11-18-10, 09:56 AM #1161
Which we all do to a certain extent. But some of us admit it and take responsibility for our own actions. Others say "God told me it's ok."
11-18-10, 10:08 AM #1162
11-18-10, 10:15 AM #1163
The basic error here is that everyone tries to read the Bible in the context of "Today."
the issue is that the bible is not some timeline of a history book by christians. the bible is a source cited for moral principles.
if you want to say that moral principles will change with the whims of a given society over time, then so be it. but that is not the claim christians are making which is it is an edict from god.
this is why christianity is even more amoral or immoral or there morals are even more shallow. they justify it as 'it was the way things were done' or 'god was justified at that time'.
not all non-christians look back in history and condone what was done just because it's history.
for instance, pedophilia may have been acceptable in the past but today we don't look back in history and condone it "itself" excusing it as if that was necessary.
basically, your interpretation of christianity and god is that there really are no moral priniciples or values at all but merely survival of christians or whoever gets the upper-hand.
if that is the case, why pretend that the bible is some moral code.
It wasn't until later (often times after some prediction came to pass) that their message was revered as actually of divine inspiration, and it was written down so that those who followed would learn from their mistakes.
your interpretation is like saying to look at the old testament as a mistake or wrong god did/commanded and learn from it.
Last edited by birch; 11-18-10 at 10:31 AM.
11-18-10, 10:18 AM #1164
11-18-10, 10:44 AM #1165
11-18-10, 10:49 AM #1166
it is like this; consider, hypothetically, that the bible is still being written now and there are prophets/scholars who are still recording religious related events to incorporate into the bible. we can look back on the inquisitions and understand why they were that way and why they thought the earth was flat and why they burned heretics etc because they were ignorant.
we do not condone it today or in the past because we know it was wrong. just like we know the earth is not flat and it never was. just because they believed it true in the past, does not make it true or justified in the past either. it's only understandable in a context of cause and effect.
however, it is getting into dangerous territory if it's recorded that god approved of these actions or commanded them (inquisitions, for example). because then, in essence, the reasons as well as the actions would be justified because god said it was right or necessary.
even today, textbooks which have faulty information are discarded or revised constantly as new discoveries are made or enlightenment is attained.
the problem with the religion and texts as the bible is believers consistently not only try to justify the entire bible using various excuses but use it to live in modern times with no real revisement. that is not really a problem, it's the constant hypocritical justification of the past even though christians claim different morals today.
why it's dangerous is because those things in the past can be used again and justified as instead of keeping it as a record of the past to learn from it and hopefully to not repeat it. it is held on to be justified which is even worse.
Last edited by birch; 11-18-10 at 11:05 AM.
11-18-10, 11:41 AM #1167
11-18-10, 11:47 AM #1168
11-18-10, 11:58 AM #1169
11-19-10, 03:40 AM #1170
11-19-10, 08:37 AM #1171
This is not only my view, but that of most actual Christian theologians. Unfortunately, it is not the mainstream view - mostly because the mainstream is populated with the uneducated and uninitiated. Feel free to prepend all the statements below with "I believe" or "The Bible says". I am stating them as facts, but I fully recognize that it is something I believe, and cannot possibly know until I am dead - assuming on death there is anything left of me to know anything. I also fully recognize that there are a gazillion different interpretations of many of the things in the Bible, but just because there are a million misconceptions doesn't mean there cannot be one that is correct. I adjust my views as necessary when new information comes to light, in a constant effort to find that one correct truth.
First and foremost, "God" is the creator of our universe. He created time and space all at once, so everything that occurs does so according to His will. Not because he is constantly interfering, but because at the moment of creation, he created everything the way he wanted it. The parts of the Bible that describe God's actions are times where mankind has recognized some fundamental reality of the universe that had no other explanation. Over the past several thousand years, we have of course identified HOW such things came to pass - whether it be through improved understandings of weather patterns and geological upheavals, or through better understanding in human psychology and evolution. That we now know HOW such things happened doesn't have any relevance to the fact that everything was still created by God, and as such is still a reflection of His will.
This is where it starts to get interesting. As mankind has evolved, we have developed such things as consciousness, morality, and guilt. Psychologically, we didn't understand these things thousands of years ago. For that matter, we barely understood social structures and civil theory. We were, psychologically and spiritually child-like. In a lot of respects, I am sure we still are. Just as we look back on the people of thousands of years ago and think "what ignorants", I am sure our descendants of thousands of years from now will say the same thing about us. There are things we must learn through experience. When ANYONE has a thought creep into their mind that seems fundamentally different than their typical thoughts (otherwise known as an epiphany) it is recognized by the "spiritually inclined" to be God talking to them. Many of course claim God talks to them, and if it is later borne out to be true, it is typically recognized by others as well to be God talking to them. Of course, by virtue of creation, and the fact that every single natural process was defined by God in the first place, even if we later find some physical explanation for such epiphanies, that doesn't change the fact that it was still part of God's creation. Recognizing that "God did" or "God said" is just another way of saying you don't know how it happened, but know that it did happen (or will happen). In this way, one COULD think of God as simply the term applied to the unknown, but again - the spiritually minded continue to see God in everything, even those things where we do now know "how" they occur.
In a nutshell, that is how I see God, and his interactions with us and the rest of the universe. It of course carries with it some implications that one can derive through logic. Since messages from God must still develop in our minds, our minds must be capable of having the thoughts. This means that many thoughts - many epiphanies - many "messages from God" will not occur until as a society, as a civilization, we have developed to a necessary threshold. In much the same way a 5 year old cannot know everything he will as a 50 year old, we as a people could not know everything 4 thousand years ago that we do now, and we could not possibly fathom now the things we will know 4 thousand years in the future.
And finally, as a Christian, I believe that Christ was perhaps the last great "messenger from God". In other words, he was one of those people that claimed a lot of things about God that I believe to be true - even if as a society we do not yet know how or why it is true. So, I strive to live my life in the way Christ taught our lives should be led. Primarily, this involves the virtues of love, peace, and forgiveness. I am vehemently opposed to judgemental behavior and attitudes, and I wish nothing but the best for everyone. I believe vengeance is wrong, and wanting to see others "get what's coming to them" is just as wrong. These all stem from what we know of the messages of Christ. Some of it we know through commentary by leaders of the "Christ movement" in the hundred or so years that followed Christ, and some we believe we know from the words of Christ himself, in whatever capacity they were recorded.
Note, this does not mean that after Christ God stopped talking to people, but rather that mankind had developed to a point where perhaps the majority of us have grown enough to be able to have all those epiphanies that the spiritual person recognizes to be God. I think that about covers it.
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