In the article “Are Eastern religions a good alternative to Western ones?,” one of the authors, Brian Gallagher, made many assertions about Christianity that were inaccurate and misconstrued the teachings of Christianity. Gallagher claims “In Christianity we are commanded to love … and fear, a being who … may torture us as he pleases. We are told to pray … worship … beg for forgiveness, and to imagine ourselves as … watched, judged and scrutinized.” While some of these comments are correct in that God does command certain things, the picture that Gallagher paints is incomplete. He is missing the grace aspect. Christianity is neither a religion of forced worship nor a religion of pure justice. Rather, it is a religion that man is sinful and wholly unable to fix himself but is saved by a God that is able to right the wrong and gives forgiveness to men who are utterly flawed. God calls us to love Him and to love others, a command which can only better the world if followed. This is something that comes naturally when you begin to understand the depth of His love for us. Fear of God is also something that comes easily when you ponder the awe-inspiring nature of a God that created heaven, earth, man and animal. A god that powerful is one that should be revered and respectfully feared because His power is unfathomable. Job 37:23 states “The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.”
The Christian God is not a god that “tortures as he pleases,” but rather a God that loves unconditionally and “pray(ing), worship(ping) and beg(ging) for forgiveness” is how men can return that love and pursue a relationship. God’s judgment, too, is not as Gallagher described. God’s grace comes before His judgment after He has countless times extended His grace and forgiveness and we have freely made the choice to turn away from Him. Because of man’s inherent sinfulness, justice is always deserved, but mercy is given instead. This mercy was Jesus, sent to earth to pay the price for man’s past, present and future sins so that we would no longer be separate from God because of unworthiness, but could instead have a relationship. Still though, humans choose autonomy from God because human nature drives us to be selfish, hateful and egotistical; we refuse to accept that we cannot make our lives better through our own works and thus ignore the free gift of salvation. The only requirements that God places upon man are best described in the book of Micah which claims “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Christianity is not a religion of judgment and malice by an uncaring god, worshipped by manipulated adherents, but rather a religion of individuals who are unworthy to have a relationship with God, but have been offered a sacrifice which enables imperfect men to approach a perfect God. The discussion of religion is an important one and should thus be factually correct when presented so individuals can get an accurate depiction of Christianity and the bigger questions in life.
Emily Badraun is a fourth-year political science major.
You seem to be very certain about the exact nature of god. What evidence do you have to offer in support of any of your many bold assertions about god. What is it that grants this god hypothesis any credibility at all, any more than belief in dragons or fairies or that the earth is flat?
Like I said above, evidence alone is not going to prove the “god hypothesis.” Faith is a crucial aspect. I know this is something that many nonchristians claim is a cop out. It seems too simple and convenient. i don’t know though. I think a degree of faith has to do with most of the things that we believe. Macro Evolution, for example, which some Christians do believe in, is a very likely explanation for the origins of the Earth. That is where science has led us. I would make the bold statement that belief in evolution requires some faith.… Read more »
point of clarification: the numbers listed are Prof. Wright’s work, not the conclusions drawn from them. I don’t want to misquote him.
It’s very arrogant to think that the universe was created with human beings in mind. Other species exist, too. There are probably aliens in other galaxies. Was the universe not created for them? Do they have their own god? Their own Jesus? It’s important to think about these questions. When we realize how many questions we don’t have the answer to, it should make us more humble; but you seem to be more confident with the less you know. Jesus would disapprove.
Speaking to the arrogance of imagining a universe created for humans, Genesis speaks of a God who specifically creates us, humans, in the image of Him, in an act that shows the dignity of life and the god-imaging aspect of it, “Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'” (Genesis 1:26). Life’s dignity is in that we alone… Read more »
You’ve cited your quotations well.
Thank you. I don’t think anyone argues that a discussion of these topics isn’t important, so I’m glad we’re all having it.
The only thing of which faith is a “crucial aspect” of is the evil humans wreck upon one another.
Your god has taken the majority of the human population and banished them to hell because they were Hindu or Muslim or an atheist – your version of love is monstrous.
I would argue that perception of God is incorrect. If God is the creator of the world and everything in it, which I believe Him to be, than the assumption to be made is that God is a God of love. He created for pleasure and out of love. Every person that God created was created to be loved, no matter their religion or life philosophy. Humans chose to turn away from God’s love for the sake of pursuing their own interests and autonomy. I think we can both agree that humans are sinful…or at least flawed. How many people… Read more »
Please site evidence for anything you said – I am positive most christians would point to the bible and disagree with you.
God is the original dictator! Just a few changes in your post, and it could be about some tyrant: I would argue that perception of Kim Il Sung is incorrect. If Kim Il Sung is the creator of the North Korean nation and everything in it, which I believe Him to be, than the assumption to be made is that Kim Il Sung is a Leader of love. He created for pleasure and out of love. Every person that Kim Il Sung made a North Korean citizen was created to be loved, no matter their religion or life philosophy. Humans… Read more »
great, another hippie Christian. how arrogant of you to project your own morals onto God! Wake up girl, you’ve been hoodwinked into believing in Santa for a second time. watch some george carlin, take a load off and live your life. you dont care enough about your religion or your beliefs to actually take the time to study them, to get educated about them. The thing that is supposed to be the most important thing in this life, seems to be easy enough to look up in a wikipedia entry filled out by someone else. You dont really care about… Read more »
Why do you needless attack the author here? It seems you have no other purpose except to stir up anger and start a fight. You claim the author is wrong on several occasions, and ruthlessly attack her character yet provide no evidence or even an argument for why that is the case. Disagreements, augments, and new perspectives can be extremely productive, change opinions and make the world a better place. Personal attacks and name calling has never accomplished anything productive. It is also important to note that there is no way to know for sure that any one view on… Read more »
I am perfectly within my right to attack the author here. The author is not open to changing her mind, listening to other points of views or educating herself on the question being discussed. This is just my opinion, based on what I know, and where she is coming from, I cant see her spending too much time on the issue. This just stems from the things she asserts through out her writing and in the comments, if that is actually her defending her own article. She is oblivious to the number of Christian denominations that would gladly take her… Read more »
You are in your right to attack anyone you please.
But you accomplish nothing.
Lol, Im actually fighting in real life. Im politically active and up to date with current events. I dont usually rant in the Daily Nexus, but when I do it to unwind. If you think sitting on your ass and arguing with people on the internet is your way of “contributing” to a cause, “one mind at a time”, I think you should probably get real and do something more meaningful with your life. The Daily Nexus is SHIT, Ive already ranted about this, I cared about a year ago about what people where writing here, now I just dont… Read more »
“what you assert without evidence can be dismissed without evidence”
What type of evidence are you specifically looking for Matthew? I will be the first one to admit that you cannot fully prove God’s existence. There is a certain amount of faith that plays in as well. I would argue, though, that a certain amount of faith plays into any other belief as well.
Just because knowledge is rarely certain doesn’t mean that all beliefs depend on faith. Do I need faith to believe that tomorrow is Sunday? No. Do you need faith to believe that Sunday is when God rested after having universe-created in six days? Yes. The truth of a belief can be more probable or not based on the grounds supporting it–in other words, our confidence may come in degrees. But faith is not a matter of degree based on the strength of supporting grounds: rather, it’s binary–either you have it or you don’t. If you have “faith” in the truth… Read more »
-“If you have “faith” in the truth of a belief, then you believe without grounds in support of it, and therefore you shouldn’t be at all confident that what you believe is true.” – This is unfair understanding of a Christian’s faith in God. No one has faith in something that their intuition and understanding would tell them to be a scam. There is good reason to believe in God described in the bible. For a quick example take the the life of Christ and his death and resurrection as described in the NT. If you believe the historicity of… Read more »
The historicity of Socrates can be brought into question because we only know of him from a couple of writers, including Plato. However, it is irrelevant whether he was historical because it is his ideas that count. No one takes for granted the biography of Socrates like you wish us to take Jesus’ biography for granted. All you have done is set up a straw man. Once you tell me that the resurrection is irrelevant and it is the ideas that are attributed to Jesus that count, your comparison might have some validity. Of course, you would still have to… Read more »
Zoltan, What is your goal? Are you really trying to promote good discussion, or do you really just like arguing for the sake of arguing? I say this because of your satirical reply to emily in which you merely replaced God with Kim Il Sung, and this comment which really had no serious regard to the point I was trying to make. You are right, people probably do question the historicity of Socrates as we know him. And like you said, this is because there isn’t too much written about him (contrary to the abundance of writings and historical events… Read more »
The article was complaining about my fellow columnist making the Christian god out to be tyrannical. I was showing that just by making a few changes to what Emily wrote, you can have her description of God sound like propaganda for a dictator. I think my satire was relevant. There is a large amount of firsthand, independent account of George Washington’s life and presidency. We also have a great deal of personal and legal documents for this person. Do you have any of these things for Jesus? Stories about cherry trees and not being able to lie are commonly disregarded… Read more »
I could not have put the challenge better than Zoltan just has.
My fellow columnist was comparing and contrasting various religions. The central point of the article was not Christianity. This was a 250 word article, and obviously he can’t discuss every aspect of your religion. His point was a fair one, and there are many Bible versus to back up his point. Here is one example of it: “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” (Exodus 20:5,… Read more »
With respect to David’s suggestion about aliens, I would like to invoke a quote by Voltaire: “Anything that is too stupid to be spoken is sung”.
I don’t understand your point here. Are you trying to say there is not a possibility of life on other planets? Because ruling it out altogether is beyond me at least. The famous Drake equation puts a quantifiable probability to the question. Very basically, the number of stars times the probability the star could have life on the planets around it to contact us. Essentially, many scientists believe the probability of life on other planets in the universe is extremely high, and I would agree. If, however, you are merely looking for a comment that you can exploit to bash… Read more »