The Questions We Should Always Ask (But Can’t)

Like a lot of people on the internet, I can’t just ignore arguments on the internet. The older I get, the less I get mixed up in these things. Not for any lack of conviction, but because I see the same conversations recycled day after day.

From XKCD

Bet you’ve never seen someone link an XKCD comic before, have you?

Now I’ve taken to picking my conversations. When it comes to speaking to theist (Christians in particular), I have to make sure I know what brand of Christian I am speaking to before I even start stating points.

Why is that? Well, while my Christian brothers and sisters might think it is obvious to everyone what they believe, that is not the case. There is only one thing you know about a Christian from them stating they are a Christian, they are a follower of Jesus Christ. Everything else is up in the air.

This isn’t a crisis, but this ambiguity leads to the sort of arguments I would rather sit on a spike than have. I mean, nothing says ‘I’m really enjoying this talk, really’ like being yelled at for ‘not understanding the bible at all’ for the millionth time.

If I could have it my way, every Christian would answer a quiz before they entered conversations. Without the quiz present, they can’t make any theological statements. What sort of quiz? Well, I found it right here in my brainbox.

We should start at section 1, remember to write your name in the top right corner.

1 God

1.A: Do you believe in god?

Yes or No

1.B: Do you believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?

Yes or No

1.C: Do you believe in the trinity? (God the father, God the son, and God the holy ghost.)

Yes or No

1.D: Do you believe that god is Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent?

Yes or No

1.E: Do you believe god is Omnibenevolent (Always good)?

Yes or No

You would imagine these questions are obvious, but they are not. Some Christians are so liberal, that they just believe in the message of Jesus, but don’t believe in his divinity, so it is good to get that one out of the way. Some Christians don’t believe in the holy ghost, others think God and Jesus are two different dudes (instead of being the three in one). Not everyone agrees that God is omnibenevolent, which gives the big guy a pass on that whole justifying wars thing, or killing everyone in that flood. Plus, he promised not to do it again, so we should give him a break.

2 The Bible

2.A: Do you believe the bible is the word of god?

Yes, No, Some of it

2.B: Do you believe the bible is without errors?

Yes, No, Some of it

2.C: Do you believe the bible has ever been purposefully edited? (has had its meaning changed)

Yes or No

2.D: Do you believe in Revelation?

Yes or No

This section is simple, but it saves you a lot of grief. If you point out a contradiction in the bible (like god saying he will not do something, then immediately saying he will do something), you want to know if your Christian pal is going to bite you on the nose, or put their fingers in their ears (yes, these are the two choices. Sorry for all of those who don’t like the taste of noses).

3 The Universe

3.A: Do you believe in ghosts?

Yes or No

3.B: Do you believe in demons?

Yes or No

3.C: Do you believe in magic?

Yes, No, Only divine occurrences

3.D: Do you believe in miracles?

Yes or No

3. E: Do you believe there are other gods?

Yes, No, Maybe

3.F: Do you believe in karma?

Yes or No

3.G: Do you believe in reincarnation?

Yes or No

Some Christians are what we call, ‘open minded’, in that they allow for other spooky stuff to also exist. I’m pretty sure god was supposed to put a stop to magic at some point in the old testament, but I haven’t double checked that one recently. Also, if the Bible is true, there shouldn’t be any ghosts. That doesn’t stop many Christians from believing in them, but I’ve gone over that in the past. The point is, sometimes people (Christians or not) hang on to beliefs even older than the Bible. Demons fall into the same category, with the Bible almost having nothing to say about them (unless you get into non-canon texts), but it won’t stop your average Christian from believing in them.

4 Sin, Heaven, and Evil

4.A: Do you believe sinners can get to heaven?

Yes or No

4.B: Do you believe we are born sinners?

Yes or No

4.C: Does purgatory exist?

Yes, No, Maybe

4.D: Can you be forgiven of your sins?

Yes or No

4.E: Who is ultimately responsible for evil?

The Devil, God, or Man

4.F: Is god aware of your choices before you make them?

Yes or No

“I form the light, and create darkness; I make peace, and create evil. I am Jehovah, that doeth all these things.” – Isaiah 45:7

But god still outsources some of the evil to the devil, sometimes, maybe. Also, no one ever seems able to agree what it takes to get into Heaven. Well, except no one seems willing to drop babies into hell, even if they believe we are born with sin. Babies always get a free pass (those crafty bastards).

5 The Rest

5.A: Do you believe there were dinosaurs?

Yes or No

5.B: How old do you think the Earth is?

Many billions of years old, Around 6000 years old, No idea.

5.C: Do you believe prayer works?

Yes or No

 Meh, this is the easy stuff. I won’t bore you with it.

So how did your Christian do? Sometimes you realize that you are barely talking to a ‘Christian’ at all. Instead of some conservative bible thumper, you’ve found a free-loving yoga spiritual who think Jesus was just another incarnation of the Buddha. Still, he thinks YHWH is the one true god, and f*** you for saying otherwise.

Other times you find out you’re talking to a hardcore Christian who thinks the bible is perfect, but also thinks that people are living their third lives, and people get bad grades because the devil spends his time oppressing Black youth in the ghetto.

Which is fine, believe your religion however you want. Just don’t get mad at me when I don’t realize that in YOUR version of Christianity, God has a 4th incarnation that is an impossibly fluffy teddy bear.

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