Fundamentalist Christians would have us believe in a great many things, on faith. Unfortunately, when I ask what it is they believe all kinds of things go awry.
They say that their god, himself, came to Earth in a guise (so as to not frighten the children?) and sacrificed himself to save us. Then after three days, he “rose from the dead” as a sign to his divine nature and the truth of his message.
“So we are all “saved” now?” I ask. “No,” they respond, “in order to be saved you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior; then you will be saved.”
So, the “saving” was conditional then? That must be mighty magic, to be able to leave the switch in my hands as to whether or not it worked. “In order for this act of generosity to be in effect, I must become a slave to the author of the act?”
“No, no, once you accept Jesus into your heart, you will be free!”
But I do not see how “accepting a Lord” is freedom. Lords command. Serfs comply. To accept a Lord is to take orders, to become a servant or slave.
So, I must ask “What am I being saved from?”
“From your own sinful nature.”
“How the heck did I get to be sinful? A sin is an unforgivable error in action, is it not. When did I do this thing?”
“You were born sinful. You see it goes back to Adam and Eve’s rebellion against God.”
“So, I was not even born yet, yet I was condemned. Condemned to what?”
“Everlasting torture in a lake of fire in Hell.”
Oh, just that. I was afraid it was something more imposing.
“So, let me get this straight: well before I was born, a remote ancestor rebelled against your god and was cursed, including all of their progeny, which includes me, yes?”
“So, I was born with a sentence of everlasting torture when I died unless I was saved from that fate?”
“Jesus, who was actually your god in another guise, in essence committed a fake suicide as an act of contrition, for me … but I don’t get that benefit unless I accept Jesus/Yahweh as my Lord.”
“Well, other than the suicide, you got it.”
This is effing nuts! How can an act of contrition be so committed. In essence I am going to save you by killing him? That’s crazy. It is the worst sort of blood magic from pre-historic times. I’ll bet something along the lines of “our sins were washed away with his blood” is mentioned, no? And then the “saving” doesn’t count unless you accept Jesus, who is your god, as your lord? That is the vilest sort of blackmail.
And this Jesus character could not die, because he has an immortal soul and it lives in a safe place, so all he had to do is vacate his meat puppet for three days, then reclaim it and walk around a bit flaunting his divinity to gull the gullible, right? He didn’t really die.
Any way, who created this “Hell” place? Jesus, you say? Now it is sounding like a scam. The people who sell water purification systems go around telling people about the toxins in their drinking water, whether there are any or not, in order to get suckers to buy their wares. How is this different? Is their any authoritative evidence for the existence of this Hell place? No? I thought not.
If there really were an all-powerful god, could he not just announce for the whole world to hear that we were forgiven of his curse? Or he could have just lifted it without sending anyone a memo.
If he really wanted us to know things and have them written down, an all-powerful being wouldn’t have entrusted those words to a barely literate culture. We have none of the first drafts of so-called “holy scripture.” They were all lost or eroded by time. Which “drafts” we have is debatable which is a problem. Plus the drafts we have found conflict with one another like crazy. Could those words not have been inscribed in stone for all to read and then be made indestructible and, hence, available for all time. You know, just shave the side of a mountain and create really big stone tablets, rather than small fragile ones. Why would an all-powerful god yield to earthly transmission of information means?
Why would an all-knowing god need prayer? Does he need to hear us beg? It so, he is one sick puppy.
Why does a god who has a plan for us which is perfect, of course, have a mechanism for us to beseech him to change his plan?
Why does a god who created a universe governed by rules that seem unbreakable, provide a mechanism for us to beseech him to change the rules, just for one of us.
Why does a god who is omniscient and all-powerful, etc., etc. need praise so much that he creates literally billions of people to praise him and then, perversely, makes it hard to get to the place where we can praise him permanently? And obscenely punishes those who decline to so praise him. This is praise worthy?
Why does anyone believe this nonsense?
If you believe your god created you with the ability to think, why are you refusing his gift?