The following are excerpts from a long letter of assertions
made by a Christian preacher which were posted in a skeptical
forum in order to refute atheists and agnostics. Many of the
claims made by this Bible believer are excellent illustrations of
how Christians will make statements that they want people to
accept as universal facts.
However, the Christian claims here are not universal facts but are simply assertions dressed up as facts by trying to associate the Holy Bible with them. Ironically, this Bible believer manages to make statements that show how the Bible produces gross theological inconsistencies.
The ultimate lesson from this sermon is that the Bible means whatever a believer wants it to mean.
There is no ultimate meaning or one absolute "true" theological construction of "God" that will ever be found, or proved reliable by using the Bible.
The seemingly endless sermons, the preaching, and the assorted claims of Christians are simply the theological speculations of people who find comfort in constructing their own personal God by using various Bible scripture as their building material.
These believers custom design their God and attach it to a mentally created version of the Bible, which is also custom designed to their specifications, and then they claim God agrees with them.
The Christian starts out by declaring a very righteous and pious sounding "mission" statement.
Christian wrote(quoting Paul):
"Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" - II Cor.10:5
This is the type of boastful, fanatical statement that Christianity often hangs its hat on.
To the zealous Christian mind, any thought that doesn't conform to their liking is against the knowledge of God.
Naturally, since Christians consider themselves the only proper representatives of God, they want to take captive every thought and make it obedient to them. It has nothing to do with "Christ".
This quote also conveniently omits the punishment aspect of 2 Cor 10.
2 Cor 10:6
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Not only do Christians have authority to bring every thought into captivity, they will also dispense punishment to the disobedient. The Grand Inquisitor must have smiled when he read 2 Cor 10:5-6.
It should also be noted that the vain minded St. Paul also declared that anyone who taught a form of Christianity different than his version was to be accursed.
As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
This type of bombastic nonsense gives a peek into the mind of a religious zealot. It should give any person who values objectivity and reason pause to think. Zealots by nature will not hesitate to embellish their views and declare them as facts if it serves a "greater" purpose. That greater purpose is of course, establishing their influence and power over others.
When a Christian starts a sermon by quoting Paul, as this one did, it's a signal that they want a reader to take Paul as some sort of valid representative of God.
It's also a signal that they don't take the God of the Old Testament seriously.
It was Paul who declared that God's perfect(Psa 19:7) and eternal(Psa 119:152,160) Law was really a curse(Gal 3:13), was canceled(Gal 5:18), was given by God so that sin would increase(Rom 5:20), and that it stood against the people(Col 2:13-14).
Paul had no use for God's Law and replaced it with his new religion which centers salvation around faith in a human sacrifice. Paul effectively trashed the Law as it stood in his way of gaining gentile converts to his new religion.
Very few gentiles wanted to have themselves circumcised, or cared to observe all of God's complicated laws which restricted their freedom.
Paul fits the description of an apostate and one who rebels against the authority of God. Paul was the poster boy for apostates because he tried to turn people away from the Hebrew God Yahweh to worship a new Savior called Jesus, who Paul claims ended the Law(Rom 10:4).
There isn't anything in the entire Old Testament about an expected king Messiah ending God's Law.
In fact, in the messianic age, the Law would be followed completely(Ezek 37:24).
The type of concocted theology which Paul had no problem preaching as God's word, is directly contradicted by the Old Testament.
According to the Old Testament Bible, those who steadfastly keep God's Law, despite the deceptions of false teachers(like Paul), are righteous and those who abandon the Law(like Paul) are wicked.
My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy(God's) law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
Thou(God) hast trodden down all them that err from thy statutes(laws): for their deceit is falsehood.
God spoke about men like Paul, who taught that God's laws no longer needed to be taken seriously.
Salvation is far from the wicked: for they seek not thy statutes(laws).
Contrary to the false claims of Paul, the Law of God is declared the way to salvation and righteousness, and not it is not a "curse" which "stood against the people".
Salvation comes from following and obeying God's Law, and not from worshipping a human sacrifice as God.
Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.
Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.
They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.
Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
Perfect and eternal laws also don't get canceled except by the those with wicked intentions.
The entire chapter of Psa 119 is a refutation of Paulian Christianity and exposes Paul, and those who follow his concocted religion, as nothing more than God mockers all dressed up as God worshippers.
The Old Testament God spoke directly about such wicked people who pretend to worship God, while at the same time these pious pretenders declare his Law was no longer binding or needed to be followed.
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes(laws), or that thou shouldest take my covenant in thy mouth?
Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth my words behind thee.
Christians have done exactly what Yahweh told them not to do, which is to cast his statutes aside in favor of a new type of God and salvation. Mainstream Christians follow Paul, not God.
If Christians really want to serve God, they would do well to stay away from quoting someone who contradicts what God so clearly said in the Bible.
The bottom line is that when a Christian starts out by quoting Paul as some type of Godly authority, it's a sure sign they have no more sincerity about serving the Bible God than a skeptic does.
This is important stuff. Perhaps you might try reading it through without dissecting it first with your inane, arrogant, libertarian commentary as you proceed; then you might realize its impact, instead of acting as a deflector.
You(skeptics) are full of your opinions of things, and lack the necessary humility required to be instructed concerning the things that will bring you life.
This is the kind of zealous idiocy that produces holy wars.
Note that the Christian says others are full of opinions.
Naturally, the Christian isn't full of opinions because his opinions are facts.
The Christian then states that skeptics lack the humility required to be instructed about important things.
Of course, who is better qualified to instruct someone about things of importance than a Christian.
Christians deem themselves God's elect and new chosen people.
However, since Christians have chosen to follow the teachings of Paul, who blatantly contradicted God's Holy Word in the Old Testament, they have no more of the necessary humility to be instructed about important things than any skeptic.
Christians thumb their nose at God, believing that both they and Paul know better than God does.
It's all a matter of convenience. Very few people care to follow all of the Bible God's complicated laws and it's much easier to believe that a pagan human sacrifice will cover your sins with his "blood".
This new and improved "one size fits all" system of salvation is so much easier than doing the diligent work of obeying God's Law and honoring his word. That's way too much work for these people.
Christians want all the rewards for being God's follower, but want none of the hard work that following the law entails.
Yet, Christians love to instruct people about God, and how they should live their lives according to "His will".
Christians claim they are obligated to sell their "facts" to the world.
If portions of humanity don't believe in the Christian version of God, then their personal business becomes the business of Christians, who are commanded by their God to convince the world that the Christian version of God is the only correct one possible(Matt 28:19-20).
Christians always know more about God than anyone else does.
Jesus said, "...at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves." You(skeptics) talk of claims made in a book(the Bible) with no independent empirical evidence.
The miracles were the supporting evidence of his claims, and the believers were the witnesses who did the examining, who gave testimony, and recorded for our benefit their findings.
This is circular reasoning based on the following logic chain:
The claims of miracles in the Bible must be true because witnesses examined them, gave testimony, and recorded them in the Bible.
However, there is no sound evidence any of the four Gospel accounts were written by eyewitnesses. The authors of the Gospels do not identify themselves anywhere in the text.
Christians assume the Gospel of Matthew was written by an eyewitness called "Matthew".
The same goes for the Gospel of "Mark". It's assumed that "Mark" must have written it.
The author of Luke, who may have been a person called Luke, states that his gospel is not an eyewitness report, but the compilation of outside witnesses and writings(Luke 1:1-4).
The author of John claims that his gospel account is actually the testimony of an unnamed disciple who "Jesus loved".(John 21:20-24).
None of the Gospels is recognized to have been written immediately after the death of Jesus but were written at least 30 years after his alleged death.
Paul never even met or saw Jesus while Jesus was alive, nor did he see him after he was resurrected.
The only thing Paul saw was a vision/dream which he assumed must have been Jesus.
That's the extent of Paul's eyewitness testimony of a living Jesus or resurrected Jesus. He has none.
Speaking of validated and witnessed miracles, here's a stupendous miracle that was in many ways even bigger than Jesus allegedly rising from the dead.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
This incredible event, an earthquake, with dead people coming out of their graves(before Jesus rose) and then strolling into town after Jesus was resurrected, and appearing to many others, is a huge event.
An event such as this would certainly be important enough to mention in the historical writings of non-Christians.
Yet, there is nothing about it.
There is nothing but complete silence about this wonderful and monumental event.
Even worse, there isn't one word about it anywhere else in the entire New Testament.
Paul, who was alive at the time and who was in Jerusalem often, never makes one mention of this event is all his writings.
Zip, zero, and zilch is what Paul and the other New Testament writers had to say about it.
The author of Luke, who claims he was writing an accurate account of all the important aspects of Jesus and his death(Luke 1:1-4), says not a single word about this huge event.
Are we to believe that this event wasn't important enough for the accurate historian Luke to mention?
This miracle is found only in the Gospel of Matthew.
The author(or authors) of the Gospel of Matthew loved to manufacture prophecy fulfillment by claiming that Jesus was a valid sign from God because he fulfilled prophecy from the Old Testament.
They had no problem ripping verses like Isa 7:14 out of context and claiming it was fulfilled by Jesus, when it was a prophecy that was really fulfilled hundreds of years before Jesus was even born(Matt 1:22-23).
They had no problem ripping Hosea 11:1 out of context and claiming that a past tense statement about Israel was really a prophecy fulfilled by Jesus(Matt 2:15).
The event in Matthew 27:50-53 has all the trappings of a manufactured, invented story.
It was most likely an attempt to show another prophecy as being fulfilled.
That prophecy being:
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
In the mind of the author of Matthew, if it could be claimed that dead people arose when Jesus died, this would help validate Jesus as being a legitimate agent from God. By writing that the dead did actually rise, the author of Matthew creates an aura of credibility to his repeated claims about Jesus being from God and not a false prophet as many of the Jews suspected he was.
If this event ever happened, where are those risen "saints" today? Did they have to die all over again?
This important question is ignored by Christians because they have no answer to it. They don't know and can only assume that all these people who rose from the dead must have died again.
Apparently Christians don't want to advertise the problems with salvation through Jesus that this exposes.
If being raised from the dead only means to be raised into another temporary life, then it certainly isn't eternal life that Christians claim God will provide through his "grace".
You can rest assured that if these people were ever really risen from the dead that the Jews would have had made quite an issue of it since it would have opened up a legalistic can of worms.
If a man who died is alive again, what are the legal implications regarding his past wife, children, and his property, etc?
If one New Testament author was prone to embellishing a story to suit his agenda and needs, why are other gospel writers or Paul to be taken more seriously? How much of their story is embellished as well?
Anyone who wants to think that the Gospel of Matthew, or the other gospels, is the word of God does so in spite of the evidence and not because of it.
A truly perfect, just, and infallible God wouldn't author such a maze of inconsistency and then condemn people to hell for not believing it was all His word.
Each report was originally an independent entity written by each eyewitness for the benefit of others, which were only later collated into an individual volume for convenience since they all dealt with the same subject.
Since there is nothing that can be confirmed as being written by an eyewitness, and since the gospels contradict each other on many issues, they do not represent a harmonious dealing with the same subject.
Using this type of grandiose assertion making, it can also be said that the Gospel of Thomas and all the other Gnostic gospels, which are deemed heresy by mainstream Christianity, are really all true because they were written by eyewitnesses. The Gospel of Thomas must have been written by the apostle Thomas, and he wouldn't lie.
The Bible had 40 different authors over a period of 1500 years, so you cannot conclude that there was collusion designed to subjugate humanity by deceptive presentation of the facts.
The modern Bible was voted into existence and confirmed as holy by various councils of clerical men.
There is no record of God actually appearing at any of these councils, giving instructions on which writings were "divine" and which ones weren't.
All this was done by the whims of men, who felt they were being guided by God.
Many writings were also rejected and banned based on the whims of men. God doesn't even enter into the equation, in any tangible way, regarding what writings ended up being declared divine. However, since fundamentalist Christianity wants to claim that all the writings which comprise the Bible must be the word of God, it follows that the men who voted these various writings as holy, must also have been directly inspired by God.
All of this sanctimonious talk about no collusion is called into question because the very councils that determined which writings were holy, must have colluded to some degree when they voted. If this Christian doesn't think there were some behind the scenes politics associated with the vote, they are living in a fantasy. The validity of the Holy Bible as being directly from God is one layer of Christian speculation piled on top of another.
None of it can be questioned, yet it must all be believed.
Also there were reported the sign gift abilities given to his followers for the promotion of his kingdom during the church's infancy, which authenticated Jesus Christ in the fulfillment of his promises to them. Try to explain these away among so many witnesses and recipients.
This is double talk and evasive action.
The gifts abilities that Jesus promised were not simply given to his followers "during the church's infancy" but were promised to anyone that believes, regardless of what time period they live in.
A skeptic doesn't have to explain away anything regarding miracles.
Christians need to demonstrate that the promises of Jesus regarding miracles are true.
It should be very easy to prove if they are true or not. The promised signs are clear and unique.
There is no wiggle room on this issue.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Do Christians do all of these things as Jesus promised they would?
How about this promise which Jesus made to anyone who believes?
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
Christians have been praying for world peace, for Jesus to return, for the end of all sickness, and all sorts of "miracles" for centuries and there is no evidence that any of this "asking in his name" works as promised.
If it really worked, hospitals would be cleared out and drug companies would be out of business for lack of buyers of their products. Christians pray themselves blue in the face for very simple verifiable things and there is no evidence that they get what they request.
The Pope himself is a living testimony to the inability of Christians to do what Jesus promised they would do.
The Pope is afflicted with so many physical ailments and yet neither he or his millions of followers can do anything to fix up any of his afflictions.
Surely, if any Christians were qualified to put the power of Jesus to work, as Jesus promised they would be, they should at least be able to help the Pope recover to some degree.
If even the Pope, the Vicar of Christ on earth, can't get his requests acted on, either he is a phony believer or the promises of Jesus regarding miracles are bogus.
The problem is obvious. Either there aren't any Christians who qualify as True Believers, or the promise of Jesus regarding miracles, as alleged by the Gospel writers, is false.
Jesus Christ had many hostile witnesses, but none of them could successfully refute the facts that were public knowledge, though they had ample opportunity to do so. Jesus Christ changed and influenced history with lasting results as no man has ever been able to do.
Jesus refuted himself. The Jews knew how to recognize a valid king Messiah because he would sit on David's throne, would free Israel and Judah during his lifetime and set up his kingdom during his lifetime.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
During his days, Jesus didn't do a single one of these things which God promised his people the Messiah would do.
There is nothing in the Old Testament which states an expected king Messiah(Christ) would need two attempts, separated by thousands of years, to get the job done right.
The resurrection and promise of a "second coming" is a Christian rationalization of a Messianic failure.
There were facts of miracles surrounding Jesus that were public knowledge?
These "facts" all come from the New Testament so this Christian is using the New Testament to prove that the New Testament must be true.
How about the "fact" that many dead people were raised to life and then strolled into town after Jesus died?
The burden of proof that this event happened is on the Christian who advertises that it is a "fact".
It is not the responsibility of a skeptic to prove a negative.
Using Christian logic, the Book of Mormon must also be true because Mormonism cannot be successfully refuted by it's detractors.
Mormonism thrives and is growing, so it must be true.
It opponents, most of them Christians, haven't been able to refute the fact that Joseph Smith was given God's word, written on gold tablets, directly from one of God's angels which he used to write the Book of Mormon.
As I have already said, Jesus Christ himself was the empirical evidence of the existence of God - not his claims. His claims were validated, supported, reinforced, and authenticated by his miracles, which the people obviously recognized as supernatural in nature, and which none could refute - his enemies could only mock saying they were of the devil.
Since this Christian hasn't established that Jesus couldn't have been sent by the "devil", this attempt to sell Jesus as proof of God is meaningless.
Moses couldn't refute the miracles performed by Pharaoh's priests so that proves they were from God as well.
The claims of Jesus often contradicted God's word in the Old Testament.
As already noted, Jesus did not fulfill God's description of what a valid Christ/Messiah would do. Not even close.
Jesus also declared all foods clean in Mark 7:18. This is the type of claim a false prophet would make in an attempt to turn people away from God's Law.
All foods are not clean according to God as recorded in Lev 11.
Jesus claimed that one could have eternal life if they drank his blood and ate his flesh(John 6:53-54).
The drinking of blood, symbolic or otherwise is abomination to God and is certainly not something God would tell people to do after he took all the trouble of telling them not to consume any type of blood(Lev 17:10).
Jesus claimed that he would return in his kingdom before all of his associates had died(Matt 16:27-28).
That promise failed and qualifies as false prophecy.
Valid prophets from God don't give false prophecy.
Jesus claimed that people could know he was really sent from God because he would be in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights(Matt 12:40). That's more false prophecy.
Jesus was only in the grave for 3 days and 2 nights according to Matthew, Luke, and Mark, and 2 days and 2 nights according to John. Although Jesus didn't have to be in the grave for 72 hours, he did have to be there on portions of 6 separate 12 hour time periods. That would total a minimum of 50 hours. Jesus was only in the grave approximately 38 hours.
Even accommodating Jesus by counting a portion of a 12 hour period as a full period doesn't help Jesus.
Jesus also lied to the high priest three times in John 18:20
Contrary to what Jesus told the priest, he did not teach exclusively in the Temple(Matt 5:1-2), he did not always teach openly and without deception(Matt 13:10-13), and he did teach things in secret(Matt 13:36-42) which he did not teach to the public.
A valid agent of God doesn't tell people to ignore God's Law, a valid agent doesn't give false prophecy, and a valid agent of God doesn't tell lies.
Ironically, Jesus fits the mold of a false prophet which God warned his people to be on the look out for.
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die
Jesus, who presumed to speak in God's name, was put to death just as God said he should be.
God also warned his people not to put their trust in men who cannot save.
Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth; in that very day his thoughts perish.
Once again, the plans of Jesus(who called himself the Son of man and who Christians fancy as a prince) to make a glorious second coming (Matt 16:27-28, Rev 22:7,12) within the lifetimes of some of his followers came to nothing.
Those are two Bible prophecies fulfilled by Jesus that I'll wager Christians don't want to recognize.
As far as cults are concerned, their counterfeit miracles are of demonic origin.
This is the old, "my religion is the one true faith and all others are cults" song and dance.
The table can easily be turned on this attempt to discredit other beliefs by saying the following:
The cult of Jesus, whose foundation was laid by the God mocker and apostate Paul, is demonic in origin.
One must consider the source. Now the religious powers that were in control in that day were loathe to give up their comfortable life of approbation and exploitation to this "intruder", thus facilitating his demise according to the permissive will of God the father, in order that God's justice may be satisfied once and for all - One for all - by the sacrifice of the innocent for the guilty, as pictured in the previous animal sacrifice mandates of the Jewish Old Testament Law.
Jesus the false prophet was killed just as God predicted in Deut 18:20.
By the way, Jesus didn't fulfill any of the requirements of God's Law to be a proper and valid sin sacrifice.
Humans aren't on the list of clean animals approved of by God for such sacrifices, nor did his sacrifice conform to the other requirements which God clearly spelled out in the Bible.
As usual, Christians ignore God's word in the Old Testament as they weave their new improved theology around the pagan custom of a human sacrifice.
The sacrifices looked forward by faith indicating Christ as the ultimate sacrifice, while we on the other side of the crucifixion back by faith to that same ultimate sacrifice for all mankind.
Since the human sacrifice of Jesus didn't meet even the minimum requirements of a proper and valid sin sacrifice as spelled out by God, all this rhetoric is baseless as being the word of God.
Christians can't contradict God and then claim their religion comes from God and expect to have credibility outside of their own imaginings.
In order to convince people that they should come on in and play in the theological sandbox Christians frolic in, they need to stop contradicting God and start taking what he declared in the Old Testament as true.
Pretending that God wasn't serious about his instructions to humanity as laid down in the Old Testament only exposes the superficial faith that Christians have in God. They like themselves and Paul much better than they like God.
Sermon is continued in Part 2
--Go to Part 2--
-- BACK --