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Last Updated: Sept 2020
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I drove past one of those billboards in Asheville, NC
God bless everyone in the name of the One that’s holy. I saw the billboard on the way to church. I didn’t know how I could repent for my sin. I was sick in the mind with Satan’s illness. I got cancer and I needed to find the path to the light. I called and Roger guided me in the righteous path to Jesus. Thank you Gospel Billboards.
The Bible is right and has meaning. Happy Easter
What is truth?
There are two forms of truth. One natural and one spiritual. 1- Natural truth is reality. The things that happen within history and our own life. 2- Spiritual truth is found outside of the time, space, matter world we reside in. John 14:6 states that very well. Rom 1:20 shows us the invisible things are manifest by the the things we see. Morality (truth) exists within our knowledge and is evident by our actions in life. Truth that is not corrupted is absolute and will never change.
Saw one of your billboards today. I’m so glad there are people out there with a clear head… none of that “evolution” nonsense. How could we once have been as stupid as some monkeys? That’s just not possible, as the Bible states otherwise! My son was taught to believe that evolution really is real, and once he told me about it, I immediately called the school and let them know that this is unacceptable. Our children should be taught the truth! Satan is truly plaguing younger people’s minds, Jesus is coming soon, and they will all be damned if we don’t help them follow the way of God!
Amen to that! Just saw the same one today. God bless
So I live in Clayton County Georgia and was driving on Tara Boulevard in between Lovejoy and Forest Park, and I saw a billboard that I THOUGHT belonged to you guys, but once I got a 2nd look, it was almost as if someone was trying to parody you or make fun of Christianity. I said something like “…the reason why Jesus created an-l” or “see what Jesus says about an-l”. Can anyone shed some light on this? I didn’t type the whole word for fear of offending someone…just trying to see what it fully said if in fact it WAS yours.
Thank you for letting us know. Apparently someone had vandalized one of our billboards, but we were alerted day before yesterday, and the board was changed yesterday morning. Thanks again. GospelBillboards.org
I love seeing your billboards and pray they help bring people to Christ. Thank you for sharing the gospel! The billboards are amazing!
Love seeing your billboards. So encouraging.
On our way to Lake Erie we saw several of your bill boards going and returning home. Called at least 20 times various times of the day. Everytime after we would push”1″ for English the response was “thank you have a nice day.” and then it would disconnect. Not much of a message or help if someone was really in need.
I noticed that your billboard message changed recently in Rapid City, SD. It now says…”Genuine Christians Obey Jesus’ Teachings” and it references Luke 4:46.
Great scripture about obeying the teachings of Christ but nowhere in the reference does it mention anything about not being a Christian if your not “genuine”.
The word genuine also means “real” or “authentic”. It can also be interpreted as “perfect” in some situations.
As a believer I am concerned about the message your billboard sends to an unbeliever or maybe a new believer who may be struggling with their faith.
Is a person less genuine, real or authentic in their faith because they are struggling? Who are we to judge that? You…me? No, that would be God’s job.
Please reconsider the full message of your signs as they apply to everyone….saint and sinner alike.
Patrick, thank you for your comment. The verse corresponding with the billboard is Luke 6:46, And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? So what does the Lord say to us? Matt 11:28-30, Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. We must have a real and genuine desire to serve the Lord even though we live in this fallen world. Can we be only a half Christian and attain eternal life? Rev 3:16 addresses the issue of being lukewarm. Heb 6:1, Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection… Perfection is a progressive work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. Just as a tree buds and blooms, a small fruit starts to form. Through adverse weather and climate it must remain strong and grow into maturity awaiting the harvest. The harvest will be that perfect heavenly kingdom prepared for those that seek His will daily.
JESUS IS THE ONLY HOPE WE ALL HAVE. RUN TO HIM BEFORE IS TOO LATE!!!
I AM AN AMPUTEE WITH ONE LEG, HOW DO I RUN TO HIM? ISN’T THAT A BIT ABLEIST?
Running to Jesus is something you do with your heart, your spirit. I’m confident you have that!
Yes, to the LORD and His Son
I love these billboards God bless you for this how do I donate?
You can go to the ‘About Us’ tab, on the website. https://gospelbillboards.org/about/
So this organisation has abusers in it. What are you guys doing about it?
Thank you for contacting us. You can find public statements concerning the Haiti abuse situation at the following link:
For every billboard I see on my 8 hour road trip, I will donate $10 to the Satanic Temple. Preying on vulnerable people to sell your message is gross. I know many people with mental illness, and trying to get them to join a religion instead of actual mental health services doesn’t help them. So far I’ve seen 20 signs, so I’ll be donating $200.
Well, that is certainly your prerogative to do so though I might point out that, given the nature of your concern, it would probably make more sense to donate to a mental health organization. For someone attempting to portray themselves as an advocate of “real mental health services”, it seems odd that you would be sending money to a religious organization such as the Satanic Temple.
For the record, Gospel Billboards does encourage people suffering with mental health issues to seek out professional health services.
I also regularly donate to mental health organizations. I work with several. I believe that telling people that are anxious to seek Jesus is counterproductive. While someone who is struggling could potentially benefit from religion, professional mental health services should be advertised first. I think that using mental health as a selling point for your group is wrong.
As a mental health patient, Jesus Christ in my life makes ALL the difference. Medicine is a tool, but not a cure. Only Jesus can lead us all to the gateway of TRUE healing.
Jesus is and shall be the answer through everything in life. We need to have faith in this world!
Just to be clear, Gospel Billboards does not sell anything. The ministry is funded through free will donations, and many of the staff are volunteers. Our goal is simply to point people to Christ, pray with people, and provide spiritual and emotional support for people who call in.
the satanic temple donated hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to organizations advocating for mental health such as NAMI. they also support charities for homeless veterans and domestic abuse support. So yeah it honestly does make a lot of sense to donate to them.
Your donating to an organization that teaches people they will spend their eternity in a burning hell ???? for eternity is not a wise investment. Imagine you the donor and Satan worshipper being their also for eternity having to stare at the faces you condoned being their forever and ever and the torment they will be suffering for eternity along with yourself. God help you all. I sure hope you all accept Jesus as your personal savior before it is too late. Sadly by the way the world is going right now and matching it up to exact Bible prophecy you don’t have much time. Repent to Jesus your sins today and be saved! 🙂
Yes.. Most those who support your Santanic Temple are mentally ill…
So don’t prey on them… But your leader is always searching easy prey..
People that don’t know Jesus need mental health.
Just as people who do “know” him do. Everybody needs mental health. Trying to substitute magic sky daddy for a solution to mental health problems or any problems is truly sick.
I thought something similar when I was driving through SC today 🙂
Shalom! I’m sorry that You haven’t encountered Jesus yet. Jesus is the only truth. I hope you meet Him in a personal way, and get all the blessings from heaven. God bless you! May Jesus shine His bright and glorious light upon you!
I’ll co-sign this
???? You are doing great work. Thank you darling.
I find that an odd thing to do and a waste of money. Jesus can heal mental and emotional disorders . And churches host counselors and Recovery groups and it is usually free to those in need. We are to be God’s hands extended to serve others. I will pray for you and ask that you are no longer deceived. In Jesus name
Hey Joshua – choosing not to believe in something does not protect you from it. It’s Pascal’s wager. Meanwhile, maybe devote your effort into being a better person/musician/auto mechanic/philanthropist or something instead of these meandering whine-fests. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be so insecure and paranoid.
All I can be sure of is that my God is bigger, stronger, and full of Love for those who believe in him and walk with him. He’s everywhere…go outside during a pretty evening when sun is downing and just look at the beauty…listen to the birds chirping…God will speak to you. Just open your heart and listen.
God is everywhere people don’t realize it because their caught up in Lust woman cars fame drugs and the root of all evil money etc. I myself still struggling with sin but today I am a Faithful Believer! Jesus Christ has shown me proof and a chance at a better life for a sinner like me The Truth second coming of Jesus Christ is upon us in our life time
“Whinefests”? Insecure and paranoid”? Hardly. I am just greatly annoyed at how Jesus’ actions have been misinterpreted through the centuries and how religion is misused. My goal is to educate people who have been misled all their lives because they were taught never to question and never to look at other views as equally valid. It takes a secure person to reject what is shoved in your face as the absolute truth. And as far as “paranoia”, I merely keep in mind what our history has shown in society. There is a saying: “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat their mistakes”.
One billboard that irritates me is the billboard showing a baby and has the statement “There is proof God exists”. Are you somehow linking a baby to the existence of God?
A baby is not proof of the existence of God. A baby is the proof of fertility. Snakes, bats, lizards, hyenas and fishes have “babies”.
One psychological trend is to use a stimulus that spawns a positive reaction and pair it with something you want people to accept. The behaviorist Ivan Pavlov was known to ring a bell just before feeding his dog, so the dog would eventually link being fed to hearing the bell, so it loved the bell. (By the way, do you think the Taco Bell commercials use a bell by coincidence?)
So, by posting a photo of a baby and claiming there is proof that God exists, I see this as a very cheap subversive attempt to pair accepting babies to accepting the existence of God, as if to say, you can no more deny God than you can deny babies. Very cheap and very irritating to see Religion panhandled that way.
Minor change…your billboard stated “There is Evidence God Exists”, not proof. The terminology mat vary, but the overall gist is the same.
I am sure as you look over my other posts today, you will see that there is indeed reason to question that God exists in the manner portrayed by Christianity.
I might someday call in and deliver to you evidence based upon our social history and our psychological tendencies to show why indeed we have to leave a belief in God as a choice, not a commandment, not an absolute.
You may be shocked by what I can elaborate to you, but I can assure you that what I have to say is the truth…and the truth is not always pretty.
Needlessly pedantic about the semantics, isn’t it? If evidence is not proof, then it’s just that. Evidence. It’s not “the truth you won’t like.” Neither proving nor disproving- just evidence.
Joshua your posts carry with it a sense of anger and/or frustration. You seem determined to prove there is no God. I don’t know your journey in life but I do know there is a God that loves you more than you know and that knows everything about you even your rebellious heart towards Him and still loves you. Your heart is currently separated from God but He made a way for you to be reconciled into a personal relationship with Him and that is thru believing what the Bible says, asking for forgiveness and surrendering your life to Jesus. If you do not believe then I urge you to ask God to show you that He is real. If you truly in your heart want to know God, He will reveal Himself but He looks at our hearts. There was a time I did not believe there was a God let alone believe Jesus was the son of God I mocked any such talk like you.
It’s not a religion it’s a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ by which ALL things were created including you. You can have that relationship if you seek Him and then He will reveal these truths to you so you are not blinded and deceived by the things of this world, this all may sound foolish to you now but that’s because you have not asked Jesus into your life. I encourage you to get a Bible in maybe the NLT translation so it’s easier to understand and read the book of John. Before you read ask Jesus to reveal Himself and just keep reading to the end of that book even if you don’t understand keep reading. If you believe there is no God then you have nothing to loose but if you are wrong you have everything to gain including eternal life if you receive Jesus as your savior.
We do not need to debate Gods existence, only God can open the heart of man to see the truth. I am praying God will reveal himself to you but only God reads hearts. He loves you more than you can fathom no matter what you say or think write now, that is true. God bless you Joshua in your journey for truth.
I have proof of why we seek to create dieties. “God” is not the only diety we humans have created. There have been hundreds of gods and goddesses, but Christianity insists “This is the only one that is true”. Why? Because people wrote a book compiled of hundreds of writings by people who were searching for the true nature of God to help explain the Universe long before we had the science we have today. Remember that the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomora were attributed to God’s anger. What would those same people have said today about New Orleans getting hit by two hurricanes in recent decades? They would have said New Orleans was obviously on God’s sh*t list. Today, we can understand the science behind those hurricanes. Again, the concept of gods and goddesses has existed over centuries to create reasons why things happen involving the sky, the earth, the seas, the seasons, even one human being stronger or faster than other humans was ascribed to that person being the sons of a deity. Our human history includes creating the idea of gods as entities who control certain aspects of the Earth that seem to change as much as the moods and emotions of a human. That is why we also ascribe emotions to the weather such as “an angry thunderstorm”, “a happy, sunny day” or “a saddening rainstorm”. In fact, in the French language, the same verb “pleurer” means both “to cry” and “to rain”, as if, when it rains, the sky is crying. We sometimes give human characteristics to non-human events and so, it makes sense that we create gods and goddesses to explain why our environment changes. Oh, and why do we name storm systems in the first place, like Hurricane Katrina? To give a human aspect to non-human events. And once we have a god or goddess, we can appoint a person to help us curry good favor and therefore gain control over something we are actually powerless to control. That is why the Greeks had oracles and priests for the temple of Poseidon: so you could make a donation/sacrifice and get good sailing weather. It is all about control. That is why people who are sick pray to get better. Because they have no control. We want control, because it is scary to have zero control. That is my evidence for why we should question the existence of God: we created gods and goddesses. Last question for you all to ponder: the only forms of life that have a gender (male/female) are those species that reproduce through sexual reproduction. That being said, why would we decide that the creative force of the Universe has a male gender? So, God….could easily be a Goddess or have no gender at all. But that would upset our founding fathers who want to keep males at the head of everything. If you can’t see past the BS, I cannot help you.
Hi Josh, there is obviously much in your messages that could be debated. As another commenter noted on one of your other posts, your messages carry an overtone of anger / frustration. For this reason I’ve hesitated to directly engage with your many sweeping, unsupported assertions. I have my doubts that either of us will be much edified.
I will point out here that just in this post, you are leaning hard on several classic logical fallacies. One is the genetic fallacy; simply describing how a belief originated (its “genesis”) does nothing to demonstrate its falsity. Even if it is true that religion developed in some manner similar to what you describe (though I would obviously dispute that, and I think on solid grounds) that wouldn’t logically imply that it’s therefore false. Similarly, it may be true that I am a Christian because I was raised in a Christian home, or it may true that you are not a Christian because you have emotional baggage around a negative religious past. But while those facts may provide some pertinent data about our subjective, individual psychologies, it tells us nothing about objective spiritual realities.
You are also leaning quite heavily on the fallacy cum hoc ergo proctor hoc, or “with this, therefore, because of this”. Another common formulation is “correlation does not equal causation”. In other words, the fact that some religions may appeal to superstition or spiritual explanations of natural events does not at all logically imply that the religion itself came about in an effort to explain natural events or anything else. It is just as logical and likely that spiritual matters are real, and that humans, knowing something true about spiritual realities, over-extended their explanatory power. Or that, as per Christianity, spiritual reality includes a spiritual darkness and deception, an enemy who is actively sowing confusion about the natural world, and peddling a counterfeit spiritual reality.
These are simple logical fallacies that are fogging up your ability to objectively consider and analyze your own spiritual nature , or lack thereof. There is no point in trying to exhaustingly defeat all these assertions, because they are more or less irrelevant to the actual questions; does God exist? Did Jesus rise from the dead or not? Does Christianity represent spiritual reality? Etc.
One last thing, as far as God being male, you are correct that he is neither male nor female. In Genesis it is clear that both male and female together represent the image of God.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
A careful reading of scripture makes plain that God is neither male nor female, but a spirit, and that both masculinity and femininity embody some aspect of the “image of God”. The masculine pronouns used to refer to God may well be a reflection of a patriarchal culture, in which the masculine pronouns are customarily given a universal application, such as “we hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal…”. In addition to the masculine pronouns, the Bible does commonly reference God as a “father”, and casts him in anthropomorphically masculine imagery and roles, although there are a few instances of female imagery as well. (“as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings”, or “as a mother comforts her child”, etc. There is also metaphors which depict God as giving birth, nursing a child, etc.)
But none of this demonstrates anything about the truth or falsity of religion in general, or Christianity in particular, or in fact has anything really to do with it. It could be true that the majority of practicing Christians are patriarchal, sexist, male chauvinists who are convinced that God is the archetypal alpha-male, and but that wouldn’t tell us that God doesn’t exist, or that Christianity is false. At most, it could indicate that a lot of Christians have a misperception about God. But God would go right on being God in spite of them. Just like He goes right on being God in spite of pagan superstitions about the weather, or the logically fallacious scoffing of atheists.
If God is God, then He is God, and our only task is to try to understand spiritual reality to the best of our ability, and to align ourselves with our Creator to the best of our understanding.
That takes a genuinely humble love of truth, and a willingness to consider carefully the evidence, and to follow it wherever it leads. It takes a willingness to listen carefully to unwelcome evidence, making an effort to set aside our biases. It takes a spirit like Socrates, who said that anyone who could prove him wrong would be his best friend, because he will have taught him truth he didn’t know before.
Try reading the case for christ by lee strobel. He was an atheist wheo tried to prove there was no god, he changed his mind after intense research
GODS fingerprints are everywhere. Just gotta stop and look! Everything is too perfect to be a coincidence. You’re a miracle, did you know that. I understand why we have many questions that seem never answered, but if God told us everything, then we wouldn’t have faith. He wants us to have faith. He’s supplied the best selling Book of all time. It’s called the Bible. It’s up to us to seek him. He’s done his part. He died for our sins! All he asks is to meet him in the middle. Thats to accept Jesus as our lord and savior. In return, we’ll live with him in paradise for eternity. What a priceless gift he gave us. God Bless you! ????????????
I’m sorry you find this billboard annoying… I think you may be overthinking this a bit though. Yes, for many people, the miracle of life, especially new life as witnessed by parents when a baby arrives, lifts our thoughts to the contemplation of our creator. It seems to me that this is not so “subversive” as it is just common sense. We aren’t trying to “trick” anyone in to believing in God, that would accomplish nothing positive anyway. At any rate, as you recognize in your followup post, we do not claim that babies prove God’s existence… not quite.
Actually, we do not claim to have proof of God’s existence at all, but we do think the evidence for the truth of Christianity is quite robust and credible, not the least of which is the existence of life itself. Where did life and consciousness and love and hate and honor come from? Why, to quote Leibniz, is there something rather than nothing?
The proof of God is in that ALL babies are designed with cellular matter to mimic their parents. It’s divinity in It’s essence. How do human cells know to develop into human children? There are incalculable variables to consider in the creation of life. That is God’s intervention. Divine intelligence is evidencedby lookinv at a newborn child. You have never had your own child. Otherwise, this would be self evident.
You clearly never learned enough about cells and epigenetics.
It’s called evolution for a reason. You should really look into science and biology before going around believing your fairy tales.
There are many people who question the existence of God and are self-proclaimed Agnostics or Atheists, or Non-theists. My father was a Non-theist. So, having children (he had five children) does not instill an acceptance of God. Your logic failed. My maternal grandfather also questioned religious beliefs and so do I, and I figure my children will as well. Because my family was taught to use our brains and we went to college and studied and learned to question the source of information. And, yes, the moderator has pointed out that my messages contain anger. Yes, I am angry when religion is used as an excuse to exclude, harm or reject others and make ourselves feel superior. We are NOT the center of the universe. We are NOT favored among all life. Many of us just use religion to make ourselves okay with Death. It’s becomes or pacifier. And I am okay with that as long as we can stop thinking that there is only ONE valid religious perspective for all people. Christianity is only one choice of many.
I would like to complain about a recent billboard. It says “In the beginning, God created”. However, in the top left corner, it attempts to discredit the Darwinian theory of evolution. This seems to be a rude attempt to say science is false.
I’m afraid you are misunderstanding the billboard. It is not attempting to say that science is false, rudely or otherwise. It is expressing our conclusion that the standard Darwinian theory of evolution, which typically includes ideas that are not science but philosophy, or meta-physics, is false. The assumption of naturalism, that there is no purpose or direction or supernatural power beyond the bounces of the atoms of the natural world, is not science, but philosophy, and it is that philosophical claim that we are opposing, not science.
Well said MZ. If something is true in science, it is God’s truth :).
Lucas, Just because “Scientists” believe in evolution, doesn’t mean that evolution is science. You ask for proof of God and state that ‘evidence’ is just that – not proof, yet you accept the imaginings of men and women “scientists” as proof of evolution (you even call it science) – even in the face of a complete lack of evidence.
I am shaking my head that Evolution is discounted as the “imaginings of men and women scientists”. There is this “thing” called the Scientific Method. If you went to school, went to classes including Chemistry, you may have learned that certain reactions will occur consistently because of the nature of atoms. Life evolves due to changes at the genetic level. We have gene therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy based upon the results of chemical trials conducted at the NIH and other research facilities. If a genetic change helps an animal survive and replicate, that gene is likely to be passed down to the next generation. That is why we tend to look like our parents and have similar hair, skin, etc. If a genetic change decreases our chance of survivng and replicating, that gene tends to die out. Our evolution has been taking shape over millions of years, but it is difficult for “some” of us to accept that we were not just created out of thin air at a point in the Earth’s history. There is no science to Creationism. Creationism is our way of feeling special, above all other life forms. It is our way of saying we are different, so Death does not hold the finality that is does for cows, birds, spiders, lice or fungus. Creationism is a form of Rationalizing, which is an Ego Defense mechanism to make us feel good about ourselves. The more you know, the less you can believe. And religion is based on what one believes, not what one knows.
It is the naturalistic philosophy that is often sneaked into modern science that we disagree with, not the modern science itself.
But I’m curious about your assertion that religion is simply a way to make ourselves feel special and superior to other life forms. If we are not in fact superior to other life forms, then why should we think it is moral to live in superiority to those other life forms?
In another post you suggest that,
If what you do brings you happiness and does not hurt others, then good for you.
But, as I asked you there, what does “hurt others” mean. Which “others”? The cows, birds, spiders, lice, and fungus that you seem to suggest are not inferior or lesser than humans? Would you then suggest that we treat lice like we treat humans? Or treat humans like we treat lice? Under your value system, there is no clear moral high ground with speciesism as compared to racism, or sexism. Why would we invest a moral component in homophobia, but not arachniphobia? Or, if humans are not fundamentally different than spider monkeys, then why, when a male spider monkey forcibly mates with a female spider monkey (as do many other animal species), do we not call it rape and incarcerate the male spider monkey as we would with humans?
If human superiority is illusory then it seems that we would have a moral obligation to create a truly egalitarian society in which we either treat humans like animals or treat all animals like humans.
As with post-modern relativism, this ideology is unlivable; it quickly collapses when confronted with real-world applications.
In 1633, the Inquisition of the Roman Catholic Church forced Galileo Galilei, one of the founders of modern science, to recant his theory that the Earth moves around the Sun. Under threat of torture, Galileo – seen facing his inquisitors – recanted.
Just another example of how the Church made a scientist back down for challenging a concept that the Church considered sacred. Creationism places human at the center of God’s plan and we are his favorite and created in His image. We are “Daddy’s favorite” and the center of his attention. We also once had the belief that the Earth was the center of the solar system and the Center of the Universe.
Why? Beacuse we know that eventually, we will die, like everything else around us dies, but we want to believe that we are different. because Death is inescapable and it frightens us to think that in 10,000 years, there will be trace that we were here today, so why does anything that we do matter? That is why religion exists. But, that doesn’t mean that everything religions tell us are true.
Why do I continually post to this site? Because their billboards are called 83-FOR-TRUTH. And they are not always committed to giving people the real truth.
The truth is that Christianity is but one choice out of many. It is okay to choose a perspective other than Christianity. It is okay to decide not to believe in the Bible. If Christianity works for you, fine, but do not bash people who do not embrace Christianity.
Joshua, certainly the church has not always made the right call on questions of science and theology. And you are also correct that an afterlife is central to the hope of Christianity and many other religions. That question is best explored on its own terms, however, not just authoritatively dismissed.
But your claim that Christianity is only one truth out of many is relying on the post-modern logical fallacy of relativism that philosophy has largely discarded today. Post-modern relativism quickly disintegrates into a reductio ad absurdum. Let me give you a quick demonstration using your own premise that Christianity is one truth out of many.
What if Christianity’s basic claim is that Christianity is not one truth out of many? Is Christianity still one truth out of many? In what sense can you say that both Christianity and Religion X are true, when Christianity’s claim is that Religion X is not true?
Multiple religions claiming contradictory things cannot be many truths. They can all be wrong, or one of them can be true and the rest wrong, but they most certainly cannot simply all be true. That is like saying that young earth creationist cosmology and old earth big bang cosmology and the “turtles all the way down” cosmology are all “one truth out of many”.
“If the old earth big bang works for you, fine, but do not bash young earth creationist cosmology. They are both just one truth out of many” This is manifestly nonsense. Reality exists, and it does not care what we think of it. It just is, and it is our work to align ourselves with it, and sometimes to help create it. But we cannot claim to be truth seekers and then retreat into nonsensical relativism.
@ Ol’ Will – Scientists do not “Believe” in evolution. Science is about what you can test, prove and replicate through controlled experiments and it is how we developed our understanding of life on Earth. Science is based upon the chemistry and physics and knowledge of what happens every day. “Believing” is choosing an explanation that cannot be proven, but makes us feel more comfortable. That is where Faith comes in. No one can prove it to you, but you accept it anyway. And most religions exists to address questions about that which we cannot know, so they depend on Faith…but then, later, when the Science finally answers the question, people may have trouble letting go of a false belief, especially if that belief is what they built their values or lifestyle on.
The more you know, the less you can believe.
Joshua, Christian faith has been sadly misunderstood and in many people’s minds has come to mean what you describe here, as a kind of placeholder for real data.
But that is not what the Christian scriptures teach at all. Faith is very simply placing one’s trust and confidence in a person that is judged to be worthy of that trust and confidence. We do this all the time in our relationships. It is what you are doing when you choose to believe what scientists tell you about chemistry and physics. You cannot do all the experiments yourself, so you trust someone you judge to be reliable or “faithful”. That is what Christian faith is; simply placing our confidence and trust in a person who has shown himself to be worthy of that confidence and trust, Jesus Christ.
I agree with you that letting go of false beliefs is incredibly difficult, and doubly so when we have invested our values and lifestyle in those beliefs. This can be a legitimate challenge for religious people. But it is not only difficult but impossible to let go of false beliefs when we refuse to acknowledge the difficult questions that have the potential to disconfirm our closely held false beliefs. Like “why is there something, rather than nothing” for example. And this is a legitimate challenge for irreligious people.
Hi Joshua , I just wanted to say Thank you for the billboards. I’ve been seeing them around my city and When I feel like giving up every time I look up I see them. they help me keep focus on me figuring out how to give my life to Christ . Thank you .
thank you for your interest in the souls of America. I wrote your website down to contribute and pray. Thank you for your efforts and I will continue to pray for those who need our Savior. That their eyes and minds will be open to receive the truth and the gospel that our Lord suffered and died on the cross to freely give.
These billboards are disgusting. Preying on those in need to turn to witchcraft cures.
Offer real help through medicine and mental science.
Thank you for your feedback, although I’m sorry you find our billboards disgusting. I suppose if I felt they promoted witchcraft I would find them disgusting as well. To the contrary, many people have found real, life changing help and encouragement through faith in God and spiritual truth. And just to be clear, there is no conflict between our billboards and medical or mental health science. We do encourage people to seek help from medical and mental health professionals where needed.
MZ, I would take your opinion seriously if you could provide ANY evidence based proof of the existence of god. Since we both know you can’t I’ll continue to do my best to encourage people to question EVERYTHING, especially wild claims of supernatural events or beings that contribute to so much demonstrably questionable reasoning. Have a nice day.
Fair enough.. So long as you question your own assumptions of naturalism as well. We both bill ourselves as truth seekers, and as such, do not need to fear hard questions. But it takes no special courage to hurl hard questions at others.
I think it is also worth pointing out that “he who defines the terms, wins the argument.” What are you willing to accept as “evidence”? I readily admit that I cannot provide “proof” of God’s existence, but evidence is a different thing entirely. For anyone seriously willing to engage with the question, it is not a matter whether there is evidence for God’s existence, but a matter of whether there is enough evidence, or whether or not there is strong evidence. The mere beginning and existence of the universe is evidence that requires some kind of explanation of that beginning and existence. To simply define evidence for God as “not good evidence” is to commit the “No True Scotsman” fallacy.
You do not seem inclined to have a serious discussion, so I will leave it at that. If you do want to have a serious discussion, either call 83-FOR-TRUTH, (833-678-7884) or we could also carry on a dialogue here, although I’ve found that private dialogues tend to be more productive, as the pressure of pleasing the crowd with our wit is lessened.
Great response. Thank u for the billboards!
I have to wonder who supervises the content of your billboards. A true, enlightened Christian with any education on the Bible would find some of the content ludicrous. Especially one I saw in Meigs County, Ohio reading “Find out why Jesus created you”. Even a person with a small amount of Christian studies understands the difference between Jesus and God. They are not the same. If you do not know and understand the Bible, how in the world can you claim to be a source of “The Truth”?
Thank you for taking the time to respond. I am puzzled, however, by your statement. The Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was the creator of the world. Here are just a few verses that demonstrate this.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:1-3 (NKJV)To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:8-9 (NKJV)He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:15-16 (NKJV)God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; But to the Son He says: “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER; A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF YOUR KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS MORE THAN YOUR COMPANIONS.” And: “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. Hebrews 1:1-2, 8-10 (NKJV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. John 1:1-3 (NKJV)
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; Ephesians 3:8-9 (NKJV)
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:15-16 (NKJV)
God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; But to the Son He says: “YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER; A SCEPTER OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS THE SCEPTER OF YOUR KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS MORE THAN YOUR COMPANIONS.” And: “YOU, LORD, IN THE BEGINNING LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE EARTH, AND THE HEAVENS ARE THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. Hebrews 1:1-2, 8-10 (NKJV)
The problem is, the Bible was written many centuries ago by people seeking to understand how the world works. The Bible is not the only collection of religious/spiritual writings. Every religion has a creation story and and explanation of what happens after death, because these are important questions and concerns for people of various cultures and backgrounds. I have studied various religions, not just the Bible. I have also studied Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy and Biology and I see much more that all religions have in common and how they benefit us on a social and personal psychological level. They are coping skills or coping tools. Yes, *tools*. Now, back to the concepts of God, the Creator and Jesus. No, these are not the same. Jesus was an actual person who lived and made it his purpose to speak out against the injustices and was killed for going against the powers that be, just as JFK and MLK and others were later assassinated for speaking out. In that way, our society has not changed over these past 3000 years; if you raise your voice at the wrong time, you will be silenced. Jesus’ death was glorified by saying he was taken up and is at the right hand of God and that he was God himself in the same Rationalizing, Ego-Defense Mechanism way that we might say “Grandmother is with Grandpa now” to reduce the feeling of loss we have. It is psychological. Religion and Psychology overlap greatly. But no single religious perspective works for everyone any more than any one medication cures all ills. Atheism is also a valid perspective for some people. And your billboard that has a photo of a baby and claims “There is proof that God exists”…see my upcoming post about that. ~ Stay tuned.
Well, let’s not get off in the proverbial weeds here. 🙂 I’d like to settle the question we started with before we change the subject too much.
You say that Jesus did’nt create the world, and is not the same person as God and that even someone with a “small amount of Christian studies” would know this. You say that our suggesting otherwise discredits our ministry as being any kind of authority on Christian teaching, and that we do not “know and understand the Bible”. It turns that the Bible, the authoritative text for Christianity, teaches without question exactly that. Whether you think the Bible is literally true or not, or is just a collection of old writings by superstitious iron age farmers and fishermen, and is just one among many religious writings, is beside the point; it is still the authoritative text for what Christianity teaches, and that is the question we are considering here.
Can we agree that Christianity does in fact teach that Jesus created the world, and that, for orthodox Christians at least, Jesus is considered God, the third person of the holy Trinity, and that our saying so is not “ludicrous”, and does not indicate that we do not “know and understand the Bible”?
This is for MZ: continuing my stance that Jesus and God cannot….cannot be one and the same. This is again, a reaction to the billboard advising “Find out why Jesus created you”.
If Jesus and God were always one and the same, then consider John 3:16 and the idea that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son so that we may have Eternal Life” (Forgive me if I misquoted the verse). Now, if God and Jesus were truly one and the same, and God is omnicient, all-powerful and undying, then Jesus was not a sacrifice at all, and God didn’t really “give up” his only son. You see where the logic breaks down?
This also means Jesus could have stopped himself from being crucified instead of asking “If it be Thy will, let this cup slip from my hand.” Jesus would have changed events himself.
Jesus did not create us, Jesus tried to make a social change and was killed for it. I am sad over Jesus’ fate and I am disturbed over how we have twisted the events of human history into a fairy tale that helps us sleep at night.
Hi Joshua, thanks again for your response. Unfortunately, you are still not engaging the question. You are of course free to disbelieve that Jesus was God, and to disbelieve that the Bible is accurate, but your original claim was that the Bible and Christianity do not teach that Jesus was God or the Creator. You suggested that our having said that Jesus is the Christian Creator exposed an embarrassing ignorance of scripture and lack of competence in Christian doctrine. This is obviously inaccurate, as demonstrated by the Bible passages that I posted above. It is, in fact, clearly you who are exposing a somewhat rickety understanding of what Christian doctrine about Jesus is.
I’ll ask again, “Can we agree that Christianity does in fact teach that Jesus created the world, and that, for orthodox Christians at least, Jesus is considered God, the third person of the holy Trinity, and that our saying so is not “ludicrous”, and does not indicate that we do not “know and understand the Bible?”
Of course, you are correct that Jesus the Son is not the same person as God the Father. We have never implied that God the Father and God the Son are the same person. Rather, the Christian doctrine of the Trinity states that there is one God, who exists in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God, and yet they are three genuinely different persons. While the orthodox doctrine of the trinity is hard to understand, it is not logically fallacious or contradictory. Sometimes a picture can help; here is a common illustration of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity.
Oops.I left a reply, but it was deleted. They didn’t like it. Can you imagine that? Censorship on 83-FOR-TRUTH? =)
Actually none of your messages have been deleted. As it says in the comments box, all posts are screened, and can take up to 24 hours to post. We get a lot of pretty nasty stuff trying to post here which is why we have to do it this way. There aren’t a lot of moderators on duty, and it sometimes takes some time before we can get to all the messages. You posted 14 messages in one day, and we simply didn’t get to your last batch until today.
That being said, we do delete and censure comments for vulgarity, threats, or otherwise inappropriate content.
I agree with you Eric Raleigh!! All religions teach humans to believe supernatural nonsense which leads to superstitious, illogical and non-critical thinking. They seem to “think” with their hearts or feelings. “I just feel… blah blah blah”. While this type of thinking is less harmless in some areas, it’s poisonous when it comes to the real challenges of life and living on earth in the 21st century.
Eric, I agree with the first part of your response: some of what appears on the billboards does disgust me as well. However, the billboards do not solely prey upon those turning to witchcraft. The billboards prey upon those with no spiritual compass. The billboards prey upon those who have no background or knowledge to be able to tell fact from fiction. And medicine and science do not, unfortunately have the means to cure every problem that arises in our lives. That is where faith and religion come in. However, no single religious perspective serves every person or every purpose. So, I agree that spirituality is often necessary, but I also disagree with the messages I see on 99% of the billboards spawned by 83-for-truth. You are not alone.
Thank you so much for posting your billboards… We need more of these around especially in the times that we are living in.
No. No we do not.
Thanks for all you do for Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God. We love seeing these billboards in the Dallas / Fort Worth metropolitan area and north Texas. Sometimes, you see others like these in rural areas, but rarely in the big cities. It it a refreshing change!!!
Why must everyone be punished for the disobedience of two? In other words, shouldn’t Adam & Eve be the only ones to be punished for their disobedience?
Adam and Eve were punished for their own sin. You and I will be punished for OUR sins not theirs. However, their sin did change the natural inclinations of our hearts. Note that it is useless to ask forgiveness for the sins of our ancestors. Each person is judged by his own sins or responses to sin. God wants everyone to be saved, but He will not make the decision for us.
The question of why everybody was affected still remains. The affects of original sin should remain on Adam and Even.
The fact is that our sin DOES affect others. That’s a natural law God has put in place. It does us little good to wish it were otherwise.
The sin of Adam and Eve affects us today because the natural consequence of their sin literally changed the structure of the world. The Earth did not have weeds, for example, initially, but it does now due to Adam and Eve’s sin. And that changed structure makes us more prone to sin toward God. In fact, no one, except Jesus, has ever lived a life without sin. Thus we say that Adam and Eve’s sin affects us all.
It seems wrong that anyone should have been punished. Adam and Eve, prior to eating from the Tree of knowledge, would not have know it was bad to eat the fruit. Once they ate it, they knew the difference from right and wrong, but it was too late. And why is knowledge of good and evil such a bad thing anyway. How can we do good if we don’t know what good is, and how can we avoid evil if we likewise don’t know what is bad.
Just a couple more thoughts to toss into the mixture. God gave them one rule–don’t eat the fruit of that one tree. He even told them what would happen if they did. So they weren’t really innocent when they sinned. The knowledge of good and evil has caused the entire mess humanity lives in today. How can you say that isn’t a bad thing? Good, for them, was obeying God’s command. Evil was disobeying the command. To avoid evil, all they had to do was obey that one rule.
If god is supposedly omniscient and so powerful, and knows everything that has happened and will happen, then why would he even attempt to give Adam and Eve a choice if he KNEW they would eat it anyways? Why would this all knowing and powerful being even create humans if he KNEW they would be fundamentally flawed with “sin”?
God must be all powerful, all knowing, and all present or He could not be God. Would you want a god to be anything less? God must be above His creation, able to interact, yet loving enough to allow choice. Love by very definition must be freely given and freely received. To force your love upon anyone is not love. So, love has a choice and that is exactly what God gave to mankind. A choice to Love Him with our whole heart and return respect freely. Sin is the consequence of mans disobedience unto God and rejecting His love in the purest form. Mankind has always wanted to blame someone else. We must realize that we have failed and accept the salvation that God has offered through His Son, Jesus Christ. Will the god of unbelief, or the man made godly idol, or the god of this world have the power to transcend creation to a realm beyond the time, space, matter world we reside in?
One thing people do not realize is Christianity is based on mythology. WEe read about Greek Mythology or Norse Mythology and we dismiss these as entertaining stories without realizing these are also religions. The Bible has many Christian myths, as well. A myth is any story, whether true or false, that is told over and over because it helps illustrate a characteristic or behavior that goes with our values or against our values and it shows what happened to someone who followed our values and was rewarded or went againt our values and was punished, so as to guide us to follow those values. Adam and Eve may have no more truth to their existence than the Greek character Pandora. But both myths were very crucial to their religions. Yes, Greek Mythology was the basis of the Greek/Roman religion. The Bhagavad Gita is full of the mythology associated with Hinduism. And the Bible is full of Christian mythology. That…is the real Truth. Every religion has mythology…and we Americans also have the political myth of George Washington chopping down a cherry tree as a child to show the value of being honest. Whether he did it or not is unimportant. What is important is that the myth shows the value of being honest.
My husband and I drive truck all across America. We thankfully are Christians, and appreciate the numerous billboards you have. We also (unfortunately) have seen many car wrecks where people have gotten killed. I always wonder about those people’s eternity. Were they Christians? Did they have time to ask forgiveness and accept salvation right before they died? Or did their life ended instantly upon impact? If so, will they be in eternal hell, or spend eternity with Jesus our Savior? We all should prepare for eternity BEFORE it is too late. Thank you and may God bless.
TJ Ward, Have you ever considered that everything you were taught about god and religion were just stories passed down through the years to help control society? They’re just as plausible as Santa Claus, Thor or any of the thousands of “gods” who have been made up by humans throughout our history. Even if you only compare the religions in existence today, they can’t all be right but they can certainly all be wrong. Think about that logically. Is it more likely that we are here through billions of years of natural processes or that some all powerful being zapped us into existence? Also, why doesn’t god show his face or perform miracles now that we can record video evidence of such acts?
Well, to be honest, after having done my best to consider the matter, I do think it is more logical to believe that we came from something (we could call it “God”) rather than nothing. Billions of years, or even trillions of years, do not answer the question of where we came from, it just claims it took us a long time to get here. Coming from nothing is much less logical than coming from something, even if that something is supernatural. Coming from nothing at all is the worst kind of magical thinking, as there isn’t even a zapper to do the zapping.
As far as video proof goes, as videos of Bigfoot and countless other hoaxes have demonstrated “video proof” is not really any proof at all. In fact there probably are claims of having “caught” God and miracles on video, all you have to do is google it. Are you now more open to the possibility of God’s existence? I’m guessing not. At any rate, God, as understood by Christianity, is not so much interested in overwhelming us with his existence, as he is interested in establishing relationship with his creation. There is no reason to think that forcing humans to believe that he is real would result in a higher success rate of his relationship objective than allowing people to search and find him as we now do. In fact, “forcing us to believe” would risk destroying the objective of relationship, since authentic relationship only exists in freedom.
MZ – You wrote: “after having done my best to consider the matter, I do think it is more logical to believe that we came from something (we could call it “God”) rather than nothing. Billions of years, or even trillions of years, do not answer the question of where we came from, it just claims it took us a long time to get here.”
I can give you the scientific physics of how and where life started, if you can wrap your mind around it:
As you may recall from your Chemistry classes, there are chemical reactions that are endothermic and exothermic. Exothermic reactions involve two or more chemicals that, when put together, release energy or heat. Endothermic reactions involve chemicals that only react if there is sufficient heat to act as a catalyst…does this ring a bell, yet?
Life on Earth began in the oceans as a result of undersea volcanoes which provided a constant “boiling pot” for the contents at the bottom of the ocean. The miracle of life was that the compounds that came together from the volcanic heat eventually became more and more complex into larger chains of molecules and other structures. Eventually, these structures became cells, cells became more organized into larger more complex life forms that fed off of the other life forms, as all life forms were fuel.
It may be difficult to accept, but within each of our cells are a range of parts such as mitochondria, that once existed on there own. Our cells have membranes and fluid, much like common bacteria. Our cellular fluid provides a small pool of moisture for these parts to live in. Our bodies are mostly composed of water, which is what the oceans are made of. We are walking conglomerates of tissues and materials that once existed independent of each other. Our skeletons are much like the coral reefs in the oceans. Our skin cells can actually be grown for people who need skin grafts.
Also, within each cell are strands of DNA, which carry the blueprint for how we develop. All animals and plants have cells with DNA specific to its species. Coincidentally, bacteria also have DNA in their nuclei. Consider that a virus is a strand of DNA that exists outside of a cell, which marks it as being different from a bacterium. DNA are chains of nucleotides, or chemicals, atoms.
Each of our lives begins from the combining of two single cells (egg and sperm) that, when given a constant source of nutrition, develop into a larger group of cells and then differentiates into skin, bone, muscle, etc., until it becomes a fetus. And, at one stage, the human embryo actually has gills, which operate before the lungs develop. Yes, gills, like creatures that live in the oceans.
It took trillions of years for us (and all other life forms) to develop into what we are today. The fact that we have seen new viruses (not man-made) such as swine flu, bird flu over the centuries is a sign that life on Earth is constantly changing at the simplest level: viral DNA. Oh, and Cancer is caused when the DNA in our cells undergoes a change and starts creating cells that no longer obey the original DNA blueprint…Cancer is evolution within our bodies.
Evolution is all around you. Open your eyes.
Saying that God created us special is again, simple Rationalization that we are different from the birds, the turtles, the coelacanth, the mastdon, the dinosaurs and that we Humans have a special place on Earth and in the Universe. After all, we want to be “Daddy’s Favorite”. =)
Again, thank you for taking the time to write up this explanation, Joshua. The various ways in which the biological world functions are indeed fascinating. I suppose you and I would disagree on some of the histories you describe here, but the bigger concern is that you didn’t answer my question.
You made an attempt to describe how life evolved from the early earth environment through lightning strikes and complex molecular chains and volcanic activity, but I want to know where the lightning strikes and volcanic boiling pot came from. Where did space itself come from? As Leibniz asked, “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” That is the question I was asking.
One thing I will point out; human embryos do not have “gill slits that operate before the lungs develop.” No, not gills like creatures that live in the oceans. They have pharyngeal arches on the neck which superficially resemble gills, but that is all. These embryonic features eventually form the jaw and ear bones.
Your biology is stuck in the 19th century. It has been known for a long time that Haeckel’s drawings of embryonic recapitulation were more or less fraudulent, although many people and even textbooks persist in repeating the idea, apparently from force of habit. Embryonic pharyngeal arches aren’t gill slits, or evolutionary recapitulation, any more than my double chin is.
Also, your chronology is a bit off. There is no one, not even completely naturalistic evolutionary physicists and biologists, who think it took us “trillions” of years to evolve. The standard Big Bang cosmology hypothesis is that the universe came into existence only 13.8 billion years ago, with earth forming about 4.5 billion years ago. 6,000 years is a long way from 13.8 billion but it’s a whole lot closer than “trillions”.
For MZ: you stated that you have difficulty understanding where the lightning strikes and lava came from that in their way, gave rise to life and evolution. The answer is physics. Lightning is electricty. Based upon electrons..and protons. I am sure you have done the experiment of rubbing your hand on certain cloths and then you touched your cat or one of your buddies and saw them jump when shocked by your touch. This is static electricity. In the clouds above us, water droplets are constantly moving about and coliding. This occurs more when warm air and cool air merge. The colliding droplets eventually gain charges of static electricity that eventually discharge either within the cloud or from the cloud to the Earth…those are chains of lightning.
As far as volcanoes and lava, the Earth is mostly a large sphere of molten materials. The crust of the earth is much cooler and the molten materials had solidified, just like most of the other planets in our system. Beneath the surface, there is still a constant flow of molten material. The crust of the Earth is divided into large plates that move aganst each other in different directions. If you have ever taken a Geology class, you would have learned about how the movement of these tectonic plates causes our mountain ranges, volcanoes and earthquakes. This is why we have fault lines where earthquakes are more prevalent, like the San Andreas fault.
We have the science to understand these phenomena today, but long ago, when we did not have the science, we humans decided there were gods making these things happens and we created sky gods, such as Zeus and Thor and we created earth gods (and goddesses) and gods of the underworld such as Hades, Hephaestus and Vulcan.
The more you know, the less you can believe. But when you cannot know something, many people find something to believe, even if it is wrong. Creationism is a belief.
Hi Joshua, thanks again for taking the time to explain all that.
But, actually, I think you’ve either seriously misunderstood my question, or you are avoiding it. Given this is the third time I am asking the question, I can’t help but feel like maybe it is the latter, but I want to give you the benefit of the doubt.
I am somewhat acquainted with how lightning and volcanoes and tectonic plate activity work. My question is not how they work, or what causes them, but how to account for a universe of volcanoes and lightning and tectonic plates at all. As I asked in my original question, in the words of Leibniz, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”
Even if you are correct that life evolved on earth in a warm, shallow sea when lightning struck randomly and fortuitously assembled chains of chemical compounds, we are still left asking how and why a universe came to exist.
That is my question. It is not a question of physics or biology or cosmology. It is, as philosophers have noted, “the fundamental question of metaphysics”.
There is no shame in saying “I don’t know”. I suppose it is true that some people, when confronted with something they do not know, find something to believe even if it is wrong, as you say. It also seems to be the case that other people, when confronted with a question they do not want to face, change the subject.
And this is understandable. This is the kind of question that will not lie quietly under our probing, but one which sits up and probes us right back. It is an uncomfortable experience, but one which a truth seeker may not duck.
Yes. Yes, yes, yes. Michael, I am so glad I read your post. My personal goal is to also educate people that there are many religions and each one has a benefit as well as drawbacks. Every religion hold some wisdom, but no single religion has all the answers for everyone. And there is a very real similarity between believing in Heaven and Hell and believing in santa Claus. It is about controlling behavior through reward or punishment. Again, you inspire me to continue to educate others to see that believing in any religion (or no religion) is a choice, not a commandment.
Joshua some of what you say is correct there is some truth and wisdom in all religions and no religion has all the answers. This is true because it’s not a religion of rules people need rather it’s a relationship, a personal relationship with God their creator which can ONLY be obtained through Jesus Christ as savior. This is where all religions fall short and will continually leave you empty. You can argue and deny it all you want but this does not change the truth. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus. This is why people like yourself are angered by the name of Jesus as the son of God because our pride is in the way of humbling ourselves before God and submitting to Him. It is only when we surrender that you will actually see the love of God and the overarching story of this life and Gods plan of salvation for all mankind. I pray the Lord will soften your heart to the things of him.
Call upon the name of the Lord and you will be save, salvation is His
TJ, TJ, TJ…
So I don’t believe in god. I respect those that do. Having said that, I live a very fulfilling and bountiful life. I have love in my heart, and I love our Mother Earth with every inch of my existence, I try to do the right thing all the time, even when no ones watching or are around me. I’m happy, I love my family and I tolerate my job. Don’t love my job, but I tolerate it. Anyway, since I don’t believe in your god but I’m a decent person with a strong head in my shoulders and I love everyone I encounter.
Well, maybe not love, lol, but you get the gist. I have compassion for our fellow human beings. I cry when I see people and animals suffer.
But since I don’t believe in your god, and I don’t pray for “forgiveness” does that mean that I’m destined to eternal hell fire, in your Christian eyes? Am I damned even tho I’m a lovable and great person? How can you even suggest that those that die in car crashes haven’t “repented” or asked for “salvation”?
How can you wonder if they’re burning in hell if they died suddenly without having time to think about stuff like that?
Following your point TJ, does this also apply to babies that have died in the womb due to strangulation from the umbilical cord?
Or what about toddlers that die from SIDS? Are they burning in hell, too? Since they can’t even think, or be aware really, are they damned to eternal hellfire as well?
Excuse my straightforwardness. I just can’t stand when I see stuff like that on message boards.
Not everything revolves around that stuff.
Be a good human being. Don’t kill. Don’t be deceitful to others. Don’t brutalize, don’t be racist, and don’t be CONDESCENDING.
Hi Josh, I appreciate your post and honest objections (although your final exhortation would seem to condemn your opening salutation…). I have genuine respect for people who strive to live a life that is kind and generous, and I do not dispute that there are many people who do so apart from faith in God.
I do wonder, though, how does one defines morality in a cosmos devoid of any overarching meaning or intentionality? You say to be a “good human being”, and you go on to suggest that this means “don’t kill”. But why not? And don’t kill what? People, animals, insects, plants, dreams, ideas… ? Can we kill viruses? How are we to decide in a world with literally no directionality or purpose by which to define what is positive and what is negative?
You say don’t be deceitful to others. Why not? And never ever ever? And who is “others”? Enemies of state? Predatory criminals? Predatory animals? Can I never conceal things from my children, or redirect their attention in order to protect them from information they are not ready for? How are we to make these moral judgements in a world with literally no purpose or meaning beyond the immediate moment?
You say don’t brutalize? Brutalize who and what? Why are we not morally outraged when a Great White shark forcibly copulates with his mate, but when we humans do it, we call it rape, and lock the offenders up? Why is sexual cannibalization ok for Black Widow spiders, but stomach-churningly abhorrent for Armon Meiwes? Is there any moral basis for the conviction and imprisonment of someone like Armon Meiwes, who, in 2001, engaged in consensual sexual cannibalization in Germany? And should we attempt to civilize human indigenous tribes who practice cannibalism yet today, or should we just leave them alone to practice their morality as it has evolved?
Racist? What about speciesism? Why should we think that human flourishing should trump viral or bacterial flourishing? On what basis? Just the basis of strength, ability, or rank tribalism? Racism and sexism can be defended on those same moral grounds if that is all we have to offer in our defense of our blatant speciesism.
We could go on and on here… The point I am trying to make is that it is relatively easy to be “good without God” on the surface. But if we start asking the more difficult questions of why we think certain things are good to begin with, and other things evil, we become lost in a swamp of moral relativism. This isn’t a new question; Socrates stumped his acquaintance Euthyphro with a similar challenge millennia ago. Even though you and I may find ways to live lives of meaning and morality without recognizing God as our authority, it is difficult, if not impossible, to provide a meaningful explanation or grounding for any of it without some kind of overarching meaning or purpose for the universe and life. Without an objective reference point, we have no way to define what is good or bad. Its just pure, subjective opinion, and may the best man win. Whatever “best” means.
We can debate the best way to understand and apply the Christian doctrine of hell, but if you find that hard to believe, is it more rational to think that the cosmos popped into being, uncaused out of nothing? (Not Lawrence Krause’s “nothing” which is actually something – a boiling soup of quantum energy to be exact) Is it rational to think that every single thing that has ever happened, every tender kiss between lovers, every violent act of war, every sacrificial act of heroism, all your decisions to be kind rather than monstrous, the composition of War and Peace, or Das Rheingold, or Da Vinci’s work on the Sistine Chapel ceiling – all these realities are nothing more than ripples of a cosmic Rube Goldberg machine, the mathematically determined and meaningless results of atoms bouncing in a cascading chain reaction from some unexplained trigger point that popped into existence uncaused out of not anything at all? Because that is the alternative, as Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins have admitted when pressed. (scientific determinism)
And by the way, the answer to your questions about the children and those who have not had opportunity to know the truth going to hell, is no. The bible teaches that God will judge us according to our deeds and our choices, (as the verse below makes plain) and will judge our deeds and choice based on the understanding that we had, or could have had if we had opened our mind to it. It also makes plain that any hope of finding our way to objective moral truth on our own is doomed to failure. Our hearts and minds are simply to selfish on our own.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:9-10
Hi Josh, I am Joshua and I agree with much of what you have posted. I also live many Christian values (universal love and tolerance for others) without embracing or accepting Christianity as a religion. I separate Jesus’ teachings from Christianity. My other personal role model is St. Francis, who valued *all* life as equally important, and, like you, I cry over the injustices to people (and animals) out of my empathy and compassion for all life. You have every reason to doubt that the image depicted of God is accurate. One question I have been asking people to consider is this: the only life forms on Earth that can be classified as male or female are those species that reproduce through sexual reproduction. Therefore, why should we decide that the “creative force of the universe” has a male gender? Exactly. There is no reason to pray to “God” or “The Lord” or “Our Father in Heaven” any more than to “The Goddess”, “Our Lady” or “Our Mother on Earth”. Deciding to follow a single male deity was a social-political move over which many Christians would be shocked. Religion has been a tool for millinia and the billboards are just another disappointing media to me. Nice to “meet” you and I look forward to your response.
Hi Joshua, you raised this question of God’s gender in a different post, and I responded to it there, so I’ll just repost that same response here.
You are correct that God is neither male nor female. In Genesis it is clear that both male and female together represent the image of God.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Is there a way to contribute to your ministry?
Yes, you can go to https://gospelbillboards.org/about/ and pay by PayPal or credit card. Debit cards are also accepted.
What is the true meaning behind the cross and why is it so important? I was recently approached by a group of Mormons who were trying to, for a lack of a better word, indoctrinate me into their church. When I went to their church on Sunday I noticed that there wasn’t any crosses anywhere. Their reasoning behind it was that they celebrate the life of Jesus, not his death. I found their answer very disingenuous. I’m interested in learning more from a true Christian point of view.
Mormons believe Jesus was crucified on a torture stake. Their church buildings can be identified because they have a stake on the roof where you would normally see a cross. Note that the sponsors of this website do not put crosses on their church buildings either, because of the tendency amongst Christians to idolize the cross. The true meaning of the cross for us today is death to sin.
Hello, there. Glory to God for your billboards. I live in Utah and it’s nice to see them driving on the freeway. May God just use this ministry to further His Kingdom. God bless, fight the good fight of Faith my brother/sister. Love you
I suppose one man’s indoctrination is another man’s sharing the gospel. To clarify for LB, you might be mistakenly thinking of Jehovah’s witnesses when you refer to the belief that Christ was crucified on a torture stake. But I don’t think their buildings have a stake on them. In fact, I don’t know of any faith that does.
I have a serious question. How can I repent if I’m not sure that I A. ) see my sin for what it is apart from just havimg the knowledge it’s bad And B.) Don’t have any sorrow for it, let alone godly sorrow? I have prayed so many times for God to change me and it can be pretty hard to ask or i guess i should say to want to change. I feel the main if not the only reason I’m like alright I’ll repent is because I don’t want to go to hell! I know He commands me to repent and I can’t do so without His help! I need Him to cause me to have godly sorrow for my sins. I feel my only option is to keep asking Him to help me until He does. Please pray for me! Sincerely, Anonymous
Conviction for sin is a gift from God. I met a man one time who spurned God’s call and it went eight years before God called again. When God did reach out to him, he responded to the call. Is this happening to you? I don’t know. But I do know that God loves us and He wants us to be saved. The very fact that you see the sinfulness of your sin is evidence that He is still speaking to your heart. I would suggest that you read the Gospels, starting with Matthew, to get a glimpse of the heart of Jesus. Jesus calls us to join His kingdom. He died for you so that you could be saved. I believe that too many people “become” Christians for selfish reasons. The point of the gospel isn’t escaping hell. The point is to serve Christ and our fellowman, out of a love for both. Doing so will prepare us for heaven, but that isn’t the point of it all. I remember one time when it really struck me that my sins had added to the burden Jesus carried with Him to the cross. I felt compelled to tell Him that I was sorry for making his load heavier and harder. It’s just as if I had struck one or two the blows with the hammer that nailed Him to His cross. Think about it. Ponder it. Cry because of it.
Wow. Just wow. To feel guilt that you made Jesus’ load heavier with your sins. Serving Christ. Wow. On one hand, I applaud you for living a life in line with your Christian beliefs. I greatly, geatly admire that about you. However, I cannot believe that Jesus would want you to feel that way. Jesus was an extraordinary man who spoke out for others. He was compassionate and driven…and he was killed for speaking out. He was not the only person killed on the cross in that time; that is how they dealth with people who spoke out or fell out of favor for different reasons. But Jesus is unarguably the most famous and revered person ever crucified, but he wasn’t the only one. Your perceived sinful behavior did not equate to you driving the stakes through his hands or feet: that is carrying your burden a bit too far. I hope you can continue to live your values without placing such extraordinary guilt upon yourself for any shortcomings. You are a good man.
Why can’t more people be like you and I, Joshua? Like a breath of fresh air, your comment is. That will be the day.
I appreciate your dilemma. Sometimes I think people try to figure everything out in their heads when what is needed is a decision to do what God says. You have heard of the concept of godly sorrow but have you made the decision to be born-again? 1. Confess to God that you are a sinner. 2. John 1:12 says, “but as many as received Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” Prayerfully receive Him. 3. Let Him be on the throne of your heart and He will change you as you let Him. God accepts you and saves you as you are, God will change you. 4. Then go to I John 5:11,12 and memorize it.
Hi Anonymous. I feel for you and I am also angry for you. There is a quote: “Sin is viewing your life through someone else’s eyes.” Different religions have different rules. Even among Christianity, the rules can change from church to church. In some Christian faiths, women were forbidden to wear slacks. I once worked at a Christian radio station and aired two programs from two Christian preachers back-to-back, about the same topic: Baptism vs. Accepting Jesus as your savior. One pastor stated that if you were baptised as a child, you were all good to enter Heaven. The other pastor clarified that if you were baptised as a child, you had no idea what it meant, so you had to be baptised again after you made the conscious choice to accept Jesus, otherwise, he said, “I’m sorry, Dearheart, but you’re going to Hell.” Can you imagine going to Hell on a technicality?
Anyway, what angers me is that part of the purpose of religion…all religions, is the goal of giving us an understanding about Life and Death that eases our anxiety, since we all grow to learn that Death will someday claim all of us and everyone we love. Repeat: the purpose of Religion is to *reduce anxiety* over what we cannot control, ourselves. So, for you to agonize that if you are not 100% perfect in God’s eyes, you will be cast into ther Lake of Fire is just the opposite: it *creates* anxiety. You may be trying to live your life the best way you can and to treat others well, and if someone knocks on your door and asks “Have you been saved? If not, you’re going to Hell”, this is actually the opposite of what religion is for.
Decide for yourself to treat others how you want to be treated, find out what values you want to follow, regardless of whether you are worried about going to Heaven or Hell. These are fictional concepts designed to make you follow rules, just as you were told as a child to be good around December, so Santa Claus would give you presents instead of a lump of coal.
When we are immature, we may need Rewards or Punishment to follow the rules. But, by the time we are mature adults, we can be expected to have internalized our parents’ values so they no longer have to spank us or reward us. When we are mature, we reward ourselves by being proud of our actions and we punish ourselves by feeling we let ourselves down. When we are *spiritually* mature, we outgrow the need to have the promise of Heaven or the threat of Hell to guide our actions. We do what is right simply because we care.
So, I hope you will make changes in your life based upon your own values and what you want to accomplish in your life. If alcohol or addiction is a problem, I hope you can look at the natural consequences and how these choices may keep you from achieving your life goal(s). Do not expect lightning bolts to strike you down because of impure thoughts. Those are stories for the Immature.
I wish you the best in all things.
Hi again Joshua, just a couple questions on your post… you say,
Decide for yourself to treat others how you want to be treated, find out what values you want to follow, regardless of whether you are worried about going to Heaven or Hell. These are fictional concepts designed to make you follow rules, just as you were told as a child to be good around December, so Santa Claus would give you presents instead of a lump of coal…
Are you sure you mean this? What if, like Westborro Baptist, I decide the values I’d like to follow include picketing the funerals of soldiers, and waving “God hates you” signs? What if, like the Nazis, I decide the values I want to follow do not leave room for the existence of Jews, Blacks, or homosexuals? What if I decide that the values I want to follow include eating my children, instead of caring for them?
You go on to say;
So, I hope you will make changes in your life based upon your own values and what you want to accomplish in your life. If alcohol or addiction is a problem, I hope you can look at the natural consequences and how these choices may keep you from achieving your life goal(s). Do not expect lightning bolts to strike you down because of impure thoughts. Those are stories for the Immature.
What if the natural consequences of altruism, and sacrifice for the good of others leave me disadvantaged, or even dead? Should I then conclude that sacrifice and altruism are tools for fools? “Nice guys finish last”, right? If all that matters is what I want to accomplish in the brief life I have to live, and if what I want to accomplish is what Adam Lanza, or Jack the Ripper accomplished, who is has any right to judge me?
Rules, punishment, eternal judgment, all that is just for the immature? I suppose you will say, “ah, but Adam Lanza, and Jack the Ripper, and Fred Phelps were immature.” But who is to say who is immature, and who is not? With no objective morality to ground us, is our only recourse an old fashioned shouting match, and may the loudest man win?
Hello Moderator – Yes, it is important to clarify how much lenience we have in “following our own values”.
We live in a society. A society where the adult males cooperate and build governments and set down laws for how we will coexist. And it is important that I identified adult males, because, in Nature, our closest non-human relatives (Socail Mammals) are composed of herds of related, cooperative females and a single male that does all the breeding. We deviated from that “social mammal” pattern ages ago. Why we left that pattern is conjecture, but we did.
Since we are a cooperative society, we cannot just decide to beat up someone and take their belongings or territory for our own. The laws we have accepted include consequences for breaking certain rules that help us all live together and help each adult fulfill our needs without having to compete with the people next door.
So, yes, we can make many decisions for ourselves. If those decisions carry consequences of harm to ourselves and others, then we have to own up to those consequences as adults. I work in healthcare and, about five years ago, I was taking care of a woman in her 80’s who just found out she had terminal lung cancer spreading through her body, probably because she had been smoking since she was a teenager. At one point, she was asking her nursing staff to pray that God would take away her Cancer. I felt sad for her, but I also realized it was illogical to expect God to take away the natural consequence of smoking. There are also patients and families who pray for God to take away the consequences of alcohol, including liver disease and brain damage.
If we are making pro-Social choices “treat others the way you want to be treated” and letting other people live their lives as long as it’s not harming us, (The right to the pursuit of Happiness), then there is no reason for us to feel we are sinning.
To reject someone due to something beyond their control is to reject the Diversity of Life. If someone grew up in a family that is Islamic, Atheist, Lesbian, Gay or even Satanic and if they are *not* harming anyone, then we have no right to tell them there is anything wrong with their choices.
If what you do brings you happiness and does not hurt others, then good for you. If Christianity is used to make others feel shame or fear, then it is being used wrongly. The word “Religion”, after all, comes from the same Latin root as “Ligament”…Religion is to help re-join us with our environment…not to divide us against each other.
We cannot always act on our biological impulses. Being able to control one’s impulses is a sign of Maturity. But the fact that we have impulses does not mean we are sinful…just human. To tell someone “If you do that, you will go to Hell” is using Fear the way you would threaten to spank your child…so yes, I see the concepts of Heaven and Hell as immature tools to control behavior. And I see “sin” as a tool of making others feel guilt and shame.
Yes, murder and theft and violence and other crimes still require consequences, because of their affects of harming other people. Animal cruelty also deserves consequences, because we have no right to be cruel to animals. They live short lives, just as we do.
Thank you for taking the time to compose this write-up, Joshua. I agree with many of the value statements you have made, but I am still puzzled about what the justification or ground for those value statements are?
For example, you say;
But how do we define “hurting others”? Is it hurting others to give a vaccine that may have some side effects, but ultimately protects them from a more dangerous disease? Is it hurting others to deny them certain privileges they desire, such as driving, when they are incapable of doing so safely? Is it hurting others to teach them a certain rule of life that I believe will benefit them, though it imposes certain restrictions on them? What if someone else disagrees? How do we decide who is right?
And what does pro-social mean? Eugenics is arguably pro-social, it’s just a question of who’s society. And for that matter who are you and I to assert that human well-being should trump pork or zucchini well-being? Isn’t that just blatant speciesism? What if someone else decides that racism is as morally acceptable as speciesism, and therefore White well-being trumps Black well-being? On what ground can we objectively protest that his chosen value system is immoral, while our own value system that allows human well-being to trump zucchini well-being is moral and good?
I hope you understand these questions to be the strictly academic questions that they are. While I agree with many of the values you describe, your attempt to ground those values on “what brings you happiness and does not hurt others” quickly crumbles under the weight of real-life challenges. We really do need some kind of objective moral standard if we hope to appeal to any kind of universal moral values. Otherwise, it is simply a matter of the winners writing the rules.
We are Jesus followers and are driving through Utah. I am so saddened by the deception here and the false doctrines. When I saw your billboards my heart leapt . I had to check out to see who put them up! Thank you for caring about lost souls.
I’m a believer for a long time but not the best at being a christian. I really don’t know what is best for me to read in the bible. I thought of reading like a book from front to back but basically question my self
Start with the New Testament. Read the Gospels, then Acts.
What’s your source of income; how do you pay for billboards? How many do you have posted?
Some of your questions are answered at this link. GospelBillboards.org is sponsored by Christian Aid Ministries Our income comes from donations, mostly from Amish, Mennonite, and other Anabaptist groups. We have between 750 and 1500 billboards and city posters up across North America at any given time. It varies depending on available contracts and the time of year.
Well am i going to hell or not?? I need answers here. I must know if I should sin tonight or not, lets get this show on the road here buddy.
I’m supposing you were trying to poke fun at the idea. I thought of ignoring this comment, but decided to post it anyway. I gave a tract to a young man on the street one time, entitled “Hell is No Joke”. He took it, read the title, then gave me a grin. But he kept it and I hope he read it. Because eternity is nothing to joke about. But anyone who wants to enjoy sin until the end, then get on board a train for heaven will be sadly disappointed I fear. It’s no joke, my friend. Jesus gave his life for you, and this is how you respond to Him? Think about it.
We have a toll free number at 833-678-7884. If you punch 83ForTruth into your phone you’ll reach out phone team. Give it a try!
Hi Jaret. I drove past one of those billboards (in Ohio) that asked if I knew where I was going when I died (Heaven or Hell) and well, it actually angered me. I dislike fear-based advertising in any form, such as “Buy now because supplies are limited: or “Sale ends tomorrow” or “These prices will never be this low again”. These are fear tactics to get you to shell out money. Religion should never use Fear tactics and here is why:
All religions have several purposes in common: to help us understand who we are, how to cope with turmoil, how to treat each other as a society and what happens after Death. Why? Because we know that Death is in everyone’s future. Sooner or later, we die. Worse, everyone we know or care about will die. So, we have to have a reason to see ourselves different from the deer, raccoons or pets that we see dying off. We need to feel different and that our lives matter. That is common to all religions in one form or another.
So, basically, part of the purpose of every religion is to reduce the anxiety over things we cannot control. Remember that.
Now, by claiming that your soul will go to Heaven or Hell is actually a means of *creating* anxiety. That is the opposite of what religion is supposed to do for us. It has now become a Fear Tactic: accept Jesus or burn in Hell.
Even among Christianity, the rules can change from church to church. In some Christian faiths, women were forbidden to wear slacks. I once worked at a Christian radio station and aired two programs from two Christian preachers back-to-back, about the same topic: Baptism vs. Accepting Jesus as your savior. One pastor stated that if you were baptised as a child, you were all good to enter Heaven. The other pastor clarified that if you were baptised as a child, you had no idea what it meant, so you had to be baptised again after you made the conscious choice to accept Jesus, otherwise, he said, “I’m sorry, Dearheart, but you’re going to Hell.” Can you imagine going to Hell on a technicality?
About Heaven or Hell: these are fictional concepts designed to make you follow rules, just as you were told as a child to be extra good around December, so Santa Claus would give you presents instead of a lump of coal.
When we are immature, we may need Rewards or Punishment from our parents to guide us to follow the rules. But, by the time we are mature adults, we can be expected to have internalized our parents’ values so they no longer have to spank us or reward us. When we are mature, we reward ourselves by being proud of our actions and we punish ourselves by feeling we let ourselves down. When we are *spiritually* mature, we outgrow the need to have the promise of Heaven or the threat of Hell to guide our actions. We do what is right simply because we care about doing what is right.
So, I hope you will live your life based upon your own values and what you want to accomplish in your life.
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