Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 9
Bling

Contradictions in the bible

592 posts in this topic

For several years I was a participant in CBED (Christian Biblical Errancy Debate) forum. What I observed was that the forum was directed at underminining only the fundemantalist position of a perfect Bible. It was thought by the host that proving contradictions was somehow going to disporove God. The host didn't realize that his atheist position was also premised on the unconscious need for the fundementalist position to be valid so that he could prove God doesn't exist if he finds contradictions.

The end result was that neither the fundamentalist were correct about a perfect Bible, nor was he correct about errors disproving God.

The Bible is NOT perfect, nor a complete canon, nor the final word of authority. But it IS a very valuable resource of knowledge about God that should be understood as deeply as possible.

I also observed that the antagonist of the Bible were very good at data mining the Bible for extremely obscure referances. Their main problem was that they had a blindness to the actual Biblical narrative, which meant they often had things so rediculously out of context, that their examples of supposed contradictions were often just utter ignorance of mind. This is why the "talking snake"thing threw them so badly. They didn't have actual insight into the Garden of Eden account because they, like the fundies, confined themselves to the Bible to a large degree, and never drew upon the source materials the bible itself is drawing upon.

It is manifest in reality that even though the Bible isn't perfect, apparently it isn't of extreme concern to God. Indeed since mankind has the capacity to percieve problems in the text, he also has the capacity to read through them without derailing. Unless of course he has fundementlist conditioning, in which case his capacity to see errors, understand the Bible, and correct in his mind any problems, is severely diminished.

Before you allow yourself to be overwhelmed by an energetic antagonist of the Bible with outrageous amounts of contradictions they find, just realize that their knowledge of the Scriptures is superficial, and they tend to see contradiction where they aren't, see them in every verse, and most of it is based upon ignorance.

Before you allow yourself to be convinced of a perfect authoritative Bible by a dazzling fundemantalist, remember they are also very superficial in their understanding of the Bible, and see perfection where it doesn't exist. This also is based in ignorance.

What is the situation then concerning the two camps at either side of the battle ground? The situation is that the discussion is a dynamic example of the fallacy of "Excluding the Middle" or the "False Dichotomy". Either side would say if there is an error, "God is phoney", which is an extreme, unrealistic and unreasonable position for either the proponants or the antagonist camps to be suggesting. In reality, God is not dependant upon a perfect Bible. God existed long before anyone ever thought about selecting their collection of approved official text into a single canon.

Beware of this lopsided thinking. Have no illusions of a perfect Bible. But have no illusions that the Bible is somehow invalid either. Have no illusions that it disproves God by being imperfect, or that truth is not in the Bible. Profound truths and even secret knowledge is all through the Bible if you know what you are looking at. It is NOT to be utterly dismissed as this is an irrational response to the question of Biblical errors.

Your arguement of fundamentalists is where the problem lies, and it's what you're touching on. It's not about rational Christians who take the Bible as a book of fables designed to teach you how to live pretty well, it's about people who take it all as face value- which is why all the contradictions is an issue here.

I remember, and this will probably never leave me, at Primary School we had a pretty level-headed minister visit quite regularly to teach us about religion- not just Christianity. Anyway one session we're all at our desks listening intently when he walked over to me, picked up my dictionary and asked "what's this"? I said "well... it's a book?". Then he said "Exactly! And that's all the Bible is!" What he was getting at is that the Bible does not have the answers- the answers lie within whether you feel a fellowship or belonging with the religion you subscribe to. I am in no way religious (quite the opposite) but I can really appreciate that sentiment.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your arguement of fundamentalists is where the problem lies, and it's what you're touching on. It's not about rational Christians who take the Bible as a book of fables designed to teach you how to live pretty well, it's about people who take it all as face value- which is why all the contradictions is an issue here.

I remember, and this will probably never leave me, at Primary School we had a pretty level-headed minister visit quite regularly to teach us about religion- not just Christianity. Anyway one session we're all at our desks listening intently when he walked over to me, picked up my dictionary and asked "what's this"? I said "well... it's a book?". Then he said "Exactly! And that's all the Bible is!" What he was getting at is that the Bible does not have the answers- the answers lie within whether you feel a fellowship or belonging with the religion you subscribe to. I am in no way religious (quite the opposite) but I can really appreciate that sentiment.

I agree. If you take the bible literally, you're going to have a very sad life.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my liberal Hebrew school, we were encouraged to make our judgments about God's behavior (utter blasphemy to most Christians who don't read the Bible). A lot of us really liked the idea that God was a young and immature god in the early books. His behavior is very much like kid watching a movie full of devious characters and cheering whenever they do something nasty. When the characters didn't do what He wanted, He screamed at them or blasted them or massacred them for His entertainment. After the Flood, God realized that His tantrums were useless and He grew up a little.

As the chronology of the Bible proceeds, you see God is much less interested in the day-to-day activities of his chosen people, kind of like a child becoming less interested in a new toy. You really don't see the "fatherly" side of God until much later as if He were a human growing up and becoming wiser and using what He had learned about his creations. I don't see how anyone could possibly think that the God in the Bible was always perfect, never changing.

Sounds about right... just a big baby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another good example:

Is God good or evil?

  • Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all."
  • Deuteronomy 32:4 "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

vs

  • Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." See "Out of Context" for more on Isaiah 45:7.
  • Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
  • Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
  • Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."

Most probable Source of the above

Sounds like the kinda guy you'd want to spend eternity with?

Yeah, that's the thing for me... At one time I thought of God as being "Santa-like", but it wasn't until I read the last four verses there (among other verses and some dabbling in philosophy) that I realized that God pretty much does whatever the heck he wants! Taking an idea from the movie Prince of Darkness as a means to explain myself, I see God (assuming one does in fact exist) as an antithetical entity; i.e. both good and evil reflected. In a very Taoist sense, in order for God to be good, he would also have to be bad.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another good example:

Is God good or evil?

  • Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all."
  • Deuteronomy 32:4 "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

vs

  • Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." See "Out of Context" for more on Isaiah 45:7.
  • Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
  • Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
  • Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."

Most probable Source of the above

Sounds like the kinda guy you'd want to spend eternity with?

I always understood that these verses are speaking explicitly about the judgments and curses spoken of in the Torah against societies and peoples that lead continuous disobedient and sinful lives. And that God will even lead them further astray because of they have chosen to be wilfully disobedient and sinful, He will lead them into even greater sin, by that making His judgments and curses absolute and justified. But those that are wise and those that love God will turn away and repent before their sins ensnare them completely and preventing whatever destruction God has purposed.

These are folks that are on the very edge of the precipice, and God is going to send a soft wind to send them flailing over the edge. Not everyone, some will survive the soft winds and still be standing perilously on the edge while others will have long escaped this predicament with a renewed life that may never be on that precipice again.

These verses sorta represent God promising "I am warning you, something bad is going to happen to you unless you wake up and come back to Me. It will be the destructiveness of sin and disobedience that going to be your ultimate or penultimate eternal undoing. You are going to destroy yourself and be watchful and be on guard, please listen to Me, fore I am going to assist you to destroy yourself."

Just my .02 cents.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another good example:

Is God good or evil?

  • Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all."
  • Deuteronomy 32:4 "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

vs

  • Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." See "Out of Context" for more on Isaiah 45:7.
  • Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
  • Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
  • Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."

Most probable Source of the above

Sounds like the kinda guy you'd want to spend eternity with?

This touches on a debate I often have with Christians, Jews, and myself. You'll find that the grand majority of contradictions and ****ed up stuff happens in the old testament. Christians often counter with, "but God change course for humans in the new testament. The old testament is there simply as a reference and historical context for what was to come." Of course, that still places the entirety of the Torah in a negative light. The new testament is harder to poke at for various reasons, but it created some screwy stuff, like the holy trinity, the nature of Jesus (man, god, or both), the nature of Mary, Jesus references God as if he Jesus never read the Torah (like stating that God loves us all), etc. Not as bad as the bat-**** crazy stuff in the OT.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's another good example:

Is God good or evil?

  • Psalm 145:9 "The Lord is good to all."
  • Deuteronomy 32:4 "a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."

vs

  • Isaiah 45:7 "I make peace and create evil. I the Lord do all these things." See "Out of Context" for more on Isaiah 45:7.
  • Lamentations 3:38 "Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?"
  • Jeremiah 18:11 "Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you."
  • Ezekiel 20:25,26 "I gave them also statutes that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through the fire all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I am the Lord."

Most probable Source of the above

Sounds like the kinda guy you'd want to spend eternity with?

Hi Bling,

Anti-Bible websites quote Ezekiel 20:25-26 as an example of God’s self-contradiction. However, these Scriptures are sound and sensible, if one looks at their meaning within the context of their historical events.

Eze 20:25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes
that were
not good, and judgments whereby they should not live;

Eze 20:26 And I polluted them in their own gifts, in that they caused to pass through
the fire
all that openeth the womb, that I might make them desolate, to the end that they might know that I
am
the LORD.

In verses 25-26 Ezekiel tells Israel that because of Israel’s rebellion, God has abandoned Israel (for the time being) and allowed Israel to continue rebelling against God’s laws, polluting God’s Sabbaths, following pagan idols, etc. In other words, through its own actions, Israel will inevitably reap the punishment it is bringing upon itself.

This very same teaching is also brought out in the New Testament, in Romans 1:18-32.

Verse 28 specifically refers to Ezekiel 20:25-26.

Rom 1:28 (ISV) Furthermore, because they did not think it worthwhile to retain the full knowledge of God, God gave them over to degraded minds to perform acts that should not be done.

For the background read Ezekiel 20 from verse one onwards, to understand why Israel at that time was in Babylonian captivity (593 to 571 BC). For an overview

As a sort of an "end-note", that eventually "all will turn out well in the end", here are excerpts from the closing part of Ezekiel chapter 20:

39 “As for you, O people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go right ahead and worship your idols, but sooner or later you will obey me and will stop bringing shame on my holy name by worshiping idols. 40 For on my holy mountain, the great mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Lord, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. ... 41 When I bring you home from exile, you will be like a pleasing sacrifice to me. And I will display my holiness through you as all the nations watch. 42 Then when I have brought you home to the land I promised with a solemn oath to give to your ancestors, you will know that I am the Lord. 43 You will look back on all the ways you defiled yourselves and will hate yourselves because of the evil you have done. 44 You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Bling,

Anti-Bible websites quote Ezekiel 20:25-26 as an example of God’s self-contradiction. However, these Scriptures are sound and sensible, if one looks at their meaning within the context of their historical events.

I see your point but I also see problems with that line of reasoning. The reasoning seems to be: given that everything in the bible is correct, how can we change reality around it to fit? In this case you seem to be interpreting what was going through god's head as if you, or anyone else, could know.

Regardless of the historical context, I think the contradiction stands. God, supposedly in his own words, said he is capable of evil and has acted in evil. No historical context will take away from that fact, and the reasons behind it don't matter. The acts of that god speak for themselves as well: flood, sodom and gomorrah, plagues, meteors, disease, mutilations, etc. It's a pretty p***ed-off, ruthless, vain, sadistic, angry, tyrant of a god.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I see your point but I also see problems with that line of reasoning. The reasoning seems to be: given that everything in the bible is correct, how can we change reality around it to fit? In this case you seem to be interpreting what was going through god's head as if you, or anyone else, could know.

Regardless of the historical context, I think the contradiction stands. God, supposedly in his own words, said he is capable of evil and has acted in evil. No historical context will take away from that fact, and the reasons behind it don't matter. The acts of that god speak for themselves as well: flood, sodom and gomorrah, plagues, meteors, disease, mutilations, etc. It's a pretty p***ed-off, ruthless, vain, sadistic, angry, tyrant of a god.

A quote from a website I think nails god's personality on the head:

"enjoys burning of the flesh, whipping, torturing, battering, mutilation, and sometimes annihilation"

What is mentally deranged:

http://mental-health.readabout.net/Mentally_Deranged.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the way the bible contradicts itself as it adds to the argument I have that it was not inspired by God but written by storytellers. Here's a good example: Has anyone seen God?

Genesis 32:30 "For I have seen God face to face."

That's not a contradiction. Jacob was having a dream and, in his dream, he saw God. Everything is possible in a dream; even to see God and live.

Exodus 33:11 "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."

Moses is claimed to have been the most important prophet in the history of Israel. To distinguish him from the other prophets, it was a honorable way to say that he saw God face to face. But as a human prophet that he was, he did see God but in a dream, as that was the method for God to make His will known to them. (Num. 12:6) The truth is that, when Moses prayed to really see the glory of God, he was denied his request under the same reason that no man can see God and live. Only in a dream.

Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."

Again, that's the way prophets would see God: In a dream, according to Numbers 12:6. Here, in the case of Isaiah, the dream was so lucid that he thought he had really seen God face to face. Besides, God neither has a face to be seen nor a buttom to sit Himself upon a throne. God is Spirit; and spirits are incorporeal.

Job 42:5 "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee."

This is a progress from only having an idea of God to having a better understanding of His essence. Nothing of seeying God face to face. Therefore, there is no contradiction in the Scriptures. All you have to do is to distinguish between literal and metaphorical interpretation.

Ben

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only sections I read is the teachings of jesus. Other than that, the book is just created by the flawed hands of humanity. There are many mistranslations, who knows which ones are the real deal? Then you have the other religious texts of other religions, each one containing stories that contradict the beliefs of the religion itself. Who knows which text is the REAL Word of the Lord, who I feel would want to express himself through more than just mere paper.

No sir, a simple defiance of logic and physics in the world would be nice. Like the existence of dragons in the cloud or something. :w00t:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only sections I read is the teachings of jesus. Other than that, the book is just created by the flawed hands of humanity. There are many mistranslations, who knows which ones are the real deal? Then you have the other religious texts of other religions, each one containing stories that contradict the beliefs of the religion itself. Who knows which text is the REAL Word of the Lord, who I feel would want to express himself through more than just mere paper.

No sir, a simple defiance of logic and physics in the world would be nice. Like the existence of dragons in the cloud or something. :w00t:

So, the only sections you read are the teachings of Jesus. Did you know that everything about Jesus was written 50+ years after he had been gone? And IMHO, everything he said or is said about him, was written by hellenists who never saw him. That's what we have today in the NT because it was canonized and preserved by the Fathers of the Church. The Catholic Church, there is. Anything non-hellenistic that possibly could have been written by the apostles of Jesus did not stand the test of admission into the canon in the 4th Century. Nevertheless, I do find possible to accept about 20% worthy believing. The other 80% is made up of anti-Jewish interpolations with the intent to promote Replacement Theology.

Ben

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jesus spoke Aramaic. There are no quotes from Jesus in Aram

The only sections I read is the teachings of jesus. Other than that, the book is just created by the flawed hands of humanity. There are many mistranslations, who knows which ones are the real deal?

Jesus spoke Aramaic. There are no quotes from Jesus in his native language. The ones we have today have been translated from Greek. How do you know which ones are mistranslations and which ones are "the real deal"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love the way the bible contradicts itself as it adds to the argument I have that it was not inspired by God but written by storytellers.

Here's a good example:

Has anyone seen God?

  • John 1:18 "No man hath seen God at any time."
  • Exodus 33:20 "Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live."
  • John 6:46 "Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God [Jesus], he hath seen the Father."
  • I John 4:12 "No man hath seen God at any time."

vs

  • Genesis 32:30 "For I have seen God face to face."
  • Exodus 33:11 "And the Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend."
  • Isaiah 6:1 "In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple."
  • Job 42:5 "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee."

Not to state the obvious, the Bible is not one book but 66 books written over a thousand years apart and none of it having any real provenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not to state the obvious, the Bible is not one book but 66 books written over a thousand years apart and none of it having any real provenance.

And your point is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And your point is?

The poster will answer for himself, but I will comment on one of the points he raised.

It is entirely expected that any multiply authored anthology will have its authors contradicting one another. Umm, otherwise the book could be a lot shorter. This is particularly routine in a book which is two dependent but distinct anthologies bound together in one volume. There are three intergenerational conversations going on within that one volume:

A Jewish conversation about the temporal and spiritual signficance of an alleged revelation of God to the Israelites at Sinai,

A Gentile conversation about the temporal and spiritual significance of an alleged revelation of God to the Jews in Judea and vicinity,

A Gentile conversation about the relationship between the two revelations, which includes a re-reading of parts of the earlier anthology

Each participant in these conversations expresses his own view, both of the subject matter and often enough of the other commentators as well.

The Bible is not the Koran, which is singly authored and said not to be "inspired" by God (whatever that means, and opinions differ), but rather dictated by God privately to one man. There is a minority of a minority within Christianity (Protestant Fundamentalists) who treat the Bible as if it were the Koran. The Calvinist approach was especially close to the Muslim, but seems to have softened since the good old days, leaving an inerrantist-literalist school that mostly dates to the Nineteenth Century, more than a millennium and a half after anything contained in the Bible was written.

This crackpot minority within the minority provide the political cover for anti-Christians to pull apart the straw man of an inerrant Bible which they read as if it were email spoofed to be from God, and more recently as a supposed divine archeology, astronomy, and biology textbook.

Were it not for that political cover, then the anti's assault on their straw man would be seen for what it is, the inability or unwillingness to read with comprehension a text mostly written at high school level. The remarkable contradiction is between the crackpots' interpretation of an easy read and what is actually there to be read easily.

But to say that would acknowledge that most Christians aren't crackpots, and that will never do. Silence also gets anti's off the hook for discussing any dsitnctive Jewish reading of the Bible (and yes there are distinctive Jewish readings of the New Testament, too). Like any other denominationalist, the anti-theists just know that their sect's reading of the Good Book is the only reading that could possibly be right. 'Cause after all, Westboro Baptist and the Discovery Institute agree. Who could be more accomplished Bible experts than those folks?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is entirely expected that any multiply authored anthology will have its authors contradicting one another.

Several books have contradictions within themselves. That is not expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The bible was based on the same things as the hebrew bible and Qu'ran. Originally it was early civilisations trying to make sense of astronamy. All early religions/civilisations are connected in this way. All the way back to Babylon. Men who didn't know that edited and chnaged it based on their interpretation or for specific reasons.

Bling I for one don't get too concerned about such things. This text is in some cases 3000 years old and while the majority of it has been very carefully transcribed I'm sure that errors could have been made - humans and all...

But I use as my pattern my grand father. He was a good man. Honest and fair dealing with all. Avid church goer at a time and in a place (very rural south Alabama) that church going was not a convenient thing - it took great effort, walking long distances, etc. Anyway, my point is that he put in the effort and was uneducated to the point that he couldn't even begin to be the scholar that many here at UM are.... but he had a very strong faith and centered his life on the words of Jesus. I believe the Bible was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God. I try ( and fail a lot) to live my life from it's precepts. When the end comes for me and I discover the answer to the mystery for myself then all I will leave behind is the memory of how I treated others and whatever inspiration my faith gave them. That book and my grandfather's belief in it and his actions toward it make me a better person than I otherwise would be. No saint for certain, but better than I would be without it. So my point is why is it necessary to demean and call it into question when so many other things in this life are already so destructive? It's almost like trying to blow out the last few candles in a rapidly darkening cave with pits everywhere one could fall into.

I don't want this to sound rude or harsh, especially cause i don't see how you described what you said as a bad thing at all.

But why do you need a faith in a religion to do that?

I don't base my reasons for doing good things and not doing bad things on a judgement or afterlife. I base them on empathy and my morals. Surely a better person is someone who does these things without fear of judgement or a horrible afterlife?

This is just something that has always bothered me.

I read someone on here say without christianity nobody would be good. That was one of the stupidist things I have ever read personally.

Edited by Coffey
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

scowl

Several books have contradictions within themselves. That is not expected.

Why not? The books don't correspond with authorship boundaries, either. Job appears to have at least two authors, who lived centuries apart. Isaiah appears to have at least three. Just the first three chapters of Genesis appear to have two, and I believe three. And so on.

There is nothing unusual about the individual items in an anthology being multiply authored, or that people who do not agree with each other on all points would sometimes collaborate. Documenting disagreement is an excellent use of bandwidth, in my opinion.

You know that story about the seven blind men and the elephant. The solution, if there is one, is for them to compare notes. One guy telling the other six to shut up won't help understand the elephant, although it does promote consistency. The Bible is the seven guys comparing notes. The Koran is Mohammed telling everybody else to shut up. Fundies split the difference, applyng Mohammed's method to a collective work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've come to view the Bible rather similarly to the way I see the Arabian Nights; a compilation of folktales, all originating from oral traditions, all originating at different times and places, and which were never intended to be taken as parts of a single work. The Bible is just that: a compilation of folk stories from various locales in the Middle East, originated in different historical periods, and which are, generally, not intended to be taken together.

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever i would bring up contradictions in the bible, my pastor would say, "there are none"

and be able to dismiss it because i couldn't remember where they were,

I wonder.....what shall his response be now that i can finally flag it in his face.

I stopped believing a year ago and had a discovery.......my life is better now than ever and i am a lot more at peace of mind.

also, i asked another religious leader a question like this : "if you were a mass murderer but still 'christian' and believed in Christ and then there was a little atheist girl who's family refused Christ but each member of the family volunteered for community service, helping the homeless and taking care of the elderly, you would go to heaven but they wouldn't, why?"

him: because only Christ can bring purity and save people from hell

me: but only Christians worship Christ, by that definition, only Christians are worthy of heaven, and everyone else to hell by that definition, So even if you were a mass murderer, and she was a sinless little girl, she would go to hell because she didn't believe despite her good while you get to go to heaven even doing such wrongs?

me:So in other words she is condemned just for not being a Christian?!?

the response that came back was: Exactly

I stopped believing after that, that was terrible and i felt sick thinking about all the people i condemned for not being christian.

Edited by CelestialStar
4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, CelestialStar. Welcome aboard

I'm an agnostic, so I don't advocate anybody becoming or remaining a religious person. I'm surely not one. But I do try to keep straight what the various arguments are, and who argues what.

One bit of shennanigans that comes up all the time is to attribute a minority view within a group to the group as a whole. One version of that is to portray a distinctively Protestant teaching as "the Christian" teaching. Sometimes the promoted view isn't even typical among Protestants.

That comes up twice in your posts. First, when you asked the pastor about contradictions in the Bible, and he said flatly that there weren't any. That's baloney. The book is full of them. But inerrantism "solves" a peculiarly Protestant (and in this case, non-Anglican Protestant) problem, How can the Bible alone provide all the information you need for salvation, if the Bible contains any error at all?

Denying that there is a problem is a very human response. It even works sometimes, as when a boo-boo gets better all by itself. But it's obviously not a very reliable go-to strategy. About three out of four Nicene Christians (those NC's who aren't non-Anglican Protestant, plus some others, too) solve the problem by taking the Bible to be part of their deposit of faith, not the entirety of it. The Anglicans articulate that as "Reason" and "Tradition" complementing "Scripture."

In other words, readng the Bible for these Christians is like reading any book. Your brain is supposed to remain in gear. Seeking answers doesn't mean you don't ask more questions.

The second time it comes up is in your contrast of the Christian murderer with the atheist girl who helps her neighbors. Again, it is a peculiarly Protestant view, mostly based on a reading, but not the only possible reading, of Paul, that the one thing that matters to a person's final destination is his or her "faith," not "works."

Living Protestants are apt to see what the girl in your story does as "works." Personally, I think that when Paul disparages works, he is thinking of Second Temple Jewish rituals, most of which literally nobody performs anymore anyway. Otherwise, you're stuck with Paul disapproving of helping other people out, when he organizes a massive relief effort personally (speaking of contradictions "in the Bible" which aren't in the text, but only in the reader's interpretation of it.)

The rest of Christianity sees your comparison very differently. For one thing, where is it written that the central concern of God is where you personally spend eternity? Both typical Jews and many Chrisitians think you're here to make this world a place fit to live in. There is nothing whatsoever "unBiblical" to think that whatever happens at the end of days will happen. In the meantime, you're here, so get to work.

Anyway, I am not arguing that you ought to re-adopt a religion. What I am saying is that you may want to look on these questions with a broader perspective than the one that you grew up surrounded by. Broader, that is, than what comes from looking at a book as something its authors never intended it to be, and which it was rarely thought to be until about 1500 years after it was finished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever i would bring up contradictions in the bible, my pastor would say, "there are none"

and be able to dismiss it because i couldn't remember where they were,

I wonder.....what shall his response be now that i can finally flag it in his face.

I stopped believing a year ago and had a discovery.......my life is better now than ever and i am a lot more at peace of mind.

also, i asked another religious leader a question like this : "if you were a mass murderer but still 'christian' and believed in Christ and then there was a little atheist girl who's family refused Christ but each member of the family volunteered for community service, helping the homeless and taking care of the elderly, you would go to heaven but they wouldn't, why?"

him: because only Christ can bring purity and save people from hell

me: but only Christians worship Christ, by that definition, only Christians are worthy of heaven, and everyone else to hell by that definition, So even if you were a mass murderer, and she was a sinless little girl, she would go to hell because she didn't believe despite her good while you get to go to heaven even doing such wrongs?

me:So in other words she is condemned just for not being a Christian?!?

the response that came back was: Exactly

I stopped believing after that, that was terrible and i felt sick thinking about all the people i condemned for not being christian.

I was involved in a simliar sounding church group and the pastor was the same kind of character....and I too realised he was talking alot of rubbish! And now I'm a very happy atheist!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whenever i would bring up contradictions in the bible, my pastor would say, "there are none"

and be able to dismiss it because i couldn't remember where they were,

This is a huge difference from Hebrew school. If you asked a Rabbi about contradictions in the Torah, he'd ask you how much free time you have. It's a religion that knows it's based on a flawed document and can only help its members understand the flaws to make their own decisions.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting that Jethro was the only name that passed into Christian use. I think Reuel is exclusively a Jewish name unless there's a variation of it.

I only ever heard of one person with this name and he wasn't Jewish so I'm not sure your statement is correct.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wasn't Jewish:

" Although it might seem unlikely that anyone would wonder whether the author of The Lord of the Rings was Jewish, the Nazis took no chances. When the publishing firm of Ruetten & Loening was negotiating with J. R. R. Tolkien over a German translation of The Hobbit in 1938, they demanded that Tolkien provide written assurance that he was an Aryan. Tolkien chastised the publishers for “impertinent and irrelevant inquiries,” and—ever the professor of philology— lectured them on the proper meaning of the term: “As far as I am aware none of my ancestors spoke Hindustani, Persian, Gypsy, or any related dialects.” As to being Jewish, Tolkien regretted that “I appear to have no ancestors of that gifted people.”

Read more: http://www.cross-currents.com/archives/2010/03/04/tolkien-on-jews/#ixzz2CQ4T0fsv

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 9

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.