Jul 022012
 

They are looking for writers for the New Evangelizers blog.

If you’re interested in sharing your faith and specifically things that tie into New Evangelization, especially how to Know Your Faith, Live Your Faith, and Share Your Faith, they want to hear from you.

Contact Sarah Reinhard at blog@snoringscholar.com or leave a comment on this post at her blog.

  7 Responses to “Calling all “new evangelists””

  1. Bizarre.

    Your god created a whole universe but it needs the help of mortals to get people to believe it’s real.

    Why can’t your god evangelize itself? Why can’t it go where its followers aren’t found?

    To me that suggests that your god only exists in your minds but I’d be happy to hear an explanation as to why that isn’t so.

  2. One possible thought is that “our god” does not compel, but woo, beckoning that we come freely as opposed to a dramatic blaze that grabs and holds our attention no matter what. It’s like the difference between a tsunami that knocks us down and destroys, and the faint rush of a clear mountain stream that you realize you’re seeking. Of course I fear you’ll shred this answer as always, but what do I know?
    Just for the record, do you watch that Ancient Aliens show? I swear that is in line with your philosophy.

  3. >One possible thought is that “our god” does not compel,

    Really? The 10 Commandments are mere suggestions?

    >beckoning that we come freely as opposed to a dramatic blaze that grabs and holds our attention no matter what.

    Well that makes little sense. First off it isn’t giving us enough information to make an informed choice so it isn’t all that free. I have no choice but not to believe based on the information provided. Shoe me a realistic god, one whose actions make sense, whose stories fit with the physical evidence and you’ll have my attention but right now all you have are myths that make no sense and do not match the physical evidence.

    So no, not free to believe in your god at all.

    >a dramatic blaze that grabs and holds our attention no matter what.

    So you’re another Christian who has never read the Bible? Or did you miss the bits where your god went full Michael Bay destroying a whole city? Terrorizing Egypt? Pillars of fire in the sky? Uh Flood anyone? Your god used to be quite the ham I’m afraid but suddenly stopped and hasn’t done much of anything for the last 2,000 years or so.

    Or has it mellowed in old age?

    >Of course I fear you’ll shred this answer as always, but what do I know?

    Well I’ll answer it with points that I wish you would address or rebut or something. It’s weird, I say these things and you guys just ignore them. Tell me where I’m wrong! Please! How is that “shredding”?

    >Just for the record, do you watch that Ancient Aliens show?

    No, that stuff is complete nonsense. I’ve actually stopped watching “Discovery” and the “History” channel because of it. I guess pseudo-science sells well enough in America.

    >I swear that is in line with your philosophy.

    So I’m going to go ahead and ask you why you’d say that but I’m sure I won’t get an answer but why would you think that?

  4. I’ll answer your questions in reverse order. It probably won’t make sense and definitely not live up to what you request, but please allow me to try.
    The “Ancient Aliens” series is somewhat in line with what you say: that there are no gods or angels, that at best we humans have glimpsed fragments of more evolved intelligence, as demonstrated by aliens. An unsaid thrust of the series is that we humans are just so foolish to believe in “gods”, as opposed to more intelligent and scientific aliens visitors.
    2nd: I’ll try to address your questions, but I fear I will never give an answer you can accept. You seek a proof I admit I cannot give.
    3rd: I’ve read my Bible, I don’t like or understand all of it, but there have been reasons for writing such things down. Certainly in the Old Testament the Jews sought to keep records of what had happened to them, why they live and acted as they did. In the Gospels, the emphasis was on faith as much as on miracles, more on how to live a worthy life than on just looking for “proof”. Since the fall of Rome any “miracles” have been quiet ones, such as healing. It’s not the answer you seek, but it’s all I have for now.
    4th: I only meant that there are some ideas/concepts that canNOT be ignored, such as the sun coming up each morning. Even the most stubborn geocentrist would admit to the daily sunrise; and that’s in consideration of the contradiction in the very word “sunrise”. Who could deny something as powerful as seeing the sun every morning? At the same time, one can make the argument that does the sun physically rise up (which it does not), or does the earth merely turn, and if so, what wording is best to replace the false implications of “sunrise”? But no one is going to say that there is no brightening in the morning. That’s about as close as I can get to what I mean.
    Of course you know far better, you ask of some impossible feat that can both be above human capabilities, yet be verified in human terms.
    5th: At this point, we humans would far prefer that the 10 commandments be but suggestions. But please tell me why it is so wrong to use the 10 as values to live by.
    By “compel” I but mean we have no choice but to obey, as an apple falls when I let it go. I don’t think so-called commands of “our god” are quite like that. But what do I know?

  5. >The “Ancient Aliens” series is somewhat in line with what you say: that there are no gods or angels,

    Sure..

    >that at best we humans have glimpsed fragments of more evolved intelligence, as demonstrated by aliens.

    Ah. Nonsense.

    There is exactly as much evidence for aliens having visited Earth as there is for gods. In fact if you compare the two phenomenon you will get a great deal of cross-pollination. I remember as a kid reading “Chariot of the Gods” and thinking it very cool because it said that Jews (my father was one) were the result of aliens and I thought that could be a path towards the superpowers I always wanted.

    >An unsaid thrust of the series is that we humans are just so foolish to believe in “gods”, as opposed to more intelligent and scientific aliens visitors.

    Both are foolish for the exact same reasons; no evidence, no logic, no reason.

    > You seek a proof I admit I cannot give.

    I’m not asking you to provide proof, I’m asking why you believe things without proof.

    >Since the fall of Rome any “miracles” have been quiet ones, such as healing.

    What healing? Think about this, in the Bible you have Jesus curing a few lepers, not leprosy but only the few that he came across. Imagine if leprosy disappeared around the year 0? Like it’s in all the histories before that but suddenly it was no more, just gone! Now that would have been a real miracle no? And it would have been a solid bit of proof that Jesus was real and did real things.

    But nope, nothing like that ever happened. In other Jesus curing stories you have him driving demons out of people to make them healthy. Now if you went to a doctor and she told you “Look, your headaches are being caused by a demon I’m going to perform an exorcism, hold on while I get by holy water.” Would you stick around or would you go and find a new doctor who uses medical science?

    My point is this, you want REAL miracles in healing? Look to the story of polio, look to the development of inoculation, a scientist notices an old sandwich growing mould and next thing you know we have penicillin! How many lives did that save? More than your Jesus that’s for sure. Diseases that used to devastate families and communities tamed by a simple pill. Miracles that are real are what we call science.

    You know what would make be a believer or less of a scorning skeptic? If Jesus had said something like “Ye shall boil all your water before thy drinks it for there are creatures so small thy eye can’t see them yet they will foul your blood and bring you death.” and left instruction on how to make soap out of lye.

    Instead Jesus blamed demons.

    Fantasy, reality, delusion, fact you can tell them apart if you want.

    > Who could deny something as powerful as seeing the sun every morning?

    No one. And who could deny that the sun is a star? No one now because thanks to science we know what the sun is, we know what the stars are and we know they’re the same thing (ours very common). Yet your god, your god that claims to have made it all thinks they are different. Do you think that makes sense? Or does it make sense in the context of people writing myths based on what they can observe and at first limited observation the sun and the stars seem radically different things.

    >5th: At this point, we humans would far prefer that the 10 commandments be but suggestions. But please tell me why it is so wrong to use the 10 as values to live by.

    Well let’s break ‘em down.

    1. You shall have no other Gods but me.

    Now this is a weird one, your god seems to be admitting that there are other gods here but it’s the one you need to pay attention to. This is also strange considering there are right now three major religions that insist that it’s their god that’s the real one and within those even more variations. Your god is the real one, the Protestant god is not any more then the Jewish, Muslim or Hindu ones are. So this is a big deal to your god yet it lets fake gods run around.

    This also is not a value is it? If so you’ll need to explain as I don’t see it.

    3. You shall not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.

    Well this is just a rehash of 1! It’s also one of the reasons why the Reformation movement got started, they couldn’t help but notice that Mary was pretty much made an idol. In fact there’s an awful lot of idolatry that goes on in Catholicism but this can’t be helped as it’s based on Roman paganism that had statue worship all over! If you ever read about ancient Roman rituals I have no doubt you will see a great deal of your own religion’s practices.

    Again, not a value.

    4. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.

    I guess this is a value but kind of a petty one, if someone says “Jesus Christ!” in vain are they bad? Should they be punished? Is this as bad as killing someone?

    6. You shall remember and keep the Sabbath day holy.

    Not a value and which day is that? Jews say Saturday, most Christians say Sunday and how do you keep a day holy anyway?

    7. Respect your father and mother.

    Okay, now we got a value but it’s an absolute so it’s a bit worthless. Should you respect abusive parents? A father rapes his daughter she should obey?

    8. You must not kill.

    This is a value and some say it’s “murder” rather than kill but considering how much blood is on your god’s hands not just directly in the wars it commanded but in creating a planet that has been an abattoir for about 3.5 billion years it smacks of hypocrisy. Your god clearly made killing part of its plan, odd that it would complain about it.

    Also without killing en mass Christianity would have never left the Middle East, Italy or Europe.

    9. You must not commit adultery.

    Right! A value and one I agree with 100% but does it rank with killing? Cheating on your spouse is bad and I despise people who do it (break up! If you want to bang others leave your current, it’s not hard people) but on the same list as taking a life? Don’t think so.

    10. You must not steal.

    Same as above, a value and a good way to live.

    11. You must not give false evidence against your neighbour.

    For sure.

    12. You must not be envious of your neighbour’s goods. You shall not be envious of his house nor his wife, nor anything that belongs to your neighbour.

    Then it gets back into the petty, envy is an emotion that is pretty much beyond our control, we get jealous, just like we get angry and bitter or a host of other negative emotions. It’s not feelings that we should be concerned with but rather how we react to them and act upon them.

    Envy can actually be useful in motivation, I don’t think it would do to get rid of it.

    At any rate there’s a few values there but nothing that every society on the planet hadn’t figured out without your god.

    >By “compel” I but mean we have no choice but to obey, as an apple falls when I let it go.

    So then we are slaves to your god in the same way we are slaves to gravity? Well then nothing we do matters, it’s all to your god’s will.

  6. “My god”‘s values overlap with more than a few others, which is the essential part. That sounds like I’m contradicting myself, but while Buddhists, Pagans, Christians may pray at different altars, their differences are not as great as between a theist who believes in a higher power and the atheist who does not. That’s the difference that’s hardest to bridge or explain. But what do I know?
    As to the 10, okay, you’ve made some sound arguments, and I don’t have the time or patience to go deeper into this, only that others have also wrestled with them and come up with some rather thoughtful answers. But what do I know?
    I speak of aliens mainly as a way to defend your position, that we are but creatures of this life and no other, and that any thoughts of higher powers are due solely to more advanced technology. In that vein, though there is no proof of any gods, at least there would be for aliens as they are tangible, physical things. Flimsy evidence is still more than no evidence. But what do I know?
    Your arguments are nearly all purely physical, I’ve noticed, which is fine as far as “proof” goes, but it hinders any ideas about emotional or spiritual desires. It’s like trying to prove why I should love my children, or my country. It’s like trying to explain color to a group of blind men. But what do I know?
    I suppose I applaud that you’ve set yourself as being wiser than Christ. Your analogy of the doctor sounds like healing is only one way or the other, if you replace “demons” with “mental illness” it is not quite so absurd; again, I’m not going to get into another long argument here. But what do I know?
    Look, I am not your equal in this. If you are interested in answers, real answers from we the sheeple, check out these sites:
    http://johncwright.livejournal.com/
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/

  7. >“My god”‘s values overlap with more than a few others, which is the essential part.

    Well your god’s “values” seem a bit all over the place but yes, for the most part values are universal with humans but with cultural variety.

    This suggest that stuff like laws against murder, theft and for respecting parents and not being envious are part and parcel of being human and that gods are just used as a simple explanation of the source.

    Just as gods were used to explain the Sun, the Moon and the stars.

    > That’s the difference that’s hardest to bridge or explain.

    Not really, it all comes down to culture. A people creates a god in their image, the Roman gods behaved like Romans, the Greeks like Greeks and so on. When Christians wanted war Jesus was the one from Revelations carrying a flaming sword of righteous fury, when the Christians wanted peace Jesus was the one from the Mound. Religion is like a Swiss Army knife, whatever tool you need it has.

    >But what do I know?

    I do wish you’d stop saying that.

    >Your arguments are nearly all purely physical,

    Well of course, there can be no other kind.

    >I’ve noticed, which is fine as far as “proof” goes, but it hinders any ideas about emotional or spiritual desires.

    Yes, that’s quite right because there is one thing I can’t argue against, people who feel their religion is true. Feelings are great things but they do not mean that anything is true. When we go with feelings alone we get stuff like witches burnt alive. In a court of law no one can be convicted on feelings. The jury can look at the defended and see a scumbag and feel that they’re guilty but can’t declaring them so without physical proof.

    That’s the only way to the truth, anything else is a dim path that almost always leads to disaster.

    >It’s like trying to prove why I should love my children

    Not at all, you should love your children for a host of reasons, first and foremost they are 50% you so a biological imperative exists. And of course you know them in a way that no one else ever will, even their future spouses that creates a unique love that can survive all kinds of rough times.

    > or my country.

    Again, your country provides for you, it gives you (I hope) safety, security and prosperity. It is your vastly extended family that hopefully comes together in a time of crisis.

    > It’s like trying to explain color to a group of blind men.

    You ever see the movie “Mask” no, not the Jim Carrey one, the one with Cher from the early 80s? There’s a great scene where one of the characters does just that. If you haven’t seen it I won’t spoil it but it’s beautiful movie.

    But I get your meaning, it’s a feeling but feelings that you have may be true to you but that doesn’t make the true to reality. There are people who feel that they were taken aboard flying saucers, there are people who feel that they’re not stalking the celebrity but are in love with them and that the feeling is mutual. I’m not saying that your theism is anywhere near as extreme as those examples but there is some commonality, the biggest being feelings. Feelings can direct you to the truth but they can also be fooled, trust but verify should be the motto when going on feelings.
    >I suppose I applaud that you’ve set yourself as being wiser than Christ.

    Not really, Christ wasn’t wise at all, he said nothing new, got an awful lot wrong and did and said some truly odd things.

    >Your analogy of the doctor sounds like healing is only one way or the other, if you replace “demons” with “mental illness” it is not quite so absurd; again,

    It most certainly is, if your child had some emotional issues and your brought them to a psychiatrists’ office and they said it was a demon would you let them go ahead with the exorcism? One of the ways to get burnt at the stake back in the old days was to be mentally ill.

    >Look, I am not your equal in this.

    Nonsense. You can read? You can think? You can learn? Then you are my equal because that’s all I can do.

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