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Famous Atheist Now Believes in God
NY Newsday ^ | 12/9/04 | RICHARD N. OSTLING

Posted on 12/10/2004 7:08:12 AM PST by Michael_Michaelangelo

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To: Raycpa
Do you believe there is no God because if there was he would have to conform to your point of view of what he would be like ? Or do you simply reject the entire idea of a God

Whoa. Your question makes an assumption that is not true. I said I didn't think God sends humans to Hell forever. That's not quite the same as not believing in God.

and find it fun to try and point out what you think are inconsistencies about Christianity ?

I raised the question about the Khmer Rouge and their victims in response to post #335:

Regardless, you will come before him and as I stated earlier if you didn't accept Christ it will not be a happy time for you. Christians can be arrogant as we are right! I will pray for you.

That didn't sound like it was meant very kindly, so I presented the poster with a real life example of what his beliefs might entail. And yes, the Khmer Rouge question does seem to give people trouble.

So when I happen to see a poster play the Hell card, I'm going to play the Khmer card and folks will just have to deal with it or ignore my posts.

Or do you think God exists but would not have any requirements regarding heaven and all are welcome ? Or something else entirely ?

I guess I could be called a Deist. I don't know the nature of God or the afterlife, but I think both exist. I see no reason for an all poweful and loving God to create beings and allow them to be tortured forever.

401 posted on 12/14/2004 3:55:47 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H
Whoa. Your question makes an assumption that is not true. I said I didn't think God sends humans to Hell forever. That's not quite the same as not believing in God.

My question made no assumptions. It was merely asking for clarification

I raised the question about the Khmer Rouge and their victims in response to post #335:

And you ignore the answers that no one is worthy to be saved.

That didn't sound like it was meant very kindly, so I presented the poster with a real life example of what his beliefs might entail. And yes, the Khmer Rouge question does seem to give people trouble.

I can see where it troubles nonbelievers who don't understand election.

So when I happen to see a poster play the Hell card, I'm going to play the Khmer card and folks will just have to deal with it or ignore my posts.

Thats fine, but you ignore the many arguments that its no problem for Judaism or Christianity. You act like theologians never considered what you raise as an issue. Its actually a rather childish objection that is brought up by the average Sunday school kid in one form or another. It is not unique. It is usually described as "Why do bad things happen to good people ?". It isn't a logical reason to dismiss the existence of God or Christianity. If it was, Christianity would have been dismissed 1,970 years ago.

I guess I could be called a Deist. I don't know the nature of God or the afterlife, but I think both exist.

How do you know God exists? more importantly, how do you know there is an afterlife. This was no evident to Hebrews and was a fairly new revelation. Its odd that you except as true part of the revelation of the Gospel and reject the rest. Very odd.

I see no reason for an all powerfully and loving God to create beings and allow them to be tortured forever.

I agree. It would be torture to exist forever with a God that one doesn't want to be obedient to. It would be like having the worst college roommate ever for eternity. Death would be preferable.

An observation. You refer to God as a loving God often. This surprised me because a deist would not ascribe such characteristics to God. Do you figure that a God could not be a loving God because he allows some to have eternal life but not everyone ?

I guess you would part ways with Judaism and Christianity at the moment Adam sinned and God presented the consequences, namely death to Adam. Your idea of a loving God would have been to accept that Adam sinned and give him a pass and just skip this whole earth thing. It is an appealing thought. The only problem I have is the chaos that would ensue in heaven where eternal beings filled with sin would make our earthly sinful lives look idyllic. Heaven would become hell.

402 posted on 12/14/2004 7:31:57 PM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: Raycpa
Is the following official Catholic Church doctrine?

1. Those who die as infants or are severely mentally deficient.

*Catholics believe that they have inherited sin from Adam and will spend eternity in a state called limbo ("the edge"), where they lack the joys of Heaven but are not punished for sin.

403 posted on 12/14/2004 8:04:19 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Raycpa
And you ignore the answers that no one is worthy to be saved.

How can you say that? I said several times that Scripture dooms the Khmer victims to Hell. I'm having a devil of a time getting people to admit that.

Ken H wrote: And yes, the Khmer Rouge question does seem to give people trouble.

I can see where it troubles nonbelievers who don't understand election.

Does that mean the Khmer victims chose their fate, or were they just not elected?

How do you know God exists? more importantly, how do you know there is an afterlife.

I don't. You asked and I told you what I thought. Am I 100% sure? No.

I guess you would part ways with Judaism and Christianity at the moment Adam sinned and God presented the consequences, namely death to Adam. Your idea of a loving God would have been to accept that Adam sinned and give him a pass and just skip this whole earth thing. It is an appealing thought. The only problem I have is the chaos that would ensue in heaven where eternal beings filled with sin would make our earthly sinful lives look idyllic. Heaven would become hell.

Zoning laws and homeowners associations would help, but good luck finding a lawyer to draw up the papers.

404 posted on 12/14/2004 8:48:22 PM PST by Ken H
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To: pnome

You don't have to go to church to talk to God.


405 posted on 12/14/2004 8:51:06 PM PST by Havoc (Reagan was right and so was McKinley. Down with free trade.)
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To: valuesvaluesvalues

"Unsaved is unsaved." True, but it has taken the gentleman 81 years to recognize the obvious-faith and salvation, may take him a while longer. Let's hope he lasts that long.


406 posted on 12/14/2004 8:54:07 PM PST by F.J. Mitchell (A Merry Christmas to all ,and to whom ever the Panthers hence forth play -a good night Irene!!!!!)
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To: Ken H
How can you say that? I said several times that Scripture dooms the Khmer victims to Hell. I'm having a devil of a time getting people to admit that.

I agreed with you. let me redress. So what. so what the Khmer victims go to hell. If they go, they were destined by God to go there at the beginning of time.

Does that mean the Khmer victims chose their fate, or were they just not elected?

Only God can choose our fates, which he did at the outset of creation.

Raycpa:How do you know God exists? more importantly, how do you know there is an afterlife.

I don't. You asked and I told you what I thought. Am I 100% sure? No.

Why do you think so ? What evidence do you base your thoughts on ?

Zoning laws and homeowners associations would help, but good luck finding a lawyer to draw up the papers.

Good one. But do you see the problem ? If we are basically evil and we have an infinite amount of time on our hands, we will eventually cause as much havoc as Hitler. our hearts need to be changed from the inside out. We can only do this be giving our hearts to God. God already knows which of us will do so, he knew from the beginning of time.

407 posted on 12/15/2004 6:33:15 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: Ken H

Is the following official Catholic Church doctrine?

Never trust a protestant to fully understand Catholic tradition (or a catholic for that matter)..There is often a misunderstanding about the official Catholic doctrine and its real meanings. Try these links for

http://www.cptryon.org/ask/ask/babybapt.html


http://www.catholic.com/library/Infant_Baptism.asp


408 posted on 12/15/2004 6:39:28 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: Raycpa
So what. so what the Khmer victims go to hell. If they go, they were destined by God to go there at the beginning of time.

Fair enough. Does the same apply to Jews murdered by the Nazis?

Why do you think so [that God exists]? What evidence do you base your thoughts on?

I don't think I could cite any hard evidence. It's simply a belief. For example, something had to cause the big bang. It just seems more logical that there would be a creator rather than not.

I have also spoken with people who underwent a near death experience. I take that as anecdotal evidence, not proof. You might say it's a judgement call...

If we are basically evil and we have an infinite amount of time on our hands, we will eventually cause as much havoc as Hitler. our hearts need to be changed from the inside out.

I have no problem with you believing we are evil. I disagree.

But from my understanding of scripture, you are a forgiven sinner when you go to Heaven, but still a sinner. Why would you not continue to sin in Heaven, whereas unforgiven sinners would, if God decides to let them in?

409 posted on 12/15/2004 11:01:17 AM PST by Ken H
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To: Raycpa
<>Michael Covington of the Beech Haven Baptist Chuch says:

1. Those who die as infants or are severely mentally deficient.

*Catholics believe that they have inherited sin from Adam and will spend eternity in a state called limbo ("the edge"), where they lack the joys of Heaven but are not punished for sin.

Never trust a protestant to fully understand Catholic tradition (or a catholic for that matter)..There is often a misunderstanding about the official Catholic doctrine and its real meanings.

I don't think Michael Covington is a very good source. He misstates Catholic doctrine and he contradicts Scripture when he makes exceptions to salvation.

Maybe he just doesn't have the nerve to face the full implication of what he preaches, or is ashamed to say it in public.

410 posted on 12/15/2004 11:17:08 AM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H
Fair enough. Does the same apply to Jews murdered by the Nazis?

Yes.

I don't think I could cite any hard evidence. It's simply a belief. For example, something had to cause the big bang. It just seems more logical that there would be a creator rather than not.

So, the fact that Hebrew prophets who had all prophecies prove true would not be as strong a source for you as your own feelings.

I have also spoken with people who underwent a near death experience. I take that as anecdotal evidence, not proof. You might say it's a judgement call...

I too have had such an experience but i base my beliefs on that plus the testimony found in scripture plus the "testimony of tradition" (those who are far smarter than me who have studied theology far longer than me).

I have no problem with you believing we are evil. I disagree.

Really. The Hebrews spent hundreds of year's simply trying to comply with a few commandments and agree that not one of their kind could ever keep them. You must be the first. Congratulations.

But from my understanding of scripture, you are a forgiven sinner when you go to Heaven, but still a sinner. Why would you not continue to sin in Heaven, whereas unforgiven sinners would, if God decides to let them in?

On earth we begin the process of changing in obedience to God. I assume this process either continues at death or is made fully complete. It is a process that cannot be forced and must be done willingly. Someone who rejects God would not agree to be changed.

411 posted on 12/15/2004 11:33:10 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: Ken H
I don't think Michael Covington is a very good source. He misstates Catholic doctrine and he contradicts Scripture when he makes exceptions to salvation. Maybe he just doesn't have the nerve to face the full implication of what he preaches, or is ashamed to say it in public.

I looked to find a summary that was mildy comprehensive about the doctrine of election and predestination. Anytime someone summarizes they run the risk of being too simplistic.

However, anyone who has been to seminary would have faced the questions you raise in far more detail than you have and would be comfortable with the answers. There is no need to apologize or make excuses for what God does. The best explanation God gives for his actions is simply best desribed by the "I am"

Question

Can you tell me the Hebrew word or words for the description that God gives Moses about Himself in Exodus 3:14: "I AM THAT I AM"

What does this mean in the original Hebrew and what is the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew text?

Answer:

Rashi explains the phrase (name) to mean: I shall be with them in this sorrow, as I shall be with them in other sorrows.

The Hebrew words are: eh-yeh asher ey-yehWith blessings from Jerusalem,

Rabbi Shraga Simmons

412 posted on 12/15/2004 11:40:54 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: Raycpa
I don't think Michael Covington is a very good source. He misstates Catholic doctrine and he contradicts Scripture when he makes exceptions to salvation. Maybe he just doesn't have the nerve to face the full implication of what he preaches, or is ashamed to say it in public.

I looked to find a summary that was mildy comprehensive about the doctrine of election and predestination. Anytime someone summarizes they run the risk of being too simplistic.

Was Rev. Covington being too simplistic or was he just plain wrong?

I'd like to hear from some Catholic FReepers on that point.

413 posted on 12/15/2004 1:18:21 PM PST by Ken H
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To: Ken H


Was Rev. Covington being too simplistic or was he just plain wrong?

You decide:


http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09256a.htm


414 posted on 12/16/2004 7:23:48 AM PST by Raycpa (Alias, VRWC_minion,)
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To: 2banana
"Sometimes I wonder why Jesus Christ is attacked with such viciousness. I don't know the answer."

He didn't come to be popular.

He also said He didn't come to bring peace, but that He would set father against son and mother against daughter.

Jesus, by His vary nature is by far the most controversial person alive.

His contemporaries were hateful to Him. How much more for those who have never seen Him.

It offends people when you tell them they need to be forgiven of their sins.... And that is simply to be expected.

You cannot expect the unbelievers to be especially gracious in their language toward Christ. Like it or not, He can be very offensive.
415 posted on 06/07/2005 4:18:51 AM PDT by Preachin' (Keep the Kerry/Edwards tags on your cars so we can identify the root of your disease.)
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To: Preachin'
Similar Headline...

"Man Dying of Thirst in the Desert upon finding Oasis now Thinks Water is Good for Him !"

It's a bit long, but you get my drift.
416 posted on 06/07/2005 4:22:00 AM PDT by Red Sea Swimmer (Tisha5765Bav)
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To: Red Sea Swimmer

It's very sad to me that best this man can do is admit that there is probably a God.

That notion never saved anyone.

Almost everyone I know admits there's a God, but it has no impact on them, as they don't bear the fruit He requires, or live exclusively for Him.


417 posted on 06/07/2005 4:34:37 AM PDT by Preachin' (Keep the Kerry/Edwards tags on your cars so we can identify the root of your disease.)
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To: pnome

"Also, there is no afterlife, no heaven, no hell and certainly no devil."

I find your faith touching. What a leap!!!


418 posted on 06/07/2005 5:27:46 AM PDT by walden
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To: Theo

"I understand that Arafat is a believer now as well."

The list is a long one - Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Mao, the many who died at Sodom & Gomorrah, all who died in the Flood, every Pharaoh, each of the many religion of peace adherents who have suicided themselves in a bomb blast - the list goes on and on - and by now the author of the Koran knows that his god is a dead, never existed god, and that his writings are all lies.


419 posted on 06/07/2005 5:51:58 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: joesnuffy

"Flew said he's best labeled a deist...whose God was not actively involved in people's lives."

At 81 he has relatively few Flew years left before he discovers the truth about the God he apparently wishes not to know. Flew apparently is still choosing not to choose life.


420 posted on 06/07/2005 5:56:30 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: pnome

"Sorry, you might be able to convince me that a "god", as we can best describe it, exists. Though, there is no proof that there is only one such "god". You will not be able to convince me that Christianity is the only correct version of that god."

Those of us who know do not have a God-given mission to convince you. We are told to speak the Good News. CS Lewis does that. Many on this forum do that. But convince you? No. God still leaves it up to you to choose. My advise, choose wisely, there will come a time when you will know.


421 posted on 06/07/2005 6:06:02 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: Preachin'

"You cannot expect the unbelievers to be especially gracious in their language toward Christ. Like it or not, He can be very offensive."

Jesus was never offensive except toward the religious system - the Pharasee's represented that system. He had no use for what had become the religious systems of men then, and he has no use for the religious systems of men today. Many of those today call themselves 'Christian'. Look at Jesus Christ, then look for the Jesus Christ-likeness in today's religious systems. Hmmm, I wonder what John's letter to the seven churches in Asia-minor referenced as far as todays world is concerned? Might be we know first hand what the religious systems are from which he writes we should come out.


422 posted on 06/07/2005 6:17:37 AM PDT by GGpaX4DumpedTea
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Even the hardest of the hard...in the dead of night, cry out to God.


423 posted on 06/07/2005 6:18:56 AM PDT by Osage Orange (Hillary Clinton is about as welcome as an egg-sucking dog...in my neck of the woods.)
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To: Michael_Michaelangelo

Short of breath and one day closer to death.


424 posted on 06/07/2005 6:23:00 AM PDT by nairBResal
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To: GGpaX4DumpedTea

"Jesus was never offensive except toward the religious system - the Pharasee's represented that system."

Matthew 13:57 - And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Matthew 26:31 - Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Matthew 26:33 - Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.

Mark 4:17 - And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended.

Mark 6:3 - Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.

Mark 14:27 - And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.


425 posted on 06/08/2005 3:38:17 AM PDT by Preachin' (Keep the Kerry/Edwards tags on your cars so we can identify the root of your disease.)
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