“And what if we picked the wrong religion? Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.”

Someone Tweeted this today so I thought I’d rerun it with some bonus features.

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The title is from the episode of The Simpsons where Homer decides to stop attending church.

Marge: I can’t believe you’re giving up church, Homer.

Homer: Hey, what’s the big deal about going to some building every Sunday?  I mean, isn’t God everywhere?  And don’t you think that the Almighty has better things to worry about than where one little guy spends one measly hour of his week? And what if we picked the wrong religion?  Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.

Bart: Testify!

Marge: [Groans]

In one of those odd ways where someone speaks some truth without knowing it, it reminds me of this important passage:

1 Corinthians 15:12–18 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

So the Apostle Paul seems to agree with Homer, at least in one sense: If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, we are misrepresenting God – and that’s never a good place to be.   And the writers even have Homer realizing that not all religions are the same.  How do you discern which is right?  Look at the facts.

But the evidence points to the fact that He did rise from the dead, and that changes everything.

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As I noted in a recent post, Christianity is unique in that it is testable and falsifiable.  You can research the truth claims yourself.  Christianity involves knowledge, truth claims and faith in evidence.  Many people think religions are just a matter of opinion or are the result of “blind faith,” but that is the opposite of Christianity.

There are all sorts of apologetics resources (see the links to the right of this blog) or even simple things like the minimal facts approach, where nearly 100% of historical scholars from 1975 – present agree with the following statements and 75% of the same scholars agree that the tomb was empty:

  • Jesus really lived and was killed on a Roman cross.
  • Jesus’ disciples believed He appeared to them.
  • Jesus’ brother, James, went from being a pre-crucifixion skeptic to a post-crucifixion church leader.
  • The Apostle Paul believed Jesus appeared to him and he wrote most of the books attributed to him, including Romans, I & II Corinthians, Philemon and others.  He converted from persecuting Christians to being the greatest evangelist ever, despite nearly constant challenges, persecution and ultimately dying for his faith.

The Christian view that the physical resurrection of Jesus best accounts for these facts is highly supportable and logical.

This explains those who reject God.

Romans 1:18–20 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

Romans 2:15-16 They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.

This sums it up as well:

To defy the Creator’s commands, you must ignore His exclusive right to rule His own creation as He wishes. You have to exalt yourself to a level of imaginary importance that would make Him at least second in command–if you are that generous–and place yourself first in command over the part of His creation you want to control–in this case, yourself. The arrogance of such a feat is astounding…No wonder there is a Hell! — Jim Berg

It is foolish and rebellious to think that you get to define whether God exists and what He must be like. Repent and believe while you still have time. Eternity is a mighty long time to suffer for your pride.

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6 thoughts on ““And what if we picked the wrong religion? Every week we’re just making God madder and madder.””

  1. Homer’s comments were really funny. I can hear him say it. I’ve always thought that the Simpsons (the show, not your family), were always spot on in dealing with how non-believers view Christians. I always found hit humorous, especially the pastor and Homer’s weird neighbor. I can’t remember his name, it’s been too long.

    My point is that you could do an entire series of posts on the silly views the Simpsons have when it comes to Christianity. Of course, then you would have to watch more of them.

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    1. It is funny that you said that. I have a huge outline of Simpsons things just like that. I obviously don’t expect pagans to have good theology, but they have countless religious references that you can use as a springboard from the conventional wisdom about God to the truth about God. I thought about writing a book (“Sunday School with the Simpsons”), with the obvious double entendre with my last name, but am afraid it would offend everyone for the wrong reasons. The secular wouldn’t like it because it would be too religious (you know I wouldn’t pull any punches!) and the true believers would be afraid it would be too worldly.

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      1. That’s a great idea. But your problems are valid, and no one would end up buying it. Shame.

        Now, if you made it clear that by reading the book, God would expand your Homer Horizons with more stuff, then you are on to something.

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  2. To Artenaken — I saw your comments and also read some of your’s from John’s blog and I don’t think dialog here will be fruitful. You are welcome to read, of course, and I hope you reconsider your views.

    I know you won’t complain about not getting to comment here, because you “know” your worldview is true and that my responses are 100.0000000% due to Darwinian evolution and of course I have no soul that could possibly override those deterministic actions. So you wouldn’t be so irrational as to get mad at your own worldview for what it produces, right?

    Re. the minimal facts: They aren’t presumptuous, they are eminently logical, looking to reasonable conclusions from historical facts. Here’s a bit more: http://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/what-criteria-do-historians-use-to-get-to-the-minimal-facts-about-the-historical-jesus-3/

    Re. what makes a Christian: Belief in essentials of the faith such as Jesus’ divinity, exclusivity for salvation, etc.

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