Former Adventist Leader Who Tried Atheism for Year Now Claims: ‘I Don’t Think God Exists’

Bell credit facebookHOLLYWOOD, Calif. — A former Seventh Day Adventist leader who announced at the beginning of 2014 that he would experiment with atheism for a year now claims that he doesn’t believe that God exists.

As previously reported, Ryan Bell, 43, led Hollywood Adventist Church until March of last year, when he was asked to resign over his increasingly liberal views and his disagreements with Adventist theology. Bell says that he expressed support for female ordination and the inclusion of homosexuals, and took issue with the literal six-day creation outlined in Genesis.

He told reporters in January that his forced resignation partially fueled his decision to experiment with atheism this year.

“Not being a pastor for nine months has given me the freedom to not have to believe in something for other people’s sake,” he explained to Religion News Service.

Bell also wrote in a recent blog post that since stepping down from his position, “I haven’t attended church consistently; I struggle to relate to church people, preferring the company of skeptics and non-church-goers. I haven’t prayed much and, without sermons to write on a regular basis, I haven’t studied, or even really read, the Bible.”

Therefore, Bell decided that he would take 2014 to “do whatever I can to enter the world of atheism and live, for a year, as an atheist.”

“For the next 12 months I will live as if there is no God,” he explained. “I will not pray, read the Bible for inspiration, refer to God as the cause of things or hope that God might intervene and change my own or someone else’s circumstances.”

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Instead, Bell said that he would immerse himself in atheist writings, attend atheist events and seek to fellowship with atheists. Now, in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Bell claims that he doesn’t believe in God anymore.

“I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view,” he told the outlet this week. “I don’t think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience.”

But Bell said that he finds atheism to be an “an awkward fit” for him, while he also feels uncomfortable around his Christian friends. However, he used the term “humanist” in a recent blog post where he expressed doubt over the biblical narrative regarding the events surrounding Christ’s birth.

“It’s probably been a decade since I was convinced about the virgin birth or the historicity of the birth narratives more generally,” Bell wrote. “In fact, Mark doesn’t even have a birth narrative, suggesting that it was invented later to tie the story together.”

“I think before I wanted a closer relationship to God,” he told NPR, “and today I just want a closer relationship with reality.”

But some opine that Bell never walked with God to begin with, as it states in 1 John 2:19, “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

“If you intentionally walk away from God to ‘see what it’s like,’ then I think you have already reached your conclusion. You didn’t really have a relationship with God in the first place,” one commenter stated. “Faith takes nurturing. Questioning your faith is perfectly fine, but intentionally walking away from your faith for a year might likely lead to the same outcome for many.”

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  • Randy Wanat

    Ah, it was inevitable that the No True Scotsman logical fallacy would appear.

  • Gary

    Evidence will be presented shortly that will convince him that God is real. There are no atheists in Hell.

    • Science_Buff

      It’s likely there’s no Hell there, either.

      • Gary

        You will soon find out.

        • Me

          You will never find out either way. Life is quite absurd, and death’s the final word.

          • Gary

            LOL. Then why are you spending what little time you have left trying to convince others that your despair is justified? If I were you, I’d get drunk.

          • Me

            Because there are evil and brainwashed people out there who are teaching children to blow themselves up for lies. The more I can get people to wake up to reality and embrace and care for the ony life they and their children will ever have, the more I will feel that I have contributed to the progression and betterment of the human race.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            I agree that it is important to care for ourselves, our families and each other as members of the human race, and I thank you for your work in providing for the betterment of people. However, I was wondering if you could clarify your statement? I am curious what you mean when you say the ‘progression and betterment of the human race.” I was wondering what that would look like according to your world view? (Full disclosure: I am asking this sincerely and not as some sort of bait, although of course I might challenge your own statements just as I hope that you challenge mine if we find ourselves in a discussion where we have some disagreements) (also, I am very new to the world of debate so I apologize in advance if my discussion is weak)

          • Andy

            If “life is absurd,” then there’s no such thing as “evil” people. In a meaningless existence, the terms “good” and “evil” are likewise meaningless. So you just contradicted yourself.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Good one, Andy!!

          • Gary

            Exactly right. People need to understand what they believe and the conclusions of what they believe. Me says he believes life is absurd and meaningless, but he wants to live as if it isn’t.

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Then you’re in the wrong place, “me”. In this country there is a substantial amount of people who hold to views similar to your own; you want to go to Pakistan or Afghanistan, maybe hang out with the Taliban, no?

          • Gary

            Big deal. So what. You have no reason to “feel” like you are doing anything of value, or any reason to want to do anything of value. According to your philosophy, life is absurd and meaningless. You are trying to live as though what you believe is not true. Get real.

          • rob

            Then go to an islamic site and gripe. I dare you.

          • morgan

            ‘despair?” who said anything about ‘despair?’
            We have one life and we atheists value our existence.
            Speaking of ‘despair’ – have you ever seen a happy saint?

          • Gary

            I am a happy saint.
            You have no reason to value your existence.

          • OrionJones

            “You have no reason to value your existence.”

            Of course we do. It’s the only one we get.

          • Gary

            According to your beliefs, your existence is happenstance. Nobody planned for YOU to be here. Your parents did not have YOU in mind when they conceived you. You are just what they got. Your life has no meaning, and when you die, you will cease to exist. Isn’t that what you believe is true?

          • OrionJones

            “Your life has no meaning”

            In an absolute sense, yes, it has no meaning. But to me it does, because it’s the only one I get. How can you not understand that?

            For a religious person though for whom this life is just a fleeting moment of hardship in comparison to the perfection of heavenly eternity that lies ahead, how can this life have any meaning? If you really believe what you claim, surely you should be positively looking forwards to your death? If you’re not looking forward to dying, doesn’t that mean that you’re beliefs are not as strong as you think?

          • Gandolf

            Get drunk ??

            Crikey.You religious folk can almost seem like you are continually-drunk.Forever-drunk on religion.Why else? do you suppose , that it is, that so many religious folk, worldwide, so often cant even seem to think-straight.

            1 .Ranging from the Islamist, whom decide it a good idea to turn themselves into human-bombs, to blow other people-up,so as to try to secure themselves a place, in paradise.

            2. To Christians whom separate and shun family,some happily choosing to follow idiots like Jim Jones. Right through to the whole-spectrum of these folk, whom will even swallow the idea (hook line and sinker) that freedom of faith is honestly actually being upheld for everyone. Even though all the while, both believers and non-believers alike, are often being shunned and oppressed and mistreated.Sometimes even all round about you-folk ,and more than likely even right-there in the very home-town, where you folk actually live too.

            3 Through to Hindu folk, whom seem to think killing large mobs of animals (often inhumanly), might then some-how help to bring themselves good-luck

            And so much more

            Most everyone of you folk ,too-often blissfully-wasted, on the “faith-wine”

            So that is why we atheists, do feel we can see “some-value”, in at least “trying” to convince you folk, to stop and consider other opinions

          • rob

            Shunned? How about you explain this. I’ve never heard of ANY “shunning” in the Christian world. Lie much?

          • Gandolf

            Highly unobservant much then ?

          • rob

            There’s nothing about shunning in The New Testament. So I think you are looking at something else.

          • Gandolf

            People do use verses like 1 Corinthians 5:11-13English Standard Version (ESV)
            11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church[a]whom you are to judge? 13 God judges[b] those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”

            Religion is riddled by these aspects of shunning.And no matter whether its Hindu religion,Islamic religion, Christian , or some other type. Shunning most always becomes a tool of choice

          • rob

            BTW: Christianity is not a religion. Its a faith. I think you are thinking about some RELIGIONS who shun their people for being gay or whatever they dislike. There is NO CHRISTIAN doctrine.

            The Bible verse you cite is with regard to basically “not hanging with whores and thieves…and junkies and dealers.” Its not telling me to shun my son because he’s hypothetically gay.

            “Purge the evil person from among you.” Throw them in jail! Its speaking of society, and not families. DISCERNMENT is not SHUNNING!

          • Gandolf

            Faith and religion most always intertwine as one.And those bible verses still do incite these aspects of shunning.There is bucket loads of evidence of it.Shunning,is obviously still an act of shunning,even if shunning people whom are not your family.

          • rob

            If I have some relationship with someone, and I decide to shut them from my life, I am shunning.

            The Bible is speaking of “rejecting” according to wisdom of and from the same source. Its commanding us to discern evil and reject it. Don’t accosiate with these people. Shunning someone is not an act of love. its its not of love, its not of Christ.

          • Gandolf

            Even the way that schisms within Christianity have caused people to separate into a large number of domination’s.Is also evidence.

            Holy books do command people to discern evil, and to reject it.And so this is directly connected to reasons why Christianity has become so divided. You can change the wording around all you like, to try and make these matters seem a little more palatable, to yourself.Yet this wont change reality

            Religious folks holy books, help to make them become so picky, judgmental and intolerant, that they cannot even learn to practice enough tolerance, among the people, within their own group. For they have continually split and divided.And sometimes still do continue to do so

            If Christ is so loving. Why is there any need at all, for people to even need to make religion such a big-deal, within life . Surely if Christ is love , perhaps people could do far- better, to just live and love each other too. Unconditionally without need for religious practices,that obviously help to add all manner of complications

          • rob

            G,

            First There ARE NO HOLY BOOKS in Christ except for THE Holy Bible. anything man-inspired is noting more than irrelevalvent carbon. I don’t give a flying flip what any man has to say/write. If a person follows a book other than the Holy Bible for life-guidance, salvation, etc. they are a fool.

            If ANYONE need anything more than THE Bible, there’s something fundamentally wrong with them, their faith, the gang/religion they have joined, etc. The Bible requires NO supplimental material. Be VERY VERY suspicious of ANY book telling ANYONE how to beliieve or act or whatever.

            RELIGION writes books. RELIGION tells people to “show up every Sunday or else” RELIGION tells people to kill and hate. Christ calls for NONE OF THAT. HE did not command a Catholic church. He did not command a Baptist or Green Barney The Dino Suit Church. He commands NO church but his own.

            The “body of the church” is HIS people. If there’s a building in the village…OK…maybe you gather there. Better for it to be a wearhouse of cows and sugar and stuff than a dedicated and wasted building. There’s no requirement to “meet ever X# of days.”

            ***If Christ is so loving. Why is there any need at all, for people to even need to make religion such a big-deal, within life . ****

            Answer: There isn’t! Flat out wrong. if people are doing that, they are doing it to themselves and others. The bible does not call for ANY of that. THAT is all human-made bull crap!

            ******** Surely if Christ is love , perhaps people could do far- better, to just live and love each other too. Unconditionally without need for religious practices,that obviously help to add all manner of complications********

            MAN!! You’ve GOT IT!!!!!! THAT’s exactly what Christ is and Chrisitanity IS. Anything else is man-made ego-driven, people-controling bull crap!! YOU”VE GOT IT!

          • wandakate

            No death is not the finality of anything. Life continues in eternity for those who belong to the LORD. For those that don’t a final fiery judgment day is ahead. They will meet their own fate. They have chosen where they will go up or down. Heaven and Hell are certainly real. Separation from GOD forever and anything good is what hell will be.

          • MR

            This raises a couple of questions in my mind:

            How does living eternally bring meaning to my life?

            Why would God bring the vast majority of mankind into existence knowing that by doing so he was condemning them to eternal hell?

          • wandakate

            I would imagine that first a person would want to see JESUS and be able to live with Him and GOD the FATHER in the Kingdom of GOD forever, in order to benefit for living eternally. Living close to GOD would be a wonderful thing provided that you really wanted to be there. I certainly would not want to be in hell forever with demons, the devil, the antichrist, the false prophet and all the souls that did not accept Him in this life. I would think being there would be the ultimate reward for living a pleasing life and accepting his grace and mercy.
            And as for the vast majority going to hell, We were provided a choice of whether we wanted to accept JESUS or satan. We actually sealed our own fate. GOD you see doesn’t condemn anyone to eternal hell, we do that to ourselves. JESUS came to seek and to save those that are lost. He wants no one to perish, but they do so b/c of their arrogance, their pride and their stubbornness.

          • MR

            Your answer to my first question makes me sound selfish for wanting eternal life.

            Your answer to my second question doesn’t address why God would bring people, who didn’t ask to be created, into existence knowing he was condemning the vast majority to eternal torment. It seems to me it would have been better not to create mankind at all.

            You really should see your doctor about that chest pain.

          • wandakate

            Hey again, don’t feel selfish for wanting eternal life, oh no, mercy no. GOD wants you and I to be there and all of the others who will accept Him and His son JESUS CHRIST. We were created to be a family with them, and they want us to be there. Eternal life is a free gift. JESUS shed His precious blood on that stake/cross for you and I and all mankind so that we would be able to be with Him for eternity. He loves us so much.
            And I explained as best I can that GOD “does not” condemn anyone to hell. That is not what they do. We sin, we disobey we break the commandments and thus we seal our own fate and send ourselves to hell. He has invited us to share heaven with Him, but when we reject that love and grace and that invitation, then we have in effect make our own choice. If we chose Him it’s the “BEST” decision we could ever make in this life, however, if we refuse Him it would certainly be the worse decision by far, nothing is worse than that NOTHING!
            The pain was a pulled muscle and I’m good to go, thanks…

          • MR

            Well, I’m glad to hear that it was nothing serious. But, perhaps just as serious, is that I see someone whose religion has made them delusional about their own health. Even as a Christian I wouldn’t have understood neglecting seeing the doctor for prayer.

            As far as God not condemning people to hell, the very act of bringing someone into existence, knowing they were destined to reject him, is an act of condemnation. No one asked to be born.

            Do you believe you are going to enjoy heaven knowing that the vast majority of mankind is suffering eternal torment for no good reason? That people you know, people who could never have committed any sin remotely worthy of eternal torment, are suffering horribly while you party down with Jesus? Does it bother you that, for all the horrible things that Hitler did to the Jews, God would be allowing even worse things to happen to them for no good reason?

            For God so loved the world that he brought them into existence against their will to suffer for all eternity.

            That is a sick mind.

            I’m sorry, the concept of God you are peddling defies common sense.

          • wandakate

            As for the prayer over the doctor, perhaps it just amounts to strong faith and belief.
            You do understand that once we die there is no remembrance of today or this life outside of recognizing our loved ones. It’s a spirit world, it’s not a world of flesh and blood humans like we now are.
            That vast majority of humanity that you say is going to be suffering eternal torment is suffering for a very good reason. They deserved to be there by their own free will and their actions. GOD said these are my commandments, my rules, and I do love you, but I expect you to be obedient.
            But those people said if effect…No, I will not obey you, I am going to do my own thing, so leave me alone. So, those people chose where they wanted to spend their eternity. As for partying with JESUS, we’re not going to be partying as you call it, we will be honoring Him and serving Him and loving Him and doing His will there. It’s a spiritual Kingdom.
            GOD makes the decisions, it’s not up to me. You say that GOD would allow people even worst things than what happened to the Jews “for no reason”. No, there was a reason, and I explained that prior to now, they chose their own fate, it’s not GOD’s fault, it’s their own fault. Heaven was conditional. It was a reward for us, crowns in heaven for obedience. My mind is not sick, my concept makes plenty of sense to anyone who has spiritual knowledge and wisdom. If it makes no sense to you, I am so sorry.

          • MR

            You changed my “for no good reason” to “for no reason.” Why do you suppose you did that?

            Please tell me what any person could do in the blink of an eye moment that is our lives to possibly deserve eternal torment? Do you know how long eternity is? Do you believe God to be fair? If you do, how do you call that fair? Are you a parent? If your child spit in your face, rejected you entirely and said they wanted absolutely nothing to do with you for the rest of their lives, would you hire thugs to kidnap them and take them to some remote location and beat and torture them for the rest of their lives?

            Please explain to me how it makes sense that God would do infinitely worse to his own creation.

          • wandakate

            It has nothing to do with any person do anything in the blink of an eye moment…It’s a lifetime of rejecting JESUS. JESUS said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life, and no man may come to the FATHER but by me”. We “must” believe in JESUS in order to believe in GOD fully. Is that understandable?
            I believe GOD is very fair. This world is His, everything everywhere belongs to Him. He tells us in His word, “ALL souls are mine”. He has created it all, so what He does is then not up to us but to Him. Like it’s your place, so you do what you want to do. It’s GOD’s universe, it doesn’t belong to us.
            The LORD is just, fair, good, and holy.
            People reject JESUS and GOD the FATHER all their lives, some do that is. We are born into sin. We will die in that same sin “unless” that is we confess it, repent of it, and forsake it. We MUST ask the LORD to forgive us for our committed sins. We must be saved and then have a relationship with Him. We will have a new heart so to speak. We will be able to spiritually discern things. We will see things more like He sees them. We will know what is right and what is wrong. We will know what we should be doing, what we should be saying (words we use), and we will know what to allow to go into our bodies and our minds. We will strive to please Him and do His will in our lives. We will obey to the best of our ability.
            As I have told you a few times GOD does not send people to hell, he offers them freedom from that, but it’s their choice.
            If you go to heaven (the Kingdom of GOD), who was responsible for you going there? Likewise, if you should go to hell, who was responsible for that? SO, since everything and everyone actually belongs to GOD, we are not to question His actions, or His terms or conditions, we are to either obey or not obey. Two choices there. In the end there are only two places we will be, Heaven or Hell and it was of our own doing, so we can’t blame GOD. We are the created beings, and we are supposed toanswer to Him, He doesn’t answer to us.

          • MR

            Your belief requires you to believe that God created people knowing they will end up in hell. That is the same thing as condemning them to hell. The vast majority of his creation he created knowing, as an omniscient being, that he was creating them for eternal torment. That is what you believe. And you call that fair and just.

            I call that deluded belief.

            You probably see yourself as a good and simple person, yet when I read such comments I see a person with a capacity for great evil. A person capable of placing unimaginable, disproportionate blame on another human being because their religion allows them to. A person capable of turning a blind eye or even supporting great horrors perpetrated on others. You have traded your humanity for delusion. I hear your beliefs and can begin to understand how something like the Salem Witch Trials, the Holocaust or the Taliban can happen. I can begin to understand how otherwise good people can be twisted to support evil. I thank you for providing me with this insight. I feel quite fortunate to have escaped such evil beliefs.

            Please, do pay a visit to your doctor. It can’t hurt to have him take a look.

            Again, thank you for your thoughts. I believe I have learned all I need to learn from you.

            Good day.

          • Seeker

            this short life has meaning when we spend it going good and helping others to find eternal salvation in christ
            God brought two people into a perfect, endless existence, but they chose sin which brings death. The Bible does not really teach eternal suffering, it teaches eternal death. If God burnt people for all eternity He would be a demonic monster that many people would follow from fear, not love!!!

          • MR

            You’re right, he would be a monster! Don’t you agree, wandakate? Also clear is that there was no Adam and Eve. The Old Stories simply aren’t true.

    • Terry Roll

      What evidence do you have that God is real? I tingly feeling when you sing on Sundays? It is called “faith” for a reason.

      • Gary

        My existence proves God is real. If God were not real, you and I would not exist.

        • Me

          My existence proves that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is real. You have said nothing of significance. You can’t say “look at that puddle, someone must have made it.” It rained. It happens. I would advise to to look up the “argument from ignorance” because that is what you are postulating.

          • Gary

            It is not an argument from ignorance. The universe exists. It could not have made itself because it would have had to exist before it existed. And it would also have to have the ability to make itself, and there is no evidence that it did, or does.
            If you have any evidence that the flying spaghetti monster exists, you should produce it. Next, you should produce evidence that the “monster” has the ability to make the universe and life. If you can do that, then we will give serious consideration to your theory.

          • Me

            Indeed I do have evidence that the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. He wrote The Gospel of The Flying Spaghetti Monster. He could not have written the book if he didn’t exist. Also he said in his book that he created the universe and the earth. That’s the evidence I have. My existence proves The Flying Spaghetti Monster is real. If the Flying Spaghetti Monster was not real, you and I would not exist.

          • Gary

            You are a moron.

          • Me

            Let me hammer it home for you. Replace “Flying Spaghetti Monster” with “God” and “Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster” with “Bible” and you have your exact argument. You see how easily you dismiss this as a ridiculous argument when your familiar names aren’t in it? That’s because the argument itself is illogical, no matter what names you give to the deity or it’s supposed book that proves it’s existence.

          • Michael Hallmark

            And God? Could God have made himself? All you’ve done is add another layer to the origins of the universe, and not a very convincing one either.

          • Gary

            God has always been. There has to be a Being that is eternal. Otherwise, nothing would ever exist. The universe is not eternal, and it did not create itself.

          • Gandolf

            How can you be so “completely” sure that some form of universe wasnt eternal. Perhaps some situation like a multiverse .Or some other form of explanation

            After all , it surely seems rather strange , that some “Being” that evidently has had some sort of very physical approach toward actually getting personally involved in creating a universe , has now suddenly completely disappeared from appearance . Leaving no real sign of his existence at all of his/her actual existence , other than perhaps still-existing within a few rather dubious claims and faith-beliefs traditionally made by some ancient folk. Folk whom had even deemed God or Gods to have also been personally actively-involved in phenomena such as lightning,earthquakes ,tsunami, famine,storms,tornadoes,cancer,mental disabilities ,along with any other kind of phenomena, that they had back-then, failed to begin to understand or explain

            Evidently, supposedly this God wants us to be wary of trusting our own view of things we feel we experience. Needs us to be wary of being led astray by ideas that some other human may try to convince us with. But also fails to provide us with the kind of information that can be said to be easy to follow , and obviously trustworthy

            Yet according to what you seem to believe . We should still have some real good reason to need to remain extremely fearful of eternal punishment.

            One cant help feeling that people such as yourself ,must have surely obviously modeled you God-belief , on some kind of Kim Jong-Un type figure

            But then, is there? any real wonder about that kind of familiar similarity ,when we also understand how your Christian faith has its roots set back in those ancient times , not so long after those war-lord type folks of old, had previously also been busily with writing and faithfully believing in the scriptures of the old testament

            Hey we understand how “many” a Christian, might possibly be the kind to just as easily even freely-agree to worship someone like Kim Jung-Un too . The kind of dictator whom might also choose to try and torture and punish, what he considered as human un-loyalties , hopefully finding some way of making them need to suffer for as lengthily a-time as was physically possible

          • Peggy

            But you can say look at that computer someone must have made it. Where a puddle is a pile of water, a human has amazing parts that were made to do particular things. The eye by itself is to intricate to have just appeared with do design. Just as a computer could not have just appeared without design. And “the spaghetti monster”? Really why don’t u get original. Every athiests uses that one. Maybe you are just a puddle that just reflects other athiests thoughts instead of being created with a purpose and designed to think for yourself.

        • wandakate

          GOD breathed the breath of life into Adam and Adam became a living “soul”. Now, the same happened to us. Without GOD’s breath we would not be here. Our lives depend on his breath and spirit. He gives it at birth and he takes back the spirit when we die. The body takes it’s last breath, the spirit departs and returns to GOD who gave it. So, like it or not, we are dependent on GOD for our existence.

        • wandakate

          People don’t realize apparently that without His breath we would not exist. He breathed the breath of life into Adam, and Adam became a living soul (a being, a human, a person). At death that breath or His spirit is withdrawn and we have no life in us.
          Your existence absolutely proves that GOD is very real. We just look around and know that all of this beauty didn’t just pop up one day. It started with creation. Everything has to have a creator, a maker. A good meal needs a chef or a good cook, a smart student must have had smart teachers and parents for guidance, a beautiful oil painting needs an artist to paint it. A house doesn’t just appear, it need skilled builders who create the house. Nothing comes from nothing…Everything must be created. GOD created man, and man was able to create other things in his world that GOD allowed him to reside in.
          I am glad that you and I exist because of Him.

      • James Johnson

        6 different evidences outside the Bible that point to a personal Creator (God):
        http://www.project315.net/evidence-for-god-answer.html

    • OrionJones

      What is it about some Christians that when their beliefs are questioned, they resort to the intimidation tactic of eternal torture?

      • Gary

        Are you intimidated by eternal damnation? If you are not, you should be. But what you believe is true is still your choice.

        • trailfaz

          A theist threatening me with hell is like a hippie threatening to punch me in my aura.

          • Gary

            Whatever.

          • trailfaz

            Meh..

        • OrionJones

          I’m not intimidated by it. In fact I find the whole idea quite laughable. But some Christians are quite clearly trying to intimidate people into believing what they believe, with threats of burning forever. And when they do this to children it is really quite disturbing.

          • Gary

            Hell is disturbing to those who understand its reality. That reality is coming for you. And by telling you this, I am not trying to change your mind. I am perfectly content for you to keep believing what you believe now.

          • OrionJones

            So why are you telling me, if you’re not trying to change my mind? And why do so many Christians do the same thing?

            It’s clearly an intimidation tactic, intended to scare people into believing what you believe.
            If what you’re doing was done in the name of anything other than a religion, then lot’s more people would be calling you out for your shameless actions.

          • Gary

            Warning people about danger is shameless? Then they need to remove those “High Voltage” signs.

          • OrionJones

            “Warning people about danger is shameless?”

            No. Intimidating people with threats of eternal burning is shameless.

            They should certainly remove “High Voltage” signs if there are no high voltages.

          • wandakate

            Agree, how about, NO SWIMMING-SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK!
            DANGER HIGH VOLTAGE! CAUTION SHARP CURVE AHEAD!
            at an airport…CAUTION-LOW FLYING AIRCRAFT!
            CAUTION:CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE! or on an over or a stove…CAUTION: “HOT”!…
            CAUTION: HELL IS REAL, SIN AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!
            Just some examples, food for thought. We need warnings. We get them from all kinds of signs and we get them for Christians, not necessarily b/c they are trying to boss you around or anything negative, but perhaps because they are concerned and don’t want you to perish but have eternal life instead. JESUS came to seek and to save those who are lost.

          • Gandolf

            Actually humans are quite prone to be willingly fearful of all manner of crazy ideas . Ghosts , the dark ,and even the way that children can worry about whether monsters may creep out from under their beds, should they dare shut their eyes ,and fall asleep

          • wandakate

            Burning forever? No, it’s total separation from anything good and GOD forever, it’s just misery and torment more than an eternal burning. Eventually if there is a fire it burns out, this is a spiritual type of torment, and it is able to continue forever as you are miserable. The Antichrist will be there, the False Prophet will be there, Satan and all of his demons will also be there. You make you choice and you suffer the consequence unfortunately.

          • OrionJones

            The idea is still totally laughable.

            Can a mass murderer go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not?

          • wandakate

            That seems to be where the confusion lies. It’s not about anyone’s religion, has nothing to do with religion. It’s about a relationship with JESUS. It’s about believing in JESUS and that He was who He claimed to be. That He did what He while He was on earth. It’s about trust and faith in Him. It’s about believing in Him even though we can’t physically see Him in the flesh. We know in our hearts that He is indeed there.
            I died in 2001 and the hospital staff told me afterwards that I should have stayed dead. I had cardiac arrest and before they could put the defriberater on my chest I had (all the sudden) vital signs and a heart beat. They admitted it must have been a miracle as they were not expecting me to live.
            I told them that I have faith and that GOD is good and he did that for a purpose. I had awful pain just a few days ago in my chest and left side thinking it was going to be a heart attack I started immediately praying for GOD to remove that pain and let me be okay. My friend insisted that I go to the hospital just to get it ckd out just to be sure, and hospitals are not my thing, so I said I will in the morning. By morning ALL of the pain was gone and that was 3 days ago. I have no more pain like that now and am grateful and thankful for it and He gets all the credit for it. Nothing that I was able to do for myself, but it was Him. So, you see it’s that sort of thing that does make sense. I can certainly see where you would think it’s about religion, but it matters not what religion you are, it’s the faith and belief that is the key.
            It’s not how bad or good we are. If the murderer confesses and repents and forsakes his sins and accepts JESUS truly in his heart, he can be saved. So, no matter what you have done, he will save you too, but he knows if it’s phony or real as he knows the condition of your heart and everything that you think and do. IF it is sincere you will be forgiven. The kind doctor can indeed go to hell because he was not saved. He didn’t know or love or trust or obey JESUS or the word of GOD. He was a lost man and he died in that sin. I hope this explains it. WK

          • OrionJones

            That’s a long-winded way of saying yes: a mass murderer can go to heaven for accepting your religion, while a kind doctor goes to hell for not (where accepting your religion means accepting Jesus truly in his heart). To me (and most non-religious people), that sounds like a completely twisted belief.

            “I had awful pain just a few days ago in my chest and left side thinking it was going to be a heart attack”

            Seriously, if you haven’t seen a doctor about that yet, you should.

          • wandakate

            Once again you all saying it’s about my “religion”. I have told you that it has nothing to do with any religion. I don’t have “a religion”. I am saved, I believe, it’s plain and simply, not complicated.
            I wish you understood but you don’t seem to so there is nothing more I can say. Explaining it in plain simple English didn’t work so I am at the end of the rope now.
            I feel fine, no I seriously didn’t see a doctor. GOD is good, and merciful and the pain is gone now. I’ll be okay. Prayer is powerful. Most people pray after a crisis, but I pray as I see it coming so it will go away and there will be no after.

          • OrionJones

            “I have told you that it has nothing to do with any religion. I don’t have “a religion.”

            You’re just playing with words, in an attempt to divert attention from the fact that you believe murderers can be rewarded, and kind people can be punished. It’s really quite sickening that people can believe that kind of stuff.

            Do you seriously believe that the mass murdering Crusaders and the Inquisitors made it into heaven?

    • morgan

      Any philosophy or ‘religion’ that has to rely on fear to coerce conformity is irretrievably corrupt and supremely evil.
      If this is your “convincing” argument, it is going nowhere.

      • Gary

        No one is coerced. You made your own choice. But our choices have consequences.

        • OrionJones

          “No one is coerced”

          “Are you intimidated by eternal damnation? If you are not, you should be. ”

          So you’re claiming that atheists should be intimidated by eternal damnation, but that is not coercion. Come on, your arguments are ridiculous, and not even consistent. You’re just making it up as you go along.

          • Gary

            If I flag you down and tell you the bridge ahead is washed out, but you choose to ignore me and proceed to drive your car into the river, would you say I have coerced you? I suppose you could say that, but you would be wrong. You seem to want to do as you please, but have no consequences for what you choose. Reality does not work that way.

          • Geoff

            How can a washed out bridge which can physically be seen be compared to a hell which cannot be seen? You cannot warn someone about something when you cannot prove the existence thereof in the first place. Reality does not work that way.

          • wandakate

            Perhaps when this life is over for you then you will find out and you will prove it to yourself.

          • OrionJones

            If you don’t know that the bridge ahead is washed out, then yes it is coercion.

        • wandakate

          The LORD created heaven for those of us with some common reasoning (sense) and those who would believe, and he created hell for those with none, and those who would not believe in JESUS. Yes, we have a free will to make our choices good or bad, right or wrong. We in effect seal our own fate don’t we? And yes, right again, our choices have consequences.

    • Michael Hallmark

      So we’ve heard for millennia.

      • Gary

        If you could ask any dead non-Christian, they would confirm it for you. But you will just have to experience it for yourself.

        • Gandolf

          If you “could” ask any dead Christian . They might wish they had a way to tell you, not to bother with wasting your time with worrying about ancient-ideas that had been created among minds of ancient type of human, some of whom had even even once thought it was more than moral, to think to decide to kill their own beloved children, for simply speaking out of line . And so many other rather barbaric lines of thought

    • trailfaz

      Gary, you will never know that there is nothing after this life.

  • TheSotSays

    “today I just want a closer relationship with reality,” says the Bell

    Personally, if I was out searching for “reality” I’m not sure I’d want to waste a lot of time sniffing it out at a Hollywood Atheist Academy.

    Maybe it’s different though when your agent tells you he can get you into “show business.”

    Nevertheless, the Church did the right thing, they suspended his pastoral relationship.

  • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

    Psalm 53:1, “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.”

    When one asks…”how do I blaspheme the Holy Ghost”? The easiest way I know how to explain it is to say, those that purposely deny the Holy Spirit, and the Truth He proclaims, even though they have evidence it is from God, these are they that blaspheme His Spirit. Their sin is so enticing that they purposely ignore His Spirit’s call to their hearts to repent. A good example would be someone that finds Christ (Bell), starts to walk with Him, but then decides later to stop following Him because they want to go back to their old lives.

    Paul speaks of such a person in Hebrews 10:26 where he says, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”

    And confirms said Truth in this manner:

    Hebrews 6:4-8, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened (Like Bell once was), and have tasted of the heavenly gift (meaning he HAD the Holy Spirit), and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God (even had evidence of His hand moving), and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away (which he did), to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh (see Heb 10:26), and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed (see Prov 27:25-27), receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected , and is nigh unto cursing (see Matt 25:41); whose end is to be burned.”

    • Whiskyjack

      There’s nothing like quoting scriptures to convince non-believers.

      • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

        I am not trying to convince anyone, that a salemans job. I’m just sharing. The same rain that falls on the good falls on the wicked…

        • Brandon Welch

          Amen

        • Me

          Out if curiosity, what does that mean? The thing about the rain, that is. Obviously when it rains, it rains on whatever is under the clouds that are releasing the rain. What are you trying to say?

          • saved

            Rain meaning the word of God. God has provided and offers His salvation to everyone. The word of God, or the Bible, is accessible to everyone. We all have the same opportunity to read it, study it, and accept God’s gift of salvation…..or not. Those who accept God’s gift are saved, those who do not are lost. The “rain” falls on both the good and the wicked.

          • OrionJones

            More threats of eternal torture from Christians then.

          • morgan

            More threats. You christers are really a sick bunch.

        • OrionJones

          How can calling people “wicked” be “just sharing”?

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            Nowhere in my comment did I call anyone wicked. I said the rain falls on the wicked just a well as the good. Does the rain discriminate? No. Good or bad, if both stand out in the rain, both will get wet. However, one will be upset that his clothes got wet, the other will be glad that rain refreshed his crops.

            Hear another example. Take a candle and ball of clay. Place then both in front of the sun on a midsummer day. The same sun that melts or “softens” the candle will harden the clay. Again, does the sun discriminate? No. God’s Word (the Son) will soften the hearts of those who humbly accept Him and harden the hearts of men who reject Him (i.e. Moses and Pharaoh), and that Word is what I am sharing.

          • OrionJones

            Now you’re just pleading ignorance. You were quite clearly implying that anyone who doesn’t share the same beliefs as you is wicked.

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            No I did not. Again, where in this post did I STATE my beliefs? Nowhere. Implying is an “assumption”…and that is what you are implying. “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13)

          • OrionJones

            “The same rain that falls on the good falls on the wicked”
            “Again, where in this post did I STATE my beliefs? ”

            So you’re quoting scripture, and now trying to claim that you don’t believe that scripture.

            (PS inferring is an assumption, not implying).

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            I like how you are adding words that I never said and twisting the ones that I did 🙂 If I say something, its going to be made plain. Would be it better for you that I said the rain falls on the good people only? “Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.” (John 8:43)

          • OrionJones

            I haven’t added any words, nor twisted anything you said.
            You haven’t addressed the point I made that you seem to be quoting scripture that you don’t believe.

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            And this Scripture that I do not believe is?

          • OrionJones

            I’ve already told you once. Here it is again: “The same rain that falls on the good falls on the wicked”. That’s Matthew 5:45.

            Presumably if you quote scripture, you believe it. If you believe Matthew 5:45 you are calling some people wicked. But you then claim “Nowhere in my comment did I call anyone wicked.”. So it appears you don’t believe Matthew 5:45.

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            And like I said, I might as well say all are good or all are evil if I use you logic. There is no wall of separation in your eyes. So if I see one in open sin stand before me I should judge him good? This is you logic, not mine. I say and I repeat, I am not calling anyone wicked. I am just sharing whats penned. I fully believe what’s penned in Matt 5:45…apparently you take issue with this verse because that would mean that rain falls on wicked and good correct? That’s what the verse says. Can I determine who is and who is not…No…unless they declare to me that they are or my discernment makes it clear by a keen observation of their fruits.

          • OrionJones

            “And like I said, I might as well say all are good or all are evil if I use you logic…”

            I haven’t made any claims. All I’ve been doing is questioning your beliefs and logic, so most of your comment is irrelevant.

            OK, so you’ve finally admitted you do believe Matthew 5:45: “The same rain that falls on the good falls on the wicked”

            You quoted that in reference to your original comment “‘how do I blaspheme the Holy Ghost’? The easiest way I know how to explain it is to say, those that purposely deny the Holy Spirit, and the Truth He proclaims, even though they have evidence it is from God, these are they that blaspheme His Spirit.”

            Do you really expect us to believe that you’re not suggesting that atheists like Bell are wicked?

          • Galaxy Cat

            Ignore people like this, it’s not enough that they do not believe, they are only satisfied to tear down faith for they have noe experience of God, and entrapment and mockery will lead them to burn in anger. Do not engage men like this nor entertain them, if they do not serve God they serve either the devil or perdition, which is formless anger seeking whom it may devour! Lord bless you and keep you always!

          • http://www.remnantofgod.org/ John1429dotorg

            Your absolutely right. I should have done a Titus 3:9-10 and this would have been over.

            Titus 3:9-10, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;”

            Sometimes you just gotta move on and pray the Lord sends someone else his way. God bless you too brother.

          • Galaxy Cat

            Thanks you for the blessing too brother, your Faith is Strong, the Lord leads you and you took up argument out of Love for the Truth and for the man’s eternal Salvation, not so just to defend the Word of God which you did and keep in mind, smotemes, as the Holy Spirit plants seeds through us, we have to dig a little through the clay of unholiness to get to the rich soil of the soul. I for one, bro, learned a lot from you and you crowned the experience with Scripture, I am a baby Christian in some ways, and older in others, but people complain on a Christian site like this because they know they are welcome and they are here to find the Lord though they do not realize it. May he prevail in Repentance and become a great minister! I would suggest burning some Frankinsence and relaxing with the Lord for a while to heal from the burn, trust me bro, I felt it too! Lord keep you and bless you forever, Amen!

          • rob

            AGREE! Hell needs heating fuel!

        • wandakate

          It rains on the just and the unjust, however the angels will sort them out in the end, the wheat from the tare, or the saved from the unsaved, the just from the unjust…

      • The Lone Ranger

        Isaiah 55:11
        So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

        • Whiskyjack

          John 11:35

      • rob

        LOL! We all have our roles Whiskyjack. Hell needs heating fuel too.

    • Faithwalker

      Amen!

    • wandakate

      We are not once saved-always saved. JESUS told us that we could lose our salvation. He also said, “IF you love me, keep my commandments”. He wanted us to be either hot or cold because he hated those who were lukewarm and He said, “I will spew them out of my mouth”.

  • Neiman

    I have found it rather consistent that when people claiming the Christian faith in the slightest way doubt the Genesis One explanation for the existence of all things, even those that try to mix in evolution as the means of God’s creation, they all become if not outright atheists, they become practical atheists. When you pull out the foundation of the Bible, when you cast doubt on God’s explanation about how all life came into being, it is inevitable that the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

    When we begin tolerating sin, when in a false idea of the Love of God we excuse sin in our own lives and in the world, then quickly the need for repentance and a savior disappear.

    Yes, atheism has infiltrated the man-organized Christian Church, it has for the most part become apostate, these many and varied falsely called Christian groups are joined together to become the whore of Revelations, the man-organized Church has become, in order to appease the godless world, worthless and will be judged harshly.

    • John Jones

      I wonder how you have found out that the majority of mainline protestant faiths, Catholics, Jews who have accepted evolution ALL become atheists? Do you have some other proof of that fact other than your own experience? Have you ever considered what is called “Theistic Evolution” as a valid concept?

      • Neiman

        If we say we believe in God, that He is Almighty God the Creator, that he has all power, all knowledge and His very nature is love; and, in the next breath we say that His own testimony in Genesis One is not literal, then we must conclude He deliberately allowed His own children to be deceived about the actual facts for many thousands of years and deceiving His own children cannot be the act of love of a loving Father, can it? If He was unable to communicate clearly that a day actually meant an indeterminate period of time, when His Words describe a normal 24 hour day, then He is not all knowing and thus cannot be God at all. If God had to experiment through eons of evolution, then again it says He was not and is not all-knowing, as experimentation betrays a lack of absolute knowledge. If He did not think it important to communicate with some clarity how He brought all life into existence, if it were not by virtually instantaneous creation, then He is at best an absentee and abusive Father.

        No matter how you look at it, it Genesis One, as written, does not accurately portray the act of all creation in six literal days, if man must add to or delete from this narrative at a single point or engage in exhausting analysis to uncover the Truth, all of it points to the undeniable fact that the person thus questioning the Narrative of Creation in Genesis One is at best a practical atheist, meaning that despite what they say, they do not really believe in God at all.

        Many years ago a great Christian man, who lived a self-sacrificial life ministering to the needs of the poor, said that most people calling themselves Christian are actually practical atheists. Why? He said that if we truly believed that Jesus could return at any moment, we would allow nothing to keep us from witnessing with urgency and passion to every member of our family, friend, co-worker and even strangers about the need to repent and accept Jesus as their Savior before it is too late. The fact we do not, betrays a degree of atheism, we do not TRULY believe He could come again any moment. The same goes with Christians that cast doubt on Genesis One, to question that account means we do not really believe in God at all, or we could not doubt His Word at all.

      • Miles Mayan

        Actually, in my experience the only time creationists make any sense is when they talk about why it matters whether the genesis creation story is literally true or not. There are two arguments against embracing theistic evolution et al, and as an atheist I actually find myself in agreement with both of them.

        The first argument deals with the credibility of scripture. Once you concede that there are parts of the bible that are not literally true, then what basis do you have for believing any of the rest of it is literally true? If you reject the Flood as a literal historical event, then what logically consistent reason is there to not do the same with, say, the virgin birth, given that there is no more evidence for the latter than the former?

        The second argument is that without Genesis, the theology of the new testament falls apart. Jesus was only a savior because he saved humanity from the burden of sin, which began in the Garden with the forbidden fruit. If the events in Eden never literally happened, then humanity never “fell”, and there is no need for a saviour in the first place. If Adam and Eve never literally ate from the Tree of Knowledge, then the entire story of Jesus makes zero sense.

        • Neiman

          That is correct, the entirety of the Christian Faith, the entirety of belief in God rests upon the Genesis account being either perfectly factual or completely false. You are right that if we not trust the Genesis One account, then there is no reason at all to trust the doctrine of salvation through Christ.

          Even though you are an atheist, I wish so-called Christians would take what you say seriously – they must either accept Genesis One literally, as written or cast out the entire Bible, other than some historical references. That is how critical this matter is to faith.

          • Miles Mayan

            I don’t blame non-creationist christians for wanting to have their cake and eat it too. They realize the evidence for a 13.8 billion year old universe, and the evolutionary history of life on earth, is really, really airtight, but they don’t want to abandon their belief in god.

            They also want their religion to be taken seriously in academic and intellectual, scientifically literate circles, so they try to eliminate as much of the blatantly anti-science tenets of their doctrine as possible. More liberal christians see Genesis as a surgeon might see an arm or leg that has gone septic; it’s something that needs to be amputated to save the rest of the patient’s body.

            So they start prattling on about metaphors and how the bible isn’t a science textbook, and write off any contradictions in their theology as mysteries that just need to be taken on faith.

          • Neiman

            Unfortunately, I believe that the basic premise of your argument is false, being that there is incontrovertible evidence that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. It is hardly an airtight case IMO, it is based upon a myriad of presumptions of facts that are not in evidence. So, unless you have a direct eyewitness to the age of the universe, someone there when it all began; or, unless in the laboratory one can empirically prove that it all did not take place in a very short period of time, what you have is an atheist theory of how life began and atheist scientists that force the scientific data into that life model and when they cannot, they simply create a new theory based on the new data and their assumptions of how it must have happened.

            There are many, albeit in a minority I agree, reputable scientists that would argue based on the evidence that life could not have occurred by an instantaneous event of everything erupting from nothing, by a long period of random cosmic events and evolution over time. Yours too at the end of the day is a faith based system, while the facts actually not only best fit the creation model IMO, the Bible actually predicts the facts.

            I will not get into a long argument over this, I am not an expert in the field and I don’t have the time to invest in lengthy debates. However, I will agree that non-creation Christians do have to face the idea of Genesis One as being fact or being unable to argue against your scientific model, they do try and crayfish and try to make them both fit together and look rather silly in that effort. They need to get off the fence and make their choice.

          • Miles Mayan

            If you don’t really want to get into this, I’ll be brief.

            Every study ever done about eyewitness testimony has found it’s actually pretty unreliable, so it makes for one of the weakest forms of evidence, not the strongest.

            The strongest form of evidence is convergence, which means a wide variety of independent sources are telling you the exact same thing. Everything from astrophysics, to the chemistry/particle physics of radioactive decay, to the geology of mountain formation and seismic plate theory, to general and special relativity, to chromosomal ancestry analysis, all point to life, our solar system, and the universe being billions of years old. Here’s a brief summary of just how much evidence there is for deep time.

            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Evidence_against_a_recent_creation

            That minority you speak of is no more than a handful of individuals that actually have any scientific credentials, and none of their creationist writings have ever passed scientific muster. Generally, what you see is the alter-ego creationist, who in their day job acknowledges the overwhelming scientific consensus, and in their off-hours publish creationist apologetics in non-peer reviewed journals.

          • John_33

            I cringe whenever someone uses rationalwiki as a valid source. Many of their articles are poor attempts at satire or bitter rants against Christianity/religion. Other parts are just bad science. For example, look at the Continental drift section in the link you gave:

            Because tectonic drift is an incredibly slow process, the separation of the two landmasses would have taken millions of years. With modern technology, this can be accurately quantified. Satellite data has shown that the two continents are moving at a rate of roughly 2 cm per year (roughly the speed of fingernail growth), which means that for these diverging continents to have been together at some point in history, as all the evidence shows, the drift must have been going on for at least 200 million years.

            So, one piece of their evidence that the earth is old is that the tectonic drift is currently slow. Does that mean that science has proven that the continents have been drifting for millions of years? No. It only means that it would have taken millions of years if the rate of drifting has always been the same, but that’s a pretty large assumption that has never been proven. A lot of science material meant for public consumption makes the same mistake and assumes that everything has always stayed the same. I call it third-grade science, but I don’t say that to demean third graders – it’s just faulty reasoning. How do we know that everything has stayed the same? We don’t.

            In fact, we have lots of evidence to suggest that the earth and the other planets have gone through radical changes. Scientists believe that 90% of all life on earth went extinct in the Cretaceous-Paleogene period. Some theorize that it could have been caused by the asteroid that caused the Chicxulub impact crater. A lot of material claiming to be scientific, such as the quote mentioned above, virtually ignores all of the evidence that proves that things have radically changed that would alter our ability to measure them over long periods of time.

          • Miles Mayan

            It’s pretty parsimonious to assume the laws of physics driving tectonic movement haven’t changed, and from what we can tell there are definite limits on how fast plates can physically move.

            This Christmas was the 10th anniversary of the Asian tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people. That’s the amount of force generated by plates moving at their current speeds. In order to fit a young earth timeline, the plates would have had to move at a minimum of 30,000 times their current speed to get the continents from Pangea to where they are today. The force generated would have far, far surpassed that generated by the Chicxulub asteroid. The entire planet would have been utterly uninhabitable, and why on earth would the tectonic plates undergo such a massive change in movement speed?

            So no, it’s creationists that need to make ridiculous assumptions. They need to assume that it’s even possible for tectonic plate movement to occur at a rate several orders of magnitude faster than current speeds, and they need to assume that the rate of change suddenly drastically slowed for no apparent reason, and they further need to assume that life on earth could have survived the nonstop, unimaginably powerful earthquakes occurring worldwide on a scale that would dwarf anything in recorded history. Then there’s the slight issue of all the ash being thrown into the atmosphere by the resulting nonstop volcanoes choking out any chance of life.

            Rationalwiki functions much the same as regular wikipedia does. The trick is to use it as a starting point, and go to where they get their information from. RW has already gone through the trouble of compiling all the relevant information, so why reinvent the wheel?

          • John_33

            I’m not saying that tectonic plates randomly jump around. I’m saying that cataclysmic events can affect these things. We have strong evidence that suggests that we’ve had massive cataclysmic events on the Earth that nearly wiped out all life on the planet. The research into these events is still ongoing. Therefore, we can’t assume that the rate of continental drift has always stayed the same. We are required to look into these events further before we dismiss their effects. Otherwise, we risk coming to an incorrect conclusion.

            You said:

            This Christmas was the 10th anniversary of the Asian tsunami, which killed more than 200,000 people. That’s the amount of force generated by plates moving at their current speeds. In order to fit a young earth timeline, the plates would have had to move at a minimum of 30,000 times their current speed to get the continents from Pangea to where they are today. The force generated would have far, far surpassed that generated by the Chicxulub asteroid. The entire planet would have been utterly uninhabitable, and why on earth would the tectonic plates undergo such a massive change in movement speed?

            I’m glad you asked because Creationism has a theory that answers this. A global flood. Not only did it rain, but the Bible says that the fountains of the great deep broke up. The result of this breakup made the earth utterly uninhabitable for almost a year, and everyone died except Noah and his family. That’s consistent with what you say should happen with extremely rapid tectonic movement.

            You said:

            They need to assume that it’s even possible for tectonic plate movement to occur at a rate several orders of magnitude faster than current speeds, and they need to assume that the rate of change suddenly drastically slowed for no apparent reason…

            This is still consistent with a cataclysmic impact. The initial event is when most of the changes would take place. After the initial event is over, the aftereffects would remain for some time before they would gradually diminish. The bigger the event, the longer it would take for the aftereffects wear off. This explains sudden change – a cataclysmic event just occurred. If the continents started drifting due to a massive impact or breakup of the crust, then the initial event would have caused more movement than what we see now.

            You said:

            …and they further need to assume that life on earth could have survived the nonstop, unimaginably powerful earthquakes occurring worldwide on a scale that would dwarf anything in recorded history. Then there’s the slight issue of all the ash being thrown into the atmosphere by the resulting nonstop volcanoes choking out any chance of life.

            With a global flood, the water would have been over the volcanoes, so the risk of ash would have been limited. Earthquakes definitely would have been occurring, but that would not have been a problem since it would not have affected Noah in the ark.

            While I know that scientists aren’t standing next to creationists on this issue, we aren’t alone in believing that cataclysmic events happened on Earth. Even secular scientists believe that massive events took place that resulted in the destruction of up to 90% of all life, such as the Permian–Triassic extinction event. Could an event that had enough energy to wipe out 90% of all life also have enough energy to affect the continental drift? Absolutely. I don’t have a problem with the scientific data. Secular scientists and Creationists may disagree with the timing, the amount of damage, and the type of event, but we agree that something massive happened. That’s why it’s incorrect to assume that the rate of continental drift has never been affected by these extreme events. On what basis? Certainly modern science is better than that.

            You said:

            Rationalwiki functions much the same as regular wikipedia does. The trick is to use it as a starting point, and go to where they get their information from. RW has already gone through the trouble of compiling all the relevant information, so why reinvent the wheel?

            Rationalwiki is comprised of atheists who make satirical or poorly written articles for other atheists. If you want to know what I mean, see their articles on the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Bible. The website is a mockery of real science and information because of its low standards and poor quality. Even their article on Evolution uses sloppy language that no evolutionary scientist would agree with. To be utterly forthright with no ill intention, using a site of that calibre reflects poorly on you. People will think that you agree with their authors, which is certainly not a desirable outcome.

          • Miles Mayan

            Lol well I’m an atheist, so I do agree with the authors of RW. They write their articles with a fair amount of snark, but that doesn’t make them wrong. Name one thing on that site that isn’t fully in line with modern scientific consensus.

            There’s been around 6 great extinction level events in the last few billion years, of which the Permian Triassic was just one, and it occurred 252 million years ago. Not exactly reinforcing a young earth by bringing that up.

            An asteroid impact or something similarly energetic could well have a marginal impact on tectonic plates, but in order to move the plates drastically enough to rearrange the continents in under 6000 years, the energy required would have literally blown up the entire planet.

            As for the flood, you know that “scientists aren’t standing next to creationists on this issue” so I’m not sure if it’s even worth reiterating how ludicrous that particular belief is. I’ll just ask you to think one more time about the idea that seismic events strong enough to blast continents halfway around the world are going on, and the magnitude of the resulting tsunamis, without obliterating a rickety wooden ship.

            Again, since RW has already taken the time to compile a fairly comprehensive list of all the problems with flood pseudoscience, and they’re not exactly in disagreement with scientific consensus, allow me to allow them to point out a few issues with your hypothesis http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Global_flood

          • John_33

            Lol well I’m an atheist, so I do agree with the authors of RW. They write their articles with a fair amount of snark, but that doesn’t make them wrong. Name one thing on that site that isn’t fully in line with modern scientific consensus.

            I already noted the poor science on the continental drift. It’s based on the assumption that continental drift has always remained constant. That same assumption is also made in many other scientific fields. That’s how you get the various scientific fields to all confirm billions of years – they are making the same assumption that everything has remained the same. Even the Big Bang assumes that because the universe is stretching, that means that it used to be no bigger than a dot. Again, that’s an assumption without evidence.

            Check out this recent article that was on NewScientist from August 2014. It states that the tectonic plates appear to have doubled in speed in the last 2 billion years. The scientists say that the increase in speed appears to have been caused by the massive amount of water found under the mantle. They claim that there is more water there than all of the oceans combined. Of course, the article is controversial because it challenges the current science, and it needs to be rigorously tested before it can be verified, but two things stand out if the research is confirmed to be true. First, it would prove that the rate of continental drift has not remained the same. Second, this vast amount of water could in fact be the water that was from the Flood. Again, this is new research, so it may be proven incorrect, but we will see in the coming years.

            http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329843.000-earths-tectonic-plates-have-doubled-their-speed.html

            There’s been around 6 great extinction level events in the last few billion years, of which the Permian Triassic was just one, and it occurred 252 million years ago. Not exactly reinforcing a young earth by bringing that up.

            I already stated that creationists disagree with the timing of events, and the number of events is disputed as well. Your argument, however, is moot. I believe that one cataclysmic event occurred – the Flood. In comparison, as you already stated, secular scientists believe that approximately six different cataclysmic events occurred. Isn’t that all the more reason to believe that the earth could have undergone massive damage that would have altered our ability to measure time? Since you accept the secular science that includes more cataclysmic destruction, this actually strengthens my argument.

            An asteroid impact or something similarly energetic could well have a marginal impact on tectonic plates, but in order to move the plates drastically enough to rearrange the continents in under 6000 years, the energy required would have literally blown up the entire planet.

            The NewScientist article appears to confirm that the speed of continental drift can double in relatively peaceful times. If this research is proven true, then how fast could the change in speed be in a cataclysmic event? It’s not hard to imagine. I really believe that scientists will prove in the coming decades that we’ve have a cataclysmic event that had a larger impact on Earth than we previously thought. While secular scientists will reject the Flood as the cause, creationists will be ready and waiting to accept the research.

            As for the flood, you know that “scientists aren’t standing next to creationists on this issue” so I’m not sure if it’s even worth reiterating how ludicrous that particular belief is. I’ll just ask you to think one more time about the idea that seismic events strong enough to blast continents halfway around the world are going on, and the magnitude of the resulting tsunamis, without obliterating a rickety wooden ship.

            If you accept the account of the global Flood in the Bible, then you also need to accept that there was a God who preserved the people in the ark. Would the odds of survival have been a trillion to one? It was probably even higher than that, but that’s not a problem. The fact that Noah and his family were spared is a fundamental part of the account of the Flood. God is freely able to judge, and He is freely able to save. It’s His world, and He can do what He wants.

            Again, since RW has already taken the time to compile a fairly comprehensive list of all the problems with flood pseudoscience, and they’re not exactly in disagreement with scientific consensus, allow me to allow them to point out a few issues with your hypothesishttp://rationalwiki.org/wiki/G…

            Some portions in that link are merely questions. Is it likely that Noah was able to gather all of the animals or feed them? Etc. Those types of arguments don’t help because it merely appeals to doubt. If God is involved, of course Noah would be able to feed all of the animals, and of course God would be able to bring them to the ark. Those questions aren’t any trouble for Christians.

            In one subsection, Rationalwiki actually appears to support the Bible, but it was so poorly worded that it probably was never finished. Other parts are just weird and never complete the argument, such as the section referring to the Sons of God. I don’t even understand what they are trying to argue there. To be honest, the authors of Rationalwiki don’t appear to understand the Flood account or what the Bible is trying to say. Instead of taking their word, it’s always better to go directly to the original source, in this case, the Bible, and read what it actually says. There are also Christian sites such as Answers in Genesis that also deals with many of the scientific questions that people have about the Flood: https://answersingenesis.org/the-flood/

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Oh, blah, you two! Who knew supposedly “scientific conversation”could be so excruciatingly BORING! Give it a rest, already!!

          • John Jones

            Why do so many Christians insists that the something can’t come from nothing when their own bible says that their god created everything from nothing?

          • Miles Mayan

            two words: special pleading

          • Neiman

            Good point! Because only God can create anything out of nothing, it cannot happen naturally. He speaks of creating things out of what did not exist.

          • Gary

            You have to explain how the universe came to exist, which you cannot do. You have to explain why there is life on earth, which you cannot do. You have to explain the cause of humans evolving from non-human ancestors, which you cannot do. What the evolutionists claim is true has not been proven true by scientific means, and cannot be.

          • Miles Mayan

            1. The entire field of cosmology, feel free to read up
            2. Abiogenesis – ditto
            3. You said it yourself, evolution

            Done, that was easy

            Though I guess if you define science as “whatever supports the bible” it might well be impossible to prove anything that’s true using “science”

          • Gary

            You need to understand what science really is and stop calling your mythology science.

          • Miles Mayan

            Holy projection Batman!

          • James Johnson

            P1: If Jesus (God the Son) communicated in parables (that were not to be taken literally), then God (the Father) could have also communicated in parables.
            P2: Jesus (God the Son) communicated in parables.
            Conclusion: Therefore, God (the Father) could have also communicated in parables.

            Am I saying Genesis is therefore a parable? No. But the dichotomy you presented (either EVERYTHING in Genesis is literal or NOTHING in Genesis is literal) is a false one.

            You seem to forget that God has revealed Himself to mankind in many different ways.

            1. Through His creation (Romans 1:20)
            2. Through our conscience
            3. Through the person of Jesus Christ.
            4. Through His written Word (Scripture).

            The scriptures have many different genres (poetry, parables, prophecy, history, law, epistles, apocalyptic, and instructions). It is is important to know the genre of the scripture we are reading and read it in its proper context. If there is uncertainty, God has given us the other forms of revelation that should harmonize His written Word.

            The only thing that seems non-negotiable theologically (regarding Genesis) is 1) man is made in the image of God and is therefore distinct from animals, and 2) man is a moral creature that has sinned and is in need of a Savior.

            I just find it odd that some Christians have a problem reinterpreting God’s SPECIAL revelation (the Bible)–that has many different genres/ways to interpret properly–to fit with God’s GENERAL revelation (His creation), but they don’t have a problem reinterpreting God’s GENERAL revelation (His creation)–despite all the scientific advances that help us better understand His creation–to fit with God’s SPECIAL revelation (the Bible).

          • Neiman

            First, we are talking about Genesis One, not all of Genesis.

            Next, you have to prove by context that any scripture is other than literal, you cannot just assume because it fits your theory or makes you comfortable. While there are parables and poetry and similes, etc, we must rely on context, not opinion.

            Further, as all creation has always been understood as having been completed in six literal days (see below), God would have to be guilty of allowing His children to be deceived over many thousands of years, by Him not making it clear he was speaking in any other terms but literal. That makes Him guilty of lying by omission, He had to know they would be misreading His Word, coming to a wrong understanding and yet He allowed them to believe something that He knew was false. What would be His motive? Why would God that says He cannot lie and has no motive to lie, nonetheless lie to His people?

            Genesis One
            5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.

            31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

            This word “day” is from an ancient Hebrew word, “yown,” which is a measured day from sunrise to sunrise, exactly as our 24-hour days as we measure them now. If “day” meant an indeterminate period of time, when He used the very same word elsewhere, unless the context demands otherwise, why wouldn’t it still mean an indeterminate period of time? If we go to each passage wherein “yown” is used and apply anything but a 24-hour day, in most cases it would make the word meaningless. Like on that day he ordered the spotted goats separated from the white goats, God actually meant that they would be separated over many days, perhaps years, perhaps eons.

            If we cannot trust God’s Word to mean exactly what it says, unless in context He defines it as being other than literal, we cannot trust anything God says, He does not, He cannot exist.

          • James Johnson

            I don’t interpret God’s special revelation because it fits “my theory”; I interpret God’s special revelation because it fits with his general revelation. Just as understanding God’s general revelation (through astronomy) has led to a heliocentric understanding as opposed to the former geocentric understanding. Many theologians rejected the heliocentric model of our solar system because they argued the way you are.

            As for the Hebrew word “yom”, it is not as unequivocal as you think. I watched a very good debate between Christian scholars and scientists on this matter and in my opinion the young earthers lost. Youtube used to have the entire debate but you have to watch it in pieces. Here is a link to it: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL27A3CACC7AC5EDFB

            God’s Word was not meant to be a science manual. How could any ancient people understand the complexities of physics, chemistry, and astronomy the way we do today? The Bible was communicated in the simplest way so that even a shepherd could understand it.

            You said, “God would have to be guilty of allowing His children to be deceived (by misinterpreting His special revelation).” Why do you not apply that same line of thinking to God’s general revelation? If the literal interpretation of God’s special revelation is true, and the literal interpretation of God’s GENERAL revelation is NOT true, then wouldn’t God still be guilty of “deceiving people” that are not interpreting His general revelation correctly?

          • Neiman

            If you are right, then Genesis One is a lie, God does not exist and there is no salvation. If Genesis One falls, the entire Bible fails. You have proven nothing else but that, if you are right ten God is a liar and since he would have no motive to lie, then He cannot possibly exist.

            It is vital to believe in six literal days for many reasons. The foremost reason is that allowing these days to be long periods of time undermines the foundations of the message of the Cross.

            The majority of Christians in churches probably aren’t sure whether God really created everything in six literal days. Many believe it doesn’t matter whether it took six days or six million years. However, it is vital to believe in six literal days for many reasons. Foremost is that allowing these days to be long periods of time undermines the foundations of the message of the Cross.

            If we allow our children to accept the possibility that we can
            doubt the days of creation when the language speaks so plainly, then we are teaching them a particular approach to all of Scripture. Why shouldn’t they then start to doubt that Christ’s Virgin Birth really means a virgin birth? Why shouldn’t they start to doubt that the Resurrection really means resurrection?

            https://answersingenesis.org/why-does-creation-matter/the-necessity-for-believing-in-six-literal-days/

            In other words, what you are trying to do in twisting scripture and forcing your evolutionary theory into Genesis One is anti-Christ, it denies the very existence, power and trustworthiness of God.

          • James Johnson

            This has nothing to do with evolution. I am not an evolutionist. This has to do with the age of the earth and what parts of Genesis to take literally. Ken Ham runs the answersingenesis site. He participated in the debate that I posted in my last post. He did not hold his case well with the other theologian and scientist in the debate. It is worth watching.

          • Neiman

            Just keep denying God’s Word and opposing Christ, let’s see what happens when you face God.

          • CrossedtheTiber

            Well said!

          • Laurence Charles Ringo

            Hmm…that’s sorta clever, James.I like.

        • Me

          That was awesome. I’m totally quoting you.

        • Tom in Raleigh

          Very well stated.

        • Laurence Charles Ringo

          Really? THAT’S your argument? Wow.You atheists are simply…astonishing.

          • Miles Mayan

            Already had a couple creationists agree with me, so…yeah. That’s my argument.

  • John Jones

    So he wasn’t “really a true Christian”. Isn’t that what ALL Christian denominations say about Christians in other denominations? Who is to decide who is a “true” Christian?

    • bowie1

      In this case he denied God’s existence altogether which makes your question irrelevant.

      • Me

        What he’s trying to say is that people are doubting his faith when he actually had it. There are plenty of people who have had strong faith and them lost it. Subsequently, there will be cries of “well he never was a true believer!” That’s a cop-out.

        • Gary

          According to Jesus, in John chapter three, a new birth is required in order to enter into the kingdom of God. If one has not been “born of the Spirit”, they are not right with God and do not posses what the Bible calls “faith”. There are lots of people who claim to be Christians who have never experienced this new birth. Read The Gospel According to John, chapter three.
          People who are “born again” as Jesus called it, do not renounce their birth and their faith. You cannot reverse the process and undo your spiritual birth any more than you can undo your physical birth. The logical conclusion is that this man was never a real Christian.

    • Rose

      In my opinion there is no true definition to what a true christian is. I mean after all, we’re supposed to love God, and love him as our lord and savior; not to be religious. Of course religion helps us grow closer to other people with like minds, and helps us grow closer to God in a way, but all we’re really supposed to do is love, follow, and have faith.

      • Neiman

        Look in the Bible, God defines a Christian and it has nothing to do with religion. It is a follower of Christ, a person saved by God’s Grace, by faith – that faith a gift from God and that faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. None of the things you listed apply, it is a rebirth in His Spirit. We will all mature over different times and ways, but a true believer is one that has by that rebirth become part of the Body of Christ.

        We Christians will all agree on the fundamentals of the faith, while diverging in many practices and doctrines. This Bible also tells us that it is impossible to lose our life in Christ and thus if this man is now an atheist, he was never a true Christian in the first place.

        • Miles Mayan

          or, you know, the bible’s wrong…..

  • Elzeenor

    Good for you, Bell. Do what works best for you.

  • bowie1

    Obviously he allowed the devil to get a foothold because he essentially gave him permission to tempt him with denying God.

  • KCR

    Satan is alive and well, and his goal is to take to hell with him as many souls as he can. With Jesus Christ, you will be spared from hell, and you will see eternal salvation. Jesus said, “behold I go and prepare a place for you, so that were I am, you shall be also”. Hell is eternal separation from God, no light, no love, no peace, no joy, just pain and suffering. Heaven is a place that God is making for those who accept His Son, Jesus Christ as the ONE and ONLY TRUE KING, and God for all mankind. The end will be here soon enough, and it is about time people start telling the truth about GOD and about Hell. I do not understand why atheists get mad when you tell them about hell? If they don’t truly believe there is no God, then they do not believe in hell? They get upset because DEEP down, there is a spark that tells them, God is REAL.

    • OrionJones

      “I do not understand why atheists get mad when you tell them about hell?”

      It’s to do with you attempting to intimidate people into your beliefs. Against individual atheists within your own family (particularly children) and local community you probably get away with this intimidation tactic of eternal hell-fire and torture. On an anonymous global forum though you’re going to be called out on it.

  • Iris

    And we are sharing his story why? 1 Timothy 4:1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

    So as a christian we are sharing his story for? Who are we encouraging here? I don’t see the need to share his experience as it looks like we are glorying his experience of deception.He was going through a divorce that lead his heart stray, so where was his faith to begin in? Man or God? It is obvious where his hope was in to begin with. When you have a true encounter there is no way you doubt the existence of God.

  • NWaff

    “given me the freedom to not have to believe in something for other people’s sake”
    .
    if that was the foundation of his faith, perhaps he never was saved.

    • Me

      That wasn’t the foundation of his faith.

  • RDH1988

    OK so he’s not too bright…

  • Rita Stevenson Sexton

    Then how in the world did he EVER find himself in the Pulpit??

    • Laurence Charles Ringo

      Seriously, Rita? Is that a real question? Walk it back a bit and give it some thought. In fact, ask yourself why all those people gave all that money to Bernie Madoff, and your question will answer itself.

  • lila

    there is power in the words of God…His words will do the job of convince anyone of his existence.Is that simple!
    Its an act of total ignorance to ignore the words of God,look at the bible and see for yourself the fufillment of his promises in today’s events…the true shell set you free. But The lies will make you a slave with the illusion of freedom. Sad!

  • Vito Zabala Halasan

    As he said…”I haven’t prayed much and, without sermons to write on a regular basis, I haven’t studied, or even really read, the Bible.” – his basis was his own thought but not facts. he eventually blind himself that making his ego much stronger than was. Eventually he was already blinded by his own spirit. and never know that Bible is the TRUTH , that will sets him free.

  • Faithwalker

    The Greeks viewed life through their intellect and loved rhetoric (debate) so it was hard for many Greeks to accept the gospel of Christ when the disciples witnessed in Greece. Basically, unbelief in the God of creation come in many different forms. Mr. Bell appears to be one of those that is seeking a higher truth other than himself, but he is looking for it through his intellect instead of seeking truth from the one God who created all truth. Mr. Bell evidently did not believe in the truth of God from the beginning. There is a spiritual war going on for men’s souls, and without acknowledging the war it will be easy to fall for Satan’s (Devil) lies.
    Ephesians 6:11-18New International Version (NIV)

    11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

  • Jerry Appling

    James 1 5-8
    If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

  • james

    He lives a whole year without seeking God and wonders why he lost faith. What a ignorant way to even try to live. Also if one can leave the faith so easy, then they never were saved to begin with. Only those who remain in Christ are the elect. All others are looking for religion not Jesus.

  • Magister_militum_praesentalis

    Heh, you don’t say. Well, using the reasoning of many SDA apologists, if Catholicism and other historical churches create “pagans” and “non-Christian religionists,” then SDA’ism must create atheists. How ironic!

  • http://www.OpenAirSeattle.blogspot.com/ OpenAirSeattle

    John 3:3

    Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” The ” former Seventh Day Adventist leader” isn’t. That’s why he can’t see.

  • Rev.

    1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

  • CrossedtheTiber

    Perhaps we can simply join together in praying for this man.

  • The Lone Ranger

    There remaineth no more sacrifice for sins because Christ died once for all .
    Hebrews 10:10
    By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all………… For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened if they shall fall away to renew them again unto repentance (6: 1-6) The exact teaching of this Scrip. has been missed in many instances when employed to support certain doctrines . The opening statement, ” For it is impossible ” is far removed from the statement of verse 6 ” to renew them unto repentance ” The rendering of the R. V. is better For as touching those who were once enlightened and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come , and then fell away, it is impossible to renew them again unto repentance .
    The writer’s position is that we should advance beyond the things we learned at the beginning of our Christian life, to leave these first things , these first principles, and proceed to the things that make for the full grown matured Christian. He now states why he will not attempt to reinstruct them in these rudiments of Christianity , that it is useless to repeat such instructions in trying to restore to repentance those who have fallen away . He does not say friends, that it is impossible for them to return to Christ it is at this point the passage is frequently misread . He is speaking of human agency in the attempt to restore these apostates by reiterating these principles in which they have been instructed. He says it is impossible ( not for the apostates) for us to renew them again by such measures . He is willing to do it again , however, if it be divine will ,, and this will we do if God permit. He is speaking in a popular manner when he says there is no reason to believe that these apostates will be restored by constant reiteration of the rudiments of the Gospel.

  • Jeannie Armstrong

    He was never friends with God in the first place. He was blind and now has walked away from God. The shame is that true Christians are so dominated by the paid goats that he was allowed to become a leader in the first place when he is spiritually unregenerate. Christians need to stand up and make sure that they are born again and full of The Holy Spirit and that those who lead them are born again and full of The Holy Spirit. The current trend for charismatic unbelievers and babies being paid to pastor churches teaching heresies and humanist hogwash needs to be fought all the way. Arise church, arise. Stop paying to be a passive audience while men on stages entertain with their nonsense. You are a part of the true church- take hold of this and arise.

    • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

      The No True Scotsman fallacy in all its glory.

  • Haqodeshim

    Yeshua/Jesus (Yahweh is salvation) came and died to fulfill the Covenant in Genesis 15 He made with Abraham -https://www.facebook.com/notes/george-walter-bratcher-iii/there-is-holy-and-then-there-is-holy/10150452285491373 – Ryan Bell is not the first and not the last member of the clergy I find uneducated on Genesis 15, and this is sad, because it’s not being taught in our undergraduate or graduate religion programs in our colleges, universities, and seminaries, and so preachers are not discipling their congregations in the rudimentary Gospel message that begins in the OT and culminates in the NT, and so no wonder the Church as an institution is on the decline in America.

    • Haqodeshim

      How did NASA going to Mars with the Mariner 10 satellite in the 1973 lead to the formation of the Shroud of Turin Research Project later in 1978? This project in 1978 would attract 38 skeptical American scientists on the team of 40 (with only two Christians), who thought they’d prove it a hoax within a week’s time, but leading to all the scientists, even a Jewish man on the team, all coming to faith in Jesus after 5 days studying the Shroud of Turin.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoZ4D5D_lrI&feature=share&list=PLAE6F3BCB32692FA5&index=3

      Atheism is a movement in decline, has been since the 1970’s. Only reason you hear about it in the news is because enough old rich white baby boomers from the counter culture have money to put into it and into the court rooms. In another 40 years, it will be less relevant than it is now.

      Sin means “without” without God specifically, so when Jesus told a sinner to go and sin no more he was really saying, “Go and be without God no more” (avoid Adam and Eve’s mistake of thinking they could cast conversation with the creator to the wayside).

      • Haqodeshim

        The image of the man is so superficial that it penetrates only the top two microfibers of the image, now I’m not talking about threads, I’m talking about microfibers.

        If you pull one fiber aside, that is no image below it, so there is no possible way that this was created with liquid.
        It so superficial, that if you were to take a razor blade and shave the surface of the cloth, the image would disappear, that’s how superficial the image is.

        How do you do that? I mean, you can’t paint with a one camel hair brush, especially since you can’t see it until you are 10 feet away. There’s no way! -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6X_xptubB8&list=PLAE6F3BCB32692FA5&feature=share&index=36

        • Guest

          In 2004, a particle physicists working independently made a discovery that could change everything we think we know about the world we live in -http://www.itbn.org/…/ec/9sY2VwMjpSFId9Dfz1qzkhita_-jRTPs

        • Haqodeshim

          In 2004, a particle physicists working independently made a discovery that could change everything we think we know about the world we live in -http://www.itbn.org/index/detail/ec/9sY2VwMjpSFId9Dfz1qzkhita_-jRTPs

          • Haqodeshim

            The Magi found Jesus as a toddler on December 25, 2BC, and he died on April 3. 33AD, and it’s written in the stars, just use an astronomy program to find it or watch for yourself – http://youtu.be/0MP7Kl1_Y4Q?list=PLOqiEYwhz4FQSJneIvy3-fz-Pr-w2AovF – and learn.

          • Haqodeshim

            You ask me now I know He lives? He lives within my heart:

            paraclatos/parakletos – counselor/comforter are poor translations – NT GREEK – One who comes alongside to help – imagery is of a parent holding a toddler’s hand and helping their child learn to walk. This is what Jesus promised grown men he chose as his disciples when he promised he would not leave them as orphans.

          • Haqodeshim

            The creator of the universe and space time, humbled himself by coming as the poorest and powerless of us, so He might offer us Eternal life in an Eternal Home we are not worthy of, but He loved us so much He died that He might be our righteousness for us, through the gift of His Holy Spirit to all who would accept and believe in the New Covenant – Peace on Earth – Good Will towards men!

            Merry Christmas on this 5th of the 12 days of Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

            http://youtu.be/IcP8xvgwucs?list=PL72B561FCE1A7C34E

          • Haqodeshim
          • SashaC

            My goodness, that’s a long conversation you had with yourself!

            Btw, atheism is actually on the rise, thanks in part to people like you. Keep up the good work!

          • Haqodeshim

            1. Global atheism is shrinking and demographic changes in the United States and the world are expected to shrink the influence of American secularism.[3][4][5]

            In 2012, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary reported that globally every day there are 800 less atheists per day, 1,100 less non-religious (agnostic) people per day and 83,000 more people professing to be Christians per day.[6][7]

            In 2011, the American Spectator declared concerning research published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research:

            “The report estimates about 80,000 new Christians every day, 79,000 new Muslims every day, and 300 fewer atheists every day. These atheists are presumably disproportionately represented in the West, while religion is thriving in the Global South, where charismatic Christianity is exploding.”[8]”

            In 2009, the book A sceptics guide to atheism indicated: “A worldwide poll taken in 1991 put the global figure for atheists at just 4.4% of the population. By 2006 it was estimated that only 2% of the world population were atheists.”[9]
            In 2012 an article entitled Atheism in decline by Nigel Tomes declared:

            “The IBMR publishes yearly figures for religions (and non religions) around the globe. Their latest numbers, hot off the press (Jan. 2012) show some interesting trends.

            Atheism is in Decline

            In 1970 atheists (those avowing there is no God) numbered 166 million worldwide; that was almost one-in-twenty—4.5% of the globe’s population. By 2012 atheists’ number is estimated at 137 million. That’s a decline of almost 30 million. Since world population is growing, atheists’ share declined to less than one-in-fifty—under 2% in 2012. Put differently, every 24 hours there are 800 fewer atheists in the world! Atheism is in decline.

            Agnosticism is in Decline

            In 2000 agnostics (those who “don’t know” if there is a God) numbered 666 million, 10.9% of the world’s people. By 2012 agnostic’s number is estimated at 661 million–a decline of 5 million. In relative terms by 2012 agnostics represent less than one tenth (9.4%) of world population. Every 24 hours there are 1,100 less agnostics in the world. Agnostics are also in decline.

            Added together these two groups make up a declining share of global population. In 1970 atheists and agnostics accounted for one-in-five (19.2%) of the world’s people. Based on current trends by 2025 they will represent less than one-in-ten (9.7%). Their population share will fall by half in 50+ years.[10]

            Read more at – http://www.conservapedia.com/Essay:_10_reasons_why_American_atheism_will_see_a_significant_decline

          • SashaC

            Lol! I always scan a comment for a person’s sources, prior to reading a wall of text like that. Suffice it to say, that’s as far as I got with yours. Come back when you have some credible sources, rather than Christian propaganda sites. While you search in vain, google “atheism increasing” or “atheism increasing in America.”

          • Verisimilitude

            Fortunately, spirituality is not about numbers, but about the truth…

            …a fact with which Christians are increasingly uncomfortable.

  • EdWalton

    What you believe or don’t believe has no consequences on the truth, we can’t alter GODs attributes nor diminish HIS character, but what you believe and don’t believe determines who you are.

  • pax2u

    is Ellen G White a prophet of God, and did she speak for God?

  • pax2u

    Christians should pray for those who seek false prophets

  • John

    Matthew 24:10-11
    Many will fall away

  • Paulette Stanek

    But if you look for God, He will make Himself known to you. The saints are happy. They go into extasy. God met me in a banklobby where i worked. To know His love is amazing. Atheists so love to argue.

  • Paulette Stanek

    Adventists dont have the sameBible. This man was miss led

  • trailfaz

    The god-myth comes from the fact that the individual human brain has to explain a phenomenon in order to comprehend and relate to it. This activity predates by far the emergence of language and caused it. Belief in the supernatural emerges from hypotheses arbitrarily assumed by individuals to explain natural phenomena that cannot be explained otherwise. The resulting need to share individual hypotheses with others leads eventually to collective religious belief. A socially accepted hypothesis becomes dogmatic backed by social sanction.

    There is no god.. R’Amen..

    • Gary

      Nonsense.

      • trailfaz

        Gary, you wouldn’t know “sense” if it smacked you upside your head with a two by four. 🙂

        • Gary

          You dismiss facts and consider absurdities to be truth. You are insane.

          • trailfaz

            No Gary. “insane” is believing in an invisible, inaudible, imperceptible sky-daddy.

          • trailfaz

            What “facts” do I dismiss? List the absurdities.
            Describe your personal “god”.

    • Magister_militum_praesentalis

      Sounds like neckbeard-fedora philosophy to me.

      • trailfaz

        Sounds like you can’t comprehend it.

        • Magister_militum_praesentalis

          A little late to the party, aren’t you?

  • Michael Hallmark

    Christians themselves don’t seem all that convinced. They are heartbroken when a loved one dies in exactly the same way an atheist dispairs, and they fight just as hard to stay alive in old age until every creaky organ of their body stops functioning.

    it was quite amazing watching Rick Warren grieve over the death of his son, when he professes to believe he is in a better place. Kids leave home all the time for a “better place”. Wouldn’t that be a time to rejoice?

    • Gary

      My father died a year ago. He was 86 years old. He is a Christian, and is now in Heaven. I am not worried about him, and I did not grieve at his death because I was worried about him. I miss him. I know I probably won’t see him again for a while, and that makes me sad. But I know I will see him again. Christians have hope. We expect to go to Heaven when we die. The only hope atheists have is that they will cease to exist.

      • Michael Hallmark

        You didn’t mention the rejoicing part. I understand the grieving part but if I truly believed my father, who is your fathers age by the way, won the lottery and would spend a billion years in paradise with my mother, who has been dead many years now, and with his deceased parents, and his sister, and every person he knew growing up as a child, then I would be ecstatic for him. To rid himself of his failing body and be with dozens of people he has lost would be a joy beyond belief. The last thought on my mind would be grief.

  • Guest

    ME

  • https://plus.google.com/u/0/112743459266731535020/posts Steve Greene

    I’m just now seeing this page, and I see there are already a huge number of responses. So I don’t know whether or not this has been mentioned, but the headline writer has screwed this one up: “Former Adventist Leader Who Tried Atheism for Year Now Claims: ‘I Don’t Think God Exists'”

    Uh… No, he does not “claim” what he thinks or doesn’t think – he is the only guy who actually does know what he thinks. Well, at least until he tells other people what he thinks and then they know too. This is called bad grammar. The headline writer obviously got mixed up between “I don’t think God exists” and “God doesn’t exist”. But Ryan Bell didn’t actually say the latter. In effect we have the headline writer making the claim, by insinuation, that Ryan Bell doesn’t really know whether or not Ryan Bell thinks that God doesn’t exist, which is merely ironic.

    • OrionJones

      Yes, it could confuse a stupid person.

  • Fr. Agathon

    Another sorrowful victim of the New Age which replaces God with our own illusions that we are gods. It is nothing new. Lucifer was the first victim who tried to take the place of God; the highest degree of narcissism, self-love, ephemeral self-eroticism, a denial of Christ.

    • OrionJones

      “replaces God with our own illusions that we are gods”
      “the highest degree of narcissism, self-love, ephemeral self-eroticism”

      You seem totally confused as to what atheism is.

  • Galaxy Cat

    “The Fool says in his heart there is no God” the Bible says, this man is experimenting with Folly of the worst kind. Experimenting with Atheism is like experimenting with backsliding, we know the result, it is known, there is no question as to it’s fruits. But the Bible clearly states also, “Let the Righteous be Righteous Still, Let the Wicked be Wicked Still” in Revelations. Obviously his experiment was a success! Now do not be a fool any longer, lest you experiment with grief! All my Love in Christ Jesus, may the Lord Keep you and bless you always!

  • Seeker

    How do you start experimenting with something that you’ve already been using for awhile??