I WANT to believe in Jesus, but here is why I can’t




Jesus Paintings - In His Light by Greg Olsen
Some of my orthodox Christian readers seem to think that I am happy to be “free” of orthodox Christianity.  They are wrong.  I was very happy and content as an orthodox Lutheran.  I loved my church.  I loved God.  I had no fears for the afterlife; I knew that Jesus Christ loved me and had gifted me eternal life with him in Heaven.

Life was good.

So why would I choose not to believe in Jesus as my Lord and Savior?  Was it because I was angry at God?  Was I angry at other Christians?  Was there a secret sin that I wanted to indulge?

Answer:  no

I would love for someone to prove to me that Jesus Christ lives and is Lord God of Heaven and Earth.  Nothing would make me happier.  But here are the reasons why I can no longer believe the beautiful delusion that there is an omnipotent, omniscient Jesus watching over me and promising me eternal bliss in heaven in the after-life.



1.  There is no archaeological evidence of:  two million ancient Hebrews fleeing Egypt; the destruction of the entire Egyptian economy by the Ten Plagues; the annihilation of Pharaoh’s army in the Red or Reed Sea; the wandering of two million Israelites in the Sinai for forty years; the skeletons of all but two of those 2,000,000 Hebrews buried in the sands of the Sinai; the Conquest of Canaan; the Great Kingdoms of David and Solomon; the temple of Solomon.  For all these alleged historical events, as stated in the Bible, involving millions of people, not one skeleton, not one pottery shard, nor one piece of evidence has been found.

2.  This lack of archaeological evidence for the stories in the first half of the Old Testament proves that the Bible is not inerrant.  In fact, it proves to anyone with a reasonable, open mind, that the first half of the Old Testament is nothing more than superstitious fables.

 


3.  If the Exodus did not happen…
     If the Passover did not happen…
     If David and Solomon are mythical figures…

     …then Jesus of Nazareth was either confused or just mistaken.  He was not the Passover Lamb.  He was not the descendant of David.

4.  If Jesus made errors, then the Bible is not inerrant, therefore, all the “paradoxes” in the Bible are not divine mysteries…they are contradictions just as they appear to be:

     a.  The reason that the two Creation stories in Genesis seem contradictory is because…they really are contradictory!
     b.  The lack of geological evidence for the Great Flood is not due to geologists not finding the correct evidence yet.  There is no geological evidence for the Great Flood because it did not happen.
     c.  All the fantastic, supernatural “miracles” in the Bible are simply superstitious, imaginary fables.
     d.  If Jesus erred, then he did not meet his own definition of God, which means he was not God, just a good man.  And mortal men cannot be resurrected after being completely dead for 72 hours.

5.  We have zero eyewitness testimony to the Resurrection.

6.  Paul only saw a light and heard a voice on the Damascus Road.  He never saw a resurrected, nail-pierced body.  Emperor Constantine saw a light and heard a voice too, but does that prove he really saw the resurrected Jesus?  No.  Paul himself calls his experience a “vision”.  Therefore, we have zero evidence of anyone having seen a resurrected, walking, talking, broiled-fish eating dead man named Jesus of Nazareth.

7.  The Resurrection story is rife with contradictions.

8.  There is no evidence that any of the “witnesses” to the Resurrection were executed because they refused to recant their belief in a Resurrected Messiah.

9.  The Doctrine of the Trinity is a theological construct that evolved over four to five centuries.  It was not believed by the earliest Christians.  It cannot be found in the Bible in clear, explicit terms.

10.  There are no contemporaneous accounts of the Resurrection, Christian or non-Christian.

The loving, caring, compassionate, protective, all-knowing, all-powerful Jesus is a wonderful concept…but it is a myth.  The evidence is overwhelming.  I wish it weren’t true, but it is.  The only basis for believing the orthodox Christian story is simply because you want to; you want to believe no matter what evidence is presented to you; you want to believe because you love the warm, safe, reassuring feelings your belief in Jesus gives you.  You want to believe because the idea of life without your all-mighty “body guard” is frightening.  And you want to believe because the thought of your death as the end…frightens you even more.

 
Christian Art - Kingdom Of God Painting


You call your belief faith.  I call it sticking your head in the sand.

If you want to do that, go ahead, but stop reading this blog, because I can’t.  I can’t stick my head in the sand and pretend the evidence against orthodox Christianity does not exist, because it does. 

So why continue blogging?  Just to annoy orthodox Christians?  No.  It actually makes me very sad to see their sorrow, anger, and bewilderment at my deconversion.  I really enjoyed pointing people to “true” Christianity:  orthodox Lutheranism.  It really is the most beautiful form of orthodox Christianity.

So, maybe I continue to blog to convince myself that there is no hellfire and no eternal damnation for my “sin” of deconversion.  But maybe I am also subconsciously holding out hope that there is evidence out there, that I have not yet seen, that will convince me that Christianity is true.  Maybe I am hoping that you have that evidence.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “I WANT to believe in Jesus, but here is why I can’t

  1. Gary M – I just wanted to pop over from Nate's “Finding Truth” site and introduce myself – archaeopterx, not archaeopteryx1, as WordPress insists on, or Archae Opteryx as Google seems to prefer. Until last month, when my provider decided to discontinue the product I used for several years, I had my own site, “in His own image,” that expanded on the premise that Man created god, in His own image.

    Hopefully, I'll find a new provider with whose format I feel comfortable, and be back up and running soon.

    On my site, I explored the Bible, chapter by chapter, providing what I hoped was insight that few theists ever consider.

    The mythical flood you mention above, for example, was based on an actual flood that occurred in 2900 BCE near the City-State of Surrapak, in Mesopotamia, in what is now Iraq, when the Euphrates River overflowed its banks to a depth of 15 cubits (22.5 feet), and covered an area the modern equivalent of three counties. The king of Shurrapak, Ziusudra – an actual historical figure – escaped the deluge in a trading barge loaded with cotton, cattle and beer (Oh, my!). A hundred years later, an anonymous author wrote “The Epic of Gilgamesh,” in which a sub-plot was the story of a fictitious Mesopotamian king, Utinapishtim, who built a boat in which he rode out the week-long flood. After he disemb-ark-ed, he offered a burnt sacrifice, above which, as described by the author, “the gods hovered like flies” as they “smelled the sweet savor.” A couple of hundred years later, Noah had a similar experience, except that his flood covered a slightly wider area – the same 15 cubits, but this time, higher than the highest mountains, presumably Everest, as well. Yet when he sacrificed, at the end of his cruise, his god (Gen 8:21) smelled the same “sweet savor.” Plageriasm, pure and simple.

    I have a lot of info that you may or may not have, that if not, I'd be glad to share. If interested, you can reach me at archaeopteryx@in-His-own-image.com.

    Oh, and BTW, NeuroNotes tells me you've met – she is THE difinitive Go-To Girl for anything neurologically involving the brain, brain chemicals, theists and the neurological effects of the deconversion process. She is a veritable repository of relevant information, and if she doesn't have it, she can get it for you.

    pax vobiscum
    archaeopteryx

    Like

  2. Thanks for the comment.

    Yes, it is amazing that educated people today still believe that there was a world wide flood when geologists say it never happened.

    Like

  3. “The only basis for believing the orthodox Christian story is simply because you want to …”

    There is another very good reason that you did not mention – Ultimate justice – for injustices real and/or perceived against the believer. The simple need to believe that the guy who stole your wallet or vandalized you lawn ornament will “pay” for his misdeeds despite eluding mortal authority. This was one of the most deflating realizations I HAD to embrace to accept the lack of evidence in any true, just and loving god … and it sucked! Knowing that there were a boat load of unsavory people who may never pay any price for their earthly crimes was a very hard pill to swallow … none the less … I choked it down because the reality is, some people just don't ever get caught and may likely never experience the feeling of being violated for themselves. And that seemed incredibly unfair – at least with a theistic system in place one could reasonable expect those folks would not escape the eye and wrath of the lord and would pay a heavy price … unfortunately, it just ain't so.

    Peace 🙂

    Like

  4. Except for sociopaths, Robert, who aren't hardwired to feel empathy for others, don't you feel that there is some justice in the perpetrator having to live with what he/she has done?

    I stole a piece of penny candy when I was 7 – I got a weekly allowance and had change in my pocket, I just wanted to see what it felt like to steal, and the clerk had left the area to help a customer. I can still see, in my mind's eye, the entire event unfolding, and feel the fear and trepidation, both at crossing a boundaryline, and of getting caught. I never felt there was some eye-in-the-sky, watching, it was me, critiquing me.

    As Clint Eastwood said often in The Unforgiven – “I don't do that no more.”

    BTW – this is archaeopteryx – for reasons beyond my comprehension, your website has informed me that I don't own my ID, though I've been using it for years, and used it here earlier – sorry for any confusion, but I AM me.

    Like

  5. “… don't you feel that there is some justice in the perpetrator having to live with what he/she has done?”

    In a word – no … since it is likely the victim will have no knowledge of this. It would be some small consolation but it does nothing to “pay” for the crime itself. Now if the perp felt so remorseful that they actually confessed to the victim and made some type of restitution then I would consider that a type of justice … but to just “feel bad” that they did a bad act would not be enough to rate as “justice”. There's no accountability or assumption of responsibility to any degree that makes a remedy to the victim.

    I don't think there is any victim that feels justice was done if they were to know they were the last victim at the hands of that perpetrator … this is where the concept of supernatural justice was a somewhat comforting consolation … but we know (or at least know now) that there is no final supernatural justice at the end which means some people are never held accountable for their actions and that is an unfortunate byproduct of rejecting theism.

    Like

  6. I believe that this is but one of the many reasons why ancient cultures invented their various gods. SOMEBODY had to avenge the injury done to them by bad people. Making up an imaginary, all-powerful god who would “smite” your enemy, made you feel better about life.

    Like

  7. … or perhaps more importantly – to threaten them with eternal damnation in order to get them to submit to their “will” … if a priest can talk and translate the “word” of their particular god then most have little choice but to follow the divine command as interpreted from the priest … but of course no good god fearing priest would “ever” consider throwing out a few of their personal mortal preferences in the name of the divinity … right? 😉 Fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator to get the tribe to follow orders – intimidation, extortion etc. all possible with the ultimate weapon – “god” on your side

    Like

  8. I saw Jesus Christ when I was a little boy. I had a visitation from a man of white light on a throne of white light in my early 30s. I struggle with disbelief too, even after seeing. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s