1. Standard membertelerion
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    05 Apr '05 20:59
    I happened to be up late last night and discovered "The Contender." It's yet another reality television show. On this one a bunch of boxers live together and compete against one another for money.

    So last night, two fighters squared off. One was a 33-year-old father of two who motivated himself with thoughts of his children. The other was a young cowboy who fought "with the Spirit of the Lord."

    During the entire build up to the fight, Jesus Boy was going on and on and on about how the Lord was going to give him victory. Jesus had told him that it was the Lord's will that he win the big prize. He spent a lot of the pre-match warm up praising and worshipping Jesus. Just before entering the ring, Jesus Boy declared that if Sampson could kill 10,000 men with the jaw bone of a donkey, then he could defeat one man with the Spirit of the Lord.

    As for the dad, his two kids came in just before the match. The emotions ran high, and he was even more determined to win. He kept his religion to himself, only offering a silent prayer and a quick sign of the cross privately in his corner before the fight.

    The match started, and Jesus Boy got destroyed. The ref stopped the match to the relief of the audience. Jesus Boy, humiliated, left the ring and cried like a baby on Sly's shoulder (Sylvester Stallone is the host of the show.).

    When Jesus Boy's ultra-fine wife came to comfort him in the shower room, the loser excused his loss by claiming it was not God's will that he win and that God was teaching him (You must learn how to lose to win.).

    Now you know if he had won, he would have claimed that the Lord had promised him the victory and had delivered on his promises because all the Lord's promises are true.

    Jesus Boy seemed like a really nice guy, despite being rather obnoxious, however, his behavior is consistent with the behavior I see in xtians every day. They make claims that God has told them he will do something, and when it doesn't happen, they say that it wasn't his will. If by some chance, the event does occur, then we are expected to take this as further evidence that the Lord is real.

    So for the non-xtians, do you also see this behavior in the xtians around you? And to the xtians, do you think that answered prayers are "good evidence" of God's existence even though the vast majority of prayers go unanswered?
  2. Standard memberDarfius
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    05 Apr '05 21:17
    His behavior was totally inappropriate. The Lord has little interest in answering purely selfish prayers.
  3. Standard memberColetti
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    05 Apr '05 21:201 edit
    I does bother me when Christians look on Jesus as if he was a lucky charm. But your examples is not necessarily typical of Christians, it's typical of athletes. And if it wasn't God, it would be "destiny" or some other way of expressing confidences on a winning outcome. Maybe you feel it in your bones. It's a competitive physiology issue, not a religious issue. Get yourself pumped up.

    As an aside - I think a similar thing happens with people who call on intuition. Have you ever heard anyone claim it was intuition when they got it wrong??

  4. R.I.P.
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    05 Apr '05 21:21
    Yes I also discovered this the other night on C4, Ishe V some cocky spanish kid, it was a good fight.
  5. Standard memberRedmike
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    05 Apr '05 21:32
    IS this the program where one of the contenders kills himself towards the end? Or have I just spoiled it for everyone?
  6. Standard memberColetti
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    05 Apr '05 21:37
    Originally posted by Redmike
    IS this the program where one of the contenders kills himself towards the end? Or have I just spoiled it for everyone?
    That's the show. They dedicated one episode to his memory, and started an educational fund for his kid.
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
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    05 Apr '05 23:18
    Originally posted by telerion
    I happened to be up late last night and discovered "The Contender." It's yet another reality television show. On this one a bunch of boxers live together and compete against one another for money.

    So last night, two fighters squared off. One was a 33-year-old father of two who motivated himself with thoughts of his children. The other was a youn ...[text shortened]... re "good evidence" of God's existence even though the vast majority of prayers go unanswered?
    Yep. I see this in Christians, in 'psychics', in 'witches', etc.
  8. Standard memberOmnislash
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    05 Apr '05 23:31
    Originally posted by Darfius
    His behavior was totally inappropriate. The Lord has little interest in answering purely selfish prayers.
    You mean, like, most of the answered prayers in the Bible?
  9. Graceland.
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    05 Apr '05 23:36
    Originally posted by telerion

    So for the non-xtians, do you also see this behavior in the xtians around you? And to the xtians, do you think that answered prayers are "good evidence" of God's existence even though the vast majority of prayers go unanswered?


    Even the Israelites did not rush in to fight the Philistines. I don't think this guy read the OT. What can you deduce from that ?

    pc
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    05 Apr '05 23:38
    In response to both Telerion and Darfius:

    Telerion - I fully understand the point you're trying to make. Some very vocal, religious people (by no means all), will make assertions about God inspiring them: if they receive the desired outcome, it reinforces their message; wrong outcome, they change the message.

    Darfius: I wholly agree. Even though I don't subscribe to your view of spirituality, I find it entirely uncomfortable that ANYONE should honestly think that offering up prayers to the Lord in such a manner could possibly help them (let's call it a placebo effect). Even if your Christian God does truly exist, if he's willing to help one boxer batter seven bells out of another one just because he's "got religion"... well, I think we both agree that's utterly ridiculous... if that were the case, I think you'd lose your religion quicker than you found it!

    I'll expand this, and say that my take on prayer as a whole is very similar - it may help some people (OK prayer DOES help a lot of people), but I don't believe it's through some Divine inspiration - rather, it helps people becasue they BELIEVE in their faith - hence, the placebo effect.

    And just as placebo's sometimes work and sometimes don't, same with prayers. Vis a vis our boxer friend.

    If there is a God who's receptive to prayer - well, I could espouse on this for the rest of the night. I think prayer is a way of finding inner peace, similar to meditation. And I'm sure there's nothing wrong with that. 🙂
  11. Standard memberPhlabibit
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    05 Apr '05 23:58
    Originally posted by telerion
    I happened to be up late last night and discovered "The Contender." It's yet another reality television show. On this one a bunch of boxers live together and compete against one another for money.

    So last night, two fighters squared off. One was a 33-year-old father of two who motivated himself with thoughts of his children. The other was a youn ...[text shortened]... re "good evidence" of God's existence even though the vast majority of prayers go unanswered?
    Survivor is another reality show. There was a guy named James I think? Red neck kind of guy, no problems so far... and another guy Ibrahem (Muslim I think, but not a fundy sort of guy, nor did Redneck seem to be either)

    Anyway, James said something like, 'It's my God against his God'. Stupid it was. He was spanked and voted off the island by his tribe, though I am sure none of him heard what he said on camera.

    It's ok to be wrong, but it gets compounded when you make bold statements like 'My God vs. your God'. I totally saw it coming, since I am sychic. wink😉

    P
  12. Standard membertelerion
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    06 Apr '05 02:43
    Originally posted by Darfius
    His behavior was totally inappropriate. The Lord has little interest in answering purely selfish prayers.
    It seemed pretty selfish to me too, especially since the other guy was fighting for his kids. Hey, they're all expert boxers so I'm not expecting a lot of deep reflection from any one of the lot.

    Still I can't help but wonder, if he had won the fight, wouldn't a lot of xtians be pointing him out as an example of some one in the media who is unashamed of the name of Jesus Christ and join in with him by declaring that God had empowered him to win fights and spread the Good News?



  13. Donationkirksey957
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    06 Apr '05 02:48
    Originally posted by telerion
    It seemed pretty selfish to me too, especially since the other guy was fighting for his kids. Hey, they're all expert boxers so I'm not expecting a lot of deep reflection from any one of the lot.

    Still I can't help but wonder, if he had won the fight, wouldn't a lot of xtians be pointing him out as an example of some one in the media who is unashame ...[text shortened]... with him by declaring that God had empowered him to win fights and spread the Good News?



    That kind of reminds me of when I was in college this guy came on campus witnessing about Jesus and he did this while breaking boards and cinder blocks with his hands and head. I'm thinking, "why doesn't he go to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or just be nice to someone?"
  14. Standard membertelerion
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    06 Apr '05 03:14
    Originally posted by pcaspian

    Even the Israelites did not rush in to fight the Philistines. I don't think this guy read the OT. What can you deduce from that ?

    pc[/b]
    Like I implied in my response to Darfius, I don't think his "calling" was to be a theologian. I could tell from his speech that he was very sincere, but he parroted the same old phrases one hears every day in church. I think that he believed that he was doing God's will and that he wanted to share his faith with the world. I imagine he had been told by church leaders that this was an opportunity to be a witness for his Savior. From a few clips during the episode of him doing devotions with another contestant, I know he reads the Bible. I suspect however that he reads only the sections that are part of a xtian devotion guide. Likely everything else he knows about the Bible comes from what he has been told second hand by a preacher or a devotion writer.

    Still, I feel sorry for him. He was really crushed afterward. I just thought the episode gave a revealing glimpse into the psychology of intense religious belief.

  15. Standard membertelerion
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    06 Apr '05 03:27
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    That kind of reminds me of when I was in college this guy came on campus witnessing about Jesus and he did this while breaking boards and cinder blocks with his hands and head. I'm thinking, "why doesn't he go to a homeless shelter or soup kitchen or just be nice to someone?"
    Yeah, Power Team dudes. There were about seven or eight of these type guys at my mission base. They came from all over the world, and they were enormous! I swear this one dude from New Zealand was four of me put together.

    It does seem a bit manipulative. It's basically driven by emotion. Get people fired up and excited with incredible feats of strength, then hit them with stories about drugs and alchohol. Next comes the bit about how much stronger Jesus was to carry the cross and die for our sins. Then we all hear about how a big, tough guy is brought to knees by God. Now he feels a greater love and joy than he had ever experienced with all the drugs and alchohol and partying. Alter call. One more amazing feat. Close up the tent.

    When I share with some one that I left xtianity, I often get a response along the lines of "You should think about that decision. Read the Bible again. Check out Josh McDowell or Lee Strobel or Norm Geisler," but when you give your life to Christ there's no call for deeper reflection or criticism.
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