Image by khawaja via FlickrSent in by Joshua K
My family was worried for my soul after I had started to "fall away from the church" (which I like to think of as, "using my own brain"). So they had me go and talk with a pastor so he could change my mind.
I was extremely disappointed by how one-sided the debate was, how his only real answer to solid, reasonable questions came back to the dismissive claim of "You just gotta have faith".
But on to my points. I play guitar in a touring do-it-yourself band. I would consider myself pretty well experienced in business and marketing via the school of hard knocks. At the end of the day, you've got to sell CDs, and you've got to get people to your shows, or you don't eat or pay your bills. If there's one thing I've learned, it's just HOW HARD IT IS TO EFFECTIVELY COMMUNICATE A SIMPLE IDEA TO A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE. Like a tour date. Or where someone can pick up our CD. You can't make it obvious enough on a flyer or website. Somehow, someone ALWAYS misses it.
Why not make the first verse of the Bible say, "Alright, believe in Jesus and you'll go to heaven" in as many ways as it could possibly be said to avoid any potential misinterpretation?
So what occurred to me is just how ridiculously poor of a business plan it would be to depend on just the Bible and disciples to spread God's Truth. If the salvation of a person's soul depends upon believing an idea out of free will, then that idea MUST BE COMMUNICATED CLEARLY and be CONSISTENTLY DISTRIBUTED TO EVERY PERSON ON PLANET EARTH if we are to have a fair shot at salvation. The Bible/disciples fail on both of these accounts.
-The Bible was written over a millennium before printing press was invented. How were you possibly supposed to get a copy to read the Gospels for yourself back in 500 AD?
-If God was depending on people that had read the Bible to tell other people God's Word, and people are sinful, isn't that a bit like leaving the fox to guard the hen house? Why would God depend on sinful people with their agendas and egos to spread His Word?
-Pretending that God made 10 million copies of the Bible appear out of nowhere so people could read it for themselves, how could a Mayan in 600 AD obtain a copy of the Bible so that he/she had a fair shot in knowing The Truth? If I remember my history correctly, Europeans weren't aware of North and South America's existence until the late 1400s (if someone can prove that a Bible ever existed in North/South America a thousand years BEFORE the late 1400s, please show me)
-Let's pretend that God thought about the Mayans and made a "Bible launcher" that could shoot Bibles across the Atlantic ocean so that the spiritually misguided Mayans had God's Word. But the Mayans don't know Latin, and no one is around to translate. How are they supposed to read it?
-Keep in mind, that unless the above problems are solved, according to Christianity, every Native American in North and South America that lived until the late 1400s went to hell. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM.
-The Bible has no built-in table of contents stating which books belong. There are no instructions in the Bible on how it is to be interpreted. There are no instructions on which verses are most important to know. The Gospels, which are core of Christian beliefs, are hundreds of pages in (AFTER the Old Testament).
-Why not make the first verse of the Bible say, "Alright, believe in Jesus and you'll go to heaven" in as many ways as it could possibly be said to avoid any potential misinterpretation? Instead, we get a story about how the earth was created that seems to contradict modern science. Not a credible start to The Truth in the 2000s.
So, summing this all up, here's what our poor misguided 600 AD Mayan "heathen" must do in order to save his soul:
- Suddenly realize his religion he was taught is wrong.
- Speculate that God's Truth might be "out there somewhere".
- Cross the Atlantic ocean to somewhere he doesn't even know exists before he even knows what a "sailing ship" is.
- Somehow recognize that Christianity is true as opposed to Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.
- Somehow find a copy of a Bible (steal from a church?)
- Learn Latin.
- Starting at page one, read through the ENTIRE OLD TESTAMENT, then get to the Gospels in the New Testament a thousand pages in. He has to make it past verses like Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and 25:11-12 and still take the thing seriously.
To us, this would be like suddenly realizing that the One True God's religion exists in a parallel universe written in alien code on an alien computer that uses a 7-based number system, and you have to invent a vehicle with quantum wormhole-travel capabilities to get there. Once you've done this, you must successfully hack multiple alien computer systems and somehow decipher and sift through tens of thousands of lines of sometimes ridiculous alien code until you find The Truth. The consequences for not completing this task is BURNING IN ETERNAL FIRE.
Now does that sounds like something a just, loving, all-knowing God would expect of someone?