The Challenge to any Fundementalist Chrsitain reading this

sent in by Mike

This is a challenge to any fundamentalist Christians reading this.

I have posted this challenge already but it seems to have been ignored by the Christians who view this site, and hijacked by those wanting a political debate. I would challenge any Christians who insist that the bible is the inerrant word of god, to specifically answer the three questions below.

Lots of you think that the ex-Christians on this site are either running from God or have given up because they want to be 'in the world' in order to sin. You just can't get your heads round the fact that the Bible is full of holes, and that we haven't 'chosen' to disbelieve. Instead we disbelieve because once you read the Bible you realise that it is full of holes. I have three types of problems with the Bible, and I challenge the Christians to explain them, without resorting to personal attacks such as "If you were a real Christian, you wouldn't need to ask these questions".

Problem 1: There are many, many passages that clearly contradict each other. E.g. how many men were healed in the region of the Genesarenes, where the pigs hurtled down the bank into the water? How many angels were present at the empty tomb? Was the stone rolled away before anyone came to the tomb or while some were present? There are literally dozens and dozens of examples of these contradictions, and many are listed on other testimony pages. You would have thought that the Word of God, your response to which is supposed to dictate your destination for all eternity, would be clear, concise and consistent. However, it is none of the above. How the hell are we meant to be condemned to hell, when the only book we are supposed to be guided by is so contradictory?

2. There are passages containing promises that clearly do not work. In Isaiah 53 it says "by his stripes we are healed". But of course we aren't. In the new testament we read that if two or three agree in prayer, the prayer will be answered, and if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can literally move mountains with prayer. Of course, this is also rubbish, (and please don't try and tell me 'mountain' just means 'large problem').

3. Finally there are those passages that are clearly undefendable, as they contradict what the Bible says elsewhere about God being loving. I submit two examples for you: 1. In Exodus, when Moses and Aaron are demanding the release of the Israelites from Egyptian captivity, God's final plague kills all the firstborn, including innocent children and babies. Imagine George Bush and Tony Blair telling the world that, in order to speed up the Iraq way, the allied air forces would bomb the schools and orphanages instead of the command bunkers and ammo dumps. That would be a war crime and yet here is the God of love doing just that. If God can do all things, he could have struck down each pharoh that said 'no' to Moses' demand, just like God did with Ananias and Saphyra in Acts 5. Eventually, one of the replacement pharohs would have wised up and said yes. God didn't do that and instead killed innocent babies and kids. Great one. The second example is the book of Job. God and Satan are involved in what we in industry call a 'pissing contest' for bragging rights. As a consequence, Job loses his health, his livelihood and all his children. His three friends try to console him, with such wisdom as 'you obviously are guilty of sin because bad things happen when you sin' and 'you must not have had enough faith. (You obviously haven't been to enough church services, revival meetings etc)'. Job dismisses all of this BS. God eventually turns up and answers Job's questions of 'why did this all happen' with this gem: "I'm big and powerful, look at all the big things I created. I could snuff you out in an instance, I'm that powerful. Don't talk to me like that". God THREATENS Job. After all he's put Job through, (don't forget, God TOLD Satan to afflict Job), all God has to say is 'I'm big, don't f**k with me". That's God's message to the bereaved and the hurting who want to know 'why'. Nice one, God!

So, there we are. Let's see how the Christians answer the above. Let them tell us how they can believe in the god as portrayed in the Bible. I'm waiting.

Birmingham
England
Became a Christian at 17
Left Christianity at 39
Was: Evangelical, charismatic
Now: Serious doubter
Converted because: Youth club membership
De-converted because: Serious concerns with the bible

249 comments:

«Oldest   ‹Older   201 – 249 of 249
Anonymous said...

Do you "hate" the tooth fairie?

Make like your invisible god, and disappear.^^

Anonymous said...

One that is a mocking bird:

You show up here with your cross necklace all in a bunch...what did you expect...Disney land?

Go ahead, use your FAITH and try to invent/explain to us how you "talk" to that imaginary friend of yours (god. While your at it, you must ask him why he created evil in the first place? He needed evil just as much as he needed good...what justice?

Your a slave to your hairball beliefs and you have no clue that your faith requires you to be a life long combatant in a (pretend) galatic sized moral battle started by a gigantic ghost hundred thousand years ago and he remains in hiding behind the wormholes of darkness...resistance is futile!

Sound silly enough yet?

God made evil...And you love him!!! That makes you an evil loving godbot! The devil was made by god and he is after you!

RUN FORREST...RUN!!!!!!!
The devil is his son!

Think...what if RA is the TRUEST God. IT is a Titan and IT reigns supreme over the entire universe and RA is even more powerful and supernatural than the inferior sub-supernatural group of gods, in the lower realm where your god is believed to reside.

DOH! Wait...you don't believe in Ra or Allah? Well, that means you are an atheist too? SHEESH. Why didn't you just say so.

You don't believe in Zeus either...what about Odin? Santa Claus, Peter Pan, and the Easter Bunny are not real to you? Oh, and don't forget the tooth fairy. Man, you are taking a big risk when it comes to your afterlife forever life. Lol...it's all a bit tricky.

Tell the kids...santa brings you presents...he is invisible.

The tooth fairy gives you presents...she is invisible.

God gives you presents...he is invisible.

BUT, we trust they are truly there beacause we just believe it in our hearts. Now, go to sleep and pretend there is an evil fire breathing devil waiting in the closet, so don't get out of that bed.

Kisses and lies and prayers... that will keep you happy.

No wonder so many kids don't listen to their mentally abusive superstitious parents;the others are just so damn scared of the monster lurking in the closet.

Which one are you?

Congrats and thanks for playing...
now go back to talking in tongues to the air and do let us know what the wind whispers in your ear, as it may be your answer to everything.

Good night and good luck!

Jim Arvo said...

So, "the one who is mocked" is the same as the "Anonymous" I was responding to earlier? Unbelievable.

TOWIM said "Because you have already decided not to change your mind, there is no reason for me to be argumentative."

Do you really think that's going to fool anybody? I'm amazed how frequently this very thing happens. A Christian wanders in here (for any number of misguided reasons), brashly asserting all sorts of nonsense, pretentiously puffing themselves up, and then ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz, off they go like a punctured balloon the moment they are challenged on anything.

To "Anonymous", or TOWIM, or whatever you're calling yourself now, I'd like to say this. You've got some serious thinking to do. Why do you pretend to know things that you do not? Why do you put on airs about seeking truth when you haven't the integrity to do so? Don't bother answering me; just think about it. I suspect you are very young. That would explain the brashness. If so, I hope you can learn to conduct yourself with a scosh more dignity and honesty in the future. Best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

The One Who Is Mocked/Frocked: "Could we transform God into our own image? Maybe- but then we would have no God"

The One Who Is Mocked/Frocked: "What kind of God do we want - the one who does not question our conscience?the one who bows to our own gods?the one who submits to our own standards?"

Okay, I thought I was done for the night, but, it appears a bible verse or two is in order;

John 10:33-34 - "The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

Emptycan: "But how about jesus? Do you hate him, too? What are the reasons?"

Well, Emptycan, why don't you and the one who is mocked, get together, and discuss if Jesus is correct, that we are all gods, let us know how it turns out, personally, I want to be my own god, as part of the god human race, but, you could deny Jesus' statements. That would be a shame, or would it?

1 John 5:7 - "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one."

Well, Emptycan, it appears John didn't have much to say about Jesus, so much for the trinitarian view of father, son and holy ghost. Perhaps, Jesus is nothing but a "word", like "tooth fairy".

It would be fitting, I suppose, if Jesus was 'just' a word, and seen as a literary character, as then christians could see past trying to prove a demi-god named Jesus lived, and started focusing on the words in a literary book, that may hold some historical value. Of course, I may debate the moral value, but, the historical value can't be denied - even comic books have historical value.

Anonymous said...

Jesus the anti-god thief!

Jesus wanted people to worship him over God.
Jesus said, If you have seen me, then you have seen God. A lie! John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time.

Jesus said, No one comes to the father, except through me. Jesus wanting all worship to come through him. Jesus has stolen God's attention and worship away from God.
Jesus said, I come as a thief in the night. Meaning Jesus steals and is deceptive.

Jesus wanted to be worshipped just like a God, that is the reason he faked his own death.

Jesus was the greatest magician and hoaxster to have ever lived, and has fooled millions of people professing to be Christians, now they've got egg on their faces and it abhors them greatly to admit it.

Jesus fooled you Christians and now you're stuck in your religious death cult and can't get out...ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he he he he he he ho ho ho ho ho ho ho.

Jesus got you good too, with your pants down and bent over, right up the ole yahzoo, bend over and give your Heart to Jebus...ha ha ha ha he he he he he.

webmdave said...

"Can we separate Love from Justice?

Maybe- but then it would be different Love."

So, divine justice is to dole out eternal horrific retribution for temporal sins? I snub my nose at god for 70 or 80 years and the just punishment for that is everlasting agony in a firey dungeon created by a loving god?

Tell me something. What horrible sins have you commited that you believe justice whould demand that torture as a proper punishment? Do you think it proper for men to torture other men? For instance, if someone were to rob a bank, do you think a just punishment would be to torture them the rest of their life?

"Could we transform God into our own image?

Maybe- but then we would have no God"

What I take it you mean here is that God's ways are not our ways. Well, I would expect that a god would have different ways from us, but I would also expect that a god's ways would be superior to our ways. Your god's ways are inferior to ours, unless of course you do think torture is a just punishment.

Now, if in heaven we can no longer rebel against god, how is that we can no longer rebel? Certainly we can always rebel while on Earth, whether we are Christian or not. What changes when we get to heaven? Are we deprived of our free will? Are we too damned scared?

If your god is going to make us so we never rebel against him in heaven, then why not just do that from the beginning? Why make it so nearly all of humanity burns in terrible agony for ever and ever and ever while just the remnant few true Christians get the pie in the sky?

Why the cruel joke?

webmdave said...

Empty-head,

You've spent a lot of time asking questions, and getting quite a few answers.

You seem disinclined to answer any questions, however.

What's your purpose for being here?

emptycan said...

Hello, Dave, Mr. Webmaster,

I am sorry to be late in response.

I appreiciate the answers given here to my question. However, I did not ask about jesus' deity, existance or something like that. What i asked is about what jesus said. At least he never said "kill them all without virgins" or stopped the sun and moon in the predilection of jewish people's slaughter of canaanites.

Jesus said love your enemy, etc etc. what else i don't remember. Anyway do you love your enemy? he he... So what i saked is it maybe ok to believe in jesus becasue he was much better guy than jehova, wasn'h he?

And one suggestion. The recent comment section seems too small. i did not know there were that many answers to my question, although i check it back again and again. any plan to encrease that?

Anonymous said...

Dear Folks,

Thank you very much for your comments.

Take care.

emptycan said...

Somebody told me that, reported in washington post of 3/30/2006 (yesterday), more that 20% of americans believe that the sun turns around the earth. Is that true? It's wonderful. What a fantastic education system is this? And no wonder why there is so strong infulence of funndies in America and its politics. How about mr. bush?

webmdave said...

Emptyheaded,

This is a discussion? It appears that you are interviewing, not discussing.

Please answer some of the questions posed to you.

Here's one, in case all these questions have somehow escaped your notice: What is your purpose for posting all these questions?

Now, there is no plan to change the format for comments.

You are always welcome to join our forums at http://ex-christian.net if you want to post in a different format with a bigger comment form.

emptycan said...

Hei, dave, full-headed, where are the questions that you want me to answer?

And to answer to your queustion of why i come here, my answer is that I come here to have fun time. Are you happy now to have the answer? If you ask me serious questions, my answers will be so, too.

Have fun.

emptycan said...

Dave, what i said was not about putting big comments. It was about disappearing of the comments quickly. It's difficult to watch the comments 24/7. In some cases, i did not know there were comments on what i said because those had been already disappeared from the recent comments section.

But I am not forcing you, dave. I am just saying that it has that kind of problem. If you don't think it's problem, that's ok.

webmdave said...

There are several ways to keep up with the comments flowing on this site.

One way is to check out the comments section of the site where every comment is posted individually: Comments.

Another way is to subscribe to the RSS feed on that page and read the comments in a news reader.

Finally, you could join the Yahoo Group mentioned at the top of the Comments page. If you join the group, then you receive an email with each comment that is posted.

In all three cases, reading the online page, in a newsreader, or on email, a link is connected with each comment that takes you directly to the discussion.

It might benefit you to explore the site a bit. There's quite a few options available.

Anonymous said...

Finally Someone has come to save all us "Christians" from ourselves....man....about time....your like the 1st person ever on the Internet to challenge God....wow....maybe in the whole WORLD! Your so awesome....

LOL...what a Joke...

Anonymous said...

No one here's out to "save" jack shit.....only you can save yourself. That's the part that you just refuse to get.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike,

Whilst I disagree with much of what you have written I respect your opinion and your desire to educate people. However I would like to say that what you call "contradictions" are really questions which cannot be answered on the basis of the text. These are questions which no one can ever answer. If a Christian claims they have all the answers then they must be lying. As a liberal Christian I see the Bible sa human work which could be inspired by God (if and only if he exists). There are bound to be mistakes in it. The Old and New Testament's contradict each other as the New Testament attempts to explain God's true nature in a way that was never possible. It is a testament concerning the nature of the Incarnation where "God became flesh" The Bible is not a historical document with all the answers. The Bible cannot ever provide all the answers. Thus as Wittgenstein wrote: "What we cannot talk about we must pass over in silence"....

Regards, J.D.G
University of Cambridge
Undergraduate in Theology & Religious Studies.

P.S
Keep up the blogging/discussion.

boomSLANG said...

Conditions "contradict" unconditional love, which is the only love that is real.

Regards, boomSLANG
University of Free Thought
PHD in Life School and Common sense.

Anonymous said...

The silence IS pretty deafening. It's probably not that common that too many Christians would spend a lot of time on an Ex-Christian site though either...especially when majority (at least from what i can tell) are not even open to discussion about anything in disagreemet with their new-found "beliefs".
BTW: Instead of accusing all Christian parents of brainwashing their children and stating that all pastors have some secret sexual agenda...talk to a Christian one on one. We don't all claim to be perfect. It would be unfair and wrong (from my worldview) to say that because agnostics and atheists and unbelievers of many other kinds have raped, stolen, killed, enslaved and tortured others that you as an atheist, agnostic, pagan, non-christian...etc do those things because of your worldview. So, please, be careful when you say stuff of that nature. I'm grateful that there are a good bit of educated people on this site who don't let their emotions get the better of good conversation and logic. So thank you to those of you who comment respectfully.

Honestly, None of those questions posted above shake me...as a Christian. Not because I've never been confronted by them; it's not as if I haven't had to think about them...some of them may even seem like contradictions at first glance, but maybe i can address some of them quickly. Obviously, I can't spend all day defending the faith :) but maybe I can give a reason why it makes sense to me and why I believe. Also, I cannot have references and sources on everything either right now...i anticipate criticism for that and to a degree it is justified...but I expect to take it anyway!! This is an ex-christian site, so duh, of course there will be objections.

Anywho...my point is not to convert, but to show that their is some reasonableness to the Christian faith...

1. It's easy to forget that the Gospels were written by multiple authors. Could the authors be giving details from a different point of view? i think that it's possible. Many of the alleged statements are not mutually exclusive of eachother. If there are two people present in certain circumstances, then it is absolutely logical that one author could be speaking about one of the men present and not the other. That's a small example and by no means in depth. Just a suggestion when you look at the texts critically. Many of the instances talked about above can and have been explained by various Christian authors/ apologists. Many of you may not be familiar with Christian apologetics and those of you who are, obviously were not persuaded. At the very least, many of you have seen reasonable explanations from these authors but still don't believe. That's fine with me. i'm not asking you to blindly accept. i'm saying that the acceptability is there. If you are serious about interpretations by Apologists and what the Scriptures say for themselves in other instances, please give it a try and get some Christian Apologetics books. You weren't afraid to read secular writings as a "Christian", don't be afraid to read Christian authors either as a non-Christian.

2. Point #2 is very weak...the weakest of all the 3 challenges in my opinion. I think many non-Christians would agree. Please, let me know if you agree with me. i'd like to know whether that was a good guess or not:)
"There are passages containing promises that clearly do not work. In Isaiah 53 it says "by his stripes we are healed". But of course we aren't. In the new testament we read that if two or three agree in prayer, the prayer will be answered, and if we have faith as small as a mustard seed, we can literally move mountains with prayer. Of course, this is also rubbish, (and please don't try and tell me 'mountain' just means 'large problem').

You completely leave out room for figurative language in this argument. The point of the verse is that "prayer is effective...when actually done in faith." i wouldn't say that "mountain" specifically means large problems, but it may mean "anything is possible if you pray to God in faith". Not that it WILL happen, but that it is possible.
If you take away the fact that God can use figurative language in His book, then I expect you to take everything literally then...to be consistent. I mean, when Jesus says He is an "open door", is he claiming to be made of wood with a knob and a small hole to look through in the front of a house? No, obviously, he's using figurative language. (I know many of you deny the reliability of Jesus Christ...therefore, feel free to implant a "historical" Jesus or a totally new person if you want) The point still stands. If I called myself a "tree", most people would think I'm tall. Not that I was a large plant typing to them on the internet...you get what I'm saying? This isn't me trying to be a jerk and a smartmouth. It's common sense. Metaphorical and figurative language does not make something a contradiction. you can look to other passages of Scripture to clarify the teaching where figurative language might be confusing to you. That's a simple fundamental element of research, not unique to christianity. It's part of every kind of study.

The third and final one...God and how He is not Loving...that's the basic premise I think of the argument.

This one is interesting. If you reject the Bible, i can see where you would disagree. here's the point I'd like to make. If you use the Bible as your source and you treat it as authoritative(which I realize most of those who read this don't), then there is no problem at all with God's actions. If you want me to further explain that...that's fine. Post a comment and maybe we can talk about this person to person. Not IN person, but maybe in a seperate post or something.

The main thing I would say to this objection is that it's really easy to put God on our level. I readily admit that if the basis for "fair" "loving" and "just" are redefined by humans and how we feel about those things, then you are going to call God unfair. Frankly, I don't care whether you think God is fair or not. If you start at the Bible, you get a God who claims to be Sovereign (in control of all events), Loving and Just. I'm suprised to hear that many ex-Christians don't remember these things! maybe you never learned them at your church. This view explains a lot. If you reject this description of God (as loving, but also JUST and SOVEREIGN) you will emphasize one attribute over another. Many of you are eager to state that God calls Himself Loving in the Bible and I wholeheartedly agree, but you forget very fast that He also claims to be a Righteous Judge and He is "Jealous" (the description by some translators) for Glory. When you deprive Him of Glory, He, as the appropriate recipient of Glory, is displeased. This deprivation of glory is commonly known as SIN. I know you all hate that term, but you know, i have to use it to be clear.
If ALL have sinned according to the Bible, then all are guilty...no one is innocent. So, that's why judgement is poured on people.

"STOP, time to stop." i must clarify something. This is sounding preachy, i know. BUT you asked for a reasonable answer. If I commit to the Bible as a reliable source, then i have to explain what it teaches and why I believe it. I'm not asking you to believe it blindly, but i am asking you to observe what It says about things if you are so willing to misinterpret it to everyone else. These are not "clearly undefendable" but become quite reasonable when you look at them Biblically. please, don't use the Bible as a source for your disbelief. If you disagree with what it says, that's fine (FINE as in I cannot MAKE, nor do I want to MAKE you believe it), but please don't distort what it is saying. Stick to factual things; sometimes i find that unbelievers are more concerned with interpretation than actual tangible evidence of the secular kind... which boggles my mind. I don't mind talking about the Bible, in fact, as a Christian i enjoy it:) But I would think that if you claim that it is unreliable from the "get go", you would focus on something you said IS reliable. Most of you seem to think that "Science" is reliable. i agree. Science is great! Reliable too! Stick to that...stop mixing up the Bible. You don't even think it's a reliable source! I don't know...just a thought.

I REALLY am not on here to be a jerk. I honestly want and appreciate good dialogue. You're right, the silence is deafening, but hopefully not for long. It'd be great to see more intelligent conversation for the purpose of learning more about eachother and sharing viewpoints for everyone wouldn't it? I hope I'm not alone on that one.
Anyway, I really appreciate any time that any of you have spent reading this. i'm not a know-it-all....far from it. I'm a nerdy 23 year old Christian in Cali, who really believes what he believes and just wants people to talk through things...

Like I said, Thanks. I hope this clears up some of our beliefs as Christians and that it doesn't stir up more hatred. That's the last thing I want.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Aaron,

I'll be happy to oblige you tomorrow. More than likely there are others here who will as well. Stick around for a few.

JustRox said...

I'm not asking you to believe it blindly, but i am asking you to observe what It says about things if you are so willing to misinterpret it to everyone else. These are not "clearly undefendable" but become quite reasonable when you look at them Biblically.

In other words, it only makes sense if you already believe. Gotcha. Only someone who already believes in an invisible superbeing named God would find it "reasonable" that a snake could not only speak, but convince a woman to disobey a direct order from this God character.

please, don't use the Bible as a source for your disbelief. If you disagree with what it says, that's fine (FINE as in I cannot MAKE, nor do I want to MAKE you believe it), but please don't distort what it is saying.

In reality, it is believers doing the distorting as they try to explain how this God's horrific acts are somehow "good" when those same atrocities committed by human beings are not only abhorrent, but in nearly every place on earth are punishable by imprisonment or death.

I don't speak for anyone but myself, but it's long past time for believers to take off the delusion-colored glasses and see the bible for what it is; a book of myths and stories, with perhaps a little bit of history peppered here and there. As a rule book for living peacefully with the rest of human kind, however, it fails miserably.

Anonymous said...

aaron camp,

I think that there is enough evidence on this page alone, to discredit and tear down all religions and proves the bible as false.

Had you throughly read this page, I see absolutely no reason for further religious discussion or engagement.

nice try, But!

I'm a nerdy 23 year old Christian in Cali, who really believes what he believes and just wants people to talk through things....but back in my mind....in hopes that I may change your mind and get a bigger mansion in heaven.

We've all been through this crap so many times on here, it's really getting old.

I suggest you read as many testimonies as you can on here for a month and then come back and spew your religious propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Ob,
"In other words, it only makes sense if you already believe."

Not what I said at all...in fact, my point was to show that if you rely on the Bible as an adequate source...then it all makes sense. BUT I most definitely was not excluding the fact that people who didn't "already believe" could drop the presupposition that it was wrong before they read it and try to look at it without malice and persuasion. I know it's hard to do...we are all persuaded one way or another...anywho, the point was not that it only makes sense to believers...the point was that people who already establish the Bible as a false book keep trying to use it defend their arguments...for example...

In reality, it is believers doing the distorting as they try to explain how this God's horrific acts are somehow "good" when those same atrocities committed by human beings are not only abhorrent, but in nearly every place on earth are punishable by imprisonment or death.

That's a wonderful OPINION Ob...but that's all it is. It's your emotional response to what a book you don't even believe says about God. The Bible says God is just. You seem to dislike that, but what bearing does that have on my faith? I don't think it's unfair if He's god. Your personal dissatisfaction does nothing to prove the possibility that The Word is the truth.

Ted,
"....but back in my mind....in hopes that I may change your mind and get a bigger mansion in heaven."

-yep, all about the mansion...you caught me. C'mon man! I'm trying to talk to people serious about discussion, not people spilling their emotions all over the place because someone is different than them.

"spew your religious propaganda."

...and what agenda am I on? I'm politically independent, i'm not a pastor so i don't want to "steal your money"...so why am I pushing propaganda? I'm just passionate about what I believe...don't get upset by that.

Lets stick to intellegent conversation...together...I'm not mocking you even though we disagree! i just want to talk.

BTW: It is going to be really hard to answer all this stuff at once every time, but for the sake of ubergeek, who asked me to stick around:) I'll do my best to answer all the questions I can and keep conversation going.

Anonymous said...

Christian guest offered: "..in fact, my point was to show that if you rely on the Bible as an adaquate source...then it all makes sense."

Please---makes sense to who? Sure, it makes SUBJECTIVE "sense". However, it comes no where even close to making OBJECTIVE sense, hence, the THOUSANDS of different Christian sect/denominations, NONE of which fully agree on what the bible "says".

As usual, the fundamentalist comes here trying to be diplomatic, yet, by their words they imply that THEY have the one "TRUE" interpretation of the Bible.

Quote: "Let's stick to intelligent conversation."

What does one's personal belief have to do with intelligence, as a whole? None. Please, without using second hand information or personal experiences, supply us with OBJECTIVE evidence that ANY deity exists anywhere outside your mind. Waiting.

Anonymous said...

Waiting on subjective truth that He doesn't exist...go.

Anonymous said...

oops, i meant...waiting on objective truth...go:) Glad I caught that. haha anyway...

Anonymous said...

It cannot be objectively shown that a non-personal Universal deity does not exist. You would have to be omniscient to prove it. However, the alleged Christian "3 in 1" deity is clearly a "personal" deity..i.e..a "being". "He", as you put it, does not, and cannot, even exist in concept---much like a "square circle" cannot exist in concept. So okay---waiting on objective evidence for the *Christian* biblegod. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

boomslang,
I've never said that I can offer perfect objective truth. ONCE AGAIN, I reply that I am showing that it is a reasonable position and I strive to show you that. Not absolute proof. As you said, I don't have that. Neither do you. We are BELIEVING something. You need to stop getting stuck on this.

Ah, the Trinity...interesting shift in conversation, but not as difficult to explain as you think. According to the Bible, the unity in the Godhead is clearly affirmed. I've seen many of those passages here on this site even:) On the other hand, the Bible claims the Divinity of the 3 persons mentioned therein. God is one in ESSENCE, three in PERSON. Call it word games, call it hyper-logic, but it is not a contradiction. An illustration cannot do it justice, but I look at it as similar to Ice, Steam and Water. It is all ESSENTIALLY H20, and yet there are obvious differences and purposes for the three. I agree 1+1+1=3, but 1X1X1=1. That is not illogical, it is difficult and it doesn't completely explain God, but it's what is revealed about Him and personally I believe it...subjective.

I have no pure untainted objective truth for you, much like you have none for me:)

webmdave said...

Aaron,

From the websites linked to your profile, I'd conclude that you've ingested quite a bit of Evangelical apologetic rhetoric. You also present the idea of accepting the Bible as a reliable source as reasonable accommodation for ex-Christians. Well, it seems a logical conclusion that most ex-Christians have certainly accepted the Bible as a reliable source at one time or another in their lives—hense the EX tacked on to CHRISTIAN. Talk to a Christian one-on-one? Again, ex-Christians have not only talked to Christians one-on-one, lots of them, they were once real Christians themselves.

Your point that a person’s worldview has little to do with their behavior as a human being is interesting. Of course, one conclusion that could be drawn from that simplistic philosophy would be that behavior, good or bad, is ultimately meaningless. Or I could surmise that being filled with the Holy Spirit of the Living God was no guarantee of a change in behavior. Surely this is not what you intended, was it?

You asked, in reference to the obvious Biblical contradictions cited by the original poster,” Could the authors be giving details from a different point of view?”

Could, would, might, maybe. Let’s not speculate. Since this is the WORD of God, inspired by the spirit of the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, deity of all creation, and you are filled with some . For 2000 years now, Christians have tried to concoct reasons as to why the last sentence Jesus said on the cross is different in each Gospel. None of the resurrection stories can be harmonized.

1) Where did the disciples see Jesus, in Jerusalem, or in Galilee?
2) Were they commanded to go to Galilee or to stay in Jerusalem?

Of course the answer to both questions is: all of the above. The Gospels are clearly not reliable history – they were written to convince people to join or remain within new religious cult. That point is evident throughout.

You say that judgement is poured out justly.

When is it right to torture people? Where is the line after which torture is not only permissible, but is the just, honorable, and right thing to do?

The horrors of hell are presented as a horrific place where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth, a fire that is never quenched, and eternal darkness with much pain and suffering.

Now, if I’m lucky, I’ll live another 40 years or so. That’s only if I’m lucky. So far in my 47 years I’ve thought dirty thoughts, masturbated, had sex before marriage, stolen a candy bar or two, thought murderous thoughts, and other similar heinous crimes against man and nature. In my entire life, I’ve probably committed these atrocities hundreds, or perhaps thousands of times. How many years of punishment do you suppose would satisfy the holy wrath of your loving god? Would a million years of punishment suffice for my, say, 87 years of bad behavior? A million to low? How about a billion? A billion still insufficient? My point is that an eternity of horrific suffering for snubbing my nose at your god for 87 mortal years is not justice. It’s sadism. There is no way to reconcile such backward justice with a all-wise, all-loving god. No way! You can just decide to believe it makes sense, but it certainly doesn’t make any sense. God’s ways may not be our ways, but they most certainly should be superior to our ways. When it comes to justice, your god’s ways are more inline with a bronze-aged understanding of justice. Realizing that the documents that comprise the Bible were composed by bronze-aged people makes much more sense than supposing that some god had anything to do with it.

I've read the Bible dozens of times and studied it quite a bit in by 30 years in the faith. I wonder, have you studied anything, besides things written by Christian authors, about the Bible or the genesis of Christianity, or opposing viewpoints on the reliablity of that document? If you have, would you mind listing the titles of those works?

Anonymous said...

Mr Cain---


Like I said, no, it cannot be objectively shown that a Universal and NON-personal deity does not exist. And when I say say "Universal", that means across the board; across denominations; across *personal* beliefs...i.e. one "God"; one "Truth"...no "if", "ands", or "buts".

However, and using this same logic, it ALSO cannot be "objectively" shown that leprechauns do not exist *somewhere" in the universe. Keeping this in mind---if I posit that Leprechauns created and rule over the universe, and that if you, Mr Cain, don't believe me.... that they will swoop down and burn you with their magic clover-torches..... that too, cannot "objecively" be shown to be a false belief. And additionally(pay close attention here), it would NOT be YOUR burden to prove MY fantastic claim false.....to the contrary, the burden of proof would be MINE. Further still, if you cannot prove my belief wrong, then my personal belief IS not, and will NEVER be "True" by "default". If none of this computes, here it is: Biblegod cannot be a Truth, by "default". Nice try, though = )

Anonymous said...

Whoops!..I put "Mr. Cain" instead of "Mr Camp"...sorry, ole chap! Waiting on that evidence! lol

webmdave said...

Aaron, We are not believing something—you are believing something.

We ex-Christians are dis-believing something.

Did you notice the "dis?"

Please don't confuse believing in a magical, flying, undead, man-god who is somehow three people in one, dis-believing in it. When someone says, “Ah, could you please prove that your fantastic claim is true,” it is not the same as “believing something.”

Setting aside a game of semantics or proper word usage, it boils down to this: it is the responsibility of the person making fantastic claims to provide evidence supporting those claims. Ex: “I saw a UFO!” Do you believe me? If not, by your logic, when you express skepticism, then you and I are equal on the believing scale. I just made a fantastic claim and your skepticism is belief? No, you are being wise. People are duped and deceived by all sorts of things. Believing without proper evidence is ridiculous.

I wonder how much evidence you were presented with before you surrendered your mind to your religion.

J. C. Samuelson said...

Ok, I realize this is a bit late. The conversation has moved on from this but here's my take on Aaron's first post.

"Instead of accusing all Christian parents of brainwashing their children and stating that all pastors have some secret sexual agenda...talk to a Christian one on one."

There is an old proverb you’re likely familiar with; the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I’m sure most parents don’t consciously decide brainwashing is best for their children, be they believers or not. However, parents do project their beliefs on to their children, and in some cases don’t allow their children to choose otherwise. With no other point of reference, many children naturally accept these beliefs as true and often don’t recognize the possibility of choice until later. There are, of course, exceptions but this is what brainwashing means – constantly insisting on and repeating certain ideas until your subject accepts what is said without question.

These parents may have the best of intentions and fervently believe that what they are teaching their children is good and true, but it is still brainwashing.

As a parent, I constantly have to remind myself to be careful not to impose what I believe on my daughter. It may be impossible for her not to adopt some of it by osmosis, and when questions come up naturally I’ll tell her what I think. But this is fundamentally different from forcing my child to attend church, study her bible, or pray before bed.

For pastors it may be very similar. That is, I’m sure that many start with the best of intentions. At some point, however, their natural human desires will intrude. There’s no way to avoid it, and all attempts to suppress these desires only exacerbate the problem. Another contributing factor is the personal nature of the relationship between pastor and congregant which, I’m sure is further influenced by the perceived authority of the pastor.

With regard to those who sexually molest children or adolescents, I think this is a completely different brand of human being. These people have some deep-seated psychological issues and never should’ve chosen (or been allowed to choose) any profession that enables their behavior. Those who protect, overlook, justify, or otherwise enable these sick bastards should also have their heads examined.

As for talking to Christians one-on-one many here have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt and burned it. Since this is an ex-Christian website, can we count internal dialogues as well? I don’t know about anyone else but I have been known to talk to myself, including when I was a Christian. ;)

"It would be unfair and wrong (from my worldview) to say that because agnostics and atheists and unbelievers of many other kinds have raped, stolen, killed, enslaved and tortured others that you as an atheist, agnostic, pagan, non-christian...etc do those things because of your worldview."

You’re absolutely right, but I don’t remember seeing anyone implying the reverse for Christians either. That said, it’s more than reasonable to argue that religion in general has been used to justify at least as many killings and caused more suffering than any other reason in history. Christianity is no exception.

"Obviously, I can't spend all day defending the faith :) but maybe I can give a reason why it makes sense to me and why I believe."

That’s all you really can do – give reasons why you believe.

"It's easy to forget that the Gospels were written by multiple authors. Could the authors be giving details from a different point of view?"

I’m not sure Mike was referring only to Gospel contradictions. For an easy reference to biblical contradictions, violence, absurdities and so on visit The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. However, since you’re addressing the Gospels specifically that’s how I’ll respond. Also, I’m not going to get into specific problems. Rather, I’ll cover the basics and if you want to challenge specific objections we can cover those later.

What you’ve offered is a pretty standard apologetic. It’s based on the notion that the authors were witnesses to the events they recorded, and it appears to make sense. After all, no two witnesses will report an event exactly the same way, right?

The keyword that undermines that argument is 'witness.' There is no evidence that the authors of the Gospels were witnesses at all. In fact, there is substantial evidence that what they recorded was at best hearsay. I’m sure you’d agree that second- or third-hand testimony (hearsay) is not what one would expect from an allegedly inerrant, divinely inspired document.

You haven’t indicated whether you adhere to the idea of biblical inerrancy or not, so I assumed the standard evangelical view.

Conventional wisdom among conservative apologists has it that Mark was the earliest Gospel (ca. 50 – 60 CE), followed by Matthew (ca. 50 – 70 CE) or Luke (ca. 59 – 63 CE), then John (ca. 80 – 90 CE). There is some dispute between Christian and secular scholars over dating, but for now we’ll work with the apologist’s view. All of these dates – with the possible exception of John – seem to allow for the possibility that the authors were eyewitnesses.

However, even conservative apologists acknowledge that neither Mark nor Luke were eyewitnesses. The CARM essay addressing the question about authorship and dating of the Gospels admits this fact, even while promoting a decidedly Christian dating scheme. The consensus is that Mark was a companion of Peter and Luke a companion of Paul (who was not an eyewitness either, by the way).

The Gospel of Matthew was for a long time assumed to have been authored by the disciple of the same name. Early tradition established by Papias (quoted by Eusebius) and Irenaeus held that Matthew had been written in Aramaic (the disciples’ language), with later translation into Greek. However, no Aramaic texts have ever been found so scholars are left only to conclude that the Gospels were written in Greek following a period of oral tradition.

The disciple Matthew would certainly have been an eyewitness. But scholarly consensus has it that the authors of Matthew and Luke relied on Mark for material. This is part of what is called the synoptic problem. Why (it is reasoned) would the author of Matthew rely so heavily on Mark if he were an eyewitness? See here for a more complete discussion of Matthew’s Gospel. For information on the synoptic problem, see here (links to peer reviewed material at the bottom).

Traditionally, authorship for the Gospel of John was attributed to the "beloved apostle" John. However, many Christian scholars tend to agree (see here) that authorship occurred in stages and involved a number of disciples as well as the apostle himself. Furthermore, John the Apostle would have been approximately 90-years-old when this work was written, a very remarkable age for the first century. Still, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Other arguments against Johannine authorship include his use of decidedly anti-Semitic phraseology, even having Jesus distance himself from the Jews while being a Jew himself. Hyam Maccoby, a Jewish scholar observes "In the synoptics' account Jesus is still a recognizably Jewish figure, sparing in words and human and concrete in approach; in John, Jesus has become a Greek: voluble, full of abstractions, mystical" (Maccoby, Revolution in Judea, as cited here). In John 8:17, Jesus is speaking to the Jews and refers to Mosaic Law as "your law," and in John 8:44 he calls the Jews sons of the devil (see here for more information). This anti-Jewish language argues against eyewitness authorship and stands in stark contrast to the other Gospels.

The author also seems not to know that Jesus and his companions would have been allowed into the synagogues, instead having them expelled by the Jews (see John 9:22, 12:42, and 16:2). For more information, see here.

So, do you still think the discrepancies between the Gospels are simply a case of witness point of view?

"You completely leave out room for figurative language in this argument. The point of the verse is that "prayer is effective...when actually done in faith…Metaphorical and figurative language does not make something a contradiction."

I’m not entirely clear on what Mike was getting at, so I’m not going to address this. I agree with you about figurative language.

"If you use the Bible as your source and you treat it as authoritative (which I realize most of those who read this don't), then there is no problem at all with God's actions.
The main thing I would say to this objection is that it's really easy to put God on our level."


I find your remark about there being "no problem at all with God’s actions" disturbing. Follow the first link I gave you (the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible), look up cruelty & violence, and review it. Compare it with your own version for confirmation. Then decide whether you have any problem with God's actions.

As for putting God on our level, the Bible actually does this quite well. When the Bible is read through the prism of skepticism, it’s plain that God shares all of our emotional characteristics on a magnified scale and in many cases worse.

"I readily admit that if the basis for 'fair' 'loving' and 'just' are redefined by humans and how we feel about those things, then you are going to call God unfair. Frankly, I don't care whether you think God is fair or not."

Redefined? What is God’s definition of fairness, love, or justice in your view, and how do they differ from our own? I’m looking for clear definitions here because there is a significant point to be argued.

"If you start at the Bible, you get a God who claims to be Sovereign (in control of all events), Loving and Just. I'm suprised to hear that many ex-Christians don't remember these things! maybe you never learned them at your church."

These claims haven’t been forgotten, just dismissed and disbelieved. As for your insinuation that it wasn’t learned at church, that’s the same thing as asserting that we didn’t learn True Christianity™. Frankly, this is a ridiculous assertion.

"...He also claims to be a Righteous Judge and He is 'Jealous' (the description by some translators) for Glory. When you deprive Him of Glory, He, as the appropriate recipient of Glory, is displeased. This deprivation of glory is commonly known as SIN."

The idea that the almighty creator of the universe gets pissed off and squashes his creations or consigns them to eternal punishment when they question him or fail to pay proper homage to him flies in the face of what we understand to be just. Of course, you’ve claimed that God defines justice differently, with the implication that it is somehow better, than our own.

But I ask you to step back and think. As a human being well-acquainted with fairness and equity, do you truly accept the concept of justice described above? Is that not on par with the behavior of a petty dictator? Be honest.

"If ALL have sinned according to the Bible, then all are guilty...no one is innocent. So, that's why judgement is poured on people."

All are guilty according to the Bible due to God’s own actions. He created the conditions and the participants, and knew beforehand what the outcome would be. What happened had to happen in order to fulfill God’s plan. In other words, we really had no choice. For this, all humans are punished. Here we are venturing into freewill territory so I’ll let you chew on that for a few before we carry this further…and if we do.

"...i am asking you to observe what It says about things if you are so willing to misinterpret it to everyone else. These are not "clearly undefendable" but become quite reasonable when you look at them Biblically…but please don't distort what it is saying. Stick to factual things; sometimes i find that unbelievers are more concerned with interpretation than actual tangible evidence of the secular kind..."

Everything about the Bible is a matter of interpretation. Each version varies slightly in its interpretation of the body of extant materials, and each denomination varies in what it considers to be accurate, applicable, or even true.

Not only that, but some versions (the NIV, for example) are criticized for, of all things, bias.

You may not be aware, but even using the extant materials requires interpretation to a huge degree. There is no single manuscript tradition by which modern Bible(s) derive from.

Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek don’t exactly translate directly into every language, and English in particular is a lousy language to translate into. Further complicating matters is that many of the extant manuscripts have scribal corrections, causing problems for the textual critic in that he/she must determine whether the crossed-out/annotated text or the correction inserted is the proper translation.

For a better glimpse into the phenomenon in the above paragraph, I recommend reading Two Examples of Faulty Bible Scholarship (1999) by Richard Carrier. This essay is in debate format. Carrier explains some of the difficulties involved with scholarly translation and interpretation of a single book of the Bible (1 Timothy), and demonstrates the faulty reasoning applied by many Christians when it comes to interpreting a text for their own use.

In other words, it is reasonable to conclude that both Christians and non-Christians misinterpret the Bible quite often. I submit to you that your interpretation of *insert passage here* carries no more validity than that offered by anyone else.

Anonymous said...

obviously, this is going to take some time digging into the resources you provided and responding to the statements you made. Thanks for taking the discussion serious to start out with. I'll do my best not to keep you waiting...too long.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy for people like you that think your bigger than God. It just proves the bible is right and the obvious need for the earth to be purged! May the ONE true God show you the truth, that you may repent and put your trust in Him before you perish. I would also suggest you read Exodus 20 & then look in a mirror. You may want the "forgiveness" that the shed blood of Jesus can only give. Blasphemy is a sin!

Anonymous said...

Whitey posted 2/13/2006 4:47 PM EST:

Anonymous 2/12/2006 8:19 PM: "Your comparison of Islam to Christianity within the modern world is laughable, were it not so pitiful."

Dave8: Those who value death above physical life, are equal, no matter what label you paint on their forehead.

Whitey: Fascinating perspective D, you'll have to relay that to Jill Carroll, providing she makes it back to the US with her had securely fashioned about her shoulders. I'm betting she won't. But given the option of being held by her current captors or a bunch of Baptists---- I'm sure she'd choose to sing Amazing Grace than profess Allah as the greatest toon since Homer Simpson.

You lose.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/08/21/carroll.part.7/index.html

Anonymous said...

Whitey: "What do you think Jill's captors are doing? They, too, are using her as a pawn... soon to be headless one at that!"

Dave8: "I can't speak for the future. However, I suspect that her captors, are ruminating on a few facts; one, Jill is a woman, and woman are considered much more inferior in that part of the world, anyone who picks up the bible and reads a few passages knows this. Because, Jill is a woman, killing her, in some aspect, doesn't garner her killers respect, and in some cases may cause the Islamic Moderates to swing left against the extremeists. Her captors, are looking to gain support, Jill doesn't fill that bill.

So, in the last week or so, her captors attempted to bargain; trade Jill for the women who are held in Guatanamo Bay, Cuba. This saves them face, as they don't have to lower themselves to killing a mere woman, and it shows their power in the international arena, which would garner them more support, bringing moderates to the far right.

Now, I can't be sure that this is what her captors are thinking, however, I can assure you, that the leaders who are holding her, are definitely thinking and strategizing on how to make the most of their victim for their cause."

The captors, chose to save face, and not alienate themselves from their supporters. Obviously, in the past few weeks, there has been bigger fish to fry for these organizations who have no problem kidnapping foreigners, even journalists - to get their voices heard.

davf said...

You want to know why God isn't like you. I suggest you try to move up to God rather then trying to get Him to move down to you.

All the questions you have mentioned are quite easily understood if you study the bible rather then just reading it. For example there is an excellent work called Jesus from 7 sources that will help you to understand the supposed contradictions of Mt,Mrk,Lk and Jn. It is a "Harmony of the Gospels". All the texts are placed together to match up the various scenes.

One final note in regards to Pharoah. Of the first born that were not wicked, they will spend eternity in heaven. Those that were will spend eternity in hell. If God took my life right now I would go to heaven. Please take my life and my kids. I'd much rather be in heaven.

davf said...

I have lot's to say about this but I will comment this way. For problem 1, you assume because one account doesn't mention the 2nd man who was delivered that it infers that only 1 man was delivered. Example. Two men are giving a report to the police. One is very responsive and talks for an hour to the police the other just says "I dunno really". Two police officers file a report, one says 2 people gave evidence and another says 1 man gave very significant evidence but never mentions the 2nd man, which officer is correct.

About pray not working, again simple. There are many issues surrounding the mystery of answered prayer that bible even addresses (ex. Disciple can't cast out the demon from the man after having done so many times before. They are stumped and ask Jesus why and he says there is an issue of unbelief. Why do they have unbelief now?) My point is that the result of prayer today are consistant with the bible results.

Finally, Job. The big question here is: If you were going to write a book that you wanted to convince people to believe in a God you made up, would you have included the book of Job. I doubt it.

All the questions you have mentioned are quite easily understood if you study the bible rather then just reading it. For example there is an excellent work called Jesus from 7 sources that will help you to understand the supposed contradictions of Mt,Mrk,Lk and Jn. It is a "Harmony of the Gospels". All the texts are placed together to match up the various scenes which brings clarity to the “contrations”. (By the way you left out the classic one about Abraham only having one son.)

One final note in regards to Pharoah. Of the first born that were not wicked, they will spend eternity in heaven. Those that were will spend eternity in hell. If God took my life right now I would go to heaven. Please take my life and my kids. We'd much rather be in heaven.

Like I said I have lots more to say on these very classic examples of misunderstanding that is quite common among Athiests and Agnostics.

webmdave said...

Was there one angel, two angels, or no angels at the tomb?

Did the stone get rolled away before dawn, after dawn, with the women as witnesses or without the women as witnesses?

Was there one woman, two women, or a group of women that found the open tomb?

Did the woman or women touch Jesus when they saw him or not?

Did everyone go to Galilee to see Jesus risen, or did they see him in Jerusalem?

Was Jesus crucified on the day of Passover or the day before?

I'm sorry davf, but the Gospel accounts are rife with inconsistencies. I mean, this is supposed to be the perfect WORD of GOD, right? Seems a shame that the accounts are so varied. If everyone is an eye-witness, you'd think they could've gotten the story straight, especially since they had 40 and more years to put it together.

webmdave said...

davf said: "You want to know why God isn't like you. I suggest you try to move up to God rather then trying to get Him to move down to you."

That's an interesting concept. How do you propose that someone "move up" to God?

davf said: "All the questions you have mentioned are quite easily understood if you study the bible rather then just reading it."

I have studied it. For thirty years. The Bible is loaded with impossible contradictions. That's why there are so many books out trying to explain them away.

davf said: "One final note in regards to Pharoah. Of the first born that were not wicked, they will spend eternity in heaven. Those that were will spend eternity in hell."

And you know all this from what? Please show me the Bible verses that support any of the dead in Egypt are now in heaven.

boomSLANG said...

fundy: "I suggest you try to move up to God rather then trying to get Him to move down to you."

"Move up" to God?...no, no...that would be "SUCK up" to God. See?...see how one word can change the entire meaning? And I know I'm right because I used the lexicon in my handy "Atheist's guide to interpreting Christian rhetoric" companion book:

move up = suck up (ref; pg 666)

; )

J. C. Samuelson said...

Davf,

"I suggest you try to move up to God rather then trying to get Him to move down to you."

Ok, I'll play. Your God is real, and we're supposed to 'move up' to him. Let's see, what does that mean?

It means that we should kill unbelievers, take their stuff, and burn their cities (Deut. 13:6-16). It also means to kill adulterers, homosexuals, disobedient children, and witches, and exile those who have sex during the menstrual cycle or see their female relatives naked (Lev. 20:9-27). And although Jesus feels that the greatest commandment is to "love your neighbor as yourself," apparently he thinks the moral law should still apply and be followed (Matt 5:16-20).

What else? We are allowed to keep slaves, as long as we don't beat them too severely that we have to set them free (Ex. 21:26-27). If they die as a result of our beating them, we don't suffer any consequences of course. Oh yeah, women are property and rape is only punishable by death to the perpetrator if his victim was betrothed (Deut. 22:23-29. If a woman's hymen happened to be torn (that is, if the "tokens of virginity" be found missing), she's to be killed (Deut. 22:20-21).

Honestly, I think your God has to 'move up' to our standard.

"All the questions you have mentioned are quite easily understood if you study the bible rather then just reading it."

Please feel free to contextualize the verses myself and others have laid out for you. Without resorting to special pleading (such as that 'progressive revelation' nonsense) you will not be able to do it.

My point is that many of us here are very well-versed in the Bible (no pun intended), having studied it quite thoroughly in our time as Christians.

"Harmony of the Gospels"

As WM pointed out, the reason there are books that try to harmonize the gospels is because they don't match up. Apologetics is the attempt to fit square pegs in round holes.

"Of the first born that were not wicked, they will spend eternity in heaven."

Let me 2nd the WM's motion for judgment; where's your biblical support for this?

"Please take my life and my kids. I'd much rather be in heaven."

Andrea Yates believed much as you do, apparently:

Yates told her jail psychiatrist, "It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren't righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell."

What you just said hints at how dangerous your beliefs actually are, even to you and yours.

"Two police officers file a report, one says 2 people gave evidence and another says 1 man gave very significant evidence but never mentions the 2nd man, which officer is correct."

Ah, throwing out the old 'contradictory witness' argument, are we? Well, that only works as a foundation if the authors were actually witnesses.

Matthew, though he is traditionally held to be an eye witness by the church, is remarkably ignorant of the Hebrew scriptures and culture for someone who's supposed to be a Jew. His geneaolgy (through Joseph) tries to make Jesus of the line of David through Joseph. Unfortunately, Joseph wasn't the father (according to the gospel account) so Jesus could not have been of the line of David.

As for Matt's interpretation of Is. 7:14, it appears he was using the Greek translation of the OT (commonly known as the Septuagint), which renders the Hebrew 'almah' as 'parthenos,' or virgin. However, 'almah' simply means 'young woman' with no virginity implied. Since the Hebrew language did have a word for 'virgin' - bethulah - it seems strange that Matthew would not know this. Not only that, but Jesus was never called 'Emmanuel.'

Mark wasn't an eye witness either. He was Peter's interpreter:

"And the presbyter said this. Mark having become the interpreter of Peter, wrote down accurately whatsoever he remembered. It was not, however, in exact order that he related the sayings or deeds of Christ. For he neither heard the Lord nor accompanied Him. But afterwards, as I said, he accompanied Peter, who accommodated his instructions to the necessities [of his hearers], but with no intention of giving a regular narrative of the Lord's sayings. Wherefore Mark made no mistake in thus writing some things as he remembered them. For of one thing he took especial care, not to omit anything he had heard, and not to put anything fictitious into the statements." (Eusebius quoting Papias here).

In other words, Mark wrote down what he remembered of Peter's teaching. This leaves open the possibility that he didn't remember everything. It's also interesting because Peter tailored his message based on his audience. Often this means leaving certain things out, inserting others, or modifying the message so that the audience accepts what is being said. It's a very wise thing to do when you're teaching, but not exactly the best way to give testimony.

"My point is that the result of prayer today are consistant with the bible results."

Which, for all intents and purposes, is a null result.

"If you were going to write a book that you wanted to convince people to believe in a God you made up, would you have included the book of Job. I doubt it."

The Bible wasn't written to 'convince' anyone. It assumes belief. The Hebrews didn't give a rat's ass about converting anyone. They regularly decimated entire populations and took their possessions, or killed just the men and took their females as slaves, all at the behest of their God according to the Bible.

In any case, the book of Job is an abject lesson in humility and perseverance of faith. Regardless of what God does or allows to happen to you, you are to remain faithful.

I'd strongly recommend adding a few historical sources to your studies of the Bible, including those that cover the history of the Bible and the Ancient Middle East (ANE).

J. C. Samuelson said...

Forgot to address Luke and John, but I'm about out of time at the moment.

In brief, for a supposed Jew, John was decidedly anti-Semitic. In fact, many of the biblical verses cited as justification for anti-Semitism today originate with John. Also, compared to the other gospel writers, John was quite the mystic. Mystics aren't known for being reliable witnesses.

Luke was not an eye witness either, and more ignorant of Hebrew culture than Matt. His geneaology, for example, traces Jesus' lineage through Mary. Unfortunately, this doesn't make Jesus of the Davidic line either. The Hebrews never traced lineage through the mother. It was a decidedly patriarchal culture.

I've gotta run. Have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

I am a Christian and have no intent to apologize for it, or offer any answer to the myriad questions being asked here. I believe what I believe, will share it with someone if they wish to listen, and refuse to shove my opinion down someone elses throat. The biggest concern I have here is that most feel it is their right to express whatever opinion they want about the Bible and God, and will chastise the one who questions that opinion. Yet, that same courtesy is not extended to those who express different opinions or beliefs. In short, the theme here is that those who have no interest in Christianity have the right to speak while those that do believe do not. THAT is the biggest contradiction on this site. By the way, my name is Philip. I can be reached at Coastwatcher57@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Let’s see, Phillip is angry because on an EX-christian website, he thinks those who have a different opinion…i.e. “christian”…will be chastised.

I guess Phillip didn’t bother reading the site disclaimer. Typical of the Christians who come here to proselytize. Why read anything when you can win brownie points from god/jesus just by making bombastic statements?

No one stopped you, Phillip, from posting your challenge, so how can you make the claim that those who believe do not have the right to express their view? That’s your BIG contradiction? Is your faith so weak that you have to have people e-mail you, rather than defend you beliefs here?

Be a real christian and show us how right you are, or tuck your tail between your legs and skulk off like a coward.

Anonymous said...

"I am a Christian and have no intent to apologize for it..."

No one asked you to.

"...or offer any answer to the myriad questions being asked here."

Do you have any we haven't already heard thousands of times?

"...most feel it is their right to express whatever opinion they want about the Bible and God."

Yes indeed. That includes you.

"...and will chastise the one who questions that opinion. Yet, that same courtesy is not extended to those who express different opinions or beliefs."

Strong opinions are expressed, that's true. Anyone is free to question any opinion here. Occasionally, one of us ex-Christians will lay into another ex-Christian, even.

Really it depends on your approach. Christians who approach reasonably, without condescension or accusations, usually are treated decently even if their opinions aren't agreed with.

"...the theme here is that those who have no interest in Christianity have the right to speak while those that do believe do not."

Actually, given the site name most of us are quite interested in Christianity, though for a different reason than you. In any case the majority of visitors - including Christians - can post whatever they like, short of pure abuse or spam.

Have a nice day.

Anonymous said...

I think you are a very angry person that was looking for an answer in th Bible and you didn't like what it said. The problem is you are a amateur on subject of the Bible. You obviously don't understand context of the passages and you do not understand hermaneutics. To explain what you want explained you need to study since you put this challenge out. The Bible's original language was Hebrew and Greek and it does not translate well to English. So if you really want to know what it says in all these so contested areas you brought up, study Greek and Hebrew and you find there is no conflict. The Jews were very meticulous about the Bible. Their discipline was they could remember the Bible without a reference to it and very disciplined of the concepts within.

There are much smarter people than you who were skeptics and converted ..one of them was C.S. Lewis among many. C.S. Lewis was a genius. So you blowing Hot air. Start your search again with some humbleness and maybe God will start to reveal things to you that you really need in your life.
Maybe you should read C.S. Lewis and learn something that could be valuable to your life. God Bless

boomSLANG said...

Xian: I think you are a very angry person [who] was looking for an answer in [the] Bible and you didn't like what it said.

....and I think you are a very angry Christian who accidentally fumbled your way on to a website full of people who no longer believe in your little fantasy myth anymore, and you don't like what we have to say.

Xian: The problem is you are a amateur on subject of the Bible.

The problem is that you are an amateur Evangelist, and further, not a very bright one if you think that one needs to have anything more than a sixth-grade education to determine that snakes, shrubberies, and domestic asses don't speak the human language; that people cannot survive an over-night sleep-over in a whale's digestive tract; that hammers cannot swim; that chariots cannot fly; that it's wrong, and impractical, to hate your own parents...and the rest of the long list of stupid shit portrayed in your "Holy" book. Get over it.

Xian: You obviously don't understand context of the passages and you do not understand hermaneutics.

And you don't understand the context, language, semantics, poetic truths, etc., of the Holy Qur'an... yet, I'm fairly certain you've concluded it to be a false document. How'd you manage that?

Xian: To explain what you want explained you need to study since you put this challenge out. The Bible's original language was Hebrew and Greek and it does not translate well to English. So if you really want to know what it says in all these so contested areas you brought up, study Greek and Hebrew and you find there is no conflict.

Oh really? If it "doesn't translate well to English", why didn't Mr Perfect have the foresight to see this, and thus, make sure the human race spoke nothing but Greek and Hebrew?

The Jews were very meticulous about the Bible. Their discipline was they could remember the Bible without a reference to it and very disciplined of the concepts within

So you're Jewish, then?

There are much smarter people than you who were skeptics and converted ..one of them was C.S. Lewis among many. C.S. Lewis was a genius. So [you're] blowing Hot air.

There are smarter people than you who were once believers, who have now deconverted. It boils down to convincing evidence, not appeals to authority.

Xian: God bless

Praise Allah!

Bye now.

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