The Amazing Deception: A Critical Analysis of Christianity

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Some Christians agree see Annihilationism and Trinitarian Universalism. These beliefs have been considered especially repugnant [] when the claimed omnipotent God makes, or allows a person to come into existence, with a nature that desires that which God finds objectionable. In the Abrahamic religions, Hell has traditionally been regarded as a punishment for wrongdoing or sin in this life, as a manifestation of divine justice.

As in the problem of evil , some apologists argue that the torments of Hell are attributable not to a defect in God's benevolence, but in human free will. Although a benevolent God would prefer to see everyone saved, he would also allow humans to control their own destinies. This view opens the possibility of seeing Hell not as retributive punishment, but rather as an option that God allows, so that people who do not wish to be with God are not forced to be. Lewis most famously proposed this view in his book The Great Divorce , saying: "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.

Hell is not seen as strictly a matter of retributive justice even by the more traditionalist churches. For example, the Eastern Orthodox see it as a condition brought about by, and the natural consequence of, free rejection of God's love. Some modern critics of the doctrine of Hell such as Marilyn McCord Adams claim that, even if Hell is seen as a choice rather than as punishment, it would be unreasonable for God to give such flawed and ignorant creatures as humans the awesome responsibility of their eternal destinies.

For instance, one should not always honor the choices of human beings, even when they are full adults, if, for instance, the choice is made while depressed or careless. On Kvanvig's view, God will abandon no person until they have made a settled, final decision, under favorable circumstances, to reject God, but God will respect a choice made under the right circumstances.

Once a person finally and competently chooses to reject God, out of respect for the person's autonomy, God allows them to be annihilated. Christian have sometimes been accused of idolatry, especially in regards in the iconoclastic controversy. The Roman Catholic Church teaches that baptism is a necessity.

In the 5th century, St. Augustine concluded that infants who die without baptism were consigned to hell. The concept of limbo is not accepted by the Orthodox Church or by Protestants. The idea of atonement for sin is criticized by Richard Dawkins on the grounds that the image of God as requiring the suffering and death of Jesus to effect reconciliation with humankind is immoral.

The view is summarized by Dawkins: "if God wanted to forgive our sins, why not just forgive them? Who is God trying to impress? He goes on to say that the atonement was necessary because of our flawed human nature, which made it impossible for us to save ourselves, and that it expresses God's love for us by removing the sin that stands in the way of our reconciliation with God.

It sounds superficially fair. But it presupposes that there is something in Christian theology to be ignorant about. The entire thrust of my position is that Christian theology is a non-subject. Robert Green Ingersoll suggests that the concept of the atonement is simply an extension of the Mosaic tradition of blood sacrifice and "is the enemy of morality". Several verses in the New Testament contain Jesus ' predictions that the Second Coming would take place within a century following his death.

This is seen as an essential failure in the teachings of Christ by many critics such as Bertrand Russell. However, Preterists argue that Jesus did not mean his second coming [Matt. Most Christian traditions teach belief in life after death as a central and indispensable tenet of their faith. Critics argue that the Christian conception of the afterlife is inconsistent with that described in the Old Testament.

George E. Mendenhall believes there is no concept of immortality or life after death in the Old Testament. There the dead have no experience of either joy or pain, perceiving no light, feeling no movement. Before Christianity began in the 1st century, the belief in an afterlife was already prevalent in Jewish thinking [] among the Pharisees [] [] and Essenes. Gaudium et spes claims that the example of Christians may be a contributory factor to atheism , writing, "…believers can have more than a little to do with the birth of atheism.

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To the extent that they neglect their own training in the faith, or teach erroneous doctrine, or are deficient in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than reveal the authentic face of God and religion. Secular and religious critics have accused many Christians of being hypocritical.

There was a great and violent controversy at one time among different Christian sects over a certain diphthong. One party said that the word Homo-ousion should be used in a prayer; the other wanted Homoi-ousion-this difference had reference to the divinity of Jesus. Over this diphthong fierce war was raged and large numbers of people were slaughtered.

I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it's not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time. Some have argued that Christianity is undermined by the inability of Christians to agree on matters of faith and church governance, and the tendency for the content of their faith to be determined by regional or political factors.

Schopenhauer sarcastically suggested:. Christians respond that Ecumenism has helped bring together such communities, where in the past mistranslations of Christological Greek terms may have resulted in seemingly different views. Non-denominational Christianity represents another approach towards reducing the divisions within Christianity, although many Christian groups claiming to be non-denominational wind up with similar problems.

Individuals and groups throughout history have been persecuted by certain Christians and Christian groups based upon sex, sexual orientation, race, and religion even within the bounds of Christianity itself. Many of the persecutors attempted to justify their actions with particular scriptural interpretations. During Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages , important Christian theologians advocated religious persecution to varying degrees. Nowadays all significant Christian denominations embrace religious toleration , and "look back on centuries of persecution with a mixture of revulsion and incomprehension".

Early Christianity was a minority religion in the Roman Empire and the early Christians were themselves persecuted during that time. Already under the reign of Constantine I, Christian heretics had been persecuted; beginning in the late 4th century AD also the ancient pagan religions were actively suppressed.

In the view of many historians, the Constantinian shift turned Christianity from a persecuted into a persecuting religion. After the decline of the Roman Empire , the further Christianization of Europe was to a large extent peaceful. In the late Middle Ages, the appearance of the Cathars and Bogomils in Europe laid the stage for the later witch-hunts.

These probably gnostic -influenced sects were seen as heretics by the Catholic Church , and the Inquisition was established to counter them. In the case of the Cathars, the Albigensian Crusade violently suppressed them. In the Baltic countries, pagans were killed, subjugated or forcibly baptized. From the start of Christian rule in Europe, Jews were increasingly discriminated against, at times rising to outright persecution. This sometimes took the form of events like the Rhineland massacres , and the Blood libel was often the source falsely claiming Jews ritually murdered Christian children.

Jews were also expelled from a number of countries, including from England and later Spain. In the latter case, if converted they could remain. However, as most did so only under duress, Judaism continued to be practiced in secret by many.

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As a result, the Spanish Inquisition was formed to root them out, along with the secret Muslims there. After the Protestant Reformation , the devastation caused by the partly religiously motivated wars Thirty Years' War , English Civil War , French Wars of Religion in Europe in the 17th century gave rise to the ideas of religious toleration , freedom of religion and religious pluralism.

Christians will sometimes point out that in their points of view, the wrongdoings of other Christians are not the fault of their religious scriptures but of those who have wrongly interpreted it. They posit that the mistakes of Christians do not refute the validity of their teachings, but merely proves their weakness and sinful nature, of which they then turn to Christ.

Thus, according to them, the "Word of God" can still be true and valid without it having been accurately followed. Contrast that with what the New Testament says about what happens when people come to living faith in Christ. There's supposed to be radical transformation in the power of the Holy Spirit 2 Cor , 1 Cor The disconnect between our biblical beliefs and our practice is just, I think, heart-rending. Similar arguments are held by Roman Catholics against critics of the Catholic Church, or by other Christians defending their respective Churches.

Such examples can be seen in Dante 's Divine Comedy , where Roman Catholic Clergy who had practiced simony find themselves in the lower circles of hell. Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party Platform promoted Positive Christianity —which mixed ideas of racial purity and Nazi ideology with elements of Christianity and removed "Jewish" elements.

Nazism aimed to transform the subjective consciousness of the German people—their attitudes, values and mentalities—into a single-minded, obedient "national community". The Nazis believed they would therefore have to replace class, religious and regional allegiances. The plan failed, and was resisted by the Confessing Church.

Persecution of the Catholic Church in Germany followed the Nazi takeover. Hitler moved quickly to eliminate political catholicism. Amid harassment of the Church, the Reich concordat treaty with the Vatican was signed in , and promised to respect Church autonomy. Hitler routinely disregarded the Concordat, closing all Catholic institutions whose functions were not strictly religious. Clergy, nuns, and lay leaders were targeted, with thousands of arrests over the ensuing years. Hitler was supportive of Christianity in public, yet hostile to it in private.

Anti-clericalists like Joseph Goebbels and Martin Bormann saw the conflict with the Churches as a priority concern, and anti-church and anti-clerical sentiments were strong among grassroots party activists. According to biographer Alan Bullock, Hitler retained some regard for the organisational power of Catholicism but held private contempt for its central teachings, which he said, if taken to their conclusion, "would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.

Joseph Goebbels, the Reich Minister of Propaganda , used his position to widely publicise trials of clergy and nuns in his propaganda campaigns, showing the cases in the worst possible light. In , soon after his election to the Reichstag, Goebbels wrote in his diary that National Socialism was a "religion" that needed a genius to uproot "outmoded religious practices" and put new ones in their place: "One day soon National Socialism will be the religion of all Germans. My Party is my church, and I believe I serve the Lord best if I do his will, and liberate my oppressed people from the fetters of slavery.

That is my gospel. There is, namely, an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a heroic-German world view". Hitler's chosen deputy and private secretary, Martin Bormann , was a rigid guardian of National Socialist orthodoxy and saw Christianity and Nazism as "incompatible" mainly because of its Jewish origins , [] [] as did the official Nazi philosopher, Alfred Rosenberg.

According to Bullock , Hitler considered the Protestant clergy to be "insignificant" and "submissive" and lacking in a religion to be taken seriously. His bid to create a unified Reich Church ultimately failed, and Hitler became disinterested in supporting the so-called " German Christians " Nazi aligned movement. Hitler initially lent support to Ludwig Muller , a Nazi and former naval chaplain, to serve as Reich Bishop, but his heretical views against Paul the Apostle and the Semitic origins of Christ and the Bible see Positive Christianity quickly alienated sections of the Protestant church.

Christian persecution complex is the notion that Christian values and Christians are being oppressed by social groups and governments. Others like professor Candida Moss and lecturer Paul Cavill point out that this mentality of being persecuted roots back to the earliest times. Ram Mohan Roy criticized Christian doctrines, and asserted that how "unreasonable" and "self-contradictory" they are.

Vivekananda regarded Christianity as "collection of little bits of Indian thought. Ours is the religion of which Buddhism with all its greatness is a rebel child, and of which Christianity is a very patchy imitation. Philosopher Dayanand Saraswati , regarded Christianity as "barbarous religion, and a 'false religion' religion believed only by fools and by the people in a state of barbarism," [] he included that Bible contains many stories and precepts that are immoral, praising cruelty, deceit and encouraging sin.

This influential report on controversial missionary activities in India recommended that suitable controls on conversions brought about through illegal means should be implemented. Panikkar 's work "Asia and Western Dominance" was published and was one of the first post-Independence Indian critiques of Christian missions. It argued that the attempt to convert Asia has definitely failed, and that this failure was due to the missionaries' claim of a monopoly of truth which was alien to the Asian mind; their association with imperialism and the attitude of moral and racial superiority of the Christian West.

The Indian writer and philosopher Ram Swarup was "most responsible for reviving and re-popularizing" the Hindu critique of Christian missionary practices in the s. Indian philosopher Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan , wrote:. When Europe accepted the Christian religion, in spite of its own broad humanism, it accepted the fierce intolerance which is the natural result of belief in 'the truth once for all delivered to the saints.

Shlomo ben Aderet criticized Christianity, adding that it has lesser form of monotheism, and lacks a unified deity compared to Judaism. He also highlighted the "failure of christianity to convert the Jewish people to the new message" as "precisely the reason for the strong anti-jewish trend in christianity.

Professor Moshe Halbertal , regards Christianity to be "idolatrous religion" and he further adds that the idolatry by Christians "opened the door to the easing of many other restrictive prohibitions. Stephen Samuel Wise in his own words was critical towards the Christian community for their failure to rescue Jews from Europe during Nazi rule. He wrote that:.

A Christian world that will permit millions of Jews to be slain without moving heaven by prayer and earth in every human way to save its Jews has lost its capacity for moral and spiritual survival. They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God. Muslim scholars have criticized Christianity, usually for its Trinity concept.

They argue that this doctrine is an invention, distortion of the idea about God, and presentation of the idea that there are three gods. Some have argued that Christianity is not founded on a historical Jesus, but rather on a mythical creation. Scholars and historians such as James H. Charlesworth caution against using parallels with life-death-rebirth gods in the widespread mystery religions prevalent in the Hellenistic culture to conclude that Jesus is a purely legendary figure.

Charlesworth argues that "it would be foolish to continue to foster the illusion that the Gospels are merely fictional stories like the legends of Hercules and Asclepius. The theologies in the New Testament are grounded on interpretations of real historical events…" []. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Criticism of the doctrines and practices of Christianity.

Jesus Christ. Jesus in Christianity Virgin birth Crucifixion Resurrection appearances. Bible Foundations. History Tradition.

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Related topics. Denominations Groups. By religion. By religious figure. By text. Religious violence. See also: Criticism of the Bible. See also: Biblical criticism. See also: Textual criticism.

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See also: Unfulfilled Christian religious predictions. See also: Almah , Virgin birth of Jesus , and Isaiah Main article: Christian views on the Old Covenant. See also: Cafeteria Christianity. See also: Bible errata , Bible translations , and English translations of the Bible. Main article: Christianity and colonialism. Main article: Christianity and slavery.

See also: Women in Christianity and Women in the Bible. Main article: Christianity and violence. See also: Relationship between religion and science. The neutrality of this section is disputed. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until conditions to do so are met. March Learn how and when to remove this template message. Main article: Christianity and politics. See also: Christian left , Christian right , and Religion and politics.

Further information: Miracle , Faith healing , and Exorcism. Main article: Incarnation Christianity. See also: Problem of Hell and Hell in Christianity. Main article: Second Coming. See also: Anti-Christian sentiment. Main articles: Sectarianism and Christian denomination. Main articles: Christian debate on persecution and toleration and Christianity and violence. Main articles: Anti-clericalism and Religion in Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler failed in establishing a unified Protestant Reich Church and suppressed the dissenting church umbrella, i.

Joseph Goebbels , as the Reich Minister of Propaganda , worked to implement Kirchenkampf church struggle , limiting the power of independent churches. He wrote that there was "an insoluble opposition between the Christian and a heroic-German world view". See also: Christianity and Judaism. I, Washington D. Critique of Pure Reason , pp. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, Web: 8 Apr Retrieved 2 August The Orthodox Corruption of Scripture.

New York: Oxford U. International Society of Christian Apologetics. PDF download. Retrieved 31 July Whose Word Is It? Continuum International Publishing Group. Aland and B. Ingersoll 's article Inspiration Of Bible. A Clear and Present Word. New Studies in Biblical Theology. Downers Grove: Apollos. Geisler; William E.

Systematic Theology. Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press. Internet Infidels. Retrieved Bellinger; William Reuben Farmer, eds. Trinity Press. Did Jesus of Nazareth live and die without the teaching about the righteous Servant of the Lord in Isaiah 53 having exerted any significant influence on his ministry?

Is it probable that this text exerted no significant influence upon Jesus' understanding of the plan of God to save the nations that the prophet Isaiah sets forth? Understanding the Bible 6 ed. McGraw-Hill College. Archived from the original on Translator W. The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict. Thomas Nelson. Archived from the original PDF on Page, Penny M.

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Sonnenburg Colonialism: an international, social, cultural, and political encyclopedia, Volume 1. Of all religions, Christianity has been most associated with colonialism because several of its forms Catholicism and Protestantism were the religions of the European powers engaged in colonial enterprise on a global scale. Historians have traditionally looked at Christian missionaries in one of two ways.

The first church historians to catalogue missionary history provided hagiographic descriptions of their trials, successes, and sometimes even martyrdom. Missionaries were thus visible saints, exemplars of ideal piety in a sea of persistent savagery. However, by the middle of the twentieth century, an era marked by civil rights movements, anti-colonialism, and growing secularization, missionaries were viewed quite differently.

Instead of godly martyrs, historians now described missionaries as arrogant and rapacious imperialists.

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  8. Christianity became not a saving grace but a monolithic and aggressive force that missionaries imposed upon defiant natives. Retrieved 17 November According to Jake Meador, "some Christians have tried to make sense of post-colonial Christianity by renouncing practically everything about the Christianity of the colonizers. Kirchschlaeger, "Slavery and Early Christianity - A reflection from a human rights perspective", Acta theologica.

    Footnotes to Gruszka, Peter. Brandeis University in Breton. Retrieved September 17, Retrieved September 18, MSN Encyclopedia Encarta. New York: Broadway Books. Associated Press. Retrieved 28 October African American Review. Winter The Nobel Foundation. Joan of Arc. Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Women in the Early Church. Liturgical Press, Woman in the World of Jesus. Philadelphia: Westminster Press, Beyond Sex Roles 2nd ed. Brother Jesus: the Nazarene through Jewish eyes. U of Georgia Press, Retrieved 7 August Denny Weaver Cross Currents.

    Letter to a Christian Nation. Alfred A. E Addis, T. Arnold, Revised T. B Scannell and P. Jordan, , p. The Northern Crusades. London: Penguin Books. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science. The Scientific Revolution. University of Chicago Press Chicago, Ill.

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    Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. Introduction, p. A Companion to Ethics. Blackwell Oxford. Sydney Morning Herald. BBC News. Religion News Service. Where do they derive the wisdom to make such decisions? For McKnight, the implication seems to be through spiritual training, but we are not told that such training takes place within the New Atlantis.

    But the decision to disclose or conceal scientific discoveries clearly falls in the realm of politics. And it is in this task that we promise ourselves the fortune of Alexander the Great. Bacon addresses a range of topics and some could be especially instructive in determining the importance of his religious beliefs to his work: most notably those on atheism, truth, superstition, and unity in religions. Still, McKnight does an admirable job of delving into the works of Bacon and provides us with an interesting alternative to the traditional view of Bacon as a secular, materialistic prophet of science.

    Is the conquering of nature through science a prideful act of hubris or the fulfillment of Divine will? What role, if any, should scientists play in formulating public policy? Can science adequately address questions of the human good? These are questions Bacon raised well before science transformed society and in light of the ascent of science and technology, the answers are of utmost importance. Jean Jacques Rousseau.

    Victor Gourevitch. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. Indianapolis: Liberty Press, p. Stephen McKnight. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, p. For example. Illinois: HarlanDavidson, p. Francis Bacon. The New Organon. Jardine and Silverthorne. Augustine's, To Believe or Deceive? Notes 1. Ibid p. McKnight p. Weinberger p. Print - PDF. Written by David Whitney.