December 29th, 2011
09:10 AM ET
My Take: The 3 biggest biblical misconceptions
Editor’s note: John Shelby Spong, a former Episcopal bishop of Newark, New Jersey, is author of "Re-Claiming the Bible for a Non-Religious World."
By John Shelby Spong, Special to CNN
The Bible is both a reservoir of spiritual insight and a cultural icon to which lip service is still paid in the Western world. Yet when the Bible is talked about in public by both believers and critics, it becomes clear that misconceptions abound.
To me, three misconceptions stand out and serve to make the Bible hard to comprehend.
First, people assume the Bible accurately reflects history. That is absolutely not so, and every biblical scholar recognizes it.
The facts are that Abraham, the biblically acknowledged founding father of the Jewish people, whose story forms the earliest content of the Bible, died about 900 years before the first story of Abraham was written in the Old Testament.
Actually, that's not in the Bible
Can a defining tribal narrative that is passed on orally for 45 generations ever be regarded as history, at least as history is understood today?
Moses, the religious genius who put his stamp on the religion of the Old Testament more powerfully than any other figure, died about 300 years before the first story of Moses entered the written form we call Holy Scripture.
This means that everything we know about Moses in the Bible had to have passed orally through about 15 generations before achieving written form. Do stories of heroic figures not grow, experience magnifying tendencies and become surrounded by interpretive mythology as the years roll by?
My Take: Bible condemns a lot, so why focus on homosexuality?
Jesus of Nazareth, according to our best research, lived between the years 4 B.C. and A.D. 30. Yet all of the gospels were written between the years 70 to 100 A.D., or 40 to 70 years after his crucifixion, and they were written in Greek, a language that neither Jesus nor any of his disciples spoke or were able to write.
Are the gospels then capable of being effective guides to history? If we line up the gospels in the time sequence in which they were written - that is, with Mark first, followed by Matthew, then by Luke and ending with John - we can see exactly how the story expanded between the years 70 and 100.
For example, miracles do not get attached to the memory of Jesus story until the eighth decade. The miraculous birth of Jesus is a ninth-decade addition; the story of Jesus ascending into heaven is a 10th-decade narrative.
In the first gospel, Mark, the risen Christ appears physically to no one, but by the time we come to the last gospel, John, Thomas is invited to feel the nail prints in Christ’s hands and feet and the spear wound in his side.
Perhaps the most telling witness against the claim of accurate history for the Bible comes when we read the earliest narrative of the crucifixion found in Mark’s gospel and discover that it is not based on eyewitness testimony at all.
My Take: Yes, the Bible really condemns homosexuality
Instead, it’s an interpretive account designed to conform the story of Jesus’ death to the messianic yearnings of the Hebrew Scriptures, including Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53.
The Bible interprets life from its particular perspective; it does not record in a factual way the human journey through history.
The second major misconception comes from the distorting claim that the Bible is in any literal sense “the word of God.” Only someone who has never read the Bible could make such a claim. The Bible portrays God as hating the Egyptians, stopping the sun in the sky to allow more daylight to enable Joshua to kill more Amorites and ordering King Saul to commit genocide against the Amalekites.
Can these acts of immorality ever be called “the word of God”? The book of Psalms promises happiness to the defeated and exiled Jews only when they can dash the heads of Babylonian children against the rocks! Is this “the word of God? What kind of God would that be?
The Bible, when read literally, calls for the execution of children who are willfully disobedient to their parents, for those who worship false gods, for those who commit adultery, for homosexual persons and for any man who has sex with his mother-in-law, just to name a few.
The Bible exhorts slaves to be obedient to their masters and wives to be obedient to their husbands. Over the centuries, texts like these, taken from the Bible and interpreted literally, have been used as powerful and evil weapons to support killing prejudices and to justify the cruelest kind of inhumanity.
The third major misconception is that biblical truth is somehow static and thus unchanging. Instead, the Bible presents us with an evolutionary story, and in those evolving patterns, the permanent value of the Bible is ultimately revealed.
It was a long road for human beings and human values to travel between the tribal deity found in the book of Exodus, who orders the death of the firstborn male in every Egyptian household on the night of the Passover, until we reach an understanding of God who commands us to love our enemies.
The transition moments on this journey can be studied easily. It was the prophet named Hosea, writing in the eighth century B.C., who changed God’s name to love. It was the prophet named Amos who changed God’s name to justice. It was the prophet we call Jonah who taught us that the love of God is not bounded by the limits of our own ability to love.
It was the prophet Micah who understood that beautiful religious rituals and even lavish sacrifices were not the things that worship requires, but rather “to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” It was the prophet we call Malachi, writing in the fifth century B.C., who finally saw God as a universal experience, transcending all national and tribal boundaries.
One has only to look at Christian history to see why these misconceptions are dangerous. They have fed religious persecution and religious wars. They have fueled racism, anti-female biases, anti-Semitism and homophobia.They have fought against science and the explosion of knowledge.
The ultimate meaning of the Bible escapes human limits and calls us to a recognition that every life is holy, every life is loved, and every life is called to be all that that life is capable of being. The Bible is, thus, not about religion at all but about becoming deeply and fully human. It issues the invitation to live fully, to love wastefully and to have the courage to be our most complete selves.
That is why I treasure this book and why I struggle to reclaim its essential message for our increasingly non-religious world.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John Shelby Spong.
About this blog
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.
Reading back many of the posts, I am glad to see the many true Christians who immediately saw how un-Christistian this article is. We all know that the media, CNN included, rely on controversy and spin to attract attention, not to the articles, but to the advertisers that pay the bills. Non-Christians would do well to at least accept that those more educated in the matter pointed out the obvious flaws and misrepresentations of this writer and article. Disbelieve if you chose, but at least do it with intelligence and not in ignorance. You owe that much to yourself.
"The Christian who wrote this article does not believe exactly what my sect of Christianity does; therefore, this is unChristian." Herp derp.
Jim Jones could not have said it better.
@Automatic translator – That is not what I said at all. I do not belong to any denomination, I have no "sect of Christianity" as they are man made. I am just a Christian who believes who Jesus is, and became a follower. Nothing more to it than that. My comment was more about Sprong's claims which are un-substantiated, that's all. It has nothing (probably more to the point) to do with what Jesus taught. Sprong's spin does nothing for his religion and if anything, does the opposite. How can one promote and destroy at the same time?
You said, "I do not belong to any denomination, I have no "sect of Christianity" as they are man made. I am just a Christian who believes who Jesus is, and became a follower. Nothing more to it than that."
So, you are in a sect of one. You have your own interpretation of the christian holy book. It doesn't take very many people to have a sect. Just look at the Westboro Baptist Church.
You said, "My comment was more about Sprong's claims which are un-substantiated, that's all. It has nothing (probably more to the point) to do with what Jesus taught."
But so are yours (whatever your claims may be). Automatic translator's post merely points out that your views represent just one of the tens of thousands of christian views around.
You said, "Sprong's spin does nothing for his religion and if anything, does the opposite. How can one promote and destroy at the same time?"
Looking through some of the other posts by christians, it appears you couldn't be more wrong. There are quite a few that seem to agree with his interpretation, and find it inspirational.
Sprong doesn't appear to be spinning much. While there may be some errors in the article and areas for discussion, he doesn't appear to be trying to destroy anything. You just don't agree with him.
In my opinion, the most glaring omission from the article is the biggest biblical misconception. The biggest misconception, by far, is that the bible is believed to be about an actual personal god. The existence of such creatures is extremely unlikely.
@LinCA You lost your entire argument with your last statement "The existence of such creatures is extremely unlikely." The rest of your comment is all about your need to label and define me which are for naught considering the discussion. As for un-substantiated claims, Sprong is the object of discussion, not whether or not my claims can be substantiated. You have no dog in that race. You, on the other hand, are not offering any substance to the discussion, just peppering it with your opinion of other poster opinions, which again, are not the object of discussion.
+1 for Nick
You said, "You lost your entire argument with your last statement "The existence of such creatures is extremely unlikely.""
There you go again. You discount my opinion because you disagree with me. Not because you have any facts to back up your position, but simply because I'm questioning something you hold dear.
Considering that there isn't a single shred of evidence for the existence of any gods, let alone yours, the arguments put forth by theists are fundamentally based on faith alone. Without a basis in facts, any religious argument is about imaginary friends, and how they need to be pleased. If you want your arguments about your god to have any merit, you better provide some evidence it exists.
Until such evidence is provided, it is not reasonable to believe they exist.
You said, "The rest of your comment is all about your need to label and define me which are for naught considering the discussion."
Not really. I just pointed out that you are just as unique as everyone else. Sects are not characterized by the number of followers, but by what and how they believe. Just because you've picked your own interpretation, doesn't mean you are not part of a sect. You may just be in a sect of one. Gather some followers and you'll be in business.
You disagree with Spong, therefor claim he's wrong.
You said, "As for un-substantiated claims, Sprong is the object of discussion, not whether or not my claims can be substantiated. You have no dog in that race. You, on the other hand, are not offering any substance to the discussion, just peppering it with your opinion of other poster opinions, which again, are not the object of discussion."
Because the entire discussion is about how to interpret a book that contains few, if any, facts, virtually every claim about is a personal opinion of one poster or another.
Your original post is riddled with fallacies. Just to name a few:
No True Scotsman
"I am glad to see the many true Christians who immediately saw how un-Christistian this article is"
Appeal to the People
"We all know that the media, CNN included, rely on controversy and spin to attract attention"
Appeal to Authority
"Non-Christians would do well to at least accept that those more educated in the matter"
Appeal to Emotions
"but at least do it with intelligence and not in ignorance"
"You owe that much to yourself"
Your argument, if we can call it that, falls flat and is nothing more than your personal opinion.
@Lin- "Sects are not characterized by the number of followers, but by what and how they believe. Just because you've picked your own interpretation, doesn't mean you are not part of a sect. You may just be in a sect of one."
Sect- a body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination.
You could be an Army of One but you cannot be a Sect of One.
You said, "Sect- a body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith; a religious denomination.
You could be an Army of One but you cannot be a Sect of One."
You're kidding, right? By the most generous definition that I can find, an army is "a body of persons organized to advance a cause".
But fine, if you insist, Nick can be an Army of One, advancing his particular interpretation of the bible.
"You're kidding, right? By the most generous definition that I can find, an army is "a body of persons organized to advance a cause". But fine, if you insist, Nick can be an Army of One, advancing his particular interpretation of the bible."
Lol...sorry Lin...it's my fault. I was in the military and "Army of One" was a motto during that time. I shouldn't have used a pop culture reference there.
But back to the point....a person cannot be a sect of one. You were in error.
You said, "But back to the point....a person cannot be a sect of one. You were in error."
Like I said in the previous post, Nick can be an Army of One, advancing his particular interpretation of the bible.
Whatever. It doesn't really matter. My point is, that he appears to be advocating for his particular interpretation, just like the 38,000, or so, christian sects, cults and denominations. Maybe he won't be in a sect until he gets at least one follower.
5000 years ago, when Jesus rode to this continent on the back of a dinosaur, and founded America, things were different. Yes different, and I say better! If we could only get back to those times.
Boy, some people sure get rattled when someone offers a different opinion or challenges their dogma! I believe in God. I believe Jesus was who He said He was. I believe in the Bible as well, I just find it extremely presumptuous for anyone to claim they really understand it's true meaning. I believe the Bible is true, but I'm just not sure we completely understand it all or that we ever will, at least in this life. My experience with people who I believe to be true believers are that they were always inclusive. They made you feel welcome and made you feel like you were a part of whatever they were doing whether you were or not. I agree that too many people have used the Bible and religion to justify their own prejudices and bigotries. There are alot of things in this world and in the Bible that I sure don't understand, but I truely believe that Jesus said, and he meant, "Judge not, lest ye be judged". I believe that mercy will triumph over judgement, and that God's lovingkindness is greater than life, and that He is long suffering, and that a brused reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish, and most importantly, that, "He who calleth upon the name of the Lord, shall not be disapointed"!
In order for God to be just, there must be judgement and recompense. Unfortunately if you destroy the narrative by claiming that it is not historically accurate, or it is just mysticysm and mythology, you lose the fundamental underpinnings of the Christian faith. I am not trying to say you need to believe things, I am saying that founding your faith on a book that "no one can understand" and that someone else claims is not historical is like building a house on sand. We can read and comprehend scripture, only with the Holy Spirit's guidance and our own submission of reason to the divine Word of God. I am writing this as a Christian, as a libertarian i could care less what this whackjob has to say. He is just trying to dilute the Christian faith to make it more palatable to atheists and agnostics, which is a failing cause and if in fact you can get the godless to convert to this quasi-Christianity, then what you really have are tepid Christians, neither God fearing nor disbelieving. What they are is a whole new religion, one that mixes secularism, political correctness and higher criticism to come up with a belief in an idea, and not a man. The fact that Christ bore our flesh is central to Christianity, take that away and you're not a Christian anymore...simple as that.
I must admit, while agreeing with him about the dangerous nature of his three misconceptions, I find it impossible to see how a book in which there is neither historical accuracy, theological truth, nor anything that is not subject to alteration as fashions change, can possibly serve as a useful guide to anything. One might just as well take the Harry Potter books as one's spiritual text, or any other randomly chosen work of fiction.
I think the truth is somewhere in the middle, between the misconceptions of the fundamentalists and the rarefied intellectual contortions of those who prefer their Christianity cleansed of all that tedious old-fashioned religion stuff. Story (as I've always said) is the key, being neither truth nor lie, neither factual nor false. And those who strip out the story are as bad as those who try to pretend it's real.
Article is a FAIL. He misrepresented Christian thought while claiming to represent a consensus Christian view. Very bad move, CNN
Comment is a FAIL. Reading comprehension NOT ACHIEVED.
The fact that YOU don't know how close he is to representing scholarly Christian consensus says more about YOU, than it does about him. Where was YOUR last course in Biblical Archeology ?
No one has a clue about the nature of God. We need to stop thinking that we do. Maybe some day we all will but clearly no one does now.
Human nature and friendship with this world is enmity with God (Romans 8:7; James 4:4).
Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7).
The Prof didn't really say anything that was all that shocking to most ppl.
so many comments!!!!
God bless everyone.....
Ruben: your gracious forbearance duly noted and appreciated...
Why, when the press wants to says something about the Bible, do they pick someone who has an agenda against the Bible. If I wanted an honest opinion about a political candidate I certainly would not accept as fact all his enemies had to say about him. Why does the press do that with the Bible??? Spong has a negative agenda, and if you believe him, then he has manipulated your mind. He is NOT an authority on the Bible, and his statement that "every biblical scholar recognizes" the Bible does not reflect history means only those "scholars" in his little circle. His statement is categorically wrong, and extremely biased. Do some research yourself, with real Bible scholars, before accepting anything Spong says. For example, check out http://www.bible.org as a beginning. Think for yourself rather than let someone form ideas for you. There are plenty of Bible scholars that have quite different ideas.
People that denounce the bible usually denounce it based on misunderstanding!
I am noting your suggestion, MJ (Think for yourself rather than let someone form ideas for you), and am applying it first to your commentary...
It's amazing how militant the followers of religion get when confronted with the truth. While Atheists get militant when confronted with irrationality.
Actually...I have found that some atheists get quite upset when they can't explain themselves to others. They think they know what they are talking about and when ppl don't agree...they get hostile.
Uncouth Swain .. I've actually found that it's not an Atheists inability to "explain themselves" it's that the one they're talking to is refusing to understand.
Perhaps in some cases....but not all. Also there are those atheist sheep out there that really don't know what they believe in either. They like the atheist approach but are just as indoctrinated into that as some Christians are with their beliefs.
Uncouth ... I couldn't agree more!!
The problem is, Spong claims to be things he is not. He is not 1). A Christian, as defined by ANY mainline denomination, 2). A biblical scholar, 3). A spokesman for any significant scholarly body. His association with the completely discredited "Jesus Seminar" folks completely destroys any hope of legitimacy for him in the eyes of any serious scholar.
His broad brush approach is not only inaccurate, it's just wrong. Paul, who is also considered an Apostle, wrote his letters in the mid-1st century, within a few years of the time Jesus walked on earth. John may indeed have written his Gospel in the 80's – 90's AD, but he was an EYEWITNESS to the events of Jesus life. As far as Mark is concerned, take a look at the scholarly debate on Qumran 7Q5. Whether or not it turns out to be a fragment of Mark, it opens the door to possibilities that still more is waiting to be discovered.
Believe in Christianity or not as you see fit – but if you're really interested in making that choice based on accurate information, pick a better source for information.
Who discredited the Jesus Seminar ? When ? Exactly please. You got your PhD where ?
Oh, and BTW, everyone knows "John" was not written by the Apostle John. Where DID you go to school ?
"You got your PhD where ?"
How is that relevant? If someone claiming some kind of medical knowledge wanted to do an operation on you but know give you something for the pain or knock you out...you might question it. Would you respond well with, "You got your PhD where ?" as a response?
There is nothing wrong with questioning things.
I am a believer but certainly not of the Fundamentalist Christian type. How anyone could believe that the Bible is the literal word of God and interrupt the scriptures literally is beyond comprehension.
You have been deceived (Rev. 12:9) and spiritually blind and a believer in an image of a false god and false Chirst (Matthew 24:24).
I can quote the bible too.
"Elisha left to go up to Bethel. As he was on his way up the road, some boys came out of the town
and began making fun of him, "Go on up baldy, go on up baldy!" He looked behind and saw them,
he put a curse on them in the name of The LORD; whereupon two female bears came out of the woods
and ripped apart the forty-two of the boys."
2 Kings 2:23-24
I stopped reading this when the "bishop" said that none of Jesus disciples could read or write Greek. Hellenistic culture was spread throughout the mediterranean world. One only has to look at the Septuagint (the translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek) to see that the Jews were adopting the language of the Greeks. The Greek they wrote the gospels in wasn't even proper classical Greek. It was koine greek, (common greek). You can clearly tell the expertise of the gospel writers. John writes like a child, with poorly formed greek sentences while Luke, who wasnt an eyewitness, writes some of the best Greek in the New Testament. Why the heck does a supposed man of God not know anything, historical, archeological, and even textual about the New Testament and its writers? It would figure this garbage would be on CNN. That being said, who cares what some lame east coast bishop from the Episcopal Church thinks? They have been heterodox almost as long as the Papacy. Sola Scriptura, Sola fide, Sola gratia, Solus Christus, Soli Deo gloria!
I also agree!
Mr. Spong, are you saying to interrupt the bible in a Gnostic meaning?
This man is no Christian. Paul warned certain people like Sprong not to teach false doctrines or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. Paul also said, for the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers (like Sprong) to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. That time is here and now. This man promotes his own agenda.
All Christians promote their own agenda.
We all do, but most of us aren't so full of it as to claim our agenda is divine.
"We all do, but most of us aren't so full of it as to claim our agenda is divine."
Only that your way is the correct way while no religious person has the possiblity of being correct.
@Nick... what makes you so sure your doctrine is true, while Spong's is false? Perhaps Paul is talking of you and your doctrine when he warns of following false teachers. When I read that passage, it explains why all the so-called Christians are using the words of the Bible to justify their prejudice... because they have abandoned sound doctrine. No one owns the truth, Nick... and you can't be sure that yours is true while others are false. Look to thyself before you pass judgement.
Neither of those statements are totally correct. There is no other agenda for any Christian than promoting the Gospel. While it is true, different denominations put their own spin on it, still they all come to the same conclusion: Jesus is the Son of God and the only way to Salvation. The bible in mass printed form did not exist itself until the 1550's thanks to the printing press. Before that, just as today, it still boils down to the single truth, the Gospel.
Nick, get help.
Well written Nick.
@Faith – My bare bone doctrine is no more than Jesus, the Son of God and believing on him. Nothing more, nothing less. There is no other truth than that. Sprong has added to that or at the least, made serious errors in his opinions such as who knew and could write Greek back then as if he were an authority on the subject. I will pass judgement on anyone who professes to be a Christian, but I will do so with a level head and keen discussion. I will not judge non-Christians about Christianity because that is not my place.
“Your great learning is driving you insane.”
Mr Spong, Thank you for this article. I cringe whenever I hear "well the Bible says"! I know many people I send your article to. I always thought it was like the childrens game of telephone. By the time it is told so many times the message seldom sounds like the original. I belive in God and prayer and I try to live my life the way God wants me to. I have seen many sad examples of people who have ruled their families through fear and lies because of their own interpetation of the bible. And if their children do not obey they are banned from family. It seems many people take from the bible only what suits their needs! I am probably one of them.
The above article by John Shelby Spong is after the wisdom of men but not after the Spirit of God (1 Cor. 2:4,5).
He writes about misconceptions and interpretations of the Bible, while there are no misconceptions and the Word of God is not to be interpreted (2 Peter 1:20).
The problem for John Shelby Spong is that in his natural state he is not able to understand the Bible as it is spiritually discerned (1 Cor. 2:14). He is not a follower of Christ but has transformed himself into an apostle of Christ (2 Cor. 11:13-15) and follows after an image of a false god and a false Christ (Matthew 24:24).
Unless he repents and turns from darkness to light and from the power of Satan (whose spirit he is of) unto God (Acts 26:18) he will remain spiritually blind and separated from the true and living God.
For a better understanding what it means to repent and what it means to be a sinner and a Christian we invite you to read the articles ‘Repent’, ‘What is Sin?’ and ‘Can Christianity or Any Other Religion Save You?’ listed on our website http://www.aworlddeceived.ca
All of the other pages and articles will explain how and by whom this world has been deceived as confirmed by the Word of God in Revelation 12:9; Matthew 24:24 and 2 Cor. 11:13-15.
Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7).
So, what you are saying is that the truth means nothing to you if you can find an alternate reality in the scriptures.
What we did is quote the scriptures according to the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive (John 14:17).
Seek, and ye will find (Matthew 7:7).
Christians....like most politicians......have historically maintained a very casual relationship with the truth.
It is the 21st century. I sure can smell manure when I come across it. Do you think the younger generation is going to buy into this crude? Science is on the non-beleivers side and you are just plain wrong.
I love when people put in biblical references when they don't give any credence to anything at all. i.e., To prove what I am saying I will only quote the one book that you already don't believe as if that makes my argument stronger. Then Vader said unto Luke I am your father (The book of Star Wars: ESB). Later, the golden one said E Chupa (The book of Star Wars: ROTJ). If you already know the truth, you know I need to go to Toschi Station to pick up the power converters (The book of Star Wars: ANH). All of these truths can be found in the King George version of course.
@Happy Atheist. I don't agree that the next generation won't buy it. This stuff is perpetuated by keeping people ignorant of the truth. Think this doesn't happen in the public education system? Look up "Creationism will make your kid dumb" on youtube. Seriously, it is worth your time, if only for the lulz.
@Advberg: Why don't you try turning all those biblical passages on yourself and your reading of the Bible? How arrogant to assume that the Bible is speaking to the 'other' but not to you in all those sayings you quoted. How about you listen to your own preaching, instead of assuming that it is only for the other sinner. Are you without sin? Then perhaps it's time to turn inward and read the Bible for yourself instead of for others. Perhaps it is YOU who follows a false Christ, and YOU who is separated from the true and living God. What gives you the authority of truth? We are all children of God, and sinners – you as well as me. You do not own the truth of God.
The only thing a conservative christian loves more than the baby jesus is boinking his cousin every Sunday after church.
You sound like you are writing that from experience.
There's not much more entertaining in the belief world than an intra-cult squabble. Popcorn anyone?
Faith is a gift from God. One must have faith to understand the Holy scriptures.
Maybe. However, I reject the biblical god, don't believe in scripture. I am pretty sure jesus was a fraud. Even better, I have science on my side...we are all descended from a common ancestor.
Is it not true that one needs to understand the Holy Scriptures to understand Faith? (seems circular to me)
One must have an IQ of 70 to truly embrace tham.
That is what I like about SCIENCE. Whether I understand the concepts or not, the truth is still true.
One word ... selfreinforcingdelusion
Faith by definition is belief without reason. In short it is a mental disorder. Next thing you know whey will hear voices in their head telling them what to do….wait they do that too!
"Even better, I have science on my side...we are all descended from a common ancestor."
And that gives you what theologically?
Unless Adam was an ape… I’d say it gives you no theology. Btw, most religions have a creation story.
@Patrick-"Faith by definition is belief without reason. In short it is a mental disorder."
No one loves you Patrick.
Don’t worry, I love myself..nightly.
I think you mistaken love for lust.
Odd that you do not feel anyone loves you though.
Yes, there is no limit to what can understand with faith: a medical procedure, a plumber's manual, nuclear fission, music theory, computer construction; the possibilities are endless with faith alone...
@ Uncouth Swain
Odd that you do not feel anyone loves you though.
You said that not I sir. You are not helping your credibility with such an obvious mistake. Getting back to the point if you disagree with my definition of faith, I’ll be happy to post it in full with the source.
Ok..how about that you do not feel the need to say that no one loves you..or that they do.
Let's cut to the chase....you probably feel that someone loves you. But you are unable to prove that concept at all. But I would never call that a mental disorder as you so bluntly did with others that have a faith.
Okay I’ll bit. Yes I can prove that I both feel loved and that someone in fact does love me. Love (and all emotions) is a chemical reaction both measurable and reproducible. There for I can prove its existence. Not that the exercise has anything to do with faith and its official definition. Nice try though.
It's always sad when ppl claim victory when they have failed Patrick.
No, there is nothing chemical about your belief that you are loved. Yes...you can claim that your emotions are driven by chemicals (though I doubt your would put that on a card to your sweety)...but the hope that you are loved is not based on chemicals of any kind.
So I guess the question is...can you prove you are loved? Personally I know you can't. Not in a scientific way of course. There for you have faith. But I really doubt you would think your ntion of being loved is a mental disorder.
I claimed no such victory I pointed out a scientific fact. And I pointed out you are still avoiding the original comment. Which implies a lack of ability to rebuttal?
“No, there is nothing chemical about your belief that you are loved”
Actually yes, my reaction when asked about or shown expressions of said love can be measured chemically and otherwise. (For the record my sweety is a med student and would destroy you on this topic)
“But I really doubt you would think your ntion of being loved is a mental disorder.”
Again fail, love is indeed likened to a mental disorder. Causing rash and sometimes dangerous behavior we would not otherwise do. There is quite a bite of material on the subject should you wish to educate yourself.
So Mr. Uncouth Swain, would you like dispute the definition of faith? If you disagree then say so and please include your reason and source. If not I’ll take THAT as my claim of victory by default.
"Actually yes, my reaction when asked about or shown expressions of said love can be measured chemically and otherwise. (For the record my sweety is a med student and would destroy you on this topic)"
~Too bad she isn't here because you are failing pretty bad thus far. I guess you cannot see past the incorrect idea that the concept of love is attached to emotion. "Are you loved" is not a question about chemicals...it is a question about what you think. You think you are loved and you judge that on reactions given to you from others. But there is no way to prove that another person loves you. You have faith that you are loved.
"Again fail, love is indeed likened to a mental disorder. Causing rash and sometimes dangerous behavior we would not otherwise do. There is quite a bite of material on the subject should you wish to educate yourself."
~Yes..fail...on you. You again are twisting one concept for another. I am not asking about your physical reactions when YOU are in love. I am not asking what you are doing when YOU fall in love. That can be called a chemical reaction. However....the belief that you hold that someone loves you is not related to chemicals at all. You hope you are loved and that is a form of faith.
Mr. Patrick...I am not arguing over faith...I am arguing over calling faith a mental disorder. Perhaps you should say why they are the same. You have yet to really do that.
But I do disagree with you on faith equalling belief without reason. There are reasons, though usually of a personal nature to most ppl. Do you disagree with this?
Heck..I dunno...maybe on a Patrick date night one would hear, "Baby...I know I'm crazy for thinking this but you love me so much."
With the scientific response from Patrick's sweety, "Oh you and your mental disorders hun."
Patrick said, "So Mr. Uncouth Swain, would you like dispute the definition of faith? If you disagree then say so and please include your reason and source. If not I’ll take THAT as my claim of victory by default."
I responded, "But I do disagree with you on faith equalling belief without reason. There are reasons, though usually of a personal nature to most ppl. Do you disagree with this?"
The source...personal...the reasons vary. Sorry Patrick but you won nothing. And plz...this isn't Mortal Kombat.
But I do disagree with you on faith equalling belief without reason. There are reasons, though usually of a personal nature to most ppl. Do you disagree with this?
Are we ready to answer? Or is your "victory" without reference, citation or reason hollow enough for you?
You may have your own definition sir. However as I stated above, see #1 – 4
I also answered the question before you asked it. Believing when you have no caused to is delusional and there by likened to a mental disorder. I realize you won’t agree with me for obvious reasons. But a little thought on your end would have helped you with the comparison.
World English Dictionary
1. strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence
2. a specific system of religious beliefs: the Jewish faith
3. Christianity trust in God and in his actions and promises
4. a conviction of the truth of certain doctrines of religion, esp when this is not based on reason
@ Uncouth Swain
The concept of a victor was introduced by yourself not I. However you are correct, thankfully for you this is not Mortal Kombat.
You are an odd one Patrick. I never brought in the concept of victor...you did that.
As for you defintion...why didn't you use the primary one from that webpage? You do realize that "especially" isn't an absolute so again you have failed since you have implied that faith is always without reason.
"Believing when you have no caused to is delusional and there by likened to a mental disorder."
You dolt....did you skip the part where I said that ppl of faith have causes/reasons? I know it screws up your messed up view on things here but that is the way it is.
BTW..have you asked your sweety yet to explain to you that your belief in being loved isn't due to chemicals?