Monday, June 27, 2011

Common Sense is Tingling: Debunking Christianity: On Rejecting the Gospel Because of Sin

 John Loftus has written another confused defense for his sin.

That's the Christian claim, that non-Christians reject the gospel because we prefer to sin (or do wrong). Let's try to put this canard to rest.

That's not what Christians believe that is what the Bible says:

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.- John 3:16

Don't like it take it up with Jesus.

Do you, Christian, reject the Mormon faith merely because of its requirements? Do you reject the Muslim faith, the Buddhist way of life, Jainism, or the Jehovah's Witnesses because of their proscribed religious and moral duties? Some of them have much more strict requirements than your faith does. A Jainist does not eat meat. A Buddhist attempts to achieve a state of consciousness whereby he does not have any desires. A Jehovah's Witness refuses blood transfusions. A good Muslim woman will wear a burka. A Mormon wears magic underwear.

No, Christians rejects other religions because they conflict with God's revealed word.

If these religions had sufficient evidence for them no one would reject them merely because of what they require of us. But when it comes to sufficient evidence it must include all of the evidence, and part of that evidence is the moral and religious duties it requires of us if we were believers. If we were considering a militant Muslim faith that called upon us to kill people who didn't believe, this would certainly be relevant to whether such a faith is true. And there are certain things Christians think are required of God that are relevant to whether such a faith is true too, currently but not exclusively, misogyny and heterosexuality. Some Christians do not want to take their children to a doctor. Others are snake handlers. Others do not believe in birth control. Still others think the world is going to end soon and so they don't care about the environment or the possibility of war (and they run our country!) Others defend the Jewish nation no matter what and thereby have helped contribute to world instability. And the history of these requirements are relevant as well. The church believed witches and heretics should be killed and the church did not think slavery or misogyny was evil.

I don't see how any of these arguments in the above paragraph bear any weight on what the Bible says. Misogyny, snake handling, shunning medical attention, and all the other complaints have nothing to do with Biblical teachings. Sounds like you he has a problem with the way people who claim to be "Christians" have lived and not with God. God has a problem with such stupidity too.

So if sin is defined as certain actions I reject out of hand, then that is a relevant factor to my rejection of Christianity. I am indeed rejecting the gospel (which is embedded in the Bible as a whole) because I do not agree with its requirements as part of the total case against Christianity.

Sin is not defined as just certain actions. It is a predisposition to miss the mark - the standard of deeds, thoughts, and attitude that God's holiness demands of us! In short, Loftus is saying he rejects Christianity because he does not want to be held accountable to those standards God has set for us. No one does. That is the problem and why the need for a Savior is unavoidable. 

There is more.

There are specific religious duties to each religion and then there are moral duties people have to other people. I see no evidence that non-Christians behave any better or worse than Christians when it comes to moral duties to other people, obeying Jesus' second greatest commandment (if anything, religions cause more harm than good). This tells against Christianity because it is the one religion claiming God, the third person of the trinity, resides in the believer (in some sense) empowering them to be good to others.

God is not a person of the Trinity. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Bible calls each God! But no where does it say God is Jesus or the Holy Spirit is Jesus. Everyone falls short of obeying the second Greatest commandment - Loving your neighbor as yourself - that is sin. And if you never had the Holy Spirit indwelling you then I can understand how one does not understand how the Holy Spirit helps us grow so we can more closely live up to that standard. Of course if you never had it, you've never been saved. You have never been born-again.

When it comes to religious duties like tithing, evangelizing, praying, church attendance, Bible study, and so forth, which makes up Jesus' first greatest commandment, I see no evidence that Christians behave any better or worse than non-Christian religious people when it comes to these duties, once we translate them into comparable acts. This also tells against Christianity because again it is the one religion claiming God, the third person of the trinity, resides in the believer (in some sense) empowering them to obey Jesus' first greatest commandment.

If Loftus thinks that loving God with all you have and are equates just to  "religious duties like tithing, evangelizing, praying, church attendance, Bible study, and so forth" it's no surprise how confused he is on what a Christian is. It's more than that. Its obeying God and putting Him first in every aspect of life. It's your lifestyle. I sure would like to know how an atheist has comparable acts.

People who do not believe in any religion look at this lack of evidence and conclude religion is man made. We simply dispense with Jesus' first greatest commandment as irrelevant and unnecessary for our lives.

Sure would like to know what Christians, Loftus has known. My experience has been opposite. I've seen God completely make over people. Turning their hearts to him. Making them better people. He's done it for me. Without the first Commandment (which by the way is the first of the 10 commandments), you cannot even begin to obey the second. 

4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. - Deuteronomy 6:4,5

Debunking Christianity: On Rejecting the Gospel Because of Sin
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Who Killed Goliath? – Part 3 | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament

Dr Mariottini has posted his third post in his series about who to killed Goliath. Take a look at the article.

Who Killed Goliath? – Part 3 | Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament
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Debunking Christianity: Dan Barker vs. John-Mark Miravalle

This is a debate between Dan Barker and a Roman Catholic believer named John-Mark Miravalle. I thought that the debate went well for Miravalle but it's unfair for Dan Barker because he had the weaker argument. The one weak part I think about Miravalle's argument were with his theodicy, but Barker was unable to adequately exploit it because of his own weak presuppositions.

Debunking Christianity: Dan Barker vs. John-Mark Miravalle

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FacePalm of the Day #96 - Debunking Christianity: The Ledge, a Pro-Atheist Movie to be Released July 8th

John Loftus has posted a clip from an upcoming movie called The Ledge.

Here's a clip with the standard Christian responses to reasoned arguments:

 I don't know what is more scary. The fact that Loftus thinks that the atheist character has well-reasoned arguments or that he thinks that those are arguments Bible-believing Christians would us or believe. I would have to say as a Christian, "Don't do this." The sad thing is that many atheists and Christian "discourses" degenerate to farces like this. Also aren't most Hollywood movies these days atheistic/agnostic? Yup!

Debunking Christianity: The Ledge, a Pro-Atheist Movie to be Released July 8th
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