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Responsibility For Sins

Updated on November 20, 2010

Sometimes when I am in a discussion with a Christian theist they decide to tell me why it is they think I'm an atheist. You see to some reason is meaningless, faith is everything, so no one could ever have a REASON to reject religion or disbelieve in their particular sky-man. Faith is meant to trump reason, in fact it says so in the Bible.

"We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete. " - 2nd Corinthians 10:5-6

So Christians are meant to take captive their thoughts, and demolish any attempt at argument or reasoning with, apparently, blind obedience. Anyway, back to the main point, I've had Christians tell me that I became an atheist to shirk my responsibility to God. The reason I've rejected theistic claims, they tell me, is because I don't want to be held accountable for my actions. Apparently I want to sin so badly that I pretend God doesn't exist so that I can sin behind his back but, according to them, I still believe in this God and indeed "know" he exists. This is a sort of defense mechanism for Christians because they don't want to believe that someone could actually leave the faith and stop believing in God. After all if someone is vulnerable to losing their faith than so are THEY and any amount of doubt in their beliefs is unacceptable. Remember that they have to take every thought captive, if a stray thought or doubt exists it must be "demolished".

Think OBEDIENT Thoughts ONLY

Are Christians Responsible for their Actions?

    I feel that there is massive hypocrisy in these sorts of claims because the entire Christian religion is actually based around losing responsibility for your sins. If I actually wanted to shirk responsibility for my actions I would REMAIN A CHRISTIAN AT ALL COSTS. After all Christians believe that all one needs to do to have ANY deed or sin forgiven (save blaspheming the Holy Spirit) is ask Jesus for forgiveness. The religion is based on Christ, an innocent man, DYING FOR YOUR SINS. Jesus takes your sin from you and many denominations teach that you leave your sins and burdens and pick up the "Cross". A Christian can commit a murder and all they need do for forgiveness is ask Jesus, they don't believe that any actual consequences or judgment from God are in order, once Jesus is accepted and forgiveness is asked for you get a clean slate.

    As an atheist, I, on the other hand, understand that I am responsible for my actions in the here and now within society. I know that if I act like a douche chances are people won't like me and that if I do something seriously wrong (like theft, murder, etc) I will go to prison for it. I know that I will be punished here and now in this life for my misdeeds. Now it is important to note that not the entire Christian theology supports irresponsibility for sins, in fact Jesus himself TEACHES RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONE'S OWN ACTIONS. This sort of contradiction should be enough to make your brain explode if you're a Christian and its one of the main reasons that, even when I was a Christian myself, I began to question the truthfulness of the Bible.

Jesus's Teachings

Jesus's Teachings:

    The foremost example of Jesus teaching about responsibility for your sins is the principle of reaping and sowing. If you do bad things than bad things will happen to you, if you sow good into the world you will reap good back. This makes you responsible for your actions because if you do something bad you will face consequences here and now, not in some far off afterlife. This idea has been compared to Karma in Eastern Philosophy although the two are not entirely alike. Here's another verse where Jesus talks about paying attention to your own sins:

" 1 “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

   3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
- Matthew 7:1-5

    So Jesus says do not judge and pay attention to your own flaws, not the flaws in people you see around you. Does this sound like a guy who wants to remove the speck from your eye? Or does it sound like he wants YOU to be responsible for yourself? You see this teaching contradicts what Christianity later became and the ideas that became prevalent within it. How on Earth can I be responsible for my sin AND have it instantly forgiven and avoid punishment? My own hypothesis is that the entire idea of Jesus dying FOR YOUR SINS is a fabrication although it is difficult to tell what is fact and what is fiction in the Jesus story.

The Requirement of Faith

 One of the more insulting aspects of Christianity is the requirement that we believe on Faith alone. Numerous times in the New Testament we are told that salvation is by faith (and through "Grace"). We must "believe" in Jesus. Rather than actually earning Salvation by being a good person Christianity establishes the idea that we're all worthless lousy sinners and that everyone, from Hitler to Gandhi, has to believe in Jesus on Faith alone to be forgiven. Which one do you have a better chance of seeing in Heaven in the Bible is true?

If you answered this guy you'd be right

Requirment of Faith (continued)

    The requirement of faith is another part of Christian theology that helps remove responsibility for ones own sin. As long as you show some remorse and ask for forgiveness and BELIEVE you will be cleansed of sin, no punishment required. Some Christians still do believe that God punishes you for sinning, perhaps he makes your wife leave you or lets your car break down, any bad circumstances that crop up are often chalked up to God. Even if you're living your life right and have all the faith in the world when bad stuff comes along it can often be claimed that God is "testing you". Remember Job? Apparently God can mess with you even if you've done nothing wrong... God has a habit of blaming those who are not to blame. Adam and Eve in the Garden, the First Born of Egypt killed for the sins of the Pharaoh and now Jesus tortured brutally despite being entirely innocent. That's right, that's how great of a Father God is, he had his own son brutally murdered rather than punishing those who were actually sinning.


    I'm still not entirely sure why some Christians won't accept the idea that I actually left their religion behind but it really grinds my gears when they claim I'm trying to avoid responsibility for my actions. I'm already responsible for my actions and so are you, we're responsible to each other and society at large, no magic man in the sky required.


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    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 3 years ago from back in the lab again

      "Its like you capture that thought before it goes into your heart, or becomes a belief system"

      Thoughts do not go into your heart. Your heart pumps and circulates blood.

      "God tells us to take every thought captive..."

      Does he? This is a huge leap of faith. First off the verse was written by the Apostle Paul not by God, God did not write a single line of the Bible nor is there any evidence that the Bible was inspired by God. Second of all we must assume that the God of the Bible exists. Third of all we must be willing to become obedient slaves to this God if we are to take our "thoughts captive". Personally it seems to me to be tyrannical for God to disallow freedom of thought.

      "and see whether it lines up with the Truth of the word of God."

      Actually quite the opposite is true for me. See I had some idea of the truth that I believed when I was a Christian. I believed in God, I believed that God was a grand cosmic God, a merciful and benevolent and indescribably awesome thing. Then I set out to read the entire Bible hoping that God would speak to me through its pages, that it would strengthen my faith. The opposite happened. The Bible is neither the word of God nor is it a good book to live your life by or judge truth by.

      "Will you believe what the bible says is true."

      First off belief is not simply a matter of choice. There are many factors that determine our beliefs. It is intellectually dishonest to choose something that I know is false as my belief just because it makes me feel better. So no, I cannot choose to believe the Bible nor would I want to for that matter.

      "I would encourage you to use your doubt to propel you deeper into study and research of the bible, history, and the things of God."

      I would encourage you to do the same. Read your Bible, read it all the time, and not just the nice parts. Read about how God sent the Israelites to strike down the Amalekites, commanding them to kill infants and children and leave none alive. Or God's wrath in Jeremiah, where he curses the servants of Baal to eat the flesh of their sons and daughters. Read Exodus 21, where from the very mouth of God SLAVERY IS OPENLY CONDONED including God telling Moses that the Hebrews are allowed to beat their slaves within an inch of their life as long as the slave recovers.

      When it comes to the God of the Bible I used to have doubts. There is no doubt in my mind today that the God of the Bible is as fictional as Zeus, Odin, Baal, or Thoth.

      Read your Bible, and consider the possibility that the reason God is an incompetent, vengeful, petty, ignorant, homophobic and sexist God is because he is a reflection of the authors that invented him.

    • profile image

      Lauren 3 years ago

      I am a Christian . I do not believe that doubt is a sin. but unbelief is. Many notable characters in the bible not only had doubt but expressed their doubt to God, the first one that comes to mind being Gideon. Thoughts come from many places, ourselves/the flesh, God/Holy Spirit and Satan/evil spirits etc. God tells us to take every thought captive... Its like you capture that thought before it goes into your heart, or becomes a belief system , or a delusion. and see whether it lines up with the Truth of the word of God. For example. Im going about my day and i get the random thought, ' Life is not worth living, what is the point of it all' or 'If God is so loving then why is my mom dieing of cancer?' and I take those thoughts before they sink in , and challenge them. What does the bible say about God,suffering, love, death , and the meaning of life and the value of life.... and I chose to believe the bible. Its not blind faith. You have a choice to make . Will you believe what the bible says is true.

      Id like to expound on the scriptures that you added , and your interpretation of them , but i just don't have time right now. But I don't believe that your historical and biblical understanding of things is accurate. I would encourage you to use your doubt to propel you deeper into study and research of the bible, history, and the things of God.

      And not let your doubt disillusion you against God and take you further away. Doubting feels like you are wrestling , and you will see throughout the bible, many great men have wrestled against God, and in the end have come into the answers to their deepest questions and into profound truths, and discovered who God was at a deeper level.

    • profile image

      mike 6 years ago

      My job is done, If/When you convert, please tell me about it,


    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 6 years ago from back in the lab again

      Hi Mike. I can assure you that I am as unafraid of your God's threats as I am of Zeus, Odin, Osiris and Santa Claus. The argument you are using is called PASCAL's WAGER and was invented by mathematician Blaise Pascal, please see my rebuttal of this argument in all its forms here:

    • profile image

      mike 6 years ago

      As a Christian, we are told to warn anyone we can to change their ways, so that when you get to judgement you cant blame us for your damnation. So I warn you, why not have a slight belief, so that in the slight chance(In your opinion) that God is real, you might not be damned by your own creator, that will be quite sad, no?

    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 7 years ago from back in the lab again

      God may not exist but religion does and it hurts people. I may not believe it but other people do and that fact scares me. I actually wrote a hub explaining in detail why I speak out against religion:

    • profile image

      maria 7 years ago

      You state to be an atheist, my question to you is why do you expend time fighting what you don't believe to exist?

    • FriendofTruth profile image

      FriendofTruth 7 years ago from Michigan

      I do not think you're trying to avoid responsibility for your actions, in fact it sounds like quite the opposite. It seems the problem you have with Christianity is the idea that sinners can just get off with no consequence. There are different groups within Christianity that promote 'grace' rather than true repentance. But besides that, the overall message of Christianity is that we have a Creator and were created beings. And Adam, the first created man was supposed to obey God. When he did not obey, there was punishment-separation from God and death imposed as the consequence. However, that is not what God intended, He intended to have a family through these created beings - that is why He fellowshipped with them in the beginning. He then instituted a 'covering' for sin when he 'covered' Adam with coats of skin from animals. But this covering did not atone for the full consequence of Adam's sin - which is passed on to us since we are his physical seed and continue to carry on the trait of sinning. And so, even before this sin actually happened - Jesus and His Father agreed that Jesus would eventually provide the ultimate and costly covering (sacrifice) to atone for our sins so that we could be restored unto Him. It wasn't that the Father is some cruel God choosing to torture and afflict His own Son, but He and Jesus are so merciful and full of love that they decided to pay the cost themselves. Now does this mean that if we believe this we are allowed to go on sinning? No, as you have said yourself, Jesus did not preach and teach that, and the Bible in it's entirety does not reflect that. But indeed Jesus would tell people after He healed them or delivered them - go and sin no more. The problem that we humans have is that even though Jesus has paid the price for our sin, we will always be sinners - as long as we are in this flesh; and so, Jesus' blood that was spent for us made the payment for the eternal payment of our sin. There will be consequences when we sin, just as you said, if we commit murder we will go to jail; if we steal same scenario, if we commit adultery we'll lose our spouses, etc. But if we continually and humbly try to change and try to follow the Lord, and we ask for forgiveness and seek restoration with the Lord, then because of His Son, He does so. He forgives us because we, in confession and true repentance and in faith have put it on Jesus on the cross. Now if you choose to pay eternally for your sin, then that is your choice. And if you choose to allow Jesus to pay for your sin, then that is your choice too. I'd rather choose to allow Jesus to pay for my sin, so that eternally I can be with Him and the Father and all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ forvever, rather than suffering in torments for all the sins that I ever committed here on earth in the flesh.

    • Titen-Sxull profile image

      Titen-Sxull 7 years ago from back in the lab again

      Doesn't John 3:16 say that whosoever believes in God's begotten son will not die but will have everlasting life? That verse suggests that belief IS enough.

    • HOOWANTSTONO profile image

      HOOWANTSTONO 7 years ago

      Believing in Jesus is not enough, even Satan believes in Jesus too and he trembles.

      But being Born Again is a whole new ball game.

      Go well


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