A straw man is an argument set up by one’s opponent that can easily be defeated. This video is quite condemning of Christianity as an organized religion. If all these things were true I probably wouldn’t be a Christian either. Watch the video a couple of times, and perhaps take a minute to calm down. You may need a dose of Maalox, then consider these counter points:
- You WERE NOT born worthless. If Christians are teaching this as doctrine they need to be slapped, not the makers of this film. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. There is no person without worth, regardless of the judgements passed by the world or by Christians.
- You need not ask forgiveness for what others did. This is not the message of Christianity. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” is a scriptural teaching, but each individual only needs to be forgiven for his or her sins.
- Do not ask forgiveness for murdering Jesus. Jesus plainly taught that no one took his life from him (nor could take his life) but that he gave it freely. Jesus’ life on this earth and his death are gifts from God.
- The video claims “a portion of everything you produce in your lifetime must be given to God.” Not true. The New Testament teaches that God loves a cheerful giver. If it must be then that’s not a gift, it’s a requirement. No one is required; if it is not given cheerfully then you will not be blessed by it. You should just keep that money. And exactly what is “everything you produce?” All that a Christian has is already God’s. Our wisdom, strength, ability, talent, etc. came from God. We are his, those things are gifts from him, and most of us eagerly seek to give something back.
- “His mysterious ways will confuse you.” God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor 14:33). Some people will hear God with an audible voice, but that is not the point. Like the stoic and epicurean philosophers of ancient Greece, Thinking Atheist can only perceive reality based on the five senses. Thinking they can see, it is impossible to show them they are blind. Sermon over, moving on…
- “…any provable way.” After Jesus had just got done feeding a crowd of over 5,000 the Pharisees – some of whom had eaten that meal – said to Jesus they would believe if he would show them a sign. Jesus feed 5,000 on one occasion, 4,000 on another, healed the sick, raised the dead, cast out evil spirits, made the mute speak… and the Pharisees said “Show us a sign.” Jesus said only a wicked and perverse generation seeks a sign.
- You may indeed study an ancient book written in a language you do not understand. Or find a good teacher/preacher of God’s word and listen to him. Or read a Christian blog. Or find an online Bible such as at esvbible.org and it will read itself to you. To truly know God you need an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, whether or not you do read or can read.
- DO NOT attempt to make others see the world as you do. That is not the Great Commission. The Gospel is good news; if the message you share is not good news, then it is not the Gospel.
- Heaven is not a place that can only be seen by the dead. In heaven we will truly be alive. “He is not a God of the dead, but of the living.” Luke 20:38 We will dwell forever in the presence of God and worship him for all eternity, which the narrator says with a sinister snear as if that’s a bad thing.
- Hell was created for the devil and his angels. It is God’s will that none should perish but all come to the knowledge of repentance. So why do people go there? Because of the will God gave us. It’s his will that none should perish, but if you insist… What makes it hell is not the darkness, nor the fire and brimstone, nor the creatures of perpetual torment. What makes it hell is that God is not there. You have not yet experienced a reality in which God is not present.
- He will not send you anywhere. We are naturally, because of our own sins, on our way to hell. God invites us, pleads with us, and sent his Son to die for us, so that we may be with him in heaven instead. But like I said, if you insist…
In the Garden of Eden, Satan took the words of God and twisted them just a little. A statement that is mostly the truth is still a lie. The version of Christianity presented here, perhaps a version that many church-goers believe in, is almost Christianity. A lie that looks a lot like the truth, that is the most dangerous kind.
I will not defend the Christianity portrayed by this film. I would not teach the lessons of this video to my child or anyone else. Watching this makes me angry at first and then scared. Because the dozens/hundreds/thousands of people that watch this will be twisted just a little bit by it, and this is the lens through which they will perceive the Gospel message. Watch the video; read my responses. Whatever you believe, count the cost.