Monday

Former Christian musician / Christian School Principal Deconverts Part 2


These are my last posts as a Christian on Rowland Croucher's thread.

Rowland Croucher wrote: Don't forget there are many 'lurkers' here who find these exchanges objectionable. Mark T: you're the main offender, I'm afraid. ... My suggestion: take a full transcript of one of these threads *[Impossible to do on this thread as Rowland CENSORED it like all fundamentalists do] and show it to a rational friend/psychiatrist/whoever-you-trust and see what they say... *[ How utterly condescending!]

Instead I am taking it to the world. Throughout the thread I asked for people to remain on topic and criticise my arguments and not attack me personally. That never happened.

I asked one Christian poster who was particularly objectionable and only wanted to verbally abuse me whether I should quote all his off topic posts about myself. He answered "yes" so I did. There were 25 off topic posts only centred on me by this one poster.

The thread began

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Rowland Croucher: The most hate-filled clergy conference I've ever visited was Anglican: but they'd used the word 'charity' several times in their liturgies.

Sometimes we vilify others for their lack of love and do not realize that the 'put-downs' we employ are unloving, etc.

How can we encourage one another to be more loving in our speech?

Referenced http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/26612.htm?sms_ss=facebook&at_xt=4d8596de1a282dfd%2C0

Curses Left and Right: Hate Speech and Biblical Tradition” by Brian M. Britt

The abstract reads: ”Hate speech has been defined as ‘words that wound,’ but legal arguments to restrict such words have been unable to show how language *in itself* can have power. Such power is inconsistent with secularist ideas of language that consider words to be mere tools of human communication and expression. Instead, current debates over hate speech reflect biblical traditions of cursing and powerful words. Yet arguments against the use of racist and sexist speech depend mainly on modern, secular notions of language, equality, and justice. Meanwhile, in defiance of secular law and theories of language, some religious groups have used inflammatory words to provoke public outrage and advance their agendas. The curse of the pulsa denura (Israel) and the execrations of the Westboro Baptist Church (United States) exploit a ‘curse loophole’ in law and society that doubts the power of words. An approach to language and tradition that avoids the simplistic dichotomy of ‘religion’ and ‘secularity’ can lead to a Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 78:3 – 2010, pp633-661. Journal of the American Academy of Religion,

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My posts follow with ">" for other people and *[..] for my comments now.]

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I have been the victim of both physical violence by Christians as well as repeated personal verbal attacks through words. There are number of obnoxious traits of modern Christians which are the reasons I will never join a church again:

- not... allowing others to have an opinion or to interpret scripture differently than their own tradition and labelling such people as "not true Christians" or "heretics"

- thinking that another's belief invalidates the content of what the other has to say

- fear of the new and the unknown and the Other

- preference for niceness over honesty

- preference for bible verses over rational argument

- attacking the person rather than the argument

- loathing of any criticism even if it is valid

*[ This proved utterly prophetic. It is exactly as all the Christians behaved on the thread.]

I taught retail. I know the following .

A satisfied customer may tell 3 – 5 people about their experience.

A dissatisfied customer may tell 8 – 10 people about their experience.

The average business never hears from 96% of its unhappy customers.

For every complaint received the average company in fact has 26 customers with similar complaints, 6 of which are serious problems. Of the customers who register a complaint as many as 70% will do business again with your business if the complaint is effectively resolved. That figure goes up to a staggering 95% if the customer feels that their complaint was resolved quickly.

It costs 6 times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing customer.

1 complaining customer & 26 other dissatisfied customers = 27 unhappy customers

27 complaining customers will each tell up to 20 others = 540 people may have heard complaints about your company.

(Source: Aussie Host)

Think about customers = church attenders / potential church attenders and business = church. Exactly the same thing applies. I have told far more than 10 people about my extremely unhappy experience with Christians. The chuch takes no notice of its unhappy customers and continues stumbling into the dark.

Those who spoke out against the white slave traders used nasty words as well as reason. Those who advocated slavery used bible verses as the bible advocates slavery in both the Old and New Testament. If we only followed what the churches in the South of the USA stated and followed bible verses then slavery would still be with us.

Likewise, in modern times, Martin Luther King had many nasty things to say about the government and Christians who used bible verses to promote racism as well was words of love. If we had listened to the bible quoting preachers from Southern Churches then racism would still be here today and no equality for Negroes.

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I have seen more "Christian love" demonstrated by atheist philosophers in a philosophy discussion than anything I have ever experienced in a Christian discussion. Atheist philsophers at least stick to the topic, have read what they are talking about or criticising, discuss the ideas and not attack the person for their particular stance. Reason, reason and reason again. It seems to trump "Christian love" every time in its actual demonstration of love toward another.

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There is PLENTY to be unsatisfied with church but those in church put their hands over their ears chanting "La la la. I'm not listening". I have literally met HUNDREDS who have left church because they are dissatisfied with your "ministry / service / help". Think about it. Some have left Chritianity completely - all because of how they were treated in churches like those you attend.

The unhappy customers with church is why the numbers in your pews are falling rapidly. Haven't you noticed? Look around and see the empty pews. That's the dissatisfied customers who do not see your "Good News" as anything good whatsoever but totally bad news. There are no "exit interviews" when Christians leave church. They just leave and no-one bats an eyelid.

Your churches could learn from proper customer service techniques.

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Many of those leaving your churches are NOT leaving JESUS or GOD.... They are leaving CHURCH. Your church is not Jesus or God. Jesus and God are not church. They are saying "You're church sux!" Those in retail would stand up in astonishment and think why they aren't attracting customers but customers are regularly leaving. If the exodus keeps going on the business fails The church is failing in the West. Quoting a bible verse to explain the bleeding of the church with thousands leaving the church yearly isn't going to help your situtation. You are doing something wrong. That's why you are having people leave. You are not listening to WHY they are leaving.

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Jesus repeatedly said that God the Father (Yahweh) should be the focus. That is the meaning of Jesus' greatest commandment.

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Ministry is helping other humans. If you are not helping other humans then you have no ministry whatsoever even if you have a title that uses the word. I have been speaking about churches over the entire West not your particular singular church - though I am also sure that your numbers have dropped over the past 20 years.

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WHICH "Lord"????? It is such an all-encompassing word that is quite vague.

LORD God the Father (Yahweh) ????

lord (boss) Jesus the human messiah anointed BY God the Father (Yahweh)????

Lord Satan????

I'm beginning to think, based soley upon the fruit demonstrated by Christians, that it might be Lord Satan.

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All I see are churches addicted to the human Jesus who was anointed BY God for a task. I can go to a church service and NEVER hear one word regarding God the Father (Yahweh) but only Jesus. Then there is the use of catch-phrase "the Lord" which can mean either Jesus or God the father (Yahweh). You are never sure which is being spoken of. These are just a few of the many complaints that I have also heard other church leavers complain about.

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A POST DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE TOPIC - SEE THE LOVE AND LOVING WORDS!!!!

> I know you dont accept nor believe on the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Father's begotten and annointed Son.

A lie! I believe totally that Jesus is lord / boss / master as the GREEK word means ....

Lord does not automatically mean God.

Lord means master / boss.

1) property owners are called Lord (Matt. 20:8, kurios is "owner" - NIV)

2) heads of households were called Lord (Mk 13:35, owner=kurios).

3) slave owners were called Lord (Matt. 10:24, master=kurios).

4) husbands were called Lord (1 Pet. 3:6, master=kurios).

5) a son called his father Lord (Matt. 21:30, sir=kurios).

6) the Roman Emperor was called Lord (Acts 25:26, His Majesty=kurios).

7) Roman authorities were called Lord (Matt. 27:63, sir=kurios).


> On this account you cannot be a Christian despite your protests. ... You may find better fellowship with atheists, agnostics, skeptics, Moslems, or the vast majority of Jews

This is directly related to what I have previously stated - There are number of obnoxious traits of modern Christians .... labelling such people as "not true Christians" or "heretics"

Your words are not loving.

> vent your spleen here continually.

This is directly related to what I have previously stated - There are number of obnoxious traits of modern Christians ....- not allowing others to have an opinion or to interpret scripture differently than their own tradition

Your words are not loving.

You are a great example of why I will never attend church again.

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Think about why there are HUNDREDS of denominations. Each thinks the others are "not true Christians" and "heretics".... If they didn't then there would only be one church with no other interpretation. Each also claims the the Holy Spirit has led them, exclusively, into all truth and that's why the others are "not true Christians" and "heretics". Why hasn't the Holy Spirit done his work? Why are there hundreds of denominations that all exclude each other?

This is symptomatic of all Christian discussion I have been in. Some person thinks that they have exclusive truth because they follow their denomination's man-made dogma and excludes anyone else from an opinion. It's not just that they believe the other person is wrong - they don't wish that person to have any say whatsoever and end up attacking the person with insults and unloving words such as "not a true Christian"or "heretic" rather than discussing their ideas. This particularly happens with those addicted to the bible who argue by quoting bible verses and who do not find rational discourse easy.

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*[ In relation to being repeatedly interrogated about what I believed ]

A POST DIRECTLY RELATED TO LOVING WORDS ... OR THE LACK OF THEM.

Bible quoting types regularly come back to the belief of the person and not their ideas. They think that if a person doesn't believe 100% the same as them then their opponent's ideas are automatically inavilidated because they are "not a true Christian"or a "heretic".

That is definitely not the case. An idea stands alone by itself to be critiqued against truth rather than compared to a bible verse. A person's belief system does not invalidate their ideas.

When I answer I will be told "You're not a true Christian" and / or "You're a heretic" because my ideas are not 100% like those of bible quoters.

I follow Jesus' greatest commandment EXACTLY and ONLY worship Yahweh - Father God. I have no idea why bible quoters think I am "not a true Christian" when I follow what Jesus plainly stated. Jesus' greatest commandment references the following ....

"I the LORD (YAHWEH) am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have NO OTHER GODS BESIDE ME (YAHWEH)." - Exodus 20:1-6 (JPS Tanakh)

"I the LORD (YAHWEH) am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of bondage: You shall have NO OTHER GODS BESIDE ME (YAHWEH)." - Deuteronomy 5:6-7 (JPS Tanakh)

The historic time / space Jesus of Nazareth did NOT bring the people of Israel "out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage".

THEREFORE

Jesus is NOT the infinite One God Yahweh and "You will have no gods other than me (the infinite One God Yahweh)".

Now PROVE that the finite human historic time / space Jesus of Nazareth brought the people of Israel "out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage".

Quote proof with Jesus' name in it.'

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> His character is to welcome the outcast, offer grace to those who do not deserve it and love to all. How hard can it be to do that in the church????

Apparently VERY difficult. That is what I am hearing daily from those who have left the church.

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> 3) I do see my responsibility to contend for the faith and to refute error and heretics and those that seek to divide the church.

BINGO!

Who is to say that YOU are not the "heretic" and "not a true Christian"????? I could m...ake a very good rational case for that based soley upon Jesus' greatest commandment and the Shema that Jesus quoted. I could give logical reasons why you are an idol worshipper of a human Jewish peasant and not a worshipper of the One God Yahweh. But I don't do such things - I look at your arguments and questions.

As George M. Marsden correctly points out "A Fundamentalist is an evangelical who is angry about something ... fundamentalists are a subtype of evangelicals and militancy is crucial to their outlook."- George M Marsden "Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism" (William B Eerdmans : 1991) p.1

It is these types that are regularly complained about as lacking love by all others - Christian and non-Christian. Fundamentalism is the major problem within church regarding lack of love and lack of loving words. They erroneously think they are doing God's will by attacking others. In this they are no different to the Islamic fundamentalists that they hate so much.

Read Karen Armstrong "The Battle For God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (HarperCollins:200)

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> Thomas said to Jesus ... "My Lord and my God"

Why does it always boil down to argument by a Bible Verse Vomit????

From the SAME BOOK - John 20:17 - "I [Jesus] am ascending to MY FATHER AND YOUR FATHER, MY GOD AND YOUR GOD"

...

I'm sorry that your human god has a God above him. My God (Yahweh) has no God that he goes to and no father.

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As I view John's gospel as a forgery it isn't much evidence to me. I again go on Jesus' greatest commandment which I see NO-ONE has refuted. It ONLY refers to Yahweh. The problem is then proving that a finite human Jewish peasant from the first century is really the infinite One God Yahweh who brought the people of Israel out of Egypt. I see no proof of that anywhere. You have to perform a series of mental gymnastics to believe it.

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> There are times when the refutation of error and condemnation of heretics causes Christians to act in ways that seem quite at odds with what they profess.

John: Well, everything that you've been saying implies that [Fundame...ntalism] is a manifestation of a fairly low level of mental health, doesn't it? For a start, Fundamentalists call for a literal interpretation of scripture, and as we saw when we were discussing secular values, focusing in on the letter of the law is a characteristic of the less healthy. In addition, wise people tend not to exhibit literal mindedness, so it seems singularly inappropriate to assume that this is the vein in which great spiritual teachers are speaking. Then again, whether we're talking about Christianity, Islam, Judaism or Hinduism, the values of Fundamentalists seem aimed at making themselves feel better by placing all negative and destructive emotions in people with different beliefs, and enjoying the golden glow of self-justification that results. ... You know that simile: 'As rare as a Fundamentalist who loves his enemy.' ... the Inquisition did largely miss the point of 'Love Thy Neighbour', didn't they? Wasn't burning heretics 'worse' than being tolerant towards them? ...

- Robin Skinner & John Cleese "LIFE ...and how to survive it" (Methuen; London:1993) p. 287

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> John's Gospel ... a forgery ... you would not have many Christians who agree with you.

Think again. The Jesus Seminar says that most of the words are inauthentic. Geza Vermes does not use it in his "The Authentic Goepsl of Jesus"( Penguin: 2004)

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> the Word of the Lord requires.

Again, the bible NEVER calls itself "the Word of God". Not ONE verse!!!!

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>Rowland Croucher: Interesting discussion: and I appreciate Mark's exhortations to stick to the topic (though I note even he got waylaid by others' theological comments about this'n that... and veered off it :-)

*[ Notice his contradictory words later. ]

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ANOTHER POST DIRECTLY ON LOVING WORDS ... OR THE LACK OF THEM

> Why bother debating someone who holds nothing but contempt for all Churches and most Christians and virtually denies the existence of the New Covenant?

1. Why not?

2. You give a good example of what I wrote about earlier ...- There are number of obnoxious traits of modern Christians .... labelling such people as "not true Christians" or "heretics"

3. You have given a very good example of a subjective value judgement and excluded someone from debate based SOLEY on the their belief not being 100% the same as yours and NOT upon their IDEAS that they are discussing.

4. Bible quoting fundamentalist types ALWAYS want to exclude anyone who is not a bible quoting fundamentalist.

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> the Jesus Seminar is not a credible authority.

You haven't even read the original source!!!!!

1. It is NOT ON TOPIC.

2. I have introduced it to counteract your repeated "Argument By Bible Verse Quoting". The very verses you quote are held in dispute as inauthentic to the historical Jesus by contemporary biblical scholars. It therefore invalidates your argument unless you can PROVE that Jesus actually said the words in time / space history. Proof does not mean quoting other bible verses or appealing to ancient creeds and dogmas. Proof means giving logical valid argument without attacking the person.

3. It is invalid to critique a book that you have never read. Always go to the source material and read it.

4. The following Fellowes of the Jesus Seminar who worked on "The Five Gospels" also have PhDs or ThDs specifically from Harvard:

- Harold W Attridge

- Ron Cameron

- Arthur J Dewey

- Julian V Hills

- Roy W Hoover

- J Ramsey Michaels

- Phillip Sellew

- Dennis Smith

- Robert F Stoops, Jr

How does your link from one person from Harvard invalidate their work when they are on equal footing from the same university? It doesn't! 9 against 1.

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> In Corinthians Paul speaks of Christians as being Ambassadors of Reconcilliation.

I have spoken of Christians being the exact opposite.

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> our faith is not founded on "rational discourse"

In his greatest commandment Jesus said to love Father God (Yahweh) with ALL our mind. What part of that don't you understand?

Bible quoting Christians often demonise the messenger rather than listen to the message.

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>So why you keep appealing to a minority group as though it were representative of "contemporary biblical scholarship" is beyond me.

1. It is STILL OFF TOPIC.

2. Contemporary biblical scholars within the Jesus Seminar ARE representatives of contemporary biblical scholarship by logical dictionary definition. That they do not agree with your scholars does not invalidate them as scholars. Was Luther inavlidated because he disagreed with the entire Catholic Church? You have a similar new reformation happening today right under your nose.

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>>"STILL OFF TOPIC" > Er, a topic you introduced, ...

1. STILL OFF TOPIC

2. People are still more interested in me and my personal belief about the bible than my rational arguments.

3. No, it is a topic Robert Graves introduced - the discussion of the Jesus Seminar in reply to my quoting it in answer to Peter Johnson when he proceded with an invalid "Argument By Quoting Bible Verses": My Lord and my God" ....From the SAME BOOK - John 20:17 - "I [Jesus] am ascending to MY FATHER AND YOUR FATHER, MY GOD AND YOUR GOD"

My point was, of course, that quoting bible verses proves nothing whatsoever. Above is a contradiction from the same book. God does not have a God or father that he goes to.

Even IF we assume all the presuppositions that the bible is "God's Word" inspired and accurate because of a supposed member of three gods, all the writers are exactly as they state, all the words are translated properly from the copies of the copies of the copies of the copies that we have in existence etc THEN we still have a MAJOR problem that is demonstrated in the two verses above. The bible contradicts itself in many places.

I therefore face a large problem.

IF I believe that God is soley responsible for the bible THEN I MUST logically assume that he is obviously demented (multiple contradictions within the bible text) , not good at history (can't harmonise Kings & Chronicles) or remembering things (several attempts at ending Mark's gospel) , immoral and unethical (advocating genocide in Joshua, calling Lot a righteous man in the NT for offering his daughters to a bunch of angel rapers and advocationg slavery). My only choice would have to be to utterly ignore this "god" as completely unworthy of my attention.

OR

I could believe that the bible is a work of multiple authors, editors and forgers over a wide range of time who disagreed with each other, made human errors within the text - and not blame God for the absolute illogical irrational ahistorical mess that is the bible as we now know it. This includes the possibility that many of the texts of Jesus' words are inauthentic or forgeries or misquotes or bad translations or maybe somewhere hidden amongst the crap actually said by him.

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Tell you what, let's stick to the TOPIC.

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‎>On topic: Q: How do you loving tell someone on this list that they have probably lost any credibility for engaging in a faith-based and rational discussion given their demonstrated inability to support even the most basic of Christian tenets and that their nonsensical arguments are bringing division among the fellowship of believers of which they do not stand?

On topic: Q: How do you loving tell someone on this list that they have no credibility for engaging in a rational logical discussion anywhere in the world given that they are obsessed with the faulty notion that one's theological belief invalidates one's rational logical arguments, they are involved in a hate-filled intolerant personal Crusade / Inquisition / Witch Hunt against anyone who does not believe 100% the same as themselves, they believe in irrational, illogical anti-intellectual "Argument By Quoting Bible Verses", they engage in passive-aggressive posts, they don't listen to what people world wide are saying about the obnoxiousness of similar such bible quoting fundamentalist types, and they prefer personal attacks to critiquing any argument? I guess one just answers their Bible Verse Vomits with fact after fact, refuting their obnoxious behaviour and hatred and faulty arguments even if the person is bored with external quotes.

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Criticism of Christians

Negative attitudes in the United States

David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Institute, and Gabe Lyons of the Fermi Project published a study of attitudes of 16-29 year old Americans towards Christianity. They found ...that about 38% of all those who were not regular churchgoers had negative impressions of Christianity, and especially evangelical Christianity, associating it with conservative political activism, hypocrisy, anti-homosexuality, and judgmentalism. About 17% had "very bad" perceptions of Christianity.

Hypocrisy

Secular and religious critics have accused many Christians of being hypocritical. For instance, although marital fidelity and family values are arguably central to Christian morality, a study by the Barna Research Group has shown that divorce rates among Evangelical Christians were higher than for other faith groups, and also trended higher than the rate of divorce among atheists and agnostics. Tom Whiteman, a Philadelphia psychologist found that the primary reasons for Christian divorce include adultery, abuse (including substance, physical and verbal abuse), and abandonment whereas the number one reason cited for divorce in the general population was incompatibility.

Conservative Christians are often accused of being intolerant by secular humanists and liberal Christians, claiming that they oppose science that seems to contradict scripture , liberal democracy (separation of church and state), and progressive social policies (rights of people of other races and religions, of women, and of people with different sexual orientations).

Persecution by Christians

Individuals and groups throughout history have been persecuted by certain Christians (and Christian groups) based upon sex, sexual orientation, race, and religion (even within the bounds of Christianity itself). Many of the persecutors attempted to justify their actions with particular scriptural interpretations.

Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Christiansity

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> I understand you regard yourself as a Christian,

1. I refer to myself as an Exiled Believer.

2. Christians may critique Christianity contrary to what Peter Johnson demands.

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1. STILL OFF TOPIC!!!!!

...

2. You have NO idea what I am talking about!!!!!

The term "Exiled Believer" comes from John Shelby Spong in "Why Christianity Must Change Or Die" (Harper San Francisco 1998) p. 20 entitled "On Saying the Christian Creed With Honesty" & "The Meaning Of The Exile And How We Got There" ... and which describes me accurately ....

So while claiming to be a believer (* i.e. a Christian) and still asserting my deeply held commitment to Jesus as Lord and Christ, I also recognize that I live in a state of exile from the presuppositions of my own religious past. I am exiled from the literal understandings that shaped the creed at its creation. I am exiled from the worldview in which the creed was formed.

The only thing I know to do in this moment of Christian history is to enter this exile, to feel its anxiety and discomfort, but to continue to be a believer. This is now my self-definition. I am a believer who increasingly lives in exile from the traditional way in which Christianity has heretofore been proclaimed. "A believer in exile" is a new status in religious circles, but I am convinced that countless numbers of people who either still inhabit religious institutions or who once did will resonate with that designation.

I see in this moment of Christian history a new vocation for me as a religious leader and a new vocation for the Christian church in all of its manifestations. That vocation is to legitimize the questions, the probings, and, in whatever form, the faith of the exiled believer. I believe that a conversation and a dialogue must be opened with those who cannot any longer give their assent to the premodern theological concepts that continue to mark the life of our increasingly irrelevant ecclesiastical institutions. I think the time has come for the Church to invite its people into a frightening journey into the mystery of God and to stop proclaiming that somehow the truth of God is still bound by either our literal scriptures or our literal creeds.

Exile is never a voluntary experience. It is always something forced upon a person or a people by things or circumstances over which the affected ones have no control. Exile is an enforced dislocation into which one enters without any verifiable hope of either a return to the past or an arrival at some future desired place. The Christian faith came into existence in a world radically different from the one it now seeks to inhabit. The biblical view of the universe was slowly and quietly discarded. People began to grasp the fact that God did not sit on a throne beyond the sky looking down. Divine intervention became a problematic concept. As the knowledge of the universe grew, the religious community tried to adjust. Christianity began to shift God's dwelling place form "up there" to "out there", as if somehow that new spatial image made God more believable. Finally distances overwhelmed even this concept of God's dwelling place. Our embrace of the vastness of space had the effect, finally, of removing God from the sky and then increasingly even from our human consciousness. Those biblical accounts were so obviously shaped by the ancient three-tiered worldview, whose shape Copernicus and Galileo and countless other had delinated, began to awaken to the fact that they could no longer use any of the traditional language about God and a heaven "out there" that so deeply filled our ancient faith system. That language had lost its meaning.

After a while even the members of those congregations who continue to gather during a drought to pray for rain did not trust their work sufficiently to bring raincoats and umbrellas. Truth can never be deterred just because it is inconvenient. We like the Jews of old, had been forcibly removed from all that had previously given life meaning. No way out of this exile is either visible or guaranteed.

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@Mark Tindall ... you really must acknowledge your sources, otherwise I will have no choice but to belive that you are a plagiarist and a willing one at that.

1. STILL OFF TOPIC!!!!

2. Get an education and LEARN TO READ!!!

- Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Christianity-

- from John Shelby Spong in "Why Christianity Must Change Or Die" (Harper San Francisco 1998)p. 20

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TOPIC: How can we encourage one another to be more loving in our speech?

Apparenttly by attacking personalities and their theological beliefs and not the topic.

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> Yes, let's do have a DISCUSSION on the topic

Wonderful! How can we encourage one another to be more loving in our speech?

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Might it be that some Christians are leaving church because of how they are treated in church with "unloving words"?

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How can we encourage one another to be more loving in our speech?

It appears that you CANNOT get some people such as intolerant fundamentalist to be more loving in their speech. They don't understand what loving is. They are obnoxious by nature. They seem to think it is moral and ethical and loving to repeatedly attack a person rather than discuss their arguments. They wish to censor all debate by anyone who doesn't agree with them 100%. This thread is a clear example of how you will be treated at church if you dare have an opinion that the intolerant fundamentalists don't like.

LOVE INCLUDES TOLERANCE.

I don't attempt to chase anyone away. I welcome discussion ON TOPIC by anyone. I am not telling anyone what they have to believe in order to be a "true Christian". I am extremely annoyed by the repeated personal attacks by a few intolerant fundamentalists who think my personal theological belief and my style somehow invalidates what I say.

PERSONAL ATTACKS AND ABUSE DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY FROM THE CHURCH AND CHRISTIANITY.

THESE TYPES OF PERSONAL ATTACKS ARE WHAT DROVE ME AWAY FROM CHURCH AND ARE NOW DRIVING ME AWAY FROM CHRISTIANITY.

DESIST!!!

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> Rowland Croucher: .... Don't forget there are many 'lurkers' here who find... these exchanges objectionable. ... Mark T: you're the main offender, I'm afraid.

*[Notice the contradiction to his previous comment.]

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THEN DEFRIEND ME. I'M NOT THE MAIN OFFENDER BUT THE VICTIM. CHRISTIANS AGAIN SHOOT THEIR WOUNDED. THANK GOD I'LL NEVER SET FOOT IN A CHURCH AGAIN AND WILL PROBABLY LEAVE CHRISTIANITY FOREVER ALL BECAUSE OF HATE FILLED INTOLERANT CHRISTIANS. I'LL BE A GREAT WITNESS FOR THE OTHER SIDE WITH MY TESTIMONY OF WHAT I HAD TO ENDURE. SO MUCH FOR "LOVING WORDS". IT'S ALL BULLSHIT!!!!!!

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I HAVE NOW OFFICIALLY LEFT CHRISTIANITY FOR GOOD. I WILL TAKE MY STORY OF REPEATED ABUSE BY CHRISTIANS (PHYSICAL AND VERBAL CAUSING PTSD) TO THE WORLD. I AM YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE CONCERNING PUBLIC RELATIONS. CHRISTIANS SHOOT THEIR WOUNDED. CHRISTIANS RECRUCIFY THE VICTIM OVER AND OVER AGAIN. ROWLAN TAKE ALL MY MATERIAL OFF YOUR SITE WITHOUT EXCEPTION. I WILL BEGIN A BLOG ABOUT MY DECONVERSION AS A RESULT OF REPEATED CHRISTIAN ABUSE.

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Tell me again how these posts are "objectionable" and how I am the "main offender". Absolute bullshit!