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?

 


ARGUMENTS FOR TRUSTING THE NEW TESTAMENT REFUTED

The Church regards a book allegedly created by God through men as infallible on faith and morals. That book is the Bible and its words though not dictated by God all the time (though there are many examples of dictation) are regarded as being the same as God's words. Even those who deny verbal dictation hold that even if the Bible is not all the words of God its words in practice amount to the same thing as being God's actual words and that this is God's teaching. 

1 Thessalonians 2:13 says that the word of the apostles is really the word of God and is not to be accepted as a human message. This is pretty clear that liberal Christians who water down the Bible's teaching into something vague and open to too wide of an interpretation are frauds.

Most people see the issue if the New Testament should be believed or not as a yes or no job. If you can refute all the arguments for trusting the New Testament that is enough to justify not letting it tell you what to think and do because even if you cannot prove that it should be distrusted you have proved you can neither trust or not trust it. For rational people, it is enough to show there is no reason for trusting in it and therefore its Jesus.

Conservative Bible believers all agree that there is no historical error in the Bible and say it fits what is known from archaeology and science and other historical sources. They then jump a step further and say that since the Bible is accurate its religious claims must be true. That is as illogical as saying that a novel or biography that fits history must be all true. Also, the Bible would be more likely to be telling the truth about who was the Roman Emperor at the time of Jesus or how far Bethany was from Jerusalem than it would be about the resurrection. The resurrection was a disputed event with most people saying it never happened but nobody could deny the other things. The resurrection was an interpretation of something unusual – in which case it could be based on an error - or a lie. And again Christians say that the Bible is historically true which they have no right to say for many of the things that their favourite archaeologists, Gluek and Albright, say are hotly disputed and many of the claims these men made were found to be rigged and based on manipulated data (The Case for Christianity Examined).

The believers say, “God tells you in your heart that the New Testament is true.” But millions who believe in other holy books would say the same thing. The argument infers that they are lying simply because it is so obviously useless. The argument insults people who believe in different scriptures. It accuses them of lying if they say God tells them their scriptures are true. Why? Because if the Christians hold that God tells them the New Testament is true and divinely inspired, they have to deny that those who say that God tells them that say the Koran is true and inspired are telling the truth.
 
How could a Christian know if say a Mormon is lying when she says God tells her the Book of Mormon is true? Does that not show the worthlessness of arguments like God giving you the gift of faith means that the faith’s contents are true? Yet the Bible itself says that God gives you the grace to believe in it which shows you that it is true.  This is thoroughly deceitful and sectarian.

The argument that the New Testament is true for it fulfils Old Testament prophecy and shows how Jesus fulfilled it is of no worth for it is all a matter of interpretation.

The argument that the early Christians took care to copy the New Testament from the second century on is supposed to show that the text is reliable and they say that the variants in texts do not affect any doctrine. But textual accuracy has nothing to do with proving the texts to be telling the truth. And anyway nobody can prove that the New Testament we have is the original because much of it was kept secret until the second century meaning plenty of alterations could have been made.

Another argument is that the apostles and Paul were very honest men and would not have lied about what they believed about Jesus and God and what they did. But that is not relevant at all. The gospels not the epistles or the rest of the New Testament alone can be considered an attempt to pad out the faith with evidence. So we need to prove that the gospellers were honest. That cannot be done for we know so little about them good or bad. They are strangers to us. All we have from them and Paul and the rest is a small amount of material and we cannot judge them to be honest just going by it.

The saints Matthew says rose from the dead before Jesus did at the time he died should have written the gospels. When Matthew stated that they rose and did not give us the names and affidavits of their witnesses how can we trust his evidence for the resurrection of Jesus when he was perfectly capable of claiming people came back from the dead without considering evidence necessary? He is too keen for us to take his word for it. Dishonest people always are.

Another argument is that the writers of the New Testament and the gospellers were telling the truth for they had nothing to gain but trouble from what they wrote (page 240, Christianity for the Tough-Minded). This argument is so deceitful that it is astonishing. There is no evidence that anybody was persecuted for writing anything in the New Testament. Some were persecuted for preaching and causing bother in some regions but that was a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time not about what they believed. The gospellers were anonymous so they were safe enough and we know nothing about what their lives were like the time they were writing.

The claim that the New Testament creators were truthful for no effective refutation was carried out on their claims (page 240, Christianity for the Tough-Minded) is rubbish. A person can debunk your claims and the debunking can be flawed but that does not make your claims right. There is no reason to believe that everybody was unable to refute the New Testament any more than there is that everybody was able to verify it.
 
The New Testament writings were hard to get to if one wanted to refute them. And if they were known few would have seen any point in attacking them. And maybe they were successfully debunked for there is a shortage of documents from the first century relating to Jesus. Debunking did not stop the Mormon Church taking off despite the debunking happening when it was just a tiny sect. It is bizarre how Christianity has the doctrine that we prefer to believe what we want rather than what God wants us to believe and then drops it when it infers that debunking would have destroyed Christianity had it been untrue.

Christians say that the apparent contradictions in the Gospel story indicate sincerity in the gospel writers for they made no effort to tell the exact same story. They say that witnesses telling the exact same things are suspect but ones that differ in minor matters are probably being honest. Christians say we do not dispute the death of John F Kennedy because the witness accounts of his death vary so we should not dispute the resurrection of Jesus because the accounts of his return to the land of the living vary either. But that depends on what they vary in. The gospels don’t agree on what time the empty tomb was discovered and who was there and how many people were there and leave out important details – only Matthew mentions the guards. These blunders are too serious to allow belief in the resurrection for how can you find John who pleads not guilty of murder guilty of murder when one witness says the victim screamed at 10.00 meaning John was in the next village and the other says it was 10.10 when John could have been there. Also, if the witnesses are independent and something surprising happens and they tell the exact same story and there was no chance of them having conferred with one another then their testimony is not weaker but the best and strongest possible. The Christians are lying. Why was their God able to write an infallible Bible and not able to make sure the witnesses would give the perfect and unshakeable and irrefutable testimony?

We must realise and help Christians to realise that the accounts of two or more witnesses being identical are not contrived just because they are identical. If the witnesses could have met after the event they are testifying to and before they gave their testimony then and only then could the accounts be fabricated. It is totally ridiculous to argue that because the gospels differ that they are sincere for they did look up what the reports about Jesus were saying. They contradicted each other because they thought each other was wrong or each gospel was hoping to become the scripture of the Church and exclude the other gospels so the contradicting could have been on purpose. So if the gospels are true they have to agree on everything.

Some of the New Testament books like the Book of Mormon claims that you should ask God for a feeling that they are true and that will prove the message to be true. For example, John 4:13 says that anybody who gets the water, symbolising the word of God, that Jesus gives will know it is right and never thirst for anything else. That is a sign of desperation. Those who use this conjuring trick know fine well there is no admissible evidence so they resort to fraud and psychological manipulation to get around that. The human pride that comes from holding that your feelings tell you the truth is very powerful and pride is our strongest trait according to the gospels and the epistles.