Dormant Christian?

buddy-cPastor Guy recently responded to my request for some inspiration, his original topic starter was the inability to prove that emotions exist in the human race. I have to say that guy may be confused as to just what human emotions are other than chemical reactions in the body/brain but they seem to be pretty well set in stone to me- so that’s one worm I won’t bite. However, when I asked Guy in a private email to explain his contention a little more clearly he left a little quip at the end of the email that made my knee jerk just a bit. Pastor Guy knows how to get a rise out of me (Which is why he might just be the resident smart ass here at RagingRev- a title I think he may gladly accept).

So, what did Guy say?

could my statement of “Dormant Christian” to describe you be a worthy topic?

What an interesting position…”Dormant Christian”! Guy is proposing that because I was at one time a devoted Christian (Saved, if you will) then technically I am still a Christian. Guy evidently ascribes to the doctrine of “Once Saved , Always Saved”…if you aren’t familiar with that, its one of those small controversial doctrines that Christians like to debate and argue over. When I was a Christian my position was strangely similar to Guy’s, however I was not very solid on it…it wasn’t considered cardinal in my life but I always WANTED to believe something like that. Now though, I have to look at it from the outside…and it’s just one of those things that you don’t think about until you hear it or read it like I did when Guy said that…it kind of…caught me off guard.

So what is an ex-christian supposed to feel when approached with a contention like this? Personally I feel kinda irked about it. What this means for me is that my fate isn’t even in my hands anymore, that because I once believed I am going to be forced into heaven with a god I abhor. I sought this god out, made him the most important thing in my life and now that I have come to the understanding that this god does not exist, and that if he DOES exist I really don’t want anything to do with him I still have to tolerate his presence for all eternity?

What ever happened to all this crap I keep hearing about free will? One of the first things a Christian brings up when discussing religion with me is how God allows us to stray from him, and that he didn’t really just set us up for failure (yea right, have you read ANY religious texts at all?). I want to be able to veto this thing….somehow, I really don’t want to go to heaven, I don’t want to see God in any form anymore because I personally think his character is deplorable.

So…what do I do? Does any one else agree with this doctrine? Is there a way to get my ticket to heaven revoked?

Does anyone understand where I am coming from?

  • All I know is there are as many roads down the mountain as there were going up, trouble is it’s very difficult to escape downhill.

  • You could do something REALLY bad. I don’t know what – you work it out. Just don’t get arrested OK?

  • I like to think that if God exists, which I seriously doubt, he isn’t the asshole portrayed in the Bible or preached about by many Christians. If he’s cool then I’d have no problem going to heaven to be with him, plus it would be nice to see all my loved ones again.

    “For me, it is far better to perceive the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying or reassuring.” -Carl Sagan

    • Matt

      @ Monolith-Mike-

      I would expect the same Mike, which means that I shouldn’t have to worry about salvation and such since a non-asshole god would just let me in for all the good effort i have made. Universalism sounds so…ideal….just not likely

  • I’ve got it – kiss a witch – MWAH –

    • Matt

      @ Jenny-

      I have considered the blasphemy challenge…im working on doing that soon. its one of those scary steps

  • Eric Soto

    I think the bigger problem here is that youve already decided that if God does exist, you hate him and dont want to be with him based on what YOU think his character is.

    but what if he does exsist and his character is alot more loving and amazing than you feel it to be right now? wouldnt you be glad that your “salvation” was still intact based on a former belief?

    • Matt

      @ Soto
      We are talking about the same god bro…thats the thing…when i talk about god in this sense I am referring strictly to YHWH and the biblical interpretation of that deity—I have problems with all of the deities I have studied personally, but I have to attack the one I am most familiar with–the one that died for me

      IF I am wrong about God, he needs to show it…if he doesn’t cut the mustard after my death I would really like to opt out of heaven.

  • If God is loving then you wouldn’t need salvation.

  • It is 11:37 pm here, I will have to return to answer all of this in the morning. 🙂

    *yawn*

    P.S. Just because you gave up on God, doesn’t mean He gave up on you. No matter how much you hate Him, He will never “hate” you.

    P.P.S This reminds me, I need to answer Brother Tony’s email about another brother that gave up on God!

  • P.P.P.S…

    Giddyup on that “Freethinking Carders” thing would ya!

    • Matt

      @ Guy:
      @ PS: I hate the idea of who he is…he doesn’t exist and therefore I can’t hate him…if he did and his biblical persona was correct…i would very much hate him…and from what I know of him, i think he hates us all

      @ PPS: I would love to get a link to this guys story if you can share it?@!?!?!?!

      @ PPPs: Working on it, probably will launch officially middle of March.

  • David

    @ Matt: lol Kudos for Pastor Guy getting to you! j/k

    You know, dude, there’s something you said to me a long time in a galaxy far away when we were evangelistic together ago that has really stuck with me. It was a parable of sorts about people more or less being desperate for help/love/truth but completely unapproachable because they had so much spit in their eyes from their enemies that they couldn’t tell friend from foe.

    Naturally, this poor jaded person would lash out at anyone who would come near by because through spit-covered glasses even the friendliest person could look pretty scary and be a blur much like the one hurling the saliva.

    The same thing supposedly happens to some dogs; if you were to put a dog on a chain with no room to run away from potential threats he often turns mean in hopes he can scare off an attacker.

    At any rate, I know you believe right now that God is the one throwing the loogies and is the mythical bad dog all the brainwashed shallow-minded puppies follow, but what if that’s not the case?

    I’ll spare you my repetitive long spiel about God being the unfailing love all people are thirsty for, but I still say it’s true even if I still can’t seem to muster a convincing syllogism or a wealth of irrefutable clinical studies. 🙂

    C’ya l8ter. Peace.
    -Dave

    • Matt

      @ David:

      All that sounds like stuff i would have said…sadly. I don’t think of God as the guy spitting on me though, I feel like I spat on myself a good bit…and perhaps a few members of “the church” did too…I created my god just like you have created yours, we just called him by the same forbidden name and followed the same version of his history—but your understanding and mine can be based more on our own experiences with him rather than those stories…my point is, why did the bastard chain me up and threaten me and not you? apply this same question to all of humanity and the billions of people he is sending to hell and our bitterness becomes more understandable.

      once again, I am only attacking the IDEA of a god though

  • But everything you say goes back to God “proving” something to you. Whether that be that he exists or that he is more loving than say your own biblical interpretation.

    If your not even open to Him if he DOES exist…how can you expect to experience his love and truth in its truest and most understandable form amoung us imperfect beings?

    you obviously felt it before, or you wouldnt have believed for so long and so devoutly.

  • Matt, you think the Bible’s God sucks, and I think you think that for a damn good reason. The real God may still have a few shadows left in the Bible but God’s unconditional Love has almost been totally misinterpreted and symbolized to hell and back.

    God is unconditional Love and is not swayed, in the slightest, by anything that you or any other human being does on the planet Earth. God gave you Free Will to use His unconditional Love. Now if you use the almighty power of Love to destroy or cause pain you are in Hell; and on the other hand, if you choose to use the almighty power of Love to have fun and be creative you are in Heaven.

  • Thought it would be good to add that God’s creation (Earth and the Universe) are swayed by what humans do. We can create and destroy all we like because we have to live with what we do. The atomic bomb sways creation quite a bit as does the Internet. But all the while God as unconditional Love remains unchanged.

  • "Greetings…

    First off, if you have yet to listen to my podcast on "Freewill", I would suggest doing so, if you want to better understand myself and my thought processes.

    http://www.heresytoday.org/2009/02/04/freewill/

    While not a requirement by any means, I would certainly not want to debate/discuss with Richard Dawkins until after I had read his book(s). It would not only benefit myself, but the discourse as a whole if I better understood "who" I was talking to, instead of just jumping in cold (Which is what Ray Comfort & Kirk Cameron did in their debate with the Rational Response Squad, hence their failure to hold a legitimate discourse with them). Granted it is 72 minutes long, but I feel it would be quite helpful, especially with this topic.

    Secondly… And now on to the show! 🙂

    You said:

    "so that’s one worm I won’t bite."

    Good, there is nothing to be gleaned that would have really benefited anyone. It would have been nothing more than an empty debate that both sides would have had to rely on the subjective to prove.

    You said:

    "he left a little quip at the end of the email that made my knee jerk just a bit."

    That is exactly why it was at the end. I knew that the body of the discussion held no real meat to chew on, so why not exit with something that would stick in your mind? 🙂

    You said:

    "Pastor Guy knows how to get a rise out of me"

    No, I just know that you are much like me, (by your own admission in the past as well) ergo I know there is a chance you might understand the nooks and crannies of my mind.

    You said:

    "(Which is why he might just be the resident smart ass here at RagingRev- a title I think he may gladly accept)."

    Accepted with honor and gratitude. To be singled out amongst the crowd lets me know that there is a chance you might actually read what I write with some bit of credibility. Maybe… 🙂 You have enough folks beating you over the head with the Bible, and "God is love", so why not try the door 180 degrees from that?

    You said:

    "Guy is proposing that because I was at one time a devoted Christian (Saved, if you will) then technically I am still a Christian."

    It is a generalized description, I think a better description for you specifically would be… "A dormant disciple of Christ." I would surmise that you would take issue with "Christians and their Christianity", which could have played a part in your religious apostasy.

    As for your "religious apostasy"? I support that! That is a bold move, it is that very renunciation of your former "religion" that brings you all the closer to Christ! What you are going through now is the "middle ground" between "religion" and "discipleship". You have abandoned everything that "man" has taught you about God, and you need to go through the detritus of darkness left in the wake of such heresy, before you can reach the light of truth. Now is the time to allow God to "speak for Himself", let Him teach you about Himself. Trust not in mans wisdom, only God's.

    Read these:

    Proverbs 2:6 (Gods mouth, not man's)

    1 Corinthians 1:19-24

    1 Corinthians chapter 2

    1 Corinthians 3:19

    Ephesians 1:17

    Colossians 2:2-4

    Colossions 2:23

    James 1:5 (Ask God, not man)

    James 3:13-18

    But how is He going to "teach" you? You claim He does not exist, ergo there is no one to do the teaching!

    He is there. You see Him probably every day, what has changed is that you are no longer looking for Him.

    General Revelation:

    He is there, all around you… In the Winter, He is ever unique snowflake, In the Spring, He is the resurrection of plant life from dead/dormant to the beauty of full blossom. In the Summer He is the growing and bearing of fruit. In the Autumn He is the harvester that is constantly sustaining life by the overall process of the creation of food.

    In a human, He is the smile and laughter of that small child looking at its parent with love and trust, knowing that the parent is faithful to use the love that God gave him/her in His image to feed, clothe, shelter, and love that child.

    It is the very emotion of love given in His image that causes a spouse to offer their life up in exchange for the other in prayers of deliverance from an impending death. The very sacrifice made by His Son is mirrored in that person as they also offer themselves as a living sacrifice out of love and devotion.

    It is the discipline of parent to child, in the hopes of teaching the child that what they have done is wrong, and that it will benefit them in the future to know that such actions cause damage to maybe themselves, and maybe others.

    It is the skies, the vast expanse of the universe that causes one to wonder where it came from, how it came to be, what is out there? It is that very calling, beckoning, questioning, that God gives us to try and seek Him, and His wisdom, and will.

    It is that very core knowledge of right and wrong, even though many will ignore, the ability to discern is still there.

    Special Revelation:

    Ignore man's religion! Man's religion has nothing to offer!

    Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone")

    The Bible, and only the Bible is God's official standpoint on everything that was, that is, and that will be. Anything from the mouth of man is flawed by default.

    Let me ask you a question…

    Take out every "Christian", and the religion of "Christianity", leave God all alone, with His word, (the Bible) Assume that there are no Christians on this planet, and that the "religion" of Christianity never existed. Would you have LESS negative feelings towards God & the Bible alone?

    Of course you would! You may still dislike Him, but it would be a lot less if there was never a "fan club" full of hypocrites "speaking and acting" in His name. Could it possibly be that this "Ship of Fools" could have been the driving force to cause you to turn to being a "religious apostate"?

    Let us hope so! Let us hope that their "Do what I say, and not what I do" attitude, was instrumental in freeing you from the slave's chains of "religion"!!!!

    You said:

    "Guy evidently ascribes to the doctrine of “Once Saved , Always Saved”…"

    Yes, I was raised as a Southern Baptist/Calvinist, so that is one of the keys on my ring. For those interested, more info can be found on the BF&M 2000 here:

    http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp

    Granted, I was Southern Baptist/Calvinist before that version of the BF&M was adopted in 2000, but the core remains the same in the updated version. (Yes there was a seminary rebellion in the late 70's – early 80's, and yes, I was on the side of the rebels.)

    You said:

    "its one of those small controversial doctrines that Christians like to debate and argue over."

    Calvin vs. Arminius? Yes, quite the debate indeed! For those interested, I recommend these two books:

    "Why I am Not a Calvinist"

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-I-Am-Not-Calvinist/dp/0

    "Why I Am Not an Arminian"

    http://www.amazon.com/Why-I-Am-Not-Arminian/dp/08

    Both offer a great overview, without the intense depth of theological battle.

    You said:

    "When I was a Christian my position was strangely similar to Guy’s"

    And realizing we are even closer than you had originally thought, when you read more of me? Yes? No?

    You said:

    "however I was not very solid on it…it wasn’t considered cardinal in my life but I always WANTED to believe something like that."

    Read those two books I suggested, (For academic purposes ONLY) and maybe you might have a clearer position on the debate, in case you have the opportunity to offer an opinion?

    You said:

    "I have to look at it from the outside…"

    Good! A different POV from what you once had always offers other information to glean from, and the more info you have, the more informed decision you are able to make!

    Try this… Get back into the mindset you once had when you were an "active believer", and what do you see then? Compare the two POV's, what is different? What is similar?

    You said:

    "and it’s just one of those things that you don’t think about until you hear it or read it like I did when Guy said that…it kind of…caught me off guard."

    Good! I guess you were so used to the "Hellbound Atheist!", "God is love…", and getting hit over the head with the Bible, that it was rather "refreshing" to see someone that was interested in you using the mind God gave you, as opposed to you simply shutting up, and doing what the Pastor, and the Church tells you? 🙂

    You said:

    "So what is an ex-christian supposed to feel when approached with a contention like this?"

    Excellent Observation! I agree with you %100! You are indeed an "Ex-Christian", and for that, I rejoice, and praise God that you have found freedom from those "religious chains"! Huzzah!

    What should you as a former slave to religion think?

    "Curiosity" to begin with. What do you see now through the eyes of a "Disciple", that you could not see through the blinders of "Christianity"? Tell me, I want to know! What does "Christians & Christianity" look like to you, now that you are no longer one of them, or it.

    Don't tell me about God, tell me about today's Christians, and their Christian Church, what do you see? Describe them and it for me…

    Leave…

    God the Father out of it.

    God the Son out of it.

    And God the Holy Spirit out of it.

    Then afterwords, ask yourself… "What has God's 'Fan Club' done for Him lately?" Have they helped His cause? Hindered it?

    You said:

    "Personally I feel kinda irked about it."

    Years of lies, hypocrisies, and heresy does rather whizz one off, doesn't it? Thinking back, it kinda sucked being "sucked in" by man's "religion"?

    You said:

    "What this means for me is that my fate isn’t even in my hands anymore,"

    If you are a member of the "House of Calvin", then it never was since the foundation of the world.

    You said:

    "that because I once believed I am going to be forced into heaven with a god I abhor."

    Tell me why you "abhor" Him?

    Leave…

    Christians out of it.

    Christianity out of it.

    and everything that has anything to do with humanity out of it.

    Then afterwords, ask yourself… "What has God's 'Fan Club' done for Him lately?" Have they helped His cause? Hindered it? What answer did you get the second time you asked this question of yourself?

    You said:

    "I sought this god out, made him the most important thing in my life"

    And for that reason, and that reason alone, you are "Once Saved, Always Saved." (That, and "Pre-destination". LOL)

    You said:

    "and now that I have come to the understanding that this god does not exist,"

    You have come to an "understanding", not a belief? Hmmm… Lets look at what you continue to say in this sentence…

    You continued to say:

    "and that if he DOES exist"

    "If"? As a "Non-Believer", that "if" would have NEVER appeared in that sentence.

    You may have "come to an understanding" that God does not exist, but you are by no means a "non-believer".

    Remember that email forward I sent you late last night, that you requested, about the other person with a "crisis of faith"? He too concluded "God does not exist", but as you read what I am saying here, and then re-read what that person wrote, is there a chance that the person in the email might still be a "believer"?

    If God were to "dump" everyone that believed He did not exist after "regeneration", wouldn't Heaven be rather empty?

    How many times, have how many Christians been angry with God, especially after their prayers were not answered the way they expected them to be, or after a tragedy happens in their lives, and they begin to "doubt", and wonder "Why"?

    God is our "Heavenly Father", and we are His "Children", does a parent simply stop loving their child because the child is angry, because they didn't "get their way", or things didn't "work out how they wanted them to"?

    I should disown my 8 daughters every time they are mad at me? LOL

    I would be "disowning them 2 or 3 times a week if that were the case! 🙂

    Listen carefully…

    I love all 8 of my daughters.

    There is nothing that they could say or do to me that would stop me from loving them.

    I might not like what they say or do at times, but I, and I alone control my love for them, and I will never surrender that precious love for them.

    No matter what.

    Such as it is with God. You came home to God through Christ, and He will never give up on you, even if you give up on Him.

    Read Luke 15:11-32

    That is why you are "Once Saved, Always Saved"…

    You said:

    "I really don’t want anything to do with him I still have to tolerate his presence for all eternity?"

    I am going to venture a guess here…

    Have you been through one or more "Church Split(s)? Yes? No?

    You said:

    "What ever happened to all this crap I keep hearing about free will?"

    I explain that in my podcast.

    You said:

    "One of the first things a Christian brings up when discussing religion with me is how God allows us to stray from him,"

    Stray from His Will, but never from "His Grace." His grace is unmerited, we do nothing to earn it, and it is to give. Once given, if taken away, it was never grace to begin with. Ergo, His Grace is quite "gracious" indeed!

    Read this:

    Romans Chapter 5

    His Grace is here, and here to stay, even the silly little temper tantrum of the "Blasphemy Challenge" cannot thwart that! Because you were forgiven long before you posted it to YouTube… 🙂

    You said:

    "and that he didn’t really just set us up for failure"

    You know better than that… Adam and Eve had the same "Freewill" that you and I have now. Everything in life is a choice, and with every action comes a reaction, be it good or bad. And the consequences of every choice are written in stone, good or bad, and cannot be changed, good or bad…

    You said:

    "(yea right, have you read ANY religious texts at all?)"

    Yes sir. But are you "Believing the texts" or "Believing man"? There is quite a difference…

    You said:

    "I want to be able to veto this thing….somehow, I really don’t want to go to heaven, I don’t want to see God in any form anymore because I personally think his character is deplorable."

    Tell me what is so "deplorable" about His character, and then I will tell you what is so great about it. I'll give you a hint about what I will say up front…

    "God says what He means, and He means what He says." 🙂

    You said:

    "Is there a way to get my ticket to heaven revoked?"

    Nope, you already gave it to the conductor. You don't get off the train until it reaches it's destination.

    You said:

    "Does anyone understand where I am coming from?"

    You tell me… Is your position still strangely similar to mine when you were a "Christian"? Or has it become more similar now that you are not?

  • You could commit the unforgivable sin. All you have to do is call the holy ghost a whore that gives handjobs for 10 dollars a pop to help support its crack habit.

  • “If your not even open to Him if he DOES exist…how can you expect to experience his love and truth in its truest and most understandable form among us imperfect beings?”

    Eric, if I knew you in person and was not “open” to you or did not believe in you, I’d have to be a bit mad wouldn’t I? There is no way I could sanely deny your existence. Shouldn’t the almighty creator of all that is at least be as tangible or undeniable as you? If God exists, it is he that chooses to remain hidden to some. I just watched part of Inside The Actors Studio and the Guest was Ricky Gervais. He said something along the lines of “If God exists, why did he make me an atheist? That was his first mistake wasn’t it? Well, the talking snake was actually his first mistake.”

  • I love some of these comments… (I would love them even more if my big one was posted LOL)

    God seems to be the “bad guy at fault”, and humans can just do no wrong… LOL

    Human beings just love exalting themselves over anything that dare might show them undeserved mercy and grace. One would think it to be more of a move towards “supplicant”, but of course… HAHAHA… 🙂

  • @Mike

    The modern Bible is made of translations, interpretations and symbolism. The talking snake is a good example of a symbol that got translated/interpreted from who knows what.

    I feel God is tangible because God is omnipresent or is everything including you. You (human beings) are God’s most beautiful and purposeful creation…God is in every fiber or your being…and your being was created to be able to appreciate God everywhere inside and outside you. And the secret to appreciating God everywhere is to take good care of your health (heart) and happiness. The happier and healthier you become the more you know God…God becomes more tangible…you can perform miracles or we could say have good luck.

    @Pastor Guy

    Wow, you think I’m a “Hellbound Atheist!” because I know “God is love…” Well, I really hate to tell you this, my heart goes out to you as you are surely not Hell bound because you’re already there.

  • @FF…

    “I” never said you were a “Hellbound Atheist”… I know the comment is long, and may get tiring to read, but that is not my opinion. You might need to re-read it.

  • @FunInFitness please do not take offense, but your definition of God sounds so watered down as to be meaningless to me. God is everything? If you want to call everything God and that makes you happy, then great. I’m perfectly content not calling everything God.

  • Mike, my God definition is that God is omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient. I think that definition is a common sense or universal one in religion. Sometimes, especially in Christianity, God is defined and pictured as a man with a grey beard up in the sky spying on everyone to see if they are doing anything wrong.

    I understand you’re happy not calling God everything and I’m not expecting you to call God anything. What I am saying is that the happier and healthier you become the more you will know God and the more tangible God will become to you. And if God becomes more tangible to you then you will call God what makes you happy.

  • @Pastor Guy

    My apologies to you, rereading helped me to see “Hellbound Atheist” is someone else in a group you put together that helped Matt lower his guard to you.

    You are right, it is tiring to read, it must have been a tiring to write as well.

  • AFF…

    LOL

    Not so much “tiring” as it was “annoying” trying to condense everything I wanted to say into that long behemoth I already had typed! 🙂

    I am notorious for comments that can rank 5 times longer then the post I am commenting on. I drive some bloggers nuts at times! And at other times, they love actually seeing someone type more than a “one-liner”. hahaha

    Yes, the “Hellbound Atheist” was what an Atheist can usually expect to hear, or “God is love”. With “Christians”, there is a lot of black or white, love or hate, do or don’t, my way or the highway… And most get burned out on it after a while, that is why I steer clear of even getting near that.

    As for “dropping his guard”? Naaa… I don’t think he would at this point, and I wouldn’t want him to either. I can tell by what he writes that he had a bad experience with the “religion of Christianity” somewhere down the line, so why expect him to want to trust someone who is either a “reject/pariah” of them, or a “rebel/heretic” who convicts them? 🙂

    Mine is to plant the seed, nothing more, nothing less. Everything, and anything else that happens after that is the realm of the Holy Spirit, and none of my business.

    Personally, if anything, when this is all said and done, I want him to be able to truthfully say that “A Disciple of Christ certainly has the ability to be a FreeThinker.”, and I will be justified. 🙂 “Christians” may not have that ability, but then again…

    I am not a so-called “Christian”.

  • Seems to me that the doctrine of "once a Christian, always a Christian" has about as much validity as the Mormon belief that they can "convert" the dead to Mormonism.

    Once a murderer, always a murderer, but belief isn't action (though it can lead to action). Once an existentialist, always an existentialist? Once a pragmatist, always a pragmatist?

  • To say "you may have given up on God but he hasn't given up on you" is as meaningful as saying "you may have given up on Santa but he hasn't given up on you." It only has meaning if God is already known to exist.

    Otherwise, there's no more reason to be "open" to him than there is to be "open" to Santa Claus.

    If you're quite certain God doesn't exist (as I am, for example), then you can ignore comments like that. And comments like your being a "dormant Christian."

    Such comments only display the arrogance and self-righteous attitude of superiority of the speakers. Because it doesn't matter to them what YOU think — they "know better." Your own thoughts, choices, reasons — all irrelevant to them.

    I know this because I was just as arrogant when I was a fundie. I had a friend tell me he felt no "pull" whatsoever toward God, and I smiled smugly to myself, knowing that I KNEW BETTER WHAT WAS INSIDE HIS HEAD THAN HE DID. Because it was impossible for any person not to feel the pull of God. 'Cause, you know, God had told me, and stuff.

    Could there BE anything more arrogant or contemptuous of other people? "You don't know what's inside your own head — even though you're the one living there — but I do, who have no access to your mind whatsoever."

    Once I moved to the other side of the equation I discovered, to my shame and horror, that it actually IS entirely possible not to sense any "pull" toward that God-concept. None.

    I've spent a decade or two apologizing to people for my arrogance, after that.

    But you don't have to pay any attention to such things, if you're certain of what you think is the truth.

  • @Catana…

    “belief” is the only human action that causes a “chain reaction” for the life of the human.

    Mr. Oxley here (though he has yet to answer me! quack, quack!) is suffering from that very chain reaction, no matter how he looks at it.

    Whether he claims to be a believer or a non believer, the choice he made long ago still follows him wherever he goes! In his mind, that day, and that life he once led is still there, and still “haunts” (for lack of a better word) him to this very moment as he reads this comment I am typing.

    Look at this weblog of his! He is proud of being an Atheist now, BECAUSE he was proud of being a Christian back then!

    Look at this post… Everything was going just fine, until ol’ as*hole me had to popoff about being a “Dormant Christian”.

    Like all other actions, the reaction creates the same “ripple effect” like the pebble in the pond. But the difference is that the pond is God’s that he threw the pebble in, and it has no shore’s that eventually bounce the ripples back to an eventual end.

    Like that Energizer bunny.

    They just keep goin, and goin, and goin…

    I wonder if Mista Ox thinks the word “Plagued” describes it better than my “Haunted”? I am guessing yes. 🙂

  • @Phyl…

    Awfully bitter aren’t we? Does your very comment smell of everything you just ranted about? Or did you have a hard time reading mine from your ivory tower? LOL

    How quickly you tell Mr. Oxley what is in “his head”…

    Smells like fear from here!

  • I agree with Bookish and Heresy because we are all trying to understand what is in Matt’s head and heart at his request, “So…what do I do? Does any one else agree with this doctrine? Is there a way to get my ticket to heaven revoked?

    Does anyone understand where I am coming from?”

    And now we are trying to understand what is in each other’s head and heart.

    I listened to 15-20 minutes of Heresy Free Will and feel on the same page as Guy in that humans are made in the image of God (to me Free Will is what’s most Godlike) and everything that everyone thinks and does is a choice. However, Guy follows that up with God also making choices, which to me is a shallow idea of God who is beyond choice being omniscient. God made us with Free Will so we could have an interesting time choosing and then either enjoying or suffering the consequences of our choice. So what Matt did was to choose to be a devout Christian for a while and experience that and now he is an Atheist choosing to question the Christian experience.

  • I am honored that the resident smart ass is asking me to exegete. But I don't have the time to read Biblical bs right now.

    Being omniscient God is beyond choice because one can choose from however many options there are based on what one knows about the options. God knows everything about everything so His Will is not a choice, it's His Will going forward based on knowing everything about everything. Humans on the other hand can choose based on whatever knowledge they have about everything.

  • @FF…

    You said:

    “I listened to 15-20 minutes of Heresy Free Will”

    Too bad, you missed the best parts, the opening only sets up the coming meat of the dinner. Oh well… 🙂

    You said:

    “However, Guy follows that up with God also making choices, which to me is a shallow idea of God who is beyond choice being omniscient.”

    ???

    ???

    Then how could we be in “His” image, if He has no ability to choose?

    It is His very “Omniscience” that gives Him the ultimate ability to choose…

    To Mold…

    To Shape…

    To Create…

    The Potter? Remember?

    He chose to Create the Heavens and Earth, and Man. Was He compelled to?

    He chose to sacrifice His Son for us. Was He compelled to?

    He chose to let us choose, did He have to?

    It is His very Omnipresence, Omnipotence, & Omniscience that demands a choice on all fronts, including His own!

    Can God make a rock too heavy for Him to lift?

    Ephesians 1:9 “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

    Can God microwave a burrito too hot for Him to eat?

    Ephesians 1:9 “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:”

    Could you do me a favor FF?

    Exegete Ephesians 1:9 for me.

    I’ll give you my Exegesis on it:

    “Divine Choice”

  • Looks like I’ve missed out on a good topic here – too much already gone by to catch up so forgive me if what I’m saying has already been covered.

    Matt, you and I have had this discussion. I’m not a believer in the “once saved, always saved” doctrine. If that were true, Paul and Jesus himself wouldn’t have spent so much time warning people not to stray from the Truth. On the other hand, as we’ve also talked about, I don’t believe that means there can’t be a 2nd (or 3rd, 4th, etc.) chance for someone. That is to say, just because you don’t believe now, doesn’t mean you couldn’t again some day. The danger (from my perspective as a Christian) is someone who says, “well, I’ll just wait ’till the last minute” because we have no way of knowing when we’ll die.

    Again, you’re fond of saying to me “just because you believe it to be true doesn’t make it so” and again my response is “just because you don’t believe it doesn’t make it false.” Jesus Christ gave his life for you, me, and everyone else here – everyone else in the world. But it’s a gift he won’t force everyone to keep, i.e. we can reject it – but that doesn’t make it go away forever.

    As for the blasphemy challenge – I certainly think it’s a dangerous game, but simply “taking the challenge” is not full indication that the “unforgivable sin” has been committed. That is to say, it’s more complicated than simply saying those words and if someone from my church (or anyone else for that matter) had posted a video saying they rejected God and then later came to me and repented, I would offer them God’s forgiveness. Anyway, here’s an article describing it in far more detail: http://tinyurl.com/bmjy3s

  • Pastor Guy, my friend, you are talking about God like you would a human being. Humans may be compelled but God has nothing to be compelled towards. Because He is already everything everywhere and beyond He has nowhere to go and and nothing more to do. He has given life to to humans to have an interesting time exploring and doing everything.

    And the Christian idea of God sacrificing His Son to pay a price has been especially amusing to me lately. God cannot pay anything because he would only be paying to Himself.

    And for God to send His Son to be tortured to help us out on Earth is a crazy example for a parent to set. But that is what many parents are doing today sending their children to participate in the insanity of war. Jesus, as a human, made some choices to demonstrate God’s gift of Free Will to us. For example, He choose not sacrifice His life because he rose from the dead to purposely demonstrate what any human heart full of love can do.

    • Matt

      Thanks Dhanjamaya…its the automatic upgrade that doesnt want to work for me for some reason, i hate doing it manually because i have to remember all my server codes and such…thanks for the advice though…i think one of my addons must be causing the issue.

  • Hello Matt…

    Tis late, had to move my music blog, and the wifes blog to WP & their own domains today, I will be back tomorrow to catch up.

    Nice to see you comment Matt (Mista Oxley)

    LOL

  • All religion is speculation. Nothing is proven. In Victorian times, people debated how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Serious questions too! So if a debate is about theology, then that is about as useful as questioning the angels on a pin question. The flip side of the coin is spirituality. Does spirit exist? Forget the theology. Did this universe, and sentience, emerge by pure random chance? That question is not speculation about dancing angels, but is about reality. Maybe religion is all about our attempt to try to understand that question…why do we exist?

  • Pastor Guy’s claim that you may be a “dormant Christian” is worthless. Your answer should simply be: I’m an extinct Christian; what Christianity fuel there was is gone and will not return.

    No matter his statement to the contrary, the only person who can know you and your dormant/extinct status is you. The Christian pat answer of “oh, but God knows you too!” can be safely laughed at because even assuming there is even the shadow of a hint of a possibility of a chance of any truth whatsoever in it, whichever Christian states it *cannot* know. They cannot know you and they cannot know what their spooky superghost knows. It’s therefore not a topic with any meat and not worth discussion.

  • 18year old devoted christian

    In Luke’s gospel it says that the only sin not able to be forgiven is that of blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. This does not mean blaspheme as in using vulger words, but that if a person hardens their heart against the Lord and refuses to let Him reign in their life, then yes, they will go to Hell. Basically, they are like Satan was and want nothing whatsoever to do with the Lord. If a paerson willingly chooses to disown God then they can not enter Heaven because they have disowned God and that is a sin and sin can no9t be present in Heaven. MY question to you is why would you NOT want to go to Heaven???!! Do you truly want to burn on Hell forever in eternal pain and sufering? I mean, we are talking the rest of eternaity here, forever, there is no getting out! YOu will be in constant agony! Hell is so bad that the rich man in Luke begged Abraham to send someone from heaven to go and warn the rich man’s brothers becasuse eh did not want them to also go to such a place of torment. I guess it is your decision if you want to burn forever. “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe”, as the hymn says, but if you do not want His gift that is your decision. As for me, I will never disown Christ and will spend eternity in Heaven with my Lord. I pray that you will change your ways and come to see the truth about your flawless thinking.

  • @18…

    You might want to look into “blaspheming the holy spirit” a little more, especially in the context of the scripture before and after the statement.

    You missed the boat in that exegesis.