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Deconstructing Christian beliefs

By Michael Runyan ~

The following lists beliefs that most Christians hold, with a commentary on how to view them more objectively:

God’s nature is triune. This is sometimes expressed as the doctrine of the Trinity or “three persons in one God”. These are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

No, it is three gods and Christianity is polytheistic. They might all have the same purpose and can telepathically communicate with each other, but they are three separate beings as described. The Trinity was invented out of necessity after Jesus was made into a god in order to prevent Christianity from being tainted by the specter of polytheism that was the main criticism of the pagan traditions.

There exists a spirit world – angels and demons – that was created by God. This includes the devil (also known as Satan or Lucifer).

No, there is no evidence of any spirit beings whether they be angels or demons. Based on our current understanding of the mind/body relationship, a massless creature cannot think, see, hear, or exist.

The universe was created by God.

This is a baseless assumption that leaves out the more important question of how God was created. It is more likely that a chaotic explosion of matter could happen on its own than an infinitely intelligent being doing so.

Mankind is sinful and sin deserves punishment.

Sin is an invented concept of religion and often refers to things that harm no one- neither the perpetrator nor anyone else. People do evil things and deserve punishment, but the punishment for finite crimes should be finite. The concept of an eternal hell is immoral by any definition.

The man Jesus, in his life on earth some 2000 years ago, was God manifest in the flesh – fully God and fully man.

No, this is sleight of hand. If Jesus was fully human then, by definition, he had limitations, sinned, and was imperfect, meaning that he could not have been fully God at the same time.

Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary, and was the Messiah.

The belief that Jesus was born of a virgin was generated by a mistranslation of Old Testament scripture that actually states that he would be born of a ‘young’ woman. The myth of the virgin birth was also created so that Jesus could compete with the pagan gods of the time, themselves allegedly the product of virgin births.

Jesus was crucified to death but was resurrected “on the third day.”

There is no record of Jesus’s crucifixion or resurrection outside of scriptures written decades later. Contemporary historians did not record these events nor did they initially record the existence of people who had believed that this had happened.

As a result of Jesus’ resurrection, sin and death have been defeated.

Sin and death have continued unabated since the resurrection.

Although there is some controversy amongst Christians about the nature of salvation, most Christians would say that salvation is a gift offered by God that an individual can receive – or reject.

No, a person cannot ‘reject’ an offer that they don’t believe exists.

When a person becomes a Christian he/she has therefore been saved by Jesus.

If you are saved from an unjust sentence imposed by the savior, it is an absurd gesture.

As a Christian a person is a new creation, filled with the Holy Spirit and expressing God’s love in and to the world.

God’s ‘love’ all too often is expressed as shunning, discrimination, xenophobia, condescension, recrimination, violence, hate, and vitriol.

Jesus shall return to earth – this is known as The Second Coming.

By his own words written explicitly into the scriptures, Jesus is late by at least 1950 years from his promised return.

There shall be a final judgement of all people. People who are saved are destined for eternity in heaven. Those who are not saved are not destined for heaven – and, according to many Christians, are destined for hell.

Hell is the most reprehensible concept ever devised by the human mind.

The Bible is the authoritative word of God.

The Bible has so many contradictions, absurdities, cruelties, and historical inaccuracies for it to be anything remotely approaching the word of an infallible god.

On occasions God intervenes in the natural world through miracles – including miracles of healing – often in response to prayers by Christians.

There is no evidence other than anecdotes fueled by coincidence that prayer works. Controlled studies have shown that it has no effect on outcomes.

Christian beliefs fly in the face of everything humankind has learned over the past twenty centuries. They remain ensconced only through indoctrination and intimidation. An outsider’s objective analysis reduces them to wishful and often willfully-ignorant thinking.