29 July 2017

Richard Dawkins: The God of the Old Testament

(29 July 17: I originally posted this nearly nine years ago, soon after Richard Dawkins's wonderful speech. More recently, the Freedom From Religion Foundation created a new website based upon this speech and Dan Barker's book - God: the Most unpleasant Character in all Fiction. So I thought I'd repost this and update the list with additions from FFRF's site and Dan's Book.)

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it

How jealous and proud is he? Well, his name is Jealous. And he named himself!

For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God: Exodus 34:14

Here are some more verses where God brags about his jealousy.

I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Exodus 20:5

For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God. Deuteronomy 4:24

I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Deuteronomy 5:9

(For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 6:15

The LORD will not spare him, but then the anger of the LORD and his jealousy shall smoke against that man, and all the curses that are written in this book shall lie upon him, and the LORD shall blot out his name from under heaven. Deuteronomy 29:20

They provoked him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations provoked they him to anger. Deuteronomy 32:16

They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. Deuteronomy 32:21

He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. Joshua 24:19

And Judah did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they provoked him to jealousy with their sins. 1 Kings 14:22

And he put forth the form of an hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy. Ezekiel 8:3

Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry. Ezekiel 8:5

I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy. Ezekiel 16:38

So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry. Ezekiel 16:42

And I will set my jealousy against thee, and they shall deal furiously with thee: they shall take away thy nose and thine ears; and thy remnant shall fall by the sword: they shall take thy sons and thy daughters; and thy residue shall be devoured by the fire. Ezekiel 23:25

Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the heathen. Ezekiel 36:5

For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken, Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel. Ezekiel 38:19

God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; Nahum 1:2

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy. Zechariah 1:14

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Zechariah 8:2

All the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. Zephaniah 3:8

a petty,
A golden bell and a pomegranate ... shall be upon Aaron to minister: and his sound shall be heard when he goeth in unto the holy place before the LORD, and when he cometh out, that he die not. Exodus 28:34-35

Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woollen come upon thee. Leviticus 19:19

Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Leviticus 19:27

Thou shalt not sacrifice unto the LORD thy God any bullock, or sheep, wherein is blemish, or any evilfavouredness: for that is an abomination unto the LORD thy God. Deuteronomy 17:1

Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together. Deuteronomy 22:11

Thou shalt make thee fringes upon the four quarters of thy vesture, wherewith thou coverest thyself. Deuteronomy 22:12

He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. Deuteronomy 23:1

A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation. Deuteronomy 23:2

Thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee. For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp. Deuteronomy 23:13-14

Behold, I am against your pillows. Ezekiel 13:20

unjust,
If thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn. Exodus 4:23

The LORD slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man, and the firstborn of beast. Exodus 13:15

I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Exodus 20:5

Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers. Isaiah 14:21

(See here for a more complete list of Old Testament injustices.)

unforgiving
He is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. Joshua 24:19

For the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. 2 Kings 24:4

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. Jeremiah 11:14

When they fast, I will not hear their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and an oblation, I will not accept them: but I will consume them by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence. Jeremiah 14:12

Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. Ezekiel 8:18

control-freak;
But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: ... The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods (hemorrhoids), and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. The LORD shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: ... Thou shalt betroth a wife, and another man shall lie with her: ... The LORD shall smite thee in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of thy foot unto the top of thy head. ... And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters ... The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil toward the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, And toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear: for she shall eat them. Deuteronomy 28:15-68

For another 1647 examples see Every Jot and Tittle: All of the Commandments in the Bible

a vindictive,
I kill .. I wound ... I will render vengeance to mine enemies ... I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh. Deuteronomy 32:39-42

He will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries. Deuteronomy 32:43

To me belongeth vengeance and recompence ... for the day of their calamity is at hand. Deuteronomy 32:35

And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them. Nunbers 11:1

Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: Jeremiah 11:22

For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood. Jeremiah 46:10

And I will execute vengeance in anger and fury upon the heathen, such as they have not heard. Micah 5:15

bloodthirsty
And the priest shall dip his finger in some of the blood, and sprinkle it seven times before the LORD. Leviticus 4:17

And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. Leviticus 26:29

I kill .. I wound ... I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh. Deuteronomy 32:39-42

But God shall wound the head of his enemies ... That thy foot may be dipped in the blood of thine enemies, and the tongue of thy dogs in the same. Psalm 68:21-23

For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. Isaiah 34:2-3

For my sword shall be bathed in heaven. Isaiah 34:5

The sword of the LORD is filled with blood, ... their land shall be soaked with blood, ... For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance. Isaiah 34:7-8

And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine. Isaiah 49:26

I will ... trample them in my fury; and their blood ... will stain all my raiment. Isaiah 63:2-6

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:9

For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood. Jeremiah 46:10

Cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood. Jeremiah 48:10

Thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ezekiel 39:17

Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth. Ezekiel 39:18

And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Ezekiel 39:19

And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Zephaniah 1:17 (See here for a more complete list of Old Testament cruelties.

ethnic cleanser;
Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. Deuteronomy 13:15

Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 1 Samuel 15:2-3

a misogynistic,
Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, an do ye to them as is good in your eyes. Genesis 19:8

Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. 1 Samuel 18:27

And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged. Leviticus 19:20

And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9

And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive? ... Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves. Nunbers 31:15-19

And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword: But the women ... shalt thou take unto thyself. Deuteronomy 20:13-14

And seest among the captives a beautiful woman, and hast a desire unto her .... Thou shalt go in unto her. Deuteronomy 21:11-13

If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated .... Deuteronomy 21:15

If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her ... Deuteronomy 22:13

I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid. Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city. But if ... the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die. Deuteronomy 22:14-21

If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city. Deuteronomy 22:23-24

When two men strive together on with another, and the wife of the one ... putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

Have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two? Judges 5:30

Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king's son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife. 1 Samuel 18:27

Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 2 Samuel 12:11

And her daughters which are in the field shall be slain by the sword; and they shall know that I am the LORD Ezekiel 26:6

homophobic,
Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Leviticus 18:22

If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. Leviticus 20:13

racist,
One of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses ... And when Phinehas ... saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. Numbers 25:6-8

The LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. Deuteronomy 7:6

An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever. Deuteronomy 23:3

infanticidal,
At midnight the LORD smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon. Exodus 12:29

Ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. Leviticus 26:16

I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children. Leviticus 26:22

And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and the flesh of your daughters shall ye eat. Leviticus 26:29

Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. ... And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick... on the seventh day, that the child died. 2 Samuel 12:14-18

Therefore the fathers shall eat the sons in the midst of thee, and the sons shall eat their fathers. Ezekiel 5:10

And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend. Jeremiah 19:9

genocidal,
Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. Deuteronomy 13:15

But of the cities of these people, which the LORD thy God doth give thee for an inheritance, thou shalt save alive nothing that breatheth. Deuteronomy 20:16-17

So smote all the country ... he left none remaining, but utterly destroyed all that breathed, as the LORD God of Israel commanded. Joshua 10:40

Thus saith the LORD of hosts ... go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. 1 Samuel 15:2-3

filicidal,
And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and ... offer him there for a burnt offering. Genesis 22:2

For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death. Leviticus 20:9

And the daughter of any priest, if she profane herself by playing the whore, she profaneth her father: she shall be burnt with fire. Leviticus 21:9

If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods ... hou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. Deuteronomy 13:6-10

Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones. Psalm 137:9

pestilential,
And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague. Nunbers 11:33

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Nunbers 21:6

The hand of the LORD was against the city ... and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts. 1 Samuel 5:9

So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? ... So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel ... and there died of the people ... seventy thousand men. 2 Samuel 24:13

So will I send upon you famine and evil beasts, and they shall bereave thee: and pestilence and blood shall pass through thee; and I will bring the sword upon thee. I the LORD have spoken it. Ezekiel 5:17

megalomaniacal,
Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down; and darkness was under his feet. And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly. 2 Samuel 22:8-11

Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 38:23

sadomasochistic,
Thou shalt even drink it and suck it out, and thou shalt break the sherds thereof, and pluck off thine own breasts: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. Ezekiel 23:34
capriciously malevolent
Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark ... fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city. Ezekiel 9:4-7

Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them. Ezekiel 8:18

And the cities that are inhabited shall be laid waste, and the land shall be desolate; and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 12:20

bully.
And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the LORD: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. Jeremiah 15:3

And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man's sword shall be against his brother. And I will plead against him with pestilence and with blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, an overflowing rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone. Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 38:21-23


95 comments:

Hugo said...

That Is Awesome!
I've been waiting for someone to put that quote next to the actual scripture.
Thanks

Aquaria said...

It was learning that the reason we had to believe in god was because he was a jealous god that I got on my path to atheism. Before then I hadn't been too concerned about religion, but learning god had such a flaw made me think the whole god thing was a bunch of bs.

Thanks, Lutheran school 5th grade religious education!

Verification word: Evagica. The mis-spelled female hygiene product.

lockharts said...

wow dawkins lol gotta love him. Oh and can we please stop putting verses out of context....

Jealousy in God is not a flaw... If God was not jealous he would have left and forsaken us with our idols long ago. He definatly would not have sent his son.

Why is jealousy for us a sin? Because everything we have is from God and we don't deserve it. If we are jealous of something we are being materialistic and therefore not appreciative of what God gives us aka we are idol worshiping.

Jealousy in God must be seen as what God deserves... Therefore if it is not givin to Him he is naturally jealous of what he deserves not what he wants.

Overall I agree with dawkins, if He was a man, I really wouldn't like Him too much. Why would we listen to a guy that goes around saying He is better than us...

But He's not, therefore there is a lot more grace to all of this. If God was being "Just" we would have been smited and wiped from the Earth a long time ago. Yet God decided to perserver with His people (Israel) slowly restoring them.

Question: If God had not been so harsh on His people and had not told them to stay away from the other nations for corruptions sake, would there be the Church today or Christianity at all???

This is meant for debate, I would not try to convert people over the internet, thats not my point. So argue it with intellegence please...

Hugo said...

Okay lockhearts, I'll bite a little.
So a concept that means something to us means something else when applied to your god concept?
Then if it is black your brain will find a way to make it white when applied to your god.
I suggest you look up the special pleading argument.

Also what does it mean when you say: "would there be the Church today or Christianity at all"
just because it is believed by (many) people does not make it true (argument from popularity), have a look at hinduism if that is important for you.

And why did you just pick that attribute, there's still all these:
petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully

Maybe a bit harder even for your brain but I'd love to see you give it a try.


Did everyone see the new t-shirts on http://richarddawkins.net/ guess he read your mind Steve or was it a joint effort ;-)

Kamacharya said...

Question: If God had not been so harsh on His people and had not told them to stay away from the other nations for corruptions sake, would there be the Church today or Christianity at all???

My answer:
Probably not. Nor would there have been the advent of Islam either. Nor would the Dark Ages have happened, and we humans might be a thousand years ahead in technology than we are now.
I could be wearing rocket-boots and being served cocktails by sexy android waitresses right now if it wasn't for the theocracy that ruled over - and dumbed down - Europe after the fall of Rome!

Anon said...

Great (re)post. I'm just finishing listening to The God Delusion on audiobook, and I recognize this excerpt from the beginning. It's very interesting to see how well Dawkin's words match up with the Bible.

I would hate to be Aaron. I could see myself forgetting to put the bell on some day and being killed on the spot for it. I bet pastors are happy this one still isn't in effect.

Aquaria said:It was learning that the reason we had to believe in god was because he was a jealous god that I got on my path to atheism

For me, it was mostly the fact that God made/let people suffer, both in life and in the afterlife. But if I had known about all these jealousy verses earlier, it might have had a bigger impact.

lockharts said:Jealousy in God is not a flaw... If God was not jealous he would have left and forsaken us with our idols long ago. He definatly would not have sent his son.

You're saying that God sent his son to get crucified here on Earth because he was jealous. Couldn't God have thought of a better way than killing his son to convince us that we should worship him?

Jealousy in God must be seen as what God deserves...

I don't see how killing off Jesus gives God his due. I can understand the idea of God not wanting us to worship other gods, but Jesus dying on the cross didn't solve this since other religions still exist. If God really wants us to believe in him, couldn't Jesus come back down for a press conference and perform a few miracles for a global audience? I'm being completely serious. If God is there, why doesn't he just tell us? A lot more people would believe in him and be saved from hell.

If God was being "Just" we would have been smited and wiped from the Earth a long time ago.

If God was being just, would he still be punishing the human race for what Adam and Eve did thousands of year ago? He tried to smite everyone before to make things better (the flood), but it didn't work and he said he was sorry he did it.

If God had not been so harsh on His people and had not told them to stay away from the other nations for corruptions sake, would there be the Church today or Christianity at all???

This is an interesting way of thinking of it. I agree with Kamacharya, we'd probably be better off if it weren't for Christianity, as long as people weren't duped into some other religion, which I'm afraid probably would have happened though...Maybe I'm just being pessimistic, though.

james said...

Great post. And it's still going on! There are a few cartoons on god's actions at
this blog - hope they make you guys laugh! http://macleodcartoons.blogspot.com/2008/12/so-thats-where-it-came-from.html

http://macleodcartoons.blogspot.com/2008/12/mysterious-ways.html

http://macleodcartoons.blogspot.com/2008/12/vengeful-god.html

Anonymous said...

lockharts said:
"Why is jealousy for us a sin? Because everything we have is from God and we don't deserve it"

You mean like disease, and children with birth defects, and tsunamis that kill thousands of people? I agree that we don't deserve that.

Oh, wait, you probably meant just the good stuff God gives us, huh?

"Question: If God had not been so harsh on His people and had not told them to stay away from the other nations for corruptions sake, would there be the Church today or Christianity at all???"

You're operating under the assumption that lack of a Church and Christianity would be a bad thing...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I wonder if God just acts tough to show His fans how "hard" He is.

What if He's a big sissy who's so scared of loosing his friends he has to do all this barbaric stuff or else he'll "loose his edge"?

Afterall, his books wouldn't have sold half as well if people knew what a goody-two-shoes he is.

Even the "apologetics" who go on about God's love don't think Jesus or Yahweh is all-forgiving; they believe Heaven comes at a price.

He definetely seems to be laying it on a bit thick in the bible, he's all "I'm badass and awesome and stuff", but for all we know he could be some wimp who decorates his house with pictures of Unicorns and loves the Care Bears. Hmm... this seems to remind me of something.

Can anyone guess what I am reminded of? :3

bencyjohn said...

i have my own views on god and i am trying to express it in my blog
www.bencyjohn.blogspot.com
pls feel free to come and comment

Luke said...

Awesome.

jacobwright said...

This is ignoral and unreasonable. You guys think you are really smart, but it is very childish reasoning. Check out this essay I did on this very subject:

http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=19042384&blogId=479452159

Nev said...

Nice work! I have Dawkin's quote on a T-Shirt, which I've translated so my girlfriend knows what it says. Maybe a native speaker can improve on it. (In Latin America < 1%, according to figures I've seen, class themselves as atheist).

El Dios del Antiguo Testamento es, podría ser dicho, el personaje más desagradable en toda ficción: celoso y orgulloso de ello; un controlador mezquino, injusto, y implacable; un vengativo limpiador étnico sediento de sangre; un matón misógino, homófobo, racista, infanticida, genocida, filicida, pestilente, megalómano, sadomasoquista, y caprichosamente malévolo.

Brucker said...

Why "The God of the Old Testament"? It's the same God through the whole Bible.

Ricardo Tavares Dias said...

What a bunch of ignorant comments.

If any of you wants to know who God is, you'll have to remove prejudice from your minds and get educated enough to read the Word of God as it should be read. Understand the story and the history. Understand the context and the text. You'll have to read the whole Bible and you'll se that both testaments speak of one and only God. A God of Love...and a God of Justice.

geraldo21 said...

Yes, perhaps Ricardo, I agree there is no sense god-bashing until pain is at stake.

Fortunately, however, a lot of people, myself included, have found sufficient meaning in their lives already without this delusion. To my people, there is no sense spending countless months reading a story, and further years studying or preaching it. It is, after all, just that: a story. If a person believes that this book is actually "the word of god from thousands of years ago," then it's quite clear that they have inherent delusional tendencies, and can probably be convinced that climate change is hoax of massive proportions by all of the politicians of the world, too.

Alas, we Atheists have decided to spend the months & years spared from reading this story actually accomplishing something with our time on Earth. Something senseful, something good for Life on Earth. Something real. Not preaching this non-sense, where the only good that comes from it, is that joyful period following the end of the war... the war that religion started in the first place.

The world will be in a natural state of peace only when there is no religion, or no human beings.

kadie said...

Geraldo21, if those of us how studie the Bible are wasting our time then aren't also Atheiste who spend their time telling us that we are wrong and trying to prove so also wasting their time?
War comes form human kind who is not perfect, we are all greed and and can never to prefect. It is true the we use religion to start wars, but that is not the purpose of religion. It is because of our greed that we try to religion to justify war. Really though I don't see myself in a believer of religion but in Christ who came to end religion.

Mary said...

Yes kadie Christ did come to put an end to religion. It's why he was killed. If you truly study Christ teachings, and what he was saying. You would come to know that the true GOD is Spirit, and the Kingdom of Heaven is with in us all.If you take a close look. The GOD of the Old Testament is a whole lot different from the GOD of the New Testament. I think that the teaching of Christ were taken some 300 years after he was killed and made to fit in with the Old Testament teaching to try and bring the followers, and control of the people they were losing back under their thumbs. To me they were losing to much money, from the loss, and control of the people. So out of greed, lust for power, and pettiness they invented a new religion to compliment the old one, and it worked. For a long time it has worked. Until man was able to read the written word for themselves that is.

Gary said...

This is Gary DeVaney of "The God Murders" website. Richard Dawkins has awakened Human awareness to the insane and murderous God of the Bible. I put God on Trial. Thinkers appreciate Bible C&V documentation that proves that Richard Dawkins in 100% on target. If any are truly interested:

www.thegodmurders.com

Thank you so much, Richard!

Regards, Gary DeVaney

pkgs said...

Should I thank who - ''god" --
If these lies were not fed to our ancestors - there would have been no Christianity and the Christians would not have killed Millions and Millions of people in the name of religion and till this day this slaughter is going on.
The stories which are taught to us as facts in the so called Holy books - a kid will laugh at it and he/she can make up better and more believable stories.

The Simple Scientist said...

@lockharts: When you butcher words like "definatly," you lose any and all credibility. Most English-speakers who were not home-schooled spell that word "definitely."

Thank you, Richard Dawkins, for giving the world your books, your knowledge and a path to overcome the ignorance of the past (and the present).

Anonymous said...

fenm: "You're operating under the assumption that lack of a Church and Christianity would be a bad thing..."


For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Psalms 84:10

Paul Arenas said...

You could repent. Moreover, you could ask God for eternal forgiveness through applying the death and resurrection of Jesus to your life of sin within the quietness of your bedroom tonight. As an unrepentant sinner myself, I made this decision around 15 years ago. This is the most important decision that you will ever make. “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
- Romans 10:9-10

Anonymous said...

Picture the scene!

Darwin & Dawkins as bacteria on top of a giant lump of Elephant shit debating evolution.

Dawkins says to Darwin, "I believe in the Big Bang"!

"How come"? says Darwin.

"I heard it a few seconds ago & here we are"!

"Elementary, my dear Darwin"!

Anonymous said...

Exodus 32:7-10

Is Moses schizophrenic & hearing voices in his head or is God talking to him?

If Moses is schizophrenic then the whole Chosen People & the Promised Land is a Lark in the Park, but if God is talking to him, then God is the FIRST anti-Semitic. He wanted to wipe the Israelites off the face of the earth & start again, but Moses pleaded with God not to & to give them another chance.

Moloch worship (the Golden Calf) offered human victims as sacrifices. The FIRST Jewish Holocaust happened in the Wilderness, right after Passover.Ask your local Jew why the Israelites had to spend 40 years in the Wilderness & he will either LIE or is ignorant of what happened.

See Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 64a to see how to offer human sacrifices & not be guilty!

The Simple Scientist said...

Few things are more ridiculous than trying to prove the truth of ancient scripture by quoting from that very scripture. That's a bit like saying "I'm right because I say I am" or "The Book of Mormon is clearly correct because it says it is correct." Expand your worldviews. Free yourselves.

How could tribes of ancient herdsmen know more about history, cosmology and theology than we could in 2011? The only honest answer is "They couldn't."

hoosierpastor said...

I respectfully disagree with the fundamental assertion of Dawkins and the original post. . . that anger is somehow ignoble or reprehensible in God. Anger is not the opposite of love, indifference is. When I read in the papers not long ago of a man who wrapped his infant son in cellophane and watched him slowly suffocate I became angry, very angry. I wanted something to be done about that kind of evil. I wanted justice. I believe that is the only moral response to that kind of evil. What would you say to a villager in Africa who has just watched his village being burned and his family brutalized. . . that it's immoral for him to become angry??? I submit that our anger at such evil is the natural and appropriate reflection of how God feels about such evil. That is what the anger of God is ultimately about. It is his righteous response to the evil which destroys the goodness, beauty and peace of his creation. Personally I could not believe in a "god" who is not angry about evil.

Anonymous said...

Is it fair that 100,000,000 to 300,000,000 sperm are ejaculated by men & only ONE fertilizes the egg?

Some people would have you believe that all the sperm should the egg, even the ones with 2 heads & the ones with no tails.

I think God has people like Richard Dawkins play the "Devils Advocate"! This is a very important role & keeps believers on their toes. Good health to you, Richard & if you have any money left after being screwed by ATHEISTS, you could send us a few bob! Ho, ho, ho.

havocwing said...

The greatest madman to have ever lived.

havocwing said...

The greatest madman to have ever lived.

Anonymous said...

"How could tribes of ancient herdsmen know more about history, cosmology and theology than we could in 2011? The only honest answer is "They couldn't."

Its quiet clear that the Hygiene Laws they had in the Wilderness were thousands of years before their time. The medium was religious ritual, the effect was hygiene among a couple million.
Deuteronomy 23:12-14. This one instruction saved them from contacted all kinds of airborne diseases. In parts of the world, even in the 21st century, people don't understand the importance of this instruction.

un servidor said...

The Hebrew word represented by the English word "jealous" is "qannah" which could more accurately be rendered, "possessing sensitive and deep feelings."

I want to testify that as well as I comprehend that I exist, I know that God lives, that He loves His children, and that He does all He does for their eternal welfare. I know this.

"For behold, this is my work and my glory, to bring to pass the immortality and Eternal life of man."

I invite each of you to seek Him in humility, and I promise "if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul." (Deuteronomy 4:29)

"...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Anonymous said...

After further study & reading Spinoza, I now understand the problem in the Old Testament. The priest/scribe Ezra, the Babylonian diaspora Jew, on his return to Jerusalem REWROTE, ADDED TO the Jewish manuscript (s) & left them for the Pharisees to collate & canonize.
They created their god in THEIR image; in the image of a racist, blood thirsty Jew, they created him.

Marcion was right!

The god of the Jews is a MONSTER, who has been used to dupe Christians & Muslims.

jessica said...

Waye, hell's gonna be really crowded. Hey look at the bright side, you all can look at each other at the same time and say: WE WERE WRONG!

A Família Internacional de Embu das Artes said...

Well, Mr. Dawkins & following, after such a description of a God you unfortunately don't know much about, if that's the way He really is, you should be on your knees every day, praying He doesn't exist or making sure you don't offend Him!

Brett Kitt said...

The word "jealous" in the orginal translation, from what I understand, means "passionate". So what is God passionate about? How does passion work in our own human relationships? When is it good and when is it bad? The passion a Mother has for her child is the same passion God has for us. A good mother will try not to spoil her children and only hopes that they won't go out and run in traffic, however.. that's not something she can fully control. She wants real love. She wants a child who freely chooses to love her. She can only hope she has taught them well, and that they trust her teaching. The consequence is there, but it's not because a mother hates or doesn't love her son. It's because when a car hits you, you get hurt. I don't think anyone would deny that. She will still love her son after he gets hit by a car... she will love him if He doesn't... tho she might be more proud and less stresssed. haha. this is the love of our Father God. It's not because we can earn it or deserve it, IT JUST IS! God is LOVE. HE is IT. The understanding of this comes from God, it is a gift. However gifts must be recieved, opened, and accepted. Everything is relative folks. And once God reveals this to you through seeking, everything will start to make a lot more sense. Everything. It takes time though, as any human earthly relationship takes time. God will never let you down though. He will always pull through. I pray that anyone who reads this can understand what I'm saying, and the truth I have found, and the joy of conversation with God, and the relationship. It's amazing.

The Simple Scientist said...

Brett, when you talk about God, do you mean Yahweh? Or Allah? Zeus? Or maybe Hanuman the monkey god? There are so many gods out there to choose from, how do you know which one to worship? Perhaps you mean a passionate Poseidon? You really owe it to yourself to read more than 1 ancient holybook and attend more than 1 kind of religious service. Amen for a passionate Venus, the goddess of love!

beinghuman123 said...

It's funny how religions say that God is loving and forgiving when he is anything but.

I hate how every religion claims to be right and says that the others are wrong. Jesus never intended to start another religion like some people claim. He hated the Pharisees and over turned tables in the temples.

Bill Graham said...

My mother has an illustrated Book of Genesis. I can't even make it through a dozen pages before wishing that the Galactic Child Protective Services would swoop in and take custody of the planet.

Change the scene and the names and is there ANYONE ANYWHERE who could condone such behavior?

And sadly there have been countless millions of souls since forced into all manner of mental/emotional/philosophical gyrations trying to 'spin' such abject horror into something positive or instructive.

Christianity lost me at age 5 with the Noah's Ark story when I didn't see Kangaroos. Reading about this particular version of God's sociopathic behavior isn't likely to win me back from a generally Daoist perspective.

Anonymous said...

Yo to all of true, sincere, seekers of truth!

MISHNAH. HE WHO GIVES OF HIS SEED TO MOLECH INCURS NO PUNISHMENT UNLESS HE DELIVERS IT TO MOLECH AND CAUSES IT TO PASS THROUGH THE FIRE. IF HE GAVE IT TO MOLECH BUT DID NOT CAUSE IT TO PASS THROUGH THE FIRE, OR THE REVERSE, HE INCURS NO PENALTY, UNLESS HE DOES BOTH.

Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64a
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 437

Following the Mishnah is a discussion among the sages. One of the Talmud Sages, Rabbi Ashi, comments as follows:

GEMARA. R. Ashi propounded: What if one caused his blind or sleeping son to pass through, (3) or if he caused his grandson by his son or daughter to pass through? — One at least of these you may solve. For it has been taught: [Any men … that giveth any of his seed unto Molech; he shall he put to death … And I will set my face against that man, and will cut him off from among his people;] because he hath given of his seed unto Molech. Why is this stated? — Because it is said, there shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire. From this I know it only of his son or daughter. Whence do I know that it applies to his son's son or daughter's son too? From the verse, [And if the people of the land do any ways hide their eyes from the man] when he giveth of his seed unto Molech [and kill him not: Then I will … cut him off.]

— Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 64b
Soncino 1961 Edition, page 439

Aaron offered Human Sacrifices to Moloch aka The Golden Calf on Mount Sinai (Exodus 32; Amos 5; Acts 7:42-43) & all through the Jewish Bible you will see that they continued to do it. The Babylonian Talmud teaches them how to do it TODAY!

NOW THAT IS WORRYING.

Anonymous said...

Jesus prayed:

“I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.”

I DESIRE MERCY, NOT SACRIFICE

Have you never questioned the idea of killing a man to appease God?

Jesus says:

MATTHEW 9

[13] Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.

MATTHEW 12

[7] And if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
The prophet says:
Hos.6
[6] For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings. . ..

The above are true witnesses. Now, here are some examples of the many false witnesses:

The likes of Billy Graham and Co state:

In ancient Judaism the shedding of blood was to make atonement for sin. The word "blood" in the Old and the New Testaments symbolized a life that was given. Jesus Christ became the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world for the sins of the world.

Another witness testifies as follows:

By His death on the cross, the Lord Jesus made a perfect atonement for sin, by which the wrath of God against sinners is appeased and a ground furnished upon which God can deal in mercy with sinners. He redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse in our place. He Who Himself was absolutely without sin was made sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

And yet another testifies:

Jesus—We believe that Jesus is the Son of God, was born of a virgin, was wholly God and wholly man, lived a sinless life, died in our place as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind, was buried, arose bodily from the grave, and ascended into Heaven.

Of the many false doctrines of Christendom, none can be more heinous to the Father than this -- that He required His innocent Son, Jesus of Nazareth, to atone for the sins of humans by suffering the horrible death of crucifixion, thus becoming a vicarious, sacrificial atonement. It is heinous because it renders men --

1. Blind to the true message of the Old Testament scriptures,
2. Deaf to the voice of Jesus,
3. Utterly ignorant as to the merciful nature of God and
4. Seals their condemnation who might otherwise have found salvation.

Dan Barker said...

Under "Genocidal," Deuteronomy 13:5 should be Deuteronomy 13:15

Steve Wells said...

Thanks Dan. I've made the correction.

Let me know if you find any more.

Dan Barker said...

Steve,

I can't find your email address. Send me an email to dbarker AT ffrf DOT org

I am working on a new book and crediting the SAB and Drunk With Blood as a resource.

Anonymous said...

DAWKINS IS A HYPOCRITE

GOOGLE:

Richard Dawkins condemns the Myth of the Chosen People & the Promised Land!

---------------------------

That's right - NOTHING!

Dawkins hasn't the BALLS to condemn the Zionist Jews who use these MYTHS to massacre thousands of Arabs in Palestine, BECAUSE he wants to get his BOOKS printed & he knows who controls WORLD publishing! Yep - JEWS!

A proud mana said...

I have had a problem with the Old Testament for some time. God is petty, ugly, vindictive, hateful, bigoted and unjust. My minister says it was reflective of a lawless time. Then why do we still read this junk on Sunday? Then we get to the New Testament and God is a kinder and gentler version of himself or is he? What father sends his son to be killed to rid us of sin? Why couldn't god just forgive? That in my mind would be a loving god, not the one portrayed in the bible. My head cannot wrap itself around the bible. And faith...to be a sheep, stupid, unquestioning with brain that accepts crap and says it is god's own word. Ya right!

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi all! So I realize I am late to the party, but I saw this post and my heart broke.

I think that in the cherry-picking of these verses, it's easy to miss the heart of this God that is none of the characteristics he is accused of being. He LOVES people. He is GOOD, there is no evil in Him whatsoever!

Now, you may say, "He has a funny way of showing it." And I could agree, if I didn't read the contexts of most of these verses, and also know the true character of God, which is in many of the verses not displayed in this post.

613 laws were given by God to His people. A people who had lost sight of God due to many years of slavery and rule by the Egyptians, who didn't honor God...or them. These people, rescued from the clutches of these Egyptians, and who were taken to a place of freedom and abundance, were given these laws to learn how to honor this God who they had lost sight of, but who had not forgotten them, or their cries for help, and who did the impossible to rescue them.

All of the rules that God laid out in detail in the Old Testament were so that His people....who HE created...would have a chance to know Him...to dwell with Him. You have to remember that God is HOLY. He is perfect and there is no evil in Him. NONE. But because of that, evil cannot exist around Him...it gets burned up and destroyed, along with whatever (or whoever) holds it. God made a way to show His people how they could be able to dwell with Him, despite their sin, that would destroy them if they were to try to dwell with Him. When they did sin (which is inevitable, because no one could follow all 613 laws perfectly due to our sin nature - handed down to us by the first humans when they made a choice to listen to the lies of evil rather than trust God), they had to make sacrifices...kill innocent pure lambs for their blood, to atone for the sins they committed..so LOTS of animals were killed. Not because of God, but because of man. Many blame God for this...how dare He allow all these animals to be killed? But, how else would these people atone for their sins? Just say "Sorry"? No, something had to be killed to destroy the sin...it's justice. The sins of the people would be transferred to these pure animals which were destroyed in the place of the person who held the sin. And He forgave them and wiped their sins away so they could dwell with Him. But even then, their hearts had to be truly repentant...because there are verses that say that the sacrifices mean nothing if the heart is not in the right place. But that's why Jesus was referred to as the "Lamb of God"! He was the pure sacrifice for us...He took the punishment for our sins-He was killed so that the guilt wouldn't be on us and that we could dwell with Him, if we believed with our hearts! John 3:16-20

I wish I could write more, but I'm limited in characters..just know God loves you. More than you know. And if you ask Him (not rudely demand, but ask with a heart that truly seeks to know and understand Him), He will show you who He really is! (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! =)

Unknown said...

"613 laws were given by God to His people."

A VILE GOD, A VILE BOOK AND A VILE PEOPLE

THE GENOCIDAL GOD OF THE JEWS

"I form the LIGHT, and create DARKNESS. I make PEACE, and create EVIL.
I the LORD do all these things." – Isaiah 45.7.

All cultures have anthropomorphized their gods into humanoid (if sometimes grotesque) form. Were the Jews the exception? Hardly. We know precisely what the Hebrew god looked like. We are, after all, fashioned in his own likeness! "Yahweh", in fact, is an abbreviation of the longer name, "Yahweh Sabaoth." It means, "He who musters armies." Thus Yahweh's name identifies the god primarily as the military leader of the tribe. No wonder the God bequeathed to the world by the Jews turned out to be a monster.

A GOD IN THE IMAGE OF THE JEW

"The Lord is a man of war; Yahweh is his name." – Exodus 15.3.

Whenever we read the obscene stories, the voluptuous debaucheries, the cruel and tortuous executions, the unrelenting vindictiveness, with which more than half the Bible is filled, it would be more consistent that we called it the word of a demon than the word of God. It is a history of wickedness, that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind; and, for my part, I sincerely detest it, as I detest everything that is cruel.

Without a doubt, the human race has been bludgeoned with books about this one tome, the Jewish Bible. The Jewish Bible is full of violence and ugly stories, with a few "feel-good" platitudes and parables interspersed. It's hardly worth reading. Other than a handful of spiritual gems that can be found in virtually any religion, the Jewish Bible is irrelevant. A person with an innate sense of right and wrong needs none of its teachings, sparse as they are. Reading the Jewish Bible, in fact, can make one highly depraved. Many a serial rapist and killer has also been a Jewish Bible fanatic. They have taken seriously the punishments exacted throughout the Old Testament, such as stoning for "adulterous" women, "the Lord" punishing "his chosen" by making them eat each other, etc., ad nauseam.

In Numbers 31:14-18, Moses becomes enraged that his minions hadn't finished off the people of Midian after the Hebrews had destroyed and pillaged the Midianites' cities and enslaved the survivors. Moses immediately orders his thugs to kill all the male children and married women but to reserve the virgin girls for themselves - to rape, of course.

Hardly something we should be teaching our children. The Jewish Bible is the ultimate controlling device.

NATURAL BORN KILLERS

God tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac.
(Genesis 22.2)

Boy terrified in ritual abuse in the mountains -Yahweh cult's 'Test of Fear'
"God put Abraham to the test ... Abraham built an altar ... bound Isaac hand & foot ... took the slaughtering knife to kill his son ... But the angel of the Lord began calling ... 'Do not put out your hand against the boy .... for now I know that you fear the Lord ...' (Genesis 22.1,12)

The story of Isaac is NOT a condemnation of child sacrifice. Isaac was spared not because human sacrifice was seen to be wrong but because Isaac was the "child of promise" and needed to survive. The yarn requires the normality of human sacrifice. Abraham was praised for his willingness to appease Yahweh by killing his own son. The sham murder of Isaac (the 'Aquedah') was the prototype for a 'redemptive sacrificial death' subsequently re-worked as the crucified Jesus.

It should be noted that in the biblical text, Isaac (like Jesus) is repeatedly called "the only son" of Abraham (Genesis 22.2., 12., 16.) even though Abraham actually has another, older son, Ishmael.

Moses orders Levite fanatics to murder 3000 golden-calf enthusiasts.
(Exodus 32.27,29)

Tom Vouray said...

@Home Girl:

Please provide biblical references where god says he loves everyone.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi Tom!

Sure! I would be happy to share some of my favorites. There are SOOO many more than this, but I'm limited on characters. =) These are both from New Testament and Old Testament.

Exodus 34:6 - "The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." This statement about God is repeated a lot throughout the Bible. Almost like a reminder to many generations who would forget.

Joel 2:13 (MSG)- "Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here’s why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe." God would send people, His Prophets to speak for Him, when the people didn't want to listen. He would warn them, like a parent warns the children they love. He would also let them know that bad things were coming, but if they would choose to turn to Him, He would "cancel catastrophe"...I love how that is put in the Message version of the Bible.

Zephaniah 3:17 (MSG) - "Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you.
Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs." (This came after a staunch warning to those who turned their hearts against the Lord) Everything He does, He does to try to get those He loves to come back to Him, and when they finally come to their senses, He welcomes them back with open arms! Even though they had hurt Him time and time again. It's amazing!

In the Psalms - David speaks a lot about the Love of God. Even in his most difficult circumstances, He still recognizes that God is full of "lovingkindness".

In the New Testament, we see even more of God's love! Jesus' whole life was love. Everything He did was intentional and full of love for people. Probably the most central verses to the Love of God in Jesus are John 3:16-21. I can't write it all out here, because I'll run out of space, but if you look it up. It is great in all versions, but I really love "The Message" version of this passage!

In the book of Acts, we see how God is reaching out to every nation with the Love and the good news of Jesus. He shows His love and forgiveness by the lives of people who come to Him, from ALL different walks of life. The apostle Paul is a huge example of the lovingkindness and grace of God. His story is amazing in the book of Acts. Chapter 9 is where the change happens, and he becomes one of the most outspoken apostles for Jesus..the one he was so against before!

The letters from the apostles to the churches are also packed with the extravagant love of God and the wonderful gift Jesus gave us by dying for us, and sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in those who love Him. This is the greatest gift ever, and it's available to ANYONE who wants to receive Him! There are letters of teaching, encouraging, even warning not to let evil creep in and try to tear people away from this God who loves them. =)

Ok, I'm out of space again...haha! I could talk on and on about the Love of God. =D The ways He thinks and works is so much higher than the ways I think, but even when I don't understand WHY He does what He does, I do trust that He is working with a MUCH more complete picture than I have. I can do that confidently because I know that I love "The Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." =D

I would submit to you that every word in the Bible points to the Love of God for people. That may sound absolutely crazy, especially in some parts of what we read that are out of the context of what is happening in the Bible, but I tell you, God is good. There is no evil in Him whatsoever. He can't be cruel, or any of the evil things that He is accused of being. It's not in His nature.

I hope this helps some, Tom. Have a great day! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@ The Home Girl

Thank you for your response. It is obvious that you place high importance in your belief that there is a god that loves you, as well as the rest of the world.

However, you have proven a very important point that believers don't want to admit. I asked you to provide a reference in the bible where god says he loves everyone. And you did not. That is because there is no quote by god that he loves everyone. All of the references you provided are statements by others regarding their opinions about god's love.

I find it very interesting how much believers claim there is a god that loves everyone, but there is no quote in the bible to back this claim up. Kind of like "god's plan" - sounds good until you realize that's not in there either. Just concepts that you were taught, but never bothered to confirm.

And perhaps you have a relationship with a spouse or parent that never says "I love you", but that sort of relationship has no appeal to me. But, hey, if your god never said he loves you, then I assume you could accept that sort of relationship from anyone.


So feel free to continue your belief that there is a god that loves you and everyone, but be sure to be honest (remember the importance of honesty) and admit to yourself and others that you attempt to sway that god did not say he loves everyone in the bible.

You have a great day too!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

Thank you for your response, it was very helpful. It is obvious that you place high importance in your belief that there is a god that loves you, as well as the rest of the world.

However, you have proven a very important point that believers such as yourself don't want to admit. I asked you to provide a reference in the bible where *god* says he loves everyone. And you did not.

That is because there is no quote by god in the bible that he loves everyone. All of the references you provided are statements by others regarding their *opinions* about god's love. I find it very interesting how much believers claim there is a god that loves everyone, but then don’t realize that there is no quote in the bible to back this claim up. Kind of like "god's plan" - sounds good, makes you feel good, until you realize that's not in there either.

If a person (family member, friend, etc.) claimed to love me, but failed to ever express that love to me personally, I would not believe them. Likewise, I try to always to tell my loved ones how much I love them to their face, whenever I can. I guess your god does not feel the need to state his love to anyone (according to the bible).

So feel free to continue your belief that there is a god that loves you and everyone, but please be sure to be honest (remember the importance of honesty) and admit to yourself, and others that you attempt to sway, that your god did not say that he loves everyone in the bible. P. S. – jesus never stated he loved everyone in the bible either.

:(

You have a great, thoughtful, day too!

Eternal Champion said...

So God's not a nice guy by our standards. We should really tell him what's what. That will really put him in his place. Because a guy like this will love our correction.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom.

Thanks for your reply. I'm so glad you brought this up. I had originally written so much more in that previous reply, but I was limited in characters, so I took quite a chunk out (as you can probably tell, I do love to talk about God and His love! haha!) I think I may have taken the wrong things out...lol

In Exodus 34:6 - That was actually the Lord speaking to Moses, right after Moses asked God to show him His glory. God said He would also tell him who He is...and when He passed by Moses, because to look at the full of God would have destroyed him (again because of the sin of man), He still spoke those words to Moses as He passed by.

Also, please understand that the Prophets in the Bible were God's voice to the people, God would tell them exactly what to say, and they would say it. There was no room for error, because God wanted to make sure His message got to the people properly, so false prophets were put to death...these prophets took what God said very seriously.

If you read John 3:16-21, it says in the Message version (This is Jesus speaking)- "This is how much God loved THE WORLD: (this sounds like "everyone" to me.) He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that NO ONE need be destroyed; by believing in him, ANYONE (also sounds like "everyone") can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him. This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

And, yes, while the particular phrase "God's Plan" may not be in the Bible, Jeremiah 29:11-13 says this well, that He does in fact have plans for people. Jeremiah is speaking for God in this passage- "I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. When you come looking for me, you’ll find me. Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I’ll make sure you won’t be disappointed.” God’s Decree.

I know we may differ in opinion on this, Tom, but I just didn't want you to think that God is not a loving God because you didn't see it in the Bible. It's there...spoken by both God the Father and God the Son to His people...and not just once. Spoken over and over again by His followers who experienced His love first-hand. And spoken by people even today, who have been transformed by His love, in ways we never could have imagined! What you choose to do with all of this, is of course, up to you. But I just wanted to put it out there for you.

If I had space, I'd love to tell you an interesting personal story about my own family that would hopefully help you also understand the love of God, and how it can be easy for us to not see it. It has been a sad, but real-world example that I'd love to share if you'd let me.

But, I'm all out of space again...imagine that..haha! Have a great week, Tom! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@ The HOME GIRL:

Thank you for your response. To be clear, your beliefs are your own, and I am not trying to persuade you otherwise. I am glad that your faith in your god has been positive in your family's lives.

Once again, I find it interesting out of 1,200 pages in the KJV of the bible, you only came up with two references that support your god stating that he loves the world. You'd think that for a concept that is so personally important to you that there would be more quotes than that.

In Exodus 34:6, god states that he is "abounding in love and faithfulness", but does not state if this applies to Moses, the Israelites, or everyone in the world. In John 3:16, you do have the phase "loved the world". I will grant you that. and will not argue if jesus was god or vice versa. Still the point remains that, in my opinion, you enthusiasm for the perceived love of god is not backed up by the bible (discounting second hand sources).

"If I had space, I'd love to ..... hopefully help you also understand the love of God, and how it can be easy for us to not see it." Another interesting point. Seems like only believers can "see" god's love, and have to help others "understand". If there were a god who created the universe, then he is a poor communicator that depends upon others to get them to "believe" in him. After all, you did say "it can be easy for us not to see it". Me personally, if I wanted others to know something, I would tell them myself, and make it "easy to see it." I wonder why your god made it easy not to see it?

The HOME GIRL said...

Thanks again for your response, Tom. I so appreciate this respectful discussion with you. I can tell you are a deep thinker and have done some study in this. =)

Do you have kids? I have two. My oldest is our "leader"-he has a strong will, strong opinions and a STRONG aversion to authority. If we ask him to do something, he'll do the exact opposite and then brag about it to us, almost as if to say, "I'm going to do what I want and YOU'RE not gonna stop me!" He says disrespectful and hurtful things to us and others, and acts in ways that has landed him in lots of time-outs, arguments and lost privileges. He prefers to learn his own way (aka, the hard way), and has already had some hard, real-world consequences for his careless words and actions-something very hard for a parent to watch, but he refuses to accept our (or any authority's) instruction & warnings, that would've helped him avoid those hardships.

My youngest is more compliant.. When we ask our youngest to do something, it's done, usually with no arguing or complaining. Our youngest loves to snuggle and gets lots of hugs and kisses-something our oldest pushes away when we try to give. When in trouble, our youngest feels bad and sincerely apologizes, something our oldest does not do. Our youngest hardly hears us raise our voice-something our oldest often hears. Life is a lot easier for our youngest, who realizes the benefits of (mostly) trusting the instruction of parents who love their children and want the best for them.

Do my husband and I love BOTH of our children? WITH ALL OUR HEARTS!!! They are both amazing kids with wonderful, individual gifts! We tell them both how much we love them often, and show them all the time in lots of different ways. But my oldest often rebuffs our expressions of love, and tends to feel unloved as a result. Whereas, my youngest embraces them and finds tremendous joy and security in this love.

Our arms are wide open to BOTH of our children in the hopes that they both will run into them and let us hold them. One has chosen to run into our arms and feels truly loved as a result. The other has chosen NOT to run into our arms and wants to "go it alone." As a result he doesn't feel that same love,but if he'd just turn and run into our arms,he'd also know that love, that's always been there for him.

I say this(I know it's a lot) because all this with our oldest has really shown me the love of God for people in ways I hadn't understood before...love for those that accept and return His love, and for those that curse and reject Him. Love that hung on a cross laying down His life for the very people that beat Him, spat on Him, and nailed Him to a cross!

I believe God is telling us and SHOWING us how much He loves us all the time...you saw yourself that it IS there in the Bible. And it's not just shown in words said in the Bible, but in actions too. I only gave you a handful of verses that talk about the love of God, that's all I had room for, but I could fill up pages and PAGES if I was to share every expression of love that God demonstrated for the world. Things from the Bible, and ways I've seen Him demonstrate it in my life and the lives of countless others from all walks of life!

I would like to hear your thoughts and beliefs about God, if you're willing to share them. You've certainly heard PLENTY from me..haha! Do you believe there is a God at all? Do you believe that there is a god, but that He is different than the God of the Bible? It seems that you don't believe in the God of the Bible, but I don’t want to just assume that, and I was just wondering what you believed, and what brought you to that conclusion. =)

Have a great day, Tom. You too, Steve! Thanks for posting this discussion! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@ The Home Girl/Woman:

Yup I have one child. No, do not believe in (any) god, jesus, etc.

Some more questions for you to ponder:
You said "My oldest is our "leader"-he has a strong will, strong opinions and a STRONG aversion to authority. If we ask him to do something, he'll do the exact opposite and then brag about it to us, almost as if to say, "I'm going to do what I want and YOU'RE not gonna stop me!" He says disrespectful and hurtful things to us and others, and acts in ways that has landed him in lots of time-outs, arguments and lost privileges".

As a believer, should you not follow the requirements of the bible, as provided in Deuteronomy 18:21? After all, this is provided by your bible and your loving god. Or will you defy god's instructions on this matter?

On the other hand, if you feel that the relationship between your god and yourself is much like that of a parent and child, then perhaps you should be more godly with your more defiant child, and should start establishing a place of permanent punishment, akin to hell on earth, if he does not love, respect and follow your ways. After all, this is basically what the bible and your god says people that do not follow or believe in him deserve. Do you think that would be a fair punishment for your child, that you love?

(BTW these are scenarios to make you think about the fundamentals of your religion and bible. I would bet even money that the defiant one grows up to be your best friend and the nice one drives you nuts when they hit 30).

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom!

Thanks for telling me a bit about your beliefs. I was just curious how you believe the earth and all its intricacies were made. In your mind, what happens to people when they die? How did you come to this conclusion? Were you taught this as a child, or did you figure it out as an adult?

I'm sorry, you lost me a little when you mentioned Deuteronomy 18:21 as a reference for discipline. Deuteronomy 18:21 says: "You may say to yourselves, 'How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?'” Which, in context, God is teaching the Isrealites how to know if someone claiming to be a prophet's message is from the Lord or from sorcery and evil, and He later says if what the prophet said in the name of the Lord comes to pass, then you know it is God. =) I don't know if you might have meant a different scripture.

I think again, you're misunderstanding the heart of God here. God made us for Himself...but He also gave us choice. Just like our kids are our own, but have their own choices. God doesn't "send" people to hell. People CHOOSE hell by not believing in their hearts what God said and who He is....they say they want no part of God or His ways, and God gives them what they request...separation from Him, for eternity....it's not how He wants it, but He doesn't want slaves, (if you've ever been with someone who has made it clear that they are only there with you because they HAVE to be, you'll certainly understand why...) so He lets US pick. He continues to give us chance after chance in this life, but if, at the end of it, if you still decide you want nothing to do with the God of the Bible, You've made your choice, and God will honor it. He doesn't force Himself on people. He loves them. God's not gonna say..."Hey, you said you don't want me, but I'm MAKING you come to heaven with me! You're GONNA spend eternity with Me, whether you want to or not!"

I also recognize that if you don't believe there is a God at all, all this may not matter to you in the least bit, but my prayer is that He shows Himself to you in a way that you can't ignore...in a way that you can't help but respond to Him...not to dry and crusty religion, which is mostly made up of so many man-made rules, so much so that Jesus spent a lot of time rebuking the religious leaders, but to the person and power of God, and His Son and the Holy Spirit. Who only have two rules, out of which everything else naturally flows...Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” (Matthew 22:37-38, MSG) =D

I wouldn't doubt that my oldest, when I am no longer an authority in His life, will treat me differently and I believe our relationship will get better...but I also am fairly certain that it will always be me and my husband who initiate relationship...bribing him to spend time with us with a dinner out, or bringing housewarming gifts, etc to him. I pray that as he matures, and probably after he has kids of his own, that he'll begin to truly recognize all that we did for him, and how much we truly love him...and always have.

I am pretty sure my youngest and I will stay close for life...God willing. =D

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

I made a mistake and left out the chapter. The correct reference is Deuteronomy 21:18-21. You can look it up, but basically the recommendation is to stone to death teenagers that do not obey their parents. I was wondering if you feel you should follow the recommendations of the bible in this case, and if not, why not?

Regarding my example of eternal punishment, I am afraid that you have made the same mistake as other believers. You said: "....but have their own choices. God doesn't "send" people to hell." I was not debating the choice of your son's decisions. I am pointing out that I agree that god does not send people to hell, BUT he created hell (in other words, he chose and created the punishment). My question (restated) is: if your son does not follow your instructions and does not love you, why would you not be a more godly parent and put him in a place of permanent punishment? This is a parallel to the basis of your religion - worship god or get permanent punishment. Why would you not chose to do the same to your son?

These examples of punishment not fitting the 'crime' are contrary to your assertion that there is an all-loving god. Interesting things to think about, if you chose to do so.

BTW: not to nag, but you did not answer a previous question: why do you think your god did "not make it easy" (your words) to perceive his love? If I want someone to love me, I try to make it easy, but perhaps your god has other reasons.

Here are some answers/opinions to your questions:
1) The universe is very old (much more than 6,000 years, so the dinosaurs tell me). I don't worry about how it came to existence, and believe that it will be here long after I am gone. A question for you: who created your god?
2) We are born, we die, that's it, no more existence. We like to think that we are superior to other life forms, but that's what happens for all life on earth. Another question for you: if you think you have an immortal soul, please tell me what your soul did before you were born.
3) The question you have not asked yet: Yes brought up in a family of believers. I was lazy and just believed what I was told in church. But you should always note that it is harder to think than believe. I became an atheist again (note that everyone is born an atheist and has to be taught religion) when I started reading the bible, particularly the parts that ministers, priests, etc. never really get around to talking about in their sermons and TV shows. It became evident that what is actually written in the bible is often completely different than what is taught in American Protestant and Catholic churches. That is my favorite way to discuss things on this forum, direct quotes from the bible. Last question: did you form your beliefs by only reading the bible by yourself with no input from others, or were you brought up in a home of believers, attended church regularly, taught in sunday school, etc.? (I am betting on the latter.)

Last but not least you said: "...my prayer is that He shows Himself to you in a way that you can't ignore." Thank you. Here is a very simple criteria for you - pray to jesus that he will appear to me for 30 minutes of conversation, and heal an amputee in my presence. I feel that is not asking too much, and see no reason that he would not grant you this prayer. Let's be fair to jesus and give him 30 days from today to complete these two items. I will let you know if and when I talk with him, and witness the miracle of healing an amputee. And of course, if he does not show up within 30 days, I would be interested in your logic as to why he did not. But before you defend him for not showing up, please read John 14:12-13.

Sorry for all of the questions. I will try to minimize them in future postings. Happy Valentine's Day!

roger perrin said...

@ The HOME GIRL .."please understand that the Prophets in the Bible were God's voice to the people, God would tell them exactly what to say, and they would say it. There was no room for error, because God wanted to make sure His message got to the people properly, so false prophets were put to death"


Interesting - so who determined which were the "false prophets" and which were the 'true' voices in the head?

"No room for error" ? How many stages of translation occurred before the message reached you ?

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

You can also add John 14:14 to the reading list. Left that off.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom and Roger,

I hope you both had a great Valentine's Day and weekend.

Tom, I'd like to answer your questions as best as I can. I am sure there are many people who are much more well versed in scripture than I am, but here goes! =)

~Ok, yes, that new reference definitely makes more sense...haha! So, remember, in Deuteronomy, God is giving instructions through Moses to His people who have come from generations of tyranny, by a pagan country serving many gods. God is calling His people, who are coming into a new land that He has promised them, to become a holy people who can dwell with Him, so the "rules" seem harsh, but before Christ, this was the standard to be able to dwell with God....the perfect and Holy God who can not dwell around evil. So, if I was living in the days of Deuteronomy and I was an Isrealite mother, who wanted to dwell with this God I was learning about, and whose son was rebellious continuously with no regard for his parents' discipline, a glutton and a drunkard (which, my oldest is neither at this point) I would probably do as the law said, or pay with an animal sacrifice to atone for it. But since Jesus came, we don't live under the old law, which, if you need more explanation on that, I'd be happy to give, but I'm gonna run out of space here. Now, I simply pray for my oldest-a LOT! He's not too far gone...Nobody is, as long as they are alive!

~Ok, about hell-the Bible says that hell was created not for people, but for the devil and his angels. Eternal separation from God. I believe that's in the Gospel of Matthew. Not what God wants for people, but many people choose it, and sadly choose to join the devil in eternal separation from God. God granting them their request is hardly punishing them, don't you think? It's what they asked for. Does that make sense?

~The BTW Question-just to clarify, I didn't say GOD doesn't make it easy for us to perceive His love. I said that many may FEEL that way, then I explained that it's because perhaps they are like my oldest son, and decide to reject and disregard the offers of love from Jesus, to do life on their own terms. I'm sorry if that story didn't convey that well enough-sometimes I write too much, and I'm sure the "punchline" gets lost in all the words. =)

~So, I'm afraid I can't make a "demand" of God like that. 30 minute conversation-that's one that you'll have to do on your own. lol He's there in the room with you, even now, Tom. You can talk to Him and ask Him to show you that He's real. Ask Him for "eyes to see and ears to hear". If you mean it from your heart, He'll do it, in a way and at a time that you will KNOW it's Him, and in a way that's perfect for YOU...even more than you could ask for yourself!

And, healing an amputee in front of you-would you really believe if you saw it, or would you say it was fake, or make up an excuse? The Bible talks of many who saw out and out miracles and still didn't believe, even though they saw it with their own eyes. If you have the time/interest, look up "Todd White Testimony" on Youtube. His "testimony" (story of how he came to know Jesus) and what God is doing in and through this man is AMAZING! Miracles are happening, even today! =)

I know this all may sound absurd to you right now anyway, but nevertheless, I'm still prayin' it! Please know that I'm doing that because I care about you.

Thanks so much for answering my questions about your faith. I'm going to have to go to part 2 for my story of how I became a follower of Jesus. It's a long one, and I'm afraid I'm out of room, yet again! Big surprise, eh? haha!

Have a wonderful week, Tom! Part 2 coming soon! And Roger, I'll be happy to answer your question in the next post too. Hope you have a great week as well! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

And here we go…………………
You said: “But since Jesus came, we don't live under the old law.” Interesting. Can you point me to the sections of the bible that clearly list what parts of the old testament no longer apply? Otherwise, it would appear that you are simply rejecting the parts of the bible that do not fit in your views of an all-loving god.

You said: “…..Eternal separation from God. I believe that's in the Gospel of Matthew. Not what God wants for people, but many people choose it, and sadly choose to join the devil in eternal separation from God. God granting them their request is hardly punishing them.”
I am not sure what version of the bible you have, but in my KJV the last chapter is Revelation, with this:
“Revelation 20:13-15 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
So much for simple separation! Interesting. Not to hurt your feelings, but I perceive that you are deflecting here. Once (three actually) again you have not answered my question about if it would be fair to perpetually punish someone you love. A simple yes or no will suffice.

You said: “I didn't say GOD doesn't make it easy for us to perceive His love. I said that many may FEEL that way.” Actually, you didn’t. Here is your statement, cut and pasted from the original post: “If I had space, I'd love to tell you an interesting personal story about my own family that would hopefully help you also understand the love of God, and how it can be easy for us to not see it.” But I will let you slide on this one.

You said: “So, I'm afraid I can't make a "demand" of God like that.” Interesting. I did not ‘demand’ anything, and neither should you. I simply asked you to pray for something, that if answered, would result in another believer and a healed amputee, a win-win situation! I do not understand your hesitation. It would appear that you do not want to be held accountable for the results of your prayers. Once again, quoting from the bible: “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” This is not taken out of context, nor are there any limits; jesus did not say “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it, unless you are demanding, or put a time limit on it…..”

You said: “….the perfect and Holy God”. Do you believe that your god is perfect and has not made any mistakes?

I will wait for your next post to answer my other questions regarding who created your god, what your soul did before you were born, and how you became a believer. You have a great week too!

The HOME GIRL said...

Heya Tom!

So, I'm realizing that my answers must not be written very well to be misunderstood as they have been. I'm really sorry about that. I will try to be more brief and as clear as I can be, so that I can also tell you my story as to how I became a follower of Jesus later in this post. Ahh, who am I kidding? I'll have to do that in Part 3! HAHA! =D

Jesus and the new covenant-So much here that I can't explain it in less than 4096 characters. Jesus' taking on the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross doesn't mean we can just go and sin up and down without regard to righteousness or His sacrifice, but it does mean that when we DO blow it, we have Jesus's blood atoning for our sins when we come to Him and repent. Like that spotless lamb's blood would have in Old Testament times. That's what I mean by not living under the old law, sorry that wasn't more clear.

What denomination did you grow up in? Just wondering.

Yes, Hell is much more than just separation from God, lots of scripture on that-you are correct. Sorry I wasn't more clear on that, and made you think I thought hell was ONLY separation from God.

"Would it be fair to perpetually punish someone you love?" Yes, If the punishment fit the crime, but it would truly give me no pleasure. If I tell my child do something and they refuse, even after I warn them that there will be a punishment and disobey, they are punished. God sends warning after warning, telling people to turn from their ways to His. If they continue to refuse, at the end of their lives, what He said would happen, will happen.

God is Love, but He is equally JUST. There is a price to pay for sin. Jesus offered to pay that payment on our behalf, the most loving thing He could do. Those who take that deal, believe with their hearts, and follow Him, will have their names written in the "Lamb's Book of Life". The ones who refuse to let Jesus take the punishment on their behalf, will have to face it themselves. And you yourself quoted what happens to those who refused to have their names written in the Lambs Book of Life.

I'm sorry Tom, but you actually did ask me to make a demand of God/Jesus. You even said: "Let's be FAIR to jesus and give him 30 days from today to complete these two items. I will let you know if and when I talk with him, and witness the miracle of healing an amputee. And of course, if he does not show up within 30 days, I would be interested in your logic as to why he did not." 30 days to do the 2 miraculous signs for you, or else-how is this not a demand?

Yes, The Bible says God is perfect (Psalm 18:30 and many others) and has not made any mistakes. There was a point in Genesis 6:5-6, where it says God regretted creating people, because of how evil they became. But to be clear, that was not a "mistake". He was upset at the people He created and His heart was heavy for what they had chosen to become, not for His ACTION in creating them.

The Bible says God is the creator. He was not created. It says He is eternal-Not limited by time and space. This is hard for many to understand because we ARE limited by time and space. He always was, always is and always will be...from everlasting to everlasting (Psalm 90:2, Acts 17:26, Psalm 139:16)

Also, have you ever checked out a different version than the KJV? It's language is outdated...nobody says Thee and thou anymore, or doest...haha! Much of that can get confusing to the reader. NIV is a great, accurate translation from the original Hebrew and Greek, MSG is awesome for modern language that is still Bible, I personally love the Amplified version (AMP), which gives you some of the multiple meanings for words in the Greek and Hebrew, that really help in deeper study, and you can even compare versions on places like Biblegateway.com.

Well, guess what? Out of room again..lol. More to come! Have a good one! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

We'll start with the easy one first. Your god does not make mistakes? Lets see what the bible has to say. From your bible, regarding Adam eating from the tree of good and evil:

Genesis 2:17 King James Version (KJV) (my favorite version!)
"17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die."

but then we have:

Genesis 5:4:
"4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters."

Wow. Literally the first of many threats by your god, and yet Adam did not "the day that thou eatest..... surely die" but literally lived hundreds of years. Your god failed to follow through on that one. Feel free to spin this one anyway you care, but to make such a glaring error right up front of the book on which you base your religion says a lot. I also guess that means the serpent was right and your god was wrong. Interesting.

And to kill two birds with one stone: As with most believers, you can't provide guidance on what parts of the old testament covenant was 'over ruled' by jesus' new covenant. That's because there are no clear and concise definitions of what no long applies. This neat trick is often used by believers to side step some really ugly concepts in the old testament. So you can just hand wave away anything in the OT that does not fit your views, much as you did with my reference regarding the killing of disobedient teenagers. Oh, and getting back to if your god is perfect and does not make mistakes, I present the following from the new testament:

Hebrews 8:7-9 King James Version (KJV)
"7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second."

Once again, wow. Acknowledgement by the authors of the bible that god's covenant was not faultless. Once again, spin it anyway you care, that is the bible saying your god, who created the first covenant, is not perfect.

Regarding my request for your prayer - I stand by what is clearly written in the bible, as posted above. I challenge you to provide quotes from god or jesus (and not someone else) in the bible that says you can not hold them accountable for the results of prayers. BTW what is the difference between prayers and 'demands'? Seems quite futile to ask for something if you don't expect to receive it. And before you say "well he does not answer all of your prayers and he has a good reason" note that he never shares that reason with you. Bummer!

Switching gears, two simple thought questions for you. Feel free to be verbose as you see fit:
1) Did Adam and Eve have knowledge of good and evil (morals) prior to eating the forbidden fruit?
2) What is the purpose of punishment and reward?

Let me know what you think. Take care!

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi! Please note- all caps is not yelling, just emphasis. I've got nothin’ but love for ya, Tom! =D

So here's where different versions of the Bible help. Genesis 2-you took a LITERARY term (an antiquated one, at that) and made it LITERAL. The NIV Bible says,"WHEN you eat it” So He's not talking about a literal "DAY of EATEST", Tom. haha! Adam lived 800 years, had kids- then he DIED. To this day, death stats for us humans are 100%. This was no empty threat, lie, or mistake. Do you believe Adam & Eve would have died if they chose NOT to eat the fruit? Genesis 3 talks of the "tree of life" that sustained their lives and would have kept them living forever. After the fall-no more Tree of Life & they “surely died!”
Hebrews 8 -You only quoted verse 7 & in verse 8, he explains it. In the old covenant a high priest was the only one able to go into the tabernacle’s Holy of Holies, to sacrifice & atone for sins of the people. In the old covenant, the high priests were men. In the new covenant the faultless Jesus became our new "high priest" who atoned for us perfectly. The old covenant was not a mistake, the “fault” was in the high priests, the men who had faults and could not atone for our sins like Jesus did. Not God’s mistake-God made things right we couldn't.

I can see why you only like to use the KJV, Tom. It's the easiest to "argue from", am I right? lol

John 14:12-14-In context-Jesus is talking to His 12 disciples, comforting them after letting them know what was gonna happen to Him, reminding them who He is, and of the future-that they'll do even greater things than He did when He walked the planet, and they will ask Him anything as His representatives, & He’d grant it. I’ve seen people misuse this verse & say, "Well I told God to appear to me so I could see him with my own two eyes. I asked in HIS name, like the verse says & guess what? Nothin! So He's not real, He’s a liar, He's not God & I just proved it." But Jesus made good on this promise to these 12, (except for Judas, who betrayed Him & later killed himself) as shown in the book of Acts. He did EXACTLY what He said.

Simple Thought Questions answered-
1. The Knowledge of Good & Evil & "Morals" are actually two different things. Adam and Eve were only acquainted with good before the fall &they couldn't classify it-it's all they knew. Knowledge of evil entered when they listened to the serpent, believed HIM instead of God, made their choice and ate. That's when they recognized evil, & that it wasn't GOOD, & they saw THEMSELVES differently because they did evil-not good & they were exposed! (naked) & ran in shame and hid from God. They didn't gain "morals" from the fall. They gained an intro to evil & a new attraction to it that led to a very different future for them than they were created for, & it spread to the generations that followed.
2 -The purpose of punishment and reward? Ultimately? Justice.

We could go on and on, couldn't we? I admire your intellect & how you want people to think & not follow blindly. Many DO follow blindly-leaping on the "faith bandwagon" of friends/family, or out of duty/tradition, but don't have a real relationship with Jesus for themselves. We've both seen it happen & we BOTH don't like it.

A few more questions for you, if you're willing
1. How old were you when you started to read the Bible for yourself? Was there a specific event or something someone said or did that started it for you?
2. What denomination did you grow up in? Were your parents devout in their faith or was it something they also just kind of blindly followed?
3. As an atheist, how do you determine right from wrong? Is it based on human laws, individual people's opinions, or something else entirely?
Looking forward to hearing from you! =)

Tom Vouray said...

@ The Home Girl:

1) Regarding Adam and when he died. I stand by what is clearly written in the bible. It is interesting that you prefer a bible version that does not have this issue, very convenient for you; kind of makes you wonder why they changed it. If the KJV is wrong, please start the process of having it removed from circulation. If I can not take what is written in the bible LITERALLY, then by your logic, you are taking "jesus dying for your sins" and "jesus loves you" LITERALLY. Interesting that you feel that I cannot take things LITERALLY and you can.

2) Old covenant - once again I stand by what is clearly written in the bible. It does not say "the priests made a mistake, but the covenant is faultless", it says the covenant is not faultless. As I stated previously, spin it any way you want, that is what is written.

3) Once again, I will ask you for a quote from either jesus or god in the bible (any version) that says you cannot 'demand' anything from him (or hold him accountable), much like Thomas did when jesus supposedly reappeared after his resurrection or the devil did to god regarding Job (so I would not be the first one!). I fail to understand why a perfect being would be so resistant to being held accountable for his actions, or lack thereof.

4) You said: "Adam and Eve were only acquainted with good before the fall & they couldn't classify it-it's all they knew". So I will ask you to pay very close attention. This, in my opinion, is the most fundamental problem with the story of god and creation. You have effectively said that your god created two beings that did not possess the ability to classify good from evil, right from wrong, and then punished them and the rest of humanity when they did what he asked them not to do (eat of the fruit). Again. Wow.

5) You said: " Adam and Eve were only acquainted with good before the fall...". However, according to the bible, the fruit was of the tree of Good and Evil, not the tree of Evil only. Sorry, but you will need to provide reference verses to back up your claim that Adam and Eve were both "good" prior to eating the fruit.

6) I asked you the purpose of reward and punishment. Your response was "justice". So, every time you reward or punish your children, you personally are seeking "justice"?

7) I think I answered your #1 in a previous post; I did become an atheist again as adult. For #2, the denomination is not relevant as they are simplistic and unnecessary variations of a theme. For #3, my determination of right from wrong is based upon my own experiences as well as human laws. Both are vastly superior to the "right from wrong" as provided in the bible. For example, I think it is wrong to own slaves, although jesus and the bible do not have a problem with it; perhaps you don't have a problem with slavery either. I also personally find it amazing that believers cannot conceive that laws and morals can and are created without referencing a religious reference. I think one fundamental difference between atheists and believers is that atheists accept and embrace change, and believers thrive on absolutes and lack of change. After all, it takes much more effort and thinking when things are "gray" versus blind beliefs when things are "black and white". My opinion.

Have a weekend. I have more questions for you but will hold them for a later date.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey again! Ready for fun? Let's dig into a little KJV! =D

1-Ok, note that the KJV Bible says "IN the day" versus "ON the day" That's significant. Two different meanings. It's in the Bible a lot in KJV, so it's good to clarify. "In the day" means "in the time of". Like when my grandfather would say, "In My Day, children never talked to their parents that way." Did he mean that in his ONE DAY, children didn't do that, but every other day they did??? No, it means a period of time when he was young, otherwise it would have made no sense.

2-I see where you're coming from Tom, the covenant was faulty, but not because GOD is faulty, because MAN is faulty! Let's look at just the 3 verses you cited, for the sake of room, but we should really be looking at all of chapter 8 for context, in the KJV, like you like! "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For (because) finding fault with THEM (the High Priests), he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers IN THE DAY when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt." (there's that term again! One DAY? or a period of time? He didn't lead them out in one DAY. Egypt is a big place. So it must mean the period of time!)

3-Actually, scripture shows that it depends on where the heart is when a "demand" is made. Jesus says to the devil that it is written not to put the Lord to the test, when he suggested that Jesus make a demand for God to command the angels to save Him by jumping off of the highest point in Jerusalem. Matthew 4:5-7. However, He responded with granting the request to Thomas, His follower who asked to see the nail marks in Jesus's hand. He responded to Job's "demands" to explain Himself beautifully in Job 38-40. Hope this provides the quotes you need.

4-I see where you're going with this, and you're right, if that would have been the ONLY thing they ever did wrong, ever, the punishment would have been very unfair indeed. (throwing in a lil' KJV talk for ya! Haha!) But when evil became known, it didn't just appear and then go away. It stayed and spread like a cancer, until Adam, Eve, and every descendant except Jesus was INFUSED with it-so much so that evil thoughts and actions pervaded each of us. We all know evil very well now. Spend 2 minutes watching the news and you'll see it! If we're honest and really look, we see it in ourselves too. And justice has to be done for the evil in people now because of it.

5-Well, the fact that they walked with God in the cool of the day every day and didn't hide from Him before the fall seems to indicate that they had not sinned or done evil prior to the fall. Once they sinned, they knew evil-and good as well, because it contrasted evil. Do you need references for this?

6-I actually said "Ultimately? Justice." I punish/reward my kids to teach them how to choose wisely in a world-and an eternity-governed by JUSTICE. Albeit imperfect justice by men on earth, but PERFECT justice by God in heaven.

7-I wish Steve would post my story, aka, novel, of how I became a Christ follower for you. (Pleease, Steve?) It would really help you see why I asked you these questions, where I'm coming from, and why I feel that they ARE important to answer. If you were a young adult or older adult, the CATALYST for you starting to question your denomination's teachings, what denomination you were and your parents' faith-we both know there are many different types of believers. I know they might seem intrusive, but in reading my story, you might better understand why I asked these questions, and why I'd love for you to answer them if you're willing.

I will have a weekend, as I know you will too. Hope yours is a good one, Tom. =)

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

Collapsing some items so we don't clog the internet with our postings:

On the empty threat of Adam dying the day he ate the fruit, and the punishment of mankind for disobeying: my grandfather had a saying too, "You are grasping for straws".

So you use punishment and reward to teach your children, so that they can apply what they have learned going forward in the future, is that correct?

Regarding Job, I was referring as to how your god unnecessarily tortured Job just because the devil challenged god. My, talk about responding to demands! All I asked for was a 30 minute conversation.

Regarding your story, unfortunately I am just not interested. I have no association with this web page or its owner(s), so I can not assist in having them publish your story. I would suggest that perhaps you can publish your story on your own web page and maybe others will find it interesting, perhaps even useful.

And since you asked: the catalyst (all lower case) for becoming an atheist again was the story of how your god killed 60,000 israelites to punish David for taking a census that he provoked him to take (I would be interested in your spin on your loving god for this story) AND (my keyboard has an all caps key too) listening to someone very much like you who spent more time trying to defend this and many other things in the bible because they did not fit his views. I consider this story to be the height of sheer stupidity on all levels. I grew weary of his fabrications and excuses, and decided to read the bible in lieu of blindly following what someone else was espousing. So, even though I enjoy our debates, you are not providing anything that I have not already heard.

I also find it interesting how much believers fight amongst themselves, regarding such petty things as denominations. You have implied you have insight as to denomination's teachings, so for the purpose of discussion let's say that my denomination is the same as your current denomination. Discuss.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom,

Yeah, our conversation has taken up lots of room in this comments section, for sure! I'm glad this wasn't a brand new post! =)

Now that I know you're not interested in my personal story of how I became a follower of Jesus, I won’t elaborate on it, re-write it, or try to get it "published" here. I thought you had asked about it, but looking back, I think you actually just made an assumption about my story and then asked if you were right, if even that. Sorry about that. But, I will tell you that you've made some judgments about me that are simply not correct. But since you are not interested in the truth about them, I won't explain.

I imagine it's kinda like that with God too, eh? It seems you've made up your mind about who God/Jesus is, you have your KJV (or SAB) verses to "back it up", and perhaps some references from sites like this, and nothing or nobody can change that new monstrous picture you've painted of Him.(especially not some "blind follower" who, like all the others, PROBABLY was spoon-fed religion all her life by both of her blind-following parents in their little bubble, came to Jesus after a good brainwashing, and who never questioned anything she was told by some priest or preacher because she's too naïve and stupid to look into it for herself.) No need for you to look into Him further, you have all you need to justify never wanting to know Him. (And this god you've painted, I wouldn't want to know him either.) And the ADDED benefit of this is that now you can use your own wisdom and perspective to determine right from wrong and live exactly how you want.

2 Samuel 24 is the story that made you change your mind about God? He doesn't ever explain Himself there, does He? I can also understand your thoughts on what happened to Job. He never explains why He allowed that either. There are actually lots of things that He simply doesn't explain. And I can’t explain them either. If we make assumptions on who He is based on the face value of these stories, we'll definitely be disillusioned about Him, kind of like not being able to see the forest for the trees..and there are SO many trees. I could give you more of the history of the Israelites before David's "census plague", and the poor choices they were making, despite warnings of future consequences like this one, or how the two years of undeserved “hell on earth” for Job allowed him (and those who read this book) to gain a ton of new perspective and an understanding and trust of God and His wisdom like never before, (do you really think God allowed all that just because He was DARED to?) but as you’ve said, you’ve heard it all before and your mind is made up, it would just be more "spinning".

I don't want to argue with you over doctrine and religion. My words can't change anyone's mind, no matter how many of them I use. haha!

Had you ever, in your younger days as a "believer", sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit as you prayed/worshiped Him? Where nothing else mattered but being close to this God who made the entire universe, but cares enough about you to meet you where you were? Where you were overcome by His goodness, and joy, peace and love filled you to the point of overflow, more than any person or thing in this world could ever fill you, and you just wept in gratefulness for all that He's done for you, knowing you deserved NONE of it?

If not, THIS is what I'm praying for you, Tom, because that's where the shift happened for me. Experiencing God like this pretty much blows all that petty religious junk right out of the water, and sets you free and paints a clear picture in a way NOTHING else can. God’s given me a love for you, even though we haven’t met, and even though you couldn’t care less about me. It's why I’m going to battle for you in prayer, for this very thing! So, get ready! =D

All the best to you, Tom!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl

Thank you for your post, and your concern for me and my wellbeing. You stated: "I will tell you that you've made some judgments about me that are simply not correct. But since you are not interested in the truth about them, I won't explain."

OK, perhaps that I have been a little judgemental (more on that below). And I have a tendency to rather straight forward (blunt) and perhaps even overwhelming to those not used to having their beliefs confronted (I would like to think that I have been your biggest "challenge" to date). Let me take a little survey, and you can respond (if you would like) and lets see how far off I am. Please answer the following questions using a, b, c, or any combination thereof for 3 questions:

Before finding god/jesus, you were:
a) lonely
b) feelings of being unloved
c) unhappy
d) confused about your purpose in life
e) feelings of guilt for the way you have lived your life
f) had no "rock" or absolute point of reference of how to live your life.
g) perfectly happy and content with your life, with lots of great relationships with your family and friends

Your god/jesus/bible offers you the following:
a) accepts you as you are
b) provides unlimited love
c) provides guidance on how to live your life
d) lifts your feelings of guilt, because jesus took away your sins
e) provides reassurance that the "guilty" will face "justice"
f) lots and lots of absolutes - god is perfect, the bible is perfect, believers know more than atheists, etc.
g) none of the above

Now that you have accepted god/jesus, you want to spread the word to others because:
a) other people are not truly happy until they know god/jesus
b) other people are sinners going somewhere else after they die if they do not accept god/jesus
c) the bible/religion/other believers tell you to "spread the word"
d) other people are really lost, they just don't know it (but you do)
e) you will feel better for the other person both in this life and whatever comes after it.
f) other people want 'absolute' and 'perfect' guidance, instead of thinking for themselves.
g) deep down, you still feel uncertain, but having more folks join your cause helps you reinforce your beliefs.

Please feel free to answer as you see fit. Perhaps you will surprise me with you answers! As far as being judgemental and assuming, I would challenge you to go back and look over your postings and you may see that you are assuming that anyone who does not share your beliefs is unhappy, or will be happier if they follow your beliefs. You also believe that the 'morals' provided by the bible are superior to man's, but atheists are some how ducking out of having morals if they don't also follow your beliefs. It would also appear that in addition to the 'love' you get from god and jesus, you are very much interested in directly or indirectly punishing others via god to achieve "justice". That was a little surprising, considering that your main theme to be 'love'.

Last but not least, I do not believe in god or jesus, and there is a plethora of information on the creation of the bible to contradict your assertions of a perfect god and perfect book. Of all the 'bad' things I have listed, I do not believe in them either (shock!). I am simply providing written statements from the bible that contradict many of your assertions about a perfect, loving god and the bible. But once again, unlike you, I am not trying to convert you to atheism. If you have reached contentment in your beliefs, then go for it! Just recognize that not everyone shares your beliefs, and not everyone is unhappy or immoral because they don't share your beliefs.

You have a good week too. I will be glad when spring gets here.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom,

I agree, I'm SO ready for Spring! Winter is nice for a while, but starting right after Christmas, I get some major Spring Fever! BRING on SPRING, I say!! =D

Thanks for your post. I imagine you've talked to quite a few "believers" in these forums and have heard perhaps much of the same from them. Maybe you've had things get a bit ugly from some of them as well and have a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to Christians. For that I'm so sorry, especially if they were Christians that were ugly to you.

I have also met some atheists in my day. Many of them have been nice people that I have enjoyed talking with, and while we have disagreed, we have still gotten along fine. Some have not been so kind, but that's ok. There are also some people who claim to be Christians that are not so kind either. We're all faulty people, and I certainly have plenty of faults of my own! =)

I was wondering if you could help me by maybe showing me some of the places in my previous posts where you felt I am “very much interested in directly or indirectly punishing others via god to achieve ‘justice’.” I personally have no interest in punishing anyone, that’s not my place. Now, I do punish my own kids when they disobey, because they are entrusted to me and my husband until they’re old enough to go live their lives outside of our care, but I find no joy in it. If I had it my way, my kids would never disobey, be rude or disregard our wisdom, & life would be so much sweeter. But they do, & as a parent, I discipline for their benefit, not mine. I'm not sure how old your child is, but did you ever discipline him/her when they were growing up, or if they are still young, do you discipline them now? Why or why not?

I'm sorry to say, but you're not my biggest "challenge" to date. That award would go to my dad.(though, in recent years, God's been doing something amazing in him and I can see Him working in my dad like never before, truly miraculous!) =) I have ENJOYED talking with you! I actually find straight-forwardness awesome, not overwhelming, and going back over some of the stuff we've been talking about and digging back into the passages has actually been a joy for me! Sure, I was a little bummed out that you weren't interested in my personal story, but you know what? I can see your perspective and understand why you weren't, so it's totally ok. =)

One thing I am wondering, and I promise I’m not asking accusingly, just asking. Why do you post on here? If you simply don't believe in God (or any god) and Jesus, the good or the bad of them, why do you want to debate Christians or other believers who DO believe it? Why does it matter to you? Why not hear other perspectives, look at it through their view, and say, “Wow, ok, I can see why they might think that way. I don't believe it, but I can see why they might.”

I looked at the Skeptics Annotated Bible recently, and was amazed at the time whoever put that together must have invested just to mock the Bible and the God of it. Why, if they truly don't believe it, take all that time to do that? Why write books and blog posts about it,lengthy discussions on social media and commentaries, and go through all that trouble? It just feels like more than simple unbelief to me, there's a disdain and an almost sinister hatred there for God that doesn't make sense to me if it was just simple unbelief.

These are more general questions, but I know you probably don’t want to speak for others, so I was just wondering what your take is on it. Is it that you like a good debate? Just want to get people to react? Is it more of a hobby, something to do with your time? Or is it something else? If God’s word WASN’T full of flaws in your mind, and the God of the Bible was who believers say He is, would you believe in Him then? As an atheist, I am thinking you still wouldn’t, and that’s where I’m at a loss.

Well, look at that! Out of room again! Take care, Tom!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

"Maybe you've had things get a bit ugly from some of them as well and have a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to Christians. For that I'm so sorry, especially if they were Christians that were ugly to you." No need to apologize, no (proclaimed) Christian has hurt my feelings. I have no animosity towards them.

"Why write books and blog posts about it, lengthy discussions on social media and commentaries, and go through all that trouble?" Why do you go through the "trouble" of spreading your opinions and your story? For the same reason: they want to share their observations and opinions with others.

"Why do you post here?" Simple. I desire to educate others as to what is written in the bible, and then they can make their own conclusions. Our debates serve us equally. Others will visit this site later, and read my postings and your postings. If they are atheists, then they will find (hopefully) my postings informative and insightful. If they are believers, they will do likewise for your postings. But once again, I am not an 'angry atheist' or an 'evangelistic atheist (do those two words go together?)'. I also operate from a different perspective. Some atheists will point out 'over here the bible says 43 loaves of bread, but over here is says 46 loaves of bread!" My observations are more 'fundamental' (no pun intended) as I prefer to address basic concepts, and not simple 'typos'. I do enjoy a good debate, and hopefully, regardless of the conclusion of the readers of this blog, it will cause them to THINK ABOUT IT (sorry for the all caps).

Normally, at this point, I would ask a question, await your response, and provide my input, but in the interest of time, here is something for you, that you have never thought about, but now is your chance:

Adam and Eve started out naked. Adam and Eve started out good (according to your previous post). God did not complain or punish Adam and Eve for being naked.

However, after eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they felt ashamed about being naked, and your god helped to create clothes for them. Today, being naked in public is considered not nice (especially if you are out of shape).

So here your thought experiment: why was it 'good' to be naked before eating the fruit, and 'bad' afterwards?

And regarding punishing my child, yes we did punish our child, such that she would learn from the experience, and hopefully not repeat her bad behavior. However, I would argue that the concept of eternal reward or punishment after death serves no purpose in this regard.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom!

It is great to hear from you! I hope you are doing well and are having a great week so far!

So, to answer your question, at least for me, I will say our reason for sharing my faith goes beyond just sharing our opinion. Jesus stated that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father (God) but through Him. My reasons for sharing my faith with others, is motivated out of love for the people that God loved enough to send His son to die for, and that Jesus willingly suffered, died and rose again for. He wants every person on earth to know Him. That's why I share it. I know this angers some, but it is always motivated out of love (or, at least it's supposed to be for Christians) I know you've heard that before. I saw it was one of the options on your multiple choice list of why we share our faith! =D

A quick question for you while I'm thinking about it, are you a person who has been more into math and science, or someone more into language and arts? Was there one area where you felt you've always been a little stronger?

In answer to your question, about Adam and Eve and their nakedness, I actually have thought about this, and what's funny, is I even was thinking of this recently! =D

I think God clothing Adam and Eve was an act of pure kindness to them. Before they chose to disobey God, they had no reason to hide from Him. They were naked and unashamed, fully exposed before God with no reason to hide themselves. After the fall, their nakedness became shameful to them because they realized there was nothing they could hide behind, they were fully exposed, which meant their evil choice was out there for God to see, which wasn't a problem before they disobeyed because they were clean and without sin. God clothing them was a way to comfort them in their shame, not a punishment. He still loved them, despite their choice. And he didn't demand they come out and stand there ashamed and naked while He lectured them and made them feel worse. He clothed them so that they wouldn't feel ashamed of their nakedness. Consequences still had to come, but He comforted them, even in those consequences. We can see God doing this throughout the Bible. He is so full of compassion for His people, even when they are hurting in the midst of their own consequences.

Here is something I was wondering. You said you punished your child so she would learn and hopefully not repeat her "bad behavior". But you also had said that you are the one that sets your own morality. Did you not give your daughter that same right? Did you punish her according to your own morality or only when she did something illegal? What if she didn't believe her behavior was bad? What if she felt like what she did was right for her? Did you punish her then? And why did her “bad behavior” in your eyes need to be "punished"? Did she ever misunderstand your punishment and think you were mean and evil because you punished her? Were you a "believer" when you were raising your child? If so, looking back now, would you have changed how you punished when she was younger in light of your new beliefs about God?

I guess this next question may kind of tie into what I just asked, but it’s something I may still be wondering about, depending on your answer to the last questions.

Do you feel that every person should be able to determine what is good and evil (right and wrong) according to their own beliefs, experiences, and the local laws, and that right and wrong is subjective to what each person thinks? You mentioned that is how you determine right from wrong, and you felt that it was superior to God's views of right and wrong. Do you feel everyone else should have that same right as well, and that is how good and evil should be classified, in your opinion?

Ok that's a lot of questions...haha! Hope it's not too overwhelming. I hope you have a fantastic week and as always, I look forward to hearing from you!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

“I saw it was one of the options on your multiple choice list of why we share our faith!” Noting that you never did fill out the survey. I will give you a pass for now.

Regarding being naked: I have read your response 3 times now, and I really can’t see your answer as to why it was OK to be naked before eating the fruit versus after eating. A sin is a sin, right? The only answer I can provide is the name of the tree: the knowledge of good and evil. My point was that it appears to be OK to sin as long as you don’t know it is a sin. If that is true, then we should immediately cease teaching others what a sin is. And go back to being naked, except in the winter time.

Your remaining questions boil down to the following clarification: I follow my own morals. I also follow the morals as established by the laws of where I live as well as other groups including Christianity (SHOCK!). My assumption is that your line of questions will attempt to convince me that my way is uncertain and changing, while following the bible, you have absolute guidance on morals (more on that below). The main difference is that I never say that my way and society’s way is perfect – by design it is constantly changing. Yes I believe that everyone should be responsible for our beliefs and actions in all phases of life. My assumption is that you prefer ‘absolute’ guidance on morals, and you believe the bible and your faith provide it. Another assumption of mine is that you think any set of morals not based upon the bible is not the best way to go.

Thought experiment 1: Do you believe the bible is absolutely perfect, and no further guidance on morals is required? If so, please provide your moral acceptability of human slavery, child pornography and trans-sexuals.

Thought experiment 2: You stated earlier that all mankind is now born infused with evil. You also just said “Jesus stated that He is the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father (God) but through Him”.
a) Do you believe everyone is born ‘evil’ and not saved?
b) Do you believe the only way to heaven and god is through acceptance and belief of jesus?

Thought experiment 3: What if your god and bible were not perfect, and god/jesus did not love you (he does not hate or dislike you, but just does not love you)? What would you think about your religion then?

Late answer to your question: it would not matter to me if I or others never found a reason to question if the bible is ‘perfect’ or not. As noted previously, I have issues with the fundamentals of your beliefs that have nothing to do with typos, words mistranslated, etc.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi again!

So, Nakedness. God never said "Thou shalt not be naked" in the Bible. Now, He did mention a few certain instances where it was not right. Like when a prostitute parades around naked with the intent of making men want to sleep with her-that is sin. If a priest was going to the temple, he was to be clothed and not naked at the steps of the temple (or something like that) etc, and the Bible eludes to nakedness being shameful or degrading, but that was because of our own shame in it. Being naked in man's eyes is being exposed. Nothing is hidden. Man (as a whole) doesn't like that, in general (in a non-sexual context). I hope that helps. I mean, King David paraded around town naked as a pure act of worship at one point, and God wasn't mad! (But his wife was, she resented him for the rest of her life for it.)

About morals. I guess that's the thing...what happens when your "good" clashes with someone else's "evil", or vice versa?? For instance, you say you are against slavery, but it is legal in some parts of the world, and if a person in that part of the world doesn't think it's wrong, does that make it not evil? Do they have the right to decide what is good and evil, just like you do? And do you see where that can be a very unstable place to be? As an atheist, you believe that there is no god. So, it's up to man, right? One man says something is right, another says it's wrong. The Bible calls it "Being wise in our own eyes." Without a creator who is greater than any man setting boundaries, why should any of us stay in any? I’m sure you choose your morals carefully, what about those who don’t? Are they wrong? Who’s to say?

Here are the answers to your thought experiments:

1.I do believe that the Bible has perfect guidance on morals. Now, it does need to be read in context, with old and new covenants and with the character of God in mind...not just the letter of the law but the SPIRIT of the law as well. But I do believe that when man adds their own rules to what God says, that results in dry and crusty religion, and it's the "religious" (the priests and religious leaders who had added so much to what God said for so long that they didn't even recognize God in the flesh when He came) who put Jesus to death! Remember in the Bible says, slaves were more like indentured servants, not like the mistreated slaves of the Civil war days. More on that another time. Child pornography, absolutely wrong, the Bible has clear indications on sexual boundaries and lust. Transsexuals–the Bible says that each of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made” And while we were still in our mothers’ wombs, He knew us.

2A – Yes, we are all born with a sin nature, we’re not born saved...it’s our inheritance from the fall. Ever see a 1 ½ year old throwing a fit because they don’t want to do what their parents just told them? As kids, if we saw someone drop or lose something, our first reaction would be to keep it…”finders keepers, losers weepers”, right?

2B-Yes, Since Jesus came, died and rose again, He is the only way to heaven, and back to a right relationship with God. He was the perfect sacrifice that we needed to bring us back to Him. He said that no one comes to the Father except through Him. The Bible says that there is no other name in heaven or on earth by which man can be saved.
I believe it because the Bible says it. =)

3-I never have to wonder if Jesus loves me or not. There is no “what if” for me. I never have to worry whether or not that’s true. He says it’s true, not only in words but in actions. The Bible says, there is no greater love than a man laying down his life for his friends. It also says: “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Outta room! Talk soon! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

I also hit the 4K limit on postings, so my response is split over two postings. This is posting 1 of 2.

Part 1: Morals
“Remember in the Bible says, slaves were more like indentured servants, not like the mistreated slaves of the Civil war days.” I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but I think your knowledge of the bible and American history are both sorely lacking. Allow me to provide you a quote from the bible:

“And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” [Luke 12:47]

Wow, whoever said that sure did not like servant/slaves or did not recommend treating them humanely, did they? An apparantly most unpleasant fellow. Oh wait, it turns out that was your jesus, the one that loves everyone. The same jesus that never said that slavery was bad and that slaves should be freed. I guess that sums up your god's and the biblical moral position on slavery succinctly.

And speaking of morals, although your god and jesus claim to love everyone, they never get around to saying that all men are created equal, with certain basic rights. A very simple, yet powerful example of how human (at least American) morals are superior to your god and bible. I would argue that admitting that all mankind is equal with certain basic rights would cause a serious problem with your beliefs. Unless of course you can provide bible verses that promote the concepts of equality for all mankind………..

And on the other topics of sin, no pass for you this time. Please provide bible verses that directly say that child pornography or trans-sexuals are bad and/or a sin, and not just your opinions. How about speeding in your car? Posting on an atheist website? Kind of hard to claim them as biblical sins, considering that these concepts arose long after the bible was stitched together. I wonder how believers will justify their calling something a sin in the future when it is not referenced in the bible? One of the many disadvantages of depending upon a very old document for modern guidance, I guess.

Tom Vouray said...

@ The Home Girl:

Part 2: Absolutes

“I never have to wonder if Jesus loves me or not. There is no “what if” for me.” I am sure that that is true for you. Some believers build a nice box around themselves with their beliefs. It would appear to me that the concept that others in the world have a different definition of what is “evil” or not seems to be disturbing to you; this is outside your ‘box’. Many believers find comfort in ‘absoluteness’. God is perfect. The bible is perfect. Jesus loves everyone. Anything that man does is not perfect. People disappoint you with their love, or lack thereof.

Then you run into a plethora of bible verses that demonstrate that neither your god nor the bible is perfect, and the walls of the box start to waver a little bit. And of course you reject or deflect any way you can, because admitting that just one (1) thing is wrong shows that your god is not always perfect/loving, or the bible does not contain contradictions, which would prove that all of your absolutes are false. That is the fundamental problem with depending upon absolutes.

I would dare say that you would not utilize very many of the bible verses that I have provided so far when you are trying to convince others to share in your beliefs, and join you in your box. Therefore, I understand why you don’t want to think about what I have posted on this site, or some of my questions. Which is OK, I don't answer all of your questions either, to be fair.

So the main topic of this posting has been to take a look at ‘absolutes’. I will now would like to show you the direct consequences of depending upon absolutes. Warning! Please return to your seat and fasten your seatbelt. Turbulence ahead.

First absolute: you said; “Yes, we are all born with a sin nature, we’re not born saved...it’s our inheritance from the fall. Ever see a 1 ½ year old throwing a fit because they don’t want to do what their parents just told them”

Second absolute: And you said: “The Bible says that there is no other name in heaven or on earth by which man can be saved. I believe it because the Bible says it.”

Therefore, the direct consequence of these two ‘absolutes’ is that all children and babies that die, or have died, prior to knowing/accepting jesus, do not go to heaven and are in the ‘lake of fire’, including the 1-1/2 year old of your example, if he were to die.

A very unsettling thing to think about, but if you are right, then this happens every day. Fortunately, I do not believe in your religion, or the concepts which are a direct result of your absolute beliefs presented above. But it would appear that you do.

Strong stuff, eh? I await your response. Otherwise, have a great week! Spring will get here eventually.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom,
How are ya? Sorry for the delay in getting back. We had family in town for Spring break.
So whaddya say, let’s dive in, shall we? =)
Replies for Part 1-
First up, the verse you provided from the book of Luke was not a COMMAND, it was part of a PARABLE, a story that illustrates the kingdom of God, in a way people could grasp better. You quoted Luke 12:47, but you must not have looked at the prior verses for context…which said “But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ & he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat & drink & get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him & at an hour he is not aware of.”

So, in this parable, a servant is beating other servants who the master cares about, & acting really bad. What do YOU, in your morality, think should happen here? Should he be punished? The punishment for servants who did this in their culture at the time was beating, ours today is jail time. Jesus knew what the people He was speaking to would choose to do in that situation, which is why He told the parable the way He did.

I think this is that issue again of not seeing the forest for the trees. You’ve grabbed ONE verse and have decided this is God’s character and views on slavery, but it’s not in context and it’s NOT His character. This is not a verse you can use to argue the character of God/Jesus regarding slavery. Can’t give you a pass on this one, Tom.
God never said, “Thou shalt have servants and treat them poorly.” I can’t find it anywhere, and neither can you. =)

The book of Philemon and Ephesians, chapter 6 talk about the equality of man in Christ, there is also, in Deuteronomy 15, some verses talks about how servants were to be treated. People had them and needed them when they had more work than they could do on their own. The servants served almost like contract labor for 6 years, and when they were done, they were to be handsomely paid and free to stay or go. Certainly different than slavery in Civil War times. For the sake of space, I’ll have to let you read them. Not sure if you will, though.

Did you know God never intended to give the Isrealites 613 laws? It started with just 10 commandments, and if everyone were to follow just the first commandment, all the other 9 would have fallen into place easily. But the people didn’t want to have The Lord for their God, and began to justify their rebellion to themselves, and God had to make more laws to clarify things for them. It’s an interesting cycle, the people kept rebelling, and God kept laying more laws down. It shows that no matter how many laws/clarifications were made, people couldn’t keep them, because at our core, we’re sinful. We need a savior. That’s why Jesus came, and died for us, to be the sacrifice for us, so that we could be a people who could dwell with God again, not because of what we did, because of what HE did!

How many laws should God have made? How detailed did He really need to be? Do you believe child pornography would be considered sexual immorality? (which is discussed often in the Bible)? Taking or viewing videos and pictures of children forced into having sex or in sexual positions for the sake of lusting after them??? How would that not be sexual immorality? (along with a whole host of other sins listed in the Bible!)

All of sin comes down to this-people determining that THEY know what is right and wrong better than God, and doing what is right in their own eyes, living for themselves instead of seeking God and His ways. It’s the start of everything evil, because we don’t know everything. We are limited by our own life and experiences to try to tell us that, and it’s faulty, because we like to justify doing something that we might know is wrong, but really want to do it anyway, so we make up new rules of right and wrong, so we feel better about what we’re doing. That’s why we needed Jesus!

Outta room again! Have a great week!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

“it was part of a PARABLE” Yes, I know that. Regardless, jesus is advocating beatings of slaves, whether it is a parable or anything else. In my opinion, very much like telling a racist joke to a minority and then saying “Hey, I was just joking!”

“What do YOU, in your morality, think should happen here? Should he be punished?” Of course he should be punished. But not by beating. And he should be released from slavery.

“The punishment for servants who did this in their culture at the time was beating, ours today is jail time.” Ah, you bring up an interesting point. So if something was done a long time ago, then it is OK, even if we don’t practice the same punishment today, because it was a long time ago?

“Can’t give you a pass on this one, Tom. God never said, “Thou shalt have servants and treat them poorly.” I can’t find it anywhere, and neither can you. =)”. You are missing the main point. As I noted previously, slavery is bad, and you can’t find it anywhere in the bible that jesus advocated the end of slavery or the release of slaves. Their treatment is a side issue.

“The servants served almost like contract labor for 6 years, and when they were done, they were to be handsomely paid and free to stay or go. Certainly different than slavery in Civil War times. For the sake of space, I’ll have to let you read them. Not sure if you will, though.” Sure I will read the bible, I find it both informative and entertaining. For the sake of space, here is the summary of your ‘contract labor’, as per the bible:

“Israelite slaves were to be offered release after six to seven years of service, except when the male Israelite slave chose to remain with his wife; the male slave, the female slave and all children would consequently endure bond-slavery throughout their lives. A foreign slave could be bequeathed to the owner's family, and be made to serve for the life of the slave, except in the case of certain injuries.”

So much for your six year term. Perhaps you need to read all of the biblical references on slavery.

“The book of Philemon and Ephesians, chapter 6 talk about the equality of man in Christ”. Sorry I read both references twice and see nothing even vaguely like ‘all men are created equal with certain basic rights’. Can you specify the book, chapter and verse(s) please?

“How many laws should God have made? How detailed did He really need to be?” You tell me. You claim the bible is perfect, but it is sorely lacking in several modern ‘sins’. A truly perfect document would cover it all, without the need to extrapolate or guess on how to handle the missing parts. If your argument is that the bible does not have to cover everything, such as child pornography, and that you can take various bits and pieces and cobble together to prove that something is bad, then I will refer you to a recent quote: “But I do believe that when man adds their own rules to what God says, that results in dry and crusty religion.” Any guesses who said that? According to this person, we should not be adding rules to what god has said in the bible, much as you appear to be doing.

”Do you believe child pornography would be considered sexual immorality? (which is discussed often in the Bible)? Taking or viewing videos and pictures of children forced into having sex or in sexual positions for the sake of lusting after them??? How would that not be sexual immorality? (along with a whole host of other sins listed in the Bible!)” Whoa partner! Once again you are missing the point. My point is that if god and the bible are perfect then everything you need to be moral is in there. But it is not. My point is that child pornography is bad, but it is not covered in the ‘perfect’ bible (and neither is speeding in your car). But because it is not in the bible, then man has to continue to develop and publish laws for their societies that the bible does not cover. Which concludes that the bible is not perfect.

Enjoy your week!

james bond said...

Tom Vouray.

Hi Tom. I was not sure exactly when the dialogue between you and Home Girl began, but I want a fair way back and cut and pasted the posts I found into a document. I began reading it, but for the sake of brevity I skim read a lot of it, I could not really be bothered with each individual point, it was pretty tiresome to see most of the same arguments raised by apologists being used by Home Girl. I mean, honestly, to bring up the “indentured service” chestnut, refuted (which, in case she reads this, means PROVED WRONG) countless times by Matt Dillahunty and almost all other noted atheist debaters, is just lame. Utterly indefensible. To suggest certain aspects of the slavery verses are parables is also lame. To pretend, without evidence, that the slavery of biblical times was similar to the kind of “indentured servitude” of the Civil War days is also utterly risible. What’s more, it’s pretty easy to do some research and find that “During the time of the Civil War, slaves had very harsh lives. They were beaten, whipped, killed, hung, and were treated badly in many other ways.” I really get annoyed by the sort of rosy glow some Christians try to give to slavery, whether in the biblical or any other era. It is NEVER kind or justifiable to own people as property and there are no exceptions. Christians fail time and time again in their writhings and rationalisations for the utterly unacceptable passages on slavery.

Another thing that jumped out at me was her defence of eternal punishment in hell. I believe she said it’s fine “if the punishment fits the crime.” Suddenly she’s using Gilbert and Sullivan phrases from the Mikado: “My object all sublime. I shall achieve in time — To let the punishment fit the crime — The punishment fit the crime.” Which is sort of funny except she actually means it. And a crime that apparently befits eternal punishment in the bible is deliberately rejecting Jesus. Or in other words, for talking. For being sceptical of his status as a god or son thereof. Christopher Hitchens used to ask his audience “If you are on a bus and someone stands up and says ‘I am the son of god, bow down before me,’ do you gravitate towards that person of back away uncomfortably? I thought so.” As I say, Tom, I have not bothered to scrutinise your dialogue with this person too closely as there’s too much of it and I see nothing in anything she says that is in any real way defensible. I think she took a swipe at you quoting the King James bible. Not sure why she thinks it’s the “easiest to argue from.” Never heard that one before. But I recently read a book that was all about the compiling of the King James bible by the committee that King James 1 gathered together: these were very learned men who studied existing versions of the bible and agonised over every passage and word, weighing up and debating at length which translation of each word was the more defensible. This does not mean they were always right, of course, but I wonder whether Home Girl is as erudite in the subject of the analysis of ancient texts and Greek translations, and retranslations as these classically trained scholars. If not, she needs to have more to defend her rejection of the King James than simply “I prefer the NIV”.

Anyway, I won’t go on, she does seem polite, but I can’t see anything of substance in the case she tries to make. Keep up the good work, Tom. cheers, JB



Tom Vouray said...

@James:

Yes, Home Girl and I have taken up quite a bit of internet bandwidth with our postings in recent weeks. I think she is capable of defending herself, but I will say I think she means well, and has a much better attitude than the typical "you are an atheist and going to hell" fly by blog posters that post once and never follow up. Which makes her more pleasant than the majority of the other believer posters.

And as I noted to her in previous postings, I have no interest in 'converting' her, but am simply providing references from the bible that run contrary to her opinions. Much to her credit, she has been able to provide her opinions in a coherent manner, once again, much better than most of the other believer posters.

Did I just complement a believer? Yes I did.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hey Tom!

Thanks again for your response (and your nice compliments I just saw). I'm a slowpoke these days, and I’m sorry about that. Life seems to get extra busy in the Spring. I just wish our WEATHER would actually get the memo that it IS in fact, SPRING! Haha! Sorry I wasn’t able to get to your Part 2 yet. I wanted to address that too, but first I wanted to talk to you about your part 1 responses.

Oh, and hello, Mr. Bond! Love your movies! Haha! =)

I’m sorry, but I’m just not seeing how Jesus’ telling of this parable is like saying a racist joke and then saying “I’m joking”. That just doesn’t make sense to me. Jesus is trying to illustrate a point completely different than slavery here and using their modern day life to tell a story that would help them illustrate God’s kingdom.

To me, Ephesians 6 is a wonderful passage guiding Christians on how God calls us to treat people. Ephesians 6:8 probably clarifies this best for what we’re talking about, though, (MSG version)- “Masters, it’s the same with you. No abuse, please, and no threats. You and your servants are both under the same Master in heaven. HE MAKES NO DISTINCTION BETWEEN YOU AND THEM.” Powerful stuff on the equality of man there.

In the new testament, Paul calls himself and fellow Christians, “servants by choice” at times. We love God and want to follow and obey what He says-not out of obligation, but out of sheer love for Him and gratitude for what He did for us. Kind of like when you are totally head over heels in love with someone, there’s NOTHING you won’t do for them. =D

Sorry I can’t explain Philemon for lack of room, but here is a link that explains the backstory. This channel is awesome as well-factual and not preachy, and all Bible, not anything else, if you want to check it out further.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aW9Q3Jt6Yvk

I can see that slavery is a very important issue for you, and I completely understand. It is also important to me. In fact, prejudice and discrimination of any kind is wrong according to God. I think it is important for you to know that it was never something God intended for us.

God is not for forced servanthood of ANY kind! Including us forcibly serving HIM.
In fact Jesus said in Mark 10:45 - “That is what the Son of Man has done: (He’s talking about himself) He came to SERVE, not to BE SERVED—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”

We have been hostages to our sin. We have determined that we know what is best, instead of the one who made us. I’m guilty of it too. I still sin pretty much on the daily, but now I can go to God and ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name, and I am completely cleansed of that sin and can dwell closely with Him again. Not because of anything on my part, but because of what Jesus did for us. And I have to say, I’m SO thankful for it…because I definitely know how to sin. It comes way easier for me than I’d like.

I think you are reaching when you say that God has to be specific on “sins of today” even now. Truth is, there is enough in the Bible to cover even what we call the “modern sins” and they are still absolute truths that we can take with us. We don’t have to make any new laws for “modern sin”. It’s still sin. And it’s more than just the ACTS of sin, it’s the sinful condition of our HEARTS. In the end, the GREATEST COMMANDMENT, if followed, would take care of everything else. But most of us have a hard time with that Greatest Commandment. Every one of us struggles with it, if we’re honest. We’re a selfish and corrupt people who need a Savior. It’s as true today as it was thousands of years ago. We need HEART change….and we can’t fix ourselves, not from this. That’s why Jesus had to come and die for us. If there was any other way, God would have chosen THAT way instead of having to sacrifice His own Son for us.

Boy, that 4096 character limit is a bummer! I’ll try to send more soon for your part 2. Have a good one! =D

The HOME GIRL said...

Heya Tom!

Finally digging into Part 2 of your post with you.

You said-Some believers build a nice box around themselves with their beliefs…It would appear to me that the concept that others in the world have a different definition of what is “evil” or not seems to be disturbing to you-this is outside your box

This may shock you, but people wanting to have their own definitions of good and evil to suit themselves is not a disturbing concept to me. It is actually understandable! And, if I’m completely honest, there's a part of me that actually loves the idea of it. There is something in me-in all of us-that wants to do what we want, when we want, without consequence. The struggle is real, Tom! lol

There are times I wish that God didn't classify the sins that I am drawn to as sin. But, He did, not to make my life miserable, but because He knows it destroys us. If I did the sins I wanted to do, when I wanted to do them, they would eventually ruin me and others around me. (Proverbs 16:25) It also would make me distance myself from God more & more. But it doesn’t stop me from wanting to do them sometimes.

That’s why I love that God WAS clear about sin. He DID cover it all. The reason I say this is because sin is not just the bad ACTS I’ve done (“modern” or “antiquated” sins), it’s a NATURE in me that is like a cancer in my heart that can’t be healed by GOOD acts I do in my own strength and morality. There is no amount of good works I can do to make up for this corrupted heart of mine (a heart untrustworthy to fairly determine right from wrong on my own, because it is naturally bent toward what is wrong.) Only the blood of Jesus can clean up our hearts, and that lifeline of His sacrifice for us is the only way out. I chose to grab onto it, and it’s made all the difference in my life. (Romans 7:15-25)

I promise your questions/scripture quotes are not something I am trying to shy away from. I just don’t have the room to get to it all, so I end up cutting a lot out of what I originally write due to space, & maybe it’s the wrong things I’m cutting out. Please let me know what I’ve missed that you really wanted to know.
Regarding your absolutes equation about the babies, I think this is a hefty assumption you make about God here. The reality is that God doesn’t say what happens to babies/small children when they die in the Bible.

Ok, get ready, I’m gonna use a mathematical analogy which may or may not make any sense, because I’ve never been super strong in math. haha!
You say X+Y=Z, every time, in this world of absolute truth. Ok, but the equation that brought YOU to the conclusion you have is not complete. You forgot about U, V, and W in the equation, and perhaps even more “addends” that neither of us thought of, and U+V+W+X+Y doesn’t equal Z. Only X+Y does.

Yes, Absolute 1 and Absolute 2 are truths from the Bible. If we stopped there, and if those were the ONLY two absolute truths, then yes, babies would go to hell. But we can’t stop there, because there are more absolute truths in the Bible that have to be considered for this conclusion. Not contradictory truths, just other truths. Because of this, many say absolute truth is flawed, but they feel this way because they have an incomplete picture of it, or perhaps they don’t like the truths they do know.

Regarding babies dying, there is nothing directly about this specific topic in the Bible, so all I can truly tell you is that I don’t know.
But here’s the thing-Neither do you. So we can both make our assumptions, but in the end that’s all they are-assumptions.

As I’ve said before, there’s a lot that God chooses not to explain. I don’t know why. But He explains enough for each of us to make a decision about Him, based on the scripture-and not just a few cherry-picked verses to try to back assumptions, but the entirety of it. That decision, including the decision not to believe at all, is entirely up to each of us.

Quick question, how did you get your words BOLDED in the text? I’d sure love to get away from the all-caps! Talk with ya soon!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

"That’s why I love that God WAS clear about sin. He DID cover it all"
"As I’ve said before, there’s a lot that God chooses not to explain. I don’t know why"
Hmmmm...............

No, it does not bother me that others have a different definition of morality and what is evil. Glad to hear it does not bother you either. And am I in a box? Yes, everyone is in their own box, that is a coping mechanism to deal with "life". Some boxes are bigger, some are smaller, but everyone is in a box of their own creation. The trick is to never let the box trap you or prevent you from expanding the box as you grow and learn.

Algebra for logic? Creative, but not applicable. Actually it was you that stated that (absolutely) everyone is born evil, and Jesus made it clear (that absolutely) no one could be saved except through him. Neither you or the bible provided any exceptions or alternatives for babies or children. In fact, I would argue that you are uncomfortable with the concept that I have provided, and are trying to deflect because it does not fit your definition of an all loving and caring god/jesus. Of course, it also means that you think jesus was wrong (!). And at this point you are just making assumptions or guesses. I prefer to stick to the written word of the bible in my arguments. After all, the bible is perfect, and "He DID cover it all!", right?

No need to drag this out further. To your credit, your response is no worse or no better than I have received from any other believer over the years of asking. Just wanted to demonstrate the folly of over dependence upon absolutes.

So let's circle back to morals and sin before we move on to future topics:

Is being a trans-sexual a sin, and if so, why?

No, I am not going to tell you how to use the bold function :) You are bad enough already with wearing out the Caps Lock and the ! on your keyboard! But I will tell you if you look at the bottom of the window where you type your draft, you will see a reference to HTML tags and then the letter "b". If you google that you might get your answer.

Tom Vouray said...

@the Home Girl:

Just a follow up:

“You forgot about U, V, and W in the equation, and perhaps even more “addends” that neither of us thought of, and U+V+W+X+Y doesn’t equal Z.”

"Yes, Absolute 1 and Absolute 2 are truths from the Bible. If we stopped there, and if those were the ONLY two absolute truths, then yes, babies would go to hell. But we can’t stop there, because there are more absolute truths in the Bible that have to be considered for this conclusion. Not contradictory truths, just other truths”

“But He explains enough for each of us to make a decision about Him, based on the scripture-and not just a few cherry-picked verses to try to back assumptions,”


So I am cherry picking verses, eh? There are more absolute truths? I am not in a hurry, please provide these absolute truths or other verses that support U, V and W that say that babies do not go to hell when they die.

I'll wait.

"Regarding babies dying, there is nothing directly about this specific topic in the Bible, so all I can truly tell you is that I don’t know." It seems strange to me that a perfect document and a perfect god leaves you with so many questions.................something to think about.

Phil from England ... said...

The Home Girl, Hi, my name's Phil. What I want to ask you is do you take everything in The Bible as having literally happened in the way that The Bible describes? This is my first attempt at commenting on here, so I'm hoping that you will answer my question before I go into things with a bit detail, or depth, call it what you will.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi Tom!

And Hello Phil! How are things in England (if you're currently living there, that is)? I’ve always wanted to visit your beautiful country! Looking forward to talking with you! =D

Tom, I’ll address your comments first. My answers are BOLDED! Lookie what I figured out how to do!!! YAY! Haha! Thanks for the tips! ;)

"That’s why I love that God WAS clear about sin. He DID cover it all"
"As I’ve said before, there’s a lot that God chooses not to explain. I don’t know why"
Hmmmm............... Not sure what there is to Hmmm about (unless that's just you humming a little tune..haha!). God did cover it all regarding sin, but doesn’t always explain circumstances and why He does what He does. This is not a contradiction, in case you were thinking it was. =)

Re: Algebra for logic? Creative, but not applicable. – Oh well, I thought it was worth a shot…haha!

Re: Is being a trans-sexual a sin, and if so, why? - According to the Bible, anytime we decide that we know better than God and choose to follow in our own way instead of His, that’s sin…and like I said, it’s not just about the specific sins…it’s about the heart…and the condition of it. It’s that “greatest commandment” thing again. I believe that the pull of someone to want to be a gender other than what they were made to be is a temptation, not a sin, but what they do with that temptation may turn out to be sin if they go with it and believe that they know what is better for their lives than God. (Psalm 139:13-18)

Re: It seems strange to me that a perfect document and a perfect god leaves you with so many questions..something to think about. Why does that seem strange? There could be books to fill the entire world several stories high and it still wouldn’t be enough to explain God. He is so high above us. Did you ever read Job 38-41 by chance? We will never truly understand everything about Him because we can’t. Our minds are physically unable to handle all that knowledge. But He does give us enough to make a decision about Him. This link is to a video that kind of puts things into perspective for me regarding this very thing. This is about 8 years old and even more could have been found since the airing of this. This is just one aspect of His creation, but a huge one. I hope you might take a look at the whole video, but if you want to kind of get a shortcut, you could skip to around 4:30 mark, a little further than halfway.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRiIWL04po8


Are you married, Tom? If so, did you know everything about your spouse before you married them? I imagine not. I sure didn’t know everything about my husband when I chose to marry him, but I knew enough about him, his character, his genuine kindness, not just toward me, but to everyone he met, his wisdom and many of his gifts that made him the most amazing man I’d ever met. I would learn more about him though the years of our marriage, and am still learning things about him, but I knew enough about him to make a commitment to him when he asked me to marry him.


The Bible can still be perfect and not give every single detail about the character and personality of God, because a book like that could never be fully read or written even if we read/wrote 24 hours a day, every day, for the entirety of our lives. God is so much more than we could ever wrap our heads around. Even studying single aspects of His creation take people entire lifetimes of study, and they still don’t have all the info.

And I’m out of room again. Phil, I’ll have to send an answer to your question in the next comment. Sorry about that! Have a great day, fellas! =D

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

"According to the Bible, anytime we decide that we know better than God and choose to follow in our own way instead of His, that’s sin…and like I said, it’s not just about the specific sins…it’s about the heart…and the condition of it. It’s that “greatest commandment” thing again." So explain something to me: what is the difference between your interpretation of a sin, and you utilizing the bible to justify a prejudice?

"Are you married, Tom? If so, did you know everything about your spouse before you married them?" Yes I am married, and no I did not know everything about her (and still don't). But neither myself or her attempted to convince the other that we are 'perfect' like your god. So here is another question for you: many times your response to my questions is "I don't know"; if you don't know something, why don't you ask for the answer? And using your spouse example - in the time that you have been married, how many times have you asked your husband for an answer, versus how many times have you asked jesus/god for an answer during the same period of time?

"God is so much more than we could ever wrap our heads around". So, according to your beliefs, you want to spend an eternity after death with someone you can never understand? Does not sound very appealing at all.

The HOME GIRL said...

Hi Fellas!

@ Phil, I’d like to answer your question first–answer in bold.

What I want to ask you is do you take everything in The Bible as having literally happened in the way that The Bible describes?

So, to (hopefully) answer your question, I do believe that the historical stories are true and as described in the Bible. But the Bible is more than just historical stories. There are prophesies, teaching, beautiful symbolism, poetry, correspondence, rich literary themes, etc. And I believe that together, they all point to Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross for us. I believe that it’s important to know the whole Bible, not just bits and pieces. I also believe that the Bible is more than just a book (or a series of books) but that it is “living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, AMP)

There is a short and factual video that might help explain it better, if you want to check it out. This whole channel is awesome!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhmlJBUIoLk

Do I believe that God literally parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites safely leave Egypt and escape slavery? Yes. Do I believe Jonah actually was swallowed by a literal whale when he tried to run away from God and refused to go speak in Nineveh? Yup. Do I believe the four “beasts” that came up out of the sea in Daniel’s vision in Daniel 7:1-8 were literal beasts exactly as described that came out of the sea? Nope, those were symbols of kingdoms that the Lord showed Daniel would rise up on the earth.

I am not sure if that answers your question. I hope so! =D

@Tom, Hello!

So explain something to me: what is the difference between your interpretation of a sin, and you utilizing the bible to justify a prejudice? So, I would say the difference is in how I treat the person who does the sin. Do I treat them with any less value because of their sin? Prejudice by definition is “an irrational attitude of hostility directed against an individual, group, race, or their supposed characteristics” I am not hostile toward people who sin. I’m one of them! I love people, and as a Christian, I am also commanded to love people and to value them as HE values them, as people that He loved enough to sacrifice His own son for! That would be the key difference to me. I can still call sin “sin” and not be hostile toward people that do sin, even if they are hostile to me for calling sin what the Bible says it is. Hope that makes sense.

Yes I am married, and no I did not know everything about her (and still don't). But neither myself or her attempted to convince the other that we are 'perfect' like your god. Ok, well, that’s good. But God IS perfect, so HE has every right to be able to say it. You didn’t tell your wife that you were perfect, but I imagine you told her, and probably SHOWED her who you really are…and that’s who she fell in love with. Same with God. He tells us and SHOWS us not only who He is, but also that He loves us so much! It’s been more than enough for me to love Him, after all He’s done for me. I have asked God about a lot of things, and I have received answers. And when I haven’t received answers, I’ve received peace, even in the uncertainty. And for me, it’s enough. =)

You want to spend an eternity after death with someone you can never understand? Does not sound very appealing at all. Again, I feel like I do understand Him enough to know that I love Him, and I am still learning more and more about Him all the time. And the more I know Him, the more I love Him!

Have a great day, guys!

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

Here is two for the price of one today.
1) “How many laws should God have made? How detailed did He really need to be?”

Sorry, but when you generate laws and moral guidance, you have to be specific. Otherwise, you are leaving it up to the individual’s interpretation. As an example, it is easy to see that believers in one denomination do not always agree with others in other denominations, or even within the same Sunday school class, let alone Protestants versus Catholics versus Seventh Day folks. The result? Utter chaos, with one individual/group saying the other individual/group is wrong. If I don’t agree with you, who is wrong, you or me?

A real world example: imagine a busy four way stop intersection. Would you prefer to have four STOP signs posted on each corner, or four “FOLLOW THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT AND DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS RIGHT IN YOUR HEART” signs?

2) “We have been hostages to our sin. We have determined that we know what is best, instead of the one who made us. I’m guilty of it too. I still sin pretty much on the daily, but now I can go to God and ask for forgiveness in Jesus’ name, and I am completely cleansed of that sin and can dwell closely with Him again. Not because of anything on my part, but because of what Jesus did for us. And I have to say, I’m SO thankful for it…because I definitely know how to sin.”

2A: According to the bible, sin has nothing to do with you entering heaven or not. Your words above support this position. Don't understand why believers get hung up on sin.

2B: Please don’t be offended, but when believers are “SO thankful” for being “completely cleansed” of sin, you are basically admitting you don’t want to be held accountable for your actions. I think the idea that someone or something can take your sins away is just a way to feel better about yourself and convince yourself that your scorecard has been wiped clean. If there were a supreme being judging people after their deaths, I would prefer that you, I and everyone should be held accountable for their decisions and actions. Otherwise, you are enabling further “sins”. Your words above support this position.

2C: So far, your position is that you sin, jesus forgives you, and you repeat this cycle over and over. But you appear to be focused on “Home Girl” sins, ones that only involve Home Girl (if this is wrong, just humor me). So now, let’s look at an alternate scenario, and see how great it is to have jesus forgive a sin:

> Someone kills a husband/father.
> They regret their actions and ask jesus to forgive them.
> Jesus forgives them for their sin.

Hey, this is just like you described, with the killer being SO thankful that his/her sin is completely cleaned. One little minor detail: while the killer is forgiven, the wife is deprived of her husband, the children are deprived of their father, and possibly may suffer the after effects for the rest of their lives.

In this scenario, the killer is absolved of his sin, which from his perspective, is great. But from a bigger world picture, the people the father/husband left behind continue to suffer for years to come. Therefore, the sinner is rewarded for repenting, but his victim’s family suffers without any corresponding relief from jesus or god.

And along those same lines, what does your bible advise you to do for those that you have sinned against?

Enjoy your week. Eventually spring will sprung.

Tom Vouray said...

@The Home Girl:

“So here is another question for you: many times your response to my questions is "I don't know"; if you don't know something, why don't you ask for the answer? And using your spouse example - in the time that you have been married, how many times have you asked your husband for an answer, versus how many times have you asked jesus/god for an answer during the same period of time?”

“I have asked God about a lot of things, and I have received answers. And when I haven’t received answers, I’ve received peace, even in the uncertainty. And for me, it’s enough. =)”

Really? That is no way to grow, expand and learn. If our ancestors had taken the same attitude then we would not enjoy modern medicines, transportation or computers and the internet, which you use to communicate with me. :)

And you did not answer my question about the # of questions you have asked your husband since you were married, versus the # of questions you have asked your god over the years you have been married. :(

What are some questions that were not answered, and why don't ask again until you get an answer? What was the reason provided for not answering? It seems that some believers don't want to ask questions because they might not like the answer, or they fear that it will offend their god; hopefully this does not apply to you.

Would you mind if I pass on some questions for you to ask your god, and then we can go over the responses?

Last but not least, do you apply your god's attitude towards answering questions in your life? Do you withhold answers from your husband, children and friends? Would you recommend that others adopt this attitude regarding answering questions? Should your husband be more godly, and stop answering some of your questions, and then also not provide a reason that he did not respond?

Something to think about.

The HOME GIRL said...

How’s things, Tom? =D

This is a response to your “Two for One” post a few ones back. I wasn’t able to get full responses in due to the 4096 character limit, though. Ugh…haha! =D

1.So, I totally understand your frustration with this. I sent a link to Phil when I answered his question that I think might help you understand the way the Bible is written and why things were left out. The purpose of the Bible is not to teach us how to be good, moral people. If that were solely what it was, then you’re right, more probably should’ve been said. But that is not what the Bible is all about. It’s definitely got that in there, but the Bible points to something greater. The story of Jesus and His life, death, and resurrection from the dead, so that we could be reconciled to God again, if we believed and received this incredible gift of His salvation.

But there are many who, probably with good intentions and a longing to know more, try to “fill in the blanks” of the Bible with their own assumptions and cultural interpretations, and we see disagreement as a result. And healthy respectful discussion about it is not bad, but when it gets ugly, that’s not good. I will say that when I’ve disagreed with someone, if we both love Jesus and are focused on the Bible and the fundamental truths of it, I haven’t found too much true “chaos” from it at all.

I’d like to just show the greatest commandment here, which has two parts. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” And Jesus replied to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 AMP) Also, Romans 13:8-10 expands on the 2nd half of this greatest commandment if you wanna check it out.

2A: Well, kind of. Our entry to heaven will be based on whether or not we had a relationship with God’s son Jesus, not how many sins we did or did not do, according to the Bible. But sin is a component. It’s our sin that drives us away from God and makes us want to “go it alone” without Him, so we can’t overlook it.

2B, and some of 2C: I am not offended, Tom. And I see how it might look that way, it seems too good to be true, but It’s not. We can have the slate wiped clean, but there are still consequences for sin, just like your example in part 2C. That killer repents and turns to God and he’s cleansed from his sin and can dwell closely with God again. However, as he comes close to God in relationship, the Holy Spirit will lead him to make things right as much as he can. He will most likely still go to jail, a natural consequence. Yes, the victim’s family will suffer, which proves the ugliness of sin, because even in the “small sins”, people suffer. But if they love Jesus, they can bring Him that pain and can receive comfort and peace that even they can’t understand. If the victim loved Jesus, they would know that He’s in a much better place and that would even bring a sense of joy in the midst of the pain. I’ve heard stories of this happening and have also had personal comfort when loved ones have died that love Jesus.

I also understand your thoughts about how we should all be judged by our actions. But the Bible says, “If You, LORD, should keep an account of our sins and treat us accordingly, O Lord, who could stand [before you in judgment and claim innocence]? (Psalm 130:3) None of us would enter heaven based on our morality or good works alone. Not one. God knows this, and loves us too much to have us destroyed in our sin when we stand before Him, so He made a way for us. What a wonderful thing He did when He sent Jesus! Romans 5:18-6:2 may also give some clarity on this and to your question in 2B about enabling further sins.

Oh, how I wish I could write more. I’m sorry. Have a good one! =)

The HOME GIRL said...

How are ya, Tom? Part 2 for your part 2-answers bolded. =)

So here is another question-many times your response to my questions is "I don't know"; if you don't know something, why don't you ask for the answer? And using your spouse example-in the time that you have been married, how many times have you asked your husband for an answer, versus how many times have you asked jesus/god for an answer during the same period of time?

I do ask, and like I said before, I feel like He gives me answers as I need them, and when He doesn't, He gives me peace to trust Him. Here’s a personal experience to hopefully explain this. Several years ago, we felt the Lord was calling us to move to a different state to prepare for a ministry He had for us. We couldn't move until we sold our house, though, and we had to sell it for a certain price to afford the move and what was coming. Several months went by, LOTS of showings and no offers. I remember sitting out in our backyard praying after 3 ½ months with no offers, asking God, “Did we hear you wrong? Are we actually NOT supposed to be doing this? Why hasn’t there been a single offer on this home? I told Him we were fine with whatever He wanted for us, but I just wanted to know, so we weren’t in limbo anymore. I felt the presence of the Lord and peace about it that day, even though I received no answer. Two days later, I was out washing the windows in front of the house when a car pulled up and asked if they could look at our house right then. It was a realtor and a client who saw our sign while out looking at another house. So we quickly tidied up and showed them around. Within an hour, the whole family was looking at it, and within one more hour an offer was placed on the home, and it closed 30 days later! Things like this have happened often in my life, so I know that He’s answering even when He isn’t "answering", if that makes sense. Now, when I ask Him things, even if I don’t get a clear answer, I usually have peace, because I know He’s faithful. I’ve not only read it in the Bible, but I’ve also experienced it for myself. As far as the number of times I’ve asked God versus asking my husband, I’d say it’s pretty equal with me maybe asking my husband more often. I can’t give exact numbers because I don’t record every question asked to either my husband or to God, but I will say, both do hear from me with questions and requests pretty often! haha!

You had also asked if I have ever withheld answers from my children when they’ve asked. I have. When I feel it’s not good for them to know the answers yet, or I know they wouldn’t understand, I will not answer them, however, I will reassure them either that I’d tell them when they are older, or let them know it’s something I am not able to answer for them at this time. Did you do the same for your daughter?


“I have asked God about a lot of things, and I have received answers. When I haven’t received answers, I’ve received peace, even in the uncertainty. And for me, it’s enough. =) ”Really? That is no way to grow, expand and learn. If our ancestors had taken the same attitude then we would not enjoy modern medicines, transportation or computers and the internet, which you use to communicate with me. :)

I agree that an inquisitive mind is an awesome thing, but it’s important to seek answers with the right heart, and to also seek it out thoroughly, including everything, not just bits and pieces. I want to learn all I can about God and I do seek out His wisdom, not only from the Bible, but also from the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said would guide us into all truth. Both are incredibly important in finding out more about who God really is. I think true wisdom also understands that we don’t always have to know everything to make a decision, and much of the modern innovations were also brought about with some FAITH. Faith that something could work if tried a certain way, even if they didn’t know for sure or completely understand.

Aaaand I’m outta room! Talk soon! =)

Tom Vouray said...

@the Home Girl:

“So, I totally understand your frustration with this…….”
No worries, nothing about the bible or believers frustrate me at all. :)

“You had also asked if I have ever withheld answers from my children when they’ve asked. I have. When I feel it’s not good for them to know the answers yet, or I know they wouldn’t understand, I will not answer them, however, I will reassure them either that I’d tell them when they are older, or let them know it’s something I am not able to answer for them at this time. Did you do the same for your daughter?”

Yes I also explained to my daughter why I did not always answer her questions, as you did. But your god does not explain why he does not answer questions (that was my point, thanks for confirming it). I wonder why he does not? :( Just simply saying, “well, he is perfect” is not an explanation as much as it is an excuse.

“The purpose of the Bible is not to teach us how to be good, moral people. If that were solely what it was, then you’re right, more probably should’ve been said. But that is not what the Bible is all about.”
"That’s why I love that God WAS clear about sin. He DID cover it all."

Ah, you are contradicting yourself again. My point is that if a central source (such as the bible) is used for the definition of morals and “sins”, then without explicit definitions of “good vs. bad” then it is solely up to the individual to make their own assumptions about what is “good vs. bad”. Otherwise, anything you declare to be a sin, such as transsexuals, is not biblical based, and is simply your opinion.

“Transsexuals–the Bible says that each of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made” And while we were still in our mothers’ wombs, He knew us.”
“According to the Bible, anytime we decide that we know better than God and choose to follow in our own way instead of His, that’s sin…and like I said, it’s not just about the specific sins…it’s about the heart…and the condition of it…….I believe that the pull of someone to want to be a gender other than what they were made to be is a temptation, not a sin, but what they do with that temptation may turn out to be sin if they go with it and believe that they know what is better for their lives than God. (Psalm 139:13-18)”

Hmm…. (no, I am not humming): So specifically, verse 14 says - 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. And according to you “anytime we decide that we know better than God and choose to follow in our own way instead of His, that’s sin”. So, under your assumption, any and all changes to ourselves are a “sin”. I guess you have never changed the color of your hair, lost weight, pierced your ears, etc. Sorry, but I don’t see how changing your sex is a sin. Perhaps you can elaborate further. Are you sure that your opinion is not based upon a prejudice?

“Well, kind of. Our entry to heaven will be based on whether or not we had a relationship with God’s son Jesus, not how many sins we did or did not do, according to the Bible. But sin is a component.”

Ah, we are contradicting ourselves again. Sin is not a component. There is no verse in the bible that addresses the implication of someone who believes but keeps on sinning, just like you happily keep doing. And I stand by my position that jesus enables your sins by constantly forgiving them without consequence from him or god. And it would appear that you agree with me that there are no bible verses that compel you or other believers to make restitution to others that you have sinned against, since you did not provide any of these verses.

“…….it seems too good to be true, but It’s not. We can have the slate wiped clean, but there are still consequences for sin….”

Once again, I offer you the opportunity to provide biblical versus that define what the consequences for sin are for believers from god or jesus.


New question for the week: did jesus come to save all of mankind? Read your bible before answering!

Enjoy the spring weather.