Image by Steve Wampler via FlickrBy David S
This is actually my second writing to this website in the last month. In mid-December, 2008, I submitted my testimony as to why I shunned Christianity (and all religious beliefs). So why am I writing again? Because I truly have a passion for people to spread the word about the false promises and lies that Christianity spreads.
My wife of three years commented to me the other night that I have "hoodwinked" her and let her down because we no longer walk hand and hand with Jesus, our Lord and Saviour (well, her Lord and Saviour). My wife is what many would call an extreme Christian, who loves Jesus, believes the Bible is the literal Word of God, etc. When we married I too was walking with Jesus, but certainly was never "hook, line, and sinker" like she. I question how a man could spend 72 hours inside the belly of a whale without being digested; my wife accepts it as truth.
Religious beliefs stunt intellectual growth. Anyway, about a year ago, I renounced my religious beliefs to her, announced I was a hardcore atheist, and it has been a problem that we have swept under the rug in our relationship since. Occasionally, I will still experience some small degrees of guilt that I have let my wife down so much, but I cannot convince myself that all religions aren't delusional and in actuality stump the ability of an individual to have an intellectual understanding of the real world.
From time to time, I will peruse the religious programming on cable television, looking for any kind of sign from the religious prophets of today that the Almighty desires to convince me of his presence, and ultimately bring me back to his loving arms. The other evening, I watched quite a bit of the religious-based programming on cable.
So what did I see during my few hours of Christian programming that is being watched I suspect, by millions of people around the globe?
For one, I saw a pastor named Dr. Coontz of LeSea Ministries running a telethon from Hawaii! He was telling his audience how good God is and that to spread the Gospel to the four corners of the Earth (I am sorry, I didn't think the Earth as a sphere had corners!) he needed an immediate harvest (i.e. money). He was looking for 120 followers (i.e. idiots) who would sow a $1,000 seed in hopes of reaping a harvest themselves from God. He then recited numerous scriptures from the Good Book that promised supernatural favor from the Heavens if only you would show obedience, and trust and sow that $1,000 seed. Then another gentleman (albeit an older one) told the audience that in exchange for this $1,000 seed that Scripture promised that "destruction would come to the person on your left, and your right, and you will see it all about you, but the Lord will protect you." If I ever wanted to literally strangle a religious celebrity this was it. They were essentially promising that the Lord would protect them and provide for them during this terrible time of economic upheaval if only they would sow that seed.
I am sorry, but I have never seen an articles in a newspaper in the last two years that stated "5,000 people lose their jobs at XXX Company, but surprisingly no Christians are among those handed a pink slip." I have never turned on ABC Nightime News and witnessed the anchor man state that "Foreclosures are up again this quarter, but surprising evidence shows that among the millions losing their homes, none of them are Christians who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour."
Why can't people use their brains and see that the current economic crisis that we are in knows no bounds, including your religious faith? Everyone is subject to the same natural laws of our working world.
As the telethon continued, the older gentleman stated that the current crisis we are all involved in is one based heavily on credit (e.g. credit cards) and that Satan had created credit cards as a means of our destruction! Who knew? I thought it was just money hungry banks. Then, he wanted all the people who needed a financial miracle (as millions of us do right now), to use the credit card to sow your seed! Why use the credit card, other than the obvious way to pay for something you really cannot afford? His explanation was that in the Bible, people of faith had often used the weapon created for their destruction against those who had created the weapon. Huh? For example, David slew Goliath with Goliath's own sword. So he was asking people to sow their seed and make a stand with God and show him your faith in Him by using the credit card that Satan had created for your destruction! Am I the only person who feels tremendous disgust that these type of organizations are tax exempt? This guy is a religious Bernie Madoff! In short, I saw nothing on this channel (and I watched for a good 30 mins) that convinced me of a omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent being in the Heavens. What I witnessed was the continued exploitation of the poor, the hopeless, and the delusional people of the world.
I love how God sits idly by on his throne doing nothing, sitting silently...
Other shows during this evening promised the same thing: Dr. Charles Stanley talked about the importance of tithing, and how by strict adherence to tithing the good Lord would start to work miracles in that person's life. He then stated that if people tithed faithfully that God could even keep people out of hospitals, in good health, etc and the audience just sat there mystified! Imagine if everyone would give 10% of their money to God, we could eliminate hospitals altogether! If I had been in that audience, I promise I would have stood up and debated him about such bunk and demanded evidence! Yet all these people in the audience (i.e. lemmings) just sat there mystified as if they had been given the secrets of the Universe. It occurred to me as I watched his show that in no other "father/son" relationship that we encounter are we asked to give so much monetarily to the father who is to provide for us. Think about it: as you grew up, you more than likely did a few chores around the house in exchange for a weekly allowance. In other words, you participated in some good works, and your father rewarded you monetarily. Religion completely flips the script. Now all good works are of the Father, and you have to give Him money to show your continued obedience. To me, the only times I have heard about the sons providing monetarily for their father is when the father is incapable of providing for himself! Ah Ha! Much like our powerful (powerless) God! To see what I consider the funniest rant on religion and money watch George Carlin's speech on YouTube.
Another show included four speakers who conversed among themselves why they were excited about the imminent return of Christ. One gentleman said he physically wanted to see Jesus (Yeah, stand in line buddy; trillions of us want to physically see him.), and touch his hands where the nails had been, and bow down at his feet, thanking him for all He had done. I thought to myself, "Won't there be a long line to worship him? Do you need to take a number? How do you know you will be first in line?"
Another gentlemen spoke that he wanted to see Satan get what was coming to him. The fallen angel had started all the wars, the famine, the birth defects that we see today and it was time for payback! I thought Christianity was a religion of peace, of forgiveness, etc... Hmmmmm... Lastly, another gentleman said that wanted to see what the world was meant to be like when Jesus returned to set up his 1,000-year kingdom. He stated that plants like poison ivy would be eradicated and that meat eating animals would stop eating meat. That our world that we have experienced since birth would be replaced by the peaceful world that God had intended! What crap! Can you imagine sharks not eating not eating smaller fish, of lions not eating zebras, etc? Anyone heard of survival of the fittest? Anyway, no evidence of a Holy Spirit, wonder working God on this network.
The final show from Sid Roth Ministries told the story of a preacher named Seymour in the early 1900s who was witness to all sorts of miracles. With prayer, Mr. Seymour was actually able to regenerate a severed arm of one of his members with the help of the Holy Spirit! I imagine that this website would not even exist if you and I saw this kind of evidence in our lives. Imagine someone you know supernaturally growing a severed limb because of his or her faith in God! I think we all know where we would be Sunday morning! A great website to see on this topic is www.whywontgodhealamputees.com. But on this television network, more fantasy stories with no such evidence whatsoever!
In conclusion, I saw nothing on any of these networks that indicated to me that there is some wonder working God in control of our lives and I find it interesting that so many people without question believe it to be so. I must tell you if these are the people I saw on television that God has chosen to spread his Kingdom He should not be surprised that the belief in Him is waning and that faith is on the decline.
Outside of my television experience, I recently got into a debate with an individual who stated to me that "His Road to Damascus" experience was that God had steered his vehicle back onto the roadway when it appeared he was heading for a high speed collision with a wall. It's hard to debate someone when they feel that God saved them personally from a premature death. I then asked him why didn't this wonderful God save Stephen Curtis Chapman's adopted daughter from being run over by his son when he accidentally backed up the family SUV in the driveway? I mean, Mr. Chapman's music has inspired millions to want a relationship with God; shouldn't he receive a little bit of supernatural grace and favor down her on Earth in saving his daughter? Is that asking too much? I mean, it is a relationship right? A two-way street? Well, he replied, God must have greater plans for her in Heaven. The standard no thought required Christian response which essentially states, "I am still here and all I know is that God worked a miracle for me. If God didn't help someone else in their life on Earth, then he must be with them in Heaven". It completely ignores the ills that befall our fellow man as God is excused from any tragedy that plagues us.
I am terribly saddened when I see people clinging to a belief system that promises rewards and ultimately delivers very few if any miracles. I know people that see no evidence of God ordained miracles in their lives, and instead of questioning why they do not, cling to those beliefs even more! As their finances dwindle, and their constant prayers go unanswered, they watch more Joyce Meyer, buy another Joel Osteen book, thumb another Joyce Meyer magazine, attend another service at church, all in a desperate hope to show God that they are being faithful, and waiting for His blessings. I am saddened that an adult who lives in reality can still cling to such fantasy, essentially ignoring all the evidence around.
Religious beliefs stunt intellectual growth. Go to Youtube and search "question of miracles." It is a six-part series on Benny Hinn and the "Miracles" of God. If that doesn't convince anyone of religious faith that there is no one in Heaven listening, nothing will.
Thanks for reading and I welcome replies!
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)