I’ve been visiting a lot of Christian chat rooms in Yahoo. Well…just for entertainment, you see you just can’t learn anything in a Christian chat room. Majority of people there are too terrified just reading the word “atheism” while others are too threatened to discuss their belief system. But just the same, majority always shove their “god” to everybody’s throat.
This brought me to my topic today. When I was in a certain Yahoo Christian chat room, most Christians told me that I become an atheist just to excuse myself into sinning. Whoa! What? Sinning? I don’t know the basis for this accusation. Maybe Christians think that it’s a better reason than to say I become an atheist because I started “thinking”.
Anyway, with this explanation, Christians therefore conclude atheists are morally bankrupt. But what does sin got to do with the concept of right or wrong? If a person is without sin, does that mean that the person is morally upright?
The best way to answer the question is to know the meaning of the word “sin”.
According to Christian theology, sin is the transgression of the law of God (1John 3:4). So it’s very clear that we are talking about the law of the Judeo-Christian god concept. Majority of Christians agrees that Adam and Eve were the first people to sin as a direct disobedience on God’s command. Generally speaking, if Christians think that God’s commandments are equal to good, so sin means everything that is evil – a direct rebellion to God’s command. So sin is unrighteousness. This is the foundation of Christian ethics.
Now we have a connection. Sin is the transgression of God’s law and commandments. God in inherently good and all his commandments is naturally good, according to Christian belief and to transgress God’s law and commandments you are automatically unrighteous or evil.
According to the dictionary, evil means morally objectionable behavior. The last six commandments of the Decalogue (The Ten Commandments) apply here (Ex 20:12-17). To dishonor one’s parents, to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, to bear false witness and to covet are moral evils.
Now we go to the fun part. If Christians think that sin is evil because it transgresses God’s laws and commandments, and evil means morally objectionable behaviors, then Christians should show to us non-believers that all of God’s commandments and laws are intrinsically good. Sounds easy eh…Guess again.
Now let’s talk about some of God’s commandments and laws and figure it out if it’s morally good.
1. “A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”
Now, what morally good can you find in this commandment eh? Beside, can you consider bigotry a morally good act?
2. Ex. 22:29-30 says, “Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats. You must give me the firstborn of your sons. Do the same with your cattle and your sheep. Let them stay with their mothers for 7 days, but give them to me on the 8th day.”
Are human sacrifices morally good?
3. Ezek. 9:6 says, “Slay utterly old and young, both maids and little children, and women….” and 1 Sam. 15:3 says, “…slay both man and woman, infant and suckling….”
So killing your enemies young and old, even babies are morally good?
4. Num. 31:31-40 says, “Moses and Eleazar the priest did as the Lord commanded Moses. The plunder remaining from the spoils that the soldiers took was 675,000 sheep, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 women who had never slept with a man…. And the half, the portion of those who had gone out to war, was….16,000 people, of which the tribute for the Lord was 32.” Women rank right up there with cattle, donkeys, and sheep. And they have to be virgins, at that! Imagine a righteous and perfect God wanting 32 virgins to be set aside for him!
5. Joshua 11:6 says, “The Lord said to Joshua,…You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.”
6. Deut. 21:10-13 says, “When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord you God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife…. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.”
7. Ex. 21:20-21 says, “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”
8. Ezek. 4:12 says, “Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement as fuel.” Can someone explain to me the moral value of these commandments?
9. “Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory, nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God” (Titus 2:9).
• “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men, because you know that the Lord will reward everyone for whatever good he does, whether he is slave or free” (Eph. 6:5-7).
• “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. For it is commendable if a man bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because he is conscious of God. But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:18-21).
• “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence of the Lord. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Col. 3:22-24).
• “All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them” (1 Tim. 6:1-2).
Why does God command how a slave (or “servant” as how other Bibles changed the word “slave”.) should act and obey his master? Isn’t it more morally good when God should teach people to abolish slavery instead?
According to Norman Geisler it is presumptuous to think that our own moral standards should judge God and tell Him what is right and wrong. God’s unchangeably just nature is the standard of justice (When Skeptics Ask p 170). But does that statement just tells us that Christian ethics is arbitrary in nature? It just says that good is good because God wills it to be good and solve nothing. Beside, according to Christians, our moral standards came from God, if so, then what is the difference between His standard and our standard. Does that mean God can rape or plunder or murder because for God these actions are not evil and only in human standard that makes rape, plunder and murder evil?
So that is what sin is all about. It has nothing to do with upright morality since God himself is not really a good god. Reading the Christian “holey book” just shows us that this god really is a defective Law Giver. Hay my papaya, and these Christians accused atheists of being morally bankrupt? Maybe these Christians should start reading the Bible to see carnal banality and moral blasphemy face to face.