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Truth behind The Bible


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#46    Doug1o29

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:55 PM

View Postscowl, on 26 February 2013 - 06:18 PM, said:

Then you should have no difficulty pointing me to archeological evidence of the Exodus, the 40 years in the desert,
The shrine to Hathor at Har Timna matches the biblical description of the shrine at Mount Sinai.  The Temple of Hathor on Gebel Ghorabi also fits.  The Pentateuch isn't very clear about which god it is describing.  The case for it being about Baal is a lot stronger than the case for Jehovah.  Hathor could easily have been the god mentioned.

Another detail:  it appears that another god was worshipped at Har Timna after Hathor.  The pillars of the shrine were defaced and turned upside down when they were incorporated into the new shrine.  A shrine to either Baal or Jehovah?

Check Zwickel, Wolfgang.  1999.  "Der Solomanishe Tempel".  Sorry, but that's all the info I have.  There's a picture of the shrine and an archeological report.  Also, check out http://www.bibleorig...Tabernacle.html.

Most of the archeological evidence for the Exodus is from Egyptian military/mining expeditions to Sinai.  That's what I believe the Sinai part of the trip was.  The Bible story is a reworked account of one of these (more than one?) expeditions.

If you're trying to disprove the biblical version of events, don't waste your breath.  It wasn't literally true to begin with.  And you'll never prove a negative, anyway.  The biblical account is a legend that started with historical prototypes and grew from there, like our urban legends.  But the prototypes existed and some of them can be demonstrated to have existed.  Many of the place names and some the physical evidence is still there.  The Temple to Hathor still stands at Gebel Ghorabi.  The shrine to Hathor is still under a ledge at Har Timna.  There is other evidence, too.  Not that would prove the entire biblical account, but enough to show where the story came from.  And it is those prototypes that I maintain are the true part of the story.

In land surveying there is a concept that the true property line is the one on the ground.  The deed is only a description.  That's what we have here.  What happened, happened.  The Bible is a description, not reality.
Doug

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#47    scowl

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 06:58 PM

View Postand then, on 26 February 2013 - 09:41 AM, said:

Fewer and fewer all the time - so I wouldn't worry so much.

As soon as we stop worrying, they'll be back.

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And there are others out there who teach far worse - or at least more destructive things.  No one questions their right to indoctrinate.  

Well, if they do it in a public school there will be people questioning what they teach as long as we stay vigilant.

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Do you believe that all religions are flawed?  And if so, then why is there no real example of any except Christianity being systematically set aside for derision and attack?

Are you talking to me? I didn't say a peep about Christianity.


#48    Doug1o29

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:00 PM

View Postali smack, on 26 February 2013 - 06:22 PM, said:

I thought Jesus was a real person? I thought most historians believed in him. I think even Richard Dawkins believes he existed. just not the way he's potrayed
The evidence that Jesus even existed hangs by the slimmest of threads.  There is no record of anyone ever saying they met him, saw him, talked to him, etc.  Not even St. Paul who lived in Jerusalem at the same time, ever spoke of him before the "vision" on the road.  But Papias said he heard John the Apostle speak and Irenaeus makes the same claim for Origen.  Papias also says he talked to the daughters of Philip.  So we have a little evidence that two of the Apostles were real.  And if Apostles were real, we presume there was a leader.  And that presumption is the whole case for a "historical" Jesus.
Doug

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#49    Frank Merton

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:03 PM

I don't know if a real Jesus existed or not, and rather doubt it.  The Gospels were written well after the fact and meet few tests for genuine historical sources.  Otherwise there is no mention of him for a couple of centuries (except one bit of Christian fraud attributed to Josephus).

One is also hard-pressed to say if a Nazareth even existed at the time.  The one we have in Palestine today was founded in the fourth century and doesn't fit the description in the Gospels.


#50    scowl

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:13 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 26 February 2013 - 06:55 PM, said:

If you're trying to disprove the biblical version of events, don't waste your breath.  It wasn't literally true to begin with.  And you'll never prove a negative, anyway.  The biblical account is a legend that started with historical prototypes and grew from there, like our urban legends.

That is what I'm saying. If you try to use the Bible as a history book, you'll be confused to find that there is no evidence of many major events that would have had huge implications in the region's history. Solomon's Israeli alliance by marriage with Egypt is the largest example.

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But the prototypes existed and some of them can be demonstrated to have existed.

But prototypes are prototypes, not actual history. If someone asked a historian, "Did World War 2 really happen?" they can't answer, "Well, we do know that the Great War happened which is a very similar story. It's possible that 'World War 2' was simply an embellishment of that earlier war."


#51    Mr Walker

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:33 AM

View Postscowl, on 26 February 2013 - 06:18 PM, said:

Many, most, depends on who you hang out with. Around me, most is true.



Interesting that you speak on behalf of all humans on the Earth, most who have never even seen a Bible.



You can repeat that as many times as you like, Prophet Walker, but it's not true. Archeologists have desperately tried to find evidence to support the stories in the Bible but the evidence they have found strongly suggests that Canaan was nothing like it was described in the Torah.



Repeat assertion, speaking for all of humanity again.



Then you should have no difficulty pointing me to archeological evidence of the Exodus, the 40 years in the desert, Joshua's conquests, the reigns Saul and of the many other kings in the books of Kings and Samuel, the temple and reign of Solomon and the Israeli alliance with Egypt creating a Middle East superpower, and the reign of King David.

The preponderance of evidence supports that these are nothing more than legends, perhaps based on real people or real events which were embellished far beyond what actually happened. We do know that the Jews were one of several cultures who lived in Canaan but they didn't have any regional power during this time and they certainly didn't have the massive armies as described in the Bible. The only time there was a Jewish state was a brief time during the Hasmonean period before the Romans conquered them in 63 BC.

Over half the worlds population are either christian or muslim. But one does  not have to have read a book to accept its contents as basically true. Non religious and atheist people make up, together, less than 12 % of the total world population  today. Until very recent times while few believed the literal truth of the bible epsecially its creation story, very few academics disputed its historicity. Th t is because it has been confirmed  through over a hundred years of archaeology hence i stick by my claim that a majority of humans accept the bible as basically an historical document, like a diary or a letter or a newspaper cutting

And more recent arcahaealogy and historical investigations continue to confirm it. Like all prehistory, no one can verify every word but it can be sketched out from evidences available.The real cities of troy and asia minor have been rediscovered as have many of those in the middle east

For example historians have now plotted the voyage of jason and the argonauts, using real topographical features compared with those in the story.  It is now considered an historical rahter than a mythological story But probably it is based on a variety of voyages and ongoing trade, and has additional bits added in to spice it up. The bible is like that. All the time more discoveries prove the old stories, places, and people to have been real. I dont know one case which has been disproved or proven to be untrue.
It is not a history, but it is historically accurate in its descriptions of people placess cities rulers and many  of the events albeit seen through the eyes of the writers..The jewish people prided them selves on an historical perspective and it was very important in genealogical terms. Thus they wrote history as they saw and understood it, and as accurately as they could.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#52    Mr Walker

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:46 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 26 February 2013 - 07:00 PM, said:

The evidence that Jesus even existed hangs by the slimmest of threads.  There is no record of anyone ever saying they met him, saw him, talked to him, etc.  Not even St. Paul who lived in Jerusalem at the same time, ever spoke of him before the "vision" on the road.  But Papias said he heard John the Apostle speak and Irenaeus makes the same claim for Origen.  Papias also says he talked to the daughters of Philip.  So we have a little evidence that two of the Apostles were real.  And if Apostles were real, we presume there was a leader.  And that presumption is the whole case for a "historical" Jesus.
Doug

There is a bit more to it than that. Local people were following christ and seting up shrines to him which later in history were made into major christian shrines. Within a decade or two of his death, ie 50 AD there were historically known christian churches around the area. In the same time frame christians were becoming a nuisance in rome and that is publicly recorded. A religion does not spring up in a local area, among people who could easilty deny the existence of its main character if that character never lived there. Rather, the growth of the religion from a central location outwards, tends to verify its beginnngs with one teacher.

Paul was persecuting existing "christian jews" before his own conversion, meaning they were in existence quite  soon after christs death date

PAul met christ's brother and at least one of his direct apostles, unless you also begin to debate the historicity of paul  and his  writings.. There is absolutely no cause to doubt the existence of a human person we know as  christ, who was very much as described in the gospels and who was a preacher teacher and healer..  At least one of the gospels was almost certainly written by an eyewitness to some of the events in them, and certainly within the potential lifetime of such witness.

Doubt only begins because of the unique and incredible claims about him, which is an entirely different question.

Edited by Mr Walker, 27 February 2013 - 09:48 AM.

You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world..

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

#53    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:00 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 27 February 2013 - 09:46 AM, said:

There is a bit more to it than that. Local people were following christ and seting up shrines to him which later in history were made into major christian shrines. Within a decade or two of his death, ie 50 AD there were historically known christian churches around the area. In the same time frame christians were becoming a nuisance in rome and that is publicly recorded. A religion does not spring up in a local area, among people who could easilty deny the existence of its main character if that character never lived there. Rather, the growth of the religion from a central location outwards, tends to verify its beginnngs with one teacher.
I am not doubting that there were Christians from early times.  Nor do I doubt that something gave rise to the legend.  All I am saying is that there is a dearth of evidence.  I would like to see the archeological reports on those shrines if you know where to find them.  Also, references in historical writings would be very helpful in establishing dates.

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Paul was persecuting existing "christian jews" before his own conversion, meaning they were in existence quite  soon after christs death date

PAul met christ's brother and at least one of his direct apostles, unless you also begin to debate the historicity of paul  and his  writings.. There is absolutely no cause to doubt the existence of a human person we know as  christ, who was very much as described in the gospels and who was a preacher teacher and healer..  At least one of the gospels was almost certainly written by an eyewitness to some of the events in them, and certainly within the potential lifetime of such witness.
The gospels are not reliable sources.  Matthew and Mark were most-likely written during the Bar Kochba Rebellion, about 100 years after Jesus.  Luke contains a reference to "most excellent Felix."  The only Roman official we know of named Felix was appointed Prefect of Egypt in 151 AD.  Luke is addressed to "most excellent Theophilus," the Patriarch of Antioch from about 169 to 183 AD.  Historians argue about whether it was Theophilus or Irenaeus who first reported the Book of John by name (about 180 AD).  The Book of Acts likewise makes reference to Theophilus.

Linguists tell us that Luke and Acts were written by the same author - I see no reason to doubt that.  Acts is, basically, a sequel to Luke.

As for Paul:  I didn't mean to imply that I believe the biblical description is accurate.  "Paul" could well be Apolonius of Tyana.  Certainly there are an embarassing number of similarities in the two men.  How would you go about establishing that "Paul" was not a legend based on Apolonius?

In short, there is a 150-year gap between the death of Jesus and a solid reference to the gospels.  While John, Philip and Jesus most-likely were real people, we cannot truthfully say that we know anything more about them than that.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 27 February 2013 - 02:10 PM.

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#54    Paranoid Android

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:15 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 27 February 2013 - 02:00 PM, said:

The gospels are not reliable sources.  Matthew and Mark were most-likely written during the Bar Kochba Rebellion, about 100 years after Jesus.  Luke contains a reference to "most excellent Felix."  The only Roman official we know of named Felix was appointed Prefect of Egypt in 151 AD.  Luke is addressed to "most excellent Theophilus," the Patriarch of Antioch from about 169 to 183 AD.  Historians argue about whether it was Theophilus or Irenaeus who first reported the Book of John by name (about 180 AD).  The Book of Acts likewise makes reference to Theophilus.

Linguists tell us that Luke and Acts were written by the same author - I see no reason to doubt that.  Acts is, basically, a sequel to Luke.
Your guesstimates do not match the current historical consensus.  While I understand that almost anything in Ancient History can be debated from several points of view, it seems that most historians who study this believe Mark t have been written circa 70 AD, Matthew and Luke circa 80 AD (Luke possibly later even still), and John between 90-125 AD.  And by "most" historians I don't mean only the Christian ones.  Some of the Christian apologists would have you believe that Mark was completed before 65 AD, and John possibly as early as 80 AD.  Some have even tried arguing Matthew to have been written in 48 AD (I don't recall where I read that, though the rest of the dates I used are found all over the web, but THIS SITE has been of particular use to me over the past couple of years).

I don't know how historians begin to date texts, not being an historian myself, but for the most part if the historians universally accept the canonical gospels between 70-125 AD (Mark being the earliest, John the latest - with the hypothetical missing Q document dated to around 50 AD) then I'm going to stick with the scholarly consensus rather than the extreme scepticism of the fringe historical community.

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#55    third_eye

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:08 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 27 February 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

Your guesstimates do not match the current historical consensus.  While I understand that almost anything in Ancient History can be debated from several points of view, it seems that most historians who study this believe Mark t have been written circa 70 AD, Matthew and Luke circa 80 AD (Luke possibly later even still), and John between 90-125 AD.  And by "most" historians I don't mean only the Christian ones.  Some of the Christian apologists would have you believe that Mark was completed before 65 AD, and John possibly as early as 80 AD.  Some have even tried arguing Matthew to have been written in 48 AD (I don't recall where I read that, though the rest of the dates I used are found all over the web, but THIS SITE has been of particular use to me over the past couple of years).

I don't know how historians begin to date texts, not being an historian myself, but for the most part if the historians universally accept the canonical gospels between 70-125 AD (Mark being the earliest, John the latest - with the hypothetical missing Q document dated to around 50 AD) then I'm going to stick with the scholarly consensus rather than the extreme scepticism of the fringe historical community.

Appreciate the solid link provided :tu:

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#56    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 05:41 PM

View PostParanoid Android, on 27 February 2013 - 03:15 PM, said:

Your guesstimates do not match the current historical consensus.
I realize this.  There have been so many wild guesses and poorly-researched articles written that none can be trusted.  One must look up the references to see that they actually say what the authors claim.  One must have both evidence and a line of reasoning concerning that evidence.  Without both, the author has nothing to contribute.

I am trying to determine what the evidence says; not what this or that "authority" says.  The evidence for Matthew and Mark having been written about 132-135 AD is pretty solid (The "abomination in a high place" is a reference to the Temple of Jupiter on Temple Mount built by the Roman Tenth Legion in 131 and the boar's-head statue that was their symbol.  The story of the 2000 pigs all but names the Tenth Legion in a day when sedition was a capital crime, punishable by crucifxion or worse.).  The evidence for Luke and John in 160 to 180 is less so (We can't be certain that there wasn't some other person named "Felix" or "Theophilus" around to write about and/or to, but enough of these references would make the date highly probable.).

Another part of the problem is the gospels, themselves.  We have to rely on references to events that may have occurred at other times than those claimed, or may be later redactions.  The gospels we have may be (ARE in at least one case) contaminated by later copyists and redactors.  The problem with determining what actually happened is mostly later writers who thought they knew what actually happened.

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I used are found all over the web, but THIS SITE has been of particular use to me over the past couple of years.
Early Christian Writings is an excellent site.  They have the best available translatsions (often several) for many ancient works.  Also, they only present the writings and metadata.  They do not offer interpretations which saves one from having to wade through pages of irrelevant babble.

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I don't know how historians begin to date texts,
I am using a technique called cross-dating.  Basically, you find a reference to an event or person in several different writings and match them up.  This, of course, means you have to use historical, often non-Christian, writings to provide the cross-dates.  Details like who was Emperor, governor, king... did this or that building exist, etc. become very important.  Also what is not mentioned is often important:  no mention of a particular battle probably means the battle hadn't happened yet.  Conversely, mention of the destruction of the Temple dates the piece to after 70 AD when the Temple was destroyed.  Get enough dates from different sources, then just line them up.  There's really no mystery to how its done.

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if the historians universally accept the canonical gospels between 70-125 AD (Mark being the earliest, John the latest
Historians are by no means universal in this opinion.  I found an article in "The Journal of Higher Criticism" that laid out the case for the 132-135 dates.

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- with the hypothetical missing Q document dated to around 50 AD)
The Q document is a logical disaster.  It is a doctrine, not even a hypothesis.  The Book of Matthew is much longer than the Book of Mark.  You can find almost all, maybe all, the details mentioned by Mark in Matthew.  Logically, Mark used Matthew as a source.  But if you want Mark to be written first, you have to have a source for Mark to obtain his "facts" from.  The solution:  assume another document.  So without any evidence to support the idea, the Q document was invented.

We know there were other documents around at the time - we even have some fragments and quotations from them.  But a document that fills in the details missing in Mark so that Matthew can copy them has nothing to support it.

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then I'm going to stick with the scholarly consensus rather than the extreme scepticism of the fringe historical community.
You should be very careful that the "scholarly opinion" you're sticking with has been rigorously tested (Much of it hasn't.).

I don't expect you or anybody else to accept my opinions from what I have written here - you shouldn't.  That would be bad scholarship.  By the same token, I won't accept yours, at least not until I can check them.  To provide my observations and reasoning would take hundreds of pages - literally.  I hope to write this all up someday, but that looks to be long way away at the moment.  In the meantime, maybe one of us will come up with an idea worth pursuing.
Doug

Edited by Doug1o29, 27 February 2013 - 05:48 PM.

If I have seen farther than other men, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants. --Bernard de Chartres
The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#57    scowl

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:12 PM

View PostMr Walker, on 27 February 2013 - 09:33 AM, said:

Over half the worlds population are either christian or muslim.

And you honestly believe that none of these Christians or Muslims have any doubts about the historical accuracy of the BIble and Quran?

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Th t is because it has been confirmed  through over a hundred years of archaeology hence i stick by my claim that a majority of humans accept the bible as basically an historical document, like a diary or a letter or a newspaper cutting

You are misinformed. As I said before there is an organization that has done nothing but search for evidence of King David. They've found next to nothing. They've searched for Solomon's temple. They haven't found it. They've searched for the Kingdom of Israel as described in the Bible. They've found a collection of cities in Canaan and only a few proved to be Jewish cities (the rest had pig bones in their dumps).

And as I said before, Solomon's alliance with Egypt would have been in recorded Egyptian history. It's not because it's completely fabricated.

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And more recent arcahaealogy and historical investigations continue to confirm it. Like all prehistory, no one can verify every word but it can be sketched out from evidences available.The real cities of troy and asia minor have been rediscovered as have many of those in the middle east

Which "recent arcahaealogy [sic] and historical investigations" are you referring to?

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For example historians have now plotted the voyage of jason and the argonauts, using real topographical features compared with those in the story.  It is now considered an historical rahter than a mythological story

So if Jason and Argonauts is true... then the BIble must be true too? That's your most persuasive argument?


#58    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 06:43 PM

View Postscowl, on 27 February 2013 - 06:12 PM, said:

So if Jason and Argonauts is true... then the BIble must be true too? That's your most persuasive argument?
Careful there.  Turns out that many parts of the Argosy are true.  It's a set of sailing directions for the Aegean.

By the same token, parts of the Bible are true.  The question is:  which parts?
Doug

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The beginning of knowledge is the realization that one doesn't and cannot know everything.
Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance. --Hippocrates
Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#59    SpiritWriter

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:23 PM

View PostMag357, on 25 February 2013 - 06:35 PM, said:

One thing's for certain. Whether if you believe in the bible or not, It seems to have some attraction to people
like bugs to light because it's got everyone talking about it.

Yep there's something about it....

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#60    SpiritWriter

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 07:35 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 26 February 2013 - 05:22 PM, said:


I grant that I have a problem with the more-fundamentalist style of Christianity.  I used to be one, but became disillusioned with the hypocrisy and the total lack of objective support for what they were saying.

Amen.

There are many generous, tolerant and loving Christians out there, just the same as there are many generous, tolerant and loving Muslims, Jews, etc.  I know some.  I even work for a fundamentalist Baptist who is one of the finest people I know.  But unfortunately, you are all being painted by the same brush.

How do Christians show the world that they are not the evil monsters they appear to be?
First, drop the arrogance.  A church is just another club, no more deserving of special legal status than any other.  Get rid of the tax-exempt status on church property.  The churches want fire, police, water and other publicly financed services, but don't want to pay for them.  Keeping that privelege just tells the rest of the world that Christians think they are better than others.

Same thing with Federal income taxes.  In the land where church and state are separate, the IRS judges who is a church and who isn't.  If tax-exempt status is not to be accorded to evryone, then somebody has to do this.  The solution is to abolish the special category for church income.  Allow truly non-profit organizations to keep their non-profit status, provided they meet the other requirements.

How would you, as a Christian, feel about paying for services used by atheists?  Why, then, do you want atheists to pay for the services you use?

Commit to a life of service.  Make the world better.  Building a church is just building a monument to yourselves.  Use that money to feed the hungry and house the homeless.  Instead of sitting in church, go plant trees, or serve in a soup kitchen or plant a garden.  Do God's work.  Don't just talk about it - do it.

If Christians spent as much time helping others as they spent trying to convert them, the world would all be Christian and the Kingdom of God would be near at hand.
Doug

I agree but would hope there could be a way to determine what percent was going to charity work as charity shouldnt be taxed. I believe this was the purpose initially its just unfortinate ppl make a business out of it.




The letter kills but The Spirit gives life. 2 Corinthians 3:6

Non-ambiguity and non-contradiction are one sided and thus unsuited to express the incomprehensible. -Jung




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