God says you are a fraud!

Posted by on September 7, 2010 in Thoughts | 29 comments

It’s that time of the month again, and Outreach Media have released their new poster, which this time is an interesting one, and on a topic I have been thinking a bit about lately.

It can be forgiven

It can be forgiven - from outreachmedia.org.au

Basically this month’s billboard tells us that we are all forgiven for WHATEVER we do, as long as we take Christ into our hearts. OK, I disagree with this from the outset, but it’s the article that accompanies it that really gets my blood boiling. From the article:

“But the Bible’s opinion is that we’re all bad. For example, Jesus declares that our anger makes us all murderers at heart. Jesus makes it clear that God is only interested in those people who [...] are ashamed and appalled at their sin.

“Is that you? Are you quietly dying inside? Is there something you’ve said, thought or done that’s ripping your insides out? Are you struggling to be around people because you feel you don’t deserve their company and they probably know you’re a fraud anyway?”

That’s right, you are a fraud! And don’t you try to pretend otherwise.

What really gets me about this whole attitude that the bible portrays is that firstly, you are corrupt and can ONLY find your way to truth if you put your trust and faith in God and Jesus, and secondly, that it doesn’t matter what you do, if you put your trust and faith in God and Jesus you will be forgiven for whatever you do in life. So many christians try to tell me that this is not what the bible means when it says these things.

What kind of incentive is there to actually take some responsibility for your own actions if you are just going to be forgiven for them when you “give up” everything to Jesus? What sort of incentive is there to be kind to your fellow-man if you can just repent at the last moment, feel some fleeting regret and instantly be forgiven?

And what sort of incentive is there for people to feel good about themselves if they are fraudulent, lying and born sinners? What sort of attitude is this to pass on to our children?

According to this, feel bad about yourself, and do whatever you please but as long as you believe in God and Jesus, you will be rewarded with a beautiful afterlife at God’s side.

I don’t know about you, but I was born right the first time. As were we all. I don’t need a Christian re-birth in heaven to make me perfect, I am perfect with all my human failings.

Sorry am I missing something?

EDIT: Added links to Outreach and the offending article.

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29 Comments

  1. This reminds me of the old Mafia movies when the killer goes off to confession directly after committing a murder knowing the priest can’t tell the police and that ‘God’ will forgive him his sins.

    Yeah, sure. NOT!!!

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  2. All you’re missing is senseless shame and guilt.

    I completely agree that’s a disgusting message; it’s one of the big things I loathed when I first became aware of Christianity.

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  3. typical christian propaganda bullshit!….ignore it and pay attention to the important things in life, like NFL FOOTBALL!……..

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  4. Well… you’re kinda missing something. It’s confusing material for alot of people, Christians included.

    I love my mother dearly. And I know she loves me. Even though I’ve not always been nice to her. That’s the thing with a mother’s love. It somewhat unconditional, as far as you can say that in human relationships.
    I can pull all kinds of crap with her, without her love for me waning.
    Our relationship might change, and we might never talk again, but I know she can never stop loving me. Her brain is just wired that way.
    But even though I could use this to my advantage, I won’t. Why would I want to hurt her or take advantage of her?
    Love is my conscious incentive to be a good son to her, just as love is her conscious incentive to be a good mother to me.
    This example falls short when you discuss gainage, since one could argue this arrangement is the most beneficial to both parties.
    But I think we can agree on the fact that thinking ‘If I do this for her, she must do this for me’, doesn’t tell a tale of love as much as it does of calculation. That’s not the type of relationship I have with my mother.
    Or with God, for that matter.

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    • Well without meaning to be disrespectful, your mother’s love for you stems from a survival instinct which proved to be beneficial to the longevity of the human species many millions of years ago, before humans even existed as homosapien.. It has evolved into a conscious state for humans, but was originally there as a way for a mother to bond instantly with the child to protect it and ensure the protection of this child.

      This is a basic human drive, as it is in many species.

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    • Oh that’s not disrespectful at all. In fact, I do believe you are right. But knowing how this feeling came to fruition doesn’t change the point, if you catch my drift.*
      It was more of an example to illustrate the relation christians perceive to have with their god. Not one that comes from some arbitrary conditions that are to be met in order to be ‘saved’ (as you concluded in this blogpost), but a (to them) genuine relationship and therefore desire to do good because of it.
      I think that’s what you’re missing in context.
      By-the-by, I’m not a native english-speaker, so you’ll have to excuse me if I’m a bit obtuse and rather longwinded.

      *It won’t matter to my loved ones if I died due to lack of blood (technically correct), or by the bullet that penetrated my lungs (conversationally correct). To them the main issue is my being dead. The rest is just noise, so to speak.

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  5. >”Sorry am I missing something?”

    yes you are. there is an implied suffix on everything religious, it’s “…for a fee”

    so the poster should read….
    it can be forgiven… for a fee

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  6. Exactly. It’s conditional love. This god is nothing more than a Mafia Don running a protection racket.

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  7. Okay so I just want to say that I absolutley agree with you but I also must say that the bloke Jesus did not say such things at all. And no I am not a Christian nor an aithiest…I describe myself as an explorer.

    The Roman Catholic Church of the early centuries added, detracted and twisted his message. Even Saul/Paul could be argued to have done the same. Studying the first book of the New Testemant shows even the writers of Matthew did this…Jews wanting to fit Jesus into their religous history hence continual attempts to link him to their ‘messiah’ prophecies in the OT.

    Even psychology got sucked in. If you look at Frueds work (who I do honour as a founding father of psychology) his concept of the Id as a wild beasty has serious ‘born in sin’ undertones.

    And the thing is this was a pretty understandable conclusion for the poor old Jews as they had a rather bad time of it in those days.

    Human habit is to say “whats wrong with me” when we suffer a lot. They reached the conclusion that indeed there must be something wrong…they must be pissing off their god and so began this sinful idea.

    And yet, I would note, this was so at odds to their psyche that they had to form a complete opposite belief that said they were the ‘chosen’ of god.

    “I am perfect with all my human failings.” Indeedy; I’ll drink to that!

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  8. May I offer a Christian perspective?

    I think Marty pointed out a clear issue with this type of media when he said that it portrays that we can do whatever we want and if we just believe we have “fire insurance” or a get-out-of-jail-free card with Jesus. The problem is that’s NOT what the Bible teaches.

    If any serious atheists wish to dig deeper on the issue, Paul talks in the book of Romans (Romans 4 & 5) about Christians being justified by faith, not by works. So in this sense, the above media would be right, that understanding that you need forgiveness for sin and that it means putting your trust in Jesus as accepting the penalty for our sins. But that’s not where it ends.

    James 2 talks about how faith and works cannot be separated, for “faith without works is dead.” Are the two reconcilable? I believe so. Martin Luther put it well when he said, “We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that is alone.” The faith discussed in James is akin to “intellectual assent”, and just knowing that Jesus is God is not enough. It’s a transformation in how you act, which is supported by Paul in Romans.

    See, Paul was writing to those who thought that Christians were saved based on their actions; James was writing to those who thought that intellectual assent was enough. The harmony is that you need both, and a true heart for Christ will display both. It’s only with this harmony that you understand the responsibility for your actions, because without responsibility, the faith is reduced to death by intellectual assent.

    So how does this tie in with the message of the media? Well, in order for such a transformation to begin, people need to realize that they need a transformation. Obviously, atheists do not feel they need this (“I am perfect with all my human failings”) because they have it all figured out. But for those who are searching, questioning, trying to find an answer, this media at least offers a path, even though it doesn’t end in “fire insurance for a fee.”

    What it seems is that the drawback to Christianity for most who don’t subscribe to it is that humans don’t like to think they owe God anything. We make our own luck, and He doesn’t have a hand in it, so why should we care what He thinks? That’s perfectly understandable unless you understand the God of theism, in which sense you realize that you owe God everything. You also realize that He is not conditional, because He doesn’t owe us anything to begin with, so everything we get is a gift, including the offer of forgiveness of sins, which is what the media is attesting to.

    So a media message like this falls short, but the purpose is to get the seeker headed in the right direction, not to tick off atheists. Just thought I’d share the alternative perspective.

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  9. 1. It’s not that we don’t believe God said these things or that this is what he wanted. It’s that we just don’t believe there is a god to begin with. This is the biggest failing I see in most theists arguments. You have to get your head around that fact first.

    2. Having read more of the bible than most folks and knowing it’s beginnings and history, I can’t understand how you come to ‘this bit backs up that bit’ etc. They were all separately written and not by their supposed authors and have way too many inconsistencies to even begin to try and tie them together. Those sections that do that are just coincidences or else you have to answer for the errors. The ‘interpretation’ and ‘metaphor’ arguments hold no water.

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    • DistroMan…could you clarify something for me. When an aithiest says there is no god I’ve noted that the arguments backing this up usually describe a god of religous creation. So my question is does this mean a disbelief in any conciousness at all other than that we know exists on planet earth?

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    • Hi DistroMan,

      To your points, I understand your first point, but that wasn’t the intention of the blog post. Marty didn’t take offense that a billboard came out mentioning God. It was the context of the billboard and what it represented that Marty responded to, and my response addressed Marty’s stance, not “is there a God”.

      To your second point, this quote “They were all separately written and not by their supposed authors and have way too many inconsistencies to even begin to try and tie them together” suggests a truth claim on your part, and as such you have a burden of proof to show conclusively that this is the case. Until you can do so, your initial statement is logically invalid. You may have read more of the Bible than most folks, but probably not this folk. But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t believe you can prove any of your assertions, so unless and until you do so, your statement “holds no water.”

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    • My first comment was not about Marty’s post, but the statements that follow regarding sections of the bible. You can’t quote those to an atheist and expect them to be used as fact when you haven’t substantiated any of the bible to start with. Using what can only been seen as fairy tales to support a point is no better than me writing a book tomorrow and attempting to use it to win and argument the day after.

      The second of your points fails for the same reason. Nobody has more of a burden of proof than those who wish to see the bible as fact. Because God said so and it’s in the bible and back to God said so is not proof. Even if there were no inconsistencies in the bible, it would still fall flat due to lack of proof.

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    • But my response was not to substantiate fact, it was to offer perspective. Marty posted what he thought Christians believe and used this media to question that belief. My response was only to offer a Christian perspective on what evangelical Christians believe the Bible teaches, not if what the Bible teaches is fact. Your rebuttal to my response is in the wrong vein. If you want to take issue with my perspective, that’s fine. But call it for what it is instead of what you want it to be to argue.

      Nobody has more of a burden of proof than those who wish to see the bible as fact.

      But again, what you’re failing to see is that I’m not attempting to establish the Bible as fact. The only truth claim made here was yours in saying that the Bible is not. Therefore the only burden of proof existent in this argument is yours, which is to show conclusively that the Bible has inconsistencies and is not written by who it purports to be written by. I have made no claim to anything other than what it says in the Bible, and that is not in dispute. Your claim is the one in question, as it is completely baseless and unfounded. Let’s look at what has been done here:

      Atheist: Baseless statement about the Bible!
      Theist: Can you prove that?
      Atheist: What? I’m an atheist. I don’t have to prove anything. You have to prove what I said isn’t true!

      A complete logical fallacy on your end. You can’t place a burden of proof on someone who hasn’t claimed anything. You also can’t deny a burden of proof placed on your own claim. I’d be more careful about making such statements in the future. I think even your comrades on this blog would advise you of that after this little stunt you tried to pull.

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  10. I and most atheists don’t say there isn’t a god. What I said was ‘we just don’t believe there is a god to begin with’. There is a distinction. Until someone can prove something, it’s just conjecture. Would we as atheists, be atheists if there weren’t theists? No. We are only atheists because we don’t believe in ‘God’.

    Simply put, theists created atheists.

    As for any other consciousness in the universe, it is, given the size and what we know of it, quite likely there is. I’d love those odds in my favour when gambling I can tell you. That though is no evidence for sentient life or gods.

    Lastly, this thing of there being belief or disbelief is rather annoying. Why does it have to be one or the other? Just because someone dreams up something, doesn’t mean I automatically have to either believe in it or disbelieve. It’s there ‘creation’. I’d prefer to just leave it that way. But theists don’t allow that. We didn’t invent the term atheist, it was forced up on us. We’d much prefer to just let things alone, but that is not the way of most of religion.

    Instead of it being, “we’re theists and they are not”, it is “we are theists and they are atheists and we have to do something about that”.

    Way too long a comment, but I had a touch of verbal overflow. :)

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    • Well actually that was one of the clearest articulations I’ve read and I thank-you sincerely for the response. I like the theists creating atheist concept but suggest it could be a chicken and egg thing as to who created who.

      I do agree absolutely with the belief Vs disbelief paradigm but I’d have to say that in my experience both atheist and theist seem to get really annoyed by questions.

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    • Hahahahaha,talking about stunts, trying to back me into a corner so I have nothing to say is not going happen. This is an opinion blog. Marty gave his opinion. I gave my opinion. You seem to be quite well versed in giving yours. The question of proving the bible wrong? Totally unnecessary. It does that itself. Only the unwilling to see can’t tell that. You can type away all you like and use all the big words you can come up with if you please, but trying to get me to waste even more time on the blatantly obvious is only a waste of ‘your’ time.

      Oh, and just for kicks, the original claim was made by the creators of the poster by saying our sins can be forgiven. Are you now going to write to them and ask them for proof of a ‘truth claim’?

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    • Glad to see all of your evidence, DM. You’re right; the best way to make your point is to run away from the argument. Now you know what it’s like to be pursued on a burden of proof. Welcome to a taste of the other side. Maybe this will open your eyes to have support for your statements instead of throwing bombs around like they’re fact without any supporting evidence. I also hope you’ll do your due diligence with any theists who do the same kind of stuff that you did, because if they don’t have their facts straight, they need to get ‘em there.

      I don’t need to ask Outreach Media for a burden of proof, because I agree with them. If you disagree, feel free to write them yourself. I don’t agree with you however, so I’m asking for your evidence. The fact that you won’t present any tells me that you have little to none. Thanks for playing. Marty may have some lovely parting gifts for you.

      Leesis, I would love to see your evidence as well, particularly for the gospel of Luke. I am certainly willing to listen to the evidence, so will withhold judgment until I see the case you have to offer. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Oh my. I don’t give you what you crave and you start being insulting. ‘run away, ‘throwing bombs around’, ‘thanks for playing’, ‘parting gifts’, ‘baseless assumptions’. Oh yes, all very nicely said, but still. You do yourself a great disservice and all very unnecessary. I come here to comment and give my opinion, not start a four year PhD just to satisfy your needs. I also will not ‘prove’ the proven that is known to everybody and their dog. You know as well as I do that the bible is full of inconsistencies and was written well after the time of Jesus. I do not need to argue over facts already in evidence. That is just argument for arguments sake and I won’t play those games I’m sorry. I’ve seen them played many times before and it impresses nobody. Everytime another
      sabepashubbo enters the forum I’d have the same conversation. I don’t live my life to be bored to that extent. If you wish to continue any conversation with me, do so without the histrionics or don’t expect a reply. I have better things to do with my time. Have a good day.

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  11. Chicken and Egg huh? Hmmm? Ok, I’ll have a go at tackling that. You can’t have an atheist without a theist. Someone must have the belief to be a theist before the atheist comes into being, otherwise the ‘atheist’ has nothing to ‘not’ believe in. You don’t need an atheist to have a theist, but you must have the theist for the atheist to have something to be ‘a’ about. I think I just gave my brain a hernia. :)

    Now for the annoying questions. Most all questions atheist are confronted with are of a variety like ‘why do you think god is wrong’, where there is the inbuilt admission of a god if we just answer the question without clarification. You know what I mean. Have you stopped beating your wife yet? :)

    The questions that theists mostly get annoyed about are the ones where we expect proof, fact, justification, testability etc.

    Regarding a comment from a religious family member about “can’t we just get along” that I got today:

    You go believe what you like, live your life the way you wish and allow me to do the same and we’ll get along just fine. Try forcing your beliefs down my throat by putting religion into government and schools without my permission, come to my door week after week, call me names and make out that I’m less than you and you can be damn sure that we aren’t just going to ‘get along’. Your type of get along is atheist accepting everything you can dish out while keeping our mouths shut. That is not getting along That is subservience and it ain’t gonna happen.

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  12. Umm Sabi…I have done a Masters in theology and any christian theologian can show you that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were written by various people not the actual disciples. If you want to look it up you can research how the Bible was actually put together by the Church (RCC)in the early centuries.

    DM…yes I totally agree with the annoying questions! I guess the more we learn the better our questions get. I think perhaps that’s my biggest bug with both sides. I want to explore…not be told either there Is or Isn’t. How is learning possible when someones already decided what is?

    The chicken and egg. I was just imagining cave man 1 & 2. 1 says I wonder what’s out there and 2 says gases you idiot and 1 says maybe theres more and 2 says….and hence ying yang and all that is created.

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  13. Sabe I cannot present five years of research here. No room :)
    The personal reason I did my Masters was to examine the development of the Christian sciptures in order to asertain for myself what this man Jesus actually said…my impetous being the awarenss of how the Roman Catholic Church was seeking religous domination (therefore political)at that time.

    This led me on a fascinating journey through the first five centuries of Christian development including the rather spooky story of what writings were chosen for the NT and how they were adapted to meet the political needs of Constantine and the early catholics rather than to spread spiritual knowledge. Not to mention what they did to all the writings not ‘chosen’…see fire and murder! (and yes, Luke is slightly different than the others).Its all out there for your examination.

    And I absolutely must say clearly I respect all folks rights to all beleifs including no beliefs at all :)
    cheers…

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    • Can you at least give me a little snippet? All you’ve put down on the page here is issues with the canonicity of the Bible. This speaks nothing to authorship of the books of the New Testament, just which ones were selected.

      Just looking at the Wikipedia article about the Gospel of Luke (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Luke), it seems to be a general consensus that the author of the book was Luke, not disciples or any such thing. If you want to say that disciples acted as scribes to proliferate his writing, I have no disagreement with that. That idea is no different than a common printing press today. But it seems like the scholarly consensus is that Luke was the original author of the text.

      What this has to do with DistroMan’s baseless assumptions, I’m not quite sure. But thank you for at least attempting to offer some evidence on the subject. That’s more than I can say for your predecessor in this discussion.

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    • Guess I should qualify that based on the last statement under “Authorship” of the link I posted. There’s no consensus, but there is at least reasonable enough support to suggest that Luke is the author of the text compared to any other theory.

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  14. yeah not so much in relation to distroMan just in interest to your thoughts. Ummm I probably shouldn’t have included Luke, my embarrassed apologies…it does appear Luke was written by one person only and the research can assume this was indeed Luke himself.

    As far as snippets I will drag out some research. To be real honest as I have said before I am an explorer, therefore if I read a comment and feel confused I seek clarification. Sometimes I find the passionate anger behind peoples opinions, the name calling etc a tough thing and so want to make sure what I claim has academic credibility. Then I don’t make mistakes like including Luke :).

    But Matthew is a great example where the evidence suggests it was written by a group of Jewish scholars shattered and confused by Jesus’ crucifixion, in order to make sense of it all. Hence they researched the OT and linked as much as they could often on very flimsy grounds basically as an argument to those who said ‘look he was nobody important…he’s dead now; including their own Jewish counterparts.

    But please note in my very humble opinion, none of this speaks to the ‘truth’ or not of Christianity but rather sets a more honest setting for how these words came to be.

    Comparatively I’ve always held it essential to understand that when Sigmund Freud sat developing his theory on the Id he was watching young men out his window eagerly reaching for guns at the beginnings of ww2 and seeing hatred gaining momentum. Surely a great impact on his idea that we have this raging beastie inside us.

    And I’m sure this response is too long…soz AC

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    • Thank you for this. I agree with you that it doesn’t speak to the truth, but answers the questions of how the writings came to be. It looks like there is support for your view among most critical NT scholars, and I’ve never really had a viewpoint on whether or not Matthew wrote the Gospel of Matthew. It appears some research is warranted, but again, I think we are in agreement that this speaks nothing to the veracity of the text, which most atheists would argue.

      Thanks again for sharing! :-)

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  15. ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. Jeremiah 10 they nail thier IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move cant speak can’t move must be carired these are nothing but the WORK of CON men. spalms 115 graven images have eyes but cant see have ears but cant hear have noses but cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on thier own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man. ‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM thier WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable.

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  16. I’m sorry you feel this way. It seems like you’ve been wronged and are unable to understand forgiveness or Christianity. If anyone comes to you and says “I can kill someone and repent and go to heaven” or they talk about any sin flippantly most likely they’re not Christians/saved. I’ve only been a Christian, yup born again, for almost 7 months. There is no earthly explantion for being forgiven by God and what that does to one’s life. I am a new creature like the bible says. The bible is the absolute truth. If you don’t think you need forgiveness and are unwilling to submit to the God through Jesus who made you.. your primary sin is pride. It’s a dangerous one. I’ll pray for you. I pray that you’ll harken to God’s call for your life. He’s persuing you. May you safely end up in a gospel centered church that doesn’t twist the Word for it’s own good. God wants to bless you.
    ~Reyna

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