No True Christian

Allow me to present to you a hypothetical situation. Let’s say I’ve just finished reading The Case for Christ. There was something about Lee Strobel’s ingenious and fool-proof arguments that has miraculously convinced me that Jesus exists, God exists, the bible is true, and I ought to become a Christian. Well then, what should I do next? Join a church? Get baptized? Stop drinking alcohol? Hang bible verses up on my walls? Should I love my neighbor, or should I become homophobic perhaps? There are so many options!

For the most part, there seems to be a consensus that to be a true Christian means to, in some capacity, believe in, love, and follow Jesus. When I asked this on Twitter, some of my Christian followers kindly answered thus:

I find it noteworthy that both of their responses included not only the belief but the ensuing lifestyle as a priority. So what does this lifestyle mean?

Because they are Christians, my fiance’s grandparents never drink alcohol. Because they are Christians, my sister and her husband lead an LCMS church. For this same reason, Aaron Hartzler’s parents never allowed him to go to the movies or listen to normal music (his memoir is really good, by the way). Because they’re Christians, my old college roommates would take Sunday Sabbaths, enjoying long naps after church and brunch. This is the same reason that intelligent design apologists do what they do, and why the Westboro Baptist Church does what they do, and the reason why people go on missions trips and build houses, and why people do things like buy and wrap presents for Operation Christmas Child.

Even if we take a step back, the beliefs themselves also tend to be as scattered as the actions that result. You have your Ken Hams (literal Genesis, 6,000 years, 6 days), your Francis Collinses (theistic evolution) and your in-betweeners (Genesis but with an old earth spin; the day-age theory and the gap theory inserted into the Genesis narrative). Even with the bible, its internal and external contradictions mean that believers must choose for themselves what they see as truth, saying “Yes, I believe in Genesis, but I also acknowledge the evidence for evolution,” which can lead to cognitive dissonance and a weird acceptance of only microevolution, an awkward theistic evolution approach where they see Genesis as an allegory, or altogether deconverting to atheism or agnosticism.

As I recently learned and hope to write on extensively in the future, not even the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has an official position on the age of the earth or origins. Look at it this way: there is all of Christianity, which is massive; you zoom into the Lutheran denomination, and there are three main groups (ELCA, LCMS, and WELS), and not even at this level of Christianity—the LCMS—with its very specific set of beliefs regarding things like baptism and transubstantiation, can they agree on an interpretation of what their holy book means by “in the beginning”.

This disparity within this one sect leaves me astounded for all of the thousands of interpretations of what it means to be a Christian beyond just loving and serving Jesus. In my rhetoric class last semester, we learned about the traditions of several denominations, like Lutheran, Catholic, Calvinist, Mennonites, Presbyterian, Quakers, and more. This got me wondering: all of these people do what they think God wants them to do, but they all do wildly different things. It seems impossible to actually nail down what that is.

It could be said that all God really wants of Christians is for them to love him, love one another, and keep the commandments the best that they can. But depending on each person’s interpretation of the bible, everything else varies wildly. An easy way to visualize this for me is to consider a Christian’s stance on homosexuality. There are extreme views on this, all within Christianity. Some condemn homosexuality altogether and chant “God hates fags”, some aren’t comfortable with it because of their beliefs and would check off “regretfully decline” on an LGBT wedding invitation, some believe that there is no conflict between homosexuality and Christianity, and some are very proud to be both gay and Christian, saying that God himself made them that way in his image.

Richard Dawkins said in The God Delusion that it is not the radical Christians (and Muslims, to which this applies but isn’t really my focus) who commit terrorism in the name of their religion, it is the true Christian who is following God’s commands verbatim. This may very well be true, but you may have noticed that most Christians are not murderers. As a matter of fact, it seems that the majority of Christians are quite opposed to terrorism. Does this mean that they are not true Christians?

In my eyes, they are not. This is because there is not one true Christian. There’s not one true denomination with all the perfect instructions on pleasing God. With a book that long, and that messy, I think that there is no way that everyone will agree on what it means to be a Christian. To me, it is rendered meaningless because of this. Drink alcohol, or don’t. Get tattoos, or don’t. Go to church, or don’t. I believe that Christianity is so vague that the believer can mold it into whatever they think it is.

I often get messages from people trying to reconcile Christianity to me by saying “I just wanted to tell you that the type of Christian that your mom is, or that your old apologetics teacher is, isn’t true Christianity. True Christianity is all about loving your neighbor and accepting people for who they are.” First of all, I’d like to see you tell my mom that her Christianity is not the one true Christianity, and see how that goes. But to me, as long as you mention Jesus or the bible, Christianity is whatever you want it to be.

48 thoughts on “No True Christian

  • I’d say stop trying to “be a Christian” and start trying to “be a Jesus follower.” The rest will take care of itself.


  • “A true christian” follows Christ’s lead from our bibles, (God is not bound to translations) not from churches or people groups. It really doesnt matter if anyone thinks everyone else is doing whatever they want and therefore it doesnt make sense to you, or proves christianity wrong for you. None of their salvation or yours is dependent on their views or opinions on drinking alcohol or watching movies or even a stance on sexual orientation. People like their own opinions, clearly. Christians arent perfect, we are far far from it, as you can see in our churches. But these opinions have no baring on salvation, unless your opinion causes you to sin against God, which many “christians” are going to be surprised when their time comes to give an account. It is a distraction from getting everyone to stay focused in their bibles and on Christ. And it’s working.


    • many “christians” are going to be surprised when their time comes to give an account — I don’t suppose you’ll be one of them though. Right?


      • I’m terrified to give my account. It will be the most humiliating day of my life, even on my best day.. and at the same time, it will be the most amazing day. Keep loving people, it’s all we can do!


  • Your argument is logical but flawed. You are equating religion and religious acts with Christianity itself. I used to feel like you, and I was once the very religious hypocrite, that you don’t like. Then I discovered what being a Christian really is about. There are basically two groups of people who claim to be Christians, Fans of Jesus and followers of Jesus. The fans are the largest group and the followers are very few. Fans love to be religious, but rarely get in the trenches and make the sacrifice of selflessness. Followers of Jesus do not do so out of religious obligation but of a deeper understanding. So what is the difference? Love is the difference. A religious scribe asked Jesus what is the greatest commandment? He was asking how he could achieve religious perfection. Jesus responded: “Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one. And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.””
    ‭‭Mark‬ ‭12:29-31‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    You see it’s all about love. The real meaning of “Christian” is one who follows Jesus. Why? Because of what he did out of love for us. He sacrificed His life for our sins. Selfishness, greed, hatred, and all other forms of immorality. We don’t obey God’s laws out of obligation. We honor God and His laws out of love. We love others because Jesus loved us. Now I will grant you we all have our quirks as you well pointed out. Some of these acts are out of personal conviction. Some because we recognize our own weaknesses. A friend of mine doesn’t watch tv, out of fear she will return to her porn addiction. I can respect that.

    The term Christian might have become dirty, but that is because many Christians became religious instead of relational. We lost our relationship with Jesus, and we have forgotten to love others. We have forgotten God’s grace. Jesus summed up what we should be absolutely beautifully. He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    ‭‭John‬ ‭13:34-35‬ ‭NKJV‬‬
    Love, it’s all about love. I love Him because He first loved me. May you encounter the freedom of Christ’s love for you.


  • The Bible was put together by men and it isn’t all the inspired words of God. Most Bible scholars believe that Paul did NOT write Ephesians and the ‘Pastoral Epistles’, and half doubt that he wrote 2 Thessalonians and Colossians. In the highly doubted writings, the church has authority over the body of Christ, but in Paul’s inspired writings all members of Christ’s body are equal, and must only call him their teacher and leader.

    The Synoptic Gospels are a real mess! Consider one example, the transfiguration of Christ, and multiply that by hundreds, maybe thousands, and that is the volume of conflicts within the text. In his article What Really Happened at the Transfiguration?, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor compares the accounts from Matthew, Mark and Luke and concludes that it never happened. In order to figure out what really happened we need to analyze all the text thoroughly.

    That is why Christians have differing beliefs, because there are conflicting words in the Bible, and different religious institutions focus on different things.

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    • There are over 6000 classified Bible Scholars and the overwhelming majority of them including Islamic and agnostic as well as a few atheists agree that Paul wrote his Epistles, especially Galatians. I will list three of them for you, These are well versed in science or Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew and or have extensive knowledge of the Septuagint and Dead Sea scrolls. Former Atheist, Gregory Boyd–Yale University. Dr Francis Collins, former Atheist, Geneticist. Dr Michael Heiser University of Wisconsin Madison. I can list thousands, so if you use the word “scholar”, please make sure they actually are. The debate of the credibility of the Bible has been won for many years, through Archaeology, Manuscripts, and Science.
      A quote: “I know of no finding in archaeology that has been properly confirmed which is in opposition to the Scriptures. The Bible is the most accurate history textbook the world has ever seen.” –Dr Clifford Wilson Former director of Australian Institute of Archaeology.


      • Greg Boyd admits in Note 4 at the end of this article that “Many scholars argue that Colossians and Ephesians were written not by Paul but by disciples of Paul. Whether this is true or not, it doesn’t affect the divine authority of the text. For this reason, I continue to follow the tradition and ascribe the authorship of these and other disputed works (e.g. the pastoral epistles) to Paul.”

        Dr. Collins also confirms that “while these letters bear the name of St. Paul, they were actually written by Paul’s followers in homage to the great apostle” and were “composed near the end of the first century”.

        Felix Just holds a similar opinion, that 80% of scholars think Ephesians and the Pastoral Epistles were not authored by Paul, and 50% doubt 2 Thes. and Colossians were. Mr. Just also feels that in-spite of the fact these writings are falsely attributed to Paul, “does not mean that it is any less valuable than the other letters, but only that it was written by someone other than Paul”. The logic behind including them in the Bible is they “are still considered ‘canonical’, all of them are still a part of the Holy Bible and foundation for the Christian Church”.

        Contrary to your statement that scholars AGREE Paul wrote them, they acknowledge he likely did not write them BUT accept them as “church” tradition. BIG difference!

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  • Interesting article. There is true Christianity, which is bible based. Most of those quotes of christians attempting to define what Christianity is all about are not giving an elaborate depiction of what it really entails to be one.

    You need to realize that a Christian worldview perceptive is that which highlights that man is flawed. Hence even when “christians” read the Bible and try to live according to it. They want the Bible to conform to their experiences and backgrounds which has shaped a their belief and value system. Such Christianity is skating on thin ice and is prone to mislead a lot of people. Failure for christians to have common ground on cutting edge topics such as homosexuality or abortion does not entail there’s no true Christianity. Better yet what it highlights to the both the non believer and believer is that people are flawed due to sin and will construe everything to their benefit.

    Therefore they’ll be conservatives and liberals but by the end of the day the Bible should be understood in its literal and metaphorical nature and context.

    This does not entail that Christianity is whatever you want it to be. There’s one standard of being a Christian in the Bible, but because of sin we’ll disagree and add different standards and try to argue it biblically. Research more on Calvinists and the reformation that will shade more light on this topic.

    Christianity cannot be whatever I want it to be. Understand Christianity from a biblical stand point and not from a human stand point. The Bible is sufficient and highlights all aspects which we may think are gray areas. But it all goes wrong when man turns up and makes one grave error to understand Christ on mans terms and not what Christ is calling man to do and to be.


  • Thank you for your honesty. As a pastor in Japan, my fiercest opposition has come from Americans who have accused me of “cultural imperialism,” which proves they haven’t separated faith from culture, even though they are different. My church is nondenominational, precisely for some of the reasons you mentioned. To me, anyone who says that Jesus is the only Son of God and their Lord and Savior is my brother or sister, however much we might disagree on lesser points. I have told people for 37 years that I didn’t come to Omura to teach them a religion, but to introduce them to a Savior. (There’s a pun to that in Japanese.) Incidentally, welcome to Virtual Vitamins. I pray that what I write will answer some of your questions, not by the force of human logic but by the grace of a loving Lord.

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  • In its simplest form a Christian is a follower of Christ being as it comes from the same Greek root word. Yet it is so much more. A true Christian must hold the bible truths that Christ Jesus (God) came in the flesh, died for our sins and rose again in a glorified physical body. All this by Grace alone through Faith alone (Eph 2:8-9).

    The Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:3 gives us the marks of a true Christian (and it is much different than most modern theology spouted today). First a true Christian Worships in the Spirit, next we rejoice or Glory in Christ and finally we have no confidence or assurance in the flesh.

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  • Over the years, participating in a forum, I’ve noticed a rather amusing dynamic. Christians of all denominations come together only to gang up on non-Christians or spread hatred about sexual minorities. After fraternising with such enthusiasm, they follow up by bickering about their differences and their disdain for each other’s denominations becomes apparent.

    A protestant will gladly join ranks with a Catholic or Orthodox when trying to prove atheists or gay people are immoral, to then turn around and say Catholicism is of the devil and even agree with an atheist who denounces the Catholic church. Regardless, when that atheist denounces the notion of God, all that is quickly put on the back burner and the collaboration against the non-believer resumes.

    It’s quite pathetic, to be honest.

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  • To give my two cents:

    “There was something about Lee Strobel’s ingenious and fool-proof arguments that has miraculously convinced me that Jesus exists, God exists, the bible is true, and I ought to become a Christian.”

    Start with “…the bible is true…” and go from there.

    If the Bible is “true,” than the following event actually happened: Jesus saying these words to Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.” (Matthew 16:18)

    Note that Jesus did not say “On this rock I will build my churches.”

    Why is that? Well: The God of the Bible — three persons in one; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit — is a god of oneness, of unity. For example: “A man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

    So, when it comes to finding the “true” church, look for the church that has its origin in Peter, the “rock” upon which Jesus established his church. (Matthew 16:19)

    How does one do that? Well: Imagine if you had the power to reach into the past and erase anyone from existence. The “true” church would be the one that did not cease to exist because, say, Martin Luther (Lutheranism) or John Calvin (Calvinism) were erased. To erase that church, you’d have to go after Peter himself.

    And, thanks to apostolic succession — 2 Timothy 2:2 — there is one church that can trace its genesis to Peter. Peter’s latest successor was chosen on March 13, 2013.

    Have a good night, CA.

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  • Well, Christianity isn’t whatever you want it to be — denominations are. Even with Islam nowadays, you have your pro-gay advocates, even though Islam is crystal clear on an issue like homosexuality. This happens because people apply their ideology to their religion, rather than get their ideology from their religion, and because everyone’s ideology varies, you can get an infinite number of interpretations of any system. It’s interesting that all arguments that Christianity is vague is based on what Christians believe, rather than the direct verses found in the Bible. This is because if you look at the Bible, the variability in doctrines decreases significantly. Most importantly, denominations don’t exist in the Bible. The word “Christian” appears three times, but “Protestant” and “Catholic” never do — because they are later concoctions. When I realized this, I simply shed off my denomination. I’m a non-denominational Christian. And the non-denominational segment is rapidly growing today — although I’m Canadian, non denoms now make up 1 in 6 Americans (up from 1 in 12 in 2000). Once you peal off the thick creed of human tradition from Christianity, a lot of this becomes a lot more simple. And it becomes especially more simple once you actually know what the Bible says, because in reality, all these Christians with these different views usually have a very weak actual understanding of the Bible.

    So, what about alcohol? Well, alcohol is not sinful — Jesus drank (Luke 7), but we can say getting drunk is a sin (Ephesians 5:18). Dawkins is obviously out of his mind when he claims that Christians are commanded to murder, renowned Old Testament scholars have used Dawkins as a punching bag for demonstrating wider points in their studies (see Richard Elliott Friedman’s Exodus (2017)). We have to look more towards what C.S. Lewis termed ‘Mere Christianity’, and understand that these concepts are the basis of Christianity, and consider all other ideas external to mere Christianity as opinions.


  • This was really good. I think I’ll stick with what I’m doing and just try to be a good human being by trying to be a positive influence on others’ well-being. I don’t require parables, allegories or stolen history to do that.

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  • Interesting and partially factual. I do believe that Christianity has parted from it’s true intent over the decades. The term Christian in essence means Christ-like, to believe and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. Over time different religions have developed because many had their own opinions and ways of thinking and living that resulted in a break off of many sectors within the church. The true heart of Christianity is a lifestyle of worship(a willingness to serve Christ and others) because of the love of a God who choose to give His only son for the sake of all mankind. Who would display such a love for you that you would not want to reciprocate it back? Anyways I will not get into scripture and all but I do believe Christianity has parted from it’s true intent and purposes but there will always be a rotten apple in a good bunch, does not mean you throw the whole batch away. Also the life of a Christian is meant to be lived within the blueprint that Christ gave us (bible). To be studied for ones edification and the edification of others. When one purchases something do they not look to the instruction manual for directions on how to use it? Likewise as Christians we must refer to the word of God to understand what it means to walk this life. Does not mean we’re perfect not does it promise us that we will not struggle or deal with things. Nut it gives us hope and faith to believe that a God whose supernatural strength and power that lies within us can and will help us and see us through those times. I can understand your logic indeed but Christ is a beacon of hope and love for many and our worship to Him should be based out of gratitude for such a courageous and grand display of love. Not judgement, malice, criticism or disingenuous love. For the love that He shows far outweighs the love that we give because we are humanely limited. I pray that you may understand Christianity and the life of Christ more. And that you may get your questions answered my friend.

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  • This reminds me of my religion course when every single Christian there had a different viewpoint of Christianity and how to be a true Christianity. All were offended by the professor and by one another. The only true Christians are those long since past and have made contributions as once small alienated people. Since the expansion of Christianity, as well as the several editing of the Holy Bible (thousands of versions and deviations) one can be the best Christian of whatever viewpoint they mock and follow. The question should be posed is how to be a Christian in a world full of those Christian-in-name-only. Or the person may vaguely follow a few memories of the faith without ever having touched their Book or having studied alone cover to cover about their religion. And for those truly devoted to the studies to learn about the early Christians and their beliefs. So few Christians actually are devoted to their religion, which may be the cause for the mocking of viewpoints rather than knowing. Again, how many are devoted and how are Christians devoted and studying their religion and history?

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  • one thing stands out for me: the answer to “what is a true Christian” is so often answered by someone stating a belief in Jesus and that the Bible is real. Why is it necessary to even say that?
    If you ask someone “what makes a true hunter” do they answer, ;’I believe in guns and that deer exist”.

    It shouldn’t be necessary to defend a rug that you’re already standing on, unless you aren’t entirely sure that is a rug and that you are actually standing on it…

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  • Hmmmm . . . I think that the best place to start is to figure out the history and not so much the religion. There are dissenting positions within each of the Christian religions, but tbh, I think that the situation that you have just posited is what an Apologist would categorize as having entered into “Christian Apologetics.” This is not so much as settling on a church, but settling on Christianity in-of-itself. I tell people to look at the early Christian Church as a basis for understanding where everything has come from. How did Christianity go from being one religion comprised of mini churches (the Pentarchy) to being a religion with thousands of denominations? When did this occur and for what reasons? Figuring out what church is not so much the case as figuring out which church is right, which one follows best what was laid down by Christ, the Apostles, and the subsequent tradition of the Gospel. Obviously, I have my own bias, but I will stick with that as a start to your question. Sorry if anything is a little out of context.

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  • @TheGodlessIowan captures it perfectly
    Regardless of your stance in almost any matter, you can find a verse or two in the bible to support ( or can be made to support ) your views.

    Well before christianity became “christianity”, when the term christian first came into use, it meant “people who are like christ”, though what the term christian means in this present time is quite different depending on who you ask

    But that what I believe it means to be a christian and well, I was raised a catholic and their take on the issue is somewhat similar ( not exactly )

    By the way when I saw the post title, what I thought the article was about is many christians claim that “Ex-christians were never true christians”. That’s by the way

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  • CA — I enjoyed being a part of this; thanks! You bring up points I am still struggling with even after embracing Christianity. I don’t really have any answers but I like seeing you think about this from the other side.

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    • Hi Sarah. I think on some level many theists recognize that your 3rd point is a command in numerous religions. Taken by itself, this cannot realistically be a criteria to be Christian. Thus not surprisingly there is a wide variety of belief in the doctrine and variations on what one Christian will take literally or figuratively within that doctrine. To be a Christian one must use something specific to the doctrine that makes it different from other religions. There is of course some uniqueness to the stories of the bible, but of course many of them are similar to stories that existed long before. Thus to really be a Christian, or to be any other follower of a religion, one must not only believe in the truth of the doctrine on some level, but believe in it’s originality and ignore the similarities to other faiths, belief systems, etc. If there is one thing that made me less impressed by religion as a whole, it was simply by learning about other religions.

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      • Hi! I think the specificity comes in because you have to include all three of my points. Of course, taken by itself the third point could be from any religion. I don’t think we as humans can make judgment calls on who is and ins’t a “true” Christian, partly because as CA said there can’t be one “true” Christian. Christians are humans, so our own individual practices are as different as we are. That said, generally speaking, I think believing the first two points constitute cultural Christianity, and adding the lifestyle third point constitutes practiced Christianity. I think the differentiation is just that Christians believe Jesus was God and no one else was. Doesn’t everyone believe their God is the true one? Isn’t that the differentiation for belief? (Is that what you mean/what you’re asking..?)

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        • Thank you for the response. I guess it’s the humanist in me that simply says that being a good person should be a commonality among all humans and that it is generally a common thread in most religions (and secular philosophy) that I know about. The specifics of the nature of God of course vary, but I guess I wouldn’t look to that quality when defining a Christian in particular. Or perhaps even religious people in general, since there are many who would claim to be of a particular faith yet don’t practice loving people, or rather love in a very narrow way.

          I guess for a 3rd criteria I might put a belief of the resurrection of Jesus as central to being a “true Christian” (again if there is such a thing). I think that his divinity is very strongly tied to that, not to mention sacrifice and redemption being a key theme to the Christian religion. Again, in practice forgiveness and sacrifice have not been practiced widely by those claiming to be Christian.

          But you bring up an interesting point. Is someone’s religion defined by what they do in practice or what they believe to be true? While I would want the former to be true, I would think that most who call themselves Christian, Muslim, or whatever do so because of what they believe to be true and not the actions they perform. In fact I think many people dupe themselves into thinking they’ve got a get out of jail card simply because they believe wholeheartedly in the truth of the story of their faith, and less about the actual things their holy book tells them to do.

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          • I def see what you mean. On your second point yeah, that would definitely be necessary for belief. I guess that’s part of believing he was God; if you don’t believe he was God I think believing the resurrection is false would follow. But yeah, that should definitely have been included.

            I would want the first part to be true of course also. I’m sure you’ve considered the fact that religion can’t make us perfect bc humans just suck. But I think you’re right, and that’s something religious people really need to watch out for, especially American Christians where belief and routine lulls us into apathy. Its a work in progress I guess. We all know the Christian religion and those of us in it have a lot to answer for. And that’s the understatement of the decade.

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            • I agree, that certainly if one is a God, death is something that one should be able to overcome, but it is possible to argue for Jesus’ divinity based on miracles performed as well. The dying for our sins and coming back from the dead just seems to be a crucial part of the story. I like to look at it in a figurative and inspirational sense, but I suspect that if a Christian did that, they would have a hard time fitting in with other Christians in general. lol

              Your thoughts about ritual mirror my own. I find our propensity for rituals to be quite interesting and wrote this piece about it some time ago on my blog. I think you might enjoy read even in my non-perfect human writing. 🙂

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  • Hi, CA. I have long said, “Every atheist has their own understanding of what atheism means to them. No one but me believes in my particular brand of atheism.” I see no reason why religious folk of any persuation should not be given the same opportunity to believe their religion as they so choose. It only seems fair. Having said that, the churches that want to rule the religions would become the big losers, all those church donations would dry up as believers would not know who best to pay their tithes to. After all, the bible makes no commandment that god’s children must tithe, does it? Tithing is the way religious leaders accept welfare payments without seeming to be needy.
    The approach you are taking of late seems to be more a condemnation of churches/religions than it is the believers themselves, UNLESS those believers are supporting a particular church or religion. I personally think this is a very much more realistic way of looking at belief than just outright condemning all believers “en masse”!

    I am an atheist, that can never change. And as much as I believe belief is a mental disease, or an addiction, those conditions make belief a necessity for those people who need it. Who are we to take that panacea away from them? Would you take away nicotine from an addicted smoker, or alcohol from an addicted drinker? Not by force you wouldn’t, or even by reason (logic). So why would you want to take away belief from a believer. When they are ready to leave their beliefs behind, they will. And they will leave them behind, it is a part of spiritual evolution. When they are ready, it will happen. Just like when you were ready, it happened. It is all part of life, you just have to bide your time…

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    • …or heroin away from a heroin addict? Not by force maybe. At the moment we’re hit with words like ‘aggressive’, ‘militant’, ‘offensive’ just for suggesting that there might be a problem with taking heroin! An addict might eventually work it out for themselves, and then have the strength to give up. But if they’re surrounded by people encouraging them to continue, and if they themselves are encouraging others to start using drugs, should we just let them get on with it?

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      • My question is, Do we have the right to interfere? If they are committing crimes to support their habit, then, yes, we have that right. But if they are able to somehow manage on their own, as most religious believers are, then IMO we do not have the right to interfere. Maybe without their addiction of choice, they become sociopaths or pychopaghs, or just plain bullies. We don’t know–we can never know unless we try, and if something bad happens, we become responsible. I don’t mind being responsible for others, in fact that is how I try to live, taking away other’s pains if I can help. But if I take away some pain, but that results in pain to others, I have to be prepared to say it is my fault this extra pain was caused. That is how I have chosen to live, but that is not how everyone has chosen to live. That part is up to (the general) you. Is that a choice you are resdy to take?

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        • Well, religious leaders interfere plenty, from the moment a child is born (and immediately claimed for the church) to standing over them on their death bed to make sure they don’t make a run for it at the last moment. I believe everyone should have a choice (i.e. freedom of belief). Don’t we owe it to our fellow human beings to at least make sure they know there is a choice? Surely freedom, as the song says, exists within unconditioned minds?

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          • Which is why i propound the idea that the nuclear damily cannot continue on as it has fron the beginning of human time.
            But just because others stoop to brainwashing children a nd eveb adjlts does not give us the right yo retaliate in kind. Choice comes from ending the brainwashing, not from thinking only our way is the right way. Try reading my post on changing the nuclear family on my rawgodsspiritualatheism blog on WordPress. It was written in 2017 in Feb or March I believe,

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  • This is intriguing. Though I will send you an email of my thoughts on this post. But only because I have so much to say and I think an email would be more appropriate. Cheers 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  • Nice post. I can see (partly) why Christianity has gotten so popular. In theory, there’s a vague message about loving others, alongside a confusing belief system which you can mold into anything you like. In actuality, it isn’t so nice for a lot of people though.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Re “It could be said that all God really wants of Christians is for them to love him, love one another, and keep the commandments the best that they can.” It could be said, but there are 605 commandments and I don’t see any organized effort to obey them (in Christianity).

    This post expands upon an excellent point. I think every Christian out to go through an exercise before becoming a member of a church. They should write down what they truly believe and justify it through the Bible. The Church would probably want them to harmonize it with what it claims one needs to believe, but that is up to them.

    For example, for people who believe Christians shouldn’t drink alcoholic beverages (my sister is one) how does one reconcile Jesus creating wine out of water for the wedding guests (of which he was one) at the wedding at Cana? Is this the behavior of a god who does not approve of imbibing?

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  • Your last paragraph… how many different sects of Christianity believe all the others are untrue! It’s amazing. I just got into a debate with someone on this very topic who is “Born Again”.

    “ 2) believing that he said about himself is true”
    Did Jesus say something about himself? I haven’t found any of Jesus’ writings. Strange that someone who was “God” did not document anything.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi! I’m the one that tweeted that and I just wanted to clarify that what I meant by what Jesus said about himself was his claim that he was God. Obviously those claims were documented by people other than him, so there’s clearly room for documentation, historical, and all sorts of other errors. And I know you believe it all to be BS. But for those that think the documents that make up the Bible are legit, I think that based on the Bible, believing Jesus existed and that he was God is the beginning of Christianity, and that was what I meant by that second point. I can be long-winded so I don’t usually talk Christianity on Twitter for this reason. Again, just wanted to clarify that because I am paranoid about being misunderstood. Hope you have a good day 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for your clarification. I don’t think EVERYTHING is bs, I’d wager that their either was a Jesus (new age Rabbi for that age) or there was a movement in which “disciples” spread teaching and attributed the teachings to Jesus. Maybe he was the Buddha of his time. Why if he was “God”, did he not put his words into writing? We have nothing! (except his disciples.. et al) There is lack of extrabiblical proof. People do point out Flavius but scholars believe the text is subject to Christian interpolation.

        Knowing in that time, an known empty tombs meant divinity (see also Alexander the Great), I ask why are all other “divinity” claims invalid but Jesus is the exception?

        Along with the “Bible”, I have read the Jefferson Bible, it’s actually a good read. When stripped of the “artificial vestments” (Thomas Jefferson) it actually makes for good moral parables. I guess I go along with Jefferson who believes the story of Jesus was corrupted.

        I read somewhere that either you hike or camp, that makes you a good person in my book 🙂 …and yes, I can be long winded too. Obviously we both have two different views on the subject and that’s okay. I often learn from people I differ with… and I hope they learn from me too 🙂

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        • Yeah, that’s definitely a good question. I wish I could give some examples of extrabiblical proof but I’m not a Bible scholar or historian sooo. I am a lot farther than I would like to be from being able to back up my beliefs to others with secular proof, but I also know that there’s always going to be someone who will refute. You know? I came back to Christianity because if Jesus was real (and obviously I think he was), I think he was super legit and I love the philosophy of loving others and being good to them no matter what. (I suck at living that, but I try.) I’ve also noticed my mental state is healthier and more positive since coming back so because of that and several other reasons, for me, it’s the right choice.

          Lol, odd good person criteria but I’ll take it! Learning from others is exactly why I’m here, as well. It’s dangerous to isolate ourselves with people who believe exactly like we do.


          • I would say that the philosophy of loving others is not unique to Jesus or the jews as we have similar teachings in other cultures in different geographical location and in times that predates the Jews and similar behaviors have been observed in other life forms

            Though like you said you have improvements in your general well being due to your faith, that’s what is important. Though, I may want to believe that you could have had such gain without religion but that’s by the way
            What’s important is that you have gained alot from your faith and it does not affect the well being of others

            Liked by 1 person

            • Your first paragraph there is getting into what someone else brought up in response to my comment down below!

              I actually made a lot of huge personal gains in the three years I rejected Christianity and that’s part of the reason I was able to come back to it. But that’s a lot to get into in someone else’s blog comments 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

          • I should have said it was a rhetorical question.. 🙂

            If the philosophy of Christianity helps you, if it gives you a positive outlook on life and as you said, a healthier mental state, excellent! Who am I to say you’re wrong. Although I am an atheist, I like the basics of Buddhist philosophy. I’m a free agent 🙂 I can pick and choose what I like from all religions and make it my own.

            …but with everything… Sometimes we hide our problems in religion or concepts. Take an alcoholic who goes to AA, perhaps discovers God and focuses on stopping drinking. It sounds like a positive step… but sometimes people have underlying issues and those issues are never addressed. The god concept for them can be a great first step but they also need to address the root of their problem.

            I seem to have what I call a “Negative Default”, for whatever reason my first reaction to anything seems to be negative. Honestly, I think I get that from my parents but…. I never seemed to be able to break free from it. Buddhism helped but once the concept wore off, I found myself being negative again. It may sound crazy but I find if I can just set the intention of being positive when I wake up and see how long it takes before a negative thought pops up. When that negative thought pops up, I try to turn it into a positive. It feels good at the end of the day when I can see the difference I made. Again, it is a concept 🙂 I’m not sure I can break totally break free from the negativity I experienced growing up, it’s almost ingrained in me but I recognize it is an issue and will always focus on doing the opposite 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  • “True Christianity is all about loving your neighbor and accepting people for who they are.”

    That was my understanding of Christianity, based on my reading of the Gospels. But, in my teen years, I slowly began to understand that most church members did not meet this requirement. That was when I started questioning.


  • The last quote–so true. From reading the New Testament alone, you can come up with several different religions. Someone who only had a copy of the epistle to the Romans will have a very different Christianity than those who learned from James.

    Liked by 2 people

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