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Featured is it cherry-picking or careful reading? how can a faith be based on an old book?

Discussion in 'Seekers Circle' started by trablano, Jul 16, 2017 at 3:30 AM.

  1. trablano

    trablano Member

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    Hello,

    I began my religious journey in christianity but lately I find that I cannot trust the bible so much anymore. Some of it is clearly false because science has disproven it, for example Noah's Flood. Other things are genuinely cruel and do not seem to reflect a loving Creator, such as the wars in the bible.

    Other christians tell me what I do would be cherry-picking. IE, I take the good things from God but not what does not appeal to me. But how could I justify war and terror? The ancients were surely inventive about that and often in the bible there is no love but only subordination and attempts to be loyal to this scary God it speaks about.

    But consider that, if I read any other book, I normally find something to like in it and something I do not like. When I read Lord of the Rings I enjoy reading about Frodo's courage and his friendship to Gandalf. But I do not like Saruman the White One and do not have to worship him. Why would I make Frodo and Saruman do the same ugly things? Frodo is good and Saruman is evil.

    But in the bible I am told about a terroristic God who wants to be known as the God of love. Does not necessity tell me to accept a loving God and not a scary God?
     
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  2. The Holy Bottom Burp

    The Holy Bottom Burp Active Member
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    Not quite true Tablano, it is just that there is no credible evidence to suggest the flood did happen.
    Mate, all Christians cherry pick, you wont find many that advocate burning witches or slavery but the bible approves of both, and Christians used to do those things. It is very hard to match the "modern day" Christian god, who just loves us to bits and wants to empower us, with the odious ogre of the bible, but Christians rationalise it with a bit of mental gymnastics. If you feel the need to believe in a god I say believe in a kind and loving god, it is more likely to make you a kind and loving person! :)
     
  3. syncretic

    syncretic

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    /anyways, there are a lot of denominations, seems like you might just search more
     
    #3 syncretic, Jul 16, 2017 at 4:12 AM
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 5:47 AM
  4. Muslim-UK

    Muslim-UK Active Member

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    The Bible is written mostly by unknown writers cutting and pasting when the Jews came out of captivity. Any blanks they had, were filled in with the limited knowledge of the time, any battles and wars they mentioned were attributed to be commandments of God to utterly destroy/humiliate their enemies. You can not read such a book and slander God, for He is not the author.

    The God of Abraham pbuh sent various Messengers to Mankind with scripture. One of those has remained intact and is the protected word of God.

    www.quranexplorer.com/quran
     
  5. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    I remember a letter (in Spanish) that a man wrote to three sisters. All three sisters wanted to marry the man. The letter had no punctuation.

    He told each one to please put the punctuation in the letter and each one placed the punctuation in such a way that it actually said that he wanted to marry her. Each one saw what they wanted to see.

    He did likewise and the letter basically said "I don't want to marry any one of the three". He didn't conform who he was and what he wanted just to adapt to what they wanted.

    God does not have to conform to what you want Hm to be... He is who He is.

    But if you don't want to trust the one who created you, He has given you free will to do so. You are free to be your own god or get another one.

    PS... I don't see where science has disproved The Flood. They simply see what they want to see as they interpret the evidence. The all agree that there were many "catastrophic local floods", they just don't want it to be a global flood. That's why they since go back and forth between those who believe and those who don't.
     
    #5 KenS, Jul 16, 2017 at 5:53 AM
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 6:05 AM
  6. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    There is much truth to this statement.
     
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  7. KenS

    KenS Well-Known Member

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    Actually, the Quran seems more like a cut and paste than the Tanakh
     
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  8. syncretic

    syncretic

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    Dont be a christian, .

    Clearly it isnt what you want.
     
  9. Muslim-UK

    Muslim-UK Active Member

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    Well as you keep shying away from discussions, we can't examine your evidence. Feel free to start a thread if you have any confidence on any subject you like.
     
  10. Carlita

    Carlita June 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    Maybe don't look at the bible too much. There is one saying I agree with and what Jesus says is, "You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me." ~John 5:39

    Have you ever thought about following jesus without reference to the Bible? Yes, christianity is based on the bible but the bible doesn't save you. Books become old over time. We can't change that. Science changes everyday. Twenty years ago we barely knew what a cell phone was as we were coming from using beepers. People five years younger than me or ten probably don't know what a pay phone is.

    Can you imagine people back when in the B.C. era? In my opinion, I wouldn't put too much stock into science. That changes all the time. Also, in my opinion, I wouldn't put too much dependency on the bible, it is not christ.

    Maybe find a place, reflect, or if you go to church, ask a peer about getting closer to christ. I know in the Catholic Church, we don't use a bible as the source of communion. Everything was directly based on christ. Yes, we hear words and the gospels and gave our respects by standing up and siting down. However, christianity is a communal faith and he is present when his body comes together in his name.

    So, not saying to go into Catholicism; I just see christianity through Catholic eyes. In general, though, the bible will not compare to science today. Our science today and religions today such as Wicca would probably be obsolete 2,000 years from now. Yet, people will try to preserve it despite the science.

    Spirituality, in my opinion, isn't about science. Find your morals, follow your god, participate in the body of christ, and find the truth that's closest to you not what other people say.
     
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  11. trablano

    trablano Member

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    The last comment appealed much to me. And I've been there before, rejecting some of the bible as outdated or as false thought that needed correction, for which Jesus came. I really like Jesus a lot although I also pray to other gods such as the hindu gods or Zeus or Odin. Christianity cannot be a good religion when it projects to us God like an evil master, because of some bible verses. I think the problem is in seeing the bible as infallible, even when that cannot be upheld when the bible is examined with scientific scrutiny.
     
  12. PureX

    PureX Well-Known Member

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    Those stories are mythical in nature. They were not intended to be read as historical fact. They are intended to be read as ideological representation. They are a literary form of artifice. What matters is the ideal they present to us, not the "facts" they use to do so.

    Also, the people who wrote those stories and assembled those OT texts did not do so to present themselves with a "loving God". They did so to present an inexplicable God. A God that had to be grappled with, and contended with. A God that ultimately would not be 'understood' by any man. Because that's the kind of God the ancient Jews believed in, and experience in their daily lives.

    As a modern day Christian, you have no obligation to abide by ANY of the OT text. Those text were written by Jews, for Jews, and Jesus was Jew speaking to other Jews when he affirmed them. He was not speaking to you, or to me. And as a Jew, Jesus did not believe in the need for conversion to Judaism. Nor for the need of non-Jews to follow the dictates or rituals if Judaism. So why modern Christians think they are supposed to read every word written by some ancient Jewish scribe as if it had just come from the mouth of God is incomprehensible. In fact, it's idolatry. Not even Jesus Himself, a Jew, would have accepted such heresy.

    You are right to take what you can use to increase your spiritual wisdom and effectiveness, and to leave the rest behind. God did not write the Bible, a bunch of ancient Jews did. And they wrote it for themselves, not for you. So there is no reason you should feel compelled to treat it as anything more than it is.
     
  13. Carlita

    Carlita June 11th 2017 Equality PRIDE Flag!

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    The question is, do you feel god is like an evil monster?

    For example, when I practiced Catholicism, priests and Catholics swear up and down the Eucharist is Jesus Christ himself flesh and blood. Then I got fed up (well, annoyed) one day, sat with a priest-very nice-and asked him point blank,

    "Do you really believe that the bread is actually jesus's skin, hair policultes, with three layers? and the wine is actually DNA with white and red blood count?"

    He just laughed. Then he paused, and laughed again.

    "Of course not. Literal does not always need to be what you experience with your five senses. There are two types of literal. The other is what you know and experience within your heart and spirit."

    "Oooh. That makes sense." I said.

    Since then, when I took the Eucharist, I saw it as a sacrificial meal. It was a meal that Jesus blessed and continues to bless when more than one person comes in his name at Mass. It brings people together in one body just as you have family dinners and so forth. It's a source of repentance, sacrifice, and resurrection as one body.

    So, I would see the bible the say way. Either you can see god killing off women and children as if he is a real being plucking off people off the face of the earth.

    Or you can see it as a historical events that people did in the name of god.

    When jesus said you can raise the dead too, he didn't mean literally. He said he had faith in his father and through that faith, his father raised the dead not him.

    Then, you have to step back and say "okay, is god a product of the bible or product of the spirit."

    Who are you in communion with, the bible or with christ?

    Prioritize.

    With Zues, Ordin, and Hindu gods, from a christian point of view, if you want to change religions, I'd do so one hundred percent. Pagan, Hindu, whatever. I wouldn't be half in half-personally. It is against Christian teachings and would probably cause more confliction of what's right for you when you have one religion saying "worship one god only" while another saying "worship one god and many incarnations of that one god."

    Can't cherry pick in christianity if you follow it in full.

    But it depends on your spirit. For me, I stopped practicing because of Christian history and no belief in god. Not because I felt off or how people saw the bible.

    So, you'd have to define your priorities by over viewing your values. Talk to a Pagan or Hindu. Get some insight.
     
  14. Windwalker

    Windwalker Integralist
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    Other Christians saying that do not know what cherry picking is. Cherry picking is saying it's all good while selectively ignoring or making rationalized excuses for things that contradict that. Cherry picking is a form of intellectual dishonesty, like ignoring statistical data on the effectiveness of wearing seatbelts, and citing instead anecdotal evidence of how so and so survived a crash without one. That sort of selective blindness is what they engage in routinely.

    No, what you are doing is not cherry picking at all. It's honesty. What you are doing is being honest about all of it, and contextualizing the parts you realize don't fit into modern truths and values, as cultural artifacts that we don't have to "believe in". That is called using discretion in the context of understanding things through the lens of modern research and knowledge. You're not claiming it's all good and selectively picking the bits you like and using logical gymnastics to explain away the parts that don't in order to defend some religious belief of biblical infallible. You're saying it's both good and bad, and using discretion of what is valuable, and what has value as an artifact.
     
  15. Thief

    Thief Rogue Theologian

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    If you like......cherry pick all you want and I will help pull the stems of the cherries......in the debate section
    (the stems contain poison)
     
  16. George-ananda

    George-ananda Advaita and Spiritualist and Pantheist
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    I think we need to shed this idea that scriptures mean something ancient. My most important spiritual teachers are people that have lived in modern times. Why should scriptures and spiritual teachers be things frozen in time? Why should there be great spiritual leaders living then but not now? Modern spiritual teachers can better present things for a modern intellect.
     
  17. Paul Chavez

    Paul Chavez bible reader

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    1.First of I would like to start out by saying that the bible has not been disproved by science. I would have to hear what the objections are. I have use to believe the same, but after careful study, the bible is rational.
    2. Well considering those passages in the old testament, yes those things did happen. But let me ask you this "is punishment a part of life?" , "when should someone be punished" and "how should someone be punished?" What if after punishment the individual is defiant and unwilling to change his ways? In order for me to answer the questions in the old testament passages I have to get your view on these matters of justice.
     
  18. Paul Chavez

    Paul Chavez bible reader

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    The bible is in harmony with science
    Genesis 9:4
    Leviticus 17:11
    Isaiah 40:22
    Job 26:7
    Jonah 2:6
    Leviticus 15:13

    The bible predicts the future in accuracy
    Jeremiah 51:62
    Isaiah 44:28
    Isaiah 45:1

    And many many more facts in the bible. They documented these things well before the men of the earth knew about these facts.
     
  19. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    I don't see how one could justify them. And it's certainly not cherry picking to point out defects in a so-called all-loving god. Just as it wouldn't be "cherry picking" to point out to a car salesman that the great automobile he's trying to sell you has no engine. Thing is, as presented in the bible god is contradictory character. Contradictions that often stand 180 degrees in opposition, which Christianity is telling you to ignore. In fact, if one is to buy into a loving god deserving of adoration and praise then a person HAS to ignore his dark side; shoving it into a closet and closing the door. For some Christians the cherry picking is far less apparent. They readily admit that a talking snake, the worldwide flood, and the Sun being made to stand still are no more than fiction, yet eagerly believe that a woman was impregnated by god. A man who could walk on water and could change water into wine. To be a good Christians requires a lot of selective belief, cherry picking, if you will. Now, if you can do that then I wish you a happy life with Jesus. If you can't, then I wish you a happy life with a clear conscience.

    .
     
    #19 Skwim, Jul 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017 at 1:07 PM
  20. Deidre

    Deidre Follow Thy Heart

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    I think it depends on what denomination one follows - fundamentalists in general, believe the Bible in its entirety to be the literal ''word of God,'' while others don't. But, that's the problem. If mankind is basically deciding what is true and what isn't...how can any of it be literal or true? Reading a book of parables about how we shouldn't steal or cheat one another, etc seems okay if you just say that these were parables handed down by people of that time period. But, when we start claiming that a deity told us not to steal, etc...it just seems unnecessary. But, religions wouldn't exist if we just gave the credit to mere men for why we shouldn't steal, cheat, lie, etc.

    The Bible is hard to cherry pick in the sense that the OT is a foreshadowing of the NT, and when you leave out one ''story'' then other stories will crumble along with it, because they're all tied together. That's how it began for me, I started cherry picking so much that the entire book eventually became irrelevant
     
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