Monday, June 3, 2013

God: Hate the sin, hate the sinner... and everyone else

Another Monday, another example of Billy Graham simply not getting it. In my Sunday paper, there were actually two questions to Graham. The first was a question about helping the homeless. The writer questioned if they were doing any good at the homeless shelter since they see the same people there week after week. Billy starts out fine, explaining that just seeing the same people doesn't mean that they aren't making a difference.

But, as always he ruins it at the end by saying that 'the greatest gift you can give them is God's love through Jesus Christ' and calls on them to help the homeless 'find' Jesus. Um, no... The greatest gift you can give them is not Jesus, but a warm meal, a place to sleep and a friendly smile. You know, things that actually matter. First of all, most Americans are Christians, so it's highly likely that these down on their luck individuals already are Christians. Second of all, reliance on God is horrible advice if it's anything like religious Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) groups.

They teach that the individual is powerless to the addiction, and without the help of a higher power, they are doomed to fall back into their old ways. Such thinking does the people in need a disservice, and portrays they as insignificantly weak. It also sets them up for a fall. When compared with Secular Sobriety (SS), AA doesn't have a great record. SS empowers the individual to find the strength that they have within them, and not reliance on an external (imaginary) force. AA attendees are more likely to have a relapse, because when times get rough again, they were told they were powerless, and act accordingly. Now this isn't true in all cases, but it's more common with AA. So rather than telling the homeless that there is nothing they can do about there situation (telling them to put their lives in God's hands), give them actual help and good good advice instead.

The second question is about the old phrase, 'hate the sin, love the sinner...

When we repent for our sins, God offers forgiveness

DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I’ve always heard that “God hates the sin but loves the sinner,” but is this really true? How can God love someone who abuses children, kills innocent people, or things like that? I know I sure can’t. — L.H.

DEAR L.H.: If God loved only people who are perfect and worthy of his love, then he wouldn’t love anyone, because we’re all imperfect and unworthy. As the Bible says, “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
But God doesn’t look at us this way. Instead, the Bible says, God loves us in spite of our sin and rebellion, and he has done everything possible to demonstrate his love to us. Think for a moment of all the good things God gives us that we don’t deserve: our lives, our families, our health, our freedoms. Even the next breath you take is a sign of his love for you, whether you realize it or not.
The greatest demonstration of God’s love, however, was in Jesus Christ, who gave his life so we could become God’s children and go to be with him in heaven forever. We deserved to die for our sins, but Christ died in our place, because of his love for us. The Bible says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Human beings are capable of terrible deeds; you have mentioned some of them. Because of them, we deserve nothing less than God’s judgment — and his judgment is certain. But God’s love is greater than our sin, and when we repent and turn to Christ for our salvation, God forgives us and gives us new hearts and new lives. Have you turned to him for the forgiveness you need?
 So... I'm guessing that Graham is all Bible this, Bible that without having ever read the dusty old book. Because it is NOT a book that exudes love. Payback for brown nosing, perhaps, but not real love and forgiveness.

God loves us and has everything to demonstrate his love for us? How? The Bible offers a blackmail deal in order to forgive an absurd 'crime' (that never happened) and dishes out eternal punishment for any crimes real or imagined... Let's start at the beginning shall we?

Original sin is supposed to be the one that infects all. For the time being we'll ignore that fact that there was no original sin, and show how this fails within Christianity's own doctrine. God told Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They do, God deems that they've disobeyed and done wrong and damns their descendants for all eternity. But does any of that make sense? Of course not! Remember, it was the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Before eating from the tree, they where ignorant of good and evil. So before they ate from the tree, they didn't know that it was bad to disobey God.

Think of it like a new baby that does something bad. Do you punish them for eternity for doing something that they were too ignorant and innocent to know it was wrong to do that thing? Of course not! To make matter worse, God is supposed to me omniscient. So he knew that they didn't know it was wrong to disobey, and also knew that them not knowing would inevitably lead to them eating from the tree. So he knew all this and did nothing to stop it? Then to make maters worse, he curses all their descendants for eternity? Cursing them and everyone else for them committing a 'sin' that he knew, they couldn't know they were committing until it was too late? That is not hating the sin and loving the sinner. That's looking for any excuse possible to claim that all are damned!

Then silly Billy has this to say... "Think for a moment of all the good things God gives us that we
don’t deserve: our lives, our families, our health, our freedoms. Even the next breath you take is a sign of his love for you, whether you realize it or not." Talk about sick and demeaning! This is a prime example of how Christianity does not appreciate life, and thinks of us all as little more than filth. We don't deserve out lives, family, freedom, etc? Bull! That is not a statement of love at all. It is a statement of love when a kidnapper tells there victim that they could just kill them, but are instead keeping them alive for now? Of course not! That is a power play, pure and simple. I could end you, so just step in line and await my command.

And how is Jesus the greatest example of God's love? In what universe is a human sacrifice necessary for anything? If God wants to forgive the sins of those that he (arbitrarily) deems worthy, then there is no need for Jesus whatsoever. If he hates the sin, but loves the sinner, then just forgive the 'sinners'. Want to forgive than just forgive! Additionally, willing compliance with human sacrifice is far more abhorrent that most  of the sins that God would damn you for. And not just punish, but eternal torment! Talk about holding a grudge!

Graham also states that humans are capable of terrible deeds, so we deserve God's judgement. Sure, we are capable... But what about those like me that don't murder, abuse children, cheat on my wife, etc? Why is it that I am to be held in the same regard as those that do these terrible deeds? Again, that's not love. But if we're capable of these things, and that places us deserving of judgement, what about God? God is capable of terrible acts as well, and has performed far more terrible acts than any person has. Since God is capable or terror, and has actually acted accordingly, he deserves judgement as well. My sentence? The God of the Bible is the far more deserving of eternal torment than any person ever has been.

So no, God does not hate the sin and love the sinner. If anything, his track record would suggest that he (if he was real) loves the sin and hates the sinner. If he loves us so much, he's doing a terrible job of sowing it, and seem to have everything set up in such a way that all are doomed to fail his (imaginary and pointless) test. Instead of trying to impress a god that doesn't exist, how about if we be good to one another for the sake of being good. Display our empathy (that God is lacking) and make this a better world. Once we strive for real morality, rather than religious morality, that goal may just be possible.

-Brain Hulk

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