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Salvation Attained By Belief Is Unfair And Unjust


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That's it... That's the first conclusion that led me away from mainstream Christianity. Fundamentalists believe that one must believe to attain salvation. This assumes that we all have an equal shot at this salvation. My premise is simple. We don't get an equal shot at this belief in this life. If this is the case, there are certainly many who gain salvation outside of nothing of their own doing... They simply go with the flow as they are born into believing households. They get their belief easy. It's just what they do. Others, may be born into unbelieving households where they are raised and influenced in things not of god but of science and provable history. Naturally, their minds are going to be wired differently after a childhood of exposure to this. For the believer to think that this person could just flip a switch and now believe in something completely unprovable and unobservable, is ridiculous. And to top it off, this person is now worthy of eternal torment. It should also be noted that the circumstances of which family and which time a person is born into are completely outside of that person's control. So largely, a person is a believer based on circumstances they have no control over...

 

For a believer to tell me - a boy raised without a father - that there is a compassionate creator out there who loves me, while they had both loving parents in their home who could provide for them tells me that one, it's easier for them to believe as such because maybe they have not encountered the emotional turmoil I have and two, they're naive. From their perspective belief in an all-loving creator is easy. But for many, it would be far easier to live a life of solitude in the desert than to believe in an all-knowing, all-loving and all-present god.

 

Life is not fair and to conclude that within this life, our ability to believe is fair, is pure silly-ness... Some people live longer than others... Thus they may have more opportunity to attain this belief. Why are some born into it, some are born out of it and some are born who never hear of it? And we're to believe this clearly imperfect, unjust and unfair system is what a just god uses to determine who goes where for all of eternity?

 

What about those willing to believe but who were never presented the gospel? What about those who would have been presented the gospel but died just one day prior to reaching that opportunity? And to top that off, they died by no fault of their own. Now, they're in hell, burning forever and God knows, had they only had one more day, they would have been in heaven forever. But, they had to drive to work late one night because some servers had crashed and a drunk driver collided with them, killing them. If only they were still alive to answer the knock on the door the following day. They would have listened and accepted... Oh well. Sucks to be them.

 

There's so many problems with the belief-based salvation model. It just takes a little critical thought and questioning to find the holes... For me, this is the loose string on my sweater of faith that I tugged a little too hard on as it started to cause the rest to unravel as I developed more and more questions.

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Even as a Christian I thought it odd that on the deathbed, at that moment, one's opinion of the Jesus story as presented in the Bible would determine whether eternity was to be spent in Heaven or Hell.

 

And welcome, LifeCycle, or LC as you'll probably end up being called.

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Belief is not a choice, but a revelation of what the mind defines as true.

 

This is correct. It also undoes the idea of "free will." Free will is a myth. Nobody has such a thing.

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Belief is not a choice, but a revelation of what the mind defines as true.

 

This is correct. It also undoes the idea of "free will." Free will is a myth. Nobody has such a thing.

 

I'd like to know more about why you think this, please.

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Belief is not a choice, but a revelation of what the mind defines as true.

 

This is correct. It also undoes the idea of "free will." Free will is a myth. Nobody has such a thing.

 

Most of what we do is an extension of the subconscious boiling and roiling. Hunches, feelings, preferences, and yes, beliefs, are subconscious facts and memories being sorted and sending messages up to the conscious. Making a decision is primarily done in the sub before the thinking part of the brain gets it and believes "I have dedided."

Free will is a misleading term at best.

 

God strikes me as a Buford T. Pusser character: 'you either believe in me or I'll bar-b-que your ass in molasses, boy."

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You've hit on some major flaws in the belief based versions of salvation (as opposed to the works based versions where you have to have faith but then "Work" to keep it or "work" to even get it). And why, if god is love, he would make people earn a place with him or end up in hell is indeed a mystery.

 

The only system that resolves most of this is five-point Calvinism whereby everybody's going to hell except the elect. However, god is a malevolent tyrant in that model of god.

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LC, I am an exOkie as well as an xian.

 

Oklahoma, as you are aware, is a very bad place to come out as an xian. Where I lived, you could not spit without hitting some church. Every vacant small house, strip mall, and empty theater was turned into a church. Then there is all the churches that have formed militias. Those were common around the center of the state, not sure about T-town.

 

There is obviously a disconnect from reality for about 75% of the people there. When they find out you are an xian, they will have plenty to say and say and say. Logic, reasoning facts, they don't matter. People are so brainwashed in religion they are actually afraid not to believe. Religion was heavy and oppressive there. There were a some good churches with good people attending, but they still want to believe and they suspend logic; I have many friends that attend these type churches. It became mostly 'well you believe what you want, but I believe in facts' and we have reminded friends. But the right wingers? If they find out you aren't xian anymore, good luck.

 

Best wishes on your journey. This site has tons of good advice, plus a lot of facts to counter act religion.

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Guest Xtech
...one must believe to attain salvation....

 

It's allegiance to the tribe, an ancient instinct. And as you say, unfair, unjust, and a root of bigotry and hatred.

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You've hit on some major flaws in the belief based versions of salvation (as opposed to the works based versions where you have to have faith but then "Work" to keep it or "work" to even get it). And why, if god is love, he would make people earn a place with him or end up in hell is indeed a mystery.

 

The only system that resolves most of this is five-point Calvinism whereby everybody's going to hell except the elect. However, god is a malevolent tyrant in that model of god.

 

There's the complete opposite of that in the Christian Universalist church. They believe that no one is going to hell.

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You've hit on some major flaws in the belief based versions of salvation (as opposed to the works based versions where you have to have faith but then "Work" to keep it or "work" to even get it). And why, if god is love, he would make people earn a place with him or end up in hell is indeed a mystery.

 

The only system that resolves most of this is five-point Calvinism whereby everybody's going to hell except the elect. However, god is a malevolent tyrant in that model of god.

 

There's the complete opposite of that in the Christian Universalist church. They believe that no one is going to hell.

 

Yes. There are the Universalists. That's the best doctrine of salvation of them all.

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The only system that resolves most of this is five-point Calvinism whereby everybody's going to hell except the elect.

And oh gawd, the anxiety this caused so many of us! ugh.gif

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I always hated the parable about the workers in the field (Matt. 20:16?), with everyone being paid the same amount regardless of number of hours worked. This made me angry and confused since I was a child.

 

Salvation by belief is such a crap shoot, not to mention completely unfair. You can be a physician with MSF (Doctors Without Borders) for a lifetime, easing pain and strife in war-torn and famine ravaged villages, but be a skeptic on matters of faith (and why wouldn't you be, since you've seen all kinds of tribal woo and violence and injury) so you go to hell when you die. (Sorry! You suck!) Or, you could be a serial killer, environment destroyer, selfish miser, or monster in this life, and then pray with the (correct) pastor on your deathbed, and all is good.

 

Yup, make perfect sense. Those atheists who are saving the world through acts of justice and compassion are just wasting their time.

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LC, I am an exOkie as well as an xian.

 

Oklahoma, as you are aware, is a very bad place to come out as an xian. Where I lived, you could not spit without hitting some church. Every vacant small house, strip mall, and empty theater was turned into a church. Then there is all the churches that have formed militias. Those were common around the center of the state, not sure about T-town.

 

There is obviously a disconnect from reality for about 75% of the people there. When they find out you are an xian, they will have plenty to say and say and say. Logic, reasoning facts, they don't matter. People are so brainwashed in religion they are actually afraid not to believe. Religion was heavy and oppressive there. There were a some good churches with good people attending, but they still want to believe and they suspend logic; I have many friends that attend these type churches. It became mostly 'well you believe what you want, but I believe in facts' and we have reminded friends. But the right wingers? If they find out you aren't xian anymore, good luck.

 

Best wishes on your journey. This site has tons of good advice, plus a lot of facts to counter act religion.

 

Yes, I'm stuck and can't get out. I'm not sure what to do. Today, I'm going through a phase of mourning as for the first time, I can say I'm no longer a Christian. It is freeing but it's also not the little world I live in here. I'm going to be an outsider and I'm going to have to protect myself.

 

As for free will and all that... Biblically, we can't have it if you subscribe to the Bible. They say we're fallen and have a sin nature so my angle is that even our thoughts are influenced. The bible speaks of this. The greatest example to stuble them is asking if they want to stop sinning... The answer is most always yes... Then I follow up with why don't you? The answer is simple, because our desire to do what feels good often overrides being just. The same goes for making a decision. In this state, we're never free of outside influence or internal influence thus we're never truly free to have our own will. Something is always pressing us a certain direction... Always.

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You've hit on some major flaws in the belief based versions of salvation (as opposed to the works based versions where you have to have faith but then "Work" to keep it or "work" to even get it). And why, if god is love, he would make people earn a place with him or end up in hell is indeed a mystery.

 

The only system that resolves most of this is five-point Calvinism whereby everybody's going to hell except the elect. However, god is a malevolent tyrant in that model of god.

 

There's the complete opposite of that in the Christian Universalist church. They believe that no one is going to hell.

 

Yes. There are the Universalists. That's the best doctrine of salvation of them all.

 

That was my final "spiritual" turn within Christianity... Once I got there through I came to another fork in the road belief was on way and unbelief was another. I finally made the right and final turn towards freedom.

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Ken Pulliam blogged a lot about Penal Substitutionary Theory of the Atonement before he died recently. Check him out: http://formerfundy.blogspot.com/2010/05/theories-of-punishment.html

 

His blog has links to many additional sources as well.

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Ken Pulliam blogged a lot about Penal Substitutionary Theory of the Atonement before he died recently. Check him out: http://formerfundy.b...punishment.html

 

His blog has links to many additional sources as well.

 

Cool, checking it out now.

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Yes

 

 

Yes, I'm stuck and can't get out. I'm not sure what to do. Today, I'm going through a phase of mourning as for the first time, I can say I'm no longer a Christian. It is freeing but it's also not the little world I live in here. I'm going to be an outsider and I'm going to have to protect myself.

 

As for free will and all that... Biblically, we can't have it if you subscribe to the Bible. They say we're fallen and have a sin nature so my angle is that even our thoughts are influenced. The bible speaks of this. The greatest example to stuble them is asking if they want to stop sinning... The answer is most always yes... Then I follow up with why don't you? The answer is simple, because our desire to do what feels good often overrides being just. The same goes for making a decision. In this state, we're never free of outside influence or internal influence thus we're never truly free to have our own will. Something is always pressing us a certain direction... Always.

 

LC: I understand how very difficult it is to be different in Oklahoma or the south. Unless someone has lived amongst evangelicals, it is very difficult to pin point. I learned to say nothing, and at prayers I just had a moment of silence. Since prayers are said everywhere, it made me want to scream at times. I knew only a very small number of atheists, but I suspect, there are a lot of atheists in the closet there. But on the other side, there is an almost simmering hostility toward something, anything, and non believers are hated more than President Obama there. And you know how much they hate him.

 

If you are still struggling with letting go of religion, use logic and TRUST YOURSELF. See if this helps: God told his son to suffer a painful death to save the sinners. But who is going to destroy the sinners? God of course. I don't know about you, but that struck me as a really, really difficult concept since all of the xians quote that verse: "For God so loved the world, blah, blah..." If he loved us, why would he torture us for eternity? That is just about as sociopathic as it comes. And, since God is all forgiving if you worship him, why did he let his son get murdered? If you have a bad child, you would not send them to torment for eternity because even if they were a born a sinner nor would you send your son to be killed? Of course not! If you loved your son, you would have just forgiven the sinning children without making his favorite son die. Yes, God does play favorites. God sounds like a monster in that light.

 

That kind of stuff is all through the bible. Use your logic and trust yourself. You are correct, even if most of the world around you seems insane. There is a belief system in OK that does not use logic, but 'truthiness.' It is pervasive and deep there. I once mentioned that I thought those huge aluminum crosses were ugly recognition of any God of any sort. That caused the normally rational person I was speaking to really get angry that I would disrespect Jesus. Follow that logic. She had no idea how I was an atheist. I didn't tell too many because I didn't want to be ' saved' by people, over and over. There is nothing more annoying when you are finally over the bible god that to have an evangelical xian make it their goal to convert you. UGH!!!!!! They won't listen to reasoning because to them the bible is always correct, no questions allowed. And I never understood the blind acceptance of faith there. Obvious religious scammers are everywhere there.

 

Please trust yourself. We moved and I hope I never have to go back, even for a visit. You are not the only Okie that senses everything there is off, and please know you are not the alone in knowing there is a huge absence of logic there. But they obviously are silent because the evangelical xians will annoy you to death, not to mention fire you at many places of employment and that is totally legal there. I am hoping for some kind of national atheist/agnostic/doubter outing. We have to stick together.

 

I feel like we evacuated. I wish you luck in getting out of there. I feel like I moved to heaven just leaving there because my soul is now free from religion.

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Yes

 

Yes, I'm stuck and can't get out. I'm not sure what to do. Today, I'm going through a phase of mourning as for the first time, I can say I'm no longer a Christian. It is freeing but it's also not the little world I live in here. I'm going to be an outsider and I'm going to have to protect myself.

 

As for free will and all that... Biblically, we can't have it if you subscribe to the Bible. They say we're fallen and have a sin nature so my angle is that even our thoughts are influenced. The bible speaks of this. The greatest example to stuble them is asking if they want to stop sinning... The answer is most always yes... Then I follow up with why don't you? The answer is simple, because our desire to do what feels good often overrides being just. The same goes for making a decision. In this state, we're never free of outside influence or internal influence thus we're never truly free to have our own will. Something is always pressing us a certain direction... Always.

 

LC: I understand how very difficult it is to be different in Oklahoma or the south. Unless someone has lived amongst evangelicals, it is very difficult to pin point. I learned to say nothing, and at prayers I just had a moment of silence. Since prayers are said everywhere, it made me want to scream at times. I knew only a very small number of atheists, but I suspect, there are a lot of atheists in the closet there. But on the other side, there is an almost simmering hostility toward something, anything, and non believers are hated more than President Obama there. And you know how much they hate him.

 

If you are still struggling with letting go of religion, use logic and TRUST YOURSELF. See if this helps: God told his son to suffer a painful death to save the sinners. But who is going to destroy the sinners? God of course. I don't know about you, but that struck me as a really, really difficult concept since all of the xians quote that verse: "For God so loved the world, blah, blah..." If he loved us, why would he torture us for eternity? That is just about as sociopathic as it comes. And, since God is all forgiving if you worship him, why did he let his son get murdered? If you have a bad child, you would not send them to torment for eternity because even if they were a born a sinner nor would you send your son to be killed? Of course not! If you loved your son, you would have just forgiven the sinning children without making his favorite son die. Yes, God does play favorites. God sounds like a monster in that light.

 

That kind of stuff is all through the bible. Use your logic and trust yourself. You are correct, even if most of the world around you seems insane. There is a belief system in OK that does not use logic, but 'truthiness.' It is pervasive and deep there. I once mentioned that I thought those huge aluminum crosses were ugly recognition of any God of any sort. That caused the normally rational person I was speaking to really get angry that I would disrespect Jesus. Follow that logic. She had no idea how I was an atheist. I didn't tell too many because I didn't want to be ' saved' by people, over and over. There is nothing more annoying when you are finally over the bible god that to have an evangelical xian make it their goal to convert you. UGH!!!!!! They won't listen to reasoning because to them the bible is always correct, no questions allowed. And I never understood the blind acceptance of faith there. Obvious religious scammers are everywhere there.

 

Please trust yourself. We moved and I hope I never have to go back, even for a visit. You are not the only Okie that senses everything there is off, and please know you are not the alone in knowing there is a huge absence of logic there. But they obviously are silent because the evangelical xians will annoy you to death, not to mention fire you at many places of employment and that is totally legal there. I am hoping for some kind of national atheist/agnostic/doubter outing. We have to stick together.

 

I feel like we evacuated. I wish you luck in getting out of there. I feel like I moved to heaven just leaving there because my soul is now free from religion.

 

Wow, love the part about God sending his son to save them from himself because he loves them... Yup, that's crazy.

 

I also appreciate the kind words about living here... I'm glad someone knows. There are groups here and I was invited to a closed local Atheist group on Facebook. So I can comment and read it without my other FB friends knowing. I've posted some tough questions for my believer friends and some of them who do not believe have been following the discussions and could sense where I was headed I guess...

They're very fanatical here. Logic, reason and all that escapes them when it comes to their belief structure. Yes, I was a part of it, but I was raised in it... I finally couldn't accept the fuzzy math any longer though.

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Salvation attained by belief alone, leads to ethical absurdity. If susan akins (one of the killers of the manson family) can get to heaven but a apostate like me burns, that makes law and morals, or even I would go as far as to say the ten commandments meaningless. Avoiding evil becomes secondary to belief, which makes evil more allowable and tolerable.

 

That to me makes no sense if a god exists. A loving and perfectly moral god creates moral absurdity.

 

And the part about Calvinism, that would mean a really hazy reading of verses that say things like "god wants all to be saved." And failing that it seems to be a violation of the kinds of thing the bible teaches(like causing harm to others intentionally is wrong) and what we supposedly need god to have, a moral sense. The sense that would say things like, don't cause unnecessary suffering.

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Calvinism in this is sense does actually seem more complete but at the same time it is just as morally destitute.

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Salvation by belief is rather nonsensical, because religious belief isn't grounded in anything rational, it's all based on "faith". So I must ask - what is so noble about "faith" that it is the very thing that determines where one will spend eternity? Is it really a virtue to blindly accept what you are told as truth, without any question as to it's validity?

 

But even if all that was really the way it is - I am supposed to believe that 2000 years ago some middle eastern guy who was really god himself was born of a virgin, was sacrificed by his dad (who was also himself) to his dad (who was also himself), then died, went to hell, came back as a zombie three days later, then launched himself through earth's atmosphere at warp speed into deep space, (with no protective space suit, oxygen, etc), to end up in a magical place called heaven where he lived happily ever after seated at the right hand of his dad (who was also himself). This is what I am supposed to accept as not only reasonable, but as historically factual and true, with absolutely no skepticism at all? Really!?? lmao_99.gif

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Salvation by belief is rather nonsensical, because religious belief isn't grounded in anything rational, it's all based on "faith". So I must ask - what is so noble about "faith" that it is the very thing that determines where one will spend eternity? Is it really a virtue to blindly accept what you are told as truth, without any question as to it's validity?

 

But even if all that was really the way it is - I am supposed to believe that 2000 years ago some middle eastern guy who was really god himself was born of a virgin, was sacrificed by his dad (who was also himself) to his dad (who was also himself), then died, went to hell, came back as a zombie three days later, then launched himself through earth's atmosphere at warp speed into deep space, (with no protective space suit, oxygen, etc), to end up in a magical place called heaven where he lived happily ever after seated at the right hand of his dad (who was also himself). This is what I am supposed to accept as not only reasonable, but as historically factual and true, with absolutely no skepticism at all? Really!?? lmao_99.gif

 

Good points... Yeah, I wondered the same thing about "faith" and why is it the determining factor for eternal bliss or not... I mean, that's essentially it. You nailed it. Out of all the things one could be judged upon to receive a reward it's whether they could believe in not only the unobservable but the outlandish stuff made of fairy tales. It's just really bizarre.

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