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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Why do people who don't believe the Bible try to use it as their weapon?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26783points) October 12th, 2010

Why is it people who don’t believe in the Bible, that it is a book made by man and not the Word of God try to use the this so-called fake Bible to expose Christians has weak minded hypocrites? That to me makes about as much sense as someone who thought a text book say quantum physics was fake to refer to that book to disprove quantum physics. By using the Bible to try and prove their point are they not saying the book is real? I mean, they can’t seem to use independent text to disprove the Bible, and it would seem easy if they really had the goods.

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85 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Using the bible to prove anything is always problematic. Pointing out the parts of it that are questionable, or have been proven wrong, or can’t be interpreted in a way that makes sense with our current understanding of the nature of the universe can be a powerful tool in demonstrating to bible literalists the flaws in their belief. The same goes for showing the questionable translations, transcription history, etc. of the book itself.

crisw's avatar

I think you are massively, massively confused.

If I want to refute the veracity of a text, of course I am going to cite examples from that text to illustrate the points I am making. I am not stating that I “believe in” these points; rather, I am using the quotes to buttress my arguments against their veracity.

If I had problems with a textbook, I would, of necessity, cite the incorrect statements in the textbook and then show just how they are false.

And, of course, the Bible is real, in the sense that it exists. This is not the subject of debate. it’s whether the Bible is accurate, consistent, etc. And, of course, Bible skeptics are going to point out areas where it’s inaccurate or inconsistent by using quotes from the Bible. How else do you expect them to do it?

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

The reason they use the bible is because the christian religion is based on it and there are so many contradictions and conflicts in “the word”, they figure if they point them out maybe they will open someone’s eyes.

Berserker's avatar

Better to use that as a weapon instead of a sword, guillotine or the fires of the Inquisition.

Oh and pilniewinkies; own?

Thing is that The Bible is held dear by believers, but since atheists don’t believe in what it says, and mostly believe it to be full of loopholes and bullshit, of course they’ll use it as a weapon. People are people, and I don’t see anybody of any fence side being any better. Christians bash science, atheists bash the spiritual, what are you actually wanting to know? That is, besides the surprisingly small amount of people, believers and non, who have actually read the whole damned thing.

lillycoyote's avatar

If you believe that the Bible is true then there is nothing wrong with people who don’t believe that the bible is true pointing out where the holes in the document, in “the text,” in your argument might be. It seems that if someone believed that a text on quantum physics was “fake” they would certainly use the contradictions, fallacies and inaccuracies in the text itself to argue that the text was “fake.” I’m not sure what you’re getting at here. I think what they might be going for is that you do not get to pick and choose which parts o the Bible are real and true and “god’s word” and which parts of it aren’t. If you believe the “Bible” the totality of it the whole thing, that each and every word of it is true then you open yourself up to having to answer for the contradictions, the gaps, the glossing over, the dubious, pretzel logic interpretations of the text that serve no other purpose than to support an existing or proposed position or ideology .

Yeah, that’s a comment chasing it’s own tail but I’m going to edit it now. Maybe a clarification tomorrow, probably not though. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

talljasperman's avatar

because It gives massive paper cuts…. its a very effective weapon… however I still prefer “Diplomacy for Dummies” as a weapon of choice… as it’s more likely not to leave brusies

fundevogel's avatar

Ah, I remember feeling as if I was being beaten about the head and neck by a Bible once. I can’t remember if I was already a wee baby atheist or just liberal, but I distinctly recall being pummelled with Biblical justifications of things I found morally abhorrent.

It’s hard to discuss things rationally with people when they think the only justification they need is that the Bible says so. If you want to dive in to that can of worms you really have to demonstrate the Bible to be an unreliable source of morality at the very least. Clearly I am foolhardy enough to try.

everephebe's avatar

Your question will be answered if you read the book. @Hypocrisy_Central, this book is hypocrisy central.

BoBo1946's avatar

The Bible can be intellectualized and many do that…rightfully so, but people who believe in the Bible, do so by Faith. No Christian can fully explain the Bible, but we defend it as the Word of God.

ChaosCross's avatar

The bible is a book about faith right? Then it would not work if intellectuals attempted to disprove it with logic.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Why do I use the bible to expose christians? Because Christians don’t know what the bible says, most probably skipped over the parts they don’t agree with and cling to the ones that they find easy to follow. And if you read the word of Jesus
5:10 Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

5:11 “Blessed are you when people reproach you, persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

5:12 Rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

So take comfort in the fact that I am HELPING you get into heaven.

Oh and @Hypocrisy_Central, Judge not lest ye be judged.

BoBo1946's avatar

No logic in Faith. Faith is about believing something that has never been seen physically. No tangiable evidence to disprove or prove the Bible. Either you believe or not. I do. Nothing or no person will ever change that.

crazyivan's avatar

I think a better question is why people who believe the bible to be the word of god tend to know less about it than people who know that it was a book written by men. Survey after survey shows that atheists and agnostics know more about the content of the bible than Christians.

How’s this for a puzzler… why do bible-thumpers try to use biblical passages when arguing with atheists? I mean, when I say “This book is a bunch of nonsense”, why do Christians always come back and say “No, look, right here in the book that you said was a bunch of nonsense… right here it says that it isn’t nonsense! Oh yeah, and it also says you’re going to hell!”

BoBo1946's avatar

@crazyivan I don’t try to convince anyone about my religion. That is their business, but on the other hand, I don’t take to well to non-Christians attacking my beliefs. Live and let live!

soarwing11's avatar

What better weapon to use than the Biblical texts themselves?! The sheer absurdity of the supernatural claims are potent weapons indeed. Especially parts like when “God” directly butchers babies in order to show Pharaoh who was boss. The Bible is a collection of atrocities, sexism and sadism, lightly seasoned with some warm and fuzzy philosophy that had been around centuries before. Of course those that are critical or skeptical of a text are going to use that text to demonstrate why.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Because it’s what is used against us.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@Russell_D_SpacePoet The reason they use the bible is because the christian religion is based on it and there are so many contradictions and conflicts in “the word”, they figure if they point them out maybe they will open someone’s eyes. But if the book is believed to be fake then no part of it would even be relevant to use. Of instance if I believed the US Constitution to be a fake document, something made up and not what the founding fathers crafted together, to try to use it to prove the US was not a democracy but something else, or a nation where free speech reigned if I should be able to make the case with out having to use a document, book or text believed to be bogus, or I don’t even believe in from the start.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central I still don’t understand how it is possible to argue that something is “bogus” without examining the thing itself. I don’t how you would go about arguing that the U.S. Constitution if a fake without examining the constitution itself. If the document, the actual paper, is a fake you would have to examine it. If someone wanted to argue that contents of it are “fake” and not what the founders actually created then you would have to examine the contents in order to argue that it wasn’t what the founders intended. So, let me ask you… what would an argument against the veracity or consistency or whatever, of the Bible look and sound like if the person making that argument didn’t or couldn’t reference the Bible itself? I’m having trouble picturing what that kind of argument would consist of.

lloydbird's avatar

Because it’s heavy?

crazyivan's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Your logic is truly dizzying. Using the analogy that you think the Constitution is “fake” document is kind of weird. I’m not sure what you would even mean if you made that assertion (would it be a hologram?), but I’ll try to stay with it.

Imagine that Article One of the Constitution read “Don’t stand on one leg” and Article Two said “Stand on one leg”. If you were trying to demonstrate to somebody that it was an innane document, would you not point out that the two articles contradicted each other?

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan

I think that @Hypocrisy_Central has a point in the comparison. The Constitution is a ridiculous document if you demand that it be taken literally, is internally contradictory, and cannot be considered a “complete” document without the variety of interpretations as well as the history itself. Further, to say that it is the word of the founding fathers, and that the word is not infallible, rings with the same ridiculousness as saying that the bible is the word of god and must be taken literally, and that if any part of it can be deemed wrong, it is a fake document.

Consider the following:

Amendment 2 – Right to Bear Arms. Ratified 12/15/1791.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

A literal adherence to this amendment creates, and has created, far more issues in the U.S. than one can count.

Amendment 18 – Liquor Abolished. Ratified 1/16/1919. Repealed by Amendment 21, 12/5/1933.

1. After one year from the ratification of this article the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.

2. The Congress and the several States shall have concurrent power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

3. This article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by the legislatures of the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

and then

Amendment 21 – Amendment 18 Repealed. Ratified 12/5/1933. History

1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

3. The article shall be inoperative unless it shall have been ratified as an amendment to the Constitution by conventions in the several States, as provided in the Constitution, within seven years from the date of the submission hereof to the States by the Congress.

This is a very clear example of the Constitution as an internally inconsistent document

Amendment 13 – Slavery Abolished. Ratified 12/6/1865.

1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

However, this was contrary to practices in the U.S., and was something forced on the people of many states – and shows that the definition of people can’t mean one thing throughout the history of the document and throughout its history.

Amendment 15 – Race No Bar to Vote. Ratified ⅔/1870.

1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

But no women? That’s not stated, but implied through history until…

Amendment 19 – Women’s Suffrage. Ratified 8/18/1920.

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

And this is only the beginning…;-)

The point is that if you look at the document in a vacuum, it makes no sense. The bible in a vacuum makes no sense in the same manner. Although of course there are fundamental differences in how people support the document, it’s intellectually delusional in a way to think that using passages in the bible against other passages in the bible shows how the document should be tossed aside – that it can’t be depended on at all.

This is why arguments that use the bible couched in a “true/false” binary miss the general point. A fine tactic, but standing behind it requires one to maintain an intellectual blind spot to the theological writings on it, multiple interpretations from other internal “authoritative” sources, etc. Just as we need life and external writings to gain a full understanding of the Constitution, we need life and external writings to gain a full understanding of the bible.

So, by your logic, I need only point to Articles 18 and 21. Of course, that would be ridiculous.

crazyivan's avatar

That’s a great answer, though I don’t see that it addresses the point. Clearly in this argument, whether or not it occurs in a vacuum, you would still have to reference the Constitution. As well reasoned and well written as your response was, it demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of the either the point I was making or the question at hand.

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan

I get the confusion, because it’s not necessarily support for the point I think was trying to be made, and that you were trying to refute (I’m having a little trouble understanding @Hypocrisy_Central‘s arguments here as well.). It was more directed at the assertion that a document is inane because you can point out internal inconsistencies, and resting on that alone was sufficient (I don’t necessarily think that’s what you meant, but it’s what was said. ;-))

I think the question is along the lines of that if you argue that the document is fake, then pointing out any part of it to refute anything else isn’t logical. If the bible is fake, every part of it is, and therefore you get caught in an infinite loop of unsupported argument. I am Christian, and I point to the bible for x fact. You are not, and point to how the bible is a fake or untrue document, and point to y that contradicts x to show it. I say that if the bible is fake or untrue, the whole thing is fake or untrue. Therefore, y is untrue, and does not contradict x, because it is a lie. ;-).

The argument is directed more at the situation where someone is making an absolute statement about the bible. If there is no truth to be found in it, no part of it can be used against another part. Only objectively discovered evidence outside the bible can be used to refute parts of it, or the assertion that the bible is consistent and infallible. In this case, you are of course referencing the bible, but you are not using one argument or statement in it against another.

Essentially, it’s intellectually dishonest to claim anything like that and still attempt to use parts of the bible. I think that the tactic is incredibly useful when people rely on the bible, and that alone, as their evidence. But outside the argument with the religious fundamentalist, it has to be recognized that it’s a dirty tactic because it involves a form of double-speak or lying. Applying it to the constitution, it’s the same as stating that the Constitution is a false, fake, untrue, etc. document in an absolute sense, and then pointing to Articles 18 and 21 as proof. But if the proof comes from the invalid source itself, it’s no proof at all.

When bible-thumpers use it against atheists claiming that it’s nonsense, it can be based on the assumption that the atheist is saying the whole thing is nonsense. However, there is a lot of sensible material in the bible, and the thumper can attempt to point at that to dispute the atheists statement. This is a completely valid argument, and the atheist should accept it as reasonable. This is different, of course, than the thumper pointing to that sensible part, and then claiming, “See! That means the bible is right/true,” which then makes their argument as ridiculous as an atheist attempting to use passages of the bible when they claim that it is a document without sense.

The problem is solely when anyone, regardless, uses parts of the bible to make conclusions about the bible in total.

crazyivan's avatar

@iamthemob Again, great answer. You are one of the most fun people to disagree with of all time.

And to be clear, I don’t disagree with the content of either of your last 2 posts, just their applicability to the existing argument. I do think you make a very lucid ancillary point and it’s one I’m better off for having read. Thanks.

(hopefully this doesn’t get removed as “unhelpful”... I’ve been having that problem a bit today)

iamthemob's avatar

@crazyivan

You’re bad mouthing the mods for no reason – I sent you a message as to why your message on my thread was unhelpful and why I thought so privately just so this confusion wouldn’t occur. Read your PMs, yo. ;-)

On this – why do you disagree with the applicability to the existing argument – I’m not sure if I am missing something or if we’re just interpreting what the present argument is differently…or any other myriad miscommunications inbetween that can happen on the interwebs…

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@iamthemob Ah a voice of logic and reason. That hit it pretty damn close. To me if you are an atheist and you don’t believe the Bible is true and God is a vapor then you can’t use part of an untrue Bible to show the Bible is untrue because you will have to admit part of it is true or you would not be using it pretty much gutting the notion that the Bible is untrue.

iamthemob's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

Okay – that’s clear. But do you think that there is value in using that tactic regardless, particularly when you either (1) need to bring it to attention and quickly, as it effects something like legislation based on a biblical argument (this happens so often, although it will be couched in a more religion-neutral sense in the legislation); or (2) your arguing with a particularly bull-headed biblical literalist?

In arguing with the literalist, it may not convince them, but people on the fence reading the argument may get a better and better sense with the problem at issue by reading or seeing it…and you might convince them to at least do some more research.

crazyivan's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Of course, that argument falls apart if the portion of the bible you’re pointing to is demonstrating the absurdity or untruth of the bible itself. In other words, if I point out a falsifiable statment in the bible I am certainly not admitting it is true, quite the opposite in fact. One would then only be admitting that the bible exists, which I think we all agree on.

Paradox's avatar

Giving you the short answer here I would say because of the perceived contradictions in the Bible as well as The apparent scientific fallacies or at least the way they are comprehended by so called “critical thinkers”.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@iamthemob For instance if I wanted to debunk the infield fly rule in baseball, but I believed the rule book or Baseball Handbook the person I was debating with was false and not true for me to try to use the book at all would be a de facto admission the book was real. If there was a part in the book that said the infield fly rule only applies if the teams were within 3 runs of each other and only for games played Tue. Through Fri. or under lights, if I thought the whole book was fake then the infield fly rule I believed correct in the book would be as false as the one I did not believe because it came from the whole book of falseness. So I would have to use an independent source to debunk the rule but then I just need to debunk baseball because it is bigger than the infield fly rule.

iamthemob's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

Completely understood. I think, however, that there is a benefit to using the rule from the book, even though you believe it all to be false, to debunk the book as a whole, when someone doesn’t seem to realize that the book doesn’t contain contradictions when they base a judgment on the rule from the book and solely the book itself. It’s a useful rhetorical strategy – intellectually dishonest, yes…but, if for some reason they were using the book to support the notion that African Americans could not play baseball and their argument rested on the fact that the rule was in the handbook, and nothing else.

So in the instances that a biblical literalist is (by necessity) cherry-picking the parts of the bible that they’re following and resting their explanations on the bible itself, it makes sense, regardless of your beliefs about it, to use it against them. I do not see the point, however, in attempting to push the person past the point of admitting internal consistency to an assertion that the bible is false as a whole…as I think that requires the person arguing against the biblical literalist also be a literalist, and we get caught in a weird logic loop.

soarwing11's avatar

Unbelievable.
How is it that someone doesn’t understand that a book with absurd claims in it can be used against the notion of those claims and others that it may contain? If I wrote a book claiming that I had oatmeal for breakfast, would anyone have any particular reason to doubt the existence of oatmeal? But if I wrote a book claiming that I had oatmeal with a magical invisible man this morning, wouldn’t you use that claim from my book to demonstrate the idea that my book my be questionable? No one is arguing that the Bible is “fake”. It’s clearly a real collection of writings – varying of course – that exists. Although, as far as we know, not a single word was written about Jesus when he was alive. No one even knows who actually wrote the four gospels… let alone if they were Jesus’ contemporaries or ever met him. In the Biblical text itself, the gospels specifically, we find crushing evidence that the Bible was very likely written by people that were trying to shoe-horn Jesus into fitting O.T. “prophecy”. And with each gospel, Jesus’ magic tricks become progressively more impressive! Pointing out errors and inconsistencies in the Bible does not make the Bible false “as a whole”. But what it does do is demonstrate that parts of it can not be the work of a perfect “God”. Fundamentalists, of course, will not accept this… and sophisticated theologians know that without demonstrated Biblical perfection, there’s no reason to believe the supernatural claims of the Bible over those of Harry Potter or Spider Man. The Biblical claims themselves are worthy of pointing out by skeptics because there is nothing about them that demonstrates knowledge or “morality” beyond what a superstitious bronze-age man would demonstrate. Thus, the Bible itself is a perfect tool to debunk the claims made by those that believe that the Bible is something more.

iamthemob's avatar

@soarwing11

No one even knows who actually wrote the four gospels… let alone if they were Jesus’ contemporaries or ever met him.

You’re right. In fact, Mark used to be considered the least important of the gospels until it was discovered that it was written by someone who was most likely the only of the four who might have actually seen or met Jesus. Now, it is thought to be the gospel on which the other three took their cues about the story.

In the Biblical text itself, the gospels specifically, we find crushing evidence that the Bible was very likely written by people that were trying to shoe-horn Jesus into fitting O.T. “prophecy”.

This is mostly true if we are talking about Matthew, as opposed to the other three. All reference the OT, but Matthew does so by tying Jesus very specifically to OT prophecy (e.g., tracing ancestry to Abraham). Luke, on the other hand, traces him back to Adam to reference OT stories that would be familiar not only to Jews but to Gentiles as well. Therefore, this is more about the audience for which the gospel was written more than anything else, which does cast into doubt the “truth” of the statements therein but provides a better understanding as to differences from one gospel to the next.

Pointing out errors and inconsistencies in the Bible does not make the Bible false “as a whole”. But what it does do is demonstrate that parts of it can not be the work of a perfect “God”.

Absolutely true, this speaks to the fact that it’s written by man, and therefore subject to the fallibilities of both author and audience.

Fundamentalists, of course, will not accept this… and sophisticated theologians know that without demonstrated Biblical perfection, there’s no reason to believe the supernatural claims of the Bible over those of Harry Potter or Spider Man.

This statement doesn’t clearly hold water though…fundamentalists won’t accept, yes. However, you don’t really state who the “sophisticated” theologians are, nor why they are qualified as sophisticated. More importantly, that claim doesn’t make the bible equivalent to Harry Potter or Spiderman, as those have (1) always been portrayed as fictional, and (2) are related to specific authors who are or were alive and can be asked about the claims in the work.

Thus, the Bible itself is a perfect tool to debunk the claims made by those that believe that the Bible is something more.

More than a grouping of superstitious beliefs held by bronze-age man? I don’t know – this is where it gets complicated. The question has only been whether one can honestly use the bible to show that the bible isn’t true. This requires one to take a very literal stance on it, which seems dishonest. Otherwise, one can’t really use the bible to undercut the deepest and most important aspects of the faith associated with it – merely assumptions about how certain aspects of that faith are expressed in it. Also, you’re resorting to information obtained outside the bible, which isn’t really what the OP seems to address – the OP is talking about using one passage to debunk another, etc. Information regarding authorship, similar claims in other cultures, etc., is the more expansive analysis that makes the debate interesting, and not the simple quote-war that seems to occur in many cases.

BoBo1946's avatar

You guys can intellectualize the Bible and it’s teaching until doomsday and debate it until your heart’s is content, but it boils down to one simple thing, Faith. There is NO way to explain or understand it, you either feel God in your heart or you don’t.

crazyivan's avatar

You can’t intellectualize the bible very much…

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – Doesn’t that make the bible superfluous to any argument then? If faith is the answer, then the bible isn’t…and it should be tossed out of the church altogether.

I don’t really want to get all slippery slope about it, but it seems like if we’re going to make that argument, the inevitable conclusion is that the bible is of no importance.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob oh no…not for those who have Faith in his Word. We don’t question Him or His word.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – and that’s the problem, though. When you look at how the language in the bible can be interpreted in so many ways, what his “Word” is becomes subjective. When you take a literal standpoint, the bible has so many contradictions, to use it as an argument in any sense is almost self defeating. If you don’t intellectualize it to some extent, you ignore the fact that although you may believe god is infallible, you can’t believe that men are as well – and it was men who are responsible for the bible, as it is, in its current form. And how it’s preached.

It’s a little odd, but using an example from the bible shows this very problem – the Tower of Babel (the city and its tower, rather). In essence, man was punished for a collective act by being split up into different nations with different languages – language was “confounded”. By this very admittance, although god’s language may be perfect in its communication of intent and meaning, ours certainly no longer are. I read the bible in English – therefore, I can’t say, and I argue no one can, what god’s word is by simply reading or quoting the bible. The bible must be a process in order to be considered relevant, and therefore to question the bible is never to question “the Word,” but to find it. There’s nothing holy in the languages in man.

crisw's avatar

@BoBo1946

“We don’t question Him or His word.”

You might want to read 10 signs you are an unquestioning Christian.

BoBo1946's avatar

@crisw okay folks, should not come here…you win…. not debating it with you guys! Don’t need to read anything…. have a good one!

crazyivan's avatar

I think it’s funny that I read @BoBo1946‘s repsonse after leaving the thread about how much fun it is to have your beliefs challenged… not for everyone, I suppose.

Oh, and @crisw thanks for the link.

BoBo1946's avatar

@crazyivan nothing to challenge…i believe, they don’t! Why debate…I’ve heard all this before…they are not changine their minds, nor am i.

BoBo1946's avatar

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5–6)

This is what I believe….I can try to understand how Jonas was swallowed by a whale or just believe it….so..simplified, i believe it.

thekoukoureport's avatar

I believe therefore I am…. Doesn’t sound right.
I think therefore I am… Sounds much better, because IF god had given me this perfect organ called a brain, to not use it would be the greatest sin of all.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I think the passage is difficult to debate…but it seems more about trusting the Lord to guide you to the proper answers. How this manifests I won’t pretend to understand – but it doesn’t tell us what to believe about how the bible manifests the Lord’s understanding.

Believing that Jonas was swallowed by a whale may not be the point, but the lesson it is meant to give may be. But putting that aside, do you then take a literal approach to the bible? If so, what is your stance on Leviticus?

crisw's avatar

@crazyivan

And, I have to point out, note what BoBo said in that thread…

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob…The Old Testament has so many things that I cannot understand or comprehend (especially Leviticus). I can certainly understand why many question the Bible, but if you go to a good Bible class and study His word, there are many questions that can be answered by people more knowledgeable than myself.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946

Ahh – so you’re of the mind that the word is gained through study, and not just reading.

Interesting point. ;-)

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob I’m not qualified to be a Bible teacher. There are people who spend their life studying the Bible that can answer your questions. There are many religions going to home study. That is a trend now days. Each week a group meets in a different home and study the Bible. There are so many questions that can be cleared up in a good class.

iamthemob's avatar

@BoBo1946 – I’m not saying you are. But, I’ll be careful in my assessment of anyone who says that they are. They’re all people, as far as I’m concerned. Claiming authority as to what the word of god is, I think, a dangerous thing to be done in any case.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob could not agree more… it’s a judgement call. There are false phophets out there.

I’ve always said, some so called Christians and preachers do more harm to Christianity than anyone…especially TV evangelist.

sls48's avatar

Perhaps they who are UNBELIEVERS of the Bible, use it as weapon, because of the old
adage that to PUT OUT A WILDFIRE, you must FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE?! Look at the
positive aspects of what they are doing.. First, they are using the HOLY BIBLE and not
some other source, so in that respect, they must read some of it, to refute it, right? The
Bible itself says, “BE DOERS OF THE WORD & NOT HEARERS ONLY”(James 1:13–25).
Those who simply hear or read the Bible to find fault inside it are JUST DECEIVING THEIR
OWN SELVES. But, there is hope that while “hearing or reading” the Holy Bible, that
skeptic/doubter might learn something useful, such as the INCONVENIENT TRUTHS that
all of us are SINNERS that are LOST & INCOMPLETE WITHOUT GOD in our lives(Romans
5:6–12); and that upon REALIZING WHAT WE ARE, AS SINNERS, we must acknowledge
and confess our sins with a Godly Sorrow(PSA.51:1–3)(2COR.7:10,11); then we are very
ready to BE WATER BAPTISED FOR THE REMISSION OF ALL OUR REPENTED SINS
and afterwards expect the PROMISED SPIRITUAL GIFT OF THE HOLY GHOST(Acts 2:38)
(Acts 19:1–6)(Acts 10:1–48). Yes these are INCONVENIENT TRUTHS to many folks, but
sometimes the TRUTH HURTS and CUTS THE DEEPEST when you have failed to obey it
and do what it tells you!! Keep reading and listening to the WORD OF GOD all my skeptic
friends, as it can and will save your weary souls from Hell(Romans 1:16–32)...God forbid
that any of you are HOLDING THE TRUTH OF THE GOSPEL in UNRIGHTEOUSNESS??
While you learn about the PROPHECIES OF ENDTIME EVENTS foretold in the Bible,
have you failed to learn about WHAT IT TAKES TO GO TO HEAVEN WHEN YOU DIE?
While you learn about DINOSAURS, COMPUTERS, NUCLEAR BOMBS, SPACE TRAVEL,
BARCODES, MICROCHIPS, GRAVITY, and numerous other fascinating Bible predictions
have you failed to learn about the PRECIOUS SALVATION OF GOD that is availble to you?
Are you one of those many UNSAVED/UNBELIEVERS that reads, listens and holds the
Holy Word of God in unrighteousness?? Are your words & comments helping people or
harming them? Does what you say to the world, bring forth Blessings or Cursings? Are
you on God’s Side, the WINNING SIDE, or on the Devil’s Side, the LOSING SIDE??
What SIDE are you really on, my friends?? Examine yourselves and see(2.COR.13:5)..

iamthemob's avatar

@sls48 – physician, heal thyself.

syz's avatar

@sls48 Is that seriously supposed to make me suddenly believe? Surely you realize that stuff like that just drives away anyone who is questioning and looking for answers. Major turn off, dude.

Good grief.

sls48's avatar

Being ‘TURNED OFF” is not what you need neighbor. To ‘TURN AWAY” from your wicked
ways is what you need to do. That begins with realizing you are a Sinner that is in need of
God in His life. The rest I already thoroughly explained and and suggest you research what
advice I gave to my readers for yourself. Im not here to TURN YOU ON, OR OFF. Im here to
TURN YOU AWAY FROM SIN and TURN TOWARD GOD!! (Acts 2:38–41)...SLS

sls48's avatar

Jesus Christ is the GREAT PHYSICIAN and HEALER OF ALL DISEASES(PSA.103:1–3)..
Seek Him if you need Healing! After all He is the EXPERT and has healed me and my
friends many times over the past 30 years and He has also delivered me out of various NEAR
DEATH situations(Luke 10:19)..! Many are his wonderful benefits!! (PSA.116:12,13)(PSA 68:
19,20)... Start discovering some of them for yourself and see!! The best one is Heaven!!...SLS

iamthemob's avatar

@syz is anything but wicked, @sls48. I seem to remember something about casting the first stone somewhere between the “research” that you pointed “your readers” to.

I can tell you, however, that your use of rhetoric, and your lack of any apparent sense of compassion in pronouncing nothing but judgment, are not the work of anything close to the acts of a true Christian. Remember that Christ was sent to separate us from the tyranny of judgment, and from the rigidity of the temple hierarchy.

No one claimed here that they didn’t believe that they weren’t a sinner. However, you’re the only one here who is actively sinning. Pride, my friend. Try listening to the world instead of lecturing it. ;-)

sls48's avatar

As I have read your various comments on this string, you appear to be someone who uses
or holds the Truth(Bible) in unrighteousness. You have admitted to being an Atheist and yet
your using the BIBLE and quoting it, as it suits your purposes. This is also something the
Devil did to tempt Jesus to worship Him. It seems you also seek to cause others to follow
your logic and your conclusions(ie: worship your way). But in doing so, you have failed to
instruct anyone in the PROPER PROCESS OF SALVATION. Most likely, because you do
not know what that PROCESS actually is. Once again I repeat, for your sake and others,
the PROCESS OF SALVATION is in STEPS OF OBEDIENCE. If you do not believe in
a NECESSARY STEP that is required then you will not do it(ie: Obey it). Hence, we have
the commandment in Mark 16:16 where Jesus says, “He that BELIEVETH and is also
BAPTISED, shall BE SAVED”. Therefore, if you do not believe in this NECESSARY or
ESSENTIAL STEP in the COMPLETE PROCESS then you will not obey or do it! Again, if
you, having admitted being an ATHEIST, are unwilling to REPENT OF YOUR EVIL WAYS
then this is another STEP OF THE PROCESS that you fail to comply with! In conclusion,
if you REFUSE TO REPENT WITH A GODLY, not WORLDLY, SORROW, then your
still a SINNER, a GODLESS SINNER, that the Bible defines as a FOOL..(PSA.14:1–3).
To be Baptised without Repentance is usless(Acts 8:9–24). So like a LAB TESTED
METHOD that works right and properly everytime, if you leave out any of the NEEDED
STEPS OF THE METHOD then the WHOLE PROCESS just wont work!! The STEPS have
also been referred to as KEYS NEEDED to ENTER THE DOORWAY that is Jesus Christ.
There are (3) KEYS NEEDED: (1) REPENTENCE (2) REMISSION (3) RECEPTION.
(1) With the KEY of REPENTENCE, the Sinner is required to acknowledge yourself as a
Sinner with a genuine GODLY SORROW, usually at an ALTAR OF REPENTENCE;
(2) With the KEY of REMISSION, the convert is BEING WATER BAPTISED INTO THE
HOLY NAME OF JESUS CHRIST for the REMISSION OF THEIR REPENTED SINS;
(3) With the KEY of RECEPTION, the convert is cleansed of all sins by God and able to
RECIEVE HIS HOLY SPIRIT to come abide/dwell within them(ie: their souls). This part
involves other seasoned Christians LAYING HANDS UPON THE CONVERT to prompt
the PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to come down and dwell within the New Convert.
It is at this time, or also during the Baptism Process, that the Convert is encoruaged to
CALL UPON THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST and ASKING HIM TO BECOME THE LORD
OF THEIR LIFE. Most converts do this after Baptism, during the Laying on of Hands, but
Jesus himself set the example of Baptism, by BEING BAPTISED & PRAYING(Luke 3:21,
22). So it can be done in that manner. The Apostol Paul did it that way also(Acts 22:16)..
FINAL SUMMATION: Leave out any of these sacred Steps or Keys, the PROCESS OF
SALVATION is INCOMPLETE and so are you. It certainly seems that in your present
state of spirit, you are incomplete and definitely in need of TRUE SALVATION….SLS

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

@sls48 You spout a lot of scripture. The funny thing is, there is nothing in the the bible, (which was written by man) that proves god is real. Also, it is a real turn off to non believers when you use the hard sell. Blind faith is dangerous.

BoBo1946's avatar

@sls48 I’m a Christian. Also, a longtime member here. The members here who do not believe are, in my cases, more knowledgable about the Bible than most Christians. They will discuss the Bible with you on an intellectual bases. My position is God loves them (non-believers) just as much as He loves you or I ! My best advise would be to show God’s love for them (non-believers), not God’s damnation. They are aware of what the Bible says about non-belief. They are looking for answers, not condemnation. Always a quick turnoff. The large caps are not necessary to communicate with intelligent people. Also, there are a few here that will attack you for being a Christian…most are okay!

syz's avatar

I see. So I’m a sinner because I find your methods obnoxious and your message offensive. It must be nice for you, being such a perfect, sinless person.

iamthemob's avatar

@sls48 – Take a lesson from @BoBo1946 – he and I disagree at times…but he’s practicing Christianity instead of just shouting it. That I can appreciate.

BoBo1946's avatar

@iamthemob Most Gideon Bibles in motels, rehab centers, etc. no longer include the Old Testament. The New Testament gave all us sinners hope. John 3:16 the great verse in the Bible.

thekoukoureport's avatar

@sls48 we don’t have to turn away from our wicked ways until our time is up. Then we can seek forgivness and the kingdom of heaven will be ours. Which side I am on will depend on the point spread and if Vegas will be covering the action.

kinda get outta hell free card… but don’t worry I won’t use it. I have only judged once and I find in my judgement, that I have damned myself. For I have judged the judge and found her to be guilty of crimes against humanity or a fairy tale. Either way I get to bring the marshmallows for the lake of fire. I called it first. Oh and SHOTGUN!

Paradox's avatar

@sls48 I believe actions not faith or maybe more importantly the motivation for your actions is what is important in the end. I believe in God myself but I didn’t know it was one way/one religion or eternal hell regardless of your actions while alive.

crazyivan's avatar

@sls48 I won’t bother with the majority of your post(s), but I will say that preaching mythological nonsense and condemning those who opt for reasoned analysis is definitely not helping. Ignorance is never a blessing.

BoBo1946's avatar

God will be the judge in the end. We just do the best we can and love our fellowman. No human being can set themselves up as our judge. Thank goodness!

BoBo1946's avatar

@thekoukoureport hey, guess @sls48 was a one time shot…loll He sure stepped on everyone’s toes and ran. The older i get, the bigger the word tolerance gets! I mean….no one knows all the answers. We just get alone. I’m just a sinner saved by His grace….no one can point fingers.

thekoukoureport's avatar

I will leave his grace to you,

“We just do the best we can and love our fellowman. No human being can set themselves up as our judge. Thank goodness”

If we all lived by those words alone there would be no need for worship. For we would have acheived the lesson of the bible and create heaven right here on earth. With all of us becoming god, afterall we were created and fashoned in his image.

I just hope that one day ALL christians will band together and begin to walk the path of their Savior, then I would have no need to know or speak of the bible ever again.
Until then I will always challenge a tax free organization that exsists entirely on the backs of it’s followers. Using eternal damnation as it’s selling point, religion has created the greatest protection racket in the world. When will it begin to live by the words as ascribed by their lord? Do you think Jesus would ever walk into one of those houses of worship? Cmon, castles built for the local lords, with vestiges of gold, and tables of marble, and gold plates with jewel encrusted chalices. Paid for by the masses that have the honor of living in that general vicinity and want eternal salvation.

please note, I know I have lumped everyone together, sorry. But I also know that there have been some great people who have used christianity as their guide to doing wonderful things for this world. Thank you one and all! My attack is more on the organizations than the moral teachings, for it is the organizations that foster such judgemental behavior, the people are just following their leaders examples.

BoBo1946's avatar

@thekoukoureport got’cha…. well, the organizational part is understandable. Always has been and always will be, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Personally, i keep my eye on what Jesus did, not organizations etc. It’s a personal choice.

thekoukoureport's avatar

Thats all the we need to live our lives without pain is the words of Jesus. They are quite useful if you wish to deal with life. However it’s all the other nonsense crammed around it that messes everyone up. Don’t you think?

I know that the less time you spend judging others the less time you spend judging yourself. Which leaves you more time to live in the moment, where heaven is. Hell lives in the past and the future with the stories and judgments of your life.

Uh oh I am starting to sound like a believer… they may come and take my card if I keep up this particular thought. Thats not to say that I belive in the God portion, but the words dealing with the acts and behavior of man is FANTASTIC. The rest is inserted to subjegate the masses.

BoBo1946's avatar

Everyone has to make their own call my friend.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@crazyivan but I will say that preaching mythological nonsense and condemning those who opt for reasoned analysis is definitely not helping. Who is preaching mythical nonsense? Is it @sls48 or are you saying that all Christians are doing that? The Word is The Word and I don’t agree the way all might like to apply it but because they might not apply it as I would don’t make it mythical because it is still the same Word.

snowberry's avatar

If someone asks me a question about the Bible, I’ll give them the best answer I can. I have found folks get awfully annoyed with “Bible speak” so I don’t bother with the fancy talk. I hate it when someone tries to manipulate me, or anyone else by spouting scripture. Yikes!. I’ve also noticed that hitting someone with a Bible will likely not bring on desired results (smile). When I want to say something, and not turn people off before they’ve even heard me, I’ll paraphrase a verse, and I might not even mention it’s in the Bible.

When I’m inclined to confront someone, I first take it to God in prayer, and tell Him everything I’d like to say to that person. I have noticed that frequently (though not always) that person will come up with what I was going to say through other means, so my comments would have only been manipulative and unnecessary. I used to be completely confrontational, so this is a huge paradigm shift for me.

crisw's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central
“The Word is The Word and I don’t agree the way all might like to apply it but because they might not apply it as I would don’t make it mythical because it is still the same Word.”

Huh? How does this make it non-mythical? A myth is a myth no matter how it’s applied. Lots of people believe in “slow and steady wins the race” for example, but that doesn’t mean the tortoise actually raced the hare.

crazyivan's avatar

Yes, @Hypocrisy_Central I am saying that not just all Christians, but all religious people believe in superstitious nonsense. All of them that preach about religion preach about superstitious nonsense. Unprovable things that are believed solely because they are passed on from one generation to another without critical analysis are, by definition, superstitious nonsense.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@crazyivan I am saying that not just all Christians, but all religious people believe in superstitious nonsense. Unprovable things that are believed solely because they are passed on from one generation to another without critical analysis are, by definition, superstitious nonsense. There in lies the problem. Because science can’t prove a lot of which it purports even with all the facts it knows. Can you prove unequivocally there was a Big Bang and how it happened? Last I checked no one witnessed it and there were no scientist with measuring instruments that did so either? All you have is this fact or that based on what laws of physics that are known. But just as weather, temperature, etc, can influence the rate of decay a body goes through after death as to askew the actual time of death there could well be cosmic versions of that making what is believed to be true different, the tools to detect the flaw had not been discovered yet. So, basically people of a complete science mind believe in many things unproven just because they believe the facts that point to it. If one seen what looks to be rabbit tracks in the snow one could never really be sure it was not a robot fitted with rabbit feet that made it. Very few people have ever left the Earth and all of them have never been passed the Moon, what you can see over distance don’t ever have all the details you can see up close. Maybe that is why science has changed since when I was a kid.

snowberry's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Although I do not agree with you, that’s an excellent illustration of what creationists say about evolution. Since there are no eye witnesses, it’s a matter of faith what you choose to believe. Lurve for you.

You call it believing in mythology, but we call it faith. From where we sit, it’s about the same thing. The difference is what you believe in.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@snowberry The difference is what you believe in. At least we can agree there. I say “The Big Bang” of your’s I say is God and the creation. I fully think the Bible supports dinasaurs and that part of evolution as well as many other scientific wonders. Though there is more bread crums or clues to follow or direct the ideals of science it still comes down to believing the theory set fourth by the scientist.

crisw's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central

The basis of science is the scientific method.

The scientific method requires the formation of theories to explain facts.

If any facts contradict a theory, it is thrown out.

This is not true of Christianity.

Religious people throw out the facts and keep the theories.

crisw's avatar

@snowberry

“Since there are no eye witnesses, it’s a matter of faith what you choose to believe. ”

Nope.

It’s a matter of what the facts support.

All the evidence available- every single piece, from the fossil record to molecular clocks to taxonomy to stratigraphy to DNA analysis- supports the theory of evolution.

There is no scientific evidence at all to support creationism. None. It is a belief- a belief that is founded entirely on religious ideology that then throws out every fact that contradicts it and twists the rest. This is not science. And it is in no way an equally valid way of knowing what is true in the world.

Let us say you have a six year old child and a jar of cookies. You come into the kitchen and there is the cookie jar, lid off, cookies missing. And there is your six year old, mouth covered with crumbs, chocolate on his hands. You ask him who took the cookies and he says “A ghost!”

Do you really think a ghost took those cookies? You can’t prove it didn’t happen- there were no eye witnesses. But is it likely? Does the evidence support it?

Creationists are betting on ghosts. And it’s more likely that a ghost stole those cookies than that creationism is true.

crazyivan's avatar

The difference is, as @crisw points out, that things like the Big Bang and evolution are not products of faith. They are logical conclusions based on evidence that are willing to change based on future evidence. Religion and faith are fundamentally different things. Scientists and those whose beliefs follow the findings of science do not do so out of any faith except a faith in what is observable and a grounding in logic.

Faith exists devoid of evidence and is rigid. I just have a hard time believing that people had it all figured out in the Bronze Age. Religion promised to cure our diseases, heal the blind and give legs to the crippled but science actually did those things. Religion promised to take us to heaven, but science actually took people into the heavens and brought back pictures. If any prayer had the success rate of, say, chemotherapy, I’d convert in a heartbeat. My mind is swayed by evidence, not feel good myths or threats of eternal damnation.

thekoukoureport's avatar

If you believe everything the bible has to say then your Christmas is over right? I mean Jesus was born in August according to the accounts of the three wise men. They followed the star which would have been visible in August over Nazareth.

December was chosen later so as to overshadow the pagan ritual of Winter Soltice which celebrates the birth of mother Earth as it begins it’s return to the warming father the Sun. Of course the Moon was the son in their holy trinity. But christians couldn’t have women figures deified so they replaced mother with holy ghost.

So @crisw was right…. they might believe the ghost ate the cookies.

crazyivan's avatar

@thekoukoureport I thought Christ would have been born in the spring to coincide with the sheep shearing season (could be wrong… hard to pin down the date of a mythological birth)

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