Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ten Good Reasons Not to be a Christian?

I inadvertently came across the following in a discussion forum on Amazon. Interestingly enough it was related to the new John MacArthur book that's coming out (Right Thinking in a World Gone Wrong). I've also seen this same posting tied to numerous other Christian books on Amazon, so obviously the writer (who calls him/herself Celsus) has an agenda and wants everyone to know it. So here's their list of ten "good" reasons not to be a Christian. Enjoy, and then we'll discuss.

1) Numerous Biblical errors and contradictions (a list provided on request)
2) Biblical absurdities such as talking animals; magic trees; houses that suffer from leprosy and can be cured by potions of birds blood; one man killing 1000 with a jaw bone of a donkey; a man who lived in a whale; a woman who was turned into salt; Noah's flood, etc.
3) Bible prophecies, which all suffer from at least one of the following:
a) Taken out of context
b) Extremely nebulous - could apply to many events
c) Made to mean something other than what they say
d) Based on miss-translations of the original text (as with the Septuagint)
e) Based on non-existent text (Nazareth prophecy; Judas prophecy).
f) Made after the fact (Prophecies of Daniel, Ezekiel)
4) A picture of God that is obscene. In the Old Testament He condones or is responsible for: wholesale murder, slavery, cannibalism, lying, deceit, discrimination against disabled people, discrimination against women, issuing bad laws, adultery, irrational killing of innocent people, rape, drunkenness.
5) There is no historical record of a man named Jesus Christ outside the Bible, where such a record SHOULD be found if in fact he existed.
6) Christianity has nothing that is unique. Its teachings and doctrines are largely borrowed from pre-existing Pagan beliefs - Zoroasterism, Mithraism, Osiris, Dionysis, Attis etc. This is confirmed by the early Church fathers, who tried to explain such parallels as Satan's attempt to counterfeit Gods plan in advance.
7) The NT scriptures were produced in a time and place where forging of scriptures was a common pastime among those who were literate, as evidenced by the numerous apocryphal works.
8) The 4 Gospels were written by unknown authors, in a language foreign to the one spoken by Christ and his disciples, based on hearsay from unknown sources, 40 to 80 years after Jesus death.
9) The doctrine of eternal Hell (borrowed from Zoroasterism and ancient Egypt) is morally corrupt.
10) The fruit of Christianity shows it to be the most violent and corrupt of religions, responsible for millions of deaths. It set back science 1500 years and issued in the Dark Ages.
Now, I've seen some much more off-the-wall objections to Biblical Christianity before. These are at least somewhat rational, mostly focused on the veracity and historical accuracy of the Bible. And mostly mistaken, easily answerable and having been shown to be false many times over. But obviously this person doesn't want to be confused with the facts. His or her mind is made up. No room for evidence to the contrary.

But then, they're just like the rest of us, aren't they? Apart from the sovereign grace of God, quickening us to life and enabling us to see the truth of the Gospel of Christ and respond to Him in faith, we are no different. We can't help it. Spiritual truth can't be discerned by those who are spiritually dead. It's foolishness. So we respond in our unbelief just like Celsus here. Oh, maybe not so antagonistically, or so systematically, but in our own way we do the same. We can't do otherwise.

This is what is so amazing about God's grace. That He is able, and willing, to take such a person who opposes Him so strongly like Celsus here, or the Apostle Paul, or me - and in an instant change us from persecutors of Christ to embracers of the cross and the Gospel. From being antagonizers to being true worshippers of the One True God. Not because He is obligated to, but because He wants to.

Amazing. Soli Deo Gloria...

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