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Borticus

Non believers can't understand the Bible.

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According to apologists, one can't understand the Bible unless they have received the Holy Spirit and submitted themselves to Jesus. Obviously this claim is false since there are many non believing researchers who dissected the book completely. Honestly I want to get your thoughts on this.

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This apologetic is particularly infantile.  It's simply an unsupported claim of special access/frame of reference while at the same time ruling out any falsifiability or objective/skeptical challenge.  Its root comes from the structural tribalism and xenophobia that the Christian religion promotes.

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The problem is that non-believers do understand the Bible is just a collection of myths, legends, & folklore. Apparently it takes the Holy Spirit's intervention to believe that snakes talk,  & to understand why the whole world will be punished forever because Adam ate a piece of fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

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"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:16-18)

 

There is not much that needs revealing by the holy spirit here - it's plain. Signs will follow the believer.

 

Haven't yet seen one verifiable case of this, and to date all claims have proven to be false to the point of deceit.

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Well, if the Holy Spirit exists, it's playing silly buggers with all the True Believers™ because they don't even agree among themselves.

 

And if the Holy Spirit is pure fiction, the True Believers™ are actually no better off than we are when trying to interpret that ancient dog's breakfast of mythology.

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Many of us were believers when we studied the Bible and started to see the major problems with it.

 

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Its easy to "understand" the bible when you can just make up your own interpretation and have it mean whatever you feel is relevant in your life..

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It kinda sounds like "You're not invited to my party because you're not cool enough."

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It's honestly embarrassing now to look back & think I ever believed the bible was true. I suppose that is evidence of just how powerful, effective, & dangerous religious indoctrination really is. 

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19 hours ago, Borticus said:

According to apologists, one can't understand the Bible unless they have received the Holy Spirit and submitted themselves to Jesus. Obviously this claim is false since there are many non believing researchers who dissected the book completely. Honestly I want to get your thoughts on this.

 

It means a Christian gets to make up bullshit about what a passage means or does not mean and a heathen can't argue because they dont have the private supernatural knowledge a Christian supposedly does.

 

Except Ex-Christians used to be on fire for Jesus so we all had the private supernatural knowledge (if there was some to have). Comparing then to now, there is really no difference in understanding or misunderstanding of scripture. The only difference was the wearing of God goggles vs taking them off.

 

As you deconverted did you feel dumber about scripture? Did you think, "Gosh, I used to understand the book of John but now it's gibberish to me." Or, is it more like you were in a euphoric haze when you read Hosea 13:16, praising God for his work there...but now it's just bullshit because you now read it like a textbook. 

 

Did Revelations really make any sense at all, whether as a Christian or afterward?

 

 

On a related topic

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It's quite obvious that believers have no special means of understanding their Bible. Apparently the HS has given different "understanding" to 40,000 or so competing sects.

 

Of course YOUR interpretation straight from the horse's mouth, the HS, is the correct one, Mr./Mrs. Christian. ;)

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46 minutes ago, midniterider said:

 

It means a Christian gets to make up bullshit about what a passage means or does not mean and a heathen can't argue because they dont have the private supernatural knowledge a Christian supposedly does.

 

Except Ex-Christians used to be on fire for Jesus so we all had the private supernatural knowledge (if there was some to have). Comparing then to now, there is really no difference in understanding or misunderstanding of scripture. The only difference was the wearing of God goggles vs taking them off.

 

As you deconverted did you feel dumber about scripture? Did you think, "Gosh, I used to understand the book of John but now it's gibberish to me." Or, is it more like you were in a euphoric haze when you read Hosea 13:16, praising God for his work there...but now it's just bullshit because you now read it like a textbook. 

 

Did Revelations really make any sense at all, whether as a Christian or afterward?

 

 

On a related topic

 

My answer: I WAS a believer until I read the bable. THAT cured me!

Too much of it made no sense even when I was a believer.

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On 7/24/2017 at 10:19 PM, Borticus said:

According to apologists, one can't understand the Bible unless they have received the Holy Spirit and submitted themselves to Jesus. Obviously this claim is false since there are many non believing researchers who dissected the book completely. Honestly I want to get your thoughts on this.

 

In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

 

Now, I wonder what secret Spirit-filled interpretation I should apply to this because after all it can't just mean that God created the heaven and the earth.  I'm not capable of understanding the Bible, so it must mean something else :)

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     Believers don't understand the bible that's why apologists exist. 

 

          mwc

 

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Christian apologists' argument that "non-Christians can't understand the Bible" is a theological weapon of mass distraction. It turns a very obviously true statement (that some non-Christians DO understand the Bible) into an ad-hominem attack.

 

It has the obvious appeal of making Christians feel superior.

 

There are two effective arguments against this (that I know of): 

 

(1) It does not explain the millions of Christians who read the Bible, prayerfully and obediently ask God to explain it to them, and end up not believing it.

 

(2) It ignores the fact that Christians don't understand the Bible either. If they did, they would agree about what it says. But there are Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons and many other kinds of Christians who have huge disagreements about what the Bible says, even though the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit will guide all Christian into the truth. (John 16:13), so they should all agree, unless the Holy Spirit is screwing up.

 

I usually deal with this argument by turning to a couple of passages in the Bible that clearly contradict each other. Then I ask the Christian to explain them. 

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There are an estimated 30,000+ versions of Chrisrianity because each groups version of Xiamity interprets the Bible differently. So their "beliefs" correspond to their particular groups interpretation of the Bible. In reality there are 30,000+ interpretations of the same book. It would seem the Holy Spirit is very confused & doesn't have a clue how to correctly interpret the Bible either. ^_^

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On 25/07/2017 at 4:19 AM, Borticus said:

According to apologists, one can't understand the Bible unless they have received the Holy Spirit and submitted themselves to Jesus. Obviously this claim is false since there are many non believing researchers who dissected the book completely. Honestly I want to get your thoughts on this.

 

A man who teaches in Bible groups told me that without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is just paper. It is the Holy Spirit that adds value and understanding to the reader's mind/spirit. This happened in 2012.

It is sad that that s**tty comment made sense to me at that time. I thought God talked to me through him. 

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7 hours ago, Geezer said:

There are an estimated 30,000+ versions of Chrisrianity because each groups version of Xiamity interprets the Bible differently. So their "beliefs" correspond to their particular groups interpretation of the Bible. In reality there are 30,000+ interpretations of the same book. It would seem the Holy Spirit is very confused & doesn't have a clue how to correctly interpret the Bible either. ^_^

 

Are you serious? 30,000 versions? Any link I can read about it? 

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On 04/12/2017 at 12:14 AM, R_Collins said:

Christian apologists' argument that "non-Christians can't understand the Bible" is a theological weapon of mass distraction. It turns a very obviously true statement (that some non-Christians DO understand the Bible) into an ad-hominem attack.

 

It has the obvious appeal of making Christians feel superior.

 

There are two effective arguments against this (that I know of): 

 

(1) It does not explain the millions of Christians who read the Bible, prayerfully and obediently ask God to explain it to them, and end up not believing it.

 

(2) It ignores the fact that Christians don't understand the Bible either. If they did, they would agree about what it says. But there are Protestants, Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Mormons and many other kinds of Christians who have huge disagreements about what the Bible says, even though the Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit will guide all Christian into the truth. (John 16:13), so they should all agree, unless the Holy Spirit is screwing up.

 

I usually deal with this argument by turning to a couple of passages in the Bible that clearly contradict each other. Then I ask the Christian to explain them. 

 

When you ask the Christian to explain them, what response do you get?

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On 25/07/2017 at 11:42 PM, midniterider said:

 

It means a Christian gets to make up bullshit about what a passage means or does not mean and a heathen can't argue because they dont have the private supernatural knowledge a Christian supposedly does.

 

Except Ex-Christians used to be on fire for Jesus so we all had the private supernatural knowledge (if there was some to have). Comparing then to now, there is really no difference in understanding or misunderstanding of scripture. The only difference was the wearing of God goggles vs taking them off.

 

As you deconverted did you feel dumber about scripture? Did you think, "Gosh, I used to understand the book of John but now it's gibberish to me." Or, is it more like you were in a euphoric haze when you read Hosea 13:16, praising God for his work there...but now it's just bullshit because you now read it like a textbook. 

 

Did Revelations really make any sense at all, whether as a Christian or afterward?

 

 

On a related topic

 

I felt dumber about scripture.

I also was in a euphoric haze and praise God for his power when I read the scripture.

I only read bits and parts of Revelation when I was a Christian - I believed the bits and parts that I did read- that Jesus will come again and put more than half of us in hell, I also believed Satan will come before the second coming of Jesus and rule the world and in order for businesses to run during Satan's rule, everyone will be required to get 666 on their forehead. Those who get 666 will lose free will and will power and will completely obey Satan without question. All 666 people will be put in the lake of fire. 

All the GOOD and HOLY people who rejected 666 will go to heaven with Jesus.

Now I know that all this crap is man-made.

Maybe just maybe- people who wrote the bible were like J.K. Rowling.... And maybe our ancestors forgot to mention it was a book of fiction.. So all the dumb people that came after found the bible and took it seriously. Hmm.. It is highly unlikely that 100 or 200 years from now, people will start praying to Harry Potter.. Maybe they will, you never know..

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On 12/4/2017 at 7:42 PM, Anushka said:

 

When you ask the Christian to explain them, what response do you get?

 

I know a large number of Bible contradictions, because I'm writing a book about them. So I try to pick a contradiction that will be appropriate for whoever it is that I'm talking to. 

 

My objective is not to "win" and argument, nor do I expect a single contradiction to "convert" them to non-Christianity. My goal is to create some cognitive dissonance and try to make them think about their beliefs. The ancient Stoics had a concept of planting seeds of reason/enlightenment, which hopefully will grow with time. (Christianity plagiarized this concept into a much less effective version, "The Parable Of The Sower".)

 

So I get one of two responses:

(1) The Christian gets anxious and unsuccessfully tries to defend the Bible. I know the Bible a lot better than just about all Christians, so I refute their arguments as gently as I can, trying to tread that fine line between convincing them that they are wrong and destroying their argument so completely that they tune me out. In this case, I believe that I have successfully sowed some seeds. 

(2) The Christian completely ignores what I say and does not even try to refute it. They respond with something completely irrelevant, such as accusing me of not having enough "faith", telling me that I am going to Hell, etc. In this case, I probably have not succeeded in planting any seeds. 

 

I have discussed de-conversion with literally hundreds of ex-Christians. I haven't found a single one who was de-converted by a single argument. But, like an avalanche, de-conversion always starts with one thing,(which may be a different thing for every person). One thing that bothers them and they can't explain or feel good about. Then they start thinking about their beliefs, which is beginning of the end of their faith. 

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17 hours ago, R_Collins said:

(2) The Christian completely ignores what I say and does not even try to refute it. They respond with something completely irrelevant, such as accusing me of not having enough "faith", telling me that I am going to Hell, etc. In this case, I probably have not succeeded in planting any seeds.

 

It's possible that a seed could've been planted in even some of those cases. Just because the believer diverts doesn't necessarily mean that he/she won't think about what you've said.

 

17 hours ago, R_Collins said:

I know a large number of Bible contradictions, because I'm writing a book about them.

 

I look forward to you posting about it once it's published.

 

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20 hours ago, R_Collins said:

 

I know a large number of Bible contradictions, because I'm writing a book about them. [snip]

 

So I get one of two responses:

(1) The Christian gets anxious and unsuccessfully tries to defend the Bible. I know the Bible a lot better than just about all Christians, so I refute their arguments as gently as I can, trying to tread that fine line between convincing them that they are wrong and destroying their argument so completely that they tune me out. In this case, I believe that I have successfully sowed some seeds. 

(2) The Christian completely ignores what I say and does not even try to refute it. They respond with something completely irrelevant, such as accusing me of not having enough "faith", telling me that I am going to Hell, etc. In this case, I probably have not succeeded in planting any seeds. 

 

 

Fascinating! I too would like to hear more about your book project.

 

Do you get a third type of Christian response? I.e. "the Bible is inerrant in all that it affirms, but God does not teach us science or secular history in it. The Bible reveals salvation history. So it doesn't affirm anything about science or secular history. So it does not err about those. Where it seems to offer contradictory moral teachings or injunctions, it does not do so, because some of those injunctions were temporary and/or directed toward particular conditions, not universal. You are just approaching the Bible in the mistaken way you learned when you were a fundamentalist/literalist."

 

This third type of response, from what I've seen, often tries to exploit some form of genre theory.

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