Convert me!
By Cygnus

Under no circumstances will "The LORD works in mysterious ways" or other arguments in that vein be acceptable. If a question does not apply to your particular sect, please explain why.

  • Explain why God's only son had to die so we can go to magic happy land when we croak.
  • Did everyone who died before Jesus died go to Hell? Justify your answer.
  • If a Catholic, justify the Inquisition and other persecutions of "heretics" throughout the centuries, concentrating on why the Pelagianists, the Priscillianists, and the Manichaeans were persecuted; if a Protestant, justify the witch trials and the way that Protestants constantly hunted down native Americans until there were so few that the government could simply take their land; if a member of an Eastern Orthodox church, justify the persecutions of the Old Believers after the reforms of the seventeenth century.
  • Explain why your sect (whether Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox) pursued, tortured, and killed people who were not Christian.
  • Explain why your sect (whether Catholic, Protestant, or Eastern Orthodox) pursued, tortured, and killed people who were not members of your particular sect.
  • Explain why I should believe that your god is all-good when the only real information we have about him is the Bible, which clearly describes him as both good and evil. (See Isaiah 30:32, Luke 14:26, Numbers 31:17-18, Matthew 10:34, Amos 3:6, Deuteronomy 18:8, Deuteronomy 20:16, Exodus 20:5, Exodus 32:27, Isaiah 45:7, Psalms 52:5, Luke 22:36, and Jeremiah 18:11 for a small sample of Biblical passages which describe Jehovah as having an evil morality at times).
  • Explain why children should submit to their parents' decisions even when those decisions are clearly evil. Answering this question entails refuting Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Proverbs 13:24, and Hebrews 12:7-8.
  • Explain why, if God loves us all, more than half of us are going to Hell after we die. Specifically, refute or explain the following words of Christ, as presented in the New Testament: "Many are called but few are chosen," and "Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way that leadeth unto salvation, and few there be that find it." If your god loves all of us, couldn't he find a better way?
  • Explain what type of offence could possibly justify eternal, unbearable torture in Hell; if your sect does not believe in Hell, then refute every passage in the Old and New Testaments which describes Hell (such as 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and Revelation 20:15).
  • Explain why possession by demons and/or other evil spirits was common during the time of Jesus, but hardly mentioned in the Old Testament, and apparently has been explained completely away today by things such as epilepsy and schizophrenia.
  • What is Heaven like?
  • What is Hell like?
  • Explain why getting dunked in or sprinkled with water will prevent me from being eternally tortured for the original sin.
  • Explain why some people (James, Peter, Paul, Thomas, etc.) should get convincing physical proof of miracles, while the rest of us are supposed to take these happenings on faith.
  • Why are the stories of the resurrection inconsistent?
  • If you are a Protestant or a member of an Eastern Orthodox church, explain why you are still using the Catholic Bible, which was formalized by a vote among (supposedly divinely inspired) cardinals and bishops in the fourth century CE, when you disagree with the idea that the Pope, who is higher in the Catholic hierarchy, is divinely inspired; if a Catholic, explain why your church accepts the canonical Bible while rejecting the Apocrypha (do not use the "divinely inspired" argument).
  • If Judas was willing to go to Hell for humanity (see #31), didn't he make more of a sacrifice than Jesus, who spent only three hours in pain? Shouldn't you then be worshipping Judas?
  • Why should we accept the words of the gospel writers as truth when they are known to be liars? (See Romans 3:7).
  • Do you believe that God is anti-homosexual? Refute or explain away Leviticus 20:13 and Romans 1:26-27.
  • According to the Gospels, from the Christian standpoint, Jesus was the most important person to ever live. From the Roman standpoint, Jesus was an annoyance because of his political activities. Explain why nothing was written about his life for over thirty years after his death, and nothing except the Gospels was written until the third century CE.
  • Define the word "Christ," including references to the pagan origins and meaning of the word.
  • Explain why Jesus, who was anti-Gentile (see Mark 7:25-29) and anti-sex (see Luke 14:26 and Matthew 19:12), would want to be anointed with oil in a pagan sexual rite after his death.
  • In light of Matthew 10:34, explain why Jesus is called the Prince of Peace.
  • The name "Jesus" has been anglicized. What was the original (Hebrew) name of Jesus? Where did you get this information?
  • Why is it that the life of Jesus was so similar to the lives of pagan Christs, particularly Herakles, Dionysios, and Asklepios?
  • If God requires that people believe in him and follow his orders through their own free will, why do Christians push their views on public policy?
  • Explain why being a good Christian requires you to push your beliefs on others. If you do not believe that you have to push your views on others (no matter how much this annoys them), explain why you do not believe this despite the fact that the New Testament seems to suggest that you must do this to get to Heaven (for instance, in Matthew 28:19-20).
  • Explain why spreading the "truth of Christ" requires you to spread lies about other religions, such as the idea that Wiccans (so-called "white witches") worship the Christian devil. (Incidentally, they don't, and this rumor has been persistently spread by Christians since the second century CE). Why is it not wrong for Christians to spread rumours that Muslims are essentially terrorists inspired by the devil?
  • At no point in the four Gospels did Jesus claim to be the son of your god. (He said "son of man" quite frequently, and at one point referred to himself as "a son of God," but that was a common Hebrew expression at the time. Someone who was "a son of god" was a Jew. This reflected the Israelites' belief that they were the chosen people of God. See Job 1:6). Why, then, do you believe that Jesus was divine? If you don't believe that Jesus was divine, then why do you call yourself a Christian?
  • Given the fact that Jesus did not say anything original (the Golden Rule and the "turn the other cheek" idea were from Buddhism, and Jesus clearer said he has come to reiterate the message of the Old Testament; and the Beatitudes were common in the Jewish devotional literature at the time), why do you see Jesus as such a great thinker/ philosopher/ ethicist?
  • When Jesus said, "Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also," why do you suppose that most Christians fight for their rights? To put it another way, why don't we, as a country of 85% Christians, let the government abuse us?
  • Why are so many Christian holidays on the same day as Pagan holidays? Couldn't the early Church fathers have converted pagans only by appealing to their reason and/or faith if Christianity is the true religion?
  • Explain how God can be "just and merciful" in light of Exodus 20:5.
  • Do you believe that the Old Testament should be accepted as part of Christian theology? If so, explain how you can worship such cruelness (see Numbers 31:17-18, Deuteronomy 20:16, Proverbs 20:30, Amos 3:6, Deuteronomy 13:8, Psalms 3:7, Psalms 52:5, etc.); if not, explain how you can believe that Jesus is the promised savior sent by God without the messianic prophecies and the ruling rights of the line of David, both of which are in the Old Testament in books such as Isaiah, Zechariah, Daniel, Psalms, etc.
  • Explain why a "just and merciful" God sent bears to kill forty-two children who called his prophet Elisha "baldhead." (See 2 Kings 2:23-24).
  • If prostitution is wrong, why are there so many examples of it in Genesis? (For instance, Gen 19:8, where Lot offers his daughters to a mob so that his guests can avoid gang rape).
  • What is the sin that people committed that is so incredibly bad that God had to become flesh and die to correct?
  • Are all members of other faiths bad? Are they all damned to Hell? Justify your answer with quotes from the Bible.
  • Are all atheists/agnostics/humanists bad? Are they all damned to Hell? Justify your answer with quotes from the Bible.
  • Explain how you can believe in Satan when your faith is directly descended from the Jewish faith, when the Jews did not even believe in Satan until they absorbed the Egyptian god Set while they were captives in Egypt.
  • If Jesus is perfect, justify the parable of the fig tree (Matthew 21:17-19, Mark 11:14-20).
  • Explain why Christians (that includes all branches of Christianity) have spread the lie that Jews put Jesus to death when, in actuality, it was the Romans who put Jesus to death. (For a good example of New Testament anti-semetism, see 1 Thessalonians 2:15).
  • If we are created in God's image and likeness (Gen 1:27), how can we also be imperfect?
  • Why would God confuse people? (See 1 Sam 7:10 and Gen 11:9). Isn't life confusing enough already?
  • Why would God want to damn people by making them believe false things? (See 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).
  • Should the book of Revelation be taken literally? Explain your answer.
  • Would it be good for men to castrate themselves? Justify your answer, taking Matthew 19:12 into account.
  • All of the various Christian sects ignore parts of the Bible, usually because those parts of the Bible are inconvenient. Explain which parts of the Bible your sect ignores, and explain why it is OK to ignore those parts of the Bible.
  • If Jesus and his father are one (John 10:30), then why does Jesus have to pray (i.e. Matthew 26:39)?
  • Explain your belief in heaven in light of Job 7:9 and Ecclesiastes 9:5.
  • Christ giving himself up on the cross was a great gesture, true, but wouldn't it have been more sensible for him to continue spreading his message until he died a natural death?
  • What is your interpretation of the temptation of Christ by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:5-8, Luke 4:5-9)?
  • In view of Matthew 6:5-6, shouldn't prayer in public schools be discouraged? Support your answer with scripture quotes.
  • Do you feel that the last words of Christ were significant? If so, why do the four gospels attribute three different sentences to Christ as his last? (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34: "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?"; Luke 23:46: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit"; John 19:30: "It is finished").
  • Matthew and Mark say that the last words of Christ were, in Hebrew, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" This has traditionally been translated as, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" However, a more accurate translation would be, "My El, My El, why has thou forsaken me?" El is the name of a specific pagan god. Why would Jesus call out to a pagan god at the moment of his death?
  • The Bible constantly describes God as male. In view of the fact that your god supposedly created everything, and creation is very much a female function, isn't this at least a little bit absurd? Justify your answer. If God is all mighty and above mankind, why does he have to have a gender?
  • In light of the Trinity, angels, the Virgin Mary, etc., isn't Christianity polytheistic? If the Trinity is three who are one, why the three names? Justify your answer.
  • Have you read the entire Bible? If not, how can you be devoted enough to try and convert me to a religion that you don't know that much about? Isn't knowing as much as possible about something necessary to understanding it? Isn't understanding something necessary to being completely devoted to it?

  • Why is 2 Kings 19 exactly identical to Isaiah 37?

  • Is Jesus's three days in Hell really an ultimate sacrifice, when more than half of humanity going to spend eternity there?

  • If your sect considers the King James Bible to be the official and/or authoritative translation, justify this in light of the fact that when King James commissioned his translation to be poetic rather than accurate. How can you possibly use an inaccurate translation as your reference for what is/is not the word of God? If your sect does not use the King James Bible, what translation do they use? Justify the use of that particular translation.

  • If it was foretold that Jesus was to be crucified, and if he knew this, and if he was the son of God, why did he do everything he could to avoid being crucified? (See, for instance, Matthew 26:39).

  • If the Holy Spirit/Ghost is the father of Jesus (Luke 1:35), then why is the central figure of your trinity called God the Father?

  • The original Hebrew word for the Holy Ghost/Spirit includes the idea that the Holy Spirit/Ghost is female in gender. Isn't this rather silly when you consider the fact that the Holy Ghost/Spirit is actually the father of Jesus (Luke 1:35)?

  • Matthew 28:11-15 contains an account of a conspiracy between the Jews and the Roman soldiers to spread the story that the disciples stole the body of Christ. How could Matthew have known about this, since no Jews or Romans would have admitted to it? If it was such a transparent conspiracy that an outsider could have seen it, why didn't the other three gospels mention it? Why didn't the Roman soldiers get into trouble?

  • Jews believe that people are basically good people and can work to overcome their sinful tendencies. Most Christian sects, following the teaching of Psalm 51:5, 1 Kings 8:46, Ezekiel 18:4, Isaiah 59:2, and Psalm 143:2, believe that people are completely debased and hopelessly lost in sin, and that only God can lift us out of this state if he decides to bestow his gift of grace on us? Isn't this an incredibly negative view of people? Aren't Judaism and Islam more mature faiths just for this reason?

  • How do you, as an individual, feel about Psalm 51:5?

  • What does your sect teach about Psalm 51:5 (and 1 Kings 8:46, etc.), predestination, and similar matters?

  • Revelation 22:16 says that Jesus is the "offspring of David." Mary was not descended from David, but Joseph was. Doesn't this mean that Jesus wasn't the son of God at all, but the (mortal and not divine) son of Joseph?

  • What would the correct thing to do be if God gave you a command that was harmful and/or destructive to you? A common argument, which comes from Paul, states that because clay pots don't complain about what the potter does with them, people shouldn't complain about what their maker (supposedly, God) does with them, but this completely ignores the vitally important argument that clay pots have no sense of self-awareness and cannot think or feel love, pain, anger, etc. If you want to make this argument, you have to deal with this difference.

  • What (or who) does your sect believe the number 666 represents? Justify your answer.

  • If your god is "just and merciful," why would he take Solomon's kingdom away from Solomon's son while not punishing Solomon, when it was Solomon himself who committed the sin of idolatry? What did Solomon's son do to deserve punishment? (See 1 Kings 11:12).

  • Why is Solomon commonly considered to be the paragon of wisdom by many Christians, when he constantly sinned against God (1 Kings 11:4-10, etc.)?

  • Don't you think that an anti-sex position (see question #22) is a rather silly position for your sect to take when the biblical book "Song of Solomon" is a piece of erotic poetry? (For instance, in Song of Solomon 8:2, the bridegroom proposes to "drink of spiced wine of the juice of the pomegranate." The pomegranate was a symbol of the female genitalia, and the "spiced wine" represented menstrual blood).

  • Does it bother you that the cross, supposedly a Christian symbol, was actually stolen from the Egyptians? Why or why not? (The Egyptian cross, the ankh, was a male-female symbol similar in concept to the yin-yang. When the Christians stole the ankh from the Egyptians, they removed the female symbol, or yoni, leaving only the masculine symbol-- a subtle way of reinforcing the idea that women are lesser beings).

  • How do you explain that Christians are twice as likely to have sadomasochistic tendencies as non-christians?

  • What is the incredibly important doctrinal difference that requires the fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Ireland?

  • What do you think the word "Satanist" means?

  • How do you explain the fact that the word "blood" occurs over 400 times in the Bible? Isn't this a rather savage way to write a book that is supposed to be at the center of an ethical system?

  • Throughout the Bible, God commands his followers to wage merciless war on unbelievers (Luke 22:36, Deuteronomy 13:8, Exodus 20:23-25, Deuteronomy 20:16, Matthew 10:34, Numbers 31:17-18, etc). If you are one of his followers, why aren't you out waging merciless war on unbelievers?

  • Numbers 23:21 says that God "has not seen wickedness in Israel." If this is so, explain why your god burned Israelites for complaining (Num 11:1), sent a plague against them for eating the meat he had given them (Num 11:33), why he burned people for using incense (Num 16:35), why he sent a plague against the Israelites who accused Moses of wrongdoing (Num 16:44-49), and why he sent fiery snakes among the Israelites (Num 21:5). Is the Bible inplying that God lies when it is a matter of convenience?

  • How do you explain that Matthew and Luke give different genealogies for Jesus?

  • Matthew says that the prophecy given in Matthew 27:9 was given by Jeremiah. How do you explain that this prophecy was not given by Jeremiah at all, but by Zechariah (in Zech 11:12)?

  • Matthew says (in Matt 2:21) that Jesus dealt in Nazareth so that he could fulfill a prophecy stating that the Messiah would be called a Nazarene. Where is this prophecy in the Old Testament?

  • Matthew says that on the triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus was riding on an ass and a colt (Matt 21:7). How do you explain that the original prophecy (Zech 9:9) stated that Jesus would be riding on only one ass, and the other gospel writers place Jesus only on one ass (Mark 11:7, Luke 19:35, and John 12:15)?

  • In Matthew 1:23, Matthew has the angel say that Jesus would be born of a virgin. However, the prophecy that Matthew is referring to, Isaiah 7:14, uses the Hebrew word almah, which simply means a young woman. It has nothing to do with sexual purity; the Hebrew word for virgin is bethulah. How do you explain this?

  • Isaiah 7:16 seems to say that before Jesus had reached the age of maturity, both of the Jewish countries would be destroyed. Where is the fulfillment of this prophecy in the New Testament?

  • Matthew 1:23 says that Jesus would be called Immanuel, which means "God with us." Why does no one (not even his parents) call him Immanuel at any point in the New Testament?

  • How many inconsistencies in the Bible, other than those mentioned in this paper, do you know of? Cite chapter and verse.

  • If even the contemplation of sinning is a sin (i.e. "sinning in your heart"; see, for example, Matthew 5:28) and if Jesus was tempted by Satan in the desert (Matthew 4:5-8, Luke 4:5-9), how can you say that Jesus was without sin?

  • What does your sect think of the government? Read Paul's letter to the Romans, chapter 13. Now what do you think of the government? If necessary, reconcile the two views.

  • What is your definition of the word Christian?

  • Why do you think it is that the ancient Greeks, who had a very liberal sexual morality, had many fewer sex crimes (compared to the population) than the United States, which is 85% Christian?

  • What are the requirements for being saved? Some sects says that faith alone is enough; others say that faith without works is dead. The Bible supports both these viewpoints. What does your sect think?

  • What is the name of your sect?

  • How is your sect organized?

  • How can I get in touch with a priest (minister, etc.) of your sect?

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