What follows is a letter written about a dream by Rebecca Knight of the Rebecca Knight files which I compared Jesus to a clay skull that cults worship blindly. Illustrations compliments of me, Normal Bob Smith. Enjoy.
I wonder if you remember me, I am one of the people in your so called 'hate mail' section. (although there was no hate in me in my correspondence to you) ;0)
I wrote to you quite some time ago, and we had a few conversations. I felt then that God had spoken to me that you would have a saul experience, where by God came and showed himself to Saul, (who was at the time a man who persecuted christians) Made Saul blind for three days, and when he was restored, he was told to go and preach the gospel of Christ. He was renamed Paul.
Recently someone wrote to me and reminded me of our conversations, I often think of you from time to time, This morning I was in a spiritual vision with Jesus and he showed me you..For some reason he named you Rodney, which comes from the word Hroda, a Germanic name meaning "fame".
You were dressed as Satan with red face paint on and horns and you stood before Jesus feeling a little silly, as he gently washed off the paint. He was very kind and gentle with you. Then he started to do a work on you, I saw him replace your heart and breathe new life into you.
He kept pounding you with waves of his power, 3 times, he got you to stand but you fell, again he lifted you, but you fell, then he shouted into your inner most being "ARISE!!!! I AM ALIVE!!!!!!" it was as if all power in heaven and earth shook when he shouted those words.
You arose, strong and tall then you flopped into a throne like chair.
Jesus walked over to a skull that was placed on a rock, he brought it to you, he put it in your face and said to you, "I am not this, am I?"
You shook your head. "This", he said throwing the skull down, "is YOU!" At these words the skull crumbled and turned to dust.
...at which he said "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust... I am not dead am I? I am very much alive!"
You sat in silence as he spoke. You knew the truth of which he spoke, but your pride did not want to acknowledge the truth.. You said to him, "But what about my powers? What about my Fame? I cant just let go of all that!"
"O.K" said Jesus in reply, then he threw you on the floor... you appeared to be having a fight. I stood in shock as I had not seen this side of Jesus before, I asked Jesus what he was doing to you? Why were you fighting?
He replied, "His heart is far from me..." With these words a cross appeared on the floor and God himself came and lay you on it... He had tied your hands and your feet and he drew his arms as if to strike you, you cried out, O.K!
With that Jesus stood between you and God and prevented the judgement of God from killing you, (Jesus has taken your place on that cross) Only if we believe in him, that he is the son of God, that he died and rose again, will we be saved.
I then saw a reluctant you, lie down and then something happened, you went back in time as you just lay, to a time as a little boy.... Jesus was by your side and he was in the chair next to your bed, he was watching over you as a little boy and you felt safe, he leaned forward, filled with paternal love for you and kissed your cheek.
At this you reached out your hand and hugged him, he embraced you and I saw you become one in love, like a loving parent and child.
I believe that Jesus still wants and is constantly trying to get your attention, he is a loving God, and will stop at nothing to regain you as his child. Your heart has grown cold and hardened toward his love, but he will eventually seek you and find you. I believe this with all my heart.
Hope this letter finds you well,
Love and blessings.
* * * * * *
The next day after viewing my illustrations...
I love it!! funny how you seemed to capture it so well..same perspective as I saw it almost every time!
much love. xxxxx
|“In case you you haven't figured it out yet, I'm just another Christian giving another futile response to the filth on your website that you can file under your hate mail.”
Subject: What does your site have to do with love?
The only way I could come across a site like yours is by accident. Even so, when I do, and can't stop myself from clicking around in curiosity. I stumbled on to one of the conversations that you filed under you "hate mail" category at number 242. In case you you haven't figured it out yet, I'm just another Christian giving another futile response to the filth on your website that you can file under your "hate mail."
The conversation you had with Rebecca made for an interesting read. It dealt with issues about Christianity and religion that I remember wrestling with at many points in my life. As you said to Rebecca, it's natural for people to doubt. You're not throwing any ideas at Rebecca or me that we haven't heard before or thought about many times ourselves. In fact, in a purely argumentative sense, you made some pretty good points.
However, it doesn't matter how many good arguments you make in attempt to justify your actions. Yes, it is true that I can't say anything to you to prove my beliefs to be correct. Therefore, we could argue until the end of all things. But there is one "word" that you'll never be able to explain. "Love"
God is love, but love is not God. Why do we have love, hate, and have a sense of good and evil in this world. You are no doubt an atheist(meaning that you believe that this life on this earth is all we have) so you would no doubt say that our sense of good and evil comes from the ones that are imposed on us by society or the region that we live in.
In your conversation with Rebecca, you wrote the following:
"I hope that now you see where I am coming from. It would mean so much to me if you would understand my point of view, because it hurts me to see the people around me living such misled lives, misdirecting their love, and blindly believing in things that aren't real.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope that you one day see the light of truth, but until then I will simply say "I care for you."
All my love and deepest heart-felt emotion, your neighbor,
I'm curious to know, what does "love" mean to an atheist. If this life is all we have and there is no God what does the definition of the word mean to you. Love must be as unreal to you as the idea of "God" itself. After all, it's all a fabricated by society is it not.
You can't claim to have love and be an atheist at the same time. Tell me Bob, if there is no God and all notions of right and wrong hold no water because they're a fabrication from society, then what's to stop me from killing, stealing, or doing anything to better my own situation even though it hurts someone else. Or while I'm at it, why don't I just put a bullet in my own head because I realized through your amazing revelation of truth brought to me by your website that my life is worthless and there is no reason to live after all.
Of course, I have no desire to do any of these things and I don't think you have a desire to kill anyone either, unless I'm naive. But, if what you believe is true then what is stopping us. This is why there is no room for love in what you believe.
You see Bob, real unselfish love comes from God. God is love. Love is not God. Love cannot be a your god because without God (like I said) love doesn't exist.
God also Hates. To truly love something, you must hate what harms it. God loves his son Jesus. God loves TRUTH.
This is why you, Bob, have a reason to fear "Goblinville." Because you harm both of these things. I'm not saying that God hates you, Bob, but He did say, "You are either for Me or against Me. You are an advocate of everything that is against Him.
God's wrath is great. That's why Jesus died for you. He took all the sins of the world on his shoulders while he was up on the cross including yours. That is the definition of love my friend and it has nothing to do with what you believe.
Were you being sarcastic when you said those things to Rebecca?
Dr. Jeff Snodgrass
Oh, dear lord.
Jeff, gimme a break. You're telling me that you can't imagine how anyone could love another without your God's help? You're coming to me saying that without a god to worship there's no imaginable way for you to conceive loving another person? "I mean, where does an atheist get his instructions on how to love, or the power to love another without that magic spell beamed down upon us from the great Universe-making wizard in the sky?" Is that what you're trying to sell in this letter to me? That's what religious people think of non-believers, that there's no other reason to keep from reaping havoc in your neighborhood if there's no god to punish you in the afterlife? Um, what about not wanting your neighbors to do the same to you? Duh. Oh yeah, and what about being nice because you want others to treat you nicely? Gee, I'm not a brain surgeon and I figured that out all by myself.
Jeff, you do know that the reverse stereotype is that believers bestow this make-believe, patronizing love that has little merit because it's done to serve your master? That, and your creator set up a system that demands you put up a wall between you and unbelievers, because you cannot really love someone with different beliefs. If you did then eventually you'd be stuck in "paradise" still loving them while they burn forever in hell. And God knows that'd make any heaven your worst nightmare. How will you manage that, Jeff? I'm guessing your love for people is pretend once you discover they're damned, right? I mean, you wanna enjoy your paradise in the sky, don't you?
Of course I don't actually believe these things about you. I know that you'd still love your friends, family and yourself if you discovered that God was pretend. I just hope now you can better grasp the pomposity of declaring your group's monopoly on the emotion called love. You may as well declare yourselves the supreme race.
We are all people, Jeff. We're all mortal, emotional human beings moving through life with all of its rewards and consequences, comedies and tragedies. It should not be difficult at all to understand how and why we love each other despite whatever our view on the origin of this universe may be. People are worth loving even without the existence of gods.
My respect for love, truth and other people only increased when I lost my belief in everlasting life and our insignificant value in comparison to God. As an atheist the value of these three things is now almost incomprehensible. Why? Because as an atheist, I believe life just ends. That's it. It's over. You get one chance to do it right, no take backs, and that goes for everyone else as well. And believe me, this view on others and the increased individual responsibility is absolutely mind blowing.
It changed me forever.
Jeff, it's called "tough love."
|“Why do we have the ability to love?”
You missed a subtle but important idea that I was trying to communicate. I never said that you can't love anyone without God's help. My argument is an existential one if you will try to follow me. Of course you, Bob, have the ability to love someone, but I am asking you the great question. Why?
Why do we have the ability to love?
Think about what you're saying about the human race with your atheistic beliefs. We rose by some accident out of the primordial soup. We have no purpose. Your life is as worthless as mine. All we have are maybe some instincts of survival. Why would we love anyone or anything if this were true? And would we even have the ability?
Of course we do have the ability to love, Bob. That is why I'm saying that your beliefs are contradictory to what the human race really is. We are all spiritual beings created by God. Tell me Bob, have you ever wondered why we can even fathom the idea of eternity? We think about eternity because that is how we are meant to exist. If there was no such thing as eternity, then we wouldn't have any thoughts of it in this life. Such thoughts wouldn't be natural. You don't honestly think that you are going to stop existing after you die, do you.
Because we are spiritual beings, Bob, we have free will. Don't let anyone tell you different. You can choose to deny your creator if that's what you want. Each one of us will believe what we want to believe. Yes, we can even love someone without acknowledging God, but we you are denying the source of the good things we have if we do. Keep in mind, your free will allows you the option to live a Godless life if you want to. You even have the option to literally "think" God out of your own mind as you already seem to have done. God won't force to him. You are a spiritual being with free will. If you want to be free of God, then eventually, you will. That is what Hell is Bob. I tend to think, (but don't quote me on this) that the description of Hell in the Bible is just God's best way to interpret to us what Hell really is: A place without God. Whether you know it or not, that is more terrible than anything you can imagine.
I never meant to say that Christians hold a monopoly on love. I was trying to make a point. We are all imperfect beings in the same boat. The only love that Christians do have a monopoly on is Christ's love. I, personally, don't claim to even understand it, but I accept it because I've felt it. His love is the only thing that will save us. The only difference between us, Bob, is that I want something to do with this love and you don't seem to want anything to do with it at all.
Jesus loves you but you don't have to love Him or even believe He exists. That is your choice.
This Atheism thing you hold on to is a cop out. You are denying our very nature as humans. Choosing to believe that there is nothing after this life doesn't change anything.
You are clutching at straws.
Dr. Jeff Snodgrass
You're saying that the feeling which we call "love" has no logical explanation other than a mysterious magical emotion which could only be supplied by the gods? This thing "love" is so perfect and flawless and everlasting that it's impossible to explain how it could exist at all without a Super Being to conjure it up? No scientific or evolutionary explanation which makes any sense because love is that strange and outside the box?
This time before I respond I'm making sure I understand your point.
So that's what you're claiming?
|“Do you really want to believe, Bob, that there is no more 'love" in this world other than stupid chemicals in our brains.”
Real love is not a feeling. It's not an emotion. There are many definitions to the word. Do you really want to believe, Bob, that there is no more 'love" in this world other than stupid chemicals in our brains. That's it, love is a chemical, is that what you're saying. Chemicals in our brains is what produces feelings and emotions. Love is something entirely different.
This is the ultimate example of the kind of love I am talking about that defies any definition:
Love is Jesus Christ taking on all the evil, all the sins, all the shame, and all the burdens of this world onto his shoulders by dieing a spiritual death on the cross.
When Jesus was on the cross, He was abandoned by God because He was filthy with our sin and our shame. Somehow, on the cross, He took our punishment, the equivalent of what we deserved in Hell. Like I said before, I don't fully understand this, but I accept it. What he went through was so terrible, that he managed to sweat blood in anticipation of it while praying in the garden. He did it all for us, yet somehow, you seem to despise this.
I don't need to understand it to accept it. I have the Holy Spirit. You see, Jesus was a man that lived 2000 years ago that made outrageous claims that He was the savior of the world. How could I be anything but indifferent on Him unless the Holy Spirit lived inside me to make me sure that He lives today by demonstrating His love in me everyday. You see, I could never keep believing in Him except that I feel His presence. I feel His love. This love is far more than a chemical in my brain. It defies any scientific or evolutionary explanation.
Dr. Jeff Snodgrass
Yes, I know, Jeff. We're not just evolved mammals made up of stupid chemicals chasing each other around with sticks. We're special. We're magical, fairy tale angels who've been beamed down in human form each with a special magical fluffy enchanted pink valentine shaped cloud floating inside of us all! And it's a magic called love! And Jesus Christ is the most enchanted one of us with the biggest love valentine inside of Him which He shares with all the world!
And Jesus killed all the evil black monsters with His rainbow shooting laser gun! And He defeated the overlord of Ugly-land and made everyone in his goblin army pay! And people who don't believe in this story go to Ugly-land too with all of Satan's hairy, lizard faced goblins!! And they all did this 2,000 years ago, and you're evil and bad! And Jesus' love is perfect and most magical of all and He's inside me! And He's gonna defeat your stupid science and make scientists pay for discovering evolution and building science labs that prove the universe older than what the Bible says!
Everyone's gonna pay for trying to figure out the world without relying solely on the Bible's explanations! Figuring out things separately from the Bible is scandalous and those scientists should be hung on a cross for saying things are just chemicals!!! And this isn't JUST CHEMICALS IN MY BRAIN MAKING ME FEEL THIS WAY!!!!!
I gotcha, Jeff.
Thank you very much. Your insight is impressive. There's a lot we could learn from you.
Have a nice day.
|“Don't attempt to counteract my belief in God with science because they don't contradict each other in the slightest.”
You are a fool. You're trying to explain our ultimate purpose with science and evolution. Science can only explain "how", it can't explain "why". Even you can admit this regardless of what we both believe. I am not so opposed to evolutionary theories except when fools like yourself can't see the difference between the "how" and the "why" of it all. Don't attempt to counteract my belief in God with science because they don't contradict each other in the slightest. They can't. They deal with different questions.
Your last e-mail was very intelligent: Yes, of course Bob, God is, indeed, the flying spaghetti monster that you made him out to be. Congratulations on your discovery.
Dr. Jeff Snodgrass
P.S. That last part was sarcasm in case you're more the simpleton than I made you out to be.
Yes. And you're trying to explain our ultimate purpose (why) without first addressing the "how."
• You see, if the "how" is that we were created by Allah, then our "why" answer is to convert all heretics to the Muslim religion, otherwise they must be enslaved, or butchered at the necks like the cowardly dogs they are, then take over the blood-soaked world under The One True Allah. The "why" in regards to Allah is to defeat and conquer all who don't praise him.
• If the "how" was Intelligent Design as Raelians believe and we were invented by little 4 foot tall Japanese-looking aliens, then our answer to "why" is stated very simply on their website. And that is to build an embassy that welcomes the aliens back to earth, then to make greater advances in science to better understand them, and wait for their arrival so they can usher us through this predicted "Age Of Revelation." The "why" as directed by Rael is to advance our science so we won't be too startled when they return to grade us on our progress.
• If the "how" is what you're saying - and we're the product of a lonely god looking for friends who will love Him and bow to His All-knowing commands or suffer eternally in the torture chambers of His making, then our purpose (WHY do we love and exist) is to follow His bidding and wait for Him to get revenge on those of us who've loved Him poorly or not at all, and reward those who've submitted best to His demands.
• If the "how" is that we've evolved over millions of years and there is no individual maker or great surveillance camera in the sky, then the "why" (our purpose and reason we're alive and love) is to make heaven on earth by solving the problems that cause human suffering. And an ultimate goal of making a future for mankind, extending life spans and preserving it so that it can extend as far into the future (and perhaps throughout the universe) as possible. Because if we've evolved over millions of years and we are the only specimens of life for many millions of light years, which is how it appears to be, and we are indeed in charge of our own destiny and the future of life itself, then that's pretty neato.
Jeff, the "HOW" comes first, not the "why." Otherwise you'd be calculating answers from flawed equations.
You're going in the wrong direction.
"Imagine showing a modern computer to a person who has never even seen a mechanical clock, an electric light bulb or a pocket calculator: you would expect the person to be convinced that it must work by magic. The idea that human beings made such an item would likely be seen as being absurd. When a person is convinced that the whole concept is absurd, it is unlikely that he is going to be receptive to explanations of each little part. Likewise, for someone who has been raised with the notion that all plants and animals were created by an intelligent being, the idea of evolution is just as large a conceptual leap. Even just considering the possibility is likely beyond their capability."
Evolution & Wisdom of Crowds.
Snodgrass files part 2
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