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'You Christians think you know everything'

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''You Christians think you know everything''

Post by My1SqueakyShoe on Tue May 19, 2009 9:53 am

If you want to read the rest of the article you have to go to the website...... P

http://www.renewamerica.us/analysis/jon/090518


'You Christians think you know everything'

May 18, 2009
Marie Jon, RA analyst

While reading the Word on a flight to visit a family member who recently moved from Southern California, I overheard some remarkable comments. I have had some really amazing discussions on airplanes, when a small white Bible seems to become a controversy.

For instance — "You Christians believe you know it all." Then the next few words that follow are "But you can't prove that God really exists." And you know, to some degree, they are correct. It is a tough proposition to prove God's existence, but not impossible.

And then there is the unfortunate fact that a lot of Christians come across as religious know-it-alls. They know how to spout and fume, but it takes more than an affirmation of one's faith to convince a thinking mind to believe in God.

What can you say when you meet an atheist who challenges your belief in God? Most atheists think that Christianity is an enormous leap of faith. Allow me to show you what happens when former atheists take that step.

Adoniram Judson

Little Adoniram Judson was an intelligent child. His father did a lot of traveling, which left his mother to do most of the child's tutoring. When Pastor Judson came home, how surprised and delighted he was to hear that his three-year-old boy could read far beyond his age. We often see much praise for homeschooling and the dedicated parents who provide an excellent education for their children. Needless to say, Pastor Judson was one happy man when his little son picked up the family Bible and read an entire chapter out loud to perfection.

Yes, Adoniram Judson was a very bright boy. However, there's a risk in being mentally brilliant. It is virtually guaranteed that geniuses will begin to say "Prove it" to everybody about anything and everything. By the time Adoniram arrived at Brown University, he was ready to question all of his professors.

Author Eugene Myers Harrison describes Adoniram in "Giants of the Missionary Trail," a story about a very clever academic who was "enamored of his brilliance" and mentally "entertained the most extravagant ambitions. [Adoniram's] imagination ran wild as he contemplated his future eminence." He fancied himself as "an orator, greater than Demosthenes," who inspired the masses with his eloquence. He thought of himself "as Homer, writing immortal poems," or as "Alexander the Great, [saddened] because there were no more worlds to conquer."

It is ironic and pathetic that gifted men and women who receive the gift of wisdom, directly from God's hand, in many cases turn right around and reject the Giver.

The Apostle Paul was an academic genius who once used his abilities to fight against heaven. Later he wrote: "But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit" (1 Corinthians 12:7).

According to the Word, wisdom and knowledge are special gifts from God. When extremely brilliant people reject God, they reject the source of their enormous gifts. Young Judson did just that.

Brown University

In its earlier days, Brown University was known as Providence College. Through the providence of the Almighty God, Judson received his many distinct abilities and insights. Yet he willfully decided that providence had nothing to do with it.

The history books are full of names of intellectual giants who came to a similar conclusion. Take, for instance, men like Friedrich Nietzsche and François-Marie Arouet, better known as Voltaire. Voltaire's miraculous abilities, coupled with his doubts and vehement opposition to organized religion, were unquestionably precursors to a very bloody French Revolution. Atheism soon followed and became an official religion.

Unfortunately, Voltaire's attitude and endless skepticism eventually infected the United States of America. By the early 1800's, Yale University was blown over by the gale force winds of godlessness. Almost all of its students were atheists. Shamelessly, many of the young men on campus shed the baptismal names given to them by their parents and began calling each other by the names of their favorite infidels.

Providence College in Rhode Island was plagued with the same problem. Judson felt the effects of the crossfire. By the time he finished school, he declared himself to be an atheist. Because God had gifted him mentally, whenever he and his father engaged in a discussion about God, Adoniram usually won.

A matter of faith

Christians too often don't win arguments with atheists. It's impossible to always be the victor, because at some point people of faith have to turn to the Book and say: "I hold the Holy Bible to be true." And then the atheist can easily say that "you can read and quote from that book all you want to, but I'll have nothing to do with it." They don't see any evidence. They often say, "If God wants me to acknowledge Him, then He must prove His existence to me." They need something tangible that their eyes can see or their hands can hold. "It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God" (Matthew 4:7).

Matthew 4:14 tells us that Jesus was hungry following his 40-day fast. Satan appealed to the natural appetite and desires of Jesus. The Savior was tempted like any other human person. He humbled himself and became a human, with all the human weakness, frailties, and desires.

Satan tempted Christ, saying, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread." Satan questioned Christ's calling and mission.

Satan uses the same question to tempt people today. "If Jesus is the Son of God. . . ." "If God exists, then why . . . ? You can fill in the blank.

Friedrich Nietzsche and Charles Darwin shook their fist at heaven and said, "There is no God." Maybe the "Great I Am" should have zapped them with a bit of heavenly reality.

I'm amazed when I read the story of Job in the Bible. With all the trials and tribulations it's a wonder that he didn't finally become an atheist. "Why don't you curse God and die?", his wife said (Job 2:9). For many people, taking their own lives would have been considered an option when life's problems continually pile up. Job had everything bad happen to him. In one day, he lost his children, and their families were also killed. He lost his home and his wealth. His health became unbearable. All of his worldly fortune was no longer, while his prayers seemed to go unheard. It would have been more than enough to make anybody feel doubtful that God existed. Sure enough, a righteous man named Job began to struggle with matters of faith.

Job actually said: "Why do the wicked live and become old, yes, become mighty in power? Their descendants are established with them in their sight, and their offspring before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon them. Their bull breeds without failure; their cow calves without miscarriage. They send forth their little ones like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and harp, and rejoice to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in wealth, and in a moment go down to the grave" (Job 21:7-13). Job also said: "Though [God] slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him" (Job 13:15).
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My1SqueakyShoe

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Re: 'You Christians think you know everything'

Post by Cotton Picker on Tue May 19, 2009 11:56 am

My1SqueakyShoe wrote:
It is ironic and pathetic that gifted men and women who receive the gift of wisdom, directly from God's hand, in many cases turn right around and reject the Giver.
Here is where the author and I part ways.... Wisdom and knowledge are not synonyms... Knowledge is knowing what to do... Wisdom is knowing how to do it... And virtue, is actually doing what you know you should do....
My1SqueakyShoe wrote:
Christians too often don't win arguments with atheists. It's impossible to always be the victor, because at some point people of faith have to turn to the Book and say: "I hold the Holy Bible to be true." And then the atheist can easily say that "you can read and quote from that book all you want to, but I'll have nothing to do with it." They don't see any evidence. They often say, "If God wants me to acknowledge Him, then He must prove His existence to me." They need something tangible that their eyes can see or their hands can hold. "It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God" (Matthew 4:7).
I too have had conversations on-board aircraft.. I was on a flight from Saskatoon, SK, to Calgary,AB, and I got into a conversation with my seatmate, who claimed to be an atheist.... I informed her that to me, it took more faith to be an atheist, than a Christian.... She was somewhat taken aback.. I went on to say, that for me it was quite easy to believe that God created the world and everything in it.. My mind was at ease to think of other more important things, than attempting to prove and believe that the earth came from some big-bang, or something.... She didn't know what to say to that....

Christians don't win arguments.. Because that don't allow Jesus to have control of the conversation.... They believe that they are able to prevail against the enemy.... By leaving their Lord outside and their armor in the closet...
1John 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God. And everyone who loves the Father loves his children, too.

1Jo 5:2 We know we love God's children if we love God and obey his commandments.

1Jo 5:3 Loving God means keeping his commandments, and really, that isn't difficult.

1Jo 5:4 For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory.

1Jo 5:5 And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
Luke 12:12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you what needs to be said even as you are standing there."
1Samuel 17:47 And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!"

I just carry a slingshot... God gives me the ammo....
My1SqueakyShoe wrote:
I'm amazed when I read the story of Job in the Bible. With all the trials and tribulations it's a wonder that he didn't finally become an atheist.
Why be amazed at Job?... Why not be like Job?...
In the Introduction to the book Frankl writes: "Life is a task. The religious man differs from the apparently irreligious man only by experiencing his existence not simply as a task, but as a mission. That means that he is also aware of the taskmaster, the source of his mission. For thousands of years that source was called God"(ibid. p. xv). This feeling of an important mission to be fulfilled, of the responsibility before himself, his family (he did not know that he would never see his parents, brother, sister and wife again), and his fellow prisoners never left Frankl. This is that MISSION, that was with him all his life, till the very last breath. Viktor Frankl passed away in Vienna on September 2, 1997.
<snip>

In television series LateNight America, I learned from experts that only 20 percent Americans are happy, which prompted me during the last year to talk about happiness with psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, religious leaders and many other successful Americans. All agree that happiness comes to us as a direct result of high self-esteem, a positive attitude and the way in which we relate to other people. It's not as complicated as we make it out to be. But happiness may be different from what we think it is.

Happiness, I have learned, is a feeling of contentment and peace of mind. Life is a mixed bag of joy and sadness, laughter and tears, pain and growth. Happy people accept the whole package, realizing that happiness is only a part of life's puzzle.

Unfortunately, too many Americans have swallowed a bill of goods which states that happiness can be achieved 24 hours a day and will be found in success, fame, possessions, and marrying or having a relationship with the right individual.

I've discovered that, to be happy, we must have something to do, someone or something to love, and something to hope for. Our work must give us a sense of pride and satisfaction, use of our special talents and abilities, and provide us with the opportunity for recognition and contribution. If we work only for money at a job we hate, we deny ourselves the chance to be happy.

To be happy we must live for something outside ourselves - another individual or people, a cause, a belief in God. To live only for ourselves is to exist in a world of one - and that brings misery. To be happy we must have hope, which is our commitment of time and energy to the future. We need to dream. To have no dream is to have no hope, and to have no hope is to have no reason to live.
<snip>

This third avenue to meaning is, perhaps, the most important one. Too often we forget that suffering is an unavoidable and ineradicable part of human life. Without it, life could not be complete. Suffering - albeit in unequal degrees - accompanies us through all our lives, eventually terminating in death. Finding meaning in suffering is not as much the ability to cope with suffering and not letting it destroy oneself, but the possibility of "rising above oneself," "growing beyond oneself," and thus "changing oneself." In "Man's Search for Meaning" (MSM p. 88 ) Frankl writes: "Here lies a chance for a man either to make use or to forgo the opportunities of attaining the moral values that a difficult situation may afford him. And this decides whether he is worthy of his sufferings or not." And a few pages later: "When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept his suffering as his task; his single and unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of his suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden" (p. 99) Frankl proves that a human being "may turn a personal tragedy into a triumph."
<snip>

In his book Frankl again and again quotes Nietzsche's words: "He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how." If one understands the why of one's existence, one will be able to cope with the how, no matter how impossible that would seem. Understanding the why simply meant that people could find a meaning in their sufferings, and even probable death. "It can be said that they were worthy of their sufferings; the way they bore their suffering was a genuine inner achievement. It is this spiritual freedom - which cannot be taken away - that makes life meaningful and purposeful" (p. 87). If, on the other hand, people were unable to take that challenge, turning their lives into an inner triumph; if they believed that life was over, that all the real life opportunities had disappeared for good, then their days were numbered: they vegetated, progressively sliding down towards the imminent end.
<snip>

Both the past and the future of the prisoner were instrumental in his or her survival in a concentration camp. What about the present? The present was filled with suffering, both physical and spiritual. But for somebody who had already acquired the strength and inner freedom even that dreadful present became full of meaning.

Perhaps some of the prisoners who had been religious in their previous lives lost faith. But in those who had not lost the faith, or had even just acquired faith in the camp, religious feelings were "the most sincere imaginable. The depth and vigor of religious belief often surprised and moved a new arrival. Most impressive in this connection were improvised prayers or services in the corner of a hut, or in the darkness of the locked cattle truck in which we were brought back from a distant work site, tired, hungry and frozen in our ragged clothing" (p. 54). Years after the liberation, Frankl wrote (MSUM, p. 19): "The truth is that among those who actually went through the experience of Auschwitz, the number of those whose religious life was deepened – in spite of, not because of, this experience – by far exceeds the number of those who gave up their belief."

http://stuff.mit.edu/people/gkrasko/Frankl.html
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Re: 'You Christians think you know everything'

Post by Marie on Tue May 19, 2009 7:02 pm

Someone just posted this observation elsewhere on the web: those whose fields of study are in the social sciences and humanities are more likely to be liberal (and from my observation, they tend to attack the Bible as unreliable, if not outrightly atheists.).. Those with degrees in engineering and science are more likely to be conservative (and in my own observation, tend to retain their faith better also).
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