Why your god is not real

Is there a god? The age-old question that has been debated, and wrote about for ages. In reality, I believe that is a senseless question to have. In a world where religious motivated violence plagues everyone’s peace, the important question to ask is whether or not your god is real. When we live in a country where a baker can deny someone a right to purchase a fu***** cake because their “lifestyle” doesn’t agree with the bakers religious beliefs, the question we need to be asking is whether or not you can know for certain that your god is real. Because when you are making life and death decisions based on your convictions from a book supposedly completely authored through inspiration from this “god”, you probably ought to know whether or not that god is real, not just if a god is real.

An exercise

I want you to close your eyes and imagine god. Not who you have been told to believe, but specifically what you believe god to be like. Now I want you to imagine what heaven is like, who is there, and who is not. I can assure you with 100% certainty that this very specific god is not real. According to everything we know from archaeological digs, and studying the history left by some ancient civilizations, religion was largely restrictive to the local population “back in the day”. In essence, there was no intention to evangelize the world. Now, this very well could have had more to do with the lack of knowledge of a larger community, but it also just simply seemed an attempt to answer life’s most basic fears and unknowns. In that time frame there is certainly little blame that one could cast on our ancestors in having the desire to figure out what all this was about, and especially with such little information available to them. However, we know better now, there is no longer an excuse for actually believing that your god is the only right god, or that there is definitely any god at all. Could there be? Sure, in the same way that there could be a Flying Spaghetti Monster that created everything we see.

What is the point?

My point in writing this blog is to plead with all of you to consider the point of coexisting with other belief systems, even non-belief systems. If it helps you sleep better at night to know that there is a supernatural god at work in the sky caring what you do with your life, then great, believe that. There is zero evidence for it, but knock yourself out. The silliest argument that atheist try and have with a theist is whether or not there is “a god”. That is such a senseless argument for most of these individuals because the real idea that you can, need to, and should destroy, is the notion that their god is the only god, and that everyone else should live according to its rules. This is the debate to have. Not whether or not there is a god at all. There are too many variables for that debate. There are too many possibilities, as we atheist like to point out with things such as the Flying Spaghetti Monster (no offense to those who genuinely follow this possible deity). However, there are absolutely zero ways that anyone can prove with certainty that their specific god is real. According to several sources there are approximately 4,200 different religious beliefs (this number includes variants within the same overarching belief system, i.e. denominations). Approximately 75% of the world worships under one of five possible religions, which are Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, and Buddhism. Of these five religions, Christianity and Islam are the most widespread. These values, and ethics vary from sect to sect, but in just the two largest religions heads are being chopped off, daughters are being murdered (honor killings), and people are being discriminated against (at a minimum) if you do not line up with what their god says is the right way to live. One of the common questions that theist like to ask is how do we know right from wrong as atheist, but I would argue that when removed from the overarching bondage of religious orthodoxy you can better attain for yourself what is right and what is wrong.

My hope

We need to have an understanding that when it comes to religious freedom, this does not give you the right to impose your religious beliefs on me, or prohibit me from participating in things that your god would forbid. If you want to operate in the open market then you should be made to serve all of your customers. If you desire to have a family, for the love of humanity, love your children no matter what their sexual orientation. Please, do not let your religious beliefs harm your ability to have empathy, and understanding of someone’s situation. This world needs a lot more love in it, and religion is the last place most people these days think of going to get it. We may not know whether or not a god is real at all, but we certainly know that the specific god you have thought up in your head is not real. The chances are slimmer then winning the lottery. As Bill Maher says in his segment on Real Time on HBO, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true”. This doesn’t need to cause you anxiety, or anger. You need to accept this reality, and open your arms, your hearts, and your lives to people outside of your cult. It could do you some good. You might just realize your god playing banjo with Hank Williams Jr. aint the only god out there. Now, go crack open a beer with an atheist, or a muslim, or someone of a different race, or gender orientation, and learn something about someone else other then yourself. Let’s do this together!

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

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The Selfishness of Religion

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16 ESV)

Oh, how special you are. You, being specifically a human, are special. Everything was created for your benefit, for your pleasure (but not too much pleasure, that is sinful), for your enjoyment. Southerners in the United States are notorious for believing in the idea that a sense of entitlement is what is wrong with this present generation, and that “kids today” just do not understand that the world does not revolve around them. While that is certainly a debate to have, it is rather ironic that these elders of the south are largely Christian conservatives, and most likely Baptist. The reason being, because the whole premise of any of the three main religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) is that you are extremely important. When you go back before the days of these monotheistic religions (yes there was a time before these beliefs existed), you see more of a animism/spirituality approach. Everything had value, including the plants, animals, and fellow species of homo sapiens. Religious beliefs were local, and there was not a “I am right, you are wrong” type of thought process when it came to religious thought. The world had a soul, and I think that is a beautiful thing from that time period.

Then monotheistic religions came into play, as early as c.1350 BC in Egypt, according to the records we have. This was truly a change in direction, and quickly turned spiritual thought away from “everything is sacred”, to “we are sacred”. Now, we kill others, both fellow species, and other species down to the smallest life forms all to (supposedly) better ourselves. The selfishness of man has been seen throughout the ages, and monotheistic religion was a push in that direction. As the verse above gives reference to, monotheistic religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam took the world in a direction towards believing that not only are humans what everything is about, but specifically a certain type of humans. You now need to believe a certain way, or even be born a certain way, in order to be special. The animal kingdom is completely taken out of the picture. No longer do we care about the world, because hey, it is here for our benefit anyways. The irony is hard to miss, and it is strikes at the heart of all things that humanism stands for. When Christians tout their “caring” religion, it truly doesn’t take long to realize the hypocrisy of this whole religious system. The importance of realizing our place in the world as a whole cannot be understated. Just among fellow humans, we are one in approximately 7.6 billion other humans. That does not even include animals, and plants. Christians, specifically the Southern Baptist Christians love to mock those who defend animals, and plants as “tree huggers”, and trying to suggest that we must care more about animals then we do humans. I do not understand why we cannot do both, care about humans, and animals at the same time. There is a lot of work to be done in the area of care for our world. Climate change is a reality, and all the other species are suffering for it. Homo sapiens have left some pretty amazing advances in technology, and knowledge in its wake, but we also have left devastation and destruction. You are not the point, get over it.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

Check out a recent blog, The randomness of science or the mysteries of god? for a good read. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Why Hell Does Not Matter

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (Mat 5:27 ESV)

Before Jesus came into the picture, hell (Sheol, מִשְּׁא֥וֹל), seemed to be more of simply a location that you went to when you died that was the opposite of heaven. There really is no reference to “weeping and gnashing of teeth” until you get to the New Testament. Jesus doesn’t only step up his game on how bad hell will be (obvious necessary component to the whole thing), but he broadens who is at risk of hell. I think most people, even atheist, may hope for a hell for certain breeds of people that are murderers, or rapist (as an example), but if your worst crime has been telling your parents that you came home by curfew, when really you barely made it in the door before their 5AM alarm, I don’t think hell should be concern for you. I would even venture to say that most of us would not consider things like hating someone (while not a noble thing to do, and very exhausting), would deserve hell. I mean, hell, hating someone is hell in and of itself. Then, while porn may be considered grotesque by some, I don’t think we’re ready to condemn someone to eternal torment for it, right? Maybe I am only hoping at this point, but I am truly hopeful that you do not think like this. Well, guess who does? Jesus. In Matthew 5 he goes through a pretty lengthy discourse where he condemns porn as adultery, hate as murder, and marrying a divorced woman as sexual immorality and adultery. I realize that many believe this, because of the whole “Holy Bible” thing, but let’s be real. Can you honestly say that someone who simply hated their brother for a stint deserves hellfire and brimstone?

If you are on death row, then maybe you should weigh your religious options, but otherwise I think it is safe to say hell should not be your greatest worry in life. The advantages to describing the afterlife as this horrible place for all who do not follow your religion should go without saying really. It is a clever marketing practice really, but it just simply does not pass the smell test. You should be as good of a person as you can possibly be. You should leave a legacy. You should share kindness, love, and empathy with those around you (including other species), but perfection is ridiculous (even the Bible admits that). When you consider that the first alphabet did not even come about until around 2000 BCE in Syria, it is silly to suggest that these rules would have always applied. If they did not always apply, because of the lack of access to the information, then why was the information ever shared. It is really a circular problem that can make your head spin. I realize your grandma is going to want you to get baptized (by full immersion), and your mom is going to want to make sure you repent of your sins and go to church every Sunday, but these are ridiculous reasons to be sent to hell. You know it, I know it, we ALL know it (in my opinion). I completely accept that the “Holy Bible” says something different, but that is open to interpretation, depending on the denomination you subscribe to.

Simply put, there is plenty of hell on earth. While it may be good for business to make people consider an everlasting hell, it is not good for the heart, or the emotions. No one wants to think of sweet old grandpa, who would say a cuss word here and there, smoked like a freight train, and had porn magazines in the garage on top of his work bench is going to hell because he didn’t follow the right teaching about salvation. I mean, sweet old grandpa worked his fingers to the bone providing for his family, he gave his all every day, he fought for his country, and he was a good man. Who cares if he whacked off every now and then to some October 1989 Playboy. It is just plain silliness. The statistics for violent crime show us that at any given time less than 1% of our population has committed a violent crime. The church thrives off of making every Dick and Harry guilty of hell for everything under the sun. Give me, and the rest of the world a break. This is why hell does not matter.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

****Check out Be selective of your f****, for a great read on a recent blog… Let me know what you think in the comments.****

The randomness of science or the mysteries of god?

I often heard in my “Bible-belt” culture of East Texas claim that god works in mysterious ways. That phrase became taboo over the years, even in Christian circles, because apparently there is nothing mysterious about god, because everything he does is promised in black and white ink (some red for you red-letter edition folks) in the Holy Bible. So, no surprises here apparently with the Christians. However, as my beliefs began to evolve into what they are now I started appreciating the randomness of science.

That may sound a little confusing, so let me try and clear it up. I don’t know if you have ever heard the phrase, “science only comes so far, then there’s god”. Well, that idea is this premise that because things happen that we cannot explain with science (which I would argue the facts are closer to being not consistently 100% certain, then that science cannot explain something at all), this leads to the “obvious” conclusion that this is proof of a supernatural being. I want you to consider for a moment that while this idea works rather comfortably for scenarios such as “I got the job, even when there were 100 other applicants, that must have been god”, or “Yes! that parking spot opened up close to the door, and I am in a really big hurry, god knows what he is doing…”. On the other hand, sometimes we see things like a child contracting a rare illness, and dying. Or, we see a perfectly healthy individual with a promising future die suddenly from some tragic event. You see, I know that these rare events happen to the best people, but did you know they happen to the worst people as well? Guess what else? Good things happen to bad people, and good things happen to good people. I am an analytical, statistics kind of guy. I struggle with anxieties, and I often happen to casually look at the risk of contracting the flu for any given week during the peaks of the season, for an example. This is not healthy, and I do not recommend it, but it is something I do. The thing is, there is a sort of peace in knowing that there “ain’t shit I can do about it”, instead of thinking that there is some supernatural god in the sky that may or may not help me depending on my service, and worth to this god. Christians want you to believe that there is peace in knowing that in the midst of the chaos god has it all under control. Excuse me, but if this is “under control”, I don’t want to see “out of control”. The reality is, things are not “under control”. “Shit happens” is a much better analysis of life, and to me that gives much more proof to the randomness of science (which I do not find challenging), then to the mysteries of god.

For the truth,

The godless Pastor

Godless Motivation

Motivation for life is something that has been written about, and spoken about to no end. Throughout every century, successful people have written about how they became successful, and specifically how they have overcome obstacles. These books fly off the shelves, and seminars are sold-out in no time. People from all walks of life flock to these successful people to figure out how they too can change their destinies, and move forward despite the difficulties of life. In most of these books and seminars a spiritual influence is often mentioned as a source of strength for these prosperous individuals. I, for one, was always taught growing up that without god, specifically the Christian god, you cannot obtain success in this life. This of course, runs even contrary to scripture, but it was a nice sentiment that with the Christian, Baptist, southern, Texas white god on my side nothing could stop me. As I have looked at my beliefs more objectively and come away from what I once held so closely, the area of motivation for life was one that I was scared to venture into. My fear, came from the thought that I would struggle to find any motivation outside of Christian sources. Fortunately, I was wrong.

Through magazines such as National Geographic, Psychology Today, and TIME I have read some amazing articles about success, motivation, and happiness. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes these articles are lightly touched with some sense of spirituality, for example a November 2017 article in National Geographic that talked about happiness in the three most happy places on earth – Costa Rica, Denmark, and Singapore (National Geographic, 2017). In that article it did express that specifically in Costa Rica, religion is an important part of the culture. However, it was not something that was specific to a certain denomination. Many that were interviewed seemed to be Catholic, for example. In a recent New York Times article they discussed the issue of whether or not Danish and Scandinavians were specifically “atheist”, a claim that had been touted by many in the atheist community. What this particular researcher found, in talking directly with the people was that they were not fond of the term atheist, and even still considered themselves Christian, just not affiliated with the official church. Even more to the point, on the issue of religion, the interviewer found that, “His interviewees just didn’t care about it”. I believe that this goes back to the point that many, whether religious or not arrive at, that happiness is a choice. My personal opinion is that religion has nothing to do with a persons happiness, unless it does. To further expound on that confusing sentence, I would simply say that if religious beliefs are made to be important to a persons understanding of the world, then and only then, does it play a role in the persons happiness. I think the most obvious example of this is the fact that a persons spiritual beliefs can be anything from Christian, to Hindu, to Muslim, to Humanist and be extremely happy. On the flip side, a person can be a Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Humanist and also be extremely unhappy. I would even venture to say that every category of those beliefs have both successful people, and unsuccessful people.

Here is the reality that I hope you understand. Your version of religion that you grew up with may have been extremely harmful, and for that reason you left that religion. Now, you are struggling to carry on without that belief, and struggling to find purpose. DO NOT DO IT! Do not be so against the idea of a god because of your childhood upbringing. If you need to have a value system based on god in order to carry on, please re-evaluate your faith and consider a different way of believing about the god you once loved, but grew up to hate. It may not land you at Christianity, even if that is where you started. Stop being afraid of leaving orthodoxy, or thinking that you have to choose either orthodoxy or atheist. Do not take things so seriously, but instead choose to find YOUR happiness. Realize that religious fanatics will be totally against that viewpoint, and call me a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I am probably in good company with who they think those people are, so be it. Do not concern yourself with the opinions of others, especially in reference to what you believe. If you are a Christian who is in church every time the doors are open, and this brings you happiness, AWESOME! Keep doing that. If you are the Christian who attends for special ceremonies, and otherwise watches Game of Thrones, Fifty Shades of Grey, uses curse words, drinks alcohol on occasion, currently living with your girlfriend, and you are happy, AWESOME! If you are attending a church that downs those kinds of personal happiness choices, it sounds like you need a new church, not a new belief system. As an atheist, I find plenty of stupidity with religion, but this is my PERSONAL viewpoint, and not necessary for everyone in the world to believe. The most harm I see in religion is with those who take it too seriously. Find your happiness, and live that out, f*** everyone else.

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker

My hope for you for 2018

The year in review: The good

2017 has been an amazing, joyful, liberating, hurtful, divisive, difficult year. I started this year with an amazing gift from K9s for Warriors, receiving my service dog, Dozer. I was on a waiting list for her for almost two years, and you can read more about what she has meant to me in my blog post, My pill bottle wears a vest. I was thrilled to see the progress she helped me make with so many symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and depression. I ended 2016 not sure how much longer I would be able to hang on, and now I feel like I cannot see far enough into the future. I became a lot more active on my blog writing, which is something I have wanted to do for a very long time. We hit over 1,000 visitors (THANK YOU ALL!), increased our views to over 3,000, and over 29 countries viewed this website, including very freethinking oppressed countries. Our top 5 countries were USA, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and Malaysia (in ranking order). We have over 300 followers between subscriptions to the blog, follows on Twitter, and likes on Facebook. It has been a great year for this blog. We moved to North Carolina during this time, which provides a lot of inspiration for writing, it is a beautiful state.

Over 29 countries viewed this website, including very freethinking oppressed countries.

What I learned

In looking back, we should only seek to learn lessons, not dwell or wallow in self-pity. On that note, in 2017 I learned what I believe for me. That has been a tremendously good thing. I introduced myself to people like Julia Sweeney, by watching her monologue; Letting go of God.  I watched a documentary on “The Amazing Randi”, about a magician James Randi, who staked his reputation on debunking magic tricks, psychics, and even an evangelical “Preacher”. I learned who George Carlin is, and found out subsequently that he unfortunately passed away. I have now watched the majority of his stand-up work, and it brings me joy to watch the way in which he articulated what so many of my thoughts were about religion. I have reconnected with my brother who has been out of my life for over 20 years, which has been phenomenal, and I am looking forward to that relationship continuing to grow. I read, and I read some more. I have always loved to read, but I would filter my reading based on my preconceived notions of what was “worth” reading, and what was not. You want to know what was not worth reading? Anything that questioned the idea of god. In case you didn’t know, that is a lot of f****** (for my PG readers) material. Let me give you an example; at the beginning of the year I started to read The God delusion from Richard Dawkins, and only about two chapters in I put it down, and immediately sought out Christian approved responses to this book. Only wanting to hear what was wrong with the book, and why I could safely dismiss it as garbage did little to satisfy my longing for the truth. The way in which I worked my way back in was actually through somewhat middle-ground material. I guess what I mean by that is moderate believers. A good example would be Rob Bell. I admire Rob Bell for being willing to step out of the box, and consider an alternative way to believing in god. I read his book What is the Bible?, which created a lot of controversy and judgment from the mainstream Christian crowd. I read Karen Armstrong’s A History of God: The 4,000 year old quest of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The most convincing book that caused me to walk away from my beliefs, which I held for 21 years of my life, was the actual Bible (The Holy Bible in ESV, CSB, HCSB, NIV, NASB, and yes even KJV). It was once I started to consider the inconsistencies in scripture, and the major implication differences between denominations that my beliefs really began to unravel. That was the moment I became The godless Pastor. I was at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary when the light went on for me. That was scary. Trying to hold back from coming out completely, I just started asking questions, and pressing myself to look beyond my labels which I had, and society had placed on myself. Once it became clear that simply moving outside of my initial comfort zone, and clearly the comfort zone of my circle of influence, it seemed inconsequential to go ahead and declare my atheism, which I did in the blog Dear Friends and Family,. During this time I also stumbled upon one of, if not the game-changer book, godless by Dan Barker. Reading his story, and his background, I immediately connected with his history. I then re-read the entire book The God delusion by Richard Dawkins, and my mind was blown. From there, I continued to read, and I was, and am continuing to read everything. Like a bird that has been in a cage its entire life being released into the air, I am spreading my wings into territories which I never even considered. Unfortunately, this decision to be open about my beliefs has not been as inconsequential as I have hoped. I have lost a lot of people in this process, and had very hurtful things said directly towards me. I hate that this decision to be open about my beliefs, and to call into question others beliefs has caused so much divide. However, mixed in with that I have had so many people reach out to me personally and thank me for doing this. I have had many people, even current Christians, confide in me their appreciation for my blogs, and my boldness about what I am learning. While I have lost some people, I have gained so many others that I would have never met if it hadn’t been for my blog. All in all it has been a wonderful, amazing year.

2018 reading list

I honestly do not know how you could enjoy writing, and not enjoy reading, but for me it is my escape. I love to read. I want to share with you what my reading goals are for this new year, and encourage some of these books to you.

1) The Seven Decisions, by Andy Andrews

2) The Mind of God, by Dr. Jay Lombard

3) The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander

4) Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari

5) The Lynching, by Laurence Leamer

6) Cosmos, by Carl Sagan

7) Parenting beyond Belief, by Doug McGowan

8) The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins

  9) The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson

  10) Science in the Soul, by Richard Dawkins

11) Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari

12) The Holy Bible, by multiple human authors

Check these books out, and let me know in the comments if you plan on reading any of these with me during this new year.

2018, a hope

My hope for all of you in this new year is that you are able to think critically, and without walls. May you always be willing to look outside of the black and white box the world tries to put us in, and look in the gray area. That is where the best of everything is. READ, I cannot overstate this enough, read, and read some more. This includes religious material. Read magazines, books, newspapers, etc. I have found I need the tactile feeling of actual pages to turn, and so e-books are not my friends. However, whatever floats your boat, have at it. I just want you to think. If this means you become stronger in your religious convictions, great! If this means you walk away from all of your religious convictions, great! As long as you do it for YOU! My last hope for all of us, including me, would be that we would figure out a way to realize that we are one of 7.6 billion people (even more co-species), and empathy needs to happen. We need to start caring, and caring more about the other living, human beings, and other species then we do our religious convictions. It is in your hands, my hands. We are individually responsible for how this next year will pan out. So, let us get a spark in our ass, and start doing. Let’s do this!

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker

What is this Christmas about anyways?

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Mat 1:23 KJV)

Christmas is a time of year in which most people in America try and suggest that there is a “war on Christmas”. However, we know through plenty of sources, even Christian ones (note the video below from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), that the celebration around Christmas has pagan origins.

Pagan, of course, meaning sinful, satanic, demon possessed people. No, of course not. Pagan simply meant the opposite of all this religious mumbo jumbo. Christians want to paint anything during Christmas time not relating to Jesus as horrible, and inconsiderate of poor little Jesus’ birth. When in reality most seem to not be aware of the unfortunate (for them) origins of this “sacred” holiday. There are plenty of videos, and blogs that tell you about the pagan origins, even the preacher dude up in the video does a pretty good job of explaining this. That being said, I don’t want to spend a lot of time dwelling on that issue, for it seems, for lack of a better word, buried (I hope for our sake this problem doesn’t “rise” again). Instead, I would like to share with you the complicated, complex problems within the story of Jesus’ birth. So, where do we begin…

I suppose at the beginning,

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Gen 1:26 KJV)

Some of you may not know this, but many churches teach that when Moses writes in Genesis the words “our image”, he is referring to the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). I start there, because to me this is the initial confusion. The way the story of Jesus is expounded is that once Adam and Eve committed the mortal sin of eating a fruit that God had declared them not to eat, this is the moment that Jesus became necessary.

14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:14 ESV)

The story goes that once Adam and Eve committed this sin, every “man” from that point through to the end of mankind was forever born a sinner through the sperm of the man. However, the grace that is apparently in the middle of all of this ridiculousness, is that there in verse 15 God gives a window for Jesus to come onto the scene when he states, “…he shall bruise your head…”. Not to mention that commentators love to point out that scripture is clear about it being the “seed” (KJV) of the woman that would bring about this Savior, which commentators declare clearly points to Jesus’ virgin birth (Source: Preachers Outline & Sermon Bible: Genesis; Gen 3:14, 15).

Here is a thought to consider, what the hell was Jesus doing between before this moment and this moment? I know that is probably confusing, let me see if I can clear it up a little. John 1:1-2 states, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.” (Joh 1:1 CSB). This, among other verses (John 8:58; 17:5) clearly shows that Jesus was existing right along with god before the earth was even here. So, if Jesus was and is the Savior, then before he became the Savior what was he doing. Genesis 3 seems to be so “off the cuff”, instead of this grand designed plan. I mean hell, God couldn’t even find Adam and Eve in the garden (apparently). Nevertheless, besides the confusion that exist about Jesus in general, there is great confusion surrounding the whole story.

Only two of the Gospels even bother mentioning the details of the birth of the Savior of the world, which I find a little odd in and of itself. Even so, the two Gospels that mention the miraculous conception fail to line up together. Let’s start with Matthew. In Matthews account of Jesus’ birth (In his defense he wasn’t there) he talks about Joseph (Mary’s earthly husband) being visited by an angel (not named, although later named in Luke’s Gospel), and being informed that he will call the baby’s name Jesus. Sounds all good in the neighborhood, until one verse later the angel apparently adds that in order to fulfill prophecy you will name him “Immanuel”, which translated means “God with us”. Now certainly with a unquestionable faith-filled heart one could overlook this minor discrepancy. However, I have a few things I want to set straight here for the skeptic. Immanuel is only mentioned three times in scripture. The first, is apparently where the angel in Matthew’s story quotes from, is in Isaiah 7:14 which says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isa 7:14 ESV). The second time is in Isaiah 8:8, ” And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.” (Isa 8:8 KJV). Then the last time it is mentioned in scripture is there in the lonely New Testament verse of Matthew 1:23. Look, I am sorry, but it just doesn’t pass the B.S. smell test. It doesn’t take a genius to understand that in an attempt to fulfill the prophecies, Matthew may have gotten a little excited and added a few things. I will give you another way to consider this. The name Jesus is only used in the New Testament. The name Christ is only used in the New Testament. Nowhere, except in this one Matthew 1:23 verse does the name Immanuel come up, and it states the reason very clearly.

“All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:” (Mat 1:22 ESV)

I get it, you need the prophecies to be fulfilled. However, no different then any other mystical, supernatural tale, you really have to use your imagination to get beyond the obvious discrepancies about the virgin birth. For sake of brevity, and I am an animal lover (no sense in beating dead horse), I will leave you with that information. Everything else about the story of Jesus’ birth seems to have been written about over and over. When it comes to the prophecies, you could honestly write a book about the discrepancies. Look at that text in Isaiah in context, and tell me honestly, without any outside commentary, if that seems to be referencing a future Savior? Personally, I do not see how you could say “clearly that is what it meant” about anything in the Bible, much less the Old Testament references to Jesus, unless you are desperately trying to draw conclusions. Throughout theological thought you often arrive at the conclusion that without unquestionable faith, Christianity is no different then any other religion.

All in all, as I mentioned at the beginning, and this Pastor in the video so eloquently explains, Christmas is NOT about Jesus anyways.From one skeptic to another, Merry Christmas.

The godless Pastor,

Billy J. Crocker