Question:I stumbled across your site whilst randomly browsing the Internet and I was very interested by it.
Now I should first mention that I do not believe in God but was raised a Catholic and have many friends of many different faiths and have always thought that all sides can learn a little from each other and that friendly debate and discussion is important. After all, if your beliefs can't take a knock every now and again, how strong can they really be?
Anyway, I really felt the need to comment on†two of the articles on your site. The first of these is entitled "The Bible does not teach praying to dead animals." I actually happen to agree with your article in general. Even as a young Catholic I always thought it a little odd that we should pray to or for animals when so much Scripture seems to suggest they are ultimately soulless.
But I thought I'd point out two quotes from the article: "if you can be misled into believing that you can pray to dead animals then you need to ask yourself what else you might be gullibly led into."
Well that quote basically sums up the hypocrisy that I see in organized religion. Everyone outside your own faith can see that all the reasons why praying to dead animals is silly are the same as the reasons praying to any force that you cannot sense in any way is silly. And you'll probably say, "Oh, I can feel God and hear Him, and I have the Bible and Scripture to back me up." But since God is omnipotent, He could easily convince you that all of that was the work of dead animals should He so wish. So how do†you know that the dead animal spirits aren't doing the same here?
And you might well say, "Ah, but God is also omni-benevolent, so He wouldn't do something so cruel." But then we don't know the mind of God, and, in His infinite wisdom, He may know that acting in that way is ultimately for our benefit. And in the same way the dead animal spirits could be doing the same.
The other quote from that article I want to briefly mention is "What kind of person would mislead one into thinking that they can pray to dead animals?" and I'm afraid the answer to that question is "People like you." Sorry if that sounds blunt and offensive, but you fervently pass on your strongly held beliefs to others in exactly the same way that they do.
The second article†(I've rambled on a bit, haven't I? Better make this one quicker...) is called "If he is wrong what did the Christian miss?"
I'm afraid I took offense to a number of points of this article. Now I am an "unbeliever." I do not engage in any of the activities listed, or any other harmful activities. This is because I feel that those activities are morally wrong, and not because someone else told me but through informed and rational consideration. Now I got to thinking about how many people I know of who beat their wives (thankfully not many), but it turns out slightly more than half of them are Christians. Now that's a meaningless statistic, but it serves well enough to make my point, there is no reason to believe that moral choices can't be made correctly without God.
The rest of the article offended me in similar manner, and my responses are of a similar nature, so I'll spare you the ramble.
Ok, well sorry for my rambling ranty email. I look forward to hearing your responses to my comments, which I made with utmost respect. I hope I didn't offend at any point in this email, and if I did, I humbly apologize.
The point of "The Bible Does Not Teach Praying to Dead Animals" is that people have accepted the concept despite the fact that it is not taught in the Bible. They assume that God finds it acceptable without checking with God first. A person who accepts a belief without reason is being gullible. It leads to the question of what other beliefs have been accepted which also do not appear in the Bible.
Now, at this point in your life you have reject religion, not because of the facts found in the Bible, but because you dislike the hypocrisy you found in the denominations where you live. From my viewpoint, you tossed the baby out with the bath water. But the arguments presented in the article start with a foundation of acceptance that the Bible is true and then warns about accepting unfounded claims.
Your argument against God is not the same. You start with a rejection that there is a book from God. Since your foundation says there is no God, the remainder of the argument as what God may or may not decide to do is pointless.
But if you will permit me to use my source document that tells us about the nature of God, then your argument fails on a very basic point. Paul states that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). He doesn't state that He will not lie or that usually does not lie. Ingrained in the very nature of God is the inability to lie. That is because all lies are sinful and God by His very nature possesses no sin. "This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all" (I John 1:5). Thus there is no pretense or fooling of people, which is probably why people have a tough time understanding God. They are so use to pretending to others that they can't comprehend a being in which there is no pretense.
Now here is something interesting: you hold a strong belief that there is no God -- not based on factual evidence but because you have rejected the denominations in your area. But like other people of strong belief, you reject anyone else's belief as "obviously" false simply because it doesn't match your own. Thus you condemn yourself in the process of condemning others.
But no, I pass on belief by teaching God's message. "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Romans 10:17). I don't ask anyone to believe what I say because I said so. I ask them to examine what God said and accept that as the truth it really is. Others have their own documents, creeds, and statements of faith. I stick to the pure gospel of Christ.
I'm glad you have some sense of morality, but I hope you are wise enough to admit that most people who reject Christianity do not act as you do. That there are people claiming to be Christians who act contrary to what the Bible teaches does not prove the Bible does not teach moral choices. The Bible teaches what works. The basis of its moral teaches is the fundamental law: "For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law" (Romans 13:9-10). While you recognize this truth despite your rejection of religion, I have the advantage because I knew it existed because of my religion.
One can rightly argue that the fact that you accept there is a moral code -- a right way and a wrong way to live life -- then you accept that there is a standard which exists which is beyond yourself. The only difference in this point between you and I is that I acknowledge the source of the standard and you think it has to be somewhere else because you don't want the Bible even though you agree with it -- at least in the area of morality. The fact that you claim offense by an article which just sits on a web site tells me that you think others ought to conform to moral standard as well. Once again the difference between you and I is that mine is defined and written while yours is hard to pin down because for the most part you only accept what you believe. "After all, if your beliefs can't take a knock every now and again, how strong can they really be?"