Should Religions be Held Accountable for Their Promises?

    This post by Bob Johnson originally appeared in OpEdNews.

    “Revealed” religions are based on greed. They make all kinds of promises to people in order to win them over. For example, Christianity and Islam both promise eternal bliss in heaven/paradise to those who believe. Of course, there is no way of knowing about promises made in regards to the hereafter. However, the promises made which pertain to the here and now should give us a good idea about the worth of the promises pertaining to the hereafter. If, for instance, we’re promised something which applies to the here and now that is not fulfilled we should know not to put any credence in the promises pertaining to an afterlife. One Bible promise that can be tested right here and right now is found at Matthew 21:22 which has Jesus promising, “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Based on this Bible promise a believing Christian should be able to get absolutely anything they ask for in prayer. When I was a believing Christian I asked God in prayer to heal a good friend of mine. He was not healed. Based on this Bible promise a believer should be able to ask for anything, the immediate materialization of a pink Cadillac, for example, and it would happen. Of course, this Bible promise is meaningless and that is why it can’t pass the test of reality.

    Because religions have a lot of power over people and society, just look at the political victories of the religious right, it is imperative that they be held accountable in regards to the fulfillment of their promises. We can’t make them prove, for example, that Christians will have mansions in heaven as John 14:2 has Jesus promising. But we can make them prove such things as the Bible promise of faith healing.

    The fraud of faith healing is very easy to prove. The Biblical promise to people that Christians will be able to heal the sick through prayer has never been proven even though it is daily preached and taught as if it is a reality. It is morally wrong for the clergy to continue to promote the Bible as the word of God and as the best source for truth?  Religions should not be exempt from scrutiny simply because they are religions. This causes real harm to both individuals and to society. In fact, it is causing the death of innocent children in the United States every month. Parents and guardians who sincerely believe the Bible is the word of God read the false Bible promises such as Mark 16:18 and James 5:14-15 and attempt to put these deadly superstition based Bible promises into action. When they do this children die.

    Romania is considering fining witches and fortune tellers who make false predictions. In South Africa a Christian church was forced to stop its advertising campaign because it promised to heal people of everything from cancer to AIDS. The U.S. should consider such safeguards against ignorance and superstition. This would not only stop charlatans like the comical yet dangerous Ernest Angley, but it would make sincere Christians stop and THINK about their beliefs in the Bible and Christianity. As a former Christian who is now a Deist I know the Bible and Christianity can’t stand up to independent thought and God-given reason. This would go a long way in yanking the teeth from the religious right as it would destroy their source of income as individuals awaken to the fraud. As Arthur Schopenhauer said, “A man cannot serve two masters: so it is either reason or the scriptures.”

    Bob Johnson is a freelance writer from the Tampa Bay area of Florida. He was born into a Roman Catholic family. However, after reading Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason in 1984, he became a Deist. In 1993 he started the World Union of Deists and in 1996 he launched the first website devoted to Deism, Johnson is the author of three books: Deism: A Revolution in Religion, A Revolution in You; An Answer to C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity and God Gave Us Reason, Not Religion. He also writes articles for many religious and political websites.

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