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Bibliolatry?

Discussion in 'Are you new to ReligiousForums.com?' started by ComaToast, May 21, 2019.

  1. ComaToast

    ComaToast Zealous dogma prolongs pain and the path of fools

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    Hello all!

    Found this site because I'm in the thick of it going round and round with my brother. He is a fundamentalist christian, I am a former fundamentalist christian. I definitely believe in God, but have evolved out of christianity into a completely different paradigm over the span of 10 years.

    I'm having a heck of a time with the circular logic of fundamental christians. I wouldn't say that I've been estranged from my brother, but we haven't had a close relationship. Recently, he reached out to me out of love to quote scriptures to me, because me being on the path to hell is weighing heavily on his heart. I do realize that he is very sincere and believes everything he says 100%, and tries very hard to live by what he believes. So he isn't a hypocrite or an *** about anything. He also has a masters degree and is a professor at a christian highschool.

    What I'm really struggling with, is why christians believe the bible is the inerrant word of god. Why do they believe this? I ask him why and he quotes scriptures to me. But isn't it really because they (for the most part) were indoctrinated as small children into christianity? Made to go to sunday school, memorize bible verses, sing the songs, then one day the potent horror of hell is thrust upon them. Mom and dad believe it, all the nice folks at church believe it, it is pounded into them over and over again upon threat of eternal torture.

    Then, once firmly ensconced in the faith, only watch christian programs, hang out with christians, absorb christian media, etc. No potential for confirmation bias

    How can you get across to someone lost in the "letter of the law" that the spirit is ALIVE. It didn 't just speak to men thousands of years ago, it still speaks to us today. See, I don't believe in hell, it makes no sense whatsoever. It makes so little sense that I am willing to bet my life on it. The idea grates against the spirit in me. Men thousands of years ago accepted slavery, the second class status of women. The bible says that god ordered them to slaughter the amalekites (jihadists want to kill us infidels over here because god tells them to. We are from satan over here). Lot was just in giving his daughter up to the raping mob to protect his guests. Women should be silent in the temple and keep their heads covered. Women are not permitted to teach men. etc, etc, etc.

    Christians say, "well you have to take these things in context with the culture of the times". I say EXACTLY!!!!!! Why do they allow the spiritual interpretations, practices, and beliefs of men who lived thousands of years ago completely control your beliefs and actions in today's landscape?

    Because of the DEVIL.

    They have been conditioned to believe any thought, feeling, or idea that could possibly contradict the scriptures is satan trying deceive you. There is no room for critical thought outside of the scriptures. Once you cross that line you are heading for hell. All because of a BOOK that was written by multiple authors over the span of 1500 years or more. Nothing more can be written, experienced or learned, unless it jives with the scriptures. Otherwise it is satan.

    I'm sorry lol, I guess this might have been a venting if anything else! If anyone was kind enough to read this that has any suggestions or helpful ideas/links, please let me know. It's driving me a little nuts. My brother said, sincerely and lovingly, "you create god in your own image to justify your wickedness and sin". He can say this to me and still somehow believe that he is not judging me?

    If you've read this, thanks for your time and have a great day!:)
     
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  2. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist
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    Howdy and welcome,

    I think it's good to vent about stuff like this. And this is as good a place as any for it. Regarding bible inerrancy, and those who choose to agressively push it on me in the real world, my approach is to listen but to say as little as I can. Generally, like you noticed with your brother, it's coming from a good place. So I try to keep that in mind. Usually, the person runs out of steam pretty quickly, and we can return to being friends, as long as I don't take the bait.
     
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  3. Christian Democrat

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    I don't entirely disagree and I understand where you're coming from. I consider myself a strong Christian and I believe everything in the Apostles' Creed, but I rejected Biblical literalism when I was just finding out about my faith really, because the idea of scripture as inerrant and without contradiction just didn't seem to fit. The explanations given to resolve contradictions in scripture are often so contrived that one can't help rejecting the whole concept of inerrancy. Witness the contradictory depictions of Judas' death in Matthew and in Acts.

    I think the best way to reach out to your brother is to appreciate that he truly is doing it out of a position of love. If you genuinely believe someone is headed for hell unless they believe what you believe, then I guess you would do all you can to convert that person if you care about them very deeply. The best I can suggest is that you put forward what you believe politely but firmly, and that you engage with him about how your beliefs differ from his. Try to find common ground where possible, but be firm about the fact that at the end of the day your faith is your business, not his. And don't be afraid to challenge the parts of his beliefs that don't suit you. Perhaps point out some teachings of the Bible that seem problematic to you, and see what he has to say. At the very least he might understand where you're coming from a little better, and get out of the 'Christian echo chamber' you describe. I have friends who believe in articles of 'fundamentalist Christianity' that I reject, such as biblical literalism and predestination, and many are happy to chat and discuss in a civilised manner. But I agree with you that there is a tendency within some elements of evangelical Christianity to push Christianity on people in a rather aggressive fashion. Remember that it is usually done out of a position of genuine care, and that you are brothers after all, but don't be afraid to set out your own stall in a respectful fashion.

    By the way, not all Christians are indoctrinated into Christianity. I was brought up in a nominally Christian home but one in which we never went to church or really considered religion as anything more than a badge of identiy, and I came to faith myself several years later for purely intellectual reasons. I do believe it's possible to have a form of Christianity that's modest, thoughtful, accomodating and yet ultimately uncompromising about its central truths - even though I share your dislike of 'believe this or you're going to hell' style preaching.
     
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  4. England my lionheart

    England my lionheart Rockerjahili Rebel
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    Welcome to the RF,it's a great place to vent,enjoy :)
     
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  5. ComaToast

    ComaToast Zealous dogma prolongs pain and the path of fools

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    Thanks for the warm welcome guys, it is most appreciated!!!!
     
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  6. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    As have I, but I go back many more years. Also, welcome to RF.
     
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  7. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    Welcome to RF :)
     
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  8. dingdao

    dingdao The eternal Tao cannot be told - Tao Te Ching

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    Welcome to RF.

    If your brother has any respect for the RC Catechism, paragraphs 1846 - 1876 talk about sin. Along with the always mentioned Mortal Sin, there are Venial Sins. "However, we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust the judgement of persons to the justice and mercy of God." pp 1861

    Aternatively, to decide for God is the ultimate hubris.
    Hubris is from Greek, where it meant "excessive pride, violating the bounds set for humans"
    hubris - Dictionary Definition
     
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  9. Audie

    Audie Veteran Member

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    Long may you RF!
     
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  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Quadrepedal Schlumphing
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    Sure. We are in similar situations. I will pass on the advice I have been given. Keep in your wallet some scriptures that indicate the freedom in Christ, unless you can memorize them. Don't get into political arguments. Have an answer, but your main argument is your attitude and life. Since its your brother you'll tend to want to swagger, act smart and win arguments, but don't.

    Since your brother is concerned about you going to hell then you may want to put some attention on preparing to debunk that. I think it conflicts with "God is no respecter of persons" and is one of the more obvious flaws in most systems. It also doesn't fit with compassion as human beings understand it, and if God isn't compassionate by our standards then whatever happened to "Taste and see that the LORD is good." and "Come let us reason together."

    That claim is I think a relic from the bitter reformation period which transferred over to the US and was a formative part of many churches here.

    There are booklets on it, but a good couple of verses which don't fit protestant systems are Genesis 4:7 and James 1:14 which together demonstrate the anthropomorphic personification of sin in Cain. There are other verses where people are called satan, including Peter. What protestants have overlooked, usually, is that Satan is any enemy of peace. Consider how your brother is up in arms to fix you with scriptural arguments, but Romans 16:20 points out its the God of peace which crushes Satan beneath our feet. All of this together is a pretty demonstration that there were no Protestant style Bible systems for the NT authors. If you go back and forth between the NT and Genesis you find that Satan is the serpent in the garden and is the sin in your heart and is anyone, such as Peter, who opposes the way of peace. There's no fallen angel to be found. Its one of the easiest made up doctrines to debunk, however its protected by being part of a system. In other words its like the balls of a tiger, a weak spot but far from the front of the tiger.
     
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  11. AT-AT

    AT-AT Well-Known Member

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    Warm welcomes from a progressionist theist of sorts.

    Sou8UxN.png
     
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  12. shunyadragon

    shunyadragon Veteran Member
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    The problem of pressure and family conflict over religious choice is not only in the relationship with fundamentalist Christians. I faced the same problem when I became a Baha'i in an Irish RCC family. They did not care if I did not go to church, or passively ignored the Roman Church, but when I became a Baha'i manure hit the fan throughout my family even though most were only nominally involved in the Roman Church, as they aged some went to church more and turned up the heat. I did find some success in deflecting the flak and side stepping confrontations
     
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  13. Zita

    Zita Member

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    @ComaToast, I stuggle with the same thing with my friends, and it drives me crazy, the bible drives me crazy, I use to be in the Christian faith since I was 4,I stayed until I was old enough to do as I felt was right for me, and I got the heck out of there!! I ca remember being about 7 years old saying to myself, something just ain't right with this bible, I don't feel right with these rules and the way the bible says
    "god is" they had one thing right, I did fear him cause if I be a bad girl he gonna punish me real bad, or throw me to hell!!:coldsweat:Then I use to feel , why was the church teaching about seeing ghost, or wanting tarot cards and having a seance was really evil things to do!! I didn't dare tell I had done a seance with my friends at my sleep over and that it worked and I saw spirits sometime and I always wanted to get a deck of Tarot cards after I saw a movie with this woman reading them.

    I was confused and it made me think I was a evil girl who was gonna die early because I thought to myself" I think I'm a Witch." cause why did I keep having the same dream about a witch who shocks me, and I really feel it and can't scream or move when I wake up?Oh boy I can't tell no one that.I was so scared, then I started noticing things, like the preacher saying to be a psychic is of the devil,we aren't suppose to know the future event of something, or able to tell someone their past without knowing the person that came from the devil but yet some of the people in the church said they were a had the gift of prophecy and would tell the other person what they saw., or warn them.

    Now why was it a sin when I did it,but it was a blessing when they did it? or say that if someone who say their dead relative in the night, is because she has the gift of visions was OK, but me seeing a spirit was communicating with the dead and that is of the devil and a sin!! I was young but I wasn't blind,as I got older I realized why these things were the way they were!!

    Christians are always right cause the bible said so!!!boy was I mad, once I opened my ears and eyes more I started seeing a lot of craziness and that the bible wasn't making a whole lot of sense to me.That's why when I was old enough to drive myself to church, I didn't!!! !lol. I was out ,I have been so happy every since. I feel I am whole and that my Creator has blessed me with these gifts, not living of the devil and committing sin because of them, that I'm not being judged for every little thing I do,that I am free to be who I desire to be. actually a lot of these self righteous people are gonna bust hell wide open!!:expressionless:

    It's just plain crazy how they think.so when you figure out what to do, would you please tell me?:sweatsmile:
     
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  14. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    "My brother said, sincerely and lovingly, "you create god in your own image to justify your wickedness and sin". He can say this to me and still somehow believe that he is not judging me?"

    How old are you all? Go to another church and change the subject if they talk religion.
     
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  15. ComaToast

    ComaToast Zealous dogma prolongs pain and the path of fools

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    Hello, thanks for reading my post!

    I no longer attend church. This was my brother's attempt at reaching out to me, we hardly speak to each other, see each other twice a year maybe. This is the most engagement we've had in a very long time. I know I shouldn't let it get to me, thank you!
     
  16. ComaToast

    ComaToast Zealous dogma prolongs pain and the path of fools

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    Thanks man!
     
  17. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    Is there anything else you two like.. basketball, baseball?
     
  18. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I ran across much the same when I converted to Catholicism from the fundamentalist Protestantism I had grown up in, even though I was married to my Catholic wife for eight years and attending mass on most weekends. Even at work, one of my associates said I was "nuts" for converting, like it was any of his business to begin with.

    Seems that once ya make it "official", the "heat" starts. :emojconfused:
     
  19. sooda

    sooda Well-Known Member

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    My son converted to Catholicism in the sixth year of marriage when their first child was born... I think he might punch someone in the nose who called him nuts for converting.
     
  20. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    I hear ya.

    A lot depends on the family, and in our family we take a very open approach, and it's worked out well for us. Our oldest daughter is heavily involved in Judaism, as well her adult kids; our youngest daughter is Catholic along with her husband and kids; and our son is secular but is married to a Pentecostal wife and they have a secular daughter. We attend each others ceremonies and never argue religion, so we're pretty lucky.
     
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