Sunday, July 05, 2009

Christianity - Is it for scum?

The Christianity Explored course says ''In the next chapter we’ll see exactly how Jesus achieves that rescue, but for now I want to focus on the assumption Jesus makes: that we are all rebels in need of rescue, even if we believe we’re basically good people.'

My friends believe I am basically a good person.

Is Jesus not my friend?

Is this a new Christian slogan? 'Christianity - It's for scum like you.'

Do Christians have any respect for humanity? Are they even capable of saying that atheists are good people?


Blogger William said...

Hi Steve,
I would like to answer the last two questions here; assuming that they are somewhat sincere ans that you are not baiting me with some plot to expose my hypocrisy.

You asked, "Do Christians have any respect for humanity?"

Simply put, yes. Yes, I do. I base this on the fact that I believe that humans bear the image of their Creator and as such have a certain dignity. This demands that I treat all people with respect regardless of their position in life or religious views. This is the point of the story of the Good Samaritan.

You also asked, "Are they even capable of saying that atheists are good people?"

Yes. As an research and development engineer, I work with some very "devout" atheists. And quite frankly, at times they have surprised me with their high ethical behavior. That's not because I expect atheists to behave poorly. It's simply because at times their behavior surpasses that of the general population.

I think a lot of this argument is dependent upon what you consider to be "good." If your standard is that of historical, orthodox Christianity in which we are called to be perfect, even as God is perfect, then of course no one meets the mark; Christians included. Actually, I would say especially Christians, because as such we are supposed to be consciously aware of the standard and actually striving for it. BUT, if your reference point is general human behavior as defined by our culture, then I would say emphatically that there are many good atheists. In fact, I have daily interactions with some who are better men than I.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Steven Carr said...

If the Good Samaritan had helped a dog that had been knocked down, would the lesson be that we must treat all dogs with respect?

Of course, your alleged god is supposed to ensure that all those good atheists burn in Hell.

6:59 AM  
Blogger William said...

We can only speculate on what the objective moral lesson might be if you change the characters and elements of the story. What is your point?

And as for your last statement, well, it just seems out of place and provocative. Is there a question in there somewhere or was that just vitriol?

9:55 AM  
Blogger pcraig said...

>>Do Christians have any respect for humanity?

I think most sane people have respect for humanity. But Christians have good reasons for it...

6:02 AM  
Blogger Jason said...


A few quick points of interest here:

1) Christianity's early leader, the Apostle Paul actually refers to himself and other Christians as "the scum of the earth." In 1 Corinthians 4:13 (NIV), he says, "up to this point, we have become the scum of the earth." I'm not sure that you mean to do this, but I know some of my atheist friends often fer to Christians as "holier than thou." This is unfortunate because that is not the model of Christian faith set forth in the New Testament.

2) As a Christian, I have no problem conceding the point that many atheists are "good people" - at least according to human standards. One of my friends in particular is a really great guy in my opinion, but at this point doesn't believe in God. No problem here with me. However, when Christians refer to atheists, or anyone else for that matter being "not good," they are referring to goodness relative to God's standards as they believe them to be set forth in Scripture - so this lack of goodness to which Christians refer extends not merely to atheists, but to Christians as well. Furthermore, God's judgment is based on his objective standards, not on man's subjective standards. Since none of us, due to an innate disposition to selfishness and sin, can meet these standards, we all (Atheists AND Christians) deserve God's judgment. This is why as Christians, we believe we need Christ and His sacrifice.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. Thanks for yours, Steve.

Jason Epps
Clear Christianity

11:09 AM  

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