What is the greatest challenge to Christianity?
If I truly have faith, none of you can shake me...
What makes Christianity seem like a stupid idea?
I guess the greatest challenge is that there is no proof of any of it.
I mean, if you can prove to me Jesus is the son of God and that God, in fact, exists, then it would help the belief in Christianity a shit load.
but faith only helps the individual with it. it does nothing for those who need evidence in order to back shit up.
Side: No Evidence
Totally agree. The religious always seem to assume that, as an atheist, no amount of evidence will make me change my mind. The truth is completely to the contrary; just a single piece of real evidence would be enough for me to at least doubt my strong atheism and claim that the existance of a god is at least a possibillity. Currently though, I'm absolutely convinced that there isn't a god as there isn't a single smidge of evidence to point towards his existance.
Side: No Evidence
That's a good point and I think it demonstrates a fundamental difference between religious and non-religious people. There is nothing you can say or do or explain or show a religious person to change their views because they are based on faith. Even if we had even more proof than we do now for the big bang theory and could explain why it happened and could explain every scientific question they raised, which we very nearly can, they would still believe in god. And they admit that there is nothing that would ever change their minds.
But like you said, if you showed and atheist even a decent piece of evidence, you would completely shake his/her worldview at the least, and most likely he/she would sincerely consider the possibility of a god.
And I think that is the battle between fundamentalism/dogma vs. rational analysis that is at the heart of this debate.
First line is wrong so the rest of this rant is pointless. this is how it is wrong:
God is able to prevent evil, but he is not willing. why is he not willing?
because he wants us to choose for ourselves. he wants us to choose to obey him and his commanments. otherwise we would be a mindless bunch of robots programmed to worship. QED :)
Side: no problem
I believe in the first one. There were three conceptions that God was (1) all-loving, (2) all-knowing, and (3) all-powerful. The conflict was that there was evil in the world, but why? Did he (1) not love us, (2) not know about it, or (3) was he not able to stop it? I believe the answer is 3. There is duality in nature, good and evil. God allows the evil because He can bring good out of it. I believe He is basically in a war with the Devil and Hell.
Side: No Evidence
This is, for me at least, the biggest hurdle for all religions, not just Christianity. Christianity attempts to explain it all away with the term "free will". While free will may be used as a crutch to attempt to justify MORAL evils in the world like murder or rape, it does in no way justify the existence of PHYSICAL evils like earthquake, flood, fire and disease. I do not have the free will to choose to be the victim of a hurricane, tornado or earthquake. So, the question is that if a loving god exists, why did he create a planet that kills his most loved through the very mechanics by which it works?
Religion has traditionally been the ultimate explanation for everything. The more science explains, the less room their is for religion.
It drives me nuts when some stupid Bible thumper uses a banana to "prove" that God exists, because, well, a banana is the perfect food! It's called horticulture people! Bananas in the store have been selectively grown for hundreds of years to reach their current form. "Wild" bananas are completely disgusting.
Did you hear his insane apology for his ignorance on the human cultivation of the banana?
He claims that even though human effort has made the common banana as convenient as it is, it still proves god's existence because god gave humans the knowledge to cultivate it.
Couldn't find a link to the text of the apology if it exists, but the producers of the video are Christians allied with Comfort so they're not misrepresenting him on purpose or anything like that.
Side: No Evidence
I disagree that the problem is lack of evidence. The challenge for Christianity is that there is no coherent ontology for God. All God is is a list of secondary and relational attributes. Thus, before one could even begin to discuss evidence for or against God in rational discourse, one would first have to provide a positive ontology for God.
This is why it doesn't make sense to compare God to mythical creatures like a unicorn for instance. A unicorn is a concept; it has a coherent ontology. Ask what God is. You will get statements like "love" or "power." But this is merely equivocating a nonconcept with no coherent ontology with a concept that has coherent ontology. To be an atheist, you have to assume that God has a coherent definition that can be disbelieved in.
But you can't disbelieve in a nonconcept. This is why I consider myself a noncognitivist and not an atheist.
Side: No Evidence
I'm been pointing this out for ages. If you take a room full of random Christians and ask them what "God" is you'll get varying accounts from all of them. So, you could say to yourself "maybe they're just ignorant, nonexperts." So you ask a room full of random Christian Priests and the same result happens "God is jealous" versus "God is merciful and loving."
And NOBODY knows what god is exactly supposed to be, in the technical sense. When you talk about a Unicorn you know it's presumably a mammal and therefore has blood, eats food, has hair, etc. On the topic of god no one has a clue what "god" is supposed to be. Just a bunch of appeals to magic.
I consider myself apatheist. I don't really care about "god" and besides if you can't define him properly, why should it matter to me?
Side: No Evidence
Those who choose to believe something unsubstantiated by proof are impervious to logic. Their arguments rely on faith.
Those with intuition of Epistemology and parsimony are impervious to faith. Their arguments rely on logic.
Thus, any argument between the two parties is irreconcilable. QED
Side: No Evidence
Take the problem of a loving god which you've already discussed in this debate. Your answer to that was that god wants us to choose. However, if god knows everything (omniscience), then he already knows the choices that we are going to select in life. How can he allow evils to happen to us (evils which he already knew would happen ahead of time), leave us to make our own choices in the face of thses evils (choices which he already knew we would take), selectively punish people for making the wrong choices (wrong choices which he already knew they would take), and still love us? Before anyone's creation, god already had their whole life planned for them; including all of the hardships that they would inevitably have to face without having any choice in the matter.
How can a god who not only allows evils to happen, but actually knew before hand what evil it would be, how we would react and whether or not we would ultimately end up in heaven or hell before we were even created, love us?
The greatest challenge to Christianity is the Christians themselves. Many followers of any religion become so focused on the structure and rites of whatever organisation they have chosen to follow that they lose sight of the central tenets of what created the religion in the first place. Most of the world religions preach peace, love, and understanding at the core of their belief systems, and yet when people become fanatical they begin to focus on the differences between their religion and the world. Those differences become a source of disdain and distrust. Soon, the fanatic's religion is now reinforcing exclusionary behavior instead of the love and unity that should be at it's core. Eventually this grows into actual contention and ultimately, awful wars where the perpetrators justify atrocities in the name of everyone else accepting their version of what all of us should use to become beings filled with love, peace and compassion.
If all anyone ever believes in is black and white then there is no use for faith. But here's a question; If your Grandmother, across the sea, were dying of kidney disease and someone came to tell you this, someone that had seen her, would you not believe she was indeed ill without proof of seeing her yourself? You would believe...that is faith of sorts. The people who wrote the chapter and verse of the Bible were also there. Why refute them?
So the greatest challenge to Christianity is non-believers.
Side: Non believers
Hmm, interesting question.
I would believe that person for several reasons. First, they aren't making any supernatural claims like water turning into wine or people rising from the dead. Second, severe illness would be a horrible thing to lie about, so they're almost certainly telling the truth. Lastly, I would confirm this fact myself, and if they were lying they should be expecting to face my wrath.
Let me ask you another question. If a snake oil salesman told you he had a cure-all to sell for twenty bucks... and said he had seen it's healing powers many times with his own eyes... Well, you can see why we shouldn't believe everything without critical consideration.
Side: No Evidence
"The people who wrote the chapter and verse of the Bible were also there. Why refute them?"
NONE of the Bible is from a primary source. This is the first thing you need to know about the bible if you are going to try and find any meaning from it.
To your other example... No, I would worry for my grand mother until I could confirm her being sick myself. The possibility IS enough to evoke an emotional response due to possible danger of a loved one, but to believe it as truth is simply your own gullability.
Side: No Evidence
I agree. To believe something someone tells you, is merely to put your full trust into them. However, it really does come down to WHO told you and do you trust them and believe them? For as long as I'm aware, people have always used lies to get people to do something, no matter how disturbing the lie.
As for the bible, yes, it does have dozens of sources... but like everyone is saying, it was written so long ago and quite a while after the actual events happened. I'd personally say a lot of passed down stories through friends and generations til someone with something to write with decided to write it somewhere. The problem with something being told from person to person to person though, is psychological... with every person, the facts change. Whether from mishearings, misreadings, memory loss, the power of suggestion, and so on and on. So, it takes a really naive person to read the bible and believe EVERY single word within it.
Side: No Evidence
That's a different kind of faith, it's a faith that can eventually be backed up by evidence, can be supported by eye witnesses, etc. etc. There are 2 types of faith: Trust in someone (I.E. Having "faith" in a politician to do the right thing), and belief without evidence (religious faith). The instance you gave is the first one.
Also, the New Testament was written about 40 to 90 years after Jesus died. Tell me something, what's something that happened 40 years ago that you remember down to the exact word? If 40 years, how about 20? Too long? How about 10? 5? 1? 6 Months! 1 Month! Can't remember it specifically down to the exact word? Well, guess we got a problem there.
Side: No Evidence
Hypocrisy, both in the Bible and shown by Christians. I'm an atheist that goes to a Christian school, and all that I see all day is "Christians" committing "sinful" acts... it's ridiculous, and it's the main thing that drove me towards atheism (along with lack of evidence). I mean, the most conservative christian girl at my school is a preppy popular girl that spends all day (I'm a guy) making fun of other people. The most conservative christian teacher at my school is the single most arrogant, judgmental, ignorant, close minded person that I've ever met.
If the Hypocrisy died down, I wouldn't hate religion as much as I do right now.
Here are four points. I think the biggest challenge in general is that it simply doesn't make sense. The point's been made the religion relies on faith, not logic. However, even religious people need logic to get through their day. If it looks like it's going to rain, you bring an umbrella. You don't have faith God will stop it from raining.
The greatest challenge for me as a christian would be dying to my own self each day, temptation is everywhere and sometimes we forget to stand out, to be the light, so i guess, the greatest challenge would be being exposed to this world.But other than that i have God who helps me.
Here is a short and incomplete list of Biblical contradictions which were obtained from postings in internet newsgroups. Unfortunately I did not record who posted them or if they have a web site with a longer and more complete list. If you like this page you might also like Contradictions of the Gospel and this List
If the Bible was divinely inspired, then why would it have so many really obvious contradictions?
1. God is satisfied with his works
God is dissatisfied with his works.
2. God dwells in chosen temples
2 Chron 7:12,16
God dwells not in temples
3. God dwells in light
God dwells in darkness
1 Kings 8:12/ Ps 18:11/ Ps 97:2
4. God is seen and heard
Ex 33:23/ Ex 33:11/ Gen 3:9,10/ Gen 32:30/ Is 6:1/
God is invisible and cannot be heard
John 1:18/ John 5:37/ Ex 33:20/ 1 Tim 6:16
5. God is tired and rests
God is never tired and never rests
6. God is everywhere present, sees and knows all things
Prov 15:3/ Ps 139:7-10/ Job 34:22,21
God is not everywhere present, neither sees nor knows all
Gen 11:5/ Gen 18:20,21/ Gen 3:8
7. God knows the hearts of men
Acts 1:24/ Ps 139:2,3
God tries men to find out what is in their heart
Deut 13:3/ Deut 8:2/ Gen 22:12
8. God is all powerful
Jer 32:27/ Matt 19:26
God is not all powerful
9. God is unchangeable
James 1:17/ Mal 3:6/ Ezek 24:14/ Num 23:19
God is changeable
Gen 6:6/ Jonah 3:10/ 1 Sam 2:30,31/ 2 Kings 20:1,4,5,6/
10. God is just and impartial
Ps 92:15/ Gen 18:25/ Deut 32:4/ Rom 2:11/ Ezek 18:25
God is unjust and partial
Gen 9:25/ Ex 20:5/ Rom 9:11-13/ Matt 13:12
11. God is the author of evil
Lam 3:38/ Jer 18:11/ Is 45:7/ Amos 3:6/ Ezek 20:25
God is not the author of evil
1 Cor 14:33/ Deut 32:4/ James 1:13
12. God gives freely to those who ask
James 1:5/ Luke 11:10
God withholds his blessings and prevents men from receiving
John 12:40/ Josh 11:20/ Is 63:17
13. God is to be found by those who seek him
Matt 7:8/ Prov 8:17
God is not to be found by those who seek him
14. God is warlike
Ex 15:3/ Is 51:15
God is peaceful
Rom 15:33/ 1 Cor 14:33
15. God is cruel, unmerciful, destructive, and ferocious
Jer 13:14/ Deut 7:16/ 1 Sam 15:2,3/ 1 Sam 6:19
God is kind, merciful, and good
James 5:11/ Lam 3:33/ 1 Chron 16:34/ Ezek 18:32/ Ps 145:9/
1 Tim 2:4/ 1 John 4:16/ Ps 25:8
16. God's anger is fierce and endures long
Num 32:13/ Num 25:4/ Jer 17:4
God's anger is slow and endures but for a minute
Ps 103:8/ Ps 30:5
17. God commands, approves of, and delights in burnt offerings,
sacrifices ,and holy days
Ex 29:36/ Lev 23:27/ Ex 29:18/ Lev 1:9
God disapproves of and has no pleasure in burnt offerings,
sacrifices, and holy days.
Jer 7:22/ Jer 6:20/ Ps 50:13,4/ Is 1:13,11,12
18. God accepts human sacrifices
2 Sam 21:8,9,14/ Gen 22:2/ Judg 11:30-32,34,38,39
God forbids human sacrifice
19. God tempts men
Gen 22:1/ 2 Sam 24:1/ Jer 20:7/ Matt 6:13
God tempts no man
20. God cannot lie
God lies by proxy; he sends forth lying spirits t deceive
2 Thes 2:11/ 1 Kings 22:23/ Ezek 14:9
21. Because of man's wickedness God destroys him
Because of man's wickedness God will not destroy him
22. God's attributes are revealed in his works.
God's attributes cannot be discovered
Job 11:7/ Is 40:28
23. There is but one God
There is a plurality of gods
Gen 1:26/ Gen 3:22/ Gen 18:1-3/ 1 John 5:7
24. Robbery commanded
Ex 3:21,22/ Ex 12:35,36
Lev 19:13/ Ex 20:15
25. Lying approved and sanctioned
Josh 2:4-6/ James 2:25/ Ex 1:18-20/ 1 Kings 22:21,22
Ex 20:16/ Prov 12:22/ Rev 21:8
26. Hatred to the Edomite sanctioned
2 Kings 14:7,3
Hatred to the Edomite forbidden
27. Killing commanded
28. The blood-shedder must die
The blood-shedder must not die
29. The making of images forbidden
The making of images commanded
30. Slavery and oppression ordained
Gen 9:25/ Lev 25:45,46/ Joel 3:8
Slavery and oppression forbidden
Is 58:6/ Ex 22:21/ Ex 21:16/ Matt 23:10
31. Improvidence enjoyed
Matt 6:28,31,34/ Luke 6:30,35/ Luke 12:3
1 Tim 5:8/ Prov 13:22
32. Anger approved
Eccl 7:9/ Prov 22:24/ James 1:20
33. Good works to be seen of men
Good works not to be seen of men
34. Judging of others forbidden
Judging of others approved
1 Cor 6:2-4/ 1 Cor 5:12
35. Christ taught non-resistance
Matt 5:39/ Matt 26:52
Christ taught and practiced physical resistance
Luke 22:36/ John 2:15
36. Christ warned his followers not to fear being killed
Christ himself avoided the Jews for fear of being killed
37. Public prayer sanctioned
1 Kings 8:22,54, 9:3
Public prayer disapproved
38. Importunity in prayer commended
Importunity in prayer condemned
39. The wearing of long hair by men sanctioned
Judg 13:5/ Num 6:5
The wearing of long hair by men condemned
1 Cor 11:14
40. Circumcision instituted
41. The Sabbath instituted
The Sabbath repudiated
Is 1:13/ Rom 14:5/ Col 2:16
42. The Sabbath instituted because God rested on the seventh day
The Sabbath instituted because God brought the Israelites
out of Egypt
43. No work to be done on the Sabbath under penalty of death
Ex 31:15/ Num 15:32,36
Jesus Christ broke the Sabbath and justified his disciples in
John 5:16/ Matt 12:1-3,5
44. Baptism commanded
Baptism not commanded
1 Cor 1:17,14
45. Every kind of animal allowed for food.
Gen 9:3/ 1 Cor 10:25/ Rom 14:14
Certain kinds of animals prohibited for food.
46. Taking of oaths sanctioned
Num 30:2/ Gen 21:23-24,31/ Gen 31:53/ Heb 6:13
Taking of oaths forbidden
47. Marriage approved
Gen 2:18/ Gen 1:28/ Matt 19:5/ Heb 13:4
1 Cor 7:1/ 1 Cor 7:7,8
48. Freedom of divorce permitted
Deut 24:1/ Deut 21:10,11,14
49. Adultery forbidden
Ex 20:14/ Heb 13:4
Num 31:18/ Hos 1:2; 2:1-3
50. Marriage or cohabitation with a sister denounced
Deut 27:22/ Lev 20:17
Abraham married his sister and God blessed the union
Gen 20:11,12/ Gen 17:16
51. A man may marry his brother's widow
A man may not marry his brother's widow
52. Hatred to kindred enjoined
Hatred to kindred condemned
Eph 6:2/ Eph 5:25,29
53. Intoxicating beverages recommended
Prov 31:6,7/ 1 Tim 5:23/ Ps 104:15
Intoxicating beverages discountenanced
Prov 20:1/ Prov 23:31,32
54. It is our duty to obey our rulers, who are God's ministers
and punish evil doers only
It is not our duty to obey rulers, who sometimes punish the
good and receive unto themselves damnation therefor
Ex 1:17,20/ Dan 3:16,18/ Dan 6:9,7,10/ Acts 4:26,27/
Mark 12:38,39,40/ Luke 23:11,24,33,35
55. Women's rights denied
Gen 3:16/ 1 Tim 2:12/ 1 Cor 14:34/ 1 Pet 3:6
Women's rights affirmed
Judg 4:4,14,15/ Judg 5:7/ Acts 2:18/ Acts 21:9
56. Obedience to masters enjoined
Col 3:22,23/ 1 Pet 2:18
Obedience due to God only
Matt 4:10/ 1 Cor 7:23/ Matt 23:10
57. There is an unpardonable sin
There is not unpardonable sin
58. Man was created after the other animals
Man was created before the other animals
59. Seed time and harvest were never to cease
Seed time and harvest did cease for seven years
Gen 41:54,56/ Gen 45:6
60. God hardened Pharaoh's heart
Ex 4:21/ Ed 9:12
Pharaoh hardened his own heart
61. All the cattle and horses in Egypt died
Ex 9:3,6/ 14:9
All the horses of Egypt did not die
62. Moses feared Pharaoh
Ex 2:14,15,23; 4:19
Moses did not fear Pharaoh
63. There died of the plague twenty-four thousand
There died of the plague but twenty-three thousand
1 Cor 10:8
64. John the Baptist was Elias
John the Baptist was not Elias
65. The father of Joseph, Mary's husband was Jacob
The father of Mary's husband was Heli
66. The father of Salah was Arphaxad
The father of Salah was Cainan
67. There were fourteen generations from Abraham to David
There were but thirteen generations from Abraham to David
68. There were fourteen generations from the Babylonian captivity
There were but thirteen generations from the Babylonian
captivity to Christ
69. The infant Christ was taken into Egypt
The infant Christ was not taken into Egypt
Luke 2:22, 39
70. Christ was tempted in the wilderness
Christ was not tempted in the wilderness
71. Christ preached his first sermon on the mount
Christ preached his first sermon on the plain
72. John was in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
John was not in prison when Jesus went into Galilee
John 1:43/ John 3:22-24
73. Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with a staff
Christ's disciples were commanded to go forth with neither
staffs nor sandals.
74. A woman of Canaan besought Jesus
It was a Greek woman who besought Him
75. Two blind men besought Jesus
Only one blind man besought Him
76. Christ was crucified at the third hour
Christ was not crucified until the sixth hour
77. The two thieves reviled Christ.
Matt 27:44/ Mark 15:32
Only one of the thieves reviled Christ
78. Satan entered into Judas while at supper
Satan entered into him before the supper
79. Judas committed suicide by hanging
Judas did not hang himself, but died another way
80. The potter's field was purchased by Judas
The potter's field was purchased by the Chief Priests
81. There was but one woman who came to the sepulchre
There were two women who came to the sepulchre
82. There were three women who came to the sepulchre
There were more than three women who came to the sepulchre
83. It was at sunrise when they came to the sepulchre
It was some time before sunrise when they came.
84. There were two angels seen by the women at the sepulchre, and
they were standing up.
There was but one angel seen, and he was sitting down.
85. There were two angels seen within the sepulchre.
There was but one angel seen within the sepulchre
86. Christ was to be three days and three nights in the grave
Christ was but two days and two nights in the grave
Mark 15:25,42,44,45,46; 16:9>
87. Holy ghost bestowed at pentecost
Holy ghost bestowed before pentecost
88. The disciples were commanded immediately after the
resurrection to go into Galilee
The disciples were commanded immediately after the
resurrection to go tarry at Jerusalem
89. Jesus first appeared to the eleven disciples in a room at
Luke 24:33,36,37/ John 20:19
Jesus first appeared to the eleven on a mountain in Galilee
90. Christ ascended from Mount Olivet
Christ ascended from Bethany
91. Paul's attendants heard the miraculous voice, and stood
Paul's attendants heard not the voice and were prostrate
92. Abraham departed to go into Canaan
Abraham went not knowing where
93. Abraham had two sons
Abraham had but one son
94. Keturah was Abraham's wife
Keturah was Abraham's concubine
1 Chron 1:32
95. Abraham begat a son when he was a hundred years old, by the
interposition of Providence
Gen 21:2/ Rom 4:19/ Heb 11:12
Abraham begat six children more after he was a hundred years
old without any interposition of providence
96. Jacob bought a sepulchre from Hamor
Abraham bought it of Hamor
97. God promised the land of Canaan to Abraham and his seed
Gen 13:14,15,17; 17:8
Abraham and his seed never received the promised land
Acts 7:5/ Heb 11:9,13
98. Goliath was slain by Elhanan
2 Sam 21:19 *note, was changed in translation to be
correct. Original manuscript was incorrect>
The brother of Goliath was slain by Elhanan
1 Chron 20:5
99. Ahaziah began to reign in the twelfth year of Joram
2 Kings 8:25
Ahaziah began to reign in the eleventh year of Joram
2 Kings 9:29
100. Michal had no child
2 Sam 6:23
Michal had five children
2 Sam 21:8
101. David was tempted by the Lord to number Israel
2 Sam 24:1
David was tempted by Satan to number the people
1 Chron 21:1
102. The number of fighting men of Israel was 800,000; and of
2 Sam 24:9
The number of fighting men of Israel was 1,100,000; and of
1 Chron 21:5
103. David sinned in numbering the people
2 Sam 24:10
David never sinned, except in the matter of Uriah
1 Kings 15:5
104. One of the penalties of David's sin was seven years of
2 Sam 24:13
It was not seven years, but three years of famine
1 Chron 21:11,12
105. David took seven hundred horsemen
2 Sam 8:4
David took seven thousand horsemen
1 Chron 18:4
106. David bought a threshing floor for fifty shekels of silver
2 Sam 24:24
David bought the threshing floor for six hundred shekels of
1 Chron 21:25
107. David's throne was to endure forever.
David's throne was cast down
Side: No Evidence
common sense lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
Side: No Evidence