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Rick Warren wants to please God

Check out this video of Rick Warren defending his position on gay marriage on Piers Morgan.

A friend on Facebook asked me what I thought about it. I couldn’t answer him honestly for a lot of reasons. So I decided to answer the friend here, where it is safe and I am anonymous. I know, I know…

Where to start? First of all, Warren’s definition of tolerance is all wrong. I know a lot of people who embrace tolerance, and none of them believe that “all ideas are equally valid.” That is a straw man argument that gets thrown out a lot but no one actually believes it.
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“Sometimes God doesn’t answer prayers” (you think?)

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Long time no post. I hope to pick up the pace a bit in the coming weeks and months. Maybe.

Anyway, the point of this post is to respond to something I saw a while back on Facebook. A friend of a friend posted a long, rambling, circular-reasoned piece of drivel about why God doesn’t always answer prayer. Here’s an excerpt to give you an idea:

Sometimes God doesn’t answer prayers.

Before you overreact, let me explain myself. I know the old familiar line that an unanswered prayer “really IS an answer; It’s a ‘no’ or a ‘wait.'” I get that. I just don’t always agree with that. I’ve prayed for many things that I KNOW were within the will of God, but the requests weren’t granted. Yet the Bible says, “If any of you ask anything in prayer according to God’s will, you will have it.” (I John 5:14-15)

So what do you do with that? Well, the answer (for me) was to change my perspective. I stopped looking at the Bible as a “contract” between God and me. I decided to stop quoting certain verses, then saying dumb things to myself and others like, “God’s honor is at stake here. He’s GOT to do this.” No…He doesn’t. Reminder: HE’S God, we’re not. His honor is never at “stake” because His honor is alway perfect. We just don’t understand Him. And in some ways, we never will. I’m okay with that. God doesn’t owe me anything, the least of which is to live up to my grandiose expectations.

I used to live for this kind of stuff. Hell, I wrote a lot of this kind of stuff. If you read it with the intent of verifying your faith and see the words through that lens, then it is very reassuring. It all boils down to something like this: Read the rest of this entry

The one thing that would make me a believer again

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The Friendly Atheist blog notes that the world of film is being treated to yet another take on the Christian rapture. (Didn’t the Left Behind media empire beat that horse to death?)

Anyway, watching the horrible trailer for what will undoubtedly be a horrible movie made something occur to me for the first time. According to the dominant doctrine among evangelicals, the rapture is supposed to usher in a seven-year period of hell on earth — the likes of which have never been seen — known as the Great Tribulation. If the trailer is any indication, this latest movie sticks to the script, depicting the post-Christian world as being full of non-believers behaving badly. There is rampant violence and all manner of debauchery because, of course, all the good people are gone.  Read the rest of this entry

Biblical morality

The Bible — aside from it’s literary value — is quite simply an incoherent basis for morality. The truth is that everyone — atheist, liberal theist, fundamentalist, whatever — uses their own moral compass to decide what they accept and what they reject. If any Bible-believing Christian tells you otherwise, just ask him or her if a rebellious teenager should be stoned to death.

The Bible makes a convenient scapegoat for some because frankly, one can base pretty much any belief on one or more more scattered fragments of scripture. That’s probably a big reason why it has survived for so long — and why Christianity has not been one single religion, but dozens, for several centuries at least. I can come up with pretty much any bullshit doctrine I care to and find some Biblical backing for it, and voila! A new sect is born.

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