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Biggest stumbling blocks with Christianity?

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    (Original post by Hravan)
    I'd forgotten.

    (Original post by mattatca)
    Instead of it becoming an arrogant claim it becomes an amazing and remarkably generous one... that no matter how bad you are you can know God and be loved by him!
    That is probably my biggest issue with Christianity.
    I would add to that the issue of making belief the criterion for salvation. You can be a totally bad person and believe in Jesus, and get into heaven forever; while if you have the wrong beliefs, you're screwed for eternity no matter how much a better person you are compared with the former. Even Mahatma Gandhi is in Hell according to fundamentalist Christianity, since he was a Hindu instead of a Christian. (The above video drives home this point pretty well.) And of course atheism is the gravest thought crime in this theology - even for atheists who find they cannot simultaneously believe in such dogma and maintain their intellectual integrity; even for those whose conscience won't permit them to do that. They are just screwed, period.

    If there is actual evidence that such teachings really come from God and such a God really exists, it will indeed be futile for humans to question such justice. After all, we are just ants in His ant farm. However, with fundamentalist Christianity what we have are the teachings of men (based on 2000-year-old mythology) purporting to come from God. As such, we can very much make the judgment on them and their sense of justice, just as we can judge their purported divine status. I personally consider them an obnoxious delusion and its adherents to be bigoted, arrogant and dogmatic ideologues with a highly twisted sense of justice and compassion.

    This thread is entitled "Biggest stumbling blocks with Christianity". Here I bring up another issue with fundamentalism. Fundamentalists call fundamentalist Christianity "Christianity", while many Christians do not accept such a hardline approach of biblical inerrancy. As such, they are effectively claiming the term "Christianity" as their intellectual property, which is grossly dishonest as it excludes many under that label, and then resort to the "no true scotsman fallacy" to claim "Well those aren't TRUE Christians". These teachings aren't Christianity, they are fundamentalism, and I strongly encourage those Christians who do not follow such a hardline dogmatic stance to object to this usage of the term "Christianity".

    You don't need to believe every word of the Bible to be a Christian, they are stories to help us live, not fact. Genesis is a creation myth, not science. Those who claim otherwise are basing their religion on blinkered dogmatism and idolatrous book-worship which is hardly the only foundation of a faith. The real message of Christianity is to love your neighbour, not "you have to believe in this dogma or you are screwed", an approach entirely absent from the 3 synoptic gospels. The former approach promotes pro-social behaviour and is beneficial to society. The latter approach promotes exclusivism and bigotry and does immense harm to society.

    Although it is rare for myself to find agreement with Lilio Candidor, I can wholeheartedly agree with his quote on another thread: "Fundamentalists are the Pharisees of modernity". (The Pharisees were the hypocritical Jewish religious leaders which Jesus condemned in the New Testament.)

    For a refreshingly different approach to the Christian faith in contrast with fundamentalist dogmatism and bigotry, as well as an ancient spiritual text which was almost lost forever, I suggest a look at the "heretical" Gospel of Thomas. Even atheists may find much to gain from it. It also suggests that Christianity may well have turned out very different had exclusivist dogmatism not prevailed in an authoritarian Church.
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    my objection towards Christianity is that we don't have enough evidence to even consider it as right.

    we need to ascertain there is a god first before we start reading books about him, and we haven't done that.

    an example would be that we have evidence gravity exists so i don't need a book to tell me it exists. once i know something exists i can go an read a book about it - what is gravity? how does it work? what is god? what does he want?
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    (Original post by RalphsDisciple)
    I believe in the Christian God, I believe in Jesus Christ, and I accept all the teachings of Jesus Christ himself. However, there are many things written in the Bible that didn't come from him, but came from one of the disciples, or someone else, that I just don't agree with.
    If you don't believe in scripture you cannot possibly believe in Jesus.

    Jesus affirmed the Old Testament


    Source of Authority

    When confronted by Satan, Jesus appealed to the Old Testament as a source of authority by stating, "It is written," (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).

    Imperishability
    "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished," (NASB, Matt. 5:18).

    Unbreakability
    "The Scripture cannot be broken," (NASB, Jn. 10:35).
    Source of Doctrinal Authority

    Jesus appealed to Scripture when correcting false doctrine stating, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God," (NASB, Matt. 22:29).

    Truthfulness
    "Your word is truth," (NASB, Jn. 17:17).
    Historical Reliability

    Jesus affirmed the historical existence of Jonah (Matt. 12:40), Noah (Matt. 24:37-38), and Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-6).
    Scientific Reliability

    Jesus affirmed that God created the world (Mk. 13:19; cf. Matt. 19:4).
    Old Testament Canonicity

    Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill," (Matt. 5:17).

    Jesus explained the Scriptures, "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures," (NASB, Luke 24:27).

    Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr) (Matt. 23:35
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    (Original post by Dutchman81)
    If you don't believe in scripture you cannot possibly believe in Jesus.

    Jesus affirmed the Old Testament


    Source of Authority

    When confronted by Satan, Jesus appealed to the Old Testament as a source of authority by stating, "It is written," (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).

    Imperishability
    "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished," (NASB, Matt. 5:18).

    Unbreakability
    "The Scripture cannot be broken," (NASB, Jn. 10:35).
    Source of Doctrinal Authority

    Jesus appealed to Scripture when correcting false doctrine stating, "You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures nor the power of God," (NASB, Matt. 22:29).

    Truthfulness
    "Your word is truth," (NASB, Jn. 17:17).
    Historical Reliability

    Jesus affirmed the historical existence of Jonah (Matt. 12:40), Noah (Matt. 24:37-38), and Adam and Eve (Matt. 19:4-6).
    Scientific Reliability

    Jesus affirmed that God created the world (Mk. 13:19; cf. Matt. 19:4).
    Old Testament Canonicity

    Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit, "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill," (Matt. 5:17).

    Jesus explained the Scriptures, "Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures," (NASB, Luke 24:27).

    Jesus referred to the entire Canon by mentioning all the prophets from Abel (from Genesis, the first book and first martyr) to Zechariah (Chronicles, the last book, and the last martyr) (Matt. 23:35
    You simply do not get it.

    If someone doesn't trust the words of the Bible, you can't use the Bible to make them believe in it...

    Because they will simply say they don't believe in the Bible, and you will have gone back to square one, just like snakes and ladders.

    You need to find evidence OUTSIDE the Bible to give any credibility to any of your arguments. I have friends who affirm their faith like this (from outside the Bible) - why can't you?
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    You simply do not get it.

    If someone doesn't trust the words of the Bible, you can't use the Bible to make them believe in it...

    Because they will simply say they don't believe in the Bible, and you will have gone back to square one, just like snakes and ladders.

    You need to find evidence OUTSIDE the Bible to give any credibility to any of your arguments. I have friends who affirm their faith like this (from outside the Bible) - why can't you?
    I'm not making anybody do anything.

    Claiming to be a Christian and believing in the teachings of Jesus as well as rejecting the inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible.

    Is that even logical?
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    (Original post by Dutchman81)
    I'm not making anybody do anything.

    Claiming to be a Christian and believing in the teachings of Jesus as well as rejecting the inerrancy and the infallibility of the Bible.

    Is that even logical?
    You're using the Bible to prove the Bible.
    Not correct.
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    (Original post by Hypocrism)
    You're using the Bible to prove the Bible.
    Not correct.
    The meaningless and stupid assertion: “You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible!” commits the fallacy of equivocation.

    It asserts the following:

    Major Premise: Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

    Minor Premise: Christians quote the Bible in order to prove that it is the Word of God.

    Conclusion: Therefore, Christians use the Bible to prove the Bible is the Word of God.


    The Bible attests to its Divine origin intertextually. In other words, the Bible, i.e. the unity of sixty-six books, internally attests to its Divine origin: One text not only declares that it is God’s Word, it affirms another which in turn attests to its Divine origin, and these two affirm yet another, and so on. Christians do the same when they reiterate what the Scriptures say of themselves, employing Scripture in order to prove the Divine origin of Scripture. There is nothing fallacious about this method.
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    (Original post by NJA)
    Until you accept that you have failed and are failing to fulfil your potential, through following your own self-will in pride and desire above all to see the love of God by receiving the infilling of his Spirit instead you are as I was, stumbling along, an accident waiting to happen, and not much to talk about in the meantime.
    And that is nihilistic subjugation forced on the masses by those in positions of power to keep the masses down.

    <3 x
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    (Original post by Dutchman81)
    The meaningless and stupid assertion: “You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible!” commits the fallacy of equivocation.

    It asserts the following:

    Major Premise: Christians believe that the Bible is the Word of God.

    Minor Premise: Christians quote the Bible in order to prove that it is the Word of God.

    Conclusion: Therefore, Christians use the Bible to prove the Bible is the Word of God.


    The Bible attests to its Divine origin intertextually. In other words, the Bible, i.e. the unity of sixty-six books, internally attests to its Divine origin: One text not only declares that it is God’s Word, it affirms another which in turn attests to its Divine origin, and these two affirm yet another, and so on. Christians do the same when they reiterate what the Scriptures say of themselves, employing Scripture in order to prove the Divine origin of Scripture. There is nothing fallacious about this method.
    Your post is only backing up my point. Using one section of the Bible to prove another part of the Bible still leaves your belief in the Bible dependent on the truth of the Bible, and if you don't agree with the truth of the Bible then the entire argument falls apart.

    Example. This is the Hypocrism Bible:

    In the beginning Hypocrism created the earth exactly as it is right now, and the Bible is Hypocrism's word. It is entirely true.

    Now if somebody believes in the Hypocrism Bible, they also believe that I created the earth.

    If somebody doesn't believe in my Bible and therefore doesn't believe that I created the earth, I can't say "The Hypocrism Bible says 'It is entirely true', therefore it is true, and it comes from the creator, because it says 'the Bible is Hypocrism's word', and it says 'Hypocrism created the earth', and therefore, Hypocrism created the earth." because that's not a correct argument, it relies on belief in the truth of the Hypocrism Bible. I would be interrupted after my second comma with "But I don't believe the Bible is true, so I can't agree."
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    (Original post by Mequa)
    I would add to that the issue of making belief the criterion for salvation. You can be a totally bad person and believe in Jesus, and get into heaven forever; while if you have the wrong beliefs, you're screwed for eternity no matter how much a better person you are compared with the former. Even Mahatma Gandhi is in Hell according to fundamentalist Christianity, since he was a Hindu instead of a Christian. (The above video drives home this point pretty well.) And of course atheism is the gravest thought crime in this theology - even for atheists who find they cannot simultaneously believe in such dogma and maintain their intellectual integrity; even for those whose conscience won't permit them to do that. They are just screwed, period.

    If there is actual evidence that such teachings really come from God and such a God really exists, it will indeed be futile for humans to question such justice. After all, we are just ants in His ant farm. However, with fundamentalist Christianity what we have are the teachings of men (based on 2000-year-old mythology) purporting to come from God. As such, we can very much make the judgment on them and their sense of justice, just as we can judge their purported divine status. I personally consider them an obnoxious delusion and its adherents to be bigoted, arrogant and dogmatic ideologues with a highly twisted sense of justice and compassion.

    This thread is entitled "Biggest stumbling blocks with Christianity". Here I bring up another issue with fundamentalism. Fundamentalists call fundamentalist Christianity "Christianity", while many Christians do not accept such a hardline approach of biblical inerrancy. As such, they are effectively claiming the term "Christianity" as their intellectual property, which is grossly dishonest as it excludes many under that label, and then resort to the "no true scotsman fallacy" to claim "Well those aren't TRUE Christians". These teachings aren't Christianity, they are fundamentalism, and I strongly encourage those Christians who do not follow such a hardline dogmatic stance to object to this usage of the term "Christianity".

    You don't need to believe every word of the Bible to be a Christian, they are stories to help us live, not fact. Genesis is a creation myth, not science. Those who claim otherwise are basing their religion on blinkered dogmatism and idolatrous book-worship which is hardly the only foundation of a faith. The real message of Christianity is to love your neighbour, not "you have to believe in this dogma or you are screwed", an approach entirely absent from the 3 synoptic gospels. The former approach promotes pro-social behaviour and is beneficial to society. The latter approach promotes exclusivism and bigotry and does immense harm to society.

    Although it is rare for myself to find agreement with Lilio Candidor, I can wholeheartedly agree with his quote on another thread: "Fundamentalists are the Pharisees of modernity". (The Pharisees were the hypocritical Jewish religious leaders which Jesus condemned in the New Testament.)

    For a refreshingly different approach to the Christian faith in contrast with fundamentalist dogmatism and bigotry, as well as an ancient spiritual text which was almost lost forever, I suggest a look at the "heretical" Gospel of Thomas. Even atheists may find much to gain from it. It also suggests that Christianity may well have turned out very different had exclusivist dogmatism not prevailed in an authoritarian Church.

    Why do you think someone put together the bible then? What did they hope to achieve and when did they hope to achieve it by?
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    (Original post by E.Blackadder)
    my objection towards Christianity is that we don't have enough evidence to even consider it as right.

    we need to ascertain there is a god first before we start reading books about him, and we haven't done that.

    an example would be that we have evidence gravity exists so i don't need a book to tell me it exists. once i know something exists i can go an read a book about it - what is gravity? how does it work? what is god? what does he want?
    How do you know gravity exists? This was a really poor suggestion, you know it because someone worked it out and explained it to someone (often via written material)... so you don't just land on the concept of gravity all by yourself!

    Same with God, the world around screams to us that God exists and we can choose to ignore it or investigate it!
    Matt
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    (Original post by Xotol)
    No evidence to support the Christian God. That's it.
    The Bible is overwhelming evidence to support God. Have you ever investigated it for yourself?
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    (Original post by Gofre)
    Except there are no contemporaneous extra-biblical sources which attest to Jesus' divinity. There's a few which talk of a man named Jesus who was crucified, and I believe some make reference's to his claims of being the son of god, but none corroborate the accounts of the miraculous events he supposedly performed.
    Why do the sources need to be "extra-Biblical"? As far as the non-Christian is concerned, the Bible is just an arbitrary set of writings chosen from many that we're available - some of which talk about Jesus. Any source contained in the Bible could have easily been excluded from the Bible, and any extra-Biblical source could have easily been included in the Bible had the compilers chosen to do so. I don't really see what difference the choice of which sources to include in the Bible and what to leave out should make to the reliability of those sources.

    In any case, there are over 70 accounts of Jesus' life which are now known as the Gospels. Only four are found in the Bible, which means that at least 66 such extra-Biblical sources exist. You've got a lot of content that could have been included in the Bible but wasn't.
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    (Original post by jmj)
    The Bible is overwhelming evidence to support God. Have you ever investigated it for yourself?
    The Bible is evidence for the existence of the Bible...as a reliable record of historical events it is highly suspect.
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    (Original post by mattatca)
    How do you know gravity exists? This was a really poor suggestion, you know it because someone worked it out and explained it to someone (often via written material)... so you don't just land on the concept of gravity all by yourself!

    Same with God, the world around screams to us that God exists and we can choose to ignore it or investigate it!
    Matt
    That's silly. The Theory of Gravity explains extensively observed and documented natural phenomena. There are no such phenomena that require the explanation of God.
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    No objective evidence for a deity as described by Christianity.
    No objective neurological or biological evidence for a 'soul'.
    Archaic traditions and beliefs.
    The subconscious brainwashing of believers.
    The fact that the hope bestowed on a believer is essentially false hope, given the improbability that our 'souls' survive our deaths and that prayer is proven to be of negligible use.
    The hang-ups they have over evolution, contraception et al.
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    (Original post by mattatca)
    What is the biggest objection you have towards Christianity?

    Probably there are loads of different reasons why people don't believe the claims of Jesus but if you could just pick one what would it be and why?

    Matt
    1) the stories in there have no evidence to support them and often contradict both our everyday experiences of the world and well etablished & understood science.
    2) I don't think we really even have free will anyway, which is pretty crucial for christianity.
    3) it's so oppressive, restrictive. It tells people what they should and should not be doing, and the rules are often totally baseless/arbitary/irrational.
    4) Guilt and fear are a big part of why christianity is followed. No one needs that.
    5) It's a cult of kid ****ers.
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    Oh, and the fact that the key criterion for eternal salvation is belief. How people don't see that as a means for societal control makes the mind boggle.
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    Let me modify that. I am fairly satisfied by first-cause arguments. What is completly lacking is any reliable evidence that the God as described by Christianity with all the desires, statements, and actions attributed to him exists, as opposed to some more esoteric and impersonal First Cause.
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    Just because they seem to have been missed, i shall add a few points myself.

    1. In a later translation of the bible, it was discovered that Jesus was born a Bastard (out of marriage) as opposed to being born to a virgin.

    2. The accounts of Jesus including the ones mentioned in the bible, are very contradictory with only 2 facts remaining consistent, He was called Jesus and he died, many claim he was never resurrected, many also claim he was not crucified, and many claim that he preached to be gods physical Avatar on earth (god himself) as opposed to his son.

    3.The old Testament contradicts the new Testament, yet Christian interchange between them to fight off, any disbelievers.

    4. Some would argue that the above occurred that Jesus was sent with (for a lack of a better phrase) a set of revised teachings. If god is omnipotent why would there be a need for this.

    5. The original bible has been scientifically proven through carbon dating, to range of centuries proving that a lot of "Gods word" has been rewritten by man, or at least from man's memory of it.

    I would like to make it clear, as far as i am concerned, God may exist, but he cannot exist as the "current" Bible portrays him, Maybe when it was first passed into the hands of man, i may have found it to be truth, but not any more.

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