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  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
    There's another side here you might find easier to acknowledge outside a thread that's personal to you.
    This is a thread where I'm bragging about a friend who's being a really stand-up guy. He's an atheist, and I'm a Christian Pastor. I thought that was pretty cool.

    Leave a comment:


  • Juvenal
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    That's just downright goofy.
    Yes and no. While it obviously doesn't apply to you personally, the "atheist" label all by itself often ruins relationships, even within families. Some folks around here will remember a thread about one particular TWebber's niece ... More recently, I had to do a pushback against a Lutheran pastor and friend of my brother's family trying to use my lack of faith to drive a wedge between me and one of my nephews, and blaming me for "destroying the soul" of another one who'd left the faith.

    My nephew had shared an AiG video posted by the pastor, and I'd responded to warn him away from it. It was the typical AiG product: nine parts bad science, and ten parts bad theology. I took it apart in detail using my own background in information theory and biology, along with a solid dose of Augustine. The vitriol came after I'd offered Biologos as an alternative.
    What about your other nephew, whose soul you helped destroy? Will you be reaching out to him with your friends from biologos?

    That accusation was just as "downright goofy," but the need to push it back, given my history, made for a bit more drama than I'd have chosen by myself. I did manage it:
    As you ask, Pastor ...

    Contrary to your invidious assumptions, I have always supported my brother and his family in their faith, and that includes all of my nephews. Never did I or will I speak disparagingly of Christianity in their presence, or disrespect their beliefs during a visit.

    AiG is not Christianity. It is a cult bent on convincing Christians they're going to hell if they don't believe the earth is 6000 years old, that a worldwide flood once covered the earth, and that the human species did not evolve.

    The facts are overwhelming on the other side as elaborately proven by Christian geologists ...

    http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/p82.htm

    And Charles Darwin, whose primitive theory led to the modern theory about which the Christian, Theodosius Dobzhansky, wrote, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution"

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/li.../l_102_01.html

    When kids raised with AiG get to college, they run into these facts, and then, overwhelming, they suffer a crisis of faith. I have seen this many times in my classes. You can only hope they run into a professor like me, sympathetic to their faith, rather than one of my colleagues.

    I like Christians in general, and consider Bob and Nancy two of the very best examples of your faith. My brother, in particular, is my favorite human being, and I will support him in whatever he chooses to do and continue to be immensely proud of his accomplishments, as I am of the accomplishments of Nancy, Aaron, Nathan, and Joel.

    This is my family, Pastor. Please keep that in mind.

    Not once did I ever try to use my beliefs to drive a wedge between my brother or his family and their religion, as you seem bent on using religion to drive a wedge between me and mine. I'd appreciate it if you would wander off and share your Christian "love" with someone else. Maybe someone you've encountered in real life, rather than just on the internet.

    And stop posting videos and articles from AiG. Their science is as laughable to academics as their theology is corrosive to Christians in general.

    I don't know why Aaron left your faith. You obviously don't know either. Maybe you should ask him.

    To his credit:
    Jesse, I do apologise for my harsh and overly personal accusation. You are an admirably articulate and sensitive gentleman and a scholar. I agree with you, the limitations of the internet in providing true enlightenment are clear. I pray for [Bob and Nancy] and for you, too - for under the circumstances, that is the loving thing to do. Please forgive me where I have wronged you, and please interpret what I do in the kindest way, if you are able to find it in yourself to do so.

    Well, even if he couldn't bring himself to eschew AiG, the spirit of that response was worthy of acknowledgment.
    Thank you, Jonathan. Your apology is appreciated and accepted in the spirit it was given. Go in peace.

    This is even goofier.
    There's another side here you might find easier to acknowledge outside a thread that's personal to you.

    Then GOD is at WORK!!!!
    As a bonus, a certain niece's mom weighed in on that exchange:
    I love you! Your response was elegant. I'm glad that your my brother. I miss you. Call me sometime.

    If you want to give God the credit for that, too, I won't object.

    Again --- downright goofy -- I AM charitable toward atheists. In the case of certain Tweb atheists, it's not their atheism I attack -- it's their profound and aggressive stupidity.
    I could say much the same from the other direction.

    Yes, I have that power.
    And I've got cookies.



    As ever, Jesse

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Sparko View Post
    ...and THEN you poisoned him, right? And burned him at the stake as a witch.
    No, I have FAR more diabolical plans for him.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sparko
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    For some reason, in real life, I am drawn to atheists. I don't start off with any compulsion to "convert" them - I think it's more of a curiosity of how they can NOT see a "creator".

    At first, I thought --- If I'm going to learn anything from them, I realize I have to be nice to them. Then I realize, IN FACT, I have no reason NOT to be nice to them. Then I figured out that it's fun (call it a character fault) to be REALLY nice to the ones who are angry or aggressive or hostile.

    Tom's very first words to me, when I was introduced "to the troops" as Police Chaplain, were "don't try to cram any of that Bible stuff down MY throat". He was eating a bowl of store-bought microwaved gumbo, and I pointed to the gumbo and said, "I make way better gumbo than that". I think it took him back, because he was ready for a fight. After a moment of "staring me down", he walked away, but I knew I found a friend! (Yeah, I'm sick that way)

    The next meeting, I brought him a container of chicken/sausage gumbo, and said, "try this". Again, he didn't seem to know how to react, so I put it in the microwave and nuked it a couple minutes, then told him, "honest, I didn't poison it", and he grinned. He ate some, and nodded approvingly, then said, "yeah, this is pretty good!" I handed him a baggie of cornbread and said, "yeah, this goes with it".

    So much for having been taught that atheists are devils.
    ...and THEN you poisoned him, right? And burned him at the stake as a witch.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    For some reason, in real life, I am drawn to atheists. I don't start off with any compulsion to "convert" them - I think it's more of a curiosity of how they can NOT see a "creator".

    At first, I thought --- If I'm going to learn anything from them, I realize I have to be nice to them. Then I realize, IN FACT, I have no reason NOT to be nice to them. Then I figured out that it's fun (call it a character fault) to be REALLY nice to the ones who are angry or aggressive or hostile.

    Tom's very first words to me, when I was introduced "to the troops" as Police Chaplain, were "don't try to cram any of that Bible stuff down MY throat". He was eating a bowl of store-bought microwaved gumbo, and I pointed to the gumbo and said, "I make way better gumbo than that". I think it took him back, because he was ready for a fight. After a moment of "staring me down", he walked away, but I knew I found a friend! (Yeah, I'm sick that way)

    The next meeting, I brought him a container of chicken/sausage gumbo, and said, "try this". Again, he didn't seem to know how to react, so I put it in the microwave and nuked it a couple minutes, then told him, "honest, I didn't poison it", and he grinned. He ate some, and nodded approvingly, then said, "yeah, this is pretty good!" I handed him a baggie of cornbread and said, "yeah, this goes with it".

    So much for having been taught that atheists are devils.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by firstfloor View Post
    This is a commonplace but perhaps you notice the apparent incongruity only because you have been taught the lie from a young age that atheists are devils.
    That's just downright goofy.

    It looks to me that “God is SO good” because you think He is prepared to make some effort with ‘Tom’ while you are prepared to overlook His lack of interest in the Ebola contagion. You seem to be cherry picking and you end up being unable to reconcile your idea of “good” with God’s.
    This is even goofier.

    The same story could mean that God is working on your soul, not ‘Toms’.
    Then GOD is at WORK!!!!

    He wants you to develop a more charitable attitude towards atheists in all situations.
    Again --- downright goofy -- I AM charitable toward atheists. In the case of certain Tweb atheists, it's not their atheism I attack -- it's their profound and aggressive stupidity.

    (CP, you forced me temporally out of retirement)
    Yes, I have that power.

    Leave a comment:


  • firstfloor
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    I know a number of people who are atheists who are pretty nice people.
    One such friend heard me talking about the fact that one of our Church members who volunteers a lot at our Church will be unable to do so, because her husband has become critically ill, and has been brought home from the hospital for hospice care. He may not live more than another month or so.
    This friend (we'll call him Tom) stopped by my office and made a very gracious offer. "I know Helen can't get away much from Roger, and I also know how much it means for her to be in Church..... could you tell her I'll be happy to sit with Roger any time she needs to be at Church, or wants to do her volunteer stuff?"
    I've talked to Helen, and she did not immediately say no, which is a good thing. (She's quite old fashioned, and I expected a bit of pushback)
    Tom told me, "if she hesitates, tell her I'll even read the Bible to him".

    God is SO good.
    This is a commonplace but perhaps you notice the apparent incongruity only because you have been taught the lie from a young age that atheists are devils.

    It looks to me that “God is SO good” because you think He is prepared to make some effort with ‘Tom’ while you are prepared to overlook His lack of interest in the Ebola contagion. You seem to be cherry picking and you end up being unable to reconcile your idea of “good” with God’s.

    The same story could mean that God is working on your soul, not ‘Toms’. He wants you to develop a more charitable attitude towards atheists in all situations.

    (CP, you forced me temporally out of retirement)

    Leave a comment:


  • lilpixieofterror
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    And when Tom dies God will annihilate or eternally tortue him for his non belief. Its no wonder he doesn't believe in such a God!


    Just wow...

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by Jedidiah View Post
    Normal for Tass and Jimmy. Time to let them go.
    Let WHO go?

    Leave a comment:


  • Jedidiah
    replied
    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Well, yeah, but Jimmy really overshoots the runway on this...
    Normal for Tass and Jimmy. Time to let them go.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zymologist
    replied
    Originally posted by JimL View Post
    Because apparently for believers all the credit goes to God
    Amen!

    Leave a comment:


  • rogue06
    replied
    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
    He's just hanging around for the chance to deconvert ya. Don't listen to him, listen to me. I've got cookies.
    If you were to ever get an official Tweb smiley...

    Lao.gif

    Lao. the Devil's Baker.

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
    That's the third time you quoted that post, CP. Do you want him responding here, or not?
    Excellent point!

    Leave a comment:


  • Juvenal
    replied
    That's the third time you quoted that post, CP. Do you want him responding here, or not?

    Leave a comment:


  • Cow Poke
    replied
    Originally posted by lao tzu View Post
    I agree with Tass's comments, and I agree TWeb is the place to make them, but I don't agree this is the thread to do it in.

    CP's too close to this one.
    Well, yeah, but Jimmy really overshoots the runway on this... here's what he said...
    Originally posted by JimL
    Because apparently for believers all the credit goes to God, Toms act of kindness wasn't of his own free will, he was just a tool used to fulfill Gods purposes.
    A) Not ALL the credit goes to God, which should be obvious from the fact that I'm bragging on Tom, and consider him a friend
    2) Nobody said, nor even HINTED, that Tom's acts of kindness are not of his own free will -- I think pretty much anybody can choose to do good things
    C) I never said, nor implied, that Tom was "just a tool" used to fulfill God's purpose -- that really diminishes Tom's role in this

    It's such a goofy rant that it doesn't even come close to hurting my feelings -- it just exposes Jimmy for the angry hateful bigot he is. In fact, it's this kind of stuff that makes the average Christian think of somebody like Jimmy when somebody mentions "atheist", rather than a guy like Tom.

    Leave a comment:

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