From the mailbox – Jesus loves me!

Posted by on May 30, 2011 in From The Mailbox | 13 comments

This “From the Mailbox” is a little different than what I usually receive, as you’ll soon see. I won’t use any names, except my own, and the spelling and grammar comes directly from the messages received. There were three in total, staring with this rather innocent and short one:

“Hi Martin
Did anyone ever tell you that Jesus loves YOU!”

At first I thought this was a joke from one of my atheist readers, as sometimes we all get a little rowdy, however I shortly after received this second message:

“Hi Martin me again
Just to answer your question re what is Christian morality. it is based on the teaching of Jesus Christ who in God in human form. He lives today in the lives ofo Christians who realise that He is the only way to true fulfullment in life and understanding what we are here for. Jesus set us the supreme example that we should serve others even to the point of laying down our lives for them as he did..
Martin pray that God will reveal himself to you and he will.”

And then this:

“Re ‘attempting to make sense.” Martin we can only make sense of this world and all the confusion by knowing God through Jesus. I dare you to start reading the Gospel of John in a modern translation of the Bible. If you’re too embarassed to walk into a Christian bookshop just order one over the net., possibly the CEV(Contemporary English Version).

Martin just keep rembering that Jesus loves YOU and that each day I am praying for you,
Until next time.”

Now I’m not posting these messages to ridicule the sender, as they seem to actually be quite sincere, and nobody should be faulted for sincerity. The reason I’m posting them is to illustrate the kind of thinking that leads a person to be blinded by religion. In this case, apparently I can only make sense of the confusion of the world by knowing God and Jesus, and this somehow, by knowing that Jesus and God apparently love me, it will make all the hardships of this life more bearable. Well this is not an answer I am satisfied with.

Firstly, my mantra of “Attempting to make sense” does not refer to being lost, hopeless or confused. Far from it, I feel quite balanced and hopeful, and the world makes perfect sense to me the way it is. Interactions between people, and the ills of the world (disease, poverty, hunger, wars, overpopulation) I can come to terms with quite easily. Natural disasters are caused by our planet and its inner and outer workings, and wars by people who have a sense of entitlement over others. Disease and poverty can be caused by many things from an imbalance in a person’s body, to physical displacement by those same people with the feeling of entitlement. I have no problem making sense of these things, and I realise that this description is far too simplified to show the true breadth of influences that can cause these injustices. But just because these things make sense to me, does not mean I have to like them.

What I’m “attempting to make sense” of is the actions of other people, especially those who are heavily indoctrinated into any specific group including religion, nationalism, politic or business affiliation. What I am trying to make sense of is “how can we move forward in society given that these influences are so strong”.

The one thing I don’t understand is this immense sense of entitlement that goes along with religious beliefs. You, the author of the above passages, say that we “should serve others even to the point of laying down our lives for them as he did..” but I ask you, is this because you feel you have an entitlement to an afterlife? If you apease Jesus, will you go to heaven as the Bible promises? What makes anyone want so selfishly to have an afterlife, when in actuality all we get is right here? I maintain that we only get once chance at this, we get one life each, so we’d better make the best of it, or squander it looking for the non-apparent afterlife. How does it make sense that we are cursed by our creator in such a way that we each have to prove our worth to him, or face the consequences of his actions?

I do applaud you for the sentiment of “good will to all”, but of course you do it for a pay-off. Isn’t it enough to simply do good to others without the expectation of some kind of reward? You see, this is what I am truly trying to make sense of. The people of religion always lay claim that religion is altruistic, that it feeds the poor, clothes the naked and shelters the homeless, but each of these scenarios either ends up with a price being paid (“Come to Jesus and I will give you shelter”) or a reward (“Be like Jesus and I will grant you eternity.”) THIS is what doesn’t make sense.

I won’t take up your dare of reading the gospels of John, because I know what it contains. I have read enough of the bible to know more than most Christians about it and it’s contents, I have read enough about its history and the way it was written to know what it is intended for, and I know enough about the way it is used today as to find it an interesting story, but of no value to me. Besides, I rarely do anything on a dare, I have more confidence in myself than feeling the need to do that.

In closing, rather than make any more of this than I should (which I definitely could), I will say thank you, writer, for your thoughts, because I know you think you are doing right. I also thank you for your sincerity, but fortunately I have no need of being saved from… well… whatever it is you think I don’t get.

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13 Comments

  1. Martin,

    I enjoyed reading your post about the emails that you received from the person who cared enough about you to take their time to send them. However, I am pretty sure that you are mistaken about her intentions. She is not trying to persuade you to her way of thinking because she believes that will merit her a place in heaven. You didn’t tell us she was female, but I felt that the sentiment of the message was quite feminine, so my apologies if I missed the mark there. Anyway, as Christians, we believe that we serve a God who sent his Son to save us from ourselves. The truth is, in order to love one another, we must first realize that our Creator loves us. I agree with you, that the natural rythym of the world is easily explained, but there are those times when God steps in that are not explainable by science or logic, including the creation of the universe. It sound as if you are perfectly balanced enough to carry on in this life without too much trouble, but what happens when you don’t have the answer and I promise that time will come, if it hasn’t already…Are you going to continue to lean on your own understanding? Or can you accept the fact that the Creator of the Universe wants to reveal the truth to you or maybe just give you enough peace to hold you over until he reveals it to you in the next life. I struggle with saying this, because I consider it a weak argument to believe in God, but what if your wrong and there is a God waiting for you, wondering why you didn’t take the chance to read the book that the emailer suggested. For me, I am betting that regardless of whether or not their is a God in heaven that exists as I believe that he is being revealed to me or not, I am a more loving and caring man because of the faith that I hold on to.

    Peace be with you,

    Jason

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    • Another case of intellectual arrogance masquerading as humility and “love”. It must make Jason feel deliciously powerful to be in receipt of The Truth ™. Unlike the scientist who gives reasons for his statements, this person just makes statements that we are supposed to believe without evidence, just because he has convinced himself that he has the “right” answers.
      I suspect that the real motivation here is to bolster up one’s own unexamined belief system by getting others to agree that you are right. The end goal is to feel powerful and superior to the audience. When the results differ it is easy to claim moral superiority for the (self-imposed ) martyrdom and intellectual superiority over what the Bible conveniently labels as “foolishness”.
      In truth, the person is arguing from unrecognized ignorance, not knowledge. Martin, like other atheists, have been shown to be more knowledgeable about religion and religious texts than those who consume them. That’s why they are atheists :-)

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  2. Exactly, Martin ! Christians want to sell you their delusion so they can feel good about themselves and earn a place in their imaginary heaven. Xians are so afraid of death and facing reality that they need to dope themselves up with their imaginary sky fairy just to get through the day. They are so miserable they feel they can’t succeed unless they’ve converted the entire world.

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  3. Funny how they always begin with the same old quote… “jesus loves you”. And of course, use CAPS on “you”. They are sincere, but completely lacking in reason.

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  4. “Martin we can only make sense of this world and all the confusion by knowing God through Jesus”

    What? NO! If this were true, then the billions of Christians whom have populated this planet would have all come to an agreement concerning what the water-walking Jewish zombie god said in their Holy Babble by now. Instead, we’ve had (and still have) a bunch of confused sycophants arguing with each other over WWJD.

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  5. Hi Martin,
    Just in relation to the whole…“should serve others even to the point of laying down our lives for them as he did..” bit. The question I think becomes who do they serve in an earthly sense. I’m betting there are a few people that would be quite pleased to possess someone to the extent that they would die for their cause.

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  6. Excellent, Marty.

    I think that the first comment in this thread is a good illustration of your point.

    And it’s typical of believers to promote the ‘there are things science can’t explain’ canard as if anything we don’t know right now strengthens the case for anything supernatural, confusing the currently unexplained for the unexplainable.

    Of course there are things we don’t know, or there would be no reason at all to do science.

    Since when has any doctrinal claim about reality via religion ever been meaningfully confirmed?

    To paraphrase Richard Carrier, natural explanations have been tested a million times and always won; Supernatural explanations have been tested a million times and always failed.

    Go figure.

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  7. It always come back to the same thing. “You cannot reason a person away from a position that they did not reach through reason.” In the case of religion, they have explicitly rejected reason, and denied facts. Instead, they depend upon emotion and acceptance of myths and lies.

    Those that say they , “Will pray for you,” are arrogant and insensitive. It never occurs to them that a statement like that is as offensive to many as someone, “Sacrificing a baby to Lord Satan for you.” would be to them.

    Religion has insisted upon a freedom for criticism and questioning for so long that they assume these are their natural rights instead of something gained by intimidation and prevarication.

    The demand “respect” not understanding that respect must be earned. To demand it is admitting it is unearned but desired anyway.

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    • It’s worse than that. Religious people reserve the right to harshly criticize the beliefs of others and make ad hominem attacks on those who do not believe in any of the versions of god. OTOH, they become offended when their particular version of god and/or religion is criticized or their sanity and educational level are questioned. Double standards apply.

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  8. Jason Roebuck said……
    The truth is, in order to love one another, we must first realize that our Creator loves us.
    After reading the bible, I find the creator to be the worst genocidal asshole that I have ever heard of.
    And the world to be place where life feeds on life.
    In both cases I do not find anything that I would consider love.
    I would define love as any kind word or deed.

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    • Ps
      I am adding this quote
      “The Christian god is a three-headed monster, cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three-headed beast-like god,
      one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always of two classes: fools and hypocrites.” -Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

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    • I agree Dale. God offered his own son for sacrifice, and people think that is love?

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      • That is Love. But, it is obvious we need to skip all this emotion and talk reason. What is religion? By definition Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and moral values. (Wikipedia Def.)
        Basically it is mans attempt to relate with a higher being (outside our domain of existence). Man cannot explain this relationship. Examples would be Catholicism, Islam, Buddhism, the list goes on. These religions have false reasons and are full of hypocrisy. (The Catholic Church is one of the most corrupt organizations the world has ever known.) History has proven these attempts to be wrong: genocide, torture, and all the malicious acts that have been inflicted for the sake of religion. This gives real reason to the falseness of these beliefs. Again it is mans attempt not Gods. Ignore these efforts look to science.

        There is a difference between randomness and design, and it is impossible to have both. We were created by randomness. Ok why is there so much intelligent design behind every living thing on this earth? Why is there an unexplainable force that gives everything its shape and size? A force found to be present between all elements that create the universe. DNA is a design that cannot be created by randomness. There is plenty of information about DNA and amino acids that explain why a design is needed. Mans attempt to explain these origins are again misleading. I look to Gods attempt for all this. His explanation is fairly hard to understand until history explains it for all to see.

        The Jewish people are a witness to Gods hand. They were without a home land for over 2000 years yet their race remains. They have a homeland now as predicted in the bible to the day. There are historical events in Daniel that were prophesized, making scholars and historians say that the book was written after those events occurred. The Greek translation of the Bible in 3rd century BC proves it was written before those events. The description of Jesus Christ suffering a death that can only be crucifixion explained in the Old Testament 700 years before the Persian invented crucifixion. Hand prints through out the text showing the divine origin. (These are just a small handful of the events the Bible has foretold).

        It is obvious my intelligence does not match any of yours. Maybe that is were I benefit. I don’t rely on mans attempt to explain something that cannot be explained. The Bible if the most authenticated book in History. Study it for yourself (some of you try it again). A great person to help you would be Chuck Missler: Google him.

        All I know if I die tomorrow I would rather believe I was prepared for eternity. Either there is a God or there is not. I may go to my grave and be wrong no God no consequence. You may go to your grave and be correct who cares your dead there is no eternity. What are the alternate results? Might want to make sure your assumptions are 100% correct. (I am pretty sure 100% can’t be done my man, but man can get close)

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  1. I set out to make it about me, but it is not about me…It’s about them! « Factum non iustus lacuna… - [...] From the mailbox – Jesus loves me! (martinspribble.com) [...]

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