Sunday, October 4, 2009

Findings of Religious Survey --2007 Pew Research

Addendum/Prelude to this post: It occured to me that the anti-Evangelical, anti- Bible-believing Christian sentiment of atheist/agnostic/social liberal bloggers makes them the group that should remain a small minority--for the good of freedom. They long to see their ranks grow so they can predominate in law and culture --but they are a greater threat to the believers than the believers are to them. Their two main fears would be the illegalization of gay marriage and abortion --and the way they recoil and roil like the devil himself at public prayers and public acknowledgements of a supreme being --such that they can't even abide our comments on their blogs--can't stand the religious freedom expressed by the majority. They openly scorn and detest Bible-believers and Creationists--and they unabashedly claim intellectual superiority over them and want to see them repressed and shrink in numbers.

I only want to see the number of atheists shrink for their own sake --that they might know the joy and fellowship and forgiveness of God and have the hope of Heaven. I don't detest people who don't agree with me --REALLY! But I will verbally and with my vote oppose them if they want to encourage the nation's children to approve homosexuality in kindergarten --in schools generally --if they want to redefine marriage to mean any combination and number of consenting adults in covenanted LEGAL relationship, on a par with God's male/female design-unit as the foundation for rearing children. And of course, we oppose the taking of human life in the womb.

I have no reason not to believe that homosexuality is like adultery, pedophilia, incest, etc. --in starting with a thought and an attraction that should be rejected at the gateway of the mind. The Bible says so. Biology says so. STD's as a consequence of "exploring sexuality" say so.

Atheists/liberals, et al have nothing to fear from evangelicals --except not having their way in law and culture. Granted, too many evangelicals have exchanged their salt and light roles in a misbegotten idea of love. In fact, love includes steering the culture in godly directions--standing up for God's Word as Truth regarding sin and righteousness --that we might know how to live and for what we need to repent.

Apparently, this Pew survey actually took place in 2007 and was reported in 2008.

Engineer of Knowledge at Mudrake's blog writes of the demise of Christian faith, but the link above doesn't confirm that, seems to me. Though, Engineer notes, the survey does report that protestant majority is down to 51%. But perhaps that's because the Catholic Hispanics are a growing minority and expected to outnumber the rest of us at current rates. However, I notice that Catholics have been the biggest losers, from 31 to 24% --but I don't expect that trend to continue as the Hispanic population grows. The priest scandals have hurt them, I'm sure.

Evangelicals outnumber Catholics at 26.3 percent and all who call themselves some form of "Christian" are 78.4 %. No wonder the anti-Christian boys in Mudville are always upset!

I also saw where the United Methodists, the Catholics, and the Lutherans very recently had a conference discussing "justification by faith alone," which was Martin Luther's famous emphasis as he led the protestant reformation. Evangelicals believe in this doctrine, and yet note that the rest of the NEw Testament does ask us to "run the race" and "be watchful lest we stumble" --and suggests we could be people like soil that nurtures the Gospel seed --or like soil that initially allows the seed to grow but then lets it be choked out by the cares and concerns of this world. In other words, faith does not mean "easy believism" whereby Jesus doesn't ask anything of us since He died for our sins.

The numbers of atheists are still VERY small --though "practical atheists" may be a majority of us --people who act as though God does not exist --who make up what they want about God and accept no source of divine revelation as valid.

Like the other major groups, people who are unaffiliated with any particular religion (16.1%) also exhibit remarkable internal diversity. Although one-quarter of this group consists of those who describe themselves as either atheist or agnostic (1.6% and 2.4% of the adult population overall, respectively), the majority of the unaffiliated population (12.1% of the adult population overall) is made up of people who simply describe their religion as "nothing in particular." This group, in turn, is fairly evenly divided between the "secular unaffiliated," that is, those who say that religion is not important in their lives (6.3% of the adult population), and the "religious unaffiliated," that is, those who say that religion is either somewhat important or very important in their lives (5.8% of the overall adult population).

However, half of those unaffiliated as children are now affiliated with a religion. Notice that 5.8 percent of the overall adult population who are unaffiliated with a particular religion, nevertheless, say that religion is somewhat or very important in their lives.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


steve said...

I have to admit that I'm not fond of the nonstop attack on Christianity because I believe that the expression of faith is a legitimate need of the human psyche. I think their main point is the politicization of religion. The point at which religion is having an effect on public policy - the devaluation of science, the religious hegemony against groups that don't have any religious affinity or affiliation.

I think the thing that bothers me the most personally about this new churchly political awakening, is the fact that these religious groups are so easily manipulated by political panderers. Alls you have to do is say you're against abortion, or you hate the gays, and you get the votes. It doesn't matter that later you are exposed as a homo pediphile going after young pages, or you generally cheat on your wife while espousing "family values".. it's all a complete crock. Thats the danger of the politicization of religion. It's so easy to sway religious people because of their innate religious passions. Religious people are brought up to respond to authority. So they make willing "brown shirts" whenever an enemy is needed to be vanquished. Thats the way its been throughout history.

The worst thing is that it really harms the church. If you care at all for Jesus's message, you have to realize that Jesus could care less about a country, about patriotism, about skin color, about taxes, about "isms".. Jesus only cares about Salvation of the sinners.. am I correct? And doesn't the verse say to not put a stumbling block in the way of anyone seeking the way? The politicization of the church is a big stumbling block for a lot of people. So from my point of view the church.. I'm talking about evangelicals.. have decided that political views and affiliation are more important than Jesus's words and more important than the "good news of the gospel". You know, I grew up in an evangelical household and I don't ever recall them caring one bit how a person stood on say "taxes" or "social programs" or whatever. The church is shooting itself in the foot.. and thats one of the points I think MR was trying to make.

Barb said...

No, I don't think Mudrake tries to make your points (or any valid ones) at all, Steve. He inherited anti-evangelicalism from his anti-protestant father. It's that simple for him. It's all emotional for him --no substance. He's a hater cloaking himself in self-righteous robes of love for the needy (and all who do menial labor) and the gays-- and no one should miss that point.

ALL people can be duped by politicians claiming to share their passions and concerns. We need more honest politicians from evangelical ranks who really DO care about family and the pre-born and will work for their survival and for decency in our culture and prevent public funds and law from supporting abortion and the gay agenda.

My Republican and religious ancestors were well aware of socialistic trends of FDR from way back --they were concerned that he went for a 3rd term -they always said he got us out of the depression by getting us into WWII --and they wondered about that conspiracy theory that he knew about Pearl harbor before it happened because of a visit from Japanese leaders previously. (Just like democrats who claim Bush knew about 9/11 --impossible --remember his deer in the headlights look at the elem. school when he heard about it? That man was stunned!!!) They also knew that FDR was an adulterer and thus a bad role model for families. They cared about that THEN as NOW. There is no NEW political brownshirting as you claim.

So religious people have long been politically active in america --think Prohibition! There is no "new churchly political awakening." And no new wave of charitable impulses either. World Vision, Salvation Army and missions like Pacific Garden Mission have been compassionate and funded by evangelicals since I was a little girl. Evangelical churches have had hospitals and clinics and schools overseas throughout the 20th C.

But there is a vigorous trend encouraged by the left to make the evangelical church retreat from political concerns lest they be MISINTERPRETED as HATING gays. And they like to say that since we believe in personal reliance and responsibility, that we are wrong about that--and should support both abortion and more welfare for unwed parenting! We were on target in promoting abstinence sex ed --which did reduce the unwed parenting and the pregnancies with abortions. they say it's not working NOW, but it DID, and the question is, was abstinence ed really DONE in an effective way in these recent years? Critics on the right say not--because "exploring one's sexuality" has gotten so much promotion instead. So there is a rise in teen sex activity with all the downsides --which coincides with our abysmal TV programming with gay behaviors and sleeping around on reality shows.

Barb said...

We do need to love God and gays --but not homosexuality and abortion. And the savvy evangelicals are well aware of this. They know that Christian people have some difficulty raising their kids in the counter-culture Kingdom if they become a cultural minority like Lot's family in Sodom and Gommorrah. Peer pressure, education and media are so powerful. Satan is wiley and effectual. And the Left wants to CENSOR Christian speech, broadcasting, teaching and hiring freedom of the church.

Christians don't want america to become a cesspool of immorality with all day porn and gay relationships on tv for all to see--because we DO think our blessings come from a God of righteousness whom many of us have heeded in our political choices --using our freedom responsibly to make laws that stand for righteouseness instead of defending immorality and sin/evil in the law.

Everytime a liberal encounters a problem with sinfulness, they rise to accommodate it, embrace it, celebrate it. We got AIDS, and what did pop culture do? promoted homosexuality. We have unwed pregnancy so they promote morally neutral, non-judgmental TV stories with heroes sleeping around --and permissive sex ed (do what you think is right when you are ready--no one else can tell you what is right for you --and BTW, "it's ok to say no" --worse sentence of the sex educators) --we have drug abuse and criminal traffick of drugs so they want to legalize drugs. We have illegal immigration so they want to just grant amnesty and let the problem continue --or let all people in who will vote for the democrats who let them in --nevermind, that we are bringing in people with radically different concepts of what is right and what is wrong (lying is normal)--both the criminal element of Mexico and the terroist and Sharia law element of the middle east who believe in killing Jews and Christians as a matter of religious adherence and Islamic evangelism!

As for taxes, it's strictly fact: the higher the taxes, the poorer the economy in the wake of raising those taxes --it always takes some time for the effect to kick in--but for sure, higher taxes do not stimulate economy. Keeping our cash for spending, hiring, charity and investing DOES.

Granted taxes are necessary for good gov't and giving a hand up to those who would otherwise be destitute through no fault of their own --especially good are ed. loans which people of good will pay back honestly.

But we don't appreciate a gov't that has no spending controls on itself --anymore than we appreciate rapacious, self-indulgent corporate boards who have exercised no wisdom lately.

What we do need is MORE true religion --not less --MORE people who agree with God about the nature of good and evil as revealed in His Word. We don't need more haters with horrible solutions to world ills--like Mudrake. His solution is to silence the conservative side and the religious --don't let them in on the discussions. Put them in concentration camps. Lie about them. Threaten and intimidate them. Tell them to just go away and shut up.

Jeanette said...

Forgive me, Barb, but I'm a bit confused about where you stand on unwed births.

I know you are against them, but I also see you talk negatively about helping the mothers of those children to survive. Yes, I'm talking about welfare.

We don't want any children aborted, so why would we deny those unaborted children the bare necessities in life?

I know some mothers will not spend the money on the children's needs, but not all. People make mistakes in their lives and need a hand up. Sometimes that hand up is a temporary hand out until the mother can become self-sufficient.

We need to support those children and not begrudge them anything. Life is hard enough with no father for them and we don't need to make them feel they are inferior because of their mother's mistake.

No child is a mistake, and it is our duty as Christians to help all mankind.

I know abstinence is the best policy for unwed people, but I also know when those hormones are raging and in the heat of the moment, people do what they shouldn't do even if they are saved. Yes, it's a sin, but the child is not a sin. If we look at it that way we were all conceived in sin. We call it love if in the boundaries of marriage.

I'm just so confused about what you would have us do for or about those children born out of wedlock if not feed, clothe and support the child and the mother emotionally, spiritually, and physically for as long as it takes and stop making the child the outcast.

steve said...

^^ You speak blasphemy against the ideas of supply side Jesus:

Barb said...

On unwed births --During Johnson's "Great Society" welfare program, people found birthing to be a cottage industry --that's a fact that another baby in the household was a way to increase one's income. But there couldn't be a man living in the house. So most historians agree that we enabled the breakdown of poor families, discouraged marriage, encouraged unwed mothering --and we did it in the schools, too --and with the non-judgmental sex ed --which was morally neutral and did not recommend abstinence until marriage --but doing whatever you think best for you whenever you think it best for you. Including abortion.

So we had an 800 percent increase in unwed births among black teens --a 400 per cent increase among white teens --if I recall correctly. Or the other way around. It was huge.

So while I'm for welfare as needed --I'm not for incentives to get pregnant while unmarried. Having helped unwed mothers, I like to see them get all the help they can to make ends meet and provide for the kids.

But liberal social policies don't encourage responsibility and self-reliance.

It's tricky trying to do charity without enabling irresponsible choices.

I don't like sex ed and social policy that makes abortion look like the responsible choice either!

Gandolf said...

Hi Barb somehow i think its hard line religious faith people such as yourself, that help us out the most.

So thanks very kindly.

I feel that maybe your lot make a very big impression on the youth of today,which is the best thing that could happen.Because i dont think many of us are under any illusion that we can possibly likely change the minds of the older folk.But the actions of the older sure must have an effect on the younger,and if nasty actions then the kids will see right through it.Im sure even betting your school lunch money on that,would even be a pretty sure bet to be prepared to make.

But here is some wonderful gospel news id like to share with you today,if i may.The wonderful news that in future (thanks maybe inpart to the nasty mean attitude your kind express so very often)its likely the youth will breed some new hope into this world,where hard line religious nasty attitudes will have a very very great chance to disappear and slowly become extinct like the dodo bird did also.

Quote:"The Secular Student Alliance, a national organization aimed at high school and college students, found that the number of secular student groups on college campuses has doubled in just the past two years"

Notice that Barb ..."doubled in just the past two years"


Now isnt that gospel news just the most wonderful news humanity could be hearing Barb? ..To know that the future gospel will most likely include much much less nasty horrible hard line folks of faith ...just brings great joy and hope to my soul .To think that my childrens children will likely be less likely to need to be exposed to folks calling themselves christian who with their particular beliefs expound hatered towards those that their beliefs dont include or those who they dislike.

Gives me hope that some day just maybe without so many of these nasty types roaming this earth for once humanity might have a much better chance of more peace.

So thanks Barb you just keep reminding the youth who read your blog etc,just how unwilling you are to allow room for all those others of different beliefs.And how you wish to see less Atheists,because you in self rightiousness feel so wonderful about yourself.

And the trend will keep going the way it already is.Because kids of today are very smart and intelligent,and thankfully are not so religiously biggoted and closed minded.And most of all they see a very great need for more peace,which your lot dont happen to produce and never ever have been able to.

Here is the link and notice it was only just Published: Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thanks once again!! for your kind and generous unyielding very very persuasive effort,in making such a wonderful case of exposing our children to knowledge of that what they will easily know they dont really need.

With love from Gandolf, one of the many agnostic/atheist humans.

Jeanette said...


If you completely disagree with all of Barb's values then why do you bother to visit her site and post a comment?

Do you think she's going to change just because of you or did someone else put you up to making a post here?

I may quibble with some things she says but we can do so without calling each other derogatory names or making derogatory statements.

Sorry you're an atheist, but while you still breathe there is still hope the Holy Spirit will get hold of you.

Gandolf said...

Hello Jeanette.

My friend i bring the good gospel news of today and it seems it upsets you.

Your suggesting of me being the one calling christian folk derogatory names is a bit laughable isnt it my dear?,considdering what high minded self rightous believers all over the world often call folks without faith.

Christians especially do a good enough job of lessening the merit and reputation of themselves, without needing much more help from people like me.I just make very sure to always be ready to reap and sow on the benefits.

I merely wish to thank them for making my job all the more easier thats all.And point out what a wonderful world wide effect it is having.

I guess i bother to visit Barbs blog for the same reason herself and many other folks of faith,bother visiting other peoples blogs.Are you suggesting you would like and think it would be honest and fair if folks of faith to gain a manopoly over blogs too?.

Goodness me my dear,you really need to think more about what you say.It sounds very one sided and selfish personally to me ,not that i mind of course because i think this is exactly the type of nasty religious faith attitude that needs to be openly exposed to the youth of today.And i intend to be everywhere i im able to be to expose it to the complete fullest.Which is why i even make sure to keep copies of everything i post as well as the blog its on,for any future reference needed.So i can make use of it to repost again elsewhere even if need be.

By what you write Jeanette it seems likely you have faith and im guessing you feel this holy spirit is actually guiding you,however im thinking if thats the case the holy spirit must be a very selfish one sided being.It seems he doesnt mind Barbs blog and her blogging elsewhere being full of attacks and nastiness against many others.Yet quickly drags his lil wee lip along the ground in a child like manner,should even a little opposite opinion be forthcoming.

Do you not see any double standard here at all my dear?...Is the golden rule you supposedly live by,"do as you wish unto others,but they should be governed as to what they are allowed to do unto you"?.

Look sure i understand i know very well folks of faith are not really so very used to being ministered to by agnostic/atheists,mostly they just like to busily point out everybody elses shortcomings etc.And expect everyone else should quietly sit back like good little wee lambs,forever being prepared to just simply expect to be told how they are supposedly worse off for not warming a pew.

But maybe it is that its not only folks of faith that can be spiritual,and maybe its the duty of other folks like me Gandolf as well to be quite prepared to speak the good gospel loud and clear even if some folks dont happen to particularly like hearing what they hearing.Even if it happens to make them cringe and and squirm and even feel just that little wee biddly bit uncomfortable.Even if it happen to mess with their false pride a little,and is in grave danger of maybe setting them back a peg or two in the pecking order of life of just how good they now feel about themselves.

So be it,it needs to be done.For far far to long have folks of faith had high and almighty thoughts of themselves, while being busy having such fun picking on others.

Do you understand at all what im talking about here Jeanette?.

Barb said...

Well, Gandalf, I see you made it over to The Barb Wire! --from Chuck's.

Your views are welcome here as long as you discuss the issues. I don't censor --unless someone is grossly vulgar. I have a pg13 blog, I think.

"wee biddly bit uncomfortable," eh? That's cute.

About what Christians call unbelievers, we call them what they say they are, "unbelievers," "agnostics",
"Atheists." And so on. Is that insulting?

I don't think we are picking on non-believers --I'd say it's typically the other way around these days. Christians ought not --and generally DO not--have "high and mighty feelings about themselves." Some of us feel quite bad at times if we are convicted about some failing or other. We know we can confess our sins and be forgiven and cleansed, however.

Furthermore, my blogs are not as you claimed, "Full of attacks and nastiness" toward others. You go ahead and quote me attacking and being nasty.

You mean, of course, because I have said homosexuality is a sin like other sexual sins. That's not an attack. That's the Bible. It's truth. And I wouldn't mention it if it weren't a serious problem here in the US these days. Jesus didn't mention it per se, because He was talking to people who believed homosexuality to be a sin.
Paul goes to Rome and sees that it is a problem there and so he writes of it very explicitly in Romans 1:18-32. I, too, see that it is a problem in America and so I write of it explicitly myself.

Jesus DID say: 4"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,'[a] 5and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'[b]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."

If one really believes in Christ and the revelation of the Bible, he is not being cruel --but true to his faith--to warn youth that homosexuality has great risks --great downsides --and that they CAN resist it at the first inclination and thought.

Gandolf said...

Hi Barb ...Cheers! i cant see i will likely be vulgar..And i even try not to swear specially on other folks blogs.Specially if they are faithful folks.

"wee biddly bit uncomfortable," eh? That's cute.

Yeah well i cant help being cute,i was born that way.Plus im a kiwi :)

Sorry however that the fact that the bible says anything,doesnt hold any good reason for treating people any different in my opinion as well as so many others opinions today.Folks of faith might like to think it does.But this is the very reason so many of us are coming out in droves and finally setting this matter straight with harsh faithful folks.And you can be quite sure the pressure will only get worse and worse until folks of faith are taught real good and proper that (their bibles) dont rule (OUR WORLD).

Thankfully the reason so many youth are dropping faith in droves today also,is because they also see through the nastiness i and so many others speak of thats specially a part of harsh faiths.And being intelligent and far more advanced to the youth of years long past,they are not so easily indoctrinated into beliefs that have long caused so very many problems in societies.

Barb im sure if i was really that bothered i could quite easily go through your blogs and pick out quite a number of posts where even others have commented on how your thinking seems not so great.Some folks even being Christians themselves.

Im not here for that though really.Im here to point out how harsh believers are actually helping youth lose faith.And im here to help point out what i think just maybe others have been trying to tell you as well,and that is you dont really keep the golden rule that well.

And sure i know im not likely to change your thinking,but i am able to be kind and show you information as it arrives quite often these days showing just how many youth are actually deconverting because they agree totally with what many of us have actually been saying.

Dont worry the harsh christians sect i was born into are getting their fair share of jolly good well deserved ribbings too also.So there is no need to feel like its not being shared around fairly enough,and im always very very rapped when other folks are jolly straight up with those who i once used to belong to.Because they need some learning.They need to be dragged out of the dark ages.They need to find out we humans are not going to put up with such nastiness much longer on OUR WORLD.

You say..."If one really believes in Christ and the revelation of the Bible, he is not being cruel --but true to his faith--to warn youth that homosexuality has great risks --great downsides --and that they CAN resist it at the first inclination and thought."

Well thats fine and dandy Barb..And yes you all have been trying to ram this stuff down our throats now for many a year....But so is it fine and dandy if folks like me and others and all the many youth of today NOW feel its also our job to start pointing out another opinion.Your bibles not any trump card any longer remember.

Barb said...

You didn't say your age yet, and so I'm wondering how old is "young" in your opinion.

You think it is harsh religion that teaches about a God who has made a way for us to be immortal in a better place after we die --whether it is on the earth here or in a Heavenly new place --new to us, anyway--Jesus said he went to prepare a place that where he is we could be also forever--instead of just coming to the end of existance.

My faith is entirely in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Anyone who rises from the dead after 3 days and speaks love and wisdom as He did has credibility. He also could be harsh, I guess, by your definition, about our need to repent and agree with God about good and evil.

You may prefer no God or a marshmallow god who doesn't care how you live and has no preference of good over evil --no justice to uphold --to the one the Bible says we have. But you have chosen a poor bargain in such preference. It offers you temporal freedom to follow whatever impulse comes to you --but to your own detriment temporally and eternally.

You should see if the Louis giglio videos are available in N.Z. Some evangelical church might know of them. These will give you something wondrous to think about.

The cross is both harsh--and love and grace to all who believe.

I suppose you know Tolkein, creator of Gandalf, is said to have been a Christian.

Gandolf said...

Post 1

Hi Barb ..ahhh ok you need to know well put it this way for me now those who are 30 seem young.That will give you some idea,and im old enough to try not remembering my birthdays anymore L.o.L.

Oh and i look a bit wrinkly on the outside from working hard outdoors, but i think i still have retained a sense of humor :).

You know like the stories from back in Jesuses day the likes of Benny Hinn etc today is supposedly preforming miracles too.And even with having modern day science there to debunk them,there is still gullable folk around who will just blindly believe it.And even though we are lucky today to be able to better record and write it all down,in years to come even the myths sourounding the likes of Benny Hinn will continue to grow and get bigger and bigger.

When we see how stupidly gullable folks can still even be today,its just so very easy to understand how these ideas came about.Heck Barb im sure you even see stuff on TV and in news papers reporting the weird types of guru`s people are quite willing to follow anywhere,and no matter how much evidence is supplied to show how false these guru`s are the following brethren just carry on regardless like the guru has aquired the flute of the pied piper.

Yes the bible is very mean and cruel quite often and i understand how it is you likely follow it,you likely follow it for the same reason you dont follow the koran.Its part of the culture thats existed around you.If you was a muslim you would be most likely here saying oh that bible is rubbish,women need to have their heads covered the real "god" demands it.And women should be treated this way and that and our holy book says its fine to stone folk to death.Im sorry if you find this a little distasteful,but "the" "god" is both harsh--and love and grace to all who believe.

And instead this time as a deluded muslim,you would feel sorry for unbelieving christians...And feel you need to fear for their salvation in the after life as well.You would feel its your duty to try to stop christians from sinning against "the" "god".

You say.."My faith is entirely in the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Anyone who rises from the dead after 3 days and speaks love and wisdom as He did has credibility"

Yet you have absolutely no decent proof this actually happened.You have far less proof than many Benny Hinn worshipers have today,and deluded Benny Hinn followers follow Benny.All you have is a story passed down from a old cult just like the cult of Benny Hinn,with even less chance of retaining any actual honest fact as the story from the jesus cult didnt have the technologys to be properly recorded like we can record stuff today.

Gandolf said...

Post 2

And yet the supposed miracles of Benny Hinn in years to come will most likely get bigger and bigger,it wont matter that there is others that refute and deny what said and believed.It just wont matter as far as these followers are concerned,they believe their chance to the afterlife is through Benny Hinn to Jesus to God through to eternal life.

L.o.L...How people can be so stupid as to think so many people can all claim to know about the after life and who "the" one and only "god" is,and what he want and doesnt want etc etc and so forth.

That stupid thought is whats truly so honestly amazing to me ..L.o.L

And if it wasnt so very very dangerious.It might even be very funny and quite ok, and i wouldnt be bothered by it.

Whats worse is the stories dont match in the bible the evidence points to a group of man cult guru`s all obviously having something to do with each other,but still obviously only being mere humans and obviously having none of the supposed holy spirit guiding them their stories can be seen to be only mere human because of the very many mistakes and discrepancies.

Since time began men from many countries tried to figure whats after death,thats quite natural deaths a end and naturally often thought about and they all had different ideas of what supposedly happened.

But L.o.L ....Why are people so silly and stupid to not think some god could just come and simply (tell us all)personally.Why are we so stupid to think he would likely leave it up to many men who often only think they know and so very very often only confuse and deceive us.

Of course the cult followers will always be able to feel they can come up with some reason...Feel they can manage to salvage something from their chosen gurus holy book as holy books are always written in ways that everything can be made to look correct if need be.And cult members are not really the best examples of questioning types,which is why folk from the likes of johnstown didnt really question much either.

Tolkein may very well have been Christian,i like his film ...But im still not needing any guru.

Im not willing to read any more indoctrinations...I dont even read atheist litriture.

I`d rather stick to what seems common sense and logic....If there was a almighty omnipotent i see no reason if he can create a world why he couldnt be more present today and tell us directly like any real father does.

If there is a god,atleast i havent followed the wrong one made up by men...Im not worshipping a man made god who helped murder and burn folks at the stakes etc.Im not one of those been dishing out nastiness to gay people etc,when maybe its very wrong and nasty thing to do...Hmmmmm?

L.o.L ...Maybe there is some god maybe he going to say Gandolf hey im sorry these cult following christians split and divided your family and even caused suicide and covered up sexual abuse ...Never mind they made it real tough in your life down there,tell you what ill let you have them for use as your personal toilet cleaners etc.And all of their riches can become yours.

Wouldnt that be hard case Barb :)...Of course being the type whos very forgiving of people ..being somebody who really understands the tough bits of life very well...I dont think i could actually do it ...Sooner or later i would be thinking ohh i understand how these folk became so deluded and did the things they did.

Barb said...

It's really late --think I'll tackle your comments later --except for saying:

There ARE miracles today. I remember the guy our church prayed for who the surgeons sewed up without doing anything because he was full of pancreatic cancer. The Wednesday night prayer meeting prayed for him --and he just got better and better until the cancer was entirely gone. He was just an ordinary layman, nobody outstanding that he should receive such a favor. I know of another man with a massive growth on the front of his shoulder and it had the medical community mystified as to its nature --even at the Uni of Mi. hospitals. He was pasty white and frail and weak coming to church--his wife is a woman of great faith and all of a sudden he was over his ailment --prayer was his main treatment. That was a few years ago. He had a stroke at Christmas time and was near death and fully incapacitated --and he seems to be making a recovery --again! Another humble layman. His wife has such remarkable joy in Christ and faith in Him.

There is supposed to be some man in Cleveland who has followers who claim to have bonafide medical cures from his faith healing prayer. Don't think he's in it for the money. The local TV station did a feature on him a few years back.

Supposedly some medical people with legit credentials have vouched for some of Benny Hinn's miracles --but I've heard pro and con about him. He once admitted to getting caught up in the money from the offerings.

One marvelous story of healing is "The Healing of Maude Blanchard." It was a Guideposts Treasury story.

There are charlatans. Jesus said "by their fruits you will know them" and to "beware of wolves in sheeps' clothing."

But Jesus' fame spread in Israel and surrounding area when he raised a man from the dead who had been dead 3 days --when he healed 10 lepers --when he healed the blind and the lame. But especially when he rose from the dead himself --and then when Saul was converted --after Jesus's ascension. He didn't believe either --and Christ did touch him and made a believer out of him. He went from being a killer of Christians to one who was willing to be imprisoned, stoned, and killed for his faith in Christ (Acts 9)

Seek and ye shall find!

I don't see Muslims trying to convert people through loving, persuasive teaching and evangelism --but through gov't edict and the sword --that's historically true of Islam and it has not changed through the years. There is today a vast difference between Islam and Christianity. And believe me, you would rather live under Christianity.

Christians have no license to be cruel to homosexuals --but to them, any disagreement with their lifestyle is cruelty and hatred. IN fact, they hate anyone who disagrees with them. Real Christians don't hate homosexuals. We just think homosexuality is a sin to avoid at the first temptation --like adultery, incest, rape, etc. We are rightly wary of homosexuals around our sons whom we do not want tempted toward feel good mutual back scratching with people of the same sex. No more than we'd want them around prostitutes or any of our kids attracted to online predators.

Barb said...

That's not to say that adult Christians shouldn't or don't befriend homosexuals, prostitutes, prisoners, etc. It's very common for churches and para-church Christian organizations to love and minister to these people --all people. But where young people are sexually volatile and vulnerable, easily impressionable, they need to be protected from those who think they are fair game for sexual interest. Like the school teachers involving themselves with students.

Jeanette said...


I'm sorry to not have answered your post to me before, but I just saw it.

You speak in sweeping terms of "people of faith" as you describe us, but I wonder if you have ever actually sat down with a practicing Christian and had an adult discussion without one or the other being offended?

I have had the experience of speaking to atheists personally and in a friendly manner, and of speaking to agnostics, some of whom are in my own family.

Somehow we have managed to not get into shouting matches over our discussions and they appreciate the fact that I care enough about them that I want them to have eternity in heaven and not hell. They may disagree with what I am saying, but they are truly touched that I love them enough to tell them the Gospel.

I don't consider myself to be above anyone because I'm not. I have my faults and one of them is a quick temper.

What we do to help our fellow man is something we do without bragging about it~ or it would be something for which we receive our reward on earth. I'd much rather receive my reward from Jesus in heaven.

Jeanette said...

(Part 2)

I have no problem discussing questions of faith or non~faith with people who do not believe, but I also think painting anyone with a broad brush based on one or two experiences is wrong.

You haven't met people such as a missionary couple I knew as a youngster, who gave up every possession to go to the jungles of the Congo and preach the Gospel of Christ to a land so fertile with unsaved souls. They did this out of their love of God and our Savior Jesus because it is the Great Commission. We are to tell others about the Good News of Christ.

They had nothing of value on this earth, but now they are in heaven and live in mansions and gold is used as asphalt to pave the roads.

Talk to someone like that who positively glow when you look at them because they are so happy in knowing the Lord and then come back and paint us with the same broad brush that we are all fakes.

Gandolf said...

Hey Barb and Jeanette sorry im a little tired tonight too also,will get back and try and answer you both tomorrow.

Jeanette said...


I have read your subsequent posts and see you were raised in a home that practiced some sort of Christian religion.

Just because someone attends church does not make them a Christian by true definition, i.e. a true believer in Christ who has asked Him to forgive them of their sins and accepted Him as the Son of God who came to earth as man and as God at the same time.

Just because someone does not go to church does not mean they are not Christians by the same standard I used above. We are to fellowship with other Christians but the early Christians had to hide and meet in homes.

So, church does not a Christian make. However, Christians make up the Church, upper~case because it means the body of believers.

I do not doubt your statistics of younger people leaving the faith because Jesus said there would come a time when even the very elect would be deceived, if it were possible. The very elect meaning those who have believed in Him and not someone "elected" before time to be saved.

But there will be a great awakening at some point and the final harvest of souls will take place. Hopefully, you will be a part of that harvest.

It would be easy for me to think I would just cease to exist after death, but I don't believe that because not only have I accepted Jesus as my savior, but the Holy Spirit indwells my own spirit.

Once a person is saved anyone can tell the difference Jesus has made in their lives. You just can't miss it.

Gandolf said...


Hi again Barb, yeah i do understand about a need to be careful and somewhat protective of children.But think it needs to be balanced not over the top with stereo typing folks,just im im sure both yourself and Jeanette would agree is not nice when also it happens with folks of faith.

Funny thing you know i look rather rough and scary so much so that if i go to cities and happen to say a friendly hi! to folks,many give me a very worried look and scurry off quickly.

L.o.L ...and yet im well known where i live for being a very kind and considerate person etc.

The quote/saying one must try to never just judge a book by its cover in life i have found so very very true.And many times its been proven to me by seeing and having a little to do with folks who LOOK wonderful,only to find out they are but wolves dressed up in flash clothing.

So i still have christain friends even though personally im against folks actually needing faith.And yes seems its mostly more the liberal type christians that can handle me and i handle them .

Other wise our personalities sooner or later tend to clash somewhere.As im the type who has always stepped in to try to help the underdogs of life.Ive known gang members even as my personal friends,and yet ive never been afraid to stand my ground in front of groups of them if they ever start treating folks with mental disabilities wrongly for instance.By jingo`s no,even at school i would stand by these folk who were dished out inequalities often just no more than through the luck of the draw of life.
And im not afraid to stand up a bit for christians either and give credit where some credits due,just the other day on a forum i pointed out some good qualities of a certain believer.Im not interested in being totally biased and even hateful, just because myself i personally happen to feel faith isnt maybe such a good thing for humanity.

Hey i understand why some christians are steadfast in beliefs,but these same folk over look how even the bible evolved as we no longer stone people to death like once happened before the evolving second new testament arrived on the scene.

They would most likely say oh no but thats not it at all, it was because we were given this new knowledge by such and such and because of such and such etc.

Thats fine that they give this excuse, but i dont agree.

Gandolf said...


Barb with regards to these supposed honest miracles you speak of,if really honestly true why is it then that hospitals are not yet sending long lines of sick people their way.Why is it not top news on TV everyday.Why are these things so often reported yet just as often proved to be false.

I suggest its mostly rubbish thats why.There can be little other honest reason.

You say.."I don't see Muslims trying to convert people through loving, persuasive teaching and evangelism"

How many muslims do you know?...Have you met many normal simple down to earth ones,or are you judging by bias fed to you by others.Are you judging by comparing only those often rightly peeved off by all they have now experience through the trouble thats happened.Are you judging on those rightly peeved off about the inhumane tatics and torture also dished out in some prisons.

I happen to have met Muslim who though granted might be a little different,are still just normal folk often decent and caring.Here in NZ.

I do not expect Muslim in places overseas where often their own family simply going about their own business and trying to live life, have been bombed and killed to always be happy friendly and loving etc towards everyone.

If you do expect muslim to be perfect i suggest you wrongfully and even nastily expect them to almost be reincarnations of your very own jesus,a standard which even many christians fall very very very (well short) of very often themselves.

Barb i have already elswhere pointed out im against terror tactics i dont look to excuse but look to try to UNDERSTAND a little.

I feel i can tell that even with your Jesus supposedly by your side,you wish to poke the bone solely at muslim .I have doubts you would even considder for a moment that just maybe at least some fault might in fact also lay elsewhere.

Yet there is even those in your own country that suggest there is evidence to suggest,that greed and want of power and money and control etc etc was in fact also behind some of it.

Do you honestly believe your bible?,if you do does it not also say you often reap what you sow?.Why then has it all happened?

By jingos its entirely your choice of course!, but if you actually honestly believe there will come a judgement day, id suggest then maybe its best to just be very very careful how judgements are made.They best be at least a little fair.

Anyway thats some of my OPINIONS for today.Opinions are just that opinions,however that doesnt mean they are either completely right nor wrong.

Barb said...

Re: the healings in my church--we can't guarantee that everyone will be healed --we only know that seeming miracles occured and that the only thing done for them was prayer --after nothing else worked.

We'd feel foolish advertising faith-healing and having people flock to our church and then God wouldn't heal! We don't MAKE Him heal --or know when our prayers will be efficacious. We just pray out of obedience with faith that God can do it --and sometimes IT SEEMS that He does! We can't say scientifically that prayer was the reason --and that it was miraculous --but some very bad conditions were healed!

Little divine sign: I had a meeting tonight and I wanted to open with a devotional thought as we often open meetings with prayer and scripture --and I was running late. I believe the Lord put it into my mind, the bible verse, "Be not weary of doing well!" or "doing good."

It happened that at the same time, one of our committee members who does a lot of good deeds in church was feeling over-stressed and like resigning her jobs in the church! And then I came with that scripture. It was as though it were from God --for her!

Gandalf, are you saying that since we reap what we sow --and we were attacked by Muslim radicals, that we must've sowed something to get them to do this?

Well, actually, I DO think America has a lot of sin --as a people. We haven't been righteous --that doesn't mean the Muslims are justified. But God let nations suffer at the hands of other nations in the Old Testament --because of their wickedness. And the Muslims suffer, too --at their own hands with all their internal strife--because of THEIR wickedness. these suicide bombings, beheadings, honor killings, stoning of young girls of 12 and 13 (one in Egypt for converting to Christianity --one in Somalia for BEING raped --for being out walking where men were tempted by her as she went to her grandparents.) Muslims stoned both girls --last year.

The Bible says all sin deserves death --and so it is that we all DO die! "But the gift of God is eternal life through JEsus Christ our Lord" --who, "if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." "For God so loved the world, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."

I don't think the Bible per se "evolves," but the revelation of God is most clear in the person and teachings of Christ. That's why He is called the LIGHT of the world who came into the darkness.

Barb said...

You sound like a kindly and reasonable soul, Gandalf. I almost am envisioning a hobbit!

Barb said...

BTW --about Muslims I know. My husband was partner with a Muslim MD --a very nice person with a nice family. her oldest son and I discussed religion --and he wondered why we don't believe in the latest and greatest of the prophets Mohammad --and I would say, because Mohammad changed the story about Christ --from the one written by those who were eye witnesses to Christ and His ministry. I said why would I believe the revisionist histories of someone who wrote a few hundred years after the fact --instead of the ones who wrote in the first century. I suspect that Satan himself was the angel inspiration to Mohammad --who reportedly was himself illiterate. The angel Gabriel was supposed to have inspired the Koran --but changed the story of Christ --making Him a prophet lesser than Mohammad --though Mohammad merely died while Jesus died and resurrected. With Mohammad, there is no Savior and no remission of sins. They have to just hope they make it to Heaven and can't have much assurance.

I never felt that Muslims had anything to offer the Christians that was better --just a contradictory version of the life of Christ --saying He ascended to heaven without dying for our sins. And that a body-double for Christ died on the cross.

Gandolf said...

Hi Jeanette hope you are well.

No worries i was not sitting here with a time limit or likely to even let it upset me if you didnt even answer.It takes quite a lot to upset me much.

Yes ive had many discussion with christians...Im not anti christian they are humans,its their faith beliefs i often dont think so much of myself.But still like i just said to Barb i still have christian friends.Most who manage to stay friendly with me understand and agree i have just as much right to think faith beliefs are not good as they have themselves to think that faith is a good thing.

I dont get into shouting matches that is unless some person feels he/she can try to shout and dominate first.
After a certain length of grace has been applied for them to let off steam,if it dont stop thats when next moment all hell breaks loose,and its not long before the person who felt they could dominate is in tears or just feeling sorry for themselves and very quickly feeling slightly brought back down to some reality and fairness.Which i then happily accept.

Other than that im like a peaceful cuddly bear who never goes out of his way to hurt amyone. :)

"I don't consider myself to be above anyone because I'm not. I have my faults and one of them is a quick temper."

Oh yes! neither am i perfect.I have yet to meet one person who is.I have met many liars who think they are though,bet you met some too.

My friend i love charitable people,i try to be charatable and help people when i can myself.Funny enough i always had great plans of being much more charatable than i am,but through faith shunning and excommuinication etc the possibilities of this have also become less possible.Families make many things more possible than when folks like me find themselves totally alone with regards to the family group working together for common goals.

So while christians often whistle up how wonderful their charity efforts are,1,often they forget some money given to their charity comes from folks of no faith.2,neither do they count for some situations like mine which i just mentioned above where if but for the abusive faith practices i might have been able to actually help more folks than im able to because faith split and divided us.

So hey lets not also forget all the folks who might find they too could maybe glow a whole lot more often if faith hadnt been such a pain in the butt.

I hear what you say jesus was supposed to have said....but just because some book says he was supposed to have said it doesnt actually prove that in fact he did.Men who wrote these books were no dummys and didnt come down in the last shower of rain either.If something gonna help what they wish to achieve they going to write it was said whether it complete lies or not.

Hey faithful folks still found out to very very often be jolly big rosy frauds even today,nothing new under the sun then is there now.

Still i agree we dont throw out all the babies with the bath water,and so some knowledge contained within faith book still be mighty fine thoughtful smart insight of intelligent men.Like "by their fruits we will know them",and the fruits of faith belief honestly very often not so very good.

"Once a person is saved anyone can tell the difference Jesus has made in their lives. You just can't miss it."

Ive known of a number of people with happy caring family lives too,specially the ones who`s families very extended family orientated..You just cant miss how happy such folks are either.They happy amongst themselves,many often very happy to help others too.These people full of joy and love life dearly,when they pass on they never forgotten...And many folks try to remember to learn from what they were like.

Anyway Jeanette like i say i actually got no (personal) hate of folks of faith.

Gandolf said...

Barb said...
"You sound like a kindly and reasonable soul, Gandalf. I almost am envisioning a hobbit!"

Goodness me ..L.o.L... that make me feel like little fat person.

And little fat hobbit person who types with one finger having trouble keeping up ...With teacher who can most likely type like playing a piano ..:)

Gandolf said...

"Well, actually, I DO think America has a lot of sin --as a people. We haven't been righteous --that doesn't mean the Muslims are justified"

Barb note i never ever said i tried to look for how to (excuse).

Like ive always said i just try to find how to UNDERSTAND how things can happen.

And bar a very few mostly folks dont often hurt folks for no reason ...faithful or not faithful...Muslim American New Zealander.

And even those that do hurt folks in many ways ...Still just part of our society which we all hold at least some responsibility for what our societies have actually become.

IE...If people not poor ..not so many bother to need to steal

Gandolf said...

Barb i hear what you say about Mohammad and the Muslim belief,and of course they no doubt think many of the same things about the bible and christianity.

There is no real proof either way.Mostly it comes down to culture and where you are born as to what and who you decide to believe is the truth or is telling the truth.

On both accounts it could all (mostly) be just a big story passed on and down,with bits and pieces added on to suit or taken out to suit along the way.

I personally feel this is whats most likely...Because man in so very many places has always had all these god myths etc.

Anyway best wishes to all! and bye for now.

Barb said...

Gandalf, there are many writers involved in the New Testament --and they have some pretty ancient manuscripts --even from the first century. And the church meticulously copied these "sacred texts" and preserved them through the ages --because the first generation of eye witnesses convinced their descendents that Christ really did come as the miracle worker and resurrected one.

See if you can't find the DVD "How Great is our God" from the Louis Giglio series? Probably available at local churches. That is fascinating --about the laminen that connects all our cells together --it's a molecule shaped like a cross!!! Coincidence? Maybe not!

imagine a person born 1 AD, 100 AD, 200 AD, and so on--and each of them lives 100 years. There have only been 20-21 such people since Christ lived --I think we can keep the story intact that long with the kind of determination Christians have had! There is no reason to believe the "come lately" Mohammad who changes the story --to leave out Christ's atonement on the cross and His resurrection--yet, calls Christ a prophet --just not the greatest prophet --giving that title to Mohammad --who married a 9 year old --and an older rich woman--and killed with the sword and was a political and military leader. HE denied Christ's resurrection. But they do assign Jesus a claim to greatness in saying he ascended to heaven without dying --but they deny our salvation through the cross. And they HATE Christians and deny them all freedom --so why should you or anyone see their religion on a par with Chrsitianity which teaches that we are to NOT hate anyone --but even love our enemies. We don't say, "Kill the infidel" and justify the hatred of Jews --as they do. We don't do suicide bombings and target civilians --nor stone or shoot adultresses or homosexuals and kill the rape victims in our own families as honor killings.

There really is evil and darkness in the world --and Christ really is a light to that world --saying love brother, neighbor and enemy.
Much that you think of as "humanism" is derived from Christianity. Kindness and freedom for all.

the only difference is that Christianity recognizes that EVIL exists and that evil is not Christianity itself, as atheistic humanists and Muslims claim. Evil is disobeying God by those sins as defined in the Bible --and those sins happen to also have a lot of downsides for society in their impact on families, children, spouses and public health.

sin never seems to be good for us! yet we want the freedom to sin.

Barb said...

A thought about your statement that people don't need to steal if they aren't poor.

No, they don't NEED to steal if they aren't poor.

NEVERTHELESS, they DO steal, though they are not poor --at the corporate level -- at the clerical level where they embezzle because they think they "can" --and at the suburban level with teen-age shoplifting for the thrill of it --not for any "need."

And there are people who are poor --who nevertheless do not steal --sometimes because of Christian faith.

Gandolf said...

Hi Barb.."and they have some pretty ancient manuscripts --even from the first century. And the church meticulously copied these "sacred texts" and preserved them through the ages "

Do you have total faith that faithful folks of old were never liars.That manuscripts they wrote could never be containing many lies as well.And yet even (to this very day) faithful folks so often time and time again are proved to be some of the worst liars around,they still often construct the most (intricate frauds).

I can tell you have such faith in ancient faithful people of old,you really are not that sceptical of them at all! even though on the other hand you will also fully agree that all of man are prone to sinful nature.Do you not understand at all why some folks, see folks of faith as sometimes being rather deluded.You are a lot like little children who`s parents say oh santa will climb down the chimilly,and you will believe it just cause parents/priests tells you so.

"Much that you think of as "humanism" is derived from Christianity. Kindness and freedom for all."

Again thats your opinion which is fine.

However i know man was around a very very long time before christianity.I have no reason to think there wasnt likely kindness and freedom,and when ive read your bible i cant help wondering if maybe there was a whole lot more of it before these nasty faith beliefs came on the scene.Its very much more likely much within the christian belief actually comes from humanism, not the other way around.

I wont discuss it all much more cause i know its not likely we will agree.And with regards to the stealing bit,its your opinion again to which my opinion still differs a lot.

There is however some countries whos statistics suggest some hopeful possibilities that have absolutely nothing to do with any faith or god/s at all.

It is (my opinion) that in future folks will be much (more) inclined to put faith/hope in statistics and science etc, more that faith in faith like they have in the past.Specially when faith relys so much on faithful folk being likely of always being very honest,something that the faiths themseves teach is not really that likely with sinful man.

But anyway having differences hopefully doesnt mean we cant try to at least get on ok.

All the best Barb.

Barb said...

Gandalf --ancient history is FILLED with tribal warfare the world over --egregious violence. The OT tells of God's grief over the violence and idolatry and general wickedness of the world --such that he destroyed it with water once. Destroyed sodom and gomorrah with fire. We know pagan cultures were superstitious and immoral and violent. Like the Romans crucifying Christ. And the Jews stoning Stephen. And yes, the Crusades are the big example of religious wars of the past --but they weren't the first or the last --nor were wars always about religious differences.

Nothing in world history suggests people were humane and peaceful with their neighbors.

If you see groups of people who are humane and peaceful, who do not believe in Christianity, I bet their humane-ness comes from Christian background nonetheless --in their culture. Or from the influence of the West (whose civilized features stem from Christian foundation.)

Yes, I have no doubt about the truth of christianity. Christianity would not have gotten off the ground as a world religion if Christ had not been seen alive after his death. His faithful band was not a brave lot after his crucifixion. Only His resurrected presence and the advent of the Holy Spirit to empower the church made men willing to die for this Gospel of Christ, telling the world that He was crucified to save us, risen from the dead,--and coming again.

Gandolf said...

"Nothing in world history suggests people were humane and peaceful with their neighbors."

Hey nobody sane with even half a brain ever suggests a fairy tale is ever likely to be possible.There has never been any total perfection.

But finding two imperfections dont then make christianity or faiths etc out to be a best answer of what will likely help.

Besides to much evidence suggests faith dont help much in fact it mostly quite often it even makes matters very much worse overall.

In my opinion the new age of humans will likely not live steadfast in unobtainable dreams of mythical perfections,but look more towards science and statistics which suggest what systems likely help the most and works more for whats the best outcome.

Barb said...

Look at the Mayans, the Incas, the African tribes, the South Americans --and yes the pagan northern European tribes --the mongols --etc etc

Cruelty everywhere you look --America after the great revival movement of the 19th c. and the end of slavery was the best thing the world has seen --and England had a shining moment when they outlawed slavery and saw the religious revival of Wesley and Whitfield --

Christianity --the brightest light on the planet.

Sorry I don't know a lot about New Zealand and Australia --except that Christianity reached there also. And yes, there is always good and bad everywhere --but good predominates over evil in a Biblical, God-respecting, forgiving, compassionate culture.