Listen, I'm more than willing to accept the fact that religion plays a large part in peoples lives, I get it, but you people (and Christians, I'm looking at you here) have got to come at me with something better than cliche biblical quotes. The bible is the biggest, most perverse, most destructive game of "telephone" in the history of mankind.
Placing your faith in, and building your religion upon, a collection of stories, written by 40 different people, over the course of around 1600 years, and then having the audacity to, not only claim it to be fact, but a mandate from God, is asinine in a way that almost defies comprehension.
Let me ask this. Say we got rid of the Bible. Where would those who believe in a God who has been interacting with the world on some level since man began go to attain information to support their belief?
Should they use the quran? Trust in some charismatic 'prophet'? Or, what would be an acceptable replacement? In your opinion.
Trading one flawed book for another would just be silly, so no, the Qur'an/Torah wouldn't be a viable option.
As for the question: "would those who believe in a God who has been interacting with the world on some level since man began go to attain information to support their belief?"
My answer is simple: why would your beliefs need support? Your beliefs are beliefs precicely because they don't need to be supported; their matters of faith.
What you're actually asking for is knowledge in place of faith. If that's what you're looking for, you're not going to find it in any version of any Bible, since all of them require faith before they can be held as anything more than a collection of superstitions.
Here's a novel idea, if you're looking for a closer relationship with your God, how about you stop looking for external sources, and look within.
I don't see a need to believe in a book. I see problems with the belief that the Bible is 'the word of God' since it isn't any more than your opinion on what it means. But, I think it might be better to have a single source you can argue against.
Everyone asks for your source when making claims about anything. And one problem we encounter today is that you can find a source to back any claim. I'd rather have the religious reference the Bible than a thousand different books. It's easier to prove them wrong when they are wrong. Don't you think?
The problem is, there is very little "religion" in the Bible. If you look at each chapter as a separate entity, most of them are nothing more than the authors interpretation of some event.
There is no more a basis for a religion in the Bible as there is in any book. You can't even rely on the integrity of the Bible as a collected work, since even among Christians there are several different versions. Every sect chooses what it wants to believe in, and then constructs its Bible accordingly.
Funny, how centuries of human history refute your statement. How did Christianity evolve to where it is, if not for their interpretation of the Bible? It is a pointless observation since no religionist is going to view the books separately. The unifying message over centuries and across great distances is one of their primary arguments.
I think you are overstating to a degree. Yes, some sects do make minor changes in a word here and there; to further support their doctrine. But, most versions of the Bible are honest attempts at translation. Problems in translating ancient documents aren't limited to Biblical scholars.
However, it doesn't really matter what they read. People chose a sect that they feel comfortable with. The sect doesn't make them believe. They use the sect to validate their beliefs.
I simply think arguing to get rid of the Bible serves no point. You'll have to kill God in the minds of Christianity first. Then you can get rid of the Bible.
As long as people believe man was made in God's image they will search for ways to a better understanding.
Your argument is based upon the premise that Christianity has "evolved" into something good. I would submit that it most certainly has not. You can reference my reply to Eaglekiwi below for a small example of what Christianity has "evolved" into.
It's obvious, believers claim to have a "relationship" with God and that He "speaks to them" through the HOLY SPIRIT.
Doing away with the bible wouldn't stop the insanity. True, the bible has inspired some truly grotesque behavior in people, but grotesque behavior has been inspired by everything from movies to music to books to the neighbor's dog. It's not the bible. It's people. The other forum question you posted about the behavior of some atheists is another example. It's just people. No matter the belief system or viewpoint, there will always be the presence of that element.
I'm a christian, but because that term has come to represent such a skewed image, in the same way that terms like 'liberal' and 'conservative' no longer mean what they used to, I feel it necessary to define further. I'm a christian, but I don't consider myself a 'religionist'. I'm a non-denominational church-less christian for lack of a better title. I see a person's personal experience with God to be exactly that. Personal.
Religion is more of an outward expression of beliefs. Something you can wear on the outside and say to everyone around you, this is who I am. To me, if your focus is reconciling and finding understanding of God internally, the outward expression is much more honest and sincere. You can certainly hang out with others with similar viewpoints, but It doesn't require robes or suits or pulpits or ceremony, and it certainly should never be portrayed as being the one and only true viewpoint. Nobody can know that, and as the churches of the world have historically shown, they're slow to adjust to the times because of that certainty that what they say is right is right.
It's important to separate the bible itself from people. That includes how it's been interpreted or what others say this or that means. It's often hard to differentiate what it actually says with what it's been made out to be. If you first understand it for what it is, what's known about it's origins, how it was pieced together, it has a lot of truly profound things to say. For a long time the bible was all most people had. They were just these stories that were often ambiguous because context was hard to discern. After all, these are ancient texts written in an ancient language. But now, you can read expert linguistic studies, insight from historians, scholars, scientists.
The truth is, there's a lot more to this collection of stories written by over 40 different people over the course of 1600 (or more) years than many non-believers give it credit for.
While I can appreciate, and even admire, your sentiment, there is still once glaring problem with your theory: the expert linguistic studies still can't agree on what the Bible actually said. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls, which they have been working on since the 40s when they found them, don't have an "agreed upon" translation, as every group that works on it, comes up with something different.
I have no problem with the Bible as a cultural, or historical record; my problem comes with people who build a faith on the book.
You're right in that translation can be tricky. After all, even those doing the translating, whether they mean to or not, put their own spin on it. How they see or perceive things bleeds into it. In my studies I don't depend on one particular translation. I look at many, learning the particularities of each, and comparing to the original language at the word-by-word level in many cases, considering the various definitions of each. The fact is, the translation from Hebrew to nearly any modern language is clunky at best.
Faith-wise, the bible can provide inspiration and insight and comfort and wisdom. And it has done so for many. Primarily on the personal/human level where it's most universally relate-able, like the Psalms or the Proverbs, for example. It's all the other stuff that causes a lot of confusion, especially not knowing what the world was like back then. The conditions, the behaviors of humans in the early ages of civilization before the onset of empires and governments with laws and those that enforce it. When there were still vast pockets of lawlessness and chaos. Most of us in these times struggle to even imagine.
One of the things I most often write about here has to do with why I feel we should give some of these ancient texts another good, hard look. I write primarily about the first 11 chapters of Genesis. These are the oldest writings in all the bible, with the possible exception of Job. And even Genesis was pieced together from at least four previous sources. What I have found is that it appears one very important detail has been misunderstood and misread for a very long time. The creation of Adam was not the creation of the first human. The humans created during the creation account happened much earlier. By the time Adam was around, there were other humans who were different than him. In fact, they were described as 'mortal' in comparison, not living nearly as long. Making that one adjustment I've since gone back through and found that those first 11 chapters line up really well with actual events in that Mesopotamian region leading up to the dawn of civilization.
But, then again, that's ultimately just my 'interpretation' floating in a sea of many, many others. So, though I'm sure it goes without saying, don't take my word for it.
I do not feel that religion is an outward armor that I wear that I use to define who I am. My spiritual beliefs are my connection to the Power that guides my life. My religious beliefs are personal and really between me and God. I judge not others and do not hold them in disdain if their views differ from mine. I
do not believe in literal translation of the Bible and often debate parts of it with others. That does not mean that I think we should get rid of it.
if it were to be no longer used, something else would rise to the surface that people would adopt as their guide and its teaching could be even more perverse and full of errors than the Bible is said to be.
I think the Bible was inspired by God and the thoughts in it can serve as thinking points for us to decipher and use as we feel the need.
The Bible is a book of interest because it define the very fabrics of human existence and creation in general. There is no other book in circulation that comes close to the Bible. It's quite understandable why people get upset with the Bible, because it is the word of God. The word of God is always piercing the souls of an unbeliever.
A carnal world will always be in conflict with a spiritual God, but the carnal count for nothing. In the world of the carnal mind, faith is dead. The Bible is the pathway and a guide to those who desire the spiritual food and knowledge........Sorry, there is absolutely nothing anybody can do about it for now, until the time appointed, which is also written in the same Bible.
Perhaps the bible needs to be rewritten. Not so much as a new translation, but really spelling it all out what the Christian philosophy really is, because the bible is so vague and contradictory, it's hard to know what to follow and what not to. For example, lots of people like to quote Lev. 18 & 20 when talking about homosexuality, but they conveniently ignore Lev. 19, which forbids tattoos. I won't go into all the other cray restrictions in Leviticus and other books, but writing out a clear, concise statement of what their actual beliefs and philosophy is would be a great idea. Should one give money to the poor, like Jesus said, or give it to the church and hope they do good with it, rather than building another suburban megachurch and buying cars and homes for the pastors?
Just because you view the Bible with limited perspective, this doesn't mean that Scriptures aren't meaningful and beneficial to those who choose to belief in what is written within the Wisdom documents.
I believe the beginnings of intolerance are generated with statements such as are used to open this thread and feel it is a shame that so many in the forums fail to see the similarities we share and, instead, start many threads designed for argument, attack, etc.
To many, the Bible is filled with wisdom, interesting narratives, sacred words, and contains various models for moral living. As well, it is undisputed by scholars in a variety of fields that some of the text contains important historical information.
To imagine siding along the lines of the opening post, why don't we all throw away the Bible - as well as other Wisdom Literature documents (Like Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, The Chinese Book of Odes, Sadi's Scroll of Wisdom (Islam), etc), as well our diaries, journals and family documents - along with all the keepsakes we hold dear while we're at it?
There is a big difference between a "book of wisdom" such as Aurelius, and the bible. No one takes Aurelius' writings as divinely-inspired, literal truth that should be the basis of Western society. If people regarded the bible as merely another book of wisdom, rather than gospel (pun intended) I think we'd be much better off. Believing something (such as the bible) incapable of error is a recipe for disaster.
That is why it is called "FAITH." Believing upon a God that you don't see or hear or speak with, and placing faith that God completely inspired a book written centuries ago. Are you homosexual? I notice that many homosexuals hate God and the bible, because in the OLD Testament, God does call for the execution of homosexuals. But, if you look in the NEW Testament, Jesus does not call for the death of anyone. HE even stops a group of men who are about to stone an adulteress to death. During his crucifixion, HE asks God to "forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Now if my cliche bible verse sickens you, then I am sorry that you don't know true, unconditional love when you read it.
Your bible offers neither truth, nor love. It's the foundation of a religion that has more blood on its hands than any other group in history.
To use your example: while on the cross, Jesus also cried out "My God, My God, why have you forsaken (abandoned) me". What's that? A crisis of faith, just before death, from the Son of God? More so, following Christian theology, Jesus wasn't simply the Son of God, He was God, yet he cries out wondering why God abandoned Him?
As for being a homosexual, "not that there's anything wrong with that" (in my best Jerry Seinfeld voice), I'm straight and happily married. Something that the Bible (your book of unconditional love) prohibits for homosexuals.
If you continue to read, shortly after Jesus stated that, HE did die. I also stated that the OLD Testament condemns homosexuality. Nothing regarding the execution of homosexuals is stated at all in the NEW Testament. And yes, God and Jesus are separate but also one. People have taken the religion of Christianity and used it for their own vile purposes. That is not the fault of God or Jesus, that is man's fault. Jesus never made anyone worship him, EVER!
Could you perhaps be suggesting that mankind was better off before the Bible was printed?
History does not support that fact.
Would you like to be rid of all literature with bloodshed in it? or just the Bible?
I cannot think of any group of people organistaion ,culture who does not have some record or ethos as information ,albeit history,laws,instruction etc.
So while I agree with your point that to be closer to God it is wise to look within, to have increased understanding it is also necessary to look 'without' other sources ie Literature.
In fact your comment about looking within to be closer to God is in fact in line with Gods word,where he says "I have written the truth on the hearts of all man"
Even today it is estimated that thousands of people have never read a Bible, ( Im assuming those people are no different in terms of human behavior than people who do read the Bible)....
Not to minimize anyones points of view ,but I conclude that God looks on the heart of man,and not on whether he follows the Bible (or any other book) or not.
The Bible is definitely not the only way God has and continues to communicate with his creation.
That would be the thousand years we refer as the Middle and Dark Ages. The Bible was not yet printed and available only in Latin. When the first manuscripts were hand printed, John Wycliffe had it translated to English and made many copies only to have the Pope, who was infuriated by this outrage, he ordered the bones of Wycliffe to be dug-up, crushed, and scattered in the river.
It is estimated that many hundreds of millions of Christians have never read the Bible.
"Better off" is a subjective term, I'll leave that one for the poets and philosophers to debate.
Do I think that humanity would have been better off without the Bible, absolutely, and it's not difficult to see why. Let's look at some of religion's "greatest hits", shall we?
Two Millennia of religious persecution
The Spanish Inquisition
The Slaughter of the Mesoamerican Civilizations
Centuries of Scientific and Social repression
The Salem Witch Trials, and the general oppression of women
Christian Concentration Camps in Eastern Europe during World War II
The recent sex abuse scandals
Now you tell me, is the world better off because of these things?
Christians for several centuries have had a relative tolerance to those who do not believe.
As for the crusades, the Muslims wanted the Christians out.
The Spanish Inquisition, nothing but a bunch of murderous hypocrites. The NEW Testament of the Bible speaks very plainly about people like that.
The Slaughter of the Mesoamerican Civilizations. Yea, they were such a good, gentle people, that is why they offered up LIVE HUMAN sacrifices to THEIR gods!
In the last few centuries, Christianity has NOT halted scientific discoveries and inventions. As for social, yea, if you mean having to watch men kissing and hugging all over each other, women too!
The Salem Witch trials is an isolated incident. Women have always been oppressed, in many cultures and religions. Muslim countries, who are not Christian at all, would be a great place to start if you want to speak of religion and the oppression of women. At least in medieval England and all throughout Europe, a woman could be queen. NOT so in the Muslim countries at that time. Women were only good enough for Harems.
I can put up a porno shop and call it Christian. Just another example of how people can take evil things and slap the word "Christian" on it.
The same with Pedophile wolves, clothing themselves as sheep. Oh yea, doesn't the Bible mention the same thing, I know, another biblical cliche..."wolves dressed in sheeps' clothing.
Jesus has done more to liberate women than any man ever did that for sure
Your argument is as predictable as it is ridiculous. The text book "Christian Double Standard"; when things go right, it's a testament to the "glory of God"; when they don't, you disavow those involved and claim they "weren't really Christians.
The crusades were an invasion, of course the Muslims wanted them out, as would any indigenous people.
So because you disagree with the way the Mesoamerican Cultures lived and worshiped, that makes it okay to commit genocide?
I'm pretty sure Galileo, Copernicus, and Darwin would all disagree with your opinion about the churches position on scientific discovery.
I'm sure that most homosexuals and lesbians could care less about your bigoted assessment of their lifestyle.
Your only defense of the churches oppression of women is that you're not as bad as Muslims would be humorous, if it wasn't so depressingly exhibitive of the misguided mentality of the religion.
Your defense of the pedophiles is sickening, even for a Christian, but only goes to further my point when you consider that the Vatican covered up for, and protected these so-called "wolves in sheep's clothing" to the tune of almost a billion dollars world wide.
I write this not in defense but as another angle to your concerns
Where in the Bible did God ever condone the actions that many so called Churches perform in his name?
Did you know for example that God abhorred religious people and despised their pious self righteous control over people.
That is why Jesus was perscuted in fact ,by the self appointed 'holy leaders' who would have lost their positions of control and power over a number of churches and people. ie their livelihoods.
Nothing has changed even today - Oh perhaps the organistation ie Church bodies have changed over time to blend or adapt to include other creeds or doctrines , but,the religious spirit has not changed ,nor Gods abhorrence of it.
The Bible on War: "And when ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars, be ye not troubled: for such things must needs be; " Mark 13:7
The Bible on Human Sacrifice: "Thou shalt not delay to offer the first of thy ripe fruits, and of thy liquors: the firstborn of thy sons shalt thou give unto me." Exodus 22:29
The Bible on Slavery: "As for the male and female slaves whom you may have, it is from the nations around you that you may aquire male and female slaves." Leviticus 22:44
The Bible on Women's Rights: "Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence." I Timothy 2:11
The first three are "Quotes" by either God or Jesus. Need I go on?
Yes you do need to go on.......for even though your style of debate is what scholars describe as scripture 'buffet style' . 'Picked out pieces of information' to suit your appetite.
Even some Christians do that, I guess its a human trait lol
What else was happening ie before and after those texts?
What were the people doing ? Why did Jesus feel the need to warn them?
Christians were being persecuted,hunted down and tortured. It is still happening today in many communist countries .
People discriminated against for choosing to listen or learn about Jesus Christ.
Democracy? I think not.
Study some more, and remember the Bible is more than just a book , it is the living word of God!
The insanity comes from not understanding the Bible and misquoting the intention of the writer(s) IMO.
I don't think so. Your reaction to the darker side of the bible is typical. Taken out of context, no. Everyone uses pieces of the bible, why can only the religious get away with it. The OT is brutal and I simply don't understand how one can take the OT and think it was written by the same God as the NT. Why, because you were told it was? The OT clearly condones Rape, Murder and Slavery. Whoever wrote the OT clearly had no respect for women.
Deuteronomy 20:10-14 NIV
When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. 11 If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. 12 If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies.
Deuteronomy 22:28-29 NIV
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekelsof silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
The last one is a nasty little piece of scripture. In trying to punish the man for raping her he forces the women to marry the rapist. I think we have a much better system today. Put the guy in jail for a bunch of years and get some help for the victim.
Hey Rad Man, long time no talk!
The world was very different in the OT age. It was a violent age. Unlike our modern assumption that humans then were much like humans now and that the progression from then to now was a natural/gradual progression, as it's described in the OT and as it's evidenced by archaeological evidence, this was not the case. There was a wicked element spreading through humanity like a wild fire that originated in the deserts of the Sahara.
Prehistoric humans and native indigenous cultures share many distinct characteristics across the board...
* Little to no war-like behavior and very little violence between humans in general
(I know you disagree with this one)
* Did not claim ownership of land, but rather viewed nature as belonging to everyone
* Not concerned with accumulating possessions in general
* Equality between male and female
* General equality and a total lack of class stratification
This all changed with the arrival of the Saharasian peoples, nomadic semetic-speaking tribes and nomadic Indo-european speaking tribes, who were flushed out of the Sahara region by drastic aridification (Babel). They had very different attitudes towards women and possessions, which mirrors both the individual will Genesis describes Adam/Eve having as well as the curse against Eve. And these characteristics followed where ever they went until it became the norm.
In the age of the passages you specified, there were civilizations in both Sumer and Egypt. And there were other smaller groups throughout the landscape that are referenced in this part of the OT. The bible describes the Israelites often getting attacked while they were out in the open and towns where you might be greeted by a mob looking to rape you.
As the bible says, the laws of God were not yet written on the hearts of men. This is why protecting the Israelites was a priority. Jesus was to ultimately come from this bloodline. His birth/death/resurrection changed everything, which is why the NT is so different. The terrain was much more volatile in the OT. There was no law, except within Sumer and Egypt, and there were no jails.
It's hard for people living in our time to even imagine.
Why would you justify Rape, Murder and Slavery? We have two scenarios here:
1. The bible is the word of God and God instructed Rape, Murder and Slavery to protect the bloodline. If you God could see the future as you say, there should have been no need to condone these actions as laws. Why even would Jesus have to come from David's bloodline? It's God. And for that matter Joseph was thought to be from David's bloodline, but not Mary and Joseph was not involved in the genetics of Jesus. Also if he knows the future he would have planed to condone all these wars and such. The point is wether or not it was a different time a loving God would have spoken the same way Jesus did. The OT was clearly written to make Israelites feel special at the expense of others.
2. The OT was written by people. Who were attempting to instruct other how to live and did a poor job.
People were do different 5000 years ago to us. Culture was different, but modern humans have remained unchanged for 200,000 years. There are just more of us. More people, more need for land. When people compete of land they fight. It's always been that way.
On a side note: Psychologist have recently made a discovery. Love as it turns out is not even an emotion. It's an addiction that has a specific chemical and location in the brain. This is why some people become depressed after a break up. They are actually going through withdrawal. Science will one day have all the answers my friend.
The old Testament is /was old law.
Certainly not laws you or I have any concept of either.
I have not studied the Hebrew culture at all,but I understand it was nothing like our laws today.
Not that our laws are without flaws.
Rape and murder occur in Western civilisations too, but the they usually have better lawyers.
Jesus liberated women, Sharia law did not /does not!
I dont know why you find some of those scriptures so offensive.
Is it the idea of reclaiming liberty or justice ?
Were Gods people to remain slaves forever?
You don't find it interesting that God is telling people to kill? "When you march up to attack a city". When? Not don't? "If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. 13 When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. 14 As for the women, the children, the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves." If they refuse to make peace, by peace they mean becoming a slave. So God says to attack cities and if the men don't want to be slaves then kill them all and keep the women, children and livestock, those you can plunder. Notice woman are on the same level as livestock. No, not offensive at all.
Praetor, I don't believe the moderators here at Hubpages would appreciate you chomping the head off of someone everytime they reply to your rants. You are bitter, obviously. Please take your atheistic bitterness somewhere else and leave us Christians alone.
And that quote from 1 Timothy 2:11, is referring to a WIFE, and the man, her HUSBAND. Yes, traditionally, the husband is the head of the house. After all, there cannot be two kings ruling the same kingdom.
Ephesians 5:28 ESV
<<<In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. >>>
Colossians 3:19 ESV
<<<Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. >>>
1 Peter 3:7 ESV
<<<Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.>>>
Wow, my God really dislikes women!
And, since you really enjoy twisting words around, God did not condone sacrificing any human beings, especially babies and children. That is why in the OLD Testament he had the Hebrews SMITE other nations. These nations DID sacrifice their children, by fire, to a god they worshiped named Molech.
To give up their first born sons was a symbolic gesture, not a human sacrifice.
You do understand that you stepped up to the plate? Whether you agree with him or not, you chose to participate in the dialogue. If you don't like how it turned out; walk away. It isn't your right to insist someone else leave because you don't like what you made a choice to read.
Hey Praetor, I have a great suggestion. Get lost, and then no one can offend your superior intelligence.
Aww no ,dont get lost.
How boring if we all thought the same way or in the same things!
We just gotta learn to play nice in the sandpit
After all we are all sharing the same planet for now.
Well that's a nice thing to say to someone. The creator of the thread started a question/debate. Why should they get lost?
Well then Praetor, you need to take that up with the Vatican regarding their cover up of pedophiles.
Christians for several centuries have had a relative tolerance to those who do not believe.
You're talking about on Earth, right? Since when?
The Slaughter of the Mesoamerican Civilizations. Yea, they were such a good, gentle people, that is why they offered up LIVE HUMAN sacrifices to THEIR gods!
So they deserved to be killed? Blood sacrifice is in the bible, too. Then there's the North American natives.
In the last few centuries, Christianity has NOT halted scientific discoveries and inventions.
Scopes Monkey Trial? Dover, PA? Gregor Mendel and Georges LeMaitre notwithstanding, the church has stood in the way of science since day one.
The Salem Witch trials is an isolated incident.
Yes, isolated to the New World and Europe. In Europe, the "Burning Times" were responsible for between 50,000 and 100,000 deaths. http://www.religioustolerance.org/wic_burn.htm
At least in medieval England and all throughout Europe, a woman could be queen. NOT so in the Muslim countries at that time. Women were only good enough for Harems.
And yet Pakistan has had a woman (Benazir Bhutto) as prime minister. Go fig.
Whenever people believe in something they think is incapable of error, you have a recipe for disaster.
My brief answer is this:
Even though one says it is a car -doesnt make it so
To quote Gods word "Not all all call me Lord, know me"
Countries fight wars in the name of God (even as we type) yet I truly do not believe that God said to do so.......
Incidently which are you a poet or a philospher?
I study A Course In Miracles so I have a very different view of God than most who take the Bible literally. I believe God loves you no matter what you do. I do not believe in sin let alone absolution. To me that is all ego. If you replace sin with self-punishment I feel it all makes much more sense. In my opinion, The Bible is a valuable resource for referring to the many malevolent AND benevolent spirits that humanity has interacted with through the ages. But I don't believe any of these spirits were the source of all creation that we refer to as God. As for the New Testament, I believe Yeshua (whom many refer to as Jesus Christ) was trying to help us evolve and find a higher consciousness. No wonder he was so ruthlessly punished by those who didn't want to evolve. Again, nothing to do with God except that we're all part of God filtering our way through a massive illusion of physicality that we call the universe. So, in short I would say that getting rid of the Bible would be a poor idea. Maybe not as poor as the idea those Muslim clerics have about blowing up the Pyramids and The Great Sphynx, but still a pretty poor idea.
God allows you the right to freedom of speech and thought and in doing so you should allow those who believe and worship God the same.
I do not know how much you know about the Bible, however, I do know it is my guide in life.
Does it matter whom God had write His words? I can not see any issue!
I know I have found God and He stays in my life at all times.
I can tell you of some tragic events in my life and others were he was truly present!
The later one being a young girl that at twelve whom had cancer. She beat it at fifteen.
Then at eighteen, the damage caused by the chemotherapy came to surface and she was dying from damaged lungs.
A miracle surfaced. She got a break after clinically dying in the hospital a number of times and sent home to die.
Another suddenly decided that if she could build her body up physically she would receive a transplant of lungs. It all happened quickly. This was over a year ago.
I know, one would think why does God allow our children to suffer and die.
He has his reasons. He knows the big plan!
I do not want to be heard as if I am saying religion and belief is the only way to go.
I have not the right to impose that on you. Nevertheless, know this; I am glad I know God’s words. Rose
You know, when I first saw this thread I was tempted to respond. But then I didn't and I see I made the right decision.
The reason why is this-- it's the same old story when it comes to "anti-theists" like Praetor. First, they start out with a question or observation that seems to be in the spirit of open debate and exchange of ideas. Then when the religious respond, they turn the debate into an increasingly ugly, hostile, snide, condescending one-sided exchange in which it's no longer a debate anymore; it's just the "enlightened anti-theist" trying to put the "moronic worshippers" in their place.
And these types of things always ends the same way, too-- the "anti-theist" losing his temper and snorting the same cliche rants he's heard from his religious gurus (Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, George Carlin, Penn Gillette), yadda yadda yadda yadda "Crusades", "Salem Witch Trials", yadda yadda, blood on hands, yadda yadda. Then he starts angrily quoting Bible verse out of context. Never fails.
This is why I usually ignore these types of people and why I urge others to ignore them too, whether you "are" religious or not. This type of "discussion" is pointless, because it's less about debate at all than it is about someone looking for an argument.
If one stands back how can another learn? Ponder those words.
You're making some assumptions here that aren't accurate, mainly about God and His nature, which is understandable as that's a lot like how a lot of the religious describe Him. First, "seeing the future" isn't entirely accurate. Linear time in general isn't. God exists outside of time/space, therefore the beginning and end of time are one and the same from His perspective. But He made humans creators. So, without time there is only what exists and what doesn't. What's 'of God' and what's 'of us'.
Notice some of the things Jesus said while praying to God. Like asking God to forgive these people because they didn't know what they were doing. In the God as a holy trinity perspective this would seem like God talking to Himself, but there was a very real disconnect before Jesus was born/died/resurrected in the flesh. Plus, this wicked element the Israelites were having to carve their existence out in the midst of was the result of free will. And God doesn't override free will or it wouldn't be free.
When there is free will, especially in that lawless age, this is what was required to establish a safe haven. They had to take the land by force, which by the way was inhabited by survivors of the flood (Gen6/Num13). And when you take an inhabited land you only have so many options as far as what to do with the inhabitants. Even then those inhabitants were given a choice, and the Israelites were to do as instructed. Not at all a common practice in that age.
And slavery then wasn't like what you think now. It was often a way of life that provided food/shelter/protection for people who otherwise had no option. Rape wasn't condoned, the rapist had to then take responsibility for the women for life. Still barbaric-sounding to our modern ears, sure, but certainly not justified or condoned.
Both Joseph and Mary came from David's bloodline, one from the Nathan line, one from the Solomon line (Matthew 1/Luke 3).
Again, this is an assumption that evidence just doesn't support. Modern humans have remained unchanged physically/skeletally (if that's a word). But there was a very distinct difference between the humans of those first civilizations and prehistoric/primitive humans in how they behaved. A difference that can actually be seen in the archaeological record.
See, until all the questions are answered, we all take something on faith.
Oh, I don't think I've made any assumptions. I think it is you who is making assumptions and rationalizations. Your first assumption is that there is a God. That is an assumption since you have no proof of his or her existence. You second assumption and this one is also a rationalization because it give God an out is that he is outside time. This gives you the ability both give God the ability to know the future and predict it and say he has no concept of time which he created. You also make the assumption that we have free will. This is in fact not known or understood. It is predicted that someone on the other side of our universe would be able to see our future because of the curious nature of our universe. If this were the case we would not have free will as all our choice are already made. You also make the assumption that the Israelites are the chosen people and they had to take the land by force. This is just what the Israelites have told us. We don't know they are special and why would God have favourites anyway? It goes against what our laws and ethics of today. Would Jesus have used the same tactics? Kill all the men and non-virgin women and keep the virgins? Really? Doesn't sound like the same God to me. That is another assumption your making, and that is a very big assumption. You also make the assumption and rationalization that slavery wasn't like it is know. Slavery is slavery my friend. This is a rationalization you make to support your belief in God. Any time one person owns another is wrong. We both know that, but somehow you rationalize that away.
You also make the assumption that God gave some free will a while back that that changed everything. I've showed you evidence of the contrary that you dismiss because it goes against your beliefs. You assume we have a soul connecting us to God when we have no evidence of and an abundance evidence against a spiritual brain. Even Love is nothing more that a chemical addiction.
You see all the assumption and rationalization you make to support your believe in an invisible God.
The existence of God isn't an assumption to me as I've experienced Him. I know you'll never buy that, but it's the truth.
As for the time thing, this is not an assumption as that's how He's described. For one thing, He created the universe, which includes time/space. Therefore outside of it. To go one further, it's actually addressed specifically when it says that from God's perspective a 1000 years is like a day and a day like a 1000 years. It was acknowledged way before anyone knew it would need to be or could even grasp the concept.
Free will is not an assumption as that's exactly what Genesis describes and our history backs it up. Only after this point do you find burial sites that show favoritism though size of burial place, location, what they're buried with. There's a dramatic difference between humans prior to around 5000 BC and after, and it started in Mesopotamia and spread from there. And again, seeing or knowing an outcome based on anyone's ability to see time differently does not remove the choice you made because you made it in the moment. Knowledge of your choice does not mean you didn't still have the choice.
The Israelites being the chosen people is what it says. Now I understand that you see this as the writers of the text making themselves the chosen people and I get that. But the story Genesis tells could not have been known to that level of detail by the Israelites or anyone else for that matter. What it describes tells a cohesive/consistent story that matches what the evidence tells us. So, while I can't prove or confirm it, it's the most likely answer.
Again this was a very different time. Taking land, taking slaves, this was the law of the land. And this was created by free will. This was the world the Israelites existed in and they had to work within those parameters. They had to etch out an existence amongst upheaval in a very violent age.
The evidence you gave to oppose my view of free will was not dismissed. I was already aware of it and had taken it into consideration. It's not like you brought up something I didn't know about and I just pitched it. And the archaeologists who reached the same conclusion about the generally peaceful human behavior knew about it too.
Evidence against a spiritual brain is illogical. Like I said before, if you think it/feel it/sense it/are aware of it, then something physical will happen in the brain. But that doesn't prove that physical happening is the origin, only that it's involved.
I'm taking a hypothesis that allows for the existence of the God described in Genesis, and am standing it up against physical evidence. The evidence doesn't prove it to be right, but does prove to support it if this is in fact how it happened. It doesn't conflict, which would be a gigantic coincidence considering the sheer number of factors. In fact, it matches up better than any other theory currently out there regarding the discovery of farming> full-blown agriculture> civilization. Others who are not even approaching it with the same belief that God is involved are reaching the same conclusions as far as human behavior. It wasn't gradual like you keep saying, and there are more factors involved beyond population. Not to mention the countless other examples of matching conditions that didn't have the same results.
I'm telling you, there's way too much that matches up with what I'm describing for me to be completely off-base. You're reaching conclusions that cannot be reached yet as if it's concrete certainty. I've researched human history heavily, and even outside of the whole God/bible aspect, much of what you say is inaccurate just in the known human history portions. I've pointed it out a few times, but you haven't felt the need to confirm what you're saying. I know it's wrong.
Sorry, but you haven't experienced anything outside your own mind. To a schizophrenic his delusions are real as well. Does that make them real? A few years ago in Canada a greyhound bus passenger suddenly took out a knife and beheaded his young fellow passenger. It turned out he thought God had told him that his victim was an alien and must be killed. At the time he experienced God. Is there a difference. Well of course, however you have no more proof then him that he had a connection with God.
So, yes the notion of a God is an assumption. The next assumption is that God wrote the bible. It starts with Genesis and Christianity is nothing without Genesis being accurate. There is nothing accurate about Genesis. You made the assumption that a day is not a day because it fits your delusion.
And you're making a lot of assumptions about me. One being that I'm a gullible moron, apparently, based on nothing more than the fact that you disagree with my views.
Experiencing God is not anything like what you're describing. It's not even so much about my actions at all. It's more like being in harmony with the world around you. The best way I know to describe it would be like all the traffic lights you hit turning green for you. When I'm in tune, which has always been an in and out kind of thing in my experience, everything just goes right. It's a feeling that you're in sync with the natural world around you. Like being plugged in. It's not strange voices telling you what to do.
Kind of like ants or bees or a flock of birds. Do you think each individual ant/bee/bird cognitively thinks out what to do of their own volition? Do you think it's totally out of the question that we too, being of the same natural world, could be part of a larger system we're not consciously aware of, like ants, or birds, or bees? That's what experiencing God is like. It's like being in sync with the rest of the hive.
It's how I met my wife. It's how I landed the job I have. It's the drafting table that somebody left on my door step when I wasn't sure if following my passions in art and writing were just me being selfish or not. It's a million little things that you could easily dismiss as coincidence. And just as it should be. You have to seek God out. That's by design.
I'd never call you a moron. I think a belief in God has nothing to do with intelligence. It does however seem to run in families. There may be a genetic predisposition to believing in a God. It may have helped our ancestors survive, but in an age when we are no longer being eaten by lions or bears it's no longer an advantage. Sorry if I sound harsh, but you are sometimes just as harsh with your assertions of what and how God is.
How do you know I never experienced God before. I have news for you, I was raised a Catholic and prayed often. Do you really think someone can't see the light the other way around?
What you are describing with the birds and the bees is being in the now. Experiencing life's moments without thinking of the past or future. Driving in a car is an example of paying attention to the now. Playing sports is another example. Why do grown men enjoy playing sports? Because it puts them in the now and that's enjoyable. It's hard to be in the now all the time that's way you are in and out. If you ever get a change to read "The way of the peaceful warrior" do. It's also why we like to listen to music and hang on to each note. The feeling is addictive, just like love. You don't want it to stop.
You have to seek being in the now out. I experience what you do without the need for a God.
Right! Exactly! And what's the one thing that gets in our way of experiencing the now? What's the one thing that makes us aware of past and future, and often takes us out of life's moments? Our ego. Our free will, as in an individual will that's separate from, and often at odds with, our natural/instinctual disposition. Like what you said about 'the zone'. You're thinking mind shuts off and your instinct/muscle memory takes over. It's that ego that gets in the way of what we crave and what we endlessly search for through music/sports/whatever.
If you read the writings of those who have spent significant amounts of time with indigenous cultures, like Edward T. Hall who worked on Indian reservations in the 30's, you'll find many examples of them attempting to describe the patient, calm disposition of these people. For example, Hall once wrote...
"An Indian might come into the agency in the morning and still be sitting patiently outside the superintendent's office in the afternoon. Nothing in his bearing or demeanor would change in the intervening hours... We whites squirmed, got up, sat down, went outside and looked toward the fields where our friends were working, yawned and stretched our legs... The Indians simply sat there, occasionally passing a word to one another."
I am certain that you have experienced God. You may just associate it to something else. But it's not as simple as being in the now, as you put it, because there's an interplay there between you and the world around you. It's not just your actions or even your perception of the world around you. It's real harmony. Like the drafting table that showed up on my door step. That wasn't me or my being aware of the now. That was a guy across the way that didn't have room for it who said I'd be doing him a favor to take it so he didn't have to haul it off. He didn't know I was actively looking for a drafting table, or that I was conflicted about my want for these things. He just had one that he didn't need, and just happened to set it right by my door.
Like bees in a hive, we are capable of that same kind of connectedness. Humans lived like that for many, many generations. But we modern 'civilized' types, we're restless. And it just so happens that the very same things God asks of us are what opens that connection. Brings us in sync.
I am glad we have some common ground. I do have proof that the ZONE or the NOW has nothing to do with God or Christianity. If you were right we would see those result in sports and in the world of business. The Olympics is a perfect example of many peoples of different faiths coming together and showing there focus and perfection. Does the Christain faith produce better athletes? I'm also will to wager the Indian waiting in the waiting room was not a Christian. Learning to just enjoy being in the room is focus and has very little to do with Religion.
You're right in that we have common ground. In fact, it's things like what you've said here that makes it seem like there's a large chasm between us when there isn't.
Finding that ZONE or NOW has nothing to do with being a Christian. Being a Christian has more to do with our complete inability to stay in that ZONE or NOW. Because that's our natural state. Those not burdened by the ego/individual will we inherited from Adam/Eve do not need a savior. They don't have a selfish individual will that constantly wants/needs possessions or attention or respect and all those other things that make us what we are.
It's that individual will or ego that warrants our need for a savior. Our ability to will things into being given us both the ability to land a rover on another planet as well as build bombs that can completely destroy our planet. We have a capability that's both more creative and destructive than anything else in the natural world. This is the part that warrants a savior because this is the part that causes us to become a destructive cancer in the natural world.
As our human story plays out we'll sooner or later find out why we can't just be left to our own devices. We can and will destroy ourselves. The whole purpose of this life, in my mind at least, is to serve as our knowledge-base in the next life needed to wield free will by showing us exactly what not to do and why.
So of course non-Christians can find that zone. Any human can. Being a Christian doesn't help or hinder that. It's the ego/will that constantly pulls us out of it that warrants the need.
The way some people take these fairy stories literally is beyond comprehension. People running around thinking that the earth is about 6000 years old while they fill their tanks with fossil fuel on the way home from church! They accept "faith" in an invisible friend rather than hard facts that might require some thinking.
Good point. And at the end of the day they look up to the stars. The light of which took millions of years to get to us. They fail to realize in a 6000 year of universe no stars would be visible. This is why the writers of the OT mentioned the Tree of Knowledge. They didn't want anyone to have knowledge.
Doing Away with The Bible: Is It Time to Stop the Insanity.
These two statements clearly signifies there are those who object to the content of the Bible. This seems to me signaling of times past when we burned books that we objected to or did not understand.
Do our ignorance alone give us the right eradicate that which we do not accept or understand? Historically the Nazis implemented book burning and in modern day times we saw controversy regarding the burning of the Koran.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness-as written in Wikipedia, this is a well-crafted statement formulated in the United States exemplifying the inalienable rights all human beings have endowed by their Creator.
In America ones rights isn't based on whether a not another understands their faith they are free to pursue life, liberty and happiness irrespective of the ignorance surrounding them.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life,_libe … _happiness
U.S. laws are built on the foundation of the 10 Commandments. We are a Jeudo-Christian society, although secularism certainly is making significant enrodes.
Christian's are not bound to the Old Law, only 2 laws remain on which all Christian principles are founded: 1. Love of God, and 2. Love of Neighbor.
There is eternal wisdom and knowledge of God thoughts and standards in studying the Old Law. The Bible says the Old Law is a Teacher. The law was perfect, the people implimenting it were not. The whole point of the Law was to prove that no human could fulfill it perfectly - live an entire life and not break it. Coveting is just a thought of desire. All humans are imperfect and sinful, requiring a ransom to free us from death. However, Jesus fulfilled the Law perfectly and that is why Christians are under a New Coventant based on Love - Agape, principled Love -
Description of Agape Love is found at 1 Cor 13. "God is Love." 1 John
Jehovah God is the perfect balance of Power, Wisdom, Love, and Justice.
It is no use arguing about the Bible. Either you believe or you don't. Fortunately God give everyone a chance and it is up to you what you do about it.
U.S. laws are built on the foundation of the 10 Commandments? I didn't know there is a law against worshiping other idols or making other images, adultry, not obeying your parents, or working on Sunday. All thats left is killing and stealing which is common sense and one doesn't need religion to figure that out, one can figure that out by themselves, or can they?
The trouble with Hendrika's statement above is that it is entirely dependent on the assumption that God actually authored the Bible. He didn't. Various humans did, and later generations of followers of Jesus of Nazareth (a human being) decided that those books were written by God. Hello? Where did you get the idea that God actually wrote this collection of books? Please do question your assumption first. Or, do you just 'believe' that God wrote them? In that case, your claim is worthless.
I don't believe we should do away with the Bible but maybe realize that what we call the Bible is a reintreptation of several reinterpretations. Over the years it seems the Bible has become less about spirituality and more about controling people to a certain standard.
I love my God and Jesus. Always have, always will. WE are all promised an eternal life of joy, peace and happiness. Yes, read this again...WE ARE ALL promised an eternal life! Of joy. Of Peace. Of Happiness!!
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