By Clay Gibney | 10 January 2016
Life After 40
Nearly a year ago, I wrote a pair of posts entitled Hard Questions about God (part 1 & part 2). When I was a Christian, I would have avoided reading something that casts doubt about the Bible. And whenever I was presented with difficult questions, I would have usually either looked away out of fear, or simply dismissed the questions with a wave of my hand. I was good at rationalizing answers. Confirmation bias is, after-all, a powerful thing. We humans are profoundly motivated by fear and by the need to protect ourselves. Sometimes, cognitive dissonance can compel us to pursue truth even though fear pushes us to run. I’m truly glad I eventually swallowed the red pill.
While the theme of questions below are not fully original to me, they follow up nicely to my previous posts.
Questions Christians Can’t Answer:
- Do you believe hell is an appropriate and/or justifiable punishment for a simple lack of belief? If that punishment is never-ending (per Jesus in Matt 25:46), do you still believe it justifiable?
- Using only the Bible, can you make a moral case against rape? Or against slavery? And can you do so without disregarding substantial passages found in the Old Testament that discuss property rights of fathers over their daughters and the rights of slave owners over slaves?
- If today, a devote group of Christian men were to enter a neighboring town and slaughter all who lived there because it was reported that the residents were largely populated by those who didn’t worship the Christian God, would that be justified? What if those Christians believed God had commanded them to do so? And what if God’s command included that women, children and infants be slaughtered by the sword? Since such events are recorded in the Old Testament, is it accurate to describe the God of the Old Testament as loving, merciful and good? Is it possible that such written accounts were man-made justifications to overtake another tribe?
- Would you kill babies or children for God if you believed Yahweh asked you to do so? Since such instances are written in the Bible, is it possible that others have murdered their children because “God told them to do so”, and in fact, God actually did tell them to? If you don’t believe God would do that today, why not?
- Would you sacrifice your beloved child if god asked you to?
- Can God tell a lie if he wanted to?
- Is it acceptable to disregard commandments or doctrines in the Bible that you don’t like? If you disregard commands that you disagree with, how do you justify doing so?
- The Bible declares in Genesis that all animals were plant eaters (herbivores) before the flood. Why do we find that dinosaur fossils show an abundance of carnivorous animals which contradicts the Bible?
- If Noah’s flood really took place as described, and if the boat came to rest somewhere in the middle east (as described), how did animals like kangaroos and pandas get from there to other continents which have a huge expanse of ocean between?
- If a dear friend believed that the earth was flat (a “flat-earther“) by claiming that all pictures and videos which show a sphere shaped planet are man-made lies, would you be able to convince them that the earth is a globe?
- Similarly, is there any amount of evidence that would change your view about the validity of the Bible?
Reprinted with permission from the author.
Clay Gibney is a former Christian fundamentalist. Check out his blog Life After 40: A Former Liberty Student’s Journey with Christian Fundamentalism.
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