17 More In My Ongoing List of Bad Assumptions: 36-52

Friends,

I realize the last 10 was actually 15. I was just too lazy to go back and change the number. So…

Here, then, are the next few in the list.

36.  The assumption that anyone is righteous enough to have a right to be pissed off at anyone else’s conduct and then blog about it.

37.  The assumption that the Christian has to explain the holocaust (or any other terrible tragedy) in order to explain God.

38.  The assumption that the Bible is just a ‘book’ while The Origin of Species proof (or at least a viable explanation).

39.  The assumption that ‘peer reviewed’ papers are proof of anything other than the author’s opinion.

40.  The assumption that intellectual pursuit, apart from submission to and acknowledgement of God, makes for a meaningful life.

41.  The assumption that atheism is as valid a worldview as Christianity.

42.  The assumption that belief in Creation by God (as in Genesis 1) is for the intellectually weak and that belief in Darwinism is for intellectual giants.

43.  The assumption that the Bible is not a reliable source of historical, theological, cultural, and scientific data.

44.  The assumption that Christians are opposed to science. (This is a huge misconception because, as I have said elsewhere, Christians are not opposed to science, but Darwinism and materialism.)

45.  The assumption that a child in the womb is not a human and therefore an abortion is not murder and therefore not a necessary end of Darwinian thought. (“Life begins at conception because it cannot begin anywhere else”–Rush Limbaugh.)

46.  The assumption by many Christians that strict belief in Genesis 1-3 is not essential for sound theology. (This is especially so when it comes to the nonsense of ‘theistic evolution.’)

47.  The assumption that the fate of this world is in our hands.

48.  The assumption that atheists are more moral without God than Christians are with God (Actually, ‘all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’ This is the error of comparison.)

49.  The assumption that the money of the church belongs to the community at large. (And, it’s opposite, the assumption that the money of the church belongs to the church. Or, the assumption that the church needs money in order to do the work of the Gospel.)

50.  The assumption that what the Catholic pope says matters to anyone outside of Rome (by Rome, I mean the Catholic Church.)

51. The assumption that the Gospel must be dumbed down in order to meet the ‘needs’ of the culture where it is.

52.  The assumption that ‘we’ stand in judgment of the Scripture, God, or Jesus Christ.

I realize that some of this might be a bit repetitive, and if so I am sorry. I am nearing the end of my list of things that really bother me. I file this under ‘angst.’ It should also be noted that my angst is not just against those not in the church. It started out that way, but it sort of morphed. Please also note that I begin this list with number 36.

jerry

1. Jon

Jerry,

I guess that I disagree with #50 which states that what the Catholic pope says matters only to Catholics. For example Pope Benedict’s comments on October 29th regarding the moral responsibility of pharmacists to refuse the dispensing of RU486 and other so called “plan B” drugs which are simply chemically performed abortions. I’m sure that all Christian pharmacists will be uplifted by those comments and give them courage to stand against this practice. It might even get non-Christians to think about the moral implicataions of their job. This is of course only one example.

On a further note. I think it matters what all of us say and do. Christian words and acts of kindness help us all. Likewise, evil and acts of sin hurt us all. The damage to Christianity caused by some priests’ and some televangelists’ behavior is regrettable. But, I have a few instances in my own life that are from a Christian view “regrettable” too!

Thank you for your website. I gleen much from your posts and they matter to me.

Glory to Jesus Christ

2. “that the Christian has to explain the holocaust (or any other terrible tragedy) in order to explain God” is only an “assumption” for those who don’t know of the mountain of evidence supporting that TRUISM, beginning with the fact that 99% of the German population that CONDUCTED as well as LEAD the Holocaust professed to be Christians believing in GOD. See http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/RCscandal for “the rest of the story”.

3. The assumption that the Bible is just a ‘book’ while The Origin of Species proof (or at least a viable explanation).

Straw man. No biologist uses the Origin of Species as a proof of evolution. No professor uses the Origin of Species to teach evolution. Darwin had the general idea, but he had no empirical evidence, and knew nothing about inheritance. Darwin’s knowledge was amateurish and extremely lacking compared to modern knowledge. He’s not an expert on evolution. He’s credited with discovering the basic principles. That’s it. He was wrong about a lot of things.

Contrast that with how Christianity is taught. When’s the last time you heard a Christian apologist say, “Paul is wrong about the triune god”. I’m sure there’s a liberal Christian sect somewhere that teaches that. But, as it is, Paul is one of the MOST authoritative sources. Do you see the difference?

37. The assumption that the Christian has to explain the holocaust (or any other terrible tragedy) in order to explain God.

Does God intervene in the world or doesn’t he? If he does, then he picks the stupidest occasions to make an appearance. No, don’t intervene in the Holocaust, but put a bright star in the sky to lead shepherds to a baby in a stable. Good choice, that. I might be wrong, but I do believe that “the problem of evil” is something theologians worry a lot about, despite your assertion.

The assumption that ‘peer reviewed’ papers are proof of anything other than the author’s opinion.

Peer-review is a guard against lazy and stupid scholarship. Go google an unreviewed journal, and read some of the papers in it. You’ll find so much nonsense that your head will bleed. Stuff about Quantum Tao Spirit suffusing the Ying into the Yang using electron waves. Gibberish and nonsense.

You should add another assumption to your list, “The belief that science claims to prove anything”. Science models how the world works. Models are always inherently flawed, and can never truly approximate the world around us. But they do, with a reasonable doubt, explain something about the world.

The assumption that intellectual pursuit, apart from submission to and acknowledgement of God, makes for a meaningful life.

Assumption? That’s funny. Just because you found the stuff boring doesn’t make it meaningless to pursue. I, and millions of others, find great meaning in pursuing science. We don’t assume it gives us meaning. We KNOW it gives us meaning through experience.

Oh my god, so many of these are wrong. I’ll go through a few others.

The assumption that belief in Creation by God (as in Genesis 1) is for the intellectually weak and that belief in Darwinism is for intellectual giants.

Belief in a literal Genesis just makes you gullible, naive, and scientifically illiterate, not intellectually weak.

41. The assumption that atheism is as valid a worldview as Christianity.

Well I certainly don’t assume that. Atheism isn’t as valid as Christianity. It’s infinitely more valid.

The assumption that the Bible is not a reliable source of historical, theological, cultural, and scientific data.

Again, no one assumes this. Just read the thing, and you’ll see how unreliable it is, scientifically. As for history, no it’s not historically accurate, but it does say something about the era, just as the myths about Oedipus say something about Greek Antiquity. And as for theology and culture? I don’t get that. Christian is ingrained into our culture, and it’s used extensively in theology. I don’t get what you’re trying to say.

The assumption that a child in the womb is not a human and therefore an abortion is not murder and therefore not a necessary end of Darwinian thought.

It’s so funny how you write these things as if they’re so obvious. And yet, don’t you think, “If they’re so obvious, why is it such an issue?” Because it ISN’T that obvious. Take a hint. These are your opinions. They’re not God-ordained truths.

4. Jon,

I’m not going to take time to try and wrap my head around the nonsense that you have written. If you cared to read any of the previous three posts I made on this subject, or the one above, you would note very quickly that these are my opinions. I have never denied that. If you could take a minute of your life and stop to actually think before you write, you might stop being so angry and ridiculous. Oh, and as to the problem of evil, I am not suggesting that theologians are not concerned about it. I have been publishing essays right here on the subject. My point is that neither suffering nor evil nor the holocaust is proof that God is not sovereign.

jerry

ps–as to God intervening, I’m glad that he also ‘intervened’ after Jesus was crucified. Without the resurrection, we would all be quite lost–that would lead to a rather meaningless life. But I understand, you are so open minded that miracles to you are anathema. Too bad.

5. Jon D.

Jerry,

Don’t know how items got published under my name unless there are two Jon’s. I only had a comment about item 50. So, I will now use Jon D.

Glory Forever!

6. Jon D,

That is correct, there is another Jon. He is dangerous and an atheist. (Just kidding about the danger part. He’s actually a good friend of mine with whom I disagree about every thing imaginable.) Anyhow, thanks for stopping by.

jerry

7. I’m not going to take time to try and wrap my head around the nonsense that you have written.

You know it’s nonsense without even understanding it? Makes perfect sense.

There’s this thing, Jerry, it’s called empathy: trying to understand why people think the way they do and say what they say. It’s the opposite of what you do, which is to assume that I’m just out to discredit you and then gloss over (or not read at all, I suspect) anything that I type.

If you cared to read any of the previous three posts I made on this subject, or the one above, you would note very quickly that these are my opinions

No, I don’t read all of your posts, and I’m sorry if I misrepresented you. But when you say that a group of people assumes something, that’s not just your opinion, it’s either true or it isn’t. And many of these claims you make just aren’t true.

I shouldn’t quote Moynihan at you, because it’s so cliche, but here it is: “You’re entitled to your own opinions, but you’re not entitled to your own facts”.

…you might stop being so angry and ridiculous.

I don’t know why you constantly claim that I’m angry. I’m not. Maybe it’s the blunt manner of my writing that makes you think that. If anything, I’m smiling when writing these posts. Maybe I should intersperse LOLs and smileys so you don’t think that anymore.

My point is that neither suffering nor evil nor the holocaust is proof that God is not sovereign.

If anything, you were ambiguous about what you meant. Usually, Christian apologists defend God’s beneficence when confronted with the question of evil, not whether he’s sovereign. Since you didn’t specify otherwise, that’s what I thought you were referring to.

…miracles to you are anathema.

They’re not anathema to me. If by miracle you mean “something good that’s unlikely to happen”, then I’m quite happy to say that I like miracles. If by miracle you mean “something good coerced into existence by supernatural means”, then I don’t have any feelings, since I don’t think those kinds of miracles exist, since I don’t think supernatural things exist. I do think most of them are silly, though.

8. Jon,

These posts that I have been making on ‘assumptions’ were designed in large part to provoke conversation. That’s all. In some sense these are assumptions made by some people–including myself at times (and, to be sure, I have poked fun at myself plenty of times in the course of the 52 that I have so far posted.) I have poked and prodded christians, atheists, myself, and others. It’s an exercise where sometimes there is actually truth in some (not all since some are just nit-picking) of my thoughts.

I think what bugs me about you is that you seem to take this too personally. I couldn’t disagree with you more about Darwinism and atheism. I think they are serious errors, contain series logical inconsistencies, lack credible, irrefutable evidence, and are seriously damaging to society as a whole. What bugs me is that you take it personally instead of simply interracting like a good friend.

It is not your straight forward way of writing that bugs me; I prefer straight forward. What bugs me is your arrogance. Perhaps it is mine that bugs you. If so, then I am sorry. But you seem to have this idea that all of the world can be reduced to neat formulas and algebraic equations and tidy little theories. The world is not so simplistic. You want answers because you fear mystery and fear what you cannot explain. I fear a world that you believe in: no God, no miracles, no accountability to anyone beyond the self. We both have fears. I think you ignore them or reduce them to a theory. I pray and have faith that there is something better than this and that there is Someone who can deal with them. Call me a coward for having faith, that’s fine. I don’t want to live in a world where there is no hope, where I am reduced to a number, where I am reduced to my own ability. I want to live. I don’t want to spend 70 or 80 years working like mad only to die and that be the end of it all. I want to live because my ultimate fear is non-existence, death, hopelessness.

I don’t suppose that makes any sense to you but I hope it does. At some point you abandoned all of this and I wish that you hadn’t, but you made that decision. I argue with you because I wish that you had hope and I wish you hadn’t rejected God. I do so because I truly want to see you have hope because I don’t think you even realize that you are hopeless.

Well that’s all. I don’t know you from Adam or from an unguided ball of cells climbing Mount Improbable or from a Selfish Gene hoping to survive another day. But as strange as it is, I think of you as a friend. I think all that I have been hoping for is that at some point you would treat me as a friend instead of as an enemy but as it is, I still think I’m the enemy. I would appreciate the smiles and lol’s so that I know you are taking it all with a grain of salt. All of us have ideas about the world, and we think we know. But even you would agree with St. Paul’s assertion that ‘we know in part’ only.

I’d like to count you as a friend. And if I have come across as less than that, I sincerely apologize. I will do my part to be a better sparring partner. (Be warned, however, that I do enjoy and employ the use of sarcasm. I have been warned it is not a very christian thing to do, but it is so much fun.) I hope you accept this as an apology that has been a long time coming and will forgive me for letting you down.

jerry

ps–sorry for any spelling errors, but my friend Robert hasn’t been around to point them out to me.

9. But you seem to have this idea that all of the world can be reduced to neat formulas and algebraic equations and tidy little theories.

No, the world can be modeled by neat formulas and algebraic equations. Look at the sheer elegance of $F=m \cdot a$. You may think that’s just some simple stupid thing, but look how accurately it predicts the way things move in this universe. It’s not perfect, of course, because there’s relativity, which predicts with even greater accuracy how things move. And there’s likely to be other models which predict even better than relativity. The reason you can even type your opinions to a blog is because of $F=m \cdot a$.

You want answers because you fear mystery and fear what you cannot explain.

This is false. I don’t want answers. I want right answers. Fear mystery? How boring life would be without it! To know everything that’s going to happen at every moment, to be a god? That would be the worst possible thing. Life is worth living because of the mystery.

Call me a coward for having faith, that’s fine.

I’ve never called you a coward for having faith, just silly. I just think you’re the product of a Christian society, like most people I know. You’ve been fed this fantasy all your life, and to even imagine living without it is painful. I get it. That’s like, my entire family.

I don’t want to spend 70 or 80 years working like mad only to die and that be the end of it all.

Who does? You aren’t seriously proposing that as a reason for remaining Christian, are you? If I’m right, and there isn’t a god, then what you believe is irrelevant. Believing it won’t make it true.

As for fear of death, I can’t say I really have that. I would regret dying, because of all the missed opportunities. And I regret when other people die, for the same reason. But I don’t fear it. Pain? That’s something I fear, because I know what it feels like.

I guess I would ask, if you could live forever, what would you do? It seems like it would get boring very, very quickly. Especially in a place like Heaven. Eternal pleasure and happiness? No pain, ever? Might as well just pump yourself full of anesthetics, and never feel anything ever again.

I don’t think you even realize that you are hopeless.

You aren’t going to try and hypnotize me to release my “suppressed memories”, are you?

I have granted you the courtesy of posting your replies on my blog which is a courtesy you have not extended to me.

I don’t read your blog except through the tag surfer. So I didn’t know you were doing that.

I think all that I have been hoping for is that at some point you would treat me as a friend instead of as an enemy but as it is, I still think I’m the enemy.

I really don’t think about it. Enemy, friend, whatever. It’s the Internet. I don’t know you, and claiming to would be lying. Friend or not, don’t expect me to ignore B.S. when I see it.

I hope you accept this as an apology that has been a long time coming and will forgive me for letting you down.

What do you expect me to say here?

10. Jon,

I have told you why I believe. So the 70 or 80 years portion is not the reason for believing. (But a life apart from Christ is a wasted life–regardless of how many mysteries are uncovered.) The reason, as I have told you, is the Cross and the Resurrection.

jerry

ps–I don’t expect you to say anything.

• Life Under the Blue Sky

Thanks for visiting with me for a little while. I hope you find something here that is helpful or encouraging in some way. There's a lot here and I hope that what it shows is a little or a lot of growth on my part. That said, some of the older stuff you find in here may not be all that helpful. I used to be rather graceless and judgmental. Much of that has changed as I have grown more and more accustomed to the grace of God. I will also be changing the format here soon. For now I have been blogging sermons and lessons (and I will continue that), but in the not too distant future this blog will be overhauled to reflect more changes taking place in my life. Thanks again for the visit and as always, feel free to leave a comment. jerry