Here is an article/note my friend Richard Read about an ongoing debate that shoots at the heart of Christianity…. Take 15 mins and read and leave your thoughts too…! -J. Speier
“It’s offensive to claim that Jesus is the only way to God.” Share Today at 3:59pm Some of the research for this blog came from Lee Strobel’s “The Case for Faith,” and some other teachings from Ravi Zacharias. However, this wasn’t a copy and paste job. I used teachings from the Bible, those books, and real life experience as the source, and brought them all together here. It seems to me that there is a large controversy over questions such as this: “Isn’t it grossly offensive to claim that Jesus is the one and only way to God? Why do Christians think they’re justified in asserting that they’re right and everyone else in the world is wrong?” First, it’s important to understand that Christianity is not the only religion that claims exclusivity— not just theologically, but also linguistically. Muslims believe that the sole, sufficient, and consummate miracle of Islam is the Koran. They say, however, it’s only recognizable in Arabic, that any translation de-sacralizes it. And it’s not just a basic understanding of Arabic that’s required, but a sophisticated knowledge of the language. As for Buddhism, it was born when Gautama Buddha rejected two fundamental assertions of Hinduism, the ultimate authority of the Vedas (Hindu’s sacred scripture), and the caste system. Hinduism itself is absolutely uncompromising on two or three issues: the law of karma, which is the law of cause and effect, so that every birth is a rebirth that makes recompense for the previous life: the authority of the Vedas; and reincarnation. As for Sikhism, it originally came about as a challenge to both Hinduism and Buddhism. Then there are the atheists, who reject the viewpoints of those who believe in God. And even Baha’ism, a cosmic embrace of all religions, indirectly excludes the exclusivists. Therefore, the statement that Christians are arrogant by claiming exclusivity ignores the reality that every other major religion does, in some shape or form, as well. So when people talk to arrogance, this cannot be a logical attack they are making. I personally believe that all truth is, by nature, exclusive. If truth does not exclude, then no assertion of a truth claim is being made; it’s just opinion that’s being stated. Any time you make a truth claim, you mean something contrary to it is false. Truth excludes it’s opposite. I know there are many that would deny that, but think about this: to deny the exclusive nature of truth is to make a truth claim, and is that person then not arrogant too? That’s the boomerang effect that the condemner often doesnt pause to consider. The clear implications of Jesus saying he’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life are that, first, truth is absolute, and second, truth is knowable. His claim of exclusivity means categorically that anything that contradicts what he says is, by definition, false. This leads me onto another topic pertinent to the subject of this blog. It is one thing to believe this, it is quite another to communicate it without sounding smug or superior, which is, sadly, how many Christians come off as. If the truth is not under girdled by a deep love of your fellow man, it makes the possessor of that truth quite truth-repulsive. It says in the Bible that the word of God is sharper than a two edged sword, we’ll call it a surgical scalpel. If someone guided by love is using it, then it’s like putting it in the hands of a skilled surgeon. If someone is not led by love, however, then it’s like handing the scalpel to a two year old and then him trying to operate. Mahatma Gandhi said “i like their Christ, i don’t like their Christians.” Friedrich Nietzsche said, “i will believe in the Redeemer when the Christian looks a little more redeemed.” These are valid arguments against Christianity, and it is a sad truth that many “Christians” use their faith as an excuse for sin (which it says specifically NOT to do in the Bible). However, it is possible to lovingly claim exclusive truth, just as a scientist can gently say “this is the second law of thermodynamics” without adding, “and if you disagree then your just stupid and worthless.” Yes, sometimes we have run afoul of cultural sensitivities and encroached upon other’s personal freedoms, and when this happens repentance and reconciliation is called for. On the flip side, however, i know of no Christianized country where your life is in danger because you are from another faith. But today there are many countries in the world, such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Iran, where to become a follower of Christ (or any other religion that Islam for that matter) is to put your life and your family at risk. But sometimes it’s not just the manner in which Christians like myself try to spread the message of Christ that’s offensive, but rather the message itself. Even the one whose life was most perfectly lived ended up on a cross. Resistance to truth can be so strong that it can still engender violence and hate even when the person has done absolutely nothing wrong. For many it is not a matter of whether someone is cramming a Bible in they’re face OR if they’re giving them the shoes off they’re feet and telling them about Jesus or not, but rather it is why they should believe that Jesus was telling the truth when he spoke. On one hand, you can say that the resurrection of Jesus established him as being the son of God. If that’s true, then all other faith systems cannot be true, because they each assert something contrary to his divinity. And of course, the historical record concerning the Resurrection is extremely compelling. On the other hand, you can approach this issue by looking at the four fundamental question that every religion seeks to answer: Origin, meaning, morality, and destiny. I believe that only the answers of Jesus Christ correspond to reality. There is a coherence among his answers unlike those of any other religion. Consider Buddhism. Buddha’s answer on his question of morality does not cohere with the answer concerning origins. You see, Buddhism is technically nontheistic. But if there was no Creator, from where does one arrive at a moral law? Or consider the Hindu version of reincarnation. if every birth is a rebirth, and if every life pays for the previous life, then what were you paying for in your first life? In fact, if you see a beggar on the street, why give them charity at all if they’re just paying for a previous life? You see, incoherence dominates. Even Gandhi said that if he had his way he would expunge some of the scriptures of Hinduism, because they are too contradictory with each other. By contrast, Jesus provides answers to these four fundamental questions of life in a way that corresponds with reality and has internal consistency, unlike any other faith system. No doubt, at this point, you’re asking yourself “how?” It is at this time that i am half done with this blog, as i will now explain, in detail, each of these. Concerning Origins, the Bible says we are not identical with God, contrary to the Hindus claim, but we are distinct from him. In other words, we didn’t bring ourselves into being, but we are a creation of God. Since we were created in His image, this accounts for human beings having a moral point of reference. No system is able to explain this except the monotheistic ones. Even naturalists have no explanation for humanity’s moral framework. However, this moral framework corresponds to the reality of human experience. Also, Christianity says we rejected the divine will. The tempter in the garden said if you eat this fruit, you will become as gods, knowing good and evil. The implication is that you become the definer of good and evil. Humanism was born right there; man became the measure of all things. This willful rebellion and rejection of God corresponds to reality. As Malcolm Muggerridge said, “human depravity is at once the most empirically verifiable reality, but also the most philosophically resistant.” Next, the issue of meaning. Here again, the Christian faith stands without parallel. The simplest way to describe it is that God does not call us to meaning by asking us to be good people. He does not call us to meaning just by telling us to love one another. It is only in the experience of worship that meaning comes to be. Only something greater than pleasure can provide meaning, and that is the perpetual novelty of God Himself in worship. The Bible tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and only when we’ve done that can we begin to love our neighbors as ourselves. Scripture is also plain when it says that God created mankind so that He could have a relationship with us, that we lost that relationship in the Fall, and that God reconcilled us back to Himself through Jesus Christ, and that all those who accept and follow Jesus as Lord have a Holy Order and Calling to spread the news of Christ’s return and to show love to all. Now THAT is meaning! Next, Christianity says morality is not culturally based, but instead it grows out of the very character of God. Otherwise, you end up with the dilemma from philosophy of old: is the moral law over and above you, or is a moral law subject to you? If it is over and above you, where do you find it’s root then? The only way to explain that is to find it in an eternal, moral, omnipotent, infinite God who is inseperable from his character. Thus Christianity explains morality in a coherent manner. Scripture also states that God has written His Law on our hearts so that men are without excuse when we sin. There is an over-arching truth, and a standard to which everything must be held. To explain this any other way would imply that Hitler wasn’t really that bad since his culture at the time said what he did was okay. Finally, destiny is based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the historical even that proved his divinity and opened the door to heaven for everyone who will follow him. Where else do you have anything that comes close to claiming this? Because the Resurrection is an actual historical event (for instance, the Jewish historian, Josephus’, a non-christian, writings confirm this, as well as many other sources outside the standard Bible), we can be forgiven, we can be reconciled with God, we can spend eternity with him, and we can trust Jesus’ teachings as being from God. God says He knows the plans He has for us, and that those who persevere to the end will be saved. Mankind has a destiny that God has prepared for us, full of adventure and danger, but we can choose to reject it, settling for the “easy life” of just playing the game and getting as many toys we can before we die. God gives us that much to choose from. No man spoke like Jesus. No one ever answered the questions the way he answered them, not only propositionally, but also in his person. Existentially, we can test it out. Empirically, we can test it out. The Bible is not just a book of mysticism or spirituality; it is a book that also gives geographical truths and historical truths. If you’re an honest skeptic, it’s not just calling you to a feeling; it’s calling you to a real Person. That’s why the apostle Peter said, “we did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty.” He’s saying, “This is true. This is reality. This can be trusted. And yes, the truth excludes that which is contrary.” If you want to take a break and go get some food then now is the time, because there’s still a good bit left in this blog. Sorry. Big topic. But do all these points necessarily mean that all other religions are false? Some people(specific examples of people I’ve heard have been variants of Buddhists, Baha’ists, and Hindus) say that when you strip away everything, all the world religions teach basically the same thing: the universal fatherhood of God and the universal brotherhood of humankind, making all the world’s faith systems equally valid. This point is easily argued. For instance, what do they mean when they mean by universal fatherhood of God when Buddhism doesn’t even claim that there is a god? What do we mean by fatherhood of God when Shankara, one of the most respected Hindu philosophers, said that theism is only a child’s way to ultimately get to the top, where upon arrival you find out God is not distinct from you? What then does the fatherhood of God mean? It’s an illusion. This “supreme fatherhood of God” is not a trans-religious doctrine. Secondly, the brotherhood of humanity– yes, we are brothers and sisters as fellow human beings, but the only reason we are is because we have been fashioned by God. Once you take that foundation away, then the brotherhood ends up with more hoods than brothers. In sum, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Christianity are not saying the same thing. They are distinct and mutually exclusive religious doctrines. They cannot all be true at the same time. I will say this: there ARE aspects of truth in virtually all of the major religions. They contain some great thoughts and ideas. Reading the notable Eastern philosophers is very, very stimulating. Yes, when Buddhism says that it is wrong to murder, that is a truth, as are many other truths in other religions, but only Christendom has everything. One parable i once read was about three blind men who stumbled upon an elephant. One man felt the leg and said it was a tree. Another felt the trunk and said it was a thick vine. The third felt the ear and insisted it was a large fan. They were all describing aspects of truth, but the reality was that they were missing the overall truth entirely- it was an elephant. In the same way, many religions make assertions of truth that are valid, but they miss the main truth that binds them all together. The point is, the parable has already given away the fact that this is an elephant. The blind man may tell you it’s a tree, but he’s wrong. It is not a tree or any of those things. The seeing man knows what it is. He knows the truths; his sight has revealed it to him. And Jesus Christ has made it clear that the eternal truths of God may be known. Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the gospel–in Him, all of truth comes together. So while there may be aspects of truth elsewhere, the sum of the total of truth is in Christ. At this point many of you might say that there tons of moral-living Muslims, Jews, Christians, Mormons, and Hindus and such, and isn’t how a person lives and treats his neighbor more important than what he believes theologically? Well, how a person lives and how he treats his neighbor IS important. But it is not more important than what he believes, because the way he lives is reflective of what he believes. Regardless of whether he has ever signed a doctrinal statement, what he truly believes is what he will ultimately live out. But the question makes the assumption that morality is what life is all about. Jesus Christ didn’t come into this world to make bad people good, but to make dead people live. he came so that those who are dead to God can come alive to God. If this life were only about morality, then how you live would be the most important thing, although it would still be connected to what you believe. But that misunderstands the Christian concept, which is: no matter how well we live, we cannot live up to the standard and character of God. This leads to a question that I’ve heard before that is always pretty hairy, if you will, but I’ll give it a stab. here goes. People say that Gandhi lived a more virtuous life than most Christians. why should he be sent to hell just because he wasn’t a follower of Christ? First and foremost, it’s important to know that no human being consigns anybody to hell. In fact, God Himself does not send anybody to heaven or hell; the person chooses to respond to the grace of God or to reject the grace of God, although even that decision is enabled by his grace. Gandhi did great works, true, and works do have a place— but as demonstration of having received God’s forgiveness, not as a badge of merit of having earned it. The question is not whether I’m a Gandhi, Hitler, or Mother Teresa, but rather “have i come to a realization that I’ve fallen short of God’s perfect standard and, therefore, apart from the grace of God, i have no possibility of being with Him in heaven?” Frankly, if i have lived a life that i think is good enough so that i don’t need God, then ironically Hitler will have found the ultimate truth to which my own arrogance and confidence have blinded me. What is hell but the absence of God? And for me to live my life with the absence of God is to already be on the road to hell. My last point (FINALLY!!!) is really just a couple of questions and answers. Why is Buddhism so popular in America today? Simple. Because you can be good without having God. If you can have a nice little dose of spirituality from three to five in the afternoon and then dichotomize your life once again and go live it any way you please, well, why not? A religion like that would have a lot of attraction. What is it about the Hindu faith that is so attractive? It is rich in Philosophy, and it’s tenet of treating the earth with reverence has some appeal today. Islam? Because Americans are fixated on following something unorthodox, and Islam, being the victim of 9/11 hysteria, gets a hympathy vote from the masses. Mormonism? Who wouldn’t want to become god of their own planet one day? Why not Christ? Because He calls you to die to yourself. Anytime truth involves a total commitment in which you bring yourself to complete humility, to the surrender of the will, you will always have resistance. Christ violates our power and autonomy. He challenges us in areas of purity. Moses came giving the law. People did not like it. Jesus came giving the message of Divine Grace and they said “why don’t you give us the firmness of the law?” Whatever Jesus brings into culture, culture will want to change it. At the heart of the rejection is resistance to the claim of who He is. Buddhism and other religious systems basically tell people how to pull themselves up by their ethical bootstraps. I have never had a problem knowing what is right and wrong in most situations; what i have lacked is the will to do what is right. That’s where Christ comes in. He says if you’ll bring all of yourself to him, he will not only give you eternal life, but he will change what you want to do in this life. Thank you so much if you just read all of that. If i offended any of you i am deeply sorry, and offer my apologies. If you have any questions, feel free to ask away and I’ll do my best to accommodate you. take care and God bless!
-by Richard Read
So i recently put up a question on my facebook …”is Jesus the ‘only way to God'”? And i just thought some would like to read the conversation in its entirety. Very interesting and makes one think…
Grant Snowden Crider at 3:46pm March 13
no way, it is silly to think that only saved christians will be with “God”. All religion really is, in any culture, is a pacifier for the masses; a social set of morals and values- something to soften the hard truth that we all eventually die. So in my opinion, an individual can find his “god” in anything. Live an honest and humble life and be good to people and nature and don’t worry about the rest cuz you won’t need to. just an opinion of mine
Grant Snowden Crider at 3:53pm March 13
i didn’t mean to sound like an ass when i said “silly”. i have much respect for anyone who can put all his faith and trust into something so intangible.
Alex Steiger at 3:57pm March 13
Brad Hughes at 4:00pm March 13
Katherine Steiger Myhill at 4:05pm March 13
Jesus said He is the “only way to God”. He said in Jn. 14:6-7, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” I don’t beleve He was just a good teacher. Read His words for yourself. Read C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. Grant, if you’re wrong, the consequences are “forever”.
Grant Snowden Crider at 4:15pm March 13
so in other words, and correct me if i’m wrong here, the way to get to heaven- if it exists- is by accepting Jesus as your savior? what about buddists or islam, or judaism? are they all going to “hell”? i find it very hard to believe that. It’s really hard for me to believe that if two men live thier lives the best way they can and one follows the bible and the other the kuran, that the one with the bible will have eternal salvation. both of those books were written by men anyways.
Katherine Steiger Myhill at 4:20pm March 13
God makes the rules, not us.
Katherine Steiger Myhill at 4:25pm March 13
Again, I encourage you, Grant, to read Jesus’ words for yourself. Read C.S. Lewis, too. He’ was brilliant and worked through similiar doubts and questions. I hope you won’t be satisfied with past assumptions and will study and think through this again.
Grant Snowden Crider at 4:28pm March 13
you mean the men who wrote the Bible and the one’s who interpret it make the rules? maybe thats what is wrong
Grant Snowden Crider at 4:28pm March 13
i have read all that
Katherine Steiger Myhill at 5:16pm March 13
Back to your words, ” if two men live thier lives the best way they can and one follows the bible and the other the kuran, that the one with the bible will have eternal salvation”. You are right; this is not credible. Our salvation does not rest on our merit, on how we live our lives; but on the merit of Jesus Christ alone. The angels came to the shepherds and brought “good news of great joy” a “Savior, who is Christ the Lord,” came to earth to live a perfect life and sacrifice His life for our sins. None of us can stand before this Holy God without the blood of Jesus blotting out our sins. I am “forever grateful” for this amazing love. I pray someday soon you will know for sure this God is the “lover of your soul”, and He worth loving and following.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 5:28pm March 13 via Facebook Mobile
Yes, he is.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 5:33pm March 13 via Facebook Mobile
also, heaven has to be alot better than this place, and Realistically, the thing that makes this place crappy is evil, selfishness, pride, greed, lust, idolatry… (ALL SIN) so its safe to say that if I died I probably wouldnt go there, (BECAUSE I’M A SINNER)
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 5:47pm March 13 via Facebook Mobile
hmm. so if my sin is the reason i wont get to heaven (OR TO GOD), since everyone lusts, is greedy, and is selfish.. there must be a way to God. Jesus IS the only way because he DIED for all of those SINS.. he was not guilty of them, so he was undeserving of the punishment. he was tempted but did not sin. he couldnt sin, because HE WAS GOD. Since he had no sin, death had no dominion over him, so he rose again, which is our promise, that when we take on Christ (trust him and turn from our sin) we will also rise and live forever because he gave us his righteousness. Jesus is the only way to God, and thats mercy!!
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 5:58pm March 13 via Facebook Mobile
by the way, you live forever no matter what. its just a matter of where that life will be spent. i’m done. 🙂 love you Grant, tho i dont know you. I dont want to just flash my jewels infront of you, I want to give them to you, because I am to love you as God does (deuteronomy 10:18-19)
Tabitha Rochandle Whitmer at 6:47pm March 13
“When you are arguing against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all.” -C.S. Lewis
Lorri Smith at 7:55pm March 13
wow….yeah….Jesus is the ONLY way to God. it’s not His choice that anyone go to hell. we choose. to not choose Jesus is to choose hell. the Bible wasn’t just written by men who happen to believe in “God”…..the very first part of 2 Timothy 3:16 says “EVERY scripture is God breathed” (amplified version). for believers, we know these things to be true because we know Jesus. christianity is not about a set of rules, it’s about a relationship that God wants to have with us and can only be through Jesus. the Holy Spirit convicts us and we desire change that only He can work in us when we let Him. we still fall and need to ask for forgiveness and we learn and grow. i don’t know if any of us can truely realize just how much He loves us. His heart breaks for us way more than ours for our own kids. another good author would be Lee Strobel. he was an athiest, and an investigative journalist and he investigated Jesus and ended up a believer. “the case for Christ”
Lorri Smith at 8:27pm March 13
one more thing to add about Him dying for our sins. not only did He die for them, the Bible says in 2 Cor. 5:21 that He actually BECAME sin, who knew no sin. Jesus suffered so much more than we can ever imagine. not only the physical beatings, but also the separation that had never been before when God turned His back on Him, on the cross because He could not look on the sin….and it wasn’t even His. it was His choice to do this for us. He knew what He was about to suffer and asked God to take it from Him, only He didn’t want to do His own will, but the Father’s. that is a lot of love. we can’t earn heaven….our righteousness is crap. when we come to realize that we are in need of a savior and know we need to have our sins forgiven, He does that and then God sees His righteousness on us. the Holy Spirit lives in us at that moment and we’re brand new (born again). i hope this made some kind of sense to you. i don’t know you either, but i hope you find Him. He knows where you are.
Grant Snowden Crider at 9:48pm March 13
I agree that sometimes it is good for some people to be involved in organized religion and I am truly happy that you have found something that you believe so fiercely in and that you can base your life around. However, I have found that Christianty is riddled with fallacy and hypocracy and yes I was raised in the church; I just believe that spirituality and inner peace can be found in other places and through other venues. You also seem to be interpreting the Bible too literally. Remember: It was written by men in seperate pieces over hundreds of years and went through quite a few translations before it got to you.
Byron Johnson at 11:44pm March 13
The notion that “All religion… is a pacifier for the masses; a social set of morals and values- something to soften the hard truth that we all eventually die” happens to be a key argument in theosophy. Right about now you might be asking yourself what is theosophy and why have I never heard of it? Theosophy (and in truth, the Theosophical Society) has infiltrated and influenced the education system of America for years. Their aim is to supplant Christianity with the subtleties of theosophy and undermine the very core of Christian faith. Their lies: 1)The Bible is nothing more than a collection of works, penned by men, and inspired by a belief’ in God. 2) Everyone who is ‘good’ goes to heaven. 3) The teaching of Jesus, although considered wonderful examples of morality and humanity, are misrepresented by those who came along after Jesus and distorted His work, thus casting doubt upon the Divinity of Jesus. All of this, (and more) cause many to be lead astray.
Byron Johnson at 12:01am March 14
I have studied the Qur’an and the history of Islam in honest detail, seeking an answer as to why a religion touted to be a religion of peace, demonstrates evidence in stark contradiction to this claim. What I discovered is quite remarkable. Albeit to say I lack sufficient means to identify all the contradictory aspects within Islam with regard to reconciliation to the teachings of Christ. Do your own research, see what the Koran says vs. what Jesus says for many of the circumstances we all face in life. As you study the differences in the two teachings, you might begin to understand why very few Christians are stepping onto buses with explosives strapped to their bodies and murdering scores of innocent people. Certainly one can find tenants within Islam that can be argued to be universal morality, or a plurality of humanity. However, morality does not equate with eternal salvation.
Byron Johnson at 12:15am March 14
As for the whole discussion involving morals and values in society, I believe Voltaire said it best when he said “I have no morals, but I live a moral life.” This statement (to me) illustrates another universal tenant to theosophical thought: ‘I can chose to live a moral life by choosing how I define morality’. It is the age old battle between a rational mind, free will, and serving God.
I could go on in great length upon this subject, however it might be interpreted as a rant or some religious crusade or worse. I do not wish to misrepresent Jesus in any such way. Suffice it to say that (in my opinion) Satan crafted two very handy lies way back when. They were used against Adam and Eve in the garden, and they continue to be used to this day: “Surely you will not die” & “You will be like God, knowing of good and evil.”
Byron Johnson at 12:25am March 14
“Surely you will not die” – – you won’t go to hell. Being a good person is enough to save you. Just decide on your morals and stick with them, you won’t go to hell.. etc, etc, etc. Same lie, new spin depending which century you find yourself living in at the time. However, same result if you fall for it: Eternal separation from God.
“You will be like God, knowing of good and evil.” – – Man can solve his own problems by deciding what is good and what is not. Mans law, not Gods law is best for humanity. We can trust in science to save us. All religions are basically the same, just stories telling us good vs evil. etc. etc. etc….
Byron Johnson at 12:31am March 14
It seems like a risky gamble to bet so much (eternity) on a lack of understanding the essential lies used against mankind. Of course, God knew that this was all quite difficult to do, and so He sent His Son so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Jesus makes it absolutely clear how to avoid these lies and the solution is (in my opinion) remarkably simple: Believe. Trust. Obey.
Grant Snowden Crider at 1:56am March 14
once again you are interpreting the bible almost literally. IT WAS WRITTEN BY MEN! and i’m not sure what theosophy is but it sounds like a word made up by the organized church that might refer to people who question the Bible or Christian teachings. in the secular world we might call this ‘religious fanaticism’ which would be compareable to the so called followers of the kuran who you say ‘are stepping onto buses with explosives strapped to their bodies and murdering scores of innocent people.’ your whole belief system is based on jesus being the son of God. what if he wasn’t? what if he was just a prophet. just a man like you and I? where would you go then? one other point: i keep hearing this argument: ‘why gamble eternity in hell just to question the validity of christianity?’ my question to you is: is the only reason you believe or pray to the christian God because you don’t want to go to hell? that is selfish and hypocritical. you are being fed propoganda by the church
Grant Snowden Crider at 2:05am March 14
and you aren’t even looking at scientific facts which are proven through scientific methods. have you studied or even looked at human evolution? or any evolution of an organism? it is real and it happens. all these new theories about the origin of life that are popping up as we speak aren’t some ploy by “satan” to make non-believers, they are valid. obviously you have only looked at one side of the issue or you just believe that what the scientific community says are complete and utter lies.
Grant Snowden Crider at 2:24am March 14
i dont even know how you all got onto my facebook but you i really don’t need to hear these rants of intolorance and ignorance. anyone can spit out some bible verses and sermons they have heard. so really i tell you this now GET FUCKED! and if anyone feels the ned to respond than come with some facts- not some regurgitated sermon. now go beat your bibles
Grant Snowden Crider at 2:51am March 14
oh and one more thing, the only thing certain in this life is the eternal dirt nap that we all take when we die. go ahead and tell me i’m going to ‘hell’ because if there is one than you will be right behind me. see you there assholes!
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 8:39am March 14 via Facebook Mobile
do you get mad when people talk about their faith, that doesnt envoke the name of Jesus? just wondering.
Trina Sneed at 12:50pm March 14
It is true, dear man, that the Bible was written by many men. God is a loving father. He lets his kids be a part of his work. He didn’t NEED any help writing it. He could have had one person write it if he’d chosen to. The fact that so many men over so many years were part of this great work and there are no contradictions in the Bible testifies that it is a MIRACULOUS work of God.
“Methinks thou dost protest too much” You are being drawn by God right now. It’s no coincidence that you have been met here by all these believers trying to help you see the truth. You had an appointment. These people aren’t here trying to convince you so they can say “I’ve won another one to OUR side”. They are desiring to be a part of their father’s work. God gets the glory. If it weren’t for the love of God imparted to us by the Holy Spirit and paid for by Jesus, they wouldn’t care to say anything to you. We have found the most awesome gift and there’s plenty for all!
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 2:04pm March 14 via Facebook Mobile
Thats great Trina!! 🙂
Grant Snowden Crider at 3:22pm March 14
do i get mad when people talk about thier faith? no way, i enjoy hearing about it. i talk with a buddist friend of mine a couple times a week and faith comes up. I used to date a jewish girl and have jewish friends with whom I discussed spirituality and faith. Did I ever get mad? no. did they ever try to push thier faith on me? NO! What you are sensing in my past messeges is frustration at being bombarded with posts in which the argument assumes that the bible is all true facts and is to be taken literally. How can I make an argument when in your mind the stories and theories of the bible are proven facts?
Grant Snowden Crider at 3:40pm March 14
Now I’m all game to discuss these ideas but lets do it rationally. Lets look at facts, scientific facts that have been proven. I would start with the geological time line. I’m not sure what you believe that the date of creation was, but lets see if it matches up with what the rocks say. and i’m not just talking about carbon dating or uranium dating, i’m talking about what we know about the formation of the mountains and rivers; the continental plates and the shift/ move of the continents over millions of years; the fossil record. we could then map out life evolution right along the geo timeline. i’ve got more if you wanna go
Grant Snowden Crider at 3:55pm March 14
If you do look at the facts there is no way that the bible can be taken literally. things just don’t add up. try opening your mind to new ideas. what if God or Allah or Jah or whatever you want to call it put into motion the events that led to life. it just seems very self-centered to think that out of this whole world, hell this whole universe, that God would choose only the Christians to go to a good place when they die. Now like i said before i’m down to have this discussion but i refuse to accept the Bible as fact show me proven publications and we can talk. oh and don’t act all self-righteous, we all know you have your dirty little secrets. the difference between me and you is that mine aren’t secrets. boy its liberating not to have to hide shit. some advice: think for yourself or you are gonna follow some fool off of a cliff. peace
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 3:59pm March 14 via Facebook Mobile
The bible says to confess your sins to one another, and I live by that my friend.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 4:41pm March 14
well, in all due respect my friend, you stated that the evolution theory was a proven fact. If evolution was proven as fact, it would go from being a scientific theory to being a scientific truth. in the words of Pontius Pilot, “what is Truth?” Truth is fact. The word theory is defined as an opinion or idea. in fact, most research into ape to human evolution has been debunked, that is why it remains to this day a “theory”. Christians do not push their faith on you, they are trying to give it to you because they genuinely care for you. The free gift of forgiveness of your sins is offered to you through Jesus Christ because God genuinely loves you and cares for you. Jesus said his burden is light and his Yoke is easy. We are not trying to force something upon you that would weigh you down and carry you to the bottom of the ocean if you where to jump into it. Instead, we are freely offering you Jesus Christ for all he is, to all you are; in hopes that you will not jump into the sea, but i
Byron Johnson at 4:47pm March 14
In my experience, when someone resorts to vulgarity, profanity, and outright angry speech, then they have run out of valid points or supporting dialog for their own beliefs, and have therefore lost all credibility in discussion from that point on.
I apologize for having offended you so, and genuinely wish you all the best with that whole evolution thing. I certainly hope it works out for you.
For those of us who have actually studied the plagiarized works of Darwin (yes, he stole his work from his Grandfather) we realize that Darwin wrote his own counter-argument, saying that (and I paraphrase here) “If in the future, it can be proven that a biological organism has two or more biological functions which would have had to evolve simultaneously and yet remain symbiotic, then the foundation of evolution would be obliterated.” (Something to that effect).
Byron Johnson at 4:55pm March 14
In the study of microbiology, the very nature of cellular chemistry, digestion, photosynthesis, immune systems, (and more) scientists are beginning to see a paradigm shift in what was once held as paramount scientific understanding (evolution & natural selection). Essentially, there are far too many complicated components on a molecular, microbiotic level for Darwinianism and natural selection to explain. I suggest a book: Darwins Black Box, by Michael J. Behe… no open mind required. It’s straight science.
We can discuss rocks and such if you like, also… I don’t mind, so long as you refrain from inflammatory, derogatory name-calling.
Grant Snowden Crider at 6:06pm March 14
i’m not sure where you are getting your information on human evolution but the source is clearly biased. we can talk about rocks tho. do you believ e in the literal interpretation of the creation according to genesis? how old is the world? approx.
Byron Johnson at 7:09pm March 14
Actually, the information isn’t biased at all. Michael Behe was once a staunch believer in evolution. He began to question the validity of evolutionary thought and became a leading proponent of Irreducible Complexity, which is: “A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” An analogy to this would be the development of a laptop computer. A laptop clearly has complicated components, and equally complicated program data. Both the physical component and the data would have to evolve together perfectly in order for a laptop to just “happen”. Yet any reasonable person can look at a laptop and know that it was designed, engineered and created. Realize that a single living cell in your body is far more complex than a laptop. It would be like comparing a laptop to New York City.
Byron Johnson at 7:15pm March 14
As for some of my other information being biased, yes I admit it surely is. My source: Charles Darwin himself and his work ‘On the Origin of the Species.’ According to Darwin, humans developed from lower forms of animals over a period of millions of years. Changes within a species occur through a process known as natural selection, in which, through genetic mutations, those with superior attributes survive and reproduce, eventually altering the species.
Darwin’s theory assumes gradual change, with natural selection slowly improving life in small steps. Some things, however, can’t be improved gradually. For example, think of a typical mechanical mousetrap you get at a store. It has a number of parts that are needed to catch a mouse. Take one part away and the trap doesn’t work. It’s very hard to see how something like a mousetrap can be built gradually, in the way Darwin’s theory requires.
Byron Johnson at 7:16pm March 14
At the biological level, some cells are like mousetraps in that they only work with all parts interacting. One good example is the bacterial flagellum, which is quite literally an outboard motor that bacteria use to swim. It’s got a propeller, a motor, nuts and bolts to hold things. Natural selection could not have created these individual functions, because they have developed more or less simultaneously, rather than having been built step by step as Darwinism requires.
Byron Johnson at 7:22pm March 14
As for geological discussion on how old I think the earth is, and do I believe in a literal interpretation of creation and Genesis.. I’d have to break that question down a bit, at least into two separate questions. Q1) Do I hold a literal interpretation of creation and Genesis? Q2) How old does Byron Johnson believe the earth is.
I most certainly believe the account of Genesis according to the Bible. There are many prevailing theories out there as to a time-line which would simplify the creation story for human intellectual consumption. I found an interesting book on the subject, ‘The Science of God’ by Gerald L. Schroeder. The author makes a convincing argument about the convergence of science and religion, showing how each need not be conflicting or mutually exclusive.
Byron Johnson at 7:28pm March 14
Some believe that evolution is merely a mystery behind the 6 day creation in Genesis. I argue that any belief what so ever in evolution is a grab on occultism, masquerading as a blend of science and religion in order to water-down Christianity. I feel no shame in accepting the account of Genesis. Some point to II Peter 3, v.8 as evidence of evolutionary or big-bang theory. I say look past v.8 and look at v. 9-10. “9) The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. ”
Byron Johnson at 7:30pm March 14
So, to simply answer the first question: The God I know and serve is so awesome that yes He can and did create the entire universe, heavens, earth, and everything in it just as He says He did. That’s pretty ridiculously awesome!
On to question 2…
Byron Johnson at 7:34pm March 14
How old do I think the earth is? This is completely an irrelevant question to me. Science is forever changing it’s mind on matters abou the earth. Once the earth was thought to have sat upon the shoulders of a fellow named Atlas. It was also thought to have been supported upon the shell of a giant tortoise named Lyria (I think that was it’s name); and then the world was flat; then the world was seen as the center of the universe; then the world became round; then science told us that the sun revolved around a motionless earth; and then Galileo said otherwise; eventually SIR Issac Newton proposed a novella of physics which were held to be unbreakable laws of this world; and then a man named Einstein came along and challenged those laws, obliterating them… you get my point.
Byron Johnson at 7:41pm March 14
So the question is irrelevant to me. What question is relevant, and how I chose to answer that question captures the essence of all that is relevant to me: Who is Jesus, and what does He mean to me?
Instead of being so absorbed in all the distractions of evolution, geological debate/debunking, science, religion, pseudo-science and what-not, I feel it is far more important to find out what it is I should be doing with Jesus in my life. Simply put, 10 years from now, 100 years from now, or 1 year from now, science will inevitably change it’s mind yet again. There will be some new discovery or hypothesis or theory crafted which challenges conventional beliefs and so on..
However, all the science in the world, all the books, textbooks, scientific journals and published works of Einstein cannot reconcile me from my sin. Only Jesus. So, to me, that is the relevant question. Who is Jesus to you? What of His Word have you honestly read, prayed about, and explored with an open mind?
Grant Snowden Crider at 9:43pm March 14
of course science changes all the time, and i stand corrected on the statement i made about evolution being proven, it is only a theary. there are certain things in nature, however, which are evidence of the old age of the earth. these things cannot be denied. mountains, oceans, the fossil record. just like you said science changes all the time and complex systems are better understood every day now. the earth age question should be far from irrelevent. It is the issue you should be trying to understand because it is the one that is hardest for you to explain. to me jesus is a great teacher, a prophet of enormous proportions but the son of a man and woman
Zach Ferguson at 11:17pm March 14
Just to kind of throw my two cents in… Check out the Law of Non-Contradiction. It basically says that two contrasting things cannot be true in the same sense at the same time. So, to discuss the original question…. Christianity says that the ONLY way to Heaven is by accepting Jesus Christ. Islam says that the only way is through Islam’s teachings. If Christianity is true then it is impossible for any other religion to be true. In the same way, if Islam is true it is impossible for any other religion to be true. Religions are talking about the same end so it is simply not possible for multiple religions to be true.
Zach Ferguson at 11:25pm March 14
Now, let’s briefly look at the claims of Jesus. He claimed to be the Son of God, and He claimed to be the only way to get to Heaven. Now, either Jesus is absolutely crazy, a very good liar, or He really is who He says He is. It seems unlikely to me that He is crazy because it’s usually fairly easy to write off a lunatic. If Jesus was a liar, then we really would have no reason to call Him just a good moral teacher. moral teacher shouldn’t lie and deceive millions of people. The only option we are left with is for Jesus to be the Son of God and the savior of the world.
Byron Johnson at 12:52am March 15
I really just don’t get it. Any reasonable person can look at a house and know that it was designed and crafted. Or a watch. Or a jumbo-jet 747. Any reasonable student of chemistry and physics will regurgitate the law of conservation of mass (that matter cannot be created or destroyed) and apply this law when observing the world around them. No matter the challenge presented to evolutionists, the answer always returns in exponents of time. Thousands, millions, billions. If we can estimate a number so profoundly incalculable, then the answer -has- to be correct. Right?
Darwin states that all life can be traced back to a single common ancestor. If this is true, then the fossil record should be full of specimens and his premises would be air-tight. Unfortunately, this is not the case, and devouts of Darwin have faked or forged “evidence” throughout the years. It’s true. Look it up.
Byron Johnson at 12:59am March 15
And then there is the argument of a big-bang where all of the matter in the universe was created and cast out into space. This matter has collected over trillions of years, compressed, ignited, spun, and collided, giving birth to galaxies and solar systems. Billions of years later, the conditions which support life just happen to align perfectly on this tiny little third rock from a red dwarf star. Next, after a few hundred million more years, the chemical conditions again are just right for a mathematical anomaly to occur: spontaneous life. Simultaneously another anomalous event occurs: food to support the anomalous life-form spontaneously occurs. Add another hundred million years, and many mutations to this life form: you get complex proteins, deoxyribonucleic acid, immune systems, cardiovascular systems, photosynthesis, eye-sight, vocalization, speech, independent thought, emotion, understanding, complex mathematics…
Byron Johnson at 1:04am March 15
and then this evolved life form reaches a point of developed maturity where it can contemplate physics, chemistry, quantum physics, complex geometry, aerospace science, and astronomy.. then looks out into the cosmos, with all of the collective centuries of advance and adaptation to the tiny little rock rotating around that small red dwarf and says to itself: None of this matters, I’m just a product of a sequence of countless/infinite random events which aligned perfectly in order for this moment of self awareness to occur. My life has no meaning, death holds no meaning. Right now is all I have. When it’s gone, so am I.
Wow… honestly, I just do not have the faith to be an evolutionist/big-bangster…
Byron Johnson at 1:21am March 15
Richard Dawkins, possibly the most vocal and articulated darwinist/evolutionist of our time, has been unable to contend with the complex mathematics which are problematic of all big-bang/evolutionary theory. He is on the record as being unable to explain the observable evidence throughout the universe which supports design (mathematics, physics, chemistry, etc) and then he goes on to defend evolution by stating his belief that life on earth was the result of intervention by non-terrestrial life, which itself was a life form that had been influenced by another higher form of evolved intelligent life, and so on and so on.
Science tolerates such notions of alien life, ET’s, etc, with projects such as S.E.T.I. and explorations to Mars, fly-by’s of moons and planets in our solar system in search of alien life, yet science has become so exceptionally intolerable of Christianity and Jesus. I don’t see Darwinians attacking any other faiths as vehoently as they do Christianity.
Byron Johnson at 1:36am March 15
Certainly if Christianity has been so easily debunked, then it would not pose a threat to science and therefore could easily be swept aside and placed upon the shelf of antiquity along with the Greek myths of Zeus, the Roman myths of Apolo, and the Norse myth of Thor. However, this simply is not the case.
According to the research firm pewforum.org, the numbers are clear: Darwinism is far less accepted than the scientific community would have one to believe, and the numbers of persons who believe in God are undeniable. ( http://religions.pewforum.org/comparisons# )
The argument made by less than 10% of any given population which decries their beliefs to be the only valid belief, and that the other 90% of us are all plain crazy, cooks, crack-pots, delusional, Biblethumper Jesusfreaks is astounding to me.
Byron Johnson at 1:39am March 15
I just don’t get it… random chance, gizubumegubuzillions of years, infinite mathematical probability, aliens, ET, impossible odds… this is the stuff of “science”…
I’m sticking with simplicity: God spoke. BANG! Jesus saves. My life has eternal consequence. Life has meaning. My life has a purpose. My life has free will. I will freely chose to serve Jesus, and do everything within my power to affect others, impact their lives, expose the fallacy of the lies of the enemy, and try to save lives from an existence of utter worthless, hopeless despair.
To me, the choice has never been easier to chose Jesus.
Grant Snowden Crider at 2:39am March 15
who are the enemy? why are they the enemy? you are a soldier right? did you ever get to kill any of the enemy?
Grant Snowden Crider at 2:40am March 15
choose this religion over that… thats all it is- a competition
Lorri Smith at 8:15am March 15
satan is the enemy. but i say AMEN to zach! that’s what i was going to add. Jesus said He was the son of God and the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE and when you know Him you know He is who He says He is. if someone says He was only a good teacher….prophet….whatever, i say no He wasn’t becauce that would have made Him a liar and a crazy man for even thinking He was the Son of God much less teaching it as truth. so the 2 choices are that either He was totally out of His mind or He is who He says He is.
Byron Johnson at 8:43am March 15
When I say the enemy, I’m talking about Satan.
John 10:10 The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came (Jesus) that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
Ephesians 6:10 & 11 says: Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 says: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
We have to be aware of the intent of the enemy so we can guard against it.
Here is a pretty good reference to read which correlates the scripture well: http://www.acts17-11.com/armor.html
Shawna Solito at 1:15pm March 15
Great posts! Kudo’s to Grant.
Yeah, it’s fine if you believe in something – previous to Jesus’ birth these fine myths had virgin births too! How about that.
Roman/Greek: Demeter and Persephone, Rhea and Zeus, Apollo
In Egypt, virgin mother Isis begat Horus
In Phrygia, Attis was born of the virgin Nama.
A nymph bathing in a river in China is touched by a lotus plant, and the divine Fohi is born.
In Siam, a wandering sunbeam caresses a girl in her teens, and the great and wonderful deliverer, Codom, is born.
In the life of Buddha we read that he descended on his mother Maya, “in likeness as the heavenly queen, and entered her womb,” and was born from her right side, to save the world.”
In Greece, the young god Apollo visits a fair maid of Athens, and a Plato is ushered into the world.
From Greece comes the virgin birth of Adonis, who was resurrected after being killed by a wild boar. Adonis was revered by the Phoenicians as a dying-and-rising god, and Athenians held Adonia
Shawna Solito at 1:19pm March 15
So well after the year “0” the sennenites, a supressed, poor, jewish sect needed a “savior” so begat the story of Jesus.
There is no documentation of the upstart, Jesus. This is during a time where three different literate societies existed at once. Egyptian, Roman, and Hebrew.
Shawna Solito at 1:20pm March 15
In that time, poor people were illiterate. Hmmm, funny, just like now.
Shawna Solito at 1:36pm March 15
There is at least one Talmudic reference to Jeshu as being the illegitimate son of an adultress named Mary Magdala. There are several interesting references to a Yeishu ha Notzri (note the resemblance of the name to “Jesus of Nazareth”), who traveled around and practiced magic during the reign of Alexander Janneus, who ruled Palestine from 104 to 78 BCE. As these references are Talmudic (from the Baraitas and the Gemara), and therefore presumed by Christian scholars to be anti-Christian; Christian apologeticists have simply dismissed them as referring to someone else or being fabricated propaganda. But if they are genuine, and they really do refer to the Jesus of whom the Christians speak, they add evidence to the claim that the Jesus of Nazareth story is really based on the life of Yieshu ha Notzri, possibly the Essene “Teacher of Righteousness.” Evidence points to him being the founder of the Notzri as the sects were known in first century Palestine, and as the Jesus Movements to
Shawna Solito at 1:40pm March 15
Shawna Solito at 3:36pm March 15
Here is a synopsis of several biblical scholars.
Shawna Solito at 3:47pm March 15
These are just a very few historically accurate arguments against the validity of Jesus as a special kind of godhead. By trying to defend Jesus with the bible and some well placed gospel…doesn’t hold any water. Especially if what we are arguing about in the first place is it’s validity. Argue with scientific fact. People are not born of virgins – except now with artificial insemination. You can’t be all love and compassion – and then say if it’s not your way you are to be slaughtered (see the spanish inquisition, the irish protestant/catholic conflict, the annihilation of people all across the world that did not believe in this specific god, iraq war – yes, Bush thought he was doing this in the name of god, Matthew Shepard). I really don’t think anyone or anything that claims it knows the will of “God” is so damn shallow or needy.
Shawna Solito at 3:56pm March 15
This is what I believe in.
“I think, therefore I am” – Because we can think and evolve that thinking – i.e. look the physics of space, the universe, and time that have developed because of forefathers such as, Einstein, Newton, etc. Because we developed science and scientific theory and that we’re even still looking for god (in all the wrong places, looking for god in all the wrong places…). Because we can create from our minds alone – music, art, machines, stories. Because to sit up at the first pullover on Noland’s Creek can send chills down my spine and goose-pimples on my bod when observing this incredible planet in one moment.
I believe in God, I just don’t assume I know “it’s” mind.
Shawna Solito at 4:07pm March 15
I need to quickly expand my first post – about virgin births. Not only did many of these “mythical” beings have virgin births, they also shared (drum roll please) having 12 disciples, resurrection, and amazing feats of “magic”. It was a common trait of the gods of the time, all around Judea.
Shawna Solito at 4:09pm March 15
…oh, and kudo’s to Jason for letting this blog roll! Rock on bro.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 5:29pm March 15
Ya I like this forum too shawna. So since you believe in a sort of God. Does that mean you believe in a place after death like a heaven?? if so, what do you think it’s like? Better than this world? Cause the evil in this world makes this place a little bit of a hassle. Just wondering 🙂
Shawna Solito at 5:56pm March 15
No clue about what happens after death, I HOPE that I continue to exist in some kind of form. Reincarnation and karma make more sense to me as well. I don’t believe we come back as cockroaches, but I do think we inhabit different lives to evolve as individual souls. At each incarnation we experience a whole new way of being, from birth to death. I think we are here to experience – and you can’t have objective experience without the bad. How would you have any idea of good without bad? Just like the color spectrum, life is varied and that should be relished vs exclusion, which religions such as Christianity and Islam rely on to control people. Karma is my equalizer. If I am mean to someone, someone is mean to me – I’ve experienced this on many levels so I do my best to be nice. Do I believe “thou shalt not kill”, you betcha. Evil to me is nothing more than peoples Karma working itself out, and extreme ignorance. Most evil people are either mentally sick (and America is one country that
Shawna Solito at 6:05pm March 15
ridicules people who are mentally sick and provide no care for these people) or uneducated or poor. Evil in the middle east is bred of fear and religious extremism. Evil in Alabama a mere 4 decades ago is bred of fear and religious extremism. Evil in the ghetto is bred of lack of opportunity and ignoring the needy and lack of education. Evil by most solo individuals is bred from being abused as a child. Evil is the lack of love. Love comes in many forms.
But, truly, I have no idea what happens or what it’s like. I cannot prove nor disprove that God exists. I can hope/believe all I want, but the truth is no one knows.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 12:25am March 16
You sound as if you have done allot of research on this topic. I applaud that. It shows that you are hungry for the truth. I looked at both your links. Shawna, Both of those websites claim some incredible things. the church of reality makes some very daring claims. I found some of the claims very interesting. I admit though that when I got to the argument about Paul never admitting that Jesus lived, i stopped. That is a Lie. Paul clearly says that Christ Died (meaning that he had to have lived) and more than that, He rose again. meaning basically, he lived, died, resurrected, and now lives on. I challenge you to not read what people say about the Bible, but instead read what the Bible says. the fact that I found that most of the claims, (which everything from those sites are) to be fabricated and full of truths mixed with Lies totally makes me doubt the validity of your sources. The old testament, however, makes references to the myths about false virgin births. If you look deep into
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 12:34am March 16
the bible, not only to try and prove yourself right, but to Humble yourself (which being a Christian, I should do) and try to find the Truth (unselfishly, which selfishness is evil and if you wish to escape the rules of Karma, you may want to try ;)), you will find that allot of the things that you speak of are addressed. I believe hell to be a real place, and heaven as well to be real. I don’t desire for people to go there, and I know that God doesn’t desire that either. The book of second Timothy says that in the end times people will be surrounding themselves with teachings that will tell them what their itching ears want to hear. I have to admit, I would be happy if heaven was available for all people. unfortunately, its not. Evil has to be purged from us if we are to be set free. Christ is the answer to that. The whole point of the Gospel of Christ is for us to escape evil. In a sense, you could look at it as escaping the never ending cycle of karma. I do believe that many eastern
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 12:42am March 16
religions talk about escaping the cycle of Karma. I’m not to familiar with all of it. I’m only 22 though, and because of what the Scriptures say, I want to learn more about them, so I can tell them the good news of Christ. Jesus said in John 7:38 “whoever believes in me, as the scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. When I accepted Christ a year and a half ago, something inside of me changed. I spent my entire life trying to avoid the wrath (or the Karma) of my sin (evil). no joke.. That night, something inside of me changed, I no longer try to be good to escape (what ever it is i am escaping) but now I have the Law written upon my heart. you said there are many forms of love. I have felt many things my life. But I never knew what love really was, or truly was until i understood the price that Jesus paid for me. Thats what Christians (real Christians) are trying to share and give freely. Its that selfless love that God shows in the form of his son. we
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 12:50am March 16
are not perfect, but Thankfully he was and is.. Thats good enough for me.
Allot of people who are not believers think that its some sort of mind control or brainwashing thing. its not. the Gospel gets presented and hearts change. Jesus Christ has liberated many more people besides myself. Their are alcoholics that stop drinking, murderers who come to a state of repentance, Fathers who begin to care for their family’s… etc.. all of these things happen due to the saving power of Jesus Christ. Christ came to set the captives free, and he continuously does it even now. people can look for the proof of Christ in the past, or in books, sometimes that brings people to faith. theyre have been way more people come to Christ researching than there are people who have given him up. but when you fail to look at what the message of Christ is doing now, (freeing people from the bondage that they are in) you will fail to see the miracles that he is still performing. He is constantly turning water
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 12:53am March 16
into wine in front of us, and we are overlooking it. we can walk on water with him, all we have to do is have faith in him.
he will not leave me or forsake me. and I love it.
Shawna Solito at 1:11pm March 16
Hey Stephen! Thanks for taking the time to review my points. Yes, it does sound extreme to someone who has a deep belief in one savior. But a major point that you (and most Christians) are missing is that every Muslim, every Buddhist, every Hindu believes as strongly as you do. If your God only chooses one people to save, honestly, I don’t want to know him. Your God has a big ego and rules by fear, again, sounds incredibly shallow and controlling and very human. I agree that the sites I posted may seem trite or misinformed, but further research (works cited) unveils the historians and professors and archeologists that have come to this determination. As for Paul, he never met Jesus, he had a hallucination – so if I came to you, and said I saw God, in the desert, and he told me this and that – would you believe me? Hellfire (!) I wouldn’t believe myself! So how does Paul even know if Jesus existed or not except from here-say and a hallucination? Acts 9:3-9
Shawna Solito at 1:23pm March 16
Now, I will tell you this (my fine furry friends!) that I own three bibles, all King James version – as well as several books on Buddhism, Wiccanism, and Hinduism. I find truths and deception in all, including the Bible. The truths in the Bible are numerous – Love thine Enemy is my fave and incredibly contradictory to most of the New Testement – maybe they were drinking too much wine that day – but Love thine Enemy is great – I do this often – if I have had a conflict with someone or am angry and a group of people for whatever reason, by sending loving thoughts and compassion the anger quickly dissipates. An example would be Dick Cheney, Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong Il, murderers in prison, pedophiles (which is really difficult) etc. When was the last time a Christian nation Loved it’s Enemies?
Shawna Solito at 1:31pm March 16
Another fave was Seek the Truth, until I found out it was “only through him”. Come on, there is not only one way to truth. Why would God create so many incredibly beautiful and unique ways to be human, so many different trees, and fish, so many universes! planets! etc. and then say, oh, your my favorites ’cause you believe in this guy and everyone else is shit? Is this how we treat children? I have sought, high (!) and low, truth since my divorce in ’93 and have found that I still don’t know everything – but absolute truth comes from an open, malleable, and forgiving mind and it also comes from tragedy.
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 2:18pm March 16 via Facebook Mobile
hey Shawna, your citing was very on, but upon reading verse 6 of acts 9 you will see that Saul was not halucinating when he heard the voice. it states that the men travelling with him heard the voice as well, but could not see where it was coming from. I love what you said about compassion, that is a key part of what Christ taught. You seem like you have the Law written upon your heart. I hope that one day you will see why the way to life is narrow but the way to death is large. I also hope you see that its not about dividing people from God but uniting them with him. The book of Hosea speaks about this. I think if I knew you personally we would be friends, the whole reason I share the Gospel is because i mean that. thanks! 🙂
Stephen Caleb Mayfield at 2:22pm March 16 via Facebook Mobile
i mean verse 7. sorry bout that. lol
MORE posts to come … i will add them later