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Just For Shits & Giggles I Went To Bible Study


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I signed up at the Methodist church for DISCIPLE 1 class. Now, the methodist church believes in evolution and in fact, the book for the class clearly says that Genesis was originally written by the Jews as poetry and is not meant to be taken literally. The book itself said that. But, when I brought this up to the teacher, he insisted Adam and Eve were real and that Eve was made from Adam's rib.

 

DOH!

 

So much for that idea. I wrote him a rather scathing e-mail about it and he apologized. I reminded him that his exact words at the beginning of this course were, "There are no right or wrong interpretations and we should all strive to engage in discourse without taking personal offense at others' ideas."

 

I never went back. I could deal with Bible study if people would treat the book as it is. Fiction. But that will never happen.

 

Now don't ask me why I did this...just call me curious...or crazy. Or both.

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around here Methodists are considered to be like Baptists who can read.

 

That's exactly how I understood them growing up in Tennessee. But 'out west' here in Kansas and Colorado, they're pretty different. I'd say the URBAN methodists out here are somewhere between white-bread protestants and unitarian universalists. Whereas their rural counterparts (like my inlaws) are more traditional white-bread protestants, but not fundamentalists by any stretch.

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around here Methodists are considered to be like Baptists who can read.

LOL! My late 2nd wife was rural midwestern Methodist. A few years ago her parent's church was trying to get their arms around the idea that a female pastor had been assigned to them. They knew such things happened in the city but until then they had never actually had to DEAL with such a horror. To their credit they didn't tar and feather her, she did reasonably well and recently was promoted to bishop or Grand Regional Poo-bah or whatever they call it and they got a new assignment. It's a male, so I suppose some of them are relieved.

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I reminded him that his exact words at the beginning of this course were, "There are no right or wrong interpretations and we should all strive to engage in discourse without taking personal offense at others' ideas."

 

I never went back. I could deal with Bible study if people would treat the book as it is. Fiction. But that will never happen.

Then why can't Adam and Eve be literal? From his own words this would appear to be his own interpretation and it's neither right nor wrong but you're taking a personal offense with it.

 

Why do you keep returning to these groups to study a book of just fiction? How's that "Willy Wonka" study group coming along? Don't subjugate yourself to one? Exactly.

 

Something more is going on with this particular book of "fiction."

 

mwc

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If you don't take Adam and Eve literally, then you have to reject Christianity altogether.

 

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’" (Mark 10:6)

 

This is Jesus speaking. Jesus not only confirms the creation story, but quotes Genesis 1:27, where God creates Adam and Eve. Aside from that, the whole point of Christ was to provide a way out after the Fall. If Adam and Eve was just poetry, Christ's crucifixion means nothing theologically.

 

Paul said "So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam [Jesus], a life-giving spirit." (1 Cor. 15:45)

Paul also believed Adam was a literal being, and launches into a theological discussion contrasting Jesus to Adam.

 

Perhaps it's possible for the Jews to believe the Garden of Eden is poetry, because I don't think their theology hinges on it. But Christianity does.

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If you don't take Adam and Eve literally, then you have to reject Christianity altogether.

 

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’" (Mark 10:6)

 

This is Jesus speaking. Jesus not only confirms the creation story, but quotes Genesis 1:27, where God creates Adam and Eve. Aside from that, the whole point of Christ was to provide a way out after the Fall. If Adam and Eve was just poetry, Christ's crucifixion means nothing theologically.

 

Paul said "So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam [Jesus], a life-giving spirit." (1 Cor. 15:45)

Paul also believed Adam was a literal being, and launches into a theological discussion contrasting Jesus to Adam.

 

Perhaps it's possible for the Jews to believe the Garden of Eden is poetry, because I don't think their theology hinges on it. But Christianity does.

 

No, that's not true. The Jews wrote Genesis and they claim it is poetry, not a literal account. It is the CHRISTIANS who have literalized it.

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If you don't take Adam and Eve literally, then you have to reject Christianity altogether.

 

“But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’" (Mark 10:6)

 

This is Jesus speaking. Jesus not only confirms the creation story, but quotes Genesis 1:27, where God creates Adam and Eve. Aside from that, the whole point of Christ was to provide a way out after the Fall. If Adam and Eve was just poetry, Christ's crucifixion means nothing theologically.

 

Paul said "So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam [Jesus], a life-giving spirit." (1 Cor. 15:45)

Paul also believed Adam was a literal being, and launches into a theological discussion contrasting Jesus to Adam.

 

Perhaps it's possible for the Jews to believe the Garden of Eden is poetry, because I don't think their theology hinges on it. But Christianity does.

 

No, that's not true. The Jews wrote Genesis and they claim it is poetry, not a literal account. It is the CHRISTIANS who have literalized it.

 

Lots of jewish people believe the torah is literal. There are different sects of judaism just like christianity. The fundamentalist jews believe genesis the same way the fundamentalist christians do.

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Point of inquiry, what's the point of being a fundamental Jew? There's no heaven and hell in the OT so without animal sacrifice I don't even see the point.

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I signed up at the Methodist church for DISCIPLE 1 class. Now, the methodist church believes in evolution and in fact, the book for the class clearly says that Genesis was originally written by the Jews as poetry and is not meant to be taken literally. The book itself said that. But, when I brought this up to the teacher, he insisted Adam and Eve were real and that Eve was made from Adam's rib.

 

Ugh, I have the same problem in my church. They don't go for the rib thing or a real garden of Eden, but they are hung up on the idea of that our "first parents" participated in an Event that caused the Fall.

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Point of inquiry, what's the point of being a fundamental Jew? There's no heaven and hell in the OT so without animal sacrifice I don't even see the point.

 

That does sound ridiculous.

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Point of inquiry, what's the point of being a fundamental Jew? There's no heaven and hell in the OT so without animal sacrifice I don't even see the point.

 

They believe in all the old sacraments, but they also believe that they need a temple in order to make sacrifices. Because the temple was destroyed by the romans, they get out of that part of it.

 

They're called "Orthodox" jews.

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Point of inquiry, what's the point of being a fundamental Jew? There's no heaven and hell in the OT so without animal sacrifice I don't even see the point.

 

They believe in all the old sacraments, but they also believe that they need a temple in order to make sacrifices. Because the temple was destroyed by the romans, they get out of that part of it.

 

They're called "Orthodox" jews.

 

I'm pretty sure he understands that. The question is valid. I've always been curious myself. Why waste your entire life on ridiculously inane rituals, self denial and isolation from your fellow human beings if you simultaneously believe this life is the only one you get and there are no final consequences to your actions? Why not just say "fuck it!, I'm joining the human race and getting laid, while the rest ya'll can go play with your curling irons and pretend you're oppressed."

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I don't know what the point is exactly. I do know there is a rather large minority of Jews that do practice this though. It's not a unified group. There are a number of Orthodox Jewish divisions and they don't all agree on what it is to be Orthodox. I was at Jury duty a number of years back and ran into a kid (to me) who was flown to Israel by one of these groups. For free all expenses paid. They wanted to recruit him. They apparently do this to hundreds (thousands?) of guys like him. Regular kids. Apparently this group is someone Zionist and wants an "ingathering" of Jews much like xians do. It will trigger the temple and all that. He didn't care much for it. He was a goofy kid. I don't know if all the sects have this in mind or not. I also know that one of the "perks" was he would be paid by the state (Israel) to just sit around a study Torah all day. No work if you do this. It's subsidized. It was part of the creation of the state I think to renew interest in the religion but now it's just a welfare situation.

 

Anyhow, that's what I know as an outsider. I'm sure someone who is one of the Orthodox would have a different perspective (and it may differ among the various groups).

 

mwc

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There is definitely a wide range of cultures and beliefs within the Jewish religion and amongst people of Jewish origin. I suspect most who self-identify are more like Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld, who are basically secular.

 

The ones I was referring to earlier were the uber nutty orthodox types. They have neighborhoods in NYC (queens?) where they have tried to impose similar clothing restrictions to the ultra fundy Muslim sects, as well as strict restrictions on diet and work habits. These are in the minority, but as I understand it, they are a growing population in Israel due to their higher than average birth rates and closed communities, which discourages leaving the orthodoxy with threats of excommunication and perhaps worse.

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There are Jews that are essentially atheists (that really don't believe in their own god) all the way up through the casual Jews and the ultra Orthodox sects. I know of some archaeologists who have been literally stoned while trying to do their work over in Israel (imagine trying to move through your work site while some idiots through rocks at you).

 

I also know that there are some sacred boundaries in many cities called "eruvim" (plural of "eruv") which are little kosher areas marked by walls/polls/ropes/cables. From the linked Wikipedia:

An Eruv (Hebrew: עירוב‎ mixture, also transliterated as Eiruv or Erub, plural: Eruvin) is a ritual enclosure around most Orthodox Jewish and Conservative Jewish homes or communities. In such communities, an Eruv is seen to enable the carrying of objects out of doors on the Jewish Sabbath that would otherwise be forbidden by Torah law (Halakha). Without an Eruv, Torah-observant Jews would be forbidden from carrying keys or tissues in their pockets or pushing baby carriages on the Jewish Sabbath, thus making it difficult for many to leave their homes.

...

Communities with eruvin

Main article: List of eruvin

 

In Israel, almost every Jewish community is enclosed by an eruv. Outside Israel, there are over 150 community eruvin, as well as thousands of private ones enclosing only a few homes, or linking a synagogue to one or more nearby homes. Most major cities in North America have at least one, often surrounding only the Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods rather than the entire city. Outside North America, there are eruvin in Antwerp, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Gibraltar and Strasbourg.[citation needed]

 

Here's one in Los Angeles. That's a good size chunk bordering downtown.

 

mwc

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There are Jews that are essentially atheists

 

And some of them (Larry David, Woody Allen) are really, really great at giving shits and giggles. I know my own life would be a couple notches less enjoyable were it not for the existence of these two guys.

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Yep. Seinfeld never gets old and have been (slowly) making my way through the eps of Curb your Enthusiasm (HBO Go has simplified this considerably).

 

mwc

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