Atheism 3.0

Jerod Clark

Brett Barner
October 21, 2009

If I were to write an article on Christianity 3.0 it'd be titled: "Christianity 3.0 - This time we're going to try". We've been doing all this judging, backbiting, being hypocritical because it's a lot easier than self-improvement, loving, and living a Godly life.

I think Christianity 3.0 would be the Windows 7 of Christianity 2.0's Vista. Outside of the modern uses of technology and culture, I believe Christianity 3.0 should mirror more of Christianity 1.0 (you know the software that Christ developed. A "Jesus Saves" joke should be inserted here somewhere). Maybe a better, back-to-the-basics version, while getting rid of all the "Christian" bloat that we've inserted along the way.

October 21, 2009

Could we call this a generous atheism? :) pvk

October 21, 2009

I really like that sentiment. instantly makes me more predisposed to listen to the guy that people like Dawkins, Dennet, Harris et al. I also really agree with Brett Barner's idea, really trying to be like Christ, practicing The Way, not Churchianity.

October 21, 2009

I agree with the sentiment, though I think a "back-to-the-basics" mentality is a large part of what brought us to modern fundamentalism in the US. The churches of Christ, born during the late 19th and early 20th century revivals, insist that they are the reincarnation of the first century church... and have pretty much ruled out everyone else as a result.

Not that I think it's a bad idea to strip down our faith of all the cruft; just that we need to make sure what remains is truly Christian.

October 22, 2009

We should be careful listening to these "siren's songs" that can drift us to dangerous waters with rocks we can't see. We will better off following the advise of God's Word in 2 John 1:10-11 " If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine (Christ doctrine), do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds".

Brett Barner
October 22, 2009

Yeah, I understand what you're saying, and I can agree with that. Do I feel that Christians should go all Amish on ourselves and relive the 1st century church and stay there? No. (I happen to like electricity and I don't have the legs for a girdle/mantel) There's a lot that has changed since then. But think about when Christ came to earth. He rewrote the whole Law into five words: Love God, love your neighbor. (well, there were a few more words, but you get what I'm saying, right?) As humans, we feel the need to find and divide that line between right and wrong. (and I'm not saying that's bad) However, Christ just says "love".

To keep on going with the software theme. Windows 3.1 was awesome in it's time. Useful, innovative, and had the game mahjong. However, times have changed, and we expect a little more out of our OS, but the same basic of usefulness is still desired.

So, if I was to rewrite the software for Christianity (if Christianity was a software), I'd strive for the same basics that is desired: love, joy, peace, patience, etc. (the stuff that is truly Christian) and loose the bloat of hypocrisy, fear (the bad kind, not the fear of God), gossip, etc. (The stuff that we've added "Christian") The same basics, just rewritten to be better, more useful, and of course user-friendly.

October 22, 2009

There is no Christianity 3.0 -- Jesus was who he was, he means what he means, and we try to understand and practice what we have been told. We are always imperfect in our understanding as well as our practice. The problem with the revivals of the late 19th and early 20the centuries was the arrogant certainty that "we know exactly what Jesus meant." A little humility, recognizing that we don't, exactly, any more than the bishops of Rome do, and trying to come close to the original ecclesia is not a bad idea. There is no atheism 3.0 either. No atheist speaks for another atheist, just as no Christian speaks for another Christian. The ONLY thing all atheists have in common is denial of a creative deity. If an atheist wants to be friendly, that is a "siren song" only if they do so to win believers to abandon their faith. Otherwise, its always good to talk, and to coexist.

October 23, 2009

"Are we, as believers too quick to judge non-believers instead of reaching out to them?" Yes.

I have many people in my life who are "on a journey" as far as God and especially Christ go. Some believe a little, some don't know what they believe, and some don't believe at all. They don't sway me, because I have Christ, who is my rock. But since they have no "rock," they can and sometimes are swayed by my actions, words, and lifestyle without me beating them over the head with a Bible.

I am not sure what the author was eluding to or what ancient circumstances may have been happening for him to write to his recipient "do not receive him into your house" after stressing the point that we walk in love. Who was he writing it to? It may have been akin to me telling my teens not to hang out with the kids who drink and do drugs. I don't think Christ would have us turn someone away for not sharing our beliefs--I would think he would want us to look at it as an opportunity to minister to them. Anyway, how do you turn your relatives away on Thanksgiving? Isn't it better to look at it as a ministry opportunity?

Also...is there any proven correlation between extremely high intelligence and Atheism? I find that most non-believers in God are unbelievable smart. Like rocket-scientist smart.

As far as computer programming...I have to punch the top of my monitor in the morning to make it go on. Brett Barner's comment still has my head spinning!

October 23, 2009

There is truly nothing new under the sun. The Pharisees added to the 10 Commandments ... Christians add to "love God, love others" ... You are right, Brett. The main thing must stay the main thing, and we must understand and deliver the message in a medium that relates to today's seekers. We all want the same thing--love and acceptance that is only genuinely found in Jesus--but if the message is lost in translation (i.e., the medium doesn't match the culture), it does little good.

October 23, 2009

Wow... Atheists never cease to amaze me! If half the atheists in this world were Christians there wouldn't be any non-believers.. why? Because no one does a better job of convincing themselves of anything as an atheists, just look at this excerpt. But, when you do - don't look at it as a Christian (though I can appreciate the comments about Christianity 3.0) Look at from an objective stand point. Essentially he is saying that to build a better world you should encourage whatever philosophy or religion that agrees with the end result of your own.. sounds more unitarian than atheist. And I am reminded of one of the most powerful 'athiestic' statements i've ever heard - from Penn of Penn and Teller. He said basically that, "If you believe in Heaven and Hell, how much do you have to hate someone to not tell them about how to avoid it." He was using this to describe the hypocrisy of many Christians and lack of evangilism as one of his reasons for being an atheist. This is quite applicable to what this guy is saying, vice versa. How much would you hate someone to let them continue living their life guided by something you know to be completly false - it would be like letting an 80 year old continue to believe in the tooth fairy because it makes them brush their teeth every night. Is that the better world he is looking to build? Full of self-deluded people? Perhaps he is really just trying to setup atheism as another religion? It certainly fits the category of belief in something apparently unbelievable.

One brief comment about Christianity 3.0 - should we be at odds with everyone else about faith and religion or should we love them and accept them they are at? Can't we do both? Jesus did. Yes, He loved everyone and met them exactly where they were at in their lives, but he also called them out of their lies, sins, and incorrect thinking. The new testament is full of Him being challenged and challenging others... some got it, some didn't. Our commision as Christians is to love and speak truth and most of the time in this world that means going against what someone else believes, because like it or not this is not God's world we are living in, it's Satan's and if someone doesn't disagree with us or hate us then we are not doing something right.

God bless!

October 24, 2009

This reminds me of a story of someone who approached our pastor and said, "These people are just like you! They don't drink or smoke, they try to love others and do good. The only difference is that they don't believe in Jesus."

Sadly, what is often defined today as Christianity is more of a cultural set of beliefs and behaviors rather than personal transformation of an individual via a personal and life-changing encounter with Jesus Himself, our Savior and the One who made the universe and everything in it.

Bottom line, Christianity 3.0 should look like Jesus. It's the same principle as the Christianity 1.0 proclaimed by John the Baptist: He must increase and I must decrease. Jesus Himself lives in me and through me via the power of the Holy Ghost.

October 27, 2009

The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof.

October 29, 2009

It is about honesty and integrity. I don't care how you dress the pig, it is still a pig. There is no need to respect fantasy "faith beliefs" which are uncertain, and presented with certainty. I was a Christian and I wish someone had presented a more critical view of my beliefs when I was much younger before I wasted 3 decades of my life and before I sunk 6 figures into the church.

October 30, 2009

Jhn 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of
this world be cast out.

Ephesians 2:2 (NIV)
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world
and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at
work in those who are disobedient.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV)
4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that
they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is
the image of God.

November 1, 2009

Well Marc, by posting these three verses, without saying more, you have provided a solid basis to believe that the Bible contradicts itself, and therefore cannot be the complete and perfect word of God. I would have said that John and Paul simply didn't understand the revelations of God to David and the prophets, but even Paul said "for, The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." (I Cor. 10:26). I neglected to give a citation for my previous comment, since it is so familiar, but it is Psalm 24:1. Also check out Exodus 9:29. So, assuming none of us are prepared to throw the Bible away over this little difference of interpretation, we must set aside the notion that the earth, or the material universe, are inherently evil and enemies of God. Having rejected this Manischean nonsense, we must take a narrower view of the intent of the verses you cite. "This age" obviously doesn't condemn the whole world, merely the dominant culture of the moment. I haven't found it profitable, in a spiritual sense, to devote time to sorting out who or what "the prince of this world" is. It doesn't have much significance for what God expects of me. Perhaps it refers to the Roman emperors?

November 2, 2009

marcunderkoffler, I agree with most of your sentiments. I once heard this on the radio and I think it sums it up perfectly: Let us not deny the truth in the name of love, but let us not deny love in the name of truth either.

November 5, 2009

Well Siarly, I guess also neglected something in my previous quoting of
scripture. I should have emphasized that in no way do these verses
contradict each other. I responded under the assumption that by quoting
Psalm 24:1 it was with the intent to counter my proposal that Satan is the
ruler of this world and that he is the primary influence in the minds of
unbelievers (second only to their own flesh) The earth is indeed the Lord's
and everything in it... by the very fact God created everything it is all
His. Using a poor analogy: Counts/Barons etc.. are the 'rulers' of their
states or land, but the King is the 'ruler' of the country and while he may
allow them a certain independance in their actions and rulership, ultimate
authority rests in the Kings hands. I once had a very wise teacher tell me,
if you ever believe that a Bible interpretation contradicts itself it is
not the Bible which is wrong, but your interpretation. We must always
operate in the understanding that God is greater than we are, His thoughts
greater than our thoughts, and His ways greater than ours. I can appreciate
and applaud your descision to set aside difficult and currently confusing
aspects of scripture and focus on those you understand now. Many times I
have wasted time trying to figure out things I simply was not spirtually
mature enough to understand (I would try to eat steak when what I needed
was milk.. sometimes I still do) However, I do think for your personal
benefit this verse requires further study: Ephesians 6:12; for without
understanding our enemy or at least knowing we have one how are we ever to
defend ourselves? I do hope and pray that your method of evaluating
scripture would reverse, for just as if someone didn't believe Jesus is
God, Christianity would be useless to them, so also if you believe that the
Bible contradicts itself or even if it was simply written by men then it is
also useless to you and you be as well off living by the 'Tao according to
Pooh'. I for one would not want to base my eternal life on something I
thought was contradictory, fallible, or just a 'good read'. Thank you for
responding, I really enjoyed your comments and the way they made me think
through these areas. There are multiple scriptures for each of my previous
statement - you are probably familiar with most, but let me know if you
want me to quote them or expand on anything. God Bless you!

November 5, 2009

Oh, I agree that if two parts of the Bible APPEAR to contradict each other, it is our understanding that is suspect, not God. I also agree that God is greater than we are, either or both of us. Generally, any given chapter in the Bible has ten or more layers of potential meaning in it, of which any given human mind can grasp only a small part -- perhaps, if we are lucky, the part we really need at that moment.

You made a very definite statement that "this is not God's world we are living in, it's Satan's." Now, you have acknowledged that is IS God's world, and any role Satan may have is only on sufferance, as a subordinate title, not direct ownership. So, as a result of comparing verses that at first glance APPEAR to contradict each other, we are getting a little closer to the truth.

Now, I do not believe the verses you quote refer to Satan at all. I don't believe that we have an "enemy" in that sense, nor in the sense that Tolkien allegorically writes about, as in Morgoth, the Enemy. On that, we will have to differ, because as Wycliffe so insightfully taught, each of us has to read the Bible for ourselves. You are not my overlord in spiritual matters, nor am I yours, nor does the Bishop of Rome or any bishop have authority to give us an approved explanation. It is up to each of us, and we must leave God to judge. On the other hand, perhaps this view of Satan is precisely the right milk for you, and therefore God offered it to you, while I need different milk. I don't think either of us would claim to be ready for meat.

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