I live in a family of devout Christians and I do not consider myself one. In fact, I do not consider myself a part of any religion. My Christian family and friends always tell me “Men weren’t meant to understand the word of God,” when confronted with a contradiction. A lot of these contradictions are explained away easily when you simply follow the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus existed, there is evidence of this in history, he was real. Whether or not you believe his mother was a virgin (I don’t), he was a good person who claimed to be the son of God. He taught kindness, giving to the poor, live well, faith in God, and the general morals we associate with being a good person. If there was a message that important, he would have told his disciples while he was alive.
Honestly though, if you were told you appeared in your mom without a dad, what would you think? Maybe when he realized he wasn’t special, he started learning illusions to enforce the view that he is special (Figuring out a way to dye water red to look like wine? Jesus Crystal Light?). Not to mention, Jesus would have had to either been shot with a God sperm or have been a clone of his mother. If he was a clone it would have to be parthenogenesis. And that would not supply Jesus with a Y chromosome to be a male. Anyways, that is enough of examining is psychology and biology. I can only understand having faith in Jesus as he lived, if you so choose.
My problem with the religion lies with the writing of the bible. When you question it, they say, “I have faith in Jesus!” But Jesus didn’t write it! Then they say that “It is inspired by the word of god!” People editing and writing a book that never saw him and claimed to have new revelations through “visions” were “inspired.” Imagine, you are a disciple and devote yourself to a cause and someone else is the one who is chosen for a vision! You can’t be left out! So because one guy wanted to look special you have an epidemic of false visions.
Now we go back to the “Men can’t understand the word of God” comments from Christians, and you realize that the people who wrote down the word of God could VERY EASILY misunderstand His words even if they really did hear them.
The contradictions in the bible can be explained if these people lied. Incest is a sin (if it was, why don’t we have limiters that don’t allow reproduction like in some plant species), but Adam and Eve were the only two people on the planet. So, pray tell, how did we become 6 billion strong? Jonah couldn’t stop the sun in the sky as it was not moving. Let us assume that he meant “he stopped Earth from turning.” That means most life on Earth would be ended instantly, as we would be catapulted with tangential velocity to the East at 1,100 MPH, smashing all humans to death. This is just two that I could come up with off the top of my head.
You can see the bleed over of cultural beliefs of a few of the people in the Bible, specifically Leviticus. Such as hating gay people (happens in nature) and saying pork shouldn’t be eaten (a Jewish belief that was prevalent in the area/time) because he stated that it was dirty. Well, too bad pigs aren’t actually filthy animals (they just roll in mud because they can’t sweat)! This just furthers the evidence that these people lied about these visions, but it isn’t concrete per say, just a logical conclusion.
Yes, the Bible does have a mix of historical context with falsehoods. I do understand this, but I don’t accept this anymore than if a history book told me that the Japanese summoned a rain god to prevent invasions from the Mongols. The historical side is seen in the “plagues” of Egypt, which did happen and can all be scientifically explained. There are many other examples, but I won’t bore you with them.
Bottom line, follow only what Jesus taught (it is recorded what he actually said, here are a few), that is how to make yourself a good Christian. He never said, “Have faith in my disciples.” He said, “Have faith in my Father and I.” Practice what Jesus said in life and you should have no problem getting into Heaven. That is the proper way to be a Christian, not protesting gay people (if you do this why not also protest gamblers, adulterers, and drunks as all sins are equal in the eyes of God) or following what greedy men said.