There once was a man from England who was without god and who was called Michael (me), and he was well know to the Christians in those parts (it's a long story). Now Michael had a sister, and it came to pass that she took to the sauce, and stuck it away by the jeroboam. And this brought about a great upheaval in her life, and a f*cking up thereof, and also a mighty spewing up of the guts. And so it was that her brother Michael was cursed with great worry and a gnashing of his remaining teeth. And about this time there came into the cell-phone of Michael a text message from Derek who was called Derek, who was a man of god and who generally quite got on Michael's tits, what with him being absurdly delusional and all. And Derek said unto Michael that he would pray that God would give Michael *wisdom*. And Michael was like WTF???
So Derek was praying for me to have wisdom. Now I hate to be immodest, but he was praying for something that already exists in great abundance. If *I* were to ask favours from the all powerful creator of the universe, I'd be a little more ambitious. I would ask for an *instantaneous* and *total* end to all of my sister's problems. But no. Is it perhaps that Derek does not dare pray in this way, because he knows that such prayers will go visibly unanswered? Is it that Derek, in reality, lacks faith?
It's a bit like being confronted by a genie who grants you three wishes, and you choose to ask for 10 pence, and another 10 pence, and a chocolate fudge. And that's what you had in the first place.
The more I listen to prayers (on the radio/telly etc), the more I realise how many are of this unambitious type.
PS> A "chocolate fudge" is a tasty chocolate covered fudge bar, available here in England. Do you have them in Texas??
I have got a pretty good idea what you are talking about. Xians spread the idea that they are smarter than anyone on the planet because their wisdom comes from god, and yours comes from man. They will go to any lengths to prove that they are smarter than a non-believer. They play all kinds of games and call it the Lord's work. They are depraved liars!
This was a very inadequately covered story in America, and probably everywhere. John Bennett had many Evangelicals connections. It seems Mr. Bennett had concocted what was known in the investment field as a "Ponzi scheme." The idea is to take the money the latter investors give to pay off the earlier investors. Then the news goes out that this thing really works. Greedy people looking for a quick dollar are usually the only ones who fall for such a scheme. There is a long list of the biggest mega ministeries that were taken in. The list goes on and on and on. The government estimates as much as $550 million dollars were involved. I wonder how these ministries will explain this - since god talks to them personally.
The believers often accuse the non-believer of simply wanting to live an immoral life, and that's why we don't believe fables and fairy tales. Such as - a virgin gives birth - the baby grows up and heals a few people of diseases - raises a man from the dead - turns water into wine - But he does nothing to end disease for good - nothing to end war for good- and nothing to end poverty. He only performed small miracle because people have to prove that they have faith. If this sound like another ingenious plan to milk the gullible public that's because it was?
There are plenty of examples of their morality but this one is so bazaar: In March - 2009 Bishop Earl Paulk died. He preached to hundreds of thousands of people, but he will be remembered for the sex scandals that rocked the Atlanta-area megachurch he started. A lawsuit by a former female church employee caused this situation to come out into the open. Mona Brewer alleged that Paulk coerced her into a 14-year affair. In 1992, six women publicly accused Paulk, his brother and two nephews (all ministers) of sexual manipulation. The women said the men talked about "kingdom" relationships not bound by earthly interpretations of morality. In 2007 came word that a DNA test had proven Paulk had impregnated his brother's wife. One of the six, the bishop's biographer and ghostwriter, Tricia Weeks, said she had had a two-year affair with Earl Paulk. Joy Weathersby, 21, of Lithonia said she has been attending the church since she was a child. "I think he was a very nice person," Weathersby said of Earl Paulk. "I know the stuff that was going on, but his messages really taught me a lot of things about life." (Really)!
Since your friend is so much wiser than you are why don't you ask him why his belief in a god that is invisible and is undetectable by any means known to man is all that different from something that simply isn't there.
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From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, March 8th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Ryan Bell will talk on "My Year Without God: Now a Permanent Condition."