Traditional Christian Doctrines Challenged

This article is intended to challenge age-old Christian doctrines and teachings about God. Simply stated, the traditional views about God and his relationship with man do not make sense. Therefore, I have taken the liberty to use some excerpts of very good questions posed by an atheist at another website (and with his permission) in order to challenge the reader to re-think his or her religious beliefs. The atheist comes up with some great questions and thoughts to consider, regarding the traditional views of God. I have not posted all of his writings, because we cannot totally agree with all of his conclusions, as we believe our personal experiences have proven that something greater, call it the spirit realm, does exist. How we define that idea would only be splitting hairs with Christians; so for this examination, let's just stay with the challenge against some of the major, traditional Christian ideas and doctrines.

1) We are commonly taught that we are fallen, broken and less than perfect. Man made religion teaches that we must do something to fix this - or rather we must do something so God can fix this condition we find ourselves in. This is the predominant theme in all pagan rituals; make a sacrifice of some sort to appease the vengeful gods. However, the atheist makes a very good point about perfection: can perfection ever come out of the imperfect? In other words, if we are imperfect, can we ever become perfect? Listen to his words about God being perfect and apply the same to yourself:

"What did God do during eternity before He created everything? If God was all that existed back then, what disturbed the eternal equilibrium and compelled Him to create? Was He bored? Was He lonely? God is supposed to be perfect. If something is perfect, it is complete - it needs nothing else. We humans engage in activities because we are pursuing that elusive perfection, because there is disequilibrium. There is nothing He needs, nothing He desires, and nothing He must or will do. A God who is perfect does nothing except exist."

Did God create this mess we find ourselves in? What if this world we find ourselves in is like a dream created by our minds? And what about ourselves? If we are to become perfect, we must first be perfect. One cannot create perfection out of imperfection. For God is perfect and perfection is eternal. Therefore, let's apply the truths of God to ourselves...what if we are already perfect in God...eternal...yet are unaware of our perfection because we do not see or understand this, yet? Could this be "the fall" that occurred in the garden, when man was perfect and at one with God? Did man simply fall "in his mind" and become less than perfect, in his mind - believing the lie of separation from God and trapped by illusion? What if we are all perfect in spirit and simply need to come to the knowledge of that truth? Could that be what Jesus saw and understood, thus, walking in power and wisdom not known by any other man? More thoughts from the atheist:

"If something is perfect, nothing imperfect can come from it. Someone once said that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, and yet this perfect God created a perfect universe which was rendered imperfect by the perfect humans. (If that be the case) the ultimate source of imperfection is God...a perfect God who creates imperfect humans is impossible."

Great point the atheist has! Yet, there has to be an eternal truth...and that truth is God. So, again, let us consider ourselves in light of traditional Christian teachings. If we are all part of God (and we are), nothing imperfect - nothing temporal can come from the perfect, eternal God. Therefore, we must be eternal and perfect (in spirit). We are spirit beings who have not identified with our true nature - spirit. Our spirit is part of God and God is part of us. Our bodies are not who we really are. Kill the body and the spirit, soul and mind still exist. We are eternal and perfect in spirit, but our minds have told us otherwise. Therefore, it is necessary for us to follow our heart...where the spirit of truth speaks and know that we are not bodies, but spirits. If we follow our minds, we will not perceive the truth. Just because our mind believes something, does not make it true. Have you ever experienced making a mistake in judgement by following what your mind told you to believe, and only to find out later you were wrong?

2) Regarding an eternal hell, there is much to write here about that. I will first share some of the great thoughts from our atheist and further expound on his points:

"A perfect and omnipotent God who creates beings capable of ruining their own happiness is impossible. ...God could have created humans with freewill who did not have the ability to choose evil, but to choose between several good options. God is omniscient (all knowing). When He created the universe, He saw the sufferings which humans would endure as a result of the sin of those original humans. He heard the screams of the damned. Surely He would have known that it would have been better for those humans to never have been born (in fact, the Bible says this very thing), and surely this all-compassionate deity would have foregone the creation of a universe destined to imperfection in which many of the humans were doomed to eternal suffering. A perfectly compassionate being who creates beings which He knows are doomed to suffer is impossible."

Why wouldn't God just create those with freewill, whom He knew would eventually choose Him? This is where the traditional "hell doctrine" falls apart: If God is all-knowing and still created beings whom He would have to punish and in essence destroy for an eternity, why create them at all, unless God simply is evil? God would have to be evil and not truth; for truth is unchanging and eternal. How could a perfect God of truth unjustly create evil which must be destroyed? The creation of evil then would have come from Him? His fault, ultimately, if you believe traditional Christian teachings. It cannot be so:

"God is perfectly just and yet, He sentences the imperfect humans He created to infinite suffering in hell for finite sins. Clearly, a limited offence does not warrant unlimited punishment. God's sentencing of the imperfect humans to an eternity in hell for a mere mortal lifetime of sin is infinitely more unjust than this punishment. The absurd injustice of this infinite punishment is even greater when we consider that the ultimate source of human perfection (would then be) is God who created them. A perfectly just God who sentences His imperfect creation to infinite punishment for finite sins is impossible."

Something must be wrong with this picture painted by the religious leaders concerning God and man. It just does not make sense when one looks close to the teachings of the Christian religion. Jesus had to see through this and have a different message...and indeed he did! He taught us that this world is an illusion...that the kingdom of God is within us. He taught us that peace and truth can be found within all of us when we connect with our heavenly Father within our very being. He taught that hell is a state of mind that can be undone. That was the message of the cross: I will take on the mis-thinking that the world believes (sin of the world), and I will show you it (mis-thinking, false beliefs) does not eternally change who I am; nor will it eternally change who you are, either. Still believe in an eternal hell? Consider this:

"Consider all of the people who live in the remote regions of the world who have never even heard of the "gospel of Jesus Christ" (as taught by men today in error). Consider the people who have naturally adhered to the religions of their parents and nation as they had been taught to do so since birth. If we are to believe the Christian (teachings concerning hell), all of these people will perish in the eternal fire for not believing in Jesus. It does not matter how just, kind and generous they have been with their fellow humans during their lifetime: if they do not accept the gospel of Jesus (at least what men today say that message was), they are condemned. No just God would ever judge a man by his beliefs rather than his actions."

3) Many Christians follow a book and not their heart. They believe the Bible to be the "word of God," yet, it is very clear in the Bible (John 1), that the word of God is not a book, but the Holy Spirit; for the word of God is God! Can a book be God? To some it has become just that, but let our atheist give us a strong argument that the Bible is not God's word from another perspective:

"The Bible is supposedly God's perfect word (as taught by traditional Christian doctrines). It contains instructions to humankind for avoiding the eternal fires of hell. How wonderful and kind of this God to provide us with this means of overcoming the problems for which He is ultimately responsible! The all-powerful God could have, by a mere act of will, eliminated all of the problems we humans must endure, but instead, in His infinite wisdom, He has opted to offer this indecipherable amalgam of books which is the Bible, as a means for avoiding the hell which He has prepared for us. The perfect God has decided to reveal His wishes in this imperfect work, written in the imperfect language of imperfect men, translated, copied, interpreted, voted on, and related by imperfect men. No two men will ever agree what this perfect word of God is supposed to mean, since much of it is either self-contradictory, or obscured by enigmatic symbols. And yet, the perfect God expects us imperfect humans to understand this paradoxical riddle using the imperfect minds with which He has equipped us. Surely, the all-wise and all-powerful God would have known that it would have been better to reveal His perfect will directly to each of us, rather than to allow it to be debased and perverted by the imperfect language and botched interpretations of man."

If you do not yet see that the Bible is interpreted many different ways by men, simply look out at all the different translations and "church" buildings on the corners of almost every street in this country. How many different denominations and churches does it take for us to realize, we are divided, separated by beliefs and lost from following a supposed perfect book, and not the spirit of God speaking to our hearts individually? Even the atheist can see that God speaking to us individually would be Divine! More from our atheist regarding Bible contradictions and how God has been interpreted and portrayed by men:

"One need look to no source other than the Bible to discover its imperfections, for it contradicts itself and thus exposes its own imperfection. It contradicts itself on matters of justice, for the same just God who assures His people that sons shall not be punished for the sins of their fathers, turns around and destroys an entire household for the sin of one man (he had stolen some of Yahweh's war loot). It was this same Yahweh who afflicted thousands of His innocent people with plague and death to punish their evil King David for taking a census!? It was the same Yahweh who allowed the humas to slaughter his Son because the perfect Yahweh had botched His own creation. Consider how many have been stoned, burned, slaughtered, raped and enslaved because of Yahweh's skewed sense of justice. The blood of innocent babies is on the perfect, just, compassionate hands of Yahweh."

"The Bible contradicts itself on matters of history. A person who reads and compares the contents of the Bible will be confused about exactly who Esau's wives were; whether Timnah was a concubine or a son, and whether Jesus' earthly lineage is through Solomon or his brother Nathan. These are but a few of hundreds of documented historical contradictions. If the Bible cannot confirm itself in mundane earthly matters, how are we to trust it on moral and spiritual matters? The Bible is imperfect. It only takes one imperfection to destroy the supposed perfection of this alleged word of God. Many have been found. A perfect God who reveals His perfect will in an imperfect book is impossible."

Those are some very good points made by our atheist friend. How could a God of love, who Jesus showed us, be the same God we read about in the old testament? Somehow, man's interpretation of who God is in the Bible, must have gone awry. God, who is love, perfect and good, cannot also be evil and a murderer. For the Bible itself says God is unchanging. Therefore, if God is perfect, He cannot be a lover and a murderer. God is love and is not fear. God is life and is not death. God is truth and cannot lie. God cannot contradict Himself. The Bible's contradictions concerning who God is, should be the biggest red flag that something is wrong with this supposed perfect work. Ask God to reveal His nature to you personally, by His spirit within your very being. It will come to you as a "knowing within" of the truth He is.

4) Here is a statement our atheist friend makes that will make your head spin if you think on it a bit:

"A God who knows the future is powerless to change it."

In other words, God could not change the future from what He knows it to be. Otherwise, the outcome would be different than what He formerly knew it to be. Then, would He have really known the future the first go around? That still makes my mind twist thinking on that one! Maybe, our atheist is correct in this thought. Who knows, I certainly don't. Although, I do believe the future is set and that being, all of us are on a path to bring us back to the knowledge of the truth of who we are, and who God is. In my mind, that future will be accomplished!

God is love. Love is an emotion that can be all encompassing and unwavering - an eternal, deep love is possible; and that love is God. We receive this deep love when we commune with our heavenly Father from within. The portrayal of God by religion, as a roller coaster of hatred, anger, frustration and fear cannot be true. Those very attributes are found in our own minds, and are produced by the illusion of this world, which is temporary and passing away. Love, patience and, kindness are eternal for, "Love never fails." So, what am I saying? I am saying that religion has produced a god for us to believe in that is false. Religion has falsely told us who we are. I am saying, the Christian religion is misleading people into believing falsehoods about God and mankind....and all in Jesus' name. Jesus would never have agreed with their teachings.



Copyright 2003 JesusReligion.Com (with excerpts from