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Answers for a Christian Fundamentalist

by Lewis Loflin

"God has a moral right to kill"

Before you read this let's set some ground rules. Christian fundamentalists only make up about 15% of the population and less than one-quarter of Christians in general. These people claim to be Protestant, often attack other Christians, and their religion is a fusion of Puritan/Calvinism, 19th century occult nonsense, and their own politics.

Many of their leaders not only preach non-biblical beliefs but also reject all church scholarship and often claim direct revelations from God. Most are obsessed with End-Times mythology and don't follow Jesus outside of empty claims of "faith alone."

Over 90% even by their own estimates have never read the Bible and worship the God of the Old Testament, claiming Jesus' moral teachings are for Jews only. Most of these people are decent hard-working Americans but many are blind followers and their leaders are anything but Christian.

For more on this see Fundamentalism

In regard to fundamentalists being "irrational" one asked:

Isn't the term "irrational" in the above statement? Your opinion of fundamentalists and not the definition itself? This is a question, not a comment.

The gentleman who asked this question I'll call "Sword of the Lord." He is owner of a Christian fundamentalist web site and the first thing that sticks out is a sword. A sword is a weapon of war that clearly reflects the mental attitude of fundamentalists like Mr. "Sword of the Lord." (I'll refer to him as Mr. SOL from now on.)

This graphically points out that fundamentalist Christianity is about power, hate, and creating "God" in their monstrous image. Let's answer the questions of Mr.SOL above, he won't like the answers.

Fundamentalism in the American Dictionary is defined as one who "believe in a literal interpretation of a religious text as in the Bible, etc." True enough, but to claim belief in anything without ever reading it is at best asinine.

But there is more to this as the Grolier Encyclopedia defines it: Fundamentalism is a term popularly used to describe strict adherence to Christian doctrines based on a literal interpretation of the Bible.

This usage derives from a late-19th- and early-20th-century transdenominational Protestant movement that opposed the accommodation of Christian doctrine to modern scientific theory and philosophy. It is in reality a political/social movement claiming to be a religion. In fact they claim over and over that everything should be subordinated to their version of Scripture.

Let's consider the fact that "fundamentalist" has taken on a sinister meaning in today's society:

What is really scary is the idea God would kill the innocent just to "pass judgment" on others. In the horrific story of Passover, we have a case of God allegedly committing mass murder of innocents. In Exodus 10:24 we find Moses called before Pharaoh, who said, "Go, worship the Lord...women and children go with you...leave your (livestock)...behind."

In 10:25-26 Moses argues they need the animals for sacrifice to God, in 10:27 God "hardened Pharaoh's heart" thus preventing him from doing the very thing God commanded Pharaoh to do. Over a bunch of sheep and cattle, God allegedly committed mass murder of the innocent "first born" just to prove a point.

Thus the concept of killing the innocent just to punish the guilty doesn't bother fundamentalists in the least. When I asked Mr. SOL about the Noah's Flood myth where the drowning of the world would mean the death of children and the unborn. His answer is as follows:

You asked of why God destroyed the Earth in Noah's Flood. Well, it says clearly in scripture that it was a result of not one person doing good on the Earth and all thinking and doing evil (minus Noah). Obviously, if this is the case, God has a moral right to do what He did.

Outside the moral issue, He has the right to do whatever He pleases. Can you penalize God for what He does? No, you don't have the power to do so. Since we have a moral God, it does make sense that He would use His power once in a while.

He asked, "I have a question:"

Why is it that you criticize God for the flood, but He doesn't go around criticizing you all the time He thinks you have done something wrong? It is because He is a better person morally.

God doesn't go around criticizing, but He does correct at times. Seeing God is all knowing and you are not, it would appear God is in a much better position to criticize. Have you ever even asked God to explain why He brought the flood, or did you just start criticizing?

If you haven't asked him, have you ever said you are sorry for criticizing things you don't understand?

God has a "moral right" to kill? Are infants and children not persons? Perhaps the children were also evil and deserved to die. In other words, Mr. SOL believes God murders on mere whim. Jesus never said any such thing! What these fundamentalists have done with their shouts of "Jesus is God" (something Jesus never claimed nor did He ever pray to himself, just God) is to tie Jesus in with the most depraved and evil sections of the Old Testament, which reflects their own views. Even Jews gave up such ideas centuries ago yet these phony fundamentalists want to apply them to 21st century America! This murderous version of Jesus they've concocted is only an excuse to use whatever means available to control others. Jesus has nothing to do with this.

They are sanctioned by God and because it's a "moral right" to kill, they can have a clear conscience. This is why they use terms such "sword of the spirit", "Christian solders", and other military terms.

This man has no problem with God committing mass murder (they believe this to be historical events), but gets enraged when someone dares to question it. In the fundamentalist mind killing God's enemies is not murder even if it is a child or genocide. The reality is that anyone who doesn't follow their beliefs is God's enemy. Let's read what two other fundamentalists say on this subject:

"The sixth commandment reads, "Thou shalt not kill" (Ex. 20:13). The God who mandates this is also the God who ordered the total annihilation of the Canaanites (Deut. 7:16), so this verse cannot legitimately be interpreted as a defense of pacifism." "What is murder, biblically speaking? It is the slaying of a human being by someone who has not been authorized to do so as a covenantal agent ...the authorization to execute a transgressor under the Mosaic covenant was ordained by God and revealed in His law."

When I asked another fundamentalist as to why parents who treated their children in this manner would be murderers:

Here's the difference: God is the holy and just creator who has the right to do as He wills with His creation; parents are not the creators but creatures who have been forbidden to commit murder.... How can the bloodshed afflicted upon the Israelite's enemies in the Old Testament be reconciled with an all-good God?
Two of these people are PhDs, the other an engineer. The last one writes Christian books while number two is the biggest distributor of learning materials for Christian home schools. To them all others are the literal enemy of Israel and they see themselves as the New Israel. Looks like Iran isn't alone in the world.

Their overall outlook on society is much like Nazi Germany. In Nazism, Hitler/state would be god and Mein Kampf could be a bible. Their "family values" could have come from the Cristian Coalition, while their hate list (atheists, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Jews, liberals, etc.) could have been written by the Southern Baptist Convention.

Nazi Germany was full of doctors, lawyers, and engineers who went along with Hitler. The Nazis hated the "Jew Jesus" and worked to remake German Churches into the image of Hitler. They borrowed heavily from conservative Christianity, but in the end sought to destroy it. They were extreme racists.

Mr. SOL and many fundamentalists follow a cult known as Christian Reconstructionism. This cult claims America is the "New Israel" and white/Protestant Americans the new "chosen people of God" while referring to the God of Jesus/Judaism as Satan. They advocate a complete return to Old Testament Law (civil, not ceremonial) including the death penalty for abortion, adultery, homosexuality, heresy, blasphemy, etc.

All non-Christians (they include Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses) would be stripped of citizenship/killed, public education abolished, all civil government turned over to selected Christian authorities. They call democracy a "heresy" and want to reintroduce slavery for non-payment of debt.

Even many mainline Protestant churches such as the Lutherans, Episcopalians, United Methodists, etc, would be forced to close their doors. Their founder R.J. Rushdoony has his books endorsed by Jerry Falwell and has been Pat Robertson's guest on the 700 Club. This is likely where Falwell got his Satan is a "male Jew" revelations.

Christian fundamentalists in America of 2001 don't follow Hitler and are not all racists like the Nazis, but have an outlook on other faiths that is no different than Mein Kampf was towards the Jews. They, like the Nazis, hold the vast majority of America in scorn and if given enough power will put their perverted killer god in every church in America.

When Pat Robertson stands on the 700 Club and proclaims Hindus "a dirty, filthy culture," it's easy to see why religious bigots of this type are also racist bigots. What they really seek is a theocratic police state with their killer god as king and themselves as "sword of their lord." Thus their version of master religion is little different than the Nazi version of "master race."

See the following for more information:

Pat Robertson often quotes the Rushdoony agenda when he calls Episcopalians, Presbyterians, and the Methodists "Spirit of the Antichrist" and refers to non-Christians as "termites" in need of a "godly fumigation." This is no different than Nazis calling Jews "rats" and gassing them. These Reconstructionists also play other Nazi word games such as referring to murder as "punishment" if they justify it with Bible distortions.

Many think they are some kind of new "chosen people" on a mission for their killer god for whom killing is a "moral right." These Christian fundamentalists, like their Islamic brethren who blew up the USS Cole, think they are engaged on a holy war against Satan. (Which means anyone that doesn't go along with them.) To quote Robin, a Kingsport, Tennessee fundamentalist:

"I am glad that one group of Christians was willing to stand up and be heard in this immoral world we live in. While those of us of other faiths murmur and complain, we have done very little to come against the will of atheists and other non-believers such as yourself. This religious war has been fought through the ages. It's good versus evil."

This would include the Sullivan County Tennessee Commission, the Branch Davideans, and Randy "Ruby Ridge" Weaver. Yes, this religious war has been fought for 2000 years and has led to death, torture, and murder of millions. This war would play out in Oklahoma City.

Tim McVeigh and Terry Nichols are the product of a paranoid, right-wing, Christian fundamentalist holy war. They parked a truck packed with explosives in front of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. This resulted in the deaths of over 160 people and exposed just how irrational many fundamentalists had become.

Fundamentalists did regret and I'm sure cried at the deaths of the children, but far too many thought the attack itself was justified and blamed the government for it. It revealed the militia movements and repeated patterns of paranoia, racism, and hate that surround them. Economic decline combined with unwanted social change, low levels of education, and an injustice they felt over Ruby Ridge and Waco, contributed to this tragedy. This is why religious fundamentalism is more politics than religion and to fundamentalists they are the same. These children were just casualties of the war of "good versus evil."

I have no idea what society these Christian fundamentalists think they live in, but in modern American society (which they constantly deride), our society is based on the Rule of Law, not the rule of the mob. We are not allowed to stone somebody to death or lynch them because a mob doesn't like their religion, race, or personal beliefs. America does not operate its society on the basis of a 5000 year old ancient society as depicted in the Old Testament.

It doesn't matter if they are Islamic or Christian fundamentalists, to mainstream America they are considered "irrational." Like the word gay once meant merry to most people, fundamentalism for many Americans doesn't mean literal anything, just crazy. The meaning of "fundamentalism" will likely change in the future addition of dictionaries.

As I clearly said: "For the purposes of this web site, fundamentalism is best described as irrational submission to an idea." I didn't quote the dictionary, just the slang usage of most rational Americans. Blowing up ships and office buildings, committing mass suicide, and gunning down law enforcement officers believing the are working for Satan is irrational.

"It usually involves a rejection of reason and logic, and a total intolerance of other ideas."

Of the above statement Mr.SOL asks:

Does this definition fully reflect reason and logic? Why would you assume fundamentalists reject reason and logic? Where is your proof?

Like the German Nazis, many fundamentalists rely on myth and misinformation to try to justify their views. Their distortions of Scripture knows no end and involves rejection of all reason and common sense. The proof is in the Bible itself, so let's look closely at the most important event in the Bible, the resurrection of Jesus.

The only problem is that John, Peter, and Paul are long dead and Jesus has still not returned. The other fact is these four vastly conflicting stories of the Resurrection of Jesus can't all be taken as "literal" events. Logic and reason say that two women (Matthew), three women (Mark), four or more (Luke), verses one (John) etc. just don't add up. Is it eleven disciples or twelve with Judas still alive in John? Thus a Christian fundamentalist who claims the Bible is the "literal" word of God must prove the irrational claim that 2 = 3 = 4+ = 1 and has to abandon all reason and logic to do so.

One Christian wrote the following in response to this section:

Both secular and Christian scholarship date the books of the Bible much differently than you have claimed.

I think he was referring to my page Deism verses Christianity which has this:

According to Norman Cantor in his book THE SACRID CHAIN, "The four Gospels ...appear to have been written between AD 70 and 100." (After Paul's Epistles written between A.D. 45 and 65.) "Almost all were certainly written outside Palestine." Luke made errors in geography and wasn't likely to ever have seen the county.

"Mark and Luke were likely Gentiles, and John, writing around A.D. 100 in discourse heavily conditioned by Napoleonic philosophy (Greek), certainly was." Matthew may have been a Jewish convert, but his hatred of Pharisees and Jews makes this questionable. (p. 89) This doesn't even begin to consider the four conflicting stories of the Resurrection.

Resurrection or no Resurrection, the real origins of the Bible begin in Nicaea (present day Turkey) in 325 based on selected writings of the Apostle Paul.

Except for the last sentence which is mine, all of the rest is from The Sacred Chain by Cantor a Jewish historian. His writings agrees with Elaine Pagels in her books The Origin of Satan and The Gnostic Gospels. She is a Christian and has chaired the Department of Religion at Columbia University and is a graduate of Harvard University and is currently at Princeton.

Another work that's a must-read for is Honest to Jesus by Robert W. Funk. Nicaea is known history (Nicene Creed) where Christianity was defined BY VOTE. Forget this Holy Spirit business, that can't be proven. Many other alternate Gospels were deemed "heresy" and burned.

The variety of eye witness testimony concerning the resurrection of Christ is consistent with many secular studies concerning excitement, heightened levels of adrenaline etc. (If ten people witness an armed robbery, their stories will never be identical.)

What secular studies? I don't care how excited these "witnesses" were, the point I bring out is the Bible cannot be taken as literal. How many other "excited" or drugged-up or inserted third party testimony is there in the Bible? We have no originals, so who knows. What is worse is nobody ever saw Jesus rise from the dead, only an empty tomb and assorted spiritual claims later on. In fact many early Christians such as the Gnostics claimed it was just spiritual being, not bodily and were murdered as heretics, which brings us to....

Many opportunities arose for opponents of the Way of Christ to debunk the resurrection, if it was a myth.  Yet never did it happen.  The reports of the resurrection were written down within a framework that historically would have allowed people who knew differently to oppose it. 

If you research the timeframe in the development of legends, you will note that Christianity could not have developed that way, unlike the other major religions of the world.

Oh brother, how about Jews, the Gnostics, etc. See Victims of the Christian Faith and read the section on heretics. Lots of people disagreed and the church dealt harshly with them for it.

The only logical conclusion is the writers of four Gospel stories were never there and thus we have at best second-hand hearsay. There are no known writings of Jesus, the actual Apostles, or anyone who knew Jesus in the flesh. All we have is the alleged visions of the Apostle Paul, the true founder of the Christian religion, whose Epistles predate the Gospels. No court in America would accept this as proof of anything. As for the rest of the Bible, anyone who claims "literal" hasn't read it or has been sucked into a cult. There is much to be found in Scripture but to find it takes critical thinking and education outside Scripture, which fundamentalists oppose.

When I present the above to fundamentalists, they scream, "Your a bigot, hypocrite, not reading it right, blah, blah, blah." I did not write the Bible, the Christians did in the fourth and fifth centuries. The Bible reflects their worldview of that time and seemed rational to them. If they did write it, why couldn't they at least get the stories straight? Part of the answer is this process was by vote and they all couldn't agree. The other answer is they didn't have to. For centuries the church limited access to scripture by keeping it in Latin and few people could read anyway. Those who did and started to ask questions were declared heretics and murdered. Terror is how they maintained their claim that the Bible is the "literal" word of God. They either never read or are irrational, which is it?

The time of the Protestant Reformation would not only break the power of the Catholic church, but would start a process that would bring freedom and an end to religious fundamentalism. Protestants would translate Scripture to other languages thus ending the requirements of learning a dead language such as Latin. The invention of the printing press would greatly reduce the cost of books, etc. which contributed to a growing literacy. (The Bible would be the best seller in history!) Growing access to Scripture wasn't the main threat to fundamentalism, natural science would be.

The discovery of the New World (rediscovery actually) would finally put an end to the Biblical flat earth once and for all. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1573) would abandon the Christian idea of forcing the facts to fit the Bible and let the facts stand for themselves. He shattered the Christian fundamentalist belief by proving the sun center of the solar system, not the earth with mathematics. His disciple Galileo (1564-1642) invented the telescope and proved the earth circled the sun, moons circled Jupiter, etc. The Christian fundamentalist view of heaven evaporated. (Galileo was forced to recant under death threats, the Catholic Church finally apologized and accepted his findings in 1991.) Religious dogma would never recover.

Because Biblical accounts were based on the outlook of Greco/Roman mythology, the heavens they depicted as Zeus sitting on a throne in the clouds was reduced to the vacuum of space and the Hell under the earth became simple magma. The three level universe of heaven/earth/hell was dead. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) would prove many natural events that were once the realm of divine intervention, magic, and miracles were simply natural events. Floods, earthquakes, storms, etc. are all natural events, not punishment for sin. Anyone today who thinks mental illness is demon possession is considered irrational. Yet to claim the Bible "literally correct" would involve proving this same demon nonsense.

The world operated by the fixed laws of nature, not the acts of an angry god. All of this would lead to the Enlightenment, Age of Reason, and the final separation of science from revealed religion. It also became the basis of American Democracy as our founding fathers rejected Puritan theocracy and embraced Deism, Unitarianism, and enlightened Christianity with their focus on human worth instead of the negative, loathing outlook of Calvinism.

The final blows to fundamentalists would come in the 19th and 20th centuries. Charles Darwin's Origin of Species would shatter even the Garden of Eden story. The discovery of radioisotopes, continental drift, samples of moon rock brought back by the Apollo missions, and much more would prove Darwin was right. Today we can map human genes, clone animals, and even tailor genetic crops to rid our farmers of using poisons to control pests. Fundamentalists still claim all of this is just wrong and offer what they "creation science" as proof. To quote Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, "The strange thing known as creation science is nothing more than ignorant rantings reflecting a frightened and dying religious mentality."

No rational person today accepts a flat earth circled by the sun that is 6000 years old. Bring this question up to fundamentalists such as Mr. SOL, one gets the following response:

Again, libraries and other informational depositories contain books, movies, and other multimedias that cover this topic in depth. I personally have studied much of it and can say frankly that you are very close-minded as to even venturing into the pursuit of what might be out there for proof of such a theory. Basically, you have laughed at it before you have even opened a book; you have defeated the argument with your ignorance and laughing scorn. Why don't you at least "humor" yourself and check it out. Then you could say, I have actually looked into it.

Again, you want scientific proof. There are many ordinary every-day things that can't be proven by scientific proof. For instance: the age of the Earth. Also, you can't prove to me that you love your dad. There are so many things that can't be proven with science. You need to realize that there are many ways to prove things, historical evidences for one. Psychology is another.

Psychology has been proven unreliable many times. As far as historical evidence, fundamentalists claim we shouldn't use it because it disproves the Bible. On the subject of Satan:

To prove to you that Satan is walking the Earth would require you first to admit that there is MORE than one way to prove something. You don't need a scientific experiment or "visible phenomena" to prove things. If we needed visible phenomena to prove that Satan exists, we would need to be "logical" and apply these very same rules of proof to everything else, hence there is NO such thing as air or any form of gas. Can you SEE what I am saying? Second, it would require me to spend an enormous time explaining various proofs to you, which I just don't have. Maybe you should investigate it yourself, you do have a brain and you are capable.

We can measure gas pressure and chemical content, I can wave my hand through the air and feel it, so what his point is I really don't know. Mr. SOL finally clarifies what all his double-talk and evasions are really all about:

So, obviously, there are other avenues for proving and disproving things without utilizing scientific investigation. For instance, you could instead provide eye-witnesses to you eating lunch to verify what you ate. This is called eye-witness testimony, and can be used as fact when used correctly.

There you have it in just one sentience: "This is called eye-witness testimony, and can be used as fact when used correctly." This is the same kind of "eye-witness testimony" that produced the four conflicting Gospels of the Resurrection of Jesus. Is this the same "eye witness" testimony that produced the two totally conflicting genealogies of Jesus in Matthew/Luke?

This same "eye-witness testimony" was used at the Salem Witch Trials as some silly, giggly girls testified to seeing their neighbors consorting with "the devil." (It cost several people their lives.) This is the whole basis of revealed religion, so-called "eye-witness testimony."

No matter how hard one asks, Mr. SOL will never produce that book he talks about and will always evade the question. The earth is flat, the sun circles the earth, and the earth is 6000 years old because some "eye-witness testimony" thousands of years ago by unknown writers who "witnessed" it all from God. Those who reject reason and become this deluded just can't be reasoned with.

Many Christian fundamentalists do not want anyone reading the Bible for themselves, they want to preach it (witness) or else one may draw conclusions not to their liking. It is their "eye-witness testimony" they want to convince you of, not what is really in the Bible. This is how all cults snare their victims. That is why less than 10% of evangelical, charismatic, and fundamentalist Christians have ever read Scripture or can even name the Ten Commandments.

Mr. SOL is like several members of the Heaven's Gate Cult who committed mass suicide in San Diego: college educated, engineer, computer user, etc. Yet these same types of intelligent people decided to reject reason and follow Mr. Applegate on a flying saucer ride with the Hal-Bop comet. They opened themselves up by believing the "eye-witness testimony" of other members in convincing themselves that the absurd is real. By abandoning reason, the gate to a literal Hell could be opened.

If Mr. SOL thinks it is moral for God to kill, where do fundamentalists, who think they are servants of this kind of god, cross the line and do what they think their killer god would do? In fact, what makes him any different than Gestapo members who murdered millions based on the words of Hitler? If it's "moral" for God to murder, what about those who claim to be in his service? History is covered with the results.

Finally, I will answer this last part of the question Mr. SOL demands of me: Prove Christian fundamentalists have a "total intolerance of other ideas." The proof comes again from the mouth of another Christian fundamentalist named Bob Jones III. Here is an avowed racist, who claims Catholics, Mormons, etc. are "cults," and even holds mainline Protestants in contempt. Bob Jones University is the pride of evangelical America.

He stated in the Cedar View Independent Methodist Church in Kingsport, Tennessee last year, "the Bible itself is intolerant and true followers of God's word should be as well." Where in "God's word" does it say Catholics are "cults?" They won't tell you, it must be more of that secret "eye-witness testimony." It is no wonder John McCain refers to these bigots as "agents of intolerance."

Sane, rational people follow Jesus every day, they don't turn Scripture into politics or see a God who thinks it's "moral" to kill. This isn't about God at all. Finally, do we want people like John Ashcroft, Mr. SOL, Robin, or Bob Jones III, "passing judgment" on the 85% of America that doesn't buy flat-earth Creationism? This attitude has no business in government. That is my OPINION.

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