Christian, “Believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and you will be saved!”
Me, “Saved from what?”
Christian, “From the price of your sins.”
Me, “What is the price of my sins?”
Christian, “You will go to hell.”
Christian, “Hell is eternal separation from God, eternal suffering. Everyone who does not accept Jesus as their savior, believing He died on the cross for their sins, will go there.”
Christian, “Because the wages of sin is death. God can not stand sin, there is no sin in Heaven. Anyone who dies without receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior dies in sin. They are lost.”
Me, “What’s so great about Heaven?”
Christian, “Heaven is a beautiful perfect place where everyone who has received Jesus into their heart as their Lord and Savior will go when they die.”
Me, “So I have to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior in order to be saved from hell and go to Heaven. If He becomes my Lord, does that mean he controls me? Is He like a king or something who I serve, and whose word is law?”
Christian, “God does not control you…”
Christian, “God and Jesus are one. Jesus is God’s only begotten son, but the father and the son are one.”
Me, “OK, continue…”
Christian, “God does not control you, you have free will. It is your choice whether or not to receive Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior. If you want to go to Heaven, receiving Jesus into your heart as your Lord and Savior is the only way. But it is still your choice.”
Me, “OK, let me get this straight… I have free will and can choose, essentially, between going to Heaven or going to hell. What if I don’t want to go to either place?”
Christan, “There is no other place to go when you die. You either go to Hell or to Heaven.”
Me, “OK, so I have free will to choose where I will go when I die. But I have just two choices. One is desirable and the other undesirable. It doesn’t sound to me like I have any real free will, because if I did I could choose neither option, if I was so inclined. Also it is not much of a choice. Who would consciously choose to go to hell?”
Christian, “That’s just the way it is. That is what the Bible, God’s word, says.”
Me, “Wait, Christians claim to have the word of God?”
Christian, “We don’t claim to have the word of God. We have the only True word of God. The Bible is the infallible, flawless word of God, passed down to man and recorded into scripture.”
Me, “How do you know this? Can you prove it? Can you say with absolute certainty that this book you call God’s word is complete, nothing missing, properly translated if it was written in other languages and formatted exactly how it was delivered to these people so long ago? Can you even prove these people existed and that these are the exact words they received? Can you prove God was speaking to them?”
Christian, “I believe the Bible is God’s word. That God has protected it so that what I have now is the same thing that was first written.”
Me, “So you have no proof?”
Christian, “No …”
Me, “OK, let’s change gears for a second… What exactly is sin?”
Christian, "That is anything you do that displeases God or breaks his commandments."
Me, "According to the Bible."
Me, "OK, so you are saying God gives us free will, but punishes us when we use it in any way that displeases him or breaks his rules?"
Christian, "Yes but…"
Me, "But nothing. That is not true free will. If I truly have free will, I am free to do whatever the hell I want. I can live my life however I want. I can believe in whatever I want. But you are saying that I can't."
Christian, "There are consequences…"
Me, "On that we can agree. I may have the free will to do as I please, but that does not mean there are no consequences for my actions. But according to your Bible, I do not really have free will, because the consequences of acting freely, if it is not in alignment with God's rules, is eternal suffering. In other words, I have free will to believe as I wish, but if I do not believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and is the only Son of God I will go to hell. I can do what I want, but if what I do displeases God or breaks what you call His commandments I go to hell. Not only that, but logically, I also have to bear the consequences of my actions here on earth."
Christian, "That is essentially correct but…"
Me, "Let's change the subject again."
Me., "Why only Heaven or Hell? The Christian religion is not the oldest religion or the only afterlife. What about the Halls of Valhalla, the Elysium Fields, Reincarnation and all the other afterlives out there, some of which are far older than Christianity? Since man first walked the earth he must have believe in millions of places to go when he dies. How come Christianity, which is not the oldest or most believed, is the only religion to know what the afterlife is? Have Christians come back from death to tell us for a certainty there is only Heaven or hell?"
Christian, "The Bible is God's word, and God's word says there is only Heaven and Hell. There is nothing else. All the other religions are wrong. Christianity is the only way to Heaven. It is the straight and narrow. All the other roads are broad and lead to Hell."
Me, "But you can't prove this, can you? In fact, rarely, in cases of people who have come back from being clinically dead, is the afterlife even described as Christians believe it is at all. Frequently some sort of tunnel is described, colors and lights beyond human description, and a feeling of love. There seems to be this vast world in the same place as our physical world. How do you explain that?"
Christian, "Satan is the master of deception. He is deceiving everyone. Or these people did not truly die and leave their bodies. It was all in their mind. Either way what they are seeing is not the truth."
Me, "So Satan has the same creative abilities and power as God?"
Christian, "No, Satan is the Destroyer. As Lucifer He fell from Heaven because He desired the power of God."
Me, "OK, let me get this straight… Heaven is a perfect place free of sin, yet somehow Lucifer sinned against God and was cast out? Presumably because God can't stand sin?"
Christian, "Yes, along with 1/3 of the angels."
Me, "So Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels all somehow managed to commit sin in a sinless, perfect place?"
Me, "What has that got to do with what these people are seeing after they have been pronounced clinically dead?"
Christian, "Lucifer and 1/3 of the angels were cast to earth. They tempt man to sin. Lucifer, in the form of a snake, tempted Eve to eat of the apple in the Garden of Eden. Eve shared the apple with Adam, and that is how sin entered the world. That is why mankind must be saved from their sin, because they have fallen."
Me, "OK, so God is perfect and His home, Heaven is perfect. Yet somehow sin entered Heaven, and God, in His perfection, cast out the sinners to earth, to tempt man, who then fell from his perfection. In essence God destroyed His own creation. Now God punishes man for sinning, when God introduced sin into the world of man in the first place indirectly through Lucifer, who is now called Satan. Then God, in His perfection, separates Himself from Himself becoming human in the form of Jesus, who comes into the world to die for all of man's sins, allowing man to once again live in Heaven with God, where all the problems started in the first place?"
Me, "So if anything does not fit in with what you call God's word, it is of Satan, who is a destroyer, who by nature destroys and should logically be unable to create anything. Yet somehow He has created this vast afterlife many have seen during Near Death our Out of Body Experiences. Furthermore Satan has some sort of perfect communication network in place, to be able to tempt every man, woman and child on earth, to know exactly how to tempt them, how to deceive them so they He can mislead them and bring them into Hell. Satan is not God yet must have the powers of God to do all of this, and why would He even willingly play this role of Hell's ruler in the first place? Yes, here in the Bible, it says he rebelled against God. Are you saying He no longer is rebellious? So He is just going to run Hell, just like God wants, and for what? What does He get out of having all these people who have died with him in Hell? He can't use them as an army to defeat God, He probably isn't lonely, so what drives Him, what is His motivation?"
Christian, "I don't know. God knows."
Me, "Funny that Lucifer sought the power of God, was kicked out of Heaven and now as Satan has the power of God on earth. It is almost as if He has been rewarded by God. Why wouldn't God just kill Him? Or throw him in some box somewhere where He can't affect anyone?"
Christian, "I don't know…"
Me, "Also, how come God and Satan are males, or even have a gender? Are you saying that both God and Satan have some sort of penis and male characteristics? Why? If they are not human, why do that have human genders? Why do they have human concerns, drives, motivations? They just sound like really powerful humans to me, not like divine beings at all."
Christian, "That's just sick, its blasphemy…"
Me, "So if I point out something obvious that doesn't fit in with the Bible and calls it into question it is blasphemous or heretical?"
Me, "I have learned of something called the ego. It is that part of me that has a name and a history attached to it. It is how I identify myself in the world. Doesn't it seem like this God of yours, a well as His negative counterpart, Satan, have egos? If they do, why? Why would non-physical, non-human beings have a human construction like an ego? I see in your Bible, in the Old Testament, that God is constantly getting angry, punishing and killing people. That He sent a flood to wipe them out when they got out of control. Then, in the New Testament, God is loving. But shouldn't God be beyond and outside human concerns and emotions? If humans, driven by their egos, are sinners, and God is perfect, why is God also driven by something only imperfect humans have, an ego? Why would God have any need to identify or know itself as God?"
Me, "So, to sum up… According to a book called the Bible, with an uncertain, improvable province, I am a sinner. I was born that way, I inherited this curse from the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. I am told I have free will, but I can not choose to be born free of this inherited curse, and my only options are to believe in Jesus and receive Him as my Lord and Savior, that He is God's Son and died on the cross for my sins, or not believe it. If I believe it I will go to Heaven, which this Bible says is perfect, yet which is also where what the Bible calls sin truly originated from. If I do not believe it I go to Hell, to suffer for all eternity. There is no other afterlife, no other place to go. Anything anyone has seen while clinically dead is either some unknown brain activity or a clever illusion crated by Satan, who as Lucifer sought the power of God, and now has it. With the help of His fallen angels, now called demons, He is able to tempt everyone, know how to tempt them, and has created an elaborate illusion of another afterlife. Oh and let's not forget that even though He is described as the destroyer He would have to be very creative to set everything up in this way. Is that about right?"
Christian, "I see God has hardened your heart. There is nothing I can say to you. I will pray for you."
Me, "So because I provided a logical and reasonable challenge to what you are claiming to be the Truth my heart is hard? That God hardened it and in order to soften it you must pray for me? What would be God's purpose in hardening my heart? How do you know my heart is hard in the first place?"
Christian, "God loves you and wants to save you from your sin. There is no way to know why these things are the way they are. Only God has the answers. We must have faith in His word and trust Him."
Me, "In other words, you don't have a reasonable explanation for any of my questions, and when you can not provide an answer you choose to refer to it as being inexplicable or unexplainable. So that only God ultimately knows the truth of these things and you are just going to have faith and trust in that. That is a very convenient way to brush aside any troubling questions. Refer to them as blasphemy or heresy, or as inexplicable or unexplainable, or as things only God knows, or, as a last resort, tell the person asking troubling questions that their heart has been hardened."
Christian, "There is nothing more I can say to you to convince you."
Me, "Just doing as much as you can to help out God, who according to you is all powerful. Yet somehow He needs your help to spread His message, and is unable or unwilling to speak for Himself."
Christian, "God works in mysterious ways…"
Me, "There is no mystery here. Only a belief system created by man to control man. That is all Christianity, and any other Institutionalized Religion, really is. You have been brainwashed by this Bible of yours, and those who have taught it to you, who themselves have also been brainwashed. You have no capability, capacity or desire to think for yourself. To face your beliefs in this religion and ask the hard questions. You will likely die following the words of others while never truly hearing the voice of God, which is speaking inside you all the time!”
Me, “This has been an interesting conversation, thank you. I hope you are able to realize the truth about your religion and free yourself from it one day."
Christian, "Goodbye! I will pray for you!"
Me, "And I will pray for you."