10 Questions to Ask Your Pastor!

Ten Questions to Ask Your Pastor

The New York Times recently ran a depressing article about the obstacles faced by public school science teachers. I don't envy teachers their job, as important as it is: between surly and unruly students, cash-strapped school districts, incompetent administrators, and the regimented, monotonous teaching needed to drill classes for standardized testing, they have more than enough to deal with. But this outrage may surpass all the others: religious students who have been programmed by their parents and churches to reject evolution and any other branch of science that infringes on their sacred superstitions.

The last question on the test Mr. Campbell passed out a week later asked students to explain two forms of evidence supporting evolutionary change and natural selection.

"I refuse to answer," Bryce wrote. "I don't believe in this."

The article mentions "Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher About Evolution", (http://ncseweb.org/creationism/analysis/10-answers-to-jonathan-wellss-10-questions) a tract written by the Moonie creationist Jonathan Wells, as one that some religious students are bringing to class. The National Center for Science Education has done a superb job answering these questions and unpacking the deceitful assumptions built into them (and the Talk.Origins Archive has a more in-depth response), so I won't spend my time on that. I have a different idea.

If the creationist churches are prepping teenagers with arguments against science, I think it's only fair that they get a taste of their own medicine. I think there should be a list of questions for Sunday-school students to ask their pastor - questions that cast light on the unsavory parts of Christian theology and raise the difficult, uncomfortable issues that most religious leaders prefer to avoid. Here are my suggestions for a list. I've done my best to raise issues that aren't often addressed by apologists, or to phrase questions in ways that aren't as susceptible to stock answers. If anyone has alternatives or additions, feel free to suggest them.

1. Why is God called loving or merciful when, in the Old Testament's stories of the Israelite conquest, he specifically orders his chosen people to massacre their enemies, showing no mercy to men, women, even children and animals?

2. Does it make sense to claim, as the Bible does, that wrongdoing can be forgiven by magically transferring the blame from a guilty person to an innocent one, then punishing the innocent person?

3. Why does the Bible routinely depict God as manifesting himself in dramatic, unmistakable ways and performing obvious miracles even before the eyes of nonbelievers, when no such thing happens in the world today?

4. Why do vast numbers of Christians still believe in the imminent end of the world when the New Testament states clearly that the apocalypse was supposed to happen 2,000 years ago, during the lifetime of Jesus' contemporaries?

5. Why do Christians believe in the soul when neurology has found clear evidence that the sense of identity and personality can be altered by physical changes to the brain?

6. If it was always God's plan to provide salvation through Jesus, why didn't he send Jesus from the very beginning, instead of confusing and misleading generations of people by setting up a religion called Judaism which he knew in advance would prove to be inadequate?

7. Since the Bible states that God does not desire that anyone perish, but also states that the majority of humankind is going to hell, doesn't this show that God's plan of salvation is a failure even by his own standard? If this outcome is a success, what would count as a failure?

8. Why didn't God create human beings such that they freely desire to do good, thus removing the need to create a Hell at all? (If you believe this is impossible, isn't this the state that will exist in Heaven?)

9. Is it fair or rational for God to hide himself so that he can only be known by faith, then insist that every single human being find him by picking the right one out of thousands of conflicting and incompatible religions?

10. If you had the power to help all people who are suffering or in need, at no cost or effort to yourself, would you do it? If so, why hasn't God done this already?

JojoWazoo JojoWazoo
46-50, F
11 Responses Mar 19, 2009

That transferring guilt thing always bugged me when I read the old testament. It was sort of like this. "You did something bad but I don't think we should kill you so how about you kill this goat instead and then you...won't have done something bad anymore." Um, okay. In my opinion, poor goats.

Please read the following and tell me if the God of the Bible does anything that is supernatural<br />
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The God in the Christian Bible doesn’t do supernatural things because we can do almost anything the Bible says God can do. Now be brave and read on.<br />
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A while back CNN had the musician Will I Am stand in a special studio at some music festival and have his holographic image appear on the set of Anderson Cooper 360’s study and you could hear Will I Am talking and singing. So instead of Will I Am projecting the image of a in this CNN studio how about the following: burning bush that is not consumed by the fire with the sound of someone speaking, an Angel talking to the Virgin Mary, or the Angel sitting in Jesus’ tomb after his resurrections. What I think would be really cool is a holographic projection that filled a night sky with angels singing or the Star Bethlehem. I’m sure this wouldn’t cost as much as it cost to make that stupid movie Avitar.<br />
If you study the Creation Story in Genesis it is clear that either God told Moses how He created the Universe or Moses was smarter the Stephen Hawkings to begin naming the names of people who are experts on the Theory of Evolution. Except for the creation of the Earth coming before the creation of the Sun. the Moon, and the Stars Moses, being smarted then Stephen Hawkings figured out the exact sequent in which the creation of life on the planet Earth unfolded. Moses knew know that all was darkness with unformed matter and that the Spirit of God hovered over water. The stuff you see in those Big Bang documentaries. The Moses figured out what happened next, a massive explosion of light. When God said, “Let there be light” what happened look like what we see in those evolution movies about the Big Bang. <br />
How did Moses know you began with light because light is made up subatomic particles which are the building blocks of atoms? Do you really believe Moses was smarter than Stephen Hawkings?<br />
In sci-fi, eve on Star Trek, they have they encounter rogue planets that are inhabited, but the idea that the Earth began its existence as rogue planet is impossible. It appears the Earth came first was God’s way to telling us that we the center of God’s Universe. <br />
When they designed the space ships to land on the moon they figured there would be about six feet of moon dust ba<x>sed on the age of the moon and a calculation of the number of meteorite strikes had hit the moon. Well, there was less then an inch of dust on the surface of the moon. So they changed theories from the moon was torn form the Earth to the our Moon was a rouge moon that drifted into our solar system and some it managed to work its way past all those big planets with their massive gravitational pull and arrive close enough for the Earth’s gradational pull to suck it right into its orbit so it could affect the tides and such on Earth. I suppose the Moon could have decided rotating around the Earth would make the Moon happy and so the Man in the Moon had a home in our heavens.<br />
Using a super collier we create scale a model of the explosion that occurred when God said “Let the Light” so if we do something we thought was supernatural when God did it, its not supernatural. <br />
I always liked the theoretical physicist with their model of the Big Bang because their calculations showed the universe explored and imploded over an over again. That idea is not much fun so they decided that for some unknown reason one time when the universe exploded it didn’t implode and just continued to expand. You have to give this event a name so they call it the Hiccup of God.<br />
Their theory is something like this. Before the Big Bang there was a huge super collider that generated universes one after another that exploded and then imploded until it malfunctioned in an event that is known as the Hickup of God. When this happened this Super Collider blew itself up and now you’re reading this book. <br />
It seems odd to me that in their quest to prove there is God they have unlocked many of the ways God used to create the Universe. Take for example, the creation of Adam. Rejecting the story that God created Adam from dust they have done a lot of experimentation to show that amino acid can be form out of inorganic substances. If we can create amino acids which are the building blocks of organic life then God changing an inorganic substance, dust, to an organic substance isn’t supernatural it’s just advanced science.<br />
Let’s take a look at the creation of Eve. God put Adam to sleep, which is what Anastasia does. God removes one of Adam’s ribs and closes up the wound which is what we do during surgery. Then God re-sequenced Adams DNA from male to female because God does genetic engineering like we are learning to do. This explains why all life form on Earth, plants and animal are ba<x>sed on the same DNA platform.<br />
If you go to Wikipedia and read an article on Theistic Evolution, which this article says Billy Graham accepts as the method God followed as He created the Universe, you will see an excellent discussion of how the Bible can be reconciled with what science teaches about how the Universe came into being. <br />
Let’s look at the Virgin Birth. Using in vitro fertilization technology the question is now how many virgin births do you want next year? We can clone a human being and resequence DNA so we can make a clone of the Virgin Mary after resequencing her DNA from female to male and we have Jesus who is not half God and half man, but one hundred percent human. I you do it this way it you can produce a human being who is sinless. And God laughed at Satan because Satan had been creating all these half god and half human rulers while Satan couldn’t figure out how God could create a son without having sex with a woman.<br />
Jesus wasn’t half God and half human. He was a human being just like me and I’m not half god and half human. He was born just like I was and he died just like I will later in my life. I see these stupid paintings of the Madonna and Child with halos. I’d like to see some paintings of Jesus done by an artist that had actually read the Bible. You’d see things like the Toilet Training of Jesus, Jesus in school learning how to read and write, and Jesus hopping around in pain with a hammer in one hand and his finger in his mouth because he’d hit his finger instead of a nail. If people actually read the Bible we wouldn’t have this stupid movie where they find Holy Grail and it’s a rough looking wooden drinking cup. The Last Supper was held in the dining room of a rich man. You would think a man rich enough to have an upstairs dining room would have something pretty things serve wine in.<br />
Noah could do genetic engineering. Sci-fi has lots of stories about four men and four women getting into a space craft with lots of genetic materials and fly to a distant planet and establish a new civilizations. People think this is possible, but don’t think Noah and his Ark are possible.<br />
If you look at the story of the Tower of Babel you see God evaluating what they are doing He says, “If they can do this speaking one language there is nothing they cannot do.” This tells us two things. First, these people aren’t building a tall tower they have some sort of advance technology like we do. Second, this is a Prophecy of our technology, but this time God seems to think we hand this technology because He has prepared the way by sending us Jesus. The Bible suggests there advance technologies in the past such as the Tower of Babel and the evidence this technology was also destroyed in the Great Flood, but lingers on in Atlantis stories.<br />
People cannot believe that God can keep can keep track of all that is happening in the Universe. There can be over 600 million people all can online on at Facebook at the same time. We can do data mining and find terrorist and some guy at Goldman Sacks bragging in his e-mails that he put together a 10 Million dollar mortgage back security that was all junk because he let some hedge fund manager pick the mortgages that went into the mortgage back security so the hedge fund manager stole a lot of mortgage backed security implode. <br />
To fight Irish Terrorists England put the entire county under view surveillance. This guy who recently beat a woman to death they have surveillance footage of his leaving her apartment. If you run a red light a computer driven system photographs the car and send at ticket to the registered owner of that vehicle. I suppose if we wanted to spend the money we could create a computer ba<x>sed system that would monitor the entire universe like God does If we can do this God doing this isn’t supernatural.<br />
From time to time God would purge the prophet of false gods from Israel. My favorite is the god off challenge. God’s man challenges all the other prophets to a contest. Build alters to your god and have your god ignite the wood for the offering. Then I will have the true God light the wood under my sacrifice. The stage is an elevated place that has a flat top and the people of Israel can gather to watch.<br />
God’s man is pouring so much water on the wood under his sacrifice that has a trough running down the mountain so the water can run off after it soaks the wood. When final prophet to a false god finishes with no result God’s guy prays a little and the wood under his alter ignites. We can do this. We have laser cutting touches that generate so much heat they can cut through plate steel. As the laser is doing this there are little fires of burning metal where the laser has touched the metal. Setting fire to a pile of wood is a simple task with one of these lasers. Because we can do this what God did isn’t supernatural.<br />
A lot of people think God created the entire Universe in 144 hours. First, after God created Adam God showed Adam all the plants and animals and has Adam name them and some how they got back to the Garden of Eden so God could create Eve later in the day. Second, the Sun, the moon, and the stars were created on the Fourth Day and our measurement of a day is ba<x>sed on the Earth’s relationship to the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars. Third, it says in the Bible that a thousand years to us is but a second to God. Fourth, when we speak of our teenage years we refer to this time period as “back in the day” and the word day is singular while we mean more than a 24 hour period of time. And there is a lot more, but this isn’t a theology text book. <br />
Tthe idea of humans and dinosaurs living on the Earth at the same time has pretty well been covered by the Jurassic Park movies. The problem is these people worship the King James Bible as the inerrant work of God that has no translation errors in to. Therefore it says six days its six day. They believe that drinking alcohol is a sin and where it says Jesus made wine he actually made grape juice. This is a translation error in a Bible that contains no translation errors. Have you ever tried to serve grape juice to a bunch of people at a wedding that are pretty well lit up and want to get drunker.<br />
Now Jesus turning water into wine at the Wedding in Canaan isn’t really supernatural because we can do that. On December 23, 2010 Trek’n Eat announced a new product. “Mountaineering gourmets no longer have to forgo a glass of red wine after conquering a peak. Trek‘n Eat has now launched a new red wine in the form of a powder. The beverage powder that comes in convenient portions packed in pouches has an alcoholic content of 8,2%, which is similar to a light bottled wine. A matching mulled wine has also been developed for expeditions in snow and the cold – for celebrating the special moment at night camp.”<br />
Every time the Bible shows Jesus raising the dead he begins by saying the person is not dead, but sleeping which suggest they were in what we would describe as a coma. Vince Price made all these scary movies that featured people who would have a pull cord that went from inside their coffee to a bell on the surface near their tomb stone so if they came out of one of these comas they could signal the surface some one would dig up his or her coffin. I liked it when grave robbers dug up one of these people. <br />
If you look at what Jesus actually did when he healed people he’s just a medical missionary. Jesus puts some substance into the blind person’s eyes. When he heals the deaf he puts is fingers into the deaf person’s dears quick pulls them out. These seem like the types of things doctors in our time do to treat patients. One day Jesus saw a crippled man who when the water moved in the pool he would try to be the first person into the pool. If a cripple man can actually move is he physically crippled or does he have some mental illness reason for his situation. Was Jesus treating a mental illness when he told this man to pick up his bed and go home? In Jesus’ time dislocating a finger, for example, would make someone a cripple because they didn’t know how to treat dislocated fingers and other joints in the body. Jesus sent out his twelve disciples, including Judas, to spread the Good News and to tend to the blind, the deaf, the leaper, and the crippled. Had this healing ability been supernatural God would not have given this ability on Judas.<br />
You see faith healers on TV shaking people, screaming “Heal!” over and over again, then this person who walks with the Devil pushes the person back, where two men catch him or her. A lawyer I know had a client who was injured when the catchers failed to catch her and she landed on the floor. When this lawyer did his closing argument said as he settled to his knees, “I don’t understand why the Defendant didn’t just get down on his knees and heal her again.”<br />
The traditional view is someone who is a messenger does miracles as part of his or her resume. See, I can do miracles therefore you need to listen to what I am telling you. When Moses was confronting Pharaoh the magicians in Pharaoh’s court could do the same things. What we do is send out medical missionaries who treat the sick and disabled. See this people want to know why this person cares about them and he or she simply says, “Because this is what God wants me to do.” Jesus was Christianity’s first medical missionary.<br />
If you go to YouTube and use “walking on water shoes” as your search term you will see videos of different styles of walking on water shoes that people wear when they are walking on water. So Jesus and the boys have come up one of these walking on water shoes and Jesus is walking around wearing a pair of these shoes. Peter was the disciple who was always the first to try something Jesus would do so he puts on a pair of these walking on water shoes. At this time Peter had a self confidence problem so he counts the waves and flounders. Jesus comes over to his friend, takes Peter’s hand and comments on Peter’s lack of faith, but not Peter’s lack of faith in God, but Peter’s lack of faith in himself. I don’t see Jesus walking on water as supernatural because walking on water shoes is something we can make. As for what Jesus said about Peter denying he is one of Jesus’ Disciples that was easy. <br />
Jesus saw this happened when God and Jesus looked through of all the history of the Universe from Alpha to Omega. It appears that Satan also has this ability. At Acts 16:16 we find a slave girl who was possessed by a spirit that gave her the ability to see into the future. She was following Paul and her saying a load voice that Paul and is companion where sent by the Lord Most High and were telling people the way to Heaven. Paul cast out this demon and they next day the owners of this slave girl had Paul in court demanding compensation for the damage to the value of their slave when Paul cast this demon out of this slave girl. Because Satan could also see all that Jesus would do Satan created all these imitations of Jesus that Christopher Hitchens is so fond of talking about.<br />
It’s worth noting that our bodies will not come back to life when we are resurrected from the grave. We will be in our Heavenly bodies sort of like a one time reincarnation. Lots of people like to talk about there past lives as Kings and Queens, but they never seem to want to talk about the time they lived as a Galley Slave. <br />
People ask if they will know people in Heaven. Sure, the will recognized everyone in Heaven. When Moses and Ilesha appeared before Jesus and two of his disciples they were in their Heavenly Bodies. Jesus don’t introduce Moses and to his disciples. The disciples knew who these people were. And Jesus showed these disciples what his Heavenly Body would look like.<br />
King Saul had a crisis of confidence about his actually being God’s choice for King. He went to the Witch of Endor and had her call back the Sprit of the Prophet Samuel who I’m sure appeared in his Heavenly Body. Samuel reassured King Saul that he was God’s anointed one. For some reason the fact that she’s called a witch confuses people into thinking she is on dark side.<br />
When God agreed to show Moses what God looked like God was not invisible because He placed His over Moses who was in a crevice of a rock so the Moses to shield Moses from the full glory of God. If you have a hand in your full glory you aren’t invisible so I doubt that God is invisible<br />
When Jesus was dying on the cross he said Father, Father , why hast thou forsaken me which takes you to the 22nd Psalms which said that Jesus would not be broken, his side would be pierce and everything that happened to Jesus when he was dying no the cross. People think Nostradamus can see into the future, but he cannot do this. And if you look at his track record a lot of quatrains have translated before as related to something that had just happened.<br />
The Bible is not clear what happens to all the people in the past and now who had no opportunity to know the Good News of Jesus, but the Apostle Paul said that those who do not know the law, but obey the law they are justified.<br />
A lot of people claim they are martyrs because they cannot display the Ten Commandments in public schools, court rooms, public parks, and so forth, but see no need to display the Ten Commandments in their churches. And they don’t know what a martyr really is.<br />
Emperor Nero would put lots of Christians in his coliseum and release lions, tigers, and such that had not eaten for three or four days into the coliseum. All of this Christians did what St. Cecilia did. As low as they could they sang praises to their God. Every night you could go to Golgotha and see Christians nailed to crosses, covered with oil, and set on fire singing as load as they could praises to their God. These were God’s first missionaries.<br />
Within about a year everyone in the Roman Empire knew what a Christian was because talking about the crazy things Nero did was like us talking about what some celebrity does. These Romans all would asks, “who is this Jesus of Nazareth whose Disciples sing praises to their God at the top of the lungs while being eaten by wild animals or burning to death nailed to a cross at night.”<br />
Nero burn down a third of Rome to make room for more palaces for his use and of course this evil Christians did this. Instead of fighting this fire Nero played his fiddle. Just another crazy thing Nero did that people talked about when they wanted to know more about these Christians.<br />
Here is a stump the Bible Thumpers question. At the very beginning of Christianity who was the first person Jesus selected to carry the Good News out into the world? <br />
Christianity is a strange religion because it teaches, while doubt this happened, Adolph Hitler could recited the Lord’s Prayer because he’d made a Decision for Christ just before he blew out his brains and be in Heaven and some Popes aren’t going to make the cut. If you ask a Roman Catholic what they think of the Pope the say, “Walks in the Shoes of the Fisherman” (good pope) or “God sure can pick them.” (bad Pope) I saw Billy Graham on Larry King and Billy said he hoped to see his parents in Heaven. For some reason people like to crawl up on God’s Thrown and pretend they are God like I was a little kid and would sit in the pilot’s seat of my Daddy’s airplane and pretend to be flying. They sit up there judging people pretending to be God. What they have done is substituted God for themselves and have elevated this junior god they like to pretend they are above God which is a form of Idolatry because they are now worshipping themselves.<br />
When Jesus was in the Synogouge he read from the Torah. He didn’t recite Bible verses and prance around screaming at people. What Charles Stanley delivering a sermon if you want to see someone who preaches in the style of Jesus. When I was a child my grandparents owned a TV solely for the purpose of watching the monthly Billy Graham revival on NBC. My grandparents were watching and listening to Billy Graham reading a passage from the Bible. In unison the reached down to the floor, picked up their Bibles, quickly opened to the passage Billy was reading, glanced down, and confirmed that while reading from the Bible Billy Graham had omitted the word “the.” My point is my grandparents had to check the text of their Bibles before they were sure Billy Graham had in fact omitted the word “the” when he was reading from the Bible. As Ronald Reagan said, “trust, but verify.”<br />
I don’t have a clue as to when life begins. But I know exactly when life ends. For example, life ends when some mentally unstable person listens to people like Bill O’Reilly say over an over any, “Remember that’s Dr. Tiller, baby killer” and then assassinated a Christian named Dr. Tiller during worship service at a Lutheran Church because this assassin saw in the church bulletin that Dr. Tiller was going to be an usher at that worship service. If you get an abortion just say The Lord’s Prayer and if what you did was actually a sin you have asked to be forgiven and you’re once again right with God. In the Lutheran Church when we confess our sins we merely God that we want to do better. None of this God make me into a super perfect Christian nonsense.<br />
When they brought the adulterous woman to Jesus in the courtyard so he could judge her he was writing in the dirt with his finger. As a fellow writer I knew he was drafting one of his Parables which is easy for him because when he became a man at age twelve he could already confound the Rabbis and teachers in the main place of worship in Jerusalem. These Parables aren’t something written by the hand of God like the first set of The Ten Commandments. <br />
This extended childhood children have today is an invention of the Industrial age. God expected a boy of twelve to be a man and not a teenager for nearly a decade more. When I am walking alone at night and am a bit scared I do what I think Jesus did when he was walking alone at night and was little scared of the dark. He would recite the 23rd Psalms, “Yea though I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I shall fear no evil no evil, For Your with me, Your rod and staff, they comfort me.” Well the Valley of the Shadow of Death sounds more scary then were I’m at so I’m not scared. <br />
People ask how to you find a good church. Google “Evangelical Lutheran Church in America” and take a look. Then shop for a church online by looking at the websites for different denominations. Don’t go to some worship service and if a few people great you join up. Go during the week and interview the Pastor and tell him or her exactly what you are. Tell them that you’re a homosexual or a Transsexual or whatever because if this preacher is all screwed up you know this congregation is all screwed because this congregation hired this preacher. Most preachers think it’s a sin that I don’t tithe. Well in the Old Testament one tenth of the tithe went to support the church and nine tenths went to support the government which was responsible to take care of the widows, orphans, and poor. I pay lots in taxes. And if it’s a sin its forgiven when I say The Lord’s Prayer.<br />
Or do what President Obama did. Find yourself a preacher who preachers like the Old Testament Prophets who were going around saying God Damn Israel because so the Israelites failed to care for the widows, orphans, and the poor. Find someone like Jeremiah Wright who speaks the truth when he screams “God Damn America” because we don’t give a damn about the widows, the orphans, and the poor you sit in your pew and say “Right On Brother!”<br />
God and Jesus saw Jesus nailed to a cross with all the sin of the world, past, present, and future all within is only begotten son. When God saw all the sins of the world all in one place he saw such an abomination that so detested him that He broke the bond between Jesus and Himself leaving Jesus to cry out “Father, Father why hast thou forsake me!” <br />
This isn’t some, oh how nice, he calls out to his Daddy. Jesus new at the Alpha he would be born all human, that he would be nailed to a cross, and suffer such agony that the night before his crucifixion he cried tears of blood as he begged his father not to make him do this, but still he said they will be done because he honored his father which is what a child is told to do in The Ten Commandments. Satan knew Jesus’ weak spot, Jesus terror at having his Father turn away from him as he bore all the sins of the world while being nailed to a cross. I am just guessing, but what Jesus felt when his Father turned away from him is what some one feels like in Hell.<br />
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But I still I don’t understand Christianity. I don’t understand why Satan is in this Universe that God created so I could be born and fellowship with Him during my walk with Jesus through my earthly life. Then I will resurrected into a Heavenly Body and be with God, Jesus, and the Holly Sprit for all eternity. Bbest of all I will have my own room so I can just sit and write novels because Jesus said there are many rooms in the mansions that are in Heaven Or I will doing something else that God wants me to do because He knows doing something I that would make me happier then sitting at a computer writing novels does for me now. <br />
God saw all the way from the the Alpha, all the way to the end of the first Earth, the Omega when He He said, “Let There Be Light. He saw every person who would be born and wrote the names of those who would be offered the Gift of Salivation because Jesus said, “I chose you, you do not choose me.” <br />
But we have free will so someone whose name is written in the book of life may choose his or her life in such a way that God blots that person’s name from the Book of Life.<br />
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God promised Ishmael and Jacob that He would raise up a great nation for each of them. Then He sent Jesus into the world and one of these great nations embraced Jesus as their Lord and Savior and the other as a Great Prophet. Christians believe that they enter Heaven not ba<x>sed on merit, but soul by accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Members of the Great Nation of Ishmael face good deeds against bad deeds balancing of the scales of justice on their judgment day.<br />
Christians believe in a God that is a Three in One God. We believe the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit existed as one entity, one being, at the beginning of time and that Jesus took on human form as the only incarnate Son of God when he became human. When returned to Heaven he returned to being a part of this Three in One God.<br />
The Koran places great emphasis on Allah as a single entity God, not a Three In One God. Some Islamic scholars believe that when Allah was told the contents of the Koran to Mohammad the Devil was whispering false verses into Mohammad's ear. If you read the Koran Allah keeps insisting or an over again that he is not a Three In One God that I got the impression that Allah is not sure about what he is saying and the Devil succeeded in his efforts to cause people in the Great Nation of Ishmael to reject the idea that Allah is a Three Person God. For an example of Satan’s doing this in a Christian Bible look at First Corinthians 6:9 in the New International Bible published by Zondervan Press which refers to “homosexual offenders” rather than what they are, Sodomites.<br />
Only a Prophet of God can declare war or jihad. Mohammad is the last Prophet of Allah because Allah wanted his followers to know that there would be no jihad after the time of Mohammad. Of course, Satan has a different idea.<br />
There is Wandering Jew who rejected Jesus as the Messiah and God punishes him by making him wander the Earth in remorse so Jesus can return while some one living on the Earth at the time of Jesus is still alive. Go to John 21:21-23 and meet the Wandering Disciple who was alive when Jesus was alive and is still alive waiting the return of his friend and Savior Jesus. Verse 20 is the longest substitution for the pronoun me that I have seen in another manusc<x>ript.<br />
People go, oh yeah, a talking snake. The other animal that talks in the Bible is Balaam’s donkey. A man of God named Balaam is riding his donkey and God is displeased with where Balaam is going Angel of the Lord is standing in the road way. The donkey sees the Angel, Balaam doesn’t he beating on is donkey until the donkey asks Balaam why doesn’t see the Angle of the Lord standing in front of them. <br />
In the real world Navy Sailors use hand gestures to direct dolphins to search for mines, there are primates that talk back and forth with people using sign language, most of us have seen a dog whimpering at the door communicating that he or she wants to go outside, and hunter a hunting dog tells the dog to and when the dog finds what the dog has been trained to find the dog talks to hunter by pointing. [[ God and Satan are at war for some reason. It seems that what God saw looking from the Alpha to the Omega was His plan to win this war with Satan. It is more like a movie sc<x>ript. God’s sc<x>ript is of a war movie that has a story that changes as the movie is being filmed. For example, if God knew who He had given the Gift of Salvation who would decline the gift by not walking with Jesus their names wouldn’t be in the Book of Life to begin with. John 3:16 is an open casting call to those who want to be in this movie and have their names added to the Book of Life. Jesus told Satan that his Father was also Satan’s God. And like a parent has to do when he or she has to exercise some tough love by excelling one of their children, God in the end will exile Satan, who God still loves, to Hell. This is like Queen Elizabeth who on her death bed whispered “Dudley” who the love of her life he betrayed her by participating a plot to overthrow her a Queen just as Satan had participated in a plot to overthrow God.<br />
We do see miracles every day. When some person who walks with Devil instead of with Jesus shot Congresswoman Gabriele Giffords in the head and she survived people see this as merely another medical miracle. God performed a miracle if we are not those whom Jesus said have eyes, but cannot see. God knew what was going to happened so He cared for the needs of Congresswoman’s medical needs by having someone who knew how to treat patients who has just been shot in the head right there with the Congresswoman. <br />
I shall end here by telling you about a little favor I’ve asked God for. I just think it would be nice if people, as an act of Christian love, fellowship and compassion, would cut Lindsay Lohan some slack. <br />
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So what’s my point? John 3:16 is a Valentine from your Daddy that says, “I love you let me be your Daddy and forget all that Devil talk you hear in so many “Christian” homes?”<br />
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God Bless You and Keep You Forever in the Cuddle of God.

Ahhh, Fanaticism! It's what fuels so much hatred in the world.<br />
I have seen Christians who have such contempt for non believers. As I have slowly come out as an Atheist, I have been shunned by some people at work. It was the whole reason I kept it secret until my kids were grown. I didn't want them to be ostracized as a result of MY beliefs. It happened anyway to my my teenage daughter when she was being honest about why her parents wouldn't come to church with her when invited. She was never able to return herself. It's shameful, really.

The thought just occurred to me that some of our religious friends would quite happily nail us to the cross for these views. I'm thinking here of a few hundred millions chaps living in warm sandy places. I hope EP is truly anonymous.

Amen! jadedsatyr! Great thoughts!

OK. But I'm an atheist and your answers do not satisfy me at all. I have read the bible. I gave it away with the rest of the fiction books I've read. Thanks for trying though. I appreciate everything in life and I do it without believing in some "God." But that's just me!

1. Why is God called loving or merciful when, in the Old Testament's stories of the Israelite conquest, he specifically orders his chosen people to massacre their enemies, showing no mercy to men, women, even children and animals?<br><br />
Have you read the New Testament yet? If not, you should.<br><br />
God is loving because he created the world although he knew we would disappoint Him. God is merciful, because although we disappoint Him, He will always offer us free will to do what we want, whether it's trusting him as our savior, or perishing in Hell. He loves us so much, that even though the latter will hurt him, he will let us choose.<br><br />
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2. Does it make sense to claim, as the Bible does, that wrongdoing can be forgiven by magically transferring the blame from a guilty person to an innocent one, then punishing the innocent person?<br><br />
If you're talking about Jesus being crucified, I think you're mistaken. Our sins are not forgiven by the transferring of blame to just some person, but by God's only son Jesus Christ suffering voluntarily on the cross for our sins. It is not just to take the blame, it is to cleanse our hearts and allow us to be in heaven with our Father if we so choose.<br><br />
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3. Why does the Bible routinely depict God as manifesting himself in dramatic, unmistakable ways and performing obvious miracles even before the eyes of nonbelievers, when no such thing happens in the world today?<br><br />
Jesus Christ made the blind see, he healed lepers, he made people come back from the dead and he healed the wounds of his persecutors (remember the ear thing?).<br><br />
Not all miracles are such though, I believe that nowadays, most adults don't have the faith of a child, and therefore we don't see these things happening. I have witnessed many miracles in my recent childhood. My brother was hospitalized for internal bleeding, a minister at my church prayed over him and it stopped immediately... One of my other siblings ingested a great amount of very poisonous substances (stuff you may find in a bathroom mostly) and survived, not by medical help *though I'm sure it helped some* but by the power of prayer. You may not believe me, I don't care. You may think I was just a child, and I didn't understand anything that was going on, I did though. She was in the ICU for 11 days. They were sure the internal damage was fatal. I made an oath before God and he actually communicated with me, telling me that she would live because of my faith. I do not brag about my conversations with God, I have not told anyone about this incident before. All everyone else knows it that one moment she would either die or live on machines for the rest of her life, and the next she was healed. God still performs miracles, you just aren't looking.<br><br />
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4. Why do vast numbers of Christians still believe in the imminent end of the world when the New Testament states clearly that the apocalypse was supposed to happen 2,000 years ago, during the lifetime of Jesus' contemporaries?<br><br />
I feel that it's a matter of translation. I believe that the apocalypse is still to come.<br><br />
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5. Why do Christians believe in the soul when neurology has found clear evidence that the sense of identity and personality can be altered by physical changes to the brain?<br><br />
Identity and personality are different from soul.<br><br />
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6. If it was always God's plan to provide salvation through Jesus, why didn't he send Jesus from the very beginning, instead of confusing and misleading generations of people by setting up a religion called Judaism which he knew in advance would prove to be inadequate?<br><br />
Judaism was adequate before Christ's birth, but as God revealed more parts of his plan, Jews should have followed along with Him, but lots were stuck in their past traditions and say no reason to change, not even if it is God's word.<br><br />
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7. Since the Bible states that God does not desire that anyone perish, but also states that the majority of humankind is going to hell, doesn't this show that God's plan of salvation is a failure even by his own standard? If this outcome is a success, what would count as a failure?<br><br />
We are not rats in a maze, we have free will..God gave us free will because he loves us and wants us to take the path we choose. He does not love a Christian any more than he loves an Atheist, so when we take the path of righteousness he celebrates, but when one of his children strays from it, he will let them because he loves them too much to control them.<br><br />
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8. Why didn't God create human beings such that they freely desire to do good, thus removing the need to create a Hell at all? (If you believe this is impossible, isn't this the state that will exist in Heaven?)<br><br />
That would defeat the purpose of free will..While on earth we have the chance to choose Him or we can choose the path of darkness. He doesn't force anyone to love him as he loves them..He doesn't demand that the love be mutual.<br><br />
And heaven and hell are a whole different subject than our free will here on earth. Those that make it to heaven have already chosen Him over Hell, so why would we want to change our minds? A true Christian would not want Hell, because to be separated from our Father is like having our hearts ripped from us. If you've never experienced Christ in you, you wouldn't understand...I hate having to say that, because I truly wish you knew what it feels like...maybe someday. =)<br><br />
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9. Is it fair or rational for God to hide himself so that he can only be known by faith, then insist that every single human being find him by picking the right one out of thousands of conflicting and incompatible religions?<br><br />
It is fair, because we are His children. We know our Father. And I believe He actually calls on us when we are at a certain point in our lives, and He lets us choose.<br><br />
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10. If you had the power to help all people who are suffering or in need, at no cost or effort to yourself, would you do it? If so, why hasn't God done this already?<br><br />
To a point, yes..but you know something, you can't appreciate the good things in life if you've never experienced a rough patch.

It *IS* sickening to think of someone telling kids to question science. What great thoughts! Oh, and I found some more questions!<br />
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> Why is the Bible unclear on the requisites for salvation? Isn't that an important point to communicate?<br />
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> Is God the author of confusion or isn't he?<br />
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> Which ten commandments are the ten commandments?<br />
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> Why didn't God outright condemn slavery? Didn't he have to save his chosen people from the evils of slavery?<br />
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> Why does God have a chosen people? Isn't that absurd?<br />
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> Why should we believe Jesus literally rose from the dead?<br />
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> How did the apostles die? Shouldn't this be recorded better if they were so important?<br />
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> Why doesn't the Bible or God provide clear answers to divisive doctrines in Christianity?<br />
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> Doesn't God desire our understanding of his Word enough to use unambiguous diction?<br />
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> Why is there no forty year gap in Egyptian history as prophesied in Ezekial?<br />
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> Why is the Bible composed of the books it is? Why was the canon disputed? Why are there apocryphal texts at all? How do you know the Bible, as is, isn't incomplete or have a blasphemous addition to it?<br />
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> Why does God go to the lengths he does to hurt and kill innocent people? (God: 2,000,000+; Satan: 10)<br />
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> Why are women regarded inferior so much in scripture? Why doesn't God correct his people on these biases?<br />
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> Why is faith a virtue? Why is skepticism a vice?<br />
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> Is it okay to divorce or isn't it?<br />
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> What is the point behind sacrifices?<br />
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> Why is the Earth indiscriminately placed within a vast universe?<br />
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> Why did the human come about through evolution, having to suffer through 100,000+ years of high mortality rates, low age expectancy, horrible quality of life, et cetera?<br />
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> Why doesn't God believe in equal opportunity?<br />
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> Why is God concerned about humans? What was the point in creating us, rats in a maze?<br />
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> Why is there unnecessary suffering?

Very interesting, and it almost sickens me that there are people essentially saying to schoolkids "hey, read this, take it to your teacher, and throw scientific "fact" in their face!"<br />
Anywho, love the post, and my two cents:<br />
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4. I've asked that one often, and heard many answers, some of which arise from the whole "the word lifetime or day in the bible is not as succinct as our definition of such, so who knows when it would be" or some-such, I do recall reading a relatively smart answer to this one online before, though.<br />
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5. I like using this one, and making references to persons such as Phineas Gage helps show examples of such!<br />
I'll have to keep in mind number 6 as it's a very logical argument to ask.<br />
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7 8 and 10 all seem to revolve around challenging omnipotence and omnibenevolence, which I do every time I end up in arguments about god. Like I said in my ancient atheist post (paraphrasing from memory here) <br />
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"If god was truly merciful and loved us, and is all-powerful, why give us the capacity to do wrong and evil and then punish us for using what he gave us? Could he have not given us free-will but also made us do nothing but good? It sounds like an oxymoron to our understanding, but if he's omnipotent he could've done such, and made 2+3=7 as an afterthought to prove his power"

You're right. I loved reading it though.

Anything that can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof as well. These people need to watch the PBS depiction of the Dover trial.