Monday, May 27, 2013

With imaginary friends like these, who needs imaginary enemies?

To start the next century of posts, we once again have Billy Graham spouting nonsense. This week, a questioner asks about the devil... If he's real, just a symbol, and why he keeps fighting God. Per-usual, Graham answers as poorly as he usually does.
God's judgement is certain: Satan will not triumph

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: Why does the devil keep fighting against God? Hasn’t he figured out that he’s going to be defeated someday, so why does he bother? Or is the “devil” just a symbol for evil, so that what we call “the devil” isn’t actually real? — T.N.

DEAR T.N.: I can assure you that the devil is real; he isn’t an imaginary figure or just a symbol for evil. Evil is real, and so is Satan, for ultimately all evil can be traced back to him.

Why does the devil keep on fighting, in spite of the fact that the Bible says he’s a defeated foe whose power will someday be destroyed? One reason is because he doesn’t really believe what God says. In fact, the very first question in the Bible came from the devil, who denied what God had told Adam and Eve and declared instead that God had lied to them (see Genesis 3:1-4). Satan’s very nature is to lie and distort the truth, and apparently he thinks God does the same. But he is wrong.

There may be another reason why the devil keeps fighting, and that is because he does gain victories. Whenever someone gives in to temptation, Satan has gained a victory. Whenever someone rejects Christ and turns their back on God, Satan has gained a victory. Don’t let this be true in your life! Instead, make sure of your commitment to Christ by repenting of your sins and giving your life to him today.

Satan, however, is a defeated foe, for someday God will intervene, all evil will be destroyed, and Christ will reign forever and ever. God’s judgment is certain: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).
TN, the Devil is just as real as God. To clarify, that means they're both imaginary! There is no more reason to worry about the struggle between God and Satan, then you have to worry about the struggle between Superman and Lex Luthor. At least the latter could be entertaining on occasion...

But Billy says that God and the Devil are very real, of course. But then he makes the odd claim that all evil can be traced back to Satan... Come again! All evil? I really don't think so... In the Bible, God routinely commanded genocide. Examples include Deuteronomy 2:34, Deuteronomy 3:6, Deuteronomy 7:2, Deuteronomy 7:16, Deuteronomy 13:15, Deuteronomy 20:16-17, Joshua 6:21, Joshua 10:40, and 1 Samuel 15:2-3. Common themes are to kill everyone in the towns. Men, women, children, and sometimes even the livestock. Sometimes, it was even ordered to tear open the pregnant women and to dash the children on rocks! The virgin women were sometimes spared though, as the invaders were then allowed to take them for their own. How quaint... Invade, kill everyone and then take a woman as a prize of war for you to rape as you see fit. If that's not evil, I don't know what is. The above doesn't even touch on the story of Noah's flood, which goes a long way to showing how absurd the Bible is, as well as paint a picture of an evil sadistic God.

What about God's 'punishment' for a man that rapes a woman who was a virgin and not engaged? (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) Oh, he has to pay the girls father 50 shekels of silver, and has to marry her for life... If short, the raped woman is forced to marry her rapist. In my book, that's pretty damn evil.
God also doesn't have much of a problem with slavery. Rather than abolishing slavery in Exodus,  God instead lists rules of who can be a slave, and how badly you're allowed to beat your slaves. Pure evil!

Witchcraft? Exodus 22:18 says that "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." Maybe you don't take that command seriously  anymore, but some still do. In third world countries, people are still putting women do death by this 'divine' command. Yes, in the twenty-first century we have people being stones and burned to death for the imaginary crime of witchcraft! And all because God told them too. Sounds pretty evil to me.

There's also the issue of God's book treating woman like property and second class citizens. Be it selling daughters (Exodus), offering daughters up for rape to an angry mob (Genesis), requiring wives to submit to their husband (Ephesians, Colossians, 1 Peter), women must learn in silence (1
Timothy), women must not teach (1 Timothy), men are superior to women (1 Timothy), etc. You could argue if such misogyny is evil, but I think such ugly ides are enough to warrant a place here.

I could go on and on about more evils of the Bible. But I'll stop here on that point. Now, the believer may claim that it's still all Satan's fault because of original sin. Bull! God is supposed to be omniscient and omnipotent. So when he set up his little apple trap, he already knew what the outcome would be. He had the power and foresight to change the outcome, but instead chose to sit back and do nothing. It's almost like he wanted it to happen that way. Well, he did (as the story goes) put two people that didn't poses the knowledge of good and evil with a tree that would grant them the knowledge of good and evil, and then went on to punish them for eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil even thought they would not have known it was good or bad to disobey God until after they ate the fruit that they were told not to eat.

But even if we grant the ridiculous claim that God's hands are clean in regard to 'original sin', that still doesn't wash away the evils God demanded. A town is sinful because of sin, so God demanding they all be killed is okay? No, no it's not! Remember the adage that two wrongs don't make a right? Well in this situation, Satan can be argued as the one responsible for the town's state. But he can't be lamed for the evil of God's demanded genocide on said town. He could just let the town destroy it's self from the inside, send people to teach to town how they should be, or even just erase the sin. But jumping straight to genocide is never okay, and is always evil.

Graham also says that the devil does not believe what God says. I'm right there on that one. I don't believe what God supposedly says on many a topic. Oh, and I also don't believe he exists at all. The devil also thinks that God lies? Well, in the Bible he does lie by proxy and utilize deception. But most importantly, the theology of Christianity (and other religions) is one big lie in and of it's self!

He closes by saying that Satan is a defeated foe, and that one day Jesus will destroy him and evil will be no more... So why the long wait then? If the goal is to defeat evil, just go ahead and do it already! If you're promising to end wickedness, you best well do so. (and if you're going to make up a promise, at least do like Thor and promise something you can easily claim credit for) The reason the status quo remains is because it's all just a big fantasy. It's like a TV show that teases you with a plot point season after season after season, but never actually delivers so that you'll keep coming back in hopes that it'll be different this time around. That's what's going on here. God/Jesus has it all under control... There is this Satan guy trying to cock up all these great plans, but don't worry, it's all under control. But you better join up before Satan gets put in his place. It could happen any day now, and we'd hate for you to miss the boat to salvation. Sign your life away to us here and now! In short its a ploy used as a power grab.

Satan is not real, nor is God. Yet the Biblical God has killed far more in the Bible than Satan is said to, yet is somehow considered good and just... Luckily neither is real, because it would be a much scarier world if Satan (according to Christians) and the vengeful, genocidal, tyrant that is the Christian God were real. Now THAT is a relief!

-Brain Hulk

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  1. Did not read it all but; Why do man kind have to wait for Gods grand victory? As long as the human race exist, will hell also?. Or? Its about time something happens.We have been waiting for a long time now.Overtime.What to do when his master piece, Mother Earth goes with another "bang"? Please give me an answer.

    1. Sorry, I'm not exactly sure what you're asking, but I'll try anyway...

      Why do we have to wait for God's victory? Great question! If there really was an all-powerful, all-loving god there would be no reason to wait for this supposed victory. He should be able to just 'poof' the Devil and evil away at any point, or better yet, never create it in the first place. The fact that this victory still hasn't come suggests that God is either not all-powerful, a sadist, or nonexistent.

      As long as humanity exists, won't Hell? A literal Hell? If so, I'd say no, since there's no evidence Hell is real. If you are referring more in the metaphorical sense, conflict may never be extinguished completely, but that doesn't mean that strides can't be made.

      What to do when Mother Earth goes with a bang? How so? Are you talking about the end times that have been tirelessly predicted for ages now? If so, and the Bible is to be relied upon then there is nothing that can be done about it. If you are talking more about a natural or man-man 'bang' there are different things that can be done to prepare for or to avoid it happening altogether depending on the exact nature of what we're talking about.