Monday, February 17, 2014

Does knowing Christ tell you right from wrong?

In the 'reality contradicts everything I say' folder we have Billy Graham answering a question about if God gave us a way to tell right from wrong.
Q: Did God put something inside us that's supposed to tell us what's right and what's wrong? If He did, then why do some people not even seem to have a conscience? They go out and do terrible things without even thinking. -- Mrs. A.M.
No, he didn't (It would be rather difficult for a nonexistent being to do so). Most people do have a conscience, however that's not all there is to it. While most have a conscience, not everyone does. Those with certain mental conditions for example, seem incapable of telling right from wrong.

And of those that do have a conscience there isn't just one de facto conscience. Some are able to twist, contort and rationalize that the line between right and wrong is in a different place than you and I. Some may even ignore their conscience out of greed or anger.

More still, the conscience of a person in one culture may differ somewhat from someone in another. This really isn't something that should surprise us, as our 'conscience' is really our subconscious brain judging on things through the filter of our evolved morality. Humans are social creatures, so though the ages, we've crafted and refined standards on what is good, and what is bad. For the most part, good and bad may be pretty much the same among many groups. However, the unique situation and culture of one group may tell them that something is okay, that other groups would say is wrong.

Some societies would say that eating dogs is fine, others that it's wrong. Some may even take religion into account and say that animal sacrifices and killing blasphemers is good, while others would disagree.
A: Yes, God did put within each of us a sense of right and wrong -- what we usually call our conscience. In fact, one reason we feel guilty when we do wrong is because our conscience is speaking to us. The Bible urges us to pursue things that come "from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith" (1 Timothy 1:5).

The problem is that our conscience -- that inner sense of right and wrong -- has been corrupted by sin. Have you ever known someone who had been burned over some part of their body, and their nerves had been damaged so much that they no longer had any feeling there? That's what sin does to our conscience; sin can scar it so much that we're no longer as sensitive to right and wrong as we should be. The Bible speaks of evil men "whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron" (1 Timothy 4:2).

Our conscience is important; it still can alert us to right and wrong. But it's not always a dependable guide -- and it can even deceive us if we aren't careful. That's why we need Christ, who comes to live within us by His Spirit when we welcome Him into our lives. It's also why we need the Bible, which God has given to guide us.

Evil is powerful, and sometimes it overwhelms the conscience of someone who is given over to it. But God is more powerful, and He will guide us by His Word.
Seriously? He's going with the whole ' knowing Christ' will show you right from wrong' and that 'with Christ evil has no power'... Does this guy live in an eternal bubble of ignorance?

When the church perpetrated the Crusades and Inquisition, how did knowing Christ give them power over evil, and a clear vision of what is right and wrong? I don't know about you, but I'd rate torture and murder as pretty damn wrong. Is Graham suggesting that the church didn't know Christ?

What about the believers that have killed in the name of God, or the fact that the majority of inmates in US prisons are Christians? I'd certainly say that breaking the law to the point of incarceration would classify as wrong.

How about the child abuse sex scandal within the Catholic church? In my opinion, priests (of anyone) raping children is very very wrong! Seeing how preaching God's word is a priests job, it's pretty safe to say that the vast would be followers of, and believers in Christ.

And what about slaughtering entire cities, committing worldwide genocide, or torturing people for eternity? Christians either believe that Jesus was God in human form, or at the very least that he was God's divine son. In either case, God would know Christ... especially if he is also Christ as well. Being the sadistic, cruel, vain sociopath that the Bible portrays him as, I can see nothing resembling a conscience withing this deities character.

So tell me... If the god of the Bible doesn't have a conscience, is it really realistic at all the claim he gave everyone a conscience, and through knowing him, you will be able to read it clearly? Of course not! Stop pretending that Christians are somehow morally superior (since they aren't), and instead embrace the beautiful fact that we've created and molded morality all on our own.

-Brain Hulk

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