Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Posting Religious Beliefs.

Whenever someone, (anyone), posts about their beliefs and in particular what they believe that the Bible and other Scholars teach, there will be people who will say, “that is false” and “you are wrong.”

It is not possible to defend your position because so many people can pick and choose their favorite passages or they can find some passages that “seem” to conflict. Many will point to lots of passages in the Bible that “seem” to have very clear messages, but yet conflict. This is one of the reasons why we can’t “prove” any religious beliefs.

So it has been my hard lesson learned to not attack others beliefs because once you have them on the defensive, they are done and this is not being fair to their beliefs.

Well I posted on my understanding of the “Laws of Moses” where I thought some might find it interesting, and I got “attacked” as being “wrong” and teaching “false concepts.” Something I did when I was young and zealous.

I should have known better than to fall for this trap again. I was trying to use the Bible and other resources to show, (not prove), what “some” of the material that I thought supported the position that I had both studied on my own for decades and had some of my favorite scholars present as their findings.

For example suppose I was Catholic and I posted my beliefs about what I thought was interesting about my particular beliefs that agreed with my religion. No sooner would I post it and I would have lots of people posting at least six direct quotes from the Bible that people often use to “prove” that the Catholic religion wrong. My wife was Catholic when we married and she used to tell me about how others would “attack” her religion and how she was “sick of it.” Because of this, I realized how wrong it was to attack other religions or others beliefs by trying to "prove" them wrong and especially by using scripture to attack and making them defend by using scripture. The person on the offensive will always seemingly "win."

I won’t list those six seemingly black and white passages here because again I don’t believe in attacking anyone’s beliefs. It is the spirit of contention that Satan uses to bring down the love of our neighbors. I don’t believe that anyone should try to quote scripture to “prove” their position one way or another, which is why we have so much bickering between religions in the world today.

There are about 2 billion Christians in the world today and about 1.2 billion Muslims, but of those each belief system has many, many different sects because they each interpret the Bible and the Quran differently. They all believe they are “right”, but yet logic says that they “all” can’t be, so is there one true religion? That is up to us to figure out and if we think we have found it, then we should use gentle persuasion and just suggest ideas, and not attack others by trying to "prove" our belief, especially by trying to prove theirs wrong!

I had to write this post because I started finding myself getting frustrated and I am sure it showed in my responses, as I was not my normal composed self.

I love to discuss different religious positions but I do not love to “debate” them as debate evolves into contention and contention is wrong.

So, in closing, if any of you find me posting quotes from the Bible or any other religious scholar, please remind me that I am on the defensive and will never be able to “show” a different view to anyone who has a different religious view unless they are open to consider that they might not have the correct view in the first place.

This is because some people who belong to a religion are comfortable in that religion and don’t want their belief shaken by anyone with a different view. Their brain will not let them acknowledge any good points made. Everything presented will be seen as "wrong" no matter how good the points.

Here is to understanding others all have good points about their beliefs, as we all are capable of choosing the religion that "best fits" our beliefs, and thank God we are not all the same. What a boring world that would be.


At 12:36 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Very well said!!!! The older I get the more I realize why they say not to discuss religion or politics at family gatherings :-). I also am becoming less judgmental the older I get. I have very strong opinions when it comes to politics and my faith. But I so agree with you that you need to try more to persuade than to debate. Once people are defensive I'm not sure how much is accomplished.

I must say I am disappointed that others didn't just find your "Laws of Moses" post interesting instead of attacking certain concepts.

Great post! Merry Christmas!!

At 2:05 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Yep, and I am not even sure that maybe we should just present ideas and not even try to persuade, because the spirit is the best friend of truth, and we should perhaps just present ideas and if they are pondered with an open mind and with real intent, then the spirit will testify of it's truthfulness. That is how I have recieved my beliefs.

Thanks for the visit and kind words. And Merry Christmas to you as well.



At 3:25 PM, Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

FAR: I think you're right!!

At 4:30 PM, Blogger Conservative Schooler said...

With all due respect, it seemed to me that Katelyn was just as open minded as you were in the last post. Consider this comment from her:

"Hopefully, we can discuss this further. If I am mistaken, please clarify, so that I could correct my view."

By the way, I saw nothing especially disrespectful from Katelyn. If you think that her comments were disrespecful, then I invite you to observe one of my debate tournaments. She presented her arguments in much the same way that a debater would during a rebuttal speech.

She went over your "case" point by point, and then emphazized to the "judge" (reader) that she was right and you were wrong. A debate coach would be proud.

I was immpressed by both of you. You both obviously know a lot about religion and the bible, certainly more than I do. It was a very informative discussion. Keep it up.

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


said: "By the way, I saw nothing especially disrespectful from Katelyn."

You must have missed her calling my very heartfelt beliefs "Laughable."

Does that really seem respectful?

I would never laugh at someone else beliefs would you?

Said: "and then emphazized to the "judge" (reader) that she was right and you were wrong."

The post you are now commenting on was meant to show that my reason for posting was to allow information to be available for people to ponder, not to used as a target for debate.

As soon as it turns into a debate, then people become contentious and do what you just said, "show that she was right and I was wrong."

If it were possible for me to post all 40 years of information that I had collected and then all of my prayers that were answered about my study, then it would be much easier to see why I have the belief that I have. Summaries almost are never as good as the sum total of the information.

The hardest part is one side will usually win just by being on the offense. Defending a position is much harder than attacking.

I hope this post will lead others to understand that presenting ideas for people to ponder and pray about is much better than trying to sway someone or attack them.

"What doth it profit a man to win an argument and lose a friend." - Author Unknown.



At 7:22 PM, Blogger jj said...

I agree with CS With all due respect, it seemed to me that Katelyn was just as open minded as you were in the last post.

From a debate stand point Katelyn won hands down and is wise beyond her years. FAR your beliefs are valid and I respect them as I think everyone else has. She just presented her case in a far more convincing way.

If this was a finding of "fact" in court she won the case. Katelyn do not feel bad or change.

FAR you did seem to present your post as a fact not your personal opinion despite the facts. I enjoyed reading the comments. until next time :)

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...


I'm going to have to second CS's points. You made several statements of fact, not of opinion, and they were rebutted, quite thoroughly. The implication is not that you're a bad person, or to mock your beliefs, but simply that you made claims that were incorrect.

What you're confusing here is the difference between two people of differing religious persuasions arguing their respective opinions, and one person saying "my religion holds that..." and another responding "well, no, what the text actually says is...". The first case deals with opinions, which are not falsifiable, the second with factual claims, which are.

OK, enough lecturing. Merry Christmas/hannukka/Qwanzaa/Solstice/[insert holiday of choice here],

:-), StS

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

FAR - for what it's worth I agreed with your umbrage.

As to your post, I am learning the same lesson. I need to qualify and frame better... I guess we are all a work in progress.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

At 8:08 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


said: "She just presented her case in a far more convincing way."

It was my error to allow it to decay to a debate as I was not trying to make a case, but rather presenting what I thought was interesting information that when I was taught this paradigm It struck me like a wonderful revelation.

I studied and studied it and took great notes. But alas, this was about 20 years ago when it was first presented to me and at the time I had all of the ducks in a row and would have been able to do a much better job of giving better responses. If some don't see the beauty in the message it is because of my failings not because of the message.

Perhaps some people got some of the message even if I did not do it justice. It was not my findings but those of others whom I don't have the right to lace their shoes.

This was information from Scholars who spend their whole life formulating this information.

My appologies to them for being a poor spokesman of their wonderful information.



At 8:22 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


I can certianly see your point of the way I presented the information was as if some of it was indeed fact.

I stand corrected, and again I posted at the top of the post that it was not meant to be fact, but rather my belief of what was true.

It is very difficult to show error when someone is pointing to a translation because the words are someones opinion of what the origional text said.

I have shown that the phrase "Shall surely be put to death" could have been translated as "to be the Lord's property" or in other places "to be in his service till death."



At 8:33 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


This is a sincere question and is a curious one as well.

As a lawyer, in reading about when Cain killed Abel, which type of murder would you think that in a court of law Cain would be guilty of? First or Second Degree Murder, Or???

Am I right that premeditated means planning and not "heat of the moment?"

And with a conclusion, what lead you to that conclusion.

Here is the main verse, verse 8:
"And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him."

So as to get the full context you should read maybe verses 1-16.

I would really be interested in your opinion and the basis for it.

Thanks in advance.


At 8:47 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Yep, I am 62 and am still learning valuable lessons.

We in the blogosphere venture into territory that we were taught to not go into when we were young.

"Don't talk about politics or religion!"

We have all heard that before. Well, there is good reason to not do it, because the positions on thses subjects are often presented with passion and emotion, which often leads to bad feelings.

Often people would rather be right than be nice. And other times what is thought to be fact is belief and what is belief is though to be fact.

I need to insure I don't confuse the two as much as I do either.



At 4:25 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


You are correct that 1st degree murder is planned murder and is distinguishable from "heat of the moment" killings. Although there is one qualification -- a murderer qualifies for the death penalty in most states if he/she commits a murder in the course of committing another crime. A burglar who breaks in a house with no intent to kill, but ends up doing so will be eligible for Murder 1/death penalty. A rapist who does not plan to kill the victim, but does so is guilty of first degree murder. I can only assume that the "intent" to commit the other crime is deemed enough "intent" to commit the murder. I don't know enough about the Cain and Abel story to comment on the applicability of that charge, but I will read it.

With respect to the prohibitions against discussing politics and religion, we never had that in my house so I have never understood what the big deal is about. There are no other topics that tell you about a person's character, integrity, soul and spirit than religion and politics. If those topics are off limits, then everyone in our life becomes a co-worker with whom we talk about the fillings in jelly donuts. Anyone with a brain and some substance would not allow their brains to decay in that manner and would not permit their personal relationships to be so shallow.

At 5:14 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Oh, and about the Catholic thing. There aren't "two billion christians", there are 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million hellbound heretics that should start slathering on some barbecue sauce.

That crock of poop from Vatican II calling the protestants 'estranged brothers in Christ'? Utter nonsense to assuage the heretics.

Please refer all inquiries to Mel Gibson, Esq. These are his actual views.

:-), StS

At 7:11 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Really intersting post. It is parallel in many ways to one I posted earlier in the month on my own blog. I enjoyed your reasoning; I am afraid I was neither as cogent nor as brief. I came to your blog through Mahndisa, just on the basis of your name. It has always been my contention that "free" agency is crucial to any other kind of freedom, but it is important to realize that "Free" Agency isn't FREE. Any time we use our agency to commit an act, or even think a thought, there is a consequence to that action or for that action or thought. That consequence, in a realy way, is our "payment" for the use of agency.

In addition to our payment (or consequence, good or bad) we need to be aware that many good men and women have given time, energy, and even their lives to keep our agency (ability to act and think as we will) "free"
Enjoyed chatting with you.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Is that "fact" or your "opinion?"



At 7:19 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

three score,

We are Free today "in my opinion" because of our brave young men ans women who have put thier lives on the line. God Bless our soldiers.

Could you provide a link on your similar post, I would be most interested in reading it?

Thanks. And Thanks for visiting.



At 8:08 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


There are many different divisions from within each church. In other words there are Catholics who disagree with other Catholics on doctrine, and other "Christian" Churches that have many factions from within their own denomonations as well.

Here are some things that I used to "sit around and think about."

Could it be that if Christ died for "all" of our sins, that everyone gets to go to heaven, even non-christians?

Just a thought. Also what happens in "heaven?" Whatever that word means. (I have a problem with the word that is translated as "heaven.")

I am not sure other people really understand what that word means either. Is heaven the same place as "paradise?" Where did the term "purgatory" come from? As far as I know it is not a doctrine in the Bible or even a word in the Bible.

What are we going to do in the hereafter. Sit around all day and all night and bow down and play harps for eternity?

What if the next life is similar to this one where people have houses and cars and everything is in perfect harmony, with no poor people but yet people are able to do traveling, boating, etc, along with everyone else.

I don't think it is in the Bible anywhere as to what we are going to do in Heaven. Just wondering.

Maybe those like Moses, Abraham, etc, are in that new environment, called heaven, also but have nicer stuff as a reward for their obedience. Since there would be no poor, I would think ther would be no envy either.

Or, maybe everyone will have the same "stuff", but if so, then what was Christ talking about when he said to "lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven...?" - (Hel 5:8)

Who knows? I just can't picture everyone just spending eternity on thier knees, singing praises and playing harps.

But anyway, even that would be preferrable to not even existing anymore as Atheists seem to believe.

I love thinking philosophically.




At 5:24 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...


truth be told, religion in general does not rise to a level of significance that I would devote undue attention to the differing flavors thereof. Nothing transcendental can ever be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, so from where I stand, all flavors are equally right or equally wrong, and either outcome makes no difference.

I consistently advocate for just a little bit more humility on the part of all frail humans - you may think you know what god wants, but you don't. You can parse the bible, Apostolic Letters, or the Bhagavad Gita for all I care, and still know nothing at all.

So why even bother?

It's my personal opinion that if there is a god, she derives her main amusement from those lost souls that try to divine her will and intentions. Trying to understand the divine mind is, to me, the height of arrogance and over-reaching; that's what that tower of babel story is all about.

Is the Catholic church right, or its heretical offspring? Who knows? Who cares? In the end, all of us know nothing, and those with the greatest certitude know least of all. You may fool yourself into certitude, because the mind craves surety, but you know that there is none to be had.

In the end, that is the basis of all religion: the refusal of this proud species to accept that there are things we will never know. We build ourselves various little pedestals to scan the cosmos, and call them religions; but in the end, all the bibles and prophets and religions, past, present and future, all amount to little rags that inadequately shield the nakedness of our ignorance.

That's why I don't speculate on the questions you're asking.

:-), StS

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

So, I take that as an "opinion." :)

I understand your position. It is fairly consistant with what Sigmund Fruued had.

So did C.S. Lewis, who idolized Frued, until he did considerable philosophising and came to the conclusion that there had to be one.

There is binary code in our DNA. Can any "code" be present in our DNA without someone programming it?

I think it is worthy of pondering.

In a court of law, a big part of proving a case is two or three witnessses. (IMHO). Five Hundred people saw and testified that Jesus rose into the heavens. Maybe it was "mass hypnosis" but they recorded it.

Seems like it would be worthy of study, but then we are all different, thank God,(insert play on words here), :)

Again, thanks for your opinion and for stopping by. If we as a human race find ourselves only getting along with those who share our view, we are missing one of the great things in life..."Learning from others who think differently."

Enjoy the holidays.



At 8:41 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

Well, if you're going to apply the legal standard, those 500 people would need to be treated as hearsay, since you do not have their notarized individual affidavits.

jappy Holidays.

:-), StS

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

"Happy" is what I meant.

:-), StS

At 1:08 PM, Blogger Robosquirrel said...

You can't argue faith.

That goes for environmentalism and ghosts, too. It's all taken on faith, because proof denies faith. Trying to talk someone out of something they believe with all their heart is the most futile thing one can do.

At 2:53 PM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...

I would say that environmentalism has a few things to commend it, such as what is known as 'empirical data'. The same does not hold true, however fervently people may believe in them, of ghosts, the easter bunny, christianity, santa claus, and assorted other fancies.

:-), StS

At 5:59 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Some people have seen both Ghosts and Angels.

Read the book, "Saved by the Light" and you will find real compelling evidence of an after life. Or I should say, some people have found real compelling information.


I have been given what I believe to be "stong evidence" that I find too personal to share except with ptople who have a open mind.

Would it be fair to say that as far as the possibility of God goes, you do not have an open mind?



At 7:40 AM, Blogger Stalin the Shark said...


What is accurate to say is that I have not seen convincing evidence to either prove or rule out the existence of god, and that I have the humility to accept not knowing. In my opinion, declaring absolute knowledge of god borders on blasphemy.

:-), StS

At 8:46 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Good answer!

I am like the jury in a Murder Trail. I believe beyound a shadow of a doubt, even thought I did not witness the murder, I am convinced.

And I am convinced by things other than the things I read.




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