The Misadventures of Quinxy truths, lies, and everything in between!

26Mar/115

Reasons I Don’t Believe in God #12: The Bible’s Wrong Definition of Right

If the Old Testament is divinely inspired by God, even a little bit, then I do not understand how it can sanction and promote so many egregiously wrong ideas, such as slavery:

As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from the nations that are round about you. You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their families that are with you, who have been born in your land; and they may be your property. You may bequeath them to your sons after you, to inherit as a possession forever; you may make slaves of them, but over your brethren the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another, with harshness. – Leviticus 25.44

How can a "good" book say such a bad thing.  How can a modern day Christian, many of whom purport to believe in the bible as the divinely inspired and (to many) inerrant work of God reconcile these words with our modern opinions on slavery.  These (and others) are the words which emboldened and succored southern slave owners up to and during the American Civil War; these are the words which kept the "coloreds" in their place, separate and unequal.

The bible advocates many ideas and policies which we have (thankfully) long ignored, including stoning people to death for things such as working on the sabbath.  If this work is divinely inspired why do the faithful not follow it more closely?  If this work is divinely inspired by an omniscient God, how could it become so quickly outdated?

^ Quinxy

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  1. back in the old testament things werent as they are today. The wages of sin was death and death only…But when Jesus died on the cross for OUR sins and paid the price for everything we did. it set forth a new way of living. “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” Romans 6:28…and dont forget the most famous verse. “For GOD so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, so that whoever shall believe in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 God is an extreamly loving God who has the power to strike us down any minute he chooses.. but he dosnt.. hes giving us a chance to live for him so we can spend eternity in Heven!

  2. I understand what you’re saying and appreciate your sharing. I was intending only to speak about the punishments God required of man here on this Earth. Nothing there has officially been changed, so far as I’m aware, at least if one believes what Jesus says in the New Testament:

    Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

    Matthew 5:18 For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    So I remain confused when people pick and choose from the Old Testament, seeming to ignore its absolute requirements of death for certain crimes many “good Christians” people commit regularly.

    Exodus 31:15 For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day must be put to death.

    But, millions of Christians work every Sabbath without being put to death or having anyone tell them they are going to hell. But…

    Lev. 20:13 If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.

    But the gays are still going to hell, and deserve to be told that.

    It seems very inconsistent to me, and seems very much like many Christians pick and choose what quotes and lessons they want to pick from the bible, choosing to believe what fits a lifestyle they like and live, and choosing to disbelieve things which don’t. And that seems wrong.

  3. Wow… and to think i found your website because of the nook. 🙂

    Now, let me preface anything i say with the fact that i am indeed a human being. I do not purport to have fully read anything in its original greek, arabic or hebrew origins. In some things, i have just believed.

    From what i know, the old testament is the “law” for those living before Jesus came to life on earth. And the new testament was the new “law” which is still new today. Simply context.

    There is no doubt with anything, be it even statistics, that we live in an age of ignoring context and presenting our ideas/thoughts as absolute and correct. Again, human presentation.

    But if we are to take anything from the Bible, how do you pick? Who says this verse or that verse is the only thing we need to live by. From what i’ve read about Jesus in the the 4 gospels (matthew, mark, luke and john), you have 1 one 3 choices. You can believe
    1) Jesus was insane and that only a crazy person would say and believe all those things
    2) Jesus was really just a liar and simply leading people on (to what, i don’t know, seems like no benefit to him)
    OR 3) what Jesus says/teaches/preaches as 100% truth.

    I have no dillusions that these words change your mind and heart. As they cannot. If you have read the Bible, then you know that only God will bring you to himself. We are just witnesses to his grace.

    I suppose grace is subjective if you believe you’ve done nothing wrong. And really, who’s not been a perfect example of humanity their entire lives? 😉

  4. Kevin

    Thanks for the thoughtful response.

    Well, that’s where I get confused regarding new law versus old law. The New Testament, and Jesus, seem very, very adamant that Jesus is fulfilling the Old Testament, not countermanding it in any way. Growing up as a Christian the message I always picked up from church and school was just as you say, that Jesus’ coming had replaced the rigid, cruel, stifling laws of the Old Testament with the new loving, compassionate laws of the New. But I see no scriptural basis at all for that, only statements that express anger that the old laws were being ignored and messages re-affirming that they still applied even with Jesus’ new teachings.

    Here are a few examples of those scriptures:

    “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)
    “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) [A reference supporting Old Testament laws.]
    Peter says that all slaves should “be subject to [their] masters with all fear,” to the bad and cruel as well as the “good and gentle.” This is merely an echo of the same slavery commands in the Old Testament. 1 Peter 2:18
    “Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law” (John7:19) and “For the law was given by Moses,…” (John 1:17).
    “…the scripture cannot be broken.” –Jesus Christ, John 10:35

    (This list copied from http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100306062514AAZd8lk)

    I obviously do not want to kill my children if they disobey me, or kill my neighbor (or myself) for working on the Sabbath, or enslave anyone, or any of the other things that the Old Testament demands (or recommends in the case of enslaving) and that the New Testament reminds us is required.

    I therefore find it hard, being a person of good conscience, to be a Christian. It would seem to require selectively reading a text which insists it should not be read that way, or require me to ignore what I feel I cannot honestly ignore, or… I’m not even sure just now how to characterize the mental gymnastics I would have to engage in so that I could be a believer given the text of the Old and New Testaments.

    But, let me make clear, as I’ve tried to elsewhere. Some of the best people I’ve known are people of faith. I envy them their faith and the glory their service to the Lord (of whatever religion(s)) brings to their life. My inability to be like them, to share their points of view, to share their beliefs, most likely represents a flaw in me, not in them. I am comfortable with that flaw in as much as I must be honest with myself and if it is to be “remedied” I believe the solution will come through being open, thoughtful, curious, loving, kind, etc.

    Q

  5. Thank for your work with the Nook! Interesting conversation. My understanding is that the Law was never given so that anyone can keep it perfectly. If there was no law, we would never know if we would be doing good or bad. Once receiving the law, we now know how far short we all come in keeping it, remotely much less perfectly.
    ROM 3:20- 26 “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”
    The believer in no longer under the condemnation of the law. We are under Grace. EPH 2:8-9 ” For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast”
    By the way, just because something is metioned as matter of fact in the Old Testement, doesn’t mean that God approved of it. Slavery was a cultural thing not a proscribed practice. Slaves in those days, by the way, were nothing like the American / African slaves. Sometimes people voluntarily put themselves in servitude with someone in order to feed themselves and their families and were well treated. See the story of the the prodigal son, Luke 15:11-32.
    The truth is that the very first time we sin against God, we deserve to be struck dead and cast into hell.
    EPH 2:4-7 “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
    It still makes me tremble and weep when I think that God put His own Son on the cross to take my place!
    My two cents.


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