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I was talking to a Christian about some of the horrific old rules laid down in the Bible (eg killing children for cursing their parents) and he told me "Yes those were the rules that fit society in that day, but it doesn't mean they apply to our modern world".

Can anyone tell me if the Bible at some point says that the commandments and rules handed down in the Bible had an expiry date? Where does it say stop killing people of other religions, stop keeping slaves and if we're gonna kill people lets not use that horrific stoning practice anymore?

 

If the Bible doesn't revoke these rules, and its the perfect word of God, then surely to be a true literalist Christian we would still need to practice the horror that it preaches? Isn't it this kind of thinking that lead to nutcases like the Taliban (obviously using a different holy book but the same ideals) to torture and kill their way through thousands of innocent people? What really is stopping a Christian country from imposing similar laws?

 

Christians scare me... :ohmy:

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Christians scare me... :ohmy:

 

With fucking good reason my friend! :brutal_01:

 

...

 

You know... your question is one that even when I was a fundy, I could never grasp. I do remember thinking about the rationalization and feeling that there was something I didn't get about it. I now know it wasn't me.

 

I usually forget bad arguments because there is no logic to tie them together and make them memorable. Maybe someone could refresh my memory so I could think up a way to trash the argument.

 

Mongo

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I was talking to a Christian about some of the horrific old rules laid down in the Bible (eg killing children for cursing their parents) and he told me "Yes those were the rules that fit society in that day, but it doesn't mean they apply to our modern world".

So God's laws are given based on a given society? So today he would be pro-gay, anti-slavery, pro-choice? Or would he give a different set of laws in each country?

 

Not to mention, if a society thinks that killing disobedient children is OK, shouldn't God just give them a law forbidding it? He certainly had no problem giving out laws restricting what type of food you can eat............

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Let me preface what I'm about to say with a declaration: I understand Christianity in it's various forms quite well, but am both an ex-Pentecostal and an ex-Christian, even though technically I was born a Jew. Please keep all of that in mind as I explain this.

 

According to basic Christian doctrine, the Old Testament is about keeping the law, while the New Testament is about fulfillment of the law. The children of Israel were given a set of laws to live by, to keep them righteous in the eyes of Yahweh. Many of these laws were quite practical (don't eat pork or shellfish, for example - both of which can be deadly if taken or prepared haphazardly). Even the 10 commandments, if followed faithfully, lead to a stable and prosperous society. There were rules and laws for everything - so many, in fact, that no one could possibly obey them all. Unfortunately, obeying them all was required, in order for man and God to even have a relationship.

 

<Enter the priests and sacrifices)

 

Priests evolved to intercede for men. The idea being that a priest, whose sole job it was to remain pure in order to commune with God, could petition God on behalf of the sinner. This was done though the ritual of burnt offering: the sinner gives an unblemished lamb (or other valuable animal) to the priest, the priest then slaughters and burns the lamb on the altar. The sacrifice pays for the inability of the sinner to follow the law 100%. The greater the sin, the more valuable the animal had to be. The theology eventually evolved to mean that the sacrifice was not viewed by God as a penalty for sin - this is important - but rather, that the sin was erased from God's sight. God was not able to view sin, since sin was the absence of righteousness. Sin was therefore not something the sinner did that pissed God off, but rather something the sinner did that made God unable to communicate with him. We see here that the God of Abraham is actually all-powerful, instead being bound by laws of his own.

 

<Enter Jesus>

 

According to the Bible, Jesus was both God's son and the son of Man. It had to be this way, in order for the sacrifice he made to have any meaning. God has no choice but t be, well, Godly, while a man can choose to be anything he wishes. Just as a sinner in the OT had a choice as to whether he gave up a lamb to be slaughtered, Jesus had to have the same freedom of choice. The fundamental core of Christianity is this: Human beings were not capable of obeying the laws of the OT, and God required a sacrifice greater than any number of lambs a person could amass, in order to truly be holy and righteous in the sight of the Father. Jesus offered himself up as that sacrifice, and (according to Christian theology) the sacrifice was accepted by God as the once-and-for-all sacrifice for all of humankind. That means that when God the father looks at a human being, he is able to commune with him, because all of the sin that would have prevented this is made invisible to God, since he's looking through the smoke of the burnt, perfect offering.

 

<Enter religion>

 

Jesus said that men are not able to follow the law, and therefore can't on their own be accepted into the presence of God. It's more of a law of the Universe than a rule, if you follow this. The priests, scribes and pharisees had in fact turned the law into a joke, while at the same time sucking money out of the children of Israel. This irritated Jesus, and finally pissed him off enough that ht drove the money changers out of the temple. He was constantly confronting the scribes and Pharisees about their hypocrisy, and of course, this inspired them to speed the whole "perfect sacrifice" scenario along to its agonizing conclusion. Afterwards, his followers just couldn't accept this whole idea that the OT law had been done away with, and that the need to have religion had been satisfied. They therefore embarked on creating a brand new set of laws, a new priest-caste, and a new religion that has been stomping on people's heads for the past 2,000 years.

 

If you take this story at face value (just for the sake of discussion), it can lead to some interesting conclusions. To summarize my take on it:

 

1. Human beings are not capable of living perfect lives, and therefore can't have a relationship with God, without intercession.

2. Jesus, as the perfect lamb, offered himself up as the once-and-for-all sacrifice.

3. Now when the Father looks at a human being, he sees only the unblemished spirit of his Son.

4. The law of Abraham, Issac and Moses has been fulfilled (finished).

5. All human beings are therefore acceptable to the Father, through the Son (regardless of whatever religion they may ascribe to). Human beings still have free will to act as they wish, but the ultimate price was already paid by Jesus, so there is nothing a person can do to either gain approval of God, or incur the wrath of god.

7. If there is a heaven, everybody's going.

 

Now, what kind of religion would my summary make? How could you make a profession out of being a priest in the Church of Rob the Wonderer? Why would anyone give an "offering," when the ultimate offering was already made by Jesus? Why have church services, petitioning God with prayer, when God doesn't even see us, seeing only Jesus, instead? In the Church of Rob the Wonderer, God does not answer prayer, not grant wishes, nor reward people for following yet another set of manmade laws called "Christianity."

 

The Church of Rob the Wonderer doesn't have buildings, offerings, worship services, books, Bible studies, seminaries, doctrines, rules, laws, Sunday (or any other day) school, a Sabbath, prayer, supernatural manifestations, guilt, sin or sermons. What it does have is freedom and common sense.

 

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. :woohoo:

 

Rob

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Let me preface what I'm about to say with a declaration: I understand Christianity in it's various forms quite well, but am both an ex-Pentecostal and an ex-Christian, even though technically I was born a Jew. Please keep all of that in mind as I explain this.

 

It shows. You know your Judaism and orthodox Christianity. You gave a perfect summary. Christianity seems like nonsense, just as St. Paul wrote: "the foolishness of the cross." But for some it also is "the power of God bringing salvation."

 

Sometimes I see billboards with the Ten Commandments. While I accept that we shouldn't murder, steal, bear false witness, etc., I don't like the pounding on the pulpit law, law, law, business. Let each person's conscience, heart, and spirit wed to the Holy (or wed to nothing) teach them the way.

 

-currentchristian in massachusetts

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It shows. You know your Judaism and orthodox Christianity. You gave a perfect summary. Christianity seems like nonsense, just as St. Paul wrote: "the foolishness of the cross." But for some it also is "the power of God bringing salvation."

 

Sometimes I see billboards with the Ten Commandments. While I accept that we shouldn't murder, steal, bear false witness, etc., I don't like the pounding on the pulpit law, law, law, business. Let each person's conscience, heart, and spirit wed to the Holy (or wed to nothing) teach them the way.

 

-currentchristian in massachusetts

 

Hmm...

 

That's an interesting response to my post. You equate Christianity with "the foolishness of the cross." I don't see that at all. I see Christianity as a religion, conceived of men, created by men for men. It's a cobbled-together bastardization of Paganism, Greek and Roman mythology, Judaism and Paul's personal opinion. That's the problem that most people on these forums are struggling with. They can't enjoy being free, because "Christianity" and its apologists are constantly beating them in the head.

 

Anyway, that's my position. I don't see any need whatsoever for any sort of organized religion, personally, but you get what you pay for.

 

 

Rob

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This is a bit off topic, but here is something I could never wrap my mind around when I was a christian.

I understand the concept and purpose of "offerings" and such and WHY, but I could never understand why GOD, who was supposed to be so perfect and full of love, would want something to be KILLED in order for this "atonement" to take place.

 

Why specifically did bloodshed need to be the solution? And why would God, supposed creator of all things, demand that something DIE for this to happen?? :twitch:

 

Anyone else ever question that as well?

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This is a bit off topic, but here is something I could never wrap my mind around when I was a christian.

I understand the concept and purpose of "offerings" and such and WHY, but I could never understand why GOD, who was supposed to be so perfect and full of love, would want something to be KILLED in order for this "atonement" to take place.

 

Why specifically did bloodshed need to be the solution? And why would God, supposed creator of all things, demand that something DIE for this to happen?? :twitch:

 

Anyone else ever question that as well?

 

I think there is no simple answer to this question, but the belief that truly giving up something precious as a way to appease the gods, either by killing it, burning it and/or burying it - sometimes alive - is a common theeme in many religions, and predates both Christianity and Judaism. Blood was considered to be the life force by some ancient peoples, since when it ran out, the animal (or person) died.

 

Rob

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I think there is no simple answer to this question, but the belief that truly giving up something precious as a way to appease the gods, either by killing it, burning it and/or burying it - sometimes alive - is a common theeme in many religions, and predates both Christianity and Judaism. Blood was considered to be the life force by some ancient peoples, since when it ran out, the animal (or person) died.

 

Indeed - sacrificial traditions are common in many folk religions, and the idea that a god requires the disposal or destruction of something of value is hardly a new one.

 

Very stupid, really :loser:

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Indeed - sacrificial traditions are common in many folk religions, and the idea that a god requires the disposal or destruction of something of value is hardly a new one.

Very stupid, really :loser:

 

It's interesting to note that even God didn't find much pleasure in these sacrifices:

 

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. (Psalm 51)

 

"The multitude of your sacrifices— what are they to me?" says the LORD. "I have more than enough of burnt offerings, of rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. (Isaiah 1)

 

While there remained a sacrificial system that was primarily, as I see it, for the psychological wellbeing of the person offering the sacrifice (so as to assuage guilt and remorse and restore a sense of wholeness, holiness, and cleanliness), it is progressive of the Judaic God of 3,000 years ago to be making such pronouncements.

 

--currentchristian in massachusetts

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It's interesting to note that even God didn't find much pleasure in these sacrifices.

God did find pleasure in the slaughter and burning of animals, and gave great descriptions on how to build altars, how to kill and what he wanted sacrificed to him:

Genesis 8/21 "The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma" (He likes it)

Genesis 22/2 "Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (He demands it)

Exodus 20/24 " 24 " 'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle." (He explains how to do it)

Exodus 23/18 "Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast. The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning." (He explains what not to do).

 

He was heavily into blood sacrifices, even going as far as to threaten destruction on anyone sacrificing to another god. Probably the most bloody ritual was Exodus 29:

11 Slaughter it in the LORD's presence. 12 Take some of the bull's blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. 13 Then take all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But burn the bull's flesh and its hide and its offal outside the camp. It is a sin offering.

15 "Take one of the rams... 16 Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides. 17 Cut the ram into pieces and wash the inner parts and the legs, putting them with the head and the other pieces. 18 Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

 

Lovely...

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It's interesting to note that even God didn't find much pleasure in these sacrifices.

God did find pleasure in the slaughter and burning of animals, and gave great descriptions on how to build altars, how to kill and what he wanted sacrificed to him:

Genesis 8/21 "The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma" (He likes it)

Genesis 22/2 "Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about." (He demands it)

Exodus 20/24 " 24 " 'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle." (He explains how to do it)

Exodus 23/18 "Do not offer the blood of a sacrifice to me along with anything containing yeast. The fat of my festival offerings must not be kept until morning." (He explains what not to do).

 

He was heavily into blood sacrifices, even going as far as to threaten destruction on anyone sacrificing to another god. Probably the most bloody ritual was Exodus 29:

11 Slaughter it in the LORD's presence. 12 Take some of the bull's blood and put it on the horns of the altar with your finger, and pour out the rest of it at the base of the altar. 13 Then take all the fat around the inner parts, the covering of the liver, and both kidneys with the fat on them, and burn them on the altar. 14 But burn the bull's flesh and its hide and its offal outside the camp. It is a sin offering.

15 "Take one of the rams... 16 Slaughter it and take the blood and sprinkle it against the altar on all sides. 17 Cut the ram into pieces and wash the inner parts and the legs, putting them with the head and the other pieces. 18 Then burn the entire ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the LORD, a pleasing aroma, an offering made to the LORD by fire.

 

Lovely...

 

I guess he "outgrew" it. I'm glad he did. I'd not want to sacrifice anything. (Actually, I think these sacrifices were for us. We have a sense of justice and remorse over wrongdoing that is very debilitating if not dealt with. These ritual baths, washings, sacrifices, etc., did nothing for God, but they did provide psychological relief for the sinner.)

 

Of course, one could say that McDonald's and Burger King are our temples. Ever get a whiff of the aroma of the burning flesh of cattle sacrificed on the altar of our taste buds! :grin:

 

-currentchristian in massachusetts

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was talking to an ex-Christian friend who said he'd had a conversation recently about this subject. He had someone had him a brochure in the street that said "If we all lived by the 10 commandments the world would be a better place".

He pointed out that if the person was willing to accept that Exodus 20 was correct then surely would accept Exodus 21 as correct. The street preacher accepted this was true, at which point my friend quoted Exodus 21:17 "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death", and asked "Therefore do you support killing children?"

 

The street preacher came back with "The only rule that matters in the modern world is Jesus's law 'do unto others as you would have done unto you'". My friend replied "Excellent, I never knew Jesus supported my gay lifestyle!"

 

Good laugh, but of course the stupidity of the bible will not sink into the close minded preacher, so nothing will change there.

If a Christian actually admitted to the Exodus 21 being outdated (I've heard it said it met society of the day but shouldn't be used for the modern world), then surely the whole 10 commandments should be considered outdated, and we can equally ignore the rules on theft and murder.

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I was talking to an ex-Christian friend who said he'd had a conversation recently about this subject. He had someone had him a brochure in the street that said "If we all lived by the 10 commandments the world would be a better place".

He pointed out that if the person was willing to accept that Exodus 20 was correct then surely would accept Exodus 21 as correct. The street preacher accepted this was true, at which point my friend quoted Exodus 21:17 "Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death", and asked "Therefore do you support killing children?"

 

The street preacher came back with "The only rule that matters in the modern world is Jesus's law 'do unto others as you would have done unto you'". My friend replied "Excellent, I never knew Jesus supported my gay lifestyle!"

 

Good laugh, but of course the stupidity of the bible will not sink into the close minded preacher, so nothing will change there.

If a Christian actually admitted to the Exodus 21 being outdated (I've heard it said it met society of the day but shouldn't be used for the modern world), then surely the whole 10 commandments should be considered outdated, and we can equally ignore the rules on theft and murder.

 

I don't like this "Ten Commandments" movement in which churches buy a highway billboard and have the Ten Big Ones printed on the board. I don't like it because a better way has come, seems to me. If we love ourselves and our neighbor, we won't steal from him or her, kill him or her or testify falsely against him or her, and so on.

 

It's like I tell my students: "Please, don't study to pass this test! Study to learn and you will learn and you will pass this test." Christians should not encourage anyone to obey the Ten Commandments; they should encourage everyone to love themselves and their neighbor. In doing so, all the Commandments will be fulfilled!

 

Seems to me.

 

-CC in MA

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