Christianity lauds itself as the panacea for the world’s woes, but Christianity’s approach to rescuing poor humanity is riddled with degradation. Before offering its “so great a salvation” Christianity first condemns, denigrates, and belittles people into believing they are vile creatures, wearing the filthy rags of a pointless existence. Self-confident non-Christians are redefined as “haughty and arrogant.” Sincere human compassion that is bereft of evangelical rhetoric is labeled as “selfishly motivated” and incapable of real or lasting good. Difficult circumstances and obstacles in a person’s life is seen as part of primordial curses put on creation by an unconditionally loving god.
What can you, a pathetic sinner, do to overcome the problems in your life? YOU? Nothing! You are completely powerless, the helpless victim of a spiritually fallen world.
Instead of building people up and empowering them with the tools and confidence to boldly address life’s obstacles, people are told they are powerless victims of evilly motivated demonic forces. The only escape, says Christianity, is total surrender to an invisible entity that is supposedly the sovereign lord of all reality. You need a savior, because you are a victim of sin.
We are all supposedly born “condemned already” with a depraved, sinful nature that is somehow inherited from a “morally perfect” man and woman who somehow became morally imperfect by disobediently picking and eating some forbidden fruit. All this happened quite long ago, and although no one alive can be said to be at fault for the decision of these prehistoric fructose lovers, everyone born since that fateful day is declared guilty-by-association. “Hey, your long dead forebear did a no-no, so you will be punished with everlasting, horrific torment!”
Talk about blaming the victim!
A case could be made that the mythical Adam and Eve were also victims. They were put in a situation against which they had no defense. I mean, what chance did a couple of innocent, ignorant, hairless, naked people have against a supernaturally talking snake? And what was so evil about eating a piece of fruit, anyway? Or was it disobeying GOD that was sooooo evil? So, if GOD gives a stupid command, then disobeying it is EVIL? Well, regardless of the individual guilt or innocence of either of these storybook characters, surely billions of subsequent human beings cannot be justly condemned for that one ancient, ancestral crime, can they? I’m pretty sure that I had nothing to do with whatever happened in that cute little garden. I think I'd remember something like that.
So, we are counted as guilty before GOD because we inherited a sinful nature from our free-spirited, nudist ancestors who ate bad pineapples, or persimmons, or something.
And that leads me into thinking about free will. If we have a sinful, depraved, fallen nature, devoid of the ability to do good, then once again we are hapless victims, yet held accountable for our position of helplessness.
Christianity insists that “all have sinned and fall short,” that “there is none that does good, no not one,” and that there is nothing any of us can do to save ourselves from the terrible judgment of GOD. (He’s still mad about the fruit thing, I guess.) Yet, these same Christians insist that we all have the free will to choose God, and all we have to do is repent and believe and all will be well.
Wouldn’t repenting and believing and choosing GOD be the greatest good that a person could ever do in his or her life? I thought I had a hopelessly depraved nature, that I was dead in sin, and that my thoughts are only evil continually!
God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden. – Paul, Romans 9:18
So, on top of being born with a wicked nature, without the capacity to do anything good, I have a crippled freewill that is confined to choosing only among evil choices, unless God wants to have mercy. Otherwise, HE’ll elect to leave me in my depravity, or worse, harden me more.
One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” -- Paul, Romans 9:19
Yes, exactly. It’s because Bible-God does whatever he wants, whenever he wants, to whomever he wants, and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it. You’re a helpless, powerless victim! Unless you bow, you will be crushed to powder by the loving fist of God!
I refuse to think of myself as a victim. I refuse to return to the Christian victim mentality.
What about you? What do you think?