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My Take: 5 biblical passages for Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry
What parts of the Bible do candidates really follow?
August 16th, 2011
10:57 AM ET

My Take: 5 biblical passages for Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry

Editor's Note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

The audience booed when columnist Byron York asked U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota at the Republican presidential debate last week, if, as president, she would be “submissive to her husband.”

That question would have been out of order if she had excluded her evangelical Protestant faith from her presidential campaign. But she has made her faith as a Bible believer central to that campaign, so voters have a right to know which parts of the Bible she really believes in, and which parts (if any) she ignores.

Unfortunately, we cannot ask God whether He has in fact called Bachmann to be president, but we can ask her to interpret what she affirms to be the Word of God.

The same goes for Texas Governor Rick Perry, who earlier this month led “The Response,” a prayer and fasting event at a Houston football stadium that had the look and feel of an evangelical revival.

So here are my five Bible quotations for the two Republican presidential candidates now vying most vociferously for the evangelical Protestant vote.

1.  “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands” (Colossians 3:18).

Should female presidents submit to their first husbands? As it should be obvious to anyone who saw this portion of the debate, Bachmann did not answer this question. She said she respected her husband. She said he respected her. But the question was about submission, not respect.

When John F. Kennedy was running for president, some voters were worried about whether, as president, he would take his marching orders from someone else. That someone else was not Jacqueline Onassis but the pope.

In a famous speech delivered on September 12, 1960, in Houston, he answered the question clearly and definitely. “I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President - should he be Catholic - how to act.”

He also drew a sharp distinction between his private religious views and his public political views, pledging that his private faith would have no bearing on his actions as president. “Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views - in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates.”

I would like to know whether Bachmann will say the same about her evangelical Protestantism. If her husband tells her to veto a bill, will she submit to him? Is there any separation for her, as there was for Kennedy, between her private religious doctrines (in this case, that wives should be submissive to their husbands) and her public responsibilities (to act as "the decider")?

2. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

When I watched Perry’s performance at “The Response,” this Bible quote came to mind. I would like to know what he thinks of it.

Should Christians make a show of praying in public? This passage at least would seem to say no. In fact, it seems to say that when you pray you should go into your room and shut the door before addressing God. But perhaps I am misreading it. Either way, I would like for Perry to tell me what he makes of this Bible passage. And Bachmann, too, while we are at it.

3.  “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13).

Part of the Ten Commandments, this passage has been used by many social conservatives to argue against Roe v. Wade and abortion rights. After all, if God said, “Thou shalt not kill” then why are we taking lives inside the womb?  But if God said, “Thou shalt not kill” then why are we allowing capital punishment?

I would like to hear from both Perry and Bachmann about how they read this passage, and how it can simultaneously justify opposition to abortion rights and support for the death penalty. (During his term as Texas governor, Perry has overseen 234 executions. Bachmann's position on the issue is unclear.)

4.  “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s” (Luke 20:25).

This famous quotation, which appears in parallel form in the Gospels of Mark and Matthew, arises when Jesus is asked a "gotcha" question about paying taxes to the Roman government. It has been read in various ways by various Christians.

Nonetheless, Jesus seems to be drawing a clear distinction here between religious and secular authority - a distinction that neither Perry nor Bachmann appears to see.

Admittedly, neither of these candidates agrees with the famous metaphor of Thomas Jefferson famous metaphor of a “wall of separation between church and state” but does either see a line of demarcation of any sort - a picket fence, perhaps - between “what is Caesar’s” and “what is God’s”?

5.  “Blessed are the poor" (Luke 6:20).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus famously begins, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). In Luke, he says, more simply, “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” (Luke 6:20).

This Lukan passage is a key source in the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church for the so-called “preferential option for the poor”—the notion that Christian communities have a particular responsibility to take care of the poor in their midst.

How do Perry and Bachmann read this passage? Did Luke mess up by leaving out "in spirit"? Or did Jesus really say "Blessed are the poor"? And if he did say that, what did he mean by it? Do his words carry any meaning for us today, and to the way we craft our federal budget?

I have more quotations, of course, but these five will do for now.

I presume both candidates will acknowledge that these passages are, in fact, in the Bible. And I take it for granted that, as self-professed Bible-believing Christians, they believe these passages are true. But what truths do they teach? And what import, if any, do those truths have on their public policies?

I understand the impulse to draft Jesus into your political campaign. At least in U.S. politics, Jesus is good for business. But if you are going to call Jesus to your side, you need to let voters know how that affects your politics. Might you change your mind if you saw that a political position of yours was contradicted by the Bible? Or is the Bible a dead letter, useful for invoking divine authority but never for correction or reprove?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Bachmann • Bible • Christianity • Politics • Rick Perry • United States

soundoff (1,020 Responses)
  1. RJ

    After reading the comments here, now I understood that why the US economy is in the current status. If you forget God he will forget you. There was no other country in the World which has raised to the level of the United States in power and strength in a short time. The country which was established based on the Christian principles. This itself is an scientific evidence of God and his power. If you continuously forget Him and mock Him, he will raise another country to punish you.

    August 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Stevie7

      " The country which was established based on the Christian principles."
      As much as you may want to wish this to be so, it is simply not true. Try picking up a history book.

      "This itself is an scientific evidence of God and his 'power."
      -Obviously, you do not understand what scientific evidence is.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      Hey, Dad! R.J.'s calling you...wants you to do that Holy wrath thing that you did so well back in the day...I was telling Damian and other's earlier that you've been getting couseling for your anger-issues...but, there are still some of YOUR followers that demand you do the plague thing again...

      Hey, if you're going to do it, lets start with Colorado Springs...please? Maybe a tsunami for Pensacola? And Lake Champlain, lets turn that to blood....it'll trickle down into the Hudson (oh, wait, that is already poisoned)...

      August 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • RJ

      Stevie7, please read the original history not the one manipulated by an atheist.
      So you want to teach, what is scientific evidence to a PhD in science, good good.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Stevie7, please read the original history not the one manipulated by an atheist."
      Ugh. Take off that tin foil hat and try reading some stuff by Jefferson or Franklin. This country was founded on principles of the Enlightenment. They line up with Christian principles in some respects, but certainly not in all. Where they line up is not evidence that this is a Christian-founded country, but just that the two share a moral gound.

      So you want to teach, what is scientific evidence to a PhD in science, good good.
      'scientific evidence' – you keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means. Science needs testable, falsifiable hypothesis. Your 'evidence' is not evidence at all. Unless, by using the same logic, the fall of Christian-based nations is "scientific evidence" of god's impotence.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • William Demuth

      RJ

      So the DOW is hot wired into Jesus!

      Seems like a shallow pusuit for someone who is omnipotent.

      In truth, you can't actually believe something so childishly silly can you?

      Wealth flows directly from the will of God? That is so depraved it isn't worth even joking about.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • what's science got to do with it

      hey Stevie , Whats science got to do with proving the existence of God, do I need a scientist who was created by God to prove the existence of God? no...science is not yet complete...it is incomplete..you can wait for that one scientist to come by...meanwhile we have evidence of Christ life to prove God exists, what more do we need?

      Do you use science to make all your decisions? really? be honest, just fall in love then you will know Science does not yet have answers to everything....

      August 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "hey Stevie , Whats science got to do with proving the existence of God,"

      Maybe you need to go back and actually read the thread. I didn't make that claim.

      Although if you want to give evidence of something, the scientific method is an excellent vehicle to do that.

      "Do you use science to make all your decisions? really? be honest, just fall in love then you will know Science does not yet have answers to everything...."
      -No, I use logic and reason to make my decision. And of course science doesn't have the answers to everything. Again, go back and read what I wrote – I never said it did. Science should raise questions and debate, but it is a sound foundation on which to find answers.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm |
    • whats science got to do with it

      Stevie, History has recorded the Life of Christ, (in fact there were lots of prophecies foretelling of his birth and crucifiction which was fulfilled 2000 years ago, what more evidence do we need for God?

      I guess not all mortals have the same questioning mind, some of us can see the benovalence of God in our daily living that is living proof ofr us that God exists for us. Others need to touch the hand of God to know that God exists, eg., Thomas the disciple of Jesus.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • Jesus

      Sweden is doing a lot better than us and they're 80% atheist. BTW this country was NOT founded as a Christian nation. Read your history, not the Billy Graham version.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Your 'history' was recorded many decades after it occurred by people that weren't present at the events. Your 'history' contains contradi,ctions on basic and important facts, such as your savior's (step) grandfather and who first 'witnessed' the alleged Resurrec.tion. What more evidence do we need? A lot.

      The pro.phecies are ambiguous, which means its easy to see signs that the prop.hecies are coming "true" (see: Nostradamus). It's clear from the discrepancies of jesus' genealogy that much of the story was molded to fit the pro.phecies after the fact.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Sean

      @RJ
      I’ll bite.. please post an accredited source for your version of history. Not the one manipulated by a theist.

      @ whats science got to do with it
      Prophecies are not fact. Never has one been proven.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • David

      You must be joking....

      August 21, 2011 at 9:02 am |
    • jeru0455

      Ironically, the country which grew the fastest into a status of superpower was the Soviet Union, which went from being a country that was completely destroyed at the end of the second world war, to a super power from 1945 to the mid fifties. That is the most remarkable rise in human history.

      August 22, 2011 at 11:48 pm |
  2. CSX

    The lost always know what is right, but they do not do right.
    Christians are always held to a higher standard. They should be, but they are stil forgiven wicked sinners.

    August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Huh?

      Read back your posting to yourself. I bet you will laugh.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @William...NO! NO!...he's got it right...in fact, just the other day...(well, since a day is like a thousand years to Dad, Me and the Bird, it might have been a thousand years ago)...but just the other day I was saying to Dad, "Dad...Father...hey, might have to go back and incarnated again...seems the way the American Evangelicals are behaving, I might have to die again...I know! that book says I only had to die once and then the judgement, but we may have to postpone the Big Day a bit so I can go down there and shed some blood because of those bone-headed followers of mine..." He hasn't gotten back to me...but you're right there, my son, William, they are pretty damn wicked....god-damned I'll tell ya...BTW, William, like your thoughts...If I do come back we'll have to get together...maybe you could be, like, an Aide or something...can't promise you it'll be good pay, but, we can always milk the Televangelist out of a few bucks...let me know...

      August 16, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ the Bird....Hey! would somebody ask the Bird to do something useful and check for spelling and grammar before I hit post...it's embarrasing to send something that isn't perfect...and clean up his mess, please....

      August 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
  3. David

    Ugh, this stuff is so cliche and shallow Nancy Grace would be ashamed.

    Seriously, there are left-wing Christians who would be able to refute each and every one of these points on behalf of their evangelical conservative friends. Scripture isn't meant to be proof-texting cudgels to throw at people, and the overused Prothero needs a reminder on this.

    August 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Finally something we can all agree on!

      NANCY GRACE is a succubus of the lowest order!

      August 16, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • J.W

      OMG Nancy Grace is the most horrible person to ever live.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      I tried watching Nancy Grace but one can only take so much of her slack jawed southern voice and then throw a touch of b! tch.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Frogist

      @David: It's overdone and so easy, yet you provide no answers. All you do is protest the questions. That only tells me you have no answers to provide.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
    • Sean

      “Scripture isn't meant to be proof-texting cudgels to throw at people”

      Another interpretation, but hey YOURS is the correct one /wink wink.

      August 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  4. Reality

    What M. Bachmann and R. Perry's answers should be:

    1. Colossians 3:18, as per most contemporary NT scholars, was not written by "St". Paul but by a pseudo-Paul so it therefore carries no weight as to divine inspiration.

    2. Matt 6:6 , a single attestation from the third stratum (80-120 CE) historically unreliable. e.g. See Professor Gerd Ludemann in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 146.

    3. Exodus 20:12, as per 1.5 million Conservative Jews and their rabbis, there was no Exodus.

    To wit:

    The notion that the Bible is not literally true "is more or less settled and understood among most Conservative rabbis," observed David Wolpe, a rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles and a contributor to "Etz Hayim." But some congregants, he said, "may not like the stark airing of it." Last Passover, in a sermon to 2,200 congregants at his synagogue, Rabbi Wolpe frankly said that "virtually every modern archaeologist" agrees "that the way the Bible describes the Exodus is not the way that it happened, if it happened at all." The rabbi offered what he called a "LITANY OF DISILLUSION”' about the narrative, including contradictions, improbabilities, chronological lapses and the absence of corroborating evidence. In fact, he said, archaeologists digging in the Sinai have "found no trace of the tribes of Israel - not one shard of pottery."

    The Ten Commandments also were not Jewish originals. Analogous rules were written before the OT by King Hammurabi of Babylon and by the Egyptians i.e. the Book of the Dead. (Hammurabi's Code and the Book of the Dead are both on-line).

    4. Luke 20:25- authentic Jesus based on the conclusions of all contemporary NT scholars. However as with all the NT, one must keep in mind the following:

    Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.

    Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospels being mostly fiction.

    Obviously, today's followers of Paul et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European, white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!!

    So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher man would do or say?

    5. Luke 6:20 From Professor JD Crossan's analyses:

    Stratum: I (30-60 CE)
    Attestation: Triple
    Historicity: Positive
    Common Sayings Tradition: Yes

    But most if not all NT scholars conclude that Matthew's version of the Beat-itudes is historically the more accurate:

    Matt 5:3

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

    So where did this simple preacher man come up with these beati-tudes? John the Baptist ?. Traveling Greek Cynics (See Professor JD Crossan's studies published in over 20 books on the historical Jesus). Then there is the issue of "insanity". Even Jesus' family thought he was a bit odd.

    Mark 3:20-21 "20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family[a] heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

    BTW, Mark 3:20-21 has been judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars.

    August 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm |
    • William Demuth

      You have been posting this (based on a review of old cache) for over 7 months!

      Do you just repost your old drivel to save time?

      Perhaps if you had someone who spoke English translate your thoughts we might be able to understand whatever it is you are trying to say

      August 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
    • CW

      @ Reality,

      Ha Ha Ha ha....drivel drivel drivel...said William Demuth....Ha Ha ha.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
    • ...

      click on the report abuse button on this copy-pste drivel

      August 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • Reality

      WD,

      Actually, the "answers" were freshly prepped so what cache did you find said answers?

      August 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Reality = same rambling cut and paste/ different day.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Nice to see that there are at least a few people on this planet who are capable of scholastic research. One must love historical research to do it properly which probably explains why so many people are perfectly pleased to do a five minute internet search on a subject or just regurgitate something some preacher man told them.

      Humans are lazy.

      August 17, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • Reality

      For the "reading challenged":

      SAVING 1.5 BILLION LOST MUSLIMS:
      THERE NEVER WERE AND NEVER WILL BE ANY ANGELS I.E. NO GABRIEL, NO ISLAM AND THEREFORE NO MORE KORANIC-DRIVEN ACTS OF HORROR AND TERROR

      SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
      THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY

      SAVING 15.5 MILLION ORTHODOX FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
      ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

      Added details upon request.
      ===============================================================================

      August 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  5. Michael Koronka

    This so called religious scholar obciously knows nothing about the word of God, I find it very sad that these kind of people get away with tampering with God's word. Americans have become complacent fools and will not stand up for the very God that has blessed such a great Nation. I have a feeling that God will soon remind people of just how much He has given to us. People that do not truly understand the word of God should not talk about because they belittle themselves. Just because a person expresses their belief in God does not give others the right to try and publiclt humiliate them. Remember, God is watching and everything anyone has ever said will be held to account before the High Court of God.
    We are not much different today than the era of the Judges of Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
    Remember the penalty they paid for this. True Christianity is not a religion, Christianity is a way of life as given by God through His Son Jesus. Jesus is the way the truth and the life. It is sad to see so many decieved and delibaretly go out to try and destroy another persons reputation.

    August 16, 2011 at 1:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      What religious scholar does?

      The word of God is the smile on a dog. It is TOTALLY subjective, and regardless of ones opinion on it, the dog could care less.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • GodPot

      "This so called religious scholar obciously knows nothing about the word of God" I'll go one step further...

      Every so called religious person or scholar obviously knows nothing about the word of God, since he/she/it has never verified to anyone that he/she/it even exists let alone personally wrote or directed to be written anything. Many claims of divine origin have popped up through the centuries, none have been able to prove it. Can we learn good, moral and ethical behavior from the bible? Yes. And also from Confucius, and the Koran, Buddism, the Vedas, and heII, Dianetic's.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "since he/she/it has never verified to anyone that he/she/it even exists"

      What verification are you speaking of? Any or do you have requirements on that verification?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • GodPot

      Well, I would want more than a piece of paper saying "Hey, this is God. The handwriting doesn't look like mine cause I'm having to give this message to a nomadic ex-egyptian prince, but it's me alright, the almighty, nothing is to hard for me to do, and I demand that you obey me, in the form of this old geezer i'm using to write this crap down, so listen to him well, for he will lead you into a land flowing with milk and honey. That is what you ordered right? Milk & Honey? But to get it you must first ransack the people who are currently residing in the land I have given you killing women and children unless they convert and become your slaves, so that we can, er I mean, you can get your hands on that milk & honey. Oh, and by the way, I made the universe in 6 days, put the stars in the heavens just for your enjoyment at night, and put in subjection all the other creatures on the planet. Did I mention this is God? Not Moses for sure, cause that guy hates milk and honey."

      August 16, 2011 at 1:32 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Lycidas

      You said "What verification are you speaking of? Any or do you have requirements on that verification?"
      The only requirements would be that:
      – The observed phenomenon/phenomena is/are independently verifiable.
      – You show that they are only attributable to a god.
      – You show that they are attributable only to your god.

      State your hypothesis. Define the phenomenon you plan to study. Show how this phenomenon can only be attributed by the existence of your god. Design your test plan. Run your tests. Draw your conclusions. Publish your results.

      Don't forget to publish. For your research to have any value, it will have to stand the tests of scrutiny and repetition.

      Good luck.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm |
    • Vulpes

      Take a nap

      August 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @Godpot....(God – pot...I'll have to try that...seems Dad has been holding back...) and that Moses character....I'll wager there was more than just a bush burnin' up there....(wouldn't know...me and that bird were trying to figure out the physics of stuffing "God" into a human womb right about that time...I'm thinking all these characters, not just me, were a bit "touched" as my child "Reality" likes to say....:0)

      August 16, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • GodPot

      "State your hypothesis. Define the phenomenon you plan to study. Show how this phenomenon can only be attributed by the existence of your god. Design your test plan. Run your tests. Draw your conclusions. Publish your results." That seem's like way to much work for Christians. It's easier for them to:

      State their unwavering faith. Define the faith you plan to maintain. Tell others how this faith can only be attributed by the existence of your god. Design your new Mega-Church. Run your commercial's. Draw your salary. Fabricate your results.

      And don't forget to Fabricate, fabricate, fabricate, fabricate.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • GodPot

      "I'll have to try that...seems Dad has been holding back..."

      Well if God made everything as they claim, then anything plant someone is smoking to get high is God's Pot 🙂

      But it was more of a play on "TopDog" than anything else, though I have smoked some miraculous bud before...

      August 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @LinCA- Ah..scientific...that's all you had to say.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
    • JohnR

      Dogs smile. It's proven, objective scientific fact. God's word? That's not merely "subjective". It's fabrication.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @JohnR- Perhaps you would like to prove it's a fabrication, if that is your assertion.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Michael Koronka: More protests. No answers to the questions in the article.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      @JohnR- Perhaps you would like to prove it's a fabrication, if that is your assertion.

      ---------–
      Man wrote it....there is no dispute. God talked to man....subjective and requires the person to first have faith in man. It is man's word, if one wishes to claim it is a god's then provide the proof. Quite simple.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas I assume you have studied the material (Torah/NT). Do you believe god talked to man and man wrote god's word? I am not talking about being inspired and writing. One can be inspired by Elvis to make music but the music made is not from Elvis. I am talking about do you believe the Torah/NT to be the direct word of god?

      August 16, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "I am talking about do you believe the Torah/NT to be the direct word of god?"

      As I have said many times in the past...I am not a literalist, so no.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Man wrote it....there is no dispute."

      That however does not make it a fabrication, in that...meaning someone made it all up.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:46 pm |
  6. a person of the Name

    @ rainer amen!

    August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Seig Heil Ranier!

      August 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm |
  7. Rainer Braendlein

    3. “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:12).

    This verse is related to ordinary people, not to the authority:

    An ordinary man should not kill or hate his neighbour. He should not despise his neighbour, because of social status, colour, nationality, belief, etc..

    In contrast the authority has the right to punish criminals, it is even the core task of the authority:

    Romans 13: 1-4

    1Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to [execute] wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • GodPot

      Sooooo, you are saying might makes right? Funny, i never thought of that as biblical ideology.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Again, yoou merely justify Christs execution with your words.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @William Demuth

      Pontius Pilate made a big mistake. The whole situation was demonic:

      Jesus said, it was the power and the hour of darkness.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • Ognywogny

      Then please for me locate the passage "Thou shalt not abort thy fetus". And while we are at it, how about that Paul in Romans. A tiny, hunted minority with ABSOLUTELY no influence on government, talking to his people with the expectation that the Roman government would read it. Not likely to call them out. But in Revelations, when they were persecuted why not call evil government evil. See how government is alluded to. Not at all favorably!

      August 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Rainer Braendlein

      I have always found him to be my second favorite Biblical persona, right behind Judas.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • Bubba

      So those who mock the President are going to hell? Soon?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      Ahhh, yes, my child...seems that others have caught you in the act...using Romans 13 to your advantage...BRAVO! I can't stop laughing when my "followers" just love to hate the current "powers that be" (which...ohhh my...Paul seems to have written "are ordained of God"!

      And, really, this concept that some scripture is not meant for authority but only for individuals...well, back when it was written there was very little "individuality" and those in authority are...wait for it..."ordinary people"...at least, they're supposed to be!

      But you are correct...good ol' Dad did do a bit of slaughtering back in the day....so....slaughter on, my children, slaughter on!

      August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Vulpes

      LOL - Biblical rationalization for dictatorships ... I love it. I will add it to be list of thing that amuse me about the religious.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:51 pm |
  8. S

    For any of you that dont believe in the Bible that keep asking Christians about verses – Do you really want to know the truth or do you just like playing trouble maker?
    Each of these verses has a bigger picture in mind but all you can see is the smallest dot of the matrix.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Then please enlighten us (I've read the whole thing cover to cover, btw, and studied it extensively) – what is the bigger picture behind women being silent in churches? Or not taking positions of teaching or exercising authority?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • BRC

      I would love to get an actual answer. I do have to disagree with you, in that what we get may not be the truth, NOONE alive can really know the truth; but I have a genuine interest in knowing how people actually think about these things, and how they process them.

      The beliefs are just so far out there for me, that whenever I see someone in ardent support of them I have to think they're a troll, because I don't know how they could possibly believe or accept that (there are a few exceptions of people who pt things very well, cite supporting evidence, and are consistent and coherent- I don't agree with them, but I can at least understand what they're saying)

      August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Doctors ALWAYS ask the mentally ill about their delusions.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  9. beelzebubba

    Let's never forget that two of the worst US presidents of the past hundred years, Jimmy Carter and Dubbya, were both born-agi'n fundamentalist's who claimed that god was their co-pilot. How anyone can even consider electing another one scares the daylights out of me.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So true.

      Fundamentalists and nuclear weapons seems like a script for a Twilight Zone episode!

      The whole idea of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) is only usefull if neither side believes that Armagedeon is inevitable.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:37 pm |
    • Jesus

      My intial test for candidates...if you believe in Bronze Age dogma, you're outta here! Ask 'em this. Do you believe a guy lived in a whale? Do you believe that 2,000 years ago people could live to 600+ years? Do you believe in the Theory of Evolution?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm |
  10. Chris

    Unfortuantely, the quote from Colossians discussed in point 1 above is frequently cut short and therefore taken out of context. It continues, that "husbands should love their wives, as Christ loved the Church". This does not mean the master-slave relationship that so many people interpret from this passage; rather, much more beautifully, it calls wives to allow themselves to be fully, completely loved by their husband...far from getting bossed around by them.

    In a political sense, this doesn't mean that Ms. Bachmann's husband would be telling her what to do or ordering her around. Rather, it would mean supporting her and helping her in the ministry to which she's been called.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • William Demuth

      SO Christianity is a democracy, with the Church having an equal vote?

      Can you guys recall Christ, and say appoint Mother Theresa as the new official savior?

      I believe what you are pitching was once championed by a blind guy named Milton.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Chris

      Well said! I agree with you.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:53 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Last I looked, christ instructed the church and set the rules, not the other way around. The rest of this passage is completely in line with the first part. You're trying to rationalize away an attempt to fit a square peg in a round hole. It doesn't add up.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:59 pm |
    • GodPot

      But it still all boils down to the bible making the claim that it's God is the head of the man, and man is the head of the woman so if the God of the bible commands the men to attack the infidel's they must obey and the women must support them in their attack. This is why we have women strapping bombs to their husbands and their own chest's in some countries, because the Koran and the bible have similar headship rules. Christians seem to bash Islam for being oppressive to women but cannot see how their own ideology mirror's it in many way's. And they seem to say it makes it ok if the husband's follow all the scripture and love and respect their wives, but does that happen all the time? Especially when the husbands are being told from their church each week that they get to make the final family decisions, it's their choice if they want to go hang out with the boy's a little longer, have another beer, come home late, and if their wife complains? Go ahead and say "But those aren't real Christians!!" Well how many republican voters would the red states have left if none of those Christians voted with you?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      Stevie7 wrote: "Last I looked, christ instructed the church and set the rules, not the other way around." Last I looked, Jeheshua gave us a set of guidelines and two simple commandments (Love God and Love Man). Men gave us rules.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @Joe from CT, not Lieberman

      So it's ok to ignore the 600+ rules from the OT? Can you point to where jesus said that?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm |
    • Vulpes

      LOL - regardless of the other part of the statement the word "submit" is the correct translation and although it does not necessarily connote servitude, the idea is that the man is the head of the household and what he says goes. Period. The is no way around this if you are a "Biblical literalist".

      August 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Stevie7

      And joe, how would you explain these:

      -When you stand praying, forgive
      -Let your light shine before men
      -Settle matters quickly with your adversary
      -If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.
      -Do Not Swear at All
      -If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
      -And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.
      -Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
      -Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them
      -And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites
      -This, then, is how you should pray
      -Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth
      -Do not judge, or you too will be judged
      -the entire sermon on the mount
      -5For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
      -Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons.
      -Nor are you to be called 'teacher,' for you have one Teacher, the Christ
      -Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.
      -Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.
      And last, but most certainly not least:

      -If you love me, you will obey what I command

      So these are, what? Suggestions?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Chris:
      Sorry, but if you read the rest of Ephesians 5, it clearly shows the male as dominant and the female as submissive. There is no equality in a passage that ends in a clear comparison of what is expected of male v female: "...love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."
      If you read the same words in a magazine or a newspaper article, people would be appalled. The entire passage treats women as having the equivalence of an object or a child. And men alone as having a will worth following. Any will a woman has must be subjugated to her husband who is the god of the household. And what do women get in return? "Love." So the woman must give love and submission, the man only love. Anyway you add it up, it never comes out equal.
      Anyway, I'm not sure what the issue is. If evangelicals believe in the inerrant word of the Bible, why not own this particular piece of se-xism? Why hide or run from it? You can't just re-interpret it to match modern expectations after all.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
    • J.W

      Love your neighbor and Love God were not the only two rules Jesus gave. They were intended to be a summary of all the other rules. It is kind of like, if you know none of the other rules, but you love God and love your neighbor as yourself, then you will be following all of the rules.

      August 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom

      Chris, it does not say "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church" in Colossians, but in Ephesians 5.

      August 17, 2011 at 12:17 am |
  11. Rainer Braendlein

    2. “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).

    This verse means that Christians should not us religious activities to increase their prestige. At Jesus' time the scribes and the Pharisees often prayed publically, in order to appear as devout people in the perception of the folk.

    However, the verse is no ban of public prayer. It is only that the praying person should be sure about his or her motivation.

    I think, a governor should not pray publically too often, because his tasks are secular and not ecclesiastical. Public prayer belongs more to the tasks of a pastor or bishop.

    I am glad that Perry at least embraces Christianity. He may make some small mistakes.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Perry would embrace the rear end of Allah if it furthered his ambitions.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
  12. Rainer Braendlein

    “Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands” (Colossians 3:18).

    Reading this verse, we must take in account that it was written for devout Christians and not for secular people. Only when we consider this, we will get the verse right.

    The sphere, in which Christians live, is Christian LOVE. The Holy Spirit or Spirit of Christ has no longing for rule, power, honour or riches. A devout Christian is not greedy for rule. On the contrary a Christian wants to avoid to boss anybody, at least his wife (bossing is a sin).

    However, the text of the verse clearly says that the wife should submit to her husband. Reason: Men are stronger than women. Very simple. Even if a Christian husband will never be greedy for primacy, the wife should submit to him.

    A Christian will never reason any bossiness by the above verse. He will see his wife as partner, whose amiabilty is increased by his female weaknesses.

    No bossiness! But women are the weaker s_x.

    Husbands should love their wives like Christ loves his Church.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So when two Christian men marry, who pitches and who catches?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • Thorne

      "He will see his wife as partner, whose amiabilty is increased by his female weaknesses."
      And a chill fills the room. You just single handedly illuminated why Bachmann wanting to be President AND submitting to her husband is a bad, bad idea. Do you talk to your wife with that mouth? I'm horrified.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Civiloutside

      Women are the weaker sex? If you mean in terms of sheer muscle power, perhaps ( though there are individual exceptions). But your argument seems to suggest that raw physical strength isn't (or shouldn't be) the factor that determines fitness to be the decider. Are you saying all women are intellectually weaker than all men? Or spiritually weaker? Perhaps weaker of will? All of the above? Exactly in what way can all women be said to be weaker than all men in such a way that justifies the claim that every male should be the dominant partner in every relationship?

      August 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Frogist

      I know everything moves in cycles, but this BS about women being the weaker se-x needs to go once and for all.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  13. Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

    I suspect she will dance around these questions as long as she can. However she is going to have to lie or show us how backwards she is.

    August 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Or show us her testes

      August 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      I suspect Obama would dance around these very same questions if asked.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      He might...however she is putting christ out front and center in politics, no surprise some questions will now be asked. I think it is a fair question to ask her and shoudl be a simple on to answer...however the more she bobbles around the worse it looks and the weaker she looks. Her extreme and backwards views will come out, question is when and how much money has she waisted running once it comes out. What I would love to see is Hillary and her debate. I can't stand Hillary but it would be fun watching.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:17 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Eh..Hil is waiting for 2016 to mop up after Obama's mess. She'll bring the image of the Clintonian Golden Age's return.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      Eh..Hil is waiting for 2016 to mop up after Obama's mess. She'll bring the image of the Clintonian Golden Age's return.
      -----------
      I never cared for both of them (Mr and Mrs) but you have to admit it would be interesting to see Hillary and her square off.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Or show us her testes"

      Would a jar with her husbands suffice?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Stevie7

      "Would a jar with her husbands suffice"
      -
      You're assuming he had any to begin with.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lycidas: Well thankfully he has the testes so he wouldn't have to submit to his wife according to Bachmann's interpretations anyways.
      I think Bachmann was in a tough political position with that question. She refused to answer, which makes her look shifty and untrustworthy to the non-evangelicals. And if she answered in the positive, no woman in her right mind would vote for her. If she answered in the negative, she blows the evangelical vote. I personally would have preferred an answer similar to what Kennedy gave. But I suspect that would have killed her in evangelical circles as well. She should have answered honestly whatever the outcome. Instead she refused to answer which should make all of us wonder what she really stands for.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Well..at least by not answering she can't be quoted wrong. Long term I don't see this being a major sticking point. I am sure the media will find something much more interesting about her to go and run with.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Lycidas

      Well..at least by not answering she can't be quoted wrong. Long term I don't see this being a major sticking point. I am sure the media will find something much more interesting about her to go and run with.

      ----
      I wouldn't be so sure of myself. While Romeny can't say anything because he has the Magic Underoos" issue, perhaps a more moderate foe will point out her extreme zealot views? Perhaps under the disguise of "Concerned Citizens of America Against Zealots" or something. Who ar eyou really voting for? Her or L!mpy her husband that she is submissive to. She offers buzz but too far to the right to take seriously.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Oh yes...one cannot appear too far right or left if they want to be elected. They have to appeal to their base (whether right or left) but when the general election comes....go moderate!

      August 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      Governments, at least rational ones do not claim to be divine. Churches do.

      With the claim of divinity comes an implied obligation to act divinely.

      Even you with your beliefs clouding your view must recognize great wrongs are done by churches every day.

      Why do you not move to stop them? Either you resist, or you are complicit.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  14. Tea Party Daily Mirror

    A spokesperson today said that candidate Michele Bachmann, having recently left her church behind, is converting to Islam.

    Bachmann is also leaving her latent-gay, flaccid husband Marcuthhhhhhh so that she can be free to pursue musician Yousef Islam (Cat Stevens). Bachmann is guoted as saying "I've always liked his music. You know what they say about musical men and their trombones..." and "As a Muslim and POuTUS, I could solve our terrorism problems once and for all. There's no way Al Kaida and his countrymen will attack a country with a Muslim leader. This will help me get elected in other ways too. In fact, it might be the only way I can get more than the teabagger vote and pull in anything from Obama's liberal base."

    Yousef Islam (Stevens) was heard to say "No way, dude, no friggin way. That leathery old haggis wouldn't have made it as my groupie even when she was 20, no matter how good her oratory skills are."

    August 16, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • UncleMt

      Perhaps she plays the rusty trombone

      August 16, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  15. J.W

    I never understood either how someone could be pro-life yet favor the death penalty. How do you justify the death penalty when Jesus said to "love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek?"

    August 16, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • William Demuth

      Well, think a bit and it might become clearer.

      One can commit crimes that warrant execution if you have formulated intent, understood the consequences of your actions and still elected to engage in the specific anti-social activity.

      Unborn children can't reach that threshold.

      I do not like abortion, but I believe we must tolerate it. We can not insist a child be born, unless we intend to provide for its needs until it can provide for itself.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • J.W

      I do not like abortion or the death penalty. I see why people justify the death penalty. But it seems as though people use the Bible to speak against abortion, but ignore what the Bible says against the death penalty.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • William Demuth

      JW

      Do you mean the Bible that says God is going to slaughter the human race the same way he killed the innocent first born of Egypt?

      August 16, 2011 at 11:51 am |
    • J.W

      Jesus said to love your enemies. Christianity is about following the teachings of Jesus. The Bible does not say that Christians should slaughter the entire human race.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • DamianKnight

      William, how is it we keep agreeing? Your statement regarding aborted fetuses vs. the lawful execution of the guilty is very telling.

      @J.W., Romans 6:23 also says, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Now, you and I know this is more meant in a spiritual capacity, but could it not also have a secondary meaning?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • J.W

      Yes Damian I agree that it could. I just look at it differently. I look at the death penalty as committing murder as revenge for the other murder. Plus there have been times, although this does not happen often, that a person has been wrongly accused of murder, and it was not discovered for 10 or more years.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      Because common sense dosen't come from a Bible, it comes from your gene's

      Morality serves a purpose, and if the Bible leads you to an obvious conclusion that is the only logical one, then so be it, but don't believe it is the source of it.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W

      Are you claiming the Christian God does not plan to slaughter billions of humans at some point in the future?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @J.W.

      Then I suppose we need a clear definition. When is it justice and when is it revenge? Could one not argue, locking someone up for the rest of their lives to be revenge? What about community service? What about fines?

      I'm not trying to argue semantics here. I'm trying to figure out, where do we draw the line?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
    • gerald

      Thou shall not kill is not a command for every occasion. There are just reasons to kill that don't involve a murderous heart. I.e. self defense. Nobody likes the death penalty but Romans 13 makes it clear that governments have the right to use the "sword" to keep order.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • William Demuth

      So gerald, you finally agree that the Roman's actually WERE justified in crucify your lord!!

      I mean due process was served, and it was a lawfully conducted execution.

      Glad to see some progress on your part.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
    • J.W

      I don't think God slaughters anyone. Humans suffer and die, but that is just the way the world is, as a result of all of the evil in the world.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      I suppose, William, if you call ordering the death of an innocent man and releasing a criminal in his place because an angry mob said the government should (even the man who ordered it, Pilate, disagreed), "justice", then yes, I suppose it was a just execution.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm |
    • HS

      In verse 13 below, God tells us not to pity the execution of a murderer.

      Certain so-called religious people protest the executions of murderers when Gods law clearly calls for it. God states that when you execute murderers, these things stop happening amongst you [Deuteronomy 19:20], by way of the example that it sets to others who would have no respect for life.

      By letting murderers live and prolonging their sentences, it causes more people to go out and commit crimes, and even kill, because they never really see the consequences of their actions or they are allowed back out to prey upon society.

      Deuteronomy 19
      1When the LORD thy God hath cut off the nations, whose land the LORD thy God giveth thee, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their cities, and in their houses;
      2Thou shalt separate three cities for thee in the midst of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
      3Thou shalt prepare thee a way, and divide the coasts of thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to inherit, into three parts, that every slayer may flee thither.
      4And this is the case of the slayer, which shall flee thither, that he may live: Whoso killeth his neighbour ignorantly, whom he hated not in time past;
      5As when a man goeth into the wood with his neighbour to hew wood, and his hand fetcheth a stroke with the axe to cut down the tree, and the head slippeth from the helve, and lighteth upon his neighbour, that he die; he shall flee unto one of those cities, and live:
      6Lest the avenger of the blood pursue the slayer, while his heart is hot, and overtake him, because the way is long, and slay him; whereas he was not worthy of death, inasmuch as he hated him not in time past.
      7Wherefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt separate three cities for thee.
      8And if the LORD thy God enlarge thy coast, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers, and give thee all the land which he promised to give unto thy fathers;
      9If thou shalt keep all these commandments to do them, which I command thee this day, to love the LORD thy God, and to walk ever in his ways; then shalt thou add three cities more for thee, beside these three:
      10That innocent blood be not shed in thy land, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance, and so blood be upon thee.
      11But if any man hate his neighbour, and lie in wait for him, and rise up against him, and smite him mortally that he die, and fleeth into one of these cities:
      12Then the elders of his city shall send and fetch him thence, and deliver him into the hand of the avenger of blood, that he may die.
      13Thine eye shall not pity him, but thou shalt put away the guilt of innocent blood from Israel, that it may go well with thee.
      14Thou shalt not remove thy neighbour's landmark, which they of old time have set in thine inheritance, which thou shalt inherit in the land that the LORD thy God giveth thee to possess it.
      15One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
      16If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
      17Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
      18And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
      19Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.
      20And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth commit no more any such evil among you.
      21And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.

      Amen.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @J.W

      If god doesn't slaughter anyone, why is the OT filled with stories of god slaughtering people?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • William Demuth

      J.W

      Tell that to all the dead Egyptian kids he had Gabrillle slaughter.

      You do know the Christian God has killed millions of people, right?

      Flooded the whole world once.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      Come on you are brighter than that.

      You draw the line where your decisions begin to bring you joy.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      You do know the Ten Commandments and all of the laws and rules in the Bible are for man, right? God isn't beholden to them. As creator of the universe, He kinda gets free license to do as He pleases and is not held to your or my standard on what is "right."

      August 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • J.W

      Just because in Deuteronomy it says we should execute people that does not mean that we ignore everything after that. The OT should be looked at as a history of the Israeli people. As they fought in war and dealt with hardships, they looked at God as guiding them through these things. That does not mean God is simply a murderer.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      SOOO Damian admits God is a Republican, who writes rules and wont follow them himself. I bet he dosen't even pay any taxes, yet still lets sacrafices be made in his name.

      Strange you might consider than divine!

      As for creating the universe, where did he hang out before he made it?

      A condo in El Cino with former members of the Graetful Dead?

      August 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      I'm not certain about God's political leanings.

      As for where He existed before He created it? Check out Genesis. It'll tell you.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      I have read Genesis more often than most Christian read the back of their cereal boxes.

      You don not take that drivel seriously do you?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm |
    • Christa

      Not all born again Christians are pro death penalty. I am pro life for the innocent, the guilty and the stupid.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      You know, for someone who considers themselves so "logical" and above everyone of faith, you can't seem to go through a single conversation with a religious person without insulting them.

      A famous philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau once said, "Insults are the arguments employed by those who are in the wrong."

      August 16, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      How did I insuly you? I believe the line between you, and the cult I condemn is real. Don't you? Do you consider yourself Christianity in its whole?

      You CAN leave the cult

      August 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      Are you honestly going to sit there and claim ignorance to the fact that someone of my theological leanings, might not be insulted by referring to their holy book as "drivel?" Do you legitimately not understand that when you call someone's deeply-held beliefs a "cult" that you are not being insulting? I believe you are purposefully being derisive and caustic with the intention of ridiculing not only my faith, but me as well. Are you attempting to insult my intelligence?

      I don't have anything against you. But you seem to believe that anyone who doesn't agree with your vitriol to be stupid. I don't mind having a general conversation where we can agree to disagree, but can we at least be mature enough to have it in a civil conversation?

      August 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm |
    • William Demuth

      DamianKnight

      I have known many whose deepest felt beliefs were unacceptable to me.

      I am now past the point when I can tolerate them. Having seen the price others pay for your beliefs, I feel not only comfortable in rejecting them, but morally obligated to do so.

      Religion is a poison destroying my world. If I were childless I would not care, but I have children.

      I probably should have taken up arms half a century ago, but I shall do what I can with the years I have left.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ J.W. ....no, no, my child...you got it all wrong...Today's "Christians" dropped that "love your enemies" and "turn the other cheek" thing after they got a taste of Constantine's Faith Based plan...all of these children who like to claim me as their "Lord"...the FoxNews Christians, I like to call 'em...wouldn't dare allow for obedience to My Word...

      @Damian...really! Offended at somebody who calls sacred scripture "drivel"? Okay, Dad gets a bit pis sed...often...but that was the past...(well, He's gonna be pis sed in the future here soon if the FoxNews Christians get their way)...I mean really, my child, what kind of God am I if something humans do can ruffle my feathers...well, the Bird gets pretty pis sed as well...he's a puffy mess right now, actually....Somebody clean the mess of feather and poop up please....sorry...where was I...Damian...I really don't look like you Christians (ala FoxNews-like...) Can't really be "God" if somebody pees in a jar and puts a crucifix in there...come on now...You kids really need to start thinking about how silly your thoughts about me and what offends you are all about...lotsa peeps lost their lives 'cause of that nonsense...still are...sad :0(

      August 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      That's really rather sad. I can't imagine living that way, with so much hatred. It's a "throwing the baby out with the bath water" type mentality. It's not a very logical standpoint, if you don't mind my saying. It's actually very black and white with no room for grey. Despise those who have done wrong, if you must, but to find all guilty for the crimes of a few, doesn't seem either just, fair or logical.

      The representatives (i.e. those involved in government) of America have been involved in their fair share, from owning slaves, to mass genocide of indigenous people, to child molestation, to subjegation of all manners of people. Do you hate America and everyone in it as well because some of its representatives have been involved in terrible atrocities? Are you involved in a group who is going to overthrow America for its crimes as well?

      August 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @Damian...really! Offended at somebody who calls sacred scripture "drivel"? Okay, Dad gets a bit pis sed...often...but that was the past...(well, He's gonna be pis sed in the future here soon if the FoxNews Christians get their way)...I mean really, my child, what kind of God am I if something humans do can ruffle my feathers...well, the Bird gets pretty pis sed as well...he's a puffy mess right now, actually....Somebody clean the mess of feather and poop up please....sorry...where was I...Damian...I really don't look like you Christians (ala FoxNews-like...) Can't really be "God" if somebody pees in a jar and puts a crucifix in there...come on now...You kids really need to start thinking about how silly your thoughts about me and what offends you are all about...lotsa peeps lost their lives 'cause of that nonsense...still are...sad :0(

      @Eternally,

      Sorry it took me so long to reply. You see, there were a lot of grammatical mistakes, like exchanging an elipses for a period, and incomplete sentences. That's not factoring in some diabtribe about bird poop. I'm not certain what a "Fox-News Christian" is...is that some new denomination that I haven't heard of? If it's a reference to what news station I watch, well, I think it's safe to say, I read CNN. 🙂

      I digress. As for your comments about a lot of people losing their lives, yes, you are correct. On both sides. Many Christians have lost their lives for what they believe in (and still are), as well as certain atrocities committed in the name of the Christian church. What kind of God gets angry when humans don't do what they're supposed to? The Fatherly kind. Sort of like, a human father gets upset when his children don't do as they're told.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • William Demuth

      How ironic Damian

      You being Christian, swear your loyalty to Christ and not country, yet you question my patriotisim?

      Governments are derived from the consent of the governed.

      Governments can also be laid assunder by the removal of said consent.

      It is the very foundation of what it is to be American.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @William,

      I never questioned your patriotism. I asked if you hold your government to the same standard as Christianity, or is your hatred of all adherents strictly for members of the Christian faith, and if so, why the double-standard?

      August 16, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ Damian...oh, my child...no, no...

      It was I..We...well, all three of Us who made ya'll in "Our" image, not the "Father" made in ya'lls image ("Ya'll"...you like that? I'm getting comfortable for that Perry fella :0)...you're angry "Father" image is simply humans making God in their image...How can a know-it-all like myself and Dad...and yes, the Bird, really be angry if We know it all? Kinda doesn't fly with that John 3:16 image...and, yes, I've heard the "God is a God of Justice" thing...another case of transferrence from human to Us...considering all those prisons and all those peeps in those prisons (especially those folks of color), it would seem that "Justice" has been ill-defined by those who continue to live lives of fear, even though "Perfect Love" was supposed to have done something about it...never seen a group so afraid, and they claim they follow the all-powerful God...sad, sad...

      Any way, If we know what it is you're gonna say before you say it, then how can We be angry? Yes, I know...lots a verbage about Dad being a real meany back in the day...(He's getting counseling for that, and is progressing well)....but, hey, I'm perfect...I can't be disappointed with human actions, if I am, then I sure as hell ain't what I...well, what that Book...says I am

      I knew you before you were in the womb...know how many hairs on that head of yours (you need a haircut, BTW)...and the Bird was long ago tasked with keeping that ever-changing number-of-hairs-on-the-head count (He's a bit stressed these days with 7 billion of ya walking around down there)...

      August 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      You said to William: "You do know the Ten Commandments and all of the laws and rules in the Bible are for man, right? God isn't beholden to them. As creator of the universe, He kinda gets free license to do as He pleases and is not held to your or my standard on what is "right."

      Interesting. You are then saying, that something is "good", because God commands it? If this is true, then the laws and rules that God has decreed are right or moral, are just His whims. He could have just as easily decreed murder and stealing as good. Yes?

      Curious in Arizona

      August 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      Interesting. You are then saying, that something is "good", because God commands it? If this is true, then the laws and rules that God has decreed are right or moral, are just His whims. He could have just as easily decreed murder and stealing as good. Yes?

      @David,

      Whim? No, these are commandments to man.

      I'm going to give an analogy here. We tell an eight year old, "You may not drive." Why? Well because there's a law in place restricting the driving age to 16 (in most states, not sure about all). But what's the reason for the law? Because it's not safe for an eight year old to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Yet, we, as adults get behind the wheel all of the time! Does that make it a whim? No! It makes sense for eight year olds not to drive. Likewise, God gives man commands and tells him "Do not do 'X'..." but that doesn't preclude God from doing it. God answers to no one. He may do as He pleases.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ David Johnson....David! Ahh...it's minds like yours that bring about inquisitions...careful....quit stating the obvious!

      What's really fun is I have a group of "followers" who actually believed Me and Dad (or is it "Dad and I"...never can get that right) and the Bird actually created the universe with the "appearance of age" and the all the fossils, etc., etc. to test their faith....

      Hmmm...if they just took that one more step, they might consider asking what kind of God would create such an illusion, and then they might actually stretch their brains abit more and ask, "What kind of God would be willing to lie like that?"....

      But, they are comfortable with their beliefs and really can't stand any uncertainty, though the "Book" of Creation swims in uncertainty....

      Tried to talk with them about it, but they're too busy asking me for things, and they never get around to listening...wouldn't like what I'd say if they did shut up for moment....think I'll send a mass email...(no, did that the other day to another group of my followers, the ones who continue to blame Satan and the Atheists for getting prayer and "God" out of the public schools....they just deleted the email as SPAM :0(...

      August 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm |
    • Golum

      Great, now we got ppl resorting to play acting.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ Damian....God may do as he pleases? Yes...and that is why folks from the "pre-Destined" all the way to Penetocostal Holiness peeps tend to not be totally certain of their salvation...constantly afraid that I might not Rapture them or allow them into Heaven after the Big Day...

      So, if I do as I please, then I might change my mind about Christians once we're all standing around the Great White throne (well, I'll be sittin'...the Bird 'll be flying, I guess...)

      But wait, one of those guys who wrote in that Book said I never change....oh, but then there's that doctrine that assures humans that my Nature is Good and I wouldn't do anything evil....

      ...but since you seem to think that God gets angry, and when I look to see how American Christians (that is, Fox News Christians) treat the least of these, my bretheren, then maybe...MAYBE...I'll change my mind about Christians...or I might just stick to that goats-on-the-left-hand story in that Book written by that guy who claims to be Matthew...

      That was, after all, meant for my "followers," not for the unbeliever...have you hugged a homeless person today, Damian?

      August 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ golum....loved your character...We All watched the big screen in the throne room...that Trilogy was great...read the books too

      I really like the Hindu idea that we all are "God" play acting in search of OurSelf, unaware that we are God...wish I had thought of that one...(The Bird claims He was the one that originally thought of it...typical, always using someone elses idea and then claims its His own...wait! Now I know where Christianity got all its unoriginal ideas from!...well, except for My idea of Loving your enemies...but no Christian will touch that one!)

      August 16, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @the_junior_high_play_actor-
      "But wait, one of those guys who wrote in that Book said I never change....oh, but then there's that doctrine that assures humans that my Nature is Good and I wouldn't do anything evil...."

      Oy...the book you are referring to is known as The Book of Revelation and NOT the Bible. So you can't really take what it says in that single book written sometime around 90-100CE and apply it to all texts previous to it. That would be dense.

      Go reference (Isaiah 45:7) and (1 Samuel 18:10)...maybe you will learn something.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      I said: "You are then saying, that something is "good", because God commands it? If this is true, then the laws and rules that God has decreed are right or moral, are just His whims. He could have just as easily decreed murder and stealing as good. Yes?"

      You answered: "Whim? No, these are commandments to man. God gives man commands and tells him "Do not do 'X'..." but that doesn't preclude God from doing it. God answers to no one. He may do as He pleases."

      If as you say, God does what He pleases then right and wrong would not be a meaningful concept to Him. The only difference between the two, would be whatever God commands. Old men marrying underage girls is wrong. But, God could decree that this practice is good. Morality is based solely on the arbitrary order of God?

      How could the declaration that God is all good (Omnibenevolent), have any meaning, if good is His choice and not based on any system or standard?

      Still Curious in Arizona

      August 16, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      If as you say, God does what He pleases then right and wrong would not be a meaningful concept to Him. The only difference between the two, would be whatever God commands. Old men marrying underage girls is wrong. But, God could decree that this practice is good. Morality is based solely on the arbitrary order of God?

      Well it depends on your definition of what "right" is. What is right? Who determines it? Society? The church? I won't go into what God "can" do, because that's just circular logic. God can literally do anything He chooses. The fact is, I consider what God says to be "right." That's how I define my morality. Anyone can create their own sembelence of morality. I'm sure there are psychotic people who believe what they are doing is right (and even some amongst the church!) and that is why I turn to the Bible, reading it and studying it within context to determine what is right.

      How could the declaration that God is all good (Omnibenevolent), have any meaning, if good is His choice and not based on any system or standard?

      To answer this, God's Word -is- the standard. I'm not sure what other answer you're looking for here...

      August 16, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ Lycidas...Ahhh, child...I was not referring to that late add-on and most abused of "scriptural" texts. I was, in fact, referring to that glorious book of the poets and that one written to the Hebrews....

      But yes, I did learn something (oops, there I go changing again!)...I learned that you, Lycidas, should be ready to respond with your verses when those "followers" of Mine say that I do not create Evil and evil things...imagine that, a verse from their "Bible" that says I do those things that humans consider evil....

      but, alas, "a verse such as Isaiah 45:7 is not to be taken literally" many protest...and they thought I was a scapegoat...when, in fact, poor Lucifer gets so much unnecessary blame...what a shame.

      And, Lycidas, I do love your hermeneutics...most leave their brain at the door when they open the scriptures and fail to understand the literature they take as literal.

      So glad to have died for one such as yourself...

      August 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ Damian....Damian, Damian, Damian...how many times did you make it to the hospital last week to care for those patients who are desperate for someone to listen to them and love them...

      And how many times did you get to the detention center and play basket ball with those troubled kids....and how many times last month did you visit that state prison I've been trying to get you visit?

      I know, you're too busy reading and studying to show yourself approved and trying to get it right...but, pssst...it's pretty literal about loving your neighbor and being there for them 23/7...(I like to give an hour for using the bathroom and cleaning up...)

      I mean, really, all those monies you spent on Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic lessons really don't mean that much if you don't actually act on my clear cut commandments....

      August 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      I said: "If as you say, God does what He pleases then right and wrong would not be a meaningful concept to Him. The only difference between the two, would be whatever God commands. Old men marrying underage girls is wrong. But, God could decree that this practice is good. Morality is based solely on the arbitrary order of God?"

      You replied: "Well it depends on your definition of what "right" is. What is right? Who determines it? Society? The church?"

      That is what I am asking. Is something good because God commands it, or does God command it, because it is good?

      You said: "The fact is, I consider what God says to be "right." That's how I define my morality."

      Hmm...

      God directly or at His insistence, murdered men, women and children including babies. Is this "right"? Is this moral?

      God killed every living thing on the face of the earth other than Noah and his family, because man was wicked. Afterwards, He decides He won't kill everything again, because man's heart is evil from his youth. Is this "right? Is this moral? An all knowing god didn't know this BEFORE He murdered everyone on the planet? OOOooopsie!

      God had a man believe he was going to sacrifice his son to Him. Do you know how traumatic that would be for a father and his son?
      If you had the power would you do this? Would you be so insecure? Is this "right? Is this moral?

      There was a man who loved God. God made a bet with Satan that even if the man were tortured, his Possessions taken, and his children killed, he would still love God and never curse Him. God won the bet.
      Would you do that? Would you kill a man's children for a bet? Is this "right? Is this moral?

      God sent a bear to kill a group of children, because they had teased one of His prophets.
      Did the children deserve to die, because they teased a bald man? Is this "right? Is this moral? Is this a just god?

      God allowed a man to sacrifice his daughter to Him, for giving the man a victory in battle. Human sacrifice! Is this "right? Is this moral?

      God created a place He can send people to be burned for all eternity. Could an all benevolent god construct such a place of misery? Is this a God of Love? A God who is all just?

      If a puppy wet on the floor, would you hold it over a burner? Even for a second? I couldn't do that. Not to a puppy. Certainly not to a human.

      I call Jesus, Himself as a witness!

      Jesus had this to say:

      Matthew 7:17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

      Luke 6:43 "No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

      1. A god who is not evil, can't do evil things!
      This is established, by Jesus' testimony.

      2. The Christian god is guilty of horrid crimes against humans
      Evidenced by the atrocities recorded in the bible and the Christian god's own admission:

      Isaiah 45:7, KJV says the Christian god is responsible for at least some evil: "..I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things."

      3. Therefore, god is evil. He bears bad fruit.

      If you whine that I am taking these examples out of context, then I invite you to read the examples of god's behavior again. Tell me in what reality or under what circ_umstances, these actions would not be evil?

      Can you post that these Acts of God were "right" and moral? We have hanged leaders for war crimes that were not as bad as these atrocities.

      Where does God get His notions of morality from?

      Still Curious in Arizona

      August 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Eternally Begotten of the Father

      @ David...there are just some days I'm so proud We created humans, very nice....

      oh, wait, you're slaming us!

      Somebody send the Bird to poop all over his hometown....the poop is pretty toxic and I'll send an interpretations to someone speaking in tongues that this is an additional plague over and above the ones I smacked down on Pharaoh....

      August 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • DamianKnight

      @David,

      First off, I typed something else, but CNN ate it, so you're going to get the abridged version, I'm afraid.

      I apologize if my answer wasn't clear. God is a being of goodness. God's Will is what determines what is "right" and what is "wrong." Evil (or sin), according to my definition, is acting outside of God's Will. God's Will -is- the standard. He doesn't get it from somewhere else. So unless God acts outside of His Will, He cannot do evil.

      As for all of the acts you state, God's ways are not our own. I can't explain it. Would I do these things? No, because they are sins for man. But God is not beholden to the same standard that I am. God has His own standard and He does as He wills. It's the ultimate trust that God knows what He is doing. Admittedly, even -I- find that difficult. But I trust Him.

      You will find this all difficult to accept, because as you say, it doesn't make logical sense. That's why it's called faith. Because if it made logical sense, it wouldn't be faith. 🙂

      August 16, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • No Need of a Savior

      @ Damian

      Even having "faith" doesn't call for such mindlessness. Damian, have you considered what you've just pronounced? A God who can be evil and yet demands worship and demands that humans be moral and/or accept his son as Lord and Savior?

      In the film Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell's father claims that God is a "benevolent dictator." However, Damian, your profession of "faith" in these words you've chosen to post indicates otherwise and the lives of Christians, in particular, provide an even stronger witness to the failure of any goodness coming from this God all of you believe in.

      I do appreciate your comments. Because of them, I have a clearer understanding of why Atheists have such strong arguments against "faith" in God's existence.

      August 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @EBF- "should be ready to respond with your verses when those "followers" of Mine say that I do not create Evil and evil things"

      I tell ppl the way it is. Sadly, you have a problem with knowing the Torah/Tanakh/NT

      Research Lucifer, you will see he is not the devil. Never has been.

      August 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @DamianKnight

      You said: "God is a being of goodness."

      Definition of goodness – That which is morally right; righteousness.

      The bible records many (seemingly) immoral acts committed by the Christian God. You say, "God's ways are not our own."

      If this is true, by what standard are you declaring God to be a being of goodness?

      You said: "God's Will is what determines what is "right" and what is "wrong."

      So, all that makes an act wrong / immoral, is that god prohibits it? All we mean when we call an act wrong or evil, is that God does not allow it? Is murder wrong only because God prohibits it, or does God prohibit murder because it is inherently wrong?

      Forcing young girls to marry old men is wrong only because God does not allow it? Would this suddenly be moral if God commanded it should be done?

      You said: "Evil (or sin), according to my definition, is acting outside of God's Will. God's Will -is- the standard. He doesn't get it from somewhere else. So unless God acts outside of His Will, He cannot do evil."

      Definition of will – Intend, desire, or wish (something) to happen

      According to this definition, unless someone is holding a gun to God's head, He cannot do something against His will. Everything He does is moral, because He does it.

      Apparently, all morality is subjective. No objective morality exists. Which is what atheists have contended all along.

      Cheers!

      August 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      By what standard David, are you declaring the acts of God to be immoral?

      August 17, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Uncouth Swain

      From:http://www.update.uu.se/~fbendz/philo/objective_morality.html

      "The way I use the words objective and morality, I cannot see how anything could be called objective morality. It is just an abstract construction without any relevance. It is meaningless. What affects the world is not if actions are right or wrong, but what results they have on reality."

      Kind of an interesting read.

      August 17, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • William Demuth

      I find this thread hilarious.

      Somewhat akin to a class of autistic eight year old kids tring to play post office with a Shakesperean text.

      The exchanges are ridiculous to the level of being sublime

      August 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  16. a person of the Name

    I totally agree with texastefani, you left out much of the scripture that goes with those. You can't just take parts of a sermon and think you'll get the whole truth.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • J.W

      So I assume you mean that women are equal to men and that gays should have the right to be married.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • BRC

      I completely agree that you should take in all available material and fully analyze something before you really give it any credence. Unfortunately, that seems to very much be the exception. In speaking with my friends and family who are religious, very few of them have ever read anything in the bible other than what they were directed to at church (a statistic that has been repeatedly observed). The common practice for most churches and the average person seems to be cherry picking the best parts and most encouraging messages from the Bible. And why shouldn't they? There are some very good messages found in the long, long, long scripture.
      But at the same time, especially in the old testament, there is plenty of material that is either mathematically improbable (to the point of nearly impossible), likely historically inaccurate and self aggrandized, and in some cases just down-right awful (other people have listed a few of the atrocities called out for in the bible, we all know they're there). You say that those 5 passages must be looked at in context; I agree, but that context can't stop just because someone likes the message they've found. It has to go until all of the material has been covered.
      For me so far, the balance of material that provides a good message has been woefully overpowered by the material that I can't honestly believe people would follow.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
  17. Colin

    My five bible quotes for Ms. Bachmann.

    "If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ra.pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives." (Deut 22:28)

    We need that passed into Federal Law at once. 50 shekels for r.ape seems fair to me – and we can tax the payment and reduce the deficit. And, becuase they can never divorce, they have to pay the "marriage penalty". A win all round.

    "Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church."

    No sermons for you, Michele.

    "Do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor."
    Timothy 2:12-14

    So Michele, your $exually ambiguous husband will have to do all the talking while you are President. You can sit behind him and nod occassionally- but no talking now.

    "Sin began with a woman and thanks to her we all must die" Ecclesiasticus, 25:19

    Thanks Michele, now look what you've done. You must have been speaking in church again.

    Jesus himself thinks as follows (Matthew 10:34): "Do not suppose that I came to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but the sword! For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother."

    So even your own family will be mad at you. Probably becuase you killed us all by talking in church.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Lycidas

      Of course in Deut 22:28 it does not say "ra_pe" but don't let that stop ppl from adding their own take. Also, this was an improvement from the older ways where they would have killed the man and the girl would never have had the chance of marrying a man for what was done to her. Perfect? Probably not but better than some other ways.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
    • Colin

      So the Bronze Age sky-god of infinite wisdom and love allows the ra.pe victim to live if she spends the rest of her life married to her rap.ist. Ah Biblical progress and justice at its ferocious best.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm |
    • Colin

      I tire of proving Lycidas wrong, but seeing how he rarely makes his own comments, but prefers to sit back and take pot-shots at others, here we go again. Lycidas is wrong. See passage form Deuteronomy below:

      20 If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, 21 she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

      22 If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel.

      23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her, 24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the young woman because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

      25 But if out in the country a man happens to meet a young woman pledged to be married and ra.pes her, only the man who has done this shall die. 26 Do nothing to the woman; she has committed no sin deserving death. This case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor, 27 for the man found the young woman out in the country, and though the betrothed woman screamed, there was no one to rescue her.

      28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and ra.pes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[c] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Colin- you tire of proving me wrong to yourself. You have yet to prove me wrong to anyone else really.

      Where does it say 'ra_pe" in the text? Here is a quick way for you to clarify yourself...say what translation you are using would be a good start. Then it is always a wise thing to go back to the original hebrew for an accurate definition....I recommend Strongs.

      Educate yourself Colin, it's a pleasurable experience.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • Stevie7

      Lycidas – did you do this for yourself? Because Strong's pretty much confirms the ra-pe part. Unless you want to really stretch the definition of 'lay hold'.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Real Deal

      Lycidas,

      Ok, so it's "lie with" or "lay with" or "force himself upon"...

      "If a man find a damsel [that is] a virgin , which is not betrothed , and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found
      Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father 1 fifty [shekels] of silver, and she shall be his wife ; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days." Deu 22: 28-29

      August 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      If a man find a damsel [that is] a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found
      -----------
      Appears r a p e was said differently.....appears Colin's quote still stands?????????????

      August 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Steve- glad to see someone does his research. If Colin would have just stopped his bluster he would have came to the same conclusion. I know I nit-pick at word use, but under traditional texts...the term "ra_pe" doesn't appear but it def is implied.

      If I may note that "ra_pe" is punishable by death in the Torah. (Deut 22:25) Of course the difference in punishments tend to reside in the status of the women in question. Under many laws and customs of the time, if a woman was not a virgin...we eligibility was shot to heck. So the concept that the man who ra_ped her make it as socially "correct" as possible seems reasonable. Ppl have to remember that the culture of this time period is not the same as now. Also, one needs to remember that the laws in the Torah did have leeway. Obviously the girl's parents did not have to let her go to a man that ra_ped her if they felt it was not in her best interests. Even the elders could decide specific cases in the Torah.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Deu 22:25 ¶ But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
      -------–
      R a p e is defined as 1. To force (another person) to submit to s e x acts, especially se x u al intercourse; commit r a pe on.
      2. To seize and carry off by force.
      >>>
      What point were you trying to make????????????

      August 16, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @ACTS-"Appears r a p e was said differently.....appears Colin's quote still stands"

      What was wrong with the way it was originally written?

      It's never a problem to say what it is, but why would it ever hurt a person to quote properly? Or to make it clear they changed it to suit their needs. Sorry, it just surprises me how (I suppose this) college educated ppl can throw out basic citation on a whim. You quote something properly or gove clarification of a source...then you give your take on it.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Stevie7

      @lycidas: "pl have to remember that the culture of this time period is not the same as now."

      This would imply moral relativism. And would pretty much undercut any biblical argument against, say, gay marriage.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Steve- possible, though as I always say...one needs to delve into the texts and reflect upon them. Looking for simple, "this is what I do because it tells me" never works well with me. The Torah or the Bible as a whole isn't a manual like one somebody would pick up at a DMV.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Lycidas: Citation or no, the interpretation is still correct. And Colin's point which is how could a being of infinite goodness whose will is supposed to be represented in the Bible allow for women to be so ill treated by her abuser. For a biblical literalist these passages pose a definite problem to either the relevance of the Bible in modern society or the goodness of God Himself.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Citation or no, the interpretation is still correct. And Colin's point which is how could a being of infinite goodness whose will is supposed to be represented in the Bible allow for women to be so ill treated by her abuser. For a biblical literalist these passages pose a definite problem to either the relevance of the Bible in modern society or the goodness of God Himself."

      First...there is no excuse for being intellectually lazy if one tries to claim to be an intellectual, or try to appear as one. Properaly citing information should be common sense to most ppl on here. At least to those that link themselves to the ideas of logic and reason.

      Don't know anywhere in the Bible that says God was infinitly good. I assume you use that term as if God has nothing to do with evil..right? Keep in mind we are not really talking about the "Bible" but the Torah in this regard.

      Literalists, no matter the theme..whether science, theology or even politics have this kind of problem. It isn't unique to religion. But again, one should research and reflect upon the texts. One of the themes within religion (as in Christianity or Judaism) is that we are to go beyond ritual and the law. They are not absolutes.

      August 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Colin

      Lycidas – give it up. Know when to accept defeat. You tried to weasel-word. Three people called you on it.

      Sit back again, copy and paste and take pot shots at others. It's pretty clear that's your modus operandi. Most miss.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • Lycidas

      @Colin- Thank you for your lackluster opinion. I guess you won't admit you have been intellectually lazy in citation and/or just quoting text properly. It's sad because you are on the verge of saying some interesting things...but always fall short.

      I love it when atheists bring up group-think when it suits them lol.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  18. gayjesus

    Ask them if they acknowledge that Jesus was gay...I mean he traveled around with 12 dudes spreading liberal propaganda. He obviously was into dudes.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • Thomas

      *backing away, waiting for the lightning strike*

      August 16, 2011 at 11:25 am |
    • Fred Flintstone

      Actually, Jesus hung out with the guys couldn't get a girl for the life of him. Neither could they.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:38 am |
    • William Demuth

      Actually, it was Joseph who was.

      Due to a translational error he was percieved as being a carpenter, when he actually advertised himself as being a man who liked to work other mens wood.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Jesus Koresh

      So William, are you saying that the phrase "Jesus was a carpenter" actually translates to "Jesus had a woody?" I find that hard to believe – Jesus comes off so flaccid in the Bible.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Fred Flintstone

      Actually, Jesus hung out with the guys couldn't get a girl for the life of him. Neither could they.

      ----–
      Nerrrrrrrdsssssss!!!!!!!!!!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Jesus Koresh

      Actually I believe rather than asking "What Would Jesus Do", we should really be asking "Who Was Jesus Doing"?

      I believe the answer will explain the buggery scandal rocking the church.

      It seems the clergy takes the Body Of Christ, in its most literal meaning.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Not to mention he liked to be around children and touch them. Very disturbing and delusional fellow.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm |
    • Lycidas

      And yet you all ignore the verses where a woman washed his feet with her hair, he saved a lady from death...heck, the women cared enough for him to do funeral rites for him. Of course the normal individual doesn't see anything se_xual in this or the stupid things you brought up. But just keep on the ho_mose_xual topic, it obviously is very very important to you.

      August 16, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • gayjesus

      So he had his hair styled with the women and got a pedicure? Are you arguing for my point or against it?

      August 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • Lycidas

      Read what I wrote again...s l o w l y

      August 16, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  19. texastefani

    Stephen – a text, without a context, is a pre-text for a proof text. All passages must be read in context for both interpretation and application. If you want to ask big questions regarding the Bible, please be wise enough to use the entire context of the scripture.

    August 16, 2011 at 11:17 am |
    • J.W

      Usually it is conservatives that take the Bible out of context.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:19 am |
    • gayjesus

      Isn't that was he is asking? In what context do you take these statements? As in, what does this mean to you. As in, do you know how to read and comprehend what you are reading. As in, you are making stuff up to prove your point.

      August 16, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Real Deal

      Evangelical Rule of Thumb:

      - If a bible verse furthers the cause, it is to be taken literally.

      - If a bible verse is detrimental to the cause, it is either: taken out of context; is allegorical; refers to another verse somewhere else; is a translation or copyist's error; means something other than what it actually says; is a mystery of god or not discernible by humans; or is just plain magic.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban Schizophrenics

      Not to mention he liked to be around children and touch them. Very disturbing fellow.

      August 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Real Deal

      Yep!

      Cheers!

      August 16, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Stephen Prothero

      Loved your article. I thought the 5 verses you chose were spot on. Thanks!

      Cheers!

      August 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Thorne

      Exactly Real Deal... you haven't figured that out yet? sheesh.

      August 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  20. DerpDiggler

    At least we get to interview christians about which parts of the bible they think is real and which parts are ignored.

    Making a christian admit to parts of the bible they don't believe in is hysterical on every level.

    And we are still believing all this stuff. 😀 What a riot!

    August 16, 2011 at 11:03 am |
    • David Johnson

      Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god.
      All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved.

      If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?

      The bible says:
      1 Corinthians 14:33 – KJV
      33For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

      Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible.

      ambiguity – a word or expression that can be understood in two or more possible ways : an ambiguous word or expression.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics.

      On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics.

      The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance

      If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction?

      The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 16, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god."

      ~Yet..this is not evidence that any are wrong.

      "All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved."

      ~The will of God does not equate to interpetation of the Bible. That is why most Jews and Christians are not literalists. Many of these theoretical denominations do not believe their members will be the only one's saved.

      "If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?"

      ~Omni-benevolence is NOT an aspect of God as taken from scripture. To say so would mean to ignore scripture where he created the good and formed the evil.

      "Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible."

      ~You are implying to types of knowledge here. One is what is learned while the other dictated to. Nothing is learned if it is directly dictated to.

      "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics."

      ~What is being said here? Ppl are unsure..searching...learning....failing. Nothing wrong with that.

      "On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics."

      ~is this a failure of religion or simply a clash of culture vs religion? If one searches for absolutes in their lives on moral issues, you will not find them. If one searches for absolutes in science, you will not find them. We learn, we fail and we hopefully expand that in which we are.

      "The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance"

      ~Incorrect..in that it makes it out that religious groups are unique in this. I recommend a simple stop and any debate about global warming/climate change and you will see similar behavior.

      "If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction?"

      ~Most would not say that the Bible is without error. As with anything important in one's life....reflection, study, cross referencing...those are some of the ways to explore one's theological life.

      "The Christian god is very unlikely to exist."

      ~As based on what you believe and feel. But as with us all, it is just an opinion.

      Shalom!

      August 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lycidas
      I said: ""Notice how many denominations of Christianity there are (~ 34,000). Each denomination can show you scripture, that "proves" they understand the wants of Jesus/god."

      You responded: "~Yet..this is not evidence that any are wrong."

      Umm... This is evidence that the Word of God (bible) is ambiguous.

      I said: "All of the denominations could not be correctly interpreting the bible. Many are contradictory.
      Many of these denominations believe only their members will be saved."

      You responded: "~The will of God does not equate to interpetation of the Bible. That is why most Jews and Christians are not literalists. Many of these theoretical denominations do not believe their members will be the only one's saved."

      If the bible was not ambiguous, the 34,000 denominations would not exist. God inspired the bible. Why would He bother, if He didn't want people to read and understand it?

      I said: "If the Christian god exists, and He is all knowing and all powerful and all good, why didn't He provide a bible that could not be misinterpreted? That everyone's comprehension of His wants would be the same?"

      You responded: "~Omni-benevolence is NOT an aspect of God as taken from scripture. To say so would mean to ignore scripture where he created the good and formed the evil."

      You failed to address the argument.
      The bible exists. It is said to be provided / inspired by God. If God is all knowing, He would know how to create a bible that everyone would interpret the same. If God is all powerful, He would be able to create this bible.

      I said "Christians believe god's purpose in creating the Bible is to guide human beings towards a knowledge of God, and to help them lead moral lives, Christians must be certain of the meaning of the Bible."

      You responded: "~You are implying to types of knowledge here. One is what is learned while the other dictated to. Nothing is learned if it is directly dictated to."

      No. The bible is used by Christians for the purposes I listed: Knowledge of God and learning God's will concerning our actions (morality).

      I quoted: "There are in excess of 1,000 Christian faith groups in North America. They teach diverse beliefs about the nature of Jesus, God, the second coming, Heaven, Hell, the rapture, criteria for salvation, speaking in tongues, the atonement, what happens to persons after death, and dozens of other topics."

      You responded: "~What is being said here? Ppl are unsure..searching...learning....failing. Nothing wrong with that."

      That's the point. People are unsure...searching...failing..., because the bible God provided is not clear. LOL

      I said: "On social controversies, faith groups teach a variety of conflicting beliefs about abortion access, equal rights for ho_mo$exuals and bi$exuals, who should be eligible for marriage, the death penalty, physician assisted suicide, human $exuality topics, origins of the universe, and dozens of other topics."

      You responded "~is this a failure of religion or simply a clash of culture vs religion? If one searches for absolutes in their lives on moral issues, you will not find them. If one searches for absolutes in science, you will not find them. We learn, we fail and we hopefully expand that in which we are."

      People clash on this, because they believe they have "discovered" the will of their God, in the bible. Again, this is because the bible God provided is ambiguous.

      I said:"The groups all base their theological teachings on the Bible. Generally speaking, the theologians in each of these faith groups are sincere, intelligent, devout, thoughtful and careful in their interpretation of the Bible. But, they come to mutually exclusive conclusions about what it teaches. Further, most are absolutely certain that their particular interpretations are correct, and that the many hundreds of faith groups which teach opposing beliefs are in error." Source: Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance"

      You responded: "~Incorrect..in that it makes it out that religious groups are unique in this. I recommend a simple stop and any debate about global warming/climate change and you will see similar behavior."

      No. If the bible was not ambiguous, everyone would agree. There could be no debate. The word of God would be there, for all to read and comprehend. All understandings would be identical. Certainly there would not be 34,000 different denominations of Christianity.

      I said: "If the bible is ambiguous, then it cannot be said to be inerrant. If the bible is not without error, then how do we know which parts to accept as truth and which to reject as fiction?"

      You responded: "~Most would not say that the Bible is without error. As with anything important in one's life....reflection, study, cross referencing...those are some of the ways to explore one's theological life."

      If the Bible is not inerrant, then as I stated, how do you know where the errors end and the truth begins? It becomes a matter of personal preference. Subjective. Not objective as one would expect a perfect God to produce.

      I concluded: "The Christian god is very unlikely to exist."

      You responded: ~As based on what you believe and feel. But as with us all, it is just an opinion."

      My opinion is based on a lack of evidence and logic. Yours is based on faith. Faith is worthless.

      Cheers!

      August 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "This is evidence that the Word of God (bible) is ambiguous."

      ~So? That is only a problem with a literalist. Most are not.

      "God inspired the bible. Why would He bother, if He didn't want people to read and understand it?"

      ~God inspired ppl, who wrote the Bible. The inspired ppl probably knew quite well what God wanted.

      "If God is all knowing, He would know how to create a bible that everyone would interpret the same. If God is all powerful, He would be able to create this bible."

      ~Interesting that you did not admit I was right on my one point. On the topic of God being all knowing and being all powerful....you ignore that the universe (including humanity) was created under established laws and order. If God chooses not to suspend the specific order he created for this universe...he can still be all powerful and all knowing. He has lost none of that. That's probably why you want to include the all-good as_pect...it would cancel that out. But of course, as I said..that as_pect is not scriptural.

      "The bible is used by Christians for the purposes I listed: Knowledge of God and learning God's will concerning our actions (morality)."

      ~I did not disagree but I elaborated. There is acquiring knowledge through the "spo_on feeding" method. Some ppl of faith go down this road. Others learn with different methods.

      "People are unsure...searching...failing..., because the bible God provided is not clear."

      ~And no one beyond the self deluded atheists ever said it was clear...lol

      "If the bible was not ambiguous, everyone would agree. There could be no debate."

      ~No...because in all of human history there has never been a time that all humanity ever agreed on anything in total unison. You ignore the possiblity that humanity may be unable to agree fully as long as their is individual free will.

      "If the Bible is not inerrant, then as I stated, how do you know where the errors end and the truth begins?"

      ~Again...through study and reflection. No offense, but just as you do not believe followers know the true will of their God....why should anything think you would know what God would do? I think some atheists believe they know more about what God should be doing with the universe than most Christians. it's kind of funny 🙂

      "My opinion is based on a lack of evidence and logic. Yours is based on faith. Faith is worthless."

      ~Lack of evidence= lack of knowledge. As for logic, that is an unquanitified variable. You could be lo_oney as any toon, so where would that put your logic?
      Faith is worthless eh? Keep that in mind as you look at the one's you love and believe they love you back. That belief that you are loved is worthless under your thinking.

      Shalom!

      August 16, 2011 at 9:12 pm |
    • David Johnson

      @Lycidas

      I said: "This is evidence that the Word of God (bible) is ambiguous."

      You responded: "~So? That is only a problem with a literalist. Most are not."

      This ambiguity is a problem for any Christian, hoping to discover the true will of their God.

      I said: "God inspired the bible. Why would He bother, if He didn't want people to read and understand it?"

      You responded: "~God inspired ppl, who wrote the Bible. The inspired ppl probably knew quite well what God wanted."

      Odd that if God inspired the people, He wouldn't have kept what they wrote from being ambiguous. Otherwise, why did God bother, to begin with? When my daughter was 4, she wrote stories only she could read. An all powerful, all knowing god could do no better? LOL

      I said: "If God is all knowing, He would know how to create a bible that everyone would interpret the same. If God is all powerful, He would be able to create this bible."

      You responded: "~Interesting that you did not admit I was right on my one point. On the topic of God being all knowing and being all powerful....you ignore that the universe (including humanity) was created under established laws and order. If God chooses not to suspend the specific order he created for this universe...he can still be all powerful and all knowing. He has lost none of that. That's probably why you want to include the all-good as_pect...it would cancel that out. But of course, as I said..that as_pect is not scriptural."

      I did not argue that point, because it was not necessary. Most Christians believe god is perfect. Perfect, means to be the best being possible. This is known as the Perfect Being Theology. Under this theology, the Christian God possesses perfect goodness (Omnibenevolence). God is the source of morality and always acts in accord with this morality. So, God's being omnibenevolent stems from God being perfect and God being moral. Doesn't matter if you agree or not.

      The creation of the bible by or through God, speaks for itself. If God created the bible by inspiring people, why would He create a bible that is so ambiguous that it inspires 34,000 different denominations? Would you write an instruction manual that everyone interpreted differently? In contract law, a court will typically interpret any unclear language of such a contract against the contractor writer (god). LOL

      I said: "The bible is used by Christians for the purposes I listed: Knowledge of God and learning God's will concerning our actions (morality)."

      You responded: "~I did not disagree but I elaborated. There is acquiring knowledge through the "spo_on feeding" method. Some ppl of faith go down this road. Others learn with different methods."

      Virtually all of (I know of none who don't) Christianity, derive their doctrines and wants of their god, through a Christian bible. All other "methods" would be thought to be subordinate to the bible. Your argument sucks. LOL

      I said: "People are unsure...searching...failing..., because the bible God provided is not clear."

      You responded: "~And no one beyond the self deluded atheists ever said it was clear...lol"

      But again, why would an all powerful, all knowing, all loving God produce a bible that that was ambiguous? Each of the 34,000 denominations believe they are correctly interpreting God's word. So, to say no one believes the bible is clear is not correct.
      To each denomination, the bible is clear. I bet you think it is clear. LOL Again, your argument sucks.

      I said: "If the bible was not ambiguous, everyone would agree. There could be no debate."

      You said: "~No...because in all of human history there has never been a time that all humanity ever agreed on anything in total unison. You ignore the possiblity that humanity may be unable to agree fully as long as their is individual free will."

      Free will would only come into this, if everyone agreed something was wrong, but some chose to do the wrong thing anyway. Free Will has nothing to do with understanding. If I don't understand that something is wrong, I am not making a choice. I am just doing the bad thing out of ignorance. Understand?

      An all knowing God would "know" how to create a bible that everyone would agree as to its meaning. An all powerful God would be able to create such a bible. If God went to the trouble of creating / inspiring the bible, He would want everyone to understand it in the same way. If not, why bother? See? You can't wiggle out of it. LOL

      I said: "If the Bible is not inerrant, then as I stated, how do you know where the errors end and the truth begins?"

      You responded: "~Again...through study and reflection. No offense, but just as you do not believe followers know the true will of their God....why should anything think you would know what God would do? I think some atheists believe they know more about what God should be doing with the universe than most Christians. it's kind of funny"

      No, not funny. Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it.
      The members of all the denominations of Christianity study and reflect. They have all come to different conclusions. You simply "believe" what you have concluded is true. As do all the other denominations. LOL

      I said "My opinion is based on a lack of evidence and logic. Yours is based on faith. Faith is worthless."

      You responded "~Lack of evidence= lack of knowledge. As for logic, that is an unquanitified variable. You could be lo_oney as any toon, so where would that put your logic?"

      In the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary. Santa and the Easter Bunny are imaginary. Your God is no more real than they.

      You said: "Faith is worthless eh? Keep that in mind as you look at the one's you love and believe they love you back. That belief that you are loved is worthless under your thinking."

      I can see my loved ones. I can see evidence of their love. My faith is based on this evidence. I have faith my chair will hold me, because it has held me before. The type of faith that enables you to believe in a god is not the same. Your faith is based on wishful thinking. LOL.

      "Faith is believing things by definition, which are not justified by reason. It it were justified by reason, it wouldn't be faith."
      Colin McGinn

      I grow weary of this. The Christian god is very unlikely to exist.

      Cheers!

      August 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm |
    • Lycidas

      "This ambiguity is a problem for any Christian, hoping to discover the true will of their God."

      ~Ok..we get what you are thinking. No one has disputed this at all. And again I say that ppl discover at their own rate and you cannot spo_on feed theology/religious teachings and really "learn" anything. I think we have went round robin on this part enough don't you?

      "Odd that if God inspired the people, He wouldn't have kept what they wrote from being ambiguous."

      ~Perhaps in a universe that does not run by our set of laws and free will...it wouldn't be ambiguous. But we have ppl such as yourself that cannot agree with others. Not a jab at you, just including with the the ma_sses lol.

      "I did not argue that point, because it was not necessary. Most Christians believe god is perfect. Perfect, means to be the best being possible."

      ~Lol...first it doesn't matter what they believe, you believe or I believe. The fact is that the Torah/Bible never give the aspect of perfect to God. And no, being perfect does not mean the best possible...being perfect means being the best of what you are.

      "If God created the bible by inspiring people, why would He create a bible.."

      ~No matter how much you say it...God did not create the Bible.

      "Virtually all of (I know of none who don't) Christianity, derive their doctrines and wants of their god, through a Christian bible. All other "methods" would be thought to be subordinate to the bible. Your argument sucks. LOL"

      ~There is a crack in your armor showing...cut back a little bit on the "lols", you seem to start getting peeved when you use them more and more in an attempt to frustrate me. Good elementary try though....but back on the topic.
      Your expereinces are limited and really don't mean much. Of course Christians use the Bible but they also use commentaries, original writngs, gnostics texts, archaeology, anthropology, history among the hard science/evidence. When on theology, also uses philosophy, art, poetry, music to explor their faith. It's sad that you have such a limited understanding about ppl.

      "but some chose to do the wrong thing anyway."

      ~Free will doesn't equate to good and evil. There are shades of gray in a person's morality, intelligence.etc. What one might see as wrong the other would not. A person could take anything that seems straight forward and will find someone else that would see it differently...regardless of the morality issues.

      "An all knowing God would "know" how to create a bible that everyone would agree as to its meaning. An all powerful God would be able to create such a bible. If God went to the trouble of creating / inspiring the bible, He would want everyone to understand it in the same way. If not, why bother? See? You can't wiggle out of it. LOL

      ~Odd when ppl get frustrated they try to force their frustration upon the other person. Anywho, just ignoring that this existence has a set of rules/laws to it that makes it work. One of them is free will. Never in any Biblical text does it ever say God wants all ppl to be exactly the same. Your argument has holes my friend.

      "Christians do not believe in Christianity because it is true. To them Christianity is true because they believe it."

      ~Albert Camus, wrote an essay that was interesting. It brought the things we just "know" in our lives but cannot explain..but they are real. It also brought up the frustration others feel when they fail to counter these things because there simply is no way to do it with their limited abilities.

      "In the real world, any object that provides no evidence for its existence is classified as imaginary. Santa and the Easter Bunny are imaginary. Your God is no more real than they."

      ~Nice try but unlike the belief in God...one can trace back the story of Santa or the Easter Bunny and show the wheres, whys and hows. No one has yet to show that any human created the concept of God. They are not comparable at all. But if you insist, we could also include Black Holes, Big Bang and other wonderful science in with the Sanat and company. Unless you can prove their existence.

      "I can see my loved ones. I can see evidence of their love. My faith is based on this evidence."

      ~They stay with you out of guilt for bringing you into the world...not love. Those that show you what you think is love is actually doing for your money, lust, power, because they want to toy with you...not love. When they tell you they love you they are lying. Your belief that you are loved has no evidence...you believe you are loved because you want to believe it.
      Do you know you are loved or is it wishful thinking? Dig yourself out of the hole as you please.

      "I grow weary of this. The Christian god is very unlikely to exist."

      ~Of course you do, you have used up your bag of tricks and don't have the stamina for it.

      Shalom!

      August 17, 2011 at 10:48 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.