The Effects of Evangelism on Christians in India

I’m Pissed.

You see, the other day I found a video showing Christian’s in India being beaten and stoned to death. According to this video the reason they are being beaten and stoned is solely because they are Christians. The video featuring the pastor of Cornerstone Church, Francis Chan, is located here.

*Warning: This video contains very disturbing and graphic images, if you are offended by violence, blood, or evangelism you should not watch this (nor should you read the Bible).

(Video’s will be put back up once they are back online See bottom of post for explanation.)

Now, please understand that I have major problems with anyone being beaten, stoned, or otherwise oppressed for any reason whatsoever and I in no way am condoning the actions of the attacking mob that carried out these heinous acts. What they did in the video was wrong and there is absolutely no defense for it, these individuals should be found out and put in prison for the rest of their miserable lives. There are, however, two groups of individuals that should be held directly responsible for these lives. If the claims of Mr. Chan are correct, and these people are indeed being beaten simply because they are Christians (no evidence is given to show that they are Christians, but for the sake of argument we can assume it is true) I have a real big problem with both groups.

The second group of people responsible for these atrocities are none other than the evangelists and missionaries and the churches and individuals that sponsor them that convert these people into Christianity, even going so far as to do so with the knowledge that their converts may very well be killed because of their new found faith. These wretched people use fear and blinding emotion to bring people “to Christ” and claim to do so out of love.

The victims of evangelism in India, fearing eternal torment as taught to them by these evangelists, lose all sense of self-preservation in the midst of being beaten to death. They fear that if they deny Christ that he will deny them (Matthew 10:33) and they will be plunged into everlasting fire and torment. These victims are given a no win situation, wherein they could live here and now or spend eternity in hell…most of them choose death now for heaven later and this is where our problems begin.

If there were some sort of guarantee of heaven and hell, some way for the evangelist to prove that this life is not the only one we have and that Christ provides the only entrance into heaven (and thereby the only escape from hell), then I could understand the role they play. The truth is that these Jesus salesmen are unable to prove any of their claims, but the fear they hand out is so pervasive that the logical individual is often unable to resist crumbling at the feet of a god they are unable to see. They are selling a product that is more like heroin than anything else in that it provides temporary comfort from reality but ruins their lives externally – and the addict would rather die than give up their addiction. These converts are put through hell on earth and in return are rewarded with absolutely nothing. We shout about burden of proof often, but here is where it matters the most. The burden to prove this drivel before you go out and destroy lives with it should never be ignored. If someone threatens me with hell and I convert I won’t be stoned for it, but when you spread this cancer to those that will bear a punishment here and now you have crossed the line from harassment to murder.

Terrorism is the use of extreme fear or anxiety to coerce participation or alignment with an idea, this definition is absolutely synonymous with hell-centric evangelism. The blood of these poor people is not only on the hands of their attackers, but on those that strip them of the good sense they need to avoid this, those that terrorize them into accepting these beatings as a part of following Christ. The people that sold the victims this bill of goods might as well be swinging the clubs and throwing the rocks themselves.

Evangelism is Murder.

Evangelism is Terrorism.

Update:

Moments before I completed writing this post the video’s in question were taken down, when they come back up I will post them again. It seems, as I was already concerned about, that the publisher isn’t positive that these are actually Christians being tormented…no real context is given to lead you to believe that they are other than the words of the pastor speaking in the narrative. Regardless of this, knowingly proselytizing any person that you know may be at risk for their life if they convert is tantamount to murder.

  • TheMother

    While I have no doubt that there is rampant anti-Christian sentiment in India (evidence can be seen simply in the failure of the polio eradication program, which is considered to be a Christian plot to kill Hindu children), India has a fine history of violence in it's own right.

    During the British occupation (which isn't pre-Christianity, true), a group of Kali worshippers wrecked havoc for years, murdering people to appease their violent goddess. They didn't pick on Christians–anyone who happened along was fine. It is from their Hindu name that we get the word "thug."

    Violence is a human sport. We can label it with religious intolerance and incite it with religious intolerance, but it's hard wired into the genes.

    • Roshni

      Found this site through vimeo. Interesting…more than that I resisted to respond to @TheMother but could not.
      I know it will not make much difference if I a minority speak about a strong image & perception build-up against India, its culture, religion , people etc but nevertheless…

      1 – anti-christian sentiment in India – Well Christianity is almost as old as Christianity itself, introduced by St. Thomas (52 AD)…the faith wouldn't have flourished & become 3rd largest in India if Indians weren't accommodating enough.
      2 – thug – is a hindi word. Hindi is a language, Hindu a religion …no co-relation. And there are dozens of Hindi/Urdu origin words in English language Jungle,Bungalow,Verandah,pyjamas,khaki etc …nothing sinister.
      3 – Kali – this a favorite bashing tool and symbol for evangelists to show all that is wrong with Hindus. I will not even try to explain that Kali is not violent (its not taken literally) but manifestation of Shakti..or that as a Hindu I can choose not to worship this and any idol, simply be a believer in god or just not. This needs understanding, but I know no point explaining.
      4 – I need to know which biased news channel you get news about India. Historically – Indians, Inhabitants of India ( primarily Hindus – but doesn't matter) have been more than welcoming to all new faiths being introduced in the country since centuries.

      I as an Indian (my identity) not Hindu ( my personal choice) believe all should peacefully practice their respective religion and respect others. Do not condone any violence in the name of Religion.
      But of-course Logic and reasoning is not the virtue of people who participate in violent acts irrespective of religion..no religion teaches anyone to hurt or kill in the name of it.

      Having said all this I just do not understand why does one need to convert people ? " I am of a religion or faith different than yours… you do not agree to…fine I respect that as well as your faith but I stick to mine…. whats wrong ??

  • Don't turn anyone in China on to the idea of democracy. It could get them killed.

  • I've never been a fan of evangelizing, at least not directly. I like charities that give physical aid of some sort.

    I've always been appalled by the destruction of native cultures by invading ones, this includes religion. I'm sure the missionaries are convinced that a dead convert is better than a living heathen, I don't mean that crassly at all, I'm sure Christians are just as appalled as we are that people are being tortured and killed.

    I used to get this pit in my stomach when I'd hear a conversation like this:

    "My uncle Billy died last week."
    "Did he know the Lord?"
    "Yes"
    "Praise Jesus!"

    I'm sure some feel the same way about these people.

    • As sad as that observation is, Mike, I fear that you are right.

    • therevruss

      You know Mike, having been in similar situations I'm thinking that what the "praise Jesus" is referring to is simply the fact that the deceased knew Christ, not a "praise God their dead!" At least, I sure hope not because from a Christian perspective, even though we believe in Christ we live beyond death, that doesn't mean we should view death as a "good thing", "blessing", or "natural." Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • I'm sure that's what they meant, therevruss, my problem is people thinking a few magic words can make everything all right and guarantees a spot in heaven. It's just so flippant and arrogant.

        • therevruss

          I totally agree, Mike. To just do something like that really minimizes the pain and suffering one is going through. It's like saying to someone who is struggling with any kind of issue, "well, you should be grateful that at least you're not…" fill in the blank. I've found that often, I just don't say much of anything in those painful experiences but rather try to empathize with them (to the limited extent I can) and listen to what they're going through.

          • Matt

            I remember you asking me once what I would do or what I would say when someone had just lost a loved one. I believe my answer was similar to what yours is now.

  • It would be one thing if you were talking about people who profess christ, that go around beating people for what they believe. Its another thing though to blame Christians trying to spread "good news" and hope, just because some people in their native country may hate them or kill them for it.

    Many people in history have stood up for what they believe is right, and have been criticized, hated and killed for it at times, even if only in rare instances. Gandhi for instance was a person who promoted peace and love and yet someone ended up shooting him eventually. Should he have just…not fought for what he believed to be right? Should martin luther king have not stood up for equal rights, since he was eventually killed too? Should our forefathers have not gone to war with england and fought for our independence, just because they ended up killing many american soilders.

    I mean I know what you're trying to say matt, but this is a very weak anti-christian argument, at best.

    • Ghandi made the decision to fight for what he called right, yet he didn't force it upon anyone else to my knowledge. The problem isn't that people stand up for what they believe, it is in the fact that they are fooled and feared into believing irrational things.

      You are missing the point here Soto, what I am saying is that the Evangelist is essentially telling the convert to hold his breath or he will go to hell…he gives him no proof whatsoever, and out of fear the convert does so…he is killed by his fear or devotion or what have you.

      • Russ Troester

        "essentially" – that's making a leap, if you ask me – and a huge assumption. I haven't watched the videos, but I for one in any "evangelizing" I've done have never said, "Jesus loves you and forgives you freely but…if you deny him in a time of extreme anguish and at the threat of death…oops, he won't love you anymore." Give me a break, Matt. I have to agree with Soto – I know what you're trying to say, but this is pretty weak.

  • Andrew

    How dare you? How dare you assume that these people (whether the video shows actual Christians or not, the persecution in Orissa is no less real) were coerced into their faith? How dare you place the blame for their suffering on people whom you don't even know, and who are likely suffering with them? (Those who are spreading the Gospel within India are mostly Indians.) How do you know that these people have not embraced Christ for the sheer joy of who He is and what He did and what it means for them?

    Matt, the kind of fear and coercion evangelism that you talk about can certainly be wrong-headed and even despicable. But that is not the only kind of evangelism possible. Millions of men and women all over the globe preach that Christ is life, that all the religion man can muster is nothing before God, but that Christ has lived the perfect life we cannot live, and has paid the price for our rebellion against God, and that the only lasting joy is in knowing our sins are forgiven and that we are right with God in Christ.

    If I am right with God, then it doesn't matter what I suffer. And this is what these people (and the other millions of martyrs and suffering Christians around the world) believe with more conviction and joy than you can know.

    You're tired of religious people judging others. So listen to yourself, and stop sitting in judgment of those who have labored for the message of the best news mankind can hear.

    Read the New Testament, particularly Acts and some of Paul's letters where the sufferings for the sake of Christ are recounted–see whether they did not suffer gladly, with great joy. Read Foxe's Book of Martyrs for story upon story of joyful deaths for the sake of Christ. Go to persecution.com for what is happening today. And hold your tongue the next time you decide to lash out against people who have done nothing to harm either you or anybody else.

    • I dare because coercion is the only way in which a person comes into faith. Whether that coercion includes hell-bound theology or hope and love theology is irrelevant because of the fact that it promotes irrational beliefs without providing proof. No matter the method used, coercing people into accepting the lunacy of Christianity is something that should only done with empirical evidence, something your side is entirely lacking. What these evangelist do, regardless of their national origin, is provide a false bill of goods that they BELIEVE to be real yet are unable to prove. If I were to attempt to sell you a product without any evidence outside of your feeble emotions you wouldn't buy it unless you knew that it worked…once these individuals buy into the myth they are bound to it by their emotions. That sheer joy you speak of is the result of salvation…salvation from something…there is not one stitch of Christian dogma that is not permeated by control and fear, even if on the surface it seems "joyful".

      My contention is that unless you provide EVIDENCE when promoting a belief you are endangering the lives of those you convert. Regardless of how real this Jesus feels to you, you have a moral obligation to say "I believe this is true" rather than "I KNOW this to be true."

      Your faith is poison unless you can prove it to these people whom are willing to give up the one life they ARE given.

      I've read your New and your Old Testaments . I find the god therein unworthy of my devotion. I've read the Book of the Martyrs and I conclude that each individual who was persecuted for the sake of the faith died in vain.

      I'll hold my tongue when Christianity and all religion uses weighted evidence when evangelizing rather than risking the lives of innocents.

    • I dare because coercion is the only way in which a person comes into faith. Whether that coercion includes hell-bound theology or hope and love theology is irrelevant because of the fact that it promotes irrational beliefs without providing proof. No matter the method used, coercing people into accepting the lunacy of Christianity is something that should only done with empirical evidence, something your side is entirely lacking. What these evangelist do, regardless of their national origin, is provide a false bill of goods that they BELIEVE to be real yet are unable to prove. If I were to attempt to sell you a product without any evidence outside of your feeble emotions you wouldn't buy it unless you knew that it worked…once these individuals buy into the myth they are bound to it by their emotions. That sheer joy you speak of is the result of salvation…salvation from something…there is not one stitch of Christian dogma that is not permeated by control and fear, even if on the surface it seems "joyful".

      My contention is that unless you provide EVIDENCE when promoting a belief you are endangering the lives of those you convert. Regardless of how real this Jesus feels to you, you have a moral obligation to say "I believe this is true" rather than "I KNOW this to be true."

      Your faith is poison unless you can prove it to these people whom are willing to give up the one life they ARE given.

      I've read your New and your Old Testaments . I find the god therein unworthy of my devotion. I've read the Book of the Martyrs and I conclude that each individual who was persecuted for the sake of the faith died in vain.

      I'll hold my tongue when Christianity and all religion uses weighted evidence when evangelizing rather than risking the lives of innocents.

      • Taylor

        You know something Rev, I didn't get saved from being persuaded to believe something without understanding it. I lived my whole life thinking I was a "Christian", didn't really care about God. Didn't care about going to church, didn't care about the other people who went to church. It was irrelevent to my life. I wanted what I wanted, nothing else really mattered. It was until I got to a point in my life, when I wanted something more. This life didn't offer me anything that satisfied my life.

        Why? Because I lived in sexual perverseness, a life taken over by video games. It was the same routine over and over again. Day by day. It was when I was finished and fed up with the things of this world and the life that I was living. The things I had done in my life I knew were wrong. Why? Because my conscience told me they were wrong.

        But I knew this Jesus would forgive people of there sins. So this Jesus, who I could of cared less about the majority of my life and said I was a "Christian", I tried Him out. It's sort of the like the verse in the Psalms which says, "Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" That one there is Psalm 34:8.

        So that's what I did, I tried Jesus out. And let me tell you, it wasn't at a sunday morning church service, or a preacher that came to my house and told me these different things. It was at my bed side when I got on my knees and begged for God's mercy and forgiveness. By telling Him what I had done wrong, all of the things. That day at my bed side, I went away justified from my sins. Had a new life, a new heart, new desires, and a new goal in life. I had a urgency to tell people about Jesus Christ, and what He had done for me. It was amazing, no more burdens or depression. But all that was left was Jesus.

        So I ask you today Rev, try Jesus out. Just try Him out. If you don't like Him, the Devil will be glad to have you back. "Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool." (Isaiah 1:18)

      • Far

        "I dare because coercion is the only way in which a person comes into faith. "
        Your statement of ignorance.
        Read the statements of C.S. Lewis himself. He was not coerced, but became a Christian thru a calm, reasoned path.
        Your continued illogical calling of evangelism terrorism, while claiming you support peoples' right to do it continues to show just how far off the path of reason you are. And your continued refusal (by way of viewing your home page, tho limited by the fact you don't have a search func. for you website) to attack fellow Atheists who are real terrorists show just how vidictively parochial you still are.

  • Hi Matt,

    While I normally agree with the sense of most of your posts, I’d have to agree with SavageSoto that this particular one is a pretty weak argument against Christianity.

    This extreme and isolated example doesn’t merit the generalization that “Evangelism is Terrorism” (which is the link I followed on Facebook) and it sounds like you’re sensationalizing the issue.

  • Guy Vestal

    Matt Said: "coercion is the only way in which a person comes into faith."

    Incorrect.

    Faith comes by hearing the Word, and that Word is given by Grace.

    • As you'll quickly find, the Bible's thoughts on the matter means very little to me.

      • Guy Vestal

        But they do me, and there is where the priority actually comes in handy.

  • daryl

    Leave it to Matt to blame Christians for the persecution that takes place around the world and to label them "terrorists." He doesn't label the Hindus or the Muslims or the Budhists or any other religious group as terrorists. Instead, he puts that label on the Christians. We all influence others with our beliefs. I will continue to share the truth of Christ with a world that needs Him, even as you are proclaiming your own beliefs. But to call the people who shared the Gospel with the Indian Christians martyrs “terrorists” is irresponsible. They are doing nothing that you, I, and everyone else in the world doesn’t do.

    • Daryl, I'm afraid you are incorrect. Hindu's and Muslims can be just as easily labeled that way. I was speaking more directly to the video here, but I think I left the post open to any matter of faith, not simply Christianity.

      All I'm doing is providing a logical critique of faith, no one will die as a result of my writing because the lack of faith doesn't require complete devotion.

      • daryl

        So, are you saying you're not completely devoted to your personal belief system? Are you saying that if you lived in Pakistan or Iran or N.Korea, that you would go along with the status quo and not share your un-belief… that you would keep your "skepticism" in the closet?

        • What I would personally do in such a situation is irrelevant. The honest truth is that Atheism, humanism, whatever you want to call it, requires no sacrifice of your own life. You have the option to stand up for the empirically proven or not…we won't condemn you to hell for it and therefore your adherence is not bound by that. There is no fantastic reward or brutal punishment in relation to denying your unbelief.

          • therevruss

            Matt – actually, since you are lobbing accusations about what others have done given specific situations, I think your reaction is 100% relevant. If a country were to ban atheism upon threat of death and you were cornered by "do you deny God" and if you said yes, you'd be killed – what would you do? Would you hold to your standards and affirm that which you believe, or would you lie and be a coward?

            This really has nothing to do with the threat of hell – I don't know if that was your evangelism strategy but to threaten hell and fear only goes so far and is an incomplete and inaccurate view of Christianity. This is more about standing up for your principals. These people believe this to be true and are defending their beliefs. If they really didn't believe it – I highly doubt they would still defend it. Your accusation that this is all about "the threat of hell" is a straw man – unless of course that's what your strategy was as a Christian, which it doesn't sound like it was from previous conversations.

            Some Christians use fear and guilt to try to convert and I agree totally that that method is deplorable. But stop painting such broad brush strokes and making assumptions which I'm pretty sure you know aren't true. As I've told you before, it just makes you look bitter.

  • daryl

    You say that Christians have no "proof", but I and millions of others have proof. It's not empirical evidence, it's something even greater… spiritual proof… a scriptural proof… a living proof. You stand on the evidence of science/reason. I stand on the evidence of the infallibility of the Word of God… and I am very secure in where I stand. In fact we Christians "know this to be true" so much so, that we lay down our lives for Jesus and do so gladly! I readily admit that Christianity requires faith… thus the term ‘Christian faith’. But it is certainly not a blind faith. There is a wealth of evidence, if you will choose to acknowledge it. Just because you refuse to accept our proof, doesn't mean it's any less real, though.

    • If you would provide any part of this proof, either in private or public I would gladly pore over it to determine it's veracity.

      I'll be waiting. I'd love to see some evidence that doesn't rely on the feebleness of your emotion or mine. I've had this great spiritual truth you speak of, but at some point I decided to find out if it was congruent with reality or simply meeting an emotional need I had.

      • daryl

        I have a book I would love for you to read. It's called "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" by Josh McDowell. I believe that I have an extra copy. I'll check my office… if I don't, I'll order you one.

        • I'll definitely read as much of it as I can tolerate. I've already read a few similar attempts at apologetics as well as some by so called "Creation Scientists"…I put forth a serious effort to read these things, but some of them (Dr. Jason Lisle for example) are so infuriating with their logical fallacies that I put them down before I rupture a blood vessel in my forehead.

          In fact, later on today I'll check my library to see if I've already got a copy…I know of this book.

  • daryl

    The thing is, every single person, whatever their personal belief system, employs faith. Even science which is “all about proof,” employs an element of faith when all the evidence cannot be gathered. Why will you not admit that your own worldview lacks empirical proof and requires faith as well? While I do not know all of the tenants of your own personal belief system, I know that you cannot empirically prove them all (i.e. you cannot prove that God doesn’t exist, that Jesus isn't alive, that Heaven isn't a real place… unless you claim to be omniscient). I assert that your personal faith is not an acceptance of truth, but a rejection or denial of it.

    • My worldview is that of the skeptic, it is entirely based on avoiding faith and seeking empiricism. Creating this logical loop that you are doing now denies the facts about who I am. I make no claim to be able to disprove god, Jesus, or heaven, I leave the burden of proof on you, I simply refuse to believe it unless it can be proven.

      • daryl

        How can you continually claim that Christianity is a lie, when you cannot disprove God, Jesus, or Heaven, and say that your worldview is free of faith? If you're a sincere agnostic, the best you can do is say that you're not convinced that God exists. But, the bottom line is that you cannot prove the major themes that you vehimently espouse on this blog. You can say I'm guilty of circular reasoning & say the burden of proof lies on me, if it makes you feel better about yourself, but that's a very self-deceptive and ilogical stance to take. You do more than refuse to believe… you do more than critique… you flat out call Christianity a outright lie and then you admit that you can't prove that it is untrue. That requires a whole lot of faith, my friend!

        • Being able to disprove something is not nearly as important as being able to prove something. I'm not concerned about proving Christianity or Islam, I'm concerned about your willingness to prove it. You are making the statements of fact….and yes, I am convinced after much research that Christianity is an absolute farce, I am still open to some new revelation that does not base itself upon emotional appeal.

          Simply put, you….the evangelical Christian…make claims. Therefore it is your burden to prove those claims, I expect the same from a Muslim, Hindu, Wiccan, et al. The Atheists position is this: You say there is a god, I say prove it, until then I shall not believe your claim.

          If you tell me the sky is purple, prove it, otherwise I'll stick with the blue I see.

  • daryl

    As for the fear and emotion argument that you continually bring up against Christianity, I’m sorry that you’ve been led to believe that the Christian faith is all about emotions, where you just check your brain at the door and blindly go where your manipulated emotions carry you, but that is not biblical Christianity. Do I believe that some “preachers” have manipulated an audience in order to get Christian “converts”? Yes, I’m afraid so. Do I believe some have embraced Christian faith simply out of emotion or fear? Sure. Do I think that those people persevere in the faith? Probably not, since feelings are fleeting. But I am convinced that the Gospel is totally reasonable and that the true Christian accepts salvation based on reality rather than emotion.

    • My contention is that despite your desire for faith not to be consistently based on emotion that it ultimately is. Even if it doesn't look that way somehow your faith is based on a joy or a fear that relates to your total depravity.

      Tell me that this "reality" you mention is somehow removed from man realizing that he is depraved and unworthy and that a perfect god was willing to sacrifice himself to save you from it. Tell me that emotions are not involved in that.

      • daryl

        My own faith is based on the undeniable fact that I am a depraved and unworthy human being, who has been granted grace, pardon, and redemption through the atoning death of the perfect Son of God, Jesus Christ my Lord. I would never tell you that emotions are not involved because I am filled with emotions: conviction, wonder, love, gratitude, etc. However, the emotions are the result, not the basis. My relationship with my wife is based on the facts of who she is, what she has done, what I need, and the commitment we have made to each other, yet it yields an array of emotions. The reality of our relationship doesn't rest on the emotions, it produces them. The same is true of my relationship with God.

        • "My own faith is based on the undeniable fact that I am a depraved and unworthy human being"

          Depravity and lack of worth – Beat down the sinner with his sin and guilt

          "who has been granted grace, pardon, and redemption through the atoning death of the perfect Son of Go'

          Provide hope through grace – make the sinner, unworthy, to feel as if he is given more than he deserves.

          The very BASIS of your faith is that you are both guilty and unworthy, yet redeemed despite what you deserve…this is in every way an appeal to the most basic of emotions that man holds. You simply need to ask yourself as to whether or not this is even a reliable way of discerning truth.

          You yourself are admitting that amotions are the absolute basis as well as the result of your faith. The emotions are a result of what you believe about Jesus Christ, not about what you know and can prove that he actually did.

  • daryl

    The chief cause of genuine Christian conversion is not an emotional feeling of guilt, but a realization of the reality of guilt. A drowning man doesn’t just receive the lifesaver just because he feels like he’s drowning, but because he is drowning. An on-trial criminal doesn’t plead for mercy from the judge because he feels guilty, but because he is guilty. Is a drowning man manipulated by the lifeguard when he is convinced to grab hold of the lifesaver that is offered to him? No! Even if the drowning man is an emotional wreck over his dire situation, the fact of the matter is that he is drowning and needs to be saved! What should the lifeguard do, wait until the man has no more fear or sense of drowning before he extends help to him? I am not saying that the emotion of guilt isn’t in play, but that it is not the driving factor behind accepting salvation… the recognition of one’s actual guilt is. The feeling of guilt only follows the realization of guilt. All are guilty before God. All have sinned. That’s the reality whether one accepts it and feels the emotions or not.

    • You just made a huge emotional appeal.

      • daryl

        How is that an emotional appeal? It is no more an emotional appeal than your blogs are.

        • I make logical appeals sir. Yes emotion gets in, but I appeal to ones logic and reason.

          The emotional appeal has already been thoroughly explained in the comment that I made right before this one…

          it starts with this:

          "My own faith is based on the undeniable fact that I am a depraved and unworthy human being"

          Depravity and lack of worth – Beat down the sinner with his sin and guilt

  • daryl

    Sorry, Matt, about having to break up my comments… wouldn’t take the whole thing at one time… I guess I’m too long-winded!

    • I'm not sure what happened to the comment system, made it easier to reply to anyway though. Despite our disagreement I appreciate your willingness to comment.

      • daryl

        I enjoy the discussion, Matt. Thanks for allowing me the freedom to share my views! By the way, I may be calling you to come look at my computer. I'm having some issues and our old computer guy isn't in business anymore. If you ask me, computers are an evidence that the Devil exists :)!

        • I too enjoy the discussion and I hope that we ca walk away in our disagreement without having a chip on either shoulder. Believe it or not, I respect you simply on the basis of your ability to have this conversation – though I struggle to show that respect at times I hope that you can not take too much offense at the more extreme things I say.

          To be perfectly honest, this post was a severe emotional reaction to the video's that were, unfortunately, taken down. Had you seen them your emotional reaction would have been one of pity and anger too, I am sure…I simply wrote an opinion that I find to be both reasonable and definitive. I Don't believe that I have skewed the facts as laid before me in any way – regardless of that I do understand any negative reaction that it receives and I know that just a few years ago I would have been in your shoes making the same exact arguments against it.

          Regarding computer troubles, please just let me know whenever you need something checked out. I think I'm pretty much the only person left around here doing any sort of professional pc work…that I know of at least. I'll invite you to the Oxley PC fan page on FB , my phone number is all on there so you can call when you desire.

  • Found your site while wondering around on the web. Wow…you are bold; I have to give you that. You also sound very intelligent, a trait I was not overly blessed with. Hate that you are no longer a follower of Christ, not sure how that is going to all work out, but hey…it is your life.

    As for God tempting or placing Satan in the garden, I think/believe He placed Lucifer there to "help" Adam and Eve (angels are ministering spirits teaching) and that is where Lucifer fell and became Satan. Don't think God would place an angry demon with His most loved creation. (Think I read about that on your about page)

    Many things I don't like (including some people) concerning religion, but God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit…I Love Them.

    • Don't hate it for me Greg, I'm glad to be free of religion and my obligations to Christ.

      Your lucifer theory was actually very common belief among Jews, from my understanding it still is. I do find the idea of a garden of eden to be a little silly though.

  • daryl

    “Terrorism is the use of extreme fear or anxiety to coerce participation or alignment with an idea.” Matt, so would you classify yourself as a terrorist? You "coerce" people to believe your own dogma all the time. The fear is not a fear of going to hell, but of accepting something that is “not true”. You play on people’s emotions all the time! That’s why you use emotionally charged language like “lunacy of Christianity”, “drivel”, and “irrational beliefs”. You sell your own bill of goods that in essence says, come be enlightened by the wisdom of man… don’t buy into the foolish idea that there’s something bigger/greater than us… don’t be a sucker and miss out on this one life you have to live.” But in so doing, you yourself are playing to their emotions! You’re saying, “you’re guilty of being ignorant if you believe the Bible”, so you’re manipulating people with guilt as well. And, you are doing so without proving that Christianity is false.

    • I'm afraid this is a miscategorization of what I do. I simply provide information, facts, and reasoned opinions. What people do with that information is their deal entirely. Yes, on occasion I encourage people to live for the one life that they do KNOW they have as opposed to living for a heaven that they cannot be sure of. I deal in the real world, not dreams or fantasies.

      If calling someone ignorant for believing the Bible appeals to guilt I'm afraid I have been confused for a long time now…I don't quite see how?

      • daryl

        I as an evangelical simply provide information, facts, and reasoned opinions as well, yet I'm guilty of terrorism while you're being miscategorized? Isn't that pretty hypocritical of you? Why is it that one has to share your worldview in order to be able to influence others with their beliefs? Even though I totally disagree with you and with people who exercise other faiths, I would never classify them as a terrorist if they share their convictions and someone who personally accepted those same beliefs lost their life for it. In fact, I would fight for your right to be able to do so.

        • I too would fight for you to keep the RIGHT to be an evangelical and to say whatever it is that you like…though I do have certain doubts as to whether or not you would truly fight for the rights of people whom have a different lifestyle than your own…

          Whether or not YOU classify someone as a terrorist is also irrelevant. I'm simply giving a standard definition and we are clearly capable of seeing the correlation. Don't worry, it's not the first time fear and intimidation has been used by the religious to get converts….they just don't use physical torture devices any more, now most of them are mental devices built to make one worry about eternity.

          The fact remains, the threat of hell – especially when it cannot be proven to exist – is a mark of terrorism. If eternal torment doesn't cause one to fear then I don't know what does.

          Once again, I believe in your RIGHT to spread this…but that doesn't make it OK for you to do so.

  • Jeff Cambeis

    Interesting. If I had a safety deposit box and I gave the key to some guy who later got mugged and killed for carrying that key would I be liable for his death?. What about if the box was empty? What about if the box was destroyed in earthquake and its original contents are impossible to determine?
    I think it is absurdly dishonest to charge the individuals with murder and then also the victims beliefs. How is that different from a gay man be beaten to death and then say no one was responsible. It was his gayness that was the guilty of murder.

  • Guy Vestal

    What is interesting is that neither side has, or can, present "evidence".

  • Hey Matt,
    Just wanted to remind you not to put all Christians into the context of your faith-experience. The Bible teaches that followers of Jesus are called to be witnesses of Him (through signs, wonders, miracles, and by demonstration of the freedom given them) NOT emotional manipulators of fear and tradition. If new followers arise, it should not be in multiplication of the Christian religion, but in encountering and choosing Jesus as Lord (Him being the pursuer of a free will choice). The cost, Jesus warns, is everything. As a rational person you are sure riled up about people making their own choices. 😉
    BTW, the large majority of religious people do not fit the Biblical picture. You seem angry with the "Church", and as a Christian, I too am deeply grieved by the shallowness, emotionalism, and ignorance of many so-called-Christians. Jesus, however, is alive and speaks–the best proof is to ask Him. 🙂

  • This is really disturbing. One of the books I read on my path from Christian to Atheist was about martyrdom. It's called "Jesus Freaks" and it tells of many people who have given their lives, and their children's lives, while standing up for their silly beliefs. It's ironic how a book about being a "Jesus Freak" made me JezuzFree.

    • I've read that book as well, actually there were two and I read both of them. It made me more devout probably, but in hindsight it should have turned me faster away from god.

    • FarSeeker

      So,… reading about those people massacred in Tiananmen Square would cause you to stop evangelizing for democracy and civil rights in China because they died? Would it make less likely to evangelize for Atheism because they killed?

      • Sovereign peoples should make Sovereign decisions for themselves. If they find it worth dying for then they will but the last thing they need is our influence.

  • Emily

    •S: (n) terrorism, act of terrorism, terrorist act (the calculated use of violence (or the threat of violence) against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear)

    The fear is instilled by simply telling somebody "believe what I believe or you will burn in hell for all eternity." Any religion that teaches this "believe me or else" is terrorist propaganda, not just christianity.

    • Amen to that sister.

    • FarSeeker

      But that is what RevOxley is saying: “believe me or you will die at the hands of Hindus for being a Christian.”

  • Dusty Jones

    I have a question, Matt. If you were told to stop writing and believing the way you do or you would be stoned and tortured would you be willing to stand up for your right to speak and believe freely or would you back down in th face of violence? We are all free men and women and deserve that right, regardless of what we chose to believe. You should be fighting for these people's right to believe and speak freely as you do instead of skewing this into more hatred toward your own experiences. I have a few friends in India and Christianity has flourished there for over a thousand years before whitey came and 'forced them to believe it'. You seem to have a dangerous mindset if you believe you have the right to influence the beliefs of people yet others do not.

    • I've said this all before and I'll say it again:

      I fully believe in the rights of free people, I believe that individuals have the right to speak openly and without physical threat on any subject whatsoever, wherever they choose to. Hence why I feel that the individuals doing the stoning in the video's in question are despicable and deplorable….I am not defending those that would silence criticism or difference in any way. This post is about being responsible for the things you say and the results that can come from them.

      I also am aware that Christianity has been in India almost nearly since it's inception, the Thomasene Church and it's many outlets have hundreds of thousands of members and I don't take issue with that. The fact doesn't change that the gospel of Christ is one that relies upon emotions and fears to garner conversions and in light of those conversions when individuals are given the choice by fundamentalists on the other side to live or die, they choose death out of fear or love for something that has never been proven to them.

      To your original question…

      I don't know that I wouldn't shut up in the face of death….I started typing my response saying that I most surely would, but in the face of death I have to wonder if that is a wise thing to do. There certainly is no dogma that requires it, and others have died simply for presenting facts that disagreed with the status quo….so, I guess it would be based on the situation. Perhaps it is all the Hollywood movies that make it seem like such a glorious thing, dying for the truth – dying for the sake of facts even more so, but let's be honest—it may not be the wisest thing, as unglorious as that sounds.

      • therevruss

        "Perhaps it is all the Hollywood movies that make it seem like such a glorious thing, dying for the truth – dying for the sake of facts even more so, but let's be honest—it may not be the wisest thing, as unglorious as that sounds."

        If there's one thing you've told me over and over again it's that you're in the pursuit of truth. If that really is – true – then I'd think you'd want to defend your beliefs (or lack, thereof), no matter the cost based on principal, not dogma.

        Furthermore, you keep stating this as if Christianity (or even God himself) has stated that, "if, in the face of death, you deny God – He will deny you and you'll be damned to hell." This couldn't be further from the truth. There is grace even in those situations.

        • Matthew 10:32-33

          And give a look at the front half of Revelation 14.

          Anyone who has actually read the Bible knows that Salvation came to us, and we come to it at a high price.

          • Guy, I too could throw around Bible passages out of context all day long to try to prove my point. Why are you always on the attack? And why do you feel the need to be a jerk to everyone? "anyone who has actually read the Bible" – Do these tactics usually help you gain a listening ear? Good grief, man. I'm on the same side here.

          • Also – to be clear – I'm not saying that denial of Christ is something to be taken lightly at all. All I'm saying is, if someone were to deny Christ at gunpoint – live to tell about it – then repent, there is forgiveness even in that situation. Look at Peter – he denied Jesus 3 times yet was still restored. That's the point I was attempting to make. Not "oh, it doesn't matter what you say and do because God doesn't care."

        • Matthew 10:32-33

          And give a look at the front half of Revelation 14.

          Anyone who has actually read the Bible knows that Salvation came to us, and we come to it at a high price.

        • What ever happened to my first comment that should be in this very spot?

  • hmm. I know Indian Christians. I know Jesus. I found your comment "…if true then good to do it…" the most interesting part of your writing.

    If true, Jesus said people will be attacked because the follow him.
    If true, Jesus said people will reject him, and in so doing, go to Hell, far worse than beatings in the here and now.
    If true, Indians would burn their wives with the man when he died before Christianity…
    If true…

    Your beliefs all depend on "if true" — like others who have written, I know Christians from families who have believed it, the Tomas sect, for a very, very long time.

    But, I'm not sure that there is any violence being done by the folks talking to the Indians… and most of the people I now know there are Indians talking to others…

    So, let's address the main issue, are the claims of Christianity true — and do you think it's fair that anyone gets attacked for what they believe, Christians or non– Jesus talked a lot about love, and not attacking others… so, I'm left with wondering what the attackers believe.

    If you believe that people have freedom to believe whatever, or be wrong, you are living in the post Christian world… but could be open to becoming a Christian. If you live in the Hindu world, where some have said, to be Indian is to be Hindu, then yes, what would appear as a foreign religion would be scary.

    But, yes, ask yourself is it true. I'd recommend Josh McDowell's More than a Carpenter, etc. as a place to start thinking.

    • FarSeeker

      "More than a Carpenter" is a good beginner's book, but there are numerous more in any Christian book store in the Apollogetics section. Norman L. Geisler has multiple books that go deeper.

      • What is your contention as to how my logic is actually faulty though?

  • Eric Estes

    Matt,

    Just out of curiosity would you die for atheism? I'm not big on hypothetical situations, but say someone held a gun to your head and said "reject atheism and become a theist or die" which would you choose? (I of course would condone no religion that would do such a thing.)

    This is simply out of curiosity and not really trying to prove a point. I've honestly always wondered if an atheist will say that they would be a martyr for atheist ideals. Maybe you have some examples.

    Thanks!

    • Likely not, self preservation is a forgotten skill.

      • FarSeeker

        Is it possible for you to be more vague?

  • They weren't stoned because they were Christian, they were stoned because they wanted to open another KFC in India.

  • FarSeeker

    Consider: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnishttp://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NmQyYWMw

    It sticks in craw how Atheists ignore the actions of their fellows when condemning religions for the same actions. Will Dawkins ever publish a book titled "The Marxist Delusion"?
    I doubt it.

    • Karl Marx was never responsible for the death of anyone to my knowledge.

      • FarSeeker

        RevOxley:"Karl Marx was never responsible for the death of anyone to my knowledge. "

        WOW! "was never responsible"! Then considering the following:

        RevOxley: This post is about being responsible for the things you say and the results that can come from them.

        Aren’t you claiming evangelists are responsible for what happens to their converts and what those converts do do?
        Therefore all the death caused by Marxists sits on Marx's shoulders. Of course, it was all done so rationally and logically.

        However, what you are actually thinking is…
        Christian evangelists are guilty/responsible when Atheists beat, imprison, kill, etc. Christians in the USSR, PRC, Vietnam, etc., but Atheist evangelists (i.e. Marx) aren't !!!

      • FarSeeker

        3 Weeks have passed since my first reply to your "Marx was never responsible" post.
        It has been said, "silence cannot be misquoted, but it can be misinterpreted."

        Have you conceded the point here?

        • I just don't see how your point is topical….Marxism isn't about spreading the ideologies of atheism – Marxism includes atheism and LOTS of other doctrines that…as a result of their spread, may indeed be issues that rest on Marx and the ones that do the spreading. If Marxism is responsible for death then Marxism and Marx are to blame.

          I'm sure you and I have very different views and interpretations of Marx though.

          • It is topical because Marx has brought terror and suffering to this world by his words – as you accuse Christianity of doing – but you refuse to measure out equal scorn upon Marx/Marxists!

            That disparity show a indifference to terror caused by Marxists. Why don't you care about Marxist Terrorism?

            RevOxley

            Quote

            I just don't see how your point is topical….Marxism isn't about spreading the ideologies of atheism…

            Unquote

            Certainly it seeks to spread many things, but one thing it does certainly spread is suffering. But the above statement is proven false by your next one:

            RevOxley

            Quote:

            Marxism includes atheism and LOTS of other doctrines …

            Unquote

            You are saying it does spread Atheism … and other doctrines! Sounds like a religion to me.

            You have attacked Christianity and Jews on multiple issues in you blogs,

            yet never seriously attacked Marxism for worse deeds!

            Ahh, I think I've found out why:

            RevOxley

            Quote:

            Currently my political views are a strange conglomeration of Socialist, Communist, Republican and I consider myself a lover of freedom.

            UnQuote

            Evidence? Empirical for those who suffered it, Historical for us: (a small sample)

            Mastering Twentieth Century Russian History by Norman Lowe (2002)

            White Terror: "tens of thousands" [Included for comparison]

            Red Terror

            Executed: 50-200,000

            Died in prison or killed in revolts: 400,000

            Dyadkin, I.G. (cited in Adler, N., Victims of Soviet Terror, 1993)

            9 million unnatural deaths from terror, famine and disease, 1918-23

            Rummel:

            Civil War (1917-22)

            War: 1,410,000 (includes 500,000 civilian)

            Famine: 5,000,000 (50% democidal)

            Other democide: 784,000

            Epidemics: 2,300,000

            Total: 9,494,000

            Lenin's Regime (1917-24)

            Rummel blames Lenin for a lifetime total of 4,017,000 democides.
            http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm
            Lenin, a devotee of Marx. Not List: The rest of the 20th Century's Atheist-Marxists.

            The Bible says “love your enemies.” Atheists most often say kill them. If you add up those whom Atheists claim Christianity killed in the 16 centuries since the Roman Empire legalized it you come up with a total roughly equal to those killed by Atheists in the 20th Century alone! It brings 16 times more terror than Christianity!

            And that is Terror. But you don't seem to care about that.

  • FarSeeker

    RevOxley:
    "It seems, as I was already concerned about, that the publisher isn’t positive that these are actually Christians being tormented…no real context is given "

    You are basing your faulty logic on a questionable video.

    • I can't deny the questionable nature of the video, but I would like to know what part of my logic is actually faulty.

  • FarSeeker

    FarSeeker

    Calling Christian evangelists terrorists is not defending the right to evangelise. It seems here that all you want to do is stop Christian evangelists, but not Atheist ones.

    RevOxley:
    I just don’t see how your point is topical….Marxism isn’t about spreading the ideologies of
    atheism – Marxism includes atheism and LOTS of other doctrines that…as a result of their
    spread, may indeed be issues that rest on Marx and the ones that do the spreading. If
    Marxism is responsible for death then Marxism and Marx are to blame.

    I’m sure you and I have very different views and interpretations of Marx though.

    Why do I feel like I’m talking to the warden at Shawshank? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhjvkf9k8Gw
    Evangelise Atheism is foundational to Marxism, but as an Atheist once asked me, what “ideologies of Atheism”?

    RevOxley claimed:
    “The second group of people responsible for these atrocities are none other than the
    evangelists and missionaries and the churches and individuals that sponsor them that
    convert these people into Christianity, even going so far as to do so with the knowledge
    that their converts may very well be killed because of their new found faith. These
    wretched people use fear and blinding emotion to bring people “to Christ” and claim
    to do so out of love.”

    Marxism and its followers are the single largest cause of killing in the 20th century from the October revolution to the Tiananmen Square massacre and other atrocities committed more recently. Marx and his followers evangelized his ideology and by your claim should bear the onus of those deaths, yet you claim:
    “Karl Marx was never responsible for the death of anyone to my knowledge.”
    a contradiction, for any informed person, of your opening post’s quoted above! And to say
    “>If< Marxism is responsible for death then Marxism and Marx are to blame,”
    is intellectual akin to the statement “If Hitler is responsible for death…”

    But you never condemn Marxists for the doing what you condemn Christians for. This favouritism shows an intellectual avoidance to criticizing Marxists, but why? You haven't shown any signs of being a Marxist, so the only connection here is that you don't want to criticize fellow Atheists – no matter how violent or murderous they have been! They are fellow Atheists and rationalists, if you criticize them then you bring under question your ideology – that of all vocal Atheists – that all you need to be good is Atheism and rationalism!

    But beyond this is your demanding of things you cannot supply.

  • stormchaser

    The biggest difference and maybe the only difference between eEvangelicals and taliban is that one has a gun and the other doesn’t. The extremely scary thing is that the message is otherwise the same. Convert, or got o hell. Once you convert, do exactly as I say, which is follow this 2000year old book full of hate.