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Old 18th March 2017, 02:19 PM
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Default Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

Sometimes, interesting-but-off-topic things happen in mid-thread. Like about here, for instance.

There's a whole bunch of potential discussion about how a religion supposedly based on the bible relates to, or in some cases blatantly ignores, what's in its source document.

The causes are many:
  • Ignorance of content or context;
  • Culture (but we've always done it this way;
  • Cherrypicking, like the female headgear in 1 Corinthians 11;
  • Very bad interpretation or excessive literalism (see Skoptsy Naughty Bits);
  • Inconvenience (What? Give my money to the poor?);
  • Et bloody cetera
While not pretending to be infallible like Popey, I do have a little theological knowledge, and there are others on the forums with a wealth of expertise in the strange ways of this fictional realm.


Let's explore.
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Old 18th March 2017, 03:21 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

When I was a child in the 1950's and 60's, the Bibles was true, and literal. Every single word of it.
Nobody (in Christian religion) questioned the 6 day creation, the flood, and other adventures of OmnipotentSkyDude.
Then, in the 60's something happened. Things that were obviously untenable started having a need to be interpreted, not literal. It's a process that is continuing still.
I'm no great intellectual, but the concept of religion seemed simple to me. It is the total and absolute truth, and is supposed to be constant, unchangable.
If things that were literally true for thousands of years become open to interpretation, then that truth is not absolute anymore, and the religion fails.
The Bible is so adamant in asserting it's own truth, it sets a high standard for itself. That is why I think only one lie, one contradiction, one uncertainty is enough to break the whole thing. And there are many. But one is enough enough, Perfect god wouldn't allow the one to slip through.
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Old 18th March 2017, 04:54 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

Yes, it's full of holes, Svadifari. The Skeptic's Annotated Bible is a great index of the absurdities and atrocities to be found.
I still grin when I think of the look on that hapless evangelist type who sat beside me on a bench while I was waiting for Herself to finish in a shop...

Poor chap tried all sorts of conversation-starters, and I was fairly sure he wasn't after my firm, youthful body, seeing I'm an ugly old bastard. I was politely trying to be left alone, when he started on about the weather.

I replied something about the Bureau of Meterorology's radar, and he suddenly, incongruously, said that the world had been running down and getting worse in the 6000 years of its history.

(Sound of penny dropping)

So, Young Earth Creationist/Bible Literalist on the make, then?

I said the Bible had its figures wrong, and Mr Evangelist sparked up, and told me it was all literally true.

I said to him he could bugger off till he could bring me a four-legged grasshopper, like the ones in Leviticus 11.
But that's not what I'm hoping for here.

The Xtians who are all out for saving foetuses, but who can't find it in their hearts to protest anaesthesia in childbirth (did not Gawd himself tell Eve all women would have painful childbirths in Genesis 3:16, while he was busy setting up a perpetual patriarchy?), or the believer bosses who want to reduce wage costs, flying in the face of the Epistle of James, 5:1... that kind of hooey.

Even the "OldTestament is so over" guys can't duck James.

I want to look at the disconnects between bible and the acts of the believers.
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Old 18th March 2017, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

I like the bit where you are supposed to badly beat up your employees when they fuck up.
If they fuck up because they were not trained properly, you should only smack them around a little bit.
Luke:
12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes.

Also, this whole thing of saying grace, Jesus is quite clear praying shold be in your room, behind a closed door, never in public.
Matthew:
6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
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Old 18th March 2017, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

Yes, the Mattthew quiet-prayer thingy is a classic, and I'm sure it's a perennial favourite at widely-publicised prayer breakfasts the world over. Still, who's going to let a little recommendation from JC get in the way of a good ego-massage?

The servant-beating is one of those "happened in a story" episodes, rather than a direct command or recommendation.

Should I dig into the methods of interpreting this stuff, so we can sort the lumps a bit more finely, Svadifari?
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Old 18th March 2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

I must admit, I'm a little out of practice. I've been leaving the yelling-at-fundies stuff to the newly-minted and still-enthusiastic for the last few years, and focusing more on yelling at our own for misusing arguments and being our own for fuckssakeswe'resupposedtobetheindependentthinkers.

*deep breath*

So I can't bring to mind immediately an example of specifically Biblical interpretation, but I do have one that has stuck with me.

I was a metalhead, and a Christian. Tough thing to be at the best of times, and the 90's was the best of times to be a white Christian metalhead in Australia. Some will tell you that Christian music is uniformly shit, and they'd be just as wrong as someone telling you that religious people are uniformly stupid. It's untrue, is what I'm telling you.

And to be completely honest, I'd put some of the early '90's Christian metal musos up against almost anyone else in terms of talent and skill. I'm not a muso, of course, so take this with the salt you're qualified to pinch off, but being religious doesn't render you devoid of musical skill, talent, or intelligence.

There was one particular Christian metal band that was awash in talent and skill. I don't know where they fall on the metal spectrum these days. Early speed, late hair metal maybe? Fuck knows. Christian thrash, I think. Anyway, these fuckers were good at what they did.

They had a song that was ragging on other religions. A Dog's Breakfast, their 2nd album, 2nd track. Lyric follows

Quote:
Listen to Ron Hubbard's son
"Dad was con-man number one
Through black magic dabbling
And drugs his books were born"
Dianetics says I am
A reincarnated Thetan god
If I by E-Meter
M.E.S.T. a-ok
L.R.H. says, "Jesus never
Reached potential grade"*
Jehovah's Witness make the claim
"The only prophet of today"
But every prophecy was fake
And so they upped the date
As they read their bible wrong
John 1:1 "The Word was a god"
"Triune God is of Babylon
The Church is of the beast."
"144, 001 and all that follow
Jonadabs that cannot go to Heaven"
I was fooled again
I had made up my mind
That truth comes in styles
I was fooled again
Wastin' my time
With life changing lies
My self I love so much
Because the New Age teaches me
"The source of good and secrets lie within"

If this present life ain't good
Astral to the past one dude
"You can make adjustments
In your linear time zone."
"God is you and you are God
So whatever you decide is right..."
Right? (S. MacLaine)
Joseph Smith a Mormon god
Murdered men, condemned of fraud
An angel gave him golden plates
Which no one ever saw
K.C. says that "Christ was lost
Sign of Satan on the cross
Bore the Devil's nature
And was born again in Hell"
If you've got a little bod
"You can all become a god"
Benny hinders true conversion
"Christ is not within"
"I have faith in my own faith
Cause I'm a little god" (Hagin)
I was fooled again
A message from God
That was only a fraud
Truth and joy was inside
But it's only in Christ
By a spiritual force
That had disguised its source
By the Lord's latest mail
But a novel from Hell
They were probably heretical, but it's interesting to see interreligious conflict like that.
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  #7  
Old 18th March 2017, 09:12 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

Quote:
The Irreverent Mr Black said View Post
....
The servant-beating is one of those "happened in a story" episodes, rather than a direct command or recommendation.

Should I dig into the methods of interpreting this stuff, so we can sort the lumps a bit more finely, Svadifari?
No, no, no, I cant give you a free pass on the 'happened in a story stuff".
It smacks of the 'locker room banter defense'.
This story has a purpose, a point. Something should be learnt. In this story, there is no condemnation of the master who acts this way, only praise for the servant who obsequiously performs every command properly.("Blessed is that servant..."). The lesson seems to be that you'd better do what the boss wants (and hope you understand what that really is), else you're gonna have the shit kicked out of you, and rightly so.

As regards interpreting, if it needs that, it is flawed. Almighty God should have it in his power to make things clear. Why would he allow confusing crap into his book?
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Old 18th March 2017, 09:27 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

Quote:
Goldenmane said View Post
I must admit, I'm a little out of practice. I've been leaving the yelling-at-fundies stuff to the newly-minted and still-enthusiastic for the last few years, and focusing more on yelling at our own for misusing arguments and being our own for fuckssakeswe'resupposedtobetheindependentthinkers.

*deep breath*

So I can't bring to mind immediately an example of specifically Biblical interpretation, but I do have one that has stuck with me.

I was a metalhead, and a Christian. Tough thing to be at the best of times, and the 90's was the best of times to be a white Christian metalhead in Australia. Some will tell you that Christian music is uniformly shit, and they'd be just as wrong as someone telling you that religious people are uniformly stupid. It's untrue, is what I'm telling you.

And to be completely honest, I'd put some of the early '90's Christian metal musos up against almost anyone else in terms of talent and skill. I'm not a muso, of course, so take this with the salt you're qualified to pinch off, but being religious doesn't render you devoid of musical skill, talent, or intelligence.

There was one particular Christian metal band that was awash in talent and skill. I don't know where they fall on the metal spectrum these days. Early speed, late hair metal maybe? Fuck knows. Christian thrash, I think. Anyway, these fuckers were good at what they did.

They had a song that was ragging on other religions. A Dog's Breakfast, their 2nd album, 2nd track. Lyric follows



They were probably heretical, but it's interesting to see interreligious conflict like that.
Conflicting interpretations between subsets? Oh yeah, always fun.

Watching old-time Assemblies Of Dog (not the Hill$ongers who white-anted the denomination) -v- traditional Baptists (etc) on the subject of the Holy Spurt, for example. One lot say it's an essential thing, gets inside believers and makes them do stuff. The opposition say that sounds more like the devil is possessing them.

All very "popcorn smiley".
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Old 18th March 2017, 10:03 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

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No, no, no, I cant give you a free pass on the 'happened in a story stuff".
It smacks of the 'locker room banter defense'.
This story has a purpose, a point. Something should be learnt. In this story, there is no condemnation of the master who acts this way, only praise for the servant who obsequiously performs every command properly.("Blessed is that servant..."). The lesson seems to be that you'd better do what the boss wants (and hope you understand what that really is), else you're gonna have the shit kicked out of you, and rightly so.

As regards interpreting, if it needs that, it is flawed. Almighty God should have it in his power to make things clear. Why would he allow confusing crap into his book?
Well, okaaaaaay. I am going to have to put my big, boring, Pedant Hat on. (Also, please forgive me if I occasionally miss a space between words, as my left arm is having nerve problems.)

So, let's look at our determining factors:
  • Context
  • Situation
  • Speaker/Doer
  • Audience
Context - As I have been telling you, the text is supposed to be a story told by JC to illustrate an example during his address to a large public meeting.

From this, we can suppose that the story is not true, and is like the Nice Family in a TV commercial: a larger-than-life scenario set up to make the point. This Is Not Really Happening, even in terms of biblical "truth".

From the text - "46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
47 And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes." - we can see that the story is meant to be an analogy. Who cuts a person to bits, and then "appoints him a portion"?

Situation - The telling and setting of the story are both in a time when absolute rulers could, and did, do nasty things to ordinary people without compunction or control. Thank Pikkiwoki that kind of thing doesn't happen anywhere in the world today.

Speaker/Doer - No real doer, as the story is as concocted as one of those tired Little Johnny Fuckerfaster jokes.

The speaker is, of course,the JC character in the bigger story (The Luke Gospel - juvenile fiction). The intent is too inspire his followers, keep them on edge, make them okay with delayed gratification (all this "not immediately, you never know when" stuff), and (here the unfortunate character in 46-47 comes into focus) subtly threaten any of the inner circle from getting uppity.

The chapter closes with a sort of disclaimer: no fair rewards are guaranteed, and (as might be expected for a sect of heretical Jews massing in an occupied country) there were hints that schism and trouble might come.

Audience - This was much like an in-house training/encouragement video. The audience in this Sermon On The Mount story were all supposedly either followers or positively-inclined Jesus-curious.

But in short - Nope, no real servant, no real execution: since we're in the late 20's CE, who cares anyhow?

The point is, it's not a "go do this" tale in any sense.
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Last edited by The Irreverent Mr Black; 18th March 2017 at 10:05 PM. Reason: where are all those phantom line-feeds coming from?
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Old 18th March 2017, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Bible Bashing: The Book, and How It Differs From Xtian Reality

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..........
The point is, it's not a "go do this" tale in any sense.
It is also not a "don't go do this, because it's fucked up" tale.
There is obvious acceptance of this behaviour.
And really, it was OK at that time? When exactly did that change? And why? And where is it documented?
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