Christianity Has Died Out a Hundred Times Before

Christians claim that skeptics have come and gone but their faith has withstood all attacks so far and survived. Balderdash! Here's the truth. The Christianity that survived is a reinvented one in each generation as the result of skeptical attacks, sometimes coming from within. Just think of the modernist rift due to the enlightenment which divided all denominations to some degree. This division can be attributed to the skeptical attacks of Hume, Kant, Darwin, Nietzsche, Paine, Ingersoll, and many others. The liberal church is a testament to the effectiveness of the skeptical arguments. Even within conservative denominations there are liberal ideas that would have been condemned by the Office of the Inquisition, like Open Theism, a metaphorical and/or annihilation view of Hell, women in leadership, Preterism, the emergent church, acceptance of a gay orientation, the mythical (or literary) view of Genesis 1-2, and so forth and so on. The Christianity practiced and believed by any denomination today is not something the early church would recognize. And the future church will be almost as different. Let's have done then with this cockamamie notion that the church has survived our attacks. No it hasn't. In each generation the former Christianity dies, so to speak, and a new one is invented due to skeptical arguments.

46 comments:

Martin said...

You mean Christianity has evolved :-)

Rob R said...

The Christianity of today is the very same as the one of the early church, a Christianity that early on grew and developed and progressed while holding on to tradition and the authority of scripture while keeping Christ in the center.

Our faith knows of progress and for that very reason, we are faithful to the tradition since without tradition, progress is just a string of novelties that never establishes anything and can never get anywhere.

And seriously John, the office of the inquisition!? Is that what they taught at TEDs as a guide for orthodoxy?

Let's have done then with this cockamamie notion that the church has survived our attacks.

I say lets have done with the kind insular evangelical scholarship that is unaware of it's own modernism and naivety in it's failure to understand the flexibilities of a faith tradition and treats increasingly outdated dichotomies of liberalism/conservativism as if they in and of themselves served as a guide to truth and faithfulness to a tradition. A kind of scholarship which some remain faithful to even after they become atheists.

On that note, I always find it funny how so many of the atheists I run into are still true to their old specific faith perspective, thinking it was the most authentic and best expression of Chrisitianity.

Mark Plus said...

Historically speaking, formerly Christian populations have also changed their religious beliefs because of a change in rulers. Egypt, for example, in late antiquity went from paganism to Christianity to Islam in just a few centuries, depending on the religion of the current wielder the sword in that country. The Muslim rulers in Egypt have had more success than the Christian ones in making their religion "stick."

As for Christianity's continuing self-reinvention, the empirical arguments apologists make these days for the benefits of religiosity invoke secular values: Christians allegedly enjoy better health, have happier marriages, have more financial stability, etc., than non-Christians.

Uh, what about the dire emergency we supposedly face because of sin and the threat of god's horrific punishment in the afterlife? Many of today's Christians have de-emphasized that aspect of their tradition in favor of framing Christianity as a healthy lifestyle philosophy for this-worldly fulfillment. That implicitly capitulates to, and validates, the humanist world view.

ZDENNY said...

John, you are so funny.

Christianity has always been about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and God's love for us.

The fact that Christianity has different applications to a changing world does not invalid it eternal unchanging truth.

The funny thing is you know this and are just being dishonest.

After watching your site for months, I oftentimes think you are coming back to faith in Christ.

I am certain you can see the deception of your arguments...why keep on deceiving people by misleading them.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Rob R

Can you please rationalize your positive assertion in a never changing Christianity with the teachings of Marcion, Arius, or the Gnostics. Christians all within the first 3 centuries of its formation.

Thanks.

Rob R said...

Can you please rationalize your positive assertion in a never changing Christianity

Chuck, I'm not sure you read all of my post.

It seems you saw my comment to the effect that I said our church is the same church back then but ignored what I said afterword. I didn't say that our beliefs didn't change. I said quite the opposite. Our beliefs have developed but those beliefs are of the same body of believers and is still a part of a general world view that is still the same though it has gone through developments and nuances.

As for your reference to the heretics, I trust the church fathers and scriptural authors in terms of what is the most faithful understanding of Jesus and the nature of the gospel. I also reject gnosticism on theological grounds as inferior to the Jewish-Christian faith.

Larian LeQuella said...

I can't wait for the day when xtianity goes by the wayside like the Greek and Roman myths... xtianity is the last refuge of institutionalized bigotry, and they seem to come down on the wrong side of the debate every single time. You'd think that with a batting average of 0.000 they would just go away, but they are so deluded that even being total abject morons isn't an impediment to their delusion...

edivimo said...

I know one instance when the christianity died: when the slavery was abolished. Before that, the christianity believed in the infalibility of the bible and their literal truth, now they recognize that maybe some books of the bible need to be reinterpretated for "different applications to a changing world".
Another instance was when most monarchies fell in western civilization, because the kings were chosen by god to rule their serfs and now most christians recognize the democracy is the best form of government. Besides, the catholic church is loyal to the monarchy tradition compared to the protestants.

David B. Ellis said...


As for Christianity's continuing self-reinvention, the empirical arguments apologists make these days for the benefits of religiosity invoke secular values: Christians allegedly enjoy better health, have happier marriages, have more financial stability, etc., than non-Christians.


And even those arguments don't work very well:

1) its useless to lump the wide diversity of people who are non-Christian together as one group if you expect to get meaningful data.

2) recent studies have found that people with strong opinions about religion, for or AGAINST, tend to fair best in measures of well-being.

bobby4ever said...

Great post, John. Yes especially these days I'd like the apologists for an unchanging Christianity to explain the rising church acceptance of gays over the last fifteen years.

Give it a decade or so and we'll hear the majority of mainstream Christians talk about how of course Jesus loves gays, blesses their love for each other, and of course would want them to join in His holy matrimony at His church.

Bet me? It's happening now.

myintellectualjourney said...

It's happened before and it'll happening again.

For those that think this requires that they reform their particular form of orthodoxy for this to be true, they are missing the forest for the trees.

It can be see all around.

I believe that the "evolutions" underway today and into this next century will be some of the most significant historically. With the "Church Alumni" - former Christians - like John now having a clear voice online, I believe the view of Christians / Christianity are now adapting at a rapid pace and that this process has yet to reach full speed.

I like to think of this particular "revolution" of "the Matrix" as...

Christianity 2.0

;-)


- DJ

www.youtube.com/myintellectualjourney

Jim said...

Rob R,

All Christianities to include Marcionism, Gnosticism, et al were quite different.

In your attempt to answer that truth by generalizing and not answering it, you have put your own position in a quite precarious spot.

For example, let me use your language to make an even more generalized statement.

Christianity and Islam are really the same religion. There are differences in the specifics like whether God sent a son to earth, but the CORE belief is the same, that there is a God who is watching us. The basic worldview that there is a creator who created us and made the rules is the same.

You can always dumb down a generalization to make ANY two (or all) religions the same at their core.

It's funny how Christians have to keep resorting to these tactics. Science is stealing the show in the knowledge department forcing Christianity further and further into the gaps. Critical biblical studies is forcing Christians to resort to further and further generalization of their religion to attempt to stay coherent.

Regards,

Jim

Piratefish said...

Great post John, this is exactly what I thought, I can't agree more. All this time it has been forced to re-invent itself, but one thing about this meme is it has strong survivability, and every time it goes through it's metamorphosis it'll still stick around. But this doesn't matter because every time it is forced to evolve, it lost some of it's fundamentalism and insanity, the enlightenment accelerated this process and it'll be bleached to the point that it'll be unrecognizable by it's believers just a few centuries back. The rise of moderate and liberal christians are testament to that. Let's keep this process going until it becomes what it truly is - a laughable superstition from eons ago.

Rob R said...

In your attempt to answer that truth by generalizing and not answering it,

The issue didn't require me to be more specific than I was. I'm happy to get more specific on some things but the reality is that you can't get specific on every issue that results in religious diversity.

As for "all Christianities" I have defended the developement of faith, but that does not require that just any diversity goes. Gnosticism for example was a corruption of the Christian message, one that was very concerned with human physicality and was rooted in Judaism. Gnosticism is some of the teachings of Jesus minus Judaism and I find that very historically dubious. To praise progress and development is also to assert the benefit of moving beyond ideas such as gnosticism.

For example, let me use your language to make an even more generalized statement.

The core agreements between Christianity and Islam are indeed important and may function fruitfully in a dialogue. That's not to gloss over the differences, and again, the idea of progress that I so heavily promoted suggests that differences are a place where resolution is needed and some ideas should should be rejected.

I find two approaches in our modern times to the diversity of religion very unsatisfactory. The idea that only the differences matter (usually attached to exclusivism) and only the similarities matter (as in religious pluralism) I think is very counterproductive.

You can always dumb down a generalization to make ANY two (or all) religions the same at their core.

That completely depends on what is valued in the core.

Science is stealing the show in the knowledge department forcing Christianity further and further into the gaps.

Skeptics are overshooting their hand on the science bit not realizing that an overemphasis of the need of science for knowledge has proven very problematic (and this is not restricted to a religious point of view). Not all truths we'd want to confirm (ex: ethics, value of individuals) can be dealt with on the grounds of science. And science rests on assumptions that cannot be proven on its own terms.

Critical biblical studies is forcing Christians to resort to further and further generalization of their religion to attempt to stay coherent.

Biblical scholarship is not a homogeneous field as orthodox scholars have even made important strides, all of which is part of a golden age for Christian Scholarship.

stamati anagnostou said...

This is one of the things that started me on my deconversion. I thought one day, "I am NOTHING like Paul, or anyone else in the Bible for instance.... What am I doing wrong???"

I think a valid question to Christians is when does God become a different God? When he changes motivation, preferences, and or methods? Something to think about when it comes to different sects.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

HI John,

This is an interesting post. If I have read your comment correctly then it would seem that you are judging Christianity on is anthropic variations on a initial doctrinal theme.

If this is the case it is rather silly. Should we do this also with science? Science continually reinvents itself when further information comes present. Thus one particular scientific variation may, die out, but science as a whole does not. This is the very strength of science. Ignorance pushes it forward.

Why can't Christianity do the same. As people grow and learn and understand more we would expect variations on the theme of Christianity some being really bad and some just minor insignificant differences. Just as there is bad and good science and good and bad scientists out there. Either way it is the variation that is judged not the theme of Christianity.

The real question should be is the faith started by Jesus' followers the same faith being practiced today? If so, then variations on that theme mean nothing.

Phil.

Rob R said...

jim, I had an unfinished thought here.

I said "The issue didn't require me to be more specific than I was. I'm happy to get more specific on some things but the reality is that you can't get specific on every issue that results in religious diversity."

I meant to say that we can't get specific on every relevant issue in the context of one blog discussion.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

The observation of faith maturation is not new - Christ, Himself addressed such in the seven letters to the seven churches - His followers exhibited various stages of faith formation - from the vulnerability of those caught in backsliding and spiritual deprivation to those suffering in persecution.

It is not uncommon for people who are seeking dominion/possession of others to be intimidated by or contemptuous of the process of progressive growth of faith in all it's various stages, but it is consistent with the example of a merciful, creative/expressive and progressive God.

Mike Doolittle said...

Occam's Razor

stamati anagnostou said...

What exactly is this theme? I think to even say there has been one easily definable "theme" since Jesus' death is missing the complexity of the beginning of the religion. Chuck already mentioned the Marcionites, Arians, and Gnostics. The divinity of Jesus was decided upon at the Council of Nicaea 300 years after Jesus died.

Certainly all Christianities center around Christ, but in a faith system where belief is essential to salvation you would think that these sort of problems would have been sorted out sooner and that maybe the religion wouldn't be as much of a clusterfuck as it is. And as I said earlier, there is the philosophical question of identity. I'll give you a story to illustrate:

I visited a friends house shortly after abandoning Christianity because he and his wife wanted to understand why I decided what I did. I joined them for dinner and discussed my misgivings, particularly from the stance of Calvinism and the problem of God waiting so long to end the world, and sending so many people to hell. They told me about god as strongly desiring everyone to be saved and who actively sends nobody to hell. We basically send ourselves. Their version of god seemed so worried about us humans and very mushy which I told them was not strictly biblical. In fact, god does send people to hell actively and does not really want everyone to know him. So are these two different gods or can you allocate these theological discrepancies to a category of 'different points of view'?

My holistic philosophy is that things are essentially not able to be defined on a fundamental level, and such is the same with any god. You say god is this or that, but automatically there is something in your description that is missing, just as if I say you are this or that, I have already gotten something wrong. This is kind of a sidetrack but at the same time, we must define when it is that god becomes a different god.

Gandolf said...

"Science continually reinvents itself when further information comes present. Thus one particular scientific variation may, die out, but science as a whole does not. This is the very strength of science. Ignorance pushes it forward."

Hi Rev Phillip Brown , did you really think science was not supposed to learn and evolve and reinvent itself?.Did you think any folks ever said science wasnt supposed to ever be proved wrong sometimes?.Was it your opinion that science seeming to reinvent itself,was wrong and and something we really shouldnt ever expect to actually be seeing?..Did you think science made some claim to never ever sometimes be actually a little ignorant of some matters?.

Science never claimed any divinity of what was learned!,not as it having being learned by information from some all knowing omni god/s anyway.

Science is fully expected to evolve and sometimes reinvent itself etc.

Information supposedly being passed from some God/s to us humans. We would expect should surely most likely be mostly totally correct "everytime" it should never have need for change as god/s know everything first off first pop!,if there is actually any "honest truth" in it ever having come from some supposed omni all knowing god/s in the first place.If we do see it changes! where then was the actual "honesty" of any "truth", that it ever likely then came from some supposed god/s like we were previously led and told to believe?.

In my opinion it seems you trying to compare two very different! processes of learning as supposedly being much the same.This makes me realize even more how the delusion of faith belief often has worked over time.People simply keep trying to invent more and more new ways to try to make it seem to still fit in somehow with the religion.

Unlike science which is willing to also look at simple facts sometimes, like that maybe the previous ideas held were simply just totally wrong.

By using this type of delusion faithful folk use, humans could even train their minds to suppose almost anything, like that even information on how to build space rockets,was actually supposedly passed down to us from some supposed god/s too.

They could imagine that maybe god just never told us how to build space ships before when he first helped write the bible book,he waited until now to do it.Christianity in motion reinventing and evolving, bingo! pass go collect $200.

Science and faith belief of god/s cannot "honestly" ever be compared as much the same.They are almost opposites.One expects to always know facts of exactly whats right,the other expects to only learn more facts as it progresses.

One is supposed to be imformation from a (all knowing) supreme being,thats the same yesterday today and tomorrow.

The other is from science,which its very strength is partly to do with its very ability to even prove itself wrong and then simply make changes needed.

Sorry Rev Phillip Brown,at present atleast anyway, i personally find it hard to understand how you are using so much "honesty" in seeming to try to suggest there is much to compare as supposedly being so equivalent.Maybe its just i have misunderstood matters? somehow,about what you are actually suggesting.

Gandolf said...

Rev..."Why can't Christianity do the same. As people grow and learn and understand more we would expect variations on the theme of Christianity some being really bad and some just minor insignificant differences"

If science started suggesting people needed to stone people to death,to be righteous ...Or started (guessing) humans maybe needed to do this or that for some supposed salvation in some supposed after life some idiot had dreamed up.With little if not absolutely no real decent FACTUAL evidence to even back up the claim.And added a fear of some hell into the mix,to make folks fearful of even questioning matters.

Tell me Rev,would you really think it quite ok?.

Is it really so "honest"?? to put forward some type of argument that ,ohhh religion really just much the same like science is ?

ahswan said...

Evangelicals probably deserve this post, as yes, they tend to reinvent themselves- at least on peripheral issues.

However, the Eastern Orthodox churches have not been "blown to and fro by every wind of doctrine" like the churches in the West. This error is understandable, as the evangelical church also forgets the Ancient faith still exists.

Andre said...

Reverend,

I would say a rejection of Christianity is more similar to science than a religion would be. With science, you may discover you were wrong, but science will admit it, accept it, then carry on with the new information. Which is what an "ex-christian" would have done to no longer believe. Christianity does not do this.

I watched Rihanna's interview yesterday where she spoke about Chris Brown beating her up that night. She said when her bruises cleared up, it gave her reasons to start looking at it as if it never really happened. Partly, because she wanted to forget the whole thing happened to her, which is understandable. Obviously, this was to make excuses-to be in denial. This is what Christianity does, has done, and will continue to do. It finds a way to look at the evidences against it in a different way, by rationalizing away the bruises it has suffered from skeptics. But the thing that makes Christianity persevere is that you can't see the bruises because it cleared up around 2000 yrs ago. Its claims are all in the past and is covered by the bible.

Mark Plus said...

So, how much does Christianity have to change before the belief stops offering meaning & purpose to life? And if "original" Christianity, however defined, introduced the real explanation for life's meaning & purpose to a world full of people unenlightened about such matters, why would anyone want to turn away from that, like all the Christians in North Africa and the Levant who converted to Islam? Did they deliberately choose to live meaningless & purposeless lives as Muslims by rejecting the Gospel?

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ stamati anagnostou

A questionable response.

You said,

The divinity of Jesus was decided upon at the Council of Nicaea 300 years after Jesus died.

My Reply,

NO! This is a clear distortion of the facts. The Council of Nicaea 'AGREED' that is was heresy to say Jesus was not God. Many people included reports from 'Pliny' the younger assert that Christians worship Jesus as God, i.e. Son Of God. This was was not a decision rather a final agreement. Bad History.

You said,

In fact, god does send people to hell actively and does not really want everyone to know him.

My Reply,

Where in the Bible does it say this?

Phil.

stamati anagnostou said...

rev,

if there needed to be a vote about a heresy, perhaps they weren't really sure before hand. but then again, i don't exactly know. I didn't distort anything, I just said what I thought was true. Touchy!

As far as where the Bible states that god actively sends people to hell:

Luk 19:27- But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay [them] before me. Also the verses about being cast out into the outer darkness, etc and basically all of Revelation.

The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,


There's also the mere fact that God chooses the people he's going to save, precluding many.

I am of the persuasion that this faith was not meant to survive the first century, so I guess it wouldn't have been too big a deal if people weren't accepting the gospel at the time, but now that 2000 years have passed we've got to deal with God sending a hell of a lot of people to... well, hell.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Gandolf,

You said.

Hi Rev Phillip Brown , did you really think science was not supposed to learn and evolve and reinvent itself?.Did you think any folks ever said science wasnt supposed to ever be proved wrong sometimes?.Was it your opinion that science seeming to reinvent itself,was wrong and and something we really shouldnt ever expect to actually be seeing?..Did you think science made some claim to never ever sometimes be actually a little ignorant of some matters?.

My Reply,

No to all above.

You said,

We would expect should surely most likely be mostly totally correct "everytime" it should never have need for change as god/s know everything first off first pop!,if there is actually any "honest truth" in it ever having come from some supposed omni all knowing god/s in the first place.

My Reply,

Well this is just your opinion. If God did communicate in this manner then many subsidiary things like education and cognition would not be part of his communication. You assumption is that God wants to be clear. What if God wants to us to be hard working at his message? Your response is merely showing your assumptions, nothing more.

You said,

In my opinion it seems you trying to compare two very different! processes of learning as supposedly being much the same.

My Reply,

And in my opinion your cannot answer my original question. You make you case by putting an idea of God in a box and then showing how the box does not fit!

You said,

Sorry Rev Phillip Brown,at present atleast anyway, i personally find it hard to understand how you are using so much "honesty" in seeming to try to suggest there is much to compare as supposedly being so equivalent.Maybe its just i have misunderstood matters? somehow,about what you are actually suggesting.

My Reply,

Here is the point. Variations show nothing about the truth of a claim, in any field.

Phil.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Gandolf,

You said,

If science started suggesting people needed to stone people to death,to be righteous ...Or started (guessing) humans maybe needed to do this or that for some supposed salvation in some supposed after life some idiot had dreamed up.With little if not absolutely no real decent FACTUAL evidence to even back up the claim.And added a fear of some hell into the mix,to make folks fearful of even questioning matters.

Tell me Rev,would you really think it quite ok?.

Is it really so "honest"?? to put forward some type of argument that ,ohhh religion really just much the same like science is ?

My Reply,

Ah yes. A common atheist tactic. Take a Bible verse out of context and then ask if it is moral?

In answer to your question do you know why they are asked to stone people to death? Furthermore have you considered why there is a contradiction between 'do not murder' and stoning people to death. Thirdly, why do you have an issues with it. What moral compass do you judge this action on? Fourthly have you considered that this 'Law' in the Old Testament is now considered redundant or fulfilled with the teaching of Jesus.

Phil.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Andre,

Hmm, your point is confusing. What bruises do you mean?

Phil

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ stamati anagnostou

You said,

As far as where the Bible states that god actively sends people to hell:

Luk 19:27- But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay [them] before me. Also the verses about being cast out into the outer darkness, etc and basically all of Revelation.

My Reply,

Interesting. And the Nobleman you said this, [not Jesus] is to be taken as Jesus in this parable is he? And if it is the case do the minas that the Nobleman gave to everyone should we take that Jesus will give us all money to invest. Methinks you have taken a verse out of context to suit your argument.

You said,

The coming of the [lawless one] is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,

My Reply,

where does this say they will go to hell? It looks as though you have made an implication here about the text?

You said,

There's also the mere fact that God chooses the people he's going to save, precluding many.

My Reply,

Predestination for salvation does not mean predestination to damnation. The many that are precluded are for there own choice.


You said,

I am of the persuasion that this faith was not meant to survive the first century, so I guess it wouldn't have been too big a deal if people weren't accepting the gospel at the time, but now that 2000 years have passed we've got to deal with God sending a hell of a lot of people to... well, hell.

My reply,

As yet you have not made your case, so your point does not stand.

Phil.

Freddy said...

There is no doubt that there are degrees of Christianity. And one would have to assume that as you go further left along the spectrum that those portions of Christianity are ones that have changed over the years. A Christianity that has become more "fan friendly", so to speak. Much like the birth of Christianity. Paul wanted to bring more people under the umbrella of the Jewish God. To do that, he had to soften him up. Take away the vengeance and bring in mercy. Now, all anyone wants you to believe is John 3:16, but Jesus said quite a bit more about what it took to get to heaven.

stamati anagnostou said...

@ rev

About the servants and talents... Um, not quite sure what you're talking about. Of course this is allegorical so no Jesus is not giving us real money nor is Jesus actually a real nobleman. But he is saying that those that disobey him will be slew before him, and this is his edict that he actively issued.
----
Sorry, left out verse 12: that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
----
I have two kittens. Both are freezing in a lake that they've fallen in to and I can save them both but decide only to pull one out. In what way have I not fated the other one to damnation? There are sins of comission and omission you know. You said the choice of individuals sends them to hell, and the justification of this is that god has foreknowledge of who will believe in him. If he created me knowing I wouldn't believe, did he not create me to damnation?
----
I view Jesus as a failed apocalyptic prophet, which idea is not new or alien. Babinski's Lowdown on God's Showdown is a great article about it.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ stamati anagnostou

If the details are allegorical, but you have missed the point of the entire parable. The parable mentions different fates for three groups of people.

(1) reward for faithful stewards, (2) Rejection for those who associate with Jesus but do not really trust him, and (3) judgement for rebels who openly reject him.

No where does it even imply that as you said... 'In fact, god does send people to hell actively and does not really want everyone to know him.'

It goes the opposite. Your quote shows that God does want people to know him and there are consequences for rejection. This is not sending at all.

Phil.

Gandolf said...

Reverend Phillip Brown said... "Well this is just your opinion. If God did communicate in this manner then many subsidiary things like education and cognition would not be part of his communication. You assumption is that God wants to be clear. What if God wants to us to be hard working at his message? Your response is merely showing your assumptions, nothing more. "

Hi Rev yes it would be my opinion.Maybe you have different opinion.Thats all religion is in my opinion anyway, opinions opinions and more opinions.Either ways whether it yours or mine or somebody elses opinion, it still only ever an opinion.We got next to no fact!!.We got a little history maybe,thats about all.Thats why religions have really only ever been about guess work.Very little more.

But im talking about reason and logic.And what we as Humans should think and expect about whats maybe most likely to expect.

If we never have more than opinions,then surely logic and reason is all we have.

If a confusing god seems reasonable and quite logical to you!, well thats fine.I wouldnt be surprised.

But to be the type of god you are suggesting maybe god might likely be,he would have to be a god who is happy to confuse and even kill people.Because some by use of this confusing bible even lead people to suicide and death and all manner of stupiditys.

Seems you suggest God would "likely" be such a fool to people he supposedly supposed to love like children.

When religious folks seem to be thinking this way, i often wonder to myself if religious people thinking this way should really be allowed children themselves.Because to me in my (opinion) their ethics and morals seem very very lacking.And most people with any real sense of decency could only realistically feel sorry for their belief of a god.What a sad god.What a thoughtless uncaring god.A god who dont care less if his children find his bible hard to understand and perish because it is.

Rev.."Here is the point. Variations show nothing about the truth of a claim, in any field."

Oh that might be very true Rev...Maybe we cannot know any real truth about gods...Seems like it, the christian god is still little more than a mythical mystery "story" even after 2000+ years,so yeah guess i agree with you! little evidence for "actual" truth actually exists.Its left to guess work and people making up variations.

But many of us know this god depicted in the bible is not, the same yesterday today and tommorow all the time,because even his morals written in the bible changed.And unlike science gods have been said to be omni "all knowing" beings.A all knowing supreme being who is supposedly the same yesterday today and tomorrow,i see no reason he needs to learn or change.

Gandolf said...

Reverend Phillip Brown said..."Ah yes. A common atheist tactic. Take a Bible verse out of context and then ask if it is moral?"

Ahhh yes..Another common person of faith who need to beat around the bush and pull some silly not taken in context stunt.Why would i not wonder if it moral,its written there isnt it...People sure thought it was moral whether taken out of stupid context or not...And stoned people to death...What a utterly stupid god!! to ever leave situations like this open to be taken so easily out of context..Allowing many people to be killed because of such carelessness.


Rev.."In answer to your question do you know why they are asked to stone people to death? "

For very many stupid reasons!im not going to bother with listing them.Your god you believe in is depicted in the bible as often being a psycho maniac madman.That seems to be why mostly.

Rev.."Furthermore have you considered why there is a contradiction between 'do not murder' and stoning people to death."

Yes there is contadictions.Why not just not have them.Seems common sense.Seems ethical too.How utterly stupid is it to leave contradictions in a book supposedly for life and salvation.

You might believe some god would leave a manual for life thats purposly like some book of riddles.While expecting to send folks to hell if they happen to get it all wrong.

Yeah it comes down to opinions once again,as ive already agreed.But my opinion of any god who leaves his children a book of freaky riddles for life and salvation is he is simply a complete thoughtless twit.His stupid book has even led some very educated people to do the most crazy mad things too.How the hell did he expect your average punter to not likely get his silly manual wrong?.

Rev.."Thirdly, why do you have an issues with it. What moral compass do you judge this action on?"

Plain old humanity is enough to suggest it sucks Rev.Hell i wouldnt even stone a animal to death.What worthless scum would ever wish to torture another human being to death slowly this way.And shame!! on your God for allowing such rubbish to even be written in any book of god.


Rev.."Fourthly have you considered that this 'Law' in the Old Testament is now considered redundant or fulfilled with the teaching of Jesus."

Yeah Jesus has been used to try to explain these things away.Sweep the bood away out of sight so to speak.Its a great way to try bullshit a way through and make the story still seem to fit.
But its still not a god that can be said to be the same yesterday today and tommorow.

Chuck O'Connor said...

Rev,

You said, "God does want people to know him and there are consequences for rejection."

Why is this moral or good for an omnipotent being to choose? If He has total omniscience and omnipotence than it contradicts omnibenovelence to create beings with a predisposition towards rejecting Him and, He already knows who will reject him before they do. If not, then He is not omniscient and if so, then he chooses to create people so that they will reject him and go to Hell.

Don't you see the complete logical incoherence of this theology?

I do and I thank God I've seen the light.

john said...

"The Christianity practiced and believed by any denomination today is not something the early church would recognize."

As an Eastern Orthodox Christian, I can vouch for the correctness of what you say with one caveat - it applies to all denominations arising in the West - that is to say, for all except one Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church.

I hope I don't sound like I'm boasting when I say that. We don't think of ourselves as all going to heaven like the Protestants do. As sinners, we could not even presume to say that we would be worthy to go to heaven - we will let the Protestants presume that - as for us, we will content ourselves with continually beating upon our breasts and begging, like the publican in Luke 18, "God be merciful to me a sinner."

It is quite obvious from a study of the early church Fathers and Councils that the the early Church and our Church are exactly the same. We are the only Church that continues to follow all the Holy Ecumenical Councils and Canons and Fathers of the early church.

As for the Protestants, they have cut themselves off from the Church and thus cannot help but invent new novelties of doctrine one after the other.

We do not recognize the "Christianity" they practice as being the same as ours.

As for those other bodies (such as the Papacy) which have for just reasons also been separated from the Church, they too have invented new novelties of doctrine. Some Roman Catholics have even chided us for adherence to the same practices and doctrines of the early church, and call our Church a "museum piece".

As for the Protestants, they deride us as idolators for venerating icons and praying to saints. We will continue to follow the holy Apostles, who also were derided by men.

Andre said...

Hi Reverend,

The truth claims made by christianity developed around 2000 yrs ago. We have no way of knowing for certain these claims are exactly what happened. This why "faith" will be manifested whether a claim is true or false. Certain claims are more plausible and probable than others. To me, possibilities are irrelevant especially when it comes to the miraculous, which is what Christianity is forced to rest on as such.

With that said, since all we have today is mainly the bible to go by, this makes the task of debunking christianity seemingly harder. It was also hard to do then because the disbelief and argued reasons against its claims when originally made could be ignored, allowing for cognitive bias. An surely it was probably the case that the skeptics of the time either knew Jesus did not rose from the dead, or it was never possible to verify these claims if they never happened and it was after these supposed events.

As side note: Isn't it funny how some people believe that the soul lives on after death, yet we find Jesus' supposed resurrection whether physical or spiritual, as such an unbelievable miraculous one time event? Is it the case that before Jesus' death, there was no soul that lived on and it was only after his resurrection that people started having a soul that survived death? Or, is it the case that I just don't know what the hell I'm talking about?

OK, back to my point.
Now, what I'm trying to say is, if you're telling me something that I know is likely a superstition, especially in an era where superstition is at its highest for example, and you go and tell someone else who is superstitious compared to me who is not, he/she will more likely believe you without too much skepticism. This is easily achieved since the "bruise" cannot be physically seen. Which in my analogy, is the arguments used by one opposing Christian sect against the claims made by another, or by outright non-believers in the first century.

This is where Rihanna's abuse experience comes in. Her face was bruised and battered, but as soon as the scars could not be physically seen, her mind gave her a way to escape from the reality of her experience. See, what she really was trying to do now is tell herself that it wasn't as bad as it seemed when her pain and bruises were there. So because there was no more physical scars to see, she can now believe whatever she wants her mind to believe.

This is what Christianity does. Because the arguments(bruises) against the resurrection of Jesus cannot be physically seen in order to disprove it, Christians have an opening to escape reality and can believe whatever they want their mind to believe. Clearly we can see that Rihanna is deluding herself, and Christians being able to delude themselves also.

A child will grow up in a Christian culture, read these stories in the Bible and conclude all these supernatural events really happened, all because it is now written in book form. But to believe simply for a reason such as this, it is as if saying, everything written is to believed or can be believed. Keep in mind that whether or not Jesus resurrected, the main point is if he didn't, then what I'm saying here (or trying to say), is one of the reasons we would expect to see, that explains why Christianity grew and has persevered.

Obviously this is not the best analogy, and I see why it can be confusing, but I hope this is clearer.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Gandolf,

Thanks for your comment.

I agree with you that we should judge God by the Bible for that is the only way he can be judged.

You mentioned that certain passages within the bible lead people to morally band decisions and also God does morally bad things.

what specifically were you referring to?

Phil

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Gandolf,

Funny?

You don't seem to answer my question.

Do I suppose you can't?

Unless you understand things in the context they are written it means nothing?

Phil

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

The before mentioned scripture referenced here is a prophetic/ comparative statement describing how people involved in dominion regard and treat their enemies (eg, Jesus):

"Luk 19:27- But bring here those enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, and slay [them] before me."

Jesus challenged and rejected the reigning religious elite and they did kill Him for it - Jesus did not retaliate and kill the people involved in his crucifixion but, rather, exemplified love and mercy towards them.

This is not a threat by Jesus, but Him prophesying and revealing the mindset of those who were about to crucify Him. He was mimicking them.

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

@ Chuck,

I see your point. However both omni's you suggest are not biblical words just philosophical constructions.

However, to answer your questions I think the problem that you have is with the concept of Hell?

If Hell is something a human chooses then it is loving to let them choose and not impose. For God to choose someone means God thinks he has something better than what the human chooses. Either way God choses good option so really there is no problem.

Phil.

Gordon Freeman said...

Rev.."Fourthly have you considered that this 'Law' in the Old Testament is now considered redundant or fulfilled with the teaching of Jesus."

Mathew 5:17

"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.

But the way he fulfilled the Law was approving that children should be put to death if not respecting parents:

Matthew 15:4-7

Well, Jesus saved the girl who was destined to be stoned (let him who is without sin cast the first stone), that is true, but does not the whole story leave a bitter taste in mouth? (By the whole story I mean the NT) We know what kind of Law was presented on OT.

Greetings from Croatia

stamati anagnostou said...

@ rev

I don't think I missed the point at all, and perhaps we are saying the same thing but in different ways. Yes there is a punishment, and it is God actively slaying the the punished. But I see what you're saying in that everyone was given some kind of opportunity to use the minas.

But in real life I'm not sure if this is quite the case. From my experience I prayed ceaselessly for god to rescue me from my doubt and to show up, and to know it was him I tried not to assume anything about whether he was there or not. Needless to say he didn't show up, which lead me to believe that belief is all in the mind. Had I just forced myself to believe that he was there, then I would have believed of course. But objectively he didn't show because I didn't create him in my mind. Do you see what I'm saying? I hope that makes sense.

And in reference to my kitten story, frankly I don't care what my cat thinks it wants, or what it really wants. I am going to pull it from that water by the scruff of its neck and dry it off no matter how much it scratches me. I've had lots of scratches to prove my devotion to my cat's wellbeing. This being the case, I would expect a caring god to give even less of a shit about our perceptions. But of course you would only understand this if you understand how deceptive perceptions are.

Gandolf said...

Reverend Phillip Brown said..."You mentioned that certain passages within the bible lead people to morally band decisions and also God does morally bad things."

Hi reverend yes id say so.Another one of my opinions only of course.But yeah look around you see how many churches and different groups and separations and divisions etc that there is even just within christianity,now you maybe will most likely blame that on the people.Try and suggest they just were simply bad evil people who made bad choices or something,but no i dont think so.

Most often these people really believe what they are doing is right.They think they have the right translation,think they are following the right light..So yeah a number of passages must obviously lead many people up right the jolly gum tree!....If it wasnt so,we wouldnt have so many divisions even for starters.

"what specifically were you referring to?"

Rev to be honest i really simply cant be bothered getting specific and quoting them all and then debating on and on and on about it with you.I think its obvious maybe you have decided no problems exist anyway.Thats fine.

To be honest what it is mostly about is after some of what ive seen and experienced myself through abuses of religion,just looking at some of these scriptures from time to time when some others go and find them and post them makes me a little pissed off and angry when i read them.

Im the type who`s now more inclined to try my best to forget such scripture,not go and seek them all out again to remind myself time and again what a prick it was some idiots wrote such dribble long ago.That later then ended up spliting my family and even caused friends to end up suiciding etc.

I just cant be bothered arguing with somebody who obviously thinks it so rosy,and no problems exist etc.

However we do have so very many who do think there is many problems.Very many people do think scripture often leads many people right up the gum tree.You see many many of them blogging these days.If that dont tell you something,then maybe nothing ever is likely to.

Why might they think problem do exist?
1,because we hear about it very often !

2,and see the many problems it causes too!

3,and many of us even experience them ourselves!.

Thats hear about,see with our own eyes,and experience ourselves.

Thats a lot of evidence Rev.

Rev im fine with you continuing to have faith there is no problems though.Suit yourself.

You say.."Unless you understand things in the context they are written it means nothing?"

Yeah so, maybe thats even true.But still if these directions supposedly came from some all knowing god,then he would have should have been able to understand this was very likely to happen.Which history has proved has often been likely,and people have paid for it in many ways too.

It was in my opinion a right balls-up of a job of supplying any decent guide.Its a mess,and history has proved that too i feel.

However in my opinion it only matches what a written guide of mere men would likely read like.Nothing much more.I dont see it as anything so divine.

So in effect i dont seek to lay blame on any god.What use is me blaming a god i see no evidence for?.

There may be some god/s for all i know, which is why i class myself only as agnogstic/atheist..Im this only because i cant say for sure the idea of gods have actually been totally disproved.

But i personally feel very confident no books or beliefs on this earth are actually from god/s

And im not willing nor do i think it was so moral of men to try to just guess gods.