Country Living Series

Friday, January 1, 2010

Unless.....

"A young man whose father is a carpenter grows up working in his father's shop. He has no formal education. He owns no property of any kind. One day he puts down his tools and walks out of his father's shop. He starts preaching on street corners and in the nearby countryside. Walking from place to place preaching all the while even though he is in no way an ordained minister. He never gets farther than an area perhaps 100 miles wide at the most. He does this for three years. Then he is arrested, tried and convicted. There is no court of appeal so he is executed at age 33 along with two common thieves. Those in charge of his execution roll dice to see who gets his clothing -- the only possessions he has. His family cannot afford a burial place so he is interred in a borrowed tomb.

"End of story? No, this uneducated, property less young man who preached on street corners for only three years, who left no written word, has for 2000 years had a greater effect on the entire world than all the rulers, kings and emperors, all the conquerors, the generals and admirals, all the scholars, scientists and philosophers who ever lived -- all put together. How do we explain that? ...Unless he really was what he said he was."

- Ronald Reagan

23 comments:

  1. What a great quote from Reagan! Boy do we need candidates with his conservative and religious values to choose from today! I pray God will raise them up to restore a Constitutionally limited government and to repeal laws that take away our freedom. May God Bless America and may we as Americans live lives that would be worthy of HIS blessing in 2010!

    Steve from NC

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  2. The second paragraph is nonsensical hyperbole. Where is the evidence for such a sweeping statement?
    All the progress the human race has made over the last 2000 years has been in spite of religion not because of it. If we had been satisfied with biblical explanations of the world around us we would still be back in the Dark Ages, not sitting well-fed in comfortable homes communicating effortlessly and instantaneously with one another over vast distances.

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  3. You pray to your Invisible Magic Friend by all means Anonymous: I'll just keep rowing for the shore. :)

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  4. Sitting in comfortable homes well fed for how long?

    See Ya

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  5. From the sort of comments I read here and elsewhere, anyone would think God was an American.

    If Jesus was alive today, I doubt he'd get through your airport security. He doesn't fit the profile. However, he never lived. It's all allegory. There's no verifiable historical record of his existence and all the stories about him have been borrowed from earlier mythology, including his impossible virgin birth - among others, the stories of the births of Hercules and Dionysos are almost the same.

    Many of Jesus's "sayings" are copies of some of the Buddha's saying, from 400 years earlier. Some of the things Jesus was supposed to have said were plain nasty, such as, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me (Luke, 19:27)". Hardly charitable and loving!

    As for the last 2000 years, and all humanity's achievements: giving one minor fictional character all the credit for that is preposterous. Epicurus was a far more civilising influence. I prefer to find inspiration in the thoughts and deeds of the thousands of good men and women whose lives have benefited others over the centuries - real men and women, whose lives have been an example to us all, and who didn't have to threaten anyone to be accepted for what they were.

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  6. Well I can't say Did it MY way because I don't know your circumstances. But I do know that praying isn't going to help.

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  7. Hmmm...with the exception of the first comment, I can see why we have the problms we do in the world. I'm not surprised. We need the Lord more than ever, sigh.

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  8. Why bring "the Lord" into it Trish? Surely most of the world's problems involve religious rivalries and divisions somewhere along the line and a lot of the most serious confrontations are between people who nominally believe in the same Invisible Magic Friend, jews & muslims for example.

    What use is belief in these circumstances?

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  9. "It is impossible to live pleasantly without living wisely, virtuously and justly, just as we cannot live wisely, virtuously and justly without living pleasantly."

    Epicurus - letter to Menoeceus, c300 BC.

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  10. Wow,
    God-haters, and whack-jobs and atheists...oh my!
    Most scientists have historically been Christians or an off-shoot of the Christian faith; particularly in western culture. It was their curiosity of God's creation that led them to explore and learn more. There was no atheism in science before Darwin cooked up his fairy-tale book of excuses for hedonism and debauchery, and it was still a century or so before his writings were largely accepted within the scientific community.
    Of course, there are four Biblical accounts of Jesus' life, but the authors believed in Jesus, so who can trust them, right? No, we need people who didn't believe in Jesus to prove that He existed! (other than the ones we already have, like Josephus).
    Jesus' sayings aren't true because He was the first to say them; the fact that others learned these truths before He came in the flesh only establishes further the truth of His words. As for Luke 19:27, those people are traitors and rebels; even in our own country, the penalty for such is supposed to be death. (love protects before it permits)
    Lastly, people who blame religion for violence are the same people who blame guns for violence. Human beings can fashion anything, concrete or abstract into a weapon. Don't blame a peace-loving religion for murderous people's inclinations, and don't blame peace-keepers for war-monger's violence.

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  11. So no-one looked at the world before Christianity appeared? No-one came up with a multitude of gods to explain everything they saw? And the slowness of the scientific community to accept Darwin's findings isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of religious thinking.

    And, what?? The fact that people thought of things before this chap Jesus came along somehow means that him repeating these things makes him special?

    I'm not sure how quoting a set of tales written by men is supposed to help. If they were written last week by your government, would you believe them?

    As to the last - part of me wants to agree with you, except that, like guns, it seems to make murder a whole lot easier for certain people.

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  12. I'd love to reply to Drasticontrast but unfortunately I can't understand it. (Well, not quite true, I get that he doesn't like atheists).

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  13. "... fairy-tale book of excuses for hedonism and debauchery"? You must have read a different version of the Origin of Species to me. But maybe you haven't read it? Anyhow, DrastiContrast, your comment is very funny. BTW, I don't "hate God". How can I hate something that doesn't exist?

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  14. I don't deny the absence of other religions throughout history, just their authority. My purpose in explaining the century it took to mainstream atheism wasn't to endorse Christianity, but to show that western science has been predominately Christian until only recently. (a counter-argument to quedula's first post)

    No, Jesus' repeating of things doesn't make them special; it shows those truths to be universal, i.e. applicable to all humanity.
    This tired old "tales written by men" thing has been done to death. The prophecies fulfilled by the Bible alone are more than enough evidence (read "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" for examples). If the government had any miracles to back up the authority of what they said, maybe I'd have as much reason to believe them as the Bible, but certainly not more.

    Don't forget that Nazis used conlcusions drawn from evolution to justify their treatment of other races, and Margaret Sanger used those same principles against blacks to justify their "population control" through abortion; nothing is safe from humanity's misapplication.

    I'm sorry that quedula couldn't understand my writing; I guess that means he doesn't have to defend anything he's written. What I really dislike is not the atheists, but their arrogance; what purpose could possibly be served by coming on this lady's blog and throwing what she's written in her face? Nothing you folks have written has been encouraging or even well thought out; I mean, that quote from Epicurus? Ask a Christian burning to death in Nero's court how pleasant his life was! Ask a Christian being raped in Orissa, or one in North Korea being used for chemical weapons testing whether they're living pleasantly. Wake up, people! Your philosophical Prozac is lulling you to sleep.

    What I have read from Origin of Species is a blank check to do whatever suits me. I am an animal; what moral obligation do I have to live by any type of code? Simply from a practical standpoint, how is humanity better in this absence of an absolute standard?

    Finally, God does exist; your denial is a deepest form of hatred. Not only are you stuck in a dark and empty room; you've conned yourself out of the only door out. I don't envy you the mental gymnastics it must take to lift your spirits.

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  15. I can't argue with you Drasticontrast as you seem to be confusing personal opinion with factual evidence. You are of course entitled to your own opinions but not your own facts.

    Be happy.

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  16. While I would personally agree with Penelope, Quedula, and Margaret, I don't understand why they would come all the way from the U.K. to post their negative opinions on a rural North Idaho housewife's blog. Heck ladies, you've got a lot of work fixing the socialist/fascist mess you've got in the U.K. before you come over here blathering on and on!

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  17. You would be very welcome to post on my blog Jack - Isn't that the whole point of the internet? It makes it easy to exchange views internationally and the UK & USA have the important advantage of both using the same language :)

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  18. Quedula, Thank you for the invite, I have visited your blogs and would have posted something supportive except you don't allow anonymous posts.

    Back to my point however, "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." Of the 15 comments prior to mine, 10 were from you three British ladies slamming a Ronald Reagan quote the Rural North Idaho Housewife posted. Do you think you convinced anyone? With all the overbearing fanatical attacks, I think you have probably done more harm than good to your cause.

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  19. Love the quote! Thanks for posting!

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  20. I agree with Jack. If you ladies are so confident in your beliefs you should be happy and not so angry. There's no need to work so hard to try to make your point. You would do well to not close your mind or your eyes because it isn't over yet.

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  21. Lloyd,I don't know why you think we sound angry.
    What about Drasticontrast's comments & the expressions:
    "God-haters and whack-jobs and Atheists"?
    "blathering on and on"?
    "overbearing fanatical attacks"?
    Rather over the top don't you think and suggestive that the writers don't have any better arguments?

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  22. What about my comments,quedula? Is atheist a pejorative? "You pray to your Invisible Magic Friend"; do you really think that isn't derogatory? You've proven nothing I've written wrong yet; you seem to be confusing making an argument with misdirection.

    In your first post, you ask for evidence from a quote; I really don't think Ronald Reagan can argue with you about anything. You blast the post for lacking evidence, and then proceed to make one of the most absurdly unsustantiated claims I've ever read. For starters, I found this link (http://www.adherents.com/people/100_scientists.html) on the first page of searching for "scientists who were christians."

    I guess I'm just weird, but the first thing I do when I get on the internet is not go searching for people with whom I disagree and make argumentative comments.

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  23. Let's not forget that Darwin's theories are based on the belief that some homo-sapiens are less evolved than others - particularly dark-skinned folks.

    Did you know that in Darwin's time, the London zoo actually had an African Pygmy on display, as if he were just an animal?

    And yet, the Bible teaches us to treat all people with love.

    Food for thought.

    Melody

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