Q: I’m a student from a country that has only a few Christians. I’d like to learn more about Christianity, but I’m confused because you have so many different churches here. Someone said to write you for suggestions. — V.Z.
A: Christianity is based on the belief that Jesus was the son of the Hebrew God, that he became a man about 2,000 years ago in the Middle East, and that he was crucified in order to forgive our sins. This story is recounted in the New Testament of the Christian bible. Many Christians believe they will live an eternal life in Heaven if they simply believe this story to be true. I say “many” because there are other Christians that believe they will go to this same Heaven if they lead good lives and help their fellow humans when the need arises. Others still believe that both belief in Jesus and good works are necessary to reach Heaven after death. These differences in opinion stem from the ambiguities that exist in the bible. Many people have interpreted the writings in the bible differently and this has led to many different denominations (churches) of Christianity.
However, there are many reasons to believe the stories in the Christian bible are not credible, including:
- A vast majority of the stories and themes in the bible are recycled from older cultures and religions.
- There is no credible historical account of Jesus’ life outside of the bible.
- The Gospels of the New Testament were written at least 35 years after the supposed death of Jesus and their true authorship is not known.
- There is nothing in the bible that was not known to mankind at the time.
- The bible contains a very large number of internal inconsistencies.
- The bible contains many absurdities that modern Christians ignore.
- The god described in the bible is misogynistic, cruel, and racist.
If you would like to read about more good reasons for doubting the veracity of the bible, see my recommended Reading List.
The many denominations of Christianity have arisen due to differences in which the bible is interpreted and in the ways that the failings mentioned above are dealt with. I hope that you do not choose to follow the teachings of Christianity which are based on nothing more than a myth. If you are looking for a community of people to associate with, you may wish to investigate one of the following organizations.
Secular Student Alliance
American Humanist Association
Humanism Meetup Groups
Feel free to leave your answer to this question in the comments.