Well, it seems that someone is quite unhappy with me. Leslie first left a comment here on whether Oprah’s church is a cult or not, and has subsequently left a few more. I am sorry if you are offended Leslie, but not surprised. Because I know that the gospel offends people. And the gospel, the whole and complete true Word of God, is the standard by which I go, and not anything else.
What I am surprised about is that you see fit to come here and insult me. Sadly, this is what I have experienced from 99% of those who are the “enlightened” followers of Tolle’s teachings. I don’t mind people differing from me, it is good and fruitful to have discussions. But in reality very few of Tolle’s disciples want to discuss anything in a calm and rational manner, they want to emotionally attack and assert, while refusing to answer questions about the foundations of what Tolle teaches.
So for you to accuse me of all such nasty things, examples of which we will see in a moment, is rather disingenuous, seeing as you choose not to enter into any discussion about Jesus or Scripture, but start off by calling me arrogant and it goes downhill from there. I am sure that you must be very self-fulfilled and proud, having told off one of those nasty fundamentalist Christians. Your reaction, however, is a reflection on yourself and what you stand for.
So let’s see what Leslie had to say to me:
“I am curious. Would you people love Jesus so much if you found out he was gay? Think about it. He was single. He wasn’t living with a woman. In today’s society that would mean HE IS GAY. Hypothetically speaking, if this were the case, would you still believe he was the son of God or would all bets on that front be off?”
Leslie starts by offering a straw-man argument about Jesus. It is a clear attempt to try and weaken the moral position that Christians take, based on no evidence, but rather the wishful thinking of those that want to deny Jesus’ and the Bible’s explicit teaching. Hypotheticals need to contain some modicum of truth for them to be valid, and no such inference as is proposed here can be found. In addition, Jesus as God incarnate and without sin, can by definition not sin and could therefore not be gay. To state that not living with a woman means that someone is gay is simply untrue, but typical of the type of fallacious logic that permeates these types of attacks. Therefore, the hypothetical question is unanswerable.
“oh What a BRILLIANT argument. You copied and pasted my comments. Have you ever stopped to ponder IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE? The reason you are SO AFRAID of Tolle being a CULT is because CHRISTIANITY IS THE BIGGEST CULT IN THE WORLD. The fact that your supposed “facts” are based on a book that was written by humans 300 YEARS after the death of Christ is your sole basis for your “truth”. How embarrassing.”
It is interesting to note that Leslie here seems to say that when she/he offers these arguments they are valid, but when turned around against her/him, it suddenly is not? You will note that it still contains no proof or argument for Christianity being a cult, nor a refutation of the points I made in the original post, but it seems as if typing it in CAPS will make it so. Leslie is also woefully ignorant of the historical development of the Canon, but rather chooses to repeat oft-refuted fallacies. Leslie seems to think that these are new or novel objections, whereas they are in fact the same old tired arguments we have heard from atheists for hundreds of years.
So, Leslie, what is truth? What is your standard for truth? How do you come to know it? On what basis do you judge something to be true or not?
“I think you should rename yourself (ein)Steyn (except I’m sure you hate him because he was a scientist who engaged his God-given brain, and came to the conclusion that religeon is “pretty childish”, something that is well proven by the small-minded masses that blindly buy into it.)
Way to be a Crusader, John! I bet Jesus is real proud of ‘ya “
At this point Leslie adds nothing but insults. She/he chooses again not to offer any logical or rational argument, but chooses to tell me what I should believe based on the writings of Einstein. While Einstein was one of the most brilliant scientists who ever lived, he can hardly be seen as an expert on religion, and I would have welcomed the opportunity to discuss it with him. Leslie then proceeds to affirm that Christians are small-minded, again just a bare insult. And finally, a little sarcasm to boot. So this is what one becomes after being enlightened by Tolle’s teachings?
“ps, no I am not gay, but some of my dearest friends are. And it’s being friends with real, down-to-earth people like them that makes me SKEPTICAL about your hypocritical, narrowminded, shallow preachings, all in the name of Christ, who, as far as I have been able to glean, had not one ounce of the poison you preach using his name.”
Leslie here goes on about the gay issue, and proceeds to launch yet another personal attack. Leslie, I have offered plenty of Scriptural proof to back up what I say, while you choose to just rant and rave. That sure is a good way to make people see your point of view, or even convince them that you are right. If you think homosexuality is compatible with Scripture, then show it. But I’m afraid that your current line of reasoning does nothing of the sort. All it does is point to your own hypocrisy by doing the very thing you accuse me of doing, leaving close-minded, shallow and insult-laced replies here.
““I cannot find any Scriptural proof for such a “gift”, so therefore I cannot confirm that it is from God.”
Okayeeeeeeee then. Here we have it. The “proof” of your entire philosphy of life. And MY proof that you are a certifiable IDIOT. And just so there is no misunderstanding, I HAVE read — CAREFULLY — everything that you have said — and I have no reason to further waste my time on this ridiculous website because it truly is a waste of my time and energy.”
I thought you knew that I was a Christian, it should be pretty clear from everything else on the website. And as a Christian, I have only one standard, yes, one philosophy of life, and that is the complete and infallible Word of God. Now you may try to call me a “certifiable idiot”, but once again that is just an insult, and frankly, does nothing to me. I’ve been called much worse.
Leslie, if you are so sure that I am wrong, and you are right, why don’t you prove it, instead of leaving a bunch of insults here, which, honestly, does more damage to your case than good. And please, while you are entitled to your opinions, feelings and emotions, those do not constitute rational or logical arguments.
I’ll repeat here what I posted elsewhere to get any sort of discussion on this moving in the right direction:
Christianity has a history that goes back thousands of years, and has produced billions of followers throughout the ages. The majority of your comments here say that all of those people were deluded, or wrong, that Christian teachings, history and traditions are all a load of nonsense. So the responsibility lies with you to prove that it is so. To that end:
1. Please demonstrate Tolle’s teachings, in which he acknowledges Jesus as a “great teacher” from Scripture. Feel free to use the historical-grammatical method, or any of the other accepted methods of exegesis. (Not fair, you say, that is just doctrine and that is exactly what Tolle says is wrong with Christianity. Nope, sorry, if he, and by implication you, are going to quote Jesus then you cannot simply disregard the historical and grammatical context for your own benefit. Or you can, but then we will stop right there since you are simply begging the question in your favor, and it is clear that you have no interest in the truth, just in promoting Tolle at all cost.)
2.Please explain how the obvious conflict between exclusive truth claims from Tolle and Scripture are resolved without destroying either, something that Tolle says is quite possible. To do that, I strongly recommend starting by stating the basis of your hermeneutic for both Tolle and Scripture, follow that by establishing your theory of ontology, and by demonstrating how your epistemological basis flows from that. Or if you want it in simple terms, explain on what basis you interpret Tolle and Scripture, tell us what characteristics of being you have and why, and where you get that from, and finally, based on what you are, how you come to know things, such as how to interpret Tolle and the Bible, for example. (Not fair, you say, you are making this waayyyy too complex, typical of religious doctrine. Nope, sorry, those three things are the most basic of preconditions to even start having a discussion about spiritual things. Now you can choose to ignore it, and comment anyway, but why then should we believe anything you have to say? Feeling good about something is unfortunately not a valid argument, because (as we ourselves have been accused here on this very topic), you may simply be delusional.)
3.Since Christian beliefs are being (harshly) judged here, please show by which standard you propose to do so. Hint: Your opinion is not a standard, and neither is Tolle’s opinion. Because if that was a valid standard, then so is my opinion, which is that you are wrong. Since that is what we want to discuss in the first place, then we are back at square one. My standard is Scripture. (No fair, you say, you want to make this a discussion about theories and doctrine, while Tolle’s teaching is way beyond that, it is about a living reality inside a person. Nope, sorry, this is exactly about reality and how we understand and interact with reality. Even should you wish to level a higher level of criticism, on that abstract personal spiritual level, then you still have to do so by some standard, or we are back at the delusional opinion argument.)
Hopefully any future comments on this topic will start from there so that we can move the discussion forward. Now I understand that you may not have these answers right away, but then I would implore you to investigate these issues before coming here and blindly attacking Christianity.
***For the record, I won’t be approving any more comments that are just plain insults. While it is mildly entertaining to see that type of reaction, it frankly does not add too much value here.
EDIT 6-19-08: Well it seems as if Leslie has added fibbing to his/her repertoire of being rude, dishonest and arrogant by leaving two further comments after saying that he/she would not be back. Oh well. I said I won’t approve any more comments that are nothing but insults, so I won’t. I will just respond to two issues:
Leslie said: “Your comment about enlightened vegetables. That is SO OBVIOUSLY A METAPHOR, and yet you, in your simplistic, childlike way of processing reality, see it LITERALLY.”
Mmm, ‘k. Here is what Tolle says on page 3 of “A New Earth” :“Any life-form in any realm – mineral, vegetable, animal or human – can be said to undergo “enlightenment”” . That seems to be straightforward enough, all life forms, with vegetables explicitly mentioned, can be enlightened. Now if it is metaphor, like Leslie wishes to argue, then it creates a bit of a conundrum. Because if enlightenment only applies metaphorically to the object “all life-forms”, then that also excludes humans, mentioned in the same sentence and context as the veggies. So either humans can be enlightened just like veggies, rocks and animals, or we can’t. So sorry Leslie, it does not appear to be metaphorical, but even if it is granted to be metaphor, it still does not help you. So whether you interpret in literally or not (the context seems to indicate that a literal interpretation is in order though), you are still in trouble.
Also, do you deny that God exists? If not, then please define for us what you believe God to be. Because clearly you do not believe in a God powerful enough to do miracles.
Leslie also said: “I have no desire to “compare and contrast” Christianity vs. Tolle, nor compare and contrast the Bible versus Tolle or the Bible versus the Koran or any other writings for that matter. My interest in Compare and Contrast is Christianity versus Christ.”
Hmm. This is interesting indeed. I keep hearing that Tolle is actually the guy that know more about Christ and His teachings than Christians. But how would we know that if there was no comparison made between Tolle and Christianity? In between the insult-laced diatribes, that is in fact exactly what Leslie has been doing. But I wil reiterate what I said above, Leslie. If you believe that you are right about Christ’s teachings, and I am wrong, then prove it. It’s time to pony up, or else we will just let it stand that you are nothing but a foul-mouthed anti-Christian bigot with no desire to offer any substance to your allegations.
Leslie closed with: “And with that, I will leave you to your little world of delusions and false teachings.
Lol. Now where have I heard that before?