Theologian: Religious extremists like ISIS carve a bloody path through history

Print More
Volf1
"America was founded by folks who thought like this," Miroslav Volf says of Islamist extremists. Some may find his comments difficult to swallow in light of recent events. - Image courtesy of Miroslav Volf

“America was founded by folks who thought like this,” Miroslav Volf says of Islamist extremists. Some may find his comments difficult to swallow in light of recent events. – Image courtesy of Miroslav Volf

American Christians have more in common with ISIS than they may assume, says theologian Miroslav Volf.

Some Christians may find the Yale Divinity School professor’s comments difficult to swallow in light of a propaganda video released on Sunday that reportedly showed the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians by ISIS militants in Libya. Volf says that many figures in both Christian history and American history thought about faith and politics in a similar way to modern Islamist extremists. He also says that even though he doesn’t believe the Christian and Muslim faiths are one and the same, we should search out and celebrate the good commonalities. Volf is author of many books including, Allah: A Christian Response and Do We Worship the Same God?

RNS: With what we’re seeing now with groups like ISIS and Boko Haram. What do you make of the persecution of Christians by Islamist extremists?

MV: I take it to be an extreme reaction to globalization processes, which are perceived as being driven by Western interests and are associated with Christian tradition. I see it as a form of extremism that is perceived by majority Muslims as out of step with what Islam is. Your run of the mill Muslims in many parts of the world will generally refer to Islamic State as un-Islamic state. I think it is an attempt to assert Islam as a political religion as a unity of religion and government. Now that’s been a way religions have functioned throughout history–from Constantine until recently. America was founded by folks who thought like this.

RNS: America was founded by folks who thought like Islamist extremists?

MV: Like many Islamist extremists, yes. Which is to say, they believed God would bless this new experiment if we integrate our obedience to God’s laws and we ensure that this is indeed a city set on a hill.

Image courtesy of HarperOne

Image courtesy of HarperOne

RNS: A lot of people say that violence is inherent to the Muslim faith. Is that correct or are violent expressions a distortion of their faith?

MV: It’s a distortion, yes, and by the way it is a distortion that has attended the Christian faith and a peaceful religion like Buddhism when it aligns itself with political power. Religious support of violence is a malady of all political religions. States want to exert monopoly on power and religions are then placed in service of that power. Islam has a different relationship to force than Christianity has, but classical Islam has always wanted to frame deployment of violence with justice. We may dispute what justice means, but the belief is that force should be guided by directives of justice.

RNS: Is there commonality between extremist Muslims and extremist Christians?

MV: Yes, there are commonalities between extremist Muslim terrorists and other non-Muslim terrorists. There are commonalities between extremist Christians. You’d be hard pressed today to point to an extreme Christian group today that acts like ISIS does, even though we can point to situations in history. But there are features that are common to extremists just like there are features that are common to authentic Christianity and Islam.

RNS: Many Americans are afraid of Muslims because of what they see in popular media. What is behind the fear of Muslims?

MV: There is a certain image of Islam that has been nurtured by media. And that image was, in a sense, needed to sustain the war efforts that were undertaken. You need to vilify the enemy when you’re in a situation of conflict and a consequence of this vilification is undifferentiated judgment about all Muslims. This is partially tied to the sensational characterization of media, which tends to report on breakdowns instead of when something has been running well. This has shaped people people’s imagination to see Islam as primarily or exclusively in the negative light. Most people who have come to know Muslims or live near Muslims, though there are exceptions, have discovered them as good neighbors. When you look at the number of Muslims who commit violent crimes tends to be not much higher than other populations, including Christians.

RNS: What is your advice for improving our understanding and relationship Islam and Muslims?

MV: Have your eyes open to recognize commonalities while not disregarding difference between your faith and theirs. Rejoice when you find commonalities, rather than admitting them begrudgingly. This doesn’t mean they are one and the same religion or that Islam is just as good a way to God. I am a trinitarian Christian who believes Jesus is the incarnation of God. That’s a no-no for Muslims. There is no commandment in Islam to turn the other cheek or to offer unconditional forgiveness. But those are pillars of the Christian faith.

So they are not the same in their ethical teachings, but there are significant commonalities. We don’t erase the boundaries between them, but we need to recognize the commonalities when they are good as well as the differences. If you do this, you will find you have a much more differentiated view of Islam and of Muslims. You would have a view that would be more amenable to building bridges than to fighting wars.

  • Andy

    ” This doesn’t mean they are one and the same religion or that Islam is just as good a way to God.”

    So Jonathan does Dr. Volf believe that there is only one way to the Father and that is through belief on Jesus Christ?

  • Larry

    He lost a good deal credibility at this point:

    “America was founded by folks who thought like this”

    “Which is to say, they believed God would bless this new experiment if we integrate our obedience to God’s laws and we ensure that this is indeed a city set on a hill.”

    This is the very OPPOSITE of what our founder’s believed! First of all, they acknowledged that every sect and faith’s version of “God’s laws” varied wildly. Secondly they acknowledged that because of the first point, any such “obedience to God’s Laws” was in fact sectarian discrimination and harmful to the nation.

    Although Mr. Volf identifies the problems with religion entangled with political power, but he avoids the most successful solution to such problems. Support of secular government and culture. His deliberate misstatement of history shows he is as much of the problem as the Islamicists. He expects to see some form of harmony between Islam and Christianity based on religious appeals. This is nonsense.

    Religious freedom and respect between faiths/sects never came from such sources. They come from political forces which demand that no one faith has power of government. They come from placing deliberate limits as to what religious authorities may do in society.

  • “….are violent expressions a distortion of their faith?
    MV: It’s a distortion, yes..”

    Nonsense.
    Religions command murder and violence.

    Even if one wants to see it differently they are forbidden to do so.
    VIOLENCE IS A REQUIREMENT OF THE MOST HOLY:

    “Slay them wherever you find them…Idolatry is worse than carnage…Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme.” (Surah 2:190-)

    ISLAM SAYS KILL:
    “The only true faith in God’s sight is Islam.” (Surah 3:19)
    “Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it.” (Surah 2:216)
    “Believers, take neither Jews nor Christians for your friends.” (Surah 5:51)

    JUDAISM SAYS KILL:
    “Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood.” (Jeremiah 48:10)
    “Seize all the non-believers and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight…” (Numbers 25:1-9)

    CHRISTIANITY SAYS KILL:
    “To those who would not have me as their king, bring them to me and EXECUTE THEM in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    Christianity is as filled with COMMANDS for killing and destruction
    as any other religion:

    JESUS – I WILL DISMEMBER PEOPLE WITH A SWORD
    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)
    JESUS describes what he intends to do to his own enemies.

    JESUS – I SHALL RETURN TO EXECUTE MY ENEMIES
    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    JESUS – YOU SHOULD DROWN THEM
    “Drown him with a millstone” (Matt 18:6)

    JESUS – KILL YOUR CHILDREN THE WAY GOD TOLD YOU TO
    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

    JESUS – YOU MUST JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY
    “…if they are unworthy..REMOVE your blessing of peace.” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

    JESUS – I CAME TO BURN UP THE WORLD AND DESTROY IT
    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    JESUS – HATE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU
    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    JESUS – I’M A MAFIA GODFATHER. DO IT, OR ELSE.
    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

    JESUS – I WILL KILL THE CHILDREN MYSELF
    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 2:23)

    JESUS – I WANT YOU TO LIVE IN A HOUSE FULL OF ENEMIES
    “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death…for ME.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:21)

    JESUS – I’M HERE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE
    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    JESUS – JUDGE OTHERS FOR GOD’S WRATH!
    “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (Luke 9:3-5)

    JESUS ENDORSED the stoning laws – He rejected any change to the stoning laws of Moses.

    JESUS – KEEP ALL 500 STONING LAWS AS GOD COMMANDS
    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commands and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    JESUS – STONE THESE PEOPLE TO DEATH:
    “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19)

    Gays
    Inhabitants of conquered cities
    Victims of rape
    People who work on Sunday
    Infidels
    Prostitutes
    Uncircumcised men
    Men who have sex with women who are menstruating
    Ignorers of Priests
    Ignorers of Sacraments
    people who drink blood
    People who eat peace offerings
    People who let food go bad
    People who do magic tricks
    People who go to temple while filthy
    Heretics
    Perjurors
    fortune tellers
    Spiritualists
    False prophets
    People who approach the Tabernacle
    Apostates
    Kidnappers
    Pretenders of witchcraft
    Pretenders of other religions
    Stubborn children
    Rebellious children
    Children who disagree with their parents
    Profligates
    Sorcerers
    Women who marry their daughters
    Adulterers
    Fornicators
    People who are irresponsible with their bulls
    People who pretend to worship idols
    People who actually worship idols
    Unruly children
    Slaves who run away
    Gluttons
    Drunkards
    Liars
    Slaves who disobey
    Wives who disobey
    Men who steal
    Women who steal
    Children who steal
    Children who pretend to be witches
    Masturbators
    etc…

    There would be nobody left.

  • Pingback: Religious extremists like ISIS carve bloody path through history - Jonathan Merritt()

  • Not only is God not real, but the theory of God is the very thing
    which destroys a person’s individuality and moral courage and sets them up to be used en masse by a Theocratic Dictator.

    Religions are just secular, man-made inventions – they are tools of power – like bundles of dynamite waiting for a match to be lit by some Theocratic leader who wants to use this powerful too for conquering other nations.

    All religions are based on claims which are unfounded.
    All religions were invented for tribal and social reasons.
    All religions claim authority over love and sex – two things which humans feel are most indispensable and for which they are most psychologically vulnerable.

    Utopian dreams are religious programs. ISIS is selling theirs.
    Christians and Jews have done the same.

    May the whole world wake up and abandon this nonsense before the Apocalyptics succeed in destroying us all.

  • Larry,

    I think there are two sets of ‘founders’ of America:

    The first set were European discoverers who claimed the land for Christ and killed off natives with “Manifest Destiny”

    and those who later wrested it from England and wrote the Constitution.

    The first arrivals were certainly like ISIS killing off the natives – a mass genocide conducted by Christians who had relentlessly superior weaponry they attributed with thanks to their superior god, Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Larry

    Mr. Volf was referring to the second group. The drafters of the Constitution. I think he would be hard pressed to find anything within the Constitution which can be considered “obedience to God’s law” by any religion at the time.

  • DianN

    Athiest Max,
    Comments like yours above, where out-of-context passages are fronted to posit Christian teachings in opposition to what is actually taught, is one reason why atheism is ignored by so many (the other, main reason being that the Lord Jesus Christ is real).

  • DianN

    You are mistaken that God is not real. However, He is apprehended by faith, not sight (although the sheer magnitude and beauty of our universe should clue you in that there is a creator). Your life itself proves the truth of the Bibke – for it teaches that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Now I want you to tell me that there has never been a time in your life when you did something that you absolutely knew was wrong – yet you did it anyway. Everyone has; we have all made mistakes, both by choice and by sheer force of the evil within us (the sin- nature).

  • Larry

    “Comments like yours above, where out-of-context passages are fronted to posit Christian teachings in opposition to what is actually taught”

    But not how Christianity has been practiced through the centuries. There is a great disconnect between what one claims to preach and how they act in accordance with their faith. I hear all the time from Christians about how they believe everyone has essential dignity as being made in God’s image. And yet the same people use their Christian faith as an excuse to discriminate, ostracize, or, attack others or to deny them basic human dignity. There is a great deal of double-talk and excuses in how a Christian deals with others.

    Christians couldn’t even stop killing fellow Christians over sectarian differences until about a generation ago. Christian churches which are entangled with political power have always used it to oppress other sects and other faiths.

  • @DianN,

    “Out of context” ?

    Complaining a verse is “Out of context” is a dishonor on yourself.

    It is a way to claim a loophole
    so you can
    wriggle out of your responsibility for
    promoting your despicable bible.

    Like a used car salesman who KNOWINGLY sells a crappy vehicle
    And hides behind the small print!

    Shame on you for trying to hide your small print!

  • @DianN,

    “Your life itself proves the truth of the Bible…”

    It does?

    My life proves that God cannot move Iron Chariots? (Judges 1:19)

    “I do NOT come in Peace” – Jesus (Matt 10:34)
    “Execute them in front of me” – Jesus (Luke 19:27)
    “God regretted creating humanity” (Gen. 6:6)
    “Dash their babies heads against the rocks” – God (Isaiah 13:15)
    “God shall slay the babies in their wombs” – God (Hosea 9:11-16)
    “Curse he who holds back the sword of blood!” – God (Jer. 48:10)

    “God said…I’m raising up some evil…he’s going to have sex and rape your wives in broad daylight!” (2 Samuel 2:11)

    GOD SAYS – CUT OFF YOUR WIFE’S HAND IF SHE TOUCHES ANOTHER MAN’S PENIS.

    “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” – DEUT. 25:11
    Cut off your wife’s hand? Show no pity?
    JESUS AGREES! (JOHN 1:17), (Mark 10:19)

    How does “my life” prove any of this is either good or true?

  • For a guy who doesn’t believe in God, you sure put a lot of words in His mouth.

  • Larry,

    “Volf was referring to..the drafters of the Constitution.”

    I see that you are probably correct.
    They did of course endorse slaves
    and wrote this into the Constitution:

    Article I, Section 2, Clause 3,
    of the original U.S. Constitution contained the three-fifths clause. No longer in effect:

    “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other Persons. . . . ”

    Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, of the original U.S. Constitution contained the fugitive-slave clause. It is no longer in effect:

    “No Person held to Service or Labour (Slaves) in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labor may be due. . .”

    Thankfully, the civil war repaired this.

    Though slavery is not explicitly religious – it is a fair point to say this is an inhuman blemish on the Constitution worthy of ISIS.

  • My problem isn’t God.

    My problem is all the claims made about God by people who
    deny rights to millions and who promote disgusting and filthy ideas at his direction.

    If the “King of the Leprechauns”
    had followers enforcing beheadings and other inhuman filth, I would be just as much against that nonsense as well.

  • Jack

    The bottom line is that Max doesn’t like being called on his deceptive tactics regarding the Bible, from wrenching words out of context to ascribing words and meanings that aren’t remotely connected to the citations he posts.

  • Jack

    Once again, Max contradicts himself. On the one hand, he says he’s okay with religious people but only wants religion and state separate. On the other hand, he goes way beyond that wish and calls the beliefs of people of faith despicable and worse. On the one hand, he claims he doesn’t know for sure there is no God. On the other hand, he states that there is no God in a way that implies exactly the opposite.

    Max regularly speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He is naturally intolerant and bigoted toward religious expression, but often catches himself and then tries to wiggle out of his self-imposed dilemma.

  • Jack

    Max, God is precisely your problem.

    It’s obvious. Own it and quit lying to yourself and to others.

  • Jack

    Max, how could you possibly know for an absolute certainty that God is not “real?” And if you respond by saying you don’t, then why lie by pretending you do?

    You have no idea how silly you appear with your false bravado.

  • Jack

    Put another way, Max is not on the warpath on these boards simply to protect the separation of religion and state. He is on the warpath against the claims of religion itself. Ninety percent of his posts are laundry lists of hate against the Bible itself, not on the state’s relation to religion.

  • Jack

    Max ends his laundry list by saying “there would be no one left.”

    This raises some obvious questions.

    Why were not just some people, but most people, left?

    Why wasn’t the story of ancient Israel one of Jewish authorities engaging in mass executions of fellow Jews, day after day, year after year, century after century?

    Why weren’t ancient Jewish courts handing down death sentences left and right, every minute?

    Why does the Talmud say that the death penalty was not the norm in ancient Israel?

    Why, in the New Testament story of the woman caught in adultery, is Jesus so sure that virtually all of her accusers with stones in their hands had all committed capital crimes themselves, and yet not one of them had been executed for them?

    Clearly, we have two key facts to account for:

    (1) The Hebrew Bible lists a large number of sins as capital crimes.

    (2) Executions were not the norm in ancient Israel. (As Max himself says, if they were the norm, nobody would be left, since the sins listed as capital crimes, taken together, were broad enough to include everybody.)

    Why #2?

    The answer is what Max conveniently leaves out in post after post:

    The same Torah which prescribed judgment for sins also prescribed a path to mercy and forgiveness of sins. The same Torah prescribes that one day a year, Yom Kippur, the people were to assemble and ask forgiveness. And throughout the year, offerings were made in the Temple that included ones for sins committed.

    In other words, built into the very life of the people of the Bible, the Jews, was an ethic of mercy and forgiveness. The dual message was clear: On the one hand, sin across the board is serious enough in God’s eyes to merit death, and yet the same God who said so also said that He would rather forgive sinners than punish them, if only they would own up to their sins and come to Him for mercy.

    It is that ethic of mercy and forgiveness, epitomized through Yom Kippur and the sacrificial system and built into the culture of the Jewish people, that explains why the Jews were not, as Max’s words would cause one to infer, a bloodthirsty, ISIS-like people, but quite the opposite.

    Everything that Max has ever posted in slander to God and the Bible is contradicted by the history and character of the very people, the Jews, from whence the Bible came.

  • Jack

    Larry, the message there is really that religion and state should not be unified.

  • DianN

    There you go again, taking verses out of context to mask the obvious fact that you prove the truth of the Bible when it teaches: All [not some, not just Christians, but all] fall short, and we do so by both choosing to, and by a nature within us which is actually evil that compels us to do wrong things, even when we know we “should” do the right thing instead.

    You, Max, have hated just as much as us blasted Christians. You’ve undoubtedly wanted that which belongs to another human being – just as much as us Christians. You’ve been unforgiving and you haven’t loved perfectly – just like us Christians.

    What difference does Christ make, then? He is the difference between hope and hopelessness. He is life when we realize that very single person on this planet will reject us, hurt us, betray us, use us, despise us. He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. He is righteousness, and He is the one Who left the glories of heaven to stand in the gap for my wrongdoings – and yours.

    Because the fact of the matter is, God cares very much about the injustices that trouble you – even the troubles you have brought on yourself by your own wrongdoing. He loves us unconditionally – and He wants us to know His love and grace. This is why Christ came.

    Now you may say, “Ah, but why didn’t God just overlook our wrongdoing? Why permit any of it? Why did Jesus have to die?” And the answer – amazingly enough – is that Jesus didn’t have to die. He could have left us here, at each other’s throats, without a ray of hope of knowing that there is a God, or even worse, with us knowing that God is, yet having no way to ever experience His love, grace and mercy.

    But God cares about you and me and this entire creation of His. We can’t work our way to Him, so He made a way for us to have His life. This life was laid down for us on the cross by Jesus.

    You kick and fight because God accepts wretches, when in actuality, your own flawed life should bring you to a humbleness of mind, and willingness to admit that if mankind is still on this earth at all today, it’s due to God’s long suffering towards us. But you – you look at the sun, the stars, the universe – and you refuse to admit that there is even a being higher than yourself.

    Know what? GOD LOVES YOU ANYWAY. And this awesome, incredible, to- good- to-be- true, unconditional love is EXACTLY what God wants you to know. Because God is love, and the lack of love is what caused Eve to hand a piece of forbidden fruit to Adam, and Cain to kill Abel, and inquisitors to torture, and IS to behead, and men everywhere to reject God’s grace, mercy, kindness and forgiveness, which in the end, are more necessary than our daily bread.

  • @Jack,

    “the people were to assemble and ask forgiveness.”

    Exactly. Forgive us Lord for being such a failure.

    “god forgive me for not killing all the gays and adulterers – but you know, Lord – there are so many sinners we kill as many as we can”

    “Homosexuals must surely be killed” – Yahweh God (Leviticus 20:13)

    And Jesus said, Keep the law: “Do not think I came to abolish these laws, I have not.”

  • Jack,

    “God is precisely your problem.”

    No it isn’t.
    Zeus is not my problem – Zeus does not command idiotic behavior.
    But believers think that Yahweh, Allah and Jesus are real – so they preach idiotic behaviors.

    I’m against the behaviors – not the God. How can I be against God? He appears to not exist.

  • “GOD LOVES YOU ANYWAY.”

    Then why do people keep telling me to pay attention to him?

  • “On the other hand, he goes way beyond that wish and calls the beliefs of people of faith despicable and worse.”

    Yes. I object to beheadings and other acts of terror which are designed to force people like me to accept Jesus/Allah/Yahweh.

    Keep your belief in beheading to yourself and keep your religion out of our laws and I’m fine.

  • “How do you know that God is not real.”

    It is an opinion. Not a claim of certainty. I force this on nobody.
    Just stop telling me I need God cuz I don’t – okay?

  • Jack,

    “False bravado”

    Not me.
    You are the one who claims the Bible is true.

    “Zombies walked for Jesus” – (Matthew 27:52)

    If anyone looks ridiculous it is the person who promotes this rubbish.

  • Jack,

    “words out of context”

    Under what context should a man chop off his wife’s hand for simply touching another man’s penis?

    EXPLAIN WHAT CONTEXT is rational and reasonable!

    GOD SAYS – CUT OFF YOUR WIFE’S HAND IF SHE TOUCHES ANOTHER MAN’S PENIS.

    “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” – DEUT. 25:11

    Cut off your wife’s hand? Show no pity?
    UNDER WHAT SICK CONTEXT IS THIS DECENT, MORAL BEHAVIOR!?

    SHOW NO PITY??
    You promote the worst, most primitive filth ever created by man and you dare to question me for calling it out?

  • jack,

    “OUT OF CONTEXT”

    So are you saying that Hitler simply was not properly understood?

    “Jews are the devil” – Hitler, Mein Kampf

    Under what context does this become a VIRTUOUS, HUMANE, DECENT comment ?

  • DianN

    Larry, I cannot argue with what you have written. My own life verifies the truth of your words. I have treated others despicably. I have lied, I have been brutal, I have been disrespectful, I have hated others with an intensity you (I hope) cannot imagine.

    But Jesus.

    The Lord Jesus Christ showed me His love for me – a love I did not deserve – and grace and kindness and mercy were shown to this graceless, merciless heart of mine. Life was bestowed upon me, a woman who deserved nothing but death. Chained with link after barbed link of my own unforgiveness, I was set free and forgiven forever by Jesus’ shed blood. This woman, who walked in death, was given eternal life, and I, who had throuroughly botched up every area of my life, was given a hope and a future beyond my wildest dreams because Jesus is alive.

    Am I still sinful? Yes. i sin more than I want to, I can tell you that much!

    But Larry – every Christian, every person, will do evil. Even the saintliest person will still live imperfectly. And if God were after moral perfection, we would all be creatures trapped in an earthly cage with no hope of escape.

    But God is not interested in morally perfect people. He is interested in real live human beings, people like you and me.

    If I could encourage you at all, it would be to ask you – implore you, really – to take your eyes off of the wrongs committed by others, and honestly look at your own life. Can you honestly say you are better than anybody else? The fact of the matter is, God so loved the world – all of us – that He Gave His one and only Son for us, that any person (even a sinner like myself) who trusts in Jesus will be saved (forgiven, and outfitted with a brand new, glorious future).

  • Larry

    But he really didn’t.

    “[the founders] believed God would bless this new experiment if we integrate our obedience to God’s laws and we ensure that this is indeed a city set on a hill. ”

    That tells me he has no problem with religion and government being entangled with each other. He just expects religious folks to just get to know and understand each other. The reality is religion and state do not belong in the same room together.

    If you want to keep religion from being unified with the state, the only solution which works is secular politics. A solution a theologian like Volf seems to be uncomfortable with.

  • DianN

    Max, you asked “[If God loves me anyway] Then why do people keep telling me to pay attention to him?”

    What a fantastic, great question!
    People keep telling you to pay attention to Him for three reasons:
    1. They know the reality of God’s love, and want you to experience His love, too
    2. They are being obedient to God, Who says, “I’m having a party and I want everybody who want to come to know my joy. Go and invite them – no, COMPEL them – to join Me!”
    3. God is drawing you from the empty, gross husks of this current life to the mouth-watering feast of love, joy, peace and genuine goodness He has in store for you. He wants you to experience Him, not just “know” about His love intellectually.

    Take God up on His magnificent offer, Max. You won’t ever regret it.

  • DianN,

    “God is drawing you from the empty, gross husks of this current life to the mouth-watering feast…”

    I know the drill. I was a Catholic for about 50 years.
    And know what? I see no evidence that the feast is real. It is wish thinking.

    And guess what else. You are saying something very awful about this wonderful, spellbindingly beautiful life if you insist on this utopian offer of something better.

    Believe it if you wish – but it sounds awful to me.

  • Jack

    You come at theists with the tone and tenor of absolute certainty that there’s no God, and then you turn around and say you yourself aren’t certain. So why berate others for believing….and why all the huffing and puffing and serial spamming about what you yourself don’t even know to be the case?

    If you were an honest person, you wouldn’t find yourself tangled up in one contradiction after another.

  • That’s absolute nonsense. Context is critical to the accurate interpretation of any work of literature, let alone one as diverse and century-spanning as the Bible.

    Politicians take their opponents’ quotes out of context all the time to make them appear to say the opposite of what they are really saying. There are people doing exactly that all over this comment section.

  • @Larry Short,

    “Context is critical”

    If you believe your own nonsense then please answer my question.

    Under what circumstance is it GOOD AND HUMANE to cut off your wife’s hand for touching another man’s penis?

    By all means put this depravity “in context” and let’s see how that improves this ridiculous argument.

  • Jack,

    “So why berate others for believing”

    I don’t!
    I berate and mock the statements in the Bible! Big difference!

    I insult nobody – unless someone insists that an insult to their religion is somehow an insult to them.
    That is not me insulting them. That is them insulting themselves.

    Speaking of berating and mocking the Bible:

    ZOMBIES walked for Jesus and they had a great time visiting with everyone in Jerusalem” – (Matthew 27:52)

    Explain this nonsense. Is it any wonder that ISIS can do whatever it wants to when it follows a book which is similarly RIDICULOUS and inhuman?

  • Jack,

    I challenge the claims of the Bible and the Q’uran as the RNS stories bring them up.
    I challenge the claims of Theocrats who want to strip people of their freedom of religion – PEOPLE LIKE YOU.
    I challenge the claims which say these religions are peaceful. None of them are.

    And I do this while consistently acknowledging that I defend the freedom of religion.

    It is not easy to be disgusted with religion and at the same time support people’s right to it. But that is exactly the line I am on.

    ISIS PROVES IT – religion must be abandoned. Not outlawed.
    Just let it rot, leave these churches and mosques to preach to empty rooms – and leave these dangerous fables to die off!

  • Bob

    Max, please explain to us from your own worldview as to WHY it is morally wrong to kill, discriminate, and oppress other people? I mean after all, if we are just “freaks of nature”, accidents of the cosmos, and our lives are utterly meaningless, why shouldn’t I oppress my neighbor if I can get away with it and it provides my own tribe some advantage? Isn’t that the whole idea behind survival of the fittest?

    Consequently, do you think Darwin was wrong when he made discriminatory comments against women and other races in his writings?

  • Jack

    You’re only fooling yourself, Max. You have berated others constantly for daring to disagree with you and your mountains of spam.

  • Jack

    Bob, you are wasting your time with such questions. Max will respond by darting behind his skyscrapers of spam and hiding there until you go away.

  • Jack

    You say you’re only against people who oppose separation of religion and state, when you’re really against theists of all stripes. When someone calls you on that contradiction, you then accuse them of opposing such separation.

    So in MaxWorld, to be a theist means to oppose separation of religion and state.

    Your argument is circular.

  • Jack

    No you’re not “fine” with that…..and the proof is everything you’ve been posting. It has zero to do with separation of religion and state and everything to do with your intolerance and hatred against religion of every kind. Your problem is with religion itself, not just union between it and government. And you feel so strongly about it, you are willing to ransack the Bible for anything that’s even plausibly negative. And you’re willing to lie and distort and make things up out of whole cloth in your endeavors.

    So please don’t make yourself look even sillier than you are by denying the obvious — you hate religion itself, not just union of religion with state.

  • Jack

    So Max, you’re now equating the words of the Bible with the words of Hitler?

    The words of the Bible were either written by (1) God (2) Jews or (3) both.

    Being an atheist, you reject #s 1 and 2.

    That means you believe Jews wrote the Bible.

    So you are equating the most important and famous literary and spiritual contribution of the Jewish people to humanity with….what…..Adolf Hitler?

    I’ve said all along that your Bible-bashing — and specifically your Torah-bashing — is impossible to maintain without bashing the Jewish people and their history. You can’t do one without doing the other, any more than you can divorce the Jewish people from their roots and history.

  • Jack,

    “your intolerance and hatred against religion”

    I have every right to hate religion. Just as you have the right to have your religion.

    When you deny me the right to argue against these despicable philosophies you deny yourself the right to have them yourself.

    Is that where you want to go? Forbidding people their rights for and against religion?

  • Jack,

    “You have berated others…”

    I challenge claims. I do not berate others. I care about lies and the spreading of lies.

    Religion is just an idea. That is all it is. An IDEA.

    You are like a New York Yankees fan who insists everyone must agree with you that the New York Yankees are the best idea ever invented!

    I have news for you. Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians, Anglicans – they all change teams!

    They don’t change their skin color, eye color or hair color. They can’t change where they were born and they can’t change what they look like.

    But they can change their teams!
    And I am telling you that some teams COMMAND MURDER!

    “the only cure for homosexuals is that they be put to death”
    Pastor Robbie Galaty
    Tennessee Megachurch
    September 4, 2014

    “We have killed for the Prophet” – Muslim at Charlie Hebdo

    You have the right to your religion.
    I have every right to hate it.

    You have the right to like Jello.
    I have the right to hate Jello.

    Religion is just an idea – like Jello. Stop elevating it to personhood!

  • Bob,

    If you don’t know why it is wrong to kill people you don’t need religion.
    You need empathy.

  • Bob,

    What is attributed as the motivation for the Good Samaritan?
    No religious motive is given.

    It wasn’t the New Testament – since Jesus is the one telling the story.
    It wasn’t the Old Testament, since the Jews walked right past the wounded person in the street.

    The Samaritan was simply following the ancient Golden Rule – ‘do not do to others that which you would not want done to you’
    And it is older than Christianity and it requires no gods.

    The Golden Rule is what we all live by whether we are Atheists or not.
    We are born with empathy for others (except for psychopaths which are afflicted with known mental illness)
    Nobody hurts others unless they want to invite that same pain on themselves. – and NOBODY wants that.

    We don’t need Gods to be moral. Otherwise, morality would prove the existence of a God – and it doesn’t.

  • Jack,

    “You say you’re only against people who oppose separation of religion and state, when you’re really against theists of all stripes.”

    Stop saying I am against ‘people’.
    That is slanderous.

    I’m not ‘against theists’. I am challenging claims.
    I’m against your claim that Atheism is somehow worse than ISIS!

    Wouldn’t you rather see all of the ISIS THEISTS turn into Agnostic Atheists like me? Wouldn’t the world be better if the claims of ISLAM and CHRISTIANITY were challenged by the populations of these countries?

    Instead, you argue for “unquestioned loyalty” to this claptrap in the name of protecting….who exactly?!

    You defend a murderous regime of ISIS simply because they are Theists when you slander those who argue on these points.

    The ideas of religion must be challenged openly and publicly – and frequently.

  • Jack

    Max, your problem is God. Nobody obsesses the way you do over beings that they honestly believe don’t exist. It’s a classic case of protesting too much.

  • Jack

    Max, repost anything I said about atheists being worse than ISIS. I would never say that because I don’t believe that for a single second and you know it. Not even close.

  • Jack

    You have the right to say anything you please, but if you lie about what you’ve just said, you’re going to get called on it.

    To repeat, you lie when you say your problem is only with union of religion and state…..Your problem is with religion itself.

    So stop lying, Max.

  • Jack,

    “your Bible-bashing — and specifically your Torah-bashing — is impossible to maintain without bashing the Jewish people and their history.”

    What a nonsequiter!

    I also happen to think Zeus was a lie.
    And the blood sacrifices of Diana and Palace Athena are despicable.
    Are you going to accuse me of hating the Greeks too?

    I also think Queztaslcotal God was a lie.
    Throwing innocent children into volcanoes is disgusting!
    Are you going to accuse me of hating the Mexicans?

    Sorry, my wife and kids are part Mexican so I guess your logic doesn’t follow!

    I also think it is a lie that the Yankees are the best baseball team.
    Does that mean I hate New York City?

    Religions are just very bad ideas.
    People have rights. Ideas do not have rights.

    People and Ideas are different things.
    They are not the same and

    All the schools would have to close
    IF IDEAS COULD NOT BE DISCUSSED AND INSULTED FREELY!

    You’re entire argument is against culture, against thought and against freedom.

  • judy

    Atheism, by default, sees God through Satan’s eyeglasses. How Satan longs to take God’s place forever by portraying himself as a ‘good guy’ and God as ‘evil’ as he did in the Garden. In the churches our practices have been severely muddied and confused by Satan’s perspective because Satan’s view of God was and is mixed into our culture and our church culture via the institutionalization of the church and evil men. Once ‘State Power” became one with the church Satan fully entered because Satan’s great desire is power and his followers salivate where there is power. Here was Satan’s chance to take over the rule of God’s people:…I thought Fundamentalism ignored context, but mad Max’s ripping phrases torn and bleeding out of context is really determined ‘eisegesis’…for anyone who needs a clear example.

    So what’s your point, Max?

  • Jack

    So in MaxWorld, the ancient Jews were a bunch of barbarians who……..

    Max, your anti-Semitic slip is showing.

    Apparently you failed to read the prior post carefully. The Jews were not noted at all for being ISIS-like butchers. By your own words, you admitted that were that so, there “wouldn’t be anyone left” among the Jews, given all the penalties in the Torah. What you’re missing, again, is that God never intended for the Jews to carry out those penalties, any more than He intended Abraham to kill Isaac. And so they didn’t; and so Abraham didn’t.

    The penalties were there to show how God took sin seriously…..He was saying, “those who commit sin deserve the ultimate penalty, so I need to show them that through these laws so they may confess their sin, repent, and ask forgiveness…..and to provide a way for repentance, I have set aside a yearly day of repentance and daily sacrifices in the Temple which include offerings for sin.”

    That’s why the end result was not a nation that executed itself by executing every transgressor, but instead, a nation where the death penalty was the actual exception and not the norm……as the Talmud, Jesus, and the very existence of the Jewish people through time together attest.

    It’s the very existence of the Jewish people which destroys your whole premise.

  • judy

    There is none righteous…no not one

  • Jack

    One more point….in the second chapter of his letter to the Roman church, Paul takes the reality of this and applies it to the entire world:

    He says that throughout history, the question wasn’t where God’s mercy was, but where was his justice….The question was not how brutal God was toward humanity and its sins, but how utterly lenient and merciful He was…..how in daily life, God allowed people to live and even thrive despite their sins — and despite any evidence of most of them even asking for forgiveness for any of them.

    Paul’s ultimate point was that the question of God’s justice was answered only at Calvary…..that Jesus took on the penalty that was due everyone who ever lived, prior to Calvary and after Calvary.

  • Jack

    Nobody is challenging your right to hate, Max. But I am challenging you when you misrepresent not only the Bible, but even your own statements.

    And I have given you specific examples of your lying every time. I have literally chosen at random your citations of the Bible and have found misquotes, out-of-context words, and sometimes things that you’ve completely made up that have nothing to do with the text. And when confronted with your lies, you have denied and diverted at every point….and then continued posting the same lies.

  • Jack

    Max’s point is that he hates religion and especially biblical religion – -meaning Judaism and Christianity — and hates it so much, he believes lying is justified if it helps him refute it.

    What he fails to ask himself is why, if he’s so convinced he’s right, he has to lie rather than letting the facts speak for themselves. If he believed his position to be sufficiently secure and strong, he wouldn’t feel compelled to lie in order to bolster it.

  • Jack

    Max, do you agree or disagree with the following post from a certain “Bob”:
    “Bob
    “February 16, 2015 at 3:18 pm
    “You should get in trouble, or at least be challenged, for touting your religious delusions in any public way.”

    Which is it, Max? Is Bob correct or incorrect?

  • Jack,

    “Jesus took on the penalty that was due everyone who ever lived, prior to Calvary and after Calvary.”

    This idea is fatuous nonsense.
    What penalty? What crime have humans committed by being born?
    If being born is a crime then what do you do about real crimes? Call them “extra super very bad” crimes?

    “I turned myself into Jesus and had myself tortured then I committed suicide to give humanity a loophole from my law which involved eternal condemnation” – Yahweh
    “And here’s the loophole: if you don’t believe this story I’ll do even worse things to you and send you to Hell anyway for the rest of eternity” – Yahweh

    What nonsense. Christianity breaks your leg and then tells you it has arrived with the perfect remedy. Enough already.

    You are welcome to believe it but keep it out of my laws.

  • “You should get in trouble, or at least be challenged, for touting your religious delusions in any public way.”

    Nobody should “get in trouble” for spouting an opinion. Whether they are rooting for the New York Yankees or Boston Archdiocese.

    Having an opinion is a human right. And having a religion is a human right.
    I won’t dignify such accusations that I would ever suggest otherwise.

  • DianN

    Max; if you lived for fifty years in a denomination, then you probably had questions from way back that never got answered decently.

    I unhesitatingly say something awful about this life – it is broken.

    There are genocides, rapes, abuses, thefts, murders, adulteries.

    There are people born with their spines out their backs, with no hearing, with heart conditions that cause them to die hours after birth.

    There are hostages taken, duplicitous politicians, greedy corporations, addicts, and pushers who would sell drugs/alcohol to addicts just so they could buy a PS4.

    There is starvation, genital mutilation, snuff films, “honor” killings, and movies that glorify killing.

    god deals with reality. He is about the business of using changed human beings to make a difference in this world. That we – let me personalize this – that I personally fall down on that which I could do, is not God’s fault. His plan is still to save human beings. He is not interested in “fixing” this broken world, he is interested in saving human souls. And boy, do we need His love.

    This utopia that you revile is in reality a heavenly city, where the losers, the lost, and the least (to borrow phraseology from Robert Farrar Capon) are welcomed into God’s loving arms.

    I am among the losers, the lost, the least of this world. One day I will leave it behind and gain Christ forever. My heart breaks for those who gain this present world, kicking and screaming their vilification of God.

    If you ever find yourself in need – real need, not merely physical need, but a gut-wrenching ‘Uh-oh, I truly am the CHIEFEST of sinners’ need – remember that God’s love for you will never change, and you can call upon Him for help.

    I love you, Max.

  • Jack

    It is no non sequitur, Max. You are calling the heart and soul of the Jewish people monstrous and evil. There is no history of the Jewish people that takes us back to the beginning of their story absent the Bible. There is no story of the Jewish people without the story of their laws, customs and traditions which came from the Bible. Tear down the Bible and you are calling their history bogus, their story an absurdity, their customs and traditions the work of barbarians and sociopaths.

    Max, who do you think wrote the words you’re mocking and savaging? Aliens from Pluto?

    Jews wrote every single word.

    And again, you failed to answer the question:

    If the founding documents of the Jewish people are as barbaric and evil as you say, why is the history and culture of the Jewish people, a history and culture that is inseparable from the Bible, so exemplary compared to that of other nations? Why are the Jews not known for being barbarians, nor were they ever known for that?

    You can’t answer a single one of those questions…..

  • Jack

    Max, quit hiding and start answering my questions about the Bible and the Jewish people.

  • Jack

    You just did. Game over, lad.

  • Jack

    Max, the author of that post was you.

    You know it….and I know it. You don’t cover your tracks very well because besides being a liar, you are quite careless. You gave yourself away. It shows up in all your error-laden posts.

    Too bad you had to lie yet again — the original deception in posting as someone else and then the denial of it.

  • Larry

    If you had to answer, “Because God tells me so” then you are both a liar and a sociopath. You would be a liar because nowhere in your Bible is there any prohibition against such acts. Especially if you can claim such atrocity is inspired by God or in his name.

    You would be a sociopath because you need some kind of outside authority to tell you that harming people is a bad thing then you have zero connection to the rest of humanity. That you are so disconnected to the experiences and understanding of fellow people that you can’t understand how they would feel if they were harmed or oppressed.

    Life is precious precisely because it is not eternal. There is only one unique one we have. So it is cherished for its scarcity and singularity. We do not oppress and attack others because we don’t want to receive the same treatment. We as feeling, non-psychotic people understand how others feel when they are treat in such a way.

    “Consequently, do you think Darwin was wrong when he made discriminatory comments against women and other races in his writings? ”

    Darwin isn’t Jesus Christ or any other religious figure. His words are not meant to be taken on faith and revered. His works are examined and believed in the light of objectively obtained evidence and research.

    Moral thinking is far more than acting out of self-interest for fear of punishment or expectation of reward. It is weighing your decisions against how it affects others. What you are telling me Bob is that you are an amoral sociopath who is merely restrained on a divine leash. It paints a very poor picture of religious based moral thinking.

  • Larry

    No. You just have an irrational fear of atheists and want to impute evil motives to them. You neither understand such a view nor care to learn about it.

    Actual Satanists have a far more moral view than most Christians. The proposed inscription of their monument in OK is
    “The spirit of compassion, wisdom, and justice should always prevail over the written or spoken word.”

    That tells me more about moral thinking than anything coming from Christians worried about hellfire or expecting their souls to be saved. There is no such self interest in invoking “the spirit of compassion”.

  • Larry

    Bob was full of crap. He tries to pretend there is no such thing as moral thinking without religion. There are clear examples of such things. But he would never bother looking for it.

  • Jack,

    You win.

    There is absolutely no way to argue against religion. You win.

    Therefore, please prepare to surrender to the forces of Prophet Mohammed and ISIS. An increase in secularism was our last hope for the world.

    Enjoy your prize.

  • DianN

    Max, you are mistaken when you write that the Golden Rule is what we all live by. We certainly do not. We actually live by your concise statement that, “Nobody hurts others unless they want to invite that same pain on themselves…”
    You see, this entire world system is built upon “power over.” Adults, stronger than us militarily, attempt to control or destroy other adults. Men, usually stronger than women, seek to oppress them. People of one color lynch people of other colors. The rich use the poor, the infirm are ignored as too costly by the “strong.” One fanatic lops off the heads of those he considers less “religious” than he, while others thank God for American snipers as they leave movie theaters.
    We do not live by the Golden Rule; we live by “Do unto others as they have done unto us.” We lord it over one another.
    Jesus’ way is different: it is “power under”.
    We Christians are called to be ambassadors of reconciliation for the King of Kings.
    We fight against wickedness in high places for a Kingdom apprehended by faith, not sight.
    We die to self, and live unto Christ.
    Our greatest weapons are the Holy Spirit of God and prayer.
    We forgive the unforgivable. We love the unloveable. We realize how poor we truly are apart from Christ.
    Now as to morality, you are quite right in saying that morality doesn’t prove God’s existence. God’s existence cannot be “proved.” He Himself has deemed that we must come to Him by faith. Abraham did; Rebekah did. David did; Esther did. Mary Magdalena did; Jairus did. Paul did; and whosoever will, may come.
    The question: are we satisfied with this present evil world system, or will we join the Lord in overcoming it’s hatreds with love? Will we wage war, or will we wage peace? If one is truly wise in counting the cost, that person will see that the first edifice that must crumble, is his or her own wicked heart.

  • Jack,

    Quick last word, Todd, everything you said reflected your own lack of belief in your own god.
    I hope you give that some thought, Atheist.

    I refuse to call other commenters ‘Liars’ – but you can connect your own dots.

  • Max, thank you! By citing Deuteronomy 25:11-12 you’ve provided the perfect example of why context is so important. Hang on, it’s a deep dive, and since I know you will argue I’ll just say this will be my last word on the subject.

    “Good and humane” … Deuteronomy is a book about justice. The very name means “law.” It is a code of justice governing the Jewish theocracy.

    “Humaneness” doesn’t enter into the equation. Just like “American Sniper” really is about justice. The sniper’s goal is not to be humane, it’s to protect lives and mete out justice.

    Justice is the first half of goodness. Mercy is the second half. The Old Testament law established the demands of God’s justice. The New Testament reveals God’s mercy through Jesus Christ. Ezekiel 18:20 says, “The one who sins is the one who will die.” The penalty of sin is death. Justice.

    But Jesus died to give us life. Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Mercy.

    So the context of Deuteronomy is justice. Now to your statement: “cut off your wife’s hand for touching another man’s penis.” Context shows this to be a complete misreading of the text. Verse 11 sets the context: Two men are in a fight. More or less a fair fight, one against the other. But one of the two men’s wives comes along and tips the scales of justice … she “reaches out and seizes him by his private parts.” Says nothing about his penis, so assume the whole package. She is reaching between the man’s legs while he is focused on the fight, and trying to rip off his balls.

    If you were that man, I think you would want some justice, no? It’s a violent, physical, sexual assault, not a titilating encounter as you have erroneously (out of context) tried to depict.

    And it’s not her husband who’s charged with cutting off her hand (your assertion to this end is simply silly and misinformed at best) … it’s the Law. The government.

    It’s interesting to note that Jewish scholars interpreted this command in a way that balanced justice with mercy. I assume this was a rare occurrence, but when it happened, they typically charged a fine “equal to the value of the woman’s hand” (whatever that was), rather than actually cut it off. Justice and mercy.

    The point of this law, of course, was to establish justice. You can’t rip off a person’s balls while they are in a fair fight with your husband, and get away with it.

    Does that help you see how important context is?

    My prayer for you, Max, is that you would experience not just the justice, but the mercy of Jesus. Perhaps then you will be less inclined to take God’s holy Word out of context in a vain effort to validate your own twisted views of the universe.

  • Pingback: Miroslav Volf: Religious support of violence is a malady of all political religions | Romania Evanghelica()

  • Jack

    Larry, you really don’t know what you’re talking about on this matter. I have stood up for and defended atheists on a number of occasions on these boards alone. When people were bashing a pastor who became an atheist, I read the interview carefully and concluded that he was a fair-minded and decent person who was genuinely wrestling with ultimate questions. I came away from the article liking the man very much despite his decision. And I stood up for him repeatedly when he was attacked on the boards.

    One of my closest friends is an atheist I’ve known since college who I would do anything for. He’s one of the smartest people I know and one of the most decent and ethical as well. I like to tell him that he acts a lot more like a Christian than some Christians I know. I am honored and blessed to call him a friend.

    I have no doubt in my mind that there are plenty of atheists who are the same. I have some involvement in human rights work and find that a disproportionate percentage of co-laborers are atheists. I value that as well.

    But what I don’t value are people of any stripe who feel they have to lie and distort to advance their position, whatever it is. Nor do I value people who don’t have the courage to admit they’re wrong when they are corrected, but go on posting the same information as if nothing had happened.

    Max has been caught in lie after lie. I have even chosen citations of his at random, since I don’t have time to read all or most of them, and have routinely found basic, obvious errors, including words that are totally unrelated to what’s in the citations. I have seen him lie about his own words, denying what he had just said moments before.

    And Max is in his own league here. I have yet to run into anyone who so easily and casually mangles facts and reality when it suits him.

    You’re obviously a team player on such things but I’m not. You will defend anyone who’s an atheist, right or wrong, but I will not do likewise for anyone who is a Christian. You may think your way is the way to go, but it isn’t. It’s quite cynical and you can have it.

  • Jack

    No, Max, if ISIS wins, we all lose. You lose, I lose….everyone loses.

    You don’t get it. You’re too busy with your sordid games.

  • Jack

    Max, I don’t believe I’ve ever called anyone a liar on a message board…..but in this case, it has been well-earned, unfortunately. But even if I never uttered the word, you would still be who and what you are. Words don’t create reality, but sometimes they simply call it what it is.

  • judy

    Jack, I am sad that you think secularism is the only hope for the world…perhaps you would prefer to live in Russia, China or North Korea? Maybe there is your hope.

    Secularism is no different than any other system. It has people in it.

    The November 5, 2013 issue of Maclean’s magazine in Canada had a fascinating article by Emma Teitel entitled “Bless Atheists, for They have Sinned” in which she mentions an atheist Rebecca Watson, feminist author of the blog “Skep-chick” who has

    “experienced misogyny verging on the deranged…(including)…death threats that cite man’s ‘superior evolutionary psychology.’ (When you can no longer use scripture to subjugate women, why not try science?).”

    A rather frightening observation from Ms. Teitel indicates that the attacks are orchestrated from the top where Ms. Watson had a run-in with leading Atheist, Dawkins after speaking at the World Atheist Convention in the United States in 2012. After the meeting she informed Dawkins that she had experienced that the atheist community was also tainted with sexism. Apparently Dawkins rebuked her and said she should focus on the ‘real sexism’ in other communities and from then on she was “flooded with misogynistic missives”. He just couldn’t swallow that the problem was just as prevalent in his own community. From then on she was flooded with attacks and she observed in the same Maclean’s magazine:

    “ ‘If Richard Dawkins hadn’t weighed in I wouldn’t be getting half the abuse I get. If Dawkins says attack, they attack.’ Can anyone say ‘the voice of God’?”

    So you see we all have a problem and it is sin. Therefore the only hope is….Atonement.

  • Jack

    judy, I think you’re confusing Max with me in that opinion. I’m not sure how you did it, but you did.

    Max believes that secularism is the only hope for the world. I differ strongly, and believe that neither secularism on the one end nor theocracy on the other hand is the answer. Both extremes are inimical to freedom and to honoring a free marketplace of ideas.

  • Larry

    My comment was directed at judy, not you. If I wasn’t clear about that, then apologies to you are in order.

    When someone says “Atheism, by default, sees God through Satan’s eyeglasses”, there is no way to construe that other than as insult and dismissive. Adding the fact that professed satanists have a rather beneficial moral belief was just to add insult to injury to judy’s post.

    You don’t do yourself any favors by accusing Max of lying. He gives citations his Biblical quotes in his posts. If he is misconstruing the context or misstating them, you are more than able to call him out on it. He makes it easy to do. You like to cast the aspersions, but I don’t see much follow up in them.

  • Larry

    Secularism is not atheism judy. It is not even antitheistic. The only people who make that mistake and vilify secularism are the types who gladly support entanglement of religion and government. Theocrats.

    Secularism is respect to all faiths by taking a neutral stance. Deliberately avoiding sectarian favoritism and discrimination. Either keeping sectarian concerns out of government or embracing all faiths in a general manner.

    Its roots are religious. Sects who believed church and state should remain apart in order to protect the integrity of both. Secularism is widely supported by minority faiths and most mainstream ones as a way to keep the government from imposing religious based oppressive actions.

    Equating secularism with anti-theism is defamatory and dishonest. Btw China, North Korea and Russia all permitted religious belief when it suited their purposes. They are not anti-religious, they are anti-free exercise. North Koreans being extremely spiritual in their state faith of Juche. Even to the point of making supernatural claims of their past leaders.

  • Jack,

    “Liar….in this case, it has been well-earned”

    All you did was demonstrate that I have posted some angry things which I forgot about. Congratulations.
    Not the same thing as a ‘lie’. These are lies:

    1. You INSIST God exists.
    2. You insist you have a relationship with this God.
    3. You insist Faith is a valid method of inquiry – the same method used by ISIS to ‘prove’ Allah.

    These 3 whoppers are at the heart of your philosophy.
    You don’t even deny that they are unsupportable!
    No evidence for a claim qualifies as lying.
    You have a word for people who love lies.
    Apply it to yourself.

  • Jack,

    “if ISIS wins, we all lose.”

    Duh.
    And you insist Faith is a valid argument to prove god.
    So you must hold ISIS in very high regard because that is their identical argument.

    “Just believe” – Mohammed Atta

    Faith is a depravity.
    Prove your claim that your Faith in your God is better than
    ISIS’s faith in Allah!

  • Judy,

    God is irrelevant.

    If you claim god exists you need to prove it.
    If one claims god does not exist one needs to prove it.

    I do not know if there is a god, nor do I believe in your god.
    I am the typical Atheist in that I am an AGNOSTIC ATHEIST.

    I think it is only fair for religious people such as yourself
    to stop selling Jesus and Allah to everyone.

    If you don’t have evidence, don’t claim it to be true.
    And don’t sell religion if you can’t prove your product exists.
    That is false advertising.

  • Jack

    Larry, I do not use the word, “liar,” lightly at all. If you read my responses to Max, you’ll see that I typically distinguish between mere carelessness or differences of opinion about the meaning of words and real, actual deception. I understand and respect that distinction all the way.

    I’m not going to reproduce all the exchanges between Max and me. You can go back and read some of them yourself. The one consistent thread is deception and obfuscation. No other poster on any side of any debate has come close.

  • Jack

    Max, we’re not debating theism vs. atheism…..we’re talking about your lack of honesty and integrity in your posting, from citations to responses to others pointing out factual errors.

  • judy

    Yup…Turkey was secular…now an Islamic state…not very stable.

  • judy

    God is irrelevant. What God? The God you say you don’t believe in? How do you know He is irrelevant? Evidently you believe He exists because you know that He is irrelevant…How do you measure His relevancy or lack of it? By what system of measurement do you do this? Since you know He is irrelevant you know about Him and that makes Him real to YOU. Therefore you are not an agnostic…but a believer who is in rebellion.

  • judy

    sorry Jack…that goes to Max…I wasn’t clear in what I said…secularism, as defined by Larry, is Americanism founded on the principles of Christians and others, who are a people of faith and reason that tolerate all other belief systems, even atheism for a reason. A secular state was CREATED by the Americans who made the first government that, by law, permitted any view to be held and that with safety…but it was NONCONFORMIST-Christianity (Baptists, Quakers etc.) that had suffered so dreadfully under institutionalized religion (Anglicanism and Catholicism) that was behind this preference for secularism. They wanted liberty of faith and knew that secularism was the only way. They wanted Soul Liberty and that can only be had under a truly secular state…but a secular state is a tenuous thing because MODERN secularists are becoming more and more strident AGAINST all religions and they have developed a growing tendency toward the religion of atheism these days and that is a natural result of their aversion to other faiths and their determination to make sure we never see a divine foot coming through the door…so essentially, the secularist today has often become a full blown atheist. So you see secularism leads to (atheistic) state religion here as it has led to (Islamic) state religion in Turkey, that was very stable secular state. It doesn’t take much to tilt the wheel…Germany went from a democracy to a dictatorship WITH ONE ELECTION!

    Secularism isn’t the answer either, because the trouble is always people. Our sin is always the problem…(Hunger for power, control, greed, hatred, etc.) Until we deal with sin we will never have PEACE…So you atheists and secularists, how do you deal with your own sin?… Peace is what we all want…so now you know how to get it…what are you going to do about sin?

  • judy

    The encroachment of secularism in the U.S. on all things public has begun the gradual removal all things religious from public view so that in effect we live in an increasingly atheistic-appearing world. The fanatical determination to remove all evidence of religion from public life has muzzled most forms of Christian expression in America. So to say secularism is not atheistic is pushing definitions too far. It looks like a duck and it walks like a duck. This dismantling of ‘native’ American religions has paved the way for Islam to move in to what appears to be a vacuum…so I suggest that Secularism taken too far has begun to weaken America.

    Secularism was never intended to do this…at least that is what they said. While the intent was to prevent the state from representing any particular form of religion and give freedom to all, the practice of secularism has, effectively begun to replace all outward forms and expressions of religion: In a sense SECULARISM has become a religion to some.

    That is proven by the words of a visitor to this site who earlier said “OUR ONLY HOPE IS IN SECULARISM” or words to that effect.

    Well that sounds a lot like “Jesus Christ is our only Hope for Salvation from Sin…therefore He is the only hope for America”.

    As I said, the problem is with sin. There are always people in every “-ism” who crave power, money, to destroy others, to keep certain people down, to prevent expression by others (nativity scenes), to prevent assembly of certain groups…the names of these ‘certain’ ones can change depending on those who take power. No matter how we strive to have checks and balances, there are always those who circumvent them by craft and cunning…because of their sin…

    To my view, the only hope for America is that sinners would repent of their sin by the very real, provable power of the atonement of Jesus Christ who is able to save us all to the uttermost if we come to God through Him…He has and does actually change lives and turn those who love their sin, in seconds, into those who hate their own sin and, by definition, turn from it with disgust; which is called repentance. When this happens the person becomes a New Creature internally! This happened to me and so I know that my life was happily wicked and sinful (though I did not call it that at the time) and in seconds after my repentant cry to Christ I not only despised actions that I used to love, but there were evidences of change that others saw immediately, even though I hadn’t realized them. Even the face changes…which is hard to explain…the eyes soften…and the heart of stone becomes a ‘heart of flesh’…where else can this happen? This is the power of God in a life and no one can argue against this when it happens.

    That was over 30 years ago and the change has remained and brought peace and joy to my heart…so there is the proof…God has proved His power and truth to me through a life changing experience, just like that which happened to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus…and to millions of others…I can’t prove it to you but you can prove this to yourself if you seek Him. He said “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out”…you are guaranteed acceptance with Him.

    So contrary to the secularist, I must say the only hope for you and me is Christ…sin will always be with us, but one by one as people repent, the society may become cleansed. (Please don’t write me about ‘Christians’ who sin: As Jesus warned :”Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) The proof is in the demise of the power of sin in the life. There must be evidence of some change..”doing the will of God” rather than man.

  • Judy,

    Where is your evidence that God exists?

    ISIS appears to have no evidence for Allah. Neither do you have evidence for your God.
    Is it good for the world to make claims which are not true?

    Does it not matter what ISIS believes?

  • Stephen,

    “I’m sick and tired of your crap”

    Then don’t read it.
    I don’t read yours.

  • Judy,

    “Peace is what we all want…so now you know how to get it…what are you going to do about sin?”

    The way to peace is to avoid the preachings of Jesus and Allah and Yahweh. None of it leads to any good.

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and EXECUTE THEM IN FRONT OF ME” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Don’t tell me this is ‘only a parable’! Millions of people have been slaughtered because of this parable!

    “The only cure for homosexuals is that they be put to death”

    Atheism by itself is NOT a perfect answer for the world’s problems.
    But it is a good start.

  • Jack,

    Where is your God?
    Where is your evidence for your claims?

    You endorse all the world’s faiths when you insist on your own.

  • Jack,

    “Reproduce exchanges”

    Nobody wants to play trivial pursuit.
    Where is your God?
    You claim it exists and that everyone must agree with this theory.

    Where is it?

  • “What is your point, Max?”

    My point is that the only way to defeat ISIS and Christian Crusades is for the world to wake up and stop following 2000 year old nonsense.

    An increase of Secularism in the Middle East is needed very badly.
    The United States needs to stop pushing Christianity on its citizens through government laws.

    All of these policies promoting religion in the world are dangerous nonsense.

  • Judy,

    “I must say the only hope for you and me is Christ”

    No.
    Secularism offers dozens of other answers.

    Christ offers only one. And it is the worst one of them all:

    “CLOSE YOUR BRAIN, STOP THINKING, SURRENDER TO WHAT YOUR GRANDMA TAUGHT YOU”

    What good is that?
    You seem not to notice that Al Queda follows the same recipe.
    And if we don’t start thinking better than they do, the world will blow itself up over this nonsense.

    “Only believe” – Mohammed Atta

    This is the stuff of nightmares.

  • judy

    Max, since you say, out of your own mouth that you KNOW God is irrelevant, you have PROVED THAT YOU BELIEVE HE EXISTS. Can’t you see that you are fighting against something REAL to you? You can’t KNOW anything if it isn’t real. If you weren’t fighting against God you wouldn’t be so adamant in your views.

    It is clear to me that you consider conversations about God SO IMPORTANT that you spend a lot of time (here) discussing Him. I suggest that you are deceiving yourself in saying you don’t believe in God…you just don’t like Him having power over you and you fiercely resent not being the master of your own fate (which is typical of young people, as I once was). Most people don’t discuss pink elephants because they don’t believe they exist and so they don’t have intense arguments about them…But you are obsessed with the God you say doesn’t exist. This only makes sense if you are ignoring the fact that He is real to you.

    Closing your mind is the LAST thing God requires: He appeals to you and me to “Come to Him and “REASON TOGETHER” with Him. His reality is in your mind because you are made by Him. You have to communicate with Him even though you would prefer not to. (that is why there are no atheists in foxholes-bunkers) This conversation here is you reasoning against God as you struggle vainly to ignore Him in your life. My faith is not my grandmother’s at all. No real faith can be that of someone else. We all believe as we come to see things, rationally over time and experience, individually. There is no such thing as blind faith…All faith requires a great deal of reasoning, and far more for older people than younger people who are just beginning to learn how to reason.

    The fact that so many young people are going to Isis is that they haven’t learned to reason out the many sides of the issue and are putting their EMOTIONS before reason. The natural anger and confusion of the teens and twenties is exploited by these people and used to turn their energies against their parents…that is your beef isn’t it? “SURRENDER TO WHAT YOUR GRANDMA TAUGHT YOU” is the best insult you can throw. Yes, many young people are so resentful against the adults that raised them that they allow Isis to recruit them to “pay the adults or even girlfriends back” for what they perceive as various forms of abuse they think they have suffered from them. Little do they know that they are killing reason as they go and clinging to emotion rather than thought.

    If this age group survives, they soon come to reason that those adults or girls they think they hate were not a bad as they thought…and that they have really been slaves to their OWN evil hearts…this is when God catches up with them and they repent for their sin…

    Secularism is an idea. God is a person. The only unique thing about secularism is its aim to get people to eventually put their faith in the secular (non-religious) state…which in the end becomes another religion called Secularism or Materialism :worshipping the material things they can see and their own frail reason while trying to ignore the power of the necessarily Immaterial person who is our Creator which is far greater than they wish to think. In the beginning there was INFORMATION…it is in your genes…you were created and your body is full of the blueprint of a greater being…

  • Jack

    No problem on that, Larry. It was I who misunderstood you and I have made similar mistakes. And thanks for clarifying.

  • Jack

    Very interesting, Max, that you evidently lie so often, you forgot what the word even means.

    The key is intent to deceive. The key is saying something that you know is false. The key is to be corrected on a careless or deliberate falsehood, quickly switch subjects, and then repeat the falsehood later on when you think nobody has read the original correction.

    That’s been you on these boards, Max. And my saying you lie is not what makes you a liar. If I never said a word, you’d still fit that label, because that’s what you’ve been doing here regularly.

  • Jack

    That’s okay, judy. We all make such mistakes sometimes.

  • Scott M

    Wow…Dude! take much out of context? Yeah I’m guessing this was one of those cut and paste google search things. You might want to try reading the whole bible first before you come on here and make really silly assumptions about a faith you obviously know very little about.

  • Judy,

    “out of your own mouth that you KNOW God is irrelevant, you have PROVED THAT YOU BELIEVE HE EXISTS.”

    No.

    If I say ‘Leprechauns are irrelevant’ does that mean I believe Leprechauns exist?

    If you say Santa Claus is irrelevant to Christmas does that mean Santa must exist?

    Religion pollutes the way we think about things.
    That is another reason I don’t trust it.

  • Judy,

    “not very stable”

    Thanks to religion.
    Misery and instability is the mark of a Theocracy.

  • Jack,

    “The key is intent to deceive.”

    I say your God appears to not exist. You claim it does without providing evidence. That is deception.

    “The key is saying something that you know is false.”

    You know you cannot show God to be true
    so it is not a supportable claim – it is therefor a FALSE claim.

    “The key is to be corrected on a careless or deliberate falsehood”

    Your claim of a Magic Leprechaun is a lie. Prove otherwise.

    “then repeat the falsehood later on when you think nobody has read the original correction.”

    The burden of the claim is on the person who makes it – where is your God?

    Here is a summary of your argument for God:

    Jack: “I have a million dollars”
    Me: “Where?”
    Jack: “Prove I don’t.”

    People who claim that God is real must stand up and show their evidence, Jack.

    Otherwise how do I know there are not two gods? Or 4 gods?
    How do I know your god is more real than Allah if you don’t explain it?

  • judy

    “The way to peace is to avoid the preachings of Jesus ”

    Really deep thinking! (sarcasm) You know nothing of Jesus…your disinformation is ridiculous-not worth discussing.

  • judy

    A secularists statement of faith: “An increase in secularism was our last hope for the world.”

    Hail the new religion…

  • judy

    Huh?

  • Judy,

    Do you even know what Jesus preached?
    Do you have any idea how evil it is?

    Why must Atheists always be the ones who know religion better?
    Oh, right – that is how we became Athiests!

    JESUS – I WILL DISMEMBER PEOPLE WITH A SWORD
    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)
    JESUS describes what he intends to do to his own enemies.

    JESUS – I SHALL RETURN TO EXECUTE MY ENEMIES
    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    JESUS – YOU SHOULD DROWN THEM
    “Drown him with a millstone” (Matt 18:6)

    JESUS – KILL YOUR CHILDREN THE WAY GOD TOLD YOU TO
    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

    JESUS – YOU MUST JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY
    “…if they are unworthy..REMOVE your blessing of peace.” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

    JESUS – I CAME TO BURN UP THE WORLD AND DESTROY IT
    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    JESUS – HATE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU
    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    JESUS – I’M A MAFIA GODFATHER. DO IT, OR ELSE.
    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

    JESUS – I WILL KILL THE CHILDREN MYSELF
    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 2:23)

    JESUS – I WANT YOU TO LIVE IN A HOUSE FULL OF ENEMIES
    “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death…for ME.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:21)

    JESUS – I’M HERE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE
    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    JESUS – JUDGE OTHERS FOR GOD’S WRATH!
    “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (Luke 9:3-5)

    JESUS ENDORSED the stoning laws – He rejected any change to the stoning laws of Moses.

    JESUS – KEEP ALL 500 STONING LAWS AS GOD COMMANDS
    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commands and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    JESUS – STONE THESE PEOPLE TO DEATH:
    “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19)

    Gays
    Inhabitants of conquered cities
    Victims of rape
    People who work on Sunday
    Infidels
    Prostitutes
    Uncircumcised men
    Men who have sex with women who are menstruating
    Ignorers of Priests
    Ignorers of Sacraments
    people who drink blood
    People who eat peace offerings
    People who let food go bad
    People who do magic tricks
    People who go to temple while filthy
    Heretics
    Perjurors
    fortune tellers
    Spiritualists
    False prophets
    People who approach the Tabernacle
    Apostates
    Kidnappers
    Pretenders of witchcraft
    Pretenders of other religions
    Stubborn children
    Rebellious children
    Children who disagree with their parents
    Profligates
    Sorcerers
    Women who marry their daughters
    Adulterers
    Fornicators
    People who are irresponsible with their bulls
    People who pretend to worship idols
    People who actually worship idols
    Unruly children
    Slaves who run away
    Gluttons
    Drunkards
    Liars
    Slaves who disobey
    Wives who disobey
    Men who steal
    Women who steal
    Children who steal
    Children who pretend to be witches
    Masturbators
    etc…

    There would be nobody left.

    If you are going to claim the Jesus promotes goodness or peace – these are just hollow statements.
    Whatever Jesus is, his legacy is contradictory and more evil than good.

  • Judy,

    “secularism …. hail the new religion”

    First, that adds up to ‘i know you are but what am i’ schoolyard nonsense.

    Second, secularism is a religion like OFF is a TV channel.

    If ignoring a dead God is some kind of a religion you’ll have to explain your religion of ignoring Zeus – because I don’t see ‘ignoring a dead god’ as a religion.

  • judy

    anyone can copy & paste someone else’s ideas…

    You know what Max? I have no patience for Christians who cut and paste parts of the Bible until it teaches their own views, but this kindergarten grade cutting and pasting project is the work of a person gone mad…seriously deluded and a danger to society…in fact their fanaticism and maniacal ranting is as irrational as that of the crazed and twisted followers of Isis! I can only hope that you are just tweaking us for your own amusement and that they aren’t as psychotic as they appear.

    I have written a 350 page book about Jesus’ liberating power and have studied His life and words and the entire Bible for over 35 years. Jesus is a freedom fighter for men and women. He said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted , to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised ,
    To preach the acceptable year of the Lord”. .

    Jesus is the only true God (And by the way a God, TO BE A GOD, has to be SUPREME… therefore, by definition, there can only ever be ONE God.

    OVER 100 times God condemns oppression or bondage of any kind. It is the Bible that says ‘Thou shalt NOT MURDER’. It also commands that you do not “commit false witness (lies) against your neighbour” as you have done in your posts. While much of the Bible DESCRIBES a lot of terrible things it doesn’t PRESCRIBE them. It takes a thinking person to recognize the difference.

    This endless ranting is full of deceptive misrepresentations that someone else typed for you…with their fingers crossed behind their backs and their mind on hallucinogens. People here are not fooled by this cheap trashy manufactured work that ‘CALLS GOOD EVIL AND EVIL GOOD’.

    Someday, Max you WILL bow before Jesus…because every knee WILL bow to Him and confess that He is Lord of all… the Prince of Peace….

  • Pingback: The Puritans Were Like ISIS? - Juicy Ecumenism()

  • judy

    “While the intent (of Secularism) in the 18th and 19th centuries was to prevent the state from representing any particular form of religion and give freedom to all, the practice of secularism has, effectively, developed a systematic attack on outward forms and expressions of religion. In a sense SECULARISM has become a full system of support, or faith to some…a belief system that inhabits the halls of government and considers its mandate to be the monitor and eliminator of every outward evidence of anything ‘sacred’ and replace it with Humanistic teaching.

    That it has become a religious system, in which some put their faith is proven in a former post here, by the words of a visitor to this site who earlier said “OUR ONLY HOPE IS IN SECULARISM” or words to that effect. When people put their hope or faith in something it has become a religion, or if you wish, a belief system, only here, man has become the ‘god’. But you will call it what you like and so will I…

    As you see, that sounds a lot like “Jesus Christ is our only Hope” “He is the only hope for America”…this is faith…only a better object.

    There is plenty of evidence for God. You are not ready to receive it because you are not teachable.

  • judy

    This is for everyone who has been writing on this post…’SPLAIN THIS’!

    Secularism —goodbye

    Human genius?…what is genius? Especially the first little girl…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K8LwT67v7w&index=41&list=RDYLPWFrErfWE

  • judy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8K8LwT67v7w&list=RDYLPWFrErfWE&index=25

    SORRY…I by the time I prepared this comment page the youtube video had moved to the one I just sent…

    This is the one I intended to send…

  • Pingback: That Was The Week That Was | The Pietist Schoolman()

  • judy

    Americans are humans and as such are just as subject to the same sins of Islamists as are any other people…sins such as the ‘Deadly seven”: “wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony”….you can dress sin up in any ideology, atheism, secularism, Buddhism, communism, Islam and even Pacifism…any variety of beliefs or faiths you wish…in the end ALL humans are guilty of these characteristics, no matter if some are compassionate, loving and any other qualities, sin will always be there in the most dangerous of all: those who have power to make a difference. Depending on the particular sin of various leaders, the world will continue to suffer under human leadership of any kind. There is just no ‘ism’ that is the solution…and pride is the worst of all for it deceives us into thinking that we are different than the person beside us.

    Without real repentance and the power of God, no human can overcome him/her/self and the sin that so easily besets us…and there is no group, including those who call themselves Atheist, Secular or Christian, that doesn’t have its share of those whose anger, pride, envy, lust, etc. brings disgrace on their particular brand of ‘hope’, and brings suffering and disgust into their fellow adherents. (observable from certain comments here)

    As a Christian, I know many whose lives have truly been transformed by the power of God through repentance, but in the midst of these truly wonderful people there always seem to be those whose lust for power drives them to the top, who take advantage of the others and who USE others to advance themselves because they are not really converted to Christ, but are play-acting for various nefarious reasons…Institutionalism is part of the cause and I believe when this becomes obvious, people need to LEAVE and take power away from these people.

    This is the human state as long as we believe that there are any people on earth who are inferior to us in any way. Until we can ALL, “in honour, prefer one another” and “submit ourselves, one to another” as the Bible teaches, there cannot be peace.

    As King George VI said ” Peace and freedom cannot long be separated. …Without freedom there can be no enduring peace, and without peace no enduring freedom.” But I add to this that until true equality of opportunity is achieved and the virulent cancer of sin is rooted out of all human hearts, we cannot have either.

    In a sense, I have to agree with Volf except that I do not omit ANY idealistic group from guilt in the matter…especially in those who strive for leadership…because as with soup “either the cream or the scum rises to the top”…and too often it is scum. Volf is very wrong in singling out American Christians. There is no group or person who can claim sinlessness here.

  • Pingback: Lynx!! 2/24/15 | Jennifer Does Not Understand Imperialism()

  • Pingback: An ISIS side to America's History? - Juicy Ecumenism()

  • Peter Harding

    I’ve never read such a distortion of the Bible as a result of misquotes, weird translations and complete misattributions of quotations!

  • Laurence Charles Ringo

    Thanks,DiaN…I wonder if Atheist Max realizes that he is more a source of amusement on this site than anything else. Sure,he stumbles across some truth about a few issues on occasion but his woefully misinformed assessments of what he thinks Scripture is actually teaching is simply peurile and ignorant.Sad.

  • judy

    no, Max…the dead were raised to life. You watch too many B movies

  • judy

    You have too high an opinion of yourself!

  • judy

    Max, you are starting to become a dreadful bore. The poor people who can’t turn you off!!! If you spent half the time reading the Bible that you do the book you keep quoting you might learn something.