Tom Usher wrote or added | Pastor Paul Prather wrote, "...as a longtime Christian minister, I still have days when I wonder whether this whole God thing is a figment of my imagination."
Well, Pastor Paul Prather of Bethesda Church, Mount Sterling, Kentucky, apparently hasn't experienced that which would not allow him to have such doubts, or perhaps it's been a long time and he's fallen away, as happens all to often when people ask God, "What have you done for me lately?"
He's nondenominational, so one can't get much from that. He says that his church believes "God still works through gifts of the Holy Spirit such as prophecy and healing." http://www.facebook.com/pa
I never doubt that God is there. I have mostly to be reminded that patience and perseverance are watchwords. I'd love to be the finished product before putting in the time and work only because I don't know how much I owe. I can tell you that they don't know what they're talking about who say that all anyone has to do is say a line or two and just go on as if across-the-board, radical, righteous changes in behavior aren't required.
He also wrote, "Christianity is a big, organic, complex system of beliefs with a long, diverse history. It's not just one thing." That's not the way to look at it unless the only point he's trying to make is that the atheists he mentioned lump too many people together under attributes that those atheists denigrate most severely. The atheists' point though is that belief leads to such evil characteristics. Of course, they don't ordinarily mention that all the wicked things done in the name of religion have been done in the name against it too. Being a materialist is far from a guarantee of perfection. In fact that brings me to why I said that the Pastor isn't looking at Christianity right (and I do think he means that Christianity really does encompass all the various historical attributes he cites in his article).
The fact is that the wicked attributes were done by Christians in name only and not by real Christians, as real Christians by definition cannot do the things done. A real Christian never went on a violent crusade. Only Christians in name only ever did that as "Christians." I hope the Pastor will understand the distinction and add qualifying/clarifying language on the subject from now on when possible.
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And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. (Matthew 17:24-26)