Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Posts Tagged ‘jesus’

[Atheism] Probably

Posted by Lex Fear on February 15, 2009

I was really happy to see the atheist bus campaign get into full swing. God Bless those atheists, another medium for which they can use to rage against their parents.

I have purposefully held off from writing about it until now, after the dust has settled and things can be fully absorbed.

I’ll start by saying I also found myself disappointed by the weakness of the message. I would much preferred something more assertive, more disdainful of religion. Instead we get probably.

Funnily enough all sorts of speculation took place in the atheist blogosphere and fora as to why include the word. There were some rather feeble apologetics using such idioms as “intellectually honest”.

Since I had followed this saga from it’s inception and was following the commentary at The Friendly Atheist I thought I should help bring clarity to the perception of the ‘Christian response’ as well as information as to how probably got in there:

1) British Christians views on the signs range from ‘Meh’ to ‘Great! More opportunities to talk about God”.

The fact is the Christian religion is led by a man who was violently, brutally killed as a convicted criminal – Call it insane if you will but most genuine Christians see persecution in any form as a privelege and opportunity to stand with Christ and spread the gospel!

Through history, the church has done better in times of persecution and it will always.

2) There are a few who are weak in faith and perhaps new Christians, or they have lost their way and these will protest.. and when they do the media will always give them the microphone to broadcast their ignorance.

But so far the worst response I’ve heard from any Christian is that it’s silly. That’s it.

3) I personally wish that they had dropped the ‘probably’ and gone for something much stronger. I wish it DID say “THERE IS NO GOD”.. with it the slogan is very poor and really isn’t worthy to be considered an attack or something like that. (Also the excuse given to include “probably” has to be the weakest excuse I have ever heard- very stupid)

The proposer of this campaign – a Grauniad journalist – originally gave the reason that she had seen ‘probably’ used in another ad (see Carlsberg) and assumed it was for legal reasons. It’s not, it’s a nod to the British talent for understatement. Silly woman!

Must try harder.

Which was quickly refuted by a commenter called Aj:

The Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) advised her that “the inclusion of the word ‘probably’ makes it less likely to cause offence, and therefore be in breach of the Advertising Code.”

Lots of people are getting this wrong, so here’s a quote. Lots of atheists don’t believe “there is no god”, they can only agree with statements like “there is probably no god, although I and others prefer “almost certainly” as it’s more accurate.

He went on to include a quote from Ariane Sherine (from a later article).

There’s another reason I’m keen on the “probably”: it means the slogan is more accurate, as even though there’s no scientific evidence at all for God’s existence, it’s also impossible to prove that God doesn’t exist (or that anything doesn’t).

Oh dear, how intellectually dishonest. He left me no choice but to quote the original article by Sherine in response:

“After that, I Googled Carlsberg and found this marketing site, which suggests that using the word “probably” at the start of the ad saved Carlsberg from litigation.” – Ariane Sherine, Atheists – Gimme Five, 20/06/08

Long before the article you quoted. They’ve given all manner of excuses since then.

And the Carlsberg Ad:

http://www.brandrepublic.com/Campaign/News/472122/Scandinavia-Great-nordic-conquerors/

“According to Jakob Knudsen, Carlsberg’s international brand director: “The Scandinavian understated sense of humour is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. If you take other premium Scandinavian brands such as Bang & Olufsen, they won’t tell you they’re the best. Instead, they let the quality speak for itself.”

Only America would produce, “King of Beers” or “World’s Finest” and market their products as the biggest, best, favourite, fastest, greatest etc…

This advertising (up until recently perhaps) would never work in the UK, but picture 2 blokes in a pub, one declares “This is the best lager I’ve ever tasted!”, the other, being British is likely to respond “I don’t think so, I think I’ve tasted better.” But if the first was to casually mention “This is probably the best lager I’ve ever tasted” then the other may likely agree with him “Probably.”

Typical MSM journalist, gets her research from an internet forum rather than the source.

Oddly, no-one then seemed interesting in arguing the point with me and just ignored my second comment completely. Not what you would expect from intellectually honest people but there you go.

Here’s a great quote from Lib Dem MP, Martin Turner:

Imagine that you saw any of the following advertisements:
“The speed camera probably isn’t loaded”
“You probably won’t die in a car crash”
“You probably did turn off the gas”
Telling someone that something probably won’t happen doesn’t stop them worrying about it. Quite the contrary. And, if the millions of lottery ticket buyers are anything to go by, telling someone that something they very much hope for is unlikely to happen does nothing to stop them hoping.
If “there’s probably no God” is the strongest statement that, on reflection, atheists dare to make in public, then they have moved a long way from the certainties implied in their name.

But my favourite quote on worry has to this:

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” – Jesus

As well as beating The Grauniad to the post by almost 2000 years, there’s something rather more elegant, meaningful and poetic than “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”, don’t you think (if you are being intellectually honest)?

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Posted in Apologetics, Doublespeak, Doublethink, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Propaganda, Quoteyness, The Love of Libel, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Asinine] The Dangers of Literal Interpretation of the Bible

Posted by Lex Fear on July 3, 2007

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, “Braaaaaaiiiiiinss…” Matthew 70AD

…Sorry.

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[Bible Fight] Mary Kicks Satans Ass!

Posted by Lex Fear on May 22, 2007

This Post Is Rated: M for Midly Offensive. If you’re super-spiritual.

This is Awesome!

Bible Fight


HT: Dark Side of the Moon Chaplaincy

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[Poetry] Prints in the Sand

Posted by Lex Fear on April 9, 2007

Such a beautiful poem, I thought I should share:

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some stranger prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord,” What have we here?”
Those prints are large and round and neat.
“But Lord, they are too big for feet.”

“My child,” He said in somber tones,
“For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait.

“You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up.
And there I dropped you on your butt.”

“Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand.”
– Author Unknown

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[Churchianity] Name Dropping

Posted by Lex Fear on March 14, 2007

“Prime Minister John Howard recently recognised the Church’s achievements by opening its new childcare facilities, financed with the help of a U.C.I.S loan.” – UCIS Flyer

“MANY Australians will question the priority of churches which have posted signs saying “Jesus loves Osama”, Prime Minister John Howard says.” – Herald Sun

“I just sat there the whole night with my mouth hanging open. To even have the prime minister John Howard want to go to Edge Church just because he wanted to visit – thats huge!” – AnnaTsang

“PRIME Minister John Howard attended an intimate fundraising lunch with a violent Brisbane pornographer, who was facing charges of torture and grievous bodily harm at the time, in the lead-up to the 2004 federal election.” – News.com.au

In October 19, the Assemblies of God NOW magazine headlined its lead story “Deputy P.M. puts Jesus first”. Assistant editor and writer for the magazine, Paul Gallagher, had obtained an exclusive interview with John Anderson on a subject that went deeper than his public office “his personal faith in God… …Prime Minister John Howard officially launched the book in August 2006, declaring to a room full of politicians and media, “I am delighted this book has been written.” – AOG Now Magazine

“Mr Howard said al-Qaeda should be “praying as many times as possible” for an Obama victory in the 2008 elections.” – BBC News

“The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. John Howard, officially opened the new 3,500 seat Hillsong Church Convention Centre in Sydney’s north-west on Saturday, 19 October 2002.” – AOG Now Magazine

“Back then, of course, he talked a lot about Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction; that does not make compelling reading today. Worse, back then Howard said not a word about what would happen after Saddam was gone. Back then he was saying Australian troops would be home in a few months.” – The Age


My dear friends, don’t let public opinion influence how you live out our glorious, Christ-originated faith. If a man enters your church wearing an expensive suit, and a street person wearing rags comes in right after him, and you say to the man in the suit, “Sit here, sir; this is the best seat in the house!” and either ignore the street person or say, “Better sit here in the back row,” haven’t you segregated God’s children and proved that you are judges who can’t be trusted?James, The Message Bible

Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bollotics, Churchianity, Dark Side of the Light, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Of The World But Not In It, Pharisees, Realpolitik, The Purpose Missing Church, The Religious Wrong, Uncircumcised Philistines, Xenophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Immorality] Big Brother In Christ

Posted by Lex Fear on March 5, 2007

Respect to Reverend Richard Moy who seems to be the only one in the Church of England Synod who is grounded in reality (no pun intended).

“Wait, what is that muffled noise I hear? oh, it’s just the God squad moaning about society again”

Isn’t it about time the Church actually tried to engage in society rather than make a moral stand against it (even when it has nothing to do with immorality, it’s just not polite).

If they would just look a bit deeper they may find that Big Brother has more in common with faith than they realise. Yes I try to avoid it but every year I end up getting pulled in, here’s why…

A group of people enter a house, locked in for 3 months, no contact with the outside world, all they have is the character they came in with and a big Voice that descends from the microphones giving them daily instructions, providing food and occasionally someone to talk to.

Then Moses cried out to the LORD, “What am I to do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me.” – Exodus 17:4

Just as God watches over us, interacts with us and provides for us, so does Big Brother the housemates (admittedly sometimes mischievously). Just as we pray to God in the secret place, the housemates enter the diary room to chat to Big Brother about the things that are bothering them, to ask for something, or to simply share how their day is going. They ask for gifts, and sometimes they get them, but sometimes there is a task or mission that Big Brother wants them to achieve.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” – Matthew 6:6

From the point they enter the house, they have entered a smaller version of the world- where character and culture are bound to clash. Big Brother watches ocassionally intervenes, and so do we watch and vote. We watch the good, the bad and the ugly. We are able to see everything that goes on, every conversation that happens. We can see when someone is being deceptive, when they are gossiping and sniping. We can also see the genuine people and we admire them, we cheer them on.

“…from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth – he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do.” – Psalm 33:14-15

But they don’t hear us, they don’t see what we see. Just as in this world, people go about their daily lives, some think they’re ok, they’re not harming anyone, some try their best to win without concern for others, and then there are some who suffer unfairly. We don’t see it happening, we don’t see how others see us, but God and the Angels see it all and they cheer or they growl.

“God is a righteous judge, a God who expresses his wrath every day.” – Psalm 7:11

I believe that Angels intervene also, just as we are given a vote, the Angels are given authority to intervene in our lives on occasion to bring us hope, or put down enemies.

Some housemates think they are a popular characters, though they have treated the others with contempt. What they have done with their time in the house, how they have treated the others has been on display for all to see, and they get ‘justice’ served (in the form of boos). Those who have acted with integrity, who have challenged the cheats, or risen above get the cheers. There are even times when one housemate in particular undergoes terrible persecution in the form of bullying- and they are cheered on, unaware of the army of supporters they have on the outside.

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” – Luke 15:10

Condemning shows like Big Brother and the contestants that take part, it’s almost like condemning humanity- since that is what it is at it’s worst.

Posted in Analogies, Apologetics, Churchianity, Dark Side of the Light, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Poetry] They Stood and Watched

Posted by Lex Fear on February 25, 2007

It had been a cold morning
Even they felt it
As the insensate beings gathered in the fields outside the city
Their master had given them one command
Do not interfere

There were millions of them
Legions upon legions
Extending far back into the valley of Hinnom and beyond
They encircled the city
They stood, waiting, watching the city walls
Their movements were graceful
Without speed or haste
The atmosphere was a blend of compassion and dread
They swarmed the streets of the city
Walking slowly, softly, in gallant strides with reluctance
The streets were silent as the people went about their daily business

As they began to slow and take their positions
A large crowd slowly appeared
The people of the city began to turn their heads and yell
A small breeze drifting between the buildings interrupted the stillness
As the crowd grew larger, their master’s only begotten could now be seen
A group of the spiritual beings gathered around him inside the crowd
He was tired, weak, weary, beaten, spat on and bleeding
They could feel the intense power and warmth flowing from him

He carried two wooden planks very slowly towards Golgotha
The mouths of the crowd spilled bitter hate
The wood had been bound in the fashion of a cross
And it began to press down on him
As he passed them, every one of the masters army straightened up to attention
And every one of their hearts,
Filled with compassion,
Fought vigorously against their will, stretching out towards him
Every part of their spirit being, yearned to go to the son
Like a tree that is blown by the strongest of winds
Desperate to yield to the powerful breeze
Yet it’s roots keep it held down in the ground
With one word from their master they would go to his side
Even before it had finished being spoken
They would tear the cross apart like paper and lift him up

He began to stumble
And one of them gently brushed the shoulder of a roman officer with its hand
The soldier seized a man and made him carry the cross
The ones that waited in the fields outside the city could now see him
Silently they began to straighten up and looked on
Millions of hearts now began to ache
As the people nailed his hands and feet to the wood
His figure began to transform
And as the people erected the cross it was more visible
The angels that had waited in the fields outside the city watched silently
As people passed by and came out to look
And fired arrows from their mouths at the masters son

By midday his figure had transformed fully
The only thing that remained visibly holy was his spirit
The only thing that still showed he belonged to his father
And because his figure had transformed
Into something that was now evil and detestable
His father could no longer look upon him
And so he began to turn his back

When the Lord had fully turned his back on his son
The heavens closed up, and the sky became dark
The darkness seemed to last forever
Nothing moved as the people of the city went about their daily lives
The son then lifted up his head and cried out
“Father, father, why have you abandoned me?!”
But the Lord did not hear his sons pleas
For his back was turned
Then the son gave up his spirit and cried
“It is finished”
And his body died

The heavens opened and sunlight poured down
Two of the angels waiting at the temple tore down the curtains
As the sunlight poured down, the angels in the fields began to mourn
Some wept loudly, Some cried out in their own languages,
And some sang lamentations in sweet soothing voices
Others pounded the earth and shook it violently
Graves opened up and the bedlam woke the sleepers
And the soul of the son departed

A group came after a short while and took the body down
The Lord had given two Angels a command
They followed the body
The people took it to the tomb where they buried it
And there they sat
For three days

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[Infallibility] Ulterior Verse of the Day: Romans 3:22-24

Posted by Lex Fear on October 1, 2006

“We are made right in God’s sight when we trust in the Pope to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done.

For everyone but the Pope have sinned; fallen short of the Popes’ infallibility. Yet now the Pope in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through the ex Cathedra, on this occasion..” – Romans 3:22-24 NLT

Is an apology a sign of admission of error? Depends on whether you are the Pope and you are speaking ex cathedra or not. Today’s Ulterior Verse of the Day was inspired by an article from BBC Magazine. So is the Pope infallible, and just how infallible is he?

It seems to me that you can be both infallible and fallible dualistically, depending on how many people or religious groups you offend.

Some people may question a dichotomy such as this but I can see the benefits of such a theology. I’ve been dying to tell 18-35’s Pastor how much his preaching sucks, and now I think I’ve found a way.

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Posted in Churchianity, Dark Side of the Light, Duh!, Laymans Theology, Pharisees, The Purpose Missing Church | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Gods Politics] Issues that matter to Jesus?

Posted by Lex Fear on September 23, 2006

Jim Wallis, author of Gods’ Politics weighs in on CBS…

“With 30,000 children dying everyday needlessly from poverty and disease, I can’t imagine Jesus thinking: the top issue on our agenda ought to be gay marriage amendments in Ohio.” – Jim Wallis

For being in the middle, Tony Perkins likens Wallis to a “dead cat or skunk”.

Video features on the Gods’ Politics blog.

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Posted in Apologetics, Bollotics, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Pharisees, Quoteyness, The Religious Wrong, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Justification] Where Are Your Accusers?

Posted by Lex Fear on August 20, 2006

“All right, stone her. But let those who have never sinned throw the first stones!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to her, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”John 8:3-11 NLT

All of us can admit to sinning – doing shameful or selfish things – and we can all receive forgiveness from Jesus or the person we offended, and be redeemed. However, in my experience, it doesn’t always end there. Today I stood in Church and whilst I was worshipping I found images brought to mind of all sorts of stupid embarrassing stuff I’ve done over the years. Are these just random blurbs from the subconscious part of my brain? Or is there something more sinister at work?

The Bible says that as Christians we have an enemy, called Satan. Taken from the Hebrew, “Satan” literally means ‘Adversary’ or ‘Accuser’.

Satan – Wikipedia

I believe that just as it was with Job, Satan stands before God and accuses us as believers. Funnily enough, for me, it usually happens at a time when I’m feeling good or trying to focus on God. It seems that as I enter in to the presence of God and into worship, this is when Satan tries his best to dig up the dirt and do a bit of mud-slinging.

For a time it works, both God and Satan know what’s buried in my backyard. I am convinced that the images or thoughts of my worst moments that come right out of the blue, are Satans attempts to convince both me and God that I am not worthy of his grace, or his love. (It’s not always Satan either, there are plenty of people in my life to remind me of the wrongs I’ve done).

It is then that Jesus, our friend and counselor, the advocate and mediator, speaks. He rebukes Satan, who is already condemned. As we lift our heads, Jesus asks “Where are your accusers?”

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