Why do you Christians always throw the Bible in my face?

Seriously, it hurts. Stop it, will ya? Yesterday I walked by a church and the pastor barreled out of the door, ran into the street, screamed “BIBLE!” and chucked it right at my head.

Well, that didn’t LITERALLY happen. But he did say, “good afternoon, God bless,” which is basically the same thing.

In any case, Christians are always shoving their religion in people’s faces. Everything they say, every position they hold, every thought they express — it’s all RELIGION. Even if they don’t explicitly say, “I think this because of my religion,” we all know the score. If it comes from RELIGION, as a secularist, I must hate it. If it’s been heavily influenced or transformed by RELIGION or RELIGIOUS people, I must hate it. That’s why I’m not a big fan of art, architecture, democracy, science, medicine, philosophy, astronomy, the university system, the abolition of slavery, America, Natural Law, Natural Rights, mathematics, the justice system, literature, music, and civilization.

Devious. Devious Christians. It’s like they have this secret plot and they use all of these methods to subversively give glory to their fake sky wizard. That’s a good line, isn’t it? I take this idea of God; the uncaused cause, the first mover, the Creator, the Absolute, the Answer to the riddle that no quantum physicist has ever been able to solve, and I equate it to a “wizard.” As if belief in dimensions of existence that transcend our physical plane can somehow be fairly compared to belief in magical Disney creatures. It’s an effective tactic, isn’t it? Aquinas, DaVinci, Shakespeare, Washington — most of the intellectual giants and great leaders in the past two thousand years have been guided by this conviction, but I can utterly dismiss it with one sarcastic and belittling phrase. There are thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of pages of Christian apologetics written by some of the smartest men and women to ever walk the face of the Earth, yet I can chalk it all up to something as absurd as the Tooth Fairy. And you know what? I can do that without even reading ANY of those pages! You know why? Because I’m a critical thinker, my friend.

A critical thinker — I think about criticizing things. And then I do, without understanding the depth, enormity and beauty of that which I mock.

Stupid Christians. Stupid Christians and their “truth.” You know what they do, don’t you? They all meet in dark rooms around small tables and plot their continued peaceful takeover of the planet. That’s why they prowl all over the Earth, trying to spread their “message” to the disaffected masses. These people – they’re everywhere. You can’t find a single corner, crevice, desert, or third world wasteland that isn’t infested by Christians and their “charities”, and their “hospitals”, and their “ministries”. Believe me, I’ve tried. Sure, it’s getting better here in this country. Christians did the work of settling, building and establishing our nation, but then, in the 1960s, us anti-theists chimed in and said, “thanks, but we’ll take it from here.” There just wasn’t nearly enough nudity, drug usage, and nihilistic apathy, and we knew there never would be if Christians kept running the show. Oh, AND we led the Civil Rights Movement.

Well, the icon of Civil Rights was a reverend, but still.

I’ve tried to escape these Christians. I went to Ethiopia, thinking, surely, I’ll be free of their propaganda in this forsaken pocket of poverty and misery. But what did I see? Christians. Christians down there in the muck and the dirt, serving and loving and healing. Nobody else. Just them. They can never mind their business, can they? Oh don’t give them credit for this “charity.” They’re only doing it out of obedience, reverence and faith. Selfish jerks.

And so I left that place and I traveled east, and then south, and then back north, and still I found them. Everywhere, I found them. I found them in places where their kind is tortured, murdered and persecuted. But they remain. They stay and they spread their Gospel like a virus. It’s quite sad to see those who are brainwashed by it. They smile in the face of pain and sing songs of praise — PRAISE — while they suffer. Christians are far more ravenous and extreme in destitute countries. Hopefully the Christians in America never borrow even a fraction of the enthusiasm and passion that their brothers and sisters in the Third World possess. I think we’ll be safe from such a thing as long as American Christians remain comfortable, lethargic, and spoiled. God willing! I mean, well, you get my point.

Sometimes, when I see how Christians behave when confronted with hardship, I think of a particularly egregious case of Christianity-induced mania. See, there was a man named Father Maximillian Kolbe; he was a priest who was arrested by the Nazis and taken to Aushwitz. One day three prisoners escaped from the camp, which prompted the guards to pick ten men to be starved to death in an underground cell. Upon being selected for execution-by-starvation, one man screamed, “My wife! My children!” Father Kolbe heard his plea and volunteered to die in his stead. The guards agreed and summarily brought Kolbe and nine others into the bunker to be murdered.

Well, Kolbe was a Christian. The other men, while likely not all Christians, were still people of great faith in the sky wizard. So what did they do? They sang! They sang songs and prayed and rejoiced. The other prisoners could hear the songs coming from the death chamber at all hours of the day. For TWO WEEKS these people proclaimed praises to their “god.” Finally, after over 14 days, with Maximillian Kolbe the only one left alive, the guards had to come in and give him a lethal injection.

In stark contrast to this sort of story — one of thousands — we’re fortunate that many Christians in this country, in this day and age, are too afraid to even put “Christian” under “religion” on their Facebook profiles.

But, tragically, not all are quite so cooperative. Some of them still walk around flinging their Bibles all over the place.

What’s so special about this “Bible,” anyway?

It’s a book written and compiled before the printing press; preserved and protected by the blood of many millions; passed through the ages in spite of the countless attempts by marauders and tyrants to erase it from existence. In all of history, no book has been read by more people, nor changed as many lives, nor spurred as many acts of courage and heroism, nor driven men and women to advance civilization like the Bible. But what’s the big deal? It’s the most influential piece of writing of all time, hands down, no contest, without question, but so what? Why should people be kind of psyched about it? Why should it be in our schools? It’s just history’s single most important collection of writings, that’s all. I scoff at it. I scoff at it and all who have died to preserve it.

There’s violence in the Bible, didn’t you hear? VIOLENCE. The first half of the book largely chronicles the plight of ancient man as he strove to shed the shackles of sin and chaos. It is utterly scandalous to my virgin eyes that such a tale would include death and suffering. No! I want the Bible to be a fairy tale. Or, wait, actually I’m ACCUSING the Bible of being a fairy tale. But then why is it so real, raw and challenging? Well, it’s a fairy tale that should be more like a fairy tale. Or something.

Oh, there are other things, sure. A few musing here and there. The Sermon on the Mount, for instance, is the most revolutionary and transformative speech ever delivered in the history of mankind. It’s not exactly a Bill Maher monologue, but it’s OK.

There are a few mentions of love and sacrifice. A few bones are thrown that direction; like the entire New Testament, which is the greatest tale of love and sacrifice ever told. But it’s no Sleepless in Seattle, that’s for certain.

Whatever else the Bible is, it’s definitely one thing above everything: a lie. Lies stacked on top of lies. So how did this lie come to fool billions across the globe? That’s easy to explain. See, a few poor ancient fishermen in the middle of a desert decided to travel across the region and tell a bunch of stories they fabricated out of whole cloth. Oh, I should mention that these poor obscure nobodies also happened to be the greatest geniuses to ever live, which is how they were able to dream up this intricate tale that would captivate billions for two millennia and change the course of human history forever. Or maybe they didn’t make up the Jesus stuff. Jesus actually existed and HE was the smartest man to ever live; it was he who came up with this belief system that would sweep the planet and change the course of human civilization. But if Jesus was such a brilliant, wise and good man, he wouldn’t have erroneously claimed to be the Messiah. So maybe his followers added that in later on. But if they were loyal followers to Jesus and willing to give their lives to spread his philosophy across the world, why would they purposefully distort his teachings in such a drastic way? So perhaps Jesus DID claim to be the Messiah and he duped those poor men. But to claim such a thing would make him either a maniac or a liar. How could he be a lying sociopath AND possess a moral insight unmatched by any other human, past or present? But how could he by a maniac and a man of such lucidity and insight?

Well, there are many options here for anyone who wishes to find any possible way to reject the first option: that it’s all real and true.

However the lie began, we know where it led. These peasants with no education and no resources traveled by foot, by mule, and by boat throughout the region and beyond, telling lies and fables to many people. In the immediate sense, they promised nothing but hardship and suffering to those who joined their cult, and the Apostles themselves stood to gain nothing from any of this. They were eventually killed, and, for centuries, anyone who followed them risked — and often met — the same fate.

Yet in the face of unimaginable odds and violent hostility, these falsehoods claimed the world. How could this have happened?

Can it be stopped? I hope so. But first Christians will have to learn to keep their religion to themselves. They’ll have to stop throwing their Bible around everywhere they go. They’ll have to forget about everything it took to bring their faith to them. They’ll have to stop being Christian.

And then maybe we can all get some peace and quiet.

************

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822 Responses to Why do you Christians always throw the Bible in my face?

  1. jasonjshaw says:

    As for Jesus being either legit, a lunatic, or a liar … well, most who spout that information are neglecting another possibility. Jesus wanted to share the knowledge he had about things, knew he was going to get into trouble, and both formulated a plan to drive the message home and allow him to escape at the same time.

    If you’re curious to understand better, I wrote more in-depth about it in my blog:
    http://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/jesus-liar-lunatic-or-lord-or/

    I’ve also simplified the concepts Jesus presented in a way that anyone can understand, regardless of belief:
    http://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2013/11/10/the-simple-heart-of-christianity/

    Jesus, possibly the greatest magician ever!

    • T says:

      Smarter than C. S. Lewis. More lucid than Jesus. *sigh*

    • brandonelrod says:

      You must be right… Jesus simply pulled off sleight of hand magic tricks that inspired his disciples to the point of sharing them with everyone they knew. They were so emphatic in spreading the news that it eventually led to their dying for belief in Jesus’ message.

      After they saw their magician die, even though they knew that Jesus’ magic could not save him or them, they chose to proclaim him and not stop proclaiming him to the point of death.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        It seems to fit, and there is evidence of other trickery in the Bible such as in the Old Testament where Elijah proves his God to be true over another God by starting a fire after dousing wood with water.

        As it turns out, this event was recreated using scientific knowledge and elements that were available at the time:
        http://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/how-elijah-started-a-fire-with-water/

        But it makes sense that the best magicians would garner the most attention in the realm of belief, especially in those times where information wasn’t widely available.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Problem is that the fire of Elijah consumed even the rocks of the altar, which the video doesn’t mention. I don’t figure that the fire started by those chemical elements could have gotten hot enough to melt the altar itself.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Though, it is pretty clear that Jesus didn’t die. I think seeing him alive after being crucified, an event that most at the time equated with certain death, was more than enough to drive home Jesus’ message to the apostles.

        • brandonelrod says:

          As far as Jesus not dying, the Romans were experts in torture and execution. The Roman officers would have known whether or not Jesus had died (Mark 15:44-45). There is also the incident of Jesus’ side being pierced as a demonstration that Jesus had, in fact, died (John 19:31-37).

          Either way, your scenario doesn’t provide a fourth option to the “liar, lunatic, or Lord.” With what your proposing, Jesus would have been both liar and lunatic. Because with his “magic,” he deceived the people into believing he was something more than he was. It must have been lunacy, then, that drove him to submit to the harshest forms of torture and execution rather than give up the fact that he was a mere illusionist.

          I’m sorry. I just can’t buy the magician theory.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          People jumped to that conclusion themselves though, yes, he gave hints to lead people along such a line of thought, but he seems to avoid any such outright claim. Clearly he survived, and he was sure to have Judas (possibly the most loyal of the apostles, I believe it is understood) turn him in being sure that it was the day before a sabbath.

          Yes, he absolutely risked death, but chances are he prepared for exactly what he was going to be put through. It seems more reasonable than Jesus being one in the same as God and leading to a belief system that has reached a state of corruption not unlike that which came before.

          And obviously, believing Jesus as a true son of God is so engrained in your understandings that you would have difficulty seeing it from a realist point of view. That’s alright. As long as you’re understanding the point of Jesus’ message, that matters more than the story itself.

        • brandonelrod says:

          If you’re using the Gospels to suggest that Jesus never made an outright claim to be the Son of God, then you have overlooked John 10, verse 30 in particular. Even if you want to say that the Apostles understanding of Jesus as the Son of God were exaggerations that Jesus himself did not intend, then you would still have to question Jesus’ ethics. Under your theory Jesus was an incredibly lucid man, and he would have understood that people would have perceived him to be a god. If he did nothing to clearly state otherwise, then he was either intentionally deceiving his followers, or he was beyond naive. Neither of which you seem to want to admit.

          With regard to Judas, if he truly was one of Jesus’ most trustworthy followers, why would he have committed suicide? Why would Jesus have not straightened out the perception that he was an evil man after his supposed resurrection? History shows that Judas’ name would persevere in infamy as one of the most heinous characters to have walked to earth. Is this how a decent man rewards his closest follower?

          Regarding your statement about corruption in the church, corruption appears in every human institution: government, business, charities, and yes, religion. If we were to denounce the foundational beliefs of every human endeavor simply based on its failings, then we’d be left with nothing. More could be said about this topic, but you mentioned it in passing. So, I’ll respond to it in passing.

          Since you ignored my notes on the nature of Roman crucifixion and Jesus’ death, I’ll simply close by asking you what you think Jesus was trying to accomplish. If it’s important that I believe the message rather than the story, what exactly do you think that message is?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          It could very well have been a deception that Jesus had convinced himself was small in comparison to the understandings he was sharing. Wouldn’t that be quite the irony!

          I am curious, as John clearly wanted to make Jesus out to be the true son of God, are there any suggestions of Jesus making such claims in the other gospels?

          As for Judas, from what I understand, he was the treasurer of the disciples. For him to betray Jesus like that would clearly put him at odds with everyone he is close to. But had it been by Jesus’ suggestion, he would have a difficult time refusing to the one he followed so closely, yet after following through, he would likely feel extremely conflicted about what he had done, especially believing that Jesus was dead and that he alienated himself from the rest of the disciples. Judas committing suicide fits. Jesus clearing Judas’ name would cause suspicion to Jesus’ narrative, so his best bet would be to not do that. Not a nice thing to do, Jesus probably didn’t hope for such a result though.

          As for Roman crucifixion, an article I just came across gives some evidence that Jesus could have had some inside help in surviving on top of only being up there for a few hours.
          http://apologeticsuk.blogspot.ca/2012/01/jesus-crucifixion-roman-crucifixion.html

          Specifically, the author quotes a section that mentions that Jesus’ handlers during the crucifixion process could very well have been from the poor class, the class that would see Jesus in a more positive light but still have to do their job. If this was planned, Jesus might have made extra effort to be sure his handlers were aware of what he stood for, as it was the poor class that Jesus cared the most about.

          What Jesus was trying to accomplish was to teach a way of non-violence that brings people together to look after each other. I detail the concepts in this blog post of mine:
          http://christianitysimplified.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/jesus-liar-lunatic-or-lord-or/

          And yes, if my theory is true, Jesus was deceptive on account of what he led people to believe about him, but that deception doesn’t nullify the concepts that he shared. If churches actually put those concepts at the forefront of their teachings, rather than Jesus as an idol, I doubt corruption would run as rampant as it does through Christianity. If God really meant this as a message to us all, would He have done it if corruption was going to affect it just as much as any other institution?

        • brandonelrod says:

          Each of these passages–Mark 14:60-62; Matt. 26:63-65; Luke 22:67-70–refer to when Jesus gets asked whether or not he is the Christ, or the Son of God. He responds positively in each account.

          The link you posted about crucifixion gave no evidence that I saw about Jesus having inside help. The article talked about how Jesus actually died on the cross. It cited things I talked about earlier. Each Gospel refers to Joseph of Arimathaea as one of the main persons involved with burying Jesus. Matthew 27:57-60 says that he was a wealthy man. So, the Bible does not corroborate a theory that states that the poor buried Jesus. Admittedly, I am a little confused by what you are trying to say when you talk about Jesus’ handlers.

          As to who Jesus is and his purpose for coming, the fact that sin and corruption can affect the church is the very reason why he did come. The Good News about what Jesus accomplished through his death and resurrection is so that we might have new life aside from the sin that so easily entangles us.

          This post does a good job of explaining it: http://whatsbestnext.com/2011/04/6-things-christ-accomplished-by-his-death/.

          Because of this, a genuine Christian is going to say that Jesus is Lord. Jesus saved us through his work on the cross, and that process continues through sanctification and will be finished in the end through glorification.

          So, throughout its history, the church, as an institution made up of sinful people, has erred before. But God loves his church and has also continually brought them back to focus on the saving work of Christ.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          You don’t find it fishy at all that Jesus was on the cross for only 3 hours (when crucifixion is intended to cause a slow, painful death) and that his legs weren’t broken to ensure his death?

          The evidence of inside help is in the connection that those who were involved in the preparation and crucifixion were for the most part likely made up of poor people. If someone rich was involved, well, I’m sure it wasn’t just the poor who felt Jesus was doing positive work. He did spend time with people with money as well such as tax collectors. Maybe he was some supernatural being sent from the heavens, but it seems there is a possibility that maybe he wasn’t.

          The link you posted reads like a bunch of idolatry and superstition to me. Within the superstitions of the beliefs of the time, it does make sense and Jesus did make big changes in that context, but he did make it a point to state that calling him Lord and latching onto all the good things he did isn’t going to get anyone anywhere unless they do the will of the Father. I agree with #5 as he did bring forward a way of thinking that was people-minded, but one could argue that with the natural ebb and flow of nature, it would find a way of happening anyways, with or without Jesus.

          And yes, I agree, humanitarian organizations can lose focus, and they can come back into focus. I don’t even think the church is a special case in that regard. It’s just the balance that life works within, it’s how the systems function that God put into place.

          Also, could it be possible that Jesus’ claims to be the son of God were in themselves a form of parable?

        • brandonelrod says:

          I don’t find it fishy with the record that blood and water hit the ground after the Romans pierced his side:

          http://www.gotquestions.org/blood-water-Jesus.html

          And if Jesus’ claims were supposed to be a parable, what were they supposed to mean? Why would he do that?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          As for Jesus being pierced, I’m surprised that is only mentioned in the gospel of John. I find that in itself a little suspicious. Otherwise, if Jesus had such a reputation from his claims, I imagine they would either really want to make sure he was dead, or they would be intimidated by his claims and no one would want to be the one to actually kill him in case there was truth to his claims. I question that if Jesus was speared that it was in a location of his body that would produce the visual results described, but not actually be lethal.

          The description from the link would make sense if they did put Jesus through the wringer as they would anyone else, but Jesus wasn’t “anyone else”. He was as mentally prepared as he could be to go through such punishment. While I accept your understanding is a possibility, I am not convinced that it is the only possibility.

          As for Jesus’ claims as a parable – he was teaching the idea of the Holy Trinity. Respect the Father (all outside forces) and the Son (humanity), and the Holy Spirit is available (self-respect). Of course, Jesus had to give people a reason to realize the animal sacrifices were unnecessary to end the religious corruption of the money changers. And I think there were some elements of prophesy that needed to be fulfilled involved. Jesus being crucified was a culmination of all these things in order to drive home Jesus’ teachings. It strikes me as quite parable-like, though a little more complex than that.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Ultimately, I feel like your theory way oversimplifies Jesus’ ministry. You’re right. He wasn’t “anyone else.” He was the Son of God who accomplished for humanity something that we couldn’t do for ourselves; he destroyed the power of sin and death. He made a way for us to return to the relationship with God that we were made for but sin had made impossible.

          His life was more than a parable about the human condition and the teaching that promoted the way we should live. Jesus’ life, death, and his resurrection actually made salvation possible for all humanity. He is, as he himself claimed to be, “the way, the truth, and the life” and we cannot get to God unless it is through him (John 14:6).

          That’s what the Bible says about who Jesus was and is. That’s what Jesus said about himself in the Gospels. That’s what Paul, Peter, James, John, and the rest of the NT writers believed about Jesus and his ministry.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Are you sure that using the divine being explanation isn’t actually an oversimplification of an extraordinary feat by a human done to help wake people up about how corrupt the church had become and how unnecessary some of their practices were?

          Also, I’m not too knowledgeable about Islam, but from what I’ve heard, in their holy book Jesus is a significant character, but not God.

          Also, from what I’ve heard and from evidence in the Bible, Jesus wasn’t the only one of the time performing miracles and presenting teachings. It doesn’t seem as though he came out of nowhere to bring wild new ideas. But he had solid teachings and was able to make people take notice, which in a time of limited literacy was necessary in order to have a lasting impact.

          Regardless of the full truth of the back story, understanding the concept of a loving God through Jesus is a positive message no matter how you look at it. The trouble I have with the idea of Jesus as God is that it can bring with it pride of belief which can be a damaging thing. Following in Jesus’ ways as a human goes to show that any of us can make a difference like Jesus did.

        • brandonelrod says:

          The entire theology of the Bible, Old and New Testaments, is about how humans cannot do it on their own and need to rely on God, specifically the saving work of Jesus on the cross. We should all try to be like Jesus. The ability to be like him, however, is “not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:9).

        • jasonjshaw says:

          I agree that we should do what we can and that it’s not about how much we can do, but it is about being mindful about when we contribute in a meaningful way. I also agree that we can’t do it on our own as there are greater forces acting upon us beyond our comprehension, regardless what name(s) we give those forces. The focus on Jesus dying on the cross for humanity’s sins – I see that as a way to bring some people to the greater understandings described in the Bible, but I also see it as a factor of divisiveness where some people elevate that focus above the suggestion to “love your neighbour as yourself”. That’s a big part of why I question it.

        • brandonelrod says:

          A lot of Jesus’s words and actions were divisive, for instance Matthew 10:34-39:

          “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

          The love that Christ showed during his earthly ministry was not a meek sort of thing. He is not willing to overlook sin, but wants people to realize that it is only through him that we can overcome the throes of sin and death.

          I would argue that the name of those forces have been revealed to us through the Bible. They are Satan and the Triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Jesus says in Matthew 12:30 that “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” We are either for him or against him, and those words come from Jesus.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          That first passage reads to me like Jesus is saying don’t believe in others more than believing in the ways of God, and to follow Jesus’ lead in putting God first. I’m not sure that necessarily means putting Jesus first, but Jesus was acting as an example.

          Yes, the Bible gives names to the concepts. Satan represents sin, or selfishness. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit represent the greater forces upon us, humanity, and self respect.

          And to add to your quote about the divisiveness of Jesus’ message, he also states in Luke 9:50 ‘“Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”’ – which seems to be a suggestion that all humanitarian efforts are worthwhile in the same vein of what Jesus was doing. Where as the quote in Matthew is where Jesus was making a point about how anything divided against itself can’t stand. For the people to believe Jesus was evil to be able to cast out demons was suggesting evil against itself which wouldn’t let evil stand. In saying that, they were considering themselves good and were going against Jesus’ goodness. Jesus was speaking of them in particular calling out something humanitarian as being bad, therefore they really did have to choose a side in their understanding of what Jesus had just done.

        • brandonelrod says:

          The context of Luke 9:50, though, is that the disciples had come across a man who was casting out demons in Jesus’s name. The concept of “for us” is very specific to a philosophy and a theology that extends beyond mere humanitarian interests. From what I can gather from your writing, your understanding of who Jesus is rests on this foundation of Jesus as an excellent moral teacher.

          But the Jesus that the Bible portrays is something so much more than that. Jesus asks his disciples who they thought that he was (Mark 8:27-29; Matt. 16:13-16). He was the Messiah. His goal and the purpose of his coming to earth was to open the door to salvation that we could not open on our own. Yes, Jesus’s life serves as an example, but that example is not one that we live up to without him. Much more than an example, his death and resurrection have become the means through which we are able to live up to the high calling placed on humanity here on earth.

          It is a story that has to be more than allegorical to be of any true use to us because the ideal that Jesus demonstrates far and above anything that we are capable of without him. The Father, Spirit, and Son are beyond analogies for the forces you described. They are persons, living and active. If it’s just a metaphor, then the Bible’s about as good for humanity as any literary work. If the characters aren’t real and the saving works described therein did not take place, what hope is there for humanity?

          The greater testimony of human history and the way that things usually tend to devolve pretty quickly shows that there is little hope for humanity–little reason to take humanism seriously. We don’t rise above. We don’t evolve. We aren’t at our core good.

          But, that’s the hope of salvation through Jesus Christ. We are neither the end nor the means of our salvation. So, there is reason to hope, and there is a person to hope in: Jesus the Messiah. The Bible does not leave any room for any other interpretation of its content.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          I can see where you’re coming from, but I have difficulty agreeing. Personally, I grew up under the impression that anything magic is actually an illusion. Needless to say, after coming to understand that, I lost interest in becoming a magician. I loved doing graphic design, but couldn’t get involved with advertising because of how it used illusion to convince people of things.

          Needless to say, with such an understanding, I am unable to accept the magic of the Bible at face value. This is why I’ve had to explore other possibilities to explain it and be at peace with what was written, as before I dove into learning the Bible, I felt intimidated by Christians and Biblical lingo. It seemed so strange to me. And I had encountered several Christians who had tendencies to be rather manipulative with their actions – but they wouldn’t swear! Honestly, it baffled me. In my limited understanding of Christianity, I expected that Christians would abide to a higher morality. I’ve come to realize that is not the case.

          I don’t see how there wouldn’t be hope for humanity without Jesus. It’s like in the Old Testament, there is an ebb and flow of how people act. A continuing balance. Heck, from my understandings of how the world functions, everything seems to come down to balances. In that alone there proves to always be hope.

          If my understanding of the Bible has truth to it, I disagree about it being as good for humanity as any other literary work. It is a very significant piece of literature and of history. Even not believing in the magical elements, in taking it in as metaphor, I found it did a world of good for my perspectives on how to deal with life and to have a stronger eye on the humanity of situations.

          And yes, even without sharing the belief you do, I do believe we are at our core, good. We want our species to live on, but individual selfishness (sin) does get in the way. But forgiveness is always available. I believe it always was. I don’t believe God would have got that wrong and then had to change it part way through human history.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Well, God didn’t change it part way through history. OT Judaism teaches that God alone can be a person’s salvation. He is the only one capable of saving anyone from the power of sin and death. The realization of how God’s salvation took place was revealed through Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection on the cross.

          I think there is a distinction between magic and miracle. People often use magic to manipulate. A miracle is designed to save. I wouldn’t call the supernatural of the Bible magic. The aim of the majority of supernatural elements in the Bible were miraculous, worked to bring about salvation. Regardless, you don’t believe in the supernatural at all. So that point is probably moot for you.

          Regarding Christian behavior, we should abide to a higher standard, but we don’t always. We are still human and we will still make mistakes.

          To say that the Bible does a great deal to change a person’s perspective is very true. Any great work of literature can do that. As an English student, I have read several books that have altered my perspective (mostly for the better). The aim of the Bible, however, is about much more than changing perspectives. It claims that its message, the Gospel, can radically change people, not just perspective. The Bible details a lengthy history that argues that people are not inherently good, and that is why the change is necessary. That is why the saving work of Jesus Christ is necessary. And faith in him initiates the transformation.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          I look at miracles as expanded boundaries of what we thought was humanly possible. I believe Jesus did do many things that people were completely awestruck by. I believe that could very well have contributed to folklore of even more miraculous events that may not have quite happened. Such is human nature, though. The angels, earthquakes and tearing curtains surrounding Jesus’ suggested death on the cross sounds to me more like dramatic effect, which does a great job of framing Jesus as being of unimaginable importance.

          The thing that bothers me the most though, is that considering Jesus’ message of love and understanding, those institutions that supposedly hold Jesus closest tend to be more condemning and controlling than focused on absolving sin through love. If Jesus was a direct communication from God, it blows my mind how many people who supposedly believe it aren’t able to understand what really is a rather simple message.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Honestly, it bothers me too. I think Christianity, primarily in the United States, has the tendency to use Jesus’s name in vain by making him the mascot of their own ideology, labeling their thoughts as Jesus’s. This sort of thing has happened with God (and various other gods) for millennia.

          But all of the hypocrisy that bothers you (and me) is precisely why the salvation of Jesus Christ is so important. It’s proof that people are desperately in need of him and what he accomplished. That’s why I believe he is far more than an important historic or literary figure. He was the Son of God, the true Light of the world, the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

          He is my Savior, and I am eternally grateful.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Would you say that they are using Jesus’ status as Son of God in a way comparable to idolatry?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Ah, I am learning that there is a lot of contention as to what is considered idolatry, even within different denominations of Christianity. It makes sense to me as putting focus on any particular image rather than focusing on God. An article I came across even suggested that a focus on Jesus carries a risk of idolatry, while a focus on God (the father) would be automatically inclusive of Jesus without the risk of idolatry. I found that a rather interesting perspective, as I have felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea of believing in Jesus as God in order for the rest to fall into place as some churches tend to promote.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Jesus as God and the doctrine of the Trinity has been one of the core aspects of Christianity for centuries. Any person who claims Christianity and denies the Trinity will be in the minority.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Aren’t all those who “love their brother” and accept God as their father also children of God? I believe this point allows for the doctrine of the Trinity even without Jesus as God. Looking at it this way may even bring stronger emphasis to the humanity aspect that Jesus promotes, without the focus moving past humanity and on to Jesus.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Are you implying that humanity is a part of the Trinity?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          I think it can be looked at in that way, yes. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit can be matched with external forces, inter-personal, and and an internally-connected element.

        • brandonelrod says:

          So there’s no distinction for you between humanity and divinity? Or, in other words, there is no such thing as divinity.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Man was created in the image of God, how is humanity not divine?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          9 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” ~ Mark 12:29-31

          I find this to be a good indicator of this idea as well, coming directly from Jesus himself.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Biblically and logically, there are several holes in the assumption that humanity is divine.

          First, if humanity is/was divine, why was the temptation in Eden “you will be like God” even remotely appetizing to Adam and Eve? Should they have been divine, why were they deceived by such a notion? That’s just one biblical example.

          I asked a question in my previous response about how you distinguished between humanity and divinity. Logically, the two cannot be the same because of finitude. Humans have a beginning; God does not. That’s just one logical conundrum in equating humanity with divinity.

          So, my understanding of what you’re arguing, though, is that the entire concept of the Trinity and the whole of the biblical message is a metaphor for humanity. Based on how I’ve understood what you have been saying, God does not actually exist as a separate, personal being. Instead, god is humanity, and the triune nature found in Christianity is simply the metaphorical vehicle that describes the human psyche.

          Am I wrong in figuring that that is what you mean?

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Working from an understanding of Jesus as human and not God, I believe this is how the idea of the Trinity can shake out and still be made sense of with relevance. The Trinity seems to be built up on the belief of Jesus as God as in my research I have actually come across several writings that argue against the Trinity as Jesus didn’t actually teach it specifically. That surprised me as I thought it was a generally accepted notion within Christianity.

          I believe there is an element of divinity in humanity from a Biblical perspective. Obviously humanity isn’t divine to the extent of the Father, which is why Jesus always pointed to the Father, but that humanity is seen as a life form that is more directly connected to God.

          And yes, I would say that Jesus’ message is one meant to emphasize humanity. I believe he used himself as a vehicle to bring others to such an understanding.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Well, if the triune view of God is wrong, there is absolutely no purpose behind trying to make it somehow still relevant. The Trinity comes solely from the biblical portrait of Jesus as God as well as the Holy Spirit. No traditionally Christian writer is going to argue against the Trinity as it is a generally accepted doctrine of Christianity. I’m not saying that you won’t find people who disagree, but that those who do disagree are not aligned with the traditional doctrines of Christianity that have been established for centuries.

          From a biblical perspective, there is no element of divinity in humanity unless you want to use the term divinity very loosely to the point that there is no longer any real meaning to the term.

          One of the clear and explicit themes of Scripture is that of sin and it’s consequence: death. Without the saving effect of Jesus on the cross, the Bible teaches that the result of human effort is death–morally, spiritually, physically–because of sin. Without redemption, human life has no value in and of itself because it cannot produce the righteousness that God requires.

          Jesus’ ministry was about pointing people to God and, as the Son of God, to himself as well so as to bring about a faith in God that would lead to salvation–a salvation that was achieved through Christ’s death and resurrection.

          In using the passage you quoted from Mark, you conflated Jesus’s message about the Law with a message about human identity that Jesus was not making. When Jesus said to love God and love people, he was not saying God and people were the same substance or on the same level of hierarchy. This can be seen in the context of what you posted. That the most important is to love God and the second most important is to love your neighbor as yourself. A way to paraphrase this might be to say, “Love God with all you are because God is higher than you, and love your neighbor as yourself because you are not superior to any other individual.”

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Actually, there is purpose in keeping relevance in the Trinity concept as it is a tradition many do hold closely. To try to rip parts away as if they have no significance, as is common in strong atheistic belief, only causes division between the different ways of thinking when we should be seeking ways to connect understandings. If Jesus was only a human, he did this very effectively, embracing Judaism and taking the narrative upon himself in order to connect people to the differing ideas he was bringing to the table. He made some bold stands, but he was very wise about belief from a young age. Add in all that he could have learned in his ‘missing years’ and a quick-thinking intuition as demonstrated by his ability to explain things with parables and it doesn’t seem to me to be a stretch that he could become the Godly figure that he is seen to be.

        • brandonelrod says:

          Jesus didn’t claim to be bringing in new or differing ideas.

          Matthew 5:17-20

          “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

          Jesus didn’t see himself as bringing something new, but rather as fulfilling what had been prophesied long ago. He was the Messiah, the Son of God who came down to earth to be the salvation of humanity from sin and death.

          That aspect of the biblical narrative cannot be overlooked or downplayed.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Fulfillment! Ah! That clever Jesus! Perspective is everything.

          Why would God play games with humanity like that in the first place is what I wonder. You might have to ask him for me if my lack of belief in Jesus as God doesn’t get me up there to ask him myself!

          Happy new year!

        • brandonelrod says:

          Thanks for the sarcasm.

          Enjoy your new year.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Just thought I’d end up on a lighter note! But I do thank you, it is interesting to better understand how Christian belief is rationalized.

          I understand better why the pastor at the church I attended would always take a moment at the end of each sermon to ask new believers to accept Jesus and believe before actually learning about Jesus through the Bible. He had some great teachings that I found enjoyable and insightful, but when he moved into his ‘raise your hand if you will now accept Jesus as your lord and saviour’ it just came across as really awkward.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          And to add to that last part, that seems like a call out to Christians to be more accepting of other beliefs that work for the good of humanity. Any system that frees people of their demons can’t be evil as that would be evil fighting against itself. So for Christians to fight against other humanitarian systems, that would be on par to them choosing to be against Jesus.

        • kevind says:

          This was a fascinating conversation to read. Brandon, I appreciate your thoughtful and straightforward explanations. Jason, you’ve got some interesting ideas, but you are only picking parts of the Bible you favor. Quite often you dismissed things as metaphorical, or you associated a novel symbolism with down-to-earth events.

          I’m glad you’re thinking about these things, but you also are *not* thinking about some things. You’re putting a lot of effort in to avoid accepting Jesus for who he is — why is that? I ask you that as someone who did the same thing for 25 years before finally considering, “Wait a minute, what if it’s all true?”

        • jasonjshaw says:

          Kevin, trouble is, I am under the understanding that anything that seems magical is really an illusion, and that if something is too good to be true, chances are there is something in the understanding of it that is being neglected to allow for a more balanced view of it. Essentially coming down to ‘every action has an equal or opposite reaction’.

          These understandings and a view of Jesus as God tend not to mesh well, though it has led me to explore the idea of Jesus as a human and how that might fit the Biblical narrative, as Jesus was certainly in-tune with humanity.

          Was there any specific event that led to you questioning “what if it’s all true?”

        • kevind says:

          Like you, I had made up my mind based on my own experience that magic and miracles were hogwash. I too was cynical about things that were too good to be true, and certainly cynical about religious institutions.

          And then I read a story that a coworker lent me, nothing fancy. In fact the writing was pretty mediocre. But in the story, a cynic hears this idea that God loves him, and that the evidence of that love was in what Jesus did for him. And in the story, this cynic becomes a Christian in a moment.

          And I thought to myself of all the philosophizing I’d done and years of investigation into spiritual matters and how to be a better person, and how there are a billion ideas on the meaning of life — how could any one single idea be correct? That’s preposterous. Except I’m a scientist, and I had not considered one particular possibility: What if everything that classic Christianity claimed to be true was in fact true? I was rejecting data because of my bias, and that was disingenuous. So what came out of my mouth was the first real prayer of my life: “Is it true?”

          And immediately I felt more than heard the word YES resound within me. I experienced a very real and shocking internal transformation in the span of a second, an immense feeling of love and acceptance and celebration like I’d just run through the finish line of a race I didn’t know i was running, and I was being hugged by some long lost best friend. The experience defied any logical explanation, save for the one obvious one. Jesus was indeed very real.

          If I’d heard my old self tell me this story, I’d probably chalk it up to some brain misfire or confluence of psychology and biology. I would eliminate the possibility of it being a spiritual experience and hubristically nod and smile when I heard it. But you can do that with anything: pat someone on the head when they tell you that they’re in love, and just dismiss it as biochemistry and cultural influence on the subconscious. It is quite convenient to write off wonder and mystery and God and miracles, vetoing them from existence because, well hey, that’s just impossible. We know better, right? Because we saw a show on the Discovery Channel that explained it all. Once we write off the things we don’t understand then we don’t have to deal with them as possibilities or — even worse — realities.

          So that is what I found out when I let my guard down one time. And it’s been quite an adventure 15 years later — my life has never been the same, and I am daily astounded and still fascinated with the very divine, very miraculous, Jesus.

        • jasonjshaw says:

          You’ve got me curious! What sort of data were you rejecting because of your bias? What all in Christianity were you rejecting – and for that which you were rejecting, was it an outright rejection of ideas or did you have alternate explanations that still legitimized the ideas?

    • Joshua Pete Bergfalk says:

      -I’ll adopt your views for a second. *the conclusion* of the Bible is the story of Revelations (even if you’re non-christian I highly suggest reading this piece, it’s very interesting) foretelling Earth as we know it being destroyed by fire. This leads me to believe God has the best interest for us (Is this a warning?)(Would he be against burning oil?)(Has the future been prophesied?)
      -The Bible may have negative parts but it is to instill the fear into us, and the only thing more powerful then fear is hope. Death is an underlying menace in everyday life! So why is it you are so startled by it in a mere story child?
      -When you ask us, ‘What’s so special about this “Bible,” anyway?’ Immediately my mind is flooded with this verses, however I feel obligated to say perhaps you should read the book and see how it speaks to you. I know who I was before and I know how I’ve been changed.
      -While in this life I was raised a Christian, and practiced Buddhism throughout it, I inevitably had a falling out with the loss of my childhood innocence, and was dragged down by this world and its addictive habits. However the power of prayer and faith brought me back into a community that brings me Great Comfort. I read in a verse somewhere in he Bible, I should share this great comfort I have been blessed with, with others, all the time, so there it is! Peace and Happiness be with you all. For me personally, taking an education over drugs is in my eyes, ‘a miracle.’
      =If God died for us, tell me what you’re gonna die for??????????
      -OH & BTW NO MAGICIAN COULD EVER FUCKING HEAL FUCKING HOLES IN THEIR FUCKING WRISTS AND FUCKING FEET IN THREE FUCKING DAYS!!!!!!! only a Sith Lord could do that… jkjk your argument is invalid and stupid.. you feel me? Jesus ain’t a magician, he was a carpenter. This isn’t our era, they didn’t have multiple dead end jobs to barely scrape by lol.
      -People have practiced crucifixion all around the world.. if you don’t believe me you should do some research on capital punishment… the bible whether u accept it or not, teaches a valuable message that pushes us to become evermore morally obligated. sorry for the long post!>.<
      -Please forgive us Father, for we know not what we do. Amen.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Clearly from the attacking portion of your response, you could use another read through of the Bible. And yes, I have read it, it was just as useful without believing Jesus to be some sort of magical entity. And from what I recall, Jesus’ wounds were not healed post-crucifixion, they were visible. I welcome you to prove me wrong on that.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        Oh, and Revelations, it is quite the section! I can see it being a story of Christians attempting to come to grips with the realization that Jesus was completely human and that focus on him as Son of God will be difficult for the Christian community to accept, having that belief so engrained in their consciousness. It’s actually pretty wonderful the understanding I’ve come to regarding the Bible! I welcome people to engage in conversation about it, to question it, to challenge it. Much like Jesus did of his understandings. A lot can be learned from Jesus if you open yourself to understand what he understood.

    • Chance says:

      I agree it is very annoying having religion constantly shoved in my face. I do not currently have a religion. I choose not to label myself in the religious world as many hypocrites do. According to definition I am “agnostic atheist” but I just call myself a human. One thing I can’t stand are the hypocrites that constantly bash religions, but end up talking about religions more than all/religions combined. Many atheists even unintentionally preach religion, to make their points; in turn they have actually taught complete strangers many scriptures from the Bible. I like to call them Atheist Moses 4.0 considering they seem to lead the way, and it is mostly on sociail media. Take Richard Dawkins for example. His entire life revolves around religion- talking about it, and teaching it… While being against it. I do not mind religions and I respect all belief. However in my short 30 year experience on this planet, I have had anti-religion thrown in my face 500× more often than religion itself. Seeing as we experience less than one percent of reality (considering we observe less than one percent of “reality”) I tend to keep an open mind. I’ve also studied science for over 2 decades and even according to science, a higher power could exist. Science says it is improbable, not impossible. Speaking on more of the quantum level, it could even be possible for multiple gods to exist here, while other “Gods” exist in multiple universes. Picture a negative number of Gods. What exactly would that be? I can’t fathom it, but according to science, a negative number of higher powers could exist while an infinite number of higher powers exist simultaneously. Only a small mind would ever claim absolute certainty about the existence of a higher power, before it has been proven true or false. Closed minded individuals are what hold us back in the scientific community. They are the same type that would call you a fool and a joke if you believed the earth WASNT the center of the universe. Those people were mocked simply because they had an open mind to endless possibilities. In conclusion, before I rant on into oblivion, you can label yourself all you want, believe what you believe…. But if you constantly speak against religion and continue claiming your belief is the only true answer; then you aren’t any different than the Jehovah witness going door to door and trying to get more people to follow what you believe. And again, it is huge on social media, so “door to door” turns into webpage to webpage, blog to blog, as you speak your non-belief and act as if you are different than a religion. That is one more reason I do not label myself as atheist… It is embarrassing to have any correlation to the hypocrital atheists that are annoying and shove their belief in other peoples faces more than all religions combined.

      • jasonjshaw says:

        I am a bit confused by your response. I agree with your sentiment on keeping an open mind. I am not claiming my personal perspective to be an absolute truth, I am presenting it as an option that the majority of Christianity neglects. I only hope that it will serve to help open the minds of both Christians and Atheists to allow more dialogue about the middle ground, the things that connect as all. That, and even as a non-believer, I found the Bible to contain many useful truths that can be useful to anyone. I support an inclusive approach, not the exclusive approach that the Atheists you refer to attempt to promote.

  2. Sam Waddell says:

    Sorry it can’t be stopped!

  3. Josh says:

    It’s too bad fundamentalists don’t look beyond the literal message and see the deeper essence of the Bible. All the stories are metaphor and symbolism to reveal a deeper reality about our lives.

    • Benjamin says:

      Not sure if Gnostic, or another Bultmann-ish existentialist .

      Consider: if 1 Corinthians (especially Paul’s creed in ch. 15) can be dated even liberally to 58 AD, and Christ was crucified approx 33 AD (cf. Tacitus), that’s a meager 25 years between Jesus’ Death and the appearance of the first theological writings regarding Him! And If St. Paul takes the life and times of Jesus Christ seriously and literally in 1 Cor, and so also do scads of Christians after Paul, where possibly could “deeper essences” and “metaphors” develop? They couldn’t have been intended by the original authors of the gospels — St. James and St. Peter never correct Paul’s interpretation when they speak with each other! And if Jesus had “appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep,” couldn’t any false ideas of Christ have been quickly destroyed by those living witnesses in the ancient near east?

      Christianity is historically vulnerable. Its message must have some aspect of being literal, otherwise none of Paul’s theologies can stand. The faith won’t survive on the seeming profundity of the Sermon on the Mount, not in the same way that Buddhism might on the beauty of the Eightfold Path.

    • TJ Petri says:

      Josh,
      Literal parts of the Bible should be taken literally, and figurative taken figuratively. When you read a book about someones life, and it states ” I was high as a kite” in reference to an event in their life, do you take that literally? Hmm? Do you think the guy was up in the air like a kite? Probably not. But that does not make the story untrue.
      Here is one literal part of the Bible that you may want to read- John 14:6-
      Read that line, and tell us your ” interpretation” . Sometimes you have to just man up and face the truth about God, and His word. Prove 1 letter of it to be wrong, or keep it zipped. I am tired of people who are simply not wanting to deal with their sinful state, Jesus and the cross, so they pretend maybe it is not really true. You can fool yourself for awhile, while on earth, but believe me, God has not moved. You and I will face God one day and give an account for our position on Christ. Period.

  4. pathaggart says:

    It would be ignorant to say that ALL Christians do this and that ONLY Christians do this.

  5. Truckinwife says:

    Be stopped? No may it ever be! This isn’t something there to pester you nor to make you feel like scum. This is about life, eternal life, something you will deny verbally and in the public square. But, and BIG but here, you too will come to face with this in the end. And I for one would rather error on the side of being wrong about Christ Jesus then to deny Him. May God have mercy on your soul.

  6. Ash says:

    I find it completely ironic that the would-be saviors of intellectual thought come to free Christians of their ideological thinking are in and of themselves guilty of the same crime they accuse the accused of having: of thinking that they are the center of the universe (much like the stifling priests persecuting the scientists who tried to prove that we in fact circle the sun and not the other way around). Meaning- they believe that because they cannot YET quantify, comprehend, or measure higher dimensions (which many theorize exist based on science), we all must concede that there is nothing in existence within those higher dimensions (ie. nothing after this life). That just because you cannot see the other side of the moon it must not exist- it’s tantamount to believing the earth is flat. They mock all those who leave room for the thinking that there may be some things beyond the grasp of current understanding. Who, in possession of a true critical thinking mind, can of good conscious say that because we cannot comprehend or measure higher dimensions, there must be no possibility of a higher dimensional being who has had some part in our creation? You can’t. The most you can admit is that YOU DON’T KNOW. Read the book flatlands. It will revolutionize your idea of reality- at least it did for me.

    The bible came from a time when any advanced science would appear miraculous, but that doesn’t mean it in and of itself is impossible or unscientific. For all we know we are like bacteria spread on a petrie dish being observed as we speak. In fact, that is the basic premise of religion (all types), that this life is a time to prove ourselves to see whether we are living up to the prescribed rules handed down by higher beings who have visited in the past to better ourselves. In other words, this is a simulation, an experiment from which our actions will determine whether or not we level up or will stall. So we can discredit several millennium of accounts of just such encounters with beings that somehow have mastery over time and space, swatting them away with and airy gesture of our hand and scathing witty remarks, or we can accept that man is fallible and we simply do not know. Not knowing is not the same thing as something not existing. And believing the witness and testimony of others who have claimed to see and hear with their own eyes is no different than taking the testimony of a witness at the stand in a court room. It’s your choice. Maybe they are telling the truth, maybe not. Whichever side you pick, faith is involved.

    • Ash says:

      And yes I know he’s being sarcastic. I’m referring to everyone else.

    • Majere says:

      Isn’t it a little skewed to say that Atheists are in the wrong for claiming that there absolutely is no God with no definitive proof, when likewise Christians claim that their absolutely is a God, with no definitive proof? I don’t see the difference really. Yes, faith is required on both “sides” but there is just as much probability of Christians being wrong as Atheists. To go off topic, the thing that bothers me is that Christians resort to horror stories of Hell and eternal punishment to try to manipulate people into joining their religion. To me, organized religion represents just another way for groups of people to try to coerce and control others, forcing them to live their live’s a certain “proper” way (the way they want them to live it). Indoctrinate them when they are young and impressionable, if that doesn’t work scare them with stories of eternal punishment and damnation (or reincarnation as a slug if you’re Buddhist). Social shaming and judgmental attitudes are fair game too. I’m all for individual spirituality and seeking the truth, but organized religion? No. Returning to main topic, as you say “the most you can admit is I DON’T KNOW”. -End rant

  7. Lisa K says:

    You’ve forgotten to touch on the “positive” attributes of Christianity like rampant misogyny, homophobia and pedophilia, all advanced in the name of God. Not to mention the preachings of the Pope who declared that condoms spread AIDS undermining the work of health care professionals in Africa trying to contain a lethal virus in a predominantly Christian area. Or the stored wealth of the Roman Catholic Church despite vows of poverty (wealth that could all but eradicate world hunger).

    Although I am not religious, I LOVE the teachings of Jesus that include kindness, tolerance and respect for one another. What I can’t stand behind is people who discriminate, bully or are intolerant of other people under the guise of their Christian beliefs.

    You can’t defend Christianity by simply picking out all of the good qualities of it. You need to accept that many, many people rely on their faith to uphold and advance terrible beliefs that simply have no place in a modern society. In addition, given that Christianity is not the only religion practiced by millions of people in North America, it can’t be relied upon to be the cornerstone of our legal and social systems. Politicians and law makers shouldn’t be permitted to advance laws and policies which affect millions of people (only some of whom are religious and fewer who are Christian) based upon their RELIGIOUS beliefs.

    Also, your foundation for asserting that Christianity must be true because “who would have made that up?” would necessarily dictate that all religions are true for the same reasoning.

    At the end of the day, you and I don’t have to agree on religion to agree that people should be kind to each other, should be giving of their time and knowledge to help those in need and should live the ultimate truth of doing unto others as you would want to be done to you. But, these aren’t Christian values – these are simply the values of good people, many of whom are Christian and many of whom aren’t.

    • Evan says:

      I don’t think there’s much to add to this if anything. All very apt and very well put.

    • Sarah B. says:

      I understand where you are coming from with this argument, but it’s important to point out that Christianity doesn’t teach people that they should hate others. Many people will do some of the negative things you mentioned justifying it with Christianity, when in reality, if they were REALLY following the teachings of Christianity, they would love everyone. Don’t get me wrong– Christians do not approve of same-sex relations, but it doesn’t mean that they are supposed to hate people who ARE homosexual. It’s more of an individual thing. I, myself, am actually good friends with many homosexuals. I don’t approve of the fact that they are homosexuals, but I hate the sin, not the person. Anyone who discriminates with the bible as their support is just plain wrong, and will get their dues at the last day. Jesus said to love everyone, not everyone except for homosexuals. Still, Christians are supposed to abstain from the practice itself.

      I hope I’m making sense; it’s kind of a fine line.

      I would also like to fervently state that there are NO teachings in Christianity(or at least my Christian church :P ) that encourage either pedophilia or misogyny. I’m a woman and I’m not a masochist, so if there were, I wouldn’t be Christian. If, once again, people are committing the sin of pedophilia or misogyny under the name of the bible or Christianity, then they are in the wrong and they will eventually get their due reward as well.

      Jesus said to love everyone, not everyone except for women. (And pedophilia… *shivers* …that’s just wrong.)

      I understand that there could be places in the bible that support misogyny, but if there are, it would be from more of social acceptance from the time instead of an actual teaching of the gospel.

      In terms of religion, I can totally see where you are getting the “necessarily dictate that all religions are true for the same reasoning” thing. In my personal opinion, I think that all religions have at least some form of truth in them, otherwise they wouldn’t exist. So, the question is, is there a religion in existence that has the whole and complete truth in it? Well, I would argue that probably most of the Christian denominations don’t because, well, if it were complete, whole, and concrete, than there probably wouldn’t be so many interpretations of the bible– but that’s a debate for another day.

      Anyway, I’m sorry if you already understood most of the stuff I talked about. You were totally right about good people not having to be religious, but personally, I think it makes it a heck ton easier to BE good if you ARE religious. So yeah. The end. :P

    • anonymous2 says:

      I was raised a christian. a spirit filled tongue speaking christian, by my parents and the culture they raised me in.

      When I left the house and started going to college, i started leaning on these same ideals you wrote of. Ideas of tolerance and God just being Love and acceptance and that people can find Jesus without maybe calling upon his name and there’s truths in all religions. and they’re are…

      But then I ran into some people at a place that I worked who were engaging in occult practices. and Like me with Christianity, Were raised in it. They took it upon themselves to curse me and turn my life upside down. It was very real. I had never in my life dealt with that before…The reality of what was going on, and how I started losing my mind, hearing voices everywhere, not being able to sleep. Pounding in my chest. Walking around became physically painful.

      if I had gone to a doctor they wouldn’t have found anything wrong with me except a minor amount of anxiety and probably would’ve thought I was clinically insane for some of things that i was telling them about my recent experience.

      I promise you I’m not crazy, and I promise you they new what they were doing. why did it occur? I didn’t do anything to them except they picked up on the fact that I was a Christian and took it upon themselves to wage some kind of spiritual war on me.

      I left, and ran away like a little baby. cause it scared the crap out of me, and I’m blessed by God to have family that was understanding and didn’t put me in a mental asylum.

      The only thing that got me out of it on a psycological/soulish level, was calling out the name of Jesus Christ. I’m more or less back to my calm, regular self. It was a very bad acid trip, and if you met me you would be surprised at how on the fritz I’d become.

      anyhow since this encounter, I’m not a big believer in tolerance anymore, and I don’t think all religions are the way, and the truth. I believe There are parts of the Christian religion that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. I believe there are higher dimensions that people are totally ignorant of, and they have no idea how much it influences and controls their lives.

      Now, I don’t mean I’m going to go out attacking people and throwing Bibles in their faces. I believe in walking in love. I believe in absorbing persecution. I believe in being a living testament of these ideas. But I’m loyal to Jesus Christ and I answer to Jesus. I also, Really think people should take a closer look. It is not a laddeydah situation.

      Jesus was not just some guy who did actually live and just preached some good ideas, that we all should follow. Jesus is the son of God. He’s the only thing that can counter that kind of crap.

      I know what those shootings in the news are. I know what these people can do. I’ve watched them project their souls out of their bodies with my own eyes while I was working. at the time I didn’t realize what I was looking at. Since the experience, i have figured out the dupe of it all. they followed me around in a very metaphysical way. and They were totally content with trying convince me that I was crazy, and that I needed to kill myself. Not all religions are good, and there is a real battle between the light and the darkness that actually occurs.

      • Majere says:

        If you were hearing voices and having a psychotic break like that you may want to consult a psychiatrist and get on some meds. That sounds like classic schizophrenia to me.

    • Cindy Lou says:

      Lisa,

      Your response is spot on. Do you have a blog? I would read it if you did.

    • Dinoboy says:

      Well said, and I’m sure the author would agree. One error- No other major religion has the same beginnings as Christianity except for ones that started the same way Christianity did. Only 3 other religions could use this logic Judaism is part of Christianity, and so using that logic to back it up is backing up Christianity. Islam is the same way, except opposite. It was based partly off Christianity. Buddhism is the only other one, and Buddha would appear to be much more capable of creating such a huge religion than Jesus or the apostles. Please correct me if I’ wrong, I’d love to know, but Christianity really is correct going off that logic.

    • TJ Petri says:

      Lisa-
      You just quoted Christ and followed it with ” but these are not Christian values”…
      Also, at the “end of the day” this matters- John 14:6. May want to make a call on that statement.

      • Ryan says:

        TJ-
        What you’re not realizing is that to an Athiest, there really is no such thing as “Christian” values, meaning values originating from Christ/God. All those ideas Lisa pointed out, regardless of whether they’re in the Bible or not, originated from humans, not a god, and not Christ.

        • TJ Petri says:

          Sorry Ryan,
          Just noticed your comment. I was not trying to offend anyone. Just stating a fact about her quote that she referenced the Bible in. If someone does not believe the Bible, they cannot use it as a reference. Thats all. As a side note, I am a non-believer in atheists. Nothing personal, just how I believe. I have friends who say they are atheists, agnostics, universe lovers, sun worshippers, you name it. So I am aware that each person has the choice to believe or not. Not judging.

    • Albert R says:

      Our righteousness, is as filthy rags to Yahweh Elohim, that is why we were in need of a sacrifice, not of ourselves, but the one offered up for us all by the one who lived a sinless life and HIs obedience to His and our Abba. Thereby we become righteous by faith in HIm, and not of ourselves or our own “supposed” works of righteousness or our “goodness,” it is by the faith of Yeshua Ha Mashiach. I do agree with you about people hiding behind the cloak of Christianity to commit evil. (sick) We can also hide behind a cloak of self righteousness often called…”goodness.” No person comes to the Father but by the Son.

    • Scott says:

      Lisa you might be out of scope on Christianity. First of all, God didn’t send Christ to tell us to be nice to others. He was sent to die for our sins. Christ was perfect in every way and for that reason He was the perfect and the only sacrifice worthy, so that we may live eternally in Heaven. That is Christianity. The rest of the bible is there to prepare us and our place in eternity.

      Don’t dilute God and the teachings of Christ with today’s perversions. I am a Christian, but I am still a sinner…every day. So are pastors, Preachers, Ministers, Bishops, Deacons, Evangelists, Missionaries….you get the point. We will never stop sinning, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

      My point above is that we are not Christianity, today’s teachers and keepers of faith are not Christianity, Christ Jesus is Christianity. That is why the faith bears his name. We are just a community, a church. Too often we all sin against God and it is noticed. It’s noticed by fellow Christians, by believers of other faiths, and non-believers alike…And it’s noticed by God and we will have to answer for it at the judgement seat of Christ.

      God gave us the choice at Creation to think for ourselves because He didn’t want Heaven filled with drones. He made a choice and now it’s our turn to make a choice. God wants true compassion and love to fill earth, just as he does in Heaven. That’s why we have the ability to make choices. We may be bad at some deciding and executing choices, but that is where Christ stepped in, that is when faith is necessary to believe and keep hope in what we cannot see, and that is when we share our misfortunes with others because God allows us to be fortunate. Because He wants everybody to know they’re fortunate…that they’re loved.

      (Side note to the first paragraph… The Bible may be a guide on how to spend eternity with God in Heaven, but it is also a guide on how to spend eternity in hell with the devil. Which application seems more logical, it’s our choice.)

      Sarah B has great nsight as well and I didn’t even read until I completed writing!

      • Brandon Miller says:

        Very well put. But i might add that even though we ALL are sinners, (Christians and non-Christians alike) we must all accept Christ and believe in Him and that He is Lord and ask God to forgive us of the sins we DO commit……so in essence, we are not forced to keep on sinning, but rather to live like Christ and be pure at all costs. We should have a desire to have a RELATIONSHIP with God. Thats what Christianity is.

  8. Kenneth Besosa says:

    Sarcasm but real, God Bless you.

  9. Sierra says:

    How do people NOT see this is sarcasm? Loosen up a bit ya’ll. Yet another brilliant blog by Matt!

  10. Matt says:

    By Odin’s parched eye socket this is the most pathetic attempt at sarcastic humour I’ve seen in a long time. You’re a poor writer, and duplicitously set up a feeble straw man of your opponent’s argument, which you still fail to knock down. This article is so full of assertion and hyperbole about the greatness of the New Testament (ignoring, of course, the ugly bits of the Old and New alike) that it cannot be taken even slightly seriously.

    • Dinoboy says:

      Matt never said there wasn’t bad stuff in those books, he simply said they were great and good books and have caused a lot of good in the world. If you don’t believe that, you REALLY need to get in touch with the world. The Bible is, hands down, the greatest and most influential book ever in human history.

    • TJ Petri says:

      Matt is an excellent writer and uses the language very well. You really should not hate on people who have giftings that you do not.

  11. Jimmy Shultz says:

    I am sorry but this is RIDICULOUS!!!! They told you, “good afternoon, God bless,” he was telling you to have a nice day. He wanted the God he believes is all powerful, to bless you. Frankly it doesn’t matter in this instance whether you believe or not. He was simply caring about you, encouraging you, being a nice person to you, and it makes you mad and you go on a rant. I am sorry but, that makes no sense.

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  13. Paul says:

    “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, for they are so unlike your Christ.”
    ~ Mahatma Gandhi, who 80% of the people who view this will assume is burning in hell right now because he wasn’t a born-again Christian

    • Dinoboy says:

      Paul did you know that about 70% (more depending on the source) of stuff in the news is about negative things? We hear about all these awful things Christians have done, but if you look, you will realize that Christianity had brought A LOT of good into the world. There are many good Christians, even more than bad Christians, yet we only hear about the bad things. Ghandi was simply referring to the overall impression of Christian society, which is not composed of all Christians.

  14. Paul says:

    “Jesus is not a pansy or a pacifist. In Revelation, Jesus is a pride fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. He is saddling up on a white horse and coming to slaughter His enemies and usher in his kingdom. Blood will flow. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”
    ~ Pastor Mark Driscoll

    Yeah…we totally need people who believe this in the White House

    • Andrew says:

      “I cannot worship a guy I can beat up” – Probably not, Pastor Mark Driscoll – that would take courage, humility and a willingness to let go of personal power. Men of violence have used gross misinterpretations such as this to justify perpetrating tremendous sufferings and evil on the innocent for at least the last millenium. This is not how Jesus would have us live our lives.

  15. Karen says:

    Matt, you need to meet JESUS, not more Christians.

  16. Well, there are many options here for anyone who wishes to find any possible way to reject the first option: that it’s all real and true.

  17. Nicole says:

    You’re obviously tired of religion. Most people our age are. Religion is deceptive and perverts God’s heart for us. I’d challenge you to ask God yourself to show Himself to you, I promise you He will. You’re a very wise man, with a gift in writing. I know you will speak to thousands and that’s the dream in your heart. You are creative and have a heart to “father” people. Keep going after your dream, its what you’re called to do.

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  19. tishpomaa says:

    Profound…

  20. Cynthia D Dufty says:

    if someone knew the truth and was loving, they would be obligated by both to tell those that don’t know, otherwise it wouldn’t be the truth and they wouldn’t be loving. it is as simple as that.

  21. closer918 says:

    Screwtape likes this but he doesn’t quite get the angle…

  22. Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Thats why we do it and thats why it will never stop.

  23. Kathy says:

    Finally. Proof that thinking and faithful millennials do exist! Thank you! May your thoughtful words not fall on deaf ears, or ears that used to hear but now do not. This blog is one of the best modern day ironic satires I’ve yet seen!

  24. Jim says:

    Is it possible there is a God? Is it possible He made all of us? Look how intricate the human body is- just think about it for a moment! Our brains are like a computer! How about the earth? We revolve at 16,000 mph, if it were any slower we all would be floating around, any faster we all would be kissing the ground! Look at the four seasons, look at the sun, did it just evolve one day? Did all this evolve from a tadpole>? Did we evolve from a piece of broken comet that hit the earth thousands of years ago? SO, who had the intelligence to create all these things?
    Are you running from the One who made Heaven and earth? You know you love darkness and don’t like the Light! The Light makes you aware of the darkness you are living in! Darkness is evil! The Light overcomes darkness! But you still love the darkness! You have a desire to live in darkness! Did you know that “blackest darkness” is reserved for those who don’t love the Light!
    What is the Light? Who is the Light?
    Jesus is the Light! Without Him you will live in “blackest darkness” for Eternity!
    You only have one shot at this! Who will you follow? The Light? or the darkness? God gave everyone one of us freedom of choice! You can continue to follow your dark ways but remember you will judged when you die, like everyone will! Following darkness will brings God’s eternal wrath upon yourselves, following Jesus will bring eternal life with God, where theres no more pain- no more suffering!
    Repent of your sinful ways! Believe in God! Get baptized and follow Jesus the rest of your short lives!
    Don’t wait! You only have til your last dying breadth! God loves you!

  25. Brittany says:

    If there were no such God (his name should be capitalized, unlike multiple gods) as you say, we would never be here. We will however one day all stand before him.
    Have you heard of the show Big Bang Theory? That’s all the Big Bang is.
    If evolution were true, then because each year the oceans get a tiny bit saltier, by a billion years we could practically walk across the ocean.
    If Evolution were true, we should see half ape half man things, and other animal transitions.
    We have found things stated in parts of the Bible. If you need some examples, though you don’t believe in the Bible, the Glo Bible app (free) can show you pictures of such things.
    The Bible states that God is Love, but also that marriage was designed specifically for a man and woman, not man and man or woman and woman, which I’m not even sure if the last one is possible.
    If the Bible weren’t true, we wouldn’t have the word sin.
    Also if you think that both evolution and the Bible are true that would of put sin before Adam and Eve, but God created a sinless world, and gave them a choice.
    There are people who have gone to Heaven and returned. One person, who’s a paint artist has had visions, and painted pictures of her visions. Two people, the artist, and one of the people who had gone to Heaven both claim Jesus looked like her painting. The artist name is Akaine Kramarik, and the person who went to Heaven, who was only four, his dad wrote a book about it-Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo.
    These are many examples that explain that God has to be real. You and I both know Charles Darwin came up with the idea of Evolution, and even the date. You state Christians made up the Bible, but you don’t have a date. You know what all this evidence tells me, you obviously made all this up.
    If you have any questions find either Ken Ham, Buddy Davis, or The Creation Museum on Facebook, or even email Bibleanswers@thecreek.org, eve though the email has nothing to do with the Creation museum, but the two people mentioned both do.

  26. LOL I LOVE your writing!!! —–and the pastor barreled out of the door, ran into the street, screamed “BIBLE!” and chucked it right at my head.

  27. Jolene Borel says:

    Christianity is a wonderful thing!! But don’t forget, God created us and knows our human frailties. He knows our hearts. God says Do Not Judge, Lest Ye Be Judged. And LOTS of Christians think themselves above those who aren’t believers in Christ. Jesus was so wonderful and beautiful of mind and heart that he did not EVER judge anyone. He welcomed ALL in His presence. He loved and loves all. The wonderful thing about our Lord is that he gave us a choice. Free Will. Christians should witness, but never be forceful. If someone doesn’t want to hear about God, God Himself says do not cast your pearl before swine. Don’t force your faith on anyone. It’s distasteful. Instead, be happy and never be ashamed of being a Christian!!! Be kind and good to All People. And let God work through you. This blogger is hilarious and intelligent and his blogs are funny and truthful. (This one being a big exception!!) Don’t condemn him. God still has work to do and time to show him the err of his thinking!!! Keep doing what you think is right. And don’t ignore your feelings. Keep and OPEN mind. Don’t shun the Bible because of what you think you know. Many things that happened in the Bible have been proven already. And the predictions about Christ, and what will happen are hundreds of years apart, every account being the same. That is Truth. The Bible is Truth! A very smart blogger I’ve read from quotes “Truth is eternal, so it can never be old or new. It never ‘was’ or ‘will be.’ It just ‘is.’ It always ‘is.’ Truth never grows old, and if you believe in it and try to live by it, you will always be, in some ways — the only ways that matter — the youngest, freshest, most energetic rebel on the block.”

  28. Jason says:

    Nice Matt. Great use of heavy sarcasm there, and woe to the people who didn’t recognize it.

  29. Chance says:

    scriptures from the Bible. I like to call them Atheist Moses 4.0 considering they seem to lead the way, and it is mostly on sociail media. Take Richard Dawkins for example. His entire life revolves around religion- talking about it, and teaching it… While being against it. I do not mind religions and I respect all belief. However in my short 30 year experience on this planet, I have had anti-religion thrown in my face 500× more often than religion itself. Seeing as we experience less than one percent of reality (considering we observe less than one percent of “reality”) I tend to keep an open mind. I’ve also studied science for over 2 decades and even according to science, a higher power could exist. Science says it is improbable, not impossible. Speaking on more of the quantum level, it could even be possible for multiple gods to exist here, while other “Gods” exist in multiple universes. Picture a negative number of Gods. What exactly would that be? I can’t fathom it, but according to science, a negative number of higher powers could exist while an infinite number of higher powers exist simultaneously. Only a small mind would ever claim absolute certainty about the existence of a higher power, before it has been proven true or false. Closed minded individuals are what hold us back in the scientific community. They are the same type that would call you a fool and a joke if you believed the earth WASNT the center of the universe. Those people were mocked simply because they had an open mind to endless possibilities. In conclusion, before I rant on into oblivion, you can label yourself all you want, believe what you believe…. But if you constantly speak against religion and continue claiming your belief is the only true answer; then you aren’t any different than the Jehovah witness going door to door and trying to get more people to follow what you believe. And again, it is huge on social media, so “door to door” turns into webpage to webpage, blog to blog, as you speak your non-belief and act as if you are different than a religion. That is one more reason I do not label myself as atheist… It is embarrassing to have any correlation to the hypocrital atheists that are annoying and shove their belief in other peoples faces more than all religions combined.

    • Chance says:

      I had to edit this and repost it, as for some reason it cut off the top half of my comment. Discard this please, and keep the one that starts with “EDITED”. Thank you.

  30. Chance says:

    EDITED-
    I agree it is annoying having religion shoved down your throat. Many atheists do the same, as they teach scriptures from the Bible, just to get there points across… In turn they are teaching religion, and become hypocrites. I like to call them Atheist Moses 4.0 considering they seem to lead the way, and it is mostly on social media. Take Richard Dawkins for example. His entire life revolves around religion- talking about it, and teaching it… While being against it. I do not mind religions and I respect all belief. However in my short 30 year experience on this planet, I have had anti-religion thrown in my face 500× more often than religion itself. Seeing as we experience less than one percent of reality (considering we observe less than one percent of the electromagnetic spectrum a.k.a. “reality”) I tend to keep an open mind. I’ve also studied science for over 2 decades and even according to science, a higher power could exist. Science says it is improbable, not impossible. Speaking on more of the quantum level, it could even be possible for multiple gods to exist here, while other “Gods” exist in multiple universes. Picture a negative number of Gods. What exactly would that be? I can’t fathom it, but according to science, a negative number of higher powers could exist while an infinite number of higher powers exist simultaneously. Only a small mind would ever claim absolute certainty about the existence of a higher power, before it has been proven true or false. Closed minded individuals are what hold us back in the scientific community. They are the same type that would call you a fool and a joke if you believed the earth WASNT the center of the universe. Those people were mocked simply because they had an open mind to endless possibilities. In conclusion, before I rant on into oblivion, you can label yourself all you want, believe what you believe…. But if you constantly speak against religion and continue claiming your belief is the only true answer; then you aren’t any different than the Jehovah witness going door to door and trying to get more people to follow what you believe. And again, it is huge on social media, so “door to door” turns into webpage to webpage, blog to blog, as you speak your non-belief and act as if you are different than a religion. That is one more reason I do not label myself as atheist… It is embarrassing to have any correlation to the hypocrital atheists that are annoying and shove their belief in other peoples faces more than all religions combined.

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  33. Me says:

    They can all see your inner Satan. They are just a moth to your flame.
    - Joe

  34. A Nortans anthology would hurt even more, it has the constituency of a brick and the 3 of them :(

  35. and may Thor bless your crops

  36. Last Light says:

    Yeah! It’s like you wrote an awesome combination of all the books I read for Impromptu Apologetics, and combined that with Anthony Esolen’s writing style in ten ways to destroy the imagination of your child. Or maybe The Screwtape Letters. You got all those ideas in there… Liar, lunatic, or Lord… *is too busy processing to really form a coherent thought*

  37. Well, JMO, but I would say the vocal minority of extreme fundamentalists are the reason why so many people resent Christians in general. Me? I say religion is a deeply personal matter, and while one doesn’t have to say silent aboutit, I also think that religions should not be “oversold” in the way that some slick salesman would hawk a used car. To me such ‘Bible thumping’ activity does cheapen the Message and turns people off. The best witness for a Christian? How they live their lives! What good is talk, talk, talk if the people aren’t really living it? If they’re so busy trying to make Christianity into some ‘cool kids clique’ or into powerful poltical bloque, how are they going to have the time to do the real work of a Christian: pray, worship, do all the things outlined in Matthew 25:31-46 without expecting something in return? What’s needed from Christians (yours truly included) more repentance, less defensiveness.

  38. Dave says:

    Satire is a lost art. On a related note, after reading some of the comments below, I have learned that it is also an art lost on many.

  39. Terry says:

    If Christianity were a lie, if all the Jesus stuff was a lie, no self respecting man would die a horrible death for it. Though, most of the disciples of Jesus DID die a horrible death for it. So, for close to two millenniums, this thing called Christianity has taken the world by storm. Do you really think that 12 dudes who followed Jesus of Nazareth for three years, could simply draw up a “story” that would be accepted for two millenniums? And if Jesus did live, (which he most certainly did, there is no doubting that), why would people claim him to be a great teacher even though he claimed to be the Son of God? people wouldn’t claim him to be great teacher if he made up that big part of his ministry that he was the Son of God. Even you said yourself about that health teacher promoting casual sex, that she was “full of it.” But you didn’t claim Jesus to be a great teacher. You just want Christianity eradicated. Brother, if it weren’t true, it would’ve been eradicated long before those 11 dudes (not including Judas because, you know, he killed himself) would have been led to their horrific deaths.

  40. Melissa C says:

    I don’t mean to throw any of my weird Mormon doctrine in anyone’s face, but, you could say a lot of this about The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the early Mormon Pioneers that were persecuted for their beliefs…

    http://www.mormon.org
    (I’ll just leave this here)
    ((and this))

  41. Breena says:

    Hahahah. I read that article and the anti christain comments. I wish I could throw some science classes at you. While I’m at it, I could show you where every single word you said was scientifically, philosophically, and biblically incorrect. You need god, and maybe a tad more education. Lol. This coming from a scientist. With duel degrees in chemistry and biology. Have a nice day. God bless.

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