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[ Testimony ] How I left the faith

Edward

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Keep calling me "little brother", and I'll call you "old man." :) If that offends you, well, "do to others as you would have them do to you."

1) No, I am not particularly seeking Christian help.
2) Community.

1) Define particularly. Does that mean you are open to help on things that you are mixed up about?
2) Now that's real interesting answer you have there. Community? Hmm, now I don't want to presume anything so let's define community.
Community:
1. a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.../
I doubt you mean this kind of community, it's online so we prolly do not live close to each other.
2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.../

So I ask you, wherein is our common attitudes, interests and goals? These people here love God (you don't), These people know that we were created to serve God, God was not ceated to serve us, (you don't), Us people like uplifting posts which give glory to God (you dont). You seem to dwell on the negative and with the goal of somehow proving that God doesn't exist...

So that's about as far apart on the spectrum that you can get with respect to any common interests goals and attitudes. So why don't you tell me what kind of fellowship and cameraderie are you looking for? Why do want to hang out with the Christians when you have no common interest with them? Answer me that.

Like I said before, this is not an Atheist pride website, this is not a gay pride website, so the validation that you seem to be seeking just wont happen for you here on this site.

And that brings us all the way back to, wow I wonder what he has against Christians. It appears to be rather obvious that you do have a problem with Christians. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure someone done you wrong, and you want revenge. So I asked who. Going to lie some more now?

Then don't. What do I care?

Prove it then. You go around here demanding proof daily, so certainly it is ok if I am recipricol and also ask for proof, right?

Says the guy who drops a link to a YouTube video. If you're talking about my blog post link, at least I actually wrote that myself.

Actually, I have never clicked on any of your links. No need to. I don't need your source, because I can see where it took you to. I am just curious about if you really even understand your world view and what you are saying most of the time? Much of it I have already studied out and am able to respond to what you assert and then you can never do the same. In defense you ignore, get rude, are dismissive, and the victim card. But never a real response in your own words.

I posted a link to Chuck Missler video. Very informative man! With a very credible background. Harvard educated, specialist in information science, he was the CEO (CFO?) for Ford Motor Company for 20 years or whatever. Very technical and precise words from this man. (What's your credibility? A dead gay philosopher that you like? Lol). But anyway, on to my point. That's a hour video. Ask me some questions on the material to see if I understnd it? (To see if you understand it!)...and I will answer in my own words and quickly. (Something you wont do)


Very convenient. Anyone who doesn't reach the same conclusions as you can be judged this way.

Please pull up your pants, your butt is hanging out.
Are you trying to ask me what is truth?
Truth is not dynamic boy. The truth is the truth and is the same for everyone. I see I have you on the run again with this response. Being dismissive.

So suppose I am wrong about something. And so the multitudes of people on your blog asking you questions are all wrong also, right? Ok so prove it to any degree.

Correct me where I'm wrong and explain why? Don't just post a link, use your own words. Come on Harvard educated TE Smith, show us a wee bit of intelligence here.

You know, sometimes I think I can be a real jerk. :lol
 

T. E. Smith

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2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.../

So I ask you, wherein is our common attitudes, interests and goals? These people here love God (you don't), These people know that we were created to serve God, God was not ceated to serve us, (you don't), Us people like uplifting posts which give glory to God (you dont). You seem to dwell on the negative and with the goal of somehow proving that God doesn't exist...

So that's about as far apart on the spectrum that you can get with respect to any common interests goals and attitudes. So why don't you tell me what kind of fellowship and cameraderie are you looking for? Why do want to hang out with the Christians when you have no common interest with them? Answer me that.
We are all humans, for starters. We all have similar experiences and feelings.

Abraham's two sons are mentioned here: "His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, in the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites." Together, they bury their father. The two are rival nations, estranged since childhood, their union rent apart, and they come together. They are brothers.

You know Phil Vischer? Creator of Veggie Tales? Yeah, he has a good friend named Peter Boghossian - an atheist professor. Phil is known only for a TV show teaching kids Christianity, but Peter spends his free time doing "street epistemology", in which he goes out on the street and persuades people to be atheists.

So here we have polar opposites. A Christian man who makes a TV show teaching kids Christianity, and an atheist professor who spends his time convincing people to be atheists. Yet they are the closest of friends. Peter records an incident where the resurrection happened to come up in a conversation, and Peter says, "You know I don't believe any of that, right?" Phil chuckles and says, "Yeah." It's powerful.
And that brings us all the way back to, wow I wonder what he has against Christians. It appears to be rather obvious that you do have a problem with Christians. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure someone done you wrong, and you want revenge. So I asked who. Going to lie some more now?
With certain Christians I do. Not with Christians as a whole, and I seek no revenge.
Prove it then. You go around here demanding proof daily, so certainly it is ok if I am recipricol and also ask for proof, right?
What proof can I give?
Actually, I have never clicked on any of your links. No need to. I don't need your source, because I can see where it took you to. I am just curious about if you really even understand your world view and what you are saying most of the time? Much of it I have already studied out and am able to respond to what you assert and then you can never do the same. In defense you ignore, get rude, are dismissive, and the victim card. But never a real response in your own words.
Then why, pray tell, do you expect anyone to watch anything you link to?
I posted a link to Chuck Missler video. Very informative man! With a very credible background. Harvard educated, specialist in information science, he was the CEO (CFO?) for Ford Motor Company for 20 years or whatever. Very technical and precise words from this man. (What's your credibility? A dead gay philosopher that you like? Lol). But anyway, on to my point. That's a hour video. Ask me some questions on the material to see if I understnd it? (To see if you understand it!)...and I will answer in my own words and quickly. (Something you wont do)
I cited Donald Prothero earlier. You remember his credentials? Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University. He has been studying evolution in the rocks for decades now. I have no credibility myself, but that's why authors like Prothero write books. For people who don't know. The vast, VAST majority of scientists accept evolution.

Once again you call Lucretius gay? "Please pull up your pants, your butt's hanging out"? Is this fifth grade now? You sound like a child when you say things like this. Which does not become you, since I know you are no child.
Are you trying to ask me what is truth?
Truth is not dynamic boy. The truth is the truth and is the same for everyone. I see I have you on the run again with this response. Being dismissive.
And that is EXACTLY why I can say what I do! Truth is real, truth is objective, truth is self-dependent. But that does not mean that we can all know it for certain and that we should be so dogmatic about it. We are open-minded, precisely because we care for objective truth.
So suppose I am wrong about something. And so the multitudes of people on your blog asking you questions are all wrong also, right? Ok so prove it to any degree.

Correct me where I'm wrong and explain why? Don't just post a link, use your own words. Come on Harvard educated TE Smith, show us a wee bit of intelligence here.
You're just plain wrong. My beliefs are not based on someone having hurt me. I know you aren't interested in proof. "Harvard educated"? Are you Harvard educated? If not, why would you mock me for this?
You know, sometimes I think I can be a real jerk. :lol
Do you think?
 

andy pandy

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[Copy-pasted with very slight modification from several other places on the internet. My point in posting this is not to disparage believers, but to share my personal story and to help people understand the thought process of at least one person who has de-converted. I attempt to show a respect for the Bible and Christianity.]

My whole life I have continually talked to God and asked him many things. I heard from many Christians that God does listen to prayers and that he responds to us in our hearts. But I never felt anything, ever. Not even many years before I even began to doubt my faith.

My parents and pastor told me I needed to be convicted of my sin. But I believed in my sin, that wasn't the issue. When I asked them what my sin was, they told me that only God knows. I asked them how I could find out what my sin was, if I was unable to ask God to convict me. They could not answer.

A Sunday school teacher told me I probably didn't have enough faith, so I asked him how I could get more. He told me to ask God for more faith. I said, "How can I ask God for more faith if I need more faith for him to respond?" He could not answer me. To date I have not found answers to these questions.

Why don't I believe? There's a logical and emotional side to it. First, the logical side. When I was taking a dual-credit college class in high school on world history, the teacher was speaking of the rise of Islam. He said, "The best way to learn about the Koran is to read it." Agreeing with that sentiment, I read it through. When I was done I thought, "That was in a lot of ways similar to the Bible." Then I thought, "Islam is the second-largest world religion. Many many people believe this to be the word of the one true God. But I have never even considered Islam. Why not? Why am I a Christian and not a Muslim?"

Mark Twain's words rang true, "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." I realized I only believed because my parents had taught me to believe. That wasn't good enough for me. If I had Muslim parents, I'd be a Muslim. I needed a real reason to believe.

I read biblical apologetics books and counter-apologetics, and found the apologist case to be severely lacking. I saw through most of the holes before even reading the rebuttals. At this point in time, I was also reading other holy books (the Hindu books, the Dharma from Buddhism, and the analects of Confucius). I began to see the Tanakh not as a Christian "Old Testament" but as the Jewish scriptures. Reading these books opened my mind to other religions, and I saw that Christianity's morality was not unique. Much of it was taught elsewhere.

I read Thomas Paine's Age of Reason (freely available on the internet) and was convicted of the Bible's lack of integrity. Paine made me laugh and cry as I found my beliefs deconstructed. I became a deist, a believer in a creator God unassociated with religion. I realized that the default position should be non-belief without a reason to believe, and I had only one reason left to believe in God: creation. How could all of this be created without a God?

I knew I had been inculcated in anti-evolution sentiment. If I had abandoned Christianity, I could also abandon creationism, right? Well, first I had to read the case of evolution. I read Darwin's Origin, now my favorite book of all time. I read The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins, Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne, Evolution by Donald Prothero, Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within by Neil Shubin, a couple of books by Stephen Jay Gould, and finally the more complex book The Red Queen by Michael Ridley. After reading these books, the mountain of evidence convinced me completely. No longer having any reason to believe in God, I became an atheist.

Now the emotional side. Like I said, I talked to God for a long time. Over my deconversion process (thinking about other religions, reading Age of Reason and considering evolution's effect on theism), I actually talked to God even more, even more frantically. It was like when a lifelong friend is moving away, and you try to spend as much time with them as possible. But there was nothing, still. There never has been. I came to the crushing conclusion that I had been dreadfully wrong. I had been speaking to an imaginary friend since I'd learned how to talk. I said goodbye to God.

And then, when I became an atheist, I was suddenly liberated. I realized that the Bible did not have to dictate my morality. I could freely question the Bible's integrity. I could freely question creationism. Actually, I could freely question anything. Atheism has liberated my mind, and I would never go back.
A very interesting story and one that I have heard before. When I read a story like this I always open myself to the promptings of the Holy Spirit for guidance and one thing is shouting out to me. That one thing is your mind.
The scripture is clear that the natural man cannot discern the things of the Spirit. No ifs or buts. Plain and simple, it CANNOT full stop.

In your attempt to find the truth, your mind is preventing you from doing so as it is reducing everything down to what you understand. But it will never reveal to you what you NEED to understand. And why is that? Because the natural man CANNOT discern the things of the spirit.

Only the Holy Spirit can lead you into all truth and that truth is the one that sets you free. Your in bondage to your mind so you need the Holy Spirit to set you free from it. The scripture says that when the Holy Spirit comes he will lead you into ALL truth. Not some truth. ALL TRUTH.

How do we get there? Simple. We surrender our minds to the Holy Spirit and allow him to speak to us. How do we know it is him speaking to us? Simple. You will know because he will speak to you in ways that you can understand.

I am an intellectual as I have one undergraduate university degree and two post graduate degrees and a degree in theology. I have a library of books written by Ph.Ds and university lecturers who are Christians so I am constantly reading. Despite this fact, I never accept anything without the imprimatur of the Holy Spirit as I know my mind is not the final authority. I submit my mind and thinking to the Holy Spirit and he leads me into ALL truth.
 

Edward

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In your attempt to find the truth, your mind is preventing you from doing so as it is reducing everything down to what you understand. But it will never reveal to you what you NEED to understand. And why is that? Because the natural man CANNOT discern the things of the spirit.

Well said. One has to open their heart to the Holy Spirit in order to receive it from Him. Uh-oh, this involves laying one's intellect down and becoming as a child their trusting faith. And it's guarenteed that you will not get detailed information from the Holy Spirit! You'' be lucky if He even tells you what's going on...at first at least to give us a chance to exercise our faith. So if Holy Spirit says, the floor is lava...then the floor is lava and He can explain it all to me later.

Sometimes I think He intentionally leaves out details so that we ask more questions. He does like to talk. SO He's got a sense of humor too.
 

T. E. Smith

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Sometimes I think He intentionally leaves out details so that we ask more questions. He does like to talk. SO He's got a sense of humor too.
Can you give me a full psych eval while you're at it?
 

Dorothy Mae

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Yep, a lot of atheists report that believers often ask "who hurt you?" But not just that. Go to any Christian website on "how to preach the gospel," and I bet you'll find a "tip" telling the prospective gospel preacher to ask the atheist who hurt them. Because that's the Christian narrative.

Keep calling me "little brother", and I'll call you "old man." :) If that offends you, well, "do to others as you would have them do to you."

1) No, I am not particularly seeking Christian help.
2) Community.

Then don't. What do I care?

Says the guy who drops a link to a YouTube video. If you're talking about my blog post link, at least I actually wrote that myself.

Very convenient. Anyone who doesn't reach the same conclusions as you can be judged this way.
People today are told over a d over again that other people make less than good choices because “they’re hurt.” That people have other motivations don’t occur to many.
 

Dorothy Mae

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A very interesting story and one that I have heard before. When I read a story like this I always open myself to the promptings of the Holy Spirit for guidance and one thing is shouting out to me. That one thing is your mind.
The scripture is clear that the natural man cannot discern the things of the Spirit. No ifs or buts. Plain and simple, it CANNOT full stop.

In your attempt to find the truth, your mind is preventing you from doing so as it is reducing everything down to what you understand. But it will never reveal to you what you NEED to understand. And why is that? Because the natural man CANNOT discern the things of the spirit.

Only the Holy Spirit can lead you into all truth and that truth is the one that sets you free. Your in bondage to your mind so you need the Holy Spirit to set you free from it. The scripture says that when the Holy Spirit comes he will lead you into ALL truth. Not some truth. ALL TRUTH.

How do we get there? Simple. We surrender our minds to the Holy Spirit and allow him to speak to us. How do we know it is him speaking to us? Simple. You will know because he will speak to you in ways that you can understand.

I am an intellectual as I have one undergraduate university degree and two post graduate degrees and a degree in theology. I have a library of books written by Ph.Ds and university lecturers who are Christians so I am constantly reading. Despite this fact, I never accept anything without the imprimatur of the Holy Spirit as I know my mind is not the final authority. I submit my mind and thinking to the Holy Spirit and he leads me into ALL truth.
I disagree with your premise here. CS Lewis said the intellectual road to God might not be the safest, but it is a road. I say the man who lays down his mind won’t be loving God with it anytime soon.

The intellect is not the problem, the character is the hold up, The one thing I have found is that relationship with God is deeply satisfying intellectually. It’s not surrender of the mind that’s necessary. It’s surrender of the pride.
 

Edward

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Can you give me a full psych eval while you're at it?

Don't you know humor when you hear it? Not that it isn't true either because it is. He told me that He wants me to ask Him even about little things. man, did I ruin your whole day or something? Just having a discussion man to man, right? You got that, right? So stop stamping your feet. If this type site is too much for you, there's always Barney.com...They don't talk so big over there. You could rule!
 

T. E. Smith

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Don't you know humor when you hear it? Not that it isn't true either because it is. He told me that He wants me to ask Him even about little things. man, did I ruin your whole day or something? Just having a discussion man to man, right? You got that, right? So stop stamping your feet. If this type site is too much for you, there's always Barney.com...They don't talk so big over there. You could rule!
Alright doc.
 
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We are all humans, for starters. We all have similar experiences and feelings.

Abraham's two sons are mentioned here: "His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, facing Mamre, in the field that Abraham had bought from the Hittites." Together, they bury their father. The two are rival nations, estranged since childhood, their union rent apart, and they come together. They are brothers.

You know Phil Vischer? Creator of Veggie Tales? Yeah, he has a good friend named Peter Boghossian - an atheist professor. Phil is known only for a TV show teaching kids Christianity, but Peter spends his free time doing "street epistemology", in which he goes out on the street and persuades people to be atheists.

So here we have polar opposites. A Christian man who makes a TV show teaching kids Christianity, and an atheist professor who spends his time convincing people to be atheists. Yet they are the closest of friends. Peter records an incident where the resurrection happened to come up in a conversation, and Peter says, "You know I don't believe any of that, right?" Phil chuckles and says, "Yeah." It's powerful.

With certain Christians I do. Not with Christians as a whole, and I seek no revenge.

What proof can I give?

Then why, pray tell, do you expect anyone to watch anything you link to?

I cited Donald Prothero earlier. You remember his credentials? Ph.D. in geological sciences from Columbia University. He has been studying evolution in the rocks for decades now. I have no credibility myself, but that's why authors like Prothero write books. For people who don't know. The vast, VAST majority of scientists accept evolution.

Once again you call Lucretius gay? "Please pull up your pants, your butt's hanging out"? Is this fifth grade now? You sound like a child when you say things like this. Which does not become you, since I know you are no child.

And that is EXACTLY why I can say what I do! Truth is real, truth is objective, truth is self-dependent. But that does not mean that we can all know it for certain and that we should be so dogmatic about it. We are open-minded, precisely because we care for objective truth.

You're just plain wrong. My beliefs are not based on someone having hurt me. I know you aren't interested in proof. "Harvard educated"? Are you Harvard educated? If not, why would you mock me for this?

Do you think?
But Phil's friend doesn't go on his show and try and convince kids God is not real. You come here making a vain case against Christ and claim "community"? Why are you really here? To recruit? That has been attempted here before. Using politeness to try and undermine this CHRISTIAN site.
 

christian1724

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...
Truth is real, truth is objective, truth is self-dependent. But that does not mean that we can all know it for certain and that we should be so dogmatic about it. We are open-minded, precisely because we care for objective truth.
...
True words. A post modernist wouldn't say that. (At least, they wouldn't say that and mean it.) Do you think it is possible for a person to understand that concept without having at least some minute degree of reliability (Truth) retained within them? Can that which has no Truth(reliability) whatsoever compile a Truth?
 

T. E. Smith

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But Phil's friend doesn't go on his show and try and convince kids God is not real. You come here making a vain case against Christ and claim "community"? Why are you really here? To recruit? That has been attempted here before. Using politeness to try and undermine this CHRISTIAN site.
Difference is that Phil's show has young impressionable children as its audience. But I think you all can handle me. Really, my arguments are nothing.
 

T. E. Smith

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True words. A post modernist wouldn't say that. (At least, they wouldn't say that and mean it.) Do you think it is possible for a person to understand that concept without having at least some minute degree of reliability (Truth) retained within them? Can that which has no Truth(reliability) whatsoever compile a Truth?
sorry, I'm not understanding your question.
 

Edward

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I disagree with your premise here. CS Lewis said the intellectual road to God might not be the safest, but it is a road. I say the man who lays down his mind won’t be loving God with it anytime soon.

The intellect is not the problem, the character is the hold up, The one thing I have found is that relationship with God is deeply satisfying intellectually. It’s not surrender of the mind that’s necessary. It’s surrender of the pride.

But laying down ones mind is just code talk for, I trust you Jesus. I trust you Jesus. I trust you Jesus. It is walking in faith to say, I don't know what you're doing Lord, but I trust you anyway and I prais eyou for it even if I don't understand. That is faith. That is allowing the Spirit to lead you. God responds to that. And the good thing about it is that, your flesh & carnal mind have to stand there and watch and listen to all this transpire. And he gets to see the results that God did. And over time, the mind is transformed by it's renewing. So it can feel good when the mind has to admit that God is real. Intellectually inspiring so to speak.

You do make a real good point in your 2nd paragraph. What's that OT scripture? ...In the day that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord.../ Now if you remember anything about king Uzziah, he had a very bad pride problem. So you can almost say, in the day that Pride died, I saw the Lord. There's a good lesson in there. Pride. Character. No one gets in to see the Lord if they are full of pride.

Isaiah 6:1
 
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Difference is that Phil's show has young impressionable children as its audience. But I think you all can handle me. Really, my arguments are nothing.
It's not "Us" I'm concerned with, it's the hurting non-Christian looking for God and finds us entertaining atheists for their own pleasure and possibly diverting spiritually young minds. That's who I feel you are recruiting. There are hundreds who stop by this forum who are not members or who are and either don't log in or speak up.
 

Dorothy Mae

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But laying down ones mind is just code talk for, I trust you Jesus. I trust you Jesus. I trust you Jesus. It is walking in faith to say, I don't know what you're doing Lord, but I trust you anyway and I prais eyou for it even if I don't understand. That is faith. That is allowing the Spirit to lead you. God responds to that. And the good thing about it is that, your flesh & carnal mind have to stand there and watch and listen to all this transpire. And he gets to see the results that God did. And over time, the mind is transformed by it's renewing. So it can feel good when the mind has to admit that God is real. Intellectually inspiring so to speak.

You do make a real good point in your 2nd paragraph. What's that OT scripture? ...In the day that king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord.../ Now if you remember anything about king Uzziah, he had a very bad pride problem. So you can almost say, in the day that Pride died, I saw the Lord. There's a good lesson in there. Pride. Character. No one gets in to see the Lord if they are full of pride.

Isaiah 6:1
The biggest commandment is to love God with our…… minds. We cannot do so if we lay it down or close it.

You are right in laying down pride as the element that needs to bow.
 

Edward

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The biggest commandment is to love God with our…… minds. We cannot do so if we lay it down or close it.

You are right in laying down pride as the element that needs to bow.

I think what it amounts to is, it's not that you stop thinking or anything like that, but if one wants to Love God and Neighnor in their mind then they must do so first in their heart.

That means, operating from ones heart and spirit rather than ones mind. And where the heart goes, the mind will follow. As a man speaks from his heart, so is he as a man.

Another way to say it would be, being led by the spirit. And all it takes is some internal focus to do this. Being open to receive things to your spirit.

The things is though, that the heart will follow the mind also, so we are warned to guard our hearts diligently. And that means be careful what the read. Be careful what you think about. Be careful what you dwell on. When we dwell on something, we will connect with it. And when connection occurs, there is activation and it goes into your heart and becomes who you are.
And scripture spells it all out for us. Think on these things, don't think on those things take those thoughts captive to Christ, and dodge that temptation, lol! Pass that test!

Philipians 4:
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.../

Dwell on these things to guard your heart. And that is what we will become.
(I'm working this out for myself at the same time I'm talking to you, lol)
 

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It's not "Us" I'm concerned with, it's the hurting non-Christian looking for God and finds us entertaining atheists for their own pleasure and possibly diverting spiritually young minds. That's who I feel you are recruiting. There are hundreds who stop by this forum who are not members or who are and either don't log in or speak up.
Thank you for sharing this , my thoughts too . :agreed
 

T. E. Smith

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daninthelionsden hawkman Or instead of "entertaining atheists," how about "refuting atheists"? I am recruiting no one.

To the mind truly concerned about truth, objections to one's idea of what is true should not be a concern.
 

Edward

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daninthelionsden hawkman Or instead of "entertaining atheists," how about "refuting atheists"? I am recruiting no one.

To the mind truly concerned about truth, objections to one's idea of what is true should not be a concern.

Oh but it is a concern little brother. You feel entitled to a blank check to come on here and spout any nonsense you want to...and we can handle it? Lol!

No, I reject that teaching of Jesus, let me explain what the real truth is. You all should read Taoism, you all should be satatnists too (forthcoming I'm sure!). And yet you admit that you've been hiding the truth. That you haven't told all in open forum. So why should we trust anything that comes out of that guys mouth? Yes, I do think it's a concern.
 
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