Thursday, May 1, 2014

Never Ending Arguments About the Bible

The Internet is a treasure trove of opinions about the Bible, as it is on many other subjects.  Everyone who writes or speaks attempts to convince others that their view is right.  Naturally that is life.  Most of the arguments about the Bible are in my view, just opinions.  College degrees, such as PhD or whatever are no more a guarantee of truth than having no formal Bible schooling at all.  None of us lived thousands of years ago and everything we believe about the past is simply what we read that others said, sometime in the past, or what someone today thinks is truth based upon their own studies.  We all interpret what we read from different perspectives.  Many think God is a myth, because they believe the Bible is a fraud.  Granted the Bible is full of holes, but that does not disprove God.  I don't consider science as God either.

Humans assign their own beliefs or agendas to God and lying scribes have always attributed words to God, which the gullible and naive have never been able to discern as fraud.  Just because some author or liar long ago said "thus saith the Lord", does not mean that God Almighty is the author of whatever the lying scribe penned.  It is more than frustrating that so many people are so programmed and indoctrinated that their thinking cannot be penetrated.  Try telling a Mormon that his beliefs are bull.  Try telling a Jehovah Witness that her beliefs are far off the beaten path.  I have even tried to tell some splinter group people of the Worldwide Church of God that what they espouse has nothing to do with the truth in Christ, only to be told that I am so far removed from what they believe, why waste their time or mine?  What does it take to awake people from their stupor?

The human mind generally does not want to hear anything that challenges the comfort zone of its built in censorship.  Don't tell me anything that differs with what I am use to believing.  Indeed it can be very unsettling to learn that most of what one believes about the Bible, God, Jesus Christ and "truth" has amazing alternatives.  "Christians" always think that what they believe is an "exception" to what all others in the world believe.  Of course all others in the world have the same view about their beliefs.  Small world!

Most likely humans will be arguing about the Bible for as long as there is human life on earth.  Absolute TRUTH is only known by God Almighty, no matter what human beings think.  What we all think is simply personal opinion. Is there really such a thing as "proof of truth?"  You can say science proves this or that and many will counter that and say something different.  Of course gravity is true and not hard to prove, but when it comes to religion, God, the Bible and "spiritual" matters, is there really any proof of what people believe or teach?  I seriously doubt many things I have read in the Bible, such as the book of "Revelation", but many others think it is true.  Many think the "rapture" is true, but with time, it appears that millions have lived and died who believed in the rapture theory and they were never raptured(?).  I suppose only time will tell what really is and what is not truth.  Should there be another 10,000 years of life on earth, what then will church goers think?  Will they lose faith in the Bible and the self-appointed gurus who stand in pulpits?

Van Robison


Black Ops Mikey said...


Go back to the gospels and read the temptation of Christ by Satan. Note that the Devil quoted Scripture.

So even if the Bible is 100% true, inspired by God, it is clear that you be not mislead by those who use it to prove something it doesn't mean -- you know: Like Herbert Armstrong.

Anonymous said...

Excellent point, Doug.

Relating to that, it's kind of necessary to understand that there's so many opinions about the bible because, in practice, there's no such thing as one singular bible. Not by a long shot.

In the first place, different sects of Christianity accept different books as canonical. The protestants have the most restrictive canon, but the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Coptic/Ethiopian Orthodox churches are the most notable sects which have their own ideas about what should be in the canon. Some of those extra texts read as pretty bizarre to the average literal, inerrant, bible-thumping protestant fundie, especially if forced to read those extra texts with the same literalness that they're used to reading the books they do accept. And I'm not even going to go into what gets lost in translation.

In the second, even if everyone did agree on which books were supposed to be in the bible, everyone would still crack open their own bible and read a volume which, through their own experiences, prejudices, and chemical imbalances, is a unique volume that no one in history has ever read before. For example, do any two people agree on what is supposed to be taken literally in this volume, versus what's "figurative" or "poetic" language? Maybe. But can any three agree? Probably not.

Reading the bible through the filter of British-Israelism, as many of us were bidden to do, renders it a totally different book. It makes a totally different "sense" (nonsense, really) out of it, that most mainstream Christians would object to. Who reading the bible today brings to it the same filters that, say, Paul had? Or Mark? And Old Testament authors would have written with very different filters in mind than New Testament authors. Or if you assume that it was all ghost-written by the same God, what mortal can presume he brings to the biblical texts the same filters that God had when he dictated it? Just about every fundie in history, I guess! It's possible to make totally arrogant and unreasonable assumptions and be completely unaware you're making them. In fact, as your assumptions hew to orthodoxy, the arrogance and unreasonableness just increases in egregiousness. But every true believer does this to some extent. It's part of the human condition. You can't not do it. This sort of interpretation is fine if you're reading The Grapes of Wrath, but it becomes really problematic when you introduce divine significances into the matrix.

Some people, upon reaching Revelation 22, assume they now know and understand THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE mind of God. This conclusion, of course, is built on at least several layers of unreasonable, arrogant, and yet unconscious assumptions. But it doesn't stop there. Then they assume it's their job to tell you that the only "right" way to read your bible is the way they read theirs. To date, we've got at least 700 of these people in Armstrongism alone. One for each splinter. In greater Christendom, we've got at least 42,000 of them.

Even if we didn't have different canons and different translations, each of us would still be reading totally different bibles. It's just the human condition.

old EXPCG hag said...

I'll probably get a lot of hate mail for this...

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. I Corinthians 2:14

I don't even need >That Prophet< to understand this!!

Byker Bob said...

I've come to realize that 1) No church has 100% truth worthy of being systematized into a package of rigorously obeyed legalism. 2) While there are Godly men whose examples are worthy in some areas of imitation, none of them appear to have the witness of God behind them as would an apostle or prophet. 3). Like the PT articles always said at the end, there is no solution (to the church mess) until Jesus returns to straighten it all out. That's when families will be able to be reunited and once again functional.

Best things a person can do now are study, pray, and follow one's God-given conscience. For the present, the journey is an individual matter. And, if you feel called upon to advance an agenda by lying, it is much less damaging to lie about Santa Clause than to scare people into compliance and fiscal slavery by inventing dates for a second holocaust.


Anonymous said...

The human mind is a very complex subject and much of what is written in this post reveals a very shallow view of how a person builds a belief system and what creates a belief. Our personal beliefs are not only shared through a language defined by words, but must be reflected in the character of our actions and behavior.

To benefit from the written word we must be able to fit it into our personal experiences. If we are to build healthy personal beliefs we must be continually learning from the experiences of our whole life. We may make many mistakes, but mistakes can contribute to personal improvements if we recognize that the goal of this life is not to be perfect, but to reach a state of maturity that the bible defines as being in the life of Jesus the Christ.

To me the bible should be viewed as a record of the good, bad, and ugly existing in human life along with the character and nature of a Creator that is fulfilling a planned purpose that reflects a life that excels all other life. The mind should be used develop beliefs that will lead us to set the example that will encourage those who share our life to develop beliefs that move them toward a healthy maturity. I believe there is a Holy Spirit that is involved to help us, but until we desire to develop healthy beliefs we are not going to be forced to do it.
A. Boocher

old EXPCG hag said...

Anonymous AKA A. Boocher

May 1, 2014 at 9:00 p.m.

...We may make many mistakes, but mistakes can contribute to personal improvements if we recognize that the goal of this life is not to be perfect,...

Have you read the Bible?

48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48

Ed said...

If God exists, why does he need a book to reveal himself to us. Why doesn't he just come down out of heaven and tell us in person who he is,and what he expects out of us instead of depending on a book to explain it to us that is as clear as mud.

old EXPCG hag said...

Ed said...
If God exists, why does he need a book to reveal himself to us. Why doesn't he just come down out of heaven and tell us in person who he is,and what he expects out of us instead of depending on a book to explain it to us that is as clear as mud.

May 2, 2014 at 3:41 AM

That was one of Jesus'commissions...

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? John 14:9

Just call me Prophet oldEXPCGhag, thank ya!

Anonymous said...

old EXPCG hag said:
Have you read the Bible?
It is interesting that a person who reminded me that the people commenting here are not perfect so maybe I should not be involved here.
Yes I have read the Bible and the Greek word translated “perfect” in the scripture you quoted means to become a full grown adult as opposed to being a child. We start off as children and grow to adulthood, but God has always been as He is. What Jesus was saying cannot be accomplished in this life so for us humans it is not a goal, but a life long journey.

I find it interesting that people reject God because He doesn’t reveal Himself in a way that they can understand when we cannot even understand each other when dealing with spiritual matters.
A. Boocher

Roberticus said...

Here's something which sums up this conversation nicely... hope you enjoy it... from a steady lurker at this blog who was never a part of a COG, but is fascinated by them, & used to read the PlainTruth & watch the World Tomorrow as a kid in the 80s...

old EXPCG hag said...

A. Boocher said...

What Jesus was saying cannot be accomplished in this life so for us humans it is not a goal, but a life long journey.

I noticed you picked the last definition of "perfect" to base your argument on. There are several meanings of the word "perfect". Obviously the point you are trying to get across is that because "I"/"we"/"some" whom post on this blog seem to be "childish" according to you, right?? Not "mature" as you obviously are, right??
Well maybe you might want to re think why YOU, such a mature individual as you are, would want to jump on here acting as a teacher, trying to correct me, whom you haven't a clue as to my background/history/thinking/mindset, etc.
To me, you seem as one without wisdom or understanding of any subject relating to any of the posts concerning the various splinter groups/offshoots of the WWCOG.
Some of us have a history with one or more of these so called "churches".
We are mainly here to bring to light the absurdity/foolishness of the various groups.
Dennis comes up with the most hilarious posts. I am having a blast. Sorry you do not understand.