To be honest, the main Christian I know well. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk too. He will have poor families staying with him for weeks on end, feeding them from his own pocket, to name but one of his good deeds. He is a genuinely decent chap who acts for the good of his fellow man more than I do. He has also read the bible cover to cover numerous times.
Thought you might be interested in our continuing discussion. Many of the points I make are based on information gained here or on other sites. I hope he won't mind me posting his replies to me;
1. People shall not racially abuse others
2. Racial discrimination is not allowed
3. All nationalities shall be respected
4. Free speech shall be upheld
If the above were to be the law of the land, could I on the basis of Law number 4 state –
All Scotsmen are goons, and each one should be identified in order to warn others.
No way (even if its true) because each law has to be taken within the context of the whole. That is plain English – or is that the problem?
(NB from Ron - You may have guessed he's English and I'm Scottish)
Ron - I can see where you are coming from; Jesus was in error. Without adding the five words, Jesus is offering an unconditional promise of prayer; this, as you claim, is not the case. Either way, the bible has to be changed to accommodate this error.
The same applies to God claiming that Adam and Eve would 'die in the day if they eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil'. They don't die within the day, Christians have to add to the bible the word 'spiritually' when quite clearly God did not mean this. If He had meant 'spiritually' he would have said that.
Christian - So, if every verse is to be taken within the context of the whole, each verse needs to have every other verse that relates to it tagged on. You want a bigger Bible?
Ron - You are also forgetting that in your example, the law (taking the role of Jesus in our discussion) makes it quite clear that freedom of speech is constrained by adherence to other parts of the law. Jesus quite specifically does not make this distinction.
The trouble is, that view opens the bible to 'interpretation' by everyone. This is why the Westboro Baptist Church can spread their hate by using the bible.
It seems crystal clear to me, that if this book had been written by a god, there would be no such confusion.
The offer of receiving what you pray for is a pretty big deal. That promise should have been quantified with those five words. Adam and Eve's story should have been quantified by one extra word. Perhaps I can point you to the dreary nonsense within the bible where countless hundreds of pages are devoted to who's son was named what, how many tent poles were used to hold up the tent of the covenant, retold and duplicated. The bible has plenty of room for this stuff, but can't spare the words to clarify the importance of prayer, or what would happen to Adam and Eve or get the name of the High Priest right (Abiathar & Ahimilech - another discussion)?! This is how I know the book was not written or inspired by a god.