Debate/Discussion with Pastor John Murray – NEPA Pridefest 2012

I recently had a debate/discussion with Christian fundamentalist Pastor John Murray from Tree of Life Christian Fellowship Church at NEPA Pridefest 2012 (an LGBT festival) in Kingston, PA. Murray and fellow churchgoers arrived to preach to/protest at NEPA Pridefest 2012.

We chatted for about 45 minutes about homosexuality, faith, theological fatalism, free will, the problem of evil, Stephen Law’s ‘Evil God Challenge,’ the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus, miracles, cosmological arguments, the soul, sin, and much more.

Philosopher Stephen Law enjoyed the discussion and you might too.

Enjoy this lively discussion.


Justin Vacula

Justin Vacula hosts the Stoic Philosophy Podcast; serves as co-organizer and spokesperson for the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) Freethought Society; and has hosted monthly Stoic Philosophy discussion groups for the Humanist Association of Greater Philadelphia.

He has appeared on and hosted various radio shows and podcasts; participated in formal debates and discussions; was a guest speaker for college-level courses; was featured in local, national, and international news; and has been invited to speak at various national, local, and statewide events.

Vacula received bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology, a minor in Professional Writing, and the distinguished W.A. Kilburn Memorial Award for Philosophy from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He is currently living in the Scranton, PA area attending Marywood University’s graduate-level Mental Health Counseling program and has worked with the Arc of Luzerne County’s Transition to Community Employment program as a teacher’s assistant and job coach alongside adult learners with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

He also plays poker; volunteers as a member of the website and media team for the Greyhawk Reborn Dungeons & Dragons campaign while playing at events in the Eastern United States; and enjoys metal music.

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Jesus embraced the outcasts and is the model for mankind

  • Pride, sin and humility all have the letter “I” – hello?

  • Anonymous

    Your argument about God being all-knowing meaning you don’t have free will fails. Knowing what will happen is not the same as making you do something. His knowing what you will choose does not mean you cannot choose. If you see something falling, you know it will hit the ground, though you do not make it hit the ground. It’s not a perfect analogy, but the fact remains that knowing what you will choose does not mean making you choose it.

    • Anonymous

      Hey man, don’t capitalize god. It isn’t a name, it’s a thing-only the Flying Spaghetti Monster or the Green Dragon of Carl Sagan get caps for atheists.

    • Anonymous

      hey man, just because the word God is just a word to you doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have meaning to anyone else. it’s capitalized to show reverence to the higher being that is personified in the “thing”- as you so eloquently put it.

  • This is some religious gold in the comments…

  • Anonymous

    Next time you talk to him, ask him about Deut. 18:20 – “But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.” Jesus clearly changed the meaning and intention of many of the 613 commandments God laid down for His Chosen People. And he was put to death. How does Mr. Murray respond to that? I also noticed he did not respond to your comment about Mohammed being taken up to heaven as Elijah had been – that they did not die. I’m also not sure I buy the argument that Jesus died for our sins. According to Murray, Jesus isn’t dead, so why was it such a sacrifice? To say he was tortured first would imply that if he was tortured and then died for our sins, then no one would be tortured to death in the future. Wish that were so…

    • Anonymous

      There’s no proof Jesus was even real, even the Josephus statements (the only real historical evidence) are demonstrably about another person or are attributed to Jesus due to the mention of a “messiah”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there were alot of messiahs back then and saying Jesus was the one he was speaking of is a little premature… So yeah, jesus wasn’t real either.

  • Anonymous

    Myth believers can jump up and down, yell, scream, Sh*t and fart all they want. It’s not going to stop anything. LOL

  • Pingback: Pride and humility - |