My Problem with Moderate Christianity
I get extremely frustrated with moderate Christians and I believe I’ve figured out why.
Most moderate Christians will say things like:
“Well, I studied all the evidence too and I’ve come to the conclusion that Christianity is true. People can study the same evidence and come to different conclusions.”
I agree: you studied the same evidence I did and you still believe or came to believe. At first I want to say “that’s fantastic and I won’t judge you for it. It is good that we can study the same evidence and come to different conclusions and I respect you for it and approve of your search and conclusions.”
But I don’t respect them at all, and here is why: the moderate Christian dismisses outright the desire on my part to figure out why we came to a different conclusion and how we can determine which conclusion is accurate. Furthermore, to add injury to insult the moderate Christian’s concluding belief implies that I am to be judged in some manner for coming to a different conclusion.
So, based on this standard, why is it wrong for me – the atheist – to genuinely judge the moderate Christian as intellectually dishonest and holding a double-standard? If they feel justified in believing that I am condemned in any way by their God for coming to different conclusions, I suddenly do not feel so bad about judging them any more.
To the moderate Christian: what substantial evidence do you have whose weight is strong enough to justify your belief that your God is just in condemning me in any way for coming to a different conclusion than you?
If you have none, I rest my case. You are not justified for believing anything about my status before your God, which undermines the very core of the gospel, justifying my claim that the Biblical gospel(s) is / are invalid.
Fundamentalist Christian: I believe. The things I believe in are self-evident truths so though I believe they are backed up by the evidence all opposition to it comes from a blinded person who doesn’t want to see the truth and therefore they are self-condemned. I will show you the evidence, listen to your opposition, gently tell you you are wrong, and trust God to work in your heart. And that is the end of the matter. Don’t cloud my understanding with your skepticism because you are only doubting because you are secretly angry at God and his enemy.
Moderate Christian: I believe, but I recognize that others can believe differently based on the same evidence. I respect your position, but you are still condemned by God. We can discuss the evidence, and I will show you how I came to my conclusion and you can show me how you came to yours, but eventually all decisions come down to faith so from the start I recognize we will never be able to figure out who is right and who is wrong in this life. But remember, my beliefs still say you are going to suffer for rejecting God.
Liberal Christian: I believe because it is beneficial, though I don’t necessarily hold that it is physically and literally true. However, I will not say that or it will ruin the entire thing.
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