by Robert Tuttle
[Note: I have included a pdf download of this at the bottom of the article]
Recently, I was in a conversation with an atheist whom we'll call “Larry,” and he told me, among other things, that Christians had been programmed to avoid any questioning of their faith. “Larry” went to say that he had written a blog article listing what he called, “30 Reasons Why Christianity is a Dangerous Religion.” Larry stated he knew Christians would never read it because we are also programmed to avoid looking at or reading such things.
Now, before you say it, yes, I know he was baiting Christians in the hope they would read his article and abandon Christianity, but I willingly took the bait and read it. Then I went back and re-read it and responded to it point by point. I think it was important to do so, because all of his points are becoming standard talking points among for many atheists. I've read them in various atheist blogs, and heard them from more than a few atheists. It is almost as if they are becoming a standard atheist manifesto. It is my hope that other Christians will read this, and hopefully will be able to cull a bit here and there to help them in their own encounters with atheists who use these points. Here is Larry's article along with my responses. Larry's original unedited words are in black, while my responses and comments are in blue:
30 Reasons why Christianity is a Dangerous Religion
1. You can never question Christianity. You must accept the entire set of ideals found in the Hebrew/Roman Bible without doubt. You must accept God (Yahweh/Jesus), believe in Judgement Day, Heaven, Hell, angels, demons, miracles etc. And you must do it because this book is sent from God himself. If you think this is untrue, just go to your local church and start questioning the historicity of Jesus or the origins of the Christian Religion. Then tell me how that works out for you …
1. The statement “You can never question Christianity” is simply untrue. In fact, Scripture records the Berean Jews of Acts 17 were considered to be of “noble character” and even more so than those in Thessalonica, because they actually did question the teachings of the Apostle Paul. They refused to accept what he said simply because he said it, and took it upon themselves to examine what he was saying. There is no Christian church, no Christian pastor who is afraid to be questioned; and every Christian pastor I have ever met actually welcomed those who would question his teachings. Questioning is how people learn, and questioning the historicity of Jesus or the origins of the Christian religion would be welcomed; especially as there is ample evidence of the historic Jesus, and the origins of the Christian Church are well documented. Nothing to hide, and people are invited to question as much as they like. The premise of point #1 is simply untrue.
2. Christianity takes your individual freedoms away. It forces you to live your life according to an ancient book that has no evidence. You must pray, study the Bible, go to church, pay your tithes, testify to others about your religion etc. You are forbidden to eat certain foods and you must have “perfect love” and obey all the commandments. You must dress and behave a certain way having the mind of Christ … always thinking exactly like Jesus did.
You can't question it. Just obey everything that is written in the holy book that was sent from God. Christianity discourages partaking in many worldly activities. Extreme Christian cults forbid watching television, playing with cards or dice and attending sporting events. Many Christians believe that going to church should be the only activity a Christian enjoys.
Christianity often leads to a form of “Religious Financial Extremism” whereby the Christian gives all of their extra money to support Christian mission programs and causes their own family to struggle and suffer as a result. Even worse … a Christian can become so “Heavenly Minded” that he/she never prepares or plans for “old age” or “retirement years” because they believed the “Rapture” was going to occur at any day and who needs money? So when they become retirement age they are flat broke and depend on others to care for them.
2. As with point #1, point #2 begins with a false premise, and then compounds it with untrue statements. Let's unpack each of these in the order they appear.
A. “Christianity takes your individual freedoms away.” What “freedoms” is Larry talking about? He doesn't really define them, and therefore leaves his stand alone statement at the beginning of point #2 in order to “set the stage” so to speak, to prep the minds of his readers to interpret everything he says next in point #2 in the light of his opening statement.
B. “It forces you to live your life according to an ancient book that has no evidence. You must pray, study the Bible, go to church, pay your tithes, testify to others about your religion etc. You are forbidden to eat certain foods and you must have “perfect love” and obey all the commandments. You must dress and behave a certain way having the mind of Christ … always thinking exactly like Jesus did.” Again, each of these are untrue statements. Christianity does not “force” anyone to live in any particular manner. People are free to live however they choose. While it is true that Christianity does teach that God wants us to live in a particular manner, abiding by a particular set of God established guidelines, those who do so, do because they choose to do so. Nobody “forces” them to do so. “An ancient book that has no evidence”? Actually there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that supports the validity of the Bible. The question really isn't one of “is there any evidence to support the Bible?” but rather, are you willing to set aside your presuppositional biases and examine that evidence honestly?
“You must pray, study the Bible, go to church, pay your tithes, testify to others about your religion etc.” As I just noted, Christianity does teach that we should do these things, but they are not forced on anyone. Those who do so, do so because they choose to. There is no “You must...”, but rather, a “you should.” “You are forbidden to eat certain foods and you must have “perfect love” and obey all the commandments.” No Christian church teaches these things. In fact, Scripture is very clear that we are free to eat whatever we want (Acts 10:15, 11:9); as well as being clear that we will never be perfect in any way while we live here on earth. Scripture also teaches that those who must obey all the commandments in order to make it into heaven, are those who are not Christians, and it goes on to point out that no one can obey all (613) commandments and laws. Larry claims in his personal testimony that he went to church, went to two “major” Bible colleges. If his church, college, and university taught that one must be perfect, must abstain from certain foods, must obey all of the commandments and laws, then they were not a Christian church, college or university as this teaching is contrary to what Christianity teaches and believes, and contrary to the Bible.
C. “You can't question it. Just obey everything that is written in the holy book that was sent from God. Christianity discourages partaking in many worldly activities. Extreme Christian cults forbid watching television, playing with cards or dice and attending sporting events. Many Christians believe that going to church should be the only activity a Christian enjoys.” As I noted, questioning is welcomed and encouraged. Christianity does not teach that you must obey everything in the Bible. It encourages Christians to obey Christ, to obey God; but does not teach that “everything in the Bible” must be obeyed. Any church or group that teaches this is not a Christian church or group, as this teaching is contrary to Scripture.
It is true that Christianity does discourage partaking in many worldly activities. At the same time, so does every other religion, and so do atheists. In fact, every single person and group of people on the planet discourage partaking in many worldly activities, especially since worldly activities includes criminal activity, dangerous “challenges” (such as the recent “Tide Pod Challenge” and the “knock out game”), as well as other activities that are harmful. I seriously doubt that Larry would encourage people to engage in these worldly activities. With regard to “Extreme Christian cults,” well, there aren't any. Those groups and churches that engage in extremist views while calling themselves “Christian” simply are not Christian as what they teach is contrary to Scripture. And, Larry's comment that “Many Christians believe that going to church should be the only activity a Christian enjoys” is simply ludicrous. Christians do enjoy attending church, but we also enjoy many other activities not related to church.
D. “Christianity often leads to a form of “Religious Financial Extremism” whereby the Christian gives all of their extra money to support Christian mission programs and causes their own family to struggle and suffer as a result. Even worse … a Christian can become so “Heavenly Minded” that he/she never prepares or plans for “old age” or “retirement years” because they believed the “Rapture” was going to occur at any day and who needs money? So when they become retirement age they are flat broke and depend on others to care for them.” Again, this is contrary to Scripture, and therefore untrue. The Bible clearly teaches that we are to take care of our families, and to not do so is a sin. Therefore, any church or group calling itself “Christian” that is teaching this, is actually teaching its followers to sin, and cannot be a Christian church or Christian group. At this point, I have to wonder if Larry did not get caught up in a pseudo-Christian cult, as these “Christian beliefs” he is espousing are not Christian at all!
Larry's initial comment, “Christianity takes your individual freedoms away” is again, simply untrue, In fact, Christians have far more freedom than unbelievers do, as they are free to reject unhealthy lusts and damaging desires, while the unbelievers are not.
3. Christianity manipulates “Fear of Death” and loves to “Blackmail” disbelievers. If you “backslide” or leave the religion, they threaten to send you to Hell. This fear of Hell is the main cause for believing and then accepting the religion. If you are a child and your parents told you about Hell, it will be particularly hard for you to ever leave their religion.
3. Now this is an interesting thing for Larry to write. “Christianity manipulates a 'Fear of Death'.” Interesting because Christians do not fear death. We may not like the intervening period between now and then, but death itself holds no fear for us whatsoever. We do understand that many people do fear death, and perhaps Larry himself fears death; but we do not manipulate that fear by not fearing death ourselves. Larry goes on to write that Christians love to “Blackmail” unbelievers, and we threaten to “send you to Hell” if you “backslide” or leave the religion. Well, that is also not true. Not in the least. No Christian believes he or she has the power to send anyone to hell. Does the Bible say that unbelievers will be cast into hell because of their sin and their rejection of the salvation that is found only in Jesus Christ? Yes, it does. However, if someone is an unbeliever then they do not believe in God, and they do not believe in heaven or hell; so, how would any threat, from a Christian or the Bible, that they will spend eternity in hell have any effect on that unbeliever? It would appear that Larry is grasping at straws in his attempt to influence people to stay away from Christianity. This is supported by his claim that the “fear of Hell is the main cause for believing and then accepting” Christianity. This is nonsense. The main cause for believing in God, and accepting Christianity is our love for God, and the secondary reason is the love that God has put in our hearts for our fellow men and women.
4. Christianity sanctions slavery. The African slave trade was almost entirely conducted by Christians and Jews. They transported their victims to the New World in slave ships with names such as "Mercy" and "Jesus," where they were bought by Christians, both Catholic and Protestant. Organized Christianity was not silent on this horror: it actively encouraged it and engaged in it.
The Christians who supported and engaged in slavery were amply supported by the Bible, in which slavery is accepted as a given, as simply a part of the social landscape. There are numerous biblical passages that implicitly or explicitly endorse slavery and Jesus never spoke against it.
4. Larry's claim that “Christianity sanctions slavery” is a bald faced lie, a boldly and deliberately spoken slander against God, and against Christians and Christianity; and any student of the Bible (as Larry claims he was) would know this. It can be categorically stated that no Christian ever engaged in the African slave trade, nor any other area of the slave trade. No did any Christian ever encourage it, nor does the Bible support slavery. Now then, that being said, it is true that there were greedy unscrupulous individuals who used the pretext of Christianity and the Bible (by twisting and purposely misinterpreting it) to engage in and support slavery. The simply fact of the matter is this, the Bible actively speaks out against slavery of the kind that Larry is referring to, which is the forcible kidnapping of people and forcing them into slavery.
Exodus 21:16 very clearly states, “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.” This verse clearly describes slavery. And, lest someone say, “well that is the Old Testament,” what does the New Testament say about slavery?” 1 Timothy 1:8-10 uses equally strong language against slavery when it states that “enslavers” will not go to heaven (demonstrating they are not Christians). The word translated “enslavers” in this passage is the Greek word, andrapodistés, which means, an enslaver, one who forcibly enslaves, a kidnapper. The Bible is also not otherwise silent regarding slavery, as it details that when a person sells him or herself into slavery (which was often done to pay off a debt. This is otherwise known as indentured servitude.), the one to whom the “slave” was bound or indebted to was to treat that person with the utmost respect and kindness, to the point of releasing that person after a set period of time regardless of whether or not they had paid off their debt.
I would also point out that Larry's argument of, “Jesus never spoke against” slavery is an argument from silence, which is a logical fallacy (argumentum ex silentio). Jesus also didn't speak against such things as drunkenness, heroin or meth abuse, child sacrifice, or driving your Buick into a crowd of people. Should we conclude from His silence on these issues to mean he approved of them? Apparently Larry thinks so. Jesus addressed the moral issues of His day as they arose in situations and conversations. Additionally, it's not really certain that Jesus never spoke out against slavery. It is very possible that He did, but His statements against it were simply not recorded. John 21:25 states there are many things that Jesus said that were not written down. And since the Scriptures already spoke out against slavery, and everyone would have already know that they did, it would have been redundant for Jesus to teach people what they already knew. It is important to also note what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-39: “And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” These are the two “Greatest Commandments” that Jesus taught. It could not be more obvious, especially by the second great commandment, that Jesus was adamantly opposed to slavery.
5. Christianity is Misogynistic. Misogyny is fundamental to the basic writings of Christianity. In passage after passage, women are commanded to accept an inferior role, and to be ashamed of themselves for the simple fact that they are women.
Christian teachings produce low esteem and horrible treatment of women. Christianity is a man’s religion whereby women are servient to the men. Women are dumped on throughout the Bible, and are still being dumped on in the churches. How many denominations allow women to be clergy? If they are clergy, they still aren't equal to the men in the clergy. And it is supported 100% in the Bible.
According to the New Testament, women are not permitted to preach, teach or hold an office within the church. The Bible teaches that because of original sin of Eve, women are the “weaker vessels” and therefore must be “sub-servient” to their husbands. In marriage the man rules over his wife. Man is the head, the boss, the priest, and the decider. Women are below men in the pecking order. In 1 Corinthians 11:3-9 where it is made crystal clear that God is over Christ, Christ is over man, and man is over woman. After all man was not created for woman, but woman was created for man.
Women are not allowed to talk in church, in fact the idea of them speaking in church is shameful. This is made very clear in 1 Corinthians 14:34-35. Women are to remain silent, and if they have any questions they are to ask their husbands at home after church. Not only are women inferior to men, but they should treat their husbands as they treat God. In some extreme religious Christian sects, women are forbidden to cut their hair, wear makeup or Jewelry or wear cloths pertaining to a man.
5. “Christianity is Misogynistic,” teaching women are “inferior,” “subservient,” and leads to “horrible treatment of women.” At least according to Larry. But what does Scripture actually teach? Husbands are to love their wives as they love themselves, not treat them harshly, show them honor, be willing and ready to die for them, protect them, provide for them, cherish them, respect them, not cheat on them, and not abandon them (Colossians 3:19; 1 Peter 3:7; Ephesians 5:25-29; Hebrews 13:4; Malachi 2:16). Scripture states that God made woman to be a helper for man, indicating they are equals, helping one another (Genesis 2:18); and that a good woman is more precious than jewels (Proverbs 31:10). Does this sound misogynistic to you? Does this sound like Christianity teaches women are inferior or subservient? Does this sound like women are being treated horribly?
Larry goes on to point out that women are not allowed to be pastors. This is true. But this does not mean that women are not allowed to hold any leadership positions in the Church, or that women are to be silent and out of the way or in some other way inferior. I would point out to Larry there have been innumerable vitally important women throughout the history of the Church (which technically goes all the way back to creation), and even up to today who have played a major role in the Church. For example: The Daughters of Zelophehad (Num 26:33; 27:1-11; 36:1-12; Josh 17:3-6) changed the inheritance laws in ancient Israel. Deborah (Judg 4:4-5:31). Both a prophet and a judge. Rahab (Josh 2:1-24; 6:17-25; Matt 1:5; Heb 11:31; Jas 2:25) bravely and fearlessly hid the Israelite spies and saved her entire family from destruction. Phoebe (Rom 16:1-2) a well respected Deaconess in the early church. Priscilla/Prisca (Acts 18:2-3, 18-19, 24-26; Rom 16:3-5; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19) another well respected gospel bearer in the early church. Ruth (Ruth; Matt 1:5) a highly respected role model in the Old Testament. Esther (Esther 1-9) bravely saved not just her family, but all of her people in the Old Testament, and has been honored as a result. And there are many more scattered throughout the Bible, and throughout Church history who have been well respected, been leaders in the Church and so forth. To say that Christianity is misogynistic demonstrates a complete lack of understanding about Christianity.
6. Christians believe that their religion should be constitutionally mandated. Christianity not only has armies of lawyers, but also whole law schools and an army of legislatures who actually push to change the laws in their favor. There are huge mega-church movements who wage protest and letter-writing campaigns to private companies and legislatures.
Christianity has taken on issues like stem-cell research, abortion, contraceptive limitations, medical treatments, science education, etc. The list is nearly endless. Within the United States, right-wing Christians (whether Catholic or Protestant) pose the biggest threat to those who do not share their worldview, because they constitute a large and determined enough minority to finance and maintain a long-term movement to write their views into law.
Christianity dominates the United Nations. More than 70% of religious non-government organizations (NGOs) at the UN are Christian, and that there is historical privilege in allowing the Vatican a special observer status, as both a state and a religion.
6. Aside from the obvious lack of truth in his opening statement, “Christians believe that their religion should be constitutionally mandated,” and the conspiratorial tone of this particular point; there is an oppressive message in Larry's words here. In this point, Larry is advocating that laws should not favor Christians (a protected segment of our society per the 1964 Civil Rights Act). I am confident that Larry supports laws favoring every single segment of our society protected by the Civil Rights Act, but he clearly does not support any law that might favor Christians. This, in and of itself, is likely the most bigoted and discriminatory statement in all of Larry's blog article; and is probably the most demonstrative of the misotheism and Christianomisia that permeates Larry's writings. The standard rejoinder of atheists such as Larry, is that they do not want Christianity “forced” on them, or “shoved down their throat.” However, it would appear that Larry is quite comfortable in having anti-Christian beliefs forced on Christians. That such bias would exist in his thinking should shame him.
Larry goes on to complain that 70% of religious NGO's at the U.N. are Christian. While this may be true if one defines “Christian” using the broadest definition possible. The obvious response is, why does Larry object to Christians helping people? Would Larry prefer that Christians stop feeding people? Would Larry prefer that Christians stop helping people through rescue and recovery efforts during and after natural disasters? Would Larry prefer that Christians stop providing medical care, fresh water wells, homes, and so much more to people in desperate need of them? Apparently, and for some unfathomable reason, Larry considers helping provide for the physical needs of others is somehow evil and dangerous. Rather than complain that Christians are helping people, or that too many Christians are helping people, perhaps he should begin advocating for his own group (atheists) to step up to the plate and match (or exceed) the helping hand that Christians provide for those in need.
7. The true goal of today's Christian fundamentalists is to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their "moral values" on the U.S. Constitution, replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new "Christian America" in their image. Most Christians believe that public school teachers discriminate against conservative Christian students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.
7. If Larry has seen some hidden manifesto created by Christianity that supports his conspiratorial claim that “The true goal of today's Christian fundamentalists is to break down the wall that separates church and state, superimpose their 'moral values' on the U.S. Constitution, replace democracy with theocratic rule, and ultimately create a new 'Christian America' in their image” I'd certainly like to see it. Since the Bible does not teach this, nor advocate for it, he can't be talking about the Bible. In fact, the Bible actually teaches that we are to support the government – regardless of which party is in control (with the exception of those instances when the government might require Christians to abandon their faith). So it would appear that again, Larry has promoted another untrue belief.
Christians do not consider their American citizenship to be in a position of primacy over their citizenship in heaven. In fact, the reverse is true. Christians are citizens of heaven first, and citizens of America (or wherever they might live) second. What the government does is of little concern to Christians unless what they are doing serves to harm others or drive them away from God. Christians believe their will be a theocratic kingdom one day, but we do not believe it will be America, and we do not believe we can institute it. Larry's conspiracy theories are painfully transparent.
Larry then switches gears and throws in an unrelated statement, writing, “Most Christians believe that public school teachers discriminate against conservative Christian students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” Is there any validity to this? Let's examine the evidence:
– At Desert Rose Elementary School in Palmdale, California, the school called the police on a 7-year old because he was handing out Bible verses.
– A 12-year old student at Park Lakes Elementary school in Lauderdale Lakes, Florida was disciplined because he brought his Bible to school and read it during a free reading period.
– An 8-year old student in Dearborn Heights, Michigan was disciplined for attempting to read his Bible during a free reading period.
– A second grade student at Hamilton Elementary in Cypress, Texas had his Bible confiscated when he tried to read it during a free reading period.
– A 16-year old student at Gateway East High School in El Cajon, California was suspended for two days because he brought his Bible to school.
– At Lynn Lucas Middle School in Texas, two students (sisters) had their Bibles confiscated when they brought them to school. The teacher threw the Bibles in the trash, telling the students, “We don't tolerate this garbage in school.” When the students called their mother, the teacher retaliated by calling Child Protective Services in an attempt to have the girls removed from their home.
– Also at Lynn Lucas Middle School, a different teacher refused to allow a 13-year old student to read his Bible during a free reading period. This same teacher forced another student to remove a book cover from one of his books because the book cover featured the Ten Commandments.
– The Joplin (Missouri) School District and Pine Creek High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado banned Christian students from meeting together for prayer and Bible study during free time on school grounds.
– A first grade student at Jackson Elementary school in Temecula, California was reprimanded for talking about the Bible.
– A first grade student at Shafer Elementary school in Pennsylvania was not allowed to hand out Valentine's Day cards to other students because the cards stated, “God Loves You.”
– A fifth grade student at Barrett Elementary Center of the Pocono Mountain School District was forbidden from handing out invitations to her classmates to a Christmas party at her church.
– Colorado Springs (Colorado) School District 11 enacted a ban on Christian symbols, forbidding students from wearing crosses, crucifixes, etc., unless they were hidden from view.
– Glenview Elementary School in New Jersey, and Yulee High School in Florida ban students from saying “God bless America,” punishing them if they do.
– A student at Superior Street Elementary School wanted to dance to a Christian song during a talent show, the school forbid it saying the song was too religious.
– A student at the Cannon Country REACH program in Tennessee was banned from reading the Bible during an after school program.
– A student at Toman High School was punished for including a cross and a Bible reference in an art project.
– A teacher at West Memorial Junior High in Texas demanded a seventh grade Christian student write down that God was not real.
– A student at Cascade High School in Washington was reprimanded for sharing his faith on school grounds.
– Students at Shawano High School in Wisconsin and at a Forth Worth Texas Independent School District school were punished for expressing their Christian beliefs while at school.
– High school and middle school Christian students in Kountze, Texas were banned from sharing their Christian faith
– Christian students in the Houghton-Portage Township School District in Michigan, and the Davenport, Iowa Schools have been banned from sharing their faith and/or distributing Christian material on school grounds at any time.
– Christian students at Westfield High School were suspended for handing out candy canes during the Christmas season because they contained “religious content.”
– The Woodland Joint Unified School District in California implemented a study program in its elementary schools that includes having children (including Christian children) learn about “diverse cultures.” This includes having the children pretend they are witches and sorcerers and cast spells.
– Ward Melville High School, Hicksville High School (both in New York), the Milford New York School District, and Lindenhurst (New Jersey) High School have all denied equal access to Christian student clubs, while allowing other student clubs.
These practices also follow students when they leave high school and attend schools of higher learning. For example:
– A Florida Atlantic University professor required Christian students to write Jesus' name on a piece of paper, put the paper on the floor, and stomp on it.
– Missouri State University punished a Christian student for refusing to violate her faith.
– A Southern Illinois University professor refused to allow papers that included Christian principles.
– Augusta State University told a Christian student to either renounce her Christian beliefs or be expelled from the school's graduate counseling program.
– Eastern Michigan University expelled a student for refusing to violate their Christian faith.
– A Polk State College professor failed a Christian student for refusing to bash Christianity.
– The Community College of Baltimore County rejected two students because they were Christians.
– Missouri State University expelled a Christian student from a graduate program because of the students Christian beliefs.
– The University of Wisconsin-Eau Clair refused to count time spent in mandatory community service for Christian students who had spent that time helping in a second grade classroom that was operated by a church, saying volunteer time doesn't count if its connected in any way to a church.
– A University of Wisconsin professor refuses to allow any projects or papers that contain Christian references.
– Additionally, Wayne State University, California State University at Stanislaus, Vanderbilt University, Tufts University, University of Wisconsin, Rutgers University, Ball State University, Williams College, Middlebury College, Grinnell College, and Whitman College all took steps to ban the Christian student group, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. In at least one case, university officials began ridiculing the faith of Christian students. Kansas State University and San Jose State University took steps to ban the Christian student group Ratio Christi. The University of Iowa tried to ban the Business Leaders in Christ club. Harvard tried to ban the Harvard College Faith and Action Christian Group, the Harvard-Radcliffe Christian Fellowship and the Harvard Asian Baptist Student Koinonia club. Tufts University has also tried to ban the Tufts Christian Fellowship. Snow College tried to ban the Rock Solid Christian Club; and, Wright State University took steps to ban the Campus Bible Fellowship.
– Additionally, in a direct and deliberate violation of the First Amendment, Kennesaw State University, Harvard, Gwinnett College, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and Thomas Nelson Community College have all taken steps to ban Christians from sharing their faith, mentioning their Christian beliefs, and praying in public.
– And, lest one might think it is only Christian students who are treated this way, recently a University of Washington professor was suspended after mentioning her Christian faith within earshot of a Muslim, after being asked a direct question about her religious beliefs.
Larry wrote, “Most Christians believe that public school teachers discriminate against conservative Christian students”. Those cases included here are by far not the only ones. There are many others, far too many to count and far too many to include here. The above cases are, however, representative of what is happening to Christian students from Kindergarten through Graduate School, all across America.
8. Christianity has perfected brainwashing techniques by creating their infrastructure of institutions which includes everything from “Vacation Bible School” to “Universities of Theology”. Many fundamentalist Christians view non-Christians as “heathens.” Those who are Atheist activists are often viewed by Christians as “agents of Satan” or doing “the Devil’s work.”
8. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines brainwashing as “a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas. YourDictionary.com expands on this definition by defining it thus, “To brainwash is to change someone's beliefs or attitudes using intense teaching and indoctrination. An example of brainwash is to lock new religious converts in a room and teach them the details of a religion without allowing access to the outside world.” And Wikipedia explains brainwashing in this manner: “Brainwashing (also known as mind control, menticide, coercive persuasion, thought control, thought reform, and re-education) is the concept that the human mind can be altered or controlled by certain psychological techniques. Brainwashing is said to reduce its subject’s ability to think critically or independently, to allow the introduction of new, unwanted thoughts and ideas into the subject’s mind, as well as to change his or her attitudes, values, and beliefs.”
Each of these definitions share specific key points, such as “forcible indoctrination,” “give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes,” “change someone's beliefs or attitudes,” “allow the introduction of new, unwanted thoughts and ideas into the subject's mind, as well as to change his or her attitudes, values, and beliefs.” With the example given of “lock new religious converts in a room and teach them the details of a religion without allowing access to the outside world.”
As much as Larry would like to paint Christianity as some sort of evil cult, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no forcible indoctrination in Christianity. No forcing of “unwanted thoughts and ideas” into anyone's mind. No one forces anyone to become a Christian. If someone wants to become a Christian, the choice is theirs and theirs alone. No one is forced to surrender their beliefs and attitudes, no one is forced to accept anything whatsoever about Christianity. As noted already, questioning minds are more than welcome. And certainly, no one is locked in a room without access to the outside world when one becomes a Christian.
It is interesting that Larry attempts to equate Christian conversion to brainwashing. Not only does Christianity not employ any brainwashing techniques, but the one group which is best known for doing so is atheists. Specifically, the atheist governments of North Korea, China, Soviet Russia, Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge, and others. And ironically, each of the governments held (and in some cases still hold) the exact same beliefs as Larry with regard to Christianity, right down to the expressly felt need to inflict physical harm on Christians. As Larry notes in his “testimony” regarding Christians, “It kind of makes me want to punch those people. And by 'kind of'… I mean LITERALLY.”
9. Christianity preys on innocent children. If Christian fear-mongering were directed solely at adults, it would be bad enough, but Christians routinely terrorize helpless children through grisly depictions of the endless horrors and suffering they'll be subjected to if they don’t live good Christian lives. Christianity has darkened the early years of generation after generation of children, who have lived in terror of dying while in mortal sin and going to endless torment as a result.
All of these children were trusting of adults, and they did not have the ability to analyze what they were being told; they were simply helpless victims, who, ironically, victimized following generations in the same manner that they themselves had been victimized. The nearly 2000 years of Christian terrorizing of children ranks as one of its greatest crimes. And it’s one that continues to this day.
9. If this wasn't such a serious accusation, it would be laughable. As noted above, there is no “fear-mongering” in Christianity, and certainly not with children. Is there a hell? Yes. Do those who reject God end up there? Yes. Do Christians teach this to children? Not necessarily. It would depend upon their level of maturity, their level of cognitive apprehension, their knowledge and understanding of the Bible. Would a five-year old be be taught about the horrors of hell? Probably not, other than to say hell is a bad place they might want to stay away from, just as teaching that same five-year old would be taught stranger-danger. Would a mature teenager who is well versed in the Bible be taught about the horrors of hell? Probably. That being said, however, no one, child or adult, is going to be taught they will be cast into hell “if they don't live good Christian lives.” This is known as salvation by works, and no Christian believes in this.
Larry's attempt to portray Christianity as some sort of “House of Horrors” that terrorizes small children is nothing more that propagandist nonsense.
10. Church leaders use “guilt” to convince their believers to freely “donate” to the “collection plate”. They teach … “God favors those who sacrifice more. The less you have the more you ought to donate”. Believers are often praised for donating more than they can safely afford. Some Christians even brag about donating money they needed to pay the rent.
11. Larry claims Church leaders teach, “God favors those who sacrifice more. The less you have the more you ought to donate” to illustrate is false premise that Church leaders use 'guilt' to convince their believers to freely 'donate' to the “collection plate”. That he also doesn't bother to give specific examples of where this is actually taught and by whom, tends to indicate that it came directly from his own imagination. The fact is, there is no “guilting” or “shaming” people into giving to the Church. They do so because they want to. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4, “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” Giving to the Church is to be done in secret, this is the reason for sealed offering envelopes that people can use to give money anonymously. Larry's claim that Church leaders use “guilt” to get people to give to the Church, and encourage them to give more than they can safely afford is contrary to what the Bible teaches, and contrary to what Christianity believes.
11. Christianity has a morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex. For centuries, Christianity has had an exceptionally unhealthy fixation on sex, to the exclusion of almost everything else (except power, money, and the infliction of cruelty). Catholic priests have been allowed by the church their continued sexual abuse of young boys with very little ever being said. The current Christian hate campaign against homosexuals is another prominent manifestation of this perverse preoccupation. Condemnation of "sodomites" from church pulpits is still very, very common — with Christian clergymen wringing their hands as they piously proclaim that their words of hate have nothing to do with gay bashings and the murder of gays.
11. There are some important points that need to be made here. First, Christianity does not have an unhealthy preoccupation with sex. There is no prohibition against sex in the Bible, other than to be married if one engages in it, and to restrict intercourse to a husband and his wife. And those restrictions are taught to Christians, not to unbelievers. Second, those Roman Catholic priests who systematically molest children are not Christians, nor is anyone who protects them. The Bible clearly teaches this. Third, there is no “campaign against homosexuals.” Christians do not hate homosexuals. Christians do not bash homosexuals. Christians do not murder homosexuals. Hating, bashing, and murder are all contrary to Christianity, and one cannot be a Christian and engage in these things; anymore than an atheist can believe in God.
Furthermore, the Bible teaches, and Christianity teaches and believes, that we are to love sinners, and that includes homosexuals. This is why there are numerous Christian ministries in place to help homosexuals with both their physical and spiritual needs.
I would also point out that while Larry falsely claims that Christian's hate, bash, and murder gays; it is Larry, by his own admission, who hates and wants to assault Christians.
12. Christianity produces sexual misery. In addition to the misery produced by authoritarian Christian intrusions into the sex lives of non-Christians, Christianity produces great misery among its own adherents through its insistence that sex (except the very narrow variety it sanctions) is evil, against God's law. Christianity proscribes sex between unmarried people, sex outside of marriage, homosexual relations, and even "impure" sexual thoughts. Indulging in such things can and will, in the conventional Christian view, lead straight to Hell.
Given that human beings are by nature highly sexual beings, and that their urges very often do not fit into the only officially sanctioned Christian form of sexuality (monogamous, heterosexual marriage), it's inevitable that those who attempt to follow Christian "morality" in this area are often miserable, as their strongest urges run smack dab into the wall of religious belief
12. And again, Larry is stating as fact, things that are untrue. Christianity does not intrude into the sex lives of unbelievers in any manner, much less an “authoritarian” manner; nor does Christianity produce “great misery” among Christians with regard to sex. Nor does Christianity teach that sex is evil, nor does Christianity teach that sex is against God's law. Larry is not simply straying from the truth here, but is, in fact, running pell mell away from it in such a manner that it seems he is absolutely allergic to it. Larry's claim that humans are, by nature, “highly sexual beings” is a viewpoint that is shared only by those possessing an obsession with all things sexual, and not by the average population (with the possible exception of teenage males). Larry's insistence that all humanity is as obsessed with sex as he is seems almost to be a self-justification of sorts.
There is no “officially sanctioned Christian form of sexuality” as Larry claims; however, there are parameters that God notes in His word (i.e. monogamous, heterosexual marriage). And there is a reason for this. When people engage in sexual activity outside of God's parameters, what is the result? Sexually transmitted diseases (some which result in birth defects, sterility, permanent disabilities and disfigurements, and even death); children without fathers, unwanted children, child abuse, poverty, an increase of the number of people on welfare, prostitution, sex trafficking, child sex trafficking, pedophilia, broken homes, suicide, drug addiction, alcoholism, murder, and more – all of which have been connected to sexual activity outside of God's parameters.
Of course, not every sexual encounter outside of God's parameters has led to these things, however, all have been connected to sex outside of God's parameters. On the other hand, sex within God's parameters do not lead to these things. Is Larry somehow advocating for these terrible consequences and practices? I certainly hope not. It is safe to say, however, that those who are miserable when attempting to “follow Christian 'morality' in this area” (as Larry claims), are miserable because they want to engage in prostitution, or sex trafficking, or child sex trafficking, or pedophilia, or adultery, or play Russian roulette with STD's, etc., and do not want to adhere to God's parameters in this area.
13. Cult experts have been forced into silence with regard to Christianity. Historically viewed, all religions are cults. Christianity, like most religions or cults, is based on a belief of a god or gods and the belief that the clergy does have a better "communication line" to god or a higher being. Reputable cult experts are afraid to put Christianity in the same category as other dangerous religious cults. Tolerance is in vogue politically and socially for every idea, every religion, every agenda, and every social construct other than Christianity.
Yes, sociologically, Christianity definitely has cult-like aspects. When you think about it, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and all other world religions have no power over the world. Jesus, on the other hand, has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18-20). That makes it okay.
Few Christians will admit it because few Christians even recognize it, but they are members of a Death Cult; a degenerate, death-anxious, exclusively fatalistic religion that has predicted the mass liquidation of all earthly species. The religion has produced a continuous supply of socially derelict luminaries who’ve longed for nothing short of the total and complete annihilation of our home world. Christianity may just well be the greatest and biggest cult of them all and the most evil.
13. “Cult experts have been forced into silence with regard to Christianity.” This is an interesting statement since the best known cult experts are not Christians, and not influenced by Christianity or Christians in any way. Larry's claim that all religions are cults has no merit and no basis in truth. His claim that Christians believe our clergy have a “better communication line to God” also has no basis in truth. What Larry does not seem to understand is that Christians believe what the Bible clearly states, and the Bible clearly states that the only line of communication with God is prayer (which is available for all) and the Bible (which anyone can pick up almost anywhere, and read for themselves). Our clergy have no special line of communication with God.
Larry claims that “Reputable cult experts are afraid to put Christianity in the same category as other dangerous religious cults.” and “Christianity definitely has cult-like aspects.” In reality, however, cult experts make no determination as to whether or not any religious group is good or bad. What they do, or rather have done, is to create a set of criteria that identifies what a dangerous cult is, irrespective of what group is being examined in the light of their criteria. With that being said, let's take a look at the criteria established by five of the most reputable cult experts alive today. [I apologize for the length of this section, but I feel it is necessary to not only refute Larry's claim that Christianity is a dangerous cult, but also to fully demonstrate just how ridiculous and self-serving his claim is.]
Dr. Steve Eichel is an internationally recognized authority on cults, as well as the president of the International Cultic Studies Association. Here is Dr. Eichel's criteria for establishing whether or not a particular group is a dangerous cult:
– The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment
– The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
– The group is preoccupied with making money.
– Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
– Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
– The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah, or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
– The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.
– The groups leader is not accountable to any authorities.
– The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).
– The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.
– Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.
– Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.
– Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other members.
– The group is closed, so in other words, although there may be outside followers, there's usually an inner circle that follows the leader without question, and that maintains a tremendous amount of secrecy.
– The group uses deceptive means, typically, to recruit new members, and then once recruited will subject its members to an organized program of thought reform, or what most people refer to as brainwashing.
– Typically cults also exploit their members….mostly financially. Within the group, they'll exploit members financially, psychologically, emotionally and, all too often, sexually.
Dr. Janja Lalich is a world-renowned expert in cultic studies, Professor Emerita of Sociology at California State University, Chico, author and coauthor of critically acclaimed books on cults. She is an avid contributor to the field of cultic studies through her research, presentations, and articles. Regarding cults, Dr. Lalich states:
– Cults are frequently totalistic and separatist.
– Some cults are totalistic when they are exclusive in their ideology (sacred, the only way) and impose upon their members systems of social control that are confining and all-inclusive (encompassing all aspects of life).
– Some cults are separatist when they promote withdrawal from the larger society.
People in such cults tend to:
1. Espouse an all-encompassing belief system
2. Exhibit excessive devotion to and dependency on their “perfect” leader
3. Avoid criticism of the group, its leader(s), and its practices
4. Have an attitude of disdain for non-members
Frequently, the totalistic and separatist features of some cults makes them appear alien and threatening, and those features have attracted great attention in the mass media.
Steven Alan Hassan, M.Ed., LMHC, well respected cult expert, author of “Combating Cult Mind Control” offers what he calls the “BITE Model” (Behavior control, Information control, Thought control, Emotional control) of destructive cult identification:
Promote dependence and obedience
Modify behavior with rewards and punishments
Dictate where and with whom you live
Restrict or control sexuality
Control clothing and hairstyle
Regulate what and how much you eat and drink
Deprive you of seven to nine hours of sleep
Exploit you financially
Restrict leisure time and activities
Require you to seek permission for major decisions
Deliberately withhold and distort information
Forbid you from speaking with ex-members and critics
Discourage access to non-cult sources of information
Divide information into Insider vs. Outsider doctrine
Generate and use propaganda extensively
Use information gained in confession sessions against you
Gaslight to make you doubt your own memory
Require you to report thoughts, feelings, & activities to superiors
Encourage you to spy and report on others’ “misconduct”
Instill Black vs. White, Us vs. Them, & Good vs. Evil thinking
Change your identity, possibly even your name
Use loaded language and cliches to stop complex thought
Induce hypnotic or trance states to indoctrinate
Teach thought-stopping techniques to prevent critical thoughts
Allow only positive thoughts
Use excessive meditation, singing, prayer, & chanting to block thoughts
Reject rational analysis, critical thinking, & doubt
Instill irrational fears (phobias) of questioning or leaving the group
Label some emotions as evil, worldly, sinful, or wrong
Teach emotion-stopping techniques to prevent anger, homesickness
Promote feelings of guilt, shame, & unworthiness
Shower you with praise and attention (“love bombing”)
Threaten your friends and family
Shun you if you disobey or disbelieve
Teach that there is no happiness or peace outside the group
Dr. Alexandra Stein, one of the leading academic experts in the field of cult studies states, "I have a five-point definition of a cult,
One: The leader is charismatic and authoritarian.
Two: The structure of the group isolates people.
Three: Total ideology, like, 'You only need me and no other belief system has any relevance whatsoever.'
Four: Is the process of brainwashing.
Five: Is the result: creating deployable followers who will do what you say regardless of their own self survival interests."
And finally, Dr. Robert Jay Lifton, Psychiatrist and author, well known for his theory of Thought Reform, presents his “Eight Criteria for Thought Reform”:
1. Milieu Control. This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large.
2. Mystical Manipulation. There is manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority or spiritual advancement or some special gift or talent that will then allow the leader to reinterpret events, scripture, and experiences as he or she wishes.
3. Demand for Purity. The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame is a powerful control device used here.
4. Confession. Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.
5. Sacred Science. The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. Truth is not to be found outside the group. The leader, as the spokesperson for God or for all humanity, is likewise above criticism.
6. Loading the Language. The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.
7. Doctrine over person. Member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group.
8. Dispensing of existence. The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. This is usually not literal but means that those in the outside world are not saved, unenlightened, unconscious and they must be converted to the group's ideology. If they do not join the group or are critical of the group, then they must be rejected by the members. Thus, the outside world loses all credibility. In conjunction, should any member leave the group, he or she must be rejected also. (Lifton, 1989)
Steven Alan Hassan sums it all up when he states, “As long as people are freely able to join with informed consent (which includes full and honest disclosure of the group’s doctrine and practices), and can choose to disaffiliate without shunning, fear, or harassment, then it is not a destructive cult.”
When compared to these criteria, as established by these five renowned experts, true biblical Christianity does not fit any of their criteria. People are freely able to become follow Christianity, and they can leave anytime they choose without being shunned by Christians. That all being said, however, there are many pseudo-Christian groups and cults that fit many, if not all, of these criteria. It would appear that Larry is unable to know the difference between true biblical Christianity and pseudo-Christianity. That, or, he is purposely conflating the two in order to support his irrational hatred of Christianity as well as promoting his hatred to others.
Larry goes on to conclude point #13 by writing, “Few Christians will admit it because few Christians even recognize it, but they are members of a Death Cult; a degenerate, death-anxious, exclusively fatalistic religion that has predicted the mass liquidation of all earthly species. The religion has produced a continuous supply of socially derelict luminaries who’ve longed for nothing short of the total and complete annihilation of our home world. Christianity may just well be the greatest and biggest cult of them all and the most evil.” According to the experts, Christianity is not “Death Cult,” nor is it a “degenerate, death-anxious, exclusively fatalistic religion.” As far as Christians predicting the “mass liquidation of all earthly species,” apparently Larry is unaware that every one and every thing will eventually die. This is not a prediction, but rather a fact of nature. Science calls it the Second Law of Thermodynamics.
Christianity has not produced a single “socially derelict luminary” and not one Christian longs for the “total and complete annihilation of our home world.”
Cult Information Sources:
Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism by Robert Jay Lifton
“Is Christianity a Cult?” https://www.rationalchristianity.net/xian_cult.html
14. Christianity worships a very evil blood thirsty god. The Hebrew/Roman Bible is chock full of blood sacrifice … both animal and HUMAN blood sacrifice. Most Christians rely on what their preacher has to say and/or are too lazy or mentally challenged to read and study for themselves. Yahweh loved burning animals and humans and loved murdering in general. He loved the smell of burning flesh. He loved genocide and when his followers killed babies and bashed babies on stones and ripped open pregnant women and made great bloodshed. He loved the sacrifice of humans. But the catch is that he only delighted greatly in these things if they were offered to him.
The Christian god of the Old Testament El-Yahweh (Jesus) sometimes ordered and other times accepted human sacrifice. We all must bear in mind, that Jesus the Christ was the ultimate human sacrifice; also "eat his body and drink his blood" is repeatedly recited during nearly every Christian mass/service around the world. The Christian Mass/Communion Service is nothing more than an emulation of a Human Blood Sacrifice.
Human sacrifice and cannibalism are good, as long as it is the right person being killed. Why do the vast majority of Christians not find this sort of thing strange and repulsive? Only because it has been normalized in their experience. They have been desensitized to the implications of their own beliefs. It is scary to think that 70% of all Americans are comfortable with a religion which is built on “human sacrifice” and the “ritual portrayal of eating flesh and drinking blood”. Even worse … Christians teach the worship of their deity that either through his action or inaction allows for the eternal torture of billions of human beings. Keep in mind that eternity is an extremely long time … or so I’m told.
14. “Christianity worships a very evil blood thirsty god. The Hebrew/Roman Bible is chock full of blood sacrifice etc.…” At first I thought Larry was writing a screenplay for direct-to-DVD horror film (“The Blarry Witch Project”?), but then I saw that he was describing what he calls the “Hebrew/Roman Bible.” Since he clearly is not describing the Christian Bible, I am not sure what he is talking about.
He goes on to describe “The Christian God of the Old Testament El-Yahweh (Jesus).” Larry is trying to combine different names of God to somehow come up with his own descriptive name of God. I find this surprising since Larry claims to have attended a “major Bible college in Chattanooga TN” and a “major Bible College in Lynchburg VA”; as well as serving in full time ministry as a youth pastor for two years and pastoring a church for five years, and yet, he apparently doesn't have even a layman's understanding of the names of God. Be that as it may, Larry goes on to state that God “sometimes ordered and other times accepted human sacrifice.” As with many others in Larry's manifesto, this is a bald-faced lie. God never ordered human sacrifices and never accepted human sacrifices. In fact, He condemned those nations, tribes and peoples who engaged in human sacrifices as they have always been an abomination to Him.
Furthermore, communion, also known as the Lord's Supper, has nothing to do with eating flesh and drinking blood. “eat his body and drink his blood” is never said during communion, and it is not an emulation of a “Human Blood Sacrifice.” Communion is, and always has been, a memorial service. A memorial to God of what Jesus did through His death, burial and resurrection, which is to provide an atonement for the sins of His people.
Luke 22:19-20 states, “And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
1 Corinthians 11:24-26 states, “and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this as my memorial.” In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes.
As these verses clearly teach, communion (or Eucharist as it was historically known) are a memorial of the sacrifice Jesus freely gave for His people. As Hebrews 10:12 teaches us, communion is not a “re-sacrificing” of Christ, as He could only be sacrificed the one time. But rather, communion is a time of special worship for Christians when we proclaim Christ's death as a memorial before God. God sees this special worship and He blesses His people by spiritually nourishing us with His grace. In a manner of speaking, God is setting His promises of salvation and eternal life before us on the communion table, saying to us, “Christ's body was broken for you, His blood was shed for you that you may have eternal life and the blessings of heaven. Do this in remembrance of Him!” That Larry would ignore what he was surely taught during his time at two “major Bible colleges” and turn it into a cannibalistic blood fest is abominable. Fortunately for Larry, however, it is not unforgiveable. God will surely forgive him if he sincerely and humbly confesses his sin to God and seeks His forgiveness. I pray he will.
Contrary to Larry's claims, all Christians find the very thought human sacrifice and cannibalism to be abhorrent, as does God Himself. These are not normal aspects of the Christian experience as Larry wants his readers to believe. Larry also has a faulty understanding of eternal damnation, or hell. He seems to think that God forces undeserving people into hell for all eternity. However, nothing could be further from the truth. God does not want anyone to be in hell. God does not want any to suffer for all eternity. Why else would He provide a way for all human kind to avoid it? A way that is open to everyone?
What Larry does not seem to understand is, everyone is born guilty of sin and thus deserving of death and eternal damnation. Think of it like a guilty man going before a judge. The man is guilty of many crimes and the law demands that he be punished. However, when the judge enters the courtroom, he discovers that the guilty man is his own son. The judges heart breaks as he is now faced with the prospect of ensuring the law is satisfied. He has no choice but to condemn the guilty man, his son. This is what God endures every day. He loves us all, but He is also perfectly just and His law must be satisfied. Therefore, everyone must be punished. However, because He loves us, Jesus voluntarily suffered and died in order to take the punishment of every single guilty person that will take advantage of His death. Those who do not, who choose to reject Jesus and reject God's offer of salvation, have no one but themselves to blame for their eternal destination. As a result of their words, thoughts and deeds, people choose to spend eternity in hell. God sends no one there unjustly.
15. Most highly religious Christians hate gays and/or see homosexuality as a sin … believing their holy Bible has made it clear where God stands on the issue. Fundamentalist Christians have waged against homosexuality (gays and lesbians) which nothing less than a "holy war" (jihad) against sexual minorities by focusing on the current plight of gay people in this country. Christianity has become a threat not just to gays, but to all Americans who disagree with fundamentalist Christian "values."
15. Christianity – Christians – do not hate gays. Let me say that again to emphasize this: Christians do not hate gays, and Christianity does not teach hatred of gays. Larry is simply lying to his readers in an effort to convince them to hate Christians and Christianity.
Nor have Christians waged a “jihad” against sexual minorities. Do Christians believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes, without doubt. Christians also believe lying is a sin, theft is a sin, murder is a sin, adultery is a sin, and so on. And as with all of these other sins, homosexuality is a forgivable sin. Now then, that being said, Christians do actively work against being forced to accept and agree that homosexuality is good and acceptable. For Christians to do so is akin to renouncing our faith. Akin to denying God.
In other words, by forcing Christians, by law, to accept and agree that homosexuality is good and acceptable, the government (and pro-gay activists) are attempting to force Christians to stop being true biblical Christians, and become “government approved Christians,” with the government (and again, pro-gay activists) setting forth what Christians are allowed to believe and what we are not to believe. This is something that we cannot do, and will not do, and which is in flagrant disregard of the first amendment. Will Larry also advocate for the government deciding what Buddhists must believe? Will Larry advocate for the government deciding what Hindus must believe, or Native American Indians must believe, or, even what atheists must believe? I sincerely doubt he would, so why does he advocate for government deciding what Christians must believe?
16. The Christian religion tends to divide humankind. Of course there are people that respect other religions, but in general it stimulates wars and conflicts. Christian world views have been at the heart of countless countries and kingdoms which have gone on to commit some of the most heinous and evil acts against their fellow man. If one ever disagrees with a Christian belief, the Christians may ruthlessly turn on that person as a wild animal protecting their young.
16. Christianity has never caused nor started nor “stimulated,” nor participated in any war or conflict. Nor have Christian world views “been at the heart of countless countries and kingdoms which have gone on to commit some of the most heinous and evil acts against their fellow man.” This is simply untrue, unsubstantiated nonsense. Granted, there have been those who have twisted Scripture to justify their evil actions, and thus used Christianity as a justification for their wars and so on; but true biblical Christianity has never been involved in such things.
That being said, it is important to note that as many as 70 million people have been tortured to death, beaten to death, purposely starved to death, drowned, hanged, crucified, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and otherwise murdered by communist regimes grounded in atheism since the beginning of the twentieth century.
Larry claims “If one ever disagrees with a Christian belief, the Christians may ruthlessly turn on that person as a wild animal protecting their young.” Not only is this another of his wild unsubstantiated claims; but considering the record of atheism as shown above, it is far more likely to be an atheist who will ruthlessly attack anyone for disagreeing with the tenets of atheism.
17. Possibly the most effective form of population control that the earth has seen is the Christian “Doctrine of Hell”. The concept of Hell in Christianity is a fantasy-world where the souls of the unbeliever and sinful people are supposed to suffer every kind of punishment. The Christians love the idea of Hell. They are certain that their enemies, the unbelievers, the critics of Christendom or the heretics are already on the path leading to Hell.
The Church demands from us to believe in all their manipulative doctrines, threatening us with Hell if we don't. If you went against the church, sin, or question the teachings of the church then you are classed as a heathen and will spend an eternity in Hell for your sins. Many Christians take great comfort in the thought that those of different religions or who they consider “immoral” will go to Hell forever. No one needs to follow a religion like that.
17. As has already been explained above (see #14), Christians are not fond of the idea that anyone might end up in hell, nor is God fond of this. Christians do not “love the idea of Hell,” nor do “Christians take great comfort in the thought” that anyone will go to hell. The very thought of people going to hell is emotionally and spiritually painful for Christians. Larry is simply spreading another lie about Christians. I would also point out that no where does the Bible teach that people entering hell will “suffer every kind of punishment.” What we know regarding hell comes from the Bible, and only the Bible; and it tells us that hell will be a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth (in anger according to the original language). It will be a place of darkness and eternal fire, and torment. It will be a place where those there will suffer total alienation from God, from His glory, His love, His mercy, and His grace. To be sure hell is a terrible place, more terrible than anyone can imagine. However, Larry attempts to amplify this by saying those there will “suffer every kind of punishment” and then leaving it up to his readers imaginations to envision “every kind of punishment.” Larry's description of hell is far worse than the Bible teaches, or that any Christian might believe.
18. Most Christians believe in ethnic/religious extermination and they oppose anyone who stands against Israel and the Jews. More people have been killed because of Jesus than have been saved because of Him. Christianity springs from militant roots. The Abrahamic faiths are quite militant. If you look at the history of modern humanity, you'll see that Christianity has been one of the biggest causes of war and destruction in this world. The Zionists in Israel have almost completely exterminated those Palestinians living in that country and the Christian applauds their actions. The Bible is full of awful ideas. The Bible contains moral concepts that are inapplicable to modern life, and some that are unacceptable. Strangely enough, killing in the name of God is still popular even though it is obviously insane. The truth is you have every tendency of being dangerous as long as you're a Christian.
18. What Larry is describing is ethnic and religious “cleansing,” or genocide; and no Christian believes in such a thing, nor has any Christian ever engaged in it (unlike atheists, however, who have repeatedly engaged in ethnic and religious genocide). Larry's claim that “More people have been killed because of Jesus than have been saved because of Him” is implying that Christians have killed an untold number of people. People kill for all sorts of reasons, including their personal twisted views of Scripture, God, and Christianity. As noted elsewhere, however, Christians have never engaged in mass murder as Larry implies, nor have Christians caused, or engaged in, nor supported any genocide, war, conflict or destruction as Larry claims. As these things are contrary to Scripture, contrary to the teachings of Jesus, it is contrary to Christianity to do these things.
Larry's claim that the “Abrahamic faiths are quite militant” is incorrect. True, there are those within Islam and Judaism who have become militant, violent and dangerous; however, this is not true of, and is contrary to, Christianity. Larry is attempting to falsely equate Christianity with Islamic jihadists and Jewish extremists. This is both manipulative and dishonest.
Furthermore, Larry claims, “If you look at the history of modern humanity, you'll see that Christianity has been one of the biggest causes of war and destruction in this world.” Again, this is not true, although it is a claim commonly made by many atheists against Christianity. And like those other atheists who make this claim, Larry simply regurgitates this fallacious claim without even bothering to find out if it is true or not (indicating he isn't as much interested in the truth as he is bashing Christianity). Had he bothered to research the claims made in his manifesto, he might have discovered what anthropologist Scott Altran (who, by the way, is an atheist) had to say on the subject. He wrote, “Moreover, the chief complaint against religion — that it is history’s prime instigator of intergroup conflict — does not withstand scrutiny. Religious issues motivate only a small minority of recorded wars. The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious. A BBC-sponsored "God and War" audit, which evaluated major conflicts over 3,500 years and rated them on a 0-to-5 scale for religious motivation (Punic Wars = 0, Crusades = 5), found that more than 60 percent had no religious motivation. Less than 7 percent earned a rating greater than 3. There was little religious motivation for the internecine Russian and Chinese conflicts or the world wars responsible for history’s most lethal century of international bloodshed. ” (Scott Atran, “God and the Ivory Tower”, August 6, 2012, http://foreignpolicy.com/2012/08/06/god-and-the-ivory-tower/)
Larry also claims “the Bible contains moral concepts that are inapplicable to modern life, and some that are unacceptable.” An examination of the Bible, however, reveals that the biblical morals that Christians subscribe to are sacrificially loving others, being respectful, providing for others as we are able, helping others as we are able, eschewing greed, being virtuous and pure, eschewing violence, eschewing hate, respecting life, being law abiding, and similar things. These are the morals that Larry believes are inapplicable and unacceptable to modern life; the morals which Larry considers evil and dangerous; the morals that Larry believes will make people dangerous. The morals which Larry apparently dislikes.
19. Christianity teaches that our reason has been distorted and warped since the “Fall of Adam and Eve which is why we are prone to sin and to refuse the happiness of a relationship with God. Because we are now “fallen creatures” we do not have the “mind of god” and can no longer think for ourselves or make the right decisions. The Bible teaches that the “natural man” (unbeliever) cannot understand the things of god and that he is an enemy of god. Christianity undermines reason and the ability to consider new ideas and grow.
Unsubstantiated claims about what is not understood are the hallmark of most religions. However unsubstantiated claims are pointless. Faith in the truth of supernatural claims undermines reason. This inhibits our societies from using reason to solve problems. That is bad. It is irrational to say we need to believe in the Bible God in order to trust our reason.
19. In point #19, Larry is attempting to persuade his readers that the claims of Christianity are “unsubstantiated.” Specifically, by calling into question the claims of the Bible, he is saying the Bible is unsubstantiated. But is it? To say something is unsubstantiated is to claim it is unconfirmed or not supported, or unproven by evidence. There is ample evidence, however, to support the validity of the Bible. For example:
Archaeological Evidence: For over 150 years archaeologists have uncovered a vast amount of evidence proving beyond any doubt, the historical accuracy of the Bible.
Manuscript Evidence: There are currently around 20,000 New Testament manuscripts in existence, the earliest written to within the lifetime of those who witnessed the events recorded in them. In contrast, compare this with Caesar's Gallic Wars. There are only 10 manuscripts in existence, the earliest having been written 1,000 years after the original, and yet no one questions the accuracy of Gallic Wars. Or perhaps the New Testament can be compared to Aristotle's Poetics. There are only 5 manuscripts of this work in existence, with the earliest having been written 1,400 years after the original, and no one questions the accuracy of this work.
With regard to the Old Testament, we have the Masoritic Text from 500 A.D., the Latin Vulgate from 400 A.D., The Dead Sea Scrolls from c.250 B.C. to c.68 A.D., the Greek Septuagint from 280 B.C. and the Samaritan Pentateuch from 400 B.C. and each of them supports the Old Testament text as accurate. Additionally, the New Testament quotes from the Old numerous times, and not only supports the accuracy of the Old Testament, but also supports the supernatural events of the Old Testament. The Old Testament has been more accurately transmitted to us than any other ancient writing of comparable age.
Evidence of Uniqueness and Internal Consistency: The Bible was written over a 1,500 year span, by more than 40 writers that included kings, fishermen, statesmen, scholars, peasants, a soldier, a doctor, and more; on three different continents: Asia, Africa and Europe; in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek; and contains many different types of literature, including history, poetry, law, biographies, prophecy, personal correspondence, parables, allegory, and more, and yet this entire compilation forms a cohesive unity the likes of which are not seen in any other piece of similar literature, and, without a single contradictory mistake in any of the multiple inter-related story lines.
Logically, with such a diverse background and inter-related themes, one would naturally expect such a work to be riddled with errors, but there exists not one. Not one contradictory mistake, and no interruption of thought from one writer to another. There is perfect compatibility between each of the sixty-six books, and together the whole has been proven to be cohesive, consistent, coherent, and trustworthy.
There is no other single piece of similar literature in all of history that can even come close to matching the uniqueness of the Bible. There has never been anything like it. Additionally, the accuracy of the Bible is unparalleled among ancient literature.
Supernatural Evidence: Approximately 2,500 prophecies appear in the Bible. To date 2,000 of them have been fulfilled, and fulfilled without error. No other text, religious or otherwise, contains the number of accurately fulfilled prophecies as does the Bible. Not the “prophetic” texts of the Bahá'ís, or the Buddhists, or Muslims, or the Chinese Chen; and not even the so-called prophecies of Michel de Nostredame, popularly known as Nostradamus (who, incidentally, never claimed his writings were prophetic). In fact, the vast majority of these non-Biblical “prophecies” are written in such a way as to accommodate any number of interpretations, and they still cannot legitimately claim to be as accurate as the Bible.
Biblical prophecies, understood in the strictest sense of the word as the foreknowledge of future events, were uttered many years, in some cases hundreds of years, before they were accurately fulfilled.
At the end of the day, the evidence supporting the validity of the Bible is overwhelming. Because of this, there is no rational or logical reason to question anything it says. In fact, to even suggest belief in the Bible is irrational (as Larry does) is itself irrational.
Larry also claims “Christianity undermines reason and the ability to consider new ideas and grow.” Larry's claim, however, ignores the fact that some of the most brilliant and logical minds in history have been Christians who came up with ideas that have revolutionized the way mankind thinks and lives. There is not enough space here to list every Christian scientist, inventor, novelist, Noble Prize winner, etc.; but a good representative list of them would include:
Francis Bacon (1561-1626): Considered among the fathers of empiricism and is credited with establishing the inductive method of experimental science via what is called the scientific method today.
Johannes Kepler (1571–1630): Gave us Kepler's laws of planetary motion, which was based on empirical data that he obtained from Tycho Brahe's astronomical observations.
Galileo Galilei (1564–1642): Italian physicist, mathematician, engineer, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the scientific revolution. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", and "the Father of Modern Science".
Blaise Pascal (1623–1662): Well known for Pascal's law (physics), Pascal's theorem (math), and Pascal's Wager (theology).
Isaac Newton (1643–1727): He is regarded as one of the greatest scientists and mathematicians in history. Though some biographers label him as a deist who is strongly influenced by Christianity, he differed from strict adherents of deism in that he invoked God as a special physical cause to keep the planets in orbits.
Gregor Mendel (1822–1884): The "father of modern genetics" for his study of the inheritance of traits in pea plants.
Louis Pasteur (1822–1895): Inventor of the pasteurization method, a French chemist and microbiologist. He also solved the mysteries of rabies, anthrax, chicken cholera, and silkworm diseases, and contributed to the development of the first vaccines.
Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937): Guglielmo Marconi was known for his pioneering work on long distance radio transmission and for his development of Marconi's law and a radio telegraph system. Marconi is often credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics.
George Washington Carver (1864-1943): American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor. He testified on many occasions that his faith in Jesus was the only mechanism by which he could effectively pursue and perform the art of science.
Max Planck (1858–1947): He won the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics and is considered the founder of Quantum mechanics.
Johannes Stark (1874-1957): German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1919 for his "discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields."
Wernher von Braun (1912–1977): "one of the most important rocket developers and champions of space exploration during the period between the 1930s and the 1970s."
Werner Arber (born 1929): Werner Arber is a Swiss microbiologist and geneticist. Along with American researchers Hamilton Smith and Daniel Nathans, Werner Arber shared the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of restriction endonucleases.
Robert T. Bakker (born 1945): Paleontologist who was a figure in the "dinosaur Renaissance" and known for the theory some dinosaurs were Warm-blooded.
Frank J. Tipler (born 1947): Frank Tipler is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.
Jennifer Wiseman. Dr. Wiseman is Chief of the Laboratory for Exoplanets and Stellar Astrophysics at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. In addition she is a co-discoverer of 114P/Wiseman-Skiff.
Freeman Dyson (born 1923): He has won the Lorentz Medal, the Max Planck Medal, and the Lewis Thomas Prize. He also ranked 25th in The 2005 Global Intellectuals Poll. He has won the Templeton Prize and delivered one of the Gifford Lectures. He is famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics.
Mike Hulme (born 1960): Mike Hulme is a professor of Climate Change in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
To say “Christianity undermines reason and the ability to consider new ideas and grow” is nothing short of preposterous.
20. Christianity breeds authoritarianism. Given that Christians claim to have the one true faith, to have a book that is the Word of God, and (in many cases) to receive guidance directly from God, they feel little or no compunction about using force and coercion to enforce "God's Will" (which they, of course, interpret and understand). Given that they believe (or pretend) that they’re receiving orders from the Almighty (who would cast them into hell should they disobey), its little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers.
This is most obvious today in the area of sex, with Christians attempting to deny women the right to abortion and to mandate near-useless abstinence-only sex "education" in the public schools. It's also obvious in the area of education, with Christians attempting to force biology teachers to teach their biblical creation myth.
20. Again, Larry attempts to disparage Christianity and Christians by making unsubstantiated claims. There has been not one documented case of a Christian using force and coercion to enforce God's will. Not one. Nor do Christians believe God will cast them into hell if they disobey Him. Such a belief is contrary to Scripture, therefore, no Christian would ever believe such a thing. His comment, “its little wonder that they feel no reluctance, and in fact are eager, to intrude into the most personal aspects of the lives of nonbelievers” is ludicrous. Larry phrases this statement in such a way as to depict Christians as peeking through windows, note pad and camera at the ready, hoping to catch someone sinning. Can he get more conspiratorial than this? Well, unfortunately he can, and does.
And, of course, Larry comes back around to the issue of sex. Again. He misunderstands – completely – the Christian position on abortion; and he claims that abstinence is somehow less than 100% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies (and noticeably missing is any argument supporting abortion and graphic sex education, indicating he doesn't have one). Larry ends his point #20 by making the truth claim that biblical creation is a myth, without providing even a rudimentary evidential argument to support his truth claim. He throws these unsubstantiated claims around like Frisbees at a beach party, just hoping someone will catch one and run with it. This is anything but a logical and rational argument against Christianity. Does Larry somehow believe his readers lack the intelligence and ability to research his claims for themselves? Does he believe they are too lazy to do so and will simply accept his unsubstantiated claims as unquestionable fact? Apparently he does.
21. Christianity is cruel. Throughout its history, cruelty, both to self and others, has been one of the most prominent features of Christianity. From its very start, Christianity, with its bleak view of life, its emphasis upon sexual sin, and it’s almost impossible-to-meet demands for sexual "purity," encouraged guilt, penance, and self-torture. Today, this self-torture is primarily psychological, in the form of guilt arising from following (or denying, and thus obsessing over) one's natural sexual desires. It’s cruel to teach that all non-Christians, regardless of how God-fearing, moral, or kind, will suffer eternal torment, while all believers in Jesus, regardless of their behavior, have salvation.
The Christian teachings as practiced are antithetical and cruel to complex human behavior. For example, finding only harm in unmarried sex, while justifying such horror as the war against Iraqis. Many Christians have protested unjust wars; but many Christian churches have been active supporters — the Bible as their guidebook. Christianity is cruel, not only to its followers but also to all of those who question the religion.
21. Here we have yet another of Larry's unsubstantiated false claims. He writes, “Throughout its history, cruelty, both to self and others, has been one of the most prominent features of Christianity. From its very start, Christianity, with its bleak view of life, its emphasis upon sexual sin, and it’s almost impossible-to-meet demands for sexual "purity," encouraged guilt, penance, and self-torture.”
In his point #21, Larry claims that the Bible places and “emphasis upon sexual sin.” In reality, however, it doesn't. The Bible lists almost 125 sins. Out of all of these, a grand total of 8 of them deal with sexuality. Only 8. I would hardly call that an “emphasis upon sexual sin.” Larry's claim demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge of the subject.
Larry also claims that Christianity has a “bleak view of life,” and also states “Christian teachings as practiced are antithetical and cruel to complex human behavior.” Christianity teaches (and Christians as a whole practice) sacrificially loving others, being respectful, providing for others as we are able, helping others as we are able, eschewing greed, being virtuous and pure, eschewing violence, eschewing hate, respecting life, being law abiding, and similar things. I wonder if perhaps Larry might be so kind as explain how these things are “antithetical and cruel” to humans.
Christianity teaches (and Christians believe) that subscribing to these teachings leads to a satisfying and fulfilled life. Imagine that, loving others in a true altruistic manner leads to a satisfying and fulfilled life. And then, after that life is over, Christianity teaches Christians will live forever in the presence of the Lord God Almighty, where there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more tears; only happiness, love, and everlasting joy. This is what Larry believes is a “bleak view of life.” How does the Christian “bleak view of life” compare to Larry's atheistic view of life? To find the answer to that, let's look at what some of the most prominent atheists of modern history have had to say about this.
– “If there ever is a time of plenty, this very fact will automatically lead to an increase in the population until the natural state of starvation and misery is restored. In a universe of electrons and selfish genes, blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won't find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe that we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference.” (Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life, Basic Books, 1996)
– “Man is a useless passion. It is meaningless that we live and it is meaningless that we die.” (Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1943)
– “Unless you assume a God, the question of life’s purpose is meaningless.” (Bertrand Russell, quoted in The Meaning of Life by Hugh S. Moorhead, Chicago Review Pr, 1988)
– “There is no purpose to life, and we should not want there to be a purpose to life because if there was that would cheapen life” (Dan Barker, co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, in a debate with Dr. James White, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNZh-4pDio0)
– “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There are no gods, no purposes, no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end for me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either” (William Provine, Origins Research, 1994, p.9)
– “We are machines built by DNA whose purpose is to make more copies of the same DNA. … This is exactly what we are for. We are machines for propagating DNA, and the propagation of DNA is a self-sustaining process. It is every living object’s sole reason for living.” (Richard Dawkins, Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, The Ultraviolet Garden, No. 4, 1991)
– “No inherent moral or ethical laws exist, nor are there any absolute guiding principles for human society. The universe cares nothing for us and we have no ultimate meaning in life” (William Provine, Scientists, Face It! Science and Religion are Incompatible. https://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/9707/title/Scientists--Face-It--Science-And-Religion-Are-Incompatible/)
– “the deep structure of change is decay. At root, there is only corruption, and the unstemmable tide of chaos. Gone is purpose; all that is left is direction. This is the bleakness we have to accept as we peer deeply and dispassionately into the heart of the Universe” (Peter Atkins, quoted by Richard Dawkins in Unweaving the Rainbow, 1998, p. ix)
– “Here’s what I think. There is no meaning of life. The whole thing is a gyp, a never-ending corridor to nowhere. What is passed off as an all-important search is basically just a bunch of philosophers scrabbling about on their knees, trying to find a lost sock in the cosmic laundromat” (Jon Casimir, quoted by John Marsden in This I Believe, 1995, p. 48)
– “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music” (Richard Dawkins, Royal Institution Christmas Lecture, The Ultraviolet Garden, 1. November 1995, p.81-85)
– “I existed like a stone, a plant, a microbe… I was just thinking… that here we are, all of us, eating and drinking, to preserve our precious existence and there’s nothing, nothing, absolutely no reason for existing” (Jean-Paul Sartre, Nausea, p. 162)
Aside from the fact that Christianity does not teach, nor does it justify war (which is one of Larry's claims in his point #21), I noticed that Larry mentions sex at least 17 times in this manifesto of hatred against Christianity. He claims repeatedly that Christianity has an unhealthy preoccupation with sex. With his repeated mentioning of sex and sexuality, I think it is quite evident who has the preoccupation with it.
22. Many of the teachings of Christianity can lead a person to become a “religious extremist” resulting in them to become a threat to their family or the community. Once the boundary from moderate to extreme is crossed, social propriety is thrown to the wind, and any imaginable absurdity is made possible. Most of the terrorist activity in the U.S. in recent years has come not from Muslims, but from radical Christianists, white supremacists and far-right militia groups. A Christian terrorist is one who commits acts of terrorism in which the Christian worldview serves as justification. There are many different Christian extremes that can arise from one’s personal interpretation of the Gospel.
22. In his point #22, Larry claims that Christianity can lead a person to become a “religious extremist.” He then makes the statement that “Most of the terrorist activity in the U.S. in recent years has come not from Muslims, but from radical Christianists,” attempting to support his argument that Christianity is dangerous by attempting to link Christianity to terrorism. However, a look at terrorism in the United States over the past recent years reveals a startlingly different reality. In researching cases of terrorism in the United States since 1980, the following incidents occurred:
– 1978-1995, the Unabomber Terrorist attacks (Ted Kaczynski, a self-admitted atheist)
– June 3, 1980 Statue of Liberty Bombing (Croatian Nationalists)
– 1980-1985 Jewish Defense League attacks (the JDL is a Jewish extremist organization)
– November 7, 1983 U.S. Senate Bombing (Atheist/Communist May 19th Organization)
– July 18, 1984 San Ysidro McDonald's attack (James Oliver Huberty, a self-admitted atheist)
– February 26, 1993 World Trade Center bombing (Muslim)
– March 1, 1994 Brooklyn Bridge Attack (Muslim)
– April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing (Timothy McVeigh, a self-admitted agnostic)
– July 27, 1996 The Centennial Olympic Park bombing (Eric Robert Rudolph, an adherent of Christian Identity)
– July 2–4, 1999 World Church of the Creator attacks (Anti-Semitic, Anti-Christian, Neo-Nazi)
– August 10, 1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Center Attack (White Supremacist)
– October 10, 2000 New York Terror attacks (Muslim)
– May 21, 2001 University of Washington attack (Earth Liberation Front)
– September 11, 2001 World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks (Muslim)
– September 18 – November, 2001 Anthrax attacks (perpetrator believed to be Bruce E. Ivins, who professed no religious beliefs)
– February 16, 2002 – October 24, 2002 Beltway Sniper attacks (Muslim)
– July 4, 2002 Los Angeles Airport attack (Muslim)
– March 3, 2006 University of North Carolina SUV attack (Muslim)
– July 28, 2006 Seattle Jewish Federation attack (Muslim)
– March 6, 2008 Times Square Bombing (perpetrator(s) unknown)
– May 4, 2008 San Diego Courthouse Bombing (Rachel Lynn Carlock and Donny Love Sr. – no professed religious beliefs)
– May 25, 2009 Starbucks Bombing (Kyle Shaw – no professed religious beliefs)
– June 1, 2009 Arkansas Military Recruiting Office attack (Muslim)
– October 17, 2010 – November 2, 2010 Northern Virginia bombings & shootings (Muslim)
– August 5, 2012 Wisconsin Sikh temple attack (Wade Michael Page, a new-Nazi)
– July 20, 2012 Aurora Century 21 Movie Theater attack (James Holmes, a self-admitted agnostic)
– April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings (Muslim)
– April 16, 2013 Ricin letter attacks (James Everett Dutschke – no professed religious belief)
– April 27-June 25, 2014 terrorist linked shooting spree (Muslim)
– September 24, 2014 Vaughan Foods stabbing/beheading attack (Muslim)
– May 3, 2015 Curtis Culwell Center attack (Muslim)
– July 16, 2015 Chattanooga Military Installation attacks (Muslim)
– December 2, 2015 Inland Regional Center attack (Muslim)
– June 12, 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack (Muslim)
– September 17, 2016 St. Cloud, Minnesota mall stabbing (Muslim)
– September 17-19, 2016 New York and New Jersey bombings (Muslim)
– November 28, 2016 Ohio State University attack (Muslim)
– November 5, 2017 Sutherland Springs Church attack (Devin Patrick Kelley, a self-admitted atheist)
– October 31, 2017 New York City attack (Muslim)
So, contrary to Larry's claim of, “Most of the terrorist activity in the U.S. in recent years has come not from Muslims, but from radical Christianists,” the reality is that of the 37 actual terrorist attacks in the United States since 1980, 21 of them have been committed by Muslims; and coming in at second place are Atheists and Agnostics with 6 terrorist attacks. Following up in a third place tie are White Supremacists/Neo-Nazis, those with No Professed Faith, and Other Non-Christian with each of these groups accounting for 4 terrorist attacks each. Not surprisingly there was a grand total of zero terrorist attacks committed by Christians. Larry's claims in his point #22 are nothing more than his propagandist lies.
23. The religion of Christianity often leads to racism. Christianity is racist in that it seeks to preserve and perpetuate its existence because they are the only “one true religion”. Christianity is "racist" because it holds that God justly eternally torments non-adherents in hell.
Fundamental Christianity is a Christian sect that relies strongly on the “literal interpretation” of the Bible. Many Fundamentalists insists that Jesus was white and believes that all greatness achieved in the United States is attributed to the work of the white race and none other. There are extreme religious movements emerging in the United States that strongly oppose LGBTQ rights, minority rights, racial equality, and gender equality.
Although there are many religious Americans who are good at heart and genuinely believe and exemplify love and acceptance, there is no denying that fanatical religious belief can be a breeding ground for hate, violence, and bigotry. When the beliefs that define one’s entire world are threatened, ideologues will often do all that is necessary to preserve it.
23. Apparently Larry does not understand what racism is. Racism is defined as “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one's own race is superior; and, the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.” Christianity is a religion, not a race.
Granted, there have been and still are individuals who are racist and who claim to be Christians, however, since Christianity teaches that racism is a sin, as well as teaching that anyone who claims to be a Christian while at the same time is living a life of persistent, habitual, unrepentant sin is a liar, and is not a Christian; is it incorrect to claim that Christians are racist, or that Christianity leads to racism.
Larry attempts to disparage Christianity by pointing out that Christians believe Christianity is the “one true religion,” as well as claiming that Christianity “seeks to preserve and perpetuate its existence.” What he fails to understand is that all religions are mutually exclusive. All believe they are the only true religion. This is true of Judaism, Mormonism, Hinduism, Shintoism, the Jehovah's Witnesses, Islam, and virtually every other religion – including atheism. As my mother used to say, “he has one finger pointing out at everyone else, and has three fingers pointing back at himself.”
Additionally, Christians do not seek to preserve and perpetuate their existence. We do not have to. We believe that God will do that Himself. For a Christian to attempt to push God out of the way and take it upon himself (or upon themselves as the case may be) to preserve and perpetuate Christianity would be at odds with God, and is antithetical to biblical Christianity.
Furthermore, Christians do think of Jesus as “white.” Jesus was not “white.” He was a Hebrew, a Semite. Anthropologically He was Caucasoid as all Semites were and are, but Larry's implication that Christians believe Jesus was a blonde-hair blue-eyed Aryan type is another bald-faced lie. He continues in his point #23, as he does throughout his anti-Christian manifesto, to spread his hatred and bigotry against Christianity and Christians through the use of manipulation and lies.
24. Christianity is a religion based upon fear. The core of Christian belief is based on the idea that everyone has sinned, and, because you have done something wrong, God will punish you by burning you with fire, or otherwise torturing you forever. Throughout almost its entire time on Earth, the motor driving Christianity has been in addition to the fear of death — fear of the devil and fear of Hell. One can only imagine how potent these threats seemed prior to the rise of science and rational thinking. Preachers love to preach “Hell & Damnation” in an attempt to whip the flock into line through threats, through appeals to a base part of human nature—fear and cowardice.
In addition, the fear of not pleasing Jesus, the fear of not pleasing the ministry and the fear of not pleasing the congregation is also a scare tactic used by the church to keep the followers in line. The bottom line is, Christianity is about the fear of going to Hell. They say it's about "love" too, but hey, people who love you don't torture you in Hell forever, so I'm not buying the "he loves you" crap.
24. This is a summation of several of Larry's other points, so there is no need to go into detail as they have already been refuted. But it should be pointed out that Christians do not fear death, and they do not fear hell, and they do not fear the devil. Not one bit. This is because Christianity teaches there is absolutely no need to fear any of them as they have no ability to harm us. Christians believe those who have sincerely trusted Jesus for their salvation will live eternally with God in heaven, therefore there is no need to fear death or hell. Christians believe Jesus defeated the devil at the cross, therefore he has no ability to do us any harm; therefore, there is no need to fear him.
Christians also do not fear being unable to please Jesus, or the ministry, or the congregation. It is true Christians have a desire to please Jesus, to please God; but where Larry came up with fearing to please the ministry or the congregation is anybody's guess as it does not appear in Christianity.
In light of the number of Christian scientists, inventors, Nobel prize winners, etc (as noted above), His statement, “One can only imagine how potent these threats seemed prior to the rise of science and rational thinking.” is laughable.
25. Christianity is extremely egocentric. The deep egocentrism of Christianity is intimately tied to its reliance on fear. In addition to the fears of the devil and hell, Christianity plays on another of humankind’s most basic fears: death, the dissolution of the individual ego. Perhaps Christianity's strongest appeal is its promise of eternal life in Heaven. While there is absolutely no evidence to support this claim, most people are so terrified of death that they cling to this treacly promise insisting, like frightened children, that it must be true.
25. The issue of fear, specifically the fear of death, the devil and hell, has been addressed above. Larry's claim that there is no evidence of eternal life was refuted above with regard to the evidence supporting the validity of the Bible. Since the Bible teaches the reality of eternal life, and since there is ample evidence supporting the validity of the Bible, there is, therefore, evidence to support the reality of eternal life. Larry, however, has made the truth claim “there is absolutely no evidence to support [eternal life],” and therefore should be able to prove the nonexistence of eternal life. We will be patiently waiting for him to do so.
26. Christianity is based on dishonesty and made-up stories. The Christian appeal to fear, to cowardice, is an admission that the evidence supporting Christian beliefs is far from compelling. If the evidence were such that Christianity’s truth was immediately apparent to anyone who considered it, Christians—including those who wrote the Gospels—would feel no need to resort to the cheap tactic of using fear-inducing threats to inspire "belief." ("Lip service" is a more accurate term.) That the Christian clergy have been more than willing to accept such lip service (plus the dollars and obedience that go with it) in place of genuine belief, is an additional indictment of the basic dishonesty of Christianity. Christianity is based upon lies and fabrications that amount to little more than vivid fairy tales in the modern day.
26. As has already been shown, Larry's claims of Christianity's appeal to fear and cowardice are false. Fear and cowardice simply do not exist in Christianity in the manner that Larry has stated. The evidence supporting the validity of Christianity is compelling to those who are not predisposed to disbelieve due to their presuppositional biases. Christians do not “need to resort to the cheap tactic of using fear-inducing threats,” nor do they.
Larry accuses Christian clergy of accepting “lip service (plus the dollars and obedience that go with it) in place of genuine belief” and claims this is an “additional indictment of the basic dishonesty of Christianity.” As with his previously made similar statements, Larry has again failed to provide any specific examples of Christian clergy engaging in such a practice. As he has previously done, he simply flings these fallacious accusations around without any supporting evidence whatsoever with the hope that others will simply accept them without bothering to research their validity. Of course, if they do research them, they will discover just how false and slanderous they are.
Larry then proclaims yet another unproven truth claim. He writes, “Christianity is based upon lies and fabrications that amount to little more than vivid fairy tales in the modern day.” Truth claims require evidence of the alleged truth they are claiming, and the burden of providing that proof lies with the person making the truth claim. Therefore, Larry must now prove that “Christianity is based upon lies and fabrications.” He must prove that Christianity is based on “vivid fairy tales.” If he cannot, then it becomes clear that what Larry has claimed is not truth, but rather his own personal unsubstantiated opinion and nothing more.
27. Christianity breeds arrogance, a chosen-people mentality. It's only natural that those who believe (or play act at believing) that they have a direct line to the Almighty would feel superior to others. This is so obvious that it needs little elaboration. A brief look at religious terminology confirms it. Christians have often called themselves "God's people," "the chosen people," "the elect," “the predestinated”, "the righteous," etc., while nonbelievers have been labeled "heathens," “heretics”, "infidels," “whoremongers”, “unbelievers” etc. This sets up a two-tiered division of humanity, in which "God's people" feel superior to those who are not "God’s people."
27. Believing one is superior to others is, according to the Bible, a sin; and it is a lifestyle sin. Christianity teaches that no one is righteous in and of themselves, and that includes Christians. So again, Larry is claiming that Christians believe and follow a teaching that is not only not in the Bible, but is antithetical to biblical Christianity. And again, it tends to cause one to wonder if he either did not attend the two “major Bible colleges” as he claims he did; or, if he did, if he actually paid attention and learned anything, because he constantly and consistently accuses Christianity of teaching, and Christians of believing, things that are either not in the Bible, or are antithetical to biblical Christianity.
On the other hand, Larry's claims in his point #27, actually describes his own personal belief system quite well. Given Larry's disparaging comments regarding Christianity, and his view of Christians as almost sub-human, it might very well be accurate to state that atheism “breeds arrogance” and a superior “mentality.” It might very well be accurate to state that it is “only natural that those who believe” others are not as enlightened as themselves, are not as intelligent as themselves, not as logical, rational and well-reasoned as themselves “would feel superior to others. This is so obvious that it needs little elaboration. A brief look at [Larry's] terminology confirms it.” Larry has either stated or strongly implied that Christians are incapable of sound financial planning (#2), they are susceptible to emotional manipulation (#3,#8), they are “misogynistic”, have “low self esteem” (#5), they “routinely terrorize helpless children” (#9), they have a “morbid, unhealthy preoccupation with sex” (#11) and are sexually miserable (#12). Christians long for “nothing short of the total and complete annihilation of our home world” (#13), they are waging a jihad against sexual minorities (#15), they are war-like, evil and dangerous (#16), believing in “ethnic/religious extermination” (#18) and they are “comfortable” with “human sacrifice” and the “ritual portrayal of eating flesh and drinking blood” (#14). Christians are “irrational,” believing in “vivid fairy tales” and are mentally ill. They have a “mental disorder no different that schizophrenia” and they are insane! They suffer from delusions, and from “mass delusions” because of their “schizotypal-disorder,” and in some situations “they then can become raving babbling irrational lunatics.” (#7, #19, #30)
Larry has established (in his own mind) a “two-tiered division of humanity,” in which atheists such as himself can feel superior to Christians.
28. Christianity teaches “Freedom of Religion” is only for Christians. Many conservative leaders have pushed the narrative that freedom of religion only applies to Christian denominations, and definitely doesn’t apply to atheists or Muslims. So, while making the argument that religious freedom is the ultimate right we enjoy as Americans, it’s only for the right sort of Americans. Which are those who believe exactly the same way they do about gays, women, Muslims, atheists, immigrants, etc. Freedom of religion applies to all people, Christian or not. If religious freedom is not extended to other religions, then it is simply Christian freedom, a narrow and exclusive freedom which is not freedom at all.
28. Nowhere has a single Christian leader promoted the idea that freedom of religion applies only to Christians. Nowhere. This is another of Larry's wild unsubstantiated claims with no definitive evidence to support it, designed to do nothing more than disparage Christianity in the hope that others will as well. What Larry is describing here is discrimination. Larry is accusing Christians of discriminating against every other religion and those who subscribe to those religions. This could not be more antithetical to Christianity, which teaches that discrimination is a sin. It also flies in the face of documented fact. If one travels to poverty stricken places, places ravaged by natural disasters, where non-Christian religions are predominant; one will find Christian relief agencies and groups, and even individuals there to help. Taking care of Hindus, Muslims, members of folk religions, and more.
Furthermore, the National Association of Evangelicals fought alongside almost two dozen civil rights and religious groups to support a Muslim group that wanted to build a mosque in New Jersey, but was faced with stiff opposition. After almost ten years of hostility, opposition, obstruction and delays by the local zoning board, they were finally successful. Does this sound like Christians oppose religious freedom for non-Christian religions? And consider these quotes from Christian leaders as well:
– “The freedom to practice any religion — or no religion at all — is basic to religious liberty. When Christians advocate for religious liberty, we are not seeking a special privilege for Christians, but promoting a basic human right for all people,” Philip Ryken, president of Wheaton College.
– “If religious freedom is not extended to other religions, then it is simply ‘Christian freedom,’ a narrow and exclusive ‘freedom,’ which is not freedom at all.” William Bohline, founding pastor of Hosanna! Lutheran Church
– “Religious freedom protection for people of all faiths was a concern and clear provision provided by our founding fathers at the very beginning of our nation, It needs to be preserved at this very important time in the history of the United States of America.” Paul Cedar, chairman of Mission America Coalition
– “Evangelical leaders believe religious freedom is a basic human right for all people, and that protecting the religious freedom for people of other faiths is protecting their own freedom.” Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals
– “How could we ask Muslim countries to grant freedom of religion to Jesus-followers in their country if we don’t grant it for all religions in the United States?” Steve Moore, president of nexleader, a biblically based leadership program.
Larry's claim that “Christianity teaches 'Freedom of Religion' is only for Christians” is not only untrue, but it isn't even in the vicinity of truth.
29. Christianity leads to Christian Zionism. Christian Zionism can be defined as... "Christian support for the Zionist cause – the return of the Jewish people to its biblical homeland in Israel". It is a belief among some Christians that the return of Jews to Israel is in line with a biblical prophecy, and is necessary for Jesus to return to Earth as its king. Christian Zionism is both a political movement and a way of mis-interpreting current events. Its focus on Israel and the Middle East is an ideology and a movement.
Most fanatical Fundamentalists in America are, without question, dispensationalists and Christian Zionists. It is my view that these fanatical radicals go completely overboard with their promotion of the State of Israel. Their Zionist preaching & teaching conditions all of their followers into becoming avid supporters of the nation of Israel and its causes. Even if it means destroying the Palestinians and their people.
Christians do all they can to support the cause of Zionism so Jesus can come back and destroy all the unbelievers in the world and restore Israel to world prominence. Christians can hardly wait for the Battle of Armageddon where their god will destroy the Earth and all its inhabitants … Except all the Christians of course.
29. Again, Larry demonstrates that he really doesn't understand Christianity or the Bible. No true Christian is eagerly awaiting Armageddon. As the Bible says, God does not desire that any should perish. Christians feel the same way. We even feel the same way with regard to Larry, in spite of what he claims throughout this anti-Christian manifesto of his. He is, however, correct in saying that this is his view. It is not substantiated by facts, but it is his view regardless. And it is probably shared with other misotheists as well, as they all have the same core belief: “I don't believe in God, and I hate Him!”
With regard to Larry's claims regarding Christian Zionism, perhaps a look at some facts is in order.
– Christian Zionism is nothing more than the belief, held by some Christians, that Israel belongs to the Jews, and the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 was a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. That's it. That's all it means.
– In 1948 Israel was officially recognized as an independent state, and was granted sovereign nation status by the United Nations. It is and has always been, a Jewish controlled independent country.
– The Palestinians, however, are not from Israel. And they are not from Palestine. They are from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and other Middle Eastern countries. But they are not from Palestine. They are descendents of people from the countries mentioned who migrated throughout the Middle East, including the area of Israel.
– Some Palestinians are descendents of Muslims who were imported to the area by occupying powers (i.e. the Turks and the British) – including some from as far away as Bosnia, because the local labor force was insufficient.
– The Palestinian people do not have an historical claim to the area, as they did not predate the presence of Jewish inhabitants of the area. The Jewish people have maintained ties to the area for more than 3,700 years. There has been an uninterrupted Jewish settlement, with a national language and distinct civilization in the area since the time of Joshua.
– Israel is the only liberal democracy in the entire Middle East.
– Israel has the highest average living standards in the Middle East.
– Israel has contributed more to the world in the field of medicine than most of the world; including: the first fully computerized, no-radiation, diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer; a computerized system for ensuring proper administration of medications, thus removing human error from medical treatment; the first ingestible video camera, used to help doctors diagnose cancer and digestive disorders; a new device that directly helps the heart pump blood. Israeli doctors, scientists and researchers have produced countless medical advances, improving millions of lives around the world.
– Israel has played a leading role in the development of digital technology, including: the cell phone (developed in Israel); most of the Windows NT operating system; the Pentium MMX Chip technology; Voice mail technology; and much more. With more than 3,000 high-tech companies and start-ups, Israel has the highest concentration of high-tech companies in the world, outside of Silicon Valley.
– On a per capita basis, Israel has the largest number of biotech start-ups.
– Twenty-four percent of Israel’s workforce holds university degrees – ranking third in the industrialized world, after the United States and Holland – and 12 percent hold advanced degrees. In fact, Israel has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world.
– Israel produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation by a large margin – 109 per 10,000 people – as well as one of the highest per capita rates of patents filed.
– Israel leads the world in the number of scientists and technicians in the workforce, with 145 per 10,000, as opposed to 85 in the U. S., over 70 in Japan, and less than 60 in Germany. With over 25% of its work force employed in technical professions. Israel places first in this category as well.
– Israel is one of the world's leading countries in relief and aid assistance, as well as one of the largest immigrant absorbing nations in the world. Israel took in 1,000,000 Russians and over 25,000 Ethiopians.
– And, Israel has accomplished this, and so very much more, all while under constant attack and threats of attack from neighboring countries, as well as from Palestinian terrorists. The same Palestinian terrorists who have fired almost 8,500 rockets and mortars targeting civilians in Southern Israel in the past five years. The same Palestinian terrorists who commit daily acts of terrorism in Israel. The same Palestinian terrorists whom Larry is so very concerned about.
With all of the remarkable advancements that have come out of Israel, and are still coming out of Israel, in spite of the hatred of its neighbors and boycotts advocated by liberal socialist groups, is there really any valid reason to not support Israel?
30. Christianity can lead to a religious mental social disorder similar to Schizophrenia. Religion as a whole should be classified as a mental illness. It makes all kinds of silly ridicules claims based not on evidence, but on wishful thinking. Many religions like Christianity make absurd and arbitrary demands of its followers, and threatens ludicrous punishment if those demands are not followed, and shows utter contempt for rational thinking. Just because a delusion is a “mass delusion” doesn’t make it any less of a mental illness.
Christianity is a distinct, (or should be/will be) mental disorder no different than schizophrenia. In fact, Christianity is a social religious form of schizophrenia, but because it’s an organized form of schizophrenia, (also having mass-delusions), they are what ... sane? No ... they are most certainly not sane! They have a form of schizophrenia, a schizotypal-disorder in which in most situations they may make rational decisions and have a somewhat normal discourse. However, as soon as any-form of the Bible, God, Jesus or “Holy Ghost” enters, they then can become raving babbling irrational lunatics.
This is one reason why Christians can believe some guy lived inside a fish, (Jonah), and/or some fictional character (Jesus their imaginary friend) can become a god they devote their entire life to. To the Christian, their God/Bible delusions become reality, and that which is real (the world), becomes estranged to them.
30. And finally Larry gets down to the core of his belief's regarding Christianity. He finally exposes his presuppositional bias regarding Christianity and Christians. He believes all Christians are insane, suffering from a “mental social disorder similar to Schizophrenia.” In fact, he believes all Christians suffer from “a form of schizophrenia, a schizotypal-disorder” and all have the potential to “become raving babbling irrational lunatics.” And he believes Christianity “should be/will be” a “mental disorder.” And it is this foundational presuppositional bias of his that is the basis of his irrational hatred of Christianity and Christians. Is “his irrational hatred” to harsh? Well, remember, he is the one who stated he wants to physically assault Christians. That is a pretty good indicator of harboring hatred, holding it in, nurturing it, feeding it, and waiting for the opportunity to let explode forth. Which, when you think about it, is really pretty sad. Allowing a cancer such as hatred to fester inside of himself as he clearly is doing is going to take years off his life simply because of the stress.
And all he has to do to alleviate that stress, and be free of that hatred, is to sincerely repent of his sin, sincerely seek forgiveness from Jesus for his sin, and Jesus will forgive him and heal him of his hatred. According to his testimony, Larry was a Christian. But according to the Bible, he really was not. The Bible says “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.” (1 John 2:19).
If Larry is reading this (and I truly hope he is); Larry, repent of your sin and turn to Christ for forgiveness. If you really went to those Bible colleges as you claim, then surely you know the things you have written are untrue. If you really went to those Bible colleges, then you know that attending a Christian youth camp, getting baptized, preaching a sermon, attending Bible college, being a youth minister and a bus director, and pastoring a church will not make you a Christian. That is works based salvation, and you would have known that is not biblical. If you had really spent three years in a major Bible college as you claim. You would know this. It's basic Christianity 101.
I've heard your “de-conversion” testimony more times than I can count, from just as many so-called “former Christians.” And every single one of them had one thing in common. They were mad at God. They were mad at Him for a number of reasons, but the most common reasons are either someone they loved very much died and they blame God for not saving them; or, they were hurt and/or traumatized by someone in the church, and they blame God for allowing them to go through that experience. Either way, they wind up hating God, the best way they can express their hatred is to refuse to believe in Him anymore.
I know you went through the motions, did the “right things” and so forth. So did I. You were a Baptist. So was I. I believed – strongly believed – that all I had to do was ask Jesus into my heart and say I was sorry for my sins and I would be saved. I believed that with all my heart. It was a lie, but I didn't know that and I believed it. My prayers were never answered, I never felt God, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit in my life. I saw I don't know how many people claiming to be Christians who were involved in the most outrageous sins. Living like the devil six days a week, and putting on their pious face every Sunday morning and acting all self-righteous. I did all the right things too. I taught adult Sunday school, I witnessed, wrote tracts, all of it, for years. Then I saw the cracks on the inside. The false teachings, the lies, the rank hypocrisy, and I became disillusioned with it all and “left the faith.” I renounced God, cursed God, all of it; and lived in sin after sin after sin, and enjoyed it.
At least I enjoyed it up until the point when God opened my heart and spoke to me, and told me I was wrong, and those in the church were wrong as well, and I was not a Christian and I stood condemned in my sin. There is something sobering when God reveals that to you. When I learned what the truth was, what the Bible really said, what God really said, that was when I let go of my hatred and truly repented and became a real Christian. And I have never looked back. Sins that I could not imagine living without vanished along with any desire to engage in them, virtually overnight. Christianity is true, Larry; and I hope and pray that somewhere deep down in your heart you know it is too.
Stop holding on to your hatred. You know that in the long run it will destroy you. Repent and turn to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
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