Is This Our Belief?

The conversation following the article below is one that I had with a few friends, and I thought I’d share, as well as say for you to chime with your thoughts/opinions either way.  Would love to hear from the readers.

Is This Our Future?
Michael Reagan
Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Two Christian preachers were stopped from handing out Bible tracts by police officers because they were in a Muslim neighborhood in England.
According to British news reports, the preachers were told by a Muslim community support police officer in Birmingham that attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity is a hate crime.
They were warned that if they came back and were beaten up, it would be their fault, not that of the thugs who beat them.
“He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message,” one of the preachers said. “He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station.” The officer threatened, “If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned.”
Remember, this was not in the Middle East. It was a neighborhood in Birmingham, England, a nation whose official church is the Church of England, a Christian denomination.
The preachers were Americans who have lived in England for many years and they were obeying Christ’s command to preach the Gospel to all mankind and not merely to those who are not offended by hearing His message of love. It’s called freedom of speech. Except in England where it is a hate crime to preach in what have become “no-go” areas for Christian preachers.
It gets worse. British columnist Melanie Phillips reported an attack on the Rev. Michael Ainsworth by three Muslim youths in his own East London churchyard. She wrote that it was far from the first such attack in the area. Indeed, she wrote, “There appear to have been many attacks on vicars or churches by Muslims who are clearly intent on turning east London into a no-go area for Christians.”
Phillips recalled another attack on the church, where families were showered with glass when a brick was thrown through a window during a service. Allan Ramanoop, a member of the Parochial Church Council, told her that parishioners are often too scared to challenge the gangs.
On one occasion, youths shouted: “This should not be a church, this should be a mosque, you should not be here.”
Said Ramanoop, “I just walked away from it — you are too frightened to challenge them. We have church windows smashed two to three times a month. The youths are anti-Christian.”
The Reverend Alan Green said it was the latest in a series of “faith hate” crimes in the borough. “There are one or two incidents of faith hate every month across the borough and across all faiths.”
Talk about hate crimes.
The real tragedy lies in the fact that governments all over the western world are not only turning a blind eye to Muslim efforts to establish communities ruled by Sharia — Muslim law — in defiance of established national law, but are enacting laws that would punish those who place their nation’s traditional interests above those of a foreign faith.
We’re going to see more of this as you see governments kowtowing to Muslim extremists.
The more you see the Muslim influence coming into the United States the more you are going to see Muslims demanding and getting laws defining the promotion of Christianity to Islamists as a hate crime that will get you tossed in the slammer.
Don’t tell me what happened in London can’t happen here. It can and it will. It’s called Jihad, and it’s world-wide.

Let’s hear it…


11 comments to “Is This Our Belief?”
  1. What is most bothersome to myself and many others about Christianity and most religions in general is the notion that they are right while all others are wrong. It is very telling below where it says that Christians should be able to spread their message to everyone, even those who are offended by it. It also calls their message one of love. When you (general you not you personally) tell someone who strongly believes something different than you that they are wrong and you are right and they need to change that isoffensive and it is hateful. It is not perceived as spreading love by the other person. It can actually seem pretty arrogant to assume that you are right and everyone else is wrong. And what do Christians base this on? It seems to be based on what they have been told by other people. It seems to be based on a book that was written thousands of years ago by other people and edited and translated by other people. Muslims have exactly the same argument. Exactly. And they think they are right. Both of you are welcome to believe what you want and what makes you feel good. I have no problems with that. But when you start offending others by telling them they are wrong and need to change to your beliefs that becomes problematic. It sends the message that Christians are more righteous or better than them because they have the “right” way. This is not an effective way to spread love. People feel loved when they feel safe and accepted. Try putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and see how you would feel.
    You may be surprised to hear that I am currently incredibly spiritual. It plays a large part of my life. I struggled for a while with using the term god and instead opted for a less religious “universe” to designate the central spiritual being. I have moved past this and now use god, universe and spirit interchagably. A central part of my spirituality is connecting with others and spreading love through acceptance and understanding that we are all connected. We all seek love from others. And sometimes when we think we are giving love to others we are actually giving them something that is perceived by them to be much different. True spreading of love is giving others the kind of love they need and not necessarily the kind we want them to have.
    I would very much welcome your thoughts on this and/or other things I have shared with you.
    peace and love,

  2. Let me start with the article written by Mr. Reagan… I should have to say, if it were me, I don’t think I would subject myself to handing out tracts in a predominately Muslim area of a neighborhood. There are a few problems with doing this, and generally, I should think that the effect they are looking for is not likely to happen. Possible? Yes. But the likelihood of its effectiveness is probably slim. One reason being, as RS put it, “It can actually seem pretty arrogant to assume that you are right and everyone else is wrong.” Public perception. It “can” but it isn’t always the case. It’s based upon ‘presentation’ generally. In this case, in my opinion, the presentation of the Christians was probably off a little. However, on the other side of the coin…

    If I hear of a washed out train track down the road, and I believe it is true that it is washed out, I have heard others talking about the fact that it is washed out, I then went and looked in to it myself to see if it was washed out and come to find out… what do you know, it IS washed out, I’m not going to get on a train going down that track. In addition, I’m going to want to tell others, “Hey, don’t get on a train going down that track because it’s washed out!” I wouldn’t want to see others going down that road because I believe, for reasons listed previously, that it’s not the right track to be on. You get my point? Just in case… I believe Christianity to be true, because I’ve looked in to it myself, and found it to be true. I’ve found mountains of convincing evidence that point to it. So, given that, I think I’m right. Given that, I want to show others this ‘track’ that I believe to be right because I think ‘the other track’ is not right, and very unsafe.
    There have admittedly been huge blunders over the centuries that Christians have made in their approach in doing this though. Conversely, there have been huge blunders far worse in the name of atheism or anti-religion (Hitler, Stalin, etc…) and even other religions as well. I would never once consider justifying say, the Crusades. It was a terrible, terrible thing to do. And I believe most Christians today would agree. So, in short, the behavior of the Christians who were passing out tracts in a Muslim community was probably a little abrasive, and may not have been the best approach. However, I cannot really say with absolute certainty.

    On to the Muslim behavior… In short, Islam is said to now be the fastest growing religion. Correctly stated, Islam is the fastest growing ‘enforced’ religion. “That if the Mullah’s ever took their foot off the necks of the people, Islam’s ranks would fall 80%.” (*) What I am not saying is that all Muslims are bad. I don’t think that. I’ve known some, and fine, whatever. The extremists are the bad ones. The radicals are becoming more and more in the U.K., as the article is explaining. 25% of the Muslim community in the U.K. are considered ‘radicals’ now (*). The rest of today’s Islam in America says it is a religion of peace and tolerance. This is just not the case. The people may want to remain peaceful and tolerant, but they cannot sit there and say that their prophet Muhammad intended peace and tolerance. I don’t have room to get in to it here, but you can do plenty of reading on the subject. One article I found, from a Christian perspective, is here.
    In short, I think we all can agree the behavior of the Muslims described in the article, and inexcusable in all ways in their acts towards the Christians and churches.

    Now, to not miss the point of the article, I believe the driving point of the author was ‘persecution’ for Christians, and the ‘foot’ of the Muslim, and not really about “how” people are witnessing or fighting about various things. So all that aside…

    RS, in the following, please do not take offense, as this is a discussion and not a personal attack. The only two responses I have to go off of here are yours and the authors, and I was sort of invited in to this conversation… which I absolutely LOVE to dialogue about.

    I’ve already talked about the “I’m right, you’re wrong” issue. For Christians, we believe we are in fact right. Therefore, we feel it (if appropriately addressed) necessary to tell others, and to show others what Great things we have been given/shown, and what Great Love God has given to us and what He has saved us from. I think you do the same, in your belief that we’re all “energy” or the universe or spirit, etc… You wouldn’t voice your opinion if you thought you were wrong. And neither would I. J

    “When you tell someone who strongly believes something different than you that they are wrong and you are right and they need to change, that is offensive and it is hateful.” “Both of you are welcome to believe what you want and what makes you feel good.”
    If a person is shooting up heroin, he does it, amongst other reasons, because it makes him feel good. One perspective.
    Let me tell you what I believe. As novelist, broadcaster and scholar, C.S. Lewis, once said in his book ‘Mere Christianity’: “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God; or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left hat open to us. He did not intend to.”
    I do not want to believe in a pipe dream. I especially don’t want to buy in to something for the sole purpose that it makes me feel good if it’s not true. I want Truth. I want pure objective Truth. I don’t, and I won’t subject myself to something where I have to ‘check my brain at the door’ in order to enter, and believe, as is a common perspective of Christianity. Given all the evidence I have looked in to myself, I believe God, the God of Heaven, and Jesus, the Son of God, are as real as you and I are sitting here reading this. It’s not about feeling. Don’t hear me wrong. Feelings are important, but my feelings are not the foundations of my beliefs. No one should ever do this.

    “And what do Christians base this on? It seems to be based on what they have been told by other people. It seems to be based on a book that was written thousands of years ago by other people and edited and translated by other people.”
    I should like to recommend an excellent book that talk about some of these issues. ‘The Case for Christ,’ by Lee Strobel. I could go on for pages, but I feel I might be losing all of you. J In short, there is enough evidence that the totality of the New Testament was completed less than 90 years after Jesus’ death. There is evidence that the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John), were all written within several years after Jesus’ death, by eye witnesses, or friends of the eyewitnesses of Jesus. These same eyewitnesses that saw Jesus AFTER He was crucified and died and was buried and rose again. Without the resurrection of Jesus, Christianity would never have survived. Why would it? These men all died martyrs, because of their belief. They wouldn’t have died such horrible deaths over a lie. Again, I could go on and on, and if the conversation continues, maybe I can say more later.

    “(I) now use god, universe and spirit interchagably”
    RS… what am I going to do with you?! J With all due respect, actually, I do in fact see why people believe this. It’s been taught for a long time, and now resurfacing in this age again with books like, ‘The Secret’, ‘The Power of Now’, ‘Think and Grow Rich’ and so on… This is a discussion I should love to have more in depth, but for now, I fear I’ve overstayed my welcome (typing). In short, if Jesus is who He says He is, then I do not believe god, universe and spirit are interchangeable. As I believe it: God is one entity. The universe, created by God, is another, and our spirit, created by God, is a third. If god, universe (energy) and spirit are all interchangeable, then they are all the same… If I am spirit, and god is spirit, and the universe is spirit, then the universe is god, and I am the universe, which means I am a god. My friend, I assure you, I am no god.

    There are so many, many things we could discuss, and I hope we have the opportunity to. Love. Morality. Death. Purpose. Existence. There are many things I don’t know about your beliefs as it stands also. As you stated in your email, you believe ‘love’ is a central theme… I should have to say that it is the same for me, but you already know that. Perhaps you could expound, for my understanding, your beliefs sometime. All in good time I suppose.

    With love, respect, and a love of dialogue,

  3. Let me first say what I forgot to mention in my first email. I do not support or condone any of the violence perpetrated on people worshiping in their churches that was mentioned in the first article. My point was that there is a reason people are angry at Christians and Muslims alike.

    As to responding to your comments, Jason, I will try to do so in chronological order. I understand your train track example and could not possibly disagree that in that case you should tell people not to take that train. I fail to see how it relates in any way to Christianity, however. You mention the “mountain of convincing evidence that point to it” (Christianity) in explanation of why this analogy is useful. In the train example you didn’t just listen to other people you actually went and looked for yourself and saw that the track was out. The basis of Christianity is God, Jesus and the afterlife. Have you personally or have you known anyone that has seen or visited heaven? Or hell? Have you or anyone you know ever talked directly to God or Jesus or seen them? The train being out is a verifiable fact. God, the afterlife and religion in general are, by design, in no way verifiable. This is why they rely so heavily on “faith.” This makes them and your beliefs about them an opinion and not a verifiable fact. There is no possible way to verify any religion as fact. They are all opinions. If you can prove to me or others that they will go to hell for not believing in Jesus by showing me some examples then your analogy will make sense. When you tell people that you are right and they are wrong and should consider your Christian way it is no different than telling a Buffalo Bills fan that they are wrong and should consider the Broncos. And regarding your “mountains of evidence” for Christianity I must ask this question: How many other religions have you researched, from their own perspective, with the same diligence as you have Christianity? Proving that one religion is right is impossible as I have said, but you can’t even come close without studying all the evidence and arguments for all religions including Christianity, Islam and all other religions. Can you tell me, factually, that there is more evidence for Christianity than there is for Taoism without citing a Christian source?

    I think it is very naive to think that blunders far worse than what Christians have done historically have been committed by non-Christians. A great deal of wars in this world’s history were caused by religion, Christianity and others. Much violence then and now comes from religions and their inherent need to be right. You indicate that many Muslims are radicals and that as a whole this religion does not stand for peace and tolerance. You cite an article from a Christian perspective on this and I wonder how is an article from a Christian perspective going to be more accurate than one from a Muslim perspective? Conversely I have never found Christianity to be a religion of peace or tolerance. Historically Christians tolerance of women, minorities and gays has been less than stellar and much violence continues to this day in regard to this intolerance. Slavery in this country was perpetrated primarily by Christians and racism and homophobia and related violence are still very prevalent amongst Christians. Here is a very interesting passage from a book I’m reading called From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans regarding the introduction of Christianity to West Africa:
    “It was a strange religion, this Christianity, which taught equality and brotherhood and at the same time introduced on a large scale the practice of tearing people from their homes and transporting them to a distant land to become slaves. If the Africans south of the Sahara were slow to accept Christianity, it was not only because they were attached to their particular forms of communal worship but also because they did not have the superhuman capacity to reconcile the contradictory character of the new religion.”

    This contradictory character continues to this day. Christians are also not tolerant of other religions as this discussion has shown. In general they are not tolerant of anyone who is different from them and many radical Christians use violence to demonstrate this. You, Jason, have expressed here and in the past your need to change non-Christians to your way and gay people to your way. This is not tolerant. My dictionary defines tolerant this way: Showing willingness to allow the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.

    Regarding this passage from below:
    “I’ve already talked about the “I’m right, you’re wrong” issue. For Christians, we believe we are in fact right. Therefore, we feel it (if appropriately addressed) necessary to tell others, and to show others what Great things we have been given/shown, and what Great Love God has given to us and what He has saved us from. I think you do the same, in your belief that we’re all “energy” or the universe or spirit, etc… You wouldn’t voice your opinion if you thought you were wrong. And neither would I.”
    This is the arrogance I am talking about. I am not arrogant enough to assume that my beliefs are right and all others are wrong. I believe what I believe because it sounds right to me and it works for me. I will readily admit that it is possible that I am not right. I cannot prove what I believe. Can you admit that you may be wrong? It is arrogant to say that God has given you great things and given you great love and saved you instead of some other poor schmuck. And now you have a responsibility to tell others all about it? We are talking about opinions here, not facts. I may share my beliefs with others and perhaps may hope that they adopt some or all of them knowing how they have worked in my life. What I don’t do is tell people that if they don’t agree with me they will burn in hell for eternity. That is going a little too far for me. And for that matter I cannot believe in a God that would treat people in this manner. That is not a loving god, but a tyrant and I will always choose a loving god over the cruel one Christians (and Muslims) believe in.

    I must apologize for being far too general and vague when stating that regarding spirituality people should believe what makes them feel good. As you have stated there is more detail to it than that. As to your C.S. Lewis quote I cannot understand it. This passage in no way tells me why the only three options about Jesus are that he was a god, a demon or a lunatic. Perhaps you can help me with this. Why is great moral teacher not an option? And why would these four be the only options? Christians seem to want to live in a black and white world with very limited, defined possibilities when the world I live in seems to be much more gray and nuanced. And in case you have forgotten Jesus was crucified because people did think he was a lunatic. The people who killed him didn’t do it so he could save you from your sins. They did it because they thought he was crazy.

    You say in the same section you aren’t just following your feelings, but are seeking Truth. “Pure objective truth.” I understand this pursuit because knowledge and truth bring stronger feelings of control and power. I have spent much of my life in similar pursuits. The fundamental problem here, as I have said before, is that pure objective truth is not attainable concerning religion or spirituality. There is no way to know for sure until you die. It certainly makes us feel better to think we know what happens when we die, but we will never know for sure until it happens and we will not then be able to share that knowledge with the living. This is all providing that anything happens after we die. It may not. We do not know objectively so we, in our pursuit of this truth, decide what makes sense to us. This is subjective truth and will always be.

    Regarding your defense of the truth of the New Testament: First your defense says nothing of the parts of this book that are no longer in the current version. The parts that people decided didn’t fit the message. And I’m not sure how when these gospels were written has anything to do with their accuracy. The writers could have believed they were true and been wrong. Jesus could have been a time traveller from the future or even an alien with advanced technologies and knowledge which would have seemed god-like at that time. These possibilities are outlandish, sure, but they are possible and in my opinion they are no more outlandish than your explanation. The writers could also have been lying. People die for lies all the time. You are making a pretty big assumption that they would not have died for lies. It would be pretty hard for anyone today to have any idea about the particular behavioral practices of people who lived 2000 years ago. As I said before, this book was written, edited and interpreted by people. Mortal, fallible people.

    Your last comment mentions one of my favorite books, “The Power of Now.” This book is amazing and everyone should read it. I haven’t read the others so I cannot comment although I remember hearing something about “The Secret” that didn’t sit well with me, but I don’t know what that was or if it was true. And to clarify, I’m not saying that we, as people, are gods. I am saying that we all have God in us as God is in all things. The universe encompasses all things as God does and we are all part of it and all connected to it. Our souls are from God and have God in them. I believe that God is not sitting in a chair in heaven with his son next to him or even that God is a human form, but that god is everywhere working in all things. This is what I mean when I say that God is an energy. I realize it makes people feel better to think that God looks like them (consider all the pictures of Jesus depicting him as a white man which is completely ridiculous considering where he lived) and I realize it even says this in the bible, but that doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Long responses beget more long responses. I hope this finds you all well.

    with love,

  4. I do agree fully with what you said, RS, about the one right, all others wrong deal…. I have always struggled with the question, “How can you go up to someone and tell him that he is going to hell just because he believes something different than you do?” He has grown up his whole life believing this one thing and then, he is all of a sudden told that his beliefs are false… As I look at it, he is the same person as you… except, for one difference… he is Muslim and you are Christian… you both believe that what you believe is truth and that the other’s belief is not truth…. so… now what????

    I also agree with the way you said, Jason, how it is the ‘presentation’ that is the problem and the “train” analogy was pretty well stated and the point, I think, was clear, however, you compared something you could investigate and see for yourself with 100% certainty, without a doubt (that the train track was washed out) with something that you (or anyone for that matter) can’t possibly know and see with 100% certainty, without a doubt (religion in general). If I could walk down the track and see that it was washed out for myself, then, it would be correct for me to say that I would jump to a different track…. but with religion, you can’t just run down and take a look… you have to put an insane amount of ‘faith’ into something that, allegedly, will determine your outcome for eternity…. so you see why I have a little problem with the comparison (and religion for that matter)…. I do think, as I mentioned, that the point you were making got across. And again, going back to before, the Muslim and the Christian both view themselves as being on the right track and that the other’s track is washed away… so… I say again, “How can you go up to someone and tell him that he is going to hell just because he believes something different than you do?” Hmmmmmmmm…….

    I will not go as far as to say that you voicing your opinions and beliefs onto someone else “is offensive and it is hateful.” I will not say that because we, as human beings, do it everyday…. we all let others know our opinions or ‘force’ our opinions onto others about pretty much everything we have any passion about, be it politics, religion, or whatever and sometimes, I think, we all voice our opinions in such a way that it could be construed as offensive and hateful to the other person, but sometimes we have such a passion about our opinion or belief being right that we forget about everything and everyone else who could be different from us… I have done this a great deal in the past, and still, somewhat in the present, but I am getting better with going into conversations like this with more of an ‘open mind’ than before…. because, shit (sorry…. shoot), if you just go into it thinking you are going to come out on top, then no one really benefits from any of it…. so I implore you all to go into any controversial conversation (or any conversation for that matter) you have with anyone with an open mind or at the very least listen to what they have to say without contempt or judgment because, remember, YOU believe what YOU believe for a reason….. and so do THEY…. no seriously, freakin’ think about that for a second…..

    I, too, like this type of dialogue about these subjects (although I prefer talking about this kind of thing in person, rather than email — you get more personal and you don’t have to wait so long to say this and that and you don’t have that pause, while waiting for a response…. ya know….)

    Anyway… My family and I grew up in a Conservative Christian Baptist environment and look where we all are today… from what I gather from everyone, there are a variety of views (hell, we’re all involved in this conversation aren’t we… so that should say enough), currently, in our family, which I am pleased to say tells me that we all don’t just dive in and go along with whatever we hear or whatever people tell us…. we choose, after investigation I would hope, for ourselves what we believe and that makes me happy….. ever since I have been questioning this whole topic and been married with kids, I have talked to my wife about how to bring up the kids…. she is more for God (as a Christian), per say, than I am…. in my opinion, however, we should teach them the basic morals they need to know for now and when they get old enough to decide for themselves what they choose is their ‘truth,’ I think that is how it should be… this whole ‘I’m 5, 6, 7, or 8 years old crap about I believe in Jesus or Allah or this or that” has always been, in my head, brainwashing the kids because, I’m freakin’ sorry, there is no way in hell that young kids like this know the difference between this, that, or the other thing…. whatever you preach into these kids heads is what they are going to say they are for… that’s how kids work…. they hear, they repeat… and it pisses me off when people say different (a skosh of the forcing my opinion on you here…. I apologize) but for crap’s sake, I’m damn near 30 years old and I don’t know what the hell is ‘truth’ and what the hell isn’t… so how can you say some little kid knows….. no way in freakin’ hell….. (in this one man’s freakin’ opinion anyway)…

    I am at a point in my life where I have not renounced the fact that there is or isn’t some superior being out there, call it God or Universe or Spirit or Whatever floats your boat…. I am at a point, however, where I am searching for ‘truth’ as we all are, I think, and as I search… I enjoy talking about everyone’s view on this…… so put your opinion or belief out there (remember the presentation) and I will absorb it and think about it and research it and I will come to my own conclusion on what I feel about it and what I believe is ‘truth’ and, please, don’t judge me because I have come to a different conclusion, in my search, than you in yours….. and don’t think for one second that you can start shovin’ your beliefs down my throat as ‘proven truth’ just because it is your proven truth… because I will, in fact, take offense, and pretty much just want to punch you in your damn eye…. (as you can see I have some passion about this subject)… so, damn man, have some freakin’ passion…

    “Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

    Okay that’s all I freakin’, heckin’, darnin’, crapin’ (oh… just get me started on ‘bad words’ some time) got right now…. thanks…. Bye for now….

    I love you all with great passion,

  5. First, I would like to address the point of the original email. Nobody should be allowed to beat up on another person because they have been offended or verbally abused or cut-off in traffic or whatever. The muslums were allowed to beat up the Christians because they were offended. Everyone talks about how the Christian has very little or no tolerance for others and the muslums are allowed to beatup on Christians because they are offended. Where is the tolerance here? Where is the tolerance when a muslum kills one of their own family members because they converted from Islam to Christianity? Yes, this really does happen.

    Here’s another perspective. What about the tolerance for Christians especially during the Christmas holiday? So many stores say happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas. I am offended by that, but it doesn’t matter if the Christian is offended. No matter how you spin it you cannot take Christ out of Christmas. Christmas is the Christian’s celebration of the birth of Christ, yet we are offended everyday by these stores and we are the customers and yet we put up with it. When a Christian converts to another religion we do not harass or mangle or kill that person. Christians in general are very tolerant people. Society says Christians should be tolerant of the “Gay” lifestyle, yet this lifestyle is wrong according to the Bible, however, the Bible does say we should accept the Gay person as a person. We are expected to change our beliefs because society and in some places the law says we should? We believe abortion is murder and other people believe it is the mother’s choice, but what about the babies right? Society decides to call the baby a fetus so that it may be justified as OK instead of murder ONE. I am very offended by this especially knowing that our pregnant teenage kids are becoming pregnant; they have the baby and dump it in a trash can, because if it’s OK to kill it before its born why wouldn’t it be OK to kill it after it is born. We are talking about one of the greatest miracles from God, the birth of a new born baby and this baby has no rights. We Christians are forced to be tolerant to what we consider the murder of a helpless little baby.

    We all have opinions and we all will die someday too, but God will live forever and God will always be here for us if and when we decide to recognize him, along with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are so many questions and so many choices in our society today, but it is not unlike society a 1000 years ago. When it comes to religion the main question has been “What is Truth”? Pilate asked this question before he decided Jesus was innocent of any crime in Matt 18:38.

    Other common questions are:

    “Can we trust the Bible?

    “Can Archaeology Prove the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible?”

    “Does Prayer really work?”

    “Does the Bible predict the future?”

    “How do we know Jesus was God?”

    “How is Jesus different from other religious Leaders?”

    “Is the Bible really a message from God?”

    If you are not sure what the Truth is and if you don’t believe the answer to the above questions is true or you’re just not sure, then I challenge you seek out the evidence, examine it and make your own judgment based on the evidence. I believe everyone should test the scriptures before they form an opinion about them. So many people today, just follow the crowd. For example, Oprah has quite a following and she says there are a number of ways to get to heaven, but does she have any real evidence to prove what she is saying?

    I have tested the scriptures of the Bible and I have looked at other religions (not an exhaustive study).

    I believe in the Apostles’ Creed:

    I believe in God the Father Almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth;

    And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:

    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

    born of the Virgin Mary,

    suffered under Pontius Pilate,

    was crucified, dead, and buried;

    the third day he arose from the dead;

    he ascended into heaven,

    and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

    from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,

    the holy Christian church,

    the communion of saints,

    the forgiveness of sins,

    the resurrection of the body,

    and the life everlasting. Amen.

    We could debate the issues, but I recommend another way to go.

    I recommend that you seek out the evidence and examine it. There is plenty of evidence in print right now. Jason gave some suggestions. Ralph Muncaster was an atheist engineer who had a successful career in advertising (he made the big bucks) before he began his ministry ( website: ) I have read his book “A Skeptic’s Search for God”. He has written several other books such as “The Evidence of Christianity”, Examine the Evidence”, “Creation vs Evolution” “101 Reasons You can Believe”. Mr. Muncaster researched the evidence for 2 years before realizing the truth.

    If you are unsure about the answer to the above questions, I challenge you to examine the evidence and then I would be glad to discuss any questions you have about Christianity.

    May Grace and Peace and Love of Jesus Christ shine on each of you,

  6. I sent this response out the first time I read the original email, however, not to all of you, but to the original senders of this email….. I was a little angry when I responded so I have cleaned it up a bit and now I send it to you….. it’s basically just some links to make you look at “the whole” instead of just “the few.”

    I do get the sense from some of you that it’s “freedom of religion” as long as it’s the Christian religion???? You do realize that just because you’re Muslim or Mormon or Buddist or whatever, doesn’t make you an evil person…. right???? Or make you any less worthy of your American Constitutional Right to “Freedom of Religion!”

    Click some links below….

    1. Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes Up

    2. Iesa Galloway, Houston Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (search) said the questionnaire was “rooted in deep-seeded ignorance of the religion of Islam and the Muslim people.”

    3. The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks highlighted religion – and particularly, Islam – as both a unifying and divisive force in the public square. Some conservative Christian leaders have characterized Islam as an evil, violent religion, while interfaith groups have emphasized the common values of Islam, Christianity and Judaism. Some fear a war with a predominantly Muslim nation will increase tensions again.

    4. Hate Crimes Again… Against… Huh… Innocent Muslims

    5. You see, I hate to point out a fact that some of you seem to have overlooked….. every religion has it’s problem people….. it’s not Muslims that’s the problem…. it’s just people….. let me throw out, for example… Fred Phelps, the preacher at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. A ‘CHRISTIAN’ Baptist Preacher…. Would you like for him to be your Christian example????

    Yes, I will agree that Muslims beating up Christians is wrong, but what about the Christians beating up the Muslims…. That last link is just something to think about before you go jumping to conclusions about every other religion besides Christianity…. because even Christians commit ‘hate crimes’…

    I have had, and still do have, trouble with “the few” ruining “the whole” and I’m guessing we all probably do or have….. it’s not right…. plain and simple…. you can’t judge the whole on what the few do or say….. but that aside, I still have some serious issues with a lot of different things in the Bible…. a lot of things I don’t believe are right or ever should be right under any circumstance….

    I have just one final thing to say…. What I believe may be different from what you believe….. what is great about America is we, as citizens, have this right; to believe whatever makes us happy and I think that is the way it should be (as long as we’re not hurting someone else in the process) and since it’s obvious, to me, that we’re pretty much just going to keep talking in circles about this, I propose the following:
    You believe what you believe… I’ll believe what I believe…. Frank can believe what Frank believes, and we can all just agree to disagree, because you said it best, Robin, none of us have any “verifiable facts” on what is the truth and what isn’t so…. again…. say it with me…. ‘I believe in what I believe, you believe in what you believe, Frank believes in what Frank believes, and we can all just agree to disagree.’


    PS: Next on the list… Amendment 2 – The Right to Keep and Bear Arms…. Let’s move on to how Gun Control is BAD and how it only affects the right of a law abiding citizen to protect himself and his family against the gun totin’ criminal who is gonna have a gun, no matter what the law says and I would even go so far as to say he’ll probably be able to get a gun easier…. oh…. and I’d really like to able to shoot some good old fashioned Colorado Elk too!

  7. I think that, generally, Christians have earned their poor reputation. Over the centuries, they have ranged from being obnoxious at best to lethal at worst in their attempt to convert those who do not share their faith. Even today, the actions of a few (Fred Phelps, Jeremiah Wright, and just about every money-hungry televangelist come to mind) do a great deal to pollute the overall perception of Christianity.

    However, there is a key distinction I find in Christians attempting to convert others to their faith as opposed to any other religion. In every other religion, there is a selfish motivation for seeking converts, which usually dictates that proselytizing is necessary to salvation.

    Not so with Christianity. While most Christians I have met believe that God instructs them to seek converts, or to “share the Gospel,” I rarely meet one who believes that obedience to this command is somehow necessary to ensure their own personal salvation. Rather, the most passionate Christians I have met believe that their salvation is entirely an act of grace that has nothing to do with their own good or bad deeds, but rather solely on their acceptance of a freely offered salvation.

    If this is truly the case, then I can think of only two reasons why a Christian would so passionately try to convert me to his belief system. The first, and the least likely, is that he has a severe case of “home-team” syndrome, and merely wants to make everyone just like him. The second (and much more likely, in my opinion) reason is that he truly believes he has been spared a fate worse than death and sincerely wants to rescue as many others as possible.

    I don’t see that with Islam. Rather, in the Muslim world, I see a belief system that values jihad — that is, “exerting one’s utmost power, efforts, endeavors, or ability in contending with an object of disapprobation” — even to the point of warfare to eradicate views that do not coincide with Islam, and this value is considered essential to obtaining paradise. I don’t see it with Mormonism which believes that winning converts will earn the proselytizer a better spot in a higher level of heaven. I don’t see it in Jehovah’s Witnesses who believe that knocking on doors earns their spot in an earthly paradise. Every other religion, without exception, ultimately contains, at its root, some selfish motivation for the person who is attempting to convert me.

    But when a Christian shares his faith with me, I find it striking that here is someone who believes he has no eternal risk at stake whether he presents me with his religion or not, and yet he chooses to do it anyway.

    I think that perhaps most people who see Christians as simply pushy are missing out on a critical point that indicates a much deeper purpose and passion. If you really believed that someone is facing an eternity of torment (however you defined that) and that there were a free ticket out of this terrible fate, would it not be unfathomable to hoard that information to oneself and simply let people continue on, unenlightened, to their sad destiny?

    All too often, I fear, Christians become so blinded in their passion for those they view as “lost” that they start to let the ends justify the means when it comes to their methods.

    But the bottom line for me is this: Some things are true whether you believe in them or not. Either Christianity is right or it is not. Either there is a God who offers salvation freely or there is not. It would be a shame to opt for a falsehood instead of the truth just because I was offended at the manner in which that truth was presented to me. I may dislike Christianity as a religion. I may dislike Christians and their methods. But if my personal fate comes down to me and God, it doesn’t matter what I like or dislike. All that matters is what is truth.

  8. I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts and conversations.
    There seems to be somewhat of a judgmental, ‘Christians’ deserve what they get attitude, in terms of perscecution.
    Why the double standard in hate crimes, should not the Muslim teens be charged with a hate crime. Why have they apparently become untouchable?
    I believe there are many Muslims who would hate to be judged by a few radicals declaring ‘jihad’ the same way that I don’t want to be associated with Westboro Baptists version of ‘Christianity’.
    While there are many who ‘claim’ Christianity for the sake of their own personal agenda, including war, slavery, etc…it has been quiet Christians, living as true followers of Christ, who have been the greatest history changers for good, including social issues and justice…including fighting slavery, (see John Newton, a former slave trader) and providing clean drinking water sources in third world countries.
    I’ll embrace the ‘faith’ that a person can receive ‘grace’ and in turn extend it to others in ‘love’ through a new life in Jesus Christ.

  9. Posting for Ms Portia: “I don’t think the article was well written. He is giving just a couple examples and then through those examples uses fear at the end to convince us. He states that “what happened in London can’t happen here” And yet how has it NOT already happened hear. Not with a faith but a lack thereof. Everyday, here people are rejecting Christ and “we” … Read Morechristians are persecuted for believing in: Marriage being between man and woman, The right to life, A pure and blameless life and I could go on.
    I do believe that at time we can forget that we too were as Titus 3 puts it:At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. So although the author had good intentions it won’t be one religion that may start things but the LACK of religion.”

  10. In response to the posting for Ms Portia: “…christians are persecuted for believing in: Marriage being between man and woman, The right to life, A pure and blameless life and I could go on.”

    Really, you’ve been persecuted for believing in those things? Seriously, American Christians (and Christians in most of the developed world) have no clue what persecution and suffering for Christ is… I know I’ve never been persecuted. Made fun of? At times. Mocked in classrooms? Yes, at times. But to whine about persecution in America at this point is, IMO, extremely disrespectful to those Christians who have given their lives and the lives of their loved ones for the cause of Christ.

    BTW, pray we are persecuted to that extent b/c it is then that you’ll see revival come to America as it is in other places in the world…

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