You still don’t realize how messed up Christianity is, Part II

Hope Stands —  March 28, 2014 — 80 Comments
Image by Adele Inamine

Image by Adele Inamine

Evidently, my last post on this subject caused quite a stir.  As of right now, it’s had 80,000 views in four days.  Plenty of you had some “choice” words for me.  But, I’m afraid that you still just don’t get it.

My argument is that when you make fun of Christianity, at least know what you’re doing.  Most often, people spend their time mocking comparatively inconsequential issues.  They mock us for our cheesy music and movies, for issues about church and state, for our dress, or about our intolerance.  Give me a break!  These are like plastic soldiers compared with the US Marines.  You go after Christianity’s followers for such petty concerns.

But if you really want to make fun of Christianity, let me give you some help.  Christianity is far more messed up that you realize.

Let me explain.

Some of you tossed at me the classic “That-Guy-Who-Killed-Babies” argument.  Have you heard this one?  Indulge me for a moment.  It goes like this, “There’s a guy who killed a baby every day of his life, with no punishment.  On the last day of his life, he trusts Jesus and becomes a Christian.  Surely you’re not saying that he is forgiven, are you?”

Like I said, you haven’t gone far enough. Christianity does not just say that this dude is forgiven, it goes further than that.  A guy like this is not just forgiven, but rewarded.  That’s messed up.

He’s not forgiven, but given riches: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us” (Ephesians 1:7-8).

He’s given the status of being a child of God, “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16).

He turns him into one who is worthy to receive the inheritance of an heir of God, “And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:17).  Can you think of anything more absurd than a sinner becoming an heir of God?  Being put on par with Jesus?

Or what about that thief next to Jesus on the cross?  He might have been murderer, maybe even a baby-killer.  And what did Jesus say to him?  “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).  He got Paradise after a lifetime of sin and crime.

I could go on.  But the more I list, the madder and madder you’ll get.  The injustice of it all!

The absurdity and atrocity of Christianity is that any schmuck with sincere faith will be treated like royalty by God himself.

How can this be?  Because Jesus became the schmuck first.  “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin” (Romans 8:3).  Jesus became everything we are so that we might become everything that he is.

This madness is the result of God’s overwhelming and overpowering love for you.  So unless you want his love for you to turn your life upside down, then you had better run like mad.

Run like mad and save yourself from Jesus; or stop, drop, and worship, and allow him to save you.

Here is the hope behind all of this offensive talk: the cross of Jesus is powerful enough to save you, whoever you are and whatever you’ve done.

Say to Jesus, “Take me, I’m yours.”

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

Sam Kee is a husband, father, pastor, and author.

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80 responses to You still don’t realize how messed up Christianity is, Part II

  1. 

    Dear Sam,
    Having just read this and part 1, I am extremely confused. My instinct is that you are being exquisitely ironic for much of the time, and you’re doing it so well that no-one can work it out. But I might be wrong… please put me out of my misery? Thanks

  2. 

    HE WHO WANTS TO FIND A DIAMOND WON’T LOOK IN A MOUNTAIN OF ROCKS.JalalMichael

  3. 

    HE WHO BELIEVES IN CHRIST OWNS A DIAMOND ,HE WILL NOT TRADES IT FOR A PIECE OF A STONE.

  4. 

    Sam, loved both parts! Your explanation of the theology of the cross and the results are spot on. Thank you for your work and endurance to explain yourself over and over.

  5. 

    So, let’s say that one truly does “accept Jesus as Lord” or whatever quite a bit _before_ that final day before death. How does one _know_ that they’re saved? I myself made some sort of profession of faith in Christ when I was in 8th grade; now I try to emphasize the absurdity and delusion of Christian belief whenever something like this comes up. Do I still have salvation?

    Does one prove one’s salvation to oneself by examining the “fruits” that they bear? One of the worst conundrums that Christians have gotten themselves in is that the NT spells out pretty clearly who the True Christians™ are: they are literally “not able to sin” (1 Jn 3:9); and you can have anything else in the world that you want, as long as you ask it in Jesus’ name. Please don’t try to diminish these words, or perform some apologetic eisegetical maneuver to have an “out” for the implications of these. I know what I’m talking about; and these words should be taken at face value (FWIW, I have a forthcoming article in a major academic Biblical studies journal on one of these verses).

    …but I’m assuming most rational humans would admit that professing Christians _do_ still sin; and I’m assuming that they’ll also admit that they cannot perform any work imaginable, even if it’s asked in Jesus’ name.

    I guess what I’m getting at is this: how can you be assured that even those that repent at the “last moment” will still have salvation, if you can’t show any good evidence that those that repent on the _first_ day do?

    • 

      Hi! Just a passerby but Hebrews 11 says “faith is the substance of things not see and the assurance of things hoped for” so if you had to see the visible signs to know and it is revealed to you then it’s no longer faith but patience because you simply wait upon a fact that you saw by completely convincing evidence… And yes Jesus did say that whatever you ask in my name it shall be done for you, in fact he said it 3 times! (All three in the book of john) so yes I believe he meant it when he said so. The problem with people when they expect miracles is that they put a boundary on the miracle. It has to happen NOW and it has to happen LIKE THIS. The bible continued on to say that those who seek and do not receive is because they do not ask and therefore not receive and even when they do ask and do not receive, it is because they do not ask properly… I don’t remember where that’s from sorry but yeah keep in touch! :)

    • 

      With all due respect, you quite clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, and your case is just yet another of the already-countless examples of why people who publish in major academic biblical studies journals really ought to be compelled to take elementary courses in logic first (if you have done such a thing, you clearly didn’t learn enough, but most people who go into biblical scholarship haven’t). What you think is an “eisegetical maneuver” is actually the basic ability to understand some simple literary devices. One of these is called “hyperbole”, and the Christian canon is laced with it throughout. Your assertion that “these words should be taken at face value” is nothing more than an ipse dixit statement; countless others have read them as obvious hyperbole. Since you cannot resurrect the authors and ask them, your assertion that they are not hyperbolic is no more authoritative than ours that they clearly are. But here’s a question: if someone wrote a piece tomorrow and said “he struck the golf-ball into orbit”, would you actually take it at face value? No, you’d realise that he was obviously making a hyperbolic statement. To people who don’t have a fanatical zeal to discredit the canonical writings, such hyperbole in them is also obvious, but to those who do, they’re usually blind to it.

      And as for your question about personal assurance of salvation – who ever said anyone gets such a thing? God knows; that’s enough for me.

      • 

        Congratulations on being a pedantic a**hole. You’ve officially used the most unnecessarily complicated words you knew; you win the internet. You must be so proud.

    • 
      Undeserving Servant April 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      We don’t know for sure if the baby killer is saved, but by what the Bible tell us, if one truly at the end of his lifetime turned to God full-heartedly, according to Jesus’ and the Apostles’ teaching, yes, he is saved. Of course we wouldn’t know if they truly believe, but God knows that person’s heart and knows whether his name is written on the book of life, so cases like this wouldn’t be our problem. Again, God is the Judge and we are not.

      As for you, if you can dis-believe God, that means you didn’t really believe that He is in existence; true faith means you believe in something to be “true”, and you now do not believe in God’s existence, therefore your faith in 8th grade wasn’t real faith because you have disbelieved what you have said. Therefore, no, you will not be saved, if you do not believe in God again and ask for His forgiveness.

      The last question that you asked: one is saved if his name is written on the Book of Life from (or before ) the creation of the world. God knows the answer to whether this person truly repented or not, it won’t be our concern.

      Our concern would be to repent of our sins, believe in the salvation from Jesus’s blood and the righteousness from Him given to us. If indeed God is the God who He says He is and He is true and you say, “that isn’t fair” for the people that has done all the good in their life but not believe in God and gets punished eternally, you would realize that you’re using the life and brain that He has given, to use the mouth that He has given you to talk against Him.

      • 

        Good word that true we can’t be the judge see many people try to do stuff with their own understanding Proverbs says lean not on your own understanding but trust God in all that you do. Many attempts we trust in their own heart the bible tells us in Jeremiah the heart of man is the most deceitful and wicked above all things only He (KING OF KINGS) knows the depth of our heart..

    • 

      If you do not repent and return to God then no, you were never saved. None of us can ever be assured of someone else’s salvation either. Only God knows what is truly in someone’s heart. A person can live a really good life and be giving lip service that Jesus is Lord and He can still say He never knew him. He knows if they are faking, if you didn’t mean it when you said that prayer. It’s not a matter of losing salvation. It’s a matter of having never had it in the first place because of the rocky soil. The point is that it’s never too late to change that path. Every breath you take is God giving you one more chance.
      The assurance comes from a life lived submitting and growing in Christ. Even when one feels they are always going to be a horrible person because the Holy Spirit continually convicts, those around us can tell that we are changing.

    • 

      Hi, you don’t know me, but I came upon your question and I would like to reply if I could. you asked how does one know that they are saved…well the reality is they don’t. the Bible says that we walk by faith, not by sight. in fact in Romans 10, Paul says, “But the righteousness based on faith says, “do not say in your heart, who will ascend into Heaven?” (that is to bring Christ down) or “who will descend into the abyss?” (that is to bring Christ up from the dead). but what does it say? “the word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:6-9) I guess to answer your question, Christians do not know whether they will go to Paradise or Hades (otherwise known as Hell) but that’s why we trust in God. We know He is a Good Judge and a Righteous One and we know that He says if we trust and believe in Him we are saved. so we trust that we will be with Him when we die. does that make sense?

      now you are absolutely right, the New Testament does profess that we no longer sin, but I think you are not seeing it the way a Christian scholar reads those words. see, right after every verse about how we do not sin is WHY we do not sin. so for example, in Galatians 2 Paul talks about how we are justified by faith. but if you look a little closer, you’ll find that we are justified because of Jesus Christ. that testament is even in the verse that you talked about in 1 John3:9. a little while back, in chapter two actually, John made another statement, one that would seem to contradict what 3:9 says, “my little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

      it’s not the fact that Christians are sinless. in fact, anyone that professes to be so is wrong because as Paul says, “all have fallen short of the glory of God” with the exception of Christ of course (but He’s God and the Messiah so He can’t really do wrong) :) but we on the other hand, commit wrong all the time. it’s not the fact that Christians are perfect people, because we’re not. it’s the fact that we have a perfect savior that forgives us and takes our sins off of us that we can profess to being perfect in Christ. in that verse where it tells us not to sin, it was warning of the Anti-Christ, an apocalyptic deceiver who will lure Christians away from God by practicing lawlessness (which is sin). in that, John is warning to examine closely and watch, because those that profess to be from God will practice His words (practice, not already being) :)

      now those that repent on the “first day” as you call it, may be saved. but then again they may not. truthfully the only one who can tell you whether or not you are saved is God. and the Bible says that “His Law is written on our hearts” some translations use the word “Law of Love” because in actuality that’s who God is. He is Love. it sounds cheesy but it is the truth that God is Love and that is His main priority. so if you really want to know if you are saved, ask yourself whether or not you truly believe in Him, and then not just believe in Him but love Him. the Bible says that those who love God He will come and make His home in them. I would ask you to ask questions and see where your heart truly lies. if it lies with God and your belief and love is in Him, than I think you can call yourself safe :)

      hope that helps, thank you for letting me answer your questions :)
      -Brianna

    • 
      Craig Jame Holden May 21, 2014 at 11:29 am

      buy the book The Power of Right Believing by Joseph Prince. he will explain

  6. 

    Well put! And as a youth worker I say to all those who have a go at you just what my youth would say “haters are gonna hate” but Jesus loves them anyway!

  7. 

    First time I’ve heard intolerance being described as something ‘inconsequential’ and a ‘petty concern.’ What a strange world you must live in. One of my personal favourite criticisms of the bible an Christianity is it’s tolerance and promotion of slavery, though I guess that must be pretty inconsequential for you.

    • 

      Perhaps this article would help clear up your mistaken belief that the Bible endorses slavery, http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/slavery_bible.html

    • 

      Realist, yes, if I believed about Christianity and the Bible what you do, I’d be upset, as well. The truth is that the Bible is revolutionary when it comes to smashing prejudice and ethnic intolerance. The Bible makes a radical move by stating that all are equal because of the cross. There are not slave/free, male/female, Jew/Gentile, there’s only “child of God.” We’re all put on the same level by being declared children of God. How can this be? It’s because of the cross and justification! That’s why if you do away with the cross, this is the worst thing you can do. Because there are many “fruits” of the cross, such as racial reconciliation. Don’t hear me wrongly, racial reconciliation and intolerance are HUGE issues; but that just shows us how much bigger the cross is. Without the cross and justification, we don’t get freedom from prejudice, intolerance, etc. We’re left trapped in it. The cross paves the way for all sort of healing to take place. It’s not because I DON’T care about intolerance that I love the cross and put it first, but because I DO CARE. Does that make sense? Thanks for your comment, I REALLY appreciate it!

  8. 

    It is not by work that we are saved so let no man boast!

  9. 

    Some of us are getting it. In fact it was on the strength of your previous post that I’ve begun to follow this blog. I like how you present things.

    Christianity IS offensive and that needs to be understood. You can’t earn salvation and it is given freely before you can ever even think of deserving it (which you never could). The whole of the Old Testament too shows this system of how God’s people mess up, fall into their own mire but even before they finally turn back to God, he has begun the process of raising them up. He always brings restoration before we ask for it or seek it.

    And this, of course, is an offence. We really could be standing with Hitler, the baby killer and a range of others who disgust and appall us. This is outrageous and horrible. If I didn’t believe then I would reject it instantly.

    But once upon a time I didn’t believe and nearly thirty years ago tried to end my life because I felt useless and worthless. The message you bring here saved me and has continued to on a daily basis. It does so because I believe God takes me as I am not how I should be or even as I could be. He takes me as the hopeless, useless, disgusting person I believed myself to be when I was an atheist. He raises me up and says he loves me unconditionally anyway and gives me honour and value and worth. That undeserved grace has sustained me daily ever since.

    I would love to be an atheist – I really would – but the same freedom that comes from that belief system (and it IS a belief system) to do as I please and not be accountable to anyone nor in any fear of judgement also offers me no hope whatsoever. There is no love no honour no purpose. Just an existence in the evolutionary chain of life, passing on my genetic code in the bid to continue a meaningless existence.

    Personally, I choose hope even though it means acknowledging that I am as bad as that alleged baby killer and must hold to a faith that tells me to love others as I have been loved regardless of whether they are judged – in my eyes – to deserve it or not. It’s hard, it’s outrageous and it’s a disgrace. But it’s also the way of the Cross.

  10. 
    Farah Anverkhan March 29, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Ok we understand that GOD is the most compassionate and the most merciful and he says that even if we were to fill the earth full of sins and REPENT then he will give us an earth full of forgiveness but here is the point that you are missing! A genuine intention is needed when asking for forgiveness with a resolve not to continue to do harmful things.

    If you praise Jesus and want to follow in his footsteps towards God and salvation – why would you not do so also in your actions and not only in your words! Live life in the same way that he did and I can assure you he did not think “HEY I CAN DO WHAT I WANT I HAVE GUARANTEED SALVATION” If the whole world were to think this way there would be chaos!

    You mention Luke 23:43 – Where one robber says to the other do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

    In that LAST moment before death the robber realises that he is getting what he deserved for his deeds and asks Jesus to remember him in his kingdon and Jesus replies that he will be with him paradise. WHY? BECAUSE HE REPENTED !

  11. 
    Farah Anverkhan March 29, 2014 at 11:59 am

    No sin is too big to be forgiven – YES! THIS IS CORRECT IF YOU CHANGE AND REPENT! But the message that your articles are giving here are that you do not need to repent or change for forgiveness and that all murders, rapists, pedophiles are loved by Jesus.

    • 

      Farah, I agree with you completely: there is no forgiveness without repentance. I was simply assuming “repentance” within the phrase “sincere faith.” Thanks for teasing that out for us.

    • 

      Um sorry but saying that all murderers, rapists and pedophiles AREN’T originally loved by Jesus kinda takes away from the message of grace that we have in the bible. I just want to clear up that you are correct in saying that you need to repent to be forgiven but that doesn’t mean that as soon as you repent and are forgiven then Jesus instantly starts loving you, he loves everyone regardless of whether they have repented, will repent or will never repent.

    • 

      Wouldn’t you say that the change comes from the repentance? We cannot change under our own power. With repentance comes the Holy Spirit and that changes us.

    • 

      Yes, murderers, rapists, pedophiles, are loved by Jesus. It is their SIN that He does not love. The point of the article above is that from the unbelievers view, the view of the world, if you will the Christian has an unreal view. Not so, the Bible says that those who do not believe are blinded by their unbelief.

  12. 

    So God has unlimited grace that he can offer and save the whole world with the condition that we “trust him” and worship him even if we’ve committed a life of crime. Sounds like those mega corporations with unlimited financial resources to do good things with, but withhold those funds unless you “like” their page or buy their products or post a selfie with their hashtag or something.

    • 

      Dora, I can understand how it sounds like that. Thanks for the comment. That’s why I’m saying, Christianity is messed up! But it’s beautiful, because God, unlike big corporations, is good and always has the greatest good in mind (and the power to pull it off). Thanks, sam

  13. 

    Thank you! As a pastor I run into this frequently. Jeffery Dahmer (the murderer/cannibal) was said to have accepted Christ before he was killed in prison. He is that theif/terrorist on the cross. IF GOD CAN FORGIVE THE LIKES OF JEFFREY DAHMER – then He can forgive the likes of me! …or you,

  14. 

    abt the point that the man on the cross beside Jesus being saved… shouldnt everyone have a second chance when they truly regret what they have done?
    As humans it seems completely unforgivable, but God is love. Also, God is God, how can we as humans understand everything that he does?

    • 

      “God is God.” That’s a profound statement, Sarah. He is worthy to be praised and obeyed, just for who he is. And I’m glad that he has a heart of grace toward us, even when he didn’t have to.

  15. 
    21st century girl March 30, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Yes christianity is messed up, and to an athiest which I am you have showed this to me even more. Would you not agree that the above article shows how unfair your religion is. That a person who has done horrible things can be accepted as one who has lived their life without ‘sin’. If it is true as I have heard that ‘heaven’ is a place of bliss then why should the wicked be rewarded just by apologising. Geez, why would anyone in your religion bother being good if they just have to ‘repent’ and they get a ticket upstairs. It’s absurd.

    • 

      At no point do we claim that any person other than Jesus is free from sin, or has never sinned, it is just the opposite in fact, we claim that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”. Every individual has done something ‘horrible’ to someone at some point in their life, but often we come to regret hurting a friend or collegue, normally one asks the person they hurt to forgive them and so reconciliation becomes possible. This is the same concept as in Christianity, by doing things we know to be wrong, and on occasion we are just ignorant of our wrongdoing and it is accidental, but in these instances we hurt God, but when we realise this and ask forgiveness we are then reconciled to God, it doesn’t matter at what phase of life we reach the realisation that we need to repent, the important part in God’s eyes is that we do repent. Thus allowing ourselves to be accepted into a place where sin is no more.
      Lol if you are convinced repenting is easy then give it a go and see how easy it really is to admit your failures to one who is without any!!! ;)

    • 

      21st Century Girl, it seems that the “atheists” who are writing are really getting the absurdity of it all. I appreciate your comments! You’re right, there is no good reason for God to accept us. It’s totally unfair. On top of it, he condemned his perfect Son to death, for utter rebels like us. Talk about injustice! Unless we are maddened by the cross, we have not yet understood what it means. However, I want to clarify one thing that you said. Your definition of “repentance” needs to be tweaked. Repentance is not just apologizing. Repentance is turning from your old “god” (whatever that might be, even atheism) and going toward Jesus Christ. You cease to trust yourself and live for yourself, but you live for him. You will never do it perfectly, but that’s fine. As Bonhoeffer said, God justifies the sinner, not the sin. He doesn’t make our sin okay, but he makes sinners okay. Thanks and God bless! Sam

      • 

        Well said. Jesus came that all could be saved; but not all will truly repent (turn around and come to him).

  16. 

    this is madness!!! madness i tell you!!!!!!!!!! spread it the madness!!!!!!! revival is coming

  17. 

    Great follow up, loved both parts, your wit/attitude/humour/irony are spot on! And I’m no great expert, but I try to love God so your theology seems both sound and sincere. Carry on! And God bless you with another 80k views ;)

  18. 

    Great response…All men are forgiven the penalty totally paid… now it is up to men to accept the free gift. Only if the world understood what Christ has really done…

    Douglas

  19. 

    After reading this and part one, can some clarification be given? Are you paying out Christianity in the sence of reverse psychology, the art of giving thought but meaning to keep truth to the faith? or is this truely a dig at the faith?

    May I ask, how does someone who murders babies differ with someone who lies every day of his/her life? In the eyes of God, sin is sin, regardless of what it is, and as we are all sinners, we ourselves fall short of the glory of God. So then, by Christ’s blood alone, spilt as the perfect son for an imperfect world, are we then able to redeem ourselves before God.

  20. 
    A Reasonable Man March 31, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Sigh. This lunacy needs to stop. Billions worshipping an evil character (misrepresented as a hero) from an ancient book of recycled fairy tales, for absolutely no reason. It’s ridiculous. It dictates our laws, and is one of the, if not the primary source of intolerance and conflict in our modern human world. Religion is poison, and above all, idiotic. Free your minds.

    I bear no ill intent, nor do i enjoy offending people, i just want mankind to move past this delusional nonsense, and for all the hatred and brainwashing that accompany it to be abolished.

    “But this to me is the true horror of religion. It allows perfectly decent and sane people to believe by the billions, what only lunatics could believe on their own. If you wake up tomorrow morning thinking that saying a few Latin words over your pancakes is gonna turn them into the body of Elvis Presley, okay, you’ve lost your mind. But if you think more or less the same thing about a cracker and the body of Jesus, you’re just a Catholic.” – Sam Harris

    And FYI, Atheism is NOT a belief system. It is the lack of a belief system. In a way you Christians are just 0.01% away from being atheists yourselves, when you take into account all the gods you don’t believe in. According to the bible, your god is an atheist too.

    • 

      A Reasonable Man, thanks for your comments. It sounds like you’ve thought a lot about this and have strong convictions. I’m glad you wish readers to “free their minds,” as you say. That’s a noble desire. And, you want people to “move past this delusional nonsense” so that humankind can become better. You’re very altruistic. I’m glad you’re reading and thinking. Keep sharing your beliefs with us. God bless! –Sam

  21. 
    An unreasonable follower of Jesus March 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks, A Reasonable Man, that’s the funniest article I’ve seen in a long time. Don’t people who have a “lack in a belief system” believe that there is no reason to believe, which is, therefore, a belief?

    The true horror of religion is not what Sam Harris believes (another atheist with a belief?) but the belief/teaching that man is able to do anything to earn favour in the sight of God. All religions state something along the lines of “if you do such and such, then you will receive a reward from your God.”

    The offense of Christianity is that all the work was done by Jesus for all men, women and children, for all time, for all laws broken, transgressions, sins, bad stuff, bad thoughts, bad deeds, things done which shouldn’t have been done, things not done which should have been done and anything I’ve left out.

    The offense to people is that it doesn’t make sense, it isn’t fair, it can’t be that easy, there must be something else to it, it doesn’t sit well with my sense of justice, etc etc.

    As Peter said, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” It’s that simple.

    May the Grace of God invade your belief system of unbelief, for God’s will is for all to be saved!

    • 

      Excellent comment, Unreasonable Follower of Jesus! Very clear and compelling. Thanks you.

    • 

      As an atheist, I would like to inform you that a better description of atheism is that it is an absence of belief in a deity. As such it is not a belief that there is no reason to believe, but primarily a state in which such beliefs are not present–so it is not a belief system.

      Second, all the work needed for salvation was not completed by Jesus as faith, repentance, and baptism must be present in the individual–at least at some point. The difference between religions is what kinds of works are necessary for salvation. What distinguishes Christianity from other religions is what is considered as necessary for salvation. Christianity requires the torture and death of an innocent person to save the supposed guilty masses and without such torture and death of an innocent, the all-powerful God would have been incapable of showing mercy and forgiveness to the guilty masses. Furthermore those who do not have faith and repent of their sins will burn in a lake of fire for eternity after they die because this all powerful God cannot forgive without the faith of the individual and the individual repenting.

      The offence of Christianity is that a girl of 12 years who was sexually and physically abused, neglected and alone in her sorrows, who knew only pain and suffering in her life and never heard of the Christ story, commits suicide will be sentenced to hell for eternity–no faith or repentance and all have fallen short of the glory of God. If that 12 year old girl’s abuser repents at the end of their life, heaven is granted. This all powerful God is thus impotent in the face of the child–how is God worthy to judge such a life he created?

      • 

        David, thanks for your comments. But, God is way more fair and compassionate than you or I are. He knows what’s best to do in the case of both the 12 year old girl that you mentioned, and her abuser. Don’t pretend that you are better than God, more moral and just. If there is a God, then surely he would be superior to us in every conceivable way, wouldn’t you agree? So don’t “believe” in him, just in order to bash him. If you’re going to believe in him and call him out on to the mat, then you had better let God be God, and be who he is by definition, everything that is infinitely superior to us.

      • 

        Just to be clear, I wasn’t bashing God, but clarifying what atheism is, what differentiates Christianity from other religions, and what is offensive about Christianity. The 12 year old girl example was meant to show that the offensiveness of Christianity is the belief that such a person is guilty and condemned to hell fire for eternity. It is not that the abuser is saved from such a judgement–an eternity in hell fire seems over zealous in penalty wouldn’t you agree?–but such a person as that little girl is not forgiven where she did not even have a chance at forgiveness and salvation. In other words, the offensiveness of Christianity is not that some people are saved, but that others are not.

        As an atheist, I can separate God as a concept and Christianity as a belief system. The Christian conception of God does hold to God as an infinitely greater being than any human being. However, the Christian God is morally inferior to such individuals as myself in regards to forgiveness as I do not require a blood sacrifice to forgive others nor would I create sentient things so I can condemn the majority of those sentient things to eternal torture.

        This is not “bashing” God, but only showing the absurdity of a Christian belief system. The absurdity within this Christian belief system is the concept of an all-powerful being who is incapable of forgiving without a blood sacrifice, without faith and repentance symbolized by that blood sacrifice. Without forgiveness eternal torture is forced upon a set of sentient beings that this all powerful God created–including that 12 year old girl. So don’t pretend that your God is more forgiving than such individuals as you are I as your God is not. If God exists, I imagine that God would be more moral and just than I, but the Christian concept of God is not more moral or just because the Christian God sentences individuals to eternal hell fire according to his plan. He planned that a 12 year old girl would have such a life and planned that in return that 12 year old girl would be sentenced to eternal hell fire–is that moral or just?

      • 

        To David H Lane & A Reasonable Man

        I realize you may not believe that God is real; however, it seems you are more of a believer than you may think. In your post, you expressed it would be unjust of God to send certain people to hell; but let me ask you – where are you getting this idea of justice to begin with? When you say something is unjust, you are pre-supposing some standard by which to differentiate between just and unjust; and if a standard does exist, than some source must also exist from which this standard originated. Unless of course, “justice” is simply a personal idea that you made up in your own mind, and that other people may or may not know about. But I don’t think you believe that because you obviously blame the ‘abuser’ from your example of being a cruel and unjust person – and I would agree with you. Clearly we both assume he knows about our moral standard.
        Christians believe that God is the source of this standard, which explains why everyone has a similar sense of justice (although we each decide for ourselves whether or not we will obey it). Thus, in order to blame God for being unjust, we must stand on the worldview that He exists and is the source of our sense of justice. And if he is the source of your sense of justice, it would be difficult to disagree with Him. As C.S. Lewis says “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
        Very well then; if God is real, there must be certain things that are true about Him, and whether or not we agree with those attributes certainly does not change their reality – just as my not believing in the law of gravity would not change its reality.

        For example, it seems that you are thinking about hell as a type of punishment God has decided to dole out to unbelievers, similar to a punishment that a parent would decide to give a child. But in scripture, hell is described as the expression of God’s “wrath” against our rebellion against Him. This wrath isn’t something God choses to have – something He has the ability to do away with if He likes. It is simply something that is true about God’s nature, similar to the way a sense of consciousness is true of our human nature. We cannot do away with our consciousness; He cannot do away with His wrath.

        You are surprised that Christians worship God in light of His “injustice”. But the reason why Christians worship God is because the other aspects of His nature have outweighed His divine justice – namely, His grace. Scripture teaches that God became a man to pay the debt that His justice and wrath required. I use the language of “paying our debt” intentionally because this is more near to the essence of the gospel. You ask why God could not simply forgive us without the cross. The answer to this lies in the true essence of forgiveness. Allow me to illustrate with my college loans. Imagine, that by some miracle, the company with whom my loans are held decides to forgive my debt. This would be great for me, but not so great for them because the debt doesn’t simply disappear. In this situation, they have chosen to bear the burden of my debt by essentially paying for all my classes, my room & board, etc. In a similar way, the cross is God bearing the burden of our debt. He is able to forgive us, but the debt doesn’t go away. The gospel says that God, like my loan company in the example, bears the burden of the debt owed to Him. Again, the fact that a debt exists, or that nature of the payment required to eliminate that debt, is not something God chose, but is rather something that is true of God’s nature.

        Because of Christ’s sacrifice, mankind does not need to taste the fruit of our sin and rebellion against Him. Instead we inherit something we could never earn and do not deserve. God did not have to do that. He could have left us in a state of helplessness. But He didn’t. And when a person sees the reality of this, anger at God is replaced with love for God.

        I hope this helps to address your concerns.

        Much Love

    • 
      A Reasonable Man June 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

      An unreasonable follower of Jesus, i only just saw my notification email for your reply. I’m glad you found my post humorous. By “lack in a belief system”, i was referring to a lack of religious belief, sorry if i wasn’t obvious enough in my implication. Also, there is no objective evidence supporting the existence of any deity (let alone yours), that is a fact, not a belief. The beauty and wonder of nature is NOT evidence for your religion. If anything, the wonders of nature and how it all works is evidence AGAINST Christianity, for the bible (written by men who thought the earth was flat) contradicts an astonishing amount of things we today know to be true about life, the earth and the universe.

      There are countless offences of Christianity. We are to apologise to this imaginary friend, for being the way he supposedly created us, because ever since a rib-woman conversed with a talking snake and ate a magic apple, all of humanity has been deserving of eternal torture simply for being human? If Yahweh does exist, and the bible is true, your omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent, mass murdering god, is solely responsible for everything “bad” that has ever happened, including sin. If Christianity with all it’s idiocy, hypocrisy, and countless other faults is against all odds, true, then it is not we who should be repenting.

      I was raised a Christian, and remained a devout Christian for most of my life, serving as a member of many different churches. And let me tell you, once freed, i felt awfully silly for ever believing in such evil, immoral nonsense!

      The main reason i speak out against religion is because i truly believe that humanity is far better off without the damaging superstitions of our ancestors. Perhaps i’m being impatient, yes. After all, we are part of an incredibly young, ignorant species, one which has much to learn. We have the potential to become so much more if we last long enough.

      May the “truth set you free”, and if not, may you keep your religion to yourself and live peacefully!

      “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21

  22. 

    Reblogged this on ElectedLadyKeepingitReal and commented:
    And he’s done it again! Thank you for such a great post which is Just on point!! I urge you readers to read it and get to know if you don’t know and would love to hear your thoughts. Check it out people and prepare to have your head messed with a little.

    All I’ll say is am grateful for the Cross! and that’d Keeping it real!

    Peace,
    The Elected Lady xx

  23. 

    Great post! Thank you for sorting it out and for sharing your thoughts. Christianity is indeed all messed up… Indeed, the greatest things in the world are faith, hope, and love – -and it’s what Jesus offers to everyone.

    About Christianity being messed up, I remember the persecuted Christians of the centuries, until today. Who dies for the crazy “ideas” of Christianity? They are the people who have experienced the truth in the Bible and that God worked in their lives. They are the poor ones who have experienced His love, have faith in Him, and found hope in Him. Jesus touches lives of people even until today, and even to the point of being martyrs for being Christians.

    Maybe we are just stubborn or have been numbed by our desires and worldliness in this part of the world that’s why it’s hard for us to experience this craziness or know of His voice.

    • 

      Billy, I love your comments, especially the thoughts about persecuted Christians. I believe we have been numbed, forgetting how awesome the cross of Christ is. Thanks and God bless! –Sam

      • 

        I just jumped back in after some time away. Apparently I missed another hundred comments! I love these blog entries. Logic does say Christianity is messed up but that is the contradiction I love about it. I just go back to the reality that truth is that intersection when we realize that we are helpless in brokenness and the darkness of a broken world, but we are freed when God intersects in that place where we realize our “trying” can’t fix things. Enter grace and what that means. I wrote a poem once when I really meditated on the contradictions of my own trying, and when God intersected and grace did what I could not. God calls us to love purely, truly and be perfect. We alone cannot do such a thing – we are too imperfect, selfish and flawed. Grace alone does this work for us and like I said in the prior posts – this is a spiritual transaction. All arguments cease when we meet the living creator and grace and love do a mighty thing and something just happens that words cannot possibly capture. This something is called the Holy Spirit, the unseen world. This poem below is called Contradiction… I don’t often share as this is a quiet hobby I have writing poems, but what the heck. This blog is engaging many hearts and minds and I’m captivated by the dialogue.

        “I am tormented by the truth
        That I am a walking contradiction
        On the one hand pouring endless energy into selfish consumption
        On the other hand spending hours in pursuit of ministry and loving others

        But what is love
        Is love the activity that lies behind the man made definition of religion?

        Is love the bandage of volunteer work I put
        On the gaping would of pride and selfishness?

        Is love the consumption of wealth
        While carving out 5 or 10% to give to the poor?

        You see, I am a walking contradiction

        I am helpless in this state

        I am trying to do good to sooth my soul’s moral plight

        And I am failing

        God, you gave me life
        You breathed life into the infant body
        You allowed me to grow up in the richest country on earth
        To ride and own cars that others would only dream of
        To have a free education and be surrounded by children who complained about this great blessing
        To spend and spend and spend… and to still not be satisfied

        What do you require me Lord?

        Love… true love… is to care for the widows and orphans
        Is to value the life of another over your own
        Is to give and give and give… until you can give no more because you are fully spent
        Is to treasure the heart over the appearance
        Is to forgive and forgive and forgive… and to never stop
        And this high calling
        That which seems impossible to man
        Is the calling of our Savior

        Trading our life for His
        Trading our sin for purity
        He breathes new life
        And forgives these contradictions”

  24. 
    Rev. Paul Cannon April 4, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    It’s what I preach every Sunday, and share every day.

  25. 

    I’ve been through here, “On the last day of his life, he trusts Jesus and becomes a Christian.” and landed somewhere beyond even that. Maybe you still have a little farther to go. We have to believe that we are the one making the choice but I don’t even see it. If Adam’s sin condemned the whole world by no choice of our own why do we believe that Jesus wasn’t powerful enough to redeem the whole world? What does our choice have to do with anything? He redeemed us because He knew we wouldn’t get it right. We never have and never will but Christianity has claimed “Right” for themselves in the same way the Pharisees did and Jesus despised their arrogance so what makes us think He would despise Christianity in the same way? We do the same things they did. We still don’t get it! We don’t go far enough because we must protect our own illusions of the God religion built. God’s love has been replaced by correct theology.

    • 

      Kevin, you are right when you speak about “correct theology”. But it is not a matter of theology, it is about Jesus! His last words, in our English Bible, were “it is finished”. There was no more work to do, not by Him or us. Salvation was completed, He had said in John 17 that he had completed the work that the Father had sent him to do. Then we can add nothing to it, only accept forgiveness. As far as living goes sometimes doing the “right thing” has “bad” results.

      • 

        How does our accepting forgiveness make it so? If “it is finished” then what makes us think that He didn’t just forgive us and that was all there was to it? Period! Forgiveness doesn’t happen because of the recipient, it happens because of the giver.

  26. 

    I completely get it. Keep doing you.

  27. 

    I found this article troubling. Sam Kee frames God’s radical generosity as the most absurd and controversial aspect of Christianity. Granted, the whole article is rather tongue-in-cheek. But at its heart, the article is premised on such an obvious straw man argument that I don’t really see the point. A lot of people take issue with Christianity, yet I doubt many of them would place God’s overabundance of forgiveness near the top of their list of critiques. On the contrary, most thoughtful skeptics (myself included) are more concerned with what appears to be God’s breathtaking cruelty.
    It is a basic tenant of contemporary Christianity that we are all born into sin (see Romans 5:12 as just one of many many examples of this claim). If we ask for forgiveness and place our faith in Jesus Christ then we are forgiven and granted entrance to Heaven. But for everyone else, “He [God] will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power.” (2 Thessalonians 1: 8-9)
    Now, God, having created humans, would presumably know about our various capacities and predilections. After Jesus came to Earth and changed the rules, it would still be a couple hundred years before more than 0.0000001 percent of the Earth’s population had even heard of him. What happened to all those other people? Did they all go to hell?
    Vectors of culture, trade, and ideas have, until very recently, moved quite slowly. God would have known this, so why would he make our salvation contingent upon some specific knowledge and action on our part? Even today, only about a third of the world’s population claims to be Christian (and who knows what percent of that third are genuine in their commitment). At this point, most people have at least heard of Christianity, but few adherents to the world’s other religions are given compelling reasons to convert. And so they don’t.
    Thus for all of human history, the majority of people have been and continue to be hell bound. How could any good God lay down a set of rules and standards that would inevitably lead to this outcome?

    • 

      Thanks for your comment, Alex!

    • 

      Alex, thank you for providing such poignant and open feedback. I think you raise a question every skeptic has pondered. And I think you point out things that most in the church have had pass through their minds at some point. I myself have had very similar feelings and agonizing struggle about God and yet I have been a Christian for 30 years since I was a small child. Sometimes I stay up late at night wrestling with the notion of Hell and why bad things and darkness exist.

      At many times in the commentary on this blog I have referenced the spiritual realm. The only way we as very limited creatures of understanding (I compare against all of mankind, all of creation, all things in earth and the galaxy and beyond – in comparison we are small) can arrive at peace when it comes to these deep and eternal things, is for us to arrive as a deep peace internally about the fact that we cannnot understand all things. I encourage you Alex to open your spirit and soul to hear what whoever/whatever/however you see him or her (open your mind where our at I am saying), that made you, wishes to say. I will pray and am praying now that you would come to understand your need for forgiveness and grace. Now I personally as a very strong believer in Christ and the Gospel, happen to hold to a belief myself that God can and does reveal himself in ways of mystery. This is how I can rectify the 0.0000001 that you reference. In the Bible it references Christ descending into hell (what this hell meant we don’t know) to save souls. Did you know that? That Christ visited souls of old? Funny thing is this was not prophesied or anywhere in the Old Testament. But God saw it fair and right to do this. I raise this point to suggest that we serve a God much bigger than just the word (Bible) we have on this tiny little planet in our tiny little lives. We are so contained. God is so infinite. And so I hold to the tenant that the God who is bigger than our minds can comprehend, is somehow able to ensure that every single soul created is able to comes to terms with it’s darkness, and have a choice to join goodness and light (received through forgiveness), or, to stay part of the darkness. This darkness is what we Christians believe Satan (once an Angel, who rebelled against his Creator) is the leader over. Ultimately it boils down to demanding that we own our own lives and live in rebellion against God. Or, that we ask forgiveness for said rebellion and invite God to rule us. This is the Gospel. Many people want to be their own God and in so doing frequently commit evil. God demands we serve God. We choose – self worship or God worship. To join the God side we need forgiveness for our self worship.

      I was randomly asked at the mall in Schaumburg, IL, this week if I could be prayed for. There was a group of three folks from Chicago who traveling out to pray on the sidewalk outside the mall. I prayed for three things. #1 My brother’s church and ministry. #2 For the husband of a dear friend to encounter God. And then #3 I prayed for this blog. Once again I lift this blog up in prayer and ask God to speak to each who reads it. For when we in our spirit, in our soul, face our Creator, these words on a page are very small as something eternal occurs. I pray that for you Alex – that you experience this God encounter. God bless you.

  28. 

    Thanks for your long and thoughtful response, CD. This is a tricky issue to discuss since it’s a matter that people take very personally.
    I’ve often voiced my concerns about Christianity and I pretty consistently get a response similar to the one you gave. The starting point is generally that we, as humans, have a limited understanding of reality and therefore should not rush to judgement. I’ll agree that our scope is indeed limited. But this is a pretty unsatisfying response, particularly since the information that has been “revealed” via the Bible leads me to believe that Christianity is, at its core, a profoundly immoral belief system. If all of the available information leads me to conclude that something is immoral, then it’s a pretty weak argument to say that there must be additional, unrevealed information that makes the immoral stuff moral.
    Specifically, you say you believe that “God can and does reveal himself in ways of mystery” to those who have not heard the gospel. First of all, there is nothing in the Bible that supports this belief. Contemporary Christians with a global perspective tend to reach this conclusion on their own in order to make Christianity morally palatable. But if God is willing to sidestep his own (supposedly exclusive) mechanism for salvation for the majority of people in the world, then why have that mechanism (consciously asking Christ’s forgiveness) in the first place? It doesn’t make sense.
    You also mention Christ’s supposed journey to hell in order to save some souls. There has been some translational confusion over the years regarding the Hebrew and Greek words sheol, hades, and hell. I won’t get into the etymological nitty-gritty, but I will point out that there is broad consensus among theologians, Biblical scholars, and linguists that the people who wrote the Bible were not suggesting that Jesus spent three days in hell rescuing the damned.
    I would, however, like to stress that while I find Christianity to be profoundly immoral, I am not suggesting that Christians, by extension, are also immoral. I was raised in that world. My parents were Evangelical Christian missionaries and I can attest that they and most of the other Christians I’ve known over the years (of whom there have been many) are all good people. I would fault them for nothing more than cognitive dissonance and a certain lack of critical thought.
    As for myself, I’ve also struggled to be a good person. I strive to be thoughtful and considerate and to help those in need. Of course, as hard as I try, I consistently fall short of perfection (just like everyone else). I also read the Bible and books about the Bible and books about history, ethics, and philosophy. I have, over the course of years, reached the firm conclusion that Christianity is logically and ethically untenable.
    Now, let’s say I’m wrong. Let’s say that despite the fact that I have invested far more time and energy than the average Christian into researching the matter, despite the fact that I have used the information available to me in good faith and have reached a conclusion that I didn’t want to reach, despite all of this, I am still wrong. Therefore, according to the Bible, I will be cast into hell for all eternity. I will suffer unimaginable torment simply because I was not perfect on Earth and because—despite my best efforts—I reached the wrong conclusion.
    How could any person, let alone any God, be okay with this?

    • 

      Hi :) I saw your discussion and wanted to jump in :) you’re right about this being a touchy subject among Christians. that’s why i’m actually glad you brought it up! I like questions and discussions like this because they make me think.

      what CD said is right though. by a Christian viewpoint, we believe that our understanding is limited now, and we do not question God on why He does what He does, not because we don’t know, but because we do not want to know. God knows everything, and not to mention He lives outside of time so He’s seen the past, present and future of the entire human race! if He told me why He waited so long to send a Savior I think my head would explode because I wouldn’t be able to understand. so therefore, I do not want to know because it’s impossible to know :) does that make sense?

      what CD said about God revealing Himself is accurate, but it’s not really a mystery so you are right. as a matter of fact, in Romans 2, Paul points out that everyone will either see or know God at some point in their lives “for what can be known about God is plain to them (the people), because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 2:19-20) if a person sits down and really looks around them, God’s wonderment can be seen all throughout nature. His creation is the rocks, trees, atmosphere, rain, clouds etc. even the design of people. every ligament, every sinue, every piece of tissue that covers and threads our skin are not alike to another. we all are different in every sort of way, but at the same time similar in a way that is threaded deep within us. how miraculous is that?! everytime I think of that I get shivers because if I really want to see God, I will just look up to the moon that shines down overhead and even though it is completely dark and without light, and the sun has gone down on the other side of the Earth, it still shines bright enough to allow us to see at night. or the trees that give us oxygen and just so happens to inhale the very breath that we exhale and vice versa. that is a miracle as well. the clouds that give us water in a beautiful cycle that is continuous, the variety of animals designed all for different purposes…the list goes on and on. that is how God reveals Himself to those that have never heard the Gospel. the rest of it is our job to proclaim, which is why in the New Testament there is a continuous repetition of the need to proclaim the Gospel over and over again. we’re not there yet, but we’re working on it :) hopefully we get better. I would love to see people from all around the world learning about God’s love and grace. but here’s a crazy thought, you came on here (maybe because you saw an article about Christianity, rolled your eyes and decided to check it out to see how ludicrous or how much it made fun of your faith or lack thereof it was) that’s just a guess so I might not be right but think hypothetically with me. because of it, you’ve gotten a chance to talk to CD and now to me…now, i’m no expert, but wouldn’t you think it’s ironic that through a simple article the Gospel is being spread right this instant?

      as for sidestepping…God doesn’t sidestep. in fact things step aside for Him because He is so mighty and amazing (that be like telling the principal of a school or your dad to step aside because of you) but I will tell you that Jesus died for everyone, so in actuality Christianity is inclusive rather than exclusive. the only one who can say who is saved and who is not is God Himself. Christians who tell you otherwise are not right because no one knows (Romans 10) :) at the same time, the Bible also professes that those who believe will be saved and those who don’t will not soooo it’s pretty simple :) if we profess with our mouth and believe with our heart, we’re saved. :) if not, than we’re not. Jesus died for everyone and the Bible says that everyone will have a point in their lives where they come to an encounter with God (heck Paul was a mass murderer and he had his) :) after that, it’s about the choice we make….whether or not to take that leap of faith or to keep trying to figure things out on our own.

      in the case of Jesus descending into hell, well that’s a very difficult one to prove or disprove. in the greek Bible, hell translates into hades which simply means death. so it may have been that Jesus was descending into the place of death for people who have passed and was proclaiming that because of Him they were free to go back into relationship with God. see, the reason why Jesus was needed was because people are foolish :). sounds mean to say it like that but it’s true. people decided that they wanted to do their own thing rather than live in relationship with God so they left Him (He didn’t condemn them, by their own free will they left Him) and ever since then God was looking for a way to save His people. He sent Jesus (who is actually God incarnate or God in flesh) to be the perfect sacrifice for His people, so when you say that God’s sacrificing of His Son is morally wrong you would be correct, but it’s not just His Son…it’s Him. another way of seeing it is God Himself came down from Heaven to die on a cross to save us. How many gods of any other religious system do that? I always find that amazing. now whether or not Jesus than went into hades to proclaim salvation to the ones that were dead, that’s still debatable but I for one believe it :) if God sends Himself to die on a cross for those that don’t believe and are horrible sinners, why would He not go to save the ones that were dead?

      now whether or not you are damned or going to hell is another story. as for me, I don’t tend to look at Christianity as a bypass for going into Heaven. on the contrary the Bible says to see it as a relationship. the Bible says that if we believe in Jesus and God than we love God and if we love God than we follow His commandments. it doesn’t mean that we try to prove or disprove Him. think of it like this, if say you were in a relationship with someone, would you want that someone doubting you all the time and coming up with reasons why you couldn’t be together? or would it break your heart? same with God. God is a Father who above everything else just wants a relationship with you who is His creation and His child that He came to die for (as Jesus). that’s all it takes. now if you choose to disbelieve, you can still get into Heaven…but only if you are perfect (and I warn you now, the Bible says all have fallen short of the glory of God) but it always comes down to a choice. it really is that simple. does that make sense?

      thank you for letting me join in on your discussion :)
      -Brianna

    • 

      It took me a bit to catch up with this and read, Alex. It is very clear that you are seeking knowledge and truth. Continue doing so – sometimes understanding takes time. I am glad that you are aware that you fall short of perfection. That is healthy as many won’t admit that. I will pray for the God of forgiveness to reveal full the mystery of grace to you.

  29. 

    One more little something to add. I am a firm believer in the power of music that God created to speak to the soul in a way that our written word cannot always fully do. This is a fantastic and simple song about the pursuit of truth by inviting relationship with the God we are blogging about. Asking him to be the fire inside of us. Telling him that we don’t want to talk about him as if he is not in the room because he is right here, right now, omnipresent. I encourage you guys to listen to this beautiful song. A theme song of sorts for myself. When i get confused or hit a dry spot sometimes I just put this song on replay and go out for a long walk until I feel that peace and oneness with God. Simple. Beautiful. Powerful beyond words. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEJnePjJZaM

  30. 

    And then one last song – for feeling the strength of God’s love. Bigger and stronger and more than any love on this earth. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps

  31. 

    To David H Lane & A Reasonable Man

    I realize you may not believe that God is real; however, it seems you are more of a believer than you may think. In your post, you expressed it would be unjust of God to send certain people to hell; but let me ask you – where are you getting this idea of justice to begin with? When you say something is unjust, you are pre-supposing some standard by which to differentiate between just and unjust; and if a standard does exist, than some source must also exist from which this standard originated. Unless of course, “justice” is simply a personal idea that you made up in your own mind, and that other people may or may not know about. But I don’t think you believe that because you obviously blame the ‘abuser’ from your example of being a cruel and unjust person – and I would agree with you. Clearly we both assume he knows about our moral standard.
    Christians believe that God is the source of this standard, which explains why everyone has a similar sense of justice (although we each decide for ourselves whether or not we will obey it). Thus, in order to blame God for being unjust, we must stand on the worldview that He exists and is the source of our sense of justice. And if he is the source of your sense of justice, it would be difficult to disagree with Him. As C.S. Lewis says “When you argue against Him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
    Very well then; if God is real, there must be certain things that are true about Him, and whether or not we agree with those attributes certainly does not change their reality – just as my not believing in the law of gravity would not change its reality.

    For example, it seems that you are thinking about hell as a type of punishment God has decided to dole out to unbelievers, similar to a punishment that a parent would decide to give a child. But in scripture, hell is described as the expression of God’s “wrath” against our rebellion against Him. This wrath isn’t something God choses to have – something He has the ability to do away with if He likes. It is simply something that is true about God’s nature, similar to the way a sense of consciousness is true of our human nature. We cannot do away with our consciousness; He cannot do away with His wrath.

    You are surprised that Christians worship God in light of His “injustice”. But the reason why Christians worship God is because the other aspects of His nature have outweighed His divine justice – namely, His grace. Scripture teaches that God became a man to pay the debt that His justice and wrath required. I use the language of “paying our debt” intentionally because this is more near to the essence of the gospel. You ask why God could not simply forgive us without the cross. The answer to this lies in the true essence of forgiveness. Allow me to illustrate with my college loans. Imagine, that by some miracle, the company with whom my loans are held decides to forgive my debt. This would be great for me, but not so great for them because the debt doesn’t simply disappear. In this situation, they have chosen to bear the burden of my debt by essentially paying for all my classes, my room & board, etc. In a similar way, the cross is God bearing the burden of our debt. He is able to forgive us, but the debt doesn’t go away. The gospel says that God, like my loan company in the example, bears the burden of the debt owed to Him. Again, the fact that a debt exists, or that nature of the payment required to eliminate that debt, is not something God chose, but is rather something that is true of God’s nature.

    Because of Christ’s sacrifice, mankind does not need to taste the fruit of our sin and rebellion against Him. Instead we inherit something we could never earn and do not deserve. God did not have to do that. He could have left us in a state of helplessness. But He didn’t. And when a person sees the reality of this, anger at God is replaced with love for God.

    I hope this helps to address your concerns.

    Much Love

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. You don’t even realize how messed up Christianity is. « Hope Stands - March 28, 2014

    […] forget to check out the follow up post, Part II, You still don’t realize… […]

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