This letter was inspired by a comment posted in response to a Testimonial by perianwalsh (Wanting Heaven and Escaping Hell) on July 23, 2007. The comment by Kara, presumably a fundamentalist Christian, suggested that leaving Christianity might help one enjoy life and even help others do the same. However, after these admittedly positive benefits, it was suggested that ultimately Hell was waiting for us all if we don't choose the "Narrow Road".
My reason for writing is not to de-convert you, but rather to help you understand just a few of the reasons (and there are many more) why millions have rejected Christianity.
I assume it is the "God of the Bible" that you worship and serve and also his Eternal Hell that you fear. Of course you know that your god has a "Love Me or Burn Forever" kind of love. If you have children or one day hope to have them, would you consider them "your enemy" from birth and send them to an eternal punishment if they didn't love and serve you? Sound absurd? Well, yes, it does, but unfortunately this is exactly the fundamental Christian dogma of "Original Sin" which condemns ALL Humans, young and old, male and female, past, present and future to an Eternal Hell because of "Adam's Sin".
The "Narrow Road" to which you refer, if Christian, is not without virtue but there is also a very dark side that is littered with the blood of ten’s, if not hundred’s, of millions of individuals slaughtered by "Christians Soldiers" over the last millennial. The "choices" given to the conquered were such as 1) Convert or Die or worse yet, 2) Convert and Die anyway since "God" doesn't like you, heaven is better than this life and "God's Soldiers" must inspire the requisite level of fear. And don't say that they "misread the scriptures" because they were following the Biblical God’s example, except with more mercy than he allowed at times. And surely these actions were with the approval of "God's Holy Spirit", lest he would have restrained them if this was not what he wanted. After all "God" executed poor Uzza for just trying to prevent the Ark of the Covenant from falling to the ground. The all-powerful, Biblical God appears to be very strict and it should have been an extremely easy task for him to keep his wayward soldiers in check if they had strayed from his perfect will.
Bottom line, the "Narrow Christian Road" is horribly tainted with unconscionable acts and God himself seems to be either at fault or at least complicit. For this reason alone, one can see why those who have researched Christianity’s sorted history might choose to avoid any association with it altogether.
How can any rational, caring person abide the body count and human suffering and not challenge the authority, sovereignty or existence of the "God" that allowed or directly commanded these atrocities on BOTH sides of Christ's Advent? This behavior can not be from the heart of an unchanging, all-good, all-powerful and Loving Heavenly Father!
And then there is Hell -- a scare tactic for sure, but worse yet, the very antithesis of the unconditional love that Jesus supposedly taught. Why can't the Biblical God keep his "Love Definitions" straight, since he is also supposed to be “Unchangeable” by nature? My lousy "human love" would not want anyone to love me because they feared what I would do to them!
Further, an Eternal Hell is not a just punishment for the slightest impure thought or momentary "sin" and is totally incompatible with a Heavenly Father that loves unconditionally and commands that we humans love and pray for our enemies that are killing or abusing us. Millions have concluded that if a Just and Loving God exists, an Eternal Hell can not and if the Biblical Hell does exists then these same millions will enter into it proudly, having resisted the Unjust and Evil God that created it!
Nevertheless, it does seem that the God of the Bible has brought his Hell to Earth as he endorses human slavery, the abuse and subjugation of women, the murder of unruly kids, the stoning death of people picking up sticks on the Sabbath and the hatred and murder of homosexuals and everyone who is not part of the Hebrew and Christian “clubs”. In addition, the Biblical God admits that he created evil and birth defects and allows or sends natural disasters, not to mention all those starving and abused children. This god also does not explain why he is so blood thirsty or why he seems to delight in the destruction of those he did not “choose” or “pre-destine” to love him. Again, very human-like behavior reminiscent of a tyrannical, capricious, bigoted, sadistic, egoistical maniac – not an unchanging, all-good, all-powerful and Loving Heavenly Father!
A critical review of the Bible's teachings and the canonization process itself, in its historical context, reveals a consistent, man-made theme of CONTROL over the masses and the establishment of a National Identity for Israel as a "chosen" and privileged people. Then there is the New Testament mission of the Church as the "New Israel" to "Conquer (convert) the World". These provide a near perfect arrangement for the unholy marriage of the Roman (Catholic) Church and the Roman State. The rest, as they say, is (blood-stained) History!
As a consequence, it is clear to Perianwalsh and millions of others that the morality of the Biblical God came from the ancient (and arguably evil) men who wrote and compiled its many chapters –- not the converse. Attributing Biblical authority to a "God" renders the Bible a "self-licking" ice cream cone leading to the outrageous circular arguments:
- "God" wrote the Bible because the Bible says so and
- The Bible says, "God is good" and can do anything he wants therefore anything the Biblical God does is defined as “good” even if his actions violate his own Laws and alleged Nature.
Finally, as stated before, my reason for writing this letter was not to de-convert you but rather to broaden your understanding of why many have left or turned away from the religion to which you are espoused. We all must be at peace with whatever we believe. This inner peace is one of life’s most precious blessings. May you always possess it!
Grace & Peace, John
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