I'll also start copying and pasting website proofs like Lyfe did...
Proof #1 - Try praying
What would happen if we get down on our knees and pray to God in this way:
Dear God, almighty, all-powerful, all-loving creator of the universe, we pray to you to cure every case of cancer on this planet tonight. We pray in faith, knowing you will bless us as you describe in Matthew 7:7, Matthew 17:20, Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:24, John 14:12-14, Matthew 18:19 and James 5:15-16. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
We pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways.
Will anything happen? No. Of course not.
This is very odd. Jesus makes specific promises in the Bible about how prayer is supposed to work. Jesus says in many different places that he and God will answer your prayers. And Christians believe Jesus -- according to this recent article, "54% of American adults believe the Bible is literally true." In some areas of the country the number goes as high as 75%.
If the Bible is literally true, then something is seriously amiss. Simply look at the facts. In Matthew 7:7 Jesus says:
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
If "every one who asks receives", then if we ask for cancer to be cured, it should be cured. Right? If "our Father who is in heaven gives good things to those who ask him", then if we ask him to cure cancer, he should cure it. Right? And yet nothing happens.
In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says:
For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
If "nothing will be impossible to you", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should disappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note that if we take the Bible less-than-literally here, the statement "nothing will be impossible to you" becomes "lots of things will be impossible to you," and that would mean that Jesus is lying.
In Matthew 21:21:
I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.
If "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", then if we ask to cure cancer tonight, cancer should dissappear. Right? Yet nothing happens. Note again that there is not a non-literal way to interpret "you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer", unless you replace "whatever" with "nothing" or "little."
The message is reiterated Mark 11:24:
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
If God says, "believe that you have received it, and it will be yours," and if we believe in God and his power, then what should happen if we pray to cure cancer tonight? It should be cured. Either that, or God is lying.
In John chapter 14, verses 12 through 14, Jesus tells all of us just how easy prayer can be:
"I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." [ref]
Look at how direct this statement is: "You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." This is the "Son of God" speaking. Have we taken him "too literally?" No. This is a simple, unambiguous statement. Have we taken his statement "out of context?" No - Jesus uses the word anyone. Yet Jesus' statement is obviously false. Because when we ask God to cure cancer tonight, nothing happens.
We see the same thing over and over again...
In Matthew 18:19 Jesus says:
Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
In James 5:15-16 the Bible says:
And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
In Mark 9:23:
All things are possible to him who believes.
In Luke 1:37:
For with God nothing will be impossible.
Nothing could be simpler or clearer than Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible. Yet, when we pray to eliminate cancer, nothing happens.
And keep in mind that this is Jesus talking here. These are not the words of human beings. These are not the words of "inspired" human beings. These are supposedly the words of God himself, incarnated in a human body. Jesus is supposed to be a perfect, sinless being. And yet, it is obvious that Jesus is lying. What Jesus says is clearly incorrect.
Jesus is supposed to be God. God is supposed to be perfect.
When Jesus speaks, he should speak the truth.
Yet when we look at what Jesus says about prayer,
he is clearly lying.
If you would like additional proof, gather a million faithful believers together into a giant prayer circle. Have them all pray together in Jesus' name that God cures every case of cancer on the planet tomorrow. Pray sincerely, knowing that when God answers this completely heartfelt, unselfish, non-materialistic prayer, it will glorify God and help millions of people in remarkable ways. Now, we certainly have two or more people gathered together, and they have asked in Jesus' name, and we have not one but a million faithful believers who, by definition, have faith and believe. We have fulfilled every one of Jesus' requirements.
Will Jesus answer the prayer now? Of course not. Your prayer will go unanswered, in direct defiance to Jesus' promises in the Bible. In fact, if you pray for anything that is impossible, your prayer will always go unanswered.
If you are an intelligent, rational human being, all of the examples mentioned above show you that the God of the Bible is imaginary. What Jesus says about prayer in the Bible clearly is not true.
In fact, we have ample scientific evidence to demonstrate that the belief in prayer is nothing but pure superstition, as shown in the next proof...
Go to Proof #2 >>>
Understanding the Rationalizations
A favorite Christian rationalization for why God does not answer our prayer to eliminate cancer is because "it would take away free will." The logic: If you pray and God answers your prayer, then God would have revealed himself to you, and you would know that God exists. That would take away your free will to believe in him. Of course, if this is true, then by default all of Jesus' statements about prayer in the Bible are false. It means that God cannot answer any prayer. Also, why is a God who must remain hidden like this incarnating himself and writing the Bible?
If Jesus is God, and if God is perfect, why aren't all of Jesus's verses about prayer true? Was Jesus exagerating? Was he fibbing? If Jesus is perfect, why wouldn't he speak the truth? Why doesn't a prayer to cure cancer worldwide tomorrow work?
Believers have many different ways to explain why all these verses in the Bible do not work, even if you are praying sincerely, unselfishly and non-materialistically, and even if the answer to your prayer would help millions of people and glorify God in the process. They will say things like this:
"You need to understand what Jesus was saying in the context the first century civilization in which he was speaking..."
"When Jesus talked about 'moving a mountain', he was speaking metaphorically. When someone says, 'it is raining cats and dogs,' no one takes him literally. Jesus was using a figure of speech rather than speaking literally..."
God is not a thing. He is a being. He has a will. He has desires. He relates to people. He has personality traits. Prayer is a fancy word for talking to God. God, who knows everything, even before we say it, knows the difference between our thoughts and wishes, and when we are actually addressing him. He hears our prayers and responds. His responses are based on his personal decisions. We cannot predict how he will respond to our prayers... [ref]
The problem is, all of these rationalizations miss two important points:
God is supposed to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, perfect being.
The statement, "Nothing will be impossible for you", along with the other Bible verses quoted above, are false. The fact is, lots of things are impossible for you.
If a perfect being is going to make statements about how prayer works in the Bible, then three things are certain: 1) He would speak clearly, 2) he would say what he means, and 3) he would speak the truth. That is what "being perfect" is all about. A perfect, all-knowing God would know that people would be reading the Bible 2,000 years later, and therefore he would not use first-century idioms (he would say what he means). He would know that normal people will be reading the Bible and interpreting it in normal ways, so he would speak in such a way as to avoid mis-interpretation (he would speak clearly). He would know that when you say, "Nothing will be impossible for you", that what it means is, "Nothing will be impossible for you" and he would make sure that the statement "Nothing will be impossible for you" is accurate (he would speak the truth). If God says it, it should be true -- otherwise he is not perfect.
Unfortunately, the fact is that thousands of things are impossible for you no matter how much you pray, and no one (including Jesus) has ever moved a mountain.
In order to see the truth, you need to accept the fact that all of the above verses are wrong. The fact is, God does not answer prayers. The reason why God does not answer your prayers is simple: God is imaginary.
Proof #3 - Look at historical gods
The belief in "god" seems to be ubiquitous through the ages.
We know, for example, that the ancient Egyptians believed in their gods so fervently that they built massive structures like the Great Pyramid -- still today one of the largest and most enduring human constructions ever created. Despite that fervor, however, we know with complete certainty today that the Egyptian gods were imaginary. We don't build pyramids anymore and we do not mummify our leaders.
More recently we know that tens of millions of Romans worshiped Jupiter and his friends, and to them they built magnificent temples. The ruins of these temples are popular tourist attractions even today. Yet we know with complete certainty that these gods were imaginary because no one worships Zeus any more.
Much more recently, we know that the Aztec civilization believed in their gods so intensely that they constructed huge temples and pyramids. In addition, Aztecs were so zealous that they were sacrificing hundreds of human beings to their gods as recently as the 16th century. Despite the intensity, however, we know today that these gods were completely imaginary. The Aztecs were insane to be murdering people for their gods. Killing a person has no effect on rainfall or anything else. We all know that. If the Aztec gods were real, we would still be offering sacrifices to them.
Today's "God" is just as imaginary as were these historical gods. The fact that millions of people worship a god is meaningless.
The "God" and the "Jesus" that Christians worship today are actually amalgams formed out of ancient pagan gods. The idea of a "virgin birth", "burial in a rock tomb", "resurrection after 3 days" and "eating of body and drinking of blood" had nothing to do with Jesus. All of the rituals in Christianity are completely man-made. Christianity is a snow ball that rolled over a dozen pagan religions. As the snowball grew, it freely attached pagan rituals in order to be more palatable to converts. You can find accounts like these in popular literature:
"The vestiges of pagan religion in Christian symbology are undeniable. Egyptian sun disks became the halos of Catholic saints. Pictograms of Isis nursing her miraculously conceived son Horus became the blueprint for our modern images of the Virgin Mary nursing Baby Jesus. And virtually all the elements of the Catholic ritual - the miter, the altar, the doxology, and communion, the act of "God-eating" - were taken directly from earlier pagan mystery religions."
"Nothing in Christianity is original. The pre-Christian God Mithras - called the Son of God and the Light of the World - was born on December 25, died, was buried in a rock tomb, and then resurrected in three days. By the way, December 25 is also the birthday or Osiris, Adonis, and Dionysus. The newborn Krishna was presented with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Even Christianity's weekly holy day was stolen from the pagans."
It is extremely hard for a Christian believer to process this data, but nonetheless it is true. All of the "sacred rituals" of Christianity, and all of Christianity's core beliefs (virgin birth, resurrection, etc.) come straight from pagan religions that were popular around the time of Jesus. Articles like this and this can help you learn more. Once you understand the fundamental truth of Christianity's origins, the silliness of this whole thing becomes apparent.
Obviously the pagan believers, from whom Christianity derived its myths, worshipped gods that were imaginary. And thus our "God" today is just an extension of these imaginary forerunners. All human gods are imaginary.
<<< Proof #2 | Home | Go to Proof #4 >>>
Understanding the Rationalizations
A Christian will often rationalize this situation by saying, "Yes, the Egyptians and the Romans worshipped false Gods, but Christianity is real. Just look at the billions of people who believe in Jesus Christ." This strength-in-numbers rationalization may feel comforting, but it is meaningless. The fact that millions of people worship a god is meaningless.
It was once the case that most people believed the world to be flat. Widespread belief did not change the fact that the world is a sphere. The scientific and observational evidence that we have available today is undeniable -- the world is a sphere.
All scientific evidence shows that God is imaginary. So does all historical evidence. This leads any rational person to conclude that Christian beliefs are pure mythology. Christianity is just like every other mythology that mankind has dreamed up through the ages.
Originally Posted by TunerAddict
Quite simply, you do not understand what prayer, or the Bible in general is about.
First, Jesus is not, and never will be God. A person praying to Jesus Is is not adhering to biblical teaching.
Next, Only Jehovah is the hearer of prayer (Psalm 65:2) Prayers are said to go through Jesus to Jehovah, which is why Christians say in Jesus name we pray. This does not mean we acknowledge Jesus as God also, but it means we recognize the shed blood and value of Christ's ransom sacrifice to give us the opportunity at life as Jehovah has intended. Jesus himself tells us to pray to our father in the heavens while he was on earth (mat 6:9) So that should solve who we pray to.
What may we pray for? The Bible explains: “No matter what it is that we ask according to his will, he [Jehovah] hears us.” (1 John 5:14) So we may pray for anything that is in harmony with God’s will. Is it his will that we pray about personal concerns? By all means! Praying to Jehovah can be much like talking to a close friend. We may speak openly, ‘pouring out our heart’ to God. (Psalm 62:8) It is proper for us to ask for holy spirit, for it will help us to do what is right. (Luke 11:13) We can also ask for guidance in making wise decisions and for strength in coping with difficulties. (James 1:5) When we sin, we should ask for forgiveness on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. (Ephesians 1:3, 7) Of course, personal matters should not be the only subjects of our prayers. We should broaden out our prayers to include other people—family members as well as fellow worshipers.—Acts 12:5; Colossians 4:12.
Matters relating to Jehovah God should be given first importance in our prayers. We certainly have reason to express heartfelt praise and thanks to him for all his goodness. (1 Chronicles 29:10-13) Jesus gave the model prayer, recorded at Matthew 6:9-13, in which he taught us to pray that God’s name be sanctified, that is, treated as sacred, or holy. That God’s Kingdom come and that his will be done on the earth as it is in heaven are mentioned next. Only after covering these important matters relating to Jehovah did Jesus give attention to personal concerns. When we likewise give God the most important place in our prayers, we show that we are interested in more than just our own welfare.
If you knew the theme of the Bible, you would know what God's Kingdom really is, and what it's set out to accomplish, and why we should pray for it, rather than just curing all cases of cancer in the world. Jesus called the Kingdom message the " Good news ". Why? Because it will be the time when all wickedness is done away with, all sickness, even death. Which is why Jesus said do not marvel at this once when he resurrected someone from death. Because Jehovah plans to do those things on a grand scale. But only when his Kingdom does away with the present system of things.
This is why true Christians do not pray for miraculous healings, or such things because they know Jehovah already has that and then some on the horizon, in his due time. Instead they focus on the doing of his will now, and helping others learn about him, so they too can see the day the Kingdom comes to full power. It is now not Jehovah's will to cure all cases of Cancer, and study of the Bible will show why, and when he does plan to make it his business to not only cure Cancer, but all ailments plaguing mankind.
Fixed your post and summarized this whole thread.
Originally Posted by Knicks4lyfe
Believe what you wish! Welcome to the board.
Originally Posted by PizzaLover