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Agnostic Testimony 13
Dan’s Religious Manifesto (page 2)

by Daniel Hendricks

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Somewhere in here, you also have Job.  Whose wife and kids were killed, and his thousands of employees driven off to starve so God could make a point to the Devil.  Of Course, God, being all knowing, already knew that Job would still love him, so basically did all that other damage to Job because the Devil wanted him to.  (You might argue the Devil did those things to Job, but as he pretty much did it with the full consent of God, you can’t hold God blameless)

New Testament

The New Testament gives you a more lovey-dovey God, not quite so willing to strike people dead at a moment’s notice.  But he’s not much more consistent.

First off, there’s the deal with his son, Jesus.  A major tenant of all Christian religions is that Jesus died for our sins… but the Bible doesn’t really indicate this.  First off, you have Jesus in Heaven since creation.[1] Then he comes to Earth for 30 some odd years.  During this time, he can perform miracles; he talks with God and gets answers, meets with prophets who come down from Heaven, and is generally fully aware that he is God.[2]  He then spends three hours on a cross, and dies, whereupon, he returns to Heaven, where he is once again God.  In no way does this erase Original Sin (as we still need Baptism), nor is it a “get into Heaven free” card.  So the results of Jesus’ sacrifice is that now we can go to Heaven if we do exactly what we are told in a rather confusing text.  And while Jesus died, it didn’t really affect him at all.  He started out as God, and he ended up as God.  In fact, his death merely marked the point where he got to quit wandering around with humans and got to go back to being God.  Not really a net loss.

There is a big change though, with Thomas.  Finally, when someone is curious, their curiosity is answered, and they are given firm evidence.[3]  Note that this is just about the only time this ever happens in the Bible.  Everyone else who expresses curiosity is pretty much denied knowledge, and often killed for their pains.  Thomas gets to test Jesus to the best of him abilities (studying the wounds).  Jesus then tells him that that was pretty much it.  No one else will ever get any hard evidence.  Once Jesus leaves again, that’s the end of big miracles.  No big divine signs since: no pillar of fire, plagues of locust, nada. 

The New Testament is also full of parables.  These are stories that show you how crazy God is.  First off, you have the interchangeable comparison of God to either a Father[5] or a Shepard.[4]  The two are interchangeable, but not really at all alike.  A Shepard’s first concern is himself.  He may go out into the storm to find a lost lamb, but when push comes to shove, he would not risk or give his life for that lamb.  He cares for the sheep because they provide him with wool and meat.  He will fight to protect them, but not out of any love for the individual sheep.  And finally, his goal for the sheep is that it lives out its life making his life better.  A father however, will not only go out in a storm after his children, he will readily risk his life to save theirs.  He loves his children for who they are, not for what they can give him, and because he loves them, he will fight to the death for them.  If he is a good father, his ultimate goal for his children is that they grow to be the best people they can be, preferably even better than himself.

Continued next page.

                                                                                                                                               

1 John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”  2 Luke 9: 29-35  3 John 20:27-28 4 Matt 25:32 John 10:14 5 Luke 11:2