BreakPoint: Millennials Spellbound by the Occult

Witchcraft as Cheap Spirituality

Halloween is over, but a growing segment of millennials are still fascinated by witches, ghosts, and other expressions of pseudo-spirituality.

An increasingly heard description of 20 and 30 somethings these days is “spiritual, but not religious.” Ambivalence towards organized religion is near an all-time high. Barna reported in 2014 that over half of millennials hadn’t been to church in the last six months—many citing the irrelevance, hypocrisy, and moral failings of religious leaders. But by far the most common reason given was that they “find God elsewhere.”

What they mean by both “God” and “elsewhere” becomes a bit more clear when you consider the recent explosion of interest in astrology and the occult. Writing at MarketWatch, Kari Paul explains that young professionals and artists in Brooklyn are today less likely to ask, “Where do you live?” or “What do you do?” and more likely to ask, “What’s your star sign?”

The owner of one so-called “metaphysical boutique” in New York says business has never been better. Her occult accessories fly off shelves and into the apartments of educated, urban young people. For those who want to go even deeper, her establishment offers workshops like “Witchcraft 101,” “Astrology 101,” and “Spirit Séance.”

Another company sells mail-order kits containing crystals, bath salts purportedly infused with mystic, Japanese healing powers, and incense “customized to the unique energy of the current moon cycle.”

There’s even a phone app which lets you keep track of your horoscope, and—according to the app’s website—will predict when you’ll have a bad day and whether “you’re fated to fall in love with your crush(es).” The app was so instantaneously popular that its servers crashed the day it was launched. And no wonder. A study by the National Science Foundation found that a majority of American millennials believe astrology is a science, compared with just 8 percent of Chinese young adults.

All told, practices like astrology, aura reading, mediumship, tarot-cards, etc., generate a staggering $2 billion annually.

So what do we make of this exodus from organized religion and into the arms of new expressions of old paganism? Well, for one thing, it shows young people have no idea what they’re actually buying into. As my colleague, Roberto Rivera, wrote at BreakPoint.org, witchcraft and occult spirituality has been marketed the last few decades as sanitized, consumer-friendly versions of the real thing. Sorcery and star signs may be in vogue now, but one need only look at the preserved bodies of human sacrifices from Iron-Age Europe to know what sort of world this worldview creates.

It was onto this scene that Christianity burst, bringing with it the rule of law, science, respect for individuals, and “nearly everything that is truly humane about the world we inhabit.”

Even more importantly, the modern groundswell of pagan piety shows how inadequate secularism is. Two Harvard Divinity grads recently topped the charts on iTunes with a new podcast that treats the text of J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” novels as scripture. They explain that a secular worldview “doesn’t speak to people’s hearts and souls” the way mythical magic does.

The fact is young people aren’t being won by atheism in significant numbers. In fact, by some measures, militant unbelief is dying. Rather, they’re trying to fill that deep spiritual longing they have with a faith that offers self-affirmation and a belief in something beyond our physical world—a spirituality that places no moral demands on its adherents.

Ultimately, what they’re searching for is an alternative to God, who, as St. Augustine famously said, made us for Himself. But God does make such moral demands of us, demands that point us to human flourishing—and to Himself, and His love for us that is fully revealed in Jesus Christ.

Until the hearts of this generation find what they are really looking for, you can expect to see plenty more restlessness instead of peace.

 

Millennials Spellbound by the Occult: Witchcraft as Cheap Spirituality

As John has said, the latest version of the “spirituality” trend only confirms the words of St. Augustine: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

 

Resources

Why millennials are ditching religion for witchcraft and astrology
  • Kari Paul | MarketWatch.com | October 23, 2017
Nothing New Here
  • Roberto Rivera | BreakPoint.org | October 25, 2017
Americans Divided on the Importance of Church
  • Research Releases in Culture & Media | Barna.com | March 24, 2014

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  • Phoenix1977

    “But God does make such moral demands of us, demands that point us to human flourishing—and to Himself, and His love for us that is fully revealed in Jesus Christ.”
    But why adhere to a religion with moral demands no one can keep; a system in which every believer is set up to fail? While it’s so much easier to adhere to a simple principle as “Do what ye will and harm none” (the Wiccan mantra). One simple sentence vs. a 3000 page book and who knows how many interpretations, “clarifying” texts and laws issued by the church. For the average Millennial that is a no-brainer.

    • Scott

      “But why adhere to a religion with moral demands no one can keep”

      Because when you orient your life towards God, He rewards you with so much more through the Holy Spirit.

      “While it’s so much easier to adhere to a simple principle as “Do what ye will and harm none” (the Wiccan mantra). One simple sentence vs. a 3000 page book and who knows how many interpretations, “clarifying” texts and laws issued by the church. For the average Millennial that is a no-brainer.”

      Hmmm, 75 (+-) years of earthly living vs. an eternity with Jesus in heaven? Thank you uncle Screwtape but I’ll take the eternity in heaven.

      • Phoenix1977

        “He rewards you with so much more through the Holy Spirit.”
        I have the scars to prove that, yes. Thanks, but no, thanks.

        “Hmmm, 75 (+-) years of earthly living vs. an eternity with Jesus in heaven? Thank you uncle Screwtape but I’ll take the eternity in heaven.”
        Your choice, but a choice more and more people are no longer making.

        • Daniel

          Hey Pheonix,
          “Your choice, but a choice more and more people are no longer making.” That depends of coarse were you are looking. There are reports of thousands of Muslims turning to Jesus the Christ in the middle east and China also, despite them risking extreme persecution and even death.

          Before you judge and reject God based on the actions and words of imperfect christians (me), you should consider these claims of the Bible and in particular the Gosepel’s for yourself in order to see if we are ‘the biggest people group of loonies’ or we have in fact found truth. The Gospel writers claim to be eye witness testimonies of what they seen and heard with there very own eyes and ears – A resurrected Jesus – Gods stamp on (a) What Jesus said and taught as truth (b) There is eternal life by believing (accepting and following).

          From Oz

          • Phoenix1977

            “There are reports of thousands of Muslims turning to Jesus the Christ in the middle east and China also, despite them risking extreme persecution and even death.”
            But who are those reports coming from? From Christians who have a stake in the matter. Independent sources have not been able to verify these reports. I’m not saying they cannot be true but they can be propaganda just as easily.

            “you should consider these claims of the Bible and in particular the Gospel’s for yourself”
            I was a Christian once but what I saw in the world in daily life was no longer compatible with what is written in the bible and taught in church. Add the reverend in my church in the mix who accused me of heresy for being critical, stating if my faith was strong enough I would accept the bible as the only truth and reject all the questions the bible did not have an answer for, together with my sexuality and I reached the only conclusion Christianity was a lie. All the things I have seen and experienced since that day only strengthened my resolve in this matter.

            “the biggest people group of loonies”
            Your words, not mine. I’d say misguided and lied to.

            “The Gospel writers claim to be eye witness testimonies of what they seen and heard with there very own eyes and ears”
            And that is one of the first things I have a problem with. The bible was “edited” (by lack of a better word) in 325, during the First Council of Nicaea. During that meeting, called together by the Roman Emperor Constantine I, it was determined which gospels were considered true and which were not, so also which were to include in the bible. More gospels were rejected than eventually admitted into the bible and historians often state it’s most likely the gospels that made it in were heavily edited and, most likely, composed of several smaller gospels. The original text were never seen after this process.
            So, once again, we only have the church as our source the gospels are true, admitted unedited into the bible and that all available gospels are in the bible (one thing we already know to be a false statement). And it’s not like the (Catholic) church has a great track record when it comes to truth, especially when inconvenient for the church. The fact the only original bible is located in the Vatican archives, hidden away from critical scientific research, does not add to the credibility of the bible either.

          • Scott

            “All the things I have seen and experienced since that day only strengthened my resolve in this matter.”

            Perhaps because you’ve “turned a blind eye” towards all things Christian. Your heart and mind are closed… and not because anyone but yourself has shut the door.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Your heart and mind are closed… and only because you shut the door.”
            And if you have experienced the things I did so would be yours.

          • Scott

            Maybe… my experiences almost led me to “shut the door” as well. They are not the same as yours… but involved a great deal of suffering none the less.

          • Scott

            “historians often state it’s most likely the gospels that made it in were heavily edited”

            This statement is false.

            Much of the Bible has been confirmed through archeological discoveries (like the Dead Sea Scrolls). If you know anything about Jewish scribes, they were meticulous in their efforts for accuracy. The research I’ve done and the books I’ve read all point toward the accuracy of events depicted in both the New and Old Testaments.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Much of the Bible has been confirmed through archeological discoveries (like the Dead Sea Scrolls).”
            Like the recently discovered vineyards? Because you do know the Dead Sea Scrolls are missing a few volumes, right?
            Most historians agree the entire time line in the bible is impossible and that there should have been independent records of huge gatherings like the Sermon on the Mount. There are no such records.

          • Terri Horn

            wrong. there are as well as people being crucified as people said could not find any. even no believers have said Bible most accurate history book. Albert Einstein believes the story of creation in Genesis is more accurate than what evolution teaches. In fact, the world gets closer to destruction each day and if it was as old as evolutionists state we would have been burned to death or the moon would have struck us. the ocean sedimentation and pace dust increases each year and if as old as evolutionists state would not have oceans and moon would not be recognized. This is proven by science as well but even with proof majority will still refuse to see what is in front of them. My dad died before I was 10 became a Christian at 8. Best friend murdered by classmate age 12; brother I idolized killed when I was 24; fiance who helped me out of abusive relationship comes in 2008; my gift from God my only child died in 2013 on my mothers birthday. If not for my Lord and Savoir I would be dead. He helped me thru the worst devastations of my life. When a disaster happens and you stop feeling God it is us who close him off not the other way around. Just becoming a Christian MEANS you are targeted by the enemy NOT because he can steal our salvation but if you disown God how many of non believers will reject him cause of the Actions of a non believers. Those things I mentioned are JUST a few of the things that have happened to me and I just cling tighter. I feel at times like Job in the Bible but it is getting better. It has been hard but this is a spiritual battle and the armor of God must be put on. I have felt this battle since 13 years old and now 56 years old and I feel like Paul did before he was killed. Christians are targeted by the enemy as ALL non Christians are the enemies BUT if a Christian misbehaves a non believer could reject Christ and be the enemies forever. It is wrong when a preacher tells how you once a believer you are left alone. LIES. Jesus even says that. se must be willing to place him first and to my shame I did not BUT am doing son now and going to lead others to Christ in Middle East just need to make sure reason for Christ and not for the death if my son.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Albert Einstein believes the story of creation in Genesis is more accurate than what evolution teaches.”
            Einstein might have been a genius but he was also certifiably insane. And that is not a figure of speech; Albert Einstein suffered from a bipolar disorder and he was manic most of the time. Besides, we now consider him a genius but in his own time the man was considered only insane. The only reason we now consider him a genius is because we have been able to develop several of his theories better because our understanding of the world is better.

            “He helped me thru the worst devastations of my life.”
            He could also have prevented all those disasters in your life just as easily, if he was truly so powerful and benevolent. After all, what kind of entity that is all described as loving would allow his “children” (subjects) to suffer if he could prevent it?

          • Scott

            “Like the recently discovered vineyards? Because you do know the Dead Sea Scrolls are missing a few volumes, right”

            Yes, but that is no different than every other discovery made through archeology. What has been found matches the Bible nearly word for word. Ancient Jewish scribes were meticulous in their effort for accuracy.

            “Take the book Exodus, for example. There are no historical records of a massive number of Jewish slaves in Egypt or their escape to Canaan.
There are also no historical records of a preacher called Jesus travelling through Canaan and mobilizing a large crowd against the clergy’s wishes.”

            Except what was written by the Jewish scribes and passed on through the Bible?

            “Nor is there a record of a trial in which said preacher was convicted to crucifixion.”

            Virtually every historian of credibility (non-Christian alike) recognizes the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact.

          • Phoenix1977

            “What has been found matches the Bible nearly word for word.”
            Depending which archaeologist you ask.

            “Except what was written by the Jewish scribes and passed on through the Bible?”
            The Torah and the bible, just like every other religious text, are not considered historical document as in they describe precisely what happened when. Religious text are only accepted as historical documents to illustrate a point of view of religious people in the era.

            “Virtually every historian of credibility (non-Christian alike) recognizes the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact.”
            Like I said, countless people have been crucified on Golgotha. And one of those people was probably called Jesus. In fact, I’m sure quite a few of them were called Jesus. That proves absolutely nothing.

          • Daniel

            It appears that your objections are more like conspiracy theories. The bible has shown and will continue to be shown as reliable. The Gospels, though written from each authors own observations and even in different continents corroborate each other on a lot of there claims. If you don’t accept the bible I would argue it is on philosophical grounds and not because you believe the text is not historically reliable.

          • Daniel

            “I was a Christian once but what I saw in the world in daily life was no longer compatible with what is written in the bible and taught in church.”
            Society will change as they make decisions based on what they think is right in there own eyes but Gods word does not change. Further I can’t agree with you as I see nothing in life, our very purpose and existence make sense outside of the bible.

            “Add the reverend in my church in the mix who accused me of heresy for being critical, stating if my faith was strong enough I would accept the bible as the only truth and reject all the questions the bible did not have an answer for, together with my sexuality and I reached the only conclusion Christianity was a lie. All the things I have seen and experienced since that day only strengthened my resolve in this matter.”
            My parents where in a catholic church questioning many of non biblical based doctrines, teachings and traditions of the catholic institution and where told to accept the catholic way above the Bible – they could not. God has given us a sound mind to be critical thinkers and not to be a blind being led by blind. It’s all bout knowing him personally and having a relationship with him in the spirit. God tore the veil to remove the “institutional” gap between him and his people.

            We all have battles with the flesh and those of sexual nature are the hardest to battle, I do understand your position and how much you would be hurting but Jesus says come to me and find rest for your soul and I will carry you, just trust me (my words). He understands us and does not condemn us but he does ask that we repent and follow him as he is the only way to eternal life.

          • Terri Horn

            actually you cannot decide NOT to be a Christian. If you say you are no longer a Christian you were never one to begin with. Upon accepting Christ you are indwelt with the Holy Spirit and with the Holy Spirit indwelling you wanting to disown God would be anathema to a true Christian. So congrats you were never a Christian anyway because as sell as the Holy Spirit you feel the presence of God and no NOT caused my parents brainwashed me to believe. was 8 when I accepted God and to this day have never been to church with parents sent by myself. Frankly, I feel sorry for those who c!aim they were Christians and now are not If a true conversion to Christianity you would give your is own life before saying that you are no longer a Christian. That shows more than anything you never accepted Christ not when you consider a Christian is murdered every 6 minutes for simply being a Christian. No other reason and in fact this murder of Christians are happening in Muslim countries by the Christians Muslim family. what love that must be that a Muslim converts to Christianity KNOWING it is a death sentence. WOW!!!!! I hope if I am ever faced with that choice I hope my faith and love in God is strong enough that I do not disgrace him by screaming and crying before I die for him. If I do not him just not enough faith. have to get ready since planning on being a Christian evangelist in the Middle East. American Christian converting Muslims is just slightly less hated than a Jew.

          • Phoenix1977

            “So congrats you were never a Christian anyway”
            That makes me feel so much better, knowing I haven’t been lying to myself the first 1/3 of my life. I simply didn’t know I wasn’t a Christian yet.

            “when you consider a Christian is murdered every 6 minutes for simply being a Christian.”
            Any idea how many non-Christians have been murdered by Christians for no other reason than not living a Christian life?

            “what love that must be that a Muslim converts to Christianity KNOWING it is a death sentence.”
            Yeah, in medicine we call that insanity, by deliberately putting yourself in (mortal) danger. You can also call that suicidal. And we admit people into asylums for that, even against their will.

            “have to get ready since planning on being a Christian evangelist in the Middle East.”
            Good luck with that. At least you can die a martyr: you happy and the governments of several Middle Eastern countries happy.

          • Phoenix1977

            “The bible has shown and will continue to be shown as reliable.”
            Reliable according to whom?

            “The Gospels, though written from each authors own observations and even in different continents corroborate each other on a lot of there claims.”
            Again, what about the gospels that were rejected and told a different story?

            “If you don’t accept the bible I would argue it is on philosophical grounds and not because you believe the text is not historically reliable.”
            Well, since I consider the bible a philosophical book at best I could agree on that. But if you want to debate history, fine:
            Take the book Exodus, for example. There are no historical records of a massive number of Jewish slaves in Egypt or their escape to Canaan.
            There are also no historical records of a preacher called Jesus travelling through Canaan and mobilizing a large crowd against the clergy’s wishes. Nor is there a record of a trial in which said preacher was convicted to crucifixion. And coming back from the dead is simply biologically impossible.

        • Scott

          “I have the scars to prove that, yes. Thanks, but no, thanks.”

          Your scars are not from the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives in me and offers nothing but God’s love, peace and grace.

          “Your choice, but a choice more and more people are no longer making.”

          Yes it is my choice… and studies show the world is becoming more (not less) religious.

    • jason taylor

      That is like saying the alternative of buying tests online is a no brainer. Trying to get mysticism without religion is a cheat.
      And everyone has moral demands they can’t keep. Whether or not they belong to a religion.

      • Phoenix1977

        “Trying to get mysticism without religion is a cheat.”
        A cheat many people seem to prefer over organized religion.

        “And everyone has moral demands they can’t keep. Whether or not they belong to a religion.”
        No, not really. If you follow the origin of those morals back far enough you will always find them to be tied to some type of religion. And quite a few people no longer wish to adhere to those morals, even high up in the clergy.

        • Scott

          “And quite a few people no longer wish to adhere to those morals, even high up in the clergy.”

          Sounds like the stories in the Old Testament. : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            Except this time around it’s the Christian clergy we’re talking about.

    • Tyler

      The author would likely reply (and I definitely would reply) that the law simply points us to our need of a Savior. It reflects God’s holiness, shows us our inability to fulfill it, and that righteousness is transferred to our account through faith in Jesus. God has no delusions about our ability to fulfill the moral demands of the law, that’s why Jesus obediently died on the cross for our sins, Romans says He became sin, that we may become the righteousness of God. Christ takes on our sin, and we receive His righteousness by faith.

      • Phoenix1977

        So let me see if I got this right.
        Your god created mankind with free will and quite a few flaws. At the same time he sets the bar so high it’s simply impossible to succeed and when mankind proves that point mankind is at risk for eternal damnation. Once your god realizes his entire creation is going to Hell (literally, in this scenario) he decides to wipe the slate clean by sending his son and make him suffer beyond comprehension, only to have the entire circus beginning anew since the bar is still too high for mankind to achieve.

        That’s either crazy, malevolent or dumb. The last one in particular because there is an easier way to accomplish what you want:simply lower the standard.

        • Saltherring

          I guess you can take your contentions up with Almighty God when you face Him at the Great White Throne Judgement, where “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”

        • Terri Horn

          In the garden of Eden does hr first mention s saviour and not do hard. The law was made so humanity could see we have all sinned SNF fallen short of the glory of God. People who were faithful and righteous still went to Heaven. in fact, King David is called a man after my own heart by God. Despite this it is extremely easy to be saved and spend eternity in Heaven. Just confess you have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and ask Jesus into your heart. You do not become perfect and stop sinning you will still sin but there will be a noticeable difference in true conversions of Christianity. If not a true conversion you can say the words a thousands times a day and still go to hell. there are people claiming to be Christians who will even do things in God’s name but will be rejected by Christ. Not all who say Lord will he recognize. Those who say Lord did I not do this or that in your name will be told get away I never knew you. If conversion is true you will know instantly. Excuse any typos as I may have missed a few. Hope this helps for any that are searching for God. Sad to say even when everyone knows he exists the majority will still reject him because they do not want anyone God of the Universe or not to tell them what to do. sure some will scoff at what I say yet radiation, carbon monoxide, air, oxygen etc all exist yet are not seen and have to take the words of people we have never meant that they exist. Salvation or not can keen such a huge penalty or reward you would think non believers would down research rather than passing it off as a fairy tale especially when a log of Bible can be proven outside of the Bible as well. Einstein believed in a Creator God and even scientists that study the universe in current times have said the beginning of the Universe is more in line with the Creation account in Genesis than the evolution account. want the doctors names? let me know and I will locate them and send the names. Sad that most non scientists will refuse to check and same I am delutional. Remember this when he comes again. Jesus said the generation who saw Israel become a nation will not pass away before he comes back. that was in 1948 and had NEVER happened in the world before or since in less than 24 hours which still has never happened before or since. I hope some of you reading do check this out. those scoffing or laughing at my comments remember this when you see him and realize to your horror it was ALL true but you waited too long and by your inactions you are doomed.

          • Phoenix1977

            “In the garden of Eden does hr first mention s saviour”
            Really? Were you there to hear it first hand?

            “sure some will scoff at what I say yet radiation, carbon monoxide, air, oxygen etc all exist yet are not seen and have to take the words of people we have never meant that they exist. ”
            That comparisson makes no sense since the things you just mentioned can be seen quite easily.

            “want the doctors names? let me know and I will locate them and send the names.”
            No, I don’t. You see, if you look at something without the right knowledge anyone can see a god in it. The Ancient Egyptians did with the sunrise, just as the Greek did it with lighting. So I’m not surprised there are scientists, especially if they had a religious upbringing, who see a divine hand in the creation of the universe. That doesn’t mean it true, though. It only means they cannot truly understand (yet) what truly happened, just like the Egyptians didn;t understand a sunrise and the Greek didn’t understand a thunderstorm. Just give it time and what is now “accepted” as divine intervention will prove to be a simply chemical or natural phenomenon.

            “Jesus said the generation who saw Israel become a nation will not pass away before he comes back.”
            In that case he’d better hurry since that generation is already starting to die.

            “remember this when you see him and realize to your horror it was ALL true but you waited too long and by your inactions you are doomed.”
            I’ll take my chances.

          • Scott

            “I’ll take my chances.”

            That’s leaving much to chance…

          • Phoenix1977

            Hardly

        • Tyler

          In any worldview, it’s really impossible to totally explain everything perfectly, we’ll always have something to disagree about. So I enjoy the debate, and I hope I can represent Christ in a loving way. To your point: A mediator is actually necessary in the Christian worldview. God’s infinite holiness will not accept anything less. It was the Father’s plan from eternity past to redeem a people for Himself through the sacrifice of his Son, who did so willingly. It is not a reactive or even responsive plan B, this was God’s plan for humanity all along. There is mystery in the Christian faith, but I would explain it this way: Man’s will is free within the confines of his nature. Just as I am free to say anything I want in English, but not free to say anything in Latin (because I don’t speak it). Jesus even taught this in John chapter 6:37-40. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

    • Robert Cremer

      If the Wiccan mantra works so well why has the Wiccan population never exceeded 1% of the population in hundreds of years? Besides, if a Wiccan fails this mantra, what is the result? Well nothing. So what’s the point of trying to follow it?

      • Phoenix1977

        “If the Wiccan mantra works so well why has the Wiccan population never exceeded 1% of the population in hundreds of years?”
        Well, mainly because the Catholic church did everything in it’s power to exterminate Pagan and Wiccan believes. They went deeply underground. We see them resurfacing for the past 50 years just as the hold of Christianity over the world was weakening.

        “Besides, if a Wiccan fails this mantra, what is the result?”
        Depends on how much failure there is involved. If serious harm is done the person doing it will be shunned by other Wicca’s. Being a social creature being shunned is pretty much the worst you can do to a human being.

      • Saltherring

        “If a Wiccan fails this mantra, what is the result?” Whether a Wiccan succeeds or fails, the end result of all who reject the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus Christ, is eternity in the Lake of Fire.

  • Hunter

    I cant beleive that ignorance about wicca and paganism is still this messed up. Do the research for yourselves.

  • Phoenix1977

    “Even if you don’t “believe” there to be a risk, there is… and the stakes are high.”
    So I would have to convert out of fear? A fear I simply don’t feel because I’m quite sure I’m right? No, thanks.

    “The matter of whether God Exists or not is most definitely not settled.”
    It is to me. Like I said, nothing I see in today’s world or in human history supports the idea of a god to me, let alone a omnipotent en benevolent one. And that is enough for me.

    • Scott

      “So I would have to convert out of fear?”

      Not at all… It was Love that converted me.

      “A fear I simply don’t feel because I’m quite sure I’m right? No, thanks.”

      Your faith is strong. : – )

      “It is to me. Like I said, nothing I see in today’s world or in human history supports the idea of a god to me, let alone a omnipotent en benevolent one. And that is enough for me.”

      Okay, but you can’t say I haven’t tried. : – )

      • Phoenix1977

        “It was Love that converted me.”
        It was the lack of love that drove me away.

        • Scott

          “It was the lack of love that drove me away.”

          And that breaks my heart.

  • Phoenix1977

    “Every single one them (including those closest to God) fell short of the mark and needed God’s forgiveness.”
    Who says people need your god’s forgiveness? The only one’s who say that, are the ones believing in your god. Those who do not, do not need anything from your god and it’s followers except being left alone.

    “When Jesus speaks about the Pharisees, you know they were “clergy” right? Rusty cups Phoenix.”
    Told you before, I don’t care. If you preach in name of your god you better make sure you are indeed without sin and as perfect as you can be. Otherwise you have no authority whatsoever to tell other people how to live their lives. Either lead by example or not at all.

    • Scott

      “Who says people need your god’s forgiveness? The only one’s who say that, are the ones believing in your god. Those who do not, do not need anything from your god and it’s followers except being left alone.”

      I know you do not believe in God. But every person has done something that requires forgiveness… form someone else.

      
”Told you before, I don’t care. If you preach in name of your god you better make sure you are indeed without sin and as perfect as you can be. Otherwise you have no authority whatsoever to tell other people how to live their lives. Either lead by example or not at all.”

      Okay. You don’t have to care. We are not your judge. We don’t have the authority to tell you how to live your life. We are just messengers. We are asked to invite you, it is up to you to accept that invitation. You may find this hard to believe, but many of us who have truly accepted Christ’s love, are so transformed by that love that we genuinely care about all of God’s people. We want to see them join us in eternity… because we share “our” God’s love for you.

      Personally I have no interest in control over another person’s actions. God’s business is setting the rules and I’m only concerned with the control I have over my own actions. Christians can not and do not have to be perfect… we are only asked to try.

      Also, you have the right to “preach” atheism as much as I have the right to “preach” Christianity.

      • Phoenix1977

        “But every person has done something that requires forgiveness… from someone else.”
        Some acts might require forgiveness, yes. That’s not that same as a person needing forgiveness. There are enough people who simply live their lives not caring if someone forgives their actions or not. So those are two very different things.

        “We don’t have the authority to tell you how to live your life.”
        Than why keep Christians trying to do so anyway? For example: a few weeks ago the voting in Australia showed a huge support for same-sex marriage. However, through the campaign Christians were telling everyone, including the non-Christians, what they should have voted. And I can understand why, because Christians are outnumbered by atheists in current day Australia. So if Christians hadn’t tried to persuade the non-Christians they would have lost before the votes were counted. But who do Christian preachers think they are to tell random strangers who probably don’t believe in the Christian god how to cast their vote?

        “Personally I have no interest in control over another person’s actions. ”
        No, personally you don’t. But there are more than enough of your “brothers” and “sisters” who do not share that sentiment with you.

        “Christians can not and do not have to be perfect… we are only asked to try.”
        Than simply try for yourself and let other people be. Again, not you personally but there are far too many Christians with huge planks in their eyes while being way too busy to point out the sawdust in others.

        • Scott

          “Some acts might require forgiveness, yes. That’s not that same as a person needing forgiveness.”

          How so? If a person’s act requires forgiveness, aren’t they in need of forgiveness?

          “There are enough people who simply live their lives not caring if someone forgives their actions or not.”

          Sadly this is true… perhaps because they never received forgiveness themselves?

          “However, through the campaign Christians were telling everyone, including the non-Christians, what they should have voted. And I can understand why, because Christians are outnumbered by atheists in current day Australia. So if Christians hadn’t tried to persuade the non-Christians they would have lost before the votes were counted. But who do Christian preachers think they are to tell random strangers who probably don’t believe in the Christian god how to cast their vote?”

          Man… politicians tell everyone how to vote here in America all the time. Its called campaigning. It’s simple, if you don’t like the message, don’t vote for it. Every person has the right to try and persuade others to their own beliefs. You do it on this website. There is nothing wrong with it. I try to persuade you to believe in Christ out of compassion for your eternity… what you do with that is out of my control.

          “Than simply try for yourself and let other people be. Again, not you personally but there are far too many Christians with huge planks in their eyes while being way too busy to point out the sawdust in others.”

          Many of us do. We are however required to spread the word… with love not hate though. And an atheist shouldn’t try to quote scripture? : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            “perhaps because they never received forgiveness themselves?”
            More likely because they simply don’t care.

            “politicians tell everyone how to vote here in America all the time. Its called campaigning.”
            Except I’m not talking about politicians but about bishops and cardinals.

            “And an atheist shouldn’t try to quote scripture? : – )”
            Just using references you can relate to.

            “We are however required to spread the word”
            But I’m not required to have to listen. And in my country that means Christians are to remain quiet unless invited to preach in public.

          • Scott

            “Except I’m not talking about politicians but about bishops and cardinals.”
            Actors, talk show hosts, athletes, CEOs and virtually everyone with air time does it here in america. Why should everyone except Christian leaders get a public voice?

            “Just using references you can relate to.”
            I know, it was a poor attempt at humor. : – )

            
”But I’m not required to have to listen.”
            True.

            “And in my country that means Christians are to remain quiet unless invited to preach in public.”
            Then your country does not have freedom of speech.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Why should everyone except Christian leaders get a public voice?”
            We were talking about how Christians don’t have the right to tell others how to live their lives. And just a few comments later you claim Christians DO have the right to tell others what to do and what not to do. See what I mean?

            “Then your country does not have freedom of speech.”
            No country in Europe has unlimited freedom of speech. In fact, no country in the world has that, not even the US. After all, since Garcetti vs. Ceballos (2006) the First Amendment no longer protects government employees while at work, thus limiting their free speech.
            In the Netherlands you have free speech as long as you obey the law. Religion is banned from the public square and preaching uninvited is a violation of our laws. So you cannot claim free speech when you are either removed or arrested for preaching in public without an invitation or permit.

          • Scott

            “And just a few comments later you claim Christians DO have the right to tell others what to do and what not to do. See what I mean?”

            

I think you misunderstood what I was saying.

            

Christians have the same right to speak as anyone. My previous quote was: “We don’t have the authority to tell you how to live your life.” Key word being authority. Meaning we can’t force you to live a certain way. We do however have the same right to “campaign” or persuade as everyone else. Like I said, politicians, actors, talk show hosts, athletes, CEOs and virtually everyone with air time does it here in america.

            
”In fact, no country in the world has that, not even the US. After all, since Garcetti vs. Ceballos (2006) the First Amendment no longer protects government employees while at work, thus limiting their free speech.”



            Businesses have the right to make rules limiting what an employee says while on the job… but those rules do not apply outside the work place. Usually employers create these type of restrictions to protect information that is proprietary and employees can chose whether or not they agree to those terms by signing a contract. Other wise they can find other employment.



            “In the Netherlands you have free speech as long as you obey the law. Religion is banned from the public square and preaching uninvited is a violation of our laws. So you cannot claim free speech when you are either removed or arrested for preaching in public without an invitation or permit.”

            

So does this mean any type of public demonstration is prohibited?.. or just religious demonstrations?

          • Phoenix1977

            “So does this mean any type of public demonstration is prohibited?.. or just religious demonstrations?”
            You require a permit for any type of demonstration in the Netherlands (and pretty much every European country) which can be denied for numerous reasons, mainly safety related. Religious organisations can demonstrate but religious demonstrations are out of the question. That would give religion an active place in the public square.