Author Topic: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot  (Read 3388 times)

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Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2011, 06:43:02 PM »
hi jet

I'm not a scripture expert.

i'll grant you some leeway.

But, didn't I make it clear?  There is no "proper interpretation" of anything regarding homosexuality, that ANY modern Christian should EVER consider.  Every single word and phrase in the OT and the NT are pointless ramblings, to which no modern human should consider as anything valuable to their lives.  We call it mythology.

jetson, you're expressing unsupported opinions regarding both the origins and content of scripture and what you think "modern christians" should consider.
 
i was under the impression that you were an atheist.

can you explain, then, what you have concluded that correct christian theology should be, and what it shouldn't be? with evidence, please? because if christians agreed with your (so far) unsupported opinions, then they wouldn't be christians in the first place, would they?

And more to the point, do you have any form of critical knowledge of scripture, backed by actual evidence, regarding exactly who wrote Leviticus, who the audience was, and the intent of the writer(s)?  And if you have any of that, do you then have the clear connection that these writings have to modern humans?

jetson, were i to perceive that anything of what you suggest was pertinent to my original statement, then i might run with your question, because the texts themselves answer your questions sufficiently for this level of discussion. but what i asserted was quite specific: that my church assumed a flawed interpretation of OT scripture with respect to homosexuality. to arrive at that conclusion, i don't need to do more than compare christian and jewish translations and hebrew readings of the pertinent texts and vocabulary with how my church interprets them.

an inkling of canaanite comparative religion isn't hard to acquire, jet, and if you take the time to do some research, then you'll have some basis for making statements about the subject. have you done any of that?

apparently not, and so i set your opinions aside as merely speculative. in my own case, i've done the homework, and my opinions are as i've stated.

Offline jetson

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #30 on: December 27, 2011, 07:40:55 PM »
Kevin,

Indeed, I am an atheist, and I am telling you that reading and interpreting mythology as though it is real, and matters, is fairly stupid.  Are you following levitical laws today - if not, why not?  I criticize from the perspective of someone who has read the Bible (many books, multiple times), attended church and Sunday school through elementary years as a child, and spent most of the last 6+ years reading, discussing, and debating both old-earth, and young-earth "beliefs", from a multitude of "Christian" sects.

I have also purchased and viewed over a half dozen College lectures on OT and NT studies, and listened to hundreds of hours of "apologetic" replies from self-proclaimed Bible experts.

Now, this next part is my opinion.  There is no one alive who "understands" the Bible.  There never has been.  This is because the Bible was never a collection while it's authors were alive.  None of the authors (most of which scholars cannot determine yet) were not writing to be a part of a collection called "The Bible", with an intended audience of over 2,000 years in the future, and more thousands of years for OT works.

Of course, there were people prior to Christianity who had the OT, and they probably had a majority agreement on what their own holy books said.  But how many Christians did that include?  None.  They had to hijack the OT, and add a ton of new material to it, in order to make their religion more palatable to a more modern audience (my opinion).  Either way, Christians don't get to claim expert knowledge of OT scripture - because the actual experts rejected Jesus as the Messiah.

The best we can do, is use science to put together the best collective knowledge on scripture - broken down into it's books and letters, its authors, its time periods, and its intended audiences.  We must also use extra-biblical information about the cultures and societies tied the closest to the writings, and make educated conclusions on intent, and perhaps even things like views on homosexuality (for purely historical purposes, not for how we might treat homosexuals today according to scripture!)

What we cannot do, is allow churches, and church leaders, and frankly, believers, to tell us what is meant.  That simply does not work.  And when one group say's that the other group is wrong, without providing something far more academic, and measurable in some way, then we have a mythology interpretation stale-mate - which gets us nowhere.

Whenever a member states that someone has the wrong interpretation of scripture, they are immediately suspect in my mind.  And I have argued for years with a very good friend over his "superior" knowledge of scripture to mine.  First, he claims that his belief in Jesus alone gives him an edge over me.  Second, he believes that because he has studied Hebrew, he has yet another advantage (this could be an advantage, I admit).  As it turns out, whenever I challenge him directly on my interpretation of a piece of scripture, he corrects me.  It is rare that he agrees, mostly because I don't paint a good god in my interpretation (you see how that works)?

One funny example, if I may.  In 2 Kings, Chapter 2, I challenged the story of the the "youths (NIV)" that were mauled by the bears as being horrific.  When Elijah was jeered by the "youths", he called the bears in the name of the Lord, and the bears mauled 42 children.  The point of contention from my friend was that these were teenaged thugs, as opposed to innocent children.  I never even stated that the children were innocent, and because I was reading the KJV, I read the word "children".  So, apparently, I was wrong - and God is good.

And it was my rejection of God as an atheist, and my lack of Hebrew language skills that he used to tell me that my interpretation was wrong.  And I was reading arguably the most popular Bible in history.  Go figure.

Anyway, we can drop this side discussion if you would rather not get into it - I can see I have irritated you with my opinions.  Ultimately, you will not convince me that you have any superior knowledge of scripture unless you share some fairly serious academic credentials - to which I will happily concede.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #31 on: December 27, 2011, 07:46:04 PM »
into it - I can see I have irritated you with my opinions.  Ultimately, you will not convince me that you have any superior knowledge of scripture unless you share some fairly serious academic credentials - to which I will happily concede.

i'll catch up a bit later, jet, but i'm not irritated by you.

why would i be irritated? i can disagree with people all day and not be irritated by the activity.

but you won't find me providing academic credentials, because i don't think academic credentials are worth a fart in a hurricane with respect to religion. that's just my personal bias.

ciao for the moment, bud

Offline jetson

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #32 on: December 27, 2011, 07:48:58 PM »
into it - I can see I have irritated you with my opinions.  Ultimately, you will not convince me that you have any superior knowledge of scripture unless you share some fairly serious academic credentials - to which I will happily concede.

i'll catch up a bit later, jet, but i'm not irritated by you.

why would i be irritated? i can disagree with people all day and not be irritated by the activity.

but you won't find me providing academic credentials, because i don't think academic credentials are worth a fart in a hurricane with respect to religion. that's just my personal bias.

ciao for the moment, bud

Damn - I thought I actually coined "fart in a hurricane"?  There goes my claim to fame... ;D

BTW - when are academic credentials worth something more than a fart in a hurricane?

Offline Suzy

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2011, 01:11:01 AM »
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10

(New International Version)

9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[a] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Footnotes:

[a] 1. 1 Corinthians 6:9 The words men who have sex with men translate two Greek words that refer to the passive and active participants in homosexual acts.


(Common English Bible)

9 Don’t you know that people who are unjust won’t inherit God’s kingdom? Don’t be deceived. Those who are sexually immoral, those who worship false gods, adulterers, both participants in same-sex intercourse,[a] 10 thieves, the greedy, drunks, abusive people, and swindlers won’t inherit God’s kingdom.

Footnotes:
   1. 1 Corinthians 6:9 Or submissive and dominant male sexual partners

(Young's Literal Translation (YLT))

9have ye not known that the unrighteous the reign of God shall not inherit? be not led astray; neither whoremongers, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor sodomites,
 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, the reign of God shall inherit.



"Effiminate" is the word that is in the KJV as well. I always wondered why it is wrong to be effiminate - I mean didn't God create effiminate men that way? But it seems that the original word used here means rather the "bottom"/passive partner in a homosexual act.

The New American Standard Bible's footnote explains it so: "I.e. effeminate by perversion".

So in this one verse the Bible covers both the top and the bottom in a homosexual act.


Romans 1:26-27 also covers lesbians (this is the only reference to female/female sex in the Bible - it seems more pre-occupied with male/male sex):

1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.



Offline Suzy

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2011, 01:23:02 AM »
One funny example, if I may.  In 2 Kings, Chapter 2, I challenged the story of the the "youths (NIV)" that were mauled by the bears as being horrific.  When Elijah was jeered by the "youths", he called the bears in the name of the Lord, and the bears mauled 42 children.  The point of contention from my friend was that these were teenaged thugs, as opposed to innocent children.  I never even stated that the children were innocent, and because I was reading the KJV, I read the word "children".  So, apparently, I was wrong - and God is good.

It's a pretty typical argument by Xtians for that story. The horrifying thing is that they genuinely think it's a good argument and that if these were teenagers or young men instead of children then that would make the whole story and their God look better.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2011, 10:58:52 AM »
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.

suzy, have you looked up the actual greek words used in the NT in those passages? you've cited orthodox christian commentaries, but the useage of the terms in the ancient world sometimes contradicts the definitions in modern translations.


Offline jetson

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2011, 11:11:31 AM »
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.

suzy, have you looked up the actual greek words used in the NT in those passages? you've cited orthodox christian commentaries, but the useage of the terms in the ancient world sometimes contradicts the definitions in modern translations.

Have you looked up the original language of Genesis?  How long did it take God to create the world as described in Genesis? 

Offline velkyn

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2011, 02:24:32 PM »
actually, velkyn, what jesus stated was that the law remained in force conditionally, and he also explained that those conditions had been satisfied. would you like to provide the actual passages you're reasoning from? if you would, we can have a discussion based on evidence.
No, he didn’t. If you think he did, please show me the verses. I’m wondering if you don’t think I’ve read the bible. 
Quote
Matthew 5: 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
Looking around, I still see the earth.  Considering that we haven’t and still don’t see the nonsense in Revelation , seems that “everything” hasn’t been accomplished. 
Quote
Matthew 7: 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
Also in Matthew 22, and again not saying that the law is to be ignored, but that the law is summed up.  Matthew 12 has that JC can declare what is lawful, but again never says any of the laws are wrong or to be ignored. 
Quote
Matthew 13: 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”
Doesn’t make much sense if the conditions were already met.  Matthew 19 has JC clarifying the law, again not ignoring it. 
Quote
Matthew 23: But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Seems again, that JC wants the laws followed, to not be neglected.
And that’s just Matthew.  I can go on if you’d like.
Quote
forgive me for not following up on this digression, velkyn, but the subject of your OP wasn't  JC or paulian theology, nor was it your idea that JC accused the pharisees of incorrect application of written levitical or deuteronomical law.but we might discuss that elsewhere, if you like.  it's really a useful question.
Considering that you took the time to answer me with this “digression”, I find your attempt to invoke the OP to be rather silly.  I also find it germane since my OP has that Christians can’t agree on what their god “really” means.  We have get all sorts of excuses, from your attempt to say “but but we don’t have to follow the OT laws”, to other christiansn who are certain that as long as they can claim JC was speaking to a certain person, his inconvenient words don’t really apply to them.  We also have that technique being applied to Paul’s writings when  Christians want to claim that he was “really” only talking to the specific churches.  Of course, all bets are off when the Christian in question likes something that was addressed to one person or was addressed to a “church” or was in those commandments. 

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Offline Samothec

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #38 on: December 28, 2011, 08:31:47 PM »
Snipped for focus
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
 (New International Version)
9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Romans 1:26-27 also covers lesbians (this is the only reference to female/female sex in the Bible - it seems more pre-occupied with male/male sex):
1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

This is what doesn't make sense:
Romans 1 says god gets pissed off and makes people gay and lesbian – so why do Xians still claim it's a choice?
And 1 Corinthians 6 says that gays "will not inherit the kingdom of God" – even if they repent for their sins? And do they need to repent for the sins god forced on them (by making them homosexual)?
Faith must trample under foot all reason, sense, and understanding. - Martin Luther

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #39 on: December 28, 2011, 11:42:50 PM »
hi velkyn--

actually, velkyn, what jesus stated was that the law remained in force conditionally, and he also explained that those conditions had been satisfied. would you like to provide the actual passages you're reasoning from? if you would, we can have a discussion based on evidence.

 No, he didn’t. If you think he did, please show me the verses. I’m wondering if you don’t think I’ve read the bible.
 
Quote
Matthew 5: 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

velkyn, i said that jesus stated that the law remained in force conditionally; to expand, that the mosaic and davidic dispensations would remain in effect until all things had been fulfilled. jesus indeed stated that he did not come to abolish the law, and as the jews rejected the offer of the messianic kingdom, the law was not abolished. instead, the dispensation of grace was instituted for the gentiles, while the law still remains in force for jews. no christian beliefs that i have ever heard of claim that the role of observant jews is ended, so i don't know where you got that idea. and nowhere did jesus state that the law should remain in effect for non-jews, which, by the way, is perfectly ordinary theology from paul, james, and hebrews, as you should know. his exact words were as you quoted:

Quote
I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

jesus certainly did not abrogate torah, and he discussed fulfilling the prophets at length. you asked for scripture, so here is a selection, of which i think you would have been familiar. by the way, i don't typically post this many tedious passages to document simple issues, but i think this point bears emphasizing. only the first passage is necessary to refute your assertion, so please feel free to skip the others:

Quote
Luk_16:16  The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.

Luk_18:31  Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

Luk_22:37  For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.

Mat_13:14  And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

Mat_26:56  But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fled.

Mar_14:49  I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled.

Joh_13:18  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

Joh_15:25  But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

Joh_17:12  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

jesus himself summed up his role with respect to what he intended to fulfill succinctly:

Quote
Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

and luke summed it up later, in equally few words:

Quote
Act_3:18  But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.

Looking around, I still see the earth.  Considering that we haven’t and still don’t see the nonsense in Revelation , seems that “everything” hasn’t been accomplished.

you'll look forever, if you think that was the subject of the passage you quoted. but moving on:

Quote
Matthew 7: 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Also in Matthew 22, and again not saying that the law is to be ignored, but that the law is summed up.  Matthew 12 has that JC can declare what is lawful, but again never says any of the laws are wrong or to be ignored.

Quote
Matthew 13: 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

Doesn’t make much sense if the conditions were already met.  Matthew 19 has JC clarifying the law, again not ignoring it.

Quote
Matthew 23: But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.


Seems again, that JC wants the laws followed, to not be neglected.
 
And that’s just Matthew.  I can go on if you’d like.

actually, velkyn, just what exactly was your point here? that jesus wanted torah followed in a way other than what the pharisees preferred? that's standard christian doctrine, and i'm happy to agree with you on it. you overlooked the single passage that would have made that point with a lot less typing:

Quote
Mat 23:24  Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

velkyn, in general, it seems that you are confusing the "fulfillment" inherent in christian eschatology, the "fulfillment" of the jews keeping torah, and the "fulfillment" of the messianic prophecies of the nevi'im. obviously judaism isn't the same as christianity, so you might take some time to disentangle those two religions in your thoughts and see where you come out. jesus was very clear that torah was never abrogated, but you know, because i'm not a jew, i'm not concerned with it. and when he spoke of fulfilling the law and the prophets, he explicitly referred to the prophetic accounts of his death and resurrection in the torah and the nevi'im. you're free to disagree, but if you're going to be making up non-existent christian beliefs out of your head so you have something silly to disagree with, you don't need me discussing them with you.

Quote from: kevin
forgive me for not following up on this digression, velkyn, but the subject of your OP wasn't  JC or paulian theology, nor was it your idea that JC accused the pharisees of incorrect application of written levitical or deuteronomical law.but we might discuss that elsewhere, if you like.  it's really a useful question.

Considering that you took the time to answer me with this “digression”, I find your attempt to invoke the OP to be rather silly. . .

yes, i agree. i won't waste time responding to off-topic sidetracks in the future.

at any rate, my curiosity as to what you based your comments regarding what jesus said about "fulfilling the law" has been satisfied. i don't find your argument compelling, well-grounded in scripture, nor a particularly accurate view of any christianity that i've ever heard of.

but that's enough, i think. thanks.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #40 on: December 29, 2011, 12:13:39 AM »
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.

suzy, have you looked up the actual greek words used in the NT in those passages? you've cited orthodox christian commentaries, but the useage of the terms in the ancient world sometimes contradicts the definitions in modern translations.

Have you looked up the original language of Genesis?  How long did it take God to create the world as described in Genesis?

hi jet--

should we pick up the conversation here? i promise i'll go back and read your intermediate posts, but i'm not smart enough to carry on multiple conversations, although my wife claims i do just fine with my various split personalities.

genesis is of little interest to me, as i regard it as mythology. i'm guessing that you're talking about the "days" controversy? the hebrew word for "day" in genesis is this one, from strong's:

Quote
H3117
???
yo?m
yome

From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially): - age, + always, + chronicles, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever (-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (. . . live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+ age), (full) year (-ly), + younger.

while "day" can also mean "age," i have no reason to assume that anything other than a 24-hour period was intended in this story. if that's your concern, we don't have anything to disagree about.

but i'm more interested in the discussions of homosexuality in scripture. have you read them carefully? most people haven't, and it's an instructive discussion. for example, the discussions of homosexual acts in leviticus are interspersed with passages forbidding the jews from participating in canaanite religious cults, which many anthropologists believe were characterized by homosexual and heterosexual ritual prostitution. have you looked up the hebrew word translated as "sodomite" in a greek lexicon? here's strong's, again:

Quote
H6945
????
qa?de?sh
kaw-dashe'
From H6942; a (quasi) sacred person, that is, (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry: - sodomite, unclean.

one hundred percent of the references to "sodomites" in the OT appear to refer to religious prostitutes. while this belief is not universally held, i think it casts serious doubt on whether the levitical proscriptions on homosexuality refer to anything that anybody does today, at least that i know of. on those grounds i don't see justification for using those passages to condemn modern homosexual relationships.

romans 1 has also been mentioned here, and that section merits an entire discussion in itself, because it also appears to focus on canaanite religious practices. the remaining passages in the NT condemning homosexuality use words with curious etymologies-- in one case, the word is often used for non-homosexual acts, a point which seems to have escaped the christian homophobes.

now, there's no doubt that jewish law forbade homosexuality, and that the jews detested them. but as i've said elsewhere, i'm not a jew, and i don't see a need to defend their beliefs. while it's certainly possible to construct a christian belief system that condemns ordinary homosexuality, it's equally possible to construct one that doesn't, and in my opinion, the latter is more likely correct.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #41 on: December 29, 2011, 12:31:23 AM »

BTW - when are academic credentials worth something more than a fart in a hurricane?


oooh

touche'

Offline jetson

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #42 on: December 29, 2011, 12:45:53 AM »
kevin - does this mean that Catholic priests are homosexuals?  I could't resist...

I will reply in the morning!

Offline Suzy

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #43 on: December 29, 2011, 03:40:02 AM »
It's not just Leviticus which condemns homosexuality. The NT condemns it too.

suzy, have you looked up the actual greek words used in the NT in those passages? you've cited orthodox christian commentaries, but the useage of the terms in the ancient world sometimes contradicts the definitions in modern translations.

I don't speak Greek, I cannot read the NT in original, so I can only rely on translations. I usually look up several translations - in Hungarian (my own language), in English and in German and compare them. Already if you do that you can find some interesting stuff (things that the different translators omitted or twisted).

About the NT verses I quoted about homosexuality all of the translations I have read in any language point to that it's a condemnation of homosexuality. Did all the translators (of any language) misunderstand and misinterpret it? Or is it just that in our modern time when it's not cool to be homophobic any more, some modern interpreters of the Scriptures want to explain away the ignorance and hatefulness of their Scriptures?

In any case, if you are right and the Scriptures only condemn religious prostitutes, God should have made it a lot clearer. He certainly knew how such "ambiguous" verses could lead to the persecution of many, many gay people througout history. So he should have made it a LOT clearer that his problem is not with homosexuality in itself, just with religious prostitution.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 03:42:10 AM by Suzy »

Offline jetson

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #44 on: December 29, 2011, 08:11:51 AM »

hi jet--

should we pick up the conversation here? i promise i'll go back and read your intermediate posts, but i'm not smart enough to carry on multiple conversations, although my wife claims i do just fine with my various split personalities.

genesis is of little interest to me, as i regard it as mythology.

This is telling, to me.  If we are to continue, can you tell me exactly where mythology exists within scripture, and where it does not?  I would hate to spend too much time on mythology, after all. 

Quote
i'm guessing that you're talking about the "days" controversy? the hebrew word for "day" in genesis is this one, from strong's:

H3117
???
yo?m
yome

From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially): - age, + always, + chronicles, continually (-ance), daily, ([birth-], each, to) day, (now a, two) days (agone), + elder, X end, + evening, + (for) ever (-lasting, -more), X full, life, as (so) long as (. . . live), (even) now, + old, + outlived, + perpetually, presently, + remaineth, X required, season, X since, space, then, (process of) time, + as at other times, + in trouble, weather, (as) when, (a, the, within a) while (that), X whole (+ age), (full) year (-ly), + younger.


while "day" can also mean "age," i have no reason to assume that anything other than a 24-hour period was intended in this story. if that's your concern, we don't have anything to disagree about.

Yes, this controversy is not trivial among Christians.  Thanks to science, we know that there is literally no way that the earth, or the universe, can be less than 10K years old.  There are enough repeatable measures to establish that the universe is over 4 billion years old, and the earth, over 3 billion.  And, in the matter of creation, as well as consideration that Genesis is mythology, the god character in the story could have done anything - literally.  That's what mythology allows.

But here's the problem.  Are you willing to flat out dismiss the argument that comes from the same source, that declares unequivocally that "yom" is certainly not a 24 hour period?  For reference, dig through Hugh Ross' website, a group brimming with actual scientists, who have clearly done their research, and made the YEC group into a laughing stock.

If you can dismiss their argument, one that aligns with actual science far better than the YEC (and the most popular stance among Christians), then what reason would someone like myself have to accept your determination of "yom", even if you used Strongs?

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but i'm more interested in the discussions of homosexuality in scripture. have you read them carefully? most people haven't, and it's an instructive discussion. for example, the discussions of homosexual acts in leviticus are interspersed with passages forbidding the jews from participating in canaanite religious cults, which many anthropologists believe were characterized by homosexual and heterosexual ritual prostitution. have you looked up the hebrew word translated as "sodomite" in a greek lexicon? here's strong's, again:

Quote
H6945
????
qa?de?sh
kaw-dashe'
From H6942; a (quasi) sacred person, that is, (technically) a (male) devotee (by prostitution) to licentious idolatry: - sodomite, unclean.

one hundred percent of the references to "sodomites" in the OT appear to refer to religious prostitutes. while this belief is not universally held, i think it casts serious doubt on whether the levitical proscriptions on homosexuality refer to anything that anybody does today, at least that i know of. on those grounds i don't see justification for using those passages to condemn modern homosexual relationships.

romans 1 has also been mentioned here, and that section merits an entire discussion in itself, because it also appears to focus on canaanite religious practices. the remaining passages in the NT condemning homosexuality use words with curious etymologies-- in one case, the word is often used for non-homosexual acts, a point which seems to have escaped the christian homophobes.

now, there's no doubt that jewish law forbade homosexuality, and that the jews detested them. but as i've said elsewhere, i'm not a jew, and i don't see a need to defend their beliefs. while it's certainly possible to construct a christian belief system that condemns ordinary homosexuality, it's equally possible to construct one that doesn't, and in my opinion, the latter is more likely correct.

So, you have some research, mixed with your interpretation of scripture, and what makes the most sense to you - is that fair?

How many unique English translations of the entire Bible are there?  And have you chosen your favorite - if so, what made you choose it?  Was it the fact that it best represented what you have concluded was the intent of the authors involved?  Was it easier to read than the KJV, arguably the most popular version in existence, and the oldest?  Personally, I was given the KJV at a young age, and I could not have been more bored, as a child, trying to read that thing.

I should be clear that I certainly don't fault anyone for coming up with their version of what scripture means.  I think it's admirable, in some ways, that some believers actually go as far as learning Greek and Hebrew.  And some use Strongs concordance in order to clarify what a word most likely means, in context.  But I do find fault in any of those people proclaiming a superior understanding, within reason, of course.

Let's face it, you could be wrong, but you don't think you are.  And you appear to be settled on the matter.  Yet, here we are, in the year 2011, and there are literally millions upon millions of actual Christians, who disagree with you.  And luckily, there are also millions of Christians who don't care about homosexuality.  They don't read the Bible, and they just want everyone to get along, so to speak.  If you pin them down, they subjectively reply on the issue, based more on their personality, and their experience in the world.

And, to be fair, you could be right.  It could be that you have stumbled upon the answer regarding homosexuality, and what scripture has to say about it.  It turns out, I think, that it jives well with how you feel personally - if that is not accurate, let me know.  And whenever something from scripture jives well with a modern human, we have no controversy, and that person gets to move on to other issues, that apparently matter more.

Before I ramble too much more, I just want to add that we, as humans, are naturally filtering that which is important to us, and that which is not.  We use this filtering mechanism for survival, according to evolutionary theory.  But we have advanced in our overall knowledge of how things work, by such a large margin, that it becomes plainly odd to me, that anyone would spend too much time trying to work out such details within scripture.  It makes me wonder why?

Why mix faith and personal belief with facts and evidence when it comes to religion?  Is it to make the religion more palatable when it comes to things that we simply do not accept, such as hatred and bigotry towards homosexuals?  Or is it some truly genuine effort to find eternal life with Jesus?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #45 on: December 29, 2011, 10:30:16 AM »

About the NT verses I quoted about homosexuality all of the translations I have read in any language point to that it's a condemnation of homosexuality. Did all the translators (of any language) misunderstand and misinterpret it? Or is it just that in our modern time when it's not cool to be homophobic any more, some modern interpreters of the Scriptures want to explain away the ignorance and hatefulness of their Scriptures?

the only way to do that is to look at them for yourself, suzy. i used to think that christian scripture had valid arguments condemning christianity, but i've looked at it myself, and the arguments have too many holes to be the only answer. i encourage you to look at for yourself as well.

are there particular passages you'd like to discuss?

In any case, if you are right and the Scriptures only condemn religious prostitutes, God should have made it a lot clearer. He certainly knew how such "ambiguous" verses could lead to the persecution of many, many gay people througout history. So he should have made it a LOT clearer that his problem is not with homosexuality in itself, just with religious prostitution.

not liking something doesn't make it either true or false, suzy.




Offline velkyn

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #46 on: December 29, 2011, 10:55:54 AM »
velkyn, i said that jesus stated that the law remained in force conditionally; to expand, that the mosaic and davidic dispensations would remain in effect until all things had been fulfilled. jesus indeed stated that he did not come to abolish the law, and as the jews rejected the offer of the messianic kingdom, the law was not abolished. instead, the dispensation of grace was instituted for the gentiles, while the law still remains in force for jews. no christian beliefs that i have ever heard of claim that the role of observant jews is ended, so i don't know where you got that idea. and nowhere did jesus state that the law should remain in effect for non-jews, which, by the way, is perfectly ordinary theology from paul, james, and hebrews, as you should know.
That’s one of the more convoluted excuses I’ve seen in a while.  JC never said that since the jews ignored him, that the law was still in place for them.  He said it was in place for all who followed *him*.  Does that include you, Kevin? Does that include all Christians?  He also said that anyone who doesn’t believe in him is damned (sucks to be a Jew) so what is the purpose of these laws?     Paul is the one who came up with the idea of “grace”, and how to avoid the inconvenience of the law to attract a new audience.  Who shall one believe out of two directly contradictory claims on how one is to be saved?   
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his exact words were as you quoted:
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I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
jesus certainly did not abrogate torah, and he discussed fulfilling the prophets at length. you asked for scripture, so here is a selection, of which i think you would have been familiar. by the way, i don't typically post this many tedious passages to document simple issues, but i think this point bears emphasizing. only the first passage is necessary to refute your assertion, so please feel free to skip the others:
I skip them for brevity.  However I’ll address them.  Yep, luke says that.  And Matthew Mark and John don’t.  How curious.  Luke also claims that all things written by the prophets concering the son of man shall be accomplished.  However, if you actually read the prophets, like, oh, the Jews do, one can see that’s not true. 

The verses from Matthew  and John are amusing, in that they show that your god isn’t interested in allowing everyone to believe at all, which the verse from Luke claims. Predestination is always fun. So much for “Every man presseth into it” and again, more with howh the scriptures were fulfilled and the actuality of how they were not.  We do not see this JC rebuilding the temple.  Christians had to come up with a “second coming” to avoid that little problem.  Same with the claim that all nations will respect this messiah, when oh that wasn’t true it all the first time around, was it?
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jesus himself summed up his role with respect to what he intended to fulfill succinctly:
Quote
Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Oh, so your interpretation is that “it is finished” means that the law is.  Again, not all Christians believe this and even the gospel writers can’t agree on what was really supposedly said at the end. Was it this or “my god my god why have you forsaken me?” or “into your hands I commit my spirit”?  The gospel writers portray very different Jesuses (Jesusi?).   
Quote
you'll look forever, if you think that was the subject of the passage you quoted.
  And gee, a typical Christain response, attempting to say I’m wrong but having no evidence for your claim but that it’s your personal interpretation.  I do enjoy how each Christian is sure that they have the only “right” answer.  Please do show me how I’m wrong in that your supposed savior didn’t mean exactly what he supposedly said.   
Quote
actually, velkyn, just what exactly was your point here? that jesus wanted torah followed in a way other than what the pharisees preferred? that's standard christian doctrine, and i'm happy to agree with you on it.
It’s cute when you ask what my point is when it’s more than obvious.  Again, JC is saying that to follow him, one must follow the laws. Not only the Jews.  Let me ask you do you follow these laws “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”?  If so, why, if they are only meant for Jews?  IF you have grace, why bother?  You have a free pass into heaven, no matter what you do, being the “chosen”.  And I am curious in which Christian doctrine say that JC wanted the torah followed in a way that the Pharisees didn’t prefer?  You certainly don’t seem to agree with that, with your insistence that you don’t have to follow the law at all.  Why would Christians care *if* the law doesn’t apply to them?  All of those verses I refered to say repeatedly that the laws should be followed by those who follow JC.  At best, I can see how one could debate on just how to follow them.  However, there is nothing stated by the horse’s mouth e.g. JC, that says those who follow JC don’t have to follow them at all. Not even your quote from Matthew 23.
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velkyn, in general, it seems that you are confusing the "fulfillment" inherent in christian eschatology, the "fulfillment" of the jews keeping torah, and the "fulfillment" of the messianic prophecies of the nevi'im. obviously judaism isn't the same as christianity, so you might take some time to disentangle those two religions in your thoughts and see where you come out. jesus was very clear that torah was never abrogated, but you know, because i'm not a jew, i'm not concerned with it. and when he spoke of fulfilling the law and the prophets, he explicitly referred to the prophetic accounts of his death and resurrection in the torah and the nevi'im. you're free to disagree, but if you're going to be making up non-existent christian beliefs out of your head so you have something silly to disagree with, you don't need me discussing them with you.
No, I am not confusing anything.  I am disagreeing with your personal interpretation one that I find baseless and the typical excuses given by any Christian.  I know both religions quite well and claiming that I don’t as an excuse doesn’t work very well since it makes a false assumption.  A Christian is defined as one who follows Christ, yes?  Then why don’t you do what he says rather than what later writers say?  I know the supposed prophecies of the “nevi'im” also well, and I know how they fail in regards to the “new testament” and the claims of JC.  I am also amused that you accuse me of making up things and of course again not being able to support that either. That’s known as a strawman and doesn’t work very well here, especially in a written medium.
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at any rate, my curiosity as to what you based your comments regarding what jesus said about "fulfilling the law" has been satisfied. i don't find your argument compelling, well-grounded in scripture, nor a particularly accurate view of any christianity that i've ever heard of.  but that's enough, i think. thanks.


I know it’s not of any Christian view you’ve ever heard of since they ignore their own bible.  I am going to the source and looking at what was said, not what I want to have been said for my own convenience.  Christians all disagree on what JC said so they can create their own religions to conform to their own very human hates and desires.  There is no “truth” in any of them, Quakerism(and its sects) included.  Some claim that they can follow whatever they pick and choose out of the commandments.  Beat your children, hate homosexuals, oooh, look God agrees with me!  But oh my, if I had to give up shrimp or wearing mixed cloths, avoid sitting where a menstruating woman sat, make a woman marry her rapist, surely God didn’t really mean those parts to apply to lil’ ol’ me.   

Ah, it’s nothing new. and I had such great hopes that maybe a Quaker wouldn’t be so typical. Oh well, that’s my fault.

EDTI: one last thing, why does this god of yours alow such bad supposed "mistranslation" of his supposed "word"? 
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 10:58:45 AM by velkyn »
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Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #47 on: December 29, 2011, 11:11:01 AM »
hi jet--

Quote from: kevin
genesis is of little interest to me, as i regard it as mythology.

This is telling, to me.  If we are to continue, can you tell me exactly where mythology exists within scripture, and where it does not?  I would hate to spend too much time on mythology, after all. 

nope, not with any certainty. nobody can, in my opinion, including you. i treat christian scripture the way i treat any old historical texts, as a mixture of true and untrue things. i'm not an inerrantist, as i think inerrancy arguments are dead-ends. i hear them from believers who claim that my beliefs must be based on the literal truth of every jot and tittle i read, but i disagree. and i hear the same arguments from non-believers who claim that my beliefs must be based on the literal truth of every jot and tittle i read, and i disagree with them as well.

the necessity for inerrancy is a logical flaw that traps believers and unbelievers alike.

regarding the "days" of creation:

Yes, this [genesis] controversy is not trivial among Christians . . .
If you can dismiss their argument, one that aligns with actual science far better than the YEC (and the most popular stance among Christians), then what reason would someone like myself have to accept your determination of "yom", even if you used Strongs?

common sense? genesis mythology is no more likelier, in my opinion, than believing that ancient japanese titans stirred the primal seas with their spears and made archipelagos from the water that dripped off the ends.

if you want to equate a six-day creation story with the study of historical linguistics, then you have to equate a single-source legend with the accumulated conclusions of generations of academicians who have looked into the matter. i'd go with the linguists, and i'd suspect you would, too.

So, you have some research, mixed with your interpretation of scripture, and what makes the most sense to you - is that fair?

absolutely correct.

Before I ramble too much more, I just want to add that we, as humans, are naturally filtering that which is important to us, and that which is not.  We use this filtering mechanism for survival, according to evolutionary theory.  But we have advanced in our overall knowledge of how things work, by such a large margin, that it becomes plainly odd to me, that anyone would spend too much time trying to work out such details within scripture.  It makes me wonder why?

because i'm a christian, jet, and i consider it important to try to understand things i don't understand. i consider scripture to be a mixture of true and untrue things, and i'd like to better understand which is which. i use the tools i have available, to the best of my understanding.

Why mix faith and personal belief with facts and evidence when it comes to religion?  Is it to make the religion more palatable when it comes to things that we simply do not accept, such as hatred and bigotry towards homosexuals?  Or is it some truly genuine effort to find eternal life with Jesus?

Enquiring minds want to know.

well, my attitudes towards homosexuality stem from my trying to understand the basis of theological justifications that didn't seem to me to be borne out in reality. the christian homosexuals i know personally do not seem to fit the model that i usually hear associated with them. so either they're outliers, or the model is wrong. when i looked at the model, including the scripture, i discovered that alternative interpretations of the data explained nature with greater predictability than the traditional model. so until i have contradictory evidence, i run with a non-traditional model. so far it seems to explain nature with fewer inconsistencies, assumptions, and awkard logic than the traditional interpretation.

i'm not motivated by eternal life, as i'm agnostic about it and don't think it's important anyway.

so what's your opinion, jet? do you thinbk that christian scripture is one-hundred percent composed of things that are wrong and that you must disagree with? if you think that christians have a 2000-year history of perfectly misunderstanding the existence of god, why should they have a 2000-year history of perfectly understanding ancient writings on homosexuality?

either they're completely right about everything, completely wrong about everything, or the true answer lies somewhere in the middle.

which of these three do you consider the likeliest?

Offline jedweber

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #48 on: December 29, 2011, 01:36:34 PM »
...i'm a christian, jet, and i consider it important to try to understand things i don't understand. i consider scripture to be a mixture of true and untrue things, and i'd like to better understand which is which. i use the tools i have available, to the best of my understanding.

I'm just curious, is there a certain point at which you would be forced to abandon this approach? Are certain parts of the scriptures simply non-negotiable? I've known Christians who were fine with seeing OT stories as mythological, but could not envision the New Testament that way. Or others who acknowledged the existence of literary invention in the gospels, but couldn't question the veracity of the resurrection accounts in any way.

Do you think it is possible for a Christian to approach even core elements, such as the resurrection of Jesus, or the key theological claims of Paul, in a truly skeptical way?






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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #49 on: December 29, 2011, 01:49:52 PM »
because i'm a christian, jet, and i consider it important to try to understand things i don't understand. i consider scripture to be a mixture of true and untrue things, and i'd like to better understand which is which. i use the tools i have available, to the best of my understanding.

what are these tools?  And I'm really curious to see what your answer is to Jed's question.
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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #50 on: December 30, 2011, 01:38:03 PM »
...i'm a christian, jet, and i consider it important to try to understand things i don't understand. i consider scripture to be a mixture of true and untrue things, and i'd like to better understand which is which. i use the tools i have available, to the best of my understanding.

I'm just curious, is there a certain point at which you would be forced to abandon this approach? Are certain parts of the scriptures simply non-negotiable? I've known Christians who were fine with seeing OT stories as mythological, but could not envision the New Testament that way. Or others who acknowledged the existence of literary invention in the gospels, but couldn't question the veracity of the resurrection accounts in any way.

sure, nothing in scripture is non-negotiable, to me. basing your beliefs on scripture is a protestant idea, and believing that everything written in there must be literally, historically true is an idea that isn't even 150 years old in any formal way, even among protestants.

what's scripture, anyway? is the book of wisdom scripture? it explicitly denies predestination, and most christians consider it authoritative. what about 2 esdras? sirach? the acts of saint thomas?

christians from day one until the reformation all believed that scripture was negotiable, and the roman catholic church still does, in the sense that they aren't troubled by issues such as historical geology, organic evolution, symbol, or multiple meaning. neither do the eastern orthodox, as far as i know. protestants vary, and only fundamentalist protestants lose sleep over it. i'm not a protestant, and the question doesn't hold my interest very long.

i don't have a hard belief in things that haven't been personally communicated to me, and that's why i'm a quaker, and not a protestant, or a roman catholic, or a coptic, or a thomist, or a member of any of the eastern communions such as the greek, russian, ethiopian and so on. there's stuff that seems likely to me, and so i run with it so long as it seems to hold the most explanatory ability, but i'm not wedded to it. some stuff seems very unlikely.

caiatanya hindusim has aspects of its theology that are quite similar to traditional quakerism, and to early christianity, to a lesser extent. stripped of the indian culture, bhakti yoga looks a lot like something that could make sense to me.

Do you think it is possible for a Christian to approach even core elements, such as the resurrection of Jesus, or the key theological claims of Paul, in a truly skeptical way?

why not, jed? christians do this all the time already.  there are at least five different interpretations of the resurrection, vastly different ways of understanding the writings of paul, and substantial differences of opinion regarding election, reprobation, hell itself, universal redemption, and anything in the end times. christianity is monolithic only in the minds of believers and non-believers who are interested in believing-- or disbelieving-- only a particular set of ideas.

now, if you're asking whether an individual christian could reject some of the core elements and still be christian, i would say sure, because the devil is in the details.

what do you consider "core elements?" the roman catholic idea of transubstantiation, which early protestants modified into consubstantiation and later protestants rejected entirely? of the administration of grace through water baptism, which nobody agrees on even as to whether it's necessary?

forgiveness of sins? substitutionary atonement? is the only form of acceptable skepticism complete rejection? that leaves out an awful lot of people and sometimes just replaces one blind and uncompromising set of ideas with another.

 

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #51 on: December 30, 2011, 10:25:25 PM »
hi velkyn--

That’s one of the more convoluted excuses I’ve seen in a while.  JC never said that since the jews ignored him, that the law was still in place for them.  He said it was in place for all who followed *him*.  Does that include you, Kevin?

hmmmn. as i recall, jesus never said anything that somebody else didn't have to write down for him. you don't like the pauline theology, apparently. on what evidence are you basing your assertion that all the "jesus" quotes in scripture are more correct, must refer to future christianity, and must never refer to the judaism of those around him?  do you have any evidence? or is it just your opinion?

i provided a series of quotes for you from jesus himself explaining that his purpose was to fulfill the law and the prophets. your response to evidence that refutes your argument is telling:
 
I skip them for brevity.  However I’ll address them.  Yep, luke says that.  And Matthew Mark and John don’t.  How curious. 

not to me, velkyn, i already knew you were wrong.

you went on:

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Luke also claims that all things written by the prophets concering the son of man shall be accomplished.  However, if you actually read the prophets, like, oh, the Jews do, one can see that’s not true.

wouldn't surprise me. it's ordinary christian theology that the jews got their books wrong. i notice again you haven't presented any evidence to back up what you say, though. you're demonstrating a pattern here.

Quote from: kevin
jesus himself summed up his role with respect to what he intended to fulfill succinctly:

Quote
Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Oh, so your interpretation is that “it is finished” means that the law is.

um, yes. did you miss this verse i provided? the red stuff means jesus supposedly said it himself, by the way.

Mat 11:13  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.

jesus said the law and the prophets were over when john began his ministry. but like every christian in history, i don't restrict christianity to the words of christ, so here are two more;

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Rom_3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom_6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

continuing? here:

  Again, not all Christians believe this and even the gospel writers can’t agree on what was really supposedly said at the end. Was it this or “my god my god why have you forsaken me?” or “into your hands I commit my spirit”?  The gospel writers portray very different Jesuses (Jesusi?).

this is news? not to me, i'm afraid.

i don't get it, velkyn. why do you cite orthodox christianity and then claim that it's somehow unchristian?   the fact the the gospels portray different views of jesus has been a fundamental teaching of christian exegetes for something like 1800 years. it's sunday-school christianity, not something you've discovered.

is it that you such an inerrantist that you can't abide the possibility that scripture might have errors, or that the different writers might have considered different things more important about the same story? if so, that's not my problem, and not christianity's either.
 
i'm beginning to suspect that you have a private version of christianity all your own, and judge the christianity that other people believe in as not as good as yours.

Quote from: kevin
you'll look forever, if you think that was the subject of the passage you quoted.

And gee, a typical Christain response, attempting to say I’m wrong but having no evidence for your claim but that it’s your personal interpretation.  I do enjoy how each Christian is sure that they have the only “right” answer.  Please do show me how I’m wrong in that your supposed savior didn’t mean exactly what he supposedly said. 

he did mean exactly what he said, and i gave you plenty of evidence that you chose not to discuss. can't help it if you prefer your own christianity to what christians actually believe, velkyn. and you're already way behind on the evidence aspect, so i won't ask you to back up your own assertions here.
 
anyway, velkyn, the majority of your post could have been summarized to this:

No, I am not confusing anything.  I am disagreeing with your personal interpretation one that I find baseless and the typical excuses given by any Christian.  I know both religions quite well and claiming that I don’t as an excuse doesn’t work very well since it makes a false assumption.  A Christian is defined as one who follows Christ, yes?  Then why don’t you do what he says rather than what later writers say?  I know the supposed prophecies of the “nevi'im” also well, and I know how they fail in regards to the “new testament” and the claims of JC.  I am also amused that you accuse me of making up things and of course again not being able to support that either. That’s known as a strawman and doesn’t work very well here, especially in a written medium.

more assertions, velkyn, again with no evidence. if you know christianity so well it's beyond me why you have it so backwards. you've got some personal view about a christianity that you've made up and don't like, or maybe you didn't like christianity first, so you made something up that was easier to disagree with. i don't know, but either way your understanding of the christianity that christians believe is limited. i can't help you with that. christianity is not defined by proof texts from the gospels, nor from the epistles, nor the pastorals, nor the apocrypha, nor the deuterocanon, nor the pseudipigrapha, no matter how much you'd like it to be. it's also not defined by your own personal decisions about christian theology. you can speak for yourself, any time, but you've got plain vanilla christianity backasswards in a number of places.

the sum total of your arguments against christianity seems to be that you can find things in an old book that you consider inconsistent. cool. so can i, and i'm well aware of them. is that what you're looking for? if so, then we agree—we can both find flaws in scripture.

nothing says this better than your own words, velkyn:

I know it’s not of any Christian view you’ve ever heard of since they ignore their own bible.  I am going to the source and looking at what was said, not what I want to have been said for my own convenience.

when did you become the arbiter of what it was that defines the christianity you don't believe in, velkyn? when did you become authorized to determine what was, and was not, the correct foundations of christian theology, faith, and practice? when you decided not to believe it? doesn't that strike you as odd?

what i see is that your beliefs are defined less by evidence, reason, and knowledge than they are by mundane emotional or aesthetic dislike. should i be surprised?

Ah, it’s nothing new. and I had such great hopes that maybe a Quaker wouldn’t be so typical. Oh well, that’s my fault. 

traditional quakers aren't particularly typical, velkyn, certainly not of christianity. and i haven't presented my own views regarding christianity here, as i've just been speaking with you from the standpoint of protestant christians, not from traditional quakerism, or from the modern liberal quaker tradition. nothing i've been discussing with you pertains to quakerism in anything except superficial history. rather, i've been talking protestantism with you because that seems to be the only interpretation of christianity that you're familiar with.

but still, it's fun to talk with you, velkyn, so thank you. normally when i discuss belief with fundamentalist scripture inerrantists, they're christians. it's interesting for me to listen to the identical arguments, reasoning, and conclusions from you, a non-believer.

Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #52 on: December 30, 2011, 10:46:08 PM »
wasn't this thread about the christian views on homosexuality?

Offline jedweber

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #53 on: December 31, 2011, 10:50:09 AM »
wasn't this thread about the christian views on homosexuality?

Yes, it was, but the way a Christian approaches scripture seems to correlate with their view on that subject, so I suppose it's all germane...

Thanks for your responses earlier, I was trying to understand where you are coming from. I actually have a lot of sympathy for your position, since I came out of a "liberal" (for lack of a better word) version of Christianity and never subscribed to biblical inerrancy or infallibility. And I too find it annoying when some atheists essentially buy into the "all or nothing" approach of fundamentalists, or seem to assume that a type of conservative American Protestantism is the standard or "purest" form of Christianity.

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nothing in scripture is non-negotiable, to me. basing your beliefs on scripture is a protestant idea...
...i don't have a hard belief in things that haven't been personally communicated to me, and that's why i'm a quaker, and not a protestant, or a roman catholic,...

I had always regarded Quakerism as (yet another) Protestant sect, it's interesting that you don't see it that way... Some Christians (i.e. Catholics) are flexible on the Bible because they understand it in light of another source of authority (the church). Are you saying your sole source of authority is personal revelation?

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if you're asking whether an individual christian could reject some of the core elements and still be christian, i would say sure, because the devil is in the details. ...

what do you consider "core elements?" the roman catholic idea of transubstantiation, which early protestants modified into consubstantiation and later protestants rejected entirely? of the administration of grace through water baptism, which nobody agrees on even as to whether it's necessary? forgiveness of sins? substitutionary atonement?

True, sects and individuals may vary widely on what they consider "core elements," so many are not truly indispensable. On the other hand, it doesn't seem tenable to me to "put everything on the table" without at least some a priori commitments. One can regard most of the specific historical claims and "supernatural" elements of Christianity as mythologized, but I would imagine that the historicity of Jesus as the "Son of God" (however that's defined) and the actuality of a supernatural "resurrection" event has to be present for any of the theology to hold together...






Offline kevinagain

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #54 on: December 31, 2011, 06:19:42 PM »
wasn't this thread about the christian views on homosexuality?

Yes, it was, but the way a Christian approaches scripture seems to correlate with their view on that subject, so I suppose it's all germane...

you may be right, although i don't have any problem pointing out that jewish scripture does NOT condemn the homosexuality that i see in the people i know. sure, the jews hated it, but the reasons they gave in the law were generally associated with a detested canaanite religion, and then secondarily-- in my opinion-- transferred to homosexuals in general. this is the weak spot in my own argument, btw, because i say that the religious dislike was the root, and social dislike was the vine. you can make a reasonable case that i'm wrong here, and i would acknowledge the possibility. but what would you make of this in romans 1?

Rom 1:22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:


sure sounds to me as if worshipping animal statues was pretty important to the practice of the homosexuality that the jews were concerned with. i don't know any modern homosexuals who trace their sexuality to the practice of making "images of four-footed beasts . . ." but it was pretty common among the canaanites:



I had always regarded Quakerism as (yet another) Protestant sect, it's interesting that you don't see it that way... Some Christians (i.e. Catholics) are flexible on the Bible because they understand it in light of another source of authority (the church). Are you saying your sole source of authority is personal revelation?

hard-core roman catholics and protestants have both told me that i'm led by satan, so i don't mind stepping out from under their umbrella. christian quakers believe the direct guidance of god is primary, and that scripture is a secondary and subordinate guide. beyond that there's lots of disagreement about how to interpret it. non-christian and atheist quakers reject my interpretations pretty universally.


. . .  One can regard most of the specific historical claims and "supernatural" elements of Christianity as mythologized, but I would imagine that the historicity of Jesus as the "Son of God" (however that's defined) and the actuality of a supernatural "resurrection" event has to be present for any of the theology to hold together...

there's lots of quakers that would agree with that, jed, but exactly what the christology might be and what the atonement/resurrection event means is something that might show less agreement. i'm not wedded to a trinitarian christianity, and that doctrine wasn't universally held among christians for about 200 years after the death of christ anyway. personally, i see little evidence that the "holy ghost" is a sentient person of the trinity-- christian scripture describes it both ways. so maybe there's a "duality." for those people who hold the christian bible as equally authoritative to god, they have in effect chosen a quaternity: father, son, spirit, book . . .

most of the christian quakers hold christian scripture in pretty high regard, but even among my Conservative wing there's a lot of latitude in what's history and what's not. where we all might have agreement is in the idea that it's less important to understand god than it is to perceive god and follow god. this is really different from the creedal christians who believe that you have to agree with various lists of things that you personally have no knowledge or experience of. eventually, it leads to some of the "non-practices" that quakers get noted for: silent worship, lack of priests, lack of sacraments, lack of liturgy, and so on. it all hangs together into a very coherent whole, in my opinion, but i get told i'm a fool all the time by people who disagree.

think about the supposed nature of god for a moment. if god exists, and he is capable of communication, is there a reason why he wouldn't? does the technique have to be difficult? should he have only authorized intercessors? if we're supposed to become something better than we are by following god, does it make sense to make up a faith and practice focused on how it's not necessary to actually be better? if god makes a genuine offer of something to everybody, is it consistent for some people to be excluded because he closes the door in their faces?

i guess i've started rambling, so i better stop.

Offline velkyn

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2012, 01:02:10 PM »
hmmmn. as i recall, jesus never said anything that somebody else didn't have to write down for him. you don't like the pauline theology, apparently. on what evidence are you basing your assertion that all the "jesus" quotes in scripture are more correct, must refer to future christianity, and must never refer to the judaism of those around him?  do you have any evidence? or is it just your opinion?
Yep, you’re right in that, so again, why think any of it is right?  But, if we do go with the bible, which you at least seem to think some of it is correct, I have supported my point.  I don’t like the Pauline or Jesusine or any other theology since they are one as flawed as the next. 

I find it curious that you are asking why I find the jesus quotes more correct.  I don’t, but gee, Christians certainly do (at least the convenient ones; Paul’s sayings take precedence when JC says something inconvenient). We have JC saying that all who follow him are to follow the laws.  Not just some, not that gentiles will get the get out jail card to ignore the laws since they have “grace”.  The evidence I have is the bible itself.  What it says in words.  I apply no “interpretation”.  I do not decide that “all” doesn’t really mean “all”, when there is nothing to support that claim. 
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i provided a series of quotes for you from jesus himself explaining that his purpose was to fulfill the law and the prophets. your response to evidence that refutes your argument is telling:
  I see you ignored my actual arguments.  I skipped the actual verses, but I did address them.  You claim you  *knew* I was wrong, but again, nothing to support that claim other than your opinion. 

I pointed out that your claims from Luke aren’t followed through in the other gospels.  Always a good bit when even the gospels don’t agree.  I’m not wrong.  You pick and choose what you like from the bible, like any Christian.  Luke fails in claims of prophecies being fulfilled, as you noted is a Christian claim that he did fulfill them.  And it seems that you want evidence that JC didn’t fulfill what the OT prophecied.  Okay, well, since there are Jews, that’s a rather good indication.  Second, they have a lovely website that shows why they find JC to be a false messiah, and list the prophecies unfulfilled: http://www.jewsforjudaism.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=431&Itemid=477   Now, I thought you might have actually read the bible yourself, and already knew some of this.  My apologies. 
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um, yes. did you miss this verse i provided? the red stuff means jesus supposedly said it himself, by the way.
Oh yes, I know it is.  But I see nothing saying that the law is indeed finished since it’s still to be followed and I do see the other gospels not supporting such a set of last words.
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Mat 11:13  For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. jesus said the law and the prophets were over when john began his ministry. but like every christian in history, i don't restrict christianity to the words of christ, so here are two more;
  hmmm, really?  Matthew 5, which says that the law in place until the earth passes.  Seems it’s still right here. And the rest of your verse?
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11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.
I see nothing that says the law ended when Joh began his ministry. I see that the “violent” raided the law and the prophets, to do with them what they would.  We have that the law is still worthy and to be followed in the new kingdom
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Matthew 13: 52 He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

and I know you pick and choose whatever source you want to support your opinions about what this god of yours really wants. No surprise there at all. 

Yep, Paul makes the claims that grace is all that’s important.  So?  JC didn’t mention grace once and there were certainly a lot of gentiles then.  JC also said watch out for those who claim to speak for me.  Seems that Paul is pretty exactly what he warned about.
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this is news? not to me, i'm afraid.
I’m sure it’s not “news”.  I didn’t ask that, I asked why there is such a difference? 

I cite the bible and then I point out how Christians claim all sorts of differing and conflicting things about it.  It is not me that says something is “unchristian”, it is the Christians.  I point out that the bible is a mess and ask why people try to defend such primitive ridiculousness.  I’m guessing that’s why you “don’t get it” since you seem to think your version is the only right one and assume I should agree and join you in ignoring the parts you don’t like and accepting the parts you do.  You claim that you are a not an inerrantist, but you do claim that some parts are indeed true even with not a shred of evidence.  It matters not to me how much of the bible you accept since each Christian has a different answer for that. I find it funny that you think I can’t accept that the bible has errors.  I know it does.  That’s just about all it has.  And ah, the excuse that different writers “considered different things more important” as why there are completely different stories about this god/man.  We have a calm JC in one and a distraught in the other.  We have Gesthemane, JC sweating blood, in one and in John, JC’s just waiting around not concerned about being cruxified at all.  Yep, the authors may have had different things in mind, but they certainly didn’t have the same character or the same story.  It shows me that the claims in the bible aren’t true at all. 

It is Christianity’s problem since some Christians think the bible is inerrant. I know, shocker that Christians have a Christainity that disagrees with your version.  I love how you want to claim I have a private version of Christianity all my own when that’s all theists have.  I just have a poorly written bundle of stories that I’ve actually read.   And oh, that I intend on this to have a Christianity that’s “better” than others so I can judge Christians.  Sorry, no, I can leave that up to all of you to do to each other. 
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he did mean exactly what he said, and i gave you plenty of evidence that you chose not to discuss. can't help it if you prefer your own christianity to what christians actually believe, velkyn. and you're already way behind on the evidence aspect, so i won't ask you to back up your own assertions here.
Oh, I did discuss it and showed how it was in error. But ignore it if you want, your prerogative.   I was a Christian and I known what I actually believed and what other Christians actually believe and I know that it often has little to do with each other.  Your claims of some magical unity are not born out by facts.  And do you want evidence of this too?  How Christians can’t agree on what really gets one saved? Grace? Works? Belief? Childbirth (for women)? I know even Quakers can’t agree, the wiki entry shows your various “branches”.  At one point they didn’t even agree on the aspects of the god, spirit, man/god nonsense.  Killing and persecuting went a long way to get “agreement” on that.

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more assertions, velkyn, again with no evidence. if you know christianity so well it's beyond me why you have it so backwards. you've got some personal view about a christianity that you've made up and don't like, or maybe you didn't like christianity first, so you made something up that was easier to disagree with. i don't know, but either way your understanding of the christianity that christians believe is limited. i can't help you with that. christianity is not defined by proof texts from the gospels, nor from the epistles, nor the pastorals, nor the apocrypha, nor the deuterocanon, nor the pseudipigrapha, no matter how much you'd like it to be. it's also not defined by your own personal decisions about christian theology. you can speak for yourself, any time, but you've got plain vanilla christianity backasswards in a number of places.
Why yes, more assertions and backed up too!  You again claim that I have Christianity “wrong” or “backwards” in someway.  However, I can point to Christians that agree with what I’m seeing in the bible.  It might not agree with your version but until I can see you do the miracles that your god promised his followers could do, I have no more reason to think your assertions that I have Christianity somehow wrong are right at all.  All I can see is that I’m not the only person who reads what I read.  Again, you make up strawmen to attack with your baseless claims about me.  I’m curious on how I can be so wrong about Christianity when you yourself claim that you can’t define it.  Damn, how does that work? Not knowing what you are talking about but being sure that everyone else is wrong and you are right. &) 

That “old book” as you now refer to your bible is the basis of Christianity.  Your sect may have decided that it knew better,as did the RCC and the Protestants but you are all pissing in the wind. 
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when did you become the arbiter of what it was that defines the christianity you don't believe in, velkyn? when did you become authorized to determine what was, and was not, the correct foundations of christian theology, faith, and practice? when you decided not to believe it? doesn't that strike you as odd?
Gee, when did you become the same thing you are accusing me of trying to be?  I was a Christian, so I have a modicum of knowledge in the area.  But I agree, even then I was just a Christan among many who again haven’t a clue what they are talking about, all yammering that they have the “truth” and telling me that I’m somehow “wrong”. &)   And nice attempt to claim that my claims are less defined by reason evidence and knowledge than by emotional and aesthetic dislike.  Baseless as usual.  And no, you souldn’t be surprised by your own actions at all. As for Quakers, you claim that they aren’t typical.  Oh really?  The religion, based on Christianity,  already split into sects.  You all are sure that your version is the best.  You want a god but that god has to agree with you.  This is what I get from the wiki entry on Quakers. Is that article correct?  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quakers#Branches_of_Quakerism  Seems well referenced. Lots of bible belief seems to be going on in all of the branches. Are you something not referenced?   I’ll ask you again, do you consider yourself a follower of Jesus Christ?
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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2012, 03:59:54 PM »
Suzy:  Yes, two small sections in two of Paul's letters.

If it was such a big deal, why did it not appear in any of the Gospels?  I think that Paul's statements about homosexuality were his opinions, nothing more.  And that's assuming he was condemning monogamous homosexual relationships, instead of in temple orgies or religious rites (which is suggested by at least one of those statements.

Offline Brakeman

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Re: bible, homosexuality and Xtians shooting themselves in the foot
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2012, 06:58:44 PM »
The discussion of the pick and choose scriptures misses one point. If the author of a gospel makes one single mistake, then his claim to be inspired by a perfect god is impeached. Just like a witness in a criminal trial, a witness that has lied on the stand once has made all of his witness questionable and a judge will not let it stand without corroboration from an unimpeached source.
But it doesn't stop with each author of the books being impeached, the Pope and the churches have also sworn on the validity of the books of the bible. If the Pope is proven wrong then the church is proven wrong, if the church is proven wrong, then the references in the bible about the eternal inspired church is also impeached.

It is truly a house of cards, remove any of the foundation and the god house collapses.

Then, only dishonesty can spackle the holes.
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