Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Bible is nothing but hearsay

a : an act of revealing or communicating divine truth
b : something that is revealed by God to humans 
In a religious context be it Jewish, Muslim, or Islam all of their beliefs are based entirely on a person or persons claim to have had a divine encounter with a god or supernatural deity. For the purpose of this post I will not be quoting from the Koran since I have not read it but the premise is the same for all three religions. 
In the Old Testament we are told that Yahweh revealed himself to Moses by way of a burning bush. Traditionally it was believed that Moses was also the sole author of the Pentateuch also known as the first five books of Moses. Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy were all believed to have been revealed to and written by Moses himself. Recent scholarship has come to believe that in fact this is not the case. There are some tell tale signs in the Pentateuch that make the authorship of Moses quite improbable. 
5And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. 6He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. Deuteronomy 34:5-7

Evidently the first problem that this text presents is that Moses could not be writing about his death after the fact. So obviously whoever wrote this was not Moses. 

10Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, 11who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. Deuteronomy 34:10-12

This second passage relates some things about Moses in retrospect. As if the author were narrating a tale about something that happened in the near or distant past. I vote for distant past since in the beginning of verse ten the author says "Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses." This tells me that he is relating a story about something that happened a long time ago. He might have not even been a witness to this and much like the rest of the scriptures he was basing his tales on oral tradition/hearsay.
The scriptures themselves don't deny that they are based entirely on revelation.
The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16
"But admitting, for the sake of a case, that something has been revealed to a certain person, and not revealed to any other person, it is revelation to that person only. When he tells it to a second person, a second to a third, a third to a fourth, and so on, it ceases to be a revelation to all those persons. It is revelation to the first person only, and hearsay to every other, and consequently they are not obliged to believe it." Thomas Paine 'The Age of Reason' 1794
Thomas Paine: a truly legendary thinker way ahead of his time!
Above is my favorite Thomas Paine quote of all time. It is very clear from this logical analyses that revelation is not a valid means of obtaining knowledge. Believing and accepting that someone else had a revelation does not make it true and in fact it is not a direct revelation to you because you believe it. Once you hear it from the claimant it becomes hearsay since you were not there yourself to experience the so called revelation  first hand.
1. Unverified information heard or received from another; rumor.

An oral tradition is the manner in which information is passed from one generation to the next in the absence of writing or a recording medium.
Based on the definitions of the words hearsay and oral tradition the Bible and any other holy text from the past fall under these categories. They are entirely based on oral tradition which is basically a form of traditional story telling to help preserve ones cultural beliefs throughout the ages before they had the abilities or the resources to preserve those tales in writing. 

Native American Story telling.

One of the most common and well known examples of oral traditions is that of the Native Americans. As with the Bible their stories are full of fantastical tales of men springing forth from the ground full grown. They speak of their ancestors as protectors of their people and of their spirit guides usually believed to be some animal that represents power or wisdom that they eventually encounter through drug induced meditations. Just because an oral tradition has been passed down for hundreds or even thousands of years amongst a people does not make them entirely true. Many of these stories are meant to be taken symbolically or as allegories that reflect some truths. Others are highly embellished tales about some older original tale. 

a : an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom)
b : a belief or story or a body of beliefs or stories relating to the past that are commonly accepted as historical though not verifiable 
In the definition of tradition it is interesting to see that it relates tradition with inheritance. Religious beliefs and practices in general are for the most part even today inherited. It is because of this that they are usually taken as truths without any real research. In the end despite what many believe regarding the Bible it fits the descriptions of everything I have outlined in this post. 
The Bible is entirely based on hearsay since the stories were not written by first hand witnesses of the tales that they tell. The stories were passed down from generation to generation through oral transmission. The veracity of those tales are never questioned and in fact at this point in time are impossible to verify. Many of the stories are interpreted as literal, allegorical, or through parables as a means to convey some lessons of moral or historical value. In other words these stories as is witnessed for the most part by the Jewish community help form many or most of the religious practices, customs, and beliefs of a society. 

Once you realize that the bible is nothing but a book of ancient customs, traditions, and beliefs of a people you can appreciate it better. But trying to translate those customs, traditions, or beliefs to our modern day culture and society through wrongly interpreting them as literal and universal will always lead in the end to failure and false beliefs. It's time that we leave myths and superstitions where they belong; in the past. Science trumps religions because science unlike religions demands evidence and when evidence is not conclusive science continues to search not accepting assumptions. The scientific method is self correcting and helps to minimize errors in ones research and analyses by involving peer review and confirmation of your findings. 
Note: all biblical citations are taken from the New International Translation other word definitions are linked to their individual sources. 

Friday, June 28, 2013

Human reproduction favors chance instead of design

To this day theists insists based on what they believe their Bible tells them that each and every individual was "created" and "designed" purposely by God. I beg to differ and in this post I will attempt to demonstrate how human reproduction favors chance (natural selection) over design.

First let's see what the Bible has to say about where babies come from. According to the scriptures God has the power to make a woman either fertile or infertile by his own choice. In fact, oftentimes as a punishment in the Old Testament he would shut the wombs of the female population for some violation or sin of its leader. In Genesis 20 we read of Abrahams encounter with Abimileck King of Gerar. According to this tale Abraham feared that Abimilack would kill him in order to obtain his wife who the scriptures describe as beautiful. So Abraham had Sarah tell them that she was his sister. By the way she was his half sister through his fathers relationship with another woman. But she was also his wife. I'll leave that story for another day.

In response to Abrahams lie Abimileck took Sarah with the intent of making her his wife. But in a dream the good Lord told him what was really happening. He was warned that he must give up Sarah back to her husband or he and everyone who was his would suffer death! The bible states that all the women in Abimileks house were made infertile by the Lord.

17Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah. Genesis 20:17-18

Moving forward the birth of Samson as narrated in Judges 13 also instructs us that the Lord is the giver of life. Samson's mother whom the Bible does not name in this narrative is said to be "...barren and childless, but you are going to become pregnant and give birth to a son." Judges 13:3 In other words she was infertile and incapable of becoming pregnant by otherwise natural means. But according to this tale God opened up her womb to make her the mother and bearer of Israels liberator from the Philistines the famed Samson.

Similarly the birth of John the baptist and Christ were considered to be purposeful events orchestrated by God. Elizabeth John's the baptists mother was also infertile and old at the time that God chose her to conceive a son.  The Bible also reminds us constantly that God is the giver of life.

"See now that I myself am he! There is no god besides me. I put to death and I bring to life, I have wounded and I will heal, and no one can deliver out of my hand. Deuteronomy 32:39

Of course as expected this was way before they knew anything about conception and about the sperm and the egg (ovum). Generally just by observation alone anyone could come to know that if you had intercourse with a fertile woman and ejaculated into her eventually a child would be conceived. But the exact process behind this very natural occurrence was not known at the time. The authors of the scriptures seemed to believe based on the language used that God predetermined each and every individual birth of a human or animal, etc. This did not take into account the occurrence of infertility that in most cases the Bible not surprisingly attributes to God's punishment or choice to make a woman fertile or not. 

Okay enough of the mythical explanation of life! Let's see what modern day science has to say about this process. The first thing to note is that the sperm and the egg are both cells. What are cells? Cells are the structural and functional units of all living organisms.

 Though there are many types of cells, what we will be dealing with in this article are specifically the reproductive cells the egg and the sperm. Let's start worth with numbers in describing how many sperm cells are typical in a single ejaculate. According to Dr.Charles Lindemann of Oakland University "An average human ejaculate contains about 180 million sperm (66 million/ml), but some ejaculates contain as many as 400 million sperm."

 Sperm cells attempting to fertilize and egg

Once sperm is injected into a female vagina through the male apparatus the penis, it has but one goal: to be the first to fertilize that egg! But that goal will not be easy because it has to compete with approximately at a minimum 180 million to 400 million other sperm cells. Each sperm cell contains 23 chromosomes consisting of half of the usual DNA amount the same is true about the egg cell as well it too contains 23 chromosomes that when united to the sperm cell through a process otherwise known as fertilization. When fertilization takes place together they form the total of 46 chromosomes that combine in the nucleus of the cell and contain all the genetic information necessary to build a human being.

Here are some of the obstacles that sperm must overcome in transit to the uterus in search of that egg. Initially millions of sperm cells are overcome by the acidity of the vagina, millions more may be blocked from entering the uterus by thick cervical mucus, thousands more may be destroyed by phagocytic uterine leukocytes, those that do make it to the uterus face other obstacles. Once sperm makes contact with the egg it must then penetrate two layers referred to as the corona radiata and the zona pullucida. Here is how this process works:

How do sperm penetrate the corona radiata? "Some sperm undergo a spontaneous acrosomal reaction, which is an acrosomal reaction not triggered by contact with the zona pellucida. The digestive enzymes released by this reaction digest the extracellular matrix of the corona radiata. As you can see, the first sperm to reach the oocyte is never the one to fertilize it. Rather, hundreds of sperm cells must undergo the acrosomal reaction, each helping to degrade the corona radiata and zona pellucida until a path is created to allow one sperm to contact and fuse with the plasma membrane of the oocyte."

As I've illustrated here with the aid of some articles on reproduction etc. from the moment that sperm makes its way into the vagina to the moment that one single sperm cell fertilizes an egg (ovum) approvimately 200 plus millions of cells die in the process. This is in and of itself a wasteful process in order to form in this case a single human being. On a microscopic scale in a sense natural selection is played out in this scenario. The only way God could even come into this picture is after the egg is fertilized and even then to think that he could do this for every single woman is beyond absurd.

The process of reproduction favors natural selection over creation. It is obvious by studying this subject matter more thoroughly than I have illustrated here that the process is entirely random and not selective. The sciences have consistently proven religious ideas and theories wrong in everything from the origins of the universe to the evolution of life in general. Faith in fairy tales is not a substitute for knowledge gained through the scientific method.

Note: All scripture citations are taken from the New International Version other sources on the sciences have been linked to directly within the text. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Apologetics and faith

1: the study of religious faith, practice, and experience; especially : the study of God and of God's relation to the world
1: systematic argumentative discourse in defense (as of a doctrine)
2: a branch of theology devoted to the defense of the divine origin and authority of Christianity
For this particular post I thought it would be necessary to define both the words theology and apologetics. This post is about the contradictory nature of apologetics and faith and why I think that the two are incompatible. Now one word that is used often throughout the scriptures is the word faith and it is considered the number one requirement for anyone to obtain any of the benefits that believing in God would bring. So let's start by defining faith according to how your standard dictionary would as it relates to religious beliefs.
a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof
(2) : complete trust 

This is the definition given in the Merriam Webster dictionary but before moving on I would like to also compare this definition with what Hebrews 11:1 says about what faith is and how it is defined there. 

1Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.Hebrews 11:1

So basically, without all of the esoterical obfuscation that one gets from Christian theology and apologetics faith is simply trusting in something we cannot yet see or know. Faith is the key and the foundation to any religious belief system that demands you believe in the unseen, impossible, and for the most part the improbable. For instance, normally if you told someone that there was a being who lived in some other realm that cannot be seen with the eyes or detected by any naturalistic means such as the sciences you would be thought to be crazy or delusional. But your claims do not end there. You also claim that this being cares about how you think, act, and what you do every minute of every day, that this being demands worship and your eternal praise. Without conclusive evidence your claims will not be taken seriously by any sane adult. 

The Bible demands that you have faith that it was written by men inspired by this being called God who is supposed to have been the creator of all things and the first cause of every other cause and its subsequent effects in the universe. Because the very existence of this being cannot be known or proven objectively and he or it is outside the realm of testability then you have no choice but to accept the scriptures and all its claims about this being on faith. Often we are told that when committing to anything in life that it is good to always look before you leap. In other words we are being told to research and question anything and everything before making a life changing decision or commitment. Faith is the opposite of reason: it demands that you leap without thought or research. Faith demands that you trust that what you have read and heard is true.

3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11: 3;6

In the previous verses I have underlined what I have been saying to this point. The former verse states that what is seen was made out of the unseen. In other words God called these things all into existence creation ex nihilo ( out of nothing). Depending on which Christian sect you belong to this means either that God created everything out of nothing or that he had materials already available. The former belief is ironic because this is one of the theists favorite points of contention with atheists. How could there be something from nothing? Yet the very existence of their God suggests that he had no beginning he or it just always was. 

The second verse emphasizes the necessity of the believer to believe without evidence. It asks you to commit first and get your rewards later. Note that this does not necessarily mean that you will be rewarded here on earth or in this lifetime although that is a possibility, but that you may be rewarded in the next life instead! Faith is the cornerstone of religious belief without faith the Bible asserts that you can't please God. Some people call the resurrection of Christ the cornerstone of Christianity because Paul stated: "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith." 1 Corinthians 15:14 but as Paul pointed out in the end of that quote your faith in the resurrection is key. Without it then your faith overall is useless. 

Now here is where I have my biggest problem with apologetics. Faith in and of itself does not require evidence, does not want evidence, and does not ask for evidence. Who is an apologists trying to convince? Are they trying to convince the non-believers of themselves that what they believe is true? Jesus supposedly defended his teachings against those of the scribes and pharisees of his day. But he was defending against what he deemed false teachings or wrong interpretations of the law of the Old Testament. This form of apologetics was meant to keep the faithful from straying and falling prey to false prophets and teachers. But when it came to arguing with non-believers apologetics were not as useful because non-believers then and even today demand evidence. I personally need to be convinced that what you believe is true without having to sacrifice my logical and reasoning abilities at the altar of faith. I choose to look before I leap! 

23Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:23-26
When it comes to Christians arguing with atheists about the existence of God I think that all theists that engage in apologetics are disobeying the commands in the above cited verses. Many theists get dragged into arguments online in forums and debates which more often than not turn into arguments and eventually degenerate into insults. A Christians job is to carry out the great commission of preaching the gospel to the world. It is not to engage in quarrels with atheists and nonbelievers such as myself. As verse 25 states only God could grant repentance and lead one to the truth once you have made that truth known to them your job is done. 
I have a huge problem with apologetics because it tends to misuse philosophical principles and in its feeble attempts to defend the indefensible it creates a myriad of logical fallacies. In fact, apologetics is nothing more than a biased version of philosophy in favor of theistic beliefs. Critical thinking is twisted and skewed in such a way as to make it fit into a theistic worldview. True philosophical principles seek to objectively examine beliefs in the light of reality and what is possible. Whenever you put forth an argument for God starting with God's existence as a "basic belief" or established fact you have already begun to shoot yourself in the foot. The Bible actually condemns the use of human philosophy as an attempt to gain spiritual enlightenment but that is actually what apologists are doing! 
8See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:8
 The same thing goes for science. Theists want to have their cake and it too! The problem is that by doing so they continually get dragged into arguments and discussions which in my view they just can't win. For instance William Lane Craig is considered one of Christianity's greatest modern day apologists. He has debated some heavy hitting atheist such as Robert Price, Victor Stenger, Bart Ehrman (agnostic), etc. But all of his sophisticated arguments for design or the resurrection of Christ demand that you start with the basic belief that God exists, and Jesus rose from the dead as undeniable facts! But when faced with evidence to the contrary even Craig has no choice but to fall back on faith. I will close this post with a quote from William Lane Craig from his book reasonable faith.

"Should a conflict arise between the witness of the Holy Spirit to the fundamental truth of the Christian faith and beliefs based on argument and evidence, then it is the former which must take precedence over the latter, not vice versa." [William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Revised edition, Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1994), p. 36.]
In other words, if argumentation and evidence disagree with the so called fundamental truths of the Christian faith as believed through the witness of the Holy Spirit, then faith takes precedence over facts. Faith in your conviction that the Holy Spirit exists and that what you believe it conveys to you subjectively is true.  
Note: All word definitions are taken from the Merriam Webster Dictionary online and all biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Christian diversity

Ever since I left the church in 1994 I have been writing and blogging about Christianity. I have been doing this not with the hopes of destroying Christianity as a whole since I think that that is an impossible task, but rather to help others who found themselves in a similar situation as myself. I was what you would call an extreme fundamentalist. I belonged to a Hispanic Christian Pentecostal movement. If you happen to know anything about them you will know that there are some things that they do very different when compared to other Christian sects.

First and foremost, Pentecostals are biblical literalist. They take the bible and its many tales as literal and historical stories, this includes the outright ridiculous and impossible tales as well. When challenged stories like Samson defeating 1,000 Philistines with the jaw bone of an ass is simply described as a miracle. They define miracles as God's intervention in world or current events that go beyond the natural laws of nature. The bible is full of such events and Pentecostals have no problem accepting them as historical and literal.

Secondly, there is a great emphasis on what they call the gifts of the Spirit as outlined in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. They believe that the church in general has lost its way due to their straying from their devotion to God and their denial of the gifts of the Spirit. I personally at one time or another have utilized these so called gifts during my ministry and have chalked them up to indoctrination, influence, and find many similarities between how these gifts are cultivated and used in the church to common hypnotic techniques. Basically, I believe that these altered states are nothing more than a trance state which can be induced through the still quiet environment or through the stimulation of the emotions in a loud and enthusiastic service.

Having said that about my background, I find now that one of the most difficult things about arguing or debating Christians is the vast diversity of groups and sects out there. As I stated in a previous post there are approximately 41,000 Christian sects and organizations worldwide according to The Center for the Study of Global Christianity. It is because of this diversity that it is difficult to know what sort of Christian you are actually dealing with. Once you identify that, then you must ask questions to ascertain what it is that they believe.

It's this diversity amongst Christians that makes it so difficult to debate them. These are some of the major differences they have. Catholics have no problem with venerating the saints and they have their system of declaring formerly living people as saints. Their followers pray to these saints to intercede for them in heaven as they make their petitions to God. Protestants think that this is idol worship and that this defeats the purpose of Christ dying and resurrecting when the bible does teach that he is their intercessor or advocate before the Lord and that even Christ prohibits the glorification of man. Catholics baptize children while protestants think that people should only be baptized when they have reached an age where they can understand what the ritual of baptism means and what it is that they are committing themselves to.

Other common issues have to do with the resurrection itself. Did Christ raise bodily from the tomb or was it some sort of spiritual resurrection in some sort of glorified body or state? Some other groups emphasize that hell and eternal torment awaits those that refuse to believe and accept their teachings while others think that there will be no hell and that hell is literally the destruction of the soul after death. Others interpret hell as a place where ones soul will suffer eternal separation from God.

Some theists are very ritualistically minded and not so much about living or trying to imitate the life of Christ. They accept that as an impossible task and recognize that they are incapable of fulfilling that requirement but are aware that when they falter God will forgive them. There are so many diverse discussions amongst theists communities, that although they are all reading the same book they can't come to agreement as to what it says or how to interpret it.

Christianity is one if not the most diverse religion in the world. It is also influence by the cultures and societies it touches. No two churches are alike and it is because of this diversity that it makes it so hard to pin down theists in a debate. Not to mention their extreme efforts of obfuscating what they believe through the use of apologetics and the misuse of philosophical principles. Theists love to play the name game. They take common words from our dictionary and redefine them to suit their worldview and beliefs.

12Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:12-14

Christians are supposed to be united!

Christ taught the unity of the body of Christ (church), but the reality is that the church is far from united. They are all supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit in all truth and understanding but the truth is that they are as diverse as the number of races of people that exist on this planet. They have been fighting each other since the beginning about doctrinal issues and that fight carries on even today. How many times have you been told that you left the church because you were in the wrong church? All these churches fighting for ultimate control that they have stooped to the level of attacking one another as false or heretical. 

The atheist has quite the task when debating with theists because you never know what sort of theist you are dealing with. Not to mention the fringe believers those that make up their own sort of Christianity. I was told by a believer that I did not have an understanding of fundamental Christian beliefs. I asked him which ones are those since they don't all agree as to what those fundamental beliefs are. Christian diversity is not just a problem for believers it is also a problem for those of us that have to stand up to them and keep them at bay. As atheists we can't let Christians take over our governmental institutions, or hinder the advancement of science based solely on their insane beliefs.

Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What would it take for me to be a Christian?

As an atheist and former Pentecostal evangelist, I am often asked by believers what would it take for me to come back to the faith. Since I left the fold in 1994 I recall my final prayer to the Lord ending with  the one and only condition that would bring me back . I did not want to hear from his followers about his love, or have the gospel preached to me all over again. As arrogant as it might sound I feel that I have read and studied the Bible enough times to know pretty much everything about salvation and what it claims God requires.

This is the obligation of anyone claiming to be a follower of Christ

One of my biggest problems with the scriptures is that they are first of all fallible. Secondly, they are not absolute but rather subject to the many interpretations of man. These interpretations are subject to a society's language, culture, and traditions that preceded the coming of Christianity to that group. Not to mention the current events that that society may be facing at the time that the gospel is presented to them. These and possibly many other factors are the reasons that there are so many Christian sects all over the world today.The last problem I have with Christianity is that they (denominations) all claim to have the truth. But upon close inspection of the scriptures it is not hard to find flaws in all of them that do not accord with the teachings of the scriptures.

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

            Apparently the Holy Spirit has not been doing a good job at communicating "the truth."

According to The Center for the Study of Global Christianity there are approximately up to 41,000 Christian denominations and organizations in the world! I view each denomination as a person or group of persons from another denomination that did not agree with some of their teachings. Each and every one of these denominations are the result of doctrinal disagreements due to how they all interpret the scriptures as a whole. So my question to God would be: "if according to John 14:26 and other scriptural texts the Holy Spirit is supposed to guide us to the truth then why is there so much disagreement as to what that truth is?

Since its beginnings the Christian church has been plagued with disagreements and dissensions as to what the Lord taught and believed. Why was the Lord not clearer in communicating such an important message to his followers? If anything we learn that the Lord if he existed suffered from poor communication skills. It could also be said that his followers suffered from poor comprehension skills. Either way the message is not clearly defined and as a result of it there has been much bloodshed and many lives have been destroyed in more ways than one due to this fact.

We can't rely on the Bible, the Holy Spirit, or man for the interpretation of what the truth really is about, so we are left with one source: the truth himself. Jesus Christ, if he existed is the supposed founder of the Christian church whether that was his intention or not. It has always been a policy of mine in life to research any information I obtain as thoroughly as possible. At times I am able to go to the source such as in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses or any other denomination by reading their instructional and source materials to inform myself as to what they believe. But other times we are forced to rely on second and third hand or even further removed sources as in the gospels.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

The above text and others asks believers to always go to the source. In this case the source is Christ and so that is also my definitive proof that Christianity is true. I know that the Bible praises those that believe in him by faith without ever having seen him. But I demand evidence and I don't think that it would be too much trouble for God to provide me with that evidence in a way that would satisfy me.

This did happen in the Bible if we are to believe its tales which quite honestly I don't. In John chapter 20 we are told of the apostle of Christ; Thomas. After the Lord had made a couple of postmortem appearances to Mary Magdalene and his other disciples they were dining together and were sharing their experiences with one another. Thomas of course did not believe what he had been hearing and declared: ...“Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 Thomas in my eyes represents every atheist alive today that doubts these stories. He definitely represents me! This impresses me most because Thomas supposedly walked and talked with Jesus on a daily basis when he was allegedly alive and walked the earth.

Thomas like myself was not happy with just hearing stories, Thomas demanded proof! The Bible also has a parable that emphasizes how important every lost soul is to God. "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn't he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?" Luke 15:4 Right now if God is real and Christ is the true messiah, as a former servant of his I am a lost sheep trying to honestly find my way home. But like Thomas I need to see the shepherd himself before I come back to the fold.

Here is my requirement: just as the Lord fulfilled Thomas's request I would like him to fulfill mine which is the exact same one Thomas made. “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” John 20:25 I think that this is a more than reasonable request. Unfortunately some individuals so called revelations that happened almost 2000 years ago and has been handed down from generation to generation ad infinitum to the present day will not suffice. If you want my life you have to prove to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that you exist. That is what it will take for me to come back to the faith and to the service of the Lord.

Note: All biblical quotations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Society chooses what morality is

Christians love to judge "the world" by thier so called standards of morality derived from a book not just full of immorality, but more barbaric than any one person could ever imagine. They proclaim the love of God for all of humanity while at the same time ignoring his wickedness. They are taught not to question their god and that they are not even worthy to judge him by our own fallible human standards. But the truth of the matter is that when you put your reverence and irrational fears aside, you can't help but judge God by what you know; the standards of men based on ones life experiences and our past history as a species. 

  1. descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or,
    1. some other group, such as a religion, or
    2. accepted by an individual for her own behavior or
  2. normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons.
It is my opinion that when it comes to Christianity that the lines of morality are blurred and ill defined. They don't define morality as the rest of society would, they define it based on what it meant to an ancient and barbaric society that existed over two thousand years ago. Not all biblical moral codes are bad obviously. But there are some that by today's standards would be considered immoral and a travesty of justice of the most egregious kind. Their so called moral standards are not defined by what is best for society as a whole, but rather by what an imaginary being of their own creation through the writings of men has dictated. 

Their first moral code is in my opinion not even moral nor deserving of any merit since it is based on an ancient myth and the delusions of those that choose to believe those myths.

5Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5

Jesus also taught this very thing and clarified it a little so that everyone knew that when it came to anything else in life God came first.

59He said to another man, “Follow me.”But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
60Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”61Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”62Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”   Luke 9:59-61

The biblical god is an attention whore!

Notice that in the ten commandments the first four of God's laws are all about him! You are not to worship any other gods, make images for worship, take his name in vain, and are commanded to rest on the sabbath. How is any of this relative to morality as we define it today? The straight forward and simple answer is that it doesn't. It is because of the belief that it does by theists that non-believers in their myths are considered immoral. 

Morality does not come from the gods or some other superior being but from men who formed societies and established rules that those societies were to abide by. It is similar to our society and its laws where certain behavior is not tolerated and is punished by our judicial system where one is also judged by a jury of his peers. There are certain specific behaviors that are in general frowned upon such as murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, incest, specifically because they are detrimental to the health and progress of a society. 

Christians point to their god as the source of so called objective moral values. But the fact of the matter is that men created God, men wrote the Bible, and finally men recorded their ideal form of ethics and moral values for their society in their time. Any careful read of the Bible will clearly demonstrate that God himself is represented as far from behaving morally according to our own standards today. The biblical deity brutally murders and destroys all those that don't follow his ways as outlined in the scriptures. He uses the Hebrews to kill and pillage entire cultures and supposedly by his command and at times his assistance take their land by force. 

The ten plagues of Egypt are a perfect example of how God acted immorally and broke every single code he later gave man when he gave Moses the commandments. When you come to the reason that God hit Egypt with the ten plagues you can't help but wonder how anyone could call this deity moral at all. He did it to prove to his "chosen" people that he was their all powerful god and deliverer! The tale states that he purposely hardened Pharoah's heart so that he could not concede to Moses request to let the people go! Whatever happened to Pharoah's free will? Anyone in his position would have quickly conceded to Moses request in order to save himself and his people as a whole. But in this case God would not let him. If this story were true then Egypt as a nation was totally destroyed without any hope of ever recovering. History has proven that this was in fact not the case.

The New Testament depiction of God does not help his reputation anymore than the Old Testament does. In fact, it makes the good Lord seem even more immoral and cruel than he was in the past stories about him. The threats of eternal torment in hell far exceed the death penalty and bring with the concept of a place of punishment after death to a whole new level. This is especially true when you consider why you may be sent to hell in the first place. You see the first reason is because you did not accept Jesus as your Lord and savior, by not doing so your sins cannot be forgiven.

Based on the impossible standards of God there is none that is good. In other words a good man in the eyes of men is not a good man at all. This is why the Bible teaches that you are not saved by your deeds but rather by faith so that you cannot boast. So no matter how good you may have been while living your life here on earth it counts for nothing to God if you did not accept Jesus as your savior. So even good behavior and a good life is not acceptable to the Lord. In my opinion it is like sending an innocent man to jail because he refused to bow down and worship a particular god or deity as was done during the Spanish Inquisition; where many were tortured and murdered for having different religious beliefs. Nothing could be more immoral than that. 

Note: All biblical quotes are taken from the New International Version and all word definitions are from the Merriam Webster dictionary.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bronze aged Inquisition/Crusade

Many times when atheists attack the early church for the violence it has perpetrated in the name of God with the purpose of propagating their beliefs and obtaining world and political dominance, they tend to refer to such things as the Inquistions and the various crusades. What they fail to realize and I have been saying this for years; is that both of these types of events were favorably propagated and approved by the "good book" itself!

In this post I will be quoting heavily from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible to demonstrate my claim. One of my favorite and in my opinions greatest works against religious institutions to date is 'The Age of Reason' by Thomas Pane. In that book he expresses his views about religion in general and I share the same sentiments as he did in the following quote:

"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit"
 Thomas Paine 'Age of Reason' 

Thomas Paine 1/29/1737 - 6/08/1809

2“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.3“You shall have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:2-3
20“Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the Lord must be destroyed. Exodus 22:20

The good Lord lays down the law and commands the Hebrews to worship only him. This is the first sign of intolerance against all other religious beliefs and practices.This includes other occult practices.

18“Do not allow a sorceress to live. Exodus 22:18
31“ ‘Do not turn to mediums or seek out spiritists, for you will be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:31
27“ ‘A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads.’ ” Leviticus 20

The first time that the Israelites violated God's warnings against worshiping other gods they paid a heavy price for their sin. 

19When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, his anger burned and he threw the tablets out of his hands, breaking them to pieces at the foot of the mountain.  27Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ” 28The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. Exodus 32:19,27-28 

This was not the fist nor the last time that the good Lord would directly or indirectly through his faithful servants kill or slaughter his so called chosen people for violations of his laws. It's no wonder that the church had no problem carrying out the Inquisitions and various crusades in the name of the Lord. They saw his stamp of approval in the scriptures and believed that they too would be justified for doing the same exact thing! 

Some theists might say: "but that was God acting under the dispensation of the law and does not apply to us, we are under the dispensation of grace!" Oh really? Well Jesus did not fall far from the tree. In fact, I find the punishments for sin in the New Testament to be so much more evil and cruel than the O.T. gods death penalty. With Jesus your problems began at death and went on into eternity! 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

First the good Lord establishes himself as the only true way to obtain salvation. There is no room for compromise and he is the one and only truth. Believing in him and him only will restore your soul in God's good graces. But just as the O.T. monster had consequences for not worshiping him or accepting him as the one and only true god so did Christ. 

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." Mark 10:25 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:10

The reason that a person who loves money is unable to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven is that he is preoccupied not with spiritual matters but with earthly matters. He is storing his treasures on earth instead of in heaven. Now this is where Jesus gets ugly.

28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:28
41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 13:41-42

9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 1 Corinthians 6:9
8But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. Revelation 21:8 

I don't know about you, but being cast into a furnace of fire for eternity is a much more horrifying fate than simpy dying and fading into nonexistence. This demonstrates the most evil side of the Lord to date. Physical death should suffice if you are a pansy deity who gets offended for not getting enough attention and forced obedience and love of your creation whom you have intimidated since they first strayed till now. This god does not deserve worship but disdain. He does not deserve love but hate. He does not represent the greatest good but instead the greatest evil. 

God's cruelty to mankind is the model by which man can be cruel to one another in his name. All claiming to be doing his will are not far from the truth. For the god of the bible is a monster who if he existed, should be hunted down and killed on sight! Nothing says evil like God.  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stupid things the bible wants us to believe/Creation part 2

In this post I would like to focus on the creation story as it is narrated in Genesis chapter 2  not just to point out its absurdities, but from time to time I will highlight the differences between this narrative and its counterpart in the first chapter. Contrary to popular belief most scholars agree that the Pentateuch was not written by Moses but possibly by up to four different authors or groups. This theory is best expounded by eminent biblical scholar Richard Elliot Friedman in 'Who Wrote the Bible? '

The first narrative of creation runs from Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 and concludes in chapter 2 verse 3. The second narrative about creation begins in Genesis chapter 2 verse 4 and ends at verse 25. The first difference you will notice about the two narratives is the order of creation, the presentation of how God set about creating, and the process differs from the first account.

4This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Genesis 2:4

The first difference between the two creation narratives starts in the very first verse of the second narrative. Unlike the first narrative this one does not get into the creation from scratch. It does not talk about the actual creation of the earth or the cosmos etc. Our story commences with an already created earth and takes us through creation of life on the planet and the process of how life as we know it came to be.

5Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, 6but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Genesis 2:5-6

As stated above our story starts with what appears to be a barren earth. No trees or shrubs or plant life whatsoever existed. Note that this story leads us to picture an earth where the land and sea already must exist because unlike chapter one it says nothing about separating the land from seas. So for simplicity's sake we'll just assume that that has already been done.

7Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 7:7

Unlike the first narrative where the man and the woman are created simultaneously in this account the first sign of life on earth is man himself! There is yet another interesting aspect in this narrative that is not present in the first. In the first God creates everything ex-nihili (out of nothing) by calling them into existence with his words alone. Here we see God putting in some physical labor in that he is said to "form" man out of the dust of the ground. After he makes his human mud pie he then breathes life into him.

Could this be the biblical Adam?

8Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:8-9

Next God rolls up his sleeves, puts on his jeans, breaks out his gardening tools, and gets to work physically planting a garden!  We know that it takes years for trees to grow to full maturity and produce fruits etc. But since it was God doing the gardening maybe he had some way of accelerating the process to mere minutes! So far God created a man first then he created a garden then he put man in that garden for the purpose of working in it and caring for it. So according to this version the very first man on earth Adam, was a farmer and a gardener.

15The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. Genesis 2:15

The next part of this story gets a little bizarre for me in that it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I will try to describe it without laughing or making any silly jokes and puns about the matter, but I wont make any guarantees. While Adam is in the garden working and tending to his assigned tasks most likely bored out of his wits and horny as hell since he is the only mammal in existence God makes a very keen observation, but his solution can only be called bone headed and stupid. 

18The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
19Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. Genesis 2:18-20

According to this narrative God once again rolls up his sleeves and commences to form out of the earth all the animals and birds. Then the good Lord brings them to Adam and assigns him the task of naming them all! Ummmm excuse me, but how the hell is creating a bunch of animals considered making a suitable helper for Adam and how does that help him with his sexual frustration? We are also supposed to believe that God individually created all animals species by hand from mud as he did when creating man. We must also believe that one man was responsible for naming all the animals that exist on this earth! That must've taken one hell of a long time for Adam to complete.

...But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Genesis 2:20-22

After finally realizing that Adam had yet to find a suitable helper in all of the animals God created he then puts Adam to sleep and finally out of Adams rib creates a woman. As I stated in my last post to the Hebrews names mean everything and this is made quite clear throughout the rest of the scriptures. 

Adam: The first human ever to walk the earth was named Adam. The Torah explains the name. The Hebrew word for earth is adama. God formed man from the dust of the earth, and on the simplest level, that connection with adama, earth, is the basis for man's name.

Eve: The wife of Adam. According to Gen. iii. 20, Eve was so called because she was "the mother of all living" 

So to sum this post up, God created life in the following order: First he created Adam, then all plant life, then all land and air animals, then finally he created Eve. Notice that in this narrative it says nothing about aquatic life. As anyone can tell these two tales are very distinct from one another and tell two very different accounts of creation. 

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version of the scriptures.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stupid things the bible wants us to believe/Creation

Before I begin I want to inform my readers that in the book of Genesis there are not one but two stories of creation. Not only are there two stories, but those stories blatantly contradict each other and cannot be reconciled which in my view compromises the integrity of the author and of the so called claims of these stories being divinely inspired (revealed) by God. I will be quoting heavily from Genesis so try and keep up with me and open your eyes so that you too may see the absurdities contained in the tales themselves.

1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.Genesis 1:1

The first absurdity is that theists believe that God is 'the beginning' of all things and he himself is the prime mover, the uncaused cause of everything we know to exist. They accuse atheists by saying that we believe that everything came from nothing. But the reality is that we don't know and therefore are currently working on the problem. A theist on the other hand doesn't claim to not know, they claim with absolute certainty that God did it! What do they base this on? Faith in the so called revelation from God known as the Bible. How do they know that the Bible was really inspired by their god? Because it says so in the book itself!

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. Deuteronomy 29:29

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

There's nothing reasonable about circular reasoning!

The next absurdity is God's best and greatest miracle which I would've loved to have been there to see this one myself. 

4God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
This passage treats light and darkness as if they were two separate existing conditions that could exist and occupy the same space at the same time! How do you separate light from darkness when darkness is the absence of light and light illuminates and dispels darkness. These two conditions literally cancel each other out there is either one or the other the two cannot occupy the same space without eliminating the other. 
Light dispels darkness! They cannot coexist.
11Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 

The next absurdity is that God created all manner of plants, trees, vegetation and flora with nothing else but his word. No seeds were planted he just spoke the initial flora of the earth into existence. 

We are to believe that all of this diversity just popped into existence at the behest of God!
14And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.
This next one takes us back to the first absurdity. Notice the language used in the 18th verse that I have underlined. Didn't God already do this in verse four? He separated light from darkness and called them night and day but back then there was no sun or moon. Somehow it did not make a difference. 
20And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Just like he did with all flora on the earth, the good Lord spoke all aquatic and winged creatures into existence and at his behest voila' from nothingness they emerged! 

All this just popped into existence out of nothing! 

24And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.
Once again God magically spoke into existence all land animals and at his behest they simply popped into existence out of nothing! 
These were also magically brought into existence as well! 

Before I get to God's "greatest" creation I would like to digress for a moment. These animals pictured above are all on the endangered species list. So my question theists is if God created all living creatures on earth as you believe then how do you explain extinction? Don't you think that evolution by the process of natural selection is a more viable explanation for extinction than say God did it? If you state that God did it then the next question would have to be why create them if his only intent was to allow them to go extinct? Adaptation explains it quite well without the necessity of a god or some all powerful being. 

27So God created mankind in his own image,in the image of God he created them;male and female he created them.

Then God created idiots like this one!
Not to be a jerk or anything but in my opinion the worst thing that God ever "created" on this earth is man! Man has and continues to destroy the balance of nature and tends to corrupt or eradicate everything he touches. Our natural resources, our flora and fauna, our oceans, the air, our forests, are all the victims of man and continue to be sacrificed at the altar of so called progress. We are at fault for destroying our own habitat and compromising the environment we live in. 
In this post I have only dealt with the first of the two creation stories as they are narrated in the scriptures. I will be dealing with the second tale and highlight then the many contradictions that I have found there as compared to this version.  Aside from the cosmological blunders in chapter one the order of creation is pretty good here as compared to what we know today.
Finally, according to this version of creation God created everything from nothing! He is himself defined as the beginning of everything so he too must've popped into existence out of nothing with the big bang. So much for the something from nothing argument! If you say God always existed then where did he come from? Your reasoning is unreasonable and your reasoning makes no sense and is irrational. 

Note: All biblical citations are taken from the New International Version

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why Christians reject the practice of circumcision

As promised this is the second half to my first post on the Jews and circumcision. Before I get started I would like to remind my readers that the purpose of the circumcision for the Jews was to serve as a physical sign on the flesh of the covenant that God had made between himself and Israel. If you have not read the previous post on this matter click on the link above to get up to speed.

There are several reasons why Christians reject circumcision. As stated above circumcision was a sort of sign or mark of the covenant between man and God. Although the bible states that this covenant was to be everlasting the authors of the New Testament decided to extend the promises of God that at one time were believed to be exclusively for the Jews to gentiles as well. This provision was already made in the first covenant when it stated:  

12For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. 13Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.” Genesis 17:12-14

As you can see in the above cited text if you resided with the Jews even as a foreigner who was bought as in a servant etc. you had to be circumcised! By being circumcised you are made an heir to the promises of the covenant. Initially the New Testament states that Jesus only came to redeem the lost sheep of Israel but that later salvation was made available to all. We will get to that in a moment.

First let's put the Bible in perspective by defining the term covenant and how this is relevant to the old and new testaments.

covenant: a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement
testament: archaic : a covenant between God and the human race 

As seen above according to the Merriam Webster dictionary the words covenant and testament are interchangeable because both words in essence have the same meaning. So knowing this when you think of the bible, think of the Old Testament in terms of the old covenant and the new in terms of the new covenant. It simplifies things greatly and makes my job easier to explain these concepts to the layman more clearly.

One of the earliest disagreements that the early church faced was on whether or not gentile converts were required to be circumcised as prescribed under the law. In the book of Matthew Jesus is approached by a Canaanite woman who pleads with him to liberate her daughter from demon possession. Jesus did not immediately respond but when prompted by his disciples he replied: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” Matthew 15:24 when the lady pleaded further he made this disgusting and disparaging remark: “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Matthew 15:26 she came back with a witty reply and Jesus was so impressed by her faith that he granted her request. 

The Christians did what they often do. They quote texts out of contexts in order to reinterpret those texts to validate their current new view of their own religion. In the New Testament the goal is to make the promises of Israel and Judah extend to the rest of the world by inventing a new covenant with Christ as the mediator. So the first thing Christ is made to say is that he is not here to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill it.  Matthew 5:17 This makes Christ the mediator of the new covenant made available to all.

In Hebrews chapter eight this so called declaration of Christ is contradicted by Paul when he states that: 7For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another. 13By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and outdated will soon disappear. Hebrews 8:7,13 Of course the author of Hebrews between verses 8-12 cites a promise from Jeremiah 31:31-34 specifically referring to the Israel and Judah as being a promise of a new covenant between them and God. Christians do this often in the New Testament. They claim promises exclusive for the people of Israel as their own by citing those same promises out of context.

From that base of reinterpreting Old Testament texts Christians begin to build their new religion. I have always stated that all religions borrow and build upon one another and this is made most apparent with a careful reading and cross referencing  of the Tanakh, the New Testament, and the Koran. With this new interpretation of Old Testament promises those made to Abraham and his heirs is now extended to the gentiles.

He (Jesus) redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Galatians 3:14

Here the Christians claim the blessings of Abraham with the omission of the mandatory circumcision that was the main stipulation that God had set as mans part of the bargain.

10...Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring. Genesis 17:10-12

Notice that the promise is available to foreigners but that circumcision is mandatory. So how did the early church get around this little stipulation? They invent a new covenant through the invention of a new mediator. This new mediator breaks the stipulations of the old covenant by doing away with it entirely and making circumcision not a physical act but rather a spiritual one.

25Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised. 26So then, if those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised? 27The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.28A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God. Romans 2:25-29

In him you were also circumcised with a circumcision not performed by human hands. Your whole self ruled by the flesh was put off when you were circumcised by Christ, Colossians 2:11

There you have it! New covenant new rules. Through the magic of interpretation and reinterpretation you no longer are required to undergo physical circumcision under the law, while still being able to claim the benefits and promises of the Jews under the law. The rest is just a matter of rewriting the history as is demonstrated in the New Testament quite clearly.

6This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 3:6

Note: All biblical citations are from the New International Version and all word definitions come from the Merriam Webster dictionary.