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envirozentinel
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14 Jan 2014, 1:24 pm

Modern day Christian fundamentalism apparently means having to accept most or all of the following: (among others...)
- literal creation as opposed to the scientific evidence of evolutionary development
- young earth as opposed to it being 4.5 billion years old and the universe 14 billion.
- that two cities in the Old Testament were destroyed because of homosexuality .
- that their god would be prepared to let their closest family, friends and / or relatives be sent to a dreadful place of torment forever, if they don't accept everything exactly as is. Yet would be perfectly prepared to accept this even if it means their favourite auntie might not be there with them in heaven?
- that animal sacrifice was a good thing because it took away the people's sins in the old testament
- that any sexual deviancy, even living together outside of officail matrimony, is as bad or worse than the real problems of the world such as war, violence, rape, terrorism etc.
- political conservatism is always the correct path to take - and huiman rights are wrong!
- circumcision was essential in the Old Testament if you wanted to please god.
- the entire Bible both Old and New testaments to be taken literally.

Even moviefan has admitted in another thread here that there are many parts of the Bible he can't stand.

But the Bible is a product of the times it was written in and contains many practices that would be unthinkable today. There are too many to mention, but it doesn't appear that the Israelites behaved any better than the ones they kept killing!

There's reference to a prophet who ordered the king to completely destroy all the people, as well as the children and animals. Another prophet cursed little boys that were teasing him about his baldness, causing them to be killed by bears?

There is much good in the OT as well, especially in the more poetic books such as Psalms, Song of Solomon,, and Ecclesiastes, but can be overshadowed by all the violence seen elsewhere in the book.

Having been raised as a child in a fundie household, I've spent much time thinking about all this stuff and trying to reconcile it with the messages of love and peace. Something is wrong with the picture somewhere!

Thoughts / input on this welcome please! Anyone welcome - atheists, Buddhists, Christians of any of the thousands of varieties, aliens....



zer0netgain
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15 Jan 2014, 8:13 am

envirozentinel wrote:
Modern day Christian fundamentalism apparently means having to accept most or all of the following: (among others...)
- literal creation as opposed to the scientific evidence of evolutionary development
- young earth as opposed to it being 4.5 billion years old and the universe 14 billion.
- that two cities in the Old Testament were destroyed because of homosexuality .
- that their god would be prepared to let their closest family, friends and / or relatives be sent to a dreadful place of torment forever, if they don't accept everything exactly as is. Yet would be perfectly prepared to accept this even if it means their favourite auntie might not be there with them in heaven?
- that animal sacrifice was a good thing because it took away the people's sins in the old testament
- that any sexual deviancy, even living together outside of officail matrimony, is as bad or worse than the real problems of the world such as war, violence, rape, terrorism etc.
- political conservatism is always the correct path to take - and huiman rights are wrong!
- circumcision was essential in the Old Testament if you wanted to please god.
- the entire Bible both Old and New testaments to be taken literally.


You ask question on issues that take YEARS of study and growth to fully understand.

There is no way to discuss it here without the naysayers turning it into a flame war.



TheBicyclingGuitarist
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15 Jan 2014, 8:32 am

It is easily shown that a literal reading of Genesis is falsified by the evidence of the physical world. Why people can continue to insist on believing things that are out of touch with demonstrable reality is beyond me, but people seem to be crazy in many ways.

The whole principle of fundamentalism limits God's power to man's understanding of His words. It is arrogant to say the least. And insisting that your way is the only correct way to read the Bible or whatever text is also pretty dang arrogant and shows great lack of faith and tremendous insecurity.

Much of the strife in the world comes from fundamentalism. It isn't any particular religion that is the problem, but the whole principle of fundamentalist interpretation that is the problem. Fundamentalist Christians, Hindus, Moslems etc. cause a lot of trouble for everyone who don't see things the same way they do.

Many fundamentalist Christians commit the sin of idolatry without realizing it. They have made an idol of the Bible. The thing is, the same lack of higher reasoning that limits their understanding to a fundamentalist level also prevents them from seeing this.


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15 Jan 2014, 9:23 am

There are many elements of Scripture that were written as poems or metaphors, but there's a lot of literal history in there as well. Taking everything in the Bible literally is just as dangerous as calling the whole thing a myth.


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TheBicyclingGuitarist
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15 Jan 2014, 10:32 am

A myth is NOT something that is false. A myth is a metaphor by which we try to convey deep truths about the nature of reality. So to say that the Bible is a myth is NOT insulting the Bible or putting it down but is calling it what it is.

Now if you use the definition of myth that means something that is made up or false, then obviously you would take offense at that. But "myth" has an older and more specific meaning than what many people think.

I do know many people who are insulted when I refer to the Christian mythology. It reminds me of the people who think their speech does not have an accent. To some, a myth is someone else's religion but not their own. That all comes back to the mistaken idea that the word "myth" means a falsehood, something not true.

But to get back to the Bible and reading Genesis literally. Evolution is quite possibly the best supported scientific idea known to man, yet apparently half the adults in the USA have serious doubts about its reality. I question a God who would plant so much evidence of so many different types that all clearly show evolution happens if that conflicts with what we are supposed to believe from His book. Why would God try to trick us when the price of our being fooled is eternal damnation? That does not seem like a very nice God at all. IF the fundamentalist Christians who deny the reality of evolution are correct, then God is a malicious prankster.

Obviously to many Christians whether or not evolution happens does not matter to their faith. But there are a significant number especially in the USA who insist that the way they read the Bible somehow "proves" that evolution cannot be real. That is insanity, but because so many people share the same insanity they are not locked up in asylums but are free to roam the streets and run for President.


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15 Jan 2014, 10:34 am

Well..really it's more of an issue of the many people not being able to use their fully abilities for critical thinking to discern truth from falsehoods...

As the New England Journal of Medicine indicates there is a percentage of the general population that is more susceptible to conspiracy theories..like the government is gonna round up folks like 'the christians' and all of that and put 'em in concentration camps..

And..yah..putting dollars in the pockets of the Alex Jones and most of the other right wing 'enthusiasts' for making myths a 'real' thing...for these conspiracy leaning folks...

These folks generally speaking are black and white thinkers..and whether we wanna admit it or not..that does comprise lots of broader autism phenotype leaning folks too..

The same type of crap about Autism Speaks being the evil empire.. a eugenics organization ..and all of that..is clearly reminiscent..of this same 'myth' / 'conspiracy' psychological propensity that the New England Journal of Medicine research shows..IS a real biological propensity ..FOR SOME human beings...

So there is always gonna be a core TARGET audience for fundamentalist type leanings..for myths of the past..and or future..there is absolutely no way of getting away..

from that TEA PARTY STUFF..for about maybe 15% of the TOTAL population ..by the way.. not too far from the broader autism phenotype..at about 10 to 15 percent..WHO tend to think in black and white ..literal terms...

But there IS also the other side of the issue..of folks that cannot see past what is objectively measured in life..and refuse to ..or .. even want to..or.. maybe do not have the biological and or neurological propensity to see the other mysteries of life...which include stuff like the higher power of belief..and forces that exist...in the bigger world..that allow some folks to do more amazing things..than some other folks...that just have no clue to get there..without an instruction book...and a research paper saying it is so..and really real...

Well some folks are afraid of the dark..and some folks are cynical of the light.. (that's a metaphor by the way)

IN my opinion.. the folks that aren't afraid of the dark..and those same folks.. that believe anything is possible with light..are the friggin most fortunate dudes and dudettes of anyone in the world..

And i'll have to say..i feel humbled and extremely fortunate..to be part of THAT 'elite' crowd...in my opinion ...only... of course... once.. again....


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16 Jan 2014, 2:34 pm

Well, I'm a member of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, which, while a mainline denomination, is hardly a bastion of liberalism. My pastor and most member of my congregation are aware of my belief in evolution, and support for gay rights, and are cool with it, even if they don't always agree with me. I doubt I'd be granted such toleration in some other even more right wing denominations.
I am in total agreement with the OP that the time and place in which the Bible was written must be taken into consideration. It's funny how most fundamentalists, who believe that there is nothing wrong with eating pork or shell fish, think that homosexuality is practically an unforgivable sin just because it's mentioned two or three times in the Bible. And yet they disregard the call to care for the widow and orphan, and the poor in general, because of the Gospel of St. Ayn Rand.


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