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Crous

That’s The Evolution Way.

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I find some of the views expressed in this thread quite bewildering. Let me make some statements that may illustrate examples. These are my understandings of reality.

 

1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

2. Many atheists are opposed to abortion. So it is misleading to conflate atheists with abortion and Christians with pro-life.

3. Social Darwinism is nonsense and no self respecting thinker, thieist, atheist, or agnostic would give it the time of day. It is irrelevant to any discussion about evolution other than one of historical interest.

4. The suggestion that atheists are more sinful than Christians verges on the offensive. If any one believes this please provide the data to support it. (You may wish to prepare a rebuttal to the issue of p*dophile priests while you are at it.)

5. The morals held by an atheist (and a theist) are derived from evolutionary pressures and cultural expressions.

6. Consequently most atheists who have been raised in Western, nominally Christian culture will have moral settings which reflect this culture.

 

One thing we learn from evolution, whether it is biological evolution or evolution of the universe, is that the universe tends to become more complex. There are emergent properties of matter and energy that produce surprising results. Intelligence is one such emergent property.

 

Intelligence gives humans the opportunity to logically decide a) that there is right and wrong, and :) to decide what is right and wrong.

 

You mention Idi Amin, a clear example of a warped human being. Was his behaviour moral? Of course not. Could it be considered moral under any circumstances? None that I can think of.

 

The confrontation element is overemphasised in popular accounts of evolution. Cooperation is a key element in determining fitness. Cooperation leads to altruism. Altruistic acts are typically seen as moral acts. (Love thy neighbour as thy self.)

 

So from my view point evolution has given us the basis of cooperative, caring behaviour, which intelligence can formulate into a moral structure.

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I find some of the views expressed in this thread quite bewildering. Let me make some statements that may illustrate examples. These are my understandings of reality.

 

1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

2. Many atheists are opposed to abortion. So it is misleading to conflate atheists with abortion and Christians with pro-life.

3. Social Darwinism is nonsense and no self respecting thinker, thieist, atheist, or agnostic would give it the time of day. It is irrelevant to any discussion about evolution other than one of historical interest.

4. The suggestion that atheists are more sinful than Christians verges on the offensive. If any one believes this please provide the data to support it. (You may wish to prepare a rebuttal to the issue of p*dophile priests while you are at it.)

5. The morals held by an atheist (and a theist) are derived from evolutionary pressures and cultural expressions.

6. Consequently most atheists who have been raised in Western, nominally Christian culture will have moral settings which reflect this culture.

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In point 4 you ask for data for prove and jet you do not supply you own data. I think with a sort internet search we both will find data that will support both our view points.

1. Yes there are Christians that support abortion. And yes claiming you’re a Christian and being a true Christian is not the same thing. No true Christian can support Abortion. In this case all Christians should be pro live. I say pro-live because we support abortion in the casse of extreame medicall condition where both the mother and chilled will die. If abortion will save atleest one life, that is consider pro- life.

 

2. I’m talking out of my life experience. I have only once met an atheist that is pro abortion. Most atheists I meet are pro-choice. True Christian is pro-life. I consider Pro-choice a copout.

 

3. Social Darwinism is a world view directly influenced by the theory of evolution. Social Darwinism is the most logical outcome when applying the theory of evolution (with no God) in formulating n world view. This is why you have to dismiss this as a historical past. “No self respecting thinker, theist, atheist, or agnostic†will give xenophobia the time of day, yet it still happens.

 

 

4. Christian morals are given by God. You cannot hide from God. You cannot change that moral (Laws). Let’s look at s@x before marriage. Measured to Gods law, this is a sin. Atheist does not see this as n sin. So yes, measured against Christian moral, atheists are more sinful. Do Christians commit sins? Yes.

Yes it is sad that there are Catholic Church priest that is p*dophile. Question. Is it because they are Christians that they are p*dophile or is it maybe because they are humans?

What is interesting to me is when atheist starts pointing out the sinful actions of Christians. Either there is a God that gave as morals or morals are a product of evolution. If there is no God, there is no sin, only nature. Then that priest is a product of evolution. Is in not natural for that priest to be a p*dophile? All you can complain then is to say his naturally different than the norm. If most people on earth where p*dophile, will this still be morally wrong?

 

 

5. This will be true if there is no God.

 

6. Yes and this is why they can claim to have the same morals as a Christian.

 

One thing we learn from evolution, whether it is biological evolution or evolution of the universe, is that the universe tends to become more complex. There are emergent properties of matter and energy that produce surprising results. Intelligence is one such emergent property.

 

Intelligence gives humans the opportunity to logically decide a) that there is right and wrong, and to decide what is right and wrong.

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This is all true if there is no God

 

You mention Idi Amin, a clear example of a warped human being. Was his behaviour moral? Of course not. Could it be considered moral under any circumstances? None that I can think of.

 

The confrontation element is overemphasised in popular accounts of evolution. Cooperation is a key element in determining fitness. Cooperation leads to altruism. Altruistic acts are typically seen as moral acts. (Love thy neighbour as thy self.)

 

So from my view point evolution has given us the basis of cooperative, caring behaviour, which intelligence can formulate into a moral structure.

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Applying evolution as world view.

“Cooperation†If the group is stronger than the individual, the group makes the decision and calculates morals. If the individual is stronger as the group the individual make the decision and calculate morals. Can I consider this as survival of the fittest?

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I find some of the views expressed in this thread quite bewildering. Let me make some statements that may illustrate examples. These are my understandings of reality.

 

1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

Yes, many Christians approve of abortion and it's a shame considering what The Bible has to say about it:(Notice it also mentions materialistic evolution)

 

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet." Romans 1:21-27

 

2. Many atheists are opposed to abortion. So it is misleading to conflate atheists with abortion and Christians with pro-life.

There are pro-life atheists, but I can honestly say that I have never met one. I also can not find any statistics online for any sort of idea of what percentage of atheists are pro-life, but I assure you that they are in the minority.

 

 

3. Social Darwinism is nonsense and no self respecting thinker, thieist, atheist, or agnostic would give it the time of day. It is irrelevant to any discussion about evolution other than one of historical interest.

I agree, naturalism can be misused just as religions have in the past and still are today.

 

 

4. The suggestion that atheists are more sinful than Christians verges on the offensive. If any one believes this please provide  the data to support it. (You may wish to prepare a rebuttal to the issue of p*dophile priests while you are at it.)

No religious or unreligious denomination automatically makes you less sinful. I assure you though that anyone who honestly believes in God and does their best to be moral will likely be "more moral" than an atheist by Biblical standards. As for priests that molest children, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior and God condemns it. Some priests may struggle with it but try their best to be moral, other priests may just be outright hypocrites. Whatever the issue is, it is between them and God and the Church and our Government must also appropriately deal with this sort of behavior when it occurs. While I am not catholic, these situations are scarce, but are more likely to a publicized news story than conventional child molestations, thus their seemingly frequent occurrence as opposed to the standard case.

 

 

5. The morals held by an atheist (and a theist) are derived from evolutionary pressures and cultural expressions.

Before you can make a statement such as this you have to empirically prove materialistic evolution, unless you admit that your belief in materialistic evolution is only philosophy or a religion.

 

 

6. Consequently most atheists who have been raised in Western, nominally Christian culture will have moral settings which reflect this culture.

What you think is moral and what is moral are two different things, but research has shown that we are easily swayed by our surroundings.

 

One thing we learn from evolution, whether it is biological evolution or evolution of the universe, is that the universe tends to become more complex. There are emergent properties of matter and energy that produce surprising results. Intelligence is one such emergent property.

I agree, but you don't have to believe in materialistic evolution to accept this observation, so I wouldn't credit this discovery to evolution.

 

Intelligence gives humans the opportunity to logically decide a) that there is right and wrong, and :) to decide what is right and wrong.

This appears to suggest that morality is arbitrary.

 

So from my view point evolution has given us the basis of cooperative, caring behaviour, which intelligence can formulate into a moral structure.

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We don't gain intelligence or anything of the sort as a result of gene duplication.

 

 

I partly agree with most of your assertions, however, I so far have a cloudy view of what you actually believe.

 

I have several questions for you:

 

1. Is morality arbitrary?

 

2. Do you believe that there is a possibility of a creator such as a theistic god?

 

3. Do you believe there is an afterlife or a spirit world?

 

4. Do you accept materialistic evolution in its entirety? This includes, The Big Bang, Abiogenesis, Natural Selection, Common Descent, and Variation within Species. If you do not believe in any of the following state what part of materialistic evolution that you do not accept.

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...No religious or unreligious denomination automatically makes you less sinful. I assure you though that anyone who honestly believes in God and does their best to be moral will likely be "more moral" than an atheist by Biblical standards. As for priests that molest children, there is no excuse for that kind of behavior and God condemns it. Some priests may struggle with it but try their best to be moral, other priests may just be outright hypocrites. Whatever the issue is, it is between them and God and the Church and our Government must also appropriately deal with this sort of behavior when it occurs. While I am not catholic, these situations are scarce, but are more likely to a publicized news story than conventional child molestations, thus their seemingly frequent occurrence as opposed to the standard case....

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That's often forgotten, when the issue of child molestation by Catholic priests is brought up. Catholic priests often function as educators as well. Where is the proof that they do molest children more often then i.e. secular school teachers, boy scout supervisors or sports coaches? Perhaps the higher likelihood is assumed, because Catholic priests aren't married, but I don't see that this has been backed with actual data. On the other hand I think the Catholic Church did actually handle the issue very badly by trying to covering this up and even protecting offenders against valid prosecution by governments.

 

He doesn't have to prove materialistic evolution in order to claim that a group of people's derives their value system from it. They just have to confirm their belief in this.

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1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

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Despite what the Bible says! Christians believe many things that the Bible does not say (old earth, h*m*s*xuality is not a sin, God pre-destines people for hell, etc), but this doesn’t justify their beliefs. Sometimes they try to justify things like abortion and h*m*s*xuality by saying its “legal”. The US government legalized slavery, this did not make slavery right. The question is, what standard do you use to determine what is right, and what is wrong?

 

2. Many atheists are opposed to abortion. So it is misleading to conflate atheists with abortion and Christians with pro-life.

 

Its not misleading at all. I agree with Spectre, I personally, after almost a half-century of existence, have never met an atheist who opposed abortion (and I’ve met many an atheist!). They’ll say that they personally oppose it in one breath, then in the next say that it should be “legal, safe, and rare”.

 

3. Social Darwinism is nonsense and no self respecting thinker, thieist, atheist, or agnostic would give it the time of day. It is irrelevant to any discussion about evolution other than one of historical interest.

 

The greatest crimes against humanity were created byt Social Darwinists, such as Hitler, Mao Tse Tung, Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc.

 

4. The suggestion that atheists are more sinful than Christians verges on the offensive. If any one believes this please provide the data to support it. (You may wish to prepare a rebuttal to the issue of p*dophile priests while you are at it.)

 

Christians should be careful with this, since the Bible says all men sin and fall short (Rom 3:23). But one thing is certain. Non-believers, liberals and atheists in particular, typically promote a world view that goes against every single one of the 10 commandments. Not that they actively commit some violation of a commandment, but they support or defend the right for one to commit the violation (abortion is an obvious one against murder). Instead of me providing examples to go with every commandment, why don’t you give me two commandments you do not think liberals try to circumvent?

 

5. The morals held by an atheist (and a theist) are derived from evolutionary pressures and cultural expressions.

 

That’s a very silly comment, void of any evidence. What is true is that belief in evolution certainly drives one’s morals, as it did Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Tze Tung, the Columbine killers, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, etc.

 

6. Consequently most atheists who have been raised in Western, nominally Christian culture will have moral settings which reflect this culture.

 

Probably the one thing you said above that is the closest to being true. See answer to number 5.

 

Fred

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Fred,

 

It's like John Hagee says. Those churches or denominations that only teach half truths about God's word are teaching lies. And are basically a Pagan religion.

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1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

 

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If you actually took the time to understand the definition Jesus himself attributed to what a Christian is (after all, He is the model), you would understand the ridiculousness of your statement above. But the last half of the statement exposes the fallacy of your initial declaration.

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Several interesting responses have been made to my post of a few days ago. I shall attempt to reply in kind as time permits, but for the moment I wish to address a point made by several members and reiterated most focefully by Ron.

 

I would ask Ron that you not make assumptions as to how much time I have spent understanding what Jesus intended. You do not know the extent of my Bible studies, nor I of yours. It is unwise to assume that because I may have arrived at different conclusions about Christianity from you that I must have spent less time (or indeed no time, as your post implies) than you studying the issue. Just as it would be unwise for me to assume the reverse to be true.

 

What is clear is that there are some committed Christians who are pro-abortion. I fully concede and never sought to claim otherwise, that these are a minority. Now I am told, by several members here, that these are not true Christians. However they declare themselves as such with the same fervour and enthusiasm as I see from many of you here.

 

You may choose not to call them Christian. They would disagree with you. I would have thought, based upon the time I have spent studying the Christian faith and the teachings of Christ, that it was not your place (or their place) to declare who is and who is not Christian, but God's.

 

We are then left with an impasse. However, my intial point remains. Some persons who have as much right to declare themsleves to be Christian as you do are not opposed to abortion. And some atheists, likely a moniority, are anit-abortion. Therefore to conflate atheist with abortionist is inaccurate.

 

Is this inaccuracy important? Since it can so easily lead to stereotyping and deepening rifts between memebers of the one humanity then I feel it is important. If we could agree on that point we could move on.

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Several interesting responses have been made to my post of a few days ago. I shall attempt to reply in kind as time permits, but for the moment I wish to address a point made by several members and reiterated most focefully by Ron.

 

I would ask Ron that you not make assumptions as to how much time I have spent understanding what Jesus intended. You do not know the extent of my Bible studies, nor I of yours. It is unwise to assume that because I may have arrived at different conclusions about Christianity from you that I must have spent less time (or indeed no time, as your post implies) than you studying the issue. Just as it would be unwise for me to assume the reverse to be true.

 

What is clear is that there are some committed Christians who are pro-abortion. I fully concede and never sought to claim  otherwise, that these are a minority. Now I am told, by several members here, that these are not true Christians. However they declare themselves as such with the same fervour and enthusiasm as I see from many of you here.

 

You may choose not to call them Christian. They would disagree with you. I would have thought, based upon the time I have spent studying the Christian faith and the teachings of Christ, that it was not your place (or their place) to declare who is and who is not Christian, but God's.

 

We are then left with an impasse. However, my intial point remains. Some persons who have as much right to declare themsleves to be Christian as you do are not opposed to abortion. And some atheists, likely a moniority, are anit-abortion. Therefore to conflate atheist with abortionist is inaccurate.

 

Is this inaccuracy important? Since it can so easily lead to stereotyping and deepening rifts between memebers of the one humanity then I feel it is important. If we could agree on that point we could move on.

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1- I did not, in any way, cause any determinate objection toward your "general" Biblical studies. Nor did I judge them in any way. What I said (and I quote) "If you actually took the time to understand the definition Jesus himself attributed to what a Christian is (after all, He is the model), you would understand the ridiculousness of your statement above. But the last half of the statement exposes the fallacy of your initial declaration." So don't attempt to twist what I said , in order to make a fallacious argument.

 

2- It matters not one whit what anyone who calls them-self "Christian" believes, if that definition does not agree with the definition and parameters given by Jesus Himself (if you studied the scripture as you claim, you'd fully understand the scriptural concept with which I speak). Therefore, if someone claims to be "Christian", and does not follow the precepts of Christ, then according to His own words (that would be JESUS), they are NOT; regardless of whether or not you attempt to twist (with a relativists knife) those precepts. Further, it matters not, the level of "fervor" with which they make their claims; the ONLY thing that matters, according to the Christ, is that they "Obey" His precepts.

 

3- The ONLY point we need to agree on is the following: According to the scriptures, "Jesus is THE CHRIST" then everything else will follow. If someone, therefore, claims to be 'Christian', and doesn't not 'obey' His precepts, they are not Christian. Further, it doesn't matter what you, or I, or they "believe", the point given is fact.

 

Conclusion: There is no impasse, there is just you attempting to paint with a relativistic brush, the definition Jesus Himself gave for a Christian. And remember; according to the scripture that you claim to have studied, Jesus and God are one.

 

 

Therefore the following still stands:

 

1. Many Christians approve of abortion. (They may not be your kind of Christians, but they are believers and decalre themselves to be such.)

 

69955[/snapback]

If you actually took the time to understand the definition Jesus himself attributed to what a Christian is (after all, He is the model), you would understand the ridiculousness of your statement above. But the last half of the statement exposes the fallacy of your initial declaration.

69994[/snapback]

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Your words as written are very clear in their meaning: "If you actually took the time to understand ........." is what you said. This carries the very clear implication that I have not taken the time to understand.

 

Thus, based on what you have written, you have assumed I have not taken the time to understand. If you did not mean this - and if you say that is the case, I accept it - then you should have phrased your statement differently.

 

I note that you believe your interpretation of scripture is an accurate one. I am aware that it is one version of many interpretations that are made. You are convinced of its rightness, just as others are of theirs. I am not here to defend their positions, or to attack yours. I merely note that I am unconvinced as to the absolute rightness of any of these interpretations: I currently see no reason to prefer one version over another.

 

Consequently, your second point, (2.), becomes irrelevant.

 

As to your point 3.) you would have some difficulty convincing me that Biblical interpretations haven't been messed up since the Council of Nicea. I understand and respect that you have definite views on these matters. From where I sit these are views are opinions, not cold, hard facts. Thus the impasse remains.

 

Finally, a personal note. Though I am a devout agnostic and seem unlikely to change this position, I still have residual 'feel' for the dogma and the ethos of the Church of Scotland. As a consequence I would not feel comfortable acting as the judge of who was or who was not a Christian. I quite understand that others may feel such confidence in their faith that this becomes possible, perhaps even mandatory, but that route is not for me.

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What is clear is that there are some committed Christians who are pro-abortion. I fully concede and never sought to claim  otherwise, that these are a minority. Now I am told, by several members here, that these are not true Christians. However they declare themselves as such with the same fervour and enthusiasm as I see from many of you here.

 

You may choose not to call them Christian. They would disagree with you. I would have thought, based upon the time I have spent studying the Christian faith and the teachings of Christ, that it was not your place (or their place) to declare who is and who is not Christian, but God's.

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You state that you have knowledge of the Christian faith. Do you have knowledge of the bible? Do you know this Christians that you talk off personally? If so, where in the bible does it tell us that abortion is permitted? If you have the knowledge that you talk of, you should be able to point out this part in the bible.

 

The bible gives us the definition of a Christian not humans. Saying you’re a Christian does not make you a Christian.

 

More to the point of this topic.

Where do you think morals come from?

Do you think morals of man will change? If your answer is “yesâ€ÂÂ. Who decide these changes?

Do you think there is something like biblical sin?

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Your words as written are very clear in their meaning: "If you actually took the time to understand ........." is what you said. This carries the very clear implication that I have not taken the time to understand.

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That is a fact. Because if you had, you wouldn't have made so silly an assertion. And that fact makes the rest of your post moot!

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That is a fact. Because if you had, you wouldn't have made so silly an assertion. And that fact makes the rest of your post moot!

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You are unaware of the time I have invested in considering this issue. You believe the assertion is silly. I disagree. If you choose to insist I have not invested significant time you are in essence calling me a liar. I find that unpleasant and see nothing to be gained in continuing this portion of the discussion.

 

 

Crous, thank you for your comments.

You state that you have knowledge of the Christian faith. Do you have knowledge of the bible?

I have a passable knowledge of the Bible. As far as I can judge it seems to be more than average Christians with whom I come into contact, but I believe it is significantly less than the majority of Christian members on this forum.

 

where in the bible does it tell us that abortion is permitted?

This is an opportunity for me to learn. Where in the Bible does it say abortion is prohibited?

 

The bible gives us the definition of a Christian not humans. Saying you’re a Christian does not make you a Christian.

I think I can agree with the second sentence. Equally saying someone is not a Christian does not mean they are not one. I come back to the personal note I added to my earlier reply to Ron: I don't believe it is proper to comment on the religious status of another. There is a dangerous lack of humility in such an approach that makes me uncomfortable. Ultimately our religious status is a matter between us and God, if she exists.

 

You ask me where morals come from. I think I summarised this in an earlier post, but let me offer it again here. I think morals have arisen through evolutionary pressures. I believe that a powerful aspect of evolution is a tendency towards cooperation. Evolution finds benefit in the Golden Rule. As children of evolution it is quite natural that we should develop behaviours that foster and reward cooperation. These are recognised by thoughtful memebers of society and then codified.

 

There was earlier mention of relativism and absolutism. I'm not sure in which context. I think morals are generally pretty absolute. Evolution doesn't let unsuccesful ideas propogate. However, in detail there can be some relative aspects. That's not very neat, but then again perhaps it is this that helps to make life interesting.

 

You ask if our morals will change. I hope they will. I believe they can. I think the changes will be made by ourselves. I think caring, compassionate individuals, theists, agnostics and atheists, will argue for more idealised behaviour and that slowly we will move towards that situation. In this case cultural evolution will support and sustain such progress.

 

You ask if I believe in Biblical sin. I think the answer is probably No, but I'd like to hear your definition of Biblical sin to be sure we are talking on the same wavelength.

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I see you're still having a problem with what "Jesus" said a Christian is... So here is my challenge (since you claim to be a Biblical scholar):

 

1- What did Jesus say a Christian is?

 

2 - How can you possibly (and honestly) claim to be a "Christian" and not be within the parameters that Jesus Himself set?

 

 

Here's your chance to step outside your relativistic mind set and submit to the truth and logic that you've heretofore ignored.

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I see you're still having a problem with what "Jesus" said a Christian is... So here is my challenge (since you claim to be a Biblical scholar):

 

1- What did Jesus say a Christian is?

In my lexicon a Biblical scholar is an individual whose professional life involves the study of the Bible to the extent that they may be considered a specialist. I have made no such claim. I have stated that I have studied the Bible. I have stated that I have found myself to have more knowledge of the Bible than many Christians whom I meet. I have certainly not claimed to be a Biblical scholar. So I would prefer you not distort what I have said in that way.

 

I also acknowledged that most members on this forum seem to have more Biblical knowledge than I do. I certianly include yourself in that. Therefore it would be helpful if you tell me what you understand Jesus to have said on this subject. It would be especially helpful to my education if you were to cite the specific books and verses you base your understanding on.

 

It's probably an incidental point, but strictly speaking Jesus said nothing about what it is to be a Christian, since the concept of being a Christian followed his crucifixion.

 

2 - How can you (sic) possibly (and honestly) claim to be a "Christian" and not be within the parameters that Jesus Himself set?

On this point we are in full agreement. Where the disagreement lies is that individuals with as much sincerity and conviction as yourself offer me a differing interpretation of the what those parameters are. As I noted earlier I cannot argue on their behalf. I can only repeat that I am largely unconvinced by your position and by theirs.

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This is an opportunity for me to learn. Where in the Bible does it say abortion is prohibited?

If you're looking for the word abortion, you won't find it, as you won't find a number of other words that were not used until much later. But we know from scripture that the unborn child is acknowledged and valued as a baby/child. We know from scripture that murder is wrong - specifically the innocent. So it is clear that abortion (the killing of an unborn child) is wrong.

 

 

First, we find in scripture that the unborn child is acknowledged as human, and valued.

 

 

Psalm 13913 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

 

Ps 139:16 "Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

 

Job 31:15 Did not He who made me in the womb make them [Job's servants]?Did not the Same One for us both within our mothers?

 

Luke 141 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Luke 1:44 -- 44 For behold as soon as the voice of your salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

 

Psalms 127:3 -- 3 behold the inheritance of the Lord are children: the reward, the fruit of the womb.

 

(Jeremiah 1:5)“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee..â€ÂÂ

 

Isaiah 49:1 -- 1 Give ear, you islands, and hearken, you people from afar. The Lord has called me from the womb, from the bowels of my mother he has been mindful of my name.

 

Jeremiah 1:4-5 -- 4 And the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 Before I formed you in the bowels of your mother, I knew you: and before you came forth out of the womb, I sanctified you, and made you a prophet unto the nations.

 

(Ps.22:11-12). “You have been my guide since I was first formed . . . from my mother’s womb you are my Godâ€ÂÂ

 

 

Next, we are warned against the murder of others:

 

 

(Ex.20:13, Deut. 5:17) “Thou shalt not kill,â€ÂÂ

 

[Proverbs 6:16-19]"There are six things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies

and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers."

 

Matthew 19:18 -- 18 He said to him: Which? And Jesus said: You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness.

 

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; Ex. 20.13 · Deut. 5.17 and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

 

(2 Kg. 17: 17-18). “They mutilated their sons and daughters by fire . . . till the Lord, in his great anger against Israel, put them away out of his sightâ€ÂÂ

 

(Ps. 106: 35, 37-38) “They mingled with the nations and learned their works . . . They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and they shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and their daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, desecrating the land with bloodshedâ€ÂÂ

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Bex,

I certainly wasn't looking for the word abortion. I was looking for and expecting, something along the lines you have provided. It is very detailed, though likely not comprehensive. (I say that not as a criticism, but as recognition of why you feel your position is so well established.) Thank you for taking the time to assemble it.

 

I am now taking a careful look at the totality of what you have sent. I have a simple rejoinder, but I want to study each reference to see if any (or perhaps all) render my rejoinder invalid. {I leave shortly for an exceedingly long flight, so I may take some time before I respond properly.)

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You're welcome Ophilolite,

 

Well, I have had a few opposing parties challenge me to actually find specific words in scripture (that did not exist back then). I kid you not! So you'll have to forgive me for assuming you might do the same.

 

The bible is clear on the humanity of the unborn child (even at conception) and is clearly against murder (abortion is murder - it takes the life of the child in order to terminate the pregnancy). So, I can't imagine what you might feel is missing or inadequate....but I appreciate you acknowledging the time I've taken. Thank you! :)

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I see you're still having a problem with what "Jesus" said a Christian is... So here is my challenge (since you claim to be a Biblical scholar):

1- What did Jesus say a Christian is?

70090[/snapback]

In my lexicon a Biblical scholar is an individual whose professional life involves the study of the Bible to the extent that they may be considered a specialist.

70097[/snapback]

I agree… And therefore I submit your own words as part of this rebuttal (and I shall do so “most forcefullyâ€ÂÂ):

 

I would ask Ron that you not make assumptions as to how much time I have spent understanding what Jesus intended.

70065[/snapback]

You do not know the extent of my Bible studies, nor I of yours.

70065[/snapback]

I totally disagree, your fruit betrays the extent of your Bible Studies.Further:

 

In both of the above statements YOU imply that you have studied, and understand “what Jesus intendedâ€ÂÂ, and that I could'nt understand your extensive studies (yo really should do a better job explaining your intent). If that were the case, you would “understand†what Jesus intended when HE told us what his followers (Christians) are! But, your relativistic rant actually provides “fruit†that you clearly do not; as you are attempting to sell “conviction†as Christianity.

 

You further attempt to strengthen your “scholastic†credentials “most forcefully†in the following:

 

This carries the very clear implication that I have not taken the time to understand.

70079[/snapback]

Thus, based on what you have written, you have assumed I have not taken the time to understand.

70079[/snapback]

But, in all your "undrstanding" of the "intent" of Jesus, and your "forcefullness" you still fail to provide (using your “understanding†of “what Jesus intendedâ€ÂÂ) Jesus’s definition of a Christian is, when He clearly explained to us what a Christian is.

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I have made no such claim. I have stated that I have studied the Bible.

70065[/snapback]

Actually, your statements say differently. And you further attempt to change the scriptures to mean what you want them to mean, thusly setting yourself above that of Jesus Himself.

 

I have stated that I have found myself to have more knowledge of the Bible than many Christians whom I meet. I have certainly not claimed to be a Biblical scholar. So I would prefer you not distort what I have said in that way.

70065[/snapback]

Again… Your statements say differently. And you further attempt to change the scriptures to mean what you want them to mean, thusly setting yourself above that of Jesus Himself.

 

 

I also acknowledged that most members on this forum seem to have more Biblical knowledge than I do. I certianly include yourself in that. Therefore it would be helpful if you tell me what you understand Jesus to have said on this subject. It would be especially helpful to my education if you were to cite the specific books and verses you base your understanding on.

 

It's probably an incidental point, but strictly speaking Jesus said nothing about what it is to be a Christian, since the concept of being a Christian followed his crucifixion.

70097[/snapback]

Now you want me to provide the knowledge that you previously and “most forcefullyâ€ÂÂ, claimed to have! I find this ironic!!!

 

2 - How can you (sic) possibly (and honestly) claim to be a "Christian" and not be within the parameters that Jesus Himself set?

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On this point we are in full agreement. Where the disagreement lies is that individuals with as much sincerity and conviction as yourself offer me a differing interpretation of the what those parameters are. As I noted earlier I cannot argue on their behalf. I can only repeat that I am largely unconvinced by your position and by theirs.

70097[/snapback]

Again, you make the mistake of thinking “conviction†= “truthâ€ÂÂ, where I clearly explained that it doesn’t matter what YOU or I, or ANYONE ELSE attempts to define as Christian; The only definition that matters is that given by Christ Himself. You can continue to run from that with your continual relativistic convolutions, or we can have a real conversation about the “truth†of the matter… And that is up to you. But if you continue along your current path, I’ll just continue to point out the fallacies and misinterpretations/misinformation you are promulgating.

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The following is something I missed (because of your previous gross Biblical misinterpretations), and needed to correct:

As to your point 3.) you would have some difficulty convincing me that Biblical interpretations haven't been messed up since the Council of Nicea. I understand and respect that you have definite views on these matters. From where I sit these are views are opinions, not cold, hard facts. Thus the impasse remains.

70079[/snapback]

Further, the above is a gross misinterpretation promulgated by atheists, skeptics, liberal theologians, and other Bible Scoffers. And, unfortunately for the above, we DO NOT have to use any translations copied since the Council of “Nicaeaâ€ÂÂ; as we can totally set aside any and all translations, and concentrate on the verbatim quotes of the early church fathers (those within the first century and a half) and discover that we have the “ENTIRE†New Testament, save only eleven verses. Therefore we can throw out your entire objection and supposed impasse, because, from where you sit, you ned to do a little more homework.

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Bex,

I still haven't been able to devote the time they deserve to reading each of your quotes in context and am still suffering jet lag. However, rather than leave you hanging here are some 'placeholder' thoughts.

 

Firstly, I am in the akward position of seemingly defending something (abortion) that I am pretty uncomfortable with. I certainly do not have your total opposition to the practice, but nor do I approve of the way in which it is sometimes applied.

 

However, my position on abortion has little or no relevance to my point in this thread. This is that there are Christians who approve of abortion - perhaps many of them as reluctantly as myself.

 

Thirdly, the counter to your offered quotations I am still contemplating is, as you surmised, that it is not clear to me when we can meaningfully say that life begins, or from a Christian perspective, when the soul enters the body. I seem to recall reading of debates between Christian theologians on this very point. Am I misremembering? If you feel I am, I shall seek examples for you.

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I totally disagree, your fruit betrays the extent of your Bible Studies.

70155[/snapback]

That is an interpretation. You are examining something you have not seen (the extent or otherwise of my Bible study) and attempting to deduce that extent from the effect it has had on my statements. That is certainly a valid approach: it is exactly what evolutionists do when they examine the fossil record and deduce the reality of evolution. Interpretations, of course, can be mistaken. You feel the interpretation of evolutionists is wrong. I feel your interpretation of my observations here is wrong. An impasse remains.

 

It is likely not your intention, but your recent posts seem belligerent and this I find quite unsettling. I am working hard at honouring the ethos of the forum - a place for honest civil dialogue on origins. Perhaps one or more of the statements I have made has touched a tender spot that has provoked a reaction. If so, I apologise. All I am seeking to do is to express and explain my thinking, so as to promote discussion and understanding, if not agreement. The latter two seem unlikely in this particular instance, so I think it best I discontinue this specific dialogue for the moment.

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....you would have some difficulty convincing me that Biblical interpretations haven't been messed up since the Council of Nicea.

 

See my brief chapter on Bible Transmission here:

 

http://www.bibleevidences.com/transmission.htm

 

Fred

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Thank you for the link Fred. I was aware of these points in a general way, but you had some interesting specifics. I liked the comparison with the data on the Illiad and the works of Sophocles.

 

However, if this is not too far off topic, surely what is relevant about the Council of Nicea is which works were included and which excluded. It seems analagous to what we would know of World War II if we had chosen only the writings of Winston Churchill and William Shirer to reflect the 'meaning' of the conflict.

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