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Goodbye Jesus

Bible Morality


Wizened Sage

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There's something I don't understand (okay, there are are lots of things, but just one concerns me now). I was never a Xtian since my parents thankfully failed to indoctrinate me, so maybe some of you could help me understand.

 

Just a little reading in the bible makes clear that Xtians today don't really get their morality from the bible. Virtually none believe in slavery, or killing people for working on Sunday, or killing disobedient sons, or killing homosexuals, or killing non-believers, etc., so Xtians obviously don't really get their morality from the bible. So why do they so vehemently insist that the only worthwhile moral code must come from their god and the bible - that we non-believers have only a relative code and theirs is absolute? Is it because most don't really read the bible, or they're just using selective memory, or something else?

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It's selective. Most Christians today don't really read and reflect on their bibles the way they claim. [Your average christian, like the average American, doesn't like to read when they can help it.]

 

Those that do, tend to stay in the New Testament, and only read specific parts. They like to use the phrase 'relevant passages', or 'important verses'. It's really just cherry picking the parts that sound nicest.

 

The rest of the bible is usually included in church services in some form, broken up over a couple of years.

 

This allows the church to use these 'immoral' passages by breaking them up into small bits and pieces. It also allows for a lecture to take place, [a sermon] which distracts from what you just heard, or makes it sound nicer than it is.

 

As if there is a hidden moral within the story about love, instead of it just being about one ancient tribe's bad habits.

 

It seems to me to be carefully constructed to prevent actual study from happening, while giving the illusion of study.

 

Once you've been pulled in far enough to want to take bible studies, or join prayer groups, you're usually trained to not notice or ignore the problems by then. These types of groups also tend to start with study of the NT, as well, and ease you into the older books later. Even then they will skip, or gloss over certain passages, trying to draw attention to other passages around the problem instead. As if there's some sort of moral there that rationalizes, or justifies the bad behavior just after it.

 

One mistake Christians often make when trying to convert new members, is trying to get them into these groups too soon. I noticed that some new members would vanish shortly after being coerced into a bible study group for a short time.

 

They really just don't notice anymore.

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Excellent, DarthOkkata! That explains a lot. Thanks much for your thoughtful explanation.

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I can do no better than quote the Reverend Lovejoy of the First Church of Springfield

 

[...]just about everything’s a sin. [holds up a Bible] Y’ever sat down and read this thing? Technically we’re not supposed to go to the bathroom.
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They also tend to explain away nasty bits of the OT by saying that Christians are under the "new covenant", rather than living under the OT law.

 

I admit I've never really understood that reasoning, aside from the provision for eating "unclean animals" I've never seen anything in the New Testament that says that all the old stuff is moot, even Jesus said he didn't come to destroy the law and that to love God you had to keep his laws.

 

I think it may come from Paul as he tried to make his doctrine more gentile accessible. Still this doesn't stop them from using other parts of the OT that don't require them to make a life change.

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This thread reminds me why liberal Christians and literal Christians don't get along.

 

Social Gospel vs Actual Gospel.

 

Revolution vs Reconstruction.

 

No wonder dominionism didn't take off.

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They also tend to explain away nasty bits of the OT by saying that Christians are under the "new covenant", rather than living under the OT law.

 

Does the NT say much about adultery?

 

Also, the whole Romans 'gay' issue... the Greek doesn't support the reading, but reading romans in terms of the OT DOES mean God Hats Fags...

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Barbaric "holy" books will one day end civilization. One day some religious fundamentalist will just push the red button.

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Long as it wipes out the species, I don't see the issue :)

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I think that the study bible really changed how ppl. read the bible in most churches today. Every page has a neat little box on how the passage relates to life today...my ass. This works really well for keeping ppl. in line b/c they don't know how to take the "bible study" sections with a grain of salt.

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Hey GH...what passage are you referring to? I am really interested in finding out more ways to rebuttal x-tains who use the bible to support homophobia and worse. My hubby does Greek and Latin so I could get him to break it down for me if I know which passage it is...Thanks :)

 

Its the meaning of the word arsenokoites 1 Cor 6:9-10 & 1 Timothy 1:9-11 (I'd misrecalled Romans) that is the issue...

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They also tend to explain away nasty bits of the OT by saying that Christians are under the "new covenant", rather than living under the OT law.

 

Does the NT say much about adultery?

 

Also, the whole Romans 'gay' issue... the Greek doesn't support the reading, but reading romans in terms of the OT DOES mean God Hats Fags...

 

Thats why I've always thought the Fred Phelps gang were the only true Xians in America. I think he's following the bible more than most.

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I can understand why xtians would gloss over the less popular stories that are immoral like Elijah praying to God to murder a bunch of kids for calling him bald, but what annoys me even more is that even with popular bible stories that would clearly be immoral in any other setting, xtians will accept as moral. Ignoring the hell doctrine, xtians have no problems accepting that God's actions were moral and just when he murdered all the innocent first born Egyptain babies. Xtians try to place the blame on pharoah (never mind that the bible says God purposely made pharaoh disbelieve, not the other way around) but you know if this took place in a modern setting, like some insane lunatic murders a ton of babies and then tried to place the blame on the president of the United States, xtian everywhere would be declaring the sick bastard as immoral and calling for his ass to be fried. But for some reason, because it's God he can get away with mass infanticide even if he could have just used his magical teleporting powers to teleport the Israelites away from Egypt to the promised land in a flash and avoid all the useless bloodshed. I just don't get why even popular stories like these are accepted as moral and even wind up in xtian kid's movies like The Prince Of Egypt, yet xtians will constantly whine about how violent and immoral secular kid's cartoons are.

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Guest maryr_32

That is one thing I never was able to understand as a fundie myself. How is it possible to say 'it's the new covenant' when Jesus said he was not there to destroy the law but to fulfill it? Doesn't that mean that people still needed to keep the law? Sounds that way to me. It's just another cop-out. If someone believes the Bible to be the irrerant word of god, and that god doesn't change, how is it possible to refer to the OT god as if he's a different god? Well, Christians automatically know what you mean. Obviously he's a different character from Jesus and THE Father.....or at least it seems pretty clear doesn't it??? Or did he CHANGE??? If god didn't change why is he suddenly nice and suddenly we don't have to stone people, commit genocide, etc....? Makes no sense. I'm not sure exactly what mental gymnastics I practiced to believe (or tried to really hard) for a few years. Of course we all know that when it's time to condemn something like homosexuality, Leviticus comes into play - funny how the more inconvenient verses are ignored or relegated to that 'new covenant' thinking.

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Neon Genesis,

 

Excellent point. It's hard to see (-impossible for me) how the flood, the murder of every human on earth except for one family, can be seen as moral. As someone said on these pages a while ago, if god were a human and the bible was documentable as history, then god would be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity. After all, he might have tried a little retraining before killing everyone, including children, babies, and unborn fetuses. It's truly a disgusting story that no rainbow ending can justify.

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As someone said on these pages a while ago, if god were a human and the bible was documentable as history, then god would be tried and convicted for crimes against humanity. After all, he might have tried a little retraining before killing everyone, including children, babies, and unborn fetuses. It's truly a disgusting story that no rainbow ending can justify.

 

And, quite sadly, the Christian apologists will come back with that very loving, and yet invalidly statistical argument called the body count. God is more moral because his body count is lower than the tyrannical dictators of Stalin and Hitler.

 

It wouldn't surprise me if the more astute, clever believer states that the context of those passages in the Old and New Testaments are meant to serve as a warning against "men becoming like God or even becoming God".

 

As Lord Acton once said, "absolute power corrupts absolutely."

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