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  1. Hey guys & gals, your old buddy Oakspear popping in for my periodic “hey” Life continues well: My wife & I will soon officiate our 900th wedding; 17 years marrying folks I gave up alcohol in 2022; too many bad decisions & the hangovers got to be too high a price to pay I got out of retail grocery 8 1/2 years ago & have been working as an analyst in the department of revenue, also training new hires & will be retiring in one year I do a lot of concert photography & sold a photo to Alligator Records I enjoy seeing some of you on Facebook or Twitter, and occasionally I get nostalgic for the days of yore on Grease Spot, including Weenie Roasts and weddings, but don’t really have the desire to be here as much as I used to. My tablet remembered my password, so I interpreted it as a sign to interact for a bit Love you guys!
    3 points
  2. As you can imagine, the Jonestown incident stirred an enormous amount of controversy in TWI. To say the comparisons were downplayed would be an understatement of epic proportions. We were nothing like them, of course, because we had the "real truth". (insert sarcasm emoji here.)
    1 point
  3. I really like this video because Stephen Colbert is in charge and could have steamrolled over Ricky Gervais but instead he chose the path of respect. This is not a formal debate, but I have always been impressed with RG as a lay spokesman for atheism.
    1 point
  4. Another interesting Ricky video Not exactly sure why it's not just popping up, but ok.
    1 point
  5. It is not typical of Christians. Most Christians I know do NOT engage in this method of discussion.
    1 point
  6. What I see is someone who is spewing psycho babble that refuses to be pinned down as to what is the meaning of his statement. This is so typical of Christians who hate to be challenged for their beliefs. They just cannot accept the fact someone would disagree with their beliefs and just leave it at that. No..they keep ranting about stuff that is not at all relevant to the conversation.
    1 point
  7. Thanks for sharing such a great song Rocky. Here's a short clip about how a big part of the production came to be.
    1 point
  8. I'm going to pull a quote from the otherwise overtly political article "The God delusion of secular liberals." Needless to say, this is the kind of obnoxious projection that makes it impossible to have a constructive dialogue with people who are incapable of recognizing simple concepts. Simple concept number 1: Some people don't worship anyone or anything, no matter what your holy book says. And you don't get to define worship into existence. Worship is not the same thing as honor or respect or prioritization. And for the love of hate, atheists don't worship themselves. We don't think highly enough of ourselves to do such a thing. 2. Morality does not come from religion. If it dud, the expression "BuT iT wAs AnOtHeR tImE" would not exist. The evolving morality of any society often leaves religious tenets way behind. The Bible is less forgiving of cheeseburgers than it is of slave ownership.
    1 point
  9. PFAL: "Bible good/Philosophy bad"
    1 point
  10. The list of things that Wierwille talked about that that he clearly didn’t understand would be a long one.
    1 point
  11. Again, I feel like I'm late to the party. I'm finding out that Hernandez's view about "good" philosophy being a necessary (or at least a helpful) tool to help Christians understand life and God better is not that uncommon among scholars and some ministries. Just goes to show that up until a couple of months ago, I was still holding onto vp's catchphrase "it's the word, the word and nothing but the word" (or something like that). I guess the bible is fair game for ministers, preachers, and believers to come to their own truth. The likelihood is zero, though, that anyone will find a "truth" that takes all the guesswork and inconsistencies out of God and his promises for our lives in the here and now (IMHO).
    1 point
  12. I want to see a paisley sunrise.
    1 point
  13. Being curious myself, I have googled both the term and Hernandez (who declares he is one) and could not find a definition or explanation. My conclusion is that this "title" is simply one Hernandez invented for himself and may be explained as follows. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. A 2019 article titled "In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace" says "Data from Pew [Research Center] between 2020 and 2021 reported that nearly half of millennials surveyed (49%) described themselves as Christians, the most of all religions, another 10% identify with non-Christian faiths and four in 10 now identify as religious 'nones.' I'm guessing that Hernandez, who is a Baptist apologist, sees himself as a specialist in targeting millennials in order to get them "saved" such as Raf's second post about the conversion of the atheist Daniel Nieto shows. Why would he want to do this? One reason might be that getting 28-43 year olds converted increases the probability that their children will be brought up in religious homes and as a result, reverse the increase of "religiously unaffiliated" which has consecutively occurred over the past 5 generations.
    1 point
  14. Sorry. I'm just not seeing the connection.
    1 point
  15. always true
    1 point
  16. Very interesting…..destroys the concept that a nation must believe in god for there to be peaceful coexistence in that country.
    1 point
  17. As I was driving the other day it occurred to me how freeing it would be for a child to be raised as an atheist. The child would not have to be concerned about which of the hundreds of gods is the correct one to obey. The child would not have to figure out why he/she was being held responsible for the sin of biting into an apple, by a couple they never knew or met, in an imaginary garden, thousands of years ago? If he or she happened to see a man hanging on a crucifix, they would not have to be overwhelmed by the thought they somehow caused him to be murdered. He would not believe that Alluh would provide him 70 virgins if he murdered the infidels. She would not be forced to wear clothing covering her entire body except for a slit to see through. Nor would she have to be concerned with her family murdering her if they determined she was disobeying god. The child would not have to be dunked in a river to clear the sin away they supposedly caused to get that guy murdered hanging on the crucifix.
    1 point
  18. Your journey to realizing there is no god sounds similar to mine in that it took a longer period of time and did not happen over night. As a boy and man I was totally sold on the concept of worshipping a loving god in the RC religion, and it was a very high priority. I attended daily mass two times each day, served as an alter boy, sang in the church choir, and volunteered my time at church events. After becoming disillusioned with the RC’s I quit going to church, but always wanted to please god in my mind. Then a fellow sat down next to me while eating lunch and convinced me his group knew the word of god like no other. God has audibly spoken to its founder and assured him god would teach him the bible like it had not been known since the first century. I was sold and bought into the whole idea by taking all the classes offered, gave what little money I had on a regular basis, and went WOW for two years. Over the years, approximately 25, I did not see the signs, miracles, and wonders the group spoke of coming into fruition. I abundantly shared but my needs were not being met. But I dared not question any of this because others had and were severally chastised for doing so. I quit the Way and slowly figured out all religions are the same. They all chase some invisible being, but each has its own rules for pleasing their god. Which one is correct? Christian, Jew, Alluh, etc etc. Flip a coin I guess and come to the conclusion none have any truth. This realization there is no god did not happen over night, but after years of disappointment and disillusionment. Now I lead the best life I know and am not concerned about pleasing some imaginary god.
    1 point
  19. "And in other news today, Mrs. Stinkweed's mischievous little kitty, Poopsy, was rescued from the clutches of a mean old sycamore tree by the brave firemen of Company B." "Back to you, Cletus."
    1 point
  20. Don't. Even. THINK. About. It. A billion websites are having this conversation. This will not be one of them.
    1 point
  21. I get it. I've been at this (developing my hopefully more mature perspective on spiritual and religious matters) for more than 30 years. It can take time for a person to make such changes.
    1 point
  22. This "wise saying" reflects the nature of story much more so than that what's in the bible is the inerrant words of a God... IMO.
    1 point
  23. Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. I agree it's a wise saying and offers hope to parents, but it's not always true. And in some cases, it's even a good thing when it isn't.
    1 point
  24. Thanks for starting this thread a decade ago of which I now find relevant to my life. This post, however, is looking at the topic from the other side of the coin. My children left their Christian upbringing in their teens and now as adults, two of them are atheists and one has no interest in God. As a believing parent, I was concerned for them and over the years, I have prayed for them and made small attempts at changing their minds. The thought of them being left behind, going through the Great Tribulation and not having eternal life was distressful to say the least. Now that I am an atheist myself, that crazy way of worrying is no longer an issue for me. I am happy to discuss evolution with them, and I'm sure they're relieved that I have stopped saying "I'll pray for you" whenever they're dealing with life problems. We all see my deconversion as being "better late than never." I enjoyed reading most of the posts on this thread.
    1 point
  25. Dr. Angela Priester is a clinical psychologist who apparently sees no red flags in TWI, which to me makes her a living red flag.
    1 point
  26. So, in twi, they're using plagiarized materials, and charging large sums for classes that have a negligible expense for them. The books are published in-house on the cheap, and marked up for retail prices. None of the content has been improved, and it's just got a new paint job. Not stated, but obvious with twi, was that- once again- everyone's now required to take the new classes all over again, and not considered grads of the new stuff just because they sat through 100% of the same material previously. Personally, I think the increased price per student is meant to offset the decreased numbers. Where they used to have 7-14 new students and a $40 class, they now have 3 new students (or rooms of grads retaking the new thing again "for the first time" and charge so much more to squeeze more money out of those leaned on to take the "new" class. As if it was costing twi much to run the thing- almost all expenses are borne by locals out-of-pocket, and the printing costs are covered several times over in the retail prices of the books. So, really, twi is re-treading what's already been re-treaded.
    1 point
  27. These abrasive posters... are they the ones who accuse those who disagree with them of having massive egos, seeing the word through sh!t-colored glasses, or being responsible for Satan's takeover of America because they don't support your favorite political party or candidate? Or is your disdain for the guy who says "knock that off, GSC has rules and you're violating them"? Just checking.
    1 point
  28. Yeah Allan, I see your point. The same talk some accused others of, they are actually doing it. I don't let it bother me anymore. Just ignore it best you can.
    1 point
  29. Raf, I think you give because of YOU not because you no longer believe in spiritual things. (my opinion). Your heart and soul. I volunteer to do stuff too, among them, give blood and platelets, not because I believe in the spiritual realm but because I can see it does help save lives. I still do pray when I do this though.
    1 point
  30. Atheists are not precluded from an experience or conscious awareness of the transcendent, the mystical, the “spiritual.” Nor are they precluded from “a walk endowed with power from on high.” I use these terms and phrases for convenience, in spite of their insufficiency.
    1 point
  31. You might as well go. Raf will return eventually, and generally appreciates it if someone moves the thread along.
    1 point
  32. I noticed earlier in the thread, you mentioned growing up Roman Catholic, and that there was a lot of guilt and condemnation served up with everything else. That's a shame, but hardly universal among Christians, let alone Roman Catholics. I do think Catholicism has lost large numbers to other Christian groups without all the condemnation- from those who actually teach the condemnation. (There's other reasons too, but going to church AND feeling bad is a senseless combination.)
    1 point
  33. This is the fear Christians must deal with every thought. Not only must a Christian be aware of physical sins they have performed, but also must be aware their God keeps track of every nasty thought they think.
    1 point
  34. Atheists make better parents because they do not have their children do things out of fear of being punished by a god. Only do things because it is the right thing to do. https://www.indy100.com/news/atheists-make-better-parents-parenting-study-research-7627036
    1 point
  35. When I was a young man raised in the Catholic Church I so much wanted to please God. But the biggest thing the church taught me was condemnation. When ever I would have a sinful thought it would send me into a tail spin of condemnation, and as a young guy you can imagine the sinful thoughts I was having minute by minute, hour by hour, etc. I would pray and pray begging God to cleanse my mind. I even sheepishly went to my priest asking him what to do. He didn’t want to talk about sex, but said he would leave some church literature hidden inside the confessional, for me to study. The promised readings never showed up. This really made be feel giulty that mymoriest forgot about me. So after high school graduation I dropped out of the church and never went back. Staying away from the church really left a hole in me spiritually for years, and felt I was hell bound, until one day a guy sat next to me in a cafe and started witnessing to me. He said if you believe Romans 10:9&10, you will go to heaven come hell or high water. Also God can work miracle through us….all we have to do is believe. I signed up for the PFAL class immediately and hurried through all the other classes so I could operate signs, miracle, and wonders. Even went WOW, WOW Ii, and signed up for the Way Corp. But along the way I didn’t see any signs, miracles, and wonders happening. Didn’t even see someone get over a cold by having hands laid on them. This really got started me doubting what TWI was all about and seriously wanting to leave. But by then they had their hooks in me saying if I leave all my rewards will be lost. Blah, blah, blah, you know the rest. Thr reason I finally got out was gecause they marked and avoided me. So stumbling about again with God going to make me a grease spot by midnight, I felt terrible. Finding GSC was a life saver and got me at least on an even keel. Then seeing all the trouble my life had been in because of God, I began thinking what good had he done for me. Slowing I began reading articles about people who were happy not believing in God. I have never been happier and more content since becoming an atheist. My daughter was born and raised in TWI, and is currently a happy Catholic. But if I were raising her today I would steer her away from any religion or God.
    1 point
  36. I'm not saying I'm raising him to be an atheist or a Christian or a Buddhist or an adherent to any ideology. He knows if he wants to talk about any of it, I'm here to talk about it. I hope I'm raising him to be curious, inquisitive, thoughtful, kind, compassionate, generous, respectful, diligent, honest, accountable. I hope. I tell him if he wants to find out about God, gods or no gods, he can find out for himself. I tell him if he wants to find out if there is that which is eternal and unnameable, he can find out about that, too.
    1 point
  37. Let's hope they got rid of the red drapes, Johnny Jumpup, Maggie Muggins, and some of the more obvious errors. No doubt they've also reworked the Orange and White books. Do they still push the collaterals, I wonder? I won't be signing up again to find out!!!!
    1 point
  38. does believing effect reality.. shouldn't get me started.. yes it does. But one's almighty perspective has to pass many, many committees.. there are quite a few of us, you know.. one has to ask politely. Very, very politely.. sometimes its better just not to ask..
    1 point
  39. I attended several fellowhsips of Leonard's and found him to be quite detracting. While leading songs he would stop in the middle of a verse to make sure "no one got possessed" while singing. Apparently he was "possessed" while singing one time because the devil would not let him stop singing, and vowed he would never allow it again. Every song was a drudge to get through. Imagine singing God Bless America, and after every few words an abrupt stop, then a quick start....extremely annoying. I felt he was obsessed with devil possession. It was either prophecy or intrepretation of tongues that was allowed in his meetings, but not the other one, can't remember which now. According to Leonard one was God talking to the meeting, but you had to be careful with the other because it was too easy for the devil to possess the person and deliver a false message. Th person doing it had to be very spiritual before using it to make sure heor she did not become possessed, and apparently no one in the meeting met those qualifications. It was kind of different how Montana was introduced to Leonard. VPW had just died and our Limb guy, St*ve S*nn learned Leonard was in the state and got ahold of him. S*ann equated B.G. to a "founder of the church" because VPW had taken his class and his picture was hanging in the WOW auditoriam. S*nn was so impressed with him he had all the Corp in the state take the gifts class. Of course they didn't have the money themselves, so the state got to 'sponsor' the corp thru the class...another blessing for us. The class ran two or three weeks, and on the weekends Leonard did public fellowhsips. S*nn suggested the rest of us attend, so most did. S*nn also convinced B.G to attend the ROA that summer. My understanding was LCM was a bit upset because Leonard didn't follow the correct protocol and present himself before LCM at the proper time, or some such thing. Also B.G. wasn't too impressed with the ROA. Never did get too much of the details. Looking back Leonard just seemed like another guy with a bible class to sell. He also said Jesus Christ would return in 2000 or 2001.
    1 point
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