Atheist Valerie Tarico Has Written A Book, And Published A Recent Article Seeking To Impeach The Truth Of The Bible And Christianity:
Ridiculing the faith that people hold dear and expressing hatred towards those who love God, is nothing new. Beginning with the resurrection of Jesus, there have been many critics who have tried to impeach the truth of Jesus’ Gospel over the past 2,000 years. A massive effort began not long after the narratives of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection began to circulate throughout the world in the first century. In 248 A.D., Greek Philosopher Celsus penned several critical attempts at impeaching the facts of Jesus’ claim to be God, His miracles, His crucifixion and resurrection.
The first Christian Apologist, Origen, completed an extensive rebuttal of all Celsus’ arguments and successfully defended the truth of Jesus’ Gospel, 1,700 years ago.
Today, we find that the words of Paul to Timothy, written as instruction and encouragement near 60 A.D., describing the last days in which perilous times would come where critics would vigorously seek to impugn God and His word, has arrived.
Unfortunately, the majority of those who criticize the God of the Bible, Jesus the Messiah, and the narratives of the New Testament, have no real knowledge in the things for which they claim to be experts.
This Article Is Written To Impeach The Arguments Of Valerie Tarico’s Article:
“Here are the 10 ways Evangelical Christianity warps your mind”
In order to give a proper and thorough rebuttal of the ten point Ms Tarico has made, the following text is quite detailed.
An Incomplete Knowledge Of True Facts
Some people think that if they grew up in a Christian home, went to church and believed in God, they are (or were), a Christian. When we study the New Testament we find that only those who make a serious, lifetime commitment to Christ, are truly saved and fit the title of Christian.
Unlike the religions of the world, following Christ requires a total and enduring commitment. Jesus gave illustrations of this in some of His parables, describing a commitment to Him that is fully informed and sincerely committed for life. The New Testament is filled with examples where those who fall away and stop believing are defined as not really believing in the first place. Most of us understand that human beings can very easily make professions that are later not lived out in the practice of their lives.
Valerie Tarico, like many others, thinks that because she has become more educated and knows more now, she is too smart to follow Christ or the Bible. In reality, we discover that those who once claimed to follow Christ but no longer do, never were a part of Christ. Jesus said that the evidence that this is true, is understood by their denial of Him later. This will be explained in greater detail as this article progresses.
Clues From The Arguments
It is not difficult to see what a persons true heart and motives are, by how they frame their words and what they say. It is from the treasury of the heart that the mouth speaks. People who are hurt and angry, express their pain by hostile and critical words. I don’t know Valerie Tarico, but I do know what she has written. After 44 years of debates with alleged atheists, the kind of language Valerie uses in her article is from a person who hates the object of her words.
A majority of atheists will tell you they don’t believe a God or gods exists, because there is no evidence to prove this assertion. From four decades of conversations with atheists, I have learned that a lack of evidence is not their problem. It is hatred directed at God that is a thin veneer over a wounded heart that prevents people from loving God.
Every argument in Valerie’s article can easily be impeached by basic education. Prejudice has its foundation in a lack of knowledge. People often assume conclusions based upon incomplete knowledge, faulty ideas or lack of information.
Here is where the true revelation into the mind of the atheist becomes possible. Even when correct facts are presented and every misunderstanding is cleared up, atheists will still not concede that they may be wrong about their ideas.
At least in public, or in the presence of other atheists, most atheists will not receive evidentiary, reasonable explanations for their difficulties.
For those who have similar ideas about God, Christians, and the Bible, I will answer Valerie’s arguments. These same objections are not original and can be traced back to the first century, A.D., not long after the facts of Christ were first known. Although these false ideas are easily impeached, they are continually reasserted to the eyes and ears of the naive and gullible, from those who hate God and seek to impugn Him.
Honest persons who seek education about subjects they don’t understand, recognize that criticism does not impeach truth.
Valerie Tarico’s Assessment Of Evangelical Christianity:
￼“Some stuff people tell you messes with your head if you buy into it. Maybe it’s self-contradictory. Maybe it doesn’t line up with what you know about yourself or the world around you. Maybe it makes you question the evidence of your own senses or your ability to think straight. Maybe it muddles your intuitions about right and wrong, making you ashamed of doing things that don’t actually harm anyone—or, conversely, prompting you to do things you would otherwise be ashamed of. Perhaps at the hazy edge of your mind something seems a little off, but the idea comes from a person or community you admire and respect (and maybe need), so you nod along, pushing aside any misgivings—even parroting their words to yourself or other people. Then, hours or even years later, the trance shatters, and your mind clears and you think, wait, what?!—And you can’t believe you actually believed it.“
Valerie begins by a method of self logic that is commonly used by people in the world today. The basic premise of humanism is that we know what is right and we don’t need a God or religion to tell us what is good for us. The problem with this philosophy is that it simply doesn’t work in the real world. Human beings are quite limited in their knowledge and they always require wisdom in everything that concerns life. If we look for knowledge in other flawed and limited creatures, this knowledge will also be flawed and incomplete.
When we examine the world and review the entire history of man, we find that human beings are flawed in every basic principle of life. We cannot find perfect wisdom in human reasoning or knowledge.
If we look for wisdom from other human beings, the basis of our knowledge will always be faulty. Human beings are transient creatures who live less than 120 years on earth. In order to gain true and limitless wisdom, we need a source that is transcendent time, space, and matter. In order to truly gain knowledge that is beyond human limitations, we must look outside this world and discover what we can learn from the universe.
Today scientists know that the universe exists because of intelligence, not by any natural process. There are many who still maintain that the universe could have originated from another universe or by some, as yet, unknown natural process. The more that we study our universe and peer into its history and how it exists, we find that extraordinary events have taken place that are not possible by chance.
In one of my articles, I compiled 1,978 scientific facts of the universe that allows human life on earth to exist. Not one of these physical constants could be altered by as little as 10^40 without causing human life on earth to die. Evolution cannot produce a perfect result, the first time, by random acts—which is the very basis of evolution. In order for 1,978 precise physical constants—necessary for human life—to be precisely set, an intelligent mind is required. The fine-tuned universe is empirical, scientific evidence that God must exist.
Tarico’s Flawed Arguments Are Caused By A Lack Of Knowledge
The God of the Bible is unique amongst all the gods and religions of the world in that He has displayed knowledge of the universe that man did not know at the time these words were recorded in the scriptures. When we examine the universe from science, we learn that God must exist.
See evidence of God from the Universe
See from science, How God created the Universe
Valerie Tarico believes that we humans have the ability to find wisdom from within ourselves or from other learned people. History has proven that this is not true. Wars, death, evil, and destruction, all came from men who also thought they were wise. The facts of life are that we humans need wisdom that is based upon truth, not the opinions of other people. Human beings do not always tell the truth. Jesus said that He came into the world to declare the truth and all those who hear truth, listen to Him. Those who have studied the words of Jesus, see that He is perfect in every regard and always tells us the truth. Genuine Christianity is based upon the truth of Jesus and the massive repository of evidence that exists for faith, and not the lies of this world.
In Tarico’s next statement, we see that vulgarity is commonly used as adjectives by people who want us to believe that their moral compass is better than those who trust in God. Ironic!
“Some people call that a mindf**k, and when I think about mindf**cks I think—as a former Evangelical—about Evangelical Christianity, which traffics, wholesale, in mindf**kery. Here are some doozies that rank among Evangelicalism’s top ten.”
Tarico claims that she is writing as a former “evangelical,” but quickly shows by her language that she never really knew Jesus at all. I have found it interesting that in John 17, Jesus is praying to the Father and He said that those who trust in Him, were known to God from before He created the universe and they cannot be lost. The logical inference of this text is that people who are truly followers of Christ, never leave Him. If they could then Jesus would not have said to the Father that “not one of them is lost.” The fact that people like Valerie Tarico are now lost, and Jesus said the true believer can never be lost, allows us to see that her confession of Christ as a former evangelical, is not true.
People often make false professions that are not supported by the facts of their life. The only way that anyone knows if they are truly saved while alive on earth, is by whether they continue with Jesus for their entire life. Jesus said “Those who endure to the end will be saved.” The New Testament is filled with scriptures that describe the false and pretend believer who display words and actions that cause us to believe they know God, but in truth, never did. How do we know the true believer from the false? It is really very simple. People who remain with Jesus and never leave Him, are truly saved. Those who give up and stop following Jesus, never were saved. This is the defining principle given to us by Jesus, not myself or religion.
Those who write articles claiming to be a former Evangelical Christian, but then make 10 points for why Christianity “warps the mind,” prove by their actions that they never really knew Christ to begin with.
The Following Are 10 Points Made By Atheist Valerie Tarico—Impeached
1. It’s not a religion, it’s a relationship. This quip is popular with campus evangelism groups like Athletes in Action and Cru. You might even have seen it on a bumper sticker at some point, because it’s one of Evangelicalism’s favorite ways of saying, We’re not like all those other (obviously false) faith-based belief systems. We just love Jesus and Jesus loves us, and he loves you, too.
The interesting point of this statement by Valerie, although made in criticism, is true. The God of the Bible wants a personal relationship with people, not their religious activities. We find that people are the source of religion with all of their rules and traditions that bind people and deprive them of a true and personal relationship with God. One of the principles of Biblical Christianity that separates it from all other gods and religions is the personal nature of Christ with those He loves. No other god or religion seeks this personal and intimate relationship.
Exactly how knowing God personally is a negative, is not understood. We must follow Valerie’s comments to get an idea for what she is describing:
“From the inside, this relationship thing feels really real and really good. But from the outside it’s a bunch of transparent hooey. Your born-again Christianity is a love relationship—with a character whose name and history you got from a set of ancient texts that were compiled and handed down by a vast hierarchical organization that once torched dissenting texts (and people). And this not-religion has sacred writings and rituals and leaders and schools of systematic theology, and it dictates what people are supposed to believe and how they’re supposed to behave. And it provides all the same social functions and structures as religions. But Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship. Uh, huh.”
In the mind of Valerie, what people believe about God—that they have a personal relationship with Him—is “hooey.” Otherwise known as nonsense. We read further to learn why Valerie thinks that a personal relationship with God is nonsense: “a character whose name and history you got from a set of ancient texts.”
Valerie Tarico Does Not Believe The New Testament Narratives Of Jesus Are True
This is an argument that I deal with frequently amongst atheists. The idea that the Bible is just a very old book that is all made up. The problem with this assertion is that there is absolutely no empirical evidence to prove this claim. The facts of empirical, observable, testable evidence that we do have, proves the narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection are absolutely true.
We have the historical records from nearly 2,000 years ago, written not long after the events described in the New Testament took place. We have men who wrote that they are eyewitnesses of these events. They state that they saw Jesus crucified with their own eyes, and then raised again to life three days later. Then we search the Old Testament scriptures and we find that God called certain unique men to write predictions for a Messiah who would come into the world to die on a cross and be raised from the dead three days later. These Old Testament prophecies were written from 1,450-750 years before Jesus came to earth. I wrote two extensive treatises on the facts of these prophecies and Jesus’ fulfillment of these predictions. I know from evidence, that we can prove that God said that a Savior would come into the word and Jesus fulfilled every one of the 400 Messianic Prophecies that were written.
See the Prophecies of the Messiah
See evidence that the New Testament is a reliable record of the truth
Contrary to Valerie Tarico’s assertion that all Evangelical Christians believe is a lie, we find that the evidence from the historical record proves that she is the liar. Whether by a lack of knowledge of these facts, or a malicious intent to impugn Jesus and His Gospel, Tarico has not told the truth in her article. This causes the intelligent person to question the remaining 9 points of her article.
2. “That’s the OLD Testament. In my childhood Bible, the Old Testament is bound together with the New Testament in a gold-stamped blue leather cover with these words on the title page, “The words of Scripture as originally penned in the Hebrew and Greek . . . are the eternal Word of God.” This statement is followed by a verse from the Old Testament book of Isaiah. “The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever (Is 40:8).”
“To Evangelicals, the Old Testament is the timeless Word of God, except when the vile atrocities described there become inconvenient or when people quote horrible verses—say those that demean women, endorse slavery, condemn homosexuality and shellfish eating, promote the idea of Chosen bloodlines, or make statements that are scientific nonsense. Then it’s just the Old Testament, and Evangelicals pull out all kinds of fancy “supersessionist” language to explain that those verses don’t really count because of the “new covenant” or the “Dispensation of Grace.” But just try suggesting that a Bible believer take the Old Testament out of the Holy Bible.”
- vile atrocities
- verses that demean women,
- endorse slavery,
- condemn homosexuality and
- shellfish eating,
- promote the idea of Chosen bloodlines, or
- make statements that are scientific nonsense
These are a few of the hundreds of false accusations that the atheist and critics of the Bible make which are based upon a lack of knowledge, or lack of desire for knowledge.
Over the last four decades, I have noticed that this list is the same amongst all atheists. It’s as though someone created this list and then made copies to distribute to other misinformed persons. For someone who is trained in the scriptures these false assertions are nothing more than childish accusations that have no basis in reality. I often wonder if atheists ever take an intelligent approach to their ideas and try to impeach their own list of critical assertions about Christianity, God, and the Bible. If they had, this list would quickly disappear. Clearly, no one in the unbelieving community has every tried to impeach their own assertions. The honest person will always examine their own claims critically to see if they can stand up to close examination.
I did not grown up in a religious home and I knew nothing about Christianity or the Bible. I began my journey by critical assessment of all the facts from all sides. After nearly seven years, based upon the evidence, I began to follow Jesus and what He taught in the New Testament. I have continued to research, study, write, teach, and publish for nearly 44 years. In all this time of intense study, I have never once found anything that would impeach the truth of the New Testament’s narrative of Jesus. If I had, I would not be a follower today.
When I read comments from people like Valerie Tarico, I know from the evidence, that she doesn’t know or understand the subjects that she criticizes or claims to have knowledge of.
Please allow me to briefly touch on the subjects that Valerie listed in this last paragraph:
Valerie is describing the judgement by God of people in the Old Testament who were destroyed by Him. The people who are seen in the Old Testament who died in the Flood of Noah, Sodom and Gomorrah, The Canaanites, and others, were guilty of committing evil acts and were served a sentence for their acts. The idea that God is unjust to destroy people who commit evil is contrary to everything that decent people hold as true. In the United States, we make laws and penalties for those who break laws. When people commit evil acts, they are punished or lose their lives. Any judge who does not condemn evil and those who break the law, is an unjust judge. God is the Creator of all life, and as such, He alone has the singular right to determine what is right and wrong. When people refuse to obey what God has said, He alone has the right to institute their punishment. What we find in theses cases where God carried out judgement and people died, is that God warned these persons for unusually long periods of time to stop their evil, before God punished them
In the case of the Canaanite, God warned these people for nearly 900 years to stop killing their newborn babies on the fiery hot arms of their god, Molech. These were some of the most brutal and vile persons ever to live on earth—yet God gave them 900 years to change their minds before they were destroyed.
Noah warned the people of earth for 100 years before God brought the flood and destroyed everyone who refused to turn from their evil. Genesis 6 states that at that time, the evil on the earth was so prevalent that “everyone did what was right in their own eyes and every thought and the intent of every heart was towards evil continually.”
In all of the places where Valerie Tarico insinuates that God committed “vile atrocities,” He was bringing judgement to people that deserved judgement. God is love, but He is also a God of justice and He will not permit anyone to continue in their evil without judgement. We see that God is also very patient and kind and gives people a very long time to change their mind—all the while—God pours out His love upon even the evil people of earth with all the good things they need for life. It is by the kindness and goodness of God that He hoped to change the minds of people and cause them to turn from their sin and avert the judgement that was due. Valerie Tarico is wrong. God was right in all of His judgements.
Verses That Demean Women
Valerie is distorting the commentary of scripture which describes situations in which women and men of that period, sat in separate sections of church. Often during the service, women would call out to their husbands during the service and ask a questions. This disrupted the others who were trying to listen. Paul wrote his own personal instruction that “women should remain silent in church.” Some translations add the detail, “and ask their husbands at home.”
Women should be silent during the church meetings. It is not proper for them to speak. They should be submissive, just as the law says. If they have any questions, they should ask their husbands at home, for it is improper for women to speak in church meetings. ~1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (NLT)
Other alleged objections that are said to demean women are references to the headship of the husband in the family.
In the same way, you wives must accept the authority of your husbands. ~ 1 Peter 3:1 (NLT)
The idea of this scripture is very practical and not at all intended as demeaning to women. Paul is stating the obvious truth that there can be only one leader in a family, and God has determined that the man is that leader. God also commanded that men are to consider their wife in all their decisions and not act independent of her. He is to lead and make decisions based upon love, not for selfish reasons.
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. ~1 Peter 3:7 (NLT)
The husband is the head of the family and the wife is to submit to His Godly authority, as she also submits to Christ’s authority. The man is also under the authority of Christ, who is the head of every man. The command of the Bible is that men are to love their wives as they love themselves and consider them in all things. A warning is given to men that if they mistreat their wife, the Lord will not hear their prayers. A woman submits herself to Christ because He is so good, kind, and loving. The wife is to submit herself to her husband, who is also to be like Christ; good, kind, and loving. There is no place in the New Testament where the scriptures teach that a woman is less than a man in anything. In fact, Paul wrote that those who are “in Christ,” are equal in everything.
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~Galatians 3:28 (NLT)
See The Article: Critics Are Wrong That Christianity Treats Women As Second Class Citizens
Some people who have not really read the whole Bible, develop the idea that that God of the Bible approves of slavery. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the texts that critics of God use to try and condemn God and the Bible for its alleged support of slavery, is found in the book of Leviticus.
These verses of scripture from Leviticus 25:44-46 were used during the Civil War to try and justify slavery. These verses were not at all written for any other application except the Jews during their time, and only for the conquered enemies of the Jews who surrounding the nation of Israel.
Leviticus 25:39-46, also describes the issues of a poor Jew who became the slave of another Jew due to their poverty (Leviticus 25:39-43). During this period of Jewish history, the poor would also make themselves the servants of the wealthy so that they could have a home, food, and care for their own families.
God was not condoning slavery, but giving instructions for how Jewish slaves should be treated who became servants due to their poverty. God told the Jews that if they took a servant, he could only be kept for six year, and on the seventh, he must be set free and owe nothing further of his debt.
If one of your fellow Israelites falls into poverty and is forced to sell himself to you, do not treat him as a slave. Treat him instead as a hired worker or as a temporary resident who lives with you, and he will serve you only until the Year of Jubilee. At that time he and his children will no longer be obligated to you, and they will return to their clans and go back to the land originally allotted to their ancestors. The people of Israel are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, so they must never be sold as slaves. Show your fear of God by not treating them harshly. ~Leviticus 25:39-43 (NLT)
This type of slavery was an attempt to help the destitute. These individuals were to be treated as a members of the family. In most cases, because these servants were to be treated as members of the family, when the term of the service was over, these people wanted to remain with the family they had been serving.
In Leviticus 23:44-46, Moses gives the law concerning the taking of enemies as slaves which were defeated when the Jews came into the land. These were pagans who lived in the surrounding nations that worshipped vile and perverse gods, who required that their children must be killed upon the fiery hot arms of their god Molech. These people ate raw meat and were known as debased people who had murdered and pillaged the Jews from the time they entered that land. Moses’ instructions in the Book of Leviticus, was directed at these enemies of Israel—specifically how they should be treated as enemy combatants.
When the Jews came into that land, instead of destroying all of their enemies, they placed certain individuals into service. These persons deserved death because of their crimes and wickedness, but some were shown mercy and not killed—instead, placed into service. The Jews were to treat these persons with kindness—not to oppress them as the slaves had been treated in early America, or others who were placed into slavery around the world.
The Hardness Of The Human Heart
Jesus commented on one of these incidents when He was correcting the view of the Pharisees who asked Jesus about Moses giving approval for a man to issue his wife a certificate of divorce. Jesus said: “from the beginning this was not so...” Jesus went on to teach that God never condones divorce at any time, except for unfaithfulness and even then, this is not God’s perfect will for any couple.
Jesus told the Pharisees that Moses allowed divorce because of the “hardness of their hearts.” In other words, the Hebrew men of that time were going to divorce their wives and leave them without any financial support, regardless what anyone thought. Moses simply made a concession to allow a certificate of divorce that would also include provision for the wife and children.
The Pharisees Ask Jesus: “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended.” ~Matthew 19:7-8 (NLT)
This principle is the same concerning slavery or any other sin the Children of Israel were practicing—also which God also did not approve of. People were going to take slaves and they would not listen to reason. To this God instructed Mose to issue guidelines for how slaves should be treated.
Who Was The Text Written To?
It is important to notice what the beginning of the books of the Old Testament state, regarding who these texts are being written to. In the text from Exodus 21:7-11, notice how the Book of Exodus begins:
“Now these are the names of the children of Israel who came to Egypt…” ~Exodus 1:1
These commands for how a slave must be treated, were issued only to the Hebrews whom God led out of Egypt, not to the whole world. These commands were for those people, at that time. We see the Children of Israel gathered together by Moses at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive God’s law:
“In the third month after the children of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on the same day, they came to the Wilderness of Sinai.” ~Exodus 19:1
In chapter 21, we see that the context of this chapter is from God, through Moses, in guidelines for the Hebrew people for how they should treat servants in their house:
“Now these are the judgments which you shall set before them: If you buy a Hebrew servant, he shall serve six years; and in the seventh he shall go out free and pay nothing.” ~Exodus 21:1-2
God told the Jews, if you are going to take a slave or sell your self into slavery for the purpose of survival, here are the guideline. You may only keep these persons for six years. On the seventh year they shall go free and own you nothing.
This is vastly different from how slaves were treated during the time of the U.S. Civil War. Slaves were kept for life and treated as chattel. Slaves during this period of Israel’s history were treated with kindness, like a member of the family and only kept for six years. When the time arrived for these persons to be set free, at six years, most did not want to leave because they had been treated so well. To this, Moses gave instructions under this situation. The slave was taken to the door post outside and his hear pierced through and a ring place in the ear. This signified that this slave was now willing to stay with his master forever, because of his kind treatment and love for the slave. These slaves were known as: “Doulous” from that point on.
But the slave may declare, ‘I love my master, my wife, and my children. I don’t want to go free.’ If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door or doorpost and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will serve his master for life. ~Exodus 21:5-6 (NLT)
These guidelines from Moses and were written to the Hebrews, not to the world. When a father sold his daughter into the service of another, similar guidelines also were required. If this woman was given to the man’s son as his wife, she was to be treated as a daughter and given all the honor and respect that was due her. Before this young woman could be given, a dowery was required which was “alimony in advance.” If the marriage should fail, the dowery that was paid for the young woman, would serve as her financial support when she returned to her father.
The Taking Of Slaves Was a Human Practice—Not A Law Ordained By God
From the beginning of creation, at no time will you ever find God endorsing the selling or owning of slaves. You will find God in His patience and forbearance with sinful human beings, making rules for how the early Hebrew people were to treat slaves. You will not find God endorsing or approving slavery, only how stubborn and obstinate human masters were given guidance for how to treat servants.
When we arrive at the New Testament we also see the practice of slavery in the Roman world. There were between two and three million Roman slaves in Italy by the end of the first century.  As the Gospel of Christ began to spread all over the world, many people who had slaves or were slaves, began to trust in Christ. Paul wrote guidelines for these relationships. See: Ephesians 6, Colossians 3, and Philemon.
If you truly want to know how God feels about slavery, male and female equality, or differences in color or race, the following text from the New Testament sums it up:
There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. In other words, God respects and treats every person equally. ~Galatians 3:28 (NLT)
Under Jesus and the salvation He purchased for us, every person on the earth who trusts in Christ—is equal before God—in every way. Wherever true New Testament Christianity has spread throughout the world, over the course of human history, equality for all persons has always been a fundamental precept and principle.
The slavery that is seen in the Bible is due to human sinfulness, not by law or decree from God. It is in the Bible that we see the patience of God in giving stubborn people time to change their minds and receive the salvation that God offers. As people turn to Christ and are born again by the Spirit of God, their attitudes and behavior begins to change. When Christ comes to live in our heart, we develop a new heart that is governed by love, grace, kindness, and goodness. Anyone who claims to have Christ but does not show a preeminent love in their life, doe not know Christ and was never born again.
So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God. ~1 John 3:10 (NLT)
It is by knowing God that people stop prejudice, hatred, slavery, and all sinful behavior as a result of being born again by the Spirit and having a new life that thinks and lives differently.
The Bible makes it clear that God created men and women and each are made for the other. It is also clear that God views all same-sex relationships as a perversion of His creation, defining these relationships as “an abomination (atrocity, or disgrace).”
This principle begins in the Old Testament with the Laws of Moses—given for the Children of Israel, and it has continued all through history—into our present time. Not all of the Laws of Moses were applicable for other generations other than those who came out of Egypt. God was demonstrating to the world that in order to have a relationship with Him, a person must be Holy, set apart from sin. God is perfect and He cannot have fellowship with imperfect beings. By calling Israel out of their slavery in Egypt and giving them laws that would make them Holy, God was showing us that we must live a perfect life, if we will seek to be made right with Him by our actions alone.
Once we arrive in the Old Testament we learn that the purpose of the law was not so that we would keep these rules and find salvation. The purpose of the Laws of God were to act as our teacher and show us that we cannot keep them. This should drive us to discover that Christ came into the world and lived a perfect life for us. When anyone trusts in Christ for their salvation, they are made perfect, Holy, and ready for heaven.
Paul wrote in the book of Hebrews and Galatians that it is by a knowledge of the laws of God that we find we cannot keep it. The purpose of the law was to show us that we can never be made right with God by good works.
This is why God sent His Son into the world as a sinless man, and then Jesus fulfilled all of God’s laws for us. Our faith in what Jesus accomplished—makes anyone who trusts in Him—also perfect. We call this “imputed righteousness.” It means that we are morally bankrupt and God deposits the righteousness of His Son into our account and makes us righteous.
In this way, we learn that it is not be keeping the Laws of Moses that we are saved, but by placing our trust in what Jesus has done for us. We are saved by God’s Grace—through our faith in what Christ has done. Since salvation is all by Grace, can we do whatever we want? Paul answers this question in Romans 6. “How can we who have been set free from sin, continue any longer in it?” If we truly understand what it cost Jesus to save us and we have been set free from the power of sin that causes eternal death, we should never want to go back to a lifestyle of sin again.
When the new Christians began to believe in Jesus in the Book of Acts, the Apostles realized that they needed some guidance. The Jews were trying to place the new followers of Jesus, back under the Laws of Moses. Jesus revealed to the Apostles that those who follow Jesus, must only keep four laws:
For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements: 1. You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, 2. from consuming blood or 3. the meat of strangled animals, and 4. from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. ~Acts 15:28-29 (NLT)
- Don’t eat meat that has been offered to idols (for the sake of conscience) 1 Corinthians 8:7-13.
- Don’t eat meat that has not been properly bled-out to remove bacterial contamination.
- Don’t drink blood.
- Don’t commit sexual sin with your body, ie, fornication, adultery, same-sex relationships.
God has a particular aversion to the usage of our body for acts that pervert the intent of His creation in making man and woman.
If I gave you a useful tool that was made for a specific purpose and you began to use it in a way that was not at all how I intended it should be used—you would be angry. God made men and women for each other. This is obvious by their anatomical structure.
Same-sex relationships are a perversion of God’s intent for human life. God said that we shall not have same-sex relationships, and this settles the issue. People today feel that society has changed its ideas about same-sex relationships and therefore, so should God. Despite the constant changes that human beings make in accommodating behavior, God never changes. The truth He instituted for all creation from the beginning has not changed.
See: “Sodom And Gomorrah: The Gay Marriage And Same Sex Controversy”
One of the difficulties that people have with the text of the Old Testament is due to a lack of knowledge or awareness in who these scriptures are written to, or why they were written. Some people have the idea that if it’s in the Bible, God is saying it. This is not true. There are words from evil men in the Bible. There are lies told by people in the Bible. There are statements about God that are not true, made by men.
There are instructions to certain people that apply only to them, and not the whole world. The Laws of Moses that were written for the Children of Israel, were applicable to them only. Laws prohibiting certain foods was due to the bacteria that these food could contained and were unknown to people in that period of history. Shellfish are scavengers that will eat anything. They carry dangerous parasites. Pigs carry Trichinosis. If not cooked properly, death can result. God was seeking to protect the Jews from sickness and disease. Today, we understand the dangers of bacteria and parasites and how to properly cook dangerous foods. There are no restrictions today for any food. The New Testament declares that all food is good and acceptable when eaten with thanksgiving.
People who don’t understand these distinctions between people of antiquity and people today, often assert that there are many ridiculous laws in the Bible that don’t make sense today. In this regard, they are correct; they don’t apply to us today. At the arrival of Jesus, a new covenant was made by God with all those who will trust in Christ for their salvation. The only rules for Christians are those listed in Acts 15:19-20, described above. Jesus said that if we will love God first and everyone else as we love ourselves, we have fulfilled all the laws of God.
Valerie Tarico doesn’t know these things, and so she writes from a place of ignorance—condemning God and those who love Him.
Promote The Idea Of Chosen Bloodlines
This criticism originates from Valerie’s ignorance of what she is reading in the Old Testament. During the days in which chosen bloodlines were described, this principle was extremely important for one very good reason. God was preparing the readers of these texts for the time when Messiah would arrive. At the coming of Jesus to earth, it was necessary that He could prove, from His pedigree, that He was a descendant of Abraham and David, or He could not be the Messiah. God was highlighting this important fact in the pages of the Old Testament so that once we saw Jesus in the four Gospels, we could recognize by His genealogies that He could be the Messiah.
The idea of the “chosen” is further highlighted int he New Testament where Paul describes those who trust in Christ as “chosen by God from the foundation of the world.” God makes His choices about who He wants to live with for eternity, much like we do. We choose to live with certain kinds of people—so does God. The criteria for God in choosing who will live with Him, is based on whether these individuals will believe what He said. God told us that He will judge all sin and that those who place their trust in His Son, whom He sent into the world to die for us, He will save.
Those who believe this, God chooses for salvation and eternal life. Those who do not believe God are not chosen for salvation and eternal life. In this, the bloodline of those who believe God is chosen by God over the bloodline of the mocker, scoffer, and those who work against God and the Gospel of Christ as Valerie Tarico has, is defined.
Make Statements That Are Scientific Nonsense
This is a common error made by the uniformed. I hear this assertion from atheists all of the time and they never provide any evidence to support their claim. I think that most atheists believe that the Bible teaches facts about the earth and the universe that are not scientifically possible. This is not true. One of these false assertions is that the Bible teaches that God created the universe in six days. This is not correct.
The first line of the first paragraph of the Bible states that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” According to this first verse of scripture in the Bible, God created the universe, but it does not say when He created it. This does not conflict with the current scientific evidence which proves that the universe is 13.799 billion years old. In the beginning God created the universe. When this took place, we don’t know. The idea that the Bible teaches that God created the universe in six days, came from Genesis 1:3-31. These verse are a description of how God prepared the earth for habitation by man in six days, not the creation of the universe.
See The Article: The Beginning of the Universe: Reconciling 6 Days with 13.7 Billion Years
Those who claim that the Bible teaches the universe was created in six days, or that it was created 6,000 years ago, are simply wrong. In order to make the Bible say that God created the universe in six days, we have to distort the actual text. I have written about the scientific evidence for a universe created by God, 13.799 billion years ago.
See The Article: How God Created The Universe: Science And The Bible In Symmetry
See The Books: “A Universe From God: The True Origin Of The Cosmos,” and “How Intelligence Acted Upon The Universe: Observable Facts Of Science.”
In truth, the Bible contains scientific knowledge about certain principles of the universe that could not have been known by people living thousands of year ago.
Throughout the Bible, God claims that He alone is the source of the universe. He supports this assertion by including principles in the text which no man knew at the time these words were written. The Bible presents these scientific facts of the universe to us—precisely as they have existed since the beginning of the Cosmos.
- In the beginning there was nothing, when suddenly, the universe came into existence (Genesis 1:1).
- Time, Space, and Matter came into existence at the same precise moment (Genesis 1:1).
- The number of stars in the universe are so great in number, they cannot be counted (Jeremiah 33:22).
- The Sun follows a circular course through the universe (Psalms 19:4-6).
- The Earth is a sphere (Isaiah 40:22).
- The Earth hangs in empty space, suspended by gravity (Job 26:7).
- All matter in the universe is made up of invisible material, consisting of Atoms (Hebrews 11:3).
- The invisible physiology and function of the human body, understood by God before medicine knew these things (Genesis 17:12).
No other religion or god of this world has ever conveyed through the writings of their scriptures, such detailed knowledge of the universe, prior to the scientific discovery of these facts. The One True God has presented these pieces of evidence to us as proof that He is the one who made the universe and the only one in whom we should trust.
To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. ~Deuteronomy 4:35
Valerie Terico Continues:
3. “Yes, no, maybe. God answers prayer. Except when he doesn’t. The New Testament says, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24). But everybody knows that in the real world that doesn’t happen. Christians face bankruptcies and bad test scores and death at the same rate as other people. God answers prayer at the margins of statistical significance, if at all—even when parents are asking for their kids to get healed from cancer, or kids are pleading that parents stop hitting them. How does one explain that? The age-old Christian answer has been that when your prayers aren’t answered you should doubt yourself rather than God, assuming that your faith was too weak or you wanted something you shouldn’t. But Evangelicals have come up with something even more clever: God does always answer! It’s just that he sometimes says no, or maybe, instead of yes. That ask anything and it shall be done Bible verse really meant, ask selectively and he might say yes.
The assumption by Valerie Tarico is that when a person does not see the answer to their prayer in a way that is meaningful to that person, God did not answer. Of course, this kind of logic is nonsensical. A Being of infinite wisdom, and knowledge certainly does not work in ways that are understandable to us. The prophet Isaiah stated it clearly for us:
My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. ~Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)
When we pray for a child that has cancer to be healed and that child dies, God has healed them. Not in a temporary way, but forever. The child who dies with cancer goes into the presence of the Lord and will never suffer another day again. they are healed and will remain perfect forever. Now that is true love!
We want our child or loved one to be healed and stay with us, for our reasons. God is far more merciful than we are and He loves the persons whom we love—far more than we ever could. For this reason, God often answers our prayers in much bigger ways than we have prayed. God ultimately wants people to be saved and come home with to live with Him. It is far more loving of God to take a suffering loved one home to heaven that to simply heal them and then allow them to continue suffering on earth and die.
When we pray, God always answers us. He sometimes says “yes.” I have experienced God’s yes answers hundreds of times. God also says “no.” Some people take this as a no answer, but as any parent knows, “no” is an answer. Often the Lord will say “wait,” your timing is a bit off. Just wait a while longer, or years longer, in some cases, and I will do this. We don’t like to wait and when God doesn’t answer us quick enough or in the way we expect, some people give up on God and go there own way. God works according to an eternal reckoning of time, not a temporal time-line as we humans follow. God is more interested in the character of people than He is their comfort. Suffering, hardships, losses, and pain, are all effective tools in the hand of a loving Father to train us and cause us to grow. Anyone who has had children knows that the fastest way to ruin a child is to give them everything they ask for and make their life easy.
4. Be selfless for your own sake. If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, learn to be the servant of all, say the lyrics to one Christian song. Got that? “If you want to be great,” not “if you want to do the most good in the world.” Granted, learn to be the servant of all beats some other paths people take when they seek status, but it is a path to status nonetheless, which is why the church is full of self-proclaimed servant leaders who actually aspire to great man or woman status.
I don’t quite understand this criticism against being humble and having a desire to serve people. Most people see these as desirable qualities. Criticizing someone for being good is an indication that a person really doesn’t have a good argument, but is simply resorting to criticism for the sake of criticism. For myself, this comment by Valerie allows me to see that she has a severely hurting heart and wounded soul. This is likely due to some abuse that she suffered as a result of a person who was a very poor representation of who Jesus is. It is important to understand that all people, especially Christians, make mistakes and do not always properly represent Jesus. We see numerous examples of these people in the Old Testament. We must learn to differentiate between people who correctly represent Jesus and those who do not; while at the same time, recognizing that we are also just as weak and fallible as those we criticize.
5. Christianity is humble. According to Catholic theology, pride is one of the seven deadly sins. Evangelical preachers tell us it was Satan’s original sin. Pride cometh before the fall, so humble yourself before God. Couple this claim about humility with the idea that you should preach [your version of] the gospel to every creature—and things get turned inside out and upside down.
Famed Puritan hellfire-and-brimstone minister Jonathan Edwards said, “We must view humility as one of the most essential things that characterizes true Christianity.” Edwards also expounded with righteous certitude about the torments of the wicked in hell—wicked meaning anyone who didn’t share his Puritan beliefs.
Anyone who has spent much time in an Evangelical church community knows that superior humility can be a powerful form of one-upmanship. But competitive humility aside, what could possibly be more arrogant than thinking the universe was made for mankind, that only we bipedal primates are made in the image of God, that all other sentient beings are here for us to use, that you happened to be born into the one true faith among the tens of thousands of false ones, and that the force that created the laws of physics wants a personal relationship with you.
Christ is the only One who is truly humble. All of us who love Him are trying to emulate Jesus’ humility, but we always come up short. You are missing the point of the entire “humility” question in points 4 and 5.
It is Jesus’ example that we should strive for. Though He was God, He emptied Himself and took the form of a servant and laid down His life for us. He understood that our situation was hopeless and there was no possibility that we could save ourselves by good works or service to God or mankind. Religion teaches that we must perform in order to be accepted by God. The Bible teaches that we are hopeless in our sins and cannot possibly redeem ourselves by any works of righteousness.
It was only by Christ coming as God, taking the body of a man, living a sinless life, and offering His perfect life for us, that we have the opportunity for eternal life. If you will study this one principle of Jesus you will discover that His sinlessness as a man, the fact of His status as God and Creator of the Universe, are singular amongst all other gods and religions. All other religions and gods created from within the existing universe. Jesus is the Creator of the Universe (Colossians 1, Hebrews 1, John 1).
6. Christianity isn’t sexist; God just has different intentions and rules for men and women. Just because in the Old Testament God (identified by the male pronoun) makes man first, puts men in charge (male headship), gives men the right to barter women and take them as war booty doesn’t mean they’re unequal. Just because the New Testament forbids women to speak in church, tells them to cover their heads and submit to men, and excludes them from leadership positions doesn’t mean that women are inferior to men!
The Bible may be rife with stories with predominantly male protagonists. It may show women competing to have sons. Genealogies may be determined by paternity. God may convey his word exclusively through male writers and may take the form of a male human. But that doesn’t mean men and women are unequal! They’re just “different.” All of those generations of Patriarchs and Church Fathers and Reformers and Preachers who said vile things about women—they just misunderstood the Bible’s message on this point.
As you repeated #4 in #5, you are doing the same here with you comment in #6. This is the same point you made in your comments regarding scriptures that demean women.
Your observations that the Bible treats women as barter or booty, is erroneous. There is no places in the Bible where God demeans women or places them in any position inferior to men. In the ancient Hebrew Genealogies, women were never listed by Hebrew men (their tradition). When the genealogy of Jesus is listed, it contains four women. This was so that those who look to Christ for salvation—whether they are male of female, will understand that God loves and honors women equally with men.
The places in the Bible where you think that God is demeaning women, are place where ancient cultures demean women. You will not find God ever doing this in scripture. It is important that you pay attention to what you are reading and notice who it is that is doing the things you do not approve of. You will notice that it was men who took slaves, not God. It was men who made women inferior, not God.
In the New Testament, we see in the text that God is “no respecter of persons,” He treats men and woman as equal. Your ideas that God demeans women is incorrect.
7. Believe and be saved. Right belief, according to Evangelicalism, is the toggle that sends people to heaven or hell—as if we could simply make ourselves believe whatever we want, regardless of the evidence, and as if the ability to do so were a virtue. Right belief makes you one of the Righteous. Wrong belief makes you one of the Wicked. God may have given you the ability to think, but you follow logic and evidence where they lead only at your own eternal peril. If you don’t believe, it’s because you secretly just don’t want to.
Granted we all are prone to a greater or lesser degree, to what psychologists call “motivated belief,” meaning we have a tendency to selectively seek evidence for things we either want to be true or, more rarely, fear to be true. But this is hardly a sign of robust character or moral virtue. Quite the opposite.
It is clear that you have not really understood the text of the Bible, and this lack of knowledge has led to your several errors. The entire point of the Bible is that God created man and woman—perfect. He placed them on a perfect earth. He gave them the opportunity to chose whether they would trust God or go their own way. Man chose an experiential knowledge of evil, rather than obedience to God, and this cause a catastrophic destruction of man’s perfection.
This is man’s fault, not God.
Immediately after the fall of man into sin, God promised in Genesis 3:15 to send us a Savior who would be born of the “Seed of a woman,” a prophecy of a future Messiah by a virgin birth. God said through the prophets that Messiah would be crucified and raised from the dead after three days. Jesus arrived on the precise day that the prophet said He would come and was crucified and raised from the dead, just as the prophets said He would.
See All Of The Messianic Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled
When God said in Genesis 6 that “every thought and intent of man was towards sin continually,” and God determined to bring judgement upon the earth; He could have destroyed the world immediately. Instead He gave the people of earth 100 years between the time Noah started building the boat and the time the flood began.
When God warned the Canaanites to cease killing their newborn babies on the fiery hot arms of their god, Molech, He could have destroyed them all immediately. Instead, God waited nearly 900 years before He brought their destruction.
When God judged the present world as guilty and worthy of judgement for rejecting His Son who came to die for our sins, He could have destroyed the world at that time. Instead, He has given the world nearly 2,000 years to repent and turn to Christ for salvation.
God is a righteous and Just Judge, but He is also a loving God who does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked. God has repeatedly shown us how patient he is with this wicked world that fell into sin and corrupted His perfect creation. All of the evil, suffering, sickness and death in the world is our fault. It is each one of us who, by our sin, continue to corrupt the world that God made.
God has appointed a time of judgment for this world. Each one of us will stand before Him and give an account for the life we have lived. Jesus said that “every idle word that we speak, we will give an account for them.” Those who have obeyed God’s command to turn from their sins and receive the Savior He gave us, will be saved. Those who disobey God and refuse to repent and turn to the Savior God gave, will perish eternally.
Just as in the days of Noah, the Canaanites, and with the angels who rebelled, God will bring judgment to this world very soon. You have the opportunity today to hear this message, turn from your sins, and be saved. Please do not be foolish and continue with this denial of God, His word, and the arrival of His Son who came to save you.
Turn from your sins today and receive Christ so that a time of refreshing might come upon you and you will have the assurance of eternal life. You will find peace with God and peace with yourself. Your sins will be washed away and exist no more. You will become a part of an eternal family of people who love God and will live with Him in a perfect world forever.
The Nature Of Man
We believe that man is inherently sinful because this is what the evidence proves. All a person must do to determine if the Bible is true concerning the nature of man—that he is a sinner by nature—is watch the news on any given day. The Bible has told the truth in this regard and God has offered each one of us a solution to the problem of sin, evil, sickness, suffering and death. Jesus came to earth and paid for our sins and makes those who trust in Him, as if they had never sinned. This purification of all sins by Jesus’ death and resurrection, is God’s plan of redemption for mankind. You don’t have to like it, understand it, all you must do is accept this plan that God chose and it is fully effective. If you believe you will be saved; if you don’t believe you will be lost. Debating whether you think this is the best plan, the right plan, or whether you agree with God’ plan, is irrelevant. Either believe what God said or don’t believe—each of us must make a choice.
8. God loves you and he’ll send you to hell. And once you die, it’s all irreversible. George Carlin put it best: Religion has convinced people that there’s an invisible man … living in the sky. Who watches everything you do every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a list of ten specific things he doesn’t want you to do. And if you do any of these things, he will send you to a special place, of burning and fire and smoke and torture and anguish for you to live forever, and suffer, and suffer, and burn, and scream, until the end of time. But he loves you. He loves you. He loves you and he needs money.
OK, Carlin didn’t have his theology right, at least not from an Evangelical standpoint. You don’t go to hell for violating the Ten Commandments. You go to hell for not accepting Jesus as your savior. But yeah, he loves you, loves you, loves you, and if you don’t love him back and worship him and accept his gift of forgiveness for your imperfection, he’s going to torture you forever. Wrap your brain around that definition of love.
it is true that we each have but one life to choose Christ or reject Him. The Bible is clear that we will live only once, and after we die, each of us will face our own personal judgement. If we have placed all of our sins in Christ, there will be no judgement for sin and we will be acquitted and allowed to enter eternity, living in heaven. If we choose to bear our own sins and refuse to ask Christ to take them away, then we will each pay the penalty for our sins.
This is what God said, and it doesn’t matter what you say, Valerie, or George Carlin said, it matters what God said. It is foolish to try and debate with God about how much you don’t like His rules. If you do not repent and turn to Christ, only you will suffer, not God. And yes, you will have eternity to regret your decision, and regret it you will. The punishment for disobedience is equal to the reward for obedience: eternity.
Jesus has proven that He is the only way to heaven by His singular death and resurrection—validated in the historical record.
You should remember that if God only wanted you to spend eternity in Hell, you would already be there. Your sins have already condemned you. God does not want anyone to be lost, and He has done all that He can to prevent you from being sentenced to hell for your sins. It is because God loves us that He sent His Son into the world to die for us. He loves every person at least as much as He loves His dear Son, or He would never have let Him die for us.
The idea that God created the problem of condemnation and eternity in hell and then threatens us with it, is not true. If you commit a capital crime on earth, you may be sentenced to the hell of a prison cell for all of your life. This is true because we have laws and punishment for those who do not obey the law. Is God any less just than the judges that sentence men to prison for life? God is Love, but He is also just and the penalty for sins is eternal death. He told these facts to Adam, and He repeats it to us. If we disobey God and refuse Christ’s offer of a full pardon for our sins, then the laws of sin and death will send us to hell.
The difference between God and the earthly judges is that on earth, no one will take your place and spare your from life in prison. God sent His Son to take your place so that you will not spend eternity in the prison of hell. You can guarantee your full pardon and never be sentenced to an eternity of hell, if you will only obey God’s command and take Christ as your Savior. You are a sinner, you need a Savior, Christ is that Savior. Where you spend eternity is your responsibility. God has done all He could to save you. Respond accordingly.
9. Free choice under duress. Why is the world full of sin and suffering if God is all powerful and all good? Because he wanted us to worship him of our own free will. He loves us too much to force us, so we had to be able to choose—so the story goes.
But, but, if what he wanted was love and adoration, freely given, then why did he entice us with promises of heaven and threaten us with eternal torture? Can someone really love you if you demand their love at gunpoint?
Again, a misunderstanding of the prevailing problem, which is, we are sinners who have broken God’s law and we are already under a sentence of death. God said that the “soul who sins, will die.” Instead of allowing us to remain under this sentence with no hope of redemption, God did something Himself to rescue us; He sent His Son to die in our place and take our punishment.
“Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine; the soul who sins shall die.” ~Ezekiel 18:4
If a person does not understand that sin is wrong and each person has broken the laws of God, then it will be impossible to comprehend that these are crimes against the Creator and He has told us in advance that if you sin, you will die.
We see the love of God in that, unlike the angels who sinned, God offered human beings a second chance. When the angels rebelled against God, there was no plan of salvation presented to them. To us, the descendants of Adam, God has give us the opportunity to be redeemed. It is our choice. God did not force anyone to sin, and He does not force anyone to be saved.
10. Lean not unto your own understanding. Faith is just believing. Trust and obey. Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong (1 Corinthians 16:13). The fool has said in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1).
The idea that your own mind, logic, and the evidence in the world around you is not to be trusted may be Evangelicalism’s biggest mindfuck, because it is subtext in all the others. Any doubts are just evidence that your mind (and basic human decency) are shaky. Since doubt is a sign of weak faith—and sometimes even direct from the devil—you should never ever trust what you think, feel, see or experience over what the Bible says and the Church teaches. Walk by faith, not by sight. Stop asking questions!
To be fair, Evangelicalism is not a monolith. Some Evangelicals eschew one or more of these teachings. Also to be fair, theologians proffer complicated work-arounds for all of them. But each item in this list is embraced by tens of millions of people, most of whom earnestly want to understand what is true and what is good. That earnest desire gets corrupted when decent people mistrust their own capacity for goodness, set aside their ability to think, and instead embrace mindfucks posing as wisdom and truth.
Here we see a common misunderstanding by those who do not know God. The fact of our fallen condition as human beings, and tendency towards sin continually. Jeremiah wrote that “the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” Moses wrote that “every thought and intent of the heart is towards evil continually.”
The human condition is one that makes it impossible for us to trust our heart or feelings when it concerns our true state. Our heart deceives us and makes us think we are just fine when we are not fine. Our heart tells us that we are basically a good person and we don’t need anyone to save us. The reality is that God said that we are sinners and in desperate need of salvation.
Valerie’s ideas about our mind and heart as reliable methods to know truth, is not factual. It is observable throughout the entire history of mankind that people often trust their emotions to make decisions and are, most often, wrong. Even atheists trust their emotions regarding God. Their hearts and minds tells them that the universe is not evidence for God; the Bible is not true; Jesus is a myth, and they live their life accordingly. The truth is, these are not rational conclusions based upon the evidence. The universe is evidence of God—for it exists by intelligent actions—not by happenstance. There is no scientific evidence that the universe created itself or that any other universe created our universe. The scientific evidence we do have, confirms the words of the Bible, that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” If a person is truly seeking knowledge in this area, they will find out that what I have said here is true. I know because this is the path I took. I have studied the science of the universe and the facts are; the universe is only possible because it was engineered by intelligence.
Valerie sees the text of the Bible which describes the human condition as catastrophic, the heart and mind a unreliable, as nonsense. Until a person arrives at a place where they see that we humans are sinners and desperately wicked, we will not be able to find God, nor understand Him. The most basic premise of discovering who God is, comes by humility and an acknowledgment that we don’t know everything and should seek God according to the provisions He has laid out for us.
The idea that human beings are basically good, is not true. It is clear from the evidence that we see everyday on the news that our basic nature is evil. We all tend to move in the direction of sin because this is our nature. We are sinners, not because we sin, but because sin is our nature. It is perfectly natural for human beings to be selfish, prideful, critical, and vengeful. We were not created with these negative attributes. We were made perfect like God and never exhibited sin until we chose to rebel against God. Our current status is that every person who refuses to turn to God in humility and seek redemption from the Savior He provided, is still in rebellion. The very fact that people deny God and will not come to Christ for salvation, is evidence of our fallen nature.
Valerie is wrong about the goodness of human beings. We all need to humble ourselves, recognize that we are sinners, and acknowledge that only Christ can pay for our sins and redeem us to God.
Valerie Tarico is an atheist, psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington.
 Walter Scheidel. 2005. ‘Human Mobility in Roman Italy, II: The Slave Population’, Journal of Roman Studies 95: 64-79. Scheidel, p. 170, has estimated between 1 and 3.0 million slaves in the 1st century BC.
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