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lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
972 posts
Farmer

-----Original Topic-----

Is following Christ (or lack of following Christ) a heart issue rather than an intellectual issue? Do you reject Christ because of evidence or do you reject Christ because you are satisfied with things of this world rather than God? I'm bringing this topic up because I have found a new love and appreciation for God, but also because I kinda miss debating if I'm going to be honest. I wanted to see how my new knowledge of God will fare against your arguments. I hope to only speak the truth and I pray that God will speak into your hearts. I'm not sure if these are good questions tho, so feel free to change the subject.

-----Revised Topic-----
4/29/20
When I wrote this, it was impulsive. I just wanted to debate because I wanted a sense of purpose. I didn't put any thought into the questions.

Now this topic is just Christianity in general, I think. To guide the conversation, I want to answer these questions: What is the true essence of Christianity and why is it different from other religions?

  • 63 Replies
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
972 posts
Farmer

Which is interesting when considering that you also said humans are fundamentally flawed, a "fallen race", and that our own desires earn us nothing but sin and death.

Because we are “fallen”. Ever since the fall, that’s been our nature. There’s a better picture in Romans 5. Paul explains the fall in relationship to the work of Christ.

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man's trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:12-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Here, he compares Christ to Adam, saying that he is a kind of “second Adam”. But instead of creating a fall for humans, Christ has done the opposite by extending the ability to glorify God to all humans and not just Jews.

In that case I'm afraid I will never be able to worship your God for His character. While there are passages where He may appear just and kind, there are some where He... doesn't. Overall, judged by human standards, I would consider Him a horrible person.

That is understandable. Doesn’t it make sense to not be attracted to your enemy? You are at odds with God who promises to punish his enemies. That doesn’t sound nice or kind at all. But may God work in your heart so that you might learn to love Him. Even though, you might be separated from God right now, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is your assurance that God will accept you with loving embrace as his child. That’s why trusting in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is so crucial to your salvation.

HahiHa
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HahiHa
8,202 posts
Regent

Sorry for the late reply, I got distracted by stuff

Because we are “fallen”. Ever since the fall, that’s been our nature.

Not just since the fall. If we fell, then because we've been created fallible. I've already told you I find it strange that the creation of a divine being such as the Christian God, the 'crown of creation' even as some like to consider themselves, made in His image no less, and the object of His love, should be so fundamentally wrong.
Concerning the fall and subsequent "saving" of humanity, I could argue - even from a biblical point of view, I think - that humans never fundamentally changed, the only thing that differed is God's opinion of us. The only thing that led to the fall was God planting a very specific and very symbolic tree where Adam and Eve would eventually find it and eat the fruits; the only thing that "saved" us was an entirely symbolic sacrifice enacted by God and His 'son'. In neither case had humanity any agency over their destiny whatsoever, in neither case did they act fundamentally against their nature. It's only ever been God choosing to condemn or save us and justifying it through some symbolic metaphor. This, coming from a religion that often puts an emphasis on free will and the importance of "choosing" God.

That is understandable. Doesn’t it make sense to not be attracted to your enemy? You are at odds with God who promises to punish his enemies. That doesn’t sound nice or kind at all. But may God work in your heart so that you might learn to love Him. Even though, you might be separated from God right now, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is your assurance that God will accept you with loving embrace as his child. That’s why trusting in Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is so crucial to your salvation.

God is not my enemy, and I am not at odds with Him, for He doesn't exist. I am at odds with people telling me that everything that makes me who I am is wrong except in the light of their own belief, with people telling me I am evil independent of how good or bad my acts are as long as I don't accept a symbolical act they believe in. I am at odds with the arrogance of people considering me a mere recalcitrant child that will eventually feel divine love, just because I don't share their beliefs. I know it's what you believe in, and you don't mean to offend; but please understand that from my perspective, being essentially told "Shush, it's all going to be well" by my interlocutor in a debate just doesn't come across very well.

And sure, if God did exist, I might have issues with Him, though then at least I could directly 'talk' it out with Him, see for myself how things are. But He doesn't, of that I have as little doubt as you have of the contrary. I am not debating because I have some internal quarrel or so, but just because I like to debate; especially since as an atheist I am surrounded by people who think differently. I'm just saying this because sometimes I get the impression that the person I'm talking to assumes that the fact I'm even debating at all means I'm a lost lamb trying to come to terms with doubts but will eventually find the way (meaning their way). At least I'm certain it's happened before, and it understandably makes me feel like I'm not being taken seriously. Please ignore and excuse this whole paragraph if it doesn't apply to you

Still, maybe that somehow answers your original question: in a way it's both a heart and intellectual issue, though not in the sense you meant it. In my 'heart' I do not believe in any deity, spiritual or supernatural being or force. Intellectually I've yet to hear an argument that might change my mind or make me doubt, and all evidence I've seen so far confirms me in my worldview. And yet I do not reject Christ, because Christ to me is a fictional character, possibly based off of a real but very normal human. I feel as little need to reject Christ as I might feel rejecting Gandalf, if that makes any sense.
lozerfac3
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lozerfac3
972 posts
Farmer

Not just since the fall. If we fell, then because we've been created fallible. I've already told you I find it strange that the creation of a divine being such as the Christian God, the 'crown of creation' even as some like to consider themselves, made in His image no less, and the object of His love, should be so fundamentally wrong.

I think you have a point. With the passage that I already provided, it says "for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law."

Concerning the fall and subsequent "saving" of humanity, I could argue - even from a biblical point of view, I think - that humans never fundamentally changed, the only thing that differed is God's opinion of us.

I don't think humans ever fundamentally changed; we were fallible from the beginning, but I don't think God's opinion of us ever changed. He knew from the beginning that we would fall, being omniscient and all.

This, coming from a religion that often puts an emphasis on free will and the importance of "choosing" God.

I don't think Christianity puts an emphasis on free will. We do have a free will, but God is the "author of our steps". If anything, it puts an emphasis on God's will. "God's will be done". Because of our fallen nature, we have no ability to choose God unless God saves us. For more on that, you should look up the Calvinist vs. Armenian debate. It has been debated for centuries so I wouldn't expect a quick and easy answer, but I am a strong advocate for Calvinism.

I am at odds with the arrogance of people considering me a mere recalcitrant child that will eventually feel divine love, just because I don't share their beliefs.

Allow me to clarify what I said. Even though you might be separated from God right now, Christ’s life, death, and resurrection is your assurance that God will accept you with loving embrace as his child if you accept Christ. Idk if that makes a difference, but you made it seem like I said that you will eventually be a Christian. That would only be the case if you make Christ your Lord and Savior, and ultimately if God saves you.

I know it's what you believe in, and you don't mean to offend; but please understand that from my perspective, being essentially told "Shush, it's all going to be well" by my interlocutor in a debate just doesn't come across very well.

Hmmm maybe I haven't emphasized enough that all will NOT be well if you don't accept Christ. You will surely die and be punished if you continue in your godless ways. But that is not the final message of Christ. Christ has ALREADY suffered for your sake and for your soul. God loves the people of the world and Jesus is the proof.

Intellectually I've yet to hear an argument that might change my mind or make me doubt, and all evidence I've seen so far confirms me in my worldview. And yet I do not reject Christ, because Christ to me is a fictional character, possibly based off of a real but very normal human. I feel as little need to reject Christ as I might feel rejecting Gandalf, if that makes any sense.

I would like to say the same thing about my worldview. I hope that you would see me as an intellectual equal for the sake of our debates, and I have sensed that you have, so I appreciate that. If your problem is a heart issue, it is my job as a Christian to share God's love, to treat you as a human being with valid ideas. If I have failed that, then I have failed to be a disciple of Christ. If your problem is an intellectual issue, then I will try my best to present the gospel as a verifiable fact. If I have failed that, then I leave the rest up to God. When I say your problem, I am not trying to compare you to a "lost lamb trying to come to terms with doubts". I am saying it is a problem because your life is on the line.

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