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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Higher court: Former Jayhawk Wayne Simien turns away from pro career for ministry work

Former Kansas University basketball standout Wayne Simien has retired from professional basketball and has started Called to Greatness, a Christian-based sports organization through Morning Star Christian Church, 998 N. 1771 Road, and Midwest Student Ministries.

Former Kansas University basketball standout Wayne Simien has retired from professional basketball and has started Called to Greatness, a Christian-based sports organization through Morning Star Christian Church, 998 N. 1771 Road, and Midwest Student Ministries.

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J. Pat Carter/AP Photo

Miami forward Wayne Simien, left, tries to gain control of the ball as Houston center Yao Ming stretches for the rebound. The Heat won, 88-84, Thursday in Miami.

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Journal-World File Photo

Wayne Simien fights for a rebound over Nebraska’s John Turek as Jake Muhleisen watches on in this 2005 file photo. Simien has returned to Lawrence to pursue a career in ministry.

Audio clips

Wayne Simien talks about his faith

WAYNE SIMIEN

Age: 26

Hometown: Leavenworth

Family: Wife Katherine and two daughters, Selah and Rael

Career at KU (2001-2005): All-America forward his junior and senior years and Big 12 Player of the Year his senior year.

Pro career (2005-2009): Drafted in the first round (29th) by the Miami Heat in 2005. Won the NBA Championship his rookie season. Was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2007. Played with Spain’s Caceres Ciudad de Baloncesto in 2008-2009.

Current job: President of Called to Greatness, a Lawrence-based sports program meant to develop young athletes in mind, body and spirit. Its Web site is www.iamctg.org.

It seems like a plot jumping off the pages of a perfectly epic summer beach read: A professional athlete, tremendously talented, leaves at the height of his career to return to the heartland of his birth intent on helping the next generation. He is a man walking with God away from the money, fame and glory of his past life — all with the hope of giving back.

The twist?

In Wayne Simien’s life, there isn’t one.

What you see is what you get: A 26-year-old basketball player leaving the pros behind to start up a sports program that also nourishes the spirit. No best-selling hijinks or drama or motivation in sight. His only motivation, he says, is to do right by the Lord.

“There was a time when I was in college where I basically had everything the world says should make you happy,” says the former All-America Kansas University forward from Leavenworth. “You know, I was big man on campus, I had a measure of fame, I was headed to the NBA, I had access to all the drugs and alcohol you could ever want, all the girls, popularity and things like that, but I just wasn’t fulfilled deep down in my heart. I was really looking for something greater to live for than just myself and just basketball, and I found that in the kingdom of God and living for Jesus Christ.

“And my life has never been the same since.”

Simien hopes to affect that same sort of change in kids through Called to Greatness, his sports ministry organization. The organization, started last year, is in connection with Morning Star Church and Midwest Student Ministries, which spurred Simien’s transformation into a Christian. CTG, as it is called, begins its summer basketball league at 11 a.m. Monday at Holcom Sports Complex. Registration for the league is closed, but enrollment for CTG’s basketball camp, July 14, will begin June 15 at CTG’s Web site, www.iamctg.org.

“I think that for him, as he has seen, there’s just a lot of young people who fall through the cracks in Lawrence, even. Another year of playing would be a lot more money. But money is never really the problem, and I think he realizes that. It’s never really money, it’s people with a heart for other people that really make a difference,” says John McDermott, pastor at Morning Star Church. “I think this is just an entry into the life of service that God has for Wayne.”

Called to help

CTG got its start last year when Simien was approached by another well-known former KU basketball player, Danny Manning, to take over as host of Lawrence’s summer basketball camp. Simien, a first-round draft pick with the Miami Heat out of KU in 2005, began working on the concept before heading to Europe for a season of professional ball in Spain.

“As I began to think and plan about hosting this event, I really just felt in my heart, ‘Wow, what a tremendous opportunity to glorify God through a basketball camp like this.’ So, you know, I saw it not only as opportunity to teach kids basketball skills with excellence, but also I want to develop them holistically as far as encouraging them to pursue education and nutrition and their spiritual life with the same zeal that they pursue being a good basketball player with. And then adding a ministry component to that as well because that is so much of who I am and wanting to impart that to them as well.’”

Simien envisions CTG will evolve into a national or international program that runs Christian-tinged sports camps, leagues and teams in much more than basketball.

“There are a number of connections and correlations that are related between sports and the Christian faith,” Simien says. “When Jesus talks about ‘man shall not live on bread alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God,’ it’s like, hey, well, you need to feed your spirit, too — read the Bible, pray, get with other believers, make sure your spirit is strengthened as well, just like your body, so you’ll be up to be victorious not just on the court, but in daily life.”

Hoop dreams

The philosophy of a holistic approach — body, mind and spirit working together to form a whole person — was something that Simien has been refining since his days on the hardwood at Allen Fieldhouse. Simien found Christ in 2003 after being ministered to by the student outreach arm of Morning Star Church, Midwest Student Ministries.

Early on in his transformation, Simien became reacquainted with Jesse Brinson. Brinson, now youth pastor with Midwest Student Ministries, also had been an athlete at KU — a walk-on football player — and they had met briefly on campus before becoming friends at Morning Star. Admittedly starstruck initially, Brinson watched as a baptized Simien shifted before his very eyes.

“Instantly, I could see that something had changed in his heart, that he was wanting to do something different with his life,” Brinson says. “The message I got from him was, ‘Yeah, I play basketball, but that’s not even half of me. Jesus Christ has given me something new that I can really pursue.’ I remember that, because that was really encouraging because really he has it all — he has a scholarship, he has basketball, he has fame. He has it all, but no, Jesus Christ has given him something more than even those material things have given him.”

The change affected Simien in everything he did. On campus, he ministered, he went to speak at youth groups and talked about his relationship with Christ during his Senior Day speech while being showered with roses on a court named after another Christian basketball man, James Naismith, who, in addition to being KU’s first basketball coach was also the school’s chaplain.

Simien’s Christian faith stayed with him during his first year in the NBA. Drafted by the Miami Heat, he showed up in the locker room and the culture shock was difficult. He says that his new teammates, who with his help won the NBA Championship that season, were hard-pressed to believe his faith would not waiver. As his teammates placed bets on when he would betray his faith, Simien was able to keep growing as a Christian with the help of friends back home.

“When I first got drafted, I was single at the time and being single and living in Miami ... isn’t the best place to be by yourself,” Simien says. “And so I had several friends from here come down and stay with me for weeks at a time to encourage me and keep me accountable and just to be a friend. I had people come and visit me all over the country.”

And though he was living a lifelong dream — to play professional basketball — Simien says he was constantly looking forward to a time when he could devote himself to the Lord full-time. Then, in spring 2009, against the urgings of friends who told him to just play a few more years and be set for life, Simien gave up on professional basketball all together. Despite being healthy and barely into his professional career, he decided the time was right to take his wife and two daughters back home to Kansas and start working for God.

By the beginning of May, at age 26, he had retired from basketball. But his job, he says, is just beginning.

“It had always been a desire in my heart to minister, and it was something that I was able to do while I was a professional athlete,” he says. “But this year, recently, really had the desire to do that more on a full-time level. This will be my full-time occupation.”

Comments

KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

So, he is admitting he used drugs while in college? That's pretty weird.

chicagoeddie 6 years ago

stay strong in the faith Wayne! its great to see you follow what God says even though the earthly things temp you stay on your personal plan and not His. you've inspired me brother =)

63Jayhawk 6 years ago

Keithmiles05, although it might be implied, he didn't actually say he used drugs. He said he had "access" to them.

ksharddem 6 years ago

Wayne, it an era where our society needs good role models for kids I think you have a narrow scope of what you can accomplish. If you were still in the NBA, you could reach so many more kids and demonstrate how good people act and treat the game. As it stands right now, you can only influence Lawrence, KS which is better than 99% of the professional athletes but something tells me that there are thousands of kids from coast-to-coast that could use a role model like you and they will never hear about you. Rather, their role models will be these guys who father 9 kids from various mothers, fight with their team, disrespect their fan base but then sign a HUGE contract to play ball. So what do we show them? If you love the Lord, you live as a popper, but if you love only yourself, you get to be king.

I applaud what your are doing, I just wish you would have wanted another couple of years to do it. Think how many kids that truly need the guidance you could have influenced and helped.

Greg Lux 6 years ago

God Bless you .. your a true leader.

100 6 years ago

Speaking of weird news (good job Wayne by the way sorry the story came out weird), according to the Lexington Herald Leader, UK is attempting to have a "news blackout" over the John Calipari/ Memphis debacle.

This news blackout idea began after it was discovered Calipari is not quite as innocent as they thought and that the free traveler was Derrick's brother (the same guy who made sure Derrick was coming to Memphis).

Clydecito 6 years ago

Starting in Lawrence is just the beginning for Wayne's 'ministry'. Altho he might be able to impact more kids, nationally, by continued nba exposure, he will do nothing but good while in Kansas. If his heart is with Jesus to teach, then best he not continue the nba life, and good for the local kids, and their parents/coaches/families, who will get the opportunity to learn from such a great man and player. Kudos Wayne.

Lost_in_the_Phog 6 years ago

ksharddem,

I understand what you are saying about Lawrence being the only place he can minister. However, Lawrence is a very lost culture and just starting with that is a very tough task. I'm not saying all of Lawrence is bad, but if you just walk down Mass street, you can see all kinds of bad stuff, like drugs or strip clubs or people holding sings that say "honk for hemp". So I think Lawrence is a great place for him, because absolutely everybody knows who he is and kids still idolize him. In the NBA, they wouldn't neccesarily do that because he might not be the one making the game winning shot or knocking down 25 a game.

Do great Wayne! I'll be praying for you!

and okjhok, go find some friends.

Dan Harris 6 years ago

okkhok- Normally I try not to respond to idiot posters like you but the Tequilla must be getting to me You are the WASTE and a joke to boot, get a life!

jayhawk02 6 years ago

Wayne is such a class act, and I'm so proud not only of how he represented KU, but also of how he is serving the Lord. In a world that has lost most of it's values and morals, it is so refreshing to see someone who truly stands for what he believes, and disregards what the "world" think true success is. May God bless you Wayne, and I will continue to pray for you.

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

Alright I know I will be hammered for what I am about to say. When it comes to christian ministry I believe it is the most noble thing one can do in life, but when it comes to getting paid and ministry I think that is ridiculous. Jesus nor his apostles recieved money maybe food but not money for there ministry. This also includes pastors of churches getting paid for the ministry. Jesus and the apostles did not intend for the ministy to be able to make a profit for ones living. It is service,not a job not to make a living.

Mike Blur 6 years ago

He gave his right arm (or was it his left arm?) for Roy and now he's giving his heart to....Jesus?

I'm a deist; I'm not religious. God (or Allah or Ceiling Cat, whatever you wanna call him) created this universe, and this earth, several billion years ago.

The opening of the story would have us believe that he walked away from money. Maybe so, but I'd wager (and yes, I'm a gambling man) that his current bank account balance is a lot healthier than all of ours put together.

Play a few years in the Association, get a ring and be set for life. Good for him. At least he's not thuggin' it like too many NBA "playas."

Oh, and hemp is a natural fiber given to us by God for industrious uses. However, it's been demonized and outlawed by intrusive, nanny-state religious wackos.

No-one has ever gotten "high" from smoking hemp.

IBRONNIEB 6 years ago

You know no man is perfect, but to do what Wayne has done is so impressive. And he will impact many more than those just around here. He has always been a class act, and deserved a better fate in college (injuries). I hope he is very successful, and wish nothing but the best for him and his family. And he will always be a Jayhawk!!!!!

Alex Berger 6 years ago

Hey jhawkinmullin, I have heard that a lot but the fact is that Jesus was a carpenter to a certain point to his life and then after some point he turned to full time ministry. You do not see anywhere during his ministry in the gospels of Jesus working a job and then traveling to teach. He was always traveling and teaching and people took care of his housing and food needs. Also, the apostle Paul wrote the epistle to the Philippian church as a thank you note for their monetary gift to him so that he could focus on ministry while he was under house arrest. I would agree that some of the greatest ministries are done while still having a full time job on the side, but I don't think there is anything wrong with committing to full time ministry. The job aspect is just to take care of the necessities in life. The televangelists that use their compensation for diamond cuff links and Cadillacs are the exception, not the norm.

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

All I am saying is when you are doing a service or ministry for someone you should not expect anything in return. When start recieving things in return like money it stops becoming service and starts becoming a job. Wayne is very weathy and I hope he is doing this as sevice and not getting paid because he just went from one job to another.

hawk316 6 years ago

jayhawkinmullen, After Jesus sent out the 72 to minister, He told them to accept whatever food and accomodations were offered because, "the worker deserves his wages." (Luke 10:7). So, you see, Jesus Christ himself affirmed the principle that those who serve in ministry deserve to receive payment from that ministry. Although much ministry is done on a voluntary, non-paid basis, of course, it is certainly legitimate and proper for those in vocational ministry to receive payment for it.

hawk316 6 years ago

Wayne, you may have seen this famous quote before, but it bears repeating in light of your decision to retire from pro ball and serve the Lord in full time ministry. Christian missionary Jim Elliot, who would eventually be killed by hostile natives when attempting to share the gospel, said these words to explain his motivation for Christian service:

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jesus put it this way, "what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" (Mark 8:36)

You have made a wise choice, my brother. God bless.

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

Yes Jesus did say the seventy should take food and shelter he said nothing of money. Also in Peter 5:2 it says pretty plainly that one who ministers should not take filthy lucre or in modern terms money.

David Hall 6 years ago

THINK IF HE ONE TO DO SOMETHING FOR THE YOUTH THEN HE SHOULD IT UP TO HIM NOT NO ONE ELES TO GIVE BACK TO THE YOUTH

fansincewilt 6 years ago

The posts on this site prove that Wayne is doing the right thing. I did not know there were so many Christians posting on the articles. I am impressed. I love the Jayhawks but I love Christ more. Wayne's commitment astounds me. I am confident that he is being led by someone much more in the know than us.

suttonku 6 years ago

Im with you fansincewilt, Simien has always been one of my all time favorite players and what he is doing now just cements it...prolly a top 5 jayhawk for me...class act that is spreading the gospel

okjhok 6 years ago

Didn't know so many Jayhawk fans were so into mythology. Yes, it makes for good bedtime stories, but as a career? Really??? Yes, I understand that a lot of you rely on fictitious characters to fill the gaps in your life and to provide some sort of meaning to your existence. I get that. But when you start taking money from naive individuals while feeding them religious propaganda, it's really just pathetic and totally immoral and unethical.
I respect the posters' right to "speak" their mind. That's what these comment sections are for. But please save your comments about me having no life, being a WASTE, and needing to find friends. Not only do your arguments have zero merit, but they're erroneous on all accounts! I will say, though, that it is kind of sad that posting on this site is the best thing I can come up with to do on a Saturday night, but I'm tired (Friday night was rough and I spent a lot of time on the lake today.).
I always find it quite ironic when christians spew so much hate. Ironic, but not unexpected. Try and be a little more tolerant of others who have differing opinions than you, much like I am tolerant of people like you. But giving up a professional basketball career to do what Simien is about to do just doesn't compute, my friends.

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

Only one person responded to what you had to say earlier and the guy was drunk. I'm not sure who said you don't have any friends or have no life I guess you where just spilling into your post what you were already thinking about yourself. When one's eternal soul is on the line us chritians can tend to get a little over the top at times I guess it is just because we feel it is so important and it can get emotional. I guess you don't need to worry about anything though sayings how you obvioulsy have nothing to look forward to in the next life. I mean you probably do not believe in the life here after. Just fade to black right.

jesusgonzalesthecarpenter 6 years ago

Religion seems2make sense2some people,but not others.There seem2be times when their views about God may change180degrees.Should a person who DOES believe in God ever be given a good, second chance (by non-believers) to persuade him/her2 NOT believe anymore?No matter how hard a person tries2convince someone that God must obviously exist or not exist, there will always be millions of other people w/the opposite opinion.Each side absolutely believes they are right.The opposite side of the argument (that u believe in) sounds completely ridiculous,so then people's thoughts seem2 deteriorate2where they lash out (verbally) - just outta insecurity about being challenged.This world is terribly imperfect.And, although we'd LIKE to think that it is and that everyone is smart and must think like we do, they sure don't! It isn't until an article like this that everyone is reminded that this world is actually full of subjectivities&divides.There's noWAYany of us are going2change someone else's mind about God! Even after someone is saved, each day they must choose what they believe.So preaching only does so much good, depending on the heart that hears it.We each have dozens of reasons for our "IS GOD REAL?" belief.So let's just all give it a rest, not be so insecure, have faith in our own "right" beliefs,&just get back2the REAL point of this article, which is NOT religion.People will disagree with me, but this website should neither promote NOR dismiss religion.I think the whole point of the article is that it's a chance2see what one of the great KU basketball players is up2.Since Wayne was/is such a nice young man (who went through a whole lot of obstacles here), I think it's great that we are being given an update on his life and goals...&I think we'd all want2wish him a "thumbs up and good luck".Religious topics are a part of Wayne's life, so reporting about them is not an error of this writing staff. Each step of life is an opportunity2grow just a little, tiny bit.And I DO hope Wayne can help his campers each grow a little bit! But, in the end, it's up to each camper to decide what religious belief they'll have.Even if the greatest paster or priest or Rabbi was speaking to these campers, it's up to each camper to make that decision for themselves, and it's still a decision that MAY adjust (dynamically) throughout one's life.Let a person be a person. An imperfect person who has to feel their way around the rights and the wrongs.Give up on trying2change people's minds.Yes, even give up on trying to save others. It's up to each of us to save ourselves, but i DO truly believe that we should all be given as much spiritual info as possible so that we can each make educated guesses.Just share your truths briefly,then move along.Your listener might come back your way and ask for more info. Great! But they should always have the freedom to change their mind.

okjhok 6 years ago

You make a lot of good points and I agree with most of what you say, especially about religion being a personal decision. I really find it hard to believe, though, that Wayne's camp is going to give these young, impressionable kids opportunities to think for themselves. In fact, here's a direct quote from Wayne: "...read the Bible, pray, get with other believers..." Sounds like quite a bit of interference to me. That's the stuff that bothers me. Developing one's spirituality is a journey, and these kids need to be given a chance to develop it on their own. Wayne wants to use his celebrity to impress upon these kids. I have a big problem with that. BTW, I really don't like discussing this material in this forum, and I take full blame for getting it started. Go 'Hawks, beat Coastal and UNC tomorrow! I'm out...

Randy Glenn 6 years ago

Wayne was just at Garden City for our Great Plains Chapter Alumni golf and football rally. What a perfect person to be associated with the KU Alumni family. A great ambassador for the University because he is truly a good person. He introduced himself to you as a friend first then wanted to know everything about YOU. He struck up a conversation with my son and now it would'nt suprise if they don't go fishing or turkey hunting together. KU is "BLESSED" to have him on their side.

Tuskin 6 years ago

I'm very excited for Wayne. He's following his heart and moving up. Congratulations, Wayne, on not being mastered by money and adoring fans. The things you treasure cannot be stolen or motheaten.

Give, using a ladle as big as your heart!

Lost_in_the_Phog 6 years ago

okjhok, You don't get it. Being a Christian means you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Reading the Bible doesn't make you a Chriatian. Going to church doesn't make you a Christian. Unlike most religions, you aren't born into Christianity, it is a PERSONAL CHOICE!

Also, religion is worthless. We agree. Faith in Christ is life not religion. Just remember that when you tolerate everyone's beliefs except Christians, you are intolerant yourself.

"Didn't know so many Jayhawk fans were so into mythology. Yes, it makes for good bedtime stories, but as a career? Really??? Yes, I understand that a lot of you rely on fictitious characters to fill the gaps in your life and to provide some sort of meaning to your existence".

No silly... We are talking about the Bible, not Harry Potter.

hawksince51 6 years ago

Basketball was not always kind to Wayne--he lost most of 2 seasons to injuries at KU and was very ill his rookie season at Miami. In his senior year, he carried a team made up of himself and a bunch of what IMHO were average players. Then, he found out his game was not wanted in the NBA yet he surely must have wondered how does Linus Kleiza make it and Wayne does not?? His faith apparently got him through these trials and I have nothing but respect for his decision to leave basketball to pursue the ministry.

imzcount 6 years ago

I knew there would be a lot of religious comments as soon as I saw this headline. Just a question for christians: Has every deceased human being since the beginning of time who wasn't a christian lost their soul?

Kent Wells 6 years ago

He said he had "access" to drugs and alcohol. He didn't say that he did drugs or alcohol. Best of luck to big dub. RCJHKU

KU2010CHAMPS 6 years ago

imzcount

I am not sure if you are being serious but, the answer is no. All will be resurrected that is all even if you are not a christian all be raised from the dead with a new body and will stand to be judged before Christ.

kennethst 6 years ago

MIKE BLUR-

Your sad comments don't surprise me......not after you came on this boad a few weeks ago saying you were happy about Wayman Tisdale's death.

You are obviously a very miserable,bitter person.....you need help. Seriously....you do. How sad.

kshomebrew 6 years ago

KU2010CHAMPS

Thank you for your comment, my favorite of them all.

As for Wayne, I'm always happy to see when a young man/woman who has the "world at their feet" make the decision to seek eternal rewards instead of pursuing worldly profits now. I am happy for Wayne and hope his mission shapes the rest of his life as I expect it will. Good Luck.

Joe Ross 6 years ago

Wayne Simien came to our church in Horton Kansas recently. Didnt ask a dime for it (we gave a donation to his ministry). We sat and ate dinner before the event and I got a chance to get a feel for the man. I can tell you that the man has an honest heart and is 100% selfless and genuine. I guess in todays world, some people are neither satisfied if youre Michael Vick on one hand or Wayne Simien on the other. My point is not to find fault with posters here, but just to show that when you do something honorable there are those who will twist it or misconstrue it.

Wayne is an upstanding young man living out his life according to Biblically moral principles. He could have continued to play professionally somewhere and make more money. But adherence to a value system led him away. It led him to a place where he is trying to influence kids to live better lives. Cheer the man on. Not because he's a Jayhawk. Not because he was a great basketball player. But because he has chosen to do something honorable for youth.

Rock Chalk Wayne

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

Drugs in college?? Wow! I bet that's never happened before...

Mike Bratisax 6 years ago

'I always find it quite ironic when christians spew so much hate. ' I always find it ironic when some people put all Christians into one group. That generally shows a lack of knowledge about the Christian faith...which is very diverse.

TyatKU 6 years ago

okjhok: Right there with you! Such a waste of time to pursue ministry. Never heard of a bigger waste of time. Why doesn't he go back to school and find a cure for cancer or something if he wants to volunteer time!

Wayne was (is) a great bball player. He'll always be remembered here.

jhawk7782... I'll take it one step further and put all religious people into one group. You're all nuts.

imzcount 6 years ago

ku2010champs Thank you for your response. I was not being flip at all, just wanted an opinion. Maybe a religion board is the forum for this but I'm curious about something you said. "All will be resurrected" (at what point in time?) e.g. say a caveman who lived 35,000 yrs ago and has turned to dust. Assuming he does receive a new body, what would Christ say to him and what criteria would Christ use to judge him? According to christianity you can't get to heaven just by being a "good person (good caveman), so then what chance would he have to get through the pearly gates if he never knew about Christ until his judgement day? Thanks in advance for your comment. I'm being completly serious.

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

imzcount - Romans 1:20+ basically says that if you put your faith in yourself and creation rather than the creator, you are lost. (Ro. 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.)

I'm not sure about cavemen, but scripture does tell us about early mankind – Cain and Abel. If people have heard about them, they probably just remember that Cain murdered his brother (Genesis 4), but they miss the root of the issue – their offering, or misunderstand God's perspective regarding the offering. Cain offered plants and Abel killed an animal as an offering (sorry to PET or whatever). Why is this significant?

In Hebrews 9:22 God tells us very specifically that “… without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” It wasn’t a new concept in Hebrews, or even for Cain & Abel, because it is what we see God doing from the beginning. In Genesis 3:21, God deals with the sin of their parents (Adam & Eve) – “The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” That means he sacrificed an animal to cover the nakedness they had come to realize as the result of their sin (choosing to do what seemed right to themselves vs. doing what God had said they should do).

This is the beginning of what is sometimes referred to as the scarlet thread of redemption. The Jewish Passover – spreading the blood of a sacrificed animal on the door frame, is another illustration God showed to the people of the world. The thread ultimately culminates in the sacrifice, the shedding of Jesus’ blood for the sins of the world. (Hebrews 9:11-14 – When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!)

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

As for the resurrection, Jesus commented that even He did not know the hour the Father had appointed (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32), and not to believe those that say it will be now or then. The real question tho is what chance does the caveman (person who has not heard the name of Jesus) have of redemption. Hebrews 11 is a short list of those who had not heard the name of Jesus, but by faith in God had made evident (Romans 1, Genesis 3 & 4) they looked forward to what He would do (Abel) and not what they could do (Cain).

In Matthew 16, there is an account Jesus talking to the disciples about what other people think about the Christ. There were several possibilities. The He asks the crucial question, "But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"

All the other issues are just peripheral.

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

Now okjhok, and others may look down on the account of Adam & Eve as a fairy tale or whatever, but it is really just a matter of not fitting into their realm of understanding. The reality is that the smallest facet of this world blows the minds of the greatest thinkers this world has to offer – if they truly attempt to understand the depths of how everything works. Bring all the PhD’s at KU together, and then throw in all the rest in the US, no the world, and we still don’t really understand how it came together (And even Darwin in the end knew he was wrong, so don’t even go there.). And we expect God to give a scientifically accurate account of creation to Noah or whomever?

But if by fairy tales you ar referring to the history that the Bible records, you have no understanding of literary authenticity. There is more evidence for the literary authenticity of scripture than most of the rest of the books of antiquity combined.

But if you really want a fairy tale, try the prophecy about blood and water flowing from the side of the Christ (John 19:31-37), and it must have been just a story that was perpetuated by the disciples to justify their claims that Jesus fulfilled prophecy. That’s all fine until you consider modern science, and learn that blood and “water” would run out as separate fluids if the person was dead and the cardiac cavity was ruptured, like maybe by a knife or other long, sharp object. (If someone with a better medical background wants to correct the terminology, by all means please do.) And there is plenty more where that came from, but you can call it fairy tale if you’d like.

None of it changes the real question, "But what about you? Who do you say I am?"

Dirk Medema 6 years ago

But what the article is really about Ephesians 3: 20 & 21 He "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Wayne), to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

It's not about what Wayne can do, whether on an NBA court, the local blacktop, or otherwise. It's about the power at work in him.

KU2010CHAMPS 6 years ago

Imz, I believe that God being a perfect loving father new that there would be people here on this earth who would never have an opportunity to hear of Christ and his mission. Which is why Man would look on the outward appearence but God looketh on the heart. Basicly God knows what all man would and will do in any situation whether he would except him or not. At judgement I think he will take that into account of what one would have done if they had heard of Jesus Christ. For all shall bow and confess that Jesus is the Christ. So in this life or the next all will have the opportunity to confess christ.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

Blessings on you Wayne, your new ministry, and the kids you will impact.

jchief40 6 years ago

I'll never forget you for missing THAT SHOT! Bwhahahahaha... Go Jesus!

rockchalk80 6 years ago

Just as Wayne was 100% sold out to the Jayhawks---if possible, Wayne is more committed to Jesus Christ... He is bold! ---what a great example. It would have been easy to continue his walk and enjoy the money---Wayne has chosen to let God run his life and take care of him and his family... he truly understands, we are here temporarily, to love others (God's greatest commandment to us)---he is living with his eye on the ultimate prize.

RockChalkGuy 6 years ago

I have looked up to Wayne ever since he came to KU. I truly appreciate his contributions to the University and the basketball program. His contributions are immeasurable. He has always stood out as a player who's 'doing it the right way' and I applaud him for that.

I certainly feel that each of us should pursue that which truly makes us happy in this life, but that does not mean I have to agree with each person's means of doing so. I am not religious. I don't believe it God, Allah, Buddah, or even the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If Wayne uses his ministry to guide troubled youth towards being good, kind-hearted adults, then I say more power to him. If he uses it to brainwash them and preach that Christianity is the only way to be happy or, worse yet, that they will burn in hell if they don't buy in to it, then I have to say that I'm very disappointed. Scare tactics are not a strong means for making a solid argument.

Religion is the cause of virtually every major war in the history of mankind.

ChicagoJHawk 6 years ago

I'm right there with you RockChalkGuy & okjhok. I know half of you people on this board will tell me to go to Mizzou's website or that I don't belong here, simply b/c I have a differing opinion, but I don't care.

To me, I think it is a waste to do what he did. Yeah, it sounds good on paper, to give up all material things & that money is the root of all evil but let's get real here.

I'm a Wayne Simien fan and a diehard KU fan. I can't say I would have done the same thing but if that's what makes Wayne & his family happy, then thats all that matters.

I just don't get why everyone makes him out to be so much more important now. It doesn't make me like him any less or any more now that he's working for the church/working with kids.

Tuskin 6 years ago

Correction: Greed and revenge are the causes of virtually every major war in the history of mankind. Often, leaders of wars have cried out one religion or another to gain more support for their cause.

But it's interesting to note that, in its infancy, Christianity did not spread by war. It spread as believers were tortured and killed for declaring what they believed in, even as Jesus was. With only John as the exception, every one of the original apostles was tortured and killed, still refusing to deny Jesus and his teaching. Many other believers met the same fate, too.

trader 6 years ago

I was in Allen Field House listening to Wayne's Senior Day speech and it was definitely a long one where he spilled out his heart. At that time I did not understand I was a witness then to Wayne's true calling in life.

The great thing about the speech was Wayne's senior speech being photographed and he was featured in Sports Illustrated. There I was, in the background, in the stands, and I finally got my wish in life which was to be in Sports Illustrated !!! Thanks, Wayne, for your help.

ChicagoJHawk 6 years ago

I'm right there with you RockChalkGuy & okjhok. I know half of you people on this board will tell me to go to Mizzou's website or that I don't belong here, simply b/c I have a differing opinion, but I don't care. To me, I think it is a waste to do what he did. Yeah, it sounds good on paper, to give up all material things & that money is the root of all evil but let's get real here. I'm a Wayne Simien fan and a diehard KU fan. I can't say I would have done the same thing but if that's what makes Wayne & his family happy, then thats all that matters. I just don't get why everyone makes him out to be so much more important now. It doesn't make me like him any less or any more now that he's working for the church/working with kids

Fred Davis 6 years ago

I spoke to somebody with intimate knowledge of the basketball team a few years back after Wayne went Christian and the person said that the KU team was never the same after that because Wayne's views on basketball changed and he went from being the leader of that team to a Jesus Freak... Not that there's anything wrong with that... But I lost a lot of respect for Wayne after the Bucknell game - smiling after it was over, like, oh well, that's what God wanted... I wish Wayne the best of luck, but the whole transformation just feels odd... But what do I know - I was baptised Catholic!

hawksince51 6 years ago

I would much rather have Wayne "working for the church/working with kids" in Kansas than playing b-ball in the back-waters of Europe. And, my view is not influenced by my religious beliefs. One of my worst days was when a mizzou player from Europe, Linus Kleiza, was drafter ahead of Wayne. I still refuse to accept that it makes sense that Linus is still playing in the NBA (for the Nuggets in the state where I reside) and Wayne never made it.

Timmay97 6 years ago

You see what these Kentucky fans are resorting to now? According to Zagsblog, somebody on some Kentucky blog said that Xavier Henry is upset at being at KU and he's thinking about going to Kentucky now. Apparantly, he made the decision to come to KU to make his mother happy.

What a bunch of bull! Does anyone really believe that? Or do you all think it's Kentucky's way of getting back at KU for the chaos that has transpired the past week with Calipari? I just don't see Xavier jumping again.

trader 6 years ago

I remember Wayne's Senior Day speech and it was a very long one. Sports Ilustrated had a great picture of him at center court. There I was, in the background, in the bleachers.. So, thanks to Wayne I got one of my childhood dreams achieved...that being, to appear in Sports Illustrated !!!

Thanks, Wayne, for helping me achieve one of my dreams in life.

jaybate 6 years ago

Tuskin,

This is a fresh and insightful take on the Christianity's emergence and its role in being exploited by leaders for prosecuting many wars. Thank you for posting it. I think it makes some sense, at least during periods when Rome was not ruled by Christians (The first Christian emperor of Rome occurred 100 years after Christ's death on the cross) and when Europe was not under the long reign of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holy Roman Empire, an essentially Christian oligarchy with a Christian theocratic regime was especially willing to fight Crusades and other wars in Christ's name. But I do believe Christianity has at times been exploited by secular governments like Hitler. Of course, Hitler apparently received considerable funding from the Vatican in his rise to power.

Three points:

  1. I trust you and your church are on record as being in unconditional opposition to the USA's global torture prison archipeligo started under Bush and now perpetuated under Obama. (Note: Gitmo is only planned to be moved to a military base in USA--not closed.)

  2. I trust you and your church have not formally supported the war in Iraq, or after finding out that the premises for the Iraq War were based on documented lies, came out against it.

  3. I trust you and your church are actively supporting ending USA involvement in Iraq and returning ownership of Iraqi Oil and the right to market Iraqi oil back to the Iraqi government, as was the case prior to Bush's invasion of Iraq and Obama's sustainment of that invasion.

It is always good to see Christians and Christian churches stand up and oppose torture, torture prisons, and wars based on lies. And it is doubly good to see Christians and Christian churches refuse to be used by government (be it the Bush Administration, or the Obama Administration) to try to mobilize and/or perpetuate support for torture, torture prisons and wars based on lies.

Keep up the good work.

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

As someone who in high school did drugs hung out with pagans and rock and rolled my life away, I can tell everyone on this site that there is nothing that has made me happier and made my life more complete than following the teachings of Christ. Sure when I was hanging with the rockers and pagans it all seemed to be great life was free and wonderful. I can tell you that way of thinking is bull and you don't realize how free one is until they follow the teaching of christ and follow his commandments. Something I wish I had as a youth. LIke I said I am happy for wayne and I hope he brings many to Christ just as long as he is not getting paid to do it.

jhawk613 6 years ago

jwliddell -

Perfectly reasonable approach to religion. I, too, believe children (and adults) should develop their own religious beliefs.

For every good, innocent person that dies somewhere around the world, the reaction is...what GOD would do that?

But what about when volunteers, missions, churches and governments work together to feed, cure, heal, clothe, etc. children and women and men around the world? Too often all of the CREDIT goes to human individuals and no one says "I wonder if GOD had a a hand in that?"

I personally believe every religion is equal (including mythology and people who believe in the absence of religion or deities). If GOD is truly all-knowing (as most religious people believe) then GOD would know to meet people where they are.

If you don't believe in religion, perhaps GOD makes an active choice to NOT meddle.

If you believe in multiple deities, then GOD presents itself in the proper form, etc.

I believe the basic foundation of the Bible is true, but in the interest of money and power it has been manipulated over the years by MAN.

hawk316 6 years ago

Jayhawkinmullen, I had to go out of town after I responded to your earlier post, so although you may not even see this, I'm going to give it a rather belated shot. Three quick scriptures to again make the case that it is proper for people in ministry to be paid for their work (which can come in many forms...food, housing, etc as well as money): Luke 8:1-3 relates how several women traveled with the disciples and Jesus "helping to support them out of their own means." It may have been in the form of food/housing, but these things cost money then as they do now. Secondly, in I Tim 5:17-18 Paul quotes 2 OT passages to support the principle of payment for ministerial work. Thirdly, I Cor 9:13-14 Paul reaffirms the principle established by Jesus in Luke 10 when he writes, "those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel." It's a clear Biblical teaching that a person in ministry should be reimbursed for his work. If he chooses not to do so (as Paul did from time to time), that's up to him/her, but he certainly has the right to expect payment for his ministerial efforts. By the way, I appreciate your additional comments concerning the change in your lifestyle after receiving Christ. Many millions throughout the world can attest to the truth of your statements. Bless you, bro.

cklarock 6 years ago

Religion, sect and ritual are irrelevant. The only meaningful spiritual practice is compassion. Jesus was of and about the poor -- the power-mongers, religious heads and plutocrats of his time wanted nothing to do with him.

"Know them by their works." Bible-thumping fat cats and shareholders of "mega churches" are every bit the philistines. And they are changing money in the temple. More precisely, they're changing gullibility into money, hand over fist.

Religion is a fantastic tool for manipulation, because it preys on the two great human mental weaknesses; guilt and fear. It is also self-proving, so there's no need for it to actually work, or be in any way demonstrable. The illusion that the bible provides some external "proof" of the religious person's thinking means that there won't ever be any good intellectual middle ground.

Either you think the bible is correct and true as written, or you don't. If you do, we won't be able to see eye-to-eye, because I don't accept it as any authority whatsoever.

That said, our world is also inhabited by good people, Christians and otherwise, who live the principles of Jesus and spend their lives in service to their fellow man, eschewing worldly gain and glory.

More power to them! They are heroes in my book.

TexasHawk44 6 years ago

You-know-who: Spew, spew, spew. A little down time in your prison cell? I knew you would have some brilliant insight on the subject of religion. You truly are "rain man" meets Magilla Gorilla

People: just let people be. Good for Wayne on his ministry. Whether you believe with or agree with what he believes, at least the man has a passion for something that he feels important. And in the end, that is all that matters. Just because religion has caused grief and strife through history does not mean that everyone who is religious is guilty by association.

Live and let live. Good luck Wayne. If you can help one person rise above the troubles of life then you have done more than most of these posting donkeys on this site.

hawk316 6 years ago

Whew! A guy leaves town for a day or so and all hell breaks loose on this site! :-) There are way too many comments to respond to, but much of what has been written thus far certainly confirms my belief that there is a great deal of misinformation out there concerning true Biblical Christianity. As someone once said, "most people do not reject Christianity, but a caricature of Christianity."

Rather than spewing out a litany of responses to some of the opinions stated, may I suggest a few fabulous books that will help anyone form a reasoned and accurate opinion of the Christian faith? The following are well worth your time: 1) "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, 2) "I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist" by Norman Geisler, 3) "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and 4) "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. A quick word about Strobel's book. He was a legal editor for the Chicago Tribune (and an atheist) when he was challenged to do an honest examination of Christianity. He took 2 years to research thoroughly the topic, and as a result, became a committed Christian. The evidence is there if you care to examine it (which means you have to be willing to put aside your presuppositions and biases and honestly look at the evidence). Any takers?

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

316, I hear what you are saying, to me though money is different. One has to live so food and shelter is one thing. You don't need the extra stuff though that comes along with money. For example if I was to go on a mission trip to mexico and build houses for people I would expect shelter and food to survive not money for helping someone. It just doesn't seem to be the same when you are serving someone for provisions to survive and taking money. Even some of the Apostles sold all they had for the ministry. I don't know man. I do understand where you are coming from though.

hawk316 6 years ago

jayhawkinmullen, there's no question that the misuse of money has been a major problem in the Church from the beginning. In fact, Richard Foster wrote a book some years ago entitled, "Money, Sex and Power" referring to three of the main problem areas for some Christians. The lust for money exhibited by some televangelists has turned off many observers, both Christian and non-Christian (including, apparently, a number of those who post on this site). That's what Peter was talking about in the passage you cited earlier. He wasn't suggesting that people shouldn't be paid for their work in the ministry. He was targeting wrong motives, warning people not to be in the ministry just for the green.

Jesus, as usual, nailed it when He said, "watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15) Thus, we should be very careful in how we handle the issue of money, but we must not overreact and think that money in and of itself is evil. Remember, Paul said it was the LOVE of money--not money itself--which is the root of all evil. (I Tim 6:10)

Tuskin 6 years ago

Jaybate, you've raised a very interesting "three points." We could discuss these points for hours.

Yes, I am personally on the record as opposing the Iraq war and torture. While Bush worked his 80%+ approval rating to start the Iraq war, I vocally declared it to be wrong. It seemed to me that, even if the allegations were correct, Hussein was contained, and UN inspectors were preventing further weapons development. I was, and still am, concerned about the needless loss of civilian life. Further, my reading of history in that region (even from thousands of years ago) is that puppet governments in that region do not fare well in the long term. Bush and various senators didn't return my letters.

In my view, going to war with, as you put it, "documented lies," was a case of misdirection. I don't believe the stated reasons for war were ever the actual reasons. We know that Cheney, Wolfowitz, and others had agreed years earlier that attacking Iraq was a laudible goal, but they'd need something like another Pearl Harbor for it to be politically viable. I personally believe the actual reason we invaded Iraq was that our leaders were hopeful that the monarchies of the Middle East would topple into democracy just as the former Soviet bloc did. If that happens in the next 20 years, I am willing to concede that their war of choice may have had significant benefits. However, it still seems unlikely to me that this will be the result. Rather, ongoing and renewed hatred seem to be a more likely result.

Tuskin 6 years ago

As far as I know, my church did not take a political stance on the war or on torture. I would guess that most churches did not speak out on these issues. Should they have? If this question were posed to a church's membership, there would certainly be a wide variety of responses. I see two major disadvantages to churches becoming politically involved. One, secular folks perceive that their religious counterparts are trying to fashion this country into a religious nation. Two, religious folks begin to be swept up in other political positions that are less clearly defensible, which I also see in current events. Tax policy? The health care system? These are issues where my faith brings me to a conclusion, but should churches take public stances on them?

I don't know that I believe churches should be so politically active, but I am much more comfortable with church members being politically outspoken, even to the point of citing words from Scripture supporting their point.

Unnecessary wars are an evil that incites further hatred and violence. And torture? Even if someone thinks it might be effective, torture must never be employed. As the saying goes: Take care, that while fighting the dragon, you BECOME the dragon. The US lost a lot of moral high ground when it stooped to using torture.

If you're interested in a good historical read, try "Hansi, the Girl Who Loved the Swastika." She was part of Hitler's brainwashed youth, and when she first met American soldiers in the aftermath of the war, she was hugely impressed by their goodness. They took care of her and her friend, while soldiers of other nations were known for raping German civilian women. She later became a patriotic American citizen because of the goodness Americans showed her.

Incidentally, she writes that Hitler's war machine pushed hard to squelch religion. They encouraged her to leave behind her Christianity. "Stop praying, and see if anything is different the next day." She did that, and when she didn't perceive a sudden change, she stopped praying entirely and rejected Christianity. Her parents (quietly) opposed Hitler because his war machine ravaged faith.

Hansi points out that most German Christians quietly opposed Hitler, but they did not speak out because of fear. Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a very noteworthy exception, and he was imprisoned and killed because of his outspokenness - and because he tried to kill Hitler.

But I digress. Bottom line is, if a nation ever tries to win a long-term peace after a war, it has to win hearts and minds. I believe the way to do that is through goodness. If war is necessary, it must be conducted with care for civilians, and without torture.

Chime in, everyone. Should churches take political stances?

Ryan Mullen 6 years ago

Churches should take stances against evil. On account of leaders of evil countries they should stay neutral. Some extremists would feel threatned by certain organizations if they were to come out in open disgust of others countries and leaders. Let the US and the UN take care of that they have guns and military. Churches should teach truths that will help the members to make politically wise decisions.

CasperCorps 6 years ago

Parents who send their kids to Waynes camp know what it going to be about, all the camp is going to do, is show the kids is that its ok not to follow the main stream media's idea of drugs, alcohol, and sex message.. Kids are blasted with all kinds of crap their entire lives and it  has become accepted but, oh no, start a Christian sports camp for a weekend and watch out, their becoming indoctrinated..Sounds terrible, those poor helpless kids.. We need a law to stop this poor parenting, I mean thats like some sort of child abuse, right?.. Or maybe we need a fairness act, to where if you send a kid to a camp that teaches morals, parents must send their kids to a strip club, or bar, they must have both sides of the story.   
   Jesus had a simple message, whether you believe he is a myth or the son of God,...  Love each other as I have loved you.. and  He taught forgiveness... Ahhh!!! Its, its so terrible!!! I know its awful, isn't it? Even if you don't believe in God, whats wrong with this message?..  Lets change the subject to different things like whether your church allows this or that or approves of this and that, or condems whether or not we should be killing people before they kill us.. Don't twist the message... God bless you Wayne and you too JayBate..

jaybate 6 years ago

Tuskin,

I am proud to say that I know you to the small extent that I do.

CasperCorps 6 years ago

God made us, and gave us free will to choose whatever path we want.. For those people who choose His path, choose His path with the goal to meet him face to face on the day that they die.. No matter how much you pray or help people or are a good person, doesn't make you immune to the trials of life, or give you a free pass to catch breaks or even to be happy in life.. Its easy to believe in God when things are good, its hard to keep Faith when things are bad.. To be able to go through all that life throws at you and still stand up and Believe is an awesome thing.. To be able to give when you have nothing is more amazing then to give when you have everything..

jaybate 6 years ago

TexasHawk44,

Get back to your Rick Barnes/Heath Ledger composite poster.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

RockChalkGuy - what was the religious about WWI? What was religious about WWII? Christians fought alongside Jews and atheists, for the same end goal, and I believe were on both sides too! Hitler embarked on creating a superior race by exterminating all others, beginning with Jews. What religious philosophy compelled North Korea to invade South Korea in 1950? Communism?

How about Vietnam? The French were embroiled in an Empire war there long before John Kennedy committed American troops to take their place, and I don't think he did it because the Pope ordered him to. So it seems that the major wars of the 20th Century were started by atheists (the Bavarian assassin who killed the Austrian Archduke to start WWI, Hitler who invaded all of Europe, the Communist Chinese who prompted North Korea into the south, and the Communist Vietnamese who kicked the French and Americans out of their country). Religious people were involved on both sides, but come on...

Sorry if this offends anyone, because of the basketball nature of this board, but RockChalkGuy, you're speaking with forked tongue.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

Tuskin -

On this quote, "I don't know that I believe churches should be so politically active, but I am much more comfortable with church members being politically outspoken, even to the point of citing words from Scripture supporting their point." - I agree with you. Scripture says as much as the same thing. Pastors and churches should pursue their mission, keep focused, and the people of faith should bring that mission out into their real world environment. If that means getting involved in politics, so be it. But as we've seen over and over again in Congress, not everyone should be in that arena.

My compliments to you on your outspoken stance against the war in Iraq. On that point, I'll agree to disagree with you. I believe the long term end goal is a valid one. For example, did you object when Reagan bombed Qaddafi in his palace? That began a process of that dictator pulling back from his terrorist activities. He never took down another commercial airliner did he? It culminated in his renouncement of terrorism during Desert Storm - why? Because he didn't want to be invaded by the USA.

But I tend to think we probably have more in common than in dispute. Not going to pursue this religious debate on this board. Good posts.

Back to the point of the original article; Good for Wayne. Good for the youth of Lawrence. Good for KU. Now let's get back to basketball.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

jwliddel -

"At least in hell the angels aren't as selfish down there."

How do you know that as fact? Have you visited? Or were you just being cute?

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

sorry - I saw jwliddel's post after I made that statement about getting back to bb. I just thought his crack was lame.

TexasHawk44 6 years ago

You know who: There is a letter that is in between "E" and "G", choose that one. Then add the letter in between "T" and "V". Even a prisoner like you can figure that out. You are so smart and make so many great points. What a genius you are... so full of crap that you must have to clean your poser ears out on an hourly basis so that the crap doesn't ooze all over the place.

Lost_in_the_Phog 6 years ago

Jaybate,

Quit trying to be a jerk to everybody. Nobody said anything that could slightly offend you. They were being kind enough as to not just flat out call you a moron, but instead explaining why your statement was false. So your defense of why you were right was:

"I am proud to say that I know you to the small extent that I do."

and

"Get back to your Rick Barnes/Heath Ledger composite poster."

Personally attacking people is no way to prove your point.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

jwliddell

Put away your intolerant anger. You will find as you look back upon your life, that the moments when you really lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love. We see only bitterness in your heart, displayed in your writings.

Robert Lofthouse 6 years ago

jwliddell -

I see no fun as you describe it, in what you post - only bitter resentment and cynicism - spewing misleading statements as though you're some kind of religious authority because you had a bad experience - but on the other hand, I normally find most of the other posters here to be quite an entertaining read.

Reply if you like, but I won't respond further because I have better things to do than to debate your drivel.

Your greatest tragedy in life is to lose God and not to miss Him.

RockChalkGuy 6 years ago

I love this country and the freedom of each of us to pursue our own faiths.

Furthermore, I love KU Hoops.

I hereby propose a truce to the religious debate on this article. Wayne is a great guy and I'm sure that more good than harm will come out of this choice he has made for himself.

Rock Chalk!

KU2010CHAMPS 6 years ago

jwliddell

I would have to say there are more people like you on the earth than any other, that is people who share your beliefs. Which is why there is so much hatred, and intolerance of others. If you don't belive in God or Christ that is fine I for one do not believe you are going to hell for that. I think that you proclaim to be happy because you have never formed a relationship with God and do not know what it feels like, or maybe bad experiances with chritianity has lead you to believe this way. In my own experiance those who have serious issues with another have been wronged by them and for that I apologize as a christian and hope that you will come to Christ and forgive others. Yes Chrisitians can be just as mean spirited as any other because they are just as imperfect as you are. That does not mean however that what they or I believe is incorrect for I know at least 10 wonderful Christians for every bad one. All it takes though is one bad one to give you a bad impression of us all. Man really no one needs to attack you here just like you do not need to attack others. If you are truly happy you would not feel the need to do that.

TyatKU 6 years ago

Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and the rulers as useful

LAJayhawk 6 years ago

"You think hundreds of years from now someone is going to pick up a copy of Charlette's Web and think that in our time there was once an almighty pig who was able to speak?"

It's the spider! It's all about the spider. All the pig did was stand there and hope that he didn't turn into bacon.

Seriously, no one ever gives the spider any credit.

jchief40 6 years ago

Hawk316: 1) "More Than a Carpenter" by Josh McDowell, 2) "I Don't Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist" by Norman Geisler, 3) "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis and 4) "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel

All of these are rotten poo. http://www.caseagainstfaith.com/ for #4 .. my point is these just further the divide. I don't necessarily agree. Both miss the point entirely.

A better use of your time would be to study Manly P. Hall and the teachings of the Philosophical Research Society. Go to prs.org or read the Secret Teaching of the Ages. Learn about the root of all religion. Another good read "A Metaphysical Interpretation of the Bible" by Steven L. Hairfield.

Later simpletons!

jchief40 6 years ago

"A quick word about Strobel's book. He was a legal editor for the Chicago Tribune (and an atheist) when he was challenged to do an honest examination of Christianity. He took 2 years to research thoroughly the topic, and as a result, became a committed Christian."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. The great Repeators everywhere I look! Quit looking to others for answers (pastors, people, clowns, except for Susan Shumsky) everything can be found within YOU.

jchief40 6 years ago

Here's a fun one! Go ask a Christian to explain to you why the Jews reject Jesus and not speak in generalities. LMAO. How can you crusade against something you know very little about? Why have you not taken the time to examine all the arguments outside of a Lee Strobel book?

And the angel said unto me, "These are the cries of the carrots, the cries of the carrots. You see, reverend Maynard, tomorrow is harvest day and to them it is the holocaust." And I sprang from my slumber drenched in sweat like the tears of one millions terrified brothers and roared, "Hear me now, I have seen the light, they have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul. damn you! let the rabbits wear glasses, save our brothers...can I get an amen? can I get a hallelujah? thank you, Jesus.

jchief40 6 years ago

“To learn is to live, to study is to grow, and growth is the measurement of life. The mind must be taught to think, the heart to feel, and the hands to labor. When these have been educated to their highest point, then is the time to offer them to the service of their fellowman, not before.” - MPH

JayCeph 6 years ago

jchief40... nice reference to Tool. Such a great album!

jaybate 6 years ago

TyatKU,

Did you coin that, or is it a quote? Tell me the source if it is not your expression. It is wonderful regardless.

jchief40 6 years ago

This I thought I would share with the likes of TyatKU, ralster, JayCeph, jwliddell

Entirely relevant to this "discussion"

http://www.manlyphall.org/video/search-for-the-essential-meaning-of-life/

Enjoy.

jchief40 6 years ago

@ jwliddell

Answer: Lucius Annaeus Seneca

JayCeph 6 years ago

I feel, when it comes to spiritual pursuits, I wade deeper into the sea of ambivalence and sometimes dive into apathy.

I'm just not programmed that way. Some people can write music, others run fast, and even others 'find faith'. Me? Give me a glass a wine, some great tunes and a sketchbook and I am set.

...unless a KU bball game is on. Then I am there!

hawk316 6 years ago

jchief40, there are those who like to attack the Christian faith by implying that all who believe are naive, ignorant, gullible morons. The truth is that there are many brilliant individuals, including scientists, doctors, historians, educators, etc., who follow Christ. But as you know, that in and of itself, proves nothing. Many of those in the humanist/atheist/non-believer camp are also quite brilliant. So, that means that there must be something else at play, and, of course, there is.

It is the human will. Each person must decide who or what he will worship. As Dylan sang back in the 70's, "you gotta serve somebody." Anthropological research reveals this innate need in humanity to worship someone/something (hmmm, wonder where that came from?) be it nature, idols carved out of stone, science, etc. You have indicated your god of choice. It is self or MAN. (You wrote, "everything can be found within YOU.") However, a quick glance at a world where MAN has been free to do his thing (war, racism, murder, greed, injustice, slavery, ad nauseum) doesn't particularly suggest that MAN is handling things very well.

The reason? MAN is broken. Let's face it. We are self-centered, deceitful, hurtful, unfaithful creatures. Even our best efforts to do good are often characterized by less than noble motives. If we're totally honest, we recognize that we are twisted. There is darkness inside each of us. As Pogo famously said, "we have met the enemy and he is us!" It doesn't take a genius to recognize that something is very wrong with mankind.

hawk316 6 years ago

Christianity recognizes this same reality--the basic depravity of man--and further teaches that a world with MAN in charge will never have a happy ending. But the Christian faith also provides a solution by revealing a God who desperately loves each of us and calls us into relationship. Please don't misunderstand. He has no interest in enlisting us in a religion. Religion stinks. God hates religion (used in the sense of man's futile efforts to appease God or control God and others). He literally wants a relationship with us (God is a personal Being, making that possible). Amazingly, He knows all about your crap and my crap, but He loves us anyway. He accepts us just the way we are. He also loves us too much to let us stay that way. So, if we give Him a chance, He changes us from the inside out.

But love must have the freedom to choose, so God doesn't force Himself on us. He woos us, whispers to us in unguarded moments (the birth of a child, a magnificent sunset), allows us to encounter truth, beauty, love...all gifts from His hand. And if we choose (there it is again...the human will) to respond to his overtures of love, we discover the true meaning of life...and much, much more (including the ongoing process of healing our brokenness).

jchief40, I know this may all sound like drivel to you, but literally millions of people throughout the ages and around the world can testify to its reality. But I could never convince you of this in a thousand years. I could never talk you into it. God is not some fine piece of merchandise that I'm trying to sell. All I can do is witness to what I've experienced and what many of my family and friends have experienced. God is real, man and His love is real. Only He can fill up the emptiness in our souls. Before you throw it all out as garbage, do yourself a favor and research it thoroughly. You cast scorn on Strobel's book earlier. Ok, why not read "Mere Christianity," then? It's widely considered a classic, and C.S. Lewis is a highly respected writer and Oxford scholar. Read with an open mind, and see if he doesn't make a great deal of sense. God bless.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

jwliddell, first let me say I appreciate the tone of your argument. We need not demonize others who may hold to a different opinion than our own. How else can we broaden our perspective and understand other points of view if we lose the art of civil discourse? Unfortunately, I believe that we, as a culture, are losing that ability all too rapidly. But enough of that. Let me respond to your questions/comments.

First, I did not state, nor did I intend to imply that non-believers could not appreciate beauty because they do not believe in God. Such people can certainly appreciate the wonders of human existence, such as a magnificent sunset, etc. I would simply argue that they are enjoying the incredible goodness of God without recognizing it. My point was that in these kinds of events and experiences, God reveals himself in a subtle way. Just because many do not hear him "whisper" at such moments, speaks more to our spiritual deafness than it does to God's non-existence.

The fact that humanity is broken points to the reality of human freedom rather than to God's faulty manufacturing. The Judeo-Christian faith states that man was created as a free, moral agent. I suppose God could have gone with the robot model, but that would not have allowed for the possibility of love or relationship. As I wrote earlier, love requires freedom. You cannot force someone to love. Tragically, man chose to misuse his freedom and rebelled against God, choosing to reject God's love and turn to the dark side. Many convicts can attest that the misuse of freedom leads to serious consequences. In humanity's case, it resulted in brokenness...brokenness at every level of our existence: our relationship with God, with one another and even within ourselves.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

I don't wish to offend, but it always amazes me when people don't recognize the depravity of the human condition. Anyone well versed in history could provide you with a lengthy discourse on man's inhumanity to man. The history of our race is a bloody record of gross injustice, terrible cruelty and unimaginable evil. Ironically, in the late 18th century there were a few liberal theologians who believed that, by means of educational and scientific advancements, mankind was evolving to the extent that it would result in the kingdom of God on earth. Then came "the war to end all wars," followed by Hitler, and Stalin, and Mussolini, and WWII and the Holocaust, etc. Needless to say, those naive theories were put to rest. And if I'm not mistaken, we've had a few wars since. We seem to have a little trouble getting along. Oh yeah, I would say man is broken, alright.

But what about the obvious goodness in man? Your belief that "humans are good by nature" is not an isolated view. I suspect that what you are observing is the image of God in man. This is another brilliant Christian concept. (I love the Christian faith because it accurately and reasonably describes what is...what we know to be true about ourselves and our world). You see, even though man is broken due to his rebellion against God, he retains the image of God, albeit rather distorted. That's why man can produce amazing works of art, a beautiful symphony, discover the cure for tuberculosis, etc. But, at the same time, for example, the composer of the beautiful symphony cheats on his wife. It's much like a broken mirror. You can see an image, but it is twisted and distorted. So, because the composer is made in God's image, he is able to produce an amazing symphony, but because he is broken, he suffers moral failure.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

Wow, man, it's getting late, and I need to bring this book to a close. But first, I have to respond briefly to a couple more of your points. First, I'm not sure what holes you're talking about in the Christ story. Have you ever read the gospels? Man, they'll blow you away! If Jesus wasn't God, then let's find the person who was his ghost writer and worship him because his words are the pinnacle of love, wisdom, goodness and morality. Also, in spite of what jchief40 said, Lee Strobel makes a strong case in his book, as do C.S. Lewis, Norman Geisler and Josh McDowell, to name just a few. You might appreciate Josh McDowell's story, in fact. While he was in college, he was challenged by some Christian friends to do some honest research on Christ and the resurrection. Well, McDowell thought Christians were morons, but he took their dare. You guessed it. He became a Christian and wrote a book called "Evidence That Demands a Verdict" (the short version is "More Than a Carpenter"). When you honestly examine the historical evidence, it's incredibly compelling. Look at it this way: if there is any chance at all that the Christian message is true (part of this message states that your eternal destiny depends on your response to it), you owe it to yourself to do thorough research before you dismiss it.

One final thought: you said that your "soul is full of happiness and joy without him," so why should you be interested? Let me answer with a quick analogy. Suppose you lived on the street all your life, eating out of garbage cans. You kind of liked your life. The maggots gave you all the protein you needed, and you could usually find enough old newspapers to keep you warm in the winter. Then, a friend treated you to a weekend at the Hilton. You couldn't believe the food, the bed, the warm shower... Suddenly, you realized what you had been missing. You get my point. We who are Christians are simply one time beggars who now have lifetime accommodations in the Hilton...all because of an amazing gift from a Friend. And with that thought...say goodnight Gracie.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 - you have missed my point entirely. To say that I worship MAN is off base. Did you watch that video I posted above? It touches upon everything you brought up about the condition of mankind. Maybe then you could begin to see that this philosophy surrounding consciousness or spirit is much much deeper then can be discribed in a mere paragraph or chapter. You seem sharp enough to understand. You've given me your books and I've given you some other resources as well.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 one more thing - do you believe that the Bible you have in your posession has been acurately translated from the original languages? Have you had any interest in the Dead Sea Scrolls or any recent discoveries or even read them? Have you ever read the books and articles from people who have gone from intense believer to skeptic?

Have you ever heard of Bet Emet Ministries? http://www.christianjewishbible.netfirms.com/ maintained by Pastor Craig M. Lyons Ms.D., D.D., M.Div.

If you even have the attention span for it you'll see that I could possibly be hinting at more than a literal story being told in the Bible. The Metaphysical Interpretations book by Hairfield is quite fascinating. The book is some 800+ pages and so is Manly Palmer Hall's classic work. That limits the audience you want simple answers and sound bytes. It does require an above average intelligence (no offense to you I am just stating an obvious point) to digest and usually appeals more to the itellectuals and philosophers. I am hardly either. What I am pleased with most is that everyone that I come across that has a deep grasp of these concepts and viewpoints are not the ones talking about it or trying to convert others. I have yet to learn this. I guess I should just be resigned to the fact not everyone is Aldous Huxley and that a great majority are fairly simple people. The scientist or the doctor or whoever you refer to, 316, as being "smart" is not the smart I am referring to. I mean the true intellectuals. A Greater Understanding, if you will, and few have the attention span to get to the point where they would even begin to consider the meanings of what I am touching upon for his or herself. Best of luck. I am done with this talk. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

Haha.. hey did you know that during the December solstice our Sun of God appears to "die" appearing to stall in the sky for three days and is then "resurrected" and begins to make its way across the zodiac again? Do you have any idea why certain numbers appear in the Bible? What did the writers of this great text understand that you simply do not? The for love of Constantine get your act together! =)

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

Ralster your comment about the Founders had me thinking Thomas Paine (how could we mention the founding fathers without him?):

"The Christian religion is a parody on the worship of the Sun, in which they put a man whom they call Christ, in the place of the Sun, and pay him the same adoration which was originally paid to the Sun."

It's not quite that simple but he saw what I am seeing.

Ryan Mullen 5 years, 12 months ago

Hey jchief40 you may want to calm down with the intellectual talk or you may end up like Friedrich Nietzsche (one of the so called greatest philosophers) in a mental institution.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

Yep agreed jwliddell - moving on! "Onward! upward! Christian soldier, Turn not back nor sheath thy sword, Let its blade be sharp for conquest, In the battle for the Lord." ;)

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

By the way, Nietzsche is to philosophy what Keynes is to economics. That's not a complement.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

I, too, think we've come to a good stopping point. After all, this is a sports site, not a religious one. Still, it was a great exchange of ideas, and lots of fun. I would like to close with a couple of thoughts in response to earlier statements. Hope you don't mind.

First, jwliddell, allow me to apologize for those Christians who may not always come across in the most loving and respectful manner. I'm sure they mean well. Understandably, they are passionate about something that is deeply meaningful to them, but that passion sometimes is communicated without grace. Oh, and if you ever do get around to reading any of those books I suggested, get back to me. I'd love to know what you thought of them.

Finally, to jchief40, I have to admit that I have little interest in checking out the references you provided. It would be like someone telling me to read a book or watch a video that claims that my wife doesn't exist or (maybe worse) is actually a man. I know from personal experience that she, in fact, does exist and that this beautiful babe is in no way a man! Woo hoo! My point is that I already know her intimately. I don't need to waste my time with absurd theories that have no foundation in fact.

Is it football season yet?

gutter 5 years, 12 months ago

I would like to believe Wayne is using religion to spread good things in and to the world. He is a fine young man. I am not a religious person but I can still appreciate a person like Wayne Simien. All the talk and debate about God - a higher power is nice conversation but I feel one must really focus on what is meaningful to them and run with it. I don't need others to tell me how to live my life. Some people do. When a "religion" starts dictating how one should live then the religion becomes more important than the individual. To me that seems to be the focus. I happen to not agree with it. I know that some religions request and require ones to give themselves to their higher being. If it works for those people and spreads positive ideals - terrific. I don't think I am a better or worse person because I don't live my life that way. I also don't think any of us know how "God" really "works" but too many of us think we have it figured out and feel others should. To me that's the issue. Does that make any sense? Anyways, I figured Wayne would dedicate himself to his religion and he has done as such. The world needs more Wayne Simiens - even if he and I share few religious beliefs, I know he means well as do most of you.

bigjay83 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 says:

"God hates religion... He literally wants a relationship with us... Amazingly, He knows all about your crap and my crap, but He loves us anyway. He accepts us just the way we are. He also loves us too much to let us stay that way."

This drives one to ask, how arrogant is the man who presumes to know the thoughts of God?

The one who assumes the mind of God -- especially with absolute certainty -- not only crosses into the realm of colossal egotism, but also emanates considerable danger to mankind.

100 5 years, 12 months ago

Accoeding to CBS Sportsline, Robert Dozier didn't take his own SAT either.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316's heart has disturbed the function of his (or her?) head! Maybe balance that out a little more. Look, I don't know what any of that last paragraph was about. Only thing that I saw was "I don't need to waste my time with absurd theories that have no foundation in fact" and.. huh? Is your faith fact? What do you mean no foundation in fact? Examples please. My little tid bits were golden. Your last tid bit was a turd really.

JayCeph 5 years, 12 months ago

...and it never will be since nobody sees the same thing from the same angle.

Too bad, too. The need for others to push their belief structure on everyone else is what invites such ire from the 'non card carrying' kind. Why else would there be such a push for Prop9 in California (under the guise of 'protecting marriage') when there is no legislation on the table making it illegal to get a divorce? Why is it that a doctor like Tiller gets murdered by someone who claims to be a 'Pro-Lifer'? How is it that these one-sided, single-minded and myopic people cannot see the travesty of their own teachings when Palin's 17 year old unmarried daughter gets pregnant and produces another life before she can finish high school?

The teachings and the actions just don't add up. When blanketed under the veil of religiousness, faith or spirituality, it loses even that much more footing since the source material is mired in contradiction.

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 12 months ago

316,
I agree with what you have to say. To Christians your arguement makes sense. You have to understand that some people are not willing to except something by mere faith. Which in reality is what all Christians should base there belief in until there faith makes them strong enough until they know that God exists. The truth is you and I or anyone else on this site are spinning wheels these people want to see God before they will believe. I for one do not base my belief of God off the Bible or any other book sure it does help because of the feeling you get when you read these amazing books. Belief is stronger than reading a book or even seeing something for yourself. For me it is a feeling inside a feeling I get when I go to church when I read a feeling that compels me to change from this earthly creature into a man of God. A feeling that only comes when we pray and study scripture. That feeling is the Holy Ghost that testifyer of truth of all things. The Holy Ghost is the only thing that can change a heart toward God. It is true however that we must preach for how can one know without a preacher. We do not however convert that is the Holy Spirits job. Basicly in a nut shell there is nothing that anyone can say or do except by divine assignment that will change someone's heart to a changed man when that man refuses to believe.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

"I agree with what you have to say. To Christians your arguement makes sense."

Of course. To the rational mind it doesn't.

"You have to understand that some people are not willing to except something by mere faith. Which in reality is what all Christians should base there belief in until there faith makes them strong enough until they know that God exists. The truth is you and I or anyone else on this site are spinning wheels these people want to see God before they will believe. ... Basicly in a nut shell there is nothing that anyone can say or do except by divine assignment that will change someone's heart to a changed man when that man refuses to believe."

316 was given ample opportunity to rebut anything I put out on the table. When faced with the topics I brought up he just jumped to assumptions and ran the other direction. Typical. On the other hand, your basis for believing really would be frowned upon by the "true" Christian I hope you know. You might as well be a Muslim with those reasons. You probably would be if you lived in a other part of the world. You are a slave to your emotions and you admit that. What a vulnerable state of being. The mind is a terrible thing to waste.

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 12 months ago

jchief40, Maybe I need to be more clear. I guess I did not read through very well what I wrote earlier. Let me tell you of my conversion for instance. I was at a point in my life when the philosophies of men such as yourself could only bring me so much happiness, I suppose I was left wanting more. I saw my Christian friends and they seemed so happy much happier than I. One of my friends approached me about Christ and asked me to read the scriptures something I was familier with but had not put much into. So I began to study them intent on proving them wrong. As I read something miraculous happened, I noticed I was becoming a happier person. I was not quick to judge in everything I was being more patient with others I quit smoking and drinking a vice I had to inhibit me to make me happier or so I thought. I was just a nicer happier person, but I still did not know if God existed or if what I was reading was true. So I prayed to an unknown being who I thought maybe did not exist. Why pray to something that does not exist one may ask. To get an answer to know if he does exist. So I asked and the answer I got came from the extreme wonderful feeling that can only come from a diety it wasl ike I was literally being hugged by God something I had never before felt or seen it came over my entire body. You might say well it was drugs dude, I know what those feel like trust me this was different. So I had the feeling of God inside of me. So based on my desire to change and the way I felt and still feel today that is why I believe in God, I have a personal relationship with him.

5 years, 12 months ago

KU2010CHAMPS ~ Thank you for sharing your life-changing story.

dagger108 ~ Excellent usage of scripture!

hawk316 ~ You have done an incredible job articulating your posts, probably better than most Christians (short of those with Seminary degrees) would be able to do. I would have easily given you an A+ if not for the last paragraph of your last post, where you informed jchief40 that you would not be reading any of their referenced materials. If we ask non-believers who are firm in their convictions to read our supporting references, how can we expect them to do so when we refuse to read their supporting publications? Not only would it be fair to reciprocate, but it could also enlighten us to see how they might come to their conclusions. It is more difficult to find holes in someone's viewpoints if we don’t first know what their viewpoints are. Just a thought. Again, outstanding job otherwise!

Regarding the faith of a Christian, I don’t think it can be described any better than this scripture:

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1

jwliddell ~ We would love to have you back! I know your passion would do great works in building the Kingdom of God :) All who thirst are welcome.

“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” – Isaiah 55:1

God Bless All

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

Wow! As jwliddell put it, "I guess it isn't over." Ha! Nothing like a good religious debate to stoke the fires, both emotionally and intellectually. The problem with so much input is that it's nearly impossible to do justice to each comment without writing a book. I'm going to try not to do that. Instead, I'll just pick a couple of points that particularly caught my eye.

First, to bigjay83: I understand where you're coming from, and I'm sure that my words could come across as arrogant and extremely presumptuous. That was certainly not my intention. And actually, I agree with you to a certain extent. Anyone who claims to be speaking for God could be very dangerous, indeed. History has shown that to be true. But is it possible for one to know God (not exhaustively, but truly) and to that extent be able to relate to others what is known of Him? For example, I recently read a book about a religious figure which was written by his wife following his death. Because she knew him so well, she was able to relate accurately and decisively what he was like and what his views were. Though married to him for many years, she still did not know everything about him, but what she did know was reliable. So, it is my contention that in a certain sense, one can speak for God, carefully of course, and with reverence, if that information is gleaned from genuine relationship.

I used a similar analogy earlier when responding to jchief40 that I did not feel a need to read or view some of his referenced material. I explained that if anyone argued that my wife did not exist, it would be a waste of my time to do extensive research to see if this was true. I live with my wife. I know my wife intimately. I talk to her on a regular basis. You see, for me Christianity is not theoretical; it is relational. If it seemed like I was in some way speaking for God, it's because I have known him intimately for many years and have spent a great deal of time with Him.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

To some this will sound pompous and self-righteous. That would be true if I claimed to know God based on my own wisdom, intelligence, goodness or accomplishments. Ahhh, much to the contrary, I had nothing to bring to God that could possibly impress Him. Indeed, the Christian faith stands alone from all other religions in stating quite clearly that there is absolutely no way that we can know God or be accepted by God on the basis of our own efforts. This amazing, incredible relationship with the Living God can only be received as a gift to those who are humble enough and honest enough to admit that they could never earn it or deserve it. It's called "grace" which means, in this context, "unmerited favor."

But please believe me when I tell you that once this relationship is birthed, it can grow and deepen to the extent that your knowledge of God can become greater than you could have ever imagined. Obviously, because God is an infinite Being, we as finite beings will never be able to know Him exhaustively. But because God is also a personal Being, we as personal beings can experience a genuine relationship with Him. Hey guys, I certainly don't have all the answers! There is so much more of God to experience and enjoy (and I fully intend to do so). But I can tell you, that what I've experienced thus far is deeply fulfilling, joyous and transforming. I was reminded recently of what the actor, Steve McQueen, told Billy Graham shortly before his death. Dying of cancer, McQueen met personally with the famous evangelist. Graham explained to him how he could know God's love and forgiveness in Christ, and they prayed together. McQueen then said, "I have been looking for this all my life." Augustine put it this way, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, Oh Lord, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee."

JayCeph 5 years, 12 months ago

This whole notion of not 'being worth it' or 'not deserving' is just one more articulated point that drives a wedge between those of 'faith' and those who 'faithfully disregard' them.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

txrockchalk, thank you for your kind remarks which were posted while I was writing my latest "book." I certainly understand your suggestion about being open to examining other points of view, and actually, I agree! I have done this in the past, sampling, for example, some Bertrand Russell and most recently, a bit of atheist Stephen Hawking (among others). Quite frankly, I have grown weary with their arguments. For example, I read Hawking's response to a revolutionary book by biochemist Michael Behe ("Darwin's Black Box: the Biochemical Challenge to Evolution") where he demonstrates on a biochemical level that Darwin's theory of gradual change was impossible. I was amazed at how utterly weak Hawking's response was!

But, you know, there's so much good stuff out there that helps me to grow in my relationship with God and only a certain amount of time available, so I have to make a choice. Do I read the opinions of those who are trying extremely hard not to have to be accountable to God, or do I read the works of those who have fallen in love with the same Lord that I know and can share more of Him from their experience and study? To me, it's a no-brainer.

By the way, you'll appreciate something Norman Geisler relates in his excellent book, "I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist" (highly recommended!). Geisler argues that Darwinists often have hidden agendas when supporting their evolutionary theory. He refers to the comments of the late Julian Huxley, who honestly "admitted that sexual freedom is a popular motivation behind evolutionary dogma." In a television interview, Huxley was asked why people believe in evolution. Now get this... This leading Darwinist disclosed, "the reason we accepted Darwinism even without proof, is because we didn't want God to interfere with our sexual mores." In other words, God cramped their style, so they endorsed a theory that attempted to remove Him from the picture. Interesting, huh?

5 years, 12 months ago

That is great, hawk316! People can attest to the fact that most sin is fun. The research you have done is impressive. Another good book I would recommend is "Why Mike's Not a Christian" by Ben Young. It contains an insightful dialogue between Mike and his Christian friend. It is a quick, good read.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

JayCeph, are you suggesting that you are deserving of God's acceptance, that you have earned his approval? If suddenly you found yourself standing before the perfectly Holy One, what argument would you bring to the table? What could you say to God to convince Him that you are worthy of his favor?

As you may know, to Christians this is not merely a theoretical exercise. We believe that one day we will all stand before God to give an account. If true, this might be good practice for you. :-)

Don't feel like you have to answer immediately. Give it some thought. I say this in part because I'm signing off for now. (It's nearly dinner time!) So when I don't respond right away, don't think that I am being rude or ignoring you. I'll check back tomorrow, hopefully.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

KU2010CHAMPS said "So I began to study them intent on proving them wrong. As I read something miraculous happened, I noticed I was becoming a happier person. I was not quick to judge in everything I was being more patient with others I quit smoking and drinking a vice I had to inhibit me to make me happier or so I thought."

I felt the same way when I was about 20 years old when I read the Tao Te Ching.

The Bible tells us a lot. But most Christians are missing the point.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 I ran through your posts looking for something. I still don't understand the analogy you use to avoid responding to my variety of suggestions I put out for debate. Well I understand it but I don't think you know what you are talking about. I don't even think you can articulate what my viewpoint is so how can you be so sure that you are right and everybody else is wrong? Everybody else is going to hell except for the Christians and those that never got to hear the Word you say. I bet a Monk lives a much better life than yourself.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

"Neither shall they say, Lo here or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

“God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 4:16 ). And Truth is the currency of love.

In John 14:6 we read, ”I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the Father except through me.” In the original Greek version of this scripture, the word for “comes” is erchetai and it is very present tense meaning it does not apply to all people for all time. This verse applied only to those people Jesus was talking to at that time. In the Aramaic Bible, Jesus’ own language, the word for “I” in this scripture is ena-ena or I-I. The meaning is not the same as ena which is an individual “I.” Ena-ena is a cosmic “I” or I AM THAT I AM (Ex. 3:13 -14). In another scripture, Jesus tells us that we make a mistake if we think he is good, “Why do you call me good?” ‘Jesus answered.’ “No one is good - except God alone.” (Luke 18:19). And again: “By myself I can do nothing.” (John 5:30). The way to reconcile “I am the way...” And “Don’t call me good...” is to understand that it is the I AM (ena-ena) that is talking in John 14:6. The I AM is bigger than Jesus in the same way that all the water on this earth is more than any individual lake. By analogy, Jesus, Buddha and Krishna are lakes filled with the one living I AM. In another scripture, Jesus clearly says the only requirement for attaining eternal life is loving God and loving our neighbor: “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’” (Luke 10:25-28). If believing in Jesus were necessary to attain eternal life, Jesus would have been guilty of lying to the temple official in this scripture. Not a single time did Jesus ever warn us about other religions. Rather, he said, “And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: for he that is not against us is for us.” (Luke 9:49-50). A Buddhist that is not against Jesus is for Jesus.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

"Ponder that Moses did not know how to tell the Israelites who had given him the Ten Commandments. “And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”(Exodus 3:13-14). This is curious. Why not tell the Israelites Yahweh (Jehovah) had sent him? All of the Israelites knew that name. Moses was experiencing God in a way he knew they would not easily understand. He was experiencing God as the one Self of all beings; as pure awareness, the basis of all existence, the ground of all being - the I AM. The I AM is within us all. The I AM that is in you is the same I AM that is in me and everyone else. At the center of our being we are all connected. This is why Jesus tells us the kingdom of God is within us: “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:20-21). Some have attempted to dilute this scripture by saying that Jesus meant he himself was among them. However, this is easily dismissed because he also says the kingdom of God does not come with observation and Jesus was certainly observable. Also, the Master says the kingdom is not “here” or “there” and Jesus could be regarded as being either here or there. The I AM is not observable because it is not a “thing” rather it is pure awareness. It is not “here” or “there” because it is all-pervading and that includes “within us.” The concept of looking within to find God also tallies with Buddhist and Hindu scriptures. If the Old Testament says God is I AM, what does the New Testament say? “God is love.” (1 John 4:8, 4:16 ). Like the I AM, love also comes from within us. Love is another name for I AM. We can only experience love for God or our neighbor as something that comes from within us. Thus, the kingdom of God is within us. And what are Jesus’ two commandments? “One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:35-40)"

Those are some arguments made in the Mystic Christ. OK now I gave you something to work with. Defend your faith 316. I am making argument for arguments sake. This in order to more fully understand your position.

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 12 months ago

jchief40, I know you are wanting a response from 316, and I am sure he will respond, but in the meantime I am not sure what your arguement is. It looks to me like you just cut and pasted a bunch of stuff that really would take a phone call or a meeting between you two to discuss all of that. I am not sure there is enough space in this site to have a decsent comeback to what you said. The thing is there are answers to every question that you will ever put on this site concerning christianity and the truth. Here is how it works though lets say someone is intent on becoming a christian but will not believe until the entire bible and all of the things that people have written to try and disprove God's existence and the truthfulness of Jesus Christ's mission on the earth. That would take an entire lifetime plus some to answer all the crap people talk about. Really all one has to do is pray and ask if it is true and he will recieve an answer by the Holy Ghost. In John 14:26 Jesus taught the disciples how they can recogonize truth once he leaves he says, But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 12 months ago

Now your question may be well how can know if it is the Holy Ghost that is comfiming truth. In Galatians Paul teaches what the feelings of the spirit are in 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. When you pray and ask God the truth of anything he will let you know by any one of these things and if you feel these you can know it is of him. Although it is fun and interesting to debate religion there is a way you can know from God and not man. Man will sway you God will not.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

jchief40, thank you for caring enough in our exchange of ideas to post so much information. Thanks, also, for showing interest in my response. Unfortunately, KU2010CHAMPS is right (not unfortunate for him, but per our discussion). There's just way too much in your posts to respond to adequately. Quite frankly, sometimes I have trouble following your logic, but apparently, that works both ways because you have mentioned more than once you have not understood something I have said.

Part of the problem is that I don't sense that we have a lot of common ground, and after all is said and done, we may just have to accept that fact and go our separate ways. I don't really see myself as a great debator, but more of a witness. I don't have all the answers, but I can testify to something real that has happened to me and that I experience in my life. My voice joins a rapidly growing crescendo of hundreds of millions of other voices around the world who bear witness to the same truth. Because I am fully convinced that this is what many people are seeking in life, I am happy to share openly and honestly what I have found to be true. To reiterate what I said earlier, I'm just a beggar who is trying to tell other beggars where the feast is. I understand that not everyone will agree nor accept my testimony. I try to respect others and wish them the best, regardless.

Having said all that, I do wish to respond to a couple of your comments about Jesus, since Jesus (the living person Himself, not the idea) is extremely precious to me. I know that sounds rather mushy, but I'm not sure how else to say it! :-) I love him very deeply. I have given Him my life, trusted Him with both my present and my future and am willing to die for Him (Yep! Martyrdom has been a steady occurrence since the 1st century and is still happening today in certain parts of the world). So, I really do hate to see Him and His teaching misrepresented. Hopefully, I can do this with one more post...

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 (anonymous) says...

Based on your comments about Jesus, I surmise that you have correctly concluded that the identity of Jesus is absolutely critical to the Christian message. Those authors who have influenced you, I assume recognize this, too. Unlike some religions which could carry on quite nicely if their founder died (duh, all of them!) or was exposed as a fraud, Christianity stands or falls on these points: the deity of Christ (His identity), His sacrificial death and His resurrection from the dead. Understanding this, opponents of the Christian faith have attempted to attack each of these elements.

The first key issue is the identity of Jesus. Was He just another great human teacher or, as you have argued, was He part of the great Oneness or Essence of the Universe, on the same level as Buddha, Mohammed, etc? As you know, Christians insist that Jesus was uniquely God. Jesus Christ was God incarnate...God with skin on. What's totally amazing is that it was Jews of the 1st century who made this case so strongly (for years the early church was made up mostly of Jews). Remember, Jews were fiercely monotheistic. The idea that Jesus was in reality God among them was nearly an impossible concept to accept. But accept it they did, and in some cases, it cost them their lives. So what convinced them? Many things, really.

Jesus lived a perfect life (even his enemies could not accuse him of one sin). His teaching oozed divine truth and authority ("No one ever spoke the way this man does"). Of course, His miracles were quite impressive (at one point Jesus said, "even if you don't believe me, believe the miracles. His enemies could not refute his miracles, so in desperation, they accused him of getting his miraculous power from the devil!). But more than anything, his resurrection from the dead sealed the deal. When they saw Jesus alive after the incredible ordeal he had suffered (the horrendous scourging, the crucifixion, the spear thrust), they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was, indeed, God.

hawk316 5 years, 12 months ago

Couldn't do it, could I? :-) Ok, let's see if I can bring this to a close.

Regarding the I AM statement which, of course, the Jews understood from their history to be one of the names of God (by the way, Yahweh, is another name for God, meaning "He Is" in Hebrew and is translated as "The Lord" in Exodus), Jesus was intentionally making a bold declaration. The Jewish religious leaders could hardly believe their ears when Jesus said, "before Abraham was born, I AM," but they understood exactly what he was saying, and thus tried to kill him (not the first time). In another case, Jesus asked them why they were trying to stone Him to death, and they answered, "because you, a mere man, claim to be God").

Of course, there are a ton of other examples which demonstrates clearly that Jesus claimed to be God and that others understood those claims. Just a few examples include: He forgave sins (as his opponents correctly surmised, "who can forgive sins but God alone?), He received worship as God (upon seeing him alive after his burial, Thomas exclaimed, "My Lord and My God!" Instead of correcting him as any other good religious teacher would do, Jesus affirmed him in his confession), Moreover, He said that only belief in Him would result in eternal salvation ("if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins" ...in other words, be eternally lost).

Jesus, in fact, didn't leave much wiggle room, and his followers understood that fact clearly. John wrote these words, "whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36) That's a tough pill to swallow in the age of relativism ("oh, it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you're sincere. Let's all be tolerant of one another since all roads lead to god.") Jesus certainly believed otherwise. Like it or not, He was and is absolutely exclusive in his presentation. So, don't get angry with Christians for being "intolerant". We're just communicating accurately what Jesus said. I suggest that you take your complaints to Him. By the way, you can do that because He rose from the dead.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 12 months ago

If I might observe the observations..virtually every poster I have recognized over the last year or so has responded to this article over a period of the last nine days and still counting.

The range of posts have been dramatic, not only in their feeling but in their depth of argument and passion. I am quite convinced that the KUSports.com site has a following like no other and I am proud to be part of it.

The truth about the actual topic, as it almost always is with all things, is somewhere in the middle. I find it laughable that mankind even begins to presume to understand God's intent. I do think we get "heavenly credits" for trying, however.

I think maybe everyone should keep in mind is that not only what you post but how you post speaks volumes about yourselves. Tolerance and an open mind are never out of style.

Holey Moley!!! My intention is not to criticize anyone...I just wanted to throw some perspective into the discussion........please continue. I am fascinated!!

100 5 years, 12 months ago

Jaybate,

Speaking of hell freezing over...

The Lexington Herald continues to stir up UK nation. The most recent article essentially calls it like it is, written by Jerry Tipton, saying no coach doesn't know what's going on with his possible recruits, especially at a bigtime program.

He interviews a Maryland ex player who essentially says (read between the lines) that Calipari is guilty.

He then ends the article saying that President Todd is going to need to change his brown underwear if ESPN or SI finds out that, years ago, when his UKfootball coach was caught for cheating and ran away from UK, Todd said, "How can all of UK's players be left on probation while the coach goes away Scott free? Shouldn't the coach carry the probation with him& leave us alone?"

The UK fans are obviously not liking so much truth written about in their papers lately about Calipari -- they remind me so much of Memphis fans a couple years ago. Many in serious denial, but a few wondering, "well if he was cheating, I just don't think he'd do that here at UK. Would he?"

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316 "Jesus lived a perfect life (even his enemies could not accuse him of one sin). His teaching oozed divine truth and authority ("No one ever spoke the way this man does"). Of course, His miracles were quite impressive (at one point Jesus said, "even if you don't believe me, believe the miracles. His enemies could not refute his miracles, so in desperation, they accused him of getting his miraculous power from the devil!). But more than anything, his resurrection from the dead sealed the deal. When they saw Jesus alive after the incredible ordeal he had suffered (the horrendous scourging, the crucifixion, the spear thrust), they knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus was, indeed, God"

Your whole story was just that. A story! Retold through the ages using a variety of figures. You are confusing metaphor and literal. How many ancient religions had saviors dying on a cross? Why is it that Christians ignore the similarities to other religions that existed before and all of a sudden it is a literal FACT and everything else is a coincidence! Hmm..

1) Savior-God on Cross (Aztec) 2) Quetzalcoatl (Aztec) 3) Hesus (Druid) 4) Krishna (Hindu) 5) Dionsys (then resurrected) - Sion Christ 6) Ixion (Greek)

Just a few

I found a neat little website that gives all the visuals and other similarities in all religions. http://jordanmaxwell.com/articles/religion/religion7.html

Churches of Christendom have misled Christians on virtually every teaching in the Bible. You get the watered down version. And that's all you are explaining to me. I have no interest in the characters in your story and the events that take place.


Side note: It is also pointed out on that site the books that are mentioned in the bible, but which are not in the Bible themselves. There are many books that should have been included in the Bible, but were intentionally kept out by the Church. Do you have the whole story?

Book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14) Book of Jasher (Josh. 10:13) Book of the Acts of Solomon (1st Kings 11:41) Book of Samuel the Seer (1st Chr. 26:29) Book of Gad the Seer (1st Chr. 29:29) Book of Nathan the Prophet (1st Chr. 29:29) Prophecy of Ahijah (2nd Chr. 9:29) Visions of Ido the Seer (2nd Chr. 9:29) Book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12:15) Book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34) Says of the Seers (2 Chr. 33:19) An Epistle of Paul to the Corintians (1 Cor. 5:9) An Epistle to the Church of Laodicea (Col 4:16) *Other prophecies to Enoch (Jude 1:14)

Lots of interesting stuff. But I do suspect you have been sold a pig in a poke (for those who don't know what that means: A common colloquial expression in the English language, to "buy a pig in a poke," is to make a risky purchase without inspecting the item beforehand. The phrase can also be applied to accepting an idea or plan without a full understanding of its basis) .....

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._Price

This is an interesting dude if any of you are familiar with his works. The guy is sharp and anyone who wants to test the merits of their faith could begin with this fella. And lastly, I have presented a variety of people who talk about subject matter many of you have never heard before. If I have contributed anything it would be simply that. Go out and explore if you wish. I will leave you with one interview which I found interesting at a site I find interesting (Conscious Media Network) with Steven Hairfield.

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/shairfield.htm

And on a completely different note - unrelated to any of this discussion is one about health which I also find a great deal of interest in:

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/rfrancis.htm

http://www.consciousmedianetwork.com/members/cgerson.htm

JayCeph 5 years, 12 months ago

hawk316: "JayCeph, are you suggesting that you are deserving of God's acceptance, that you have earned his approval? If suddenly you found yourself standing before the perfectly Holy One, what argument would you bring to the table? What could you say to God to convince Him that you are worthy of his favor?"

Yes and no. I'm not suggesting I'm any more deserving of a 'God's' acceptance than I am suggesting that I am NOT deserving. Plainly put, I would expect no favor for nor against me and my person from anyone that does not know me (nor I them).

I'm not suggesting a 'God' exists nor doesn't. I'm not really built that way...

However, I am suggesting that a theory built around a bunch of people that have to cow to an unknown entity for fear of some heinous retribution is something I just don't want to be a part of. Why should a car apologize for emitting carbon gasses if that is what it was built to do? If everyone was born a sinner because of someone else's actions, it seems like a pretty good way to perpetuate a continual 'indentured servitude' supply. This sounds like slavery to me. I was born into it so I guess I can either be bad and rebel or give in and not suffer (as much). Does this make sense to anyone? Really?

'Deny Him'? I think not. 'Accept Him'? On what grounds?

Furthermore, if Jesus knew he was God, was all powerful and could perform miracles, what 'sacrifice' was it for him to die for sins that he was hard-coding into my (as of yet) unborn nature? A bit of a convoluted rationale to make me feel like I owe him something... no? Kind of like the alcoholic spouse that asks his abused partner why she 'makes him' beat her because she didn't have dinner ready when he got home.

Honestly, let's be truthful with ourselves... do you really want to play with the kid that threatens to take his bat and ball home if you don't do everything his way? No sense of team, no sense of sacrifice, no sense of unconditional love... (oh, that kid will like you as long as you cow to them but the first time you offer a differing opinion or want to play a different position, they get perturbed and threaten to leave).

No thanks man. To paraphrase Lincoln, he said, "I'll continue to hold true to my system of beliefs until someone can show me the benefit of believing something else."

Right now, as far as I can tell, there is no benefit in any belief structure. I hope you enjoy yours, and I'll continue to live mine born of a moral compass that does not require threats in order to do magnanimous and generous things for my fellow man.

jchief40 5 years, 12 months ago

What's up jwliddell?

Christianity explained quicker than I could! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkRM_d...

100 5 years, 12 months ago

Speaking of Jesus, the greatest non-sinning Catholic in the world!!! (as described by his own fans) John Calipari (JC) will traverse across the gentle water of the Atlantic on Wednesday. However instead of using a bi-pedal motion (walking) across this highly unique combination of hydrogen, oxygen & sodium molecules like his 2000 year old ancestor did, our modern day JC!!! has chosen to fly, and I quote, "ya know, just to one up the original"

100 5 years, 11 months ago

On a basketball note, how great is it that JC has taken over at UK?

A clean shaven Catholic leading a bunch of point shaving Christians.

A man, who by his own religion, is not only forgiven sin on a weekly basis, but is actually expected to sin at least once a week! That's right, EXPECTED by his own faith to do so!!!!

Better yet, the only (only) person JC, according to the Catholic faith, is to tell his sins to? ESPN? No Sports Illustrated?No. John Wall? No. His Tiger team? No. His Christian followers in Lexington? No. The NCAA Rules Committe? Hell-no!

His Priest? Ab-so-lutely!!!!

What a perfect job for JC! By law of his own religion, he is expected to cheat & lie to the NCAA, as long as he asks for his own forgiveness Sunday @5pm.

How perfectly convient for his job!

JC is the real, living Godfather!

Go Tigers!

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

jchief40, there was a host of other writings that appeared during the time the Biblical documents were compiled, including the apocrypha and pseudopigrapha. So, what's the point? Early church fathers had very careful standards in what was included in the canon of scripture. Although, in the words of one writer (referring to the pseudopigrapha in particular), "there is an occasional glimmer of historical accuracy in those ancient writings," for various reasons they did not qualify to be included in the sacred text.

You have to understand that Christianity is rooted and grounded in history. Far from being just another "story," as you call it (assuming you mean fable or myth), the New Testament documents were compiled by primary and secondary sources, i.e., eyewitnesses or those who spoke with eyewitnesses. There are many examples, but here's just a few. Peter states, " we did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Pet 1). John wrote concerning that "which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched," and again elsewhere, "we proclaim to you what we have seen and heard." (I John 1)

Luke, who has been lauded by historical scholars for the historical accuracy of his two works, (Luke/Acts), introduced his gospel like this, "many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who were from the first eyewitnesses...Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account..." (Luke 1) Roman historian, A.N.Sherwin-White says, "For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming...Any attempt to reject its basic historicity must now appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken it for granted." (Geisler)

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

But wait, you may protest, "these guys all had an agenda. As Christians themselves, they obviously had a strong bias in their writing. So, why should we believe that they were telling the truth?" Good question, jchief40!!

Historians use certain criteria to determine the truthfulness of an historical document. They are: 1) do we have early testimony? 2) do we have eyewitness testimony? 3) do we have testimony from multiple, independent, eyewitness sources? 4) are the eyewitnesses trustworthy? 5) do we have corroborating evidence from archeology or other writers? 6) do we have any enemy attestation? 7) does the testimony contain events or details that are embarrassing to the authors?

As related by Dr. Norman Geisler, each of these criteria are decisively met by the gospels. Due to space concerns, I will only briefly elaborate on the first one..

We do, in fact, have early testimony. Historians have established that nearly all New Testament documents were written before A.D. 70 (about 40 years after the death of Jesus). Some were penned in the 40's with sources from the 30's (just a few years after the death of Jesus). For example, in one of his early letters, Paul refers to a testimony he received concerning the resurrection. Most scholars believe that this dates back 18 months to eight years, perhaps even earlier, from the event itself. "There's no possible way that such testimony could describe a legend, because it goes right back to the time and place of the event itself." (Geisler)

In our time, those who have denied the holocaust have not been very successful in promoting their lies because there were so many eyewitneses still alive. Now, as those survivors are dying off, these absurd claims are gaining ground. It's the same with the facts concerning Jesus. It was difficult to deny the New Testament accounts because there were too many eyewitnesses still alive at the time the documents were written.

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

"Simon Greenleaf, the Harvard law professor, who wrote the standard study on what constitutes legal evidence, credited his own conversion to Christianity as having come from his careful examination of the Gospel witnesses. If anyone knew the characteristics of genuine eyewitness testimony, it was Greenleaf. He concluded that the four Gospels 'would have been received in evidence in any court of justice, without the slightest hesitation.'" (Geisler)

jchief40, I can truly understand if you don't like the claims of Christianity. You have the right to reject it all day long. But quite honestly, it does not serve you well to continue to ignore sound historical scholarship for off-the-wall conspiracy theories.

As I said much earlier, it really comes down to the matter of the will. There is an abundance of evidence to support the truth of the Christian message, but it is up to you if you choose to accept it or reject it. However, your choice does have eternal consequences. As C.S. Lewis once stated so brilliantly, "there are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'thy will be done.'" I pray that you will choose to be among the former.

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

JayCeph, no offense intended, but it strikes me that your view of God is twisted and distorted. The God I know is perfect love and goodness. At great cost to Himself, He pursued a relationship with those who rebelled against Him. By his incredible mercy, He provides a way out of our dung heap, desires to clean us up and make us his very own sons and daughters. We are invited to enjoy a relationship with Him that is so loving and intimate that the term given to us to use in the scripture is "Abba," a term of endearment similar to our word, "Daddy."

The basic message of Christianity is still, "for God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

But, I would be doing you a great disservice to not mention that God is also holy and just. If we choose to disregard the pardon he has extended to us, if we choose to treat as worthless the incomprehensible sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf, his justice will indeed be executed. As the scripture states, "how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"

But the justice of God should not surprise us. Even we, as very imperfect creatures, cry out for justice when we observe wrongdoing. When a child rapist goes free, we are outraged, as we should be. We each have this sense of justice embedded in our souls. How much more then will the perfect and holy Judge of the universe be expected to carry out true justice?

We can raise our fist to heaven and accuse God of being unfair and much too demanding. We want to live our lives as we please, autonomous and independent from God's rule, however loving and kind it may be. And God respects our freedom. He desperately longs for relationship with us, but true love cannot be forced or coerced. It must be a choice. JayCeph, I pray that you will choose to love the One who loves you more than you can possibly imagine.

JayCeph 5 years, 11 months ago

hawk316~ Thanks for your kind (gesture) prayers but, I still don't see it.

What sacrifice? He knew he was god... right? He knew he was all powerful and would have his own eternal life, etc., right? He didn't give his only son... it was another version of himself. Right? He inserted himself into a sanctimonious relationship with those whom he already built to fail. Right?

What is this 'justice' you talk about? Sacrifice? Love? This doesn't compute. It doesn't gel.

I appreciate your thoughtful deliberation but, it doesn't strike me as anything that is in line with 'perfect love and goodness' and 'incredible mercy.' The idea of this 'God' you talk about is always negated when contrasted against this notion of justice.

I don't/wouldn't create a scenario where I can guarantee my son will fail (at my hands and by my design no less) and then hold it over his head until he come crawling to me to ask for my 'incredible mercy.' If not, eternal denial? This is ludicrous.

What do you mean when you say 'true love cannot be forced and coerced' when the very threat of eternal damnation is hanging over your head if you don't comply with the demands of this totalitarian brute (the great and holy and just all knowing and loving father)? This doesn't sound like unconditional love to me.

If that is the case, I wouldn't want to be a party to such hypocritical contrivances. Thankfully, I'm not wired that way to begin with so I don't need to worry if it is applicable to me.

I'm not cappin' on it if it works for you. Some people need training wheels before they learn to ride a bike, others don't. Whatever works, man. Its just this scenario you painted... doesn't hold any water. Not even for 40 days.

100 5 years, 11 months ago

This debate has brewing since God first crawled up out of the Atlantic as a mudskipper & reached up & grabbed an apple.

It will go on until John Calipari forgets to go to mass due to being holed up in an RV trailer park outside a random SAT testing site in Arkansas which will be struck down by God himself & the earth reverses it's orbit & JC is turned back into a mudskipper without fins.

What?

God's Translation (John Calipari 3:14): "Its all good in the hood. You will enjoy your death (after you have died of course!), so much more than you like life! Relax & enjoy this one of three trillion planets in this tiny universe, one of an infinite number of universes that have existed in the history of me, your God, your mother nature, your everything. If you need me as a concept, fine. If you don't, well, you might just have more life in you than your average human -- good job!"

TyatKU 5 years, 11 months ago

Well said JayCeph.

Its nice to know we have skeptics in Kansas...

100 5 years, 11 months ago

Oh there's no skeptics you guys nailed the history.

The only question many of us have is what was going on with Christianity before the bad Roman did the bad thing.

(Again notice the amazing irony that once again, a Roman Catholic is leading a town of Christians!)

Lexington will surely burn in hell !!!

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

hawk316,

What I have provided you will show to you beyond any doubt that Gentile Christians today have inherited unknowingly a false faith and a replacement religion that has little in common with the true faith of the earliest "Christians" who followed "the Christ" let alone the ancient Spiritual knowledge held sacred to mankind since the beginning of the species. There is a gigantic difference between "the Christ" that was known and worshipped since the beginning of time as far back as ancient Egypt more than 8,000 years ago, the "Joshua-Jesus" and the supposed literal and historical "Jesus" as depicted in our current Second New Testament in today's Christian Bibles. All of this will become tragically clear as you begin your "serious study".

2Tim 2:15 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (KJV)

I guess the above statement says it all. There is much to uncover, unlearn, repent of, and begin to live before our God.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

Found an attorney Richard Packham who says:

"The world through all ages has had simple-minded people who suffer from religious delusions. How are Jesus' followers any different?

Hearsay evidence is matter which is reported as someone else's knowledge, not the direct knowledge of the person we are listening to. If Bill says in court, "I saw XYZ happen," that is direct eyewitness testimony. If Hank says, "Bill saw XYZ happen," that is hearsay, and not admissible in court as evidence.

And all of the New Testament reports of Jesus' resurrection (except for Paul's own account of his vision) are legally objectionable as hearsay. The gospels are entirely hearsay. Acts is all hearsay. It does not matter who Mark's source was (Peter?), we are not getting it from the source. At best, it is second-hand hearsay. Montgomery is again overstating his case when he says that the New Testament writers "continually tell us" that they are telling what they themselves have seen. He cites only 1 John 1:1, but that is hardly "continually." There is not a single passage in the gospels or in Acts where the writer testifies that he is reporting what he himself has seen. And even if they had been so bold, we are not obligated to believe even an eyewitness whose testimony is improbable or contrary to natural law."

More: http://www.bowness.demon.co.uk/trial.htm

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

FYI he discusses both John Montgomery and Greenleaf. This attorney is an atheist. Valid points though so don't skim through you pesky Christians!

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 11 months ago

jchief40, I can feel your passion to not believe in Jesus Christ. 316 is obviously a man of much knowledge when it comes to the scriptures but he even falls to recognize you cannot convince someone of the truth without that person having an heavenly influence to help them. I believe that heavenly influence is there and all you have to do is ask. No amount of books or even the bible for that matter can lead you to belive in God. Oh it can persuade alright but like I have been saying all along one has to pray and ask. It really is that simple test it out. First kneel before your maker and address him my Heavenly Father if you are my Father will you make yourself known to me. Ask him he is waiting once you know he lives then you can emerse yourself in the doctrine as Paul taught milk first then meat. I am afraid there may be to much meat for you to take in right now, really you need and Jaycept need to focus on whether or not Jesus Christ is the Son of God and if he and we have a Father in Heaven. Test prayer out take a leap of faith I promise you will be rewarded. Then after you have asked pray to have your sins forgivin and close in the name of Son Jesus Christ Amen. I am afraid the more that you and 316 debate about the bible the more it will take you away from the true message and that is you need divine inspiration to know if God lives not man or any book.

KU2010CHAMPS 5 years, 11 months ago

jchief40, I can feel your passion to not believe in Jesus Christ. 316 is obviously a man of much knowledge when it comes to the scriptures but he even fails to recognize you cannot convince someone of the truth without that person having an heavenly influence to help them. I believe that heavenly influence is there and all you have to do is ask. No amount of books or even the bible for that matter can lead you to belive in God. Oh it can persuade alright but like I have been saying all along one has to pray and ask. It really is that simple test it out. First kneel before your maker and address him my Heavenly Father if you are my Father will you make yourself known to me. Ask him he is waiting once you know he lives then you can emerse yourself in the doctrine as Paul taught milk first then meat. I am afraid there may be to much meat for you to take in right now, really you need and Jaycept need to focus on whether or not Jesus Christ is the Son of God and if he and we have a Father in Heaven. Test prayer out take a leap of faith I promise you will be rewarded. Then after you have asked pray to have your sins forgivin and close in the name of Son Jesus Christ Amen. I am afraid the more that you and 316 debate about the bible the more it will take you away from the true message and that is you need divine inspiration to know if God lives not man or any book.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

http://www.youtube.com/user/TruthAboutBible

This was a Stanford lecture that was made that gives a lot to think about. Wait? Stanford? Stanford is where all the idiots go!

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

The above was a lecture given from Bart D. Ehrman author of "Misquoting Jesus" to which a book came out disputing it called "Misquoting Truth" by Timothy Paul Jones. And, assuming you have watched Ehrman's great lecture in its entirety, you will know very well who wins the debate between Ehrman and Jones (lol). Here is a critical review of Jones' supposed Christian rebuttal:

"I suppose it had to be done. It seems that Professor Ehrman has reached those rarified literary heights previously attained by Celsus, Porphyry and Julian in that apologists feel the need to refute him. For this, kudos are due Professor Ehrman. However, no such congratulations are due Timothy Paul Jones, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Rolling Hills, Tulsa, Oklahoma. While Professor Ehrman writes in a very scholarly fashion, exposing for the public what scholars have known for years about the myths that surround early Christianity's beginnings, Pastor Jones's book is merely an effort to minimalize the damage. As with any apologetic work, its aim is to assure the flock that there is really nothing to worry about.

Written in a very readable, conversational style, Jones still fails in his main effort, which is to prove Bart Ehrman wrong. In that sense, it is a typical apologetic. Yes, there are differences in the various New Testament manuscripts, we are told, but they don't really matter. The conflicting accounts in the four Gospels are not competing, Jones assures us, but somehow complimentary. The differences, he says, are trivial, without ever really explaining how this can be.

Efforts to prove that the Gospels were really written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unconvincing. Jones cites Colossians as saying that Luke is Paul's "beloved physician" but Colossians is one of those Pauline letters not really written by Paul. So the testimony of a forger is made to assure us of the veracity of Luke's account. And that is entirely leaving aside the problem that if Luke was Paul's traveling companion, why is it that Luke is so at odds with Paul's own account of his mission? Shouldn't Acts of the Apostles agree with the Pauline epistles, and not contradict them?

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

He excuses one of the most blatant bits of editing ever done to a manscript, and that is the longer ending of Mark, which originally ended at 16:8. Jones assures us that nothing has been changed by the addition, which even he admits is not original to Mark. Yet here we see proof of the charges made by Celsus in the late second century that Christians changed their texts to suit their changing needs, a charge earlier denied by Jones. And I think Jones misses the greater point here, and that is, if Christian copyists felt free to change even the words of books they felt to be sacred, how secure should people feel with the rest of the books that have passed through their hands. What other changes might have been made, what other passages invented? And if they would change even the Bible, why should we believe that the much vaunted "evidence" for Christianity provided by Pliny, Tacitus and Josephus is not also the product of wishful and inventive Christian editing?

For centuries the faithful were assured, "the Bible is the inerrant word of God" and that there were no mistakes and contradictions in the New Testament. It was perfect, people were told. Now scholars have proven that it is not perfect and the response seems to be, "Well, OK, it isn't perfect but none of those mistakes and contradictions really mean anything." And inerrancy, Jones assures us, "can include approximations, free quotations, language of appearances, and different accounts of the same event as long as those do not contradict." Of course, the New Testament is full of contradictions, but Jones refuses to see these as such.

Against the actual evidence provided by Ehrman, Jones falls back on what early Christians told the Pagan critic Celsus: "Do not ask questions; just believe." He provides no real compelling evidence that fellows named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John wrote the books that bear their names. Instead of arguments anchored in scholarship, he provides us with the following: "Historical evidence (which he fails to provide) also compels me to think that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the sources of the books that bear their names. So, whenever I open my New Testament to the Gospels, I read these documents with a clear conscience as the words of these four witnesses."

That's nice, Pastor Jones, but we need more than your assurances that these books were written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Completely neglected here is the fact that none of these books bore these names when they were written. The names were assigned later. None of these books were cited by early Christian authors until a good century after they were supposedly written. Despite all the evidence we have that these books were NOT written by the men whose names they bear, Professor Jones wants us to take it on faith that they were. Why? Because he believes it.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

In the end, Jones has done nothing in this book to refute Bart Ehrman except to say that none of what Bart Ehrman tells us is true because, in the end, he doesn't want it to be true. Against scholarship, Jones offers faith, and in the final analysis, each reader will have to decide what is more important to him, because they are often mutually incompatible.

I think that this remark of Jones really says it all: "I know nothing about warp drives except what I've learned from Star Wars." But warp drives aren't from Star Wars, Pastor Jones. They are from Star Trek. "


That's great. In order to truly be a Christian (or one who believes in a literal Bible account of Jesus as the Son of God) you must reject common sense and this reviewer would agree.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

On a lighter note have you guys (and gals) ever heard of mr. diety? It's very funny - well done. Great show. Thought it was time for a good laugh.

http://mrdeity.com/

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

JayCeph, I enjoyed your last post. In our exchanges thus far, you have made some good points and raised some very reasonable objections. I can really see where you're coming from much of the time. Although we are very far apart, I think I'm understanding some of your concerns.

I'm not going to try to persuade you to believe as I do. First, it is impossible to talk someone into faith. As I said in an earlier post, God is not like some fine piece of merchandise that I'm trying to sell.

Moreover, as important a role that sound reason and a thorough examination of the evidence have in leading us to faith, it still comes down to taking that step into the unknown. After all, we are placing our faith in Someone we can't see.

And when all is said and done, we each have to lay aside our pride and self-reliance and come to God with the simple trust of a child. In fact, Jesus once said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Mk 10:15) Each and every person since the first century who has placed his faith in Christ has had to come the same way, regardless of education, intelligence or status.

Finally, we do not come to faith in a vacuum. The Holy Spirit is very much involved in the entire process from beginning to end. In other words, God Himself actually helps us in our journey to faith. I dare say that if you sincerely asked Him to lead you to the Truth of the matter, you would begin to see some interesting developments in your life. :-)

Now, look at this! Here I am talking about taking a simple step of faith, and you have expressed some serious concerns about God Himself, what kind of person He is and whether or not He even exists! I don't wish to dismiss your concerns, but I'm just not sure that any more discussion is going to help matters much.

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

However, I should try to address one matter. More than once, you have questioned some of the issues surrounding the idea of God sacrificing His Son. Paul penned something quite brilliant that is relevant to this discussion, so if you'll forgive me, I'll quote his words in Phil. 2:

"...Christ Jesus Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped (exploited or forcibly retained), but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross! Therefore, God (the Father) exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

So, yes, there was real sacrifice involved. Jesus laid aside His glory and became one of us and on the cross tasted death for each of us. At that moment, God, the righteous Judge, poured out upon His own Son the punishment that we justly deserved for our sin. In the words of Isaiah the prophet, "the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Is 53:6) As a result, if we place our faith in Jesus and what He did for us, we experience total forgiveness and new life. More than once, I've heard people describe this moment of forgiveness as having the weight of the world lifted off their shoulders.

And you know, I could go on and on, but we're just not going to see "eye to eye," unless the Holy Spirit intervenes. So, I'm thinking we should just agree to disagree and leave it at that.

But if you ever find yourself in a place where darkness has overwhelmed your soul, your existence seems meaningless and your future hopeless, I want you to remember these words, "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Acts 2:21) As I said before, God loves you more than you could ever imagine.

hawk316 5 years, 11 months ago

jchief40, ahhh, where do I begin? I'm afraid that we've reached an impasse in our discussion. It's not just that we're unable to speak the same language, it's like we're on different planets! :-)

As KU2010CHAMPS noted, it is obvious that you are filled with great passion (hatred, even?) towards the historical Christian faith. I only wish more Christians had as much passion for their faith as you have in opposing it! By the way, I should warn you that Jesus loves to take the most ardent opponents and convert them. Just one example is Saul, once Christianity's most ferocious adversary who became the greatest proponent of the gospel. Come to think of it, this is just one more impressive fact that supports the truth of Christianity. What suddenly turned this deeply devoted Jew who hated Christians and was totally committed to their destruction into the great apostle of the Christian faith? Paul himself claims that this dramatic turnaround was the direct result of an encounter with the risen Jesus. Hmmmm...

Oh, that's right. You don't believe history, at least not the history that has been painstakingly researched by honest, capable scholars. You seem to prefer lame conspiracy theories or arguments advanced by those who, like you, are fighting desperately to avoid being accountable to Almighty God. Unfortunately, because you choose not to recognize the validity of sound historical research and established scholarship, we find ourselves with very little common ground. But our exchanges were interesting, to say the least.

In any case, I wish you well.

Ryan Mullen 5 years, 11 months ago

hawk316,

"Oh, that's right. You don't believe history, at least not the history that has been painstakingly researched by honest, capable scholars. You seem to prefer lame conspiracy theories or arguments advanced by those who, like you, are fighting desperately to avoid being accountable to Almighty God. Unfortunately, because you choose not to recognize the validity of sound historical research and established scholarship, we find ourselves with very little common ground".

Ouch, that pretty much sums up Jchiefs and his mentality toward Chritians and the faith.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

jayhawkinmullen - you got it - exactly.

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

hawk316 the dictionary defines delusion as, "A false belief strongly held, in spite of invalidating evidence."

100 5 years, 11 months ago

40 & 316,

You guys put the "Ch" in Church. Due to you guys I will be going Sunday just for kicks.

Please keep up this conversation -- it reminds me of what will be going on in Lexington for the next few months. A dude really pumped about JC's blood, leading a bunch of people who are pumped about JC's dad.

It really does make for great conversation in Lexington on Sundays for people who just witnessed in rupp arena a bunch of college kids led by JC who couldn't pass high school exit exams romp a team full of 6'3" braniacs who can barely dribble a basketball with their left hand.

At some point the conversation will have to come up..

"Why isn't JC going to our church?"

"Because he's Catholic you nimrod."

"Ohhh... You mean... Roman?"

"yeah, like where he died, Roman, they love the sin, they do... Can you believe ALL the guys he brought in in like, 3 weeks!!?!"

"Uhh... Yeah.... Will you stop talking so much? ... When's the next game?"

jchief40 5 years, 11 months ago

After ALL the guys that were brought in only now are you on par (almost) with the talent Kansas will be bringing to the table this coming season. This discussion has been above all the power of Self. Believe in Self. Self will prevail!! Amen.

5 years, 11 months ago

hawk316 ~ if Christians everywhere could read your posts, you would make them very proud (the good kind of pride - LOL) to be a Christian.

100 ~ perhaps RckChalkJeff could join you at church this Sunday and you guys could bury the hatchet ;-)

100 5 years, 11 months ago

Speaking of burying hatchets,

Isn't it convienient the NCAA infractions against Calipari came out 3 days after he signed his 17th player?

Postscript: 1. new minor violations came out today for UK's basketball team getting free meals. No joke -- check the Lexington Herald Leader.

  1. There's another fresh breaking story in the Lexington Herald Leader about grades that had to be listed for the UK basketball team. Apparently UK pulled a rule out of their brown underwear to hide the names. Makes sense, but even more so when your lowest GPA comes from Patterson & Meeks.

Ryan Mullen 5 years, 11 months ago

Who wants to be the lucky 200th comment.

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