John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (New International Version, Red Letter Edition)
I guess I can sorta see why this verse is so commonly quoted by Christians who are evangelizing—it is, after all, always best to appeal to your mark’s fear and greed—but on close inspection it really proves as empty as any snow job you can name.
“For God so loved the world…”
A loving God? The unmitigated level of sheer evil in the world belies this claim, but one doesn’t even have to look past the almost endless Biblical examples of God’s despicable behavior to conclude that, whatever God’s feelings toward the world, “love” doesn’t seem to count among them.
“…that he gave his one and only Son…”
Oh, look! Here’s a Biblical example right here! God loved the world so much, but really, He couldn’t be bothered, so he sent his son to do his dirty work? Come on! You expect me to believe that the best God could do, given that he loved the world so much was to send his “son,” in human form, to Earth to wander around, give speeches, and arrogantly tell people, over and over again, “Believe that I’m the Son of God or you’re going to burn in Hell!”?
Yeah, so he supposedly cured the sick and made some alcohol, but given the Biblical account, even that wasn’t too terribly convincing, as not even all the witnesses were swayed to believe his claims of divinity. God supposedly really really really loved the world, so couldn’t he have done better than torturing and killing his own kid to “save” the world? I mean, if he wants us to be all worshipful and stuff... If he loves us so much, why not just “save” us all in the first place, and dispense with all the bother (and just who is it that God is “saving” us from, by the way, if not Him)?
And what about that “sacrificing” thing, anyway? So Jesus “died” for us, to cleanse “us” of “our” original sins, and this was supposed to be God’s big “sacrifice” that makes Him all magnanimous and whatnot? What convolution of mind allows anyone to actually believe such an absurdity? Jesus was one third of the triune God, right? So in what sense did he really die? In what sense was this a “sacrifice” at all? The only answer I can come up with is, “It wasn’t,” so the entire edifice of Christian doctrine evaporates.
It’s amazing what straws people will clutch at attempting to avoid facing that final curtain.