Thursday, February 05, 2009

Religiosity

Update: removed titles and commentary from bible quotes, added a tag cloud


Flying Spagettie Monster by Travis Morgan



At the last Newtown Festival the Sydney Atheists had a small booth inviting you to hit a gong if you don't believe in gods. My Japanese wife just told me that for her it was like saying "hit the gong if you think the sky is blue".

Japan is certainly a much more secular society than Australia, and arguably more peaceful and financially successful. The discussion was prompted by a blog post by a Japanese friend of ours who is a school teacher. He was bemused by the fact that apparently about half of US citizens can't place New York on the map, yet the same percentage of the population are convinced of the existence of Yahweh, a middle eastern god from the bronze age who doth sayeth:


"Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death. Such evil must be purged from Israel." (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

"You should not let a sorceress live." (Exodus 22:17 NAB)

"If a man lies with a male as with a women, both of them shall be put to death for their abominable deed; they have forfeited their lives." (Leviticus 20:13 NAB)

"A man or a woman who acts as a medium or fortuneteller shall be put to death by stoning; they have no one but themselves to blame for their death." (Leviticus 20:27 NAB)

"Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death." (Exodus 21:15 NAB)

"If one curses his father or mother, his lamp will go out at the coming of darkness." (Proverbs 20:20 NAB)

"All who curse their father or mother must be put to death. They are guilty of a capital offense." (Leviticus 20:9 NLT)

"If a man commits adultery with another man's wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

"A priest's daughter who loses her honor by committing fornication and thereby dishonors her father also, shall be burned to death." (Leviticus 21:9 NAB)

"Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed." (Exodus 22:19 NAB)

"They entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and soul; and everyone who would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman." (2 Chronicles 15:12-13 NAB)

"If a man still prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall say to him, "You shall not live, because you have spoken a lie in the name of the Lord." When he prophesies, his parents, father and mother, shall thrust him through." (Zechariah 13:3 NAB)

"Suppose you hear in one of the towns the LORD your God is giving you that some worthless rabble among you have led their fellow citizens astray by encouraging them to worship foreign gods. In such cases, you must examine the facts carefully. If you find it is true and can prove that such a detestable act has occurred among you, you must attack that town and completely destroy all its inhabitants, as well as all the livestock. Then you must pile all the plunder in the middle of the street and burn it. Put the entire town to the torch as a burnt offering to the LORD your God. That town must remain a ruin forever; it may never be rebuilt. Keep none of the plunder that has been set apart for destruction. Then the LORD will turn from his fierce anger and be merciful to you. He will have compassion on you and make you a great nation, just as he solemnly promised your ancestors. "The LORD your God will be merciful only if you obey him and keep all the commands I am giving you today, doing what is pleasing to him."" (Deuteronomy 13:13-19 NLT)

"But if this charge is true (that she wasn't a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father's house. Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst." (Deuteronomy 22:20-21 NAB)

"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you. You shall stone him to death, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery. And all Israel, hearing of this, shall fear and never do such evil as this in your midst." (Deuteronomy 13:7-12 NAB)

"Suppose a man or woman among you, in one of your towns that the LORD your God is giving you, has done evil in the sight of the LORD your God and has violated the covenant by serving other gods or by worshiping the sun, the moon, or any of the forces of heaven, which I have strictly forbidden. When you hear about it, investigate the matter thoroughly. If it is true that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, then that man or woman must be taken to the gates of the town and stoned to death." (Deuteronomy 17:2-5 NLT)

"One day a man who had an Israelite mother and an Egyptian father got into a fight with one of the Israelite men. During the fight, this son of an Israelite woman blasphemed the LORD's name. So the man was brought to Moses for judgment. His mother's name was Shelomith. She was the daughter of Dibri of the tribe of Dan. They put the man in custody until the LORD's will in the matter should become clear. Then the LORD said to Moses, "Take the blasphemer outside the camp, and tell all those who heard him to lay their hands on his head. Then let the entire community stone him to death. Say to the people of Israel: Those who blaspheme God will suffer the consequences of their guilt and be punished. Anyone who blasphemes the LORD's name must be stoned to death by the whole community of Israel. Any Israelite or foreigner among you who blasphemes the LORD's name will surely die." (Leviticus 24:10-16 NLT)

"Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who have dreams about the future, and they promise you signs or miracles, and the predicted signs or miracles take place. If the prophets then say, 'Come, let us worship the gods of foreign nations,' do not listen to them. The LORD your God is testing you to see if you love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the LORD your God and fear him alone. Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of slavery in the land of Egypt. Since they try to keep you from following the LORD your God, you must execute them to remove the evil from among you." (Deuteronomy 13:1-5 NLT)

"But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die.' You may wonder, 'How will we know whether the prophecy is from the LORD or not?' If the prophet predicts something in the LORD's name and it does not happen, the LORD did not give the message. That prophet has spoken on his own and need not be feared." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22 NLT)

"So God let them go ahead and do whatever shameful things their hearts desired. As a result, they did vile and degrading things with each other's bodies. Instead of believing what they knew was the truth about God, they deliberately chose to believe lies. So they worshiped the things God made but not the Creator himself, who is to be praised forever. Amen. That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. And the men, instead of having normal sexual relationships with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men and, as a result, suffered within themselves the penalty they so richly deserved. When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, fighting, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They are forever inventing new ways of sinning and are disobedient to their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, and are heartless and unforgiving. They are fully aware of God's death penalty for those who do these things, yet they go right ahead and do them anyway. And, worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. " (Romans 1:24-32 NLT)

"For the LORD had said to Moses, 'Exempt the tribe of Levi from the census; do not include them when you count the rest of the Israelites. You must put the Levites in charge of the Tabernacle of the Covenant, along with its furnishings and equipment. They must carry the Tabernacle and its equipment as you travel, and they must care for it and camp around it. Whenever the Tabernacle is moved, the Levites will take it down and set it up again. Anyone else who goes too near the Tabernacle will be executed.' " (Numbers 1:48-51 NLT)

"The LORD then gave these further instructions to Moses: 'Tell the people of Israel to keep my Sabbath day, for the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant between me and you forever. It helps you to remember that I am the LORD, who makes you holy. Yes, keep the Sabbath day, for it is holy. Anyone who desecrates it must die; anyone who works on that day will be cut off from the community. Work six days only, but the seventh day must be a day of total rest. I repeat: Because the LORD considers it a holy day, anyone who works on the Sabbath must be put to death.'" (Exodus 31:12-15 NLT)


"From there Elisha went up to Bethel. While he was on his way, some small boys came out of the city and jeered at him. "Go up baldhead," they shouted, "go up baldhead!" The prophet turned and saw them, and he cursed them in the name of the Lord. Then two shebears came out of the woods and tore forty two of the children to pieces." (2 Kings 2:23-24 NAB)

"And he smote of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he smote of the people seventy men, `and' fifty thousand men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had smitten the people with a great slaughter. And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before Jehovah, this holy God? and to whom shall he go up from us?" (1Samuel 6:19-20 ASV)

"Meanwhile, the LORD instructed one of the group of prophets to say to another man, "Strike me!" But the man refused to strike the prophet. Then the prophet told him, "Because you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, a lion will kill you as soon as you leave me." And sure enough, when he had gone, a lion attacked and killed him." (1 Kings 20:35-36 NLT)

"The ark of God was placed on a new cart and taken away from the house of Abinadab on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab guided the cart, with Ahio walking before it, while David and all the Israelites made merry before the Lord with all their strength, with singing and with citharas, harps, tambourines, sistrums, and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nodan, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God to steady it, for the oxen were making it tip. But the Lord was angry with Uzzah; God struck him on that spot, and he died there before God." (2 Samuel 6:3-7 NAB)


"Make ready to slaughter his sons for the guilt of their fathers; Lest they rise and posses the earth, and fill the breadth of the world with tyrants." (Isaiah 14:21 NAB)

"The glory of Israel will fly away like a bird, for your children will die at birth or perish in the womb or never even be conceived. Even if your children do survive to grow up, I will take them from you. It will be a terrible day when I turn away and leave you alone. I have watched Israel become as beautiful and pleasant as Tyre. But now Israel will bring out her children to be slaughtered." O LORD, what should I request for your people? I will ask for wombs that don't give birth and breasts that give no milk. The LORD says, "All their wickedness began at Gilgal; there I began to hate them. I will drive them from my land because of their evil actions. I will love them no more because all their leaders are rebels. The people of Israel are stricken. Their roots are dried up; they will bear no more fruit. And if they give birth, I will slaughter their beloved children."" (Hosea 9:11-16 NLT)

"Then I heard the LORD say to the other men, "Follow him through the city and kill everyone whose forehead is not marked. Show no mercy; have no pity! Kill them all – old and young, girls and women and little children. But do not touch anyone with the mark. Begin your task right here at the Temple." So they began by killing the seventy leaders. "Defile the Temple!" the LORD commanded. "Fill its courtyards with the bodies of those you kill! Go!" So they went throughout the city and did as they were told."" (Ezekiel 9:5-7 NLT)

"And at midnight the LORD killed all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on the throne, to the firstborn son of the captive in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. Pharaoh and his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died." (Exodus 12:29-30 NLT)

""You are my battle-ax and sword," says the LORD. "With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms. With you I will shatter armies, destroying the horse and rider, the chariot and charioteer. With you I will shatter men and women, old people and children, young men and maidens. With you I will shatter shepherds and flocks, farmers and oxen, captains and rulers. "As you watch, I will repay Babylon and the people of Babylonia for all the wrong they have done to my people in Jerusalem," says the LORD. "Look, O mighty mountain, destroyer of the earth! I am your enemy," says the LORD. "I will raise my fist against you, to roll you down from the heights. When I am finished, you will be nothing but a heap of rubble. You will be desolate forever. Even your stones will never again be used for building. You will be completely wiped out," says the LORD." (Jeremiah 51:20-26)

"If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey, I will inflict you with seven more disasters for your sins. I will release wild animals that will kill your children and destroy your cattle, so your numbers will dwindle and your roads will be deserted." (Leviticus 26:21-22 NLT)

"Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword. Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes. Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes. For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off. The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows. They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children." (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)

"When he reached Lehi, and the Philistines came shouting to meet him, the spirit of the Lord came upon him: the ropes around his arms become as flax that is consumed by fire and the bonds melted away from his hands. Near him was the fresh jawbone of an ass; he reached out, grasped it, and with it killed a thousand men." (Judges 15:14-15 NAB)

"There was also a man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. He brought part of the money to the apostles, but he claimed it was the full amount. His wife had agreed to this deception. Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren't lying to us but to God." As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. Then some young men wrapped him in a sheet and took him out and buried him. About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. Peter asked her, "Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?" "Yes," she replied, "that was the price." And Peter said, "How could the two of you even think of doing a thing like this – conspiring together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Just outside that door are the young men who buried your husband, and they will carry you out, too." Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear gripped the entire church and all others who heard what had happened." (Acts 5:1-11 NLT)

"This is what the Lord of hosts has to say: 'I will punish what Amalek did to Israel when he barred his way as he was coming up from Egypt. Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses.'" (1 Samuel 15:2-3 NAB)

"Cursed be he who does the Lords work remissly, cursed he who holds back his sword from blood." (Jeremiah 48:10 NAB)

"But the territory of the Danites was too small for them; so the Danites marched up and attacked Leshem, which they captured and put to the sword. Once they had taken possession of Lesham, they renamed the settlement after their ancestor Dan." (Joshua 19:47 NAB)

"Then the LORD said to me, "Even if Moses and Samuel stood before me pleading for these people, I wouldn't help them. Away with them! Get them out of my sight! And if they say to you, 'But where can we go?' tell them, 'This is what the LORD says: Those who are destined for death, to death; those who are destined for war, to war; those who are destined for famine, to famine; those who are destined for captivity, to captivity.' "I will send four kinds of destroyers against them," says the LORD. "I will send the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, the vultures to devour, and the wild animals to finish up what is left. Because of the wicked things Manasseh son of Hezekiah, king of Judah, did in Jerusalem, I will make my people an object of horror to all the kingdoms of the earth."" (Jeremiah 15:1-4 NLT)

"I will make Mount Seir utterly desolate, killing off all who try to escape and any who return. I will fill your mountains with the dead. Your hills, your valleys, and your streams will be filled with people slaughtered by the sword. I will make you desolate forever. Your cities will never be rebuilt. Then you will know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 35:7-9 NLT)

"My angel will go before you and bring you to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites, and Jebusites; and I will wipe them out." (Exodus 23:23 NAB)

"Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Do not be afraid or discouraged. Take the entire army and attack Ai, for I have given to you the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land. You will destroy them as you destroyed Jericho and its king. But this time you may keep the captured goods and the cattle for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city." So Joshua and the army of Israel set out to attack Ai. Joshua chose thirty thousand fighting men and sent them out at night with these orders: "Hide in ambush close behind the city and be ready for action. When our main army attacks, the men of Ai will come out to fight as they did before, and we will run away from them. We will let them chase us until they have all left the city. For they will say, 'The Israelites are running away from us as they did before.' Then you will jump up from your ambush and take possession of the city, for the LORD your God will give it to you. Set the city on fire, as the LORD has commanded. You have your orders." So they left that night and lay in ambush between Bethel and the west side of Ai. But Joshua remained among the people in the camp that night.

Early the next morning Joshua roused his men and started toward Ai, accompanied by the leaders of Israel. They camped on the north side of Ai, with a valley between them and the city. That night Joshua sent five thousand men to lie in ambush between Bethel and Ai, on the west side of the city. So they stationed the main army north of the city and the ambush west of the city. Joshua himself spent that night in the valley. When the king of Ai saw the Israelites across the valley, he and all his army hurriedly went out early the next morning and attacked the Israelites at a place overlooking the Jordan Valley. But he didn't realize there was an ambush behind the city. Joshua and the Israelite army fled toward the wilderness as though they were badly beaten, and all the men in the city were called out to chase after them. In this way, they were lured away from the city. There was not a man left in Ai or Bethel who did not chase after the Israelites, and the city was left wide open.

Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Point your spear toward Ai, for I will give you the city." Joshua did as he was commanded. As soon as Joshua gave the signal, the men in ambush jumped up and poured into the city. They quickly captured it and set it on fire. When the men of Ai looked behind them, smoke from the city was filling the sky, and they had nowhere to go. For the Israelites who had fled in the direction of the wilderness now turned on their pursuers. When Joshua and the other Israelites saw that the ambush had succeeded and that smoke was rising from the city, they turned and attacked the men of Ai. Then the Israelites who were inside the city came out and started killing the enemy from the rear. So the men of Ai were caught in a trap, and all of them died. Not a single person survived or escaped. Only the king of Ai was taken alive and brought to Joshua.

When the Israelite army finished killing all the men outside the city, they went back and finished off everyone inside. So the entire population of Ai was wiped out that day – twelve thousand in all. For Joshua kept holding out his spear until everyone who had lived in Ai was completely destroyed. Only the cattle and the treasures of the city were not destroyed, for the Israelites kept these for themselves, as the LORD had commanded Joshua. So Ai became a permanent mound of ruins, desolate to this very day. Joshua hung the king of Ai on a tree and left him there until evening. At sunset the Israelites took down the body and threw it in front of the city gate. They piled a great heap of stones over him that can still be seen today." (Joshua 8:1-29 NLT)

"When the people heard the sound of the horns, they shouted as loud as they could. Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the city from every side and captured it. They completely destroyed everything in it – men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep, donkeys – everything." (Joshua 6:20-21 NLT)

""You have done more evil than all who lived before you. You have made other gods and have made me furious with your gold calves. And since you have turned your back on me, I will bring disaster on your dynasty and kill all your sons, slave or free alike. I will burn up your royal dynasty as one burns up trash until it is all gone. I, the LORD, vow that the members of your family who die in the city will be eaten by dogs, and those who die in the field will be eaten by vultures.'" Then Ahijah said to Jeroboam's wife, "Go on home, and when you enter the city, the child will die. All Israel will mourn for him and bury him. He is the only member of your family who will have a proper burial, for this child is the only good thing that the LORD, the God of Israel, sees in the entire family of Jeroboam. And the LORD will raise up a king over Israel who will destroy the family of Jeroboam. This will happen today, even now! Then the LORD will shake Israel like a reed whipped about in a stream. He will uproot the people of Israel from this good land that he gave their ancestors and will scatter them beyond the Euphrates River, for they have angered the LORD by worshiping Asherah poles. He will abandon Israel because Jeroboam sinned and made all of Israel sin along with him."" (1 Kings 14:9-16 NLT)

"The men of Israel withdrew through the territory of the Benjaminites, putting to the sword the inhabitants of the city, the livestock, and all they chanced upon. Moreover they destroyed by fire all the cities they came upon." (Judges 20:48 NAB)

"That night the angel of the Lord went forth and struck down one hundred and eighty five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. Early the next morning, there they were, all the corpuses of the dead." (2 Kings 19:35 NAB)

"(Moses) stood at the entrance to the camp and shouted, "All of you who are on the LORD's side, come over here and join me." And all the Levites came. He told them, "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Strap on your swords! Go back and forth from one end of the camp to the other, killing even your brothers, friends, and neighbors." The Levites obeyed Moses, and about three thousand people died that day. Then Moses told the Levites, "Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, for you obeyed him even though it meant killing your own sons and brothers. Because of this, he will now give you a great blessing."" (Exodus 32:26-29 NLT)

"And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession to him; and tell me now what thou hast done, hide it not from me. And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done. When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them, and behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it." [Note that the sin is not looting, but failing to give the loot to the treasury of the Lord.] "So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. And they took them from the midst of the tent, and brought them to Joshua, and to all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them to the valley of Achor. And Joshua said, why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. And they raised over him a great heap of stones to this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger: wherefore the name of that place was called the valley of Achor to this day." (Joshua 7:19-26 Webster's Bible)

"While the Israelites were camped at Acacia, some of the men defiled themselves by sleeping with the local Moabite women. These women invited them to attend sacrifices to their gods, and soon the Israelites were feasting with them and worshiping the gods of Moab. Before long Israel was joining in the worship of Baal of Peor, causing the LORD's anger to blaze against his people. The LORD issued the following command to Moses: "Seize all the ringleaders and execute them before the LORD in broad daylight, so his fierce anger will turn away from the people of Israel." So Moses ordered Israel's judges to execute everyone who had joined in worshiping Baal of Peor. Just then one of the Israelite men brought a Midianite woman into the camp, right before the eyes of Moses and all the people, as they were weeping at the entrance of the Tabernacle. When Phinehas son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the priest saw this, he jumped up and left the assembly. Then he took a spear and rushed after the man into his tent. Phinehas thrust the spear all the way through the man's body and into the woman's stomach. So the plague against the Israelites was stopped, but not before 24,000 people had died." (Numbers 25:1-9 NLT)

"At the customary time for offering the evening sacrifice, Elijah the prophet walked up to the altar and prayed, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prove today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant. Prove that I have done all this at your command. O LORD, answer me! Answer me so these people will know that you, O LORD, are God and that you have brought them back to yourself." Immediately the fire of the LORD flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust. It even licked up all the water in the ditch! And when the people saw it, they fell on their faces and cried out, "The LORD is God! The LORD is God!" Then Elijah commanded, "Seize all the prophets of Baal. Don't let a single one escape!" So the people seized them all, and Elijah took them down to the Kishon Valley and killed them there." (1 Kings 18:36-40 NLT)

""Go up, my warriors, against the land of Merathaim and against the people of Pekod. Yes, march against Babylon, the land of rebels, a land that I will judge! Pursue, kill, and completely destroy them, as I have commanded you," says the LORD. "Let the battle cry be heard in the land, a shout of great destruction"." (Jeremiah 50:21-22 NLT)

"Then, with Micah's idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure. They attacked and killed all the people and burned the town to the ground. There was no one to rescue the residents of the town, for they lived a great distance from Sidon and had no allies nearby. This happened in the valley near Beth-rehob.Then the people of the tribe of Dan rebuilt the town and lived there. They renamed the town Dan after their ancestor, Israel's son, but it had originally been called Laish." (Judges 18:27-29 NLT)


Well, according to the infallible word of god, Yahweh seems like a really nice guy. Looking forward to not meeting him in the afterlife, you know, in case I upset him in some way.

Here's a tag cloud of the bible text quoted above:



created at TagCrowd.com


30 comments:

Dave said...

Hi There!

You certainly have put together quite a little list of OT quotes. I accept that it is hard to understand why these things were said in the OT, and it is very easy to use them, as you have, to suggest that Christianity is a bit sick!

I think it should be noted, though, that some of your conclusions in your headings above the quotes are inaccurate and misleading. There is also often an explanation for the issues your post raises within the immediate context of each passage, and an explanation for all of them if you care to understand the broader context in which the OT and NT exist.

I recognise that religion has often used such passages out of context for personal gain. This is also sick!

Mark said...

Hey Dave,

Actually I didn't compile or title the list, just copied & pasted it from somewhere else. The important thing is who wrote it and why!

What saddens me more than the murderous content is the suggestion that there might be some explanation, some context in which to justify these things.

I can give you plenty of reasons for people to be nice to each other without believing in an angry old man in the sky or having to justify him commanding us to rape, murder, destroy, and pillage.

Dave said...

I did not notice any commands in your list (the list you copied and pasted) commanding me to rape, murder, destroy or pillage. In fact, some of the quotes are historical accounts of what happened in the OT that do not make any comment or command.

You said The important thing is who wrote it and why!

If you are referring to the inaccurate and misleading headings that I was referring to, then I guess it does not matter who wrote it...rather that people understand that the list is designed at painting the God of the OT in a poor light dishonestly.

If you are referring to the Bible passages, then yes, working out who wrote them and why, would be a great start...this was my point. I was not suggesting that their is a context that justifies murder...but rather a context that explains what was written ahd why it was written.

Finally Mark, I would love you to give me your best reason for people being nice to each other. I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with an angry man in the sky!

Mark said...

Hello again,

"I did not notice any commands in your list (the list you copied and pasted) commanding me to rape, murder, destroy or pillage."

That's quite disturbing, I saw a few. Stood out like a sore thumb in fact, but no good can come from getting pedantic about it - call them "commands" or not, that stuff is nasty.

"In fact, some of the quotes are historical accounts of what happened in the OT that do not make any comment or command."

Yeah, fun times hey. OK, so is it a history book or a religious text now? Because we have plenty of both, and they are rarely if ever in alignment.

"If you are referring to the Bible passages, then yes, working out who wrote them and why, would be a great start...this was my point. I was not suggesting that their is a context that justifies murder...but rather a context that explains what was written ahd why it was written."

And there lies the rub - on one page you have the promise of eternal life, and on the another page you have death and destruction, but they are all the infallible word of god himself? Good luck finding a context to rationalise why God had it written that way.

"Finally Mark, I would love you to give me your best reason for people being nice to each other. I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with an angry man in the sky!"

What, like any one reason could be better or worse than any other? Empathy and compassion are reasons enough in and of themselves I would have thought.

Well this has been a nice little exchange here. What I wonder is if your desire to show empathy and compassion to others has nothing to do with your belief in god, what role does he play? Insurance for the afterlife? Because there are policies available that don't require you to rationalise the old testament.

Dave said...

Hi Again Mark!

Sorry to appear pedantic, but I was serious. As a Christian, the commands in the OT (not that everything in your list was a command) have been superceded in what Christ has done. So I do not believe any of them are commanding me to do anything now. That aside, there were no commands in the OT to rape or murder. Even in the context that some are presented in the list none suggest rape in any shape or form.

I believe the Bible has historical and religious truths.

No luck needed (but thanks!), I already have a context that adds balance and perspective to the OT.

I would have thought empathy and compassion (two great things to have) are not a reason to be nice, although they might help bring about nice behaviour. Empathy and compassion are born out of love for others. The reason behind them is love, and my faith tells me that our love does indeed come from God (1 John 4:19).

Sadly, many (including many in the church) believe that we should be nice to each other so we get to go to heaven. I think it would be more accurate to say that because God has freely loved us, we are able to love others.

Cheers!

Mark said...

...As a Christian, the commands in the OT (not that everything in your list was a command) have been superceded in what Christ has done. So I do not believe any of them are commanding me to do anything now..."

Wow, Christ just kinda wiped the slate clean hey? Awesome, he did well to convince god the father to change his mind about all that old testament stuff, modernise his image a bit, get a more up to date world view.

Except that Jesus is his own dad...

"...That aside, there were no commands in the OT to rape or murder. Even in the context that some are presented in the list none suggest rape in any shape or form..."

Well as far as I know, this was specifically the Murder Death Kill list of nasties. I'm sure a list could be compiled of the OT views towards women, if anyone out there could stomach the chore?

"...I believe the Bible has historical and religious truths..."

I think you'll find it's "historic fact", and "religious dogma". The Bible has a lot of one, and not much of the other.

"...No luck needed (but thanks!), I already have a context that adds balance and perspective to the OT..."

Would that be the whole god changing his mind about all that stuff and sending his son to clean it up context?

"...I would have thought empathy and compassion (two great things to have) are not a reason to be nice, although they might help bring about nice behaviour. Empathy and compassion are born out of love for others. The reason behind them is love, and my faith tells me that our love does indeed come from God (1 John 4:19)..."

Oh man, we were going so well and then you had to go and drop the whole "love comes from god" bomb? I'm disappointed, surely you know the drill on this one?

You say "our moral compass and love for one another comes from god"

I say "so is your faith in god the only thing causing you to be nice to each other?"

And you say, "no of course not, we wouldn't just revert to being savages"

Which brings us back full circle to my last pondering "What I wonder is if your desire to show empathy and compassion to others has nothing to do with your belief in god, what role does he play?" which I still wonder, other than Jesus sparing you the nastiness of the old testament, which was written by god himself in the first place.

"...I think it would be more accurate to say that because God has freely loved us, we are able to love others..."

When you've dug yourself into a hole, stop digging! I think it's accurate to extend that to mean without god's love we can't love others, and yet billions of us who don't believe in your god do so every day.

Anyway, now I'm getting confused, didn't you say earlier: "I would love you to give me your best reason for people being nice to each other. I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with [god]"

Whatever, I'm not trying to convert anyone here. I just think it's time to bring the skeletons out of the closet so to speak. That stuff is in there, it's nasty, and asserting that Christ absolved god of it all is basically sweeping them under the carpet.

Cheers!


By the way, this is an open forum, please anyone else reading feel free to jump in!

Anonymous said...

Dave,

I TOTALLY agree with you. Praise Jesus! Some sinners will just never get it huh?

I mean what does Jesus have to DO to prove that he's real? Answer prayers? Perform miracles? Heal the sick? Give site to the blind?

He has already done all this and more!!!

And I absolutely KNOW this to be true because my FAITH tells me so! Hallelujah!

What is WRONG with these heathen atheists who DARE to question the Lord?! They should be stoned to death in a public square for heresy. I'm sick of it. I swear if Jesus were here, I bet the first thing he would do is get his hands on some fully automatic weapons and start mowing down disbelievers. Praise God!

Reverend Larry

Dave said...

Thanks Rev Larry. Not sure if I fully agree with you...but Mark, just wondering if I could focus on two things...as the conversation has been on a number of fronts now.

1 – My original reason for commenting was the misrepresentation of God from the OT. Specific examples are:

” Peter Kills Two People”
Not true...the passage does not even state Peter killed anyone.

”More Rape and Baby Killing”
Yes, it is a prophecy about what will happen, but God did not tell anyone to do it. If anything it was a warning to the Israelites about an event in the future.

”God Kills all the First Born of Egypt”
Yes, but in the context of a whole nation having been enslaved and kept against their will, with all of their male children (not just the first born) being killed by the Egyptians. It is sad that we live in a world where anyone is killed, but the reason why wars have often been fought is because people have stood up to murder. Are you suggesting we should not stand up against murder?

Mark, my whole point is that you have cut and pasted a list, without checking it for accuracy. This is not critical thinking or open mindedness!

2 – With regards to the love thing. You completed my side of the argument with me (as you appear to expect me to follow a certain line of argument).

Let me say that I think our moral compass and morality does come from God (sorry, I assume you will not like that).

This, however, has nothing to do with faith. I believe we are made in God’s image whether we believe it or not, and so we are all capable of acts of love.

What my faith in Jesus does do is help me to understand more deeply how much God loves me, and this helps me to love even more. As Jesus says, it is one thing to love those who love you...even the unbelievers do that, but we should learn how to love even our enemies. Does everyone in the church, or everyone who claims to be a Christian do this? No, because many in the Church have failed to see the truth that Jesus speaks about, and also because in this life none of us are going to be perfect. What Jesus does say though, is that we can grow to be more loving...more like him over time.

Finally Mark, I never said "I would love you to give me your best reason for people being nice to each other. I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with [god]"

I actually said ”I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with an angry man in the sky!”

I do not equate the angry man in the sky with god!

Mark said...

"Thanks Rev Larry. Not sure if I fully agree with you..."

Not fully? The guy's obvious a nutter (no offense "Reverend", but seriously though)

"1 – My original reason for commenting was the misrepresentation of God from the OT. Specific examples are:..."

Would you still consider it to be a misrepresentation if the titles were removed, leaving nothing other than cross-referenced quotes from the bible? I'm quite happy to do that for you.

"Mark, my whole point is that you have cut and pasted a list, without checking it for accuracy. This is not critical thinking or open mindedness!"

Thanks, but I'm not the one trying to rationalise the old testament either which hardly puts you in a position to invoke "critical thinking" or "open mindedness".

"Let me say that I think our moral compass and morality does come from God (sorry, I assume you will not like that).'

What I don't like is people failing to recognise that humans have followed thousands of gods for thousands of years, and many different mutually exclusive religious beliefs to this day, and yet all display a similar moral compas.

"This, however, has nothing to do with faith. I believe we are made in God’s image whether we believe it or not, and so we are all capable of acts of love."

Oh, I see - the believers of other religions were made in your god's image whether they believe in him or not. Have you considered that perhaps you were made in someone else's god's image whether you believe in him or not?

What happened to critical thinking?

"What my faith in Jesus does do is help me to understand more deeply how much God loves me, and this helps me to love even more. As Jesus says, it is one thing to love those who love you...even the unbelievers do that, but we should learn how to love even our enemies. Does everyone in the church, or everyone who claims to be a Christian do this? No, because many in the Church have failed to see the truth that Jesus speaks about, and also because in this life none of us are going to be perfect. What Jesus does say though, is that we can grow to be more loving...more like him over time."

Enemies, learn to be loving over time, what? Like I said before, you don't need a reason to be nice to each other which greatly reduces the number of your "enemies". You don't need christ or any other god figure to tell you how to love others, I would hope. Makes me wonder what you have against people otherwise...

Finally Mark, I never said "I would love you to give me your best reason for people being nice to each other. I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with [god]"

I actually said ”I certainly believe we should be, and it has nothing to do with an angry man in the sky!”

I do not equate the angry man in the sky with god!


Yeah, I knew you'd call me on that point. No, he's a lovely chap isn't he, well at least he is now, or christ is or whatever. Except for that whole sending non believers to burn in an actual lake of actual molten burning sulfur thing for all eternity, that's not very nice. Or was that just metaphorical rhetoric from the old testament too?

I'll leave you with some more quotes, this time without commentary, and this time from the new testament:

“For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

"It is easier for Heaven and Earth to pass away than for the smallest part of the letter of the law to become invalid." (Luke 16:17 NAB)

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place." (Matthew 5:17 NAB)

"All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness..." (2 Timothy 3:16 NAB)

"Know this first of all, that there is no prophecy of scripture that is a matter of personal interpretation, for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God." (2 Peter 20-21 NAB)

"Whoever curses father or mother shall die" (Mark 7:10 NAB)

“He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.” (Matthew 15:4-7)

Dave said...

Thanks Mark, leaving out the headings (and other false bits in brackets) would be a great start! I look forward to reading the updated version. Thanks!

By the way, I am not trying to rationalise the OT.

”What I don't like is people failing to recognise that humans have followed thousands of gods for thousands of years, and many different mutually exclusive religious beliefs to this day, and yet all display a similar moral compas.”
I have not failed to realise this...but we might be able to explain this weird behaviour (of belief in gods) if we accept that we do get our moral compass from God.

” Oh, I see - the believers of other religions were made in your god's image whether they believe in him or not. Have you considered that perhaps you were made in someone else's god's image whether you believe in him or not?
Of course I have. But no other religion that I am aware of has made this claim so it is hard to consider what is not claimed.

” Enemies, learn to be loving over time, what? Like I said before, you don't need a reason to be nice to each other which greatly reduces the number of your "enemies". You don't need christ or any other god figure to tell you how to love others, I would hope. Makes me wonder what you have against people otherwise...”
Love is not a reason. In fact, it is nothing more than the desire to put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. It is what drives us to be ‘nice’ (empathy compassion and stuff!). You say we do not need anything to help us do this. I have said, at the simplest level we are already capable of this. At a deeper level I am suggesting we need help. I think if you look at the world around you it is hard to deny this. You seem to be suggesting that we should just be able to get on with loving everyone. How do you think we are going with that?

I do not have anything against people.

Thanks for all the NT references...without any commentary! I assume the point is that I am supposed to still follow the commands you quoted from the OT? I still do not see any commands that are there that I believe God expects me to carry out today. As I said earlier, many of the quotes that were headed as commands are not commands!!! The ones that are commands had to do with situations thousands of years ago!!! And then, the full picture the NT paints is that Jesus fulfilled (as you yourself quoted) the law...not so that it would be abolished or pass away, but so that I/we would be fully accepted by God whether I obeyed or not. The beauty of the Gospel is that it says that when the expectation of the law is removed, then I find it easier to live out what is at the heart of the law (I might add that all those quotes do not equal ‘the law’), that I should love God and love others (in the fullest sense).

By the way...some of your NT passages are direct quotes from the OT. It might be worth looking at the context in which they were quoted if you want to understand the difference between the OT and the NT! The issue has never been the commentary, but rather that the commentary was wrong. Your NT quotes do not have any commentary, but it does not means they are applicable to your argument!

Mark said...

"Thanks Mark, leaving out the headings (and other false bits in brackets) would be a great start! I look forward to reading the updated version. Thanks!"

Done! Actually I like it better this way, seems to have a stronger impact leaving it to the reader to arrive at their own conclusions.

One thing I've added is a tag cloud of the quoted text that shows the top 50 most used words, sized by how often they're repeated. Quite interesting.

"By the way, I am not trying to rationalise the OT."

Oh, my mistake. What would you call it then?

"Love is not a reason. In fact, it is nothing more than the desire to put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. It is what drives us to be ‘nice’ (empathy compassion and stuff!). You say we do not need anything to help us do this. I have said, at the simplest level we are already capable of this. At a deeper level I am suggesting we need help. I think if you look at the world around you it is hard to deny this. You seem to be suggesting that we should just be able to get on with loving everyone. How do you think we are going with that?"

Empathy & compassion are the very definition of putting someone else's needs ahead of your own. I think we're splitting hairs over exactly what "love" means here.

Yes, I am suggesting that we are able to get on with loving everyone, just as we have done over the millennia - in between all the violence and hatred. I think we're going quite well with it if the "historic truths" of the old testament are anything to go by, I mean at least our secular laws are against the stoning to death of women and children for a start. That's not to say we don't have a long way to go.

"I do not have anything against people."

Yay, people are great!

"Thanks for all the NT references...without any commentary! I assume the point is that I am supposed to still follow the commands you quoted from the OT? I still do not see any commands that are there that I believe God expects me to carry out today. As I said earlier, many of the quotes that were headed as commands are not commands!!! The ones that are commands had to do with situations thousands of years ago!!! And then, the full picture the NT paints is that Jesus fulfilled (as you yourself quoted) the law...not so that it would be abolished or pass away, but so that I/we would be fully accepted by God whether I obeyed or not. The beauty of the Gospel is that it says that when the expectation of the law is removed, then I find it easier to live out what is at the heart of the law (I might add that all those quotes do not equal ‘the law’), that I should love God and love others (in the fullest sense)."

erm, and you're not trying to rationalise the old testament you say?

"By the way...some of your NT passages are direct quotes from the OT. It might be worth looking at the context in which they were quoted if you want to understand the difference between the OT and the NT! The issue has never been the commentary, but rather that the commentary was wrong. Your NT quotes do not have any commentary, but it does not means they are applicable to your argument!"

And there's that word "context" again. It's really not a lot to stand on though: yes it's violent and nasty, but you're just taking it out of context... sure, whatever. We could probably go on making circular arguments like this forever if we had nothing better to do. Anyone else want to pick up the thread? Reverend Larry, you still reading?

Dave said...

I am not trying to rationalise the Bible...just explain, because you do not seem to understand it.

I like the tag cloud thing. Are you able to do one for the whole OT, or the whole Bible? I assume if you go to a Bible on line and just do one for John's Epistles that would be really interesting! Once again, (sorry to go on about context), but what is the point of picking out certain passages, not even worrying about their context, and then making a tag cloud thingy! I could do that with the Koran and use it to suggest that Islam is a religion of peace or a religion of terror, depending on what I wanted to manipulate it to suggest.

Sorry to be circular, but understanding why what was written was written is actually important...if you want to know the truth. If you are not actually after the truth, then by all means dismis context! If you continue to dismiss context, then I think you do not have much to stand on!

Rev Larry, please contribute (just lay off the automatic weapons...)

Reverend Larry said...

Hey Mark,

I'm sorry but I really take offense to your characterization of me (an ordained reverend) as a "nutter". Why am I a "nutter"? Just because I don't see things the way you do? Through your narrow sinner eyes? Just because I actually believe that God *means* what He says in the Holy Bible? (including the Old Testament).

I pretty sure God didn't write the Bible so that we could just pick and choose the parts of the Bible we like and ignore the parts we don't like. The Bible is the inerrant Holy Word of God. If God tells me to kill my own children, I'll do it no questions asked because God says to do it.

How does following the Word of God make me a "nutter"? You want to know who's really nuts? The people who IGNORE the Word of God like YOU Mark. Or the people who pick and choose the parts of the Bible that they like and ignore the rest -- like "Pastor" Dave.

Loving God is an all or nothing thing. You're either with God or against him. You either follow the Word of God and ALL His commandments, or you burn in Hell. There's no gray area here at all. The Bible is absolutely clear.

I hope the good Lord roasts both of your souls in hellfire for all eternity for your evil ways and especially YOU "Pastor" Dave for daring to ignore ANY part of God's Holy Scripture. You should be ashamed to call yourself a man of God if you aren't willing to kill people (yes even babies) in His name as the Bible clearly commands us to do.

Praise God.

Reverend Larry

Dave said...

Rev Larry, I am now certain I do not agree with you!

I believe all the Bible is God's written word. It is just that I seek to understand all of it in it's context. I am not denying there are difficult passages, but I do not believe in ignoring any of them. At the same time, I do not blindly take a passage out of it's context and run off and 'do it'. Rather, I first try and determine whether God is asking me to go and 'do it'.

Rev Larry, if you would like to point out a passage that is telling me (yes, me, Pastor Dave) to kill babies, then go ahead, but I do not think you will find one.

Mark said...

Holy shit Reverend Larry! WTF?

"I'm sorry but I really take offense to your characterization of me (an ordained reverend) as a "nutter". Why am I a "nutter"?"

I think it was mainly the bit about Jesus buying automatic weapons. The worst he ever did was smash up a flea market set up in a temple or something.

"...If God tells me to kill my own children, I'll do it no questions asked because God says to do it."

But you're not a nutter?

"How does following the Word of God make me a "nutter"? You want to know who's really nuts? The people who IGNORE the Word of God like YOU Mark. Or the people who pick and choose the parts of the Bible that they like and ignore the rest -- like "Pastor" Dave."

Now you're getting personal...

"Loving God is an all or nothing thing. You're either with God or against him. You either follow the Word of God and ALL His commandments, or you burn in Hell. There's no gray area here at all. The Bible is absolutely clear."

Yeah, I've always had an issue with the whole hell-fire thing actually. We're more forgiving than that with our own children, but we're only human, I'd expect god to be a bit more gracious.

"I hope the good Lord roasts both of your souls in hellfire for all eternity for your evil ways and especially YOU "Pastor" Dave for daring to ignore ANY part of God's Holy Scripture. You should be ashamed to call yourself a man of God if you aren't willing to kill people (yes even babies) in His name as the Bible clearly commands us to do."

Now you've gone and done it. Well if I do roast in hell, at least I'll be in the company of most of my friends and family, but hopefully not pastor Dave, I mean that would be kinda awkward wouldn't it if it turns our we were both wrong...

Reverend Larry said...

@Pastor Dave:

Your response is the kind of wishy-washy back-peddling that makes mine and God's blood boil. All this nonsense about taking scripture out of context and trying to decide for yourself what God *really* means. If you aren't careful, then before you know it, you've created your own religion. And if you do that, God's gonna have an eternal weenie roast featuring YOU as the weenie.

Which part of Deuteronomy 13 did God not make clear enough to you?

"If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him. Your hand shall be the first raised to slay him; the rest of the people shall join in with you"

What context can you provide to make this not mean that God wants us to kill people for Him?

Today's faux-Christians have so completely distorted the TRUE Word of God that's it's almost unrecognizable. If you really love God, you should be ready to murder people for him. Just as he has commanded us to do in His inerrant Holy Word. If you're going to follow only the rules you like, then what's the point of following any at all? You may as well join Mark in his wretched and sinful life. In God's eyes, you're the same.

I have *no* problem with any of the passages that are cut and pasted above. And neither should anyone else who calls themselves a Christian! THESE ARE GOD'S HOLY WORDS!!!

@Mark:

I fear I may not be able to warm your heart to the true love that is God. Satan is too strong in you. You will probably never know the true love and joy and peace that God could bring you. And now you're surely doomed to an eternity of torment as a result.

Praise the Lord.

Reverend Larry

Dave said...

C’mon Rev Larry, I asked for a command that I kill babies. Now, babies cannot entice me away to worship other gods...so what was the point of the Deut passage? Fail. (I learnt that from an Atheist while blogging. You just say fail at the others arguments...I like it!).

Rev Larry, I am assuming that you are not going to be partaking in the weenie roast because you keep all of the commands? I ask because the Bible makes it clear that no one keeps all the commands (Romans 1-3). Also, to be specific, the Bible asks us not to judge others (Matthew 7:1). Your comment, ” I hope the good Lord roasts both of your souls in hellfire for all eternity for your evil ways and especially YOU "Pastor" Dave for daring to ignore ANY part of God's Holy Scripture.: would be just one example (of many) in the short time I have had the pleasure of knowing you that you have judged! Fail.

I would also imagine that it is not up to you to change Marks mind. That is God’s work, and thankfully God is stronger than Satan (you make it sound very Star Wars like...the dark side is strong in you Mark...).

So Rev Laz, I think it might be wise for you to re-think your theology at this point otherwise you are in danger of a ...fail. Whatever that means.

Reverend Larry said...

"C’mon Rev Larry, I asked for a command that I kill babies. "

What, you want me to find a passage that addresses you personally by name? Are you insane? Hey, If you aren't willing to follow His laws, then don't pretend to be one of his followers. (He hates that).


"the Bible makes it clear that no one keeps all the commands (Romans 1-3)"

Oh yeah okay then. So we should all just feel free to blow off any commands we don't like. Great plan, Pastor Dave. Sounds like a pretty neat new religion you've invented for yourself.


"Also, to be specific, the Bible asks us not to judge others (Matthew 7:1)"

Talk about taking scripture out of context!!!! Matthew 7:1 does NOT say to not judge others. In fact, the Bible says over and over again that we MUST constantly judge others (and sometimes kill them).

Here's Matthew 7:1 in context:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

So this is really just a warning to all of us that we must also be prepared to be judged ourselves. Because for those of us who actually follow the Bible's laws, we should be judging each other and being judged by everyone else, all the time. Haven't you read the bible? It's all about judgment. God makes this very clear in His book.


"I would also imagine that it is not up to you to change Marks mind."

You're welcome to imagine anything you like. Personally, I prefer to follow God's Holy Word. It most definitely *is* up to me AND you to change Mark's mind if we can. And potentially (although hopefully not) to murder him if it turns out that he worships false gods. That may sound harsh (no offense Mark) but like I said before, if God tells me to do it, I do it. And so should you Dave!

Seriously, think about it. What right do you have to pick and choose which of God's laws are convenient enough for you to follow?

"So Rev Laz, I think it might be wise for you to re-think your theology at this point otherwise you are in danger of a ...fail. Whatever that means."

I don't know that that means. My theology is the Bible. I have no idea what yours is. Sounds like maybe it's something you "imagined" after reading the Bible one time. Personally I'll choose God's Way. The One True Way. And just as the Bible itself clearly says over and over again to anyone willing to actually read it, everyone else should just die.

Praise God.

Dave said...

Rev Laz...I must confess this is the most fascinating discussion I have had on one of these blogs.

Thanks for putting Matthew 7:1 into context for me. You are correct (I fail), if you are happy to be judged, then judge away. In light of the fact that you have not kept all the commands (God’s Word says that, so please do not deny it, God does not like that), then you can join Mark and I at the weenie roast.

On the other hand though, if you read Mathew 7:1-5 it is clearly saying that judging others is something we should not do. You can choose to, the result being that you also will be judged. You fail, I win.

I am not picking and choosing what laws I will follow. You are! It is God who works in the hearts of people so they believe – check out Gods Word and I am sure you will be able to tell me where it says this.

By the way, although the Bible is the written word of God, I prefer to refer to Jesus as the Word of God in the fullest sense. What is your take on that?

Your brother...Pastor Dave

Dave said...

Now, Father Larry, I was told that the Bible tells me to kill babies. I asked for an example and you gave me Deut 13. I said that this does not tell me to kill babies. You stated it tells me to kill men. No it does not. Deuteronomy is a written record of what Moses told the Israelites to do so they would not mess things up again when they finally got to the promised land. It is not God telling me to kill anyone.

Now, Padre Larry, if you have been killing people, then I think you should turn yourself in. It is against the law (and the Good Book tells us to obey the law of the land...but you would know that...)

Mark said...

Wow, talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place!

The Rev Larry has become more apparently some kind of apocalyptic extremist, while Pastor Dave has a more moderate "interpretation" (or context or whatever) of the same bible. What am I supposed to make of all this as an outside observer?

It's beginning to sound like the pot calling the kettle black to me. The moderate pastor dave believes that love for others through christ trumps the violence of the old testament but must still keep a literal interpretation of heaven & hell, and yet is still arguing against the more extreme Rev Larry who takes the exact same bible literally in regard to murder and violence it definitely contains?

I get that most christians are nice, sensible people and are probably embarrassed about people like our mate the Rev misrepresenting them, but as I see it the moderates built the pool so don't cry when the extremists piss in it.

Point is, you can't both be right that's ridiculous, but no more ridiculous to me than 2 different religions believing in 2 different gods. If Yahweh is the one true god as the bible asserts, then the burden of proof is on moderate christians to irrefutably prove two things:

1) why the fundamental extremists are wrong
2) why the many, many other "one true gods" are wrong

Reverend Larry clearly has an easier job of it though when he says:

"Personally I'll choose God's Way. The One True Way. And just as the Bible itself clearly says over and over again to anyone willing to actually read it, everyone else should just die."

The problem with you guys splitting hairs over whether Deut 13 is a command or not from my perspective is very fundamental to either of you being taken seriously. Dave says "Deuteronomy is a written record of what Moses told the Israelites to do so they would not mess things up again when they finally got to the promised land. It is not God telling me to kill anyone.". So it was Mozes who told the Israelites to kill their friends & family without hesitation for believing in a different god not god himself, so it's OK? If he was saying things like of his own will then he's clearly a psychopath! In modern times he'd be locked up! Isn't he the same guy in the story about the burning bush? How did it go, god told him to murder his own son but had to stop from going through with it at the last moment wasn't it? Throw away the key on this guy! What other crazy stuff did he get up to I wonder? Well there was that other thing, you know, with the 10 commandments and all that....

Reverend Larry said...

"this is the most fascinating discussion I have had"

Thank you Pastor Dave. That's nice of you to say. With all sincerety, I *truly* wish I could say the same. But unfortunately, there are so many part-time Christians out there, that for me, this is pretty standard fare. You claim to be a Christian and then provide a laundry list of God's laws you've decided not to follow because it's not compatible with your modern lifestyle. This is where I think most Christians have strayed from the path. The same is true for many modern Muslims too. But at least they have a lot more sincerety in their belief than most Christians do. I think we could learn a lot from truly faithful Muslims like for example, the Taliban. Now those guys are SINCERE and don't let modern life get in the way of loving God.


"I am not picking and choosing what laws I will follow. You are! It is God who works in the hearts of people so they believe – check out Gods Word and I am sure you will be able to tell me where it says this."

What's your point? A nice, pretty verse about God in our hearts somehow nullifies our obligation to follow His laws?


"I prefer to refer to Jesus as the Word of God in the fullest sense. What is your take on that?"

Sure, I don't disagree. Jesus is of course the Word of God. But I think the term can be applied to both.


"Deuteronomy is a written record of what Moses told the Israelites to do so they would not mess things up again when they finally got to the promised land. It is not God telling me to kill anyone."

We can debate whether God's commands to Moses are applicable to all people or not. But there are many verses in the Scripture which are not so debatable. You yourself admitted that many of these passages are "difficult". What's so difficult about them? Why should true believers have any problem with the Holy Scriptures? I find that attitude completely heretical. In a different time and place, you'd have burned alive in a public square by your fellow Christians for saying that kind of thing. Praise God.

Reverend Larry said...

@mark:

"The Rev Larry has become more apparently some kind of apocalyptic extremist, while Pastor Dave has a more moderate "interpretation""

If by "apocalyptic extremist" you mean believer in the WHOLE bible, then fine -- guilty as charged.

What in the world is a "moderate interpretation"? Sounds like watered-down pseudo-Christianity to me. Christianity only when it's convenient.

Why do you call ME the extremist when I'm the one advocating following the bible as it was written and as it has been followed by true believers for THOUSANDS of years until the so-called "moderates" arrived a couple hundred years ago with their new "moderate" religion which ignores many of God's laws?

I'd say making up your own rules and calling it Christianity is far more extreme than just following the Bible as it was written.

Dave said...

Now I am offended! How can you call me a moderate? I would prefer it if you had called me a nutter. I don’t even believe in evolution, but rather a six day creation.

It seems to me that the burden of proof is on those saying the Bible is telling Christians to kill people to prove it. You have made the claim, but have failed to prove it. I have provided several examples of your false assumptions, but you simply side track or ignore it and continue to say the Bible instructs us Christians to kill.

It seems to me, that when I point out a problem with your understanding of the Bible you say I am just going on about context or splitting hairs (Rev Larry seems to split hairs with a shotgun). But look at the words...not just what you want to assume!!

Deut 13 is not telling me to kill anyone!! Show me where it tells me, or any other Christian to kill someone! Otherwise, let it go!

Now, I assume you think I am a moderate because you assume that I am denying that God (through Moses) told the Israelites to kill certain people. This I am not denying. It was at a specific time for a specific purpose. Why? I do not know, though I can guess. It was God’s decision, and I accept it (along with the Right Reverend Doctor). Is this not fundamentalist?

You (and His Holiness) are the ones who have taken the passage from its context and lumped it into today and decided it is what God is telling Christians to do now. I would suggest that this is a very moderate or liberal view of the Bible – though also very extreme.

By the way, thanks for coming back...Larry was starting to get to me. He scares me. And also, it was Abraham who God asked to sacrifice his son, not Moses, though we do have on record a murder committed by Moses...but also it should be on record that God did not tell him to do it.

Larry, how do you reconcile Romans 13:8-10 with your rantings? What list of commands (that are clearly for Christians today) have I given you that I do not think I should keep?

Dave said...

"We can debate whether God's commands to Moses are applicable to all people or not. But there are many verses in the Scripture which are not so debatable."

Well? Hit me with some verses. Give me non debatable Scripture verses (you say there are many) telling me to kill someone!

Reverend Larry said...

As you wish, Pastor Dave. One example that comes to mind:

"If a priest’s daughter defiles herself by becoming a prostitute, she also defiles her father’s holiness, and she must be burned to death." Leviticus 21:9 (NLT)

Is there any part of "must be burned to death" that seems ambiguous to you?

As you know, Deuteronomy is mostly a re-telling of the original laws which God gave to Moses directly on Mt. Sinai as recorded in Leviticus. So we can debate the "legal" authority of Deuteronomy. But we really can't debate the legitimacy of the original laws themselves found in Leviticus. If you're going to try to make a case for ignoring these laws, then you might as well just ignore the whole Bible.

So what do *you* think we should do if we find a priest's daughter who has become a whore? According to no lower authority than God himself, there is only one correct answer. BURN HER ALIVE!!!

Praise God.

Mark said...

Are you guys going to be OK? I mean for two religious men of faith this is getting a bit disturbing...

@larry:

"If by "apocalyptic extremist" you mean believer in the WHOLE bible, then fine -- guilty as charged."

Glad we're in agreement. Please don't stone me to death or set my children on fire...

"Why do you call ME the extremist when I'm the one advocating following the bible as it was written and as it has been followed by true believers for THOUSANDS of years until the so-called "moderates" arrived a couple hundred years ago with their new "moderate" religion which ignores many of God's laws?"

I dunno, maybe it's the bloodlust or it could have been the mention of automatic weapons. I've never heard of death-by-bible-study on the other hand.

"I'd say making up your own rules and calling it Christianity is far more extreme than just following the Bible as it was written."

I'd just call it deluded.


@dave:

"Now I am offended! How can you call me a moderate? I would prefer it if you had called me a nutter. I don’t even believe in evolution, but rather a six day creation."

Perhaps I'm not hip with religious terminology. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought "moderate" referred to those who don't interpret old testament laws literally, and "extremists" to mean, well, Rev Larry here.

You didn't just say "six day creation" did you? I might get my scriptures a bit muddled, but now you're on my turf! The age of the universe is not subject to faith, it can be measured by scientific method which unlike religious dogma welcomes change. The same scientific method responsible for the technologies enabling our modern life style, including this very comment thread.

"Now, I assume you think I am a moderate because you assume that I am denying that God (through Moses) told the Israelites to kill certain people. This I am not denying. It was at a specific time for a specific purpose. Why? I do not know, though I can guess. It was God’s decision, and I accept it (along with the Right Reverend Doctor). Is this not fundamentalist?"

Quick pick-your-path adventure game:

Q: Do you believe we in this modern day should act in the same manner described in the old testament?

YES: You are a fundamentalist
NO: Good for you (and the rest of us too)

"By the way, thanks for coming back...Larry was starting to get to me. He scares me...."

Me too. He's your frankenstein though...

"And also, it was Abraham who God asked to sacrifice his son, not Moses, though we do have on record a murder committed by Moses...but also it should be on record that God did not tell him to do it."

Sorry, wrong guy with the whole god asking a man to sacrifice his own son, he was the guy who murdered someone without god telling him to do it, but he did tell everyone to slaughter anyone who worships the wrong god just without god's official endorsement which means it was OK for them to say and do that but we shouldn't model our own behaviour on their example because god has since sent his own son to die brutally so that... so that... you know what? If that sounds reasonable to you then fine, believe whatever you want - the earth is only thousands of years old, science is wrong, your god is right and all the other gods don't exist and their believers are going to hell.

If that's sane then I'm glad to be crazy...

Mark said...

PS:


And seeing the world in disarry, god sent his only son to build a bridge between this universe and heaven...

Dave said...

Larry, thanks for rising to the challenge, but is that all you have? Is that the best? I asked for a verse that asks a Christian to kill. You have failed again. I fully understand every part of "must be burned to death", but I also understand ” "If a priest’s daughter defiles herself”. There are no Priests (and therefore priests daughters) today. Jesus came to act as the great high priest, thus doing away with the OT priesthood, as well as temple sacrifice (c.f. Hebrews 4:14-5:10 and Hebrews 8).

If you want you can say, “If you're going to try to make a case for ignoring these laws, then you might as well just ignore the whole Bible”, but I am not ignoring any of the Bible, rather I am reading the OT in light of the NT. If you take this OT verse and follow it, claiming that as a true believer God wants you to follow all of His word without question, then you have failed to read and take seriously all of Gods word. You might especially want to look at Hebrews 1:1-2 where the difference between God’s revelation through the written word (prophets), and the greater revelation (the Son, Jesus) sets the scene for the letter to the Hebrews, and also puts the NT over and above the OT, not because the OT was inferior, but because it have been made obsolete. Read all of the Bible and you will learn this! Only read some of it and you will continue to not understand!

Also, I do not deny that God did once give the command, and I also admit that it is a harsh one, but this does not mean that Christians today are being asked to commit murder.

Do you have another one? I could do this all day!

Dave said...

Mark, I guess the religious terminology is often misleading. I just try and avoid it because some people would call me a fundy, others would say I am liberal. It is not so much over whether or not I believe everything the Bible says as much as whether or not they agree with what I say the Bible says.

I do not really want to go down the creation/evolution debate path, but I just wanted to demonstrate my commitment to what I understand the Bible as saying. You say it is your turf, so perhaps we should go down that track because at least you would not be making mis informed claims about the OT!

”Q: Do you believe we in this modern day should act in the same manner described in the old testament?”

A: In some cases yes. David loved the Lord, I believe I should love God too, Romans 13 suggests that this has always been and will always be what God desires us to do.
In some cases no. I do not believe that the instances of ‘Jihad’ described in the OT are applicable to us today, because as Jesus said, he has given us a new commandment, to love one another, and this is how people will know we are his disciples.