I am often puzzled by the behavior of those of us who insist on an always literal interpretation of Holy Scriptures - especially the Bible among Christians. Why insist that Scripure must be interpreted literally and adhered to as the infallible word of God while at the same time rejecting such massive quantities of its instruction?
Because Christians are hypocrites. Until they man up and bludgeon disobedient children to death and force their daughters to marry any man who rapes them (as the Bible very clearly tells them to), I can never take them seriously.
And anyone who pulls the "Old Testament is over!" or "The laws are symbolic!" garbage needs a sledgehammer to the face.
We are all hypocrites, whether we choose to see it or not. Forcing others to view the Bible the way you do isn't possible.
To answer the OP, if you believe in God and you think the Bible is a work which contains any information supplied by God, I would think you would understand the confusion on the point. Everyone thinks and feels differently. Maybe, the point is acceptance of others and their views. The argument over meaning and interpretation of scripture has existed since any writing was first classified as scripture. What is different today which would allow the religious to lay the argument to rest?
I'm not really arguing against a literal interpretation of scripture, just curious as to why those of us who interpret it literally and consider it infallible only do so in part.
I accept everyone's right to interpret anything in whatever way they choose.
I'm not asking about contradictions. I don't deny them. I also don't believe that they are in anyone's head.
What about things as simple as dietary laws, etc.
I, too, wonder about these very things, Mo. I must admit, I stay constantly confused when I read the words of the Bible and see people munching down on things like pork and "unclean" fish, etc. When is it applicable? Should people ignore specific instruction in the Bible and if so, when and how do you know which parts to apply this to? Why is it all simple yet so complicated?!
Mystic, I think very much like Melissa. It is our individual perception of things a filtered through our emotions, desires, and experiences, that makes us so intent on complicating what should be simple. My cousin is Jewish. I am Christian. I believe in Jesus as a Messiah and she does not, and yet through our different experiences and personalities, we arrive at a very similar expression of our religious beliefs - be good to the planet and each other.
I often find myself wondering about the extraneous material in holy texts. We become so wrapped up in the laws of our God/gods, which are so varied across peoples and cultures, that I think we lose sight of the purpose of divine revelation. IMO, it's all about loving and providing for each other.
Therefore a religious belief is completely unnecessary. I have come to the same conclusions without believing in majick. Adding majick is what makes things complicated when they should be simple.
As far as I am concerned, it is all extraneous material.
That's a reasonable conclusion. But, generally, we humans aren't such reasonable creatures.
And the rest of us love you for it!
In all seriousness, I do understand your point. Where I differ in opinion is that not everything in the holy scriptures of the world is extraneous. Primarily those things that are similar regardless of a person's chosen expression of their faith.
The constant reminders to treat each other kindly and to be good stewards of the planet's resources; coconsistency throughout. Things that you and I agree on.
Problem - such things are not consistent through the world or throughout time.
Seems to me that it is usually society, and quite often the secular portion of society, that literally forces the changes onto the religious community, resulting in the "extraneous" things of the bible. Morals and ethics change over time, and the religious community (primarily referring to organized religion here) either follows along or goes under. Stewardship of the land, for instance, is new to humanity - only a hundred years old or so - and prior to that was quite acceptable.
I don't think stewardship of the land is new at all. Pagans have always been conscious of nature and attempted to live in harmony with it. Native Americans have always observed a connection between humanity and nature as well.
Human greed, lust for power, and rapid industrial and technological advances made us lose sight of our proper place in the life cycle. Unfortunately, we are so messed up today not because of changes to social mores so much as our ever increasing need to co.ntrol that which is beyond our power to harness.
I don't recall anything about good stewards of the planet's resources, and I am fairly sure the murdering at god's whim outweighs what few references to treating each other kindly are in there.
Can you give me any examples that I could not have come to without the need for a majik book?
Why would you let the bad things that have happened outweigh the good? Even the smallest acts of good can make more of a difference than a lot of bad (especially if that act of goodness changes lives).
BTW I emailed you
I don't let them. They just do. Try reading the book. But I think it is fantastic that helping a wounded man in the street outweighs the murder of an entire nation. How do you figure that exactly? Especially when those acts of murder end lives.
I have responded.
That's precisely the extraneous bullshit to which I am referring. IMO, the OT is a record of the immoral behavior of a people and their attempt to justify it as having been commanded by God.
And keep in mind that I don't believe the bible, or any holy scripture for that matter, has any magical value at all.
The illustration of creation as laid out in scripture shows God giving humanity dominion over the earth. Any position of authority invests the leader with the responsibility to properly care for those under that authority.
Can I give you examples? No. I personally feel that all conclusions at which we arrive can be reached with or without religious instruction. Most of my beliefs about how to live and love others were well established prior to my ever receiving any.
For me, and this is a very personal thing, I need to understand how and why to live this way when it seems so contrary to human nature. Does that make any sense?
Ah - but it doesn't actually say that - does it? You have needed to add that yourself.
The book is full of majik. Calling it "holy svripture," instead of "majikal bullshit," is simply a way of attempting to give it more weight than it deserves.
I edited that post.
Call it what you will. I call it holy scripture because it is believed by the majority of humanity to contain revelation of a divine power in which I happen to believe. I suppose that if I didn't believe, I would call it something else.
In essence, all of it is really nothing more than exploratory existential literature. Which is ultimately my biggest reason for not accepting a literal interpretation of it.
The reason it is called "holy scripture" is to give it more weight than it deserves. And - seeing as you reject most of it or need to reinterpret it, I do find it strange that you still cling to it.
Is there anything in it that I could not have done or concluded without it?
No, silly! I said that when I edited the post.
Cling to it how? In that I don't reject it in its entirety?
You call yourself a "Christian."
Because I attempt to live a life similar to Jesus Christ as illustrated in the bible.
More or less I use the label to express my chosen life philosophy. Is that a fair answer?
And you need to call yourself a christian to live a good life?
Nope. I don't need to call myself anything but human. I choose to identify the philosophy that most closely aligns with my behavior.
In doing so, I do nothing more than express my opinion about a person who has lived that behavior better than anyone else I've encountered so far.
I call myself a "Smith" because I'm my mother's daughter, a "James" because I am my father's daughter, and a "Jones" because I am my husband's wife. The only name that truly belongs to me is Michele. Because that is who I am indepently from anyone else.
But I have no shame in identifying with the others, any more than I have in identifying with my Christian family.
It's just a part of how I present myself to others.
I don't know that I've added it so much as I've extrapolated it as simply making sense of it in the grand scheme of things. Like not believing in hell as a valid afterlife for someone carefully and lovingly created.
I think it boils down to the turtles on turtles problem. Once you decide it isn't infallible you are broadsided with decisions as to what is written in stone and what isn't. Where did God speak and where didn't he. Who has authority and who doesn't.
Some people like more security than others. Questions can make one lose faith and faith is more important than answers to questions.
This is such a thoughtful answer, Emile. I suppose it IS about security. I confess that one of the biggest attractions of my chosen denomination is the history and continuity that was missing from my own life. Also, a deeper sense of reverence for that which is sacred than I had ever experienced before.
I couldn't agree more with you Emile and found this from personal experience. I have lost all my security in 'the Word' but have gained intellectual integrity. It seems strange to me now the notion that the bible is the literal infallible verbatim word of God which demands a literal interpretation by definition; a position still rigidly held by friends and family in the face of contradictory evidence.
But to answer the OP, my experience of Christians is that although they consider it infallible they no longer think the OT applies to them at best or is irrelevant at worst. Many never read it thinking the NT has superseded it. Yet they are the first to select certain laws from the OT to support their stance on homosexuality.
I find it hard to believe you were ever immersed in literal interpretation. You seem so level headed and intelligent. Were you raised in it, or did you get converted into it?
If you think hell is a joke, you're in a heap of trouble!
I don't see it as a joke. I see it as an unfortunate belief few bother to think through far enough to see how ludicrous it is to believe in it.
I have to ask - as presumably you think your god will burn me for all eternity for not believing in nonsense. And you are OK with a god that would do that? Eternity is a long time. Like, really, really long - you know?
My general theory is that it is impossible to take ANY written word literally. The fact that each reader is unique means that each reading is unique.
I have never found a sentence, ever, that was concrete enough to mean the same thing to every person who read it.
I'll let you know if I ever do.
Some of it has to be literal, or God was lying. There is a literal progression of events, that if only symbolic wouldn't make sense with regards to events that followed it. But since physical-literal events are but a shadow of things to come, both good and bad, then there is always a deeper meaning to what actually happened.
If God is never wrong, then our interpretation must contain the contradiction. Taking the bible a little more literally automatically rules out certain metaphysical interpretations of literal events.
I agree with most of what has already been said. I want to repeat some of what some others have said and add my own thoughts to them.
I agree with this. There are some Christians who speak that the Bible should be taken literally, but only follow the ones that work in their favor given a specific situation. They often choose which scriptures apply to everyone, which ones apply to everyone EXCEPT them, and which ones apply to ONLY them (most of which speak of getting into Heaven)
On the other hand, There are also some Christians who honestly have never read the whole Bible for themselves. They have only read whatever their pastors have preached that day. This is why there are some that reject what others tell them about the Bible. To some of them, the only scriptures in the bible are the scriptures that their pastor preached.
Both of these are true. There are some scriptures that can be taken literally. The issue is that the literal interpretation is based on the unique perception and understanding of the reader.
Ultimately, I think it could be taken literally, even if you understand the actuall message behind the scriptures that are metaphorical.
Well - I must admit you two are making a good argument that the god of the bible is one short sighted fool.
Good morning, Mark!! IT isn't so much God as it is people.
Hey, if it's okay with you, I wanted to email you something for us to discuss outside of HP
God couldn't have anticipated these things in the design phase?
Sure - you can get me through my HP profile or on facebook.
I want a special email discussion, too :-(
We always have special email discussions, JM. You know my story (for the most part). I wanted to share with Mark outside of HP because it appears that he and I are actually moving away from combatants (Yes, Mark, I know it was my fault because my religion did it ) to more of a respectful banter between the two of us.
Because people are people. The desire to adhere to all the teachings is there for many of us but the ability to actually carry through is, inherently, not. Which is why God gives us Grace!
The reason is that we know deep down that many of the ancient biblical injunctions are simply wicked. The very clear instruction that a sabbath breaker should be stoned to death, for example.
We criticise the Saudis when they indulge in such practices, yet they are only applying scripture. Literal adherence to Mosaic or Sharia law inevitably leads to barbarity and persecution.
Which brings up the question of why the other two monotheistic religions have evolved into a different understanding as societies have grown and our understanding of the physical world has evolved. Few within these other groups adhere to a literal interpretation. Some may give lip service, yet they appear to support laws which clearly find the Mosaic laws barbaric. Comparing the two religions is unrealistic, because blanket acceptance and adherence to barbaric laws is only found within Islam.
Viewing the history of Christianity is helpful, in that it provides some hope that Islam will eventually turn away from violence; but,I wonder if it provides false hope. Islam exists within the same reality, yet has refused to evolve. No one has provided us with a rational explanation of why it hasn't.
I think you're right. The Bible was written and rewritten many times in the last 2,000 years. Some passages have been completely deleted. Others have been reinterpreted. At this point, there's no way that we can know what was in the original writings, or even what the writer meant when he wrote those words.
There was a time in my life when i decided to read the entire Bible. After doing that, I realized that there are a lot of contradictions in it; also there are missing pieces that seem to have been deleted, so that the passage doesn't really make sense, and causes a lot of confusion and arguing.
Finally, I concluded that best thing I could do was to look inside myself, for the truth. I've been doing that, ever since, and it's worked out much better for me. I have come to realize some things that no one will ever find in the Bible. And, most importantly, I am not confused anymore
That's great! You understand that it all in your hands! Congratulations, you get it!
The puzzlement comes because those of the 5 fold ministry, Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and teacher, in many cases, don't know or understand that the literal interpretation of the Bible that remains in a realm that most humans cannot grasp. The true non-literal interpretation is the spiritual interpretation, not man's version!
The Bible plainly tells us John 4:24 that -"God is Spirit, and those who worship Him MUST worship in spirit and in truth." Do you get it? Outside of the Spirit of God, intellectual interpretation is only that. And, it does NOT address God on His level, only on man's level, which is false.
Those who don't understand the fact that God is a Spirit, don't even have the right trying to explain something that they do NOT understand.
There is only one being that those who do understand the spiritual side of God can count on for truth. That being is the Holy Spirit of God. If you have a Bible, read Acts 2:4. It shows who does the enabling to understand the Word of God. He not only enables us to speak in tongues, but He gives us the strength, and the knowledge to do battles in the spiritual realm, which cause the confusion.
If you are reading the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit, you will never get the deeper meanings of the scriptures. If you are reading it like a regular book, you will never get the understanding that you seek, because the Bible is a spiritual book, like it or not!
The following is a short list of why there is so much mis-understanding in Bible interpretation. It tells us that many things are hidden and are mysteries. These things a non-believer will never understand because they do not accept the source of the information.
Here they are, read them for yourself, if you have the nerve:
Daniel 2:22; Matthew 13:35; Romans 16:25; Ephesians 3:9; Colossians 1:26, and more. To whom are the mysteries exposed to? It's the Saints, the born again, the believers, the saved,- Romans 10:9 & 10.
It will not change because you refuse to try to look at it through the eyes of the Holy Spirit, and not through those of some person who deems themselves a preacher or whatever. And, the only way to receive the Holy Spirit is for you to, personally, invite Him in.
To what extent Motown spoke of literal v. non-literal I don't understand, but if Motown is speaking of the non-literal as being the spiritual, I get why you are puzzled.
I am speaking to those who believe in the literal interpretation of Scripture and call it the inspired and infallible Word of God, but only as it suits them.
The tone of your post makes me wonder if you fall into that target audience.
One question: What do you consider literal interpretation?
Maybe I do fall somewhat in the target audience, however what I consider, and what you consider to be inspired or infallible are two different things.
If you are not a spiritual person there is no way that I can explain it to you!
The intent of the flesh and the spirit are at two completely different ends of the same stick.
Explain what to me? The Bible?
While I appreciate your willingness to do so, I don't need to have scripture explained to me. I've no concern whatsoever about understanding it. My concern is how Christians (who call themselves Bible-believing Christians and insist that every word of scripture must be taken literally, and use OT laws to judge 21st century behavior, especially among those whose behavior THEY find unacceptable) pick and choose which parts of scripture are applicable to their lives.
If you're attempting to convert or educate me, please don't waste your time. I'm already a Christian and I don't have an issue in understanding the Bible.
I want to know why, if as a Christian, a person supports that a homosexual should be killed because of an obscure law in Leviticus, they don't think they should have to face any consequence for marrying and remarrying multiple times. Are you understanding my question yet?
I was unaware that anyone had to have "nerve" to read the Bible. It sounds like an invitation to a WWF Cage Match rather than an invitation to discover Christ.
I'm not sure you're doing the whole conversion thing right.
Here's a quick reply, Melissa. I know people who won't even carry a Bible,, much less read it.
You see whatever you learn in the Bible you become responsible for that thing in the sight of God. You say WWF, you can't even imagine what a battle the Bible is for many. Reading it is not the problem. Gaining the understanding is what causes the problem. Yes Melissa, it is a battle of immense proportions.
Just reading the Bible is not what opens the door to discover Christ. Doing what it says is what accomplishes that.
There is a cage match. It's between what you know, understand, and are willing to do and what the devil is constantly attempting to do to cause you to sin.
Discovering Christ is the key, but when you do, stand by, because the devil is coming to turn you around. If you don't know this he will blind side you. You have to know that Christianity is a battle.
I'm not sure it's a struggle. My general understanding of Jesus' words is basically "Stop being an ass." I'll admit it's a struggle for me sometimes and it's glaringly obvious that my brothers and sisters in Christ have the same struggle. I don't think that it's the devil that's causing me to struggle with my ass-ness. Just my personality vs. other people's personalities.
I don't worry about sin very much. My life is such that sin doesn't happen often. I'm not a saint, far from it, I just lead a very boring life. No struggle involved. If the Christian world was really concerned about the struggle against sin, all they would have to do is keep their butts home. That's it. Get married, pop out a couple kids (or five) and then raise them. If they have time to worry about sin, much less commit one, then they are doing better than me.
Adversarial Christianity has always concerned me. I honestly believe that if one feels the need to fight their way through their own faith, maybe that faith isn't the right one for them. A belief in Christ should be calming and reassuring. I don't understand why it would cause inner conflict. I always thought that the whole point of it was to STOP inner conflict.
On the other hand it tends to cause outer conflict as well. Which I understand even LESS. I never got "Beat the non-believer into submission, and FORCE him to follow Christ against his will" from the Bible. If that's because the holy ghost isn't with me when I'm reading it, then I'm OK with that. I couldn't follow a Messiah that instructed his followers to do that, so it's probably for the best.
Well, that is one adversarial Christian you have hooked there. Pretty sure he is not here to discuss anything, just tell us how it is.
I figure he'll lose interest eventually. Happens with all my threads. LOL
Oh he will for sure. He has already fired all his ammo. Still if he does come back and show me the proof of his claims, I am up for that. I probably wouldn't understand though.
What!!?? He only quoted 10 verses; there are over 30,000 left!
And then he can start in on what his pastor said, followed by the Pope, Joseph Smith and L Ron Hubbard.
This could take a long time...
Thank you Wilderness for reminding him and us..LOL
AT least he is only giving us the numbers.
It sure could and we'll still be in the wilderness! Think about it!
UMMM.. Did you just join HP? Since when have you ever known someone that has taken this much time to post to just lose interest?
Of course you won't.. After all, you are a demonically possessed, nonspiritual heathen
And are you a good example of the type of person that understands these mysteries? And want to explain them to us? Because when I read those passages, I didn't see anything about the self professed "saved," understanding anything and no mention at all of Saints, born again or anything else.
See? Balls of steel when it comes to reading biblical drivel.
But - go ahead and explain "spiritual," to me. Looking forward to having the mystery unfolded for me.
There simply is no mystery about the bible. It's pretty much plainly written and anyone with a reasonable amount of intelligence and understanding of Jewish cultural references can understand it. I think it is those who read into it things that are not there are the ones who like to think it contains mysteries.
I have to agree with what Mark said about the passages you quoted; just because they contain the word 'mysteries' it does not necessarily follow that there is some secret mystery that only the select, such as you, understand. To test this can you please provide a specific example of a mystery that was revealed to you that a plain reading of the text does not show or that an unbeliever would not get. If you fail to provide an example then I will assume that you have no case.
First of all let me impress this upon you! When you go to college to be , oh let's say, a doctor. You do not expect to go to the first class that you may attend and come out with your license to practice medicine. It takes years of study to attain the level of doctor. Do you get that? Study!
For anyone to believe that there is any human on this earth that is so astute that they can learn the Bible from just communicating on Hub Pages with someone like me to give you all the answers that you seek to solve the mysteries of the Bible for you is off track by a long shot.
I don't need to prove anything to you to prove what the Bible says, it stands alone in it's infinite wisdom. So, don't try to back me in that corner, I won't allow you to, whom ever you are!
However, I will give you an explicit example of a mystery that the Bible portrays, because I and my family use it everyday, and I have done it and taught others to do it hundreds of times over the past 60 years. I won't tell you my level of training in the Bible, because you'd immediately try to debunk that. I'm not telling you anything that I learned from any man!
Mankind is just not smart enough to out think the Bible!
Before I continue, I want you to understand that what you said about me being select, you're right, I am, but not because it came from any source on this earth. Those who are select are so because they follow the rules, as in anything that you do, you must follow the rules.
I see that you are trying to make an argument of this which I refuse to do with you! Bible mysteries are no argument, they're fact, but they are spiritual fact NOT what you can surmise in your head, and level of earthly understanding.
What you said in your answer tells everyone that you are seeking to prove your point. Well, you have! And, that point is that you do not understand even what you're attempting to argue. Don't ever try to argue something when you plainly do not understand it. There are those out here who do know the truth!
Now, to your smart argument.
There is a mystery in healing to those who are not, what you refer to as the select.
The Bible tells us plainly in two separate chapters that we have already received our healing through the blood that Jesus Christ shed on the cross! Those scriptures are Isaiah 53:5, and 1 Peter 2:24.
If you notice in Isaiah it says, after all the reading, you ARE healed! In Peter it says that you WERE, or have been healed. Both of these point to something that is in the present and past tense. There is no future tense in any of this. Which means that through Jesus' death on the cross our healing is done.
The mystery here is that most do not get it. Sure, there are all kinds of sicknesses and diseases in the world that the doctors do not have an answer for, but this healing only works for those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior, and those who DECIDE to follow the rules of life set forth in the pages of the Bible. This, in itself, is obviously a mystery to you!
However, I'll try to make this easy for you!
Sickness comes to your spirit before it comes to your body. If you do not know how to stop it in it's symptom stage, and you say out of your mouth that you have it, it- is- yours. All sickness and disease come from the devil! There is no sickness and disease in God. It is not in His nature!
The Bible says lay hands on the sick and they will recover. I have laid hands on people and they have recovered, however there is a mystery associated with this also, and that mystery is that one can have hands laid on them, they receive the manifestation of their healing, and they still die of that disease. Mystery huh?
According to the Bible this is really not a mystery, in your Bible read Matthew 12:43 - 45. You see the person must DO something to keep that evil spirit from coming back! I've seen people, with my own eyes, that did not do what this scripture told them to do, and that is to fill up with the Spirit, that empty space must be filled with good so that the evil spirit has no place to return to. In a short period of time they were dead. They were healed, but they were dead! Mystery huh?
Mystery - Spiritual healing, and I'm not talking about some soothe sayer, I'm talking about Godly spiritual healing, is all based on obedience and understanding. It, in short, amounts to salvation - read Romans 10:9 -10. You are told what is required to be saved. It does not make anyone special, just saved!
In everything, it is really no mystery to those who understand it. It is, however a mystery for those who choose NOT to follow the rules! If you believe that you can follow your own rules, where are you today in your life?
It's as simple as a stop sign. If you were from a place that had no stop signs, or never saw a stop sign, you would not know what a stop sign meant. Think about it, if you are unaware of something it is a mystery to you, and until you find out the answer that makes it known to you, it will remain a mystery! It doesn't make you or me select, it just makes us astute enough to understand that when there are rules that we must follow, to attain a certain position or goal, then we must follow the rules of that particular institution. Christianity is an institution, not special, or as you say, select, just saved!
No, the Bible is not a mystery to those who understand it, believe it, and are willing to study, to gain the key. It's only a mystery to those who refuse to seek to understand it. This is not a mystery - mankind will habitually break the rules! Even those who do know the consequences will break the rules.
If you know anything about the book of Genesis, and the accounts of Adam and Eve, you'd have a mystery unlocked for you. This is where sickness and disease was allowed to enter the earth. There was no sickness and disease in Adam and Eve until they broke the rules, and condemned all mankind to suffer at the hands of the devil.
Jesus shed His Blood to make atonement for those who are willing to accept the fact that they do not know it all, and that there is a higher power that they can count on.
Now one last thing that is no mystery. Look at Revelation 22:18 -19. There you will understand what happens to those who do not follow the rules.
The plagues that are mentioned are found in Deuteronomy 28. These are the curses, and plagues that are resulting from not disobeying all that's written in this book. However, you will find from verse 1 to 16 what the blessings are for doing what it says! All after that - well, you'll see!
And, don't try this argument BS with me. If you want to learn something or if you want a different point of view just ask, I would be happy to try to help you, but I will NOT bump heads with you, under any circumstances! I even accept your point of view. You are under your own conviction!
I know what I know, and no one is going to change that. I have been in and understand the battles!
I'll be the first to tell you that I don't know everything, but I know enough to be considered a Godly spiritual teacher on many levels. Ok?
I hold the utmost respect for you. I only ask that you do the same for me!
I hope this helps you!
God bless you!
Jesus 1st - Dr. Russ
Having spent 25 years in Pentecostal churches, I've been there seen it done it bought the t-shirt. Heck I can still speak in tongues. I know full well what the bible has to say, and I also know full well the lies and misinformation that proceeds from the pulpit. I know that Christianity is largely a manmade fabrication that is far removed from its roots in Judaism. I know Christianity opposes science, free thought, and the sovereignty of a man over his life.
I know that sickness comes from bacterial and viral invasions, pollutants in our environment, and corruptions in our DNA. There simply is no devil causing sickness and no evidence whatsoever to support such a stance. I know from Jewish theology and evolving cultural superstition, that the Christian Satan is a myth based upon misunderstood Jewish cultural references, assimilated pagan mythology, and wilful fabrication by the Church.
I know that the bible contains multitudes of contradictions that are plain for all to see. I know it contains two contradictory accounts of creation, two contradictory accounts for who encouraged David to take a census of Israel, and two contradictory genealogies of Jesus. I know you think Judas is in hell even though Jesus said he would sit on a throne to judge Israel. You think satan has blinded the eyes of unbelievers lest they believe when Jesus said himself that he was responsible for the blinding. The bible is no mystery, it is a collection of thoughts of men about the nature of God consisting of copies of copies where the originals have been lost, and was was included was voted in by unaccountable committees based upon personal bigotries and agendas. It has been used by the church for centuries to perpetrate some of the most horrific atrocities upon mankind.
Please don't compare studying the bible to studying for a medical doctorate, it demeans the doctor.
Face plant into the table and palm slap to forehead, time! The Devil makes disease and illness? I thought disease and illness were typically from contagions, inherited traits, etc. Silly me. I know plenty of devout Christians that get struck down with illness and die that are honestly and truly good people and a true credit to their religion. I don't think the Devil did that to them, sorry.
If the Devil is capable of doing such, why would God allow that to be done to his people? I mean, really, lets be honest here, God can stomp a mud-hole in the Devil, right?. I don't see him letting the Devil have that much hold or power. Ever. I don't understand that thinking. Is this related to the free will thing again? The person's free will gave the Devil power over them? They did something "wrong" so God abandoned them to the Devil? Now, do tell, why would God do that? People are human, we are of his making, right? Why would he just leave innocent people to the Devil's doing? I know/knew these people and I can honestly say as assured as I can ever be about someone, they never gave the Devil power over them. Period. I don't get it.
You don't get it because it doesn't make sense.
Yea, I started a new semester in school, so it's been a little hectic with that and work. I can't enjoy the forums like I would like.
I find it odd that many Christians perceive the devil as manifesting his presence in the World, intervening in people's lives to cause all sorts of trouble. Yet we don't see the same level of activity from God. Why is this devil so much more active?
What you have to do is what Jesus1st and his ilk do. Pretend it is a mystery that only you can understand and then speak some mumbo jumbo. If any one says it doesn't make any sense, just tell them you are chosen to understand and they are destined for hell. See: the last 2,000 years of this religion.
Well, if some say they understand the "mystery" because they are "chosen" to can sometimes come across as brainwashed and egotistical, my observation, of course. I think I understand how they see it though, that they are special in some sort of way that has earned them favor and abilities that the rest of us lack, perhaps? I mean, no offense to anyone but some take religion to a whole 'nother level like using it to feel cocky and pompous instead of studying and living the said religion for the right reasons like, perhaps to find joy, peace, comfort, and happiness. Isn't that at least partly why people have religion? Because it provides fulfillment in this way? Not for reasons like being able to brag why they "get it" and you/we don't. That seems callous to me.
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