Sunday, September 26, 2010

CTS- Common Lies Christians Tell

Ok, a few apparent lies that Christians tell. For the sake of being thorough I'll go through all of them, even the ones mentioned in the introduction. Before I begin, I'd like to make a point about lying. A lie is defined as "a false statement with deliberate intent to deceive". This means that Charlotte is accusing Christians of, completely on purpose, deceiving everyone that they discuss the following topics. That is one large accusation. I would contend that most, if not all, Christians don't fully understand the Einstein, Darwin, or American topics. Now I'll begin the explanations.


This is a hotly debated issue. I'm not sure whether or not there is enough evidence to say it one way or another, but there are two basic conflicting views. Richard Dawkins (wrote "The God Delusion") sees Einstein as a pantheist, which he goes on to say is basically "sexed-up" atheism. He believes Einstein's use of the word 'God' was always used only in a poetic and metaphorical sense. On the other side of the issue, Susan Wise Bauer (wrote "The Well-Trained Mind") doesn't try to portray Einstein as a Christian, but argues that Einstein believes in one god and had a tendency toward deism. This view basically portrays God as a universal clock-maker, who winds everything up and then lets it tick without interfering. So those are the differing views, I'll post a few links below so you can see both sides. What we can say about Einstein is that he absolutely believed in the existence of Jesus as a historical figure. He also believed that religion and science can cooperate, they are not in contention.

Evidence for Jesus's Existence

First of all, the Bible is absolutely reliable as a historical document. Archeologists frequently discover artifacts that confirm the events recorded in the Bible. For a video on these findings click here. The writings of Josephus, a Roman citizen who lives from c. 37-100 wrote about Jesus. He calls him "a wise man, if indeed it is appropriate to call him a man", and says that he performs paradoxes and won over many Jews and Greeks. He even calls him the Christ. In a later writing, he also calls James the "brother of Jesus, who is the Christ". Many other early scholars reference "Christus", a Latinized Greek translation of the Hebrew word "Messiah". Justin Martyr mentioned an "Acts of Pilate", a record of some cases Pilate was involved in, but only Tertullian also mentions this. The evidence for the Bible and Jesus's historicity is to numerous to do more than touch on, so look around for yourself.

Darwin Recanted on his Deathbed

I don't believe this to be true. There is very little evidence for this. This story became popular when it was preached by an evangelical woman named "Lady Hope". She may have visited Darwin, but if she did it is most likely that she did so around 7 months before his death. At this point in time he would not have been bedridden as she had said, and therefore was unlikely that he was studying the Bible then. As Charlotte said, his daughter opposed this and his wife made no comment on it. It's likely she would have, as she was worried about the "godless nature" of his views. This doesn't rule it out entirely, but it doesn't have the background to be stated as fact.

Evolution is false (or only a theory)

This is an interesting one for sure. I agree that micro-evolution is as close to a fact as you can get with our limited knowledge. All it does is explain the variation we see every day as humans. Charlotte goes on to admit that "macro evolution remains a theory", and then contends that it is a fact (by saying "EVOLUTION DID HAPPEN"). I know a certain line of resources (look to the right) that would contend otherwise, and with scientific observations of their own. The theory of evolution by natural selection is at this point in time filled with far too many holes to be assumed to be a scientific fact. I'm also going to stray away from saying it is a flat-out falsity because of the evidence on the other side of it. Hopefully time will tell, but for now, Christians saying it's only a theory aren't lying.

Atheists Have No Morals

Once again, Charlotte using a statistic to prove her point and does not give a source for it. It is a gross generalization to say that no atheist alive has morals, so I don't agree with this statement. I do, however, take issue with Charlotte's accusations that Christians cause true immorality (genocide, slavery, etc). I've already disproved the slavery point, see here. I've also argued many times that genocide is not often caused by Christians, but when it is there are absolutely not following the Bible's teaching. The only wars backed by God were against societies taking part in extreme immorality (demon worship, human sacrifice, sodomy, etc).

Regarding women's suffrage, the Woman's Christian Temperance Union was one of the most influential groups pushing women's rights. Eleanor Roosevelt, a huge influential leader, was a theist (although not a Christian). The Christians who believed that women should not vote misunderstood the historical context of verses like 1 Corinthians 14.35 and Colossians 3.18. Women do have a different God-given role than men, but that is a different topic.

Back to atheists' morals. The Bible teaches that "the Law is written on our hearts" (Romans 2). This would imply that every person, unless their conscience has been severely fragmented by sin, has a basic moral awareness. Furthermore, many values consistent with Christianity are encouraged in our society. However, an argument exists that atheism, if left unchecked, will cause moral deprivation. If there is no God, there exists no standard for ethics beyond what is helpful for society. When no objective standard exists, it is easier to argue that choices like homosexuality, bestiality, abortion, prostitution, etc can do no material harm to society. In fact, one of the only atheists against gay marriage is Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who has been labeled a hypocrite by fellow atheists. Food for thought.

United States Founded on Christianity

Charlotte is correct here, but I'm going to add some perspective. There is no disputing the fact that the majority of the founding fathers and colonists at the time were Christians. This means that America was founded on a number of biblical Christian values (equality, respect, etc). However, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison were all deists. They believed in a generic god, but did not accept orthodox Christianity. Charlotte is correct, one of the principle reasons for the voyage to America was freedom of religion. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: State sponsorship is not conducive to a strong Christian faith. There's no need for Christians to push this idea. This "lie" is likely based on ignorance, not deception, I've not met one Christian who knows the information I just posted above. Atheists, please inform my brothers of this respectfully, there are not lying to you.

There Are No Atheists In Foxholes

You can wikipedia this to understand it. This is meant as an expression, not a statistical fact. The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, which Charlotte referenced, stands against the use of this as a statistic. It's simply meant to show that many people re-evaluate their positions on God's existence when under circumstances of extreme stress. This common idea is backed up by the experiences of people who encounter NDEs, or Near-death experiences. I've posted a link below for some information about atheists in particular who encounter this phenomenon.

Einstein opinions:
Historicity of Jesus: