Wanting to get more people involved in Lord’s Path I created a Facebook ad that read:
Lord’s Path is a place where we can raise questions from a Christian perspective.
Over three weeks a topic is discussed on the forum and over the weeks an article is developed so that we have a record of our discussions.
The third week we bring it all together and finally meet up in person with a final, maybe not definitive, conversation. From our gathering the next discussion topic emerges.
Lord’s path is a very informal gathering, we are not associated with any particular church or denomination we are just Christians wanting to discuss ideas or topics that have been rattling around in our heads.
Have a look at what we are doing:
Articles – http://lordspath.org/
Join the forum: http://lordspath.org/sign-up/
We hope that you will join us on our very pleasant journey.
What was hoped to be a pleasant journey went astray in the comments section, this is what happened.
David. Let’s all be theistic bullshitters together. Echo chambers are the best way to agree with one another.
Now I didn’t want to delete comments and I didn’t want to let a comment like this go. So trying to be nice and empathetic I wrote: when I read your comment it made me smile. I was until recently a staunch atheist, and might have responded like you did, but found myself in church and discovered a peace there. An echo chamber would be one idea bouncing around, but Christianity is a tradition that goes back thousands of years with many ideas of people trying to deal with how best to live. We feel that Jesus represents that best way. People getting together to discuss how best to live is not such a bad way to spend some time.
David is an argumentative atheist and thought he would smack me down with: there is ZERO evidence for your Jesus in Roman historical records… And the Romans kept VERY good records. A common assumption amongst relevant historians is that what became ‘jesus’ was simply an amalgam of a whole bunch of peripatetic prophets who roamed the land at that time. Remember… ALL gods (including your favourite one) are the creation of men.
I didn’t want to get into an argument, I just want to highlight the good that we desire: And if it encourages one to self reflect and try to be a better person does any of what you write matter?
Now David is just working through a list of atheist arguments: the problem is that religion has caused FAR MORE problems on this planet than it has ever solved.
I’m still trying to keep the conversation positive by highlighting the fact that religion solves problems: Thank you for acknowledging that religion does solve problems but I would find it hard to know how we would measure total problems solved against total problems caused. How would we put weight to the problems? If religion made a father more patient and forgiving and that was worth one point but a religious war worth 1,000,000 points would 1,000,001 patient and forgiving fathers out-weight the religious war? How do you know that there is a problem to begin with? Since judging both the war and the father are moral decisions, and that morality has the foundation in Christianity then hasn’t Christianity shown it worth by providing a ruler to measure actions against? History has shown that there were and are societies that didn’t question the genocide of entire peoples. When Jesus tells us to love our neighbour and to turn the other cheek we are called on to be better. He knows that we are not perfect but that if we repent of our mistakes he will forgive and we will try harder to be the saints that he wishes us to be. Our society has lost the ability to forgive but Jesus hasn’t.
I was a little disappointed in David for not finding something to attack in the previous response but instead went into: you seem to have ignored all the kiddy-fiddling clergy and also the fact that neither your god nor your ‘jesus’ ever existed. But hey…. Stay in your fantasy world. It must be so peachy in there.
I’m quite happy being Christian and living in a richly spiritual world: That the church tried to hide their sins was to compound sin upon sin but there never was the denial that it was a sin. That the secular world is now trying to normalise paedophilia as ‘minor attracted persons’ is the world that you inhabit. I don’t see it as a fantasy world more a spiritual realm. Yes it is surprisingly peachy; wish everyone was here with me.
Enter Tom, again an atheist but Tom has his own theory of how the world works and wants everybody to know about it: Sadly most Christians do not understand the Jesus myth nor the encoded messages which retell the Mediterranean and middle eastern myths from a Greco Roman perspective.
In the mistaken thought I should politely engage with everyone and try to evangelise I thought I would let him speak and waste his time: what is this Jesus myth you speak of and what are the encoded messages?
Is Tom on to my time wasting scheme? “when the student is ready the teacher will appear”
So I test: I’m ready, appear.
No Tom is only too eager to waste his time: to understand the gradual development of myths one must first strip back human existence to it’s most basic observations of seasons and natural cycles of life. It would have been observed that the sun, earth, blood and decayed flesh transform into new plant life. Where blood was spilt would have given rise to more fertile soil. The act of sacrifice would have been seen by some as an appeasing of invisible forces of nature, and the consequent increase in yields seen as a blessing in reciprocity. At the same time the power of the sun would have been acknowledged as essential to crops. And as the sun lost its strength during winter stories were told as a reminder that the “death” of the sun was only temporary. These concepts and many more were found to be more easily remembered if the abstractions were given names as characters in story form. The human memory was an important tool for building cohesive society. And the more efficiently important concepts were remembered the better society was able to function. The rulers of tribes were the guardians and preservers of this knowledge which was considered sacred. Wars and other disruption such as disease and natural disasters have caused many breaks in the continuity of the original meanings being passed down. Literal face value meanings have all too often been thought to be the whole picture by those who have encountered the stories for the first time. And those who have pointed out the improbability of said stories being literal have been dismissed as not being qualified to raise such questions. And too many power bases have been established on the literal reading of the myths. And yet a little deductive reasoning produces very elegant arguments which work and are sound if one does not need any particular preinstilled notion to be true. Truth is under no obligation to be anything.
Trying to find out if it was his world view or someone else’s: Where are you quoting this from?
I liked this response, Tom has humour: not quoting anyone. I typed this out just for you.
I thought he hit on the crux of why religion matters: If “truth is under no obligation to be anything” how can society be cohesive if no one can agree on a set of truths? Which was the purpose of the original stories, if I understand you correctly.
Apparently might makes right is Tom’s response but I didn’t feel I was ever going get anywhere with the conversation. As the old adage goes, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. I hold hope for Tom because he is wrestling with truths and I hope he finds his way to Christ. His last response as I didn’t engage anymore: Ever since humans worked out ways of fettering other humans force became the easier option over persuasion or family loyalty. As tribes intermingled family ties were no longer the bond that kept their small societies in cohesion. The threat of force fast became the default method for establishing who is “right”. Mythmaking predates the iron age, but iron would undoubtedly have reduced the need for rulers to be persuasive or to inspire loyalty through wise divination and sagacious decision making as pertained to their subjects. I’m not claiming the discovery of iron was the onset of force, just pointing out that iron was undoubtedly found to be the metal which produced the strongest bonds. Other mechanisms for cooperation were derived too: the threat of punishment in an afterlife; the threat of reincarnating as something undesirable or disadvantaged; however the final word always rested with the ones who controlled the greatest force. And as Constantine’s actions show us he was thinking “Porque no los dos?” (they eventually voted to not have reincarnation as a tenet) Christianity is the perfect control vehicle as it’s strong on threats, strong on obedience, and gives itself the right to be as intrusive into people’s personal lives as is necessary to retain the compliance of its adherents.
Make things weird, enter Mohamad: To All my Muslim brothers like and share my page let us expose the Falsehood AND to Pagans Christians and every otehr non Muslim like and share my page to demolish your False faith.
David is back into the sandpit: your religion is just as bogus as the christian one. ALL religions are the creation of men. ALL of them (including your favourite one).
I’m thinking “great a religious war, all I wanted was a discussion group”.
Mohamad in the futile threat of hell to an atheist: Remember what I just told you- Once you die NOT Muslim ETERNAL HELLFIRE is ur Place check here (link to his website).
Now Mohamad is trying to use my page as an advertisement for himself and why does he have so much trouble spelling ‘other’: To All my Muslim brothers like and share my page let us expose the Falsehood AND to Pagans Christians and every otehr non Muslim like and share my page to demolish your False faith.
I just want to have a discussion group, is that to much to ask for?: Mohamad and David can we both relax. I just want have a nice discussion, eat some food, generally spend a pleasant afternoon. Instead you two are trying start a religious war. What happened to manners?
Mohamad is all hellfire and should probably take an English course: YOU and David insisting on going to ETERNAL HELLFIRE – YOU worship 3 in 1 – He deny the existence of God- in top of that endless misconception about Islam
Now I realise that the comments have to go but I still respond: Mohamad there you go again getting all worked up. Take a deep breath, count to 10. Breath out. Relax. You are going to give yourself a heart attack.
Now I know that I was naive and that it is pointless to engage. In fact it is detrimental in that it just results in hostility. Now I am going back to Facebook to delete all these comments.