Went to church again. Started with singing songs. It is interesting listening to the songs from the 'other side.' The song 'I am Thine, Oh Lord' seemed a little morbid for kids with the words "Draw me nearer, nearer to thy precious bleeding side" and the song 'Have Thine Own Way' had me thinking about Burger King.
The sermon was over Jesus' "If you've been angry, you are guilty of murder" comment in the beatitudes. The preacher started by saying we need to ask God to change us, and make us nonjudgmental. But if that happened, how could Christians hate gays? They HAVE to be judgmental and angry. He also made the comment that everyone is made in the image of God, and it is that reason that we don't murder. Not the fact that it is deplorable, cruel, and inhumane, but because the Sky Fairy says so. He then made a funny quip that he is German and Irish, and was thus born angry. I chuckled at that, being mostly German and Irish myself. He goes into a rant on how my generation is angry, insulting and disrespectful, ignoring that what he just said was an angry disrespectful insult. He begins talking about an argument he had with his wife, and how he talked to God, asking for her being wrong to be forgiven, and How god talked back to him. Im not sure if he believes that God actually talked to him or not. I'd like to assume it was metaphorical, but there are whack-jobs who believe that. Not that it really matters, as a delusion is a delusion. He then ended by quoting a verse from The Message Bible, and then bashing it for not being suitable for deep textual analysis, as if anything other than the original Greek and Hebrew(if even that given the huge gap from story to written record) would be suitable for real analysis.
After the sermon, classes are offered. I went to one that goes through various kook theories(ESP, mind reading, ghosts etc.) and shows why they are false. Surprisingly, the reasons offered for why these things were false were relatively sound(there is a rational explanation for how it happened, the scientific tests show no evidence of it, no one has ever successfully shown it to be true). It was on the lack of evidence that it is true that he even played a short clip by James Randi. It all was very good, but the speaker seemed to overlook that every critique he offered applied to his God and his bible.
I waited until after class to bring this up with the speaker, in an attempt to not appear disruptive(I am on their property during their worship time, so I have to obey their rules). I mention that the things he mentioned apply to the bible, and he responded with 'no, the bible is the word of God.' I brought up that he is using what the bible says about itself to prove itself. He simply responded with the fact that you HAVE to(which I agree with, because there is no other reason to believe it) and thus it is ok. He then brought up a useless non sequitur of 'who is the god of the atheists?' I replied that we do not have one, and he just said 'yes you do, who was the first atheist?' I couldn't form a reply to that because it made no sense. It was then that one of the people who had been in the class(who happened to be a church elder) accused me of 'pushing atheism' by asking how those arguments don't apply to the bible. I responded that I was not pushing atheism, but merely trying to start a discussion that allowed all parties to learn something. The associate minister walks in to unplug the tv we used to watch the Randi clip, and asks me to not bring up debates in the future, because this is their time to worship, and I should not get in the way. I agreed that I should not disrupt, and made note that I actively avoided it by having a one on one with the speaker. The associate minister asked me to not do that again, and said he had gave my mom some books for me to read(Case for Faith by Lee Strobel, Reasonable Faith by William Lane Craig, and I Don't Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L Geisler and Frank Turek). Not sure if I'll read them. Craig is the idiot who just redressed Aquinas' first cause argument in slightly different terms and felt he had proven God. Strobel... well... having read the Case for Christ, and the Case for a Creator(great systematic chapter by chapter debunking here) I don't expect the Case for Faith to be any better. The other book I have no knowledge on, but the title reeks of ignorance.
Have any of you read them? If so, let me know what they were like.