| Essay Continued from Part 1...
Used by permission, from the Agnostic Review of Christianity website
As a matter of fact, the four gospels, written by four separate witnesses, all agree in the testimony as given by I John 1:1-3.
This claim reveals an inconsistency combined with wishful thinking.
There is no sound evidence that the Gospel authors were witnesses to Jesus.
The unknown author of the Gospel of Mark makes no such claim.
The unknown author of the Gospel of Matthew makes no such claim.
The author of Luke indicates he was not an eyewitness to Jesus(Luke 1:1-4). The author of the Gospel of John indicates that his gospel is the result of information passed on to him by an unidentified person (John 21:20-24).
Trying to use 1 John 1:1-3 to claim that all the gospel authors were witnesses to Jesus is dishonest and is contradicted in two cases (John and Luke).
The verses state:
1 John 1:1-3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
If the author of 1 John 1:1-3 is the same author who wrote the Gospel of John, then 1 John 1:1-3 contradicts John 21:20-24, which declares that an unidentified apostle wrote down the things recorded in the Gospel of John.
The author of the Gospel of John is simply passing along information recorded by an unidentified apostle of Jesus.
Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
The author of the Gospel of John, by their own admission, was not the disciple who recorded and witnessed the information presented in the Gospel of John.
In contrast, the unidentified author of 1 John 1:1-3 claims to have "seen" things from the beginning.
The author of the Gospel of John admits that his gospel is the witness and testimony of an unidentified apostle and not his own witness.
There is no way to know who wrote 1 John 1:1-3 or who the "we" refers to.
If it's the same person or persons who wrote the Gospel of John, then they have contradicted themselves.
There is also no sound evidence the Gospels were written by only four people. More could easily have been involved. There is no way to know because the authors are unknown.
Further compounding the problem is that the Gospels do not all agree on everything.
Key elements are in complete conflict.
The genealogy of Jesus in Matt 1 contradicts the genealogy of Jesus given in Luke 3.
Matthew also contradicts Luke by claiming the resurrected Jesus first appeared to his apostles as a group on a mountain in Galilee (Matt 28:10,16-17). Luke states Jesus first appeared to them as a group in Jerusalem (Luke 24:33-36).
Furthermore, would all of those men have given their lives and died for an unprovable lie?
Human nature says, "What's in it for me?" The new kind of self sacrificial love revealed in the Good News is what can I do for the sake of others?
There is no Biblical support that any one of the unknown Gospel authors was killed for believing in Jesus.
According to the Bible, the New Testament characters who were recorded as dying for their cause were John the Baptist, James, and Stephen. None of these is identified as being a New Testament writer.
Since this Christian doesn't know who really wrote the Gospel of Matthew or Mark, they have no idea who they really were or how they died.
This Christian simply assumes things and spins their rationalization around assertions.
Also, contrary to what this Christian claims, the apostles did indeed ask "What's in it for me?".
This fluffy assertion of "a new kind of self sacrificial love" is candy like hype on the part of this Christian.
It was St. Peter the Apostle, the future Rock of the Church itself, who wanted to know what he would get for all his trouble of following Jesus.
Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore?
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.
Jesus promised big rewards for the obedience of the Apostles and for all those who follow him.
All the chatter about "a new kind of self sacrificing love" is empty, pious, rhetoric.
Christianity is a reward system for proper behavior. Perform a proper action of belief and eternal life will be yours.
Furthermore, dying for a cause doesn't make the cause valid or truthful. Japanese suicide pilots in WWII flew their planes into ships because they knew that their God and beliefs were not lies but the absolute truth.
Muslims die for their cause because they think it's the absolute truth.
Thinking something is true doesn't make it true.
But God is Spirit and Spirit cannot be put in a test tube. That's why he came in the person of Jesus Christ, so that men could have something to examine as evidence of the existence of God apart from his creation.
This directly contradicts God's word in the Old Testament. God is not a man or the Son of man (Num 23:19).As the Bible declares, God (Yahweh) is the only savior (Isa 43:11), God will not give his glory to another (Isa 42:8), there are no others (Isa 44:6,8 Isa 45:5), including a character called Jesus.
How much evidence do you want?
When Christians start obeying God's law as he commanded in his word, I'll take them more seriously.
Until then, they are just preaching according to their own theological preferences.
This Christian hasn't even come close to establishing that their version of God exists or created the universe.
Furthermore, they assume that what they worship is a genuine "God", who could just as easily be a local cosmic entity posing as the creator of the universe.
God has already manifested himself to humanity in many ways which are adequately recorded in history apart from the Bible.
The word "adequately" is completely subjective.
The hurdle for deification and proof can always be set low enough for any version of "God" to clear it.
There is precious little outside of the Bible that supports the many claims of the New Testament about Jesus.
A character called Jesus may have existed who was a cult leader and that's the extent of the issue.
That doesn't prove anything about the existence of God.
The fact that the promises of Jesus, as recorded in the New Testament, have failed doesn't lend credibility to any of the New Testament assertions being valid as the word of God.
And, as noted earlier, the theology of Christians contradicts Yahweh the God of the Old Testament.
Different people believe different things which may be contradictory, therefore validity cannot be established on the basis of belief alone.
The validity of any given belief must therefore be determined on the basis of the foundation upon which it rests. The question then becomes who's revelation has the best documentational support establishing its validity.
Since validity and foundation are important, Christians would do well to recognize that the Paulian foundation of Christianity contradicts God's word in the Old Testament.
Christians can continue to worship a false prophet called Jesus, or they can ditch the teachings of the vision seeing Paul and repent and turn back to Yahweh the original God of the Bible, or they can look elsewhere for theological ideas to comfort them.
In Christianity our belief is connected to the revelation of God through Jesus Christ and his attending irrefutably verifiable miracles, documented by eyewitnesses for the sake of posterity, as the credentials giving validity to his testimony concerning the existence of God, and God's will for mankind.
The irrefutably failed promises of Jesus, as recorded by the unidentified authors of the Gospels, who in two cases were clearly not eyewitnesses to Jesus, are no credentials for anything of substance.
It's the stuff of unsupported theological agendas, evolved over time by writers who had agendas which cannot in any way be proven to be from "God".
Nor can the men who selected these writings and classified them as divine be proven to have been inspired by anything other than their own preferences and personal agendas.
God's so-called will for mankind is really the will of men seeking influence and control over other men.
That is why he (God) appeared in human form in the person of Jesus Christ, so that we could examine and comprehend him.
Which contradicts the Old Testament (Num 23:19). Jesus wasn't even close to being a valid "Christ" or "Messiah".
Jesus had neither the genealogy to be a valid king Messiah nor did he fulfill the basic requirements of what a king Messiah was to accomplish.
There is nothing in the Old Testament which declares that a king Messiah would come once, be killed, rise from the dead in three days, and require a second coming thousands of years later to accomplish what he was supposed to do the first time around.
Apart from legislation influenced by the principles of God, we would have anarchy - each man doing that which is right in his own eyes - because the natural tendencies of man are toward rebellion, and what keeps him in line are the attendant enforceable penalties.
Christians, through the teachings of Paul, have already tossed out the perfect and eternal Law of God they give so much lip service to.
Christians routinely ignore the Sabbath, ignore the food laws, and ignore any other law they deem too inconvenient to follow.
Christians are the very rebels they complain about so much.
Scripture says, for example, that the things of God are foolishness to those who are perishing.
These things are foolishness to you, therefore it is truth.
God spoke about foolish Christians in the following:
The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
God's Law is foolishness to Christians because they would rather have easy candy coated salvation through faith in a pagan based human sacrifice than do the hard work of obeying God's Law. Christians are pious porcupines, sporting quills of superficial righteousness which mock the very Bible God they claim to worship.
The Apostle Paul hated Christians and Christianity, even killed and jailed many, yet he saw the error of his ways and was converted.
The error was when Paul decided to contradict God, and by preaching his apostasy to others, he compounded his error in the eyes of God.
Those who try to lead others astray from God's Law are wicked (Psa 50:16-17). Even Jesus said that those who teach others that the Law is not important were not doing right in God's eyes.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Christians can prove they really believe in God and love Jesus by doing what he says instead of ignoring it.
That tells me that there is hope for you too. As long as you are still breathing, you haven't blown it yet, and you are doing better than you deserve.
My faith is not "blind attachment to unsubstantiated claims that conflict with the observance of reality," but is based upon research and credible evidences.
A believer of any religion can make a claim like this.
The "research" and "credible evidences" this Christian talks about don't mean a thing to anyone other than himself or another person who is also entranced with the cult of Jesus.
Christians can start demonstrating the evidence of their God by obeying God's Law and doing the miracles which Jesus promised they would do.
Until then, there is no reason to play in the ill-conceived theological sandbox of this believer.
The evidences are the creation, and those things which are reported by the eyewitnesses of God's various manifestations at various times and places, and that have been faithfully recorded for the sake of posterity.
The creation doesn't prove the Christian version of God is real.
And we are once again back to the thread bare claim of eyewitnesses who faithfully recorded events for the sake of posterity. Yada yada yada.
Funny how the main writer of the New Testament called Paul, wasn't an eyewitness to anything, Jesus ever did.
Funny how these unidentified eyewitnesses couldn't manage to agree on key details of the events concerning the life and death of Jesus.
Funny how they rip Old Testament verses out of context to support their story and agenda. Funny how possibly the biggest event in world history (Matt 27:50-53) isn't even mentioned by Paul or any other New Testament writer, or any writer outside of the Bible. It is only mentioned by an unknown author of a Gospel attributed to a character called "Matthew".
These are the concrete "proofs" that Christians advertise as accurately recorded, factual events.
Without law there is anarchy, and in our laws, based on Christian principles, freedom and liberty are provided for those who align themselves under its authority.
Christian principles advocate ignoring the Law of God.
It went out of style when Paul replaced them with faith in a human sacrifice.
Paul sought freedom from the Law, not obedience to it, and did away with it using his pen.
Welcome to the theology of St. Paul.
But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster (God's law).
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Christians don't come under God's authority as represented by his Law.
Christians deem themselves exempt from the Law because they follow the teachings of Paul, and not God.
The Ten Commandments are not to restrict our liberty, but to ensure it.
They have our highest good in esteem. They keep us from hurting ourselves and others; for all infractions and ineptitude have penalties which are built in, and any violation of the laws and principles which the Creator has built into the system will result in suffering - if not our own - then that of others affected by what we do when our appetites are unrestrained.
God deals in absolutes.
Relativism has no room in the economy of God. Right is right - even if nobody is doing it; and wrong is wrong - even if everybody is doing it. That is absolutism.
This is typical nonsense, outright lying, and double talk from a Christian.
The Ten Commandments are part of the very laws which Paul declared were canceled by Jesus and which Paul claims believers are no longer subject to.
Since Christians claim they are under "grace" and not under the outdated Law of God anymore, God's Law is not absolute at all but is relative to the time a person lives in and is thus temporary.That which is declared canceled and not binding is no longer absolute. God's Law is not really absolute according to Christianity, as established by Paul.
Christians ignore one of the Ten Commandments, the law of the Sabbath (which is Saturday). They ignore this law all the time and think nothing of it.
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
God took this commandment seriously and meant it for all future generations of believers to obey.
Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.
Outside of the Christian Seventh Day adventist sect, Christianity simply thumbs it's nose at this Commandment and Law of God.
Christians observe a superficial, mock Sabbath on Sunday (the first day), pretending to the world that they obey God and value his word as holy.
By performing a mock worship service on Sunday, or SUN-day, Christians are demonstrating their contempt for God.
They have adopted a pagan day of celebration dedicated to various SUN Gods and want God to look the other way at this abomination.
Once again, Christians do as they please, and do exactly what God told them not to do. God clearly told his followers not to adopt heathen customs (including Christmas) into their lives (Lev 20:23,26 and Jer 10:2-5). So much for the moral absolutes of God as practiced by Christians.
By his Spirit he has the power to do so, while allowing for the exercise of our free will, and by his omniscience he knows who and who will not comply, and elects accordingly on that basis.
The parade of false Christian claims continues.
The Bible exposes this common Christian claim as a lie.
The term "free" will as used by Christians is false advertising about God.
God will punish an incorrect choice which renders the word "free" meaningless.
Free means without charge. God offers an ultimatum in regards to salvation, and not a free choice.
This Christian also contradicts the New Testament by claiming God elects according to the choice of the individual.
This lie is commonly employed by dishonest Christians.
God elects according to HIS will, and not by the will of the individual.
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
As the scripture so clearly states:
God works all things after the "counsel of HIS own will".
God predestines people according to HIS pleasure, and HIS will.
This particular Christian lie concerning how God elects people, which this believer attempts to foist on the skeptical forum, is part of the great whitewash process used to portray their God in a favorable, "fair" light.
God is a God of fairness and his election is not by an arbitrary whim of sovereignty, but according to his foreknowledge of our choices.
This is yet another assertion told by the Christian which the Bible exposes as an outright lie.
God most certainly does choose by HIS whim and not based on a "foreknowledge of our choices" as this dishonest preacher claims. Eph 1:4-5,11 proves this Christian claim about God to be a bold faced lie.
But there is more:
The twins Jacob and Esau were placed in their life roles according to God's whim and not by any action of their own. Before they had done right or wrong, still in the womb, God determined what roles they would play in life and how God would feel about them.
Rom 9:11-13, 16
(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
So then it is not of him that willeth (the individual), nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
The fate and Jacob and Esau was not based on the foreknowledge of what the children would do and choose but was solely based on the whim of God.
God chose to love Jacob and hate Esau before they had been born. The will and actions of Jacob and Esau had nothing to do with the issue. God predestined them just as he predestines people according to Eph 1:4-5,11.
It's little wonder Christians will ignore verses like these. They don't make God look very good and Christians will do anything to keep their God looking neat, tidy, and morally unblemished.
Ironically, the very verses (Rom 9, Eph 1) which this Christian contradicts were supposed to have been written by Paul. This is the very same Paul who declared that Christians don't have to follow God's Law.
Once again, a Christian proves that they will use only the verses they like the sound of as material to spin their theological cocoon.
Then they have the arrogance to claim that they believe the word of God and that they represent the one true "God's word" to the world.
This particular pious circus act is a sideshow built on theological expediency and superficial worship of a deity which is based on selected verses from the Bible which appeal to the Christian mind.
You see, the difference between an atheist and an agnostic is that the one is a fool, and the other is fast becoming one.
The one believes there is no God; the other doesn't think that you can know that there is a God.
Now do you really consider it weakness to rely upon a power greater than yourself?
The only true fool is anyone who swallows the lies and theological speculations of a Christian like this.
Christians like this contradict the Bible, ignore God's word, and in the end invent their own personal amended version of the Bible, while all the time declaring they believe in the actual entire Bible which is sold in bookstores, held up by preachers, and which are placed in motel rooms.
Adjust to the justice of God before the justice of God adjusts to you; for at that time you will be grabbing for all the God you can get!
The Christian now employs Godly threats to intimidate the non-believers.
This pious zealot first needs to start obeying all of God's perfect and eternal laws, then he can go about telling others how they are not right in God's eyes.
This type of hypocritical preaching is quite common among fundamentalist Christians.
History is replete with the agonizing deathbed experiences of avowed atheists who would not let go and let God.
History is also replete with Christians applying the agony which "converts" people.
The Spanish Inquisition specialized in helping people "let go and let God".
Most Christian points in the New World were made at the ends of swords.
Now, just because you don't believe something doesn't invalidate its existence; and conversely, just because something is repeated many times, doesn't necessarily make it true.
You may say, "There is no God." but that doesn't make it true, or even make him go away.
When Christian rhetoric becomes too fractured and idiotic for rational comment, preaching in reverse is called for.
Take heed: A Christian may say Allah is not God but just because this Christian denies that Allah is the one true God, doesn't make Allah go away. Turn to Allah and be saved.
Why do you insist on battling the Bible and Christianity?
Because you don't like us to call reality what you consider to be mythology?
This Christian comes to a skeptical forum, dumps his sermon on the group and then wants to know why people don't accept his theological speculations as facts.
This Christian hasn't establish anything as reality. He just assumes whatever he says about God is reality. His truth must be the only truth.
Because you don't like the creation of laws based on morality?
Those laws that this Christians chirps about aren't even followed by Christians as God instructed his followers to do.
Nor has this Christian established that all of God's laws are moral.
Apparently this Christian has no problem with making a woman undergo a trial by ordeal if she is suspected of being unfaithful to her husband (Num 5:11-31). This is one of the absolute moral laws of God this Christian was trumpeting.
Once again, the talk coming from this Christian is mostly vapor. All shine and little substance.
Because you consider yourself to be a self appointed atheistic patriot, bent on "saving" the world from the "bane" of Christianity?
Christians deem themselves commissioned by God to make the personal beliefs of other people their business and consider it their duty to preach the gospel to anyone with a pulse.
This Christian is a self appointed prophet and doesn't like others with different views to compete with him.
Life is too short to spend it fighting against God.
Many have engaged in the practice of warring against God and the Bible for centuries, but to no avail.
Christians have killed and bickered with each other for centuries. They can't seem decide who has the right version of God on their side. This also exposes yet another failed promise of Jesus.
Jesus prayed that believers would display complete unity (John 17:20-23). That prayer has proved to be a failure. Christians haven't even come close to displaying the complete unity that Jesus prayed they would display to the world and they've had 2,000 years to get it right.
The ground is littered with the broken hammers that have been raised against the anvil of the Bible; and yet, Christianity marches on, growing and spreading, not only through civilizations, but across generations.
Not much to add to this sermon, which has now turned into a mindless, robotic, high school pep rally.
This Christian doesn't even believe in the whole Bible, but has mentally concocted a revised version of it to suit his whims.
There are more Christians now than there ever have been in history, and the numbers are growing daily.
The wonderful, time tested advertising, which urges a person to "eat dung- for a billion flies can't be wrong" once again surfaces to convince skeptics that Christianity is true.
The sermon is over.
A religious elephant has labored and given birth to a mouse.