Friday, October 24, 2014

The problem of idols

Christians being so proud and protective of the Pledge of Allegiance is one thing that hasn't made sense to me. After all, one of the many things that the Bible prohibits is idolatry. And what does the Pledge say?
...worship
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Stets of America.
Pledging allegiance to a pit of cloth, rather than solely to God, would fall under the purview of idolatry. But what else does the Bible have to say about it?
You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
-Exodus 20:2-6
No likeness of anything in Heaven: So that means that the painting of God at the Sistine Chapel is against God's demands. The same goes for the prevalent statues of Jesus and Mary. Statues and portraits of saints and popes? Off limits! According to the Bible, a Christian shouldn't even put out their nativity scene at Christmas time.

No likeness of anything on Earth: Now statues of any historical figure or animal are disallowed?

How the Hell is this any different than praying to a golden calf
or a statue of the Buddha?
No likeness of anything in the water: I don't often see statues of fish and marine life. But if you do, God hates it!

You may not bow down and serve them: So every time you see a Christian bowing down before a cross or statue of Jesus, they are acting in defiance of God's command in Exodus.

So here we see Biblical verse saying that the commonplace imaginary of angles, Jesus and the cross, and revering them as many Christians do is actually in defiance of what the Bible has to say on the matter. Not that Christians not actually following the Bible fully is much of a surprise...


-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Does belief make you better?

I've often said that being a believer doesn't automatically make you a better person. Take this letter to Billy Graham for example...
Dear Dr. Graham: Will God forgive even the sins we forget to confess to him? At the end of each day, I try my best to remember everything I've done wrong and ask God to forgive me, but I'm sure I must miss something. E.L.
Every single day? So every day EL does so much wrong that he can't remember it all? And to boot, he goes though this every day? Apparently he never learns and simply continues this cycle endlessly. So much for that fabled Christian moral superiority.
Dear E.L.: It's good to look back at the end of each day and ask God to show us how we failed, and then seek his forgiveness.

Sin breaks our fellowship with God, and it's important to deal with our sins at once. I'll never forget the advice someone gave me many years ago: “Don't let your sins pile up; keep short accounts with God.”
"Don't let sins pile up; keep short accounts with God."? Apparently Billy is perfectly fine with Christians doing wrongs regularly, just so long as they also say sorry to God regularly as well... How about the advice to simply try not to do wrong at all? Then again Christianity has always been more concerned with forgiveness than actually following the moral guidelines it so often preaches.

If simply believing, and forgiving your sins to God magically makes your wrongs go away, where is the incentive to behave? If anything is forgiven, then a Christian is free to 'sin' all day, every day and simply say 'sorry' to Jesus. Where is the fairness, justice and morality in this? The person being wronged isn't even the recipient of the apology. A god that forgives anything actually prohibits nothing.


-Brain Hulk

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Doesn't look designed to me

The Earth is perfect. It is so perfect that it is proof that it was designed expressly for us by God. Well, that's how the claim goes anyway. But does that claim really hold water?

The truth is that most of us could think of much better systems to control the nature of our world than the ones we see every day. If the Earth was created expressly for us, why all the variables? Different factors (both natural or man-made) can greatly change the nature of life of Earth. Currently we are causing the Earth to warm. But if everything was created for us by an all-knowing all-powerful god, we shouldn't be able to change the Earth.

The fact that the climate and other systems on Earth are subject natural processes speaks to the Earth being a product of the natural laws rather than a divine creation. Think about it... If I where an all-powerful god, I would not be confined by the laws of nature. If I was creating Earth to be perfect for humans, I would give it a climate that just was. Not subject to being changed by human activity, volcanic activity or impacts from space. A static unchanging climate that is forever perfect for humanity.

Some believers also like to talk about Earth being placed in just the right place in respect to the Sun. They will contend that Earth was placed in the perfect place for us by the almighty God. This is obviously a case of putting the cart before the horse. But the changeability of this relationship is ignored. Earth is close enough to the sun that a large CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) could cause problems here on Earth. But more importantly, there is the issue of the Sun itself.

In about 5 billion years the Sun's core will run out of the hydrogen fuel that it is currently burning and will instead start going to work on it's helium. There's a problem though, this change will cause the Sun to expand into a red giant. This will mean a Sun that is 100-200 times larger than it is now. Earth will be subjected to a dramatic rise in temperature, not to mention an extra heaping dose of radiation. All of this means that Earth is a lifeless wasteland, oceans all boiled dry before the Sun possibly expands enough to eat the Earth and burn it to a cinder.
The distant future of Earth is not a pretty one.

Again, why the reliance of the laws of nature? If an all-powerful God placed the Sun and Earth as they are just for us, surely he wouldn't place a ticking time bomb right next store. Sure, it provides us with life right now, but it will eventually kill everyone and everything on Earth (if we don't kill ourselves first).

So either God is a terrible designer, or the world we see is actually just what it appears to be. A marvelous work of nature, but still 100% natural. No magic required.


-Brain Hulk

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

How old

I took a survey not long ago that asked what the oldest thing you owned was. This got me thinking... What is the oldest thing I own.

Is it my fossil of a Megaladon tooth that my cat loves to try to take for himself? It is 1.5-28 million years old, but I have older.

My Baltic Amber is 20-22 Million years old. So that's at about the same range.

There's my Ammonite fossil, but it boasts a hearty range of possibly being 66-400 million years old.

Could it be my tiny fragment of Mars meteor from Northwest Africa 1195? Surprisingly it is only 334-360 million years old.

I also have fossils of Orthoceras and Mucrospirifer. 199-488 million years old and 360-410 million years old respectively.

But then there's the undisputed oldest item that I own. That would be my sliver of the Gibeon meteor. This beautiful piece has been radiometric dated at a staggering 4 billion years old! For comparisons sake, Earth is 4.54 billion years old.

These things are all old to varying degrees, but they are unified by one fact. If the universe was only 6,000 years old as far too many believers think, none of these things should even exist.

Now that I've shared, it's your turn. What is the oldest thing you own?


-Brain Hulk

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Christ and conscience

Ever wonder about the conflict between the conscience and violence? HW has, so he asked Billy Graham about it... for some reason.
DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: How can we explain the senseless acts of violence that seem to happen almost every day? I was brought up to believe we all have a conscience, and therefore we all should know the difference between right and wrong. But this doesn’t seem to be the case with some people today. — H.W.
There are many reasons for this. Sometimes it's because 'right' and 'wrong' differ depending on where you are and what you believe. Sometimes people can have a mental condition where they can't tell right from wrong. There are also those that simply do not care. And there are also religions that forgive any wrongs. Doing this offers no incentive not to do wrong in the first place, if a simple "I'm sorry God" just makes it 'go away'. Oh, and not to mention religious conflicts...
DEAR H.W.: You’re right, up to a point; God has placed within each of us a sense of right and wrong (what we usually call our conscience), and it certainly should lead us to do what’s right. This is why the Apostle Paul could say to those who falsely accused him of wrongdoing, “I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day” (Acts 23:1).

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article2946781.html#storylink=cpy
Wait, how can God reliably place a sense of right and wrong into every person when he is the largest murderous psychopath in literary history? And as for Paul... that actually illustrates a problem. A Christian may act based on what their god says is right. And a believer in a different religion may act in accordance with his god's wishes. Both may be doing what is 'good', but also may be acting in contradiction with one another.
The problem, however, is that our consciences have been dulled by sin, and the more we sin, the duller they become. In fact, our consciences can become so dulled by sin that we no longer want to do what’s right, and may even lose sight of what’s right and wrong.
Well, God didn't always do what was right, nor did Jesus. So there goes that claim. Talking about not knowing right from wrong... what about Archbishop Robert Carlson? When questioned on his sexual abuse of children, he stated that he did not know that having sex with children was a crime! Seriously?! And we're supposed to treat these guys as some sort of positive example?
Our moral sense becomes twisted, and we end up calling evil what is good, and calling good what is evil. The Bible condemns “the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (Romans 1:18).
No matter what, good people will do good and evil people will do evil. But for a good person to do
evil, that takes religion. In all my years, the only times I've seen someone try to invert 'good' and 'bad' was if they were criminally insane, or dangerously devout.
Don’t be surprised at what is happening around us today; our world is largely in rebellion against God. In addition, behind the scenes Satan is also at work, doing all he can to deceive us and turn us against God.
Huh? A study in 2010 found that Christianity is the world's largest religion at 31.5% Islam has 23.2%, and Judaism 0.2%. So that means that a global majority of  55.9% worship the god of Abraham.


-Brain Hulk

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Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article2946781.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article2946781.html#storylink=cpy

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/living/liv-columns-blogs/billy-graham/article2946781.html#storylink=cpy

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ray vs Himself vs Jesus

Ray Comfort is one of those guys that is not only very sure of himself, but so sure of himself that he is blinded by just how terrible the arguments he makes are.

His usual street preaching tactic revolves around walking up to people and asking the same questions he's been asking for years....

Have you ever lied? If you answer 'yes' he will ask what you call someone who tells lies. His answer is 'a liar'.

Have you ever stolen anything? If you answer 'yes' he will ask what you call someone who steals.
His answer is 'a thief'.

Have you ever taken the lord's name in vain? If you answer 'yes' he says that's blasphemy.

Have you ever looked at someone with lust? If you answer 'yes' he tells you that Jesus said that he whoever looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart.

He then concludes that the person is a lying, thieving, adulterous blasphemer by their own admission. But though Jesus who was sinless they can be saved.

But are these really realistic conclusions. I wouldn't personally define someone as a liar unless they lie all the time. If one lie makes one a liar, then I am a designer, mechanic, electrician, plumber, painter, mason, artist, writer, landscaper, doctor, dentist, film critic, columnist, chef, historian, veterinarian, conservationist, etc ad nauseam.

Is all theft really the same though? Suppose that someone's 'theft' is simply taking the last cookie that was supposed to be their brother's. Should that really count the same as embezzlement?

How exactly does one even say the Lord's name in vain? The 'God' in 'God damn it' isn't his name. And Jesus (as in Jesus Christ!) is but a translation of a translation. So neither is really saying the right name to begin with.

Ray Comfort conveniently leaves out that he's no saint since in his books and films he regularly edits video and quote mines, not to mention he just plain makes stuff up that anyone with even a basic understanding of the subject (usually evolution) would know isn't so. So Ray is at the very least a liar who also bears false witness.

Oh, but I guess that doesn't matter to Ray since he claims to be saved by the saved by the 'sinless' Jesus...

Jesus introduced the thought crime when he said that looking with lust equated to adultery. If that is true, then Jesus sinned when he fasted for forty days in the wilderness. Matthew 4:1-2 clearly stats that Jesus was hungry. If we follow the same logic that lust = adultery, then Jesus' hunger was equal to gluttony. There's one sin for Jesus.

Jesus turned water into wine, multiplied the fish and loaves, healed the sick, and raised the dead. Yet Deuteronomy (and many other places) clearly states that magic is an abomination. What are the
supposed miracles of Jesus if not magic?

How about when Jesus went berserk in Matthew 21:12? He entered the temple, got pissed, started flipping over tables and benches, and ran them off. He also curses a fig tree (Mark 11:12-14) for not bearing fruit out of season. Yet in Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus actually suggests that anger and violence are sins.

Then there's the fact that Jesus told a man wanting to bury his father to 'let the dead bury the dead' (Luke 9:60), he told people to hate their own families (Luke 14:26), and that he had come to divide families (Luke 12:51-52). So much for honoring thy mother and father...

What about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (also in Matthew). That section features Jesus questioning God's plan to have Jesus die to take on the sins of all. Questioning God in this manner would be considered blasphemy if anyone else where to do it, so it's blasphemy for Jesus too.

So by the Bible and Ray's standards Jesus is an angry, violent, unreasonable, divisive, uncaring, gluttonous, blaspheming warlock. How's that for 'sinless'...?


-Brain Hulk

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Reading, God, and the Bible

Believers love to tout the Bible, but what if you have a reading disability?
QUESTION: I know you tell people they ought to read the Bible, but I have a serious reading disability and have never been much of a reader. I just can’t get into it. Is this a sin? — J.N.
As a lover of knowledge and books, it saddens me when someone tells me they aren't a reader. But I suppose it can be understood if they have a reading disability.
ANSWER: God knows all about us, including both what we can do and what we can’t do – and He doesn’t look down on you because you have difficulty reading. After all, millions of people across the world have never had an opportunity to learn to read or hold a Bible in their hands, and God understands their situation.
Yes, God understands their situation so well that he will send all those non-Christians who never heard of Christianity straight to Hell when they die. He's so understanding!
But God has provided other ways for you to learn what the Bible says, and I hope you’ll take advantage of them (if you aren’t already doing so). For example, when you go to church, you’ll hear someone read the Bible, and hopefully your pastor will base his sermon on the Bible. Pay close attention, and even jot down the main points you hear.
Which denomination? Because different churches interpret the Bible differently. Also, what about the many parts of the Bible you never hear about in church because they show God being a bloodthirsty immoral monster, or display how ridiculously flawed the Bible is?

Relying on a preacher only telling you about God's 'greatest hits' is like listening to Take On Me by A-ha and thinking they were the greatest band ever.
Your local Christian radio station also may include programs with gifted Bible teachers who can help you understand the Bible’s message more fully.
Again, what counts as 'gifted'? Only Baptists like Billy? Or whoever just so happens to agree with him?
Why is the Bible important? The reason is because it is God’s Word
Yeah, but many holy books claim that of themselves and other gods. Show me the evidence that shows how the Christian claim is any more valid than all the others please.

I do hope that JN does manage to read the Bible, or learns everything in it that he can. After all, reading the whole Bible (especially with an open mind) is one of the most potent sources of atheism that exists. It really is that terrible of a book.


-Brain Hulk

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