Tag Archives: religion

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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So you’ve “studied” religions…

15 Nov

Helpful Truth Of The Day: If you’ve “studied all religions” and can’t see any difference between them, you haven’t actually studied religions.

The Christian gospel is the Bible’s clear and inescapable message that God became man in Jesus Christ, and died to take the punishment for sins that each of us deserve. Jesus then rose again from the dead on the third day, ensuring that those who believe in Him could also be raised to new life after death.

This “substitutionary atonement” (Jesus paying the price for sin in our place) is the distinctive element of the gospel that sets it apart. While other religions may make mention of Jesus, usually incorporating Him into their roll of prophets, no other religion sees Him as God, or as capable of dying to bring us redemption and salvation from sins.

Religions are not all the same, and any believer who has genuinely studied their own religion will know this. While some religions may share similarities in terms of their moral codes, they have entirely different approaches to God. Yet only in Christianity is it the case that faith in Jesus Christ saves us from sin and reconciles us to God. In most other religions, people have to hope that their religious observance and good works are enough to save them.

Jesus came to do away with that uncertainty and that need for people to feel they have to try to earn salvation. And in raising Him from the dead, God showed that Jesus is the one He had chosen to be the saviour of the world, rather than Mohammed, Buddha, Krishna, or any other religious leader.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7)

If you want to know God, get to know Jesus!

Keep searching!

Of church, community and monopoly

1 May

One of the arguments frequently used by atheists in their attempts to undermine the truth and distinctiveness of Christianity is that we Christians don’t have a monopoly on [insert half-understood view of a cherished Christian belief, characteristic or practice here].

Apparently we don’t have a monopoly on decency, on good citizenship, or on love. I can’t think of many Christians I know who claim that we do have a monopoly on the milk of human kindness, yet I think we should be pointing out that one of the hallmarks of our faith is that it makes us grow those characteristics in increasing measure, and often in ways which the world cannot match. Besides, we possess other very real distinctives such as holiness, godliness, redemption and transformation into Christ’s likeness, attributes for which atheists don’t even have a vocabulary, much less a rival claim.

Yet many of us believers are increasingly being swayed by this kind of criticism, to the point that we are forgetting what makes us distinct, what makes us salt and light in a dark world. Liberal Christians are quick to fall for this kind of deception, and where liberal Christians lead, those of us in the evangelical church who don’t know who we are in Christ may quickly follow.

The pearl of ignorance that plopped onto my screen this week was formed from the idea that Christians don’t have a monopoly on community. It followed a forum discussion of a BBC News article on an “atheist church“. Again, it is true in one sense that we don’t have a monopoly on community – you can see community taking place in any pub, sports team or special interest group in the land – but what followed truly astounded me, for some of those contributing to the discussion were convinced that God is among these atheists in their atheist “church” – and any other grouping of generally like-minded people – just as much as He is among committed Christians in a real church. One contributor was asked if that meant that God was also present amongst a gathering of Satanists. Her response? A firm and unequivocal “Yes.”

Surely being Christians must bring something else besides togetherness, or else what is there to differentiate us from atheists or any other group?

We really have to start questioning what kind of faith we are of if we claim that there is little to no difference between a gathering of pleasant but deeply anti-Christian people and a gathering of people who are there to worship and revere God.

If God is amongst Satanists, was He also present and blessing the sense of community felt by all of those fine, athletic and committed young German men and women who gathered to sing rousing patriotic songs, heard Adolf Hitler preach his message of hatred, and then put their hands to the locks on the doors of the gas chambers, or who marched young teenage boys in their thousands out onto the battlefield, never to return?

Is God amongst Islamic terrorists as they shout “Allahu Akbar!” (God is great!) and then strap on suicide bombs, before going out to shred the flesh from unsuspecting people’s bones in a high street or a station?

Is God so weak, so diluted in our thinking, that He cares not what we think of Him, as long as we’re having fun? And if people are being transformed by their experience of community, but not into the likeness of Jesus Christ, then what are they being transformed into? And how can that be good for us – in the sense of ultimate good; the kind that results from genuine salvation – since it would only be transformation into man’s image rather than God’s?

The truth is that Jesus says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18:20) It is God’s special promise that He is willing and available to dwell amongst His people. He makes no such guarantees for those who hate Him.

When we gather as Christians, we should make sure that God is amongst us, if He was truly amongst us in the first place, for He says that He has judgment in store for those who honour God with their lips, but whose hearts are actually far from Him. (Isaiah 29:13) Many of us have adopted a faith that makes excuses for our sins: we go to church and claim to love Jesus, but it’s business as usual all week whilst we continue to do what we please rather than allowing God to bring us to repentance.

If we lose or forfeit our godliness – whether in our godly lives or in the presence of God with us – what would be left to show that we know Him?

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