Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pastor David Responds: Part 1 - I Think I Like This Guy

If you've been following along, I've been having a small email exchange with a gentleman, Pastor David Nicholes, about his sadness for me leaving his faith. I say his faith because all of Christianity is different. Even the orthodoxy that everyone says they have consensus on. They fool themselves into believing that they have the right answers. There are as many interpretations of Christianity as there are people who believe in it.

Pastor David wrote to me, I responded, then I followed up with a Bible lesson for him after noticing a theological flaw in his first correspondence. Now, he has written again. I will be quoting his latest email below, then responding to it, bit by bit.
Hello I. C., 
God has so marvelously transformed my life through the gospel which brought me into living union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
I'm happy for you David. I really am. Whatever makes you happy, as long as you don't hurt yourself or others, I genuinely don't care what you believe. Go ahead and believe that Zeus throws lightning bolts and Jupiter runs around with naked women, causing you to love your wife. Heck, the Flying Spaghetti Monster is all the rage these days. Even better than your god, he is actually on YouTube!

But seriously, I have no idea what you mean by "living union." I know all the Christian jargon. I was bred on it. I knew it better than 99% of Christians. I lived it, buddy. But, living union? Is this just a filler phrase to denote the fact that Christ is alive and has made you spiritually alive?

If so, then good! If you want to think you have a spirit, go right ahead. I don't have any such notions, so I don't worry about loving a dead guy. I'm kind of into women myself, really.
I was raised in a middle class heathan (sic) home.  I never talked with a Christian even once that I can recall until I was 18 years old.  I really didn't even know there were people that took the Bible seriously.  When I was 18 I enlisted in the Navy on the delayed entry program.  I joined to find a meaningful change in as much as my home life was not going well, my friends were living increasingly pointless lives, I was tired of mowing lawns, working in a restaraunt (sic), and stealing things to get by materially. 
I actually feel sad for you - a bit, being that you didn't know any Christians until you were 18. That's kind of a long stretch to not be well-rounded, immersed, or at least tangentially affected by other schools of thought. No WONDER you converted! Christianity must have felt fresh to you. I know what you mean. I've had those "feelings."

Also, don't kid yourself. Even those who take the Bible seriously, don't really take the Bible seriously. They explain away all the horrible parts or make excuses for their god, saying his sovereignty gives him the right to be a dick, do anything he wants, and then outright lie to those he says he wants to "save."

My friends know that my favorite Bible story is the one about Pharaoh and Moses. I know, as an Independent Fundamental Baptist Pastor, you believe in free will - unless of course, you have been co-opted by the John Piper, Reformed Theology predestination crowd. (Of course, they don't really believe in predestination if you press them on it. There would be no point in missions if they did and they know it would make them look like elitists. It gets worse as you work yourself through the theology. Much worse than the more laughable notion of free will in a world run by a god that encompasses every omni characteristic there is.)

Anyway, back to the Pharaoh story. I mention it because you take the Bible seriously and I want to teach you about your god.

Several times, Pharaoh told Moses and the Israelites to leave. Free will, right? A victory for God! He sent his dumbest servant, Moses, to go and plead his case (because, for some reason, an all powerful god can't just knock over a few soldiers and let his blokes run through the city walls, escaping to freedom), and Moses was successful!

But God was like, "Nuh uh! No! I'mma gonna do some killin'!!"  So what did he do? He "hardened Pharaoh's heart" and forced Pharaoh to poke Moses in the eye. Why? Why did God do this? Why in the hell did he have to harden Pharaoh's heart so that he could get to the final plague where he kills all the baby boys?

And you thought your god was pro-life. *cluck *cluck...

We could also talk about the fact that your god specifically says that he doesn't want anyone to "perish". In this case, as you know, perish means that you get to go to hell forever, just for not noticing a petty, jealous, childish, and selfish god. No, you say? God isn't those things? Oh yes he is! But it's okay, right? God CAN be those things - because he's God, and that makes naughty things holy things.

Back to the perishing thing... God doesn't want anyone to perish, is all powerful, all knowing, with knowledge of  the past, present, and future. And this isn't a "choose your own adventure" futuristic knowledge. No. Look at his prophesies. Every one of them are specific, to the point, and un-equivocating.

And yet he created hell. WHAT!? He created hell? But I thought he didn't want anyone to perish!? You know, David, if I was your god, I would have an easy solution - no hell. Simple. Everyone gets to not perish.

Oh, there's more. I could go all day. But you get the point. The Bible is so chock full of crap that you have to swallow to pretend that God is a loving god, when he's simply a selfish jerk, less amiable than even your most tantrum-throwing toddler. At least your toddler just throws a shoe. Your god? He murders entire populations - simply because they squatted on their own land - which just happened to be his.

Finally, I haven't been a Christian for about two and a half years. Since then, I haven't stolen a thing. I stole more crap AS a Christian than I ever have or will as an atheist. And my life is not pointless. It is full of meaning. When I was a Christian, all the rules and regulations, wrapped up in the bullshit idea of grace and mercy, kept me so tied down to a system of thought, I never cared to get to know people who believed differently than me. The idiot Apostle Paul told me not to. He said to be separate. And I was.

I am happy.

Read Part 2 - My Conversion is Just As Awesome

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