Author Topic: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?  (Read 579 times)

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Online Ron Jeremy

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Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« on: March 26, 2014, 07:18:50 PM »
Old Church guy; You strike me as a decent honest likeable chap based on your posts. If all Christians were like you; perhaps I'd want to be one!

But if I did want to become a Christian; what should I believe? Should I follow the bible word for word? If not, why not? Is the bible to be taken literal, if not, why not? Should I believe the universe is 6000 years old or should I accept science? Why don't I know that Biblegod exists? What version of Christianity should I follow? Why shouldn't I be a Hindu? Why does Biblegod hide? If I search honestly for Biblegod and find no reason to believe in him, will I be tortured for eternity? If I will be, why would Biblegod do that? I cannot force myself to believe that a chap called Jesus was crucified for me, will this mean I will be tortured forever?

Best wishes,
Ron.
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2014, 07:31:38 PM »
BM. Big time.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2014, 10:25:17 PM »
Not to be an ass...no wait...I am an ass...yeah, see, I like the guy and I gather so do many others here but what's with the fucking bombardment of questions? Let's not treat the guy like we would a fundamentalist. One or two questions that could progress into more over a period of time, not 12 questions back-to-back. Seems a little forward.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2014, 02:31:38 AM »
OCG; I genuinely like you, the above post was meant good naturedly, I have no wish to treat you like a fundamentalist as you don't appear to be one. It was perhaps more of an observation on your gentlemanly replies to many posts!

But I am curious about your answers if you have time, however please know this is not meant as an attack on you.

As you do strike me as one of the most reasonable Christians I've met, if I can't get lucid answers from you, I doubt I'll get them elsewhere!

Genuine best wishes to you.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 02:53:15 AM by Ron Jeremy »
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2014, 03:20:21 AM »
But if I did want to become a Christian; what should I believe? Should I follow the bible word for word? If not, why not?......

Whoomph!  Yeah, barrage of questions - though I can see the intent behind it all, still a bit overwhelming.

Assuming OCG wants to take part, I'd suggest it might be a good start if he first just laid out what he believes, as that's a far simpler question perhaps than why he believes, and we can expand from there?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2014, 03:34:11 AM »
Sorry, the OP was a barrage, my bad. I'm happy to turn it into one question, 'OCG; What Do You Believe?' if you're game? :)
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2014, 06:33:49 AM »
Quote
Old Church guy; You strike me as a decent honest likeable chap based on your posts. If all Christians were like you; perhaps I'd want to be one!

But if I did want to become a Christian; what should I believe?

First, I am flattered my theistic views matter at all.  Second, I am also flattered for the others who came forward in my defense.  I don't feel overwhelmed by the questions.  I don't even feel whelmed.  :) 

I suppose the basics on belief would be to accept the idea God exists.  After that, I am not sure, to be honest.  I am a strong believer in each person working out their own relationship with God. 

 
Quote
Should I follow the bible word for word? If not, why not?

That is up to you.  Personally, I tried following the Bible as a literalist and found it lacking.  So, I changed over time from a literalist to a non-literalist. 


Quote
Is the bible to be taken literal, if not, why not?


I don't know.  For me, a literal interpretation of the Bible means ignoring a lot of science as well as changes in society.  For example:  Should we go back to a theocracy as in the time of Saul, David and Solomon?  Is allowing women the right to vote against a literal understanding of the Bible?  Can women be professional ministers? 

Quote
Should I believe the universe is 6000 years old or should I accept science?

I don't know.  That is up to you.  Personally, I have no problem with science.  But I know people who feel any science which contradicts their interpretation of the Bible should be rejected. 

Quote
Why don't I know that Biblegod exists?

At the risk of sounding evasive, what would you consider knowing that Biblegod exists? 

Quote
What version of Christianity should I follow?

That is up to you.  I grew up in the Episcopal church, attended the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for many years and am currently a member of the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA).  Evangelical / literalist churches have never interested me.  But fit others very well.

Quote
Why shouldn't I be a Hindu?

If Hinduism works for you, then go for it.  I don't have the knowledge of God's mind to state with certainty which religion He favors. 

Quote
Why does Biblegod hide?

If you mean, why are you not able to see Biblegod, I don't know.  Because religion is based on faith / belief, this is not a problem for me. 

Quote
If I search honestly for Biblegod and find no reason to believe in him, will I be tortured for eternity?

I have no idea.  Such judgments are up to God; not me.

Quote
If I will be, why would Biblegod do that?

You seem to be presupposing the answer to the earlier question is yes, you will be tortured for eternity.  I have no idea if Biblegod will do that or not.  Personally, I don't think so but I have no way of proving that belief.

Quote
I cannot force myself to believe that a chap called Jesus was crucified for me, will this mean I will be tortured forever?

Again, I have no idea. 

Quote
Best wishes,
Ron.

Sincerely,

OldChurchGuy
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle - Philo of Alexandria

Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion - Dalai Lama

Online Ron Jeremy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2014, 07:32:09 AM »
Thank you for replying OCG :)

Best wishes,
Ron
Matthew 10:22 "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." - An example of a clearly demonstrably false biblical 'prophesy'.

The biblical myth of a 6000 year old Earth is proven false by the Gaia satellite directly measuring star age.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2014, 07:32:55 AM »
I suppose the basics on belief would be to accept the idea God exists.  After that, I am not sure, to be honest.  I am a strong believer in each person working out their own relationship with God. 

Hum.

That is up to you. 
I don't know. 
I don't know.  That is up to you. 
At the risk of sounding evasive, what would you consider knowing that Biblegod exists? 
That is up to you. 
If Hinduism works for you, then go for it.  I don't have the knowledge of God's mind to state with certainty which religion He favors. 
If you mean, why are you not able to see Biblegod, I don't know. 
I have no idea.  Such judgments are up to God; not me.
I have no idea if Biblegod will do that or not.  Personally, I don't think so but I have no way of proving that belief.
Again, I have no idea. 

I'm afraid I have to say.....having read your responses, why on earth would I even consider accepting the idea that any god exists?  What reason would I have for going from my current position (I have seen no evidence, therefore I do not believe there is a god) to accepting the idea that a god exists?

Can I ask what it is you DO believe, OCG?
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2014, 08:19:44 AM »
I suppose the basics on belief would be to accept the idea God exists.  After that, I am not sure, to be honest.  I am a strong believer in each person working out their own relationship with God. 

Hum.

That is up to you. 
I don't know. 
I don't know.  That is up to you. 
At the risk of sounding evasive, what would you consider knowing that Biblegod exists? 
That is up to you. 
If Hinduism works for you, then go for it.  I don't have the knowledge of God's mind to state with certainty which religion He favors. 
If you mean, why are you not able to see Biblegod, I don't know. 
I have no idea.  Such judgments are up to God; not me.
I have no idea if Biblegod will do that or not.  Personally, I don't think so but I have no way of proving that belief.
Again, I have no idea. 

I'm afraid I have to say.....having read your responses, why on earth would I even consider accepting the idea that any god exists?  What reason would I have for going from my current position (I have seen no evidence, therefore I do not believe there is a god) to accepting the idea that a god exists?

Can I ask what it is you DO believe, OCG?

I didn't realize you were looking for black and white answers.  If that is the case, I suggest checking with some of the other theists on this website. 

Regarding what I believe:

I believe God exists.  As stated in other posts, this is based on various experiences in my life which I interpret to be a sign of God's presence in my life.  I can't prove this nor do I feel any obligation to since I am not striving to convert others to my way of thinking.

I believe the greatest commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor as themselves.

I believe the Bible is a collection of writings written by a variety of people all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.

I believe that theists, like atheists, are individuals and therefore each person has a unique view of life and theism.

Enjoying the exchange as it helps me figure out just what do I believe and why I remain,

OldChurchGuy
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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2014, 08:42:01 AM »
Regarding what I believe:

I believe God exists.  As stated in other posts, this is based on various experiences in my life which I interpret to be a sign of God's presence in my life.  I can't prove this nor do I feel any obligation to since I am not striving to convert others to my way of thinking.

I believe the greatest commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor as themselves.

I believe the Bible is a collection of writings written by a variety of people all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.

I believe that theists, like atheists, are individuals and therefore each person has a unique view of life and theism.

Enjoying the exchange as it helps me figure out just what do I believe and why I remain,

OldChurchGuy

It seems you are looking for a god to match your own character, someone who will drink tea with you in the garden. I don't think a militaristic storm god like Yahweh fills your requirements.

He commands you to love.
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2014, 09:07:23 AM »
Regarding what I believe:

I believe God exists.  As stated in other posts, this is based on various experiences in my life which I interpret to be a sign of God's presence in my life.  I can't prove this nor do I feel any obligation to since I am not striving to convert others to my way of thinking.

I believe the greatest commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor as themselves.

I believe the Bible is a collection of writings written by a variety of people all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.

I believe that theists, like atheists, are individuals and therefore each person has a unique view of life and theism.

Enjoying the exchange as it helps me figure out just what do I believe and why I remain,

OldChurchGuy

It seems you are looking for a god to match your own character, someone who will drink tea with you in the garden. I don't think a militaristic storm god like Yahweh fills your requirements.

He commands you to love.

First, I am always flattered a posting from a separte discussion has stayed with anyone. 

You may very well be right.  That would help explain why there is no unity among theists if we are all looking for God to match our character. 

So is it correct to conclude that atheists, having no need to find a god to match their character, are better adjusted and more emotionally stable?  The question is not mean as a trap or to bait you.  Just curious.

To the best of my knowledge, I am free to accept or reject any of the commandments.  It may be a command, but it has proven, for me anyway, to be a very practical idea to apply and one I do so willingly.  If that means I am a fool, so be it.

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2014, 09:50:04 AM »
Regarding what I believe:

I believe God exists.  As stated in other posts, this is based on various experiences in my life which I interpret to be a sign of God's presence in my life.  I can't prove this nor do I feel any obligation to since I am not striving to convert others to my way of thinking.

I believe the greatest commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor as themselves.

I believe the Bible is a collection of writings written by a variety of people all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.

I believe that theists, like atheists, are individuals and therefore each person has a unique view of life and theism.

Enjoying the exchange as it helps me figure out just what do I believe and why I remain,

OldChurchGuy

It seems you are looking for a god to match your own character, someone who will drink tea with you in the garden. I don't think a militaristic storm god like Yahweh fills your requirements.

He commands you to love.

First, I am always flattered a posting from a separte discussion has stayed with anyone. 

You may very well be right.  That would help explain why there is no unity among theists if we are all looking for God to match our character. 

So is it correct to conclude that atheists, having no need to find a god to match their character, are better adjusted and more emotionally stable?  The question is not mean as a trap or to bait you.  Just curious.

To the best of my knowledge, I am free to accept or reject any of the commandments.  It may be a command, but it has proven, for me anyway, to be a very practical idea to apply and one I do so willingly.  If that means I am a fool, so be it.

As always,

OldChurchGuy

Surveys show that the trend is that the more atheist a country is, the lower the crime rates are. So I think atheists are in general happier.

I don't think you should consider yourself free to reject commandments. They are commandments.
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2014, 12:22:16 PM »
Surveys show that the trend is that the more atheist a country is, the lower the crime rates are. So I think atheists are in general happier.
I have, for other purposes, tried to link religiosity to various other demographic traits, but have never succeeded. There always seems to be other factors that contribute to crime: it seems to be that the equal distribution of wealth reduces crime (we are all similar and therefore understand each other) but even then there are considerations that throw this.

Quote
I don't think you should consider yourself free to reject commandments. They are commandments.
A lot of accepting Holy Words is whether you think that they are (a) clear (b) reasonable (c) as intended (d) still in existence (e) what the deity really wants. (f) truly punishable. All religious people will have these considerations. If they don;t like one sect's interpretation, they will choose another or simply leave organised religion and make their own decisions.

I remember being with a friend who was a staunch Methodist - no alcohol. One hot day, he asked if I wanted to go to a pub with him. Amazed, I did. He bought me a beer and had a cider for himself. I mentioned that I thought cider was banned: "No, only alcohol is banned." he replied, nodding at my beer.
"But..."
"Apple juice."
"But..."
"Apple juice.
"OK."

If you live in a theocratic state, you comply but many comply against their inner thoughts.

In the Bible, the character Jesus went around commenting on the strict observance of the Scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees: In essence he was telling them to follow the commandments in a reasonable manner. Now, to them this was seen as telling them to stop obeying the commandments.

If we look at Judaism, we see that the Orthodox literally keep the commandments but occasionally create weird interpretations and invent fictions in order that they "technically" obey the commandments (all 613 of them). Other forms of Judaism ignore part of a Commandment and keep other parts, the most liberal sections simply ignore the Commandment. The outsider looking in at all of these sees nothing but "being able to ignore the Commandment."
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 12:23:48 PM by Graybeard »
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2014, 03:58:52 PM »
Apple cider has alcohol in it. I think, like, 0.6%. Still alcohol.

[EDIT]

I remember this because at a cousin's wedding they served Apple Cider and an aunt of mine wouldn't drink it even with that much (or little) alcohol. I drank 5 bottles--no effect.

-Nam
« Last Edit: March 27, 2014, 04:01:28 PM by Nam »
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline jdawg70

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2014, 04:01:51 PM »
Apple cider has alcohol in it. I think, like, 0.6%. Still alcohol.
"When we landed on the moon, that was the point where god should have come up and said 'hello'. Because if you invent some creatures, put them on the blue one and they make it to the grey one, you f**king turn up and say 'well done'."

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2014, 04:18:17 PM »
 I've had a long day, just got back from a funeral. That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2014, 04:44:34 PM »
Regarding what I believe:

I believe God exists.  As stated in other posts, this is based on various experiences in my life which I interpret to be a sign of God's presence in my life.  I can't prove this nor do I feel any obligation to since I am not striving to convert others to my way of thinking.

I believe the greatest commandments are to love God and to love one's neighbor as themselves.

I believe the Bible is a collection of writings written by a variety of people all trying to explain what it is like to experience God.

I believe that theists, like atheists, are individuals and therefore each person has a unique view of life and theism.

Enjoying the exchange as it helps me figure out just what do I believe and why I remain,

OldChurchGuy

It seems you are looking for a god to match your own character, someone who will drink tea with you in the garden. I don't think a militaristic storm god like Yahweh fills your requirements.

He commands you to love.

First, I am always flattered a posting from a separte discussion has stayed with anyone. 

You may very well be right.  That would help explain why there is no unity among theists if we are all looking for God to match our character. 

So is it correct to conclude that atheists, having no need to find a god to match their character, are better adjusted and more emotionally stable?  The question is not mean as a trap or to bait you.  Just curious.

To the best of my knowledge, I am free to accept or reject any of the commandments.  It may be a command, but it has proven, for me anyway, to be a very practical idea to apply and one I do so willingly.  If that means I am a fool, so be it.

As always,

OldChurchGuy

Surveys show that the trend is that the more atheist a country is, the lower the crime rates are. So I think atheists are in general happier.

I don't think you should consider yourself free to reject commandments. They are commandments.

Following up on Graybeard's comments:

"The word command, as well as commandment, is used to translate the Hebrew word mits'vah but does not properly convey the meaning of mits'vah. The word command implies words of force or power as a General commands his troops. The word mits'vah is better understood as a directive. To see the picture painted by this word it is helpful to look at a related word, tsiyon meaning a desert or a landmark. The Ancient Hebrews were a nomadic people who traveled the deserts in search of green pastures for their flocks. A nomad uses the various rivers, mountains, rock outcroppings, etc as landmarks to give them their direction. The verb form of mits'vah is tsavah meaning to direct one on a journey. The mits'vah of the Bible are not commands, or rules and regulations, they are directives or landmarks that we look for to guide us. The word tsiyon meaning landmark is also the word translated as Zion, the mountain of God but, not just a mountain, it is the landmark.
http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_command.html

As always,

OldChurchGuy
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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2014, 06:20:37 PM »
If we look at Judaism, we see that the Orthodox literally keep the commandments but occasionally create weird interpretations and invent fictions in order that they "technically" obey the commandments (all 613 of them)."

Jewish inventions to circumvent "no work on the Sabbath" clip from Religulous.

I have to wonder just how seriously these inventors take the commandments - do they think God's not going to notice their work-arounds?

If anyone besides me is curious enough to look, here's a link to their online catalog: I don't even.....  :o
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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2014, 04:45:18 AM »

"The word command, as well as commandment, is used to translate the Hebrew word mits'vah but does not properly convey the meaning of mits'vah. The word command implies words of force or power as a General commands his troops. The word mits'vah is better understood as a directive. To see the picture painted by this word it is helpful to look at a related word, tsiyon meaning a desert or a landmark. The Ancient Hebrews were a nomadic people who traveled the deserts in search of green pastures for their flocks. A nomad uses the various rivers, mountains, rock outcroppings, etc as landmarks to give them their direction. The verb form of mits'vah is tsavah meaning to direct one on a journey. The mits'vah of the Bible are not commands, or rules and regulations, they are directives or landmarks that we look for to guide us. The word tsiyon meaning landmark is also the word translated as Zion, the mountain of God but, not just a mountain, it is the landmark.
http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_command.html

As always,

OldChurchGuy

So you are a soldier in an ancient army, and the general comes along and shouts, "quick men put on your swords, the enemy is coming,"

And you say "I don't feel like it today, mr general".

This is why I said I think that a militaristic storm like Yahweh does not suit your character.

Compare the commands of Yahweh with the way Krishna explains to Arjuna why Arjuna should do his duty and fight.
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Offline essgeeskee

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 01:29:17 AM »

That is up to you.  Personally, I tried following the Bible as a literalist and found it lacking.  So, I changed over time from a literalist to a non-literalist. 


That's a good take on your part. Here is the problem I have though. Here is a short analogy:

Let A = Matthew 12:31-32
Let B =  Leviticus 20:13

Person 1 accepts Bible verse A, but he rejects Bible verse B. Person 2 rejects Bible verse A, but he accepts Bible verse B.

Who is right? Can both people be right? Which Bible verses does a person get to take a non-literal approach on? Is there a limit as to how many verses a person can take non-literally?
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Offline OldChurchGuy

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 07:03:48 AM »
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That's a good take on your part. Here is the problem I have though. Here is a short analogy:

Let A = Matthew 12:31-32
Let B =  Leviticus 20:13

Person 1 accepts Bible verse A, but he rejects Bible verse B. Person 2 rejects Bible verse A, but he accepts Bible verse B.

Who is right?

For those (like me) who do not know these Bible verses from memory:

Matthew 12:31-32 = "31 And so I tell you, every kind of sin and slander can be forgiven, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."   (NIV translation)

Leviticus 20:13 = 13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.  (NIV translation)

The Matthew writing is saying anything can be forgiven except speaking against the Holy Spirit whereas Leviticus is saying male homosexuality is detestable and punishable by death. 

Personally, I support the Matthew passage over the Leviticus but that is me.  If you are wanting a final answer that will explain or reconcile the two into one cohesive piece of logic similar to a well designed computer program, then you will need to talk with someone who is much wiser than I. 

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Can both people be right?

Each person who supports a given verse considers themselves correct.  In that sense, both are correct.  Which one has the ultimate correct understanding that overrides the other and can be proven as correct?  I don't think that can ever be decided. 

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Which Bible verses does a person get to take a non-literal approach on?

For me, that depends on the individual.  I chose a non-literal approach because a literal approach raised more questions than it answered.  As a non-literalist I don't believe there was a world-wide flood as the geologic evidence does not support the idea.  I don't think the universe is 6,000 years old and am OK with a 14 billion year old universe. 

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Is there a limit as to how many verses a person can take non-literally? 

I suppose there is.  For example, there is archaeological evidence to support the idea King David existed.  I think one would be hard pressed to say King David is a non-literal person.  Although there is no evidence that Saul existed (outside the Hebrew Bible) I believe he did. 


Hoping I have answered the questions I remain,

OldChurchGuy
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2014, 07:57:20 AM »
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Can both people be right?

Which one has the ultimate correct understanding that overrides the other and can be proven as correct?  I don't think that can ever be decided. 

Whish unfortunately makes any religion nothing more than a game of guesswork and luck.  If there is no way to determine for sure what "god" wants, then what choice can be made?

We're all sitting in a room with a red button, and a blue button.  A man sits behind them, and says "you must press the correct button".  And in front of each button is a note saying "THIS button is correct".  So really, there's no information to go on other than what we "feel" is right - the classic SPAG.

But there is one, or maybe two, things we can take from this.

First thing: it could be that nothing really matters.  Press the red, press the blue, press neither.  The man behind the table doesn't care - or maybe there IS no man behind the table.  Either way, press what you want - the end result will be the same no matter what we do.

The man behind the table is clearly not Chirst.

Second thing: but maybe it DOES matter.  Maybe pressing red instead of blue, or blue instead of red, is incredibly important.  But we have no real way of knowing which.  Guessing (for that is all it is) wrong will seriously annoy the man behind the table, and bad things will occur.  But the man behind the table doesn't reach forward and make sure that only ONE button has the clear "THIS is correct" sticker.  To be unclear, when great consequences are at stake, is not loving, nor desirous of relationship.

And so - again - the man behind the table is clearly not Christ.

Is there a man behind the table?  Who knows?  All I know is, if there IS a man there, he's not particularly bothered if we guess the right choices or not.  And with no way for me to know what to do......screw him.  I'll press, or not press, according to what I think is right, and let the chips fall where they may.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline junebug72

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 08:52:01 AM »
OCG all this is exactly why I think the bible just needs to take a hike.  It does not help at all to understand God, except what you would not want God to be.  You yourself admit it's not the words of God.  Jesus says you can deny him and be forgiven.  I don't think denying religion is denying Christ but honoring him.  That's just the old junebug.  If more Christians were like you perhaps there wouldn't be people like me that is disgusted by religion. 

Damn Moses, damn him! 
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
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Offline Disciple of Sagan

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2014, 01:57:43 PM »
Whish unfortunately makes any religion nothing more than a game of guesswork and luck.  If there is no way to determine for sure what "god" wants, then what choice can be made?

I don't have his book handy, but this reminds me of what Sam Harris wrote in "The End of Faith" where he describes a scenario where there is some world-wide disaster that basically sends humanity back to the stone ages.

With the remaining survivors and their descendants having to "start from scratch" relearning all of the knowledge that had been lost, they come across a Bible, and through it, the existence of some superior being called "God".

And what happens when they next stumble upon, say, the Quran and discover it contradicts what the Bible had to say on the nature of said god?

The problem then becomes what methods, if any, could they then use to prove the validity of what this god supposedly said, did and demanded of humanity?

The point I think he was making is that the solution is not contained within the pages of any of these holy books.

The cosmos is also within us. We are made of star stuff.

The only thing bigger than the universe is humanity's collective sense of self-importance.

Offline jdawg70

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 03:43:18 PM »
We're all sitting in a room with a red button, and a blue button.  A man sits behind them, and says "you must press the correct button".  And in front of each button is a note saying "THIS button is correct".  So really, there's no information to go on other than what we "feel" is right - the classic SPAG.

But there is one, or maybe two, things we can take from this.

First thing: it could be that nothing really matters.  Press the red, press the blue, press neither.  The man behind the table doesn't care - or maybe there IS no man behind the table.  Either way, press what you want - the end result will be the same no matter what we do.

I'll say this - there absolutely is a person behind the table.  The problem is that, if you were to actually push a button and ask if it's correct, or prod for more information that could help you decide which button to push from the person behind the table, s/he has to ask yet another person behind another table, who asks another person behind a table, etc.

Eventually, one of those persons behind a table will provide a response.  Now, if you ask that person (either through the grapevine of people behind tables or the person directly) how s/he knows the answer, you get either a) other people behind other tables, until you get to another person who provides a response or b) "it's true, shut up, push the right button".  That's it.  You never get to the person who put the buttons there in the first place.  You never get to objective evidence suggesting the veracity of the responses from the People Behind the TablesNo degree of questioning - no amount of people behind tables - will ever lead to the Entity Behind the Big Table in Front of the Big Board That Can Actually Answer the Question or the Objectively Verifiable Fact That Supports the Idea that an Entity Installed the Buttons and Gives a Sh*t Which One You Push Table.

It's People Behind the Tables all the way down.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Old Church Guy - What Should I Believe?
« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2014, 02:35:45 PM »
So, the universe is governed by a vast, impersonal, uncaring, unresponsive bureaucracy that makes byzantine rules that nobody understands completely. But if you make a mistake you could be facing eternal punishment.

See? That's what happens when you elect socialist fascist mixed-race Kenyan Hawaiian Muslims who wear mom jeans and attend the wrong Christian church!

The entire universe is ruined! Forever!

Thanks, Obama.
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Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.