Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Readers, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving and that you are able to spend time with people that you love and for whom you are indeed thankful.  As we get time off work, and many will gather together to "give thanks" this month, let's be sure to show our gratitude and appreciation to those that indeed are due our thanks.  And let's make sure we consider what it is we truly should be thankful to others for and not just give shallow thanks for the fruits of our labor.

For example, I get a sick, almost sad feeling in my gut when I hear Christians thanking the Creator of the Universe, for material blessings they possess.  "Thank you God for this Grammy Award." "Praise Jesus for my new car." "First and Foremost I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing me to succeed at football." This type of shallow showing of gratitude to the Creator God totally disregards those who actually made their possessions possible, while also neglecting those that do not have those blessings.  

Let me explain.  Why should a Christian be thankful to God for "shoes on my feet" and a "roof overhead" when millions of people are homeless, barefoot and starving all over this country and all over this world.  Pretty shallow isn't it? Pastors like to say if God doesn't punish America for its sins, he owes an apology to Sodom and Gomorrah.  Exactly. It applies here too. If God is giving Americans shoes and shelter and financial and material wealth and blessing their health, he owes a huge apology to all those children in the cancer wards all over the world, and to all those starving children.  Shouldn't we be praying for those with Downs Syndrome and Autism and Alzheimer's and their caregivers?  Why "pray for them" when God knows about it already and has chosen not to help?  It makes no sense.  And those little children whose daddy or pastor will sexually abuse them tonight, should they be thankful for God's protection and provisions?  Do we ignore reality and then sincerely be thankful for our shoes and roof over our head?  This is really sick, shallow Christianity.

But that's not even the worst part about this "shallow" giving of thanks to God for shoes and shelter and health and food.  The real delusion is that God didn't give you any of those things anyway.  You worked and earned the money. You worked hard. For long hours. Day after day. Year after year. Laboring. To earn money to buy shoes for yourself.  To provide a roof over your head. To pay for your education. To provide these needs to loved ones that relied on you. So if you want to be thankful for your shoes, thank your boss for the job.  Did you thank your boss for hiring you? Or did you just praise Jesus for your paycheck?  Be grateful you made the decision to go to work instead of commit a crime. Take responsibility not just for your failings and screw-ups, but for your successes too.  If God can get the credit for everything we ever did right, then why doesn't he get any blame for anything that is wrong? It's our fault when we fail, it's his blessings when we succeed?  Tell that to the kids and their parents in the cancer wards; and to starving, abused and neglected children everywhere. God loves them alright, but helping that nice man score a touchdown, or getting the nice singer a Grammy is more important.  They even point up to the sky to let everyone know what God is doing for them.

And what about your career?  Why thank the Creator, when you likely got that job because of the education and degree you earned at college.  I'm thankful to the University of Florida for my degree that allowed me to earn money to buy shoes for me and my family and put a very nice roof over their heads. We never were short on food due to the salary I was able to earn after graduation.
Thank you to my professors. Go Gators!  But I don't thank God for my degree. I know how much it cost me financially (years and years of student loan debt to be repaid) and mentally (hours and hours for years and years of studying) and sacrificially (over 16 years in school to get a graduate degree). So when I graduated, I appreciated people congratulating me and not giving all thanks and credit to God. And how offensive to think God cares about me getting my diploma and intervenes to help to make it happen, while the child gets abducted and the Christian gets beheaded?

And thank you to my mom and dad. They cared for me the best they could under their circumstances. They provided food and shelter and shoes and love. I'm not going to insult my dad and God by thanking God for something my dad labored hard to provide me.  Who am I kidding? They both know who provided the shoes. I know the sacrifices my mom made for my benefit.

And thank you to the USA! They provide social security and disability payments to the sick and elderly. They provide food to the poor, a free education, police protection, parks, roads, hospitals, health care, national defense, and on and on.  And thank you to our veterans on this Veterans Day! They are the ones we should be thanking for our freedom. Not God.  You need only watch a video of Christians getting their heads chopped off to know what God is doing in that regard.  Nothing. Right? Or am I missing something?

Now, I am thankful to the Creator for his creation, the sunrise and sunset, the birds and animals and trees and ocean and mountains and the life he created here.  But I just can't thank him for my shoes and roof over my head when I know he didn't provide that to me anyway, and I know he isn't concerned with that when millions of his children are barefoot, homeless, being abused, starving, in poverty, work in sweatshops, are pawns in sex trafficking and are dying all over the globe.  It's shallow. It's insincere. And it's not real.  So I encourage you to give thanks to those that have invested their time, money, emotions and lives in you. Your mom and dad, friends, doctors, nurses, teachers, spouses, and children.  That will be a great encouragement to them on this Thanksgiving.  Don't patronize the Creator God by thanking him for your shoes while turning a blind and delusional eye to all those that don't have the health and wealth you created for yourself.  Yes, ours is a great country with much to be thankful for.  None of which was provided by the supernatural hand of God, but by the innovation, creativity, hard work, love and service of those that toiled and made it happen before us.  Be thankful you were born here and not in Ethiopia.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Ripberger said...

You and Stephan Pastis must think alike on this issue. :)

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.

Ramesh said...

Wishing everyone of the readers of this blog a happy Thanksgiving.

I just want to add this link about the true origins of Thanksgiving: The True Story Of Thanksgiving | Richard Greener.

For a truly mind blowing concept of Church and what we are thankful for the Source that animates us: Upside Down Church Through Inside Out Christianity | Wade Burleson.

Jeremy Choate said...

I'm trying to understand how it's "patronizing" to God to follow the teaching of 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Using this logic, I should withhold gratitude from my parents for giving me a new bicycle when I was 8-years old, because they didn't also give one to my sister. How does God's will for someone else's life have anything to do with my moral obligation to be grateful for the things that God has provided to me?

I have breath in my lungs, right now. Should I not thank God for allowing me to take another breath simply because thousands of other people are taking their last, at this very moment?

The attitude of, "God didn't do that! I did that!" is petulant, at best. We do nothing apart from the grace of God. Without His sustaining grace, we would be annihilated, instantly, yet we have the arrogance to claim that we do anything, on our own.

Yes. God has a morally sufficient reason to allow suffering in the world, but His permitting moral evil to occur doesn't give us license to be ungrateful of the fact that none of that evil is happening to us, right now. Thank you, God, that You have allowed me to be born in a place where my greatest concern is in which of the hundred fast-food joints in a one-mile stretch will I defile myself, today.

My circumstances may not always be this easy, and when they aren't, I hope I'm mature enough in Christ to thank Him in those times, as well.

Sure. Whenever I hear an athlete thank God for scoring a touchdown, there's a part of me that thinks about how easy our lives are, in America. But, I'm not disgusted with the athlete for giving thanks -- I'm more incensed at those who live in such circumstances and complain, because they don't have more. I think your disdain is misplaced.

“In light of heaven, the worst suffering on earth will be seen to be no more serious than one night in an inconvenient hotel.” -- Teresa of Avila

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy - Glad to see you are back again and still reading. Let me try and help you understand. It's not patronizing to follow 1 Thessalonians 5:18. I never said that. My point is that we should be thankful to God for that which God does indeed give us. Breath and life for sure. But not shoes, or touchdowns or Grammy awards or diplomas or new cars or parking spaces. That's patronizing and sick. He did not give you those things and you know it. And if he did, He is one sick Creator to help one guy win a Grammy while neglecting the other guy who is about to get his head cut off. And what kind of God would put shoes on your feet and a roof over YOUR head, while neglecting the other millions of his children? It wouldn't be fair and it wouldn't be just and it wouldn't be loving. So rather then criticize God for being this way, I'd rather criticize those that wrongly characterize God as being so shallow.

Theologians try and explain that "God has a morally sufficient reason to allow suffering and permit evil", that's nonsense. What reason allows a man to abduct an innocent little girl, rape her repeatedly and then kill her body and stuff it in a dumpster as happened here in Jacksonville in recent years. What morally sufficient reason allows God to help Tim Tebow score a touchdown, yet fails to help the millions of kids with Autism. What theological mumbo jumbo says God blesses you with a raise at your job, while allowing millions to suffer from Alzheimer? That's not the God any of us love and serve. Instead, that's the one Western Christians have created. "I'm blessed, I'm blessed, I'm blessed" Tammy Faye Bakker would sing. "Who cares about all the other people that are not blessed, at least I'm rich." I'm not buying it. And no philosophical or theological mumbo jumbo will convince me that God thinks this is just and fair. Sure, I get the arguments being made, but no, I'm not buying them.

And as for your Teresa Avila quote, IF true, that makes my point once again. God is not providing you shoes, or a roof over your head, or healing autism, or helping you win Grammy's or score touchdowns because even the suffering you would have without them is but one night in an inconvenient hotel." That type of thinking indeed does make sense to me. So, again, let's stop giving God delusional and shallow praise for stuff.

Last thing, you reason that if your parents give you a bike you should be thankful, even if they didn't also give one to your sister. Correct. I agree. However, if you got a job mowing lawns, sweated in the hot sun day after day to earn money, saved your money, denied yourself other things, and finally bought your own bike, then why give praise and thanks to your parents for the bike? This not only raises the question of why your parents gave only you a bike and not your sister, (which is neither loving or fair) but it also shows you are giving thanks to the wrong source for your bike. Which was the point of my post. :)

bobfelton said...


Ditto. I, for one, have heard enough about the god of narcissistic, self-absorbed children, and don't want anything to do with him.


Kathi said...

What a breath of fresh air! It's good to know I'm not alone in the world when it comes to thoughts like this.

Along the same line of giving thanks for material things...While on a trip my driver prayed to God to help find a parking spot. All I could think was why would God care about helping you find a parking spot? Keep driving around until you find one!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I've had three eye surgeries since July to try and save my eyesight from a detached retina. I appreciated people telling me that they were praying for me. But I can honestly say I didn't ask God to save my eyesight. Each time I went to the surgery room, before the anethesiologist put me under, I told the doc thanks for trying to save my eyesight, and that I have faith in him to do the job. He seemed a bit surprised, and said the first time "Sure, it is what I do".

As I am recovering, and face another surgery next year to remove the silicon oil after the retina has healed, I have had an overwhelming sense of gratitude for our medical system and the incredible technology and the training of my doctor and his years of training and experience, realizing these are what give me a chance to regain my eyesight.

So I don't mind if people pray for me, and I appreciate their prayers as they do so out of genuine love and care for me. But if my eye is eventually healed and I think it will be, I will thank my doctor and the professionals and the hospitals I've gone to. And if not, I won't blame them, I will thank them for their efforts.

Anonymous said...

I thank God that I don't have to spend Thanksgiving with Tom Rich

Jeremy Choate said...

I don't really have the time, today, for a point-by-point fisking, so just to get the ball rolling, let me address this point:

"Theologians try and explain that "God has a morally sufficient reason to allow suffering and permit evil", that's nonsense."

I don't see my statement as controversial. Does God allow suffering, or does He not? Suffering and evil occur. That much we agree on. So, if you believe that God exists, you are forced to believe that either He, Himself, is evil, or He is completely unconcerned with the affairs of men and lets the world rock on as it will. Regardless, in both cases, God is allowing suffering and evil to occur -- the latter by divine neglect and the former by active agency.

What other alternative do you propose?

The argument from evil is an emotionally powerful argument for the skeptic, but it's logically unpersuasive. In order to demonstrate that the God of Christianity doesn't exist, the skeptic (or progressive theist) must prove a couple of things. First, they must prove that the suffering we see and experience serves no ultimate purpose, whatsoever. I think this is utterly impossible for creatures who are as infinitesimally limited in time, space, and knowledge as human beings are. We have no idea what purpose the evil that we suffer, today, will ultimately serve.

Second, they must prove that God's ultimate end for human beings is comfort and happiness, and a deviation from such an end is proof of non-existence. There is simply nothing, either in our experience or in scripture, that would give us any indication that God's aim for us is comfort and happiness. On the contrary, scripture and our experience should lead us to believe the opposite. If Christ was destined to suffer as He did, who are we to expect different, regardless of what Smiley-Boy Osteen and Creflo Dollar tell us?

People often use the father-child analogy to contextualize the relationship between God and man, but all analogies have their limitations. It's true that I would never stand by and allow my child to be brutally killed, but there is an infinite chasm between my understanding of suffering and God's understanding of suffering. To me, the death of my child is the most horrific thing I can imagine, because I have no eternal perspective against which to juxtapose it.

The Teresa of Avila quote touches upon this idea. From the perspective of Earth, murder, rape, and torture are some of the most heinous things we can imagine. From the perspective of eternity, they are infinitely diminished. From the perspective of an eternity with God, we would gladly endure 1,000 times the suffering if it means spending an eternity in His glory.

To my three-year old, being forced to pick up his toys and being punished if he refuses, is absolutely the most horrible suffering that he can endure. For those of us who are adults, we recognize that such "suffering" is not even worth complaining about.

If such a difference in perspectives exists between man and child, imagine the unfathomable gulf of distance between the perspectives of God and man.

God is sovereign, and to say that He knows better than I is the understatement of eternity. Like Job, where was I when He laid the foundations of the world and wrote the story of my life? As such, to rail against Him (or create a false idol who seems more "fair" and call it "God") isn't even an option.

I'm just thankful He didn't kill me in my sleep, last night, for all the evil things I've thought, said, and done....last week.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Lol!! I'm glad you don't either!!! Thank you Lord!!!!

Anonymous said...


I have followed your blog since I attended FBC Jax for one year as a freshman at college at Jacksonville University. For the most part, I have appreciated your insight. However, over the last few months, the tone has changed. This is not a bait, "gotcha" question, but a sincere inquiry to help me decide my patronage of your blog - do you still considered yourself a "Christian." While I know that is a loaded question (and loaded) term, the reason I ask is that I sense you moving to a more agnostic/deistic position regarding your beliefs.

If I am wrong, please correct me, but understand that this is not a critique (though I think this post is a little off the mark).



bobfelton said...

JC, Do you notice that your argument amounts, mostly, to no more than the bland assertion that it's all a very great mystery beyond our puny comprehension?

I see one, and a partial, exception to that observation: first, that business about whether god is active or passive. You clearly are assuming omniscience and omnipotence there. What grounds do you have for such an assumption? Besides, I mean, that some ancient anonymous goatherders, of even punier comprehension of their world than we, thought so. Do you have any actual facts? Actual evidence?

Remember Hume's principle: A man should proportion his belief to the evidence.

Second, you contend that the argument from evil obliges the skeptic to demonstrate (a) that suffering doesn't fulfill some purpose unknown to us, and (b) that god intends for us to be happy.

These are both, once again, appeals to mystery -- and it is you who has the burden of doing better if you expect to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

I thankful that Tom does not teach theology in one of our seminaries.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You should be thankful. Seminaries can't afford to let clear thinking, level-headed arguments to be presented that destroy basic premises of their religion.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Derek, absolutely, still a Christian. However most of my Christian friends believe I am not a Christian any longer based on my recent posts. But I'm the same guy with faith, but just a much wiser and sane faith. No longer a religious zealot. It is wonderful to be free from religious fundamentalism and all of that nonsense taught in most fundy churches.

This blog post strikes right at the heart of some of the most fundamental beliefs held by fundies.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for responding, and not mistaking my post as an "attack." I do not doubt your assertion that you are a follower of Jesus. However, I am concerned about the attitude fostered by this understanding of thankfulness. As a Quaker (converted from Baptist and Church of Christ), I recognize the prevalence of evil in this world, and attempt to alleviate suffering when and where I can. I also recognize that God does not prevent evil from occurring (whether by divine choice or because of inability a la lack of omnipotence, omniscience, etc.). However, I do not think that gives me any pause about expressing gratefulness at the blessings I have in my life.

Perhaps this is a quirk of Quaker theology, but regardless of whether God actively guided the hands of the surgeon who operated on your eyes, or merely planted a seed of compassion and a desire to learn medicine in the life of your surgeon, however many years ago - I would be thankful that the person followed his dreams/desires (what we call Inner Light), and allowed him to express his God-given gifts through his service to you. Does this make sense?


Tom Kelley said...

Jeremy Choate said...
"What other alternative do you propose?"

Indeed. Nailed it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Derek, makes complete sense. I think you and I are saying the same thing from different perspectives. i am grateful for his skills and passion and the capitalistic society that enables him to earn money in proportion to the effort he out into his profession. I just don't necessarily give God credit first and foremost. I certainly thank god he designed this body to be able to heal. But it won't heal on its own. It takes my surgeon.

Corbin Martinez said...


Jeremy Choate said...


I don't think your objection is really pertinent to the discussion, at hand. You said:

"JC, Do you notice that your argument amounts, mostly, to no more than the bland assertion that it's all a very great mystery beyond our puny comprehension?"

I don't see this as a logical problem. Some things actually do elude our puny comprehension, and I'm not even referring to supernatural phenomena.

For example, we know that some ancient group of people constructed the monument at Stonehenge. We have no idea, whatsoever, as to who those people were or what their purpose in building it was. However, our failure to understand everything about a given subject doesn't disqualify all knowledge we have about it. Just because we don't understand the origin or the purpose of Stonehenge (and likely never will), that doesn't therefore lead us to believe that no one built it -- that it just appeared as the result of chance + time + erosion.

My argument was simply this:

P1: God exists.
P2: Suffering and evil occur.
C: God must, therefore, have a morally sufficient reason for allowing suffering and evil to occur.

I don't know what further evidence you require. If you accept the first two premises, the conclusion logically follows. It seems, though, that your objection is wrapped up in the definition of the word, "God." Whereas, the God in my argument is omniscient and omnipotent, you seem to be entertaining the idea that if God exists, perhaps He isn't all-knowing and all-powerful. Suffering and evil occurs, not because He allows it, but because He had no way to foresee that such a state of affairs would come about as the result of His creative act.

In other words, God is the cosmic Mr. Bean, and we are all suffering as the result of His unfathomable stupidity.

With regard to evidence that God is not limited in His future knowledge, we can only go on what He has revealed about Himself through His word. Apart from scripture, I think it's certainly more plausible than not that a God who transcends the universe (time, space, matter, and energy) would not be constrained by the limitations of the very thing He created. The "future" is contingent upon time -- an entity that God created. I find it difficult to believe that the created constrains the Creator. It would be like Hamlet abandoning his desire to avenge his father's death and returning to school in Wittenburg -- and Shakespeare is utterly unable to see it coming.

On the question of God's perfect knowledge, the open theist doesn't escape a burden of proof, either.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wow. Great illustration of theological mental gymnastics. No wonder we have soooo many religions and denominations all explaining why they are the only true one. It need not be so complicated. I'm just not thanking the Creator for my shoes. Or praying and asking him to heal autism and protect children from rape.

bobfelton said...

JC, You acknowledge you assumed that God is omniscient and omnipotent, as I thought you had. Good. My question to you remains unanswered: What grounds do you have for such an assumption? "Well, a bunch of Bronze Age anonymities said so" is no answer; after all, the guys who wrote those texts may have been ancient analogs to a pack of drunk college boys who just wanted to see what they could get away with.

Where's your evidence?

Tom Kelley said...

" theological mental gymnastics" ...

Interesting, coming from one who claims their faith is now "much wiser and sane." What wisdom and sanity is there in rejecting logic and reason? Isn't that exactly what the "fundies" you rail against do?

Ramesh said...

This is a very interesting discussion.

From my own experience prayer has not worked from what I can see. But there are profound changes within me as I pray and long after I pray. So I mainly see prayer as for my own inner transformation than for any external benefits.

For anyone interested in a wider understanding of the scope of religion, beliefs and myth, please look up: The Power Of Myth by Bill Moyer's interviews of Joseph Campbell.

BTW if your faith in Christ is weak please don't read the above.

Serena763 said...

I agree with you Dog. It rains on the just and unjust alike. We lost my husband's daughter to a car accident 6 years ago. We are thankful for the time we had and the three beautiful daughters we have now. It wasn't God who killed her or refused to save was the ex wife's drugged up fiance who left them all to drown while he saved himself. We've worked hard to overcome and financially rebuild. Other people have it worse and have lost much more...I am thankful we can now help those who have it worse...As good Christians are supposed to. Not praying for a touchdown. Ugh.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Serena, hanks for sharing your story. Those who have gone through traumatic family pain and loss I think understand. God is not involved in touchdowns or parking spots. So shallow and fake.

Anonymous said...

If God the father and Jesus are the same then can't we see what God is like by looking at Jesus? Jesus always showed compassion for the downtrodden and sick of the world so can't we look at that and say God is the same. If true then why does God seem to ignore such evil and suffering? Did Jesus ignore pain and suffering when exposed to it?

Jeremy Choate said...


You seem to think that God is only involved in "big" events, and that small events are beneath His intervention, but I'm not sure if you can qualify what God considers a "big" event, and what He considers a "small" event. Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect? One seemingly insignificant event triggers a chain of events leading to something infinitely more significant.

I'll give you a personal story to illustrate the point.

When I was a baby Christian, my wife and I lost our jobs three weeks before our wedding. When we returned from our honeymoon, to say that we were broke would be an incredible understatement. In order to pay the bills, I took a job as a correctional officer. That same month, I started engineering school.

The problem was that the Department of Corrections pays its employees only once per month, and it was a good three weeks before the next payday. I went to school, one day, and when I arrived, I realized that I wouldn't have enough fuel to get me the 45 miles back home. At this time, I was learning radical trust in God. On my way into class, I prayed that God would somehow get me the fuel to get home and trusted that He would come through.

When I came out of class, no miracle had happened. My fuel tank was just as low as before I prayed. However, I felt very strongly that I needed to trust God and begin the journey home. If I ran out of gas, so be it -- God would get me home, and if I broke down, certainly God had a plan for my inconvenience.

About half-way home, I was running on fumes and honestly beginning to sweat. I prayed, "Lord, if you're going to do something, now would be a good time." The miles passed. Finally, I looked down the interstate and saw a man walking along the side of the road. I felt very strongly that I needed to pick him up, so I did. I also felt very strongly that I should not mention anything about my fuel situation, so I didn't.

After a few more nervous miles, he leans over, looks at my gas gauge, and says, "You need some gas, bud. Why don't you get off at this next exit and let me fill your tank."

Now, that was a significant event in my Christian life -- one that I still tell, 15 years later. It's an experience that strengthened my faith, immensely, and helped me witness to this man after we got back on the road. While it was a significant event, think of all the seeming insignificant events that led to that encounter.

Had his rental car broken down only a few miles sooner -- had I stayed for that physics lab instead of going on home -- had I begged someone on campus for gas money, I never would've had that experience, and he may not have heard the Gospel.

The point of this story is that we simply do not have the scope in time, geography, or discernment to be able to discern what is a significant event, and what is not a significant event. If you believe that God is directly involved in the lives of His children, and you believe that He has a will to accomplish on Earth, then there are no such things as "insignificant events."

As such, it is beyond reasonable (and virtuous) to thank Him in ALL circumstances -- even in the ones that you deem as "petty," "fake," or "shallow." We simply have no idea the eternal effects that may be wrought as the result of a touchdown, an Academy Award, or even a new car. Every circumstance in life, even the ones in which your limited knowledge prevents you from seeing the purpose still work together to bring about God's ultimate will.

Jeremy Choate said...


We have no reason to believe that Jesus healed every single instance of pain and suffering that He encountered.

In fact, when the apostle Paul prayed that his "thorn in the flesh" be taken away from him, God chose not to do so, telling him that His grace was sufficient.

If no other verse demonstrates that God has a morally sufficient reason to allow pain and suffering, that passage does.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy, glad God got your gas for you while millions die of starvation and others get beheaded. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Jeremy Choate said...

That's the best you've got? Snark makes for a pitiful argument.

Your accusation is not against me. It's against God. You've allowed your offense against men to become an offense against God.

Your view of God is neither wiser nor more sane. It's just petulant.

Jeremy Choate said...

BTW,you missed the point of the story. The gas wasn't the goal. God providing me with gas, had a more eternal effect -- strengthening my own faith and providing an opportunity to share the Gospel with another person.

You and I have NO way of knowing the eternal impact of that seemingly insignificant event. If you can say with absolute certainty that it served no greater purpose, make your case.

Jeremy Choate said...

The best five minutes you'll likely spend, today:

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy - You didn't respond to my comment. You just called it snark and asked if that's the best I've got. And you criticize my "argument?" I'm not arguing. Just making observations. God saw a morally sufficient reason to keep you from running out of gas, but doesn't see the reason to stop the beheadings on the worldwide web. Wouldn't more people be saved by stopping that on the international web, then would be saved by giving one man gas? I don't think so.

So, my problem is not with God. It is with sinful, corrupt man. They are lying about God. Some do it for financial gain (according to the Bible) and others do it to manipulate people. And some do it because they are delusional and have been led astray by other men.

So either God is unjust, unloving, genocidal, arbitrary, and powerless OR religious men have been lying about him for centuries. I see the beauty of God's creation. I cherish the life he gives. So how can I have any problem with Him? No. My problem is with men lying about God. Mormon men. Jehovah Witness men. Catholic men. Baptist men. Non-denominational men. Cult leader men. They are lying about God. Saying he gives them health and wealth while finding sufficient reason, or ignoring, or pontificating theoretically about why, he allows beheadings, autism, sex trafficking, terrorism, and on and on.

I don't have to explain it, you religious adherents do. Good luck.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And Jeremy, your story once again proves MY point, not yours. Had your story told me that you drove for another 200 miles on empty, I would have to wonder if God supernaturally intervened. I would have guessed/supposed you simply bought more gas. Which you admit is what happened. Sheesh. People accuse me of straw man arguments. I don't need a straw man with people like you. Keep posting. You are illustrating my points without me needing to create a straw man.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy - Voddie Baucham? Really? LOL. He's just another of the SBC puppets that claims to know alot about God but can't/won't answer the simplest questions. Something about all of us being no damned good, and a talking snake, and eating an apple, and Satan, and...never mind. I hope you have more than that. A total waste of 5 minutes. But at least it explains where so many otherwise intelligent people are getting their nonsense. Paid professional clergymen who are towing the company line. He says not to talk philosophy unless you have more than one semester. I agree. And I will add, don't tell me about God when you are PAID to do so. If you really are "called" to tell the "truth" about God, then don't demand a salary to do so. Give your books away to help people. When you get paid to do it, your motives are in question. It's like McDonald's saying they are called to feed the hungry as a ministry. As long as they are making profits, we all know they have other motives. These showmen are paid handsomely to dish out this nonsense and a very small percentage of people are eating it up. Come and speak for free, Voddie, and then I might listen to you and respect what you have to say and why you are saying it.

bobfelton said...

JC, do you really not see what you are doing? You are asserting the existence of a supernatural being, without evidence, then vesting magical powers in that supernatural being, again without evidence, then pronouncing that supernatural being content with the world as it is.

What about the the theological problem you create for yourself -- Like, why bother helping your neighbor, if He is content that your neighbor suffers? Perhaps that is even a presumptuous, impious thing to do?

And, surely, it has occurred to you that the indecencies in Paris happened at the hands of people, who also believe without a scintilla of objective evidence, that *their* supernatural being thinks there is morally sufficient reason to kill people out for an evening of innocent entertainment?

When your beliefs aren't proportioned to the evidence -- anything goes.

You want to know why we can build vehicles that can travel safely to the moon, and return, but can't get through one lousy day without believers killing each other? Because every single step of an engineer's design has a pedigree of confirmed observations and analysis, and believer's have ... nothing but smug, self-satisfied certainty.

Jeremy Choate said...

"Jeremy - You didn't respond to my comment. You just called it snark and asked if that's the best I've got. And you criticize my "argument?" I'm not arguing. Just making observations."

Then, what was there to respond to? I engage actual arguments. I don't engage sarcasm and/or snark.

"God saw a morally sufficient reason to keep you from running out of gas, but doesn't see the reason to stop the beheadings on the worldwide web."

God certainly could've allowed me to run out of gas, if it would've served His greater purpose. Had I done so, perhaps it was so that I could be the one hitch-hiking and could've shared Christ with the person who picked me up -- a person whose life, up to that point, was filled with seemingly insignificant events that actually brought him to that appointed moment in time. A person who, as a result of that encounter, becomes a missionary that goes out and shares the Gospel with hundreds or thousands of unsaved people. That is eminently plausible. After all, the story of every great man of God starts with mundane events that you would deem as unworthy of God's consideration but that brought him to the critical moment when he became a new creature in Christ.

The thing that strikes me about your responses is your absolute (and arrogant) certainty that if an event doesn't meet YOUR level of significance, then it's stupid to think that God was involved, and you ridicule anyone who disagrees. Nevermind the fact that you offer no cogent argument in response. It's easy to ridicule and gainsay another person's argument -- it requires some effort to actually present an alternative view and defend it.

"So, my problem is not with God. It is with sinful, corrupt man. They are lying about God."

So, what is the truth about God? Is He Newton's watchmaker who has "wound up" the world and is letting it run without His intervention, or is He the sovereign deity who is intimately involved in His creation?

If it's the former, then you can thank Him or blame Him for nothing. He is uninvolved. As such, that nullifies Christianity, since the advent, life, death, and resurrection of Christ was a direct intervention into His creation to provide a way of reconciliation back to Him. If that suits you, then be intellectually honest -- declare yourself a deist, and we'll move on to actually getting you saved.

If it's the latter, then you MUST confront the question of why He is directly involved in some events in the world while staying His hand in others. You're certainly asking that question, but rather than tackling the question, you're leaving the question unexplored and ridiculing those who offer plausible logical explanations.

Me: God is sovereign and has a morally sufficient reason for allowing evil and suffering in the world, though in our limited time, geography, and knowledge, we cannot always discern what that reason might be, in any given circumstance.

You: God doesn't care about little stuff. You're a big, dumb dummy for thinking He does. (Continued -->)

Jeremy Choate said...

(--> Continued) As for your second response about strawman arguments, I don't think you understand what a strawman argument is. Google is your friend.

You seem to be suffering under the delusion that God is only involved on the Earth through supernatural means. The fact is, God rarely needs to perform miracles in order to accomplish His will upon the Earth. That's what His people are for.

You remind me of a story I once heard that while an amusing fiction, describes your viewpoint quite well:

A Godly woman lived next door to an atheist and annoyed him, frequently, with her loud prayers and praise to God. One day, he overheard her praying about a recent financial difficulty and asking God to provide so that she might be able to afford groceries, this week.

The atheist saw this as a prime opportunity to prove to her how ridiculous and misplaced her faith was. So, he went out and bought her a week's worth of groceries, put them on her doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran around the corner. When she opened the door, she began to loudly praise God for His providence. The smug atheist popped around the corner and chastised her saying, "Your God didn't provide these groceries to you -- I DID! Your God doesn't exist!"

At this revelation, she merely began praising God even more vociferously. Angered, the atheist responded, "Why are you still praising your imaginary sky daddy? I just proved to you that he doesn't exist!"

She responded, "I'm praising Him, because not only did He provide groceries for me, but He made the devil pay for them!"

Rather than me defending my position from your attacks, all the time, why don't you present YOUR view of God and His role in the world. Does God allow evil and suffering in the world?

Jeremy Choate said...

Your response to the Voddie video was exactly what I expected. You presented no argument against the content -- only the messenger. Pathetic.

Anonymous said...

Watched the ridiculous video. My thoughts: Circus showman. Snake oil salesman. Paid hireling. Wolf in sheep's clothing. Entertaining and gifted speaker.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like when I here people say their thoughts and prayers are with the people of Paris now. Exactly what thoughts and prayers? Are they praying that God will help the victims? If God is truly in control then do we have to ask him to help and if we don't ask will he help anyway? These are the questions I personally have about God that trouble me and sometime cause me to have doubts about a loving God and the reason for prayer. For someone to tell me about an answer to a trivial request being met by God and then to see others not getting really serious needs met bothers me. Dog, I think I am beginning to agree with you and see what you mean.

Jeremy Choate said...

Anonymous -- so, with regard to the content of the video, you've got nothing. Typical.

@bobfelton -- Bob, after 15 years of arguing with agnostics/atheists/skeptics, there's one truth I've come to accept. Never get in a pissing contest with someone who is only inviting you to one so that they can make fun of your junk.

I don't have the time or the energy to get into a full-blown defense of God's existence, today, so let me simply direct you to blog post I wrote for an atheist friend of mine who was genuinely interested in learning why I believe the way I do.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy - Once again, my salvation and "christianity" is called into question. Why can't I believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ without also believing in talking donkeys, killing disobedient children, raping virgins, God helping people score touchdowns while allowing beheadings, etc. etc. Don't you understand that is the position the atheists take? They reason that since I don't believe in the sun standing still, then I must also not believe in Jesus. I still don't understand why Christians think they have to take this same position to defend their indefensible doctrines. Sorry Jeremy. I'm a Christian. Trusting in Jesus for my salvation. Not believing he helps people find car keys while allowing millions of others to starve.

Jeremy Choate said...


If you'll read more carefully, you'll notice that I predicated my doubt of your salvation upon the admission that you are a deist. If you are not a deist, then praise God.

However, if you are not a deist, you are still left with the question of why do YOU believe that God is involved in some events in the world but not others.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Jeremy - I'm not trying to be smug or sarcastic in answer to your answer. And like you wrote to Bob Felton, I don't wish to further engage or argue with someone who has been arguing this stuff for 15 years. Here is my sincere answer to your question why I believe God is involved in some events but not others: Because He is involved in some events but not others. That's my answer. Too simple, I know.

He is not involved in saving people that are about to be beheaded. It's that simple. He is not involved in curing Autism, or Alzheimer's, or Down's Syndrome. So I don't thank him for that. I don't rely on him for that. He doesn't provide me shoes or a roof over my head. So I don't thank him for that. So we have come full circle to the purpose of my blog post. Thanks for reading.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Dear loving and gracious heavenly father, more killings in Paris. But thanks for the shoes. And for letting the Gators and Jaguars win. You sure work in mysterious ways. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Strange way to win friends and influence people.

Ramesh said...

FWIW I have been lately thinking about the arc of preaching in churches and this quote of John Milton jumped out:

Apology for Smectymnuus (1642).So little care they of beasts to make them men, that by their sorcerous doctrine of formalities, they take the way to transform them out of Christian men into judaizing beasts. Had they but taught the land, or suffered it to be taught, as Christ would it should have been in all plenteous dispensation of the word, then the poor mechanic might have so accustomed his ear to good teaching, as to have discerned between faithful teachers and false. But now, with a most inhuman cruelty, they who have put out the people’s eyes, reproach them of their blindness; just as the Pharisees their true fathers were wont, who could not endure that the people should be thought competent judges of Christ’s doctrine, although we know they judged far better than those great rabbis: yet “this people,” said they, “that know not the law is accursed.”

Sometimes I wish the Protestant and Reformation arc if it had not happened, we would just as be ignorant now as then when the bible was in Latin. Even though it is in English we are made blind by Fundy preachers more into Judaical Law than of Grace.

Granted this comment does not fit this post but it does fit the miasma of ignorance that pervades us.

Ed Dingess said...

Jesus was clear: God makes it rain on the just and the unjust. Since we are to be thankful for all things, we should be thankful that God is raining on us. At the same time, when in His sovereign wisdom withholds the rain, those who are called according to His purpose benefit from this as well. And therefore, we should be thankful...even when the event involves pain, disappointment, and loss.

On the flip side I do think there are limitations, very practical limitations. I once heard a Sunday School teacher thank God for a parking spot that was 50 feet closer to the store at best. That sort of thinking is shallow and utterly ridiculous. The person was as healthy as me...but apparently quite lazy...and thanking God for accommodating the laziness.

Finally, the best response to the argument against God from evil has been given. Indeed God does have a morally good reason for the suffering in the world. being omniscient and omnipotent requires such a conclusion unless we want to end in, not paradox, but real contradiction.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Glad it makes sense to you, Ed. Even if not to the children starving, with cancer, autism and being raped and abused. So glad Jesus made you healthy, wealthy, and wise. He must have good reasons for not doing so with all those beautiful children he created. Peace.

Ed Dingess said...

I lost a 3 year old nephew to a terrible vehicle accident. My dad was taken at 58 with a very painful form of cancer. I grew up in very poor conditions, not having running water until I was in the 5th grade. I know and understand the pain of suffering and how to get along without modern American luxuries. But I also know that life, all of it, has meaning, dignity, and value. As a Christian I can see through the pain to the greater glory, the glory that belongs to God. If you cannot see that, it must be because you are blinded by the god of this world, his lapdog, doing his bidding.

Anonymous said...

"Indeed God does have a morally good reason for suffering in the world." We suffer because of the fall of man. Christians are always trying to look for another reason other than that.

"He doesn't provide me shoes or a roof over my head.So I don't thank him for that"
Wow... He did provide you a job which enabled you to get the shoes and housing. The reason why so many in third world countries are impoverished is because of their tyrannical evil government systems. Also the Bible speaks of Christians being persecuted.That hasn't changed.In the new testament Christians where brutally murdered for their faith in Christ.
Just trying to state some obvious reasons why he doesn't always get involved.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sorry, I just don't see the glory in it. And no, he hasn't ever given me a job. I'm not a paid clergyman. And why would he bother to provide ME a job while he won't even provide help for the beheaded or abused or starving? And let's not blame the bad things on ourselves or governments, as that would be what the athiests do, right? He is either in control or he's not. Better explanation: we've been lied to about God for so long, we don't even know who He is or what He is doing. We thank him for shoes on our feet and a roof over our heads. Like I said, it's shallow. It's sad.

Ed Dingess said...

First of all, the problem with which we are dealing anonymous is the original fall of man into sin, or perhaps, push it back to Lucifer. That it was in God's plan cannot be denied if one wants to maintain an omniscient, omnipotent God. Suffering after the fact is true, but missing the point in my opinion.

FBC, not seeing the glory in something is irrelevant. Duet. 29:29 informs us that the secret things belong to the Lord. Pharaoh probably didn't the glory in it either (see Romans 9), but Joseph certainly did, now didn't he (see Genesis 45).

You reaction is a display of absolute autonomy. God does as He pleases and He does not owe you an explanation. Your standards are arbitrary, anchored in you, a finite creature among over 7 billion finite creatures. Not only is your rant (it isn't an argument) empty, it has nothing interesting to add.

You are right about the giving. You are right to call these charlatans out for what they are. But Paul called them out 2,000 years ago. They are in it for the power, the attention, and the money. The American Church is an embarrassment for the most part. But the true church is here too. They are among us. But they are such a minority and so marginalized that we hardly recognize them. We have been eclipsed by this shallow form of evangelicalism, but we are here.

Anonymous said...

I remember reading a book by by Harold Kushner, Why Bad Things happen To Good People. Kushner who is Jewish reasoned that maybe God isn't as all powerful as we might think and that there was so much evil and bad going on that even he could not keep up with it. Who knows. Maybe the could be some truth to what Kushner says.

Ed Dingess said...

We may as well get to the real difference in our understanding of God: our view of Scripture. The problem with Kushner's view is that it represents a clear contradiction of what Scripture tells us about God. For the Christian, knowledge comes by way of Scripture. Our claims about what God is like must be justified by Scripture alone. Outside of that standard, our ability to justify claims about God land in a sea of subjectivism. God then can be whatever this fellow or that fellow wants Him to be. In other words, God in any meaningful sense ceases to exist apart from an objective revelation of Himself. What we know about God we know because God has revealed these things to us. We know God exists by way of nature, by way of our internal conscience (created in His image), and by way of His supernatural revelation to us in Scripture. The two former ways of knowing are sufficient to produce culpable but are not themselves sufficient to lead to a true knowledge of God because of the activity of the sinful mind on the data it receives from those two sources (think Kant). If God is not omniscient and not omnipotent, He is not at all. What are the consequences?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ed and Anon - Have fun arguing your theological nonsense. I am sure the Muslims and Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons and Catholics and the rest of the religious adherents can come on this site and make an equally unreasonable defense of they their God does what he does or doesn't do. As for me, I'm still not going to thank God for my shoes when I know he doesn't provide those things to me while letting others starve and be raped and be beheaded. That's not the Creator God I love and worship. Again, I am glad it all makes perfect sense to you. I'm not buying it. Whether you be Muslim, Catholic, JW, Mormon or non-denominational, you can have your religious nonsense and try to explain all that you see in the news each day. But thanks for posting. And of course, your points are nothing new. Paid clergymen and seminarians have been spouting this theological religious nonsense for centuries in all faiths and religions. Even going to war over it. It just makes no sense and is indefensible to the rest of us. Peace and Happy Thanksgiving to you guys.

Anonymous said...

Watchdog just exactly who is your God?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

He is not the one men have corrupted to fit their preferences. Deal with it. Not thanking him for touchdowns. Or praying for him to give me blessings when so many others need his help so much more. I don't have to explain my views, it is you religious guys that need to justify your nonsense. I'm just stating observations. You get so offended by that it seems. He didn't provide my shoes. So what?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Let's be clear: I don't claim to have the "truth" or to be inerrant, or infallible or that you must believe all I say or none of it, or that you are going to hell if we disagree on key points. That is what religion is all about. Yours AND the Muslims and the Catholics. I'm not a deist just because I realize God is not curing autism or Alzheimer's. We have to figure out a cure. And if we get it, you can thank God for it. I won't. Hope you had a happy thanksgiving thanking God for how nice you have it.

Ed Dingess said...

How do you know we or anyone as far as it goes, are wrong about our claims regarding God and what our behavior should be in relationship to God?

If you are going to say we are wrong, you are obligated to tells how you know we are wrong. Why are we wrong to thank God for or shoes, our food, our clothes, our health, any and all things?

Jeremy Choate said...

Are you actually going to approve my comments or simply keep responding to them without giving others the benefit of the other side?

I just really want to know what you believe we CAN thank God for. If you refuse to thank God for anything, because you believe that He's not involved in the affairs of the world, then you ARE a deist. I'm sorry if the label offends you, but it's simply the truth.

This is why theology (the study of God) is important. If you think it's not, then, ironically, you and Perry Noble have more in common than you realize. He thinks that people who want to know more about God and go deeper are "jackasses" (his words), and that anybody who doesn't believe his way are simply being "religious" (the only cuss word he doesn't like, apparently).

"Hope you had a happy thanksgiving thanking God for how nice you have it."

And I hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, thanking Him for nothing.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

I thanked him for a lot. Just not for my Nikes. Why is that so hard to understand? Life. Creation. Love. And on and on. Just not my shoes. Or cures for cancer. Or help to the beheaded.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ed - I'm not saying others are wrong. Muslims, Catholics, you or any other religious person. Not saying I'm right. Just pointing out I'm not thanking God for shoes or cures for cancer.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Is there anything I could say that some seminarians or paid religious men won't argue? They are really good at taking each sentence, one by one, and arguing it. That's why I'm done with them. And all religions. Thank you God, for the refreshing freedom from religion.

Anonymous said...

I seem to recall Jesus had some concerns with the religious leaders of his day too. I don't think they appreciated him addressing some of their nonsense either. These religious guys just don't get it. If they did, they wouldn't be religious men now would they? Or have jobs.

Anonymous said...

FBCW, fools like Jeremy are why myself and so many others are "dones". Done with these nut jobs and their religious businesses.

Ed Dingess said...

There have always been wolves sniffing about the Christian community. It has been this way from the very beginning. Calling out those wolves is right. There are genuine Christian leaders calling out those wolves. There are genuine Christian communities doing the true work of God. There aren't many of them and finding them is not an easy thing to do. I sympathize with that. But using the wolves as an excuse to lump everyone into the same bucket and writing off Christianity or even organized Christianity is exactly the wrong reaction. It is not the solution. In fact, it compounds the problem.

As for Jesus and the religious leaders of His day, yes, He had a problem with them. What exactly did they do? They stood in the shoes of God, controlling the Word of God, and they twisting the sacred revelation, imbedded their tradition, and used God and His Word to support their actions. I believe many of these religious abusers are clearly doing the same thing. But make no mistake about it; if you check out of the church because of these false teachers, you become no better than they are. Why? Checking out is not an option. Remaining and fighting for the truth is the only option. We must all fight the good fight of faith. God is sovereign. He controls everything. Watchdog has swung way too far to the opposite extreme. It is ridiculous to thank God for touchdowns and parking spots that saved you 30 feet of walking. But NT Scripture clearly informs us that a thankful heart is an indication of genuine faith and divine love. Ephesians 1:20 says always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to bGod, even the Father; Eph 5:20. As you can see Paul commended an attitude of thankfulness while Watchdog criticizes and mocks it. On the flip side Paul said this about not being thankful, For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy. 2 Ti 3:2. Ungrateful means a complete lack of thankfulness.

Concerning all the catastrophes in the world, Scripture speaks to them as well:
also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,Eph 1:11.

The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these.
Is 45:7.

There is evil in the world because men are sinners. We all deserve all the evil that befalls us because God is holy. We do not deserve the good things we experience. We do receive good from God's hand because God is gracious and kind and patient.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read this for awhile. first you were bitter sounding with the church, and now it's God. What happened to Thank God in all things for this is the will of God concerning you. You aren't God, you don't think like God, and how do you, watchdog, know what is good or bad or what is the will of God concerning any one person. Just cause parts of the american church is wrapped up in materialism, certainly doesn't mean that that is what is in the Bible or anywhere described in the Bible. How about thanking God for the good and bad in life, but why do you think God isn't "helping" people who do YOU know the mind of God or what is really going on? Where in the Bible did it ever say you weren't going to have to pick up your cross, and why do think that because people everywhere pick up their cross that that means that God doesn't care? Or isn't there? Or doesn't hear the greatest or the smallest prayer? You can think how you want, and that free will was given to you by God. I think you are falling off the path where do you go next?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - It's not about me. I'm not bitter towards God. I just get "concerned" about people and religions that lie about him, whether they be Catholic, Muslim, JWs, Mormons or fundamentalists or liberals, what have you. I thank God for his creation, including me. I still can't get over that I have a bladder that holds fluid waste until I can get to a bathroom, for example. Or tear ducts to keep my eye moist. I am amazed, and pleased, and awed by His creation. But I am not awed, or grateful for, and don't have to believe that since He gave me a bladder, He also gives me shoes on my feet or a roof over his head. If he was in the shoe business, ALL of God's children would have shoes, like we all have bladders and tear ducts. I am not so shallow as to think that God provides me stuff with "his hand" like touchdowns, parking spaces, shoes, or housing. Am I thankful to God? Absolutely. For the things he does. NOT for the things man thinks he does. Like 40 virgins after you die. If you want to know where I am coming from, go debate the Muslim who is declaring Allah is Great and Praise Allah for everything. You will understand that likely it is not Allah that has provided this person what they have wanted, but it is merely their religious view of Allah. Taught in the society in which they live. Let's get real. I can certainly believe that God provided my bladder and that he loves me, without having to also believe that he provides my shoes. Why is this so heretical to fundamentalists?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ed - Thanks for your articulate and thought out views. We will just have to disagree that "There is evil in the world because men are sinners. We all deserve all the evil that befalls us because God is holy. We do not deserve the good things we experience." We don't know that we deserve all the evil that befalls us. That's religious nonsense. No possible way to know this outside of some holy ancient text and religious men of God teaching this to us. We don't see this in the creation, sunset, love, laws of science and nature or anywhere else. It simply comes from religion. Pick your holy book of choice. And yet, we blame ourselves for evil and give God credit for all health and wealth we might have regardless of where it originated from. It's a circular, self-fulfilling argument we make to ourselves. There is no need to this. Let's love and trust the Creator God without reducing him to provider of what we want and need, when that's not what he does. That's what religions says he does. I don't see it.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And sure, before someone reminds me "God's ways are not ways", I understand this religious cliche. If "we" were all knowing and all powerful and all loving, and had free will, we would "will" to heal the autistic child, or lovely servant of God with Alzheimer, and we would call down fire from heaven to burn up those beheading Christians, and on and on. So, we invent religions to try and explain in a way that makes sense. All I am saying is that some of the religious stuff we come up with is nonsense, unjust, unloving, and hurtful. And I can either blame God for being this way (I won't, because He is awesome), or I can blame corrupt man. Or corrupt religions. It's so easy to see this when we analyze and observe other belief systems, but so impossible to consider it for our own.

Ed Dingess said...

Your god isn't awesome at all. First, your god isn't awesome because he does not exist. He is a figment of your imagination, an invention created by you to make sense of the world. Second, even if your god did exist, he would not be awesome because he is not perfectly holy. Third, your god is not awesome because he is weak. He can do nothing about the suffering in the world, so why should I be impressed with him? He is unworthy of my praise. He is puny. Fourth, your god is not awesome because he does not possess perfect knowledge. In fact, your god is like the rest of us...weak, imperfect, not all wise, ignorant even of certain things, and entirely incapable of governing anything. In short, your god is no god at all.

There is no holy book even remotely close to the Christian Scriptures. I would be happy to discuss any one you like and we can compare it with Christianity.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

You are brain damaged Ed. And you don't even realize it. Thanks for revealing to all readers how sad the logic of fundamentalist religious people think and why they have Inquisitions and crusades and fly into buildings. And no need to discuss any Holy Books with me. The arguments are all the same. Inspired by the one true God, the one you happen to choose. I get it. And you accuse God of being many things I would never accuse him of. Bottom line, Ed, is he isn't involved in cures for autism or alzheimer. Do accuse him of whatever you want. Your God is your imaginary friend. A powerless hypothetical being. Mine is the creator. There is no evidence your imaginary friend exists. Mine has evidence everywhere in creation.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Some delusional Christians are going to be very mad and disappointed at God when he tells them that he is not everything they said he must be to fit their definition of God. Being the Creator is not good enough. He "has" to be perfect, all knowing. All powerful, etc before they will love him and honor him. They love their beliefs ABOUT him, more than they love HIM and his creation.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - Please read Ed's posts again carefully. Then re-read my posts since August. Now do you see what I've been talking about? Christianity has been corrupted and hijacked by reasoning like this. If you love God, get out of those cults. They continue to lie about God, about the Bible, and exploit and manipulate sincere people who love God and trust in Jesus for their salvation. The reasonable Christians have long since left, only the nut jobs like Ed remain. And they are losing ground every single day. And they know it.

Ed Dingess said...

Your god is the Creator of the universe and cannot cure simple diseases? Who needs a god that can create the universe but is either not powerful enough or not smart enough to deal with innocent human suffering?

The bottom line is that your logic is bogus. A god that can create the universe surely could put an end to suffering. A god that is as nice as you say your god is would put an end to suffering. Suffering exists. Therefore, your kind of god does not exist.

My God is powerful enough to prevent evil.
My God is good enough so that he would prevent evil.
Evil exists.
Therefore, my God has a morally sufficient reason for evil.

The argument is perfectly valid in form and since the premises are also true, it is logically sound. If anyone has a problem with epistemic justification and reason, it would clearly be you Watchdog.

You are not putting up arguments. You are simply screaming statements. You aren't even giving reasons why those statements ought to be considered.

The existence of evil was in the plan of God from the beginning. Since we know God is perfectly good as well as all powerful and all knowing, we can trust that He has a good reason for allowing evil. Moreover, it does not follow that just because we do not know all the reasons for the existence of evil, that it must therefore contradict the Christian worldview. If you think it does, then you do not understand logic.

The truth is that you decided you did not like the God in Scripture. You wanted a different world. You wanted a different morality. You wanted to determine things for yourself, thinks like what is reasonable, what is moral, what is virtuous. And since God revealed in Scripture did things you don't like, you arbitrarily decided to suppress your knowledge of God and create an image you can like with. Your story is located in Romans 1 and your nature is found in Romans 3:10-18. It isn't pretty Watchdog, but it certainly is true. Just like Scripture says, people like you are natural enemies of the God revealed in Scripture. You hate him.

Ed Dingess said...

Do you mean the Jesus found in the very Bible you mock? So the Bible is reliable where you want it to be reliable and is full of nonsense where you don't like the narrative? If a person refuses to submit to Scripture, then they do not belong in the Church because they are not a Christian to begin with. You think you can reject the Bible and be a Christian. You can hate God's Word and love Jesus? Impossible!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Readers - more wisdom from Ed. You can't make this stuff up. See why I refocused my blog? I thought he might just be a closet atheist, or was cutting and pasting accusations about God that atheists made to him. But no, this guy is for real. And he can't be discounted as a "bad" Christian. Unfortunately, "good Christians" think this way in Ed's world. I considered not publishing anymore nonsense from Ed. But it is just too illustrative of my points of this and prior posts. "We deserve evil" and we can't be Christians and are God is no God at all unless, unless, unless we see it like Ed does. It would be funny if not so sad.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Can I believe that I'm a sinner and trust Jesus for my salvation without also believing in talking donkeys and stoning disobedient children? You tell me. Read my previous posts. Why can't I believe that I'm a sinner in need of a savior without also believing that the sun stood still? Why can't a Muslim believe parts of the Quran without believing he must kill the infidel. Because fanatical "holy men of Gawd" manipulate him into believing all or none. But I've already written a few posts on this. Go back and read them. I believe the gospel. Not in talking donkeys. The atheist says then I must also reject God and Christ. The fundy agrees with the atheist on that point. And the church continues to decline in numbers and depth. No wonder,

Ramesh said...

I had meant to post this in the earlier posts where the discussion was on supernatural occurrences and whether they took place. Since the discussion has come back to it ...

The idea of the supernatural as being something over and above the natural is a killing idea. In the Middle Ages this was the idea that finally turned that world into something like a wasteland, a land where people were living inauthentic lives, never doing a thing they truly wanted to because the supernatural laws required them to live as directed by their clergy. In a wasteland, people are fulfilling purposes that are not properly theirs but have been put upon them as inescapable laws. This is a killer.

The above is an excerpt from Power Of Myth by Bill Moyers interviews of Joseph Campbell.

My thinking is the above succinctly describes what WD has written in his prior posts but also the effects of such beliefs.

I firmly believe this freedom is provided in the grace of Jesus Christ but is not taught widely for fear that believers will become antinomian.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Some theologians and philosophers basically are arguing this: if the bible says you reap what you sow, and you believe that because of reality; and it also says a donkey reasoned and spoke but don't believe that because of reality; then you must not and can not believe any longer what it says about reaping and sowing because that is arbitrary and picking and choosing and you just can't do that with holy books. Not allowed to think and discern. You must submit and obey. And just trust that God has a morally sufficient reason for all that happens. No thanks David Koresh. Or Jim Jones. I'm capable of weeding out reality from parable or myth. The Indian said the tree has a soul and spoke. I never believed it. But other beliefs they had made sense and some might even be true? I guess God gave us a brain to think for a reason. And the bible does warn us of charlatans. I strongly believe that part is true. The talking snake, not so much.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Ed says "You can hate God's Word and love Jesus? Impossible!" No one has said they hate God's word. They just said they don't have to believe it ALL to place their faith in Christ Jesus. The atheist and fundamentalist seem to agree on this view. Their position is that no one should trust Christ or believe in God unless they believe in the sun standing still and talking donkeys, which NONE of us do. Fundies might want to rethink their position.

Pilgrim said...

I've learned and have come to many of the same conclusions you's taken me around 36 years to get out from under the emotional and mental manipulation, always a quiet fear God was going to somehow "get even" due to my cognitive dissonance. Lo and behold, I'm still alive and kicking.

Like you, I too believe and have faith in the claims of Jesus but that's were I draw the line and it amazes me, for instance, of all the denominations...all the churches...ALL claiming the "truth" that America isn't as holy as God himself. But alas, America is awash with confusion as each group is warring with culture and between each other according to each "Man-O-God" who represents them...and we complain of the Muslims?

Like I tell my 16 and 17 year old daughters: "Fear and Shame" is what American Christianity/Religion is built on; think for into what Jesus said about Himself and feel free to chuck to stuff that's left.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anon - you are not really anon I know. But yes, I was in heaven and heard God say he doesn't provide free shoes. Were you there to prove I wasn't? And he doesn't give eternal life either. Not as we understand life. So there must be some other explanation or meaning or some other made up realm no one has seen or actually been to. He can, but doesn't give us shoes or eternal life here. No matter what you say. Frustrating for you to acknowledge, I know. But how can I know anything right? Unless I believe in talking donkeys. Great points as always anon. I'm still not putting your nonsense through. It makes no sense to us who can't be manipulated and brainwashed. No shoes. No eternal life here. No matter what you say I can't prove. :)

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Anyone want to prove there is no Invisible Pink Unicorn in my back yard? It's there. Prove that it's not. After you convince me it's not there with proof, I will convince you that donkeys don't talk and that the sun doesn't circle the earth. Pretty productive and meaningful use of time for what? To defend some guy's nonsense belief system. Lol. I don't really care if you believe in talking donkeys. Because they don't, no matter what you say. And yes, Jesus can still save no matter what I believe about talking animals. That much I believe. Shoes and donkeys, no. Magic underwear, no. Immaculate conception of Mary, no. But who of us can prove she wasn't? So I guess it must be true? Hahahahahaha.

Ed Dingess said...

Donkeys don't talk. Donkeys don't talk. Donkeys don't talk. What an impressive argument.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

It never changes. No matter what theological nonsense religious folks come up with to explain it. And the sun can't stop over head. And God doesn't heal autism or Alzheimer's or intervene for those being beheaded or children being raped, or provide free shoes, or get people jobs or help them score touchdowns or win Grammys. But it makes sense to fundamentalists who say God is good all the time and must have his reasons. You got to love religion. Allah is great? God is good. Get real people. Whatever religion you are so devoted to. It still won't buy anyone shoes. So let's stop thanking him for those things. That's all.