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!

 

GRACE – A Dehumanising Idea
 
Christianity today has to sell itself in the spiritual marketplace by claiming that if you accept God and Jesus into your life you will find your interest in the wellbeing of others growing.
 
It puts that down to grace. Obviously faith and belief alone cannot cause that so it is saying that there is a supernatural effect. It is something not of this world. There is no mention of the fact that you can become atheist and feel a new drive for helping others! If there is no God for people, you have to be God for them.
 
According to Christian doctrine, Jesus is God’s grace. He is not just an agent of grace. He is grace. To ridicule grace is to ridicule Jesus.
 
WHAT IS GRACE?
 
Christianity is a religion of grace - it is a core and essential doctrine.

 

Grace means gift. God supposedly gives you the ability to live a holy life and to go to Heaven forever. It is a gift meaning God is under no obligation to do it. It is okay if he does not help. Also, a gift you are obligated to accept is not really a gift. A gift that is forced on you when you cannot speak for yourself is not a gift either.

 

Christianity says that it is a difficult faith and the faith of the cross.  God will never ask you to do what he does not make possible for you to do he expects sainthood from everybody.  So the doctrine by default is judgemental. It blames you for the starving children. 

 

Christianity says that a proper relationship with God is hard work and that all worthwhile relationships are. It says it is not cruel in giving people this faith for they have God to help them with his grace. The problem for atheists is that it makes the issue very black or white. If there is no grace then Christianity is evil and a self-imposed prison. If there is then fair enough. But both informed atheists and informed Christians should not see becoming and staying Christian as a small affair. It is of great importance and not to be trivialised.

 

Christians however have no problem trying to force this gift on a baby in baptism. They tell you that you are obligated to accept God's grace for the only thing that keeps you out of Heaven is sin. And the only remedy for sin the grace of conversion and repentance and amendment of life. Is it really a gift to believe that God has the right to abandon us? Even if God does not abandon us, the fact remains that he would still be perfectly good and worthy of praise if he didn't. Would you adore a saint who feeds the starving and saves millions of lives but who believes that she has the right to have them executed if she feels like it?

 

Thus the notion of God's grace is incoherent. It is not as nice as it looks and has a sick nasty side. So what is going on with this grace doctrine?

 

Christianity only talks about grace for the following reasons:

 

To make people think that the Church's preaching enables grace

 

To make people think that the Church's sacraments enable grace

 

To invent an excuse for Jesus Christ having to die on the cross. He supposedly had to earn grace on our behalf.

 

To make people think that when they improve as people it is God's doing not theirs. Thus they will feel they need the religion and use it to handle the degradation of believing that your goodness is not really yours.

 

To get parents to bring the baby to the Church for the grace of forgiveness that is given through baptism. A gift given to a baby is not a gift in any real sense.

 

People who think they have experienced grace, mean, "If it were not for God I would be so bad." They may not react with hurt and anger if somebody verbally abuses them and they think they should. They think that God is responsible if they do not. That is a terrible attitude to have towards yourself. Usually they see other people reacting with hurt and anger if it happens to them and they marvel that they are different and superior. That is where their attitude is coming from. In fact people reacting with hate and anger is just as usual and normal as people reacting with mercy and love. The real appeal of the doctrine of grace is in its implicit ignorance and cynical and narrow attitude to human nature. The person of grace will be nice for a white but the poison starts off with an imperceptible simmer and it will boil up in time. And the poison is grace itself - the arsenic of the religious world.

 

GRACE ASCRIBES ALL THE GOOD IN US TO GOD BUT NOT THE BAD

 

Believers insist that if God creates truly autonomous beings with the authority and power to chose his way or a bad way then he is not morally responsible for any choices they make. If he is then he is worse than them for he is the reason they do wrong. Now they are quick to make him responsible for their good choices. But it cuts both ways. He has to be responsible for the bad as well. Faith in God then is fundamentally immoral and immature for it is in denial of that.  The ascription of goodness to God comes from the notion that God only creates good things and his gift of grace lifts you above your human tendency to sin.  So here we have God not only making good but intervening miraculously with the help of grace to turn you from a vice person into a virtue person.

 

DESTROYS RAPPORT WITH OTHERS

 

If you find a sick stranger and help him, what if he holds that some God or supernatural power MADE you help him though you felt you were doing it freely?


If God comes first then if the person has a choice between believing you did it or God must choose God even if it is only erring on the side of caution.

In the past, if people in poor countries were suffering there was nothing you could do about it. That led to people ignoring the suffering and failing to notice that finally something could be done. Many suffered and died by the time they realised.  Grace did nothing to stop the illusion but believers insult those who died by saying it did.  But it was still very late and any lateness is too much.

 

BAD PLACEBO

 

Why is it so important to religionists to put out their ethics but have little or no concern about how and why most people disobey the moral codes? Is it because they hope for a miraculous change – do they think knowing the moral truth magically increases the odds of living that truth?  They keep hoping that the incorrigible will change even when the evidence is that they don't.  That is a clear example of religion promoting doctrines and sacraments to give useless help.  Grace becomes an excuse for doing something about the problem that may as well amount to nothing. 


GRACE AND SALVATION
 
The Protestant Church, like the Catholic Church, views grace as being absolutely essential for salvation and tells us we cannot even try to love God without grace. It says we cannot please God by our natural powers alone.

 

Protestants and Catholics both believe you can get grace by prayer. The Catholics add the idea that the priests are the channels of grace through their power to give the sacraments. The sacraments of the Catholic Church are seven rites that are believed to give grace. An example is baptism. Another one is the sacrament of ordination which the Catholic Church maintains only a properly ordained bishop can give. The sacrament is defined as an outward symbol of grace that actually gives the grace it pictures to the soul.

 

The word grace means unmerited favour. Grace cannot be earned but it is a free gift from God. It is a favour. When God forgives you, his pardon is an act of grace.

 

The Bible says that grace has made Christians God’s children (John 1).

 

Paul states that only by the power of the Holy Spirit can one pray or believe (1 Corinthians 12:3).

 

Ephesians 3:16 asks that people will be strengthened by the Holy Spirit. Paul blessed the people he wrote to asking that God’s grace would be with them. Paul declared that if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature and that this change is from God (2 Corinthians 5:17-18). Jesus said that it is impossible for a rich man to get himself into the kingdom of God but only God can make him fit to enter so he cannot get saved on his own.

 

All people would agree that they are weak and need a magic or paranormal power to help them overcome their baneful tendencies. Religion offers God’s grace as the solution for it supposedly enables all to be nicer and holier.

 

God is grace. God is spirit and he is his power so to receive his help is to receive him. If God is one and infinite then he can’t give you a bit of himself but all of himself. He gives all of himself for he has no bits or parts. The notion of getting some grace is mathematically absurd. If we have grace then we are not weak.  We are weak so we have no grace.

 

Christians reply that God offers us perfection but we do not take it and we restrict the work he wants to do in us. This is absurd for God commanded perfection and none of us can achieve it so weakness must be to blame. Grace is supposed to heal weakness not be blocked by it. Their answer doesn’t work.

 

If you do not ask for all of God then you are asking for none. Some think that religion says that it is a sin to ask to be perfect for God has revealed that we will sin until we die if we are lucky enough to go to Heaven. This would be a sin in the sense that you are trying to prove to God you are right and you can be perfect. But God has commanded us to strive for perfection even if we will never attain it. Religion has pronounced that there is no grace in one that does not want it.

 

It doesn’t bother religionists that grace makes nobody perfect. It should.

 

The notion of grace is preposterous for we never get enough – we always need more. If God does not give us enough at a time or lets it fade away he is causing us to sin and is an evil God.
Some reason that when God heals some weaknesses that he must be exposing us to sin and be sinning. This is only right if the remaining ones will not affect us. He is not leading us to sin. The Church says that nobody can blame God for their sinning for we always get grace to fight temptation.

 

The Church says that no matter how great your struggle against temptation is, grace enables you to resist (2 Corinthians 12). The interesting thing about this is that if grace is with you then there is no huge struggle. God is wasting grace and energy for a small struggle would suffice. The doctrine of grace is proven false by interior struggles over abortion and divorce in the Catholics who feel they need to do one of these.

 

Grace is undeserved. If a good work that pleases the Lord is all the work of grace and the only input we make is choosing to go along with his grace then that choice is a good work and deserves a reward. If God is infinite good then any act of ours that is done for him is infinitely good for it pleases him infinitely and so deserves an infinite reward. You cannot give a gift to a person who deserves it and value that person. If John suffers terribly to save your child from the fire and you bring him a gift not a reward are you not putting your desire to give a gift above rewarding and acknowledging his goodness properly?  If you think you can give the gift and do it then you are insulting that person by refusing to reward her or him and by inferring that she or he does not deserve it. The doctrine of grace transforms God into a lick.

 

Some Protestant groups following Roman Catholicism tell us that people can do real good without grace but that these kindnesses are not pleasing to God. It is only works that are done with his help that please him. The Catholic A Catechism of Christian Doctrine says, “We can do no good work of ourselves towards our salvation; we need the help of God’s grace” (page 23).

 

The Protestants will deny that salvation depends on works but will agree that God cannot be pleased by good deeds which his grace has not brought about. The Christian religion says that faith and charity are supernatural gifts from God.

 

So we cannot trust or serve God unless he enables us to. This is really a denial of free will. If we cannot please God without his help then there is no free will. And if we can believe and do good without grace then God is refusing to respect our free will by pouring scorn on our efforts. If he belittles it then it is bad and if he is good then we are not free and if we are not free he is wicked for letting us sin and suffer.

 

If we possess free will and cannot love God by ourselves then God must magically prevent us from choosing him by limiting our power of choice. His so-called grace is just restoring the freedom and so is no more a grace than the ability to choose anything else.

 

It is approbation for unjust discrimination to maintain that God will not be pleased by graceless good works and only pleased by ones done with his assistance. If God is good then to do any good is to please him and is indirectly honouring him. God rejects the honour. He says it does not please him and slanders those who offer it by saying that they cannot do anything for him.

 

How could God give grace? By putting thoughts or feelings or both in us. He cannot force us to choose by making our will go the way he wants for then he is not giving us grace but is controlling us. If it is good of him to force, then we should not be free at all and only able to do good when he has put us here to choose between good and evil. If God makes me give alms then I have not done it but God has given the alms. He made the decision for me. If God puts feelings in us to influence us then it is crazy if he will only be pleased by actions that are caused by the feelings he caused and not by our own feelings. That would be pettiness and eccentricity and outright injustice. But if he puts thoughts in us the same problem happens. The Christian understanding of grace is unacceptable and many would add insulting and bigoted. If God influences our will it is not because he thinks that any good we do will not please him without it.

 

We want people to find us lovable. If we think we are causing people to love us say by magic that love will not satisfy us. It is manipulation that is causing the love. The love isn't real for it is not us that is found lovable but magic making people think we are lovable. It is about the magic and not us. Christianity teaches that God enables his true followers to love one another and that this love is not natural but a supernatural gift of God called grace. It is another way of saying that real love is magic. The Church says love needs to be a gift from God and not our creation for we are so bad and stupid and imperfect. This wouldn't be love. God and love are irreconcilable. Prayer is basically asking God to help us love him and others far more or to start loving others as God wants. Prayer is evil. To derive satisfaction from it is delusional.

 

Grace has God helping us to do evil by making us foolish and disordered and then he gives grace proving that he should not have made us sinful. What sense does any of this make?

 

The doctrine of grace is offensive and makes no sense. It is often really an excuse for sectarian bigotry and arrogance. “Oh we are better than those people for at least we have some grace.

We have God’s favour.”
  
WHAT PAUL SAID...
 
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:
 
I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
 
He declares that he was the worst of the apostles because of the terrible things he did in the past. But he said that he now worked harder than the others and stated that it was really God that was doing the work through supplying him with supernatural aid. Is he saying God gave him more help? Is he saying the others did not co-operate or use the grace enough? Or is he saying that whether you work hard or not it does not matter for God is still doing what God does best and has a surprising and unpredictable plan. Not a single one of these options is acceptable or even praiseworthy. To say God helps you more than others is to make out you are special and better than them. To say others do not co-operate with God is judgemental. It opposes the fact that belief in God should not harm or insult people. People come first. To say it is okay if you do a lot of good or none for it is all God anyway is fanatical and dangerous.

HEAVEN CANNOT BE EARNED – AN EVIL DOGMA

The Catholic and Protestant Church both agree that salvation cannot be earned. Their Bible says that salvation is not of ourselves or a result of paying for it by works (Ephesians 2:8-10). It says that salvation and Heaven are free gifts (Romans 6:23; Romans 4).

 

The crux of Paul’s argument that faith saves without good works is in Romans 4:4, 5 which says that anybody who works deserves a wage but God saves the one who works not and just believes. Catholics say that he does not mean the works of repenting and turning to him and co-operating with his grace are futile for salvation. But only other works like helping the sick when they are used to try and earn forgiveness from God are meant in their view. They think Paul is referring to people at the point when they are choosing God and repenting so they don’t have a chance to do good works yet – but then why is that not clear in the text?

 

Paul made no definition of what he meant by works before he wrote all that which he would have done if the Catholics were telling the truth. Works means any human activity be it willing or whatever. Paul said that Abraham was saved by faith and had no grounds for boasting meaning that he could not say that God saved him because he did good works with the right intention for only works done with the right intention are good works before God and only such are meant to be good. Abraham could not say he was saved by the good work of repentance.

 

Protestants and Catholics both agree that Paul said good works contribute nothing to salvation and only faith does. The Protestant says good works refers to all human effort even when it is believed to be assisted by God. The Catholic says it is not works so much as is mean as earnings – trying to earn your salvation without grace and says that Paul didn’t contradict the view that good works done with the assistance of God are meritorious for salvation.

 

The distinction between works and earnings is totally nonsensical.

 

Paul didn’t say he meant earnings by works.

 

It is only the intention accompanying the work that makes it good. The intention to do good is more important before God than doing the good for you might not be always able to do the good you want. Paul then also meant works that were nothing more than intentions or acts of willing without any exterior display of the intention or will as well as acts that were accompanied by good will.  He meant that holy intentions cannot save even with the help of God.
  

Paul said that to him who does nothing but believes in God who justifies the ungodly his faith gets him counted as righteous (Romans 4). The Catholic Church says that God does not justify the ungodly or those who have turned away from God for he only justifies those who repent and believe which makes them cease to be ungodly. The only way God can justify the ungodly is if he applies what Jesus did to please him to their account. They are still ungodly but they are justified.

 

If we merited salvation without God the Catholic Church says we would be buying salvation from God. Since he helps us he doesn’t owe us anything. “Catholics know that, strictly speaking, God never owes us anything” (The Catholic Church Has the Answer, page 26). The Catholic Church tells us to merit salvation. But it holds that God enables us to have these merits so they are really his merits.

 

You cannot win your way into Heaven by doing good. The only thing that will get you there is simply renouncing your sins and getting God’s forgiveness. This is simply accepting the gift.


The Christians say that you cannot earn it because you have sinned. Sin insults God infinitely because he hates it as much so only an infinity of good works can atone for your sins. But if you do one genuinely good work then God must be infinitely pleased by it for he loves good infinitely. Being infinite it must pay off your infinite debt.

 

You may ask how one work could make amends for your countless sins. The answer is simple. If the good gives God infinite happiness that happiness is the same in greatness as the offences offered for infinite is the same as infinite. It is what you intend not what you do that merits are decided upon. For example, if you would do all the good you are unable to do that is sufficient to deserve reward. When you do good you want to give infinite appeasement to God. You would be your own saviour from sin meaning that Jesus was a fraud. You would be earning your place in Heaven and God’s forgiveness. In this scheme, there is no place for God’s grace. God would have no right to send you to Hell to suffer for eternity for you have paid for your sins already.

 

The doctrine of a saving Jesus is blasphemy for it is untrue. Moreover, it is insulting your good deeds refusing to see how good they really are. A God who punishes sin with infinite torture when he has got compensation is evil. He makes evil stronger than good, for he treats it as infinite and good as finite. He knows nothing of gratitude or justice.

 

If our choices for God were our own we would deserve something from him for these choices are good intellectual acts. Since we deserve nothing the merits the Catholic gains are caused by God and are really not the Catholic’s merits at all. If this is true then God must program us to make holy choices. They are his choices not ours for we make them by force. Prayer is not opening oneself to grace but God opening one to grace. Strictly speaking, we do not pray for only God prays in us. God forces you to do his will and contradictorily does not force you. If we cannot deserve salvation then we are puppets. And if we are puppets there is no God for then the blame for sin and evil can be laid at his doorstep. In fact, he would be a liar for saying there is such a thing for he is not offended by it and it is not free. Sin is an offensive act that is committed freely.
  
Conclusion
 
The doctrine of divine grace is stupid and dangerous. It is just a ploy for Catholic priests to get controlling you and make you think you need them to give grace to you in their sacrament rites.  Grace given to the deserving is still a gift but what difference does that make?  Gift or not you think you deserve it and it will make you as proud as it would if you earned it.
 
WORKS CONSULTED

A Catechism of Christian Doctrine, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1985
A Summary of Christian Doctrine Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
A Withering Branch, Joseph H Harley, John English and Co, Wexford, 1956
All One Body – Why Don’t We Agree? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
An Examination of Tulip, Robert L Sumner, Biblical Evangelism Press, Indiana. 1972
Apologia Pro Vita Sua, John Henry Newman, JN Dent & Sons Ltd, London, 1955
Born Fundamentalist, Born Again Catholic, David B Currie, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1996
Can a Saved Person Ever Be Lost, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1943
Christian Answers About Doctrine, John Eddison, Scripture Union, London, 1973
Doubt The Consequences Cause and Cure, Curtis Hutson Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1983
Eight Gospel Absurdities if a Born-Again Soul Ever Loses Salvation John R Rice Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1946
Encyclopaedia of Bible Difficulties, Gleason W Archer, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1982
Four Great Heresies, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1975
How to be a Christian without Being Religious, Fritz Ridenour, Regal Books, California, 1970
HyperCalvinism, John D Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1970
Is it necessary for you to be baptised to be saved? Hoyt H Houchen, Guardian of Truth, Bowling Green, Kentucky
Legalism – A Smokescreen, Mike Allison, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1986
Radio Replies, Vol 1, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul Minnesota, 1938
Radio Replies, Vol 2, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul Minnesota, 1940
Radio Replies, Vol 3, Frs Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies Press, St Paul, Minnesota, 1942
Reasons for Hope, Editor Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
Saved For Certain, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1953
The Catholic Church has the Answer, Paul Whitcomb, TAN, Illinois, 1986
The Catholicity of Protestantism Ed R Newton Flew and Rupert E Davies, Lutterworth Press, London, 1950
The Eternal Security of the Believer, Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1982
The Grace of God in the Gospel, John Cheeseman, Philip Gardner, Michael Sadgrove, Tom Wright, The Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh, 1976
The Great Acquittal, Tony Baker, George Carey, John Tiller and Tom Wright, Fount, London, 1980
The Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin, Hodder and Stoughton, London,1986
The Other Side of Calvinism, Laurence M Vance, Vance Publications Pensacola, Florida, 1991
There is no Difference for all have Sinned, John R Rice, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1939
Unitarian Christianity and Other Essays, William Ellery Channing The Bobs-Merrill Company Inc, Kansas, 1957
Why I Disagree with All Five Points of Calvinism, Curtis Hutson, Sword of the Lord, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, 1980