What I believe….

I am a Christian. I believe in a magic sky clown that makes everything happen. Everything that happens is His will. Sometimes bad things happen, but that’s because He moves in mysterious ways – says so in the Bible.

I believe that this magic sky clown came to earth as a Jewish Zombie to tell us to obey Him. I believe that if we don’t believe in Him and obey his 10 Commandments, then we will be eternally punished in a lake of fire by devils with horns – says so in the Bible.

Beyond that, I don’t believe in Science. I don’t like words such as evidence of proof or logic. I have Faith. I’m happy with not knowing.

I don’t think they should teach evolution in school. I’m a Christian and therefore a creationist, and I believe that the world was created 6000 years ago with the appearance of age. Any so-called science that seems to contradict that is merely a test of faith from God. Don’t get me started on dinosaurs.

I don’t like anybody who disagrees with me. Because I know I’m right. I believe I have all the answers.

I’m a good person because I’m a Christian. If you’re not a Christian, you’re not a good person and, more than that, you can’t really understand what it means to be good. Only Christians can truly understand morality. I’m better than you.

You should just believe in God. Don’t think about it too much. Just believe, and come to church. You should do what I do and use religion as a crutch. Says so in the Bible.

_____

All the above statements are obviously moronic, but all of them are genuine accusations I’ve had thrown at me by friends. We are boundary setting at this early stage in our journey, and it’s probably important to lay out what we’re trying to do with this apologetics strand.

Some people are very anti-apologetics. The main objection raised is that nobody can be argued into heaven – that it requires God’s spirit to convert people. Now, that’s entirely true about the Holy Spirit, but it’s also a cop out. The paragraphs above show just how much misunderstanding exists about the Christian faith in our culture – a culture that labels itself as ‘enlightened’ about such things. Apologetics shouldn’t exist to argue anybody into anything. It should exist to help break down some of the intellectual barriers that people build up between themselves and Jesus. For example, if you are of the opinion that science has totally disproved God or that there’s no way that a good God could send people to hell, then you could have a vision of Jesus and it might not make any impact on you whatsoever – you’d simply find a way to dismiss it. The DS (Demolition Squad) has been set up to blow apart some of the misconceptions and overturn the dismissals.

Apologetics is massively biblical. Both Elijah and Paul are seen debating with people of rival beliefs about the nature and reality of God. 1 Peter says this: Always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that is in you, but with gentleness and respect. Always, Reason, Gentleness, Respect: If we ever develop a Demolition Squad sigil, maybe that could be our motto? It’s better than ‘God Hates Fags’, I’m sure you’ll agree.

The New Testament does not distinguish between apologetics and evangelism as though they were different activities. Little enough is said about “the evangelist”, but not a mention is made of “the apologist”! They had one approach in evangelism and its central feature was two-way dialogue. They listened seriously to what people were saying. They engaged with the cultural world of their hearers. They tried to understand their difficulties. Tuning in and finding their cultural and intellectual level, they set out to demolish opposing arguments before presenting the gospel in a convincing way, in terms their hearers could understand.

So that’s what we’re about. We’re just about ready to get started, I think….

 

  • Samuel

    Why am I a tad rankled here? I hope it’s not lack of sleep.

    I’ve been on both sides of the Christian Apologetics’ ever-expanding fence, and I much prefer it where I am now. I’m not anti-apologetics in the sense it takes up a significant part of my time. In fact I rarely think about it. I’d rather not carry that around.

    OK, the above is your opinion and what you believe — as is the somewhat misplaced assertion “Apologetics is massively biblical”. Anything’s biblical enough if we hammer on the square peg hard enough.

    Here’s another point-of-view: there are more secure ways to communicate the Life of God and better places to mine for the richest veins of life-changing truths. Nothing shifts here.

    Dismantling those intellectual roadblocks is problematic and can be subjective. And it can be a shifting foundation at times juggling the facts as we understand them, counteracting, for example, the evolving gamut of secular expressions of science. A relentless distraction to some.

    What I carefully believe after 3 decades (includes opinions of course) may just rankle, but it’s not a cop out.

    http://putyourhandtotheplough.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/apologetics-and-gods-truth/

  • Tom Elliott

    Good work Andy!

  • Jim

    @Samuel: Get some sleep.

  • Alberto

    If you hate someone you are not a Christian.

    Jesus would be here today to defend muslins, gays, blacks, fats,
    balds, blinds, any person or animal, because the message of him is
    universal, always.

    The message of Jesus is about love universal with tolerance and
    reverence. If you say is a Christian but you don’t have the Christian
    heart you are not a Christian, but a fraud.
    MORE

    Your
    think have two types of important mistakes, one of them causes injustice
    (next post). Does his religion allow the people to be unjust?

    Mistake 1. You think science and religion are opponents.

    The function of the science is to learn as the world works, just
    that. What the benefit that? When humans learn about the much things
    using science, it improves the things. Do you go the a dentist today to
    treat a decay and does it suffer of pains as it would suffer 100 years
    ago? No, there is always an improvement of something with more
    knowledge. In the Old Testaments times, the peoples died toothless.

    Science doesn’t research the proof that God exists or the contrary
    proof or if Creacionism is real. The function of the science is not to
    prove that the Bible is wrong or right. More, the science just studies
    as the world is, not like you or Paul or Jose or Sarah they believe that
    is. The reality IS. All knowledge about the reality in this moment is a
    confirmed true.

    If the science discovered and it proved that the universe has 13
    billion year and the life has 3 billion years in our planet, that it
    says because it learned as those subjects happen, it didn’t invent
    nothing, it’s not a belief, it’s reality. If it is true, it is not
    faith.

    Not to accept a truth to accept a faith of a religious vision that
    has a different idea is infantile. What you believe has not value
    because is confirmed wrong now.

    The fact of the science to prove such facts as true it is not to
    support the opponent of her Faith, because it gives very well for a
    believing person to believe in God and to follow Jesus’ moral rules
    without Creacionism. The fact of Creacionism not to have existed it
    doesn’t implode God, it only implodes a believe wrong.

    Beliefs are only beliefs. They have not value until someone proof
    that are true. If the science proves that a belief is wrong, we,
    consciously, should put the faith in the garbage because the truth has
    more value, always. Or do you like to live a lie?

    The people conscious of the History of the human species know that
    the Creacionism vision was invented by people that lived 10 thousand
    years ago that thought was like this. It was a faith, the one of them,
    because they didn’t know nor they had as discovering the truth, they
    didn’t have access to instruments and knowledge, they didn’t know how to
    distinguish planets of stars, didn’t know that lived in a round planet.Some people looked at children making human body in the mud and it was
    of that ingenuousness, the maxim that they could think, was that came
    the idea that the man came from the mud, but that vision is totally
    wrong today.

    God didn’t get off the skies to say nothing to prehistorical minds.
    Even that God had gone down and said to them that are billions of years
    of existence and speak about protons, neutros, eletrons, DNA, the old
    people of 10 thousand years ago didn’t have mind to understand what that
    would mean, they didn’t study, they didn’t have how it idealizes of
    such dimension of time or see our round planet, the Creacionism vision
    was the maximum capacity that those minds would can think about our
    origins.

    But you studied, you see the planet by images of satelites, you have
    capacity to understand thathe reality now. Do you want? Are you prepared
    to accept the true?

    To have the obligation of accepting the “complete package” of the
    faith (with Creacionism) to catch the idea that God exists is infantile
    and wrong, it is without value, it’s not necessary to defend the
    “complete package”. God none would like a person to be so naive.

    To follow the truth is not part of the dogmas of your faith? Then, in
    our times the true is more easy to discover, we have tools, we can see
    the particles of matter, we can measure the time of universe, we can
    study the evolution happening. Thousands of years ago the peoples was
    afraid of eclipses and comets. The truth is not in minds of the peoples
    of thousands of years ago. You are giving power to a lie – that the
    Bible has all the true. Not. Biblia is only a picture of as the
    prehistoric minds thought and they saw the world, as our children think
    today.

    About the your “mistake 2” I will write more another day.

  • Alberto

    Mistake 2. You don’t believe in science. Wrong thought. Science is not faith, science is the reality, science shows facts, as one could not believe in facts? Science discover trues those are proven.

    Don’t you believe in the internet, in the computer, in the mobile phone, in the automobiles, in the buildings and elevators (that don’t fall), in the satellites, in GPS, in the food that eats, in the water it does clean and done treat that you drink, in the shoes that you put on, in the tennis that you use to walk and to run?

    All those have “embeded” science and knowledge.

    When do you drive a car you don’t believe that will brake, you KNOW that the breaks will work certainly. That is science in action. You don’t need to believe, you KNOW that works.

    Did you never need a doctor? Did you never take medicines nor vaccines? Don’t you believe in the result of the blood tests? Don’t you hear music in the radios or in MP3? Don’t you use hot water in his bath? Don’t you use pencil, pens, glasses, plates, silverwares? How is the petroleum processed and the electric power generated? How do the motors and the refrigerators work? Who produced the softwares?

    Everything has science. That works. Why does works? There is science.

    That point is the most important to discuss, his lack of conscience on that, his feeling of badly gratitude for the self-denying work of millions of people that in the last two hundred years, every day, they give him a “world of science” for you to live well and better, that turn his easier life, that they expand the conscience and the knowledge.

    You are unjust when you don’t notice the high value that the science brings everyday for his nourishment, for his work, in the production of the books in paper or digital midia that you read, that they teach him, that feed him. Science has a lot of value because it give us true knowledge.

    Why do you behave as an ostrich giving value to a Creacionism that is already proven that never existed? Why so much will of showing to be a unreal mind? Does his God like that? Doesn’t God want you to grow in conscience?

    With science it is not believed, it is known, because it proves. Work. Improvement. Science brings benefits. To believe in unreal faiths doesn’t get better in anything the world. We would be at the caves dying toothless without science. Would his God would say in this case? “Do you have intelligence for what? To believe in the faiths that you invented? Why didn’t improve the life for yourself, rationally?”

    Thanks to many people the humanity decided willingly to develop, to learn, to know the universe, but if you neither want to develop nor to accept the truth I ask for you be coherent, leave everything that you have and go to live in the bush, without science, without clothes, without anything.

    You will discover that to survive will need to learn and to hunt, which the fruits are poisonous, etc. You will notice how it is important to discover as the world works. That is science, in a first moment it is used to survive, and if you get to survive, in a second moment you will want to know how to get better. And of discovery in discovery you will discover the reality that the universe appeared there are 13 billion years and that the man didn’t come from the mud. Those misconceptions appeared in the people’s of 10 thousand years ago mind that they didn’t have enough science for us to discover the reality.

    Then, if after reading that you are still reticent to give the due value to the science, be coherent, go to live in the bush without science. So you will learn how to leave of being unjust and you will give value to the that to deserve, but you can be able to give value to the that to deserve still believing in God, but not with an ignorant faith.

  • Alberto

    “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it”

    Neil deGrasse Tyson

  • Anonymous

    Alberto! I think you have missed the point – if you read the whole article you we see the first half is sarcasm – the things people have told Andy his beliefs amount to!

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