What are your main beefs with Christianity?

While I do consider myself to be an “aspiring Christian” (in the sense that I’m so imperfect it’s not funny, but do firmly regard Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world), there are certainly many matters about the religion that are hard for me to accept. Plus, I’ve been witness to some pretty crappy things from some folks that really push it on others, including people making money in the “Jesus industry,” which is always disturbing.

Take the Bible for instance. There’s a passage in there in which the apostle Paul is writing to seven Churches, in Turkey, I think it is. And so in one part of his epistle he’s telling them something like, “Love is always patient, love never demands to have its own way, love is never jealous, blah blah blah.” And then he finishes the spiel by saying, “God is love.”

Okay, that’s beautiful, but how exactly does one reconcile THAT passage to what is said in Revelation where it basically says there’s going to be this giant chalice after the Judgement in which the condemned souls are going to be placed and roasted alive for eternity … causing smoke to rise up from the thing, whilst saints and angels stand before God singing, “Holy, Holy, Holy to God in the Highest”?

I would very much like to hear what one of those televangelists would answer to that question, as it strikes me as a whooper of a contridiction.

I once had an interesting conversation when I got out of the military back in '76 with the guy that was my preacher before I went in, as he was stopping over at my place trying to get me to return to his church. And so he and I had maybe three or so of these talks before he finally gave up on me. Because at one point we were both becoming exasperated with each other, I wanted to cut to the chase and ask him a question relating to the subject involving his beloved son, Paul, whom happened to be my age.

I asked him what he would think if it were to happen that Paul decided that for his own reasons he wanted nothing more to do with Christianity or religion in general, but vowed to live a good life by helping others and being kind. Thus I said to the good reverend, What would you do (after we’re all dead) if everything turned out to be the way you think it is, the way you believe, and with your son Paul being cast into the bowels of hell forever for getting it wrong?

I’ll never forget how he answered. He gave me this smug look as if to say it’s a stupid question, and then (coldly) answered, “He had his chance.” :eek:

That blew me away! To think that in this guy’s pious head it made sense to think that his own son should be tortured in fire for all of eternity just because he wasn’t able to come to the same religious/philosophical place where he was. So much for love never insisting on having its own way and being “always patient”!

Incidentally, it happened a year or so later that I got a letter from someone in the Churches hierarchy informing me that I was officially being excommunicated due to the attendance records showing that I hadn’t been there in a while. I was struck at how cold it was worded and that no one ever informed me of the rules regarding attendance and how one’s membership was in jeopardy if too much time elapsed between visits. One would think they’d at least send out a warning or something.

I could go on and on with more examples of this sort of thing, but would rather hear what some of you might have to say on the issue. Thanks! :slight_smile:

Oooooh shiyat.

As a Christian, my main beef with Christianity are the sexual teachings, specifically Catholic ones. The Catholic church says all sex should be procreative and unitive, that is for love AND for making babies. AFAIK that’s why pre-marital sex, homosexual sex, and birth control are all sins. Why is that so, because the Catholic Church decided God said so?

Oook, so with that said, in a marriage, sex after menopause is ok, as is sex during a woman’s infertile period. That’s because these things are ‘natural’ and how God designed human sexuality. Now all of a sudden things have to be natural. Condoms are unnatural. Well, so are a lot of things… I dont get that argument.

On the biblical side of things, I dont recall Jesus talking about pre-marital sex at all. Arguments for this vary, but if it was really such a big hairy deal, I dont think it would have killed him to mention it a few times.

I see nothing wrong with sex being a natural, haha, part of a loving relationship. Saving it for marriage is a nice ideal, but can cause problems IMO. Physical incompatibility with spouse, lack of experience, and possibility anxiety being some I can think of.

Apart from the logical inconsistencies, of which I did a shitty job explaining, the latest sex scandals in the Church, as well as the lack of women priests and priests being forcibly single, makes me lose my trust in the Church for that area of teaching.

My biggest beef isn’t with Christianity , it’s with attempts to talk the talk and walk the walk. It is a battle every day to do the right things in word and action and I am trying my best to do so. My biggest problem is understanding that I’m forgiven . Even so it makes want to try even harder to do the things Jesus spoke of and learn from His words while He was here. No matter what you do you will stumble and sin but you have to still try even though you are forgiven . You can’t concern yourself with what will happen in the end . It’s between God and His children .Try as hard as you can to get as close to God as you can. I promise you He will show you what you need to do and how you need to behave. Just remember even though He forgives you people on this earth have a hard time. Don’t be too proud to kneel before them and ask for their forgiveness when you wrong them. It’s their decision what *they * will do. There are people here who are smarter than I will ever be and It’s those I now try to look to for guidance and council. You’ll see that it’s people who don’t believe that have the biggest problems with Christianity as they can only see the negative in what others do. God knows full well what you do . That’s what counts. Jesus was only one man and look what He did.

The belief that everyone outside of the Christian religion is going to Hell. (Like there is such a place!). These Hell-bound individuals include natives in remote New Guinea and Africa who haven’t even heard of Christianity. That’s fair.

And how about how even among Christians group there is disagreement on who is going to Hell. Catholics believe that Lutherans, Baptists, Episcopalians, etc. are all going to Hell and vice versa.

There was an article in the newspaper last month about whether or not the Catholic Church was going to change its “rule” about babies who die shortly after birth. The current “rule” is that these babies go straight to Hell because they weren’t baptised!!! And the rule change was NOT that these babies could now go to Heaven (Oh, right! Like there is such a place.), but that these babies could go to some kinder, gentler type of Hell.

This is a religion that you want to become involved in?

My most serious beef with Christianity is its failure to fight ignorance about its own beliefs, even if those beliefs are silly or wrong.

Every single paragraph I have quoted in that post is essentially wrong for either the majority of Christianity or for the specific denominations named.

The groups of Christians who believe that everyone else is going to hell is a minority within the greater group of Christians. It is a not a principle belief for most Christian groups–particularly when used of groups who have never had anyone preach to them in the hills of New Guinea.

Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and many Baptists (along with a whole host of other denominations) do not believe that the other Christian groups are going to hell.

The discussion regarding Limbo had nothing to do with changing church teaching to stop sending unbaptized babies to hell. It is a decision to cut off the theological speculation–never embraced by the church or taught as doctrine–that pondered whether such babies were damned. Now, I would agree that the people (going back to Augustine of Hippo) who thought babies might be damned were foolish, but their thoughts never became a teaching of the church and the current meeting is to tell people to stop speculating about such silliness.

1a) The notion that God wants us humans to hear, understand, and believe that he, God, incarnated himself as his own son Jesus for the explicit purpose of getting hisself killed in order to not die but rise from the dead in order to permit hisself to forgive us individually for something our way way distant ancestors Adam & Eve did in the Garden of Eden, namely disobeying his instrux not to eat of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. The notion that, for failure to hear, or failure to believe upon hearing, we as individuals remain unsaved despite that sacrifice. Quite frankly, that any portion of this makes even provisional sense. I dont mean compelling or belief-worthy sense: I don’t believe the events described in Jack and the Beanstalk ever occurred, but it parses as coherent sense. Some of the plot-lines in manga and comic books (“See, he’s from another dimension and is here to catch escaped criminals from the Dark Zone, but he has amnesia because he drank from the well of the Elven Princess, so he doesn’t realize his mission although he performs it anyway because it was so written in the scrolls of the Forbidden Tower, of course all that is only true in Reality One, this universe has been reset several times and in Reality Two, which isn’t a real Reality but only an Imaginary World, he does know his missions, but…”) kind of approach the central axiom of Christian Salvation in sheer WTF-ness, but then they don’t generally insist that comprehending the plot is of any particular importance to the reader.

1b) Same as above, but for more of the apostolic / fervent / pushy Christians than not, don’t bother with “understand”. God don’t care if you understand, just say it and believe it. God gonna burn you in hell if you don’t say and believe and mean that you accept the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as your Personal Lord and Savior, and it doesn’t matter that you haven’t the vaguest idea what that means, just believe it and rejoice for thou art SAVED!

2a) The notion that God wishes and intends that we humans believe Jesus of Nazareth to have been (/be) God in some sense that the rest of us are not God, could never be God, cannot be God, etc; this despite the perennial & recurrent assertion that God manifested himself as Jesus in order to make himself accessibly known and comprehensible to us. That God would be rather upset if you chose to attempt to comprehend holiness by assuming Jesus was one of us and his behaviors and statements and life meaningful in the same way they would be meaningful had we done the same in the same contexts. All this despite his demonstrating prayer with “Our Father who art in Heaven…”, and despite his referencing Psalm 82 when accused of blasphemy for referring to himself as the Son of God.

2b) The notion that there is one and only one God (monotheism) but God is to be understood as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (triune God). That triune God matters, that if some theologist were to speak on the Fourfold Nature of the One God (still monotheism but tetraform in nature), well by golly that theologist would be wrong because the one true God is triune. That all of this makes sense and you should believe it, as if it weren’t incredibly abstract and undoubtedly not the only way to parse complex theological truths, but instead definitive and absolute fact. And that God cares that you believe it.

  1. That despite the constant reiteration in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth that there is scarcely any viable framework within which to treat people as enemy or other, the whole life-thing is really about sorting out which folks get to go to heaven and which ones receive a much-deserved punishment of burning in hell for eternity. The notion that God is going to make paradise possible for a subset of divisive, antagonistic people while catering to their need and desire for vengeance by promising that the wicked and undeserving are gonna get theirs. That heaven and paradise are available without successfully ending strife and divisiveness and antagonism. And woven throughout all that, the assertion that in some fundamental sense this life doesn’t COUNT, except as a sorting mechanism to see “how good you were”.

  2. That divine truth — the true understandings of what God is and how people should live and so forth — is a delicate and fragile thing in an unGodly corrupt world, like the last crystal goblet held aloft in a landscape of boulders, something easly smashed and, if smashed, irreplacable. That the Bible in and of itself contains the word of God in a sense that each individual could not obtain by going directly to God and asking it. That any and all individual attempts to obtain understanding directly from God are futile and heretical except insofar as they ratify and fit smoothly within the confines of understandings already built, which in turn are all in conformity with the Bible. That this body of existing theological understanding is to be safeguarded from dangerous thoughts of a heretical nature, which must be identified and suppressed, lest they take root and destroy the delicate shared understanding of truth. That people cannot discern truth from truthless lies and unGodly wicked assertions (despite our ancestor’s rather expensive chomping on the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, btw), but that somehow the body of Christianity per se, conveniently immune to that, somehow has the real (albeit fragile) truth in its hands, knows it to BE truth, and is doing everyone a favor by censoring dissenting perspectives while asking folks to believe their fragile truth to BE truth without insisting on perceiving it as such of their own accord.

Having said that, I think most of the above represents varying degrees of “babytalk” understandings of spiritual truth which was handed down over the centuries as “Christianity”. And I think that alongside of all that have been many people, including many today, who get an eye-opening revelatory experience, a seeing-for-themselves understanding of God, from Christianity in that handed-down form, and their understandings are not “babytalk” nor unduly literal. They don’t tend to be blind defenders of Christianity by any means. Many of them have sought to reform Christianity, to shake it out of the blind and thoughtless parroting. “That’s not enough, you must go beyond that and experience the actual spirit of the thing yourself, firsthand, you’ve got to be reborn, you have to see the light!” Then a few generations later you end up with apostolic pushy blind parroting people insisting that to be saved you must repeat the phrase “I have been reborn, I have seen the light”, etc.

Mostly I don’t think ANY established body of “aha here is the divine TRUTH” can do much good. No matter how well-intentioned, it ends up getting in the way of people doing their own seeking, it ends up obstructing them, or at least obstructing more of them than it helps.

Christianity is easy to poke at because it’s all around me and easy to observe and describe, but I would make the same general points about any other institutionalized religion, I think.

My biggest beef is proselytization. I don’t care what anybody believes, but when they have to go off into other countries and convert the local populace into their beliefs, it makes me mad. No one has ever given me a satisfactory reason why proselytization is morally correct.

If Christians didn’t try to convert others I would probably be a hell of a lot more OK with it.

That the bible is taken literally.

That there seems to be a disingenuous ignoring of the fact that the bible as we know it was decided upon by a group of men (and there’s another sore point right there), centuries ago, when civilizationand technology were much different. This has become a rigidified bible, set in stone–except the thing’s been translated so many damned times, I don’t believe anyone’s translation, but haven’t yet learned ancient Aramic to really find out about it…
The whole smug arrogance of it. The false humility of trying to walk the walk, which becomes a contest in who can be more humble. Such conceit in humility, I’m surprised there aren’t designer hairshirts.

Prosletyzing goes with this. Who says Christianity is more sacred, more important, more “right” than Hinudism, Islam, agnosticism, deism, and all the many, many other -isms? Sure, your faith tells you so–but so does theirs tell them so about their faith. Sounds like a stalemate to me. Battle of the Deities? Absurd.
That any god who professes to love us would kill his son in any way, never mind such an awful way to prove this “love”. No, thanks-I’d rather be an enemy, if that is how you treat your loved ones.

The whole woman as vessel/chattel crap. God loves us–sure he does, if you have a penis. Afterall, Mary may be the mother of Jesus, but he is the Son of God.

The whole church thing. Time was, I was naive enough to think that church might be a way to grow spiritually. That notion was discarded when I realized that the highest donors were the most catered to, and the most enthusiastic volunteers were lauded. It’s not about personal spiritual growth or education at all; it’s about giving your time and your money to the causes the church finds worthy.

I’m Dutch. Over here, atheism is the norm, not the exception. What strikes me most is that a modern, functioning society like the Dutch one doesn’t need any form of religion. No need whatsoever.

That’s my main beef with Christianity, or any religion out to convert; they are trying to sell me something I don’t need, something I’m doing perfectly well without.

The tendency of Xians to burn books.

And, occassionally, the people who write them.

This thread is better suited for Great Debates.

I’ll move it for you.

Cajun Man
for the SDMB

My main beefs are not with Christianity per se but with individual interpretations of it.

The Catholic church is a violation of Christ’s teachings. Its existance at all violates what he taught as it is a worldly institution claiming to have the final say over what Christ meant. In otherwords, it’s a bunch of Pharisees trying to make a buck.

People not recognizing that Christianity has no place in politics whatsoever, it is a system of personal salvation, and is only corrupted and abused when applied to the management of political power.

Poor taste in shoes.

My biggest beef is the idea that the bible is the word of God, but a close second is the “no birth control” position of the Catholic Church, a position designed to increase the membership, contributions and control of the Church and an idea that is left over from the Holy Wars. In this day and age for the Church to continue to outlaw all forms of artificial birth control, with disease and overpopulation running rampant is tantamount to a mortal sin and certainly inconsistent with morality.

You do realize that the proselytizing/missionary/conversion thing was a command of the Head Honcho of Christianity. He actually told his followers to go to all nations with his message.

If a person believes she has a message which is essential for the eternal health & happiness of people, it’s immoral NOT to share that message. Of course, there are ways to share that message & ways not to share it.

Oh- my beef is that Jesus wants me to do things I don’t want to do & doesn’t want me to do things I do want to do. The nerve of Him!

Christianity has its flaws… one of its major flaws is that most christians are in denial about the flaws.

Flaw #1) There is no constant christ. What I mean is that throughout christianity, christ has been portrayed as a gentle lamb sacrificed to save us all, to a vengeful smiter of those who will not submit

Flaw #2) The use of christianity to rationalize everything from torture (the inquisition) to genocide (crusades) to slavery

Flaw#3) The mysongeny of christianity. Woman is the source of orginal sin, must be submissive to her husband, must not speak in church, etc.

flaw 4) The whole “Company store” mentality of the christian model. In old mining towns, miners had to buy from the company store. They had to rent their homes from the company, they had to pay the company doctor for any medical needs. Christianity has us born in debt (original sin) to the company store. the only way to becomefree of debt is to totally submit to the company. Nice set up

  1. Original sin. What an obscene concept. Nothing is more innocent than a baby.

6)Child abuse: Many people who promote beating children also hold stroing christian beliefs. My brother is a “Promise keeper”. His kids are hollow eyed little zombies who never got a chance to develop their own personalities, egos. Future psychopaths.

  1. Corruption of public (secular) education. Can’t teach evolution or sex ed in tax payer funded schools… Tough shit… Start your own school and promote your own ignorance and darkness to children unlucky enough to be born to you. Do not force your primitive fear based sillyness upon the general public.

  2. Hypocrisy. Bomb abortion clinics, kill people, because “God wants you to”. uhh… thou shalt not kill?

9)Let’s sell fear!: Its a protection racket. If you don’t do what we say, you will be tortured eternally.

  1. God hates Fags. (self explanitory)

  2. Ignorance of other faith systems. Once had a proslytute tell me that Hindu’s were all practising sex maniacs, as they follow the Kama Sutra as a bible. I mentioned that “Song of Solomon” hints at oral sex, nad he replied that I was incorrect, a pervert, and obviously hell bound.

  3. televangelists (self explanitory)

13 Right wing politicians who use the bible to swing huge voting blocks, but aside from dressing like christians, do nothing to actually walk the walk. GW Bush, is a perfect exampole… Christ said “What you do unto the least of ye, ye do unto me” Well, GW, you just authorized the bombing of a village in Iraq, killed 88 people,

  1. The bible is the innereant holy word of God… at least OUR translation is… and Bible study groups are just indoctrination exersizes. They aren’t really for “study”, they are to promulgate the particular sect’s interpretation of the “holy scriptures” and to stamp out or eliminate other, dissenting views

  2. Biblical contraditctions… really. If God was all knowing and all powerful, don’t you think God could have managed to put together a book that was definite in its meaning, let alone internally contradictory

160 The mealy mouthed apologists that will a) pray for my soul, b) fail to respond to my points, but will resond anyway, c) tell me I need to read my bible

I could go on… but it was nice to vent…


I wish Christianity made more sense. If you ask many Christians about sin being forgiven and frame it in a certain way, they’ll astonish you. For example. If you say to them, What if the crazed serial killer Ted Bundy asked for forgiveness before he was electricuted, they’d say he’s in heaven. And so what about in the case of one of his victims, Kimberly Leach (a 12-year-old he beat to death with a baseball bat)? They’ll say she could well be in hell if she rejected the word of God.

nice point Guynbluejeans

lets bring the christian model of redemption down to human scale…

I steal my nieghbour’s lawnmower…

So he has his son torture killed, and tells me that its OK now, as his son died for my wrong doing. All I have to do is thank his son in my heart for his sacrifice, and accept the validity of the whole premise of that form of forgiveness…

I’d be locking doors and windows, and dialling 911 pretty damn fast


What about the belief that Christianity was the cure for people’s spiritual woes? That strikes me as a darned good reason to spread those beliefs. If you believe that somebody holds mistaken beliefs (spiritual or otherwise), then why not attempt to change those beliefs?

Now, one might deny that Christianity is indeed the cure for their spiritual ills, but that doesn’t mean that proselytization itself is wrong.