Worthy Christian News » Children's Christian ministry called 'psychologically harmful'

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Worthy Christian News » Children's Christian ministry called 'psychologically harmful'

By Joseph DeCaro, Worthy News Correspondent

PORTLAND (Worthy News)– A Christian nonprofit NGO is facing parental opposition in Portland as it seeks to bring youth to Christ, according to Christian Today.

Child Evangelism Fellowship's "Good News Club" — a youth ministry in which children are taught about Jesus through songs, games and the Bible — has been accused of being harmful to children by Protect Portland Children.

On its website, CEF states that "the purpose of Good News Club is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and establish (disciple) them in the Word of God and in a local church for Christian living".

But John Lederer, a Seattle parent, said that the GNC isn't appropriate for young children.

"When I read their mission statement and values and principles it was clear that this was a very theologically conservative, right wing and evangelical form of Christian faith. My initial concern wasn't that they existed, but that they had targeted my child's school and my child is only 6 years old. They are targeting very, very, young children."

However, the clubs are voluntary and require parental permission. GNCs meets once a week during the school year at community centers, churches, schools and other locations.

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48 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

  • Nathaniel Dennison
    3 July 2014 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    The new America thinks groups like Child Evangelism is targeting children. Actually, they want everybody to know who Jesus is.

    • WorldGoneCrazy
      6 July 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      You've got that right, Nathaniel! And it's not as if liberals target young children in government-controlled schools – with condoms on cucumbers, abortion on demand, and how "great" same sex marriage is for everyone – despite the secular (and Biblical) data to the contrary. Godless liberals just don't want any mention of God to young people. Otherwise, those young people might not grow up to vote for the Abortion & Poverty President.

  • Bev Blades
    3 July 2014 at 6:42 pm - Reply

    If you don't want your child in a Good News Club don't sign the permission slip but don't try to take the choice away from the rest of us because of you bias.

    • Dan Courtney
      4 July 2014 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Bev – Nobody is trying to deny your right to teach your children whatever religious belief you want. But the GNC does two things that make their practice particularly objectionable. 1. They encourage children to recruit other children into the "club". As one author put it, they have weaponized children to evangelize in the schools, where adults cannot evangelize. 2. They conceal the true nature of the club by promoting it as "values instruction". unless a parent investigate thoroughly, they wouldn't know that the GNC is religious indoctrination of extreme fundamentalism.

      Combine these facts with the core teaching of the child as inherently evil (even to the point of deserving to die), and clear psychological harm that this teaching produces, and you have plenty of reason to keep this program out of your school.

      • kleronomia (@kleronomia1)
        4 July 2014 at 7:36 pm -

        This is nothing new; it's what Christians who believe the Bible would teach kids. Teaching Christian values to kids whose parents allow them to come breaks no laws. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and other virtues the New Testament promotes. What laws do these things break?

      • Dan Courtney
        5 July 2014 at 7:34 am -

        I didn't say it was against the law. Telling your child that they are stupid and ugly isn't against the law either, but it is harmful to the child. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness would be nice virtues to teach children, but that's not what the GNC does. They primarily teach obedience and that children are sinful. Here's an actual lesson plan:

        God’s Gift to You
        I’ve got something for you, (child’s name). You’ve earned this. Just like you can earn an allowance for doing chores, you have done something to earn what’s in this envelope. Do you know what you’ve done? (Let child respond.) You’ve done something we’ve all done – you’ve sinned. Who can tell me what sin is? (Let children share.) The Bible says “all have sinned” (Rom 3:23); that means everyone, including you. You have thought, said and done wrong things that break God’s laws. Let’s see what you have earned by sinning. (Have child open envelope and read slip of paper with word DEATH on it.) The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). You have earned death – separation from God forever in a terrible place of punishment. God is holy (perfect) and He never does anything wrong. God is just (fair) and He must punish sin. So like it or not, all of us have earned death.

      • Joe DeCaro
        7 July 2014 at 5:02 am -

        So its "objectionable" to encourage children to recruit other children into a "club" about the Bible, but its perfectly acceptable for Obama to get young people to recruit their parents into Obama-care where they can't keep their doctor and their rates double?

      • Dan Courtney
        7 July 2014 at 7:08 am -

        Joe – I would be happy to discuss the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with you, but you really need to get the facts straight first.

        For adults to use children to recruit children is objectionable for a number or reasons. First, the child being recruited doesn't have the ability to make an informed decision. Second, the child's parents – who are very likely to object – are bypassed, and the child will end up being indoctrinated into a religion against the parent's wishes.

        Imagine, if you would, Muslim parents setting up an after school club in your neighborhood elementary school in which they entice children to attend with snacks and games. Then they teach the kids that they must believe the Koran or be tortured in hell forever, and that unless they convince their friends to join the club they will be tortured forever too. You, as a parent of a six year-old at the school, get the permission slip from your child, and as the child pleads with you to let them go to the club the permission slip reads "Hey Kids! Fun and games, songs and candy! Have your parents sign below so you can attend this fun club and learn important values!"

        Would you be OK with that?

      • Anonymous
        9 July 2014 at 11:26 am -

        Not true Dan, I know first hand and you only know what you read. They are up front about teaching the Bible think about it Child Evangelism Fellowship. Evangelism isn't hidden. Duh!

      • Dan Courtney
        9 July 2014 at 2:15 pm -

        Actually I know first hand as well, and nowhere do they tell parents that the children will be taught that they are inherently evil. "your child has the opportunity to meet after school for singing, games, and fun ways to learn valuable lessons from the Bible." This is as specific as they get, and most parents (even Christian parents) would be appalled at the extreme form of indoctrination and psychological abuse that these kids are subjected to.

        Why do you think that the Good News Club refused to cooperate when I asked the local school to have their psychologist review the club's materials? It's because they know it's harmful to children and mental health professionals know it is too.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        9 July 2014 at 2:55 pm -

        What is harmful to children is your side, Dan: teaching kindergartners to put condoms on cucumbers, chopping up babies in the womb for convenience, and that SSM is equivalent to true marriage. All of the secular data points to the incredible damage this has done to children, in particular, and society at large. Just because you can't feed the kids your pagan propaganda 100% of the time doesn't mean that Christians cannot offer them an alternative worldview after school.

        And, the parents have to give permission, Dan. I thought you were for "choice?!?" Or, is that only when you agree with the choices being made – like chopping up innocent defenseless babies in the womb, as 97% of the godless think is a good thing?: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/can-atheists-condemn-slavery-as-immoral-do-atheists-believe-that-slavery-is-wrong-2/

        Really, Dan, how can an atheist like you say anything is immoral? https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/an-atheist-explains-the-real-consequences-of-adopting-an-atheistic-worldview/#comment-101449

      • Dan Courtney
        10 July 2014 at 7:55 am -

        Mr. or Ms. Crazy – You do know that there's a difference between atheists and Pagans, don't you? And your rant is a bit off topic, but let's go with it.

        I don't anyone that is teaching Kindergartners to put condoms on cucumbers, but even if this did happen, I don't see how it would harm the children. Fun with baloons seems preferrable to the trauma of telling children they deserve to die.

        Chopping up babies in the womb for convenience; this one we actually agree on. I think abortion as a means of birth control is deplorable. But that's a good reason to teach teenagers (not kindergartners) how condoms work.

        When you say "true marriage", do you mean that endorsed by the bible? Abraham, David, Solomon…all had multiple wives. So is polygamy OK? The bible also makes wives the property of the husband, is that OK? Allowing same sex couples the legal protections of marriage would encourage stable relationships and provide the benefits of inheretence that all married couples have. Wouldn't that be good for society? So we have encouraging stable relationships versus teaching children that they're inherently sinful. Again, the harm is piled completely on the GNC side.

        On the issue of morality – that's a big topic. But it's also extremely important. Here's a debate I did with a Christion on this very topic. You'll see why biblical morality is not only subjective and relative, but why it's so dangerous. I look forward to your comments on the debate.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGE-Yh3caSU&feature=share&list=UUiVyaC3sQ1puw3Qj9Ccx2xw&index=5

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        10 July 2014 at 11:58 am -

        Yes, Dan I do realize the difference between atheists and pagans, although many atheists are pagans (they just have different "gods") and most are merely anti-Christians as I was for 42 years. But, yes, I will concede that point.

        The data shows that increased access to contraception actually increases unplanned pregnancies, STD's, and abortions – seems like a lot of harm, no – to kindergartners and society as a whole? http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/does-improved-access-to-contraception-reduce-the-number-of-abortions/

        I am REALLY pleased to find an atheist in the 3% who is against abortion on demand! You are the first I have ever met. God bless you, Dan! Now, please speak out to the heartless remaining 97% in your meetings. Some of them do believe in science and human biology, right?

        When I argue against SSM to atheists, it is based on secular data (since they don't believe the Bible), namely the harm done to the individuals involved in same-sex sex (CDC data), the harm done to children adopted into a SSM, and the harm done to society as a whole. Here is a short primer on same: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/a-secular-case-against-same-sex-marriage/

        Finally, I did not get a response to your position on the Moral Argument for the Existence of God, and the inability of atheists to objectively ground moral values and duties – including the fact that the "Big 3" (Dawkins, Provine, and Ruse) concede premise 2 of same. Were you saying that the debate you linked to was your response to this?

      • Dan Courtney
        10 July 2014 at 4:27 pm -

        Yes, I was saying that the debate I linked to was my response. It seemed appropriate since I am one of the debaters.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        10 July 2014 at 12:13 pm -

        Oh, and Dan, I failed to get your reply regarding "choice." When parents have to sign permission slips to get their kids into GNC's, why are you against this positively-activated choice? Wouldn't that be some sort of liberal fascism? Are you for freedom OF religion or only freedom FROM religion?

      • Dan Courtney
        10 July 2014 at 4:05 pm -

        My apologies I missed the choice part. If fact it is good that parental consent is required. It would be better, however, if parents were actually informed of what was happening in these clubs and the harmful effects. The closest thing the GNC does to simply information about the clubs is to say that they teach values based on the bible. Most parents (even Christian parents) would think this has something to do with the golden rule, or perhaps being honest. Won't the GNC doesn't say is that they use fear tactics and a heavy emphasis on sin. So choice is good, but informed choice is better.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        10 July 2014 at 6:08 pm -

        Dan, I am really glad that you do believe in choice! And, it sounds like you are not asking for the State to come in and tell parents how to raise their kids, educationally? if so, that is refreshing – what with all the liberal indoctrination in the government-controlled (so-called "public" schools).

        And, again, I am really excited to meet an atheist who believes that abortion-on-demand is morally wrong – good show! Now, we can agree that abortion is the worst form of child abuse, right? Even worse than the GNC's, right? Can we push to include that curriculum in the public schools? And, I pray that you are reaching out to your fellow atheists, who overwhelmingly think that abortion is good – we need to be addressing this as a human rights issue in the atheist community, because they are on the wrong side of something that makes slavery and the Holocaust look like chump change by comparison.

        BTW, I DID watch part of the debate, mostly you, but couldn't watch the whole thing – sorry. I really like your winsome style! However, were you two really debating whether or not an atheist can behave morally? I was bored out of my skull! I mean, every amateur Christian apologist knows that is possible. Even C.S. Lewis wrote "The question is NOT why does the atheist sometimes behave better than the Christian? The question is: what would the Christian be without Christ and what would the atheist be with Him?" (Please forgive me for paraphrasing this.)

        isn't the bigger issue the Moral Argument for the Existence of God, and can the atheist ground objective moral values and duties? I'm very interested in your view on premise 2 and if you are in the same camp as the Big 3 or if you do concede premise 2 – that is, that objective moral values and duties DO indeed exist? I think from what I saw of the debate, you would concede this and would not place yourself in the same camp as Dawkins, Provine, and Ruse? In which case, I am assuming you would go after premise 1 – if there is no God, then objective moral values and duties do not exist? That's a very different question from "can an atheist behave just as good or better than a Christian?"

        I did lots of "good" things in my atheist days – volunteering, charitable work, etc. I just could not objectively ground why I was doing this or why it was "good" under atheism. I "knew" in my heart it was good, but that turned out to be nothing more than a later confirmation of Romans 2:15.

        Here is a short 36 minute video on the Moral Argument by William Lane Craig. it is a lecture, but he uses the same arguments in his debate, which are obviously longer: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/william-lane-craig-explains-the-moral-argument-to-georgia-tech-students-and-faculty-3/ I am interested in your views on this, obviously.

        Thanks for the great replies, Dan! God's blessings to you and your family.

      • Dan Courtney
        10 July 2014 at 7:15 pm -

        I think you're missing some important distinctions in your ideas about abortion. An embryo, or a fetus for that matter, is not a sentient being. Harming a sentient, self-conscious five-year-old is fundamentally different than terminating a pregnancy. But even if I thought that abortion was akin to murder, it says nothing about the harm being done by the GNC. As my Mother told me, two wrongs don't make a right.

        I'm not sure you watched the debate very carefully, because even Jon says that atheists can behave morally. The question is whether God is necessary for morality. My answer is that, even if "God" was a coherent concept, it would only give us a subjective, relative morality that has nothing to do with human well-being. And I do believe that we have an objective basis to make moral judgments so long as we recognize that morality is fundamentally about well-being.

        Forgive me if I don't commit the time to watch Dr. Craig. He's a brilliant man and an excellent debater, but his brilliance only serves to obscure his fallacies and errors. If you want to watch someone cut through the Craig BS then watch the debate he did with Sean Carroll. It's heady stuff, but you seem smart enough to follow it.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        10 July 2014 at 10:27 pm -

        Dan, you don't think a human fetus is a human being?!? If that's a human being in there, and she is, then there's no moral justification for killing her, regardless of her developmental stage. And, if that is not a human being, there is no reason whatsoever to limit abortions. You don't get to start throwing your qualifiers around to make her appear less than human, unless you feel good about resembling the Nazis and the plantation owners. They wouldn't call Jews or blacks human beings, just as you seem unable to call the child in the womb a human being – but instead use the terms embryo and fetus (which I guess you don't realize are human beings, just at an earlier stage of development).

        I'm really surprised you would even consider such a line of thinking – in 2014 anyway. This is not the 1960's, Dan! Almost all abortions are done for convenience. and a fetus (little one) remains a fetus (a human being in the womb) until birth. Surely, you are not for late term or partial birth abortions – how gruesome and sadistic! And sentience issues can continue long after birth. Consciousness, alternatively, if that's what you mean, well I guess you are for killing sleeping people. In fact, by throwing qualifiers in there, you are merely de-humanizing a human being.

        I'm so disappointed, Dan: I thought you were in the rare 3%. That's a human being in there Dan – and she's got the DNA to prove it. You can't talk your way around basic biology. I think you would be a better man with Christ, with all due respect. Please tell me that you did not have children? If you did, tell me when the OB put his stethoscope up to your wife's belly and said "NOW, it's a baby in there." The very first appointment, right, Dan?

        Since you are so confused on something as easy as basic human rights for the most vulnerable human beings, now I understand your confusion on GNC's. Your moral compass is off, Dan. Have you ever considered a serious investigation of Christianity – not the straw-man caricature that the New Atheists attack? I mean, have you really looked into it – or are you just ticked off at authority figures like I was? Are you a true atheist, Dan, or just another anti-Christian?

        As for your definition of morality, based on well-being, well, that is merely a subjective one that you came up with. You can't ground it objectively, and, of course, there are times when my well-being is increased when yours is decreased. Sometimes well-being is defined as nothing more than happiness. :-) No one said that atheists cannot come up with a bunch of rules for what's moral – basically their own system of ethics. But, secular humanism has NOT had a great track record, Dan. Every time it begins to flourish, another World War breaks out. :-)

        Sorry you are not a fan of Craig. What do you think of his presentation of Kalam? Which premise(s) do you attack there? And, as an atheist, can you give me some positive evidence for a-theism that will counter Kalam (with Big Bang and BGV supporting premise 2), the Moral Argument, and the Teleological Argument, so that a-theism appears more plausible than theism? I searched for 42 years as an "old atheist" and struck out there, and the case against a-theism is even more lopsided than when I was growing up – we could still cling to the notion of eternal and / or oscillating universes, but no more. I'm especially interested in your intellectual reply to the question: why is there something rather than nothing?

        God bless you, Dan! Get educated on abortion, OK, and then we can talk GNC?

      • Dan Courtney
        11 July 2014 at 6:36 am -

        Clearly you are hung up on this idea that something magic happens to a sperm and egg when then combine, and think in such black and white terms, that we can't have any meaningful discussion about abortion. Insisting on this red herring simply helps you avoid the harm caused by the GNC.

        For the sake of time, let me skip to the "something rather than nothing" question. You might want to read the book by Lawrence Krauss, A Universe from Nothing. I'm not a cosmologist, but the key concept for me is that the sum total of all the energy in the universe is exactly zero. Of course this violates our intuition (which is what Craig ultimately appeals to), but the simple fact that quantum mechanics and relativity don't agree suggests our intuitions are mistaken.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        11 July 2014 at 12:19 pm -

        Dan, I think that Craig has addressed this well when he has shown that the "nothing" that atheists talk about always smuggles in "something." Craig destroys the Krauss argument here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/a-universe-from-nothing and here: http://www.reasonablefaith.org/defenders-2-podcast/transcript/s4-6

        But, I know you don't have time to check out the Craig links, so in a nutshell, Krauss changes his definition of "nothing," to include "empty space," and then he fills that space with matter and antimatter ruled by QM. Empty space, matter, antimatter, Dan: do those things sound like "nothing" to you?!? :-) The a-theist always has to smuggle "something" into his "nothing" to make it work.

        On abortion, Dan, you seem way too nice to be on the wrong side of this atrocity, so please consider these two points:

        1. Do human beings have intrinsic moral value?
        2. Is what is inside a human womb (after conception) a human being?

        If you can get the abortion issue right, then we might have a discussion on GNC. But, I really don't think anyone on this site cares to be lectured about how to treat 6 years olds, educationally, when he doesn't even know how to treat that same human being, physically and morally, when she is in the womb and even more vulnerable and defenseless. (That is the most dangerous location on this earth, Dan – the womb, not a GNC club which requires parental permission. :-))

        (BTW, yes, something magical DOES indeed happen at conception: a separate and new human being with unique DNA and a different gender from his mom (roughly 50% of the time) comes into existence where no human being existed before. All the DNA instructions are there for eye color, hair color, birthmarks, unique physical and mental features – everything. That is precisely when you came into existence, Dan, and, despite your views, I think THAT moment in time was pretty darn magical!)

        God bless you, Dan. I'm working hard to move you into the 3%. You deserve it. :-)

      • NWalker
        10 July 2014 at 9:40 am -

        They turn children into weapons??? What kind of talk is this?? How can teaching a child that they are loved and accepted regardless of who they are, where they come from or the circumstances of their life. What are you afraid of???

      • Dan Courtney
        10 July 2014 at 4:32 pm -

        The "weapons" concept comes from the fact that the GNC uses children to recruit other children. in this sense the children are "weapons" employed by the GNC.

        "How can teaching a child that they are loved and accepted regardless of who they are…" Teaching children this would be wonderful, except it is exactly the opposite of what the GNC teaches. If you haven't seen it before, here is a GNC lesson:

        God’s Gift to You
        I’ve got something for you, (child’s name). You’ve earned this. Just like you can earn an allowance for doing chores, you have done something to earn what’s in this envelope. Do you know what you’ve done? (Let child respond.) You’ve done something we’ve all done – you’ve sinned. Who can tell me what sin is? (Let children share.) The Bible says “all have sinned” (Rom 3:23); that means everyone, including you. You have thought, said and done wrong things that break God’s laws. Let’s see what you have earned by sinning. (Have child open envelope and read slip of paper with word DEATH on it.) The Bible says, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom 6:23). You have earned death – separation from God forever in a terrible place of punishment. God is holy (perfect) and He never does anything wrong. God is just (fair) and He must punish sin. So like it or not, all of us have earned death.

        I think you'll agree that is not love and acceptance.

      • Joe DeCaro
        10 July 2014 at 6:22 pm -

        Muslims who strap explosives onto their children use them as weapons, but to say that CEF employs children as "weapons" to recruit members into its Good News Clubs is the worst kind of moral equivalence.

      • Anonymous
        12 July 2014 at 9:23 am -

        weaponize children ? you are crazy

  • Dan Courtney
    4 July 2014 at 10:43 am - Reply
    • Joe DeCaro
      7 July 2014 at 8:02 am - Reply

      Dan, first get your facts straight: this isn't about the ACA, but about your selective outrage at children inviting their friends to GNCs when the Obama admin recruited children to talk their parents into what proved to be a bad deal for their health.

      But the Bible isn't a bad deal; in fact, Pascal postulated that betting on God was a gamble in which we have nothing to lose.

      • Dan Courtney
        7 July 2014 at 9:12 am -

        I hardly ever hear Pascal's wager anymore because it's so terribly flawed. Simply substitute Allah, or Zues, or Thor for God in your argument and you get the same lousy argument. You're making the same threat of violence that the GNC does to the kids: "Believe in my particular notion of God or you will burn forever!"

        Seriously, how improbable does an idea have to be that you need the threat of eternal torture to get people to accept it?

      • Joe DeCaro
        7 July 2014 at 11:05 am -

        No, you don't get to substitute just any "god" because the Roman Catholic Pascal formulated his wager within a Christian framework.

        Simply said, Pascal wagered that anyone who bets on the God of Abraham has everything to gain and nothing to lose.

        And neither Pascal, myself or CEF is threatening anyone.

      • Dan Courtney
        7 July 2014 at 11:19 am -

        I understand that Pascal had a myopic Christian view of the world. But how is this argument any different from the Ayatollah making the same bet? Substitute any vengeful god and you have exactly the same argument.

        And you don't think that telling a child that if they don't believe in a particular version of God that they'll be tortured forever is a threat? I doubt even you believe that.

      • Joe DeCaro
        7 July 2014 at 12:28 pm -

        So according to you, Blaise Pascal, a French child prodigy who excelled at mathematics, physics, philosophy and who also invented the calculator, the wristwatch, the syringe, etc., "had a myopic Christian view of the world"?

        We should all be so "myopic".

      • Dan Courtney
        7 July 2014 at 3:31 pm -

        So now you're playing the appeal to authority game. Einstein was a cultural Jew and an atheist… does that mean he was right about everything? No, and neither was Pascal.

      • Joe DeCaro
        7 July 2014 at 5:19 pm -

        No, I'm contradicting your false claim that one of the most intelligent men in history was "myopic".
        And I don't need glasses to see through your straw man argument: I never said Pascal was right about everything, but that he was brilliant in everything from physics to philosophy.

  • Angela
    4 July 2014 at 7:28 pm - Reply

    Run. Run to fellowships that do NOT use the name "Church." It's a catholic invention, the same as they (admittedly) invented the Sunday Sabbath. This is not a Seventh Day post. It's about how to survive what's coming. Leave off using the word "church." It's not in any of the original transcripts regarless of which ones you prefer.

  • Jeffrey Maupin
    9 July 2014 at 2:19 am - Reply

    Hooray for those who take the effort and have the passion to share the wonderful news of Jesus Christ.

  • Terry
    9 July 2014 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Actually your substitute any god argument doesn't work as religions have different structures and means of avoiding punishment. In islam even their profit "M" said he could not be sure he had earned heaven so betting there would be useless as it may or may not pay out. Most classic roman gods did not care if you worshiped or not avoiding punishment was based on the balance of your deeds in life so no need to bet on them. Many faiths have no hell so why bother betting there. The only faith you can bother to bet on is Christianity as it alone guarantees heaven for simply believing and trusting not based on your earning your way by behaviors. And does not require huge radical life changes on your part so it is the only one that would be an easy bet. Everything to gain nothing to loose.

    • Dan Courtney
      9 July 2014 at 7:41 am - Reply

      Of course there are thousands of variations of Christianity, with most variants believing that the others will suffer eternal torment. But that really isn't the point is it? The point is that there's no evidence for any of the threats of torture or promises of eternal bliss. It's all psychological coercion to get believe to accept a premise that is otherwise not supported.

      And the idea that there's no harm… the Good News Club is exhibit A for the harm it can do. Children are told that they deserve to die for just being who they are; that they're evil sinners. We already know the psychological toll this takes on children. And when you get your morality from a bronze aged book… wow, the greatest force in retarding moral progress ever invented. No harm!? Seriously?

      • Anonymous
        11 July 2014 at 10:48 pm -

        Mahatma Gandhi was once approached by an atheist with the request to organize and promote an anti-God society. Gandhi replied, “It amazes me to find an intelligent person who fights against something which he does not at all believe exists.”
        (Tan, Paul Lee. Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations. Rockville, MD: Assurance Publishers, 1979, page 483.)

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        12 July 2014 at 6:45 pm -

        Brilliant, Anonymous, absolutely brilliant! Must add that to my toolbox – thank you!

      • Dan Courtney
        13 July 2014 at 9:09 am -

        Gandhi's comments make great rhetoric, but it's not the imagined deity that is the problem, but the people that claim to be in communication with it.

      • Joe DeCaro
        13 July 2014 at 12:59 pm -

        Passive resistance is much more than "great rhetoric" and Gandhi's point had to do with the atheist, not the "imagined deity".

      • Dan Courtney
        13 July 2014 at 1:12 pm -

        Umm Joe… I was referring to Gandhi's quote, not his overall strategy of passive resistance. And I understand that Gandhi was speaking about the atheist. The atheist in turn was not looking to battle some imagined deity, but to counter the influence of the people that took guidance from a supposed deity. I don't mean to be insulting, but to think that Gandhi's remarks are some bit of rhetorical brilliance is profoundly ignorant.

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        13 July 2014 at 5:59 pm -

        Dan, speaking of great rhetoric, what do you think of the statement that "atheists have to sit in the lap of God in order to slap His Face?" (paraphrase of van Til, I think, or, more recently, Frank Turek) Given my former life as an a-theist, and some well-documented admissions by Dawkins, Provine, and Ruse (https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/01/16/an-atheist-explains-the-real-consequences-of-adopting-an-atheistic-worldview/#comment-101449), I have to admit that I find this statement to be compelling – from the other side of the fence, anyway. I'm just interested in your view on this – you don't have to call me "ignorant," unless you want to. :-)

      • Dan Courtney
        13 July 2014 at 6:39 pm -

        Ah yes, Presuppositionalism. I've actually written on book on the subject. What it comes down to is that the "lap" that we're sitting on is reality itself. Van Til et al, argue for reality, and then try various maneuvers to make it look like "God". I did a presentation on the subject after I debated Sye Ten Bruggencate. There's also a couple debates on my YouTube channel that I did (the one with Sye and the other with Jon Kaus) that are specifically about presuppositionalism.

        http://youtu.be/qJ1GzvLUBKQ

      • WorldGoneCrazy
        13 July 2014 at 6:59 pm -

        Very interesting, Dan – thanks! I am an evidentialist, but once the case for theism is made, I don't mind putting a little presuppositionalism in there, assuming, of course, that we get some progress made on theism. I just find it quite interesting the positions that Dawkins, Provine, and Ruse make on morality, and then how, Dawkins in particular, turns around and rails about the "evils" of Christianity. Quite self-refuting and clearly so. (Probably why he is afraid to debate Craig.) That's why I thought the Ghandi quote was pretty sweet. Bless ya, Dan!

  • Anonymous
    9 July 2014 at 11:04 am - Reply

    they have as much right as anyone to teach the children their values, if the parents give permission!!

  • Theodora Amarice
    11 July 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

  • Joe DeCaro
    13 July 2014 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    According to Gandhi, the atheist in question was battling some imagined deity.
    And for the record, Gandhi's remarks will be remembered long after your comments here are forgotten.

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