12 Painful Facts about Christianity

From http://michaelsherlockauthor.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/12-painful-facts-about-christianity/:

Fact 1: The earliest gospel, Mark, was written over a generation (40 years) after the alleged death of Jesus, and subsequently fails the historical test of contemporaneity. (1)

Fact 2: Of the 662 verses in the Gospel of Matthew, 612 were plagiarised from the Gospel of Mark (or “Mark’s” source). (2)

Fact 3: None of the gospels were written by the alleged authors and two of which, “John” (See “John” 21:24) and “Luke,” (See “Luke” 1:1-4) specifically state that they were not eyewitnesses to Jesus. (3)

Fact 4: The gospels contain forgeries, contradictions and errors. (4)

Fact 5: The four gospels were not selected as Scripture until 180 CE (approx.) (5)

Fact 6: There are no first century witnesses outside of the corrupt and biased gospels that attest to the earthly existence of Jesus Christ, but for a forged passage in the work of the Jewish Historian, Josephus (Testamoniam Flavium), and a second reference in that work, which is also suspect and in no way represents a specific reference to the Jesus of the gospels. (6)

Fact 7: Almost all of the myths and moral philosophies attributed to Jesus can be found in earlier mythologies, held by people that were proximate to the lands in which the gospels first arose. (7)

Fact 8: Most of the earliest Christians believed that Jesus was either a phantom (non-human apparition) or a completely human Jewish rabbi. (8)

Fact 9: Christianity only rose to power due to its blatant disregard for its own Scripture, meaning, it aligned itself with a psychotic “pagan” emperor, Constantine, who boiled his wife in a hot tub, murdered his son and executed his co-emperor, and who, merely used Christianity to solidify his sole emperorship, evidenced by the fact that he continued to practice his pagan faith and mint his coins with Mithras (pagan sun-god), long after his alleged conversion. (9)

Fact 10: The sect of Christians that aligned themselves with Constantine became known as the Catholic (Universal) Church and their chief historian, Eusebius, re-wrote Christian history to present a false picture that favored his sect and made it look like his group’s theology, found in our four gospels, was always the dominant and original form, when such was not likely the case. (10)

Fact 11: For the majority of its history (4th Century ~ 19th Century), Christianity has been a violent religion, which, like a deadly virus, has taken over its hosts and killed in order to spread. (11)

Fact 12: The only reason we see more psychotic behavior from religious nuts in Islamic countries today, versus Western countries, is because the West has become increasingly secular. (12)

Why America Loves Religious Con Artists

The Lard magically brought my attention to this glorious article in the latest edition of Reader’s Digest magazine. It does not mention religious con artists (for obvious reasons, I think), but what is said in the article certainly applies to them as well.

Con artists are greedy hucksters who sell us possibilities that never come true.

This is what religion is all about, and religious con men have been selling the masses an invisible and imaginary product that they can’t claim until after they die for thousands of years. The Catholic Church has made a fortune off of the myth of Christ. Pope Leo X is alleged to have admitted as much with this famous quote: “What Profit has not that Fable of Christ Brought Us!” The Christian Church has been selling the promise of salvation and eternal life for two thousand years or so now, and it’s nothing but a myth and a lie. Death gives every appearance of being the end of our conscious existence, so there is nothing to claim and no awesome afterlife with Jesus to enjoy after this life is over. Faith healers such as Benny Hinn always have been and always will be con artists who make fortunes bilking gullible and often desperate people out of a hell of a lot of money. People like Joel Osteen (pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX) and Joyce Meyer have made fortunes off of selling “feel good” spiritual/religious bullshit to their followers. Paul Crouch (founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), now deceased) and Pat Robertson (founder of Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN)) have made fortunes off of religion, thanks to constant pleas for money in exchange for promises of blessings from an nonexistent God. Brother Pat at least used to make quite a show of pretending to be hearing from God on his 700 Club TV show, claiming to magically know of their ailments through the power of the Holy Spook and claiming that God was healing them, especially if the viewers in question would simply reach out and touch their TV set in faith! I’m not sure if he’s still doing that or not since I have not watched the show in years, but what I once took seriously when I was a believer, I now find amusing and entertaining. But, of course, it’s also sad because those same gullible people allegedly being healed are often bilked out of their money as well. And then, of course, there are televangelists such as Robert Tilton (of Farting Preacher fame on YouTube) who make a fortune promising gullible believers that if they send in a $1000 “vow of faith” that God will open the windows of Heaven and rain down financial blessings upon them. And, of course, Robert Tilton gets rich while the gullible religious fools are left $1000 poorer, and the sad thing is that these are often desperate people who didn’t have the $1000 to spare. Oral Roberts was famous for his “seed faith” concept which made him a fortune, and of course it has been copied by many televangelists with lucrative financial results for them. The point here is that religion is nothing but a scam and a con game, and it’s been running successfully for thousands of years, because credulous people who want it all to be true keep buying into the myths and the lies and the false promises.

The curious thing, as the University of Pennsylvania historian Walter McDougall writes, is that “far from despising flimflam artists as parasites or worse, American popular culture habitually celebrates rascals as comedic figures.” Think of the movies of W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers; think of The Sting and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Even bleaker depictions, like David Mamet’s, get us to admire the dexterity with which con artists persuade people to part with their money.

This is often sadly true, but I find nothing at all admirable about religious con men bilking gullible and often desperate people out of a ton of money. People such as Pat Robertson, Benny Hinn, Joel Osteen, and the late Paul Crouch are not people who should be looked up to or admired, and of course neither are con men such as Oral Roberts or Robert Tilton. They should all be despised for the heartless con men that they are. But instead, gullible religious people flock to hear them and eagerly part with their money hoping to receive financial blessings or divine healing from God in return. And, of course, the false and empty promises go unfulfilled 100% of the time, yet people never seem to learn, so the con game goes on unabated by that pesky thing called REALITY.

As the sociologist Alex Preda writes, “Talent for persuasion is key: After all, the public must be convinced to part with their money on the basis of the simple promise that an idea will yield profit in the future.” Successful entrepreneurship involves hucksterism, the ability to convince investors and employees that they should risk their money, their time, and their effort on you. Like a con artist, you’re peddling optimism. As Mel Weinberg (the model for Christian Bale’s character in American Hustle) put it in Robert Greene’s book The Sting Man, “It’s my philosophy to give hope … That’s why most people don’t turn us in to the cops. They keep hopin’ we’re for real.”

Persuasive religious con men have been convincing gullible and often desperate people to part with their money for centuries, promising a glorious afterlife or divine healing or financial blessings in the here and now in return. And, of course, the glorious afterlife is a myth that the faithful will never receive, as is divine healing. And financial blessings in the here and now for turning cash over to a televangelist? That will, of course, never happen either. Most, if not all, televangelists should be in prison for financial fraud (at the very least), but because the con game is popular and is bought into faithfully by millions of gullible believers, the con men stay free to enjoy their ill-begotten fortunes.

Of course, the fundamental difference between entrepreneurs and con artists is that con artists ultimately know that the fantasies they’re selling are lies. Steve Jobs, often enough, could make those fantasies come true. Still, that unquantifiable mélange of risk, hope, and hype provides both the capitalist’s formula for transforming the world and the con artist’s stratagem for turning your money into his money. Maybe there’s a reason we talk about the American Dream.

I have little doubt, personally, that most religious con men know that the bullshit (lies, religious fantasies) they are selling is just exactly that — BULLSHIT. They certainly are living the American Dream of self-made wealth, but not in the way I would want to do it. They are criminals and they should be viewed as such, yet the religious public loves them. I find nothing worthy of admiration in making a fortune off of bilking gullible and often desperate people out of millions of dollars by selling them a pack of myths and lies and false promises. Yet, no matter how often these con artists are called out publicly for the charlatans that they are, the con game will go on because people want to believe that it is all for real, and religious con men will continue to make a fortune off of that unfortunate hopeful but gullible part of human nature.

Aggressive Atheism is Becoming the New Extremism

Saw this posted to Facebook a few minutes ago, from the folks at Ultimate Atheism:

atheist extremism

My response on Facebook:

Exactly. In this country (the USA), it is perfectly okay to indoctrinate children with fear-based ancient myths, legends, and lies and it is perfectly okay to threaten them with the morally reprehensible concept of Hell. It’s also perfectly acceptable to publicly damn gays to Hell and suggest that they should be stoned to death. It’s also perfectly okay to damn atheists to Hell and ignore everything reasonable that they have to say. And, of course, it’s perfectly okay to insist that your ridiculous religious myths get “equal time” in the science classroom. It’s also perfectly okay, if you are a Republican believer, to vote against your own interests (if you are female or happen to be poor) and to legislate and discriminate against gays, women and the poor.

But, somehow, it’s not okay to publicly call religion out for the harmful mythological bullshit that it is and somehow it’s not okay to stand up for reason and science. And, of course, somehow, it’s not okay to stand up for gay rights since an ancient book written by ignorant ancient goat herders says it’s a sin worthy of death.

I make no apologies at all for being an outspoken atheist. I am doing my part to try to make this world a better place, while religious believers are busy hating on entire groups of people and blowing people up by the thousands and flying airplanes into buildings. And, of course, they are busy too damning everybody who doesn’t believe the right ancient bullshit in the correct way to eternal torment in a flaming Hell.

I am SO happy to be FREE, and I will continue to share that FREEDOM openly and publicly, and I will continue to call religion exactly what it is — ANCIENT BULLSHIT THAT HARMS THE ENTIRE WORLD, as well as individual believers. If you think that is extreme, tough shit. I’m out to change the world for the BETTER, and I won’t be shut up by people, well-meaning though they may be, who take ancient myths about talking snakes and magic fruit from magic trees seriously… and who call an ancient collection of books full of shocking brutality the “word” of God…

From Atheism to Christianity – A Review – Part 5

This is Part 5 of this glorious series responding to this article.

As Lewis puts it in Mere Christianity, the difficulty we face as fallen human beings, whether we realise it or not, is that we are alienated from our Creator because the moral imperfection we have inherited from our rebellious ancestors – our wrong thoughts and motives, as well as our bad behaviour – inevitably separates us from God. This may seem unjust, extreme, and hard to believe, since we are accustomed to being a mixture of good and bad (‘nobody’s perfect!’ we say), and cannot, in our fallen state, altogether help being imperfect. But the problem is that our Creator God is not only Love, but Goodness and Justice personified, and therefore infinitely ‘holy’ – to use the language of the Bible. This means that He cannot overlook our moral failings and be united to us in love, since His perfect character is repelled by our sinfulness. His justice demands that the human race should bear the full destructive consequences of turning away from Him and flouting His will. We personally may not have rebelled against God at the dawn of history, but like all human beings since that time, we have been morally and spiritually damaged by the severance of that spiritual umbilical cord between God and Man which used to exist in the Garden of Eden. God’s love and goodness and joy can no longer flow unimpeded through us, because our human nature has been corrupted and we have become broken vessels that cannot retain the water of divine life. That is to look at our situation from God’s point of view. If we examine it from our own human perspective, the problem doesn’t get any easier. In order to be reconciled to God, the debt owed to Him by our wrong-doing must be paid, but we are morally and spiritually bankrupt. Reconciliation with God also requires perfect repentance, but it takes a good person to repent since repentance involves not only eating humble pie and saying sorry to God, but also surrendering our lives to Him. If we want to reconnect with our Creator, we must abandon our self-centredness, but the problem is that the worse we are, and the prouder we are, the harder it is for us to do this.

An entire paragraph of religious nonsense written by a man clearly unfamiliar with the Old Testament or even with the unpleasant and brutal parts of the New Testament. As I have pointed out before, the God of the Bible is not loving and he is certainly not moral or holy. He is a murderous, genocidal maniac who makes Hitler look like an awesome guy by comparison. Goodness, Love, and Justice personified would not order or directly commit mass murder and genocide on multiple occasions. Goodness, Love, and Justice personified would not kill billions of people in very unpleasant ways (see the book of Revelation, if it were to come true in today’s modern world) simply for failing to believe the right things about the correct god in the correct way. Goodness, Love, and Justice would not send even a single human being to a place where they would be tormented endlessly without any hope of reprieve, forever, for ANY reason.

Fallen human beings? That myth is based on an absurd ancient creation myth involving two obviously mythical people, a talking snake, magic trees, and magic fruit! Mankind is not “fallen”. We simply are what we are as a result of millions of years of biological evolution, and like every other creature on this planet, we have evolved to be suited to our environment. Otherwise, we would not be capable of surviving. We are not perfect, but there never was a time when we were! Human nature is not broken or corrupted. I have been on this earth for 48 years now, and yes I have met some bad people in my time, but the vast majority of the people I have met have been good, whether they were religious or not. And, it just so happens that I have many friends online at http://www.ex-christian.net who, like me, used to Christians. We are not bad people because we don’t believe in God and we don’t believe in Jesus anymore. The people I know over there are all good, kind, decent, moral, loving, caring and compassionate. And they almost all are now atheists! Glory!

Given this dilemma, what did God have to do to resolve it? How could He reconcile His justice with His mercy? How could He save the human beings He had created in love from the consequences they had brought upon themselves by the misuse of their free will? How, in other words, could God save us from death and separation from Him in eternity? And let’s be clear what this involves, however upsetting it may be. To be separated from God in eternity, means to be consciously and forever separated from the source of all life, all love, all joy, all truth, and all beauty. That is an indescribably terrible fate, about which Jesus spoke with real horror in the Gospels, but it is what we all risk if we refuse to accept God’s rescue plan for ourselves. So what, then, is God’s rescue plan? How can we be reconnected with our Creator?

The God of the Bible is not just and he is not merciful. God did not create us. Like all other living creatures on this planet, we are the product of millions of years of biological evolution. If I remember correctly, the earliest hominid species is approximately two billion years old, but don’t quote me on that… Consequences because two obviously mythical people ate magic fruit from a magic tree because a lying talking snake talked them into it? Gimme a fucking break… The God of the Bible is not life, love, joy, truth, or beauty. READ YOUR OWN DAMN HOLY BOOK and rip those damn Jesus Goggles off when you do it, and you will see that for yourself! The words which Jesus allegedly spoke were put into his mouth decades after he allegedly lived and died by anonymous authors who most certainly were not eyewitnesses of the events portrayed in the Gospels. It’s been a while since I actually read any of the Gospels, but I’m pretty sure it was Jesus who introduced the morally reprehensible concept of Hell to scripture. If he would send me or any other human being there for ANY reason at all, then he is not good, loving, or holy and he is not worthy of worship. God’s rescue plan was to sacrifice Himself to Himself to save us from Himself, which is absurd!

According to Lewis, God could only save us by becoming a human being and dying on our behalf, because only in this way could He enable us to go through that process of dying to self without which true repentance and reconnection with Him is impossible. Just as we are enabled to think because God created our minds and nurtures our intelligence, so, argues Lewis, we can now repent of our sins and give ourselves to God, because the capacity to die to self is now part of God’s divine nature in Jesus, and can therefore be communicated to us through our union with Him. Our ability, if we choose, to be reunited with God, was also won for us by Jesus because, as Man, and therefore our representative, His death on the cross paid the debt owed to God’s justice by human sin. Like a judge who imposes a fine on his guilty son and then takes off his judge’s robe and pays that fine himself, so Jesus, God the Son Incarnate, suffered the penalty of sin in our place. But since He was and is divine as well as human, He overcame death and rose from the grave on our behalf, having torn down the barrier separating fallen human beings from their Creator. That is the meaning of the Atonement and the Resurrection.

Stories of dying and rising gods were around long before the time in which Jesus supposedly lived and died. This is yet another paragraph of mythological and ridiculous religious nonsense. God did not create our minds and he does not nurture our intelligence. Our brains and our minds evolved over a period of several million years, as did our intelligence. Vicarious substitutionary atonement is a barbaric doctrine that has no place in our modern civilized world, yet it is embedded within our common Western psyche as being something good and holy. I wrote recently on the subject, and here’s the link:

http://religionisbullshit.me/doctrine-substitutionary-atonement/

This video from Christopher Hitchens on the same subject is also good:

This concludes Part 5 of this glorious series. Part 6 is coming soon! Glory!

An Observation made by a Christian

My Christian friend Jeremy posted this observation on his Facebook page a couple of weeks ago or so.

Don’t take this the wrong way, just making an observation: It’s pretty cool when you study the authenticity of scripture and the bible that… yup, it’s not just a bunch of “stories”, but also very historic. And this is widely agreed upon worldwide … not that I ever doubted it, but it’s fun to put the pieces together for my own eyes!
I’ve heard people say ignorant things like “Jesus wasn’t real”…
Jesus was very real and actually religions that may ‘not’ call him God almighty in flesh, like I believe, agree on the fact he was real lol and even testify of his power!

My response:

What authenticity of scripture? We don’t even know who wrote most of it, and that includes the Gospels, which are the only records we have of the life of Jesus, aside from a few disputed extra-biblical references. The Bible absolutely is, for the most part, “just a bunch of stories” that ancient men made up. The Bible contains a great deal of myth and legend. In fact, the first eleven chapters of Genesis, including the two contradictory and absurd creation myths (two obviously mythical people, an omniscient God who clearly is not all-knowing, a talking snake, magic trees, and magic fruit! Gimme a fucking break…Oh, and let’s not forget the magical flaming sword meant to keep the two obviously mythical people out of the obviously mythical Garden of Eden..), are known to be myth. The Bible also contains hundreds of meaningful contradictions (see http://bibviz.com/ for a graphical representation of them that conveniently ties them all together), many atrocious accounts of God either ordering or directly committing mass murder and genocide (for examples click here and here, and much known bad alleged history. The Bible does not fare well when it reports history, and it’s actually this fact that is now widely agreed upon worldwide. Even the Gospels are now known not to be history and they are certainly not eyewitness accounts. All four Gospels were written decades after the events that they purport to portray allegedly took place, and they were all written anonymously. The Gospels are now known to be myth, as Dr. Richard Carrier explains clearly and brilliantly in this video:

People who claim that Jesus wasn’t or isn’t real are not being ignorant. They are going with the best evidence and biblical scholarship currently available and are telling you the truth. There may well have been a historical Jesus who was an itinerant apocalyptic Jewish preacher. But the only accounts that we have of his alleged life are the four canonical Gospels, and they are so loaded down with myth and legendary development that little, if anything, remains that can be known of the historical man. Stories of dying and rising gods were around thousands of years before Jesus allegedly lived, and several events in the alleged life of Jesus are closely and strikingly similar (see http://www.pocm.info/ for more info on this fact). Jesus as depicted in the Gospels (though he is presented very differently in each gospel) also ranks very high on Lord Raglan’s Hero scale, which is a huge clue that the Gospel stories about him are myth rather than history.

Two books that I highly recommend that make a very good case for the “Jesus Myth” theory are:

Nailed: Ten Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed At All
http://www.amazon.com/Nailed-Christian-Myths-Jesus-Existed-ebook/dp/B007GPG290/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411345656&sr=1-1

The Jesus Puzzle: Did Christianity Begin with a Mythical Christ?
http://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Puzzle-Christianity-Challenging-Historical/dp/096892591X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411345764&sr=1-1

This is my review of “Nailed”: http://religionisbullshit.me/nailed/. I was quite impressed with the book. For a much more critical review of it, please see http://armariummagnus.blogspot.com/2011/05/nailed-ten-christian-myths-that-show.html?m=1.

Jesus as he is depicted in the Gospels quite clearly was not and is not real. If the historical man did indeed exist, he most certainly was not divine and not God in the flesh. Most major world religions may indeed agree that Jesus lived in history, but they do not “testify to his power.” Orthodox Jews, in fact, maintain several well known “anti-missionary” sites that thoroughly debunk Christian claims about what they call the Old Testament (Jews call it the Torah or Tanakh) and they make it quite clear that Jesus was not the Jewish Messiah. Here is just one example of what Jews have to say about Jesus.

You are free to make public any observation you wish to about your imaginary god or your mythical Jesus. Just don’t expect those of us who know better to remain silent on the issue. 😉 For the record, I saw your post the other day claiming that the name of Jesus is powerful and that it is the name above every name. I’m here to tell you that the name of Jesus has no power whatsoever in the real world, magical or otherwise. The Jesus of the Bible is a myth, and there is nothing that you can say or do to change that fact. Glory!

Exorcism Help Video

Are you in need of a professional exorcism? Just relax and praise the Holy Farter as I take authority over the evil spooks that are magically inhabiting your inner spook and cast them out gloriously in the powerfully magical Name of JESUS! Glory!

New Creations in Christ?

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. – 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV

This is one of the first things new Christian believers are taught after their conversion, is that they are new creations in Christ, and that their old sin natures are dead and gone, crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). New believers soon find out, however, that though they are religious now, their old “sin nature” keeps cropping up and interfering with their good intentions to live an exemplary Christian life. The Christian life is depicted as a constant battle between the flesh (the old dead sinful man) and the Spirit (the new man, the new creation in Christ). Paul discussed this spiritual battle at some length in Romans, chapter 7. And Paul reminds us in Romans 8:11: “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” In Romans 12:1-2, Paul advises us to renew our minds and not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

But is any of this actually for real? Is there such a thing as spiritual rebirth (John 3:3-7) and transformation (Romans 12:1-2), or is it just something that sounds good on the surface but isn’t actually real? Unfortunately for Christians, the latter happens to be the case. There is no God, and therefore there is no such thing as salvation or spiritual rebirth. There is no Christ to be made new in, and no Holy Spirit to transform their lives and lead them into all truth (John 16:13).

So, the Christian life, rather than being a real battle against real spiritual forces (see Ephesians 6:12) (a forged book, by the way) and the old sin nature, is a battle to try to live up to impossible standards. Christians are expected to be “perfect as their Heavenly Father is perfect (See Matthew 5:48). And, of course, every time a Christian believer fails to “be like Christ” and falls far short of the ideal perfection of God, which of course is often, religious fear, guilt, and shame set it. It’s a never ending roller coaster of managing to live right for a while by sheer willpower (though the claim is that it is by the power of God), until, inevitably, a sinful thought or act occurs, and then the believer must ask forgiveness. And then, inevitably, they will sin again, and once again the religious fear, guilt and shame set in, and the believer has to ask for forgiveness. And, of course, believers sin all the time, because nothing about them has changed, expect for the addition of religious beliefs that have the potential to do them a great deal of psychological harm.

God is not for real, there is no such thing as sin, and there is no such thing as salvation. Humans have no spirit or soul that needs to be saved or “reborn”. Fundamentalist Christianity is a miserable roller coaster ride of trying and ultimately failing to please a nonexistent God, and the result is many trips through the hellish depths of religious fear, guilt, and shame.

No matter how much religious activity a believer engages in (prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading), the result is still exactly the same. After the religious high wears off, it’s right back to the miserable roller coaster ride from hell. Real, lasting positive transformation rarely occurs, and if it does, it is of course due the the person’s own efforts to improve themselves rather than the Holy Spirit transforming them from the inside out.

Of course, rather than living lives that are victorious in Christ (see Romans 8), believers are left with the disappointment of still being exactly what they were before they got “saved” — imperfect, fallible human beings. The forged book of 2 Peter claims that we are partakers of the divine nature of God (2 Peter 1:4). But, yet again, it is another false belief and false promise. There is no divine nature to partake of, so believers are left high and dry once again, to live with religious fear, guilt and shame on the spiritual roller coaster from hell.

If you are a Christian who happens to be reading this, then please think about it! Aren’t you tired of the sin/repentance sin/repentance roller coaster of religious life? Isn’t it time to jump off of the religious roller coaster from hell, embrace the world as it really is, and live a life of JOY and FREEDOM? The ironic thing is that religious believers are promised a life of blessings and happiness in Christ, but happiness only actually comes, in most cases, when believers walk away from the faith and face the world as it actually is head on, and they learn to accept themselves as they are — imperfect and fallible, but good. There is no God. There is no such thing as sin. There is no such thing as salvation, and there is no Christ to be made new in and grow in.

I couldn’t possibly be happier these days as an ex-Christian atheist! I am no longer on that religious roller coaster from hell, and I haven’t been for sixteen years. I am FREE, and you can be too! Glory!

From Atheism to Christianity – a Review – Part 4

This glorious post is Part 4 of a glorious review of this article. Parts 1, 2, and 3 can be found here, here, and here.

In addition to convincing me of the inherent reasonableness of the New Testament record of Jesus’ miracles, Lewis’s writings also helped me to understand why the Christian concept of God as a union of three persons within one Godhead (the ‘Trinity’) made sense, and why ‘God the Son’, the second person of that ‘Trinity’, had to come down into our world as Jesus, to ‘die for our sins’ and conquer death on our behalf.

There is nothing reasonable about miracles, whether we are referencing the alleged miracles of Jesus or the alleged miracles of Allah (such as Muhammad’s winged horse flying to the moon), or the alleged miracles performed by Hindu gods (such as Ganesh drinking milk). As I have pointed out in previous posts, the Gospels are not history. They are myth written decades afer the supposed life and death of Jesus, and not much else. There is absolutely nothing sensible about the doctrine of the Trinity! The Trinity is three Gods who are also somehow magically Each Other, yet they are also somehow magically separate and distinct co-eternal Persons who are all equally divine and all God. Please explain to me how this absurd nonsense “makes sense” to you. I would love to know… The concept that God had to sacrifice Himself to Himself to save us from Himself makes no rational sense at all! There is no such thing as sin. Sin is a religious concept with no demonstrable basis in reality. Myths about dying and rising gods have been around for thousands of years, yet not a single one of them is real and not a single one of them has actually conquered death, and that certainly includes Jesus.

As Lewis explains in his most readable book, Mere Christianity, God is Love personified since, as our Creator, He is the divine source and origin of all human (and animal) love. But since love involves relationships between people, we should not be altogether surprised to discover that God in His own Being is a loving union of three distinct persons – described in the New Testament as ‘Father’, ‘Son’, and ‘Holy Spirit’. It is of course true that this revelation may at first appear startling and strange, but it does not seem unreasonable once you think about it. The same thing applies to the apparently perplexing and contradictory notion of unity in diversity. How can God be a union of ‘three-in-one’? Well, says Lewis, what appears to be an impossibility in our dimension of being is not necessarily an impossibility in God’s dimension of Being. To use his very helpful analogy, you can’t picture a union of six separate squares in a two dimensional world, but you can picture a cube in a three dimensional world. So just as a cube is one body made up of six separate squares, so God is one Being made up of three separate persons. Again, this revelation may come as a shock, but it does not seem unreasonable. And this, argues Lewis, is another reason why Christianity has that strange ‘ring of truth’. It gives us information about God which no-one would ever have thought of making up, yet still manages to make some kind of sense. It involves a mystery about God which goes beyond our human understanding but not against it, which is surely what we ought to expect if there is a God.

The God of the Bible is hardly love personified, and he could hardly be said to be the source of all human and animal love. Try actually reading the Old Testament and then try, after reading the numerous accounts of God either ordering or directly committing mass murder and genocide, telling me that this God is loving. Even the New Testament doesn’t cast God in a very good light. In Acts 5, he murders two people simply for lying to him about their finances, and if the book of Revelation were to come true in today’s modern world, billions of non-Christian people would die horribly and then be sent to hell to be tormented endlessly with no hope of reprieve, forever. For a fuller treatment of the character of the Bible God, please see these links:

http://religionisbullshit.me/the-character-of-the-bible-god-2/

http://religionisbullshit.me/character-god-revisited/

The doctrine of the Trinity doesn’t make sense to me no matter how much I think about it. Three Gods who are somehow magically Each Other while at the same time being three separate and distinct Persons does not make rational sense! Every argument I have heard in defense of the Trinity has not made sense or has been absurd, and this one is no exception. That’s always a defense of religious concepts that are irrational, isn’t it? They are a “mystery that is beyond our human understanding.” I think it is much easier and much more honest to simply call it the absurd mythological bullshit that it is! Christianity has no “ring of truth” to it whatsoever, and of course concepts such as the Trinity can be made up by men, and that it obviously the case here! Nonsensical doctrines and obvious myths is not at all what I would expect from a real, existing God who was interested in revealing himself to mankind. If God actually exists, he could easily clear up the religious confusion that exists in the world by making an appearance and letting us know who he is and what he wants of us. Yet, thus far, except in the stuff of ancient myths, he has failed to do so.

I must emphasise, at this point, that the Christian concept of the Trinitarian nature of God is not something that Christian theologians simply invented many decades after Jesus’ death and resurrection. It emerged quickly and naturally as Jesus’ first disciples and followers came to understand the logical implications of His life and teachings, and reflected on what He Himself had said about His relationship and union with His ‘Father’. And since love was and is at the heart of that relationship, and explains why God created the universe and gave us the gift of life, it also tells us why His rescue plan for the human race necessitated His arrival in our world as a human being, and His cruel death under Pontius Pilate.

The alleged resurrection (Magical Undeadening) of Jesus is an obvious myth, and not a real historical event. Of course Christian theologians invented the Trinity just as they invented everything else about the religion. Religion is entirely man-made and that is a glaringly obvious fact to everyone except the religious, of course. The doctrine of the Trinity was not made official in Christian thought until the Council of Nicea in the year 325 AD. Relevant link:

http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/trinity.htm

God’s “rescue plan” is absurd! God had to brutally torture Himself and sacrifice Himself to Himself to save us from Himself? Or, in more humorous terms, Jesus (the Magic Sky Man) had to be brutally tortured by the Sky Him version of Himself and then He had to sacrifice Himself to Himself to save us from the Holy Farter version of Himself? Just how, exactly, does this absurd nonsense make rational sense to you?

As I have already pointed out, the God of the Bible is not loving, and he did not create the universe. I will not get into a deep discussion of cosmology because it’s not my field of expertise at all, but the universe was created approximately 13.7 billion years ago by the process known as the Big Bang. It had absolutely nothing to do with a god speaking a powerful magical spell from Nowhere, presumably in Hebrew, as the Bible absurdly asserts. It is absurd to think that a God would create this enormous universe, which consists of billions of galaxies, with mankind in mind. As Carl Sagan so beautifully put it in his Pale Blue Dot:

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

This concludes Part 4 of this glorious series. Part 5 is coming soon! Glory!

What Heaven Means to Me Now

I posted this a while ago to Facebook, but the Spook of Kryasst who is also somehow magically Him magically inspired me to share it here too. My friend Scott asked me what the Christian heaven would have been like for me if it actually was for real, and what heaven means to me now. These are my thoughts. Glory!

My friend Scott asked me to paint a picture of what heaven would be like, if the Christian heaven were actually real, and what heaven on earth would look like to me right now.

I heard a lot preached back in my Christian days about how wonderful and awesome heaven was going to be, and for a short while there was a trend among popular TV evangelists to claim that they had visited heaven and to write books about it. Of course, the Christian public ate that up, and the TV evangelists made a ton of money off of their heaven fantasy books. I never really bought in to that, though, even though I was a hardcore believer at the time. It just seemed too convenient and like everybody was jumping on the “trip to heaven” bandwagon hoping to claim their share of that financial pie. Maybe I was beginning to WAKE UP to the fact that organized religion, in large part, is just a huge financial scam? But..that’s a topic for another time.

Anyway, my idea of Heaven when I was a very devout fundamentalist Christian believer was a place very much like an eternal Charismatic praise and worship service. Worship of God would always be occurring, and it always be and feel awesome beyond description. It would be TOTAL PEACE AND TOTAL JOY!! Of course, I always heard a lot about streets paved with gold and large mansions for us to live in. And Jesus, of course, would be there 24/7 (if heaven has an earth time schedule) for absolutely everybody, and He would meet our every need at all times without fail. And the scenery in Heaven, of course, puts Alaska or other incredibly beautiful spots on earth to shame.

My idea of heaven here on earth is somewhat different. Heaven to me now is standing up for science and reason and doing my part to make the world a better place by speaking out against fundamentalist religion. Heaven to me is BEING THERE for people who are questioning their religious beliefs and are beginning their journey out of the fundamentalist Christian cult and back to the REAL WORLD. For many people, that is a long and excruciatingly painful journey, and the psychological damage done by belief in concepts such as sin and by religious fears, and by emotional manipulation and abuse can literally take years to heal from. I LOVE to help people get FREE from religion, and that is heaven for me now.

Heaven for me also is helping others live healthier and more fulfilled lives. I am just beginning to get my health coaching business off the ground, and I know that these things take time, but I know it will happen for me if I put the time and effort necessary into it. If I can educate and motivate others to eat healthier and exercise in a way that is appropriate for them, then I am making a difference and that’s a “win” for both me and my clients. I also have some training for helping people deal with emotional and life issues, primarily by being a good listener and by asking what we call “high mileage” questions. Anyway, I am really looking forward to helping a lot of other people lead happier and healthier lives.

Alaska is a little piece of heaven for me. The scenery can’t be beat, and I love to get out in it, regardless of the season. Hiking and bike riding are fun in the summer months and occasional winter hikes and snowshoeing are fun during the winter months. I’m much more active outdoors during the warmer summer months, though.

Heaven for me too is visiting fun places in town, whether I spend any money or not. I eat out at Subway a few times a month, and thoroughly enjoy it. Visiting Bosco’s Comics and The Pack Rat Antiques store and Title Wave Books is always fun, whether I buy anything or not. And riding my bike to those places or out to the Dimond Mall is always a lot of fun too.

I’m already in heaven right here and right now on this earth! I don’t hope for another life after this one, nor do I feel the need for one. My friend Dan and I were just discussing how boring heaven would get if it lasted forever. Worshiping God? Sure, awesome for a while, if the Bible is wrong and God really is love as they claim. But, forever? It would get BORING! Hanging out with Jesus forever would eventually get BORING! Large mansions and golden streets would be awesome for a while, but eventually they would get BORING!

Life here on this earth is temporary, but that’s part of what makes it so GOOD! And now that I realize that it is quite temporary and that it can end at any moment, I realize the need to grab life by the horns and live it fully in the HERE and NOW! No one is guaranteed another day or even another second of life. Every single moment should be lived and embraced fully! When I am happy and feeling good, I embrace those good and positive emotions fully. Hiking, for example, makes me happy, and I do my best to soak up every blissful moment of it and I make sure to pay attention and soak in all of the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness while I am out there. When I am depressed, I feel that fully. When I am sad, I feel sad fully and let the emotions and tears flow, as I did recently when my mom’s wonderful and loving little dog Sally died. Her death hit us all really hard, and I cried and mourned publicly without shame. There is no shame in crying and no shame in publicly mourning the death of a loved one, no matter how many legs they happen to have.

My life is not perfect by any means. I have health challenges, chief among them right now being sleep quality. I have two doctors working with me on that issue and things are slowly improving. I am often tired from sleep deprivation, but that doesn’t keep me from still being happy and enjoying life. I need to lose about 30 pounds…again. Medication I had to take for a while for my bipolar disorder, chronic sleep deprivation, and poor dietary choices have put a lot of weight back on me in the last couple of years. But it is fixable, and I know that, and I intend to take care of it. But, even carrying that extra weight, I can still hike and bike for miles with no issues.

Heaven for me does not mean having a lot of money or having a life that is easy and free of major challenges. Heaven for me is facing life head on and facing the real world as it actually is, problems and challenges and all! Life has not turned out the way I thought it would when I was 18 years old. I could not have known at that time that I was severely mentally ill and that it would cause me very serious problems and many very unhappy years. But I am HAPPY NOW and I am so glad that I made it through those bad years. Now, I can help other mentally ill people feel better too. They are one of my major target markets for my health coaching business.

I am already in heaven. I don’t necessarily need another eternal life after I die. This life right here and right now is awesome! The very fact that it is temporary makes it that much more precious and that much more important to enjoy it while I am here and while I can!

Hope that makes sense. 🙂