Why I am not a beleiver

I wasn’t raised to be one.

My parent’s view was that my sister and I had to decide for ourselves.

Santa Claus was a more of a concern for me as a kid than any invisible bossy person who may or may not reward you after you died, which to my kid mind was a hundred years away – Santa brought presents every year.

Better pay off for loyalty at any age, really.

I’ve been an Elvis fan for pretty much as far back as I remember and I was very interested in the stories of Elvis learning his performance style in church – which seemed at odds with all the churches condemning him.

When I was in 5th grade, a Southern Baptist Church opened up down the street from my school. This was a bit surprising, given that I lived in the lower mainland of British Columbia.

A person from the church stood outside our school to recruit us. We were given printed flyers on colourful paper – which was a bit astonishing, given that the school was still mimeographing things. What was exciting to me then and horrifying to me now was the offer of prizes. Yes, you got prizes depending on how many of your friends you’d bring with you.

Since I wasn’t interested in the church exactly, I wanted to recreate an experience that Elvis had as a child, I only asked my younger sister and best friend of the time to go with me to the show.

And what a show it was.

The preacher wore regular  street clothes and he had a headset microphone – now, Madonna made that big in the late 80’s – but this was the late 70’s and I had no idea that there was wearable microphones – all I’d seen in school were the big clunky ones on stands.

He had pale brown hair and a mustache. He was slim and he moved all over the front of the stage – waving his arms, dropping down to his knees and jumping up again. I couldn’t help but be swept up in the emotions.

I did find the constant asking to bring our friends and win cool prizes a bit jarring and it broke the magic feeling. I had no real idea of what stories or lecture he was giving, because I was just in thrall to his passionate and lyrical voice and seduced by the way he moved.

When it was over, the sweat soaked preacher said that there’d be a special children’s class in the basement.

My sister and friend had been totally bored and couldn’t wait to leave. I headed for the basement, wondering what would happen next.

I vaguely recall being disappointed that we were handed off to a female instructor, she lacked  showmanship. But, she did give us a comic book about Adam and Eve. So that seemed okay, I liked comics.

When I got home, I showed the comic to my Mom – and she hit the roof.

The comic book told the standard story – God makes everything, makes Adam, makes Eve and they eat the apple and get cast out and marked as sinners by being turned black.

Yes, the comic changed Adam and Eve from a white couple into a black couple to show they were sinners.

My Mom hit the roof and sat down with my sister and I to explain that the comic was very wrong. That people of different colours are no worse or better than us and how you can’t treat people differently based on anything as silly as skin colour.

She said that it was a bad church for teaching such a horrible message and we were not to return there. If we wanted to learn about church, she would find us one.

And she did. For a while we went to a Presbyterian Church – and it was extremely different. Even now I have a great fondness for the people, but seriously folks, would it have really hurt to clap after the children’s choir of 4 sang? Give us a little appreciation for being brave enough to stand up in front of you all? We weren’t even bad as far as kids singing goes.

It was stodgy, uptight and boring. No one moved around, the singing was mostly rote and it was too rigid and structured. I stayed for about 2 years, mostly because I enjoyed the singing we did as the choir – the children’s choir was me, my sister and the two grandsons of the Minister.

Anything to be in front of an audience was my motto.

But, even then, when the kids would be sent down for Sunday school lessons, and what was being told to us was not just absorbed because the performance was so enthralling.

Religious stories don’t match with known history

I asked questions because what I had learned in school and on my own didn’t match with what we were being taught in church.

What if you lose your leg do you get it back in heaven? What if you lose your leg and it goes to heaven, but later you become a bad person and go to hell? Does your leg go to hell too, or does it get to stay in heaven because when it “died” you were still good?

This type of bargaining is natural to kids – how good do I have to be in order to be good? Santa, had far lower standards and immediate rewards. God, not so much.

What about dinosaurs? What about early humans?

We had a book published by Reader’s Digest called The Last 2 Million Years.

Reader's Digest Best Work

So, what about all the civilizations that existed before the bible says the earth was created? What about these same civilizations that aren’t mentioned in the bible?

What about that the bible stories are set in a very small geographical area and do not take into account civilizations in areas that were occurring at the same time as these events, but aren’t in the texts?

Does that mean that that’s the only area that this christian god is the god of? That the commandment not to worship other gods is really “don’t move out of my catchment area and into other god’s territories”?

More than that, since I was reading a lot of my Dad’s science fiction novels, which largely did not include religion, unless it was on a backwards primitive planet, religion did not offer a world that I could really live in.

There was no possibility, no invention, no individuality, just well, boring backwards looking uptight people following rules that they had no say in.

Church was largely engagingly emotionally and extremely unsatisfying intellectually.  It wasn’t long before I was spending my Sunday morning watching the entertaining tv program “Kids are people too“.

ABC's Kids are People too

But not going to church isn’t really enough to be an atheist, because there’s lots of believers out there who aren’t associated with any church. Which also puts paid to the idea that the main point of church is the community and shared beleifs.

It’s religion itself. Keeping in mind that all religions have exactly the same amount of evidence (none whatsoever), I’ll focus on the christian umbrella since it’s the one most North Americans are most familiar with.

Also, let’s put aside that circular reasoning that because we have the world around us that god put it there. Because that just begs the question, which god then?

That a clearly not human manufactured thing exists, doesn’t mean that something with better skills made it. Especially when you really learn about how the various systems in the body works, you quickly learn there’s nothing intelligent about our “design”.

Aside: I think it’s a bit funny that the oldest church in the Christian milieu, the Catholic Church, tends to be seen as something other than christian.

Kids essentially need to be indoctrinated and have their exposure to other ideas, history and even that there are  a lot of other religions practiced now and thousands that aren’t practiced anymore.

If I guaranteed that you had a 50-50 change of wining a million dollars in a lottery draw, but first you had to pick which one of a thousand different lotteries – how are you going to know which particular lottery to draw your ticket from?

No different from picking what religion is the “One True One”. Dadadadum.

So, here’s some of what’s wrong with the christian religions (because there’s lots of them)

Original sin

The concept of sin is that you have knowingly and by your own free will chosen to commit a sinful act.

Original Sin has you starting out with smut on you already, you’re doomed from the get go and you didn’t consent to be born – and even so, as a minor, can’t be held to any such agreement.

Any person who believes in original sin and choses to have a baby is essentially deciding to put another person in the position of having one foot in hell, just for being born. Isn’t corrupting other people a sin?

No sense of proportion

If the only bad thing you did was to steal a candy bar as a kid or wear a poly cotton blend shirt as an adult, you’re as deserving of eternal damnation as Josef Stalin or Adolf Hitler. What sort of justice is that? What sort of forgiving,loving  and supposedly all-knowing god is unable to understand the context of the actions?

God allegedly has a big picture view and ideas enough to create the universe, all the galaxies, systems, planets and so forth down to sub-atomic particles, but he can’t see that a 5-year-old really can’t understand the implications of shop lifting? Or get that adults need low maintenance but comfortable office wear?
Never gives credit for good actions or thoughts

If you stole a candy bar as a kid, but spent your adult life working to eliminate poverty and homelessness, you are still damned to hell because all your positive actions did not mitigate a minor infraction on your balance sheet.

Look at the 10 commandments, any version of them – the majority of the commandments are about worshiping and obeying authority – and very few are about actions or behavior.

Pretty much don’t be covet, don’t steal or murder is the extent of the behaviour code.

Everything else is worship god, not other gods and obey your parents.

Does that mean there’s other gods around to worship? Maybe they’ll make a better offer….

Absurd expectations

God sets people up for failure, just read the Cain and Able story – the early part. Able was always God’s favorite.

Expecting people to live a perfectly sin-free life is unrealistic. Especially now that our average life span is so much longer than any other time in history.

It’s like condemning a round object in the real world for not being a mathematically perfect sphere.

So, you’re supposed to live sin free, and feel bad about original sin that you didn’t even do – and don’t forget, women bear the biggest burden with the menstrual cycle and painful births.

Aside: Given that birth is painful for child and mother, and in pre-modern medicine times, infant and mother mortality rates were pretty high – can anyone really think god likes people? If we’re supposed to really go forth and multiple, then shouldn’t humans have relatively easy birthing of litters? Or was the bible really meant for cats? The ancient Egyptians thought they were divine.

which leads us to

Salvation

Salvation has nothing to do with justice.

According to mainstream (not even the fringe!!!) Christianity, a serial killer could spend his entire life torturing hundreds of little children to death, then repent on his death bed, and get an express ticket to heaven without enduring a single moment’s punishment.

Think about it. Serial killer of children sitting on the same cloud as your great-great grandmother. All for saying sorry and asking Jesus to forgive him.

BUT any of his child victims was over the Age of Accountability or was a non-Christian when they were tortured to death (and possibly even taking the lord’s name in vain when prayers to Jesus and God to save them were answered “no” at worst or ignored at best), that kid goes straight to hell.

Imagine it. 8-year-old kid, kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed in a fire pit of hell beside Hitler.

And that’s the mainstream churches.

Fear mongering

The spread of religion and getting people to obey is largely fear mongering.

If you don’t accept my god and follow the rules that I tell you my god wants you to follow, you’re going to hell.

Worse than that – you could well believe and follow the rules, but because society has civil laws that don’t match god’s laws – god is allowing people including his own followers to perish in natural disasters or terrorist attacks just because there are feminists, legal abortion and gays are people too.

see, right on the cover, gay people

Christianity is a  horrible religion that has nothing to do with love, fairness, goodness or justice.

The eastern religions with their concept of karma and reincarnation seems a zillion times more fair, but no more plausible.

Being a nihilist is far cheery worldview than believing in the horribly judgmental, insecure, egomaniac, genocidal and all around  Cosmic Sadist of Christianity

13 thoughts on “Why I am not a beleiver

  1. I have an answer for your dinosaurs question that is the belief of many Christian archeologists. The term dinosaur did not originate until the mid 1800’s, so that term would not have been in any translation of the Bible because there is no Greek or Hebrew equivalent. What is in the Bible are the terms “leviatan,”(Job 41:1) “behemoth”(Job 40:15) and so forth that could qualify as being dinosaurs. Now, when God flooded the earth to rid it of its evil, it is the belief of many Christian archeologists that this is where the dinosaurs were eradicated. I am a devout Christian who seeks the heart of my heavenly Father, and I do not like the religiosity of today’s society. I believe that this religiousness is not what people want or need. People today need the relationship that comes from serving an Almighty God. In response to your other sections:
    Original Sin. Not all Christians believe this, but most subscribe to this idea. Since Adam sinned in the beginning, the world has fallen from the state it was originally created to be. We live in a fallen world, and in saying that, we all are sinners. Whether or not we are born with sin already imbued upon us, I do not know.
    No sense of proportion. Context has nothing to do with sin. You will notice in the Bible that the word “sins” rarely appears. Most of the time it is the word “sin.” This is in reference to all sin being equal. There is no gray area whatsoever with sin. Stealing is exactly the same as murder in God’s eyes simply because its wrong. It doesn’t matter what value we place on it as people, aka lying isn’t as bad as murder, its still wrong. The word sin comes from a word that means to miss the mark. God’s standard for us is absolute holiness, which is only possible through faith in Christ, so any little thing that is wrong is sin because it misses the mark of absolute holiness. James, Chapter 2 tells us that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. For He who said, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ also said, ‘Do not commit murder.’ Now if you do not commit adultery, but do commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law.” The two sins are simply examples of what James was saying and that was that God gave us the Law, therefore, if we fail in one part, we fail in all because it all came from God.
    Never gives credit for good thoughts or actions. People do good things all the time, and they are rewarded for them, but from what heart did they do those good deeds? Did someone give a million dollars to a charity simply because its a good deed or because that person wanted to be seen doing a good deed? And on the 10 Commandments, some context is needed there, as with an Scripture passage. The Israelites were traveling through lands where people people worshipped pagan gods, gods other than the One True God. And its not that all your good acts can outweigh your bad ones, its that there’s still something in your life that God deems sin. It doesn’t matter how big or small, as we would say, that sin is, it cannot be countered by good deeds, only by the saving death of Jesus Christ. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that salvation is “the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    Absurd Expectations. Those exist because God wants to reveal Himself to His creation. Without Him we cannot make it in this world and be truly happy, be truly at peace with ourselves. We cannot live up to God’s expectations without Christ as our Savior and Lord. Thats why God’s expectations are so high, because only Christ can fulfill them and Christ was perfect. 2nd Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” And people life-spans were much longer several millennia ago, aka Methuselah lived to be 969 (Genesis 5:27) Again, we live in a fallen world, thats why women have pain during child birth and why men have to work so hard to provide for their families. And on Cain and Able, God doesn’t set people up for failure, but He does things that we don’t understand so that He will be glorified. Thats whats all of Creation, and Jesus, and everything is about: God’s glory.
    Salvation. Salvation has everything to do with justice. It doesn’t matter how “little,” as we would categorize but thats not Biblical, a sin is, its still sin. All sin, no matter what it is deserves death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift og God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) All sinners deserve to go to hell, heck, thats what I myself deserve. The payment of death and hell was paid when Jesus died on the cross almost 2000 yrs ago. He was the perfect Son of God and He laid down His life for ALL people. I don’t know if deathbed confessions get you to heaven, I kind of doubt it personally because it has to be a true heartfelt commitment to Jesus Christ that saves you, not a last minute resort to avoid hell. Biblically, there is nothing to support an age of accountability. This is hard for a lot of Christians to accept because we don’t want to think that God would send “innocents,” in our eyes at least, to hell. The answer to that question is one that only God knows.
    Fear mongering. I have never heard this argument against Christianity before, honestly, I never have. All I can say to it is that when a person realizes that the Sovereign Creator and King of the Universe exists and that you are opposing Him, you get pretty fearful, at least I did. The Bible tells us to fear the Lord (Psalm 33:8), this fear is more of awe at who He is than anything. Unfortunately, there are those will use the church and peoples willingness to believe what others say for the wrong things. People should never blindly follow what someone says/preaches simply because they are a theologian/preacher/etc. We have to work out our own faith and why we believe in God. And yes, I do think that cataclysmic events are God’s way of saying something is wrong with this world. I mean, look at the Flood (Genesis 6-9), and Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 14). Again, we live in a fallen world and God will do whatever it takes for Himself to be glorified. My God is a jealous One. And Christianity has everything to do with love, justice, and goodness. Christianity, at least Biblically, never claims to be fair. Its not fair in the sense that we don’t get what we deserve, which is death. God loves all people, no matter their lifestyle, ethnicity, race, IQ, whatever. I could go on. God loves YOU! He wants to have a real alive relationship with you! Now if you chose to reject God, of course you will not have a good view of Him because when people reject Him, He is just with them and deals to them what they deserve. Its when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and commit our lives to Him that all of that changes. His love never lessens or changes towards us, but to Him we are dirty, rotten creatures that deserve death. After salvation, we are as pure as snow. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17 I do not understand how one can say that God is not love when He sacrificed His son for us. How many of us can say that we would do the same?

    • Dinosaurs:

      “The term dinosaur did not originate until the mid 1800′s, so that term would not have been in any translation of the Bible because there is no Greek or Hebrew equivalent.”

      They aren’t mentioned because no one who wrote the bible ever saw one. There’s 65 million years in between dinosaurs and humans. If there was, there would have been specific words for dinosaurs that would have been translated, based on context and description, into whatever word we call the same thing.

      “What is in the Bible are the terms “leviatan,”(Job 41:1) “behemoth”(Job 40:15) and so forth that could qualify as being dinosaurs.”

      Both of those words are descriptions of the size of a thing, not the thing itself.

      You can’t cherry pick a word and ignore the context of the passage that it’s in.

      Further, there’s no description of either to be able to guess at all what, if any, animal is being referred to – so these unqualified terms can’t qualify as any specific animal – and bible scholars and apologists would do better to say it’s not literal, but a metaphor to teach the lesson of man being inferior to the god character.

      These passages are part of a story to convince Job that he is powerless compared to God because there’s all these big animals.
      Which is ridiculous when little humans with stone weapons and working together could take down woolly mammoths.

    • Sin

      “when God flooded the earth to rid it of its evil, it is the belief of many Christian archeologists that this is where the dinosaurs were eradicated.”

      The evil god was getting rid of was the bad humans – Noah was put in charge to save 2 of each animal.

      Otherwise, are you suggesting that dinosaurs had souls, were intelligent and capable of evil? In which case, why not get rid of all the snakes for causing the original problem?

      why would a god that created the universe need to flood the world to get rid of anything that god could just blink out of existence.

      there’s no evidence for a global flood – but early civilizations lived along rivers – which flood – so it’s easy to see that their local world was destroyed and the story grew over time.

      If water covered all the land, there wouldn’t be land now – the water have no where to go.

      Seems to me less effort to blink the evil out of the people, or the evil people out of the world, than all that water…..

      “Original Sin. Not all Christians believe this,”

      If there is one true religion, shouldn’t there be only one version of it?

      “in the Bible that the word “sins” rarely appears. Most of the time it is the word “sin.” This is in reference to all sin being equal. There is no gray area whatsoever with sin.”

      Sins and sin is hairsplitting, and, stepping outside of the discussion, hairsplitting is a lot below your otherwise good debating. In the spirit of sharing: adding such weak arguments weakens your whole case – best to stick with the strongest arguments you have and, only take on the opponents strongest arguments.

      That there is no gray area is the problem with a system of rules that not only do not allow for rule conflict but also do not allow for living in a complicated world that is not black and white.

      The classic example is – telling a lie to save a life is better than allowing that person to be killed because you didn’t lie to protect them. Knowing that they would be killed makes you an accomplice by failing to save them.

      What’s the difference from lying and being wrong? Both are incorrect information – intention matters for nothing in religion.

      Worse, following a list of rules is not moral, that’s obeying to avoid punishment/obtain reward.

      When I studied systems of morality in college, I found them all lacking as none took into account motive.

      “The word sin comes from a word that means to miss the mark.”

      Yes, that mark is set by something outside yourself so the context is important.

      If there’s any lesson in any religion, it’s that we’re never good enough for the deities – like Cain – we are set up to fail – that’s not a moral, fair or loving system.

      Plus, don’t you think that with all the demands of worship that this god character is not only needy, but insecure?

      Perhaps this god shouldn’t project it’s personal shortcomings on everyone else.

    • Absurd Expectations

      “Those exist because God wants to reveal Himself to His creation….We cannot live up to God’s expectations without Christ as our Savior and Lord. Thats why God’s expectations are so high, because only Christ can fulfill them and Christ was perfect.”

      If there was a god who wanted to be revealed, you don’t think that they would have shown themselves unambiguously?

      You don’t see what a complete trap your reasoning is?

      God has high exceptions, sent a perfect sacrifice to make up for our failings, – but you’re still in if you accept christ? That’s basically saying you know you’ll fail and it’s okay because someone else paid the sin cheque.

      And, given the whole, he died for our sins – suggests that we can in fact sin without consequences.

      I don’t think that the men who wrote these things or who spread the word, really thought some of these ideas all the way through.

      the other part of absurd expectations is that believers today, demand extraordinary evidence for evolution – despite the already slam dunk evidence there is for it from many different areas of science – while offering no evidence and requiring no evidence for their belief in their faith.

      one standard of evidence for any claims, with the exception being extraordinary evidence for extraordinary claims.

      Evolution we see in geology, biology, genetics and field conversations – testable, and repeatable.

      The case for deities requires a far higher level of evidence – and that’s not subjective experience, word games or religious texts. Measurable, observable, and is the only explainable possible.

      and, there’s just no evidence for religions, it’s all subject experience and magical thinking.

    • “Salvation has everything to do with justice”

      there is nothing just in a system that only has 2 options – hell or heaven – and no accounting for motive and mitigating factors.

      holding everyone to the same extreme high standards just means that hell would be crowd and heaven would be empty.

      but wait, didn’t some guy die to pay for all these sin, big and small?

      so then no one would be in hell and heaven would be crowded.

      it’s the problem when the story isn’t internally consistent.

      btw, aren’t you at all concerned that the majority of the commandments are about blindly worshiping authority while there no commandment against raping anyone (including children) or assaulting a person?

      • Well, I’m gonna start with your last comments and go up. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Here, Jesus tells us that there will be more people in Hell than Heaven, simply because its much harder to follow Christ. And yes, “some guy” did die to account for all of humanity’s sin, but one has to acknowledge their own sinfulness, believe on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and commit their lives to Him and His will. Just because He died doesn’t mean that everyone will be in Heaven, people have to accept the free sacrifice.

        There are so many commandments about worship because people are so easily deceived by Satan in this world. I’m not concerned with this because I myself have to be reminded sometimes that my focus should be God and nothing else. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:18 to “Flee immorality.” Is not rape/assault an immoral thing? Another reason why there are not as many Scriptures on that subject is because when a person is truly living a life that is worshipful, it will be very hard for them to commit such heinous acts. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jesus, John 15:5) I wouldn’t say that rape/assault are fruits of a righteous God.

        No, I do not think God would be unambiguous. God reveals Himself to us through the Bible and through Creation. “But Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, if these [the disciples] become silent, the stones will cry out!'” The measure of ambiguity that exists is so that we come to Him on the basis of faith.

        And yes, I know that I will still fail. I will still sin, even though I believe that Christ is my Savior and that He has saved me from those sins. But that doesn’t mean I should still continue to sin; I will try my hardest to have victory over sin and by the grace of God and the power of Christ within me, I will have victory as long as I choose to. I can choose to sin even though I am a believer. And it is true that those of us who are saved can sin without consequences because the consequences have already been paid. Again, though those consequences are covered, I am called to a higher standard, because I don’t have to pay the consequences for what I’ve done. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:12 that “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable.” He is saying that even though I can do anything I want, that I am free, I shouldn’t use that freedom to sin. He also says in Romans 6 “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in the newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.” (v. 1-7) Paul also tells us in Galatians 5:1 to “…stand firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” That being in reference to the slavery of sin. So there are plenty of commands in the Bible for believers to stand firm and not sin, even though we have the freedom to do whatever.

        Religion does not have much hard evidence, and that is where faith comes in. As far as historical evidence for the validity of the Gospels, there’s plenty. Take a look at the book, “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. Its full of Biblical and non-Biblical evidence for Christ. I don’t believe in evolution myself, so I don’t really bother with it, but I do find it interesting that we don’t see any of the phases of evolution that would connect other parts aka the “missing link” between primates and humans.

        First off, if you don’t believe in God, then why refer to Him as evil? Secondly, Noah did not have 2 of every animal on the ark, he had 2 of every kind of animal. I know this may seem like hairsplitting here, but there is a huge difference in the two. Genesis 6:19 says, “And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every kind into the ark, to keep them alive with you; they shall be male and female.” There could be several different species within a kind, ie, cats: lions, tigers, puma, leopards, saber-tooth, etc. Who’s to say that God chose to preserve some species and not other? I’m not saying that animals have souls, just maybe that God knew that these animals would not be the best for the world after the Flood, I mean imagine there being only 8 people on the earth and having to deal with two of every kind of large predator, including dinosaurs.

        God flooded the earth to make His power known. Yes, He could have simply thought them out of existence, but He displayed His power in sending a Flood that destroyed everything, how much more does that show His power?

        I can understand maybe that the story could have grown over time, but this culture was one of oral tradition. They did not change a single thing when they retold their stories. The sense of urgency and accuracy that people retold their histories with cannot even be comprehended by our society. “We have to remember that we’re in a foreign land in a distant time and place and in a culture that has not yet invented computers or even the printing press. Books–or actually, scrolls of papyrus–were relatively rare. Therefore education, learning, worship, teaching in religious communities–all this was done by word of mouth.” -Craig Blomberg, Ph.D. on oral tradition in Biblical times.

        God is God, He can make water disappear, just as the water seemingly came from nowhere.

        Ideally, there should only be one interpretation of the Bible, but there isn’t and thats just a fact. Some are more liberal and some, more conservative. We don’t live in a perfect world.

        The point I was trying to make with the difference in sin and sins was that all sin is equal, thats all that was about.

        That there is no gray area is probably one of the hardest things that people have to wrestle with within Christianity. I do understand that this is a complicated world that doesn’t have much black and white, but the Bible has answers to every single problem in this world. Now telling a lie to save a life is still wrong on the fundamental level that lying is wrong no matter what the motivation is behind it. So many times people inadvertently do bad things with good intentions. Honestly, I would tell a lie if it saved someone’s life, but thats because I know God will forgive the lie, not because it saved someone’s life, but because “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

        Yes, a lot of people come to faith in Christ simply to escape Hell, but is that not what a child would do? In moral development, the early stages are characterized by right and wrong being based upon what kind of reward or consequence that decision/action might bring. “Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Jesus, Mark 10:15) As we develop and grow our faith in Christ, we develop in much the same way as Kohlberg’s 3 main stages of moral development. Both Kohlberg’s and James Folwer’s studies on moral development took into account the motivation for the decisions. So does Smedes in his book, Choices.

        We are not good enough for God, thats the point. God, in His infinite love and mercy, provided the way for us to come to Him, the way for us to be good enough, in spite of all our fallacies and sin. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (Jesus, John 14:6)

        God demands everything that He does because He is a very jealous God. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:5). Now, you may say, “How can God be jealous, because isn’t jealousy a sin?” Yes, jealousy is a sin, but God has the right to be jealous of His creation does He not? The actual Hebrew word that is used can be translated as jealous or zealous. Ultimately, God is jealous/zealous after His people and the ones whom He loves (all mankind). That is the reason why God is zealous for us.

        I do not believe that the universe has been in existence for millions of years. If dating the universe according to the Bible, its somewhere around 6000 years old. I believe that God created the dinosaurs on the 6th day of creation. “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’; and it was so. God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:24-25). Now what exactly happened to the dinosaurs, as I have already said, I believe that most of them either perished in the Flood or began to become extinct over time, as so many species have. The words in Job (Leviathan and Behemoth) do indeed describe the size of the animals, but don’t so many other names of other animals, namely dinosaurs? Not only that, but names often describe something similar to their size or physical appearance. Triceratops means 3-horned face, Tyrannosaurus Rex means Tyrant lizard king. So to say that just because the name only describes size and that there is no other description of the animals means that it couldn’t be dinosaurs is kind of closed minded when you look at how much hypothesizing science requires. Job does describe the behemoth as eating “grass like an ox. Behold now, his strength in his loins and his power in the muscles of his belly. He bends his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze; his limbs are like bars of iron.” (Job 40:15-18) I don’t think you quite understand the size of the creatures being described. These are no mere mammoths, which yes can be taken down by man, but these are creatures that cannot be taken down by man, aka dinosaurs.

  2. I am a believer, but am essentially anti-organized religion. And I believe that ANY scripture (Chirstian, Bhudist, Jewish, etc) are simply the equivalent of “Life’s Little Instruction” books – even if they are in actual fact divinely inspired.

    I’m very intrigued with atheism and nihlism. Ever read “The Blind Watchmaker”? Fantastic read.

  3. Hope not..there’s an over used quote you maybe know already – religion is for those who believe in hell, spirituality is for those who’ve been there. But tbh this isn’t something that keeps me awake at night.

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