Eliminating Bias

"I don't believe that", said Alison, "I'd like to see your evidence."

Chris was taken aback. He had not faced someone so skeptical before. In the discussion so far, Alison had seemed polite enough but she was also becoming increasingly closed-minded. At first Chris wasn't sure what to say. He wasn't prepared for this response at all.

Before we continue, let's meet Chris...



Chris had always attended Sunday School right through until his early twenties. Sometimes when he was younger he didn't want to go, but his parents made him go. Now that he was older he was thankful for it, because those early lessons helped to shape his view of the world. He could see God's hand in everything, from the creation of trees and mountains to the complexity of animals and humans. Throughout his childhood he had learned to connect everything around him with God, and that gave his life a sense of meaning. He was a part of God's plan.

The Sunday meetings were a highlight for Chris, who loved singing the hymns and listening to God's word as it was read aloud and expounded upon. It was also a great opportunity to share life's ups and downs with fellow believers. He believed that the friendships he formed there would last for eternity. It was reassuring to be surrounded by so many people who understood God's word and could validate his own experience of feeling God's presence in his life. Occasionally there were visitors from other countries, and this too was evidence of God's hand in bringing more people into the flock all around the world.

Occasionally Chris met people from other religions and in their discussions he had always felt that those people had been misled. He could see the flaws in their beliefs, but they would not listen to him. He felt sad that so many people had been deceived and had turned away from God's clear message. If only they would search out the Truth contained in God's word, as he had done (with the help of his parents and teachers). Still, he felt compelled to continue on with his mission of spreading the word. If people rejected God's offer, that was their choice.

When major events happened in his life, Chris looked for God's invisible hand behind them. Through the eye of faith he could see how God was influencing events in his life and helping him to become a better man, more fit for God's eternal purpose with him. Sometimes good things happened, and Chris thanked God for them, remembering that he was a sinner and deserved no such favours. It was a sign of God's unlimited mercy and generosity that he would shower Chris with blessings even when they weren't deserved. God's grace was surely boundless.

Sometimes bad things happened. Chris reasoned that God may have been punishing him for sins he had committed, or otherwise God may have been moulding his character to better cope with things in the future. Chris took comfort in reading the book of Job, and wondered if God sometimes tested him to see if he was really serving God with a pure heart, not looking for personal gain. God knew best, he thought. It is not for the clay to question the potter. God's thoughts and ways were so much higher, and therefore Chris learned not to question, pleading for God's mercy and strength instead. When he allowed himself to let go through prayer and put everything in God's hands, Chris felt the weight lift off his shoulders. It was a great feeling of relief, and this provided immense comfort and confirmation that God was with him and had forgiven him of his sins. This in turn often prompted more praise to God, for Chris knew that he was a sinner and was not worthy of such forgiveness.

Several years ago, when his mother had been diagnosed with cancer, Chris was shocked. She had always been a devout follower of the Lord. She had raised a godly family, worked so hard to help out the poorer members in his community, and had spoken often of her love for God. Chris had prayed to God for his mother to be healed, and for understanding and strength. He knew that even though it didn't make sense at the time, God must have had a higher purpose. Months later when his mother passed away, Chris remembered the confusion and the pain he had felt. Why would God allow this to happen to someone who loved Him so much?

Eventually Chris managed to find peace and accept God's answers to his prayers. Sometimes things seemed harsh and confusing, but Chris learned to trust in God and never question God's wisdom. Only God knew why his mother had died so relatively young, but Chris felt that God was still there comforting the family. In fact, Chris could see that many people in his meeting had been so emotionally touched by the tragedy that it had brought them all together. There had also been several baptisms in the months that followed. Perhaps the events, while terribly sad, had prompted people to think more seriously about their lives, and seek God more earnestly. Chris found comfort in thinking that God had worked through his mother's temporary pain and suffering to bring more people to salvation. She would have accepted that. He longed to see her again, and this helped to strengthen his faith as he looked forward to the resurrection. He knew that he needed to remain firm in his devotion to what he had been taught since his childhood, and never sway to the right or to the left.

Throughout his whole life he had felt like God was never far away. He saw God's hand in world events, and even in the little details in his own life. He had seen prayers answered, and had felt the power of singing praises to God with his entire meeting. He had friends who had been extremely sick and had made a full recovery, even when the doctors said it was unlikely. He had witnessed the power of God in converting strangers to accept his religion. Above all, God had helped him to cope with the loss of his mother and had comforted him every day since.

And so it was quite confronting to be standing here facing someone who questioned the very foundations on which his whole life was based. Of course his beliefs were true! Just look at the evidence surrounding his entire life! Chris wanted to point to the millions of examples of God's hand directly working in his life. Or the times when he could feel God's love pulsing through his veins. He wanted to list off the number of prayers that had been answered. The work done in his community. The great prophecies that had been fulfilled, especially in the last 200 years!

With so much evidence supporting his beliefs, Chris found it difficult to even accept the question. Where would he start in describing it all?

What should Chris say to Alison? What would you have said?



Before you give your answer, there's something else I didn't mention.

Chris is a Mormon. Alison is a Christadelphian.

74 comments:

  1. Love the unexpected reveal at the end!
    As with all religions, they're powered along by confirmation bias, brushing aside common sense and reasoning, and interpreting everyday events to be a sign of god's influence.

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  2. Replies
    1. That's what people from most religions say.

      Chris and Alison both lived by faith, yet they disagreed with each other.

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  3. I bet, for Mormons don't embellish the true faith as is taught by Christ and his apostles.

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    1. Mormons would say the same about you.

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    2. They also live by the 'Book of Mormon' written in the 1800's not content just with the Christian Bible, as Mormons hold their book to be divine scripture and equal in authority to the Bible.

      Also according to their faith the Earth is just one of many inhabited worlds, and there are many governing heavenly bodies, including the planet or star Kolob, which is said to be nearest the throne of God.

      Nothing in the Bible teaches such wildly speculative ideas or doctrines.

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    3. I imagine Mormons would characterise your beliefs in similar terms.

      Does it make sense to you that people from all other religions hold exactly the same level of conviction about their own beliefs as you do about yours? Do you realise that most of them make the same claims as you do about believing based on faith?

      But none of you have any way to test who is right or wrong. It's just gullibility all the way down. Believe, because I have a book that tells you to. Well congratulations, so does every other religion. And you all disagree with each other.

      This is captured brilliantly in this short video, called "the impossible game":
      https://youtu.be/Gcw1YEtTQCw

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  4. But sadly they do not have the Christian faith, which according to the one and only Almighty God, is what is imperative for human salvation and our freedom from death and corruption.

    "One Lord, one faith, one baptism".

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    1. People from all other religions make the same claims about their god too.

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  5. Jeff, it is not "according to the one and only Almighty God", it is according to what a man, or men, wrote, claiming it was by inspiration from their God. Men have written lots of things, making lots of claims, and so we have lots of faiths, and lots of people follow them, and lots of people disagree with each other over these faiths, because not one of them can prove that "their" faith is based on what a god said.

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  6. Well, as they refuse to accept Christ as their Saviour they are doomed anyway.

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    1. People from all other religions make similar claims about their own religious figures.

      Are you seeing the patten yet?

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    2. Of course, but as they do not accept Christ as their Saviour, their "Religion is in vain" and so the terrible "Wrath of God" abideth on them.

      "36 He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life; but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him."
      John 3:36 (ASV)

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    3. People from all other religions would say the same about your religion. According to many of them, hell awaits you. Their sacred texts are full of such quotations too.

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  7. I am not concerned about what others say.
    I only concern myself with what the Bible teachers and promises to those who love Almighty God and are prepared to believe Him and put their trust in Him.

    Unbelievers and reprobates God will deal with in his own good time.

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    1. Well isn't that a coincidence...

      People of all religions tend to respond in similar fashion. ;)

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  8. Quite pointless, unless they acknowledge Christ as their Saviour and are baptized into his saving name.

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    1. People of other religions say the same regarding their own saviour figures.

      I can keep going...

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    2. Smile.....Till kingdom come?

      "10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

      11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,

      12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? "
      2 Peter 3:9-12 (KJV)

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    3. People of other religions offer similar threats when their beliefs are challenged.

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  9. Steve, I fear you're wasting your time. As with all self righteous religious people, Jeff is convinced that he is right and everyone else is wrong/doomed/deluded etc.

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    1. It's true that Jeff is convinced he is right. He also doesn't appear to be capable of seeing other points of view.

      He's giving the same responses that people of every other religion do, and he's the only one who can't see it.

      I think the above conversation (if you can call it that) with Jeff makes that point very clear to everyone who reads it. As such it was not a waste of time. I'm not just here for Jeff.

      If I can get believers to expose their own flawed reasoning in plain sight, then there's nothing left for me to do.

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    2. Yes, good point. Give Jeff enough rope to hang himself.....

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    3. LOL!
      But gentlemen, it is not I who have acted like a self-condemned Judas.

      "I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself."
      Matt 27:4-5 (KJV)

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    4. Did Judas hang himself? Or did he throw himself off a high place so that his guts burst open?
      Just one of the many mistakes and contradictions in your infallible storybook.

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    5. Mark,
      I don't think the editor is wasting his time on Jeff. Back in the days of the former editor, when I was an Ex-Christadelphian, people like Jeff regularly popped up, and they run a predictable course. As Jeff points out above, he is not concerned/interested in what others have to say, but only The Bible, and his interpretation of it. He will run around in these circles until he himself becomes worm food.
      Jeff is a member of an Ecclesia of one-himself. But you will find people just like him in most Ecclesias, they spout quotes constantly, and live "by faith"-right up to the point that they get sick and need medical science, at which point they use the "wisdom of man" to extend their earthly lives to the very last second possible, even though they "believe" that they are going to live for ever.
      Your editor is wise enough to know that would be converts reading Jeff's thoughts here may well pause and have another think before they take the plunge.
      Jeff lives in the UK, a country where less than 20 people a year join the Christadelphians from "the outside". His thoughts will be even more repulsive to this group than they are to you Ex-Christadelphians, and even less defensible. In effect he is doing your work for you, by getting people to think.

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    6. Mark,
      I suspect Judas hanged himself. I subscribe to Ken Humphreys idea that Acts is a book of utter nonsense, even more so than are the Gospel "records"

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    7. I think Joe is right. Let Jeff continue to display, in my opinion, his warped view of how to live and think. It might give some readers pause for thought before they get entangled too far and go plunging into Christadelphianism. It is a pity that he can`t find any truth and wisdom in the ideas of some of those writings several contributors have urged him to read.

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    8. Agreed. I too have met a number of christadelphians who live by faith, have a Bible quote on their lips for every eventuality, but have no problem turning to the scientists they spurn when they need a new car / laptop / medical procedure etc. Their hypocrisy is breathtaking at times.

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    9. "As with all self righteous religious people, Jeff is convinced that he is right and everyone else is wrong/doomed/deluded etc."

      You mean *I am utterly convinced* that the *Holy Bible is right* [pedant mode: for how can the best book in the world with over 5,000,000,000 readers be astray from the GOD'S TRUTH?] and everything that is against it's Divinely given pronunciations, rules, and condemnations for immoral living, are so very mistaken.

      Everybody...
      "16 Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read"
      Isaiah 34:16 (KJV)


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    10. Pedant mode: If number of readers matter so much, how can you say that the vast majority of those readers are astray from GOD'S TRUTH? (or at least your interpretation of the Bible).

      I talk with other Christians, and they make no bones of the fact that Christadelphians would be considered heretical by the majority of Bible based Christian orthodoxy.

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    11. I agree, and thank God for that at least, for the churches do not follow the Bible based commands of Christ or his personally ordained Apostles doctrines & practises.

      Sadly even the C/Ds. do not now follow Christ's condemnation of adulterous remarriages or the yoking together with unbelievers in forbidden unlawful unions.

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    12. And there we are on the merry-go-round again. You say they don't follow the Bible teachings, and they say you don't follow the Bible teachings, and yet apparently we are supposed to conclude that the teachings of the Bible are clear and that it is somehow important how many people read it (whether they agree on its interpretation or not).

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    13. But they're all using faith...

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    14. "You say they don't follow the Bible teachings, and they say you don't follow the Bible teachings"

      The C/Ds. do not follow Christ's condemnation of adulterous remarriages or the yoking together with unbelievers in forbidden unlawful unions, they allow what is forbidden in their fellowships.

      So they are not following Christ's and Apostolic instructions which are quite clear, no divorcing and remarrying or yoking together with unbelievers.

      The NT Bible is quite clear on these issues even though heretical C/D's refuse to admit it.

      Subsequently:
      "3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth"
      1 Tim 6:3-5 (KJV)
      Amen.

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  10. I personally do not 'spurn' scientists when they reveal some wonderful advent that shows to the world and those of understanding the wonderful awesome creative power of Almighty God.

    Some 'medical procedures' are often horrific and 'Frankensteinish' sadly that is man trying to play God.

    As to personal urgent 'medical procedures' I have been blessed so far in my life, of almost 73 years, having not to be confronted with such decisions, and pray if the time ever comes, I will be given the faith and strength to do whatever will please Almighty God.


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  11. "how can the best book in the world with over 5,000,000,000 readers be astray from the GOD'S TRUTH?"
    The fact that the Bible has many readers hardly proves it's validity. The Koran has many millions of devotees, but I hardly think you would use the same argument when discussing it. And for that matter, so do the books of Harry potter, but they hardly prove that Morris minors can fly and Hogwarts is real.

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    1. Mark posted:"The fact that the Bible has many readers hardly proves it's validity. The Koran has many millions of devotees, but I hardly think you would use the same argument when discussing it."

      Mark, you failed to include the words [Pedant Mode] which were also included in the brackets immediately before it reads "how can the best in the world with over 5,000,000.000 readers be astray etc...."

      You were too eager Mark.

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    2. Jeff, Mark's quotation was valid, and your response was irrelevant.

      While we're being pedantic, I highly doubt the Bible has 5 billion *readers*. The 5 billion refers to "copies sold" not "copies read". The latter is almost certainly much lower. There is no surprise in the fact that the book with the highest number of devotees ends up being the book that sold the most copies. None of this is relevant to truth, as Mark aptly demonstrated (and you ignored).

      Also, if I may be even more pedantic, your comment amusingly replaced one of the commas in the number with a decimal point, making it only 5 million readers instead. And your own quotation of your earlier comment missed the word "book". The irony.

      Too eager you say?

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    3. Of course it has to be "copies sold", how could anybody know if all the 5 billion were *readers*. And in any case, as far as Jeff is concerned, from what he writes, even if they were all *readers*, apart from Jeff and maybe just a handful of others, their reading is in vain. Jeff doesn`t think they`re going to be "saved". He thinks their interpretation and understanding is wrong. Isn`t that how it is,Jeff?

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    4. "20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them"
      Isaiah 8:20 (KJV)

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    5. Once again Jeff appears to be oblivious to the fact that those other readers would simply quote the same verse in relation to his views.

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    6. Steve stated. "Jeff, Mark's quotation was valid"

      Not when I checked it, take a look!

      [pedant mode: for how can the best book in the world with over 5,000,000,000 readers be astray from the GOD'S TRUTH?]

      Seems to me He consciously omitted the first two words in the brackets... and so could misconstrue my 'pedantic' intention.

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    7. I'm lost. The "pedant mode" section wasn't even pedantic so much as a really bad argument. The fact that several people responded to it saying as much should indicate that this is how it came across.

      I suspect Mark may have omitted the first two words because he figured they weren't relevant. Pedantic or not, your argument was flawed.

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    8. Jeff, it's amusing that you are making such a fuss about your (pedant mode) being excluded. You were trying to make the well worn point that a book with many millions of readers absolutely must be true.
      I suspect it's because you don't have an answer to my point, so you're creating a smokescreen about something irrelevant to hide that awkward fact.

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  12. The argument that "How can X number of readers/voters/devotees be wrong?" has never been a reasonable argument. A study of history, a look around the world today, will show this to be so. Furthermore, how many of the 5,000,000,000 "readers" ... are readers? "Casual Perusers?", "Keep-it-on-the-bookshelfers?", "Take-it-to-church-at-Easters?" "Have-one-but-don`t-believers?"

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  13. Jeff said:
    "for the churches do not follow the Bible based commands of Christ or his personally ordained Apostles doctrines & practises."

    The churches would disagree with you there. They would instead claim it is you who does not follow Apostolic doctrines and practices. You have to put yourself in their shoes, and realise that how you view them is almost certainly how they see you.

    It's such an amazing thing that all believers simplistically claim that everyone else is wrong and they alone have the truth, and it's bizarre that they seem happy with this answer. It just doesn't resolve the issue. Most believers don't even acknowledge that this issue exists. It's like they think everyone else secretly agrees with them but knowingly follows a path of error instead. The reality that everyone believes they themselves are the right ones just never seems to truly sink in.

    Jeff, if everyone else has gotten it so wrong, where does their/our error lie? and what could they/we have done differently to avoid it? Do you believe everyone has the same opportunity to be saved, or were all those other people (and us) doomed from the start?

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    1. I agree that we in the mainstream church, still adhere to the ancient creeds, and so do believe we follow the practises and doctrines of the apostles, however unlike the CDs we dont condemn everyone who does not, we do not in general claim we are right and everyone else in wrong, and we dont look forward to a time when we will slaughter everyone who does not agree. You tar us all with your experience of CDs.

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    2. I did not say you look forward to slaughtering everyone who does not agree. This site is primarily set in a christadelphian context. I couldn't possibly address every variation of Christianity because there are far too many. No matter what I said there would be Christians claiming I misrepresented them.

      I think you are overlooking the vast numbers of mainstream Christians who do condemn those who don't agree with them, including issuing threats of eternal damnation in hell.

      And even if you don't explicitly claim you are right and everyone else is wrong, the fact that you all disagree with each other means only one of you could be right at most (perhaps none). I'd be very surprised if you thought your beliefs were not the right ones. The same goes for every religion.

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    3. Completely untrue Steve, we have loads of ecumenical partnerships.

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    4. Do you agree with them on all core doctrines? Do you think the christadelphians are right? What about Mormons? What about non Christian religions?

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  14. Let Christ your master to whom you are responsible to answer to on your judgment day, sum it all up for you:

    "24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."
    Luke 13:23-24 (KJV)

    "13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."
    Matt 7:13-14 (KJV)

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    1. Aaaand here come the threats. Run out of answers, have we?

      I've spoken to many believers, Jeff. After a while they all resort to the same threats. I've been threatened with eternal torture in hell, suffering on earth both now and in the future, and of course some kind of future judgement, all for the terrible crime of not believing things without evidence.

      Isn't it amazing that Christadelphians (and Jeff) don't seem too afraid of burning in hell, yet they expect me to be afraid of their threats?! Why? How?

      What's that? I'll miss out on the magic castle (*cough* temple)? I won't get to marry the handsome prince (*cough* Jesus)? Oh dear! And I'll never get to turn into a fairy (*cough* angel). I'm so devastated. I'll get right onto that weeping and teeth-gnashing right away.

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  15. All I can say is I’m glad I have Christ’s example to guide me in my life. You guys make so many generalisations about CD’s it’s a bit sad and it’s the only reason I have come back on here, to let people see a more ‘balanced’ view.

    I’ve heard how we condemn everyone who is’nt a CD.....simply not true. Many of us CD’s don’t believe we are the only ones who have the Truth.
    I’ve also heard how we don’t do anything to help anyone in society....again not true.

    You have made your decision. Be happy and live this life as you choose. And we will live our life as we choose. No need for anger, scorn, nasty comments etc.

    As far as I’m aware we don’t force anyone to baptised do we? Yes we bring our kids along to Sunday School etc. No different to parents who make there kids go to the football etc.Some even brain wash their kids into barracking for Collingwood! Disgraceful. :)

    When I was in school I was taught many things that have now been proven wrong....I don’t hear any outcry about that? And now they want to teach our kids that it’s there choice as to what gender they really are? Oh my, just another reason why I put my faith in God.

    By the way my kids are well aware that they should not get baptised unless they really believe in the bible and if not we will still love them.....but it has to be there choice.

    That’s why I love the Truth.....because in this life it’s all about the choices we make, I’m not forced into anything. I’ve just decided to make a choice (just like Jesus did) and put my faith in God.

    Ron Izzard

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    1. "You guys make so many generalisations about CD’s"

      We can only speak of what we have personally experienced or witnessed, and many ex-Christadelphians do seem to relate to it. Obviously I can't speak for all Christadelphians, but I think the views I've put forward do represent a large percentage of Australian Christadelphians in central fellowship.

      "I have come back on here, to let people see a more ‘balanced’ view."

      Thank you. You're more than welcome to provide such balance any time, because as you say we all have our blind spots.

      "Many of us CD’s don’t believe we are the only ones who have the Truth."

      I occasionally hear this response by some Christadelphians but I think it's misleading, perhaps intentionally so. To the reader it sounds as if you're saying that Christadelphians would openly accept that most other Christian denominations have the truth, but in reality it's more likely that you're merely throwing out some vague possibility that some non-Christadelphian individuals out there might happen to hold beliefs you would consider Orthodox.

      So just to be clear, do you believe that those who believe in the Trinity have the truth? What about those who endorse infant baptism? Do JW's have the truth? Mormons? That's about 99% of Christians right there. Do you believe any non-Christians have the truth?

      Who are these other Christians you think also have the truth? Usually when I press Christadelphians on this point they only manage to come up with a couple other minority denominations whose combined numbers are far less than even the Christadelphians. It's dishonest to say "we don't think we're the only ones who have the truth" if what you really mean is "we still think only 0.001% of the world's population has the truth - but not all of them call themselves Christadelphians by name".

      "I’ve also heard how we don’t do anything to help anyone in society....again not true."

      Can you point to where we said this? I know of at least one example of Christadelphians doing community service, and it's highly commendable.

      "You have made your decision. Be happy and live this life as you choose."

      Who we are and how we think/live is shaped by the culture we grow up in, as well as a range of other factors. It's extremely difficult to break out of that, yet we have no choice but to try.

      Meanwhile, having discovered that many things I was taught as a Christadelphian are in fact wrong, it pains me that many people still believe those things and continue to make critical life decisions based on those flawed beliefs.

      There's some irony in the fact that Christadelphians think they're preaching salvation, but instead they are telling people to give up this life and bet everything on a future one for which there is no evidence. There are Christadelphians who would absolutely not give up this life if they knew what we know, and that's why we want to share it with them.

      In effect you're telling people to spend all their money now because you just know they'll win the lottery after they die. And we're just trying to reason with people and tell them there is no evidence that the lottery is real, and some good evidence that it isn't. Who is saving who?

      "I’ve just decided to make a choice (just like Jesus did) and put my faith in God."

      You mentioned choice a lot. Did you really make the choice to put faith in the Christian god (or rather, the Christadelphian one) in a vacuum? Or was most of that choice effectively made for you by factors outside your control?

      I've covered this here:
      http://www.ex-christadelphians.com/2015/06/winning-lottery-of-life.html

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  16. Hi Steve

    When I said we don’t all believe that CD’s are the only ones who have the Truth I meant those who follow what the bible teaches. The bible doesn’t teach infant baptism and it doesn’t teach the Trinity and it certainly doesn’t teach that you need another book besides the bible to get to the Kingdom (in fact it teaches the exact opposite).....so yes that may knock out alot of other ‘main stream’ religions out there. However there are billions of people in the world Steve so I wouldn’t dare say that there are not some now or have been in the past who weren’t considered main stream but did understand the teachings of the bible and followed those teachings. Plus if you look at Christ - he certainly wasn’t main stream was he? The Truth isn’t a popularity contest......you only need to look at scripture to understand that.

    In regards to choice yes I did make a free will choice to believe in the Christian God. I have not lived a sheltered life and looked at a lot of other religions, history etc. I also well and truely tasted life without God in it so yes as an adult I made an informed decision.....there was no gun to my head.

    It wasn’t you who said about CD’s been insular and not helping in the community etc Steve, it was someone else who was on this web site. The same person who said we are dying out and that our numbers are dwindling etc. Which is far from the truth in some ecclesias, no doubt it has happened in some though due to location, age groups, personalities etc.

    I don’t think I can really add any more to the conversation Steve other than to reiterate what I said previously. We all have a choice in this life to do as we wish if some of us make an ‘informed decision’ to follow Christ and do our best to please our Creator then out of all the other choices we could make I don’t think it’s a bad one.....just a pity that the Truth has been so polluted over time, but then again the bible wrote about that too didn’t it. :)

    "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)













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    1. Hi Ron,
      It is perfectly possible that somewhere in this wide world there is someone out there who holds the same beliefs as Christadelphians, even exactly as the same as the Central Fellowship CD`s. If such a person was to walk into a Central Fellowship CD b-of-b service, How many ecclesias would allow them to take the bread and wine? For that matter, would a member of one of the breakaway Christadelphian groups be allowed to do the same?
      As for not pressurising CD`s kids to be baptised, I think you appear to be far from knowing what happens in reality. Indoctrination - and when this is from birth, the child has little capacity, by that time in their young life, of having the ability to make an "informed decision". Why do most CD`s kids become CD`s? Why do most JW`s kids become JW`s? Why do most Mormon`s kids become Mormons?
      Pushing kids into going to football is hardly the same. They may grow up indoctrinated to believe that there is only one team worth supporting. But if they failed to attend matches for several weeks, they wouldn`t get a knock on their door from the team coach demanding to know about their absence. And if their absence became long continued, the team management wouldn`t meet and issue a ban on them. Furthermore, they wouldn`t be prevented from marrying whom they wished, even if it was a supporter from a rival team. Following their team wouldn`t completely colour and "control" the whole of their life, however keen they were. They could watch, read, even think about, other avenues in life. Many of us have been there, Ron. We know.

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    2. Hi Mancott

      We know? Wow that’s a bit condescending.
      In regards to the coach demanding to know why you have been absent....that sounds a bit harsh. We would just normally make a call and make sure they were ok? No demands that I’ve been aware of.
      I’m not sure your right about the football analogy either.....you obviously haven’t met many Collingwood supporters. Trust me I know :)


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    3. Hi Ron,
      It wasn`t intended to be condescending - sorry if it came over like that. However, In my past experience I have known that happen, and in my present contact with Cd friends, they tell me that this still happens, and as you say, it`s a bit harsh. I`m not the only contributor who describes the Cd`s as 'controlling'.
      "We know" was meant to indicate that we (some of us), have at one time been dyed-in-the-wool Cd`s, in belief and practice, and we have eventually come to see the error of our former indoctrination.

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  17. Steve commented:
    "Jeff, if everyone else has gotten it so wrong, where does their/our error lie? and what could they/we have done differently to avoid it?"

    See my other post on this issue.

    "Do you believe everyone has the same opportunity to be saved, or were all those other people (and us) doomed from the start?"

    Everyone that God calls has the opportunity of being saved, yet sadly as the parable of the sower shows, many will fall away by one reason or another by their own lack of faith and conviction.

    Thus, Christ's words of warning:
    "Many are called, [by God] few chosen".

    “Enter through the narrow gate because the gate and road that lead to destruction are wide. Many enter through the wide gate. 14 But the narrow gate and the road that lead to life are full of trouble. Only a few people find the narrow gate."
    Matt 7:13-14 (GW)



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    1. Jeff, you didn't answer either question.

      Your other comments only described specific differences between views, with your pronouncement that your view is correct. Assuming, as I think is reasonable, that those who disagree with you also happen to think they are correct, you didn't answer how they could have discovered their error (or how you could discover yours - a possibility you seem to automatically dismiss).

      Do you assume that everyone who reads the Bible should reach the same conclusions? Clearly the evidence points strongly against this. Interpretation is a slippery game, and language (especially written) often fails to convey ideas with perfect fidelity, especially across time, different languages, and cultures. We tend to interpret texts according to our own culture, rather than the author's. Worse, the author's culture and context are often difficult if not impossible to determine. It can be very difficult to figure out what an author meant, which is why scholars almost always debate this stuff, often with no definitive answers.

      Do you assume that everyone who disagrees with you actually knows they are wrong? If they don't know they are wrong, why would they change? Consider that even if you were actually right and they were wrong, unless all humans were perfectly rational (and we know we are not), it would be unfair to judge people based on how they interpreted a text. They may be doing their best, and still get it wrong, due to their imperfect rational abilities. Or you may be wrong due to your imperfect rational abilities (again, a possibility you seem to automatically dismiss).

      If all you're doing is always assuming that you have interpreted the Bible correctly and that everyone else has not, then someone else could follow this exact method and reach different conclusions (and they do). That should cast doubt on the validity of the method.

      What you need is some way to empirically test your beliefs, such that you can determine who is right via experiment. If your beliefs cannot be tested empirically, I'd suggest assigning a much lower certainty to them.

      As for your other answer:
      "Everyone that God calls has the opportunity of being saved"

      That doesn't answer the question. Who does God call? Does he call everyone? if not, who? and why not everyone?

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    2. Steve posted:
      "Assuming, as I think is reasonable, that those who disagree with you also happen to think they are correct, you didn't answer how they could have discovered their error (or how you could discover yours - a possibility you seem to automatically dismiss)."

      I would think it would go without saying you being an ex CD.

      By reading through the Bible [especially vie the Daily Bible Readings] which is why it is so imperative to do them.

      "Do you assume that everyone who disagrees with you actually knows they are wrong?"

      Yes! when I point out the Bible passages, in fact many agree with their obvious plain teaching -- [for they don't take any 'interpretation', which is in most cases a convenient 'Red-Herring'] -- but don't have the faith, strength and courage to carry them through, as they, like I did, have many relatives and members of the family involved in such forbidden marital relationships.

      They love their disobedient family members more then they love Christ, which is why he has stated will make it impossible for them to be his faithful disciples.

      Steve again.
      "As for your other answer:
      "Everyone that God calls has the opportunity of being saved"
      "That doesn't answer the question.

      I believe it does, if God does not call a person then he will not be saved, even then, out of the "many called" only a "Few" will eventually be saved as Christ has well prophesied. I would have thought you would have understood that.

      Steve again:
      "Who does God call? Does he call everyone? if not, who?

      "26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called"
      1 Cor 1:26 (KJV)

      " and why not everyone?"

      To call "MANY" obviously does not include 'everyone'.






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    3. Oh wow, you actually think everyone who disagrees with you knows they are wrong. This is mind boggling.

      Thanks for your response, Jeff.

      O_o

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    4. Nothing to do with disagreeing with me, but when they do disagree with the teachings of Christ and his apostles either verbally or refuse to endorse them, then I know they are totally in the wrong.

      Those I speak to and they start to disagree with Christ's or his apostles instructions, then I know they are in error, because almost immediately there countenance falls and they become fazed and uncooperative in any further conversation on the subject.

      In other words they "Stop their ears" not wanting to listen to what the Scripture ACTUALLY teach on the subject under discussion.
      As it will affect their own consciences in either regard to themselves, family, or of others in their fellowship.

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  18. Ron, in your original comment, you said:
    "You guys make so many generalisations about CD’s it’s a bit sad and it’s the only reason I have come back on here, to let people see a more ‘balanced’ view.

    I’ve heard how we condemn everyone who is’nt a CD.....simply not true. Many of us CD’s don’t believe we are the only ones who have the Truth. "

    But when I asked for clarification it turns out that you effectively meant that you don't believe ALL the others are wrong, just 99% of them. Correct me if I've misunderstood.

    This seems less like providing "balance" and more like quibbling over a technicality. Don't get me wrong - I'm glad we cleared that up. ;)

    You then proceeded to argue in defence of holding a minority view, which would appear to also contradict the intent of your original comment.

    I agree that truth is not a popularity contest, but that cuts both ways. Being a minority doesn't make your beliefs correct any more than being in the majority would.

    I take no issue with any of this - if you're happy as a Christadelphian then more power to you. I guess I'm just wondering why you accused us of making generalisations, since it appears that in this case you ended up agreeing with me (you said "so yes that may knock out alot of other ‘main stream’ religions out there").

    As for Christadelphians being insular, this has been a common criticism of Christadelphians made by many people, not just ex-Christadelphians.

    I don't really have any stake in this one since I don't think Christadelphians have any obligation to help the community - unless of course they get subsidies from public funds (tax breaks etc), but just for the record perhaps you'd like to enlighten us on some community efforts the Christadelphians have been involved in...

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    1. Hi Steve

      As an ‘ex christadelphian’ you would remember a great comment that Christ made in Mathew 6 where he says "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

      So no, I don’t think there is a need to ‘enlighten’ you. Needless to say the people and orginsations we do assist know who we are. We have a very active youth group.

      I’ll have to sign off from your site now Steve. I appreciated the opportunity to put my views across.

      For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15v4










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    2. Haha, ok whatever.

      You're welcome to share your views any time.

      Talk to you later, Ron.

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    3. Ron, I also held your interpretation of Matthew 6.
      But I have heard some Christadelphians stating that this command was in conflict with Matt 5:16 and the need to let your light shine and give glory to God. In this interpretation, Matthew 6 only prohibited actions which were intended to bring glory to the giver, but all believers and ecclesias should be encouraged to make their giving for God known as an example and as a witness (which is basically what Steve was asking of you).

      Interesting the different ways different scriptures are reconciled.

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  19. " if you're happy as a Christadelphian then more power to you. "

    Well at least they are in with a chance, Steve, if they stick to Christ's commands and his Apostle's doctrines & practises, but those who have resigned from Christ have no such hope as they have thrown away any possibility of salvation and immortality.

    They simply weren't wise enough to have "Hedged their bets" just in case...{;o;}

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    1. There was nothing to throw away. You've not provided any evidence to prove otherwise.

      I hope you get the fairy costume you seek, Jeff. Enjoy the magic castle. Or at least your dreams about it.

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    2. Steve,
      I think friend Jeff is wearing the King`s New Clothes.

      Delete
  20. You will surely find out sooner or later, Steve.

    You can't win anything in a raffle unless you first obtain a ticket.

    Or by them all and 'Hedge your bets' ....{;o;}

    ReplyDelete

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