by The Daily Republic
April 7, 2013 at 5:08 am in The Daily Republic
Why would an atheist end his conjectured letter with John 8:32?
Tags: letters, Opinion, Religion, updates 40 Comments »
I’m having a real hard time trying to decide what makes me more angry. The fact that Mr. Shaw has no problem making threats in a letter to the editor or The Daily Repubic makes a point of printing nonsense letters like this week after week.
I think I’m going to go with the paper being the biggest loser in this case.
Mr Shaw is a perfect example of what Bill O’Reilly was talking about with “bible thumping”.
What happened to freedom of religion…..or no religion. Mr Shaw is a “my way or the highway” kind of guy. Probably thinks of himself as a god fearing patriotic guy and god help those who don’t thing his way. I’m guessing he sits in his house wringing his hands waiting for the U.N. to come in and make Sharia law the law of the land and can’t understand why HIS religion is not the law of the land.
Why can’t he read his bible, go to church, pray, whatever he wants….but just do it in private and leave the rest of us alone to our own ways.
The Daily Republic….stop, I’m begging you
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 44 10
Odd concept shaw has.. But I will say that I am not religious, but I am christian, support freedom of religion. I do not like religious groups pushing their religious ways around me at all since i don’t like their views on how things are. or how they think things should be. If look in depth, some don’t even follow christianity the way it is written. But it is your choice if you want to be part of one religion or another, 2 or 3 if you really like.. but they often conflict with each other. none are the same. so tell me, with so many, what is the true christian church??
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 10
“what is the true christian church?”
Have you considered reading your Bible for the answer?
“The Church” didn’t begin until after the resurrection of Jesus . The Book of Acts is the story of the early church. And since the Greek word, “ekklesia” is usually translated “church” in the Bible, perhaps checking a concordance would help you understand “a church” is not a “denomination”, but is used to mean an assembly of a group/company/assembly “called out.”
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Good job jumping all over his wording without addressing the point he was trying to make. The point is all kinds of people HAVE read the bible and many, denominations if you will, disagree on it’s interpretation. Every one is just as sure of said interpretations too. Including the westboro baptists.
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And a good job jumping over me, freethinker.
I didn’t see a /sarc tag following his question, so I literally answered it. And note, I did not tell him to “think” like any “denomination”. I said to read for himself the story of the early church, which by the way was NO denomination. How often do you read the Bible for yourself? Or do you sit in church for the 10-15 minute sermon, where you assume what you are being told is the Biblical truth?
I can’t find the scripture right now, but the Bible says God will hold each and every one of us accountable. I find Westboro as offensive as you, but God will judge them.
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g.s. I think we all should mail westboro a little prize from our lawns. I go to random churches except catholic as i see fit, when I have time for it. I have no real need to follow a religion.
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I understand the need for the Daily Republic to print all letters to be fair. It is an opinion forum and Mr. Shaw’s letter is just that, his opinion. I personally don’t know what Eric Nase believes or who he worships. However, It is my opinion that the comment about the obituaries was unnecessary because to be honest Mr. Shaw you never know who you might see in that column. By your reasoning the obituaries must be full of only atheists.
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Wouldn’t it be ironic that after a long and blessed life, you arrive in heaven and Mr. Nase is your roommate?
In inclusive Christian love,
Hot debate. What do you think? 25 14
“you arrive in heaven and Mr. Nase is your roommate”
Wouldn’t that require Mr Nase reading, and believing, Romans 10: 9-10?
Since God wants everyone to believe in His Son, and the Holy Spirit is a powerful, persuading presence, It is possible Mr. Nase will be in heaven. But not as an atheist, even if he has devoted his life to good works.
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And it appears we are back to literalism….
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So is that a sarcastic comment? I’m offering grace because of the lack of context in your comment.
Have you considered that if you attended Lutheran seminary, you think (and pastor) like a Lutheran? If you attended a Baptist seminary, you think (and pastor) like a Baptist? Nothing wrong with that. I wish rather than a sarcastic comment, you had given me scripture to think and pray over that would support your thinking.
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“But not as an atheist, even if he has devoted his life to good works.”
Which is absolutely ridiculous. If heaven was real, I would not want to share the company of Jeffrey Dahmer and David Berkowitz (and countless other murderers) who both declared themselves born again christians in prison. Or with a god who would let them in and not an atheist who “devoted his life to good works” for that matter.
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Tell me, freethinker,
How many “good works” does it take to get into heaven?
If you lie, how many “good works” do you have to do to overcome the effects of the lie, and how do you REALLY know if you’ve done enough? Do “good works” come on a scale of “good”? So if you donate $1000 to a charity then your “good work” is better than the person who donated $10?
And when all the “good works” people get to heaven, the “better” good works people will be rewarded the same, or less, than the “not quite as good” good works person?
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What are you talking about? “Good works” were your words, not freethinker. Answer your own question.
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I too have wondered how a just God would allow someone like Hitler into heaven if just moments before death he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.
And the answer lies in blood shed by Jesus on the cross. The Old Testament is the story of man not being able to live up to the laws God gave him to live a perfectly sinless life. So God sent His Son, Jesus, to earth to be the FINAL sacrifice for our sins, asking only in return that we accept, and acknowledge, that sacrifice by His Son.
Sin is sin. God does not give us a scale of sin. To God, the sin of telling a lie is the same as the sin of killing someone. If there was a sin scale, there would the have to be a redemption of sin scale, meaning the cross would have a scale next to it. Is there? No. We are forgiven our sins when we ask for forgivenss by the blood of the cross.
But don’t confuse accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior with judgement. They are separate issues.
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you are speaking of the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, which is NOT original to the Jesus movement. In fact, it did not become part of the Jesus movement until Anselm who was the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1097. It is one framework for understanding Jesus’ death on the cross. There are others just as creditable. You see this is one problem in the Christian dialogue of modernity (and now into post-modernity). It has forgotten that the original Jesus movement was not homogenous. It was diverse, experiential, and creative. The Jesus movement is much bigger than you might think.
I’m not a theologian like Kristi but the last sentence seems to contradict the previous statements.
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You had me running to learn what “substitutionary atonement” and “Jesus movement” refer too,
I am confuse however, according to wikipedia the Jesus Movement was a hippie movement started on the west coast in the late 60s/early 70s.
And according to wikipedia, “substitutionary atonement” (the Ransom theory) first originated in the early church (by a guy named Origen) in the 2nd century. Anselm lived in the 11th century, and his theory of atonement has been traditionally taught in western Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed churches. His work was further refined by Aquinas and Calvin.
Searching for “original Jesus movement” takes me to a website that offers this definition: “the original Jesus movement as it existed separate from Saint Paul and the evolution of Graeco-Roman Christianity outside of Israel. During the three years of Jesus’ ministry, the Ebionim probably mostly identified themselves simply as Jews who accepted Jesus’ leadership for ushering in the Kingdom of God.”
It appears this movement does not believe Jesus is the only way to salvation, atonement can be realized through repentance and repair, and the validity of the Commandments is eternal. In other words, following the Laws of G_d, and works of the flesh lead to salvation. And you say the movement is growing? Tell me, how hard is it to follow all the laws of Deuteronomy and Leviticus? Personally I find Deuteronomy 28:15-68 to be the scariest verses of the Bible.
While it was intriguing to learn the names/histories of these theories/movements, it isn’t exactly the kind of knowledge that feeds the spirit man/woman. (Although you did help me understand why progressives think as they do.)
Curious, what seminary did you attend?
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Now that’s funny.
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I had a professor in seminary who always said we must learn to ask the right questions. I suppose if one believes in an exclusive path to God, then one better ask that question.
For others, those who believe God’s love is bigger than any path, the question of which church doesn’t matter.
In the second case, the right questions become different.
Hot debate. What do you think? 17 14
“God’s love is bigger than any path,”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the first and great commandment.
39 “And the second is like it:,’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Notice in v37 the three uses of the word “all”. If you give ALL your money to someone, how much money do you have…for yourself or your neighbor? So if you’ve given ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind to love the Lord God, how much do you have left for yourself or your neighbor?
If you look at satan’s words to Jesus when he was in the wilderness, you see satan using partial scripture (half truth) trying to trip up Jesus. Jesus KNEW his Father’s Word and corrected satan. To me, love is a very direct path, going first to Lord God, then to others. “love your neighbor” is being used and taught as the reason for a lot of social change, tolerance and a path to heaven, while the first great commandment is rarely mentioned. Think on it.
Hot debate. What do you think? 14 16
From the gospel of Luke and the gospel of Picard
“You can’t win. Strike me down, and I will become more powerful than you could possibly imagine.”
“It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.’
“Our gods are dead. Our warriors slew them a millenia ago. They were…more trouble than they were worth.”
“Believing oneself to be perfect is often the sign of a delusional mind”
Think on it
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First as a professor and as a scholar, wikipedia is not a creditable score. If a student of mine uses it, I refuse the assignment.
Secondly, from Irenaeus on the “ransom” theory of atonement, “Thus the powerful Word and true human being, ransoming us by his blood in a rational manner, gave himself as a ransom for those who have been led into captivity. The apostate one unjustly held sway over us, and though we were by nature the possession of Almighty God, we had been alienated from our proper nature, making us instead his own disciples.” In other Satan had possession of humans and in order for God to get us back God gave a “ransom” for us.
From Anselm, “Let us consider whether God could properly remit sin by mercy alone without satisfaction. So to remit sin would be simply to abstain from punishing it. And since the only possible way of correcting sin, for which no satisfaction has been made, is to punish it; not to punish it, is to leave it uncorrected. But God cannot properly leave anything uncorrected in His kingdom…..Satisfaction cannot be made unless there is someone who is able to pay to God for the sin of humanity. This payment must be something greater than all that is beside God…Now nothing is greater than all that is not God except God.” In other words, only God provides payment enough to God (ie Jesus) for human’s sin. ie Substitutionary atonement.
Ransom Theory and Substitutionary Atonement are not the same thing. And neither of these even offers the political reason for Jesus’ death. Shall we continue with that one?
Now regarding my comment the “jesus Movement” it is another way for me to say being a “follower of the Way” which is what the original Jewish followers of Jesus called themselves. The term “Christian” was not original to the FIRST followers as they were all Jewish. The movement was an inner Jewish movement until it spread to the Gentiles which we know was done by Paul.
IMO, someone who is interested in teaching, especially in a public place such as this, would have included links to reference material, especially when it is hard to identify exactly what you were referencing. When I’m short on time I’ll use wikipedia, with the same skepticism I apply to other things in life. I just wish rather than trying to impress with your identification of doctrine and church history, you had taken the opportunity to offer meat, not diversion.
BTW, I grew up in the UCC. And yes, the progressive christianity movement is growing, but there are individual members, whole churches and pastors leaving denominations because of that viewpoint. Ultimately, it will be God himself who settles the argument.
How happy do you think satan is when Christians spend time disagreeing about doctrine/theory/interpretation and/or criticizing other denominations? In my world, it still comes down to the First Great Commandment.
And I’m still curious why an atheist would use scripture. Mr Shaw, in his opinion piece that sparked this Topic, raised some good points. But everyone jumps on him because he quoted something a friend said and Mr Shaw mentioned. I admit to being puzzled why he would write it, but I’ve said a lot of dumb things so I guess I can find enough grace from my own mistakes to not skewer Mr. Shaw. I guess all those horrified by Mr Shaw’s writing have never said anything he/she wished he/she had never said, or never repeated a dumb comment.
it is funny that your major attempt is to discredit me rather than address the doctrines presented to you. I can offer you the citations in Turabin if it would help in our dialogue.
Moreover, I currently do teach and am working on a PhD. Would my credentials help you work through the conversation at hand.
Regarding my seminary. I actually attended a conservative seminary: North American Baptist, which offered me ample opportunity to work through conservative views as well as liberals ones as every professor I had pushed me to support my “liberal” bias using scripture, historical context, and academic scholarship. I left seminary with a GPA of 3.7 with most of my professors disagreeing with my liberal stance on Christianity.
You speak of “meat.” What does that mean? For you it might mean referencing scripture over and over that affirms your preconceived ideas of who Jesus was. For others, it is an experiential moment when the divine love that overwhelms us speaks to the inner most being of our hearts. And then for others, it is when prayer is answered and we believe God loves us so much we are at the center of the universe because God listened.
And then for others, it is the moments when those who are marginalized, forgotten, and dehumanized discover their own empowerment and gifts. When they are lifted out of oppression and find a path to their own humanity.
Meat, you say? Who are you to define what “meat” is? Meat comes in many shapes and sizes based on how God chooses to transform lives. Meat can be the most smallest breath in a place where no breath moves. Meat can be the poorest village where a mother finds a morsel to feed her hungry child. Meat can be a prisoner who discovers he has more gifts than anyone has every acknowledged. Meat can be a young girl who has endured years of incest and discovers her talent for singing.
Do not be so pompous as to assume your definition of meat is the only one.
If your desire is to have a theological dialogue, then please seek me out, but if your desire is to think you have the only path to a God who is bigger than anything you or anyone else can define, then you go ahead. And may God reveal God’s self to you.
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way back there on On April 10, 2013 at 1:09 PM I wrote this: ” I wish rather than a sarcastic comment, you had given me scripture to think and pray over that would support your thinking.
Rather than scripture, you identify doctrine and church history, and in your comment on On April 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM write, “There are others [doctrines] just as creditable.” The dictionary definition of religious doctrine: the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group.
I’m at a loss as to why rather than focusing on me, you didn’t offer an identification of those other creditable doctrines, which, I assume, would include the scriptural basis of those doctrines.
“Do not be so pompous as to assume your definition of meat is the only one.” While I read your homily, I have to wonder why you got so offended, especially when I had previously identified my meat as scripture, and we weren’t talking about anyone else.
“If your desire is to have a theological dialogue” It is, but from my sheepy point of view I need a shepherd that doesn’t confuse and then over reacts. And I speak from experiential knowledge.
“if your desire is to think you have the only path to a God” I never said “I had the only path to God”, and if you look back I have asked for scripture to support your doctrine, and looked for more information based on the phrases you used. Generally people who are so wedded to there beliefs rarely challenge their own thoughts. And I’m still looking for an answer to my question, how good does a person need to be to get into heaven?
“who is bigger than anything you or anyone else can define” Can you absolutely define God? I’m interested in reading that.
” And may God reveal God’s self to you” He has given me moments of revelation, and surprisingly you mentioned a few of them in your meat homily. I pray He continues to reveals Himself not only to me, but to others too.
BTW, I had a college professor (a PhD) who told me, “The more you know about one thing, the less you know about everything else.” That comment has stuck with me like the the professor’s comment has stuck with you that you mentioned back on On April 7, 2013 at 8:48 PM
!st, this is not a teaching forum, it’s a discussion forum. You were given information and it’s up to you to check it. Ms.Mclaughlin IS the one to bring the “meat” to the conversation it’s unfortunate you were unable to digest it……you should have that checked out.
Christians disagreeing is a time honored tradition going back to the Council of Nicaea. I put the quotes in an earlier post to make the point that the bible, star wars, star trek are all works of fiction that people get pretty worked up about if different views are presented that might go against the “original” version. I will leave the Koran out because those fans are in a class by themselves.
I went back and read Mr. Shaw’s letter again and I’m sorry, I don’t see any good points in it but I sleep with the knowledge that in less than 30 days he will be back with another rant (I just can’t take him seriously).
Mr. Nase’s use of biblical quotes shouldn’t be puzzling. Atheists are by and large pretty well versed in the bible. I would say most have made a long thoughtful decision to come out and say they don’t believe. You can read an article a day on christians saying there is a “war” on their faith……try telling your an atheist.
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I am curious why someone (Mr. Shaw) who claims to be a good christian would end their piece with “watch the obituary section in the next short while, for his name may appear in it!” Even consorting with the type of people who would suggest such a thing cannot be considered decent human beings. I would be embarrassed to have a friend insinuate such a thing. It is just not the kind-hearted, decent thing people of good quality and nature go around saying. Does not matter if you are a christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, whatever, good people do not talk or write that way. You can throw around bible quotes all you want. Does not make you moral. Does not make you a good person. Does not make you just or worthy. I would suggest a big piece of humble pie for Mr. Shaw, he needs it.
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Mr. Nase has a right to his own opinions on faith without being condemned to hell. Mr. Shaw is out of line. Any mention of finding someone’s name in the obituary section is in poor taste.
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I am sorry that you read my comments as overreactions. They were not intended to be. But you see, I do not throw out scripture as a basis for my theological understanding. Using scripture to support scripture, using scripture to tell people who doubt or even don’t believe that they are wrong or are going to be condemned is only pushing people farther away from finding a divine source. I serve people who are doubters, questioners, who engage in theological dialogue based in historical context and a non-literal reading of the Bible. My husband is an atheist as are a few of my children. They have seen the abuse in the church as well as people who claim to be “christians” exploit the church. Moreover, they see everyday the intense discrimination that happens in the public forum against the poor, the gay, and those of other religions all done by Scripture touting folks. My point is for folks like you who want scripture used to support scripture, there are many out there who will engage with you. But for me and those I walk alongside, well, we use other manners of engagement.
On a personal note: there are many stories/myths in the Bible that I allow to infiltrate my own life. The story of Job: what an amazing story! And my favorite part?? The part where God says to Job after Job demands an answer: God speaks, “Who are you to question me? Were you here when I laid the foundations of the earth?”
I have been Job demanding God to make sense of pointless suffering. And ya know what God was silent…and to me that pretty much sums it up. “who am I to demand answers from God?” The reality: I have been Job. Its a great story.
Or how about Jonah? Angry because God shows mercy to people I think should be punished. Hum??? How does that fit into Mr Shaw’s letter? What does God say at the end??? “I show mercy to whom I want to.”
Or how about Ezekiel who says that Sodom’s sin was ignoring the poor (not homosexuals as is often thought). Or Isaiah who says the fast God wants is to loose the bonds of injustice, to share food with the hungry, bring the homeless into your house, clothe the naked..Who are those held by injustice today, G.S? Who are the hungry as our country is one of the richest countries and yet we cut funds to programs such as Head Start and argue over people having access to health care? Are we bringing the homeless into our homes?
Or do these portions of Scripture not count because they cannot be used to condemn those who disagree with our theology or interpretation that they are going to hell?
GS, here is my final thought and then I will be silent. Your faith is obviously strong and that is wonderful! But for those who struggle with Biblical literalism, and even struggle with believing in God, move beyond proving scripture with scripture, move beyond throwing scripture around to make your point because its pointless. They don’t care. If you desire to engage in conversations with non-believers it does no good to use the Bible to prove your point.
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I wonder if a Christian pastor could comment on this subject?
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one has been
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You’re kidding, right?
You must be another one that thinks you can decide who is Christian and who is not.
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Matthew 7:16 says “by their fruit ye shall know them”, that’s what I go by.
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Well, that’s a shame…..but keep thumping and see what fruit you bear.
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I’m not sorry I offended you with a quotation from the Bible.
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I wholeheartedly agree that preaching scripture at/to an unbeliever doesn’t work. A person without a revelation of salvation cannot understand scripture, and will likely react in anger or disgust. It takes an “invitation” by, and through, the Holy Spirit for an individual’s spirit to be open to the message of salvation. When the invitation is offered and accepted, God will make sure there is someone available, or some way, for the person to learn of salvation. I feel bad for those who resist the invitation of the HS, but it is their prerogative.
Regarding Ezekiel, I think you were writing of 16:44-52. I haven’t studied Ezekiel in depth but in reading
from 16:1 on, Ezekiel seems to be comparing Jerusalem and Judah to Samaria and Sodom, calling Judah’s sinfulness tenfold (v47-52) that of Sodom. In v49 Ezekiel says, “neither did she [Sodom] strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. v50 AND they were haughty and committed abomination before me”. I thank you for pointing out v49, God gave Ezekiel more insight into why he destroyed S & G, but he is also clear about abomination.
I’m confused with your statements regarding Jonah and Mr. Shaw. And at the end of the Jonah story, God does not say, “I show mercy to whom I want to.” He asks Jonah why He should not have compassion on the works of His hands (the people of Nineveh) because Jonah is still angry God did not destroy Nineveh. The only reason God did not bring judgement against Nineveh as he promised was because the king of Nineveh heeded Jonah’s warnings, and ordered the people to “cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands”(NKJV, 3:8b) God’s punishment was withheld because of repentance AND a change of behavior.
Job is a book I have read, studied, prayed over, cried over many times in the last 5 years as I sought answers to the trials, pain and suffering I was going through. I did not get any answers, like you…nothing. My belief degraded to a point I became disconnected from God and the Holy Spirit, when I was given what I felt was the last chance to make a choice.
I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and our descendants may live;
God specifically instructs people to choose life and its blessings while indicating our choice will impact our
descendants. The generational curses of child, drug abuse and alcoholism are proven.
My “Dake Annotated Study Bible” writes this about Deut 30:19: “God advises and commands men to choose life by choosing His grace and means of entering into eternal life, thus canceling death and the curses that cut off from Him. Men can and must make the choice, for God does not force the will of anyone to serve Him, surrender to Him, or remain obedient to His will. All men, always and without exception, are free to choose life or death, blessing or cursing.”
In a Bible class on the Holy Spirit the teacher asked if we would obey the Holy Spirit if he “told”
us NOT to help someone. There was a moment of stunned silence as we each tried to grasp the idea God, through the HS, would ask us to withhold a deed that would be given with love. I can’t read the mind of God, I have no way of knowing if someone has chosen life or death, blessing or cursing, but I can obey the HS. It is unfortunately a hard truth: some people will repeatedly choose to suffer when given multiple chances for life.
The reason I spent 30+ years without God was because of the condemnation I experienced in church. Conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit brings awareness of sin to a believer, and allows the believer to seek repentance. Jesus took the punishment for our sins.
Condemnation of a person implies he/she is tried, judged, found guilty and sentenced…a favorite tactic of satan who comes to kill,steal and destroy. Ignorance of satan’s tactics, and inadequate teaching of scripture often results in Christians using scripture to condemn others. Condemnation is wrong. Understanding conviction vs condemnation opens the door to the love of God, and makes it possible to hate the sin while loving the person.
Without scripture I contend the good works of a Christian are indistinguishable from luck, or the teachings of some new age book like “The Secret”, or one of any thousands of gods. Learned scripture allows the Holy Spirit to speak to a believer, letting her know what another needs: encouragement, teaching, clothes, a blanket, a prayer for healing or agreement, etc.
The Bible calls on believers to love one another. It does not say, be lazy and give that responsibility to the government.
And Pastor Kristi, your words resulted in the HS convicting me of a past sin, a good thing. thank you. I will be praying in the Spirit for you. Peace be with you.
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