Sunday, August 29, 2010
A Vacuous Faith
There were two other, not necessarily related, pertinacious concerns I had even back when I was a hapless Christian that I have yet to discuss: why do Christians, who firmly believe that god has 24/7 surveillance on their every move, continue to do things that seem in direct opposition to that a priori assertion, and why are Christians, particularly non-Charismatic, not concerned when Jesus said that those going on after him will do greater things than what he did (John 14:12)? Yet, there continue to be scarcely any miracles which science and reason don’t continually falsify.
Let me expound on the first problem that I was already dealing with in my Christian walk. I think a simple analogy would suffice in making this scenario more lucid. Most of us have a boss that we must answer to when we get caught with ‘our hand in the cookie jar’. But, most of us do not have bosses that micromanage us to the point of watching our every move, including bowel movements; they do not listen to every derogatory comment we make to our co-workers, even the ones that are undecipherable to the human ear due to muttering; they are also incapable of ‘hearing’ every thought that we make. Yet, the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent god of the Christian faith is supposedly fully capable of being privy of everything you do and say, including ‘thought crimes’.
Therefore, it seems rather ridiculous that the vast majority of Christians would never do anything in front of their bosses that could potentially get them fired, but Christians tend to ignore the whole concept of being watched at all times by god. Why are Christians more concerned about a man than the creator of the universe if they really believe in his ever watchful eye?
For example, I know a guy at work that is a Christian. He prays before each meal in a very conspicuous manner; he wears Christian apparel as well; he is really a nice guy to be around etcetera. We also have a policy against using the cell phone, but this guy will violate this rule quite often. You may notice him looking around to make sure no one is watching before he pulls his phone out. This just doesn’t make sense to me, nor did it when I was a Christian. I would have conversations with my mom about it quite often. I would tell her that we should be acting like god is in the room watching our every move, just like the Bible infers. I would ask her why she doesn’t act more carefully. She drinks, cusses and gossips about others but certainly wouldn’t do any of that around certain people. She would usually just say—something along the lines of— that she knows she should do better and we all have to work on that. Would any Christian use the same excuse if they absolutely knew that their boss was monitoring everything they did? I don’t think so.
Most Christians would make certain to cover their ass in a superfluous fashion. They would be on their best behavior at all times. Why then, do Christians make a massive cognitive blunder when it comes to god who can even read their very thoughts?
Where are these Promised Powers?
“I tell you the truth. The person that believes in me will do the same things I have done. Yes! He will do even greater things than I have done. Why? Because I am going to the Father. And if you ask for anything in my name, I will do it for you. Then the Father's glory will be shown through the Son. If you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.” –(John 14:12)
You know, I must say that I have never even been able to mimic a single supernatural thing that Jesus did in his earthly sojourn. Yet, Jesus makes it clear that we should be able to do what he did and accomplish even more impressive feats. Likewise, I have never seen anybody else do anything that could not be explained in a more parsimonious fashion. Why are Christians not more perplexed about the inconsistency here?
It seems like many denominations that have more liberal leanings tend to avoid this verse all together. Charismatic’s, on the other hand, continue to be the charlatans that they are infamously already well known for. There has not been a single documented case of a miraculous occurrence that hasn’t been disproven by science or simple common sense. Where are Christians who can raise people from the dead and run, instead of walk, across water? Was Jesus lying or does nobody have the faith that miracles like this demand? Or, is all of this a bunch of bullshit? I’m going with bullshit until we can get some convincing evidence.
On an aside, Jesus did many ‘miracles’ among thousands of people but nobody bothered to document any of these miracles who were contemporaneous to the event. I don’t know about you, but I think that it would have been worth noting if I saw a man literally transform five loaves of bread into five thousand, or if I saw a whole squadron of deceased bodies walking about the town post resurrection. The practice of writing was invented some 4000 years before Jesus rolled into town so that shouldn’t have been a problem. Today, people claim that amazing miracles are happening all around us. When one person survives a airplane crash, we call it a miracle despite the fact that 150 others died. Indeed, miracles are easy to find these days because the word no longer even has the same meaning. All it would take is for one scientifically documented case of a person regenerating legs after praying to Yahweh, and it would give evidence that we need to confirm that something truly amazing is working behind the scenes.
Instead, we get stuff like this which I obtained from a guy I went to high school with. He always impressed me as the most authentic Christian in school and this is an excerpt from his blog: “Last week, I started giving words of knowlegde for healing for people. The first time I did it was on a television program. That night, I preached in a church in Blanchard where someone's back and something else was healed. (I'm forgetting already).
Then saturday I started the day by giving a word of knowledge to someone on facebook and his right foot was healed after I called him and prayed for him. That night in Ponca City, God healed a woman's wrist and leg.
Sunday morning in Ada, Ok was AWESOME!! A couple people with back problems were healed. When I said that someone with a injured right ankle/foot would be healed...a woman stood up and said that it was impossible for here to be healed because she had a metal rod and pins in her ankle. All pain left after we prayed for her. A woman with carpal tunnel syndrome was healed. I prayed for a man with head aches for healings...and then later that night there were more healings at Oil Center where again, wrists, knees, bones spurs, shoulders and other things were healed. Mostly they were immediately healed after I prayed for them, but somethimes it would take 2 or 3 times of prayer.
Last wednesday, 3 or 4 people with a deaf ear were healed. Amazingly, someone who was not present but who we prayed for was healed. His mother sms'ed a message 5 minutes after we prayed for him and said that he was at the doctor's office and that suddenly his hearing was perfect. They did not know that we had just prayed for him.
This morning it was the same. I spoke at a youth rally in OKC of hispanic kids and a couple kid's knees were healed, a man's hand was healed and a guys elbow was healed of pain. Then this evening in claremore, I prayed for shoulders. 3 or 4 men were instantly healed. There was one guy who seemed to still have some pain. The cool thing is that I have a friend of mine coming with me and he is now starting to pray for the sick and believing that he too can hear God's voice. Tommorrow we go to a couple of other churches and we expect to see more people touched through God's healing hand. God healed me as a child of cerebral palsey, and now I am excited to see God use my life to bring his healing power into other people's lives. I humbly thank God that I get to see this taking place.”
Notice that the vast majority of these healings are concentrated around aches and pains. Some of them refer to deaf people regaining their hearing. I would bet you a hundred bucks that those cases are either fraudulent or unreliable. If we visited those deaf people today, we would find that they are still just as deaf as before, or they were never completely deaf to begin with—if they were ever deaf at all. There’s always a catch to every one of these so called healings. People fall into the emotion and the hyper suggestibility involved in these ‘healing’ services; they start off feeling better for a while and then the emotions wear down and the ailment returns. One wonders why god will heal minor aches but can’t seem to restore an amputee’s legs.
Benny Hinn once gave the Christian Research Institute a medical report of some of the best healings he performed. They turned out to be fraudulent. He supposedly heals millions of infirmities on any given Sunday but even the ‘cream of the crop’ comes up short. We should be observing godly people literally moving mountains, raising the dead by the thousands and leaving doctors without a job if Jesus’ words were legit. Instead, we see just what we should expect if the world is devoid of anyone with miracle working powers.
Anyhow, these were a few issues that I had to suppress while living as a Christian. They were uncomfortable reminders that I was living under a nebulous and contradictory philosophy of life. We should see Christians acting like god is watching their every move if they believe in his omnipresence and we should be seeing miracles that go beyond Jesus’ best. But, we don’t so it’s just another reason to discard the Christian faith and recognize it for the spurious work that it is.