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  1. #471
    Quote Originally Posted by shooter2 View Post
    Yes. Certainly not quickly.

    Further, it would be to everyone's benefit to study the others argument(s). Read science and study scripture. I love both and over time have become more convinced that there is a God and in the Hypothesis of the long day of creation. For me, too many things that are a fact scientifically are much too complex to be mere accidents. shooter2
    I have studied both, as have many scholars, and no mere mortal man will ever know if there is a god, but too often religion, and the bible are used as proof of a god. The bible and religion are man made.

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  3. #472
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    Weekendskp,

    If you have ever experience the presence of the Holy Spirit you wouldn't have to study anything.

    I just read this letter from Duke Bennett, he is the Tea Party organizer we traveled with to the Glenn Beck Rally in DC this past Summer. Duke was also a speaker at Our American Patriot Council Tea Party in Wellsburg, WVa in October.

    Dear Editor:

    I recently read an article written by a man who didn't believe in God. In fact he ridiculed people who do believe in God as ignorant and superstitious. He mocked people of faith by accusing them of "believing in an invisible sky god." To be more precise, his vitriol was aimed at Judeo-Christians and those who believe in the Bible. His argument was based solely in the thought that you can't see God, and in particular, he had never seen God, therefore he must not exist. To this end, I feel driven to pen these words.

    To you who do not believe in God, you don't believe because you don't see? Can you see a dream with your eyes or touch it with your hands? Do you deny its existence? Can you see electricity or radio waves? These things can not be seen. Would you deny their existence? You can't see electricity, but you can see and experience the effects that it has on things it interacts with. Modern science has recently (in the last 250 years) re-discovered many of the laws regarding the workings of electricity and we are learning more and more every day. I say re-discovered because there is strong archaeological evidence to support the use and manipulation of electricity over 2500 years ago. (See Baghdad Battery) I strongly urge you not to violate any of the laws that govern the workings of electricity, the results can be most unpleasant, whether you believe in them or not. Now if something as commonplace as electricity has eluded our "vast knowledge" for over 2,500 years, how much more will the things of God elude us, especially when we do our very best to convince ourselves that He doesn't exist. "There are none so blind as those who will not see" (John Heywood 1546). By the way, when we violate the laws of God, the results are also quite unpleasant, in fact, they make electrocution seem rather mild.

    People who say that they have heard the voice of God or have had some other kind of personal interaction with Him are often disbelieved or ridiculed by people who say "This can't be possible, it has never happened to me." That argument is absurd and the height of arrogance. Can this person experience everything every other person has experienced? Of course not, it is impossible and ridiculous. Is it possible to experience the exact same dream of another, or taste the same piece of pizza that I have just eaten? No, you may have a similar dream or taste something similar but never that same exact experience. So, how can we pass judgment on someone who has any kind of "experience?" To be truly open minded, we must be humble and admit to the possibility, whether we understand it or not or whether we experience it or not. Often, this is something that our pride won't let us do and foolish pride is a dangerous thing.

    Pastor Duke Bennett
    “Every step we take towards making the State our Caretaker of our lives, by that much we move toward making the State our Master.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

  4. #473
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    Quote Originally Posted by Debray View Post
    Weekendskp,

    If you have ever experience the presence of the Holy Spirit you wouldn't have to study anything. [Are you sure that, that is what you where feeling? What makes you assume it was the Holy Sprite and not the devil trying to trick you?]

    To you who do not believe in God, you don't believe because you don't see? Can you see a dream with your eyes or touch it with your hands? Do you deny its existence? Can you see electricity or radio waves? These things can not be seen. Would you deny their existence? You can't see electricity, but you can see and experience the effects that it has on things it interacts with

    Pastor Duke Bennett
    You can see electricity and you can see radio wave using the right equipment As for seeing a god, No you can't unless the god decides to show its self to you.

    As I am not trying to ridicule you for believing in what you believe in for I can not prove if there is or is not a god. I do believe that there is a force out there that created life on this planet but I am not willing to try and name it. As you, I have read your bible and your God said to place no other gods before him before him. I look at this the wrong way as most Christians say but your god is telling you that there are other gods out there that you should not be putting before him. If they are gods then they should have god like powers as to what those would be who knows. But for Christians to ignore there own gods words and say that he is the only god is bad but this is just my opinion. With that being said there is some force out that that will respond to your thoughts or prayers as to what that force is or what name you call it I don't know I just know that it is there and does respond to them.

  5. #474
    Quote Originally Posted by Kasper View Post
    You can see electricity and you can see radio wave using the right equipment As for seeing a god, No you can't unless the god decides to show its self to you.

    As I am not trying to ridicule you for believing in what you believe in for I can not prove if there is or is not a god. I do believe that there is a force out there that created life on this planet but I am not willing to try and name it. As you, I have read your bible and your God said to place no other gods before him before him. I look at this the wrong way as most Christians say but your god is telling you that there are other gods out there that you should not be putting before him. If they are gods then they should have god like powers as to what those would be who knows. But for Christians to ignore there own gods words and say that he is the only god is bad but this is just my opinion. With that being said there is some force out that that will respond to your thoughts or prayers as to what that force is or what name you call it I don't know I just know that it is there and does respond to them.
    Maybe it only takes the "right equipment" to see God.
    Prov. 27:3 - "Stone is heavy and sand a burden, but provocation by a fool is heavier than both"

  6. #475
    Quote Originally Posted by Debray View Post

    To you who do not believe in God, you don't believe because you don't see? Can you see a dream with your eyes or touch it with your hands? Do you deny its existence? Can you see electricity or radio waves? These things can not be seen. Would you deny their existence? You can't see electricity, but you can see and experience the effects that it has on things it interacts with. Modern science has recently (in the last 250 years) re-discovered many of the laws regarding the workings of electricity and we are learning more and more every day. I say re-discovered because there is strong archaeological evidence to support the use and manipulation of electricity over 2500 years ago. (See Baghdad Battery) I strongly urge you not to violate any of the laws that govern the workings of electricity, the results can be most unpleasant, whether you believe in them or not. Now if something as commonplace as electricity has eluded our "vast knowledge" for over 2,500 years, how much more will the things of God elude us, especially when we do our very best to convince ourselves that He doesn't exist. "There are none so blind as those who will not see" (John Heywood 1546). By the way, when we violate the laws of God, the results are also quite unpleasant, in fact, they make electrocution seem rather mild.


    Pastor Duke Bennett
    I'm not trying to belittle anyone for believing in god, or for that matter, practicing religion, but REALLY, is this your best example of proof? Is THIS really your argument? I can't see electricity or God, so both must exist. I'll give you a better example, one that is scientifically factual. On the Periodic Table of Elements, ONLY ONE element when combined with Hydrogen (H) is the source of most life on this planet. Two parts Oxygen (O) combined at the atomic level with Nitrogen (N) is a poisonous gas. Two parts Oxygen (O) combined with Carbon (C) is a poisonous gas. I could keep going. Surely this example is proof of "intelligent design"? But, it's not. It's just the combination that works here, on this planet, with the lifeforms present here that took advantage of the conditions that evolved over 4.5 billion years. On other planets, in other solar systems, there are likely, life forms that breath and live, and rely on that which would end our fragile existence. Perhaps those beings drink Sulfur Dioxide for refreshment on a cold day?

    You believe what you want. Practice your religion. It's the United States, and you have THAT freedom. That's what I love about this country. We might both be burned or stoned to death if we carried on this conversation in a less tolerant country like Iran.

  7. #476
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    Quote Originally Posted by JJFlash View Post
    Maybe it only takes the "right equipment" to see God.
    The "right equipment"?

    Like wishing and wanting and indoctrination + gullibility?
    Equipment?


    All I got for my faithful and fervent wishing and wanting was silence and lack of presence and just plain........lack. There was and there is nothing there.
    ...SCOTUS says we're right...You don't like it. I'm sorry you don't like it. I guess that's a problem for you. Some people don't like gays. Some don't like alcohol. Some don't like meat. ~michaelzwilliamson

  8. #477
    The problem with trying to identify anything as "Christian" is that there is no such thing. Within Christianity and its complicated theology there are over 1,200 denominations (churches) in North America alone, each claiming to be the True Christian Faith. They can't agree on the interpretation of the Bible, nor on any standard set of ethical principles. I am a follower of Yeshua of Nazareth, but I long ago left the church and started studying the scriptures on my own and applied the rules to myself only.

    If America is a Christian nation, which "Christianity" applies? His, mine or yours?

  9. #478
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    "I have found Christian dogma unintelligible...Some books on Deism fell into my hands...It happened that they wrought an effect on me quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared much stronger than the refutations; in short I soon became a thorough deist."
    -Benjamin Franklin, "Toward the Mystery" (autobiography)

    "When the clergy addressed General Washington on his departure from the government, it was observed in their consultation, that he had never, on any occasion, said a word to the public which showed a belief in the Christian religion, and they thought they should so pen their address, as to force him at length to declare publicly whether he was a Christian or not. They did so. However, the old fox was too cunning for them. He answered every article of their address particularly except that, which he passed over without notice....he never did say a word of it in any of his public papers...Governor Morris has often told me that General Washington believed no more of that (Christian) system than he himself did.
    -Thomas Jefferson, diary entry, 2/1/1799

    "As the government of the United States of America is not on any sense founded on the Christian Religion, - as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Musselmen (Muslims), - and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries."
    -Treaty of Tripoli, signed into law by John Adams

    "I promised you a letter on Christianity, which I have not forgotten...The delusion...on the clause of the Constitution, which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favourite hope of an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own...the returning good sense of our country threatens abortion of their hopes and they (the preachers) believe that any portion of power confided to me (such as being elected president), will be excerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: FOR I HAVE SWORN UPON THE ALTAR OF GOD, ETERNAL HOSTILITY AGAINST EVERY FORM OF TYRANNY OVER THE MIND OF MAN."
    -Thomas Jefferson, personal letter to Benjamin Rush (all-caps are also on Jefferson memorial)

    "I was glad to find in your book a formal contradiction, at length,...that Christianity is part of the common law. The proof of the contrary, which you have adduced, is inconrovertible; to wit, that the common law existed while the Anglo-Saxons were yet pagans, at a time when they had never yet heard the name of Christ pronounced, or knew that such a character had ever existed...What a conspiracy this, between Church and State. Sing Tantarara, rogues all, rogues all. Sing Tantarara, rogues all!"
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Major John Cartwright, 6/5/1824


    Bottom line: The various Founding Fathers were of differing opinions on this question. There was no consensus; there can be no definitive answer. It's impossible, really to say it IS. It's impossible to say it's NOT. And since a Nation is composed of its people, and many people are and many are not, the answer must be YES, and NO, from the founders on up.
    The right to buy weapons is the right to be free. - A.E. van Vogt, The Weapon Shops of Isher

  10. #479
    I'm not, but the country is. Heck, TJ started church services in the Capitol. As President, he attended church in the Capitol.

  11. #480
    Jefferson, whether or not he believed in a supernatural being (or perhaps supernatural beings), was nevertheless against both the imposition of government on religion and the use of government to impose religion on citizens.

    Of all his great accomplishments, he chose just three of them for his tombstone:

    1. his authorship of the Declaration of Independence,

    2. his founding of the University of Virginia, and

    3. his responsibility for Virginia's Statute of Religious Freedom.

    In the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom Jefferson addressed, among other things, his objection to the use of government to burden its citizens with the religious "opinions" (as he called them) of those in charge of government. His objections were much broader than simply prohibiting government from establishing a religion:

    that the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

    that to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;
    I think Jefferson and most of the other founders would agree that depicting the United States as a "Christian Nation" is the antithesis of their vision of the separation of church and state, a concept that was not originated by Jefferson in 1802 but rather 158 years earlier by Roger Williams, the founder of the first Baptist church in America, in 1644.

    We are a nation of many beliefs and non-beliefs. Our founders valued and understood the importance of preserving that characteristic. I doubt that they would be comfortable with anyone self-defining that characteristic based on "their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible..."

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