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MLK Jr. Parade, Pt. 4: When Good is Evil and Evil Good (Special “Atheist Tuesday” Edition)

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It’s not unusual or remarkable that the gay pride contingent marches in nearly every parade that the evangelism team visits. We have no particular agenda for this group other than to get the Gospel out to as many of the members of this community as possible. (Click here to start at part 1.)

What stunned me was a comment made as I handed out Gospel tracts to the “Black and Gay and Here to Stay” crowd. One rather aggressive lady dressed in white started grabbing the tracts from the marchers. When I asked her why she was doing this she said, “Because they’re evil!”

“Evil?” I replied. “How are these evil? Have you read them? They have the Gospel on them.”

“I have read them; what they say is evil.” The woman continued to grab the tracts from her companions, warning them again to not read the “evil” message.

America is now a land where God is slowly being banished from the public square. When God is left out of the equation, everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

The Pacific Justice Institute, a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in the defense of religious freedom, parental rights, and other civil liberties, reports in their 2010 Hall of Shame these sad cases from those who would seek to eliminate God and his Moral Law from American society:

  • In a case from San Francisco, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Christian groups at public universities cannot require that their leaders believe in and practice Christianity.
  • Just before Easter, the City of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, attempted to shut down a home Bible study, while leaving alone similar gatherings for non-religious reasons. The city reversed course after PJI intervened.
  • Atheists threaten legal action against the Southern California City of Ontario after it posted the national motto in city council chambers. After PJI offered to defend the city at no charge, the atheists did not sue.
  • A federal judge in San Francisco declares that the U.S. Constitution requires gay marriage and declares unconstitutional Prop. 8, California’s voter-approved affirmation of traditional marriage. In his ruling, Judge Walker lashed out against religious beliefs and moral standards.

The war against God will continue. As people get further and further away from God and his Moral Law, we will continue to see what the prophet Isaiah spoke of years ago:

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.
(Isaiah 5:20)

Despite the topsy-turvy nature of today’s mores and values, there is some good news. The Pacific Justice Institute  has some cases to celebrate:

  • In Washington, D.C., a federal appeals court dismissed a lawsuit by atheists and humanists challenging prayer and the oath of office administered at presidential inaugurations.
  • At the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which has federal jurisdiction over all the Pacific states and territories, PJI served as co-counsel with the U.S. Department of Justice in securing a major victory upholding the constitutionality of the national motto, “In God We Trust.”
  • In the Sacramento region, PJI staff and affiliate attorneys won a landmark decision from the California Court of Appeal in favor of a youth pastor who had been arrested for simply sharing his faith.
  • In the Bay Area, PJI staff and affiliate attorneys favorably settled a federal lawsuit on behalf of two students who had been disciplined and threatened with expulsion by their community college for praying. The college retracted the discipline and paid PJI attorneys’ fees.
  • In Southern California, the city of Rancho Cucamonga was forced to backpedal and reverse its attempts to shut down a home Bible study after PJI got involved.

The shocking rebuke from a lesbian lady that the Gospel literature was evil still saddens me, not because I was unjustly accused by a woman with topsy-turvy morality, but because she declined an invitation from God—to be a friend.

These types of encounters, with those who live Isaiah’s warning, with those who pooh-pooh my beliefs, with those who forfeit salvation, only gird me with a stronger resolve to continue doing good, to continue to preach the Gospel through word and tract, and to give those who are perishing a fighting chance for Heaven.

51 Comments

  1. I’m starting to think you don’t have an answer for Nohm, and are hoping we’ll just forget about it after a few weeks.

    First, it was just permission to use an image. Understandable, you don’t want to use someone’s work without permission.

    Then suddenly you had trouble writing the article. The prior week sounded like the article was good to go.

  2. I got cut off there. I blame my fingers.

    My next question: what is evil about attraction to the same sex?

    Compare and contrast the two. Are there any significant dangers to either?

    • Nohm’s answer will be addressed in a future article called “Child’s Play,” though not directly.

      I’m not going to get into the homosexual debate. I’m an equal opportunity preacher, so, they too need to know Jesus.

      Specific verses you may want o read about this can be found in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10:

      9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

      And in the infamous Roman 1:26-32:

      Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

      28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

      You can draw your own conclusions from these passages, Garrett.

      • Yes, I admit CW, that I’m a hypocrite; aren’t you?

        Seriously, do you equate God’s morality to be equal with church order and protocol? One won’t enter the kingdom of God because of their behavior, the other might get a stern rebuke. For the record, I do request that my wife ask me any questions she may have. I am, after all, the priest and leader of my home.

        Nohm, read the book of Judges for my supported assertion. For times’ sake, I can’t illustrate and support everything for an article that is supposed to attract the person with a 5 minute attention span.

        The Moral Law is, of course, the 10 Commandments. And remember, I say nothing about homosexuality when I approach these groups unless asked directly.

  3. You’re a textbook cherry-picker Steve.

    Why do you obey 1 Corinthians chapter 6, but you ignore 1 Corinthians chapter 14?

    In case you forgot your scripture:

    34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    If you think gay people get mad when you preach and quote scripture at them, see what happens when you tell all the women at your church to shut their mouths until they get outside.

    You only pay attention to the Bible verses that let you tell everyone else how to live.

    In other words, you’re hypocrite.

  4. You know, at this point, I don’t even remember what my question originally was.

    You’ll have to remind me.

    Having said that, let me speak on a couple of issues here:

    When God is left out of the equation, everyone does what is right in their own eyes.

    Unsupported assertion.

    those who would seek to eliminate God and his Moral Law from American society

    No one is trying to “eliminate God and his Moral Law from American society”.

    Our issue is not with “God”, it’s with his fanboys, such as yourself. We don’t believe that the former exists, but we sure recognize that the latter does.

    And when you can all agree on just what “His Moral Law” actually is and means? Then (and only then) can we discuss it. Because even evangelicals aren’t all on the same page there.

  5. Nohm, read the book of Judges for my supported assertion.

    I know what you’re referring to, and that’s my point of saying “unsupported assertion”. The book of Judges makes an unsupported assertion. You’ve simply repeated it.

    The Moral Law is, of course, the 10 Commandments.

    Which says absolutely nothing about homosexuality.

    Lastly, as you quoted above, Romans 1:31 says, “they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

    Really? Do you really believe that? No love at all? No mercy?

    Are you kidding me?

    This was Paul’s opinion, written to a very specific audience.

    Seriously, do you equate God’s morality to be equal with church order and protocol?

    Why don’t you? It’s a moral issue given by God, right? 1 Corinthians 14:34 has that “as the law says” part, if you noticed.

  6. And now I have to look back to find out what my question was…

  7. Ah, got it.

    My question was:

    Now, again, what makes Christianity more special than Islam in this? Why is being saved by believing in a man more special than being saved by taking the Shahada?

  8. I think the last time the notion of homosexuality came up I threw out the notion about what the Christian perspective was on people who God saw fit to gift with intersexed bodies or just the transgendered community in general. No one really had a response or answer to that one. Also Steve, its good that you are civil and nice to those people so that you can appear to turn the other cheek when they act uncivil to you, but really when it comes right down to it, your message is that because they prefer being with the same gender (something that occurs in the majority of mammal species) that God will send them to hell to burn for all eternity unless they deny who they truly are and live a lie.

    I would think it simply be better that they except Jesus as their lord and savior (the only way people get into heaven after all along with that baptism thing) acknowledge their sin, try to turn away from this sin, fail at it because they’re gay, pray for forgiveness, try to turn away from this sin, fail at it because they’re gay, and eventually their libido slows down they don’t have ‘the drive’ anymore and can truly repent and stop committing this truly HORRIFIC sin. After all, even those who get saved continue to sin in some way, its IMPOSSIBLE not to, so why should acts of homosexuality be any different?

  9. Steve, there is no way to twist this.

    If your church lets any women utter a single word whilst inside the building, they are in strict violation of God’s law. There is no Bible verse that says church protocol is less important than the rest of the Bible.

    It’s very simple. If you let women speak in church, you don’t take the the Bible seriously, which doesn’t make you any different than the people you yell at on the street.

  10. This is the chief verse that is used to oppose women preaching and yet it says nothing about preaching, nor does it say anything about a public worship or church service. But, on the contrary, this verse is giving instructions to wives as to how they were to conduct themselves in regard to their husband. Paul says in 1 Cor. 14:35, “And if they will LEARN anything, let them ask their husbands at home.” Now he states in 1 Tim. 2:12 that the woman should learn in silence, and should not usurp authority over the man. Paul is dealing with more of a home problem than a church problem.

    1 Timothy 2:12 is not a blanket rule for all women of all churches. If it were, then the women could not speak at all, for the same verse that tells them not to teach also tells them to be silent.
    If all women had to keep silent in church, then that would be promoting disobedience to God, for they could not prophesy, pray, testify, sing, exhort, do personal work, or even get saved.
    Whenever an interpretation to a verse contradicts the rest of the teaching of the Bible, we know this interpretation is incorrect, for the Holy Spirit will never contradict His own Word

    There is not one Scripture in the Bible that forbids women from preaching, but on the contrary, there are many verses that encourage both men and women to preach the Gospel.

    The Bible teaches that God is not a respecter of persons, and He will use any and all who will yield to Him, regardless of race, age, or sex.

    Galatians 3:28 – “…neither male nor female…for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    Acts 10:34 – “…God is no respecter of persons….”

    Moses said in Numbers 11:29, “Would God that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put His spirit upon them!”

    The crying need of the hour is for more laborers. It is a trick of the enemy to try to down rate thousands of our faithful laborers just because they were born females.

    The Great Commission, Mark 16:15, “Preach the Gospel,” is to ALL believers, and to all the church of Jesus Christ. The command to “preach the Gospel” is to both male and female.

    It is an undeniable fact that God has called and anointed thousands of women to preach the Gospel. The Church of God organization have hundreds of licensed and ordained women who are preaching, teaching, evangelizing, pastoring, and doing mission work with the signs following their ministry. God is using them for the salvation of the lost, deliverance from sin, gifts of the Spirit, and infilling of the Holy Spirit.

    The Bible says, “Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm.” And may we be reminded of the Scripture in Acts 5:39, “If it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.”

  11. MY REPLY dealing with 1 TIM was directed toward CW— CW…
    so, CW please read my comment…… and NO pastor Steve IS NOT a hypocrite– When you are born again you are IN the LIGHT… Pastor’s Steve’s heart Is not DARK with sin… He love you and all of the gay people and all the sinners around the world- enough to tell YOU and them that they need to REPENT…. turn from being gay…. turn from SIN and REPENT and believe the gospel.
    I thank you.
    P. Love

  12. Also,

    Sin is sin Steve, since the Bible is the word of God, to defy this passage is to defy the Word of God, so silence your women in Church period. Let them ask their husbands about things because clearly women are feeble minded and can’t grasp complicated things. Just as it was just Paul who talked about why homosexuals are bad and sinful, those women who defy the Bible and speak in church are condemned because they break God’s Law.

  13. Something tells me that Paul could have written to the Romans “they are green, covered with scales, and have fifteen-foot tall mohawk haircuts” and you would insist that their skin really is green.

  14. 34 Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. 35 If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

    This was writing due to women talking while the pastor was preaching. This is not an outright that no women may talk in church. Christianity gave great rights to women that that did not have else where in those times.

  15. Both Nohm and Vintango , have you nothing better to do with your life? your rants have been on here for years! If Steve says its white you respond its black! If he says its left you scream its right!

    Both of you are real examples of hate speech , unrelenting hate toward Christians but you fail to see that in your “superior intellectual moral hypocrisy” You’re so tolerant, of course, unless its Christians. It’s old and tiresome.

    Steve, I know you own this Blog but, really brother, its time to cut these guys out. They are so vitriolic in their hatred it has really become mindlessly repetitive, like a broken record that never stops.

  16. Except you state right there that women are lesser than men by stating that they should not usurp the “authority of men.”

    Can women be in charge of a household? Can authority in an household be shared equally between spouses? I’m not getting that vibe.

  17. Okay – so a woman said your tracts are evil. And because she disagrees with you, you go onto about God being banished from the public square. Was she acting under government authority? If not, your example has nothing to do with your assertion. She, a fellow citizen, was exerting her free speech – just like you were.

    “when God is left out of the equation, everyone does what is right in their own eyes.”

    I know this is meant as a slam – but it does appear that laws are on the books because we as a society get together and decide ‘what is right’ in our own eyes. Sometimes ‘what is right’ is really wrong – slavery and Apartheid come to mind. Sometimes what is right is hard to determine – like how do anti-discrimination policies effect college sponsored groups in public universities.

    For the student group: “The group believes the public school’s anti-discrimination policies violate its First Amendment rights to free association and free speech as well as free exercise of religion.” (from HuffPo, but I think it sums it up well.)

    For the school: Hastings requires student groups receiving money from the school to have an “all-comers” policy. “When a group agrees to abide by school policy, it gains access to meeting space, e-mail communication with the student body and limited funding for some activities.”

    Or, when is a bible study really a home church.

    What often gets overlooked in this particular case is that the city was acting on complaints. The neighbors were complaining about the excess traffic these meetings caused. The city had to investigate. The city thought these people were trying to circumvent city ordinances by calling their church a bible study.

    “It was back in September when complaints of traffic issues led Rancho Cucamonga to order Joe and Diana Johnson to get a church permit or shut down their Bible study.”

    “Kurt J. Keating, the city’s code enforcement supervisor, said the city is trying to restrict church services held in private homes, not home Bible studies.”

    “There’s also some supporting facts that they are advertising themselves as a church over the public domain, such as the Internet,’ Keating said. Home churches were not allowed…”

    Steve, you’re just crying wolf. Again.

  18. Nohm, you make me laugh man! I’ve never heard a Christian called a fanboy before. Can you picture Steve at ComicCon next to a dude dressed as Batman? That’s an interesting picture…

  19. Pastor, JenJen,

    Read that again. Let’s work on that reading comprehension thing, shall we? There’s no wiggle room in those two verses, there’s nothing you can argue about. It’s a forthright statement that women must be silent in church. Basic misogyny.

    It is very specifically referring to “public worship or church service,” and it is not “women talking while the pastor was preaching.” How can you even try to make the argument “This is not an outright that no women may talk in church”? You don’t even have to read at an eighth grade level to figure this one out. Let’s go line by line, shall we?

    “Women should remain silent in the churches.”

    That’s straightforward. No argument allowed. They were just talking a few verses earlier that all the people should be allowed to speak in turn, and now they’re ensuring that you understand that only the MALE people should talk.

    “They are not allowed to speak”

    Let’s emphasize it, shall we? I’m not sure that people will quite understand it a few centuries from now if we don’t.

    “…but must be in submission, as the law says.”

    Not exactly in favor of equal rights, those ancient Hebrews. Let’s try not to whitewash their faults, OK?

    “If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home”

    That doesn’t say “don’t interrupt the preacher,” now, does it? It says “don’t talk when you’re here.”

    “for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”

    Where’s the space for argument in that? And it’s echoed all through the Bible.

    Leviticus 12:1-8 – a mother is twice as unclean from giving birth to a daughter as to a son.

    Deuteronomy 24:1-4 – Men could divorce their wives on a whim.

    Numbers 5:11-31 – men are permitted many wives while women were permitted only one and were subject to a test for unfaithfulness (or possibly a primitive abortion – see, there IS some room for argument at times).

    Sorry, folks, either the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, or it isn’t.

  20. Ryan,

    Easy, my friend, easy. Your comment will be the basis for a future article. (I’m inspired.) In the meantime, be gracious to these people. They know not what they do. Or write.

  21. Nohm and vintango vitriolic? It sometimes gets hot in here, but usually Nohm and vintango are the calm ones.

    “They know not what they do. Or write.”

    That’s insulting.

  22. Steve wrote: “They know not what they do. Or write.

    I disagree. I think I know well enough what I do, since it’s me doing it, and I know well enough what I write, since it’s me doing the writing.

    Not exactly sure what you meant by this, Steve. Would you please explain?

    Now, let’s get to Ryan.

    Ryan wrote: “Both Nohm and Vintango , have you nothing better to do with your life?

    Ryan, commenting on Steve’s blog is hardly the only thing I do with my life. It’s one of many things I spend my time on and, if you look at my recent commenting history on here, you’ll see that I haven’t been writing much here.

    In that vein, I could ask you if you have nothing better to do with your life than write a screed of hyperbole against me… but I don’t think that way because I assume that you, much like me, do this on the side among a variety of other interests.

    your rants have been on here for years!

    You might want to check my commenting history again, Ryan. While I’ve been commenting here for over a year, I’m still under two years now. So claiming that “my rants” have been on here for “years” is a bit of hyperbole, but that’s minor compared to the hyperbole you throw around later in your comment.

    If Steve says its white you respond its black! If he says its left you scream its right!

    Well, only about things we disagree about. If you’ve done your research (which I question), you’ll notice that there have been times when I’ve agreed with Steve. But my main issue has always been when Steve tries to tell me how I think. So, if he says I’m thinking of the color black when I’m actually thinking of the color white then yes, of course I’m going to point that out.

    And “scream”? Really? When have I ever screamed? That’s just more hyperbole, Ryan.

    Both of you are real examples of hate speech

    Hate speech? Are you kidding me? That’s crazy hyperbole.

    Give me one example of my “hate speech”, Ryan. Please.

    unrelenting hate toward Christians

    Again, give me one example of this, or please just admit that you’re engaging in unbelievable hyperbole. Unrelenting? Are you sober?

    but you fail to see that in your “superior intellectual moral hypocrisy”

    So, point it out to me. If you’re going to make a wild assertion, at least put some effort into supporting it with actual evidence and quotes. Since you claim I have so many comments here, it should be easy.

    But I think I won’t hear back from you on this.

    As an aside, I’ve noticed that there’s a particular subset of people who always go on about a non-believer’s “superior intellectual” whatevers, and it always seem strange to me.

    Why are you putting yourself down by calling me a superior intellectual? I’m sure there are plenty of things that you understand far better than I do.

    In short, I am not a superior intellectual, Ryan. I’m just an average dude. Nothing special. Just someone who doesn’t have a persecution or inferiority complex.

    You’re so tolerant

    I’ve never claimed this.

    of course, unless its Christians.

    Or Muslims. As I have said multiple times, I have arguments with them also. So cut out the “you only argue with us” whine, because it gains zero traction.

    But support your claim that I’m tolerant “unless its [sic] Christians”, because the Christian members of my family and friends would be interested in seeing this.

    It’s old and tiresome.

    As is your hyperbole. So, I guess, we’re even?

    They are so vitriolic

    Even more hyperbole. Show me an example of me being “vitriolic”, or retract.

    in their hatred

    You know, Ryan, when you cry wolf this much people stop taking you seriously.

    it has really become mindlessly repetitive, like a broken record that never stops.

    So you say. If you think so, then reply to my comments and show me where I’ve gone wrong.

    I’m listening.

  23. They know not what they do. Or write.

    Wait, are you trying your mind-reading gimmick again, Steve? This has never worked, so it’s probably best not to continue doing it. That’s just my opinion.

    What would be your reaction if I said that same thing to you, Steve?

    (For the record, I would never do such a thing, as it is dishonest to imply that I have mind-reading abilities.)

  24. perdita,

    You have to understand. Ryan’s definition of “hate speech” is “they challenge my beliefs!” (Or possibly “they use that demon logic!”)

    It fits in with “I can’t tell them they’re going to hell!” is identical to “Oppression! I’m being oppressed!”

  25. Nohm,

    Luke 23:34
    Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

  26. Steve – it’s pretty safe to assume we got the bible reference. I’ve littered some of my posts with biblical references, too. But why use it here? Is it easier to discount what we say that way?

    I try very hard to understand your POV and not misrepresent what you say (not just Steve, but other commenters as well). I expect the same consideration in return. (I also expect to be corrected when I’m wrong.)

    NC: Oh, I know that. I just think it’s funny he chose two of the least vitriolic to call out here.

  27. Hi Steve,

    Like perdita, I also knew where the quote came from, but I don’t understand how that situation is akin, or even similar, to our situation. No one is casting lots to select clothing and, more importantly, no one here is being crucified.

    That’s an extreme difference.

    So, as I asked, why did you say that I don’t know what I write? And how would you react if I said the same to you?

    Lastly, thank you for the compliment, perdita; it’s appreciated. 🙂

  28. My comment is simply meant to reflect this truth: “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:4)

    The unbelievers on this blog have no real idea what they are really saying, who they are contending against. It’s not mind reading, it’s biblical fact. Of course, you’ll disagree with this, which proves my point.

    It’s not meant to be an insult, just plain ole biblical truth.

    And in a sense, unbelievers are a lot like those soldiers. While Christ hung on the cross, they ignored the significance of that event, and focused only on the material. Christ died and rose for the forgiveness of sins, yet the big topic among the cynics and unbelievers on this blog is whether women should remain silent. Or if I mind-read. Or, or or…

    In other words, you can’t see, you can’t know what you are saying; you’re casting lots for clothes while your eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

    Back to topic: Can you believe that the woman called the Gospel evil?

    For further clarification read this article.

  29. The unbelievers on this blog have no real idea what they are really saying,

    Nope. I have a very good idea of what I’m really saying.

    Of course, I could say the same about you, but that wouldn’t be productive.

    who they are contending against.

    Oh no. I definitely know who I’m contending against. I’m contending against science-deniers and wannabe mind-readers and people who think that an ancient holy book knows more about what my opinions are than I do.

    So, yeah, I know who I’m contending against.

    Of course, you’ll disagree with this, which proves my point.

    I should start using that quote every time I’m in an argument. I’m sure it’ll work well. :-/

    It’s not meant to be an insult, just plain ole biblical truth.

    Let’s not split hairs and just say it’s an ole biblical insult.

    Of course, you’ll disagree with this, which proves my point.

    Hey! That works great! 🙂

    And in a sense, unbelievers are a lot like those soldiers.

    Except for the whole thing of us not crucifying you. Of course, you’ll disagree, which proves my point.

    Seriously, I’m loving this new system of arguing. I’m right because you disagree!

    Christ died and rose for the forgiveness of sins, yet the big topic among the cynics and unbelievers on this blog is whether women should remain silent. Or if I mind-read. Or, or or…

    Because we don’t believe that “Christ” died and rose for the forgiveness of sins. Of course, you’ll disagree, which means I’m right! 😉

    you’re casting lots for clothes while your eternal destiny hangs in the balance.

    That’s a contentious point which has not been supported with evidence.

    Can you believe that the woman called the Gospel evil?

    Eh, sure. It’s hardly my style, but I can imagine an emotional person who, after being told that an ancient holy book says that she’s bound to Hell for whom she loves, gets a little ticked off. I’m not convinced that she, in that exact emotional moment, understood the difference between “Bible” and “Gospel”.

    So, yeah, I can believe it but no, it’s not something I would do.

    I don’t view the Gospel as evil just as I don’t view the Quran as evil. They can be used for evil reasons, but that’s on the person doing the evil, not the ancient holy book itself. It’s just words, and the whole “sticks and stones…” phrase applies to this, in my opinion.

    Of course, you’ll… eh, that’s getting played out now.

  30. For further clarification read this article.

    Obviously, I read it, as I commented on it. Comments that went without response from you. I’ll assume you were busy.

  31. Bizzle, thanks for the compliment on my “fanboy” comment. I gotta admit that it’s kinda sorta inspired by lyrics from a song by the Vandals called “Stop Smiling”.

    Specifically:

    I don’t want to go to heaven,
    it’s filled with [jerks] like you
    I won’t go inside the gates,
    leave me in the waiting room

    I’m sure that God hates you
    he thinks that you’re an obsessed fan
    See how you are?
    Never trust a happy man

  32. Wow, such Forum drama! I didn’t know I was such a vitriolic hate speaker. I’d defend myself but Nohm pretty much did that for me. In my defense I do come to this website to look at the topics and post my thoughts because I like to debate people. Interestingly enough I’m currently working with two people who are Christian but are a little confused on how to EXPLAIN their faith. Coincidently the third guy in my little group o’ four is agnostic/atheistic so the debates we have are interesting to say the least. One Christian believes in pre-determinism while the other one doesn’t. Which sort of argues against the omnipresence of God. Steve your quote of:

    “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Cor 4:4)

    Got me thinking. That if the unbeliever is blind to the presence or miracles of Christ then how are they ever going to have a chance to be saved? Most unbelievers don’t believe because faith is something that is believed in without confirmation by the senses or testable by naturalistic methods, or they simply follow a different faith. If someone approaches them and preaches the gospel and they’re unbelievers then why WOULDN’T God reveal himself to them? If God is all loving and has a plan for us and wants us to be in heaven with him then why not reveal himself to people that need him the most? FOR EXAMPLE.

    Paul the Apostle was a persecutor of Christians and zealous Jew. He didn’t believe in Christ and was the very definition of an Unbeliever. So Jesus’ spirit chose to reveal himself to Paul and BAM! Paul was a convert. He went out and spread the Gospel with a vengeance! But I can’t help but wonder two things. One, if God revealing himself so obviously can win one man over to Christ, then why not the rest of his children? Why let … the Devil… or misguided human beings, presumably lure away other people to other religions or reject Christianity when its the only way to a Salvation that God absolutely wants you to have? The second, is that this account contradicts your Corinthians passage, and paints God as deliberately manipulative. That he commands you to go out and spread the gospel to people to bring people to Christ but intentionality blinds them to his ways so that only a select few that he’s (predetermined I assume?) to receive the gift of salvation. Furthermore the act of blinding the unbelieving people is contradictory to God’s plan anyways, or at least contrary to what some Christians preach, that God has a special plan for you, he loves you, but is going to judge you, etc. in that it allows more doubters and unbelievers to flourish, INTENTIONALITY allows unbelievers to keep doubting and thus damning them to hell, and allows other religions and beliefs to crop up and lead people astray. Why would a God who wants people to come and worship him, blind them on purpose? Is it a trick? Is it a test? Why would an all knowing, all powerful God even bother testing a person if he already knew the answer?

    Oh well back to my Vitriol!

    • Good questions Vintango. You see, Paul couldn’t be saved until God opened his eyes.

      Romans 9 will explain very clearly how all this occurs. You won’t like the conclusion, though. (This is what causes the Great Divide in Protestantism. For me, there is no problem.)

      Why evangelize at all? Here’s a quote from Spurgeon that explains it: “If God would have painted a yellow stripe on the backs of the elect I would go around lifting shirts. But since He didn’t I must preach “whosoever will” and when “whosoever” believes I know that he is one of the elect.”

      By the way, there are very atheists on here that I would consider vitriolic. I’m fascinated by unbelievers. (And some have a pretty sharp wit, too.)

  33. I can see interpreting the gospel as evil.

    Is really justice murdering a man who’s done no wrong to let wrongdoers off the hook? Many Christians (among others) would be outraged if a judge let a murder go free if an innocent person took the lethal injection in his or her place.

    Interesting way to look at it.

  34. Technically, Steve (and I realize that you’re using “the Gospel” in its more poetic, general sense), the “evil” in the Bible is mostly found in the Old Testament. The New Testament primarily contains stories which would be less objectionable, but they’ve frequently been (mis)used for evil.

    Which, you’ll possibily agree, is a different kettle of fish entirely. (With or without the accompanying loaves.)

    You’ll find a number of people in the LGBT community are pretty touchy on the subject of Christianity, because it’s so frequently used as a hammer against them.

    (See, that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing doesn’t absolve you of the hate: you love THEM, but you hate everything they do and a big chunk of their personality. If you think about it, you can see where you aren’t coming across as entirely sympathetic, right?)

    So, yes, I can believe that this woman called the Gospel (see above) evil.

  35. “there are very atheists on here that I would consider vitriolic…”

    Was that supposed to be ‘some atheists’? If so, we agree. Ryan should have been able to tell the difference. He could’ve said I was vitriolic. Not that I try to be, but I’ve had my moments.

    “I’m fascinated by unbelievers” Yeah, I can’t wrap my mind around believers either. 🙂

    “Back to topic: Can you believe that the woman called the Gospel evil?”

    Yes, I can believe it. I think the whole ‘nature of sin’ stuff is a warped way… of looking at life. For example, some Christians believe that when a young child acts up, it’s because of the child’s sinful nature and that the child needs to be punished. Not that the child is hungry or tired or just doesn’t yet have the capacity for control – nope, the child is sinful and willful and needs to be taught with the rod.

    You may not agree that these people are Christians, but they certainly think they’re raising their children in a Godly (godly?) way.

  36. I’m fascinated by unbelievers.

    Hi Steve,

    If you ever want anything clarified, feel free to ask.

  37. You’re right Steve, God forced his eyes open and Paul became saved. Now can God please do the same with everyone? If God revealed himself in a consistent, obvious manner then there would be NO unbelievers, Paul’s a perfect example of this. As far as Romans 9 it basically reaffirms predestination, that God has basically decided that there will be unbelievers and he’s quite content to just let them be unbelievers so he can judge them for their unbelief and wicked acts. If this wasn’t the case then he’d open their eyes like Paul. So which is it? Either God loves everyone and wants everyone to get into heaven with him, but will still judge them for unbelief. Or God only wants a few people he already knows will believe to get into Heaven and is perfectly content not to change the minds of unbelievers (Except a select few) with his God Like powers.

  38. vintango2k,

    You’re missing something very important in your whole argument about Paul. He ALREADY knew God existed, and was passionately pursuing Him. God simply pointed out the error of Paul’s ways.

    So are YOU passionately pursuing God? If so, then I CAN GUARANTEE you will find Him. Ditto for any other human who truly seeks Him.

    Atheists, by the very nature of their own claims, ARE NOT seeking God. The atheist says “show me God and I will believe”. God says “have faith, and *I* will reveal myself to YOU”.

  39. Then I guess God really isn’t all that rich in mercy, because I’m incapable of believing in something that has nothing to back it up. There will always be doubt and skepticism on a subconscious level. Especially not when other religions echo the same sentiment regarding THEIR gods.

    It’s an excuse to not cough up the evidence. Which is likely because you have none.

  40. Glenn wrote:

    God says “have faith, and *I* will reveal myself to YOU”.

    Now, my reaction to that is “been there, done that”, but I usually get questioned on my sincerity of how hard I tried.

    All I can tell you is that I had faith, but nothing was revealed.

  41. Eh Paul might have believed in God but he certainly didn’t believe that Jesus was God. It would be the same if say… a Native America believed in his Great Spirit, which is certainly ‘God’ to them for all intents and purposes, but God never revealed himself to ‘correct’ them. Instead missionaries came across the Atlantic to either kill or convert these ‘heathen’ tribes. Wouldn’t it have been easier for God to just reveal himself to the Natives the way he did to Paul? You want to know if I am passionately pursuing God? The answer is yes I am, I’m trying to learn as much as I can about faith, spiritually, fundamentalism, and different religions I can and how they claim one can seek God or find God or know God. Since God hasn’t talked back to me when I pray to him and ask for forgiveness its hard to have a two way conversation so maybe I’m praying to the wrong version. Who knows, maybe God is Allah, or Gaia, or Zeus. Wouldn’t that be fascinating?

  42. Since God hasn’t talked back to me when I pray to him and ask for forgiveness its hard to have a two way conversation

    That’s probably for the best. The people who think God is speaking to them usually need to increase their medication.

  43. God speaks to us through His word (the Bible)
    You just don’t want to hear what he has to say.

    God is spirit and speaks to your spirit and conscience.
    You don’t really want to listen there either.

  44. You just don’t want to hear what he has to say.

    Yay! Mind-reading attempt!

    You don’t really want to listen there either.

    Wowzers! Another mind-reading attempt!

    And they are both failures!

    Amazing!

  45. Hey Dennis, check this out!

    Allah speaks to us through His word (the Holy Quran)
    You just don’t want to hear what he has to say.

    Allah is spirit and speaks to your spirit and conscience.
    You don’t really want to listen there either.

    How would you respond if I was serious?

  46. Hi Nohm

    The little I know of the Quran is that it promotes an ideology more than a religion. The Muslim faith is one that wants to dominate through their Sharia Law in direct conflict with our western principles of democracy and freedom. If you read what Jesus commands: Love one another, give to those who take, pray for your enemies, etc. Then you read what Muhammed has to say: kill those who oppose you, take their heads, etc.

    Look at the hatred they have for Israel. Not exactly a message of peace is it?

    Also the Holy Spirit is lacking in the Muslim Faith so you might very well be hearing “something” when reading the Quran and when you pray to Allah. I would suggest it’s not God, nor Jesus Christ, nor the Holy Spirit.

    It could be you are hearing the voice of the Devil if you think it’s ok to blow yourself up to get a pass into heaven?

    The point is Nohm – you have been given a conscience. It tells you right from wrong. One day you will give an account to the God of this universe. The bible warns there is only 2 destinations: Heaven or Hell.
    You obviously have a free will to choose if you believe that or not.

  47. I don’t think you got my point, Dennis.

    You telling me what God wants is no different than a Muslim telling you what Allah wants. If you don’t believe that, even though you know little about the Quran (based on your statement and your idea that the only thing Muhammed said was about killing and taking heads… someone who didn’t know the Bible might say the same about the OT God), then why should I accept your claims?

    That’s the issue here.

    Lastly, you wrote: “You obviously have a free will to choose if you believe that or not.

    Well, in the same way that, if I pointed a gun to your head and told you to give me all of your money, you’d have a free will to choose to give me your money or not.

    But that’s not exactly fair, is it?

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