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Why I believe most Christians are immoral

Most of us are simply trying to make sense of this life, into which we are thrust without invitation and which we have to try our best to deal with.
Some believe that we can best proceed by learning lessons from others who have gone before. I count myself in that category. Some take it further and believe that we should model our lives on a particular role-model. Christians would, I believe it is fair to say, be in that category.

Now, when I try to learn lessons from others, the first obvious thing to do is learn about them - what did they actually say and do. If I want to learn from Kant and the categorical imperative then I need to understand what he was actually saying - otherwise I am simply projecting my own views onto a label and calling it Kant, which is fundamentally dishonest in the same way that constructing a straw-man argument is dishonest.

Now, let's apply that simple standard to Christians. Do they make it a priority to learn about Jesus before adopting him as a role model?
Well, the only source of information we have is the New Testament. Anyone claiming to be a Christian must surely, therefore, be familiar with this set of documents as a minimum. But is this what we observe? I would say no. Most Christians I debate are woefully ignorant of scripture. Their notion of Jesus is almost entirely fantasy, or 'received wisdom'. You can test this assertion. Ask a Christian to repeat a few things which Jesus actually said. Most will struggle to misquote a few of the more well known phrases. Then ask them what the basic message of Jesus was. You will normally get trite answers like - love thy neighbour. Ask them where this is said and I can guarantee that most of them will have no clue - they know the phrase because they have seen it repeated on the media and in church. They are prepared to believe that Jesus said it, but they are too lazy to actually find out if he actually did. The same applies to the list of platitudes that normally pour out of apologist mouths.

In truth the average Christian hasn't got a clue about Jesus. They are intellectually lazy, ignorant bigots, who profess belief in something they don't understand and, worse, are not prepared to put the effort into understanding. I have nothing but contempt for this.
They are quite happy to support the bigotry found in the bible without actually reading it. Thus Christians often say that homosexuality is a sin, but ask them which part of the bible this comes from and you will be met with either blank looks or, at best, they will name the book of the old Testament. Now ask them what else, from that book, is to be considered immoral. Be prepared for a long wait because they will not know - I absolutely guarantee it. Why am I sure? Because the list of things in Deuteronomy and Leviticus that are considered 'wrong' is massive and largely ridiculous, and nobody could possibly live according to the prescriptions of these books - and I must emphasise that I mean that quite literally, they would not be able to live.

But I hear people saying - why single Christians out - surely most people just struggle through life without knowing what they believe chapter and verse. Ask a supporter of evolution what Darwin actually said and they will not know. This is true, but there is a difference. Firstly, evolution (to take a specific example) does not tell you how to behave. More importantly, it does not tell you to condemn others who do not behave the same. Secondly, evolution is testable - like any scientific theory it must be capable of being proved wrong. There are, in short, good reasons to believe it is true, without appealing to faith.

So, it is my contention that most Christians - particularly the evangelical variety - are fundamentally immoral. They accept a dogma on faith, discard elements of that dogma they find inconvenient, adapt the actual dogma so that it is nothing more than a reflection of their own prejudices and desires, and then judge others on the basis of this un-testable self-serving bollox.

They do not deserve respect - in fact they do not even deserve benign tolerance. They deserve contempt, or at best pity.

PS - I have been pulled-up on my use of 'most'. Why, the questioner asked, do you say 'most' Christians? Surely ALL Christians are equally culpable?
Well, yes, in actuality that is probably true. I left room, however, for the Christian who knows the bible and genuinely tries to live his life in the way that the biblical Jesus taught. Such a person would not be a hypocrite in my evaluation. They would, however, be a dangerous sociopath who, I sincerely hope, would already be in prison for the rest of their life.
If you don't understand why I say this then you haven't read the bible properly.
As it happens I also believe that Christianity - as laid-out by Jesus in the New Testament - is a fundamentally immoral philosophy, but that is a different debate.

PPS - I will just say one more thing on this, for the moment. One 'argument' that I have heard too often from theists - normally Christians - is that without the 'absolute morality' of a God, atheists are free to pick and choose what they consider moral. This argument is nonsense - as I have demonstrated in other postings - but I just want to invite readers to reflect on this and then answer a simple question honestly.

Here on Frihost would you say that the known atheist posters are more or less honest than the known theists? Are they more or less likely to lie, misrepresent, dissemble etc?
I know what my own answer is, but I just invite readers to reflect honestly and arrive at their own answer.

12 blog comments below

Ankhanu on Thu May 03, 2012 3:02 am
Lovely - exactly to the point ... ta
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 3:26 am
You are right Bikerman, to a certain extent, infact, to a lot of the points, you hit the mark... especially, since I am a Christian, and I don't know the bible completely.
A lot of things in the bible go over my head.
But a lot of the things in the bible, especially the new testament have shown me a lot, and have answered most (if not all) of my questions.
Most Christians, like me (sometimes) are hypocrites, where we say we are Christians but do those things which Christ does not want us to do, and then act as if we are innocent. But first we have to accept Jesus in and from our hearts, and knowing him is through his Word, which is the Bible. Main point I want to make is that Jesus and God will forgive us, but we must not abuse that privilege.
You as a father or family member would forgive any of your family members as well, but would not like it if they abused that privelege.

I do recognise and understand most of the major points in the bible ( especially the new testament), but if you ask me what chapter and what page, I will not know it.
- I know that Christ died for us / for our sins.
- He said to love God and neighbors as thyself (this is difficult for me, but am trying)
- He had wisdom which to me seems like he spoke yesterday.
- He said that unless we BELIEVE in HIM, even God will not forgive us... most people KNOW Christ died on the cross, but they do not believe completely... in the sense that they do not repent for their sins.
- He says that he will come again, and the time is at hand.
- He says that He has come to save all, not destroy us, but he will only save those who believe in Him.
But having said this, I still have a lot to learn about Jesus. I keep forgetting and get caught up in the world (and sometimes frihost even), but I do go back, and one of the things I read when I go back to the bible, is that he forgives and and welcomes all.
Even I used to question homosexuality in the bible, but a few days ago, only, I found it in Corinthians 6:9 or 6:13.I do not hate gyas, but I don't want them around me, yet Christ sayds to love your neighbor as theyself. Being confused about this, I found my answer when He said "Love the sinner, not the sin"
I can't convince you that Christianity is the best and only true religion, but I do say that Christ is the way, truth and the life, not as a religion, but as a way of life.
menino on Thu May 03, 2012 10:09 am
Well, a few things....
I'll take them one at a time.
Number 1.
He died for our sins? Before we were born? Nah. Actually he died to wipe away the original sin of mythical Adam and Eve.
Now, pay close attention:
1. God puts Adam and Eve in the garden and says 'don't touch the apple' knowing they will (he is omniscient).
2. They eat the apple, as he knew they would, so he gets all outraged and kicks them out. This is the 'original sin'.
3. He then waits a few thousand years (committing genocide and various other atrocities in the meantime) and then decides that he wants payment for the original sin.
4. He decides that in order to forgive us for the original sin, the best plan is to send himself to earth in another incarnation and have himself tortured and killed. Then he will be able to forgive us.

Now, does ANY of that make ANY sense to you?
Why not just - hey I forgive you - without all the illogical snuff-movie stuff?
(If you take away the religious goggles then the answer is, of course, that Christianity came out of the Greek-style redemptive sects in first century Palestine, and they all had a 'son pays for sins' thing going. The Christians just took it to the next step and made the son an actual person rather than (as in the other sects) a spiritual person on the Platonic realm of spirit).

I mean...seriously can you possibly believe this stuff?
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 2:22 pm
Number 2.
He had wisdom?
What was the wisest thing he said?
The 'love thy neighbour' stuff was just a rehash of the already well known 'golden rule' from centuries, if not millennia before.
The rest of it seems pretty incoherent, often immoral.
1. Discard all worldly responsibilities (including family) and 'follow me' - how immoral is that?
2. I (Jesus) will forgive the sins of those who damage YOU. So someone kicks my head in, and then Jesus forgives them? Excuse me? How immoral is that?
3. Thinking bad things is as bad as doing them (Matthew). Yaweh was a monster - genocidal and vindictive, but at least he never specified thought-crime. Jesus does. That is completely immoral. If thinking something is the same as doing it then why not do it anyway? The fact is that we are different from other animals precisely BECAUSE we don't have to act on our base thoughts and instincts. The idea that thinking something bad is as bad as doing it is to deny our basic humanity.

I don't call this wisdom, I call it bronze-age evil nonsense.

Now, consider, this omniscient being could have told us ANYTHING. Did he say a single thing that could not have been known anyway? Nope. No predictions (well, actually several predictions but none of them came true), no 'wisdom' that was totally new and fresh - just nonsense parables, restatements of already well-known ethical principles, and immoral rules.
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 2:31 pm
Number 3.
He said that unless we BELIEVE in HIM, even God will not forgive us... most people KNOW Christ died on the cross, but they do not believe completely... in the sense that they do not repent for their sins.

Nope - you are wrong I'm afraid (but not surprised).

1. Well, actually most people do NOT know he died on the cross. I don't. In fact I don't think he existed at all.
2. If people KNOW something then they don't need to believe it. You only need to believe when you don't know.
3. Not believing in Jesus is fine and dandy - he says so. The unpardonable sin is bad-mouthing the Holy Spirit - for that there is no forgiveness, you go straight to hell. Read Matthew
Matthew wrote:
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

See what I mean - you didn't know that, did you? And you still believe this stuff?

Can you actually tell me, in simple terms, what the Holy Spirit actually is? What does it do? We know what God the Father does and what God the Son did, but what the hell is the 'holy spirit', and why is it so important not to say anything against it?
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 2:39 pm
Number 4,
He says that he will come again, and the time is at hand.
Yep and he was dead wrong.
He actually said that before the current generation died out the end of the world would come. That is, before, say, 100CE. But it didn't, did it?

Luke wrote:
Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.

That is exactly the sort of mistake a mortal might make, but a supernatural Deity??
Again, without the religious goggles this is easy to explain. Pretty much all of the 1st century sects believed the end of the world was coming and the Jesus sect were just one more group with the same catastrophist belief.
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 2:49 pm
Number 5
He says that He has come to save all, not destroy us, but he will only save those who believe in Him.

Nope. You have to be baptised:
Mark wrote:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

or, alternatively, anyone who calls out for God will be saved:
Romans wrote:
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

but NOT everyone who calls out for God will be saved:
Luke wrote:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;

So you pays your money and you takes your choice....
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 2:55 pm
Number 6
he forgives and and welcomes all

No he doesn't. You just said that you have to believe in him and I just showed other conditions (contradictory though they are), but it gets worse.
Jesus was obviously an imposter.
Romans 1:3 & Acts 2:30 say that the Messiah will be a physical descendant of David. Jesus cannot be, because although Joseph was said to be such, Jesus was born of a Virgin - he was not Joseph's son so he was not a physical descendant of David.

Matthew (1:23) also tells us that the Messiah will be called Immanuel. Is that name ever used for Jesus? Nope.

So the evidence tells us that Jesus was actually an imposter and probably one of Joseph's natural children was the real messiah - the one known as Immanuel... Smile
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 3:02 pm
I do not hate gyas, but I don't want them around me

That is what is commonly called Bigotry and the bible helps to support it. Saying 'I don't hate them' is like saying 'Some of my best friends are......'
You just KNOW the next sentence is going to be bigotted.
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 3:07 pm
Love the sinner, not the sin

Oh yes, love the sinner so much that if his sin is to call the Holy Ghost bad names you roast them for all eternity in unimaginable pain.
Where do you get your definition of love? The Marquis de Sade?
If he hated the sin and not the sinner then chuck the sin in hell and leave the poor sinner alone.

The really interesting thing here is that I think I've demonstrated that you don't believe in Jesus because of what the bible says, despite what you say here:
and knowing him is through his Word, which is the Bible.
. So that means you have a 'Jesus-shaped belief hole' and you fill it with what you would LIKE the bible to say. I find it fascinating.

PS - final proof of this is given when you say
I found my answer when He said "Love the sinner, not the sin"

He never said any such thing - that is a myth. That phrase originates with evangelical preachers - and who do you think they stole it from? Mahatma Ghandi, that's who - a Hindu.
So how come you think you read it in the bible? Easy - you see what you want to see, not what is actually there.
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 3:10 pm
PS - I think any impartial observer would have to admit that I have made a devastating case against what you say you believe and why you say you believe it. So the question is - will this alter your beliefs?
I would take money on the answer being no - which is yet more evidence to support my thesis that people don't believe in Jesus because of the bible. They believe in 'something' and then imagine they see it in the bible.

PS - I'm aware that I'm giving you a very hard time here, but I hope you will accept that I am not seeking to attack you personally but rather to deconstruct your reasons by examining your understanding of the bible, the point being to get a better understanding and test an hypothesis of mine. If you do find my analysis offensive then I'm sorry for it and you can, of course, withdraw with no prejudice and I'll drop this line of argument. I think you have understood my intent and are aware of this - I hope so.
Bikerman on Thu May 03, 2012 4:12 pm

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