Why the Term “Good Christian” Can be so Terrifying

Does Jesus command us to judge others? Yes. Harshly and often.

You have seen Christian protestors saying cruel things and you’ve thought – “What is all this? Christ taught non-judgement, didn’t he?”

Why are many Christians so comfortable spewing hateful sounding accusations at people? As in, “God hates” followed by: “Gays, drunks, Jews, blasphemers”..or almost anything else.

The problem stems from the demands Jesus makes for obedience and enforcement. He commands his followers to mete out harsh ad hoc punishments.

This is cleverly disguised by a teaching superficially immunizing Christianity from blame:

“Judge not that Ye be not judged” – JESUS (Matthew 7:1)

In other words, don’t judge other people or God will judge you.

Like much of the Bible it is one of countless banal variations of the secular Golden Rule; an ancient moral code which predates Jesus and requires no gods; it says simply, ‘don’t do to others what you don’t want done to you.’

Is this a wise teaching? The golden rule certainly is.
But it doesn’t matter because Jesus does not believe it at all. He repeatedly violates it by directing his followers to conduct merciless, harsh judgement against other people:


“Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me.”- JESUS (Luke 19:27) From a parable where Jesus is making a not so very veiled warning to his followers.

“Hate your parents..hate your life..” – JESUS (Luke 14:26)

“Avoid Them” – ROMANS (16:17)

“Do not associate with the GUILTY..” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

“Bad company ruins good morals….” (1 Corinthians 15:33)

“have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” – (2 Thessalonians 3:14)

“Do not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

“Do not receive him…or greet him..” (2 John 1:10)

“Go and tell him his fault.” – JESUS (Matthew 18:15)

“Have nothing to do with him!” (Titus 3:9-11)

“LET HIM BE REMOVED” (1 Corinthians 1:13)

“In the name of Lord Jesus Christ…keep away from him!” (2 Thess 3:6)

“Anyone who does not…Let that person be cursed” – (1 Cor. 16:22)

“Deem them unworthy” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

“Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

“shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

“Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – Jesus (Matthew 7:6)


Whatever happened to “Judge not”!?

Well, Jesus didn’t mean it.

His many commands (and those of God’s) to judge others harshly far outweigh whatever Jesus was talking about before.

Yet this is exactly what it means to follow Jesus correctly. Unfortunately, many people have not stopped to think about any of this. It helps explain why Christians feel quite comfortable judging others while being convinced it is not them doing the judgement – but God.

Hypocrisy happens not because humans are imperfect – but because Hypocrisy is Jesus’ exact directive: “Judge not AND Judge a LOT”

How could an all-knowing God so badly bungle a message of non-judgement when the message simultaneously demands judging everyone?

And Jesus is worst of all: “be condemned to Hell” – (John 6:53-54 – Mark 16:16).

These commands to judge others are exactly what makes the term “Good Christian” terrifying to people who know the Bible well. If you follow Jesus correctly you are likely to end up with no family, no friends and in jail.

Religion has brought untold misery to countless millions in this way.
And think about it. If God isn’t real, all the misery was for nothing.

You are free to pretend that Jesus is nicer than the Bible says – but such a Jesus lives only in your mind, for your needs. You might as well change his name to yours.

Like all man made theories and philosophies, Christianity is optional.You are entirely free to skip religion if you prefer. You can be the good, caring person you want to be without religion.

And you are much more likely to succeed without Jesus than with him.

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About Atheist Max

I'm a former Christian who became Atheist in middle age. My blog is a journal of how I lost religion and discovered a better life. For Peace, Civility and the Separation of Church and State
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5 Responses to Why the Term “Good Christian” Can be so Terrifying

  1. Passerby says:

    Max,

    You have a lot of insight on being an Atheist, which is great. Calling out Christian falsehoods is a good thing too.

    But, a quick question. You said you were Christian before, and now a converted Atheist due to a massacre that you feel was permitted by God.

    If you were a Christian before, then you’d be at least somewhat familiar with the story of Job. Apparently, he was a pretty upstanding guy that got his life ripped to shreds all due, seemingly, to a bet between God and Satan. Funny how those things go, yes?

    He has three friends that try to give logic and reasoning behind why God has allowed such disaster to fall upon him. One tells Job he probably royally screwed in some shape or form, and has angered God. The two others also provide reasoning behind God’s actions that are, by the end of the story, to be untrue.

    Well, to make a long story short, God calls them out, stating that all of them are wrong. God neither defends or justifies his actions, answers Job’s inquiries as to why his life was torn to pieces (which, I might take a moment to remind you, likely had a greater impact than your less-related event (I say less-related since no one in your immediate family was in that massacre vs. Job’s family (children and wife), wealth, and even health were ripped away from him)), or give any insight as to Job’s innocence. God simply asks questions, ascertaining to his omnipotence.

    When I read your posts or your personal experience (or lack thereof) with God, I am reminded of Job, minus the part of responding in wisdom.

    Sir, you and the rest of the world are entitled to your opinions, existential, fatalistic, or what have you; on whether God exists or never has; on whether evil being allowed into the world nullifies the existence of an omnipotent being of good, but just know that whether you deny the existence of the air you breath or the ground you tread on, those things will continue to exist. Likewise, God won’t simply cease to exist just because you say so.

    You want to talk about tragic? Just read the history in the Bible! Jesus did not come from a perfect lineage, but rather one made up of murderers, thieves, rapists, and the bottom wrung of society. Yet, being sent as a living sacrifice, with no sins of his own, died to redeem the world so they can know God.

    That, sir, is tragic.

    Good day to you!

    Like

    • Atheist Max says:

      Well, I appreciate what you are trying to say, I know the story of Job as well as the story of Jesus – very well.

      My lack of faith is not just because of the massacre – it was the awareness that it would be immoral for me to pray to a god who would allow the massacre.
      Big difference.

      The awareness that it would be impossible for God to be moral under those circumstances, negates the possibility that a moral god probably exists.

      I do not say ‘God does not exist. So don’t put those word in my mouth, please.
      I say I don’t know if god exists (I’m agnostic on that) and I say I do not BELIEVE he exists (that is Atheism).

      I am not telling you god does not exist.

      When one becomes aware that it is impossible for god to behave morally in immoral situations, that overwhelms anything printed in the Bible.

      Once faith vanishes like that, The Bible becomes just a bunch of stories.

      Once the Bible becomes just a bunch of stories – the former believer has no choice but to examine them afresh. The flaws and dishonesties become instantly apparent.

      You have not arrived at that moment. Perhaps someday you will understand.

      God probably does not exist. That is fine with me. I have learned many wonderful things about life are immediately available the moment you stop believing in a God.

      Murder is already wrong.
      That is how I lost faith in the God who wouldn’t intercede to prevent it.

      There is no reason to believe that a good god would sit back and watch a massacre of little children. I do not believe a real god exists.

      Like

  2. Passerby says:

    Max,

    Thanks for your response. It seems there is a paradox here. By not believing that He exists, is that not the same as stating that to you at least, there is no God? Then, is that not the same as stating that there is no God, or do you have doubt that there may be a God, just not the Christian one? Or are you stating that there may be a God, just that you refuse to believe in that God, thereby refuting His existence? I am a bit confused.

    If you know the story of Job well, then you will understand God does not address the moral issue of the circumstance — rather, He completely sidesteps it altogether and does not even acknowledge Job’s concerns/questions/emotional state.

    I think when you view and quantify God through human-defined morals (which is another paradox, since those morals you are talking about were given by God), there will never be an adequate answer. I think the story of Job (if you believe it) sufficiently demonstrates that. Also, I think you will also come to this conclusion when you see that humans are creatures of self-preservation; acts of selflessness and selfless love are not innately or inherently in our genome. Those things must be taught.

    Personally, I have come to the conclusion that humans without God are wretchedly evil. If left to our own devices, we would consume the world as we see fit.

    For instance. Why is there so much evil in the world, such as human organ trafficking? Children are taken from their homes/kidnapped and raised for harvesters to sell their organs once they reach the age their organs can accommodate harvesters’ clients. How can anybody fall so low, be in a place so evil, to even consider something like this? Then, does the blame fall on God for not intervening and stopping those operations? Let that never be!

    I believe we were given the Bible for a reason, which was to guide us away from evil. How many people in the U.S. sincerely and truly engage in the worship of God, following ALL of His commandments (or at least even try to) as opposed to picking and choosing what we want, and then condemning God for the ones we disagree with? Honestly ask yourself, how much have we, as a nation, really tried to honor and glorify God? To be quite frank, our current state is synonymous with that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Then, why did God not intervene at Sodom and Gomorrah and save that city? Instead, He turned the entire city and people in it into salt (i.e., annihilated the city!). But, was that it? No. God was continually sought out for grace, and wanted to save the people in the city (He agreed to save the city of there were just 10 righteous people in it). By stating that because God did not intervene, He is morally corrupt is being blind to the grace He was giving to the city. Likewise, He continually gives us grace, even while we try to kick him out!

    We were given free-will, and how we use that will is up to us. Why blame God for the evil acts humans engage in, when it is humans engaging in them?

    In this vein, an examination of Jews would provide you with some insight. Jews have gone through the Holocaust, one of the most disturbing and evil acts in history. Yet, they continue to praise and worship God. Why is that? Why not condemn the God that did not save them from the Holocaust?

    My bet is that they see something much further and beyond what everyone else sees, which I personally believe is why they continue to be one of the most blessed people in the world.

    Thanks Max, I examine my own faith and feel it grow because of you.

    Like

    • Atheist Max says:

      I understand why you are confused. Let me try to explain:

      I don’t know if God exists in the same way I don’t know if UFO’s are real.

      Think about UFO’s.
      Are they real? I don’t know. Some people say they have climbed on them. Many people attest to this as a fact. They say they have been abducted and then they are returned to earth afterwards. Is it true? or is it a psychological phenomenon certain people experience – like a seizure or a hallucination? I don’t know. We have no solid evidence of any part of any UFO ever recovered which is convincing evidence.
      I do not believe the claims about UFOs – though I allow that they MIGHT be true. I need more evidence that UFO’s are real before I can believe in them.
      What sort of evidence do I need? I don’t know – but I would like something convincing.

      Think about God.
      Is any particular God real? Which one? I don’t know.
      Thousands of gods have been claimed throughout history. Some people say they have a relationship with their gods: Allah, Yahweh, Thor, Ganesha..etc.
      Are they lying? I don’t know. They probably believe they really are talking to these gods because they haven’t stopped to question it. Or maybe they have. I don’t know.
      I do not believe the claims about these gods because I need evidence to convince me of which one is the real one. Jesus is the God I believed in for many decades – but not any more. Now I would need evidence to see if Jesus is a real god.

      But I don’t agree with you that God is necessary for goodness.
      Think about it.
      The National Academy of Sciences is comprised of 3500 scientists. Almost all of them are Atheists. If what you said was true, all of these people would be raping and killing people all day long – causing all sorts of evil.
      But they are not doing that. Instead, they are the most law-abiding, peaceful, generous group in society. Their marriages last longer than religious marriages and None of them have ever been in jail.

      It is clear that we do not need a god.
      If we needed a god that alone would be proof of the god. If people really needed a God we would be able to see what happens to people when they ignore god – and we can see what happens.

      Wherever God has been abandoned, the society improves and functions more happily: Sweden, Norway, The Netherlands, Greenland, Holland, Denmark, Washington State, Massachusetts, Vermont.

      Atheists are doing great work today in medicine, healthcare, science and technology. Most of the Doctors at Doctors without borders are non-believers. Yet they stopped the Ebola Epidemic with bravery and intelligence.

      I don’t believe a god exists – but I allow that a god may exist. I have no idea which god would be the real one. But if the real god exists, he doesn’t seem to care whether I believe or not. I am a very, very happy, successful, married father of wonderful adult children.

      Leaving religion and forgetting about gods was the best thing I ever did. It is difficult to constantly try to explain why God allows bad things to happen. I don’t miss those mental gymnastics – it is clear god doesn’t intervene even if he exists.

      I’ve been much happier since I left religion. And I am a better person for it.

      Like

    • Atheist Max says:

      Passerby,
      You said,
      “It seems there is a paradox here. By not believing that He exists, is that not the same as stating that to you at least, there is no God? Then, is that not the same as stating that there is no God, or do you have doubt that there may be a God, just not the Christian one? Or are you stating that there may be a God, just that you refuse to believe in that God, thereby refuting His existence? I am a bit confused.”

      I don’t ‘refuse to believe’. I don’t refuse any god.
      I am completely open to believing in a God if some evidence could show me a god exists.

      Atheism means, “I don’t believe in God”
      That is all it means. It is not a claim that gods do not exist.

      Does a god exist? I don’t know. I await evidence. It is an interesting but irrelevant question.
      If nobody has any evidence for their God then we are stuck with the default position: Gods are unlikely.

      People believe in gods because they are taught to think that way ever since ancient cultures. But none of us has any evidence. Not you. Not me.

      It should be sobering that in a world of thousands of claims about thousands of gods there is no argument which is convincing for any of them.

      Like

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