I agree with your first sentence. However, couldn’t Christianity, like any belief system, be held as indoctrination? We’re all indoctrinated with some paradigm, though the choice remains ours, (on a conscious or unconscious level,) to accept, reject, or choose the “salad bar” method with what we are presented. For most, (and this is conjecture,) I think they accept on an unconscious level via “salad bar” method, as there are many conflicting worldviews out there. I’d also say that the resulting worldview is a “Frankenstein” held together by logical fallacies and cognitive dissonance. I really don’t know for sure, however.
All my life, I believed that nothing was black and white. The world was full of infinite gray areas. But imagine, if you can, walking through a world where everything is just shades of gray. What happens when you stumble upon something colorful, that is full of beauty and light? And what happens when you stare at that bright, shining thing long enough?
I'll tell you what happens. The gray areas of the world grow dim, and dark, until the contrast between infinite gray and infinite light turn into black and white. What used to be gray is now pitch black by comparison. But had I never stared into the light, I never would have recognized the darkness.
Or as the old hymn goes:
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace."
Your statement, "I really don't know for sure, however" pretty well sums up your comment.
When people find God it's not a stalag-type indoctrination. It's a beautiful and blessed event. I find it difficult to understand how people can NOT believe in God.
 July 30, 2015 at 8:19am
The devil didn’t ruin his life – he ruined his own life. This smacks of one trying to dodge responsibility for past transgressions.
No it doesn't sound like he's trying to dodge anything. Yes we may be the ones ultimately responsible for our actions but who is the one standing there, whispering in our ears, to do awful things?
July 28, 2015 at 4:19pm
Not only do I agree with your comments on this thread, but I logged on to tell you I absolutely love your avatar. That’s dark… read: perfect!
 July 15, 2015 at 8:15am
I can’t really hope for an eternity of unending pain for him, as I don’t believe it to be, but I will agree with you that the description was awful. I think now I know why he was content with his own method of demise – he knew firsthand of other possibilities.
[-1] July 9, 2015 at 3:22pm
1) You never answered the question, justy offered a counter based on what you think I am. That could be a red herring.
2) “If you no longer believe in Christ, then I doubt you ever did…” That’s called rationalizing, nothing more. “…people can convince themselves of most anything…” Yes, the same could be said of you.
3) “but being ‘yoked equally in Christ’ is an ultimatum?” Yes, if it involves just THAT – an ultimatum.
Bonus #1: “Lastly, 12 people walked with Jesus for a 3 year ministry, watched him die and come back to life, then carried his gospel to their deaths by torture. 2000 years later he still has followers.” THis proves nothing. Another logical fallacy to believe that something is true because other people believe it to be.
Bonus #2: “… it’s called election. God seeks out, not the other way around. If God doesn’t draw you, you are not the elect.” Then the rest of us are damned by your count? It’s no wonder I think God’s an *******. Fortunately, if it does exist, I really don’t think it is what you think it is. Have a great day!
July 9, 2015 at 12:41pm
Actually, American libertarianism is what you are thinking as far as the name, but in Europe, libertarianism takes on a different meaning in many circles. I’m an American libertarian, but I make no mistake with nomenclature.
“I think that Connie wrestled with her conscience and told Ken what she believes. She holds her beliefs in her heart…”
You know her heart? I suppose it’s imposition of your own views, so you must either be the optimist or merely have a good heart. Either way is fine by me.
“…the truth is that only the Holy Spirit moves someone to Christ.”
By that count, if I no longer believe in Christ or never have, then has the Holy Spirit been ineffectual? Has God turned it’s back? Is there really such a chance for the occurrences or would it be more logical to say two people met and didn’t jibe until he made some “adjustments” at her behest? By your count, I could easily hold the Holy Spirit, (read: not myself, but someone or something else,) accountable for my lack of “faith.”
[-1] July 9, 2015 at 11:20am
Lol! Motivations connote sincerity, which suggests integrity as opposed to vice. Motivations mean much for an individual. The fact that you toss it aside like an errant thought is illuminating.
[-1] July 9, 2015 at 8:19am
Great story, but how sound is operating on an ultimatum? In certain circles that’s referred to as “missionary dating.” Hell, if it worked for me, I’d jump on. The only problem is that if God even exists, I don’t find any virtue in it at all and no amount of ultimatums could tell me otherwise – they’d merely reinforce my beliefs. After all, what is an ultimatum but a coercive technique aimed at an end goal rather than addressing the issues at hand? I wonder if there isn’t more to it than what he’s stating?
FREE, Good questions. Did he really agree to the ultimatum so he could be closer to Jesus or or to be closer to the chick?
free- Ultimatum? I think that Connie wrestled with her conscience and told Ken what she believes. She holds her beliefs in her heart… can she compromise her values to go a path that she thinks will destroy her in the future? Can Ken choose what he wants in this situation?
Missionary dating is going in with the intent of leading to Christ, which is wrong… that is manipulative and uses sex to steer someone into a conversion to an earthly reward… If you fall for someone that you realize is doing something self destructive and say ‘I love you but I can’t go down that road’, it is considered wisdom, but if you say “I love you, but can’t be with you because you disagree with something I feel shapes my every decision and makes me sound in mind and soul. If I go that way we both will lose.” Is that missionary dating to you? Connie felt that her path was with someone godly and Ken chose to be in a relationship with Christ and Connie. Being Christian is from the heart, not from the mind.
What difference does his original motivation make? He is saying that he found something real and meaningful there. So what if it was his love for the girl that got him to actually look closely at Jesus?
June 12, 2015 at 10:30am
I ponder the same. If some prayers are “answered” and some not, you either have to believe that somehow it is part of a “master plan,” (which seems cruel to me;) or that “God” is either apathetic, cruel, not omnipotent, or doesn’t exist. I suppose that’s why I remain an agnostic on said matters. I think, ultimately, people see what they want to see. We are all ingrained from birth with a certain worldview. To shift that takes something catastrophic. I liken those who see “miracles” everywhere to those who see “racism” everywhere to those who see “miracles” nowhere to those who see “racism” nowhere – it seems completely subjective and based on core beliefs passed on during childhood. I can’t say I’ve ever had an answered prayer, so I’ll respectfully go about my business without it. How’s that for empiricism? Have a wonderful day, HabanaJoe, and don’t beat yourself up over your questions like I did with those very same questions. Look for Occam’s Razor – usually the simplest response is the correct one.
Have you tried reading the Bible to actually discover the God we believe in or are you relying on your own human understanding? I would only guess at the latter, while you may be in fact a bible scholar and a non-believer at the same time, who knows. But your ways are the ways that are clearly noted in the bible, a scoffer, a mocker, a self interested person who believes only in themselves while they condemn the very God who created them, the world, this universe. God is a God of justice. You can't get to him without going to the one who paid the price/ransom for your soul/sins. You don't want to get to heaven only to sit with Hitler and then ask God why is this person here. I've not murdered anyone but here he sits among the Holy! That would be an unjust God. Hitler is where he belongs, in Hell. Only the justified in Christ will enter into the Kingdom, make sure your Life Insurance is paid up in full, get Jesus today.
chiefgeorge - What about the murderer & the thief on the cross that were offered salvation from +Jesus who is God+, what about King David he was a murderer will he also be kept out of heaven, The Bible says King David will be part of +Jesus Gods+ government when +He+ returns, there were "Many" people involved in the holocaust, "Joseph Stalin", was the worst mass murderer ever on this planet, my point is only +Jesus God+ is the Judge with their last breath those sinful people may have repented.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned…Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many…so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ. (Rom 5) For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Rom 8)
The disciples asked Jesus why a man was born blind. He responded ““Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9)
Evil is prevalent in this world, but it will be ended in the next. But all can used to point to the Glory of God. When Jesus was crucified it was not just. But he prayed Lord your will be done, not mine.
Revelations 21: God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have past.
 June 10, 2015 at 10:20pm
I would disagree, as not all Christians were for any of those things. Look up Susan B. Anthony – she had a Quaker background. Look up Sojourner Truth – she used her faith as what appears to be a bedrock for her activism. I think you aren’t being entirely fair.
 June 10, 2015 at 10:10pm
If you are being sarcastic, you may be right (about Christianity ending those things that J-Mo mentioned) and I again agree with you. There were Christians on the forefront of abolition and women’s rights. The issue lies in the “broad-brushing” of particular groups, rather than examining the individual. For instance, saying that Christians were pro-slavery and lumping all individuals into a category because they believe in Christianity would be an example of “broad-brushing” or categorizing purely within a collectivist mindset.
 June 10, 2015 at 12:19pm
I would agree, though I think people, in general, view any difference in thought as an attack on their worldview. If the paradigm shifts, it means their cognitive biases are stretched or can no longer exist, necessitating change in their worldview. Once this happens, if the necessity for a paradigm shift occurs, one either must follow it or swallow it and keep it submerged, making for a potential whole new host of problems. If they choose to shift their views, they risk ostracism from the group into which they are integrated. I am an agnostic, having formerly been a Christian. I know a little of the ostracism that goes hand-in-hand with a shift in worldviews. It happens with atheists and any other worldview, as well, including political views. This is also the reason I think politics and religions are merely tools for control, as well. Have a wonderful day, by the way.
June 5, 2015 at 9:48pm
The book titled, “Buddhist Boot Camp” caught my eye. Honestly, I’ve yet to start reading it. Well, I guess now is as good a time as any. Have a great evening and enjoy your weekend.
May 21, 2015 at 1:39pm
I wouldn’t necessarily state that the article could only be pointed toward a Christian readership, though it may be just that. My point is that the advice given could be taken to heart by anyone willing to listen. People who make a difference in the world usually aren’t those who mindlessly plug in and follow the crowd, they are those who, at times, go against the tide. I am not a Christian, but I don’t plan to watch a lot of the stuff peddled on television programming. It could be called “programming” for good reason. The ideas we take in – whether consciously or unconsciously, whether through books, T.V., or music – still do affect us and our paradigms. (Some people more than others.) I try to avoid the pitfalls of our current culture, which includes a lot of the ideas pushed in the entertainment industry. I’m tired of being a slave to our culture and government and I don’t necessarily need God to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing, as I attempt to live by what I would consider universally preferable behavior. (If you believe in God, that’s fine by my standards, though I could come up with some arguments. Another day, perhaps? :)) Hence, I still think the article could have a broader audience than what you may be thinking.
 May 16, 2015 at 7:46pm
I see your point, but hear me out a moment. Coffee is like exercise – it isn’t necessarily the enjoyment during, but after that makes for the appeal. Exercise can be brutal at times, but the endorphins that kick in shortly after make it awesome. The same goes for coffee, in a sense – it tastes awful, but the caffeine kick really helps. No pain, no gain.
 May 16, 2015 at 7:37pm
Honestly, it isn’t the coffee, as I prefer Dunkin’ Donuts. I occasionally go to Starbucks and nurse a misto or a dark roast straight-up due to the fact that a lot of attractive women frequent or sometimes even work there and a coffee shop seems like a better place to meet a person who would pursue a relationship longer than a one-night tryst.
TL;DR? – Starbucks seems a better “wife material” place than a bar.
 April 8, 2015 at 1:41pm
I agree. You could go a step further and add Oakley’s and a buzz cut on a balding head and complete the “I like to yell at my wife in public” ensemble. We’ve all seen that guy, though no word on whether he’d actually run the country any better/worse than Obama.
or you could go one step further and push the Oakley's up over the brow, onto the forhead, grease the hair up and spike it, turn up the collar and add a sweater over the shoulder to complete the "I like to beat my wife in private, and rape the office girls after work in private meetings" ensemble.
We've all seen THAT guy.
word is, he'd be a scumbag just like Obama.
 March 4, 2015 at 8:52am
Both hi and Jeninfl, you may want to read The Third Archon’s post from above – posted on March 3, 2015 at 3:10 pm. He basically explains why you can’t necessarily rely on “feelings” as any sort of factual evidence of anything.
“Rather it is based solely on fallacious appeals to emotion, tradition, and popularity. Easy to understand, impossible to justify; and no mystery to me, for I was brought up in precisely that culture.”