Once you see the rational errors which form the root and body of Christian orthodoxy, it becomes impossible to unsee them. That is, once you accept the basic and inexorable truth that contradiction is not actually a valid method for drawing doctrinal conclusions, or any other conclusion for that matter, the failure of Christian orthodoxy to satisfy even the most remedial of logical consistency—the 2 + 2 = 4 kind of logic—becomes a punch in the face every time you are exposed to almost any form of Christian theology. It’s why I had to stop going to church. Literally everything coming from the pulpit is laced with rational failure. And it’s more than annoying…it’s offensive. It’s like that episode of Seinfeld where no matter how hard he tries Jerry can’t get the smell of body odor out of his car after he loans it to a friend. Once you see it, you can’t unsee it…and once you smell it, it lingers like insuperable body odor around everything and everyone in the church today.
And do not think I do not know from what I speak. I was a committed evangelical Christian in the spiritual meatgrinder of Sovereign Grace Ministries for ten years, and before that, grew up in the Lutheran Church. I know the doctrine…I know what Christians believe and how they think and how they preach and how they equivocate their impossible theological claims. I have lived it, preached it, financed it, lost friends and family over it, and seen the utter ruin it wreaks upon the innocent…children and spouses brought into the cultlike “family” of those who define reality according to “mystery”, and believe that applying heady-sounding labels like “systematic theology” to their proof-texting passes for enlightened and learned scriptural interpretation. Everything I say in this article is based upon an objective knowledge of exactly what Christians believe, and dismantles those beliefs by pinpointing exactly the fatal weaknesses of their logic. I am still a Christian, by the way, but certainly NOT orthodox. I categorically reject orthodoxy and the whole of its interpretive methodology.
To back up my claim that Christianity is a conspicuous offense to the basic rational sensibilities of those of us who have decoded Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist (the unholy doctrinal trinity) doublespeak, I developed a simple exercise of logic, based upon the most prevalent assertion of Christian evangelism.
“In order to be saved, you must believe in Jesus.”
“Believe what about him?”
[Note: The rendering of the first assertion is sometimes “Believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior”, to which my response is “What does that mean?”, which leads to essentially the same answer as “Believe what about him?”, albeit likely in a more explicative form. That answer is:]
“That he died for your sins.”
“The ones you have committed…he died for all of them.”
“How do you know I’ve sinned?”
“Because we all sin. We can’t help it.”
“Why can’t we help it?”
“Because we are born sinners…with a sin nature that makes it impossible not to sin.”
“So…we are born sinners, and thus we must sin. It’s in our nature…a manifestation of our very existence. Then…sin is not a choice. That which my nature demands I must do cannot also be something I choose to do. And if I do not have a choice whether to sin or not then my sin is not actually sinful. My sin, having nothing to do with my will, cannot be called an immoral act, and therefore, by definition, it cannot actually be sin. In the same way I cannot help but to breath, and my heart cannot help but to beat, and I cannot help but to be human, I cannot help but to sin, and therefore only a fool would call my natural sin sinful. Which means that only a fool would call this sin “sin” at all. I cannot be born with a sinful nature because I cannot both commit immoral acts by my nature and have a nature which makes immoral action impossible because I have no capacity to choose to commit immoral action in the first place. You cannot morally judge, Christian, what I cannot help. If sin is a part of me, of my nature, and is unchosen, and I cannot help it, then you cannot call what I do sin. In order for sin to be sinful, it must be a choice, and you, because you do not know me, cannot possibly know whether I have chosen to sin. You do not know the sum and substance of my choices, and if my need for Jesus is predicated on you knowing that I have committed sin, then you cannot reasonably assert that I should believe in him. So I will ask again, and hope for your sake that you stop mocking the God you claim you serve and provide a less embarrassing answer. What should I believe about him?”
At this point it is inevitable that the Christian will punt his ENTIRE theology into the cosmic abyss of “God’s Mystery”. You have little choice but to walk away. The Christian has retreated back into the ouroboros of his spiritual echo chamber as quickly as he emerged. And there he will stay…in his own mind, or, perhaps, up his own arse, you might say, until his guilt entices him to venture out and try again. He will eventually learn to avoid the thinkers, grotesquely condemning them as blind and worldy, and will seek out the meek and the helpless and the needy. But not for the reasons Christ implored. But because the Christian understands that there is no practical difference between gullibility and indigence when it comes to meeting his quota. He has learned that the desperate can be convinced of almost anything.
My next article will deal with the difference between mystery, paradox, and contradiction, to help you to stop falling for the claims that God’s mystery is actually an argument to be considered.