Monday, October 03, 2011

Ok... Let's Back Up....

I had this conversation with a friend today on Facebook. Overall, it actually occurred with his Pastor. It hit me a few ways. First, parts of it just served as Grade-A examples for my post from yesterday. It also reminded me of another South Park scene from that same episode. :)
It helped me understand and to give a little more grace to politicians who speak in sound bytes and catch phrases. I used Mormonism within an analogy about a larger point, and all of a sudden everyone thinks I am Mormon. Then I am on the receiving end of the perfunctory evangelical anti-mormon sermon. How can a politician dare say anything substantial when everyone goes bananas on key-words?
I have also noticed a tendency amongst many religious folks to take it personally if someone does not accept their faith.  Atheists get a double dose of this disdain.
Lastly, it demonstrates that when people want to believe something... the needed logic will take care of itself.

This is one of thsoe statements where you could insert a "Wayne's World" "NOT!! after you say it. The universe shows the evidence of intelligent design so their must be an Intelligent Designer (God). One main reason people deny their is a God is that they don't want to be held accountable for their actions and sin, but rather live life in rebellion against Him.

Click 'Share' below!

 ·  · Share · 13 hours ago · Privacy:

    • Andrew Hackman To be in rebellion against, you would have to first believe. You are not in rebellion against Shiva, or Zeus, or Joseph Smith... you simply don't believe and therefore pay them very little mind. Athiests simply do not believe in Yaweh in the same manner in which you do not believe in other gods.
      11 hours ago ·
    • Eric  To not believe in intelligent design is to be in denial the evidence is very clear, so anyone that refuses to believe in Yaweh and intelligent design and Jesus Christ, enjoy your trip down De- Nial. The Bible tells us as BELIEVERS, that we shall know the truth and the truth shall make us free.
      9 hours ago · 

    • Andrew Hackman 
      But Eric, even if one were to believe in a creator, there is not a clear connection to Yaweh. Again, from a Mormon's perspective, you are in clear rebellion to all that Joseph Smith taught and have rejected the restored Gospel and God's true church on the earth. Do you feel you are in active rebellion to that? or do you simply not believe it? You may think your religion is obvious and clear... but so does every other subgroup. The way that you do not believe in Mormonism is the same way an Atheist feels toward Christianity - no rebellion or denial required. :)

      6 hours ago · 
    • James  Andy, my dear friend, please don't tell me that you have converted to Mormonism! You and I were in Bible quizzing together as teenagers. You know the truth, man! Mormonism contradicts true Christianity in many ways. Mormonism teaches that man can become a god. This is the same lie that Satan deceived Eve in the Garden. We are heirs and servants of God spreading the hope and truth that comes through a relationship with Jesus. I will be praying for you, my friend.

      2 hours ago · 
    • Eric 
      John 1:1-16 confirms who the creator was and is and it reveals the work of the son of God Jesus Christ. Why base our faith upon a man (Joseph Smith) who was created by God when we have direct access to the creator God and salvation through Jesus Christ the son of God. We can back up the work of Christ through Gods word, historically and archeologicly how much proof is needed before the Morman belief is seen for what it truly is? Where is the evidence of all of Joseph Smiths claims?

      2 hours ago · 
    • James  Amen, Pastor. It is a proven fact that Joseph Smith was under the influence of Satan when he wrote the Book of Mormon. The golden plates that he received from the angel Moronai (a fallen angel) have no historical proof to stand on, as the Bible does. Joesph Smith often stared into a hat to receive dreams or visions. This was an occult practice.
      2 hours ago · 

    • Andrew Hackman 
      Gentlemen, gentlemen... you are both in perfect sync in misunderstanding my point. I am not promoting or critiquing Christianity, Atheism, or Mormonism. My point had to do with the initial assertion that Atheists are not Christians because they are in rebellion or want to sin without consequences. I just think that is making a whole lot of presumption, and probably falsely in most cases, about the motives and attitudes of Atheists.

      I used Mormonism as a contrast, trying to make an analogy between the way an Atheist would respond to Christianity, and a Christian would respond to Mormonism. I don't think an Atheist avoids Christianity so he can sin, anymore than a Christian would avoid Mormonism so he can sin. I think there is no inherent connection there. Same goes for the thoughts of rebellion. You two simply don't believe Mormonism to be true... but in order for you to be in rebellion to it, you would have to first believe it so you could rebel.

      In the same way, John 1:1-16 only confirms who the creator is IF you give validity to that text. Your quoting it to an Atheist has as much traction as a Mormon quoting First Nephi to you. Quoting the Book of Mormon to you would be meaningless, because you don't believe it in the first place. :)

      I think this is why many Christians have difficulty effectively communicating their Faith to someone not of the Christian faith. They simply can't picture what their words sound like to others. Approaches they recognize would never work on them personally, they nevertheless keep trying on others. Years of being in Christianity's echo chamber have atrophied their empathy... they can no longer step into the shoes of the other.

      about an hour ago · 
    • Eric  
      Andrew I understand what you are saying and respect your argument. Anyone knows that any belief system is only as good as the results it produces. Atheist have nothing show for there disbelief that proves they are right in their denial of Gods existence. Mormons have nothing to show for their beliefs, Buddhist have nothing to show for their beliefs but Christianity has proven itself over and over through the miracles of Christ and his disciples. Today over two thousand years after he walked the Earth we continue to see miraculous healing, lives transformed and the power of his Spirit still very much alive; all as a result of his love for mankind. I don't know you but I love you enough to tell you the truth because I have seen it and experienced it first hand. Have a wonderful evening and know that I have no hard feelings toward you.

      about an hour ago · 


curmudgeon said...

Andrew, you have nailed the argument. One of the girls in my Daughter's class at the end of last school year told her that the assertion that our family was atheist caused the 5th grader to say, "That's offensive to us Mormons."

Offensive why? Your Facebook friend claims we have nothing to show for our atheism.... really and what does he have to show, objectively, in his Christianity? He claims there is evidence for his beliefs yet he neglects to name any of it.

It is also true that when you quote scripture to support your belief system you are engaged in circular logic. That is why Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions have been successful. Inbred logic does not require critical thought nor does to require proof.

Atheist are reviled because we require evidence and when there is an absence so goes our belief. It doesn't mean we don't hug or children, love our spouses, fail to pay taxes, or think sunsets are beautiful....

Bruce Gerencser said...

Just got back from a baby roast. Nothing Iike eating tender, young babies. :)

Sadly many, if not most, Christians are clueless when it comes to atheism.

Let's suppose the natural world gives evidence of a creator. That is one thing, but jumping from a creator to the creator is the god of the Christian bible is something very different. There is no evidence for such a claim. Such a claim requires faith, believng that what the bible says is

As your commenters showed, No matter what the issue is the b-i-b-l-e is the final answer.

That's why bible thumpers can say there is no such thing as an atheist. Romans 1,2 says so, end of story.


Jon said...

Yes indeed you are so right. As a non-fundamentalist Christian, what saddens me about all this is the way it sells Christianity short. It reduces God to the level of a magical being, and then requires that he prove himself through magic tricks like healing people. These "proofs" will never prove anything, and are only of any value to those who already believe.

People come to belive for completely other reasons - some because they are brought up to believe and don't know anything else, others because their search for meaning or community brings them to the church door. When they arrive there, whether they stay will depend entirely on whether they find what they are looking for. In these fundamentalist churches, often the strong sense of identity and a genuine warm welcome will blind people (particularly those with less education) to the fact that what a lot of what is being said is nonsense. But teachers and pastors, who are supposed to educate their congregations, should know better. Otherwise, longer standing believers will be leaving by the back door as fast as new ones come in the front.

Michelle said...

Wow, talk about adventures in missing the point! Your argument was articulate and crystal clear. This is a great example of the difficulty in communication with people of faith (certain groups of them, anyway).

Don said...

How can you talk with someone who thinks the Bible is the final answer to everything? YOU CANNOT! Great post Andrew. It displays the typical response of the "Bible-thumper".

Andrew said...

Thanks for the thoughts everyone!

I thought the Pastor's parting comment (I saw no point in continuing) was telling. The natural position of the true believer is defensive... so everyone is "attacking" his beliefs. He probably thought himself gracious for bearing me no ill will. :)

Anonymous said...

There's not a shread of evidence for mormonism in the whole history until Joseph Smith came with his fabricated history with no support in history or archaeology whatsoever.
Just saying it is true doesn't prove a thing if you just put the faith on a base of un-supported tales easily to disprove and throw in the trash bin without an inch of pity.
Why would one be praying and wanting it to be true if it isn't supported by evidence, rather the opposite, massive evidence against Joseph Smith and his false prophesies.
Mormonism doesn't exist anywhere in history. The Bible has 24 000 copies of the New Testament, all telling the unison message of sufficient grace in only believing that Jesus died for all our sins, past, present and future sins.
Why do Mormons bash God's word that God has preserved, that prove the monotheistic view of God, and rebukes the polotheistic view as falsehood?

Andrew said...

Is that a genuine question anon?

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