God totally condones slavery and stuff, I hate Him, I can’t worship Him…

This was originally posted a few months ago…

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Ever since my early days of “debating” atheists on a website called biblebabble.com a decade or a so ago I have been getting comments like these, nearly every day.

Oh, you must understand that I don’t really think your god is a monster, James; simply because I have no belief in gods and all that stuff in the Pentateuch is pure, unadulterated fiction.

A mini horror story to scare the kiddies and try to impress credulous half-wits who just haven’t got the balls to exercise even a modicum of common sense or integrity and admit it didn’t really happen.

The only sad and potentially cruel and dangerous aspect of this entire corpus of despicable blood and guts fairy-tale is there are morons out there who do believe it is true and teach it to kids and justify it including rank Apologist Dickheads like William Lane Craig and his tawdry ilk who are obliged (apparently) to sign contracts of employment that insist they acknowledges that the original bible texts are the inerrant inspired word of your god.

I wouldn’t let a prick like Craig babysit my hamster for a weekend.

I truly believe you suffer from some sort of remedial comprehension/learning disability

And this simply demonstrate the point.

Perhaps I should feel sympathy?

Either that or you are simply a complete Dickhead.

No normal person can behave in the manner you do.

So which is it?

*To be clear, I’m not offended by stuff like this in the least. I do however, think it’s sad, pointless, tedious, and beneath the behavior of rational adults.

Anyway, Christian “occupational hazard” as it were. I get it.

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

– 1 Corinthians 1:18

So is the Bible, in fact, a mini horror story to scare kids or a blood and guts fairy tale full of horrible atrocities committed by and in the name of an evil and immoral God?

Well…

God commanded the rape, murder and sacrifice of the Midianites, God ordered the destruction of the Amalekites as an act of revenge, God approved of the destruction of Laish, a “peaceful and unsuspecting city”, God sent bears to maul youths who teased Elisha, God commanded human sacrifice…

The list goes on.

Truth is, it’s easy to make the God of the Old Testament out to be an evil tyrant who is not worthy of worship, I won’t lie and say that it isn’t.

The problem is that most (like the commenter quoted above) of the people who make the God of the OT out to be an evil tyrant don’t do so because He is but instead to prop-up preconceived notions they have about a God they don’t want to worship anyway.

Think about it for a second.

If you have ever said, “I can’t worship the God of the Old Testament because He condones slavery”, are you saying it because you honestly believe it’s true?

Or are you really saying that you have a problem understanding an objectively difficult part of the OT?

Or are you saying it because you, as many people do, hate God and because you want to discourage faith in believers?

When the Bible says…

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘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. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

– Matthew 22:36-40

…do you honestly, in your heart of hearts, believe He condones slavery or is guilty of any of the other horrors you may be accusing Him of?

Do you honestly believe He is not a God of love when the second half of the greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself?

It’s not up to me, or any other Christian blogger for that matter, to change your mind, or answer all your objections to God to your satisfaction, or to provide you with evidence you have no choice but to believe.

Christians are God’s witnesses, not God’s lawyers.

What you decide to believe about God, you decide on your own. So if you want to pick bits out of the OT and interpret them to reinforce what you already believe, fine, that’s your choice.

But before you do that, or take the words of an atheist blogger at face value, believe something you saw on TV, read in a magazine, or heard a coworker tell you, you should also know that the Old Testament speaks a great deal about LOVE.

Though the Israelites repeatedly rejected God and did wrong, God continued to love them (and continues to love ALL people to this day).

“The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. “

– Exodus 34:6-7

“Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the LORD.”

– Jeremiah 31:20

“I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.”

– Jeremiah 32:40-41

“The LORD said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the LORD loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”

– Hosea 3:1

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

– Psalm 145:14-17

He upholds the cause of the oppressed

and gives food to the hungry.

The LORD sets prisoners free,

the LORD gives sight to the blind,

the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,

the LORD loves the righteous.

The LORD watches over the alien

and sustains the fatherless and the widow,

but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

– Psalm 146:7-9

“In particular, God’s love and concern for people who are disadvantaged is frequently mentioned throughout the OT. The law contained several rules for treating orphans, widows and foreigners fairly and providing for their needs.”

– Deuteronomy 24:10-22

But you, O God, do see trouble and grief;

you consider it to take it in hand.

The victim commits himself to you;

you are the helper of the fatherless…

You hear, O LORD , the desire of the afflicted;

you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,

defending the fatherless and the oppressed,

in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.

– Psalm 10:14,17-18

Fact is, God is an absolute truth who is, was, and will always be about LOVE, regardless of what anyone thinks of Him.

Therefore, your concerns should be less about rejecting a God you wrongfully believe sent bears to eat kids, condones rape, baby killing, slavery…

And more about where YOU want to spend eternity.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

– John 3:16

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Categories: Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity

Tags: , , , , , ,

123 replies

  1. I think you make a good point: you believe what you want and then invent an argument. I’ve always thought this “gotcha” line of attack on scripture is particularly dishonest since the Christian attitude towards the OT has always been remarkably homogeneous across centuries and denominations: the OT is progressive, and it is to be interpreted in the light of Christ and, to some degree, in the tradition of the church.
    But no, a bunch of atheist-amateur-cut-and-paste Bible scholars know better than us what we are supposed to believe.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post. God really is love. He is infinitely steadfast and patient with us. It’s sad when people try to create God in the image of what He is not. That’s another reason we have Christ and His nature and character so well preserved in the bible. He provides us an example that we can wrap our brains around better, God in human form, mercy, redemption, sacrificial love.

    God is so worthy of our praises.

    Like

  3. I see it as pride mixed with venom, expressed in spoiled brat complaints against God who won’t give them everything they want. They should be thinking about what they promote and condone but instead, they prefer to use God as a projection screen for everything they aren’t willing to face in themselves. They are sinners, lost in their sin. The difference between ‘them’ atheists and me is Jesus.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. As you pointed out earlier with Rahab God always provides a way for those who truly respond to his drawing. Right in the middle of that sinful evil place she believed and was saved. She just made the better choice.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Using scripture to support the truth is the best possible defense. Thank you! Jesus did this too when fighting the devil.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Great post. We are not God’s lawyers but His witnesses a reminder I need sometimes. You make a great point about motives. Much of what is said is about motives, the need to frustrate believers and lash out at a God they have a problem with. This seems to be the best explanation for the anger.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dare I approach this from a different world view? If someone is uncertain about whether or not ‘God’ exists it is to the Bible one can turn. An examination of the Bible helps to answer that question. If the Bible shows a deity that condones action we cannot condone then that of itself can cause one to doubt whether the Bible is really a divine book.

    You start for the assumption the Bible is a divine book. But that is not the first step, the step is to determine if it is a divine book? Actions such as condoning slavery are reasons some have concluded the Bible is not in fact a divine book.

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    • Peter,

      Does the Bible condone slavery? There are many people who believe that is not the case at all and many explanations to counter this assertion. Do you KNOW the Bible condones slavery or do you think it does based on what you have read?

      I was a non-believer for a long time and also thought the Bible condoned all kinds of evil so I never approached faith from the standpoint that the Bible was a divine book, in fact, I assumed it and God were both horrible until I did some reading on the subject and my mind was changed.

      Mark

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think you have a good point in asking the ‘how do you know’ question. a little research goes a long way and those who are genuinely interestied in finding out answers will do the research. Others will just rant.

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        • Dan, I have done more than a little research. I have studied the Bible at seminary level. I am not making uniformed comments.

          The Bible has many passages that talk about regulating slavery. There is only one part that could be seen as be anti slavery, the book of Philemon, but that is the exception. The rest of the Bible takes slavery for granted, never suggests it is a bad thing. Jesus never condemned slavery.

          George Whitefield, one of the greatest figures in the history of Christianity, campaigned for the introduction of slavery in the State of Georgia in the 18th century. He could find nothing in the Bible to make him conclude slavery was wrong.

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  8. I find it a weird phenomenon that I have still never encountered these comments. I’ve seen people discuss the slavery and genocide and rape and infanticide etc, but always within the context of a discussion about God’s nature and morality, or regarding the definition of God that It is wholly good. I have never seen someone say “God is immoral, therefore It doesn’t exist” (again, with the exception of when the believer demands “wholly good” is a part of the definition of God). Even that famous Stephen Fry rant didn’t follow that vein: he was asked what he would say to God if It were real, and Fry said his reply would be one of moral outrage that all these horrors were in some way presided over. It was not offered as a disprove.

    The nuance in the difference between the comments James says he receives and the ones I am describing is significant, as one of them is a discussion for rational adults.

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  9. Hi James.

    As always, I enjoyed reading your post. Call me a simple atheist, but I understand the term atheist to mean “no god”. The pros & cons of any particular god are for the relevant theists to rationalise as they see fit. If you feel the need to believe in a god that’s OK by me. I happen to think all theists are deluded, but it’s just a personal opinion, and I don’t expect any theist to take any notice of it.

    Ken

    Like

  10. A well-known physicist, who is also an atheist and a best-selling author, follows me on Twitter. One day I saw this comment of his on my Twitter’s home page:
    I hope there isn’t a God. Who needs the constant supervision?

    I replied:
    LOL – as a former Christian turned agnostic turned back to Christian, I can relate.

    He favorited my reply. Telling, isn’t it? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  11. The Bible tells us that “The fool says in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1) The Bible also tells us that we all know that God exists: “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:21-22)

    In other words, it’s rather foolish to deny what you know to be true. You could also say that God doesn’t believe in atheists, but the two kinds of people in the world are those who believe the truth and those who suppress the truth they already know. If true, that would explain a lot of the hateful language directed at a God by way of Christians (who aren’t the real target).

    There’s a good online radio interview concerning the subject matter here: http://www.echozoe.com/archives/3301

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    • Dan are you open to the possibility you might be wrong? You cite the Bible as your source of truth, how do you know it is true?

      Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matthew 18:19)

      Can you honestly say that this promise from the Bible is reflected in the reality of the lives of Christians?

      Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

      How often is this promise reflected in the lives of Christians?

      If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:6)

      How often are prayers answered in this way?

      If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)

      Do you see prayers answered in this way?

      And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

      Why are so many prayers not answered? Perhaps Christians are hopeless at understanding God’s will?

      I have seen so many people claim answers to prayers in faith only to see their hopes be dashed.

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      • All of those passages can and do fail, if and ONLY if they are ripped of the context around them. I have studied every one and they are all true when read I their immediate and larger contexts. There are three main rules for interpreting scripture; context, context, context. So I guess you might say that I am not open to the possibility that the Bible is wrong about anything.

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        • Dan, I know you made this comment some time ago, but would you be able to give the meaning in the correct context for even just one of them? They seem perfectly straightforward to me and I’m curious about how else they could be interpreted.

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          • Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. The passages in the post have to do with asking God for things. Some of them are misused to ask for ‘whatever’ we desire when those desires might not be in accordance with God’s will. In which we are supposed to be in agreement with God’s will. Yes we are told that we have not because we ask not. We also sometimes have not because we ask with wrong or impure motives. See James 4. Countless people have been let down because God did not grant their wishes thinking that perhaps God or scripture failed them. I hope that is helpful.

            Liked by 1 person

      • I really dislike taking passages out of context using them to fleece the flock.

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    • Dan, the fact that it is there in the bible can’t be, for any rational person, the evidence of its truth.
      Anything can be supported this way!

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  12. The Bible condones slavery. Read Dr Thornton Stringfellow for his beautifully made Evangelical arguments in favour of slavery. Paul never suggests that Philemon should free Onesimus: he seems to take for granted Onesimus will remain a slave, even though a brother in Christ.

    I feel Christians should acknowledge that. Yes, everyone is my neighbour (so don’t bomb Syria); but there is slavery in the Bible, and it is regulated rather than condemned. God is love. Slavery is an absolute evil. There is no simple explanation of all of this.

    Like

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Clare.

      You make a good point when you say there is no simple explanation for the Bible’s treatment of slavery.

      On the flip side of that coin however. When I hear people object to the Bible because of slavery, the logic often goes like this.

      Slavery is evil
      God condones slavery
      Therefore God is evil

      It’s not that simple.

      James

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      • Slavery is evil
        The bible condones slavery
        Therefore…..?

        Like

      • For me:

        therefore…

        The Bible can be morally wrong.

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        • Clare,

          The Bible can and does offend the sensibilities of some people, I won’t argue that. But I am a literalist I and think it is perfect.

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve always enjoyed this post and appreciate that you went to so much trouble to put it together.’

            I think you have met your match with Clare, James. Her theology will eat you for breakfast.
            Munch, munch, munch …..;)

            Thanks again for posting this

            Like

          • Ark,

            Met my match? Maybe so but I’ve never claimed to be the world’s greatest apologist.

            In the end, if Clare stumps me, what has she really accomplished other than stumping a small time Christian blogger? Has the faith suffered at all?

            Also, I’m not sure Clare sees this as a contest of some sort as you do. She has her beliefs, I have mine. If I had to bet, I would say we are more likely to agree to disagree rather than slug it out forever as you like to do.

            If I’m wrong, I assume Clare will let me know.

            Like

          • Actually, you say you are a literalist and I disengage. I am glad we did not have that sterile ding-dong about homosexuality on the other post here, no-one would have said anything new. I can come out with various arguments: Genesis 1 contradicting Genesis 2, flood geology not fitting evidence known since the 18th century, archaeology in Israel, etc… I could ask if you believe in Job or Jonah as historical figures, and if so whether those dialogues were in verse, as recorded…

            we could get all steamed up!

            At midnight GMT, 7pm your time, I will post my completely opposite view on my own blog. I am surrendering belief entirely. I am happy being an extremist, knowing that there are enough moderates about.

            I don’t feel the need for my theology to eat yours. As I have a relationship with God, what I believe about God does not matter.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I will read your post Clare because I am interested in what you have to say. And, who knows? I may learn something. That being said, I likely won’t comment because I have no agenda or desire to make you change your mind.

            For the last part, you could not be more right. You believe what you want about God, your belief makes you happy, it should matter to no one but you.

            God bless, all the best to you and yours.

            James

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          • Thank you. Though a comment can also give new light, or a new view. Complete change of mind is unlikely, new understanding is sometimes possible.

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  13. “On the flip side of that coin however. When I hear people object to the Bible because of slavery, the logic often goes like this.

    Slavery is evil
    God condones slavery
    Therefore God is evil”

    I think you’ve misunderstood the logic.
    Slavery is evil
    In the Christian tradition, the benevolent and perfect god never condemns slavery and in fact provides guidelines for owning slaves
    Therefore this god can’t exist

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s the way you see it, I disagree

      Like

    • The guidelines were given through Moses; however, that doesn’t mean this was God’s will or His best for Israel or that He ‘condoned’ it. Yes, I agree, He allowed it.

      Similarly, it is not God’s will or His best for mankind to rule over each other… yet here we are with governments and others ruling over each other. Does it mean God condones governments, even though there are guidelines given on how one should conduct themselves with regards to governing authority.

      No.

      All of scripture is useful one way or another, whether: to expose our rebellion, to correct our mistakes through learning from the mistakes of others and to train us to live God’s way.

      The question then – What are God’s ways?
      See Christ Jesus.
      When you have the rule of God in your life…in your heart, there are no laws/guidelines, as there cannot be laws against agape love.

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      • @theancients,

        Good comment, I hope readers will find it helpful. Here is a conversation from another post that, I hope, will explain the Bible and slavery even more.

        Skeptic: “You know your Bible contains scores of verses that mention slavery. But nowhere does it ever condemn the practice, per se.”

        Believer: I agree.

        Skeptic: “Well, why not? If the Bible is the word of God, why wouldn’t it condemn such evil?”

        Believer: In a sin-fallen world, the battles we fight have to be chosen carefully. The same thing goes for the manner in which those battles are going to be fought.

        Skeptic: “Explain.”

        Believer: The Bible was never designed to serve as a manifesto on controversial political issues. It is rather primarily the story of how God, over time, has worked His sovereign will in this universe, and is still able to do so, through the hearts and minds and lives of those who trust Him.

        Skeptic: “But slavery isn’t just a political issue. It’s a moral issue. Isn’t the Christian Bible supposed to be a moral guide?”

        Believer: Of course. But as a rule, the best way to change moral behavior is to transform moral views. And guess what. Beginning in the second century, many masters, upon converting to Christ, began to release their slaves. Slavery was abolished in Great Britain after people began being converted to Christ under the preaching of John Wesley and George Whitefield.

        Skeptic: “But why doesn’t the Bible just come right out and condemn slavery in so many words?”

        Believer: Did you know that in the Old Testament, slaves were often prisoners of war? The Law of Moses in fact served to regulate the care of slaves by their Hebrews masters, i.e. Exodus 21:20 and 26, Leviticus 25:40. Consequently, Israel never captured and sold humans as did the Phoenicians and Philistines.

        Skeptic: “But what about in New Testament times? Why didn’t Jesus, as a moral authority, speak out boldly against slavery?”

        Believer: “Well, numerous New Testament texts, such as Colossians 4:1, Galatians 3:28, and the Book of Philemon, make the case for the inherent spiritual worth of slaves, which effectively laid a base for deep down authentic change in social practice, over time. God’s way is often to work from within, dealing primarily with the spiritual component. Jesus was typically apolitical. Otherwise, encouraging direct confrontation over such a hot button social issue may have fomented revolution, providing Rome with a political excuse for persecuting Christians.”

        Skeptic: “Well for me, slavery is slavery. It’s wrong, it’s immoral, and the Bible should be against it.”

        Believer: On the contrary, slavery in Bible times significantly differed from slavery in modern times. It was not based on race. It was often less imperialistic. Some believe that in many cases it was actually more of an indentured servant type arrangement.

        Skeptic: “In the Old Testament Book of Leviticus 25:44-46, slaves are actually referred to as possessions. And Jesus Himself sometimes used analogies that seem to tacitly condone slavery.”

        Believer: Again, the Bible primarily details the account of how God has chosen to deal with the tragic results of a sin-fallen world down through the ages. While recognizing the reality of slavery as it existed in various forms, the Bible never actually condones it. It rather gives slaves, both then and more recently, a spiritual basis for worth, dignity, equality, and hope to face difficult circumstances.

        Liked by 2 people

      • “Similarly, it is not God’s will or His best for mankind to rule over each other”
        I’m confused. Did your god not always appoint leaders of men in the stories? Anointing kings? Are there some passages I’m unfamilar with suggesting rulers are unnecessary?

        Like

        • 1 Samuel 8 is where you’ll find Israel demanding a king so that they can be like the other nations.

          Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Look, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.”

          But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” So Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign/rule over them.

          “There was a difference between a king and a judge.
          A judge was a leader (and did not make a government) raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over usually the judge went back to doing what he/she did before.

          A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived, he also passed his throne down to his descendants. Kings establish a standing government with a bureaucracy, which can be both a blessing and a curse to any people.”

          So all the anointing of kings came after God granted their request to have an earthly king to rule over them.
          It’s worth noting that God predicted these things would happen back in Deuteronomy.

          God didn’t forsake Israel, they forsook Him. All that He brought them through, His provisions etc. seemingly meant nothing.
          They were also warned or made aware of what it meant having an earthly king rule over them: “Now therefore, heed their voice. However, you shall solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.”

          He will take . . . He will take . . . he will take . . . He will take . . . he will take . . . He will take . . . And you will be his servants: The Lord gives fair warning. Most kings are takers, not givers and they come to be served, not to serve. If Israel wants a king they must realize he will be a taker not a giver, and they will be his servants.

          With all this information, what did the people decide.
          Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No, but we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and he repeated them in the hearing of the Lord. So the Lord said to Samuel, “Heed their voice, and make them a king.” And Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Every man go to his city.”

          Everyone knows with God as your King it’s impossible to lose a battle. So what were they thinking.

          Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to include some context.

          (used: enduringword.com)

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      • You say all of scripture is useful one way or another. I was wondering if you could be kind enough to tell me to what use I could put

        30 Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. 31 One day the older daughter said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man around here to give us children—as is the custom all over the earth. 32 Let’s get our father to drink wine and then sleep with him and preserve our family line through our father.”

        33 That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

        34 The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I slept with my father. Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 35 So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went in and slept with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up.

        36 So both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter had a son, and she named him Moab[a]; he is the father of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also had a son, and she named him Ben-Ammi[b]; he is the father of the Ammonites[c] of today

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        • The very fact that you asked the question suggests you have a better way.
          Usually when we learn from the mistakes of others, what we do is take a different approach in order to avoid doing what they did.

          Liked by 1 person

          • you didn’t answer my question.

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          • I’m sorry my answer didn’t meet your expectations.
            Perhaps you could share with me what a suitable answer would be.
            Thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I wouldn’t be asking the question if I had an answer.

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          • Your rejection of the answer given betrays your integrity.

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          • Aha, is it the case that if a person rejects an answer then their integrity is in question? This is the first time I have heard this

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          • no, it’s not the case.
            what you did was reject an answer without any counter-argument as to why you found that answer inadequate, suggesting you were/are not interested in the answer provided, but rather in propagating an argument… which is your prerogative.

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          • Your Question: … to what use I could put the foll. (above scripture).

            Answer: Use it for correction.
            Learn from their mistakes, so that you and those you might influence do not repeat them.

            If you find this not to be an answer, by all means let me know how so.
            Thank you.

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          • Why would that be since there is no where in that chapter god condemn such a thing? I would have to apply knowledge from elsewhere to condemn them.

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          • I quoted: All Scripture is useful one way or another: expose our rebellion, instruction, correction…

            You asked: how is it useful in the scripture you quoted.

            I responded: for correction

            Now you ask me… why would that be since God didn’t condemn it.

            1. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge. So this is where, provided one has the knowledge, they’re able to apply it to situations in their lives.

            1a. Yes, the knowledge you’d need would come from previous chapters, hence ALL Scripture is useful, not some or a few scriptures.

            2. Re: condemnation. Isn’t that what the above discussion was about. The fact that people will choose their own way regardless of God’s best and His will for them.

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          • You are very first to accuse me of things you think I am guilty of.
            The particular passage I quoted, the girls have descendants and as far as I can tell, there is nothing bad that is recorded to have happened to them directly related to how they conceived.
            If there are any lessons to be learnt and I can think of a few; get your father drunk and have his babies, but to do this claim the city isn’t safe. You can think of many others.
            Your claim that wisdom and what nots are your own subjective interpretations. You would say about mine but at least any unbiased observer would, I think, I agree mine is closer to the spirit and wording of the particular passage. But again, to each their own

            Like

          • Well, based on what YOU have learnt from the passage, you could be accused of other things – none of them edifying.

            My advise: Do not get your parent drunk in order to violate them. That would be extremely, terribly, abhorrently wrong.

            1. The act of deliberately getting another drunk, suggests the offending party knows what they’re doing is wrong. I hope eventually you can understand that.

            2. Drunk people have their faculties impaired and therefore cannot mount an effective defense against violators.
            This is so detestably wrong, I sincerely hope you’re taking mental notes.

            See, this is where wisdom comes in: the knowledge I’ve imparted to you, which you should have gained from reading – but obviously did not – you will take this knowledge and when situations arise, you refer back to how you should conduct yourself.
            Now, you will have no excuse, because the correct lessons of the passage was explained to you.

            I would also recommend you read and take to heart the Book of Proverbs:
            When wisdom enters your heart, and knowledge is pleasant to your soul, discretion will preserve you, understanding will keep you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things.

            Like

          • Why are you being such a asshat!
            All the things you list you have learned from the passage are not given there. We could ask some other theist and I am sure we will get different lessons.
            I have a better book. The bible is too crude for my sensibilities

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          • Names calling is not allowed Mak. This will be your last warning.

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          • James, your blog your rules. I hope you point the same out to the other dingbat

            Liked by 1 person

          • Who else called someone an asshat?

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          • So the implied insults in his response are not worthy of a warning?

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          • Implied insults are one thing, direct name calling is quite another.

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          • What is the difference? James you need no excuse to ban me. You can do so to protect the fragile egos and idjits

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          • lol…
            oh mak, you’ve lost whatever semblance of composure you may have had…

            you see reading alone is not enough, comprehension (i.e. understanding what one is reading) is critically important… and makes the difference between thinking it’s appropriate to get one’s parent drunk and violating them versus knowing such things are wrong.

            [I see Wally has used scripture in context to explain to you – which expectedly, you’ve thoroughly rejected]

            So, back to integrity: you said you’re asking because you don’t know the answer.
            Well, from reading and comprehending your response, one can conclude that’s not the case, as you clearly have your answers that you’re more than comfortable with.

            You conclude with, you have a better book. That’s Great! I hope it teaches violation of another’s personhood is very very wrong, and better still, I hope you clearly understand it to be so.

            So, what have we accomplished here. Your views on the bible are intact, and so are mine.

            I’ll let you exercise your freewill to have the last response to this post, if you so choose to exercise said freewill.

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          • And I find it strange the lengths you go to absolve your god of blame. It is always freewill.

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          • you’re not thinking correctly.
            He is God, I am man… He IS the judge of the universe.
            How can I or anyone else absolve Him of anything.
            I suggest you send an email to Judge Judy to find out the role of a judge, and even that wouldn’t suffice because she’s just an earthly judge.

            Well, mak, please don’t tell me you believe God is controlling your actions. I dare say you, like every single individual has that great honor of having freewill… sadly we don’t exercise our freewill in harmony with agape love, the only rule that has no laws against it.

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          • I am afraid, you are not capable of a logical thought.
            No, I don’t think we have freewill and no your god or any other such thing isn’t controlling me.
            James, you can ban me if it is going to make you happy, but if you are going to issue warnings, you must be seen to do it fairly.

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          • You make a great point here Mak. You know what I do when I visit a blog and decide the people commenting aren’t capable of logical thought?

            I ignore them and move on.

            Liked by 1 person

          • That had been my policy with your blog. I don’t know why I changed

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          • It’s my policy with yours and I have found it serves me well 🙂

            Not that you aren’t entitled to your opinion or to write whatever you want. But, it doesn’t interest me so, why bother?

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          • I knew it, at least there is something we could agree on 🙂

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          • Have a pleasant weekend James.
            I will be visiting sometime in the future

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          • Hope you have a pleasant weekend as well.

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          • @mak: “I am afraid, you are not capable of a logical thought.
            No, I don’t think we have freewill and no your god or any other such thing isn’t controlling me.”

            you should ponder the above before speaking of capability of logical thought.

            okay then, let me speak with the person/entity who is truly responsible for causing you to respond, and in the manner you do no less… in your case, I just may have to think that you aren’t exercising freewill 🙂

            have you ever kicked a corpse mak? what do you think will happen?
            you’ll get no response…
            that’s what your insults mean to me… no response… who cares…

            I like to bless people though, because I know the power of a blessing… so have a blessed weekend. Enjoy my Father’s sunshine, air, heavens, rain,…
            God Bless you, my soon to be friend. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

        • @ Mak
          Context, context, context. You are looking for an explanation for Lot’s behavior(his really stupid, sinful behavior by they way), in that one short passage you are hammering to death.
          Lot’s story started much earlier than that and the entire story in it’s entire context has to be read and understood to get that event in that cave with his daughters
          This is the story of a man, probably a man of God, who drifted in the wrong direction and the effects it had on him, and the generations to follow. It started when he had Abraham parted ways, and Lot chose to pitch his tents towards Sodom rather than the desert. Lot chose to go the direction of the world, and Abraham chose to remain pointed towards God.
          Later, we find Lot sitting at the gate of the city when the angels sent to destroy it came. Why was her there? Considering the officials of any city sat at the gate to conduct their business, it is obvious Lot was firmly entrenched in the world by this point.
          Lot was so of the world that even though he was a believer, his own Sons in law could not believe it and mocked and laughed at him and chose to stay in the city as it was destroyed.
          This lesson is clear, and it is directed to those who believe. Turn towards God, not toward the world.
          Now, if you are looking for those specific words to appear, they will not. But that remains the overriding lesson told here…by the ENTIRE story of Lot and his choices, not just two or three short paragraphs.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Wally, the entire context has Lot leaving the nearby town to go to the caves without any justification. In case you don’t know, I have read the story. Your claim of context, really is such a stupid comment. I have no patience with idiocy.

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          • Hmm..ok then. I would disagree that my comment was stupid, or that I am an idiot. Because, what you see there is, in fact the correct exposition of that story from Scripture.

            I would only add before I cease wasting my time with you, that an argument based on the stupidity and idiocy of another person is not, in fact, much of an argument.

            You asked a question, I answered it.

            Peace and I leave you to the devices of others who have time for this.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Wally I have friends who find your stupidity entertaining, I don’t.
            Have a pleasant weekend

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    • Violet,

      If nothing else, the conversations I have had over the last few days have caused me to reconsider who I have banned.

      I am going to do a post opening the blog back up to everyone with very clearly stated rules for commenting. Will people come back? Don’t know and honestly don’t care but there should be absolutely no doubt, going forward, why anyone has been banned.

      James

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      • That’s a great idea. I can sympathise that sometimes it must feel like a group onslaught, and it must seem easier to silence persistent voices of dissent. But bear in mind if you’re advertising a space for the doubters and the lost, you don’t help them in their struggle by shutting down their honest questions. I’m obviously happy for Peter that he came through the other side, but I expect there was a lot of pain in being treated so dismissively by a place that claimed it was there for people like him.

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        • Can I ask you a question Violet?

          Would you consider yourself and the atheists you spend time talking to online doubters or committed atheists? I have been doing this long enough to be able to tell in a rather short amount of time whether someone has doubts or that their goal is to frustrate and annoy.

          As far as Peter goes, I get struggling with faith and doubt, I’ve been through it myself.

          Problem is, he never clearly expressed that he was having a crisis of faith and wanted a compassionate Christian to help him through it. Instead, he claimed from the get go to have more knowledge of the faith than I do and came across as argumentative. I am not unwilling to accept blame if I misjudged him or came across as uncaring or abrasive, it is common in online conversations for nuances and emotions to be lost.

          That being said, his playing the victim of Christian bloggers that he sought out card now is a line that’s incredibly hard to believe.

          Peace and best of luck to Peter on his faith journey but it has little to do with me and he knows it.

          James

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          • I speak to lots of different people online – some are Christians, some are doubters and some are atheists. I myself have few doubts.

            From my analysis of the situation regarding our existence, there is no evidence that makes me think any invisible gods or greater purpose exist. I also think there is compelling evidence in the way we have evolved as a species to suppose that there is an overwhelming need for explanations, and all religions are creations of the human imagination (as you presumably believe about all other religions). I can’t rule out that there is a creator with total certainty, but I’ve certainly ruled out the possibility that the Christian god as presented in the Bible could exist.

            But I’m not here to frustrate and annoy, hopefully. Christianity is a big part of my past and is still a considerable presence in my life today, through family and society. It concerns me when I think religion is being used in a manner that brings harm to others, and especially when Christians try to influence secular policy based on their personal interpretation of the Bible. Especially interpretation that doesn’t coincide with many other, less harmful, versions of Christianity.

            I don’t know Peter that well, but I’ve seen him around for a while and he’s always been a peaceful mediator looking for answers, and also trying to encourage good relationships between Christians and atheists. You may find the questions frustrating, but surely it’s your self-designated role to answer to best of your ability, regardless of what you feel the outcome will be. Anyway, I should stop judging, I know it’s difficult to respond appropriately to every comment. Again, I’m just expressing surprise given the stated objective of this blog and what I’ve seen of Peter.

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        • Even you Ark 🙂 You won’t make it a day with the new policy but you will be welcomed.

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        • On second thought Ark.

          I just read your latest post and, since you think it’s fun to link to my blog, and use an out of context comment no less, for the sole purpose of mocking me, you may now consider yourself perma-banned. Since John Z was the first to rush in with congtatulatory back slaps for such a juvenile post, he’s out too.

          I was willing to be charitable but I am under no biblical mandate to extend charity to scoffers who refuse to grow up.

          Peace and good will to you and yours but your comments will never appear on this blog again.

          James

          Liked by 1 person

          • Out of context?
            Could you explain in what context slavery can be seen in a more positive, spiritual light please?

            Perma ban?
            Is that like perma-frost, where your arse is frozen?
            What next? A Pat Robunsn.William Lane Craig post on the benefis f God Sanctioned Genocide?
            America. Land of the Free.How we almost wiped out every Indian nation on the the North America continent on the say so of our God.
            Ah yes. You are an example to us all.

            Gospel of the Miscreants
            Chapter 2 verse 12
            And,lo, Yahweh saw it and said it was good! No more farkin Injuns!

            Watch this space!
            Or, you could go private?

            Like

          • I said you’ve been banned and you have. I let this comment stand because I have a question.

            Was the last part a threat? Can I assume it means “take this blog private, or else?”

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          • What threat? What the Gehenna are you talking about?
            You truly are a paranoid imbecilic moron.
            Silly Person. Go and play with your rosary or something.

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          • On second thoughts. You are a Dickhead.
            Grow up James. There were no dinosaurs on any ark.

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  14. But I am a literalist I and think it is perfect.

    This might seem an odd question, but answer honestly, have you actually read it? I mean ALL of it?

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    • The Pharisee knew scripture better than anyone, yet they missed Jesus.
      Why is that Ark?

      Liked by 2 people

      • They missed him? I am not sure I follow your meaning, ancients. Can you be more specific?

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        • Ark, they knew the word, but they didn’t know the author (of the word). (My short answer)

          Does the following sound or seem familiar Ark: (A longer explanation by another tsc)

          At the time that Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, they had already become hostile to Him. In fact, they were seeking to kill Him. Jesus wants them to see the connection between their study of scriptures and their hostility towards Him. About their approach to the scriptures, Jesus now tells them, “You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness to me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

          Jesus is telling them that their approach to scripture is taking them not towards God, but away from Him! They do not know the God who gave them the scriptures they spend so much time pouring over…

          How can it be they (these Pharisees) were such students of scripture and yet did not know Who God is? How could they get it so wrong? It seems that their approach to scripture is what led them away from knowing the living God.

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          • This is from the bible. How do you know the veracity of the text?
            How can you trust the words from a scene enacted out over 2000 years ago written on papyrus decades later then edited, redacted and compiled as a book with other similar works based solely on a vote by a group of Catholic Elders who claim they were divinely inspired.
            Why do you trust this?

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          • Yes Ark, this is from the Bible.
            I know and trust the veracity of the text in the very same manner that YOU know and trust the veracity of YOUR text.

            You and I are privy to the exact same writings, the exact same evidence — the question becomes a matter of who to trust.
            You trust your source…. and I trust mine.

            Liked by 2 people

  15. Can I give a different answer to the question you asked Violet about atheists: doubters or committed atheists?

    As there are many different strands of Christianity, no one atheist is necessarily the same as another. If you’ve read/commented or even lurked around some atheist blogs, you’ll have read that many were former Christians, and one of the reasons they write about loss of faith is that they want to document that for others, and for themselves too I guess.

    In losing their faith, many have said they felt alone, yet the Internet has opened up the opportunity to meet other people who also had those same doubts and eventually lost their faith too. Ironically, of the ones I have read, many have said they have found strength from, let’s call it, ‘the atheist camp’. The mockers and scoffers. Before you suggest it, it’s not a gleeful triumph that Christianity has lost one more follower, it’s rather, empathy for people who don’t know where to turn, or how to cope once a very large crutch/weight/whatever has gone from their life.

    And former believers get to learn that atheists don’t have nine heads and eat puppies and children for breakfast. Perhaps former believers are more outspoken and critical of Christianity. They have been there, in their eyes been duped, so they can and do quote the bible and the teachings they absorbed for decades. Are these the committed atheists you refer to? Are the doubters the ones who are still sitting on the fence, unsure which way to fall? Or jump? Or take a considered step down, confident in the way forward (whichever that is)?

    I wouldn’t define myself as a ‘committed atheist’ but that’s primarily because religion is unimportant enough to me for me to bother thinking about a level of atheism unless I read blog posts like this. I’m not a potential convert, but I am curious as to how people can honestly swallow religion and the bible, hook, line and sinker, which is why I sometimes comment or ask questions. From the outside, Christianity, especially that of evangelicals/fundamentals/literalists is one very weird world.

    Sorry it’s long. Thanks for your time and space.

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  16. Great points. I do believe, though, that believers are often just as guilty as unbelievers when it comes to rounding the edges of certain parts of scripture to support the way they see things. I agree wholeheartedly that God is Love. The problem is, love is often inconvenient. As humans, we’ll tend to reach for explanations that justify our aversion to inconvenience.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting.

      I like the phrase “rounding the edges.”

      Is it possible we can be seen as rounding the edges when we really are doing the best we can to provide sound reasons for some difficult Bible concepts?

      I know how Christians can be thought of as people who gloss over passages a lot of people find uncomfortable but how do we overcome this?

      I tend to believe people accept or reject hard biblical truths based on what they believe about God. Easy to believe God condones slavery if you have no desire to worship Him anyway.

      James

      Like

  17. Brilliant explanation. For the atheist this an argument that they will never give up. If they see much evil and destruction in the world, then they will be quick to say that God is not a God of love for allowing such horror. Yet, when we read in the Bible that God judged UNREPENTANT groups of people, then He is just a moral monster. A no-win situation for Him, or at least that’s what’s in their minds.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Clearly, if one thinks God totally condones slavery, he or she is lazy about reading the Bible, about a close, discerning, rational, intellectual, analytical, asymmetrical, and synthetical study of the Inspired Word. Surely, they have heard of Wilberforce and Newton in England in the 1700s-1800s along with the efforts made against slavery in the USA in the 1800s. There were works written in both struggles that provided answers to the issues. One of the favorite passages was that of Paul’s letter to Philemon concerning Onesimus. I won’t go into the details, but, rather, let the interested parties find out for themselves. I am sure also that there will be those who will rightfully add the linguistic tool as necessary to our understanding, along with the historical. I have added some others in my opening statement. Two of those might present a problem for readers, namely, asymmetrical and synthetical. The first has to do with the fact that there are truths which never can be reconciled. One is that of God and sin. It took me years to come to the conclusion that the issue was asymmetrical as was the issue of men and women in the Bible. Synthetical has to do with considering two apparently contradictory truths together, experiencing the tension produced by such in the mind of the believer as a creative release which enables one to deal with problems as they occur, deal with them appropriately without the fear of being stressed due to responding from a belief that seems inappropriate or even contradictory to what the word of God says in other places. There is more, but I grow weary due to health and age.

    Liked by 1 person

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