What is a good blog supposed to do? Well, ColorStorm has a first class blog, and one is the reasons for that is that it inspires constructive debate. Here is an example of one of his posts, I bet you can’t watch this to the end.
When I commented, another commenter added his two cents.
For Citizen Tom above and any others. I hope CS doesn’t censor out this comment…
I want to try and meet everyone here halfway for courteous dialogue about knowledge-ignorance and how it is learned and shared with regard to most comments here and in particular CT’s above. And so to be completely fair we (non-believers) must…
…understand the danger posed by people like Jerry Falwell, Joel Osteen, and Billy Graham, etc, we have to listen to and understand their arguments. It may be thoroughly unpleasant, but we do not have a choice.
Why do we have little choice? Because in more subtle covert terms the conservative American Taliban, as they have been appropriately labelled by many moderates and liberals, peaceful or otherwise want to remove our Constitution’s First Amendment. In order to have a remote chance of intellectually getting through to these groups peacefully, we/they must first understand the initial MAJOR difference between these two diametrically opposed positions:
1) Christianity and its (Greco-Roman) doctrines of Jesus’ person (the claims, character, and resurrection), about sin and its consequences, the death-salvation by Jesus, then finally humanity’s response to all of these doctrines — fortunately for non-believers — have been set in stone (canonized) since 325 CE: Revelations 22:18-19. Christianity’s doctrines and Scripture CANNOT be changed, modified, taken from or added to anymore. Done! There is (or should be?) only ONE church and ONE true group of followers, right?
Therefore, for over 1,690 years the Christian faith has beeen thoroughly examined and scrutinized exhaustively not only by very intelligent secularists, but devout Christians as well! This begs the very serious, glaring, evidential question: Where is the ONE single church? The constant breakup and fragmentation of Jesus’ church(es) is a reflection of the New Testament’s fallacies, amputations, and inadequacies. The canonical New Testament is quite simply unsustainable by its own demise: it is NOT allowed to adapt or evolve over time. Period! Yet…
2) The next major problem between these two diametrically opposed positions is ironically “change.” How is it understood and implemented in science and how CAN it be implemented in Christianity? For example, the numerous benefits of contraception for women and women’s safety and well-being. What is Christianity’s cumulative consensus on this incredibly good advancement for women!? This is undeniable.
You see, canonically biblical Christians cannot operate in both diametrically opposed camps. They must either OPEN UP their 1,690+ year old bible for revisions, additions, reductions, or complete overhaul — which I seriously doubt Christians could unite to do that — or… fully embrace the science that has placed humanity in its most advanced state in its history AND science’s fluid adaptability to uncertainty as well as certainty.
Thanks for allowing this comment CS.
- ColorStorm says:
August 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm
Censor tabbs? Went right through did it not?
- Citizen Tom says:
August 27, 2017 at 2:50 am
I am not an expert on the politics of Jerry Falwell, Joel Osteen, and Billy Graham, etc., but referring to those people as the American Taliban is just stupid. Even lumping those three together is bit silly.Of course, you can find some fringe group that horrifies most Christians, but you cannot produce any substantial evidence that Christian churches are a threat to the First Amendment. If Christians had not ratified the First Amendment, we would not be talking about it.You could point to the argument over what constitutes pornography, but that is about it. Few Christians have much interest in stifling political debate.Are Christians without sin? No. I will readily admit that the public school system was created by people who largely subscribed to Christianity. One of the reasons Protestants promoted the public school system is that they saw it as a counter to the Catholic school movement. Protestant/Catholic rivalry has gotten out of hand more than once, but even that is slowly simmering down.Even after being born again, Christians don’t claim to be perfect. It is rather obvious we are not. What we say instead is that churches are full of sinners.Why is there a First Amendment? You mention the rivalry between different Christian sects. In the past, before Christians got it through their heads that the Bible says Jesus is our judge, Christians fought violently over doctrinal issues. However, unlike just about any other belief, the Bible clearly says God is the authority, not man. When we argue over doctrine, we are still supposed love each other, not kill each other. With the First Amendment, in the United States we made it illegal to attempt to use the government to erase our religious differences. In fact, the Bible makes it clear Christians should do their best to resolve their differences without resorting to violence, even violence under the control of the government. The Apostle Paul did not much care for us taking our problems to the government.
Some Christians subscribe to the notion that the First Amendment applies only to Christianity. In particular, they look upon Islam with horror. Nevertheless, the First Amendment does not say it applies just to Christians. So in practice arguments over the First Amendment generally boil down to whether or not it is legal to put “In God We Trust” on our currency and whether chaplains belong in the military. Frankly, I think that anyone who trusts the currency itself is an idiot.
What about your two points? You say the Bible was canonized in 325 AD. I have looked at the history of that event. What happened is that a bunch of respected Christians got the books of the Bible together and made 50 copies. That is just about all there was to it. They did not argue much, but I suppose including Ecclesiastes bothered some of them. Until you study it carefully, that book does not sound like it belongs in the Bible, but it does.
Is the Church unified? Christ is the head of the Church. I am just a member. Why don’t you ask Him? He knows who is part of the church and who is not. I don’t. It is that sort of admission that led to the First Amendment.
Christians don’t embrace science? What we don’t do is make science more important than it is.
Science is a tool for modeling cause and effect. In the ideal, what scientists try to do is mathematically model the cause-effect relationships that exist in a system. Such modelling begins with certain well defined boundaries. When the system becomes too complex and/or there are too many unknowns, our models break down.
Any system which includes God is beyond our capacity to model. So are far simpler systems described by expressions like the Theory of Evolution or Global Warming.
What makes a Christian a Christian? Well, the first step is this. It is the admission that God is God, and I am not.
Has science made us advanced? Well, maybe, but it has not made us gods. In fact, it has just made it more difficult to keep us from destroying ourselves. So it is a mixed blessing, at best.
What has Christianity done for us? Jesus taught us the importance of loving each other. Jesus’ disciples, people He taught to love, were far more advanced than any of us. They had a solution for our most basic problem.
Where is this going? Not certain, but it could be interesting.
Note: I made the post private temporarily because of some formatting headaches. Sorry if that caused confusion.