Using God As An Excuse

My experience on the web blogs and forums has been that very few believers can adopt that kind of perspective of what they now believe. Most hold so firmly to their beliefs, even in the face of obvious contrary evidence. They believe what they believe because they WANT to believe it.” (Bob)

I agree. It is tough for someone to change their mind when they have it in their head that their version of the scriptures is 100% accurate – even when good evidence is being hashed out about that exact subject and better points are being made.

It’s at this point were God gets ‘used’ – and the person turns his excuses upon God. Can’t be a human interpretation problem…oh no no no…we just can’t understand God ways is all…and a whole horde of other excuses will come up. But in the end, it’s basically using God as cover for one’s own inadequacy in biblical interpretation.

***Comment originally aired at Naked Pastor’s “Cartoon: Germs

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13 thoughts on “Using God As An Excuse

  1. **But in the end, it’s basically using God as cover for one’s own inadequacy in biblical interpretation.**

    But I don’t think people who do this view it that way — they truly do believe that they are interpreting the text as God/the Holy Spirit inspires them to do so.

  2. “But I don’t think people who do this view it that way — they truly do believe that they are interpreting the text as God/the Holy Spirit inspires them to do so” (OSS)

    I don’t disagree – but at the same time I have to wonder if it is a ‘cop-out’ from God commanding these same people (including myself) to use their mind as part of worship towards Him. It’s almost as if this is taboo in some circles to do (usually pretty hyper spiritual circles).

  3. The question is, who is god in these scenarios? The people who think they know it all, or the people who think they know it all and are trying to educate the people who think they know it all.

    You and others like you are probably going about this all wrong anyways. If a person’s beliefs are so weak that a few blogs are going to get them to change, then they really don’t have faith. Blogs and forums are not a good avenue for belief changing, but they are good for leaning about people’s beliefs.

    People have beliefs for a reason and it is very difficult to get someone to unbelieve or even alter a belief. It takes a lot of introspection and willingness to change. Most aren’t willing to make that kind of commitment to their own development.

    Good on you for trying though. That in itself it what makes it worth the effort.

  4. “If a person’s beliefs are so weak that a few blogs are going to get them to change, then they really don’t have faith” (Just1)

    Secretly I wish people would change – but even I know that is highly unlikely…but because of blogs I have learned a lot of stuff that has helped shape many of the voids I had in my current understanding about a lot of beliefs and ideas…has it helped me change…yes.

    My point with this post is that Christians need to start realizing when they throw God’s name around they are bringing Him in to the debate/discussion. I think God’s name is worth so much more than us using Him as backing for our points or reasoning – and when we bring God into it – we make it look like God believes ‘us’. There is a form of ‘taking God’s name in vain’ in that.

  5. **Blogs and forums are not a good avenue for belief changing, but they are good for leaning about people’s beliefs. **

    I’d have hesitations in agreeing with this. Hasn’t the number of atheists/agnostics really shot up ever since we were able to use the Internet. A lot of times, I find people in those groups saying that it was blogs and forums that helped them change beliefs, because they were seeing others like them, or finding arguments they never heard before.

    And it doesn’t even have to go from one to the other. Christians can go from liberal to conservative, or vice versa. Or even from one religion to another. There is so much access to information that might as well of been invisible pre-Internet.

  6. I would agree with OSS……..the internet affords people the opportunity to discuss things that they would never be able to do in person. And because of that they are introduced to ideas that can help shape and sometimes change previous belief systems.

  7. “Hasn’t the number of atheists/agnostics really shot up ever since we were able to use the Internet. A lot of times, I find people in those groups saying that it was blogs and forums that helped them change beliefs” – OSS

    Maybe the number of atheists or agnostics has gone up. I don’t really know, but I doubt it. Maybe they were there all the time and just didn’t have an avenue of expression.

    Maybe liberals go conservative or vice versa. Perhaps, but not usually. I think its pretty rare actually.

    But I will go back to one of my other points. If a person’s beliefs can be changed by arguments, blogs, and/or forums, then they probably didn’t have anything in the first place.

  8. Thejust1,

    **If a person’s beliefs can be changed by arguments, blogs, and/or forums, then they probably didn’t have anything in the first place.**

    Are you saying this is the case across the board, or this is the case if it only takes a few encounters on a blog? I would say that if someone’s beliefs change over two years after evaluating arguments for the other side, then they did have a strong belief.

  9. “Hasn’t the number of atheists/agnostics really shot up…”

    the funny thing is, it depends who you read. mass media states that it has shot up, but maybe many ppl who haven’t had the courage to speak up and come out of their nonbeliever’s closet has changed things… but those in the Christian faith, things are actually remaining relatively stable and there is some growth (around 8%) in the US in mega-churches and pentacostal areas. plus the Pew Forum on Religion just published a study that finds that when times are bad economically, conservative churches grow, and when good, liberal churches grow.

  10. “If a person’s beliefs can be changed by arguments, blogs, and/or forums, then they probably didn’t have anything in the first place” (Just1)

    I have been considering this idea for a little while myself – remembering some convo’s on a de-convert blog and a Christian defending the idea if someone de-converted they likely didn’t have faith. I saw the flaw in that idea (obviously) – but that dude was onto something.

    I have to ask, what’s the difference between myself and a lot of de-cons when it comes to experiences in the church or when evaluating my faith? Yet I kept my faith and they decided to not do that same thing…usually based on good reasoning. But I also used good reasoning as to why faith has aspects of the utmost importance in society (or at least certain aspects of it).

    The thing is – how important is faith and why is it important? If the fabric of those ideas can be ‘changed’ – one will drop their faith stance. It’s the how and why I cannot let go of. Peace to those who can and see the benefit.

    Faith has sustained me in the worst of worst times – and of this I can explictly say is true and honest. From struggling in the hood to making it in life, from lack of any career path to being a success, and from years of abuse and loneliness to being able to handle adultery in a reasonable manner. Faith has been nothing but great to me…and has allowed me to achieve the unacheiveable. I can’t knock that…so for me the loss of faith is like the loss of some reality.

  11. “Are you saying this is the case across the board, or this is the case if it only takes a few encounters on a blog? I would say that if someone’s beliefs change over two years after evaluating arguments for the other side, then they did have a strong belief.” OSS

    Across the board, I guess. If a person’s beliefs can change, even over the course of few years of evaluating arguments from other perspectives, then the beliefs had to have been just an illusion. They weren’t really beliefs at all. They were just nice thoughts the person had, but they were of no substance or value. In fact the beliefs were non-existent. Because under the pressure of better arguments, the beliefs changed.

    Perhaps all a person is left with is a new set of illusions or non-existent beliefs waiting until the next round of better arguments.

  12. thejust1,

    So this means that the only people who have true beliefs are those whose beliefs never change? I’m not sure such a type of person could ever experience any sort of growth, though.

  13. “So this means that the only people who have true beliefs are those whose beliefs never change” – OSS

    People experience change all the time. But, I am not so sure that a person’s beliefs have to change for them to grow as a person.

    “I’m not sure such a type of person could ever experience any sort of growth, though.” OSS

    I guess its all in how a person views growth. If a belief can be compared to a seed, then the belief can experience growth and become a tree

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