Monday, December 18, 2006

The Blasphemy Challenge


  1. heather.ariyeh said...
    This is a heart-breaking thing to see. The process of deciding if there is a God and if you need salvation is a serious one with potentially devastating consequences if you do not bother to seek the truth. No matter what your beliefs, it is irresponsible to make light of this decision. Still, it brings up an interesting question. Is the verse in Matthew that they refer to another way of saying, “if you don’t accept Christ as your Savior, therefore denying the Holy Spirit, you can’t be accepted into Heaven”? Or does it literally mean, if you ever utter these words, there is no going back, God will never forgive you?
    Brett said...
    I know that feelings are not always an accurate depictor for truth, but watching these teenagers deny God in this way defintely gave me an eerie feeling.
    I think the passage in question has more to do with your first interpreatation than the latter. Which could be a good thing for some on the Rational Response Squad.
    Anonymous said...
    Whye should it give you an "erie feeling?" That just proves that you like to have your nose in everyone elses business. I just uploaded my video, and if you want to spend your Christmas worshipping something that isn't there, and praying to something that isn't there about my eternal soul, then sorry to ruin your holiday.
    I'm not going to ruin my holiday because I have a "frustrated feeling" that a bunch of fundamental christian crybabies are saying "Jesus is the Reason for the Season"
    Brett said...
    Since we're being honest here, you won't ruin my holiday, and I probably won't be thinking about your eternal soul over Christmas. If you want a rational discussion, put a name on your post and quit the name calling.
    I have a "frustrated feeling" trying to defend absolute truth to a bunch of moral relativists who have bought into a worldview that makes "absolutely" no sense. But it won't ruin my Christmas.
    Anonymous said...
    I thought you would be praying for my soul like a good christian is supposed to do.
    David said...
    That's an interesting comment "anonymous". If Christians pray to something that isn't there, would it really matter if we prayed for your soul? Wouldn't that be meaningless to you anyway?

    And what exactly do you mean by a "good Christian"? Anyone can say they are a "Christian", but for a lot of people, it means different things.

    The question I am thinking of right now is this...who is right? Let's say you are right. I am a Christian, I am way off base in my thinking, and I live a "good" life. Does it make a difference when I die? The answer would be "No." However, what if I am right? What if there is a God, and a Heaven, and a Hell, and eternity? If you live a life denouncing God and His Son, Jesus Christ, and then you die...what then?
    heather.ariyeh said...
    Dear anonymous –

    I will be praying for you soul. I don’t mean that in any sort of judgmental, “looking-down-my-nose-at-you” way that I know people often mean when they say that. I am saying that because it is the best way I know how to show compassion to anyone, as one human being to another. That is the motivation behind it. Also, I admire the fact that you want to seek the truth, and don’t want to buy into something blindly, but please realize neither do many Christians. I have been frustrated most of my life with church-going because where I live, in the “Bible belt”, it is so cultural that it has often become watered-down and hypocritical. Rarely is the Bible ever really study or the truth ever sought. I consider myself a rational person; I have done much reading and studying, and find the Bible to make sense as a whole. Admittedly, there are details that I still do not understand, which I think is one of the reasons my friend started this blog, so we could discuss those and not gloss over them.

    As for your soul, please see my above post. I do not think that the Bible means that if you dare to let those words out of your mouth even one time that it is your one-way ticket to Hell. In the context of the whole Bible, I think it means that God is willing to forgive anything, but you have to ask for it. If you don’t (in other words, you deny the Holy Spirit calling you), this can’t be forgiven (or what you don’t ask can’t be forgiven). It is the price of free will, a theological concept you may be familiar with. So, if you ever feel you have been wrong about God, please do not feel that your video is a point of no return. Also, and I mean this without offense, is it possible that since you may have misinterpreted this portion of the Bible, that there are other concepts that you are incorrect about as well? This is no insult to you; I know there are things I have changed my mind about as I have been on this journey. I think in particular if you listen to what the church sometimes says, especially those certain T.V. preachers that seem to get all of the media attention, than much of Christianity would seem ridiculous.

    I am sorry if you are offended that my friend said he got an eerie feeling, but as he said he was just expressing a feeling, not deriving any logical conclusion from it. I believe it was out of concern. I have to say I felt the same way, also out of concern. I am glad that the Rational Response Squad raises important questions, but I don’t like that the whole thing has the feeling that they are just trying to be daring or cool, or using this as a promotional stunt when the topic is so serious. It’s almost like when churches give away money or candy or whatever to get kids into church. People should make these decisions because they have put thought into it, not to get a prize.

    Another thing I would like to point out is that people on both sides tend to get very emotional and feel personally attacked when stuff like this gets brought up. When this happens, I think we need to stop and examine ourselves. Christians just need to learn to get used to ridicule. As the Bible says, we should expect it just like the prophets before us. As far as atheists go, I have seen so many that are clearly angry at God, the Church and Christians for the many offenses (some legitimate when it comes to the Church or Christians) they feel have been committed against them. I have to wonder if they are so angry, if logic is the only thing factoring into their decisions. Christians are often accused of having blind faith in order to meet some emotional need, but I think this happens on both sides. Both sides need to stop stereotyping the other, and both need to stop talking about what the other side is conspiring to do to ruin society.

    Lastly, I hope you will share with us some of your objections to Christianity. Maybe it is something that I or someone else can give you another viewpoint to consider. I was raised in the church, but there was a point in my life where I realized that I had to decide for myself what is true. The first thing that needed to be decided was if God, of any sort, could exist. There are many reasons I decided yes, but one is the fact I felt there must be absolutes by which everything else is measured. For example, we have a notion of what is good because there is some standard by which we can judge everything’s relative goodness. Same with truth, love, power, evil, etc. If there were no absolute, we would have no basis for saying anything is good, bad, etc. Now, we may not always agree on the gray areas (what I may think is good, you may not in some cases), but we have this notion that the concept is out there and can be discovered, otherwise why even talk about it? (This is a lot like Plato’s chair theory. We know what a chair is b/c there is some standard for chair, although we may not be able to wholly describe it, or ever see it, we believe exists.) For me absolute Goodness, Truth and Love are God. From then on, I tried to narrow it down to a religion. I chose Christianity because it is unique in that you have to get to God based on God’s sacrifice, not based on your own works or anything you can do as in many other religions. This makes sense to me b/c if God is absolute Goodness, then there is no logical way, we could ever deserve to be in the presence of God. We would always fall short. God must show us mercy in order for this to happen.
    BTW, this is one of my favorite things about the Bible, the way it shows God’s balance between mercy and justice. Many of the common objections to the Bible have been satisfied for me, but some not yet. Still, because I feel at peace with such a huge portion of my decision, I am willing to be patient and continue to learn where my understanding is not perfect. I know this post has been extremely long, but hope you have derived some insight from it. I welcome any response as it will only help me in trying to understand the truth.

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