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The bible is a work of fiction


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Science is objective and impartial. Belief is subjective and personal. You can't use one to justify the other, or you run the risk of sounding like you understand neither. In my experience, those who find religious justification in science barely (at best) understand anything of actual science. However, the same is probably true of most people anyway.

I agree to a point, but I think you overstate the case. For example, finding the absolute beginning of the universe to be consistent with a Creator is not illogical or unscientific. It is taking the scientific evidence and using it as support for a metaphysical assertion. That's not misunderstanding science. It's just good philosophy.

On the other hand, taking the scientific evidence and cramming it into a pre-ordained worldview (such as Institute for Creation Research and similar organizations do) certainly betrays a lack of understanding of science.

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Science is objective and impartial. Belief is subjective and personal. You can't use one to justify the other, or you run the risk of sounding like you understand neither. In my experience, those who find religious justification in science barely (at best) understand anything of actual science. However, the same is probably true of most people anyway.

As long as you aren't designing a better rocket or finding a cure for cancer, it really matters little if you believe in God, Bigfoot, or nothing.

Interesting take, but one isn't being used to justify the other. The Bible is and has been a good source for history as it has been historically accurate as pointed out by by Draftnut. So, no it isn't a "justification" of religion, but rather to show where the Bible is more than what many who have not read it, think it is.

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Let's not confuse the Bible with religion. Religion has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible has nothing to do with religion. Religion is man-made, man-created. The Bible is truth and accurate. It has nothing to do with rituals, customs, and traditions (pagan/religion/holidays) . . . which is religion.

I suppose that depends on what one means by "rituals, customs and traditions."

The "rituals, customs and traditions" in the Orthodox Church are based on the Bible, which we canonized because it reflects the truth that we received from the Apostles. I suppose there are "rituals, customs and traditions" that are completely separate from the Bible, but since the vast majority of our services take their texts straight from the Bible, I am confident ours don't meet that criteria.

Interestingly, though the liturgy developed quite separately from St. John's Revelation, if you read Revelation carefully and with an eye toward what worship looks like in heaven, and then attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, you won't be at all surprised by what you see.

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Let's not confuse the Bible with religion. Religion has nothing to do with the Bible. The Bible has nothing to do with religion. Religion is man-made, man-created. The Bible is truth and accurate. It has nothing to do with rituals, customs, and traditions (pagan/religion/holidays) . . . which is religion.

Depends on what we are talking about here. If you mean man-made then yeah, they are not 100% necessary.

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I suppose that depends on what one means by "rituals, customs and traditions."

The "rituals, customs and traditions" in the Orthodox Church are based on the Bible, which we canonized because it reflects the truth that we received from the Apostles. I suppose there are "rituals, customs and traditions" that are completely separate from the Bible, but since the vast majority of our services take their texts straight from the Bible, I am confident ours don't meet that criteria.

Interestingly, though the liturgy developed quite separately from St. John's Revelation, if you read Revelation carefully and with an eye toward what worship looks like in heaven, and then attend an Orthodox Divine Liturgy, you won't be at all surprised by what you see.

No, he said the Bible was accurate. If those traditions are Biblical then they are not what he was referring to.

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Depends on what we are talking about here. If you mean man-made then yeah, they are not 100% necessary.

When I say "religion", I am coming from a point of view of a relationship with God versus "good works and deeds". God wants our hearts. He wants us to want to love and serve Him; not simply doing good. You can do good works and your heart not be in it. You could be doing for other ulterior/alternative motives and reasons. God would rather you not do for Him at all than to do for Him because you are seeking something in return, are desperate, in a time of need, seeking fame/glory/recognition, etc. God wants you to do for Him because you have a sincere desire to love and serve Him.

People have been getting too caught up in how many times per day they pray. What foods they eat. What they wear. . . . . namely, customs, rituals, and traditions. God aint into all of that. Aint nothing no man can do to work for God. God is all grace and mercy and that is what a relationship with Him is about. We must have faith in this mercy and grace. I dont care how much of the Bible someone says they know, if they dont have that relationship, they will not understand the Word. . . . hence, this whole "the Bible is ficiton" non-sense.

I hear too many people boast about the good works and deeds they do: tithing, giving, not sinning, etc. That aint what this is about. It is about placing all faith in His mercy and grace and nothing and no one else. Therefore, religion is man-made. There is nothing wrong with it. There is only something wrong with it when people pervert truth, divide the Body and disgrace the Kingdom, and replace customs, rituals, and traditions, and good works and deeds for pure faith in God and His mercy and grace that only comes through cultivating a relationship with Him.

Edited by Falcon Knight
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When I say "religion", I am coming from a point of view of a relationship with God versus "good works and deeds". God wants our hearts. He wants us to want to love and serve Him; not simply doing good. You can do good works and your heart not be in it. You could be doing for other ulterior/alternative motives and reasons. God would rather you not do for Him at all than to do for Him because you are seeking something in return, are desperate, in a time of need, seeking fame/glory/recognition, etc. God wants you to do for Him because you have a sincere desire to love and serve Him.

People have been getting too caught up in how many times per day they pray. What foods they eat. What they wear. . . . . namely, customs, rituals, and traditions. God aint into all of that. Aint nothing no man can do to work for God. God is all grace and mercy and that is what a relationship with Him is about. We must have faith in this mercy and grace. I dont care how much of the Bible someone says they know, if they dont have that relationship, they will not understand the Word. . . . hence, this whole "the Bible is ficiton" non-sense.

I hear too many people boast about the good works and deeds they do: tithing, giving, not sinning, etc. That aint what this is about. It is about placing all faith in His mercy and grace and nothing and no one else. Therefore, religion is man-made. There is nothing wrong with it. There is only something wrong with it when people pervert truth, divide the Body and disgrace the Kingdom, and replace customs, rituals, and traditions, and good works and deeds for pure faith in God and His mercy and grace that only comes through cultivating a relationship with Him.

What if, however, good works, fasting, almsgiving, etc. are viewed not as works we do, but as disciplines we engage in to teach us to rely on God instead of our own efforts, food or money? What if prayer is a discipline to teach us to rely on God? I think viewing these things as "works" misses the point. No one believes we earn our way to heaven because we pray, fast, give alms and do good works. No one. Rather, some of us believe that having been saved by God's freely given grace, we may learn to draw closer to Him through these acts of self denial.

And what if what you term "religion" is instead a reliance on the Saints who have gone before us and been glorified? What if rather than some man made false ritual, it's instead following in the path that the Apostles set before us to show us the way to salvation -- that grace saves us, and living in that grace means denial of self and reliance on God?

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When I say "religion", I am coming from a point of view of a relationship with God versus "good works and deeds". God wants our hearts. He wants us to want to love and serve Him; not simply doing good. You can do good works and your heart not be in it. You could be doing for other ulterior/alternative motives and reasons. God would rather you not do for Him at all than to do for Him because you are seeking something in return, are desperate, in a time of need, seeking fame/glory/recognition, etc. God wants you to do for Him because you have a sincere desire to love and serve Him.

People have been getting too caught up in how many times per day they pray. What foods they eat. What they wear. . . . . namely, customs, rituals, and traditions. God aint into all of that. Aint nothing no man can do to work for God. God is all grace and mercy and that is what a relationship with Him is about. We must have faith in this mercy and grace. I dont care how much of the Bible someone says they know, if they dont have that relationship, they will not understand the Word. . . . hence, this whole "the Bible is ficiton" non-sense.

I hear too many people boast about the good works and deeds they do: tithing, giving, not sinning, etc. That aint what this is about. It is about placing all faith in His mercy and grace and nothing and no one else. Therefore, religion is man-made. There is nothing wrong with it. There is only something wrong with it when people pervert truth, divide the Body and disgrace the Kingdom, and replace customs, rituals, and traditions, and good works and deeds for pure faith in God and His mercy and grace that only comes through cultivating a relationship with Him.

I understand what you mean. The Pharisees did those things, yet had no "charity" in it all. They just did it for the sake of doing it. Good post.

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What if, however, good works, fasting, almsgiving, etc. are viewed not as works we do, but as disciplines we engage in to teach us to rely on God instead of our own efforts, food or money? What if prayer is a discipline to teach us to rely on God? I think viewing these things as "works" misses the point. No one believes we earn our way to heaven because we pray, fast, give alms and do good works. No one. Rather, some of us believe that having been saved by God's freely given grace, we may learn to draw closer to Him through these acts of self denial.

And what if what you term "religion" is instead a reliance on the Saints who have gone before us and been glorified? What if rather than some man made false ritual, it's instead following in the path that the Apostles set before us to show us the way to salvation -- that grace saves us, and living in that grace means denial of self and reliance on God?

I like your post but there are two things: the bolded. No one??? Many of the religious and church folk I have met fall into the stuff I was talking about. Second, your post is MUCH deeper than the point I was trying to make LOL.

No, you do not earn your way into heaven by upholding the law, for no one can do this. I agree. People do believe this, though, and MANY do. Rather, us upholding the law should serve as a testament of our faith in Him and His mercy and grace. Great post!

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I like your post but there are two things: the bolded. No one??? Many of the religious and church folk I have met fall into the stuff I was talking about. Second, your post is MUCH deeper than the point I was trying to make LOL.

No, you do not earn your way into heaven by upholding the law, for no one can do this. I agree. People do believe this, though, and MANY do. Rather, us upholding the law should serve as a testament of our faith in Him and His mercy and grace. Great post!

I'm sorry -- I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I don't consider fasting, giving alms, doing good works or praying to be "the law." I think that's where we're speaking past each other. I was talking specifically about this part of what you wrote:

People have been getting too caught up in how many times per day they pray. What foods they eat. What they wear. . . . . namely, customs, rituals, and traditions. God aint into all of that. Aint nothing no man can do to work for God.

My point -- and I should have quoted only this to make clear -- is that those of us who do worry about things like fasting, headcoverings, giving alms, doing good works and praying regularly are not doing these things because we think they "merit" heaven or "earn" heaven. It is true that there are a lot of Christians who think if you just "do good" you will go to heaven. My point is I literally don't know anyone who believes that you will go to heaven just because you pray, give alms, do good works and pray. Even the folks that think you have to "do good" believe you need grace, and most of them believe that the prayer, alms, good works and fasting are not meritorious things, but rather things that are good for the person doing them.

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I'm sorry -- I wasn't as clear as I should have been. I don't consider fasting, giving alms, doing good works or praying to be "the law." I think that's where we're speaking past each other. I was talking specifically about this part of what you wrote:

My point -- and I should have quoted only this to make clear -- is that those of us who do worry about things like fasting, headcoverings, giving alms, doing good works and praying regularly are not doing these things because we think they "merit" heaven or "earn" heaven. It is true that there are a lot of Christians who think if you just "do good" you will go to heaven. My point is I literally don't know anyone who believes that you will go to heaven just because you pray, give alms, do good works and pray. Even the folks that think you have to "do good" believe you need grace, and most of them believe that the prayer, alms, good works and fasting are not meritorious things, but rather things that are good for the person doing them.

I know of quite a few who do. They usually don't admit it until they find out otherwise.

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As far as the thread topic (this got me thinking and going off on a tangent), but I do not understand why atheists/agnostics say Christians "shove" and "force" their "religion" down their throats. All I see are people who do not believe in the Bible or God doing exactly that. I see many Christians spreading the Word, but I dont see hardly any of them doing the aforementioned. I see the atheists doing this. Just because someone tells you about Christianity does not mean they are forcing anything down your throat. Granted, there are loonies out there, but, from whatI have seen, a very small percentage. You'd think Christians were waiting in the wings to just walk up to someone, put a gun to their head, and then force them to confesss Christ as their personal Savior. You are big boys and big girls; no one is forcing anything on you . . . not through government, not through politics, etc. Just because someone says Merry Christmas, wants God in the pledge of allegiance, and wants the Ten Commandments to stay in the courthouse or state capitol or whatever they had been for many decades does not mean they are forcing Christianity or any religion down your throat. I do see atheists and agnostics ridiculing Christians for their belief in a "sky daddy".

Who's really doing the forcing?

Edited by Falcon Knight
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As far as the thread topic (this got me thinking and going off on a tangent), but I do not understand why atheists/agnostics say Christians "shove" and "force" their "religion" down their throats. All I see are people who do not believe in the Bible or God doing exactly that. I see many Christians spreading the Word, but I dont see hardly any of them doing the aforementioned. I see the atheists doing this. Just because someone tells you about Christianity does not mean they are forcing anything down your throat. Granted, there are loonies out there, but, from whatI have seen, a very small percentage. You'd think Christians were waiting in the wings to just walk up to someone, put a gun to their head, and then force them to confesss Christ as their personal Savior. You are big boys and big girls; no one is forcing anything on you . . . not through government, not through politics, etc. Just because someone says Merry Christmas, wants God in the pledge of allegiance, and wants the Ten Commandments to stay in the courthouse or state capitol or whatever they had been for many decades does not mean they are forcing Christianity or any religion down your throat. I do see atheists and agnostics ridiculing Christians for their belief in a "sky daddy".

Who's really doing the forcing?

Well said brother.

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As far as the thread topic (this got me thinking and going off on a tangent), but I do not understand why atheists/agnostics say Christians "shove" and "force" their "religion" down their throats. All I see are people who do not believe in the Bible or God doing exactly that. I see many Christians spreading the Word, but I dont see hardly any of them doing the aforementioned. I see the atheists doing this. Just because someone tells you about Christianity does not mean they are forcing anything down your throat. Granted, there are loonies out there, but, from whatI have seen, a very small percentage. You'd think Christians were waiting in the wings to just walk up to someone, put a gun to their head, and then force them to confesss Christ as their personal Savior. You are big boys and big girls; no one is forcing anything on you . . . not through government, not through politics, etc. Just because someone says Merry Christmas, wants God in the pledge of allegiance, and wants the Ten Commandments to stay in the courthouse or state capitol or whatever they had been for many decades does not mean they are forcing Christianity or any religion down your throat. I do see atheists and agnostics ridiculing Christians for their belief in a "sky daddy".

Who's really doing the forcing?

While there are some obnoxious Christians out there who run up to perfect strangers and say "brother, are you saved?" and then proceed to preach to you for a half hour, I don't run into them very often. And they don't hold a candle to the atheists who think they have a right to go through this world without ever hearing an alternate point of view.

I know atheists who are really sober and thoughtful and kind, and who appreciate religious people as human beings trying to do good. But it seems like the loudest ones are the ones who are angry about religious people existing. And while it might seem easy to blame people like Dawkins, Harris, Maher and even Hitchens (who I immensely respect) for fostering this attitude, the fact is it has been around for much longer than they have been popular. When I was in my early twenties, I saw a friend take a napkin someone had left with a cross and a scripture verse drawn on it and light it on fire with a lighter. When I asked him why he did it, he said "I hate that ****."

I really don't think those folks comprise the bulk of atheists. But they are, unfortunately, the ones most likely to be heard by Christians. For people who claim not to believe in God, it's amazing the level of hatred and intolerance they manage to work up for this "nonexistent" being.

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It was written a few hundred years after Jesus was born, even if it's not complete fiction it's all centuries old hearsay bullcrap. Most of the civilised world has come to realise this, it's a shame the USA hasn't.

Actually the US is moving further and further away from Christ. What you said though? Complete hearsay and historically incorrect.

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It was written a few hundred years after Jesus was born,

Absolutely, categorically false.

even if it's not complete fiction it's all centuries old hearsay bullcrap. Most of the civilised world has come to realise this, it's a shame the USA hasn't.

Absolutely, categorically your unsupported opinion.

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Actually the US is moving further and further away from Christ. What you said though? Complete hearsay and historically incorrect.

I am reall appreciating the TV show Duck Dynasty.

They may act like inbred hillbillies but at the end of the day

they all sit down for a Family Dinner ans say grace!

It is about time that a TV Producer took a Stand.

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While there are some obnoxious Christians out there who run up to perfect strangers and say "brother, are you saved?" and then proceed to preach to you for a half hour, I don't run into them very often. And they don't hold a candle to the atheists who think they have a right to go through this world without ever hearing an alternate point of view.

I know atheists who are really sober and thoughtful and kind, and who appreciate religious people as human beings trying to do good. But it seems like the loudest ones are the ones who are angry about religious people existing. And while it might seem easy to blame people like Dawkins, Harris, Maher and even Hitchens (who I immensely respect) for fostering this attitude, the fact is it has been around for much longer than they have been popular. When I was in my early twenties, I saw a friend take a napkin someone had left with a cross and a scripture verse drawn on it and light it on fire with a lighter. When I asked him why he did it, he said "I hate that ****."

I really don't think those folks comprise the bulk of atheists. But they are, unfortunately, the ones most likely to be heard by Christians. For people who claim not to believe in God, it's amazing the level of hatred and intolerance they manage to work up for this "nonexistent" being.

Great post! That bolded part is a powerful statement!

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In my opinion, organized religion has done far more harm than good. But it is important to some people. For us all to get along we have to be tolerant of each others beliefs.

I adhere to no religion. But I believe in a supreme being. My beliefs are my own and many people would not understand them. I choose to keep those beliefs to myself so as not to get into the inevitable arguments with atheists and religious types alike. From my experience, I think we spend too much time trying to force our beliefs on each other. It may not be calculated and overt, but I think we feel some moral obligation to spread our beliefs so we don't feel so alone in those beliefs.

I look to the night sky and I see the order, majesty and absolute infinity of the cosmos. I feel my place in this vastness. And I realize that God flows through me. Through our world. The words written in all the holy books are his word. I choose to follow the words he speaks to me in my heart. We would have less pain and confrontation if we all chose this path. But it's not for me to cram this opinion into your mind. The Supreme being speaks to each of us, it's up to each if us to interpret that message. I always felt the God would not be so petty as to care what I eat, how I dress, what I say, where I pray when I look out into the vastness of the universe he created. I feel and know in my heart that what he wants from us is to love each other and to revere his creation. It's that simple. Again, just my opinion.

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