Wednesday, June 13, 2012

FacePalm of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Christianity-- A Disingenuous Religion Based on Lies and Deception

Cathy Cooper has posted another blog post ranting against Christianity. It's unfortunately that there are many who erroneously think the same way she does. An understanding of what the scripture actually says not the rhetoric spewed out by those ignorant of God more than clears up the problems she keeps posting about.

According to the video below, C. Michael Patton, Th.M. and Tim Kimberley, Th.M of Credo House, describe how, when believers are presented before Yahweh, their own resumes could never measure up, so instead, they must submit the resume that belongs to Jesus in order to be "saved" and this post will explain how this analogy illustrates how disingenuous the Bible and Christianity is at its core. The video is based on the verses in Ephesians 2:8-9, which many Christians believe relieves them of any responsibility for their "sins"--for they believe that as long as they have this "gift" of "grace," they will be "saved."

Notice that "gift of God" is not a release from responsibility. Notice how she leaves out verse 10. Maybe she missed it.

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions —it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. - Ephesians 2:1-10

Look at the whole context of the passage. Why does the pardoning of our sins come as a gift? Because we don't deserve it. It's grace and mercy - God choosing to hold back the wrath that we deserve. We are not being let go unscathed. In order to get this gift, one must agree that you are a sinner and need a savior - that God is right. You are noit being declared innocent, but "not guilty". And  it is not about the good works you do because they don't offset the offenses you are guilty of. We are not saved by our own good works but so that we can  do greater good works. 

"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast."  Ephesians 2:8-9

Cathy has indeed pointed out a great video. It is part six of a ten part series on 10 myths people believe about God.  I recommend watching all 10. Link

In Ephesians, Paul explains that "grace" is a "gift"--it has nothing to do with what a person does, and Yahweh chooses at his whim whom he bestows his "grace" upon. (Eph. 1:5) It could be a rapist, or a murderer--it's all up to Yahweh, as Yahweh PREDESTINED those he bestows his "grace" upon, just as he PREDESTINED those that are damned.

Um no. EVERYONE is bound for hell unless God has predestined them for Heaven. No one's fate is up in the air and then God makes a decision determining if they go to Hell or go to Heaven. If God does nothing you go to hell.  Hell is default. What makes Cathy or anyone else think that they are better than the murderer or rapist and deserve grave more than they do? We don't. And once one becomes "saved" they would exhibit true repentance and will no longer engage in living a life encumbered by sin. 

There is no free will to choose whether or not we want this '"grace," as it is a "gift" believers were PREDESTINED to receive, i.e., this "gift" is NOT of themselves and they have nothing to do with it.

Without Jesus, your will is not free. According to Biblical philosophy, we are all slaves to sin by default. The gift isn't just freedom from the eternal wrath for our sins which we deserve but freedom from sin itself. Not sinless, but no longer to addicted to sinning.

Yahewh determines who believes in Jesus and those who do not believe in Jesus. Therefore, those that were NOT predestined to receive the "gift" of grace, i.e. salvation, were PREDESTINED to be damned, and they too have nothing to do with it. It is all done according to Yahweh's "pleasure and will." (Eph 1:9)

"For HE CHOSE us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5HE PREDESTINED us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And hed made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." Ephesians 1:4-10

The passages does not discuss what those who go to hell or why people go to hell. This passage is about those elected for salvation. If you want to discuss original sin and why we are born indicted and deserving of hell, read Romans 5.

Now, we also find contradictory passages in the Bible to the above deterministic passages such as the one below,
At the commencement of his ministry, Jesus himself commanded, “repent, and believe the gospel.” Mk. 1:15.
which illustrates again, the contradictory nature of the Bible.

No contradiction. A person who is predestined for salvation will repent, and believe the gospel and never reject it. THAT IS HOW WE KNOW THEY ARE ELECT!!!! Jesus also said:

I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” - John 8:24

Who did Jesus say who he is?

This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:28

That is what Paul's letters say. 

Furthermore, it is the existence of these types of contradictory passages which has led to the development of the various denominations of Christianity--some that believe in determinism (e.g., the Calviniss) and some that believe in "free will" (e.g., Catholics). When a text does not have consistency and is contradictory you can conclude anything from it.

That isn't the case here. I\ realize that it's true that there are varying opinions, but that does not mean the problem is with the Bible. The problem is us.

 Meaning of course, that Christians themselves cannot even agree amongst themselves as to the "true" meaning of the text, and Yahweh, the so-called "all-knowing, all-good, and all-powerful" god, did not do a very good job of "revealing" the text to his followers--which means of course, he "knowingly" caused the confusion, which has resulted in multiple conflicts and millions of deaths. But I digress......

That is why you need to know Jesus for yourself. Blindly believing another person (every bit as much a sinner as you) leads to nothing but confusion and disappointment. Trust God first and he will lead you to ministries you can trust as you study on your own.

In the video, C. Michael Patton and Tim Kimberley explain that the salvation of Christians is not based on anything they do. It is based on "faith" alone, so that no one can "boast." (Eph. 2:8-10) This means that Christians, as long as they believe in Jesus, and repent for their sins, can continue to rape, murder, and commit other crimes without any fear that they could lose their salvation. Note, that some Christians do not believe you even need to "repent" in order to be saved--all they have to do is believe. Furthermore, there is no justice for the victims of Christian "sin" in the Christian system. i.e.--There is no justice at at all.

Again this is not what the Bible is saying. The passages she quotes have nothing to do with this point. she is raising.  God's forgiveness of sin doesn't obligate you or allows you to continue sinning and to do worse. 

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with,[a] that we should no longer be slaves to sin  because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness.14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. - Romans 6:1-14

No Justice? God is more than capable of avenging the innocent. People who victimize others not only sin against their victim but sin against God himself.  Unrepentant reprobates go to Hell. Don't be one of them. 

Their analogy in this case, illustrates just how disingenuous Christianity is at its core. In the video, they describe how, when believers are presented before Yahweh, their own resumes could never measure up, so instead, they must submit the resume that belongs to Jesus in order to be "saved"! In other words, they must lie about their true identity, and present someone else's resume to "the boss." If anyone in THIS life did such a thing, that is, present a resume to a prospective employer that belonged to someone else, well, that person would not only be liar, they would also be breaking the law!

Not if the employer (God in this case) decided to accept the resume of his son instead of mine and treat me accordingly. It's not against the law if that is how the employer has decided to run his business. There in no deception because Christ knows he is carrying us and the Father and the Holy Spirit knows we are being judged on Jesus' flawless record instead of our flawed ones. God is the one who set it up.  If you don't like it that's fine, but ultimately that doesn't matter. Lots of luck with using your own resume. Mine is horrible. 

 The fact that Christian salvation is based on someone else paying for the crime of another is disingenuous enough, but that Christians see no problem in creating an analogy where a person must lie about who they are and present a resume to Yahweh that does not belong to them--well, that certainly does illustrate that these Christians who feel this analogy is appropriate cannot see the forest for the trees. That is, they cannot see that their religion and their so-called salvation is based on lies and deception.

How pitiful.
Cathy Cooper

How is it a lie if everyone involved knows that Jesus substituted in our place to pay for sin?  Who is being lied to? No one. Who is being deceived? The one who thinks that their righteousness measures up to God's standards of Holiness. But that isn't God telling us that our righteousness is enough. 

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. - Isaiah 64:6

22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. - Romans 3:22-24

It's not like no one told us. It's on you if you reject it. 

Debunking Christianity: Christianity-- A Disingenuous Religion Based on Lies and Deception

FacePlant of the Day - Debunking Christianity: Why the Crucifixion ofJesus was a Waste and Rejected as Atonement by Yahweh (God)

Harry McCall has written a blog post that attempts to show that Jesus' crucifixion does not atone for sin because it does not fit the Old Testament paradigm. This is an important issue that should be closely examined.

A. The Roman method of crucifixion, which included the beating Jesus received before he was nailed to the cross, was done by non-consecrated pagan gentile men who were not set apart as holy in God’s sight. Plus the fact that Jesus’ beating and crucifixion generally was not any different from the thousands of other rebels and criminals the Romans made examples out of. (1)

The closest Old Testament sacrifice that most closely foreshadows what Jesus did is the Day of Atonement. Those rituals are where one should look to see the parallels. The day-to-day sacrifices was offered for an individual by an individual through a priest. The Day of Atonement was performed by the High Priest on behalf  of the whole Jewish nation. The fact that Jesus was killed by Gentiles shows that the sacrifices is about all people not just Jews.

B. There is no recorded sacrificial animal in the Hebrew Bible that was ever tortured or made to suffer as atonement to God. The animal was ritualistically sacrificed with a knife, and bled to death quickly. Afterwards, its whole body was brunt (or only its fat and organs burnt) with the sweet smell in the form of smoke of the burning flesh rising up to God.

Of course the animal was not mean  not mean to be sacrificed. The wrath of God was not being poured out on the animal.  The animal was a stand-in for the person. This was a substitution. Death was not enough. It had to be be a man. Blood innocent of all sin because animals could not justly take our place.  Not sin offering! Not all sin offering were burnt offering. Notice in Numbers 6:11 there is a distinction made between burnt offering and sin offerings. They are not always equivalent. Jesus as a sin offering offered in propitiation for us.

By contrast, Jesus was purposely made to suffer under pagan gentile Roman law (not under God’s law as found in Leviticus 1-18). Jesus was neither quickly killed by proper bleeding, nor was his body burnt as recorded in the Gospels. Also even the innocent women, children and babies who were slain with the sword at Jericho and Ai died quickly and then their bodies were burnt so Yahweh could enjoy the sweet aroma of cooking flesh (Joshua 6: 21 & 24).

The people killed at Jericho and Ai were not sin offerings. 

Counter to this fact, Jesus’ death failed to qualify as a consecrated sacrifice under any of the Priestly laws of the Hebrew Bible. Again, Jesus’ body was not burnt as a human sacrifice as set by the examples in the in the Hebrew Bible (the Book of Leviticus), and thus Yahweh (God) could not feast upon the smell of its smoke.

There is nothing that says that a sin offering must be a burnt offering. 

C. No sacrificial animal, be it human or beast, could still be alive (that is resurrected) after the act of sacrifice was completed and still be a true offering to God. Its life (as carried in its blood) was drained and the victim was sealed in death to God forever in the heavens by the rising smoke from the burning sacrificial flesh.

No where does the Bible say that - Old or New Testaments. Jesus' Resurrection is the guarantee that his sacrifice was accepted. 

Keep in mind that the sacrificial system was always meant to be replaced by something greater.

“The multitude of your sacrifices—
    what are they to me?” says the Lord.
“I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
    of rams and the fat of fattened animals; 
I have no pleasure 
    in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. - Isaiah 1:10-12

It was a stop gap. A picture of Jesus. 

But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me; - Hebrews 10:3-5

D. No one single one time offering ever atoned once for every sin of the Jewish people, much less all those of the entire future gentile world (contra Paul’s theology in Romans). Plus the fact that Jesus is said to be sinless is only a subjective truth: To the educated religious Jews, he was a Godless blasphemer. To the Christians, he was the perfect sinless lamb of God. .

See Hebrews 10. I don't see how Jesus' see how Jesus' sinlessness could be subjective. Either he kept the law or he didn't. No one dared bring up a single fault. Even Pilate found no fault in him. Those same "educated Jews" knew Jesus was blood innocent. He had done nothing wrong. For proof look at their reaction when Judas tried to give back the money they had given him for betraying Jesus to them.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”[a - Matthew 27:3-10

E. There are also two other major factors that would reject the death of Jesus as a sacrifice:
1. Jesus’ blood was shed away from the Temple’s altar on non-consecrated ground.

There are several examples  of examples of God accepting sacrifices that had nothing to do with the Temple's altar. For example: Elijah's sacrifice on Mt Carmel. And what about all the sacrifices offered before the temple was even built? What? Aaron's sacrifices as Israel's first High Priest didn't count? Better try that one again.

2. The theology of the late Priestly School that compiled the Levitical Law which controlled the Torah, would have never allowed nor accepted any human sacrifice.

It's not really a question of what the Levitical Law would allow or accept. What does God allow and accept? The thing to remember is that none of us are good enough to atone for our sins. It is like trying to pay off the national debt with a penny. We owe a debt we could never pay and Jesus paid that for those who will accept that gift. 

Plus another problem for the early Christians who were seeking to validate the life of Jesus with proof texts from the LXX (and Hebrew Bible) was the fact that the Jewish scriptures (Deut. 21:22 - 23) condemns a person who is hung on a tree as a sinner rejected by God. This problem gives us an insight into just how Paul’s hermeneutics (Gal. 3: 13) reworked the plain meaning of this text when dealing with Jesus.

Finally, the problem of Jesus bleeding to death as he was crucified between two criminals (who were also executed in the same exact same manner) caused a major theological problem. To counter this, medieval artists painted the two other criminals as being simply tied to their crosses (in contrast to Jesus who was the only one the artist depicted as nailed to his cross). This church art work was often commissioned to leave no doubt that it was and could only have been Jesus who shed his blood as a sacrificial atonement for the sin of the world.

So because some people changed the situation to on the cross to fit with their sensibilities, we should accept that as proof that Jesus' was just killed and his death held no greater significant. That is a real poor argument. Contrast that with what Paul said. 

13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” - Galatians 3:13

Perfectly fits with scripture
End Notes
1. See Josephus, The Jewish War Book 2, Chapter 308 and Philo In Flaccum 72; 84-85.
2. J. Milgrom, Sacrifices and Offering in the Old Testament in The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible: Supplementary Volume, edited by K. Crim ( Nashville, Abingdon Press 1976) pp. 763 - 771).
Harry McCall 

The reason why the Resurrection is so important is that it validates the fact that the sacrifice was accepted. 

22 “Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23 This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men,[d] put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24 But God raised him from the dead,freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.25 David said about him:
“‘I saw the Lord always before me.
    Because he is at my right hand,
    I will not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest in hope,
27 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
    you will not let your holy one see decay. 
28 You have made known to me the paths of life;
    you will fill me with joy in your presence.’[e]
29 “Fellow Israelites, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day. 30 But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31 Seeing what was to come, he spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. 33 Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34 For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said,
“‘The Lord said to my Lord:
    “Sit at my right hand
35 until I make your enemies
    a footstool for your feet.”’[f]
36 “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” -Acts 2:22-36