Thought for the Day

I got something photographed today which I felt to be interesting. It was posted by a church or religious organization on the billboard. Interesting as it may be, oddly seems to be a more secularized message.

None of the normal patent(TM) evangelical "absolute truth" undertones.

"There are no absolute answers to life - just Revelations."

"A path without obstacles probably leads nowhere."

I agree on both accounts.

My Agnostic Friend: The first billboard implies that revelation does not contain absolute answers.

Personal truths, perhaps, which are not patent absolute truths. › Mental Health
The Psychology of Personal Revelations. Throughout her life, an individual has the potential to have one or more life-changing events

Personal revelation is the way we know for ourselves the most important truths of our existence.

My Agnostic Friend: Very moderate of them to admit that.

My other Agnostic friend says I'm not a Christian. I say I am. He said I'm agnostic. =) I don't think so.

From: Me
Date : 07/15/2012 12:01 am
Contents :
All agnostics seem extraordinarily mellowed out. =)

From : My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 12:02 am
Contents :
Don't have to be all uptight and always think we're right about everything.

From: Me
Date : 07/15/2012 12:09 am
Contents :
Lol... But thing is, agnostics often are..

From : My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 12:10 am
Contents :
Because we can see things from all different angles. Not just one angle that backs up our life and other beliefs......

From: Me
Date : 07/15/2012 12:19 am
Contents :
Ok... So does that make me agnostic?? Cos i was a real true ATHEIST for abt five seconds when i realized the bible was a book of myths invented by men..
And where do belief in god come from? Bible. So, god is a myth. I was in it... Atheist mind, y know? But thought, 'nah... Somethings out there. Not sure what... But something.' and that was 1990s and seen n tried every belief... And never found any 'absolute truth'. Agnostics are my favorite people... just are... I dont ask why.

From : My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 12:22 am
Contents :
Well, sounds like U are, but think about it too much. I think most of us know we'll not get the answers, so why bother discussing it or argueing it with other people. Not worth the waste of my time, and most likely not going to change their minds anyway.....

From: My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 01:26 am
U have to believe all that bs bible **** to be a christian. The teachings and morals are the same things that have been handed down through all religions and many cultures. To believe them alone does not make U christian....

From : Me
Date : 07/15/2012 01:34 am
Contents :
I think it does. :) ... A wannabe christian. I TRY to b nice and patient and then something happens and i mess up and say things i regret later.... But u've gracefully forgiven me. Christians are seldom forgiving 7x70... As jesus instructed to be. Noooo, many set around gossipping and slandering the innocent. Theyre not christian... U say they are... They say they are, but jesus says 'u will know my people by their fruits'... And i say, those people are christian, in name only.

From : My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 01:37 am
Contents :
Well look at my fruit; does that make me christian? If there is a heaven will I not get in because I don't accept christianity?

From: Me
Date : 07/15/2012 01:45 am
Contents :
Revelation states there is a resurrection of the dead, and all 'judged according to their works'. Note: it doesnt say 'according to one's creed'. Theists do that. A wise God would not and yes, i think any loving, righteous god would see u have love in your heart and the right priorities... Whilst some evangelists and priests are molesting kids. JESUS SAYS 'many will say Lord, we prophsied in ur name,' and told, 'Depart, i know u not.'

From: My Other Agnostic Friend
Date : 07/15/2012 01:47 am
Contents :
Well the vast majority (pretty much all) say I wouldn't get into heaven. Further proof that Ur not christian. :-p

From: Me
Date : 07/15/2012 01:53 am
Contents :
I am a christian and if many other 'christians' had their way, theyd reinstate the inquisition n theyd burn me at the stake for heresy and you n my buddy for apostasy. Jesus was also falsely accused, beaten and crucified by the same bunch of religious cronies... So ur in good company. The pious, self-righteous religious leaders murdered jesus, not the 'sinners' and simpletons of his day.

"Revelation states there is a resurrection of the dead, and all 'judged according to their works'. Note: it doesnt say 'according to one's creed'."

My Agnostic Friend: Exactly.

In fact, according to biblical scholars the book of Revelation appears to have been composed by a Judaizing Christian who agreed more with Matthew and his idea of the sheep and goats being judged by their "works," than with Paul's view that "faith" is what "saves." In fact, biblical scholar Elaine Pagels suggest that the author of Revelation was trying to correct the erroneous view as he saw it in churches of the Pauline idea that "faith" is what "saves."

Below are summations of Elaine Pagels's new book, Revelation:

Pagels emphasizes that the Book of Revelation was written at a particular time and place: a small island off the coast of Turkey, probably around 90 C.E. after the Romans had burned down the Great Temple and left Jerusalem in ruins. “We begin to understand what he wrote,” she says, “only when we see that his book is wartime literature.” In other words, much of the fiery destruction portrayed early in John’s narrative is not so much prophetic as historical, a florid depiction of the incomprehensible horrors that had left Jews stunned, scattered and frightened. In the wake of Rome’s brutal repression and the flourishing of its empire, John wrote cryptic “anti-Roman propaganda that drew its imagery from Israel’s prophetic traditions.” His “Revelation,” then, was a way of acknowledging recent defeats while knitting them neatly into a narrative of future victory.

More provocatively, Pagels claims that John “sees himself as a Jew who acknowledges Jesus as Israel’s messiah — not someone who has converted to a new ‘religion.’?” That distinction is significant, because it allows her to argue that while John was portraying Rome as the beast, he was also warning Jewish followers of Jesus against associating with gentile followers of Jesus inspired by “that maverick called Paul of Tarsus [who] came out of nowhere and began to preach a ‘gospel’ quite different.” In this interpretation, the Book of Revelation was part of an early power struggle among Jesus’s believers, an internecine conflict defined by stark terms of good and evil, faithfulness and apostasy, salvation and damnation. . . .

In the chapters that follow, Pagels goes on to demonstrate how — and how thoroughly — John lost the battle of interpretation over the story he left behind. As his “Revelation” became the culmination of Christian eschatology, his Jewish allusions were appropriated by a new sect that colonized the Hebrew Bible as the “Old” Testament, subordinated Israeli prophets to Christian bishops, and recast Jews as unbelievers set for hell.

Or this review. . .

We may imagine John, Pagels suggests, as an old Jew who had lived through the Jewish war with Rome, during which Jerusalem was decimated and the Temple destroyed in the year 70. He may have seen the thousands of Jews killed and thousands of others carried to Rome as slaves. Bitter about the dominating imperial power, he may have wandered through Syria and Asia Minor, along the way meeting other followers of the crucified prophet Jesus, other “cells” of worshipers of the Jewish Messiah who was killed and mysteriously raised from the dead.

But when he gets to western Asia Minor, he comes across many gentile Christians, quite possibly in churches founded by the now dead Apostle Paul. Unlike John, they seem to be relatively well off. They usually get along fine with their non-Christian neighbors. They may be prospering from the Pax Romana, the “peace” sustained by Roman domination. They are marrying and having children, running their small businesses, ignoring the statues, temples and worship of other gods that surround them.

For John, this Christian toleration of Rome and its idols is offensive. This is not a benign governmental power. It is the Whore of Babylon, arrogantly destroying the earth. John writes (in this theory) to warn the churches, and he relates his vision to provoke alarm at the Evil Empire. That vision predicts the destruction of Rome by angelic armies, followed by the salvation of faithful disciples of the bloody, horned warrior-lamb Jesus. Those who resist will, in the end, be rewarded.

Or this one. . .

What’s more original to Pagels’s book is the view that Revelation is essentially an anti-Christian polemic. That is, it was written by an expatriate follower of Jesus who wanted the movement to remain within an entirely Jewish context, as opposed to the “Christianity” just then being invented by St. Paul, who welcomed uncircumcised and trayf-eating [forbidden-food-eating] Gentiles into the sect. At a time when no one quite called himself “Christian,” in the modern sense, John is prophesying what would happen if people did. That’s the forward-looking worry in the book. “In retrospect, we can see that John stood on the cusp of an enormous change—one that eventually would transform the entire movement from a Jewish messianic sect into ‘Christianity,’ a new religion flooded with Gentiles,” Pagels writes. “But since this had not yet happened—not, at least, among the groups John addressed in Asia Minor—he took his stand as a Jewish prophet charged to keep God’s people holy, unpolluted by Roman culture. So, John says, Jesus twice warns his followers in Asia Minor to beware of ‘blasphemers’ among them, ‘who say they are Jews, and are not.’ They are, he says, a ‘synagogue of Satan.’ ” Balaam and Jezebel, named as satanic prophets in Revelation, are, in this view, caricatures of “Pauline” Christians, who blithely violated Jewish food and sexual laws while still claiming to be followers of the good rabbi Yeshua. Jezebel, in particular—the name that John assigns her is that of an infamous Canaanite queen, but she’s seen preaching in the nearby town of Thyatira—suggests the women evangelists who were central to Paul’s version of the movement and anathema to a pious Jew like John. She is the original shiksa goddess. (“When John accuses ‘Balaam’ and ‘Jezebel’ of inducing people to ‘eat food sacrificed to idols and practice fornication,’ he might have in mind anything from tolerating people who engage in incest to Jews who become sexually involved with Gentiles or, worse, who marry them,” Pagels notes.) The scarlet whores and mad beasts in Revelation are the Gentile followers of Paul—and so, in a neat irony, the spiritual ancestors of today’s Protestant evangelicals.

Pagels shows persuasively that the Jew/non-Jew argument over the future of the Jesus movement, the real subject of Revelation, was much fiercer than later Christianity wanted to admit. The first-century Jesus movement was torn apart between Paul’s mission to the Gentiles—who were allowed to follow Jesus without being circumcised or eating kosher—and the more strictly Jewish movement tended by Jesus’ brothers in Jerusalem. The Jesus family was still free to run a storefront synagogue in Jerusalem devoted to his cult, and still saw the Jesus or “Yeshua” movement within the structure of dissenting Judaisms, all of which suggests the real tone of the movement in those first-century years—something like the gingerly, ambiguous, now-he-is, now-he-isn’t messianic claims of the Lubavitchers’ Menachem Schneerson movement, in Brooklyn. “On one side are movement officials who say the promotion of Judaism throughout the world is the heart of continuing Schneerson’s work,” the Washington Post reported several years ago. “On the other are the messianists, whose passion is preparing the world for the coming of Schneerson himself. They are two distinct missions from within one movement—each in the name of the same man.” Apparently, when you have made up your mind to believe that your rabbi is God, neither death nor disappearance will discourage you. His presence is proof; his non-presence is proof; and non-presence can be conjured into presence by wishing it to be so. (“At recent Sabbath services, an older woman along the front row of the women’s section smiled and pointed to the chair. ‘He is Moshiach,’ she said, using the Hebrew word for messiah. ‘We can’t see him with our eyes, but that doesn’t mean he’s not here. He is.”) The two approaches—the Pauline, which says he’s already here in our visions; the “Johannine,” which says he’ll come back if we stay true to our practice—seem to be the pillars of any messianic movement.

Thanks for that extensive input. But I believe works and faith are equally important.

Through Faith in Jesus, one gains access to God's Holy Spirit. Certainly, God was never lost, and even the unbeliever is known to God, and perhaps the unbeliever finds personal revelation to lead them to faith. Through the Holy Spirit, a person's life becomes transformed, and you will know the people of God, by their works. Does God work through Agnostics? Why not? If God busies himself with counting the hairs on a man's head, or feeding ravens, why not use an Agnostic to his greater purpose?

That's as simple and as complicated as I can put it.

The spirit of God can transform (a.k.a., "Save") a man or woman who is, in spiritual terms, condemned.

Likewise, there are many who call themselves Christian, but do not bear the fruits of the spirit, and Jesus said of HIS PEOPLE, "You will know them by their fruits," (or by the same token, their "works"),

James 2:18 But someone may well say, "You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
Good works are good fruit, like grapes and figs, pleasing to God and profitable to men.
By the fruits of their persons, their words and actions, and the course of their conversation. If you would know whether they be right or not, observe how they live; their works will testify for them or against them.

But of those others in the end they will come and say, "But Lord!" and they will be told "Depart, I know you not."

Two thoughts.

#1 When Abraham spoke to God and asked, if ten righteous were found in Sodom would God spare the people therein... God says he will spare the city if ten righteous souls are found. Then Abraham questions, if five righteous were found in Sodom? God says if five righteous are found, he will spare the city. Then Abraham tests the Lord's heart and mind, and yes, if one righteous were found in Sodom, again, God would spare the city.

One must ask themself according to that account, if God searches the heart and mind and judges, long before the time of Christianity, also, needless to add, long before even the time of the law of Moses. Then it must not be according to one's creed, but by works, by the goodness of the soul, even in the heart and mind of an Agnostic that God judges.

#2 I attended a funeral of a man, who was by all accounts, by many in the community deemed "condemned" "unchristian" a "sinner," "unsaved". Yet, the preacher was in a position that he had to find something good to say at the funeral for sake of the family. He reminded the people that this man's life, even now, deceased, that all his works were not yet fulfilled. The influence, the effect his life had had upon others was yet to be known. Therefore, not to judge. In summary, only God could make that final judgment. That all would be taken into account.

...and the book of Revelation speaks of such a final judgment.

> > > God was never lost, and even the unbeliever is known to God, and perhaps the unbeliever finds personal revelation to lead them to faith...... a person's life becomes transformed... AND IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE OVERNIGHT... A DAY TO GOD IS LIKE 1000 YEARS.... why not use an Agnostic to his greater purpose?

The Bible also says, "Judge not lest ye be judged."

So who can say who will be kept out of paradise? The day of the great and final judgment has yet to come, yet, God is judging even now, one's whole life taken into account from God's perspective, a life in its full context; their life's works and every idle thought. Jesus merely taught how to live life well. :) Jesus taught a religion of LOVE. No human alive, has the wisdom to make such an insightful judgment on any other person, to know what their life will become, their life in its entire context, to truly know the heart and mind of any other soul. Every human soul is a Work in Progress and Under Construction. God alone has that wisdom.
So I agree with Jesus, that many "Christians" will come and say, "Lord we prophesied in your name," and told "Depart, I know you not." While many unbelievers who lived a life of good fruit, that is, good works, will inherit paradise, because God was always with them, though they never knew it.

My Agnostic Friend: The parable of the wheat and the tares says it's best to let them grow side by side otherwise you are likely to pull up some wheat with the tares, which means when they are young plants they look very similar. You can't tell what will be for anyone. Though some religious folks like to think they already know.

According to mainstream Christianity,

Is The Holy Bible Easy To Understand?
Jesus spoke in parables so that He would not be understood. In addition, there are several verses which indicate that the scriptures are "sealed." ...

So from where does your spiritual understanding of Jesus' parable come from??
Read More »
by title by author

If educated and reason-minded Christian men of science like Louis Agassiz found it plausible to embrace the concept of a supernatural entity at work in nature, then the possibility is good enough for me.

Science Fact: "The Sun and all the planets were formed at around the same time, depending on when you define the birth of the sun. Before the Sun became as it is today it was a proto sun, which had all the elements it has now but it just had not started the nuclear reaction which fuels today's sun. As the sun started to form from the debris of the dust/particle cloud so did all the planets."
The entire commentary (link).
The Earth is not Young, but the Sun's nuclear reaction, is... based on fossil evidence, a wee 500 million years old.

Astronomers Discover Coldest Star Ever [VIDEO]

Early Earth

But what about Stromatolites and photosynthesis 3.5 billion years ago?

That's covered here in full.

Had there been any sunlight, it would have never reached the surface of the Earth, anyway.

Early Earth

I profess my innocense of the crime of Bibliolatry, however, I am scathed with certain Atheists who've somehow came to the conclusion their deconversion (which soon lead to blasphemous attacks on people of faith and anti-religious tyrades) supposedly equal a one size fits all, "patent truth"(TM), or even worse, a "scientific truth." Only the religious minded are under the delusion they advance their creeds by deception and claims to possess a monopoly on "absolute truths". Not unlike their counterparts Theistic Fundamentalists, who also believe they monopolize some sacred "Truth of Truths"(TM)... yet in my years acquainting both extremes, not much appears to be about an actual search for greater truths, understanding or knowledge. Rather, hatred and bigotry tend to be the motivating factor behind their many senseless squabbles.

Straight from Scripture Commentary:

Trees Before Sunlight
See the King James Hebrew-Greek KeyWord Study Bible, AMG Publishers, 1991 for yet another reprint of this century-old LIE. This EVIL lie has been told and retold by theologians, biblical scholars, preachers and priests to paralyze brains of the religious, so that they may continue unabated generating billions in tithes and donations from the faithful, never again to question the dishonest anti-Darwinist rhetoric, so the church can continue fighting to stamp out truth and enlightenment. These men within the hallowed halls of the establishment of organized religion, just as those priests, the murderers of Jesus, are the enemies of God because "God" can only be found on the side of what is proven to be TRUTH. And I present the truth here vs. their evil lies that have deceived millions.

Prototaxites, A Fossil Fruiting Fungi, 'Tree'
Scientists discovered this fossilized, non-photosynthetic, fruiting "tree," and call it Prototaxites.

They said it couldn't be done, but here it is, thanks to modern science and praise to God for revealing the truth about the fossil record. Still waiting on evangelicals to address this fossil discovery and begin owning up to their wretched LIES and DAMNED LIES for over a century... if it looks, waddles and quacks like a tree... its probably a tree.
    "The various attempts to join together the biblical account of creation and evolution are not supportable by the various gap theories because the order of creation is in direct opposition to the views of modern science (e.g., the creation of trees before light.)"
Source: King James Hebrew-Greek KeyWord Study Bible, AMG Publishers, 1991

Yes, finally, trees exactly as described in Genesis, before, and without sunlight. And no, it's not another lame hoax. (Short) and (Long). See, Prototaxites, Fossilized "Fruiting Fungi," 'Tree'.

Also see Evolution of the Earliest Plant Organisms, specifically the "Fruiting Fungi" which fits an identical description,
1. Has fruit with "seed" (spores) inside itself, and
2. Can survive without sunlight (exactly as described in Genesis). Such organisms would have certainly existed during the Vendian/Precambrian.
3. For a long time, scientists presumed or presume a giant "mystery fungi" was a tree, a conifer, to be precise... and some have now described it as one of the "Fruiting Fungi".

Also, see "Fruit Trees Before Sunlight".

I Challenge All with this Thousand Dollar Question:
Please engage brain and point out where either term, "Create" or "Design," even appear in this text of Genesis?
Genesis 1:11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth (tender) grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
Genesis 1:12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Still Waiting...

When you Atheists or Fundamentalist Xtian Darwin-haters can squeeze "creation" or "design" out of any of those verses which imply natural selection, let me know.

And yes Atheists... please spare your sermon. Don't preach to the choir. I know all too well what you believe.

Just because people become familiarized with Atheism, hardly means they are so blown away... so mesmerized with "The Truth"(TM) and taken in by a few persuasive argument fallacies that they automatically deconvert and lose faith. That they didn't accept your religion, hardly constitutes a lack of understanding. Perhaps it's just that Atheism is that unappealing. *The Shock* *The Awe* -- how could everyone not see things your way? They're just in denial. (Sound familiar?) Every religious adherent is *in shock* and *in awe* when others do not want to buy into their brand of religion and they fail to convince potential converts. Just as my views might not interest you, well, perhaps I am fully understanding your views and yet, Atheism still remains just that unappealing. Mainly because of the hateful attitudes and blatant lies that often accompany "The Truth"(TM). Any religion that has that extent of negativity in it can't be good for anyone's emotional well-being. Meanwhile, I fully understand why most people will not subscribe to my views. Foremost, it requires a minimal amount of knowledge of several scientific fields of study and secondly, reasoning that requires "thinking outside the box". Lastly, I'm not proposing to have any "One and Only Truth(TM)". Just presenting scientific facts whilst challenging long-held cherished falsehoods as well as faith in people to exercise critical reasoning and make up their own minds, and whatever conclusion people may arrive at is fine with me.

Trees and Plants Before Sunlight
Documentary from "The Soviet Story,"
Jim Jones was a Communist
Eddie Vedder
Stage Name Marilyn Manson
Alice in Chains

The religious establishment and their twisted evil twin, anti-religion baiters said it couldn't be done, yet...


Vegetation, Herbs and Trees Before Sunlight.
Oh well, I guess that dashes arguments of Atheists and Science-Hating fundamentalists to little itsy bitsy pieces.
(and more found here)

Karl Marx Created Adolf Hitler
Darwin's theory did not create Hitler as some have accused, nor did Hitler's Socialism have anything to do with Jesus Christ or Christianity. Besides Eugenics programme in early American history and over 27 states which had sterilization laws on the books before the time of Nazi Germany, Hitler derived his version of Communist ideologue, "National Socialism" directly from the Socialism of Karl Marx, advocate of the most malevolent version of toxic Atheism, and author of The Communist Manifesto which lead to the bloody death toll of at least 100 million in the 20th Century alone and the killing continues ...
See Anti-Communism

For more information on Communism, and the ghastly death tolls:

The Black Book of Communism
Black Book of Communism

Harvard University Press
Communist regimes around the globe are responsible for a greater number of deaths than any other political ideal or movement. It takes a brick of a book to provide the crushing scope of this murderous ideology, that killed tens of millions in the 20th Century and that will continue to kill.

And while we're on the subject, let's set the record straight about Jim Jones, another evil, toxic atheist and Marxist-Leninist.
"How could I demonstrate my Marxism? The thought was, infiltrate the church."
- Jim Jones, founder of the murderous "People's Temple," a disgusting Atheist and Marxist degenerate camouflaged under the guise of being "A man of God".
Carried out to the instruction as Marxist Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin, founder of the USSR, stated a necessity to infiltrate the Church, because the religious will '"swallow anything" if it is wrapped in religious terms.'

Hitler, Messiah, Anti-Christ
Like Atheist Stalin, Hitler wages a war against people of all religion.
(See Commentary Link.)

Communists murdered 100 Million over the past century.

Communist party members are Atheists.

And no, sorry, but Joseph Stalin was not a Christian because he attended seminary once and Christianity did not turn him into a butcher. George Bernard Shaw was no Christian either when he openly supported Hitler and mass genocide by gassing.

I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.”
- George Bernard Shaw

Atheists know this doesn't look good when they attempt to convert people to Atheism, and people are aware of the death tolls under Communist regimes so Atheists will do mental cartwheels to conveniently deny history or come up with some other lame twisted argument fallacy to explain away the atrocities committed by Atheists, such as, "Communists worship the state," I suppose therefore they're not Atheists?? Hogwash! Enough of the silly grammar school semantics!! That's not what the Communist Party is saying, Atheists!! To become a member of the Atheist State Religion, ooops, I mean Communist Party, you must be a sworn Atheist. No exceptions!

Darwin was never the problem. ATHEISM was the problem!? No wonder Christians rejected Darwin's theory after people like George Bernard Shaw and Karl Marx latched on to it like the parasites they were!

I believe in the religion of Love which the Prophet Jesus Christ taught.
So, Atheists! Looks like that agenda to convert the world to your religion of atheism has alas backfired. Your hate propaganda has turned people off. People as a whole are still as spiritual as ever, if not more so. Oh, don't delude yourself, people understand very very well what you believe, and I know all too well what you believe with your religion of hate. Whatever side you're on, I'm not there!!!

My favorite Atheist, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, whose wonderful song "Jeremy" brought attention to the anguish of kids who deal with school bullies vs. my least favorite

Mr. Brian Warner, aka Marilyn "Who Needs Fred Phelps?" Manson? guilty of regularly bullying and abusing his employees, both physically and mentally. THE VIDEOS ARE DISTURBING. Just "boys being boys"? or more age old ignorance that leads to a society of bullies. Most people have heard about the evil antics, but remain oblivious to the level of inappropriate bullying and ruthless violence even band members apparently have grown weary of.

Saving the best for last.

Sorry 'tis not Atheist that I can tell, but it is Alice in Chains. My favorite band of all time, brazenly questioning religious dogma and rhetoric.

And not to forget my commentary on the meaning of Soundgarden: Black Hole Sun A must read... or at least, a must-listen!