Posts Tagged ‘hell’

Jehovah’s Witness Hell

Argument for:

hit song “Blood on the Dance Floor” violates JeWit interpretation of Acts 15:28-29

Argument against:

kicked out in 1987 for “suggestive dance, dress, and grooming”

Muslim Hell

Argument for:

inclusion of Mohammed caricature on Off the Wall album liner

Argument against:

professed Shahadah at Toto keyboardist Steve Porcaro‘s house in 1998

Jewish Hell

Argument for:

followed heretic “Kosher Sex” teachings of Shmuley Boteach

Argument against:

Judaism doesn’t really have a hell

Scientology Hell

Argument for:

failed marriage to Lisa Marie Presley

Argument against:

history of OT-VIII-caliber insanity

Catholic Hell

Argument for:


Argument against:


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Poor Darrel Falk. Not only is he stuck being executive director of the ludicrous BioLogos project, but also his granddaughter has noticed the obvious parallels between the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jesus.

This is great for us, however, as we get to read his “yes, we were lying about the tooth fairy, and also we were lying about the easter bunny, and also we were lying about santa claus, but Jesus is totally different and here’s why!” essay.

He makes the following points:

1. Some of the data underlying evolutionary biology is “historical” in nature. Some of the arguments for Christianity are also “historical” in nature. This makes belief in Christianity just as data-driven as belief in evolutionary biology!

2. “There are some theologians who I consider just as brilliant as some scientists!”

3. Not only has Jesus never been “falsified,” there are plenty of good reasons to think he exists. For instance, check out the New Testament book Romans, which (unlike The Da Vinci Code) is too packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” to be fiction.

4. If you don’t read every pro-Jesus book with “the open mindset that is supposed to be the trademark of any scientist,” you’ve committed an “unforgiveable sin.”

Now, unlike his granddaughter, I am not a 6-year-old girl, and so it’s hard to say which of his arguments she will find compelling. I’m guessing she’ll reject the first, as even little girls understand that — while studying history helps us understand evolutionary biology — there is also genetic, anatomical, geographical, biochemical, epidemiological, and current biological evidence. I’m also guessing that she’ll reject the second, as little girls tend to put more weight on the opinions of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer than the opinions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth. Along similar lines, the Baby-sitters Club books are packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” yet are clearly fiction, making me suspect she’ll reject his third argument. And although his granddaughter sounds pretty smart, a number of the books he propounds still seem above her reading level, making it tough to condemn her for not reading them.

However, although he didn’t mention it in his article, he’s also got a fifth argument in his pocket:

5. If you don’t believe in Jesus, then after you die you’re going to get thrown into a Lake of Fire and tortured forever. It’s worse than anything you can imagine. Remember how bad you felt that day at school when all the other girls were making fun of you? Remember how much it hurt when you fell on the playground and broke your arm? Remember when you had the flu and you kept throwing up everything we fed you and we had to take you to the hospital where they stuck a tube in your arm so you wouldn’t get dehydrated? Remember how sad you were when your dog Pepper died? This is so much worse than all those combined, and if you don’t believe in Jesus you’ll feel it all day, every day, forever and ever.

And I’m pretty sure that this one is the kind of argument that resonates with six-year-olds.

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Here’s a promising-sounding new book: 10 Dumb Things Smart Christians Believe:

Many Christians, new and seasoned alike, tend to bank on promises that God never made, says one pastor.

So when God doesn’t come through on those “promises,” some are likely to become angry at God.

And “that to me as a pastor over all my years is always one of the saddest things,” says Larry Osborne, teaching pastor at North Coast Church in Vista, Calif.

Osborne, whose church draws over 7,000 people, is hoping to spare a lot of Jesus followers from that anger. He’s also hoping Christians will peruse Scripture more and align themselves with what God really says rather than the “word on the street.”

Wait, that doesn’t sound promising at all! Does he at least have a good list of ten?

  1. Living God’s way will bring good fortune
  2. Faith can fix anything
  3. Forgiving means forgetting
  4. A godly home guarantees godly kids
  5. God has a blueprint for my life
  6. Christians shouldn’t judge
  7. Everything happens for a reason
  8. Let your conscience be your guide
  9. A valley means a wrong turn
  10. Dead people go to a better place.

Well, a number of those are stupid things. But if I were making a list of “Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe,” none of those would be on it. What’s that? You want to know what would be on it? Good question!

Ten Stupid Things Smart Christians Believe

  1. A mistranslated book written by cave people is a reliable guide to the modern world.
  2. There’s an invisible man in the sky who likes to watch you while you’re showering.
  3. Two thousand years ago, an alter ego of this invisible man knocked up a Jewess whose husband wasn’t satisfying her.
  4. The progeny of this drunken coupling was both god and the son of god.
  5. This son of god was killed (but not really, since he’s also god, and god can’t die) and then came back to life to seek revenge, just like J.D. Walker.
  6. His killing was a necessary sacrifice in order that we might be forgiven for the sins of Eve, the first woman in the world, who lived 6000 years ago in a magical garden, where a talking snake convinced her to eat a forbidden apple.
  7. To show our thanks for this sacrifice, we should put special crackers and wine in our mouths, where they will be magically transformed into his flesh and blood, which we should then swallow despite taboos regarding cannibalism.
  8. If you don’t believe all the preceding items, then after you die you will be plunged into a lake of fire and tortured for all eternity.
  9. If you do believe all the preceding items, then after you die you’ll get to go to heaven, which is a cloud in outer space connected to the earth with a dotted line bent into a heart-shape
  10. Thomas Kinkade is an awesome painter.

Which book would you rather read?

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Why do people leave their religions? It’s easy to come up with a number of hypotheses:

  • like to sleep in on Sundays
  • hard to believe that a “benevolent” god would let FOX cancel “Firefly”
  • tastiness of bacon
  • wanted to try this “dancing” thing everyone is talking about
  • “Thou shalt not kill” cramping social life
  • tired of being reincarnated as a bald man
  • church services “too preachy”
  • to pursue career as abortionist
  • difficult to find flattering burqa
  • falseness

And yet the Pew Forum seems to have included almost none of these as options in their Faith in Flux survey, instead providing less useful choices like “Spiritual needs not being met” and “Clergy sexual abuse scandal” and “Moved to a new community” and “Someone they were close to passed away.”

Although none of these choices make much sense, the last probably makes the least sense. Who leaves a religion because someone close to them dies?

I mean, maybe if you’re a Snake Handler, and your husband actually dies as part of the religious services, or if you’re a Scientologist, and your daughter dies as part of an Introspection Rundown, or if you’re a Kinshasan Revivalist, and your brother drowns during his baptism. Then I can sort of understand.

But very few religions promise that they’ll stop you from dying. That would be absurd! The most they typically offer is that you’ll get to spend an eternity after you die in the loving embrace of the invisible sky-man, while your less-pious friends and neighbors are being dunked in a lake of fire and eternally tormented by Asmodeus, Overlord of the Dukes of Hell, whose symbols include a clawed fist gripping a skull and a ruby-tipped rod, and who survived the Reckoning of Hell to become undisputed leader of the Nine Hells. I’m sorry, but if you’d give all that up just because of some “sex abuse scandal,” then you’ve got bigger problems than “spirituality.”

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