God said it I believe it

god given words cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

GOD GIVEN WORDS

You can by all kinds of my cartoons like this one, art and Sophias, originals and reproductions, in my online gallery!

I had a funny thought last night. I’m painfully aware that many people don’t find funny what I find funny. At least I thought it was funny. I thought: what if the early councils where they canonized books of the bible were the same as, say, our Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award? It was their way of saying, “Great book! In fact, we want to recommend this to everybody.” And, because of their ancient worldview, they would add, “And we not only believe God wants you to as well, but that he’s actually behind this book! He not only blessed it, but begat it!”

We are very superstitious people. And as we continue to modernize we don’t seem to be getting any less so. We’ll believe anything.

Once in a while a movie will come out and the creator will say God gave them the movie. A musician will say that she didn’t write the song but that it was given to her. A writer will write a book and say that it was narrated to him by God. A preacher will say that the Spirit gave her this message and it is straight from God. I couldn’t count how many times it has been said over me, “Thus saith the Lord…”

Many people will believe this and buy it. I mean, they will embrace what it says and lay their money down for it.

I love the bible. I have enormous respect for it. Because it points in its own unique way towards the Truth.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • René

    Nice one :)

  • Brigitte Mueller

    The Bible is supposed to be the prophetic and apostolic witness, not a nice novel with a cool deeper meaning. It did not pop into one guy’s or gal’s mind. This is not to say that one great author does not uncover important truths. This can happen too. But that stuff is for debating, for entertainment, for story-telling, etc., not as, by the way of contrast, taking as an apostolic witness.

  • Al Cruise

    Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson,Mark Drisscol, David Koresh, etc. would all agree with you the bible is apostolic witness and not up for debate.These men can do what they do because of statements like yours, and people remain silent and feel guilty to question anything they say.

  • Matthew Wright

    LOL that is hilarious I really like your blog, If you wouldn’t mind i would really like it if you went to view my blog at southernbiblelife.blogspot.com

  • http://triangulations.wordpress.com/ Sabio Lantz

    David,
    I am starting to wonder why so many of your men (usually the bad guys) are missing so much hair: just bragging, is what I think! :-)

    Faking authority: make is god, make it Jesus, make it a disciple (all Gospels (I think) and many epistles books’ authorship is fake).
    In Hinduism and Buddhism too — authorship is fakes to lend authority.
    Faking authority is a universally recognized trick. Add the sanctimonious taboo feeling of religion and your got the dumb human mind roped in!

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Sorry, Al, I am not a consumer of anything of the guys you mention. They are hardly on my horizon. Phelps and Koresh I have not even heard of. If they are Americans, I am not surprised. It is the land of the cults and self-proclaimed prophets. (Even if they claim the Bible. Hardly a scholar on the landscape. As Flannery O’Connor said, whom I did recently read in entire works, the southern preacher prides himself on having learned nothing at all.)

    A witness is up for debate. That’s just it. You can discuss the setting, the context, the contemporaries and it should check out. If it doesn’t check out, you should try and refine the understanding, compare more, dig deeper, adjust… Like in a court case. But how do you debate a myth? It’s not even supposed to be real, just metaphorical.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I suppose I said two opposing things. In a way, everything is for debating, but in different ways. A novel you can debate as to what we see in it, what the author implied, and no doubt we all see something different. The ambiguity is intended. With scripture that is supposed to be witness to a historic event, you can debate things but we try to come to a uniform understanding. That’s what some people just don’t like. It is a search for truth that is more than metaphorical or individual.

  • klhayes

    People seem to think God snapped his fingers and the Bible was created. It is multiple books, multiple authors, and uses multiple literary devices. Putting the Bible together was very political and there were many books left out of the Bible and the Catholic Bible has extra books that the Protestant Bible does not. It has gone through translation upon translation. And it has all been done by humans.

  • http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/ Lothar Lorraine

    “I had a funny thought last night. I’m painfully aware that many people don’t find funny what I find funny. At least I thought it was funny. I thought: what if the early councils where they canonized books of the bible were the same as, say, our Pulitzer Prize or National Book Award? It was their way of saying, “Great book! In fact, we want to recommend this to everybody.” And, because of their ancient worldview, they would add, “And we not only believe God wants you to as well, but that he’s actually behind this book! He not only blessed it, but begat it!”

    That’s an interesting way to see it. I wonder how frequent is willful deception in the Bible, that is sayings of folks who pretend to have been supernaturally inspired although they knew very well this wasn’t the case at all.

    Lovely greetings from continental Europe.

    Lothars Sohn – Lothar’s son

    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com

  • Roshan Easo

    Here’s a supporting example of what you say. This person believes the Bible is inspired, but not everyone in the Bible is God, so we mistake some stupid things those others-beside-God said in the Bible as a word for us: http://escapetoreality.org/2010/07/26/does-god-give-bad-gifts/

  • Roshan Easo

    The whole Gospel: Reading the Bible is like being a pharmacist. All His pills may be good for everybody, but YOU are not Everybody. http://escapetoreality.org/2010/03/10/rightly-dividing-the-word-how-to-read-your-bible-without-getting-confused/

  • Brigitte Mueller

    It has been done by them very faithfully and copying carefully. All the supposed mistakes are minor matters in copying. And lots of “Protestant” Bibles also have the deuterocanonical books in them, in the middle, not dispersed throughout. These difficulties and differences are overplayed by people with an agenda.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I think that is too goofy, Lothars Sohn. The books were in the canon, out of the canon, in the canon, checked and checked again. The prophet was supposed to say something about the future that came true, etc. etc.

  • Al Cruise

    First off I am Canadian born and raised in Alberta living in BC now. You seem to have some thing against Americans, that tells me a lot about you. What are you saying, just because your Canadian you are more godly than them? You say it’s the land of cults and self proclaimed prophets, we have those here, there even in Alberta. Hardly a scholar on the landscape? Really?

  • Cecilia Davidson

    The scriptures and myths we come up with are attempts to explain away the hells and mysteries of the world. The book of Job basically says “life’s unfair, deal with it.” Genesis tries to offer a fantastical history of the Israelites, as does the rest of the Torah up through 2 Kings. It’s not meant to be prophetic, but trying to offer some semblance of an answer.

    We now understand that these provided answers may well be wrong – but, too often, people gripe in the face of those who make such a remark and then run for “God said it through someone” to explain it away. The stories of the persecutions may also be falsefied to some degree. The prophets may offer damning instructions and advice, but that could well just be reaction to a very crappy world and the need to speak out.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Why are you talking to me about: “Fred Phelps, Pat Robertson,Mark Drisscol, David Koresh, etc.” ?

  • http://demiurgiclust.net shelly

    Phelps is the head of Westboro Blecky Cult….oops, I mean “Baptist Church”. You know, the “God Hates F*gs” people.

    Koresh was also a cult leader. Google “waco standoff 1993″.

    Both from the US, yeah.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    A reading assignment for you – buy/download Misquoting Jesus by Bart Ehrman or any textual criticism of the Bible. You will most certainly see that some mistakes AREN’T minor.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Primarily because you’re arguing that the Bible can’t POSSIBLY be misinterpreted.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    A group of bishops and priests picked the “canon” 400 years after the fact, 300 after the “evangelium secundum Johannem” was finished.

  • Dorfl

    Most historians accept that the Gospel according to Mark originally ended with the women running from the empty tomb in fear. Some later writer – with a noticeably different style of writing – later added verses 16:9-20 about Jesus returning and instructing the apostles to preach the gospels.

    I think this is a bit more than a minor copying error. I second Cecilia Davidson’s advice to look up what Bible scholars have long ago accepted about the Bible.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    The bible has had 6 groups of authors, each with an agenda and influenced by the superstitions of their time.

    1. The people who first told the stories

    2. Those that orally passed the stories on and on (sometimes for generations)

    3. Those that first wrote the stories down on parchment

    4. Those that copied (and translated) the stories to new parchments

    5. Those that decided which stories should be part of a cannon

    6. Those that form church communities around deciding certain stories within the canon are more important than others or certain interpretations of the stories are what God really wanted to communicate.

    IMO, each of these groups has contributed to errors large and small.

  • Mark

    Probably not. She will just convince herself that they are still only “minor matters in copying.”

  • Mark

    Very early in my marriage I allowed myself, for a time, to be dragged to my wife’s church, where every Sunday morning people spoke in tongues. Someone else – almost always the preacher – interpreted, and I always wondered why, if this was God speaking, somebody wasn’t writing this stuff down, so that the rest of the world could get the message.
    I also wondered whether these people were of such little faith that they needed these “signs and miracles” to keep them believing and coming back. I grew up in Methodist churches, and all we needed was a good pot-luck lunch after the service.

  • Mark

    Other than its age, what makes, say, Paul’s letter to Timothy (which, by the way, was not written by Paul) more “the word of God” and more inspired by God than the writings of Muhammad, the Buddha, or Billy Graham? I believe there are many truths in the bible, but it was written by men, with gender and cultural biases. And I believe that it is very arrogant of people to claim that only their personal interpretation of their favorite translation of the bible constitutes the entirety of God’s revelation to humanity.

  • Mark

    Sad how most of the wackos seem to come from America.

  • Mark

    If you are looking for scholars, I suggest John Shelby Spong.

  • MainlineP

    Isn’t there a broad middle ground though, between the literalists on one side, and those who call themselves Christian but don’t believe in the Incarnation, the historic creeds and view Jesus and his message as just a righteous human teacher dude. Is that you? While I abhor the fundamentalists exaggerated political power in the USA (as uncharitable as that sounds) I can’t warm to pseudo-Christian syncretism either. Either we believe in that which all Christians (Catholic, Orthodox, Reformed) have always believed or we, in good faith leave and become Unitarian or secular humanists. For me historical biblical criticism is fine as long as the agenda isn’t “Let’s prove it’s all made up human nonsense by primitives who are far less sophisticated than Enlightenment mankind”. I apologize in advance if I’ve misread your views.

  • Mark

    You’ve probably read me pretty close to right. A whole lot of what traditional Christianity believes has always pressed my BS button, and in the last ten years or so I’ve become increasingly reluctant to remain hypocritical about it. But I also believe there’s room within Christianity for people like myself, who don’t believe in a humanistic God that sometimes grants our petitions, or in the virgin birth, or in a literal resurrection.

    For example, I accept evolution as the best explanation of how we got here. Makes more sense to me than to try to believe God plopped Adam and Eve down, and then told them not to eat that one fruit, lest they die – as if they would have had any idea what death was (did your toddler understand “burn” before he got his first one?). So then no Adam and Eve = no original sin = Jesus didn’t need to be sent to die for my sins by a God who concluded “He” couldn’t forgive us without one more blood sacrifice. So no, there’s a lot I don’t believe of the bible. But I still want and try to follow Jesus. Which is all he really asks us to do.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    It’s not always mere copying. Let’s also remember that the vast majority of early Christians (and civilization at the time) was ILLITERATE.

  • Mark

    Agreed. I just don’t hold out any hope of convincing Bridgette that there are contradictions, errors, and the biases of the writers and the copyists in the bible. I think people who have made up their minds are no longer interested in new information.

  • Duane

    You know, Mark…..I really appreciate you. I think if we lived in the same community we would be hanging out, sharing a beer and watching those amazing Detroit Lions on the tube. Okay…..maybe they aren’t so amazing…but…sigh…they are my team.

    But anyway….I think we sat in the same church. My first Sunday there I literally prayed to God that if he got me out of that place alive I would never again do this…and this…and this. But….I kept going back. And in the midst of all the chaos….circus acts…..fake imitations of something they somehow concluded as being “moves of the Holy Spirit”….and of course the chorus of tongues….Jesus managed to reach me. And I began to study the Bible to find out what in the world was “this stuff” all about.

    The people in this church….most likely as the one your wife “dragged” you to…..were good people. It really was a family of caring people. I loved them all. I realized something was “amiss” to say the least….but I had found that same quality to be true in every church I had ever attended. But….at least in this wild and crazy church full of some of the most loving people I would ever meet Jesus reached me. He reached me because if nothing else….I began searching the Scriptures for truth.

    I don’t want to take up any more of your time….but I would like to say that whether or not they understood the definition of death or not had no bearing on God instructing them not to do something and them disobeying Him.

    Let’s take your example of, “(did your toddler understand “burn” before he got his first one?)” My toddler did not need to ever find out how painful a burn was if he had only done what I asked and not touched the flame. I love my toddler….more than anything…..what kind of a father would I be if I did not warn him not to touch the flame? What kind of love would I be expressing to my toddler?

    Perhaps you are missing something in understanding why Jesus came to earth in the first place. Salvation for sinners was not the primary purpose….though salvation was offered. Jesus came her to get His bride. n order to obtain His glorious bride, Jesus Christ had to pay the ultimate price. It was the burning intent of our Lord to have His companion. It was from that passion that rose, in effect, the chief motivation that caused Him to defeat Satan.

    Think about this…..the way that Adam obtained his bride was a living reflection of how Christ obtains His bride. Stay with me here. Like Adam, our Lord was put into a deep sleep. Let’s take a look at the two main reasons for this.

    The first is that through death, Jesus Christ destroyed everything that would stand in His way of winning the hand of His beloved bride. Think about it…..

    He destroyed the Law that would suffocate her under a ton of religious bondage and a heap of crushing condemnation.

    He destroyed the power of the Evil One who would seek to take her life.

    He destroyed the world system which would lure her heart away from Him.

    He destroyed the old creation which would defile and corrupt her.

    But more important than all of these…..

    He destroyed death itself so that the object of His passion would never taste death.

    Now listen….this needs to be realized. Your Lord, Jesus Christ made certain that He removed all that could harm His beautiful bride before she even came into existence. He did not let her appear until death was overcome. He waited….He had waited for ages to have His counterpart…..and He was going to make certain that once the romance began…..It would never end.

    In short….when it comes to our Lord and His much longed for bride….He conquered the last enemy so that……

    death shall never do them part.

    I sit in awe when I ponder His inexplicable love….His astounding passion….His enduring commitment.

    Next we will take a look at the second reason why Christ offered Himself unto death…..

    one of the great imponderables known to man.

  • Duane

    I copied and pasted this from my blog. I won’t continue this here, but if you wouldn’t mind….I genuinely ask that perhaps you take a look at my blog. I’m not coming with a stick in my hand …..but I am reaching it out to shake yours. If you do read what I’ve written and disagree….please leave the sticks on the ground.

    …..Peace Mark

  • Livin

    If you find the Bible is not reliabile you would be better off making your own religious text.
    If you want to do that go ahead that is your right. Just don’t follow Buddha while calling yourself a Christian.

  • Gary

    Why? You don’t believe the Buddha taught any truth?

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Okay, get that bigotry gone. Even Thomas Merton loved the Taoists.

  • Livin

    Yes and No the Mahayana(large raft) branch definately fits more inline with God wanting all saved.The pureland branch is more like Christianity than Buddhism. The more traditional hinayana believe life is pain and eventually snuffing out of existance would be better. Then you have the secular Buddhism which is not really Buddhism but looks at moderation as the key.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Your points are not valid as you still are making arguments based on this idea that you can’t be a True Christian if you borrow from elsewhere. Christmas trees aren’t purely Christian in origin …
    The resurrection of a savior isn’t truly Christian …
    You see where i’m going, i hope.

  • Gary

    Good point Cecilia. In fact a great many “Christian” traditions and teachings are taken from “pagan” sources. One could argue that taking the best (sometimes the worst) from all beliefs is very much a Christian thing to do.

  • Livin

    I am sorry but a person who dose not believe in the ressurection is not a Christian just as a Buddhist who dose not believe in nibbana is not a Buddhist. A Muslim who dose not believe Muhammuad is the prophet is is not a Muslim etc….
    The Republic of North Korea is not a republic because beliefs not labels make who you are.

  • Livin

    Some pagan practices(putting up a tree) were taken as a cultural nod no harm in that but core beliefs of Odin etc…must be cast aside.

  • Gary

    You speak in a lot of absolute language full of decrees.

    “…must be cast aside…”
    “…just don’t follow Buddha while calling yourself Christian.”
    “…but it dose make you a non-christian.”
    “…when you go outside of Traditional Christian tradition or the Bible to find answers you are no longer a Christian.”
    “…you have to have blind faith…”

    Ironically…I find I disagree with every single one of these statements of yours that are presented as absolute and concrete.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Can I be a Christian if I believe that the resurrection leading to the empty tomb was really just the Roman guards being bribed to look away while some friends and relatives took Jesus out and buried him somewhere else? Or perhaps it was all just a good story that was orally passed around (and eventually written down) like so many other good stories within the course of human history…. Or does being a Christian require that one believe that the flesh and bones that was Jesus actually disappeared on their own from within the tomb? If that is the case, we might want to get a memo out to everybody in the world. A lot of people may be just fooling themselves that they are really Christian. We might need to re-do all the religion statistics tabulating the world’s religions.

  • MainlineP

    Thank you for your thoughtful and interesting reply. As a mainline Protestant, (the lost category on Patheos) I too shy away from unbending literalism and am a big fan of science and invention. I’ve been able to accommodate faith and science, at least to a degree by Paul’s words about our flawed human understanding and seeing through a glass darkly.. My argument is that at some point, like a meteor, you and those who share your views have moved so far away, at light speed ,from traditional Christianity, that you’ve escaped its orbit completely. As a thoughtful and literate person would it not be more accurate for you to say:” I’m a secularist with a strong Christian influence”.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Nope, it’s practiced by Christians. You’re certainly wanting to avoid the truth

  • Cecilia Davidson

    I am sorry, but trolls should be ignored. I’m done with your hide.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Besides, who’s to say Jesus didn’t have Buddhist influences (his family fled the country, after all)

  • Livin

    Either there is absolute truth or there is no truth. All is concrete or nothing is.
    I have been a evolutionist all my life but Christianity has changed it. So I am considering casting that aside even with the evidence for it to make my worldview more consistent.
    Even if Christianity is a placebo effect like some believe you would still have to totally buy in to it to recieve the benifits of that meme.

  • Livin

    My question is why so attached to the Christian label if you believe none of it.

  • Livin

    While anything is possible it is not likely because of the types of language he used in his teachings. If anything he would have been influenced by the Stoics or the Cynics.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    EVEN THEN Jesus wasn’t entirely “Jewish,” according to you, if he’s having outside influences.
    He never called himself Christian, but he still practiced his faith to his best.

  • Gary

    Wow – Even more absolute declarative statements which I totally disagree with.

    “Either there is absolute truth or there is no truth. All is concrete or nothing is.”
    “…you would still have to totally buy in to it to recieve the benifits of that meme.”

    Both of these statements are nothing more than declarations, like so many others often used by Christians, to add the semblance of authority to a belief which in reality has no basis whatsoever.

    It is the desire for absolute truth in a world where such truth is elusive that leads to such a silly declaration. In the sciences it is at least possible to come close by proving certain things as true. (I.E., 2 + 2 = 4) Ironically, it is in this arena that you are proclaiming your willingness to set aside all evidence and believe something only because you WANT to believe it. I find this…amusing.

    And your all or nothing statement about Christianity in order to receive the benefits presumes that what you must “totally buy in to” is perfectly correct and without error. The Christian faith, like all religious belief systems, is based upon man’s flawed understanding and attempts to explain something way beyond his capacity to understand. To embrace such a system, as flawed as all human understanding is, without questioning it is certainly NOT reflective of anything Jesus ever taught.

    I strongly encourage you to walk away from the biblical literalist teaching you have gotten ahold of. Young Earth Creationist teaching (If you are discarding evolution you must be following this or something similar) is a cancer to intelligent faith and clouds the mind with nonsensical false pretend science that is barely above the level of unintelligible gibberish.

    Black and white starkly contrasting views on nearly every subject is the game of legalistic fundamentalism. Nay do not simply walk away from it…FLEE it as quickly as possible…lest you lose your ability to think and/or reason as God intended.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You are confusing yourself and yet revealing yourself as a troll. Please go back to the other forums that use Disqus

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Well I sometimes use the Christian label so as not to be oppressed by people like you – for example, when filling out religious preferences for organizations like the Boy Scouts. They require each person to indicate some religious affiliation and some holy place of worship. Otherwise, how could you be a good person? (Sarcasm) I find it easier to just check Protestant and indicate the church I used to attend. I’m still on the mailing list of my old church so I guess that means I’m still a member of sorts (even though I don’t believe any of it). On paper I’m a Christian. :)
    If some Jews can call themselves “cultural Jews”, I can call myself a “cultural Christian” when it benefits me.
    If I’m in a situation where there are no negative consequences for saying I’m an atheist or agnostic, I’ll do that as well.
    It would be nice in my lifetime to simply be able to publically say my beliefs without social ramifications, but I am probably a couple of generations too soon for that.
    It does seem that things are getting better each generation…

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    Gary, you made some really good points here.

  • Livin

    I appreciate your views but Jesus’s morality is directly tied to his authority as Son of God which he mentions many times. It is also tied into a apocalyptic worldview.
    Also Jesus was about not being legalistic(following ritual) but was about being truthful. Sin exists and moral absolutes are real. Hell and fear of God was also a big part of his teachings. As well as love. You cannot have love without hell. People can choose God or divorce from God.

  • Livin

    Ok well at least you admit you are not a Christian unlike many on the Progressive Christian channel.

  • Mark

    Perhaps. Or maybe a panentheist with a strong Christian influence. Certainly I’m leaving the orbit of traditional Christianity. But there are any number of Christian scholars and pastors who have preceded me there. When it comes right down to it, I don’t know how important the labels are, but I still consider myself a Christian, albeit at the fringe.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    No; it wasn’t; yes; been done; true; possible.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Being duplicitous is not a confession. And a confession requires a confession. “Jesus died. Jesus rose. Jesus will come again.”

  • Brigitte Mueller

    You can’t just go around calling people who hold a standard Christian confession “trolls”, Cecilia. Maybe you are the troll who just keeps calling certain kinds of opinions those of trolls and people whom you disagree with such who “miss the point.” You are going to have to explain your position with some sentences and some facts and some quotes and flesh the whole thing out. That’s fine. We want to hear what you think. But just calling people trolls and ignorant does not communicate a lot. (Gary has the same problem, sometimes, but he seems to be trying a little harder lately.)

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Wow. Cecilia. There are many vidoes on Youtube, and I don’t have to buy anything, both done by Ehrman and those who expose him. And guess what, I have seen a few. I suggest you watch a variety and we can bring in some facts here without belittling anyone.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    You’re rude.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Alright Mark, let’s have a summary of the information. I am all ears.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Mark, I am curious, what part of Jesus or what kind of Jesus, since the scriptures aren’t reliable, is it you appreciate and want to follow? Just asking. How does one make up one’s mind about this? — Is he just a nice guy all about compassion like the Dalai Lama?

  • Brigitte Mueller

    O God, not Spong.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    I said no such thing, Cecilia.

  • Brigitte Mueller

    Paul’s letter to Timothy has at its heart the gospel message, that Jesus Christ, the son of God, one of a kind, bore your sins and took them away for good and you are therefore now free to go and gratefully live your life to the glory of God enjoying all his good gifts. Mohammed has message that goes more like this: man was not sinful, just follow all the rules, and maybe you will get into paradise with 70 perpetual virgins (works-rightouesness, carrot on the stick for those who sacrifice themselves to karma now, praying, fasting, etc. all according to dictate.) Buddah, we are not sure what he said and if he lived. In any case there are many paths. See if you can work your way to extinction. Billy Graham, I have some problems with, he taught decision theology. You have to check your pulse if you are properly repentant and converted–you might need to come to Another alter-call, to make sure… Ya, I’ll go with Paul to Timothy. It definitely seems most inspired to me. Like — ya, totally.

  • Gary

    Attempting to have a discussion with you, only to have you totally sidestep and ignore my very valid points and come back with more baseless declarative statements is becoming very tiring. I think I am going to pass on pursuing any further dialogue with you.

  • Gary

    Thanks Jeff…glad someone can hear me. LOL

  • Gary

    Except as already pointed out…it was not written by Paul. It is actually a forgery.

  • Gary

    Perhaps not…but you have been declaring that the bible we have has not been misinterpreted to come into its present form.

  • Gary

    Another random snide attack eh? And I thought you had been trying a little harder lately to avoid such character assassinations. Guess I was wrong.

  • Mark

    Last time I checked, nobody holds a copyright on the term Christian. I don’t have to meet your standard.

  • Al Cruise

    You share the same belief as them, and the fruit from that belief is the same, judge mental holier than thou, etc. I critique those guys for their attitude not their nationality. When you pass judgment on a nationality you have a heart problem, spiritually.

  • http://religiouscomics.net/ Jeff P

    I guess this kind-of summarizes your version of Christianity:
    “You cannot have love without hell”. Sad. Twisted. Psychotic.

  • Livin

    True, there is no copyright in the legal sense. I would be interested in how you differentiate between a Christian and someone who is not one.

    (edited for spelling error)

  • Gary

    Great observation Jeff. And it is a very twisted view that was not accepted by the church until some 400+ years after Christ. If we believe what Evangelicals tell us today…the apostles and early church leaders for several hundred years were ALL HERETICS.

  • Mark

    I want to follow his example and calling for us to accept and love all people, and to not consider any as outcasts.

    I have done some serious reevaluation of the scriptures that I used to just accept without question, and without any serious consideration. Why did a loving God need the blood sacrifice of His son for God to be able to forgive humankind of its sins? Given that I accept the evolutionary nature of the creation of life, I don’t believe literally in the Adam and Eve story, in the “Tree of Knowledge” or in the concept of original sin. I certainly don’t believe we’re perfect beings, but I believe that the source of life accepts us in our imperfect state. And I believe Jesus is a model for what we should strive to be.

  • Mark

    So there you have it – It “seems most inspired to me.” That’s pretty much what it boils down to for most people. And that gets us back to the topic of this cartoon of David’s. Two religious systems have come out of the scriptures we call the bible. But these stories and letters were written by men, not handed to them by God. These men had certain worldviews which they included in their writings – views of the relationships of men and women to each other and in society, views on slavery, political concerns, etc. Thru the actions of a relatively few other men, these scriptures have become the gold standard for Judaism and Christianity. It is arrogant of us to say that God did not and does not speak to others, and that the inspired writings of others cannot have equal force with the 66 books and letters of what has been canonized as the bible.

  • Mark

    When it comes down to it, I believe we’d be better off if we quit labeling people. I once read that Anne Rice quit calling herself a Christian more or less because she didn’t want to be identified with the fundamentalists; but, she didn’t change what she was doing, which was to try to follow the example of Jesus, as she understands it. And it gripe me no end to have to put ethnicity on what seems like every form I fill out. We’d be better off if we quit thinking of ourselves as black or white or Asian or Hispanic. Or Christian or Muslim, or Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran or Catholic.

    But, if someone wants to claim they are Christian, who am I or you to say they are not? Is Fred Phelps, who has seized on a few hateful scriptures, more or less a Christian than Rob Bell, who no longer believes in an eternal hell?

  • Livin

    I do allow some latitude because I am a fairly liberal person overall(I will vote for a Democrat or a Republican).
    Let’s look at the fundamentals.
    The inerrancy of the Bible( I have no problem with people comparing manuscripts and translations as long as the Bible is still viewed as from God)

    The literal nature of the Biblical accounts, especially regarding Christ’s miracles and the Creation account in Genesis( To me theistic evolution is ok although I struggle with this one as I am a evolutionist but also am trying to be literal)

    The Virgin Birth of Christ(this to me is a must)

    The bodily resurrection and physical return of Christ(this to me is a must also)

    The substitutionary atonement of Christ on the cross(This is a must)
    Now I have some Orthodox friends who consider any person who is not Eastern Orthodox a Heterodox Christian while they view people who do not believe in the fundamentals as heretics.
    Your thoughts?

  • Mark

    I have to say I don’t believe in any of those, although I certainly could one day prove to be wrong. Why is the virgin birth a requirement? It was not in Mark’s gospel, which was the earliest, so was not included in the gospel writings for many decades of early followers. And I have particular trouble with atonement, if God really is a God of love. Judaism back then was big on blood sacrifice, so I can see how the Jewish writers of the NT could see it that way. But why would the creator of life require the blood sacrifice of the one perfect man in order for God to be able to accept us. “I love you, but I can’t just say ‘you’re forgiven.’ I want to see more blood spilled, and then I’ll accept you”? Or was it “I’d just as soon send all of humanity to hell, most of you are doomed to end up there anyway. But if Jesus loves you so much he’s willing to sacrifice himself for you, I’ll accept some of you back.”? This stuff is just not believable, when you really start looking at it and critically examining it. It does pretty much require “blind faith” which accepts without questioning, despite all the apologists’ attempts to convince us that the unbelievable is reality. It makes me a little sad to lose these beliefs, similar to the sadness I must have felt when I realized Santa Claus wasn’t real; but, it also forces me to come to a different understanding of God and our relationship to God and each other. Please consider that your orthodox views are not right just because they won out in the ancient debate.

  • Livin

    I am not Orthodox I am Baptist :) But yes it dose require some blind faith. Just as steping into an aircraft requires you to believe the needed inspections are done and that the pilot is sober.
    Also if I do not follow the canon believed by most Christians(give or take some duterocannonical books) I might as well be Baha’i,Muslim, or Secular Humanist.
    Experience from watching lives changed tells me Jesus is the way the truth and the life and that is is correct.
    Now will there be bad people in Churches or any other organization… of course…hey the Naval yard shooter was a Buddhist. But Jesus tells us to avoid worldly pleasures, even to avoid sex if possible or limit it if not. To love each other and help others out even if we are spit upon. To live in the present but for tommorow and the afterlife. That is totally against the modern secular culture.

  • Mark

    On the last part, we do agree. Except for the sex part. I thought Paul said that.

    I’ve enjoyed the discussion. Thanks!

  • Livin

    No problem :) for Jesus it was where the disciples said it is better not to be married and Jesus said he who can accept this teaching should do it.
    Paul is more clear about.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    Link to the “exposes” (lack of accent mark, sorry), please.

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You’re stating it as apostolic and prophetic vision … which has a very dangerous connotation that one ISN’T allowed to say “this isn’t right”

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You most certainly implied it with the apostolic and prophetic witness comments. You also toss out any possible textual criticism – so your argument boils down to “the bible can’t be wrong”

  • Cecilia Davidson

    You really have no place to toss out any textual criticism like you are here. Just because you don’t agree with them doesn’t mean they’re wrong.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X