Should Christians Stay Silent? No!

Should Christians Stay Silent? No!

Rarely a day goes by (and sometimes an hour) that I don’t receive personal criticism through Twitter, email, Facebook, or some other medium. I have chosen to speak publicly on controversial topics like religion and sexuality, and so I have come to expect it. But to be honest, it still wears on me.

As a result, there’s a temptation to stop speaking out. These kinds of questions sometimes go through my mind: Why not let someone else do it? Do you really have the time? Will it negatively affect my relationships?  Staying silent would be much easier.

And yet there are a few reasons I simply cannot stay silent:

1. The Apostles Spoke with Boldness: Even though they were threatened, beaten, and thrown in prison, the apostles refused to stop speaking about the name of Jesus. In Acts 5, the apostles were freed from prison and strictly told to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. But Peter replies, “We must obey God rather than men” (v. 29). In other words, Peter feared God more than he feared the disapproval of people.

2. Truth Sets People Free: Even though many people reject it, the Christian worldview is what brings spiritual freedom. And this is not merely a spiritual freedom divorced from the material realm. Following the Christian worldview in all areas of life—work, relationships, finances, etc.—is what brings real freedom in this life in spite of the individualistic and feelings-based mantra our culture proclaims. This is why, in his excellent book We Cannot Be Silent, Albert Mohler argues that speaking truth is often the compassionate thing to do.

3. Speaking Out Helps Us Discover Truth: I do my homework before speaking out publicly. But nevertheless, I have discovered helpful pushback from friends and critics alike that has caused me to change my mind on a number of issues. If I hadn’t spoken out publicly, I may would not have gained a greater understanding of the truth. It’s tempting to avoid speaking out for fear of public correction. But shouldn’t we have a greater desire to discover truth than to preserve our ignorance? Do your homework and make your case. If you discover that you were wrong, then change!

4. Truth Helps Drown Out Lies: There is so much nonsense today being discussed on social media and being passed off as true and important. There is endless “fake news.” Part of the reason I post is to try and help drown out the “noise” with discussion about what matters. I don’t claim to have a corner on truth. As I said above, I am happy to change my mind if I am mistaken. But drowning out unimportant stories (often motivated for clicks) is part of what motives me to speak out.

5. You Can Make a Difference: It is easy to get discouraged today and to stop speaking up. After all, so many things are outside our control. Along with the critical comments, I also receive many comments from people who appreciate my speaking and writing ministry. My point is not to bring attention to myself, but simply to emphasize that it’s possible to make a positive contribution today. Don’t believe the lie: You can make a difference in someone’s life. But it won’t happen unless you speak up.

It is easy to fall prey to the “voices” encouraging Christians to stay silent. After all, speaking up is a risk, and it takes time to do it well. Nevertheless, if you are willing to do your homework, if you are genuinely motivated by love, and if you are willing to follow truth wherever it leads, then please speak up. If you won’t, who will?

Sean McDowell, Ph.D. is a professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University, best-selling author, popular speaker, part-time high school teacher, and the Resident Scholar for Summit Ministries, California. Follow him on Twitter: @sean_mcdowell and his blog: seanmcdowell.org.

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182 replies
  1. Andy Ryan says:

    Why are so few Christians calling out Trump then? Evangelicals seem to be his biggest cheerleaders, yet seem to have no trouble with his racism. Why did they all support Roy Moore and Joe Arpaio?

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      Too many (all?) elections in this country come down to the lesser of two evils. That being said, Trump isn’t a racist; that’s Democrat propaganda for the next election.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        He is a racist. He paid up in the 1970s after stopping black people renting his apartments, he put an advert in the NYT calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five and then never apologised to them when they were all completely exonerated, people reported him on numerous occasions of using the N-word to refer to black people, he described laziness as being ‘a trait in blacks, he said an American of Mexican heritage was incapable of being unbiased, he consistently lies about crime in areas with predominant ethnic minorities, he said he wants immigrants from Norway rather than countries that black people come from, he’s referred to Nigerians, one of the most upwardly mobile people in Africa as all living in huts, he spent years saying Obama wasn’t a real American, and that’s just scratching the surface. Genuinely just scratching the surface.
        .
        For you to allege this is all some political ploy is revolting, and pretty much backs up the point I was making. And your reference to voting for the lesser of two evils is a a strawman anyway – I asked why Christians weren’t calling him out, not why they voted for him.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          You could make a case like that for most people. Hillary Clinton said Margaret Sanger (founder of Planned Parenthood) was a hero of hers. Sanger’s stated goal was to exterminate the black population through abortion. It is a political ploy… every Republican whose run for president in my lifetime was dubbed a racist. Nobody thought Donald Trump was a racist until he put an R by his name. Now the NY celebrity real estate guy is Adolf Hitler all of sudden. It’s sad and why I am removing myself from the theater. Both sides are childish and ridiculous.

          Christians aren’t calling him out because they don’t believe he’s a racist. The mainstream media is an arm of the Democrat party and nobody really watches that garbage, imo.

          Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Nobody thought Donald Trump was a racist until he put an R by his name.”
          .
          He quite literally got sued for racial discrimination in the 1970s. You’ll note that was decades before he became a Republican.
          .
          Whether Sanger was also a racist is pure whataboutery – I’m not asking why Christians support Sanger. That aside, ‘her stated goal was to exterminate the back population’ pretty much comes down to a letter she wrote where she said she didn’t want people to get the idea “that we want to exterminate the Negro population”. That doesn’t tell us whether she wanted to kill all black people, just that Sanger wanted to dispel the impression that she did.
          .
          “You could make a case like that for most people”
          Really? I’ve never used the n-word. I’ve not repeatedly claimed America’s first black president isn’t really American. I’ve not lied endlessly about crime in black areas. I’ve not said Nigerians all live in huts. I’ve not said America should value Norwegians more than people from ‘S***hole’ countries.
          .
          Does that make me really so atypical, such that you’d say “Andy Ryan is one of the few people one couldn’t cook up a ‘He’s a racist’ story about’?

          Reply
      • toby says:

        I think the problem is the clear hypocrisy of the right when it comes to one of their own displaying their failings as opposed to someone one the left. They forgive their own, but scream until red in the face when someone from the other side fails. They have many double standards. How outraged would they have been if a democratic senate refused to vote on a republican supreme court nomination?

        Reply
          • toby says:

            The left overcompensates because of the right’s screaming. Honorable people like Al Franken are booted/resign in an attempt to provide an example for the petty children of the right. It doesn’t sink in. And then they say the moral failings of their supreme leader don’t matter. It won’t matter until a democrat is elected, then it’ll be trash news fodder for them.

          • TVZ says:

            Yeah, that was an example of them seeing their hypocrisy and it was too obvious to let it lay. They couldn’t scream about Trump when Weinstein, Franken, Lauer, Rose, and all these leftists are behaving the same way. If it was Obama though (while he was in his first year of presidency), it would have been overlooked (like it was when Clinton was president).

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “If it was Obama though (while he was in his first year of presidency), it would have been overlooked”
            .
            If a porn star claimed to have slept with Obama weeks after one of his daughters was born it would NOT have been ignored by either side. If Obama had been caught boasting about grabbing women by their private parts it would have caused a huge storm. Obama would never have got away with anything Trump has done – he was held to a WAY higher standard. TVZ, why do you make these absurd claims?

          • TVZ says:

            I lived through it once. This is how MoveOn.org was formed…. “nobody cares what people do in their private life…. let’s move on.” (from Monica Lewinsky and the 3 ladies who claimed Clinton raped them. We had a national debate and determined that “character doesn’t matter” when it comes to Presidents NOW was silent. Only 1 Democrat (Joe Lieberman) voted to impeach Clinton for obstructing justice by lying under oath in this investigation…. if I remember correctly. Now that Clinton is a Republican, we are outraged and character should matter. Both sides are hypocrites guys. I see that I can see Republicans are hypocrites but you can’t see that Democrats are… which kind of makes you a hypocrite yourself.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I lived through it once”
            It was 20 years ago today that Bill Clinton lied about his affair with Monica Lewinsky. I can’t remember if he got any criticism at all from the left at the time – you say no. You may be right, but to pretend that the Democrats take the same attitude NOW is simply nonsense. Al Franken was forced out after being accused of hugging a few women in an over-familiar way.
            .
            “nobody cares what people do in their private life…. let’s move on.”
            Not exactly. It was calling for Clinton to be censured. That’s not ‘nobody cares’.
            .
            “Only 1 Democrat (Joe Lieberman) voted to impeach Clinton”
            That’s still one more than Republicans can muster against Trump. Further, Trump’s been accused of about 17 assaults, including children. Roy Moore was also credibly accused of assaulting children. This isn’t the same as the French attitude of ‘Hey, politicians have affairs, that’s irrelevant to their job’.
            .
            All that aside, the outrage over Clinton was pretty much that a) he had an affair and b) he lied under oath about it. That’s not the same as the current anger of sexual assault. It’s not hypocritical to say affairs are your own private business but assault is a major problem. You might not AGREE with that position, but it’s not hypocritical. It is CERTAINLY hypocritical for Evangelicals to lambast Clinton but then to give Trump and Moore a free pass.

          • TVZ says:

            Okay, maybe we can agree that both sides have their scumbags and we are more offended when the other side’s scumbag comes to light than when it’s our side’s scumbag? I can say that I did see the poor character of Trump when I was forced to vote for him over Hillary, who has much worse character than Trump, imo. But that may even be biased towards politics… you would probably say Hillary has the better character?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I certainly would. Hillary is a typical sleazy politician who nevertheless genuinely cares about issues to do with equality and the environment, whereas Trump is a white supremacist with no interest in politics bar how it can enrich him personally, and who appears to be knee deep in money laundering, porn stars, payola, and courting neo-Nazis. It’s not even like he’s trying to hide any of this – he’s almost like a parody of a terrible human being. Even giving a speech to boy scouts, the most anodyne and non-partisan activity one can imagine, he couldn’t stop himself berating the previous President and then telling a rambling story about another businessman who bought a yacht on which he led a “very interesting life” adding “You’re Boy Scouts so I’m not going to tell you what he did”. He was literally leering to boy scouts about a guy’s yacht orgies. I can’t imagine Hillary doing that, or using Twitter to promote a fringe British neo-Nazi group. Or a thousand and one other things. That you even compare the two candidates makes no sense to me, and I say that as someone who had quite a few problems with her.

          • TVZ says:

            Trump is just a typical billionaire playboy like Hugh Hefner or such. He just wanted this job because he was bored with winning and needed another challenge. Hillary is metaphorically Satan to me… she shares the same characteristics as Mephistopheles. LOL.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Hillary is just a politician whose politics you disagree with, married to another politician whose policies you disagree with, both of whom seem to have had a few shady business dealings. Whether you agree with their politics, you can’t argue they didn’t try to make things better. No comparison with Trump, who you admit doesn’t have much interest in politics – certainly he has no knowledge of how it’s supposed to work. You can’t even call him a billionaire and you can’t say he was ‘winning’ as his business dealings are so opaque we have no idea what his wealth is or how well his businesses are doing. We know he finds it very hard to get banks to lend to him, we know he’s gone bankrupt several times, we know many of his business associates are guilty of money laundering crimes and are involved with the Russian mafia. Trump isn’t just a guy whose politics I disagree with as he doesn’t even seem to have any personal politics beyond personal enrichment, and a willingness to court neo-Nazis. Your ambivalence to the latter concerns me a fair bit. Comparing Hillary to Satan makes me wonder about what kind of God you worship too.

          • TVZ says:

            Trump has won me over. I thought he was going to be another Northeast (US) Republican who leans left. He and Hillary and Schumer were all big buddies when they needed his influence in NY and it concerned me that he used to support their campaigns. Jessie Jackson would sing Trump’s praises too (so I doubt Jackson thought he was a Neo Nazi before he ran for president). I thought we were being duped by a RINO. It was like Cruz said, “When I was battling the Gang of 8, Trump was funding them.” I didn’t trust him at all. Then you throw in the character issues and I was so depressed with the insanity of Republicans. He still has the character issues, but he’s governing as a conservative Republican so far, and I’m very pleased with that. Hillary “trying to make things better” is everything I’m against. We don’t agree on anything. I do remember one thing that bothered me about racism: He had an interview with Jake Tapper about the KKK supporting him and he wouldn’t denounce them… it was a bizarre interview. I finally figured he just didn’t want to upset anybody who would vote for him, even if they were in the KKK. Trump has plenty of flaws, but he’s less of a Nazi than Hillary, imo (because Nazism is a form of big government Socialism).

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I guess this might just come down our differing background. My European upbringing means I have a bigger problem with white supremacists and Nazis than you do. Perhaps you focus more on the Nazis’ hatred of unions and socialism, which makes them look good to you, whereas I focus on their fascism, violence and racism. As such, at least until you learn more history, it’s probably pointless for us to discuss these things.

          • TVZ says:

            I think it’s healthy for both of us to guard against Nazism and Socialism. If you see it from your left-sided brain, call it out, and if I see it from my right-sided brain, I will call it out. Obama was the closest thing to a dictator this country has ever had and the Constitution kept him in check. He used Executive Orders to make laws, but that was quickly undone by Trump so they had no lasting affect on the country…. just as Obama canceled Bush’s EO’s quickly. I would like to see EO’s declared unconstitutional to avoid the Executive Branch from having any dictatorial power at all. The Constitution is still strong enough to protect us from radicals, whether they be leftists or rightists. The important thing is to keep it in intact (yes… even the 2nd Amendment!).

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “He used Executive Orders to make laws, but that was quickly undone by Trump”
            .
            Trump signed more executive orders in his first year than Obama. In fact, by October last year he’d signed 49 compared to the 26 that Obama had signed at the same point. Obama signed 276 in two terms. George W Bush signed 291 in his two terms.
            .
            My conclusion, TVZ, in the nicest possible way you have no idea what you’re talking about. You say this stuff as if you’ve researched it, but when I spend a few minutes checking online I find you haven’t at all.
            .
            So given that, are you now going to change your mind and conclude Bush was a bigger dictator than Obama? I’ll take a wild stab in the dark that the answer will be no.

          • TVZ says:

            I think what you are missing is that I’m not taking sides here. I stand with small government and freedom. Democrats and Republicans are both acting as if big government has the answer (what you call Fascism from the right, which I’m against and I call Communism from the left, which I’m against). I am no more for Bush acting as a dictator as I am Obama or Trump acting as a dictator. The only thing I disagree with you on is the extent of how evil Trump is as a person and how lovely Hillary is as a person. You see a threat from Trump that I don’t see. I saw a threat from Obama that you don’t see. Maybe we are both right. Maybe we are both wrong. Maybe only I’m right (lol). I think we can agree that big government controlling the people (rather from big leftist policies or big rightist policies) is to be contained by the people and our Constitution.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I think what you are missing is that I’m not taking sides here”
            You used EO as evidence of Obama being ‘the biggest dictator’ America had seen, when in fact Trump signed twice as many in his first few months, and Bush signed more over two terms. So your reasoning for Obama being the biggest dictator fell apart immediately. Plus you seem to think Nazis were socialists, despite them banning workers unions and declaring themselves the enemy of Communism and bolsheviks. I can’t really take your arguments seriously because they seem based on miscomprehension and falsehoods.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I am no more for Bush acting as a dictator as I am Obama or Trump acting as a dictator”
            But you said Obama was the biggest US dictator ever for issuing EOs, when Trump (so far) and Bush issued more. Bush launched more wars than Obama and Trump is currently planning to make huge increases to the size of the military. By any definition this counts as ‘increasing the size of Govt’. But you saw Trump is ‘winning you over’, so yes it does sound like you’re giving him a free pass on things you were horrified about when Obama did it. Trump gave several important jobs to his own family members – that’s what dictators do. And that’s aside from all the business of Trump trying to undermine US intelligence agencies that are investigating him – how does that not make him more of a dictator than Obama?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Oh yeah, and demanding the Department of Justice prosecute your political rivals – that’s also a dictator move. Attacking the press – dictator move.
            And It was George W Bush, not Obama, who asserted a “commander-in-chief override” to allow him to ignore the law and the Bill of Rights – that’s a dictator move.

  2. TVZ says:

    First, let me say that I’m no fan of Donald Trump. I was a Ted Cruz supporter and I couldn’t stand the stupidity and childishness Trump displayed in the Republican primary. I thought of him as a clownish doofus, but not a racist. I would say he’s more of an elitist than a racist. He’s a sharp guy and literally made billions of dollars running a vast array of businesses. You can’t do that if you are unhinged and hateful. He’s probably an equal race offender when it comes to his associations. He would not want trailer park white folks moving into his apartments either. That’s not what he build his “Trump” brand to be. The Africa and Haiti comments now seem to be a work of fiction by Dick Durbin. I would need more evidence than “people reported he used the N word before.” I’m done… I hate arguing this stupidity… it doesn’t nothing but divide us… which is probably the goal. Just don’t believe everything “your side” says. I know “my side” would be just as ridiculous with Oprah Winfrey if she decides to run.

    Reply
  3. Andy Ryan says:

    Also, your Margaret Sanger point fails anyway because Evangelicals and other Christians attacked Hillary for all the time for citing Sanger as an inspiration.
    .
    Your apologetics for Trump isn’t helping you. No, the Africa/Haiti comments haven’t been dismissed – no-one’s even really denied them, at best saying they ‘can’t recall’ the exact terminology used. Even the people who said they didn’t think Trump said ‘s***hole’ have said they meant they thought he said ‘s***house’ instead.
    .
    As for making billions of dollars, we have no idea how much he’s made or how much he’s worth, because he refuses to release his taxes. This despite him in the past deriding politicians who’ve failed to release their taxes quickly enough. All we know is that he’s gone bankrupt many times and has had to borrow a lot of cash from Germany and Russia because no-one else would lend to him. And we know he has close associations with money launderers. So even as an argument for why he can’t be hateful fails – not that ‘billionaires can’t be racist’ makes any sense in the first place.

    Reply
    • Jeremy says:

      What about Hillary’s relationship with Senator Robert Burd? She called him her mentor and he was a Card Carrying Klans Man. The democrats were the party of slavery and a Republican Lincoln freed the slaves. I have real problem with both political parties, but today’s democrats are super liberal. It’s clear democrats only care about identity politics and really have no interest in making the US a better place for all of us to live. To me I don’t care about skin color or where you came from. Come here legally, assimilate into the American culture, work hard to support yourself and your family. The democrats say they are all for immigration. It totally obvious why they want low skilled workers coming into the country and the vast majority will end up on government assistance because they don’t have the skill sets to earn a living wage. The democrats are needing more voters because their policies are all theory and most do not work. The proof look at the black communities. that segment of the US population votes for democrats about about 90% and have gotten nothing in return. It’s either that Democrats no longer need to try and help them because they know their vote is in the bag so why bother or They want to keep this section of the population poor and dependent on the government because no one will want to fire the people who are paying them.

      Reply
      • Bryan says:

        “Suffer the little children whose parents did not come to this country illegally to come unto me and forbide them not. For of such is the Kingdom of Republican Heaven.” – Republican Jesus

        Reply
          • TVZ says:

            “Do states have no sovereignty because their borders are open?”

            I’m not sure if this is apples to apples. States are part of the USA. People from Texas are just as much Americans as people from New York. There are no American laws that say it is illegal for Texans to reside in New York. It is illegal for a Texan to cross into Mexico illegally, or Canada illegally though… or any country. Does any country have open borders? I really don’t know.

          • Bryan says:

            Well….Imagine there’s no countries
            It isn’t hard to do
            Nothing to kill or die for
            And no religion too
            Imagine all the people living life in peace….

          • TVZ says:

            “Imagine” is basically a Communist manifesto right? Did Communism in China and Russia guarantee peace or was man still corrupt inside the Utopia?

          • Bryan says:

            I thought Imagine was what the kingdom of heaven was like. Are there religions in heaven? Are there national boundaries to kill or die for? My ideal would be more like Star Trek.

          • TVZ says:

            The first Christians lived in communes, kind of like communism. They shared resources with one another. Its possible on a small level, but when government gets involved on a macro level, it gets corrupt and dangerous because man is corrupt. The government becomes the upper class and the citizens become the lower class. And if you can’t contribute to the community, you don’t have a role in society and you are a drain on the society and you must go. For some reason, the big countries who have tried it doesn’t go well… there are mass exterminations. It’s not about borders or religion, but survival. The greater good. I wish communism could work here, but I think you are a dreamer.

          • Bryan says:

            So, are there governments in heaven? Are there borders to be defended? Are there profits to be made?

            Communism and capitalism don’t work. That’s why we have neither in the U.S.

          • TVZ says:

            I’m not sure about in heaven, but we believe Christ is going to return to Earth when things get extremely out of hand (probably a big conflict over Israel vs Islam), and set up a government here. He will be the king of the Earth. He will rule with an iron rod. He will set up a system of perfect justice… you will love it! I will love it! It will be correct and righteous. How? I have no idea! LOL.

      • Andy Ryan says:

        “What about Hillary’s relationship with Senator Robert Burd? She called him her mentor and he was a Card Carrying Klans Man.”
        Decades before, and he disavowed his former views as far back as the 1970s. I note that when he died, leading Republicans such as Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch and Mitch McConnell sang his praises too. And NAACP (the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) praised him too, saying that he “became a champion for civil rights and liberties” and “came to consistently support the NAACP civil rights agenda”
        .
        Given all that, it’s pretty bad faith to attempt to paint Hillary Clinton as a racist for citing him as a mentor, so I find it hard to take the rest of your post seriously. The Democrats aren’t particularly liberal as a party either compared to left-wing parties in Europe.

        Reply
  4. TVZ says:

    Andy, I would like to ask for your forgiveness. I should have never responded to your original post. This argument got heated in my heart and I don’t think I did a good job of representing the love of Christ in the case I tried to make. Proverbs 20:3 says, “It is to one’s honor to avoid strife but every fool is quick to quarrel.” I feel like that fool right now. I’m arguing if Donald Trump is a racist? Really?! Who would have thought!

    In truth, I don’t know the answer to your original question (why don’t Christians call out Trump for being a racist?). As an individual Christian, I don’t feel compelled to do that. I don’t know Trump well. I don’t know his heart. I don’t know the man. Some say he’s a racist and some say he’s not. Who am I to jump in the middle of all that? I don’t even know where to begin. Searching for the truth?

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      No worries TVZ, it’s a fraught, difficult, emotive subject. I don’t think you said anything that requires forgiveness, but you have it from me if you need it. For what it’s worth, I regret my rudeness in telling you your stance was ‘revolting’, and would similarly ask your forgiveness for that. Have a good day.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        I forgive you as well. Peace! (wow.. I wish this example of peace and reconciliation and loving-kindness would spread into the political world).

        Reply
        • Bryan says:

          TVZ, you do bring up a very interesting point. I very strongly disagreed with him but Ted Cruz was the true Evangelical in the race. It seemed to me a no brainer that Christians would support him. But in highly Evangelical Christian states like Mississippi, Trump won the primary and general election vote. No matter what Trump said, how vulgar he became, how crude he got, Christians still supported him in droves (81% voted for him).
          I guess my question is not necessarily for you as much as it is for Mr. Mcdowell: why stay silent on Trump? Why stay silent on the Ayn Rand/Church of Satan philosophy that is the core of today’s Republican Party? “But Hillary…” is no longer a valid answer. Why would I want to adopt your Pharisee/hypocrite world view where only liberal Democrats are evil? I don’t care for either party so whataboutism doesn’t work on me.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            Bryan, it makes no sense to me. The biggest factor driving people I know to vote for Trump was that he was anti-establishment. Republicans heard promises from politicians and they never backed up the talk. It seemed like the Democrats and Republicans were both the same party. Trump’s primary popularity was that he was an extreme outsider and there was no trust of the insiders. He was touching on everything Republicans wanted to hear too: end Obamacare, end illegal immigration, and put America first instead of outsourcing jobs. (But Cruz was saying the same things). And then beating Hillary was an absolute miracle. There was no path to victory for him at about 8:00 pm on election night until the impossible happened. Democrats in the Rust Belt were voting for Trump… probably over the outsourcing of good jobs in those area. It wasn’t a theocratic vote, but an American vote. That’s just my take, I could be wrong. But the Bible says God places leaders in place and that seems to be the case here.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Weird thing is, when Obama was president I kept hearing evangelicals saying he might be the anti-Christ. There was none of that ‘he was put there by God’ then. What a difference having a thrice-married white guy in the role makes!

    • Andy Ryan says:

      That doesn’t sound good! I’m thinking if he’s there for a reason it’s to flush out all the white supremacists into the open and make the GOP unelectable for many years. This is the last spasm of the white far right, a reaction to a black president and the growth in rights for gays etc. They’re showing their true face now and are already getting punished for it in every special election. Oh and also evangelicals’ hypocrisy is being revealed for what it is. Next time they claim to be aghast by a Democrat sex scandal no-one will believe their outrage is genuine.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        I agree with that last sentence. Trump reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton and Republicans didn’t think much of Clinton’s character. But, then again, Democrats didn’t mind when it was their guy either.

        Reply
        • Bryan says:

          Again, should Christians stay silent on the latest news on Trump adultery? Stormy Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, told [In Touch]magazine in 2011 that the alleged sexual trysts with Trump began in July 2006 after she met him at a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nev. The meeting and alleged affair came a year after the future president had married Melania Trump, his third wife.

          Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          Arguably, Democrats never claimed a moral high ground on marital faithfulness – it was Evangelicals saying it was important that a politician have traits like remaining faithful to their spouse. Democrats could say they don’t care if a politician cheats on his wife or not. But Republicans said it was very important. That’s why they’re open to the charge of hypocrisy now – it seems they didn’t genuinely care about Bill’s sex life after all, as they’re remarkably unfussed by Trump’s.
          .
          Similarly, it would be hypocritical for Democrats to support a homophobe, whereas Republicans have never claimed it was important to have a relaxed attitude to gays.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            I definitely see the hypocrisy of the moral right. But I’m confused on the movement from the left. Is the left now becoming the moral party? They sincerely did not care one bit of Clinton raping women 20 years ago. Now all the leftists in Hollywood are speaking up about all the forced sex going on there. I think that’s a good thing! If we can ever join together on moral issues, the country will be better for it, imo. Hold the right’s feet to the fire!

  5. Bryan says:

    I’d love to hear American Family Radio do a big story on Trump/Daniels affair. But I imagine it will be all about forgiving Trump for sin. Do you folks understand now why people are leaving Christianity in droves?

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I don’t understand this point about people leaving Christianity like it’s some political party or social fraternity. Hypocrisy (and just petty arguments like this thread) is what’s driving me away from politics, not Christianity. Christianity is driving me away from participating in the discussion because it’s so hateful and divisive. I’m to the point where I don’t even know if I’ll ever vote again.

      Reply
      • Bryan says:

        “I don’t understand this point about people leaving Christianity like it’s some political party or social fraternity.” I think it’s because Christianity has been redefined in this generation as being the religious arm of the Republican Party and Fox News. From Jerry Falwell in 1980 to the present day it’s been going on. Jesus of Nazareth is out, Republican Wall Street Capitalist Jesus is in. Evangelical Christians have spent the last 38 years stretching the eye of a needle so that not only can the rich man get into heaven but can get St. Peter to rename the Pearly Gates “TRUMP GATES” for a small 50 million dollar donation. Honest people looking in from the outside don’t want a part of that mess.

        Reply
  6. Andy Ryan says:

    “Is the left now becoming the moral party?”
    .
    I think it has been now for quite some years. My own personal opinion is that the Democrats, the free press and Robert Mueller are practically only things defending US democracy right now, and Trump is trying to undermine all three.
    .
    The right openly courted racists and homophobes, and sold out to the energy lobby, the gun lobby and to Russia. The party supported Roy Moore in Alabama, and can’t even claim to be the party of law and order any more after Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio, who neglected to investigate an alleged pedophile because the two-year-old victim was hispanic.
    .
    You have a point about how the left overlooked Bill Clinton’s indiscretions 20 odd years ago, but Bill’s stock has fallen a long way in the party in recent years, and the approach nowadays to accusation is far more ‘zero tolerance’. I don’t know how credible the rape allegations against Clinton are – certainly he’s had far fewer accusers than Trump.

    Reply
  7. Andy Ryan says:

    I should add that I understand that if someone views abortion as the same as murder then that would in theory probably trump any other concerns about the differences between the two parties. It would even make sense to me for a person to say they’d be surprised if Trump hadn’t paid for abortions at some point, but they don’t care about that hypocrisy because the important thing is that he’ll reduce abortions nationwide so they voted for him anyway.
    I don’t view abortion as murder, so I don’t see it that way, but I understand the view point. That said, I find it hard to believe that all anti-abortionists genuinely hold that view.
    1) Most importantly, they seem to reject measures that are shown to actually reduce abortion rates – they’re against sex eduction in schools for example, and wider access to contraception. They prefer ‘abstinence education’ despite the fact that it has shown to be less effective than comprehensive sex education. America has far higher rate of teen pregnancy and abortions than most European countries, where sex ed starts younger and goes into more detail, and contraceptives are more readily available. Why would this be the case if evangelicals genuinely wanted to reduce abortion rates?
    2) Evangelicals for the most part don’t ACT like they see it as equivalent to murder. I’ve seen Christian women confessing to other Christians to having had an abortion when they were younger and regretting it. They seem cut up about it, and the people nod their heads sympathetically. Their reaction is not the same as if someone admitted to strangling their husband.
    3) If I was living in a country that was literally allowing the holocaust to happen, I’d be making a bigger fuss about it than Evangelicals do about abortion.
    I’ll admit something to you – I don’t like abortion. I see it as a bad thing. A friend of my wife had one and I was disgusted. But I still see the woman’s choice to have one as more important. I think some swear words are appalling but I don’t want to ban their usage. I se some political parties as moral, but I think people should have the right to vote for them.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I agree with you on abortion. The problem is too many people are using abortion as a form of birth control. The answer to the problem is preventing the pregnancy in the first place. Some Christians see birth control as a type of abortion, and I can see that point. We just need more morality and less sin. Don’t have sex if you don’t want to risk a pregnancy (but that takes a maturity level that most can’t reach; our flesh is drawn towards self-gratification over making moral decisions). We could also do a better job with the adoption process, imo. Lets match unwanted babies with people who want to care for them. I guess the number of pregnancies is just too great… or there are not enough people to care for the babies the parents don’t want. Or maybe we can make a better effort to recruit adopters. It’s a mess. But I agree with you that we need to get out front somehow and prevent the pregnancies from happening…. that’s very hard to do though.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        The good news is that I believe teen pregnancies are falling. Not just because of more contraception – teens are having sex older and doing it less often.
        .
        “The problem is too many people are using abortion as a form of birth control”
        Do you think this is planned? It seems unlikely people would be so blasé – it’s pretty traumatic having an abortion.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          I don’t think it’s planned, but I do think they are blase’ about it. Not in every case, but too often. There is a girl at my church who is going through recovery and admitted that she had 5 abortions. She was using abortion as birth control by her admission. She didn’t have a problem with it. She actually entered recovery for a different issue, and then was convicted about her abortions as she grew nearer to God. The more we tell women this is acceptable and woman’s health care, they will be deceived and will not understand the gravity of the situation.

          Reply
  8. gary says:

    The Christian argument for the bodily resurrection of Jesus would be a little stronger if the majority of NT scholars believed that the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, but they do not. Only a small minority of mostly evangelical Christian NT scholars (with an agenda—biblical inerrancy—) hold this view.

    But even if the Gospels were written by eyewitnesses, or if we could be certain that the four resurrection stories in the Gospels were originally told by eyewitnesses, who today would believe the eyewitness testimony of a bunch of mostly uneducated, rural peasants claiming that they had just eaten a broiled-fish lunch with their recently executed former fishing buddy???

    It is a silly story, folks. Modern, educated people should believe it to be a literal historical event.

    Eyewitness testimony may be sufficient evidence for car accidents and murder trials, but it is not sufficient evidence to believe claims of sea monsters in Scottish lochs, alien abductions, or zombie sightings. If twelve guys told you that they had all eaten lunch with Big Foot on a recent hunting trip would you believe them? No. So why believe a second-hand report that eleven fishermen (and one tax collector), two thousand years ago, ate a broiled fish lunch with a walking/talking dead guy (zombie)?

    https://lutherwasnotbornagaincom.wordpress.com/2018/01/18/eyewitness-testimony-is-sufficient-for-car-accidents-and-murder-trials-it-is-not-sufficient-for-alien-abductions-or-zombie-sightings/

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      If a guy told me they saw big foot and I said, “Quit telling people that or I’m going to crucify you,” do you think he would shut up? These guys kept telling the story and they all died horrific deaths. Skinned alive, crucified, stoned to death, etc. Would anyone do that over something they were joking about or lying about? If so, why?

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        I don’t think there’s much evidence that claimed eye-witnesses to a ressurected Jesus were executed after refusing to recant. When you look into the evidence for that, it’s pretty much just ‘church tradition’.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          It seems to me that their story would have died off quickly if no one believed they were credible. There were lots of people who claimed to be the messiah back then (other than Jesus) and they all died and were quickly forgotten. People weren’t dumb back then.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            I don’t know. Plenty of people now still share memes with conspiracy theories long after they’ve been debunked, and this in an age where it’s really easy to debunk lies. The Mormon and Scientology religions got going quickly despite much evidence they were founded by charlatans. I’m not going to make assumptions about why people might have believed something 2000 years ago.

  9. Susan says:

    Yes truth sets people free for those who love God and want to be set free but argue people into freedom?

    Arguing with people who don’t know God and refuse to know Him could be counter productive.

    The reason not to argue is why give the ignorant a platform from which to air their ignorance in a deceptive manner. One that seems authoritative but really isn’t.

    Christians do feel they know God and have a close acquaintance with Him as demonstrated by their own personal practices so why even entertain unbelief seriously.

    Do I walk up in the street and tell people that their significant other doesn’t exist or describe them in pejorative terms like Dawkins does? If I did the unbeliever would respond with “What nonsense for you to engage in such uninformed talk about my wife or husband. You don’t even know him/her.”

    There is no burden of proof on a Christian to prove their spiritual relationships to the world philosophically. Paul wrote philosophy is vain.

    All you can do is demonstrate your relationships by the way you live and why engage people determined to make you unfaithful in your relationships?

    Just ignore the hardened unbelievers they could have sought to know God and formed their own relationship with Him but they had their own reasons for not doing that and now they want to tear down the relationship that a true believer has managed to maintain.

    Does it make sense to seriously entertain someone who acts like a destroyer but who’s personal motives for acting that way is unknowable?

    No it is dangerous to everyone to allow the ignorant to deceive people publicly.

    The unbeliever does not know God though God puts the burden on everyone to seek Him.

    There really is no burden on a theist to prove anyone determined to disbelieve in fact God says to watch that they don’t turn and tend you.

    It is a Christian’s responsibility to speak the truth in love but also to speak the most to those who are genuinely capable of loving and seeking God.

    If a person’s heart is not in the right condition then a person will not seek to know God on his own and how will you persuade a person if God’s own Word didn’t?

    Faith is not persuasion either.

    That is why Christ said to examine ourselves.

    Is a Christian really going to put his own relationships and spiritual family at risk listening to a lot of vile nonsense from ignorant people? A Christian should only attempt to do this IF he has a very mature unshakeable relationship with God because you really don’t let thieves have access to your most priceless of all possession when you don’t know if you can trust these people.

    There should be a lot more focus on bringing up Christian people right than subjecting them to the world’s ignorant, foolish and corrupt ideas.

    Nobody in his right mind lets the world i.e. the public have unrestricted access to his innocent children because he knows the world will just try to destroy or corrupt them while they are too innocent to know what is going on.

    So be wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove.

    The world’s opinions and counsel was never equal to God’s but all these apologetics forums might reinforce the idea in the deceived people’s minds that they are equal to the task of taking on God but people never are.

    That is why God is God and is to be loved, respected and revered and people are just people with “issues” they just want to gripe about instead of taking responsibility for the way God tells them too.

    So don’t try to persuade the people determined they know better than God any more.

    Be a better seeker yourself first and get your own relationship on a firm footing because people need more direct and personal sound counsel from God and less of these not so sound worldly opinions.

    Peace to everyone reading and stop blaming God for imagined wrongs unbelievers. That is called projection.

    What do you want to perceived by God as a complainer?

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      I thought you said you were leaving to read proper experts? Try reading the Talmud on Jesus, seeing as you cited that as extra-Biblical evidence. You may be surprised what it says.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        I am and no I am not checking anything.

        I figured out a while back people are like computers. There are all
        sorts of bad ideas that people like to send other people to corrupt them just like some people send other people computer viruses.

        Faith in Jesus is not the virus Dawkins claims. It is the antidote to the viruses that the world and people give to each other corrupting their God given image.

        I have been letting God free me from corruption for quite some time so why let corruption try to control me again?

        The fruit of the spirit is better than what most people
        have.

        I really don’t care about how people misconstructed things. I used to care and try to correct them until I realized they were so screwed up that they were unteachable.

        Why would anyone want to be like everyone else when they can be a better version of themselves?

        People were made in the likeness of God cf. Genesis 5:1 and some are restored cf. Colossians 3:10.

        Look at the US gymnastics scandal right now. A bunch of young girls taught to chase the gold who their parents entrusted to someone they didn’t even know who abused them all.

        But everyone knows God through Jesus who is the image of God and His character is golden.

        I am learning to be a lot more careful about who I talk to.

        Who is going to protect me from a life hacker? Nobody. I only have my God given discernment and what I learn from God to do that.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          That raises an interesting point Susan. Andy, Bryan, other anti Christians lingering: what is your reason for coming to Frank Turek’s apologetics site?

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            It’s an important job to counter bad arguments, TVZ. Bad arguments lead to bad decisions. It’s my way of making the world a better place.

          • TVZ says:

            That’s a noble cause. I respect that. What in particular do you think Jesus taught that would lead us to make a bad decision?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “What in particular do you think Jesus taught that would lead us to make a bad decision?”
            .
            When did I saw following Jesus would lead to bad decisions? Keep following Jesus, listen to his words. Don’t listen to Republicans and Evangelicals who claim to know what Jesus thinks about guns and gays. Question their arguments that God is required for morality and that people from other religions or no religion at all deserve to go to hell.

          • Bryan says:

            Anti-Christians? Persecution complex much?
            I come here to express my views anonymously because the last atheist who complained about lack of separation of church and state in my area got her tires slashed.

          • TVZ says:

            You said you are here to keep people from making bad decisions based on bad arguments (apologetics, I presumed). Our decision is to follow Jesus, so I presumed you thought that was one of our bad arguments that leads to bad decisions?

            It appears your real agenda is politics?

            But you did touch on Christianity in the last sentence. My understanding is that everyone shares a morality regardless of your faith… morality is designed into the universe. Christians believe everyone deserves hell (cannot entire into the perfection of God while in a corrupted state of being). We all miss the mark… we lie, we argue, we hate, we condemn, we are self-seeking, we are proud and arrogant, etc. This is not how we were designed to behave… it’s the opposite of who God is. Therefore, he rescued us from our corruption…. but only if you are humble enough to realize you need rescuing. If you are too proud and want to choose a life apart from him and handle it on your own, he will not force you to choose his rescue from hell (or eternal separation from his righteousness). You can stay corrupted forever… he loves you enough to allow that. He will not force you… it’s your choice to make.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Our decision is to follow Jesus, so I presumed you thought that was one of our bad arguments that leads to bad decisions?”
            .
            Nope. My mum is a Christian. I spend zero time trying to talk her out of her beliefs. She spends zero time trying to argue that there’s anything wrong with not believing in God. If you told her that being a Christian entailed arguing against gay rights then she’d laugh in your face. Actually, she wouldn’t laugh, she’d be quite upset and then she’d try to explain why you’re wrong.
            .
            “If you are too proud and want to choose a life apart from him”
            It’s no more pride than you not being a Sikh is down to pride. I’m simply unconvinced by the arguments for Christianity.

          • TVZ says:

            Politics for you too then Bryan? I don’t know if you guys understand this, but when they survey who “truly” follows Christ in this country, it’s only like 10% of the country. “Republicans” should not be considered the same as “Christianity.”

          • TVZ says:

            Andy, I’m kind of like your Mom. It’s not “gay rights” that we argue against, it’s whether the institution of marriage should be defiled or not. I think the perfect compromise would have been civil unions…. and marriage should have been included in separation of church and state. How did they get their grubby hands into marriage?!!

            Well, the arguments for Christianity is that you cannot live up to the righteousness of God by your own attempts. If you believe in your heart that you are “good”, then you have a pride issue.

          • TVZ says:

            It could be less than 10%, but that’s what the polls say…. and the law of averages would have to mean that some of the less than 10% would have to be …. gasp…. Democrats! Seriously… my Aunt is a Christian and votes for the Democrats. She believes government should be a charity (redistribution of wealth) and we shouldn’t have private charities. So she thinks the government is here to do the work of God. I see her point, but I trust private charities over the government (and I think the government is terribly inefficient… $20 Trillion in debt!!)

          • Andy Ryan says:

            50 odd years ago people were arguing that letting black people marry white people would ‘defile’ marriage. They claimed Biblical authority too. Somehow marriage survived though. Feel free to say your own marriage defiled the institution, but don’t make that claim for others. And no, you don’t sound much like my mum – she was delighted when gays could marry, as someone who had a very happy marriage with my dad for 40 years until his death. Perhaps Christians who are against it just didn’t have such a happy experience, I don’t know.
            .
            I take pride in good things I’ve done and try to improve where I fall short. Saying atheists must be prideful is the kind of bad argument I’m talking about.

          • TVZ says:

            I can’t think of any supporting scriptures against interracial marriage (for Gentiles). God did not want Israel marrying pagans, but that’s not what people were talking about 50 years ago… they were acting outside of scriptures based on their own feelings/emotions. Believers are discouraged from marrying unbelievers, but also discouraged from divorcing unbelievers if they have already married. Marriage is a religious institution… do you think the state should be involved at all in the marriage ceremony?

            The falling short is where Christianity comes in. It is good that you realize you have fallen short though… that takes humility. Humility is a godly quality.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I used to hear a woman at Speakers Corner in central London preach every Sunday about how sinful interracial marriage was, and she’d cite many passages and talk extensively about what God wanted. And if you look at the Virginia Vs Loving case of 1967 that finally made it legal throughout America, the defenders of the old laws made Biblical arguments. In fact their arguments were strikingly similar to those used by anti-SSM proponents now. They were just as sincere.
            .
            I’m guessing 50 years from now Christians will be arguing they were ALWAYS for gay marriage, and the equivalent of me in 2067 will have to remind them otherwise!

          • TVZ says:

            I did a little research. I don’t see where scripture was ever quoted to justify that interracial marriage is sinful. The judge made this statement: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay, and red, and he placed on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

            There is a scripture that says God appointed man to different areas, but nothing about them not being able to marry one another. I think this was just racism trying to justify itself with a distorted interpretation of scripture. But the Bible is very clear that marriage is ordained to be between a man and a woman. It’s been that way for thousands of years. The politics of the situation was that heterosexuals were getting tax breaks from the government and that wasn’t fair to homosexuals… and I agree with that… civil unions, not marriage, could give marriage rights to homosexuals. The government should get out of the church though, imo.

        • Andy Ryan says:

          “I am and no I am not checking anything”
          .
          But when I asked for contemporary extra-Biblical references to Jesus, you directed me to The Talmud. Now you’re telling me you’ve not checked these references yourself, and have no intention of doing so? That doesn’t speak well of your integrity or indeed your faith in your own arguments.

          Reply
          • Susan says:

            I am not the one opposing God’s existence.

            LIke I said above there is a huge difference between seeking to know God and arguing over Him.

            Most true apologists most likely went through some sort of seeking stage or early training before becoming an apologist and maybe now because arguments seem so important they pass over the importance of this phase in discussing with atheists.

            But you could have done your own seeking to know Andy just like Josh McDowell did and like Derek Prince.

            You keep trying to cast burdens on me and then cleverly condemn me when I don’t match your standard but at one time I actually tried to teach the Gospel to atheists and put a tremendous amount of time into learning God’s Word to be able to communicate it only to find the people who refused to seek and put in the early formative work only want to throw a monkey wrench into it.

            They should have been doing their own seeking and putting in their own righteous work and then maybe they would
            understand. GId says to study to gain His approval.

            Anybody can sit back and try to tear something down. It is another thing to really understand.

            As for myself, I know I don’t understand it all yet because there must be knowledge levels to this.

            I know several people who are the best bible teachers around and I feel the Holy Spirit directed me to them and placed them in this world because I actually tried to learn a lot but there is still more to learn. Some of these very old student disciples are still uncovering lost doctrines.

            God’s standard is seeking to know Him through the study of His Word which is known as
            the truth. Christians are to worship in spirit and truth and the spiritual worship is
            by the spiritual gifts.

            If you never tried to follow Jesus and take direction from him then how can you know anything about God in a
            realistic way?

            You can’t but you are tinkering with something you don’t know.

            I want to spend more time in deep studies again so my knowledge becomes even deeper and so does my relationship with God.

            We Christians learn through biblical osmosis to start with. When we “chew the cud” which is meditating on God’s Word in a sincere manner then we begin to understand gradually more and more from God’s perspective so there is a growth process in all this.

            But if you keep throwing out God and the Bible how will you experience spiritual growth?

            I don’t control your will.

            I am only showing you the difference in life paths.

            Christians have a dual nature. Everyone is born carnal but to get to be truly spiritual in nature you have to go to Jesus for help and run God’s course like Paul said he did.

            Hope this helps!

  10. Andy Ryan says:

    TVZ, if the govt is so inefficient, why do have police and army rather than a bunch of private militia? The reference to the deficit seems to be a non sequitur with regards to who is most efficient. Americans pay more for healthcare through their taxes than most of Europe, still mostly have to get insurance on top, and still enjoy worse healthcare outcomes. And generally deficits increase more under GOP presidents anyway. The recent tax cut is reckoned to add $1.5trn to the deficit. And what this has to do with Christianity is anyone’s guess anyway!

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      The government is inefficient because the people demand more from the government than they pay to the government. Politicians cannot make it more efficient because that is considered “hateful.” Once you give the people what they want, you can’t take it back. They just promise more and more so they can get the job (get elected). The people are going to have to demand they become better stewards of our money before they do it… and I don’t think that will ever happen. We shunned JFK’s famous speech… “ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” (hater… lol)

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “The government is inefficient because the people demand more from the government than they pay to the government”
        .
        That sounds like a non sequitur to me. How do people’s demands negatively affect its efficiency? It’s either using the money well or it isn’t.
        .
        JFK’s speech goes both ways. Paying into a system that benefits the whole country seems a good example of ‘doing something for the country’s.
        .
        Governments do some things pretty well. The space race was East Vs West, but ultimately it was two tax-paid enterprises.
        .
        Painting it as ‘govt trying to do God’s’ job is nonsensical. One could say hospitals, the army, charities or anything is ‘trying to do God’s’ job’.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          True, I think the better word is irresponsible rather than inefficient. $20 Trillion in debt is irresponsible. I guess you could say the massive debt is inefficient too though (spending way more than is available).

          I was trying to say my Aunt votes for Democrats because she believes Democrats do a better job of caring for the poor. I was just illustrating that all Christians are not Republicans for Bryan. It seems that both of you equate Republicanism with Christianity. I think Catholics tend to vote Democrat as well?

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            It’s more that I equate a particular brand of Evangelicism with a nasty cruel and generally prejudiced brand of the right wing. In fact I’d argue very strongly against the idea that Christianity requires people to be right wing. It makes far more sense to that they’d be on the left. I agree with your aunt that poor people are better off with Democrats in charge. That said, I think almost everyone is better off under the Democrats, who at least make an effort to reduce the deficit and get closer to balancing the books.

          • TVZ says:

            I’ve considered myself a Christian all my life, but just recently started following Jesus about a year ago. I’ve traditionally considered myself as a conservative. I am right of the Republican Party, who I consider “Progressive Light.” I don’t think the situation can be defined as much as Christian versus Non-Christian (or Evangelical vs Non-Evangelical) as more as it is a battle over what size the government should be and how much power they should have. To me, the Democrats tend to be drifting towards a Bernie Sanders-type Communism (or at least far left Socialism) and the Republicans are where the Democrats were in the 60’s (JFK-type policies). The left scares me. I sense power-grab, elitism, and as Obama said, “a fundamental transformation of America.” I like the traditional America (not all the ugliness, but the ideas of the founders… small government and maximum freedom) . As an Evangelical, I know who my real king is and I could find joy under any regime (or persecution, death, and then joy), because this is not really our battle. I only want to be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy in the next. I don’t know if my Christianity pushes me to the right or if seeing the brutality and failure of Communism pushes me to the right, but here I am. I don’t want to be ugly to anyone… I think the press gives Christianity more of a black eye than we deserve.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Bernie Sanders has nothing to do with Communism. He’s not even particularly far left. We’ve got actually far right white supremacists trying to run things in the White House. I don’t even mean Trump, who’s a half wit who agrees with whoever is in the room with him. I mean like Stephen Miller, the now ousted Steve Bannon, the people running Breitbart. Compared to them, Sanders is pretty centrist. Sanders just wants everyone to have healthcare – his viewpoint is pretty standard in Europe.
            .
            Saying that larger government is a short hop to Communism is like saying small government is a short hop to no government and anarchy such as seen in Somalia.
            .
            Any government, left or right, can attempt a power grab. What you want to look out for is how it treats the press. If it wants to grab extra power, the first thing it does is try to undermine a free press, and that’s exactly what Trump has been trying to do. His whines of ‘fake news’ to cover his own lies is exactly what the Nazis did when they decried the ‘Lügenpresse’, or ‘press of lies’. See also how Trump is almost unprecedented in his refusal to speak to the press or hold press conferences. Does the level of secrecy not alarm you? Trump stopped the standard releasing of logs of visitors to the White House. He banned cameras from news briefings. He never released his tax records. You may not have liked what Obama was doing, but there was no difficulty in seeing WHAT he was doing. Even if you see Communism as the ‘big bad’ here, are you not concerned at all at Trump’s cosiness with Putin and Russia, who is the ONLY person and country who Trump will not criticise? Every major intelligence agency in the world, including America’s own, has said Russia ran a major disinformation campaign to interfere with and influence the US election, and Trump says they’re all wrong and he trusts ex-KGB guy Putin. No concern from you at all?
            .
            I think Americans have more difficulty seeing what’s happening for what it is as they’ve never lived through fascism.

          • TVZ says:

            Wow Andy. You and I are polar opposites. I see the threat from the left and you see it from the right. The right is concerned that the left wants to disarm the citizens because that is one of the first steps to dictatorship! Trump is earning my trust… if you could see how the media treats him from an unbiased set of eyes, you would see that they are bringing this on themselves. I agree with you on one thing though… a power grab by either side is the opposite of the intention of our founders. The danger of big government can come from progressive Democrats and progressive Republicans. That’s what makes me anti-progressivism and pro Constitution. Our founders really wanted anarchy, but they knew there had to be some laws for order… they wanted the smallest government intervention into our lives as possible… maximum freedom, minimum tyranny. If the left has anything that values that, I would approve of it… I just don’t see it (maybe pro choice on abortions is about the only one?)… maybe I’m being to harsh.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I see the threat as being from fascism, which can be left or right. The whole notion of left and right break down with someone like Putin. Sure, freedom is good – I don’t see the ‘freedom-loving’ as a trait of the right, who in general opposes abortion rights and the right of gays to marry. Freedom from fear is pretty important too, and I’d say that’s in conflict with the NRA’s opposition to any attempt to reduce gun crime. I don’t want us to start arguing gun rights, I’m just pointing out your dichotomy of right wing=freedom is simplistic and breaks down in practice.
            .
            You don’t see opposing gay marriage as being anti-freedom but you would see a regime that stopped you marrying as very impressive, no? Some libertarians are pro-decriminalising of marijuana but mostly the right opposes it. And also is more restrictive of immigration. And Trump wants to restrict press freedom too. How can you maintain the fiction that GOP is the party of freedom?

          • TVZ says:

            Fascism and Communism are both big government control of the citizens life (Fascism is right wing and Communism is left wing… I guess both could be considered a form of Socialism). Putin is a big government, dictatorial type guy. He’s not a freedom-lover…. he grew up under Communism and I think he would love a return to Communism (left wing). A lot of Hollywood celebrities are fans of Putin if that says anything about his politics (maybe not). Democrats during the Cold War sympathized with the USSR and never really saw Communism as a threat to freedom, whereas Republicans (who were conservative then) saw Communism as evil and a threat to the world. I hear Barak Obama and Bernie Sanders saying things that Marxists and Communists say. They try to divide the country by class (rich vs poor). They speak of fairness (a rich person steals money at the expense of the poor person). They have an “eat the rich” mentality. This is dangerous thinking, and not a proponent of freedom.
            Our country was designed to keep the government from gaining control of the citizens life. We were supposed to control the government. The more we demand the government do for us (provide housing, provide health care, provide retirement income, provide automobiles, provide pets… whatever….) the more control they gain over us. Since they are paying for our “stuff” they have the right to tell us how to live (use only this amount of electricity, eat only this kind of food, drive only this kind of car, have only this kind of pet). The more we ask them to do for us, the more it becomes dictatorial. Our founding fathers never wanted the government to be a charitable organization… they pretty much just wanted a military and that’s about it. The government is getting bigger and bigger though. We are asking them to do more and more and they are gaining more and more control and we are losing more and more freedom. And we are moving closer and closer to bankruptcy and/or hyperinflation (but that’s a different subject).
            I think where the right suppresses freedom is on the moral issues (is abortion moral? Is homosexuality moral? Is drug use moral?). Can or should the government legislate morality? Should people have the right to murder? To rape? To own a gun? To speak their mind? To worship their God? Where do we draw the line? There are moral issues we don’t agree on, and moral issues we do agree on. Who’s right?
            I think you are missing the point about the homosexuals though. Christians do not want to suppress homosexuals rights. It’s a defense of our religion (marriage ceremony). I’ll ask again: Do you think the government should be involved in marriage? If so, why? And every country is restrictive on immigration, except the Democrats in the United States. It’s really odd… they were restrictive too as late as 2011. I think they see illegal immigration as a way to get more votes and win elections, but I’m cynical of most of their behaviors. I can’t really explain why they shifted their views on illegal immigration so quickly. Trump is dealing with a press who wants to treat him like he’s not fit for the job and not legitimate. He is right to ignore those types (NBC, CNN, the radical leftists mostly). He will not oppress fair minded journalists. (sorry so long… sheesh).

  11. Susan says:

    Andy try to stop focusing on issues. The reason I say that is they could be serving as a distraction to impede your spiritual progress.

    I know you doubt spiritual things but what if you allowed yourself to change your perspective to see God’s.

    It is possible that people allow their own carnality to upset their ability to see God’s point of view and seeking is the avenue that puts people on being able to see God’s point of view more and more.

    The flesh is temporary and weak while a strong spirit is for forever.

    Really does it make sense for a person to willfully exist in darkness allowing his old weak flesh nature control him or is it better to take Jesus’ hand and allow him to lead us into spiritual enlightenment?

    There are many people today exploring and writing about the strange interfacing of spirit and flesh but how would you ever get along to reading these people’s works if you can’t accept Jesus or the Bible?

    Jesus and the Bible are the elementary stage and bedrock of spiritual formation and you can’t even begin to understand more advanced spiritual topics and God’s plan until you receive Jesus who loves and died for everyone’s spiritual birth.

    I suspect too much study of materialism reinforces carnality which is spiritual blindness so meditate on this. You are important to God but you may have had an over exposure to too many faulty worldly ideas.

    You too can be saved because Jesus prayed for everybody and God always answers Jesus’ prayers in the affirmative because He always did God’s will so you are already covered by him. You just don’t realize it yet or what He is owed.

    Thanks for reading.

    Reply
  12. Andy Ryan says:

    “I hear Barak Obama and Bernie Sanders saying things that Marxists and Communists say.”
    .
    You either misunderstood Obama and don’t understand Communism. Obama was a friend of Wall Street – a pretty centrist lefty. Should govt be involved in marriage? If govt made interracial marriage illegal, that would count as being ‘involved in marriage’, right? If Christians argued interracial couples couldn’t marry, that would qualify as ‘oppressing interracial couples’, yes? Now replace ‘interracial’ with ‘gay’.
    .
    Then you compare marriage equality to ‘freedom to rape and murder’s… Nope.
    .
    The press is no more against Trump than any other president – don’t make excuses for him. Fox News gave much airtime to Birthers pushing the bogus theory that Obama’s presidency wasn’t even legal. Don’t oppose free speech just because you don’t like negative reports.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      Alright, that’s a long philosophical discussion that we won’t have time for (history lesson).
      The marriage debate depends on what marriage is. To the Christian, it is a religious ceremony that exemplifies our relationship to Jesus Christ. A wedding takes place in a church and is lead by a pastor. It is a religious ceremony that comes from Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” To the Christian, it’s sacred and clearly between a man and a woman, as ordained by God. To the secular person though, it’s just a way to get government benefits. Again, I agree that it’s not fair that the government gives heterosexuals benefits that homosexuals are not given. My ONLY issue is that marriage is religious and sacred and the government should have no authority over it. It seems intrusive to me… not their place. Get out of Christianity, but give the benefits to the homosexuals (civil unions is a great idea). What are your thoughts on civil unions? Does that go far enough for you?
      Wow, you are not paying attention if you think the press is fair to Trump. I’m baffled. You are hopeless…. lol. Obama wouldn’t provide his birth certificate. He could have ended the discussion quickly, but chose not to. It was only a bogus theory when he did reveal his birth certificate. The guy’s father was Nigerian and he spent his formative years in Indonesia. It was not ridiculous to question his place of birth because that’s a bona fide occupational qualification for this job. What’s the problem with it?

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        ” To the secular person though, it’s just a way to get government benefits”
        .
        Perhaps it’s just a way to get benefits for you. I’m very sorry you feel that way, but it does explain a few things if you’ve never enjoyed a loving bond with another person. I’m actually made very sad that you can only imagine it being about money. Some day I hope you’ll meet someone you love deeply, and you’ll feel silly assuming people only want to get married to make money. Until then, I’m afraid you just don’t know what you’re talking about. But it seems this is down to ignorance rather than cruelty on your part.
        .
        When you say ‘To the Christian marriage is’, you mean ‘To THIS Christian’s, meaning yourself, right? Because there are Christians who marry gay Christians all the time.
        .
        You’re defending Birthirism now? I thought you were better than that. It amounted to ‘He’s black and we don’t like him – he can’t be a real American’. And yes, Trump kept it up way after Obama jumped through his hoops and provided his birth certificate. Because the people who asked for it would never be convinced by the certificate because their position wasn’t based on logic or evidence in the first place, as Obama knew. And he did this for Trump, who won’t even show his tax records.
        .
        Yes I’ve paid attention to the media. All presidents get questioned by the media – that’s how it’s supposed to work. Remember when Fox roasted Obama every night, right down to his failure to use the right mustard? But you just defended Fox pushing Birthirism, so you obviously figure that was all good, but it’s unfair when the media accurately points out Trump has lied again. But his family comes from Germany not Kenya, so that’s different, right?

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          I don’t “feel that way”, it’s how it got started. There are tax breaks for married couples. You can put your spouse on your insurance policy. There are visitation rights at hospitals for family members that didn’t apply to “partners”, even if they had been together 20 years or more. This was unfair and I saw their point on that. I just think the government overstepped their authority by interfering with a sacred religious ceremony that has been designed by God to be for a man and a woman. Again, civil unions would have been a great compromise… the state recognizes you love each other and are committed to one another and you get all the government benefits of a heterosexual couple…. and you can exchange rings like heterosexuals do and have civil union cakes (but you can’t force the baker to bake it… another story). It’s the government telling religion what it must do that disturbs me (separation of church and state).
          No, I think the Bible is explicit that marriage is between a man and a woman. .. it doesn’t matter if the gay couple considers themselves Christian or not, it’s still not “marriage” as defined by God in the scriptures. The state can’t force God to consider it sacred. They can give them all the benefits of heterosexual marriage though.
          I was never a “birther.’ He proved to me he was an enemy of the Constitution when he declared he was going to try to fundamentally transform the country. (Dead giveaway… lol). I think the the birthers were just frustrated at the election results and were trying to figure out a way to get him out of office (like this Russia stuff with Trump). It’s the questions they ask though. They keep going on about this Russian collusion stuff like there’s some legitimacy to it. He gets tired of it because he knows there is no there there.

          Reply
          • TGM says:

            As far as I can discern from this conversation, TVZ, is that you’re arguing over a label: “marriage”. This is approaching absurd. From your comment…
            .
            “Again, civil unions would have been a great compromise… the state recognizes you love each other and are committed to one another and you get all the government benefits of a heterosexual couple”
            .
            How is this not marriage? So you’re just complaining that same sex unions are being called “marriage”. Sorry, but language is not sacrosanct. It gets evolves and gets distorted and hijacked sometimes.
            .
            It seems pretty clear that the source of popular legal opposition to same sex marriage runs deeper than a word, because: 1) SSM antagonists opposed civil unions also, and 2) nobody is going to spend hundreds of millions of dollars trying to defend the use of one word. Either you are at odds with other Christians on this or you are being somewhat disingenuous about your acceptance of a same sex union compromise.
            .
            And I don’t see “government telling religion what it must do” anywhere. No religious organization has been forced to marry any couple by any american government.

          • TVZ says:

            Hey TGM. I think it’s the concept of marriage I’m arguing. Is the goal to intrude on a religious ritual and try to change the century’s old meaning of it, or is the goal to obtain the government benefits that heterosexual couples unfairly have over homosexual couples? I’m against calling it marriage if it is intruding on God’s design for male and female to marry. I’m okay with it if it is just something to get around the legal wording of the government that by the letter of the law it discriminates a group of people due to their sexual orientation. To call it “marriage” implies that its the religious ceremony. To call it “civil union” implies it is a government sanction. It is true that churches have not been forced to marry homosexual couples by the government yet and I agree with that part of the ruling. I have a feeling that’s coming though (like the baker being forced to bake the wedding cake lawsuit).

          • TGM says:

            I’m sorry that you don’t like people using your word. Tough luck. But why aren’t you crusading against atheist, hindu or buddhist heterosexuals getting married? Those aren’t your type of religious ceremony. Surely those violate God’s plan, too, especially since they are violating at least one commandment. But you don’t seem to be fighting those. Curious.
            .
            As for the baker, that’s also absurd. The baker is not being asked to sanction anything, just to bake a darn cake. I have more sympathy for hired professionals required to attend the service. But a baker? No way.

          • TVZ says:

            Excellent question about why homosexual marriage is any different than heterosexual atheist marriage. I’m at a loss for words. I guess it’s too hard to know when that’s happening? I’ve never considered it. I guess it’s the same thing… they are just in it for the government benefits? Common law would seem to be the better option for atheists? I just haven’t thought this through before.

      • toby says:

        Prior to christianity there were other cultures where people married. And in at least some of the bible marriage meant multiple wives and that they were basically the property of the husband. Doweries were given. Men were expected to marry and impregnate their dead brother’s wives. The marriage of the bible is all over the place and I don’t think anyone can claim to know what a “christian marriage” is.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          It’s just another attempt by some Christians to steal credit for something or claim others are stealing from Christianity.

          Reply
  13. Andy Ryan says:

    Basically, you say you’re pro-freedom, but it’s only freedom to do the things you want to do. Anyone can say that. If someone says they’re ‘pro-religious freedom, but they only want freedom to worship Allah, they’re not really pro-religious freedom, are they?
    .
    You want gays and maybe all non-Christians to have civil unions or whatever. If YOU want a civil union instead of a marriage, you go for it. Your choice. But if you’re saying you get a marriage but others don’t, you can’t pretend to be pro-freedom.
    .
    Freedom of press is freedom of press. Even if it was true that the press is unfair to Trump, perhaps even as unfair as it was to Obama, you either value press freedom or you don’t. If you only want freedom to be favourable to your guy, you’re not really pro a free press. The whole point of free speech is that people get to say stuff you disagree with. Anyone can be pro the freedom of press to be nice to them!

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I think everyone should have freedom to worship the way they want. I want fairness for the gays. Men and women of all religions can marry. It’s the same sex part that is un-biblical. Marriage is hard work. It is really to teach you selflessness and discipline. I value freedom of the press, but I also know that the press is extremely biased. Every organization except Fox News is an arm of the Democrat party. The country takes on a darkness when a Republican is in office and the sun comes out and shines on us all when a Democrat is in office. The press is hostile towards Republicans and they let Democrats slide. Our press is not fair and not unbiased…. I think they should be. But I do think that if they can’t be, then at least we should have a Fox News that can give the other sides point of view. Obama treated Fox the same way Trump treats CNN. Were you as concerned with Obama’s treatment of Fox?

      Reply
      • TGM says:

        “Every organization except Fox News is an arm of the Democrat party”
        .
        This is simply, factually wrong. There are tons of conservative outlets with enormous influence like Townhall, Blaze, Breitbart, and the Wall Street Journal that embarrass your statement. And there is no shortage of conservative pundits – and they write A LOT of books.
        .
        What I find ironic is that people who complain about CNN must obviously be watching it. Or maybe these people just listen to Fox constantly bash its competitors, claiming media bias, and believe everything they hear.

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          I apologize, I was just talking about the television media. I used to watch CNN and Fox and MSNBC (but that was harder to stomach than CNN). I used to find it fascinating to see how different their views are. I’ve turned them all off now because they are so hateful and divisive and I have no control over any of that anyway…. it just stirs up bitterness and anger in my heart.

          Reply
        • TGM says:

          The vitriol is troubling, I agree. But it seems to be an inevitable outcome of mass media culture where you need to scream the loudest to be heard. All things considered, the political dialogue in this country is fairly tame. Isn’t Britain notorious for its vitriol in Parliament, Andy?

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            UK Parliament is funny, TGM. When someone is speaking, the other side will jeer and barrack them as if they’re at a pantomime (though you may also not know about them), but everyone speaks in an exaggerated genteel manner. “If I may remind the most honourable gentleman…”, “Madam speaker would do well to recall….”.
            .
            Another difference in Britain is that the news programmes for the most part are very sober and measured, while tabloid the newspapers are completely bananas. So it’s pretty much the opposite of America, where the TV shows are partisan and cartoonish, and the newspapers are relatively sedate.

          • TGM says:

            I did a quick lookup of pantomime. Interesting. Worth a look-see if I have the chance to visit. In the meantime, I’m expecting nightmares tonight after trying to envision Louie Gohmert asking “if I may remind the most honourable gentleman…”

      • Andy Ryan says:

        “Were you as concerned with Obama’s treatment of Fox?”
        .
        What treatment of Fox? Obama never threatened to challenge licences in the way Trump has to NBC. Obama didn’t continually accuse news organisation of lying about him. Obama didn’t withdraw access to Fox news. Last year Trump banned CNN, Politico, The LA Times, BuzzFeed and The New York Times from a White House press gaggle. There’s no comparison between the two.
        .
        “Excellent question about why homosexual marriage is any different than heterosexual atheist marriage. I’m at a loss for words. I guess it’s too hard to know when that’s happening? I’ve never considered it.”
        .
        Kudos for admitting this. Sounds to me that basically you just don’t like gays and you’re using religion as a post hoc justification. Look, people were getting married before Jesus – it pre-dates Christianity. It wasn’t until the 12th century that the Roman Catholic Church formally defined marriage as a sacrament, sanctioned by God. You don’t get to say everyone else is ripping off a Christian idea.
        .
        “He proved to me he was an enemy of the Constitution when he declared he was going to try to fundamentally transform the country”
        .
        I’d bet good money that Obama knows the Constitution and loves the Constitution better than you. Here’s what Obama said about transformation – you tell me where he violates the Constitution:
        .
        “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America. In five days, you can turn the page on policies that put greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street before the hard work and sacrifice of folks on Main Street. In five days, you can choose policies that invest in our middle class, and create new jobs, and grow this economy, so that everyone has a chance to succeed, not just the CEO, but the secretary and janitor, not just the factory owner, but the men and women on the factory floor.”
        .
        So were you objecting to the creation of new jobs, to the growing of the economy or to investing in the middle class? And you know what? He did create new jobs – the Obama administration saw the longest streak of job growth recorded in the US. The stock market soared too. His popularity was high at the end of his second term, and it’s actually grown a fair bit since. These are facts. Obama wasn’t an enemy of America, he was just a guy whose policies you didn’t agree with. Actually you haven’t even mentioned a policy you disagreed with, so for all I know you just think you disagreed with them after watching Fox News (you don’t need to start listing them, that’s not the point).

        Reply
  14. Susan says:

    I don’t know why anyone argues with atheists. It is just a time wasting distraction for the children of God.

    The primary act of a Christian is to sow the Gospel because a person reaps what he sows and when you sow Jesus in the world you can reckon yourself dead to sin in God’s eyes and begin a whole new life walking in enlightenment.

    Most people don’t understand God’s point of view because they don’t spend nearly enough time in God’s Word to be enlightened but that doesn’t stop the biblically illiterate from protesting against a holy God.

    That is what the old selfish dead nature engages in. Rebellion, moral bankruptcy and over reliance on themselves and their own deeds when God has done everything for everyone.

    He makes the rain fall on the evil and the good but a lot of people are too lazy to put in the good solid foundational work in understanding the Gospel from God’s perspective that God requires of everyone.

    You aren’t godly without God so if you are an unbeliever keep your self righteous arguments to yourself and stop spewing the world’s ideas.

    What you want to leave your eternal life on the table for a bunch of the world’s cheap pleasures. Then read Solomon in Ecclesiastes. That is vanity.

    The whole Old Testament illustrates mankind’s evil nature but Christ brings the change to that.

    You can heed Christ now or you can explain to God later why you let your weak fallen Adamic nature control you to the point He passed you over and didn’t give you the gift of faith.

    There it is. WIthout God the human race is worse than weak. It is evil.

    And if people didn’t waste all their time on worldliness then there would be a lot more godly people around making the world a better place.

    Read Psalm 1 and start meditating on God’s topics for a change and stop letting this world disrupt your spiritual formation. You only have one life to get this right.

    Reply
  15. Mary Ann says:

    I believe we can speak the truth in love.. The reason why we are in such a mess.. to many Christians throughout the years sat and prayed in their pews.. behind four walls. If the church can not be a voice on moral issues..who can? The Bible is our moral outline and it did not say we should compromise to be popular in society.. It is just my opinion, spoken in love 🙂

    Reply
  16. Andy Ryan says:

    “I don’t see where scripture was ever quoted to justify that interracial marriage is sinful.”
    .
    Scripture or no, Christians were using Christianity as a reason to call it sinful. They got the idea that God created the different races as they currently are and put them in different places from the Bible, regardless of whether they quoted any particular line to back that up. I agree with you that they were possibly using the Bible to justify racism but that’s no different to Christians now using the Bible to justify homophobia.
    America is not a theocracy and it’s not up to the courts to decide which religion is correct – if you want to make a law then you need a secular justification. The ‘Lemon Test’ established that. Some religions had marriage before Christianity and others had marriage after Christianity. You’re welcome to believe that your God is the right one and other religions’ marriages are doing it in the name of false Gods, but you don’t get to enshrine that in law.

    Reply
  17. TVZ says:

    I’m going to have to bow of the conversation gentlemen. I’m spending too much of my time here. I enjoyed the discussion though, even though it was probably all for naught. I’ll chime in on other discussions but this one seems to be endless. Keep seeking the truth.

    Reply
  18. TVZ says:

    I do have one last question. I’ll read your response but try to bite my tongue and not reply. What is the meaning or purpose of marriage for people who don’t believe in God? Thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      “What is the meaning or purpose of marriage for people who don’t believe in God?”
      Why assume there’s any one answer to that and that it’s the same meaning and purpose for every person? For that matter, I don’t get why you think it would be for dramatically different reasons to theists. I have many married Christians in my family – they talk about marrying the person they loved who they want to spend their life with, and making that union official and being part of the tradition of marriage. Why should that be any different for non-theists?
      .
      Thanks for the conversation.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        I couldn’t bite my tongue, because I think your question is interesting. “Why assume ther’s only one answer?” I don’t assume that there is only one answer, but there is one answer for Christians. It is the relationship that Jesus has with us. We are to mimic what he did for us through our marriage. Husbands give up their life for the wife. Wives submit to the leadership of the husband. It’s hard to do. Our pride gets in the way. Husbands don’t want to be selfless. Wives don”t want to submit to the leadership of husbands. It’s very meaningful and teaches us how much God loves us…. that’s the point of marriage.
        As a Christian, I didn’t get married for that reason though. It was just the culturally normal thing to do. You find a mate you love and you think they will bring you happiness and make your life complete so you want to be with them forever. Then you start realizing what a fairy tale that was about 3 years in (lol). Our divorce rate in the US is over 50% because I think people miss the point of marriage going into it. We think it will bring us happiness, but it just exposes our selfishness and we quit. If you can’t see the meaning of commitment and sacrifice and overcoming pride and giving up your life for another I don’t see how it could possibly last.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          “but there is one answer for Christians”
          Not in my experience. You’re talking about what marriage means to YOU, as one Christian, but you don’t speak for all Christians. You think wives should be submitting to their husbands – this says more about you than it does Christianity.
          .
          “that’s the point of marriage”
          …For you.
          .
          “Our divorce rate in the US is over 50% because I think people miss the point of marriage going into it.”
          Maybe it’s because lots of men expect their wives to submit to them just because they’re men. Lots of men are dunderheads! Try seeing it as an equal partnership, it might help. If you think it’s really important that one person submits to the other person’s leadership, go ahead and submit to hers. Or if she’s genuinely happy to submit to yours then that’s fine. But you don’t get to tell other people how their relationships should work or why they should get married.
          .
          “If you can’t see the meaning of commitment and sacrifice and overcoming pride and giving up your life for another I don’t see how it could possibly last.”
          Sure, but that doesn’t need God to exist to be true, let alone your own particular concept of a particular God.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            It’s the literal scriptures: <>

            Of course everyone who claims to be Christian doesn’t follow Christ, but this is hard to miss, right?

          • TVZ says:

            Sorry the scripture didn’t copy and paste. I’ll summarize: “Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is head of the wife, as Christ is head of the church. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, so that he may present her in all her glory having no spot or wrinkle that she would be blameless. (It’s Ephesiasns 5:22-32 if you want the whole thing).

          • Andy Ryan says:

            TVZ, you’re playing ‘My interpretation of the scriptures is the only true one and anyone who disagrees with me isn’t really a Christian’. Same game people played 200 years ago when they quoted scripture condoning slavery to oppose abolitionists. Those passages are pretty hard to miss too, right? Archbishop Desmond Tutu announced he doesn’t think God is against gay marriage. I’m guessing an archbishop understands scripture at as well as you, right?
            .
            One could make an equally strong case that anyone who gets divorced and remarries is not a true Christian, right? Yet people cherry pick passages to attack gays who marry while celebrating thrice-married Trump as a true Christian. Go figure…

    • Susan says:

      I haven’t been reading all of the marriage debate in this thread but marriage seems to be a confusing issue for a lot of people these days. A few years back I read Cameron Diaz state in a magazine interview that marriage is obsolete. She may be a proficient actress but that was one of the most unthoughtful comments that I ever read in my entire life. But now she seems to have changed her tune and has gotten married and is going thru IVF treatments.

      If there is no longer a respect and clearly defined pattern for marriage and good reasons for it then who is going to raise children and provide them with role models that help them navigate life.

      It seems like all the conventions are under attack in the West today but I suppose that was to be expected as we are living in the last days and the Bible says there will be trouble then but as a Christian we can pray for Christ to come and set up his new age as is promised in the scriptures. Then there will be a thousand year reign of peace. Some Christians think that is imminent now and even the stars in the heavens are showing strange signs with the blood red moons and the constellation Virgo. Youtube has a video called “warning 8 super signs in the heavens” worth watching and if you can google “God Prophetically Named the Stars” and read it. Many people have written books explaining how God proclaimed the Gospel in the stars with the constellations.

      Reply
    • TGM says:

      Outside of certain legal prerogatives, I never understood the value of marriage. Yet somehow it was very important to me. Maybe I’m just a traditionalist. But I had the conversation with a partner once about this. She turned to her pastor who, ironically, responded that marriage was a way to show the couple’s commitment to one another – nothing in there about God. Must have been one of those “liberal” churches. I’ll bet he thought he knew God’s intentions too.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        Interesting thought TGM. I haven’t put a lot of thought into this, but maybe commitment is a godly quality? Is there an advantage of commitment that evolution causes?

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          Of course there’s an evolutionary advantage. Kids in general do better being raised by two supportive parents. Parents being committed to each other makes that more likely to happen. That aside, even in unions with no kids, marriage is good for society for many reasons.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            I did some quick research and there are some animals that “pair bond” (the scientific term, I suppose). A “pair bonding” would indicate some kind of naturalistic commitment to one another. I still don’t understand why some animals pair bond and others don’t though. It seems that the majority do not. I think reproduction must have a role to play, but that’s another study. I did read that homosexual pair bonding may be nature’s way of controlling population … thought that was interesting. I couldn’t find a good source of homosexual pair bonding in animals though. Animals do practice homosexuality, but what about the animals that pair bond? I couldn’t find the information. Interesting study though!

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Another interesting study to chase up is that gay men’s sisters tend to have more kids than the national average. It means that, on average, having a gay child doesn’t lead to having fewer grandchildren. Like nature is compensating. Note that this isn’t explained by sisters making a conscious choice to compensate for their childless sibling – it applies even for siblings who didn’t grow up together. Another ‘nature is compensating’ piece of evidence is that if you have several sons, each successive son is more likely to be gay than the preceding one. As if nature was saying “You’re covered for heirs now”. Again, this applies even for siblings who didn’t grow up together.
            .
            Mammals pair bond more than, say, reptiles. If you have lots of offspring you can afford to let them fair for themselves more. Humans have a long gestation period and can produce relatively few offspring, so we need to looks after them for longer to make sure they reach maturity. So that makes it more important that the parents pair bond.

          • TVZ says:

            If the grandchildren don’t decrease, I don’t see the point of having a male who can’t reproduce though. Nature would seem to be punishing the male for nothing (by punishing I mean not able to have offspring of his/her own). I don’t see the point about losing heirs either, if the amount of grandchildren compensates to account for it.
            I read that only 3% of mammals pair bond. I want to look into this more.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Why assume there’s a ‘point’? If there’s a genetic component to bring gay, it raises the question of why it hasn’t been bred out of the gene pool. This answers that question – the same genes that stop the man having kids makes his sister have more kids, so they are preserved.
            .
            It’s similar to how Africans susceptibility to sickle cell anaemia is piggy backed onto an increased immunity to malaria.
            .
            That aside, variety is good for a species. Look at how creative gay men are in general. Hard to argue they don’t benefit the population in ways apart from reproducing.

          • TVZ says:

            The part I’m fascinated with is pair bonding. Would you say the point of pair bonding is to parent? It seems there is a reason why some animals pair bond and some don’t. You make a good point about human gestation period. Other reasons may be little animals need to combine to protect babies from bigger animals. It takes two to properly (effectively) parent?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Yes, pair bonding evolved because it aided survival. Animals that pair bond pass on the pair bonding genes. We are the descendants of generations successful pair bonders.

          • TVZ says:

            So would it be fair to say that God (or if you prefer, “nature”) intends for parenting to be between a male and a female? Is it a natural farse for male/male and/or female/female to pair bond if the point of pair bonding is to survive and pass on their genes?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            If we’re talking about what’s ‘natural’ then homosexuality seems like a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature. That doesn’t make it good or bad, it just means it makes no sense to call it ‘unnatural’.
            .
            As for ‘point’, I’m not referring to nature to infer or imply a meaning or any ‘oughts’, I’m just explains an ‘is’. That something evolved in a certain way tells us little about how it SHOULD be or how we should behave. If there’s evidence that a gay couple are less optimum than a straight couple when it comes to raising children, bring it on. So far the evidence is that children can get the same care either way – the gender of the parents is irrelevant.
            .
            Further, ability to have children is irrelevant with regards to marriage rights – we don’t question elderly couples who marry if they’re still fertile.

          • TGM says:

            To put in slightly more technical language, pair bonding probably increases fitness, the likelihood of genetic transmission. But same-sex-pairing does not necessarily hinder fitness even though the couples cannot reproduce together. Once offspring are born, perhaps through surrogates, same sex couples can provide all the resources as other couples. Male/male pairings, because of traditionally higher average male salaries, may even have certain advantages over male/female couples. The key, I think, is balance. Couples that complement each other are going to do better regardless of sex.
            .
            But there are so many complicated factors pulling at “fitness”. Most people overlook the memetic (culture) factors, which are likely even more powerful than genetics and have their own form of natural selection competing with DNA. It often gets left out of these important conversations. Dawkins is known mostly as an atheist activist today, but he was a great science writer. The Extended Phenotype is an excellent story of the weirdness of genetic influence.

          • TVZ says:

            The nature we were talking about was pair bonding and the reason why it happens… so that when babies are born, they can have the parents they need to protect them. Homosexuality happens in nature, but homosexuals cannot be parents in nature…. it’s naturally impossible. Therefore, nature prevents homosexuals from pair bonding. It will never happen. It’s not that it ought not happen, it won’t happen. It can’t happen. They can have sex, but they cannot reproduce. Nature is not being mean or homophobic to homosexuals, it’s just law.
            I’m with you on human laws, but I’m just saying it’s naturally impossible for homosexuals to pair bond (marry). However, its also wrong to discriminate against homosexual humans because they cannot pair bond (parent naturally) . Give them the rights, but don’t call it pair bonding, because it’s not. That flies in the face of nature (God).

          • Andy Ryan says:

            Yeah, I never use the phrase pair bonding to refer to humans anyway. I’ve probably never used the phrase in any context before this conversation with you today. I don’t think it ‘flies in the face of God’, obviously, as I don’t believe in God. If a God does exist then I doubt he’d be bothered by the phrase anyway.

          • TVZ says:

            Pair bonding is what humans are calling nature’s marriages (without the religious ceremonies). We also say, “mate for life.” I was just illustrating that homosexual marriage is unnatural without bringing opinions or politics or (much) religion into it.

          • TVZ says:

            What’s the implication of marriage (pair bonding) pre-dating human beings? Did we steal the concept from the animals?

          • TGM says:

            Suggesting we stole it from animals is off the mark. _We_ are animals. We come from the same wellspring of biochemistry as they do. It seems perfectly understandable that the hormones that other mammals use to bond and emote would function similarly in people. We just complicate the matter with our big brains.
            .
            As to what is natural, you should take care with that. Firstly, some animals exhibit homosexuality. So much for what’s natural. But it we really want to dive into this, we could easily argue that polyamory is natural – some animals mate and pair many times over their lives. Harems are natural as stallions isolate mares from other stallions. So what is nature but the biological diversity around us? If you oppose homosexuality as unnatural, then you necessarily must promote polygamy or risk hypocrisy.

          • TVZ says:

            Oh yes… good point (from an evolution mind). I struggle with the scientific thoughts (my mind rejects macro evolution and that we were once tar or whatever). My mind is much more philosophical. Do you see me asking Andy, “what’s the point” or “whats the meaning?” and he’s like, “There is no point, there is no meaning.” Our minds don’t even work alike. I’ll try to think my questions through your mind before I ask.

          • TGM says:

            I believe extra thought is always valuable. That’s why my responses usually take too long to compose. But I don’t think we need to bring our wider worldviews to every conversation. In this case, we don’t necessarily need to share a position on theism, we only need to agree on how we are using “nature”.
            .
            As to macro evolution, it’s ingenious the way so many different lines of evidence from so many disciplines support the theory. It’s regrettable if you don’t accept the results. Tar-to-man, goo-to-you, etc. are unfortunate caricatures.
            .
            In any case, I am happy to adjourn until the next interesting article is published.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            I’ve never said there’s no point or meaning to anything. I’m just saying you have to be careful when attributing agency to nature. One can talk metaphorically of the ‘point’ of pair bonding in animals, meaning the reason it has evolved. That doesn’t mean we can’t find meaning in our own lives or can’t have a ‘point’ to things we do.

          • TVZ says:

            Help me understand your worldview Andy. My mind can’t grasp how there can be meaning in a world that was caused by a fluke. My mind struggles to go where yours is. Everything is just random reflex based on evolution, right? There was never a meaning or point, it was a cosmic accident. Are we evolving to where our mind tricks us to believing there is meaning or purpose or a point to life? Is it an evolutionary trick to make us seek survival? If so, that could also change or evolve in 100 years couldn’t it? If so, how can we trust anything to have a meaning or a point?

  19. Susan says:

    You shouldn’t throw stones Andy based on atheist’s unresearched stereotypes.

    Modern chattel slavery was very different from ancient slavery but many didn’t know it in the South just like most don’t know it today.

    Also many of the leading abolitionists were Christians.

    The composer of Amazing Grace was a British slaver at one time who became an opponent of it after a conversion experience.

    As for divorce and marriage that is a much more complicated subject then most realize due to the fact that some people exist in a merely carnal state while other people exist in a dual state of both spirituality and carnality.

    But people like their simple answers that obscure the truth.

    I told you. Atheists are not scripturally qualified to be arguing with Christians.

    If you don’t have the Holy Spirit as your tutor then why do you wade into religious arguments at all?

    You are merely using the carnal to oppose God’s higher spiritual ideas. That is all and more apologists should be pointing this out to you instead of relying on carnal explanations.

    The weapons of a Christian are spiritual
    not carnal so more people should be pointing out this difference to you so you can check the scriptures on it.

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      Susan, you say nothing in your post that contradicts anything I said, so there’s nothing for me to respond to apart from to point out that your post is a string of non sequiturs, unbacked assertions and outright lies. I don’t have time to educate you on which is which.

      Reply
      • Susan says:

        Feel free to ignore me Andy and I will do the same. No hard feelings, ok?

        I mostly exhort people these days and have no time to argue.

        Really what can a caterpillar in the middle of changing to a butterfly say to another caterpillar who refuses to spiritually metamorphosize?

        These are different existential experiences and you will never approach understanding it by calling those entering the change liars.

        Christians are a new creation. God says so.

        Peace Be With You!

        Reply
  20. Andy Ryan says:

    “My mind can’t grasp how there can be meaning in a world that was caused by a fluke”
    Why does that stop me finding meaning in my life? If you can only have meaning in your life if someone else has given it to you, does that mean God’s life is meaningless?
    .
    “Everything is just random reflex based on evolution, right?”
    What do you mean by random? My reactions to the world aren’t random. And natural selection isn’t random either – by definition, in fact.
    .
    “it was a cosmic accident”
    Accident suggests mistake, which further suggests agency. The universe just happened.
    .
    “Are we evolving to where our mind tricks us to believing there is meaning or purpose or a point to life?”
    My life has many purposes. I enjoy spending time with friends, I look after my family, I try to make the world a better place. I don’t see these as ‘mind tricks’. I’d hazard a guess that these are the same things that get most people up in the morning, regardless of their religious beliefs. In fact if these aren’t enough for a person I’d worry they don’t have good friends or family!
    .
    “Is it an evolutionary trick to make us seek survival? If so, that could also change or evolve in 100 years couldn’t it?”
    Major evolutionary change generally takes place over tens of thousands of years.

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      Oh no, I think I’ve opened another deep conversation that may take a lot of time. I’ll have to wait a few hours before I can examine all this.

      Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        OK. Ponder though how many people seem to lose their faith and carry on leading happy lives. If you were right, you’d think atheists would all be committing suicide left, right and centre. Do you not know any atheists in real life, away from the internet?
        .
        Another point on the ‘evolutionary trick’ idea – it seems clear that our liking for, say, ice cream is a result of us evolving a taste for sweetness. You could say it was nature’s ‘trick’ to get us to eat fruit that we needed for vitamins and minerals. But that doesn’t mean our enjoyment of chocolate, ice cream etc is fake, not real.

        Reply
  21. TVZ says:

    One quick question that comes to mind is “What year are we in right now?” In other words, when can we expect to see the next evolutionary change? Could it be year 99,999 since the last big change and a big change could happen tomorrow? Or are we perpetually in year 1 and we can never expect to see a big change?

    Reply
    • Andy Ryan says:

      That’s like when you can expect yourself to look older. It happens day by day – you’re ten and then fifty years later you’re sixty. When did you ‘look older’? Unless your hair goes white overnight, there’s no day when you look dramatically older than the day before. Evolution is more gradual than that by a huge magnitude.
      .
      I’m sorry about your son – as a parent I can’t imagine what’s that’s like. Religious belief is unfortunately no inoculation against suicide though. I know quite a few very depressed religious people, some of them regular church goers.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        I should stop and get caught up, but my original question pertained to “can we trust evolution or is it ever-changing?” We once thought we were fish but that’s not true anymore… we think we are human beings. What is meaning if it is ever-evolving? (probably stupid question, but I’m just trying to understand meaning in a world that means nothing but survival, I guess).
        .
        Thank you. I think it’s a brain chemical thing. There is no reason a Christian should be depressed… that was the purpose of Christ’s coming … we shouldn’t even be anxious. It’s all been settled. But if you have a wiring problem in your brain, it can take medication to level things out.

        Reply
        • Andy Ryan says:

          Evolution is a process that happens, like soil erosion – I don’t really know what you mean by ‘can we trust evolution’.
          “we think we are human beings”
          That’s the term we invented for our own species, yes.
          .
          Words change their meanings over time, yes. What’s the problem?
          .
          “I’m just trying to understand meaning in a world that means nothing but survival”
          I’ve already told you that’s not all that life means to me.

          Reply
          • TVZ says:

            It’s not the words that change, it’s our state of being. Pond scum, then dish, then turtle, then monkey, then man. At each stage, we thought we knew what we were, but we were wrong… we were just un-evolved. To this day, you think you are something, but you are still an un-evolved something else that will be in the future. You and I both think we have a meaning, but I don’t think evolution teaches that. (You are stealing from God, as Frank would say). Something happened that we can’t explain and then billions of years later we are having a conversation about what happened. We didn’t have an explanation for billions of years. In another thousand years, the explanation will change as we evolve and learn that we were wrong…. like we always do. (earth was flat, nope. the sun moves, nope. cells are simple, nope. the universe is eternal, nope). What can we trust, why would we assume this means anything? We don’t even know the point of it all. Maybe when we get there it will all make sense. When will that be?!

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “At each stage, we thought we knew what we were, but we were wrong”
            .
            I doubt that when we were pre-human apes, let alone simpler life forms, we ‘thought we knew what we were’. Do dogs ‘think they are dogs’? And if when we were ‘turtles’ we thought we were turtles then we wouldn’t have been wrong.
            .
            “we were just un-evolved”
            That sentence has no scientific meaning. Every organism on earth is ‘evolved’ in the sense that it has changed over time from earlier species. That, if we’re lucky, our species may last long enough to change substantially in the future, is neither here nor there. It doesn’t mean we’re ‘wrong’ about ourselves now.
            .
            “In another thousand years, the explanation will change as we evolve and learn”
            Sure, science generally talks about the best present explanation for something. That doesn’t mean we’re likely to discover we’re wrong that the earth is roughly spherical.
            .
            “You and I both think we have a meaning, but I don’t think evolution teaches that”
            My life has meaning to me and to my loved ones. There are things in life that make it worth living to me. Evolution doesn’t ‘teach’ anything on this subject. It’s merely an explanation for biodiversity on earth.

          • TVZ says:

            “Every organism on earth is ‘evolved’ in the sense that it has changed over time from earlier species. That, if we’re lucky, our species may last long enough to change substantially in the future, is neither here nor there.”
            .
            Wait a minute, isn’t it a constant change… like growing older. Everything is constantly evolving? We are right now the pond scum of what we will be in a million years…. if luck is on our side. Is luck meaningful? Reliable? Is there a point to it?
            .
            “My life has meaning to me and to my loved ones. There are things in life that make it worth living to me.”
            .
            Mine too, but why?

          • TVZ says:

            More on “but why?” to help you out: I wonder if we are the only species that thinks there is meaning to life? Why us? Does pond scum know it has a meaning (or under the delusion it does)?

          • Andy Ryan says:

            It seems we’re the only species that has the brain power to conceptualise such a thing. Maybe chimps and dolphins, I don’t know. Why assume life has to or needs to have some grand meaning? You’re here, make of that what you will. When I believed in God I don’t remember seeing it as having any greater meaning. Maybe a God had some reason for putting us here on earth but that wouldn’t make it more meaningful to me. If anything it makes our lives here more pointless, not less. I’m sure you disagree with that, but I doubt you’ve put much thought into WHY a God makes it more meaningful, or why living forever would add any meaning. If it’s not meaningful after 70 years, why would it be after 70,000 or 70,000,000 years?

          • TVZ says:

            It’s a delusion for you to think your life has meaning if there is no God. Your brain is playing tricks on you. You are defying nature when you think that way.
            .
            “Maybe a God had some reason for putting us here on earth but that wouldn’t make it more meaningful to me.”
            .
            It would explain why you think your life is meaningful. You would no longer consider yourself delusional, but realize there is a power outside the universe that wanted you here and created you to be here and wants you to search for him.
            .
            “If it’s not meaningful after 70 years, why would it be after 70,000 or 70,000,000 years?”
            .
            Not sure I follow, but this is meaningful the whole time, and there is meaning after this world as well. The next world is not a corrupt world like this one is. It’s completely different. It’s what this world had the potential to be if you take all the pride, arrogance, arguing, hating, bitterness, etc… out of it.

          • TVZ says:

            Andy, I’m pretty sure God is pursuing you. I’ve been wanting to leave this conversation for a few days, but I’ve felt compelled to come back. If you truly want to know him, all you have to do is cry out to him with sincere honesty and he comes to you. He came to me a year ago on January 26th. You’ve got nothing to lose. It’s about your heart though, you can’t trick him.

  22. Andy Ryan says:

    “Wait a minute, isn’t it a constant change… like growing older”
    Yes. When did I say it wasn’t?
    .
    “We are right now the pond scum of what we will be in a million years”
    Not necessarily. There’s no reason to think in a million years our species will be smarter than us. It may be that environmental pressures reward individuals who survive on a smaller brain. Also, the difference between pond scum and a self-aware species with the capacity for abstract thought is huge. I’m not sure a similar difference between us and a smarter species would be possible.
    .
    “Is luck meaningful?”
    In this context, sure. I think odds aren’t great that our species will be around in 10,000 years. If we make it, we’ll have been lucky.
    .
    “Mine too, but why?”
    Does it matter why? If you’re life is worth living then it’s worth living. What would you rather I did since I stopped believing in God? Go around setting fire to everything? Moan that everything is pointless?

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      “When did I say it wasn’t?” (evolution was/wasn’t constant change)
      You said there was no such thing as the state of being un-evolved (like a fish before it becomes a human), and you said “everything on earth is evolved”, as if the process has stopped.
      .
      “There’s no reason to think in a million years our species will be smarter than us.”
      .
      I see evidence we are getting dumber (gay pair bonding is natural… lol… j/k). But seriously, from a non-scientific mind, I do see a bell curve forming to where we may have maxed out our intelligence and are now valuing emotion and feelings over our minds. Feminism is becoming stronger and masculism is becoming weaker. Brains getting smaller and hearts getting bigger.
      .
      “In this context, sure. I think odds aren’t great that our species will be around in 10,000 years. If we make it, we’ll have been lucky.”
      .
      We will probably create a machine that wipes us out… like “Terminator” movies. (I know how it really ends though… and it doesn’t come to that, thank God).
      .
      “Does it matter why? If you’re life is worth living then it’s worth living. What would you rather I did since I stopped believing in God? Go around setting fire to everything? Moan that everything is pointless?”
      .
      I think it does matter why, but I also understand some people aren’t intellectually curios too. I would rather you act as if you believe there is meaning to your life than to act as if yo don’t belief there is a meaning…. (like my boy. He is so unpredictable and irrational and just screwed up in this world). It is comforting to my mind to know there is law and order and predictability in the nature of our world and not chaos and disorder and unpredictability. He doesn’t see that. All is meaningless.

      Reply
      • KR says:

        “You said there was no such thing as the state of being un-evolved (like a fish before it becomes a human), and you said “everything on earth is evolved”, as if the process has stopped.”
        .
        I’m not Andy but I don’t see any contradiction in those statements. “Everything on earth is evolved” I take to mean that all living organisms are the result of an evolutionary process. This in no way indicates that the process has stopped. In fact, there’s no way it could stop since DNA is an imperfect replicator that will always have some copying errors during replication. The only end-point is extinction.
        .
        The term “un-evolved” suggests that evolution is proceeding in a particular direction and that there’s some kind of hierarchy where we can classify organisms as more or less evolved. I don’t see any basis for this. The measure of sucess in evolutionary terms is survival so all extant species are obviously evolutionarily successful. I guess we could use sheer numbers or total biomass as a measure of evolutionary success, in which case microorganisms would be the clear winners. Every human has more bacterial cells in their body than human cells.
        .
        “I see evidence we are getting dumber (gay pair bonding is natural… lol… j/k). But seriously, from a non-scientific mind, I do see a bell curve forming to where we may have maxed out our intelligence and are now valuing emotion and feelings over our minds.”
        .
        If we accept IQ tests as a measure of intelligence, the evidence indicates the exact opposite. A study from 2015 done by researchers at King’s College London showed that on average, IQ has increased worldwide by about 20 points since 1950.
        .
        “I think it does matter why, but I also understand some people aren’t intellectually curios too.”
        .
        Have you considered the possibility that a person who questions the validity of the “why?” question does so precisely because they’re intellectually curious and don’t automatically accept old dogma?

        Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        “you said “everything on earth is evolved”, as if the process has stopped.”
        Non sequitur. Imagine you say a piece of wood is uneroded. I reply “No, every piece of wood in this shed is eroded”. That only tells you I think it’s false to say the wood has not been eroded. I’ve not said anything about whether it is still eroding.
        .
        “Feminism is becoming stronger and masculism is becoming weaker”
        Are you saying masculism is a sign of intelligence? Some guy 50,000 years ago swinging a club and dragging his mate to a cave by her hair – the progression from his to Albert Einstein is a sign of lessening intelligence?
        .
        Regarding feminism, you citing women fighting back against rape culture as a sign that humanity is getting dumber reminds me that 170 years ago, when slaves tried to escape it was classed as a sign of mental illness. They called it ‘Drapetomania’.
        .
        In’ Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race’, physician Samuel Cartwright pointed out that the Bible calls for a slave to be submissive to his master, and by doing so, the slave will have no desire to run away.
        “If the white man attempts to oppose the Deity’s will, by trying to make the negro anything else than “the submissive knee-bender” (which the Almighty declared he should be), by trying to raise him to a level with himself, or by putting himself on an equality with the negro; or if he abuses the power which God has given him over his fellow-man, by being cruel to him, or punishing him in anger, or by neglecting to protect him from the wanton abuses of his fellow-servants and all others, or by denying him the usual comforts and necessaries of life, the negro will run away; but if he keeps him in the position that we learn from the Scriptures he was intended to occupy, that is, the position of submission; and if his master or overseer be kind and gracious in his hearing towards him, without condescension, and at the same time ministers to his physical wants, and protects him from abuses, the negro is spell-bound, and cannot run away.”
        .
        “It is comforting to my mind to know there is law and order and predictability in the nature of our world and not chaos and disorder and unpredictability”
        If all was chaos and unpredictability then science wouldn’t work at all. It relies on the repeatability of experiments.

        Reply
  23. Susan says:

    It could be that it is an impossibility for a Christian to remain silent because God has given His people the gift of prophecy and this gift could manifest itself in a number of different ways. Although people tend to always think of the traditional ways of it manifesting first.

    It could be that since God’s people have God’s spirit in them that the more obedient and mature they are the more they will express God’s spirit.

    Especially in hymns and praise songs. That is how God’s children respond to God though the world likes to silence God’s children sometimes.

    It would s really too bad they do that because God likes to supply a personal supernatural education to those He adopts but most people don’t realize the fact that without God they are spiritual orphans which I personally believe puts them even more at the mercy of worldly forces than it does God’s children who have God as a refuge from the world.

    Does anyone really want to be totally at the mercy of an unholy, merciless world or would they prefer a Protector who can use circumstances to shape people the way He wants them to be.

    Reply
  24. Susan says:

    Why do people sit up on blogs opining when they can do what Christ’s true disciples did and go out and change the world under God’s wing.

    Of course, you can communicate powerful ideas on a blog but you can communicate ever more powerfully and clearly in person.

    More people should be seeking encounters with God it might help them with all sorts of issues. Many people received poor parenting in this lifetime but they have the perfect parent to appeal to to correct all that damage.

    People are no where near perfect that is enough to prove sin to me and who in his right mind wouldn’t be determined to escape the destructive power of sin. Maybe Satan is an actual being or maybe God personified sin so we would know sin is an enemy that all people have to oppose and overcome.

    This is a strange world when people refuse to deal with their biggest problem sin but instead spend all their time castigating God in their own thought lives.

    You can’t correct your own life until you get
    serious enough to heed God and take action.

    You can argue and waste a lot of time but then you will not become an overcomes according to God’s standard or teach others how to be overcomes.

    You can be overly competitive, waste a lot of time and never live up to God’s standard and you can even be worse than that. Once you’ve decided your own personal failure isn’t so bad you can even set out to convince others or seek to replace God’s standard with man made ones.

    God offered to be everyone’s father but some people are so blinded by sin and issues that they refused to take Him up on the offer then blame Him later when the world descends further and further into chaos but God offered to them, too. They just didn’t accept the offer and wanted to cast blame and make excuses for it later.

    I love God. He is the perfect parent and the one most likely to correct any poor parenting I received and any bad role modeling that the world sends me.
    Why care about origins so much? You are already here and you better help God work to eradicate your sin nature and any poor parenting you may have received while there is still time.

    People are not perfect, But God is.

    Reply
  25. Andy Ryan says:

    Hey TVC, been following the Russian Sanctions situation?
    This was the vote on Russian Sanctions:
    House: 419-3
    Senate: 98-2
    Today, Trump said he won’t impose the sanctions despite a veto-proof majority. Is this a dictator move?

    Reply
    • TVZ says:

      I have not been following it. I just read up a bit on it and I don’t think it’s a dictatorial move. This is the role of the Executive Branch. Now if he sanctioned Russia without Congress’s consent, that would be dictatorial (like Obama did with DACA). Bypassing Congress is dictatorial, vetoing their suggestion is legal. I’m no expert on this, and I could be wrong, so I can be convinced that what he did is illegal if you can present an argument.

      Reply
      • TVZ says:

        A little more research shows the veto-proof legislation was last Summer when they did implement sanctions on Russia. This was more sanctions on Russia, but I haven’t seen that this is considered “veto-proof” yet. If it’s “veto proof” then yes, everyone should be outraged. I’m not seeing that kind of outrage though.

        Reply
      • Andy Ryan says:

        I didn’t ask if he broke the law. You complained earlier that Obama signed so many executive orders – that wasn’t against the law, but you felt it made him the most dictatorial president ever. Why that doesn’t make Bush and Trump even more dictatorial, given that they signed more EOs, you never explained. I’m asking what you think about Trump refusing the impose the sanctions. What’s your honest feeling about his closeness to Putin – who is a dictator – and his refusal to criticise Putin, and his rejection of the findings of all the major intelligence agencies in the world that Russia tried to interfere with the US elections. Does it not concern you at all?
        .
        “I’m not seeing that kind of outrage though”
        You mean they’re not outraged about it on Fox News?!

        Reply
        • TVZ says:

          I said Obama was the closest thing this country has ever had to a dictator. He grew very frustrated that he couldn’t get legislation through Congress, so he got to the point where he decided it was okay to bypass Congress (he assumed he knew better than they/us). I put some videos up there that showed his progressive frustration but they may have been lost (I think from a post from 01/26/18). He broke the law with DACA. Impeachable offense to me as he made an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution.
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          You asked me if I thought this was a dictatorial move, and I stated that I did not, and gave reasons why. Do you think it was? If so, why?
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          Trump’s reasons for refusing to impose the additional sanctions is that they think the original sanctions are working and this may be overkill. I guess that’s a matter of opinion.
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          I think his relationship with Putin is interesting. I do not think he is a Communist or a dictator like Putin, but I do think he respects Putin’s “alpha male” traits and wants a better relationship with Russia (which I think is naive). It’s strange having a Republican friend of Russia when historically it’s been the Democrats who’ve aligned with the leftist regimes of Russia. Do I think he wants to align with Putin and overthrow the US? No. Did they have a common goal of defeating Hillary? Yes. Did they collude? No. Did Russian interfere with the election? Yes, they always do… but it’s usually against the Republicans. Do we interfere with Russian elections? Absolutely.

          Reply
          • Andy Ryan says:

            “I said Obama was the closest thing this country has ever had to a dictator”
            Yes, and the reason you gave fell apart as soon as I examined it (Executive Orders!) Did you feel no sense of cognitive dissonance when I pointed that out to you?
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            “Trump’s reasons for refusing to impose the additional sanctions is that they think the original sanctions are working”
            Why do you use the plural there? ‘They think’? Again, the voting was 419-3 in the House and 98-2 in the Senate. There’s nothing dictatorial about Trump overruling those two near-unanimous votes?
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            In my opinion, once you’ve got a dictator in charge of a country, it’s a bit moot whether you label him right-wing or left-wing. It’s irrelevant – these labels break down under a dictator.
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            “I guess that’s a matter of opinion”
            It’s certainly an opinion that those were his reasons.
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            “Did they collude? No.”
            If he’s got nothing to hide, why is he and his propaganda wing at Fox News continually trying to undermine the investigation? Why would an innocent man act so like a guilty one?
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            TVZ, I’m guessing when all this comes crashing down, you’ll have moved on from commenting here. But I will be thinking of you and wondering what your reaction to it is!

          • TVZ says:

            I have no cognitive dissonance over the amount of EO’s vs the nature of EO’s.
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            “They” is “the Trump administration. There are articles out there explaining why “they” are against further sanctions. I’m not a mind-reader…. lol. You are not telling me if you think this is dictatorial or not. You seemed to imply it was, but are stopping short of saying it…. and explaining why you think that way.
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            If he does have something to hide, why haven’t they found it? It’s been a long investigation and they have pretty much already said there was no collusion. I’m not even sure why it’s still on-going.
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            If he colluded with Russia to beat Hillary (I guess he had them hack the DNC servers to reveal all that embarrassing corruption?), then I am glad that happened, but Pence should probably take over the presidency… and I like Pence much more than I like Trump! Win/Win for me!

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