Christianity – Why I won’t be a part of it…Pt I

I’ve already posted a couple of times about Christian fundies and how much I dislike them, so this post just adds fuel to the already huge fire.

This post has been prompted by a report on the BBC website about two seperate groups of monks in Jerusalem who ended up having a mass brawl outside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The BBC page linked below contains the whole story, along with footage of the event. It doesn’t really matter to me why they did it or what sparked it off. There is no reason good enough. As supposed devout Christians, they follow the Bible. Really, do they?? I think they need more lessons in how to read, not to mention the meaning of humility! I always thought Jesus is supposed to the be the role model for Christians? Isn’t that what’s shouted from every pulpit? So, what on earth were these monks thinking whilst punching and kicking each other? It beggars belief.

It was sickening to watch and just reinforced my disgust with the way people behave who are supposed to be leading the life as exemplified by that famous, mild mannered pacifist; Jesus. It’s a crazy world! I know they are of different sects, but please. These guys are not only monks, but also supposedly Christian!! Yet again, we have violence in the name of God.

If I wasn’t put off by lots and lots of other things about Christianity, this would certainly make me think twice about associating myself with the religion. No matter what reasoning you use, there is absolutely no excuse for people – who should really know better – doing something like this. When was the last time you saw Buddhist monks kicking seven bells out of each other?

How very, very sad.

The BBC news item is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7718587.stm

Jim.

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13 thoughts on “Christianity – Why I won’t be a part of it…Pt I”

  1. Buddhists have had their share of violent outbursts. There have been past times when Tibet was torn apart by the warring factions within Buddhism (and the calling in of the Mongols to fight their wars for them when they can’t manage it). Even today Buddhists, yea even monks are not all pacifists, see: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1554817/Sri-Lanka's-Buddhist-monks-are-intent-on-war.html

    I never quite get the argument that because Christians fall short that Christianity, which ultimately comes down to following Christ is worthy of derision.

    Of course when one holds up an ideal that is easier to attain, people will fail less, although I think short of no ideals they will always still fail to some extent. Man is an imperfect creature, even when he retreats to a monastery. Only by full co-operation with God’s grace can he imitate Christ.

    I say this as someone who is not yet (but longs to be) Christian, and I may well not understand much of what I talk about. But truthfully I do not understand this argument. To me it amounts to using the failures of others as an excuse to not even try.

    By all means reject Christ on the basis of His not being True, though I would entirely disagree, I can respect that. But on the basis of the failure of fallen man? Absurd.

  2. Hi Sophia,

    Ok, I concede that Buddhists aren’t lily white. It was a poor choice. Having said that, if we’re going to get into a contest about who has the bloodiest history, I don’t rate the chances for Christianity!

    As to my objections and your comments. Well firstly, I didn’t say following Christ is worthy of derision. Please don’t put words into my mouth. I do actually have great respect for those who have any beliefs! When it comes down to it, these monks had a choice. Freedom of choice. With the knowledge they have of their religion, they still made a conscious decision to fight each other. Not just one of them, but many. The clergy (according to the churches) is the representitive of God on earth, yes? So, how can the clergy be seen to behave like this? The laity can be excused to some extent, but those who are the leaders, the ones setting the example have no excuses.

    I would never use anyone elses failure not to try something myself and that’s just a fallacious argument anyway. How do you know I haven’t already been Christian? If you’d read my other posts, you’d know that I actually have. I was one of those fundies I despise so much now. I really do have an insiders view of what Christianity can be.

    It all comes down to the same old arguments really (to name but two):
    1. Why would God answer your (or anyone’s) prayer to get a new job, get over the flu, win the lottery, etc. etc. etc. when there are hundreds of innocent children dying of malnutrition every single day? I mean, come on. Is that God so loving? I couldn’t turn my back on that kind of suffering even without the power to stop it!!!!!! No excuse.
    2. What happened to the very scary, incredibly violent God of the Old Testement? In the New, he’s seemingly turned into this tree hugging version who loves all. It’s like two completely different people. I couldn’t love someone who rules by fear or coercion. The threat of death for failing to love someone is hardly a good reason to become a worshipper, is it? I’d rather be honest and say “no thanks”, than live a lie or be forced to do something.

    Christians are their own worst enemy, sometimes. I could write a book (or several!) on the awful atrocities committed in the name of Jesus or the Christian God by people who are allegedly educated in the religion, and devout because of it.

    If the leaders are so bloodthirsty, then either the religion is seriously flawed or it is so corrupt, I don’t want anything to do with it. Lets not begin to mention the Crusades or the Inquisition. How many died as a result?

    The violence of these monks, as I said, simply reinforced my views that people really need to stop pretending that there’s only a peaceful message. That is far from the truth, unfortunately.

    For what it’s worth, I’m not anything in the context of religion any more, but I was devout Christian until several years ago. I still don’t like the holier than thou fundies who make out they are following this perfect belief system which is without fault or flaw. That’s just not true, as mankind’s history testifies.

    If Christ loves us, then why does he let so many of us suffer? We have to spend all these decades either suffering ourselves or watching others suffer, for what? Whatever it may be, I don’t think it’s worth it. If you were God, would you let your representitives behave so badly? Would you let children die just because they were born in the wrong country? Would you be happy to have Christian clergy praying with troops on both sides of a battlefield, asking for each side to fight with God on their side? It’s ludicrous.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  3. Ok. I misinterpreted you a little and I am glad you do not think following Christ worthy of derision.

    Now to your other points:

    1. The clergy represent God on earth.
    Now that is a difficult one. In a sense all Christians are called to represent Christ. In a special way it is true that clergy, that is those who have been ordained, which as an aside, not all monks have, represent Christ in a special way when for instance they offer the Sacrifice of the Mass and when they exercise the authority of the Church, however this has never ever meant, and there has never been a claim to this meaning, that Priests are not sinful or incapable of sin. In fact one of the key points of the Council of Trent – which admittedly only applies to Catholics but I think the others would at least generally agree with this doctrine – was the idea that the unfortunate and condemnable sinfulness of the clergy in no sense damaged their ability to offer the sacraments, which ultimately is their real function. To put it differently, all Christians are called to represent Christ in sanctity, many, perhaps most fall short. The specific role of the priesthood is not to be even more perfect than other Christians, far from it they often have the opportunity to sin even worse, but rather to serve the laity through offering the sacraments, performing the liturgy etc.

    2. How do I know you’ve never been a Christian?
    I never intended to infer you had not been a Christian, if it came across that way I apologise. It might be worth noting that neither Greek Orthodox nor Armenian Christians adhere to anything akin to Fundamentalist theology, but it may be that you just use the word “fundamentalist” to mean “illiberal” which I understand in some circles is common practice. Fundamentalism actually refers to a literalist reading of the Bible and a firm adherence to Sola Scripture.

    3. Why would God answer your prayer for X when people are dying of malnutrition etc?
    Well ultimately God will do His will. We are not called to pray to “get things” for ourselves but to better align our will’s with His. Why do people suffer? Because of sin, because sin has corrupted the whole world and turned it against us, because sin has corrupted man and turned him against himself. The earth does not feed us because the earth has been corrupted by sin, people harm each other because people have been corrupted by sin. This is the tragedy. If I pray to God for something will I get it? Only if God wills it. Will He will it when there are people dying of malnutrition et al? Very good question! If what I pray for does not ultimately serve God and out of love for God my fellow man, perhaps I better hope I do not get what I pray for!

    4. Where is the God of the Old Testament?
    God is the same. He never changes. We simply know him better. However the God who allowed Job to suffer under Satan, the God who smote the enemies of Israel, the God who would destroy almost everyone due to their unrighteousness – He is still here, and He had that right! Our existence is entirely dependent upon God, and though He loves us (truly) and only wills what is good, He has absolute sovereignty over our lives.

    5. Bad things committed in the name of Christ.
    Anything that people will become passionate about, anything people truly love can inspire them to do terrible deeds. Goodness itself can do this. When people have unleashed awful violence because they love something so much and are unable to comprehend those that don’t, this is sad, this is horrible, but it is not an indictment of the thing loved.

    6. Bloodthirsty leaders.
    Leaders by definition have power. Power is a great and terrible temptation. Is it surprising people with power have succumbed to it’s snares? And yet someone will always have power. There is no simple answer to the problem of power. It reminds me well of a quotation by C.S. Lewis – “Aristotle… said that some people were only fit to be slaves, I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters”. This in fact is one of the central themes of Christianity, no men are fit to be masters, save one and that is Christ, and he humbled himself and became a slave and was obedient unto death that he might save mankind.

    7. Only a peaceful message?
    Christianity is not de facto peaceful. It calls for peace, but the peace of unity under Christ, not an empty peace of silent cold war. Ultimately these monks were brawling because something mattered to them. It would not be a true peace, though it would show a little more humility and respect for the sacredness of the place, if they had refrained whilst in their hearts retaining their differences with one another. The road to peace is not apathy.

    8. Christianity a perfect belief system?
    No “system” is perfect as all systems are born of the mind of man. The essence of Christianity is however not a system but simply love of God. All else follows from that love. We are to love God – and so we seek to know Him, and we make mistakes in trying to know Him. We are to love God – and so we seek to obey Him, and we make mistakes in obeying Him. We are to love God and so we are to love His creation, and we make mistakes in loving His creation. Our truth is not a system – but a man, who is Christ.

    9. Why do we suffer and why is our suffering not handed out equally?
    We suffer, as I mentioned before, because of sin. Not always our personal sin, though sometimes, but because of the effects of sin in the world. Unlike the portrait of God as a totalitarian dictator, God in fact gives us immense freedom. He does not stand in the way of our choices. He has delegated to man enormous power in order that we may have the dignity to offer Him proper praise. If I take a gun and shoot someone, they suffer because I shot them, not because of anything God did. Yes He created man, yes He gave man a mind and an intelligence which can invent powerful items, yes He even gave man the freedom to choose to act evilly – but it is man who invents the gun and man who pulls the trigger, not God. What would this world be if God prevented every evil act? Where you could no more think a blasphemous thought than you can rise above the atmosphere unaided? Man would not be man under those circumstances but a farcical thing.

    Why are our sufferings unequal – because we have not treated each other equally, because the corruption of sin has stained some places worse than others (and not always by fault of the victims!) If the King of Belgium soaked the Congo in blood, and if the ghost of his rule continues to soak the Congo in blood – this is man’s doing. If a harvest fails this not always (though in some cases it may be) the will of God. It may be the intervention of the evil one. It may simply be down to natural cause and effect in a corrupt world. Oh and God lets almost everyone die at some point. Why He chooses one hour for one and another hour for another is a mystery – but we all have one.

    10. Clergy praying for both sides?
    I would prefer if the clergy stayed out of the politics of it and simply prayed for salvation. But if the priests in Georgia believe through their education and experience that the Georgian people are in the right, it is a loving expression of their dependence of God to pray for Georgian victory. And if the priests in Russia believe this to be wrong and pray for Russian victory, then they to are putting their petitions upon God, expressing their dependence. God knows where best to direct His mysterious action, God knows whom among His children to strengthen and who to weaken at the crucial moment. But let them all pray to receive His grace and to find a final resting place in Him, life on earth is violent, but in God they may find unity in the end. Should one side in a battle be wholly condemned?

    Hope that helps somewhat explain where I am coming from. Gosh I spent ages typing that all out. ^_^

  4. Hi Sophia,

    Which brings me back to your points:

    1. Again, an objection I have with Christianity is that I do not agree with the idea that any man, imperfect and without full knowledge, could possibly be the arbiter or go between me (or you) and God. The relationship with God is personal and needs no intermediary. I thought Jesus was suspposed to fulfill that role? Clergy are needless and pointless. The only purpose they served historically was to keep the unwashed masses from reading the Bible (by keeping it in Latin) and, perish the thought, having independent ideas on what the Bible means to each individual. Being spoonfed someone elses interpretation is a nonsense and yet another method of crowd control and power mongering. If the Bible is so clear, then we do not need an imperfect man telling us his spin on it. Something the organised churches are very good at, even these days.

    Your points in number one don’t encompass all Christian sects. A number do not have clergy at all.

    2. I didn’t suggest the monks were fundies. I said I despise the fundamentalists.

    3. Which presumes a belief in the Christian God, which presumes a belief in the Bible, which is a circular argument. I’m sorry, but this point makes some huge jumps and assumes much. I do not believe, based on the evidence I gave, that a loving God could let people suffer and die so much. Children especially. My local church (as do many) prays for people who request it via their website. People who are in the congregation pray fervently for those members and their friends and relatives who are ill, to get better. They pray for all the people in the world who are suffering and so on and so forth. It’s bunkum. If God was really listening, then the suffering would end. If God’s will cannot be changed because he knows everything, then why bother praying in the belief that you can change his mind? If though, as you say, “Only if God wills it”, then he’s extremely cold and callous for letting innocents suffer and die. There is no argument to allay this. If I treated my son the way God treated his (and us lowly humans) I’d be put in jail for the rest of my life. If I told my children they must love me because I say so on pain of death and torment, they’d grow up hating me, and rightly so.

    Much of this debate comes down to interpretation of the Bible. Even under the umbrella of “Christianity”, there is little agreement! If it’s so devisive, then doesn’t that deminish its value? Yes, which is why Christians cannot even agree on whether it contains errors. Wouldn’t God have put it so clearly that everyone would be able to glean its meaning? Wouldn’t God have made sure the Bible was protected throughout history, so that no errors could creep in? Yet, this didn’t happen.

    I’m sorry Sophia, but I am not getting into a lengthy debate with you about Christianity, there’s no point and this isn’t the place to do it. You have your Christian views, I have mine. I’ve been there and done it and it’s not for me. I’ve had all the arguments with Christians, apologists, clergy and laity. Ultimately, they have faith that what they think is right, is right. But, they still fail to answer the tough questions. To say God is mysterious and that whatever happens or doesnt is due to his will is just a cop out.

    On this final point alone, I will never become Christian: If it’s his will that innocents die through starvation, then I rest my case. God is not worthy of my worship, love or respect. If God exists, that is! But, that’s another debate for another day on someone else’s blog.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  5. Say God does exist for the sake of argument and He is what He is said to be.
    The the choice is not between this world without suffering and this world with suffering. It is a choice between a) nothing at all b) a world without freedom or c) a world with suffering.
    Say I hit my child, this is a terrible thing for me to do. Say everytime I try to hit my child, God comes down and stops my hand… do you not see that if humanity were deprived of even that basic level of responsibility over each other, if our actions were constantly thwarted, that we would be like slaves?
    If God does exist, do you think it would be better if He made us into slaves in order to prevent suffering?

    I understand the sentiment, but I cannot agree. I value my freedom, if I was not free to harm others, then there would be nothing particularly special about loving others. If others were not free to harm me, I would have no reason to appreciate it when they do not.

    Or lets say God doesn’t exist. Then we still have this basic freedom over one another – is that in your opinion much worse than a world where God treats us like slaves. Because the way it sounds you seem to be saying a world were we were slaves of God would be better than a world the same as this one but with no God? Which blows my mind. I love being free, I love having responsibilities and the terrifying prospect of failing in them.

  6. Oh and it is not God’s will that someone starve. But what God wants and what He allows are different because he delegates power to us. I might not for instance want people to visit prostitutes but if I were in government I would not make it illegal because I do not think it is my business to forbid peoples private contracts even if they involve sexual activity. I would have (theoretically) the power to stop prostitution, I would have the will to do it, but my will to preserve peoples liberty would be higher than my will to stop prostitution.

  7. I think you may have misunderstood. I was using children as an analogy in that sense. We are (if you believe this) God’s children. He says we have free will. Yet, if we exercise that freedom and don’t be his worshipper, then we are doomed to whichever version of hell you subscribe to. To me, that’s coercion. He’s not leading by example. You can’t use Jesus for three reasons: 1. he’s no longer on earth to see/have contact with 2. to use him as an example requires a belief in the Bible. 3. Aside from the Bible, there’s no concrete historical record of his existance. Which again, needs you to have faith. So, if, using that reasoning I brought my children up to think that not loving me and living by my rules would result in my torturing them, how do you think they’d feel about me? It’s obvious. Look at the stories in the Old Testament. Whole families slaughtered on the orders of God because one member stole something. Is that just? Is that merciful? Loving?! I think not. Yet, the New Testament makes out that God is just, merciful and loving. It’s contradictory by any standard.

    Ok, here’s another: We have free will. We worship God, we die, we go to heaven. What happens if at some point whilst we’re in heaven, we exercise our free will to commit a crime or tell God we don’t like/love him? What happens? If we still have that free will, then chances are it will happen. If not, then we become robots. Don’t forget, if the Bible is to be believed, then it was God’s angels (perfect beings!) who chose to sin in the first place! If they did it, then what hope for us? So, in the instance where a human who gets to heaven sins, does that just start this whole sorry process of inherited sin again? It makes no sense at all.

    Sophia, I don’t expect or particularly want a reply to those questions and points above. I merely want to illustrate the point that unless you are prepared to make a leap of faith, then all religion is absolute nonsense. There are no facts. It cannot be proved. It would be nice for those who do have faith to remember that, instead of assuming that the rest of us are defective in our reasoning. That’s a generalisation, but pretty accurate in my experience.

    Cheers,
    Jim

  8. You said you don’t want a reply but I am weak!!! So here goes, and I apologise profusely for it.

    1. My understanding of the Hell is that it is the state of rejecting God’s love extended for eternity because once you are dead you cannot change. I believe the idea of “unquenchable fire” is a poetic description of that state of rejection and not a physical thing. Indeed I believe physical fire would be preferable to hating and resisting God forever.

    2. Likewise, once “in heaven” you cannot sin, it is an eternal state. Once we die we become unchangeable. Even with the resurrection of the body our existence has become an eternal rather than a temporal thing.

    3. If God wasn’t merciful we’d all be doomed. If even one is saved this is God’s mercy.

    4. Some contemporary writers opposed to Christianity reference him and talk about him in their works. The Bible is not the only source of evidence for Jesus. But I have not studied the history in depth so I won’t labour the point.

    It is not so much that I think you defective in your reasoning as I feel compelled to correct what I see as a false view of what I believe, a false understanding of who God is etc. Your reasoning could be sound and based upon bad information and so come to false conclusions. No metaphysical question can be answered empirically however, so proof is hard to come by whatever one believes about the underlying nature of things.

  9. 1. That’s your interpretation though. Many Christians have different views. I’ve heard many versions, from that one to the other end of the spectrum where it is depicted as eternal damnation in a fiery torment.

    2. See point 1, but with fluffy clouds. I’m not mocking, but it amazes me how many different versions of both heaven and hell there are. It seems there are as many opinions as there are believers, which doesn’t really instill confidence for any of the other beliefs. Again, it proves my point that this is all guesswork and faith. Not a fact to be seen. Nor does it address the very real conundrums I raised about free will. To say you are in a permanent state in heaven sounds awful. So, you become an automaton? You have no free will. Therefore, you have no choice in anything? That sounds like a punishment, not a reward! No thank you.

    3. If God were merciful, he’d save the suffering and wouldn’t have put to death so many people for what are pretty petty reasons, as stated in the Bible.

    4. Writers talking about him doesn’t prove he was or is real. Why is that even relevant? Could you cite other evidence for his existence? I know that there are a couple of Roman writers who mention someone who may fit the description, but 1. they weren’t contemporaries and therefore, as with the gospels, their memories will have been fuzzy at best, and 2. a couple of vague references wouldn’t stand up as verifiable historical evidence. Again, this brings us back to having faith that the Bible writers were correct. Hmmm.

    Your last paragraph sums it up nicely for me. It’s what you believe to be true against what I believe. I am using factual evidence to support my theory that Christianity cannot be right. You are using your faith to bolster you arguments. We will never agree. Like I said, this is old ground for me.

    So, what about the horrific tales in the Old Testament? I can’t remember which verses now (but, will look them up if you like) and the details may be slightly out, but it’s where a Jew steals something, buries it in the ground inside their tent. God finds out and orders Moses to stone them and their family to death. Now, these are God’s chosen people and imperfect. Yet, this loving, merciful God chooses not only to punish them with a brutal death, but also their family too?! You really, truly think this is a story to read to a child, to illustrate mercy or love????? I need to look this one up as it will bother me. [EDIT]Still looking, but Leviticus 24:10-23 is a perfect example. A man blasphemes. God commands Moses to have him stoned to death. Unbelievable, but it’s there in black and white.[/EDIT]

    If you really want to see both sides of the argument in order to gain a truly balanced view, then here are a few interesting links. These guys know far more than I about theology and Christianity:
    http://www.losingmyreligion.com/ – The site name says it all. The essays are thought provoking, to say the least!
    http://home.comcast.net/~biblicalindecency/convert_me!.htm – Convert Me! A famous website. The challenge is to convert an ex-Christian back into the fold. You cannot cheat by using the Bible as evidence, nor can you use circular or fallacious arguments. If you want a true challenge, try spending an hour there.

    1. you clearly dont understand god, jesus, FREE WILL, his message or what christianity is about. oh and by the way, if you think just praying about world eace is going to save the world you’;re wrong, it’s take the time, money and deidcation from a lot of people…you already know this, you know what it takes to saves people in third worl countires, so don’t put it all as God’s fault. God has provided us with money, recourses such as medicine and several charities are out there trying to help the children. rome wasn’t built in day, but if you think it’s such a trajedy why dont you do something about it to help? seriously. god puts it on heart to do something…he uses US. he gave us free will BECAUSE he loves us and it’s up to us to use our free will in the right way, after all, heaven is a holy, perfect place where you wont find “just anybody” ….i’m sorry to say this but you have become bitter, i know that God loves you and wants the best for you, he loves you so why turn your back on him? because the world isnt as perfect as you prayed for it to be overnight? well person by person christians are trying to make it better. plus, this worl is a fallen world that’s selfish..so thats why it’s not perfect. plus the devil is super prominent and puts evil thoughts in peoples minds and turns them from God. If you turely ,1005 honestly and loyaly seek God with all your heart and soul. you’ll find him, he’ll love you unconditionally becasue thats why you were designed…you just need to dig down deep, past the layerd of cemented rock thats made you hard, past your tough skin and actually see the beauty of Gods work in the world!
      oh and btw, if God doesnt want you to do something, he’ll out that little thought in your mind, but he cant physically xontrill you like a pupet: thats free will.
      oh and btw, god is STILL that feiry and strong God, remember in Mathew 21:12? “Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves” …jesus was angry! jesus was human too! he had emotions and power and yes he was doing it because it was a holy place and he got pissed off, but fact is…God knows we aren’t perfect, he designed us that way, but still loves us, he was probably looking down on the monks wishing they weren’t hurting eachother…but on the same score, jesus was a manly man! he would have joined in, but what im trying to say is your concept of christ is wrong, jesus was perfect, but huiman too. we AIM to be like him, but we can not BE him, you’re expecting too much, because at the end of the day a christian is astill a human. if someone punched me in the face.. i wouldn;t be happy, no i wouldn’t punch them back but even a christian would get defensive if someone kept hitting him – so lighten up!! and peel away that thick, grumpy skin of yours, no they’re not perfect, and you can pick out alllll the wrong details here, but that’s ok, because i didn’t right this to seem like i think i know everything, just defending my God for a sec. but God doesnt need defending, thats like defending a Lion, if you only open the cage, you’ll see! i bet if you did God would shock you! and don’t expect some angel to come down or a vision or pretty lights, seek out other christians who live in christ for answers, god speaks to yu through them but once again, you can say alllll sorts to counter act this, i wont care, i dont want to argue, i just want yuo to know that actually, when we cry, God cries too, and when bad things happening, that not God, he’s the good guy that sends christians and keeps the world from falling even more, find yourself a church, because i bet God has a lot in store for you, you seem liek an intelligent man, so do the right thing, also researching things on the internet aren’t always right becasue alot of people mis interpet things, so if you want to find out more, go to a christian church and have a chat, or i’d love you to email me, but please, don’t judge, no one is perfect, but god loves us anyway.
      p.s -smile! it might not ever happen!

      1. Hello Zoe,

        I think you have misunderstood my post. Firstly, I’m not bitter. I am however frustrated by Christianity and the believers, or some of them anyway. There’s a big difference.

        Why is it so many Christians pray for people in third world countries and ask god to help? I don’t get it. You say it’s our problem and needs money, people etc.? So, why bother praying if god isn’t going to help? I didn’t say it’s god’s fault if memory serves. I actually said and still think that if god gave a hoot about humanity’s suffering, he/she could easily put an end to it. Instead, he/she lets many thousands of innocent kids die every single day and continues to let Christians pray in futile hope that god will help those kids. The figures speak for themselves, god doesn’t help. It makes no sense at all. Another one I find hard to reconcile…I’ve watched and listened personally to Christians praying for help with a cold or to get that new job or whatever other triviality they want, hoping god will help with that and saying thanks to god when they get it. Yet, if god won’t help that poor, innocent child in Africa who eventually dies of sickness or starvation, why should god help one of my local Christians get over a common cold or whatever? It’s hypocrisy.

        Free will? Ok, if we truly have free will…we die, go to heaven and using our free will decide we no longer love god or want to be there. What happens? We’ve already been saved, so how would using our free will in such a way work? Again, it makes no sense. Either we are robots and predestined to follow a path and therefore have *no* free will or we have free will and therefore god can’t know what we’ll do next and isn’t actually all knowing. It can’t be both.

        The other, final and main problem I have with your argument is that you’re using the bible to prove a point about a god you learned from the bible. It’s a circular argument and invalid, sorry. The real problem is that if you remove the bible from your argument, all you’re really left with is faith. I applaud your faith, but I don’t share it because I cannot bring myself to follow or love a supposedly all powerful being who creates and allegedly loves us, yet continues to let us suffer and demands love through fear and threats of torment for those who choose free will instead. That same free will god gave us as a gift! Ironic.

        As I’ve said many times before. It’s no use posting here to preach at me because you’re not doing any good. I’ve spoken to prominent Christian apologists about these very issues and have still to receive a satisfactory answer that doesn’t involve being told I must believe in order to understand. Bunkum.

        Cheers for trying.
        Jim

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