Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


Even if martyrs die for the truth the Jesus martyrs are different for they were death cult members

Jesus appointed the apostles to teach in his place and look after his doctrine  We are told the apostles died for their faith in the resurrection of Christ and the validity of his message.
 
The Christians make a big thing out of the claim that the apostles were persecuted and put to death for declaring the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But not a single word of the New Testament speaks of them suffering for the resurrection of Jesus doctrine. What they might have suffered for was preaching the moral message of Jesus who was hated by the Jews and the Romans. The Jews would have been happy to believe that if Jesus did rise from the dead that it was a satanic illusion. The apostles were never hounded for stating the resurrection of Jesus was fact not even when they were supposedly accused according to Matthew of robbing Jesus' grave.  In reality nobody knows what happened to those men for the accounts are swamped in lies and legends and what if they deliberately provoked their killers as St Stephen did?  A real martyr does not deliberately bring it on himself.  If the apostle felt that Christianity though lies was better than what else was out there they would have felt justified in dying for it for they had to die badly anyway in those terrible times.
 
Suppose the apostles died over saying Jesus rose. They died then for their preaching. But did they really believe?
 
The apostles believed. So we are told. If they did, how strong was their belief? We cannot assume that their faith or belief was that strong if they were killed for their belief. Religion is full of tales of saints who struggled with faith and barely believed but who still died for the religion. People do die for religion who have weak beliefs.
 
There is no evidence whatsoever that the apostles died only for their faith. People do die for lies they think will help the world. If they were martyred they could have died because they thought their hoax was good for the world and doubtless they had other reasons, possibly stronger, for forfeiting their lives. And it is dishonest for Christians to argue as they do, “The apostles died for their belief in the resurrection therefore they were sincere and we must take their testimony seriously”, when there might be a natural explanation for their “visions” and when the only account of their alleged beliefs is gospel hearsay. It is not the apostles whose martyrdom counts but the four gospellers and we know nothing about and have no reason to believe they were martyred for their faith in the gospels they wrote.
  
It is dishonest for Christians to argue as they do, “The apostles died for their belief in the resurrection therefore they were sincere and we must take their testimony seriously”, when there might be a natural explanation for their “visions” and when the only account of their alleged beliefs is gospel hearsay. It is not the apostles whose martyrdom counts but the four gospellers and we know nothing about and have no reason to believe they were martyred for their faith in the gospels they wrote.
 
Muslims die for their faith in Muhammad who proclaimed that Allah or God said that Jesus did not rise from the dead. The apostles dying for the resurrection of Jesus would then prove nothing. Their dying would not prove that Jesus really rose. Christians reply that Muslims die for a revelation that was not publicly observable while the apostles died for one that was. The Muslim only takes Muhammad's word for it that Allah spoke while the apostle dies for what he saw and witnessed: Jesus returning from the dead. They would not have died for what they knew was a lie.
 
If people die for faith or for what they cannot know to be true at all then people can die for a lie especially a pious lie. Many frauds and false prophets in time because they have been lying so long and so much and so many people including themselves want the lie to be true start to think they believe in their own lies. The battered wife who knows her husband is evil will begin to believe and act as if he was a brilliant husband if she lies to herself and to others that he is a good husband for long enough.
 
The Christians hold that the apostles were delighted to be abused for Jesus for they thought it meant they were counted worthy to suffer disgrace for Jesus (page 204, God Actually). They used belief and possibly self-deception to welcome suffering! They had a motive then to suffer!

When the gospels themselves indicate that the twelve apostles were fanatical for following a man at the risk of their own lives for they could not be loyal to him despite the alleged miracles and who could not believe in him even to the extent that they abandoned him at his death why should we not take their slip of the tongue for it that we should not listen to the apostles or their Jesus? Jesus said BEFORE his resurrection, in other words, before he proved who he said he was, that anybody who would leave all they know and love and go to a foreign land just for him should do so. Jesus was every bit a cult leader as Reverend Moon and everybody knows that people like that should not be listened to. The lie that the resurrection changed the apostles from cowards to determined men is not even in the Bible but has been made up by Christians to make it seem that the resurrection must have happened. Yes they hid after his death but as soon as they were able they came out of the closet.

If the eleven witnesses to the Book of Mormon being a miracle had not been written about a lot after the incident we would not have the proof we have now that they were unreliable. It was lucky for the testimony of the twelve apostles that Jesus rose for the twelve to have been obscure after this time. It led to a dearth in the records. We only know what at most three of them testified to. Jesus appointed them as his witnesses and most of them failed for they left no evidence behind – a sure indication that he was not a prophet of God at all.

The apostles, who the New Testament says were the only authorised spokesmen for Jesus after he left the world, said that the Old Testament which has the Law at its centre is more reliable even than the miracle of the Son of God being transfigured and made glorious (2 Peter 1:19) and Jesus said that the Law is far more reliable and believable than any miracle and even a saint rising from the dead with a message of conversion (Luke 16:31). This tells us that the Old Testament is more important than the New and that if the Old Testament does not support the resurrection we should not believe in it. The resurrection story just came out of a silly interpretation of the Old Testament therefore we are not to stake anything on the resurrection because it was not from God. The Bible and Jesus himself warned that we should not take any miracle that conveyed a false or unverifiable message as being evidence that we should heed the message. The message then determines if the miracle is from God. But there is a lot of disagreement over the interpretation of Jesus’ teaching therefore there is no reason to trust in the resurrection. No ordinary person could be expected to believe in the resurrection for they would need to be theologians to have the green light from God for believing in it for God comes first and it is blasphemy to accept a miracle unless you are as sure as humanly possible that it backs an authentic divine message and is real. Good fruits mean nothing for they could be accidental. The Devil could do a miracle seemingly from God for a bad purpose and it could backfire. When God brings good out of evil it would have to.

The apostles then clearly if they were martyrs were not martyrs for seeing Jesus and having seen him return from the dead.  They were martyrs for a religious ideology.