Tennessee Preacher Greg Locke Says Demons Told Him Names of Witches in His Church

By Bob Smietana
Greg Locke Global Vision witches
Greg Locke, pastor of Global Vision Bible Church in Juliet, Tennessee near Nashville, said in a recent sermon that demons told him names of witches in his church. (Video screengrab)

The offering was over and the worship team at Global Vision Bible Church had just finished singing “Oh How I Love Jesus” when the Rev. Greg Locke began telling his church about his conversations with demons.

Those demons, he said, had revealed the names of a group of “full-blown, spell-casting” witches who’d been sent to infiltrate Global Vision, a nondenominational church east of Nashville, Tennessee, where Locke is pastor.

“To God be the glory, I lie not,” he told the congregation at Global Vision on Sunday, which was meeting in a packed tent on the church’s property. “We got first and last names of six witches that are in our church. And you know what’s strange, three of you are in this room right now.”

Locke told the congregation that he’d gotten the names while casting a demon out of a woman who had recently begun coming to Global Vision. The preacher, known for his sensationalist sermons about politics and COVID-19 skepticism — went on to describe the exorcism in detail, quoting a demon with scruffy voice who accused worshippers at the church of being witches.

Two of the witches were in his wife’s Bible study, said Locke, who warned the alleged witches not to make a move during his sermon. He then retold the New Testament story of Jesus casting a demon out of a man and into a herd of pigs, turning it into an extended monologue about witches in the church.

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“You so much as cough wrong and I’ll expose in front of everybody under this tent, you stinking spell-casting, pharmakeia devil worshipping and mongrel,” he said, using a Greek word that sometimes describes those who practice witchcraft or sorcery. “You were sent to destroy this church.”

In recent years Locke has used his sermons to attack LGBTQ people, accuse Democratic politicians of child abuse, spread claims about election fraud, denounce vaccines and claim that the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax. During Sunday’s sermon, he blamed witchcraft for an outbreak of illness in the church.

In recent months, some vaccine skeptics have claimed that pharmaceutical companies were practicing sorcery by creating the vaccines, because of the resonance with pharmakeia. That led to a surge in searches for the word “sorcery” in the Bible in 2021, according to Christianity Today, and warnings from pastors and Christian celebrities about the spiritual dangers of the pharmaceutical industry.

An edited clip of Locke’s sermon was posted online by atheist writer Hemant Mehta.

In an email to Religion News Service, Locke said his words had been taken out of context in the edited video. He said two of the alleged witches were men and were “ALL sent here on assignment to disrupt.”

Locke, who recently held a book burning of Harry Potter novels and other “satanic” works, also said “trouble-makers” in the church had brought the witches to Global Vision to lure church members into adultery.

“WE WILL NOT TOLERATE THAT!!“ Locke wrote in his email. 

In a phone interview, Mehta said that he had edited clips of the video so that it could posted on Twitter, where the video has been viewed more than 900,000 times. None of Locke’s comments were taken out of context, Mehta said.

During the sermon, Locke repeatedly told his congregants he was not lying to them, going so far as to swear on the Bible that he was telling the truth about his encounters with demons, saying that if he lied about that, “what won’t I lie to you about.”

“Hand to God,” he said. “In the name of Jesus, if I’m lying, if I’m over exaggerating what I’m trying to tell these people for the purpose of clicks and likes, may I drop dead preaching on this platform having blasphemed the power of the Holy Ghost in front of everybody.”

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service. Elizabeth E. Evans is an Episcopal priest and freelance writer.

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66 thoughts on “Tennessee Preacher Greg Locke Says Demons Told Him Names of Witches in His Church”

    1. I think he speaks a lot of truth. Demons are prone to lie, however, so he should probably disregard their advice completely.

  1. This is one of the most insane things I’ve ever seen manifest at a ‘church.’ Seems like popular Christian culture is careening toward total collapse. So sad how few are able to identify or willing to take a stand against blasphemy.

    1. Dan B,

      I have been looking for a new pastor for lessons and after having a few of my “conservative (biblical, not politically) christian” friends steer me to self described “super natural ministry” Bethel church, nothing about the modern christian culture surprises me at this point. I had no idea they practiced summoning, casting, manifesting, etc … plus they have no issues with the 4 different giving (prosperity) prayers used in the services.

      I do not know if this helps, but 2 Thessalonians 2 explains quite a bit when I am unable to understand what is happening to our community.

      excerpts:

      9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

      10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

      11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

      12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    2. I’m not sure I agree with everything he says but I do know there are demons in the church he’s. So I don’t think that it’s impossible that there are witches. What I do find strange is that there are a lot of Holy Ghost filled preachers out there that are close to God. Don’t understand why they haven’t seen them.

  2. Shades of Tailgunner Joe McCarthy waving his list of COMMUNISTS in the Federal Government!

    And since he didn’t name the Six WITCHES, everyone in his pews is now looking at whoever’s next to them and wondering “Is HE the WITCH? Is SHE?” Isolation and Distrust; since anyone else could be The WITCH, trust only the ManaGAWD in the pulpit whom God Hath Revealed His Spectral Evidence. Inform on The WITCHES!

    PASTOR Greg Locke is a favorite subject of videos on YouTube’s “Telltale Atheist” channel; it’s where I first heard of him. I expect this one to show up on the channel – Locke just cannot stop shooting off his mouth. Except this sounds like he’s switched from Trump worship and Anti-Vaxx to full-honk Spiritual Warfare a la Bob Larson or the New Apostolic Reformation.

    1. Good point. This pastor reminds me of a reporter whose recent article on white Christian nationalism was republished here on the Roys Report. He told Evangelical Christians they should be looking at the people next to them in the pews questioning, “Is HE a racist political extremist? Is SHE?” Interesting the witch hunting of witches in the church is discouraged here but the witch hunting of “white Christian nationalists” in the church is encouraged. So what’s that Telltale Atheist YouTube channel about?

      1. Though I can understand objections to Jack Jenkins’ article on white Christian nationalism, and that line in particular, I think comparing Jenkins to Locke is extremely unfair. It’s one thing to note that a movement has infiltrated the church and may be present in your church. It’s quite another to be claiming demons are speaking to you and giving you names and addresses of witches that you may out at any moment.

        1. Yes that is a big difference. The reporter didn’t say a demon revealed information to him and there’s no reason to think the reporter is crazy. The comparison is between the unnecessary and dangerous statements that could create fear and mistrust among congregants. I heard one person say that during the Salem Witch trials the best way to avoid being accused of being a witch was to accuse someone else of being one. Pastors should preach against witchcraft in the church just as much as racism but this approach of saying the person next to them might be guilty is no good. Even if he thinks it might be effective at repelling infiltrators from the church, it’s more likely to hurt the church than protect it.

          1. Mark
            In contrast – Jesus stated that if my kingdom was of this world I would call…

            And ran when they tried to make him king…

            Should be a clue that Jesus has NO interest in America per se – His focus is HIS Kingdom…

            Maybe that should be our focus also…🤔

  3. The preacher, known for his sensationalist sermons about politics and COVID-19 skepticism — went on to describe the exorcism in detail, quoting a demon with scruffy voice who accused worshippers at the church of being witches.

    AND HE TRUSTS A DEMON TO TELL THE TRUTH?
    As far back as Sun Tzu, sacrificing an expendable agent filled with false information has been a favorite way to pass Disinformation to an enemy.

    Spiritual Warfare(TM) is NOT a matter of spellcasting shootouts like high-level D&D Clerics and Paladins; it’s Intelligence Warfare – Covert Ops, Hearts & Minds, Propaganda, Disinformation, cultivating and converting enemy nationals, all done under-the-table with plausible deniability.

  4. Kathleen Zielinski

    It’s a total mystery to me why Satan would waste any time or resources trying to disrupt this so-called church.

  5. Isn’t one of the basic scriptural beliefs about demons that they lie? Even if his account was true, why would you believe a demon?

  6. “going so far as to swear on the Bible that he was telling the truth about his encounters with demons, saying that if he lied about that, “what won’t I lie to you about.”

    Matthew 5

    33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: 34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: 35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

  7. In January, he stated that kids with autism and epilepsy had demons that needed cast out. This man is demonic himself.

  8. He’s out there sometimes, but not everything he says is wrong. For instance, calling out lgbtq issues is not “attacking them”. Wrong is wrong. This guy is in hot water for saying a demon told him something, but what about all the church teaching the doctrines of demons from their pulpit? Like critical race theory, “taking the shot is loving your neighbor”, “wearing a mask is loving your neighbor”, you may not come to church unless your vaccinated, women can be pastors, “voting against abortion makes you a one issue voter – be loving from womb to tomb”. These things are leading people to hell and manipulating the minds of believers to sin.

    1. There are plenty of thing’s on the plates of Christians right now. I wouldn’t add defending this man to your burden. He isn’t worthy of defense. Whatever he says that you agree with, there are many others who are making the same case without all of the “look at me” sensationalism.

      I think he says these things because he desperately needs attention, and this feeds his craving. After this blows over he’ll have to think of something else to get noticed again, and there will be something else.

    2. Sara,

      It is prolife to care about racial equality and racial reconciliation. It is prolife to take protections against spreading a deadly disease.

      Being prolife means being pro black lives, even if it means admitting that we white Christians were at fault for centuries of slavery and discrimination. It means doing anything possible to stop the spread of a deadly virus, even it it means inconveniencing ourselves to help others. It means being pro female rights, even if it means that our white Christian nation kept women from voting and being treated like equals in the workplace. It means being loving and caring for all the people who have been systematically discriminated against in our nation for centuries (with the church’s support) including minorities, women and the poorest refugees who come to our nation for help.

      People can be anti abortion if you care about only one issue. But they can’t be prolife.

      1. @ Greg Culross

        What’s interesting is that under the umbrella of what constitutes prolife views today, Margaret Sanger would be given a seat at the prolife table. Were she still alive she would be championing everything you listed. She would never, of course, be a one-issue voter.

  9. So the main problem with this Pastor is that he really does not know the Word well enough. The only conversations that Jesus had with demons was to cast them out. He leads by example. That is what we are to follow, not to have sit down conversations with them as they are children of the father of lies. Pretty simple. We need to pray for these congregations that are led astray that their eyes will be opened to the truth of the Word of God.

  10. He’s the same guy who heard God tell him to divorce his wife of 21 years and marry his secretary. The same guy who said God told him Trump was going to win in 2020 and who kicked people out of church if they came wearing a mask during “this fake pandemic.”

    Sounds believable.

  11. False teachers are causing, in part, the constant shrinkage of the American church. Believers of the Lie(s) are deceived and their numbers are mushrooming. The deceived then become deceivers exponentially. For many, Christians unfortunately are not to be trusted.

    1. Sandra T,

      It doesn’t, anymore than having a Christmas tree makes you a pagan. As with everything we do, it is what is in your heart/intention when participating in an activity. Does it violate the 10 commandments? Does it contradict anything Jesus taught us?

      Look at Bethel, they practice “supernatural ministry” where they believe they can manifest anything with their voice as God does and can cause Heaven to appear on earth. Sounds a lot like satanism/witchcraft/sorcery to me, which teaches you how to be your own god, but I am in the minority with this point of view and most christians I talk to support what Bill Johnson teaches/represents.

  12. Much agreement with what has been posted by those who point out that pastors should be listening to God and His Word, not demons who’s father is a liar as Jesus pointed out. This is a new way to scare people into submission. Anecdote = when my parents served on the mission field, there was a missionary who claimed to have a pet demon “George” on his shoulder. Didn’t take long for the mission agency to dismiss him.

  13. Unfortunately, I’ve had a front row seat to a Christian organization demonizing and ousting members, when it was later revealed the “demons” had first-hand information about the mishandling of funds.

  14. Deep sigh….

    Give me the gospel. Give me truth. Give me God’s Word. Just give me Jesus.

    Just don’t give me sensational made up garbage. The church of Jesus Christ is supposed to be the beacon and pillar of truth. Why do people eat this stuff up?

  15. I see 3 possibilities with his story. 1) He has a very vivid imagination and he actually believes his story 2) he is lying and knows it or 3) he actually had a conversation with demons. None of these seems like an appealing option and I would question why anyone would continue to follow him as their pastor.

  16. Go read the history of the Salem witchcraft trials of 1619 for background. Beware of creating hysteria in the congregation.

    1. And before we think he is a fringe character and nothing to worry about, take note that he has TWO POINT TWO MILLION followers on Facebook.

      [People] like him are becoming mainstream, both in the Republican Party and the church.

  17. I’m not sure if I’m more amazed at the conduct of Locke – or at the number of people in the comments who, in 2022, genuinely believe in demons, witches, and magic.

    1. @ Jack Harper

      You mean the legion of demons Jesus cast out into a herd of pigs or the witch of Endor Saul consulted to communicate with the prophet Samuel? That witch and those demons? Over a million people practice Wicca or consider themselves pagans in the U.S. alone. TikTok is now considered the official home of witchcraft videos. Alot of people seem to believe in the things you mentioned in 2022, not just people commenting here.

      1. Peter – I apologize for the delay in replying. I’m an agnostic (a practical atheist) so I don’t believe either of the biblical stories you mention actually happened. And if a million people decided to worship Leprechauns, it wouldn’t make Leprechauns real. Wicca is an interesting belief system but I don’t believe witchcraft is real, either. And YouTube is the home of alien encounter videos but that doesn’t legitimize the videos.

        1. Thank you for your response. My apologies as your atheism/agnosticism wasn’t obvious from your comment, hence mine. I was pointing out that the things you mentioned you were surprised about are actually on the rise as far as overall popularity. Belief in the flying spaghetti monster is relatively flat though.

          You mentioned in another post the misogyny, abuse and other sins of which modern Christianity is guilty and how the whole thing should be torn down. As an atheist, could you indulge me in revealing what measuring stick you use to declare anything morally wrong or sinful? What is your metric to distinguish between good and evil and why?

          1. Peter – I’d remove the word “sin” from the conversation right off the bat. Sin is inextricably tied to a relationship between man and a god or gods. So we’re left with the terms good and evil.

            The simplest measure for determining good/evil is “does this action do more harm or more benefit to the greatest number of people”. By that definition (overly simplistic, I admit) you’re left defining “harm” and “benefit” rather than the more nebulous right and wrong.

            Now, I think there’s a lot more to it than that. Like I mentioned in another thread, our base morality comes from our early evolution and is driven primarily by empathy. It’s how we end up predisposed to eschew killing, stealing, and the like within our own social groups. Avoiding these things helped form cohesive communities that could survive our early development. (Continued…)

          2. Part 2:

            The second part of our morality comes from our intellect. With our intellectual development, we were able to make choices to extend our tribal morality to other groups that aren’t like us. This is where morality can be challenging. To steal from and paraphrase the Bible, we must “work out our ‘morality’ with fear and trembling.” And human-kind has demonstrated over and over that our base instincts often overrule our desire to extend that morality.

            When talking about the basis for morality, though, I think theists are often improperly assumed to have the more defensible position. You say you have a perfect being with an absolutely perfect moral framework. And that moral framework has been given to man and we must follow it. Yet I’d assert that the fact that God, himself, seems to be exempt from following his own moral framework means that it’s possible to have a morality based on something else. Too, I’d say that even if an absolute morality exists, no one follows it. We all live our lives exercising a practical morality. An absolute morality is largely academic. (Continued…)

          3. Part 3:

            So, to close this long-winded post, I believe the framework for our morality is hard-wired in us by evolution. And this morality has been refined over the millennia as humans have had the intellectual capacity to choose to be more than we are hard-wired to be. Ultimately, the basis for it all is a very simple thing: empathy.

          4. Addendum:

            I’d add, though, that while my original comment on the other thread dealt with the moral abuses in the church, that was because that’s the overarching subject of Julie’s site. My departure from Christianity was largely driven by academic concerns rather than moral ones.

          5. @ Jack Harper

            I appreciate your engagement.

            What I have found very curious in my own life and from observing young children over the years is that wrong/evil are most definitely hardwired in us. No one ever taught me to lie, and yet I have a unique ability to lie about any and everything. No one taught me to be intensely selfish. It came naturally as if by magic. No one taught me to be impatient with the slow driver in front of me. It’s that selfishness at work in me again. It’s the selfishness at work in every last one of us.

            I didn’t learn that lying was wrong until someone taught me. That goes for every other evil act imaginable. Left alone to our own devices “The Lord of the Flies” beckons. Why would evolution/chance inculcate such antisocial, antitribal behaviors? We seem to be quite adept at inflicting harm, and that has only become more pronounced through the ages. Why is nature red in tooth and claw? Of what evolutionary benefit is writing books with the title “The Lord of the Flies”? With our propensity for selfishness and violence, what protective mechanism did chance put in place to keep us from killing each other?

            The Bible claims to have the answer to all of those questions. I noticed also that you had to borrow language from a tradition you reject.

          6. Peter – You’re right, we are all ultimately selfish and greedy creatures. We’re geared for survival – at the expense of all else.

            But back to evolution, again. Early on, some of our ancestors realized that living in larger groups helped them share resources and protect themselves from predators. Those of our ancestors who did this lived to pass on their genes. Now, people can’t live together killing and stealing from each other. So those who did such things were expelled from the group (or killed, and the irony is not lost on me). And, again, those who remained lived to pass on their genes. Rules developed that helped curb our baser instincts but which were still selfish in that they helped ensure our survival. Sprinkle in an emergent emotion called empathy, and you get a developing society with a rudimentary morality.

            You say “Left alone to our own devices ‘The Lord of the Flies’ beckons.” And those who exhibit this behavior tend to lose out to people who have been evolutionarily honed to live cooperatively.

            The only part of your post that I’ll quibble with is the last bit. I didn’t “have” to borrow language from the Bible to make my point. I thought it would be clever and that you’d appreciate it. I spent almost 40 years in Christianity so I’m quite familiar with the literature and can appreciate a good turn of phrase.

          7. @ Jack Harper

            My apologies for ruining the intended effect of your turn of phrase. I too enjoy a good turn of phrase and also just recently used the same verse in another post, so I like the way your mind works.

            Something I missed in one of your posts below concerns an absolute morality that people don’t follow. You are 100% correct. I submit God’s law that is absolute and we are 100% incapable of following. That is where the substitutionary atonement of Jesus comes in, but with 40 years within christendom you probably already know that. The truth is we were always unable to fulfill the law, and were always going to have to borrow obedience from Jesus.

            But back to evolution. You said we couldn’t live together murdering and stealing from each other? You mean the way we’ve lived together murdering and stealing from each other for millenia? The way we murder and steal from each other now? In your paragraph dealing with this you seem to be saying that these bad behaviors were somehow exorcised from the DNA of our ancestors and they became kinder and more empathetic? If that’s true, why is Russia invading Ukraine and why are crime rates soaring worldwide? Why the Cambodian genocide, the Rwandan genocide and the holocaust? How far off the straight and narrow did chance have to veer to get to the blood soaked legacy of the last 100 years?

            I’ll also make a Part 2

          8. @ Jack Harper

            Part 2

            I want to emphasize how much I appreciate the engagement.

            Something else I missed in your earlier comment concerned people developing the intellectual capacity to essentially be nicer and better than their natural instincts. You and I both know the names of people from our lives who were highly intelligent and highly uncooperative. I’ve known many highly intelligent people who couldn’t empathize with a new puppy, much less another human. Ghengis Khan was a military genius whose primary displays of empathy involved severed heads and impaled bodies. Where was chance when we needed it?

            It seems that chance has sent different people on different evolutionary tracks. One group is nice and empathetic and another wants to rule the world? Which one is our primary and which the recessive? One group also began to look outward and became exceedingly religious. Another believes the religious group is comprised of those with feeble minds and weak emotional constitutions. Members of this group have seized power before and demanded the first religious group worship them as god under penalty of a very painful death. Chance seems to have scrambled quite a lot of bad DNA over the years. Hmm.

          9. Peter – All excellent comments and questions and I don’t have all the answers. In small groups, people tend to coexist fairly well. There are, of course, outliers – those who won’t follow the rules, and who want to hurt others. It’s certainly possible that people are just weird, or that our brains are too complex to streamline into a cohesive morality.

            It does seem to become apparent, though, that the farther an individual is separated from any other particular group, the less likely we are to extend the same moral courtesies we would to those in our own group. And I’d chalk that up to evolution again. Even for someone like Genghis Khan. The “other” didn’t matter to him and his people embraced him as his tactics helped them, and them alone, pass on their genes.Morality within a group – a morality that isn’t necessarily extended to the competition – is exactly what we’d expect to see if morality is an evolutionary byproduct. There is always an “other.”

            I don’t think that saying morality evolved through “chance” is accurate, though. I mentioned that on the other thread. It was a complex interplay between group survival, the fulfillment of individual needs, and the later development of an enhanced intellect.

            As a side note, I think it’s interesting to watch some of what may have been homo sapiens’ fledgling attempts at group cohesion and the development of empathy playing out today in other primate species. It could be a look into how it happened for us.

          10. @ Jack Harper

            Apologies for the delay.

            So just more questions. Since everything we think we know about origins is all understood retrospectively, we have to make thousands of assumptions about what early life was like. We look at artifacts, bones, cave paintings etc and extrapolate based on dating techniques, that also make major assumptions, everything sprang into existence from nothing and became everything we see before us. Our ability to see, itself the result of extreme complexity, exists in a completed form that tends to degrade over time. Why didn’t chance provide us with a better backup system? Why only two eyes, two ears, two arms and legs? Why didn’t chance provide organ redundancies? Aren’t two heads better than one?

            How did chance forget about itself for so many years and suddenly regain consciousness within the last 200 years or so?

            Chance also has to be origin of religion. All religious texts must have chance as the foundation for their origin. The Bible was written because chance created certain cells and chemical reactions that would lead humanoids to write it. Therefore, is chance condemning the thing that foundationally is an object of its own creation, or are we talking about a house divided?

            If chance is reasserting its primacy and causing other humanoids to comdemn religion, again an object of chance creation, how does chance understand which part of itself should be given greater consideration? I think you would argue scientific evidence is enough proof to make a proper determination. However, scientific evidence requires interpretation. How did chance cause some interpreters (scientists) to reject it by coming to different conclusions?

            Part 2 coming

          11. @ Jack Harper

            Part 2

            If chance is the author of everything, then from an epistemological standpoint, wouldn’t you agree that whatever has been created would have to have been created within the framework of chance and with the advice and consent of chance? Since chance is the author and finisher of everything, chance is responsible for its own conflict against itself. Chance has led part of its creation to have 100 % faith in chance. Chance has led another part of its creation to deny chance’s existence. What chance does chance or its creation have under such circumstances? Has chance become the author of confusion?

          12. Peter – I’m just finishing up with a very busy day and I’m running a bit slow mentally but I’ll give it a go.

            At this point, I’m not sure if you’re being sincere or if you’re trying to have a bit of fun with me. Either is okay; I can endure a bit of fun at my expense!

            You’re very obviously anthropomorphizing “chance” (as well as conflating, I think, the chance involved in abiogenesis with the processes of natural selection and random mutation). You’re writing as if evolution has intention, has the ability to make choices, has a deliberate end goal in mind. Natural selection and random mutation decide only one thing: if an organism is able to live long enough to reproduce. That’s it. Evolution involves literally nothing else.

            If an evolved organism is better able to get food, protect itself from enemies, and mate, it passes on its genes and its predecessor typically disappears. So when you’re talking about backup organs, or more legs, or better eyes – apparently they haven’t been necessary. I’ll address eyes, specifically, since you brought them up. Yes, eyesight tends to degrade over time. But has the person who will eventually need glasses been able to reproduce before they’re effectively blind? That’s the only question that matters. But that’s not to imply that evolution isn’t still happening. There’s a wealth of research that discusses the continued evolution and genetic drift among homo sapiens after the mass migration from Africa 60,000 years ago. (Cont…)

          13. Part 2:

            I’m not even sure how to address your last three paragraphs. You seem to be saying that “chance” created religion. This is about the only part of those paragraphs I can almost say okay to. I’m not a huge Richard Dawkins fan but his thoughts on how our ancestors learned to see agency in events that occurred around them is fascinating. He lays out a very plausible trail that leads from seeing the grass move on the savanna, assuming there’s a lion in the grass, and running away to stay alive and reproduce – on to animism, all the way to human-like gods in a pantheon. Fascinating stuff. Check it out. It at least makes the development of early religion as a result of selection pressures logically possible.

            Where you lose me is here: “Is chance condemning the thing that foundationally is an object of its own creation…” I can only assume what you mean here is that you’re a believer and I’m an atheist, and if the development of religion was the result of evolution, why do I, as an atheist, exist. Shouldn’t everyone be religious?

            First, I’ll say that there’s that anthropomorphism again. Evolution doesn’t make moral choices or value judgments. The only thing it does is stack the odds for reproduction. The development of religion early on may have helped our ancestors reproduce. But is a belief in gods necessary for that now? Being good with a spear probably helped our ancestors live to reproduce. I can’t throw a spear; can you? (Cont…)

          14. Part 3:

            Everything after that is more of the same – writing as if “chance” holds counsel with itself. I know I’m a broken record but evolution is about one thing: reproduction. And along those lines, this is important to note. Humans have reached a unique stage in our development. There are more than 7 billion of us. We have tools, technology, medicine, food, and other resources and those things almost entirely balance out selection pressures. Short of something like a super volcano sending the world into another ice age, or a virus that wipes out most of the human race, at this point mate selection is almost solely a product of partner choice.

            Consequently, reproduction doesn’t hinge on whether anyone believes in evolution or not. Or if someone believes in God or not. So the “house divided” or “author of confusion” statements aren’t applicable. I’d submit they don’t even make sense. With the mitigation of section pressures, as well as our increased intelligence, human survival can tolerate a great deal of conflicting opinion on religion, morality, philosophy, and just about everything else.

            I appreciate you letting me ramble. I’ve enjoyed the exchange.

  18. @ Jack Harper

    I have purposely avoided using the word evolution in our exchanges. The reason is the word seems to carry a sense of self-validation. It’s been sacrilized if you will. However, foundationally we are really talking about time + chance.

    I’m not trying to have fun at your expense. I have been having a bit of fun with this subject. I understand all of the scientific “evidence”, and yet it really makes little sense to me as a belief system.

    You took issue with me anthropomorphizing evolution as having a mind or intent. Did you not do the same thing when you said, “all evolution cares about…”.
    How is something inanimate, without a mind or intent capable of such an extremely advanced cognitive function that involves “caring”. You are borrowing language and concepts here.

    My view of evolution sees a cold, heartless and cruel process that “cares” (borrowed word) absolutely not one wit about misogyny, spiritual abuse and the other things you mentioned as reasons to tear down the entire edifice that is Christianity. If the church is destroyed, how many seconds beyond midnight will all of the evils you mentioned earlier dissappear. Once the church is gone we’ll hear no more of misogyny, spiritual abuse or the like. Is that correct?

    I really can’t give Richard Dawkins a fair reading because he hurt my feelings telling me I wasn’t special. My mother said I was. 🙄

    Thanks for allowing me to dialogue with you. It’s been fun on many levels. You are also a gentleman which I appreciate.

    1. @ Jack Harper

      Greetings to you again. I don’t know if you have decided to stop posting on this thread or not. I did want to know whether you have ever watched any YouTube videos by John Lennox. I included a link to one. He says many things so much better than I ever could. As a mathematician at Oxford, he’s had to field a variety of questions over the years.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0JWqRwWQIKY&feature=youtu.be

      I wanted to say again how much I enjoyed our back-and-forth. I didn’t expect it to be quite so cordial, but that I would attribute to you.

      1. Peter – I am familiar with Lennox, mainly from his debates and more informal talks with Christopher Hitchens. Lennox is brilliant, and definitely an asset to the Christian side when it comes to defending the faith intelligently. I ultimately don’t agree with him (and I think the Christian position is flawed from more perspectives than just the science – including the historical, archaeological, and the theological) but I certainly respect him. I’ll take a look at the link you included.

        Thanks, I’ve enjoyed the exchange as well. The ability to debate with civility largely seems to be a lost art.

        Jack

        1. @ Jack Harper

          “The ability to debate with civility largely seems to be a lost art.”

          Yes it does. I already made the mistake of posting in the comments for another article and the name-calling and shame peddlers are already out in force. I don’t mind someone telling me I’m wrong with a list of reasons why. That’s engaging with whatever is being said and can actually lead to mutual understanding. It’s the declarations that someone’s view/opinion is essentially beneath contempt and unworthy of consideration that bothers me.

          I certainly don’t have all of the answers either, just most of them (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek).

          My interactions with you taught me to be better and hopefully more thoughtful when responding. I can be a bit acerbic at times.

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