ARCHIVES:

Posts in this section were archived prior to February 2010. For more recent posts, go to the HOME PAGE.

Archived Letters

Sunday, March 30, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

GOD SAID IT; I BELIEVE IT; END OF STORY

Hi from Ontario Canada:

I am an atheist with a capital A. I belong or attend several free-thought type groups including FFRF and attend their conventions.

My wife's attitude is "GOD SAID IT; I BELIEVE IT; END OF STORY".

I find it very frustrating to live with someone who will not even consider your views or will not engage in honest conversation.

How do others in my position deal with the above situation when parting is not an option because of grandchildren.

Thanks

Snabag

Seeking a spiritual foundation

From Kevin

I left Christianity approximately a year ago. I came to Christianity after having a conversion experience that was very powerful when I was 18. I initially participated in a Pentecostal church and then ended up leading an emergent church. I was a Christian for 16 years and I was the main leader of a church when I left. At the time of my de-conversion I could no longer intellectually sustain many of the core assertions of Christianity. I have had numerous supernatural type experiences in my life and as a Christian I found the presence of the Holy Spirit very powerful and reassuring.

Since I have left the church I have sought for a suitable spiritual foundation. I have found perennial philosophy very appealing intellectually. However, I have encountered nothing that seems to compare to the power, love and insight that I experienced as a Christian (experiencing the Holy Spirit).

I still can't hold up the core theological components of Christianity. However, due to the spiritual experiences I had as a Christian I am still gripped regularly by the possibility that there may be something more to it (a thought that leads me to significant distress because I reject Christianity intellectually though seem to embrace it spiritually).

I thought that the power I experienced whilst a Christian could be experienced in similar ways through meditation or something, but it doesn't seem to be so; I am left feeling spiritually empty and confused spiritually.

Do you know of others who have gone through similar de-conversion experiences? Is there information you could provide that could assist me? What is your opinion?

I would like assistance, please.

Thursday, March 27, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

I am terribly CONFUSED and afraid

A letter from Kim

I am 51 years old, and was raised as a Protestant. I "converted" to Catholicism when I got married for the second time 22 years ago. I always felt guilty because I didn't get much out of going to mass. A lot of it seemed very redundant. Very recently, I have been questioning my faith. Not a very comfortable feeling. I am terrified to admit that if I don't believe in a higher being, I will for sure be thrown into the fires of Hell!

I am terribly CONFUSED and afraid. I consider myself a kind and compassionate person (I work as a patient care technician in a Catholic hospital!), and just because I am questioning whether or not God exists doesn't mean I should be condemned for eternity! I don't dare to talk to my husband about these feelings because his faith in God is very strong. I am not saying that I don't believe there is a higher power, but if he/she/they were so loving then why does it seem that life is always such a struggle!!??

Please assure me that my frightful feeling about going to Hell will subside.

tag: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, March 13, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

I am a christian

From Brandon

I want you to know that just because you dont believe in God, doesnt mean he's not there. God loves you. Romans 5:8 says God demonstrates His love for us in this: while we were still sinners Christ died for us. God has a love and a grace that is beyond human understanding. I am a christian obviously and I believe that Jesus Christ will be coming again and that He will take His people, the believers, with Him. I pray that you and the people who dont believe in Christ will turn before that day. If you want to ask me some questions or anything email me back.

Email: brandon.buck41@yahoo.com

Friday, March 07, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

I need some good responses to these Christian explanations

From Beaster

Here is something that was in my school newspaper, The Daily Toreador, and some of the comments made by some Christians. I found it rather interesting, and I apologize in advance for the length. It's rather confusing how they have an excuse for everything it seems. What are ya'lls thoughts?

It really bothers me when people blame God for the bad things that happen in the world and say he doesn't care about us or he doesn't know how to deal with us.

First, let me establish that God is real and that he knows what he is doing. The first and best sources are the scriptures and the words of the prophets. They teach that God does live, that he cares about us and that he has a plan for all of us.

Unfortunately, some people think that the Bible is "out-of-date" and not applicable to today's problems. Nothing could be further from the truth. I believe if people applied the teachings found in the Bible, there would be far fewer problems in our society.

For those who want more than the Bible as proof God exists, just look at the beauty that surrounds all of us. For example, spend a clear evening outside town and watch the sunset. Wait until the sky is fully dark, and look up at the night sky.

I reserve the right to laugh and snicker if you think someone else can do a better job than the Master Painter.

Or you can take a road trip across the country. Just look at how the scenery changes, how trees appear before your eyes and give way to mountains that then become prairies. The human eye, which takes in everything around it, is more perfect than any camera ever invented.

Even Charles Darwin said, "that the eye ... could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest sense."

I don't understand how someone can look at nature and not see a divine hand involved. The doubter requires too much when he asks for a sign beyond the miracles of creation.

The passage of time, even long intervals of time, is not a "cause" and provides no answers without an intelligent designer. God knew what he was doing when he put this earth together and placed us on it.

This brings me to my second point. If God made the world, he made all the good and evil in it too, right? No. There is a simple concept which should be understood: Everything good comes from God and everything evil comes from the devil Yes, if God is real, so is the devil, and it is the devil who is responsible for tempting men to rape and blow up buildings and all other evils that make the evening news.

So if God is good, then why does he allow such bad things to happen? The answer is simply this: One of God's greatest gifts to us is our free agency. We are free to do as we please, even if our choices hurt others. This life is a test, and God will not intervene or remove the tests until the close of the examination.

Some people think the World Trade Center's twin towers would still be standing if it weren't for religion. I say they never would have been built if it weren't for religion.

During the years, countless atrocities have been committed in the name of religion, but this is neither because of God nor his influence - it is because of the lack of God in our lives. We continue to remove him from our society, and then we wonder why we have so many problems.

It is naive to think it is God who made "a very cruel world" and "good" people can have more morals than God. In the Bible, Joshua urged his people to "choose you this day whom ye will serve." To the extent we all choose wisely in this regard, the world will be a much better place.



"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?"


The Christian response was this:
He is able, but not willing. That doesn't make Him malevolent. This argument completely ignores the fact that without the potential for evil, love would hold absolutely no value. Because God is benevolent enough to grant us real, valuable love, He is willing to pay the price of having people reject Him and harm His own people.

Is it better to have a monarchy or democracy? If you say democracy, because you value people being able to decide things for themselves, then you support what God has done by giving us free will. If a monarch gives up his supreme power to allow each individual to make their own decisions, there is always the risk that those decisions will be bad. But, are we going to say that because some will make bad decisions, nobody should be allowed to decide anything? I'm gonna go ahead and stick with God's choice and say it's better to have freedom, in spite of the dangers.

I'll try to be more clear, then. If a person takes a gun and shoots another person, killing him, what is the source of the evil intention, the gun or the person wielding it? Any logical person would say the person is the one with intention, because that same gun lying on a table without the person would not have killed anyone. Now, if another person takes food from a store and gives it to a starving, impoverished person, which has good intention, the food or the person delivering it? Again, a logical person would say the person has the intention.

I'll use these two examples to illustrate my point. The food and the gun, without people, are not 'good' or 'evil' things. It takes people with 'good' and 'evil' intentions to talk about good and evil. So, if God did not allow us to have evil intentions, if we didn't have free will, then the fact that we are used for 'good' or to please Him wouldn't be special at all. Though we are used for good, we cannot 'be' good.

Most people would agree that stationary food, that isn't consumed, is no special thing. But, most people would also agree that the act of a person giving food to someone who needs it is a very good and lovable thing, something to appreciate. The problem is, we would not be able to appreciate it, or see anything special in it, if that same person didn't have the ability to commit evil, as well. It is the very fact that the person chose to do good, rather than evil, when he had the potential to do evil, that makes the act so special.

So, if we didn't have free will, real love could not exist. If we didn't have the potential to do evil, what we do would not be special or appreciated. Therefore, God had a choice, to give us free will and the ability of evil in order for real love to exist, or to have no evil and no love. God chose to let real love exist, in spite of evil, because of how valuable and beautiful it is.

I'm not a masochist, because I hate the manifestation of evil. But, I adore God's choice to allow the potential for evil, because it is the only way real love can exist. So, in effect, I am the opposite of a masochist, for loving the incidents of everything that is not harmful or hurtful. And, I realize that none of it would hold any value, would be worth loving, if not for the potential for evil. Does that help?


A person responded with the brutal examples of the atrocities listed in the Old Testament and how this "god" could love and permit those actions and the Christian response was as follows:
In Matthew 19, Jesus states that part of the Law of Moses was not in line with God's Law. In Hebrews 8, the fact that the Law of Moses had errors is attributed to men, and shows that the only reason we even have a New Testament was for the very problems you, George, complain about. Your arguments speak more about a form of Judaism than Christianity.

If you want to argue against Christianity, you'll have to show how the rejection of those atrocities is a bad thing, because that is much of what Christianity and the New Covenant are about. If you continue to complain about Old Testament perversions of God's Law, you're being more Christian than you think.


Again, What are ya'lls thoughts?