The Christian God: Evil!

The Bible presents an interesting picture of God, ie. a god who never changes (Malachi 3:6) but actually does frequently change his mind and even regrets what he's done ("repents") - Genesis 6:6,7, Exodus 32:l4, l Samuel l5:35, 2 Samuel 24:l6, l Chronicles 21:l5, Jeremiah l8:8,l0, 26:3,l3,l9, 42:l0, Ezekiel 24:l4, Joel 2:l3, Amos 7:3. Although it is to be noted that Numbers 23:l9 and l Samuel 15:2 say that God never repents.

It states God is "spirit", ie. non-physical (John 4:24) and yet he is always called 'him' or 'he' as if he had a male body, and then it states that although spirit, he has feet (Psalm l8:9), arms (Jeremiah 27:5), wings (Psalm 36:7), hands (Job 27:ll), eyes (Deuteronomy 8:3), a mouth (Isaiah l:20), ears (2 Chronicles 6:40), nostrils (Exodus l5:8) and legs (Genesis 3:8). He also uses a razor - Isaiah 7:20. He also occasionally roars (Joel 3:l6) and sometimes he even whistles (Isaiah 5:26). Although he has never been seen (John l:l8), he has actually been seen (Isa 6:l), and he even revealed his rear to Moses (Exodus 33:21-22).......

The presence of evil

Christians argue that it is through Adam's sin that evil exists and furthermore it is because of his transgression that all humans must die; this is clearly taught by Paul in Rom 5:12,17,18 and is the central theology of Christianity; however, this wholly contradicts 2 Kings 14:6, Ezekiel 18:20, Jeremiah 31:30 that state a person will NOT suffer for an ancestor's wrongdoing.

If the God of the Bible is truly God, then there is a dilemma; for God to be God, he has to be omnipotent, responsible for the creation of everything; this includes evil; if he did not create evil, then he was not wholly creative, and therefore cannot be God. In fact the Bible does actually say God commits evil, eg. Exodus 32:l4, 2 Sam 24:l6, 1 Chron 21:l5, Jer l8:8, 26:3,l3,l9, Jonah 3:l0. Furthermore he sends lying spirits (l Kings 22:23, 2 Chronicles l8:22) and deliberately deceives people (2 Thessalonians 2:ll). And not only this, he admits to being responsible for the creation of evil and misery - Isaiah 45:7, and that he has deliberately made people so he can destroy them - Proverbs l6:4.

He condemns killing (Exodus 20:l3) but orders it (Exodus 32:27); he encourages wisdom (Proverbs 4:7) but condemns it (l Corinthians l:l9); he protects the righteous (Proverbs 12:21) but does not (Hebrews ll:36-37); he cuts off the wicked (Proverbs l0:27) but does not (Job 21:7-9); he commands respect for parents (Exodus 20:l2) but encourages hatred for them (Luke l6:9); he blesses peace (Matthew 5:9) but brings war (Matthew l0:34, Revelation l9:ll).

It continues by saying God will keep the earth (Ecclesiastes l:4), but will destroy it (2 Peter 3:l0); is invisible and unseen (John l:l8, l Timothy 6:l5-l6) but has been seen (Amos 9:l, Deuteronomy 5:24); he lives in dazzling light (l Timothy 6:l5-l6), but lives in darkness (l Kings 8:l2).

The Christian life

One example of Christian teaching not being dervived from the Bible is how Christians say a great deal of the Bible gives instructions regarding a happy married/family life. In reality, this is not so at all.

As far as "Jesus' teaching about the 'sanctity' of marriage" or even family life, the Gospels say very little on this. Jesus' teaching regarding divorce arises in Matthew l9:3-l2 and Mark l0:2-12; Luke and John omit this passage. In Mark, Jesus speaks to his Jewish audience about a woman divorcing her husband - l0:12 - however no such thing was possible in Palestine ! Here the author of Mark betrays the fact that (i)he was not an eyewitness to the events he writes of (ii)that he was not a first century Palestinian Jew (who obviously would not make such an error) ie. Christians maintain the author of Mark is the same John Mark mentioned in Acts 12:12. However it is clear just from this that he was a Gentile, writing for a Gentile (Rome ?) audience.

He makes numerous errors in his Gospel about Palestinian life, geography, customs and theology. (iii)the other Gospel writers freely adapted their material to emphasise the point they were trying to make. ie. their narratives are not reliable accounts, but rather editorial compositions/redactions with no basis in historical fact.

Mark also allows no reason for divorce - l0:l2, but the author of Matt does have Jesus saying one reason was acceptable for divorce (ie. unfaithfulness) - ie. l9:9. Presumably by the time Matthew was written, Christians (particularly Gentiles) were finding Jesus' instruction in Mark impossible to follow, so Matthew's author introduced an escape clause. Matt's author omits the statement about women divorcing their husbands as he clearly realised what an error this was (he actually tidies up other errors in Mark). In 1st century Palestine, adultery was not a crime against the woman, but a crime against her husband (!!!). Mark is therefore wrong in l0:ll and Matt (in l9:9) therefore corrects this and omits the 'against her'.

The statement that Christian life is the basis of a happy fulfilled family life, is certainly not based on Jesus' supposed teaching. In fact Jesus says very little on this subject. One of the occasions he does refer or rather, allude to family life is when he lists some of the Ten Commandments to the man asking about acquiring eternal life, and repeats the commandment of honouring parents. This appears in Matthew l9:l6-22 where the enquirer is a young man (l9:20) and in Luke l8:l8-23, but here he is a ruler. In Mark (l0:l7-22) he is clearly not 'young' as he recalls his youth in l0:20. This is a typical example of how the Gospels do not agree with each other.

In Mark, Jesus lists off some of the Decalogue (l0 Commandments) including 'Honour your parents', but he also lists 'Do not defraud' (l0:l9) as one of the Commandments. However, this is not one of the Ten Commandments. (These are found in Exodus 20:l-l7, Deuteronomy 5:6-21). Note how Matt (l9:l8) and Luke (l8:20), correct this error in Mark (they correct others also elsewhere in Mark). This again is an example of how Mark's author was not a Jew (who would at least know the l0 Commandments).

Furthermore, it clearly has Jesus saying things that could not have been said, and how the speech cannot be authentic; furthermore, it shows how Matt and Luke's authors freely changed Mark where they saw a mistake; their compositions cannot be reliable accounts either.

There is also the factor that it is somewhat inappropriate for Jesus to preach about the honouring of parents when he also advocates, for example, hating one's family (Luke l4:26), that his purpose was to break up families (Matthew l0:34-36, Luke 12:51-53), not even burying them when they die (Matthew 8:21-22) and deserting one's own family (resulting in a reward) (Luke l8:29-30).

Jesus' teachings

Although Christians maintain Jesus' teaching was very new and revolutionary (eg. Matt 19:3ff), this is just not so. Most of it is borrowed from the Old Testament and contemporary faiths. In this case, he is simply repeating the strict divorce ruling of Rabbi Shammai. The famous 'Golden Rule' of Jesus in Matt 7:l2 (Do to others as you would wish them to do to you) is also far from unique; this is found in various teachings predating Christianity and even found in its negative form in the Old Testament Apocrypha - Tobit 4:l5. Much of Matthew's 'Sermon on the Mount' (not found in Mark, nor John and broken into pieces and scattered through his Gospel by Luke's author) contains a good deal borrowed from pre-Christian religion, eg. Matt 5:9 is found in the pre-Christian Book of the Secrets of Enoch (52:ll) and Matthew 5:34-37 is also found there (49:l). In chap. 42 of this pre-Christian book, there are beatitudes which resemble the Gospel ones both in number and form.

In sum, there is nothing unique about Jesus' teachings, the record of his life is historically doubtful through the dishonesty and incompetence of the first Christian evangelists and leaders, and the claims made about Jesus by present-day Christians are false.