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The Big Picture

'Have you ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates? Morons.' -- Vizzini from "The Princess Bride"

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Shameless Grovelling before all you Christians who want to convert me to Christ

Well, my birthday recently passed (I share it with such luminaries as Lincoln and Darwin) and we are headed full speed into the Easter season.. So what better time than to ask all you Christians out there who visit my humble blog and debate with me the "facts" and "truths" of Christianity in order to prove that Christianity is true (or is it, True??) or bring me back to Christ or whatever. Now is the time to pony up for your cause.

There are a number of Christian apologetics resources that I have either read but do not own, or have not read and want to. If you believe in your mission to spread the message of Christ to everyone, then here is your chance to bring it to my front door, literally. Below is a list of some of the books and other materials I would like to read but cannot bring myself to spend my hard-earned money on:

First up is this tome from Coral Ridge Ministries. Who Is This Jesus; Is He Risen?- Book and DVD

Next is the book by Norman Geisler, I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist (Paperback)

Otherwise I would love to have copies of Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ and C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity. Both of which I have read before but were not my copies and I had to give them back.

Please email me for my mailing address. If you have ideas for some other books in the apologetics vein which you think would be useful, please let me know in comments.

And let the love and evangelical power of Jesus flow through you to bring me around to Jesus...

Update: In comments I have been having a discussion with Rhology (again). He seems to be concerned with pigs and jewelry. This quote seems to be his focal point:


Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you [Matthew 7:6 KJV]
His message here seems to be that Christians everywhere should ignore and cast out anyone who is not a believer. Why? Because if you offer the non-believer the knowledge of Jesus, then they will use it against you to destroy you. This one simple quote completely destroys the entire evangelical movement and the need to spread the loving message of Jesus, if Christians are banned from spreading it to those who may be unwilling to accept it at face value.

But I really want to focus in on the imagery here. We have two elements here to work with, pigs and jewelry. Let us look and see what else the New Testament has to say about those:

30 Now a good way off from them there was a herd of many swine feeding. 31 So the demons begged Him, saying, “If You cast us out, permit us to go away into the herd of swine.” 32 And He said to them, “Go.” So when they had come out, they went into the herd of swine. And suddenly the whole herd of swine ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the water. [Matthew 8:30-32]
Here we have Jesus taking orders from demons. But what really disturbs me is that this herd of pigs could have fed many hungry people. And Jesus, as God, had the power to simply cast the demons out into nothingness. So why allow hungry people to go hungry just to satisfy the desires of some demons? Wouldn't the magical depositing of those pigs upon the plates of the hungry have been a much greater and humane miracle than simply destroying them? But I guess thus is the message of Jesus: Let the hungry go hungry if it will increase the comfort of some demons. (After all, Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves and fishes, twice)

But what about jewelry? Paul tells us this:
8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. [1 Timothy 2:8-10 NKJV]
So good Christian women should not wear gold wedding bands in church, or pearls, or costly clothing. I have to wonder just how many goodly Christian women take off their wedding bands when they go to church, or even refuse to put them on at their wedding in church, in order to remain within the God/Jesus commands found in the New Testament?

Rhology has a problem with sending me any of the requested Christian texts on the grounds that I am not Christian. But I wonder just what his grounds really are if Christianity is as contradictory as I just sketched out? The bible has many flaws that make it unpalatable to people like me (rational beings), and the only way that Christianity can therefore be acceptable is if today's Christian apologists explain all those contradictions. But Rhology disagrees. He just wants to follow the lone swine/pearl doctrine and laugh at the entire evangelical movement simply to save himself from sending me Christian works. So all you other Christians out there, how does this strike you? What would you all rather do, follow Jesus' dictates and spread the gospel, or follow Rhology's personal worldview, and simply cast off all current non-Christians into the pit of fire for nothing more than entertainment's purpose?

The message I take away from Rhology is simple and clear: If you are not Christian, you don't deserve to become Christian; and if you refuse Christian teachings, then you should never receive them. Heh, Rhology and brotherly love go together like oil and water.. Or should I say like torture and Jesus? (Who knew that the answer to "would Jesus torture?" is a Rhology-approved "YES!!!1!!!1!1!!") Peace and torture all the same to Rhology. Only us Jesus-hating types would hate torture and love actual peace (no war) and freedom (the right and priveledge to believe what one wants and act upon it as long as it does not harm others).

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4 Comments:

At March 03, 2008 1:50 PM, Blogger Rhology said...

There's a saying from Jesus (remember him? That guy that Christians follow?) about chucking pearls before swine. I don't know if I'd expect any forthcoming materials.

 
At March 04, 2008 10:25 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

heh. I'd almost expect that. Even Christians who say they want to save souls from hell really don't want to be bothered with the trouble of actually attempting to do so. Is that what you're saying?

I guess laughing at souls condemned to hell is more soul-sustaining to Christians than actually doing any of the heavy lifting of -- oh I don't know -- following in the footsteps of Jesus.

Yes, Rhology, you are right. It is too much of me to expect that Christians actually do that one thing they are charged by God/Jesus to do.

 
At March 05, 2008 5:29 AM, Blogger Rhology said...

Jeff,

You apparently forgot, within seconds of reading my comment, that Jesus ALSO charged me not to chuck pearls before swine. It's both.
What does that mean? I'm to use discernment in the use of my time and resources.
Christ has charged me to do many things, and those are 2.
You might tell your kid some day: "Keep your room clean" and "Keep your bed made up". To use the kind of argument you're using here, he could say that it's impossible to do both since all his junk either gets piled on his bed or on the floor. Not so fast, you say; put all the stuff where it belongs AND make your bed and everyone's happy.

Think about it. Then read the Gospel of John (it's way better than those books you mentioned anyway) and consider just how few people and scholars in the world really believe Jesus never existed.

Peace,
Rhology

 
At March 05, 2008 8:58 PM, Blogger jeffperado said...

Rhology,

Well be that as it may regarding Pearls before swine. I have to tell you that it comforts me to know the Truth of Christianity: And that is simply writing some people off as unsavable. It really strengthens my own views to know that "true" Christians such as yourselves really do not care about saving non-Christians. With your true views now out there, I can attest to the fact that you really do not want to "crowd" heaven with undesirables such as myself. Now knowing what it is to be "truly" Christian, I will look elsewhere for real love, and elswhere for the actual meaning of "love thy neighbor as thyself." For you have shown me that "real" Christianity has no intention of actual peace and love, only laughter at eternal damnation.

I truly hope you're happy living for eternity in heaven with murderers, rapists, child molesters, adulterors, fornicators, drunkards, theives, blasphemers, and all the other "evil" and "vile" humans who have committed wickedness only to turn their lives over to Jesus.

Meanwhile, I take simple comfort in knowing that all I have is my life here on earth, and I should not only live by ethical standards, but I strive to surround myself by other ethical people. I would never associate myself in this life with those people you brag about spending eternity with.

But I guess that is what seperates us.

Oh and as for the Gospel of John... I have read it. And I took notes on what was said. MAybe you should broaden your reading of John beyond the simple John 3:16. John had much more to say about his version of Jesus. He also oddly lacked much of what was important about the notion of Jesus found in the synoptics. His Jesus was cold and inhuman, showing no emotion. (When have you ever met a human who showed no emotion?) John also spent two-thirds of his gospel on the last night of Jesus' life. I can also add that the Gospel of John was the last biblical gospel written, making it the least reliable in factual history.

But I will again end with this thought:

I can only once again assume, it is too much to assume that you or any of today's evangelical Christians actually want to "save" the eternal souls of those who don't agree with you as Jesus commanded you to do. I have five different versions of the bible. I have read them all. the more I read them the less I find useful in them. My only hope has been finding some other Christian thinker who can make sense out of all the garbage in the bible. I mean hating your familoy and loving your enemies? What does that mean?? And how are you loving your enemy (me, as a non-Christian) following your own god's commands? I just don't get it.

Your religion makes absolutely no sense and you have only shown that it is even more screwed up by your attitudes you bring here. Your attitudes are the exact oppositve of what your own god dictated and commanded you to do. I do not understand that.

I had hoped you or other Christians would provide me with the resources to explain that glaring contradiction. But you seem unwilling to even do that.

I just don't get your religion at all; it is purely "say one thing and do the opposite."

Furthermore, I am offended that you use the phony signature of "peace" when you you are in your message, offering the exact opposite of that to a person desiring knowledge and sustinence in your religion. Denying peace is not the equivalent of offering peace.

Peace,
--jeffperado

 

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