DALE & CHRISTINE PROULX
- 01 August 1998 : Christine
- As a Christian, I am appalled by the quotes on your sites from alleged Christians. I am dismayed that you are using these to form judgement of "theists"-- I believe it is an extremely small minority that would "glory in the death of a pagan," for example. You don't need to accept such trash to be a Christian. Anyone who tells you any different doesn't understand Christianity.
- 01 August 1998 : Christine
Thank you for your response, and especially the manner of your response, which was not confrontational in any way.
The only way for you (or me, for that matter) to determine if someone is a Christian may be by whether they claim to be one or not, but I don't think everyone who claims to be a Christian really is one. However, I do believe in a God that can read a person's heart and know whether they are or not. I don't know what the only way is to interpret the Bible, but I do believe there is only one way.
I am also going to be so bold as to say that justifying slavery, genocide, etc. using the Bible is not it.
The essence of the entire Bible speaks stronger than any one quote.About my "judgement" remark: I didn't read your biography (although I think I will now) and I merely meant that I was assuming that it was quotes like these that helped you form your opinions (judgement didn't imply "judgemental.")
Part of the reason I wrote to you was that you would know that many Christians feel as disappointed as you do with the hypocrisy. I am upset that they call themselves Christians and give the rest of us a bad name.
- 04 August 1998 : Dale
I'm Christine's husband, an evangelical, Christine pastor. When referring to God to a person who believes in God, you might respect the person's belief and use a capital "G". It is an offense to us to have God referred to as "god".
For me, I know right from wrong, true from false, from the Bible which is inspired by God. As a humanist, how do you discern right from wrong, true from false? If it is what you believe, and another disagrees is there any criteria for judging who is right (and how do we determine if the criteria used is true?), or is there any objective truth at all?
You use language of needing God. Yes, I need God. I believe everyone does. I'm not limited to my wisdom and my strength, but draw from any infinite source of wisdom and strength. I have complete hope for myself in this life and in the next, because my hope rests in God. I live for God, and if needed, would die for the God who I have been reconciled to through Jesus Christ.
I would commend to you C.S. Lewis, who was an avowed atheist, who the hound of heaven relentlessly pursued, and he became the greatest apologist for Christianity in the 20th century. My hope is that hound would diligently pursue you as well.
- 04 August 1998 : Dale
- Catherine, You say that you will not mock serious posts, and then proceed to mock Michael's. Have you determined that anyone who believes in Jesus Christ can't possibly be serious? Are you are an atheist who is as rigid and unyielding as the fundamentalists you ridicule?
Rather than challenge extreme examples of Christianity, why don't you try to grapple with a genuine representative rather than a caricature, or are you only able to destroy a straw man? I would like to see you engage CS Lewis' "Mere Christianity" vs. a T.V. evangelist. Are you, or any atheist, up to the task?
- 05 August 1998 : Christine
- Catherine, It's Christine again.
I've read your autobiography. You imply that you didn't really make a decision to be an atheist, that it just sort of happened that way as a result of various parts of your upbringing. I would agree, and would urge you to at least decide to be an atheist after investigation of the options.
In another e-mail on your page, you tell someone who says God exists to "present your evidence." You are claiming there is no God; present your evidence. Let's use the Big Bang Theory as an example. Let's assume that it is a true explanation of the creation of the universe. The odds are astronomical that such an event would result in the right elements in the right proportion so that life would come to exist. Science tells me that.
Another part of your autobiography says that you had so many gods to choose from that you didn't see any difference between them. You may have had a lot of gods to choose from, but you couldn't have been taught very much about them if you see them as all basically the same. The Judeo-Christian God is essentially the same as Zeus?
Again, I urge you to make that choice. Since you asked for facts, there was a link I found connected to the other email that presents facts specifically to people who consider themselves skeptics. It is http://bigissues.interspeed.net/skeptic1.html. If you're going to be an atheist, at least choose to do it; don't just fall into it and be justified by finding hypocritical comments. And, anticipating a question that you may or may not be asking, I did choose to be a Christian, and not just "fall" into it. Although we celebrated Christmas and Easter growing up, I was taught Christianity as a child much the same way you were (at least from my interpretation of what you said): bits and pieces here and there, but no one concerted effort on anyone's part to teach me what "my" religion believed. I got all that much later.
Thanks for reading this far. You've had me thinking a lot over the past couple days.
- 10 August 1998 : Dale
- Catherine, Good to hear from you. I'm game for continuing, if you are as well. If this is not helpful to you, by no means do I want to be a pest!
I don't believe that it is possible to thrust true religion on another. Christianity is a relationship to God through Christ and an experience of forgiveness in Christ. I can not force another to have this experience. The most I can do is to share my experience with another and hope that they might have a similar experience.
I believe that there is objective truth which stands over and above any society. For instance, if a culture advocates the abuse of women or children, they are wrong. The source of right and wrong is God, and God has revealed this to us in the Bible. I think the Bible needs to be understood as God intends, primarily as a source of what to believe and how to behave, rather than as a modern text book for science and mathematics.
Evangelical Christians believe that all sin. God has determined right and wrong, and all (except Jesus) have at times chosen the wrong over the right. Sin separates us from God, who is holy and has nothing to do with sin. All sin is against God, because we are God's (whether we know it or not) and are to live as He wants us to. The way God has offered for us to be reconciled to Him and to have our sins forgiven, is through the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus.
As an evangelical Christian, I believe that since my life has been redeemed by Christ, it is no longer mine to do with as I please, but offered to Christ to do with as He pleases. My hope is that everything in my life would reflect that I serve and follow Jesus: how I spend money, what I do with my time, my relationships to loved ones as well as those with who I dislike, my living and my dying.
God is real and true. The fact that God's existence can't be proved by science and reason, point more to the limitations of science and reason rather than the limitations of God. To me, it would seem to be rather meaningless to believe only in what can be experienced through our senses. Carl Sagan was asked how he knew that love was real? How can love be explained by science and reason? Faith is similar. With regard to the big bang theory, it seems to require a fair amount of faith. Even if true, what caused the big bang? Could not God have created through the big bang?
As a science fiction fan, I wish it were possible for us to mind-meld so you might know my heart and mind. It feels impossible to find words to describe my beliefs and experience. Not that we would necessarily agree with one another from a mind-meld, but there would be understanding.