Atheism on the rise

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BLC

Banned
Feb 28, 2009
711
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#21
Imoss,

I did not write that post to tell you what to do, it was for illustration. Warning people is not the same as charging them with sin. Jesus Christ spoke and referred to hell over (200) times as road signs to warn people, to keep them from going there. You know what His motive was, yet He warned people all the time. If someone was going to take their life, would you try to stop them and warn them not to do it? I think you would. The wicked are on their way to hell, do we wait for God's leading or has God already told us to warn them in the scriptures. Did you wait for God to lead you to be saved or did you hear God's voice and believe by faith. I hope you have my point. The time is short and we are to redeem the time for the days are evil. This is the verse you referred to;

Mt 5:16 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven'.

Warning people is a good work from the Father, if it were not Jesus Christ and the prophets would not have done so. And when they respond and see your good work, they will glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 
I

icilian

Guest
#22
What is the point in a nominally good work that will push her cousins further from the Lord? Surely, if her motivation is to save them, she will pick the time when it's most effective to say the things that she should say.

And as for being warned - do you propose that they do not know that many christians believe the bible indicates their trajectory? What use would imoss' re-iterating a thought they had been warned of if it will serve to alienate them, rather than save them?
 

BLC

Banned
Feb 28, 2009
711
3
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#23
icilian,

A warning is like a sign on the road. You're driving and you see a sign that detours you to go left. You can ignore it and continue on and face the consequences of perishing. Or you can heed the warning and live. However, if the warning is not there, then you perish just as if you had ignored it. Warnings are not meant to push anyone away from life but to save them and give them life.

A 15 year old boy got his permit and decided to go for a ride with his friends in the car that his father had bought him. Against his father's warning not to take the car untill he got his license the boy and his four friends headed out. Wanting to know how fast he could go, he headed up a hill at a rapid speed. Racing by the sign that cautioned the road turning left, they went flying in the air at the top of the hill and went headlong into a big tree, killing all five in the car.

How do you think the father of the boy who got his permit felt when he got the news? He never forgave himself for not being stronger measures in his warning and made a vow with his wife to never let that happen with their other children. Don't forget that the boy who did not heed his father's warning, took four other lives with him.
 
I

icilian

Guest
#24
icilian,

A warning is like a sign on the road. You're driving and you see a sign that detours you to go left. You can ignore it and continue on and face the consequences of perishing. Or you can heed the warning and live. However, if the warning is not there, then you perish just as if you had ignored it. Warnings are not meant to push anyone away from life but to save them and give them life.

A 15 year old boy got his permit and decided to go for a ride with his friends in the car that his father had bought him. Against his father's warning not to take the car untill he got his license the boy and his four friends headed out. Wanting to know how fast he could go, he headed up a hill at a rapid speed. Racing by the sign that cautioned the road turning left, they went flying in the air at the top of the hill and went headlong into a big tree, killing all five in the car.

How do you think the father of the boy who got his permit felt when he got the news? He never forgave himself for not being stronger measures in his warning and made a vow with his wife to never let that happen with their other children. Don't forget that the boy who did not heed his father's warning, took four other lives with him.
I agree that warnings need to be given - but my point is entirely that the warning is not something these people will be unaware of. If they have heard it and not heeded before (and that warning message is out there very loudly in the media), then the re-iteration of it may not help. In fact, it may alienate, and cause those people to reject more strongly what you eventually want them to accept.

If you have the best interests of someone at heart, you have to weigh up what will be effective, and choose the technique that best fits the situation. In this instance, Imoss' warning could cost her and them a great deal.


EDIT: Sorry if it sounds like I'm talking on your behalf, Imoss. Didn't mean to *blush*
 
D

DaveScotland

Guest
#25
As Christians we are called to be the light and salt of the Earth, to spread the good news of jesus, to lead rightous lives and lead through our example, The bible doesnt tell us to be the Judge of peoples sins, when you call out others sins you are judging them and there is a lot to be said about judging in the bible,

Jesus spread a message of love, He lived a life of love, healing, feeding, and saving people,and as Christians we should do the same, If someone who is sinning and comes to know Christ, then HE will point that out to them, HE will help them get over that aspect, like he has done with us all when we first got saved.
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#26
While it was noted that the links I provided show no reliable statistics, may I point out that the original poster and no one else has provided any data or statistics showing atheism is on the rise.

I believe atheism is on the decline, in my places traditionally strongholds for atheism like Russia and China.



While it's difficult to determine, here are some statistics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

It is difficult to determine whether atheism is growing or not. What is certain is that in the some areas of the world (such as Europe) atheism and Secularization seems to be on the rise. While there are more atheists than ever before, polls show that atheism's percentages seems to be declining. This may be because birth rates in religious societies are much higher.[5] This is similar to a 2002 survey by Adherents.com, which estimates the proportion of the world's people who are "secular, non-religious, agnostics and atheists" as about 14%.[6] A 2004 survey by the BBC in 10 countries showed the proportion of the population "who don't believe in God" varying between 0% (Nigeria) and 39% (UK), with an average close to 17% in the countries surveyed. About 8% of the respondents stated specifically that they consider themselves to be atheists.[7] A 2004 survey by the CIA in the World Factbook estimates about 12.5% of the world's population are non-religious, and about 2.4% are atheists.[


I believe atheism is not really a problem for Christianity. It is still very much a small percentage of overall population that considers themselves atheists. The problems for fundamentalist evangelical Christianity are paganism, theism , polytheism, spirituism , "the secret" , liberal Christianity and the likes of Oprah Winfrey's beliefs etc.
 
I

icilian

Guest
#27
While it was noted that the links I provided show no reliable statistics, may I point out that the original poster and no one else has provided any data or statistics showing atheism is on the rise.
This is true. ;) My main complaint was with the quality of the sources you initially provided.

I believe atheism is on the decline, in my places traditionally strongholds for atheism like Russia and China.



While it's difficult to determine, here are some statistics:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_atheism

It is difficult to determine whether atheism is growing or not. What is certain is that in the some areas of the world (such as Europe) atheism and Secularization seems to be on the rise. While there are more atheists than ever before, polls show that atheism's percentages seems to be declining. This may be because birth rates in religious societies are much higher.[5] This is similar to a 2002 survey by Adherents.com, which estimates the proportion of the world's people who are "secular, non-religious, agnostics and atheists" as about 14%.[6] A 2004 survey by the BBC in 10 countries showed the proportion of the population "who don't believe in God" varying between 0% (Nigeria) and 39% (UK), with an average close to 17% in the countries surveyed. About 8% of the respondents stated specifically that they consider themselves to be atheists.[7] A 2004 survey by the CIA in the World Factbook estimates about 12.5% of the world's population are non-religious, and about 2.4% are atheists.[
Thanks for the back up. My problem was not with your point - it was the nature of the articles that you initially linked to - which appeared to be pretty much pure Public relations, and, if I'm honest, I couldn't help but conclude were intellectually pretty bankrupt. (not, you understand, on your part - I'm not pointing the finger at you, only at those articles, which I think thoroughly deserved the criticism I gave).


I believe atheism is not really a problem for Christianity. It is still very much a small percentage of overall population that considers themselves atheists. The problems for fundamentalist evangelical Christianity are paganism, theism , polytheism, spirituism , "the secret" , liberal Christianity and the likes of Oprah Winfrey's beliefs etc.
:) May well be right.
 

BLC

Banned
Feb 28, 2009
711
3
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#28
Some of you are living in a spiritual fantasy world that just does not exist. When Jesus walked the earth there were very few people that actually believed upon Him. He came unto His own and His own received Him not. Many followed Him because of signs and miracles but never believed. He was a friend of publican and sinners but there was no great multitude of conversions. He healed all manner of sickness and disease but only a few believed. When it was time to go to the cross He was deserted and forsaken by the disciples as they stood afar off. He had no place to lay His head and spent many nights out of doors. He often hungered and He was despised and rejected. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. There was nothing about Him that we would desire. He was beaten, spit upon, scourged, humiliated and crucified. He was bruised for our iniquities and bore our sorrows. He preached about the fires of hell more than any man and was mocked. He could raise Lazarus from the dead but His words were rejected and could not be trusted. All this happened to our LORD who came to do the will of His Father. If this is the example that He set that we should follow in His steps, who is going to be the first to take up their cross and follow Him. I often wander what we would think and say about Him if he were here among us and acted and spoke the way He did when He was here 2000 years ago.
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#29
No problem Icilian your criticms were fair , good statistics are hard to find. I just don't see the point in answering a "why" question (why is atheism on the rise) that hasn't been properly established. Is it on the rise? Perhaps it is, if it is, it still is only a small percentage of total popularion. If it isn't, then why not focus attention on other faiths such as paganism. Why is that on the rise? Generally I believe atheists couldn't care one way or the other whether Christianity is on the right track or not. People having bad experiences at churches with their christian parents or etc, probably does not cause them to lose faith in the Divine and become atheists but to divert that belief to another form of faith such as paganism etc. At least that's what I notice.
 
Jan 8, 2009
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#30
Some of you are living in a spiritual fantasy world that just does not exist.
A "spiritual fantasy world", as opposed to a "real fantasy world"? :p
 
May 3, 2009
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#31
I agree atheism is on the rise in developed countries. But not in the developing world. In the US for example, there is such a plethora of different groups espousing their own narrow doctrines, that the image presented is one of total confusion. Of course, our social values are extremely materialistic and that also contributes to the weakening state of faith in our country.

However, on issues such as family, gay "marriage" and abortion, a christian must take a firm, tho not belligerent stand. Hetereosexual marriage is the foundation of any spiritual society. The right to life, the inherent dignity of the person, is the bedrock spiritual basis of Christianity.
 
Apr 19, 2009
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#32
I believe it is merely a part of the tren that began in the late middle ages with the development of scientific theory, which in turn resulted in the Age of Enlightenment hundreds of years later. Now, here we are as a result. We know how the pysical word operates. We know a lot about pychology, sociology, biology, and chemistry etc. These things do a great job of explaining how things work. These explanations often conflict directly with how people have said things work using Biblical references. The two seem to contradict each other. Faced with emperical evidence and reason, the Bible seems to make little sense in this regard, and proven scientific methods seem to be most correct. So, when this happens, people think "well, if the Bible was wrong about _______, then maybe all of it is wrong." Then they abandon belief in God.

This is the result of poor understanding on both sides of the issue. Scientific inquiry ought not rule out faith in God. In my Biology 101 class, the first thing that we learned was that the feild of biology does not possess the knowledge to say anything concrete about God: this means biological science can not be used to either confirm or deny the existence of God. Biology exists to study what can be studied pysically. God can not be studied pysically. Biology, therefore, can not study God and can not make any claims about God. The study of God belongs to the realms, more or less, of metaphysics, theology, and philosophy.

In turn, feilds like theology do not possess the right to make statements about how things work. It is not up to theology to make statements on things like gravity, or molecular structures, etc. Theology is concerned with God alone.

When these two try to say one thing about the other, confusion often occurs, and the weak of faith tend to outrightly reject one or the other completely. When people look to science to explain the world and can't reconcile it with their theology, we get atheists. When people look to theology to explain the world can can't reconcile the sciences to it, we get people like Fred Phelps.

Also, many people are atheists because they see people who believe in God (this definately applies to people of any faith, Christian or not) who say one thing and do another.

On the bright side, statistically speaking, I believe there are now more Christians making up the total world population than ever before. The downside is that in predominately Christian societies; places where there historically have been populations of people whose majority were Christians, atheism is indeed on the rise; and church attendence is on the decline. These would be places like Europe, North America, and now, Central and South America. The reasons here are a little more complex and outside my scope, but I think it has a lot to do with the Enlightenment (in Europe and America), and modernization, imperialism, and capitalistic expansion into Central and South America. The more we import our material pleasures to other places that never had them, the more the people there have something else to live for than God (meaning, "hey, look at all the stuff that can make me happy now, why bother with church?")

Just my two cents.
so you just said that atheism is thriving because people are more knowledgeable now . that doesnt sound like a good case FOR Christianity
 
Apr 19, 2009
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#33
before anyone wants to confront people that arent even christian about their sexual lifestyle, confront your deacons , pastors and parents about their adultery by remarriage . Christians make it look like the whole world is christian from birth and when they arent christians or dont practice what christians practice ,they are "backslidden" . Some people are not chrsitian , so why would you expect them to live under YOUR christian values of being anti-abortion / pro-war adn thinking tha tgay sex is a sin? some p[eopel are not christina believe it or not, so it makes no logical sense to think that gay sex is a "sin" . Now, if you see a brother from church having gay relations, THEN you can rebuke him , but then youll have to explain why you dont keep the OTHER rules from leviticus
 
Apr 19, 2009
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#34
Mt 5:16 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven'.
lol, that verse has nothing to do with annoying people and pushing your religion on them. in fact it sounds as though its saying what i said earlier, that you should just do you, adn focus on doign good works and let the works "save" people
 
Feb 27, 2007
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#35
I agree that warnings need to be given - but my point is entirely that the warning is not something these people will be unaware of. If they have heard it and not heeded before (and that warning message is out there very loudly in the media), then the re-iteration of it may not help. In fact, it may alienate, and cause those people to reject more strongly what you eventually want them to accept.

If you have the best interests of someone at heart, you have to weigh up what will be effective, and choose the technique that best fits the situation. In this instance, Imoss' warning could cost her and them a great deal.


EDIT: Sorry if it sounds like I'm talking on your behalf, Imoss. Didn't mean to *blush*
Its quite alright Icillian... I'm thankful someone understands what I was trying to say. you actually clarified it. thank you.
 
I

icilian

Guest
#36
Ici what is this cost you speak of ? The cost of salvation in Jesus Christ , the cost of eternal life , the cost of believing in God? Cause those are the only cost that I can think of which would be of great significance.
All of those. I am, of course, speaking figuratively - trying to put myself in the shoes of a christian in imoss' situation.

:D And Imoss, I'm glad that I managed to get what you were saying - that's the way I would feel if I believed in God too.
 
S

suaso

Guest
#37
so you just said that atheism is thriving because people are more knowledgeable now . that doesnt sound like a good case FOR Christianity
No, I believe you may have misunderstood my point in that regard.

Before people started thinking scientifically (speaking from the West's perspective post-Fall of Rome), all they really had to explain how and why was faith. In actuality, religion ought to be more about they "why" than the "how." So, as people began to study scientifically the world around them, the "how" of the world could be proven different through science than the explanations offered by Christianity. I will trust a scientist to tell me how life operates biologically before any preacher. I will trust a preacher to tell me about the fate of my soul before any biologist.

What I am saying is that atheism (or, in most cases, simple agnosticism or ex-Christians) is on the rise because people are seeing what they know scientifically and they can not reconcile this with their Christian faith. Take me for example. I have, on one hand, and education that has taught me the theory of evolution: it says life developes in such and such a way. I also have my faith, and as part of that faith, there is the Bible which says man was made when God molded some clay and breathed on it. So, I have to decide: is science wrong, or is God wrong? It would seem I must reject one or the other. If science proves that man was not made from clay and breathed into, it would seem that such a notion is false. So what do I do? I could abandon belief in Christianity. Or, I could ask: "Well, if man obviously is not the product of a cosmic art class, then what is the actual point of that story in the Bible?" I came to an understanding that maybe that story wasn't meant to teach scientific or biological fact. Maybe it was meant to teach theological truth: God is the origin of creation, God made man in that sense, God has a purpose for man, God breathed (inspired) into man, so from God we have our Image and Likeness to him as a result of his inspiration within us (this being an unscientific matter of the soul). Now, I don't have to outrightly reject either science or religion because, superficially, they seem to contradict.

So, no, my argument was not smarter people = less Christians by any stretch of the imagination.
 
A

Aliciaforjesus

Guest
#38
As Christians we are called to be the light and salt of the Earth, to spread the good news of jesus, to lead rightous lives and lead through our example, The bible doesnt tell us to be the Judge of peoples sins, when you call out others sins you are judging them and there is a lot to be said about judging in the bible,

Jesus spread a message of love, He lived a life of love, healing, feeding, and saving people,and as Christians we should do the same, If someone who is sinning and comes to know Christ, then HE will point that out to them, HE will help them get over that aspect, like he has done with us all when we first got saved.
I totally agree with this.
The word does say over and over, do not judge.
We are to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Romans 2:1
Therefore you are inexcusable, O man,
whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you judge who practice the same things.

We are to love!

judge not least you be judged
You win people to the Lord by showing love not judgement!

If you judge people by the law you are judge by this same law, no longer can Grace operate!
If you break one of the laws you have broken all of them, worthy of death and comdemnation, but we have been free from this law.

Read Gal. Rom. and hebrews
 
I

icilian

Guest
#39
I have, on one hand, and education that has taught me the theory of evolution: it says life developes in such and such a way. I also have my faith, and as part of that faith, there is the Bible which says man was made when God molded some clay and breathed on it. So, I have to decide: is science wrong, or is God wrong?
Not to nit-pick, but I think this question would be more fairly: Is science wrong, or is a literal interpretation of the bible wrong?
 
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suaso

Guest
#40
Not to nit-pick, but I think this question would be more fairly: Is science wrong, or is a literal interpretation of the bible wrong?
True, that is what I was getting at. I should have been more clear. Thanks!
 
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