an unreasonable position to hold once you recognise the contribution that Christian beliefs have made to the development of the enlightenment and liberal principles such as free will, anti-slavery, freedom of belief, tolerance etc.

    Oh, and of course the separation of Church and State which is probably the most important principle of all. Believe what you like but don’t ask the State to enforce your beliefs on me.

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  42. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Yes I do Kimble but explaining the subtle layers of meaning behind it is beyond my patience level

    Subtle layers of meaning? Are you referring to the meaning you wedged in there via twisted interpretations and flat out self-deception?

    Like I said, “And the great thing is, you can pick and choose which ones you want to follow, and just decide “thats what God really meant!”

    If something sounds crazy, “its a metaphor”! If it condones slavery, “it was written in a different time”! “By God!” “Who is timeless!”

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  43. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    How many children died of aids at the same time your god helped you find your car keys?

    I can’t remember the last time I prayed about something so trivial, but probably a lot less children than had birthdays, got great presents and went to sleep soundly in their beds happy and contented. The trouble with folk like you is that you want to blame God for all the bad things that happen, but anything good that happens you attribute to human resourcefulness. The real answer is a little more complicated.

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  44. Wayne91 (143 comments) says:

    Manolo – “unless is pushed down my throat.” – Sometimes I feel like it is more and more being pushed on us and being given a free ride to do so – e.g tax exemptions, government assistance. Seeing more and more of it on TV, in schools, in politics, I wonder why the necessity for those amazing and lavish facitlities on prime real estate that I am seeing from the likes of City Impact Church and others. Surely that money could be put to better use to support the poor and needy christians and others. Why the need to have luxurious places of worship – Im sure if god was around he would pick up the prayers from an old wheather board house anywhere.

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  45. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Are you referring to the meaning you wedged in there via twisted interpretations and flat out self-deception?

    No Kimble for if you didn’t notice I didn’t explain that passage at all, in anyway, did I. The reason I didn’t do this is because I knew you would do precisely what you did in your 4:51 which was to read something I never said into it, turn it into your own interpretation and pretend that’s what I said.

    This is why I told you I wouldn’t be bothering to explain that or any other passage you care to cite Kimble, for it would be waste of time since you won’t be listening anyway, although the first time I told you that I used a common well-known phrase, for brevity.

    Although apparently with you, one has to spell out common well-known phrases.

    Crikey.

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  46. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    reid, you said there were subtle layers of meaning, but you cant say what that is. You know the answer, but you are not going to tell anyone. We wouldnt accept that from a 5 year old. Why do christians believe we should do so for them?

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  47. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    probably a lot less children than had birthdays, got great presents and went to sleep soundly in their beds happy and contented.

    Fewer, not less, by the way.

    Was god to thank for those presents, but not to blame for the aids? I dont get it. What does that have to do with anything?

    Did those kids get those presents BECAUSE the other kids died of aids? Is that what you are saying?

    The trouble with folk like you is that you want to blame God for all the bad things that happen…

    That would require a belief that god existed.

    Now, you DO believe god exists. AND that god does good things. So it seems like it is you who wants to give god credit for all the good things, and blame human failures for all the bad.

    The real answer is less complicated; god doesnt exist, shit happens.

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  48. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Kimble, you’re not interested in listening, so what’s the point of saying anything about it?

    Listen, to understand the Bible is not a matter of dissecting a single phrase, that’s idiotic, isn’t it.

    Yet that’s what you’re asking me to do in order to “prove” something or other, to you, not sure what that would be, and I don’t care, but that’s what you’re asking.

    I simply refuse to play Kimble.

    There’s no point in giving wisdom to a fool, you see. (Proverbs 23:9)

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  49. Gulag1917 (807 comments) says:

    If atheists and agnostics want to start up their own town let them go for it.

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  50. Steve (4,522 comments) says:

    “If atheists and agnostics want to start up their own town let them go for it.”

    We already have one, but the devil dodgers claim it as their own

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  51. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    the real answer is a little more complicated.

    Please do explain.

    I think we’d all like to know why children are raped, murdered and die of malnutrition and AIDS every day – and are then consigned to everlasting torment in Hell.

    (Note that the only time the invisible pixie from the Bible actually lifts a finger in this sordid but repetitive scenario is the actually consigning to Hell.)

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  52. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    wat, I realise your question is directed to Blair, but here’s my explanation on that question:

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2011/09/general_debate_10_september_2011.html#comment-874805

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  53. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    That doesn’t explain anything.

    To understand Christianity you need to understand that this is not actually G-d’s world at the mo Jack, it’s Satan’s. G-d is standing back at the mo and allowing Satan to turn as many people as he can away from G-d.

    Apart from being just so much mumbo jumbo it doesn’t answer the question of why an omnipotent deity would not just allow children to be raped, tortured and murdered in the first place but then cast them into an eternity of torment in Hell – a fate which makes the rapists and torturers look mild in comparison.

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  54. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    I think we’d all like to know why children are raped, murdered and die of malnutrition and AIDS every day – and are then consigned to everlasting torment in Hell.

    That’s a theological straw man right there, very popular with militant atheists, but logically unsound.

    There may be others who debate it, but my understand of the Bible is that nobody under 13 is held to account for their sins.

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  55. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    “but my understanding of the Bible is that nobody under 13 is held to account for their sins.”

    Then your understanding of the Bible is wrong.

    So I repeat my question…

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  56. Gulag1917 (807 comments) says:

    Blair Never read that in the Bible

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  57. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Kimble, you’re not interested in listening, so what’s the point of saying anything about it?

    And I could explain why that is rank cowardice, but you wouldnt understand it.

    There’s no point in giving wisdom to a fool, you see. (Proverbs 23:9)

    Which is how your god (some of the people involved in building the myth that you believe is fact) gives every one of his followers license to avoid thinking too hard about things. If anyone argues with you, label him a fool, and then ignore him.

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  58. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    That doesn’t explain anything.

    Well wat, you must have missed the first paras of that post. What a great big silly you are. I’ve quoted them for you below, bolding the relevant bits so it helps you to understand.

    Personally my rationalisation for the existence of evil is free will. G-d doesn’t commit evil, people do. G-d made us all. G-d designed Stalin, Hitler, Pol-Pot, Mao and all the other psychopaths as well as designing you and I. You and I and the rest of humanity are free to do the good thing or the bad thing in any given situation. We have no limits on what we can do up to and including killing either ourself or others.

    For evil not to exist the world would be a place where all people never did the wrong thing and since actions start with thoughts this means your thoughts aren’t evil, either.

    Now what is evil? Evil is anything negative, at all. No bad thoughts, ever. No titillating thoughts, no anger, no hatred, nothing negative of any kind. Everything in every situation would be perfect and would be from the day we are born. From day one year one, our lives are full of nothing but the correct thought in any given situation. We are not free to think evil, because evil doesn’t and cannot exist in this world.

    The problem is: what sort of life is this? Life for a human is a series of unfolding understandings that occur throughout life. As we progress in years we gradually make more and more distinctions and more and more things build our foundation of understanding of who we are and where we fit in the world. But in a world with no evil, we have none of this growth for in humans growth comes not just from good things but from bad things as well. And it’s how we deal with those bad things that is a significant factor in who we are. But we don’t get any of that, in this world for no evil exists.

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  59. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    If atheists and agnostics want to start up their own town let them go for it.

    And if someone buys some land in it and tries to build a church, who do you think would win the law suit?

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  60. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    Personally my rationalisation for the existence of evil is free will.

    We’re not talking about free will. We’re talking about how an omnipotent deity could stand by and watch children being raped, tortured and murdered and live wretched short lives of misery and suffering and do nothing to intervene.

    Would you stand by and watch a child being tortured? Raped? Mutilated? Murdered? Would you say ‘ah well, that’s free will for you’?

    And then we’re asking why the same magical pixie would toss those innocent little children down into Hell for an eternity of suffering.

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  61. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    So, reid, god creates bad things to keep humans from getting bored? That is what all those words mean, right?

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  62. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    I’d much prefer it that all these Destiny followers that may have found some structure in their lives for the first time, flagged it and went back to gangs and crime and being totally negative about our society.

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  63. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    wat, such horrors you raise happens as a result of free will and nothing else but the fact they exist is not a commentary on G-d it’s a commentary on Satan. It’s quite elementary, you know.

    I mean look at it like this wat. Hundreds of thousands no, millions of the most intelligent people of their ages have toiled on theology for several thousand years. Do you really think in all that time your question is the first time this has ever come up? Why don’t you research it if you care, otherwise what’s your intellectual point? What’s your argument, dropping the emotive examples. That G-d cannot exist if evil does? Is that what you’re saying? Like I said, free will is in fact the answer to that question wat. If you don’t yet understand that, keep thinking about it, but I’m not going to keep repeating the same answer.

    Kimble if you treat questions of life and the universe as lightly as that, good on you but forgive me if I don’t emulate your thinking.

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  64. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    I stand corrected on 13. I thought that was in the Torah, but it is not. Though Jesus said that if one cannot become like a child then one cannot enter the Kingdom of God, so I think that wat dabney’s comment is still a straw man.

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  65. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    so I think that wat dabney’s comment is still a straw man.

    Everything wat says about religion is a straw man Blair :)

    Apologies for incorrect attribution to you in one of my early posts BTW.

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  66. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Kimble if you treat questions of life and the universe as lightly as that, good on you but forgive me if I don’t emulate your thinking.

    But that IS what you said, right? That god creates evil so life is interesting.

    Though Jesus said that if one cannot become like a child then one cannot enter the Kingdom of God

    Which doesnt mean that all children go to heaven.

    Do Buddhist children go to heaven? Muslim? Atheist?

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  67. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    wat, such horrors you raise happens as a result of free will and nothing else but the fact they exist is not a commentary on G-d it’s a commentary on Satan.

    No. If you maintain that there’s an omnipotent deity out there, standing by while children’s throats are cut and hand amputated, and they are raped and murdered, and they die at a pitifuly young age though lack of food, then it tells us something about the nature of that deity.

    Would you stand by and let such things happen if just by wriggling your nose you could stop them?

    Everything wat says about religion is a straw man Blair

    You seem to be trying to avoid awkward questions by dismissing them as “straw men.”

    How are my questions straw men?

    Blair,

    I stand corrected on 13. I thought that was in the Torah, but it is not. Though Jesus said that if one cannot become like a child then one cannot enter the Kingdom of God, so I think that wat dabney’s comment is still a straw man.

    This is called sacrilege. You are inventing stuff out of whole cloth and ascribing things to Yahweh which are entirely absent from Scripture. How dare you? What are you, a Catholic?

    If salvation is through faith and acceptance of Jesus as one’s saviour (the alternative being that Jesus tosses you into Hell for an eternity of torture), then clearly children cannot understand the concept and so are consigned to Hell. And there is nothing in the Bible which grants them dispensation.

    Yet you so easily invent stuff to salve your conscience.

    Quite sickening. And, as I said, quite sacrilegious.

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  68. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    wat dabney – that’s very interesting, but are you engaging in a theological debate with me? You know there’s two thousand years of thought on this subject right? Quote me some theologians who agree with you. That might back up your argument better.

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  69. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    that’s very interesting, but are you engaging in a theological debate with me? You know there’s two thousand years of thought on this subject right? Quote me some theologians who agree with you. That might back up your argument better.

    Mmm. That’s pretty much what the Catholic hierarchy gave to Martin Luther.

    Are you a Catholic?

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  70. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    wat, start with the assumption that god exists. Now try to describe that god in the best possible light while looking at the world around you.

    Your answers would be identical to those of reid and blair.

    Because thats how this religious lore came about. It started with some people saying god existed, and then a whole bunch of people asked “well, what about…?”, forcing the god creators to scramble for explanations, and creating a twisted story to explain away the inevitable contradictions.

    Thats how god is both benevolent and omnipotent, both just and merciful, both timeless and changing.

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  71. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    Yes, I do realise that a world in which a magical omnipotent pixie allows bad things to happen is indistinguishable from one when the magical pixie doesn’t exist.

    Strange that.

    But have you noticed how these guys don’t seem to know or care how salvation comes about?

    They are religious but they are not devout. Lifestyle Christians. There is zero cost the stuff they spout. They just get to feel smug and superior.

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  72. Right of way is Way of Right (1,129 comments) says:

    Beware of false prophets, or should that be false profits?

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  73. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    wat and Kimble, you do know what the Bible says about this world, today, right. You do know don’t you that this is Satan’s world, don’t you.

    This is basic stuff guys, don’t let me down here.

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  74. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    They also get to have an answer for everything, God did it.

    If things happen in society that they dont like, they can say that its because people dont believe in god any more.

    Someone they know recovers from cancer, god did it.

    Its only godless people like us who ask, who gave them cancer to start with?

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  75. Reg (544 comments) says:

    I’ve got plenty of bones to pick with Tamaki, but he has done a lot more for at risk, vulnerable, Maori and Pacifica folk than all the atheists in NZ put together.
    There’s nothing like a post involving Christianity to expose the intolerance of those that would tolerate anything else!
    Kimble asks: Do Buddhist children go to heaven? Muslim? Atheist?
    My reply would be: What ever an all just and fair God decided would have to be a whole lot better than the ionic soup Kimble’s disbelief would consign them to.
    Wat Dabney says: Yet you so easily invent stuff to salve your conscience.
    So there is such a thing as a conscience? Where did that come from? Do atheist have one? If so why? Is it the topstone of your great probability-defying evolutionary accident that produced intelligent beings out of nothing?
    And Dick, I don’t know what to say but that your Nom-De-Blog is well chosen!

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  76. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    So god isnt omnipotent, ried?

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  77. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    The question is, if Yahweh is omnipotent, why would he allow such a situation.

    Why would he allow innocent people, including children, to be tortured, raped and murdered while he stands round doing jack shit.

    Would you stand by a watch a child drown if you could simple reach down and prevent it?

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  78. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    My reply would be: What ever an all just and fair God decided would have to be a whole lot better than the ionic soup Kimble’s disbelief would consign them to.

    So your response is that eternal pain and suffering is better than oblivion.

    Really?

    You would choose eternal pain over oblivion.

    No, of course you wouldnt.

    You just revealed yourself as just another oblivious theist. Logic and reason dont matter to you.

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  79. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    reid, is there evil in heaven?

    If there no no evil in heaven, there cant be free will either.

    Which makes sense, actually. Given that your time in heaven (eternity) will be spent in worship, then you dont really need freewill.

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  80. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    The question is, if Yahweh is omnipotent, why would he allow such a situation.

    Crikey wat if you don’t even know the question how do you possibly imagine you’ve got the answer? For the question wat is not if YHWH was omnipotent why would he allow this it’s if YHWH was omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient then why does evil exist?

    So those two additional dimensions add significant complexity to the equation wat. I’m surprised you’ve only got to the first one yet you think you’ve got the answer. Classic beginners arrogance. Ah well. What’s the matter. Did you only get the Junior Edition of whatever reference material you used? What’s that? You haven’t looked at any?

    Anyway, laughter aside, as stated above wat, said question has been discussed in depth so why bother repeating, just google it if you’re interested. You can google, can’t you wat?

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  81. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    reid, it is shorthand. Get over it. You are quibbling over a triviality. Running scared.

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  82. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Get real Kimble – perhaps – just perhaps- I was suggesting an all just and fair God wouldn’t consign innocent children to Hell. Your non-theology would have them treated identically to Hitler and Stalin. Who incidently were both atheists who murdered innocent children!

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  83. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    For the question wat is not if YHWH was omnipotent why would he allow this it’s if YHWH was omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient then why does evil exist?

    No, that wasn’t the question.

    The question is why an omnipotent pixie would allow innocent people, including children, to be murdered, raped, maimed, tortured and murdered.

    And a secondary point is why would it then toss those young children into an eternity of suffering.

    So, laughter aside, what’s the answer?

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  84. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    I was suggesting an all just and fair God wouldn’t consign innocent children to Hell.

    And unless you have some evidence to back that up, then it is just wishful thinking. Of course your god wouldnt send them to hell. He would just starve them to death. (Or allow them to starve to death, which is the same thing if you have the power to feed them.)

    Stalin didnt kill people because he was an atheist. Fail.

    Hitler was christian. Fail.*

    *Do you want us to bring up the behaviour of the church in WW2?

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  85. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Owen McShane says: I am a Christian atheist.

    Not an unreasonable position to hold once you recognise the contribution that Christian beliefs have made to the development of the enlightenment and liberal principles such as free will, anti-slavery, freedom of belief, tolerance etc.

    Hang in there Owen, I have come across a number like you. Keep thinking about these things and one day the penny will drop and the ultimate act of divine love and sacrifice that occurred in Palistine nearly 2000 years ago will change your life like it has those you so much admire.

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  86. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    the ultimate act of divine love and sacrifice that occurred in Palistine nearly 2000 years ago will change your life

    Er, what would that be? A magical pixie had a sleep for a couple of days?

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  87. BlairM (2,307 comments) says:

    Mmm. That’s pretty much what the Catholic hierarchy gave to Martin Luther.

    Are you a Catholic?

    Luther tended to quote the Bible, which, last time I heard was pretty authoritative amongst Christians.

    To a large extent, Luther was merely echoing the Orthodox concerns with the Roman Church from the 8th Century onwards. The Romans got too big for their boots, and they remain so to this day. Just go over to NZ Conservative and have a read for some perfect examples.

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  88. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Kimble Said: Stalin didnt kill people because he was an atheist. Fail. Hitler was christian. Fail

    And you have evidence to back this up?

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  89. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Running scared.

    Crikey Kimble I answered the question already: the answer is free will.

    If you don’t understand how that works on the question you posed then this is not my problem, it’s yours and yours alone, plus your parents, spouse, kids as well.

    So that’s a shame for them and you Kimble and possibly wat as well but I’m afraid if you can’t wrap your head around the answer, that’s not my issue.

    I just suggest you play around with the concept in your mind for while and think about what it would be like, really, if evil did not exist which would mean you wouldn’t ever be allowed to think about sex or do anything wrong or even learn by making mistakes for those could not happen. What then would a person born into life, be like? Say if their parents had been born into that life, and their parents. That no-one from our life had ever existed in theirs. Of course everyone lived a long time, never did anything wrong, they weren’t allowed to, you see, it was impossible, the concept of right and wrong did not even exist, it was irrelevant.

    What would that life be like, compared to ours as a free, human individual, if you landed in it one day as a baby?

    That’s what you’re saying G-d should do.

    That’s why He doesn’t.

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  90. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    BlairM,

    Luther tended to quote the Bible, which, last time I heard was pretty authoritative amongst Christians

    So why did you attempt to dismiss my earlier posts with your appeal to authority: “are you engaging in a theological debate with me? You know there’s two thousand years of thought on this subject right? Quote me some theologians who agree with you. That might back up your argument better.“?

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  91. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Reg,

    And you have evidence to back this up?

    Does you atheism towards Santa Claus compel you to kill people?

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  92. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Wat. Your comments are typical of those that take the benefits that Christianity has delivered to the Western world yet attack the theology that underlies it.
    Show me one country that has a non corrupt functioning democracy that isn’t largely Christian or hasn’t had it imposed upon it by a Christian power.

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  93. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Show me one country that has a non corrupt functioning democracy that isn’t largely Christian or hasn’t had it imposed upon it by a Christian power.

    Israel.

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  94. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    And you have evidence to back this up?

    Yup. Although I should just ask you for evidence he wasnt. (You know, just like you theists constantly ask us atheists for proof god doesnt exist.)

    The Wehrmacht Oath of Loyalty to Adolf Hitler, 2 August 1934: “I swear by God this sacred oath that to the Leader of the German empire and people, Adolf Hitler, supreme commander of the armed forces, I shall render unconditional obedience and that as a brave soldier I shall at all times be prepared to give my life for this oath.”

    And for 2 points, guess which book contained this quote, “I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord..”

    Seriously. You do not want us to bring up the Vaticans actions in WW2.

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  95. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Reg,

    Do you think that the effects of a particular belief system say anything about its veracity?

    The Muslim world is well know for carrying the torch of learning during the Dark Ages. Does that mean that Allah exists and we must follow the Islamic dogma?

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  96. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Israel enlisted British help to get itself established before it got sick of them and bombed the King David Hotel and appointed the Irgun leader Prime Minister some years later so that doesn’t count since it did use British power as it existed then.

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  97. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    Crikey Kimble I answered the question already: the answer is free will….”So that’s a shame for them and you Kimble and possibly wat as well but I’m afraid if you can’t wrap your head around the answer, that’s not my issue.

    No, free will is not the issue.

    The issue is about how children get to be butchered, raped and maimed when apparently there’s an omniscient pixie just standing by washing its pickup. A pixie which then consigns the children to eternal torment.

    If it were about free will then we would be talking about the consequences for those who exercise their free will. But we’re not. We’re talking about their victims.

    Again, would you stand by and pick your nose while a child had its hands cut off?

    So no, you didn’t answer the question. You avoided it. Again and again and again.

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  98. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Sooo, because through an accident of geography, and war and conquest for a couple hundred years, most countries had some relation to christianity, that means that christianity is the cause of their current political system?

    Was ancient Greece christian?

    Did you know that every single country that was founded by “christianity” has endured years of rape and murders of its citizenry?

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  99. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    How Christian was ancient Greece?

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  100. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    I’m sure Israeli’s will be delighted to know that it wasn’t David Ben-Gurion but the British who were responsible for their parliamentary democracy.

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  101. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    If you understand the Balfour Declaration you know that’s true cha.

    Kimble and wat, you’re on your own in your fantasies. Have a good time.

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  102. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Thats right reid. Run and hide. Cant answer wat’s question so now you run off to read into your bible what you “know” must be there.

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  103. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    reid,

    Kimble and wat, you’re on your own in your fantasies. Have a good time.

    I quite understand that you run away claiming victory.

    As you have demonstrated you are a lifestyle “Christian” with very little understanding of the Bible and its theology. You have no idea about the very essence of the creed – how to be “saved” and avoid being thrown into the pit by the wonderful magical pixie.

    If you really believed this stuff you’d really (and I mean really) have studied the texts. It would be central to your life.

    As it is, you just get to feel smug and superior at zero cost to yourself.

    You and Bishop Tamaki were made for each other.

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  104. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    WTF has Balfour got to do with the poms getting the arse at the point of a gun 30 years later.

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  105. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Reg says:- “take the benefits that Christianity has delivered to the Western world yet attack the theology that underlies it.”

    Society owes far more to the Ancient Greeks than it does to Christianity. The advancement of society basically stagnated while Christianity held sway and only really surpassed the Greek and Roman achievements with advent of the Age of Enlightenment, which threw off the shackles of superstition and harnessed the power of reason to reform society and advance knowledge. The role of the Church was to try to preserve what it considered to be absolute truth, which was in direct opposition to the tenets of science and philosophy, which sought to redefine the world from rational premises.

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  106. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Well done Cha. You come up with Israel.
    Perhaps I’ll rephrase my question: Show me one country that has a non corrupt functioning democracy that isn’t a largely Judeo-Christian heritage or hasn’t had it’s democracy imposed upon it by a Christian power.

    Any others out there. Kimble? Wat?

    And Kimble seriously to imlpy the 1934 Wehrmacht Oath of loyalty demonstrated Hitler was a Christian is inane. Germany had been a Christian country for 1400 years, if vestiges of it appeared in Nazi ceremonies is hardly surprising. Germany’s descent into moral anarchy under National Socialism is a frightening example of where the depravity of Human Nature will take one when God is left out of the equation.

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  107. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Scott Chris – Ancient Greece provided the theory. In practice they quickly reverted to tyranny.
    Christianity provided the altrustic element in enough of society for the theory to actually work.

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  108. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    WTF has Balfour got to do with the poms getting the arse at the point of a gun 30 years later.

    Why was this face on the banknotes for awhile?

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  109. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Actually Reg I think you’ll find that it was the descent into moral anarchy of the Weimar Republic that led the National Socialists rise.

    http://www.ukapologetics.net/hitler7.html

    The liberal Weimar government of 1919-1931 were certainly commited to democracy, unfortunately they were also weak, often rudderless and they presided over widespread and unprecedented corruption right across German life. Being a liberal democracy, widespread corruption did not unduly worry the Weimar architects but it worried and upset many German people who longed for a return to a respect for law and order right across the land and right across German life. Of course, as we know, it was a major economic crisis which finally opened the door for Hitler. When Weimar failed, people did not want another liberal democracy which they blamed for the moral confusion and chaos of German life.

    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005465

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  110. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    cha forgive me for intruding on your discussion but your comment illustrates the vacuum into which the thing we know as Hitler stepped. It was simply the stage. Hitler could have used it in a number of ways, he chose one.

    But he chose that way, the stage he inherited did not choose it and neither did it force his choice upon him as the only one available in the circumstances.

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  111. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Reg says:- “Christianity provided the altrustic element”

    Buddha promoted it before Jesus, but really it evolved of its own accord as a successful cultural meme. And it took the post enlightenment philosopher August Compte to actually coin and define the term.

    In the end, it simply makes good sense. Altruism is basically one facet of consequentialism, as it indicates that an action is ethically right if it brings good consequences to others.

    I’d say it is easier to teach a kid about consequentialism than it is to tell them some story about a guy who sacrificed himself for their sins, who then came back to life and could do magic and stuff.

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  112. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    So, we have a pretty picture of Sir Ed on a bank note.

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  113. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    Yes and we all know who Sir Ed was so what was Rothschild to the Israeli’s that at one point they briefly put him on their highest denomination?

    Must have been something important, one would suppose. No doubt the Central Bank has a pat explanation but just interesting, to me. I note this stuff, it has meaning.

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  114. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Christianity provided the altruistic element in enough of society for the theory to actually work.

    There is absolutely nothing special or unique about altruism in Christianity.

    It is as old as the hills.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Rule

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  115. cha (3,856 comments) says:

    Reid, Mein Kampf was published in 1925 so there was no secret agenda and with change being easier in times of turmoil the widespread corruption and economic troubles coupled with the perceived debauchery of the Weimar Republic opened the door. There was only ever one plan, expansion.

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  116. Pipkin (9 comments) says:

    Destiny is a complete sham and have had the displeasure of going to see a friend sing in her choir or so I thought one song for the choir then an hour long sermon on how god is gonna make you rich, Bollocks I have never been to another church where it talked about getting rich so much, and all you have to do? Nothing just believe, Bollocks! But the worst thing is I have a friend who has been hooked in, very sad. I do not believe in anything it preaches at all and feel very sorry for the people it has trapped.

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  117. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Pipkin,

    You think that promises of getting rich are a sham, what about those churches that promise life after death?

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  118. reid (16,111 comments) says:

    cha, what does Mein Kampf have to do with it, not getting its connection to subjects under discussion.

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  119. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Hitler was baptised and was never excommunicated. He was christian.

    Remember, we didnt state he was christian to push our agenda. You said he was an atheist to push yours.

    So far we have provided several direct quotes where he talks about god. We could provide dozens more. Reg, you havent provided a fucking shred of evidence to prove he was an atheist, other than your own ignorant opinion.

    You take it as an article of faith that because he was a bad man, he must have been an atheist.

    Well he wasnt.

    He was Christian. Christians can be very bad people. They can be murderers. They can be rapists. They can MOLEST CHILDREN!

    And all they have to do is seek forgiveness before they die to be welcomed into heaven by your loving god. Theres no justice in that.

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  120. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    I think you Christians should prove that Hitler isnt in Heaven right now.

    I reckon your best chance is to somehow prove he is still alive.

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  121. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Oh, and instant fail if you say that he committed suicide so couldnt get in.

    If thats the only thing keeping the worst human who ever lived out of your paradise then you fail hard. He killed millions of people, but its the suicide that was the deal breaker for god.

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  122. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Isnt that a funny picture?

    Hitler is in Heaven laughing at all the Jews burning for all eternity.

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  123. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Kimble: The simple explanation is that your definition of a Christian is completely different to mine.

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  124. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    ok, Kimble, I’ll bite.

    As for Hitler, (insert evil person of choice), et al being Christians – consider this:

    A “Christian” is a follower of Jesus. He/she recognises Jesus as God made man, the one Person able to restore them to a right relationship with God.

    As such, a Christian seeks to follow Jesus, and live their lives by His teachings.

    All good so far.

    Now, how do you know if someone is a Christian or not? By their behaviour… since talk is cheap Kimble.

    What did Jesus himself have to say on the subject?

    Well, here’s a snippet taken from the account of Matthew, chapter 7, where Jesus has been laying out some of the ground rules for the new Kingdom he was bringing in:

    (I’ve even highlighted the pertinent bits for you)

    15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
    17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

    18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
    19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

    So, by Jesus’ own test, Hitler, the guy ultimately responsible for the death and misery of millions, was not a Christian – no matter how much he, or others, might have claimed him to be.

    Jesus wanted a radical change in people’s lives, in their behaviour, their thoughts, their desires, their motivations.

    Mere words/baptism are not enough.

    Even Satan believes in God – and shudders.

    You’d do well to read some more of the Bible, and try to understand it, before spouting off such silly arguments, Kimble.

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  125. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Rufus says:- “You’d do well to read some more of the Bible, and try to understand it”

    It seems to me that you have taken a collection of moral tales and subjectively extracted a moral code relevant to your social context.

    Which is fine. You’ve kept the baby. Now pull out the plug and let out the bathwater.

    Satan doesn’t exist. Jesus only lives on in our minds (and no one the same). There is no heaven or hell. There is no such thing as divine intervention and physics and meta-physics are mutually exclusive.

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  126. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Kimble, as for bad people repenting and going to heaven, and there being no justice in that – consider this:

    no good person will ever make it to heaven.

    Jesus didn’t distinguish between sin/evil – ultimately it all offends God. In Matthew 5, he is highlighting the failure of the Pharisees, who had a very advanced moral code, but often found ways to merely offer lip service to it.

    Jesus wanted his followers to do better:

    “21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.”

    In Jesus view, wishing someone murder, is the same as actually going ahead and following through on your desire.

    That makes me, ultimately, just as bad a Pol Pot. Or Hitler.

    In the letter to the Hebrews, King David was counted as one of the heroes of the faith – yet he was a murderer and adulterer.

    In Matthew 9, the Pharisees, the religious leaders and moral pinnacles in Jewish society were incredulous when Jesus hangs out with Matthew, a tax collector and sinner (= scum in their eyes).

    12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

    God’s justice was satisfied in Jesus’ death atoning for a person’s sin.

    The Bible, especially the New Testament talks about this very extensively Kimble – it’s right there for anyone to read – if you’re willing.

    Saul of Tarsus (ie. Paul) explains in his letter to the Romans that everyone is guilty of rebelling against God, and God doesn’t distinguish between Jew or Gentile – a radical claim against the background of the OT.

    He then states that the only way to become right with God again is through faith in Jesus’ act of redemption on the cross in Romans 3:

    “22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,
    23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
    25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
    26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.”

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  127. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    I sense that you’re not too fussed what Jesus said or did – you’re upset that someone claimed Hitler was an atheist.

    You then tried to prove your counter claim that he was a christian.

    I have tried to prove your definition of what constitutes a christian does not equate with Jesus’.

    You’ve rightly identified the incongruity of someone claiming to be a christian and behaving in an unchrist-like manner. I agree, it doesn’t add up. My conclusion, based on Jesus’ own definition of what his followers should look like, that those are not Christians at all, not matter what they profess.

    Now, I’m not claiming Hitler was an atheist – I don’t know. And to me it is inconsequential.

    However, what does it matter if an atheist was some murdering, raping, pillaging scum?

    Why would you be outraged if an atheist murdered a million kids?

    How would he/she not be acting like an atheist should?</b

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  128. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    And now I have more important things to do – my 4 month-old has just filled his nappy rather noisily and spilled all over my shoulder… and is smiling as though he’s just performed a great deed worthy of mention… :)

    Kimble, I hope you have a nice weekend.

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  129. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Rufus,

    You cannot identify a Christian by his behaviour. You have no idea what a person really believes. And it is fundamental to the Protestant dogma that it’s only belief that matters. A person can do all manner of horrific stuff but, if he only believes in the magic pixie (or converts a few seconds before death), he will go to Valhalla or whatever you like to call it.

    So Hitler could well have lived or at least died a Christian and at the same time have murdered millions of people. Such a scenario in no way unique in history, which is full of examples of Christian cruelties and killings.

    But more than that is the fact that a person can’t will themself to believe stuff. Whatever they try to convince themselves, that little bit of doubt at the back of their mind means they might not qualify for life after death. Even you can’t be sure that you qualify as a believer, whatever you tell yourself. Maybe this loving pixie will toss you in the pit of eternal torment because of that flicker of intellectual curiosity.

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  130. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Wat, I’ve just shown from Jesus own words that He was interested in the behaviour of his followers.

    Your definition of a “christian” differs from that of Jesus Christ.

    The NT goes on to explain that this behaviour stems from a person’s faith.

    Paul and James, 2 of the Apostles, explain clearly that a Christian cannot claim to follow Christ, and live a sinful life.

    It doesn’t add up.

    Wat, I qualify for heaven not because of anything I have done, but because of what Jesus did for me. That is the whole point.

    As for doubting – everyone does at some time. That is why we pray, and read, and encourage each other. That’s is what faith is all about.

    Paul, in Romans 8:38, 39
    “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    You’re missing the point of Christianity.

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  131. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Rufus,

    Wat, I’ve just shown from Jesus own words that He was interested in the behaviour of his followers.

    This is completely irrelevant. We’re talking about who is a Christian and who is not, i.e. who gets to go to Valhalla when they die.
    You can be hacking of the limbs of a child and at the same time be a Christian, because of what you believe. What you do doesn’t matter one iota.

    Whilst this may be objectionable it is not controversial. Faith and faith alone is what counts according to Protestant dogma. But maybe you’re a Catholic. That’s the only explanation.

    Sure you can claim to “follow” Christ and be nice to animals and not eat too much fatty food etc. But that doesn’t make you a Christian (someone who is “saved”.)

    You’re missing the point of Christianity.

    I’m simply pointing out to you the one essential understanding that Protestants have, which is that they are “saved” by faith alone. If you don’t understand this – and others here don’t seem to have much of a clue either – then rather obviously you are not serious about this stuff. You all seem to have confused Yahweh with Santa Claus.

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  132. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Wat, I am a Christian, and a Protestant. I’ve been one for over 20 years.

    I don’t follow your logic – you seem to have a different definition as to what a “christian” is than Jesus did.

    This doesn’t make sense to me.

    As for the “sola fide” of Protestant theology – let me explain.

    You are saved by faith alone. Faith in Jesus’ redeeming act on the cross.

    That should, note “should”, change your whole way of thinking, way of living, your whole being.

    As a result, you will want to follow Jesus’ way of living.

    Now Jesus does not condone murder, theft, deceit, adultery, and a whole lot of other undesirable behaviours.

    So, as a new person, a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christ-ian, you would not do this.

    The Bible clearly teaches that you are saved by faith alone (“sola fide”), but that this will show in your behaviour (read Romans 3 for example, or James).

    If you do, then you are behaving at odds with your beliefs.

    Everyone around rightly recognises this as incongruent, as hypocrisy.

    If you keep on sinning, ie. living at odds with your profession of faith, then the only conclusion we can draw, based on Jesus’ own definition, is that you are not a follower of Him and His way – you are not a Christian.

    Can you see what I’m saying?

    You hold that a Christian can continue in this behaviour, and still be a Christian.

    I say that is a nonsense.

    “Christian” is not just some label.

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  133. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Wat, you say “This is completely irrelevant. We’re talking about who is a Christian and who is not, i.e. who gets to go to Valhalla when they die.”

    Would you not agree that Jesus Christ, the Person whom Christianity rests on, is the One who gets to decide who’s in His club or not?

    What gives you the authority to change His definition, His criteria?

    I am truly puzzled.

    Being a Christian, whether Catholic/Protestant is about faith + behaviour.

    One follows on from the other.

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  134. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Kimble: The simple explanation is that your definition of a Christian is completely different to mine.

    You think only good people are Christian and if anyone is bad they lose the title.

    But that flies in the face of reality, so is pretty much… a delusion.

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  135. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Rufus,

    You are saved by faith alone. Faith in Jesus’ redeeming act on the cross.

    You could have stopped right there. Anything else is gravy.

    The deal is that the magical pixie called Yahweh lovingly tosses millions, indeed billions, of people into a pit of eternal torment when they die. Then one day he produces a sockpuppet of a hippie character called Jesus who says if you worship the pixie he might not throw you in the pit to burn forever.

    With this gun placed against their heads some people – we call them Christians – prostrate themselves and fall over themselves to say what a swell guy Yahweh is and has he lost weight etc, notwithstanding its record of murder, racial genocide and unending cruelty and intolerance.

    Unfortunately, children and all those who never hear about this blackmail of a deal are inevitably destined for the pit. Their bad luck I guess. The pixie magically creates a new child in some poverty-stricken land, it leads a short brutal life with no happiness, and then it burns in the pit forever. Still, them’s the breaks.

    The Bible clearly teaches that you are saved by faith alone (“sola fide”), but that this will show in your behaviour (read Romans 3 for example, or James).

    Well James is known simply for contradicting Paul about how to be saved. He implies people can be saved by helping little old ladies across the road. Luther understood this and tucked James behind the sofa.

    If you keep on sinning, ie. living at odds with your profession of faith, then the only conclusion we can draw, based on Jesus’ own definition, is that you are not a follower of Him and His way – you are not a Christian.

    Sounds like you would be happy to judge and to cast the first stone, but if what you say were true then no one, including yourself, would qualify for Valhalla. Because, let’s be honest, you ignore the vast mass of teachings, instructions and laws of the Bible. You only “obey” the convenient laws which you happen to agree with anyway, like not killing people.
    I’m sure I’m on pretty safe grounds when I say that you wilfully ignore the Sabbath, don’t stone heretics and disobedient children to death, don’t wear the requisite number of tassels on your clothes (and I’ll bet you blatently mix fabrics of different types.) As we both know I could go on and on and on listing all the Biblical instructions which you ignore.

    Fortunately for you none of it matters in your theology, because it’s faith alone that counts.

    Hence Hitler may well be sunning himself on some beach in the afterlife, while all his victims – certainly all the children – are roasted for eternity.

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  136. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Now, how do you know if someone is a Christian or not? By their behaviour… since talk is cheap Kimble.

    And you also think that Christian is mutually exclusive from evil.

    John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    Thats it. All you have to do is believe.

    Why would you be outraged if an atheist murdered a million kids?

    Because murdering kids is wrong.

    How would he/she not be acting like an atheist should?

    Prove that atheism requires people to murder children.

    Yours is just the “there are no morals without god” bullshit argument.

    Which of us is the better person? As an atheist I can tell right from wrong. If god turns out to exist I have lived a good life. As a Christian you will only do good if god exists. If you find out he doesnt, by your own words, you would then immediately go around murdering children and raping women.

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  137. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Hitler is in Heaven and Gandhi is in Hell.

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  138. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Would you not agree that Jesus Christ, the Person whom Christianity rests on, is the One who gets to decide who’s in His club or not?

    In your belief system, yes. But are you saying he’s a fickle old softy that lets in everyone who remembered their mother’s birthday?

    No, as you say yourself it is faith and faith alone that counts.

    Them’s the rules.

    What gives you the authority to change His definition, His criteria?

    I’m just spelling out to you the consequences of the rules, I’m not changing them.

    Most “Christians” (outside of American evangelicals, of course) don’t seem to know, understand or care. In their woolly thinking all the “good” people (including themselves, obviously) will get into the afterlife.
    If they genuinely believed the Bible then it would be the most important thing in the world to them to throughly grasp the rules and the consequences. The fact that they don’t rather suggests that they are not true believers and are destined for the pit with the rest of us.

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  139. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    One at a time, please

    Kimble: “You think only good people are Christian and if anyone is bad they lose the title.”

    Nope, never said that. Christians recognise they aren’t good and need Jesus to intercede for them and restore them to God.

    “And you also think that Christian is mutually exclusive from evil.”

    - yes, by Jesus’ own definition, a follower of His should rid themselves of evil. Doesn’t mean they don’t make mistakes, and big ones at times, because they are still fallible humans. Then, if they were serious about their beliefs, they would seek forgiveness, and try again. Not because this is what saves them, but because they believe they should follow Jesus’ Way, and want do to better.

    You then quote John 3:16, selectively and conveniently ignore Matthew 9 which I quoted above where Jesus says “20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    In other words, faith, shown by works.

    Kimble: “Prove that atheism requires people to murder children. Yours is just the “there are no morals without god” bullshit argument.

    Sorry, I might have given the wrong impression. My point was that you have rightly identified that someone who calls themselves a Christian cannot be a murdering bastard, since that goes directly against the will of Jesus, whom claim to follow. It contradicts His teachings.

    I did not set out to prove any “morals without God” argument.

    Maybe I should have re-phrased my question:

    Imagine a murderous bastard.

    Obviously, based on Jesus’ way of living, he cannot be a Christian.

    Now explain to me why he cannot be an atheist.

    What is it about murdering that goes against atheism?

    Not against your own personal moral code, but against that of atheism.

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  140. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    atheism – from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god.’

    the word just tells you what a person doesn’t believe in,
    not what he does believe

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  141. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Wat, you have decided on your own definition of a “Christian”.

    You have refused to engage with Jesus’ own words on the subject, and have misrepresented my arguments.

    Regrettably, you also have a very warped view of Christianity.

    You do not understand the different types of literary/historical/theological contexts there are in the Bible books, and how that affects the way they should be read.

    That is why you’re often harping on about OT ceremonial/dietary/cultural laws which were given to and applied to those Jews, back then.

    You do not understand that the Bible is One Story from beginning to end, and that the whole of the OT pointed towards and was fulfilled in Jesus.

    He then ushered in a new Kingdom, and gave us a new set of commands. As Christians, we follow those.

    We do not have to let the corners of our beards grow anymore etc. since all that OT law had served its purpose and was now superseded by a better way.

    If you’re interested, I could swap email addresses with you and we could continue this conversation.

    I could be wrong, but I think you’d agree that you’re not really that interested in understanding, and that we are both wasting our time.

    If anything I have said has been unhelpful, I apologise.

    As such I will withdraw, and wish you a happy weekend.

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  142. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    What is it about murdering that goes against atheism?

    Let me see if I have your question right.

    You ask, what is it about murdering that goes against a lack of belief in God?

    Goes against a lack of belief in god?

    Atheism is not a religion. It has no tenets. Atheism isnt a moral code. It is the rejection of a belief in god. That is all.

    It is a logical fallacy to presume that a rejection of belief in god must also require a rejection of everything related to that god. (Including the morals people like you say came from god.)

    Humans created morals, and humans created god.

    You then quote John 3:16, selectively and conveniently ignore Matthew 9…

    So John 3:16 is wrong then?

    John 3:16 says explicitly that WHOEVER believes in Jesus will get into Heaven. That means ANY who believe in Jesus. So it also means ALL who believe in Jesus.

    It does not matter what else is said in the Bible. This rule trumps all.

    OR you must admit the Bible contradicts itself. Which would be a problem, because it is the word of god, and he is infallible.

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  143. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Kimble:
    re: John 3:16 “It does not matter what else is said in the Bible. This rule trumps all.”

    Who said this rule trumps all?
    How can you select one of Jesus’ teachings, and ignore the rest?

    Back to the murdering bastard argument – so, if I read you rightly, there is no reason why such a person could not be atheist as well?

    Those actions and that lack of belief could happily co-exist?

    Why then are you incensed at the suggestion Hitler was an atheist?

    I mean, I’ve shown you from Jesus’ own definition that Hitler could not have been a Christian, based on his actions.

    Who cares if he was an atheist, or not?

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  144. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    OR you must admit the Bible contradicts itself. Which would be a problem, because it is the word of god, and he is infallible

    What of the Book of Jasher, quoted in the Bible, but lost.
    The Gospel of Thomas, a collection of 114 sayings of Jesus, many similar to those in the Bible and considered by scholars to be genuine sayings of Christ, but labeled heretical when the various books of the Bible were established.
    The Didache was “lost” for several centuries until it was re-discovered in 1875 in the Jerusalem Monastery of the Holy Sepulchre at Constantinople and now is an inside book in Roman catholic Bibles, but not Protestant.
    Man decided what is in the Bible, not God.

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  145. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    How can you select one of Jesus’ teachings, and ignore the rest?

    Because it says WHOEVER. No qualifiers. Unless that rule is wrong, everyone who believes in jesus is a christian.

    Those actions and that lack of belief could happily co-exist?

    Of course. Just like it is possible to be Atheist and play rugby. Just like it is possible to be a Doctor and eat a hamburger. Just like it is possible for a person to do evil things and believe in God.

    0 points

    Why then are you incensed at the suggestion Hitler was an atheist?

    For a start, because it was factually wrong, he was Christian. And secondly because the implication was that he did bad things BECAUSE he was an atheist (again, he wasnt). Go look at the first reference.

    There is nothing “in atheism” that causes people to do bad things.

    But if you want to push the issue, I can find an very long list of people doing bad things and justifying it by the claim that god wanted it. I could find dozens from the bible itself.

    Oh, but you say those people werent really christian, based on YOUR unique definition.

    Now good deeds SHOULD be required to get into heaven. Thats why everyone incorrectly assumes as much.

    Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

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  146. Yvette (2,745 comments) says:

    Hitler’s parents were Roman Catholics, but after leaving home he never attended Mass or received the sacraments …
    In public, Hitler often praised Christian heritage and German Christian culture, and professed a belief in an “Aryan” Jesus Christ—a Jesus who fought against the Jews. He spoke of his interpretation of Christianity as a central motivation for his antisemitism, stating that “As a Christian I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.” In private, Hitler was more critical of traditional Christianity, considering it a religion fit only for slaves; he admired the power of Rome but maintained a severe hostility towards its teaching. Historian John S. Conway states that Hitler held a “fundamental antagonism” towards the Christian churches…
    Stanley G. Payne wrote:
    Hitler generally had a high opinion of Islam and once proclaimed it the best of religions because of its theological simplicity and emphasis on holy war. … Hitler expressed regret that Islam had not swept over all western Europe. Had it replaced Christianity in Germany, the innate racial superiority of the Germans in conjunction with Islam would have enabled them to conquer much of the world during the Middle Ages.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler#Religious_views

    Hitler seems to have ignored the fact that Jesus was a Jew.

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  147. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Hitler ignoring the fact that Jesus was a Jew would in a list of his failings not quite creep into the top 6 million or so

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  148. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Wat, you have decided on your own definition of a “Christian”.

    No, this is the official Protestant definition. Someone is “saved” by faith, not deeds.

    Your problem is that you just don’t like the consequences of this fact (for example, all dead children being tossed into the pit by your loving pixie.)

    I mean, I’ve shown you from Jesus’ own definition that Hitler could not have been a Christian, based on his actions.

    You have shown nothing of the sort. If you agree that faith alone is the determining factor then a person’s actions in no way prove or preclude their being a Christian. This is what salvation by faith means.
    If you try to argue against this then, as I said before, no one is safe. You undoubtedly regularly break various teachings (I’m quite sure you don’t live in absolute poverty, for example.) Yet you have the gall to claim that you are a Christian. If Hitler’s actions prove he wasn’t a Christian then so do yours. That’s what casting the first stone is about, and the beam in your own eye.

    That is why you’re often harping on about OT ceremonial/dietary/cultural laws which were given to and applied to those Jews, back then…He then ushered in a new Kingdom, and gave us a new set of commands. As Christians, we follow those.

    The problem is that Biblical laws are above all supposed to be moral laws. They are supposed to tell us what is good and what is bad since we as mere humans can’t know.

    But now you’re telling me that in fact the Bible’s laws are transient and that the deity can, on a whim, turn on a sixpence and spell out a set of entirely contradictory laws. And presumably the magic pixie could wake up tomorrow, toss a coin, and say sod it we’re going back to the old laws, or invent a whole new bunch which again contradicts everything it said earlier.

    Morality doesn’t work like that. Whatever else these laws are, these contradictions show they cannot be moral laws. Some of us who oppose the eternal torture of dead children already suspected this.

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  149. Reg (544 comments) says:

    Granted Kimble, Hitler was not an Atheist, in the strictest definition of the word, but rather a Neo-Pagan.
    But he definitely was not a Christian

    The following from wikipedia:

    In 1985 the Austrian author Wilfried Daim published a photograph of an alleged document signed by Hitler in 1943, which proposed the:
    “Immediate and unconditional abolition of all religions after the final victory (‘Endsieg’) not only for the territory of Greater Germany but also for all released, occupied and annexed countries …, proclaiming at the same time Hitler as the new messiah. Out of political considerations the Muslim, Buddhist and Shintoist religion will be spared for the present. The ‘Führer’ has to be presented as an intermediate between a redeemer and a liberator, yet surely as one sent by God, who has to get godly honour. The existing churches, chapels, temples and cult places of the different religions have to be changed into ‘Adolf-Hitler-consecration places’. The theological faculties of the universities have to be transformed into the new faith. Special emphasis has to be laid on the education of missionaries and wandering preachers, who have to proclaim the teaching in Greater Germany and in the rest of the world and have to form religious bodies, which can be used as centres for further extension. (With this the problems with the abolition of monogamy will disappear, because polygamy can be included into the new teaching as one of the statements of faith.)”[84]
    In his childhood, Hitler had admired the pomp of Catholic ritual and the hierarchical organisation of the clergy. Later he drew on these elements, organizing his party along hierarchical lines and including liturgical forms into events or using phraseology taken from hymns.[85] Because of these liturgical elements, Hitler’s Messiah-like status and the ideology’s all-encompassing nature, the Nazi movement, like communism is sometimes termed a “political religion”.[86]

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  150. Sofia (830 comments) says:

    Sorry, Bishop Brian. These posters have flocking strayed a little.

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  151. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Is that all you have? A photograph of something Hitler allegedly signed?

    We have actual words uttered by Hitler and books undeniably written by him which reference god and how his actions were those of the lord. And all you have is one questionable reference from very late in his life?

    You will ignore everything else, and focus on this one, dodgy thing to keep believing he wasnt christian. Unlike John 3:16, your evidence cannot trump all else. All yours shows, if it is true, is that Hitler came to think he was god, two years out from the END of the Holocaust.

    Sure he didnt live up to ideals which you (arrogantly and falsely) claim are uniquely christian, but that just makes him a bad christian.

    Show me where the church he was baptised into excommunicated him, and you would have something. But this? No. 0 points

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  152. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Kimble, Wat

    Who decides the definition of what constitutes a Christian? I say Jesus Christ, and gave you evidence – his own words.

    Hardly my unique definition Kimble – it’s been like that for nigh on 2000 years.

    Where do you get your definitions from?

    On what basis can you claim they trump Jesus’ own words on the issue?

    “official Protestant definition” - where’s your evidence, Wat?

    I suggest you selectively pick bits of Protestant doctrine, but ignore the rest.

    And since “Protestantism” is a human classification, would you also not agree that if it were to contradict Jesus’ definition (and I don’t believe it does), should Jesus’ own definition not trump that?

    Kimble – you are selectively picking and choosing your texts to score points.

    If you want to know what Jesus taught about salvation, and being made right with God, you have to look at all He had to say on the matter.

    Likewise with Paul. You picked Ephesians. You again ignore what the rest of the NT teaches about faith and works. Especially Romans 3 and James.

    Wat – the OT laws served their purpose way back then. They weren’t all moral laws – some were ceremonial, some dietary, some social. The situation changed when Jesus died on the cross, and they were no longer needed.

    Kimble – “Show me where the church he was baptised into excommunicated him, and you would have something. But this? No. 0 points

    So now the Church gets to determine who is and isn’t a Christian?! Isn’t that God’s role? Jesus’ maybe?

    You guys are both so mistaken about so much of Christianity.

    But hey, good luck with that.

    Oh Wat, on what basis do you feel morally outraged at the thought of evil and pain and suffering?

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  153. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    Either address John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-9 or concede defeat.

    You are picking and choosing the parts you will follow, just like every christian. And you lie about it too, saying that you are looking at “the whole thing” rather than ignoring certain parts.

    It is by faith, NOT WORKS, that you get into heaven.

    So now the Church gets to determine who is and isn’t a Christian?

    From wikipedia, “In Christianity, baptism is for the majority the rite of admission … into the Christian Church generally.”

    How many non-Christian members of the Christian church are there?

    “… baptism is literally and symbolically not only cleansing, but also dying and rising again with Christ.”

    So baptism (or CHRISTENING!) is how you are born again. Which is what you must do to be a follower of Jesus, or Christian.

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  154. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Riiiight – so wikipedia now trumps Jesus’ own words as to how to define a Christian?

    Fail.

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  155. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    So you didnt address John 3:16 or Ephesians 2:8-9 and so have conceded defeat.

    And I notice you have dropped the line about atheism having a moral code. Which was a stupid thing to say to begin with.

    It adds more evidence for the rough rule that a random atheist will usually know more about christianity than a random christian will know about atheism.

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  156. Rufus (648 comments) says:

    Kimble,

    By your definition, Satan is a Christian, since Satan & the demons believe in God – and shudder. (James 2:19)

    See how absurd that is?

    I agree, John 3:16 says everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved.

    You’d win – if that was all Jesus had to teach about salvation. You are selectively quoting Him, ignoring His whole teaching on the matter.

    But let’s work with John 3:16 – how do you know if someone believes in Jesus?

    It can’t just be a confession – Satan believes in Jesus, and hates Him.

    Jesus says you’ll know them by their actions.

    Matthew 7:

    15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
    17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
    19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

    20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

    21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    John 14:23
    “Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
    24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.”

    Paul wrote extensively on this issue in Romans. James in his letter. Both wrote to clarify contemporary confusions – so they had a different focus, but both agreed that salvation came by faith, but that this faith was evident through a change in behaviour.

    There is no contradiction Kimble. To do the issue justice, you need to look at the whole NT teaching on the matter.

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  157. Angus (536 comments) says:

    “And I notice you have dropped the line about atheism having a moral code”

    Atheism in it’s pure form doesn’t have a moral code; the ultimate arbiter of “morality” under atheism comes down to whoever wields the biggest stick. As RC theologian John Haught said, most “soft core atheists” such as Richard Dawkins and the run-of-the-mill street atheists you see on forums such as this, are never prepared to stand up to the consequences of their own lack of belief. They want atheism to prevail at the least possible expense to the agreeable lives they live, which is derived from the freedoms and ideas of human dignity from the very Biblical authority they reject and despise. -

    They would have the God religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, simply disappear, after which we should be able to go on enjoying the same lifestyle as before, only without the nuisance of suicide bombers and TV evangelists. This approach to atheism, of course is precisely the kind that nauseated Nietzsche and made Camus and Sartre cringe in the Left Bank cafes. Atheism at the least possible expense to the mediocrity of western culture is not atheism at all. It is nothing more than the persistence of life numbing religiosity in a new guise.

    Modern day atheists who are intellectually honest acknowledge that with the destruction of religion comes the destruction of morality. Examine the works of brutally honest atheist thinkers like Dennett, Pinker & Singer.

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  158. Scott Chris (5,974 comments) says:

    Angus says:- “Atheism in it’s pure form doesn’t have a moral code”

    There is no ‘pure form’ of atheism, but you’re right in the sense that atheism isn’t an ideology and therefore has no prescribed moral code. However you go on to say:

    >>”ultimate arbiter of “morality” under atheism comes down to whoever wields the biggest stick”

    Wrong. Completely. Atheists all subscribe to one ethical code or another, usually founded on the idea that human beings are self interested but reasonable and able to recognize one another’s equivalence and self interest. From that premise a system of rights and rules can be derived and is usually presided over by a governing body which is either elected or despotic.

    No need for God in any of that.

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  159. Kimble (4,410 comments) says:

    I agree, John 3:16 says everyone who believes in Jesus Christ will be saved. You’d win – if that was all Jesus had to teach about salvation.

    So not everyone who believes in JC will be saved?

    ”ultimate arbiter of “morality” under atheism comes down to whoever wields the biggest stick”

    Ummm, what is Hell if it isnt the biggest stick?

    This whole “morals must come from god” crap is just the same God of the Gaps bullshit. You guys dont know where humans get their morals, so you fill that ignorance with God.

    They would have the God religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, simply disappear, after which we should be able to go on enjoying the same lifestyle as before

    Fuck no. Who would want that? Religion disappears tomorrow and all you Christians would lose all your morals and start raping and killing everyone. Right?

    This God fantasy is the only thing keeping you lunatics from skull fucking humanity. Right?

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  160. wat dabney (3,721 comments) says:

    Rufus,

    Who decides the definition of what constitutes a Christian?

    According to the belief system, a Christian is someone with sufficient faith to be “saved,” i.e. to go Valhalla when they die.

    The fact that you post stuff about actions rather than faith just demonstrates what a contradictory load of cock and bull the Bible is. You can’t have it both ways: you can’t claim ‘faith alone’ and then talk about people actions as having any bearing on their eligibility for the afterlife. (Or are you claiming that you personally don’t sin, or that it is even possible to go through life without sinning?)

    ‘“official Protestant definition” – where’s your evidence, Wat?

    Salvation by faith alone is the cornerstone of Protestantism. It was the essential point of the Reformation, with everything else being merely concomitant.

    the OT laws served their purpose way back then. They weren’t all moral laws – some were ceremonial, some dietary, some social. The situation changed when Jesus died on the cross, and they were no longer needed.

    The Jesus character in the story is merely a sockpuppet of the deity called Yahweh. By definition the crucifiction changed nothing for the deity itself (unless you’re claiming that Yaweh was subject to some external mechanism which changed things?) So what we have here is simply a fickle deity who changed its mind. Its contradictory rules and laws are therefore entirely arbitrary. They have no moral force: one day we have to stone a man to death for gathering sticks on the Sabbath and the next day we’re supposed to help him carry the bundle.

    So by all means follow the latest random laws from Yahweh: wear clothes with mixed yarns, or not; stone disobedient children to death, or not; respect the Sabbath on pain of death, or not. The list goes on and on. Just don’t pretend there is any sort of morality behind such nonsense since, you cannoy deny, everything might change tomorrow. Yahweh might wake up and decide to enact his equivalent of redecorating the lounge.

    By your definition, Satan is a Christian, since Satan & the demons believe in God – and shudder…See how absurd that is?

    It’s absurd because it’s wrong. Firstly, Satan is an angel rather than a human so it doesn’t apply, secondly for standing up to the bloodthirsty butcher this hero of the Bible is unlikely to be permitted back into Valhalla.

    Oh Wat, on what basis do you feel morally outraged at the thought of evil and pain and suffering?

    Human empathy mostly. Are you saying that your deity created me and everyone else with a warped sense of right and wrong? How fucked up would that be?

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