Posts tagged ‘Bible’
Theism begins with a commitment to absurdity. It revels in mysteries, embraces paradoxes, and wallows in warm credulity while reason is buried in a mudslide of illogical affirmations. It sees no need to apologize for belief where the evidence is not only absent, but also contrary to claims.
Theism trains the credulous in the art of illogicality by unabashedly positing incoherent notions of god that require the complete surrender of rational faculties. Some such common theistic notions among Christians are listed below.
- The notion that we were created with an actual choice not to sin in the face of the biblical assertions that we have all sinned.
- The notion that the wrath a “loving” god over a single sin results in condemnation to eternal torment.
- The notion that a “loving” god must see blood to forgive, and cannot simply forgive as he has asked humans to.
- The notion that the 3 days of temporary death by Jesus is the exchange rate for the deserved eternal damnation of billions…
Take a look at this verse:
Titus 3:10 “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.”
Now think about it.
This command says to separate from divisive people. Hmmm.
Consider: by having “nothing to do with him” how are you ever to reconcile things? You cannot reconcile unless you discuss the issue that caused the division in the first place, but if you deem the issue divisive you might not be able to resolve it! So if the person ever comes back and confesses their “divisiveness”, then is he or she just never supposed to bring up the issue that caused the division ever again? In order to follow this command, you have to break it, and nothing ever gets accomplished!
In practice, a situation here at home has devolved into exactly what you predict would happen when people follow this command to the letter. An elder brings up an issue: the issue begins to “divide”. The elder is deemed “divisive”. The issue over which he is dividing is moot at this point, because it is determined that he is sinning – not on the basis of whether the issue he is bringing up is right or not – but on the basis of the fact that it is causing disunity. As such, everyone in the church is told to have nothing to do with him.
So basically this command devolves into a Biblical gagging order. Literally shut up and shut out people whose information could cause a division. And the minority will always be labeled the divisive group.
The real problem with this command is its subjective nature: the judge and the jury become one in the same. After all, on its surface it sounds like good advice: avoid people who are breaking up relationships. That sounds good, right? After all, that type of person should be avoided…
I was a seminary-trained pastor who felt responsible for those I pastored. I was responsible for telling them the truth, and more- for pointing to the Truth, the Way and the Life. My problem was that I could not figure out what the truth (or Truth) was. At one point, I counted at least twelve possible biblical understandings of Jesus and the Christian gospel- all of which were supported by some verses and condemned by others. What was I supposed to teach? The more I studied, the less confidence I had that I could say anything certain about God’s works or will. Eventually, I had to admit to myself that I had no confidence I could say anything certain about God, including whether or not there was one. When I reached that point, I asked my bishop to release me from my ministry.
Back in April, Leopardus posted a video about critical thinking and open mindedness. The same people have now made a video called Putting Faith in its place. This video shows the reasoning that led me to deconversion better than I could. Enjoy.
When I was at Bible school beginning my study to be an apologist, I spent countless hours studying and rethinking my perspective on the Bible as God’s Word. What follows are some of the problems I ran into that I could not reconcile to a level of satisfaction in my mind:
1) Saying God’s Word is inerrant or infallible seems pointless because interpretation is subject to error. What is the point of a god who makes an inerrant or infallible book and then gives the Holy Spirit to help interpret it if believers themselves still do not know what most of it actually means or if people are always updating or changing their interpretation? The very fact that in two thousand years no one can still figure out how to inerrantly or infallibly interpret any portion of the Bible is excellent evidence that it would be pointless for God to make the work itself inerrant or infallible in any way. Although I can think of very good reasons men would invent the idea of infallibility or inerrancy…
2) God’s Word is insufficient because other tools must be used or invented to interpret it. Think commentaries, archaeology, Greek and Hebrew language studies, etc. If one cannot properly understand what God said unless they study these things, then God’s Word is insufficient. Enough said…
I came across an interesting post written by a thoughtful Christian who has moved beyond a literalist, fundamentalist mindset regarding the Bible as the inspired, revealed word of God. Here are some highlights (although you probably should read the whole post, in order to understand the context from which these bits are excerpted – the comments are worth reading too):
The question of whether the Bible is God’s word is not a new one…. There are certainly a number of things which seem “wrong” if we are to take a literal understanding….Yes, genetics has confirmed that we are all related through mitochondrial DNA – but this does not mean one person; it means one small group of people (who were located somewhere in Africa). It also assumes that humanity is hundreds of thousands of years old, which means we need to accept, at least in part, the theory of evolution….
Suddenly, we find ourselves in the position of looking at the Bible and deciding which parts are to be taken literally, which parts are to be taken allegorically, and which parts are to be understood as no longer applying to us because they have “been fulfilled in Christ.” This is a very dangerous thing to do. Once we start doing that, what difference is there between Christianity and any other man-made religion?
…the Bible has been used to say whatever man wants it to say…and so justify anything we want it to.
In Act 1 we discovered the events that lead to the chaotic and tumultuous world we now find ourselves in. We left off with our hero – Noah – who was the only righteous man alive.
Now God told Noah to build this big boat and it took him a really, really long time to build it. In fact, it took a couple hundred years. But Noah had some help because God decided to save Noah and his family – even though Noah was the only righteous one God found. Obviously Noah would not be able to reproduce by himself so God saved them all because He is merciful and for some reason likes full households and happy families more than individuals (for more information, ask James Dobson). And God saved a lot of animals. Well, he only saved two (or seven) of each kind. But you have to remember that this was before micro-evolution had really gone into full swing and so there were not a lot of species on the planet. Somehow they all fit into the boat (probably because they were babies). Then God sent the flood and killed everything except for some seeds which obviously survived, and miraculously salt-water and fresh-water fish survived in the tumult and obviously everything in Noah’s boat (affectionately called the “ark”) was safe too.
After the flood, God invented the rainbow (because refraction of light through tiny water droplets in the air to produce a prism effect did not exist before the giant canopy of water fell to the earth even though a mist used to rise from the ground to water all the plants). The rainbow symbolizes God’s promise to never again destroy the earth with a flood. In fact, as we will soon discover God has better plans when he gets upset in the future: He is going to use fire (isn’t it nice to know it won’t be water though?!)
Now you may ask why God gave the rainbow and made the promise. Well, you see…