Jesus demonstrates that God doesn’t exist

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I often feel I’ve run out of thing to say about Christianity, or rather, I think I’ve said all I want to say about it. It’s not much of a challenge to show how insubstantial, inconsistent and spurious religious faith is. None of it actually works, even though Christians, in the face of all the evidence, continue to insist it does.

On his Theological Rationalism blog,  James Bishop smugly tells his readers how he can ‘defeat atheism’ with three questions, chief of which is asking, ‘What would you count as “actual, credible, real world evidence for God?”’ Although I’ve already responded directly on his blog, for me it would be if any of the promises Jesus made (or was made to make) actually came true in the ‘real world’. 

Jesus said that Kingdom of God would descend on the Earth within the lifetime of his original followers, in Luke 21:27-28, 33-34; Matthew 24:27, 30-31, 34 and here in Matthew 16:27-28:

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels… I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.

Did this come true when he said it would?

He claimed that the judgement of the nations and their peoples would immediately follow, with the righteous going on to populate the new Earth while the wicked were sent to eternal punishment: 

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25.31-46).

Did this?

He promised that whatever his followers pray for in his name, God would grant. No ifs and buts, he would do it. Matthew 17.21, Matthew 21.21-22, John 14.12-14 and here in Mark 11:24:

…if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.’

Does this ever happen?

He said that with enough faith, believers would literally be able to move mountains. (Matthew 17.20).

They literally don’t.

He guaranteed that his followers would be able to drink poison and handle serpents with impunity (Mark 16:18).

Those who are stupid enough to take him at his word find they can’t.

He said ‘very truly’ that believers would be able to do even greater miracles than he himself did:

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father (John 14.12).

Where’s the evidence of this?

The fulfilment of any of these promises would be enough to convince atheists – well, me anyway – that Jesus’ God exists. If those about the Kingdom and judgement had come to pass when Jesus said they would, we wouldn’t even be having this discussion. I could still be convinced, however, if his guarantees of miracles and answered prayers regularly came about in the spectacular ways he said they would. The fact is, they never have done and they don’t; the world would be a very different place if they did.

All that the ridiculous claims Jesus makes for his God convince me of is that Jesus himself was, at best, deluded, and at worst, an utter fraud – a travelling salesman who promised the Earth and delivered absolutely nothing. His unfulfilled, empty promises are evidence enough that his God, like all the others, does not exist.

 

 

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Where was God?

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While they were communing with God, gunman Dylann Roof sat among them for forty-five minutes. Then he opened fire and killed nine of them. That’s forty-five minutes during which time God could have warned the Christians who believed he was listening to them that something terrible was about to happen. But he didn’t. The communication was all one way. They talked to him but he didn’t talk to them. He didn’t even listen. Why not? Because either he doesn’t care what happens to his people, despite what Jesus promised, or he isn’t there.

After the massacre, Christians across America resorted to pleading with this negligent God to comfort the bereaved and to help police find the killer. We can be sure God didn’t do any such thing because if he cared at all, he wouldn’t have let the massacre happen in the first place. 

Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee declared that if only some of those at the prayer meeting had been ‘pistol-packing’ themselves, they could have taken out Roof before he did too much damage. And he’s right – absurd as it sounds, one of them could have done. So why didn’t the God who never forsakes his people prompt one of them to take a gun to church? Perhaps because, unreasonably, he thinks it’s better to turn the other cheek. Either way, mark God down for another fail.

Fellow crank, the ‘reverend’ E. W. Jackson, blamed the shootings on liberals, gays and Obama. So, God – pissed with those who don’t support ‘Christian values’ –  allowed a gunman to mow down nine of his own. Makes sense.   

Debbie Dills, meanwhile, spotted the killer’s car on the freeway and informed the police. She later claimed this was God’s doing; the very God incapable of warning his loved ones they were about to be murdered. This God, who allowed his people to be massacred, directed Debbie Mills, who cannot see that she was just happened to be in the right place at the right time, to notice the killer’s vehicle and report his whereabouts.

Let’s get real: a God who can’t prevent the murder of nine of his children but then behaves like a third-rate Jessica Fletcher is no God at all. He is an impotent creation, a being of trivial pursuits, who fails to materialise when he’s really needed; a mythical figure who keeps his super-powers to himself, except in the most insignificant and coincidental of occurrences; a figment of believers’ imaginations.

Show us he’s not, Christians, why don’t you. Show us how he loves you, never forsakes you and protects even the hairs on your heads. Where is he? Where’s the evidence he exists, outside your inconsistent, fallacious scriptures and your own wishful thinking? Where in this real world? The people of Charleston really need to know.

It’s a Miracle!

MaryDo you believe in miracles? Do they happen? Author Eric Metaxas thinks so. He says so in his new e-book, Miracles: What they are, why they happen and how they can change your life.

He also says that anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles is closed-minded and intolerant, which is his Christian persecution complex speaking. Metaxas and other believers who accept unusual events as miracles are, apparently, ‘open-minded’, while the sceptic who looks for a rational or scientific explanation isn’t.

But isn’t the reality the opposite of this? Isn’t the seeking of rational explanation and analysing the evidence, the open-minded, imaginative act? And isn’t blindly accepting on faith that a particular event is the Christian God (naturally) messing about with ‘the laws of physics’, the closed-minded, unimaginative response? By definition, closing down all other possible explanations is the closed-minded response. It takes no imagination, no being open to possibilities, to refuse to look for an explanation beyond ‘God did it.’

As I’ve said before, most miracles are, in any case, very mundane, trivial affairs. They’re never the regrowing of severed limbs, the eradication of Ebola or the holding back of a tsunami. Why not? Why are ‘miracles’ always so unimpressive, like the ‘inner healings’, visions and coincidences Metaxas writes about? Why do they have far better scientific or rational explanations than supernatural ones? And when it comes to it, why do we more often hear about miracles than see them for ourselves? Why are most miracles nothing more than hearsay, rather like ghost sightings? It’s uncanny how miracles always happen to someone else, who swears they really happened just as they describe them (this is where the exercise of imagination comes into play.) The miracles in Metaxas’s book seem to be just this; second hand accounts of largely unspectacular coincidences and hallucinations, none of which happened to the author himself nor were witnessed directly by him. Why should any thinking person accept such spurious testimony? Why indeed should we be ‘tolerant’ of such woolly wishful-thinking?

If, for you, second-hand reports of unremarkable events qualify as miracles, then so be it. Like Eric Metaxas, you should just close your mind and accept. But don’t tell those of us who are considerably more sceptical that we’re the ones who aren’t open-minded or tolerant.

 

The picture above was originally used as a billboard by St. Matthews-in-the-City Church in Auckland, New Zealand. The captions were added later, though I don’t know by whom.

 

Christians’ Favourite Delusions 21: Jesus Keeps His Promises

Promises

Jesus keeps his promises? Let’s see…

‘I’ll be back while my disciples are still alive’.

For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels… I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom. (Matthew 16:27-28)

Oops. He got that wrong. Two thousand years later and his followers are still waiting. Despite what today’s believers claim, he didn’t say he’d reappear over two thousand years into his future. Safe to assume he’s not going to make it at this late date

‘Anything you ask for will be yours… whatever you ask.’

Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. (John 16.23)

Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, “Be taken up and thrown into the sea”, and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11.24; also Matthew 21.21-22)

Christians hedge round this one by saying God answers prayers in his own time and in his own way. His answer might be ‘no, you can’t have that’. But that’s not what Jesus says. He says ‘Whatever you ask… anything… will be yours.’ What is this if not a false promise?

‘My followers will do even greater miracles than I have.’

Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. (John 14.12-14)

Believers regularly walk on water, turn water into wine, and – slightly less frivolously – raise the dead. Except… no they don’t. It doesn’t happen. They should be doing even more startling things than this too – Jesus promises ‘greater works’ than his – but again, two thousand years on and they haven’t even mastered basic mountain throwing. What a let down. What hokum.

‘You’ll be able to do the impossible.’ 

These signs will accompany those who believe:…. they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mark 16.17)

Which is why, I guess, we have no need of hospitals, because Christians can heal everyone; why members of those fanatical snake-handling churches in America, who take Jesus at his word… erm… regularly die from snake bites. And not even these true believers are crazy enough to drink poison. There’s a limit to how much faith even gullible Christians have in Jesus’ empty words.

‘Don’t bother working or earning a living. God will provide.’

Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6.25-7.1)

Yeah, right. His followers recognise how useless this one is too; they do strive to make a living and provide for their families. None of them wait for God to provide because they’d be dead before he got round to it.

‘God will look after your hair (because you’re worth it).’

But even the hairs of your head are all counted… You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. (Luke 12.7 &  21.12-19)

Oh, come on. Now he’s just being silly.

And that’s only a few of them… Jesus’ promises. All as worthless as the proverbial chocolate fire-guard. Christians, of course, know this well. They neither trust in his promises nor demonstrate them in their lives. As it is, how they live is indistinguishable from everyone else; completely devoid of miracles and lacking in any supernatural provision. They tell themselves (and us) that Jesus is special but then disregard most of what he said – and who can blame them from that? Anyone else who made the sort of ludicrous promises Jesus did would be dismissed as a fool and a charlatan. It’s way past time we recognised Jesus as just that.