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The Bible (1 Viewer)

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
Have I studied the Bible? Yes. I thought of becoming a minister once. So, yes, I have studied it and I've found way too many connections with pagan beliefs and there are, again, the archetypes that occur over and over again.
 

freebird

Member
Brad Smith, aka Lensman:

You could spend your entire life studying the Bible and never grasp the simpliest truth as you seek to be critical of it, you may know something of the Bible but I fear not enough to intelligently discuss it. Each time you read through it other truths are revealed, based upon your own maturity and the other truths that are also found within the pages. I have never understood why someone spends so much attention targeting well meaning people of faith and religion here and on other sites. It cannot be good for your sanity.

You may have missed but the Bible is a story of redemption and the history of man. It is about man and his relation with God. It is about the why, what, and what happenend to man. It is not God's story of self-promotion (as if He needed it), but about our story. It is about the glory and fall of man, and God's gracious intervention to save those whom He created. It is a book that tells us not only who we are in the imago Dei, but who He is as Creator and Redeemer. Now this story about us necessarily causes us to turn our attention to Him, but only because His attention has been graciously turned to us.

The sermon on the mount (Beatitutes) Matt 5 is where Jesus laid down clearly for us the value-system of the Kingdom of God.

The unifying theme of the sermon is the kingdom of heaven. This is established not by counting how many times the expression occurs, but by noing where it occurs. It envelopes the Beatitudes (5:3, 10) and appears in 5:17-20, which details the relation between the OT and the kingdom, a subject that leads to another literary envelope around the body of the sermon (5:17;7:12). It returns at the heart of the Lord's Prayer (6:10), climaxes the section on kingdom perspectives (6:33), and is presented as what must finally be entered (7:21-23). Matthew places the sermon immediately after two verses insisting that the primary content of Jesus' preaching was the gospel of the kingdom (4:17,23). It provides ethical guidelines for life in the kingdom, but does so within an explanation of the place of the contemporary setting within redemption history and Jesus' relation to the OT (5:17-20). The community forming around him, his 'disciples" is not yet so cohesive and committed a group that exhortations to "enter" (7:13-14) are irrelevant. The glimpse of kingdom life (horizontally and vertically) in these chapters anticipates not only the love commandments (22:34-40) but also grace 95:3;6:12; 7:7-11; cf. 21:28-46) ....

Not less important is the location of the Sermon on the Mount so early in the Gospel, before any sign of controversies between Jesus and the Jewish leaders as to the law's meaning. This means that despite the antitheses in 5:17-48 ("you have heard ... but I tell"), these should not be read as tokens of confrontation but in the light of the fulfillment themes richily set out in chapters 1-4 and made again explicit in 5:17-20; Jesus comes "to fulfill" the Law and the Prophets (i.e. the OT Scriptures). Therefore his announcements concerning the kingdom must be read against that background, not with reference to debates over Halakic details. This framework is Matthew's; by it he tells us that whatever controversies occupied Jesus' attention, the burden of his kingdom proclamation always made the kingdom the goal of the Scriptures, the long-expected messianic reign foretold by the Law and the Prophets alike.
 

kintaris

Senior Member
The Bible is a great source of creative writing, as (i think) it contains the 7 major types of plot (is it 7, i can't remember).

Particularly in the more dramaticised versions - particularly, in fact, the children's bibles - you get a strong sense of internal struggles and enduring quests that are vital to storytelling - i mean, after all, isnt the fall of the Race of Men in Tolkien similar to Eden? Or the suffering of the Long Defeat of the Elves similar to the plight of Moses' people?

kintaris
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
See, I have studied it. I see in it its ties to pagan beliefs, I see in it the archetypes that many other myths share, the contradicitons . . . . I also know that it has been taking out of context, especially by old farts, twisting the words to push their agendas. I know history too. I know that in the American South (even now, the "Old Times" aren't forgotten), people used the Bible to support slavery, enforce the paradigm that blacks were inferior and later used it to outlaw interracial marriage and hinder the civil rights movement.
 

freebird

Member
Brad:

That is a cop out and another excuse.

People have hidden behind hundreds of things to avoid consequences for their actions or to put themselves over others. What about the Koran? Does it allow slavery have people subverted it? Yes. But you only focus on the Bible? WHY???? Men used the Bible to fight slavery, perhaps nobody more than William Wiberforce. All these have been answered for you countless times in countless threads and you trot out the same old tired arguments. The bottom line this hatred consumes you and the attention you derive from people responding excites you. The Bible inspired Shakespere as well as the founders of this country. Jefferson read it and studied the New Testament everyday for 40 years. It is a great book, even if you do not believe in it. That is a fact.

You twist the words of the Bible to push your agenda. Only your agenda is decidedly anti-Christian. You should clarify that in every post. Sorry you had a bad experience in whatever group you tried to join. But that is your problem. Nobody else. Just let it go.You know why you are trying to prove pagan beliefs. You don't believe in them either do you?

You cannot defeat a concept who believes that civililization started with Adam and Eve, because all similiarities are laid at the doorstep. rightly so. And just like a room full of people watching a sports event, all will see some similiarities and differences. It depends where you sit, what you see and hear and what your experience in watching the event is.

Your hatred grows everytime you embark on this subject. Is it worth it? Even if you do not believe in an immortal soul. You destroy yourself.

Folks I am out of here on this thread. Mr. Smith will keep on as long as someone will argue with him. He will never change and I have better things to do. When he starts sending you vulgar PM's like he sends me, then you can sink your heals in or just turn the other cheek. I will keep posting, but I am tired of discussing with him. The Bible has inspired many, I hope you read it for yourself. Do not let your view of Christianity be colored by anybody whose focus is to always tear down. --freebird



LensmanZ313 said:
See, I have studied it. I see in it its ties to pagan beliefs, I see in it the archetypes that many other myths share, the contradicitons . . . . I also know that it has been taking out of context, especially by old farts, twisting the words to push their agendas. I know history too. I know that in the American South (even now, the "Old Times" aren't forgotten), people used the Bible to support slavery, enforce the paradigm that blacks were inferior and later used it to outlaw interracial marriage and hinder the civil rights movement.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
I have read the Bible. Many times over. I think you're forgetting the fact that I nearly joined the ministry--until I realized that it wouldn't be for me since the Bible, to me, is myth.

Why do I have issues with some Christians--especially Dominionists? Because, they're more of a threat to this country than Osama!

The Bible and slavery . . . . Look at this:
http://nebraska.statepaper.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2002/06/09/3d02f98a05db4?in_archive=1
SLAVERY. This was an important social and economic foundation of our country both before and after independence. It was an institution condoned by the founders and recognized and defended by the original Constitution (Article I, Section 2, paragraph 3; Article I, Section 9; Article IV, Section 2, paragraph 3). Slavery is also condoned in both the Old and New Testaments, but it is never condemned. On the contrary, it is codified, and made an inherited condition:

Exodus 21:4 gives rules for keeping slaves. Leviticus 25:44-46 says that heathen may be purchased as slaves, that their children become slaves, and that they are inherited as property by the owner's children forever. Other places that indicate that slavery is a hereditary condition are: Genesis 9:25, Exodus 21:4, Corinthians 7:20. Deuteronomy 20:10-14 says that when you conquer a city, if it surrenders then all people inside it become your slaves; but if it doesn't surrender, then all males are to be killed and all women and children "take unto thyself". Luke 12:47-8 shows that Jesus approves of slavery, for he describes the conditions under which one should give a severe beating to a slave. 1 Timothy 6:1-2 tells slaves to honor their masters.

In the book of Philemon, Paul sends a runaway slave, Onesimus, back to his former master. But this conflicts with the admonition in Deuteronomy 23:15 "Thou shalt not deliver unto his master the servant which has escaped..." So the Bible is on both sides of the 1857 Dred Scott case!

The Bible inspired Shakespeare? Did it inspire him to insert sly sexual, ponographic jokes into his plays? Which, if you have ever read the Bard's works, you can find them.

I used to be a Christian. Why did I stop believing in God? I didn't. I've read the Bible many times over . . . and then I looked at other religious myths. It goes back to patterns, archetypes. Semitic law came from the Code of Hammurabi, not Moses. And, so on . . . . To me, that's the Bible. A collection of myths. I belive in God and I'm not fond of the way He's portrayed in the Bible. I mean, he acts like a jealous, egomaniaclal bastard. the "Book" of Job is absolutely twisted. What kind of god creates a man and then let's him be a pawn in a cruel game between God and His "adversary?" And, then, you look at some of the Greco-Roman mythos, along with others, it falls into place.

Once again, I'm not Christophobic. I do have issues with some groups. Like this story:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8047423/

Ford advertised that it would donate a sum of money to GLAAD--$1000--for every Jaguar it sells. So, a bunch of "Christians" get their knickers in a bunch. They're pissed at Wal-Mart since Wally World has decided to include same-sex "domestic partners" in their employees' benefits package or something like that. Walt Disney has done the same thing to and Wildmon and his merry band of intolerant fundies went after them.

And, this story:
http://www.tallahassee.com/mld/democrat/news/opinion/11727303.htm

And here are other examples among those noted in an April report by the Washington-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State: Campus chaplains have encouraged proselytizing among the students, and younger cadets who skipped out on prayer services have been forced by their seniors to march back to their dorms in a ritual called "heathen flight."

Another story . . . . http://www.indiancountry.com/content.cfm?id=1096410911

When the spiritual love of Jesus turns into ''the dogma of Christ politicus,'' it is a dangerous moment for America. This is happening at an alarming rate and in weirder and weirder forms by the week. Somewhere along the line we hope the broader range of Christian open-minded and moderate thinking will prevail in the public discourse. The signs of the times, however, seem ominous and dark indeed.

Witness Rev. Chan Chandler of the East Waynesville Baptist Church in North Carolina, who kicked out nine members from his own congregation because they voted as Democrats and did not support George W. Bush for president. During last year's presidential campaign, Chandler told his congregation that those who would vote for Democratic Sen. John Kerry should repent or leave his church, according to one member who was forced out.

Witness the Baptist deacon of a California congregation who told the Lakota family of Muriel Waukazoo, who wanted a drum group to accompany their mother's funeral, that the traditional Indian songs could not be tolerated because ''drumming brings the demons.''

Witness Bush getting the nod from the Catholic Church hierarchy, which essentially endorsed him when it allowed then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, to urge bishops to consider the denial of Holy Communion to Catholic politicians (i.e. John Kerry) who endorsed a pro-choice position on abortion rights for women.

Witness the even more troubling case of an American Jesuit who respectfully and intelligently criticized the positions of the Catholic Church and is now ordered to resign as editor of the Catholic journal, America - forced out by no less an authority than the office of doctrinal enforcement, called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on an edict issued by - again - then-Cardinal Ratzinger, now pope.

Freebird's problem can be explained here: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/222844_will05.html

Some Christians should practice the magnanimity of the strong rather than cultivate the grievances of the weak. But many Christians are joining today's scramble for the status of victims. There is much lamentation about various "assaults" on "people of faith." Christians are indeed experiencing some petty insults and indignities concerning such things as restrictions on school Christmas observances. But their persecution complex is unbecoming because it is unrealistic.

Here's something to ponder . . . . : http://cc.msnscache.com/cache.aspx?q=1867692118220&lang=en-US&FORM=CVRE2

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.—Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1785.

April 29, 2005—America is not a Christian nation. It is a nation many of whose citizens are Christians. That’s not just a subtle turn of phrase. Understanding the difference is essential to understanding America’s constitutional principles.


Christianity itself is not monolithic, as is evident by the many Christian denominations that exist in the USA. But there are certain politicians, and backers of certain politicians, who insist that America is a Christian nation . . . their brand of Christianity, of course. And they aim to destroy our constitutional republic in order to establish a Bible-based America—their interpretation of the Bible, of course—that is

as much a theocracy as is the Islamic Republic of Iran. They are part of a political movement called Dominionism or Christian Reconstructionism.

I doubt Jesus would recognize these Dominionists, Christian Reconstructionists, or to put it more clearly, American Theocrats, as his followers. They don’t believe in separation of church and state. The Gospels of Mark and Luke suggest that Jesus did. “Render, therefore, to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.” —Mark 13:17 and Luke 20:25.


And, as for moral behavior, the plank in their political platform second only to tax breaks for the rich, a.k.a. God’s Elect, considers Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R–TX), the American Theocrats’ standard-bearer in the U.S. House. In an April 12, 2002, speech at a gathering called Worldview Weekend, DeLay said: "He [God] has been walking me through an incredible journey, and it all comes down to worldview, He is using me, all the time, everywhere, to stand up for biblical worldview in everything that I do and everywhere I am. He is training me, He is working with me."

Either DeLay is not listening to his God all the time, or his God has a very morally questionable agenda. DeLay is so scandal-ridden, that he has purged Republicans on the House Ethics Committee, including the chairman, Joel Hefley of Colorado, who were unwilling to let him slide. DeLay replaced them with loyalists who changed the rules to make it harder to start an investigation—rules which the House overturned yesterday. He’s also trying to take the heat off himself by raising the decibel level of his attack on the courts. I suppose anything goes when you’re working for Christian domination, though I don’t think Jesus would agree with that: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? And in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. —Matthew 7:21–23

Here's a story about these Dominionists: http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0316/p16s01-lire.html
Christianity and patriotism are interwoven throughout the gathering, from Christian and American flags marched into the sanctuary, to red, white, and blue banners festooning the church complex, to a rousing "patriotic concert." Several speakers emphasize the idea that America's founders were largely Christian and that their intent was to establish a biblically based nation. (No mention is made of other influences on the Founding Fathers, such as Englightenment thinkers or issues of freedom of conscience.)

The Dominionist movement bothers me deeply. They want to break down the seperation of church and state and have their little fascist theocracy. Like the Pilgroms. Freebird loves to talk about the Pilgrims and their journey they endured, just so they could worship freely. What Freebird often fails to mention is the fact that the Pilgrims didn't allow others to worship freely; nope, we can thank Roger Williams and the Rhode Island colony for that, people.

I'm not Christophobic--but I do love this website http://www.landoverbaptist.org/ because it makes fun of Dominionist fundies.

:wink:
 

freebird

Member
You can twist it anyway you want

Brad:

You can twist it anyway you want.

However, if it was any other group but Christians you could care less. Take your Ford article and turn it around. What if Ford gave $1000 for every car sold to James Dobson and GLAAD protested them. You would be critical of Ford, and on GLAAD's side no matter what. I say Ford should give the money back to the person buying the car, then they can decide what to do with the money. Keep it, spend it or donate it. I would have a problem with extending credit to people any way who gives a portion of the loan in a rebate to any charity. What happens when the car buyer fails to make payment or goes bankrupt?

Back to the subject as hand:

People are as affected today by ideas as they are by the shape of our modern society and the way it influences our lifestyle and thinking. You claim you ALMOST became a minister. Problem number one. People should be called to the ministry. It is not a vocation that you wake up and go guess what I will become a minister, likewise you do not just wake up and go guess what I will quit the ministry. You were either "called" or you weren't. Either you are running toward something or you are running away from something. My question: which one is it?

How many months did you commit to this vocation? It is obvious you are bitter over this experience. So you condemn the Bible? Isn't it true the Bible did not fail you, but man? You did not try to live by a Biblical standard and it fall short, but rather denominational doctrines? I have always told you it is about a relationship. God only has children, He does not have grandchildren. It is not a communal salvation, but rather individual.

Many people say the Greeks had excellence and that there is no Christian equivalent to that excellence. But there is-and it lies in calling. Oswald Chambers's phrase "my utmost for his highest" is exactly that. As we are called, we rise to become the full stature of what we are created to be. It's not something we're constituted to be, and then fated for the rest of our lives to follow the lines of the script. We actually rise to be, in the obedience and faith of following the call.

The Bible is a good book. --freebird
 

Harlequin

Member
First of all, you shouldn't judge the Bible by the book of Mormon. They're two different books. Second of all, that wasn't a response to Freebird's question. You say you almost became a minister. That doesn't mean you know all about the Bible. I almost became a curator. That doesn't mean I know all about history. On thge contrary. It means I'm missing something. It's a slap in the face when people make arguments and you blow them off with a one or two line post that doesn't really have much in response. Please give a reason. As I said earlier, have you thought that the Bible is similar to mythological stories because it might have actually happened? Maybe the myths took from real life? Every culture has a flood story. Maybe that means there really was a flood.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
What happened was I sat down, did a lot of thinking, reading and researching. I eventually came to the decision that becoming a minister wasn't for me. I didn't believe in that. It wasn't for me. I was active in my church. Once a month, our youth group would hold a Sunday service and I was one picked to give the sermon. Everyone told me that I should go into the ministry and our youth minister said that I was being "called." Well, it wasn't for me. That's why I didn't do it. To me, it's myth.

bumpersticker%20reason%20religion%20small.jpg
 

freebird

Member
Harlequin said:
First of all, you shouldn't judge the Bible by the book of Mormon. They're two different books. Second of all, that wasn't a response to Freebird's question. You say you almost became a minister. That doesn't mean you know all about the Bible. I almost became a curator. That doesn't mean I know all about history. On thge contrary. It means I'm missing something. It's a slap in the face when people make arguments and you blow them off with a one or two line post that doesn't really have much in response. Please give a reason. As I said earlier, have you thought that the Bible is similar to mythological stories because it might have actually happened? Maybe the myths took from real life? Every culture has a flood story. Maybe that means there really was a flood.

Thanks Harlequin you are absolutely right. He still missed the subject. THANKS Again. --freebird
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
Could there have been a flood? Yes. But, you have to remember, some parts of the world was underneath a global ocean millions of years ago. The middle of North America was home to a number of vast seas over the last few million years.
 

Harlequin

Member
How do we know tyhe world is millinos of years old? I'm not saying it isn't, I'm just saying don't make assumpitions. Before you say it's scientifically proven, YOU WEREN'T THERE. Neither was I. That's why I'm not saying how old the Earth was.

Oh, and I resent you comparing me to Dominionists. First of all, I've never heard of them. Second of all, most Christians don't follow that. I'm sorry you had a bad experience and lost your faith. I really am. I'll be praying for you.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member

Harlequin

Member
If you don't believe Genesis, how do you know God created the Universe. And Radiometric dating could be wrong. Scientists aren't perfect.
 

Ralizah

Senior Member
Harlequin said:
If you don't believe Genesis, how do you know God created the Universe. And Radiometric dating could be wrong. Scientists aren't perfect.

You know, belief in God exists outside of Christianity.
And anyhow, it's been proven to be quite reliable. The calculations are exact. And saying it could be wrong is horribly illogical. Use your brain a bit. If you can find a problem in the method, post it.
 

Kane

Senior Member
If you reject Christianity, and hold no other religious belief, on what do you base your belief in God? If you believe that God exists, what knowledge do you possess that negates the possibility that he exists as the Bible describes? How can you deny that God is the God of the Bible if you have never met him?

So, you claim to believe in God. The Hebrews introduced monotheism to this world. There is nothing to say that the Hebrew's concept of God hasn't existed since the dawn of time. True, there was no written account until Moses came along, but they obviously had a strong oral tradition long before that. There is only one belief that seperates the Jews from the Christian, and that is obviously the belief that Christ is God in the flesh, that he sacrificed himself for the salvation of all men. None of the other gods of the monotheistic world have been around as long as the God of the Bible, of the Jews. This is not necessarily proof that he truly exists as he is believed to, however, it is a strong argument that rules out all of the other gods of monotheistic religions. As for the polytheistic gods, we know enough to hypothesize that the universe was most likely the work of a single entity, not a group of contentious peers. So when you rule out polytheism and the gods that have entered into the world after the God of the Hebrews, who do you have left be Yahweh?

Eastern religions don't really compare because they arose more out of philosophy than belief in a god. Islam arose 600-700 years after the birth of Christ, which was basically a denial of Christ's divinity. They paint a picture of peace nowadays, but originally they were all about killing Christian's and Jews.
 

LensmanZ313

Senior Member
Monotheism wasn't introduced by the Hebrews. Akhenaten or Amenhotep IV, a pharaoh who ruled during the "New Kingdom" era, the 18th Dynasty, is historically the first who conceived monotheism. He did away with the traditional Egyptian pantheon and worshipped one god, a sun-god called Aten.

And, for another example of monotheism before the Hebrews, check out the works and beliefs of Zoroaster . . . Zoroastrianism inspired many Judeo-Christian-Islamic concepts.

You mean . . . have have to be a Christian to believe in God? I believe in God . . . or a Goddess. I know that there is a Creator and He/She or It created the Universe; and, I believe that evolution is a part of the Creator. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deism:
Historical and modern Deism are defined by the view that reason, rather than revelation or tradition, should be the basis of belief in God. Deists reject organized religion and promote reason as the essential element in making moral decisions. This "rational" basis was usually founded upon the cosmological argument (first cause argument), the teleological argument (argument from design), and other aspects of what was called natural religion. Deism has become identified with the classical belief that God created but does not intervene in the world, though this is not a necessary component of deism.

The Age of Reason, written by Thomas Paine, gives a good overview of the religious philosophy embraced by a number of our Founding Fathers.

I'm a Deist but I do have something of a pantheist view as well. Many Deists oppose abortion, I don't; many doubt paranormal/supernatural events, but I'm like Charles Forte: Approach everything with open-minded skepticism.

So, yes, I believe in God. the Bible? No. Jesus/Yeshua? Well, there are a dozen-plus men who took that name, in an attmpt to fulfill the Book of Daniel's prophecies and others, I believe. I do believe that there was a man named Yeshua, who said and taught a number of good things. Was he a demigod? No. I don't believe that.
 
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