The Irreverent Musings of Harry McCall (And Others)


The Irreverent Musings of Harry McCall (former Christian seminarian, still a lover of Biblical studies, having been bitten by the "Bible bug")

The Bible is like a senile senior citizen, semi-coherent and out of touch with reality--but his loving children (believers), via their denials and creative ingenuity, lovingly take him by the arm and theologically help him to shuffle along.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm sitting here at my keyboard thinking about my past life as an Evangelical Christian. How did I ever believe all the doctrines, and swallow the love mixed with strange fears, for decade after decade? I appear to have been victimized by a frighteningly overpowering (dare I saw psychotic) mix of something the Bible (and my church) called God's "love," mingled with that same God's "eternal hatred," and, I was also taught that I was the one to blame for this weird mix, I was the one "asking for it!"

As a Christian I heard John 3:16 run into the ground about how God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten son to die for us. Even Jesus said we should call God "Father"--a loving father who forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, gives us our daily bread, sends blessed rain on the farmer's fields of both the just and unjust, or who would leave 99 of his sheep to hunt for the single lost one. Of course this love only lasts till judgment day (or till we die, whichever comes first). Because on that day our loving Father morphs from a kindly Dr. Jekyll into a sadistic Mr. Hyde (or maybe more like “Sybil”—as in the academy award winning movie of the same name—whose mother loved her one moment only to beat and torture her the next).

Thus, the perennial question that young believers and non-Christians ask: If God is a God of love, why does He morph into someone who demands eternal punishment, as if to say, "Remember all that stuff I said before? 'Peace on earth goodwill toward men?' 'Blessed are the peacemakers?' 'Bless those who curse you?' 'Love your enemies?' ‘Love keeps no record of wrongs… It always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… These three remain: faith, hope and love?’ Forget about it. You're dead now, and your rear end is mine!”

Of course a common modern reply is that “God does not send anyone to Hell. We send ourselves.” Yea, right! Just like Sybil MADE her psychotic mother punish, beat and torture her.

A god who slaughters families, not to mention cities, nations, and drowns the whole world, is acting in ways it's difficult for any human being with an ounce of compassion to not view as reacting questionably. This is a god who also blames the victims eternally, as a way to justify the horrific gore He puts them though.

One might picture it this way: After death the Christian comes into the presence of a God who quickly begins morphing into a sadistic vampire-like character. The Christian of course can’t hold up a cross, or use “holy water” to ward off God, instead, Christians must use the blood of Jesus to compel God to draw back from his angry wish to inflict eternal punishment (anger that God blames on the victim and that preachers insist we are asking for). God smells the aroma of Jesus’s blood and his irrational everlasting anger abates, so the Christian can get to live with this psychotic-like God forever. It's like the movie, “The Exorcist,” with the Christian driving back God's unquenchably angry desire for eternal vengeance by shouting: “The blood of Christ compels Thee!” God curses and screams, drawing back.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Paul tells us in his letter to the Romans "Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us" in heaven. (Romans 8:34, NIV) While Romans 14:12 tells us that each person is going to have to step up and "give account of himself to God" even though God already knows all the thoughts of our hearts (Romans 8:28). (Not that "heart" is necessarily being used as a scientific term by Paul, though it also can't be denied that in Paul's day many did believe that "hearts" had "thoughts.")

But returning to the image or metaphor of "Jesus at the right hand of God interceding for us" in heaven. Not to be coy, but how exactly am I to imagine the need for incessant "intercession?" Didn't Jesus suffer, "become sin," say "it is finished," then die and rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven? But after he got to heaven he was assigned yet another job, which is to "intercede for us" to the Father--who apparently is still highly prone to yet more anger? Or forgetfulness?

Scene: Heaven

God: "That Christian down there is really starting to p*ss me off! I should let him slip into sin further, send him strong delusion that he might believe a lie, send in some lying spirits, and let Satan have his way with him--but save some for me to punish eternally."

Jesus: "Forgive him father. I died for him."

God: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K. But what about that other Christian right there who is..."

Jesus: "Forgive her father. I died for her."

God: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K."

And Jesus after 2,000 years and for the sixtrillionth time: "Forgive him father. I died for Him."

And God for the sixtrillionth time: "Oh, yeah, I remember. O.K."

Little wonder neither God nor Jesus has time to answer prayers since both now find themselves in a Catch-22 situation; one of eternal intercession:

"Blaugh, blaugh, blaugh: O.K."
"Blaugh, blaugh, blaugh: O.K."
F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

Maybe this is why churches must repeat prayers over and over again in liturgical rotation from Sunday to Sunday. In a similar fashion advanced Alzheimer's patients must also hold to a repetitious stablized environment.

Or maybe Jesus at some point will get tired of begging God to have mercy, and turn toward the earth, and shout, QUIT sinning you guys! I've interceded enough! Give me a break! I need some "down time!"

Of course the idea of Jesus continually interceding for us also reminded me of something that St. Ansalem (sp?) wrote, that Jesus's love was so great he was going to "remain on the cross" until the last sinner was finally sprung "out of hell." THAT kind of interceding makes sense if God truly "is love." Because God and time are the best teachers.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I sometimes reflect on the way God/the Bible/a church/a theology blames its problems, difficulties and evils on humans. At the same time, we humans are never given any credit should we do something good. In short, if there is a problem, it's the fault of humans, but if a human being does something good, God alone gets the praise. People trained to view themselves in such an untterly "unworthy" manner will tend to assert the perfection of their particular religion's doctrines, and assert how utterly wrong everyone else is if they dare question the Bible or even their church's interpretation of the Bible. In effect, they learn never to trust themselves, and get sucked into trusting their church, and their church's particular doctrines and interpretations of its holy book, everyone else be damned.

Compare that with, say, a theology that teaches there is a spark of goodness already inside everyone, and people's "job" is to blow on that spark and brighten it further?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We come to God/the Bible/a church/a theology wanting our inmost pains healed, be they loneliness, fears, or uncertainties; and to gain protection and gain certitude; only to be handed in exchange a much larger and complex set of problems we couuld ever have bargained for, called "theology." (That's what's called the old "bait-and-switch.") It's like the case of a trusting child who depends on the adult to protect them and comfort them, only to be abused because the adult has much more serious, older and deeper issues than the child in his care. "God" and "theology" are complex reflections of the history of human mental agony--an agony steeped in a questionable form of "love."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The New Testament states that Jesus "became sin" [or was "treated as sin"] while on the cross. "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21) Did Jesus become as hated as "sin" and/or "Satan" in God's eyes? Did God hate Himself? Did an infinite God wind up hating himself and released His full wrath on Himself, treating Himself as "sin," all because some of his finite creatures ate some forbidden fruit? Sounds a bit difficult to swallow.

Harry McCall (whose testimony appears in Leaving the Fold: Testimonies of Former Fundamentalists)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SOME MUSINGS OF OTHERS

I read in the Gospels that Jesus forgave the men who nailed him to the cross.

He even promised, “This day you shall be with me in paradise,” to a thief crucified next to him--a thief who addressed Jesus simply as a “man” rather than as “the son of God.”

Yet, today, this same Jesus cannot forgive my kindly old aunt and allow her to dwell in paradise, simply because her “beliefs” do not match Reverend So-and-So’s?

Arthur Silver

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They say that when god was in Jerusalem he forgave his murderers, but now he will not forgive an honest man for differing with him on the subject of the Trinity.

They say that God says to me, “Forgive your enemies.” I say, “I do;” but he says, “I will damn mine.” God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his. I am asked to forgive enemies who can hurt me. God is only asked to forgive enemies who cannot hurt him. He certainly ought to be as generous as he asks us to be.

Robert Ingersoll

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When all has been considered, it seems to me to be the irresistible intuition that infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, and therefore wrong. We feel that even weak and erring Man would shrink from such an act. And we cannot conceive of God as acting on a lower standard of right and wrong.

Lewis Carroll (author of Alice in Wonderland), “Eternal Punishment,” Diversions and Digressions of Lewis Carroll

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is strange to me that people can consign others to hell without a scruple. One only has to remember a toothache, not to wish it eternally on anyone.

Lucy Daugalis (daugalis@arcom.com.au)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Given headaches, backaches, toothaches, strains, scrapes, breaks, cuts, rashes, burns, bruises, PMS, fatigue, hunger, odors, molds, colds, yeast, parasites, viruses, cancers, genetic defects, blindness, deafness, paralysis, mental illness, ugliness, ignorance, miscommunications, embarrassments, unrequited love, dashed hopes, boredom, hard labor, repetitious labor, accidents, old age, senility, fires, floods, earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes, hurricanes and volcanoes, I can not see how anyone, after they are dead, deserves “eternal punishment” as well.

E.T.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When I was a boy I heard tell of an old farmer in Vermont. He was dying. The minister was at his bedside--asked him if he was a Christian, if he was prepared to die. The old man answered that he had made no preparation, that he was not a Christian, that he had never done anything but work. The preacher said that he could give him no hope unless he had faith in Christ, and that if he had no faith his soul would certainly be lost.

The old man was not frightened. He was perfectly calm. In a weak and broken voice he said, “Mr. Preacher, I suppose you noticed my farm. My wife and I came here more than fifty years ago. We were just married. It was a forest then and the land was covered with stones. I cut down the trees, burned the logs, picked up the stones, and laid the walls. My wife spun and wove and worked every moment. We raised and educated our children--denied ourselves. During all these years my wife never had a good dress, or a decent bonnet. I never had a good suit of clothes. We lived on the plainest food. Our hands, our bodies are deformed by toil. We never had a vacation. We loved each other and the children. That is the only luxury we ever had. Now I am about to die and you ask me if I am prepared. Mr. Preacher, I have no fear of the future, no terror of any other world. There may be such a place as hell--but if there is, you never can make me believe that it’s any worse than old Vermont.”

Robert Ingersoll, “Why I Am An Agnostic”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, “casting” billions of people into a “lake of fire whose smoke rises up forever,” because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being.

Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist [Edited by E.T.B.]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jesus loves you unconditionally, and if you do not believe it you will when you are in hell.

Source unknown

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

According to Christianity eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God’s infinite love. That’s the message we’re brought up with, believe or die. “Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options.”

Bill Hicks (comedian), Rant in E-minor, CD

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As a tot I was given the usual terrifying mixed message: a) God is love; and b) If you don’t believe how much he loves you, you will stand in the corner for eternity.

James Lileks, “God Has Call Waiting,” Notes of a Nervous Man

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Any religion that teaches there is only heaven or hell
is gonna be a haven for manic-depressives.

E.T.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Do I believe in eternal punishment? Hell no. I always believed God could get his revenge in far less time.

Robert Ingersoll

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

God recently remodeled hell. He replaced the flames of eternal damnation with a microwave. Now, instead of taking forever, His revenge is complete in seconds. The only hard part is hanging on while the plate rotates.

E.T.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

An idea, which has terrified millions, claims that some of us will go to a place called Hell, where we will suffer eternal torture. This does not scare me because, when I try to imagine a Mind behind this universe, I cannot conceive that Mind, usually called “God,” as totally mad. I mean, guys, compare that “God” with the worst monsters you can think of--Adolph Hitler, Joe Stalin, that sort of guy. None of them ever inflicted more than finite pain on their victims. Even de Sade, in his sado-masochistic fantasy novels, never devised an unlimited torture. The idea that the Mind of Creation (if such exists) wants to torture some of its critters for endless infinities of infinities seems too absurd to take seriously. Such a deranged Mind could not create a mud hut, much less the exquisitely mathematical universe around us.

If such a monster-God did exist, the sane attitude would consist of practicing the Buddhist virtue of compassion. Don’t give way to hatred: try to understand and forgive him. Maybe He will recover his wits some day.

Robert Anton Wilson, “Cheerful Reflections on Death and Dying,” Gnoware, February 1999

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conservative Christian theologians teach that if you make the wrong choice and believe the wrong thing, you will be tortured for eternity in hell. That’s not a “choice,” it’s more like a man telling his girlfriend, do what you wish, but if you choose to leave me, I will track you down and blow your brains out. When a man says this we call him a psychopath.

William C. Easttom II [Edited by E.T.B]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some Christians argue that eternal hell should be viewed as “God’s great compliment.” But if hell is a “compliment,” what does God do when he wants to “insult” someone?

Others argue that hell is a “loving provision,” a place where non-Christian souls are safe from the pain they would feel if they were exposed to God’s presence. Such apologists for “a kinder, gentler hell” seem to have forgotten their own Bible where it says Jesus visited hell and preached to the souls there. So apparently God can “tone down” His presence at will, becoming “Jesus” who mingled with “sinners and wine-bibbers” in Judea and Galilee, as well as preached to “souls in hell.” If Catholics and Lutherans are right, God can even put His “presence” in communion wafers. And most people can eat even a consecrated communion wafer without it burning their tongues (unless the person happens to have a strong allergic reaction to wheat).

By the way, those Christians who are willing to question the notion of a firey retributive hell lit by God’s jealousy and anger, should also take their questioning to the next level and ask why “hell” needs to be any worse than this world? We have pain and sickness here, we suffer here, but there is also room for healing, growth and education, and speaking of education, what better teachers could there be than God and time?

E.T.B.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Primates often have trouble imagining a universe not run by an angry alpha male.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Any infinite Being who feels it is their duty to torture me for eternity, should switch to decaf.

E.T.B.

12 comments:

Daddy Cool said...

Of course a common modern reply is that “God does not send anyone to Hell. We send ourselves.” Yea, right! Just like Sybil MADE her psychotic mother punish, beat and torture her.

False analogy. Sybil's mother wasn't seen as a standard of morality and she was psychotic. You're already assuming that God isn't good. Thus you're begging the question.

Daddy Cool said...

A god who slaughters families, not to mention cities, nations, and drowns the whole world, is acting in ways it's difficult for any human being with an ounce of compassion to not view as reacting questionably. This is a god who also blames the victims eternally, as a way to justify the horrific gore He puts them though.

LOL, I suppose you think it's better that God blames an innocent victim then?

Daddy Cool said...

God: "That Christian down there is really starting to p*ss me off! I should let him slip into sin further, send him strong delusion that he might believe a lie, send int some lying spirits, and let Satan have his way with him."

LOL, God is saying this to a Christian? Someone He already sent His son for?

I don't know, Mr. Babinski, but you're making a strawman argument against Christianity. And I don't think you understand it either.

Edward T. Babinski said...

I suspect you may be begging the prior question as to whether or not an infinite Being of moral standards wrote the Bible and also invented eternal punishment without hope. I doubt both.

I also tend to view such matters in light of the fact that eschatologies that involved "eternal punishment" and "eternal rewards" for all, probably developed due to frustration over the lack of justice seen in this life. The Persians/Zoroastrians came up with their view of eternal rewards and punishments for each person apparently before the Hebrews did. Before the Persians the ancient Hebrews and Greeks only appear to have believed that a few individuals ever made it up to heaven such as Enoch, Elijah for the Hebrews (and for the Greeks, Hercules), while all the rest of humanity went to the shadowy land of "sheol" (or for the Greeks, "hades").

The N.T. by the way, used terms like the Greek word "Tartarus," and "Gehenna" (a valley of refuse and apparently human sacrifice), and "Sheol" to depict the places of punishment in the afterlife. Belief in "eternal punishment" and "eternal rewards" for individuals grew during the intertestamental period, as did belief in "Satan" and his increasing influence over this world.

You should study the history of what happened between the Bible's two "testaments." Even John Walton of Wheaton College in his NIV Application Commentary on Genesis, has some interesting things to say (from an Evangelical perspective) about the role of "Satan" in the O.T. compared with the intertestamental period and the N.T. period. It's worth studying. For instance, did you know that the word "satan" in the earliest form in the O.T. simply referred to any "accuser," be they man or even God's own holy angel (the one that met Balaam in the O.T. and stood before his horse).

See also some online articles:

Hell is an evolved concept, starting with ancient beliefs in Sheol, the underworld and how Hell evolved into a fiery place of torment.

Ancient Views On The Afterlife--According to Jewish Experts and Scholars, what was an individual's fate after death? The Bible offers varied views; A literal burning eternal hell, figurative eternal hell, a finite hell and purgatory.

Origin of Lucifer, Satan, the Dragon--A look at Scriptures and origins of Satan, from NIV, King James and Jewish Tnakh, including scholars and theologians which indicate the teaching of Satan is based in mythology rather than reality.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Dear Daddy Cool,
In response to your second post in which you said, "LOL, I suppose you think it's better that God blames an innocent victim then?"

The point Harry made was as Lewis Carroll points out further down in the article: infinite/eternal punishment for finite sin makes little sense.

Also, have you done a Bible study of the expressions of God's anger as portrayed in the Bible? As I said, I doubt the Bible is an accurate portrayal of God or the afterlife.

Lastly, I agree, making an innocent victim suffer would indeed by worse, but that's the basis of Christianity is it not, an innocent having to suffer. Again, this makes little sense to many people.

Yet in other places the Bible does not even require a sacrifice, but forgiveness is direct, even direct from God the Father. Such direct forgiveness is seen in parts of the O.T., as well as in the Gospel of Matthew: "Forgive us our trespasses [Father God], as we forgive those who tresspass against us... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:12,14)

Edward T. Babinski said...

Dear Daddy Cool, In your third reply you wrote: "LOL, God is saying this to a Christian? Someone He already sent His son for? I don't know, Mr. Babinski, but you're making a strawman argument against Christianity. And I don't think you understand it either."

Harry was questioning why the need for constant intercession if God has indeed already sent His son. What possible bad effects does such interceding ward off? And why does the Son have to keep interceding constantly to get the Father to do something? Is there some doubt as to what the Father is going to do for Christians, and the Son has to remind the Father of something? That's the point Harry was making.

Twitch said...

Or how about The History of Hell by Alice K. Turner. She's not historian, but it's definitely worth checking out. Nice length pictures that trace the concept of hell from pre-Christian and pre-Jewish origins.

Daddy Cool said...

I suspect you may be begging the prior question as to whether or not an infinite Being of moral standards wrote the Bible and also invented eternal punishment without hope.

You can make that point but unlike you I'm not begging the question in a fallacious sense because God at least given me evidence that He is a moral being.

The issue of hell and how it relates to other historical similarities still doesn't falsify Christianity.

The point Harry made was as Lewis Carroll points out further down in the article: infinite/eternal punishment for finite sin makes little sense.

I think it makes perfect sense. Should there be no ultimate justice for an evil act? Are you a moral relativist by the way?

Also, have you done a Bible study of the expressions of God's anger as portrayed in the Bible?

LOL, have you? But the answer to your question is "yes."

Lastly, I agree, making an innocent victim suffer would indeed by worse, but that's the basis of Christianity is it not, an innocent having to suffer.

Well, He had to suffer on our behalf. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and He did it willingly and lovingly. He didn't suffer for a sin He did, Mr. Babinski. We on the other hand are sinners. He sent His son to declare us righteous.

Again, this makes little sense to many people.

Well, if you consider the ratio from non-believers to theists, theists outweigh the non-believer by a big percentage. So it would make sense to more than "many people" don't you think?

Daddy Cool said...

Oops, missed this part:

Yet in other places the Bible does not even require a sacrifice, but forgiveness is direct, even direct from God the Father. Such direct forgiveness is seen in parts of the O.T., as well as in the Gospel of Matthew: "Forgive us our trespasses [Father God], as we forgive those who tresspass against us... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:12,14)

Those forgiveness were not settled until Christ's death and resurrection though. If you read the OT you'd see how it corresponds to the NT. They were "forgiven" until Christ finally vindicated it. The OT makes it clear that God was going to send His son to fogive the world. I'm quite surprised that an ex-Christian such as yourself did not know this in the Bible.

Edward T. Babinski said...

DC: You can make that point but unlike you I'm not begging the question in a fallacious sense because God at least given me evidence that He is a moral being.

EB: What kind of evidence. And what does it have to do with the Bible?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: The issue of hell and how it relates to other historical similarities still doesn't falsify Christianity.

EB: You don't have to falsify something in order to have legitimate questions concerning it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: I think it makes perfect sense. Should there be no ultimate justice for an evil act? Are you a moral relativist by the way?

EB: I think the punishment should fit the crime. Finite punishment for finite crime. And the person punished should be the one who committed the crime. To raise a man up on judgment day so you can kill him over and over again for eternity does not seem fair. It also seems more fair to allow a person to see the afterlife and to see and meet God (like the apostles and others got to meet Jesus) and see how things really work first before forcing a person to believe in all such things under threat of eternal damnation.
Besides, threats of hell have served more to keep rival Christian denominations competing with one another for believers (with the "heretics" being portrayed as going to "hell") than hell has served the public good.

I also believe that if we live forever, and God is good, then there's time enough for love, not infinite punishment.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: LOL, have you [made a study of God's anger]? But the answer to your question is "yes."

EB: Good, then just to be straight, you base your portrait of God and morality on verses such as these?

Let me [God] alone that my wrath may wax hot against them.
- Exodus 31:10 (See also Numbers 16:46)

The Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
- Psalm 21:9

That the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger.
- Deut. 13:17

He made Israel to sin to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- 1 Kings 16:26 (See also: Ex. 32:10; Num. 11:1,16:46, 32:13-14; Judges 3:8, 2:20; 1 Kings 14:9,15:30, 16:2, 16:7, 16:13; 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Samuel 24:1; 2 Chron. 34:25; Psalm 18:7 & Jer. 44:6; Nahum 1:2)

The Lord hardened their hearts... that they might receive no mercy.
- Joshua 11:20

You shall fear (no other gods) only Yahweh...for He is a jealous God. Otherwise His anger will be kindled against you and He will wipe you off the face of the earth...

In the cities He gives you leave alive nothing that breathes...utterly destroy them...show them no mercy...or Yahweh will destroy you utterly...

The Lord delivered them before us...we...utterly destroyed the men...women, and the little ones of every city...

If your brother, son, daughter, wife, or your friend who is your own soul, entice you away secretly, saying, 'Let us go serve other gods'...you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death...

These curses shall come on you...because you would not obey the Lord...you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters...

I [the Lord] will make mine arrows drunk with blood.
- Deuteronomy. 2:34; 5:9; 6:13,15; 7:2,4; 13:6-9; 20:16,17; 28:45,47,53; 32:42]

The Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you.
- Deut. 28:63

I shall make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege...

A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed.

You are My war-club...with you I shatter old man and youth, young man and virgin.
- Jeremiah 19:9; 48:10; 51:20,22]

~~~~~~~~

DC: He had to suffer on our behalf. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and He did it willingly and lovingly. He didn't suffer for a sin He did, Mr. Babinski. We on the other hand are sinners. He sent His son to declare us righteous.

EB: Again, it's your theology speaking, not you. "He had to suffer on our behalf..." et al.

If you're right then what about the sin of murdering God's own innocent son? It's a sin to murder, so how much worse is it to murder God's only innocent son? My point is that somewhere down the line DIRECT forgiveness has to occur. Otherwise we'd have to keep sacrificing saviors in order to shed the blood of forgiveness for the sin of having sacrificed the previous savior, ad infinitum.

Direct forgiveness has to occur at some point, including God forgiving Jesus with all that sin in Him instead of making Jesus stay in hell. That's direct forgiveness.

And so far as Jesus being the "Lamb of God" that's only in the last written Gospel, by an author who tried to make such a connection, even adding such words to John the Baptist's portrayal of Jesus, but in none of the earlier three Gospels is Jesus called "Lamb of God," and never by John the Baptist. In point of fact the Passover lamb was not even sacrificed to cleanse people from sin. It was the scape-goat that took away the sins of the people, and the scape-goat was not even sacrificed, but the people laid their hands on it, and it was then left alive and made to run away into the wilderness to carry away the people's sins. Really, the Bible has to many different views to choose from, you just have to invent connections and ignore others that don't fit as well. Theology is a game. And the life isn't NOT "in the blood," but far more so in the brain and nervous system. But the Hebrews were so ill-informed they didn't sacrifice the brains to Yahweh, just the blood and kidneys (reins in the KJV, check out the verses about the kidneys directing a man) and bowels and heart, the organs that the Hebrews spoke about "directing" a man, and presumably an animal too, since those were the organs Yahweh liked best. And if the Christians are right all of that perpetual slaughter of animals in the O.T. also had nothing really to do with the forgiveness of sins. The other cultures of course also slaughtered animals back then, and claimed God wrote their laws. Before Moses's day King Hammurabi is depicted receiving his laws direct from the god Shamash.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: Well, if you consider the ratio from non-believers to theists, theists outweigh the non-believer by a big percentage. So it would make sense to more than "many people" don't you think?

EB: I agree, the use of "many" does not add or subtract to the truthfulness or falsity of a view. However most of the world still remains non-Christian. Even if you believe that every known type of Christianity or Christian on earth is going to heaven, including the nominal Christians and ones with doubts, there's still 2/3rds of the earth that is not Christian. Visit adherents.com

~~~~~~~~

EB: Yet in other places the Bible does not even require a sacrifice, but forgiveness is direct, even direct from God the Father. Such direct forgiveness is seen in parts of the O.T., as well as in the Gospel of Matthew: "Forgive us our trespasses [Father God], as we forgive those who tresspass against us... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:12,14)

DC: Those forgiveness were not settled until Christ's death and resurrection though. If you read the OT you'd see how it corresponds to the NT. They were "forgiven" until Christ finally vindicated it. The OT makes it clear that God was going to send His son to fogive the world. I'm quite surprised that an ex-Christian such as yourself did not know this in the Bible.

EB: Now you're just ignoring the plain words of those verses from Matthew and inserting Jesus's substitutionary sacrifice which is not mentioned at all in that prayer that Jesus himself taught. You're also ignoring other examples of direct forgiveness after repentence in the O.T. Lastly, you're ignoring the warnings even of Christian apologists on the net like J. P. Holding who discovered to his chagrin that "O T Prophecy fulfillment is [not] a good apologetic."

See also the end of this article in which other Christian apologists admit the same thing Holding did.

And lastly take a tour on the Jewish side of the misused of their Bible by Christians, here.

Daddy Cool said...

DC: You can make that point but unlike you I'm not begging the question in a fallacious sense because God at least given me evidence that He is a moral being.

EB: What kind of evidence.

DC: The nature of the evidence isn't the point of the argument though. I'm just talking about the nature of the argument you were making, which begged the question

EB: And what does it have to do with the Bible?

DC: Well, the evidence brought me to the Bible.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: The issue of hell and how it relates to other historical similarities still doesn't falsify Christianity.

EB: You don't have to falsify something in order to have legitimate questions concerning it.

DC: ... Okay. But it still doesn't make Christianity false.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: I think it makes perfect sense. Should there be no ultimate justice for an evil act? Are you a moral relativist by the way?

EB: I think the punishment should fit the crime.

DC: Humanly speaking, sure.

EB: Finite punishment for finite crime. And the person punished should be the one who committed the crime. To raise a man up on judgment day so you can kill him over and over again for eternity does not seem fair.

DC: LOL, hell described in the Bible doesn't make someone get killed over and over again.

EB:It also seems more fair to allow a person to see the afterlife and to see and meet God (like the apostles and others got to meet Jesus) and see how things really work first before forcing a person to believe in all such things under threat of eternal damnation.

DC: It seems fair to you but think for a second, Babinski. Do you think it's fair for you to have God submit to your will like that? And if so, would He still be God? Obviously, not. Besides, God hasn't left us a lone. He gave us the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, didn' you believe in the after-life anyway?

EB: Besides, threats of hell have served more to keep rival Christian denominations competing with one another for believers (with the "heretics" being portrayed as going to "hell") than hell has served the public good.

DC: Actually, throughout Church history hell wasn't the biggest issue between denominations. More secondary doctrines were in question.

EB: I also believe that if we live forever, and God is good, then there's time enough for love, not infinite punishment.

DC: In other words, you want a God who doesn't believe in judgment. Either way, you still haven't answered my question as to whether you believe in moral relativism or not? If you think that morality is relevant then we really shouldn't be having a discussion on what's evil.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: LOL, have you [made a study of God's anger]? But the answer to your question is "yes."

EB: Good, then just to be straight, you base your portrait of God and morality on verses such as these?

Let me [God] alone that my wrath may wax hot against them.
- Exodus 31:10 (See also Numbers 16:46)

The Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
- Psalm 21:9

That the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger.
- Deut. 13:17

He made Israel to sin to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- 1 Kings 16:26 (See also: Ex. 32:10; Num. 11:1,16:46, 32:13-14; Judges 3:8, 2:20; 1 Kings 14:9,15:30, 16:2, 16:7, 16:13; 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Samuel 24:1; 2 Chron. 34:25; Psalm 18:7 & Jer. 44:6; Nahum 1:2)

The Lord hardened their hearts... that they might receive no mercy.
- Joshua 11:20

You shall fear (no other gods) only Yahweh...for He is a jealous God. Otherwise His anger will be kindled against you and He will wipe you off the face of the earth...

In the cities He gives you leave alive nothing that breathes...utterly destroy them...show them no mercy...or Yahweh will destroy you utterly...

The Lord delivered them before us...we...utterly destroyed the men...women, and the little ones of every city...

If your brother, son, daughter, wife, or your friend who is your own soul, entice you away secretly, saying, 'Let us go serve other gods'...you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death...

These curses shall come on you...because you would not obey the Lord...you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters...

I [the Lord] will make mine arrows drunk with blood.
- Deuteronomy. 2:34; 5:9; 6:13,15; 7:2,4; 13:6-9; 20:16,17; 28:45,47,53; 32:42]

The Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you.
- Deut. 28:63

I shall make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege...

A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed.

You are My war-club...with you I shatter old man and youth, young man and virgin.
- Jeremiah 19:9; 48:10; 51:20,22]

DC: Yes.

~~~~~~~~

DC: He had to suffer on our behalf. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and He did it willingly and lovingly. He didn't suffer for a sin He did, Mr. Babinski. We on the other hand are sinners. He sent His son to declare us righteous.

EB: Again, it's your theology speaking, not you. "He had to suffer on our behalf..." et al.

DC: And thank God for that! Theology is necessarily about God.

EB: If you're right then what about the sin of murdering God's own innocent son? It's a sin to murder, so how much worse is it to murder God's only innocent son?

DC: That wasn't murder. Jesus sacrficed Himself for us. And besides He resurrected. LOL, some "murder"!

EB: My point is that somewhere down the line DIRECT forgiveness has to occur. Otherwise we'd have to keep sacrificing saviors in order to shed the blood of forgiveness for the sin of having sacrificed the previous savior, ad infinitum.

DC: That doesn't follow. Because Jesus is infinite not finite.

EB: Direct forgiveness has to occur at some point, including God forgiving Jesus with all that sin in Him instead of making Jesus stay in hell. That's direct forgiveness.

DC: Actually that's bad theology. But God definitely forgives directly and you haven't shown that He doesn't.

EB: And so far as Jesus being the "Lamb of God" that's only in the last written Gospel, by an author who tried to make such a connection, even adding such words to John the Baptist's portrayal of Jesus, but in none of the earlier three Gospels is Jesus called "Lamb of God," and never by John the Baptist. In point of fact the Passover lamb was not even sacrificed to cleanse people from sin. It was the scape-goat that took away the sins of the people, and the scape-goat was not even sacrificed, but the people laid their hands on it, and it was then left alive and made to run away into the wilderness to carry away the people's sins. Really, the Bible has to many different views to choose from, you just have to invent connections and ignore others that don't fit as well.

DC: Then that's what you were doing earlier about the Bible and the OT and forgiveness.

EB: Theology is a game. And the life isn't NOT "in the blood," but far more so in the brain and nervous system. But the Hebrews were so ill-informed they didn't sacrifice the brains to Yahweh, just the blood and kidneys (reins in the KJV, check out the verses about the kidneys directing a man) and bowels and heart, the organs that the Hebrews spoke about "directing" a man, and presumably an animal too, since those were the organs Yahweh liked best. And if the Christians are right all of that perpetual slaughter of animals in the O.T. also had nothing really to do with the forgiveness of sins.

DC: It actually covered the sins in the OT. And it was a sign of Jesus to come. Again, you must know your Bible better.

EB:The other cultures of course also slaughtered animals back then, and claimed God wrote their laws. Before Moses's day King Hammurabi is depicted receiving his laws direct from the god Shamash.

DC: Again, this doesn't necessarily falsify Christianity just because there were similarities in history.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: Well, if you consider the ratio from non-believers to theists, theists outweigh the non-believer by a big percentage. So it would make sense to more than "many people" don't you think?

EB: I agree, the use of "many" does not add or subtract to the truthfulness or falsity of a view. However most of the world still remains non-Christian. Even if you believe that every known type of Christianity or Christian on earth is going to heaven, including the nominal Christians and ones with doubts, there's still 2/3rds of the earth that is not Christian. Visit adherents.com

DC: Okay.

~~~~~~~~

EB: Yet in other places the Bible does not even require a sacrifice, but forgiveness is direct, even direct from God the Father. Such direct forgiveness is seen in parts of the O.T., as well as in the Gospel of Matthew: "Forgive us our trespasses [Father God], as we forgive those who tresspass against us... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:12,14)

DC: Those forgiveness were not settled until Christ's death and resurrection though. If you read the OT you'd see how it corresponds to the NT. They were "forgiven" until Christ finally vindicated it. The OT makes it clear that God was going to send His son to fogive the world. I'm quite surprised that an ex-Christian such as yourself did not know this in the Bible.

EB: Now you're just ignoring the plain words of those verses from Matthew and inserting Jesus's substitutionary sacrifice which is not mentioned at all in that prayer that Jesus himself taught.

DC: Ditto. Besides, Matthew has shown and referenced the OT a number of times about Jesus fulfilling the prophecy. Certainly a better case can be made that Jesus is actually following the forgiveness pattern of the OT, let alone that He's the fulfillment of it.

EB: You're also ignoring other examples of direct forgiveness after repentence in the O.T.

DC: You never brought it up. I can only deal with what you give me.

EB: Lastly, you're ignoring the warnings even of Christian apologists on the net like J. P. Holding who discovered to his chagrin that "O T Prophecy fulfillment is [not] a good apologetic."

DC: I didn't use that as my apologetics I just wanted you to get the Bible straight on OT fulfillments. I would agree with Holding by the way.

EB: See also the end of this article in which other Christian apologists admit the same thing Holding did.

DC: Okay.

EB: And lastly take a tour on the Jewish side of the misused of their Bible by Christians, here.

DC: Okay.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Dear DC,
I think I've answered you nicely, but you continue to reply with "LOL" as if the mere abbreviation of "laughs a lot" were an argument. I just want to let you know that I find most of your comments equally "laughable," but do not feel the need to repeat LOL before each reply. I've been at other forums where Christians used laughing emoticons out the whazzo, and fail to see any benefit to doing so myself, unless I'm discussing matters in such a crowd and everyone else is using emoticons as if they were arguments, in which case I might indulge for the sake of fitting it, though I usually stay away from those types of forums. And Debunking Christianity is not they type of forum.

Also, as an aside I might add that I don't recall reading even once in the Bible that Jesus laughed, nor have I read about the laughter of any N.T. author for that matter. Sarah laughed in the O.T., but I believe she was scolded for doing so. Yahweh is spoken of as laughing at his enemies, making them his footstool, but again, that's not exactly humorous, it's a derisive laughter of scolding. Some theologians like the Quaker, Elton Trueblood, have tried to make a case for a laughing Jesus in his book on The Humor of Christ, by citing say, the fact he loved children, and drank and ate with sinners, and told a parable about a camel going through an eye of a needle which passed for a witty illustration back then. But the N.T. never places any emphasis on laughter, does it? It's not a "beatitude" for instance. Not even mentioned as a blessing like in the Koran that someone told me states "He who can make his companions laugh deserves paradise." Nor does it say Jesus laughed or smiled even once, but one Gospel does say in one place that Jesus "looked at" [them, the Pharisees] "with anger." But there's nothing about Jesus expressing an emotion of laughter. Instead it says Jesus was a man of sorrow, citing Isaiah. And none of those drinking and eating with sinners events mentions any humor involved, rather in one case it's said a prostitute came and wiped Jesus's feet with her hair. All of which brings me to a poem I once read, titled, "The Bewilderment of Laughter" that included a little mention of Jesus. Here's an excerpt from the poem:

Nowhere in scripture does it say, “Christ laughed.”…

Why isn’t giggling while hiding playing hide’n’seek in the twilight a "beatitude?"…

Wouldn’t everything be different if just once the Son of God had bent over and cracked a smile?

Antler, from his book, Last Words

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: The nature of the evidence isn't the point of the argument though. I'm just talking about the nature of the argument you were making, which begged the question.

EB: You begged a prior question concerning God and Bible as I pointed out in our earlier exchange. Please go back and read my first reply and tell me why you did not beg the prior question that I pointed out.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: Well, the evidence brought me to the Bible.

EB: What does that mean, "brought me to the Bible?" You seem to be assuming the Bible is an idol, a paper-pope and you just have to read it, or be "brought to it," and everyone will believe the same thing. That assumption is simply not true. There are in fact tens of thousands of distinct Christian denominations and missionary groups, many with different views and the lines blur from there concerning the way different Christianities pronouce other Christianities to be "heresies." Even within Chalcedonian Nicean creedal Christianity, there's Christians who are either sure or suspect that others aren't "saved."

I used to read the Bible, read it several times, in different translations, the entire Bible, and prayed and studed and re-read many of the Gospels and N.T. books several times over. I believed I knew what my beliefs were about, but later I was challenged, after reading Jewish scholars who examined the way the N.T. authors cited passages from Hebrew books of the Bible. The case for N.T. prophecies began to grow dimmer for me. Many other things challenged me as well. I also began to realize there were genuinely good people outside of Christianity whom I could not imagine being sent to hell for eternity. Also, the doctrine of hell supposes that a loving mother gets separated eternally from her loving daughter, based on belief/faith.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: You don't have to falsify something in order to have legitimate questions concerning it.

DC: ... Okay. But it still doesn't make Christianity false.

EB: I accept your claim that your beliefs haven't been proven false. There's lots neither of us knows.

But I'd add that you have a large case you need to make, including your beliefs about the Bible, all of its books, its proper interpretation, and connection with an unseen reality and theological interpretations about the nature of such things as sin/salvation, Jesus, God, and eternity, among other things, including anything else specifically that you think is necessary to believe. If you can't prove your case, then what you have is a guess. It's not for me to disprove it either, though I can remind someone such as yourself (whose beliefs lay in a cloudly past, in unseen things, and in a particular version of eternity) that valid questions remain.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: I think the punishment should fit the crime.

DC: Humanly speaking, sure.

EB: Humanly speaking, I'm a human being, and can't help thinking in "human" terms. Anything beyond that simply doesn't make sense "humanly speaking" to me. If you ask me to think in terms of things that don't make "human sense," then in what sense are you proposing them, and how to you expect me to not question them?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Finite punishment for finite crime. And the person punished should be the one who committed the crime. To raise a man up on judgment day so you can kill him over and over again for eternity does not seem fair.

DC: LOL, hell described in the Bible doesn't make someone get killed over and over again.

EB: I was speaking metaphorically about bobbing up and down in a lake of fire where the smoke rises for eternity as it states in Revelation. If you have a body and it is going to be eternally punished, it has to experience the most profound pain and afterwards somehow constantly regenerate itself I imagine, over and over again. I could be wrong, the image of waking up a dead man (on the day of resurrection) just so he could be punished forever (or experience punishment) without end and without hope, seems to me above and beyond any meaningful sense of human justice I presently possess. I wouldn't even wish an eternal toothache on someone, yet Christians read the Bible and seem ready to accept such tales with a moment's thought. I suppose some people, like the authors of the Bible, had a much stronger instinct for revenge than some people today do. But ingesting hyperbolic apocalyptic language, and taking it as literal truth about eternal punishments, is not something I honestly agree with, not after having thought about such matters, and felt out such questions inside myself, and that conclusion for me is one I cannot ignore. If you really thought about it, you might grow to question your former views as well. Or not. I cannot predict. I'm just happy that both you and I can have a conversation, rather than a shouting match--or a duel. *smile*

~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB:It also seems more fair to allow a person to see the afterlife and to see and meet God (like the apostles and others got to meet Jesus) and see how things really work first before forcing a person to believe in all such things under threat of eternal damnation.

DC: It seems fair to you but think for a second, Babinski. Do you think it's fair for you to have God submit to your will like that? And if so, would He still be God? Obviously, not.

EB: I have thought about such matters for far longer than just a sec. The "thought" you propose is that nothing matters except what God chooses to do because He's God. But the same "thought" applies to any and every religion that posits a Big Something That Makes Questionable Rules. So maybe you should "think" about how you'd feel if a Muslim, or a Hindu (Brahman being their Big Something), or a Christian with different views on salvation than you presently hold, were to present you with the same "thought" you just presented me with, and told you that that was the "reason" why you must not question them and their religion and holy book, or not question their interpretation of "said stuff?" In a word you're not arguing for anything, but telling me I ought to believe as you do, and claiming your view is God's, and saying, end of argument. That's all you're saying. But that's where I think all arguments about God and religion merely begin.

Furthermore, I am not God, I am a human being and cannot help questioning the things I have questioned in a human fashion. If God made me a human and gave me my human mind, then questioning things in a human fashion is what that human mind happens to do best.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: Besides, God hasn't left us a lone. He gave us the Holy Spirit.

EB: That's a "thought" similar to the one you just presented above, only now you're substituting the words "Holy Sprit" for "God."

But perhaps you meant by "Holy Spirit" something called the "baptism of the Holy Spirit" and speaking in tongues? You can read my comments concerning those things on the web, or I can send them to you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: Furthermore, didn' you believe in the after-life anyway?

EB: Yes, but I admit my belief in the afterlife is a belief. For instance concerning the afterlife, most people whose hearts stop don't even have Near Death Experiences. And of those that do, most do not become Evangelical Christians as a result, though they often lack fear of death and grow more spiritual. And if an NDE does happen, most NDEs don't involve seeing religious figures. Though of those that have seen religious figures, Hindus have seen Krishna, a Buddhist has seen a sacred turtle, American Indians in their dream quests see animal totems, Catholics see Mary. Mormons have a magazine devoted to describing NDEs experiences by Mormons. Betty Eadey have very involved NDE where she went to heaven and it was the Mormon heaven. One Evangelical Christian, Dr. Ebey (sp?) had an NDE and went to heaven and met a giant talking Bible, and was told to prophecy the near end of the world and other things that didn't happen. Howard Storm went to hell and met dark hateful beings and then was saved out of it and taken to heaven by a being of light, and met other beings of light and asked them the question, what's the best religion and was told cryptically, "The one that brings you nearer to God." As I said, most people don't have NDE's, and of those that do, most people don't meet religious figures, and don't convert to Evangelical Christianity, though some of those people do lose their fear of death and grow more spiritual and compassionate. So I have more questions than answers, especially about all that time spent during sleep when consciousness is down. And when epileptics have the connections b/w the two hemispheres of their brains cut, and wind up with two brains and apparently two consciousnesses that each can answer different questions at the same time (though the one hemisphere usually cannot speak, it has to point to the answers to questions, though in same cases it can reply in one word answers).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Besides, threats of hell have served more to keep rival Christian denominations competing with one another for believers (with the "heretics" being portrayed as going to "hell") than hell has served the public good.

DC: Actually, throughout Church history hell wasn't the biggest issue between denominations. More secondary doctrines were in question.

ED: I wasn't speaking about denominations denying hell, like universalists or annihilationists, I was speaking about the way hell was used for centuries primarily as a wedge to put between different Christian groups, one group denying the teachings of another, calling them "heresies," with the subsequent threat of eternal punishment for those who dared to leave their group for the other "heretical" one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: I also believe that if we live forever, and God is good, then there's time enough for love, not infinite punishment.

DC: In other words, you want a God who doesn't believe in judgment. Either way, you still haven't answered my question as to whether you believe in moral relativism or not? If you think that morality is relevant then we really shouldn't be having a discussion on what's evil.

EB: Dear D.C. I think the argument you are attempting to employ regarding metaphysics and morality is flawed. The problem is that on one side you have authoritarian views of morality that simply parrot what is written in holy books, from the Egyptian Book of the Dead to Hammurabi's Code, both of which were allegedly "given" to mankind from a supernatural source, even before Moses's allegedly received his "commandments" from Yahweh. But I suspect that before such laws were ever written down and attributed to a supernatural source, there were plenty of natural reasons for the institution of the basic laws found in such books. Human beings have a shared biology, a shared evolutionary history, shared pains both physical and psychological, as well as shared pleasures both physical and psychological. Therefore human beings WOULD tend to come up with laws based on everything we share as a social species. People couldn't help but think in terms of rejecting theivery and murder. Few few few people would like being stolen from, or beaten, or tortured or killed. On the other hand, when you examine religious laws based on unquestioning authority, note how they developed to the point of declaring it was GOOD to torture and kill and take from others if it was for the good of "Christianity" or "Islam" or whatever.

There's much else to discuss on this topic, but consider simply this, that when you were born you knew no language, and if you were kept away from hearing language spoken, away from seeing human beings interact, what would you be today? It would seem that societies define us from birth, and that the "I" we each become is the result of much interaction with the society we each are raised in. That appears to be the major source of morality as well. There's a new book I believe, titled, The Moral Mind. Check out the reviews at amazon.com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

DC: LOL, have you [made a study of God's anger]? But the answer to your question is "yes."

EB: Good, then just to be straight, you base your portrait of God and morality on verses such as these?

Let me [God] alone that my wrath may wax hot against them.
- Exodus 31:10 (See also Numbers 16:46)

The Lord shall swallow them up in his wrath, and the fire shall devour them.
- Psalm 21:9

That the Lord may turn from the fierceness of his anger.
- Deut. 13:17

He made Israel to sin to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger with their vanities.
- 1 Kings 16:26 (See also: Ex. 32:10; Num. 11:1,16:46, 32:13-14; Judges 3:8, 2:20; 1 Kings 14:9,15:30, 16:2, 16:7, 16:13; 2 Kings 13:3; 2 Samuel 24:1; 2 Chron. 34:25; Psalm 18:7 & Jer. 44:6; Nahum 1:2)

The Lord hardened their hearts... that they might receive no mercy.
- Joshua 11:20

You shall fear (no other gods) only Yahweh...for He is a jealous God. Otherwise His anger will be kindled against you and He will wipe you off the face of the earth...

In the cities He gives you leave alive nothing that breathes...utterly destroy them...show them no mercy...or Yahweh will destroy you utterly...

The Lord delivered them before us...we...utterly destroyed the men...women, and the little ones of every city...

If your brother, son, daughter, wife, or your friend who is your own soul, entice you away secretly, saying, 'Let us go serve other gods'...you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death...

These curses shall come on you...because you would not obey the Lord...you shall eat the offspring of your own body, the flesh of your sons and of your daughters...

I [the Lord] will make mine arrows drunk with blood.
- Deuteronomy. 2:34; 5:9; 6:13,15; 7:2,4; 13:6-9; 20:16,17; 28:45,47,53; 32:42]

The Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you.
- Deut. 28:63

I shall make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they will eat one another's flesh in the siege...

A curse on him who is lax in doing the Lord's work! A curse on him who keeps his sword from bloodshed.

You are My war-club...with you I shatter old man and youth, young man and virgin.
- Jeremiah 19:9; 48:10; 51:20,22]

DC: Yes.

EB: And you believe all of those verses allegedly about "God" are "divine" with not a bit of human vengefulness nor vindictiveness having inspired any of them?

~~~~~~~~

DC: He had to suffer on our behalf. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice and He did it willingly and lovingly. He didn't suffer for a sin He did, Mr. Babinski. We on the other hand are sinners. He sent His son to declare us righteous.

EB: Again, it's your theology speaking, not you. "He had to suffer on our behalf..." et al.

DC: And thank God for that! Theology is necessarily about God.

EB: That's not an argument, again you're simply asserting your theology. If you are asking me to take a leap of faith and believe despite my intellectual reservations, despite all that I know on more firm ground, in favor of theological ideas that make no sense to me, then I honestly don't find the kind of faith within myself as you declare everyone must have concerning your theological views.

~~~~~~~

EB: If you're right then what about the sin of murdering God's own innocent son? It's a sin to murder, so how much worse is it to murder God's only innocent son?

DC: That wasn't murder. Jesus sacrficed Himself for us. And besides He resurrected. LOL, some "murder"!

EB: If is wasn't murder then why does one Gospel say Jesus forgave the people nailing his hands to the cross? (Notice that is also another case of what appears to be direct forgiveness.) The Bible makes little sense to me. As do the blood sacrifice religions in general.

~~~~~~~~

EB: My point is that somewhere down the line DIRECT forgiveness has to occur. Otherwise we'd have to keep sacrificing saviors in order to shed the blood of forgiveness for the sin of having sacrificed the previous savior, ad infinitum.

DC: That doesn't follow. Because Jesus is infinite not finite.

EB: It does follow. In the O.T. not following Yahweh and worshipping him meant the death penalty, how much worse is it to crucify God's only begotten son? I'd say that's got to be the worst sin anyone could ever even imagine doing. But how to be forgiven for that? Does the commision of the sin in this case equal it's own forgiveness? Again, theology makes no sense to me.

~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Direct forgiveness has to occur at some point, including God forgiving Jesus with all that sin in Him instead of making Jesus stay in hell. That's direct forgiveness.

DC: Actually that's bad theology. But God definitely forgives directly and you haven't shown that He doesn't.

EB: That's what I've been asking all along, If God forgives directly, then why the need for bloody sacrifices? The Lord's Prayer, the Our Father makes more sense to me than later Christian interpretations of Jesus's "sacrifice" and what one "must believe" or be "damned."

~~~~~~~~~~

EB: And so far as Jesus being the "Lamb of God" that's only in the last written Gospel, by an author who tried to make such a connection, even adding such words to John the Baptist's portrayal of Jesus, but in none of the earlier three Gospels is Jesus called "Lamb of God," and never by John the Baptist. In point of fact the Passover lamb was not even sacrificed to cleanse people from sin. It was the scape-goat that took away the sins of the people, and the scape-goat was not even sacrificed, but the people laid their hands on it, and it was then left alive and made to run away into the wilderness to carry away the people's sins. Really, the Bible has to many different views to choose from, you just have to invent connections and ignore others that don't fit as well.

DC: Then that's what you were doing earlier about the Bible and the OT and forgiveness.

EB: I invented nothing. I don't have all of the O.T. references up on the web yet, but I have several articles by Jewish scholars who present them and show how they contrast with the later Christian view of salvation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Theology is a game. And the life isn't NOT "in the blood," but far more so in the brain and nervous system. But the Hebrews were so ill-informed they didn't sacrifice the brains to Yahweh, just the blood and kidneys (reins in the KJV, check out the verses about the kidneys directing a man) and bowels and heart, the organs that the Hebrews spoke about "directing" a man, and presumably an animal too, since those were the organs Yahweh liked best. And if the Christians are right all of that perpetual slaughter of animals in the O.T. also had nothing really to do with the forgiveness of sins.

DC: It actually covered the sins in the OT. And it was a sign of Jesus to come. Again, you must know your Bible better.

EB: I know the Bible, you have explained nothing. Jews have found Christian theology laughable for millennia.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB:The other cultures of course also slaughtered animals back then, and claimed God wrote their laws. Before Moses's day King Hammurabi is depicted receiving his laws direct from the god Shamash.

DC: Again, this doesn't necessarily falsify Christianity just because there were similarities in history.

EB: There is a stelle showing King Hammurabi receiving his laws from a singular god, Shamash. And even conservative Christians admit this took place before Moses allegedly received the laws of Yahweh. There are even similarities in format between the laws of Hammurabi that preceded the laws of Moses. And the "covenant" was also a common ancient Near eastern idea before the Hebrews employed it. These are all legitimate questions. I don't feel the need to disprove Christianity, since I can't even beleive in it to begin with. Though I once DID believe Jesus was my personal savior, etc. And took much for granted. But I read widely. I read Jewish critiques of how the Christians misused their Bible. I read much else besides, and thought about matters.

~~~~~~~~

DC: Well, if you consider the ratio from non-believers to theists, theists outweigh the non-believer by a big percentage. So it would make sense to more than "many people" don't you think?

EB: I agree, the use of "many" does not add or subtract to the truthfulness or falsity of a view. However most of the world still remains non-Christian. Even if you believe that every known type of Christianity or Christian on earth is going to heaven, including the nominal Christians and ones with doubts, there's still 2/3rds of the earth that is not Christian. Visit adherents.com

DC: Okay.

~~~~~~~~

EB: Yet in other places the Bible does not even require a sacrifice, but forgiveness is direct, even direct from God the Father. Such direct forgiveness is seen in parts of the O.T., as well as in the Gospel of Matthew: "Forgive us our trespasses [Father God], as we forgive those who tresspass against us... For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." (Matthew 6:12,14)

DC: Those forgiveness were not settled until Christ's death and resurrection though. If you read the OT you'd see how it corresponds to the NT. They were "forgiven" until Christ finally vindicated it. The OT makes it clear that God was going to send His son to fogive the world. I'm quite surprised that an ex-Christian such as yourself did not know this in the Bible.

EB: I'm surprised you don't know the Jewish responses. You can't simply add another Bible to a Bible that already exists, and say, ours is the new true faith, without raising both eyebrows and questions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Now you're just ignoring the plain words of those verses from Matthew and inserting Jesus's substitutionary sacrifice which is not mentioned at all in that prayer that Jesus himself taught.

DC: Ditto. Besides, Matthew has shown and referenced the OT a number of times about Jesus fulfilling the prophecy. Certainly a better case can be made that Jesus is actually following the forgiveness pattern of the OT, let alone that He's the fulfillment of it.

EB: You're also ignoring other examples of direct forgiveness after repentence in the O.T.

DC: You never brought it up. I can only deal with what you give me.

EB: I will post some of the Jewish responses here at Debunking Christianity, stay tuned.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: Lastly, you're ignoring the warnings even of Christian apologists on the net like J. P. Holding who discovered to his chagrin that "O T Prophecy fulfillment is [not] a good apologetic."

DC: I didn't use that as my apologetics I just wanted you to get the Bible straight on OT fulfillments. I would agree with Holding by the way.

EB: If you agree with Holding, then why do you continue above, to bring up O.T. prophecies (in Matthew for instance) to me as if they were a good apologetic?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EB: See also the end of this article in which other Christian apologists admit the same thing Holding did.

DC: Okay.

EB: And lastly take a tour on the Jewish side of the misused of their Bible by Christians, here.

DC: Okay.