Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Debunking Christianity: Dr. Peter Boghossian on "How to Talk Others Out of Their Faith"

John Loftus posted a link to an interview with Dr Peter Boghossan. Dr Boghossan emphatically claims that his goal is to make people "loose their faith".  He says he translates "faith" to mean "pretending to believe something that you don't know". He considers religion to be a pathological disorder.  He believes that believers are smug and not humble. He thinks that "theology" is just making stuff up. I found it amazing that he was using the same tactics to try to break people's Faith that many Christians use in trying to help others find it. I think it's important to hear such things so we know how people think....or in this case refuse to think. Dr Boghossan's answer to Christian challenges to his definition of "faith" is that we are redefining what faith is. I disagree. How can he accuse that there has been a redefinition of faith if we are using the same definition of faith that the Bible uses? He can't. He is the one re-defining "Faith". I also find it amazing that he will not debate David Marshall. I think one of the problem is that the truth is that no one can argue you into or out of  faith. True faith, as defined in the Bible, is a gift of God. You can't buy it. We all reject it as a default, and it takes the power of God to not just accept it but to maintain it.
Follow the link to listen to the interview. It's NSFW due to the profanity being used during the conversation.

Debunking Christianity: Dr. Peter Boghossian on "How to Talk Others Out of Their Faith"
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Debating the Authority of Scripture | Reflections

Here is a golden oldie from Dr Kenneth Samples!

In 1997, I participated in a debate on the topic of the Scripture’s authority with Jesuit priest Mitchell Pacwa at Southern Methodist University. I explained and defended the Protestant view and Father Pacwa represented the Catholic position.

Follow the link to his blog to listen to the debate

Debating the Authority of Scripture | Reflections
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Really Bad Argument of the Day - Debunking Christianity: God May Own the Cattle on a Thousand Hills, But What He Really Wants is that Dollar In Your Wallet

I'm simply amazed that Harry McCall can simply post such irrational argument on Debunking Christianity. I mean is he just dishonest or ignorant? He needs to think more carefully. I don't know. But what I do know is that his thesis to totally wrong and he does a poor job in defending it. He is arguing that the Bible supports people who call themselves "Christians" in abusing others in the pursuit of money. There is no denying that there are people who do that, but it is against the Christian and Jewish scriptures to do so.

("For every beast of the forest is Mine, The cattle on a thousand hills.” Psalms 50: 10)

Ironically, there are far more verses in the Bible about giving God your money than giving God your soul!

Now that is just dumb. And there is is no way to substantiate that. He tried, but let's look at what complete failure looks like.

Here a just a few:

Let's really looks at each passage and see if McCall even remotely makes a point.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” Malachi 3: 10 (The Original Seed Faith Commercial)

So does this passage tells you  that  God needs all your money and you should give to it hurts? Nope. I wonder if McCall even knows what a "whole tithe" is. It means only 10% of your income that serves as a vehicle to teach people how to give. We don't give a tithe because God needs it...we do.

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury.” Mark 12: 41

I wonder if McCall even bothered to read the rest of the account. You know about the Widow giving all she had and Jesus commending her for her faith and not  for the amount she gave. Jesus was concerned about her attitude and intentions not the monetary amount.

““For to everyone who has, more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away. “Throw out the worthless slave into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Jesus on the Parable of the Talents; Matthew 25: 29 -30) Televangelists love this verse especially when taking welfare checks!

And like such televangelist McCall misses the whole point of the parable: using the gifts (including but not exclusively money) God gives us responsibly because we are accountable to our master.

“But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? // And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; //And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.” (The Fate of Ananias and Sapphira; Acts 5: 1 – 16)

So was Ananias and Sapphira's sin that they didn't give all their money? No. They lied and said that they gave all of it when they hadn't because they wanted to be given the same status as Barnabas.  McCall really messed up on this one.  I can prove it. 

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” - Acts 5:3-4

“The material of the wall was jasper; and the city was pure gold.” (The New Jerusalem; Revelation 21: 18)

And who supplies the gold? Not us. The gold is God's just like the cattle from Psalms 50:10. So I wonder if McCall has more examples because these 5 are no good examples.

Whether it’s the infomercials, The Door-to-Door Salesperson or the Christian Evangelist, the final goal is to sell you either a product / belief system that will remove dollars from your wallet. Thus, Christian Evangelism works just like any other sales pitch used to generate income by convincing the customer their life would be so much better if he or she accepted the truth claims made by the product peddler.

McCall is incorrect that the point of Christianity is to get money. There are some people who claim to be Christians who have that goal but that does not mean that God condones them. He does not. I wonder why McCall did not point out any of those examples, We should charge for what was given to us - the Gospel. 

Believer - you want your car to move - put fuel in it. If you want your God to function, open up your wallet!

Nope. You want God to do something for you - Obey Him.  And God is not begging for your money - that He gave you.

Without money (which is a prime reason for conversion of souls) the concept of God is nothing more than a non-functioning idea. (Sure, God needs your soul, but this theology goes without saying: No saved soul; no believer’s money!)

Really?  Sad assertion because that is all it is. 

It’s little wonder today that the richest organizations in the world are religious and here in the United States, some of the wealthiest freeloading people are religious leaders, especially televangelists.

More assertion and no back up.

Finally, if God was a piñata hanging from Heaven on a cord; after a solid strike with a stick, he would burst open and money would pour out.

Money: The power of God: The real God!

Huh? Is that really how McCall wants to sum up his "article"? Let's look at what Jesus told us about material possessions.

15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” - Luke 12:15

Debunking Christianity: God May Own the Cattle on a Thousand Hills, But What He Really Wants is that Dollar In Your Wallet
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