Is Christianity Useful Anymore? The Younger Generations Don’t Seem To Think So

By Michael C. Sherrard

According to recent research, the coming generations have no use for Christianity any more. I’m sure you’ve seen what these sociological studies have found: the younger the generation, the more post-christian it is. Young Americans are less inclined to believe in heaven and hell, that scripture is the word of God, that satan is real, or that God even exists. They pray less, go to church less, and give less money to the church than the older generations.

Is Christianity Useful Anymore

Many are abandoning Christianity all together.

One out of five adults consider themselves to be “former Christians.” And to put this is perspective, it means that there are four former Christians for every new convert to Christianity. In fact, the “former Christians” combined with atheists and agnostics now comprise one of the largest religious groups in America, the religiously unaffiliated. And the largest percentage of them are young adults. One out of three young adults claim no religious affiliation.

So why have the younger generations walked away from the faith and what can we do about it? Is it merely that they don’t believe it’s true or useful anymore?

I think an answer is found in Deuteronomy. The sixth chapter teaches us that it is the responsibility of the older generations to pass on the word of God to the younger generations. Particularly, it is the job of parents. Our children must learn from us what it means to follow God.

Have they? Have they learned from us?

Our children have learned many things from us, I’m sure. We have taught them importance of education. We have paid for tutors and piano lessons. We have plugged them into sports and paid for private athletic training. We have done so much to prepare them for adulthood. But have we passed on to them the thing of greatest importance?

At this point, I can answer with good confidence the question Why have the younger generations abandoned Christianity? The answer is because we have.

Or if we haven’t abandoned it ourselves, we certainly have not passed it on to the next generation. Study after study show us what we already know to be true. Virtually no young adult knows what the Bible teaches. Young adults simply don’t know anything about Christianity. I’m not sure, then, that it is right to say that young adults are walking away from Christianity. It seems as though they’ve never been introduced to it.

So what are to do? It is simple. Know God’s word yourself and teach it to the next generation. But we must not only teach it. We must use it ourselves. One of the impressive things about the younger generations is that they can spot a phony a mile away. Younger generations need to see Christianity, not just hear about it.

I taught high school for seven years. “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.” I’m kidding. I love high school students. Do you know what question students ask more than any other? It’s, “When am I ever going to use this?” And this is precisely the right question for a student to ask.

I wonder. Have our young adults seen an answer to “when they are ever going to use Christianity?” Have they seen it go well for us because we have faithfully obeyed God’s word? Again, if we want the next generation to embrace the goodness of following Jesus Christ they must see it’s goodness in us. Therefore, do not only teach them the word of God, but show it to them. Display it’s power in the way you live.

Finally, along with knowing God’s word and seeing us use it, the next generation must understand God’s word. Deuteronomy 6:20 tells us that we are to give our children an answer when they ask What is the meaning of God’s word? Sadly, far too many children and teenagers are met with a shush and a “just have faith” instead of an answer when they ask a sincere question about Christianity.

But God does not expect us to have blind faith. Moreover, He doesn’t want it. He does not ask us to merely follow because He said so end of story. He expects us and allows us to ask sincere and humble questions. For in asking genuine questions, one is seeking understanding. God wants us to love him with our mind. He wants true, sincere followers, not programmed machines.

So young adults. You should ask Why does God let bad things happen to good people?

You should ask How do you know the bible is the word of God and not some forgery?

You should ask How do you know Jesus actually rose from the dead?

You should ask Why should I follow God’s teachings?

And adult’s, you better get ready to give them an answer. But be encouraged for there are answers. Now, don’t be overwhelmed by this. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. Nobody does, well, except google. You can trust everything you find on google. 😉

Seriously, though, “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer to a question you don’t have an answer for. But “just have faith” isn’t. Do not tell our younger generations to be quiet, stop asking questions, just believe and fall in line. If you do, they will eventually fall out. And we are seeing precisely this happen everyday.

Church, adults, parents- embrace the questions from the younger generations and find answers. They exist! Christianity is reasonable. It is true. It matches reality. It is the best explanation for the way things are. And it is the answer for all that is wrong.

So, may you know God’s word. May you teach God’s word. May you live out God’s word. And may you grow in understanding of God’s word. And may you and you son and your son’s son reap all the blessings that come from faithfully following Jesus Christ.

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59 replies
  1. Ed Vaessen says:

    “So why have the younger generations walked away from the faith and what can we do about it? ”

    Perhaps try out more sophisticated lies?

    Reply
    • Kalmaro says:

      It’s hard to tell someone’s if you are interested in discussion or just throwing your opinions and treating them as fact.

      Reply
  2. KR says:

    If you’re interested in a view on this from the perspective of an atheist who has studied this trend extensively, you might want to check out Phil Zuckerman, professor of sociology at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. There are a number of his lectures up at YouTube, I would recommend the one called “Irreligion Rising: Why More Americans Are Becoming Secular”. The Reader’s Digest version of Dr Zuckerman’s thesis is that there are at least 7 factors (in no particular order of importance) that have contributed to the rise of the “nones” (i.e. people who don’t claim any particular religious affiliation) in the US:

    1) A backlash to the religious right. The success and political impact of this movement has meant that being Christian has to some extent become synonymous with being politically conservative, which has turned many moderates away from the church.

    2) A reaction against the Catholic priest pedophile scandal. The crimes themselves and the subsequent cover-ups by the church have meant that a lot of Catholics have become ex-Catholics. As an example, between 2000 and 2010, 25% of the Catholic parishes in the Boston area closed down due to loss of membership.

    3) The increase of women in the paid labor force. This may seem like an odd reason for religious affiliation to drop but there is a clear correlation. The explanation seems to be that women have traditionally been the keepers of religious traditions within the home (getting the family to church, getting the kids to say their prayers a.s.o.) and when they start to work outside the home, these religious activities seem to wane – either because the women simply don’t have the time or because having their own professional careers is shifting the focus of their interests.

    4) Greater acceptance of gays and lesbians. The only organized political opposition to gay rights, gay marriage etc. in the US is religious. As each new generation becomes more inclusive and accepting towards gays and lesbians, the anti-gay right positions seem increasingly to be on the “wrong side of history” and they’re driving people (especially young people) away.

    5) Reaction to the 9/11 attacks. They certainly caused an anti-muslim backlash but they also served as a reminder that religious fanaticism can lead to some pretty horrific results. The success of Sam Harris’ book “The End Of Faith” which came out in 2004 is probably at least partly explained by this reaction.

    6) Irreverance and impiety within the entertainment industry. There are plenty of TV shows available that critically scrutinize and outright make fun of various aspects of religion and many of them are hugely popular, especially among the younger generations. This is likely to have an impact on attitudes toward religion.

    7) The Internet. On the face of it, the Internet is just a tool and there seems to be no obvious reason why it should have more of a negative rather than positiv effect on religiosity but this does seem to be the case. According to a 2014 study published in MIT Technology Review, Internet usage accounts for around 25% of the drop in religiosity in the last few decades. This happens on several levels. Firstly, religious people can look up something connected to their own religion and be immediately exposed to critiques and counter-views that they may not have been aware of. The impact of this exposure seems to be more pronounced the more secluded the community the religious person lives in. Secondly, people who have doubts can much more easily network with and find support from like-minded people than was possible before the Internet. Thirdly, it seems to be the case that the Internet itself (through e.g. social media) provides something that diminishes the importance of religion in many people’s lives.

    Reply
    • jeff baker says:

      Its one of the last things I would ever do, is seek religious wisdom from a University professor. It is everyone’s choice to accept and follow the Gospel of the Bible. The consequences are NOT their choice.

      Reply
      • Jim says:

        No disrespect intended, but without any evidence, you assassinate the character of someone simply because you disagree. That is exactly one of the many reasons why I left the church. I was an active member of the church well into my forties. However, as the information became more readily available through the internet, i.e., discussion groups, scholars in theology, history, archaeology, just to name a few, I realized that my soul was much more important to me than to follow a religion blindly as so many Christians do today. After years of research into the filed of religions, I formed this one basic opinion – Religion is having faith in a book someone else wrote and spirituality is having faith in what is written in my heart. What I have learned is that God speaks to us in every way imaginable through nature, friendship, work, play, our joys, our disappointments and failures. We can either listen to Him or we can just simply let a 2000 year old book tell us what’s going on. This 2000 year old book, the Bible, has never been seen in its original content. To date, 5ooo copies have been discovered and no two are alike. The earliest copy discovered is 200 years after the fact. Now, how many times has it been re-written wrongly, re-interpreted wrongly and re-written, re-transcribed wrongly is too astronomical for me to accept it as the “Word of God”. The image of God written on my heart has given me more comfort in times of joy and despair than any words written in a book. As Jesus put it quite simply, Loving God and loving my neighbors is all I need to know. Cheers!

        Reply
        • Clinton says:

          I’m glad to hear that you still have faith. I would like to say though that the Bible was written for us and despite minute differences in transcripts doesn’t mean it’s false. The scribes that copied these texts trained from a young age and would count the letters to make sure it was right. But being human, sometimes mistakes might have been made. God, on the other hand does have the power to keep the essential message so it is not lost. Scripture isn’t what we are supposed to have faith in though. It is there for our instruction in righteousness. I’m sorry to hear what happened to you by other christains. But keep in mind that our faith is in our Lord Jesus Christ, not in man.

          Reply
        • kurt says:

          I find it interesting that you dismiss the Bible as a 2000 year old book, but seem to take it as fact that the image of God is written on your heart. Do you realize that the idea that we are created in His image comes from a much older book, Genesis? Without that Book, your comfort from that image is nothing but emotionalism; not exactly a reliable source of info. And without that book, how do you know what Jesus said anyway? You are accepting what you want to be true and rejecting what you don’t like or what might be uncomfortable. No offense but thats not sound thinking.

          Reply
  3. Apostate says:

    Personally, I’d have to say that it was a complete saturation of both Baptist and Pentecostal culture that contributed to my leaving the faith. Not angrily, nor ignorantly. I simply realized that religion came down, primarily, to the construction of “grand narratives” we unintentionally make in everyday life to go about our lives. These “grand narratives” are for both religious and areligious. We infuse the world with meaning and purpose – not the other way around. This is why we can have, as a species, so many varying and contradictory religious or sublime moments. That’s how I understand things now anyways.

    I just wanted to say that some of us leave the faith for good reasons. It’s not always ignorance or rebellion 😋

    Reply
  4. Andy says:

    I think we are missing the mark when it comes to, “Is Christianity important?”

    It is not. And here is why.

    For a believer, having a religion does not mean that God now exists. God will exist no matter if Christianity does or not. So is following Christianity inportant, or is following God more important?

    I think we spend so much time on, “go to this church, go to this church, and join us, and follow our teaching” rather than, “follow God, His Word, and let your relationship be your own with God.”

    Do we need fellowship? Yes! It’s one way how we grow as believers. Do we need someone to teach us? Yes! But that does not mean we don’t test his teachings. Relationship with God is not a collective thing. It is personal, and private.

    Christ says that when you pray, that you pray with the door closed. Surely, those who give eloquent prayers for all to hear will get their reward, but those who make their relationship with God personal and private is blessed.

    I believe we need to encourage that and teach it.

    However, such a mission is not easy in this generation. Men struggle with their relationships with their earthly fathers. How do you expect them to be all good with their heavenly father? It can be done, but it’s very hard. 1 John says that if a man cannot love his neighbor, whom he has seen, how can he love God, whom he hasn’t seen? It’s a very good question we must understand.

    But what does loving your neighbor look like? Sure we can be nice, but, that doesn’t mean I love my neighbor. It comes down to the commandments. Would you steal from your neighbor? Lust after his wife? Hurt him? Defraud him? Bear a false testimony about him?

    The Torah, (the Law) not only tells us how to love our neighbor but also how to love God.

    1 John 5:3 says that loving God is obedience to His commandments.

    The two most important commandments are loving God and loving your neighbor, and the ability to do so, and teaching others on how to have a relationship is how we get more people on board to love God, and to enter into that relationship.

    It’s on the parents, the pastors, the friends, the family, the theology teachers, and the stranger on the chat form, to show the path to salvation and relationship with God. We are given the charge to preach the Gospel, and this is a big part of it.

    For the atheist, it might not matter now, but in the end it might. We don’t know. But it might be better to be on the safe side, rather than being on the not so safe side. If God doesn’t exist, and I believe in Him, I’m not doing anything wrong by it. But if He does exist, and I don’t believe, that’s some dangerous territory that I don’t want to be in.

    Anyway, love you all, and I hope this helps!

    God Bless.

    Reply
    • John Futterer says:

      I don’t agree that our relationship with God is a one on one thing…not if you strive to follow God as revealed in Jesus Christ. God in Christ comes to us in community- wherever two or more are gathered together, there am I in the midst of them…One of the great fallacies of our faith is that it’s a PERSONAL relationship with Christ. Certainly that is part of it…but everyone in the Hebrew scriptures, from Abraham to Moses to the Judges, Kings and Prophets…from Peter and Paul to John and especially to Our Lord Himself, were all in a worshipping community of faith. That’s one of the real challenges to faith in this 21st century- we are losing that sense of communal spirit, cooperation, and commitment.

      Reply
      • Andy says:

        I think you misunderstand. I said we need community. I don’t negate that at all. However, God wants us to follow Him, and that is done individually. There are areas that deal with personal experiences with God and communal. For example, prayer. It’s great to pray in a community, but there’s more personal areas we can address when we are by ourselves. We need a balance of both.

        Reply
    • Bryan says:

      “But if He does exist, and I don’t believe, that’s some dangerous territory that I don’t want to be in.”

      Why is it dangerous? Why is your God so insecure? Could I not look at the quagmire that is modern Christianity and say “Mr. God, I just did not see how an intelligent being could be the author of such confusion. “?

      Reply
      • Andy says:

        I did not say my God is insecure. If I don’t believe, and He does exist, then I have not only lost my ability to enter into a relationship with Him, but I’m also cut off from Him completely. I have no idea what hell is. Frankly, nobody does. People make it all about fire and brimstone, but in a sense, the fire and brimstone might just be metaphorical for the pain our souls will feel for being cut off from God. Again, I don’t know what hell is. But if God is real, then why do I want to risk all the good, for the bad? If you have bitterness or hatred for God, that’s your own deal. You have to work that out with Him, if you choose.

        God is not the author of Christianity. Man is. Religion is built by man, based upon doctrine. This is what separates following God, and following Christianity.

        Following God is not built upon doctrines made by others, but rather what you can gather from the Bible, and what you want to apply in your life. The whole point of a congregation is to hold each other accountable to what is right according to Scripture. Here’s an analogy I can come up with that might help.

        We all are individuals who have our own beliefs, and our own ways of life. However, if we do something wrong, we are now held accountable to the government to correct the issue. The government officials are put in place for helping us, as individuals, stay on the right, lawful path, and help us stay accountable to that.

        It works the same way with a congregation. Though we have drifted far from that because of selfish ambition, and greed.

        And that’s what happens when you follow the doctrines of man. We turn from what is good and right, to what is subjectively defined by a limited being who might be making up a doctrine that fits his desires. It takes a lot of discernment to find the truth.

        Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          “If you have bitterness or hatred for God, that’s your own deal. You have to work that out with Him, if you choose. ”

          You are living in a terrible fantasy world in which there is something morally wrong with people who have another opinion. You fit in with a sick, religious culture.

          Reply
          • Andy says:

            First, you have to prove it’s a fantasy. And if I’m part of a religious culture, that is of my own choice. If you disagree, that is your problem. I do not care what your thoughts are on me or my beliefs. I only care for healthy discussions that will end with respect both ways.

          • A brother in Christ says:

            I think it’s evidenced by your non- arguments that you don’t understand the Christian faith whatsoever and use that ignorance to make statements that are so far from the truth. I call it non-argument because you are attacking a person personally rather than the topic of discussion. That kind of adds to Andy’s credibility.

    • Andy Ryan says:

      “But it might be better to be on the safe side, rather than being on the not so safe side”

      What if a God exists that punishes people who believe in him and rewards those who don’t? Can you take that risk?

      Reply
      • Andy says:

        Such ideas are foolish. God is a judge. He judges in righteousness, which is following Him, His Word, and believing in His Son.

        God can’t lie. He’s omnibenevolent.

        And what’s the point of sending down Christ to die on the cross so He can have a relationship with us, just to punish us for doing so? What, do you think He’s sadistic like that?

        Like I said, such ideas are foolish.

        But let’s go with your argument for a second. If God punishes those who believe in Him, and if He is sadistic like that, then wouldn’t He just force us to be His slaves so He can punish us? Why reward those who don’t believe in Him? Why not just punish us all, just for fun?

        If God is really like that, it certainly is not the God of the Bible, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

        It’s foolishness.

        Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Andy says:
          “Such ideas are foolish. God is a judge. He judges in righteousness, which is following Him, His Word, and believing in His Son.”

          You are making a personal and very silly picture of god that reflects your personal fanaticism (or what fanaticism taught you as truth).
          A fanatic has the mental handicap that he is unable to imagine that anyone can disagree with him for perfect honest reasons. He thinks that the other very well knows that he, the fanatic, is right and only disagrees because of moral flaws in his character. The frustrated feeling ‘you know that I am right, so why do you not admit’ occasionally passes through the mind of every person, but in the mind of the fanatic this feeling is permanent.

          There have been quite some studies with regard into the ability of children to develop a theory of mind. They show that very young children cannot make a distinction between what they know and what others know. When children grow up however, they normally learn to realize that the separation exists.
          So we must regard the fanatic as the toddler that never reached mental maturity.

          Reply
          • Andy says:

            I do not have such a mentality. I proposed my view point on things. Whether you accept that is your choice. I don’t care, it makes no difference to me. No one brought me to my conclusions but myself.

            As an individual believes that they have some sort of truth, do they not objectively defend that belief until someone can logically show them another way?

            Sure, you can try and logically show me that my points are false, and I’ll listen. My viewpoint won’t change until you can convince me that my form of truth is invalid, and it is going to damage me if it continue believing the way I do.

            If you would rather not address the issues, and make derogatory statements as to why you think I should not be reliable in my information, then keep it to yourself.

            You don’t know me, you don’t know what I know, and I don’t know you, nor do I know what you know.

            If you want to have a respectful, healthy discussion on the matters that I have addressed, I will be more than happy to oblige. However, insulting me, or trying to degrade me in some way is not going to get you anywhere.

            Now to address some of your points in your comment.

            God in a a personal being. So of course it’s a personal picture. But it is also what He has revealed about Himself through His Word, (if you believe that Scripture is the Word of God, and which I believe it is, and thus I can believe in such a way). If it’s silly to you, that’s your problem, not mine.

            Noah Websters 1828 dictionary defines “fanatic” or “fanatical” as this: “Wild and extravagant in opinions, particularly in religious opinions; excessively enthusiastic; possessed by a kind of frenzy. Hence we say, fanatic zeal; fanatic notions or opinions.”

            It has nothing to do with who is right or who is wrong. And I am defintiely not possessed by some sort of frenzy. Rather, I am merely answering questions based upon what I believe. Wouldn’t you do the same?

          • Andy says:

            I also don’t even know how you could tell if I was in a frenzy based upon an Internet chat forum. You have no basis that I am a fanatic. If I was, it makes no difference. It doesn’t make what I say reliable or not. That’s for you to decide. Check what I’m saying, not who I am.

          • Andy says:

            Information is passed on by other people. You’re here, communicatIng your views on fantasia to us. Where did you come up with such informatiom? Someone else? Or maybe you came to it by yourself, through the influence of beliefs of others. Couldn’t you be a fanatic then? Could they? Of course this is based upon your definition of fanaticism. I’m trying to understand what you meant by that whole comment.

          • Clinton says:

            Is what you’re saying essentially, ” There is no God and I hate him and all who follow Him” ? Have you ever been around a genuine Christian? I have personally met some that might fall in the category of fanatic but most Christians I know have genuine love for the people they meet. Disagreement on an issue doesn’t constitute hate until such dissenter starts personally attacking people because the dissent doesn’t have a sound argument.

        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Andy:
          “I do not have such a mentality.”

          I do not know if it is really your mentality. But judging by your messages, you cannot imagine that anyone who does not believe that Jesus is his Savior does for honest reasons. Perhaps because of a lack of information. You really believe that such people know that Jesus is their Savior and because of evil intentions do not acknowledge it.
          Let’s ask a simple question: do you think that I, an atheist, so not believing in Christ, reject Christ while in fact I know he is God? Do you think it is something evil in me that makes me do it?

          Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Suppose the God of the Bible exists. In that case, are you able to believe that if people die without believing in Christ, they deserve to be separated from this God? Do you really think that when a Hindu dies, he or she will be less happy in the hereafter (and that he/she deserved so) than a christian who did believe in Christ when he/she died?

          Reply
          • Andy says:

            Well, to answer your question, I believe people can blanket their reasons for not believing in a deity. What do I mean by this? Simple.

            Let’s say you don’t believe in God because you think there is not enough evidence. Well what constitutes as enough evidence? When does God have your personal standard in order for you to believe? If the “evidence” given by believers, and other sources, what makes you reject that? You might say it doesn’t constitute as evidence to you. But what if it’s enough evidence and you reject that? Then the issue is no longer about whether the evidence is substantial enough, it’s you that’s the problem. Let me give an example of this in a non relevant way.

            Let’s take a look at the secession of the South from the Union before the American Civil War. Many Americans make this all about slavery and that the South wanted slaves while the Union wanted to take that away. That’s partly why the South seceded, but it was not the main reason.

            The Constitution protects people’s personal, private property. In those days, a slave was a person’s private property. The Union was not justified by the Constitution to take slaves away from their owners. Rather than focusing on the main issue, they divert the attention away from whether or not it is legal, to whether or not it’s moral. I personally don’t think forced slavery is okay, but legally, it’s not in the government’s power to make laws that prevent us from doing so. And that’s why the South seceded. The fundamental issue was the Constitution, and the sub issue was slavery, which got exaggerated to the fundamental issue.

            What does this have to do with our discussion?

            Well you asked if nonbelievers don’t believe because of some evil inclination inside them. I say yes, but I cannot specify why someone is a non believer because we have a lot of diversion away from the fundamental issue. It’s not my place to know. You have to work out your own things.

            If someone very dear to you died, and that’s why you believe that there is no God, then give that as your reason for not believing, and don’t make it about anything else, like evidence, or knowledge. (Not saying that’s why you don’t believe, just an example)

            There’s something deep down inside, whether you consciously know it or not, that is trying to keep you from knowing and understanding God. And again, that’s not my problem.

            To answer your other question, I will ask a question. Do you believe that if someone knowingly murders a million people deserves to be put in prison, or even given a capital punishment for it? Let’s say they didn’t know it was wrong, or they refused to believe it was wrong, (which the latter is more of a likely scenario), do they deserve to be let go because they didn’t know or believe? Well, anyone with a brain would say they did know, and if they believe its wrong or not, they still deserve some sort of punishment.
            Why does it have to be different with God? Romans says that the creation is enough evidence for the existence of God, and no man has an excuse. Whether you believe it, or disagree, does not mean that you are now free from the punishment. And that’s if God does exist.

            This means there is a whole purpose and meaning to life that we have to take seriously.

            Do you want to believe, or do you want to resist. It’s up to you. I can’t make you do anything. However, I can defend my stance on my beliefs with whatever I got to defend with.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Andy says:
            “Well you asked if nonbelievers don’t believe because of some evil inclination inside them. I say yes, but I cannot specify why someone is a non believer because we have a lot of diversion away from the fundamental issue. It’s not my place to know. You have to work out your own things. “

            There’s something deep down inside, whether you consciously know it or not, that is trying to keep you from knowing and understanding God. And again, that’s not my problem.”

            So you clearly state that it is impossible for someone to honestly not believe in your God. You are attributing something evil to that person.

            Personally I think it is a political correct answer in your religious circles. Admitting that there are many millions of people who cannot possibly help not believing in your God and who in the afterlife find themselves back in a bad place is of course admitting the immorality of (your kind of) Christianity.
            It is clear that fanatics wrote the relevant passages in the NT.

          • Andy says:

            Immorality of my belief system? Please explain what sort of moral law you are using to define my beliefs as immoral.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Andy says:
            “Immorality of my belief system?”

            Yes. You believe in an immoral religion. Either you were brainwashed to do so, or you chose for its immorality because of something very evil deep inside you, which you may or may not be conscious of. I still think you may be a fanatic.
            If I had the utterly sick mentality of the degenerated god your kind of person believes in, I would have condemned you to the hell that automatically comes with such a god. But I am human. So it is easy for me to be far better than your immoral god. In the uttermost need I would only send you to the lunatic asylum you belong to, seeing to it that you would be surrounded by careful and loving employees.

        • Andy Ryan says:

          “Such ideas are foolish. God is a judge. [etc] God can’t lie.”

          How do you know? You have to pre-suppose that God cannot lie in order to come to the conclusion that he doesn’t. Any evidence you present that argues to God not being able to lie has to depend on the notion that evidence God provides us with is reliable – in other words that it comes from a truthful God. That’s begging the question, Andy.

          “if He is sadistic like that, then wouldn’t He just force us to be His slaves so He can punish us?”

          Andy, it’s not really for you or I to question why a God would do this, or that, is it? The God you believe in seems to make no more or less sense than the perverse one I posited.

          “And what’s the point of sending down Christ to die on the cross so He can have a relationship with us, just to punish us for doing so? ”

          If a Muslim died and got sent to hell for not believing in the Christian God, couldn’t he ask similar questions? “What’s the point of Allah sending us Mohammed the Prophet just to punish us for believing in him?”

          Reply
          • Andy says:

            Well, as a believer, I hold the Word of God to be truth, from which God revealed parts of His character. And I’m being very careful to say, “parts of His character”. The Bible says God cannot lie and He is the holder of truth.

            Let’s say that the Bible did not say that God couldn’t lie. If it says that He is the holder of truth, then why would He lie? Truth is truth, and if God exists, then truth being a part of His character then means that He cannot lie.

            If the Bible didn’t say He was the holder of truth, but said that He cannot lie, then shouldn’t we then assume that God tells the truth all the time?

            The Bible says both. Now of course that’s coming from the mindset of the believer.

            If we take a look an outside source for understandIng truth vs lie, everything is blurred. If we hold that truth is relative, then none of us are wrong or right in what we believe. If a man believes truthfully that he is Napoleon Bonaparte, why do we then say that such a man is insane? Or he is a liar? Why can’t he be left to believe the way he believes, if all truth is exclusively subjective? Then wouldn’t everything be both a truth and a lie, based on perspective?

            The two are contradictions, and there has to be a line drawn between them. Which means, there is an objective truth, that none of us have found yet. If we hold that God is real, then we have found the objective truth. Otherwise, we’re stuck in a state of complete chaos of the mind.

            I don’t quite understand your last question.

            “If a Muslim died and got sent to hell for not believing in the Christian God, couldn’t he ask similar questions? “What’s the point of Allah sending us Mohammed the Prophet just to punish us for believing in him?”

            If the God of Israel punished a Muslim for believing in Allah, yet Allah sent Mohammed and is punishing the Muslim for beliving in Allah, then are you saying that Allah and Yahweh are the same? The two are not the same, both characteristically and theologically. Again, I don’t quite understand the question. If Yahweh, the God of Israel does exist, then Allah is a false god and the Muslim is still in danger of God’s wrath.

            I think it is our job to ask such questions about the nature of God, because if such questions do arise, which they have, we want to answer them so people don’t make up falsehoods, on either side, and make things worse than they are.

          • Andy Ryan says:

            “Well, as a believer, I hold the Word of God to be truth”

            Sure, you believe that. But what does that have to do with anything I said? All you’re saying is that you believe something else. I already knew that. What’s that got to do with what’s actually true? You were talking about believing in God ‘to be on the safe side’ – I responded with the question about ‘what if it turns out God rewards non-believers and punishes believers’. I get that you don’t believe God does that, but you were talking about an argument for people to believe ‘to be on the safe side’. You need to demonstrate that believing is actually safer than not believing.

            “Let’s say that the Bible did not say that God couldn’t lie”

            Your argument pre-supposes a truth-telling God. You have to assume that God tells the truth in order to trust the Bible when it says God cannot live. That’s begging the question. A lying God and a truth-telling God could BOTH provide you with a Bible that says ‘God cannot lie’. So the Bible gets you no closer to determining whether God can lie.

            “then are you saying that Allah and Yahweh are the same?”
            Nope

            You said you don’t understand my question. I haven’t got time to explain it all again. For now, just try re-reading it.

      • Tracey says:

        Andy Ryan.
        Yes I agree, previous. …..I do not care what your thoughts are……I only care for healthy discussions that will end with respect both ways
        Here, here, and this is why I know God is Good, as through Jesus we have grace.
        Healthy respect for another. Peace is not a slander filed argument.

        Reply
    • Kyle says:

      “For the atheist, it might not matter now, but in the end it might. We don’t know. But it might be better to be on the safe side, rather than being on the not so safe side. If God doesn’t exist, and I believe in Him, I’m not doing anything wrong by it. But if He does exist, and I don’t believe, that’s some dangerous territory that I don’t want to be in.”

      The classic Pascal’s Wager. What if instead, the real god was the god of Islam? You spend your life worshiping Yahweh only to get to the pearly gates and Allah says, “No dice.”

      Reply
      • Andy says:

        The problem with Allah is that he is called the great deceiver, and even Muhammad prophesied falsely in the name of Allah. I doubt Allah is real. And you can ask about any deity out there. Any religion. I’ve studied many. Consistency and coherence within the religion is what helps me determine what is found to be more accurate.

        If origin, meaning, morality, and destination are not coherent with each other, why would I follow such a belief system? Let’s look at an example of this in a modern religion.

        Hinduism believes in reincarnation, which is being part of one life and hopefully being saved from samsara and having a better life, as your spirit, or whatever, becomes part of a new physical bpdy in order to achieve that. The highest ring on the reincarnation list is a monkey. And the lowest is a dog. (Source is my Hindu friend who I regularly debate with)

        Where did our life originate? As a human? As a dog? As a monkey? The origin is unclear. And if my reincarnation is determined by my morality, then, how do I know if I’m becoming better or if I’m doing worse than before? What’s the point? Animals don’t have free will or morality. A deer cannot choose to eat a rabbit. And a rabbit cannot choose to climb a tree and swing from branch to branch for fun. They don’t do these things. They are programmed to do what they do. If my destination is determined by how well I do in my life, then what constitutes as good and bad, if I am part of the animal kingdom?

        It’s inconsistent. And I don’t follow Hinduism because of it. I apply this general test to all religions. I am following a belief system that stays pretty consistent so far, and I’m happy with it.

        Reply
        • Ed Vaessen says:

          Andy says:
          “I doubt Allah is real. And you can ask about any deity out there. Any religion. I’ve studied many.”

          Don’t make us laugh. You never studied any religion. You only try to sound reasonable but it is easy to see through that.

          Reply
          • Ed Vaessen says:

            “Consistency and coherence within the religion is what helps me determine what is found to be more accurate. ”

            Don’t make me laugh. Christianity is an encyclopedia of inconsistency and incoherence.
            Paul wrote that Christ would come back while some of the people he was writing to were still living. Well, Christ clearly didn’t.
            Now, we could await your excuses for it.
            But spare your breath.
            You can’t make excuses.
            We would only see you stretching the rules of interpretation to ridiculous proportions.
            When the god of the OT comes down (he has to) to see what people are doing with their tower of Babel and he finds out that he has to something against it or otherwise people might do anything, you still think this god is omnipotent and omniscient.
            Any bloody stupid excuse you will bring forth to convince people that there is coherence and consistency in the Bible.

            So don’t tell us that other religions are stupid. Yours is a world champion in stupidity.

  5. jeff baker says:

    Its everyone’s choice to accept or reject the Gospel of the Bible. The consequences are NOT their choice.

    Reply
  6. @joesw0rld says:

    I highly recommend the blog rolltodisbelieve, written by an ex evangelical. She writes regularly about church “churn” and the decline in youth membership. Suffice to say the sentiment in this blog and many others, that the answer is “more of the same, but harder” can be no fix. The youth are well aware what Christianity is and it is for this reason that they are leaving.

    Reply
  7. Jane says:

    This is exactly what I was told as a youth “we just have faith and believe…we don’t have all the answers”. This is exactly why I left Christianity at 18. I believe Christianity is a dying religion in America. If Christian churches want to keep people in the building they first need to be honest and stop feeding people crap that isn’t true. People want something real. They don’t want something that is just tradition. People have internet now. It’s harder to lie to us. Secondly they need to quit selling emotionalism. Sure you might get the youth in there for a while by playing games and quickly stuffing a 15 min love Jesus pep talk down their throat and you might get a few tear jerkers at the alter but when they walk out that door do they change their lives? How long do you think they will keep coming? To be honest I think you have more atheists who think they are Christians than Christians who actually believe. I think you better start at the beginning with these people because they have no idea about the Gd they claim to worship or what He wants from them. That’s why you have so many who think it’s ok to do things that are completely contrary to the teachings in scripture. What Christianity is today is nothing more than a club. Walk the aisle, get dunked and your in with no questions asked. Im pretty sure a mozzarella stick could convert. The reason for this is the whole “believe in Jesus and your ticket to ride the gates of heaven is reserved”. Really? Is that really what Gd said?

    Reply
  8. ANTHONY says:

    What interests me more than the answer, is the question. I thought Christianity was supposed to be the truth? The answer to the meaning of life, the universe, and everything? And here we have an article addressing its lack of popularity​ among young people not in terms of its truth, but in terms of its usefulness? Very intriguing!

    Reply
  9. Bryan says:

    ” People make it all about fire and brimstone, but in a sense, the fire and brimstone might just be metaphorical for the pain our souls will feel for being cut off from God”
    I think the vast majority of atheists would say they live a life cut off from the Abraham ic God and yet feel no pain.

    ” Again, I don’t know what hell is. But if God is real, then why do I want to risk all the good, for the bad? ”

    Google Pascale wager debunked.

    ” If you have bitterness or hatred for God, that’s your own deal.”

    I have bitterness and hatred for people who use the whole God/religion concept to hurt people by driving them to suicide (gay and lesbian folk) or by killing masses of folks by flying planes into buildings.

    “God is not the author of Christianity. Man is.”

    Good! You are half way there!

    Reply
    • Andy says:

      I honestly understand your frustrations at people who use God/religion for hurting others. My first thought to examples of this is, “these people [religious] are not actual believers.” Honestly, as believers, we believe that Christ died on the cross for all sins, especially those that deserve the death penalty. Believers who go out there and start crusades and killing people because of their disagreement, (inquisition, Roman conquests, catholic church bull crap) that is not following the Word as we are supposed to. It is not our job to go enforce the Law of God that we believe onto other people. I share what I believe because people ask me, or I’m discussing my stance with another believer, as I did here. When I’m answered by a non believer, and we have discussions like this, I’m just trying to defend my stance. What you believe is what you believe, it’s not my job to tell you that you are wrong or to condemn you. That’s God’s job. And I certainly not Him.

      I understand what you mean by atheista living a life cut off from God and feeling no pain, but I’m talking about a spiritual aspect, not a physical one.

      I’ll research on Pascals wager. However, I’m just explaining my thoughts. I would rather be in a safe zone then be out where I shouldn’t be. And that’s merely what I’m stating.

      Reply
      • Ed Vaessen says:

        “What you believe is what you believe, it’s not my job to tell you that you are wrong or to condemn you. That’s God’s job. And I certainly not Him. ”

        Fact is that you are talking as if you know god. However, your god has the features of what sick people imagine. Said more or less before: the fanatic will imagine a god that punishes those who disagree with the ideas of the fanatic because the fanatic cannot suffer another opinion.

        Reply
        • Andy says:

          You’ve gone from a healthy disagreement to my views to a complete hatred for it. You still have not proven that my beliefs are immoral. If you’re an atheist, you have no morals. You just have things you pull out of your mind, and it’s subjective. I will refrain from responding to your comments, because all you want to do is be completely hostile to me, instead of engaging in a healthy respectful discussion. I thank you for the replies, and I do hope you achieve your mission in finding truth. God Bless.

          Reply
          • KR says:

            Andy wrote: “If you’re an atheist, you have no morals. You just have things you pull out of your mind, and it’s subjective.”

            I don’t want to add any fuel to the fire – things seem to be heated enough – but I just can’t let that one pass. Everyone has morals – and yes, that includes atheists. The difference seems to be that you’re claiming that there are objective moral values that are independent of any personal opinion. I question that, for the simple reason that no-one seems able to provide any evidence for these objective moral values.

            To refer to God doesn’t help in this respect. If God is a person (which seems to be the claim) then God’s morals are, by definition, subjective. By what objective standard should we hold God’s morals as more valid than anyone else’s? There are plenty of biblical accounts of God’s actions that I find morally abhorrent (genocide, slavery, misogyny, infinte punishment for finite crimes a.s.o.). How would you demonstrate that my moral intuitions are objectively wrong?

            The problem is compounded by the fact that the people who claim to get their morals from God can’t seem to agree on what those morals are. There are hundreds if not thousands of different Christian denominations that differ in their positions on various moral issues. Can you tell me which one is objectively correct – and how do you know?

            Proponents of objective moral values often use things like the torture of babies or atrocities committed by the Nazis and Stalin – where there is a broad moral concensus – as examples supporting their position. Such examples clearly show that some moral positions are shared among most people – but how do you get from shared values to objective values? This seems like a completely unwarranted leap. The fact that a moral position is shared by most people doesn’t mean that it’s independent of personal opinions.

            What’s also being ignored is the obvious fact that there are plenty of moral issues where there is no clear concensus. If there are objective moral values, shouldn’t we expect these moral disagreements to at least occasionally be resolved by applying these values? This is clearly not what we see – instead, moral conflicts tend to be resolved either the old-fashioned way by “might makes right” or through a political process, both of which are entirely subjective.

            We live in a society ruled by moral guidelines (i.e. laws) that were established through such a subjective political process. Do you think this kind of democratic rule of law is an acceptable system of government? If you do, haven’t you accepted a subjective system of moral values? If you don’t, what would you like to replace democracy with?

            If the only workable method of resolving moral conflicts is a political process driven by subjective opinions, then the perported objective moral values are apparently useless as moral guides for our behaviour. In fact, if we can’t agree on what these objective moral values are or how to access them, what reason do we have to believe that they exist at all?

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Andy says:
            “You’ve gone from a healthy disagreement to my views to a complete hatred for it. You still have not proven that my beliefs are immoral. If you’re an atheist, you have no morals. You just have things you pull out of your mind, and it’s subjective. I will refrain from responding to your comments, because all you want to do is be completely hostile to me, instead of engaging in a healthy respectful discussion. I thank you for the replies, and I do hope you achieve your mission in finding truth. God Bless.”

            I only say that your god is created in the image of a fanatic.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            Andy says:
            “If you’re an atheist, you have no morals. You just have things you pull out of your mind, and it’s subjective.”

            Do you realize that I, as an atheist, never make such idiotic, disgraceful and insulting claims about Christians?
            I don’t because I know that every human being has morals.

          • Andy says:

            @KR:

            God is not a person. If I seem to be anthropomorphizing God I do apologize. So God, who is Spirit, and Truth, created objective morals. Why do you think that everyone has a general consensus on matters like the Holocaust, and the torture of babies? Is that just subjectively programmed into us by a political system that could change the rules because of the Democratic process? No. It’d kind of preprogrammed in our beings. If we hold that God is real, and there iss objective morality, then let’s look at the case of Cain and Abel.

            Cain and Abel were presenting offerings to God. Abel brought His best animal offering. Cain on the other hand didn’t bring his best. God had more favor on Abels offering because of the effort put into it. Later, Cain murdered his brother. This is all before Sinai, so even the commandments of God stood before Sinai. It was wrong for Cain to kill his brother, and he knew that. God knew that. There was no political system to determine if murder wax right or wrong. God is the creator of that standard, stating it was wrong.

            We all have this sort of programming in us. I’d rather not get into the evolutionary
            aspect of it, as we will be here forever, and will never end.

            I believe that atheists have morals, but they are subjective morals. They change. But I believe that God established an objective morality, that supersedes all subjective morals.

            I get what you mean by the semmingly abhorrent things in the Bible, (such as slavery and genocide), however we must not take it at face value.

            What are the reasons for these things?

            Slavery in the Bible, for one, isn’t the same as American slavery. The Hebrew mindset behind that idea of slavery is bondservants. If you had a debt to pay, and had no way of paying it, you would become a servant to the one who you owe money to. This is actually not wrong at all. After the 7th year, the servant would be let go, if the debt had not yet been paid. Some would actually want to stay as a servant for the rest of their lives. In that perspective, it’s not so bad.

            Genocide on the other hand is one I cannot defend so easily. However I will say this: the groups that Israel attacked were very barbaric, and some hated Israel immensely. For some, the main goal was to destroy Israel completely. God, did not allow this because Israel was going to become a great nation, and these people were in the way of that. Is God justified in doing this?

            If God is real, He has every right to take away any life that is given, because he gave it. There are many time that He is merciful, and does not destroy entire nations, (Nineveh, Israel). If you step out in front of a speeding car, what do you think is going to happen? Or if you go break into someone’s house, threatening to kill that persons child, what do you think will happen?

            I believe that the areas where there was genocide and such, had some cause behind it, and wasn’t done merely out of madness.

            I do agree that many Christians don’t agree on what God’s objective morals are. Why? Because many Christians believe that the Law, (Torah) is done away with, and that it’s all about faith. 1 John 3:4 says that sin is lawlessness. They believe the law is done away with, yet they talk about sin so freely. If you wanna know what God has established as thayhe objective moral standard, read the Torah.

            To answer your question, I cannot tell you which denomination is objectively correct. I follow the Bible, not Christianity. One, written by God, the holder of truth, the other created by man to have an organization in order to be recognized.

          • Ed Vaessen says:

            KR says:
            “I question that, for the simple reason that no-one seems able to provide any evidence for these objective moral values.

            To refer to God doesn’t help in this respect. ”

            Which doesn’t stop Christians like Andy from claiming that they know what objective morality is and that the Bible contains it. Any reasoned opinion to the contrary is by his definition ‘subjective’. His reasoning about slavery is of course ‘objective’.

          • KR says:

            Andy wrote: “God is not a person. If I seem to be anthropomorphizing God I do apologize. So God, who is Spirit, and Truth, created objective morals.”

            I can only go by what Christians are saying – and if you google the question “is God a person?” I think you’ll find that you’re in the minority. Here’s one quote: “God is spirit. Since God has a will, mind, and emotions, He is also a person.”

            I could add that an entity that has a sense of self as an individual (“I am who I am”) and even throws himself into the odd wrestling match (Genesis 32:22-32) is most definitely a person.

            “Why do you think that everyone has a general consensus on matters like the Holocaust, and the torture of babies? Is that just subjectively programmed into us by a political system that could change the rules because of the Democratic process?”

            Firstly, not everyone had a consensus, or the Holocaust would never have happened. Secondly, I’d say our aversion to this kind of behaviour probably has both sociological and biological reasons. There is good data to suggest that we’re all born with a capacity for compassion that can be extended beyond those closest to us (see e.g. the work done by primatologist Frans de Waal).

            “It was wrong for Cain to kill his brother, and he knew that. God knew that. There was no political system to determine if murder wax right or wrong.”

            Why would there need to be? To determine whether murder is wrong or not, just ask yourself the question: would I like to be murdered? I’d say you wouldn’t have a lot of difficulty gathering a majority who would answer in the negative and who would also think that it’s probably a good idea to protect themselves from people who murder other people.

            “I believe that atheists have morals, but they are subjective morals. They change.”

            Oddly, so do the morals of Christians. If this were not the case, we would see a unified Christian position on every moral issue, which we clearly don’t.

            “Slavery in the Bible, for one, isn’t the same as American slavery. The Hebrew mindset behind that idea of slavery is bondservants. If you had a debt to pay, and had no way of paying it, you would become a servant to the one who you owe money to. This is actually not wrong at all.”

            This is how the disciplining of slaves is regulated in the Bible: “When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21). Do you think this sounds like bond servitude? Do you think this is “not wrong at all”?

            “Genocide on the other hand is one I cannot defend so easily. However I will say this: the groups that Israel attacked were very barbaric, and some hated Israel immensely. For some, the main goal was to destroy Israel completely. God, did not allow this because Israel was going to become a great nation, and these people were in the way of that.”

            Do you have any extra-biblical evidence for this or are we just taking the Israelites’ word for it? Even if it were true, how does this justify the killing of babies?

            “Is God justified in doing this? If God is real, He has every right to take away any life that is given, because he gave it.”

            Wow. Here you’re basically giving up any ability to argue from a moral standpoint. Let’s say that we find out that Hitler was acting on direct orders from God. Applying your “God is always right” morality, you would have no way to argue that the Holocaust was wrong. If what’s morally right is just what God decides it to be on any given day on a whim, then “right” and “wrong” are just empty words and you cannot know from one day to the next how to live a righteous life. A morality that can excuse anything God does is no morality at all.

            “If you wanna know what God has established as thayhe objective moral standard, read the Torah.”

            So you think we should live by the law of the Torah? Stoning people to death for adultery, homosexuality and simply disobeying your parents?

            “To answer your question, I cannot tell you which denomination is objectively correct. I follow the Bible, not Christianity.”

            If you can’t find out from the Bible which denomination is correct, how are we ever going to know? You didn’t answer my question: if we don’t know what the objective moral values are or where to find them, what reason do we have to believe they even exist?

            You also skated right past a few other points I made: why would a consensus necessarily imply objectivity? If objective moral values are unable to resolve moral conflicts, how do we know what the objectively correct position is (or whether there even is one)? Do you accept subjective moral guidelines resulting from a democratic system or would you want to replace democracy with some other form of government?

          • Andy says:

            @KR:
            I apologize for missing some of your other questions. There was so much to cover.

            I think there is a certain level of discernment that we are to have when it comes to understanding Scripture. Like I said, we can’t always take things at face value. There is always more to it, especially in a Hebrew mindset.

            First, I specifically contrasting between Israelite destroying nations, and God destroying nations. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the entire world in a flood. Sure, many people find that unjust and cruel. Based upon what standard? God has a standard, which is always good, holy, and righteous. The Torah, (the Law) is called holy, righteous, and good. So already, we see the standard, and it in so nations it subject to change. It still hasn’t changed. To answer your question about stoning people and all that is this: Christ took on the punishments for us. He conquered death, and thus, all sins were paid for. So for someone who broke the Sabbath, they would no longer be subject to the punishment because Christ took it upon Himself. So Christians still have to follow the standard. This is the difference between the old covenant and the new. One had a sinful man be our mediator, and the other is a sinless God, who conquered death as our mediator. We can now follow the standard perfectly. And this where objective morality is built. Murdering is wrong, homosexuality is wrong, eating unclean foods is wrong, etc. It is not about a consensus. The Torah is part of God’s nature, which then we can define what is right and wrong in our individual lives, as well as actions made by God. But in order to do so, we must have discernment. Or otherwise, we create misconceptions about who God is.

            I believe that when dealing with matters of slavery in the Bible, it must be understood in the Hebrew mindset. And I don’t think I can show you that well enough, you’re going to have to research that on your own if you wish.

            In response to the genocide, I’m actually not giving up any moral argument. God, being the author of morality, will do things right, and thus meaning that what He does is not wrong. God won’t tell anybody to do anything wrong anyway. His nature being holy, righteous, and good, cannot tell someone to do something evil. Plus I’m pretty sure that God doesn’t want anyone performing evil acts at all. So God is always right, so when something is obviously wrong according to the objective morality, it is not of God.

            Christians that change morals, I believe are misguided. Maybe none of Christianity is right. I’m not a Christian. I follow God and the Bible. Just because Christianity is wrong, does not mean that God and the Bible is too. God and the Bible are not products of Christianity. Christianity is the product of the Bible and Gods existence. And that’s the point I was was trying to make earlier. If there were no religions, it does not mean that God doesn’t exist. If He is real, then God would exist despite the lack of religious groups.

            In a democratic system of government, if a law supersedes my beliefs, I will follow my beliefs. For example, if the American government told me I have to have sex with a man every day, I will break that law every day. The Law of God supersedes the law of man. I am to obey laws of men until they are in contradiction with the law of God.

            I do not believe the majority creates objective morality. I don’t care if you want gay rights or whatever. I do not have to accept the laws, or follow then if they supersede the law of God. And I’m Constitutionally protected to do so, for now. Legislators are trying to deter this right, redefine it, and change its meaning. Not their job. And it can be dangerous for the majority to create laws that negatively affect strong principles.

          • KR says:

            “First, I specifically contrasting between Israelite destroying nations, and God destroying nations. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the entire world in a flood. Sure, many people find that unjust and cruel. Based upon what standard?”

            Based upon a subjective standard that says that murdering people is wrong? If you think this standard is objectively incorrect, I think I prefer the subjective one.

            “God has a standard, which is always good, holy, and righteous.”

            Again, if whatever God does is good, then the concept of good is meaningless – it’s based on nothing but an arbitrary decision. It’s also completely subjective – whatever God wants to do is just fine and dandy. How you can call that moral (let alone objective) is completely beyond me.

            “To answer your question about stoning people and all that is this: Christ took on the punishments for us. He conquered death, and thus, all sins were paid for. So for someone who broke the Sabbath, they would no longer be subject to the punishment because Christ took it upon Himself. So Christians still have to follow the standard. This is the difference between the old covenant and the new.”

            The appeal to the New Covenant doesn’t hold water: “And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come.”” (Genesis 9:12). This really doesn’t leave any room for a new covenant. Also: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
            For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18). Heaven and earth obviously hasn’t disappeared, so it would seem the old law is still in place.

            “Murdering is wrong, homosexuality is wrong, eating unclean foods is wrong, etc.”

            My subjective moral standard is that people should be allowed to do what they want as long as it doesn’t hurt others. Murder obviously hurts others but whatever consentual activity people engage in within the privacy of their home doesn’t really affect me. Again, I prefer my subjective standard to yours (and you still haven’t convinced me that yours is objective).

            “The Torah is part of God’s nature, which then we can define what is right and wrong in our individual lives, as well as actions made by God. But in order to do so, we must have discernment. Or otherwise, we create misconceptions about who God is.”

            Discernment means making a judgement call. This, by definition, means you’ve given up on objectivity. If you need to make an interpretation, objectivity goes out the window – hence all these denominations with their own version of what God really meant.

            “I believe that when dealing with matters of slavery in the Bible, it must be understood in the Hebrew mindset. And I don’t think I can show you that well enough, you’re going to have to research that on your own if you wish.”

            I don’t think reading up on the Hebrew mindset is going to change my subjective opinion that it’s wrong to own other people as property. I think my subjective opinion is better than your (alleged) objective one, so I’ll just stick with it.

            “In response to the genocide, I’m actually not giving up any moral argument.”

            Of course you are – you’re giving God a free pass to do whatever He wants and it will by definition be good because it’s God doing it.

            “God won’t tell anybody to do anything wrong anyway.”

            He told the Israelites to murder babies. Any moral system that is prepared to make excuses for that is corrupt (my subjective opinion, obviously).

            “Christians that change morals, I believe are misguided. Maybe none of Christianity is right. I’m not a Christian. I follow God and the Bible.”

            I’m pretty sure that’s what Christians in general claim to do. How do we objectively determine who’s right?

            “In a democratic system of government, if a law supersedes my beliefs, I will follow my beliefs. For example, if the American government told me I have to have sex with a man every day, I will break that law every day. The Law of God supersedes the law of man. I am to obey laws of men until they are in contradiction with the law of God.”

            You don’t get to pick and choose which laws to obey, that’s the whole point of a law – it always applies, to everyone. In other words, I guess that would be a “no” on accepting a democratic legal system. Would you prefer a theocratic system? The problem with that is, of course, that discernment thing – who’s interpretation are we going to implement?

            “I do not believe the majority creates objective morality.”

            So I guess the majority belief that the Holocaust was wrong isn’t necessarily objective?

            “I do not have to accept the laws, or follow then if they supersede the law of God. And I’m Constitutionally protected to do so, for now. Legislators are trying to deter this right, redefine it, and change its meaning. Not their job.”

            My subjective opinion is that it’s very much the legislators’ job to protect people from discrimination.

            Gotta go, will check in tomorrow.

  10. Bryan says:

    ” My first thought to examples of this is, “these people [religious] are not actual believers.”

    Google ‘No True Scotsman’ Fallacy.

    “…… I’m just trying to defend my stance”

    I’m totally cool with that. As long as your beliefs don’t hurt other people I have no problem with them.

    Yet in your response to Ed you claim “If you’re an atheist, you have no morals. You just have things you pull out of your mind, and it’s subjective.”

    I could very well say if you voted for Donald Trump (as did 81% of Evangelical Christians) then you really have no morals. The atheist position on morals as beeneeded explained ad nauseam. Apologetic Christians just refuse to accept our stand.

    Reply
    • Andy says:

      I understand. I am not saying that atheists have absolutely no morals. They have no objective morals. Subjective vs. Objective. I did not vote for Donald Trump. I rather stayed out of the polls this time because Ted Cruz backed out.

      I accept your stance as being your belief, but I don’t accept it as being truth… yet. I must research more.

      Reply
  11. Tracey says:

    Would you who are not, believer of God, would you like all the literature, and Belief and denominations, gone?
    What would you like?
    Would you like God, gone? not spoken of, removed?
    if so when?

    Reply
  12. Susan Tan says:

    Christianity might be slowing in the West for cultural reasons. This is the most carnal time period loaded with distractions and Christianity is the most mystical religion so it could be harder to focus and seek answers than ever before.

    But you never know. When people start to come up feeling existentially empty quite a few of them could start seeking answers and turn interested.

    I knew someone once that woke up one day and asked themselves how do I get eternal life. The next thing you kniow Jesus had healed them twice.

    Also from what I read while Christianity is on the wane in the materialistic West it is gaining a lot of ground in the Third World countries and in China.

    The communist government tried to systematically drive religion from Russia and it is rebounding and making a comeback there.

    Pray that more visions of Jesus be received around the world and find those overseas missions where a donation is magnified in impact. Personally I like Dayspring International. For ten cents they can show a movie to a person introducing Jesus to them in their native language in India and there are probably a hundred million Dalits there (the lowest oppressed social caste system in Hinduism) which could use him. Just deny yourself a $2 candy bar and send it to Dayspring and 20 Indians are introduced to the Savior of the World who never got to meet him before.

    Reply

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