RAISE YOUR HANDS...now keep them up!

The Bible is so completely full of superstitious claptrap, so astoundingly packed with incongruous garbage and superficial hogwash that freethinkers find themselves strapped to systematically dismantle the book. When we consider the erroneous information, the credulous stories, the long list of dangerous ideals taught therein, we conclude that the Bible is a well of perversion that never seems to run dry.

Some of these biblical falsehoods come in the form of gross scientific errors, mixed with inane hodgepodge that we’d expect to find only in third-world countries, or perhaps melting-pot city slums, where voodoo practices are carried out by gold-toothed gypsies with criminal records, held up in dilapidated, one-room houses with snakeskins and ceremonial beads garnishing the doors somewhere out in the bayous of Louisiana. Examples of these biblical butcherings of sensibility include cattle looking at striped rods to produce striped offspring (Gen. 30:37-39), stars that fall to earth (Rev. 6:13), curses that cause the thighs of adulterous women to rot (Num. 5:12-21), and this example of superficial hocus-pocus…

“10. So Joshua did as Moses had said to him, and fought with Amalek: and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. 11. And it came to pass, when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed: and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. 12. But Moses' hands were heavy; and they took a stone, and put it under him, and he sat thereon; and Aaron and Hur stayed up his hands, the one on the one side, and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun.” (Exod. 17:10-12)

I think it is all too clear that this is not what Paul had in mind when he referred to “lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting” (I Tim. 2:8)! All throughout the New Testament, we are given the message that it is faith that sets us free and gives us the victory (John 8:32; I John 5:4), that if we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, mountains will be moved (Matt. 17:20). Believers assure us that God is concerned with the spiritual, not the physical things of this world, yet here is a bizarre story where God’s chief representative of the Old Testament had to claim victory in battle by what amounted to a feat of physical endurance. God’s strength wasn’t enough. Moses’ faith wasn’t enough. God wanted good shoulder muscles, and in the absence of that, a stone to sit on so Aaron and Hur could hold up the arms of the beloved leader of the Exodus. God’s victory in us is dependant on our ability to hold our arms above our heads for an extended length of time; surely that is not the message God wants us to learn here, is it? If this is not vain, it is hard to say what would qualify as such.

I’m not even going to try and imagine theistic excuses to put a spiritual twist on this account and make it seem believable. The idea of some man having to hold up his hands and a rod to win a battle creates some chuckles as we begin to think of how God could have had more fun with Moses and demanded that he stand on his head or do cartwheels all night to defeat his foes!

Jesus commended the faithful centurion for having faith that Jesus could speak the word only and his servant would be healed (Matt. 5:5-10). I wonder why Moses couldn’t call upon the same faith to eradicate his enemies without making the effort a silly ordeal? Jesus told his followers not to pray like those who use vain repetitions in prayer, thinking they would be heard for their “much speaking” (Matt. 6:7). Apparently this principle does not apply to the use of our bodies!

I find this tale strangely similar to a psychic in my own city who took advantage of a gullible family member of mine who was convinced by this phony that she had to bury a certain keepsake item a foot underground with a jar of “holy water,” a scarlet handkerchief imported from Israel, a clipping of goat’s hair, and a feather from a bald eagle to “cleanse away evil energies.” I guess all gods want their people to carry out aimless rituals and “go through the motions” to some extent.

Humorous and inexcusably vain examples of ignorance such as these will always serve as a testament to a progressive society that there are many things in the past that we are glad to have seen perish in the abyss of time.