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FreeThinkers of Fort Worth Message Board The Door › Good works vs. faith/grace

Good works vs. faith/grace

Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 23
Saw a statement on an atheist website the other day that emphasized the desire to diminish Christian influence in this country. If memory serves, it was John W. Loftus' Debunking Christianity. That's what I aim for, too, and here's a shining example why. I am SO sick of the argument that one's actions won't secure passage through the pearly gates - only belief in God can do that. The problem is, that allows faith to supersede action throughout a person's life. That's as ass-backwards as it gets. But that insightful compendium of divine dictation known as the Buybull tells us that when someone lays his/her good works at God's feet (God has feet?), they are "filthy rags" in his sight. I'm compelled to state that in several other ways. God considers actions that are selfless, compassionate, kind, honest, generous, positive, etc. to be worthless. God doesn't want or need them and he most certainly does NOT approve of ANY of them. They have no value, in God's opinion. They are useless and meaningless, and if God was flesh and blood he would be inclined to wretch from the overpowering stench of the revolting obscenities placed before him. If he had to personally dispose of them he would surely find a latex glove, or at least a stick with which to keep his distance and dump them in the nearest garbage can. So, chew on this just a little more: God is literally disgusted by good works. This attitude, of course, is anything but an incitement to true, real-world change that is best effected by more than mere words. Obviously anyone with a modicum of intelligence understands that talk rarely achieves lasting, monumental change and in the end, when we are gone, we are all remembered for what we did on this earth, not for what we believed or said. Actions are what define people. They are the legacy each of us leaves behind. Duh! But in the Christian world, one can behave however they wish and rest assured that they are bound for the promised land simply because they have faith in the Almighty. They are saved by the grace of God, not by their actions, so in fact they do not have to make an effort to please God by being good. We've already acknowledged that's a futile and pointless task. They do not have to change their ways and they are not required to concentrate on doing good works; instead, they are called to demonstrate their faith with a whole lot of talk - much of it with an invisible entity (in the form of prayer), the rest toward non-believers and those who practice other religions. Infuriating! Ludicrous! This viewpoint of theirs isn't helping humanity out!
Dan
user 21916351
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 5
How do you feel about the argument that their are no pearly gates, so people's striving for such a futile goal is a waste in itself, whether through works or faith?

The bible tends to be metaphorical, so I don't really mind comments that anthropomorphize that which was present before the big bang. And it says many contradictory things, so you can almost always find something in there to support any side of any argument. (God didn't put a fence around the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, so he or she must be pro-choice.)

I'm OK with people who have their faith and stay out of my way. I'm OK with people who have their faith and otherwise do good things. I have a hard time with people who have their faith and then do things that hurt other people, but I have a hard time with people like that who have no faith, too.

Luckily, if there were an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent god, that entity would long since have gotten past this argument. Such a god will do what it wants, no matter how people make up rules for other people about how they should act. He or she may be running millions of universes with subtle variations as an experiment. Perhaps in this universe you really win if you eat the most Brussels sprouts. Now that's a god that Brussels sprout farmers could get behind!
A former member
Post #: 24
Or...Christianity is the biggest lie ever perpetuated on manknd and none of it ever happened, the virgin birth, the manger, the crucifiction, the resurrection or the second coming. Remove all of that from the premise and none of the New Testament matters. Life is existence and nothing more.

Testing the emoticon library.
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 24
Hey, good to hear from the both of you. This is off-topic but take note that I scheduled the next Bardo's meeting for Thursday, the 17th from 7-9.
A former member
Post #: 26
Thread pirate.
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 25
Yes, Dan, anyone who has faith and treats people like dirt doesn't worry about what they do because at least they believe and thus god finds favor in them. At least that's their side, absurd though it is. I've seen that done by regular churchgoers as well as pastors. Certainly calls into question why they can't show some character and integrity after claiming they are inhabited by the almighty creator of the universe...
A former member
Post #: 27
My guess is that they've never had the words character and integrity properly defined for them. they think character and integrity are a single word that means "what it takes to win a football game."
Rob
user 3477588
Group Organizer
Fort Worth, TX
Post #: 26
Who knows? All I can say from my experience is that, even though it was a long time ago, I had a very ugly fallout with a devoutly Catholic gal I was very, very interested in. After knowing her for almost six years - as far as I know being the only person who provided steadfast friendship through all of her college years - I found out through her parents that she was recently engaged and thus out of town; I'd never known about the relationship and from that moment she never spoke to me again. And while her mother apologized and told me that she never broke the news because she "didn't know how to" because she knew it would hurt my feelings, when I finally did give voice to my emotions she did an instant 180 and told her father a quite different story so that he would call and tell me to stop contacting her because, of course, I was the person who was really at fault. That's a shining example of the mountains of bullshit Christians dish out, all the while believing so absolutely that their lives are covered in divine favor...
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