Christianity’s Accomplice

Accomplices of crimes come in many different forms. They can be working right alongside other criminals and “getting their hands dirty”. They can drive the getaway car for people looking to make a quick escape. They can sit behind the scenes, working at the keyboard of a computer. Or, they can simply make excuses for those doing all the work. Letting someone say or do things that are either ridiculous or just plain wrong and then making excuses for them is equally unacceptable and makes you just as culpable.

Religions make ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims and do awful things in the name of their gods. Christianity, specifically, makes some bold claims that seem absurd to most people who are not part of that belief system. Claims such as Jesus dying and being raised again 3 days later. Claims such as seas being parted and people walking across on dry land. Then there are claims of answered prayer and an afterlife in paradise. There are so many claims in the Bible that are quite absurd and quite unverifiable. None of these claims can be demonstrated to be true, yet they are taught as fact in churches around the world. The churches are not held responsible for such claims being peddled as truth. Instead, they are verified by the people who attend. They are not verified by evidence, but rather by faith.

When I was a Christian, I did my share of helping the church perpetuate its mistruths. I not only agreed with what the church had to say, but I would do research above and beyond the studying of the Bible in order to keep and spread the faith. I would do whatever it took to take a claim made by “science” and somehow disprove it by using the Bible. When the topic of evolution would come up, I would do my best to discredit it. If there were remnants of early humans found, I would try to find any studies that claimed that they were anything but “cavemen.” If there were fossils of dinosaurs found (and there have been billions of bones and thousands of complete skeletons found) I would do my best to convince myself and others that dinosaurs were found in the Bible and made it onto the Ark with Noah. The Bible doesn’t actually mention dinosaurs, but it does mention a “behemoth” in Job 40 so that had to be a dinosaur, right?

Basically, if the evidence around me contradicted the Bible, I would do whatever I could to make it fit in there or dismiss it altogether as being false. If there was unanswered prayer after unanswered prayer, then I bought into (and spread to others) the idea that there must be some sin blocking us from experiencing God. It was our sinful nature that prevented us from having prayers answered. It couldn’t be that the stories in the Bible were untrue. Too bad that unanswered prayer being the result of sin isn’t found in the Bible. Yes, there are verses that describe why God turns from us such as 2 Chronicles 7:14, Mark 11:25-26, James 4:3, Matthew 21:21-22 and 1 John 5:14-15. These verses speak of our prayers being asked in the incorrect manner (for the wrong reasons with the wrong motives), unbelief, unconfessed sin and even our unforgiveness of others. But what if you have rectified all these things? What if you have done everything according to God’s will as I did before I prayed? What is the reason for unanswered prayer then? Well, there must be some sin you have committed that maybe you are unaware of doing or are unaware of it being a sin. In other words, it’s your fault, not God’s fault. The problem with that theory is that it makes everyone unworthy, unrepentant sinners as there has been no answered prayers…ever. At least none verifiable or remotely demonstrable.

I used the Bible as a way to prove itself to be true. I would quote from its pages in order to provide clarity and context for other pages. I would ignore cries for evidence and would instead offer up empty words from various verses in order to justify my faith. I would take those words and create a weapon, using it to attack anyone who had a differing opinion. When the church had extreme views about homosexuality, treatment of women or slavery, I would make excuses for all of that as well. There was always a completely reasonable explanation for all things in “God’s word.” It was either “because it was written in a different time” or “because of sin’s influence.” It is clear now that it was because of what the ruling men of the time felt was okay, but as a Christian, I certainly couldn’t believe that.

I apologize for this unorganized jumble of ideas. I am using all of this to try to say one thing: I am sorry. My complacency and my cooperation with religion has only added to the problem and held us back as a people. I was spreading lies and discrimination because of my own desperate attempt to keep believing. I wasn’t a preacher. I wasn’t a missionary. I wasn’t a Christian speaker or a Christian volunteer. What I was, was an apologist. I wrote about things that were not believable outside of the Bible and gave them my approval. I homeschooled my oldest son and taught him to believe as well, even as I experienced doubt. I slapped Christian-themed vanity plates on my cars to go along with the Jesus fish stickers. I advertised to the world that Jesus was Lord. I added to the lies spread by religion and felt good about doing it.

If you spread misinformation knowingly, you are just as guilty as being the ones who created the lies. If you have doubts, but claim it’s all true, you are guilty of being dishonest. Just because you are not leading a church, does not mean you aren’t leading people astray. Somebody is always watching and listening. No, not God. The people all around us take notice, especially the children. There is always a way to make things right, however. You can own up to your mistakes and spread truth instead of lies. You can support people’s right to think for themselves instead of calling that evil. You can treat people with respect regardless of their beliefs. Why? Because it is the right thing to do, not because a character in a book told you to. Stop aiding and abetting religion by making excuses for it and being part of a millennia-old crime spree.

 

 

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36 thoughts on “Christianity’s Accomplice

  1. It’s curious, Ben, that theists claim our “conscience” is evidence for their god, when it can be the stirrings of our own conscience — that niggling feeling of lying to oneself; or that we can no longer reconcile ourselves to untenable beliefs — that leads some of us away from “God.”

    I think you might have alluded to the oppressive weight of peer expectations and group conformity in directing much of our behavioral responses, over at Ark’s site. Maybe this is the real fear that many — less evangelical, perhaps –theists experience, much more than abstract concepts of God’s disapproval, and Hell and all that. The fear of letting down the people we estimate and want to belong to.

    I can see why people desire the social benefits of church-going, if it promotes a sense of community and makes life a little easier. But there ought to be a way of achieving similar societal rewards through purely secular means, that doesn’t compel otherwise rational, thinking folk to believe “ridiculous, unsubstantiated claims”, as you said, and make them wrongly favor superstition over naturalism.

    Fortunately, we know it’s possible, and those of us living in the West generally now have more options.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My conscience, my moral compass if you will, led me away from God. If I got my conscience from a god, it is odd that it backfired on that god by causing my belief to transform into unbelief.

      I agree that we can find community in a secular way outside of church life. I have found that here on WordPress and I have found it where I work as well. Tribes or social groups are not exclusive to religion. The groups outside of religion are far more tolerant and inclusive than the “God-ordained” variety.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Dinosaurs 🦖 were just so common nobody thought to write about them. Like recording every cloud you saw in the sky. Ya know, just a lot of em. Who’d a thought they’d become interesting in the future?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s got to be it. If Ken Ham’s theory is right, people lived side by side with them and treated them like pets or other harmless animals. I’m sure back then older people would sit on park benches throwing popcorn to velociraptors while having their seeing-eye stegosaurs tied to trees with little vests on.

      Liked by 5 people

    1. It’s true that as a devout believer, I was commanded to spread the gospel. That’s just standard procedure. But as a human with a curious human mind, I sometimes had thoughts that went against what I was told. When my thoughts turned to doubts, I should have known better than to teach as truth something I only half-heartedly believed in… especially to my son. This is why I feel that faith is dangerous. As a Christian, you are told to believe even in the face of doubt. If you question things or are confused in any way, you are told to just trust that God is in control and is greater than your doubts. So I trusted and I made excuses. I ignored facts and replaced them with doctrine. God could not be wrong so everything opposing the biblical view must be.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I still struggle with that. I know that all I believed, all I said and all I did as a Christian was a result of how I was raised at home and later in the church. And although what happened was akin to brainwashing, I still feel like I could have fought a little harder and should have gone against the grain to explore my doubts. Hindsight may be 20/20 but it still carries guilt.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It wasn’t your fault. Your parents thought/believed they were doing the right thing. That is the perverse thing about scams, the scammed believers don’t really want to have their eyes opened. GROG

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I do see that now. And that is why I continued the cycle with teaching my son. Luckily the doubts I had began to get so loud, I couldn’t drown them out any longer. I made the changes necessary to break free and begin to heal and put my trust in things that have evidence that back them up. I have 4 children and only the oldest has any clue what religion is and what the concept of God is. The other three are being raised to be happy little humans who know about the importance of truth. I have no doubt that I will discuss religion with them later as it is a big part of society, but only as an observation of what some people believe. They will not learn from me that things unseen are true and real just because you believe in them.

        I think the guilt remains because I saw the writing on the wall (to use a Bible quote) and ignored it in order to continue believing. I am sure as time goes on, it will lessen and the blame will shift from myself to religion itself in my mind. I know that’s where the problem began, but I just feel like I could’ve been stronger.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. “Hindsight may be 20/20 but it still carries guilt.”

        Certainly. Multitudes of deconverts have gone through the same process and carried guilt for a period of time coupled with all the “should haves.” It’s hard to shake a perfectionist mindset caused by a lifetime of indoctrination.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. When you WERE a Christian? Ha! I never met one. Kinda hard to be unborn, but you probably do not know that ben.

    Perhaps your disappointments got the best of you. maybe ‘other’ Christians whispered things you wanted to hear; but I dare any man on earth to fault the book of Romans, that masterpiece of grace, logic, science, history, and fact.

    Oh so that’s it! Its not that you find scripture unappealing or unbelievable, but you simply do not like what God says, especially about creatures such as you. Rest assured, there are ZERO defects in scripture.

    As to you saying God never did anything,’ elsewhere, perhaps your pal Chuck Darwin is solely responsible for the birds ability to fly, or a bee to hover, or an ant to walk upside down on ceilings……………..no……..I’m sure this never crossed your mind that God them so, just like he made male and female, man and woman; still true today, still slaying all bastards of ignorance. lol

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    1. Yes, when I was what we have come to know a Christian is. Those who believe in the scriptures and believe that what is written there is truth from God. People who believe in and have faith that Jesus is the son of God who died for our sins and rose again. Yes, that is what we view Christianity as being. If you are saying that I was not a Christian because only “true believers” can be Christians and would never lose faith, you are mistaken. If you are saying that I had a fundamental misunderstanding of both the Bible and Jesus, again you are mistaken. To quote Matt Dillahunty, “If you consider a Christian to be someone who has a relationship with the risen Christ then no one is actually a Christian.” You know why he said that? Because there is zero evidence that Jesus died and rose again and therefore having a relationship with him is not possible. If you can show some extra-biblical evidence of that event, I’d be happy to look at it.

      You see, where you lose most of us is when you say you know that all of this is real. You say that Jesus is 100% real and risen and also that the Bible is 100% accurate and there are “zero defects in scripture.” That shows me that you either have not looked at all of the evidence of changes being made to scripture throughout the ages or you choose to dismiss such changes as not having happened. You are certainly within your rights to believe anything you wish, but you do so without evidence on your side. The history of the Bible is well documented and shows intentional changes from the earliest text to the most recent. That’s not what happens when a perfect God makes a perfect set of writings. Removing and adding parts to it with some physical texts actually showing man-made notes from scribes along the side of changes to be made is not the sign of God being responsible. A god who would want his truth to be known by all would not allow some simple scribe with a pen to change scripture.

      I think it is interesting that you assume I reject God and the Bible simply because I “do not like what God says.” Do you realize that I was a follower for nearly 4 decades? do you realize that I prayed sincerely and with reverence for God to draw me nearer to him? Do you realize the heartbreak when I walked away? The silence from a god who supposedly answers all prayers is what drove me to doubt and eventually leave. And don’t tell me I prayed in the wrong way or that I prayed for the wrong things. I prayed to God for God. That’s it. I prayed to draw near and for him to show me what I was doing wrong and to correct those things. He ignored those prayers. I prayed to have God guide me along my path and how to be a better son to him. He ignored those prayers. So before you assume you know who I am and what my relationship to God was, you had better get to know me first. I gave my life to God and he ignored me every step of the way. If God ignores a prayer to be a more faithful servant and to correct any sinful behavior that might be a hindrance, then that God is either not real or he doesn’t care.

      Thanks for your comment, but if you came here just to regurgitate religious bullshit, then I’ll kindly ask you to refrain from doing so again in the future. I am open to debate and civil discussion but when you come with your arrogant and condescending attitude, you are not welcome here. So try again, without being a know-it-all, holier-than-thou person and we’ll talk.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Zero evidence that the Lord Jesus Christ was not dead, buried, arisen the third day, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES?

        And you claim to have been a believer? Good gravy Ben, you have sucked the baby pacifier of your latest hero Dilly, and have shunned the time tested words of King Solomon, whose wisdom has no equal thanks to God.

        Cut the baby in half! was the stellar word, to expose the fraudulent mother; likewise does God’s word expose ALL lying commentary which you have purchased by your atheistic credit card.

        Rest assured, if there is a know it all, it is the atheist, who by his own words has disallowed God completely from His own creation.

        But don’t confuse my confidence with arrogance. I have never lost an argument to an atheist; God and one are a majority. Simple really.

        Just recall the 9ft goon, that clumsy Goliath of Gath, who dared one small fella who had the back up of one large God.

        There was ZERO chance David, soon to be king, and of the pedigree that would bring forth the son of God, counseling’s lose.

        Hope this helps

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      2. I was a believer of the scriptures until I realized that they are merely words on a page until proven otherwise. As of now, they have not been proven otherwise. You cannot prove the Bible with the Bible and you cannot say that only one source of information is sufficient to prove anything. You can believe it, but all that proves is that you believe what someone else wrote.
        The Bible is not without error, despite your claims, but I sincerely doubt anyone will convince you of that so I won’t give you all of the readily available sources that confirm that. I’m sure you’ve done your due diligence and have weighed the evidence already.
        So let me ask you a few questions. Are you a true believer? Are you a follower of the risen Christ? Are you one of the chosen? If so, then there are some major issues here. If you are a true follower of Christ and I am not, then I can infer a few things from that. As a true Christian, you are to emulate Christ here on earth and be “like a mirror” to reflect his glory onto others, correct? So, if you are a true Christian, am I to assume that Jesus is rude, condescending, dismissive and uncaring towards the “lost”? Basically is Jesus just like you who is supposedly his representative here on earth? Would Jesus have talked down to doubters and looked down his nose at them or would he choose to be friends with sinners in order to bring them to his father? Rather than point out every flaw or misunderstanding would he not try to lovingly bring people to the truth? What is your goal when talking to unbelievers in the manner you do? Is it to bring the lost to be saved or to just say that you are right?
        I am just a bit confused because my post was about my own personal feelings and not a personal attack on anyone. Therefore, your assertions and repugnant way of talking to me was unwarranted. Yes, you may be convinced that Jesus is real and you are a true follower, but that doesn’t excuse the way you speak to people.
        If you truly believe the Bible to be true, then you would agree that it is the job of the believer to reach the lost, not cast them aside as fools. In my case in particular, I was sincerely trying to follow. I was sincerely trying to do what was right. If I was doing something in the incorrect manner, I would ask God to right that wrong. So for nearly 40 years, God allowed me to think I was a believer, knowing I was doing it wrong? For what purpose? A test he knew I would fail? He allowed me for almost 4 full decades to live a lie without guiding me when I cried out to him? You can criticize and dismiss all you want but until you’ve been a seeker like me, a truly desiring person, who was ignored and allowed to walk away, you don’t know a thing about the subject. I sought God for all the right reasons and yet he ignored me. Why is that? I wasn’t seeking personal gratification and my own self interests. I was burying my nose in scripture and seeking answers in prayer from the one who says that he would answer those who seek him. Can you understand that I didn’t just read the Bible and dismiss it? I lived most of my life believing it and when doubts crept in, who was there to calm my fears and erase those doubts? No one.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Just the most important part Ben.
        Of course I can prove the Bible with the Bible. There is NO other source book on earth which accurately presents the origin of life, mans beginning, purpose, flaws, conquests, destiny, as well as foretelling and forth telling things no lying seer could know.

        Just one. The implementation of the cashless society coming to a town near you, written long before Bill Gates was in diapers, and longer than the printing press was a household word.

        Your disappoints change nothing of the truth of scripture, yeah rather it enhances it.

        Let God be true, and every man a liar. But you want to reread scripture without the crutches of gozdless whispers such as the fraud Dillahinty.

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      4. I now see why you think you’ve never lost a debate with an atheist. When you ignore every question/concern and just keep repeating yourself, you can claim victory. Also, the Bible proves the Bible? You can’t seriously believe that. Anyone can write a book and make claims in that book. They can then claim that that same book proves that the assertions in that book are true because that book says so. That’s not just illogical, but is absolute nonsense.

        Do you know why I quote Dillahunty so much? His story is my story. We both sincerely sought the Lord and were both ignored. We both prayed for guidance when we felt lost…and were ignored again. He was training to be a pastor and I wanted to be a Christian apologist writer. We lost faith because God did not honor his promise of answering those who call out to him. Get it through your head. People truly search for and pray to God and are ignored. The fact that you still believe does not somehow make claims that people believe and then don’t believe somehow proof that they were never believers to begin with.

        Explain to me why God ignores the pleas of those willing to serve. Explain why God allows people to go on year after year in false belief/false piety. Explain why God would turn aside those who want to be in the position you are in now where they believe it all. Explain why God would turn aside the willing as they try to fulfill his wishes. Can you explain any of that? We’re supposedly all sinners (including believers like yourself) so don’t use sin as an excuse. Answer the question of why God would turn his back on people who are more than ready and willing to be part of his army.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Ben: you and Matt are really no different. You both seek answers to questions outside of scripture and ignore 10,000 answers already given, then have the audacity to say there are shortcomings in both scripture and God Himself. Not too smart.

        But u need first address: was God’s creation very good, just as He said?

        If so, and it is so, then u need look no further than Cain- I suggest you look at EVERY reference to that rascal, and the ‘explanations ‘ that you seek of me have already been answered.

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      6. Again, you have ignored every question asked of you. I have heard every excuse, just like the ones you use here. Telling me to reread something that didn’t help the first hundred times I read it is not helpful. You clearly have no interest in actual debate or actually helping an unbeliever find their way again. You seem to just assume that I am just one of the crowd of atheists deserving of mockery and contempt. That’s fine. I am not saying I was looking to be “saved again” anyway but I am always open to information that could show that I made a mistake. You offer nothing but insults with a smirk on your face. So we’re done here as you are just a parody of a Christian and you are not worth my time. You behave as a child when you have nothing of value to offer. If you want to chalk this up as another victory against an atheist, despite saying nothing, by all means go for it. We’ll all have a good laugh at your unfounded bravado. Goodbye.

        Liked by 3 people

      7. No Ben- I have answered
        perfectly-

        If you are looking for answers outside of scripture- I can’t help u, but I do know God’s word is good.

        So that leaves you/ not nan- not dillahunty- but you. If you think this is caustic language, then I suggest u stay away from the book of Jude, which once again, serves up better answers than I can give.

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  4. “None of these claims can be demonstrated to be true, yet they are taught as fact in churches “

    Challenge ’em and they resort to “acceptable puffery, ya silly old goat! Cantcha tell the difference?”

    Frankly—I can’t …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “What is the reason for unanswered prayer then? Well, there must be some sin you have committed that maybe you are unaware of doing or are unaware of it being a sin. In other words, it’s your fault, not God’s fault.”

    No. God is omniscient and He knew even before He created us what we would be doing at any/every moment. (Which predestination makes a mockery of ‘Free Will’) but I shan’t tell the Christians that if you don’t … let ’em enjoy their illusions.

    Frankly I don’t mind, so long as they/it don’t interfere with my life (yeah, as if THAT would ever happen …) they keep me amused.

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