Christian Theological/Philosophical Book Club discussion

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The Forum - Debate Religion > Is Excess Religious Zeal Just a Haven for the Mentally Ill?

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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Throughout history, men and women have flocked to sequestered religious enclaves like monasteries and nunneries. It would be comforting to know they did this to somehow honor their Creator. The more ultra-religious fruitcakes I run into, the more I doubt that scenario. Now I feel it is pure escapism from the potential exigencies of the modern world like building a career or shouldering family responsibilities. Very little comes form their Monkish existence - presumable they pray day and night for a troubled world to turn to the dictates of a caring God. Instead we rush headlong for Armageddon just as Scripture predicts. Once in a great while a St. Augustine sort writes something worth pondering or a CD of Gregorian chants emerges suitable for what? yoga class. If your sole existence is squandered in activities completely useless for the advancement of society, what does that make you? In my mind a kook no different from those who decline leaving the "safety" of prison for fear of a free life's uncertainty. The ball and chain of excess religiosity is no different from the ball and chain of the perpetual criminal.


message 2: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle All depends...

No religious zeal is mostly Hellworthy. But a zeal to match Jesus, Paul, Stephen, David, Elisha, Naomi, Mary, John...
Jesus died for this.


message 3: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Often religious Zeal is not Christ honoring at all. Just spiritually blind people running Amok for their own self righteousness and self importance.


message 4: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 63 comments I think the comments about monasticism are a bit over the top. Most of the church fathers were monks, and they’re legit guys, and not just their writings, read about the life of Gregory the Great or Chryosotem for example. Also, many orders have systems in place, since their foundings, to be involved in society by helping the poor, giving aid to the sick, etc This is why you see quite a few Roman Catholic hospitals. Also, there are orders that are expressively forbidden to be cloistered, check out the Jesuits.

But you are on to something, religious people do have he temptation to have OCD, sometimes called religious OCD or Scrupulosity. Check out “The Doubting Disease” if you’re interested in learning more.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments The discussion question: "Is Excess Religious Zeal Just a Haven for the Mentally Ill?"

My response: Is a REJECTION of the Word of God just a haven for the SPIRITUALLY DEAD ?


message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David, Jon - I was speaking of cloistered monastic only and you should notice my topic heading was a question not a declaration. I'm fully aware of the spiritual works inherent in most denominations and support those efforts fully. However, there is much in the Bible that, when misinterpreted, can fulfill the Elmer Gantry's need for power, money, and sex just as fast as can be accomplished in the secular world. The basis of the question was if those imposters within the "Faith" are mentally ill. If you have no God then selfish greed of any sort is perfectly logical, but if you profess a God, how do you get around the moral imperatives other than by suffering from severe psychological dysfunction?


message 7: by David (new)

David Pulliam | 63 comments Hi Robert, I admit I skimmed your post, thank you for the clarification. I see your point. I guess I want further clarification, do you mean mental illness like something from the DSM? Or are you speaking in the sense of someone who’s being selfish, not if Christ and bent in using religion for their own gain?

Fo myself, I agree, yeah there are people who should be receiving help and should not “helping” others. They are mentally ill. On the other hand, we are all dirty rotten sinners and Christ calls we who are wretched to come to him and rest. It’s a fine line though where a Christian sims deeply and someone is outside of Christ and is “a devil,” what Christ called Judas.


message 8: by D.M. (last edited Oct 24, 2017 07:38PM) (new)

D.M. Dutcher  | 3 comments Serious mental illness tends to manifest religiously in what's called "scrupulosity"-obsessive focus on rituals, etc. Wiki page is below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrupul...

If you're decently mentally ill, to an extent you aren't really interacting with things like a normal person does. I guess an analogy would be like having constant pain...if you do, you find yourself getting angry and sinning a lot, but if you take religion seriously you have to compensate for that pain, not interact with it like you don't have any at all. And that's something you can...with mental illness just realizing the anger is something separate from what you are and something you can't control, only deal with, is hard in itself.

oh, and religion isnt any worse or better. The not religious do the same things, just in an MMORPG, or some other thing.


message 9: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments David - I take note of your points and contend that religious zeal attracts both the mentally ill from a medical standpoint and those with antisocietal ambition who can advance their cravings through religious cults. I fear the latter are much more dangerous to the future of Christianity because they can be charismatic (secular use of the word) and exert undue influence over naïve Christians who tend to be "babes in the woods". If one sticks to Jesus and the totality of his teachings, one can't stray too far off path. The entire Bible, however, is full of potential land mines that, when taken out of context, provide fertile ground for the unscrupulous to lead the unwitting astray right within the parameters of "The Faith". I include both liberal Christians and Fundamentalists in this dangerous stew although I'll allow that most adherents of these extreme outlooks still just want to follow the dictates of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


message 10: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "If one sticks to Jesus and the totality of his teachings, one can't stray too far off path..."

Matthew 12:40 - "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Stick with Jesus' teachings! Amen! Jesus sticks with the ENTIRE Bible!


message 11: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Robert - I'm glad you brought this passage from Matthew up. Let's set the scene: Jesus is talking with various Pharisees who want him to produce a sign or wonder that ascertains that He is who He claims He is. Just as a reminder, Pharisees are a legalistic Jewish sect that believe in literally translation of scripture (as they knew it at the time), and don't believe in forgiveness of sins (sound familiar Robert D.) Jesus knowing the Pharisees believe everything from the prophets brings up the case of Jonah in the whale's belly and compares it to His three day death and resurrection affair. Translation: if you believe the first event, you should believe the second. Of course, the Pharisees don't yet understand the second part, but when it transpires, and they SEE IT WITH THEIR OWN EYES, they don't believe. Because Robert D. has transmitted that he doesn't believe anyone can come to Jesus unless they belief the Bible literally, I consider him a cult member and modern day Pharisee. Because he doesn't really believe in the forgiveness of sins, he really doesn't believe in Jesus. His cult actually would like to administer frontier justice to all they consider sinners (non cult members) but, fearing jail time, have to settle for hell for all. Funny how we consider Islamic Fundamentalists so radically fanatic, but their exact same outlook is present within our own Fundamental so-called Faith.


message 12: by Wade (new)

Wade J. | 177 comments Unbiblical Robert ... now you're making stuff up. It's getting hilarious. Are you on meds?


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Yep, I'm on meds, Wade - truth serum!


message 14: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Yep, I'm on meds, Wade - truth serum!"

NOT!

Jesus said: John 17:17 - "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth."


message 15: by Steven (new)

Steven Kopp I feel like the phrase "well, that escalated quickly" applies to most of the threads in this book discussion ;)


message 16: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Sadly, yes. I think it's time I quit this group.


message 17: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Steven, Rod - religiosity has always been a dangerous subject with a lot of unscrupulous people hiding behind it's veneer and preying on the naïve. It's not pretty, but not a bad notion to expose the pretenders.


message 18: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Steven, Rod - religiosity has always been a dangerous subject with a lot of unscrupulous people hiding behind it's veneer and preying on the naïve. It's not pretty, but not a bad notion to expose t..."

Jesus said God's Word is TRUTH...

John 17:17 - "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. "

Jesus believes Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish.

Jesus believes the Old Testament is the Word of God .

The Unbiblical Robert FALSELY CLAIMS to believe in Jesus, while at the same time, calling what Jesus believes to be true... Robert says is FALSE.

And you believe in Jesus???? Yeah right!


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Robert - both Jesus and God know parts of the Bible to be erroneous. So why don't they use their power to throw the whole thing out? Because the central, spiritual theme from creation through Revelation remains intact and readily available to the critical thinker. The dullard and the unscrupulous have their reasons for advocating a literal translation. Those familiar with the vagaries of mortal correspondence know all kinds of errors will creep in, some self-serving to the author. You don't appear to be a simpleton, Robert, so I conclude your love affair with every Bible verse, no matter how preposterous, to be idolatry and your motives suspect.


message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Robert - both Jesus and God know parts of the Bible to be erroneous. So why don't they use their power to throw the whole thing out? Because the central, spiritual theme from creation through Revel..."

My response: LOL!!!!!! Now you have taken to speaking for God, huh???? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

QUOTE SCRIPTURE where God REJECTS any of the Bible...

Boy, you think very highly of YOUR OPINION.

ROFL!!!!!


message 21: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Robert - This isn't about God but in the flaws of his ultimate Creation. Consider Adam and Eve - disobedient although they only had ONE commandment. Do you actually think latter generations improved on their subpar performance? Look around you, Robert and then honestly tell me that modern purveyors of The Word are ANY more trustworthy than the Garden twosome.


message 22: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Robert - This isn't about God but in the flaws of his ultimate Creation. Consider Adam and Eve - disobedient although they only had ONE commandment. Do you actually think latter generations improve..."

My response: LOL!!!!! God says that He promised to PRESERVE His Word... and YOU proclaim that God was TOO IMPOTENT to keep His promise....

ROFL!!!!!!! You're unbelievable!


message 23: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle What parts exactly do you laughingly assume Jesus and God find erroneous?


message 24: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Robert do you not see how you are a typical liberal unbelieving Christian (???) dismantling God's Word till there nothing left of it but humanistic Buddhism? No? Okay then.


message 25: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod, Robert - you sure jump to the nuclear option quickly. Do you not think an avid historian of 4th-3rd century B.C. affairs wouldn't find the Bible erroneous simply because it was too Hebrewcentric and penned by a seriously biased author! Well the same holds true for a scientist. After the "In the beginning sentence", Scriptural account of the advent of the Universe quickly becomes ridiculous even to a tyro physicist. I offered an alternative explanation in CREATION STRIKES BACK. I prayed that the book would glorify God rather than dismantle Him as you claim, Rod. My prayers were greeted by affirmation. Unless you claim Satan answers prayers aimed at God, then I stand on firm divine footing in all this.


message 26: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Just curious: what affirmation did you see? Hopefully not a pat on the back from atheists, Satanist, humanists, theological liberals, or pathetically wimpy church goers OR WORSE: seekers who quest for a Newly interpreted Bible.

Do you then hand them a bible and state, "this is filled with errors, fables, lies, myths, and borrowed pagan history--- good luck finding a factual saving Jesus in it."


message 27: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - the people I witness to already feel the Bible is filled "with errors, fables, etc. as you so eloquently summon up. I tell them about the new covenant with Jesus and how salvation can be at hand. When they ask if they'll get total relief from their addiction, poverty, mental illness, lovesickness, isolation or hopelessness, I tell them I don't know to what extent, but assure them a reliable partner in the Lord who will never abandon them in their earthly struggles and assure them a spot in a paradisical Heaven. For a few that sounds like something they can cotton to, most just ignore me or worse. What do you tell them - if you hand over the down payment, I'll have a Ferrari in your garage "soon'?


message 28: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Rod - the people I witness to already feel the Bible is filled "with errors, fables, etc. as you so eloquently summon up. I tell them about the new covenant with Jesus and how salvation can be at h..."

So you just AGREE WITH SATAN and further propagate the LIE that the Bible has errors.

You and SATAN AGREE, the Bible is full of errors...


message 29: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle But who exactly is your Jesus? O.T. Promised Messiah? Nah. God of the prophets? Nah. Kinsmen redeemer from Ruth? Nah. Leader of angels? Nah.

Where do you get your trustworthy facts about this Jesus? From fables? What is His backstory? Did He evolve from an ape deity?


message 30: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 07, 2017 07:15AM) (new)

Alexandra Robert wrote: "Rod - the people I witness to already feel the Bible is filled "with errors, fables, etc. as you so eloquently summon up.

It's no surprise, many people do. If you are among them then you have nothing to offer.

"I tell them about the new covenant with Jesus and how salvation can be at h..."

Why should they believe you? Because you say so? Because they like what they hear? Because it makes them feel good? Because it sounds good?

None of those are valid reasons to believe anything. Many people tell others many things about God and Jesus. Only fools accept what men say simply because they say it. Or because they like what they hear.

And next week, or next month, or next year, they'll follow some other guru who tells them something else.

New Ageism, Mormonism, Islam, Buddhism, it's all good, just pick your preference.

What is your appeal to authority? Or, are you simply offering one option on the pick-your-religion menu? I see you claim you know the truth - where is your evidence to back that up?

"If your sole existence is squandered in activities completely useless for the advancement of society, what does that make you?"

Sounds to me like you're either a legalist, the worst type of zealot, IMO, or a collective salvationist, or perhaps both.

"...I include both liberal Christians and Fundamentalists in this dangerous stew although I'll allow that most adherents of these extreme outlooks..."

"Fundamentalists" are simply those who affirm the fundamentals. That you consider Christians who affirm the fundamentals of the faith "extreme", "extremist" and "dangerous" says quite a lot about you indeed. Doing so has also become shorthand to asserting moral equivalency between the fundamental teachings of Christianity and the fundamental teachings of Islam. Which is the PC thing to do these days, but isn't reflective of actual facts. Do you even know what the fundamentals of Christianity are?

"both Jesus and God know parts of the Bible to be erroneous."

Are you able to back that up with something actually authoritative?

"This isn't about God but in the flaws of his ultimate Creation. Consider Adam and Eve - disobedient although they only had ONE commandment."

I am so highly amused I'm truly looking forward to seeing what you come up with next!

So, according to you, God screwed up and created a flawed creation. And then, I suppose out of chagrin or embarrassment, lied about it. Because, according to you, free will is a flaw, and what God really meant to do was create slaves or puppets or robots incapable of disobedience.

That tells me your god is a screw up, and a liar. Doesn't surprise me in the least that most you try to tell about your god ignore what you have to say.


message 31: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Well said. "What is your authority?"

Most liberal Christians believe Jesus is just a good idea... the nice bits anyway. I know you're deeper than that.


message 32: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 07, 2017 07:59AM) (new)

Alexandra Rod wrote: "Well said. "What is your authority?"

Most liberal Christians believe Jesus is just a good idea... the nice bits anyway. I know you're deeper than that."


So far the OP has claims, assertions and opinions, but I'm not seeing any reason for accepting what he claims is actually true.

He did make me laugh several times, so there is that :D

Many who claim to be Christians pick and choose what parts they like, then disregard the rest. What the OP does isn't really significantly different from what Muslims do when claiming Mohammad was prophesied in the Bible, and that Jesus wasn't crucified. In fact what he is doing is very similar to the claims of Islam. Why should someone accept his view over the claims of Islam? Or Joseph Smith, for that matter. I see no reason at all.

Then, having picked out the parts they choose to believe, they often adopted a superior, holier-than-thou, judgmental attitude toward all those who don't follow along - beating others over the head in their zeal, accusing them of being zealots (the irony!), or condemning them for not being holy and righteous enough (hypocrisy), going so far as to demonize them as "extremist" and "dangerous". And yet they have no legitimate basis by which to do so.

The OP has made an accusation against a specific person of being a cult member and being guilty of idolatry. His evidence? His opinion.

And I notice he conveniently failed to answer your question: "Just curious: what affirmation did you see?"


message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Alexandra - how do you know how I witness about the New Covenant? And I suppose your recruitment rate to the Faith is 100% because of the depth of your Scriptural knowledge and the force of your personality. So, I'm the one with the outsized ego? I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob with a few reservations about the Old Testament primarily based on scientific inquiry. I take the Gospels literally then regain my skepticism again over the musings of Paul and Peter though I regard them as indispensable to the spread of Christianity. This indicates a balanced approach to Faith - not one governed by fanaticism. Rod asked me who I was trying to impress so I'll ask the same of you Alexandra. Who are you trying to impress with your "I believe every word of the Bible no matter how nonsensical" persona? God doesn't say you'll get the penthouse suite in His mansion for rote memorization. I'm hardly the holier-than-thou contributor here and do not take the extraordinary step of opining who is "with Christ" or not. Anyway, I'm glad I made you laugh - maybe you too can at least succeed with a little humor because your long-winded diatribes did nothing but take up my valuable time to read.


message 34: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Alexandra - how do you know how I witness about the New Covenant? And I suppose your recruitment rate to the Faith is 100% because of the depth of your Scriptural knowledge and the force of your pe..."

My recruitment rate is to the TRUE FAITH and to the TRUE JESUS !

You proselytize for a MADE UP FALSE christ according to nothing, but YOUR OPINIONS.


message 35: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Vellacott I've joined this late, perhaps just as well judging by the tone....the point I've picked up from the original question is this...

If your sole existence is squandered in activities completely useless for the advancement of society, what does that make you?

I would say, someone who is heavenly minded and who is obeying 1 John 2 vs 15 -17 not to love the world or anything in the world because it is all passing away. Should being useful for the advancement of society even be a passing consideration for a Christian who is living instead for eternity? Is a zeal for evangelism included in the useless activities or excess religiosity?

Now it is good to be zealous in a right thing, at all times and not only in my being present with you. Galations 4 vs 18.


message 36: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Natalie - then why give us a brain from which we can make penicillin from red bread mold to relieve suffering and extend the life expectancy of billions? Why electricity? Why space travel? If we weren't supposed to push the limitations of our species, why didn't God just make Chimpanzees His ultimate Creation?


message 37: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Thanks Nat.
Indeed - even Jesus made sure his Mommy was looked after when He left. As are orphans and widows... and farms and supplies.


message 38: by Natalie (last edited Nov 08, 2017 02:27PM) (new)

Natalie Vellacott Robert wrote: "Natalie - then why give us a brain from which we can make penicillin from red bread mold to relieve suffering and extend the life expectancy of billions? Why electricity? Why space travel? If we we..."

What is the chief end of man? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever....surely we should be using our brains for this rather than relieving suffering temporarily when we are all going to die in the end anyway. We can improve our lives physically here but if people die without Jesus they will still go to Hell. It's the wrong focus....

Perhaps I should add that we can do the things you mention to the glory of God but earthly achievements shouldn't be our ultimate goal. That's why Solomon in all his wisdom concluded that it was all meaningless.....


message 39: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 08, 2017 04:17PM) (new)

Alexandra Robert wrote: "Alexandra - how do you know how I witness about the New Covenant? "

Did I say I knew "how"? Nope, what I said was:

Robert wrote: "Rod - the people I witness to already feel the Bible is filled "with errors, fables, etc. as you so eloquently summon up."

Alexandra: It's no surprise, many people do. If you are among them then you have nothing to offer.

What is the basis of authority to what you "recruit" people to? How do you demonstrate what you say is actually true?

I have not claimed to "recruit" anyone to anything. Nor did I say anything about your "ego". You appear to either have misread my posts, or not bothered to actually read them.

Many people claim to "believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob..." including Muslims, Jews, Christians and Mormons.

What is believed about that God varies significantly. And what you believe, or claim to believe isn't at all relevant to anyone else, unless you have some way to demonstrate what you believe is actually true. So, do you? What is the authoritative evidence by which you can demonstrate your belief is more than personal opinion?

"...I take the Gospels literally...

That's nice, however there's only one Gospel, and what you choose to take literally is simply, again, your personal opinion. You've decided, based on your own view, certain parts of the Bible are trustworthy, others are not. Many people do the same, and come up with wildly different theories.

If the Bible isn't trustworthy, then it's not trustworthy. Regardless of which parts you personally choose to "take literally". If you say, "this part here is off, ignore that, this part is really good, hey trust this part, then this part is iffy, sorta a mixed bag" I can't imagine anyone with two brain cells to rub together blindly believing that "the Gospels" are worth taking seriously. Why? Because you like those parts? Why should anyone believe you, just because you say so?

Someone else could "take literally" Revelation, 1 Corinthians and Ruth, and throw out everything else, because those are the parts they think are best.

Another person will throw it all out and think both of you are fools (and probably be right).

A third person takes his Quran, and looks at the Bible, and says, "Ok, the Bible got this part right, and this part, but this other stuff it's totally off" and a fourth person does the same using the Book of Mormon.

You're no better, nor any different, and what you have decided to "take literally" isn't authoritative evidence of anything.

So, got something that is actually authoritative?

"Who are you trying to impress with your "I believe every word of the Bible no matter how nonsensical" persona?"

You're simply proving yet again you didn't really read my posts.

But I have noticed that rather than provide anything authoritative to back up your claims, you've continued to assert your opinion is enough - it's not.

You've also failed to address the many valid points raised. I am not surprised. :D

Yeah, yeah, your "approach" is "balanced" in your opinion and people who don't agree with you are all "fanatics". Blah, blah.

What I'm looking for here is something that isn't just you making claims and assertions and sharing your opinions, because none of those things are meaningful to anyone other than you.

So, how can you demonstrate what you think, believe, claim, say, yadda, yadda, is actually true?


message 40: by Rod (new)

Rod Horncastle Yep, deal with that.

As a teenager I decided to stand 100% with the Bible until proven otherwise. Nothing has changed in 30 years of research.
Sure, I've read 100's of books attempting to academically dismantle the scriptures. I've endlessly researched cults and atheists...
they've all broken their own rules and failed.

It's not the crazy bits of the bible that appeal to my logic and skepticism- but what it has to say about normal everyday life, as well as good and evil. The Biblical God knows us perfectly.


message 41: by Robert (last edited Nov 13, 2017 11:24AM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Alexandra - I'll stand by what I said in the earlier post to you. If I offer a relationship to Jesus to the poor and/or downtrodden, then I offer everything they need. Let's turn the tables - how do you know ANY of the Bible is true? Do you have proof? Sure you have abundant Faith, but that doesn't qualify as truth. How would you test your hypothesis of believing a literal Bible is true? How can you quantify results? How even could an unassociated party repeat your experiment? You are accusing me of peddling unsubstantiated goods which is exactly what you're soliciting. (I think Freud called that transference). Having ironclad Belief in a matter doesn't lend it any more veracity. Jesus said "I am the truth, the way and the life." I'll stick with that because of 4 eyewitnesses to his ministry. Yet, you extend your Faith to literal Belief in things that have NO eyewitnesses, happened before the advent of the written and probably spoken word so must be a vision, and to things thermodynamically impossible as outlined in early Genesis. If you don't want to be a critical thinker, fine, but don't criticize me for using my own brain cells to question just as I think God intended me to.


message 42: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Natalie - so, physicians should let people suffer from all manner of dread diseases until they have accepted Jesus? What about a child who is too young to realize a commitment to the Lord, but is in great pain and misery? Let him live in agony until he's old enough to generate Faith. Solomon in all his wisdom had lots of women and gold - no wonder he thought everything was meaningless!


message 43: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Rod - I don't mind that you or anyone else believes the Bible 100% as long as they don't use it to their own advantage monetarily or sexually and don't bat others over the head with it in a power grab. Have I ever told anyone not to take the Bible literally or tried to convince them to move away from their beliefs? NO - I just try to explain my reason for sticking to the central tenet of Scripture and attributing the more exorbitant stories to a sort of Mark Twain hyperbole.


message 44: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 13, 2017 11:56AM) (new)

Alexandra Robert wrote: "If I offer a relationship to Jesus to the poor and/or downtrodden, then I offer everything they need."

You claim that is what you offer, however you provide no authoritative evidence to back up that claim. You simply expect people to believe you because you say so. Which is nothing better or more than various self-proclaimed prophets, gurus, etc. do.

You've already claimed the Bible is untrustworthy, so no, you don't get to appeal to "4 eyewitnesses". You're again simply providing your own opinion on what parts you believe are trustworthy and what parts are not. There is no valid reason for anyone to blindly trust your opinion.

Your opinion is not actual evidence, nor is it a valid reason to simply trust what you say just because you say it.

I am being the critical thinker here, not you. I've asked you for your authoritative evidence to back up your claims, you continue to assert your opinion.

Nice attempt at deflection though. I've said nothing of what I believe. You make assumptions and accusations in order to attempt to divert the topic away from your failure to produce anything valid to back up your claims and assertions, but it doesn't fly.

So, you have failed to address the issue, failed to produce anything authoritative to back up your claims, failed to provide any actual evidence showing what you claim is actually true.

You provide no reasonable reason for any person should buy what you're peddling, certainly no critically thinking person.

No better than Joseph Smith, Mohammad, Buddha, Ellen White, L. Ron Hubbard, or various other soothsayers, prophets, teachers, guides, gurus, throughout time.

I am not surprised.


message 45: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Alexandra - I take the Gospels literally and although you relish in long, rambling posts, I don't so won't wade though my 4 eyewitnesses point to point. That's MY AUTHORITY and it's all I need according to one reliable source, Jesus Christ.


message 46: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 13, 2017 12:34PM) (new)

Alexandra Robert wrote: "I take the Gospels literally"

Irrelevant. I've already addressed the problematic issue of you asserting the Bible is untrustworthy yet choosing to take portions as trustworthy based on your own opinion.

You should also be aware, as I've already pointed out, there is only one Gospel. It fascinates me that you don't apparently understand that. Perhaps you don't claim to be a Christian at all.

Your opinion is not valid reason for any critically thinking person to blindly trust what you say is actually true.

You don't have "4 eyewitnesses", nor do you have Jesus to appeal to, as both are from the very source you discredit.

You've already asserted the Bible is untrustworthy. Therefore what you choose to believe and not believe is, again, your opinion, you've provided nothing authoritative to back up your claims. That you declare parts of the Bible untrustworthy, then claim the authority of other parts, is your failure of critical thinking.

The fact that you continuously appeal to your own opinion as your authority is the problem.

You provide no authority outside your own claims, assertions and opinions. Again, no different than many others, including Joseph Smith and Mohammad.

Mormonism teaches the Bible cannot be trusted, although parts are trustworthy.

Islam believes this also.

Those prone to blindly trust in a man's opinion have no reason to believe you above a Mormon or a Muslim.

My posts aren't actually longer than yours, I simply understand the use of white space, and how it improves legibility over great walls of text, as you seem to prefer ;)


message 47: by Robert (new)

Robert Dallmann (robert_dallmann) | 1571 comments Robert wrote: "Alexandra - I take the Gospels literally..."

Pick and choose... pick and choose...

But you do NOT take them literally...

Jesus said...

Matthew 12:40 - "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

But you say JESUS IS WRONG... and Jonah did NOT literally happen.


message 48: by Robert (last edited Nov 13, 2017 02:15PM) (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Alexandra -, it is amazing to me that all of your so-called wisdom comes from Faith without anything to back it up in the way of substantive proof. This does not seem to trouble you one whit as you blind Faith your way through the world on bluster and declare other people's viewpoints that are backed by credible science mere opinion. I consider you and Robert prime hypocrites and until one of you can produce a Biblical passage that literally states that a Christian can't serve Jesus without taking the Bible literally, then I'll just keep considering you over-Religious, self-congratulatory blowhards. Is the white space a metaphor for the empty space in your head?


message 49: by Alexandra (last edited Nov 13, 2017 02:26PM) (new)

Alexandra I've done nothing but ask you valid and reasonable questions, for which you have no response beyond your own claims, assertions and opinions.

You however continue to make assumptions of things I have not said, in order to attempt to deflect away from the obvious poverty of your own position.

As well as continuing to resort to ad hominem attacks, demonstrating you have nothing of actual value to present.

I've made no claims or assertions regarding my own views, and you are in fact completely ignorant of what they are. Therefore, you accuse me of hypocrisy simply due to the fact that I've asked you to demonstrate what you claim is actually true, with something authoritative outside yourself. Which reveals quite a bit about yourself, and nothing at all regarding me.

Demonstrating you actually hold critical thinking in low regard. I do see you're prone to making assumptions based upon nothing at all other than your own convenience, which doesn't speak highly of either your critical thinking skills, or claims, beliefs and opinions.

But you've definitely demonstrated you have nothing to offer anyone that a typical Muslim or Mormon could not provide.


message 50: by Robert (new)

Robert Core | 1864 comments Alexandra - where's my Biblical passage? At least I talk directly at you rather than weaseling my way around by demanding an authoritative account that would take a book to relate. As a matter of fact, if you are interested, you could read my first book Creation Strikes Back. My second and the third I'm working on may be too far afield from your limited interests.


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