These are my thoughts, beliefs, opinions and understanding from my informed life perspective and faith background.

On Science

I have come to believe and trust in the scientific method. The scientific method is not influenced by politics or beliefs, it is based upon observation and also is not rigid and solid and unchanging like religious dogma. If there is new data you analyze it, then possibly change your hypothesis, then possibly change the theory if needed. Humans are ever learning as they continue evolving.

On The Plan Of God

So let me understand and summarize this belief system I am the most familiar with since I was 12 years old: 

God created all matter and time. On this planet Earth He/She/It created life with man being the last of creation (depends on whether you go with Genesis Chapter 1 vs Genesis Chapter 2). He created a female from the rib of Adam (why do men have nipples and are not short one rib?) They were naked and happy and then the woman beguiled the man to taste from the forbidden tree (the ability to know right from wrong, isn’t this a good thing?) Then God said they will die instead of living forever. Most Christians believe that all humanity is born with a sinful nature received upon conception and passed down from generation to generation because of this act. So humans sin. It is in their nature. We inherit it without any choice (I thought we had free will??). The majority sexual orientation is heterosexual but there is a 3-10+% minority that are not. In the animal kingdom, in some species, homosexuality is even more prevalent than in Homo sapiens. God then supposedly condemns the human sexual orientation they were born with and wants them to be heterosexual. God sends to humans (but only the Hebrew race as He/She/It has decided this particular small middle eastern ethnic tribe are His/Her/Its special chosen people). He/She/It provides the 10 commandments that should be followed (but slavery and prejudice and starting offensive wars unfortunately didn’t make this list!) Then more rules are added and explained as emanating from the original 10. But even the Hebrews don’t follow all of these rules (Jews are after all, just humans!) Humanity is doomed because sin is rampant all over the earth (not sure what happens to the races that are not the special chosen race as they have no idea which rules they are supposed to follow and which God to worship). God regrets having made humans (wait, does this mean God does NOT know the future? He seems surprised on what He created and that it was surely doomed to failure. He didn’t see this coming at all??) He/She/It uses a flood to kill most everyone and everything including children and pregnant women and their pets(I so wish the flies and mosquitoes would have been TOTALLY wiped out!) For some reason, God in the Old Testament apparently established that something must die as a blood sacrifice (i.e. a sacrificial lamb) so that sins can be atoned for. Many ancient cultures had blood sacrifices). Then God realizes that now animal sacrifices just don’t cut it anymore so God now realizes He/She/It must leave eternity and come into the human realm of time and space and cause a virgin to be pregnant (without getting her permission first-but she is told afterwards-and agrees. Is this a good example of consent? No male human sperm is involved (so then original sin is not inherited?) and then be born in the natural way from that virgin (who somehow is also free from original sin due to her Immaculate Conception which was not clearly articulated until the 12th century? and according to the largest group of Christians remains a virgin even after giving birth) This person is raised by two parents but the earthly father dies first. This human manifestation of God named Jesus is smart, and clever, knows how humans are, practices Judaism, is a carpenter like his deceased earthly father and grows up like anyone else except this individual is both man and God at the same time. His mission is to be killed (but only for ~3 days) and thus God uses himself to be an atonement for all mankind. At 30 years of age he quits being a carpenter and goes on a full time teaching and preaching gig and collecting his special all male group that are called Apostles with women followers providing the finances for Jesus and these Apostles. Before Jesus is crucified, he changes some of the preexisting Hebrew religious rules and laws. Many of these rules have been passed down in both oral and written traditions. These rules were interpreted by the religious leaders of that time and the ones before. Most of the religious leaders see this happening and the followers of Jesus increasing. A very few relate to Jesus and agree with some of his teachings, some are just plain jealous of his first century social media followers, but most are indignant and angered by the teachings of this relatively young dude named Jesus. Not only is Jesus relatively young but he has not been educated in a formal religious institution (i.e equivalent to modern day Bible college or theological seminary.) He has become a first century itinerant street preacher with a large social following!

The followers of Jesus record in their writings that Jesus then claimed to be equal to the Hebrew God YHWH by supposedly making a statement “Before Abraham was, I AM.” This is the last straw for many of the religious leaders of the time and they appeal to the Roman political authorities, the true masters of the Hebrews at this time, to get rid of Jesus as he is blaspheming and turning people against them.

The political leader in charge, Pontius Pilate, sees that they are jealous of Jesus and he does not understand or believe in their Hebrew religion. He is stuck with governing these complaining and superstitious people and tries to not give into their request, but eventually does so because he does not want to make things worse for himself in his ongoing difficulty of ruling this land with Roman laws while placating these people by allowing them to practice their religion. He wants his job to be as smooth as possible. Why can’t they just chill?

Back to Christian beliefs, only those that receive this message, believe and are baptized AND repent and then follow the recorded teachings of Jesus in the New Testament and the original 10 commandments, plus a bunch more rules as developed by oral and written Christian leaders of the last 2,000 years, will be allowed to live for eternity with He/She/It. The ones that don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah of the Jews AND as God himself AND follow The Way AND follow all the various rules, will be sentenced to spend eternity in a burning lake of fire apart from God (with constant eternal pain-yes, all this supposedly from a God of love). Now, if these followers break some rules they can be forgiven by a priest or by asking God to forgive them. This is called Grace, and shows God’s Mercy. But they still must do certain things and live in certain ways and follow certain teachings developed over the last 2,000 years which is dependent upon which church/sect/denomination they have been convinced is the purest and the one that God prefers or else they obviously have not been saved or redeemed and thus the loving God that created the wonders of the entire universe, who set time and space into motion, will send them to a lake of burning fire where they will suffer for all eternity (this is *infinity* longer than a Sagan unit, billions and billions of years!)

It is uncertain if the ones in heaven will be bummed out that many of their friends and family did not make it to heaven. Will they have empathy? Will they be allowed to watch their loved ones cry out in pain? (It is not even clear if there will be free will in heaven.) And what will they do forever besides give praise to God? (Does this God sound egotistical and narcissistic? Hmmm.) Will these redeemed of the Lord get to talk to each other about the poor decisions of those suffering somewhere below? Will they thank God for being so loving and merciful? If there are aliens in other galaxies, will they also be in this New Jerusalem? Did Jesus know their race would sin too? Did He/She/It also flood their world with water (or methane) and kill most all of their life forms?

If an eternal, omnipotent entity that started at life on this planet and in this universe and after the Big Bang wishes to communicate with Homo sapiens, think about HOW He-She-It, would accomplish this? One does not even need to hire Spielberg or J.J. Abrams to orchestrate this. But I believe it would have to be something pretty spectacular that would grab all of the planet’s inhabitants’ attention. This would need to leave NO DOUBT OR UNCERTAINTY in anyone’s mind of this unbelievable ‘CONTACT. ‘ It would need to be miraculous and above earthly scientific capability. Perhaps a universal dream or vision that contained a message from God that EVERYONE (but what about babies?) in the world had within 24 hours? Or perhaps an image in space next to earth where it could be seen by all that contained greetings and instructions in every human language and dialect? Remember it would have to be so miraculous as to convince the most devout and religious humans to leave their present religion to now truly follow the REAL SUPREME BEING! And there would not be questions about doctrine or manuscripts or which teachings were accurate and true; which humans were real prophets or false. It would all be very, very, clear with no more confusion! Can I hear an amen?!

Think about it how it is now. An important and wealthy neighbor with a special reward to give away (eternal!) wouldn’t just go to their neighbor’s house and leave contradictory Post-It notes scattered around the yard in numerous places with your important (life saving) offer. Imagine the inhabitant coming home and finding these notes. All of the ones that are found say that THEY are correct and the other Post-It notes are not to be believed with different warnings of when and how you will visit the house. Some of the notes want you to do certain things while others have you doing other things. Not very efficient! Damn confusing! Which Post-It note would the inhabitant believe? What if you were the inhabitant? It would depend on which direction you entered your yard (i.e. which geographical area/religion you were born in). If you entered from one side of the lawn and only looked at the first note you found and accepted it, well, that would be the one you believe. Likewise, most people are raised in a certain religious faith that is most predominant for their culture and geographical location, never bothering to look for other Post-It notes (religions). I believe this number in actuality is around 80%. You might be happy with your Post-It note revelation and trust it and put your faith in that God (or Gods as the case may be) and not wish to rock the proverbial ‘boat’ that you and your family are in. Some people are in societies where if they change religions (i.e. look for another Post-it note from God) they are then subject to death or expulsion or the loss of their family relationships (more human actions inspired by a love of their particular God or Gods?)

If you are God and you wished to make contact with your creation, I think you probably would just simply go up to the door and knock or ring the doorbell of humanity, wouldn’t you? I would say that this spectacular event for all humanity to see that I proposed above has certainly not yet occurred (besides engineering, I do have a work background in Sales and Marketing but I would think God, if He/She/It exists, would not need my help or any help from their creation). Even the three great Abrahamic traditions, which account for the majority of the world’s religious by number count, and of which each claim to be *THE* truth, have splintered into so many factions, denominations, churches, and schools of thought. Why is this, and why hasn’t God come forward to clarify things so that people do not believe in untruths, falsehoods, wrong dogma, wrong traditions, wrong interpretations, wrong leaders and false messiahs? These circumstances show me that either God does not exist and mankind has created He/She/It or that if God exists then He/She/It has no contact with the inhabitants of this planet.

So is the concept of God flawed in the Old Testament? Was this story of God written by human men? Christians have inherited this same God and must somehow reconcile this OT God with Jesus since it is a cornerstone belief in Christianity that Jesus is God, regardless of whether one is Trinitarian, Unitarian, ‘Oneness’ (a form of Modalistic Monarchianism) or Modalistic as there are scriptures than can be used to support all of these foundational beliefs (yup). Is God really cruel and unmerciful? Or are these attributes ones the human writers of ancient scriptures have given to God? When I look at the words of Jesus I don’t see this kind of a mean OT God. I see Jesus going into the temple and overturning the tables of the people selling animals and making money, thus turning religion into a type of an eBay or Amazon. I see Jesus saying that we must forgive people that hurt us how many times? (7×70 which means infinite times!) This certainly doesn’t seem like the same God that I learned about in the Old Testament. Even when I was a devout Christian, I always had this problem reconciling how Jesus could be so different than the God of the Old Testament. Jesus is such a nice, likable guy. He doesn’t seem like He is angry, except at the religious hypocritical leaders of his time, and he deals fairly with people that are in his earthly realm of existence. Does He hang around with the most religious people of his time and only talk with them like God did in the OT with Abraham, Noah, Moses, etc. No. Who does he end up hanging out with? He ends up hanging out with tax collectors, fisherman, common people and even…wait for it…prostitutes! That’s the kind of Guy I could relate to. Jesus had a following of not just men, but lots of women too. He was pretty cool. He was pretty forgiving. People came to him all the time wanting him to heal them of their illnesses, because let’s face it, medicine and science weren’t very advanced 2000 years ago. Does Jesus start his own political group and try to overturn the Roman government that’s in control of Palestine? Nope. That seems a bit odd. The God of the Old Testament would probably say these heathens should be killed and order His people to fight against them and kill them all, just like he did in the OT. But what does Jesus say? He says give unto Caesar what is Caesars and unto God what is God’s. Then we are instructed if a Roman soldier forces us to carry his heavy equipment for a mile that we are supposed to then offer to carry his load for yet another mile! We are not to say to the Roman soldier ‘No, I am a Jew. I am one of God’s chosen people, but you are a heathen and will not be saved! God does not like you, I do not like you, and actually I hate you and no way am I going to carry your stuff!’ Of course if this was said to the Roman soldier, he would probably kill the Jew on the spot. So this Jesus seems to almost be ‘in’ with the Roman occupation, doesn’t he? He doesn’t seem to be an anarchist at all. He does not sound like the God of the Old Testament. I know Christians will remind me of their belief it was not yet His time that in this manifestation of Jesus, his role and mission was only to come to his people and supposedly fulfill prophecies and to die (although this may be questionable statement since 3 days later he is back in heaven with His Dad) for all of mankind’s sin-BUT only each individual person that accepts the Christian religion and worships Jesus as God will be forgiven. If not, then the OT style judgement will be upon them and they will be thrown into the lake of fire and burn and suffer for all eternity. I’m not sure how that works for all the people that are raised Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or in animistic traditions like the Native Americans etc.

On Whether Morality Comes Only From Religion

No. I believe that Homo sapiens are not inherently evil. Most people are basically good in that they wish to not harm others and wish to live in peace. People are basically altruistic. I believe in some evolutionary morality. Tests have shown that very young toddlers prefer those cartoon characters that are helpful (nice to others) rather than not (bad towards others.) People want to live in peace with others and act accordingly. They know that if they hurt or kill others then they may be hurt or killed. If they steal from others then others may steal from them. If they break the law, they may be fined or have their freedom taken from them by being incarcerated. Basically, we do what makes us happy, within the above guidelines.

People do what they want and ultimately choose their personal morality and justify it based on many things such as hormones, societal ethics and values, one’s family teachings, peer influence, political influence, spousal influence, religious beliefs, personal circumstances, personal desires and what brings them joy and happiness.

On Using My Mind

If God/Creator/Extremely Advanced Being exists, AND if He/She/It wanted to have a relationship with Homo sapiens, would not He/She/It clearly communicate this desire to ALL the people of the world somehow, perhaps in a generation-to-generation worldwide method (i.e. some miraculous communication) so that no one could say it was an inaccurate blip in history or some fluke of certain believers in a certain time and place?

If God exists and never does the above, could He/She/It have created time and space, yet not care about their creation? I assume if God exists then He/She/It knows how things are going on this planet.

Since Homo sapiens have come to believe in a myriad (thousands) of Gods, with faiths and traditions and actions that are often at odds with each other, perhaps Homo sapiens invented, on their own, the various faiths? God could not exist or could still exist somewhere, perhaps outside of time and space or in a different reality or dimension or multiverse, but then He/She/It has thus far appeared to have not been interested in correcting this worship confusion or to step in and stop evil from continuing (I can think of some good times for God to step in: during the Bubonic plague, Native North Americans killings, Armenian Genocide, WWI, 1918 Flu Pandemic, WWII, Jewish Holocaust, Soviet Purges, starvation during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, Covid-19 Pandemic, etc.)

Since I do not have knowledge of all events before and after the Big Bang, and only exist in this time-space continuum and in this reality and multiverse, I would be presumptuous to declare that God never existed, and does not currently exist SOMEWHERE/SOMETIME. So I can never be a hard atheist. I believe atheists have faith in their conclusion not based upon any scientific evidence, since science and logic can never prove or disprove God. One could then conclude that atheists have their own belief system based upon their faith that they are right. They are presupposing that there could never, ever be any data that God exists. Sounds similar to a faith, cult or religion to me!

One should not base their faith-based belief system on private/personal revelations such as dreams, visions, signs, feelings, emotions, voices, hunches, private messages from other humans, etc. These ‘revelation sources’ are all unreliable, not repeatable, and do not stand under scientific scrutiny. They have caused MANY a religion/cult to develop throughout history. Now, if all humans of all ages in the world suddenly got a ‘message’ or ‘revelation’ into their mind (including, of course, the atheists) I’ll bet that would make an impact. Surely an omnipotent God could do this?

On Why Humans Believe

As far as we know, the only animal species on earth that is capable of believing in an omnipotent, omniscient being are humans i.e. Homo sapiens. We don’t see this ability in Chimpanzees or Bonobos (our closest cousins through a common ancestor). Why is this? Is faith in an omnipotent Being predicated upon the human social structure? Is it predicated upon guilt and wanting to be forgiven and accepted? Is it built upon wanting to have a friend that will be with you always even in your loneliest and most dire hours of need? Is it because we do not understand everything and we have to rationalize some things by just obeying what this Supreme Entity wants and has created? Is it so that we will have eternal life after our physical death? Is it so that we will have purpose and meaning in life? Is it some nascent desire to please our parent or parents to win their favor and admiration? Is it a fear of being punished by a perfect Being that is well aware of the times in our lives that we have acted poorly and cruelly towards others? Is it because we are worried that an all-seeing and all-knowing God knows when we have acted inhumane? Is it because we fear a God that has seen our simple nakedness and our animalistic (we are animals too) sexual thoughts, desires and sexual acts that we have been made to feel guilty about? And is this all possible because of the evolution and development of the human brain which is superior to that of other animals on this planet? Does it involve the capability to be self aware, to understand the concept of time, and the mortality of one’s self? I wonder.

On Religions Prior To Judaism

There are some scholars who believe Judaism was heavily influenced by other previous religions that existed before, as well as ones that were contemporary to it.

One person (mbplee) said in a response to an article posted on

“…it is a real revelation when we realize that our Abraham faiths have been based on the myths of other more ancient faiths and were not original in thought or historical origins. Only when we are able to accept such facts can our thoughts proceed to a higher level.”

On Whether Jesus Is God

Now Jesus, according to the writings about him, claims to be equivalent to God when he said things like “before Abraham was I AM” and they took up stones to kill him but it was not yet His time so one must conclude, based on the writings of the followers of Jesus, if these words are correct (and if Jesus existed, which I believe He did) then some of the claims of Jesus must be considered that he was either the Lord, a liar or a lunatic (this was not my idea but was actually in an evangelical apologetic book that I read in the 80’s which made some good logical points). Of course, this is all predicated on the writers of the New Testament accurately recording the words of Jesus and the actions of Jesus. And this all comes down to faith, doesn’t it? Do I think Jesus could have been Lord and is Lord even now? Sure, that’s possible. Do I think Jesus was a liar? Sure, that is possible. Do I think Jesus was a lunatic and thought he was God? Sure, that is possible. Do I think that Christianity was turned into a religion and twisted by Paul the Apostle and some NT writers? Sure, that is possible. Do I have CONCLUSIVE evidence? Nope. I have no evidence any God exists.

BUT, I am pretty thoroughly convinced in Dr. Bart D. Ehrman’s view on this topic. Who is Dr Bart D. Ehrman? He is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He came to UNC in 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), Professor Ehrman received both his Masters of Divinity and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where his 1985 doctoral dissertation was awarded magna cum laude. He reads the Bible in ancient Hebrew and Ancient Greek. Before attending Wheaton College he attended Moody Bible Institute and before that he asked the Lord into his life and was ‘born again.’ Oh yeah, he has written 6 books that have been on the New York Times best seling list!

On Whether Jesus Existed

There is a group that believes it is likely that Jesus did not exist. They are called Mythicists. I have read and heard some of their reasoning and believe them to be false, but I could be wrong. It does not matter to me whether Jesus was a historical figure or not. Earlier in my life it would have made a huge difference, but not now.

A good refute of the Mythicist  position can be found here:

Do I think Jesus never existed and therefore did not even utter any of the words ascribed to Him? Sure, that is possible. But we do have the words of “The Roman historian and senator Tacitus who referred to Jesus, his execution by Pontius Pilate, and the existence of early Early Christians in Rome.”

Publius Cornelius Tacitus

This is what Tacitus says about Jesus:

“Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.”

“The scholarly consensus is that Tacitus’ reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate is both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source.[5][6][7] Paul Eddy and Gregory Boyd argue that it is “firmly established” that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus.[8] Scholars view it as establishing three separate facts about Rome around AD 60: (i) that there were a sizable number of Christians in Rome at the time, (ii) that it was possible to distinguish between Christians and Jews in Rome, and (iii) that at the time pagans made a connection between Christianity in Rome and its origin in Roman Judea.[9][10]

“Although the majority of scholars consider it to be genuine, some scholars question the value of the passage given that Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus’ death.[4]

Flavius Josephus

Although the Jewish historian Josephus also mentions there was a man named Jesus in Judea, he is possibly basing his beliefs on the hearsay of others. No evidence is given. Other historians mention Christianity but do not comment on the person of Jesus:

“The next known reference to Christianity was written by Pliny the Younger, who was the Roman governor of Bithynia and Pontus during the reign of emperor Trajan. Around 111 AD,[73] Pliny wrote a letter to emperor Trajan, requesting guidance on how to deal with suspected Christians who appeared before him in trials he was holding at that time.[74][75][76] Tacitus’ references to Nero’s persecution of Christians in the Annals were written around 115 AD,[73] a few years after Pliny’s letter but also during the reign of emperor Trajan.”

Another notable early author was Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, who wrote the Lives of the Twelve Caesars around 122 AD,[73] during the reign of emperor Hadrian. In this work, Suetonius described why Jewish Christians were expelled from Rome by emperor Claudius, and also the persecution of Christians by Nero, who was the heir and successor of Claudius.”

Note that these authors only mention Christianity but not Jesus specifically.

So I have to conclude, based upon these two historians, I think Jesus did exist historically but my agnostic-atheism does not rely on whether Jesus existed. I will rely on the historians aforementioned to conclude that He did. BTW, Paul the Apostle met with Peter, Jesus’ main disciple (and first Pope!) *AND* with Jesus’ very own brother. Jesus did exist.

Here is a 2023 Podcast from Dr. Bart D. Ehrman showing the reasons why we know Jesus existed:

On The Trinity

Most Christians are taught that Jesus is part of the Triune God equal to both the Father and the Holy Spirit, yet a lot of people have problems with this concept of the Trinity. The doctrine of the Trinity is difficult to understand, as is trying to understand exactly when time began or what was before time or what was before the Big Bang. Tertullian (born ~150AD) was the first Christian teacher to teach the Trinity as an alternative to Modalism or Gnosticism. These are all difficult things for human finite minds to comprehend, yet Christians are taught that Jesus and the Father and the Holy Spirit are ONE. They believe that Jesus submits to the Father and the Father elevates Jesus above all others and Jesus sends the Holy Spirit out…or is it the Father sending the Holy Spirit? I don’t know. I am getting confused now!

On The Bible

What do I think of the Bible? I think the Bible can be interpreted in many ways and that is one of the proofs that it is not the only word of God on this planet. Are there other words of God? I see no evidence of this. Are there bits of wisdom in the Old and New Testament? Definitely. Is there some bad advice? Definitely. I’ve only read parts of the Quran and parts of Buddhist teachings so I am definitely not an expert on those scriptures, but I have studied each of those faiths. The same problems that exist with Christianity also exist with these other world faiths. In the Old and New Testament we have no verse or verses that help us to translate the rest of the Bible. Christians, at least Protestant Christians, are taught that it all works together and explains itself, but this is not true or else there wouldn’t be thousands of different denominations and churches around the world (possibly 40,000-45,000 at last count) reading the same scriptures and praying for interpretive guidance yet coming to different conclusions, sometimes on very minor things and sometimes on very major things such as Predestination or The Trinity. Even in Islam we have two major groups with possibly up to 73 Muslim sects. There are also different schools of Buddhism. There are different schools of Hinduism. Man is great at making things complex, and enjoys feeling like they have THE Truth and that only a few do and others do not. If this God or omnipotent eternal entity truly exists, wouldn’t He/She/It come to the earth and say “Hey, guess what? This particular religious writing is the TRUE one, all the others are false! Sorry about all you other guys that have studied the wrong supposedly sacred writings all these centuries and for your loved ones who have died with a false faith and hope. Now switch or else!”

Unlike the Quran, which claims to have been given by God through the angel Gabriel and written by scribes from the prophet Muhammad over years, Christians believe the Old and New Testament were written by many different human authors, possibly 35-40 different ones, over more than 1,000 years.

Am I confident that the Bible records all of the truth about Jesus? No, I am not so sure. Here is the problem: There is a Canon of scripture which is the authorized list of sacred writings(books). The Christians developed their Canon around 200-350 and finalized it by the end of the fourth century. I am always amazed that people do not question how they ‘got’ their Bible when they become a Christian.

If I am told to go read the Bible, so as to receive the ‘true’ word of God, then surely I have to know what Bible I’m supposed to read. Do I not need to know which is the correct Bible since some Bibles have a different amount (Canon) of books or even some different books? And why are there different Canons? On whose authority where these Canons developed?

The Catholic Church went along with the 73 books from the Greek Septuagint translation of the Hebrew scriptures. Things went along until Martin Luther wanted to get rid of some of the books of the Old Testament because they were ‘too Catholic’ and supported Catholic teachings, and then he even wanted to get rid of some of the books of the New Testament, but friends convinced him that his plan was not going to be a good thing. So the Protestants ended up removing some of the books from the Old Testament Canon and that is what Protestants are raised upon today. If you grew up as a Protestant or if you came to believe in Evangelical Christianity, then you are reading a certain list of Old Testament books which for the history of Christianity was only relatively recently changed (reduced). So a group of men, whether Catholic or Orthodox or Lutheran, decided which books would be included in the Canon of the Christian Bible. Doesn’t it seem odd that the supposed ‘Word of God’ would not show somehow or somewhere in these books that they are indeed GOD’S WORD and would perhaps tell you specifically how to interpret them so that people don’t come to various conclusions and belief systems that separate them and cause division and strife? Why wouldn’t a specific book claim to be inspired by God or list the other ‘God Approved’ books? Why leave this for men (yes it was men NOT women) to decide? Seems illogical and irrational to me. The Catholics and the Orthodox believe in the oral tradition of God as apparently did Jesus because in various verses He mentioned beliefs that were not recorded in the Old Testament. So there is some logic to oral tradition being equivalent to written tradition, yet Protestants don’t like this because they want to have everything Sola Scriptura which means solely based on the written word only. These Protestants have major theologians of their particular denominations passing down their interpretation of Scripture to future generations through their Bible schools/seminaries and onto their pastors/ministers they ordain. They tell their congregations that they can study the word of God alone and pray for direction and come to the proper interpretation and meaning even though most of these people don’t have any idea of church history, original languages or proper Biblical exegesis. If the person comes up with a different interpretation or doctrine or different belief than their denomination preaches, they will leave that denomination or church and form a new one. This is why we have so many different denominations and churches today. I suspect the list is growing as I type.

On Abortion

We must talk about abortion. First, if you are a Christian you may be surprised to learn that Jesus never mentioned abortion or homosexuality or contraception. There are a lot of things that Jesus didn’t mention that later Christians, especially Christians in the last few hundred years, have decided are the most important parts of their faith. The importance of certain taboos or sins are mostly based upon what they have been taught and/or upon their personal interpretation of Scripture. For instance, if you are an Evangelical Christian and you have been taught since day one of your belief that unborn babies from the very second of conception are basically identical to say a toddler and if the woman decides to have an abortion then that is equivalent to murder. To many of these Christians, the abortionist is equivalent to someone turning on the gas in a gas chamber in Nazi Germany. i.e. a mass murderer. I am saying this all to educate everyone so they understand what the pro-life movement is all about. I understand where they are coming from because I used to be a member of the pro-life movement and I was arrested for blocking an abortion clinic along with many other Christians in the area I lived. This particular Operation Rescue event happened in Fresno, California. We were passively (and non-violently) resisting while sitting on the ground blocking the entrance to an abortion clinic. The police came and carried us into buses, these buses then drove us to police/county property and never actually put us into jail cells. It seemed to me as if the police backed up what we were doing. Eventually we each had to pay a $50 fine and say we would not do that again, and it was a classified only as a misdemeanor. Most of the people, including myself, did this. A couple of people decided they could not do that with a clear conscience, thus they remained in a real jail cell for weeks (or months?) I’m not sure whatever happened to them as I did not know them personally. So I do understand where the pro-life movement is coming from based upon years of programming/brainwashing.

I think their beliefs are in error because they are based mostly on improper interpretation of Scripture and mostly on the traditions that were handed down to them from previous Christians. I believe that conservative right-wing politicians have used this to their advantage since the late 1970s when they said they were going to support pro-life issues and change the laws, but if you look back you will find they most often did not. These politicians get votes and financial donations from these brainwashed Christians and then tell these same people to turn away from the evil Democrats that are supporting a woman’s right to choice. Most of these politicians aren’t very religious and are just being hypocritical, yet it works! These politicians get the votes as these brainwashed Christians are happy to accept these politicians (‘Saved’ or ‘Unsaved’) being on their side and lending support to their belief system. I am amazed that these Christians don’t do a better job of reading their Bibles to come up with a different conclusion than they have been fed by their leadership. It is quite obvious that in the Old Testament God supports abortion, supports the ripping of women’s stomachs open that are pregnant, supports the killing of fetuses, supports the hitting of children’s heads on rocks to kill them and supports plagues upon people such as cancer, bacterial, and viral infections etc. The verses are there for everyone to see! Yes, this is the same God that Jews and Christians and Muslims claim to believe in. It is amazing to me that the devout clergy of these Abrahamic based religions teach that God is holy and righteous and that God can do no wrong. They teach that scripture says that ‘the ways of man and the ways of God are so far apart’ yet one would expect that the ways of a PERFECT God are MORE moral, MORE loving, MORE forgiving, MORE noble, MORE kind and MORE sincere than mankind. Yet we see the God of Israel casting curses and plagues upon those who don’t follow him. Ordering innocent women that were married to soldiers on the wrong side of wars to be killed. Ordering their pets and livestock to also be killed. The same God ordered the bashing of babies’ heads upon the rocks (babies that have been born, not fetuses). So one must conclude that the God of the Bible appears to be a sadistic, cruel, racist, egotistical, narcissist Being that demands blind obedience and even worship. Now, I don’t mind honoring and respecting people that deserve our honor and respect such as doctors, humanitarians, and soldiers. People that risk their lives to save others (scientists and doctors that have developed vaccines that have saved millions of peoples’ lives.) Humanitarians such as first responders. Those soldiers in a war situation that give up their lives to save their troops. I don’t mind honoring these fellow humans.

On The Future Of The Earth

At present, Christianity is the largest religious faith on the earth, but that is changing due to smaller families being produced by Christian parents than Muslim families. As we have seen, most people grow up to adopt the religion that they were indoctrinated in. Christianity will become the second largest religion after Islam ~ 2050-2070 A.D. I will not be here but my kids probably will. I see problems in the future because of Christian and Muslim fundamentalists that will control great weapons of human destruction. It takes little excuse for wars to start and conflicting belief systems which both claim to be *THE TRUTH* are just one more excuse.

On The Afterlife

I think if it was possible to come back from death it would have happened with some of the millions of humans that have lived in just the past several thousand years. People would have told us what it’s like, what to expect or what not to fear. Yes, Christians will say one person throughout history has done this, and that was Jesus. It is a matter of faith to believe that happened. Different faiths have different stories of what occurs after death. I recently asked some of my friends and family to tell me what they think will happen after death. Most people didn’t reply. People don’t like to talk about death or think about their future and that we will all die someday. Some of us are older and think about it much more often since it will be happening sooner rather than later. I was disappointed in the responses I got because they were so different from each other. I could not even understand how they came to some of these beliefs. We don’t know what will happen. Some people have faith based on what they believe for no particular reason. I should not have been surprised that people came up with different conclusions about what they believe will happen after death. I guess what bothered me was that I didn’t see what they base their belief upon. It was like that’s what they wanted to believe because they wanted their favorite beliefs to be real. The beliefs did not seem very scientific to me. A scientist would probably tell us that life ends when the brain dies. Obviously a person can be brain dead and yet their body is kept alive through artificial life support, but are they cognizant? Are they still sentient? Do they even dream? Are they still a person? Are they even less than a growing fetus? I don’t mention NDE’s (Near Death Experiences) in this discussion since people who have had a NDE don’t seem to be consistent in their descriptions, there is some debate over the interjection of people’s prior religious beliefs upon these NDE experiences, and there are also the effects of oxygen loss to the brain in many cases, causing unreliable experiences.

Questions For Christians To Contemplate And Answer

  1. Why would a God need a human-like body? Or a body at all?
  2. Why would a God need a language?
  3. Why would a God need lips?
  4. Why would a God that created the universe need constant praise from Homo sapiens?
  5. Do we require constant praise from our pets?
  6. If mankind one day creates sentient life like using AI, will we demand that it worship us constantly and give us praise? I HOPE NOT!
  7. Why do you take literally the myths in the Bible that were just trying to teach ancient pre-science people something and now 6,000 years later you CHOOSE to take them as scientific fact?
  8. Why do you CHOOSE to believe the Bible is from God? Why could it not be from men with their personal description of God based upon human behavior? I believe that if God does exist, He/She/It, are much more loving and beautiful and advanced than the god described in your Bible
  9. Why are the descriptions of God in your Bible all descriptions of man’s emotions and feelings such as hate, anger, love, compassion, regret, remorse, etc.
  10. Why Does the God represented in the three Abrahamic traditions seem like a major narcissist? Btw, this is *NOT* a good human psychological trait to paint a god as being like!
  11. If God is omniscient, why would He create people/angels that He knew would fall and be sinful with the rest of the consequences?
  12. If God exists in a Trinitarian form, how can Jesus ask for God the Father to take away the crucifixion if possible?
  13. If Christianity is THE way then we must accept that God has a confusing way of communicating His ways to mankind because:
    1. The Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe the Holy Spirit guides the Church (the bride of Christ) through the church fathers to decide what the Canon of both the Old Testament and New Testament should be AND How they should be interpreted and what rituals and dogmas to believe.
    2. In 1054 AD the Catholic and Orthodox churches split from each other.
    3. The Protestant fathers decided that they would decide on OT Canon (they changed it) and that theoretically each individual Christian would get guidance from the Holy Spirit in interpreting scripture and thus be able to discern what to believe (the doctrine of Sola Scriptura) Yet they took the decisions of some of the earlier church councils and agreed with some of their decisions.
    4. Look at all the various Christian denominations and separate  (40,000+!) and many Christian universities that read the same scriptures yet interpret them differently. Why?, because the Bible never says how to interpret itself and the Holy Spirit apparently does not lead Christians into all knowledge!
  14. How do YOU PERSONALLY know how to interpret the Bible?
  15. Which exact verse or verses in the Bible explain how to interpret the Bible? Where is the key to explain or discern?
  16. If it is so obvious, then why do praying, seeking Christians that listen to the One Holy Spirit come to such different interpretations?
  17. Why would God, whom scriptures say is the not the author of confusion, allow such uncertainty and confusion in man interpreting the Word of God to continue?
  18. Who made the place/state called hell?
  19. Who actually sends people to hell?
  20.  What is the cause of pain and suffering in the world?
  21.  Who caused illness and disease in the world?
  22.  Does God have a problem with scientific theory?
  23.  Is God happy when man finds a cure or creates a vaccine to eradicate a virus or illness or disease?  Does God care one way or the other?
  24.  Is God a God of love?
  25.  Have Christians ever been successful in interceding to God through prayer and fasting for God to remove a specific illness from the face of the earth?  Apparently not when we consider Smallpox, Polio or Covid-19!
  26.  God was against the Tower of Babel but He is ok with the International Space station in orbit? The most expensive (and highest man made object to regularly fly for over 25 years) item that humans have ever built.
  27.  According to the Bible and as researched by a famous Christian leader of Ireland named Bishop Ussher. “Ussher deduced that the first day of creation was October 23, 4004 BC on the proleptic Julian calendar, near the autumnal equinox. Lightfoot similarly deduced that Creation began at nightfall near the autumnal equinox, but in the year 3929 BC. Ussher’s proposed date of 4004 BC differed little from other biblically-based estimates, such as those of Jose ben Halafta (3761 BC), Bede (3952 BC), Ussher’s near-contemporary Scaliger (3949 BC), Johannes Kepler (3992 BC) or Sir Isaac Newton (c. 4000 BC).[1][dubiousdiscuss]” Wikipedia

The point is one must either believe the Ussher chronology based upon the Bible OR science because the world has been shown to be at least 4.56 BILLION years old and the universe 13.8 billion years old! This is a consensus among the majority of scientists irregardless of their religious belief or country or educational center or place of employment..