The ARG220 Thread, Part 2

You want a new thread, you got a new thread. Here’s a link to the first part:

This is Arg’s official notice.

I am not going to convert back to any form of Christianity. Any attempts at witnessing that you may provide, therefore, will not serve to save my soul, only to irritate me. It is rude to irritate others. So there.

Matt, we hope you’ll reconsider, we got a special this week, re-convert now and you get:

  • free water at the re-baptism (pure bottled spring water, your choice of carbonated or not, plus several flavours such as orange, lemon, or lime)
  • two wafers for the price of one, bring a friend to your conversion
  • eternal salvation plus perpetual bliss
  • avoidance of personal responsibility for any actions and advance forgiveness for any two (count them, two) cardinal sins and any four (count them, four) venal sins in the first six months (after that, normal rates apply)
  • special 1-800 number for confessions; press 1 for adultery, press 2 for murder, press 3 for impure thoughts, etc.
  • choice of halo, variety of sizes and colours, at discount prices
  • choice of harp, variety of sizes and colours, at discount prices (special this week only: synthesizer option, for small extra charge)
  • special blinders, inscribed with the logo of our religion, preventing you from seeing anything inconvenient or inconsistent with our doctrine
  • discount coupons that can be used at any anti-gay or anti-abortion rally for special placards and buttons
  • a bumper sticker saying “I AM SAVED BUT YOU’RE NOT” with a picture of a cute little smiley face sticking out its tongue (By the way, we have several hundred bumper stickers saying “I AM SAVED BUT YOUR NOT” available at half price.)
  • A free copy of our bible, in the original English, Hebrew, French, Spanish or Greek, with any objectionable or inconvenient parts left out (like, none of that “love thy neighbor” crap)

Plus, if you convert now, you can receive one of our special Holier-than-thou t-shirts (in red, white, and blue) – holes are extra.

And, if you act now, we’ll throw in absolutely free a set of ginko knives.

CK, You remind me of a great T-shirt I once saw:

<FONT SIZE=4><tt>Jesus died for my sins and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.</tt></FONT>

Most common question I ask: “What?”
Most common question I get: “Are you really hearing impaired?”

Hey Matt, are you one of those PLDennsion types who was once saved, and now you’re not? Or are you stating that you don’t like being witnessed to.


Damn, Dex. Now I almost wanna become christian.

And if you were offering the tried and true “carful of hookers and a big pile of blow”. I’d probably be all over it.

Heh. . .“I AM SAVED BUT YOUR NOT” at half-price.

Flick Lives!

I ain’t a “type,” Sunny Jim, I’m an individual. Nice to see you’ve settled the theological arguments on whether one can “lose” salvation, though.

You, OTOH, are a “type.” I can spit and hit ten people just like you from where I sit.

PL: I am sorry for calling you a “type.” I wasn’t thinking when I posted that message. I just meant to ask Matt if he was once saved, and now isn’t, like you. Really, PL, I didn’t mean to offend you in any way, and I’m truly sorry.


I think I will take the opportunity now to respond to Adam’s question about why I am now a “backslider”.
Having been brought up in the Pentecostal Christian faith, I grew up feeling very cheated and decieved by a doctrine that couldn’t answer to my satisfaction the questions that I asked. I don’t and never have accepted the Bible as fact ordained by God. I need something real and pertinent to my time and situation. There are many things in the Bible that cross time and are very relevent today, but I do not think that it is the only source from which one can draw to reach God. I struggle with my beliefs every day because I do not choose to blindly accept the teachings of the church. I really have to think about the consequences of what I do - and not for fear of some eternal retribution. My mother uses this tactic on me all the time no matter how many times I explain to her that my beliefs cannot and will not be based on fear of the unknown. Myabe the specific church I was reared in did me wrong. In any case, I listen to the conversations my parents have with their friends and it sickens me to the point that I don’t even bother quoting scripture to counter their statements anymore. They feel free to expound on their holier than thou opinions about the things that go on in this world through their skewed view and have the gall to consider themselves among the “persecuted.”
The way any Christian doctrine chooses to teach it’s flock only differs from another in the way it interprets the Bible. It’s all about interpretation. It is a difference of OPINION. If you want to interpret the Bible literally, go right ahead. Inasmuch as it only affects your own life, you can’t go wrong and you really aren’t hurting anyone. Your choices are YOURS to make. Just remember, that some of the Bible is allegorical and Jesus himself spoke largely in parables - ever heard of a METAPHOR? Some things aren’t meant to be literal.

I’ve always avoiding diving into the religious threads (though I love reading them). But I found Heath’s and PL’s backgrounds and current views interesting. Would anyone else like to post what their religious upbringing was and how it differs, if at all, from what they now believe?

I was raised a godless heathen–my parents never indoctrinated me into any religion, but left me to make up my own mind about it all as an adult (I am very grateful to them!). When I was in my 20s I did a lot of research on every religion I could find (modern, ancient, huge, cult, you name it), and came to the conclusion that I simply could not bring myself to buy into any of them. The two least bizarre, to my mind, seemed to be Unitarianism and Shintoism, but even they involved beliefs and practices I couldn’t get my mind around. I have friends of all sects, but they are smart and nice enough not to try to convert me, and I show the the same favor.

My father was raised in Alabama and was forced by his mother to attend Church of Christ services three times per week. This experience made him wary of organized religion, therefore he never forced me or my brother to attend services of any kind.

My mother was raised in California, baptized Catholic and attended mass sporadically.

I was baptized Catholic as an infant and attended mass with my mom as a toddler. Vague memories of a priest who told me that “everyone has skeletons in their closet”, then opened his closet and laughingly showed me the medical skeleton in it. I took it literally and looked for skeletons in closets for years.

For a few years we didn’t attend services of any kind. Then we moved to Texas and joined the United Methodist church. I didn’t really “get into” the services or understand anything about a relationship with God, etc. I did get help from a female pastor once. I had seen “The Excorcist” and got really freaked out. I couldn’t sleep. The pastor showed me a passage in the bible - Ephesians 6:11-18 - about the “full armor of God”. It was a tremendous help.

A couple years later we moved to Germany. My only contact with organized religion was through a Christian youth group called Club Beyond. I went on a couple of retreats and got what I call a “God high” for a few weeks after each.

For a few years after high school I was an agnostic. Then I had a transforming personal event and decided that there definitely is a higher power out there.

It wasn’t until I became an adult and attended a non-denominational church on a military base that I truly understood bible passages, sermons, etc. and could gain something from them.

I now attend a large Methodist church in the Twin Cities. I’m not sure if I want to remain a Methodist - still looking around.

I have higher self-esteem and I feel better about my place in the world when I attend church, read the bible and pray regularly.

I believe that unasked-for witnessing drives potential believers off.

I believe that you cannot argue faith.

I believe that everyone has the right to worship who and/or whatever they wish to.

I believe a lot of other stuff that many Christians would say is blasphemous… But I refuse to debate my religious beliefs anymore.

My brother, sister and I were raised as generic Christians. We didn’t attend a church, but mom told us bible stories, taught us the golden rule and we observed Christmas, Easter, etc. Then, in 1975, when I was 14, my dad retired from the Navy and we moved to the same northern CA town where his parents lived. Grandma and Grandad attended a Southern Baptist church and our family started attending with them. The pastor at their church was an extraordinarily gifted and charismatic speaker and an extremely good and kind man. One by one, my family was “called to Christ.” My parents were baptised first, then the three of us kids. I am a “researcher” by nature, and immeadiately after my baptism I started reading and studying the bible and found WAY more questions than answers. I spoke with Pastor Coolidge about my reservations and he was as helpful as he could be under the circumstances, but eventually was forced to admit that faith was a thing he could not “give” me – I either had it or I didn’t. I decided I didn’t have it, and left the church at about age 16, convinced by my reading and research that “God” was a myth. Pastor Coolidge left our church shortly after I did (he semi-retired) and the rest of my family stopped attending shortly after. I believe that my siblings and I were responding more to Pastor Coolidge’s fire and talent than to a real religious conversion experience. As for my parents, I think my mother has a genuine faith in God and my dad was seeking a church for us as part of a search for stability after dragging around for 20 years in the navy. My parents still don’t attend church, nor does my brother (although he does still consider himself a saved Christian), my sister married a Mormon and converted to LDS. Her family left that church a few years ago – they felt it (and christianity in general) was inconsistent with feminism. Currently, they are all sort of spiritual in a New Agey way. I would not be surprised to see my sister eventually plunge all the way into Wicca. My husband doesn’t like the idea of raising our kids as athiests, so, because I myself still have an emotional response to Christianity – based on memories of my happy childhood rather than of real belief, my family celebrates Christmas and Easter and we go to church occasionally. I guess I think of myself as a “cultural christian,” but intellectually I am an athiest.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

Heath: Did I call you a backslider? Can I just make a couple comments on your post?
You said:

The Bible is not the only source for teaching. There are many great books out there that inspire Christians. But the Bible needs to be the ultimante guide, and the plumb line. If you don’t think the Bible is God’s Word, then the plumb line is already off center.

And you shouldn’t. But again, there has to be a focal point in which you can check out the teachings, and that’s the Bible.

You said that you struggle with your beliefs every day Heath. It sounds like you’re not toally backsliden, but that you’re trying to find out what God is like for yourself. Well, I don’t want to speculate on your heart anymore than I should. I just think that you still have a desire to learn about God, but because of past hurts, you’re finding it difficult to find a firm foundation of faith.


I used to go to a Christian church - the United Church of Canada.

Then, when I turned 16 and I decided that wow I can think for myself, I decided to quit and find a less contradictory religion.

I’m now a Wiccan. And I am no longer interested in hearing from you that I’m going to hell - like I need a stranger to tell me that like ten years of Sunday school wasn’t enough. Oy.

Adam, will you do me a favor? Will you go to: , read a couple of tracts and tell me what you think? There is a thread about these tracts over on “MPSIMS” – the thread is called “For those who enjoyed CAPalert.” Anyway, I’m a little curious about what you think of these christian comics. I’ve read most of them, so will you just pick a few at random and give me your opinion. Thanks.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

Jess: I cruised on over to that site and read the tract about the Last Rites. “Ill informed, at best” is the polite view.

Well, yeah, Monty… Did you read “The Visitors?” Worse than ill-informed. I wanted Adam’s opinion because he’s the only person we’ve got around here who I think MIGHT agree with all that nonsense. Call me an optimist, but I’m hoping Adam will come back and say, “Gee. That stuff is SILLY!” We’ll see.


Full of 'satiable curtiosity

[[Adam, will you do me a favor? Will you go to: , read a couple of tracts and tell me what you think? There is a thread about these tracts over on “MPSIMS” – the thread is called “For those who enjoyed CAPalert.” Anyway, I’m a little curious about what you think of these christian comics. I’ve read most of them, so will you just pick a few at random and give me your opinion. Thanks.]] Jess
Here is SubGenius scribe Ivan Stang’s take on the immortal (and immoral) Jack Chick and his product:

“Learn to HATE for GOD. These are the tiny, rectangular “Christian” comic books that grinning zombies hand you on the street – the ones with atrocious art and an almost pre-human level of sheer, unbridled hate, manipulating the lowest human religious instincts. Not exactly a “turn the other cheek” philosophy. These have probably turned more people off to Jesus than any other Christian publication. If the Devil has been looking for something to make Jesus look bad, this is it. Chick depicts, with all-too-revealing glee, the eternal suffering that awaits Jews, Catholics, unbaptized babies, people who cuss, and anyone else slightly less consumed with hate and fear than he is. These rank right down there with the craziest Nazi UFO rantings, yet to many ignorant racists these are Truth. Terrifying.”

Ok, I just got back from that Chick site. I must say that I laughed when reading those two main tracts…“The Secret,” and the “Superstar.” Although I believe they tell the truth, the way the truth is presented is rather comical.

I also read “The Visitors.” I need to ask Monty if everything in that tract is true about Mormons. Because, quite frankly, I was shocked. I had no idea the Mormon faith was so twisted. (If, in fact, the stuff in the tract is what they believe) What I DIDN’T like is that the tract seemed “anti-Mormon.” And that’s not very Christian-like at all. The girl even had a frightened look on her face, when she said, “They’re Mormons!!” As if they are the devil or somthing. :frowning:

I also have a HUGE problem with the fact that Chick only uses the KJ version, and says that there is no version above it. That is just sick and wrong. I have used the KJ, and NIV version, and I think the NIV is vastly superior. But I’d never say that there’s nothing better than it, and I also think the KJ is still God’s Holy Word. I just think the NIV is a more precise translation, and it’s a lot easier to read.

In short…I would not recommend Chick tracts to anybody. They represent a “holier than thou” attitude, and if I don’t like them, chances are excellent that an unsaved person would find them rediculous, and offensive.


Well, there you have it, Jess. ARG says the Chick tracts are true and other religions are sick and twisted.