Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – what makes Christianity Christianity?

On my last blog post, we briefly discussed what are major and minor differences between the sects of Christianity. You see, often when I point out that Christians don’t agree on what their religion means, or what their god want as a reason to not believe any of their versions, some Christians tell me that the differences are only “minor”.   When I point out that differences on baptism, on communion, don’t seem minor, the discussion often stops. I asked Pastor Dave what was considered non-negotiable for him as part of Christianity, a major difference he couldn’t accept, and he directed me to the Evangelical Alliance Statement of Faith. I’m pretty sure this is the right one since Dave didn’t give me a link.

  1. The one true God who lives eternally in three persons – the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

So you do disagree with other Christians who don’t agree with this.

  1. The love, grace and sovereignty of God in creating, sustaining, ruling, redeeming and judging the world.

Here it seems you disagree with the idea of free will as most Christians claim it exist. Divine control doesn’t work with free will.

  1. The divine inspiration and supreme authority of the Old and New Testament Scriptures, which are the written Word of God-fully trustworthy for faith and conduct.

In this it would seem to show that you think genocide, that the murder of a child for another’s sins is okay, that killing the innocent is okay, that stealing from others is okay, that lying to others is okay… all as long as your god approves of it, though it commands otherwise in other parts of the bible. You would also have to agree that hailstones are kept in warehouses, that bats are birds, that this god could not find Adam and Eve in the garden, etc. We have a god that depends on subjective morality in that morality changes for what something/someone is. This is not what Christians agree on.

  1. The dignity of all people, made male and female in God’s image to love, be holy and care for creation, yet corrupted by sin, which incurs divine wrath and judgement.

Why did this god of yours make humans corruptible? And why does your god, in your bible the written word of god, say that some people are made to only be destroyed. Other Christians don’t believe in what you do, believing in universal salvation, predestination, that some things you think are sin aren’t, etc. Is this an important disagreement? It sure seems so.

  1. The incarnation of God’s eternal Son, the Lord Jesus Christ – born of the virgin Mary; truly divine and truly human, yet without sin

Again, just another repeat of the first bit, and still not agreed upon by Christians.

  1. The atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross: dying in our place, paying the price of sin and defeating evil, so reconciling us with God.

This is about the only thing that Christians agree on, but again, there are Christians who don’t think one needs to non-Christians to accept Christ to be also considered deserving of eternal joy.

  1. The bodily resurrection of Christ, the first fruits of our resurrection; his ascension to the Father, and his reign and mediation as the only Saviour of the world.

Another pretty common Christian belief, though they do differ if one just has to believe in Jesus, or to accept him as savior or if this god has to permit one to be able accept Jesus as savior. In that last, there is no universal savior since this god prevents some people from ever accessing this “savior”.

  1. The justification of sinners solely by the grace of God through faith in Christ.

Just like here. So much for free will.

  1. The ministry of God the Holy Spirit, who leads us to repentance, unites us with Christ through new birth, empowers our discipleship and enables our witness.

And so much for free will again.

  1. The Church, the body of Christ both local and universal, the priesthood of all believers – given life by the Spirit and endowed with the Spirit’s gifts to worship God and proclaim the gospel, promoting justice and love.

In that murdering a child for another’s sins isn’t justice, and it isn’t love when you tell someone that what they are is wrong; this seems to ring very hollow.

  1. The personal and visible return of Jesus Christ to fulfil the purposes of God, who will raise all people to judgement, bring eternal life to the redeemed and eternal condemnation to the lost, and establish a new heaven and new earth.

Well, per your own people, there are no “lost” people, but those who your god intentionally rejects for no more reason than whim. They are damned by what is in their book of life and no chance to accept JC after they are dead (Christians often try to add that so their god doesn’t seem like such an ass). We also have Christians not agreeing on what heaven and hell are too, so again. And there is the problem where this god works intentionally with this evil entity, allowing it free *after* all of the nonChristians were murdered, and after JC has reigned over those believers for an aeon.  For what reason?  Only to intentionally allow more human to be destroyed and more blood to be spilt. A lot of Christians don’t like to be reminded of Revelation.

It seems like there are major differences among Christians, belying what Pastor Dave has said.

Again, with such major differences, and no one able to show that their version is any better or more true than the next, there is little reason to accept that any of these things, often built on fear and ignorance, are true.

Next, we’ll be looking at evolution and how some Christians present it.

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and back around again to creationism and which version of Christianity is the “right” one

A friendly warning to those who followed my blog for food and drink posts. The below is my unvarnished opinions about religion.  You may wish to leave now.

Well, we have yet more creationist nonsense from Pastor Dave, who has spent a few days discussing how one should properly do baptism and communion; the two things that are probably most important about Christianity (only baptized believers can do miracles like JC per Mark, and one must take communion or not be Christian in more than a few sects) but no one can agree on how it should be done.  He will not allow comments nor will answer questions about his claims.

But here one can consider what he has claimed. He, of course, is not the only Christian who makes such claims; I use him and his posts as a starting point and as an example. These claims are nothing new or special. I’ve thought of a couple more new things to address about Genesis, but other than that, if you’ve read my posts before, you might find some of the information repetitive. I hadn’t realized that Pastor Dave had been once employed in the aerospace industry; one would have thought he would have developed better logic skills there than he demonstrates. Unfortunately, a lot of Christians apply a certain level of logic and rationality to the rest of their life, and their religion isn’t held under the same glass.

Dave demonstrates his ignorance of evolutionary theory, and of what scientists actually say about what we can say about the universe (aka reality as we know it).   Let’s look at some things that Dave calls lies.

We started our discussion about Creation and the Fall by naming some of the lies we can believe about this Universe. It is probably worth reminding ourselves of them.

–          That this world is just here by accident or chance. In earlier times, people saw this world as being the by-product of the wars and love affairs of gods. In modern times, we are more likely to see the world as it is resulting from atheistic evolution.”

Well, since scientists don’t think that the world is here by chance or accident, that’s a false claim made by Dave, either out of intent or ignorance.  The laws of physics work well in explaining how this world ended up as it is, and indeed as a “creator” with no end and no beginning.  Believing that some god created it is no more believable than other religions’ claims of the world being a byproduct of wars or the love affairs of gods.  More than a few religions claim that their god and only their god was the creator; none of them have evidence to support this.

–          That the world around us and God are one and the same thing. This is sometimes called pantheism. This leads to people worshipping nature.

Well, what is wrong with worshipping nature, other than you get nothing back from nature for such worship?   It’s the same problem that most theists have with people being of other religions than their own or believing in no religion at all.  Those people are a threat to their need for external validation and their belief.   The existence of other religions and agnostics/atheists seems to terrify theists.  We dare to not give them what they want.

–          That God is distant from this world. He may have been the first cause, but he has just put the rules in place and left the Universe to get on with running itself. This is usually referred to as Deism.

Of course, Dave can’t show that his version of his religion is true, and that other version of religion aren’t.  Since this god cannot be shown to do anything in this world, there is no reason to assume that this god is close to this world (or far away).  It is required for Dave’s version of Christianity, but it is not shown to be true.

–          That “matter” (physical creation) is evil and that only the spiritual world is good. This is known as Dualism and is particularly associated with Gnosticism.

Hmmm, some versions of Christianity make this exact claim.  And Dave calls it a lie.  Now, how does he know?  There’s also the problem that nonbelievers don’t think that matter is evil or good.  It just is.  Dualism is also when a believer claims that the body and soul are separate things, often making unsupportable claims that somehow the brain isn’t involved in what a person is.  Continue reading