Re: The OFFICE of the PROPHET
- [We have come to learn to blame God for all the nonsense that has slipped into
the bible. The reason is simple: when God said "Let's make man in our image",
the man got puffed up, saying "Now I am just like God, therefore I can say,
`Let's make a god in our image' and serve him". So, the man did: he made a god
in his own image and serves him, blaming him for every evil that happens in this
life and the life thereafter. That god, the man's creation, has `created' hell
so that the world can be terrified into serving him.
My God does not need hell to drive people to Himself. He draws people to
Himself by His love.
George, what you engage in is a fragmented use of the Bible. I noted that you said that James, the Lord's brother, did not walk with Jesus, like Peter, and that James somehow had gotten into a position of authority illegitimately. You take what the gospels say about Peter walking with Jesus as, pardon the pun, "gospel truth," but you dismiss the fact that Peter, and even Paul, submit to James as the legitimate pastor of the Jewish Jerusalem Church. Paul thought so highly of this foundational church that he took an offering for their poor members from the Gentile churches during a time of famine. (2 Corinthians chapters 8 & 9) Peter, John, Paul, and the other apostles would never have submitted to James, the Lord's brother, if his position was illegitimate.
The fragmented Bible approach doesn't work. You say that Matthew was wrong in his interpretation of the Old Testament in connection with the virgin birth of Jesus. This creates all kinds of problems with much of the rest of the gospels. OK, if Jesus wasn't born of Mary when she was a virgin, then who got her pregnant? Joseph? If that's the case then the parts of the gospels that talk about Mary being found pregnant, and her husband Joseph wanting to put her away privately, is also false. Add to that the gospel account (Luke 24:45) which states that Jesus opened the minds of the disciples to understand the Old Testament Scriptures, and you have to say that is also inaccurate. Just with saying that Jesus was not born of a virgin, and that Matthew got it wrong, begins to unravel the entire validity of the gospels.
On the other hand, you pick out the parts of the Scriptures you like and use them to support your own ideas. I hate to break it to you, but that's what our favorite Christian Cult does. The only difference is that they claim to believe the whole Bible, even though they don't. And, of course, they do it for perverse motives, which I don't believe is the case with you at all.
So, you accept that Peter walked with Jesus, and you accept that account of the vision that Peter had in Acts chapter 10. Peter, just like James, struggled with the concept of non Jewish believers. At first James and the elders of the Jerusalem Church objected to Peter going into a Gentiles house and eating with them, but once the vision was explained, and the results, James and the elders accepted that Gentiles could be saved without becoming Jews. The issue came up again in Acts 15, and they reached a consensus with Paul and Barnabas concerning the Gentile Christians. Yet you dismiss James as being a bogus leader. That doesn't make any sense.
My conclusion about the Bible is that it can only be the Word of God if it was written, and compiled, under the supernatural power of the God it speaks of. Other than that, I see it as a collection of religious writings, with some facts of history in it, a lot of legend and myth, and a good deal of religious philosophy and ideas. When people try to tell me that there is all this physical proof that it is a perfect collection of books, I generally laugh to myself. It can't work unless it is supernatural. By natural means, it has to be false. That's a lengthy discussion that I won't get into again here and now, but easy enough to demonstrate.
However, without a supernatural Bible, you are lost in the woods as far as beliefs that relate to Jehovah and Jesus go. I can relate everything you say about God and Jesus back to the Bible in some way. Without the Bible, I just happen to think that you wouldn't be talking about God and Jesus at all. What is strange is that you view the foundation of your knowledge of Jehovah and Jesus as being unreliable, outside of those parts that you deem worthy.
While discussing all the problems I have with how the Bible was written and compiled, with my Jewish Christian friend, she pointed out this Scripture.
So they went to the king in the court, but they had deposited the scroll in the chamber of Elishama the scribe, and they reported all the words to the king. Then the king sent Jehudi to get the scroll, and he took it out of the chamber of Elishama the scribe. And Jehudi read it to the king as well as to all the officials who stood beside the king. Now the king was sitting in the winter house in the ninth month, with a fire burning in the brazier before him. When Jehudi had read three or four columns, the king cut it with a scribe's knife and threw it into the fire that was in the brazier, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was in the brazier. Yet the king and all his servants who heard all these words were not afraid, nor did they rend their garments. Even though Elnathan and Delaiah and Gemariah pleaded with the king not to burn the scroll, he would not listen to them. And the king commanded Jerahmeel the king's son, Seraiah the son of Azriel, and Shelemiah the son of Abdeel to seize Baruch the scribe and Jeremiah the prophet, but the LORD hid them. Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah after the king had burned the scroll and the words which Baruch had written at the dictation of Jeremiah, saying, "Take again another scroll and write on it all the former words that were on the first scroll which Jehoiakim the king of Judah burned." (Jeremiah 36:20-28)
She noted that when Jehoiakim burned the written Word of God, the LORD simply had Jeremiah write it, or dictate it, again. She said that man can't wipe out God's Word, and noted that even the Scripture itself says that Heaven and Earth will pass away, but Jehovah's Word will never pass away. And she agrees with me that without factoring in the supernatural power of God, the Bible would not be reliable and insists that it is supernatural. (That's another long discussion for, perhaps, another time.)
I also note, George, that you say that what the prophets wrote is generally the Word of God, but you dismiss other parts that men just "threw in there." The Bible itself teaches that all the Scriptures are profitable to the believer for study. Some are stories that God caused to be written that illustrate His truth. Selective historical accounts serve this purpose as well. Even false prophecies are recorded to give understanding and wisdom, etc. The idea is that God caused these things to be written, and did not intend for anyone to dismiss parts of it. It is "the record."
I agree with Les. You have more or less invented your own religion. Nothing wrong with that, I suppose. You don't seem like the type to go on a money collecting binge. I do wonder about the whole "voice of God" thing, though.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on the subject.
- G'day Ken.
Between George and Renae, anyone who thinks that what your son thinks about Christians is in for a shock.
As for me, thanks for praising my intellectual ability, but bear in mind that excellence can only shine in a social setting that encourages it. And I certainly am not the only talented person here.
Oh and btw, any scientist who showed "proof" for his theory ain't no real scientist. How many times do I have to tell you that? ;-)
--- In Escape_from_the_Fellowship@yahoogroups.com, kenhaining777 <no_reply@...> wrote:
> [Ken eloquently said, "Ex members who post on these boards tend to get
> with the fact that we discuss the larger issue of whether or not we
> believe the Bible after getting out of Waymanland."
> And I bluntly replied, "Ya think!?"
> It's interesting to get alternative views on these things. When I told
> Buddhist colleagues about these debates I have with Christians and an
> taking the Christian view, they were rather taken aback. Their personal
> were that of all the three mainstream religions -- Christianity, Islam
> Hinduism -- the Christians are the least tolerant of differing views by
> colleagues even questioned my ability to manage my time properly, as
> "surely you
> can think of more productive things to do".
> I surely can, but there are people around here who I like, but have no
> point of contact with. People like Les and Renae and Sarah.
> My son constantly tells me that I am wasting my time with a bunch of
> "religious idiots" on these message boards. He thinks my time would
> also be better spent elsewhere. I have tried to tell him that Perry and
> he would be great friends if he were to ever talk to Perry, but he has
> said that he can't fathom that anyone who would bother about all this
> religious stuff would be, well, of any real intelligence. Of course, he
> excuses me, to an extent. He has trouble, however, believing my reports
> that Perry is actually brilliant.
> If I let my son come on the message board, there probably wouldn't be a
> Christian in sight. He has very low tolerance for anyone who entertains
> the idea that the Bible is literally true, and tends to call them out as
> I have often wondered why Christians would not pursue more friendly
> relations with unbelievers. Based on the Bible, it seems that the
> unfriendly attitude is supposed to come from the unbelievers, and the
> believers are told to endure it. Instead, it seems that often times it
> is the Christians who are intent on persecuting the unbelievers. A mild
> review of history shows that this has often been the case.
> My Jewish Christian friend has told me that there are two basic reasons
> for this. One is religious pride, either amongst actual believers, or
> pseudo believers, who are simply religious. The other reason is that
> many unbelievers take the absolute assurance of the believer to be
> arrogance. "Well, when you're sure of something, you're sure of
> something," is the way she put it to me. Should someone deny their faith
> to satisfy someone else's demand that they be "humble"? If a scientist
> showed me his calculations, and told me, with great enthusiasm that it
> proved his theory correct, should I then call him "arrogant" for his
> conclusions? No? If Y'hovah touched me in such a way that was so real
> that I could not deny it, why would you call me arrogant for saying that
> it was so real?
> Those who have the knowledge of the Living God would be liars and
> hypocrites if they denied that knowledge.
> Live Long and Prosper