genesis 1:26

What does the Bible say: Racism

The first thing to understand in this discussion is that there is only one race “the human race. Caucasians, Africans, Asians, Indians, Arabs, and Jews are not different races. Rather, they are different ethnicities of the human race. All human beings have the same physical characteristics (with minor variations, of course). More importantly, all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to lay down His life for us (John 3:16). The “world” obviously includes all ethnic groups.

Now God does not show partiality or favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17; Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9), and neither should we. James 2:4 describes those who discriminate as “judges with evil thoughts.” Instead, we are to love our neighbors as ourselves (James 2:8).  Jesus commands us to love one another as He loves us (John 13:34). If God is impartial and loves us with impartiality, then we need to love others with that same high standard. Jesus teaches in Matthew 25 that whatever we do to the least of His brothers, we do to Him. If we treat a person with contempt, we are mistreating a person created in God’s image; we are hurting somebody whom God loves and for whom Jesus died.

Racism, has been a plague on humanity for thousands of years. Brothers and sisters of all ethnicities, this should not be. Victims of racism need to forgive. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Racists may not deserve your forgiveness, but we deserved God’s forgiveness far less. Those who practice racism, need to repent. “Present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God” (Romans 6:13). May Galatians 3:28 be completely realized, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus.”  Let us put aside all racist thoughts and let us love each other as Christ call us called us to do.  

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→ myth figures: Cain and Abel

“The Lord said, ‘What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you.You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.” - Genesis 4:1-26 

The Uncorrupted Adam

I want to talk for a moment about the basis for Christians wanting to be naked and unashamed. In fact, more than any other people, Christians have the highest motivation for adopting this way of life. But let’s start back at the beginning lay a foundation in Scripture.

Genesis 1:26-27
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

From these verses we can see that Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and as such were fully naked. They were barriers of the image of God in their bodies. When Jesus came to save us after the fall of Adam, scripture likens him to the second Adam. Just as one man sin and brought death, The other obeyed and brought life! So now we see that Jesus Christ as the second Adam bears the image of God. This is borne out in the New Testament.

2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Colossians 1:15
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

So if he is that image, and why do we need to be naked? It is because we are followers and disciples of Jesus and are supposed to imitate him in every way we can. He restored our relationship with the father while he was hanging naked on a cross to bear our sin and our shame. So we as disciples of Christ also obey God and are naked and unashamed before him in love. To be naked is a way of being more Christlike!

When the enemy tries to use our modern culture to impose shame and disgrace on exposure of our bodies, he is trying to cover up the image of God that he hates. To demand that people cover up their bodies to participate in his evil deeds and further his work of hiding the image of God from those around us. Romans chapter 1 even talks about how the image of God can be seen in what was created. And the pinnacle of that creation is the human body! Romans 1:18-20 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness, because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” I know that sounds kind of extreme, but I cannot change the truth in order to make it more palatable to our sensitivities.

So be a Christ-follower and don’t be ashamed to let others see the image of God by seeing you without clothing!

Blessings,
Noah

Human Origins, The Anunnaki and The Sumerian Tablets

While the true origins of humankind are still very murky and entangled in a never-ending tussle between evolutionists and creationists, there are fascinating clues left behind by ancient civilizations, and they point us in a very specific direction. All of this activity in the distant past cannot be separated from religion. Many ancient religious scripts that have survived from various corners of the world give us remarkable clarity on a multitude of issues. One such issue is the existence of a group of omnipresent gods and deities with advanced powers who seemed to have ruled the world for thousands of years. The Sumerian Tablets called these gods the Anunnaki. Led by a mysterious pantheon of twelve gods, the Anunnaki - in various names - seem to be present in every ancient civilization, scattered across all the continents, separated by thousands of miles. In my research and books I make the intentional distinction between God with a capital ‘G’ and god(s) with a lowercase ‘g’. This highlights the difference between the true divine source of all things in the universe (God), and a group of advanced beings, the Anunnaki gods, who - though technologically advanced and the genetic progenitors of humanity - are not the creators of the universe and the source of all things and therefore cannot be confused with God. For more about this stunning history see my book, ‘Slave Species of the Gods’.

Those who hold the Bible dear should not be surprised to find that these same deities and gods are referred to in the Bible on many occasions. In the original Bible, before it was translated and streamlined, the original word of God was Elohim, which is a plural word meaning ‘gods’. This was always the case, and the biblical God has always been a plural - “the gods.” Suddenly the many references by God to himself if in the plural, like: “lets us create man in our image” (Genesis 1:26) and, “Let us go down and confuse their language.” Genesis 11:7) become less confusing.

When we realize that most of the stories from Genesis and Exodus are translations from their original source written in the Sumerian Tablets, it all starts to make a lot more sense. The same gods that the Sumerian Tablets refer to are the same plural gods that are mentioned in the Bible. All the greatest biblical stories have their origins in the Sumerian Tablets

While the story is often reduced to one line in the Bible, the original Sumerian texts are written in much greater detail: The seven tablets of creation of heaven and Earth; creation of Adamu, the biblical Adam; creation of Eve from Adamus rib; the garden of Eden; the serpent and the tree of knowledge and life; the Flood, Noah(Ziusudra) and the ark; destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; the tower of Babel and its destruction by the gods and many more. The tales are well documented by the Sumerians, and some of the tablets predate the Bible by as much as 3,000 years.

It is also important to note that in Sumerian, Egyptian, Greek and all other cultures, the gods are never considered imaginary, but instead are very, very real. The Annunaki integrated with the people, they informed the people, and they punished the people. The first so-called holy trinity arose in Sumeria. It was Anu - the father -  and his two sons; Enlil and Enki. Together they ruled the roost on planet Earth. We know that Enlil was given the northern half  of the planet to look after, and Enki - who was also known as the creator god, or serpent - was in charge of the southern part of the planet. They were supported by an extended family of a total of twelve deities, each with special tasks and responsibilities. The Sumerian Tablets refer to the sons of the Anunnaki as the Nephilim - who were referred to as the “sons of the gods” in Genesis:

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days - and also afterward - when the sons of God [ the gods] went to the daughters of men and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Genisis 6:4

The pantheon of ancient powerful gods or beings was also very active and very present in South Africa under their leader Enki. The evidence is everywhere, especially in the many references of the Sumerian Tablets.

This leads us directly to one of the most misunderstood and misused expressions of our time: “mythology.” This seemingly innocuous word has caused much confusion in our modern times and has caused us to completely misunderstand all of human history. The original meaning in Greek had nothing to do with “imaginary.” In fact, it seems quite the opposite. The original meaning of mythos was “words”: written words, spoken words, legend and tales of historic accounts sworn to be true by kings and priests.

Can you see the problem here? What was taken as part of the daily life of ancient people has been reduced to imaginary fairy tales by modern historians. According to my research, it was around AD 1270 that the meaning of the word mythological was first misused and has subsequently created immense damage in future history books.

Is it possible that all ancient civilizations never had a real history, real experience and real religion? Is it possible that they just imagined things because they could not understand the big bad world around them? This is exactly what some historians would like us to believe. Once we realize that mythology actually means “history” the whole picture changes quite dramatically. We suddenly realize that in the distant past there was a group of powerful beings (gods) who controlled events all over the planet, including South Africa. This is instantly recognized in the the symbols and statues carved in rock in South Africa, which predate the Egyptian and Sumerian equivalents. It is important that the presence of these ancient so-called gods should not be confused with the true creator of the universe and all things in it - GOD.

- Michael Tellinger - African Temples of the Anunnaki - The Lost Technologies of the Gold Mines of Enki

What does the Bible say: Abortion?

The Bible never really addresses the issue of abortion. However, there are teachings in Scripture that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is. Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb. Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb. Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder. This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be as human as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6).The Bible is clear that all human life is created by God for His purpose and His pleasure (Colossians 1:16) So when humans take life it displeases God even when its an unborn baby. Exodus 21:22-25 clearly states that its a life inside the womb. (you are to take life for life)  So therefor abortion is murder. Murder of an innocent child.

For those who have had an abortion, remember that the sin of abortion is no less forgivable than any other sin. Through faith in Christ, all sins can be forgiven (John 3:16; Romans 8:1; Colossians 1:14). A woman who has had an abortion, a man who has encouraged an abortion, or even a doctor who has performed one, can all be forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ.

bjoh249  asked:

You cannot disprove God either. We may not be able to prove Him ourselves, but you have no proof either that there isn't. Goodbye!

Firstly, if you claim certainty rather than faith, as some Christians definitely do, then the burden of proof is on you. Christians are, however, quite fond of shifting the burden. The only reason it looks like a smart move is because a lot of atheists are reluctant to allow that shift. They’ll likely state that they’re agnostic atheists and as such, they don’t need to prove to you that gods don’t exist. Unfortunately for theists who’ve tried this move on me, I’m not reluctant to allow the shift. In fact, I welcome it. I welcome it because I’m given the opportunity to expose the move for what it is: a bad move that is far from strategic. With that said, you’re just another theist in a long line of theists who will see that I can disprove god and more importantly, that there is available evidence to show that your god doesn’t exist.

Since you’re probably one of Bran’s lackeys, if not Bran himself, and you went out of your way to create a whole new blog because you can’t message me anonymously, I’m going to pull no punches. Firstly, I’m going to simply assume you’re Christian given your capitalization of him. Muslims and Jews don’t do that. Only Christians capitalize pronouns when referring to god. Now to the punches. I will do what, for sake of efficiency, I’ve always done. I will, in other words, disprove two modes or persons of the trinity: the father and the son. The holy spirit makes for much murkier waters and since I’m not at all interested in theological, exegetical, soteriological, or eschatological discussions, I simply avoid taking that route. In any case, if you don’t like to read, which I suspect you don’t, you came into the wrong inbox with your cocksureness.

Let’s begin with the father. The father, Yahweh, can easily be disproven on multiple grounds. The route a lot of people wouldn’t take, though I consider it the most effective, is the historical route. One should, in other words, expose the polytheistic origins of Yahweh. Isaiah was written by three authors–namely P (proto), D (deutero), and T (trito). The second author attempted to establish monotheism–perhaps following King Josiah’s decree (Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 45:5).  The polytheistic tradition, though mostly censored in the Bible, can be found in Exodus 20:3.  It can also be found in Genesis 1:26 and 11:7–in particular in the terms let us. Modern tradition tells us that these verses speak of the trinity.  Trinitarian doctrine is new when compared to these verses. These verses imply the polytheistic pantheon of the ancient Israelites–namely Yahweh, El, Baal and Asherah. El, according to some archaeologists, was Yahweh’s father. How the two came to be considered one and the same is another discussion; in short, an Israelite sect known as Yahwists started that tradition. Asherah, according to most scholars, was considered Yahweh’s wife. So your god wasn’t the only god; he had a father and a wife!

The more common route for one to take is the disproving of Yahweh on moral grounds. According to Proverbs 6, there are six things god hates. Among these are hands that shed innocent blood. Yet there are countless examples of god himself shedding innocent blood or commanding the Israelites to do it.

Now, since I highly suspect you to be one of Bran’s lackeys or Bran himself, I’m going to disarm you by anticipating your response to these verses. You’re going to cite the Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and men according to Genesis 6:1-4. Setting aside that Nephilim can’t be used to explain all of these verses, Bran’s interpretation of Nephilim and Rephaim are, as expected from a pretentious idiot who thinks he understands Hebrew, flat-out wrong. Ellen White, the senior editor of the Biblical Archaeology Society has this to say:

It was once claimed that the mating of the sons of god and the daughters of Adam that resulted in the Nephilim caused the flood, and this caused the Nephilim to have a negative reputation. This was believed because the next verse (Genesis 6:5) is the introduction to the flood narrative and because their name means “fallen ones.” It is unlikely that this interpretation is correct because Genesis 6:4 presents nothing but praise for the Nephilim and no criticism is present. In addition, the name “fallen ones” is likely a reference to their divine paternity transforming—falling—into the human condition, albeit an almost superhuman condition.1

Notice how she says, “it was once claimed.” She’s talking about Bran’s interpretation in the past tense. His interpretation is, in other words, outmoded and more importantly, wrong. His interpretation also begs the question: if the flood was meant to wipe them out, how did they show up again? God, in other words, drowned the entire world or, at the very least, an entire region in order to get rid of these Nephilim, but was unsuccessful. Wouldn’t an omniscient being know that his flood wouldn’t succeed? If so, then why flood the world or this particular region to begin with? It reduces to nothing more than a callous act that didn’t achieve his desired result. In connection to the Rephaim, she adds:

Genesis 6, Ezekiel 32, and Numbers 13 are the only passages that mention the Nephilim by that term. So where do the names Rephaim and “the dead ones” originate? The first thing to recognize is that these are not two separate titles, but rather a name, Rephaim, and a meaning, “dead ones.” The Bible refers to two groups as the Rephaim. The first are dead people who have achieved an almost divine status, similar to the concept of Saints. The second is a term that is applied to races of Biblical giants. It is this second usage that is often conflated with the Nephilim.

The Rephaim appear in Deuteronomy 2:11; 3:11; 2 Samuel 21:19 and Joshua 11:22 and almost always take the form of one member of the Rephaim (Anaqim, Og, Goliath) being in opposition with Israel or its representative. In this sense, the Rephaim live up to their name, as their purpose in each narrative is to die. The juxtaposition of the mighty Biblical giants defeated by the underdog, God’s chosen, is foreshadowed in the very name attributed to these characters.2

Given this, the notion that Nephilim and Rephaim refer to the same entity is entirely mistaken or, at best, partially right. Further issue can be taken with the fact that Nephilim is interpreted in two other ways: descendants of Seth and children of rich, powerful noblemen. Every interpretation of what they were is problematic, but Bran’s is most problematic–most especially because it’s outdated and no longer accepted by Christians. The fact is that Bran needs this nonsense belief to keep himself from espousing Craig-like Divine Command Theory, i.e., the fact that god murdered infants or commanded their murder makes the command or act good. He also needs this belief to absolve his god of otherwise unspeakable crimes. Furthermore, he needs this belief in order to keep himself from inconsistency; he, in other words, doesn’t accept original sin and therefore, inherited sin, and so he can’t argue that these infants and children were murdered due to the sins of their parents.

The other route you or Bran will take is allusion to the Moral Argument and believe me, it is mere allusion. If asked, he wouldn’t be able to actually formulate the argument without referring to some apologetic website. I’ve linked him to a number of responses before, but since I suspect that you’re either him or an angry lackey of his, I’m going to obliterate both the Moral Argument and the notion that atheists can’t have sound justification for their ethical views. I will, in other words, frame his view explicitly–which isn’t to say that I won’t deal with its implications. I will then frame my view, which is neither utilitarianism, i.e., as Bran says “the greater good,” normative relativism (which Bran thinks is the ethical view every atheist espouses), nor subjectivism (which is a view that Bran conflates with normative relativism whilst foisting onto every atheist he speaks to). To put it another way, he always says that without god, we’re left to our subjective human whims. This will no doubt be proven wrong.

You, Bran, and any espouser of the Moral Argument share a view known as substantive realism, which is the view that states that “there are correct procedures for answering moral questions because there are moral truths or facts, which exist independently of those procedures, and which those procedures track.”3

Let’s consider the fatal flaws your position has:

  • Whether you argue that morality is simply objective or it’s objective because it hinges on god, your view begs the question and thus isn’t justified. Begging the question is a fallacy, so a view that begs the question cannot be correct.
  • Your view is unjustifiably metaphysical. It, in other words, argues that morality is innate. It cannot be learned. It is part of the maker’s mark that god supposedly imprinted in us.
  • Given that your view begs the question, we need to look elsewhere; in other words, given that it isn’t enough to posit that morality is contingent on a deity, we’ve more work to do. Your view is, therefore, bankrupt.

Before explicitly naming my view, the notion alluded to in the second bullet point–which is, in fact, the notion alluded to by any proponent of the Moral Argument–was put to rest by the father of empiricism, John Locke. He argued that moral principles are not innate. One reason for this is because they aren’t universally assented to. We don’t come to immediate consensus on right and wrong the way we do when concerning the laws of logic. To put it another way, no matter the person or culture, the laws of identity, of non-contradiction, and of excluded middle are universally agreed upon. If any person fails to act in accordance with those laws, that person has failed to think or has lost his/her capacity to reason. This is not the case with morality. To my mind, Locke refuted that once and for all.

He argues, for instance, that the consensus on whether an action is right or wrong had everything to do with how generalized the action was. Proponents of the Moral Argument argue that we all know it’s wrong to lie, to murder, or to rape, and from this, they conclude that morality proceeds from god and since we’re created in his image, moral values and duties have been ingrained in our souls since creation. Yet if we were to get more specific, agreement dissolves. Have a discussion, for example, on euthanasia, self-defense murder, and Anne Frank-esque sort of lies, i.e., lies that literally save lives or keeps one from harm, and you’ll immediately see that there’s absolutely no consensus on these matters.

The reason is because, as Locke further argued, we are likelier to provide reasons and justifications for our moral behavior. If it’s innate or proceeds from god, there will be no disagreement on these epistemological fronts. We would, in other words, be readily able to show why such an action is right or wrong. There would be no need to prove the correctness or incorrectness of an action, since this would already be known to us.4 Unfortunately, this isn’t the only claim implicit in the Moral Argument, so there’s more to be said.

Enter my view, procedural realism: “there are answers to moral questions because there are correct procedures for arriving at them.”5 Such a procedure would be Kant’s CI procedure or Smith’s problem-solution model. Or it could be something simpler. The procedures could even vary. One thing is clear, however: morality is constructivist and more specifically procedural.

There are four formulas for us to consider6:

1) The Formula of the Law of Nature: “Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a universal law of nature.”

Kant placed a lot of emphasis on autonomy. Modern Kantians like John Rawls and Christine Korsgaard place similar emphasis on autonomy, but they also speak of self-legislation. This formulation is compelling because moral truths could arise from mere human agency rather than divine authority. One may contend that a psychopath would will murder as if it were a universal law of nature. However, like Goldstein, I would argue that morality is akin to crowdsourced knowledge; morality is, in other words, the culmination of human efforts spanning centuries. Rebecca Goldstein puts it this way:

There’s some ideal algorithm for working it out, for assigning weights to different opinions. Maybe we should give more weight to people who have lived lives that they find gratifying and that others find admirable. And, of course, for this to work the crowd has to be huge; it has to contain all these disparate vantage points, everybody who’s starting from their own chained-up position in the cave [Plato’s cave analogy]. It has to contain, in principle, everybody. I mean, if you’re including just men, or just landowners, or just people above a certain IQ, then the results aren’t going to be robust.7

This is a point I often make about moral epistemology. I argue that there are moral classes that are roughly analogous to economic classes. Some people have more moral expertise and therefore, lead more admirable and ethical lives. You and I are, at the very least, better than the career criminal. Atheist or not, one would be foolish to say that I’m morally on par with El Chapo. Sam Harris has, no doubt unintentionally, endorsed my idea. He states:

Whenever we are talking about facts, certain opinions must be excluded. That is what it is to have a domain of expertise; that is what it is for knowledge to count. How have we convinced ourselves that in the moral sphere, there is no such thing as moral expertise or moral talent or moral genius even? How have we convinced ourselves that every opinion has to count? How have we convinced ourselves that every culture has a point of view on these subjects worth considering? Does the Taliban have a point of view on physics that is worth considering? No. How is their ignorance any less obvious on the subject of human well-being?8

Sam Harris is talking about moral classes. One reason some of us are convinced that there can’t be moral expertise, talent, or genius is because of fervent religious belief. Christians argue that without god, true morality cannot be achieved. Without god, all we’re left with is human opinion–as though all human opinion is equal. Some opinions are undoubtedly better than others. The opinions that I’ve thus far expressed are better than those of Christians who disagree with me. It should be clear to any impartial third party that one of us has thought more, read more, studied more, questioned more, and so on, and that in light of this, one set of opinions is superior to the other. I am in a higher moral class and in a higher intellectual class, and that’s only because you’ve accepted unfounded ideas about human opinions. I find it curious that though you don’t believe in original sin, you have such a low estimation of our opinions. In any case, we didn’t make moral progress because of Christianity; we made moral progress despite it.

In the same vein as Harris, Goldstein talked about ruling out the peculiarities of certain people. Every moral opinion doesn’t count and that’s because some people and groups are morally superior to others. Unless you want to argue that people are generally on par with the Taliban when it comes to morality, you’re admitting to the fact that there are moral classes. As stated, a simple corollary are economic classes. It’s clear that some people are prosperous and others are not. Some people can afford mansions and luxury cars; some people can afford a three-story house; others can barely afford an apartment and still others can scarcely afford a room; still others are homeless. In like manner, some people are simply morally superior to others and when looked at objectively, you’ll quickly realize that religious affiliation has nothing to do with it. 

Some people, for instance, can see the injustice in discrimination and perpetrating acts of prejudice against minorities and gays. You, given that you’re Bran’s lackey or Bran himself, probably cannot see how that’s unjust or perhaps you’re apathetic in that regard–and the fact that you’re a Christian has done nothing to do away with your discriminatory views. Given that I’m not anti-anyone and certainly not pro-Hispanic, I can claim moral superiority. Since you’ll accuse me of mere assertion, allow me to elaborate.

You’re admittedly anti-gay. This makes clear that you advocate restrictive legislation against them. You will protest the legislation of gay marriage though it’s already been made legal. You are Bran or someone who agrees with him and therefore, I’m sure you’re familiar with his defense of Kim Davis. You have probably argued to invalidate the love gay couples share; this is quite common among conservatives. They misrepresent gays by accusing them of succumbing to so called sinful concupiscence. How am I morally better than you? I wouldn’t advocate restrictive legislation against a group if whatever they’re doing isn’t harming anyone. Other than your self-righteousness, what do you care if gays marry? Are you at their weddings? Are you watching them as they consummate their marriages? Are you there when they choose to raise children? You might clamor about public displays of affection, but it’s not like straight people don’t forget to get a room! Given your self-proclaimed discriminatory stances, I can honestly say you’re in a lower moral class than I am. There are other reasons as well, but I’ll digress. Let’s continue our discussion on Kant’s formulations.

2) The Formula of the End Itself: “Act in such a way that you always treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of any other, never simply as a means, but always at the same time as an end.”

What is meant by treating a person never simply as a means, but always as an end? This means to extend kindness to others with no intention of exploiting them (e.g. I’ll befriend this guy because he’s rich). You may contend that this sounds like Jesus’ Golden Rule. Unfortunately, the Golden Rule isn’t original to Jesus. Patricia Churchland puts it succinctly:

The Golden Rule (“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) is very often held up as a judicious rule, and exceptionless rule, and a rule that is universally espoused, or very close to it. (Ironically perhaps, Confucius, though known to prefer the development of virtues to instruction by rules, might have been among the first to give voice to a version of this maxim, though given his broad approach to morality, it is likely he offered it as general advice rather than as an exceptionless rule.)8

Like Churchland, I don’t think the Golden Rule is sufficient. Also, this formulation isn’t the Golden Rule. Kant argued that if we were to act to harm others, civilization would come to an end. It follows then that we’ll act to the benefit of one another. This is where Kant’s notion of a Kingdom of Ends comes from. We’ll get this shortly.

On the Golden Rule, a necessary tangent is required. The Golden Rule, according to Christians, is original to Jesus despite historical facts to the contrary. Jesus is, however, considered god incarnate. He is one with Yahweh. He is one mode of the Triune godhead. Therefore, if the Moral Argument is right in stating that moral values and duties exist because god exists, then these moral values and duties are based on a flawed ethical view known as egoism. This is precisely what Jesus advocates in the Golden Rule. In other words, any right action is the product of your own self-interest. The benefits I can reap are the basis of all my actions. Without diverging too far, I reject the Golden Rule and all variants of egoism for the same reason Louis Pojman rejected it: 

We do not always consciously seek our own satisfaction or happiness when we act. In fact, some people seem to seek their own unhappiness, as masochists and self-destructive people do, and we all sometimes seem to act spontaneously without consciously considering our happiness.9

Given this, if the Golden Rule is a rudimentary formulation of egoism–and I see no compelling reason to think it’s not–we can reject Jesus’ ethical system and therefore, god’s basis for moral values and duties. It follows that the Moral Argument is wrong.

3) The Formula of Autonomy: “So act that your will can regard itself at the same time as making universal law through its maxims.”

This is related to the first formulation, but this formulation puts more emphasis on autonomy and like modern Kantians would argue, self-legislation. This formula of autonomy has manifested itself time and again. Morally superior people are not only admirable, but they compel others to emulate them. This formulation is prominent in rearing children. Children learn moral behavior from their parents, so in a sense, this goes back to Locke; if moral principles are innate, they would, in his words, be known to “children and idiots.” Children quickly learn what’s apt and what’s inappropriate given other people’s feedback. If they do something wrong, they’re scolded. If they do something right, they’re commended. Going back to the notion of inverting authority into oneself, the child then becomes an adult who (roughly) follows the moral values instilled in her during childhood. She then becomes an autonomous self-legislator. God isn’t necessary once again and thus, the Moral Argument is wrong.

4) The Formula of the Kingdom of Ends: “So act as if you were through your maxims a law-making member of a kingdom of ends.”

This formulation is the most compelling given that it absorbs, so to speak, the other formulations.10 Kant didn’t only speak of wills; he spoke of rational wills. Thus, under this formulation, we are to act in such a way that would be acceptable in a community of rational wills. In a community of rational wills, rape and murder would be unacceptable. Since people are autonomous, taking their lives or forcing oneself into a person is a violation of their autonomy. Your fellow rational wills will also recognize you as an autonomous individual and thus, without any need for Jesus’ Golden Rule or more generally, egoism, the rights conferred to them will also be conferred to you. My faith in humanity is enough to realize that developed countries look a lot more like Kant’s Kingdom of Ends than like a society of egoists pursuing their own self-interest. Even despite capitalism, people enjoy charity, sharing, altruism, and equality. People, in other words, recognize one another as autonomous and there are strict laws in place to punish people who violate the autonomy of others.

Ultimately, your demand for an authority is quelled by the fact that we, at the very least, possess the potential to legislate. That is to say that anyone of us can be exemplary moral agents. Kant’s rational will is preferable over the Hobbesian sovereign who can bend and break laws as he pleases. Sounds a lot like that god you worship, as we’ve seen. Also, your demand to know my ethical view has been addressed. Call me, in general, a Neo-Kantian, which isn’t to be confused with Kantian ethics. Neo-Kantians, like Rawls and Korsgaard, refer to Kant, but they also build upon him. It is therefore inaccurate to refer to them as Kantians. More specifically, you can refer to me as a procedural realist and as someone accepting a view that is the direct opposite of yours. You believe morality exists independently through god and that procedures can only trace them. I, on the other hand, believe that our procedures allow us to arrive at the most optimal moral principals. 

I’ve not only refuted your view, but I’ve established the superiority of mine, so when I state that I’m superior to you, the above summarizes why I and anyone who’s intellectually honest comes to that conclusion. It is a simple fact that you have failed to think as much as I have or as much as you would have to in order to arrive at a more respectable and tenable view; you’ve merely accepted the view that’s consistent with your overarching faith. It takes no legwork to choose a view simply because it’s accepted by people who believe almost precisely as you do. So do yourself the favor of never challenging me on ethics again unless you somehow develop viable criticisms of my ethical view. Before you try to use Google, I’ll just state that you won’t find much. You would have to do what you hate to do: read. You would have to buy some books and read philosophers who have disagreed with Korsgaard and Rawls, but you would also have to read responses to those criticisms. I’ve already done that and I’ve found nothing in their criticisms capable of changing my mind. That is to say that their criticisms were ultimately off the mark. My criticisms of your view are, however, on the mark. You’d have to be intellectually dishonest to fail to admit that. It’s time you do what other Christians have done: put the Moral Argument on the shelf of defeated Christian arguments; it’s a bad argument and for anyone well-versed in philosophy, it’s actually elementary. For all this talk about depth in philosophy brining men’s minds closer to god, depth in philosophy has only served to further convince me that gods don’t exist.

With Yahweh now dispensed with, we move now to the Son, Jesus. As I’ve stated in the past, this comes easiest. And once again, you’re out of your depth, so I’d have no reason to anticipate a response because you won’t have one. I’ll simply borrow from a fairly recent discussion to demonstrate a case against the Son.

Matthew 27:57-58 speaks of a Joseph of Arimathea. He came to Pilate to request Jesus’ body so that he may be buried. That files in the face of what we know about Pilate and the treatment of criminals who were crucified. Assuming the narrative is true, it’s highly unlikely Pilate would have listened.

Pilate was not a beneficent prefect who kindly listened to the protests of the people he governed. Was Pilate the sort of ruler who would break with tradition and policy when kindly asked by a member of the Jewish council to provide a decent burial for a crucified victim? Not from what we can tell. As Crossan dismissively states: “[Pilate] was an ordinary second-rate Roman governor with no regard for Jewish religious sensitivities and with brute force as his normal solution to even unarmed protesting or resisting crowds.” Even more graphic is the complaint of Philo, who lived during Pilate’s time and indicated that his administration was characterized by his “venality, his violence, his thefts, his assaults, his abusive behavior, his frequent executions of untried prisoners, and his endless savage ferocity” (Embassy of Gaius 302).11

These are the very books Christians depend on when claiming that the resurrection was historical, which it wasn’t. So what proof would we need? Historical evidence. The evidence is actually condemning. So let’s follow the logic. To assume a resurrection, you need to assume two things first: death by crucifixion and burial—hence the empty tomb. That leads to some problems. If Jesus was crucified, as is attested in historical accounts of crucifixions, he would have become a corpse on the cross and likely would not have been buried. Ehrman puts it this way:

The point of crucifixion was to torture and humiliate a person as fully as possible, and to show any bystanders what happens to someone who is a troublemaker in the eyes of Rome. Part of the humiliation and degradation was the body being left on the cross after death to be subject to scavenging animals.

John Dominic Crossan has made the rather infamous suggestion that Jesus’s body was not raised from the dead but was eaten by dogs. When I first heard this suggestion, I was no longer a Christian and so was not religiously outraged, but I did think it was excessive and sensationalist. But that was before I did any real research on the matter. My view now is that we do not know, and cannot know, what actually happened to Jesus’s body. But it is absolutely true that as far as we can tell from all the surviving evidence, what normally happened to a criminal’s body is that it was left to decompose and serve as food for scavenging animals. Crucifixion was meant to be a public disincentive to engage in politically subversive activities, and the disincentive did not end with the pain and death—it continued in the ravages worked on the corpse afterward.

Evidence for this comes from a wide range of sources. An ancient inscription found on the tombstone of a man who was murdered by his slave in the city of Caria tells us that the murderer “hung…alive for the wild beasts and birds of prey.” The Roman author Horace says in one of his letters that a slave was claiming to have done nothing wrong, to which his master replied, “You shall not therefore feed the carrion crows on the cross” (Epistle 1.16.46-48). The Roman satirist Juvenal speaks of “the vulture [that] hurries from the dead cattle and dogs and corpses, to bring some of the carrion to her offspring” (Satires 14.77-78). The most famous interpreter of dreams from the ancient world, a Greek Sigmund Freud named Artemidorus, writes that it is auspicious for a poor man in particular to have a dream about being crucified, since “a crucified man is raised high and his substance is sufficient to keep many birds” (Dream Book 2.53). And there is a bit of gallows humor in the Satyricon of Petronius, a one-time advisor to the emperor Nero, about a crucified victim being left for days on the cross (chaps. 11-12).

In sum, the common Roman practice was to allow the bodies of crucified people to decompose on the cross and be attacked by scavengers as part of the disincentive for crime. I have not run across any contrary indications in any ancient source. It is always possible that an exception was made, of course. But it must be remembered that the Christian storytellers who indicated that Jesus was an exception to the rule had an extremely compelling reason to do so. If Jesus had not been buried, his tomb could not be declared empty.12

Given the above, if we assume he was crucified, then given historical evidence, we’d have to assume he wasn’t an exception. However, what if we do assume he was an exception? Let’s say he was pulled down from the cross for some reason. Would he have been given a proper burial? Ehrman offers the following:

My second reason for doubting that Jesus received a decent burial is that at the time, criminals of all sorts were, as a rule, tossed into common graves. Again, a range of evidence is available from many times and places. The Greek historian of the first century BCE Diodorus Siculus speaks of a war between Philip of Macedonia (the father of Alexander the Great) in which he lost twenty men to the enemy, the Locrians. When Philip asked for their bodies in order to bury them, the Locrians refused, indicating that “it was the general law that temple-robbers should be cast forth without burial” (Library of History 16.25.2). From around 100 CE, the Greek author Dio Chrysotom indicates that in Athens, anyone who suffered “at the hands of the state for a crime” was “denied burial, so that in the future there may be no trace of a wicked man (Discourses 31.85). Among the Romans, we learn that after a battle fought by Octavian (the later Caesar Augustus, emperor when Jesus was born), one of his captives begged for a burial, to which Octavian replied, “The birds will soon settle that question” (Seutonius, Augustus 13). And we are told by the Roman historian Tacitus of a man who committed suicide to avoid being executed by the state, since anyone who was legally condemned and executed “forfeited his estate and was debarred from burial” (Annals 6.29h).

Again, it is possible that Jesus was an exception, but our evidence that this might have been the case must be judged to be rather thin. People who were crucified were usually left on their crosses as food for scavengers, and part of the punishment for ignominious crimes was being tossed into a common grave, where very soon one decomposed body could not be distinguished from another. In traditions about Jesus, of course, his body had to be distinguished from all others; otherwise, it could not be demonstrated to have been raised physically from the dead.13

Thus, given historical evidence, we can’t even assume that he was taken down from the cross after being crucified. We also can’t assume that he was given a proper burial. Therefore, we can’t assume that the Gospel accounts are reliable. Even if we assume all of that, the resurrection itself is a dubious assumption (see here). Proof isn’t mere assertion. Again, quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur. I’ll spare you the problems with assuming that the Gospel Jesus was historical. I’ve probably given you more to consider than you bargained for.

By the way, if we take the narrative at face value, it makes little sense. According to John 19:38-42, he was buried in a new tomb and clothed in linen with spices. This special treatment makes no sense in light of the fact that the Jews wanted him crucified because he was calling himself their king (see Luke 23:1-3, which is to be read in conjunction with Luke 22:66-71 and 23:5-19). Also, Acts 2:36 and 3:13-17 explicitly blames the Jews and recall, it’s widely held that the same author wrote both Luke and Acts. Given all this, if my reasoning hasn’t be clear, it makes no sense that they buried him in accordance with their customs after wanting him crucified because he was claiming to be their king. Thus, even if taken at face value, the narrative is confused.

Lastly, there’s the issue of Joseph of Arimathea. It’s likely he wasn’t a historical person.

Richard Carrier speculates, “Is the word a pun on ‘best disciple,’ ari[stos] mathe[tes]? Matheia means ‘disciple town’ in Greek; Ari- is a common prefix for superiority.” Since commentators have seen the burial by the outsider Joseph of Arimathea as a contrast to the failure of the disciples and intimates of Jesus, the coincidence that Arimathea can be read as “best disciple town” is staggering.14

That the name can be read in this way definitively rules out coincidence and makes it more likelier that the author of Mark used the character in a literary way. In other words, the author wasn’t looking to convey historical events. Ultimately, we have compelling reasons to doubt his burial, assuming he existed; therefore, without getting into the problems inherent in notions of resurrection, we have compelling reason to doubt his resurrection.

I bet you thought I was going down the mythicist route. Would have been so easy, since you could just accuse me of using Zeitgeist as my source. I don’t need mythicism to cast doubt on the Gospels. If the above wasn’t enough, let’s see you weasel your way out of the following set of contradictions:

Did Jesus carry the cross the entire way or did Simon of Cyrene carry it for him; Mark 15:21 or Luke 23:26 and John 19:17? Did one robber mock him or did both; Matthew 27:44 or Luke 23:39-40? Did the curtain rip before or after; Mark 15:37-38 or Luke 23:45-46?  Who went to the tomb–did Mary Magdalene go alone or did she have company and if so, how much company; Mark 16:1-3 (Mary Magdalene goes with Mary and Salome) or Matthew 28:1 (Mary Magdalene goes with just Mary) or John 20:1 (she goes alone)? Was there one man or one angel in the tomb (Mark 16:5 or Matthew 28:2-3) or were there two men or two angels (Luke 24:4 or John 20:11-12)? Was the stone rolled away or not; Mark 16:3-4 or Matthew 28:2?  Where’s this earthquake in the other Gospels by the way?  Were the disciples to stay in Jerusalem or were they to go to Galilee (Mark 16:7 and Matthew 28:7 or the silence of Luke and John on whether or not to go to Galilee)? Did the women tell the disciples or did they stay silent? As Ehrman says, it depends which Gospel you read.

Critical questions and valid criticisms like the ones above are what Bran calls hatred and “lies about Christianity on the Christianity tag.” This is none of the above. You don’t have to hate something to criticize it. You don’t have to lie in order to raise valid criticism. These are simple historical and textual facts that stare Christian after Christian right in the face. All I’ve done is confront you with that which you’ve refused to honestly look in the eye. Like I said, the evidence is available and sometimes staring you right in the face. This is why I’ve often defined faith as belief despite the evidence rather than simply belief in the absence of evidence. The issue with, in particular, Christians and Muslims is that they work from different frameworks and thus, what we consider evidence they may not consider evidence; thus, any effort to convince them would require one to shake their confidence in their framework rather than simply asking them to consider evidence. Never mind that certain frameworks lead them to interpret the evidence in a manner that favors their view(s). That’s blatant confirmation bias. What I’ve done here is shake the very framework you’re working from. 

Now Bran or whoever you are, just accept that you’re currently a joke. You’re a laughing stock. You’re demonstrably one of the more unintelligent Christians on Tumblr. You don’t think well enough nor deep enough. You say you’ve questioned, but you don’t show that to be the case. You make simplistic generalizations about atheists, give us clear examples of contempt toward atheists, and yet you claim that you’re the one that’s hated and persecuted. You go out of your way to cite examples of actual Christian persecution whilst ignoring that none of it is at the hands of the atheists you hate so much. Never mind that you sit comfortably behind your keyboard and do nothing about their circumstances. As I’m sure you’ve been told, you don’t direct people to charities and organizations attempting to do something about Christian persecution in other countries. It’s simply useful in forwarding your agenda: “Christophobia.” What you need to realize is that some atheists have legitimate and justifiable reasons for their rejection of your beliefs. This requires neither hatred nor dishonesty; it requires critical thinking, reading (which we established you despise doing), uncomfortable dialogue with people offering perspectives different from and that sometimes contradict your own, and perhaps most importantly, evidence (which you said we don’t have). This is how you grow intellectually. 

If you can’t do that, at least stop citing me in your puerile posts, stop accusing me of sending you profanity-laced anonymous messages, and stop creating entire blogs to give yourself a makeshift anon option. I don’t have anonymous turned on and never have, and most likely never will. My reasons are simple: if you’re too much of a coward to state your disagreements openly and respectfully, you don’t deserve to voice your opinion; so I’ve effectively decided not to give people the right to voice their opinion both in secret and disrespectfully. As you can see, however, people can make things known to me in secret; I have a provision for people that don’t want others to see what they’ve said or asked, and till this day, believe it or not, most of these people are doubting Christians who don’t want people knowing who they are and that they’re having doubts. I’ve even had atheists who are recent deconverts and find atheism troubling and even unfulfilling. Yet no one but me knows these people. The thing is, these people don’t come into my inbox with the intention of cursing me out, calling me names, threatening me, etc. 

If it’s true that I hate Christians, one has to wonder why I didn’t trick these people into trusting me with their secrets only to share their secrets and identities. One has to wonder why I haven’t laughed at them or mocked them during their crisis of faith. The truth is that I don’t get any enjoyment out of this. In opposing a religion that is invasive, oppressive, and ultimately, wrong, I have also, due to no choice of my own, placed myself in opposition to people who believe this religion wholeheartedly. So despite the fact that I can hurt them emotionally, I see it as a moral imperative to explicitly state the reasons for my non-belief when directly challenged. I compare it to taking candy from a toddler. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t do this. Unfortunately, to rid us of these oppressive beliefs, I have to confront them who find comfort in their chains. What’s more is that you would ask me to chain myself as well because you’ve been fooled into thinking that you’re free and have been given life in abundance. I reject your beliefs and I’ve stated some of my reasons. I don’t see what’s hard about accepting this; furthermore, I don’t see what’s hard about ceasing to equate this with dishonesty or hatred for Christians. It is neither. It is merely the result of a process everyone should follow: an honest inquiry into the views we espouse, i.e., why we espouse them? are these thoughts original to us? if not, are they still worth adopting? are there any weaknesses in this view? are they such that we are to abandon said view? can this view be further improved? is there another view(s) that’s better in its place? You can’t go through this process if you believe to have found a truth you never sought.

Works Cited

1 White, Ellen. “Who are the Nephilim?”. Bible History Daily. 19 Nov 2014. Web.

2 Ibid.

3 Korsgaard, Christine M., and Onora Neill.The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996. 36-37. Print.

4 See Locke, John. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding in Cahn, Steven M. Ed. Classics of Western Philosophy, 7th Ed. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. Indianapolis/Cambridge. 2006. 630-632. Print. 

5 Ibid. [4]

6  Pecorino, Philip A. “Chapter Two: Ethical Traditions”. Queensborough Community College. 2002.

7 Goldstein, Rebecca. Plato at the Googleplex: Why Philosophy Won’t Go Away. New York: Pantheon Books, 2014. 105. Print.

8 Churchland, Patricia Smith. Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2011. 168. Print.

9 Pojman, Louis P. Ethics: Discovering Right and Wrong. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth Pub., 1990. 84. Print.

10 Bagnoli, Carla. “Constructivism in Metaethics”. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2011.

11 Ehrman, Bart D.. How Jesus became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 2014. 163. Print.

12 Ibid. (p.157-158, 160)

13 Ibid. (p.160-161)

14 Kirby, Peter. “The Case Against the Empty Tomb”. Infidels. 2001.

“For You created my INMOST being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise You because I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made; Your works are WONDERFUL, I know that full well. My frame was NOT hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” ~ Psalm 139:13-16

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“Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our IMAGE, according to Our LIKENESS; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created MAN in His OWN image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.“ ~ Genesis 1:26-27 

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"But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who FORMED you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed YOU; I have called YOU by NAME; YOU are MINE!” ~ Isaiah 43:1

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“For we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” ~ Ephesians 2:10

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“Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived. Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF WITH OTHERS. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life. Be very sure now, you who have been trained to a self-sufficient maturity, that you enter into a generous common life with those who have trained you, sharing all the good things that you have and experience. Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others - ignoring God! - harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.” ~ Galatians 6:1-10

anonymous asked:

Do you believe in the Trinity? I find myself believing it but it isn't mentioned in the Bible and I don't want to be mislead and going to hell.

Yes. 110000010101000000% 

The most difficult thing about the Christian concept of the Trinity is that there is no way to perfectly and completely understand it. The Trinity is a concept that is impossible for any human being to fully understand, let alone explain. God is infinitely greater than we are; therefore, we should not expect to be able to fully understand Him. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, that Jesus is God, and that the Holy Spirit is God. The Bible also teaches that there is only one God. Though we can understand some facts about the relationship of the different Persons of the Trinity to one another, ultimately, it is incomprehensible to the human mind. However, this does not mean the Trinity is not true or that it is not based on the teachings of the Bible.

The Trinity is one God existing in three Persons. Understand that this is not in any way suggesting three Gods. Keep in mind when studying this subject that the word “Trinity” is not found in Scripture. This is a term that is used to attempt to describe the triune God—three coexistent, co-eternal Persons who make up God. Of real importance is that the concept represented by the word “Trinity” does exist in Scripture. The following is what God’s Word says about the Trinity:

1) There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4; Galatians 3:20; 1 Timothy 2:5).

2) The Trinity consists of three Persons (Genesis 1:1, 26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8, 48:16, 61:1; Matthew 3:16-17,28:19; 2 Corinthians 13:14). In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew plural noun “Elohim” is used. In Genesis 1:26, 3:22,11:7 and Isaiah 6:8, the plural pronoun for “us” is used. The word “Elohim” and the pronoun “us” are plural forms, definitely referring in the Hebrew language to more than two. While this is not an explicit argument for the Trinity, it does denote the aspect of plurality in God. The Hebrew word for “God,” “Elohim,” definitely allows for the Trinity.

In Isaiah 48:16 and 61:1, the Son is speaking while making reference to the Father and the Holy Spirit. CompareIsaiah 61:1 to Luke 4:14-19 to see that it is the Son speaking. Matthew 3:16-17 describes the event of Jesus’ baptism. Seen in this passage is God the Holy Spirit descending on God the Son while God the Father proclaims His pleasure in the Son. Matthew 28:19 and 2 Corinthians 13:14 are examples of three distinct Persons in the Trinity.

3) The members of the Trinity are distinguished one from another in various passages. In the Old Testament, “LORD” is distinguished from “Lord” (Genesis 19:24; Hosea 1:4). The LORD has a Son (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:2-4). The Spirit is distinguished from the “LORD” (Numbers 27:18) and from “God” (Psalm 51:10-12). God the Son is distinguished from God the Father (Psalm 45:6-7; Hebrews 1:8-9). In the New Testament, Jesus speaks to the Father about sending a Helper, the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). This shows that Jesus did not consider Himself to be the Father or the Holy Spirit. Consider also all the other times in the Gospels where Jesus speaks to the Father. Was He speaking to Himself? No. He spoke to another Person in the Trinity—the Father.

4) Each member of the Trinity is God. The Father is God (John 6:27; Romans 1:7; 1 Peter 1:2). The Son is God (John 1:1, 14; Romans 9:5; Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:8; 1 John 5:20). The Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4; 1 Corinthians 3:16).

5) There is subordination within the Trinity. Scripture shows that the Holy Spirit is subordinate to the Father and the Son, and the Son is subordinate to the Father. This is an internal relationship and does not deny the deity of any Person of the Trinity. This is simply an area which our finite minds cannot understand concerning the infinite God. Concerning the Son see Luke 22:42, John 5:36, John 20:21, and 1 John 4:14. Concerning the Holy Spirit see John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7, and especially John 16:13-14.

6) The individual members of the Trinity have different tasks. The Father is the ultimate source or cause of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; Revelation 4:11); divine revelation (Revelation 1:1); salvation (John 3:16-17); and Jesus’ human works (John 5:17; 14:10). The Father initiates all of these things.

The Son is the agent through whom the Father does the following works: the creation and maintenance of the universe (1 Corinthians 8:6; John 1:3; Colossians 1:16-17); divine revelation (John 1:1, 16:12-15; Matthew 11:27;Revelation 1:1); and salvation (2 Corinthians 5:19; Matthew 1:21; John 4:42). The Father does all these things through the Son, who functions as His agent.

The Holy Spirit is the means by whom the Father does the following works: creation and maintenance of the universe (Genesis 1:2; Job 26:13; Psalm 104:30); divine revelation (John 16:12-15; Ephesians 3:5; 2 Peter 1:21); salvation (John 3:6; Titus 3:5; 1 Peter 1:2); and Jesus’ works (Isaiah 61:1; Acts 10:38). Thus, the Father does all these things by the power of the Holy Spirit.

There have been many attempts to develop illustrations of the Trinity. However, none of the popular illustrations are completely accurate. The egg (or apple) fails in that the shell, white, and yolk are parts of the egg, not the egg in themselves, just as the skin, flesh, and seeds of the apple are parts of it, not the apple itself. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not parts of God; each of them is God. The water illustration is somewhat better, but it still fails to adequately describe the Trinity. Liquid, vapor, and ice are forms of water. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are not forms of God, each of them is God. So, while these illustrations may give us a picture of the Trinity, the picture is not entirely accurate. An infinite God cannot be fully described by a finite illustration.

The doctrine of the Trinity has been a divisive issue throughout the entire history of the Christian church. While the core aspects of the Trinity are clearly presented in God’s Word, some of the side issues are not as explicitly clear. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God—but there is only one God. That is the biblical doctrine of the Trinity. Beyond that, the issues are, to a certain extent, debatable and non-essential. Rather than attempting to fully define the Trinity with our finite human minds, we would be better served by focusing on the fact of God’s greatness and His infinitely higher nature. “Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” (Romans 11:33-34).

anonymous asked:

My mom just called me fat, she told me to at least try to hide it. Idk why but this actually hit me hard. I'm thinking about meeting ana but I don't know... is there any bible verses that talk about this? Please help

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Matthew 6:25

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?

1 Corinthians 10:13

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Song of Solomon 4:7

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.

1 Samuel 16:7

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

Psalm 107:17-21

Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!

1 Corinthians 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

James 4:7

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Luke 12:22

And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.

Romans 12:1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

Psalm 139:14

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Romans 14:1-23
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

Romans 14:7-8

For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.

Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Psalm 107:17-20
Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

1 Peter 3:4-5

But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands,

Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Nehemiah 8:10

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

John 10:10

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

Psalm 139:1-24

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

Colossians 2:20-23

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

Psalm 139:15

My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Don’t give up! You are loved the way you are.

31 Days To Knowing Your Worth:
Day 1/31: You Are Made in God’s Image

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27 (NIV)

1. The One who is capable of doing all things, created YOU in His image. Yes, you. There is absolutely no coincidence that this beautiful truth is in the first chapter of the Bible. This means that this has been true since the very beginning of time. You are apart of God’s creation that He calls good. You matter. You are important to Him. You were created in His image.

2. Even on the days when you’re not feeling like you’re good enough, remember that you were made in the image of God and not in the image of fear, doubt, or insecurity. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been told or what you’ve started to believe about yourself, these things do not create your value or your worth. Even when you feel like you can’t measure up to your family’s expectations of you or the expectations of the person you’re in a relationship with, or even the expectations you have for yourself, you must continue to cling to the One who is breathing life in to you on a daily basis.
3. Don’t let your mind be filled with images of what modern culture says you should be. Don’t be consumed by the images in your mind that leave you constantly wondering if you would feel more valuable if you had been married and had kids by now, or if you were as successful as your siblings or the people you graduated high school with. These are the kind of images that the enemy wants us to hone in on, but these are not the images that God created you in. He created you in HIS image. You are HIS creation. So don’t let anything in this world take your eyes off of the beautiful truth that your worth doesn’t come from anything or anyone in this world but Him, the One who created you.

Biblical context + further reading: Genesis 1:26-29
Submit your photo! Email Morgan@thecentrecc.org

3

“Beauty is not what’s on the outside, but what is on the inside.”

I don’t think I will ever get tired of telling people how beautiful they are, each and every one of us because we are all children of God, and that in itself is truly a beautiful thing. 

I see it all too often around me, that all these people young girls and women are unhappy, insecure, and feel unworthy because they don’t look like that girl in the magazine. But who’s to say you’re not beautiful just because you don’t look like a photo-shopped woman who herself has flaws before their pictures are tinkered with. That woman in a magazine you so badly want to be, is not achievable and is unrealistic. 

Why would you want to change the person that God created you to be? 

You may not be societies idea of “magazine worthy”, because their interpretation of beauty is flawed in the worst way. You are worthy in the eyes of our Lord, and only He who created you, can judge you. 

I am not be the prettiest person around, and I’m not skinny, but I know I am beautiful and I love who I am. No one’s opinion of me will change that, and I hope that you all can respect yourself enough to love who you are and to look to God rather than looking to a magazine.

Genesis 1:26-27 “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, in our likeness’ … So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”

anonymous asked:

As a christian I would assume you are against abortion (im not trying to be judgemental I just figured that was a fair assumption?) but anyway do you not think it is womans right to choose?

You are correct, I don’t believe in abortion. Personally, I think that the idea that abortion is some sort of victory for women is short signed and in a way insulting. What abortion actually does is give men and women the ability to walk away from the consequences of their actions. Statistics show it increases the likelihood of depression. It robs men of fatherhood. It robs a baby of their life, there is one abortion every 26 seconds - thats one life been taken by choice every 26 seconds.

The Bible never specifically addresses the issue of abortion. However, there are numerous teachings in Scripture that make it abundantly clear what God’s view of abortion is.

  • Jeremiah 1:5 tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb.
  • Psalm 139:13-16 speaks of God’s active role in our creation and formation in the womb.
  • Exodus 21:22-25 prescribes the same penalty—death—for someone who causes the death of a baby in the womb as for someone who commits murder.

This clearly indicates that God considers a baby in the womb to be as human as a full-grown adult. For the Christian, abortion is not a matter of a woman’s right to choose. It is a matter of the life or death of a human being made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27; 9:6).

The first argument that always arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about cases of rape and/or incest?” As horrible as it would be to become pregnant as a result of rape and/or incest, is the murder of a baby the answer? Two wrongs do not make a right. The child who is a result of rape/incest could be given in adoption to a loving family unable to have children on their own, or the child could be raised by its mother. Again, the baby is completely innocent and should not be punished for the evil acts of its father.

The second argument that usually arises against the Christian stance on abortion is “What about when the life of the mother is at risk?” Honestly, this is the most difficult question to answer on the issue of abortion. First, let’s remember that this situation is the reason behind less than one-tenth of one percent of the abortions done in the world today. Far more women have an abortion for convenience than women who have an abortion to save their own lives. Second, let’s remember that God is a God of miracles. He can preserve the life of a mother and a child despite all the medical odds being against it. Ultimately, though, this question can only be decided between a husband, wife, and God. Any couple facing this extremely difficult situation should pray to the Lord for wisdom (James 1:5) as to what He would have them to do.

Apparently, over 95 percent of the abortions performed today involve women who simply do not want to have a baby. Less than 5 percent of abortions are for the reasons of rape, incest, or the mother’s health at risk. Even in the more difficult 5 percent of instances, abortion should never be the first option. The life of a human being in the womb is worth every effort to allow the child to be born.