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An Atheist Reads The Purpose-Driven Life: Purpose #1 
Thursday, January 17th, 2013 | 08:40 am [purpose-driven life, religion, video, vlog]
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An Atheist Reads The Purpose-Driven Life

002 – Purpose #1: You Were Planned for God’s Pleasure

DAY 8: PLANNED FOR GOD’S PLEASURE

  • The moment we were born, God was there smiling at our births. He wanted us alive, but he didn’t need us. He chose to create us for his benefit, and bringing enjoyment to him is the first purpose of our lives.
    • And we should be happy about this?
  • Warren returns to this theme over and over in this section of the book, so I won’t say too much about it here. But I would like to note that he stresses how unnecessary we are. God doesn’t need us; he created us because he wants us, but he doesn’t need us. Not only is that the ultimate guilt trip, it also tells you that you have no value apart from the pleasure you can give to someone else. You are God’s comfort woman. And you should know this, and you should be happy about it.
  • Warren says the reason we have five senses and the ability to experience pleasure is because God made us in his image. Like us, God has emotions — he can feel anger and jealousy and love and compassion just like we can.
    • Are God’s emotions predestined, too, I wonder . . .
  • Bringing God pleasure is known as “worship.” (This word is placed in quotation marks, as though Warren expects we’ve never seen it before.) Worship, Warren says, is multifaceted, like a diamond. (Or a mace.)
  • “Anthropologists have noted that worship is a universal urge, hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being . . . The reason God made us with this desire is that he desires worshippers!” (Rick Warren, THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE, p. 64)
    • Which “anthropologists” have noted that worship is “hard-wired by God into the very fiber of our being”? If this book were a Wikipedia entry, it would be flagged for use of weasel words.
    • Also: why should God’s desire for worshippers be seen as something positive? Is that generally a good thing — desiring worshippers? It’s usually considered a character flaw when found in people, let alone in the eternal and all-powerful creator of the universe.
  • Worship means more than just praying, or religious ceremonies, or certain types of music. Warren is really hung up on this (or maybe his editor told him he needed to slice this baloney a little thinner so he’d have enough for the whole book) and spends most of two pages emphasizing that “worship” does not mean a particular style of church music, and that there really is no official Biblical musical style, because we don’t even know what kind of musical instruments they had during Biblical times.
    • So he’ll cop to our lack of knowledge about the kind of music the people who wrote the Bible liked, but not our lack of knowledge about everything else about them? If our history of these people is so full of gaps, why should we trust what they wrote as the infallible Word of God? And I’m not suggesting that the people who produced the Bible are unique in this regard — there’s lots of stuff we don’t know about lots of ancient cultures — which makes it entirely sensible that we don’t rely on their writings to tell us how the universe works.
    • Anyway, Warren’s point is, God likes all kinds of music, so long as it’s being sung to him and it’s about how awesome he is.
    • Does anyone else find the notion that the universe is run by an insecure teenager a bit disconcerting?
  • Warren finishes up this chapter by making two more points about worship. First: worship is not for your benefit.
    • Well, duh! Nothing is!
  • Worship is for God, and if you go in expecting to get something out of it for yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
  • “In Isaiah 29 God complains about worship that is half-hearted and hypocritical. The people were offering God stale prayers, insincere praise, empty words, and man-made rituals without even thinking about the meaning.” (p. 66)
    • Well, what does God expect when he commands people to worship him? He orders people to tell him how great he is, then bitches when their hearts aren’t in it? What an unfathomable dick.
  • Second: worship is not just a part of your life — it is your life.
  • “Praise should be the first activity when you open your eyes in the morning and the last activity when you close them at night.” (p. 67)
    • “And you'll note that the people in Peaksville, Ohio, have to smile; they have to think happy thoughts and say happy things because, once displeased, the monster can wish them into a cornfield or change them into a grotesque, walking horror. This particular monster can read minds, you see.” (Rod Serling, The Twilight Zone, “It’s a Good Life”
  • “How is it possible to do everything to the glory of God? By doing everything as if you were doing it for Jesus and by carrying on a continual conversation with him while you do it.” (p. 67)
    • So the next time I masturbate to thoughts of Chloe from Smallville, I should be doing it for Jesus?
    • That is a good idea, though — not the masturbation thing, that’s creepy beyond fucking words. No, the idea of carrying on a continual conversation with Jesus, so that everything you do will be to God’s glory. I think I’ll try that. (What do you say, Jesus? . . . Do you like the critique so far?)
  • Warren compares how we should feel about worshipping God to how he felt about his wife when they first got together (again — this is some creepy, weird shit right here). He writes of how he thought about her all the time, whatever he was doing, and says

    “By constantly thinking of her, I was abiding in her love. This is what real worship is all about — falling in love with Jesus.” (p. 67)
    • (looks “Jesus” up and down suggestively)

DAY 9: WHAT MAKES GOD SMILE?

  • Warren uses the example of Noah to explain how we can lead a life which will bring a smile to God’s face, which is important, since the smile of God is the goal of our life. The only goal, apparently.
  • Warren summarizes the story of Noah and the Great Flood (the entire world had become wicked, God wanted to wipe humanity out but changed his mind when he saw that Noah was a good man, etc.), told as though he expects us to believe this story is literally true, that all this shit actually happened as told in the Bible.
  • The reason God liked Noah so much is that Noah did what God told him to do and had a close relationship with him.
    • (Jesus, how close were God and Noah? I mean, really. In all the world, God only saves one man from drowning? Sure, he saved the guy’s wife and kids, too, but even so . . . a little obvious, don’t you think?)
  • “This is what God wants most from you: a relationship! It’s the most astounding truth in the universe — that our Creator wants to fellowship with us. God made you to love you, and he longs for you to love him back.” (p. 70)
    • Does God want a relationship with us, or does he want us to worship him continually from morning to night? Because they aren’t the same thing. If God really loves us, and really wants us to love him, why is it he never seeks our input for things? Why is it he never asks us what we think about something? Why does he never ask us what we want to do with our lives? Demanding that someone praise you isn’t fellowship. It isn’t love. It’s enslavement. If he really loved us, he would treat us like people, and he would care about what we wanted, not just about whether or not we were doing what he wanted.
    • Also, I think the fact that our bodies are made up of atoms that were fired in the furnaces of long-dead stars is a more astounding fact that that imaginary one about God wanting to be best buds with us, or any of the paltry tribal mythology found in the Bible that gets dumbasses like Rick Warren so excited. Just my opinion. (Jesus? What do you think?)
  • So there are five things we can do that will make God smile. They are: love him supremely, trust him completely, obey him wholeheartedly, praise and thank him continually, and use our abilities.
    • Let’s take those first four: love him, trust him, obey him, and praise him — to the max! I find it odd — but deliciously so (though not as delicious as you, Jesus) — that Warren chose to explore these four things through the story of Noah. Is there any other story in the Bible that better demonstrates why God is utterly unworthy of our love, trust, obedience, or praise? We should love him, trust him, obey him and praise him? He drowned everybody! He drowned everybody. And Warren takes a literal view of this. This isn’t allegory, this isn’t parable — this actually happened. God really drowned every single person on Earth, except the few on the ark. Why should it be my goal, or the goal of any decent human being, to put a smile on the face of such a genocidal monster?
    • Now that last one: using our abilities. Warren tells us that everything we do can be an act of worship, not just so-called “spiritual things” like praying or reading the Bible. Everything, from washing dishes, to planting crops (which Warren mentions twice on the same page), to making love (creepy!) can be done to the glory of God. Everything except sin, of course, because God hates that.

      “God even enjoys watching you sleep! . . . When you are sleeping, God gazes at you with love, because you were his idea. He loves you as if you were the only person on earth.” (p. 75)

    • There is one activity God doesn’t want us to do, of course: think for ourselves. Although maybe that’s covered under the “sin” heading.
    • (Jesus, your old man is a fucking pervert, by the way.)

DAY 10: THE HEART OF WORSHIP

  • Surrender is the heart of worship, Warren says. We should surrender to God, to his love and mercy, because it’s the natural response.
  • “We give ourselves to him, not out of fear or duty, but in love, ‘because he first loved us.’” (p. 77)
    • That sounds an awful lot like duty to me, Rick. “God loved you first, so you should love him.” (Sound right to you, Jesus? Look who I’m asking . . .)
  • So, worship is about offering yourself to God. And God wants it all — not 95% of you, but all of you. And there are three barriers that keep us from giving ourselves completely to God: fear, pride, and confusion. Okay, so four, if you count your brain.
  • Fear keeps us from surrendering, Warren says, because it tells us not to trust God.
    • Actually, the total lack of evidence for his existence tells me I can’t trust God. If there were evidence for his existence, the fact that he’s a possessive psychopath would tell me I can’t trust him.
  • Love conquers fear. Once we realize God loves us, our fear will disappear and we’ll be able to surrender.
  • “How do you know God loves you? He gives you many evidences: God says he loves you; you’re never out of his sight; he cares about every detail of your life; he gave you the capacity to enjoy all kinds of pleasure; he has good plans for your life; he forgives you; and he is lovingly patient with you.” (p. 78)
    • That is one fucked up definition of love you’ve got there, Rick Warren. God says he loves us, he watches us constantly — one might say, obsessively — he gives us nice things, he makes plans for us, he forgives us and is patient with us. But what about our plans? Expecting someone to surrender to you is not love. Expecting someone to follow plans you made for them before they were even born, with no input from them whatsoever, is not love. It doesn’t matter how powerful you are, it doesn’t matter how well you know them. You’re talking about a relationship where one person has all the power, all the control, and absolutely nothing at stake, and the other person is there only to serve them. That’s not love. That’s sadomasochism without the sex.
  • “The greatest expression of this is the sacrifice of God’s Son for you. . . . If you want to know how much you matter to God, look at Christ with his arms outstretched on the cross, saying, ‘I love you this much! I’d rather die than live without you.’” (pp. 78-79)
    • But Jesus didn’t die. He’s right here.
  • Another barrier to total surrender is pride. Warren defines pride as wanting to be like God. And he defines “wanting to be like God” as “wanting to be able to decide stuff for ourselves.”
  • Finally, there’s confusion. Some folks just plum don’t understand what surrendering to God really means:
  • “God often calls surrendered people to do battle on his behalf. Surrendering is not for cowards or doormats. Likewise, it does not mean giving up rational thinking. God would not waste the mind he gave you! God does not want robots to serve him.” (p. 80)
    • Right! He wants you to use the brain he gave you to think happy thoughts about him. That’s why he gave it to you.
  • Warren also says that surrendered people obey God’s word, even if God’s word doesn’t make sense. Is that too much to expect? Really? God is invisible, totally silent, the book which supposedly contains his message to us is 2,000 years old — and that’s counting from the new part of it — is it really expecting too much that the things he asks us to do make sense?
  • Warren says that the hardest area for many people to surrender is their money. He only talks about this for a single paragraph. The subject isn’t mentioned before, or after. Just one paragraph about how important it is to serve God instead of money, and how surrendered people shouldn’t be interested in saving money for retirement. Seriously, he actually says that. And then never mentions it again. Weird. And clumsy and irresponsible.
  • There are three blessings to surrender: peace, freedom, and God’s power in your life. Of course, you aren’t guaranteed any of these things, and there are many Christians who don’t seem to be at peace, or free, or empowered at all. But that’s probably because they haven’t truly surrendered to God — in other words, it’s their fault.
  • “Surrendered people are the ones God uses. God chose Mary to be the mother of Jesus, not because she was talented or wealthy or beautiful, but because she was totally surrendered to him.” (p. 82)
    • So technically, it wasn’t rape.
    • Also, wasn’t Mary’s surrender preordained along with everything else? And if so, why does it, or anything else Mary did, or anything else anyone else ever did or will ever do, have any meaning to God at all? We’re just dominoes falling how he arranged us to fall.
    • (To Jesus: Is it weird for you to hear me talk about your mom like that?)
  • Warren closes the chapter by telling us that, once we surrender to God, our surrender will be tested (by God, presumably — what a guy, that God!). And he tells about a talk he had once with Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, whom Warren calls one of the great Christian leaders of the 20th century. (Must have been a slow century.) He mentions that Bright was responsible for nearly four billion people watching the Jesus film, of which over 150 million came to Christ.
    • 150 million conversions out of 4 billion views? That’s a 3¾% success rate. Not very impressive. Probably has something to do with how fucking terrible that Jesus movie is.
    • (To Jesus: I’m sure that was it. It wasn’t you.)
  • Warren tells of Bright signing a contract with God. The contract read “From this day forward, I am a slave of Jesus Christ.”
    • Not a legally binding contract.

DAY 11: BECOMING BEST FRIENDS WITH GOD

  • “God wants to be your best friend.” (p. 85)
    • God needs to go home and wait for me to call.
    • (I’m not gonna call.)
  • “In Eden we see God’s ideal relationship with us. Adam and Eve enjoyed an intimate friendship with God. There were no rituals, ceremonies, or religion — just a simple loving relationship between God and the people he created. Unhindered by guilt or fear, Adam and Eve delighted in God, and he delighted in them.” (p. 85)
    • Until they ate from the wrong tree — you know, the tree that served no purpose other than as a plot device, that was only there so God could define something as forbidden and wait for Adam and Eve to defy him so he could kick them out of the garden and end their simple, intimate relationship, which is totally what a loving person would do.
  • It used to be hard to be God’s friend, but now, thanks to the sacrifice of Jesus, we can all be friends with God.
    • (It ain’t what you know, it’s who you know, right, Jesus?)
  • We are only able to be friends with God thanks to his grace. (What a swell guy, that God, allowing us to be friends with him!)
  • “God deeply desires that we know him intimately. In fact, he planned the universe and orchestrated history, including the details of our lives, so that we could become his friends.” (pp. 86-87)
    • So this — and by “this” I mean literally everything — is all an elaborate ruse, set up by God, to trick us into being his friend. The way Warren tells is, God is the lonely rich kid.
  • Warren says that it’s hard to imagine how we could have an intimate relationship with God, since God is omnipotent, invisible, and perfect. It would be easier to understand how we could have a Master/servant relationship, or a Creator/creation relationship, or a Father/child relationship with God.
    • How does a Father/child relationship make sense with an invisible father, again?
  • Warren says there are six secrets to understanding how to be God’s friend, taken from examples in the Bible. We get two in this chapter, and four more in the next chapter. (A teaser!)
  • Friendship Secret #1: Constant conversation. Going to church isn’t enough. Daily devotional time isn’t enough.
  • “[God] wants to be included in every activity, every conversation, every problem, and even every thought.” (p. 87)
    • God needs a hobby.
  • It’s important to start doing everything for God instead of for yourself — eating, bathing, working, relaxing.
    • Bathing. Start bathing for God.
  • Warren suggests using “breath prayers”, short phrases you whisper to yourself throughout the day to talk to God. Warren suggests phrases like “You are with me” or “Help me trust you” or “I want to know you.”
  • “Just be sure that your motive is to honor God, not control him.” (p. 89)
    • If I thought this shit was true, I would hope I was going to Hell.
  • At first, you might need to remind yourself to think of God during the day. Warren suggests using the alarm on your watch or cell phone to remind you to think of God every hour, because sometimes you will be able to sense God’s presence, and sometimes you won’t. Because, again, God is just a colossal dick that way.
  • Friendship Secret #2: Continual meditation. Warren defines meditation for his purposes as “thinking about the Bible.” Since you can’t study the Bible all day (not in this rotten, fallen world, anyway — just wait for Heaven, right Jesus?), Warren suggests memorizing Bible verses and thinking about them throughout the day.
  • “When you think about God’s Word over and over in your mind, that’s meditation. If you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate!” (p. 90)
    • And if you know how to think, you already know why that would be a waste of fucking time.

DAY 12: DEVELOPING YOUR FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD

  • We have to work at developing our friendship with God, Warren says. And God is the omnipotent one who created us for the sole purpose of being his friends, so it only makes sense that we have to do all the work, right?
  • Friendship Secret #3: Be honest with God. Yes, even though God can read your mind, and knows everything you’re going to do before you do it, anyway, because it’s all a part of his plan, God demands total honesty from you. Given these circumstances, I’m not sure how you could ever be dishonest with God, but whatever, Rick Warren didn’t think about it that hard, so I guess I don’t have to, either.
  • Friendship Secret #4: Obey God in faith. God knows everything we’re going to do, and watches us every moment of our lives, while we don’t know anything he’s going to do, and we never see him, ever. Nonetheless, obedience is a requirement for friendship with God. Warren reminds us that Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command.”
    • (Did you really say that, Jesus? You realize that doing what you command makes them your subordinates, not your friends, right?)
  • Same deal as before: we obey God out of love, because of what he’s done for us (through no effort and at no risk or cost to himself), not out of duty or fear.
  • “Unbelievers often think Christians obey out of obligation or guilt or fear of punishment, but the opposite is true. Because we have been forgiven and set free, we obey out of love — and our obedience brings great joy!” (p. 95)
    • As an unbeliever, I’m sure there are some Christians who I’ve thought were Christians out of obligation or guilt or fear of punishment. But most of the time, they seem to hold on to their faith out of fear for having to figure things out for themselves, or fear of having to face life without their guaranteed fairy tale happy ending, than fear of punishment.
  • Friendship Secret #5: Value what God values.
  • “This is what friends do — they care about what is important to the other person.” (p. 96)
    • Unless you’re God.
  • Friendship Secret #6: Desire friendship with God more than anything else. Yes, yes, yes, I get it already. God has it bad for me. He wants to know me intimately. He follows me around, he watches everything I do, it kills him to know that I might not be thinking about him every second of every day. It’s sad to have to say this about an omnipotent being who can do anything and has the whole universe in which to play, but God needs to get a fucking life.
  • Oh, one more thing:
  • “You may have been passionate about God in the past but you’ve lost that desire. . . . If you’ve just been going through the motions spiritually, don’t be surprised when God allows pain into your life. . . . It is God’s way of arousing us from spiritual lethargy. Your problems are not punishment; they are wake-up calls from a loving God. God is not mad at you; he’s mad about you, and he will do whatever it takes to bring you back into fellowship with him.” (p. 98)
    • He only hurts us because he loves us.

DAY 13: WORSHIP THAT PLEASES GOD

  • “God wants all of you.” (p. 100)
    • I’m calling a cop.
  • We’re supposed to “worship in truth,” which means worship God as he is revealed in the Bible. God likes it when our worship is authentic — when our constantly demanded, compulsory worship is authentic.
  • “When Jesus said, ‘Love God with all your heart and soul’ he meant that worship must be genuine and heartfelt. It is not just a matter of saying the right words; you must mean what you say.” (p. 101)
    • You got that? Don’t just say stuff you don’t mean because God is demanding that you say it. He wants you to love him, so don’t just say you love him — really love him. Do it. And don’t just pretend to worship him. Make yourself worship him sincerely. Because that’s how sincerity works.
  • “Since worship involves delighting in God, it engages your emotions. God gave you emotions so you could worship him with deep feeling . . .” (p. 101)
    • I thought God gave us emotions so we could experience pleasure because he loves us. Now I find out it’s just so we can worship him with deep feeling . . . I guess he figured nobody would notice that, since you’re only supposed to read one chapter a day instead of a bunch at once. Or maybe he forgot that he wrote that other part because he’s got shit for brains.
  • So sincerity is important to the whole worship deal. God likes sincerity, that’s why he commands you to be sincere when you worship him.
    • Hey, was there ever a girl or a guy that you were really attracted to, you had really strong feelings for, but they just weren’t into you? You should’ve commanded them to love you authentically. I bet you feel kinda stupid now for not trying that, huh? Eh, live and learn.
  • But sincerity’s not all you need:
  • “Worship must be both accurate and authentic. God-pleasing worship is deeply emotional and deeply doctrinal. We use both our hearts and our heads.” (p. 102)
    • If you were really using both of those things, you wouldn’t be worshipping an invisible God who drowns whole planetary populations, would you? Well, maybe you would. I don’t know you.
  • Warren returns to the subject of music, and stresses that being moved by music during a worship service isn’t the same thing as being moved by the spirit of God. And actually, sometimes music can even be a barrier to real worship, because the song can cause us to focus on our own feelings rather than God.
    • And you know how God craves the spotlight! He wants our focus totally on him, and not on our own feelings . . . that he gave us . . .
    • By the way, what is with all the carping about music and its proper role in church services here? Did a choir director fuck his wife or something?
  • God wants our worship to be thoughtful. Warren reminds us that Jesus spoke against “vain repetitions,” and suggests that instead of falling back on standard vocabulary, we try to express our worship for God using words other than “worship,” “praise,” “hallelujah,” “thanks,” or “amen.” Instead, he suggests making a list of synonyms like “admire,” “respect,” “value,” “revere,” “honor,” and “appreciate.”
    • So make your worship sincere and thoughtful, but also treat it like a writing exercise.
  • God also insists that worship services be understandable to outsiders — that is, unbelievers. (How else are you going to attract new marks?)
  • “Being sensitive to unbelievers who visit your worship gatherings is a biblical command. To ignore this command is to be both disobedient and unloving. For a full explanation of this, see the chapter on ‘Worship Can Be a Witness’ in THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN CHURCH.” (p. 104)
    • Everyday I’m hustlin’ . . .
  • Finally, God loves it when our worship is practical. Because the omnipotent creator of all reality who chose to scapegoat his son to circumvent his own rules about forgiveness is nothing if not a pragmatist.
  • God demands that we offer him our bodies as “living sacrifices.” This means, he wants us to live for him.
    • Why is this the first I’m hearing of this?
  • Warren reminds us that, while today God wants our living sacrifice, in the old days he liked sacrifices of a less-living kind. I mean, they started out living, then they were ritualistically slaughtered and their blood was spilled over an altar so God would like the people who did it. But God didn’t take pleasure (Warren’s phrase) in these Old Testament sacrifices because of some sadistic bloodlust — no! He took pleasure in them because they reminded him of the upcoming sacrifice of Jesus on the cross! Nothing weird about that, nothing sick. God watched people bleeding animals for him, it made him think of how one day people would do that to his own son, and it gave him pleasure. What?
  • It’s important to worship God even when it requires real effort to do so:
  • “When you praise God even when you don’t feel like it, when you get out of bed to worship when you’re tired, or when you help others when you are worn out, you are offering a sacrifice of worship to God. That pleases God.” (p. 106)
    • I thought God wanted only sincere and heartfelt worship? If you’re grumbling to yourself about having to get out of bed to worship God, that sounds more grudging to me.

DAY 14: WHEN GOD SEEMS DISTANT

  • “God is real, no matter how you feel.” (p. 107)
    • Okay, but nevermind how I feel. What about what I think? Especially if what I think is, like, based on reason and evidence?
  • Warren says that trusting God during a difficult time is the deepest level of worship (or the most abject level of servility — you make the call). He says that separation and silence tests many friendships, and that God will test your friendship with him by making it seem like he has abandoned you.
    • I see why he has such trouble making friends. “Hey, God, I thought you were hanging out with David today.”

      “Oh, no, I decided to make him thing I’ve forgotten him in his hour of need. You know, to strengthen our friendship.”

      “Really? Again?”

  • So what do you do when God decides to start fucking with you like this? First, you tell God what you feel. God already knows what you feel, but he just wants to hear you say it because, as we’ve seen, God’s got problems.
  • What else? Focus on God’s unchanging nature. Here, Warren uses the example of Job — you know, the faithful servant of God whose life was destroyed and whose children were killed so that God could win an argument with Satan. Even when Job’s life was totally in the shitter — a circumstance for which God was responsible — he found things to praise about God. For example, he praised God’s goodness (*cough*), his power, his attention to detail, his control, his plan (which includes torturing the people that love him if the Prince of Darkness starts talking shit), and Job’s belief that God would eventually save him from the agony God caused.
  • Also, you should trust God to keep his promises. Because one thing the God of the Bible is not is a promise-breaker. Yes, he’s a jealous, petty, insecure, demanding, obsessive, remorseless genocidal maniac — but the man keeps his promises. Sure, he’s an all-powerful being and you’re a helpless mortal with no power over him and no way to possibly hold him to account for any of his actions, so any promise he made to you would be utterly meaningless, but he will always keep that utterly meaningless promise — trust him. It might take some abandonment and maybe some torture of you and those you love, but he’ll keep that promise.
  • Finally, you can remember what God has already done for you. Mostly, Warren is talking about the crucifixion here. He says:

    “If God never did anything else for you, he would still deserve your continual praise for the rest of your life because of what Jesus did for you on the cross. God’s Son died for you! This is the greatest reason for worship.” (p. 112)
    • Yes. Again, an omnipotent being (or the human incarnation of an omnipotent being) experienced what from our perspective was a gruesome act of execution and human sacrifice and from his perspective was a relatively minor inconvenience, what with the omnipotence and everlasting authority over the whole universe that followed, all so he could exempt us from rules he himself made and allow us into Heaven after we died instead of damning us.
  • Warren spends the rest of the chapter attempting a guilt-trip about the crucifixion, and how much pain Jesus willingly endured for our sakes.
  • “Jesus gave up everything so you could have everything. He died so you could live forever.” (p. 113)
    • Even if you believe the New Testament is the word of God, this is self-contradictory horseshit. Jesus gave up everything? In what sense? The dude was back to physical life three days later. And after that he ascended to Heaven to help his old man rule the universe. He didn’t die. He came back from the dead to live forever. I always got the impression that was sort of a big deal with Christians, I don’t know . . .
    • (You know what I’m talkin’ about, Jesus, don’t stand there playing with your stigmata like you don’t know what the fuck I’m saying.)
    • God allowed his son, who was never actually going to die or be lost to him in any sense, to be executed as a rite of human sacrifice so he could forgive us our sins. But the practice of blood sacrifices forgiving sins was created by God. He came up with the crucifixion so he could get around his own policy. There was no necessity for any of it, there was nothing at stake for God or for Jesus, it was all a grotesque bit of theater performed for God’s benefit alone. And that’s if you accept the New Testament as the word of God, which you have no reason to do. None of this nonsense is true. It’s demented mythology, and for that we can all be truly thankful.

NEXT: Purpose #2: You Were Formed For God’s Family

Comments 
Friday, January 18th, 2013 | 04:28 am (UTC) - an atheist reads the purpose driven life purpose # 1
Anonymous
if were a god who created humans i would not pull the sadistic bullshit that the god of the bible pulls on his people. for one thing i would not condemn a person to hell whether they believe in me or not.corey donaldson
Monday, January 21st, 2013 | 05:34 am (UTC) - Question for you
Anonymous
Hi Steve- my email is lotsofquestions23@gmail.com. Just call me Malone. I have lots of questions and I ask lots of questions.
So, coming across your site I am intrigued.
i have read through a lot of your posts and opinions.
If I missed it, please point me to the appropriate post or cut & paste into a reply - and my question is this: as a self proclaimed atheist, how have you arrived at the premise that God does not exist? I have this question.

Thanks,
Malone
Monday, January 21st, 2013 | 06:08 am (UTC) - Re: Question for you

Hi, Malone. I've arrived at the premise that gods don't exist because I see no reason to assume that the opposite premise is true. There's no evidence that any gods exist, and assuming they exist isn't necessary to explain anything they are commonly invoked by theists to explain.

--Steve
Monday, January 28th, 2013 | 02:16 am (UTC) - Re: Question for you
Anonymous
Steve- Was your premise (as I am understanding your argument as a presupposition that 'gods' do not exist) arrived at inductively or deductively? Your 'no reason' seems to imply arriving at this logically. I am curious irrespective of whatever theologians attempt to invoke (often unhelpfully).
Thanks for engaging.

** Malone
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