The Instigator
brett.winstead
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JustinAMoffatt
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

There are no true Christians

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
JustinAMoffatt
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2013 Category: Religion
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 975 times Debate No: 35136
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

brett.winstead

Pro

I am pro for the idea that their are and never have been any true Christians. If the definition of a Christian means one has faith in Jesus, his words and his promises, I will show Biblically that there are no Christians with this faith and thus, no Christians. Of course, part of being a Christian means you believe that Jesus died for your sins but that is another issue. I believe many have and do believe that part so I will only be debating your actual faith in his words and promises. I will show that there are no real faithful Christians.

Please be a professing fundamentalist Christian to debate me instead of not being one and playing devil's advocate. The first round will be for acceptance but feel free to make any statements you like.
JustinAMoffatt

Con

This debate has intrigued me. I am a fundamentalist, non-denomination Christian. I will accept the Pro's offer. I wish my opponent the best of luck. I hope that we can find truth in the "trial by fire" method of evaluation, which is debate.

(I'm sorry if my referring to you in the third person bothers you. I am a policy debater, so I naturally tend to address "the judge". If this is a problem for you or becomes confusing, please let me know.)
Debate Round No. 1
brett.winstead

Pro


Thank you for accepting the debate and the 3rd person is fine by me.



In order to be a Bible believing Christian, you must have faith in Jesus. This is repeated many times in the New Testament (NT) so I am sure we are in agreement. Would you agree than in order to have faith in Jesus and his words, you would need to know what Jesus said in order to have that faith? After all, if faith is believing that what God (or God's word) says is true, you have to know what God's word says. I want to offer you several Biblical tests to prove your faith:



1. Will you drink some kind of poison to prove your faith? Mark 16:17-18 says:



"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all..."



As it says, if you believe (have faith), there are things you can do that other people without faith cannot do and one of these is that you can drink poison and it will not hurt you. I won't even bring up the snake handling. Can Christians do that and are they willing to do that publicly to prove their faith.



2. Will you give me $1000?



"Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you" (Matthew 5:42).



It seems obvious that Jesus said to give and to loan whatever is asked. This seems to be a great way to test your faith that regardless of how much you give or loan, Jesus will take care of you.



In the same speech, Jesus re-emphasizes not to worry about your own needs:



"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?" (Mat. 6:26).



If you have faith, you will have no problem at all giving or loaning whatever is asked of you because your Heavenly father will take care of you just as he takes care of birds who have no money.



I have brought this up to other Bible believers on an online forum and several asked me "Do you really think Jesus meant to just give away whatever is asked of you? That would just be crazy so you cannot take that so literally."



Truthfully, they did make sense. I would agree with these believers that it does not make sense to give to anyone at any time whatever they asked of you without any recourse. It would be crazy to do that. However, that is only the case if you think in a normal, worldly sense. Normally, it would be crazy to give everything you have to whoever asked but the Biblical Jesus is not about normalcy. It is about having faith. He is saying that if you had the faith of a mustard seed, you will have no problem giving away what is asked and then letting God take care of you. This is a test of your faith.



Lastly, and this is the big one, there is a very clear acid test of a person who has faith in Jesus:



"Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these (John 14:12).



Jesus said whoever believed (has faith) in him will do greater things than what he has been doing! What had Jesus been doing? Here is a partial list; healing the sick, making blind men see, turning water into wine, walking on water and raising the dead. Ask yourself this question: Do you do all of these things and more? If not, according to Jesus, you do not believe in him. Have you ever known of anyone who did any of these things, let alone all of them and more? If you do not do these things proving you do not believe in him, how can you see that you are born again and on the path to eternal life?


JustinAMoffatt

Con

I thank my opponent for his response. I will now refute his arguments.

His argument, while a rather large one, held true to its one crucial point. This point is:
I do not have faith to do the things he has listed, therefore I do not have faith in Jesus Christ.

I will counter with my answers to his questions in a biblical context.

He provided me with several tests for my faith. The first, would I drink poison to prove my faith?

My first answer is this, I believe that God could protect me if I drank deadly poison. Secondly, I would not drink it to prove my faith.

The Bible says in Dueteronomy 6:16, "Do not put the Lord thy God to the test." (this is later quoted by Jesus in response to the devil's temptation for attempted suicide, Luke 4:12) In drinking poison to "prove my faith", I would be sinning against God. God will give me rescue in my time of need, but He will not stand for me drinking poison to supposedly demonstrate my love for Him. Mark 16:7-8 says that you can recognize a beliver by if they can perform those miracles, but doesn't say that all believers will go around doing these things on a regular basis.

The second question my opponent asked of me was, would I give him $1,000?

The answer to this is... well... yes. Shocked? I suppose that's understandable. I have faith that my God will provide for every need of mine. Do I always get it right? No. In fact, I often err. But that's part of being a Christian. You don't have to be perfect. That's why there IS such a thing as a true Christian. I wouldn't go to the point of endangering others, or allowing someone to sin by fulfilling their request. This would be counter-productive to God's purpose. But outside of that, yes. As my opponent stated, my God said He would fulfill every need of mine. Who am I to doubt Him?

The third and final question I was asked is this, Can I do greater things than Jesus?

My answer: With Jesus, I can. This is simple Philippians 4:13 states, "I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me." Earlier in the New Testament, Jesus was recorded saying this to His disciples. "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." While there are true stories of miracles performed by Christians through Jesus, these stories are few. Why? Because there are few who have faith even the size of a mustard seed. I surely don't. However, I have personally seen faith act in situations where I have been able to offer no other explanation. Jesus didn't care about the miracles, though. You seem to think by that verse that he implies all Christians will perform greater miracles. However, Jesus did place great emphasis on acts of love, mercy, and forgiveness. After all, as Paul states in 1 Corinthians 13:2, "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.".

I conclude this round with a final few statements. There are such beings as true Christians. I know this for a fact. I know this because I am a true Christian. John 3:16 states "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." I am sure in my faith in this fact.

In essence, I am the refutation to your argument. I look forward to any future arguments you may have. It's been a pleasure.
Debate Round No. 2
brett.winstead

Pro


I will reply in bold.



He provided me with several tests for my faith. The first,
would I drink poison to prove my faith?

My first answer is this, I believe that God could protect me if I drank deadly poison. Secondly, I would not drink it to prove my faith.



The Bible does not say that God "could" protect you. It says that no harm will come to those who believe.

The Bible says in Dueteronomy 6:16,
"Do not put the Lord thy God to the test."



So why did Jesus say specifically that you drink deadly poison and as proof of your faith, no harm would come if it was sinful to do that? As for Deuteronomy, this has nothing to do with testing God. You are testing yourself to show others how powerful a true believer is. That was a strange use of that verse and is not at all relevant.



Mark 16:7-8 says that you can recognize a believer by if they can perform those miracles, but doesn't say that all believers will go around doing these things on a regular basis.



"These signs will follow those that believe..." There is no mention of how often. How about, as a testimony to Jesus, you do it once and video tape it and put it on Youtube or call a press conference and do it on live TV? After everyone sees the miracle, won't people be interested in learning more about the power of Jesus? Isn't that the point of what Jesus said? Why drink it just for nothing?

The second question my opponent asked of me was, would I give him $1,000?

The answer to this is... well... yes. Shocked?



Okay, then I am asking. My Paypal yahoo address is brettw777. I promise to find some very good causes for the money too and not just spend it all on myself. How soon can you send that over?



The third and final question I was asked is this,
Can I do greater things than Jesus?

My answer: With Jesus, I can. This is simple Philippians 4:13 states, "I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me."



Then it will not be a problem for you to go to the nearest Cancer hospital and lay hands on the people and watch the doctors be amazed and let Jesus be severely glorified, right? I can see mass numbers of people getting saved left and right within just hours of this. When would be a good day for your schedule and I will contact the hospital in your town and we will start there. I will be your campaign manager. I am thinking handicapped, blind, deaf, all diseases, etc. With your faith, the world is going to be healed. BTW, this is not about what Jesus "can" do through you but what the Bible says you "will" do with faith in him. He is not going to be doing anything. Remember, Jesus told the woman "your faith has healed you."



While there are true stories of miracles performed by Christians through Jesus, these stories are few. Why? Because there are few who have faith even the size of a mustard seed. I surely don't.



Then I am afraid I have some bad news. You are not a child of Christ. It works like this; you either believe Jesus or you don't. He either told the truth or he lied. If you believe he is going to save you but don't believe his words that you can do all that he did and more, then you are not with the kind of faith that saves because if you don't have faith in all of it, you don't pass the test. By you not having the faith to heal someone, you are essentially saying "I don't really have that kind of faith in Jesus" and are basically calling Jesus a liar. Don't worry though. You are not alone. I am with you all the way.



There are such beings as true Christians. I know this for a fact. I know this because I am a true Christian. John 3:16 states "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life."



But you don't believe Jesus's words so you are not a true Christian. You have already admitted you don't have the faith to do the miracles Jesus did so therefore you do not have the faith to believe he will save you. You cannot have one without the other. I don't think Jesus wants to be told his words are not true by the same people who expect him to save them. You either believe all of Jesus's words or none of them. There is no middle ground where you can say "Jesus, I believe you will save me but I don't believe your words that I can do what you did and more. I think you were lying to me on that one." Only a real faith will save you.



Wait, I am actually making this too complicated. He did not even say you had to have faith to do the miracles. He just said believers would. Sorry I took so long to say that. To sum up, if you have faith in Jesus and Jesus said you would do miracles, you are one of his if and only if you are doing the miracles. If you are not, well, you don't have the faith in him at all.

JustinAMoffatt

Con

I will reply in bold as well.

The Bible does not say that God "could" protect you. It says that no harm will come to those who believe.

I still do not see God's recommendation that I should drink poison? The point was that, if I had faith in God, I could not be harmed. But I shouldn't drink it as a "test".

So why did Jesus say specifically that you drink deadly poision and as proof of your faith, nor harm would come if it was sinful to do that? As for Deuteronoomy, this has nothing to do with testing God. You are testing yourself to show otehrs how powerful a true believer is. That was a strange use of that verse and is not at all relevant.

I will provide the context that Jesus used it in.

"9And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;


10for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’


11and,
‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”


12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

13When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time."

What you see is an almost identical test being provided to the Son of God Himself. He was told to jump off the temple, not to prove that God would save Him, but that He was the Son of God. It wasn't a strange use of the verse at all. Again, I pointed out that nowhere in the verse about believers doing miracles does it say we would do those regularly. Also, nowhere does it say we should drink poison to be able to "prove" it has no effect on us.

"These signs will follow those that believe..." There is no mention of how often. How about, as a testimony to Jesus, you do it once and video tape it and put it on Youtube or call a press conference and do it on live TV? After everyone sees the miracle, won't people be interested in learning more about the power of Jesus? Isn't that the point of what Jesus said? Why drink it just for nothing?

Two responses.

First. Jesus was saying that those who believe in Him are protected from poison, were they to drink it, and provided they have faith. Again, I am not to put the Lord my God to the test. You can word it as nicely as you want, but trying to prove my invinvibility in Jesus needlessly is a sin against God. There are plenty of miracles every day, you hear about nearly impossible survival stories, people being cured of cancer spontaneously, and great things happening for almost no reason. These are miracles in their own right, yet you don't ask where they come from? If you're not going to believe, a parlour trick certainly wouldn't convince you. But I digress, I am getting off topic.

Second. My faith isn't strong enough. It's that simple. Do I know without a doubt that my God is omnipotent and will save me from all harm? Yes. But I am a skeptic, a doubter, just like anyone sometimes. My faith falters. Jesus said that "Even those with faith as small as a mustard seed" would be able to move mountains. I am not there yet.

Okay, then I am asking. My Paypal yadoo adress is brettw777. I promise to find some very good causes for the money too and not just spend it all on myself. How soon can you send that over?

I am not joking when I say I would. Two problems, though. One, I don't HAVE $1,000 to give you. I am still a high schooler, and have yet to get a steady course of income. Second, I have no guarantee with what my opnent will do with the money. Matthew 10:16 states, "Be as shrewd as serpents, but as innocent as doves.". In my "shrewdness", if you will, I know that most people on the internet aren't who they say they are. I'd rather give it to the charity asking for donations that has a good track record of using money in God-honoring ways. It's nothing personal. It's just the internet.

Then it will not be a problem for you to go to the nearest Cancer hospital and lay hands on the people and watch the doctors be amazed and let Jesus be severely glorified, right? I can see mass numbers of people getting saved left and right within just hours of this. When would be a good day for your schedule and I will contact the hospital in your town and we will start there. I will be your campaign manager. I am thinking handicapped, blind, deaf, all diseases, etc. With your faith, the world is going to be healed. BTW, this is not about what Jesus "can" do through you but what the Bible says you "will" do with faith in him. He is not going to be doing anything. Remember, Jesus told the woman "your faith has healed you."

Jesus is necessary for any miracles, first of all. Yes, He could only heal those who had faith in Him (another problem with your proposition), but it was Jesus healing them. Act 3:6 recounts a discussion between Peter, John, and a parlytic who asked them to give him money for his disablitiy. Peter responds, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk". He doesn't do the miracles in his own power, but in Jesus Christ's.

Secondly, aside from the problem of others not having faith, I do not have enough faith. It is as simple as that.

Then I am afraid I have some bad news. You are not a child of Christ. It works like this; you either believe Jesus or you don't. He either told the truth or he lied. If you believe he is going to save you but don't believe his words that you can do all that he did and more, then you are not with the kind of faith that saves because if you don't have faith in all of it, you don't pass the test. By you not having the faith to heal someone, you are essentially saying "I don't really have that kind of faith in Jesus" and are basically calling Jesus a liar. Don't worry though. You are not alone. I am with you all the way.

This argument falls apart about midway through. My opponent stated that if I don't have faith in all of it, I don't pass th test. This isn't true at all. Jesus only provided ONE stipulation for eternal life. John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son. Whoever believes in Him, shall not perish, but have eternal life." I have full faith in this. I have full faith in all the Bible. As the father of the dying boy stated in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!" Another account of doubting in faith came from Peter. It is Matthew 14:22-22. It says,

"22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”"

Jesus said that we could know a believer by the miracles they perform. However, He never stated that those who do not perform miracles are NOT Chrisitians. God only provides one way to be saved. My opponent also never refuted my arguments about acts of love superceeding miraculous actions in the kingdom of God. Therefore, as before, I remain as a counter to the idea that a "true Christian does not exist".

Debate Round No. 3
brett.winstead

Pro

But I shouldn't drink it as a "test".

12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”

No one says it is a test. It is a characteristic. As a true believer, you can demonstrate your true belief by drinking poison and handling poisononous snakes. There is no test for you. It is a testimony for others. Otherwise, the whole verse is completely meaningless and you are giving it the same meaning as one who has zero faith. You are afraid to demonstrate your faith. I get it. You are as normal as everyone else when it comes to drinking poison. That is why no one does it.

First. Jesus was saying that those who believe in Him are protected from poison, were they to drink it, and provided they have faith.

So, I would assume you would agree that any Christian who ever lived who drank poison had no side effects at all. Is that correct? If so, we are done with those verses because there is nothing left to add. For the record, I did not expect you to drink poison.



Second. My faith isn't strong enough. It's that simple. Do I know without a doubt that my God is omnipotent and will save me from all harm? Yes. But I am a skeptic, a doubter, just like anyone sometimes. My faith falters. Jesus said that "Even those with faith as small as a mustard seed" would be able to move mountains. I am not there yet.

Then, again, your faith is nonexistent. It is not about having enough faith. Jesus was actually saying that using the mustard seed analogy. The mustard seed was very tiny so he was saying that any amount of faith could get the job done, not "enough" faith. This is important to understand because what it says is that you do not have any faith because if you had any, you would be able to move mountains. If you cannot heal the sick, raise the dead, move mountains, etc., you have zero faith. Only a mustard seed amount is necessary according to Jesus. By you admitting you are not there yet, you do not have the kind of faith it takes for him to save you.

Okay, then I am asking. My Paypal yadoo adress is brettw777. I promise to find some very good causes for the money too and not just spend it all on myself. How soon can you send that over?


I am not joking when I say I would. Two problems, though. One, I don't HAVE $1,000 to give you. I am still a high schooler, and have yet to get a steady course of income.

Okay, I understand that. How about $50?

Second, I have no guarantee with what my opnent will do with the money. Matthew 10:16 states, "Be as shrewd as serpents, but as innocent as doves.". In my "shrewdness", if you will, I know that most people on the internet aren't who they say they are.

It is not your decision or concern who I am. Jesus says to give to whoever asks. He did not ask you to do a background check on the asker. Now, you are looking for reasons to not demonstrate your faith.

Then it will not be a problem for you to go to the nearest Cancer hospital and lay hands on the people and watch the doctors be amazed and let Jesus be severely glorified, right?

Jesus is necessary for any miracles, first of all. Yes, He could only heal those who had faith in Him (another problem with your proposition), but it was Jesus healing them.

Yes, Jesus healed people but he healed people who did not even know who he was so you are mistaken that they had to have faith in him. His healings led people to follow him in the Bible. The following did not come first for the most part. As a believer with real faith, you have the power to do the same by Jesus working through you. That is what this is about. He said you would do everything he did and more. You are doing nothing he did and admitting it.

. Peter responds, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk". He doesn't do the miracles in his own power, but in Jesus Christ's.

Agreed and what is stopping you from doing the same thing? Could it be the same thing that has stopped every other professing Christian? Lack of real faith that Jesus will heal through you?

Secondly, aside from the problem of others not having faith, I do not have enough faith. It is as simple as that.

You are perfectly making my point. You don't have enough faith and neither does anyone else. That is why you don't see someone on primetime TV walking into hospitals and sending people home perfectly healthy. That is why there are blind and deaf people. Let me stress this again. THIS IS THE REASON; NO ONE HAS THE FAITH! There is no one who has ever done this. You are a living example of the proof that there are no real Christians who truly follow Jesus and show the fruits.

Then I am afraid I have some bad news. You are not a child of Christ. It works like this; you either believe Jesus or you don't. He either told the truth or he lied. If you believe he is going to save you but don't believe his words that you can do all that he did and more, then you are not with the kind of faith that saves because if you don't have faith in all of it, you don't pass the test. By you not having the faith to heal someone, you are essentially saying "I don't really have that kind of faith in Jesus" and are basically calling Jesus a liar. Don't worry though. You are not alone. I am with you all the way.



This argument falls apart about midway through. My opponent stated that if I don't have faith in all of it, I don't pass th test. This isn't true at all. Jesus only provided ONE stipulation for eternal life. John 3:16 states,

The Bible says the demons believe. Are they saved too? Jesus said you will know his people by their fruits and I have demonstrated in this debate what the fruits are of a true Christian. No one passes the test. Faith without works is dead and can such faith save? No. See James 2:17. Your faith, according to James, is dead. I am sorry to point this out.



Jesus said that we could know a believer by the miracles they perform. However, He never stated that those who do not perform miracles are NOT Chrisitians.

Let me repeat the verse that shows you are mistaken:

"anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these…" (John 14:12).



What is the first word in the verse above? Anyone. There are no Christians that you have ever met that do any of the miracles Jesus did. Can you admit that? That should speak volumes when you can honestly admit that to yourself. You have only heard stories. Why is it so difficult for someone with faith to lay hands on someone with or without faith, perform a miracle, let the world see the medical records and hallelujah! What a testimony! We both know why this does not happen. See the title of this debate.

God only provides one way to be saved. My opponent also never refuted my arguments about acts of love superceeding miraculous actions in the kingdom of God. Therefore, as before, I remain as a counter to the idea that a "true Christian does not exist".

If love saves people, that totally contradicts John 14:6 because lots of people show love without following Jesus. Are you suggesting that only people who believe in Jesus can show acts of love? Acts of love does not prove anything about whether or not you are a Christian. That is like Jesus saying Christians are people with hair and so if you have hair, you are a Christian.

JustinAMoffatt

Con

For my arguments this round, I am going to switch tracks in my argumentation. It appears this debate is getting nowhere. Why? Because we do not have a an answer to what makes a Christian. Being a Christian means, as defined by pro, "one who has belief in Jesus, His words, and His promises."

I have faith in Jesus. I have faith in His words. I have faith in His promises.

I am a Christian.

Faith is subjective. My opponent can not tell me if I have faith. Can he evaluate my actions to draw a logical conclusion from them? Certainly! But faith is an internal matter.

My opponent has tried to provide tests and scriptures that, in his opinion, urge me to prove my faith. My faith is between my God and me alone. If my opponent will be skeptical of my faith no matter what, so be it. But if that was the case, why did he start this debate in the first place?

My opponent stated that I'd be able to drink poison with no side-effects as a testimony to my faith. However, I'm not going to lie. I don't have sufficient faith to do this. It I had to, I would. But then again, at that point I wouldn't really have much choice in the matter!

Thankfully, contrary to my opponent's belief, God does not require me to drink poison. Why? Because He knows there is such a thing as doubt. Doubt is natural, but can be fought. We, as humans, don't have strong wills when it comes to believing in things we can not prove or explain. God, being omniscient, knows this. When Peter jumped out of the boat, He was doing it because He wanted to be with God. He trusted God wouldn't let Him fall. However, as Peter got closer, he doubted. He allowed his skepticism to take over. He still had faith in God to save him, but he didn't have faith in God to perform the miracles himself... at that time.

Later, however, Peter would do great things in the name of the Lord. These miracles would be similar, if not even greater, than those Jesus performed. This is yet another example of a true Christian, both by the standard presented (if we are to believe Peter's words) AND by the convoluted standard that the Pro tried to adapt his arguments towards later in this round.

My opponent stated his opinion that faith was all or nothing. This is fine. It is his opinion. He has no proof, whatseoever, of this claim. Jesus didn't say to Peter, "Why didn't you have faith?". Jesus said, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?" Little faith. Not none. Faith, as described in the bible, is quantifiable.

My opponent then proceeded to try and scam me out of my money once again...

Okay. I jest. This was another test for his standard. However, with the information I've revealed above, (regarding how faith is quantifiable, doubt and faith can be felt at the same time, and how faith is subjective and internal) this test is meaningless. For the record, I do have $50. And no, I'm not trying to get out of giving my opponent money. The thing is, Christians shouldn't enable sinful behavior. If I give everyone money when they ask for it, they could use it for sinful purposes. It is like having a friend, who is a habitual drinker, come up and ask you for drinking money. I don't give it to him, because it would allow him to sin more. If he came up to me asking me to but him lunch, I would. In the same manner, I have to trust but verify. (as the old Russian proverb and president Reagan stated) It is only logical.

Jesus healed people who had faith in His ability to heal. There is never an account of Him healing someone who didn't believe in Him. Sorry. The original faith in Him came from His actions of kindness and mercy, and His teachings in the synagogues, as well as miracles that He performed early in His ministry (such as turning water into wine).

I'm afraid doubt has stopped most of the miracles that could be performed. My opponent is correct in a sense. However, it's not just a lack of faith by the Christians performing these miracles, but by those recieving them. There will always be deaf, blind, and lame people in this world, until the day Jesus returns. Jesus never said the world will be perfect. Even by your second standard you brought up, Peter was an example of a "true Christian" correct? However, even though he undeniably had faith, there was still much sorrow and sickness during his time.

As for John 3:16, the demons do believe. The demons are not souls, they can not be saved. However, my opponent can be, and anyone reading this. I have been. And if anyone else has been to, I'm happy for you. John 3:16 provides the TRUE definition of a Christian. We are debating the one my opponent first brought up in the 1st Round, but anyone who falls under the TRUE definition should also fall under the broader definition we're debating anyways.

No. Love is something we all express. We can all love. I think my opponent already knows this. I'm saying that Jesus views acts of love and selflessness as greater than miracles. When He is talking about acts greater than His, He is referring to our everday selflessness.

I invite my opponent to offer his final arguments and conclusion. I will do the same next round. Fantastic debating, as always.
Debate Round No. 4
brett.winstead

Pro

Faith is subjective. My opponent can not tell me if I have faith. Can he evaluate my actions to draw a logical conclusion from them? Certainly! But faith is an internal matter.



Well, not exactly. When Jesus said exactly what true believers are capable of, I can know what true faith is.



My opponent stated that I'd be able to drink poison with no side-effects as a testimony to my faith. However, I'm not going to lie. I don't have sufficient faith to do this.



The same faith it takes to believe you can drink poison and have no side effects is the same faith you need to believe that Jesus died for your sins and is coming back for you - the smallest amount of faith possible. Faith is believing what God says is true. If you believe the one part, how can you not believe the rest? Are you suggesting that when Jesus said you could that he may not have been honest?



You mentioned the story of Peter and his doubts. You have to understand something very important about that whole story but I will get to that at the end of this round.

My opponent then proceeded to try and scam me out of my money once again...



For the record, I do have $50. And no, I'm not trying to get out of giving my opponent money. The thing is, Christians shouldn't enable sinful behavior. If I give everyone money when they ask for it, they could use it for sinful purposes.



First, what did I say the money was for? I never mentioned sinful behavior. I never mentioned anything. Also, Jesus did not say "when someone asks you for money to borrow or keep, find out what it is going to be for." No, he said to simply give it. I know it does not make sense but that is what the Bible says. I did not imply that it made sense.

Jesus healed people who had faith in His ability to heal. There is never an account of Him healing someone who didn't believe in Him. Sorry.



I'm sorry too because you are not familiar enough with the Bible. However, I have a few decades on you so I will show a few examples:



1. Peter and John healed a lame man who did not even know who they were (Acts 3 1-10) and he did not even ask nor expect to be healed. They just zapped him.

2. Jesus raised the dead at a funeral. How could the dead person have had faith? (Luke 7)

3. Remember when Peter cut the ear off of the soldier at Jesus's arrest. Jesus promptly put it back on and we know that faith did not come into play. The soldier was an enemy.

4. Jesus healed great crowds of people without any indication of anyone having faith. Blind people could not even see Jesus and yet they had faith? Based on what? In the beginning of his ministry, no one knew who he was. They did not follow him until he started doing miracles.


Also, if what you say is true, then Jesus only healed believers in him leaving all non-Christians today exempt from any healing. Think about that. Even if you had the faith to let Jesus heal through you, you would have to tell the non-believers "Sorry, the healings are only for our kind of people." What kind of love is that?


Even by your second standard you brought up, Peter was an example of a "true Christian" correct? However, even though he undeniably had faith, there was still much sorrow and sickness during his time.



No, Peter was not a Christian. You would not call a Jewish person who believes the Messiah is here a "Christian." There were no Christians in the modern sense while Jesus was still alive. Paul gave us the definition of a Christian as someone who believes he died for your sins and rose again.


John 3:16 provides the TRUE definition of a Christian. We are debating the one my opponent first brought up in the 1st Round, but anyone who falls under the TRUE definition should also fall under the broader definition we're debating anyways.



John 3:16 is simply about belief and the Bible explains what belief is. It is accompanied by action. If you have a true belief, you will be keeping the commandments of God (Rev. 14:12) and doing what Jesus said. Belief in weight loss means nothing until you actually change your diet and/or exercise. Belief will not make one lose weight.



Justin, you seem like a really nice, polite guy. You are giving answers that I would pretty much expect from any professing Christian and I do not expect you to throw it all away in one debate. You would be weak-willed if you did! I mean that. I grew up in church, ignored it for a while and then went at it full force for 12 straight years until I started seeing first one problem, then more, then a lot more, then a tremendous amount more. It all started with me simply testing the Bible, something that it says to do.



If you have looked at any of my other debates, I pick certain things in the Bible and debate them to show the lack of credibility and trustworthiness in the Bible. I specialize in the NT and how it completely contradicts the OT (especially Paul) but I debate lots of Biblical topics. I mentioned Peter earlier and said I would get back to him. Justin, it is as simple as this. You cannot use Peter as an example of someone who had weak faith but he still believe and Jesus was fine with that and here is why; it is a story in a book. You never met Peter. You never were told by Jesus that Peter existed. You are basing this not on faith in Jesus but in your faith in man that the book itself is actually the word of God. You assume it is and you believe it is but you have not the first piece of evidence. However, there is plenty of evidence against it and that would be true even if there were no mistakes in the book.



Are you up for a real faith test? I would like to challenge you. You don't have to drink poison, give me money or cast any demons out of the voice of Nickelback's lead singer (unless you also see the need). Here is all you have to do. Email me at bw124 at hotmail and I will send you a digital copy of a book I wrote for free. If you can read all of this book and you still believe the Bible, you pass. Great debating with you!

JustinAMoffatt

Con

Well, not exactly. When Jesus said exactly what true believers are capable of, I can know what true faith is.

Sir, I do not doubt I'm capable of these things in Jesus. My problem is my own faith. It is not great enough. You have nothing but your own assertions for this argument.

The same faith it takes to believe you can drink poison and have no side effects is the same faith you need to believe that Jesus died for your sins and is coming back for you - the smallest amount of faith possible. Faith is believing what God says is true. If you believe the one part, how can you not believe the rest? Are you suggesting that when Jesus said you could that he may not have been honest?

I believe in every word of the Bible, sir. My doubt comes from my own mortality. How many times did Jesus chastise His own dsiciples for being of "little faith"? These were eyewitnesses to His own miracles! It's amazing how weak-willed humans are. I am included in this. But I must keep trying, because through Christ, all things are possible.

First, what did I say the money was for? I never mentioned sinful behavior. I never mentioned anything. Also, Jesus did not say "when someone asks you for money to borrow or keep, find out what it is going to be for." No, he said to simply give it. I know it does not make sense but that is what the Bible says. I did not imply that it made sense.

Jesus also gave this command while on the sermon on the mount, which was painting a picture for a society where everyone was a believer. In context, this makes even more sense. In practicality, Jesus was emphasizing that Christians must be selfless.

I'm sorry too because you are not familiar enough with the Bible. However, I have a few decades on you so I will show a few examples:

1. Peter and John healed a lame man who did not even know who they were (Acts 3 1-10) and he did not even ask nor expect to be healed. They just zapped him.

2. Jesus raised the dead at a funeral. How could the dead person have had faith? (Luke 7)

3. Remember when Peter cut the ear off of the soldier at Jesus's arrest. Jesus promptly put it back on and we know that faith did not come into play. The soldier was an enemy.

4. Jesus healed great crowds of people without any indication of anyone having faith. Blind people could not even see Jesus and yet they had faith? Based on what? In the beginning of his ministry, no one knew who he was. They did not follow him until he started doing miracles.

Also, if what you say is true, then Jesus only healed believers in him leaving all non-Christians today exempt from any healing. Think about that. Even if you had the faith to let Jesus heal through you, you would have to tell the non-believers "Sorry, the healings are only for our kind of people." What kind of love is that?

Faith was required for Jesus to heal. He wasn't trying to only heal those who were loyal to Him. In the Bible there are numerous references of faith being the pivotal role in healings. Faith in God's power, yes, but faith. In response to your examples, again, faith is internal. If, in every healing, faith was stated as the enabling factor, then logically, we must assume that those others who were mentioned were also faithful, at least in Jesus' ability to heal them. As far as the dead go, God is an omnipotent God and omniscient God. If we believe these miracles, we will believe that God knows their hearts and souls.

No, Peter was not a Christian. You would not call a Jewish person who believes the Messiah is here a "Christian." There were no Christians in the modern sense while Jesus was still alive. Paul gave us the definition of a Christian as someone who believes he died for your sins and rose again.

I'm afraid I don't understand this argument at all. By both your beginning definition, and by your second standard you brought up, Peter was the perfect example of a Christian. Merely saying "no he wasn't" doesn't prove your point.

John 3:16 is simply about belief and the Bible explains what belief is. It is accompanied by action. If you have a true belief, you will be keeping the commandments of God (Rev. 14:12) and doing what Jesus said. Belief in weight loss means nothing until you actually change your diet and/or exercise. Belief will not make one lose weight.

You are right in a sense. You brought up the verse, "faith without works is dead". However, you misinterpreted the meaning. It does not mean you must have works in order to have faith. On the contrary, it means that if your actions, such as loving those around you, do not convey your faith, then your faith probably doesn't exist. However, John 3:16 doesn't add any stipulations for salvation. What it proposes is the bottom line. If you believe, you are saved. Why would it say that if it wasn't true to the faith, in a book that calims it is completely accurate?

Justin, you seem like a really nice, polite guy. You are giving answers that I would pretty much expect from any professing Christian and I do not expect you to throw it all away in one debate. You would be weak-willed if you did! I mean that. I grew up in church, ignored it for a while and then went at it full force for 12 straight years until I started seeing first one problem, then more, then a lot more, then a tremendous amount more. It all started with me simply testing the Bible, something that it says to do.

If you have looked at any of my other debates, I pick certain things in the Bible and debate them to show the lack of credibility and trustworthiness in the Bible. I specialize in the NT and how it completely contradicts the OT (especially Paul) but I debate lots of Biblical topics. I mentioned Peter earlier and said I would get back to him. Justin, it is as simple as this. You cannot use Peter as an example of someone who had weak faith but he still believe and Jesus was fine with that and here is why; it is a story in a book. You never met Peter. You never were told by Jesus that Peter existed. You are basing this not on faith in Jesus but in your faith in man that the book itself is actually the word of God. You assume it is and you believe it is but you have not the first piece of evidence. However, there is plenty of evidence against it and that would be true even if there were no mistakes in the book.

Are you up for a real faith test? I would like to challenge you. You don't have to drink poison, give me money or cast any demons out of the voice of Nickelback's lead singer (unless you also see the need). Here is all you have to do. Email me at bw124 at hotmail and I will send you a digital copy of a book I wrote for free. If you can read all of this book and you still believe the Bible, you pass. Great debating with you!

However, simply because I never met Peter doesn't mean he didn't exist. Not only is there documented references to Peter outside of the scriptures, but that which is mentioned in the scriptures all ligns up with historical events and all results from archaeological digs performed to this day! Peter, by all standards, was a true Christian. I, by all standards, am a true Christian. You didn't respond to the fact that your definition at the beginning of the round had to do with faith alone, not miracles. You didn't respond to the fact that I showed that faith was quantifiable. You provided a threadbare response to me "faith is subjective" argument. I believe I have negated the resolution.

Sir, I debate because I like testing my faith. When I find a possible fallacy in the Bible, I don't look over it, I look into it. Your arguments challenged me, and forced me to think. I appreciate that. The difference between you and me, my admittedly formidable opponent, is that I operate in my search for truth out of faith that the Bible is true. You operate out of faith (as well) that the Bible is not. I will consider emailing you as well, however, I don't typically talk to strangers I have just met on this site. It's more of a security reason than anything.

Thanks for the great debate. God bless.

Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by sweetbreeze 3 years ago
sweetbreeze
Pro has a point, but you never know. There could be millions of true Christians out there.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
At the outset, I would have liked to have seen a more definitive definition of "Christian." The Apostles Creed, Creed of Nicaea, and the Athanasian Creed are three good examples that could have been presented for evaluation. Perhaps more importantly, Pro uses very sweeping, grandiose language in his premise: ("there are no" true Christians.) As a rule, such a broad generalization is very difficult to demonstrate, since it can be disproven with any anomalous example, however difficult to find that example might be.

In R1, Pro offered a number of challenges to Con, that he suggested would prove faith in Jesus. As I had expected, Con responds by pointing out some loopholes in scripture that neutralized the authority of the challenges.

In R2, Pro challenges the logic behind the loopholes presented in R1. I felt that some of these were valid, and eroded Con"s defense. "The Bible does not say that God "could" protect you. It says that no harm will come to those who believe" is a good example of this. This point was reiterated later in the round, to good effect. There is a difference between asking for divine intervention, and being given superhuman powers that will not require divine action thereafter to be used. Pro ends R2 by presenting a polemic argument, "either Jesus lied, or he didn"t. Either you believe or you don"t." I found this conclusion weak; polemic arguments are so difficult to defend, and this one was no different. It is logically possible for faith in Jesus to be gradated, and still exist.

Con continues to defend his loopholes " by presenting more loopholes. As the bible is a bottomless pit of caveats, this is always an effective tactic in cases where the authority of the bible is accepted by both sides.

Although Con"s mastery of scripture wins him this field, he presents no real counter-argument for his position, other than to continue to press his challenges to the R1 premises.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
(continued)

In R3, the directions of the arguments continue, with Pro continuing to assert that Con cannot live up to the impossible standards of faith presented in the bible, and Con continuing to find ever more biblical excuses. In my view, accepting that the bible is an authority that can be referenced at all was a critical strategic misstep. Once this is accepted, centuries of back and forth justifications can be presented " as the various Christian denominations have proven. This trap was not avoided in this debate.

I saw arguments as being won by Con.

However, in the last round, Con suddenly argues that "his faith cannot be demonstrated." (My faith is between my God and me alone.)

Since the purpose of this debate, stated in R1, was to demonstrate that Con had faith in Jesus, this statement essentially throws the entire debate. I would be willing to ignore it as anomalous, but this argument seems to make up the crux of Con"s R3 presentation. (I'm afraid doubt has stopped most of the miracles that could be performed. My opponent is correct in a sense.) Con"s conciliatory close essentially saps completely the justification for R1&2.

I did not want this error to deconstruct the rest of the debate, but cannot myself award arguments to Pro " since I felt that Pro"s arguments had been defeated initially. My score, which will please no one, is a tie for Arguments. (Pro " you are not Christian. Con-Yes I am. Pro-No, you are not. Con- I can"t prove it, but you can"t disprove it.)

I saw a few S&G errors, but they were not bad enough to prevent the arguments from being clearly communicated.
Posted by holyscoop 3 years ago
holyscoop
I really liked Brett's knowledge of scripture. It made the debate much more interesting.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
I'm an atheist, so I can't debate you according to your last rule. However, I have some questions.

1- Isn't this all based on the No True Scotsman logical fallacy?

2- Wasn't Jesus a true Christian, given that he biblically followed his own teachings?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by sweetbreeze 3 years ago
sweetbreeze
brett.winsteadJustinAMoffattTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Good for you, Con. All votes to Con.
Vote Placed by THE_OPINIONATOR 3 years ago
THE_OPINIONATOR
brett.winsteadJustinAMoffattTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro seemed to take scripture out of context, when taken out of context anything can be twisted. Con used multiple examples of scripture to back up his argument within context.
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
brett.winsteadJustinAMoffattTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Please see comments for my full opinions on this contest. But, in brief, I scored as follows: Conduct- Tie S&G- Tie Sourcing- no sources were presented; only bible verses, which I viewed as quotes. Arguments- Tie
Vote Placed by joshizinfamous 3 years ago
joshizinfamous
brett.winsteadJustinAMoffattTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I agree with pro as a general principal, being that hypocrosiy exists in the christian community, however this resolution is damn near impossible to prove. You made a good effort though. 1) Con had won at the point where he showed no action is actually required, just that in theory and in a perfect world some one person would fulfill that action, even if it is Con himself. 2.) Then that crafty con debater threw out this line "Faith is subjective. My opponent can not tell me if I have faith. Can he evaluate my actions to draw a logical conclusion from them? Certainly! But faith is an internal matter." And got my vote. P.S the avatar policy meme didn't hurt your chances. /Joke Oh by the way, I voted conduct for the /I have a few decades on you/ line you threw in there. Age /=/ Knowledge. Intervention? I don't think so. Just checking what I see as abuse.