Monthly ArchiveFebruary 2011
Christianity Thomas on 25 Feb 2011
In Part 1 we examined the Christian belief in creationism.
Here in part 2 we will look into the Christian belief that there are two gods, not one. This is interesting because Christianity normally thinks of itself as a monotheistic religion. Yet the evidence demonstrates otherwise. Just look at this statement of faith, which is typical of many Baptist churches:
It starts out by defining God:
We believe there is one, and only one, living and true God, an infinite, intelligent Spirit, the Creator and Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth. This Divine God is inexpressively glorious in holiness and worthy of all possible honor, confidence and love. He, as a unified, Triune God, eternally existing in three distinct persons: The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit – each co-eternal in being, co-identical in nature, co-equal in power and glory, and having the same attributes and perfections. Each Divine Person executes distinct, but, harmonious offices in the great work of the redemption of the unregenerated souls of spiritually lost mankind. (Deuteronomy 6:4; Genesis I-2; Isaiah 44:6, 57:15; Matthew 28:19; I Corinthians 8:6; II Corinthians 13:14; John 10:14, 26)
We will ignore for now the absurdity of “one” God requiring three “distinct persons”.
Now contrast that definition of God with this definition of Satan:
We believe that Satan was created perfect, as a cherub called Lucifer, and because of pride, rebelled against God and became the author of sin. As the openly declared enemy of God, he appeared as an angel of light to Eve in the Garden of Eden and tricked her to disobey God. Adam, her husband, who was with her, knowingly and willfully disobeyed God’s command, resulting in the fall of man. As the Devil, he appears on Earth as the god of this world working in judgment, killing, deceiving, hindering, tempting and accusing. During the Great Tribulation, he will indwell the Antichrist. After the Antichrist is destroyed, he will be chained in the bottomless pit during the 1000 year reign of Christ. At the end of that time, he shall be loosed for a season to assemble an army of sinners for his last attempt to overthrow God. He and his army will be defeated and he will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be eternally punished. (Ezekiel 28:12-19; Isaiah 14:12-15; II Corinthians 11:14; Genesis 3;1-6; Romans 5:12; II Corinthians 4:3-4; Matthew 4:2-11; John 8:44; I Thessalonians 2:18; II Thessalonians 2:3-9; Revelation 19: 11-20; Matthew 24:41; Revelation 20:1-10)
So here we have a second God. And the first God – the “Supreme Ruler of heaven and earth”, supposedly – has no way to control the “killing, deceiving, hindering, tempting and accusing” of this second God.
How can anyone believe in one God and then state that there are two? How can the first God be a “Supreme Ruler” if he is unable to stop the second God?
What is an intelligent person to do with a group of people who openly proclaim such utter nonsense?
Christianity Thomas on 21 Feb 2011
If you look across the Internet you can find dozens of Baptist churches, encompassing hundreds of thousands of members, who proudly proclaim their belief in nonsense. For example:
Creation: We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, sudden and historical account of the direct, immediate and supernatural creative acts of the Triune Godhead without any evolutionary process whatsoever. We hold that the creation days of Genesis One were six literal 24-hour days.
Some churches take their nonsense a step further:
Creation. We believe the Genesis account of creation as being neither allegory nor myth, but a literal, historical account of the direct, immediate, creative acts of God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, without any evolutionary process. We believe that God created the universe and all that was contained therein, in six literal, 24-hour periods.
We believe man, created by a direct work of God and not from any previously existing forms of life, is made up of body, soul and spirit. All men are descending from the historical Adam and Eve, first parents of the entire human race. Hence, we reject the Theory of Evolution, the Gap Theory, the Day-Age Theory, Theistic Evolution or any other secular or scientific, humanistic attempt to reason or discredit the Biblical account as unscriptural and false theories of origin. (Genesis 1-2; Exodus 20:11)
Reading the rest of the statement of faith, the level of delusion and insanity is breathtaking.
What is an intelligent person to do with a group of people who openly proclaim such utter nonsense?
For any rational person, the title of this article is obvious. The religious can’t see it at all:
“Why not believe in God? If you believe and you turn out to be wrong, you haven’t lost anything. But if you don’t believe and you turn out to be wrong, you lose everything. Isn’t believing the safer bet?”
In debates about religion, this argument keeps coming up. Over, and over, and over again. In almost any debate about religion, if the debate lasts long enough, someone is almost guaranteed to bring it up. The argument even has a name: Pascal’s Wager, after Blaise Pascal, the philosopher who most famously formulated it.
And it makes atheists want to tear our hair out.
Not because it’s a great argument… but because it’s such a manifestly lousy one. It doesn’t make logical sense. It doesn’t make practical sense. It trivializes the whole idea of both belief and non-belief. It trivializes reality. In fact, it concedes the argument before it’s even begun. Demolishing Pascal’s Wager is like shooting fish in a barrel. Unusually slow fish, in a tiny, tiny barrel. I almost feel guilty writing an entire piece about it. It’s such low-hanging fruit.
Why can’t religious people see how ridiculous Pascal’s wager is?
Christianity Thomas on 16 Feb 2011
The Roman Catholic Church (No. 1) and the Southern Baptist Convention (No. 2) are still significantly larger than all other North American denominations, but Catholics posted minimal growth of less than 1%, and Southern Baptist membership fell for a third straight year, according to the 2011 Yearbook of American & Canadian Churchespublished this week.
Pentecostal churches make up four of the 25 largest churches, and both the Assemblies of God and the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) increased in membership. Only six of the 25 largest memberships increased over 2009 numbers.
Jehovah’s Witnesses experienced the greatest growth percentage overall, gaining 4.37% according to the yearbook.
Religion is frequently used to justify hate. Now religion is getting called out for its hatred:
Last week, the law center added the Family Research Council to its list of more than 930 active hate groups, citing the anti-gay rhetoric of its leaders and researchers, which have included calls to re-criminalize consensual sex between individuals of the same gender. The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group as one with “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.”
Here’s another way to see the same trend:
But when you translate the American specialness conservatives cite into policy, the results can be disquieting. It apparently means more God, with one display inquiring, “Why are you a conservative?” The most succinct response, “Because God is.” It means cracking down on immigration, conveniently forgetting that President Reagan signed an amnesty bill, and of course repealing Obama’s health-care law, which Iowa Republican Steve King calls a cancer tumor that must be pulled out by its roots and eradicated before it metastasizes. A panel on “political correctness” in the military assailed the recent overturning of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy on gay soldiers.
God is hate. There is no way around it.
Is atheism hopeless? Is Christianity meaningful?
If you were thinking, you wouldn’t be wasting your only mortal life chasing phantasms and delusions.
“Atheism is an intellectually shallow, morally stunted, and socially regressive blight on humanity.” – Jim O’Neill
“Atheism is an intellectually shallow, morally stunted, and socially regressive blight on humanity.” So says Jim O’Neill in this article:
He has a lot more to say. For example:
Winston Churchill once said of Islam that “No stronger retrograde force exists in the world.” I beg to differ—as a regressive, debilitating, socially destructive force, atheism has no peer
But this is the most interesting part:
Dinesh D’Souza has pointed out that atheistic pundits are no longer content with being tolerated; they want to prove that their view of reality is the correct one, once and for all. I concur—bring it on. One side of the debate is correct, and the other side is insanely deluded. It’s obviously important to see which side is on the side of truth.
To say that atheism denies the existence of God doesn’t tell us much, unless we define what we mean by the label “God.” I would be happy to discuss the concept/reality of God, but the focus of this article is atheism not God, so I’ll employ a simple yet usable definition for now. I’ll have to leave questions such as whether God is a white-bearded guy sitting on a cloud, or as Paul said, a reality “in which we live, and move, and have our being,” and other ontological/theological concerns for another time.
For our purposes here, I’ll simply define God as an intelligent power behind creation. Atheists deny the existence of such a God, and from their denial spring a variety of absurd, puerile, and socially harmful concepts.
So which side is insanely deluded? The side that believes in talking snakes, imaginary floods, prayers that never work and a Bible filled with repulsive acts? Or the side that believes in the laws that we can discern in nature? If you are a Christian and have trouble understanding the insanity, these two videos can help open your eyes:
There was an article recently in newspapers across the country by Marc Gellman of the God Squad.
In this article a grandfather asks the following question:
Yesterday, my little grandson told me he was terrified of going to hell…. Are we stuck forever with this infernal dogma that scares little children, or are theologians talking of changes?
Marc Gellman babbles on with a three page long answer that says nothing. Here is the real answer.
To the Grandfather: You are not stuck. The thing you need to tell your grandson is that Hell, and Heaven, and God, are all imaginary. You are voluntarily teaching your grandson a mythology that is all completely made up like any other fairy tale. Simply stop teaching that mythology and your grandson’s fears all go away.
Those fears, and the “infernal dogma” as you call it, will go away for you as well when you recognize the simple truth that God is imaginary. He is as imaginary as Rudolf and Frosty. As soon as you recognize this simple fact, you are set free from the insanity and delusion of religion. And so is your grandson.
Why, Mr. Grandfather, should you reject religion? Look at the insanity inside Marc Gellman’s own mind and understand how harmful his delusion is. From the article:
There’s one big problem with hell talk. While we can all agree that Hitler went to hell, what about the good people who don’t accept Jesus as their savior? This theological dispute has divided Christians and non-Christians for 2,000 years. Christian theologians are still divided about whether good non-Christians can go to heaven, or whether their refusal to accept the “good news” (Gospel) of Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection damns them to hell.
As a fairly decent non-Christian, I clearly have a vested interest in this debate but I also have a calm attitude about it. Heaven and hell are not places, but mysteries — mysteries that will be cleared up only after we die. I’m ready to wait for that theological resolution.
For now, I’m happy to hug my grandson, Zeke, and my granddaughter, Daisy, and tell them that when terrors come, “Everything will be all right. I love you. Good night.” That may not be enough for heaven, but it’s enough for me now. I pray that it will be enough for them and for your dear grandson.
Marc Gellman voluntarily believes in a being who tortures people eternally. Look at this ridiculous sentence: “Christian theologians are still divided about whether good non-Christians can go to heaven, or whether their refusal to accept the “good news” (Gospel) of Jesus’ atoning death and resurrection damns them to hell.” Chistians believe in a being, and they do not know who and who is not damned to Hell? And Marc Gellman is hedging by invoking the idea of “Christian theologians.” All Christian evangelicals know the answer with complete, rock solid, 110% absolute certainty: Marc Gellman, as a Jew, is unquestionably going straight to hell to be tortured forever. So Marc Gellman voluntarily beleives in a torturer who will eternally torture him and his children and his grandchildren over something as trivial as a belief. Only an insane person would choose to support – neigh, worship – such a heinous monster.
Mr. Grandfather – please do the right thing. Abandon your delusion. Enter the world of sane, rational people. Accept the truth: God is imaginary. This video will help:
Christianity Thomas on 01 Feb 2011
What happens when Christians need to tell the truth? Frequently they cannot. We see this regularly on Fox News:
Prior to the Christian Right Wing movement, the government of the United States operated as a neutral body that did not favor any one religion over another. God was not mentioned on our money, nor was God part of the Pledge of Allegiance. There were no national day’s of prayer, and churches were NOT exempt from paying taxes. Even the Founders themselves believed in separation of church and state. For example, in an 1802 letter to the Baptists in Danbury, Connecticut, Thomas Jefferson wrote…
But not anymore…
The first part of their plan is to “re-educate” Americans by rewriting history to favor their cause. That includes creating false quotes attributed to the Founding Fathers. The main perpetrator of this practice, is David Barton, President of his Wallbuilders organization and Glenn Beck pal. Barton has freely admitted to creating quotes and falsely attributing them to Founding Fathers. Here are three made up quotes by Barton.
“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ!”
– false quote attributed to Patrick Henry
“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
– false quote attributed to George Washington
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves … according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
– false quote attributes to James Madison
Why do Christians have so much trouble with the truth?