If you have trouble refuting the arguments of a Christian that seems to have a good handle on the Bible – here’s a fool proof method to utterly destroy them!
1.) Completely ignore the Scriptures until you want to randomly quote a verse or two that support your particular political and/or social ideology.
2.) Appeal to the RED LETTERS of Jesus; they hold magical power and when taken on their own, in one or two consecutive verses at most, allow you to ignore the rest of the bible – especially the parts that completely refute your own point.
3.) Definitely ignore the part where Jesus talks about sinners and what that term means (including any qualities or actions that might make one a sinner). Also, it is suggested you avoid parts speaking directly to final judgment, the divinity of Christ, etc.
If all else fails, tell them that the story of Jesus is a knock off of the stories of Horus, Dionysus, Attis, Mithra, and Krishna. If they somehow manage to pull up the extremely well-documented refutations against this – tell them the historical Jesus didn’t exist.
4.) If any Christian gives you push back about how you view a particular social issue, call them unloving, hypocritical, judgmental, and bigoted.
Pro-tip: quote “Do not judge” from Luke 6:37, but ignore the part where He speaks of “right judgment.” Who is anyone to judge? If they say, “God is able to judge,” tell them you don’t believe in the “Magic Sky Fairy” anyhow, so that’s irrelevant.
5.) Ignore any and all methodology devoted to studying the books of the Bible in their proper literary genres. Narrative? Treat any occurrence of something unfolding in narrative as if it was a command from God. Poetic? No problem – just ignore any metaphorical and allegorical language! Prophetic or Apocalyptic? Claim they were on hallucinogenics!
6.) If they appeal in some fashion so as to say: “I am just as much in need of grace as any man,” repeat step 3. Grace isn’t grace without punishment for sin and a Savior isn’t a Savior without a contingent set of core doctrines swept under the rug.
7.) Use ad hominems, red-herrings, bulverism, loaded questions, straw-men, ambiguity, incredulity, the fallacy fallacy, loaded questions, etc.
Perfect examples of this would include:
- Shell fish and other casuistic Laws from the Old Testament.
- Discrediting their character because they did something fishy at one point.
- Define moral principles using the exception to the rule rather than the rule itself.
- Saying someone can’t speak to an issue because they lack credentials, life-experience, or a particular genetic makeup.
8.) Appeal to the history of those who have done atrocious things in the name of religion even though they were never actually Christian (e.g. Hitler). Also, give some examples of actual Christian leaders who were caught doing something they spoke against. Use these to generalize and dismiss any serious claims to genuine faith.
9.) Never actually address any legitimate counter-points they make. Not only will doing so give them reason to believe they have a valid argument, but if you avoid the original premise, it allows you to keep raising arguments that never deal with the substance of their argument!
10.) If everything up to this point fails, say that the bible is the product of man. Make grand-sweeping claims that the collection of writings found in Scripture are not historical documents, the Bible was corrupted over time – like a giant game of telephone, or use any of the aforementioned logical fallacies against the text itself. You’d be surprised what you can do with little-to-no understanding of textual criticism and a faulty understanding of how to use a lexicon.
If they ignore every possible solution I’ve outlined here, grab a couple of like-minded friends who can jump in, rinse, and repeat.
Bonus Points: If you are able to work in the God is a “cosmic child-abuser” or “…filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” line at some point, you’ll really channel Hitchens et al. in the remainder of the debate.