Fundamentalist Christians are the most active, vocal and emotional of all the Christianities. They are unashamedly persuaded in the veracity of the Bible and believe it to be inerrant, divine and infallible. And as such, it is to be taken literally from cover to cover - especially Christ's miracles, the Genesis Creation account, the Virgin Birth of Christ, the bodily resurrection and ascension, triumphant physical return of Christ from heaven and the substitutionary atonement on the cross for their sins.
And they do have a point, because if you don’t believe in the literal interpretation of the bible then what is there in it to base a belief on? If you accept that some scriptures are contradictory or just plain erroneous or mythical, or allegorical, then how do you distinguish what is fact from what is fantasy? I give literal Christians some credit even though I completely disagree with them; at least they have the courage of their convictions and stand fast in their delusion. For if the bible is NOT inerrant what is left to even believe in?
But at the same time I feel sorry for them because they have nothing but the Bible and an “inner witness of the spirit” that they are the real Christians and liberal Christians are not. I agree with what they have to say when they criticise liberal theology and I agree with liberals when they criticise conservative theology. They are emotionally dependant on what they believe and there childlike faith and sincerity makes it almost a “sin” to point out to them that they are founded on shaky ground. Some say leave them alone - every one to his own - no, as much as one does not want to take an ice-cream from a kid, some times it is necessary.
In examining the validity of Biblical inerrancy, one only needs to read Genesis, the funniest book ever written. If it is inerrant, then so is "The Flintstones." The next four books of the Pentateuch are not so funny. In fact, if they are inerrant, then they are a look into the mind of the most evil God ever conceived. And let’s not leave out the beginning of God sanctioned genocide as laid out in Joshua. What about the probability of Noah and the Ark actually happening? There are so many things in the Bible (Old Testament AND New) that just don't add up! There are so many holes in the holey bible that it resembles a block of Swiss cheese.
As a result Fundamentalist Christianity has more apologists then any other religion on earth. They are constantly defending and contending for the “faith once delivered to the saints”. Since the days of Paul the Apostle, Christians have been spin doctoring and carrying out theological gymnastics to convince outsiders that their faith is the one and only true faith.
And when they cannot convince outsiders they use off pat Christian default shrug offs for their failure such as; “Lean not unto thine own understanding, but trust in the Lord.” And one of my favourites “the reason you do not understand is because Jesus has hidden things from you and only revealed it to a few chosen ones.” I thought Jesus came for the whole world? Why would he hide anything from me? Another – “The carnal man does not understand things of the spirit.” What? Whatever?
Here are some more of the funniest things fundamentalists say to atheists:
1. If there’s no God, how did we get here?
Richard Dawkins answers this irritating question by using this honest refrain “we’re working on an answer.” Discovering the origins of life is a near impossible feat and we may never know how it happened. And Christians know this, but what makes it soo irritating is the fact that they think they have atheists stumped. To them Goddidit is a “rational” alternative. The idea that God is a satisfactory answer for the unknown origin of life is nothing new. It’s the primary reason religion began in the first place. The Apostle Paul used it to pommel unbelievers.
Science is closing the gaps in our knowledge and invalidating miracles one by one. We no longer think demon possession causes epilepsy, nor do we believe that God sends hurricanes, earth quakes, tsunamis etc as punishment for sins, nor do (educated people) go to faith healers instead of doctors for healing, nor do people pray for the sun to stand still, or for axe heads to float, or for people to be raised up from the dead. We know better.
Christians no longer cast lots to decide important issues. Educated Christians no longer see dreams as if God was communicating to them, since science has shown that dreams are the result of the rational parts of our brain being asleep. Christians no longer believe that curses and blessings actually change the nature of people and events, and they no longer believe they are irreversible.
Science sets the limits for what Christians will pray for. Science has shown so many beliefs to be false that it's fair to say theologians have always been wrong. Why should it be any different in the future?
How about this classic;
2. If you don’t believe in God, why do you talk about him so much?
The implication is that atheists should not have opinions. But in reality Christians would like to have absolute freedom to put the Holey Bible, an unsubstantiated book of mainly fantasy and fiction, into every home in the world, while atheists stand by and keep their mouths shut.
God isn’t real, but the idea of God is very much alive. That’s exactly why atheists talk about him. Why would’t they? The sad truth is that the Christian majority would like to silence the minority so that they can with impunity; deny homosexuals equal rights under the law, challenge science on a regular basis, submit woman to biblical domination, threaten atheists and non Christians with a eternity of torture in hell, etc
3. If you believe in God and you’re wrong, you lose nothing. If you don’t believe in God and you’re wrong, you lose everything.
The despicable Pascal’s Wager is nothing new. How many innocents have fallen for this devious Christian trick that does not require any real critical thinking to demolish? This is one of the most ridiculous of all questions. To assume that we have control over our belief is ignorance of the highest level. In order to believe the Bible one would have to switch off the logic centre of their brain that God is supposed to have given them. Why would any rational person do that?
“Believe just in case”…even though there’s no real reason for it. What if I believe in the wrong God and still go to a hell, albeit a Muslim or Jewish version of hell and meet Christians there. Freedom of thought is much more important then believing “in case”. By attaching an eternity to this life you undermine the only life you will ever live. In any case who wants to spend this life as a unworthy sinner who is “like unto a worm with out Jesus Christ” according to Christian doctrine. And why would I want to be with a blood thirsty God for eternity that demands a human/ divine blood sacrifice as a ticket to glory land.
Got to love this one;
4. Jesus still loves you.
Jesus loves me? Christian don’t know Jesus loves me all they can do is say "Jesus says he loves me" and I'll just have to take their word for it. But if he did why will he put me in eternal hell for a finite crime of unbelief? Why will he send devout, committed and consecrated believers that do not “know him” to outer darkness? Would you kick your dog for ten years if he disobeyed you? And why would I or anyone willingly exercise “free will” and rather chose to go to hell and not to heaven?
Christians don’t know there own Bible. Christianity tells us that God created us to love and worship him, not the other way around. In fact, the Bible makes it very clear that we are unworthy of God’s love. Maybe Christian parents should start telling their children that they are unworthy of parental love. See how they feel about their parents when they grow up.
5. If there's no God? An atheist has no basis for morality. Why don’t you commit suicide or create mayhem or become a Satanist?
No question is more ridiculous, insulting, or vicious then this one. Christians repeatedly argue that atheists have no reason not to murder others, or create mayhem. They claim we don’t have an ultimate standard for knowing right from wrong and only they have absolute and objective ethical standards for knowing right from wrong.
The fact is that Christian moralists are largely in the same boat as atheists. We are all humans, your brain, your upbringing, your education or lack thereof and your genes are what give you your morality.
Christians are not moral; they are just obedient and fearful of hell. They don't do things because it is the right thing to do, they do because the Bible says they must and they can score some brownie points with God. Christians have no ultimate standard of morality too! No one does, not even God. Christians cannot make any value judgements about God unless they are willing to admit that they are using a moral standard that is distinct from God.
And this would mean that God is not the ultimate arbiter of good and evil. However, atheists, secularists, and many intellectually honest liberal Christians admit that humans have an inborn morality that is independent of religious belief, whether they think this morality is from God, evolution, or another source.
If one agrees that humans have an inherent morality, then one agrees that it is conceivable that God could command them to do an act against their inherent morality. I would hope that every Christian would agree that genocide is immoral, rape is immoral, and human sacrifice is immoral; and yet God ordered all three from his human subjects.
Is it moral to follow an immoral command, regardless of the source of the command? No, of course not; at best, despotic religion turns any action, moral or immoral, into an amoral act of self-preservation. At worst, the follower takes pleasure in violating his own morals, relishing an immoral act. Crusades, inquisition and witch burnings were carried out by Christians under instructions from God.
In conclusion a fundamentalist interpretation of Christianity is illogical, circular, and disgusting, and it should be considered psychological abuse to teach it to a child.
Would you look at the parents of a newborn straight in the eye and tell them that their newborn child is sinful? Why would any Christian parent want to have a child if that child might run the risk of being in hell forever?