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My accountant and ONE belief
Hi Everyone,

You guys must have explored this before, but I can't find it here.

Whenever a Christian accosts me, they always speak in terms of "being Christian" or not.

My accountant and tax man of 24 years really cannot understand how I can not "be a Christian" and refrain from murder and theft.

We are friends. He invited me to read a book which he is reading

So I looked it over (Amazon has a "Look Inside" feature), realized that the authors have built yet another Straw Man, lumping all non-believers into a single category: Atheist.

Of course that is not intellectually honest (but then again, he's a lifelong Christian - whatever that means to him - and I didn't expect him to have thought things through), but it occcurred to me that my accountant, Jeff, is "lumping together" everyone who "accepts Jesus" as being a "Christian" which is ALSO intellectually lazy and dishonest - and yet, affords the Christian apologetic a natural advantage in any discussion.

Here's what I mean: There are maybe 35 Christian churches in my little town. Why not one? Just one huge church where everyone professes the same doctrine and practices the same sacraments?

Since I was a teenager, I've been aware of schisms, holy intramural warfare - people killing each other over a hair's-breadth of doctrinal difference. At minimum, "the Catholics hate the Protestants, the Protestants hate the Catholics and everyone hates the Jews".

Yet every time I hear someone on TV (or my taxman) talk about believing in The One True God - all of that is painted over (and I'm not supposed to notice).

My question is this: Where is there a good reference, listing what each faith, modern and historical, believe will happen to non-believers? e.g. Did/do Catholics believe that everyone else will go to Hell for not following whatever that old guy in the Vatican says?

Hasn't anyone on this forum discussed this before?

I want to gently use information like that to chide my accountant when next we meet. e.g.

me: "Yes, Jeff, but I'm afraid to join a Christian church because I don't want to go to Hell.".
Jeff: "What do you mean?"
me: "Glad you asked......"

(I brought up the subject of The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre to him, and he circled his wagons, implied that he'd heard it all before - and entirely missed my point. The next client was waiting in his doorway, so I had to cut it short and left his office for the 1 hour drive home.

For anyone who's not familiar
[url][/url] )

There are thousands of Christian Sects last I heard. [url][/url] You might be able to get some information by clicking on the various links in the Wikipedia article but that could get a bit tedious. This book [url][/url] might help.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
Hi, Seeker!
Glad to hear from you.
I'll look, but it seems they all proudly advertise their love for Jaysus, then quietly, somewhere in the bowels of their doctrines, proclaim an official hatred and condemnation for those who don't subscribe. That's what I'm after. Where does any church doctrine "go on record" with their belief that "those misguided Baptists over there are going to Hell"?

Your links led me to this gem
Michael Servetus burned at the stake in 1553, considered founder of Unitarianism

...but I'm curious why no one but me seems concerned with the manufacturer's warranty before buying into any church.

Maybe it's the way the human mind works (assuming there is one).

My local Nissan dealer will tell me it'll last for 100,000 miles, but doesn't threaten me if I buy a Ford. Churches do, though. Every one of those "schisms", Xtian and Moslem (and Hindu, and Buddhist, and etc etc etc) resulted in the killing and persecution of the "others".

Anyhow, thought I'd try you guys for ideas.

Good to hear from you as well, been a long time.

The problem with thinking you know the one true way to salvation is that you have to think that anyone not on that path is doomed to destruction. As a good person what do you do if you think someone is in danger?

Add to that the problem of how do you explain away people who have success and don't have your beliefs. The reason theists tend to dislike atheists is because when we have happy and decent lives without belief it acts as invalidation of their beliefs.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana
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