HOME   People do good because they are human, not because they are religious! 

Do not give God any credit for the good they do, they did it!

 

The Evil Doctrine of Faith being a Grace or Gift from God
 
1 Corinthians 2:1-5


When I came to you, brothers, it was not with any show of oratory or philosophy, but simply to tell you what God had guaranteed. During my stay with you, the only knowledge I claimed to have was about Jesus, and only about him as the crucified Christ. Far from relying on any power of my own, I came among you in great ‘fear and trembling’ and in my speeches and the sermons that I gave, there were none of the arguments that belong to philosophy; only a demonstration of the power of the Spirit. And I did this so that your faith should not depend on human philosophy but on the power of God.

 

Grace is God planting feelings and thoughts in you in the hope of getting you to behave in a holy way and think what he wants you to think. The Christian Church says that faith is against the grain so God needs to intervene supernaturally to make it happen. Faith is defined as the gift of God that enables you to believe all he has revealed without doubting or saying any of it is untrue.
 
The Bible, the book God wrote according to Jesus and the Church, says that faith is a gift from God. That is what the word grace means.
 
Faith being the work of grace is a wholly evil doctrine.
 
Grace means free gift and the Bible states that we don’t deserve to be assisted in becoming holy or to have this gift. That is a horrendous and nasty teaching. Everybody whoever evil deserves light.
 
We could be holy and deserve faith and God might give it to us as a gift and not because we deserve it. That infers that our holiness and goodness is not enough. Again its an insulting doctrine. To give it as a gift is refusing to care what we deserve and to acknowledge it. Its really about God showing his generosity instead of honouring the other person's worthiness.
 
Whoever believes with the Christian Church that grace is necessary for faith cannot really have faith in such an evil God. Its a cold comfort God.
 
When religion has a lot of mysteries – apparent contradictions – it is taught that you need grace to believe them for you cannot understand them with your own intellect (page 66, What is Faith?). So, a religion that teaches that faith is caused by grace must have a faith full of mysteries and a religion of mystery must have a doctrine of faith being behind grace! Otherwise there is no need to be helped to believe by God.
 
Christianity says that faith in the Christian religion and in the doctrines and truths God has revealed is not natural and is a gift from God. This recognises that the religion of God has to come from God and not man for man errs and can be sneaky so the religions he creates could turn nasty or mislead people. A man-made religion is an oxymoron. It can have no binding force. Would you really think you should say abracadabra every day five times just because some man says so? Whatever does not bind or obligate in reality is not a religion though it may be a semblance of one. Religion is in reality the experience of your faith as a gift from a supernatural power that tells you the truth and only the truth and demands obedience and religion is the community formed by people who are based on this experience. Anything else is fake religion for it is deliberately man-made. It would be terrible if we thought we shouldn’t challenge it or criticise it constructively. It could be that all religion is fake religion even by its own standard.
 
Anything human is dangerous if it is made sacred or sacrosanct. It is man's word getting treated as infallible revelation from God and when errors are exposed the believers either water them down or say they are not errors in the sight of God for God knows better than us. If man made the religion, fault it where it should be faulted. And realise the fact that it is man-made is itself a fault no matter how good the results seem to be. Christianity surprisingly agrees that man-made religion is a problem which is why it says it has to bring people to the Christian faith - the one faith revealed by God.
 
Man cannot claim to be almighty and infallible God for he will be found out. It is much easier and more effective to claim that you have a message from this God. If man invents doctrines and says that whoever hugs a tree receives healing energy that he can send to others nobody can falsify this. Nobody can prove that a man who says God ordered him to sacrifice his son for it fits in with God's hugely complex plan - aspects of the plan will be nasty for life is nasty - is lying or deluded. So man is on safe ground.
 
If man cannot claim to be God to get looked up to and obeyed and to get attention (its not always about money or comforts) he can do the next best thing and lie that God spoke to him. The best way to get converts and reinforce his power is to teach, "God told me things we could never guess at or figure out for ourselves. I have given you the message. God can enable you and help you with his grace to believe the message." So the man tells the message and the audience has to seek inner inspiration from God telling them the message is true and helping them to believe it.
 
What happens is -
 
# Pressure is applied if you do not believe. The subliminal or blatant message is, "If you don't believe you are against God and it is your own fault for not letting his grace work and what about people who are encouraged by your example not to believe?" You are accused of being anti-God and anti-truth and of sinning.
 
# It is arrogance for man to claim that a transcendent God who is so different from us is speaking to him and there are countless alternative explanations. Man needs to be as wise as God to judge. By claiming that God is inspiring you to believe the word of arrogant man, you are just as bad as him. You are claiming to know that God has revealed to him and you are saying yes to his being the kind of person who risks passing on his own ideas as the word of God. You are sharing in and all together you reinforce each others' arrogance.
 
# You cannot accept any revelation as the word unless you judge it. So it is really all about you.
 
The religious person who says God commanded him to set up a children's charity is doing exactly the same thing as the man who says God demands that he kill his child. The results are different but the results are not the point. The point is that both are claiming revelations from a source that has to deal with a nasty universe and a plan that has to make the best out of a bad situation that is too complex for man to comprehend. The person getting nice revelations is still nodding to this dangerous principle. The way is opened up for nasty revelations. It is nasty in itself to open the door. Keep it shut.
 
It is not true that belief and opinion are about you making up your own mind. Your mind makes itself up. It happens to you. You may push buttons to manipulate the process but your mind always makes itself up. The notion that belief and faith in God happen when you let God's grace form them in you is nonsense.
 
The notion that faith is reasonable and you use reason to get to faith and its mysteries leads only to absurdity. Reason cannot show you that any of the mysteries are true. It means that you have to use reason to get to faith and then you eschew the reasons you believe as if they were wrong or irrelevant. But that is dropping faith and replacing it with so-called faith or a pretence. And the reasons must be far from sufficient and satisfactory when grace is required. The reasons can’t cause faith.
 
You cannot believe in nonsense or in what you perceive to be unintelligible and religious mystery is a prime example of incoherence. If you need grace to believe, you are trying to believe what is unintelligible to you but how could you get the grace when you adhere to the sin of trying to insult your intelligence? God can’t give grace to a person who does not really want it when he won’t do God’s will if God’s will is not to denigrate your intelligence. To refuse to love God in anything is to refuse to love him at all. One sin defiles all you do. To hold on to sin and then do good is really saying, “I do this good but I want my sin too.” So it is only looking good. It is not real good as far as God and purity of heart are concerned.
 
If grace makes the Catholic believe, then what makes the Hindu monist accept doctrines like pantheism which are just as ludicrous as Catholicism? Catholics want to say that God enables you to believe the Catholic Church and deny that God enables Hindus to believe what they believe. And they say that even though they say we can’t believe mysteries without God. There is a lot of self-deception involved. To say, "my faith is supernatural and yours is not even if you think it is" is essential sectarianism and judgmental bigotry.
 
Paul said that the grace that is faith saves for it is humble and good. We see that it is really a pride-filled deceptive form of opposition to God and true decency.
 
You cannot attain to the grace so it is madness that is wrong with you if you believe and can’t believe without the grace.
 
The unholy Bible teaches the doctrine that faith is a supernatural gift from God. This doctrine gets the most treatment from St Paul who needed treatment himself of the psychiatric kind or he knew his converts did! He was certainly a liar.  Ephesians 2 says that grace saves us through faith and that none of this is of ourselves but is the gift of God.
  
Many religions teach that faith is knowledge or that though you say you believe you should treat and think of this belief as one hundred per cent certain for you even you it is not in the sight of correct reason. They say that it is certain for you and only a miracle by God could make it that persuasive for you. Where are the psychiatrists and psychologists who can’t explain such religious faith? Nowhere. They explain it as delusion. Wouldn’t embracing faith be an attempt to become insane?
 
It isn’t faith but delusion and self-deception so why is it called faith? The promise of real faith is used as a bait for believers to work on their transformation into insane people. The Church wants people that way to mould and shape them into her distorted idea of perfection.
 
Jesus was as bad when he said we must love God totally, that is alone, and to love ourselves and others for him which is not really loving them at all. God commanded the same via Moses. You can’t do that if faith is just accepting what is probable for that leaves a part that is not sure. It would then be a case of "I love God yes but only in so far as I believe. In so far as I doubt or disbelieve, I do not love him." Jesus specifically said that God has to be loved with all the mind and not just with the heart or will. He did not say loving God as much as we could do was the ideal. God does not command the impossible. So Jesus was saying the true lover of God does not believe in the faith but knows it is true. He was endorsing delusion. You cannot know - period.
 
Jesus did not refer to proofs for God and indeed the Jews had none but their allegedly miraculous scriptures so we can’t make the excuse for him that he thought God should be put first for he can be proved. Even if he can be, I am still more sure I exist than God does. What if correct reason shows God exists? I am still more sure I exist for I don't need to think it out. I merely see it.
 
You need total proof for the existence of God and the veracity of what he has reportedly revealed before you can consider obeying God’s command to die for the spread of the faith or to avoid abjuring it. This proof does not exist so it is clear that faith is considered to be magical knowledge. That means that nobody can lose their faith without malevolently departing from divinely given knowledge. To accuse them of insincerity and heresy would be to condone suspicion and sectarianism. And that accusation is being made implicitly.
 
Jesus claimed to be the way, truth and the life (John 14:6)- that is he gives us the life of God and we experience God living inside us. It follows then that he came to be truth and life for us. It follows then that once you believe in him and experience his life-giving power you have no excuse for departing from the faith or any part of it. The New Testament claims to be the truth and that those who believe have the truth (2 Timothy 6:3,4). So it is forbidden for the Christian to say, “I believe I have the truth”. The Christian must say, “I have the truth.” There is no doubt that Christianity advocates stubborn arrogance. Truth is naturally intolerant of error so if you have the truth then tolerating those who differ or their views would be wrong.
 
And what if you think you have the truth? Unnecessary intolerance ensues. Thinking you have the truth is no justification for intolerance. Thinking is not good enough and what you think one day will be reversed the next day. You need to know the truth. Thinking you have the truth is intolerant in itself because truth or imagined truth are both intolerant of what is regarded as error. The arrogance of the believer who pretends she knows what she is not really that sure of is evil but becomes gross evil and puts evil off the scale when the faith involves doctrines such as that God sends those who die divorced from him to Hell forever and that contraception is a grave sin and so on.
 
Jesus claimed to be the Truth and Catholicism and Christianity claim to be the one true faith. They say Jesus commanded we must worship God in truth, that is by having his truth. So you are not allowed to treat say, your Catholic religion as probably true or possibly true. You treat it as the truth and as if everything was proven even when it is not. In other words, you obey the papal ban on birth-control no matter how evil or absurd this ban seems to you. This is a very arrogant, stubborn, pig-headed, irresponsible, dangerous and fanatical example that the Roman Catholic religion is setting.
 
Jesus said that it was eternal life to know him and God in John 17:3. There is no hint that he meant know to be likely to be true so it was know in the full sense. See 1 John 5:20. Chapter 2 speaks of the early Gnostics who sinned freely but claimed to know God and John says only a person who is obedient could say that. The Gnostics said that magical knowledge was superior to belief so John is not denying that there is such a thing as such knowledge but is saying that they do not possess it.
 
The doctrine that faith is magically knowing proves that those Christians who say that an unfair bias necessarily exists in those who say that Jesus never rose or worked miracles are wrong. The sceptics are or should be biased towards the truth but the early Church was a fruitcake cult intolerably biased towards false doctrine and therefore unworthy of trust. And today's Christians are its successors.
 
If faith is experienced as knowledge it might as well be real knowledge. If I am sure of something 100%, whether I am right or wrong, its like knowledge to me and may as well be. God could implant the necessary education and proofs into your mind like you put files on a computer program. He can make faith that way. And yet there are excuses for why God can’t give real knowledge miraculously like, “Oh God would rather we were not completely sure for it is more sacrificial to sacrifice for things that you are not sure of,” and, “God would be forcing us to believe and stay believing if it was knowledge. Others would be forced by our knowledge to start believing just like we are forced to see that one and one is two by mathematicians." That is as stupid as saying the following. I have given my all in sacrifice for my baby's happiness. I know my baby exists and loves me. Therefore it follows that the good I have done for my baby is worthless for as I have that knowledge." The doctrine that knowing God exists means your good works for him are devalued is an insulting one.
 
The idea that if we can’t believe but if we obey God we will find ourselves receiving the gift of faith just means that we are to hypnotise ourselves by telling ourselves that God exists and religion is true until we succeed in believing it.  People accepting the notion that the proof of the pudding is in the eating have been lured into Scientology and all kinds of nonsense. Its manipulative.
 
The Church says that faith is not just belief. It is like an experience of God. It is a gift of God. The Church says that faith is knowledge. It is belief in the sense that knowledge is loosely called belief. Doubters and those who struggle to believe are told to act as if they know. Indeed, the Church would be unable to function if the pope resigned every time he had a doubt. It is thought that if you act as if you know you will know.
 
The notion that faith in the true religion of God is knowledge implies that the members of the contrary faiths and creeds only imagine they know. A Mormon cannot know that the non-material Catholic God is a fiction if the Catholic knows that there is no God but that one.
 
The thought that you know your religion is true is the corner-stone of fundamentalism. They see their beliefs as facts. As it is sometimes necessary to impose facts on people - for example, a Geography Teacher who denies the existence of Australia will be fired or forced to agree that Australia exists - fundamentalists say their doctrines are facts and so must be imposed on society and on civil law.
 
A person who thinks he knows his religion is true cannot get together with members of other religions for prayer and so on. There can be no ecumenism or "agreeing to disagree." Agreeing to disagree suggests that the truth of the religion he is in is not that clear or that it is understandable to mistake it for untruth or possible untruth.
 
The doctrine of faith being caused by grace or God's miraculous power clearly opens the door to fundamentalism. Islamic terrorists don't go that far with faith. They would be worse if they did. Christianity is creating an atmosphere that can lead the Islamists to go too far.
 
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1985
A Common Faith, John Dewey, Yale University Press, Connecticut, 1968
A Primer of Necessary Belief, Dawson Jackson ,Victor Gollancz Ltd, London, 1957
Apologetics and Catholic Doctrine, M H Gill and Son Ltd, Dublin, 1954
Faith and Ambiguity, Stewart R Sutherland, SCM Press, London, 1984
God and Philosophy, Antony Flew, Hutchinson, London, 1966
In Defence of the Faith, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene Oregon, 1996
On Being a Christian, Hans Kung, Collins/Fount Paperbacks, Glasgow, 1978
Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, Simon Blackburn, Oxford University Press, 1996
Reason and Belief, Bland Blanschard, London, George Allen and Unwin Ltd, 1974
Reason and Religion, Anthony Kenny, Basil Blackwell Ltd, Oxford, 1987
The Balance of Truth, EI Watkin, Hollis & Carter, London, 1943
The Case Against Christ, John Young, Falcon Books, London, 1971
The End of Faith, Religion, Terror And The Future Of Reason, Sam Harris, Free Press, London, 2005
The Faith of a Subaltern, Alec de Candole, Cambridge University Press, 1919
The Fundamental Questions of Philosophy, A.C. Ewing, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1985
The Future of Belief Debate, Ed Gregory Baum, Herder and Herder, New York, 1967
The Student’s Catholic Doctrine, Rev Charles Hart BA, Burns & Oates, London, 1961
Unblind Faith, Michael J Langford, SCM, London, 1982
What is Christianity? Very Rev W Moran DD, Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, Dublin, 1940
What is Faith? Anthony Kenny, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1992