Ulterior Motives for Abandoning Christianity

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again: there aren’t any.

From a purely rational standpoint, being a Christian is the best bet. Christianity is the only religion that has a hell, and threatens all other belief systems with this hell. Let’s take a look at what happens to you, as a good Christian, depending on which belief system turns out to be true:

Christianity: Saved.

Islam: You are a “person of the book,” and so long as you’re a good one, you can go to heaven (Sura 2:62).

Atheism: Nothing. All the sex, drugs and rock and roll you missed out on? Erased. Regrets? None.

Anything Else: The Same Thing Happens to You as Happens to Everyone Else

There is no scenario in which Christians suffer one scintilla of damage for being Christians… except that one scenario in which Christianity is true, and you run around quoting Bible verses and proclaiming your faith, but choose to enjoy your nice Christian life without actually being selfless and loving (Matthew 25:31–46).

The moral of the story is that there are no legitimate ulterior motives for throwing away Christianity, because there are no better bets out there. So anyone who throws it away must be pretty strongly convinced of something. And if Christianity is true, heaven will have a good fistful of atheists, and hell will be jam-packed with plenty of Christians, based on my observations.

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8 Responses to “Ulterior Motives for Abandoning Christianity”

  1. What happens if you throw in a dose of either,
    1. Christian annihilationism (the non-saved simply don;t get resurrected – i.e. eternal life for some, non-existence for the others)
    2. Christian universalism (all will one day bow down and confess)
    3. Christian universal-annihilationism (there is no afterlife – “salvation” is about life now, not in some next-life scenario)

    I recall someone asking me one-day, would you still be a Christian if there was no promise of an afterlife? Strangely (but perhaps not) I expect I would, or at least, I would still true to pursue the divine…

  2. “if Christianity is true, heaven will have a good fistful of atheists, and hell will be jam-packed with plenty of Christians”

    – yup, probably!

  3. What do you mean by “what happens if…” Certainly it has no effect on what I wrote, so I imagine that you just want my thoughts on these things.

    1. This is just something the Christians with a capacity for empathy invent from thin air in order to make themselves feel better. There’s no Bible-based reason to believe it, there’s no real comfort in all those people being wiped out, and there’s no difference between this and atheism from the atheist’s perspective.

    2. Even if you do enough exegetical and hermeneutical gymnastics to make this work, you will then come to the conclusion that there’s no point worrying about the conclusion.

    3. This is ridiculous. Calling it secular humanism makes it slightly less ridiculous and slightly more accurate.

  4. What do you guys think: are people like the Phelps family, Christian reconstructionists, and double-predestination Calvinists closer to an accurate interpretation of scripture, or are they as out to lunch as anyone, given the choose-your-own-adventure nature of a book composed by authors with competing or merely conflicting theological views?

  5. Regardless, there’s a distinction between things that can be called “Christian” and things that cannot. The line exists, somewhere.

  6. Kylenki: “book(s) composed by authors with competing or merely conflicting theological views”

    – indeed. I’m interested to know how one can hold to the view that annihilationism has no “bible-based” support, especially when one considers the diversity of theologies within the biblical texts, and interpretive tradition. I would have thought that the existence of the sadducees (who -strong evidence would have it- believed that the was no afterlife), must give us pause for though that there is AT LEAST and old-testament case to be made for annihiltionism, even universal annihilationism. The case becomes stronger when we consider that the sadducees insistence on written word observance (as opposed to the pharisees who considered it OK to import interpretive tradition).

    I’m not saying I’m convinced of an afterlife either way (although all my experience tells me there is no such thing – lol -given that I’ve not been dead yet, unless you take the period before I was born into account). But I do think that each of the Jewish, Biblical and Christian traditions is justifiably broader than “eternal conscious torment for the damned”.

  7. Phil:
    “But I do think that each of the Jewish, Biblical and Christian traditions is justifiably broader than “eternal conscious torment for the damned”.”

    Yeah, I think it is far more complex than the received, modern tradition would indicate. Especially when one starts peering into how Hebrew interpreters of scripture thought before Christians were on the scene.

    But I do, basically, agree that the NT does not paint a rosy picture of the afterlife for the damned, whether it is eternal or not–either way, something unwelcome happens.

    RiSG:
    “Regardless, there’s a distinction between things that can be called “Christian” and things that cannot. The line exists, somewhere.”

    I agree, to a certain extent. What we’ve got in mainstream protestant and Catholic traditions does have some fairly rigorous definitions of orthodoxy, a lot of which they are in mutual agreement on. Still, there’s the Christianities we only have scraps left of, now. And Christian off-shoots: JW’s and Mormons, both of which would vociferously argue that they are Christian.

  8. The existence of Sadducees is not of relevance to the Christian idea of “annihilationism.” The Jews were always hazy on the afterlife. I don’t know of any Bible verses, or even traditional reasons, for annihilationism as a Christian position. It seems to emerge naturally from some Christians who sat down, thought about hell, and thought: “wait a second… we’ve got to fix this.”

    (My name’s Steve; you can just use my name. Or “RWZero,” which is my screen name. I used to use “Ringwraith_Zero” as my screen name when I was young because I really liked Lord of the Rings, but then they made blockbuster movies and everyone knows about it and “Ringwraith_Zero” sounds kind of juvenile and unprofessional. So when I need a username I just use RWZero. That’s all there is to that.)

    Of course. I just mean that a scenario where everyone ceases to exist is pretty much out of the running for use of the word “Christian.”

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