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What Do I Believe?


barnacleben
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Many apologies. It was my intention to thoughtfully respond to all of the comments on the "What is the gospel?" thread. I only responded to posts through part of page 5 (even though there were 11 pages) before the thread was locked. I can only assume that since I was abiding by the forum guidelines (and has not received any warnings for breaking forum rules) and in lion's den style "permissively unrestrained without devolving into repetitious verbal abuse" in my responses that no fair-minded moderator would close the thread because they didn't enjoy what I was saying.

 

It became clear from the beginning that no one was particularly interested in the gospel or what it means for people like Jeffrey Dahmer and myself, and would rather simply ask me questions, so feel free. I will do my best to respond. As I can no longer respond to the last 6 pages of posts, I haven't even managed to get to them, so if there was something I didn't respond to in the other thread that you would like a response from, you can ask me here.

 

To start with, here is something I believe:

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (Jn6)

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no fair-minded moderator would close the thread because they didn't enjoy what I was saying.

 

First, I don't have to be fair, but I am anyway. I closed the thread not because I don't agree with your beliefs but because there is no productive discussion when one participant relies on quoting books rather than making his own intelligent argument.

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We are not particularly interested in a definition of the gospel, because many of us spent a good portion of the best years of our lives immersed in the so-called "gospel".  I am putting it in quotes because the good news isn't so good, we have found.

 

I am interested in an answer to my question - how you think you have the true church and "absolution" whatever that means outside the Catholic Church. 

 

It is completely understandable why someone like Jeffrey Dahmer would turn to Jesus at the end. After all - it doesn't matter how heinous the crimes, just pray to Jesus and its all forgiven! 

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The gospel isn't proof of anything.  A book can't prove itself.  The proof you believe exists outside of that ancient text does not.  You're continuous quoting of scripture only magnifies the fact that you haven't sincerely investigated this aspect of your faith much at all.  If you go to sources that are also believers themselves, what kind of data do you think you're going to find? 

 

An objective search on the history of Christianity, Jesus and many of the characters in the bible only lead to more and more questions.  Add to that the current evidence that there is no benefit to being a Christian.  I mean, there's not evidence for Christianity anywhere... Way back then and even here and now!  It's just a bunch of claims and many of them are outright incorrect!  God is love, love is not jealous, God is jealous.  God favors no one, unless you're a believer.  Lot offers his virgin daughters over to people that wanted to harm his family and God is silent, but look over your shoulder and he'll turn your ass to salt!!! 

 

Okay!  Sounds great!  Sign me the fuck up!

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To start with, here is something I believe:

 

You believe whatever your chosen religious authority tells you to believe.  You are a slave.

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I would like you to respond to HA, in your own words:

"Hi Ben,

 

I’m usually hesitant to engage in a thread that’s already 10 pages long, especially when one individual is having to respond to nearly every other poster. However, I’m butting in here because I want to try to help you understand some things that you may not be aware of.

 

First, not all of us have come out of the happy-clappy “therapeutic moralistic deism” of modern evangelicalism. Some of us are well versed in church history and traditions that pre-date Billy Graham. In fact, some of us have a pretty solid understanding of Missouri Synod Lutheranism. I used to listen to White Horse Inn every Lord’s Day afternoon between worship services. I’ve even had a conversation with Mike Horton over Belgian beer and cigars (although I doubt very much that he could pick me out of a lineup). Bondage of the Will was one of the first books I ever read written by a Reformer. So believe it or not, some of us who call ourselves ex-Christians are, in fact, quite familiar with your particular brand of Christianity.

 

Second, you seem to be completely ignorant of much of the standard case against the claims of Christianity particularly as it pertains to the claims of the resurrection. Since you’ve placed so much stock in the scriptures which you seem to think were “validated by Jesus, who proved his authority to do so by raising himself from the dead”, let’s just focus on that claim. You have assumed a sizable burden of proof here and yet you keep trying to shift that burden to your detractors in this thread.

 

Make no mistake; you are the one making an extraordinary claim. It is your job to provide evidence to support it. All you’ve done is appeal to a single collection of written texts of dubious origin, meaning you still have your work cut out for you on that front, and then ask for others to disprove your claim by ridiculous standards like producing Jesus’ bones. Respectfully, get a clue.

 

Since you appear unwilling to offer a real argument and instead keep throwing out unsubstantiated assertions about “history” and “scholarship”, let me just lay some things out for you. Keep in mind this isn’t comprehensive, but here are some things you have to overcome:

 

First, you really need some sources to corroborate the New Testament if you’re going to convince anyone of something as infrequent and improbable as a person rising from the dead.

 

As has already been pointed out, the New Testament recounts very public things like great earthquakes (Matt. 27:51, 28:2Acts 16:26), three hours of darkness in the middle of daytime (Matt 27:45), rocks splitting followed by an undead invasion of Jerusalem (Matt. 27:52-53), thousands being fed miraculously on at least two separate occasions, a revolutionary running people out of the temple on apparently two separate occasions (Matt. 21:12, Mark 11:5, Luke 19:45 & John 2:13-22) and one of those following a triumphal procession into the city, the appearing of a bright star followed by magi from the east with Herod and all of Jerusalem being troubled with him and the slaughter of all the male children in Bethlehem (Matt 2:3 & 16). These are all things that people all over that region should have taken note of, and yet non-Christian sources like Josephus find the lives of John the Baptist and some Egyptian who led a failed revolt more noteworthy than Jesus Christ? Now I realize that absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence, but in the case of many of the claims of the New Testament like these we should reasonably expect there to be evidence of documents and artifacts that could corroborate those extraordinary claims. Why is it that the only surviving documents that record such amazing events come from people within this movement? That’s a real problem for your claim.

 

Many will argue that apart from the resurrection, Jesus was no more than a failed prophet and teacher. However, I would argue that if the New Testament writers did accurately record Jesus’ words then he was indeed a failed prophet regardlessof whether or not the resurrection occurred, so his opinion on scripture and pretty much everything else is invalid. Even if the disciples witnessed what they thought was a resurrected Jesus, this in no way validates his claims and teachings.

 

According to the synoptics, Jesus taught without any ambiguity whatsoever that his return was to be during the generation in which he lived (Matt. 10:23, 16:27-28, 24:20-34, 26:64, Mark 9:1,13:30, 14:62, Luke 9:27, 21:25-33). Similarly, those writings attributed to his followers also predicted and anticipated a return within a few years of their writing (Rom. 13:11-12, 16:20, 1 Cor. 7:27-31, 10:11, 11:26, Gal. 1:4, Phil.4:5, 1 Thess. 1:10, 4:15-17, 2 Thess. 1:5-10, 2:1-12, Heb. 1:1-2, 9:26, 10:25,Jas. 5:1-9, 1 Peter 1:20, 1 John 2:17-18, Jude 18, Rev. 1:3, 3:10-11, 22:6-7, 10,12 & 20). A couple of late New Testament writers (or perhaps even interpolators), aware of these failed expectations, tried to hedge in places (2 Peter 3:4, John 21:22).  It’s interesting that the canonical gospel believed to have been written the furthest from the time of Jesus records none of the sayings regarding his return in that generation, nor is its focus on an outward manifestation of “the kingdom of heaven” but instead the writer focuses on inward concepts like personal belief and regeneration. It seems those earlier expectations had not been met.

 

Apologists have been making excuses for these failed predictions for centuries. However, anyone with a remotely critical eye toward the obvious intent of the statements attributed to Jesus has all they’d need to see this as just another religious leader’s unfulfilled prophetic pronouncements of the end of the world within a specified time period. This seems to be a regular recurrence that segments of humanity have been obsessed with for millennia. We even just had a recent “scare” thanks to some misunderstood Mayans.

 

If we take the Torah seriously, it gives every reason to believe that if what Jesus said is accurately recorded in the synoptic gospels, his teaching is to be disregarded. Deuteronomy 18:21-22 makes clear that “whenever a prophet speaks in the name of Yahweh and the word does not come to pass, that is the word which Yahweh has not spoken. The prophet has presumed to speak it, so you need not fear him.” So it doesn’t matter if Jesus’ disciples claimed to have witnessed signs and wonders like rising from the dead because the Hebrew scriptures even show that Yahweh uses things like lying spirits and signs and wonders performed by false prophets to test his people and bring about judgment (Deut. 13:1-5 & 1 Kings 22:22).

 

You will need to deal with this and firmly establish why those many predictions were not abject failures. You will need to show how whatever interpretation you offer for every one of the above verses absolves Jesus and his followers from their apparent prophetic failure and you will need to demonstrate that your interpretation is the right one.

 

You see, if appeal to the supernatural is not to be ruled out as a possible explanation for things like the empty tomb and post-resurrection appearances, why should we discount the possibility of explaining those things with demonic deception, for example? How are we to judge at all between competing supernatural explanations? What if there was a supernaturally induced mass hallucination? What if Satan impersonated Jesus after his death? What is the justification for preferring the “standard” explanation to one of those? Given the prophetic failures of Jesus and his early followers, those explanations would seem just as warranted. If I were I an Orthodox Jew, I’d likely favor one of them. The way in which those writers so loosely interpreted and appropriated obviously out of context passages from the Tanakh in their writings and scripted the events of their messiah’s life around those interpretations would only further cement that view.

 

The supposed reactions of resurrection Jesus’ followers in the aftermath of his execution is not compelling evidence for other reasons. People don’t always just give up their religious fervor when their expectations are unrealized. They often make excuses or even claim to experience things that didn’t actually happen to deal with the cognitive dissonanceassociated with this experience. There are plenty of examples of this throughout history. Think of the Millerites after theGreat Disappointment. Did they all just throw their hands up in the air and go back to their former lives? No. Many maintained their beliefs, modified them and increased their zeal. Several even experienced persecution as a result of their unwillingness to relent. Consequently, in spite of these unrealized expectations, their movement still exists today in the form of Adventism.

 

This kind of modification of expectation following such a disappointment as the death of the one they thought was the messiah could easily explain why, despite perceived Jewish expectation, Jesus’ early followers proclaimed a dying and rising son of God. Additionally, the notion of a dying and rising son of the gods was easily borrowed from the influential Hellenistic culture where such mythic motifs are numerous.

 

Joseph Smith faced persecution and death for his beliefs. If anyone knew whether or not he was making things up, it would’ve been him. Yet when imprisoned and attacked by an angry mob, he never recanted that we know of. The same thing could be said for Jim Jones or numerous other cult leaders. People are apparently willing to be persecuted and die for things they know are not true and they need not be motivated by greed or political power. There are simply no well-established and documented cases of either pre-Columbian white Israelites settling in the Americas or people rising from the dead, but there are millions of documented cases of people lying. Which is more probable? That question is really what we’re getting at here. I’m not ruling out the supernatural because of my naturalistic presuppositions. I’m asking, “What is more probable?”

 

There is another problem with the notion that we should believe the claims of Jesus’ “eye-witness” followers simply because they were supposedly willing to die for the movement. Outside of the later development of legends, we simply don’t have any evidence that any one of them died for holding to the belief that Jesus rose from the dead bodily. Stephen and James are the only recorded martyrs in the New Testament. Stephen was supposedly killed by a mob based ontrumped up charges and not given an opportunity to recant. Much like Paul, the only Jesus we know of that Stephen saw was in a vision that no one else witnessed. We are not told why James was executed or if he was given a chance to recant. If he had recanted, would Jesus’ followers have had reason to record it? In all likelihood recanting would not have saved him anyway, so why recant? We don’t even have reliable evidence that either one of them held to a belief in the bodily resurrection of Jesus. They could’ve believed in a spiritual resurrection based entirely on visions.

 

The typical reasoning that the enemies of Jesus could have easily proven that he was not raised from the dead by producing his corpse seems a bit strained as well. According to the book of Acts it was, at minimum, seven weeks after Jesus’ death that his disciples began to publicly proclaim his resurrection. Even if this is reliable, what good would producing a rotting seven-week-old corpse have been? There would’ve been no methods available to the first century Sanhedrin to even establish a positive identification. There was no CSI: Jerusalem. They would’ve known the disciples could’ve simply said, “Yeah, that’s not him. It’s just some imposter body you’ve dressed up to look like him.”

 

All of this assumes that the writer of Acts is giving us reliable historical information about when the disciples started gaining the attention of the authorities. There is every reason to believe this writer, like most of the New Testament writers, is not a reliable source, especially given a comparison of his timeline for Paul’s post-conversion visits to Jerusalem to Paul’s own timeline in Galatians. First-hand accounts like Paul’s are typically given historical priority over anonymous, second-hand accounts like Acts. No other New Testament writing makes reference to those very public events at Pentecost and the gospel of John even places the receiving of the Holy Spirit prior to Jesus’ ascension (John 20:22). Furthermore, things like the account of Judas’s death (Acts 1:18-19) do not align with other New Testament documents (Matt. 27:3-10), nor do this author’s writings in the gospel of Luke align with extra-biblical documents regarding the details of things like the census of Quirinius. The writer of Acts is not historically reliable, and therefore we may conclude that it could’ve easily been years after Jesus’ death before his disciples’ teaching became a noticeable problem for local religious authorities in Jerusalem. Rotting corpses and empty tombs would’ve been moot at that point.

 

There is another reason why it is not at all probable that Jesus came alive from the dead bodily. Supernatural claims in and of themselves are extraordinarily improbable. We don’t witness them with any regularity the way we witness things like lying, mythmaking, exaggeration and hallucination. Claims like someone rising from the dead require extraordinary evidence to support, and the evidence for the resurrection of Jesus does not even come close to overcoming the vastly superior probability that someone is lying, mythmaking, hallucinating or exaggerating.

 

If you answered your door and there I stood holding a package and I told you the UPS guy met me at the door and asked me to give it you, you would likely not require any further evidence other than my claim before you would believe me. You have no reason to doubt me and you can see the package in my hand with the UPS label on it. That’s plenty of evidence right there and my claim is not extraordinary. UPS delivers packages every day. Now, suppose I told you a gorilla ran up and handed it to me before it took off running down the block. You would find my claim highly suspicious and would want more evidence. Suppose I could point to large gorilla footprints in the dirt outside and later the sheriff came by and said a gorilla had escaped from the local zoo. You would probably have enough evidence to believe my claim at that point.

 

Now suppose I claimed a dragon named Smaug handed me that package before he flew away down the block. You would not go looking for evidence of my claim. You would not believe me at all because you would regard my claim as simply being impossible. Despite my insistence you would not believe me. You would sooner believe I was crazy. Why? Because the claim I made simply does not line up with anything known to your experience of reality. It is such an extraordinary claim and there is nothing supporting it that is even remotely confirmed. Not only do you have very good evidence that “a dragon named Smaug handed me this package” is not true, you also have no evidence that this has ever been true foranyone other than fictional characters, unlike the example of the gorilla. You don't even have reliable evidence that dragons have ever existed. Therefore, the evidential burden I would have to bear here is virtually insurmountable.

Just imagine what it would take for you to believe my claim. You would want to see Smaug with your own eyes or at least see the scorched remains of your neighbor’s houses and people running and screaming in terror. Even then, you would probably not conclude a dragon had done it. When we appeal to common sense like this, everyone concedes that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Your claim for the bodily resurrection of Jesus has yet to even get off the evidentiary ground when it comes to meeting this requirement. This is your burden. This is what you have to overcome. Good luck."

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I dunno, I think to me, the most interesting part would be if barnacleben can provide a non-circular and logical proof of why HE believes in said gospel, and not, say, something else. There's a ton of holy books, of one kind or another, after all, and all of them are "gospel" of some kind to the people who believe in them. I mean, shucks, Christianity can't agree on which version it's using, so...

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no fair-minded moderator would close the thread because they didn't enjoy what I was saying.

 

First, I don't have to be fair, but I am anyway. I closed the thread not because I don't agree with your beliefs but because there is no productive discussion when one participant relies on quoting books rather than making his own intelligent argument.

 

 

I respect that you disagree with my beliefs. I also respectfully disagree with your belief that I cannot productively argue my beliefs in discussion. I consider translated primary source material an essential component of the discussion for both conveying what I believe and why I believe it.

 

Since you are the moderator, you have the authority to silence me, and I submit to that authority, as I am called to do in scripture:

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (1Pet2)

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HA made an excellent and well reasoned post, as did some others, but to expect a reasoned response at this point is folly. This is not a Christian we can have meaningful dialog with. We'd do better with end3! (Love you, end!)

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Since you are the moderator, you have the authority to silence me, and I submit to that authority, as I am called to do in scripture:

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust.(1Pet2)

 

I guess this is a test. Perhaps a challenge.

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Ben, along the lines of what you believe, I'm quite curious as to your use of the alleged historicity of the miracles of Jesus as the fundamental basis for your belief in Jesus' divinity, and ultimately your belief that we are all going to burn in an eternal hell (not trying to sound bombastic here, I just want to cut to the chase because hell is what I'd like to talk about). In post #184 on page 10 of the now defunct thread you started earlier, I mentioned a Hindu saint who did all the things Jesus did but was quite specific that God doesn't send people to hell for not converting to Christianity. I'd be interested to hear your comments on this.

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You know, barnacleben, at first I thought you were coming here to offer some genuine dialogue, but esp. from your #10 above, I'm led to conclude that you are an ass.  (You might want to quote a biblical verse about a donkey now - or even the one about Jesus sitting on two donkeys at once!)

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Ben, along the lines of what you believe, I'm quite curious as to your use of the alleged historicity of the miracles of Jesus as the fundamental basis for your belief in Jesus' divinity, and ultimately your belief that we are all going to burn in an eternal hell (not trying to sound bombastic here, I just want to cut to the chase because hell is what I'd like to talk about). In post #184 on page 10 of the now defunct thread you started earlier, I mentioned a Hindu saint who did all the things Jesus did but was quite specific that God doesn't send people to hell for not converting to Christianity. I'd be interested to hear your comments on this.

Bhim, really, what can he say?  If he were Reformed he might pull out B.B. Warfield's trusty old Counterfeit Miracles.  No true Scotsman around here.

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IMO, this troll has nothing to say. Many of us know the Scriptures by heart. If not, we can easily reference the document. I don't intend to wait long enough for the entire Bible to be reprinted here.

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Tell us something you believe that doesn't quote or ref a bible verse.

I believe it is really special that God made the force of gravity proportional to the inverse squared and not ~^2.091234482348498 or something. It makes gravity simple to mathematically model so that it can be easily introduced into a wide range of applied physics problems.

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I also respectfully disagree with your belief that I cannot productively argue my beliefs in discussion.

 

Well in 10 pages you didn't once.  All you did was quote the Bible like a robot.

 

 

 

I consider translated primary source material an essential component of the discussion for both conveying what I believe and why I believe it.

 

Yet you didn't provide any source material.  You do realize the oldest Bible fragments are 4th Century?  That is about 300 years after the time in question.  300 years of telephone.  300 years of reinventing, reinterpreting, remaking, remolding.  You've got it so backwards if you met somebody from the First Century Christianity you would see them as cult members and vice versa.

 

Clearly you consider religious propaganda to be translated primary source material when it isn't.

 

 

 

 

 

Since you are the moderator, you have the authority to silence me, and I submit to that authority, as I am called to do in scripture:

Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme,or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.

Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. (1Pet2)

 

 

And you go right back to quoting the Bible like a robot.  Clearly you cannot productively argue your beliefs.

 

The Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true because the Bible says the Bible is true  .  .  .   Wendybanghead.gif 

 

 

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Tell us something you believe that doesn't quote or ref a bible verse.

I believe it is really special that God made the force of gravity proportional to the inverse squared and not ~^2.091234482348498 or something. It makes gravity simple to mathematically model so that it can be easily introduced into a wide range of applied physics problems.

 

 

God didn't do that.  I did.  I like it better that way.

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I am interested in an answer to my question - how you think you have the true church and "absolution" whatever that means outside the Catholic Church.

There is only one church, the catholic(small "c") church, the bride of Christ, comprised of all the saints living and dead. Every believer who repents and trusts in Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins is in the true church. Absolution is simply the forgiveness of sins in Jesus proclaimed to you.

 

It is completely understandable why someone like Jeffrey Dahmer would turn to Jesus at the end. After all - it doesn't matter how heinous the crimes, just pray to Jesus and its all forgiven!

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound. You sound like Jonah:

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God relented of the disaster that he had said he would do to them, and he did not do it.

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “O Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relenting from disaster. Therefore now, O Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live. (Jonah3-4)

 

The Assyrians were famous for raping people to death and then wearing their rotting heads as a necklace. But Jesus said:

The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. (Matt12)

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The gospel isn't proof of anything.  A book can't prove itself.  The proof you believe exists outside of that ancient text does not.  You're continuous quoting of scripture only magnifies the fact that you haven't sincerely investigated this aspect of your faith much at all.  If you go to sources that are also believers themselves, what kind of data do you think you're going to find?

You say this as if it is somehow reasonable to expect that there would be some people who met the risen Christ who are unbelievers. You need to adjust your expectations.

In reality, you should expect that those who had seen would believe. And while you might expect those who had never met Jesus to go to their deaths hoping in the promise they had received, you would never expect those who knew they were proclaiming a lie choose miserable deaths for that lie, rather than recant. Even in their deaths they looked to the hope they had in the resurrection, which they had seen and which Jesus had promised them.

 

An objective search on the history of Christianity, Jesus and many of the characters in the bible only lead to more and more questions. 

Fortunately, the Bible has been subjected to more scrutiny, criticism, and testing than any other collection of works in existence, it is no stranger to questions.

 

 

Add to that the current evidence that there is no benefit to being a Christian.

Certainly not in this life:

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

...If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”(1 Cor 15)

 

I mean, there's not evidence for Christianity anywhere... Way back then and even here and now!  It's just a bunch of claims and many of them are outright incorrect! 

What do you mean by the word evidence?

 

God is love, love is not jealous, God is jealous.  God favors no one, unless you're a believer.  Lot offers his virgin daughters over to people that wanted to harm his family and God is silent, but look over your shoulder and he'll turn your ass to salt!!!

 

 

God favors no one, unless you're a believer. 

God favors everyone:

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (1Jn2)

 

As I live, declares the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ez33)

 

God favors no one, unless you're a believer.  Lot offers his virgin daughters over to people that wanted to harm his family and God is silent, but look over your shoulder and he'll turn your ass to salt!!!

One of those daughters was Jesus' great-grandmother.

 

but look over your shoulder and he'll turn your ass to salt!!!

She was Jesus' great-grandmother too.

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You believe whatever your chosen religious authority tells you to believe.  You are a slave.

I Christ I am free, but those who do not believe are slaves to sin and unbelief:

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.(Jn8)

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