Why I Don’t Believe the Bible is God’s Word.

According to Calvinists I don’t believe because God has determined from the beginning of time that I should not believe. It’s God’s secret will for me. I cannot believe unless God wants me to believe. It doesn’t bring him as much glory if I believe, so this is what he wants. He does not want me to believe the Bible is his word. For the Calvinist this is the end of the discussion. For me, it presents an additional reason why I don’t believe, for not only do I not see the evidence to believe, I also reject the supposition that God would both call on me to believe and at the same time secretly desire that I should not believe. What does God really desire here?...that I don’t believe…that’s the bottom line. My unbelief is exactly what God desires. It brings him the most glory. Calvinists should praise God that I don't believe. But what kind of God is this? See here.

Analogies seem to break down somewhere, but here’s one: If I was a boss and told an employee to do a particular task, but I secretly threw obstacles in his way that kept him from doing this task and then fired him for not doing the task, I would need to see a shrink. Or, I hated that employee or the company itself. But no one who knew what I did would think I was a good employer and that I worked in the best interests of the company. Even if the employee was a very poor worker and deserved to be fired in the first place, I would still be duplicitous in my dealings with him, and hence not trustworthy to deal straightforwardly and honestly with any of the other employees.

Now to just a few of the reasons why I don’t believe the Bible is God’s word.

1) I cannot stomach the whole notion of hell by conservative Christians today. Such a punishment, however conceived, does not fit the crimes (“sins”) I have done. I am not consciously rebelling against God because I sincerely do not believe he even exists. I’m following what I have come to believe to the best of my abilities as a thinking and educated person. Christians who proclaim that “the doors of hell are locked from the inside” along with C.S. Lewis, are making a ridiculous claim to me. If hell is painful to any degree, then I would want out. If hell is what I want and/or enjoyable to me in any sense, then it’s not punishment.

2) The Bible contains too many beliefs which we reject today. Christians must scramble to reinterpret these things along the lines of modern science, psychology, and biology. I call these things the Achilles Heel of Christianity, including the the Hebrew view of the Universe. Take for instance the modern Christian view of hell, mentioned above. The standard view of hell was of everlasting punishment in a lake of fire, but with such a repugnant view in light of the knowledge of a global world of sincere people, Christians are arguing for annihilation, or a metaphorical view of hell, like C.S. Lewis. Another recent change in Christian theology is Preterism, as a way to explain why Jesus hasn’t returned to earth as it was believed in the earliest centuries of the church. Now it’s said that Jesus already returned to earth in the year 70 A.D., so that there is no longer any serious problem with a the purportedly failed promise of Jesus to return, “within this generation.”

3) The God of the Bible is a barbaric God . Such a view is much more indicative of ancient conceptions of a king in a cruel world than in what Christians today would expect from such a God.

4) There are so many unanswered questions in the Bible about God, his nature and his work. How is it possible for God to foreknow the future? How is it possible for a being to never learn anything, and to always and forever exist as three-in-one without ever growing incrementally into something more and more complex? How is it possible for there to exist a being who is 100% man and 100% God with every essential attribute necessary for both? Why was his death on the cross necessary before God could forgive sins? What does it mean for Jesus, as part of the Godhead, to intercede on our behalf with God the Father, another part of the Godhead?

5) There are problems I have with the claims of miracles in the Bible. How can we judge that they ever happened when we must believe the writings of ancient superstitious people to do so?...and when there were numerous claims of miracles in that same ancient world, claims that Christians themselves will deny , including those of other faiths and cults today. This is especially true when we consider the whole nature of historical study. Anything can be doubted in history especially miraculous claims, and yet God wants us to believe based upon history? If, however, God grants us all personal experience of the Holy Spirit , then why is it so many people who were born in different times and places do not sense it, or if they do, they don’t understand it’s coming from the Christian God?

6) Then too, the way that NT writers and persons argued leave a whole lot to be desired. Paul and Jesus argued in an ignorant fashion. Matthew claims Jesus fulfilled prophecy but his exegesis of the OT texts is flawed.

I could go on, but that’s enough for now.

[First posted 7/12/06]