Re: virus: Religion

John \ (
Mon, 26 May 1997 10:18:18 -0400

>> Well, a traditional Christian anyway. I'd tend to answer 2. No. 1. Because
>> that makes God less impotent than than 2. :-)
>I can't see how you can even call yourself a Christian now...

Somewhere along the line, at least one skeptic starts sounding a lot like a

>relying on God (who is all powerful and all knowing and thus /always/
>right and good) to provide them with answers and a way to live their
>life, they have removed the burden of /responsibility/ from of their
>shoulders and unto the Godhead. But if, as you claim, God is not all
>powerful and all knowing, this entire scheme fails... you can't trust
>God to be right and good anymore! How can this be at all meaningful for

You have bought the Fundamentalist/Athiest definition of Christianity and
allowed it to define all of your thoughts towards Christianity. Your
perception of how and what Christianity is is neither my doctrine, or, for
that matter, United Methodist Doctrine or Unitarian Doctrine. (It might now
be Baptist Doctrine, since the Fundies took over that branch). You make us
all sound like a bunch of robots, Eric, who all think alike. Last UM
conference alone there were at least three amendments to the Book of
Discipline that were proposed that would have allowed "praciticing
homosexuals" to be ordained ministers; and at least three that were
proposed that would have strengthened the Church's position against
homosexuals. (Both were voted down.)

Does this sound like a church were people aren't concerned about Good/Evil?

It's fairly obvious that these decisions on morality are based in part --
I'd say mostly -- on human decision. Indeed, John Wesley (Methodist
founder) set this guide for approaching moral or other issues. In deciding
upon a course of action, including determining religious practice, etc, one
must consider:
* The Bible
* Experience
* Tradition
* Reason

This is called the "Wesleyan Quadrangle," or "Methodist Quadrangle." It
obviously places a great deal of emphasis on human experience and human
intellect. In your characterization of Christianity, you've completely
anhiliated an entire denomination. I suspect this was not your attempt.
You've just got a dominate meme developed by radicals lodged in your brain.

As far as whether or not God is "all powerful," in the rock sense, I reject
that catagorically. May OT stories, particularly Job & the Great Flood,
demonstrate God *admiting to and recitifying* injustice. The notion that he
is not all-powerful does not change the fact that the guidelines and
philosophy layed down in the NT and OT are both useful and wise.

>The reason this debate is so important is that God _has_ to be all
>powerful in order for Him to be any good at all. Otherwise, why not
>just trust yourself?

For the same reason I trust my parents, perhaps? And my instructors? The
same reason I trust my elected officials not to go totally batty and nuke
their own country? Does someone have to be all-powerful before *you* trust?

John Williams
Your Message Here...
"See my loafers? Former gophers!"