Blog

Don’t Blame Jesus if You Wake Up in Hell. It’s Your Fault

Christian: Punishment is not what Christianity is about. What the Bible teaches is where sin is placed; who it is that is responsible for sin. Those who choose to try and pay for their own sins will spend an eternity trying to do so. Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ, those who trust in him, will receive release from the penalty of their sin since He paid for their sins on the cross.

Now, yes, there are some who choose to not believe. We all have the freedom to choose which path to take. God doesn’t cast anyone into Hell. It’s a choice, and a very simple one.

Gary: But who is it that will “cast” me and other nonbelievers into Hell? Will I willingly jump into Hell by my own choice? I don’t think so. Someone is going to have to push me. Who will that be?

Think about this, my Christian friend: How would a court of law (and the court of public opinion) react to the following hypothetical situation:

One day I tell my wife: “Honey, I love you more than anything in the world. But if you ever reject me and leave me, I will tie you up and throw you into a pit of fire to be burned alive. I won’t want to do it. It will break my heart. But it will be your fault, not mine. You made the choice to be burned alive.”

No one with a reasonable, rational mind is going to accept the argument that it was my wife’s choice and fault to be burned alive. It is an outrageous argument! It is an horrific example of blaming the victim.

Yet Christians use the same irrational, despicable logic to justify the horrific behavior of their god, Jesus the Christ, who casts non-Christians into a lake of fire.

No one deserves to be burned alive. Even if there is no burning in Hell, as some Christians assert, no one deserves eternal punishment of any kind.

And, absolutely no one deserves to be punished for what they believe. No one. Jesus is the evil-doer if Hell is real, not the non-believer!

(Thankfully, dear Readers, Jesus the resurrected Christ does not exist. He is nothing more than an ancient superstition. No one needs to worry about Hell.)

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

The Decline of Mainline Protestant Churches: The Slippery Slope of Liberalism

Liberal Protestant Churches in the United States are in significant decline. They are hemorrhaging members. Fundamentalist Protestant Churches on the other hand are holding their own or even growing. Why?

Conservative Christians will say that this phenomenon is due to liberals abandoning the historic teachings of Jesus and his apostles. God is punishing them! I call it the Slippery Slope Phenomenon.

At one point in time several centuries ago, all Christian Churches held to the inerrancy of the Bible. Whatever the Bible said about doctrine, morality, and social norms in the first century AD was still valid today. Women should be subordinate to men. Only men should serve as priests or pastors. Divorce was a terrible sin. Homosexuality was unthinkable let alone compatible with the teachings of Jesus.

At some point in the nineteenth century, highly educated, upper and upper-middle class post-enlightenment Protestant academics began to question the appropriateness of modern educated people believing in the reality of ancient supernatural tales and holding to the morality of the people who (invented?) those ancient supernatural tales. Mainline Protestant theologians and clergy began to abandon biblical inerrancy. Biblical inerrancy was seen as fundamentalist ignorance. Fundamentalists were seen as ignorant, knuckle-dragging country bumpkins. Educated Christians know better: The Bible must be reinterpreted through a modern lens.

But superstitions, especially fear-based superstitions like Christianity, work best when the masses believe they are 100% literally true. Once you inform the masses that their supernatural belief system is not entirely literally true; that some parts are literally true but other parts are not; that to know the difference one must spend years and years of study in a divinity school; the masses start to wise up…and leave the Church. Or they go to a church where the reality of their superstitions is reinforced.

Liberal Christianity is dying. Not because the intent of liberals was bad, but because superstitions and enlightened thought are incompatible.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

Who Was Israel’s First King? No, It Was Not Saul

The biblical King Saul and the boy David

During the nineteenth and early twentieth century archaeological dig after archaeological dig seemed to strongly support the historical claims of the Bible. But by the end of the twentieth century, most archaeologists rejected the historicity of the Exodus, the Conquest of Canaan, and the United Monarchy of David and Solomon. The Bible was no longer seen as an historically reliable book.

What happened?

If you ask conservative Christians, the change occurred due to a sinister conspiracy among liberal and atheist archaeologists to discredit the Bible and Christianity. “Good” archaeologists still believe in the historical accuracy of the Bible, apologists assure their Christian audiences.

Most archaeologists will scoff at this explanation. The reason that archaeology as a field has changed its opinion on the historical reliability of the Bible has nothing to do with an agenda against Christianity and everything to do with evidence. New and improved methods of evaluating the archaeological evidence just do not support the historical claims of much of the Bible, in particular in regards to the formation of the kingdom of Israel.

So who was the first king of Israel, based on the archaeological evidence: Saul? David? Solomon? No, no, and no. The answer is: Omri, the father of Ahab.

Excerpt from World Archaeology:

According to the Bible, David and his son Solomon were powerful kings who ruled the kingdom of Israel from their capital at Jerusalem. After Solomon’s death, at the end of the 10th century BC, the Bible states that their kingdom divided, never again to reach such opulent heights. But was this really so?

Drawing on a gamut of archaeological evidence, a new picture emerges – one that dates the appearance of the Kingdom of Israel to the 9th century BC, puts its original capital at Samaria, and casts King Omri and his son King Ahab as Israel’s first kings.

Gary: the authors of the Christian Bible, from the anonymous authors of the Gospels to Paul of Tarsus, believed in the historical reliability of the Jewish Scriptures (the Old Testament), in particular the historical reality of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon and the stories about them. Most modern archaeologists doubt these characters ever existed.

What does that say about Christianity?

Christian apologists can appeal to (alleged) first century eyewitness testimony as evidence for the veracity of Christianity but if archaeological evidence indicates that Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Solomon did not exist, Jesus was a liar or a fool, as he too believed in the historicity of these characters.

Archaeological evidence is much stronger evidence than disputed eyewitness testimony, my friends.

Christianity is a fraud.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

If the Biblical King David Was a Myth, What Does that Say About Jesus?

This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham…

–The opening line of the Christian New Testament (Matthew 1:1)

The above video was made by John McCarthy, a former hostage in the Middle East. During his captivity, he was given a Bible. He read through it twice. This experience challenged him to investigate the historical claims of the Bible in comparison to the findings of modern archaeology. In the video, he interviews many prominent archaeologists at archaeological sites throughout Palestine. Very interesting. (I can’t find the English version. If someone can find it, please link it below.)

The archaeological evidence is overwhelming: There is no evidence of the biblical King David, his united Israelite kingdom, nor of his occupation of the city of Jerusalem. There is one inscription of a “king David” on a stele in northern Israel dated several hundred years after the alleged time of the biblical David, but “king of what”? This is hardly good evidence for the existence of the biblical King David.

And there is more. There is zero archaeological evidence of the great King Solomon, his temple, or of his massive empire stretching from the Euphrates to the Nile. None. Zip. Nada.

Christian apologists will be quick to chime in: “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. And this is true. But the absence of evidence regarding the biblical King David and the biblical King Solomon is odd. Very, very odd.

If such great kings existed, why is there not only no archaeological record in Palestine of their existence, but there is no mention of them in the stelae or other writings of the surrounding peoples, such as the Egyptians, the Hittites, and the Assyrians? Nothing. These surrounding nations did leave records about many other, less important, kings of Israel and Judah, but absolutely nothing about the two greatest Israelite kings! Nothing.

Most modern archaeologists, including most Israeli archaeologists, believe that the biblical kings David and Solomon never existed. They are myths.

So what does that say about Jesus of Nazareth??

Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, a descendent of King David. If King David did not exist that makes Jesus a fool or a liar. Either way, modern archaeology proves that Jesus was not an all-knowing god but a fallible man. He certainly was not the omniscient creator of the universe, as Christianity claims.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

The One Catholic Church Tradition that Protestants Never Abandoned

Conservative Protestants are proud of the fact that they have purified Christianity by stripping their doctrine and churches of Catholic traditions—beliefs and practices based on human tradition, not on anything stated in the Bible.

But Protestants did not abandon all Catholic traditions. Protestants still celebrate Christmas, the mass of Christ, every December 25th, even though no Christian scholar on the planet believes that Jesus was born on this date, nor even in that month. But there is an even bigger Catholic tradition to which conservative Protestants tenaciously cling: the divine inspiration of the New Testament canon.

Did Jesus leave a list of inspired New Testament texts? No. Did the Twelve leave a list of inspired New Testament texts? No. So who decided which books written after the death of Jesus to include in “God’s Word” and which books to exclude? Answer: Catholic bishops!

Protestant apologists will try to wiggle out of this dilemma by claiming that the majority of the New Testament canon was approved by most if not all Christian churches by the beginning of the second century, before the Church had become “Catholic”. Does this answer help their cause? No. Even if 100% of Christian churches by the beginning of the second century considered the Gospels, Acts, and Paul’s epistles divine, does that mean that people today can be certain that these books really are the divinely inspired Words of God the Creator?? No. Absolutely not.

Neither the Creator, Jesus, nor his disciples told us one word about a new testament that would be added to the Holy Jewish Scriptures. So good Jews should reject Paul’s New Testament just as strongly as they reject Mohammad’s new testament and Joseph Smith’s new testament.

If you worship the god of the Jews, Yahweh, stick with the original Word of God (the Tanakh). Don’t be fooled by anyone claiming to have a “new” testament.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

New Judean Cult Promotes Ritual Cannibalism!

Preuters News Agency

Rome, 11 July, 64 CE

Reports are coming in from all over the empire of a new religious cult which practices mock cannibalism. The cult originated in Judea during the reign of Pontius Pilate but over the last three decades has spread to Egypt, Asia Minor, Greece, and is now here in Rome. The cult’s beliefs center around the worship of their deceased leader, one Jesus of Galilee, a convicted criminal executed by Pilate for sedition against Caesar Tiberius. His followers refer to him as “the Christ”, a god, who three days after his public execution allegedly rose from the dead, appeared in a supernaturally-empowered body to some of his followers, and currently sits on a golden throne somewhere beyond the stars and planets. Some in the cult claim this “Christ” to be the creator of the universe!

The primary ritual of this cult is to participate in a mock act of cannibalism. During the ritual, a solemn, magical incantation is said over a plate of ordinary bread and a cup of ordinary wine which the cult members believe are instantaneously transformed into the actual flesh and blood of their dear departed leader. Once the magical incantation has ended, cult members feast on what they believe to be their leader’s body and blood. They believe that they drink “his blood” and eat “his flesh” for the forgiveness of their “sins”. Cult members believe that the blood of their leader, shed on a Roman cross of execution, channels mystical powers which appease the righteous anger of the Judean god, Yahweh, who will then grant them eternal life.

Human sacrifice and cannibalism were outlawed in the Roman Empire by a senatorial decree in 97 BCE.

Is this cult simply a collection of misfits and unstable, superstitious minds from the poorer classes or is this movement something much more nefarious? Is this cult a cover for an uprising against Rome?

Their central message is: “Repent. The new kingdom is at hand!”

Do these “Christians” seek to replace the civilized Greco-Roman culture with the backward, savage practices of their barbarian ancestors?

Is Rome in danger? Roman officials across the Empire are deeply concerned.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

The Creator is Dead

I agree with theists that there appears to be sufficient evidence to reasonably believe that our universe was created by an intelligent being:

–the orderliness of the universe

–the inviolable laws of physics

–the existence of a human conscience

–a common set of moral standards found in most if not all human cultures

But there also appears to be very good evidence that our Creator is dead:

–massive, ongoing, horrific, human and animal suffering. It is inconceivable to me that a creator who gave us a conscience and basic moral standards would allow millions of human beings, including millions of innocent little children, to suffer unspeakable suffering, day after day, year after year, century after century, millennia after millennia.

–prayers to “God” seem to be no more effective than wishful thinking/chance.

Yes, dear theists. Our universe was quite likely created by an intelligent creator, but the evidence strongly indicates that our creator is dead.

Yes, God is dead.

Accept the facts, theists, and move one.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

The Bible: How Can Modern People Revere a Book Which Condones Slavery?

 When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. 21 But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment, for the slave is the owner’s property.

–Exodus 21:20

Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offence had been committed on a free white person, and on the like proof, except in case of insurrection by such slave, and unless such death should happen by accident in giving such slave moderate correction.

—Constitution of the State of Georgia, 1798

The topic of slavery is one that makes us uncomfortable, and yet it comes up time and time again in discussions about morality and the God of the Bible. We would do well—whether as a believer or atheist—to understand what the Bible actually says about the practice of slavery, rather than building our conclusions and positions on faulty arguments or apologetics. Slavery was indeed endorsed in the Old Testament and the New Testament did not condemn its practice. The Old Testament laws concerning slavery were not so different from those in the antebellum South, which should give us pause; we must remember the atrocities that transpired prior to the Civil War.

–Dr. Joshua Bowen, The Atheist Handbook to the Old Testament, Volume 1, p. 320

Dr. Bowen holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Near Eastern Studies from The Johns Hopkins University where he majored in Assyriology and minored in Hebrew Bible. In addition, he specializes in the Summerian language. He has been awarded the American Fullbright Scholarship as well as the German Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (D.A.A.D.) Scholarship. In addition Dr. Bowen holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion from Liberty University, a Master of Theology in the Old Testament from Capital Bible Seminary, and a Master of Arts in Near Eastern Studies from The John Hopkins University. Prior to entering academia, Joshua was a chaplain in the US Air Force. Once a fundamentalist Christian, he now identifies as an atheist.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.

Failed Bible Prophecies: Nebuchadnezzar Did Not Destroy Tyre

The ancient city of Tyre

 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre; every head was made bald and every shoulder was rubbed bare; yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against it. 19 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnez′zar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth[e] and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he labored, because they worked for me, says the Lord God. –Ezekiel 29:17-20

Gary: Ask any Christian apologist for evidence of the validity of Christianity and they will invariably respond: the amazing accuracy of OT prophecies. These apologists will often add: Not one single OT prophecy has not been fulfilled.

They are wrong.

Ezekiel prophesied that the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar would wipe the city of Tyre off the map. It never happened. Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Tyre but could not breach its walls. The amazing thing is—Ezekiel even admitted his failed prophecy! What was his excuse? Answer: He prophesied that God would make it up to Nebuchadnezzar with the plunder of Egypt. But guess what? That prophecy too failed!

Of course the greatest failed prophecy of the Bible is Jesus’ failure to return to earth as he (allegedly) promised. Come one, Christians! It’s been TWO THOUSAND years! He ain’t comin’ back.

The evidence is overwhelming: The Bible is NOT the inerrant word of an all-knowing god. It is an ancient text containing a mix of historical facts, legend, superstition, religious propaganda, and outright fiction.

The original prophecy against Tyre, Ezekiel 26:

“For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: From the north I am going to bring against Tyre Nebuchadnezzar[b] king of Babylon, king of kings, with horses and chariots, with horsemen and a great army. He will ravage your settlements on the mainland with the sword; he will set up siege works against you, build a ramp up to your walls and raise his shields against you. He will direct the blows of his battering rams against your walls and demolish your towers with his weapons. 10 His horses will be so many that they will cover you with dust. Your walls will tremble at the noise of the warhorses, wagons and chariots when he enters your gates as men enter a city whose walls have been broken through. 11 The hooves of his horses will trample all your streets; he will kill your people with the sword, and your strong pillars will fall to the ground. 12 They will plunder your wealth and loot your merchandise; they will break down your walls and demolish your fine houses and throw your stones, timber and rubble into the sea. 13 I will put an end to your noisy songs, and the music of your harps will be heard no more. 14 I will make you a bare rock, and you will become a place to spread fishnets. You will never be rebuilt, for I the Lord have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.

.

.

.

.

.

.

End of post.