Monday, March 8, 2010

Why Must We Participate in Church?

To gather with God’s people in united adoration of the Father is as necessary to the Christian life as prayer.
-Martin Luther

Will you show up for an Easter worship service this year out of guilt, childhood habit, or is it your weekly routine? I am often asked on the Bible Answer Man broadcast, “Why should I attend church services?” More to the point: “Why join a church?” Today, I want to explain the importance of committing to and joining with a local church.

Let me clarify: joining a church should not be approached as an obligation or duty, such as registering to vote, supporting the public library, or taking the trash out. No, joining a local church should be considered a great joy and sacred privilege.

Let’s consider why.

First, throughout the Bible, we see that the believer’s life is to be lived within the context of a family of faith (Ephesians 3:4–15; Acts 2). Indeed the Bible knows nothing about lone-ranger or “closet” Christians! Far from being born again as rugged individuals, we are born into a body of believers of which Christ is the head. A friend of mine aptly remarked, “When we are born again, we are born into a ‘forever family.’”

Furthermore, spiritual growth is impossible apart from membership and participation in a healthy, well-balanced church. It is in the church that we weekly receive the Word and sacraments as means of grace. Recall the early Christians who “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42). Moreover, belonging to a body of believers also allows for accountability. The Bible requires that believers respectfully call attention to patterns of persistent, sinful behavior on the part of a member (Matthew 18:15–17).

Finally, while it is in the church that we enter into worship, experience the fellowship of believers, and become equipped to witness, church membership itself does not save us. No, we are rescued from God’s wrath, forgiven of all our sins, and declared positionally righteous before God solely by grace, through faith, on account of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:17; 3:21–4:8; Ephesians 2:8–9).

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

ETERNITY! <==Exactly!

~Mr. & Mrs. Onymous~

Anonymous said...

All,
Does anyone know if Hank has a home church in Charlotte? Does he attend regularly?

Anonymous said...

ETERNITY!

~Mr. & Mrs. Onymous~

Don said...

James witnessed to four teens last night and one said that he went to church. James replied that going to church doesn't save you. The guy agreed and said he thought he was going to hell. James had a very interesting conversation with them and they said they would deeply think about where they'd spend eternity.

God is so faithful to open the eyes of people to make them see!

Laura Davis said...

Would love to hear suggestions for those who are unable to get out to church due to sickness or disability.

Boris said...

Don,
Your post is why I hate Christianity. Some delusional, poorly educated religious fanatic, James, tells four teenagers that they'll go to hell for not buying into the absurd dogmas and doctrines of a particular religion. Fear is not a good reason to believe something. Did James present these these kids with empirical, scientific evidence for a belief that people can somehow live after they die? Did he present them with evidence for the existence of hell? No, because there isn't any. These are nothing more than asinine childish superstitions. If Christian fear-mongering were directed solely at adults, it would be bad enough. But Christians routinely terrorize helpless children with their grisly depictions of endless horrors and suffering they'll be subjected to if they don't live good Christian lives. That's child abuse.

"If religion were true, its followers would not try to bludgeon their young into an artificial conformity; but would merely insist on their unbending quest for truth." H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)

Inducing belief using fear mongering rather than evidence usually only brings about compliance and intellectual acceptance often never comes. All of you people have been frightened out of your minds by OTHER PEOPLE who convinced you that if you didn't believe the Bible was the Word of God you would be punished with unimaginable violence in an afterlife. That is the ONLY reason ANY of you believe. You can lie to me and say it isn't so but we all know it's true. One easy proof of that is the fact that Christians NEVER ever fail to use the threat of hell with me once they've seen that their other arguments aren't going to work. Their own words reveal exactly how frightened they are by the fear of hell.

We all know there are either major problems with the Bible and your entire belief system or else Satan is just making it look that way. You know like how Satan supposedly makes science so appealing to intelligent people and religion so repulsive to them. But if there is no such being as Satan, then you people have all been duped haven't you? Guess what people. The joke is on you - and I could NOT be lauing any harder.

Anonymous said...

ETERNITY!

~Mr. & Mrs. Onymous~

Anonymous said...

To help Boris~ Please feel included in our Prayer Intercession for this individual on a regular basis. Thank you kindly.
www.lotsahelpinghands.com
'Onymous Family Helpers'
GOD be with you all...
In holy love for Kingdom Victory,

~Mr. & Mrs. Onymous~

Anonymous said...

WORD ON THE STREET has it...

We can have a platonic, agape', godly love for one another and still have physical bodies (temples) from GOD. Correct? Think it through deeply, Saints.
Thanks!

"us"

Dan G said...

Boris, I love your H.P. Lovecraft quote. That's right on. Actually, I really appreciated your whole comment. Sometimes I find the things you say to be just more of the same tired old rantings. This one I really liked though.

I could really identify with your emotions and feelings. I think exactly what you say has been true in my life, both as a child being influenced by adults and as an adult influencing others.

I think religion is one of the most horrible things that has ever come along, and it has certainly done more to harm the cause of Christ then all the heretics and pagans combined could have ever done. I've had it with religion. I refuse to subject my own children to the fear and confusion that I have felt for so much of my life.

Having said all of that, just let me say that I do very much believe in God and in His Son Jesus Christ. I do very much believe in the traditional orthodox teachings of the "Church" (although my personal interpretations of some of them are a bit out of the mainstream). But I'll tell you this, my belief and my faith came in spite of the fear-mongering and religious spirit. My faith came from the very unbending quest for truth that Lovecraft refers to.

For what it's worth, I do apologize for all of the horrors that have been perpetrated on humanity in the name of Jesus. I do apologize for the damage that has clearly been done to you in Jesus name or in the name of religion. I join you in rejecting the religion and the gods that you reject. But I'd ask you to join me in discovering the truth about who Jesus really is. The Jesus who says: "You'll know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE", and "I've come that they might have LIFE, and that life more abundantly".

Cheers

Anonymous said...

Thank you a million times over, Dan G. ::sending you kudos and props:: You worded that so well and infused it with so much genuine compassion. In all reality, I commend you for that. What a relief to have someone like you share in such an authentic way on here! *teary-eyed*

For the record, I second your motion. My husband and I refused to raise children in "religious" fear, bullying, and confusion. For that...I'm very proud (in a healthy way. [More details on this later]. All Glory to GOD!

Dan G., my beliefs are almost identical to the ones you have outlined in your most recent post here. I, also, apologize for all the horrors that have been perpetrated on humanity in the name of JESUS. For what it is worth, (I choose to stand in the proverbial gap) and I apologize for all the heinous, horrific murders that have been perpetrated on Jews in the name of JESUS. I mean this from the bottom of my heart with all true sincerity and empathy. I, also, apologize for the damage that has clearly been done to Boris in JESUS name or in the name of religion. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to applaud Boris for having the bravery, guts, and courage to confide in me in a recent e-mail. Boris shared with me details of abuse he underwent at the hands of his *precious* mom. It broke my heart and brought me to a clear evaluation of just how hurt and betrayed this *Beloved* man really is. Seriously. I'm not at liberty to give out details of the abuse issues that he disclosed, however, I can tell you that Boris has all my respect, honor, and deep compassion. Boris can be assured that I will never ever violate his privacy and confidentiality in relation to his abusive childhood.

In conclusion, I join you all in rejecting the religion and the gods that all of you reject too. However, along with Dan G...I ask you to join me in discovering the truth about who JESUS really is. The JESUS who says: "You'll know the truth, and the truth will set you FREE," and "I've come that they might have LIFE, and that life more abundantly."

ETERNITY!

Very inclusive group===>
www.lotsahelpinghands.com
'Onymous Family Helpers'
***continued PRAYER VIGIL for Boris***///Peace!
All are, indeed, WELCOME!

~Mrs. Ann Onymous~
(and Mr. Onymous too)
:-) love, luv, LOVE *safe HUGS*

Rich Rodriguez said...

A great blog post on the importance of regularly participating in a local church. I have been part of my own congregation for almost a decade and have grown from the teaching, fellowship and accountability Hank writes about. There truly is no such thing as a "Lone Ranger Christian" because even the Lone Ranger had Tonto, and having such a mentality opens one up to being tossed and turned by every whim of doctrine, as well as the lure of cultic teachers like Harold Camping and the late Herbert W. Armstrong.

As for Boris, I too have joined Mr. and Mrs. Onymous in prayer for him. Although he is essentially a cyberbully rather than a serious skeptic desiring honest debate, nothing can stop me and others from praying for him. As Hank is so fond of saying, prayer is firing the winning shot. And besides, I filter out Boris's rants for what they are and ignore them.

Don said...

Boris, we pray for God's Will to be done.

Anonymous said...

NOTE: We are SO Proud of all of the Prayer Warriors here! Yay!!!

Thank you, Rich, many times over for praying for Boris with us. Prayer is, indeed, very powerful when coupled with BIBLICAL faith. I'm sure you agree. By the way, my husband and I have more degrees than thermometers. *friendly bright smile* Also, we both soak up the truths of the Holy BIBLE like sponges on a daily basis. Our exceptional educations have come about quite miraculously through the unction of the (dunamis) Holy Spirit. We are SOoooo grateful. All in all, we both have a love of life-long learning. Bless GOD!

It is a privilege for me to offer apologies for CHRISTians and others who have committed atrocities against humans in the past. I don't think of it as I owe anyone or of it being in any way an obligation. It is a true honor to stand in the gap in such a humble-humility in hopes that it softens hearts and changes the trajectory of the future for those who are forward-thinking individuals.

I can assure you that my husband, John Cleve, and myself are more than qualified, theologically-speaking. We in no way threaten or beg Boris to do anything. Actually, we are against force and manipulation in terms of evangelism and the Great Commission. Also, it is ludicrous to suggest that we went completely nuts or are quaking in our boots over anything Boris has ever said or done. We are certified as Childrens' Rights Advocates and Victims' Rights Advocates. My personal history involves having worked for one of the greatest doctors/surgeons in the entire world. I very much respect the medical profession and field which I have had an integral part in. It still tears at my heartstrings to read about Boris' mom using that Gershwin tune against his little, formative, trusting mind when he was at such a vulnerable stage in his development. Horrifying!

JESUS CHRIST is the Real BIBLE Answer Man. We are very, very thankful for your prayers for Boris as well, Don. Be encouraged everyone! The caring vibe runs deep here. Make no mistake about it, 'dear hearts.' ^^Holy (((HUGS))) sent out to All^^
ETERNITY!

~Mrs. Onymous~
(Mr. Onymous as well)

Anonymous said...

Boris, just LOOK at all the godly love and support surrounding you here. Have fun and enjoy it, Brother!

^^^///ETERNITY!>>>

~Mr & Mrs. Onymous~

Boris said...

You people are not supporting me. You're trying to get me to come over to the dark side. Not happening.

Boris said...

And now we have the ultimate proof of just how much I frighten Christians. The blog administrator has finally woke up and started erasing my posts. The last one posed a bunch of irreconcilable problems in the Bible. CRI cannot afford to let anyone know just how many problems there are in the Buybull. Rather than debate me on these points they do what Christians have always done down through history: find a way to silence their critics. What a bunch of frightened losers. No guts. All cowards. ROFL!

Don said...

"Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy." (Revelation 22:11)

"Many shall purify themselves and make themselves white and be refined, but the wicked shall act wickedly. And none of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand." (Daniel 12:10)

Anonymous said...

No Boris, no one is actually scared of your comments and your arguments. Mostly they are weak generalizations that amount to nothing but some angry guy in his basement somewhere. They probably are deleting your posts where you use foul language and are abusive to people, which is most of them. I have been reading over your posts, and while usually you just spit out some weak junk about your degree (which you never say where it's from to conviniently not be called out) or some such nonsense, you also rely on profanity, which is typically a sign of a weak mind. I don't think anybody here minds an intelligent conversation with someone about Christianity. What we do mind is when you threaten others, use profanity, or speak in such a way that belittles other people. As far as I am concerned, I have no problem with discussing my beliefs, nor does anyone else here. I'm not going to use broad, sweeping generalizations like you do (my personal favorite is the "every Christian university teaches evolution" one, because I KNOW that's an out and out lie and it just puts holes in everything you say), but I, like other people on this blog, would rather discuss our faith (or lack thereof in your case) with some manners and dignity.

Boris said...

Anonymous,
When have I threatened anybody on this blog or anywhere else? Exactly which of my arguments are weak and why exactly are they weak? Name 'em and claim 'em. See, it is YOU making the baseless sweeping generalizations. Also name just ONE, just ONE, accredited Christian college or university that teaches science that does not teach evolution, common descent, Big Bang cosmology and all the rest of the science Bible believers hate, fear, lie about and deny. Here again, if you actually could have provided the name of a college to prove your case you surely would have. So you haven't refuted any of my arguments or proved a thing with your post except that you CAN'T prove a thing. These lies of yours have truly put holes in everything YOU say. Gee, a Christian making all sorts of outrageous claims without a shred of evidence to back ANY of them up. That never happens. ROFL! You better think before you attack Boris. It's going to take days to pull your foot out of your mouth now. Hahaha

James said...

Boris,

Jackson Hole Bible College.

Boris said...

James,
That response truly reflects the desperation of your position. Jackson Hole Bible college is a one year Bible college that doesn't have a science department at all. Bible colleges don't teach science dude. You can't get a degree in biology or cosmology in one year or even three and you can't get one at all from a seminary or a Bible college. I said name a CHRISTIAN college or university that teaches science that does not teach evolution, common descent, Big Bang cosmology and so on. There aren't any. You just proved it.

Now in response to the questions about my degree, I got it from a private Christian college where I paid my dues learning ancient Greek among other things related to the Bible. I as I pointed out they taught evolution there too as ALL Christian colleges do. I have a BA, not a masters or a PHD so my degree isn't what makes me an expert on the Bible. It just proves I'm disciplined. The fact that I can point out irreconcilable problems in the text of the Bible that no Christian apologists have ever been able to solve is what makes me an expert on the Bible. Wanna try me? Where was Rachel buried? What was Solomon's mother's name and what was her father's name? Was Jesus crucified before or after the Passover meal was eaten? Who killed Goliath? Any of you people are welcome to answer these questions. Call Hank and see if he wants to answer them. Gary DeMar was taken off the air in the market I live in when he stumped himself foolishly trying to answer my questions on the air. Hank knows Gary and is probably well aware of what Boris did to him. There's a reason they don't let atheists on Christian radio very often. I'm that reason.

James said...

Boris,
You said to name a CHRISTIAN COLLEGE and I did so.


-James

Dan G said...

Boris,

I think it was deleted because of language, not because of the questions. At least I certainly hope it wasn't deleted because of the questions.

I hope we all know that in spite of countless debates between Christian Apologists and Atheists, not one single debate (that I'm aware of) has ever ended with one participant being won over by the other. I don't think anyone ever actually wins in such a debate.

You and other Atheists make a whole lot of good points. In fact, based on logic, reason and empirical evidence, I'll admit you've got the better case. If I were making my decision about what to believe based on those criteria I'd definitely be an Atheist.

Oh sure, there are some pretty good arguments to be made regarding the historical reality of Jesus and the resurrection, but come on, we're asking people to believe that this guy walked on water, raised the dead, and was himself raised from the dead. I'll admit that a halfway decent historical case isn't enough to get people to accept something as seemingly inconceivable as that.

Ultimately the first argument has to be about the nature of reality. A person would have to accept the possibility that reality might consist of more than just what can be measured by the natural sciences. If a persons world view (their religion?) precludes the possibility of anything traditionally thought of as "supernatural", than they have to that extent decided that whole arenas of the human experience throughout history are simply myth or fantasy and therefore should not be considered at all.

It's rather like those people who were utterly convinced that the sun went round the earth. All the evidence up to that point, scientific as well as religious, pointed to this Terra-centric cosmology. It was, quite simply, inconceivable that the earth might actually go around the sun. Well of course we all know how that turned out. My point here is that science and sense based evidence have held many beliefs to be incontrovertible through the millenia. And, as sure as one day follows another, many of these seemingly unshakeable truths have had to fall by the wayside as the progress of knowledge and understanding continued.

I love science. Currently, based on todays evidence, the big bang theory and evolution seem to be incontrovertible and completely obvious. As such I believe them as much as I believe anything science tells me. Which is to say, if someone asks me if I believe in evolution and common descent, I say "yes, all the evidence seems to point in that direction so I accept that evidence".

Does this cause me angst in harmonizing that with the Bible? Not really. It's quite apparent that the Bible writers held scientific beliefs that are seriously outdated. As such I don't really consider the Bible to be a science manual.

Truth has been amazingly elusive in human history. We've believed a ton of things (as Theists or Atheists either one) that have been shown to be mistaken in the light of subsequent discovery and understanding. As such I'm not going to stake too much on what I see with my eyes or hear with my ears or learn from Science. Science is great. I'm a big fan. Let's have more of it please! But lets not get too fond of our current understandings. And that goes for Christians too. Fundamentalism and dogmatism have all too often made humans, of all belief systems, look silly at best and downright diabolical at others.

Dan G said...

umm, typing faster than I'm thinking. That should be "silly at best and downright diabolical at worst". DOH!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan,

Could you expand on "the Bible writers held scientific beliefs that are seriously outdated." I am aware of quotes that reference "the circle of the earth" when people still thought it was flat but not sure what you are referring to. Thanks.

Dan G said...

Yes, the sky being a dome over a flat earth is definitely a big one. Related to it is the notion of the sun moving through the sky in Psalms 19 and also in Joshua 10:12. And of course the notion that light came along several days before the sun, moon or stars. And, well, obviously a flood that covered the WHOLE earth to the height necessary to cover the highest mountains is problematic on a multitude of levels.

That's a few. There are more of course. None of these are really all that troublesome to me (since I don't hold to a verbal, word for word form of inspiration). The writers are clearly writing from within their own contemporary framework and God, through whatever process of inspiration He used, didn't find it necessary to correct their misunderstandings.

Anonymous said...

Ok - if a weather man today says "Tomorrow sunrise will be at 7:00 AM" we don't honestly think the weather man believes the sun will "rise" in the literal sense. He is just communicating what our perspective will be. Do the biblical authors necessarily have to be mistaken or could they possibly be given the same benefit in that sort of instance?

While I did find "circle of the earth" in Isaiah 40 inferring globe, I could not find an occurrence of the phrase flat earth. Can you provide the verse please?

Regarding the global flood - could you help me understand if the flood was said to have risen "above the highest mountains of the earth" and "all the flesh on the earth" was destroyed...how that really should only mean a local flood?

Anonymous said...

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Dan G said...

Let me just make it clear that I am not really interested in debating the whole Bible/Science thing. I am not really an expert at it, although I do find it immensely fascinating. There are much smarter people then me (that would include Hank) carrying on these debates and it shows no signs of concluding any time soon.

For a really good treatment of the "Circle of the Earth" I'll just refer you here: http://www.bibleandscience.com/bible/books/genesis/genesis1_circleearth.htm

Let me be very clear. I'm not interested at all in undermining anyones faith, quite the opposite in fact. I find that when I take the view that God worked with and through people at all points in history, without first bringing them up to date on all the scientific discoveries yet to take place, it all makes so much more sense. I no longer have to look at all the scientific evidence that seems to contradict the Bible and wring my hands.

A good discussion of the local flood is here: http://biologos.org/questions/genesis-flood/

For what it's worth, I'd highly recommend biologos.org to anyone interested in these types of things.

Anonymous said...

Ok - I thought you meant that it actually stated in the bible text that the earth was flat. My mistake.
I'm also very interested in science but generally believe that would-be contradictions can usually be resolved to the satisfaction of most as new information comes to light. I will review the info you sent - thank you.

T. James Archibald said...

hey boris can you give me a little more info on what these irreconcilable problems are in the bible? just one or two really good ones maybe i've never heard before? i could go on to some atheist sites and find some but most of them are half-thought out and boring. ...oh and the rhetoric!! So much rhetoric and strawman and vulgarity and foolishness. (they make my skin crawl) Most of them anyway. Like a lot of 'christian' apologists i guess u run into.

Anyways, i'd appreciate it.
God save you.

T. James Archibald said...

LAURA, yes, some good ideas for someone stuck at home are: Online church services (try here: http://www.parksidechurch.com/media-player/2010/3/1/the-heart-of-the-matter/watch/ ); Online fellowship, teaching/entertainment (try here: http://www.wretchedradio.com/ $5pMo.); Call a local and sound church and see if ur house can b used for fellowship or bible study meetings. (try here: http://churchsearch2.9marks.org/ )

Try a search for cyber churching. But be sure to include physical non-virtual fellowship. Also, find some accountability partners.

John Tucker said...

Anonymous said...

All,
Does anyone know if Hank has a home church in Charlotte? Does he attend regularly?


When Hank and his family lived in California, they were members of and attended a church regularly. I believe it was a Calvary Chapel church, but I could be mistaken. Therefore, I'm sure they now attend a church close to their new home in NC.

Boris said...

James T. Archibald,
I found a lot of discrepancies in the Bible all on my own just using my RSV and KJV, a pencil and a college ruled paper notebook before the Internet existed and when computers still used tape and punch cards. That would be before the NRSV and NKJV existed too. It was kind of a hobby, a challenge to see how many I could find. I have a collection of stuff I haven't seen on the Internet.
Here's a couple I haven't seen anywhere else. The Midianites were completely annihilated, total genocide, infanticide, even women and animals by Moses and the Israelites (cf. Numbers 31:1-24). Yet in Judges chapter 6, just a generation or two after Joshua's, we read how Israel is oppressed by the Midianites. How did the Midianites reincarnate themselves into what had to be over a million people, to be like locusts on the land they were so many, so that they could oppress Israel?

In Joshua 12:19 we count King Jabin (cf. Joshua 11:1) among the list of dead kings. King Jabin is also reincarnated later only to be destroyed AGAIN in Judges 4:24. I've been told it could be Jabin's son but the Bible doesn't say that. "Could be" just isn't good enough when there are hundreds of discrepancies like this in the text of the Bible.

I have a lot of the problems in the Bible incorporated into [supposedly] humorous essays and the best ones are in a collection I'm trying to get published as a book. If you want to post your Email address here I'll be glad to send you a sample. You'll find my essays quite a bit different from the usual "attacks" on the Bible you might see elsewhere. I think you would find them a refreshing and interesting change. They aren't written from the perspective of an atheist and I don't think anyone can tell an atheist wrote them. Rather they are written with the idea that the Bible would make a lot more sense and be a lot more believable if we didn't take it literally. So they're written for a Christian audience. They're a written to sell. Check it out. I'd appreciate your comments.

Boris said...

The Bible does indeed state that the earth is flat in Isaiah and implies it in many other places. The word in question in this discussion is "circle." A circle is a two-dimensional object and a sphere is a three dimensional object. The Hebrew word used in Isiah is "chug" meaning circle. The same word is used twice in Job to describe the seas and heaven, two areas that were not believed to be spherical. Had the author of Isaiah intended to convey the idea of a round earth he would have used the word "kadur" which means "sphere." A disc shaped flat earth was the popular belief in the ancient Near East at that time. We even have ancient maps of Babylon and Egypt containing illustrations of a circular sea surrounding circular land.

Of course the tree in Daniel that could be seen from anywhere on the earth was another reference to the earth being flat. In the NT Jesus and Satan could look out upon all the kingdoms of the earth from the mountain they were on. This would only be possible if the earth was flat. The Bible is a flat, immovable earth book from start to finish.

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T. James Archibald said...

Thanks, Boris i'd like to see those. I also had a similar idea for a book. Something like '10 best reasons for atheism'. or '10 best atheist arguments'. i like the one "Christians are atheists too, we just believe in 1 less god." and the one where the bible seemingly has the wrong equation for pi on a circular container.

If u click on my blog profile it has my email on it.

Anonymous said...

Boris,

May I ask are you a current professor in a university? If so, would you mind sharing?

Several years ago, I was an undergrad bio major. After being out of school for a number of years, I decided to go back and get my doctorate. However, I am finding it difficult. I am not sure how to approach other professors that may feel like you. Will I be able to sincerely obtain their support if my research proposal includes aspects of "spirituality"?

Anonymous said...

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Boris said...

James T,
On the way. Let me know what you think. On the subject of Christians being atheists Thomas Paine wrote: "As to the Christian system of faith, it appears to me as a species of atheism - a sort of religious denial of God. It professes to believe in a man rather than in God. It is a compound made up chiefly of Manism with but little Deism, and is as near to Atheism as twilight is to darkness." Interesting point.

Here's the best reason for atheism. Unbelief is the natural position to take on anything until something has been proved. The existence of God has not been proved. Therefore atheism is the natural position to take on the existence of God. Now we know nothing can be proved absolutely. We can however, prove things with a high enough degree of certainty that we don't worry about whether they are true or not unless we see some evidence to the contrary. If we didn't we could never get on with our lives. I'm quite content to get on with my life completely unconcerned about whether there is a God or not. See as far as we can tell there are no verifiable consequences one way or the other.

[All] religions eventually die out... But atheism will live on regardless of what new religion replaces the old." - Ignots Pistachio

Boris said...

Anonymous,
I am not and have never been a professor at a college or university. I don't have a PHD. Why do you feel a research proposal on biology needs to contain elements of spirituality? Scientific method and spirituality don't mix. I had one semester of biology at a private Christian college. I highly doubt what you're thinking of doing would have gone over very well there when I was there. Sorry, I don't know enough about college professors, biology or research proposals to be of any help to you.

Anonymous said...

If you do not know enough about these kinds of subjects and had not done the research over time then how are you so certain you are in the right? Why does a research proposal needs elements of spirituality? It does not need it but in the end some will know where all of the research leads to as long as one keeps an open mind and cross-references from both sides. The conclusion should be obvious.

T. James Archibald said...

thanks boris, maybe those will make the cut. i want some stuff that is intriguing and makes u think it out... ALL THE WAY OUT.

Boris said...

Anonymous,
I don't have to be an expert in science to know when someone is going against basic scientific method. It's almost frightening that people like you who have no respect for scientific method still want to be scientists. If you already know what your conclusion is going to be, why do any research at all? Scientific method states that no finding is the final word and that all findings are subject to further revision and even outright rebuttal. ALL findings. You're certainly NOT keeping an open mind. Suppose your research should lead you to the same conclusions it has led most of the rest of the scientific community which would be that the universe and life itself are definitely not the result of supernatural intervention but rather have very plausible and provable explanations. What would you do then? Decide all the available data must be wrong and the ancient, backward, superstitious, animal sacrificing primitives who wrote the Bible must have been right all along? See, that's why spirituality and science just do not mix.

Boris said...

James T.
If you could be just a little more specific as to what you want and where you want it I'll be happy to oblige. Should I just post some stuff here and what kind of problems exactly? Or should I Email you another essay or just a few discrepancies? Did you laugh at that last one at all?

Anonymous said...

Good post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you as your information.

Boris said...

On today's show a caller asked Hank what evidence there was from contemporary sources outside of the Bible about Jesus Christ and what this evidence was exactly. Hank's answer was proof that there isn't a shred of evidence from outside of the Bible for a historical Jesus. Hank trotted out the usual suspects, Josephus, Pliny and Tacitus not bothering to mention that none of these people were alive during the time Jesus supposedly was and they all wrote 60 to 82 years after Jesus supposedly died. Hank purposely deceived the caller who didn't bother to question when these people actually lived and wrote. But he asked for contemporary witnesses and Hank didn't give him any, because there weren't any. The caller did ask Hank what was written about Jesus and again Hank avoided giving the guy a truthful answer. The passages in the works of Josephus are too late to be contemporary but they are widely accepted as forgeries done by Church propagandist and liar Eusebius. The other historians never mention Jesus by name but only the existence of Christians. Again hank should have told the caller this, but he didn't. Hank knows this and he knows this kind of "evidence" is only good enough for those who already desperately want to believe. I hear Hank purposely deceiving individuals and his entire audience all the time. Truth does matter. It just doesn't matter to Hank Hanegraaff or anyone who believes a word he says.

T. James Archibald said...

SORRY BORIS I HAVEN'T HAD MUCH TIME BUT, I WILL SAY THIS, IT IS HARD TO TELL HOW MUCH EMPHASIS IS ON YOUR TONGUE BEING IN YOUR CHEEK AND/OR YOU OFFERING UP A SERIOUS JAB... A LITTLE MORE CLARITY THERE I GUESS. DON'T LEAVE IT UP TO THE READER TO GUESS WHAT YOU MEAN WHEN YOU MAKE A SARCASTIC COMMENT

Boris said...

James T,
You're missing the point. The reader has to THINK about what I'm saying. Once a Christian starts thinking they stop believing. You see thinkers don't believe and believers don't think.

Dan G said...

Boris,

You said "thinkers don't believe and believers don't think". That's a pretty good statement which has more truth to it than I wish it did. However, a little word game might throw some light on that statement from a different direction. Here goes:

You made the statement that "thinkers don't believe and believers don't think", do you believe your statement is true? If you believe your statement is true, then you have categorized yourself, by your own statement, as a believer and not a thinker.

I know this is just a silly exercise on my part, because of course I know what you mean (and even agree with you to a point), but as someone who tries very hard to be both a believer and a thinker I couldn't pass it up.

Cheers

Boris said...

Dan G,
No I don't believe that, I think it. However I don't always believe what I think. As a thinker I believe what I see not what I think. Believers believe what they think and not what they see. That is not really thinking. See what I mean?

When I use the word "belief(s)" on this blog I'm usually referring to dogmatically held religious beliefs. In other words faith, belief without evidence.

pensees21 said...

Good post. Unfortunately we live in an age of the individualist Christian who thinks that church membership is unnecessary. What we must realize is that most of the NT makes little sense for all practical purposes if one takes such a "rogue" approach. Both Jesus and the rest of the NT writers taught with the assumption that believers would be involved in a congregation with like-minded believers.

T. James Archibald said...

It's been a while. Hopefully Boris is still following this section. I had time to add-up all the years between Numbers 31:1-24 and judges 6 and it seems to be about approx 250 years. seems like plenty of time. consider the age of America. also it's more likely that they killed all the men that fought in battle not every single midian man. this was not an extermination like in deut 20:16-18. Thanks again I went through all the other mistakes and rectified them. It was fun and strengthened my faith.

Anonymous said...

Boris

Respectfully, since it appears you have read other posts before this one and I have read all of yours, maybe you will entertain my comments below.
I can understand where you are coming from with your scientific understanding. I'm not sure if you are a scientist by profession, but I am. You certaintly sound intelligent and I have been surrounded by many of great minds myself. I went the an elite scientific instutitution and I understand a thing or two about the scientific method.

It's interesting, and not sure if you know, that many of the great scientists of the 19th and 20th century spent a large portion of their lives with a fervent belief in God and one in particular (Albert Einstein) was trying to prove there was a God with this "Theory of All" that was never quite finished before he died. By the way, please forgive some of my grammer. I'm from the South:) and not all scientists people are great with language, but certaintly good with ideas.

Okay, let's continue with a couple things you may already know about science. Science = the study of what we thought we knew or what we think we know. Science is always disproven, NEVER EVER proven. You must know that science is perpetuated by definitions and theories that are built on definitions and theories that were proven "but not really, right" due to the repeatability of outcomes based on studies guided by the scientific method. It only takes one piece of information or different way of looking at something to change a definition and therefore create a domino effect of changes to definitions and theories. In the science world, we like to call these refinements but in reality we are basically saying we were wrong and now starting back from scratch.

With all this said, the critical point we must understand is that the scientific method is only for those hypothesis's that can be tested by measuring "something". This leads us to the difficulty, dare I say imposibility, of measuring God. So if you are looking for God to be "proven" (remember science never proves anything, just disproves), it is not going to happen. Why do I say this...well let me just ask you how you would measure God or something that you could crunch through the scientific method that would "prove" there is a God.

to be continued...

Anonymous said...

continued...Boris...

So how do I reconcile myself to this reality and still be a Believer? It has taken me years of "kicking and screaming", not because people made me, but because I once wanted to prove there was a God before I could believe.
Along with other great minds, although I'm not considered a great mind, I fell short in this area due to the comments I have already made. I would say that I wasn't the smart one because the smart ones knew better, but I was just "lacking in knowledge." What do I mean with that...well one gets to a point in their search for knowledge they realize they don't know anything. Well we certaintly can't wander, there I go again with Southern talk, around not knowing anything. Therefore we have to start "proving" and defining things and start building theories and making decisions and...living our lives. But that begs the question...Why are we here? Please help me answer this one. I haven't found a very satisfying answer from the scientific world, have you? Let's take a look some common things you mentioned are taught at the universities...excuse me...institutes of higher learning. Evolution & Big Bang doesn't quite fit the bill. I can tell you that I have a solid understanding of the Big Bang theory and to "believe"...trust me there is a leap of faith on this one...then this would be just as unlikely, dare I say more unlikely, then a virgin birth, or a transcending GOD, or God becoming Man, or Jesus rising from the dead. I realize these things are hard to believe, but so is most things in life that we have come to accept. But this is the point, isn't it...To see one must believe. The Bible is very clear that one must believe before they can enter "see" the kingdom of heaven. One must be willing to absolutely give up everything they think they know, realizing they don't really know much, to be able to gain what God has promised us. I'm sorry, but as highlighted, the scientific method will play no role in this "proof"

I'm not trying to belittle you and you are likely an intelligent individual. I also don't know what you have gone through or may be going through in life. Maybe you haven't gone through much hardship, but I have. I came to the Lord on my knees, not on my horse. I believe many on this blog have sympathized with the fact that man has done evil things with religion, even Christianity. But that doesn't mean that Christianity isn't the TRUTH. I truly believe that Hank genuinely cares about poeple and is not purposely misleading or lying, as you eluded to earlier. He is a man, who isn't perfect, searching for the TRUTH and he is a good man. I believe you are searching also, why else would you be on this blog. Good luck in your search and I hope you continue to have a clear mind and open heart. Please know that all Jesus asks is for you is to Believe in Him. I wish you well!

Anonymous said...

"If His religion is true, then we, its disciples must form our childrens' young consciences and have the Holy Spirit indwell them as early as possible; because that is the only way to ensure their unending quest for the way of truth." -- paraphrase of the what truth's pillar and foundation has always taught.