This “cuts to the chase” about the operational definition of religion. Religious institutions exist in order to cover their own operating costs.
In order to get people to regularly give to the church, Christianity does three things:
- tears people down making them feel intrinsically worthless
- Builds them backup with the crutch of Jesus where they are then powerful
- then does a little dance where one must give money to the church so you can be with good standing with Jesus.
There is absolutely no reason why someone needs to adopt the third premise even if they accept the first two except for a passage to two in the bible about the “first 10%”.
Those original biblical authors were not stupid. They knew how to get people to give them money.
This highlights the central premise of Christianity that it is the “accepting of Jesus” and not behavior that determines entrance into heaven or hell. The most vicious person imaginable who accepts Jesus on his deathbed will get into heaven. The most saintly person who has a last minute doubt will burn in hell for all eternity.
There is really no rationale why Christian theology is like this except to placate the vanity of God. It is because it has been “written”.
Occasionally our priests and pastors go “off message” and say that entrance to heaven is up to the “grace of God”… thus implying that it might be possible for someone to get into heaven who did not accept Jesus as their savior. But for the most part, they “stay on message” with the “saved” prerequisite. Going “off message” like this is dangerous for their ministry. People may decide it is no longer necessary to go to church!!!
It is surprising that people refer to Christianity as a monotheistic religion. It seems there is no end of entities with supernatural powers including “the father”, “the son”, “the holy spirit”, the devil, the archangels, the regular angels, the saints, etc.
Polytheism holds that there are many gods; some more powerful than others where a god is some entity with supernatural powers. What is the difference between this notion of polytheism and Christianity with all its supernatural entities?
It is pretty strange that God set up the following situation:
- God created immortal people predisposed to sin
- God got all pissed off when these people sinned
- God punished the original sinners and all their offspring (for all time) to a suffering mortal existence. There is no such thing as being born innocent from here on.
- God decides to “up the anti” and have people burn in Hell for all eternity after they die in addition to their mortal suffering.
- Because God is so loving, he decides to provide a way for people to be saved from this eternal damnation.
- God demands a significant sacrifice to atone for the “original sin”. He set up two conditions that must be satisfied:
- His one and only son (named Jesus) must die for the sins of all others
- Each person must accept Jesus as their personal savior
- Both of these conditions must be met before someone will be saved from eternal damnation and have “ever-lasting life”
It seems that a more simple amnesty could have been devised.
For many, the prospect of “basking” in the glory of God, although fun for a while, may prove to be a bit monotonous after a sufficient period of time. After a while, those basic human impulses may start to surface again.
Since eternity is a log time, some may eventually experiment with gay or lesbian sex. What irony. Same sex couples in fundamentalist Christian heaven!!!
This points out that for Christianity, being “saved” from Hell and getting to go to heaven has nothing to do with behavior or doing good deeds. It only has to do with the submissive act of accepting Jesus. If Adolf Hitler accepted Jesus just before he committed suicide, then he would be in heaven. If Mother Teresa had doubts about Jesus’ divinity just before she died, then she would be burning in Hell. Isn’t Christianity great!!!
This comic also pokes fun at the fact that many parts of the New Testament (in particular the gospels) were written many many years after Jesus died. In all probability, none of the gospel authors ever even met Jesus. Those red Jesus quotes would therefore be quite suspect.
This is how Christianity explains evil existing in the world.
God allows evil so the world can be used as a “testing place” for submission. Those that bow down and give up themselves in deference to Jesus are “saved” and go to heaven. All others burn in Hell for all eternity.
Evil, according to Christianity, has to exist in in the world to offer enough temptation in order to make the “test” meaningful.
It is really incredible (and ridiculous) that a test lasting a finite amount of time should decide (once and for all) what happens for an infinite amount of time.
It is amazing how many times the story of Abraham and Isaac is offered as THE example of religious commitment. The resonning kind of goes like this:
If Abraham (who was VERY VERY religious) would be willing to sacrifice his one and only son to God, then certainly we can offer some lesser sacrifices… like giving a 10% tithe and committing all of our free time to the church.
People seem, though, to be blind to the fact that the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac is totally absurd. What kind of God would make such a demand on anyone? Certainly no God I would want to have anything to do with.
This hits at a quintessential troubling aspect of all religions. That God wants (and needs) people to pray and worship him is evidence of one of the following:
- That god has real issues with self-esteem
- or that God is merely an invention of people with low self-esteem
Take your pick.
If a mere human demonstrated this desire for worship, they would be in need of some counseling.
Abrahamic religions have a conundrum. One the one hand, they would like to do away with the bloody troublesome parts of the Old Testament. On the other hand, if they do away with any parts of the bible, that may start a process that won’t finish until all of it has been done away with. Therefore, the Abrahamic religions are stuck with the Old Testament passages as bloody as they are.
Religious practitioners then become very adept at skipping over the bad parts and concentrating on the good parts. It is amazing how bible-study lesson plans skip and leapfrog throughout the bible trying to put together a story about how God is all loving and kind.