Monday, July 28, 2014

My Reply To A Church Of Christ Preacher

By Kenneth W. Hawthorne

This is part of a reply (with some editing) to a Church of Christ preacher who claimed in his weekly bulletin that it is impossible to know that miracles are impossible. However, there is absolutely no convincing, verifiable evidence that Yahweh, the god of the Bible has caused any miracles to occur that would attest to his existence. To the contrary, the Bible is full of evidence that Yahweh cannot be God. This blog has many examples of such evidence, especially concerning this alleged god's eternal hell. For example see: An Omni God And His Eternal Hell, A Letter To A Concerned Christian Friend:

Christians make the claim that God came to earth in the flesh of a man, Jesus Christ. That he was born of a virgin, performed various miracles while on earth, died and about three days later came back to life never to die again, then forty days later ascended into heaven, and that all or much of this was miraculously foretold by God-inspired prophets in the Old Testament. These are all positive and distant claims (distant in this context has to do with how close the claims correspond to empirical knowledge such as for the claims "pigs snort" {close} and "pigs fly" {distant}) which go against all personal and community experiences. These Christian claims, therefore, bear an extremely high asymmetrical burden of proof. That means that before a rational person should seriously consider believing these extraordinary claims are true the evidence presented would have to consist of many reliable, disinterested, contemporary witness accounts--of which we have none or involve an immediate, unequivocal, personal experience  so that one would be forced to seriously consider these distant claims instead of believing what he knows happens all the time--and go with something that, as far as his experiences, has never happened.

Unfortunately, what I've seen as evidence for these Christian claims is not even close to being sufficient for the type of claims made. The four Gospels are nothing but hearsay, written by biased, anonymous writers. Certain church "fathers" made a fanciful connection to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John being the authors, based merely on biased speculation and tradition--but no one really knows who wrote these books. These church fathers amount to no more than what you would consider denominational preachers today--yet you believe them on this essential matter--and would, today, be very skeptical of anything they had to say on the subject of religion. None of the disinterested, contemporary scientists or writers of the time Jesus is said to have lived record anything about Jesus, much less his miracles. Josephus does not qualify because he is not a contemporary of Jesus and it is obvious that his work has been tampered with concerning his mention of Jesus and is therefore flawed and unreliable.

Alexander Campbell (Church of Christ icon) had this to say:

“Josephus, the Jewish historian, was contemporary with the Apostles, having been born in the year 37. From his situation and habits, he had every access to know all that took place at the rise of the Christian religion. Respecting the founder of this religion, Josephus has thought fit to be silent in history. The present copies of his work contain one passage which speaks very respectfully of Jesus Christ, and ascribes to him the character of the Messiah. But as Josephus did not embrace Christianity, and as this passage is not quoted or referred to until the beginning of the fourth century, it is, for these and other reasons, generally accounted spurious” (Evidences of Christianity, from Campbell-Owen Debate, p. 312).

The more accurate word Campbell should have used at the end instead of "spurious" is forged.

The Apostle Thomas was allegedly given direct, unequivocal evidence of Jesus's resurrection. Why shouldn't we be given this same type of evidence? The Bible claims that Yahweh shows no partiality, Acts 10:34, so how could he have given this amazing advantage to Thomas and not to every man? Especially since the Bible teaches that Thomas already had several tremendous advantages to cause belief: 1) he had seen Jesus raise the dead, John 11; 2) Thomas, himself, with the rest of the Apostles, was given the power to raise the dead, Mt 10:1-8; 3) Jesus had told Thomas and the rest of the Apostles that he would rise from the dead, Mt 16:21; 4) the culture Thomas lived in was predisposed to believe that resurrections were possible, Mt 14:1-2; Mt 16:13-14.

But this type of direct evidence obviously cannot happen because of all of the other evidence that goes counter to the god of the Bible being the true God, primary of which is that he created man for his glory, knowing man's flawed nature. Knowing that to get this glory that he wanted, but didn't need, untold billions of his beloved (?) humans would have to be tortured forever in the hell that he decided must exist.

Why this fiction, called Christianity, has managed to hold on so long has a lot to do with this admission that you made, "The message of the Bible is such that any rational person will want to believe it. And, wanting to believe it, he will look for rea­sons to be­lieve rather than reasons to dis­believe."  These sentiments are understandable but they are not rational, not scientific and are anything but a blue print for finding the truth. Your admission speaks volumes about why you continue to delude yourself concerning the truthfulness of Christianity. You want to believe that miracle claims associated with Christianity are true and you only look for reasons to believe this. I think this is the problem with most false religions. They too have the same mindset.

That is why the vast majority of people born in Islamic countries are Muslim and remain so throughout their lives--and ditto for countries that are predominantly Christian, Hindu, etc.


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