Ex-Christianity.net Exposed – Reasonable faith…. The logical fallacies within dogma

A website called exchristian.net is dedicated to ridiculing God, and they use every little misinformation they can get to mislead people into thinking Christianity is fiction and the bible is contradictory. As it is the case with websites that publish misleading information, they censor everybody who post comments that refute their claims. I have unfortunately been one of those censored. As such I would be writing a series of articles called ‘ExChristian.net Exposed’, to respond to the claims published on that website, and try to help some of the Ex-Christians who had real concerns and questions that lead to their rejection of Christianity and God.

Jakes Rhodes, wrote an article called “Reasonable Faith…The logical fallacies within dogma”, and he says “my goal in writing this article is simply to examine a few basic doctrines of Christianity to determine if they can in fact be deemed reasonable”. It is my goal to prove that it is actually Jakes Rhodes’ arguments that don’t stand up to reason. In his article he tackles four biblical issues that he views as a paradox:

1. Jesus Christ wasn’t “both fully God and fully man”

Jakes says it’s a paradox that Jesus could have been fully human because if “Jesus was not capable of sin, then I say it is impossible that he was fully human. If Jesus was actually incapable of sin, then he could not have been fully human because he did not share the curse of original sin and sinful nature alongside the rest of humanity.” According to Jakes, being fully human and incapable of sin are two things that are mutually exclusive, meaning a person can’t be both fully human and sinless. I like the fact that Jakes uses the bible to make his point, so there’s no reason for me to go beyond the bible to refute his claim. We do know from the bible that Adam and Eve were fully human, just as Jesus was fully human. Unless Jakes disputes Adam and Eve’s human nature on the basis that they didn’t have ‘parents’ then I see no reason why we can’t compare Adam and Eve with Jesus. From the bible we learn that both Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for long periods without sinning against God. Of course we know that they did eventually sin against God at a later stage, but the point here is that they managed to be both fully human and sinless for a considerable period. So we can prove beyond doubt that a person can be fully human and sinless at the same time, so there’s no reason to believe that Jesus couldn’t have been fully human on the basis that He didn’t sin.

But there’s still one other question here: Was Jesus capable of sin? We know that Adam and Eve were capable of sin, even though they managed to stay sinless for a considerable period of time. How do we know Adam and Eve were capable of sin? Because they did eventually sin! We also know that Jesus was tempted by Satan to sin against God (see Mark 1), but He didn’t. Does this mean that Jesus’ was tempted by sin? No, He was merely tempted by Satan, not the pleasure of sin itself. Like Jakes said, it’s impossible for God to be tempted by sin, and it’s no wonder why He can’t be tempted by sin. Jesus’ understood the Law, which made Him understand that even the thought of sin is sin in itself. So we can’t say Jesus was capable of sin when He didn’t sin. Had he been capable of sin then He would have eventually sinned, after all he had countless chances to sin, just as Adam and Eve had chances to sin. So we can say with all confidence that being incapable of sin and being fully human are two things that are mutually inclusive, because Adam and Eve have proved that it’s possible to be sinless, while Jesus has proved that it’s possible to be incapable of sin.

Let me agree with Jakes’ assessment that “The notion of being fully human and fully divine is a paradox”, but not for the reason that Jakes provided.  We learn from 1 Peter 1:11-12, that the issue of salvation (God sending Jesus to earth) was a paradox for prophets who predicted Jesus’ coming, and for angels in heaven who witnessed Jesus’ incarnation.  Leonard Ravenhill used to say all questions we have about prophecy will be fully answered in heaven, but we will never fully understand the mystery of salvation (that’s my paraphrase). So perhaps it’s not a paradox, but merely that our minds can’t fathom what it must be like to be fully human and fully God at the same time. But to say Jesus wasn’t fully human is laughable, when He had all bodily organs and features, and could feel pain and joy as all humans do, and could even die as all humans do.

2. Heaven and hell

Jakes says “The second doctrine I would like to challenge is that concerning the eternal destination of the souls of those ignorant of the gospel, through no fault of their own…… One must be completely foolish or willfully deluded in order to deny that countless people have lived and died without ever hearing even the name Jesus……. One must concede that those ignorant of the gospel are either sent to Heaven or Hell.”

Unfortunately the church is to blame for Jakes’ lack of understanding of the reasons that God provides for sending people to hell. Almost all churches preach that people go to hell for not accepting Jesus, which becomes a paradox if you have never heard of Jesus. Unfortunately Islam and other religions also preach the same message – that you will go to hell if you don’t acknowledge Muhammad having heard about him. I was once so irritated by this senseless teaching (yes it’s senseless and unbiblical) that I wrote this article, which lists biblical reasons for people to be sent to hell.

Let me assure Jakes that nobody would be going to hell because they didn’t hear about Jesus, and nobody is going to hell because they didn’t hear about Muhammad either, but it doesn’t mean that those who didn’t hear the Gospel would be in heaven or purgatory (which doesn’t exist) either. Ray Comfort answered this question brilliantly by saying “No one will go to hell because they haven’t heard of Jesus Christ. The heathen will go to hell for murder, rape, adultery, lust, theft, lying, etc. Sin is not failing to hear the gospel. Rather, “sin is the transgression of the Law” (1 John 3:4). You heard that? The reason people go to hell is because they sinned against God, not because they were no missionaries preaching to them. People were still going to hell before Jesus came to earth 2000 years ago, and people went to hell before Moses gave the Law, and there are still those who go to hell even today. So it has nothing to do with Jesus, or the availability of bibles or missionaries. Sin is the only thing that sends people to hell, not their privilege to hear the Gospel or not, and everybody is responsible for their own sins. Read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Galatians 5:19-21, and Revelations 21:8,27 to find out if you’ll be going to hell or not.

3. God and objective morality

Jakes seems to question the assertion “that objective morality only exists if God exists”. I can’t think of any credible philosopher in the world who still questions the positive link between moral absolutes and the existence of God. In fact I can’t even think of any argument that has been put forward that will prove that moral absolutes have nothing to do with the existence of God. I have seen plenty of public debates between humanists and Christian apologists and the issue of moral absolutes have always been accepted by humanists as only explainable through the existence of God. Of course humanists will argue that there is no such thing as moral absolutes, but humankind is smart enough to know that there are moral absolutes.

Jakes then says “I assert that Christianity is challenged with the dilemma of determining whether behaviors are good because God commands them, or if God commands behaviors because they are good. If the believer affirms the latter, then the argument could be made that objective morality does exist. However, if the believer asserts that the former is true, then there would be no objective basis for morality. Morality would be entirely contingent upon the whims of God, therefore it would be subjective.” Since I believe that behaviours are good because God commands them, then I find myself in agreement with Jakes that objective morality does exist. For instance, the bible tells us to love our enemies and to do good to those who take advantage of us or even beat us (see Luke 6:27-31). But we as humans know that there’s nothing good about allowing ourselves to be beaten by others, so we can safely say from humans’ point of view that those morals are not good. Of course we know from the bible that God commanded Israel as a nation to attack and kill people, including women and children. Was that moral from a human point of view? No, it wasn’t moral, yet God still commanded it. So there’s no suggestion that God passed moral laws to us based on whether those laws were good or not, from a human point of view. But there are many suggestions that God passed moral laws to us unilaterally without asking for our opinion on their morality. The question we need to be asking is whether God has a right to impose His moral laws on us or not?

4. Nature and authority of the Bible

Jakes asks “how the determination that the Bible is actually God’s word can be made with such confidence”. There are many reasons why I believe the bible is the word of God. Firstly, prophecy affirms without doubt that there was supernatural involvement in the writing of the bible.  I recently saw in the bible what I believe to be the Greatest Bible Prophecy found in the bible. The fact that it was predicted thousands of years before fulfilment, and it was mathematically precise not to be subjective, is what makes me believe that the bible is indeed God’s word. Secondly, the bible makes outrageous claims which could be proven by applying them. The biblical claim that you can know God through Jesus is the most outrageous claim in the world (see John 17:3), yet I have found the bible to be true. Thirdly, the historical accuracy of the bible is proven to be true by countless of archaeological finds found in our museums, and by historians. Fourthly, the bible has made outrageous scientific claims that have been proven to be true. Before Matthew Fontaine Maury discovered that the oceans have many paths or currents, which were like rivers flowing through the sea, the bible had already made this claim in Psalm 8:8, thousands of years before Matthew Fontaine Maury came into being. So there are many reasons that make Christians to believe without doubt that the bible is indeed the word of God. And no I didn’t say “because the bible says so”.

But are there contradictory errors in the bible? Jakes says “anyone even remotely acquainted with biblical criticism can see that the Bible contains a myriad of biological, historical, cosmological, and internally contradictory errors.” Personally, I have never seen such contradictory errors. An atheist friend once sent me a list of contradictions found in the bible, they were about a 100, and they were proven not to be contradictory at all. For instance, some of the so-called contradictions are things like where did Cain get his wife, Matthew vs Luke Jesus’ genealogy, etc. But we know that all these things are not contradictory.

In conclusion, I find it impossible that anybody can be a Christian without applying logic and reason first to the merits of Jesus and the inerrancy of the bible. If Jesus wasn’t who He said He was, or if He wasn’t resurrected from the dead, then it would be illogical for anybody to be a Christian. But a Christian takes these matters into account first before he or she commits himself into Christianity, so it can’t be suggested that Christians are devoid of logic and reason. Of course there are people who didn’t scrutinise these matters first in their minds, and they went on to become ex-Christians. But the suggestion that Christianity is mutually exclusive with reason and logic is an intellectual embarrassment.

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15 Comments »

  1. Jake Rhodes said

    Hello,

    You can read my response to this rebuttal here:

    http://new.exchristian.net/2012/02/reasonable-faith-revisited.html

    Regards,

    Jake

  2. Jake, I’m embarassed that I called you Jakes, apologies.

    Was I banned? Yes, and I was threatened with worse, and people from this forum even went as far as involving my wife in this, and if you want proof then I can show you, but I hope that won’t be necessary and you’ll take my word for it.

    You might not be aware but I wrote a lot more articles responding to the articles written here, and was planning to respond to an article by Paul So called “Problem with repentance” when I get the time, which I find very interesting and a good ground for discussion. I have been disappointed by the fact that most atheists are not willing to debate the issue, but rather are bitter and willing to stifle debate. Having said that I’m glad that you are willing to engage in debate.

    To be fair Jake, I have been around atheists for a very long time, and I’m familiar with Sagan, Hawking, Greene and Dawkins and I don’t see any worthy argument they are coming up with. I also tell my atheist friends that they should stop presenting these men’s argument as factual on the basis that they are scientists, and the same advice goes to you. And I agree with you that Ray Comfort is not a scientist, and I didn’t present him as one.

    As for your actual rebuttal, I’ll take time to reply to it.

    Regards

    Note: I wrote the same comment on your rebuttal link. Also I really thought I included the link to your original article, which is strange since I included links to most, if not all, of the responses I did.

    • Jake Rhodes said

      Great. I look forward to the forthcoming article.

      Just a few comments:

      I was not implying that you should read the aforementioned scientists to consider their philosophical objections to religion, but rather their writings on scientific topics. I am not propping their religious opinions on some pedestal of authority because they are scientists, but rather their scientific authority because they are scientists (and actually, Brain Greene has little to nothing to say about religion).

      The reason I mentioned Ray Comfort in the science section is because your reference to Matthew Maury (in your comments on science) comes from Comfort’s book “Scientific Facts in the Bible”.

  3. Glebealyth said

    Interestingly, Sello, you have deleted (censored?) all of the original contributions made here by members of Ex-christian.net to this article.

    You are being economical with the truth in respect of your banning from the site. You were abusive and extremely un-christ-like in your approach on all of your visits there.

  4. Before I even read the contents of this post, I will take issue with the title “Ex-Christianity.net Exposed.” The address is actually exchristian.net and I strongly encourage as many Christians as possible to visit it largely because the vast majority of posts there are by people who describe why they have left or are contemplating leaving Christianity. It should be a real eye-opener for people within the faith.

    For those if us who have been through the process of losing a lifetime faith, it is comforting to have a forum where others who understand the excruciating agony of the process can offer help to those who are hurting because of abuse that they have endured in their religious experience.

    If you had the slightest inkling of what such a move costs and you had an ounce of “Christian charity” then there is no way that you would set out to debunk a site that is perhaps the only refuge for people like me who have been completely indoctrinated into Christianity and forced at one point to question the whole thing and who have paid a high price for leaving. It would be of greater service if you could perhaps show a bit of compassion on those of us who have been abused and tormented by your religious leaders and doctrines.

  5. I almost hate to post this because it is clear that you are incapable of intellectual honesty. :::sigh::: But, here we go…

    “We do know from the bible that Adam and Eve were fully human, just as Jesus was fully human.” – There is not one of the Early Church Fathers or any among the Orthodox or Catholic religions that will tell you that Adam and Eve were not real people but that everything leading up to Abraham is poetic allegory. Therefore, your position is false.

    “Does this mean that Jesus’ was tempted by sin? No.” – You are making Jake’s point. If sin was not tempting to him then how could Satan tempt him? This is like saying that as a heterosexual who has no interest in homosexuality you could be tempted by a gay man to engage in homosexual sex. If there is no allure, there is no actual temptation, is there?

    “The reason people go to hell is because they sinned against God” – Once again, you may want to bone up on your Early Church Fathers. Their idea of hell does not meet with the common protestant view at all. It really irritates me when people try to offer refutations but don’t bother to find out if what they believe or are talking about is actually what the Apostles taught and believed. You clearly have not.

    “I can’t think of any credible philosopher in the world who still questions the positive link between moral absolutes and the existence of God” – Which philosophers do you accept as credible? Aside from that, I should like to know how a moral can be defined as “absolute” if that moral does not apply to God himself. If God can commit genocide or order someone else to commit genocide, how is it possible that genocide is anything but a moral act?

    “There are many reasons why I believe the bible is the word of God.” Ah! Here is the crux of the issue. There is a world of difference between “I belive that….” and “Here’s the emperical evidence proving that…”. Your belief is founded on “prophecy” in the Bible. That is, the Bible says that it is true therefore it is? Not a very tenable position to assume.

    “the historical accuracy of the bible is proven to be true by countless of archaeological finds” – Please offer up for me one non-religious archaeological bit of evidence that Exodus is true. Anything from any secular university or institute. Anything at all. You will find none.

    Your reference to Psalm 8 is fatuous. The Psalms were not a tretise of scientific or geological construst. They are poetry. You may as well say that “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb” is evidence that the Bible knew about DNA.

    “Personally, I have never seen such contradictory errors” – You find absolutely no contradictions in the Bible? That is truly frightening. If there were no contradictions, fully nine-tenths of all books written by Christian apologists would never have been written.

    You post depresses me. In all of Christendom, the only intellectually honest and astute people I have met are Orthodox Christians, none of whom would have set out to debunk an entire website based on a single article and all of whom would have cited references from any of the Church Fathers from the first to fourth centuries. I strongly encourage you to start reading those guys. They were incredibly gifted.

    But, be forewarned, if you start reading the Early Church Fathers, you will lose your Protestant faith entirely. Either that or you will see how out of sync Christianity is with its foundational teachings and you may eventually join us over here on the Dark Side where there is no eternal damnation for using your noggin.

  6. BTW – I should like to know why you think you have been censored on ex-christian.net. I don’t see any evidence of this.

  7. Glebealyth, I have never censored anybody on this blog, unlike my friends at ex-christian.net who failed to publish my comment (the same one I published here) to Jake’s rebuttal. Or perhaps they couldn’t publish it because I accused them of not only censoring but using under underhand tactics as well. All they needed to do was publish it and challenge me to back up my accusations, but then again they know I wasn’t lying.

    John, losing one’s faith is a serious issue and one I don’t take lightly, hence I responded to Valerie’s article on religious trauma syndrome and agreed with her that we need to recognise it (link: https://burden4souls.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/religious-trauma-syndrome-%e2%80%93-it%e2%80%99s-time-to-recognise-it/)

    • Glebealyth said

      If you have not censored anyone, where are all the comments?

      • I have nothing on my spam list, and every comment gets approved automatically, unless it has swear words, so there are no comments being censored.

  8. sdean said

    I am so fed up with people like you. EXchristian is just that, EX! I need that site to help me with the lifelong pain and abuse I received by people just like you. I do not go into your “homes” to argue. Why must you enter mine? I have had to log out of EXchristian many times because they DO allow christians to write, as long as they aren’t rude and abusive. EX. please respect that. I apologize here for entering your “home” but I will not sit blindly by and watch you speak falsehoods.

    • marty said

      I am a member of ex-christian.net, and you are incorrect that they censor christian posts. Certain christians have been banned for being “trolls” or for ignoring rules and/or warnings, perhaps you were one of them. What was your screen name?

  9. I’ve been a member of Ex.Christian.net for a number of years and the claims of censorship seem like nonsense to me. In fact people can pretty much say what they like without any moderator intervention whatsoever. Christians posts are actually welcome and they are kept so that the members can get in there and tear them to shreds if they like.

    One thing I have noticed is a large number of Christians who come onto the site are arrogant and insulting. They look down their noses at us and invite the ridicule they get. . I’m guessing that you were one of those and were banned because of it and now it’s a case of sour grapes.

    People, if you are reading this, go to the website and see for yourself. Sign up there and post on the forums. See whether you get censored. I bet you don’t.

  10. Some heart wrenching stories over there. Guess the folks over at ex-Christian have yet to figure put that players can occupy the pew and the pulpit as well as the barroom and the health club. Sad really, a lot of young broken hearts over at ex looking for validation. Talk about “looking for love in all the wrong places.

  11. Harry said

    This blog opens with “A website called exchristian.net is dedicated to ridiculing God”. I’ve spent some time reading the stories and comments posted on this website and what becomes obvious (if you can listen objectively and non-judgementally) is that this community is just trying to process and heal from experiences that are just plain awful by anyone’s standards.

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