Moderator Hierophant Posted December 23, 2018 Moderator Share Posted December 23, 2018 It is coming up on a year since I left the faith and became agnostic in my view of religion, and specifically Christianity. In the past few months, I had a few conversations with family members and co-workers who are still in the faith about the cerebral problems I have with cogency of Christian theology, science versus biblical narratives, higher biblical criticism, as well as lower criticism, and through it, I have picked up a few trends I keep running into. Usually when I start honing in on various problems, the biggest rebuttal I hear is, “it is all about faith/trust in Jesus.” This is especially true whenever I start discussing church history regarding differing views on marriage versus celibacy, poverty versus riches, defining sin, and etcetera. I take issue when I hear it is all about just having faith, because all Christian groups do not actually believe this is the bottom line, there is always a catch. Let us be frank, after you “have a little talk with Jesus,” then you need to conform to a certain set of rules depending on which denomination you are dealing with. If it was really just about having trust in Jesus to save you, then why do people get so bent about sex, movies, language, ethics, and the rest of the gambit? At the end of the day, it cannot be just about having faith, and nobody really believes that. It is speaking out of both sides of the mouth. This kind of double talk is rampant when I am in these discussions with believers. My favorite times are when they retreat to ambiguity, or will start saying the Bible does not teach mainstream orthodoxy beliefs. For example, I have had a few discussions with a colleague at work who constantly contradicts himself sentence by sentence, to rationalize his belief system. The other day I had him cornered in his argument when I asked him why an all loving, all knowing, omnibenevolent, omnipresent, God who supposedly hates sin so much he is going to put sinners on a spit and roast them for eternity, would actually create the capacity to sin in the first place. My thought on this was that if we take a really high view of a constant theme in the Bible, it is that God is just super upset about sin, rebellion, whatever you want to call it. If that is indeed the case, I find it extremely myopic that said God would then create creatures even capable of committing sin. I know the typical apologetic response will be, “freewill.” Yeah, that is great, but surely a solution would be to create beings with freewill who are only ever able to make choices that fall in the domain of acceptable to YHWH. Considering this further, if YHWH created everything, then he also created the capacity for his creation to sin, then he must not hate sin that much; for if he did, then the capacity for sin would not exist. Created beings could only ever choose “good.” How would that not be a win-win for everyone? Whenever I bring this argument up, I can see the mental squirming. My colleague said, “The Bible does not teach that.” When I asked him “what,” he basically stated the Bible does not teach that God contains all those characteristics I stated above. I could only give him a blank stare because he knows that is not what he believes, nor any other Christian you talk to, and he only said it to get out of a tight spot. Maybe my argument is flawed and I have not considered other possibilities, but it just strikes me odd that the God of the Bible who hates sin so much that he is willing to torture people, who he supposedly loves so much, but he never took steps to make sure such a horrific scenario did not play out. 2 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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