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Is Christianity the Biggest Scam in History?

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posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:15 AM
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While I don't want this thread to get too heavy, I wanted to open the floor to *sensible* debate amongst my fellow ATSers, since I know that we have lots of original thinkers here who's minds are not bounded by convention or following the herd mentality.

I've been pondering this question since I've been going to a "beer and bible" group with some pretty devout Christians I know (I do the beer, they do the bible
).

What they believe has truly shocked me (I'll put some more details in the second post about this), but what has become obvious is that these people cannot look at the Bible, Jesus, or anything else objectively.

They have decided that they believe it all 100%, and so when something appears that contradicts that belief, instead of reassessing their beliefs, they come up with ever more harebrained explanations to justify them (again, see the 2nd post).

Anyway, it has become apparent that their belief in Jesus being God comes primarily from ONE sentence spoken by Jesus where he is arguing with the Pharisees (it's in the book of John).

That line is "Before Abraham was, I am".

In the Old Testament God identified himself to Moses as "I am who I am", and so consequently Christians have come to take this as a sign that Jesus is saying "I am God"

However......

It is argued that the sentence is not correctly translated (from Greek), and in fact should be "I am superior in rank to Abraham"

It would also appear not to be grammatically correct, with Christians giving "I am" 2 meanings, both to mean literally "I am" and to mean "God".

If "I am" means God, then what he said is "before Abraham was, God" - what he should have said is "I am I am".

It's also interesting to note that after allegedly making this revelation to the jews, Jesus then fled when they wanted to beat him up!

Odd behaviour for God to run from an angry crowd!

Anyway, I feel that you need to look at the whole discussion that Jesus has with the Pharisees in order to put "before Abraham was, I am" into context, which I will do below, but I have to say that having asked this question of my Christian friends they cannot and will not discuss it, all that I get is:

"It's hard to understand, even for us" - or in other words, "you're too stupid to get it, only us "enlightened" souls can get it" (primarily because they won't think about it!).

So, to put that sentence into it's true context you can read the relevant section in John (Google "before abraham was, I am).

I don't want to put the whole text here, so I'm going to put the bits that I think are truly revealing, and seem to totally contadict the idea that Jesus is God:

John 8:16 But even if I do judge, my judgment is true; for I am not alone in it, but I and He who sent me. 17 Even in your law it has been written, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 "I am he who bears witness of myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness of me.”


John 8:25 And so they were saying to Him, "Who are you?" Jesus said to them, "What have I been saying to you from the beginning? 26 I have many things to speak and to judge concerning you, but He who sent me is true; and the things which I heard from Him, these I speak to the world." 27 They did not realize that he had been speaking to them about the Father.


John 8:28-30 Jesus therefore said, "When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me. 29 And He who sent me is with me; He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him." 30 As He spoke these things, many came to believe in him.


John 8:38 I speak the things which I have seen with my Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father." 39 They answered and said to him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you are Abraham's children, do the deeds of Abraham. 40 But as it is, you are seeking to kill me, a man who has told you the truth, which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do.

John 8:42 Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me; for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on my own initiative, but He sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word.


John 8:54-56 Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies Me, of whom you say, 'He is our God'; 55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he saw it and was glad."


John 8:57 The Jews therefore said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?"


John 8:58-59 Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." 59 Therefore they picked up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out of the temple.

It seems to me that jesus is making a clear distinction between himself and God, and it is most telling in the line "you want to kill me, A MAN who is telling you the truth that I HEARD FROM GOD"

How can it be that Christians can ignore ALL of the highlighted words of jesus above, where he clearly says that he has been SENT by God, his Father, and pin everything onto 1 line that appears completely out of context?

If this is right, and jesus is not God, then what are they doing every time they go to church and worship Jesus?

Even Jesus himself, when asked how they should pray by the disciples, said "Your Father is in heaven, so you should start with Our Father"" and then he taught them the Lords prayer - Christians it seems cannot even follow the simplest of jesus' instructions!

"Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear my word." - Indeed!!

Also, the disciples themselves had their own prayer where they thanked God for sending His SERVANT, Jesus - so it seems that they had no belief that Jesus was God either.

There are many other contadictions throughout the Bible, and what seems to have happened to me is that some writers have tried to make Jesus fit Old Testament prophecies, and made a complete hash of it....

continued in the next post....




posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:27 AM
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....continued.

So, You have for example the story of Jesus being born in Bethlehem, the city of David - even though he hails from Nazereth.

This is an OT prophecy, and so to make the story fit, the writers have concocted the story that the Romans were conducting a census and all men had to go to the city of their fathers.

Problem is, Joseph's ancestor David had died 1000 years before!

Not only that, but it is a historical FACT that no census was taken at that time. The only census was in AD 6 - 7 - so this story is clearly a fabrication.

You also have the ludicrous notion that jesus entered Jerusalem riding TWO donkeys! - clearly the writer has misunderstood the OT prophecy.


Anyway, the point of my post is this:

My Christian friends tell me how difficult all of this is to understand, even they find it hard to understand how Jesus can be man, God, and Holy Spirit all at the same time.

My answer is that it is NOT difficult to understand, it is extremely EASY to understand if you just listen to the words of jesus and accept him as he presents himself.

It only becomes confusing when you try to transform him into something he never claimed to be.

And if he was simply a messenger, a servant of God, then they are all worshipping a false idol, and are in fact not hearing a single darned word that he said AT ALL!

So all of these people are at worst disobeying God and putting their mortal souls at risk, and at best being scammed by a bunch of money grabbing charlatans.

Unless I've got it all wrong - I'd be happy to know what people's views on this very important subject are please.


Now, onto the crazyness that my Christians friends believe.

I ask - If the story of Adam and Eve is true, then where do fossils and dinosaurs come from?

Answer - "The devil put them there to make us lose our faith".

Another asked me (since I have an interest in mentalism, a form of mind reading magic) "do you think that people like Derren Brown and "mediums" are in league with demons?


I mean, what the heck! We're in the 21st century people, why can't these people just come up with the most sensible answer instead of the most stupid one - people like Derren Brown are magicians.

No Demons are necessary, but some use of the lump of grey jelly that God stuck between your ears would be greatly appreciated!

Anyone have any views on this at all?

Thanks!



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:37 AM
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The flavor of Christianity I was raised in made a distinction between God and Jesus - they were not the same being. I actually found it odd when I was exposed to others beliefs that they were in some way the same entity.

That aside I was one who actually DID re-evaluate my beliefs when they were challenged. I didn't close my eyes and stick my fingers in my ears as many others do. I haven't been to "church" in...15 years?

I pretty much believe that Catholicism, and by extension Christianity, were loosely rooted in actual spiritual belief. I think it was mostly a mechanism or means to keep people "scared straight" as they say. "Don't do this-or-that or God will smite you/send you to hell/etc."

That in itself wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It's pretty ingenious, actually. Without it, they would have had to spend money on additional policing measures. With it, not only did they not have to pay, but they could COLLECT!

I won't argue the origins of the bible. I won't argue whether or not God/Jesus are/were real. I actually more or less believe that there is SOME kind of higher consciousness. I just don't think it's some dude on a throne with clouds and angels around him.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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I'm gonna tell you right now. You're gonna get a bunch of people that say it is a load of horse****, and then you're going to get a bunch of people defending it.

At the end of the day, you may make a choice between the two. One that might reflect your own psychological disposition and past experiences.

If you are prone to indecisiveness, you will stay uncertain. If you are prone to facts, you may become an atheist. If you are prone to leaps of faith ... you know how it ends.


Or maybe, you'll go for something completely different.


But as for this thread? Yeah. Generic "god is fake, lol" and "god is the greatest" enthusiasts will visit it for a while and move on.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:44 AM
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Religion is the greatest scam in history.

Its all about money and control.

And the idiots line up by the billions waiting to be scammed.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:48 AM
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reply to post by SentientBeyondDesign
 


Right, well it seems to me that a poster can reply in favor, against, or "above"...meaning they agree/disagree, or they abstract themselves from the conversation in some way - not taking a side or leaving some other metareply. Your post happens to fit the latter. =)

But you're right. When it comes down to it, the poster just seems to be seeking validation for his thoughts.

I don't mean that in a condescending way by any means. That's why we're all here. But this one has been hashed and will attract the same replies as previous similar posts as you said.

If I were to offer a direct response, I would say as a rule, being devout ANYTHING is bad. It blinds the mind and confines one to a small boxed reality.

[edit on 24-6-2010 by an0maly33]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:49 AM
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Don't forget to mention that Jesus also said: If we need to worship, we should worship God and not him. Even Jesus prayed to God. Why would Jesus need to pray to him self if he is God?

It seams like it doesn't matter if it is written or not. People still believes Jesus is God. The problem with humans is that they cant understand what they read properly.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:50 AM
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Good point - ever send a long email only to have someone reply to ONE SENTENCE from it?

It's like throwing sh*t at a wall and seeing what sticks. People will latch on to the bits that mean the most to them, even if it's untrue.

[edit on 24-6-2010 by an0maly33]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:52 AM
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even Jesus is not a son of God dude...

so why call him a God?



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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Since I have to make two sentances for a one word reply....


In a word: YUP!


99% of organized religons are indeed a big fat SCAM!



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:54 AM
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Originally posted by brainwrek
Religion is the greatest scam in history.

Its all about money and control.

And the idiots line up by the billions waiting to be scammed.


And I thought this was just so they could buy the new iPhone ......



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 10:58 AM
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reply to post by Power_Semi
 


If you are discussing the instituion of religion as being a scam, I agree. But I would include all forms of instituional religion and not just the many forms of institutionalized Christianity.

If, however, you are asking for clarification on certain Bible verses, may I direct you to this post



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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If Jesus is NOT God (and they don't actually claim that he is), then Christians will argue that he is one of God's Prophets.

And just for the record, Christians do not worship Jesus AS God, they wordhip him as the SON of God, which of course, would make The Devil his Uncle (the bible is very clear that the Devil is God's brother), which everyone seems to conveniently ignore.

And yes, ALL religion is a shameless hypocritical scam. People (most notably the Church) warn people against scamming seniors, while they pass the collection plate every Sunday. They preach love and tolerance but are the most hate filled and intolerant organization in the history of the planet.

True Spirituality, on the other hand, can be reaily adjusted to an individual's spiritual needs and people should find their own spirituality rather than follow organized religion.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:05 AM
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Christianity is not a scam, don't confuse the "Scammers" who dwell inside the Church body, with all the positive things Christianity brings. The Church has always had problems with false teachings. People get jaded so easily by a few bad apples. Finding a good Christian environment requires shopping around, like anything else. I know the Bible is confusing, and parts don't make sense... but the more you study it the clearer it becomes.
The Question was asked about Dinosaurs... The bible doesn't name to many animals by name....So why would Dinosaurs be mentioned. Some People believe that the Noah's Ark housed Dinosaurs (I don't see how that would be possible) but I guess, that anything is possible. I believe that Jesus Christ has died for our sins, and If that make's me a idiot, then so be it. I would rather be an idiot, who believes in something
then somebody brilliant, who believes in nothing...



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:07 AM
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Wow, great post. I have struggled a long time with the notion of Jesus and the Bible. I don't understand why people think the Bible is the Word of God. God never got a group of writers together and said, Ok, here is what I want in my Book...
To the contorary, these "writers" of the Bible are just that. No actual first hand experience came from these writers...
Jesus, if infact he was real, is no more then a preacher, priest, etc. trying to spread news about God. If infact Jesus was real, why didn't he write down his teachings himself. If I were given life from God, spoke to God and actually heard him/saw him tell me that he gave life to me and put me in a womens belly without having the exchange of seman to make a baby...(which again I find hard to believe) I would write my every experience down and make sure people knew that I was for real in stead of relying others to tell my story.

I was raised Catholic and always felt uneasy about the whole thing.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:08 AM
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All religion is a scam, in order to enslave humanity. It is the reason we are destroying ourselves here on earth rather than spreading our seed throughout the universe, as we are supposed to.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by Target Earth
 


But, if you look at the flipside of what you said the same idea applies. There are those that are more comfortable in their own rationalization of God (whether or not that means he exists to them) than following what someone else is feeding them. In their eyes, you may be wasting your life on something that in the end means nothing.

[edit - replied to wrong poster]

[edit on 24-6-2010 by an0maly33]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:13 AM
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Your title seems misleading. I entered this thread fully expecting the same friggin' thing posted daily here on ATS about 'religion being a scam' and all, but it seems to me like you're looking for more of a religious discussion based on many passages from the Bible, and whether Jesus was God.



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:17 AM
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the Biggest Scam in History my freind is Islam how dare you to attack Christianity


This site is full of haters and yet Islam lovers and wanna bes of it.

[edit on 24-6-2010 by Agent_USA_Supporter]



posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 11:20 AM
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the biggest scam in the history is that our world is run by psychopaths that create false flags, create illegal wars, create religion ...



reply to post by Agent_USA_Supporter
 


HAHAHAHHAHAHA

DOG, MY RELIGION IS BETTER THAN YOURS, DIE!!! (sarcasm)

thats just shameful, people really believe that their religion is better than any other, and thats the most stupid thing ever

I prefer to think for myself instead of using a book to get instructions in what to think


[edit on 24/6/10 by Faiol]




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