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Thread: 50 Reason Why The Bible Lacks Credibility IMO

  1. #151
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    #31 of 50... The Bible erroneously teaches that prayer works. It doesn't... as many studies have proved already. See this article:

    Proof #2 - Statistically analyze prayer
    The fact is, God never answers any prayers. The entire idea that "God answers prayers" is an illusion created by human imagination.
    How do we know that "answered prayers" are illusions? We simply perform scientific experiments. We ask a group of believers to pray for something and then we watch what happens. What we find, whenever we test the efficacy of prayer scientifically, is that prayer has zero effect:
    • It does not matter who prays.
    • It does not matter if we pray to God, Allah, Vishnu, Zeus, Ra or any other human god.
    • It does not matter what we pray about.
    If we perform scientific, double-blind tests on prayer, and if the prayers involve something concrete and measurable (for example, healing people with cancer), we know that there is zero effect from prayer. Every single "answered prayer" is nothing more than a coincidence. Both scientific experiments and your everyday observations of the world show this to be the case every single time.
    For example, this article says:
    • One of the most scientifically rigorous studies yet, published earlier this month, found that the prayers of a distant congregation did not reduce the major complications or death rate in patients hospitalized for heart treatments.
    And:
    • A review of 17 past studies of ''distant healing," published in 2003 by a British researcher, found no significant effect for prayer or other healing methods.
    This article from March, 2006 discusses the fact that the same conclusion was reached in another study:
    • In the largest study of its kind, researchers found that having people pray for heart bypass surgery patients had no effect on their recovery. In fact, patients who knew they were being prayed for had a slightly higher rate of complications.
    In this article we find an amazing quote where theologians and religious leaders declare that prayer has no actual effect:
    • Religious leaders will breathe a sigh of relief at the news that so-called intercessory prayer is medically ineffective. In a large and much touted scientific study, one group of patients was told that strangers would pray for them, a second group was told strangers might or might not pray for them, and a third group was not prayed for at all. The $2.4 million study found that the strangers' prayers did not help patients' recovery.
    This is a remarkable example of "positive spin" -- religious leaders are "breathing a sigh of relief" because prayer has been shown to be meaningless. The fact that prayer is a total waste of time does not matter to them. It does not matter that all of Jesus' promises about prayer in the Bible have been proven completely false. A peer-reviewed scientific study published in 2001 did indicate that prayer works. According to this article:
    • "On October 2, 2001, the New York Times reported that researchers at prestigious Columbia University Medical Center in New York had discovered something quite extraordinary. Using virtually foolproof scientific methods the researchers had demonstrated that infertile women who were prayed for by Christian prayer groups became pregnant twice as often as those who did not have people praying for them. The study was published in the Journal of Reproductive Medicine. Even the researchers were shocked. The study's results could only be described as miraculous."
    This study was later proven to be completely fraudulent. However, everyone who cut out the original article in the NYTimes and posted it on their refrigerators still has that article as "proof" that prayer works.


    More at SOURCE: http://godisimaginary.com/i2.htm



    See how 'God' tells us to pray:

    The Lord Instructed Us to Pray.
    One of the simplest reasons to spend time in prayer is because the Lord instructed us to pray. Obedience is a natural by-product of discipleship.
    • Matthew 26:41
      "Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!"(NLT)
    • Luke 18:1
      Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.(NIV)
    • Ephesians 6:18
      And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.(NIV)
    (See also - Matthew 7:7 and 1 Timothy 2:8)
    What If I Don't Know How to Pray?

    The Holy Spirit will help you in prayer when you don't know how to pray.
    • Romans 8:26-27
      In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.(NIV)

    Last edited by Katweezel; June 15th, 2012 at 06:19 AM.
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  2. #152
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    It's true. The Bible sux for some people.

    See Mark 8:38.
    Also, see Matthew 23.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by aslan View Post
    It's true. The Bible sux for some people.

    See Mark 8:38.
    Also, see Matthew 23.
    Thank you Bishop Aslan. Now I can die a happy man. I brought Light and Truth to ONE man. My Mission was not in vain.
    "Saving one man is enuff to get you eternal life." Kat 2Acts 5: 101
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  4. #154
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    #32 of 50... The Bible perpetrates probably the weirdest fable ever invented: The Jesus Myth.

    It goes like this... A man called Jesus was born of a virgin mother called Mary, who although the wife of a man called Joseph, she was allegedly impregnated by 'God' resulting in... Jesus. This 'Jesus' was actually God himself in human form, who decided to present Himself so as to run a few miracles, speak a few sermons, heal a few sick, hold a few feasts; and build up some credibility. That stood him in good stead for his greatest stunt of all: Getting himself murdered so that he could 'rise again' on the third day after he was killed and return from whence he came: Heaven. The reason that he went to all that trouble was to demonstrate that everyone's sins were forgiven forevermore. Or something.

    Those gullible enough to swallow this outlandish tall tale will believe anything. Amazingly, it never seems to occur to Christians to take even a cursory look at this absurdity. For example, God must have fathered himself? "God" can be murdered? "God" decides to present himself in, of all places... Jerusalem? If "God" needed to 'save' everyone from their 'sins' and so on, why not simply blanket-forgive everyone's sins, period? After all, an omnipotent god - one might suppose - had power enough to do just that, without going through all that crucified-then-arose nonsense down here on earth, just to prove a dubious point.

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  5. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katweezel View Post
    Thank you Bishop Aslan. Now I can die a happy man. I brought Light and Truth to ONE man. My Mission was not in vain.
    "Saving one man is enuff to get you eternal life." Kat 2Acts 5: 101
    The human soul is eternal, so you don't have to worry about that. Your eternal place of residence is another thing. Personally, I am trying to steer clear of the lake of fire district. The majority of people seem to be attracted there, and I guess that's their prerogative, but I still feel compelled to warn them that it's not what they may think it is to get their own way for all eternity. There's that "price" thingy that always seems to mess things up, just as it often does in this life. Ever notice that? Anyway, I hope to see you in the other (happier) place. If I do, that will mean that I made it, too!
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by aslan View Post
    The human soul is eternal, so you don't have to worry about that. Your eternal place of residence is another thing. Personally, I am trying to steer clear of the lake of fire district. The majority of people seem to be attracted there, and I guess that's their prerogative, but I still feel compelled to warn them that it's not what they may think it is to get their own way for all eternity. There's that "price" thingy that always seems to mess things up, just as it often does in this life. Ever notice that? Anyway, I hope to see you in the other (happier) place. If I do, that will mean that I made it, too!
    The smell of Kat's flesh burning forever as a burnt sacrifice to the evil one is a pleasing smell to the Devil. I sure hope he stiff the evil one by seeing the light. Personally I think Hell is knowing divine love for an instant and never feeling it again for all eternity. That would be worse than anything in Dante's imagination.

  7. #157
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    Quote Originally Posted by shred View Post
    The smell of Kat's flesh burning forever as a burnt sacrifice to the evil one is a pleasing smell to the Devil. I sure hope he stiff the evil one by seeing the light. Personally I think Hell is knowing divine love for an instant and never feeling it again for all eternity. That would be worse than anything in Dante's imagination.
    For Shred. Here is the burning flesh of which you speak... Innocent "heretics" burned for The Glory of God. This must have been this evil one of which you speak.

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  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katweezel View Post
    For Shred. Here is the burning flesh of which you speak... Innocent "heretics" burned for The Glory of God. This must have been this evil one of which you speak.

    Attachment 16458Attachment 16459
    Yes, that was evil, too. The people of those days largely thought such things were good and just, so I hope that is taken into consideration when they are judged. But I would not defend the taking of any life except in defense of life, your own, your family's, your friend's. I think some of the suicide bombers in the middle east see what they are doing as good and just, too, but history will judge them just as it has the witch and heretic burners.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  9. #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katweezel View Post
    If we perform scientific, double-blind tests on prayer, and if the prayers involve something concrete and measurable (for example, healing people with cancer), we know that there is zero effect from prayer. Every single "answered prayer" is nothing more than a coincidence. Both scientific experiments and your everyday observations of the world show this to be the case every single time.
    Incorrect. The power of prayer IS proven scientifically to improve healing.

  10. #160
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    Quote Originally Posted by DDutton View Post
    Incorrect. The power of prayer IS proven scientifically to improve healing.
    Thank you Dr Dutton. Do you have any personal experience or professional expertise that may further enlighten us in this murky area of "prayer?" Of course, 'improve' could mean 0.0001% improvement, right?
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  11. #161
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    Quote Originally Posted by shred View Post
    The smell of Kat's flesh burning forever as a burnt sacrifice to the evil one is a pleasing smell to the Devil. I sure hope he stiff the evil one by seeing the light. Personally I think Hell is knowing divine love for an instant and never feeling it again for all eternity. That would be worse than anything in Dante's imagination.
    #33 of 50... The Bible teaches superstition and champions superstitious characters.

    Since forever, humans have always attempted to make sense of life's calamities: plagues, food shortage, disasters, volcanoes, earthquakes, crop failure, flood, disease, accidental or unexpected deaths and the like. Because there was usually no rational answer, primitives needed a scapegoat. The gods or god they'd been counting on must have failed miserably and the Head Demon or Devil got the blame. What better answer could there be? The Evil One did it, who was seemingly sometimes even more powerful than their god or gods.

    Over the aeons the Devil/demon idea came to be popular. The Bible legitimized even further that ancient superstition. In fact even Jesus himself makes it 'real' as does "God". Of course that is good enough for most Christians. We see belief in Satan shares equal billing with Jesus in the Christian show. Satan still gets blamed for just about everything negative in the world. Some Christian sects even go so far as having concluded that Earth is Satan's domain and Paradise or Heaven is God's.

    Christians even invented the fable whereby 'Satan' was once an angel who rebelled and so god kicked him out of heaven. Heaven, hell, angels, devils, demons... the ancient superstitions go on, pervading and distorting the thinking of deluded believers. If only they knew: There is no devil or satan, there are no demons or angels. Superstition. It's all simple... old... superstition.

    Dante seems to have been obsessed with this theme. He must have struck a chord in Shred.
    Here are some of his paintings...

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    Last edited by Katweezel; June 17th, 2012 at 06:26 AM.
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  12. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katweezel View Post
    Thank you Dr Dutton. Do you have any personal experience or professional expertise that may further enlighten us in this murky area of "prayer?" Of course, 'improve' could mean 0.0001% improvement, right?
    Medical studies have been done repeatedly to disprove the power of prayer in healing. Every one showed about an 18% improvement in prognosis in the patients were being prayed for.. It didn't matter whether those praying ever met the patient or if the patient knew they are being prayed for. It didn't matter if the paying person was a believer or an atheist. It didn't matter about proximity to the patient. Medical science has decided it is proved fact that prayer increases the prognosis of patients and any doctor should encourage it where it can be worked into the treatment plan. I will not go into detail but I know of extreme cases where true miracles have occurred. At least that is what the Doctors called it. Medical science never got the chance to cure the patient because prayer worked before the procedure could be done.

  13. #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by shred View Post
    The smell of Kat's flesh burning forever as a burnt sacrifice to the evil one is a pleasing smell to the Devil. I sure hope he stiff the evil one by seeing the light. Personally I think Hell is knowing divine love for an instant and never feeling it again for all eternity. That would be worse than anything in Dante's imagination.
    I don't think anyone but the deserving ever get that instant you talked about, Shred, and I don't think God is in the punishment business dreaming up the most effective torture (and I'm not saying you do either). I think he does everything to persuade the person not to go their own way apart from Him and is deeply saddened when they do. Hell, I think, is the growing awareness that the things you chose for all eternity to make yourself happy really do not bring happiness in the end, and the awareness that your stubborn and prideful final decision to make your own heaven, or what you want heaven to be, is an eternal disaster. The more you indulge yourself in whatever your sin(s) of preference is, the more you want to continue indulging in it, even though it always ends up leaving you empty and saddened. Still, like an alcoholic you crave it all the more despite the heartache, loneliness and despair it brings. This is my guess. Hell is the free choice of man with his eyes wide open. And that makes it also a complete mystery to me. Yet I believe if anyone is in hell, it's because that is where they freely want to be. I hope no one is there. But one saint who was said to have had a vision of hell, said that souls were entering hell like leaves falling from the trees on a windy autumn day. That's a depressing thought, but consistent with the the way people live their lives here on earth. It is not God Who punishers sinners, I think, it's the people themselves who choose to be eternally apart from God, Whom they were meant to be with, Whom their happiness depends on, but Whom they refuse to obey/serve/love. Free will is a great gift, perhaps the greatest gift possible, but it can have dire consequences if exercised wrongly. Like I said, it is a great mystery to me. And in some ways it is not-- I want to do what I want to do when I want to do it. In this way we sometimes fashion God in our own image and likeness, and even though we may kid ourselves that we are following God's Will, in fact, we are doing our own thing. Selfless love is a foreign concept to many, but that's the love the Cross teaches us. It is the only kind of love that can reach the kingdom of God, and that is why the way is called narrow and few there are that find it, and why it is said that the road that leads to destruction is wide and many are they who travel it. It gives me great pause to think about it and how I have lived my own life so far.
    Aslan 11/1/90 - 6/15/10 Stormy 1/22/95 -8/23/10
    “There are not one hundred people in the United States who hate The Catholic Church,
    but there are millions who hate what they wrongly perceive the Catholic Church to be.”
    Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

    “It takes a very long time to become young.” Pablo Picasso

  14. #164
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    #34 of 50... The God of the Bible practices cruelty as a matter of course.

    Christians turn a blind eye to the cruelty they read in the Bible, if in fact they ever read those parts... Among other unacceptable nasty habits of this anthropomorphic Bible 'God', cruelty is absolutely unacceptable in this day and age - no matter who presents it, or where and how it is presented. We see how the Bible was once held to be the sacred word of God himself, but as more people came to be educated and learned to read and think more and express for themselves, today the Bible has lost a great deal of its once-esteemed credibility, to the point where it has become almost totally irrelevant for today's world, except for an ever-diminishing loyal band of believers.

    "Theological religion is the source of all imaginable follies and disturbances: it is the parent of fanaticism and evil discord. It is the enemy of mankind."
    Voltaire (1694 - 1778), Philosophical Dictionary of Religion

    THOMAS PAINE QUOTES

    All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.

    Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.

    Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.

    Human nature is not of itself vicious.


    I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.

    Is it not a species of blasphemy to call the New Testament revealed religion, when we see in it such contradictions and absurdities.


    It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.


    It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.

    It is not a God, just and good, but a devil, under the name of God, that the Bible describes.

    The Vatican is a dagger in the heart of Italy.


    The whole religious complexion of the modern world is due to the absence from Jerusalem of a lunatic asylum.

    The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.


    There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.

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  15. #165
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    #35 of 50... Biblical Contradictions Regarding Salvation Seriously Undermine Bible/Christianity Credibility.
    As per Theodore M Drange


    Some WRITINGS of
    THEODORE M. DRANGE



    BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS REGARDING SALVATION


    Question Yes No
    1. Are unsaved sinners eternally tormented? Isa 33:14; Mt 13:40-42, 25:41,46; Mk 9:43-48; Jude 6-7; Re 14:10-11 Eze 18:4; Mt 7:13, 10:28;
    Lu 13:3,5; John 3:15-16; Ac 3:23; 1Co 15:18; 2Th 2:10; Heb 10:39; 2Pe 3:7,9
    2. Will everyone get saved? John 12:32; Ro 5:18, 11:32;
    1Co 15:22; Col 1:20; 1Ti 2:4,6; 1Jo 2:2
    Mt 7:13-14; Lu 13:23-24
    3. Is salvation totally predestined by God? Ps 65:4; Pr 16:9, 20:24;
    Isa 46:9-11; Jer 10:23;
    John 6:44,65-65, 15:16;
    Ac 15:18; Ro 8:28-30, 9:18; 1Pe 1:2; Eph 1:4-5,11, 2:4-10; 2Th 2:13; Re 13:8, 17:8
    Mt 25:34-40; Lu 10:25-37;
    John 5:28-29; Ro 2:5-10;
    Jas 2:14-26
    4. Is one who believes in God's son, but who has never repented, saved? John 3:15-16,36, 6:40,47, 11:25; Ac 16:31; Ro 10:9; 1Jo 5:12 Lu 13:3,5
    5. Is one who believes in God's son, but who has done no good deeds, saved? (See the verses for the “yes” answer above.) Mt 25:41-46; John 5:28-29;
    Ro 2:5-10; Jas 2:14-26
    6. Is one who has called upon the name of the Lord, but who has done no good deeds, saved? Ac 2:21; Ro 10:13 (See the verses for the “no” answer above.)
    7. Is one who is very moral and charitable, but who has never repented, saved? Mt 19:16-17, 25:34-40,46;
    Mk 10:17-21; Lu 10:25-37, 18:18-22; John 5:28-29, 8:51; Ro 2:5-7,10; Jas 2:24
    Luke 13:3,5
    8. Is one who is very moral and charitable, but who does not believe in God’s son, saved? (See the verses for the “yes” answer above.) Mk 16:16; John 3:18,36, 8:21-25, 14:6; Ac 4:10-12; 1Jo 5:12
    9. To be saved, is it necessary that one be born of water and of the Spirit, eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood, and receive the kingdom of God as a child? John 3:5, 6:53; Mk 10:15 (See the verses for the “yes” answers to 4-7, above. If the conditions mentioned there are sufficient for salvation, then no other conditions separate from them could be necessary.)


    DISCUSSION


    The Bible not only contradicts itself on the topic of salvation, but it may do so in as many as four different ways. First of all, it may contradict itself on the issue of what it is that people are saved from, whether it is eternal torment or just annihilation. The eternal-torment doctrine, which is the traditional idea, is supported by various biblical verses.1 However, there are other verses2 which imply the annihilation doctrine, an idea advocated by Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh-day Adventists, and various other religious groups. And still other verses declare that unsaved sinners perish,3 whatever that means.

    The second way in which the Bible may contradict itself is on the issue of whether or not everyone will eventually be saved. Some verses imply such a universalistic notion.4 But the traditional doctrine, that some will be saved and some won't, is supported by many more passages. Jesus even says in the gospels (Matt. 7:13-14, Luke 13:23-24) that very few will get saved.

    The third form of contradiction concerns the issue of whether salvation is completely predestined by God or whether it depends, instead, on what people do or believe in their life on earth. The doctrine of predestination, associated with the theology of John Calvin, is well supported in Scripture.5 On the other hand, the opposing idea, which emphasizes human free will, is also well supported.6 Some ministries, such as that of Billy Graham, are based entirely on the idea that people need to make a free-will decision to “come to Christ and accept his offer of salvation.”

    Finally, assuming that salvation does depend on what people do or believe, there is the issue of what, exactly, they need to do or to believe in order to be saved. In other words, what are the necessary (and sufficient) conditions for salvation? In this area, too, the Bible contradicts itself. This fourth mode of contradiction will be the subject matter of the present essay. What I shall do is to describe various types of people and show, with respect to each of them, that the Bible does indeed contradict itself on the issue of whether or not such a person will be saved.

    Person #1: Someone who believes in God's son but who has never repented. This person believes in God and believes that God has a son and also believes that the son is the Savior of humanity. However, this person has never reflected on his/her sins and repented for them.
    That such a person will definitely be saved is established by John 3:36, according to which "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." It is also supported by other verses as well.7 However, according to Luke 13:3 & 13:5, "except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." This entails that the person described, who has not repented, would not be saved if he/she were to die. The contradiction here is quite obvious.
    It might be objected that to really "believe in" the Son, in the sense meant in John 3, a person would have to have repented, for that is the only way to take the Son as one's Savior. But this is unsound. To take the Son as one's Savior does not require repentance for one's sins. A person may believe that the Son atoned for the sins of humanity and, when he did that, he "gave himself [as] a ransom for all" (1 Tim. 2:6). Thus, since mankind's "sin-debt" to God has already been paid, it is not necessary for each person to repent for his/her sins in order to obtain salvation. Now, even if this is not true, it is nevertheless a possible belief, even supported by the Bible (see note 4). A person who holds such a belief would certainly be "believing in God's son" even though he/she has not repented. So the objection is a failure.

    Person #2: Someone who believes in God's son, but who has never, or hardly ever, done any good deeds for needy people, and who has done many bad deeds. As shown above, the Bible (for example, in John 3) declares such a person to be saved on the basis of his/her belief in God's son. So person #2 will definitely get saved. However, elsewhere (for example, at Matt. 25:41-46), the Bible claims that such a person will not be saved because of his/her lack of charity.8 The requirement that one do good deeds for needy people in order to be saved is very clearly set forth in Scripture. Thus, the Bible contradicts itself regarding the salvation of person #2.
    It may be objected that there cannot exist anyone like person #2 because to really "believe in" the Son, one would have to perform good deeds and avoid bad deeds, for that is required by being a true follower of the Lord. But this argument is off the track. First, a person's belief in the Son could be just recently acquired, whereas the bad deeds might be in the person's past. This in itself shows that one could have the belief without performing the good deeds. Second, one need not be a "true follower of the Lord" in order to believe in the Son. As described above, one could be a universalist and believe that the Son atoned for everybody and that therefore everybody is automatically saved, whether they do good deeds or not. Even if this universalist belief is false, the mere possibility that someone might hold it guarantees the possibility of our person #2. Hence, one could indeed believe in God's son without doing good deeds, and that makes the objection a failure. We are thus left with the result that the Bible contradicts itself regarding the salvation of such a person.

    Person #3: Someone who has called upon the name of the Lord, but who has never, or hardly ever, done any good deeds for needy people, and who has done many bad deeds. In two verses, Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13, there is the remarkable pronouncement that anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. This is enough to guarantee salvation for person #3. However, as we saw above for person #2, according to other verses, salvation requires charity. So person #3 will not be saved, because of his/her lack of charity. Thus, the Bible contradicts itself regarding person #3.
    If it is objected that one needs to be charitable in order to sincerely call upon the name of the Lord, then the reply is simply "Not so!" The classic case of repentance and conversion is that of one who has been wicked in life and now wishes to change. So the person now calls upon the name of the Lord for the first time. Suppose he/she is then suddenly struck dead by lightning. Such a person would have called upon the name of the Lord without being charitable. Consequently, the objection fails. Although some parts of the Bible say that such a person would be saved, other parts say that he/she would not be saved. The contradiction is quite evident.

    Person #4: Someone who has devoted his/her life to helping needy people, but who has never repented and does not believe in God's son. A charitable Muslim or Jew, or any non-Christian like the Good Samaritan (of Luke 10:30-37), might meet this description. Such a person may be quite devout in his/her religion and may love God maximally (see Luke 10:27). He/she might be a devout Jew such as Job, as described in Job 1:1. But the important point here is that he/she loves other people equally with himself or herself and acts accordingly. To be so charitable, according to the Bible, is sufficient for salvation.9 Although some evangelists deny that there is any doctrine of "salvation by good works" in the Bible, it is clear that they are mistaken.
    However, as we have seen above in connection with person #1, the Bible also declares that repentance is necessary for salvation, and that in itself would exclude person #4. But s/he is doubly damned for also not believing in God's son. The Bible very clearly states that a person must believe in God's son, or in Jesus Christ as God's son, in order to be saved.10 In John 8:21-25, Jesus himself tells the Jews that if they do not believe that he is God's son, as he had been claiming, then they will die in their sins, which means that they would not be saved. In other words, the Bible does indeed imply the extraordinary conclusion that all the billions of non-Christians in the world are damned, no matter how good or kind or charitable they may be. It follows that the Bible contradicts itself here. It claims that person #4 will be saved and also that person #4 will not be saved.

    Person #5: Someone who has done everything thus far mentioned (call upon the Lord, believe in Jesus as God's son, repent, perform good deeds), but who fails to satisfy other requirements for salvation specified in the Bible. Among those other requirements are the following:
    (a) Be born of water and of the Spirit. (John 3:5)
    (b) Eat Jesus's flesh and drink his blood. (John 6:53)
    (c) Receive the kingdom of God as a little child. (Mark 10:15)
    (d) Believe that God rewards everyone who diligently seeks him. (Heb. 11:6)

    Each of these is declared to be an absolutely necessary condition for salvation. Anyone who fails to satisfy it is automatically damned. But each is somewhat unclear. Condition (a) may possibly refer to the ritual of baptism.11 And perhaps condition (b) refers to the ritual of "taking communion." Nevertheless, whatever they may mean, it seems quite clear that a person need not satisfy all four conditions, (a)-(d), to be the sort of person previously described (a believer in God's son, etc.). For example, someone could believe in God's son without also having to believe that God rewards everyone who diligently seeks him. In fact, it even says at Romans 3:11 that no one seeks God. A person who accepts that verse would be unlikely to satisfy condition (d). The result, then, is that the Bible again contradicts itself. Some of its verses entail that person #5 will be saved, whereas other verses, the ones that proclaim conditions (a)-(d), entail that person #5, who fails to satisfy those conditions, will not be saved.
    The defect in the Bible is obvious. It specifies a whole slew of necessary conditions for salvation, including repenting, being born again (John 3:3), believing the gospel (Mark 16:16), believing in God's son, doing good deeds, and conditions (a)-(d), above. So any sufficient condition for salvation, to be logical, would have to include or entail all of those necessary conditions. But there is where the Bible goes wrong. It specifies several sufficient conditions for salvation, including believing in God's son, calling upon the name of the Lord, keeping the commandments, doing good deeds, etc., but, although there is some overlap between the two sets, none of the sufficient conditions includes or entails all of the necessary conditions. Yet each sufficient condition is such that whoever satisfies it is supposed to be automatically saved. Contradictions therefore abound because there are persons who satisfy one or more of the sufficient conditions while failing to satisfy one or more of the necessary conditions. For each such person, the Bible declares that s/he, having satisfied the sufficient condition(s), will be saved, but, also, that s/he, having failed to satisfy the necessary condition(s), will not be saved. Persons 1-5, described above, represent only some of the possible combinations that yield Biblical contradictions regarding salvation.
    Christians make the claim that the meaning of life lies in the attainment of salvation in the afterlife. But the entire foundation of their soteriology, or doctrine of salvation, is undermined by the given biblical contradictions, for there is no other basis for that doctrine than the Bible. It is amazing that most Christians will continue to make the claim about the meaning of life even when all this is pointed out to them.


    NOTES
    1. Isa. 33:14; Matt. 13:40-42, 25:41,46; Mark 9:43-48; Jude 6-7; Rev. 14:10-11.

    2. Ezek. 18:4; Matt. 7:13, 10:28; Acts 3:23; Heb. 10:39 (perdition = annihilation); 2 Pet. 3:7.

    3. Luke 13:3,5; John 3:15-16; 1 Cor. 15:18; 2 Thess. 2:10; 2 Pet. 3:9.

    4. John 12:32; Rom. 5:18, 11:32; 1 Cor. 15:22; Col. 1:20; 1 Tim. 2:4,6; 1 John 2:2.

    5. Psalms 65:4; Prov. 16:9, 20:24; Isa. 46:9-11; Jer. 10:23; John 6:44,64-65, 15:16; Acts 15:18;
    Rom. 8:28-30, 9:18; Eph. 1:4-5,11; 2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 13:8, 17:8.

    6. Passages that specify conditions for salvation that are within human control (such as doing
    good deeds, for example) would support this idea. See the references in notes 8 & 9, below.

    7. John 3:15-16, 6:40,47, 11:25; Acts 16:31; Rom. 10:9; 1 John 5:12.

    8. See also John 5:28-29, Rom. 2:5-10, and Jas. 2:14-26.

    9. Matt. 25:34-40,46; Luke 10:25-37; John 5:28-29; Rom. 2:5-7,10; Jas. 2:24. [On the matter of behaving well, see also Matt. 19:16-17, Mark 10:17-21, Luke 18:18-22, and John 8:51.]

    10. Mark 16:16; John 3:18,36, 14:6; Acts 4:10-12; 1 John 5:12.

    11. Note the references to baptism in Mark 16:16 and Acts 2:38.


    Copyright 2004 Theodore M. Drange
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