And I've Got My Reasons

First off - I have read the bible. cover to cover, so I am not knocking what I don't know. And I am quite open to the possibility of a higher power. What I do not believe in is the God of organised religion.

Personally the thought of the enemy-smiting, gold-loving, children-sacrificing god as described in the Old Testament sickens me, and I feel that the Hebrews were just as bad as all of the idol-worshipping other religions who, in their ignorance of how the world works, came up with a god to explain what they couldn't understand. I don't know why people haven't grown out of that thinking yet, but they haven't. The idea of miracles being the work of god is as ridiculous as the old notions that lightning was Zeus throwing thunderbolts, and the line that pastors intone at funerals about your loved ones having died because god loved them so much and he wanted them with him is just absurd and offensive.

And in my mind, creating a god who acts as supreme ruler, or king, or chief, or father, who sits on a throne in heaven surrounded by a court of angels and with a son who will succeed him, and who chooses a particular race (the jews, his chosen people) as his favourites - is simply a reflection of the heirarchy created in human civilizations. The strong rule over the weak - males are rulers, sons succeed their fathers, the class system? The kings and rulers of this world want to maintain their authority, so what better way than creating a supreme authority, who rules over our souls like the kings and governments rule our bodies, tell us who is strong and who is weak? And where is the all-knowing love and equality in sexism? As stated in 1 Corinthians chapter 14, "in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." What reason should an all-loving, all-knowing god have to be sexist - or fir that matter, to want gold (by commanding the Jews to build him a golden tabernacle)? Religion has been inherent in power and politics since the dawn of time.

To me, the spirituality in people just stems from our natural curiosity and insecurity. We are animals - with more advanced thought processes, but animals nonetheless - but we don't like to feel like animals. We want to feel strong and untouchable, when really we're just prey like anything else, prey to hunger, disease, predators and natural disasters. So when we don't have an answer, we say it's the work of god - when things go wrong, we turn to a god, who we have decided is all powerful and can set it all right and even if we do become prey, that's not the end for us because we are human and we are strong.

And another thought - if god loved all his people, why did he leave the majority of the world - asia, the middle east, africa - in the dark about himself? Who's to say that buddha isn't the true god? It makes just as much sense.

It's nice to think there's a god who cares about you when maybe noone else does and there is a wonderful life after death to make up for all we've suffered on earth, but it's also nice to think that if you fell off a boat you would be saved by a mermaid who would invite you to live in their undersea cave and eat lolly-flavoured coral snacks. It's just - not - real.
eclair eclair
18-21, F
13 Responses Dec 13, 2006

I. If I may, why do you think it’s wrong to punish evildoers and protect the innocent?

II. What evidence, if any, did these pastors give that this is actually what God does?

III. Are you an advocate of anarchy?

IV. If, as you allege, God discriminates against women, why do you think He hates all forms of exploitation and abuse including rape and prostitution? ( (Exodus 22:22; Deuteronomy 27:19; Isaiah 10:1, 2; Leviticus 19:29; Deuteronomy 22:23-29) 

V. How does making the Bible available in more than two thousand languages the world over leave “the majority of the world - asia, the middle east, africa - in the dark about himself?”

VI. What evidence conclusively shows God does not or cannot exist?

I also read the bible, partially because I am a literary fan and so many books have allusions to the bible so if you want to be intellectually informed you need to read the bible. I found a great many inconsistencies between what should be and what "is" even between the pages of this supposedly sacred book. Who can ever say "suffer the innocent children?"

Wow... i never thought about "suffer the little children" (I assume thats the bit you're refering to, where Jesus said that in Matthew19:14...??) being interpreted like that! I'm assuming that you've been reading an old translation of the bible (New King James maybe?) - they have beautiful old language but one of the problems they have is that some of the words have changed usage. So modern day readers think of 'suffer' as experiencing terrible pain or distress. But years ago that word also meant to permit or allow or tolerate something or someone (check the dicitonary if you dont beleive me!). So basically Jesus had some kids come up to him and the disciples told them to leave him alone and so...
"Jesus said, "Let (aka: "suffer") the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (matt 19:14 New International Version or NIV)
Actually what Jesus actually said was in a language called Aramaic, so he didn't use either of those words, but it helps if you find an english translation that you find clear and easy to understand . If you try reading a modern version (the NIV is very popular, or the NET version in online and free to download if thats easier) it might make some of the old language make more sense!
As for the difference between what the bible says and what really exists, when you factor in human error and sin (like greed, selfishness, hate, etc) that plagues humankind, does it still surprise you that what the bible teaches and what the world really dishes out, dont really line up? Maybe the reason for the difference is sin and evil and our own weaknesses pollute things, even though God is holding up his end of the bargain...? Just a thought!

How was I weak when my step father molested me at 12 and my sister at 9? And my mother let him, where did God hold up his end of the bargain in this? Just a thought!

Gosh, what a terrible, terrible thing for you to have experienced. My heart goes out to you.
No, you're right, you being weak was in NO way the cause of that. I'm not suggesting that our human weakness and sin cause all of our own problems, but that they we go around inflicting things, sometimes on ourselves and sometimes on each other through our sinfullness. In the case of you and your sister, the sin has been your step father's when he allowed his evil desires and his weakness to control him and he abandoned all that he was supposed to be (a protector and teacher and caring father and role model). And your mother likewise. No way is it EVER the fault of the victim that they were assaulted. The sin is not yours, it is theirs. And where was God? Well, God gave us free will and some strong advice about how to excersize it. Some people try their best to follow that advice, unfortunately some people dont and they go about causing hurt and pain for others. If God interfered everytime that someone did something wrong, then we wouldn't really have any free will at all, only the ability to do what God says we should or God will stop us. But sadly the concerquences of humankind turning away from God are a punishment within themselves. What you experienced was not God failing to hold up his end of the bargain, but a man not keeping his.

Hi eclair,
Whatever you are reading in the bible, dont confuse God with what man builds up around him.
I'm not sure where you got that he's child-sacrificing (???) but he's certainly not gold-loving (after all he MADE the entire earth, so he can speak gold into existance, he hardly needs us to give it to him! But sometimes he asks us to give up things that WE value so that we can learn about putting others before ourselves and keeping our priorities right, not valuing wealth above God or above other people).
As for the idea that God is somehow elitist by choosing the Jews as his 'chosen people' - it was more that he chose them to lead by example than that he only loved and saved them - and dont forget that he sent his Son so that everyone could become one of Gods chosen people!
The sexist male thing is a tricky one, because our society tells us that the roles assigned to women in the bible are of less importance and are inferior. The bible tells women to submit to their husband (dont forget that women didn't receive nearly as much education in biblical times, so they were hardly a good choice for head of the household) but it never calls them inferior or says that they're worth less than men. It is only our culture and times that have decided that women's 'traditional' roles are not as important as men's. There's a beautiful picture in the bible (in Corinthians) of men and women's depedance on each other and the relationship of both to God. It says: "Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God." [note: Woman came form man because woman (Eve) was made from man (adam)'s rib]. Rather than one being superior over the other, God created a system where both are important and need each other.
I hope this clarified a few things! There are lots of things in the bible that are tricky to understand because we are coming at it from a completely different time, culture and language to when it was originally written. But when you look closely enough and come at it with an open heart, you'll find God's love written across its pages. I hope and pray that you'll come to know God and love him too - he's a wonderful creator! xo

1 - All the signs the Bible forecast show Jesus IS coming soon - inc 'the great apostasy'<br />
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2 - Many top scientists, from microbiology to astronomy, see SO much evidence of Intelligent Design that they reject atheist brainwashing & worship the Almighty Creator<br />
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3 - John 1, Colossians 1 & Hebrews 1 are crystal clear that Jesus IS the Almighty Creator in human for5m<br />
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4 - Thousands of true testimonies @ God's triumph in all trials, tribulations. traumas & tragedies @<br />
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I was @ Moorlands BC with British Youth For Christ leader Roy Crowne & Prison Chaplain, Hell's Angel writer Brian Greenaway <br />
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& Ian Bothwell, head of Ulster (?) - who I heard interviewed on UCB last week<br />
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I was lead guitar/singer/songwriter with prison ministry band, The Beacons<br />
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Did OM Year Training Program '74/'75 @ Bromley, Kent, UK STL wholesale Christian literature publishers & distributors<br />
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Sang & acted in Christian multimedia troupe Roundabout Releases in the '70s<br />
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& gospel bands The Lifelines, '60s; Harbinger, '70s & True Alternative, '80s<br />
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Mr Versatile: Man Of 1000 Voices is in The Voice 2013<br />
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I plan 2 hit albums & 2 world tours, 2014/15

yeah well i say he doesnt exist and if he does he hasnt done crap for me. oh and if adam and eve were the first things on the planet along with other animal then where the hell did the dinosaurs come from! i mean come on! i even have a perfect reason for not believing in him just its a little secret of mine. [besides i more believe in the greek gods]

He hasn't done anything for me either! Not a secret, just a fact!

missunderstood, i understand you perfectly.

Ahh Beng, who is to say that the Bible itself is not a parable or translation from an earlier work lost to us now? You should watch 'The man from Earth.' Interesting link between Jesus and the Buddha.<br />
While we are on the subject of links though, Mithras, Krishna and Dionysus all share stories with Christ. Where does one finish and the other begin?

Buddha was born 500 years before Jesus was born. And Buddha talked about the circle of life and death. How you can break that chain and enter into Nirvana. Buddha also walked on water. Just like Jesus did. Buddha and Jesus have A LOT of similarities. The Bible is one big parable, that is why there are so many translations and variations of the same book. <br />
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I think sometimes we have the tendancy ( even as a Christian ) we pick at the Bible and quote excerpts and chapters. By doing that we ingore the ultimate message that is trying to be passed to us. To love and to cherish what we have on earth as a blessing. And in doing so worship God for what we have and conduct ourselves as if OUR FATHER ( or mother ) is watching.<br />
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But since you pointed out Corinthians I would like to expound on what you were talking about. You have to remember the Bible was translated from Arabiac or Hebrew. And the culture was very different. The teachings of Paul is NOT THE WORD of Jesus Christ.<br />
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In Corinthians Chapters 12-14 it is clear that women are given spiritual gifts and are encouraged to excercise them in the body of Christ. Women have much to contribute and can participate in worship services.<br />
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In the Corinthian Culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public. Apparently some of the women who had become Christians though that there Christian freedom gave them the right to question the men in public worship. This was causing division in Church. Also, during that time, women did not receive formal religious education like the men did. This illustrates that women may have been asking questions while at church that could have been answered at home and not to interupt the service. Pauls teaching was to foster unity, not to teach about womens role in the church.<br />
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Corinthians is instructions that Paul gave to the church in Corinth. These words are not the words of Jesus Christ. Paul saw problems in the church that could be solved by having some rules and regulations to make worship service more united.

If we talk about the actual words of Jesus, we will realize that wel, he never quite said that he was God. Well, he said that according to John, but John made it up. John made Jesus' life fit the Old Testament to make it seem more legitimate, but the reality of it is that Jesus was a mystic, not unlike any of a thousand Indian gurus that have walked the Earth. It just so happens that in his time, people had to think of him as God to be convinced of his relevance, while in India people realized that a guru did not have to be the actual "Son of God" to still have worthwhile teachings.

‎"I had come to see that the very premise of Lewis’s argument was flawed. The argument based on Jesus as liar, lunatic, or Lord was predicated on the assumption that Jesus had called himself God. I had long ago come to believe that he had not. Only in the latest of our Gospels, John, a Gospel that shows considerably more theological sophistication than the others, does Jesus indicate that he is divine. I had come to realize that none of our earliest traditions indicate that Jesus said any such thing about himself. And surely if Jesus had really spent his days in Galilee and then Jerusalem calling himself God, all of our sources would be eager to report it. To put it differently, if Jesus claimed he was divine, it seemed very strange indeed that Matthew, Mark, and Luke all failed to say anything about it. Did they just forget to mention that part?

I had come to realize that Jesus’ divinity was part of John’s theology, not a part of Jesus’ own teaching." - 'Jesus, Interrupted', Bart Ehrman

There are lots of people who believe like you do and you sound like a very intelligent person but you are vastly uninformed for a person who has read the bible from cover to cover. Christianity had its origins in the middle east- go to wikipedia and look it up. Africa has deep deep roots in Christianity you can look this up as well. As of Asia go to and read the article Amazing Discovery in China Changes Christian History in Asia by Ken Joseph Jr. - The Keikyo Institute. You will clearly see that most of the world is knee deep in Christian philosophy. As for god being "real" you will have to make up your own mind about that but, I will tell you that all of the scientific community has tried to tear apart the teachings of that bible that you read but, I will tell you that there are a lot more scientists, after years of research, can see that there is a God and a reason to believe. let me know after you spend some time on this site if your still a non-believer.

Man, that site is baaad. Have you read "The Selfish Gene" that book, at least, makes sense :)
No seriously, the theological solution of the problem of evil found in the website you shared does not hold water. We can spare suffering and still get life. You can read about this fact here:

96% of the members of the American Academy of Science identify themselves as atheists. Why do you think that "a lot more scientists" see that there is a God and reason to believe in something they cannot objectively observe or mathematically prove?

To me it is sad that you base all of your knowledge of God from man, when my God's word tells me that, man will always fail you, seek not unto your own understading, also everyone's thoughts and knowledge, if not led by the Holy Spirit, is a mere opinion. You may have claimed to read the Bible, but clearly you haven't the spirit to interpret it. Your claims are a contradiction of your own words. Faith is what a true Christian believes, you have no faith in the Lord. I' am sorry for you, I am curious, do you believe that the devil is real and demons are real, you may not believe in God but do you Believe that God is real. I feel that your experience from reading the Bible was carnal, of the flesh, you cannot begin to understand what the Bible means or says if you are living of the flesh, you have to be dead to the flesh, and your thought process which has come from your "knowledge" of the way the world, has to diminish. you have to be renewed in order to understand.<br />
When you attended school and the teacher told you to go home and read chapter 1, did you understand every-thing clearly and completed without being quided. Just as the Holyspirit guides us when we read the Bible.

I completely agree with you. I was raised in a catholic family; not the crazy about church kind, but ....we went to catholic schools, were made to take religion classes in school, go to church once a week at school, do quarterly confessionals to a priest that came to our school,....etc etc. And this was just the school part of my life alone. Then, of course there were all the times that my mother forced me to attend church masses. All the while, I never really thought much of any of it. I never believed in any of the bible stories preached to me, I never believed in Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Adam or Eve, or any of the other bible stories characters (no offense given, lack of better word). I do feel open to the thought of there being some sort of force or "higher power", whether it be spiritual or science. I don't have an answer for why some phenomenons happens. Does anyone? No. No one does. We all just have our faith and beliefs. There is no solid proof for anything happening the way that they (historians) say it has. That's pretty much my reason for not believing in christianity. I need proof. I don't feel that it's rational for people to spend the majority of their lives worshipping something that may not exist. All that I can say at this point is that I believe in phenomenon and miraculous happenings, but I don't believe in religion. I believe in humanity and human spirit. Is there a "faith" (lack of better word) for this kind of belief? If anyone knows then please Message me. I am 23 yrs old and have spent a lot of time finding my way thus far. I still haven't come up with any answers.

While I was growing up in the 1950's and 1960's, My mother took a very active roll in the church Sunday School. IN my Kindergarten through 4th grade years my mother tought one of the lower grades and twice in the K-4th grade my mother was my sunday school teacher. starting in my 5th-12th grades MY mother was president of the Church Sunday School. I can remember other kids parents dropping their own kids off an looking to see if I was there. if i was not there for sunday school, the other kids parents would inquire where I was. if mother told them I was home sick That was ok. Any other excuse, the other kids parents would kinda have a green light to keep their kids home from Sunday School I got Mighty tired off going to sunday school every sunday. I never saw the need for sunday school especially when you had to go to church for the adult service anyway. Only after I left my parents house I for the most part stopped going to church all together. Years later when I met the girl who became my wife, she stated that she was made to go sunday school and church while she was gowing up. Now and for the last 25 years we rarely go to church. My mother reported a 10-15% drop in attendance when i was not there. I got real tired of being checked out to see if I was there for sunday school.