Jesus Lied
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28-11-2012, 01:24 PM
Jesus Lied
As I reflect upon my lifetime of loving Jesus, I realize there are a lot of things that have to be compartmentalized by the Believer.

Things like believing in miracles even though you can't think of one example that can't be explained by natural causes.

Things like believing the events in the bible happened, even though there is not one shred of archaeological evidence for anything that happened in the Old Testament until after 1000 BCE and very little NT evidence as well.

Things like believing the Bible is the inspired word of God, even though it can be definitively shown that it was written and copied and transmitted solely by people with an agenda over several centuries and continents.

But there is something that always bothered me as a Christian. I remember the experience of feeling my cognitive dissonance when I tried to make sense of what Jesus had to say about prayer, and how it almost never jives with reality.

Reading this article today, opened my memories to all the energy I used to put into rationalizing and explaining how the Bible, which teaches that prayer will always be answered, never seems to actually translate into reality. The rationalization comes in phrases like,
"If prayer doesn't get answered...
... you must not have enough faith;
... you aren't asking in accordance with God's will;
... sometimes God says yes, sometimes God says no, sometimes God says wait (does anyone have a scriptural reference for this?)"

Here's a brief article showing how Jesus lied when he spoke about prayer.

Jesus Lied

Quote:Jesus is quoted many times in the Bible saying that a believer can ask for anything through prayer and receive it. He even goes so far as to say that mountains and trees can be thrown into the sea simply by praying for it. This is clearly a lie, and can be proven to be a lie by any believer. Simply pray for me to be converted to Christianity right away. Or better yet ask God to move the mountains behind my house. He could make a lot of converts that way. If I’m converted today, I’ll post a public apology on my web site and devote my life to kissing God’s ass. If I’m not converted it would only be fair for you to apologize and devote your life to kissing my butt.

Let the blood-letting begin!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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28-11-2012, 01:27 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
Preach on preacher!

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. -- Voltaire
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28-11-2012, 01:46 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
Great post. First off, I am so glad I wasn't brought up in a church. I have always had a problem with belief and how some people can just dismiss anything that contradicts their religion. I really have a hard time understanding the mindset and it makes arguing with them difficult for me. Why did you see through it and so many do not? Do you think most Christians had the same feelings but just brush it off?

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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28-11-2012, 01:56 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
Do believers really compartmentalize that stuff? Did you?

Most believers I know have actually seen miracles. Most of them don't even think about whether natural causes could explain the miracle. When Granny fell down and broke her hip and almost died, we all prayed for her and she got better - it's a miracle... No thinking beyond that point. No questioning whether a non-miraculous reason exists. To me, this isn't compartmentalization; that would require accepting (on some level) that there is some other valid explanation which in turn requires compartmentalizing to ignore the other explanation. Failing to even accept such an alternative is a cognitive failure that happens before compartmentalization is even necessary.

As for biblical history (or lack thereof), how many Christians sit around discussing the invalidity of biblical history? How many are even aware of it? Most Christian I know are told that there IS archaeological evidence for much of biblical history and they simply don't question it.

How many Christians are even aware that the translations of the bible are flawed? How many even think about all those countless hand-copied erroneous texts handed down over the centuries? How many actually wonder about whether KJV is a perfect copy of the original god-inspired texts? Not many that I know.

Sure, some of them have heard this, but just disregard it as nonsense the way I disregard bigfoot - I don't compartmentalize to avoid facing the reality of bigfoot because I'm certain there is no bigfoot and any seeming evidence to the contrary is just lies and propaganda. Likewise, most Christians disregard statements like "Miracles aren't real" or "There is no archaeological evidence for the bible" as mere lies or propaganda.

From what I've seen, in person, here, and in other places where ex-Christians talk about deconversion, it's finding out about these kinds of things, learning that they're true rather than propaganda, that begins the deconversion. Or, in other words, I'm suggesting that most Christians aren't even aware of these obvious (to you and me) flaws so they don't need to compartmentalize them. When they become aware, they often begin to deconvert.

It's only the enlightened ones who are aware of this stuff and still remain steadfast in their beliefs who are compartmentalizing. How often does that really happen? How many of those are actually just pretending for the sake of staying in the club? How many truly devout Christians are there who are fully aware of all this kind of stuff and yet compartmentalize so fully that they never deconvert?

Did you really compartmentalize it for any real length of time? Or were your early, devout days devoid of this knowledge or simply writing it off as lies and propaganda and, once you became aware of the reality, your deconversion happened, or at least began, soon thereafter?

I'm not disagreeing with your general point. I also find it hard to believe that so many people can be so delusional, so gullible, so incapable of opening their eyes and minds. I find it sad, tragic even, that they are all being led around by the nose, by despicable con men using them for their own gain. If I didn't see it happening everywhere around me, I would not have believed it possible for so many people to be so unreasonably gullible.

I'm just not sure it's all because of compartmentalization. Not for most of them. Or maybe my limited experience is too limited to make that call.

"Whores perform the same function as priests, but far more thoroughly." - Robert A. Heinlein
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28-11-2012, 03:12 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2012 03:16 PM by Erxomai.)
RE: Jesus Lied
(28-11-2012 01:56 PM)Aseptic Skeptic Wrote:  Do believers really compartmentalize that stuff? Did you?

Most believers I know have actually seen miracles. Most of them don't even think about whether natural causes could explain the miracle. When Granny fell down and broke her hip and almost died, we all prayed for her and she got better - it's a miracle... No thinking beyond that point. No questioning whether a non-miraculous reason exists. To me, this isn't compartmentalization; that would require accepting (on some level) that there is some other valid explanation which in turn requires compartmentalizing to ignore the other explanation. Failing to even accept such an alternative is a cognitive failure that happens before compartmentalization is even necessary.

As for biblical history (or lack thereof), how many Christians sit around discussing the invalidity of biblical history? How many are even aware of it? Most Christian I know are told that there IS archaeological evidence for much of biblical history and they simply don't question it.

How many Christians are even aware that the translations of the bible are flawed? How many even think about all those countless hand-copied erroneous texts handed down over the centuries? How many actually wonder about whether KJV is a perfect copy of the original god-inspired texts? Not many that I know.

Sure, some of them have heard this, but just disregard it as nonsense the way I disregard bigfoot - I don't compartmentalize to avoid facing the reality of bigfoot because I'm certain there is no bigfoot and any seeming evidence to the contrary is just lies and propaganda. Likewise, most Christians disregard statements like "Miracles aren't real" or "There is no archaeological evidence for the bible" as mere lies or propaganda.

From what I've seen, in person, here, and in other places where ex-Christians talk about deconversion, it's finding out about these kinds of things, learning that they're true rather than propaganda, that begins the deconversion. Or, in other words, I'm suggesting that most Christians aren't even aware of these obvious (to you and me) flaws so they don't need to compartmentalize them. When they become aware, they often begin to deconvert.

It's only the enlightened ones who are aware of this stuff and still remain steadfast in their beliefs who are compartmentalizing. How often does that really happen? How many of those are actually just pretending for the sake of staying in the club? How many truly devout Christians are there who are fully aware of all this kind of stuff and yet compartmentalize so fully that they never deconvert?

Did you really compartmentalize it for any real length of time? Or were your early, devout days devoid of this knowledge or simply writing it off as lies and propaganda and, once you became aware of the reality, your deconversion happened, or at least began, soon thereafter?

I'm not disagreeing with your general point. I also find it hard to believe that so many people can be so delusional, so gullible, so incapable of opening their eyes and minds. I find it sad, tragic even, that they are all being led around by the nose, by despicable con men using them for their own gain. If I didn't see it happening everywhere around me, I would not have believed it possible for so many people to be so unreasonably gullible.

I'm just not sure it's all because of compartmentalization. Not for most of them. Or maybe my limited experience is too limited to make that call.

You and I are probably both right, because I think I over-generalized my point that all Believers compartmentalize. You're right that many do not, and once they figure out the discrepancies, they bail. Fortunately, most people do this in their teen years.

But I was deeply steeped in "The Faith." Both of my parents had grown up in the same small denomination and both of their families could be traced back to the beginning of this denomination in the 1600s. I'd go to our annual "Conference" and there meet relatives and distant cousins and other folks also steeped in the same tradition. My dad was a pastor so from the cradle I was raised believing in God, believing the Bible is always true, and believing that I had a real relationship with Jesus.

Biblical contradictions get worked on pretty early on, at least in junior high and high school. The list of contradictions that Seth has on his Home Page, I could go through each and everyone and explain how it's not a contradiction. 2 Creation stories in Genesis? No, one is an overview of the 6 days and one is a close-up shot of God taking special care to create humankind last and best. Did Judas hang himself or did he fall in a field and his guts spilled out? Easy. He hanged himself, his body bloated, the rope broke and he fell on the ground and his guts spilled out. Two sets of 10 Commandments? They're not really that different, they just show different facets of the same diamond. Stuff like that. God says "Do not kill" and then tells the Israelites to slaughter the Cannaanites? Technically, the commandment says "Do not Murder" and war is different. Plus, God had to show how serious he was about building a people who were completely devoted to him. It's harsh to think of those slaughtered nations, but it goes to show if you let a little sin in your life, it sets you in opposition to God and he will not let that go unpunished. Etc.
Why does evil exist if God is good? Evil is a result of humanity turning it's back on God and choosing to sin and seek to be their own gods. God will someday vanquish all evil. We just have to wait.


When you have a baseline belief that the Bible never contradicts itself, then any evidence to the contrary just shows that the accuser is uninformed at best, and deceived by the devil at worse.

When I got to college, the dissonance began in earnest. I took an Intro to the OT class, I was taught about the Documentary Hypothesis where I learned for the first time that Moses did not write the 5 books of Moses (the Torah). But if Dr. Spina, who seemed like a devout man at this conservative Christian college wasn't worried about it, then why should I? People smarter than I had it figured out, so why question when I already know the Bible is completely true. So what if J,D,E,&P wrote the OT? It's still true. So what that the Flood story is taken directly from the Gilgamesh Epic? Gilgamesh actually verifies that the Flood happened. Genesis just explains what REALLY happened without the pagan understanding of other gods. If my dad who was a respected pastor had no difficulty with this, then why should I?

And probably it all boils down to something that I was unfortunate to fall prey to and almost all of you were smart enough to avoid...I trusted those in authority over me. My dad had books in his office that showed how before the Flood there was a layer of water in our atmosphere creating a greenhouse. When the Flood happened, this layer of water fell and flooded the earth. Ridiculous, right? Not to a 12 year old reading books off of his loving dad's shelf. I was warned before going to school that I would be taught evolution and I should know that it was "just a theory," monkeys aren't still evolving into people, Nebraska man was a fraudulent pig's jaw so probably all archeological finds were like that. So when I had cursory evolution lessons in junior high and high school (it was never talked about in elementary school, that I can remember), I tuned it all out as being misleading and false information. I already knew how we got here. God created us in 6 days. Evolutionists are just a bunch of godless heathens who are trying to justify their inability to believe in the Almighty. In short, I was given pre-conceived ideas even before I knew anything about ideas so there was never a reason to evaluate "the evidence" because the truth had always been in front of me. When I did question, I felt guilty. When I did question, I immediately found a way to make the inconsistency go away. When I did question, I looked to other denominations, but I didn't look outside the church. There was no way I could ever leave. Not because it was a cult, but because it was the air I breathed.

Even after I left the ministry, I did not immediately leave my faith behind. But over a period of 7 or 8 years, I slowly disassociated myself from going to church. I hung out with my "secular" friends from work. I began to hear different viewpoints. I began to be friends with gay people. I stopped hearing the constant buzz of Christianese from sermons and radio preachers and Christian music and daily devotional reading. And slowly my mind began to wake up. Christians are fond of saying if a coal moves away from a fire, it will die out, but if it's moved closer to the heat, it will fan into flame. In other words, I was living proof that if you leave the comfy, church cocoon, you will surely lose your faith. And I did. But in the end, it was not losing faith so much as it was gaining clarity. In the church, if you have questions, they get easily answered by the other believers around you. Well, if so and so had doubts but now is convinced of God's truth, then surely I'm just going through a time of doubt and need to work harder on my relationship with God so I can not be bothered with the distractions of things that seem wrong about the Bible, but really aren't.


I'm still trying to figure all of this out, even as I write this. How could I believe so deeply for so long? I know a lot of people here think all pastors are charlatans and thieves. I can attest that SOME of the ones who have tv shows and huge churches might know they're making it up, but all the pastors I knew (myself included) were completely sincere. And I was certainly never into it for the money. Ha! That's the biggest joke of all that pastors do what they do for the cash. Pff.

I guess the final word is I trusted that God was big enough to handle the tough questions and someday in Heaven all would be revealed and we'd have a good laugh about how confused all those devil-worshipers were. No

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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28-11-2012, 03:33 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2012 03:37 PM by Vosur.)
RE: Jesus Lied
Ah, yes, I remember trying to rationalize why prayer doesn't work. When I was about 10 years old, I desperately prayed for weeks for god to heal my father of his disease Multiple sclerosis, but nothing happened. When I asked my father about this, he told me that god has a "special plan" for him and he would, given the opportunity to be ridden of his disease, refuse the offer because it's god made him and loves him the way he is. Back then I swallowed his explanation and was happy for not having to worry about it anymore. When I started praying for myself, such as getting better grades at school or finding money, nothing happened either. I attempted to rationalize it along the lines of "Maybe Jesus didn't mean it literally that when he said that praying with enough faith can make anything come true. Maybe he wasn't supposed to be taken literally when he said "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." I think I understand it. Prayer isn't answered directly, but it's rather like god gives you an opportunity and supports you on your way to reach your desired goal. If you want to lose weight, god won't magically do it, but he will give you an opportunity and the motivation to do it. If you want to earn more money, god won't just give it to you, instead he will give you an opportunity to find a job."

Jeez, I sure am glad that this way of thinking is a thing of the past.

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28-11-2012, 03:47 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
On the other hand selling your soul definitely works I think... I got a Sega didn't I?

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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28-11-2012, 03:48 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
(28-11-2012 03:33 PM)Vosur Wrote:  Ah, yes, I remember trying to rationalize why prayer doesn't work. When I was about 10 years old, I desperately prayed for weeks for god to heal my father of his disease Multiple sclerosis, but nothing happened. When I asked my father about this, he told me that god has a "special plan" for him and he would, given the opportunity to be ridden of his disease, refuse the offer because it's god made him and loves him the way he is. Back then I swallowed his explanation and was happy for not having to worry about it anymore. When I started praying for myself, such as getting better grades at school or finding money, nothing happened either. I attempted to rationalize it along the lines of "Maybe Jesus didn't mean it literally that when he said that praying with enough faith can make anything come true. Maybe he wasn't supposed to be taken literally when he said "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you." I think I understand it. Prayer isn't answered directly, but it's rather like god gives you an opportunity and supports you on your way to reach your desired goal. If you want to lose weight, god won't magically do it, but he will give you an opportunity and the motivation to do it. If you want to earn more money, god won't just give it to you, instead he will give you an opportunity to find a job."

Jeez, I sure am glad that this way of thinking is a thing of the past.
Well moving a mountain into the sea is certainly hyperbole, so it's okay that doesn't get answered. But the other day my StepBob lost his wedding ring. On Thanksgiving he was talking about praying that God would help him find it. Last I heard, God had still not answered this 83 year old, devout man's selfish desires!

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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28-11-2012, 06:31 PM (This post was last modified: 28-11-2012 06:50 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Jesus Lied
Hi Erxomai,

regarding your staement...

"I can attest that SOME of the ones who have tv shows and huge churches might know they're making it up, but all the pastors I knew (myself included) were completely sincere. And I was certainly never into it for the money. Ha! That's the biggest joke of all that pastors do what they do for the cash. Pff."

It seems to me that many pastors/preachers do genuinely "believe." I know too that many of them are humanitarians...ie they do care for other people.

Would you agree with me that inevitably they also do what they do for selfish reasons? They all have to earn a living, and they all enjoy being looked up to. Money and power. I they are the main forces that keeps the wheels turning. What do you think?
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28-11-2012, 06:55 PM
RE: Jesus Lied
Who are you and what did you do with Eric?

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