What makes a person "Christian"?

Are you a sincere seeker who has questions about Christianity, or a Christian with doubts about your faith? Post them here to receive a thoughtful response.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#76

Post by zoegirl » Mon May 10, 2010 6:27 am

Just for the record, Telestra, *I* did not use 72 virgins, I, in fact, avoided using specific numbers for that very reason. However, that being said, the overall view of women is very negative and objective. Go back to my posts and you will see that I provided references for my thoughts.
The11thDr. wrote:It really doesn't matter to me what Muslims believe. I don't think I could believe anything religious. To me god has no power, beliefs have power. They have the power to make extreme Muslims blow themselves up and the best of Christians to be pretty nice people(although nothing is stopping a Atheist from being good is there?)
But what is stopping the atheist from being bad? Since you bring up the power of beliefs, the belief that there is not absolute morality should be the most frightening belief of all!!!! Sure, most atheists are pretty good people, but so what?!?!?!?....that has no bearing whatsoever in that there is nothing at all from stopping them from being pretty bad people other than the fear of punishment and their own arbitrary beliefs. The fact that *you* have some okay morals says nothing *whatsoever* with respect to the person that has evil thoughts. Their thoughts and your thoughts are the same in moral value.

Beliefs are extremely powerful, yes, and there should be worry over the fact that the beliefs of atheism require absolutely NO morality whatsoever.
11thdoc wrote: So I can respect your beliefs, I would like to be better informed though, How do you explain the massive difference between God(the BAD guy) in the old testament and Jesus? If Jesus is god, then where is the massive body count?
God in the Old Testament and Jesus is really no different. The Old Testament provides the history of the development of the Law, calls out God's people to establish His covenant, and establishes the need for a redeemer. Through the Covenant between Abraham and God (not bad but God, requiring righteousness from humanity), we see the fact that we cannot, as sinful people, fulfill the law. We cannot be righteous. Jesus, as the second person of the trinity, as Fully God and Fully man, has the same requirements but we see in Jesus our Redeemer, our propitiation for our sins. That which we could not accomplish (paying for our sins), God (the same "bad guy" from the Old Testament) provided Himself as the sacrifice to pay for our sins. Infact, if you examine that relationship etween Abraham and God throughout the Old testament, you will see that God stays be His people and constantly stay by their side while they are the ones that forego Him and reject Him over and over. If anything, the Old Testament reveals His mercy in sustaining Humanity.
11th doc wrote:I'm still reading the bible and I got to a funny bit...Apparently god cant do a thing if the enemy has iron chariots? :pound:
Please provide your reference???
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#77

Post by The11thDr. » Mon May 10, 2010 8:24 am

judges 1:19
zoegirl wrote: If anything, the Old Testament reveals His mercy in sustaining Humanity.
Sure and all the deaths permitted by this mythological deity are Just a by-product of this process.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#78

Post by zoegirl » Mon May 10, 2010 9:35 am

If you are really serious about learning more, you would, perhaps, can the sarcasm.

either you want to know or you don't but don't waste our time!

Yes, The Lord permitted death. Ultimately, we all deserve the wrath of God. In His good time, He provided a Savior. In the Old Testament, faith in God's promises, in His redeemer, were a credited to them.

Over and over God provides a message for humanity in the Old Testament: His word, His law, His prophets, and finally His Son...all the while they were rejecting Him over and over again. How long would you allow someone who transgresses against you to get away from justice? A man steals from you and yet you provide a means to reconcile with him, you send a letter to him to repay you, you send over messengers to remind him to repay you, you even remind him of the penalty in the laws that show him his punishment, and you even provide him a way to have his record erased. Through this entire process, he ignores and even rejects that a debt even exists. At what point do you say "I have provided the means and the message, you are now going to pay the price". *That* is essentially the Old Testament.
"And we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Jesus Christ"

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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#79

Post by cslewislover » Mon May 10, 2010 11:05 am

11th Doctor, God is God, He doesn't change. If you're going to read a condensed or concise history of Israel, which is part of what the OT is, then yeah, you're going to get some bloody stuff all together in a concentrated way. God has permitted humans to live, to do what they want. Is that not clear?? There are consequences to our actions. If Israel's neighbors are going to continually attack them, eventually Israel might attack back! But yes, when Israel moved into the land, it does seem harsh, to say the least. You should read the whole bible, though, before you pronounce judgment on God. Once you see that He in fact does love (have you read the book of Jonah yet?? The Ninevites that He helped were enemies to Israel), hopefully you'll consider all that He does in both testaments. He does not rejoice in violence and death at all. He is God, though. He knows much more than we do and you need to grant Him that, unless you want to keep judging him as something more on a human level. There's an essay in one of the books I have that I use often, Hard Sayings of the Bible, that is on this exact issue. It basically says that in OT times, God made judgments and they were carried out. After Christ comes with His work to save any and all who accept Him, judgment is suspended until the end times. This is why there seems to be a difference in God between the old and new testaments.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#80

Post by cslewislover » Mon May 10, 2010 11:27 am

Telstra Robs wrote:I find it extremely unfortunate that many people seem to be not understanding what I am trying to say.

The concept of Muslims believing they get virgins in heaven I understand. The idea of persecution of Christians not only do I understand, but it was never brought up and is completely irrelevant to the conversation. It is the same with treatment of women in Muslim countries. I understand it happens, I understand it is a bad thing, but it was never supposed to be addressed in this topic.

What I was saying was that Zoe stated that Muslims believe that they will get 72 virgins in heaven. I agree that they believe they will receive virgins but the number was completely incorrect and is never once mentioned in the Koran. Mainstream Muslims consider this belief the same way mainstream Christians consider the belief that we will be issued with harps and wings and walk on clouds (Margaret Kleffner Nydell (2006). Understanding Arabs: A Guide for Modern Times. Intercultural Press. pp. 109. ISBN 1931930252.).

Furthermore, looking at the Hadith is like looking at the Apocrypha. Not only do Sunnis and Shiites read different versions of the Hadith, but the respective versions were composed during the 8th and 9th centuries, too far removed from Muhammad's time. Because of these division, they cannot be considered to be final authority within the Muslim religion.

I would appreciate it very much if people would stop addressing me in these posts with problems in Islam they think I think don't exist. You seem to be bringing up many things I have never disagreed with, including some things that have never been uttered in the conversation. We are going too far off topic. Each time someone brings up a new thing against Islam (of which they seem to be accusing me doesn't exist), we go further and further off topic of what The Eleventh Doctor asked. What makes a person Christian? Are we Christians people who ignore others' questions to instead debate about the faults of other religions?

What I'm trying to say is, if we want to discuss Islam as a religion (of which we seem to agree on everything but still find debate?) we should truncate the topic at the point where we were side tracked and have that a new topic where we can debate the religion and leave this topic for The Eleventh Doctor's question.
Telstra, I'm not sure you are correct about the Hadith. I haven't researched it a lot yet, but from what I just read, parts of the Hadith, at least, were written while Muhammed was still alive, or shortly thereafter. I for one certainly don't care in the least how many virgins a man dreams he might get in some mythical paradise. The point is, some men actually believe this. It is perfectly legitimate for us to know and understand where some of these Muslims get their beliefs!! You are acting as though, somehow, we can't say or explain what some people believe!

All the other things DO make a difference. What is the fruit of your faith? What is the fruit of a religion? It makes a huge difference to personally assess where they're coming from (the actions of Christians, too, make a difference, obviously, on how others assess Christianity). Who is their God? If God never changes, can their God be the same, really, as the one of the old and new testaments? Jesus is God, but Muslims don't think so, so obviously their God is not the same. It all matters very much.

This is from a site kept by former Muslims. I had read of this before and was trying to find a legitimate source (I've been weeding out my library and can't find mine at the moment). http://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles/sina41204.htm


Muhammad and Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (TLE)
Submitted by admin on Mon, 09/28/2009 - 09:19

By Ali Sina

The Physical Effects of Muhammad's Ecstatic Experiences:

Here is how Muhammad described his mystical experiences:

“The Revelation is always brought to me by an angel: sometimes it is delivered to me as the beating sound of the bell--and this is the hardest experience for me; but sometimes the angel appears to me in the shape of a human and speaks to me.” [40]

“Those who saw the Prophet (pbuh) in this state relate that his condition would change. Sometimes he would stay motionless as if some terribly heavy load was pressed on him and, even in the coldest day, drops of sweat would fall from his forehead” [41] At other times he would move his lips.

Ibn Sa'd says, "at the moment of inspiration, anxiety pressed upon the Prophet, and his countenance was troubled" [1]

"He fell to the ground like one intoxicated or overcome by sleep; and in the coldest day his forehead would be bedewed with large drops of perspiration. Inspiration descended unexpectedly, and without any previous warning." [2]

"Then Allah's Apostle returned with that experience; and the muscles between his neck and shoulders were trembling till he came upon Khadija (his wife) and said, "Cover me!" They covered him, and when the state of fear was over" [3] and [4]

All these are symptoms of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. The following is a partial list of the Temporal Lobe Seizure Symptoms & Signs as defined in health.allrefer.com

* Hallucinations or illusions such as hearing voices when no one has spoken, seeing patterns, lights, beings or objects that aren't there
* Rhythmic muscle contraction Muscle cramps are involuntary and often painful contractions of the muscles which produce a hard, bulging muscle
* Abdominal pain or discomfort.
* Sudden, intense emotion such as fear.
* Muscle twitching (fasciculation) is the result of spontaneous local muscle contractions that are involuntary and typically only affect individual muscle groups. This twitching does not cause pain.
* Abnormal mouth behaviors
* Abnormal head movements
* Sweating
* Flushed face
* Rapid heart rate/pulse
* Changes in vision, speech, thought, awareness, personality
* Loss of memory (amnesia) regarding events around the seizure (partial complex seizure)

All the above symptoms were present in Muhammad during the moments that he was allegedly receiving revelations.

* He had visions (hallucinations) of seeing an angel or a light and of hearing voices.
* He experienced bodily spasms and excruciating abdominal pain and discomfort
* He was overwhelmed by sudden emotions of anxiety and fear
* He had twitching in his neck muscles
* He had uncontrollable lip movement
* He sweated even during cold days.
* His face flushed. His countenance was troubled.
* He had rapid heart palpitation
* He had loss of memory. (There is a tradition that states Muhammad was bewitched and used to think that he had sexual relations with his wives when he actually had not. [5]

It is also interesting to note that Muhammad's hallucination was not limited to seeing the Angel Gabriel but he also claimed seeing Jinns and even in one occasion while praying in the mosque he started struggling with an imaginary person and later said "Satan came in front of me and tried to interrupt my prayer, but Allah gave me an upper hand on him and I choked him. No doubt, I thought of tying him to one of the pillars of the mosque till you get up in the morning and see him. Then I remembered the statement of Prophet Solomon, 'My Lord ! Bestow on me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me.' Then Allah made him (Satan) return with his head down (humiliated)." [6]

Muhammad's belief in Satan was such that he seemed to think that not even he is immune from his whisperings. [7]

One of the embarrassing events in Muhammad's life occurred when Satan put words in his mouth.

Tabari says: “When the messenger of God saw how his tribe turned their backs on him and was grieved to see them shunning the message he had brought to them from God, he longed in his soul that something would come to him from God which would reconcile him with his tribe. With his love for his tribe and his eagerness for their welfare it would have delighted him if some of the difficulties which they made for him could have been smoothed out, and he debated with himself and fervently desired such an outcome. Then God revealed:

"By the Star when it sets, your comrade does not err, nor is he deceived; nor does he speak out of (his own) desire..."

and when he came to the words:

Have you thought upon al-Lat and al-Uzza and Manat, the third, the other?

Satan cast on his tongue, because of his inner debates and what he desired to bring to his people, the words:

"These are the high flying cranes; verily their intercession is accepted with approval.

The Quraysh left delighted by the mention of their gods. Amity was restored and the news of that reached the followers of Muhmmad who at his behest had migrated to Abyssina and some of them returned. Muhammad realizing the consequence of this is giving up on his monopoly on God and the contradiction that it entails, claimed those verses and his Allah consoled him saying, “Never did We send a messenger or a prophet before thee, but, when he framed a desire, Satan threw some (vanity) into his desire: but Allah will cancel anything (vain) that Satan throws in, and Allah will confirm (and establish) His Signs: for Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom”: 22:52 [8]

In the Quran there are several mentions of Jinns. Surah 72 narrates a conversation between Jinns where they comment about the Quran, call it “a wonderful Recital” and convert to Islam. Their role is described as prying into the secrets of heaven and eavesdropping to the conversation of the exalted assembly. Which since the apparition of Muhammad, they found it filled with stern guards and flaming fires. “We used, indeed, to sit there in (hidden) stations, to (steal) a hearing;" Quran quotes one Jinn saying to others, "but any who listen now will find a flaming fire watching him in ambush. And we understand not whether ill is intended to those on earth, or whether their Lord (really) intends to guide them to right conduct".

It is not difficult to see that Muhammad suffered from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. In fact TLE was just one of his ailments. The prophet suffered from other mental disorders and physical complications. I will speak about them in future. The real miracle is in the fact that a billion people follow a sick man for so long.


[1] Katib al Waqidi p. 37. See also Bukhari 1: 1: 2
[2] Bukhari 7, 71, 660)
[3] Bukhari 6, 60, 478
[4] B. 9,78.111
[6] Bukhari 2, 22, 301
[7] 6.68, 6.116, 22.52
[8] Tabari volume 6, page 107
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#81

Post by The11thDr. » Mon May 10, 2010 11:29 am

zoegirl wrote:If you are really serious about learning more, you would, perhaps, can the sarcasm.
More cynicism than sarcasm, if I was being sarcastic I would type like this maybe?
either you want to know or you don't but don't waste our time!
Your time? What about my time? Don't you think time is a little more precious if this world is all there is? Like how it is for me
Yes, The Lord permitted death. Ultimately, we all deserve the wrath of God. In His good time, He provided a Savior. In the Old Testament, faith in God's promises, in His redeemer, were a credited to them.
Perhaps permitted was a poorly chosen word. Maybe Commanded! If god commanded murder, rape, torture Etcetera. its a GOOD thing isn't it?

Talking about this provision of a saviour, why come to earth in a primitive time in a place that's disconnected(the new world wasn't even known then) from the rest of the world? Clever one "god", good choice of era to land in!

Over and over...That* is essentially the Old Testament.
Its somewhat entertaining perhaps. I guess "Sin" is A-Ok if god is the one doing it.
Cslewislover wrote:You should read the whole bible, though, before you pronounce judgment on God...
I intend to.
He does not rejoice in violence and death at all. He is God, though.


Why Use such an excessive amount of violence then? For instance, how many of the first-born Egyptians in Exodus were infants? If a human killed babies you would condemn it wouldn't you?


He is God, though. He knows much more than we do and you need to grant Him that
Why do people need god/s? What if Humans were the greatest intelligence on earth, would that be so terrible?
His work to save any and all who accept Him
It's not very easy to accept someone who claims deity and then goes on to say that you are blessed if you DON'T see him before believing. If I saw god and it was irrefutable, I could still be free to reject that evidence...In fact it would be the opposite to how it is now, you would be foolish not to believe if that was the case.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#82

Post by cslewislover » Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

The11thDr. wrote:
Cslewislover wrote:You should read the whole bible, though, before you pronounce judgment on God...
I intend to.
Ok, that's good.
He does not rejoice in violence and death at all. He is God, though.


Why Use such an excessive amount of violence then? For instance, how many of the first-born Egyptians in Exodus were infants? If a human killed babies you would condemn it wouldn't you?
From how I read the story with the Egyptians, it took that harsh of an event to happen for the Egyptians to finally let the Jews leave. They could've let them go sooner. God waited a long time, too, before He caused anything to happen to the Egyptians. I think the Jews were there for 400 years, and when they first arrived, they were welcome. As time went on, they were treated as slaves.

Of course I wouldn't think a human good who killed babies. God also permitted the death of the babies in and around Bethlehem, when Herod was looking for the baby Jesus. I find this to be one of the more difficult events in the bible. Death is a part of life, and God does not spare us from it.
He is God, though. He knows much more than we do and you need to grant Him that


Why do people need god/s? What if Humans were the greatest intelligence on earth, would that be so terrible?
Hmmm, I find this almost an odd question, but then again, it's not. God created us, and we were to commune with Him. We were created by a being that put in us a desire to be with Him. It's an innate feeling, yes. As for us being the greatest intelligence on earth, we are. But there is more than what's on the earth or what we can see or what we can measure with the clever instruments we've made.
His work to save any and all who accept Him


It's not very easy to accept someone who claims deity and then goes on to say that you are blessed if you DON'T see him before believing. If I saw god and it was irrefutable, I could still be free to reject that evidence...In fact it would be the opposite to how it is now, you would be foolish not to believe if that was the case.
I don't blame you at all for feeling this way, or expressing this. I didn't become a Christian until I was a mature adult, and I had many of the same issues. But your question involves intelligence and evidence, at least the kind that is so emphasized today, scientific. There is plenty of rational evidence to believe in Christ, once you've gone through it (it can take some time). But, ultimately, faith will not come this way. The Lord is interested in more than our brain. The brain is good and necessary, but there is more than that. If you want someone to love you, if you want a good friend that you feel you can freely love and trust, you have to open up and make yourself vulnerable. It's the same with the Lord. You just have to be open enough inside to let Him speak to you; you have to be open enough to listen.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#83

Post by The11thDr. » Mon May 10, 2010 2:55 pm

cslewislover wrote: From how I read the story with the Egyptians, it took that harsh of an event to happen for the Egyptians to finally let the Jews leave.


If I remember how the story goes, correctly...it said that God "hardened the heart" of the pharoah...Why do that?
Of course I wouldn't think a human good who killed babies. God also permitted the death of the babies in and around Bethlehem, when Herod was looking for the baby Jesus.
Are things permitted by god because they are good or are things good because god permits them?
God created us, and we were to commune with Him.
There is also an explanation for the process of how life developed which needs no God.

I don't blame you at all for feeling this way, or expressing this. I didn't become a Christian until I was a mature adult...
Well although you don't blame me for my feelings I want my reason(whatever that is) answered not my emotions.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#84

Post by cslewislover » Mon May 10, 2010 3:03 pm

The11thDr. wrote:
I don't blame you at all for feeling this way, or expressing this. I didn't become a Christian until I was a mature adult...
Well although you don't blame me for my feelings I want my reason(whatever that is) answered not my emotions.
I'm on my way out, so I can't answer more. This last thing . . . you're working on it, right? It takes some time, doesn't it? I'm not at all sure that you've read other things yet, on the evidence for believing Jesus is who he said he is. You seem angry or something. I'm not sure what the problem is.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#85

Post by Furstentum Liechtenstein » Mon May 10, 2010 5:53 pm

The11thDr. wrote:If I remember how the story goes, correctly...it said that God "hardened the heart" of the pharoah...Why do that?
It was Pharaoh's own nature that hardened his heart in the presence of God's servant. As the same sun will soften wax yet harden freshly laid cement, so the heart of the unbeliever is hardened by the subject of God, and the heart of the believer is drawn to God's will. Is it God's fault that Pharaoh had a heart of fresh cement?

Get it?

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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#86

Post by Telstra Robs » Mon May 10, 2010 10:16 pm


Are things permitted by god because they are good or are things good because god permits them?
I think that in the same way that all medicines are drugs but not all drugs are medicines, all things that are good God will permit, but not all things God permits are good. That is of course going on the idea that to permit means to endorse, to back or to consent. I think it can also mean you allow it or don't move to prevent it, though I am not sure if that was what you meant.

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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#87

Post by B. W. » Mon May 10, 2010 11:56 pm

The11thDr. wrote:judges 1:19

Sure and all the deaths permitted by this mythological deity are Just a by-product of this process.

Remember to keep these things in mind. Looking at old film and film clips of the UK and Europe going off to war in 1914 and later the dress and mannerisms of that era of that time reveals something to us, foreign, distant. We did not live during those times and have no idea that era's ambience, or what life was really like.

Go farther back to 1870 or 1808-1815 Europe — life and times were vastly different and called for different measures to be taken. Move forward to 1939-1945 World War 2 which times are now drifting toward forgetfulness and the actions taken then were in accord to the time and technology of the era. Fact is, humanity is responsible for murder and mayhem than people ever can accuse God ever of.

God's critics always demand God to stop evil. Now, what if eradicating evil calls for harsh measures to be taken against a populace in order to eradicate all evil, what then would these critics say? Would they not accuse God of wrong doing in such ancient times when he was actually putting forth the effort to stop evil? Have you thought of that? Have you thought about that era in which this happened and what it was like? How those charged to stop evil did not really do so.

It is a mistake to interpret those long ago days by comparing them in accordance to our modern standards. After all, too be really fair; we would need to indict humanity for committing more murder, anguish, slavery, moral evils than you accuse God of committing. How can God get rid of evil, and be done with it, when we put him on trial and sentence him to death for answering our own prayers to be rid of evil due to the harsh measures needed to eradicate it?

When you really see Jesus upon that cross, how he was betrayed, put on trial, false witnesses used to discredit him — are you not also doing the same? And from this see what measures God took to remove evil from the soul. Before you dam-n God realize how dam-ned you yourself are. How God himself went to extreme lengths to save you who are lost so that evil can be eradicated from you.

Fact is, humanity is responsible for more murder, oppression, use of force, slavery, mayhem, repressive servitude, disloyalty, and prejudice than what people ever can accuse God of doing. So what if eradicating evil involves extremely harsh measures — humanity has done so during World War 2. So should we damn our fathers and grandparents for stopping evil by use of such harsh measures as we do God?
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#88

Post by The11thDr. » Tue May 11, 2010 6:04 am

Cslewislover wrote:You seem angry or something.
More probably something than angry.
Fürstentum Liechtenstein wrote:Get it?
No.
Telstra Robs wrote:all things that are good God will permit, but not all things God permits are good.
Sounds arbitrary to me.
B.W wrote:Fact is, humanity is responsible for less murder and mayhem than people ever can accuse God ever of.


What has science bought us in the last 100 years? What has Religion gotten us in the last 1000? I suppose you are going to say that humanity isn't responsible for all the gains science brings us? That is the point of this site isn't it, co-opting science to "prove" your fantasies... I think I've had enough of this place, ill just talk to some real Christians(also I get cookies!!) in the real world... That might be more convincing to me.

PS. Nice dog piling, Just direct me to your dogma pages.
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#89

Post by Kurieuo » Tue May 11, 2010 6:25 am

The11thDr. wrote:What has science bought us in the last 100 years? What has Religion gotten us in the last 1000? I suppose you are going to say that humanity isn't responsible for all the gains science brings us? That is the point of this site isn't it, co-opting science to "prove" your fantasies... I think I've had enough of this place, ill just talk to some real Christians(also I get cookies!!) in the real world... That might be more convincing to me.

PS. Nice dog piling, Just direct me to your dogma pages.
Thanks for visiting. Your words of having enough of this place have now been enforced. I'm sorry we could not provide you with cookies.

DannyM
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Re: What makes a person "Christian"?

#90

Post by DannyM » Tue May 11, 2010 6:34 am

The11thDr. wrote:
B.W wrote:Fact is, humanity is responsible for less murder and mayhem than people ever can accuse God ever of.


What has science bought us in the last 100 years? What has Religion gotten us in the last 1000? I suppose you are going to say that humanity isn't responsible for all the gains science brings us? That is the point of this site isn't it, co-opting science to "prove" your fantasies... I think I've had enough of this place, ill just talk to some real Christians(also I get cookies!!) in the real world... That might be more convincing to me.

PS. Nice dog piling, Just direct me to your dogma pages.
At last we see your colours, Doc! You have wasted some well intentioned and extremely polite Christians' time on here, under the guise of 'searcher.' I saw these colours from the word go, yet you have been afforded the valuable time of some very nice people, who are willing to sweep your sarcasm under the carpet and give you the benefit of the doubt. I doubt this will bother you in the slightest. This is the second time now that I've seen you 'threaten' to clear off... Go on then, clear off!
credo ut intelligam

dei gratia

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