Do Christians worship the Bible as God?

April 19, 2007 at 12:06 am 156 comments

Bible PagesA catalyst for my exodus from Fundamentalism was my questioning of the Bible as the authoritative “Word of God.” I spent many years in fundamentalist Christianity where I had the importance of the Word ingrained into me. “You cannot know God apart from His Word” was a foundational viewpoint within my cross section of Christianity.

How the Bible ever could be classed as “The” Word of God now escapes me. It is a book filled with atrocities attributed to God that are contrary to the character of God as defined by Christianity. It is also riddled with contradictions. As I stated earlier, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person and I am amazed that I overlooked and ignored so many glaring issues.

The proof that the Bible is the “Word of God” is, interestingly enough, the Bible itself. This is called circular reasoning. The Bible says it’s the Word of God and since it’s the Word of God and it’s without error, this statement has to be true. In other words, it is the Word of God. Huh?

In my final days as a Fundamentalist, my questioning the Bible as the authoritative Word of God disqualified me from the “fold” in the eyes of many of my peers. Questioning this book written by men was on par with questioning God. I was not surprised by this because, in my opinion, many Christians literally worship the Bible as a part of their “Godhead.” There are even many “worship” songs about the Word.

Here’s the Godhead of many fundamentalist Christians as I see it:

God the Father
God the Son
God the Holy Spirit
God the Bible?

The logic of the elevation of this mere book to Godhead status is the logical conclusion if one bases that conclusion on the following assumptions:

  1. The Word of God is God (John 1:1)
  2. Jesus is the Word made flesh (John 1:14)
  3. Jesus is God.
  4. The Bible is the Word of God.

If one believes all of the above assumptions, the logical conclusion is that the Bible is on par with God. While the majority of fundamentalists would disagree with this in principle, their blind defense of the Bible demonstrates this belief.

Why am I so persistent on this topic? Well, I believe this single belief leads to many destructive beliefs of Christianity including exclusivity, intolerance, and spiritual abuse. For example, one simply has to classify a group as “Pharisees” and, following the example of Christ as portrayed in the Gospels, have a full range of hateful words and actions that can be targeted to that group even if those actions contradict what is also held to as other teachings of Christ.

These Bible based beliefs are harmful to modern society as a whole. If a fundamentalist Christian treated their faith as a personal issue, they would have my full support. However, when they attempt to force their archaic beliefs on society or use them to promote discrimination against entire groups of people, they become very dangerous.

If you’re a Fundamentalist Christian reading this blog, I’d like to encourage you to take a step back, remove the glasses with which you’ve read the Bible, and look at it critically. Your glasses may look like this:

“The Bible is composed of 66 books, by about 40 different writers of various backgrounds, living during a period of about 1,600 years — yet they present one message. Such a miracle can only be explained by there being one divine Author, who was in control of all these human writers.

The Bible writers came from many walks of life, including kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, herdsmen, poets, statesmen, scholars, soldiers, priests, prophets, a tax collector, a tentmaking rabbi, and a Gentile doctor.

The Bible was written in three different languages: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.

The writings contained in the Bible belong to a great variety of literary types including history, law, poetry, educational discourses, parables, biography, personal correspondence, and prophecy.

Books written by men have no unity of thought on even one subject. Some of them invariably disagree with others. But there is perfect unity between the books of the Bible — which speak of hundreds of subjects in many fields. There is no contradiction among them.

Who but God could produce such a book?”

If you could, for one week, remove those glasses and be open to seeing the contradictions, you will be so surprised by what you find. The “perfect unity” is a lie used to brainwash you. Check out the site “What if you read the Bible literally?” and click on the different categories to see what the Bible really says. Also, take some time to browse through “The Skeptics Annotated Bible.” You’ll be surprised at what you find.

Of course, doing this may shake the very foundation on which you stand.

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Reading Too Much Scripture Is Detrimental To Our Mental Health Bono, U2 and Christianity

156 Comments Add your own

  • 1. MTran  |  April 19, 2007 at 2:18 am

    The de-Convert,

    You are criticizing what is known as “bibliolatry.” It is one of the major criticisms of Roman Catholic teachings regarding the use of the Bible as the sole source of information about god.

    When a sect looks only to the Bible for their understanding of God, their faith is one that is based in sola scriptura. It was one of the major breaks that the Protestant churches made with Catholicism. In turn, Protestants accuse Catholics of “Mariolatry.”

    As far as the “unity” or “harmony” that the Bible is claimed (falsely) to possess, that’s a standard editing technique.

    Much of my work is editing and writing for professional publications and texts. I can tell you that that any decent editor could have made the Bible much more coherent and consistent than it now is. It’s got a lot of pages so it could easily take a few months of effort. But it could be done with minimal effort.

    (My publisher would probably hand it to me as a rush job and ask me to do it by the end of next week. ;-) )

  • 2. escapedmentalpatient  |  April 19, 2007 at 2:53 am

    Religion is inherently bad for society, Just look at the Virginia Tech massacre. No one but a believer could actually go out kill 30+ people and blame everyone else for it.

    Religious texts are fiction and should be interpreted as such, once you start using a moral code from a peasant civilization from 2000 years ago as a template or guide for todays society things are bound to go horribly wrong.

  • 3. poppies  |  April 19, 2007 at 2:58 am

    With all due respect, while I can tell you make a concious effort to attempt to be objective (which I applaud), it’s clear from your posts that you have much hostility towards Christianity which makes it likely that you would have trouble removing your own “glasses”. This makes me wary of even broaching the following due to the high probability of it just being uncritically tossed aside, but, nonetheless…

    You accuse God of atrocities. By what moral standard do you judge Him to be guilty? If you say that of the Bible, doesn’t the giver of the law have the right to do as He pleases, and mightn’t your perspective on His aims and the possibility of better actions be limited?

    I remember reading a folk tale about an African diety who manifested as a visitor at a house where the family patriach had just died and left his family alone and penniless. The diety burned the house down, and when this was discovered, people were horrified. Then they found that the patriach had hidden a terribly large amount of gold beneath the house in such a way that it had to be burned to be found.

    If you’re using some other standard by which to judge God, I’d love to hear about it, because I’ve had trouble finding anyone who could produce a non-arbitrary non-theistically-based way to judge moral action. I’m honestly interested; I thought evolutionary altruism might have been it, but then I discovered too many holes in that theory.

  • 4. MTran  |  April 19, 2007 at 3:12 am

    If you say that of the Bible, doesn’t the giver of the law have the right to do as He pleasesI

    No.

    Your approach boils down to this: What god does or says is good or right because it is god that is doing or saying it. In other words, might makes right. I reject that as a basis for morality.

    Nixon thought he was above the law, too, since he was president. Didn’t work for him, doesn’t work for god.

    Hate is hate. Cruelty is cruelty. Petty vindictiveness is petty vindictiveness.

    The God of the old testament seems to demonstrate those characteristics regularly and remorselessly. I cannot accept such a creature as an authority on moral or benevolent behavior.

  • 5. brad  |  April 19, 2007 at 4:10 am

    “If you’re a Christian reading this blog, I’d like to encourage you to take a step back, remove the glasses with which you’ve read the Bible, and look at it critically.”

    I am unsure how your own personal transition from fundamentalism to agnosticism was developed, but I find that this above sentence is 99.9% impossible. Our world leaders know that if they want something from the people (i.e. power, money, our souls), it has to appear to be our idea. I have been in a great many debates with atheists when I was a fundamentalist and with fundamentalists since. The one thing I have learned is that a debate, no matter the logic, that no one switches their mind. I found this personally to be true in my journey – it had to be “my” idea.

    Escapementalpatient said “Religion is inherently bad for society”

    Please define religion. What is religion to you? Do you really believe religion has essence or are you simply throwing out such comments to make your point?

    poppies said “it likely that you would have trouble removing your own “glasses””

    I can’t believe I am even touching this – but does this actually make sense to you? These kind of comments are no different than an atheist thinking that the argument that asks “Can God create a rock that he cannot lift” is a clever paradox.

    furthermore: “You accuse God of atrocities. By what moral standard do you judge Him to be guilty? If you say that of the Bible, doesn’t the giver of the law have the right to do as He pleases”

    No, “he” doesn’t. Really. You are now entering the realm of the gods of olympus. I am not sure whether the agnosticatheist ever accused God of atrocties, I am pretty sure he was simply saying that the Bible presents God committing atrocities – wasn’t that kind of the point? The Bible is ultimately a failed human perspective to understand God (aA would probably say to understand nature or humankind’s consciousness – I am not opposed to this either)…

    “thought evolutionary altruism might have been it, but then I discovered too many holes in that theory.”

    true, but for one, the Bible doesn’t offer a whole lot of moral support either. second, moral theory, be it Christian or not, is hardly concrete (talk about flip-flopping with scripture: slavery, patriarchy, racism, and genocide have all been justified through scripture) and I would laugh if anyone dared to say Christians are more moral than non-Christians.

  • 6. nullifidian  |  April 19, 2007 at 4:18 am

    I’ve had trouble finding anyone who could produce a non-arbitrary non-theistically-based way to judge moral action.

    I would posit, then, that you haven’t looked hard enough.

  • 7. Heather  |  April 19, 2007 at 5:56 am

    **If you say that of the Bible, doesn’t the giver of the law have the right to do as He pleases, and mightn’t your perspective on His aims and the possibility of better actions be limited?**

    I agree with MTran on this — this response comes across as whatever God does is good because God does it, and in that case, there’s no ‘standard’ morality. Good has simply become whatever action God decides to do, which includes slavery, genocide, and rape. And if going that route, then there’s no way of judging whether God is good, period.

  • 8. agnosticatheist  |  April 19, 2007 at 7:05 am

    MTran,

    Great comments as usual.

    I’ve always wondered why there were discrepancies within single books of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. I can understand the O.T. since those were compilations of books probably written by several authors over time and the contradicts between different books.

    However, a single author probably wrote Acts yet it says:

    Acts 9:7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

    Acts.22:9 And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.

    And you’re right about the bad editing job. For example, whoever compiled Genesis, whey didn’t they fix the issues with Gen 1 & 2 immediately? I guess they already revered the text they were using.

    aA

  • 9. radec  |  April 19, 2007 at 9:24 am

    In the church I attend, there seems to be a trend in not taking every word of the bible literally and using the human authors and their culture to explain some of the “holes”. Without going into much detail, one example of this would be Paul’s restrictions on women in the church in Corinth. I have heard the argument that Paul didn’t mean every church had to keep their women silent, but in Corinth that was the culture of the time so letting their women speak in the assembly would hinder them from teaching their beliefs to non-believers. Thus in our culture saying women have to be silent is doing exactly opposite of what Paul was trying to accomplish. It is a different twist, but I don’t think it can’t fix all the issues with the book. It does make some of the older traditions and commandments easier to swallow for someone in 2007 though.

  • 10. Karen  |  April 19, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    As I stated earlier, I consider myself a somewhat intelligent person and I am amazed that I overlooked and ignored so many glaring issues.

    Aa, I feel exactly the same way and I’ve seen that many other former fundamentalists come to the same realization once they get out. And it’s not like I didn’t study the bible! I studied the heck out of that book for 30 years!

    The only conclusion I’ve reached is that I was very, very good at subconscious compartmentalization, and very, very obedient in terms of accepting without question the “explanations” and interpretations that were offered by authority figures.

    Have you put any thought into how/why you were able to ignore or overlook so many glaring problems with the scriptures?

  • 11. Jason  |  April 19, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    On second thought, I’m not going to write anything here. I’ll just jump on the train with Brad above. You’ve had a long comment from me before on dealing with difficult texts in scripture . . . so no need to belabor my points again.

    Only one other comment for the person above who noted that the Bible gives us the moral teachings of a peasant society 2000 years ago . . . I suppose our growth and improvement as a culture to something more knowledgeable and civil than a mere peasant culture of 2000 years ago can explain the Holocaust, two World Wars, the killing fields of Cambodia, and the 30 million people massacred by Joseph Stalin? The passage of time does not necessarily improve humanity or make us more intelligent. We might have more knowledge, but we certainly have not improved at being able to use it for better ends.

  • 12. Ryan  |  April 19, 2007 at 6:59 pm

    The de-Convert and anyone else who wants to learn something,

    I think I need to share with you the some information about the New Testament:
    It has the most MSS (manuscript) backing of any literary work with 5366 copies.The earliest fragment copy is dated c.114ad and the earliest complete NT copy is from c.325. The earliest time gap between the death of Jesus and the first fragment is 50 yrs. The New testament its-self is given a date of A.D. 50-100. The book with the second most MSS support is Homer’s Iliad with only a mere 643 copies and a date of 800B.C., with the earliest copies being dated around 400 B.C. and a huge time gap of about 400 yrs.. Furthermore the Bible was written by 40 different people, over 1500 years in different places, at different times i.e times of war, times of peace, in different moods (joy, sorrow etc.)on three different continents, in three different languages and in spite of all these differences one central theme stands, Jesus Christ. yet people still doubt its validity as a historically accurate book even though it is the most documented book ever written.Why do you think that is?? The Bible is a history of Gods love for His people and no other book in existance has been under the scutiny that it has for as long as it has been. (All the dates I used are from a book called Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell)

  • 13. Mike C  |  April 19, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    Here’s the Godhead of many fundamentalist Christians as I see it:
    God the Father
    God the Son
    God the Holy Spirit
    God the Bible?

    Believe it or not, but I actually had one fundamentalist pastor tell me that he believed in “God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Bible.”

    Great points AA. Rethinking my own views of the Bible was a major component of the transformation in my own faith that eventually led me to the emerging church. It seems like such a simple insight, but it was truly revolutionary for me to realize that “The Word of God” does not always equal “the Bible”.

    You asked for links to moderate Christian sites that critically evaluate the Bible. I think my blog might qualify. You might these posts of mine interesting:
    What Good is the Bible?
    Three Approaches to Scripture
    How to Read the Bible

    Peace,
    -Mike

  • 14. Heather  |  April 19, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    **in three different languages and in spite of all these differences one central theme stands, Jesus Christ.** That is only if one looks at both the Old Testament and the New Testament, and overlooks the reasons why the Jews say Jesus wasn’t the Messiah. The Virgin Birth prophecy is an example of a descrepency, in terms of the Hebrew word meaning ‘young woman’ and the Greek word meaning ‘virgin.’ Plus, even in reading Isaiah 7 completely makes it very, very difficult to apply that to predicting a virgin birth in the future.

    People doubt because there are elements to doubt — much of the mainline scholarship on Christianity is by people who used to be fundamentalists, and their research convinced them otherwise.

  • 15. frenchtoast  |  April 19, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Do you think a young woman in that day and age would be a virgin or not? The hebrew word occurs only 7 times in the OT I think that is of segnificance dont you? The word wasn’t haphazerdousally thrown around. The Septuagint(greek translation of the OT) was the first to translate it to the more specific word “Virgin” and that was made c.150B.C..
    Tell me more on why the Jews didn’t and dont accept Jesus as the messiah I am kinda weak on that point. All I know is that they weren’t looking for a person like Jesus they were looking for someone or something with more pride i guess. thanks

  • 16. frenchtoast  |  April 19, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    oh and I havent been a believer all my life. my unbiased study and my reason has led me to Jesus.Not to mention the Grace of God.

  • 17. HeIsSailing  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:42 pm

    Thus saith The de-Convert:
    “If you could, for one week, remove those glasses and be open to seeing the contradictions, you will be so surprised by what you find. The “perfect unity” is a lie used to brainwash you.”

    Whole-heartedly concur. I am shocked at how I, as a Christian, claimed I read the Bible and interpreted it honestly. However Christians as a whole interpret the Bible to fit their preconcieved Church Doctrine or Creed. When an ‘apparant’ contradiction arises, the intent is not to find the meaning behind the contradiction, no the intent becomes figuring out a way to harmonize it. When polytheism is mentioned in the old testament, we must immediately interpret that to mean the Trinity – a 3rd century doctrine!!

  • 18. MTran  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:16 pm

    yet people still doubt its validity as a historically accurate book even though it is the most documented book ever written.

    I have no idea what you mean by this. “Most documented?”

    Much copied, okay. When governments and church institutions make endless copies of things, so what? Numbers of copies is unrelated to truthfulness or accuracy. It is related to political or commercial power.

    Under this reasoning, the publishers of pulp fiction romance novels are documenting like crazy, but it’s still fiction.

    And no matter how many copies of the Bible there are, there is still no evidence of any supernatural entity or force let alone the specific one peculiar to the Judeo-Christian notions of god.

    And don’t even step into that “historically accurate” swamp, the contradictions and anachronisms alone are enough to sink a mastodon.

  • 19. Heather  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:35 pm

    **Do you think a young woman in that day and age would be a virgin or not?** The problem is that there was a another word that tended to refer more to virginity, and that word was used more in Isaiah — and again, it’s very hard to make that match up to the New Testament when all of Isaiah is taken in context.

    See here for why they don’t accept him as the Messiah:

    http://www.aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Why_Dont_Jews_Believe_In_Jesus$.asp

    Or here: http://www.messiahtruth.com/response.html

  • 20. HeIsSailing  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    Karen sez:
    “Aa, I feel exactly the same way and I’ve seen that many other former fundamentalists come to the same realization once they get out. And it’s not like I didn’t study the bible! I studied the heck out of that book for 30 years!

    The only conclusion I’ve reached is that I was very, very good at subconscious compartmentalization, and very, very obedient in terms of accepting without question the “explanations” and interpretations that were offered by authority figures”

    Wow Karen, you really hit the nail on the head with this one. As a Christian, I read the Bible pretty well, but read it and interpreted it as a monolithic whole. An obscure verse in 2Samuel could interpret a tricky passage in 1Peter for instance. With 66 books to work through, harmonizations can be very creative, and endless.

    I just ask that people try interpreting the Bible, not as a whole, but as 66 different books by different men who all had different theologies, ideas, backgrounds, educations and ideas. Just this insight alone reveals how profound, fascinating, and very human the Bible really is.

  • 21. ryan  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    The point is that all of the fragments found in treasures like the Dead Sea scrolls are identical to the matching passages that we have now in our Bible. If a fragment from 114AD is found and it matches word for word what we have now dont you think that proves that the Bible was the most kept book ever. That proves that in 114 ad people were saying the same things about Christ that they are now isnt it?? You dont think that that is important. You dont think that that validates the writings. It remains unchanged since 114ad and the New testament remains unchanged since 325(earliestcomplete NT). you dont think that that counts for anything?? No other book in history has this kind of proof that the same thing was being said so long ago. This MSS method is what “scholars” use on secular writings as well (such as Josephus’s writings of the 1st century)not just the bible. I am not making this stuff up, some times I wish I were because we all wouldn’t be accountable for what we do and do not do. As far as the supernatural entity thingy you speak of I have to say your right. And there will never be any evidence of that. Read the story of The Rich man and Lazarus it starts on Luke 16:19 it explains why God doesn’t give signs.

  • 22. ryan  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:53 pm

    heissailing,
    what do you mean by “interpreted” the bible i am confused.

  • 23. HeIsSailing  |  April 19, 2007 at 8:58 pm

    Ryan sez:
    “(All the dates I used are from a book called Evidence for Christianity by Josh McDowell)”

    Hi Ryan, yeah I recognized where you were getting that from immediately. McDowell will tell you that the differences in the earliest manuscripts are trivial. I recommend you pick up a copy of Ehrman’s ‘Orthodox Corruption of Scripture’ to see just how many changes were made to the earliest new Testament manuscripts, and what effect those changes had on New Testamanet Orthodoxy and Heresy. It is pretty mindblowing.

    As for all those copies of the New testament cited by McDowell, the vast majority of those were copied between the Council of Nicea and the invention of the Printing Press (forget the exact number of manuscripts, or years). In other words, yeah they are identical because by then the Scripture had become more or less ‘Standardized as Canon’.

    And the scrap of papyrus that is claimed as the oldest is called P^53, and it contains portions of 4 verses from John’s Gospel. Dating it is notoriously difficult, because it is done mainly by handwriting analysis, of which there is scant little on this scrap. McDowell never mentions any of that – the way McDowell sites this Papyrus, you would think we have the entire Gospel that old. nope. Here is a site with more information on P^52 – McDowell’s earliest “manuscript”.

    http://www.kchanson.com/ANCDOCS/greek/johnpap.html

  • 24. HeIsSailing  |  April 19, 2007 at 9:08 pm

    Ryan sez:
    “It remains unchanged since 114ad and the New testament remains unchanged since 325(earliestcomplete NT). you dont think that that counts for anything?? ”

    Ryan trust me, McDowell has this all wrong. Does he site any sources when he says this? No, he just interviews other friends of his who agree with him.

    Ryan continues:
    “The point is that all of the fragments found in treasures like the Dead Sea scrolls are identical to the matching passages that we have now in our Bible. If a fragment from 114AD is found and it matches word for word what we have now dont you think that proves that the Bible was the most kept book ever. That proves that in 114 ad people were saying the same things about Christ that they are now isnt it?? ”

    That fragment is only portions of 4 verses from The Gospel of John. It is pretty easy to match that thing ‘word for word’. While it probably is one of the most copied, and yes most accurate of our ancient writtings, its transcription and transmission were far from perfect or ‘inerrant’.

  • 25. MTran  |  April 20, 2007 at 4:34 am

    For example, whoever compiled Genesis, whey didn’t they fix the issues with Gen 1 & 2 immediately? I guess they already revered the text they were using.

    From what I’ve seen of ancient literature, especially myth / religious literature, people way back then looked very differently at the need for editorial consistency and accurate content than we do today. They often had different purposes, too .

    It appears that the Genesis authors, for example, likely represent fiercely competing factions among the early Hebrew tribes. When these tribes (Israel and Judea) were united, neither tribe would be willing to give up their own version of any story that was well known amongst the people.

    So you end up with contending versions of stories that some very industrious redactor fused together. What is interesting is that in the competing versions, there is a nice, personable god who represents one side’s view and a nasty SOB who represents the other side.

    The nasty faction was primarily interested in dissing the other guys and imposing lots of rules and limits while giving themselves accolades and rights, including income.

    In other words: politics.

    The authors known today as E, J, P, and D were steeped in the politics as well as the religion of their day.

    There’s a very readable book — Who Wrote The Bible?– by a reputable Bible scholar and believer, Prof. Rabbi Richard Elliott Friedman. It’s been around for 20 years or so but he updated it some time in the 90s.

    He thoroughly reviews the Pentateuch and early histories in the Bible, providing good synopses of the major opinions on textual issues. He also proposes the real identity of two of the editors/writers. Cool stuff.

  • 26. Jason  |  April 20, 2007 at 7:46 am

    MTran, that’s one way of looking at Genesis. But it could also be that the authors who compiled the text believed that both stories bore out truths about God and humanity that were so important they had to be placed side by side to capture as complete a picture as possible.

    Here’s the bottom line: the Bible is a book of “faith”. One either believes that it is the dynamically inspired word of God as a matter of faith OR one does not believe that. Thus, the argument really should not be is the Bible rational, but is faith rational. Faith is the issue; not the Bible. As I posted in a comment in an earlier string on a similar topic, the Bible CANNOT be used as a document to enforce rules upon those who do not believe it to be an inspired book. The Bible is a book written for the communities that choose to be shaped by its writings. Obviously, this opinion is not shared by many fundamentalist Christians; nor is it shared by a number of evangelical Christians.

    What most interests me here is that most who seem to be disturbed by the Bible and the faith that so many have in it. have come from fundamentalist backgrounds. So, I can understand why you dislike the Bible. You grew up in environments where the Bible was used as a tool for parents, pastors and others to beat you over the head and into submission to their own predelictions and fears. This saddens me because this means that the Bible was never given enough “breathing space” to speak on its own; a part from the misguided teachings of those churches. The Bible can only be more for people of faith who wrestle with what you have termed the Bible’s inconsistencies, who wrestle with its socio-political/socio-cultural context, and who wrestle to figure out what it means for the life of faith today.

    I regret that the baby has been thrown out with the bath water and that the Bible was taught to so many people with so little respect for what it really is. This is not to say that the Bible is not hard. Sometimes the teachings are very hard and, as Paul writes later in Corinthians, the wisdom of God is often the foolishness of man.

    Finally, for the next 4 Sundays I will be preaching from the closing chapters of John. We won’t be worshiping the Bible but it will be a starting point for our worship of Jesus.

    By the way, any good and thorough reading of the Gospels will point out that over and over and over again the people that Jesus is challenging are the highly religious and fundamentalist sorts of that day. But that should make sense. The Bible was written to challenge and guide the life of communities of faith. Obviously, then, it speaks with exacting precision to the religious and the faithful who will allow it to speak on its own terms and not in the terms of their own contexts and political convictions.

  • 27. Heather  |  April 20, 2007 at 10:05 am

    **Here’s the bottom line: the Bible is a book of “faith”. One either believes that it is the dynamically inspired word of God as a matter of faith OR one does not believe that. Thus, the argument really should not be is the Bible rational, but is faith rational. **

    When you say that it’s the inspired word of God, are you saying that in such a way that everything that the Bible says happened is literally true and without error? I do believe the Bible was inspired by how/when people encountered God, but the writing was also limited by the cultural norms of the time, which is why some of the OT stories about God are so troubling.

    I think both the Bible and faith are the issue, because the faith comes in a large part from what the Bible says.

  • 28. MTran  |  April 20, 2007 at 11:19 am

    Jason,

    I would suggest that you stay away from attempts at psychology because you are not very good at it.

    The churches I attended when young were very positive places and were not in any way of the fundamentalist type. I reject the teachings of the Bible because I do not see it as morally beneficial. It has no moral weight to me because of its own rather abundant flaws.

    The hypothesis I outlined above is not something that I dreamed up on my own but has been around in academic studies of the Bible for a very long time. I happen to think that it is the most meritorious explanation of the wacky inconsistency of the text, but the ideas were not invented or discovered by me.

    I reject the notion that there is any supernatural force or entity, thus there is no question for me that the Bible is the work of a bunch of humans, all of them pushing an agenda, otherwise there would be no point to their writings.

    The Bible is a lot of things. Consistency, accuracy, factuality, morality and wisdom, though, are not its strong points. The same thing is true of many ancient texts.

  • 29. Karen  |  April 20, 2007 at 11:50 am

    Wow Karen, you really hit the nail on the head with this one.

    Thank you. I have actually put a lot of thought into it, because not only am I a reasonably bright person (I think!), I’m a writer and an English major. Critical analysis of text is what I do!

    So it rather boggles my mind that I never turned my critiquing eye on the bible for so many years; I just gave it “a pass” pretty much unconsciously. That goes back to being heavily indoctrinated (yes, I will use the word “brainwashed”) as a child.

    When I was a freshman in college and first learning literary criticism, I began to have serious doubts about the bible and Christianity. Simultaneously, I was attending Calvary Chapel with a group of friends and undergoing something of a “radicalization” of my faith, which was becoming much more central to my life.

    The two factions battled it out in my head and Christianity won. For the next 17 or 18 years, I had enough self-control to wall-off my religious thoughts from my natural skepticism and critical thinking training. That’s a stressful thing to do, however, so when I had a fairly serious midlife crisis, it all came back up again in my life, with the ultimate result of my becoming an (agnostic) atheist.

    As a Christian, I read the Bible pretty well, but read it and interpreted it as a monolithic whole. An obscure verse in 2Samuel could interpret a tricky passage in 1Peter for instance. With 66 books to work through, harmonizations can be very creative, and endless.

    Oh, sure. And that’s another thing I’ve realized: It’s not that fundamentalists don’t think about the contradictions. In fact, they obsess over them, in the sense of interpreting them, and rationalizing them, and reconciling them, and re-interpreting them based on some new Christian book, or new preacher’s ideas, every few years.

    It goes on and on ad nauseum, which pretty much keeps the brain busy with all that hard work. So just plain old reading of what’s right in front of you with a critical eye never gets done – you’re too busy with all the stuff and nonsense of interpretation!

  • 30. tobeme  |  April 20, 2007 at 1:46 pm

    I enjoyed your writing on this subject. I agree the Bible is a circular reference. Very well put! There are some great secrets in the Bible as well as some very horrible things. There is love and hate in the Bible. As with many ancient texts the Bible has much to offer us. What we get out of it, does depend on what filter we use to read it.

  • 31. ryan  |  April 20, 2007 at 2:25 pm

    he is sailing,

    “Orthodox Corruption of Scripture’ ”

    Is this a secular or non secular source. If it is secular why would I want to read it. I dont go looking for information about the Bible in sources that are trying to undermine it. Hence why I am asking you guys and girls for your input. If I want an athiest or agnostic oint of view I am not going to ask a Christian for it am I. Same goes for my christian information, I wont ask for Biblical proof or truth from anything outside the Christian bias. I think that it would just be counterproductive dont you?

  • 32. Jason  |  April 20, 2007 at 2:53 pm

    MTran,

    Funny that you tell me to stay away from psychology. I spent a lot of money getting a degree in counseling pysch :-)

    At any rate, this may not describe your experience, but it certainly describes the experience of others who have written various replies in this thread.

    I hope you don’t hear me trying to convince you of anything other than what you have stated. I don’t do apologetics. Like I said, they usually don’t result in much movement on either side. except to drive people deeper into their already stated positions.

    I will maintain that the Bible only has value for the communities that have faith in it as the dynamically inspired word of God. By the way, someone earlier also posed a question to me about the inspiration of scripture. The theory of dynamic inspiration is called dynamic because it understands that the words are not only shaped by God, but also by writers of different backgrounds, in different places at different times.

    What I am basically saying is that asking anyone outside of a Jewish or Christian faith tradition to “uphold the teachings of the Bible” could be likened to asking a duck to moo. The standards of scripture can only be applied within the communities of faith that claim them to be the inspired word of God.

  • 33. MTran  |  April 20, 2007 at 3:50 pm

    Funny that you tell me to stay away from psychology. I spent a lot of money getting a degree in counseling pysch

    Hey, what can I say? I’m sure it was money well spent, especially if it is a field you continue to enjoy. I’m just not one to accept long distance psychoanalysis as having much basis for reliability. ;-) (Doubtless, there may be exceptions.)

    Perhaps, though, with your background, you could answer a question.

    Could you tell me why it is that so many believers (especially fundie types) assume that atheists are simply angry at god, disappointed with god, unfamiliar with scripture or simply spiritually lacking?

    These sorts of assumptions are puzzling to me.

  • 34. Jason  |  April 20, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    MT,

    I’m not sure where it comes from. I’m not a fundamentalist. An evangelical, yes, but not a fundie. My initial thought is that it has something to do with a need to protect God without realizing that he doesn’t need to be protected. Secondly I think it is a one way to rationalize someone’s disbelief in something they feel so passionate about. I find that this is something that many (not all) atheists and fundamentalists share in common: an overwhelming need to explain why someone else does not also passionately believe in what they feel so zealous about. How’s that for long-distance psychoanalysis. Most likely, however, I think it is because they are too busy trying to “believe” the right things rather than trying to follow Jesus. Those are very different things.

  • 35. MTran  |  April 20, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    I think it is because they are too busy trying to “believe” the right things rather than trying to follow Jesus. Those are very different things.

    That may well be true (the part about wanting to believe the right things). I think it is unfortunate when anyone gets more tied up with the “Thou shall nots” than with the “love thy neighbor” message.

    From what I have seen, it seems that the literalists are the ones most likely to go for the rule-based notions of the Old Testament rather than the examples of benevolence that can be found in the New Testament.

    Most of my friends and colleagues are atheists and most of them were raised Roman Catholic. I have a hard time convincing them that the main-line Protestanism that I grew up with is not at all like the hate-filled venom that people like Pat Robertson spit out.

  • 36. HeIsSailing  |  April 20, 2007 at 6:11 pm

    Ryan asks:
    ““Orthodox Corruption of Scripture’ ”

    Is this a secular or non secular source. If it is secular why would I want to read it. I dont go looking for information about the Bible in sources that are trying to undermine it. ”

    Why oh why do Christians insist on placing everything into either ‘Christian’ or ‘Secular’ categories??
    Ryan, it is just a book. Ehrman is an agnostic, if that helps, but the book is not some screaming polemic against Christianity. He just carefully lays out the facts that, yes there were numerous changes to Scripture during its transmission, and while most were harmless, there were still many that affected Christian theology. He lays them out carefully, fully documented, referenced and footnoted. It is neither Pro, nor Anti Christianity.
    You will get none of this with folks like Josh McDowell. McDowell would be the first to admit that he is not a Biblical scholar, rather he is a propagandist. He intentionally takes arguments, and twists them to fit his agenda. You will rarely win any arguments by referrencing McDowell as your source.

    If you are leery of reading scholarly work by an agnostic, there *are* legitmate conservative and Christian scholars out there. Go to the library and check out anything by Ramond Brown for instance. Top notch scholarly work, and highly respected – and he was still a Christian (actually Catholic) without being a propagandist. I have only read two of his books, but he has many to choose from.

  • 37. Heather  |  April 20, 2007 at 6:26 pm

    Karen,

    ** I’m a writer and an English major. Critical analysis of text is what I do! ** Me, too. I’m an English major, a History minor, and I write as a hobby. So reading the Bible sometimes can be fascinating. It’s also a response I give to evangelicals when they ask why I haven’t accept their belief system: because I read the Bible.

    Have you ever heard of the book ‘God: A biography’ by Jack Miles? He analyzes the Bible as a literary text with God as the protagonist. It was fascinating, and I highly recommend it.

  • 38. ryan  |  April 20, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    Heissailing

    my point still is that if I want a christian point of view on a subject i am not going to ask someone who isn’t a Christian. For what reason would someone who considers themself an atheist or agnostic write a book about the Bible?? Only one reason comes to mind. I know that if I were to write a book about an atheist and his/her beliefs it would be riddled with incorrect assumptions based on what I believe. I want to get onto the question that started this all. “do christians worship the bible as God” (incorrect assumption)because I think that it falls into our current debate. From my point of view as a christian I would say no. but I can see why the question would be posed by people on the outside looking in and only people on the outside. That is my point if you ask this question to the author of this page he would and has said yes. (copied from above: “because, in my opinion, many Christians literally worship the Bible as a part of their “Godhead.” There are even many “worship” songs about the Word.”) In my experience as a follower of Christ I have never fallen down and worshiped the Bible and never will. I dont see where the author is coming from and doubt his admission of being a fundamental christian in the past. The Bible is a history of Gods people and what He has and is doing for us/them.
    I do have a question for you though that I have been thinking about…
    Why is it ok for an atheist to use scripture to try and disprove the bible but when a Christian tries to use it we are told we have to use an outside source, and that it is bias? I find that this happens quite often and I dont know if you do it but I am just wondering.
    thanks for your patience

  • 39. Heather  |  April 20, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    Ryan,

    **my point still is that if I want a christian point of view on a subject i am not going to ask someone who isn’t a Christian. ** Don’t you find it telling, though, that Josh McDowell didn’t mention the fragment was only 4 verses long? And did he mention the sources he spoke with? Or the fact that most of the copies referred to are between the Council of Nicea and the creation of the printing press? Because even the latter affects the claim of no discprencies, since there’d be very few during that time — the matter of canon was settled. If those types of facts were left out for any other matter, wouldn’t it make you question the source, given that it’s coming across that McDowell’s book seems to obscure certain facts.

    **In my experience as a follower of Christ I have never fallen down and worshiped the Bible and never will. I dont see where the author is coming from and doubt his admission of being a fundamental christian in the past.** It’s not a matter of worshipping the Bible. It’s more along the lines of those who take a literal 6,000 year creation, because to do otherwise literally contradicts the Bible. Or archeological claims questioning Exodus, yet that can’t be possible, because the Exodus account is in the Bible. That’s the type of ‘worship’ the author’s referring to. I see this from fundamentalists a lot.

    **Why is it ok for an atheist to use scripture to try and disprove the bible but when a Christian tries to use it we are told we have to use an outside source, and that it is bias? ** It depends what’s being proved/disproved. If talking about historical accuracy, especially in regards to spectacular events, people like to have backup sources, from different books and accounts, preferably from those for and against the accounts. So when disproving the bible historically, people do use outside accounts. When doing so in terms of God’s character, then the Bible is used as the only source.

  • 40. ryan  |  April 20, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    heissailing,

    i need to say something on this statement “the vast majority of those were copied between the Council of Nicea and the invention of the Printing Press (forget the exact number of manuscripts, or years).” The first complete NT is dated 325ad. I dont think the printing press was invented untill about 1440 rtight?I am speaking of fragments that pre date the printing press.(and a fair amount even predate the liberal 250ad dating of the council.) the +5000 mss i speak of are hand written documents.other things are included in the dating of the mss such as what the paper is made of and what kind of ink they used. and the fact that the oldest fragment is only 4 versus long has no bearing. remember in school when the teacher wispered something into the ear of one kid and they had to pass it around the room? and when the last kid got the message he told the teacher what he heard and it wasnt even close to the meaning of the original. the meaning of these messages hasent changed over the time span of 2000yrs. how can this be. sorry to digress but i just noticed that you wrote this.

  • 41. ryan  |  April 20, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    Heather,

    I just had a conversation with my wife on this very subject. the fact the the letters of the NT were addressed to various groups and to take them out of their context would be an atrocity. but that desnt mean that the scriptures are any less helpful to everyone.hence why we quote them and that is why they are included in the book. not to mention divine inspiration. I wholeheartedly believe that you should question the bible (its not like we are muslims) but just remember you can’t ask any questions that haven’t already been addressed.

  • 42. HeIsSailing  |  April 20, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    ryan:
    “i need to say something on this statement “the vast majority of those were copied between the Council of Nicea and the invention of the Printing Press (forget the exact number of manuscripts, or years).” The first complete NT is dated 325ad. ”

    Yeah, The oldest complete (or mostly complete) copies of the NT are the Codex Sinaiticus and Vaticanus, both about 350AD. Everything before this we have only in scraps and fragments. I am going off memory here, but I think there are something like 5500 handwriten NT manuscripts between here and Gutenburg’s Bible in about .. what 1460 or so?

    The earliest manuscripts do have variations in them, whether you get that information from an athiest, agnostic or Christian – that fact remains. Ehrman claims that there are more variations then there are words in the NT, but admits that most are just copiest or spelling errors. However there are systematic errors that change the theology of the NT significantly.

    You will get that information from any honest scholar, no matter their religious persuasion.

    Why do agnostics and athiests study the Bible intensely? Some have an axe to grind sure. I try to stay away from those characters. But I suspect most study the Bible because they are historians like any other, or they love to study classical literature like some classicists study Greek literature, mythology and plays. They are not trying to debunk anything, they just enjoy studying it from an academic standpoint.

    I enjoy Erham, Raymond Brown and a host of other scholars. Their research is eye-opening, even though they all have religious differneces. The religious persuasion of the authors are beside the point in their books – they are not trying to convert you to any doctrine, just take the information and do with it what you will. Those are the best kinds of books to read.

    You will learn nothing by reading hacks like Josh McDowell. McDowell is on a mission, and that is to convert as many people as he can to Christianity. I am not arguing against that, but that is not scholarship, that is evangelism. Again, he will be the first to tell you that. I have read two of his books, and I think his presentation is just blatently dishonest and deceitful. Do you really want to trust people who have such an overt agenda as he does?

  • 43. HeIsSailing  |  April 20, 2007 at 9:59 pm

    Karen sez:
    “When I was a freshman in college and first learning literary criticism, I began to have serious doubts about the bible and Christianity. Simultaneously, I was attending Calvary Chapel with a group of friends and undergoing something of a “radicalization” of my faith, which was becoming much more central to my life.”

    I never studied literature while in college, my critical thinking skills come from studying mathematics. I also attended Calvary Chapel for about 10 years. They have a way of intellecutalizing the Bible unlike any other church I ever attended – they did stress verse by verse Bible Study, and I was very drawn to that. But what they really specialized in was harmonization. Their interpretations were literal, and everything had to fit into that mold. So despite the intellectual veneer, we really never learned much new. We just learned lots of creative harmonization arguments and tons of apologetics.

    Karen continues:
    “It’s not that fundamentalists don’t think about the contradictions. In fact, they obsess over them, in the sense of interpreting them, and rationalizing them, and reconciling them, and re-interpreting them based on some new Christian book, or new preacher’s ideas, every few years. ”

    You got that right – truly obsessive over the contradictions. I really struggled over some of the tactics used to harmonize the contradictions, they were sometimes just twisting the text like a pretzel!! If I ever write a book, it would be how The Bible is continually reinterpreted with each new Scientific Discovery. Our old Calvary Chapel paster claimed that Genesis 1 forsaw every advance in science, whether we were talking particle physics or general relativity, he could twist those theories out of Genesis 1. The Bible must be continually be reinterpreted since we now know, for instance, that heaven is not above the vault of the sky, and Jesus ascension to heaven makes no physical sense in our modern world.
    I have neve seen a competent treatment of that subject in book form, and I think I would like to give it a go someday.

  • 44. brad  |  April 20, 2007 at 10:14 pm

    Ryan said: “Is this a secular or non secular source. If it is secular why would I want to read it.”

    Well doesn’t this officially end any debate? Seriously. Ryan, why are you here? To re-convert a bunch of ex-Christians? If you want to proselytize why don’t you join your missionary friends in a tropical locale or some continent where Jesus is either a new fad or the people a regularly taken advantage of by every white person they ever meet (ie. Africa).
    You obviously do not care about anything anybody is saying because you are not even willing to read scholarly work on the Bible (who, strangely enough, actually has access to these manuscripts). You quote Josh McDowell who has based his entire life’s work on heavily biased and outdated sources – and you yourself don’t quote where he gets any of his information.

  • 45. MTran  |  April 21, 2007 at 12:19 am

    In my experience as a follower of Christ I have never fallen down and worshiped the Bible and never will. I dont see where the author is coming from and doubt his admission of being a fundamental christian in the past.

    Understandably, those who are accused of bibliolatry do not feel that they are worshiping the Bible. Just as those accused of Mariolatry do not feel that they are worshipping Mary. Both groups understand their veneration of the Bible or Mary as being different from worship. But when viewed dispassionately, they give convincing evidence of being worship to anyone outside of those specific faiths.

    Accusations of bibliolatry and Mariolatry are key to many of the doctrinal disputes between Roman Catholic and many Protestant sects.

    Similarly, believers who are Unitarians, Jewish, or of any other faith, often look at Trinitarian beliefs as polytheism because any other religion exhibiting those characteristiscs would be deemed polytheism.

    Same thing with “idol” worship.Those people who use a physical object to focus their prayers upon do not view their faith to be one of worshiping idols, the image is only a tool of faith. But those outside of such a faith have a different understanding and consider this habit or style of prayer to be “worshipping” idols.

  • 46. ryan  |  April 21, 2007 at 11:31 am

    i assure you Brad I am not trying to change anyones mind. I gave the information about the bible to start my answer on the questin at hand. I believe in the Bible and what is written and I wanted to tell you people why based on what I have learned and I finally got to that after about the 4th post or so as you can see. anything between then and my last post are more or less side comments between me and a couple other people. I didnt come to start a debate I just wanted to answer the question the best I could and I felt that a little dating and historical background would help me get to my answer. I also listed Mcdowells book as a source and I felt that a detailed list of names was a little far but if you want that I am sure I can abblige. if I have upset anyone with my comments (Brad) i apologize because that wasn’t my intention.

  • 47. Karen  |  April 21, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    Ryan:
    my point still is that if I want a christian point of view on a subject i am not going to ask someone who isn’t a Christian.

    Ryan, do you demand objective information when it comes to other important things in your life: i.e., finances, career, politics, etc? If you’re the kind of person who relies on reason and logic in your daily decision-making – and it works well for you – why not extend that same paradigm to religion also?

    What you’re doing is compartmentalizing Christianity – much as I and many others here used to do – so as to wall it off from critical thinking. That’s undoubtedly what you’ve been taught to do, but if you think about it, that’s like saying, ‘I only want to hear stock market news from bullish investment advisors” or “I only want to hear about political issues from liberal pundits.”

    That kind of one-side-only information doesn’t result in good decision-making, just like only reading what evangelists and Bible apologists say about Christianity doesn’t result in good religious thinking. If your Christian beliefs are really accurate, don’t you think they will hold up to scrutiny – or are you afraid to scrutinize them too closely for fear they will fall apart?

    In terms of your comment about the “historical accuracy” of the bible, that’s just untrue. There’s very little – if any – archeological evidence that backs up the Old Testatment as historically accurate. In fact just this month there was a NY Times article printed (April 3) entitled, “Did the Red Sea Part? No Evidence, Archeologists Say”:

    On the eve of Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the story of Moses leading the Israelites through this wilderness out of slavery, Egypt’s chief archaeologist took a bus full of journalists into the North Sinai to showcase his agency’s latest discovery.

    It didn’t look like much — some ancient buried walls of a military fort and a few pieces of volcanic lava. The archaeologist, Dr. Zahi Hawass, often promotes mummies and tombs and pharaonic antiquities that command international attention and high ticket prices. But this bleak landscape, broken only by electric pylons, excited him because it provided physical evidence of stories told in hieroglyphics. It was proof of accounts from antiquity.

    That prompted a reporter to ask about the Exodus, and if the new evidence was linked in any way to the story of Passover. The archaeological discoveries roughly coincided with the timing of the Israelites’ biblical flight from Egypt and the 40 years of wandering the desert in search of the Promised Land.

    ”Really, it’s a myth,” Dr. Hawass said of the story of the Exodus, as he stood at the foot of a wall built during what is called the New Kingdom.

    Egypt is one of the world’s primary warehouses of ancient history. People here joke that wherever you stick a shovel in the ground you find antiquities. When workers built a sewage system in the downtown Cairo neighborhood of Dokki, they accidentally scattered shards of Roman pottery. In the middle-class neighborhood of Heliopolis, tombs have been discovered beneath homes.

    But Egypt is also a spiritual center, where for centuries men have searched for the meaning of life. Sometimes the two converge, and sometimes the archaeological record confirms the history of the faithful. Often it does not, however, as Dr. Hawass said with detached certainty.

    ”If they get upset, I don’t care,” Dr. Hawass said. ”This is my career as an archaeologist. I should tell them the truth. If the people are upset, that is not my problem.”

    The story of the Exodus is celebrated as the pivotal moment in the creation of the Jewish people. As the Bible tells it, Moses was born the son of a Jewish slave, who cast him into the Nile in a basket so the baby could escape being killed by the pharaoh. He was saved by the pharaoh’s daughter, raised in the royal court, discovered his Jewish roots and, with divine help, led the Jewish people to freedom. Moses is said to have ascended Mt. Sinai, where God appeared in a burning bush and Moses received the Ten Commandments.

    In Egypt today, visitors to Mount Sinai are sometimes shown a bush by tour guides and told it is the actual bush that burned before Moses.

    But archaeologists who have worked here have never turned up evidence to support the account in the Bible, and there is only one archaeological find that even suggests the Jews were ever in Egypt. Books have been written on the topic, but the discussion has, for the most part, remained low-key as the empirically minded have tried not to incite the spiritually minded.

    ”Sometimes as archaeologists we have to say that never happened because there is no historical evidence,” Dr. Hawass said, as he led the journalists across a rutted field of stiff and rocky sand.
    ….
    Recently, diggers found evidence of lava from a volcano in the Mediterranean Sea that erupted in 1500 B.C. and is believed to have killed 35,000 people and wiped out villages in Egypt, Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula, officials here said. The same diggers found evidence of a military fort with four rectangular towers, now considered the oldest fort on the Horus military road.

    But nothing was showing up that might help prove the Old Testament story of Moses and the Israelites fleeing Egypt, or wandering in the desert. Dr. Hawass said he was not surprised, given the lack of archaeological evidence to date.

  • 48. Karen  |  April 21, 2007 at 6:36 pm

    Heather:
    Have you ever heard of the book ‘God: A biography’ by Jack Miles? He analyzes the Bible as a literary text with God as the protagonist. It was fascinating, and I highly recommend it.

    No, I haven’t heard of it, but it sounds great. I’ll definitely put it on my reading list- thanks! :-)

  • 49. Karen  |  April 21, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    HeIsSailing:
    I also attended Calvary Chapel for about 10 years. They have a way of intellecutalizing the Bible unlike any other church I ever attended – they did stress verse by verse Bible Study, and I was very drawn to that. But what they really specialized in was harmonization. Their interpretations were literal, and everything had to fit into that mold. So despite the intellectual veneer, we really never learned much new. We just learned lots of creative harmonization arguments and tons of apologetics.

    Exactly. Lots and lots of busy work, but no real intellectual insights. In that sense, it was like running on a hamster wheel, with everything circular and no ‘outside thought’ or scholarship allowed. Indeed, biblical scholarship was totally ridiculed and denied – from the pulpit, of course.

    And of course most of the frenetic harmonization efforts were centered around End Times theology, so that threw an even wackier cast about the whole exercise.

    Were you at “Big Calvary” – i.e., Calvary Costa Mesa? Have you heard about Lonnie Frisbee?

    I really struggled over some of the tactics used to harmonize the contradictions, they were sometimes just twisting the text like a pretzel!! If I ever write a book, it would be how The Bible is continually reinterpreted with each new Scientific Discovery. Our old Calvary Chapel paster claimed that Genesis 1 forsaw every advance in science, whether we were talking particle physics or general relativity, he could twist those theories out of Genesis 1. The Bible must be continually be reinterpreted since we now know, for instance, that heaven is not above the vault of the sky, and Jesus ascension to heaven makes no physical sense in our modern world.
    I have neve seen a competent treatment of that subject in book form, and I think I would like to give it a go someday.

    That would be a terrific book, particularly the historical documentation of various discoveries and reinterpretations. I’d certainly read it!

  • 50. HeIsSailing  |  April 21, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    Karen asks:
    “Were you at “Big Calvary” – i.e., Calvary Costa Mesa? Have you heard about Lonnie Frisbee?”

    No, I never went to Costa Mesa. I attended Calvary Chapel in Albuquerque, New Mexico between about 1984 and 1993. Around 1990 or so it was billed as the fastest growing church in the United States – and I believe it. It just got too huge too fast, and I left for another Church.
    Yes, I remember Lonnie Frisbee, but I don’t think I ever met him. He was from the Jesus Hippie movement of the early 1970s when Chuck Smith was rounding up young hippie outcasts. Maybe he did come to town, I remember seeing Kathryn Kulhman several times when she came to town on a miracle crusade, and she always seemed to have a hippie entourage with her. That’s the crowd I was wrapped up in, but I was nowhere near California at the time. I met Chuck Smith … I think maybe 3 or 4 times. Is he still around? He has got to be in his 80s by now.

  • 51. Dan Barnett  |  April 21, 2007 at 11:11 pm

    Ok, I got to comment 26 and couldnt read anymore. First, on John 1. Jesus is the Word. It isn;t referring to the Bible. If your “logic” holds then I, as a Christian, should be worshipping lambs too. Since He is the Lamb of God. Nice job twisting words for yourself.
    Second, on McDowell, you all seem to think the majority of Christians who step back and examine their faith abandon it. This is totally false, and you are in the minority that has, as you say Christians do, twistd it to suppoet your side. Sorry for the spelling, by the way. You seem to bunch Josh in with your group, yet he didn’tleave his faith. He wasn’t a Christian until after he collected this evidence, He set out as one of you and found the truth.
    Third, you say the Bible contradicts itself all over. The things that God has done that seem to contradict his nature actually support it. He is a jealous god and with every right. He will stop at nothing to be glorified. So the deaths and all the other things, not to mention his chosen nation being handed to its enemies and his owndeath on the cross, were done for his perfect will. The gospeld don’tcontradict themselves. They are each written by different men to reach different cultures. One for the Jews, one for Rome, One for the Greeks, and one for the Gentiles. Each is a personal account told in the most effective way to reach that intended culture. You think Christians have glasses, but yours are your defiance of truth, and all you look for now is anything that looks wrong and you take it and say it in a way to fit. Hmm, sounds familiar.

  • 52. Dan Barnett  |  April 21, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    On a further note, you say Christians practice exckusivity. That’s because it is exclusive! The Bible teaches there is only one way. That doesn’t mean we choose who we want to see in heaven. It means there’s only one way to get there. I would recommend, along with “Case For Faith”(Stroebel), Desiring God by John Piper. That’s all I’ll write. May God show himself to you before it’s too late. And may you see him when he does.

  • 53. MTran  |  April 22, 2007 at 12:13 am

    He is a jealous god and with every right. He will stop at nothing to be glorified. So the deaths and all the other things, not to mention his chosen nation being handed to its enemies and his owndeath on the cross, were done for his perfect will.

    Wow, now I see! God is not simply a petty vindictive crybaby but a sociopathic, narcissistic, completely horrific beast as Dan Barnett has so clearly explained.

    Sorry, I will never accept moral instructions from beasts or from their supporters.

    Sheesh! I have true pity for any child who is abused by being subjected to the disgraceful beliefs of those like Dan Barnett.

    What is it about these hyper”religious” whack jobs that they completely ignore the messages of peace and brotherhood in their own New Testament?

    And how do they manage to steal all the media attention and political support from the many rational and benevolent believers?

  • 54. Heather  |  April 22, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Dan,

    **First, on John 1. Jesus is the Word. It isn;t referring to the Bible. If your “logic” holds then I, as a Christian, should be worshipping lambs too** Everyone here would agree that John 1 isn’t referring to the Bible. Or at least most. But take the Christians who say that Genesis 1-3 is literal truth, or that the Earth is only 6,000 years old. Those are the Christians that come across as worshiping the Bible. These are the same people who are horrified if you question one word in the Bible, because it’s ‘The Word of God.’

    **Second, on McDowell, you all seem to think the majority of Christians who step back and examine their faith abandon it.** The reaction to McDowell is a reaction to fundamentalists. I know many Christians who do not hold the Bible as inerrent, yet are very firm in their faith. Based on what I’ve read by him, and what others have said, his books are written for those who already believe.

    ** He is a jealous god and with every right. He will stop at nothing to be glorified** Apply that description to a human, and the person comes across as narcisstic.

    **May God show himself to you before it’s too late. ** And can you understand that this attitude is exactly why most do reject Christianity? Because that’s saying accept God to avoid hell, and then it’s all about avoiding punishment.

    In those two paragraphs alone, look at how you’ve described God: Jealous, His glory above all else, and punishing those who don’t accept Him. How is that supposed to appeal to most people?

  • 55. Dan Barnett  |  April 22, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Mtran, your attacks don’t merit a response.

    Heather, an honest and learned Christian does not know the age of the earth. Many try to go through geneology and find the 6ooo years. In all honesty, it could be millions of years old.

    I agree that McDowell’s books are geared toward believers. They are a tool to understand and uphold our faith.

    To apply my statements to a human would indeed label them as you’ve said. However, God is not human. God was before all, and holds all in his hands. I understand the view of who would want to follow this creep(I’m paraphrasing of course). But if you really take an honest look at his own nature and character, he is well within who he is to do what he does. 2Peter says he desires none to persish. But in Ephesians we see that he has a perfect will to be done. In this will he has made decisions to do things against his immediate desire(i.e. Israel’s constant defeat((when they turn from him)), Jesus’ crucifixion, present day persecution, etc.). It is all one big “story” in a sense. But in the end it should turn us back to him.
    Appealing? Sure, a lot of times Christianity seems quite the opposite. Why would anyone join a group where molestations seem to be normal(false)? Why would anyone follow a being who allows them to experience suffering? I’m sure there are even more questions as well. Jesus made it clear that the Christian life would not be all fun and games. “Asthe world hated me, so it wil hate you.” Paul talks about a Christian training like an athlete who buffits his body and makes it his slave. Unfortunately most evangelism is geared to make it look like an easy ticket through life. And to avoid punishment, uh yeah partly. Most people come to Christ for that reason. They realize they can do nothing to save themselves, and therefore trust in him to be their savior. This should lead to the right reasons for following him as their lord. This is not to avoid suffering or punishment. It is a response to what he has called us to do, and an act of worship for who he is and what he has done. So to answer your ending question, it doesn’t appeal to most people by our nature. We are naturally selfish and prideful. Naturally, I don’t want to submit to any authority, let alone one who I’ve never visibly seen. Really take time to study who God is and his Character and where he has the right and authority to do what he does, and it will be clearer. “Desiring God” really helps with this. You cam read it and accept it or reject it, but it’s a tool that’s out there.

  • 56. Heather  |  April 22, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Dan,

    **However, God is not human. God was before all, and holds all in his hands. I understand the view of who would want to follow this creep(I’m paraphrasing of course). But if you really take an honest look at his own nature and character, he is well within who he is to do what he does. ** If God is not human, and thus that far above us, it would be near impossible to look at His character. My sense of justice and morality tell me that it is wrong to make people eternally suffer, and if God finds both moral and just, then I have no grounds on which to understand Him.

    ** So to answer your ending question, it doesn’t appeal to most people by our nature.** That doesn’t answer my question at all, given my question’s context. Again, how is a jealous, narcisstic deity who punishes those who don’t believe in Him supposed to appeal to anyone? That comes too close to an abusive relationship (especially if you’re going to say most come to God to avoid punishment), and of course it doesn’t appeal to anyone’s nature. It has nothing to do with selfishness and pride. I wouldn’t follow a human who displayed those characteristics.

  • 57. Karen  |  April 22, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    Yes, I remember Lonnie Frisbee, but I don’t think I ever met him. He was from the Jesus Hippie movement of the early 1970s when Chuck Smith was rounding up young hippie outcasts. Maybe he did come to town, I remember seeing Kathryn Kulhman several times when she came to town on a miracle crusade, and she always seemed to have a hippie entourage with her. That’s the crowd I was wrapped up in, but I was nowhere near California at the time.

    Just a couple weeks ago there was a documentary on TV about Kathryn Kuhlman, it was really fascinating. My aunt used to listen to her radio broadcasts, and I’ve seen the Angelus Temple but I’ve never been inside.

    Check out the documentary on Lonnie that I linked to, above. He was at Calvary Costa Mesa just before my time there – mid-70s to mid-80s. Turns out that despite all the “miracles” he performed, and his devoutness, he was a deeply closeted gay man and died of AIDS. He was instrumental in birthing both the Calvary Chapel and Vineyard movements, but in the official histories of those churches/denominations, his name has been totally erased. At his funeral at the Crystal Cathedral, Chuck Smith got up and disrespected him, saying how he’d wasted his potential for god because of disobedience.

    I went to see the documentary a few years ago at a Newport Beach film festival, and pretty much the whole audience were current or former hard-core Calvary attendees. By the end of the production, there was hardly a dry eye in the house. It was kind of amazing.

    I met Chuck Smith … I think maybe 3 or 4 times. Is he still around? He has got to be in his 80s by now.

    He is and last I heard (six months ago) he was still preaching and refusing to step down as head pastor, despite some feelings that it was long past time (this is what I got from a friend who still attends there). He was so totally certain that he and his congregation would be raptured 15 or 20 years ago, he may be hanging on, stubbornly refusing to believe he was wrong about the End Times occurring during his tenure in the pulpit.

    His son, Chuck Jr., was being groomed to take over Big Calvary but he got involved in the postmodern movement many years ago and took his church (south Orange County Calvary) into some areas that Chuck Sr. firmly believes are apostasy. They finally took the church away from Chuck Jr., who has long struggled with serious depression. So, I guess there’s no “logical” successor to Chuck Sr.

  • 58. Dan Barnett  |  April 24, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Heather,
    First, topic between us of God being moral and just:
    God can be jealous and selfish, wanting all for himself. He created us all for one reason: for us to glorify him. Not only did he hand Israel’s enemies over to them through war to display his glory, he also planned his own son’s death as a payment for our sins. Only God can display jealousy(when we worship something other than him), selfishness(desiring us all to be his), and unconditional love at the same time and not contradict himself in doing so.
    How is he supposed to appeal to us with these characteristics?
    Well when we look at killing etc. we say it is unfair. What is unfair is that God extends his grace to us at all. When we realize that apart from him our eternity will be in Hell, we know we need him. This brings the response of ‘accepting Jesus as our savior’. We are destined for hell without him, which is eternal seperation from him.(we can argue all day whether it is a physical place or not. I believe it is, but the point is that we are seperated as we have been since Adam and Eve’s sin.). Throughout history he has been bringing us back to him, and when we begin that relationship with Christ that seperation has been bridged by his death and resurrection. Our eternity will be spent united with him as he intended from day one. That is what is appealing. When we have responded in this way, we realize how great he is and what he has done for us. Now we respond with serving him however he asks.
    I hope this clarifies what I said. Let me know

  • 59. Clark Bunch  |  June 14, 2008 at 9:45 pm

    I too left fundamentalism a few years back, but not over their view of the Bible. I came from the school of thought that prior to A.D. 1611, there had apparently been no Bible, you know those types? Anyway, at the end of the post you suggest a couple of sites to check up on. You’re suggested that one cannot actually read the Bible and find out what it means, we have to be told by the website you reference. You also suggest reading the skeptic’s annotated Bible. Come on. It’s obvious what’s going to happen at those sites. You don’t really expect some devoted Biblical believer to check those out do you? Only someone looking to discredit the Bible already would go there to look for evidence.

    Yes, the Bible claiming its own legitimacy is circular reasoning. What about all of the historical, archaeological and textual analysis evidence that supports the Bible? If you only point out problems that appear with accepting the validity of Scripture, but ignore all other forms of supporting its claim, then you’re only looking at half the picture. Assuming the Bible does have its flaws (and I’m not saying it does, but let’s assume your claims are correct), then by what other means can one hope to find the truth about God? For better or worse, when God revealed himself, he gave us a book.

  • 60. Patricia  |  August 24, 2009 at 11:55 am

    The Bible is a GUIDE, not a God. God will do nothing which contradicts its righteous principles. But is ALL the Bible literally applicable to the Christian? What about those Scriptures which teach animal worship, or wiping out the inhabitants of Canaan in Joshua’s day? Or, if a woman’s husband dies, she must marry his brother? We must rightly divide the Word of God. That pile of paper bound in leather isn’t My Savior. Jesus is.

  • 61. Joshua  |  August 24, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    The Bible is a GUIDE, not a God.

    Good so far…

    God will do nothing which contradicts its righteous principles.

    Hmmmm. But, what if God didn’t have anything to do with the Bible? Maybe He wrote the Vedas?

    ~

    Screeeeeeech! Blam blam blam! Vrooooooooom!

  • 62. LeoPardus  |  August 24, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    That pile of paper bound in leather isn’t My Savior. Jesus is.

    And you find out about your Jesus from…???? That pile of paper.

    God will do nothing which contradicts its righteous principles.

    You mean principles like killing people for small lies? or killing a baby for his parents’ naughtiness? or having women, children, and babies, and animals wiped out by his chosen screw ups? ….. very righteous. Ya know, other deities did the same sorts of things in other holy books and Christians like to point at them and say, “How evil”.

    Oh well, you’re probably miles away by now.

  • 63. Joshua  |  August 24, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    *in the distance*

    blam. blam. blam. vroooooooom…

    “Hey, what the heck?! Not my blog too!”

    ~

    It’s always amusing that Christian’s have to act like defense lawyers when their God is on the bench.

  • 64. randal  |  August 24, 2009 at 6:07 pm

    it’s also amusing to see how offended they get when it’s announced that their god is to approach the bench.

  • 65. Jimmy West  |  November 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    The Christian Religion is a religion based for the most part on the assumptions of man. The Bible is full of romours, legends, assumptions opinions and conclusions. The Bible has caused more problems than it has solved.

    God only wants three things from every one of us. 1. Trust God completely. 2. Love each other. 3. Accept his son Jesus.
    That is all, PERIOD! I don’t need the Bible. I have the answer. I figured it out. The Bible would only get in the way if me carring out those three wills of God.

  • 66. The de-Convert  |  November 8, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    JW,

    Been there on my journey… then I asked myself, “How do I know this is what God wants of me?” The answer is simple, I read it in a book that’s full of “rumours, legends, assumptions, opinions and conclusions.”

    So my next step was to try and figure out what God wanted to do based on what I felt in my heart.

    Of course, now I’ve moved on further…

    Paul

  • 67. Jimmy West  |  November 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I neglected to say that there are good things in the bible and it is a valuable historical reference. But it is a mixture of fact and fiction. The problem is separating the fact from the fiction. So what I did, is I did some time travel. I want back to the days of Adam and Eve, and asked the question: “Based on our purpose, what did God want from man? What did he expect from us back then. The answer was startling due to it’s simplicity. He only wanted two things. Trust him completely. And love each other, he wanted us to trust him and get along. 4400 years later he added a third will – Accept Jesus. Since our purpose hasn’t changed, neither has his will.

    The Bible is mans invention. Parts of it are inspired by God and parts of it were changed by the Roman Church. Other early writings and books were rejected by the Roman Church simply because they didn’t suit the needs of the church. This was clearly pick and choose what to include and change what they didn’t like. Their agenda was strictly greed. They were more powerful and wealthy than any monarchy on the planet. And thus were filled with corruption.

    I stick with the three basics and use the Bible only for reference.

  • 68. Quester  |  November 8, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    Well, it’s a good start, Jimmy, but without a good idea of what 1 or 3 means (for which I only have “rumours, legends, assumptions opinions and conclusions”), I’ll just have to stick with 2.

  • 69. Roy  |  November 8, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Jimmy, what does “Accept Jesus” mean to you?

  • 70. Jimmy West  |  November 8, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Roy, I don’t know what your beliefs are. There are truths and mis-truths concerning Jesus. I know the truth. I won’t go into that here, but I will tell you what accepting Jesus means to me.

    I accept him as the true son of God. I accept that he died and rose from the dead. I accept him as my King, my friend, my brother and as the savior of the human race. I accept that he was human, but filled with the spirit of God. I accept that he is in Heaven with a new eternal physical body. I accept that his father has given him all authority and dominion over the Earth and all on it. But, He is not God.

  • 71. Jimmy West  |  November 8, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Quester – you chose No. 2, which is actually the most important to God.

  • 72. Quester  |  November 8, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    *grin* Thanks, Jimmy. It’s always nice to be affirmed by someone who can authoratatively speak God’s word and will. Seeing that God speaks so clearly with you, next time you talk with God, could you ask God to cure all disease and keep it from ever coming back? It’s a small thing for an all-powerful being, but I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

  • 73. Jimmy West  |  November 8, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I already have. that is coming soon:

    http://www.cog-int.org/NWC.htm

  • 74. Quester  |  November 9, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Jimmy,

    I am impressed. That’s the best response I have gotten to that challenge, ever. I have spent the last twenty minutes reading your website, and I am prepared to join in your prayer of self giving, your prayer of salvation, and adopt your creed as my own.

    I won’t wait until money is poured into the financial system and funnelled to those who need it.

    I won’t wait until all natural disasters are ended and the environment healed.

    I won’t even wait until the three months of healing have taken place.

    I’m just waiting for the one night in which all children will be healed, all believers who have prayed for healing will be healed, and food will be strategically placed over all the earth by angels, with firm commands that it is for the children. Once that night has passed, I will remember your words here, visit your site again, and join you.

    Until then, atheism still seems like the only reasonable stance (with certain allowances for various forms of deism and pantheism), but loving each other is also worth doing, in the meantime.

    Thanks for dropping by. I hope the day he is going to bless you comes soon.

  • 75. Jimmy West  |  November 9, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Quester, Thank you for your honesty. I really apprciate it. What I say about the church and the Bible is true. Christianity is based on false beliefs thatare based on assumptions. Here is a new page that I just finished last week. It is about the Love Revolution.

    http://www.cog-int.org/LoveRevol.htm

    I don’t preach bible. I preach God! And there is a huge difference,

  • 76. Quester  |  November 9, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Well, best wishes, Jimmy. You’ve done very well with your website and your preaching, as far as I can tell. Now we just have to wait for God to do His bit. Has He hinted at when this might happen?

  • 77. Jimmy West  |  November 9, 2009 at 2:43 am

    I tell you, Iwish he would, but no. He is keeping that to himself. I believe it will happen before the end of the year. But I have been wrong before.

  • 78. LeoPardus  |  November 9, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    JW: The 60’s weren’t good to you were they?

  • 79. Joe  |  November 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    Religion is inherently bad for society, Just look at the Virginia Tech massacre. No one but a believer could actually go out kill 30+ people and blame everyone else for it. (#2)

    That statement is really untrue. There have been many people who go on shooting rampages, or are the authors of genocide (Stalin and Pol Pot as examples) who are not believers. So saying “no one but a believer…” is a pretty questionable statement to make I would say.

  • 80. Joe  |  November 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    I should say “not necessarily believers” (the defintion of a “believer” can be stretched to include basically anyone who says they “believe” in God I guess)

  • 81. Joe  |  November 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Oops—I didn’t realize post #2 was from 2007. :)

  • 82. Jimmy West  |  November 9, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    People, the Christian religion is not “THE” religion. It is just another religion. It is based on many assumptions and less fact. There is no religion on the planet today that could be called a true religion of the true God. Consider when God created Adam and Eve, there was no religion. Just God’s desire that they trust him and get along. All religions are mans invention. God’s will hasn’t changed though. He just wants us to trust him and love each other. He would like all to acceot his son jesus, but as Oprah correctly stated, “Jesus is not the only way to get into Heaven.” The very cornerstone of Christianity the story of the purpose of Jesus is false. Jesus is the true son of God, but his purpose was not to die. His purpose was to become King over his people and lead them back to his father and then drive out the Romans.

  • 83. Ubi Dubium  |  November 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

    His purpose was to become King over his people and lead them back to his father and then drive out the Romans.

    None of which actually happened. Go figure.

  • 84. HeIsSailing  |  November 10, 2009 at 1:27 am

    His purpose was to become King over his people and lead them back to his father and then drive out the Romans.

    Dang – he blew it bigtime then. No wonder God left it to man to invent religion – Jesus is apparantly an under-achiever.

  • 85. Patricia  |  November 10, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    True Christians don’t worship a Book, anymore than they’ll worship the road map that gets them to Amarillo. But if they reject the map they just might end up in Kalamazoo instead!

  • 86. Quester  |  November 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Golly, another True Christian! I feel so blessed.

  • 87. LeoPardus  |  November 10, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    I lived in Kalamazoo for while. No one ever asked me for directions to Amarillo.

  • 88. Joe  |  November 10, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I once gave directions to an armadillo on his way to Kalamazoo.

  • 89. Roy  |  November 10, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Patricia, I would suggest that anybody who wants to live like “God” wants them to live, should not worship *anything*. That is what the commandment against idolatry means if taken to its logical conclusion.

    That includes Jesus and God. *Gasp*. Whatever concept you have of God in your mind, it is wrong. Worshipping that *wrong* concept is wrong. Jesus never asked anybody to worship him.

  • 90. Roy  |  November 10, 2009 at 7:32 pm

    Jimmy,

    While I agree in general with your philosophy (i.e. loving one another), I have several problems with some of your beliefs about how that will come about.

    For example, you said on your site:

    The financial condition that we are currently in will be reversed as money will be poured into the system and funneled to those who truly need it.

    As anybody who knows anything about economics knows, money is not wealth. The Federal Reserve has been pumping money into the system with wreckless abandon of late. All this will lead to is inflation, and if they aren’t careful, hyperinflation. That would not be good.

    I also have a problem with people who go around making predictions about time frames. The world will be saved when we least expect it. And yes I do believe it will be saved, in a manner of speaking. I believe large scale war will end, hunger will be minimized, and most diseases will be cured, but none of it will happen supernaturally.

  • 91. Patricia  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Roy, Hebrews 1:6 says God’s angels should worship His Son. And I hope that after 30-odd years Tony Christie has found his way to Amarillo. That darn songs stays stuck in my head!

  • 92. Patricia  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:52 am

    The very idea of worshipping the ink and paper that make up a copy of the Bible is downright silly. We are to pay heed to the message of the Spirit conveyed by God’s recorded words. Whoever turns away his ear from hearing God’s word, won’t have his prayers heard by God (Prov.28:9).

  • 93. LeoPardus  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:14 am

    The very idea of worshipping the ink and paper that make up a copy of the Bible is downright silly.

    If you hold it up as an infallible guide for life, for what your deity is like and what he wants, for morals, and so on, it’s your god. Especially since you don’t have an actual deity.

    Whoever turns away his ear from hearing God’s word, won’t have his prayers heard by God (Prov.28:9).

    First off, your prayers aren’t answered. You’re just talking to the air. That’s why the effect of prayer is exactly the same as random chance.
    Secondly, you really should not just change words in your holy book if you think it’s really from a deity who is paying attention.

  • 94. peridot  |  November 11, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    I can definitely say that at most fundamentalist point I had a respect and awe for the Bible that bordered on worship. At the time, I never would have said that I worshipped the Bible, because as Patricia says, that seems downright silly. However, in practice and emotions, it was a form of worship.

    I was especially in awe of verses like John 1:1-3 and other verses that referred to Jesus as the Word.

  • 95. Roy  |  November 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Roy, Hebrews 1:6 says God’s angels should worship His Son.

    Patricia,

    So the book you worship, whether you know it or admit it, tells you that some being called an angel should worship the son. What does that have to do with you or me?

    Let me make it clear: I do consider us spiritual beings. So was Jesus, but I don’t recall him being quoted as saying to worship him. He did say to follow him (i.e. live as he lived by loving unconditionally).

  • 96. Joe  |  November 11, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Referring to the title of the thread I will just share a personal aside. I have a “sacred heart of Jesus” painting that I have had for many, many years. Many times I have “talked” to that picture–to the Jesus in the painting. BUT—I have to point out—there is no way I am talking to the literal painting itself—or think there is power in that painting to heal, etc.

    I am talking to the “representation” there–not to the painting itself. I don’t often do this—-but have from time to time. I have been filled with grief and gone to the picture and said “Oh, why Lord?” and let the tears flow.

    I point this out because I believe many Christians “worship” the Bible in kind of the same way. They don’t believe the copy of the Bible they have has any power in it, or that their own Bible should be venerated and sprinkled with holy water before it is read–it is what it “represents” to them. They openj the book in reverence because it “represents” the voice of a Holy God.

    So, I think there is a “form” of worship that Christians have towards the Bible—but it is not direct worship.

    I hope I explained that somewhat clearly.

  • 97. Roy  |  November 11, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    If I point out the moon, don’t look at my finger. Look at the moon.

    God is within you. Look inward.

  • 98. Joe  |  November 11, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    If I point out the moon, don’t look at my finger. Look at the moon.
    (#97)

    Roy—

    You just reminded me of a scene from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”. A King comes into his sons room and points towards the window. With a sweep of his hand he says “Son, one day all of this will be yours!” The son replies “The curtains???!!??”

    It is a pretty hilarious scene.

  • 99. Roy  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    LOL, Joe.

    You ever watch “The Life of Brian”?

  • 100. Joe  |  November 12, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Roy—

    Yes– “Life of Brian” has some hilarious stuff in it.

    “Blessed are the cheesemakers??!!?? Why should they be blessed!!??”

  • 101. Fundamentalist  |  May 7, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    If you only believe in God because you think the Bible is inerrant, then I question if you really believe in God at all.

  • 102. Patricia  |  May 8, 2010 at 10:07 am

    We worship a Living God, not a stack of paper bound in leather! The Bible itself can be twisted to teach doctrines of demons whit it’s taken out of context or verses are badly combined to prove a case. Example: Matt.27:5 where Judas went and hanged himself. and Luke 10:37. Jesus says: Go and do thou likewise. It’s the Holy Spirit Who breathes life into the printed Word. Many say if the Bible doesn’t mention it, it’s sinful. What about computers, telephones, CD’s, etc.? The important thing is never to violate the teachings of Christ and the apostles in how we deal with our neighbors and relate to God.

  • 103. Jimmy West  |  October 8, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    This is so right on! The Bible is a mixture of fact and fiction. It is full of rumors, legends, assumptions and opinions. The Christian Religion is primarily based on many assumptions as most religions are. I had a big problem with this, so asked God what his will for every individual is. His answer was only 3 things: 1. Trust God completely. 2. Love each other, walk in kindness. 3. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. THATS IT! That is all he wants from us and if we can LIVE those 3 basic wills, we will walk in the favor and blessings of God. All that other crap that the church can not agree on is just that – crap. I can prove that strict belief in the Bible actually keeps people distant from God. I can prove that the Bible is responsible for all the division and separation in the church. People who walk in spirit of love always in a constant spiritual relationship, truly know God. People who base their relationship on scriptural knowledge DO NOT know God at all. They are theologically fat and spiritually dead.

  • 104. Ubi Dubium  |  October 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

    The Bible is a mixture of fact and fiction. It is full of rumors, legends, assumptions and opinions. The Christian Religion is primarily based on many assumptions as most religions are.

    Yes, this is correct. So how do you know you are correct in your three basic things you believe? Those could also be just as much crap. (At least 1 and 3 could be crap, #2 is basic to human co-existence, and does not come from religion.) Ah, yes, the old “god told me” and “I feel it in my heart” angle. Lots of people think “god told them” things, and none of those people agree with each other on what god says. And I used to feel in my heart that Santa Claus was real, but that turned out not to be correct.

    Jimmy West, I don’t think you have any real evidence that a god exists, and until you get past that, you can’t convince us that it’s possible to “know god”.

  • 105. Jon Bauman  |  October 17, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Thank God I’m not the only one who feels this way. Just like so many others who have already commented, churches who believe that reading the Bible is the ONLY way to know God are depraved. How do we think the Bible was inspired? Those who wrote it had direct relationship with God. The church I go to right now says to: “look to the Bible first before looking to God.” It’s so limited. I don’t hold is against them because they mean in whole-heartedly, but at the same time, they expect the same out of me. And if I were to contradict them in anyway, they would probably want to pray for me that “my eyes be opened” to the truth, that the Bible is the only way to know God.

  • 106. prairienymph  |  October 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Great! That means that they must be all for slavery. As long as they don’t beat their slaves so badly they can’t get up and serve them. And they must abhor mixed blend clothing and only have monocrops leading to soil degredation. Aren’t you glad that such people are praying for you?

    I’m not so sure the bible was ‘inspired’ by anything other than mixed intentions.

  • 107. http://banpreachergreed.tripod.com  |  October 27, 2011 at 11:35 am

    I’ve got no problem with the loving God who takes wonderful care of me and made it possible for me to go to heaven through Christ. My quarrel is with hypocrites who go to church Sundays, have morning “devotions” and live like satan the rest of the time. Most of the kids that bullied me in school were churchgoers. I’ve seen so much meanness and hypocrisy among bible spouters it makes me sick. I’m an out of church Christian who got tired of the white elephant system on my back, the pressure for money, the pressure to conform to a self-righteous stereotype which has nothing to do with loving God and your neighbor. In the Old Testament (and the New) people were taught to love thy neighbor as thyself. How in hell can you call slavery and beatings loving your neighbor as yourself?

  • 108. Joseph Gurba  |  December 31, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    Concerning, ‘taking the bible literally’, it was never meant to be taken as all completely literal. To do this would be to forget that there are different genres of writing within the bible and would be the cause of much blunder when interpreting what is being said. These genres can change, even within each book and chapter, making understanding a passage very difficult unless you can decipher what genre of writing it is. For instance, you would not read an advertisement in the New York Times the same way you would read a column about the NASA rovers trip to Mars.

    Another example: The phrase, ‘I would give a million dollars’ could mean many different things depending on what genre it comes from. It could be the words of a man fantasizing about going to see his favorite sports team live or it could be the words of a serious offer from the parents of an abducted child desiring to see their child again. The first scenario should not be translated literally, but would serve to tell the reader that the man who said the words really liked the object of the thing received for the payment, namely the live game, whereas the latter scenario could be taken more literally. You see, genre really plays a very key role in interpreting scripture and this is where many miss the mark in biblical understanding.

  • 109. Joseph Gurba  |  December 31, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    The idea that the teacher whispering into the ear of one student and by the time it gets around to the rest of the class could in any way be compared to the way scribes and scholars have translated or copied the bible is absurd. The book of Isaiah, for instance, has been saying the exact same thing since at least around 300bc, making it nearly 2300 years old, without any variations(with the exception of minor spelling/grammar errors). Scribes/scholars, prior to the gutenberg press, have always hand-copied texts from a collection of older copies. It isn’t like the man who would be doing the next copy just goes off of the very last one written. He would use the oldest, most reliable copies available to him. They would be copying from the same scroll for many generations of people before it would become unusable, and then they would just use the next in line, which would have to be very accurate due to all of the other copies lying around from the many generations before. The things that some people will do to comfort themselves in unbelief is unrealistic.

  • 110. Ubi Dubium  |  January 1, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Joseph, before you just brush off the problems with textual copying, please learn a little more about it. I recommend the works of Bart Ehrman, who is a professor in this field. He was biblical literalist when he started his studies, but found so many problems in the text that he was unable to maintain belief in the book. He’s written some very interesting and readable books about New Testament scholarship.

    A scribe would use the oldest most reliable text if he knew which one that was. That’s not always easy to tell. And we have instances of scribes thinking they are seeing a mistake in a text, and “correcting” it in their own version. And how could they tell which one was “reliable” without an original to check it against? What if a scribe had two different versions of a text to copy from, one of which matched the scribe’s theology and one of which he found difficult and problematic? He’d be more likely to copy and propagate the text that he agreed with, even if the more difficult text later turned out to be more correct. And by that point, there’s lots of copies of the other one around, so people think it’s right.

    Considering all our manuscript sources for the NT: there are more differences among these manuscripts than there are words in the NT. Many of these differences are minor spelling and grammar errors, but not all of them. Some of them are omissions or additionas of chunks of text or changes in important words. Not only do we not have ANY original manuscripts of the NT, scholars are not even able to piece together the texts as they stood at the time of the Council of Nicea.

    I do agree with you that the bible is a collection of works of different genres. Collections of ancient legends, old songs or sayings, folk wisdom, and for some reason a long section on tent patterns and interior decorating of temples. Job only makes sense as the script for a morality play. Much of it has been cobbled together from earlier sources, which scholars can tell by the stylistic shifts of writing within books. Go take a look at the Wikipedia article on the Book of Isaiah. It was written by at least three different authors, at different times.

    The things that some people will do to comfort themselves in unbelief is unrealistic.

    I don’t require anything to “comfort myself in unbelief”. Do you need to “comfort yourself” in your non-belief in Islam, or Hinduism? Or do you just not believe them?

  • 111. Anonymous  |  September 29, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Just let people believe what they want! If they aren’t using it as a tool to excuse murder, why should you even care. Just proves that your making your disagreement with religion into a religion itself.

  • 112. cag  |  September 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Anonymous #111, have you ever heard of Dr. Slepian, or the World Trade Centre? Does your religion shield you from such obvious truths? Religions want to control not only my actions but also my thoughts. Religion wants me to believe lies. Religion wants to replace science with ignorance. Religion wants my money, and due to tax exemptions, they are getting my money.

    There was a time when religion was able to threaten non-believers with death. Thousands were killed to ensure that the message “believe or die” was spread far and wide. Not the most honest way of proving that your message is true. There are people today who wish to bring us back to those times. Our message will not be silenced until the threat of religion to the advancement of humanity is nullified. Your message of “shut up” puts you in the category of a willing accomplice to the crimes against humanity perpetuated by religion.

    Your uncritical acceptance of the word of faux authority makes you part of the problem. Religious leaders are not authorities, they are con men lying to you about imaginary beings. It is very convenient for these con men that god does a great imitation of something that doesn’t exist – no show, no response to pleas, no effect on anything. For once in your life think outside the religious box that your parents built for you.

  • 113. ubi dubium  |  September 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Just let people believe what they want!

    Further to Cag’s comment, how is this website preventing anyone from believing what they want? Does the fact that AA exists prevent anyone outside AA from drinking what they want? This website is for support for the deconverting. If that’s not you, then why bother coming here at all?

  • 114. John  |  December 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I’m impressed at how you have a great unnsteradding of the matter. Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage? My Facebook blog site is in the very same niche as yours and my readers would definitely benefit from some of the information you present on your site. Please let me know if this is a problem with you. Regards!

  • 115. OK  |  February 4, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Can I love and follow Yeshua without being a Vulgate worshipping Nicean???

  • 116. TJ  |  March 9, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Dear friend, i did “take a step back”, and for over fifteen years. i cannot ever fully explain how utterly ashamed i am to think how much i must have terribly grieved the heart of God Who loves me infinitely more than i ever deserve. Going solely by what you said above, either you never knew God, or you now wish you didn’t. Psalm 139 says i cannot go anywhere that God is not, and now i’m glad.i don’t worship God’s word, i worship God Who will “never leave or forsake” me. Don’t turn your back on perfect love any longer.

  • 117. Patricia Backora  |  March 9, 2013 at 11:13 am

    It’s taken me years to understand that while all the Bible is inspired, only parts of it are literally applicable to New Testament Christians. It’s always wrong to murder or commit adultery. But God no longer commands adulteresses to be stoned (consider Jesus’ example of forgiving the woman taken in adultery). We don’t offer up animals or keep the Kosher food laws. The Scriptures only come alive as God breathes life into them and makes it a word to YOU.

  • 118. ubi dubium  |  March 9, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    TJ and Patreicia

    Please take your preaching elsewhere, we’ve all heard far too much of it already. If preaching were convincing, we never would have left religion.

    And cut it out with the “you never knew god” stuff. Consider that all the people in the world who claim to “know god” all come up with different things that god is telling them. So either this almighty all-powerful being can’t communicate accurately with humans, or most of these people don’t actually “know god” at all. Or none of them do. I think that most probably there isn’t a god at all, in which case you don’t “know god” either. You’ve created an image in our head of a god, like yourself only bigger. That’s what you’re bowing down to. So it’s easy to feel like you have a “close personal relationship” with something that’s all in your head.

    And “perfect love” is a scam. There’s only us humans on this planet, doing the best that we can. It’s better to show real day-to-day love to them, instead of going on about some “perfect love” pie-in-the-sky fantasy.

  • 119. cag  |  March 9, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Deluded christians:

    Genesis 17:19
    And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him.
    Exodus 12:14, 17, 24
    And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever. … And ye shall observe the feast of unleavened bread; for in this selfsame day have I brought your armies out of the land of Egypt: therefore shall ye observe this day in your generations by an ordinance for ever. … And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee and to thy sons for ever.
    Leviticus 23:14,21,31
    It shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations.
    Deuteronomy 4:8-9
    What nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? … teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.
    Deuteronomy 7:9
    Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.
    Deuteronomy 11:1, 26-28
    Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway. (v.1)
    Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God. (vv.26-28)
    1 Chronicles 16:15
    Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations … an everlasting covenant.
    Psalm 119:151-2, 160
    Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth. Concerning thy testimonies, I have known of old that thou hast founded them for ever. (vv.151-2)
    Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (v.160)
    Ecclesiastes 12:13
    Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
    Malachi 4:4
    Remember ye the law of Moses.
    Matthew 5:18-19
    Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or tittle shall nowise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.
    Luke 16:17
    It is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.

    It appears that your jesus in forgiving the adulterous woman, broke the law. I am aware that the bible contains passages that can be interpreted as abrogating the law, but all that proves is that the bible is a mishmash of contradictory claims that can best be described as “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. The bible is a ridiculous book to base ones life on. God is a ridiculous concept to base ones life on. Of the thousands of gods that have been fervently believed in, your god is just another waiting to be rejected.

  • 120. TJ  |  March 9, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Hello Ubi.
    If i managed to create an idea of God simply from what was inside my head, then i’d still be a smoking, drinking drug addict, or possibly dead. If there is no God, as you say you most probably think, then maybe i’ve wasted a lot of time and perhaps made myself look foolish. If you are wrong my friend, what have you lost?

  • 121. cag  |  March 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    TJ, others created the image of god in your head. You are responsible for your actions, nobody else. Have you ever thought about how fervently people 2000 years ago clung to their gods? Roman gods, Greek gods, Norse gods, Aztec gods, Egyptian gods, gods ad nauseam. Gods that people were killed for not believing. All these gods are now on the scrap heap of human creations. Your god is there too, you just don’t know it yet.

    How many times do we have to be subjected to Pascal’s Wager? As rational, thinking humans, those who reject all superstitious nonsense, gods have no punitive force to compel us. Threats of hell, as implied by you may work on weak or lazy minds but they do not work on people who demand evidence instead of platitudes.

    Your bible is not proof, it is the claim. Modern science has shown that the claim is baseless. The earth is not the centre of the universe – how could an all-knowing god write or inspire such an obvious error.

    When Ubi says that there probably is no god, it is the same as saying there probably is no Santa Claus. It is just the rigor of her rationality that allows for an infinitely small, like a grain of sand compared to all of the universe, chance of a god. All that she is saying is that it is impossible to gather the evidence that Russell’s Teapot does not exist.

    You have wasted a lot of time, and you, like a few billion others, look foolish talking to yourself.

  • 122. ubi dubium  |  March 9, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Thank you Cag. Yes, I say “probably no god” because there is a tiny but non-zero probability that there could be something in the universe that might qualify as a god. But biblegod? Zero chance of that, because the whole idea is contradictory with reality. A god that’s omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, and yet was behind all the horrible injustices of the bible, and also allows horrible things to happen to innocent people? A god who is perfect, yet hides so well that many millions of people are unconvinced of his reality? A god who would make imperfect people, then torture them forever for being imperfect? Sorry, that god is a fiction, just like all the other gods humans have ever dreamed up.

    And TJ, dragging out old Pascal one more time? Really? Well, my response to that is a quote from the wisdom of that well-known sage, Homer Simpson:

    “Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder!”

  • 123. Alban  |  March 11, 2013 at 4:55 am

    TJ – If cag and ubi dubium lack anything it is the inability or unwillingness to explore the the depth of their own selves. What you do bring to the table like them, is your own trust in yourself. The ability to put harmful addictions behind you is a credit to you, not a 2nd or third party magician. That strength is self contained not transmitted or “confirmed” thru or by faith.

    What you can take from this site is the ability to think for yourself and lessen or eliminate your conviction with hearsay and some (not all) really inaccurate hearsay at that.

    Forget right and wrong in the debate and seek accurate perspective. You and only you can be the judge. In the end accuracy eliminates the need to judge or use the measure of right and wrong in determining the source of your challenges- and your prowess in meeting them while recognizing the sovereign joy of living.

    Otherwise you will be like a solitary misdirected seal in the midst of of killer whales.

  • [...] de-conversion blog deals with this question in [...]

  • 125. ubi dubium  |  August 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    @125 ortprot,

    Well, gee aren’t you special! The church you belong to just happens to be the one and only correct one, unlike those tens of thousands of other denominations out there. Except that every member of those other denominations will tell you the same thing, that they are the right one and you are wrong. To a non-believer, it’s all just so much noise.

    And your remark about the Jews is not only bigoted, it’s totally wrong. Protestant sects split off from the Catholics over many issues, most notably bribery and corruption within the clergy. Neither Catholics nor protestants had any love for the Jews. You can look up that kind of information you know. There’s no need to remain ignorant of history.

  • 126. cag  |  August 19, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    ortprot, it doesn’t matter as all religion is just make believe. The bible is a collection of myths, ignorance and lies, so on that score I agree. Any organization that is designed to promote superstitious nonsense is a useless artifact unworthy of existence. All churches are useless artifacts whose prime purpose is the fleecing of the masses for the benefit of the few. Any actual charity performed by the church is just public relations covering up their primary purpose. Most believers would say that their church is the “true” church. The obvious conclusion is that all churches are false.

    Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox or any other cult are all created for the benefit of the church, not the parishioners. Any good that they do is just a cover for the real purpose.

    God is the biggest (and most successful) lie ever. With about 7 million children dying every year, how can anyone believe that there is a loving god anywhere? How can anyone actively worship anything so callous as the fictional god of christianity?

  • 127. Alban  |  August 21, 2013 at 3:25 am

    Do you really believe God interferes with human agenda? Although we are infused with the capacity to feel and know god that is within us as well as all around us… the life that sustains this physical state…who really makes choices for outcomes?

    We do. Our ignorance, our arrogance, our greed, our selfishness (vs selflessness) kills alot more than 7 million people a year.

    Getting familiar with all our assets in a more appropriate order of priority can go along way in curbing self destructive tendancies, some of which we find easier to assign blame to what we don’t know. Like war our ignorance directly and indirectly kills innocent victims.

    Religion tries to explain but what we need as a race far excedes explanation. We need to know not about concepts of god but what the bond actually is between what has been created and what is not created. Explanation, stories and belief don’t touch that bond.

  • 128. cag  |  August 21, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Alban,

    Although we are infused with the capacity to feel and know god that is within us as well as all around us…

    We have the ability to internalize but not analyze the lies that our parents and other elders tell us when we are young children. We neither feel nor know god, just our inner feelings, feelings that are based on lies.

    I, along with many others, do not live my life based on ancient pornographic writings.

    Rather than ignorance, indoctrination is the worst mind poison. Religion is not the cure but the ailment.

    What we need as a race is no different than what is needed by chimpanzees, dogs, chickens or any other animal. What we want is what separates us from the other animals.

    What is with the bond stuff?

  • 129. Curtis  |  August 22, 2013 at 11:08 am

    As a Christian, and a trained apologist, I have to say that the writer is partially correct when he says it is a mistake to worship the Bible. I reject his claim, however, that the Bible is not the Word of God. Too many lives have been blessed by obedience, and too many corrupted by disobedience, for me to think it is anything but the ordained Word of God.

  • 130. cag  |  August 22, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Curtis, christians have much to apologize for. Please explain to me how it is that your god got the creation story so wrong? The earth was not the first object in the universe, making the bible at the least wrong and at worst a lie. The authors of the bible demonstrate the ignorance of cosmology of the time. We know that the sun is more than 330,000 times the mass of the earth. If earth was created first, the gravity of the sun would quickly doom the earth to a fiery death.

    To me, apologetics is just the manufacturing of excuses to cover up the ridiculous stories in the bible. People have been “blessed” by coincidence and many have been disadvantaged. It is absurd to believe that the ravages of Hurricanes such as Katrina and Sandy were only felt by those who were “disobedient”.

    It has often puzzled me why an all powerful god would need humans to do its bidding, such as the Amalekites. Why is it that preachers are needed to spread the word when an all powerful being could just make us believe? Don’t give the “free will” excuse, for that is just BS to cover up the fact that your imaginary god is an incompetent creator, unable to make humans obedient.

    Explain to me why god belief is a geographical thing. Why do people in India, apart from a few converts, not believe in your god? Why do the majority of people who study natural processes not believe in your god? Why did ancient people attribute natural processes such as thunder and lightning as the result of godly irritation? We now have scientific explanations for these phenomena, even as “trained apologists” strive to make excuses for the ridiculousness written in the bible, such as Daniel 4:10-11. How was there light before the sun was created? Why were plants created before there was a sun?

    Instead of making up ridiculous excuses for that fiction called the bible, spend your time actually learning that there is a reality and that reality does not include any gods.

  • 131. Alban  |  August 28, 2013 at 10:55 am

    This world we live in is quite magical. Human beings always want to write off what cannot be “measured” or explained scientifically or “rationally” as a mystery. Trouble is our perspective is quite narrow, so we turn an unseeing eye toward the magic we would all love to see, but see nothing.

    In the Daniel verse you referred to, did you ever consider the possibility that life itself is Light by whatever name you wish to call it?

    The inner realm of human beings is vast, much BIGGER that what we see externally, but we have chosen not to see up until now. As you can look outside yourself you can also look within. It is not gymnastics or hocus pocus. It is so simple only the simplicity of a child is available to see. And believe it or not each of us no matter how complicated we are can find the part of us that wants to see and then will be able to see.

    Then and only then will we begin to see that sequential logic as in plants existing before sunlight is a reality that could exist.

    So the bigger question is not the evaluation of external tools including science, religion and psychological/sociological dissection, it is the the thinking and hopefully the feeling of what it is we each truly want, that will bring the answers to many mysteries.

    Then the magic will not only astound, but most fundamentally will establish the peace and contentment of all individuals who want to know themseves in the everlasting way, who wish to know and connect to literally what sustains their lives.

    The bond previously mentioned is the bridge so to speak that connects/joins/immerses the mortal with the immortal. People who can find or yearn for the simplicity of a child can “cross” that bridge.

  • 132. cag  |  August 28, 2013 at 1:50 pm

    Alban #132

    Then and only then will we begin to see that sequential logic as in plants existing before sunlight is a reality that could exist.

    With that you have demonstrated a serious separation from reality. A desperate attempt to support the absurdity that is Genesis 1, but failing miserably. An understanding of gravity and the effect that a mass over 330,000 times that of the earth would have on a stationary earth would demonstrate that the earth could not have been the first object in the universe. The physics behind geostationary satellites gives proof to the fact that the earth rotates on its axis once every 23 hours and approx. 56 minutes, which is known as a sidereal day. Modern rational humans understand that which the authors of the bible were ignorant, magnifying the absurdity of the biblical creation lie. We know that the sun, planets and stars are not placed in a firmament. One would think that an all knowing creator would have remembered those facts when “inspiring” the various authors of the bible.

    The obvious conclusion is that the bible is a human construct demonstrating the ignorance of its authors. Unfortunately there are still people on this earth that remain as ignorant as our long ago ancestors. Learn science rather than pseudoscience.

  • 133. Alban  |  August 31, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Had a guffaw in last remark… sequential logic is NOT applicable as an axiom in the ‘magic’ of what we turn a blind eye to( in terms of a plant being created and sustained before sunlight was created.)

    Remember the statement by Jesus and not sermonized by itself- that the kingdom of god is (already) within you (each of us) is the proverbial chicken before the egg. Everyone thinks of Heaven as a result. If people really understood that God/Heaven was within them, #1. would they not rest until they could have some or #2. could they understand the priorities of existence?

    It is not about the explanations of why- it is the perception and acceptance of what is. I know that sounds too simple and too obvious to an educated and obviously scientific mind, but that is a fundamental reality. One that a child sees clearly (for awhile) then is trained to question and then to ignore.

    If you were able to talk to the actual authors rather than the scribes who either translated or copied the writings this clarity- this distinction would be clear.

    Our “evolved” logic is sequential and result oriented yet the ultimate in creativity which is of a design we cannot fathom does not have the self imposed rules we place upon ourselves, There is some intersection in our activities obviously in most of our results, but remember we are for the most part buying into a limited understanding from those who came before us and set up their own parameters. L-I-M-I-T-E-D, agreed upon parameters.

    That can change but our intent- specifically our deepest desire for peace and understanding have to be felt sincerely. We as a race or as individuals cannot be opportunists for selfish gain to take selfish advantage of what is given so freely. We have been down that road before as a race but it was so long ago there is no real recorded history- sorry to be metaphysical for a moment. (Some Christians might find a clearer insight into the commandment of not using the Lords Name in vain if they think about it)

    Cag, I am not disputing your perspective. You care and you know in your research more than most about science, so your conclusions are logical. All I contend is that there is another perspective that all of us can, if we want, tap into, that brings another perspective to the table. Just remember this is NOT about right or wrong. I wish more people had your passion.

  • 134. cag  |  August 31, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Alban, like all the other stories in the bible, Jesus is fiction just as much as his supposed father. Accepting that it is fiction is logical. Assuming that the bible is historical is nonsense, not logical. The normal course of investigation is that the premise comes before the conclusion. The religious use the religious conclusion then use apologetics and such to come up with the premise. The supposed words of Jesus are meaningless without evidence of his existence. As all written information about Jesus comes from those working to establish christianity decades after the supposed resurrection rather than from those supposedly present, his provenance is in serious doubt. How is it that the most important figure in christianity was totally ignored during his lifetime? Betty Crocker is more believable than Jesus. The koran in its reporting on Jesus is at least half true when it rejects the divinity of Jesus.

    Religion, which was created to formalize superstitious nonsense for the benefit of its leaders, does no longer have a useful function to perform, so they have to lie more forcefully to scare their adherents into obedience.

    I agree that those that came before had limited knowledge. That is why we are not satisfied with what they knew, we strive to increase our knowledge and eliminate the errors that were passed down to us. As we eliminate the superstitions of the past with the knowledge of the present, there is no longer a seat at the table for imaginary beings. Knowledge is the greatest fear of the clergy, so many cults encourage self censorship limiting reading to the bible and other religious tomes. Having ignorance as your best tool is not appealing to those who strive for knowledge rather than platitudes.

  • 135. Alban  |  August 31, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Divinity is a relative term when you think about it. Pure, godlike eternal are immeasurable by worldly instruments or “accepted” analysis. It would seem to most not including atheists that there is an element of life that could be never ending, perhaps blissful at some point-usually death.

    Some like Jesus have throughout history including the present time been associated with the revealing of this component. Their core message(s) strikingly similar, contend that this divine element is knowable/perceivable in life. It has been simply said that what you are looking for is in you

    Most of the critics at these times deploy a tact of disbelief based not on what is being offered but how, who or why it is offered as though there is some kind of inadequate or evil agenda in the backround. They do not comprehend nor really want to, for the most part, that this ‘divine element already exists within them. The standard measuring sticks are non applicable. So logic and or faith debunk the possibility of knowing.

    That is one HUGE chunk of knowledge to ignore. The premise of knowing is whittled down in religion to rites and rituals that merely recognize an invisible presence that is actually not invisible. Bizarre!

    This phenomena is like bad theater. Too predictable, bad storyline-complete ignorance and yes those like Jesus largely ignored though they offer the source of all knowledge which already exists in each one of us, NOT sequential in its availability. Somehow the greatest possibility of mankind is muted by our sophistication of small mindedness until one of these guys gets crucified.

    Divinity then is parced out and regulated, effectively put in a box with insurmountable tales and legends keeping the lid shut. Why?

    People want to be their own gods. That’s arrogance. The humility of wanting then finding the ‘divine’ element within (which is sequential) is very precise. Arrogance doesn’t fit, like a camel trying to get thru the eye of a needle. But we love to hear ourselves talk, making our own decrees in our (we think) clever rationalization, the final word of analysis making god or gods, personalities, depending on our moods or the outcomes of events. We end up creating a god just like us.

    And yet the same message of possibility comes our way, time after time. A simple message of a possibility, one backed up by an actual 24/7 experience- tangible and profound. One that does not threaten or judge religion or atheism. A timeless element in each of us that has some pretty amazing perks like contentment and clarity to cite just 2.

    The script can be changed by union with this element whatever name we give it, but it is us who have to do the writing and the delivery. Bad theater can very quickly change to Oscar caliber.

  • 136. cag  |  August 31, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    Alban, you forgot the sarcasm tag. That is sarcasm, right! Please say that it was sarcasm. Have you tried submitting it to “The Onion”?

  • 137. Alban  |  September 1, 2013 at 5:57 am

    If it was and is a comedy, yes – sarcastic. You tell me: is our outlook as a race, is our state of affairs comedic or tragic given ALL of our individual (born with) assets?

    I love The Onion by the way, so I understand your concern. The article there might read as follows:

    MESSENGER OF GOD ANNOUNCES FULFILLMENT/ ENLIGHTENMENT AVAILABLE
    Crowds immediately disperse

    Thousands of self asorbed people expecting prophecy of world peace and instant monetary riches scattered as quickly as they appeared last night for their free tickets to what many had touted as “THE BUS OUT TOUR” upon discovering sincere EFFORT would be required to look within for actual Fulfillment.

    A spokesperson for the messenger stated it was not the first time audiences had reacted in this way. Most potentially interested get uncomfortable without paying for an experience. “Never trust ‘free’, there’s always a catch; hey, feelin ain’t like countin” passes thru waiting throngs faster than sidewalk vendors pushin tofu edibles and hemp clothing.”

    A $5 fee had been requested for venue rental, but not required for entry. Several items were on sale inside the venue to help offset the venue rental for the few that ultimately did attend.

    “Laziness and judgement seem to douse the fire of the initial enthusiasm of the throngs” the spokesperson went on to explain turning the ‘why am I alive’ theme of the event into a chaotic exodous appreciated by several cabbies and fundamentalist Christians who waved hand painted signs denouncing charlantism and false prophets.

    One apparently undeterred attendee claimed to have waited her whole life for this possibility to be presented and was very thankful to have discovered the possibility of knowing peace. Meanwhile, her husband patiently but primarily however awaited her accompanyment to a nearby bar to satisfy his expectation on their pilgramage. ” Hey, I’m not up for fightin’ on Friday night” he explained. ” We came a long way to hear this message and I’m going to enjoy myself while I am here”.

  • 138. Alban  |  September 3, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Bottom line: The Bible is inspired by people who knew and who practiced Truth. (90% of that was behind closed doors in private. The living teacher was not very accessible as there was not the technology we have now hence the living inspiration which includes “cleaning” by Him (or Her) was remote and seldom at best)

    What was given for translation and then further edited was further edited at both of the Nicene Conventions. The ‘inspiration’ became 3rd, 4th hand and ultimately corrupted. The then present teacher- after Jesus, the actual inspirer/revealer went his own way leaving the hearsay, the remembered stories and alleged quotes stand as “witnessing”. Nothing would or could be done to right the ship, but the fundamental governing ignorance presided using the interpretation of the crucifixion as one means of social control.

    However enough of a sliver of hope maintained itself since then that some among the religious and some among the disbelievers and others held onto a hope that the day and time would come where that inspiration/ breathing presence could touch all those that truly wanted fulfillment/heaven. Not many but a few sovereign beings who have possessed one heck of a lot of patience and whether they failed or succeeded in the HOW TO of living their prescribed goals (as differentiated between intent and primary want) found no compromise thru belief, disbelief or any kind of rationalization.

    Question then comes are you ready now? The book or books that prophecied when depending on conditions were only guessing. All the conditions basically remained the same. Darkness in this sense doesn’t change much until the light shows it up for what it is- nothing in the light, pesky as the darkness is, just blockage- and expert at its trade!

    So the Bible as guide to how to live with inherent flaws of agenda helped to guide in some areas, but obfuscatated the view of the what is possible throughout. The water the horses were led to did not quench thirst; it was a place rather, to contemplate quenching…at best.

  • 139. cag  |  September 3, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Alban, still submitting articles to the Onion are you? Any success there?

    Bottom line: the bible is a compendium of the ignorance of humans 2 to 3 millennia ago, and has no direct or indirect connection to any truth, only discredited myths and campfire stories. Who inspired the false assertion that the earth was created before the sun? Who presents as true the story of the tree in Daniel 4:10-11 (and 20)?

    Some interesting reading demonstrating “truth” in the bible. Please provide the original of these entries so that they can be refuted and fully explained. We can then compare to the currently available translations. You have made the claim of mistranslation, so you must have access to the originals.

  • 140. Alban  |  September 3, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    Again language is nearly futile when it comes to this subject. It is not complete enough to be adequate. But I will attempt it.

    If you knew vs hypothesized/contemplated/believed/rejected an element of your existence which sustains your life existed, “entered”you at the exact moment of your birth and “leaves” at the exact moment of death, then you would know that that element existed before and after your life.

    It is not a stretch to hypothesize if you did not know that that same element is like that with everything in the dirt, air and water of this world and universe.

    So before human beings, before dinosaurs, before the sun, this element-energy-power existed. Sequential thinking is in our fabric so it is hard to imagine something existed before we could wrap our brains around it like second guessers. Step out of that sequential thinking for a moment and imagine a power, powerful enough to sustain all life and it is not a stretch to imagine a creative bent on its part.

    Then as you might build a set of drawers, you construct/fashion the frame , the drawers and the hardware. At that point where these different parts exist, they DO exist even though they are not yet functioning as a drawer. So yes the earth without sunlight could’ve at one point in time have existed without the sun. Can it now? No.

    Put any creation into motion and it changes the dynamic of need. Take that one step further and imagine the potential of the human race understanding, appreciating and functioning with full power in the union of our potential. Then think about what we will no longer need as a race that substituted for that imagined absence.

    Knowing that, the scriptures are not hard to pick apart, or to understand their origin. The only thing that we make nearly impossible to know is recognizing our own desire to know that powerful element.

    In Christianity they have painted the picture of Jesus knocking on the door of the heart, when in reality it is you joined with that element temporarily wanting to feel it, to perceive it, to know it. The only way to take out the temporary and the ‘mystery’ is to recognize the want and discover how to literally connect. Then obviously appreciate it as much as possible. (everyday that you can breathe)

    Distortion and or oblivion only comes from not knowing and second guessing bad interpretation. Up to now that is our story.

    It is all our great fortune that is beginning to change. Forests in every acorn in this subject do not relate to time. Rather it is about recognizing what we each possess as individuals.

  • 141. cag  |  September 4, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Alban, what a mishmash of words amounting to nothing. Please explain how the earth transitioned from being a stationary object to being a satellite of the sun in an elliptical orbit. Do not go the “magic” route. If you go with “god did it” then you have to provide irrefutable evidence for the existence of this god. The bible is not evidence of anything, it is just a claim, and in most instances, a baseless claim.

    If you claim special conditions for the earth, what about the rest of the planets? Could the moon have been created before the earth?

  • 142. Alban  |  September 7, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    The Bible made derivations of what I am describing into gospels that cannot be “gospel” without direct experience! So…

    Big picture, cag. Right inside you there are similar answers to what has been laid out. Go there. Its not like religion. It’s more like anthropology. Discover the source of life experientially within you and the realizations will amaze right along with the contentment.

    The measuring sticks including the timing of the universe is a subject that science can only scratch the surface on. With the consciousness of individuals beginning to ripple, it may not be too long before science can recalibrate measurement itself for truly accurate depictions

    Life, order and interpretation allow and guide all of our analysis and decision making. There is a natural appreciation of life that we all have ignored in its essence because we have not recognized our want (for that) as individuals, so the natural order and all of our interpretation is fuzzy at best, no matter how much polish we put on it. Recurring patterns of external observation tend to draw us toward black and white conclusions in our current perspective of relativity. That makes the basis of determination for what could inspire an appreciation to see more clearly, extremely limited if not impossible…without inward observation…er – first the desire for it.

    So we are talkin 2 different kinds of ‘magic’. One just IS and the other needs a lot of explanation. The more complicated we get the more we need complicated explanations to rationalize the inexplicable, although we each possess the reality which ‘moves’ the fuzziness/the blockage out of direct focus.

    Placing our attention on what IS there, distinguishes the 2 possible focal points. CHOICE then, IS a Reality…”To be or not to be…”

    We can biologically explain a person’s physical thirst. But the desire for that person to want to drink water does not change, nor does the one thing that quenches (vs hearsay descriptions in this subject matter) the thirst day after day. We have separated ourselves from this ability to discern other than in the relativity we have embraced and identify with.

    So this is about connecting inside to what clearly sees and utilizing it, what can discern without the influence or the resulting imagination of our conditioning. This allows brain function without the compendium of not so subtle dis-attraction.

    That blockage is evident as it is minimized-before connection impossible to gauge the depth of the blockage prior to an increasing accuracy in perspective. We are not aware of the extent of the blockage though we can observe its results. After connection it is efficiently handled as perspective is clearer there is a ‘Point’ to connect to, but the deterrent/the blockage is still opportunistic. Christians interpret this second hand, as “the devil”. ( Again our human language is not adequate for this stuff)

    In other words when the real beauty- the magnificent peace is obscured our choices in life are only in one category. Good and bad are only a SUBSET of not knowing (or ignorance as a harsher term.) Real choice as the Bible alludes to, can only come when Both are available.

    Historically Jesus made that distinction available when he was alive as “The Christ”. Only a living/breathing teacher makes that possible. And no, there are no invisible hand me downs or descents authorized by Jesus into awaiting hearts. It is a living experience for the awaiting hearts connected by a living/breathing teacher.

    He was pretty clear when speaking as The Christ that The Christ would always be physically among us. For a number of reasons cited previously on these posts that fact was edited out by every scribe and ultimately vanquished long before the Nicene Conventions. (How do I know that in worldly terms? From a Vatican translator who ran across it once and was aware that at least one other translator also translated that from publically undisclosed early Christian writings!)

    The One who can inspire and show this connection is not a god or a superhero. It is a precious unique gift, yes, but no more and no less. Dive into the gift of that connection and you can have your own opinions. That is where conversations and debates will be a lot of fun, even without a biting edge. A deeper, richer perspective can make that happen!

    My suggestion cag: start digging. The figuring is much more enjoyable during and after discovery. Deep inside is where the evidence you have wanted, resides, so first things first.

  • 143. cag  |  September 8, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Alban, could you repeat that, but this time in English?

    Any reference to jesus is automatically discounted as there is no reason to believe that such an individual ever existed. Jesus is no more believable than Superman. Having a zealot decades after the fact present a propaganda pamphlet selling christianity by hyperbole does not constitute evidence under any measurement system.

    Do not use the bible as evidence, it is just the claim. I reject the bible as a source of truth. I have not been presented any evidence for the existence of jesus, much less the divinity of jesus.

    Digging just puts one into a deeper hole.

  • 144. Alban  |  September 8, 2013 at 11:49 am

    What’s interesting as an observation is the people who present themselves (like the possible existence or legend of Jesus) as being able to inspire and show this unique element of life, rarely avoid whirlwinds of implication. Revealing what is timeless and pristine within people must mean that you are…?….many times the blank is filled in by some people on the outside misinterpreting what is basically simple. Hence those people create a circus mentality of otherworldly claims or are naysayers who stand to benefit from overstating or criticizing the work.

    To pare that down and keep it simple it is best to avoid the circus environment and remain simple in the contention and in the offering.

    Unfortunately these individuals who implicate the supernatural, attract similar attention of sheeple and that’s how zealous indoctrination begins and maintains. Not for knowing what simply exists but for the sensationalism of their own implication- throw in some divine authority, guilt and eternal damnation. Simple is overlooked then aberrated into ought to do this-ought to do that, and chocked full of resentment.

    It doesn’t have to be any of the above and that is what I like about this particular time in which we live. Feeling the timeless- knowing yourself, unencumbered and simply available if people want to know.

    Digging within yourself to find what may have been overlooked and remains an indeterminate value, may unearth a priceless discovery, rather than an empty hole in an act of futility.

    And if Jesus did exist we know he wasn’t handing out any kind of book much less Bibles in that time period. Without the technology that exists today not many could have seen him or heard his message of possibility, making believing for those so inclined, the next best thing to knowing. Certainly the combination of that message without Bibles and the alleged crucifixion have had a lot of people fired up ever since.

    I can imagine in the present day however, possibly everyone- almost 7 billion people- taking at least a slight interest in discovering/perceiving an incredible timeless element within themselves…if they found out it was, is and will be a practical possibility. How many would dig to find their real desire vs curiosity, I dunno.

    Implications? Maybe genuine kindness, enthusiasm and ambition that hurts no one, replace the cruelty, the pessimism and suffering of a very dark time. To me that would be sensational enough.

  • 145. cag  |  September 8, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Alban, again with the timeless, endless, useless.

    If jesus was part of the trinity, how hard would it have been for him to pass on the message to everyone? Failure to do so is indicative of the human origin of the philosophies attributed to him. In fantasy, jesus is capable of miracles, in reality, not so much. How could a loving, all knowing entity allow malaria, dysentery, smallpox, ebola and all other diseases to flourish while having the power to eradicate all disease? The creators of the jesus legend weren’t dealing with knowledgeable people, so their BS was adequate to snow the rabble. Nowadays there are people who see the lies for what they are. There are no supernatural entities. Period.

  • 146. Alban  |  September 9, 2013 at 4:33 am

    Don’t think I’ve promoted acceptance of supernatural entities. I have written in the hypothetical about God as a personality that if he were like us, he, she or whatever might point out that given a (sorry) timeless, endless element inside each of us, it IS useless other than sustaining life, if we do not know it.

    The potential however in touching, feeling and knowing that element is indispensible when you consider the responsibility we have as a race to at least respect life and respect the earth, whether we make that element a divine personality or not.

    Until we are capable within our own individual realm of desire to want to become familiar with that element, that existing responsibility is just idealistic procrastination. Few genuinely respect life or earth (although numbers are growing)

    If we do not understand the value of our own life how can we take responsibility for all human life? We do however, have the ability and it is consciousness that can be manifested externally- taking action to not only fix what we have broken, to prevent further breakage and to accept a clarity to support a world where unconsciousness and all of its waste do not create or facilitate disease.

    Lip service to life being “a gift” has it’s roots in a reality we cannot imagine, but can know and utilize way beyond the current guesswork, but if we are defecating all over the gift and each other to a great degree, what would you do if you were a god that could change all these terrible outcomes in an instant?

    Until that point where a god could slam the gavel down and decree “STOP!, DISEASE BE GONE!”, we do have the power to eradicate disease, but we are blind to both the acceptance and the responsibility we innately have to ourselves and to our neighbors, so we cannot access the power. Hence the power is useless.

    If a million dollars were sown in your pocket by your father and you needed $100 to feed your starving family, is it more responsible for him to give you $100 or remind you of what you apparently forgot about being in your pocket?

  • 147. cag  |  September 9, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Don’t think I’ve promoted acceptance of supernatural entities.

    So are you now ready to declare that god, jesus, angels, satan and all other supernatural beings are just some humans mental masturbation?

    How can something endless exist within a finite being? It makes no sense.

    Your million dollar analogy would only work if you changed pocket to “somewhere”. You make this extraordinary claim about timeless, endless but never define where it can be found. Look inside you is not an answer but a riddle. Look for what? How can I “see” it if I have no idea what it is that I’m looking for?

  • 148. Alban  |  September 9, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Different cultures like native ameicans pegged extra ordinary and inexplicable traits and phenomena as supernatural entities, a number of them animals as well as ‘the great spirit’. That culture as well as many other cultures heavily connected with nature and so designated the body of nature as it’s deity.

    Of course the more ‘educated’ a society is, the more likely those designations are comparable to humans. What else do we know or have terminology for, to describe what we do not understand at face value?

    All cultures have ‘wise men’ who articulate well and whose speculation is usually respected- not that their opinion is factual but its influence can always be taken into consideration. Sometimes it’s groups of wisemen or councils taking into account the old adage that several heads are better than one or something to that effect.

    When it comes to the subject of self knowledge or feeling the timeless element within, it’s usually the domain of one person at a time. I have never heard of it otherwise in my 40 years of paying close attention to the subject. A competent teacher wouldn’t need another decision making body to influence how, when, what to teach or emphasize. Not that the ‘students’ are not good sounding boards. We are each one in an individual way.

    At face value where the ability or where the gift to impart the knowing of this element comes from has always baffled acceptors, detractors and of course, skeptics. All the gift-givers represent many diverse backrounds… wealthy, poor, warrior, poet, royalty, inventor, carpenter, pilot, philosopher to cite a few, with an array of different personalities. The only way to determine the validity of that gift is to genuinely want to be shown what is already there in you, then feel it, look at it and listen to it, once shown. The credentials lie within the gift.

    Accepting the gift is as complicated as it gets, the main promise on your part is that you give it a fair chance. No fee. No contract. Just you spending some time with a part of you that’s been there since your first breath.

    The first 2 things most notice – the rest should remain as pleasant and more-(surprises/realizations are really fun and sometimes profound) is a subtle peace and quieting of extraneous thought. You may quickly perceive that the source- what’s already there- brings the quieting rather than an outside agent like a prayer or a mantra as in meditation.

    So what are you connecting to…what is the name or the label for it? It doesn’t care. It’s not like it is a separate entity. It is more like an intersection. When you place your attention ‘there’ open or closed eyes, it is just peaceful, serene and joyful amidst many descriptions in the midst of any circumstance. Very unique experience some have labeled as divine, but how can anyone compare and contrast that term with any other experience?

    Bottom line- feeling good and thinking clearly is a good beginning. The term ‘there’ is one of those descriptions where language/ terminology doesn’t quite accurately cover it. Somewhat anatomical but more focus, if that makes sense. Sort of like walking by the same spot in your home everyday and maybe you sort of noticed it but didnt know how to really take it in because it didn’t hit you that there was any significance to that place ‘where’ the spot is.Once you learn how to take it in, it can be almost humorous like how could I have missed THAT? (inside you)

    So, the how to begins with differentiating the curiosity and the genuine wanting to know. Lean heavily on the side of genuine cause curiosity won’t instantly disappear, but it’s flimsy. The genuineness carries you through.

    If you then are more genuinely interested check out the website and go the link that says “The Keys” or something akin to that. There are 5 “Keys” that you watch in free but hopefully dedicated time of your own timing. The Sixth Key shows The Knowing or that ‘element’ we have been discussing, in a very personal way and accessed in a secure environment…somewhere regionally close or hopefully local to where you live.

  • 149. cag  |  September 9, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Alban,

    check out the website

    What?

    Am I to conclude that the Sixth Key has a monetary cost?

  • 150. Alban  |  September 10, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    I haven’t navigated the site for info on The Keys (DVDs) for awhile. I do regularly enjoy recent videos on both sites.

    I’m not sure if there is a dedicated website for the first 5 or if they still send out 1×1 upon the return of each. Awaiting a response from the helpdesk. Used to be a one way mailing charge for first 5 with prepaid return mail.

    So as of now I don’t know about the 6th except that it is usually private- sometimes another person or 2 taking it in at location near to where you live (like a library room) and arranged by an authorized volunteer. Guessin for now a nominal expense oriented charge. Neither a friend of mine or my 26 yr old son (recent 6th key attendees) could recall exactly. Both said not much.

    I will let you know when I receive an answer.

  • 151. Alban  |  September 10, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    cag: “No cost” for the 6th key.

  • 152. louboutin chaussures soldes  |  April 5, 2014 at 3:42 am

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.

    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

    louboutin chaussures soldes

  • 153. Alban  |  May 31, 2014 at 4:14 am

    The best place to look for love or for answers which addresses both is within you. To get within you there is help. Literal tangible help, not rhetoric. Simple and distinguishable from rhetoric. Feel it. Do not assess it without feeling the feeling first…if that makes sense. Check out wopg.org and go to the videos link. There are no pay options. Discovery for yourself, if you want…genuinely… is no pay… and it has been like that for a long long time. Maybe you will get the picture!

  • 154. comment déverrouiller un iphone  |  July 29, 2014 at 4:48 am

    A few more seconds passed and all three slowly disappeared as if they
    were on a rheostat. Usually itt is nott as juicy as othewr oranges, but has
    an intense flavor. This article has presented to you some tiips that you must follow
    for making the best impression on your interviewer
    or the panel or experts taking your interview.

  • 155. bouncy rental  |  August 4, 2014 at 3:27 am

    I’ll immediately take hold of your rss as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly let me understand in order that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

  • 156. hair growth treatment  |  August 31, 2014 at 12:26 am

    A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.

    There’s no doubt that that you ought to publish more about
    this issue, it may not be a taboo matter but typically people do not
    talk about such topics. To the next! Best wishes!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

Twitter

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 2,018,253 hits since March 2007

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 202 other followers