Your understanding of theology is incredibly flawed. [YOU RESPOND]

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Your understanding of theology is incredibly flawed. [YOU RESPOND]

From: mchurchman_83@hotmail.com
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 2:36 PM

Subject: [General Question] God?

 

Matt Churchman sent a message using the contact form at
http://www.rationalresponders.com/contact.

Hey Guys, I respect what you're doing...I believe that it comes from a
genuine place and despite the fact that I disagree with the conclusions
that you've come to I can see what you're trying to do. In my opinion
religion has been extremely hurtful throughout history...I think that's kin
d of why you all feel the need to propagate the view that God doesn't exist
(maybe i'm off). My first and most basic response to one of your videos
online is that your understanding of theology is incredibly flawed. That's
probably because you haven't done enough research...which is logical seeing
as you don't believe there is a God. However, it weakens your argument when
you use scripture out of context.  Another problem that I found seemed to
be your understanding of what faith is. I think when people say that
athiests have just as much 'faith' they are refering to the fact that much
of the athiest position is also based on a trust in things that seem
unknowable. We all make decision based on a kind of blind acceptance of
certain theories or assumptions we have based on our concept of the
universe. I think that's all they mean so really it's not debatable  in my
mind.  In the same way that your position is based on faith so is
mine...but we need to regage our understanding of what 'faith' means in a
biblical context.  Faith is not blind acceptance. It is a relational word
used to describe the trust between humanity and God. This trust or lack of
trust for God is based on the evidence that we have.  We either are
persuaded and decide to trust in God or we are not. It would be really cool
if someone would be willing to email me and maybe we could engage in some
sort of dialogue about the issue. I'm a 25 yr old new Christian...and I'm
the type of person who loves to hear new ideas and perspectives so if
you're game I'd love to hear from you. I guess just as a disclaimer I'm not
interested in converting any of you...quite frankly it's not my job...but I
would love to go back and forth and hear what you have to say.
Peace

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CaliAthiest2

I actually wouldn't necessarily identify myself with any one particular denomination.  I probably would relate most closely to the Anna-Baptist tradition...Brethren in Christ perhaps.  Hope that helps a little. I would be interested in a one on one.  I'm interested in hearing what sorts of passages you have interpreted as sado-masachistic or mysogonistic.  YOu may have very legitimate reasons for seeing things this way but so far in my search I have found as I dig into many of the passages around which these arguments are often built I find that they are not always as the appear. It' similar to arguments that were used to suggest that God condones slavery if you get where I'm oming from. That's just my opinion.

You may be very correct in your observations about Cameron and Comfort introducing scripture into what was meant to be a conversation about extra-biblical evidences. To be honest I was frustrated when I watched it a little because I didn't feel that they did the best job. I respect them and beleive they are good hearted people but I found that they were lacking when it came to debates. It would have been cool to see the debate done with perhaps someone like Rob Bell or Bruxy Cavey. Pehaps even a Christian scientist (not a cre-sci scientist...like a real scientist) might have been better equipt to handle the debate. I'm sure there ar some athiest candidates that may have held their group a little better too. I found some of the RRS' responses extremely emotionally driven.

As far as what was taken out of context we should both take a look back at it because I wrote this email so long ago and it was immediately after watching the video.  I just remember thinking that they were way off. Again you're right that it wasn't meant to be a theological debate and if this was introduced by Comfort and Cameron then they were initially at fault for doing that.  It would've been cool if the RRS could have just ignored or pointed that out and then left it instead of recipricating.

Thanks for being respectful and understanding too. I know these can often turn into really emotionally charged conversations and it's cool that we are able to disagree and agree without becoming rude or arrogant.


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Awesome,Yeah I will totally

Awesome,

Yeah I will totally drop you an email.  I'm actually really excited because QM is something I am interested in learning about and it sounds like you may have some knowledge in this area that I might be able to steal from youSmiling The reason I asked that question is because you had expressed that science was one of your interests I beleive and I was sure that if you knew about QM you would probably know what I was refering to.  I'll talk to you soon....and thank you for taking the time.


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FoR EVeRYONE - Love as a reason to live

I made a couple of pposts that haven't shown up??? Does anyone know where they went?  I was also looking for an earlier response from someone that I now can't find. I wa about love and football (not the american (per)version of the sport).  Of course because my worldview has changed so much and is so different from your own I was wondering about this. In another post someone listed typical evidences for love. Your typical evidences for love were quite interesting because Athiests in my interaction with them continually criticize emotions or feelings as not being conclusive evidence for anythng. My beleif in god is not incredibly based on emotion or feeling however I found this interesting. Many of the typical evidences you listed could be used as evidence for the presence of God if they were evidences of anything as you suggest they are. If someone is in a service and their heart rate is raised does this mean God is present.  Is an increase in heart rate really evidence that love inpresent or are there other rational reaosns for this.  Also there are many behavioural changes that people claim to go through upon entering into relationship with God. Do these behavioural changes evidence a relationship with God. These behaviours may include increased patience and tolerance or love. Is being able to spend more time with an individual really evidence of love? Further if we are merely governed by our physical and biological properties what is the significance of love? Do we really have any control over these if there is no 'self or spirit'. Wouldn't love be merely an evolutionary neccessity like morals that only serves the survival of the species?  Is it merely pleasure or an emotional high? The release of certain hormones or chemical changes in your brain? Who or what controls these changes? If this is case then even if there wasn't a God could one reason for living be the emotional high someone feels for believing in God? Is life completely about sensations. This is just a thought really at the moment but I'd be interested in hearing some responses. What is your reason for living. Free of any sort of faith be it evidence based or not, what is your reason for continuing on your existence on this planet? If it has to do with the survival of our species please explain to me why the surivival of the human species is significant.


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I find it interesting that

I find it interesting that you believe everything in the bible. I know that it was a loaded question, people often interpret it however they want. But what is interesting to me is what people ignore in the bible. There is a lot of horrific stuff in there. A lot of rules and regulations that aren't followed anymore either. Extremely specific rules that can't really be taken out of context if you believe that they are the word of god.

As far as the historic accuracy of the bible... Have a look at Rook's work. Even if it has some accuracy in it, a work of fiction set in a historical setting is still a work of fiction.

An increse in heart-rate just means that there is some form of excitement present, the same with the sense of euphoria some experience. It is just the working of mass experience (not talking spiritual here, you can get the same at a rock concert, political rally etc), or self delusion. No evidence of god.

My reason for living is that I am alive. This is my one and only life journey and I will do my best with it. Even if times get hard, there are more good experiences to be had, even small ones such as sitting in the park, observing the birds and wondering at how cool nature is.

Survival of species would be an instinctive thing. The human species would only be significant in this respect because it is our species, that is all. It is doing fine without my help (although I have been told I should breed to pass on good genes, seeing as those who should maby not be passing theirs on are breeding so much... Smiling )

 

 

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Posts are getting a bit scattered Matt Churchman

Well you got me on increased heart rate may indicate love. It was a bad example it can indeed be used as evidence that you 'love god' but is not of course evidence that god exists or loves you

 

I do not accept Theology is the study of Religion (very real unfortunately) it isnt in my dictionary, its very specifically the study of God (zero evidence)  very very different

Worship I define as uncritical love of an individual or concept. This is always wrong even if you love someone you should be prepared to criticise them even if you care about them. This not compatible with worship.

Commandments laws that cannot be questioned or changed. I obey laws that I have at least some sort of say in making (I don't get a veto on them through). If I disagree with a law I may try to change it but unless its causes me too much harship I will put with

 

Must go of to watch Dawkins new Darwin TV prog


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Matt Churchman wrote:After

Matt Churchman wrote:

After responding to a couple of different post about the usefulness of theology I realized something...what was the context of the original post? I was writing to a group that had attempted  to use their own understanding of the Bible (among other things) to debate against a Christian on television. Whether or not you think theology is important to your own life if the Rational Response squad was going to make use of scripture in a debate against Christians then they ought to be aware of how Christians interpret the bible...their theology. That was really all I was saying. I still maintain that theology is useful whether or not you beleive in a God or the authority of scripture. I posted a couple of responses to your responses but for some reason they aren't up yet...maybe because I wasn't a member yet when I wrote them. Maybe they will be posted after I post this so you can have a read. Otherwise I might re-respond later...I'm just really tired right now. Peace and Love.

So you're basically saying they're allowed to interperate, we are not?  We try to understand what they pull out of it but we see nothing but cherry picking and taking out of context.  That's what they constantly accuse us of doing then they do the same.  All we're doing is using their tactics against us. 

And PLEASE start using the quote function.  It's incredibly frustrating and difficult trying to follow a conversation when you don't take any steps to make it clear who or what you are responding to.

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mrjonno wrote:Well you got

mrjonno wrote:

Well you got me on increased heart rate may indicate love. It was a bad example it can indeed be used as evidence that you 'love god' but is not of course evidence that god exists or loves you

 

I do not accept Theology is the study of Religion (very real unfortunately) it isnt in my dictionary, its very specifically the study of God (zero evidence)  very very different

Worship I define as uncritical love of an individual or concept. This is always wrong even if you love someone you should be prepared to criticise them even if you care about them. This not compatible with worship.

Commandments laws that cannot be questioned or changed. I obey laws that I have at least some sort of say in making (I don't get a veto on them through). If I disagree with a law I may try to change it but unless its causes me too much harship I will put with

 

Must go of to watch Dawkins new Darwin TV prog

That was my point exactly about the increased heart rate comment.  What I am trying to point out is that everyone finds something that gives thema purpose for being.  Whether that be sensations like love or pleasure.  Point is that even if someone finds purpose in God through some emotional attactment...well then if life is about sensations like pleasure then someone who beleives in God and finds purpose in the pleasure that brings it is just as valid as someone who finds purpose in love...because scientifically love is unprovable as well...yet we beleive in it.  This is not my worldview but wha tI'm trying to do is figure out why from an Athiest perspective how your philosophy leads you to critisize and attempt to teach people that there is no God.  If life is just about being and experiencing pleasure and desires ect then what does the Athiest care how someone goes about doing this?  I'm not sure this was totaly clear.

Theology is defined in this way in my dictionary and so really all we were talking about is to conflicting but equally possible ways of defining the word.  Therefore you are right by your definition of the word and I am right based on mine.

According to your definition of worship I understand what you're saying.  Being uncritical is never good I think.  It wold help if this conversation continues if you defined your terms because I can see that we probably agree more often then we disagree once the confusion of language is out of the way.Again with your definition of commandment...same thing.

Yes the posts have become incredibley scattered. This is because this sort of thing can be very complex but also peole were raising questions and challeneges that were a little off topic. Not that I mind but that is how we got where we are now.


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ronin-dog wrote:I find it

ronin-dog wrote:

I find it interesting that you believe everything in the bible. I know that it was a loaded question, people often interpret it however they want. But what is interesting to me is what people ignore in the bible. There is a lot of horrific stuff in there. A lot of rules and regulations that aren't followed anymore either. Extremely specific rules that can't really be taken out of context if you believe that they are the word of god.

As far as the historic accuracy of the bible... Have a look at Rook's work. Even if it has some accuracy in it, a work of fiction set in a historical setting is still a work of fiction.

An increse in heart-rate just means that there is some form of excitement present, the same with the sense of euphoria some experience. It is just the working of mass experience (not talking spiritual here, you can get the same at a rock concert, political rally etc), or self delusion. No evidence of god.

My reason for living is that I am alive. This is my one and only life journey and I will do my best with it. Even if times get hard, there are more good experiences to be had, even small ones such as sitting in the park, observing the birds and wondering at how cool nature is.

Survival of species would be an instinctive thing. The human species would only be significant in this respect because it is our species, that is all. It is doing fine without my help (although I have been told I should breed to pass on good genes, seeing as those who should maby not be passing theirs on are breeding so much... Smiling )

 

 

FirsT I don't think that ther eis a single statement that can ever be made with a context from which it was made.  If you do beleive that there are things in the Bible that can not possibley be taken out of context let me now the particular passage and I'll do my best to sort it out for you.

I will definately check out Rooks work. I would caution you to look to outside sources in order to find a more balanced perspective.  Obviously the member sof this group have a particular agenda...and that's never good when we get into historical studies. The same can be said of Christian theologians. This is why we should look to a number of different sources with diffferent bias' before we form an opinion on something. At least I think this would be the reasonable thing to do.

That was my point about emotions. While many of us criticize Christians for using emotions as evidence or guides for our worldview, we also do the very same thing.  That was exactly my point.

This ties into what I was getting at. How do you define a good experience? DOes it have to do with a sensation or what you perceive to be enjoyable?  If your reason for being has to do with perception could another not also find purpose in an alternative peception if it brings about similar feelings?  The problem I find i both religious and Athiest circles is that we attempt to tell the other that our perception of reality is the right one and others who disagree are delusional or stupid. I also love sitting in the park and observing how cool nature is.


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mrjonno wrote:Well you got

mrjonno wrote:

Well you got me on increased heart rate may indicate love. It was a bad example it can indeed be used as evidence that you 'love god' but is not of course evidence that god exists or loves you

 

I do not accept Theology is the study of Religion (very real unfortunately) it isnt in my dictionary, its very specifically the study of God (zero evidence)  very very different

Worship I define as uncritical love of an individual or concept. This is always wrong even if you love someone you should be prepared to criticise them even if you care about them. This not compatible with worship.

Commandments laws that cannot be questioned or changed. I obey laws that I have at least some sort of say in making (I don't get a veto on them through). If I disagree with a law I may try to change it but unless its causes me too much harship I will put with

 

Must go of to watch Dawkins new Darwin TV prog

I apologize because my definition of theology seemed like the study of religion. If there was some confusion then I think I might've brought it on. I didn't bother to refine my definition in a previous post. 

So how was the Darwin documentary? I missed it. Damn the TIVO. 

"Always seek out the truth, but avoid at all costs those that claim to have found it" ANONYMOUS


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thingy wrote:Matt Churchman

thingy wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

After responding to a couple of different post about the usefulness of theology I realized something...what was the context of the original post? I was writing to a group that had attempted  to use their own understanding of the Bible (among other things) to debate against a Christian on television. Whether or not you think theology is important to your own life if the Rational Response squad was going to make use of scripture in a debate against Christians then they ought to be aware of how Christians interpret the bible...their theology. That was really all I was saying. I still maintain that theology is useful whether or not you beleive in a God or the authority of scripture. I posted a couple of responses to your responses but for some reason they aren't up yet...maybe because I wasn't a member yet when I wrote them. Maybe they will be posted after I post this so you can have a read. Otherwise I might re-respond later...I'm just really tired right now. Peace and Love.

So you're basically saying they're allowed to interperate, we are not?  We try to understand what they pull out of it but we see nothing but cherry picking and taking out of context.  That's what they constantly accuse us of doing then they do the same.  All we're doing is using their tactics against us. 

And PLEASE start using the quote function.  It's incredibly frustrating and difficult trying to follow a conversation when you don't take any steps to make it clear who or what you are responding to.

This is one of the fallacies of argument. One party does something that is not cool so the other says "well you did it first". My point was that the statements made by the RRS had no context to them whatsoever. They were just a line or two of scripture.  Isogesis.  That is just bad theology...it's bad for any kind of study of anything. Perhaps if they had've presented the passages with some context...well then even if they came to the same conclusions I would be cool with that. I think I used the quote finction this time. Sorry for frustrating you buddy. I'm kind of new to this forum thinger ya know.


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Matt Churchman wrote: I

Matt Churchman wrote:

 I still maintain that theology is useful whether or not you beleive in a God or the authority of scripture.

As someone who has actually had courses in theology in a Lutheran high school and in a Jesuit university when I was a Christian I agree theology is useful as a subject, but probably for far different reasons than you. The knowledge I gained helped me to reject what I was taught and provides me with a useful understanding of religious beliefs.

It's interesting you needed a dictionary to define theology and you are a believer, granted you say you a new Christian so perhaps that's why. Theology is simply the study of God and his nature; study of religious faith and practice in relation to God. It is not a secular perspective but a religious one.

 

Matt Churchman as Anonymous wrote:

An example would be Paul in Corinthians speaks about women not talking in church.  That has lead many denominations to apply that as a rule that governs how they run their church.  This neglects to take into consideration the specific details that prompted Paul to write this to the Corinthian church.  First of all most is not all of the female members would not have been able to read which would make it difficult to teach.  Second, in the letter we find that some of the women in the church had been causing trouble in that community. Anyways, so my answer is yes and no I guess.

This is rather presumptuous on your part that only the female members were illiterate. Generally there was only 1 or 2 members that were literate. Those that could read would read messages from other churches, letters from Apostles such as Paul or others. Discussion occurred between the members as well as questions. Even Paul tells of female church leaders. Literacy was more a function of ones station in life or wealth not gender especially in Greece and Italy.

As to whether Paul actually wrote the anti-feminist statements is disputable. As I said there were in fact women leading churches including at least one he started so it would be a bit insulting to them if he did. So much of the actual workings of these early churches is in a murky area of the unknown that it should be questioned at the very least. Paul was an interesting character as well and is in many ways a questionable figure. That however is another subject for another time.

By the way welcome to the forums.

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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

 I still maintain that theology is useful whether or not you beleive in a God or the authority of scripture.

As someone who has actually had courses in theology in a Lutheran high school and in a Jesuit university when I was a Christian I agree theology is useful as a subject, but probably for far different reasons than you. The knowledge I gained helped me to reject what I was taught and provides me with a useful understanding of religious beliefs.

It's interesting you needed a dictionary to define theology and you are a believer, granted you say you a new Christian so perhaps that's why. Theology is simply the study of God and his nature; study of religious faith and practice in relation to God. It is not a secular perspective but a religious one.

 

Matt Churchman as Anonymous wrote:

An example would be Paul in Corinthians speaks about women not talking in church.  That has lead many denominations to apply that as a rule that governs how they run their church.  This neglects to take into consideration the specific details that prompted Paul to write this to the Corinthian church.  First of all most is not all of the female members would not have been able to read which would make it difficult to teach.  Second, in the letter we find that some of the women in the church had been causing trouble in that community. Anyways, so my answer is yes and no I guess.

This is rather presumptuous on your part that only the female members were illiterate. Generally there was only 1 or 2 members that were literate. Those that could read would read messages from other churches, letters from Apostles such as Paul or others. Discussion occurred between the members as well as questions. Even Paul tells of female church leaders. Literacy was more a function of ones station in life or wealth not gender especially in Greece and Italy.

As to whether Paul actually wrote the anti-feminist statements is disputable. As I said there were in fact women leading churches including at least one he started so it would be a bit insulting to them if he did. So much of the actual workings of these early churches is in a murky area of the unknown that it should be questioned at the very least. Paul was an interesting character as well and is in many ways a questionable figure. That however is another subject for another time.

By the way welcome to the forums.

The reason I used a definition of theology from the dictionary is because the person I was responding was using one. I countered it by saying that under his definition he was right in his belief that athiests have little need for theological studies but there are other definitions of the term and by those definitions to which I was refering I was right in saying that it useful for anyone.It was a misunderstanding in our language more than anything else. As you pointed out theology has been useful for you in developing your worldview. That's great and I agree that the study of theology can be useful for anyone even if it leads them to beleive contrary to what is taught in the Bible. And yes I am a new Christian and because of that I am totally open to the possibility that I may still misunderstand certain aspects of the Christian beleif.  I'm sure that I will never stop growing in my understanding of the universe and I'm always open to new ideas.

You make some good points in regards to my comment about Paul but also by providing some of the context and other passages that suggest that there were in fact women inleadership you prove my point that although these passages appear mysogonistic when read together with the entire contents of the letters he wrote it is likely that these statements were directed at a specific group at a specific time rather than a statement about women leading in the church period. This is exactly what I was trying to say about not isolating passages or jumping to conclusions about what is being said without understanding culture, context ect. I find it presumtious that you would assert that I was claiming that only female members were illiterate. To clarify I was not saying that ONLY the women were illiterate. I was merely saying that most of them if not all of them probably were which would explain what is seen by some as a contradiction when looked at with Pauls other letters.  Paul also cautions men to take teaching seriously and that only those who are in a position to teach should.  In this particular letter though this point as well as the point about women stirring up trouble in the congregation would explain Pauls harsh words. The point is that we can't just isolate one passage without respect for the book in it's entirety.

I agree that Paul is an interesting character. Very interesting indeed.


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Sorry for that last one

Sorry for that last one guys. I know that was probably a little more Bible study then you would've all liked.  I didn't mean to get into that sort of thing but I just felt I should respond to the previous poster. My comment about Pauls letter was just meant to make a point about aking things out of context. I didn't mean to get into the ins and outs of the Bible.


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points

By the way...apparently I am earning points. Can I like cash them in at the end like Chucky Cheese or what? what can I do with the points? I want free stuff!


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Matt Churchman wrote:By the

Matt Churchman wrote:

By the way...apparently I am earning points. Can I like cash them in at the end like Chucky Cheese or what? what can I do with the points? I want free stuff!

 

100 points and you become a bad Christian.

200 points you become an atheist.

666 points you have dinner with Satan.

6666 points you become Satan.

 

(all kidding aside, the points are status, we hope by Christmas to have a download store where they can be turned in for stuff)

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Matt Churchman wrote: This

Matt Churchman wrote:

 This is exactly what I was trying to say about not isolating passages or jumping to conclusions about what is being said without understanding culture, context ect.

You should keep in mind the culture and context of other countries as well, not just those of Israel or Judea. This especially means during the time of the OT. There are excellent examples of this in Daniel as compared to Babylonian history. An example in the Gospels is the devils being cast into 2000 swine. The Jews wouldn't consider their death a loss but those who owned them in Gadarene certainly would. Jesus may have destroyed a large portion of their food stocks. Context is important and not just in the scene the Bible portrays but as it relates to the culture of other lands at the time.

Matt Churchman wrote:

I find it presumtious that you would assert that I was claiming that only female members were illiterate. To clarify I was not saying that ONLY the women were illiterate. I was merely saying that most of them if not all of them probably were which would explain what is seen by some as a contradiction when looked at with Paul's other letters.

My mistake, but you led me down the path with  "most if not all female". In reality, it should be nearly all of the believers were illiterate.

Matt Churchman wrote:

I agree that Paul is an interesting character. Very interesting indeed.

I didn't mean that in a good way. The dispute with Peter and final showdown with James I think shows Paul's true colors.

 

 

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"God is omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent, - it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks please. Cash and in small bills." - Robert A Heinlein.


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Sapient wrote: 100 points

Sapient wrote:

 

100 points and you become a bad Christian.

200 points you become an atheist.

666 points you have dinner with Satan.

6666 points you become Satan.

 

 

Wow, I got like almost 20,000. Does that make me like Super Satan? 

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Paul was a fundy nut ....

Paul was a fundy nut ....

Matt owns the devil ....   


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Paul

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Paul was a fundy nut ....

Like you I call him Paul the deceiver.


 

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Here is an interesting Bible

Here is an interesting Bible verse Exodus 35:2

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. "

That is not out of context, that's just what it says. 

You might say, "Well, that's the Old Testament.  Jesus comes in the New Testament and wipes out all of that."

Well, here is another interesting Bible verse:

Luke 19:27, "But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence."

I thought Jesus was supposed to be gentle and peaceful.

 

Faith, to me, is believing something without sufficient evidence.  There isn't a shred of evidence for a god or gods.  That's the only reason why I don't believe in a god or gods.  Why don't you believe in Poseidon, Zeus, or Thor?  For the same reason I don't believe in any god or gods. 


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pauljohntheskeptic

pauljohntheskeptic wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

 This is exactly what I was trying to say about not isolating passages or jumping to conclusions about what is being said without understanding culture, context ect.

You should keep in mind the culture and context of other countries as well, not just those of Israel or Judea. This especially means during the time of the OT. There are excellent examples of this in Daniel as compared to Babylonian history. An example in the Gospels is the devils being cast into 2000 swine. The Jews wouldn't consider their death a loss but those who owned them in Gadarene certainly would. Jesus may have destroyed a large portion of their food stocks. Context is important and not just in the scene the Bible portrays but as it relates to the culture of other lands at the time.

Matt Churchman wrote:

I find it presumtious that you would assert that I was claiming that only female members were illiterate. To clarify I was not saying that ONLY the women were illiterate. I was merely saying that most of them if not all of them probably were which would explain what is seen by some as a contradiction when looked at with Paul's other letters.

My mistake, but you led me down the path with  "most if not all female". In reality, it should be nearly all of the believers were illiterate.

Matt Churchman wrote:

I agree that Paul is an interesting character. Very interesting indeed.

I didn't mean that in a good way. The dispute with Peter and final showdown with James I think shows Paul's true colors.

 

 

I know you did not mean it in a good way. I was just saying that Paul was pretty interesting.


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Sapient wrote:Matt Churchman

Sapient wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

By the way...apparently I am earning points. Can I like cash them in at the end like Chucky Cheese or what? what can I do with the points? I want free stuff!

 

100 points and you become a bad Christian.

200 points you become an atheist.

666 points you have dinner with Satan.

6666 points you become Satan.

 

(all kidding aside, the points are status, we hope by Christmas to have a download store where they can be turned in for stuff)

Well then I better stop soon. I am quickly approaching 'bad Christian' status.


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Paul

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Paul was a fundy nut ....

Matt owns the devil ....   

What the heck is a 'fundy'?


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Response

Real short one here. You have to know the the whole "taken out of context" idea is a new one. Mainly due to education and secularism. Only maybe until the late 1800's. Before then it was the direct word of god. After that the term different "voices" may have been in the bible, and errors in translation. As we learn more to disprove literal interpretations, more and more of the bible and koran will be just "metaphors or contextual". This is a progressive and blasphemous way even to mention such a thing. If you said in say, 1908 that "god didn't mean it like that..he really meant this, it's just a story"..take it from a 12 years catholic school kid taught by nuns, your head would be on a platter!!


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Josh2085 wrote:Here is an

Josh2085 wrote:

Here is an interesting Bible verse Exodus 35:2

"Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death. "

That is not out of context, that's just what it says. 

You might say, "Well, that's the Old Testament.  Jesus comes in the New Testament and wipes out all of that."

Well, here is another interesting Bible verse:

Luke 19:27, "But bring here these enemies of mine, who did not want me to rule over them, and slaughter them in my presence."

I thought Jesus was supposed to be gentle and peaceful.

 

Faith, to me, is believing something without sufficient evidence.  There isn't a shred of evidence for a god or gods.  That's the only reason why I don't believe in a god or gods.  Why don't you believe in Poseidon, Zeus, or Thor?  For the same reason I don't believe in any god or gods. 

 

Luke 19:27 is clearly a parable. Jesus is not speaking in first person here. These are the words of the king from the parable.  From reading it the purpose of the parable seems to be that we are to make the most of what we have been given.  The 'wicked servant' is the one who is given something of value and instead of making the most of it he hides it away and does nothing with it out of fear.  The king in the parable judges him and rebukes him for his laziness or fear. In many ways this is true in the natural world.  In reality it's almost as though we condemn ourselves through our foolishness.  Our fear keeps us from fulfilling our full potential. Either way it does not seem that this parable should be interpretted as entirely literal...that's kind of the point of parables. It seems Jesus is merely teaching a lesson through a story. That's what I mean about throwing out passages without reading them in context. The answer to your questions about it may have been answered if you had've read the chapter in it's entirety.

Thanks though for introducing your questions about the teachings of Jesus. I love reading this stuff and I love talking about it with others who don't hold the same beliefs as me.

Faith to me might also be accepting or trusting in anything about which doubt is theoretically possible.  I've heard a lot of people say that there is no evidence to support the existence of God...like none...so I was wondering how you define evidence. Can even something incredibley small be considered an evidence that supports a position or is evidence like some completely solid fact that indisputable proves something. Can there be evidences that points in the direction of something being true yet it does not mean that thing is indisputable? Like in a case of murder...you can have evidences that points to a suspect...that suspect can be convicted based on the evidence because it is reasonable to assume that they were the offender but still it is possible they were innocent because any number of things might explain the evidence.


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Sorry

Shit. Sorry guys I forgot to log in again.  Those two last posts were from meSmiling


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A fundy is a fool, a

A fundy is a fool, a hellion, a liar, an idol worshiper, an enemy of freedom .... a separationist, a dogmist, one who is a religious patriot .... one who says , there is a higher power .....


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Anonymous wrote:What the

Anonymous wrote:

What the heck is a 'fundy'?

A religious FUNDAmentalist.

 

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Matt Churchman wrote:FirsT I

Matt Churchman wrote:

FirsT I don't think that ther eis a single statement that can ever be made with a context from which it was made.  If you do beleive that there are things in the Bible that can not possibley be taken out of context let me now the particular passage and I'll do my best to sort it out for you.  

Sounds like you also like to interpret. Here are a few passages from Leviticus:

20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adultress shall surely be put to death.

20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Seems pretty clear to me. Do you believe in this? Do you agree with this?

Matt Churchman wrote:

I will definately check out Rooks work. I would caution you to look to outside sources in order to find a more balanced perspective.  Obviously the member sof this group have a particular agenda...and that's never good when we get into historical studies. The same can be said of Christian theologians. This is why we should look to a number of different sources with diffferent bias' before we form an opinion on something. At least I think this would be the reasonable thing to do.

I agree that balanced opinions are important, and the source should be considered. Honestly I am not interested enough to check it out for myself. I tend to trust people like Rook, because although he doesn't believe in God, I think he is interested in history and would not personally care if sections of the bible were historically acurate or not. He would be more interested in trying to find evidence to support whatever the truth is. atheists actually don't have as much of an agenda as religious folk.

Matt Churchman wrote:

That was my point about emotions. While many of us criticize Christians for using emotions as evidence or guides for our worldview, we also do the very same thing.  That was exactly my point.

This ties into what I was getting at. How do you define a good experience? DOes it have to do with a sensation or what you perceive to be enjoyable?  If your reason for being has to do with perception could another not also find purpose in an alternative peception if it brings about similar feelings?  The problem I find i both religious and Athiest circles is that we attempt to tell the other that our perception of reality is the right one and others who disagree are delusional or stupid. I also love sitting in the park and observing how cool nature is.

That was just about why I want to exist. How I define a good experience only matters to me. We all need to find our own way, I don't try to push my worldview or way of life on anyone. I just point out that as their is no evidence of God you are believeing in a fairy tale. I don't mind what you believe. I have nothing against religious individuals. You are defined to others by your actions. I have a problem with religion itself because it tells others what to think, do, feel, how to live their lives with no basis on anything but doctrine.

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Matt Churchman wrote:This is

Matt Churchman wrote:
This is one of the fallacies of argument. One party does something that is not cool so the other says "well you did it first". My point was that the statements made by the RRS had no context to them whatsoever. They were just a line or two of scripture.  Isogesis.  That is just bad theology...it's bad for any kind of study of anything. Perhaps if they had've presented the passages with some context...well then even if they came to the same conclusions I would be cool with that. I think I used the quote finction this time. Sorry for frustrating you buddy. I'm kind of new to this forum thinger ya know.

It's all good, I must also apologise if I seemed a little rude when requesting you use it. Smiling

I can't recall what the statements by the RRS were at this point in time and am too preoccupied right now to check, so I can't defend them.  How much of a passage is required for context though?  Most of the time once brought up the context grows until it's the entire book, which is well beyond what can be considered context due to the variety of what is in it.

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ronin-dog wrote:Matt

ronin-dog wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

FirsT I don't think that ther eis a single statement that can ever be made with a context from which it was made.  If you do beleive that there are things in the Bible that can not possibley be taken out of context let me now the particular passage and I'll do my best to sort it out for you.  

Sounds like you also like to interpret. Here are a few passages from Leviticus:

20:10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adultress shall surely be put to death.

20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Seems pretty clear to me. Do you believe in this? Do you agree with this?

Matt Churchman wrote:

I will definately check out Rooks work. I would caution you to look to outside sources in order to find a more balanced perspective.  Obviously the member sof this group have a particular agenda...and that's never good when we get into historical studies. The same can be said of Christian theologians. This is why we should look to a number of different sources with diffferent bias' before we form an opinion on something. At least I think this would be the reasonable thing to do.

I agree that balanced opinions are important, and the source should be considered. Honestly I am not interested enough to check it out for myself. I tend to trust people like Rook, because although he doesn't believe in God, I think he is interested in history and would not personally care if sections of the bible were historically acurate or not. He would be more interested in trying to find evidence to support whatever the truth is. atheists actually don't have as much of an agenda as religious folk.

Matt Churchman wrote:

That was my point about emotions. While many of us criticize Christians for using emotions as evidence or guides for our worldview, we also do the very same thing.  That was exactly my point.

This ties into what I was getting at. How do you define a good experience? DOes it have to do with a sensation or what you perceive to be enjoyable?  If your reason for being has to do with perception could another not also find purpose in an alternative peception if it brings about similar feelings?  The problem I find i both religious and Athiest circles is that we attempt to tell the other that our perception of reality is the right one and others who disagree are delusional or stupid. I also love sitting in the park and observing how cool nature is.

That was just about why I want to exist. How I define a good experience only matters to me. We all need to find our own way, I don't try to push my worldview or way of life on anyone. I just point out that as their is no evidence of God you are believeing in a fairy tale. I don't mind what you believe. I have nothing against religious individuals. You are defined to others by your actions. I have a problem with religion itself because it tells others what to think, do, feel, how to live their lives with no basis on anything but doctrine.

There is tonnes of stuff from Levitical Law that's crazy wacky.You mentioned earlier that you are aware that in the Christian beleif much of this was for a specific time to a specific people for a specific purpose. This is a period in time when God is attempting to establish a nation of people.  For that reason there were laws created to ensure their survival and advancement.  I don't completely understand everything but I will tell you that 20:13 sounds like it is condemning homosexuality. One possible reason for this would be because homosexuality would not contribute to the advancement of the nation of Israel.  There is another example of a man who 'spills his seed' and is put to death for it.  Apparently sperm was a highly valuable commodity to these people. The other one is simply a law against cheating on your spouse.  It just sounds like they are enforcing morality.  Having a set of moral rules helps society function no?  We do it all the time.  The purpose is that we don't all step on one anothers toes.  The punishment seems severe, true.  As far as whether I agree with of believe it...I beleive that it happened. I have not taken this rule and applied it to my life now as I don't bleieve it was given to me as a law. As you mentioned Jesus goes into detail about the difference between the spirit of the law and rule of the law. If you have anymore questions about particular passages perhaps we should do it more one on one beacuse I don't know that this forum is the place for it. Maybe there is a nother forum on this site that is more suited or we could do it over email.

I just disagree with your assumption that athiests don't have an agenda. Especially professional athiests. Rook like any religious scholar brings his own bias' into his work. There's no way around it. Simply the things he chooses to focus on in his work dictates the conclusions he will come to. I don;t think that's wrong. He has just as much right to look into things as anyone.  It might also be said that religious scholars are also seeking truth. To assume that just because someone beleives in God they do not want to know if that beleif is wrong. I don't choose to put my trust in any one person and I think that your faith in Rook is  just as accpetable as a Christians faith in the authors and historians that they follow.  Even faithin the bible and its authors.

So you don't think that any of the things you feel are good or bad apply to others as well? You make no moral judgments about the actions of others? It's just to each his own? So if everyone can just choose to live based on sensations then the religious individual who finds a great deal of good in their beleif in God has just as much right to live that out as you.  It is fair that you don't beleive there is any 'evidence' to support the existence of God. However  others would disagree.  Based on various evidences that point in that direction I have made a choice.  Just because you have come to a different conclusion doesn't mean I am living a fairytale unless you beleive that your worldview is absolutely the right one and everyone else must be wrong.  We need to be careful whatever view we hold that we do not attempt to push that on others or put down people for beleiving different than us. This is the misunderstanding I think between athiests and Christians.  There are Christians who are more intelligent than yourself and who have investigated this issue far more thoroughly than yourself...just like there are athiests who have investigated more than myself.  For us then our decision is largely based on the information we have be exposed to and our own perceptions of that information and it's application to our lives.  Whatever conclusions we come to it does not mean that one of us has the right to say the other is absolutely wrong...or at the very least we should acknowledge the possiblity that we may not have all the information. This understanding allows space for tolerance of differing opinions. As for religion telling people how to live...well it provides a guide to  those who choose to follow it as to how to live.  Christianity does not tell an athiest how to live or beleive...though often times religious individuals do. Don't get them confused.


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thingy wrote:Matt Churchman

thingy wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:
This is one of the fallacies of argument. One party does something that is not cool so the other says "well you did it first". My point was that the statements made by the RRS had no context to them whatsoever. They were just a line or two of scripture.  Isogesis.  That is just bad theology...it's bad for any kind of study of anything. Perhaps if they had've presented the passages with some context...well then even if they came to the same conclusions I would be cool with that. I think I used the quote finction this time. Sorry for frustrating you buddy. I'm kind of new to this forum thinger ya know.

It's all good, I must also apologise if I seemed a little rude when requesting you use it. Smiling

I can't recall what the statements by the RRS were at this point in time and am too preoccupied right now to check, so I can't defend them.  How much of a passage is required for context though?  Most of the time once brought up the context grows until it's the entire book, which is well beyond what can be considered context due to the variety of what is in it.

No worries. You guys have been really understanding so far and I appreciate it.

I would say that the entire book does need to be taken into consideration because the Christian beleif is based on the whole book. I understand what you're saying though and I'm sure there is some middle ground...maybe the time and purpose for when it was written, culture ect. There is something in theological studies that they call the Jesus hermanuetic which means that if the entire bible points toward Christ then everything should be read in light of Jesus' ministry and actions. That may be a good place to start when approaching Christians about probelms or questions about scripture. Again that may not be a great help but I guess there are lots of ways to put a passage into context. The approach of the RRS was similar to what I'm getting now from one of the posters. He is presenting passages without any context as if the were absolute statements for all time. It may have just been that they didn't feel they had the time in the debate to go into why they beleived these passages were so cut and dry. That's possible too.


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Agendas

I have plenty of agenda's in life most have absolutely nothing to do with theism or atheism.

I have plenty of labels, human, male, European, British, Londoner (liberalish politics by British standards but probably floating party wise). I also am a big fan of Windows software and less so of Linux.

Some of these views are shared by the religious some are not.  I do firmly believe religion should be between consenting adults and should keep its claws out of my life but that really isnt on my mind 24-7 sorting out my holiday to Greece is far more of a priority.


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So, Matt, there are some

So, Matt, there are some parts of the Bible that are still valid and others that are "crazy wacky"?

How do you differntiate between them?

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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jcgadfly wrote:So, Matt,

jcgadfly wrote:

So, Matt, there are some parts of the Bible that are still valid and others that are "crazy wacky"?

How do you differntiate between them?

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was merely saying that these things seem crazy wacky. I was not saying that they are not valid.  In this case you have to look at it in context and although it seems crazy wacky there was a purpose behind it.


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haha I agree I think.

haha I agree I think. Religious people should keep there claws out of your life. I actually thought maybe I should've added this to one of my previous posts.  One of the mistakes (in my opinion) that Christians make when looking at the laws and rules in Leviticus and other books is that they forget that these laws were enforced in a group for which God was building a nation.  That is not the case for us.  America or any other country is not a Christian nation. There s nothing in scripture that suggests this to be true.  In fact the kingdom that Jesus speaks of establishing is clearly not of this world.  It is also taught that there is really no distinction between countries, ethnicities or race. From a Christian perspective I don't think God is not concerned with our good acts if those good acts are merely because the laws of our country have obligated us to..say not work on Sunday...or not have abortions ect.  Christian morality is for Christians to choose to follow. Christians should not in my opinion be attempting to sieze political power or establish Christian laws as state laws to which everyone is acountable.


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Matt Churchman wrote:haha I

Matt Churchman wrote:

haha I agree I think. Religious people should keep there claws out of your life. I actually thought maybe I should've added this to one of my previous posts.  One of the mistakes (in my opinion) that Christians make when looking at the laws and rules in Leviticus and other books is that they forget that these laws were enforced in a group for which God was building a nation.  That is not the case for us.  America or any other country is not a Christian nation. There s nothing in scripture that suggests this to be true.  In fact the kingdom that Jesus speaks of establishing is clearly not of this world.  It is also taught that there is really no distinction between countries, ethnicities or race. From a Christian perspective I don't think God is not concerned with our good acts if those good acts are merely because the laws of our country have obligated us to..say not work on Sunday...or not have abortions ect.  Christian morality is for Christians to choose to follow. Christians should not in my opinion be attempting to sieze political power or establish Christian laws as state laws to which everyone is acountable.

 

Most religious people in the UK would probably agree with you unfortunately the same can not be said in the US. And a foreign policy based on the word of god effects both sides of the Atlantic.

However its very hard to be secular when your religion says  anyone else that doesnt share your views will burn for all eternity (and so will you if you don't try to convert them). Sure plenty of people ignore that but plenty don't. The word of god applies to everyone whether you believe in his existance or not , it simply isnt compatible with democracy


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Anonymous wrote:Real short

Anonymous wrote:

Real short one here. You have to know the the whole "taken out of context" idea is a new one. Mainly due to education and secularism. Only maybe until the late 1800's. Before then it was the direct word of god. After that the term different "voices" may have been in the bible, and errors in translation. As we learn more to disprove literal interpretations, more and more of the bible and koran will be just "metaphors or contextual". This is a progressive and blasphemous way even to mention such a thing. If you said in say, 1908 that "god didn't mean it like that..he really meant this, it's just a story"..take it from a 12 years catholic school kid taught by nuns, your head would be on a platter!!

I agree that in North America education has certainly played a huge role in us understanding the bible. I would disagree that context is a new concept. There are examples of Church leaders and apologists from centuries and centuries ago debating the meaning of scripture and the context of various passages.

You were in Catholic school in 1908?


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mrjonno wrote:Matt Churchman

mrjonno wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

haha I agree I think. Religious people should keep there claws out of your life. I actually thought maybe I should've added this to one of my previous posts.  One of the mistakes (in my opinion) that Christians make when looking at the laws and rules in Leviticus and other books is that they forget that these laws were enforced in a group for which God was building a nation.  That is not the case for us.  America or any other country is not a Christian nation. There s nothing in scripture that suggests this to be true.  In fact the kingdom that Jesus speaks of establishing is clearly not of this world.  It is also taught that there is really no distinction between countries, ethnicities or race. From a Christian perspective I don't think God is not concerned with our good acts if those good acts are merely because the laws of our country have obligated us to..say not work on Sunday...or not have abortions ect.  Christian morality is for Christians to choose to follow. Christians should not in my opinion be attempting to sieze political power or establish Christian laws as state laws to which everyone is acountable.

 

Most religious people in the UK would probably agree with you unfortunately the same can not be said in the US. And a foreign policy based on the word of god effects both sides of the Atlantic.

However its very hard to be secular when your religion says  anyone else that doesnt share your views will burn for all eternity (and so will you if you don't try to convert them). Sure plenty of people ignore that but plenty don't. The word of god applies to everyone whether you believe in his existance or not , it simply isnt compatible with democracy

My religion says that I will burn for all eternity if I don't convert people? I don't think that I was ignoring that part...I just don't remember reading it anywhere. I know Jesus said to make disciples...but that is different from making converts. Disciples are people who have already made a choice. As far as democracy...I think I would lean more in the direction of Anarchy if you want to know my personal preference:P


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As far as I'm aware god only

As far as I'm aware god only has one punishment for disobeying him and its not a £/$ 20 fine and 3 months probation its human BBQ time. So not converting would bad news if you prefer room temperature to be less than the boiling point of water


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Matt Churchman

Matt Churchman wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

So, Matt, there are some parts of the Bible that are still valid and others that are "crazy wacky"?

How do you differntiate between them?

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was merely saying that these things seem crazy wacky. I was not saying that they are not valid.  In this case you have to look at it in context and although it seems crazy wacky there was a purpose behind it.

Not sure how much that helps your cause. Seems like you're practicing a form of dispensationalism - some parts of the Bible were for the Jews back then but no longer apply now (because Jesus came, etc).

You're pretty much telling me you pick and choose the parts of scripture that feel good to you.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
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mrjonno wrote:As far as I'm

mrjonno wrote:

As far as I'm aware god only has one punishment for disobeying him and its not a £/$ 20 fine and 3 months probation its human BBQ time. So not converting would bad news if you prefer room temperature to be less than the boiling point of water

Just as a point of interest, human BBQ tastes quite a bit like pork BBQ.

 

Mmmmmmm...... BBQ.

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jcgadfly wrote:Matt

jcgadfly wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

So, Matt, there are some parts of the Bible that are still valid and others that are "crazy wacky"?

How do you differntiate between them?

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I was merely saying that these things seem crazy wacky. I was not saying that they are not valid.  In this case you have to look at it in context and although it seems crazy wacky there was a purpose behind it.

Not sure how much that helps your cause. Seems like you're practicing a form of dispensationalism - some parts of the Bible were for the Jews back then but no longer apply now (because Jesus came, etc).

You're pretty much telling me you pick and choose the parts of scripture that feel good to you.

No no. I'm not just picking and choosing what feels good. It is not as random as that. It is much more academic. It's not just because Jesus came, it's that he actually taught about these issues (ie being the fulfillment of the law ect). I didn't just pull these judgments out of my arse...I'm stealing this idea directly from Jesus' ministry. Paul in his letters alos touches on this issue.


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Matt Churchman wrote:No no.

Matt Churchman wrote:

No no. I'm not just picking and choosing what feels good. It is not as random as that. It is much more academic. It's not just because Jesus came, it's that he actually taught about these issues (ie being the fulfillment of the law ect). I didn't just pull these judgments out of my arse...I'm stealing this idea directly from Jesus' ministry. Paul in his letters alos touches on this issue.

That still leaves the question of the rubrick you use to sort that which is false from that which is not false.

If the Bible is not the innerrant word of God, then how do you sort the actual ministry from that which has been changed over time to fit culture, politics, and personal agenda?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:Matt

nigelTheBold wrote:

Matt Churchman wrote:

No no. I'm not just picking and choosing what feels good. It is not as random as that. It is much more academic. It's not just because Jesus came, it's that he actually taught about these issues (ie being the fulfillment of the law ect). I didn't just pull these judgments out of my arse...I'm stealing this idea directly from Jesus' ministry. Paul in his letters alos touches on this issue.

That still leaves the question of the rubrick you use to sort that which is false from that which is not false.

If the Bible is not the innerrant word of God, then how do you sort the actual ministry from that which has been changed over time to fit culture, politics, and personal agenda?

Again I'm not saying that some things are false and others true. I'm saying that by examining the teachings of Jesus one can attempt to discern whether something is applicable to a modern Christian or whether it may have been temporary to serve a certain purpose. This is perhaps the rubric you are looking for. Some theologians call it the Jesus hermaneutic. There is definately a method to interpreting biblical passages. The OT is actually quite clear that the law is temporary and the prophets speak about a day in which it will be fulfilled.  In the NT it is taught that the law is "obsolete". So you see it is not that Christians are merely ignoring the rules and laws of the OT because they don't feel good about them. It is actually a part of what is taught by Jesus and other NT authors.


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Matt Churchman, Thanks for

Matt Churchman, 

Thanks for hangin' out. I am an "Atheist for Jesus" ( which, btw, is an interesting site you can google) One of the big reasons I say this, is the eastern writings, old and current, regarding Jesus "philosophy" and the errors of the Christian church. The errors of Islam is also discussed here.

THIS Large HINDI Site has won many awards, whatever that's worth !?

"The masterful articles on Christianity that are featured on your web site are an eye opener. The penetrating insight and the analysis of the life and teachings of Jesus as contrasted with the practices of the church, are excellent."

"Jesus versus churchianity" , ETC

http://www.hinduism.co.za/jesus.htm

Messed up Islam, and some praise too,

http://www.hinduism.co.za/islam.htm

             Let's remember, wackos come in most all labels ....

I see story Jesus as atheist/pantheist, but it makes no difference as to me and you being 100% god, as all is connected as one. Late Alan Watts was a "world religion philosophy teacher uniter", I've enjoyed and recommend. 

 

 

        

 

 


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Matt Churchman wrote:Again

Matt Churchman wrote:

Again I'm not saying that some things are false and others true. I'm saying that by examining the teachings of Jesus one can attempt to discern whether something is applicable to a modern Christian or whether it may have been temporary to serve a certain purpose. This is perhaps the rubric you are looking for. Some theologians call it the Jesus hermaneutic. There is definately a method to interpreting biblical passages. The OT is actually quite clear that the law is temporary and the prophets speak about a day in which it will be fulfilled.  In the NT it is taught that the law is "obsolete". So you see it is not that Christians are merely ignoring the rules and laws of the OT because they don't feel good about them. It is actually a part of what is taught by Jesus and other NT authors.

 

So are you saying mass murder by god in the floods or the destruction of sodom and gomorah  for example  was ok at the time but wouldnt be acceptable in modern times (or even in the new age testament).

That it was ok to murder gay people 2000 years ago but its not acceptable now?

A similar example I've heard from Muslims that it was ok to kill apostates when Islam was small in numbers and at war but would be totally unacceptable in a modern democacy (I assume its ok in Saudia Arabia)

Strangely the bible does tend to show god 'evolving' which is pretty weird for something eternal and with lots of omni-s. its almost like human nature is evolving and rewriting the story Smiling

 

 


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Matt Churchman wrote:God

Matt Churchman wrote:

God wants our love for the reason that (if their is a God) our being in healthy relationship with God would be in our best interest. To serve other gods...or man made gods above the true divine force of the universe would be a distortion of reality and therefore would not be in our best interest.  Everything (or most that I can think of off the top) that is understood as 'sin' from a Christian worldview is something that stands between our ability to live in loving relationship with either God, creation, ourselves or others. The word sin is actually an archery term which means 'to miss the mark'.  So when we sin we miss the mark of how God intended for us to be...or what is the most satisying way of being in the world.  In this way when God speaks of sin he is not laying out a list of rules just because, but guidelines for us to reach our full potential.  Greed - self centred, Lust - self centred, Wrath, envy, jealousy, adultery...the list goes on. These are all ways that we can choose to stray from the path of love and true intimacy.  If God loves us and knows that our loving God is central to us experiencing life and reality in all fullness then it is logical that God would also want our love - not because God needs our love but because we need to love God.  Of course it is a little uncomfortable to beleive that we need anything because we are so self-reliant.

 

A very astute distillation of the Judeo-Christian ethic, there. Clearly a pretty good thing for society, those old Laws.

The question is: does this concept of sin necessarily need God in order to be valid?

We have a similar conundrum with the US Constitution. The basis of human rights is stated therein to rest on the authority of God. Nevermind hysterical political efforts to deny the various theological leanings of the US Founders (we don't need to change history). Can this idea stand without God?

What if we consider morality to be a matter of logical extrapolation, based on a fundamental principle that we all agree upon? For example: promote what is positive to man's survival (on both the individual level and as a species) and suppress that which is negative. If we are completely honest about our definitions, would we not wind up with something very similar to the expression of "God's Love" you described?

Obviously, I'm not a proponent of Nietzsche, but give it a think.

Matt Churchman wrote:

Funny as it is I actually tend to learn more through these sorts of exchanges than I do with other theists. Thanks again for your responses.

Not a good sign for religion, is it?


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Jesus and the OT

Matt Churchman wrote:

Again I'm not saying that some things are false and others true. I'm saying that by examining the teachings of Jesus one can attempt to discern whether something is applicable to a modern Christian or whether it may have been temporary to serve a certain purpose. This is perhaps the rubric you are looking for. Some theologians call it the Jesus hermaneutic. There is definately a method to interpreting biblical passages. The OT is actually quite clear that the law is temporary and the prophets speak about a day in which it will be fulfilled.  In the NT it is taught that the law is "obsolete". So you see it is not that Christians are merely ignoring the rules and laws of the OT because they don't feel good about them. It is actually a part of what is taught by Jesus and other NT authors.

It seems the contextualization of the Bible is exactly that to which I referred -- political and social expedience. If there is no constance to the dictates of the Bible, then cherry-picking that which seems applicable is essentially situational morality. If parts of the Bible  are outdated rather than wrong, it seems you are still in the situation of judging God's word. That hardly seems appropriate for a sacred text.

It seems, though, that you are referring specifically to the OT.  However, didn't Jesus say, "Until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the law, until all is accomplished" (Matthew 5:18)? What did he say to indicate that "all is accomplished?" It seems that he is stating clearly that the laws of the OT were not to be ignored.

As an aside: have you ever read John Shelby Spong?

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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mrjonno

Exactly. It is entirely possible. Again you are just throwing out situations without any context. What happened at Sodom and Gomorah? What happened with the Flood? How did God respond? Why might God have responded that way? If God is God at all is it possible that what was being prevented was far more tragic? I completely agree that some of these stories can be hard to stomach. The Bible is not G rated...not at all.  As a human being a I grieve for the loss of human life as well regardless of circumstance.

Let's not make this into an issue of gay or straight.  I don't even think they had a word for that in Hebrew. This is not talking about sexual orientation but a sexual act that was seen perhaps to be counterproductive to the building of the nation of Israel.

The Bible is apparently the story of humanities relationship with God.  Of course we see human progression in it. And as God provides guidance of course you begin to see god dealing with humanity in ways in which they understand in order to nudge them along.  This is inevitable. I've asked all of these same questions at one point or another.  It really is up to the seeker to decide whether they believe it to be an accurate history or not...which more often then not comes down to whether you beleive in God or not.

Again if you are interested in a theological discussion about the Bible and what it teaches perhaps you could private message me and that way we could actually get into the ins and outs of all this stuff?