- I used to be Christian. I am not anymore. These are some of the reasons why. These are my personal beliefs and are not intended to offend anyone. Feel free to comment or argue.
No matter what question or doubt that I ever had about Christianity, I always received a consistent answer. Faith. I was told that there are many things that we cannot know and must simply have faith. However, as any mathematician will tell you, an answer is not a solution and it is the solution that defines the answer as correct or incorrect. The whole concept of "faith" has many holes in it. Holes big enough to fall through. Let's see how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Every religion has faith that their religion is the correct one. Faith does not imply truth. I might have faith in the idea that my pet Chihuahua is God and that to go to heaven I must worship him, but that does not make the idea any more true. If every religion has faith and they all have different concepts that many times contradict each other, then all the religions cannot be correct. If all of the religions cannot be correct, then some of them must be wrong. If some religions that use the all-important concept of faith are wrong, then faith does not justify belief, without some basis in logic.
How many times have I heard, "You just have to have faith"! How do you get "faith"? I have prayed for "faith", but was still overcome by doubts. "All you really need is faith." Every religion has faith. What makes the Christian faith superior to Buddhist, Muslim, or Jewish faith (or vice-versa)? They all believe whole-heartedly in their religion, or they would not follow it. So, lets say that I choose to have faith and that I choose to believe in something, but what faith do I choose? And why should I choose that faith above all others? Why do some people choose Christianity above all others? Some people have told me that it is because they know, in their hearts, that it is true. Well, what about me, then? I do not know in my heart that it is true. So, then why would God give some people that knowledge and not me? Did God harden my heart like pharaoh's, in the Moses story? If he did, gee, thanks God!
Heaven is also another concept in Christianity that I struggle with. If a place is "heaven", then it must mean that there is no suffering there. If there is no suffering there, then how can it be heaven? I say this because heaven implies happiness. Happiness implies the absence of suffering. However, if there is no suffering, then how can happiness be appreciated? To acknowledge something as being true, you must have some basis of comparison. If there is no suffering, how can one define happiness? If happiness is all that exists, then there must be different levels of happiness. Because suffering does not exist, even the lower levels of happiness might be described as unhappiness, simply because there is no basis of comparison. If unhappiness exists then it is not happiness. Unhappiness in heaven, is not very heaven-like, don't you think? This argument might be a bit confusing. I apologize if I lost anyone, but the point is this. Happiness and unhappiness go together. Just like the theme song in "Married with Children" "This I'd tell your bother, you can't get one without the other". The same goes for light and darkness. You cannot even begin to define one without the other. Darkness is simply the absence of light. Their existence practically depends upon each other. Therefore a place of complete and total happiness, makes no sense whatsoever.
I know that most people would say that heaven is supposed to be so indescribable, that the human brain could not even begin grasp the concept. But then, if God wants us to believe in something, then you would think that it would be an idea that the human brain could grasp. That would be like a scientist trying to teach a 2-year-old the inner workings of the atomic bomb or cold fusion and then getting angry that the child does not understand. It just does not make any sense and it isn't fair to the 2-year-old and I refuse to believe in a God that is unfair.
Then again, God is God and is therefore entitled to his own standards of what is right, wrong and of coarse, fairness. Right? Given, that God is fair and good. Given, that he wants humanity to make the right choices and go to "heaven", then wouldn't he give us a correct system of logic?
Let's take a look at the fires of hell, shall we? Hell is an unethical belief. Hell is worst than the worst horrors of the holocaust and WW2. Any God that would be vindictive enough to torture others in an eternal inferno is certainly not worth worshipping. I doubt the existence of such a God. Christians believe that hell is fair punishment, because we are warned and given an alternative (Believe or Burn). In reference to hell, I have heard the analogy of a parent that tells his/her child "Do not go into the street, because you might get run over by a car." However, the parent has no control over the child being run over by a vehicle, if this indeed happens. God does. God is the one with the authority to send people to hell or not. This would be equivalent to the child going out into the street and the parent getting into the car to run over the child for not listening. Great parenting! God, maybe some anger-management classes would be in order.
In defense of hell, I have also heard that it is the incentive that God gives us for getting to know him. God wants us to get to know him, according to Christians. However, It is a truly sadistic being that would torture his dinner date for not accepting his invitation. We, the supposed immoral humans, would not even burn convicted criminals as punishment. That would fall under the heading of "cruel and unusual punishment". This is too barbarous and brutal an act to be accepted by this so-called "immoral" society, but is not considered immoral for God. I think we really need to revise out standards to something more biblical. We have been set in out "immoral" ways for too long. Let's go back to the days of stoning brides that are no longer virgins, killing anyone that picks up an ax on the Sabbath and murdering all people of other religions. It's Biblical! We must be Godly!
Consider the vast amount of viscous acts and God-sanctioned mass murder and religious persecution. The murdering of pregnant women and babies is seen in quite a few places throughout the Bible. So, why exactly do Christians have a problem with horrendous acts such as the Holocaust or suicide bombings such as those on 9/11? After all, it's biblical. Murder and religion go hand in hand. Quite a romantic couple!
I have noticed that Christians have quite selective standards of morality. Horrendous acts should be seen as horrendous, whether they are in this century or another or whether they are recorded in the Bible or not. Horror, murder, and cruelty needs to be recognized for what it is. You cannot look at 2 events that are almost identical in nature and say "This one is evil" and "This one is good". But hey, people see what they want to see. If the barbarity of the Bible were reenacted today, it would be seen for what it is; religious savagery.
Punishment is usually justified by purpose. In society punishment usually serves a purpose. To be a justifiable purpose, it must be a purpose somewhat greater than an outlet for someone with a vindictive or sadistic personality. Hell is very obviously a punishment. However, what purpose does it serve? Hell is forever, so the offender is not going to learn any lesson from it. The person put in hell is never given a chance at rehabilitation. So, the purpose of hell cannot be rehabilitation. The purpose of hell is simply vindictive torture. A God that is not "big enough" to forgive unconditionally and sees it fit to torture people simply because those people did not believe him, seems a bit petty, not to mention "evil".
Other than that, Paul discusses the concept of election, in the Bible. Romans 9:16-18 states, "So it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God who shows mercy... So then he has mercy on whomever he chooses, and he hardens the heart of whomever he chooses." In other words, those that come to the knowledge of the saving grace of God do so by God's own choice. By God choosing some people and not others, he is condemning many people to hell, by his own decision. This verse clearly contradicts the concept of free will. Does the depiction of the Christian God really portray a fair God? I think not.
What about all of the people that were born into other cultures with different sets of beliefs and religions? Yes, they might know what Christianity stands for, but most people do not throw away their cultural traditions and exchange them for another. Some do, but most do not. According to the Bible, once you hear about Christianity and do not accept it, then you are rejecting it and are therefore condemned to go to hell. A God that would forsake anyone for being born into another culture and following the customs and dictates and beliefs of that culture is not a fair God. Some people are born into Christian households, but many are not. Many are born into other religions and other sets of beliefs. So, if Christianity is true, then god does not give every one an equal chance to "know" him, because many people are already culturally pre-conditioned to reject any other set of beliefs. The God of the Bible is supposed to be just and fair, but that does not seem very fair to me.
- Homosexuality in the bible is definitely not a gray area. The biblical God makes his stance on homosexuality quite clear. Leviticus 18:22 states, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination." Leviticus 20:13 states, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." In other words, it says that homosexuals should be killed. Whatever happened to Christian mercy? Where did that term come from anyway, because it certainly wasn't from the Bible? Homosexuality is an ancient practice. The records of ancient Greece show homosexuality as an accepted sexual practice. It is not exactly a new "trend". It is not logical to think that ALL homosexuals choose to be attracted to the same sex. It makes absolutely no sense that ALL homosexuals actually choose to be homosexual, against their preference, knowing that they will be discriminated against, knowing that many of their families will hate them, knowing that society will not accept them and knowing that life will be harder for them in general. If homosexuality is not a natural inclination, then they are going against their natural inclination to be homosexual. That is not very likely. That would mean that all homosexuals have serious mental problems, which I do not think that they do. Yes, I will admit that maybe some people choose to be homosexual, without it being a natural inclination, but the majority of cases of homosexuals, if they could be "normal", if they could have all of the rights and full acceptance of society would do so in a heartbeat, if only they did not have to sacrifice their own personal happiness for it.
What kind of God would make people with natural inclinations and then punish them for acting on them? Saying that homosexuals are an abomination to God is horrible, for lack of a better word. It has the same prejudice behind it as saying that blacks are an abomination to God or that (in the tradition of Adolf Hitler) that Jews are in an abomination to God. It is a needlessly viscous and untrue statement. Homosexuals are born homosexual, just as blacks are born black, or Jews are born Jewish. To discriminate against someone for being the person that they were born as, is an absolutely abhorrent, despicable and disgusting practice.
Homosexuality from birth is currently being studied. Common sense calls us to at the very least consider the possibility. Some Christians have taken the stance that God gives people more "trials" than others. According to these Christians, homosexuality is a "trial", to see if you can resist those natural inclinations and follow God's "holy ways." God is giving other people a fair advantage to faith and heaven by making them heterosexual, then. This, again, does not exactly point to God being fair and just. Also, if God makes someone homosexual, they cannot help but have "evil", lustful, thoughts:. According to the "Good Book", thoughts are the same as actions. So, it seems to me that we are gong in circles.
This is just the tip of the ice-burg. I will post some more reasons later, as following chapters.
- Stay home Sundays. Save 10 %.