Tag Archives: god

Me every day on the internet

11 Mar
Things I repeatedly find myself saying on the internet and social media:
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– That’s not true.
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– That missing person was found weeks ago.
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– That person was never missing in the first place.
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– That’s a very old hoax.
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– That hoax is older than your Mom.
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– That’s a new hoax.
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– Just kidding – it’s even older than the first one.
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– And your Mom.
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– No, Jesus didn’t say that.
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– And Christians don’t believe that.
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– Or do that.
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– Or that.
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– Not if they are serious about following Jesus, anyway.
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– Which is what actual Christianity is, y’know, about.
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– Yes, we do have evidence.
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– Again, that thing you reposted on Facebook is a hoax – check Snopes.
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– And Wikipedia.
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– And any reputable news source.
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– And real life.
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– The effect of that change in social mores has not been nearly so beneficial as you claim, on any number of metrics that are commonly accepted as indicators of health, security and wellbeing.
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– I know it’s only “one study”. It’s not the only one, and I’m telling you to keep an open mind.
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– You’ll get the “lots of studies” when I find time to write a book about it. Otherwise, the research is out there. Has it occurred to you that maybe the real science doesn’t sell newspapers?
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– Or that politicians don’t care about it?
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– Yes, man did land on the Moon.
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– No, we have not collaborated with aliens to build a secret base there.
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– The second shadow comes from sunlight reflected by Earth, not studio lighting.
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– No, not everything you read on Snopes is true.
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– Because not everybody on Snopes understands what they are talking about.
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– Or that opinion is not the same as logic, analysis or an impartial and thorough review of actual evidence.
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– Nibiru? No.
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– Because we would have seen it in all kinds of ways.
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– But not on your mobile phone.
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– Nor as a second sun mysteriously caught on a TV camera in one broadcast but also mysteriously invisible to billions of other people, millions of other cameras and the whole scientific community.
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– Could you take my word on this one? Or make a common-sense assessment?
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– Please?
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– Nor Planet X.
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– Nor chemtrails.
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– Guns. Kill. People.
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– Yes, there is a Planet 9.
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– But it doesn’t do the things you say Planet X does.
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– Which would make it not actually proof of your crackpot theory.
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– Well, the person who first published the Nibiru theory claimed to have been spoken to by aliens.
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– But who am I to judge?
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– No, Hitler and the Nazis weren’t Christians.
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– Pretty sure, actually.
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– And they didn’t get caught up in a secret plot to perpetuate the Third Reich through the 1960s space race.
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– The proposed changes in the legislation are not nearly so benign and neutral as this pressure group makes out.
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– It’s not homophobic to point that out.
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– Or transphobic.
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– Or bigoted.
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– It’s called freedom of speech.
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– And thought.
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– Yes, if it has a penis and testicles that produce sperm, it’s probably still a man.
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– It’s not homophobic to point that out.
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– Or transphobic.
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– Or bigoted.
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– It’s called scientific fact.
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– And thought.
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– Which was what we believed in before we decided feelings were the ultimate arbitrator of reality.
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– And after we did away with God.
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– Look, just let me know when Caitlyn Jenner starts menstruating.
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– Could you please actually read the Bible?
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– And try to understand that a New Testament can repeal sections of an Old Testament?
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– Or ask a Christian what they believe?
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– And how they come to that belief?
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– And how they live it out in practice?
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– Rather than telling them they believe and do what Richard Dawkins told you they believe and do?
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– Or that lobby group.
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– Or the National Secularist Foundation of Societies for Freedom From Religion And Anything That Questions Our Unquestioning Self-Regard.
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– *yawn*
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– Yes, I do eat prawns.
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– But not oysters.
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– You may have misunderstood the purpose of that commandment in the Old Testament.
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– And imposed a 21st-century, post-modern view of justice and democracy upon it.
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– Because an unmarried woman who had been raped couldn’t just go and claim social security in 1500 BC Sinai, that’s why.
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– Ditto that commandment.
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– And that commandment.
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– Seriously? Yes, that commandment too.
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– It’s not just an unfeeling clump of cells.
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– Three words: Abortion to term.
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– Liberal Christians don’t want to believe the Bible any more than you do. The clue’s in the name.
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– I know Rob Bell said it.
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– But Jesus didn’t.
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– If Jesus didn’t talk about that thing, maybe it was because it was already commonly understood in that era from 1,500 years of Jewish history and law.
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– Have you seen oysters? Seriously, no, thank you!
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– No, it’s not a Delusion.
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– And the translators do know what they are doing.
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– And the real history of the Crusades is not like that.
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– The evidence is there – you just have to investigate it honestly.
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– For yourself.
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– Because if Richard Dawkins is as blinkered, unresearched and biased as you are,* then it’s the blind leading the blind.
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– Well, there’s a chance that if you investigate these things for yourself you will achieve that thing that you’re always insisting I should do.
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– “What’s that?”
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– Learn something that will open your eyes.   :o)
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PS:
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– No, Jesus won’t turn you away for believing in Nibiru.
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– Salvation comes by faith in a God who has revealed Himself in numerous ways.
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– Not by passing a science test.
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Thank you for reading.
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*There is plenty of evidence that this is so.
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Everything they said I shouldn’t do…

23 May

When talking to Christians from non-charismatic or conservative evangelical backgrounds, I often find myself having to deal with their resistance to the idea that God would want to manifest the gifts of the Holy Spirit through them, bless them finanically or meet with them personally in day-to-day life.

Some attempt to write these things off as minor doctrines, but God has spoken clearly in the Bible about a great many things besides forgiveness, holiness and salvation. Generally I find that people start to mention the issue of “minor doctrines” when they are trying to excuse themselves from dealing with parts of Scripture that they find challenging. Unbelief regarding God’s word or fear of what other Christians will think of them is what holds them back from exploring God’s ways. How often do we say, “We don’t do it like that at my church?”

Nothing is as important as knowing you’re saved from sin, but God has given us a lot of very clear teaching about how to live and how to build His kingdom. Receiving salvation (being born again) is just the first step. It’s amazing to see how all the stuff people at my old conservative evangelical Baptist church tried to talk me out of when I was in my teens has become the most liberating and powerful teaching – and all I had to do was take God at his word.

They said I didn’t need to ask God to fill me with the Holy Spirit, but when I did ask Him to fill me with the Spirit, I found power to witness and a sense of Jesus living in me that being a born-again Christian from age 10 and going to church all my life had never given me. (Acts 1:8; Romans 8:11)

They said speaking in tongues was a waste of time, but the more I speak in tongues, the more I hear from God when ministering to people and am empowered to use the gifts of the Spirit. (Romans 8:26,27; Jude v20)

They said I shouldn’t bother raising my hands in the air when I worship, but when I do it I feel more connected to God and worship takes me into two-way communion with Him. (Psalm 63:4)

They said I shouldn’t bother laying hands on people to pray for healing, but I have done it and people have been healed and shown the love of Jesus as a result. (Mark 16:18)

They said I shouldn’t bother trusting God to prosper me, but every time I do, He blesses me financially! (Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-11)

The bottom line is that we can do things God’s way, as the apostles and prophets did, and if we do so, we will see what the apostles and prophets saw. Many Christians are discovering this to be true and are seeing God do amazing things through the gifts of the Spirit, as well as being abundantly blessed with financial and material provision, enabling them in turn to provide for the preaching of the gospel and ministry to the needy. Alternatively, we can find reasons not to do those things and have the kind of church I grew up in, in which most of the people we reach are those who are already stable in life and part of the church system.

I’ve begun to see what God does when we take Him at His word.  If you’re looking to see Him do what He said He would do, don’t let well-meaning, “unbelieving believers” talk you out of it.

I’m still waiting to hear an atheist say something impressive

2 May

Hello, and welcome to my first proper blog post on Cookie Supermarket!

I frequently have discussions about faith with atheist friends, usually on Facebook. Many of them are passionate in their claim that there is no such thing as God, or indeed any god. A lot of them appear to put great faith in the pronouncements of prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, et al.

After a couple of years of going around in circles, patterns are emerging. And they don’t bode well for atheism.

    1. Atheism is not rational, analytical, logical and scientific, as its proponents claim. I have never heard so much circular logic as when atheism is boiled down to its essentials. “There is no God because there is no God,” or indeed, “Miracles cannot happen because miracles cannot happen,”  is a fair summation of the logic applied. Much of the logic is founded on a vested interest: there is said to be no God because the atheist cannot or will not bring themselves to believe in God. As one has said, “An atheist cannot find God for the same reason that a thief cannot find a policeman.”
    2. The “high priests” of atheism make arguments based on mockery and disbelief rather than careful consideration of the facts. Consider this gem by Christopher Hitchens – hailed by atheists as a “destruction of biblical miracle claims” – in which he argues that it is possible to consider something a miracle if you are ignorant of the facts, i.e. you see your friend, whom you thought had been executed yesterday, walking around in town and assume he has been raised from the dead. Clearly that is not a miracle if the friend did not die. Christians and atheists can agree on that. Hitchens gets his laugh from the audience, but completely neglects to consider what happens if your friend who was executed (he is, of course, making a jokey reference to Jesus Christ) actually did die and was then seen walking around a few days later. In short, his argument is based upon the a priori conclusion that resurrection is impossible. The actual facts of the Resurrection are not even considered. Hitchens’ argument would not stand up in a court of law.
    3. Scandalous use of red herrings. Hitchens goes on to say that many people were raised from the dead in Jesus’ day, and that this disproves Jesus’ divinity as any of these other people who were raised from the dead could make the same claim. Again, Hitchens fails to consider the facts. Of all those raised from the dead, Jesus alone spoke of being the Messiah, God, and the Son of God. He alone was the fulfilment of centuries of Old Testament prophecy. And of Him alone was it said that “[God] has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:31) Hitchens’ reference to the “others” who were raised from the dead is a red herring: it proves (or indeed disproves) nothing, because once again the atheist has not done justice to the facts.

Obviously there is more one could say on so great a subject. Atheists put a huge amount of faith in physics explaining ever more distant acts of cosmic upheaval as proof that God was not involved in creation – yet this only delays the invevitable question of where the original matter, energy or space-time fabric came from which permitted that upheaval to take place. The principle that nothing can come from nothing is basic science, yet it seems to be conveniently ignored by atheists.

There is also the issue that many militant atheists, including Hitchens and Dawkins, apparently cannot see anything good in faith or religion. They give no consideration to the lives changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ: that faith in Him has turned millions from despair, drugs and crime, or indeed that countless acts of selflessness and charity are done by Christians precisely because their faith has inspired them to love, to give, to put themselves through discomfort and deprivation in order to serve those less fortunate. The argument that our law and much of western civilisation (art, music, architecture, various freedoms, etc.) owe their very existence to biblical concepts cuts no ice with the atheist. All this could exist without theistic belief – or so they claim. Never mind that these good things, which we take for granted, were pioneered by men and women whose faith was a passionate fire that blazed within them so that they prevailed against the spirit of the day until history itself was set alight.

In short, atheism is an attitude of mind. It rejects a study of the facts in favour of convenient beliefs; it draws false conclusions based on shaky premises; it places faith in its mockery of concepts rather than real analysis. It sees no good in a faith which in reality inspires virtues which no godless belief system can hope to imitate. Atheism is not a belief in something, but a belief in nothing – one which by its very nature is vandalistic, destructive and impoverished.

You can be an atheist if you wish, but don’t kid yourself about rationality. And for pity’s sake, make up your own mind, rather than being taken in by someone else’s mockery.

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