Dear former friend. Why didn’t you tell me?

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My Friend,

My friend I stand in judgment now, and Feel that you’re to blame somehow.

On earth I walked with you day by day, And never did you point the way.

You knew the Lord in truth and glory, But never did you tell the story.

My knowledge then was dim, but you could have led me straight to Him.

Though we lived together on earth, you never told me of the second birth.

And now I stand condemned this day, because of what you failed to say.

You taught me many things, that’s true, I called you friend and trusted you.

Now I learn that it’s too late, and you could have saved me from my fate.

We walked by day and talked by night, yet you failed to show me light.

You let me live and let me die, knowing I’d never live on high.

Yes, I called you friend in life, and laughed with you through joy and strife.

And yet on coming to the end …

I can no longer call you friend!

-Author, Unknown

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Categories: Christianity

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

64 replies

  1. That’s really good. Thanks, I’ve never read that before.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. His only son? Why didn’t he make more? Human beings send son and daughter, wave after wave to war to protect us from the ‘bad guys’, yet God stops at one? And then, doesn’t have him die, but promoted to Right Hand Man and eternal Life?
    I’m struggling to see the sacrifice….
    That is, unless it’s all a story, then I’ll quote “The Princess Bride”… “That’s nice”.

    Like

    • Brent,

      Do you ever wonder why you have outlived your welcome on nearly all religious debate forums?

      Seems to me that your lack of biblical understanding is second only to your lack of self-awareness.

      Like

      • That’s an ad hom. How about you address the larger issue.
        God could make millions of sons. He so hated the world so much that he only made one?

        Do you see how the platitudes you quote from the Bible are simply presumed to be glorious because you chose to make them glorious?

        Why did God only make one son? And, what does the Bible mean he gave him? Jesus lived a very short time on Earth and was born to be destined to rule Heaven for eternity.

        I’m not seeing the downside.

        Imagine if I said, “I love the world so much that I sacrificed my only son: I pricked his finger with a needle, and in return, made him ruler of the planet?”
        (After all, raising a person from the dead is, allegedly, easy for God).

        Why would you think I did a Good thing unless you automatically decided everything I do is great?

        Isn’t it more likely this is a story made by mortal men, and not an accurate description of the universe?

        Like

    • Brent, I sort of just sit and watch most deep theological debates as I am not really up for most of them. You on the other hand don’t seem to offer much except name calling and sarcasm. Makes me wonder…that’s how I used to react when truth was staring me in the face and name calling and sarcasm was the best argument I could come up with…just sayin.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think I’ve done any name-calling. And, I certainly don’t mean my comments to be sarcastic. While I may not be as smart as you guys, these are serious questions that gnawed at me when I was a Christian.

        It starts with questioning the Bible. Why should we trust the Bible, and the writers? Because preachers say they are to be trusted?
        If they aren’t, then is everything in the Bible golden? It doesn’t seem so. There are things that God does, that if a person did, they would be horrible.
        So, there is no reason to trust the Bible implicitly, nor the preachers, nor your own – subjective – interpretations of the Bible.

        Yet, Theists continue to tell us they have all the answers – we just need to understand everything how they understand it.

        I’m sorry, but that is an attempt at mind control. You don’t have to see things my way, but I’ll be damned if I don’t exercise my Free Will and let you know what I think.

        Ignore me if you don’t like my comments… or, have the courage to address the meat of my objections. (It’s called “Charity” in philosophy (philosophy being the love of wisdom))

        I get tired of the simplistic soundbites: “Jesus died for us”… then… “Jesus lives”… Which is it? Did he die for us or does he still live? Dead is dead.

        You don’t know of anyone who has come back from the dead and neither do I but you are trying to tell me a few did back when people thought comets were signs from God?

        I don’t buy it. I’m dumb, but not that dumb.

        Like

        • Brent, Brent, Brent,

          Have you read your own “About” page?

          “I am the worst kind of blogger. Forced into blogging because I’ve outlived my welcome at all the major religious debate forums. They thought I was too rude, I think they are delusional and can’t handle the truth when they hear it.

          I don’t pretend to be a deep thinker, by I try to be original and as deep as this ol’ brain will let me.

          In an age of suicide bombings and beheadings from religious nutters, I am more than happy to move the culture war online – where we can all turn off our computers and go live in peace. But, I also believe those idiots who would kill for their religious (or any view) need to be stopped, and for me this includes me speaking out against the foundation of their actions: their basic beliefs.

          That is the raison d’etre of this blog. To promote better life through fact-based thinking.”

          Does this sound at all like someone who is seeking truth and up for honest debate?

          I think Wally is right, you have nothing useful to add.

          Like

          • What offends you the most? My hatred of religious extremists who would kill, or my attempt to discuss the issue peacefully?
            I am an atheist because I’ve heard all the Apologetics. I think this probably bothers you because you simply think I don’t understand. It’s an easy way to demonize your opponent.

            Like

            • If you have a problem with religious extremists who kill, you should adress them, not me.

              I don’t find you offensive at all, I find you tedious and lacking in understanding of what you claim to hate.

              At least we know hatred, not a thirst for understanding, is what motivates you, glad we cleared that up.

              Like

              • Religious extremists, when looking for a reason to justify their beliefs, use people like you. People like you who claim they have lots of proof for the existence of God and, therefore, a reason to believe all kinds of things written in the Bible.

                You also vote.

                It’s a culture war, people! What were you expecting? To live peacefully while you spread ideas that are antithetical to human flourishing? I don’t know why you would think that.

                Like

        • Brent,

          Here is some evidence that the Bible is reliable.

          It’s not absolute proof but it is reasonable.

          I would like for you to take the time and read it objectively.

          https://thei535project.wordpress.com/2014/10/16/is-the-bible-true-the-cumulative-case-for-the-reliability-of-the-gospels/

          Like

      • In the end, I’m frustrated because I think you all have severe doubts about Christianity, but you never express them. You act cock-sure when you talk to non-believers, but I know for a fact that inside the walls of you Bible Study groups and Churches, you express all kinds of crises of Faith. I know this because every church group I have ever been in was dominated by people who would have sincere questions, or, who simply asserted that they didn’t believe certain dogma.
        Even the question as to whether Jesus actually died and rose is debated among Christians. Some argue, with justification for their exegesis, that the Rez story is a metaphor and that we don’t quite understand what God means by an afterlife.

        I know you have doubts. Instead of glad-handing each other, while you vote against the Rights of people based on your dogma, why not challenge yourselves to question the very basis for your doubts: the Bible?

        It’s staring you right in the eye, imo.

        Like

        • Brent,

          Finally I think we’re getting somewhere.

          Of course, churches all over the world have people who doubt, even some of the disciples who walked with Jesus had doubts.

          As for me, I have absolutely no doubts that my beliefs are 100 percent true.

          I used to have some but, after nearly 20 years of study, they have all disappeared.

          Good thing about God is that He will take you as you are, doubts and all.

          In the end, doubts of others won’t matter one bit. What you need to worry about is what YOU believe, not what other people doubt, what other people believe, and what you think motivates them.

          Sorry if you’ve had some bad church experiences but your eternity is yours and yours alone. Don’t let your past define you, it’s history.

          Like

        • I feel like reading what you write is exactly how I felt and thought seven years ago. Trust me, I understand where you’re coming from. I won’t try to persuade you to see my side, but just wanted to try my best to describe one part since you said it had been gnawing at you (I’ll try my best, I’m no theologian).

          The point of sending one son was enough because he justified us before God. We are free of Levitical law and are therefore free from the wages of sin as long as we can accept the gift of grace. Jesus didn’t have to do it the way He did it, He didn’t have to suffer, but He chose to. He, alone on that cross, had put on Him every sin we all had ever committed. God couldn’t even look at Jesus at the time, because God is Holy. Because of that and the fact that He rose again, leaves us, as flawed and despicable human beings, to do God’s work here on earth. We don’t always get it right, and that’s the truth. Being a Christian is messy and it’s difficult, but it gives life purpose. I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, but I guess my point is, God only needed to send one because as professing Christians we are to now to do the work here, so it is like God sending more. But we blow it a lot. Luckily, God is good and can use our weaknesses for His glory.

          I’m sorry if I come across preachy, that’s not my intent. If you’re not wildly opposed to it, could I pray for you? Maybe that God would give you some clarity on these doubts that are weighing you down? I used to doubt many things, even after I became a believer 7 year ago, I have found that God will give the clarity and understanding we seek as long as we are honest with Him and, instead of just dismissing it, when we seek Him, He will give us understanding. Sorry this got long, have a great day!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

          • This is interesting. I am told my points are ridiculous, but here is a Christian who claims to have had the same thoughts… Maybe it;s because I’m an atheist.

            The problem with your explanation, as I see it, is that one could come up with ANY reason for anything when it comes to God – yet, there is no way to verify which view is right.

            How do you know tomorrow there won’t be another Son? Or Daughter? You can’t, and trying to understand the mind of god is as difficult as trying to understand the minds of every believer.

            I reject that we need salvation or atonement. I think that is a lie created by religious zealots.
            We never needed Jesus, nor atonement.

            We don’t even need God.

            We need people to care about THIS life, not the next one.

            Like

            • I respectfully disagree. I’m just saying I don’t see anything wrong with doubt because I believe that serious seeking would lead one back to God, at least that’s been the truth for my life. I also see now that you are not here to have a civil discussion, so I will bow out. One of us is wrong and one of us is right. I pray you will attain clarity within your lifetime. Christianity is the opposite of absent-minded fanaticism, but I don’t believe your heart is open to seeing that

              Like

              • What wasn’t civil about my response? That I disagree with your religious view? I disagree with Muslims and Mormons, too – is that be uncivil?
                I don’t get it… Christianity must be written on tissue paper if it can be harmed by such mild comments.

                Like

                • Brent,

                  Based on most of your comments, I would also conclude that you are not at all here to be civil.

                  You are here to deny God and frustrate believers with nonsense.

                  Read what you are writing, most of it is absolutely absurd.

                  Liked by 1 person

                • Haha, no but I actually like that tissue paper comment, I may use that sometime. The truth is I am not made for discourse like this on a personal level and I’m more interested in discussions with people who have doubts but are willing to listen. I lived on your side for 20 years, trust me, I understand your doubts and arguments. I Probably shouldn’t have said anything, I just know that God is better. Grace can complete us. I live now with a purpose and a hope that is just something that can’t be explained I suppose. I live with stage 4 cancer and have had provable miracles happen in my life, I should not even be functioning right now, Let alone alive, but am sustained for whatever reason. God would be just as good if I were dead at this point, but what I’m getting at is that you seek proof that God exists, here I am. But even Jesus knew that people witness miracles with their own eyes and still not believe. God is good and He is real and He to save screw ups like myself, and so I’ll praise Him. With every breath I have left. Just not believing in Him doesn’t make Him not real…

                  Like

                  • I’m sure we all prefer to speak with people who have doubts and are willing to listen! If only the world was like that! If only Imam’s, or the 9-11 jerk wads had doubts and were willing to listen… but that’s not the entire picture of reality.
                    Some times my children don’t want to listen. I have to find a way to get them to.
                    Some times I don’t want to listen, but someone with something important to get through to me should try.
                    Pray for me! Pray that I am willing to listen, but do the same for yourself.
                    What I hear is that you want to convince people who are weak and desperate.
                    That is not me. And I don’t want weak and desperate people to believe me, just because they are weak and desperate.
                    Why do you want people who doubt and willing to listen? So you can convert them? Or so you can hear that your ideas are completely off the wall?
                    I want to speak to people who don’t want to listen, who have no intention of changing their minds, and in that exchange, the reader can decide who has the better points.
                    I’m not afraid.

                    Like

                    • Ok I get it, you’re manly man who is way too cool for God. You are strong and independent and way smarter than us! My comment came out a little wrong, and it wasn’t quite what I meant, but I’m not here to defend myself, think what you want. I do actually listen first before responding and take it in and try to respond without anger or judgement (can you believe that’s in the Bible?!) But I’m also human and I’m bowing out now and not responding anymore no matter what you attack about me next. I do hope you have a good day

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Kim,

                      I appreciate your thoughtful comments and believe you added to the discussion.

                      Some people are difficult to deal with, no matter how hard we try.

                      I will only go so long before I shake off the dust and move on.

                      God bless,

                      James

                      Like

                    • Haha Thanks, I realize people don’t come to Christ after an argument on the internet, but through real genuine relationships. I appreciate your blog and what you do! It’s always well-written and thought provoking (:

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I appreciate your blog too, you are an inspiration to, I hope, many.

                      My prayers are with you as you continue to fight.

                      James

                      Like

                    • Maybe I am a “manly man who is too cool for God”, is this a therapy session or a discussion?

                      I’m not in this for friends. James, and many other apologists, claim to sell you some goods. You claim their claims are correct – that they have a secret to life, or an answer to ‘what ails ya”, but I disagree.

                      I don’t think there is a magic tonic, “God” that fixes everything. Some times its medicine, some times it’s luck. That shouldn’t make me a bad guy that I recognize this, but more importantly draw attention that if there is no God, then prayer is not helping, nor the massive amounts of money to gain converts, or maintain churches.

                      I give credit to churches that give massive amounts in charity for programs that give money to social ills, but one penny spent to prop up superstitious beliefs as a a solution to those goals is a penny lost.

                      I don’t propose to have an answer to all social ills, but it might begin with: “Let’s use our resources wisely”.

                      I have trouble being convinced that using our, Society’s and Humanity’s resources (time, energy and material) to promulgate superstitions is, ultimately, a good use of time.

                      Imagine the great minds of Christianity, but instead of mulling over how to “prove” god exists, they tried to cure cancer?

                      It’s not a bad thing to expect MORE from the human race. I won’t apologize for that. I for one am bothered by how much time I spend discussing this, but I am drawn to it like a heroin addict to a needle.
                      I;d like to be free of it and help the world.

                      Since we’ve started talking, about 100 children have died of starvation.

                      Did they really die because they didn’t know the right God? Did they not say the right prayer?

                      You pray for ME to become a Christian? It seems so petty.

                      I pray we both discuss the solution to THEIR problem, not mine.

                      Like

                    • Brent, this is my last comment with you unless you say something new and compelling. It is going to be very harsh and you are going to holler like a banshee about it I am sure.

                      My friend, you need to be afraid. You mentioned children and my stomach tied up in knots. Do you know that I have two of my own who are quite lost and doomed? Do you want to know why they are? Because that is what I taught them. What they learned about God and sin and salvation they learned sitting in Dad’s lap. I taught them so well that I have thus far been able to unteach them.

                      Is that what you want for your children? You mentioned you were “once” a Christian. Heck, I believe that if your conversion was real when it happened, you might still be Heaven bound. It probably wasn’t, but I don’t know your heart: only God does. But at least at one point you apparently believed you were Hell bound and thought Jesus was the answer to your problem(which He is.)

                      If there is even the remotest possibility that we are right and we are wrong….how high is your comfort level with standing by and watching your children drift right into Hell? If you are right, then we all end up in the same place, which is nothingness right? However if I am right (and I am), then we all are heading somewhere; we just have to make the choice of where. Are you really prepared to set the foundation for that choice with your children and live with the consequences?

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That was pretty powerful Wally.

                      I pray that your children will see the change in you and that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Wally,

                      I would like to use your words in a post, if you don’t mind.

                      Like

                    • Absolutely..I am very honored.Thanks

                      Like

                    • I hope that didn’t make you feel worse, that wasn’t my intent at all.

                      Like

                    • Oh..not at all. My kids are far from alone in having been driven away from Christ by me. I was very good at it. I’m forgiven for it, though and now I am absolutely sure of the things I need to be doing. And reaching the lost is my desire and I will use any tool God has given me, including things that might hurt. Its all good.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • May God bless your effort 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                  • BTW, I’m happy you are winning against cancer. Every family has cancer, and it’s probably only a matter of time before I have it.
                    However, I don’t think it’s right to use it as sign from God that you have beaten it so far, while so many have died – praying that God would save them.
                    It’s a bit selfish, IMO.
                    I know, this seems rude, but again, I will speak my mind and I shudder to think that some person who has lost their child to cancer reads your comments, while you try to use it as an arguing point against an atheist.
                    Again, I am very glad you are alive, but using it as a debating point seems not only rude, but heartless.
                    This is why, TO ME, it seems Christianity is all about saving one’s own skin.
                    It’s all about YOU being special, while millions die of the same disease… some without any access to modern medicine.
                    Some have the same cancer as you, but die from starvation before the cancer can win.
                    Apparently, their life had no purpose. God was done with them?
                    The argument you make can be flipped: Why didn’t God determine you were good enough for him to take you to Heaven?

                    All in all, I simply don’t see these arguments as valid, good or convincing. But, I surely make myself out as the ‘bad guy” for mentioning it.
                    The messenger gets shot an awful lot in these conversations.

                    Like

                    • I don’t know why I’m still here and there is survivor’s guilt. My intention was never to seem better or more valuable. Its just too complex to describe here I suppose.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That is something I won’t touch. That is, I totally respect your personal struggle. You don’t have to try, I actually get it. That’s not what I come here to discuss.
                      In the end, you can have your own beliefs.
                      There is one thing I don’t mess with is mourning, and I have knowledge of ‘survivors guilt’ as a serious form of mourning.
                      If you remember nothing else of me, remember this.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • So I am really going to leave you alone after this! I guess I am not good at dropping things (my poor hubby! Amiright?) But I just wanted to attach the link to my thoughts after receiving what I believe was a miracle. I hope you find it less of the “In your face! God loves me better!” narrative that you have me pegged for, and hopefully you can see that when you are saying these things, you are saying them to real people. I’m sure there are still things in here that you will see as selfish or prideful, and I’m ok with that because I’m not perfect and would never claim to be, but I’m a real person that you have dismissed as “selfish…rude…and heartless”. That hurts.
                      http://morelikecantcer.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/so-what-do-i-do-now/

                      Liked by 1 person

      • Also, Wally, you can look at my earlier logical arguments and compare my level of engagement with Christians, and their level of engagement with those rational and sober points.
        Let me just say, I am no better or worse than the average Theologian.
        Christians don’t think so because they think I “can do no good”. They are required to disregard my comments. They are threatened with Hell if my arguments seem to have merit.
        I can honestly question your claims: I would gain Heaven. You would gain Hell if I am rational and sane.
        It’s better you attack me, then risk your soul, right?

        Like

      • Brent
        I’m going to answer your question about why God only “made” one Son. First you are totally off base right from the start. God didn’t make Jesus. You miss the whole point. What follows is not deep theology but is truth.
        We have all sinned..me, you, James..all of us. You know that, whether you can say it or not. Simply missed the mark of God’ perfection. Just compare yourself to, say, the Ten Commandments. I take that test and fail every time. Therein lies the problem. God is perfect, we are far from it. Additionally, whether we like it or not, He has said what the penalty for that is..”the wages of sin is death” surely you remember that one? He makes the rules, because He made all of this.
        Death is required, period, like it or not. That is why God only “made” one Son as you so brilliantly mispoke. God didn’t make a son. God made Himself human in the incarnation. Why you ask? Humans sinned, humans have to pay. Got it so far? But, since the price of all human sin is infinite, the ability to pay had to also be infinite. Still with me? Jesus the man could pay man’s debt, Jesus as God could pay it all. You asked why God hated us so much he only sent one Son? Well, you blew that one. He LOVED us so much He sent One who could take care of it all.
        Read this post please Brent. I actually wrote that just to help some friends of mine in your very situation to understand.
        http://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/jesus-paid-it-all-parts-1-5-summarized/
        Now, may I ask a question? What precisely made you suddenly NOT wabt to be a Christian any longer?

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was really beautiful Kim. Don’t get too hopeful, though; Brent is a tough nut.

        He has taken issue with some of the things I said in my post
        http://truthinpalmyra.wordpress.com/2014/11/04/jesus-paid-it-all-parts-1-5-summarized/

        To show how entrenched he is in illogical thought, he posted the following on my Blog

        “No, the fact that something exists isn’t evidence it was created. Come on! I get tired of this!”

        Really? Brent needed a short lesson on the Law of Causality lol.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I read your exchange, smh.

          Brent has next to no readers and seems to make a hobby out of alienating and anoying Christians online.

          The only person who fails to see the monumental errors in his logic and his inability to contribute anything useful to a debate is apparently him.

          I pray he eventually sees where he is going wrong.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Great article you found…hard to swallow if you have a friend like that who you failed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wally, since James is going to stop me from commenting, I am offering my blog as a place anyone and everyone can comment.
    I am interested in continuing this conversation.
    I appreciate my style is not for everyone, and while I don’t mean to be rude, I prefer to speak plainly and get to the point I am trying to make. If I think something is absurd or silly, I will say so. Anyone is welcome to call my views silly or absurd.
    I will let the reader decide.

    You said “Now, may I ask a question? What precisely made you suddenly NOT wabt to be a Christian any longer?”

    Because I simply couldn’t or didn’t believe it anymore. I realized that all the force of Christianity (it’s emotional value, the moral force, etc.) was all because I maintained it in my head. There was no external source.
    Then, I studied mythology in College and saw that Christianity is no different than any other mythology. Humans worry about 1. Death, 2. Morality. They create stories to help make sense of their place in the world. Christianity is one of those stories.

    It is not any more complicated than that for me.

    How you think of Greek Mythology is exactly how I think of Christianity and Islam. One has to CHOOSE to elevate one mythology above the others, and it can easily be done by meditating on it ‘as if true’, which is how Churches get people to believe. They scare you into worrying about Life and Morality, and they say “what if Christianty is true? Think about it!”

    Having once been a committed Christian, I can see the emotional investment you have in your chosen religion. I don’t know why I am trying to dissuade you of your beliefs, but it feels right to try. I think it’s because I really believe Christianity is false and it has such an impact on public life. (For example, people were voted into the most powerful seats of government simply because they claimed to be Christian, when there was no evidence they were, or were any good at their job).

    Also, to answer you question, every Christian I have engaged with over the last 14 years has not given me any reason to believe them. Some claim to “walk with Jesus”, some claim to talk to God, some claim to know more about the world than all the scientists who have ever lived – simply because they chose the Bible as their authoritative source.

    Even James can’t provide proof for any of his claims. He has offered what he thinks is evidence, and I have responded. I’ll let others decide who makes the better case.

    I don’t want this to be my last post, but even this one might not make it.

    Again, I welcome all of you to my blog where you can ask me anything, and I will answer it.
    I speak for myself, and shy away from nothing.

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on Atheist Catalyst and commented:
    This is how I would phrase it, since we are imaging people dead, but still able to think:

    Dear Former Friend,
    Well, it seems you are right, there is no God. Why did you let me waste my one moment alive, in the infinite space of time, on religion?
    I can no longer call you friend.
    -Author, Known

    Like

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