Frequently Asked Questions
answers to questions we're often asked. More questions? Drop
us a line!
- Christianity is a big topic. What is
the focus of your site?
- Christians make mistakes-- you should
not toss the baby with the bathwater.
- You should not focus only on the negative things
about God in the Bible.
- Why do you say God is immoral, unfair and
- Why do you quote things out of the Old
Testament, when it no longer applies today?
- You are quoting Bible verses out of
context. If you understood the times and the history surrounding
the circumstances, you'd see it very differently.
- Why don't you try to understand the Bible
more accurately then, instead of propagating the misinformation
you accuse evangelical Christians of spreading?
- So why don't
you study Bible history, understand "true" Christianity,
and become Christians?
- Are you Satan worshippers?
- What are you then?
- Why are you so anti-God?
- What do you believe about Jesus Christ?
- Were you guys ever really saved?
- But Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.
- What you guys are lacking is faith
- "True Christians" vs. fundamentalists
a big topic. What is the focus of your site?
Our site focuses on Christian doctrine. We do not deal much
with issues like Biblical historicity or creationism vs. evolution.
Though we may make references to them, these are not our fields
of expertise, so we stay with what we know. Plus, we feel that there
is enough within Christianity's core doctrines to show that it is
an irrational and unethical belief system, and that is what we focus
Christians make mistakes-- you should
not toss the baby with the bathwater.
Although it's true that we've seen hypocrisy
among Christians, that is only a small part of why we reject it.
Even without these wayward saints, Christian doctrine has more than
sufficient rope to hang itself. 90% of the reason we reject Christianity
comes from its teachings and beliefs, rather than the behavior of
its members, as hypocrites abound in all belief systems.
You should not focus only
on the negative things about God in the Bible.
We focus on the negative, because the Christian
media that bombards us focuses only on the good, and as they taught
us in Sunday school, half a truth is as bad as a lie. We're here
to tell the other side of the story. Besides, focusing on the positive
in this case would be like saying your spouse is usually good to
you, and only beats you up once in a while.
Why do you say God is
immoral, unfair and cruel?
First, the Bible and Christians say this about
God, not us. We merely point out how they do. The best way to see
this is to read some of our essays
on things like heaven
and hell, and salvation.
Briefly, however, here are a few reasons.
Immoral and cruel: turning
someone into a pillar of salt, killing 50,000+
bystanders because a few
looked into the Ark of the Covenant, ordering the genocide of an
entire race, including all the infants and animals, and tormenting
people forever because of their religion. Christianity makes God
to be worse
than any human dictator.
Unfair: punishing people infinitely for
finite crimes, punishing people eternally and sadistically (there
remedial value to hell, so its purpose is merely to inflict pain),
holding people equally accountable to the Gospel message once they've
heard it, regardless of their situation or background (or lifespan),
and healing a teary-eyed believer at a Benny Hinn crusade, while
ignoring the pleas of starving
children who die by the thousands every day.
Why do you quote
things out of the Old Testament, when it no longer applies today?
Because Christians do. Confronted with space
on a schoolroom wall, Christians feel the need to post
the 10 commandments. At gay pride rallies, references to Leviticus
pop up everywhere. And just try getting through a pro-life march
without the Christians waving banners quoting Isaiah
or Psalms. The fact is, Christians refer to the Old Testament all
the time. The difference is, we try not to suffer from selective
amnesia when doing so.
Plus, Christians say that God is the same
today and forever. In other words, He never changes. So if He thought
genocide was okay back then, then we can only assume that He must
today as well.
You are quoting
Bible verses out of context. If you understood the times and the
history surrounding the circumstances, you'd see it very differently.
True. We are not Bible scholars, and do not pretend
to understand the historical, cultural and linguistic background
behind ancient texts. In addition, we are looking at ancient documents
through multiple filters spanning time, culture, language, and
own biases, so hold no illusions that we (or the opposition) understand
the Bible as it was originally penned.
All this being said, we'd
like to point out one
thing: most evangelical Christians are in the same boat. They are
not qualified Biblical scholars, nor are their clergy. They hurl
their diatribes at society from a similar platform of Biblical
Our job, therefore, is to take their claims at face value, and
judge them on their moral and ethical merits, rather than their
accuracy. It is Christian beliefs and doctrines we take issue with,
regardless of how Biblical or unBiblical they may be.
Why don't you try
to understand the Bible more accurately then, instead of propagating
the misinformation you accuse evangelical Christians of spreading?
Though we respect the field of Bible history,
it is of limited usefulness to the average person, because the
understanding of ancient texts requires a level of training and
beyond most people. But more importantly, untrained Christian practitioners
abound. And the most vocal of these-- the ones through which our
society at large encounters Christianity--are the evangelical types
whose work you see dominating the media, college campuses and
bumpers. They include the world's largest Protestant denomination,
and America's most influential Christian political organizations.
These people, unfortunately, are the de facto interpreters of scripture.
Their narrow, literalist view of the Bible, and the weird morality
it creates, are what most of us understand Christianity to be.
Christians take their English-translated Bibles at face value,
and draw moral and ethical conclusions straight from what they
In this arena, we are as qualified as they. We
too can examine scripture on such a level, and weigh the resulting
moral and ethical implications. Our fight, therefore, is against
conservative, fundamentalist Christianity, which concerns itself
more with faith and dogma, than ethics and reason, or academic
So why don't
you study Bible history, understand "true" Christianity,
and become Christians?
First, we challenge evangelical Christians to
do the same. Those who maintain that the Bible on their shelf is
the literally true, inerrant word of God, have much to consider.
An encounter with the sheer magnitude of the academic study of
texts is an eye-opening experience, one that we highly recommend
to all Christians.
Second, we don't believe that God can only be
found through scholarship. Certainly that would exclude most of
humanity, were it a requirement. Rather we feel that an honest
of the scripture, with prayer and an open heart, and a genuine
desire to seek God, should be sufficient.
We have done this for
a combined total of over 22 years, without finding anything real.
If the Christian God cannot
be found this way, then he is either hiding, or he is not real.
Are you Satan worshippers?
is also a religion, and as such, we're pretty allergic to it. Once
bitten... that sort of thing. Anyway, on that topic, we would
to add this: if you look at the amount of blood spilled, and the
pain and misery inflicted on the human race, Christianity is by
far the greater evil. Even though nasty things have been done in
the name of Satan, these activities pale in comparison to what
done in Jesus name during the Inquisition, for example, or the
Jewish pogroms of the 20th century. So in the spirit of Jesus'
remove the beam from one's own eye before complaining about the
mote in another's, Christians would do well to examine their own
bloody history, before being shocked at the actions of Satanists.
What are you then?
Emery is an atheist, while Russ maintains more of an agnostic
view, though if you want to get nitpicky, atheism and agnosticism
address different issues. Agnosticism concerns what you know, and
in the ultimate questions about God, they are both agnostic, as
the data just isn't available to know for sure if there is
a being out there that we could call God. As for beliefs, Emery
is an atheist because he does not believe in God, since he finds
every definition of God he's encountered lacking believability
(like the Christian God, for example), either from a rational or
ethical perspective, or both.
Why are you so anti-God?
have no problem with God, whoever he, she or it is. We make no
assertions about God. What we're against is the notion of
god that Christians have created. Christians describe God to be
compassionate, wise and just, yet ascribe to him behavior that
unjust, foolish and downright evil. They claim that a religion
like Christianity comes from God. We have more respect for God
that, and do not accuse him of being the author of such a corrupt
belief system. If we disparage God in any way, it is the Christian-invented "god" that
we address, not God himself.
What do you believe about
First of all, Jesus was who he was, regardless
of what anyone believes. Saying "I believe Jesus was this
or that" merely
states your opinion on the matter, and has little to do with who
was. What Christians usually mean when they ask that question is
whether or not you believe that Jesus is who they say he
is, usually some version of God incarnate who died for your sins.
Obviously we don't believe this, but not for reasons most Christians
are taught. We don't believe this mainly because of the multitude
of problems it presents about the morality of God. Christians believe
that God should be good and just. We tend to agree--that is one
of the reasons we reject the Christian view of Jesus (see "Salvation:
The Suffering Messiah" in our Essays
Were you guys ever really
Well, I guess that depends on who you ask. We both came
from predominantly Southern Baptist backgrounds, and according
to them, we were. We
say this because if you ask certain Church of Christ members, neither
we, nor any other Southern Baptists, were ever saved, because we
were not saved by baptism in a strictly Acts 2:38 sense. But if
you consider "saved" to be a state in which you've asked
Jesus into your heart to save you from your sins and be the Lord
of your life, then yes. Believing in the blood of Jesus to wash
us of our sins, having a personal relationship with Him, praying,
going to church four days a week, trying our best to love God and
the Bible to be the inerrant word of God, abstaining from sex,
drugs and alcohol, passing out Bibles and tracts on street corners,
our friends by bringing our youth minister to their house and witnessing
to them, and burning our Rick Springfield albums-- we did all that.
But Christianity is not a
religion, it's a relationship
So is any other religion. It's a relationship you have with
God. Some relationships are more personal, and some are more formal.
The relationship, however, always involves specific behaviors and
rituals, and that makes it a religion. Christians, for example,
observe many rituals, such as building churches, congregating on
Sundays, singing hymns, closing their eyes to pray, Communion,
having to believe certain ideologies in order to join (for example,
the plan of salvation). The statement is really a non-starter,
but we bring it up only because we hear it all the time. Whatever
a relationship or a religion, getting out from under it is what
this web site is all about.
What you guys are lacking is faith
have faith. The question is what you put your faith in, and why.
It's the why that is the important thing. We've heard Christians
say that faith is a prerequisite to understanding God. But with
faith as a prerequisite, then anything becomes believable. Otherwise
known as blind faith, this sort of faith has no ability to discriminate.
With blind faith you could just as soon become a Muslim as a Christian.
Of course at this point Christians sometimes back away from faith,
and return to reason as why they do not subscribe to other religions.
is ironic and sad, is when faced with limitations in their own
religion, they put away the light of reason they once wielded so
against others, and crawl back under the rock of blind faith. Most
Christians we have encountered do this to some degree, dabbling
for a while in logic, but always retreating to faith when reason
shines too brightly. We once did this ourselves, so understand
one would. But we cannot overemphasize the importance of reasoning,
and not backing away from it. It is the only way to separate fact
from fiction. As Benjamin Franklin said, "The way to see by faith
is to shut the eye of reason."
How can you guys suggest that people
should leave Christianity when the real problem is not true
Christianity, but man-made religions and man's foibles and abuses
committed in the name of Christ? You shouldn't imply that the
Falwells of the world represent us real Christians.
There are as many variations of Christianity as there are people
who call themselves Christians, and a close reading of the New
bears out the fact that it has been that way since about 33 A.D.
If you have managed to find or create a version for yourself that
emphasizes kindness to your fellow man, tolerance, and a feeling
of peace and goodwill with yourself and all beings, that's fantastic.
keep in mind that this site deals specifically with conservative,
fundamentalist Christianity. The benevolent religion you practice
is usually concocted by studiously omitting and creatively reinterpreting
the more cruel, absurd and contradictory passages of Scripture,
(such as most of the Old Testament, the entire book of Revelation
and most of Paul's letters to the struggling early churches) and
emphasizing a handful of positive, warm and fuzzy passages (such
as parts of the Gospel of John and parts of Paul's letter to the
By contrast, the sort of faith we are discussing here
on our site, and from which we are trying to provide an escape-hatch
is the Christianity that attempts to be Bible-authentic by staying
as close as possible to a literal reading of the entire Bible,
to cover. It emphasizes saving souls over saving lives, and finding
the One Truth over being true to oneself. If you don't believe
a literal burning hell or a literal bodily resurrection of Christ,
chances are good that the adherents of this Christianity think
are deluded and should not even call yourself a Christian.