If you reject an offer of membership from the Rotary Club, no one is going to come knocking on your door threatening you with eternal punishment. Not so with conservative Christianity. Reject this “club” and you will receive dire threats of “unspeakable”, well-deserved, retribution and punishment. Conservative Christianity is a cult. Conservative Christian apologists Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, authors of “The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus”, as sincere and good-intentioned as they may be, are peddling a cult.
In the last chapter of their book, they give an example to Christian readers regarding how to debate a skeptic on the evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus. But discussing evidence is not the end game for this organization. They are not satisfied with simply defeating the skeptic in a debate, they want to convert the skeptic. Read the following quote:
You have now given your [atheist/non-believer] friend quite a bit to chew on. Don’t be pushy. If he continues to ask questions, this may be a good time to transition to the gospel [Go for the kill: attempt to convert him!]
Christian: “I’m curious, Tom. Do you know what the main teaching of Jesus was?”
Tom: “That we should love each other?”
Christian: “His main teaching is that God’s kingdom has arrived and we can have salvation through believing in his Son. As it is now, we all stand condemned before God for failing to live up to his standard of perfection. He taught that there is a penalty for failing to meet his standard and that is an eternal separation from God, quarantined in a place he calls hell. However, he loved us all so much that he left his divine lifestyle in heaven to come and pay the penalty for our sins by his death on a cross. Finally, by putting our faith in him alone as risen Lord of the universe and in his ability to save us, he promises to extend his mercy and grant us eternal life. It is not something that we can earn through our good deeds, but through faith in what he has already done for us.”
Gary: Habermas is from Jerry Falwell’s fundamentalist Liberty University. I’m surprised he suppressed any mention of “hellfire” in that little speech.
And think about this, folks. What did we humans do that failed to meet Yahweh’s “standard”? Answer: Our ancient ancestor’s ate some of his fruit…and Yahweh has been punishing all of us for their forbidden-fruit-eating…ever since.
But…”he loves us so much!”
It all (the Creation Story, the Great Flood, the Passover and Exodus from Egypt, the Virgin Birth, the Resurrection) sounds like an ancient tall tale to me. Their evidence is poor without assuming the existence of their fruit-stingy god, Yahweh. Don’t be intimidated by their threats, people. Just keep telling yourself: They are a cult! They are a cult!