Christianity is Self-Defeating

The book of Exodus gives God’s demand that the Jews avoid foreign religions when they returned to Canaan (“You shall have no other gods before me,” etc.).  God had to make sure that they weren’t corrupted.

[SFX: Record scratch]

Wait a minute! How could they have been corrupted?

The Jews enter a land full of foreign gods—invented gods—but God had made plain the correct religion.  How would those made-up gods look next to the real deal?  Judaism would be a stunning and brilliant jewel compared to the other religions’ tawdry plastic beads.

Imagine the Hollywood set of a Western town, built with plywood facades, compared to a real building—Neuschwanstein castle, say.  Who’d be tempted to stray to the cutout imposter if you could have the real thing?

Another example: imagine that God provided Disney World for the Jews but warned against moving into the filthy trailer park across the street.  Why bother with the warning?  How could anyone possibly be tempted?

Similarly, with the Jews given the correct religion, how could God have ever been worried that another religion would be the least bit compelling?

… or maybe Judaism didn’t look special.  Perhaps the prohibitions—remember that these were imposed by priests—made a lot of sense because in fact early Judaism looked similar to all the other Canaanite religions.

The very existence of these prohibitions argues that Judaism was made up, just like the rest.

Photo credit: Wikipedia

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16 thoughts on “Christianity is Self-Defeating

  1. All non-Jewish cultures at that time worshiped idols and they had myths. Without any kind of science, any individual would be hard pressed to come up with competing atheistic explanations of why things happen. When the Jews and Egyptians starting seeing miracles, their reaction was probably to believe even more strongly in the existing myths. They would then compare the new God of the slaves to the other gods of the great civilizations of the time. Those other gods would have in their view already built great cities, where the God of the Jews had done little in comparison to the existing stories. So in fact the great palaces you refer to in your post belonged, in their imaginations, to the other gods, and that is why it was so hard to convince the Jews that the other gods do not really exist. It was only by preserving the Jews through many hardships over many centuries that the God of the Jews would gain respect over other supposed gods, who failed to protect the civilizations that worshiped them. When God had established over time his true power over the false power of the other gods then the people were ready for the message of salvation from Jesus.

    • I see that it’s the Christian story that God preserved the Jews over time, built up his credibility, and then brought Jesus onto the scene. But isn’t explanation that this was all natural and that there really is no god more effective?

      • There is certainly no question that for his own reasons, God has seen to it that a natural explanation seems compelling. For the vast majority of humanity, the main evidence for him is in written and oral history that is passed down from long ago. However, one can also work backwards from what we observe about the nature of consciousness and what we know so far about fundamental reality that there is likely to be a conscious entity that governs the universe. Of course there is no proof for that yet either, and there may never be. One then has to ask whether all that is taught in the Bible regarding morality, our nature, and God’s character and purpose in creating us is a better explanation for what we observe than “it just happened.”

      • Well, at least we agree in the compelling nature of the natural explanation.

        I don’t expect proof, but I would like you to show why the evidence compells anyone to pick the Christian conclusion.

        By “it just happened,” do you mean “evolution explains why life is the way it is”? Because the latter explanation is pretty irrefutable.

        What would make your position more sensible in my mind was something like, “Hey, this is just my worldview. This isn’t science, and I won’t defend it as such. It isn’t where an evidence-first path would lead, but it works for me.”

  2. Christianity was the first religion. Gen 3:15 And God has His chosen people from the beginning of time to the end of time..Man is fallen from the federal headship of Adam. And God’s warnings in the OT and the NT about worshiping idols have never changed..As the Athesit worships his idols of materialism and naturalism and evolution.

  3. Nope, Moses speaks of the beginning of man..And in the garden (before any religion statred) Jesus the messiah is phrophised. ( Gen 3 ).And all men from Adam on, who beleived in the the comming messiah (Christianity) were saved by faith. Actually Judaism was introduced later in the mosaic law.

  4. Yes, The Bible is the absolute standard of truth.. As it it the actual words of the Triune God of the OT and the NT. God is the precondition of intellegence, logic, morality, science, and human ethics.

    You have no standard of truth. your worldview is reduced to arbitrairness, and your subjective opinions on truth, human ethics, and morality. Your worldview is inconsistent and reduced to absurdity.

    • Your saying that the Bible is the absolute standard of truth means nothing to me. Sorry.

      I get my morals from the same place you do–my moral instinct and society. It’s certainly not arbitrary (as in I throw darts at possible actions).

      Inconsistent? Absurd? Show me why.

  5. > By “it just happened,” do you mean “evolution explains why life is the way it is”?
    > Because the latter explanation is pretty irrefutable.

    Evolution may be true, but it is hardly irrefutable. We know that a series of events occurred, but we don’t know what caused those events. In a lot of cases it seems that big chunks of DNA just showed up from time to time in the genomes of various species, so scientists presume they came from retroviruses. It’s pretty clear that a steady rate of mutations does not explain the data. There may be a natural explanation for exactly what happened, but right now what is actually irrefutable is a fairly small part of the overall picture.

    In any case, for me the physical evidence for God is outside evolution and has to do with consciousness, the nature of reality, and the fine tuning of physical parameters needed to get an inhabitable universe. There is of course also the direct experience of feeling his presence, which is ultimately why believers believe, but that cannot be shared with another person.

    • Just to clarify: by “irrefutable,” I meant “irrefutable by laymen such as us.” I do realize, of course, that science has changed its mind on occasion.

      Your last paragraph has some interesting points; thanks for that. I plan to touch on some of those points in depth in future podcasts.

      Thanks for your input.

  6. To all,

    Christianity was definitely not the first religion (it’s funny that Muslims claim that Islam was the first religion as well). Our species has existed for 200 000 years. There is evidence of a religious awareness 100 000 years ago. Adam never existed.

    The earliest known religion, I think, is that of the Sumerians, and it’s very different from Christianity. One of its prominent features is its polytheism.

  7. Pingback: God Doesn’t Exist: Historians Reject the Bible Story | Cross Examined

  8. Random
    Of course Christianity is the first religion..Read Gen. 3:15..Written to Adam the First human who ever lived. DuH!

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