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Christianity… Where’s the REAL proof?
Posted: 01 July 2009 07:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 30 June 2009 07:43 PM

You need to meet and see real people who are submitted to God’s vision of marriage, as I’ve already said.

I have.  I’ve been around Christians all my life.  I see those who have successful marriages and those who don’t.  How could any non-Christian marriage could thrive at all?  These marriages don’t include the third and most important ingredient… God. 
Stepping back, I began to see that it really doesn’t make any difference.  There are scores of folks on this planet who could care less about God’s vision of marriage, yet they stay together for a lifetime - many of them happy and fulfilled. 

There is much fruit to be seen, as I’ve already shared with you…. And the fruit isn’t just a successful marriage…

Clay, there is an overabundance of bad fruit in Christendom as we’ve discussed before… Divorce is just the particular “fruit” I’m focusing on at the moment because Christianity is supposed to be all about “relationship”. 

That’s the lowest possible standard, but one commonly appealed to.  The “fruit” of a Christian marriage involves spiritual, vital growth and glory to God.

I’m pretty sure Dr. Charles Stanley’s marriage had plenty of spiritual growth and glory to God in it.  Dr. Stanley is a good and faithful servant of God.  He and his wife Ann had been married for 44 years... Charles Stanley Divorce
The site says that Charles Stanley partly blamed “childhood difficulties.” But the grounds for Charles Stanely’s divorce was reported to be the marriage was “irretrievably broken.”

Irretrievably broken??  After 44 years?  How could this be? He has dedicated his life to God’s service. 

And that fruit is something that non-Christians will never understand.

What all those “foolish” non-Christians would be able to understand is the power of changed lives and good “fruit”.  Perhaps some real world evidence??  Statistics can play an important role for those who are sitting on the fence.  Personally, I would be swayed if Christian divorce rates were 1 or 2 percent and all non-Christian or “worldy” marriages had a failure rate in the 80’s or 90’s.

All those foolish, non-Christians need to see that God’s formula REALLY works… 

Maybe there are numerous Christian impostors running around skewing the results, or perhaps it’s just too difficult for many Christians to adhere to God’s vision for marriage.
Your response basically blames the failure on our human flaws. 
But if a supernatural, all powerful being is acting as a “helper” in these marriages - the results would not look as they do.  The statistics would be MUCH different.

The page you linked to also says:
“In fact, when evangelicals and non-evangelical born again Christians are combined into an aggregate class of born again adults, their divorce figure is statistically identical to that of non-born again adults: 32% versus 33%, respectively.”

I see no notable difference between the Christian plan for marriage and the worldly plan.  I see no REAL proof of God’s word in action.  As a former Christian, that depresses me because a part of me still wants to believe.  But I have to face the truth…

[ Edited: 01 July 2009 07:56 AM by seeking_truth]
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Posted: 01 July 2009 01:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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seeking_truth - 01 July 2009 11:54 AM

But if a supernatural, all powerful being is acting as a “helper” in these marriages - the results would not look as they do.  The statistics would be MUCH different.

Iran, divorce rate: about 10% Just saying. It’s the Homer Simpson thing. Maybe the Christians picked the wrong god and every day now they’re making him madder and madder.  LOL  tongue laugh

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Posted: 01 July 2009 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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CalmWind - 01 July 2009 05:16 PM
seeking_truth - 01 July 2009 11:54 AM

But if a supernatural, all powerful being is acting as a “helper” in these marriages - the results would not look as they do.  The statistics would be MUCH different.

Iran, divorce rate: about 10% Just saying. It’s the Homer Simpson thing. Maybe the Christians picked the wrong god and every day now they’re making him madder and madder.  LOL  tongue laugh

No, it’s the Mormons who got it right, I saw it on South Park…

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Posted: 01 July 2009 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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Here is a good article explaining a little further what I’ve tried to present…

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Posted: 01 July 2009 05:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 01 July 2009 09:34 PM

Here is a good article explaining a little further what I’ve tried to present…

Oh, puke, god was that nauseating to read.

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Posted: 01 July 2009 10:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 30 June 2009 07:43 PM

After doing a little research, the most recent statistics I could find are actually on my side!


I imagine some % of those Christians that don’t divorce even though inside they may want to probably don’t for fear of god punishing them. Non-believers don’t have that problem and I truly believe that plays a role, though no idea how much.

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Posted: 02 July 2009 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 30 June 2009 07:43 PM

And I clarified why the goalposts had to be moved out of the stadium.  Looking for proof of God’s existence in marriage statistics is, I believe, a fool’s errand.  After doing a little research, the most recent statistics I could find are actually on my side!  And I still don’t think that’s really going to make someone believe or not believe in God.[/url]

Of course you don’t think that, because you’ve already stated that we shouldn’t expect your “faith” to have any measurable, real-world consequences.

And as for the statistics proving you right, you’ve really set the bar pretty low:

All adults 33% 3792
   
Evangelical Christians 26% 339
Non-evangelical born again Chrisitans 33% 1373
Notional Christians 33% 1488
Associated with non Christian faith 38% 197
Atheist or agnostic 30% 269
All born again Christians 32% 1712
All non born again Christians 33% 2080

The figures only support you if we accept the narrow definition of “Evangelical Christians” as correct.  Essentially, it appears that among a small subset of Christians who believe that divorce is a sin, the divorce rate is a whopping 4% below that of atheists and agnostics, who presumably don’t fear the religious consequences of divorce, and who have not striven to live a “Christ-centered” marriage.

Four percent.  Wow. 

clayforHim648 - 30 June 2009 07:43 PM

Read the context of Matthew 7:20, the passage you all were referring to about their fruits.  Jesus isn’t talking about reading the latest articles in Newsweek or checking out the latest polls.  He’s talking to his followers telling them who to look out for and be careful not to be deceived.  Verses 15 - 20 is a warning concerning false prophets and false teachers, wolves in sheep’s clothing.  Verses 21 - 23 is saying that not everyone who cries ‘Lord, Lord’ is really a believer.  He goes on to say that those who heed His words are the ones who understand:

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and teh winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock…”  - Matthew 7:24-25

Yeah, it’s not about theological hair-splitting.  Seeking_Truth was simply pointing out that if such verses are correct, then we ought to see the people who truly believe this stuff and who put it into practice to “be that rock.”  And, I’m sorry, but being a rock should amount to more than a four-point swing in a poll conducted by an evangelical Christian organization. 

clayforHim648 - 30 June 2009 07:43 PM

Aside from the fact that polls actually do show a lesser divorce rate for Christian evangelicals (even lower than atheists, believe it or not), you can’t use these simple questionnaire polls to really understand what’s going on.  You need to meet and see real people who are submitted to God’s vision of marriage, as I’ve already said.  There is much fruit to be seen, as I’ve already shared with you.  And the fruit isn’t just a successful marriage, meaning one that doesn’t end in divorce.  That’s the lowest possible standard, but one commonly appealed to.  The “fruit” of a Christian marriage involves spiritual, vital growth and glory to God.  And that fruit is something that non-Christians will never understand.

If you really think that atheists like me are sheltered fools who haven’t grown up around, among, and with “real” Christians as you define them, you’re living in an alternate reality.  I’ve known plenty of Christians as you narrowly define them.  I’ve seen them in action.  I’ve even been close to some of them.  Life isn’t a sci-fi movie.  I don’t need special glasses to see you as you really are.  (“you being general here, I don’t mean YOU specifically)

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Posted: 02 July 2009 12:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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The figures only support you if we accept the narrow definition of “Evangelical Christians” as correct.  Essentially, it appears that among a small subset of Christians who believe that divorce is a sin, the divorce rate is a whopping 4% below that of atheists and agnostics, who presumably don’t fear the religious consequences of divorce, and who have not striven to live a “Christ-centered” marriage.

we’re still going around in circles…

The point of the statistics is only to show that there is a close tie between traditional, historical Christianity and the perseverence of marriage/lack of divorce.  The drift away from historical biblical doctrine seems to show a greater likelihood of divorce…notice the definition of “Christian evangelical” in the report.  Also read the article on marriage I provided above. 

Yeah, it’s not about theological hair-splitting.  Seeking_Truth was simply pointing out that if such verses are correct, then we ought to see the people who truly believe this stuff and who put it into practice to “be that rock.”  And, I’m sorry, but being a rock should amount to more than a four-point swing in a poll conducted by an evangelical Christian organization.

The poll is not measuring (and it would be near impossible to measure) the “practice” or actual commitment to the views, only espousal to the views themselves.  Again, this is why the polls really can’t show much of anything. 

[quote)
If you really think that atheists like me are sheltered fools who haven’t grown up around, among, and with “real” Christians as you define them, you’re living in an alternate reality.  I’ve known plenty of Christians as you narrowly define them.  I’ve seen them in action.  I’ve even been close to some of them.  Life isn’t a sci-fi movie.  I don’t need special glasses to see you as you really are.  (“you being general here, I don’t mean YOU specifically)

I don’t think that at all.

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Posted: 02 July 2009 12:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 02 July 2009 04:00 PM

we’re still going around in circles…


No, Clay, you’re going around in circles. Various skeptics are explaining why you’re off course and you keep “correcting” and going around in circles as a result. The skeptics are displaying immense patience, waiting to see if you’ll ever get a single course correction right and stop going in circles.

Personally I’m just dropping by from time-to-time because I find it amusing that they’re still holding out hope, after how many countless revolutions ... of course it could be they’re just amused as well.

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Posted: 02 July 2009 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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Personally I’m just dropping by

Thanks for dropping by…

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Posted: 02 July 2009 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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GAD - 01 July 2009 09:51 PM

Oh, puke, god was that nauseating to read.

No kidding.  When one begins by suggesting that sexuality is an “immorality”, one is already deeply broken psychologically.  Sex is a function of procreation.  It’s no different from eating, breathing, or even shitting.  It’s simply a function.  These theists heap sin all over it (they don’t heap sin on breathing though), and think that because they say it’s immoral, it must be.

It’s crazy, plain and simple.

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Posted: 03 July 2009 12:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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When one begins by suggesting that sexuality is an “immorality”, one is already deeply broken psychologically.  Sex is a function of procreation.  It’s no different from eating, breathing, or even shitting.  It’s simply a function.  These theists heap sin all over it (they don’t heap sin on breathing though), and think that because they say it’s immoral, it must be.

Straw man?

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Posted: 19 July 2009 02:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 24 June 2009 01:48 PM

When I said that I’m in one such marriage in my last post, I didn’t really mean that I have a happy marriage.  In many ways I have a extraordinarily difficult marriage.

Whatever they say about you Clay, they can’t say you don’t try to be honest. You are in good company. Atheists are honest. They don’t need to be anything else - they don’t have to pretend, or make up excuses, or try to prove the unproveable. So keep trying hard to be as honest as possible. Really.

By the way, excuse my nosiness, but I can’t help wondering what it is about you that your wife doesn’t like.

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Posted: 20 July 2009 07:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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Whatever they say about you Clay, they can’t say you don’t try to be honest. You are in good company. Atheists are honest. They don’t need to be anything else - they don’t have to pretend, or make up excuses, or try to prove the unproveable. So keep trying hard to be as honest as possible. Really.

Atheists are mixed bag, just like Christians.  That’s why I don’t debate personality traits, I try to debate the issues. 

By the way, excuse my nosiness, but I can’t help wondering what it is about you that your wife doesn’t like.

You’re a funny man.  Believe it or not, most people get along with me pretty well.  My wife doesn’t like Led Zeppelin though, so that has always driven a wedge between us smile

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Posted: 20 July 2009 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 20 July 2009 11:52 AM

I try to debate the issues.

Seems like you might need some help then. Here is a little tip.

I read the article at the link you gave above. In directing us to it you are trying to prove your case by employing terms of reference that you ought to know we don’t accept.

It’s like a US tourist in England assuming that they can pay for their taxi fare with US dollars. ‘Sorry madam, we don’t accept that currency here.’ ‘Oh really? I didn’t know that.’

Every single religious apologist on this forum makes this mistake. Which is rather odd, because you seem like quite intelligent people in many ways.

[ Edited: 20 July 2009 03:04 PM by mesomorph]
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