Saturday, December 6, 2014

Arguing With Atheists- The Sunday Collage

Sometime in the spring of 2008, I had one of several "aha" moments like the one I am about to describe. That moment would completely change the way I view the world, how I view others, and most importantly perhaps- how I view myself. I actually laugh a lot more because of the foolishness of it all.

Eckhardt Tolle's masterpiece, "A New Earth" can be a tough read. It isn't particularly challenging or complex- but I think for many people it is hard to comprehend and digest. I did it in 20 page increments because it was simply too difficult for me to read larger chunks and then try to assimilate the information.

I think there is a giant chasm or disconnect between people who say they've read something and people who actually comprehend what they've read. It is something I have noted in dramatic fashion over the course of my life.

A New Earth did several things for me. It allowed me to identify my false sense of self and recognize that I had one. It allowed me to finally accept the fact that Jesus really did exist and that most likely he wasn't simply an enlightened man as so many of my atheist friends believed. I also began to study and examine the crazy egos of the people around me. The people in my life at that moment- kind of served as the proving ground for Tolle's work.

Are people completely self centered and held hostage by a false sense of themselves, an ego? Do people always have to be right? Where does this false sense of ourselves, this facade and act that we present individually to others, where does it come from? For the purposes of today's rant, I'd like to focus on the effects of ego and give you a window into an ego at work.

In Boise, each day at 3 p.m. on FM 94.1, I listen to the Matt Slick show. Matt Slick is a sort of christian crusader. He takes a very strict view of the Bible and tends to interpret the Bible as literally as possible. His views on Christianity are completely confined to the world as he sees it. Matt practices the concept of exclusion- which is to say- unless you see things his way, you are excluded from the Kingdom of God or more simplistically- just wrong. Matt is very black and white. He tends to pretend that he is open minded about a few subjects but I don't really think that he is. During the show, he invites callers to call in. Many do. Some are atheists, some are believers, some are there to take a cheap shot. Some have genuine questions.

You have to listen to Matt to really get the flavor of who he is.

What I like about Matt is that he has the courage to take a stand. He says, "Here I am, take your best shot."
What happens next is great comedy. On Fridays, he reads hate mail harvested I suppose, from his website at carm.org.

I actually enjoy it when the Mormons call in and Slick tells them they are just a cult founded by a false prophet. The LDS are another tribe of folks who adamantly think they are the chosen ones.

Matt often gets frustrated and ridicules others. This tendency really damages his credibility I think.

There are very few opportunities in any of our lives where we can make a positive and lasting change in anyone else. My experience has been mostly, that people and particularly adults, have made up their minds on a whole range of issues and rarely do those thought processes change. In fact, many folks practice "contempt prior to investigation." In other words, the jury is in. I decided I would be a democrat at age 18 and I don't care who runs, who distorts the issues, how badly the party platform changes- I will always be a democrat." The same is true of people who practice "cognitive dissonance." Here is a definition from wiki- In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values.[1][2]

So people I think- strive to seek consistency in their lives while trying desperately to convince others that they are right.

This is the human ego at work. We argue, we fight, and when it's all over- absolutely nothing changes. It is a giant waste of time mostly- just cheap entertainment. A way to pass the time while pretending we are doing something useful. If we know in advance that we aren't going to change anyone's mind, why do we insist on attempting it? Don't people find their own solutions, or not, on their own time? Of course they do. They will do so with or without your "incredibly insightful" arguments. The very best that any of us can do, is plant a seed.

So what happened to me in the spring of '08?

I realized that all that I have ever been, is just a human being with an opinion. A crazy, ego driven human being that desperately wanted to think that I was better, smarter, faster, more intelligent than you. I came to believe that unfortunately- that was who I had been for 46 years. I also realized how incorrect and insane all of that behavior was. The resulting level of self awareness has allowed me to observe the same traits in others while not taking their inventory. It's a journey we are all taking and it's not my job to be anyone's tour guide. This is a self guided tour.

Here's where I am today.

I let the world be. I just try to keep my own voracious ego in check. I try to remain vigilant, grateful, humble and aware- without hurting or ridiculing others too much. I let Matt Slick, the atheists, and the Mormons entertain me a little while I drive around the Treasure Valley.

If you get a chance, you should tune into this show once. You'll get a kick out of it- not because you'll agree with everything Slick has to say- but you'll just sort of celebrate his right to say it. You can tune it in via your computer from anywhere (94.1) I think with a Wifi connection. I just use the old fashioned radio.

Here's the show's link- thanks to a savvy reader. http://www.christiannetcast.com/listen/player.asp?station=kbxl-fm 3pm - 4pm http://carm.org/radio

I'd like to leave you with my favorite quote of all time. From an enlightened man, a couple hundred years ago. Chief Tecumseh.

"Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about his religion.
Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.
Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light,
for your life, for your strength.
Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools
and robs the spirit of its vision.
When your time comes to die,
be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death,
so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time
to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."
















4 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://www.christiannetcast.com/listen/player.asp?station=kbxl-fm 3pm - 4pm
http://carm.org/radio

Compleat Patriot said...


When we are all gathered together after this false god of this worlds kingdoms finally and possibly quite dramatically concludes with Yeshua beyond our first death and judgement with our various gifts, some winning immortality, most achieving the second death, mortality for a time until they see the errors of their first death and finally ascend to immortality, do you suppose those anti theists will be pissed or relieved at first knowing they had died, were arisen by their King they had denied, and given a do over? ha ha… Isn't it interesting how Yeshua, Christ, wanted us to voluntarily choose to do good here through free will offerings, while the god of this world wants to and has coercively forced us all to do good things via contractual slavery, be obedient? Even when those good things might be "Healthcare"… Or some such other taxable nonsense… Great piece brother, I turned around here and reached into the book shelf pulled down Tolle's New Earth for another jaunt through it's pages.. Thanks for the reminder.. Below is an excerpt from my study guide..

Is God the Savior of All…..Truth or Error?

And last but not least, the apostle Paul did indeed, teach that God was the Savior of All and the final outcome of Christ’s work on the cross would fulfill Isaiah 45:23 as Paul quotes it at Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore, also, God highly exalts Him and graces Him with the name that is above every name, that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing, celestial and terrestrial and subterranean and every tongue should be acclaiming that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father”

Paul also wrote this another time, at Romans 14:11 “Living am I, the Lord is saying,
For to Me shall bow every knee, And every tongue shall be acclaiming God!”

Romans 11:36 “O, the depth of the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable are His judgments and untraceable His ways! For, who knew the mind of the Lord? Or, who became His advisers? Or who gives to Him first, and it will be repaid him? Seeing that out of Him and through Him and for Him is all; to Him be the glory for the eons! Amen!”

King David was inspired to say at Psalms 110:1 “I make thine enemies a footstool” This Prophetic verse is repeated 8 times in the Greek Scriptures with Paul using it and explaining it at 1 Corinthians 15:27, 28 Death is the enemy of humanity, inherited from Adam, mankind doomed to a state of death from which there was no way out, until Christ died to release us from the death state.

Not at each individuals death but in the order assigned by God to take place in three resurrections. Verse 23 Read the entire 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians and rightly divide that which differs as Paul explains what Christ bought for us and the order in which it will occur and what kind of bodies the dead will rise with.

Compleat Patriot said...

Continued;

A fun passage to also check out in many other Bible translations is Titus 2:11 “For the saving grace of God made its advent to all humanity, training us that, disowning irreverence and worldly desires, we should be living sanely and justly and devoutly in the current eon, anticipating that happy expectation, even the advent of the glory of the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ.” CVLV Let’s compare this passage with some other translations.

The King James “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” This is not accurately translated as it puts the force on appears instead of salvation to or for all men. God’s grace has come and not just appeared for all mankind, but not all have seen it yet.

The Revised KJ has it as, “The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.” Rotherham’s, says “For the favor of God, bringing salvation for all men, has shone forth.”

Moffat says, “For the grace of God has appeared to save all men.” Darby has, “For the grace of God that carries with it salvation for all men, has appeared.”

Weymouth, has “Now has dawned the day of the grace of God, the grace that brings salvation to all mankind”

Most of these translators did not believe in the Salvation of All and yet they translated this passage so as to declare it! They did not follow the error of the KJAV which implies, this grace had only appeared unto all men, and this was most likely slanted because of the free will doctrine taught then and now and so tainted by the belief that Gods grace will not save you unless you let it. By now we all should realize that is not what Paul taught and in fact the entire Word of God shows forth that His will and intention is to save all His creation.

The text in Titus agrees with so many others of Paul’s words which taught that God’s total Grace is for the Body of Christ in this dispensation and that it will be extended to all creation in the future ages, and so Grace indeed had not just appeared but had come into the world through Christ’s shed blood for the purpose of bringing salvation to all.


John 4:42 tells us “Christ is the Savior of the world” John did not say of only, some in the world. If Christ is the savior of the world He then must save that world for if He only saves some, and not all, He has failed as Savior of the world. He would have given His life in vain and this is not the case. Christ’s blood paid for all humanity, this means He owns all mankind and as in His illustration of going after the one lost sheep Christ will not be satisfied until He has saved all those which He has bought and paid for, they are His and not Satan’s!

Brian said...

Thanks much!