28 August 2010

1 Nephi 12: Those who dwindle in unbelief will become dark, loathsome, filthy, idle, and abominable people

In the last chapter, an angel showed Nephi all the shit his dad saw and much, much more. Nephi saw dad's magic tree, iron rod, large and spacious building, the exceedingly white virgin Mary, Jesus, John the Baptist, the twelve apostles -- pretty much everything that Joseph Smith the angel could think of at the time.

Now, in this chapter, the angel shows Nephi his seed. He'll have tons of seed, as many as the sand of the sea.

And it came to pass that the angel said unto me: Look, and behold thy seed, and also the seed of thy brethren. And I looked and beheld the land of promise; and I beheld multitudes of people, yea, even as it were in number as many as the sand of the sea. 1 Nephi 12:1

Nephi's seed will live in many cities, more cities than can be counted.

And it came to pass that ... I beheld many cities, yea, even that I did not number them. 1 Nephi 12:3

But bad times are coming. Mountains will disintegrate and cities sink and burn.

I saw mountains tumbling into pieces; and I saw the plains of the earth, that they were broken up; and I saw many cities that they were sunk; and I saw many that they were burned with fire; and I saw many that did tumble to the earth, because of the quaking thereof. 1 Nephi 12:4

Then the heavens will open up and Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and the apostles (with their robes made white from being washed in Jesus' blood) will come down to minster to Nephi's seed.

And I saw the heavens open, and the Lamb of God descending out of heaven; and he came down and showed himself unto them. And I also saw ... the Holy Ghost fell upon twelve others... And these twelve ministers whom thou beholdest shall judge thy seed. And, behold, ... their garments are made white in his blood. 1 Nephi 12:6-10

But Nephi's seed will fight his brethren's seed.

And while the angel spake these words, I beheld and saw that the seed of my brethren did contend against my seed, according to the word of the angel; and because of the pride of my seed, and the temptations of the devil, I beheld that the seed of my brethren did overpower the people of my seed. And it came to pass that I beheld, and saw the people of the seed of my brethren that they had overcome my seed; and they went forth in multitudes upon the face of the land. 1 Nephi 12:19-20

And it will be awful to look at. Seed fighting seed everywhere. I doubt if there has been so much contending seed in a single paragraph since time began. (It is, perhaps, the seediest passage in all literature, with the possible exception of Ezekiel 23:20.)

Finally, the chapter comes to a thrilling conclusion with the angel showing Nephi what will happen to the seed of his brethren that dwindle in unbelief: they will become a dark, loathsome, filthy, idle, and abominable people.

And the angel said unto me: Behold these shall dwindle in unbelief. And it came to pass that I beheld, after they had dwindled in unbelief they became a dark, and loathsome, and a filthy people, full of idleness and all manner of abominations. 1 Nephi 12:22-23

(Which, as we'll see later, is the origin of the Native Americans.)

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 13 revisited: Satan founded the Catholic church, God blessed America (and cursed the Native Americans) , and the BoM fixed the Bible

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!

25 August 2010

Douglas Wilson and I now agree on pretty much everything

OK. That might be a bit of an overstatement. But we do seem to agree on pretty much everything that we used to argue about, at least as far as I can tell anyway.

Here is a list of things that Douglas and I now seem to agree on:

  1. No one should be burned alive or stoned to death (with the possible exception of pedophile priests).

  2. Specifically, the following people and acts should not be punished by stoning, as required by the Bible.

  3. No one should obey God’s command to burn people to death. Specifically, the following people should not be burned to death:

    • A man, wife, and her mother if they are having an affair, get married, or whatever. – Leviticus 20:14

    • A priest's daughter that plays the whore – Leviticus 21:9

  4. Homosexuals should not be executed. -- Leviticus 20:13

  5. A Christian should not own slaves, even if they are treated well.

If you've read my previous posts about Douglas Wilson's views, you'll know that this is quite a change. Douglas and I disagreed on all of these items just a few years ago.

And it's possible that we still do. I haven't yet got a clear answer from Douglas on this list of agreements. But I hope to see it soon here.

October 7, 2010 Update: Doug Wilson and I no longer agree on #5 (slavery).

24 August 2010

Glenn Beck explains how Native Americans became the blood-thirsty savages called "Lamanites" in the Book of Mormon

It's hard for any sane person to watch Glenn Beck. But if you can stand it, here's Glenn claiming that Native Americans are descended from Israelites.

Of course that's not what science says. But that, Glenn tells us, is because science and government have conspired together to hide the truth.

Why would they do that, you wonder? Well, here's what Glenn says (for those of you who can't stomach the video):

Science was colluding with government because of commerce, and religion was involved. Now why do I tell you all this stuff?
The history that has been erased in our nation, and in particular with the Native Americans, happened because it didn't fit the story they created: Manifest Destiny. It only works when Indians were savages and they had to have savages for commerce and government to expand. The ancient artifacts prove otherwise. Why aren't we looking into those?

Which explains why science and government hid the truth about the origin of the Native Americans. But what was the religious motive?

Glenn doesn't talk about that, but he knows what it was. Anti-Mormonism.

Most Americans, then and now, reject the Book of Mormon. And, when it comes to the Native Americans, the Book of Mormon explains it all.

Here is a condensed version of the Book of Mormon:

A small group of Israelites traveled by boat to the North America in 600 BCE. There they split into two groups: one good the other bad. The bad ones were called "Lamanites," whose descendants are what we now call Native Americans. The Lamanites fought with and completely wiped out good, fair-skinned "Nephites." God cursed the Lamanites (Native Americans) by darkening their skin and turning them into sinful, blood-thirsty savages.

And he [God] had caused the cursing to come upon them [the Lamanites] ... wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. 2 Nephi 5:21
The Lamanites ... were led by their evil nature that they became wild, and ferocious, and a bloodthirsty people, full of idolatry and filthiness; feeding upon beasts of prey; dwelling in tents, and wandering about in the wilderness with a short skin girdle about their loins and their heads shaven.... And many of them did eat nothing save it was raw meat; and they were continually seeking to destroy us. Enos 1:20
The Lamanites ... were a wild, and ferocious, and a blood-thirsty people. Mosiah 10:11-12
The Lamanites ... were ... sinful and polluted. Mosiah 25:11

So according to Glenn Beck and the Book of Mormon, Native Americans are not just savages -- they're evil, sinful, polluted, wild, filthy, ferocious, blood-thirsty savages. God made them that way by cursing their ancestor, Laman (who was, don't ya know, an Israelite).

Sounds like the perfect story to base Manifest Destiny on, doesn't it?

I wonder why science didn't go for it?

22 August 2010

The Bible is like a software license

(via The Redheaded Skeptic -- be sure to read her Bible Studies!)

20 August 2010

1 Nephi 11: A spirit shows Nephi all the shit his dad saw

Since It's been a while since I've blogged the BOM, I suppose I'd better review what's happened so far in 1 Nephi.

OK, now that we're all caught up, let's see what happens next. (I know the suspense is killing you.)

Well, the first thing that comes to pass is that Nephi ponders his dad's imaginary tree, gets caught up in the spirit of the Lord, and is transported to an exceedingly high mountain.

For it came to pass after I had desired to know the things that my father had seen, and believing that the Lord was able to make them known unto me, as I sat pondering in mine heart I was caught away in the Spirit of the Lord, yea, into an exceedingly high mountain, which I never had before seen, and upon which I never had before set my foot. 1 Nephi 11:1

And then he has a conversation with his new-found spirit friend.

The spirit asked him what he wanted.

And the Spirit said unto me: Behold, what desirest thou? 1 Nephi 11:2

Nephi said he'd like to see some of the shit his dad saw.

And I said: I desire to behold the things which my father saw. 1 Nephi 11:3

The spirit asked Nephi if he believed that his dad saw the tree?

And the Spirit said unto me: Believest thou that thy father saw the tree of which he hath spoken? 1 Nephi 11:4

Nephi said that he believed all the crazy shit his dad said.

And I said: Yea, thou knowest that I believe all the words of my father. 1 Nephi 11:5

When the spirit heard Nephi's words, it started screaming.

And when I had spoken these words, the Spirit cried with a loud voice, saying: Hosanna to the Lord, the most high God; for he is God over all the earth, yea, even above all. And blessed art thou, Nephi, because thou believest in the Son of the most high God; wherefore, thou shalt behold the things which thou hast desired.1 Nephi 11:6-7

The spirit shouted that because Nephi believes in his dad's cool tree, Jesus would come down from heaven to visit him. (Jesus believes in Lehi's tree, too.)

And behold this thing shall be given unto thee for a sign, that after thou hast beheld the tree which bore the fruit which thy father tasted, thou shalt also behold a man descending out of heaven, and him shall ye witness; and after ye have witnessed him ye shall bear record that it is the Son of God. 1 Nephi 11:7

And then it came to pass that the spirit showed Nephi his dad's magic fruit tree. It was exceedingly white, too. It was like the whitest thing he'd ever seen.

And it came to pass that the Spirit said unto me: Look! And I looked and beheld a tree; and it was like unto the tree which my father had seen; and the beauty thereof was far beyond, yea, exceeding of all beauty; and the whiteness thereof did exceed the whiteness of the driven snow. 1 Nephi 11:8

Nephi and the spirit chatted for a while, and then the spirit showed him the virgin Mary. And darn if she wasn't exceedingly white, as well. (Being white is an exceedingly good thing in the Book of Mormon.)

And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the great city of Jerusalem, and also other cities. And I beheld the city of Nazareth; and in the city of Nazareth I beheld a virgin, and she was exceedingly fair and white. 1 Nephi 11:13

After the spirit showed Nephi the exceedingly white tree and virgin, it blathered on a bit about "the condescension of God" and whatnot. Then it told Nephi that the white virgin "is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh."

And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. 1 Nephi 11:18

(Does this mean that God the Father had sex with Mary "after the manner of the flesh?")

Then the spirit (or its angel sidekick) showed Nephi all the shit his dad saw and more. Jesus, Mary, John the Baptist, the twelve apostles, Lehi's iron rod, the large and spacious building, angels, devils, the condescension of God, the wisdom of the world -- the works.

And the shit continues to fly into the next chapter. But I'll save that for later.

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 12: Those who dwindle in unbelief will become dark, loathsome, filthy, idle, and abominable people

16 August 2010

Surah 2:139-158 -- Changing holy directions (qiblah)

One of the peculiar things about Muslims is that they have to pray in a particular direction: toward the Kaaba in Mecca. It is also the direction that the faces of dead Muslims point towards, and the direction that the head of an animal is supposed to be aligned with when slaughtered.

It wasn't always that way, though. Originally Muslims prayed toward Jerusalem. But then, for no apparent reason, Allah told Muhammad to start praying toward a black cube-shaped building in Mecca (the Kaaba). The Kaaba, according to Islamic tradition, was the first building on earth. Built by Adam and re-built later by Abraham and Ishmael, the Kaaba is the direction that all Muslims pray toward five times day, and is the holy site that all Muslims are supposed to visit once in their lifetime.

It's all complete bullshit, of course. There was no Adam to build the Kaaba. Abraham probably didn't exist either, but if he did, he didn't visit Mecca. The stories in Islam are as messed up as they are made up. But that doesn't stop 1.3 billion people from believing them.

Allah changed the holy direction in verse 2:143-144 of the Quran. And he blathers on about it in the rest of the verses in this section of Surah 2.

And We appointed the qiblah which ye formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard (test) save for those whom Allah guided. ... We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. 2:143-4

But Allah, of course, knew that there would be scoffers (like me) that would complain about Muhammad's arbitrary change of holy directions.

The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path. 2:142

Yeah, Allah guides whoever the hell he wants on a straight path. And once in a while he changes the direction of the path for no reason whatsoever.

Allah is Responsive, Aware. Arbitrary.

Bogging the Quran
Surah 2:159-189 -- Hiding the Quran, cursing unbelievers, eating pork, retaliating, the death tax, and Ramadan sex

13 August 2010

My conversation with Douglas Wilson

I know, I really should get back to the Book of Mormon and the Quran. But I've found something that's even more fun to do. I'm discussing the Bible with Doug Wilson.

Doug has a blog called Blog and Mablog, and you can find it here. It, of course, is visited mostly by his followers, but anyone can register and comment. And so far at least, all of my comments have been posted.

As you may know, Douglas Wilson has recently become (even more) famous by touring the country with Christopher Hitchens. They even made a movie about it called "Collision" (which I don't recommend, by the way). I've mentioned their online debates and movie before, and I've discussed Doug Wilson's views several times.

OK. So what, you say. Why am I so interested in Doug Wilson's views?

Well, Doug Wilson and I live in the same town (Moscow, Idaho), and people from all over the country (and even the world) move here to the Palouse to join his church. He has a college downtown (New Saint Andrews College) a K-12 school (Logos), a church (Christ Church), several Christ Church businesses, and maybe (I'm guessing here) a thousand or so of Doug's followers in a town of 22,000 or so.

Christ Church is a large enough group to affect our local politics and public school system. But it's not Doug Wilson's followers that bother me: it's Doug Wilson's beliefs.

Doug used to talk openly and often about his beliefs, but ever since news about his pro-slavery book came out, he's stopped doing that. So I honestly don't know what he believes anymore.

So I went to his blog to find out. And I found something that surprised me: an old post from 2005 that was directed at me. So of course, I had to answer that. Here's the post and my reply.

I didn't get a response from that, so I thought I'd try again. In another post, Doug mentioned Philistine foreskins and there's no way I could resist that. (No response on that one either.)

And yesterday, when he began to talk about sodomites, lesbians, and virtual perverts, I just could help but jump in. I got one response from Doug in the form of a parable, along with a dozen or so from his followers. But so far there's been no answer to any of my questions to Doug.

Anyway that's my excuse for not blogging the Quran.

11 August 2010

Jesus hates you. (So does Douglas Wilson.)

Douglas Wilson doesn't say much (out loud) anymore. But back in the day, before he became famous debating Christopher Hitchens, he used to say the darndest things.

Here, for example, is what he said in his pro-slavery booklet (co-authored in 1996 with Steve Wilkins), Southern Slavery as it Was:

[N]othing is clearer -- the New Testament opposes anything like the abolitionism of our countryprior to the War Between the States. The New Testament contains many instrucitons for Christian slave owners, and requires a respectful submissive demeanor for Christian slaves. See for example, Ephesians 6:5-9, Colossians 3:22-4:1, and 1 Timothy 6:1-5.


[I]n this booklet ... we will say (out loud) that a godly man could have been a slave owner. (emphasis in original)

In the last few years, though, Douglas hasn't said much (out loud or in print) about godly Christian slave owners or any of the other interesting things that he apparently still (quietly) believes.

Still, once in a while he slips up and the old Doug slips out.

The Bible teaches that God hates.
Not only that, but we cannot take refuge in that famous line about hating the sin but loving the sinner. This text says that God hates the people doing these things, and not just the things that are done.
At the Day of Judgment, it will be the sinners that are pitched into Hell, not just their sins. The place where God has made it possible to distinguish sins and sinners is in the cross of Jesus Christ. Because of that, our sins can be taken away from us, and separated from us.
But this is not because God decided to stop hating sin. No, He hates sin so much that He poured out His wrath on it, even though the place where that wrath was located was in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. His act of love was also an act of hatred. So they are not opposites. The greatest act of love in the history of the human race was the death of Jesus. But at the same moment, in a different respect, the greatest act of divine hatred was also the cross of Jesus.

So Jesus hates you more than you will ever know. He hates you with the greatest hatred the world has ever known. He hates you even more than Douglas Wilson hates you.

If such a thing is possible, that is.

06 August 2010

Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible
Now available at Amazon.com

There's something I've wanted to tell you about for a while. It's the reason I haven't been posting much lately. You see, I've been working on a book.

It's a book that was developed here at the blog with input from readers -- who not only corrected my spelling, but helped decide which killings to include and how many victims to count. Thanks to all of you for your help!

The title of the book will not surprise anyone who has been here before. (Drunk With Blood: God's killings in the Bible) It was the title of one of my last posts on God's killings, where I listed 136 killings in my last attempt to count them all. You can find it here.

The book is for sale at Amazon.com and you can browse it a bit at DrunkWithBlood.com. It is also available in kindle form.*

I'm hoping the book will be successful enough to help pay for another book project that I'm now working on: The Skeptic's Annotated Bible. This is going to be a very large (1800+ pages) and expensive book, which I am paying for myself. So if you'd like to help out with that, you can do that by buying a copy of Drunk with Blood. Thanks.

02 August 2010

1 Nephi 10: Lehi proves Jesus wrong by becoming the greatest prophet ever

Jesus said that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet who had ever lived.

For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. Luke 7:28

But that was just because he hadn't yet read the Book of Mormon, so he didn't know about Lehi.

Because when it comes to prophecy, Lehi makes Moses, Muhammad, Jesus, and John the Baptist look like the governing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Here are just some of the things that Lehi prophesied in 600 BCE.

  1. The Babylonian captivity.
    He spake unto them concerning the Jews -- That after they should be destroyed, even that great city Jerusalem, and many be carried away captive into Babylon. 1 Nephi 10:2-3
  2. That a Messiah ("or, in other words, the Savior of the world") would come 600 years later.
    Yea, even six hundred years from the time that my father left Jerusalem, a prophet would the Lord God raise up among the Jews -- even a Messiah, or, in other words, a Savior of the world. 1 Nephi 10:4
  3. That a prophet would come before the Messiah to "prepare the way of the Lord."
    And he spake also concerning a prophet who should come before the Messiah, to prepare the way of the Lord. -- 1 Nephi 10:7
  4. Lehi even know the words that the King James Version translators would put in John the Baptist's mouth 2200 years later.
    Yea, even he should go forth and cry in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, and make his paths straight; for there standeth one among you whom ye know not; and he is mightier than I, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. And much spake my father concerning this thing. 1 Nephi 10:8
  5. He knew where John the Baptist would be baptizing. (Bethabara, beyond the Jordan)
    And my father said he should baptize in Bethabara, beyond Jordan; and he also said he should baptize with water; even that he should baptize the Messiah with water. And after he had baptized the Messiah with water, he should behold and bear record that he had baptized the Lamb of God, who should take away the sins of the world. 1 Nephi 10:9-10
  6. And that the Messiah (Lehi couldn't quite make out Jesus' name) would be killed by the Jews (who were dwindling in unbelief) and then rise from the dead.
    And it came to pass after my father had spoken these words he spake unto my brethren concerning the gospel which should be preached among the Jews, and also concerning the dwindling of the Jews in unbelief. And after they had slain the Messiah, who should come, and after he had been slain he should rise from the dead, and should make himself manifest, by the Holy Ghost, unto the Gentiles. 1 Nephi 10:11

So Jesus was wrong about John the Baptist. Lehi was the greatest prophet in the world.

Blogging the Book of Mormon
Next episode -- 1 Nephi 11: A spirit shows Nephi all the shit his dad saw