26 August 2010

Frank Schaeffer has a great idea

[T]he best thing a believer in any actual God can do is to admit that a lot of the Bible is hate-filled blasphemy. (Maybe God Rejects the Bible)

What Frank Schaeffer says here is obvious to any believer who has taken the time to read the Bible. Unfortunately, not many believers have done that, and those that have aren't honest enough to admit the obvious.

And believers have another problem, too. 2 Timothy 3:16 -- what Schaeffer calls "the scariest verse in the Bible."

There is a verse in Timothy that says that all Scripture is for our edification. This verse, not the many Bible stories of the many killings "ordained by God," is the scariest verse in the Bible.

But there's a good reason for an honest believer to throw out 1 and 2 Timothy anyway: they're forgeries. They weren't written by Paul as they claim to have been, so they weren't inspired by God (God didn't inspire forgers) and shouldn't have been included in scripture in the first place.

So now that we've disposed of the scariest verse, we can deal with the rest of the Bible.

There is another choice besides rejecting religion outright or adopting an all-the-Bible-is-true fundamentalism, one too rarely made The fact is too few religious people are willing to suffer the loss of approval by their religious leaders, friends and family to make this other choice: embrace faith in God by thinking for themselves and openly reject the parts of one's scriptures outright that fly in the face of fact, compassion and decency.

Reject the parts of scripture outright that fly in the face of fact, compassion and decency.

Amen to that!

13 comments:

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Even if 2 Timothy 3:16 were somehow legitimate it wasn't written at a time when we had all 66 books in the form we do now, so who knows what it was referring to.

Steve Wells said...

Good point, Mike.

Even the Jewish canon was poorly defined at the time, and the Christian canon wasn't determined until the fourth century. So who knows what the author (whoever that was) might have considered scripture at the time. (Bart Ehrman says 2 Timothy was written 30-40 years after Paul's death.)

Brian_E said...

"...and openly reject the parts of one's scriptures outright that fly in the face of fact, compassion and decency."

WTF is left after you do that?

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

It's a mighty convenient verse though.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

This stuff SAB - Good Stuff in the Bible I guess.

I am the wise fool. said...

My parents have this kind of faith. They acknowledge the issues, and reject them. The trouble is that then the perspective of God seems disingenuous with how He is portrayed in those rejected passages.

The sandy foundation is eroded away, but the building sure looks pretty!

Xaratherus said...

In other words, we're left with things like "Love thy neighbor" and the Golden Rule (which Christianity swiped from Confucianism anyway).

To be honest, I wouldn't have any issue with that. If all Christians held to those standards - i.e., try to get along and keep your consequences to yourself - I think the world in general would be a much happier place.

Mike aka MonolithTMA said...

Those are the kinds of Christians I tend to gravitate towards and that's the kind of Christianity I try to encourage.

Matthew Blanchette said...

I think the world would be happier if we were all somehow atheists who founded their beliefs on reason and objective proof, and so died happily, rather than harping on other peoples' failings and living in fear of burning for eternity.

Of course, that's just my opinion...

ZAROVE said...

You mean like the Atheists one frequently encounters who try to dictate to those stupid "religious people" how stupid their beliefs are?

SAB itself is nothing but an Atheist harping on others beliefs, and pushing its own Religious Stance. (The idea that Atheists have no religion is absurd given the shared, and obvious, Ideological beliefs.)


Why else is Mr. Wells endlessly bashing the Bible? Excuses about how just awful Fundie Christians are don’t really cover building up a website that claims to show all the problems with the Bible that clearly just repeated the lists of Supposed Atrocities and errors he got elsewhere. The gimmick of highlighting the verses in a Bible really doesn’t pan out though, since the verses frequently aren’t as bad as Mr. Wells would have us believe, and I doubt he even bothered to red the surrounding Context. He just found the verse in his cut-and-paste Bible, highlighted it, and presented it as its suppose to be presented to show how Awful the Bible is.

The Quote above is wrong, by the way, as these “Troubling Verses” usually aren’t that Troubling if you do the least bit of Study.

Which also undermines the whole “Atheist use logic and reason to arrive at their conclusions’ Routine. Most Atheists don’t. They use Emotion, Rhetoric, and Predetermined Prejudices, and follow a Philosophical Model they have embraced. They don’t just use Reason and Logic. Just as not all Christians are simple minded and irrational.

skanksta said...

@Zarove

Unfortunately Steve's work 'bashing the bible' (letting it speak for itself) IS necessary.

Some people actually believe these crazy books!

The reasonable are forced to point out how silly the books are, BECAUSE the believers are crazy enough to try and introduce THEIR book on others in politics, science class, law courts etc - or start wars with believers of other books, stone people to death and suchlike.

Steve's blog isn't necessary in Northern Europe, Japan or Australia, but sadly - Glenn Beck's party has recently made it all over the UK news - America needs him !

Darren Delgado said...

ZAROVE said...

SAB itself is nothing but an Atheist harping on others beliefs, and pushing its own Religious Stance. (The idea that Atheists have no religion is absurd given the shared, and obvious, Ideological beliefs.)

That word "religion" does not mean what you think it means.

Agreeing with lots of other people on some issue, like the fact that there is no God, isn't a "religion".

Xaratherus said...

"(The idea that Atheists have no religion is absurd given the shared, and obvious, Ideological beliefs.)"

Religion: a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Let's see how atheism matches up with that definition, shall we?

A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe

Atheists, in general, will have on shared belief - or, more specifically, a lack of belief in the existence of deities. Beyond that, atheists have no guaranteed belief structure - especially when it comes to the "cause, nature, and purpose of the universe'. Some might accept the scientific evidence of the Big Bang, while others might actually have a supernatural philosophy of their own that does not include any god (see Buddhism as an example of such a atheistic philosophy).

especially when considered as the creation of a supernatural agency or agencies

Atheism is the lack of belief in gods. Pretty much rules this one out.

usually involving devotional and ritual observances

While visiting Starbucks or blogging may be common practices amongst atheists, they by no means constitute religious rituals.

often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs

Although many theists consider the work of Dawkins or Hitchens particularly appropriate, as an organization atheism does not propose any sort of universal moral code. How can it, when its basic principle denies the concept of an objective morality?

As for your comments that Steve takes some of these out of context? While some of the passages may be clarified in context, the context very rarely alters the intent of the statement from its rather insidious intent - and yes, I have read the Bible, cover to cover, several times.

If the Christian god exists, then I welcome the fires of Hell, because I would rather suffer for eternity than pander to a psychopathic bigot such as that portrayed by the Bible in its entirety.