Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm starting another blog

It's called Christian Follies. At the moment I haven't posted anything just yet other than a paragraph for "About this blog," explaining the scope and purpose of the blog.

The blog is to be a collection of news stories about the misdeeds of Christians: financial, sexual, and fraud. Those seem to be the three most common categories.

The purpose of the blog as I state over there is to provide empirical proof that belief in God and declarations of one's special relationship to Jesus in no way provide any guarantee of moral behavior or of any kind of transformational or redemptive experience.

A first thought: granting for sake of argument that 1) that Christianity is true [can be any flavor that preaches the transformational and redemptive power of encounters with the Risen Christ] and 2) that True Christians are out there in the world. How is anyone, Christian or heathen, to know whether any given individual is a True Christian?

And lest anyone think false Christians are creatures of overheated atheist brains:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:15.

For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30

But there were false prophets also among the people, even as
there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall
bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. I Peter 2:1-2

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Matthew 24:24

These were only the passages that came to mind. There is also the theological conundrum of faith and works. A sinner may be redeemed, but even from the beginning in the Apostle Paul there is an explicit recognition that being a Christian is no guarantee of sanctity or of moral, ethical, or upstanding behavior. Even after redemption, Christians will still sin, sometimes grievously.

I'm sure there are other relevant passages and controversies. The question remains: how is anyone, Christian or otherwise to spot one of these false prophets and wolves among the faithful before their mayhem is found out. Quoting Matthew 7:16 is of little help. Ye shall know them by their fruits? I doubt that anyone needs a Holy Scripture to figure out something is wrong after the fact. How does one tell the difference between a false prophet and True Christian who has slipped up? Given the Apostle Paul's thorn in the flesh, if were to judge by their fruits, could anybody be saved?

For any religious-minded readers, consider whether you would let your children have contact with a child molester who had found Jesus and otherwise gave good evidence in his life that he had undergone a profound redemptive and transformational experience. The short answer is probably not. And it's perfectly understandable, even to this godless atheist. But why?

Even if Christianity is true, and True Christians are purchased from sin, and all will be well with the True Christians in the life to come, professions of faith or of a special relationship with Jesus as one's Lord and Master, provides no guidance with evaluating and judging the morality and suitability of behavior in this life in this world.

The question I seem to be stumbling towards is what significance for ethical and moral behavior does a profession of submission to Jesus as one's Lord, Savior, and Master have for life in this world? This is not a question of being sure of one's own salvation, but of whether professions of other people of their submission to Jesus as one's Lord, Savior, and Master is any kind of guarantee or indicator of moral, ethical, or upstanding behavior. Whether one is a Christian in the narrowest and strictest sense imaginable, or a godless atheist, the answer to this question has to be the same.

This is not to say that Christianity and Christian organizations, such as churches, do not create special opportunities and even special varieties of immoral acts such as fraud, deception, or my own favorite: simony.

What this means as a practical matter is that one's Redemption is a spiritual event. As a spiritual event it is without effect in the physical world, in this world. The spiritual events of Christianity are without effect in this world. Christian leaders are no more honest, moral, or ethical than anyone else. Consequently, "Christian Politics" is a misnomer.

To claim that belief in God or faith in one's relationship with Jesus the Christ as one's Lord, Savior, and Master results in moral, ethical, or upstanding behavior is to lie. The spiritual claims of Christians, then, provide no guidance in political behavior.

Further, because those claims are lies, this makes membership in any organization that espouses such claims immoral and in Christian-speak, sinful.

1 comment:

  1. You seem unaware of a crucial fact: Christians are still humans. We have flaws and weaknesses just as non believers do. But if we are honest Christians we will admit our faults. As a Christian myself, and I am far from perfect, I do not assume I am simply forgiven my sins just by apologizing. If I try to confess and it doesn't feel sincere then I will make myself sincere, cause you can't have a clear conscience unless you are truly sorry.

    With regards the false prophets. This is talking about those who blatantly teach things that are so far removed from the actual real teachings. False prophets such as those who have relaxed the scriptures to fit in with their own desires. I for one have a sense of discernment and if a teaching makes me feel uncomfortable, I will research and every time my feeling has been supported by many other sources.

    With regards the truth of being purified. I haven't been a Christian for a long time. But in the short time I have been, I have gone from being an agressive, arrogant, impatient, judgemnetal and very undesiravble character. By working with my faith I am changing gradually into someone who is more at peace with the world. After all, that was the gist of Christs teaching. Love God and Love your neighbour. So why do non believers have to try and destroy and tarnish the name of a set of beliefs that are actually centered around teachings of peace? Quite sad really. They say they want peace and that religion causes war. But they try to destroy a faith that actually teaches peace.


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