Ask a minister

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I've worked in a church for five years now as a youth minister. I'm by no means an expert on anything, but I'd be happy to respond to questions you might have. Know also that I won't be judgmental. I will do my best to answer your question without going all southern baptist on you.

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Hmm... well, were you raised Christian? Also, have you at any point doubted or questioned your faith (or rather... why you believe what you do)?

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Yes I was raised a Christian.  My parents are really fantastic.  Dad died three years ago, but he was a minister from when he was in college.  I followed in his footsteps to be a youth minister.  I don't regreat being raised a Christian, but I feel like there are times when I really respect those who became Christians later in life and when no one was telling them about Jesus at home.

Yes, I've doubted.  I think any Christian that just believes blindly is kidding themselves or locked in a fortress.  There are so many relgiions out there, so many different people saying they have the truth.  If Christianity claims to be exclusively right, then to just take that for what it is without thinking about what that means can lead to a lot of "I'm right, you're wrong, so repent sinner!"

Wrong.

I really doubted in college.  There was a time when I was thinking "You know, maybe this whole thing was made up."

It all came back to Jesus.  Was He an historical person? Yes.  Many other source other than the BIble attest to the fact that He existed.  So was He a lunatic, liar, or Lord?  Cause He claimed to be God.  Loved everyone yes, but He claimed to God Himself.  So He can't have been just a good teacher.  So He was either a pathological liar and has led millions of people astray, or He was a lunatic who actually believed He was God but was a crazy person.

You can say what you want about His miracles or His teachings, but it comes back to whether you believe He rose from the dead.  To answer that would take pages, and fortunately this website has done so: http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/num9.htm

Now that site asks you to presuppose the New Testament writings.  Well, that's a tough pill for some people to swallow as well.  It was for me.  Then I went through these thoughts:

1. What would these people gain if they were making it all up?  Financial gain? No. Personal glory? No. 
2. When are the oldest documents we have dated, and was anyone else alive to refute the things that were written in them? Aka, would these writings have managed to survive if others who saw the same events could say "This is bull! I was there that didn't happen!"

Again, a good website:

http://carm.org/can-we-trust-new-testament-historical-document

So, yes I've doubted, but I came back trusting more.  Yes I grew up in a Christian home, and I'm really working on that not being a handicap when I talk with people who have never really given Christainity serious consideration.

I also try my best not to be a jerk about my faith.  We've got too many of those in Christianity.

Edit- wow. Why a ridiculously long post
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 09:55:00 PM by Ronald »

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Edit- wow. Why a ridiculously long post

Eden: Because that second question wasn't one that should be answered succinctly. By the way, knowing that, I completely respect your beliefs. I wasn't trying to start a debate or anything, but that's something that I ask anyone who is open about their faith. I think questioning your own beliefs is one of the most profound things that a person can do for themselves, and I honestly think that everyone should do so at some point or another. :) (Hope you're not offended by the username, though. :P)

I'm agnostic, myself, mostly because I don't have any answers and would never make claims to know anything with absolute certainty (although I am disinclined to believe in a God, personally). I was raised by an agnostic father and a "spiritual" mother (she never claimed to believe in any one religion, but has always considered herself a very spiritual person), while the rest of my extended family are almost exclusively Christian.

(There have been quite a few attempts to convert both myself and my father, by the way, by said extended family. They haven't worked, and I doubt they ever will, honestly.) :P

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I think a part of my belief has to do with my inability to have all knowledge. If I were to search all knowledge and find that there was no one, wouldn't I have then obtained all knowledge and be God? Then if I said I didn't believe in God I'd be denying my own diety. That'll keep you up at night.

No offense taken from your username, I just believe quite differently. I'd be interested in hearing what's been presented to you about Christianity. Hearing your perspective would be refreshing.

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Some questions here:

1)Since you posted this in the "Ask a Stereotype" forum, does this mean you are a stereotypical christian?

2)What do you think of the theory of evolution/dinosaurs/pokemon?

3)What church? Catholic or protestant or some other third thing. Dependant on which you belong to, what do you think of stereotypes attributed to your church. Do you think they are accurate to some degree?


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>Thinking anyone is actually catholic or protestant in America

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>Thinking anyone is actually catholic or protestant in America

Suck my dick young man.


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I'd expect those words out of Bluntsword, he's the youth minister here :V :V :V :V

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I'd expect those words out of Bluntsword, he's the youth minister here :V :V :V :V

Ohohohoho :V :V :V :V :V :V


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ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh snap.

 8)


Some questions here:

1)Since you posted this in the "Ask a Stereotype" forum, does this mean you are a stereotypical christian?

2)What do you think of the theory of evolution/dinosaurs/pokemon?

3)What church? Catholic or protestant or some other third thing. Dependant on which you belong to, what do you think of stereotypes attributed to your church. Do you think they are accurate to some degree?

1. I suppose by what you mean by stereotypical Christian.  Would you say that a stereotypical Christian is judgmental, hateful, biased, ignorant, irrelevant, lacks compassion, doesn't try to understand people with different viewpoints, and carries themselves with a "I'm awesome and you're going to hell" mentality?

I hope I am the farthest thing from that.  I want to be loving, real, compassionate, generous, understanding and humble.  I have a love way to go to get there.

2. Pokemon are real in video games! Dinosaurs.  I can't say I've done a lot of research.  I mean, I'd be dumb to say they didn't exist.  Duh, huge fossils are KIND OF hard to deny.  When they existed, when they died out, and how though...  I don't know and don't really feel like I have the answers to that.

Macro-evolution though, I completely disagree with.  I am a Creationist and so therefore believe God actually created the world.  He didn't do it through evolution, as some may say, but He did it through His spoken word.  What would give God the right to rule over the world if it weren't His creation?  Same goes for us.

Micro-evolution? I don't have a problem with micro-evolution.  I sure hope my daughter evolves to be a better athlete than I am.  I gave her some pretty terrible genes in that department.

3. I'm a Southern Baptist and therefore Protestant.  The beliefs of my convention can be found here: http://www.sbc.net/bfm/default.asp I think most stereotypes attributed to my denomination are embarrassingly accurate.  I see several that are trying to change that.  This is a model church with a phenomenal pastor: http://www.brookhills.org/ Is the church I attend a model church trying to change the awful stereotype?  Some are.  Some are very stuck in their (demeaning and unbiblical) ways and I don't think much will change them save for God's intervention.

I want Christianity to be viewed differently.  For this to happen, Christians will certainly have to start being different than what they are right now.  I can think of too many giving the whole a bad name and too few trying to change it.

Questions answered?

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I must ask, if you believe that dinosaurs did exist (and you have acknowledged that there is no way you could deny they exist) then how could you deny evolution? If god did exist and created everything, how do you explain them?

And if God created them, there would be some mention, something in the bible of them?

It just seems like contradicting opinions. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just confused.




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Have you read the Bible completely?
How much of it do you actually believe (percentage wise)?

<This is a legitimate question>

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I must ask, if you believe that dinosaurs did exist (and you have acknowledged that there is no way you could deny they exist) then how could you deny evolution? If god did exist and created everything, how do you explain them?

And if God created them, there would be some mention, something in the bible of them?

It just seems like contradicting opinions. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just confused.

We didn't evolve from dinosaurs. -_-
The bible didn't mention zebras, but they still exist. It's not really that contradictory.
A better argument would be "How do you explain the Neanderthal remains we've discovered?".

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I must ask, if you believe that dinosaurs did exist (and you have acknowledged that there is no way you could deny they exist) then how could you deny evolution? If god did exist and created everything, how do you explain them?

And if God created them, there would be some mention, something in the bible of them?

It just seems like contradicting opinions. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just confused.

We didn't evolve from dinosaurs. -_-
The bible didn't mention zebras, but they still exist. It's not really that contradictory.
A better argument would be "How do you explain the Neanderthal remains we've discovered?".

I didn't mean dinosaurs exclusively.  -_-

I meant that as a loose term for : prehistoric creatures in general.


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Your argument still doesn't hold any water.
I've seen a lot of creationists that assume dinosaurs and people coexisted at one point. This has been proven false by carbon dating of course, but there are certain Christians who believe carbon dating isn't accurate enough to refute this point.

Also, this doesn't have anything to do with evolution, unless we're talking Komodo dragons.

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I must ask, if you believe that dinosaurs did exist (and you have acknowledged that there is no way you could deny they exist) then how could you deny evolution? If god did exist and created everything, how do you explain them?

And if God created them, there would be some mention, something in the bible of them?

It just seems like contradicting opinions. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just confused.



what if god created evolution. he's a pretty smart being, I bet he could have thought it up.
:tinysmile:

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Okay, but he never said that he believed that, and if he had I wouldn't have bothered to raise the point.

Also I already pointed out I didn't mean only dinosaurs, so drop that already.

... I mean, I'd be dumb to say they didn't exist.  Duh, huge fossils are KIND OF hard to deny.  ...

..Macro-evolution though, I completely disagree with.  I am a Creationist and so therefore believe God actually created the world.  He didn't do it through evolution, as some may say, but He did it through His spoken word. ..

If he says that huge fossils (such as of but NOT FUCKING LIMITED TO dinosaurs) are hard to deny, it woud make sense that he would also consider other fossils (such as those of prehistoric humans, birds and mammals, ie evolutionary links) just as valid.

Hence my confusion.


what if god created evolution. he's a pretty smart being, I bet he could have thought it up.

Interesting, irrelevant to this particular argument:

..Macro-evolution though, I completely disagree with.  I am a Creationist and so therefore believe God actually created the world.  He didn't do it through evolution, as some may say, but He did it through His spoken word. ..



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I must ask, if you believe that dinosaurs did exist (and you have acknowledged that there is no way you could deny they exist) then how could you deny evolution? If god did exist and created everything, how do you explain them?

And if God created them, there would be some mention, something in the bible of them?

It just seems like contradicting opinions. I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm just confused.

Question merited.

I would be foolish to claim I can extensively answer this. I can however, point to others who are much smarter than me and thought through these questions.

Like this guy who says he is not a creationist but has problems with evolution:
http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/locke.html

And this site which looks at the fossil records of man. Please ignore the stupid cartoon.
http://www.bestbiblescience.org/cartoon.htm

As to the bible, yes I have read it through twice. Also I have to say it is all true and accurate. It's a slippery slope, don't you agree, to say one part of the Bible isn't accurate but the rest is? If I said I didn't agree with genesis 1-2 because it had creation in it, wouldn't I have the right to then say John 3:16 irks me as well?  I believe it's all true.

Now doesn't mean when someone brings up a valid point I stick my fingers in my ears and start singing Jesus loves me. Instead I seek to reconcile truth with what the Bible has to say. Make sense?

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Now doesn't mean when someone brings up a valid point I stick my fingers in my ears and start singing Jesus loves me. Instead I seek to reconcile truth with what the Bible has to say. Make sense?

Thats reasonable enough. Thanks for being polite.



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I suppose that I am happy/satisfied with that response :)

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Glad to have conversation without lots of shouting!