God's promises

Faith as the exclusive source of true happiness

During my thesis in Grenoble, I attended the Foyer Evangélique Universitaire (a meeting place for evangelical students). I took part approximately three times, in their distribution in the residences of the campus, of leaflets of invitation at their evangelization meetings of Thursday evenings. Once, as I received a pile of leaflets to be distributed, what I read there was a message meaning that all happinesses of the world which one can usually seek are illusory or transitory; it drew up a list of these ways of illusory happinesses among which love relations; as opposed to that it said there is true major happiness coming from God, alias the evangelic faith, which only can fill our hearts. That extremely obstructed me to take part in it, because it was a message to which I did not adhere owing to the fact that my experience contradicted it directly: being evangelic Christian since years, I could not find any compensation for my major misfortune due to my emotional loneliness; with the worship of Sunday mornings at the church I could seem happy but it was a transitory joy which generally disappeared for the rest of the time (depending on times), in spite of my practice of rather systematic interior prayer. I announced my dissension. As I was engaged with this distribution, I had to continue; the girl who carried out the operation promised me simply that I would not have to speak to defend that in front of those which would ask questions receiving this leaflet. She was by no means affected by my reaction, decided to continue the distribution in any case. The important point isn't it that people are invited to come to this evening?

It sometimes happened to me only once to hear about a investigation-survey organized by evangelic Christians : it was also by this group, an investigation carried out among the students of the campus, aiming to evaluating the quantity of people believing in a God and other things of this style. I do not remember that one spoke to me about the conclusions of the investigation, as the main point was that it was a good excuse to go to testify one's faith to the population (and the questions were directed in this way).

I never heard among Christians about investigations on the effects of the Christian faith on the happiness of people.
Whereas about the supposed joy in God, I heard a lot. Uto of course all the songs which one recites on Sunday mornings... except one which announces a great nuance: "God did not promise... heaven on the earth (and others)... but God promised... (many much more modest and undefinable tricks: His hand on us...)". In short, everyone knows well that the blessings of God are not measured by the material and financial chances and profits. Because these mere material things do not count primarily in front of the much more invaluable spiritual blessings. That these blessings live the secrecy of the heart. A secrecy which makes them so hard to measurable. Which is a good reason to never investigate whether it really exists or not. So, if you cannot check and you do not try to check then all you do is believe in it by blind faith, without investigation, hardly any in your own life and even less in the life of others. Since we want to claim the Gospel is true and since this is logically equivalent to the assertion that the Christian faith is the only possible source of true happiness, therefore it is undoubtful and must be proclaimed to all without any more verifications. You must be happy to believe all the best by blind faith and then cry out your "testimony" of blind faith and ignorance. All the Christians who feel the joy of the Gospel are warmly invited on the stage to proclaim their testimony. As for the others... it's because they are not ripe and strengthened in the life in Christ, of course ! They would make bad impression to the people, who came there to hear the praises and the good blessings of God, and to strengthen themselves in faith. Their anti-testimony would be badly seen or in any case would not interest people.
(I had an idea to develop in another text a longer list of examples of systematic passive misinformation, of absence of interest towards verification, absence of attention to the truth and the reality or the comprehension of the other, which the evangelic people practice).

Also, it is often told about spiritual growth, and even a song tells that Jesus changes our lives. I would notice that in any case each one evolves naturally and learns during life, with or without the Gospel. I did not heard anybody make this remark, nor even less evoke any serious comparative study to evaluate the difference.

Doubtless divine promises

In an honest world, if somebody makes a promise and that this promise is not achieved, then the one who promised is held for culprit of lie according to the resulting disappointment and possible unfortunate consequences of the acts which were decided on the basis of this erroneous promise.

In a Christian world on the other hand, the one who promises is held for holy and irreproachable in any circumstance, while it is the one to whom the promise was done who will be held for a mere criminal if ever he dared, either first to question the validity of this promise, or then to announce the falseness and the non-realization of the promise which was addressed to him. The holiness and the irreproachability of the promise are based on the following reason. The one who promises, is the saint agent and announcer of the promises of God, which are sure and doubtless. Who refuses to believe in His promise commits a crime of active incredulity against God. In all circumstances, the one who stated this promise is irreproachable, because its realization does not concern his responsibility: indeed, it is not him who promised, but God. The realization of this promise is thus of the pure responsibility of God and of the person to whom this promise is addressed. Caveat emptor.

As for the culpability of the one who was misled and who would dare to complain, it is based on many excellent reasons like:

1) to be able to achieve His promise, God needs the adhesion of the one to whom this promise was addressed, according to an unshakable faith. If not, this promise is broken, and it is the one to whom it was addressed who by his incredulity and his lack of a unshakable faith is guilty to have transgressed it (reference in Epistles of Paul to be found...).

2) It is the kindness of God that is concerned. Who claims to have something against God, makes an infamy against His majesty. This way he shows that he decidedly ignores the holy and obviously ununderstandably superior nature of the ways of the Lord which must surely be planing somewhere above all our ways.

3) If the report of absence of realization of the promise refers to some concrete situation (social, material or any other objective question), the person goes guilty to stick to the material things and to ask God for a sign, forgetting that the true grace of God is addressed to the heart and does not depend on the circumstances: it is not a Gospel of prosperity which was addressed to us, but a Gospel which speaks to the heart, where the Lord promised to live within us.

4) In the other case, where one complained about an absence of spiritual grace without concrete consideration, one has then neither any tangible argument on which one can base one's complaint. It is thus an unjustified complaint, purely based on the whim of the one who complains. It is a purely psychological matter, of thought and feeling. However, as it is well-known to Christians that the truth is chosen in the form of an act of faith (this I analyse in another text), thus also the state of one's own thoughts and convictions are no other than a fruit of one's own free and sovereign choice, that nothing nor whoever, not even God in His infinite patience, can ever disturb. Therefore, any misfortune in this field, whatever it is, is the whole responsibility of the person concerned. Any feeling of rancour which could develop is a mark of sin and rebellion against God, testifying the fact that the person loosely gave up the way of the Lord and the grace which was addressed to him.

5) Having been of passage and not meeting again the person who had promised, by the chance of events or fleeing the madness of those who thus misled us, it is hardly possible to give any news of the events to inform the promiser of his error, as anyway he will besides hardly be concerned with such a rebel apostate, more especially as the promises were not his but those of God and thus do not concern him. So to the other Christians found elsewhere, with whom one will speak about it later, things will be clear: that does not concern them either. The prayer and the promise that were organized by the previous pastor were not made correctly, it should obviously have been done in such and such other manner. The Christians and pastors are fallible, one knows it well. It is not the promises of the men that it is necessary to trust, but those of God. Who complains not to have seen the exaucement of a promise made by a man in the name of God, is by therefore guilty to have entrusted man and his promises, whereas he should rather have entrusted God.

End of proof. The promises of God are definitely holy, sure, irreproachable, uncontested and undeniable. And like politicians'promises, they only commit the people to whom they are addressed (no matter whether they listen or not), never those who claim them.
Translated from French

In other terms

The below metaphor applies both to the Christian's call for faith, and to the New Age's law of attraction and other attitude fanaticism.

Imagine you ask me to lend you some money, and you promise to give back twice the amount or the like. However, you give no indication of when you will do it, and you have one requirement: I must trust with all my heart that you will do it.

In such conditions I understand it is easy for you to decide to not give back anything, first because I don't know you and nothing can force you to do it, so there is no good reason for me to expect you to keep any promise anyway, and second because you'll also have a very easy game justifying yourself, since as soon as I'll start worrying, complaining or asking for my money back you can easily justify your decision to not do it by my failure to trust with all my heart that you will, as you require me to do. Moreover, I cannot see any decent reason for such a conditionality, why it is that your decision to keep your promise or not should depend on such a ridiculous condition as the measure of my trust to you : I see no understandable causality by which my level of trust to you may actually influence your decision to do it or not, and even if it was actually the case that my level of trust to you was what mattered, I don't even have a way to measure the level of trust that this condition requires.
In such conditions, how the hell do you expect me to accept this deal as nice and fair ?
Let us add to this scenario, the idea that a number of people already tricked me like this before, not fulfilling any promise, and using this justification of my lack of trust for this (regardless how absurd this accusation is, since it is precisely my trust to them that led me to accept the deal in the first place). You may then dismiss this past experience as "irrelevant" because you have "nothing to do" with these other people who betrayed me like this. Now what if also this way of calling me to dismiss past experience as irrelevant is itself something I'm used to, from the part of these same people who betrayed me after this ?
Now, at the end of the day it no more matters what is the real truth about all these mysterious (unanswerable) questions on how long may it take you to fulfill your promise if you ever will, or whether and how you can actually measure and judge my level of trust to you. It does not matter either what your real intentions are, whether you are trying to trick me, or you feel honest in yourself, just naturally putting this requirement of trust as "normal" in a world where it would be culturally considered as the "right" and "obviously necessary" way to do. It does not even matter whether this deal is offered to me by a human or by God. Only one question matters: in practical terms, is this deal fair ? and the clear answer is no. Whatever the excuse, such offer will always make me angry against however will do it (be it a human or God), and by necessity and for the sake of my personal and intellectual integrity, I must reject such a deal at all cost. And there is just no sense asking for more trust, trying to insist how beneficial it would be for me to give it : except with fools, trust cannot be obtained by asking, but only by deserving.

To those thinking that the right basis of faith is that it must stay insensitive to the fulfillment of any expectation

You must then read this text demonstrating that this "right basis of faith" is exactly what makes it evil.

Other texts on religion:
An inspiration, not a theory
Criticism of Neale Donald Walsch
Back to the main refutation of Christianity page

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