5/04/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
If you’re a Christian, or on the fence about your beliefs, I would like to recommend that you give a little thought to something important.
The Bible, and Christian clergy, writers, and apologists all make a very big deal of hewing to the faith, of shunning doubt and constantly “working on” one’s faith. They make it sound like actually thinking about and researching the truth values of your Christian beliefs is an insult to god. To question the teachings you’ve received, and actually question the truth of the Jesus story, they claim, is to “turn away from god.”
But is this really the right way to look at it? Why do they insist that you believe whatever you’re told in the Bible and in sermons? Why do they say, “Just take my word for it”?
One would have to be incredibly gullible to have no doubts at all about Bible dogma. You surely have noticed that many of the stories in the Bible are indistinguishable from common fairy tales. There are stories in the Bible about snakes and jackasses talking with humans in human language, a magical tree with the knowledge of right and wrong somehow residing in its fruit, 900 year-old men, dragons, unicorns, and a man who walked on water, made tons of food materialize on occasion, and healed diseases with a touch. Have you ever thought about that old adage, “The bigger the lie, the easier it is to believe”?
Oddly, you’ve never seen anything so miraculous in your life, or even close, ever. In fact, there is no evidence in the world today that would prove any of these claims, not one. How could you not have doubts about such outrageous claims?
It’s the Bible, the foundational document of Christianity, so doesn’t it matter whether those stories are true? If any of them are untrue, then what else in that book is also untrue? Does it really make sense to just believe what those anonymous, ancient, superstitious men tell you in the Bible? Remember; while those primitive men claimed to tell you ageless truths about how the world works, they also thought the moon made its own light and disease was caused by demons.
More importantly, who told you not to doubt, not to question what The Book says? Did god stand in front of you and tell you that? Or was it those who told you about god, who said you shouldn’t doubt? Are they really afraid you’re doubting them? And shouldn’t you? If someone tells you, “Just take my word for it,” shouldn’t you be suspicious? Why do they not want you to think about and investigate this stuff?
Perhaps some charismatic person has convinced you that the Bible has all the answers. Consider for a moment that charismatic people, those who have such eloquence and magnetism that they can get others to follow them blindly, are some of the most dangerous people in the world. Mohammed was a charismatic man, and so was Jim Jones of Guyana mass-suicide fame, and Adolph Hitler. All of these men were adored and deeply trusted by many. When people abdicate their responsibility to think for themselves, and trust others with their conscience, they tread on very dangerous ground.
Those who have seen to your religious training have likely been very careful to tell you that doubting the teachings of the Bible is a grave mistake. But, you need to understand that in questioning the Bible and your religion you are NOT turning away from god, but from the influences of those people who told you the god story. God never told you that story, humans did.
The Bible plainly states that homosexuals, disobedient sons, and people who work on the Sabbath should be executed, but I’m sure you don’t believe any of that. How can you maintain any faith in those men who wrote such ugly stuff? What else are they wrong about? You know for sure that no god told them to write such disgusting nonsense.
Must something be true just because they wrote that it’s true? Did they point to anything in the physical world around you that could prove their claims? Does the beauty in the world really prove there’s a god? If so, then why doesn’t the ugliness of the world, its pain, disease, and death, prove there is no god?
If there really is a loving god, then he cannot want you to suffer for your doubts. No sensible God could fault you for finding that you have this marvelous, wondrous gift, a brain, and using it for the purpose it was designed. And if there really is no god, or the Jesus story is not true, wouldn’t it be helpful to the successful, efficient conduct of your life to know that?
It should be clear to you by now that that “turning away from god” phrase is nothing but a scare tactic. You’re not really questioning god, you are merely questioning all those who told you about god. You’re only wondering whether you can trust them. Perhaps they truly believed what they wrote and meant well, but they’re just wrong? They’re only human, after all, and I’m sure you’ve heard that to err is human.
At the end of the day, it cannot be a sin to ask and to think, to doubt. It just can’t!
"I've never understood how God could expect his creatures to pick the one true religion by faith - it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe." - Jubal Harshaw in “Stranger in a Strange Land” by Robert A. Heinlein.