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Getting On : Faith

The word of god?

from jpmagero - Monday, September 16, 2002
accessed 1389 times

This is partly in response to Dave’s article "Jungle of the Mind". All our beliefs were built upon the cornerstone of the bible. We had been taught our whole lives to accept the Bible as the literal word of god and the writers of this word as inspired prophets. There are, however, so many contradictions in the bible itself that you have to admit (at least the possibility) when hearing them, that the bible could not have been the inspired word of god.

This is partly in response to Dave’s article "Jungle of the Mind" but as it is rather large, I'll post I as a separate article. This is by no means exhaustive, but a tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

I think a few facts against the basic theories they build their life on would make a few of them think again. Since everything is built on the previous stone, casting some doubt on the cornerstone might make them go into thinking mode and who knows what that might lead to. Of course for a family member, a challenge to their religion might blow them away completely, but if one looks at this with an open mind, they might come to their own conclusion.

I have a few thoughts that cast serious doubt on the sacredness of the Bible. We had been taught our whole lives to accept the Bible as the literal word of god and the writers of this word as inspired prophets. There are, however, so many contradictions in the bible itself that you have to admit (at least the possibility) when hearing them, that the bible could not have been the inspired word of god.

First, if you are going to believe the bible, you must accept that whole of it without choosing which parts to leave aside. According to the bible, this loving god has condemned us all, before we are even born, to paying back a debt that came about from a girl eating a fruit. Generations to come paying for what doesn’t even amount to a sin.

There are also so many atrocities attributed to this "god of love" that I wonder how many would still think of him that way after accepting these acts as being ordained by him. If you do not accept that as fact, then you do not accept the veracity of the bible.

And then the whole idea of salvation makes room for serious questioning. When one incurs a debt, he owes the creditor an agreed upon sum (or whatever the debt may be). That debt does not get passed on from generation to generation for all eternity. In any case, if some benevolent other agreed to pay this debt for me, I would then be free (once and for all) of that debt and any consequence of not paying it.

As part of the punishment for the original sin was that we "shall surely die", we have to conclude that the payment was covered by Jesus’ death on the cross. But we continue to die, and will to the end of time. No matter what happens to ones soul after their death, they still died. They no longer exist as a live form as we know it. They may have changed form, but once dead, they no longer live, thus eternal life is ruled out. And if we imagine that some form of life does continue after death on earth, we must then believe that this applies to all human beings, not just Christians. If both continue living what is the difference between dying as a believer or as a non-believer?

Other parts of the punishment included hard childbirth, having to work the ground for food etc. but that still goes on despite the payment made by Jesus cruel death.

Right there, the building block of the Christian religion has serious "issues". And once you really analyze it from there on down, you keep coming to the same conclusion. It is necessary so go into it with an open mind, however, and not with a mind made up not to be confused with the facts (or at least the possibility).

But I think something like this might at least trigger a few thoughts in their minds. I also agree with what Dave mentioned in his article that if after facing all the facts, they still decide to stay, that’s fine. But at least it’s an informed decision.

This article does not answer any questions nor pretend to know the truth. I am merely putting out questions and theories taken from the bible regarding things that were taught to us our whole lives that might not be truth at all. Everyone has to make up his or her own minds concerning this.

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from Sifuni Mungu
Monday, March 28, 2005 - 07:00


You wrote: "...if you are going to believe the bible, you must accept that whole of it without choosing which parts to leave aside." This is faulty logic. Depending on how one conceptualizes "divine inspiration", there are any number of good reasons to leave certain portions aside, including knowledge of the history behind translation and compilation of the differing canons. Many devout Christians actually interpret scripture contextually, meaning, they view some things in the Bible as pertaining only to the time, place, and people for whom they originally were written. Like the Genesis creation myths--many Christians feel no compulstion to read those conflicting texts as though they were history or science. Why not take an introduction to Bible study class at one of the mainstream Christian churches (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, Episcopalian, Orthodox)--i.e., anything other than a fundamentalist, Southern Baptist, "inerrancy of scripture" church--and learn about a very different set of assumptions regarding the nature of revelation in scripture than what you learned growing up? If you are a college student, think about taking a course in scripture as literature and learn the basics of contexual interpretation.
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From roughneck
Monday, March 28, 2005, 12:15

While I believe that you are correct in the above comment, doesn't not-taking-the-bible-literally invalidate some of Christianity's most cherished tenets? I mean, if nothing in the bible can be considered literal fact, then what exactly would be the basis of a christian's faith? If God didn't create the world as stated in the bible, then whose son is Jesus, for example? Also, if indeed the bible isn't literal, wouldn't one derive at least as many moral teachings from Aesop's Fables as from the R rated bible? What would set an Aesop-ian apart from a Christian?

Of course, I'm not a christian myself, so this discussion is really nothing more than academic. I'm just saying that sans literal belief in their holy writings/teachings, what does any religion really have? In short, at what point does the non-bible-believing "Christian" turn into something else, like an Arian, Gnosticist, Mormon, Family Member or what-have-you?

Personally I'm of the opinion that they're all equally nuts. :) Present company (mostly) excluded. :)(reply to this comment
from cool8pack
Friday, December 05, 2003 - 13:55

Average visitor agreement is 1 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

you wrote:
Other parts of the punishment included hard childbirth, having to work the ground for food etc. but that still goes on despite the payment made by Jesus cruel death.

yes! coz the earth and this present world is governed by the authority of the one, who originally tricked/deceived Adam out of relenquishing his God-given authority over the elements of this earth. That was one quality that Satan wanted and did not have, faith, he was a fallen angel, he didn't have faith, that is why there is no redemption for him, he is inquity, as he fell with his eyes wide open so to speak. consider, Christ, 'the last Adam' who puts us all back on that path, who passed the test of Adam, was taken to hell illegally, to suffer and pay the price, so you don't have to. Bible truths are well and enormous, feed on them and there is answers I hv found...

(reply to this comment)

From frmrjoyish
Friday, December 05, 2003, 15:16

Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3.5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)

No human ever has or ever will have control over the elements of the earth, let alone some fictitious man named, Adam. (BTW, do I need to go into the rampant sexism in the Bible?) We as humans are only beggining, through science, to understand and percieve the vast complicated processes that govern the elements which constitute us and this planet we live on. The processes that drive matter cycles, hydrocycles, geophysical cycles, etc. are far from understood. In order to control, one must understand! It's only the hubris assumtions of people, mostly uneducated regarding these matters, that would dare to assume that we have "God-given authority over the elements of this earth".(reply to this comment

from exister
Friday, December 05, 2003 - 13:52


yada yada yada, bla bla, hip diggity boo, sacalabasura, shindigitibimbop...

You are all rambling incoherently. Grow up!
(reply to this comment)

from cool8pack
Friday, December 05, 2003 - 13:45

debt! where are we in God's name asked to carry our own debt, that was all paid for at Calvary - the debt is paid. we swap our rags for his robe of his righteousness, health for our sickness, weakness for his strength, the list goes on - this was all ratified under the new covenant (contract)...we owe nothing!!
(reply to this comment)
from JohnnieWalker
Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 04:29

Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 3 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
You’re right. We have had the Bible taught to us as being the infallible, comprehensive, irrevocable Word of God. What we were never taught, however, is that almost every single book in the Bible as we know it now (yes, even the best of translations) has been tampered with at some point in its history. The only exception to this might possibly be the Torah, which had been hand copied for thousands of years. If one “jot or tittle” went missing, the entire book was discarded and re-copied. (The fact that the Torah contains a hidden code puts and interesting spin on this—but that’s another subject altogether)

As for the rest of the Bible: Alas, the human mind is fallible and soon a handful of people figured out they could rewrite and edit older books in order to make them conform to their doctrines. The ensuing ‘manuscriptural’ chaos has been the leading cause for misinterpretations and scriptural misuse today. This explains many of the contradictions that the Bible now contains. The person writing the “counterfeit” book may have erringly overlooked a passage and changed similar one elsewhere thus giving us two seemingly opposing accounts of the same event or contradictions in statements and quotations.

The original writings may very well have been inspired, even written, by a higher power. But man with his “know-it-all-better” attitude had to get involved and make things harder for the honest seekers of the Truth.

Interestingly, the Catholics claim that their compilation of the books of the Bible is the most accurate. Even they are not, indeed cannot, be 100% sure that they possess copies identical to the originals.

Add to this the fact that the 66 books which the Protestant Bible contains are just a few of thousands of Christian/Judaic religious writings and you can begin to grasp how small the foundation on which Christians build their idea of God really is.

Man always likes to think he knows the answer. Whether that answer is “There is no God” or “There is a God and we can have sex with Him”, when it boils down to it we really have no clue. Of course, being the egoists we are, we humans will rarely admit this. We pass on our supposed knowledge of the existence / non-existence of God to others and love the smug little feeling we get when we think have “enlightened” someone.

The more I read and study the Bible (original languages and their commentaries), the more I lose faith in mankind and his ability to leave things as they are without seizing every opportunity to exalt himself. The part that gets real confusing is when you start to wonder if those who say that the original manuscripts have been tampered with only do so in a conniving attempt to discredit documents which are, in fact, authentic.

My (open) conclusion on this matter is this: It is a matter of personal faith. No one can prove anything to you. If God made each person as an individual, then each person’s connection to God (or lack of one) is something everyone must form for themselves. If I were to try to persuade someone of my faith and expect them to arrive at the same conclusions as I have in my beliefs using my logic, then I assume it would be comparable to expecting two men to father genetically identical offspring simply because they had intercourse with the same woman. Using the same method two individuals can produce any amount of mutually opposing results. Why? Because they themselves are individuals.

The failure to recognize this is one of the many things that makes the Family a cult; what makes them claim, “We have the only answer”, “We are it”, “”We are the Endtime elite”, etc. Sadly, with this claim came a strong aversion to anything that could possibly reveal a flaw in their “logic”; a chink in their armour. Their belief system was and remains founded on shreds of facts—no, make that shreds of twisted facts. On these they raised an entire generation. On these they have founded their claim to religious supremacy.

This is one reason why prophecy, as the Family uses it, comes in so handy for them. It’s supposed to be “God’s Word for today”. If circumstances change and a “prophecy” appears to have been false, “Null problemo! Here’s another ‘Jesus speaking’ that will undoubtedly astound you and make you marvel at and worship our sexy Husband”. No facts are needed to back up prophecy. For the Family prophecy is the infallible Word of God and thus it becomes its own supporting evidence. Not very logical, I must say.

I am digressing. Back to the subject.

On the issue of salvation, if I understand the Bible in its currently flawed and incomplete state correctly, then this is how I see it: Adam and Eve were given a choice between obeying a higher power or submitting to their instinctive greed for knowledge and domination. Their choice affected the course mankind subsequently took. The choice they made, although indebting them, wasn’t passed on to future generations. Mankind has been severely affected by this choice, but it hasn’t inherited a debt from it. It has, instead, inherited the gift (or curse, however you choose to look at it) of choice; the ability to choose between submission to authority vs. submission to instinct. What every individual does with that ability indebts him or her as an individual. The more wrong decisions are made (‘wrong’ being defined by the Creator in this case), the more one is indebted to the Creator. This would, I suppose, be similar to the idea of gaining good or bad karma.

As far as the “surely die” part goes, I am inclined to believe that this is in reference to the spirit / energy / etc. that many religions teach is what gives the human body its life. Could it be that when God said, “Ye shall surely die”, He/She meant that the spirit would be exterminated once it left its earthly vessel? Or perhaps it would thereafter be sentenced to a slow death in Hell? Could it be that the Creator will discard and obliterate any of the otherwise eternal spirits He/She created simply because they refuse to acknowledge the mortal shell’s trivial function in the Creator’s grand scheme?

In regards to Jesus paying our debts, I believe you’re confusing a couple of things, JP. According to the Bible, Jesus came not to free us from the curse which was put on mankind at the beginning of the world—although, eventually, once He rules the world it will be abolished. With His death Jesus paid off the debt we have accumulated through the wrong choices (also known as “sins” to the more fanatic) we have made. Rather, Jesus is willing to pay them off if we grant him that right by our acknowledgement of His divinity and superiority.

I’m just tossing around a few theses here. Much of these may be incomplete and I have no concrete basis for any of them. Now don’t get me wrong. I do have a basis—just not a firmly established one. This is just stuff that gets me thinking about the beliefs I hold now. That’s all a belief is anyway—faith. If I could prove something I would no longer need to have faith in it because it has become a knowledge. If humans had even a partial knowledge of God—something of His/Hers they could prove beyond the shadow of a doubt—there would be no need for religion.
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From jpmagero
Wednesday, September 18, 2002, 10:17


JW, I respect you and the way you presented your position. Like you I am not completely sure everything that I believe, but I feel the need to get these questions out it the open and hear what others think and believe after leaving the group. None of what I say is to taken as something I believe in 100% and “don’t confuse me with the facts” but I find too many contradictions and the need to understand fully before I throw my mind into a certain belief system.

It's a completely valid point you make, but by the same token, what makes anyone so sure what the original said? If we know it to be tampered with, then how do we know the original was indeed the truth? It is already proven that the current text is extremely flawed, and the whole bible uses itself as proof of it's own authenticity. Prophecies used to prove something may not have been made by their credited author at all.

The whole credit the bible has is that it is stated to be inerrant, meaning that it cannot lead one to believe a falsehood or lie. For the bible to be so, there must not be any errors (any at all). It is important that this is true since for it to have been written under god’s direct inspiration, he, knowing all things, would not allow misinformation to be written.

When god created the greater light and the lesser light, they seemed to miss that the moon is not a light, merely a reflector of the suns light. He made "the stars also" which shows that the writer does not realize that there are stars are many times larger than our sun which is just another star in the universe.

These and many other discrepancies make issues declared as fact difficult to accept as such. There is a list of such inaccuracies I found on a site that I will post here for your interest.

As far as Jesus’ divinity and superiority, the basis for that is in the Bible, which when closely examined, reveals the same kind of flaws, from the prophecies used to support the claim of “son of god” and “savior”. The gospels have very contradicting accounts of the circumstances of his birth, life, death and ascension.

Believing that his death paid for our sins, this is all based on the notion that mistakes (aka sins, not crimes) need atoning for. If I look at a girl lustfully, according to Jesus’ own teachings, that would be adultery and a sin. If we agree with this idea, then any mistake we make is covered by our acceptance of his status as savior. Where does local law enforcement come in here? Does repenting and accepting Jesus’ death in our place clear us of any wrong-doing? Or will we still be left to pay the price here on earth? And the after-life? I guess that is something that is completely on faith, but following the same idea, how does that tie in with the above? Can one be punished in the afterlife after doing time on earth?
(reply to this comment
from porceleindoll
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 21:57

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
When I left 2 years ago I finally decided to face my questions about the Bible and faith and accept that some things just didn't add up, like what I was taught about God and what I saw in the world, the Bible appears full of contradictions, and in comparison to almost every other religion, it takes just as much faith to be a Christian as it would to be a Hindu, Muslim, etc. There are elements in each religion which are odd and peculiar.

An interesting book is 'The Power of Myth' by Joseph Campbell, which has made much sense to me.

I think religion is like a security blanket, which is what someone recently told me. You turn to it cause you feel incapable yourself, and need the push of something bigger than yourself to help you make it through. But I don't wonder that maybe that 'power' is in reality coming from yourself, and by focusing on an outside force it brings out the power you already have to change things in your life, to create a positive reaction around you. Attitude is everything, as some would say, and sometimes with the help of belief in something greater than ourselves we find the ability to create a change in our lives or the lives of those around us.

A study was done awhile back on the physical happenings in the brain when yogi gurus, Buddhist monks and Catholic nuns go into a deep state of mediation or prayer. Each claims to have connected with either (God or the universal power or being), and at that moment when they 'connected', the experiement, which had hooked up some sensatory equipment to their head to measure brain waves, indicated the same thing, there was a busier amount of activity happening in the same section of their brain, a section not commonly used by the normal person.

Could this mean that when we have an 'experience' with what we think is a greater power than ourselves, perhaps we are really connecting with a stronger part of our brain, which stimulates and gives us the feeling of slipping into that special state? And that the experience is translated for us the way we have been programmed or brought up according to our culture or the belief we have chosen to follow?
(reply to this comment)
From pharmaboy
Thursday, September 19, 2002, 03:05

Nice stuff here, it's good to see a thread like this!

PD, I also realized during my growing up in the TF that things just didn't add up, why couldn't I achive that personal relationship with god that not only everyone in the family could, but countless christians around the globe. I tried in good faith for years, the only thing that kept me going was seeing how it worked for everyone else.

Do any of you sometimes have that feeling after discussing religion with christians, that maybe you're just trying to excuse your "spiritual laziness", & eventually(like all the stories you've read) you will see the error of your ways and come to the truth? All these theories discussed here are logically sane, but maybe we're just running away from god? I don't know, I want to be free of all this, but maybe, maybe?

Porcelain, what you are saying is so true. Our own mind is much more powerful than we think, most normal christians don't know what it's like to find out everything they where taught about religion is wrong, and they've never gone through that horrible, suicidal depression I(we) felt. Your whole way of thinking gets twisted during depression. Or in altered states of consciousness, when your own perception of yourself melts away. Or drug-induced paranoia, when you are CERTAIN that something is after you! All this to say that if your mind is convinced of something(i.e. christianity), it will continue to provide "proof" of this delusion, so you think you really are seeing or hearing "god".
Try reasoning with a shizophrenic, he really does see people coming though the walls, in his mind it's there, therefor to him it's real. In the Matrix, morpheus says what we percieve as reality is simply information our brain recieves and interprets.

That's my way(excuse?) of explaining this personal, almost tangible relationship with "god" that believers have. And maybe my "weak" mind will eventually create this father figure in my head, then I will finally "see" the light like everyone else.

Everyone, since the day we were born, had that infallible person to turn to, no matter what happens you know they have the truth: first it was Mommy, then it was Berg or some imaginary god figure in our minds, now it's...? Or are we just naturally not strong enough to stand alone?
(reply to this comment
From jpmagero
Thursday, September 19, 2002, 10:00

Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5Average visitor agreement is 5 out of 5(Agree/Disagree?)
Some people really need religion in their lives, just to try to have a reason for it all. They blame the devil for the bad and credit god for the good and pay their tithe to their church, feel good about themselves and that's it. It's fine for them, and that can be a good thing, but others need to make sense of what they believe. Not blindly accept what is said to be true, but ask questions, demend answers etc.

My main problem is the church industry, they sap poor believers to support their lifestyles. This is not true for all priests/religions, and maybe not even the majority, there are many sincere believers that try to do good with their actions and beliefs. On the otherhand, there are plenty of guys that take advantage of the fear or wrong-doing and punishment that comes with most belief systems. This is the problem, some small group of people getting rich of the poor base of believers.

The difference between this and a deceitful business is that you can get in trouble with the law if you mis-lead the public regarding a product, not so with some crafty priest.(reply to this comment
from thepersoniamnow
Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 10:10

Are you saying (my good friend :)...thats the Bible isn`t true?
I mean to throw away one Chapter is throwing away cover to cover.
I`m interested though.
But this is a huge topic! Not much to do with the fam, and more like whether billions have been mislead.
Rock on...
(reply to this comment)
From jpmagero
Tuesday, September 17, 2002, 12:49


I believe that there is some sort of power that got the whole thing started, set up the rules, so to speak, and so on. We can call it god if we like, or not.

While it may come across like that ("it isn't true"), you have to look at the facts. Does any of it add up? Is it really all tied up in faith? Or are there serious problems and contradictions that when seen, make it dificult to trust in anything that is said along side it.

What I do not believe in is "devine revelation", someone claiming that they are passing on gods thoughts, messages and instructions for me today. If god wanted me to know something, he would either tell me, or leave it in a way/place that I could come to that knowledge on my own, either through science or discovery. Everyone needs to find what suits them, but that doesn't make it true or suited for someone else.

It's a huge topic and one that can be discussed at length, which I would love to set down a complete set of thoughts on it, but I don't know if anyone is interested in this area at all, or if I would even be able to do something like that. I am not a gifted writer like some on this site, so I may not set my thoughts out clearly enough to really impress someone that their whole belief system may not be true.(reply to this comment
From Blade
Sunday, March 27, 2005, 19:56


what if we were told the truth in old days, but people changed it, because they knew that they couldn't profit off a world of freedom, all religion hold one thing sacred enlightment and once we understand that the world will be free.(reply to this comment

From Sonderval
Monday, March 28, 2005, 05:21


Word of advice buddy, Don't Preach Here. Nobody here is particularly interested in being told what 'truth' is, we've had enough of that. If you had half a brain you'd realise that your 'truth' is subjective anyway.

And besides, reading what you post makes my brain hurt, back to school with you.(reply to this comment

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