This whole time looking at these arguments I've noticed the advocates for the Church saying that there are certain truths both in the Bible and at the pulpit. Now obviously they are referring to moral truths and any Christian will then quote "Love thy neighbor", cherry picking generic tips on how to be a good person found in virtually all moral teachings. But when you actually read through the Bible you see that New Testament or Old, you are told not to treat everyone equally. From the very basis of god having a chosen people who are not only better than any other group of people but that the other groups are to be slain by his people. One need only look to the book of Kings to see how god repeatedly let's his people lose themselves to temptation, does nothing to help them when they are conquered, then leads them on a righteous crusade against their oppressors. "Oh, but that's the Old Testiment. We Christians follow the New Testament! Yea know, with peaceful, hippie Jesus!" Except for when he overturned the tables and drove people away with a whip he made. In every other case in the Gospels, Jesus uses nonviolence and communication to solve problems but then turns around and shows it's okay to use violence and force if you are doing it for his father. Furthermore, the New Testament also contains the letters and epistles as well as Revelation. In the letters you find that all the sexism and homophobia of the Old book is still applicable for Christians. In Timothy Chapter 2, it says in regards to women that they are not permitted to have braided hair or have jewelry and expensive clothes. “A woman must receive instruction silently and under complete control. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet.” In Chornthians 1 chapter 2, Paul tells us that a woman must keep her hair long and cover her head in a veil while praying to god. Inversely, men must keep their hair cut short and their heads uncovered in order to pray to god. In both of these passages, it is clear that women are seen as inferior, as subordinates. It's not at all different from how women in Islamic countries are treated, yet Christians like to separate themselves from Muslims. As far as hating homosexuality? There is the obvious Leviticus 18:22 and 20:12 which call male homosexual acts abominations and punishable by death. The verse you may not be familiar with comes from Romans Chapter 1 where god punishes those who know of him but do not believe by making men love men but also women love women. This verse also condemns their behavior but it is also the only reference in the Bible to lesbianism.
I wasn't able to fit my whole arguement here. Sorry.
Its always fear supporting different contradictory beliefs that are completely without evidence. People have used religion almost all along and nothing good has ever come of it but a few what would be common sense knowledges if you thought things through instead of reading and believing that come with horrible morals that you accept because you dont think nearly enough about morality. So what it gives us are things that we could figure out on our own and horrible treacherous things that we accept because we arent figuring it out on our owns by thinking. Its ridiculous. We treat animals gay people and many minorities or different peoples horribly because of religion. Ive been to many churches and they never have evidence just claims and a threat. The threat of hell. So at least as far as i know thats all the church has.
In my opinion, to a certain degree the church is without evidence to support it's doctrines. Most people mentioned in the religious books were real people and a lot of the punishments, rules and regulations stated were followed at some point, and even are still followed now. Though, the church does you fear to get people to believe. If you don't believe in God and/or don't follow any of his rules and regulations required, you will be punished in ways that you'd rather not be punished. One of the most famous punishments are in face eternal suffering or getting sent/damned to hell. Of course, people fear going to a place that would cause suffering, people fear getting horrible punishments for their actions, so naturally, even though it's highly debatable whether God is real or not, God can in fact be real but there just haven't been any hardcore scientific reasoning to support such a theory but God being real is still a possibility and people fear that and think "What if God is real and what if it/he/she really does condemn me to hell? I better take my chances in believing in him instead of the opposite." Thus one of the reasons why many people of LGBT+ are in the closet, also one reason why women and men still follow that 'men are superior, woman were made for man" rule, one reason why some or most of us still believe animals were put here to be man's companion and/or food, etc. Also, in my opinion, it would seem that it easier to live life following a religion and book than to not because of the differences in treatment in many parts of the world.
You are able to hear the same from different churches and religions the same thing. You have Catholics that believe that if you don't follow the 10 commandments, you will go to hell. But if you don't get baptized, you will go to hell. Don't forget that you have to add any type of crime. Along with that, you have people like the Jehovah witnesses that have over 100 rules that they believe that you should follow to get into "heaven". But my question is, where did all these beliefs and rules come from. Nobody wants to go to hell, many people fear death due to the fact that they don't want to go to hell. Yet you have so many rules that are established that it is basically impossible for someone not to go to hell. And if someone comes with questions, it's possible to get the response "just have faith".
Usually starting at an early age, kids are repeatedly told stories about their religion. They are surrounded by others who believe the stories are fact. They have routine practices around the belief, weekly and in many cases a few times a day. The church is not alone. Though weekly visits are recommended, a much bigger influence is the parents. Not only are they the ones who introduce their kids to the religion but they reinforce the belief at home.
I've seen Steffon on at least two other debating sites. He's always bashing religion. Especially Christians. You cannot debate someone like him. He's right, and everyone else is wrong. I've seen him take Bible verses out of context, over and over again. When someone tries to set him straight, by showing what it means in context, he calls them an idiot. There is no help for him. Remember what the Bible says about a reprobate mind. He is unable to see Gods truth, because he has already rejected it. A murderer has it better than people like him. They can be forgiven. Then again, I could be wrong about him. Only God knows for sure. But from what I've seen of his comments, here and elsewhere, he's devoted to leading people away from Christ. That tells me a lot about his mindset.
I would like to respond to this argument made by steffon66. Firstly, you express religion as simplistic and contradictory. Also, nothing good has ever come of religion? Religion has a set of moral truth which is expressed. Christianity uses its morals to do charity in Africa and so on, so please do not blindly say such things. You think that those who follow religion are blind, but by your later statements, you obviously have not looked into it quite thoroughly either. Horrible treacherous you say? The prospect of hell? Your argument is too general. I can think for myself, thank you very much, and it is my choice to follow religion and I do, and I study it in detail, so please, do NOT generalise religious people into such a simplistic category. No evidence, you say? Oh there is evidence. If you doubt that the person Jesus existed, you can go and look up the record of crucifixions by the Romans. You even choose to admit that you have little knowledge, saying "as far as I know...", proving your ignorance, as well as your 'jumping around' of churches, proving you have not looked at each carefully, so before you decide to criticise, please try to understand a little further, and do work on your grammar.
The very existence of this concept is enough to say yes, the churches do use fear to get people to believe what they want them too. It's basically "Be a perfect christian and follow all of gods laws for your entire life or you'll go to hell and burn for all eternity in endless screaming pain and agony" This is so blatantly obvious that I'm surprised that this debate is so split 50-50 (I'm posting this 5-19-16)( just in case it shifts)
Even if you take hell out of the discussion you have countless versus in the bible that command you to kill people or cripple them for life for such petty crimes. If this isn't fear mongering i don't know what is