Bisqwit's faith statement
I was about to create a page that answers the most difficult claims
people often make/ask about christianity, like:
- "Bible is full of inconsistencies"
- "Religion is like placebo"
- "Christianity has caused so many wars"
and so on, but then I found
Jasu Markkanen's page
which contains exactly that in a very
great amount and
with wise answers (in Finnish only, sorry).
So this project of mine was stopped before it even began.
This page now contains my thoughts and opinions about religious matters.
Note that I do not subscribe to teachings of any particular church.
In the case that I were affiliated with some organization, still
note that this page expresses my personal thoughts.
When a normal person hears someone teach about a subject,
they think "ah, I see, so that is how it is"
When I hear someone teach about a subject, what I think is
"ah, I see, so that is how they see that topic".
I prefer to think things myself.
Now I know many Christians like to argue that the Bible is enough
and that they know already enough, but the problem is, that what
most people think is the word in Bible, is the teachings they
have been indoctrinated to in their churches.
But here I am just explaining my thoughts.
Feel free to ignore this page, if you do not care or like it.
I believe (inclusively):
About the Bible
- The Bible is a collection of mutually consistent books that teach us about our God, his nature, his plans, his teachings, and of the type of relationship he wants between him and his creation.
- Though the individual books in the Bible have been written by different authors, the same eternal spirit of God has directed them all.
- The authorial relationship between different books in Bible can be mathematically proven.
- All books in the "old testament" were written during a span of about thousand years, before around -300 BC (the Qumran scrolls prove that books such as Isaiah's existed well before the events of the "new testament").
- The books in the "new testament" were written during the first century AD.
- That whole the Bible is an everlasting truth. (Psalms 119:160) I'll explain what this means:
- Where the Bible says that something happened, that something indeed happened.
- Where the Bible says "thus says the LORD," it is the word from God. God never lies, so the words are true.
- Where the Bible says "and God said," it is the word from God. God never lies, so the words are true.
- Where the Bible says "and Jesus said," it is the word from God, for he always did his Father's will; so the words are true.
- Of course, parables are excluded from the "and thus had happened" interpretation. Parables are found in songs, the preachings of God's Son, the book of Job, etc.
- Where the Bible says that someone said something, that someone indeed said so. However, their words can only be true if it agrees with everything else that is deemed true. This means that I believe that not every opinion presented in the Bible is necessarily true.
- Where God gives a promise through his Word, that promise is true, and he will redeem it.
- That the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac -- God of Israel -- is the true one God, and the only God. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- He is the God that created everything that exists. (Genesis 1, Job 38-41, John 1:1-5, etc.)
- There is no other God (Deuteronomy 5:6-10).
- People do invent gods, which God strictly prohibits. Compared to man-made gods, there is none like him (Psalms 86:6).
- Satan masquerades often as God, pretending and misleading people saying he is the God. (2. Cor. 11:14) This is how we get Islam, for instance.
- But you shall know the tree by its fruit.
- It is appropriate to call him the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. (Exodus 3:13-15)
- It is appropriate to call him the God of Israel. (Malachia 2:16)
- It is appropriate to use his name, YHVH, to call him and to speak about him. (Numeri 6:22-27)
- That name should however not be used in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
- Most English e.g. Bible translations have substituted and replaced that name with a title, "LORD". The commandment in 6:27 however explicitly says my name, not a title. It is wrong to use a title instead.
- He is one and only. (Deuteronomy 6:4)
- God has seven spirits. (Isaiah 11:2, Revelation 1:4)
- This seven-characteristics is reflected in everything that is holy, including the word of Bible itself.
- A righteous man may have one or more of these spirits upon him temporarily or permanently. (1. Samuel 10:6-7, Luke 24:49, Acts 1:7-8, 2:1-21)
- The spirit may also leave the man. (1. Samuel 16:14, Psalms 51:12-13)
- Through the Spirit (unspecific), he created the world. (Genesis 1:2). The word suggests that each spirit was responsible about each individual day of creation.
- God has a son (Matt. 17:5, Daniel 7:13)
- God's seven spirits are upon him (Isaiah 11:2), and he is in unity with God. (John 10:30, 14:1-31)
- He fulfills all of the prophecies concerning the Messiah in the Tanakh. ([http://www.clarifyingchristianity.com/m_prophecies.shtml|[#1])
- Already fulfilled all of those relating to his birth and covenant.
- Some of those prophecies can no longer become true in any other person -- with the Second Temple being destroyed and all. There will be not another Messiah.
- Some of these are yet to come, such as the part about wolves living together with sheep, lions eating grass. This happens when he returns as a conquering king. (Revelation 20:2-3, Daniel 7:14, Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 34:23-24)
- Our prayers should be addressed to God, who is our Father and Creator. (Matt. 6:9-13)
- But we should approach him in the name of his Son, for the Son is the Way, and it is his sacrifice through which we are in the covenant.
- He sits on the throne. (Malachia 2:10, Lam. 5:19, Psalms 45:7)
- God always speaks what is true. (Psalms 119:160)
- God is loving: He wants his subjects to live the best possible life. (Deuteronomy 11:22-32, 28:1-14)
- God is righteous. (Psalms 119:75, 119:172, Lam. 1:18)
- God cannot act against his character. I.e. he cannot lie, he cannot be mischievous, etc.
- God's character can never change. (Psalms 33:11, 100:5, 111:3, Heb. 13:8)
- God's wisdom is not man's wisdom. (Isaiah 55:8)
- A man thinks short-term, but God thinks long-term; thousand years are like a single day to him. (Psalms 90:4.)
- A man gets impatient a bit too easily. What is 40 years of waiting? Jacob had to wait 7 years. Abraham had to wait for decades.
About the Son, Yeshua in particular
- Some names for him are:
- Y'shua (changed in Greek to Iesous, from which names like Jesus come from)
- Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, Matt. 1:23)
- The Lion of Judah
- The Lamb (Revelation 5:6)
- The Word (John 1:1), the Torah
- The Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
- He is the Messiah (hebrew: Moshiach, greek: Christ), the anointed one (John 4:25-26) of Yisrael.
- He was born Jew, as Abraham's, Yuda's, and as King David's, descendant. (Genesis 12:3, Genesis 49:10, 2.Samuel 7:12-13, Isaiah 9:6-7, Jeremiah 23:5, Matt. 1:1-16)
- His original name is likely Yeshua -- יֵשׁוּעַ. I prefer to use that name instead of the various transliterations / modifications that come from Greek Ἰησοῦς etc.
- Original Hebrew language copies of the books and letters of the New Testament are no longer available; either the Jews or the anti-semitists once made sure to destroy every one of them. Only Greek translations, and translations made thereof, remain...
- He lived a sinless life. He did transgress on the Pharisees' (religious leaders) teachings -- the wide Talmudian chasms put around God's Laws to prevent anyone from accidentally breaking the actual Law -- infact he strongly criticized them, but he never broke God's Law.
- In everything, he did God's -- the Father's -- will.
- In other words, he did not break, or abolish, the Law. He fulfilled it. (Isaiah 53:8-10)
- He is the Son of God. (Matt. 16:15-17, Matt. 26:63-64, Matt. 27:43-44, 2.Pet. 1:17-18)
- He was crucified (Psalms 22:16, Luke 23:33), he died as a sacrifice for our sins (Isaiah 53:12), and was resurrected after 3 days (Hosea 6:2, 1.Corinthians 15:4)
About Abraham's Covenant:
God made a covenant with Abram (thus named as Abraham) and his descendants.
- God would be the God of Abraham and his descendants, and those descendants would be countless. (Genesis 17:4-7)
- God would give Abraham's descendants the land of Canaan as their eternal property -- that is, the land of Israel. (Genesis 17:8)
- As a symbol of the covenant, every male of Abraham's descendants should be circumcised. (Genesis 17:10-14)
- Abraham's descendants should walk before God without a stain of sin. (Genesis 17:1)
- Of Abraham's descendants would become kings. (This promise was eventually refined to Isak, then to Yuda.)
- Ishmael, a son Abraham got with a slave when he got impatient with God's promise, was also promised to be blessed with lots of descendants, but the covenant was made exclusive to Isak.
- The modern Arabs are the descendants of Ishmael. The right to the land of Israel is not with them.
About Moses's Covenant:
God made a covenant with the children of Israel in the land of Sinai
through the word of Moses.
- The children of Israel were to keep God's law.
- As a symbol of the covenant, the people were to burn union offerings. (Exodus 24:8)
- And God would bless the children of Israel. (Exodus 23:25-33)
The Law was given to the children of Israel -- it was not addressed
to the peoples of other nations.
However, it is my belief that God did not give the Law on whim.
God is not whimsical -- he is righteous. I believe that the Law
is God's will -- it shows how God would want everyone to live,
starting from keeping the Shabbat.
I like to stress that no portion of God's Law is different in this
regard. It is not that the so called "ten commandments" were given
to everyone and the rest were only for Jews. No, all
of the rules
are ingredients for a life that honors God, honors all "thy neighbours",
honors your own body, etc.
- In the word of Bible as word of God
- In the authenticity of Old Testament of Bible
- In the authenticity of New Testament of Bible
- In Jesus Christ as God
- In Father as God
- In Holy Spirit as God
- In Jesus Christ as the messiah of Israel
- That Jesus lives and is the way to everlasting life
- Jesus's second coming is inevitably yet to come
- That God is not a mathematical or logical construct, but three thinking and feeling persons who can not be predicted
About Heaven and Hell:
- In Heaven, as a real place which however can not be reached with material instruments.
- In Hell, as a state or place, which consists (inclusively) of permanent separation from God
- That for the spirit, Heaven means life
- That for the spirit, Hell means death
About sin and salvation:
- That sin is, by definition, turning away from God.
- That all mankind is sinful.
- That sin leads to Hell
- That God, out of utter love, doesn't want people to go to Hell
- That some people will go to Hell, regardless of God's utter love
- That instead of simply "wanting", God acted and Christ's crucification ~2000 years ago was the fulfillment of the plan that made it possible for every human, as a single person, to have mercy
- That people who have never had possibility of hearing about Jesus are becoming rare and are judged rightfully by God
About faith and baptism:
- The faith is received from God
- Baptism is a public manifestation of the faith, and although is is neither the water nor the act of applying the water that saves, the public confession of the faith is what saves.
- Specifically, the faith in that Jesus Christ is your lord and that God raised him from the dead for your sins, so that yours are forgiven.
- In the existence of Satan as person as real as Jesus
- That Satan has radically different views of world than God
- That the inevitable destiny for Satan is Hell
- That for Satan, human souls mean nothing but tools
- That the followers of Satan (active and passive ones) will follow his destiny
- That Satan is devoted to his satanic views and will religiously follow that path, even though he knows what God will do to him (in a way, Satan is a martyr)
- That Satan is the temporary owner of all material on Earth right now (God is fair even towards him)
- One cannot follow both Satan and God - their ways contradict and they don't accept each others
- I am "saved" through openly confessing that I have been saved by the mercy of God, and that I'm a sinner with no good in myself when viewed through God's eyes
- That Holy Spirit lives in me and witnesses about Christ
- I have a material body, a soul and a spirit - all of which were alive when this was written
About relationship with God:
- That every living human is allowed in a personal relationship with God
- That the said relationship requires honesty
- That God answers prayers
- That God doesn't answer all prayers
- That God hears all prayers
- That God hears every time we mention his name, be it in any observable way
- That God does miracles even today
- That God does also physical miracles even today
- That God does not allow sin for anyone - especially not for those who have been saved
- That God allows painful things to happen for various reasons
- That God, as the basemost author of everything, has every right for everything he does
- That God does not act out of whim, but out of wisdom far greater than of the whole mankind
- That the existence of soul has a beginning but no end
- That the existence of God has no beginning nor end</LI>
- That angels exist and are as real as Jesus
In addition to what I stated above,
I reject (inclusively):
- Mohammed, the author of Qu'ran, as a false prophet (Qu'ran teaches many things that are contradicting with Bible, such as that Jesus was merely a prophet)
- The very spirit of Qu'ran goes against how the God of Israel works. The Qu'ran is all about glorifying this one man, this one conquering and enslaving and murdering man. But in the Bible, God shares no glory. He had prophets, but the prophets were strictly forbidden from receiving any praise or worship. Everything they did was always to glorify YHVH alone. YHVH is a jealous God. Thou shalt have no other god beside Him.
- Theories which define Heaven as a state of mind/civilization
- Theories which define God in a material or psychological way
- Theories which define Satan as Christ's brother
- The overly simplified view of Satan as a perfect personalization of evil, as the opposite of good (often used by christians)
- The trustworthiness of the Book of Mormon
- The trustworthiness of the Watchtower version of Bible
I am sceptical about (inclusively):
- Extraterrestial intelligence
- Paranormal human abilities by any other way than by means of a foreign spirit
- Secret governments, "Illuminat"
- Mental cloning being possible (creating an exact animated copy of a human mind at given moment)
- People ever finding peace (without true relationship with God)
- The origin of "experiences" and "feelings" in revival/praise/prayer assemblies
- Magical symbols having any meaning except when used in environment that has spirits who are familiar with such symbols
I am hopeful (but not convinced) about (inclusively):
- About science discovering means of extrasolar exploration
- About science discovering means of creating more complex life than just single cells
I am boggled about (inclusively):
- What portion of my behavior is defined by my brain ("flesh") and what portion is defined by my soul - and how to distinguish them
- What capabilities does the soul have "built-in", i.e. without assistance of outside spirits
- The personality of Father God
- The personality of Satan
- The difference between soul and spirit
- How did God create the material world - how does it look like from the real world? Why are we so hardly attached to this one?
- Time is a phenomen of the material world, as proven by modern scientists - how does the real (spiritual) world relate to it?
I know that people think that I believe because (inclusively):
I have been born in a christian country to christian parents. It has been a great accumulator, but it's not the reason. People are becoming christians in very different environments. I have been just lucky.
I have been brainwashed by parents, school, churches etc. This one is really the most difficult to reject, because faith is a really subjective matter.
I can not prove this one with my feelings or thoughts.
The only thing I can refer to is what I have seen in other people. I have seen miracles that can not be explained by brainwashing.
People need to believe in something (they are weak, they can't support themselves) My life is going too well (which I thank God of). I wish I could depend more on God, because it's very rewarding to see how God answers us.
I'm certainly not in a need of believing in something. I'm just utterly convinced.
1. The Bible teaches that "flesh" (the physical human body) rejects God. In practice, people are much more eager to sway away from God than to stay in him. People do not have a natural need to believe in something.
2. It's also natural for people to choose their own mind instead of trusting God to prepare their ways. Note that trusting God is not the same thing as trusting church leaders.
3. Repention is a painful process, which conflicts with pride. Pride is a natural reaction for people - being faithful to God is not.
Religion is a way to avoid responsibility (God forgives everything) This is simply not true. The Bible tells you to first pay back to people in many times more than you took, and only then to apologize to God. God accepts only sincerity, and avoiding your responsibility is not sincerity. - Matt 5:23-24
I deliberately choose to not write about (exclusively):
- Other religions such as Buddhism, 天光教 and Wiccaism (inclusively)
- Church history
Things I should add here (inclusively):
Last edited: 2012-06-18 08:19:00